Tag Archives: new years resolution

Laying The Groundwork For Age 50

Hi!  Sorry about that, I’ve been hiding under a blanket for the last few weeks. I was pretty sleepy.

A year ago, I came across this article about women in their fifties, and the importance of having a group of girlfriends. Rather than focus on these friendships themselves, it had me thinking about the kind of power a person gains with age. In the US at least, women in their fifties are free to leverage their experience, wealth, and connections to create positive change in their communities and beyond. Once again, the mask falls to the floor, and we have the option to redefine our lives, identities, and impact in the world.

When a question like “where do you want to be when you’re fifty” comes up, I don’t want to think of it as a goal. I want to think of it as experience. We’re climbing stairs, or walking a path, yes — but what is that path made of?

Marble? Plush velvet? Jello?  Hot coals?

What do you want to have accomplished by then, that sets the stage for something even greater once you’ve come into  power as a sage?
What do you want to learn?
What do you want to experience?

Is this something you’ve thought about before?


Splattering and Smearing (I paint too, sometimes)


Too many choices block forward movement.

I drew a portrait of once, on canvas, in pencil. Every time I look at it, I lose faith and walk away. I don’t have the skills or familiarity with my tools to do it justice. I can’t bring it to life.

That’s how I’ve been feeling about my writing, lately.


When to stand up, when to let go

Smearing and splattering bright colors was a welcome break. I didn’t have to describe what I saw — it was right there already. That’s how Blood on the Water came to be. I knew how I felt, I knew which colors I wanted to use. I knew there would be droplets and splatters. The way the brush glided over the canvas calmed me down. With no concrete goal, there was no pressure to succeed or fail. I had room to learn. The Abstract shapes didn’t insist on one form or another while I figured out brushstrokes, composition, color — and silly stuff like viscosity.

I feel guilty that I’m not writing as fruitfully these days. The last few weeks were great but the well dried up. Blood in the Water stemmed from my guilt and self-threatening — just like staring at a disembodied shark fin. This could be you. Keep going or you’ll die discarded, drowning and alone. None of those emotions were helping me. I had to get them out.

I wondered if others were also feeling stuck, but didn’t want to go nosing into their problems unasked. I posted the following request on social media:

“Tell me one isolated thought that bothered you recently, AND  two colors you enjoy seeing together.”

Here are some of the responses, and preliminary sketches I did today.


Selfish or self-interested?

  • “Is this a hair stuck in my throat or am I going mad?” Gold  & dark blue
  • How to stand up for myself and when to let things go. Blue  & silver
  • “Am I selfish or self-interested?” Alizarin crimson & phthalo blue.
  • The idea that there are far too many creative paths and sometimes a glut of choice inhibits forward movement.  purple & aqua.
  • Why is my shooting not improving yet?! forest green & dark plum.
  • I got annoyed when I should have had more empathy, blue  & orange
  • Congestion.  Black & red.

Here’s hoping I can do these ideas justice.


Is that a hair in my throat, or am I insane?

Painting-mind and painting-hand get stiff and rusty like all unused machinery. Blowing these guys up and adding full color will be challenging. As much as we dedicate ourselves to work, to family, to music or anything — we must step away from time to time. Nothing loosens psychological knots like fresh eyes and a fresh perspective.

I’ve often lost myself,
in order to find the burn that keeps everything awake.
― Frederico García Lorca

I am inclined to think that in one sense we must feel more than others ― yes, doubly more ― since the very attempt to restrain natural promptings entails suffering.”
― Inazo Nitobe