Signs that speak

Making signs has become a passion of mine. It involves words, discarded wood, and sticks. I can do it outside and inside. It’s expressive and involves color choices. I like it. The following is my latest group of signs and their stories.

The devotion sign had to be made because I kept saying devotion in my head for about 1-2 weeks. Not constantly but consistently. It wasn’t pushy but insistent to come into being. I like this word because it feels good to think it, and it feels good for the mouth to say it. The V sound is a fun one to form and make your lips buzz. Oh, and it also feels good to feel devotion, to be devoted.

When I feel immersed completely in something creative, I feel a sense of holiness, a current of timeless blending of the separate self joining the universal flow. It feels like I’ve caught the wave I didn’t know I was seeking.

Anne Lamott wrote a book with this title, Help Thanks Wow, the three essential prayers. It’s one of the first signs I made (not the one pictured). I put it up in my back art/eating/outside/inside space. It’s known as the temple. A rustic kind of barn-like simple temple. Temple light.

The background light layer happened because I ran out of paint. Now it’s my favorite background look.

Groove is in the heart makes me happy. It also makes me sing the song, so makes the day more fun and heart groovy.

Deee-Light was the band who sang, groove is in the heart, so that inspired this sign. Thanks, Corbin. I love friends who help remind me of what I love. My favorite relationships bring mutual delight. Ultimately they bring light and a floaty levity to the human experience.

Once at a Quaker meeting, a very old wise one said that we tend to be stingy with love. We reduce it. We don’t think there is enough. In fact, he said we are downright miserly with it. I silently agreed. Months later I watched someone talk feverishly about a subject he knew well. At the end, after a stretched-out pause, he said “SO MUCH LOVE!” with great emphasis (although it had no direct link to his subject). The impact of his words and statement rang in my head, weeks later. SO MUCH LOVE hung there as if all around, filling every space. This sign was born to be a reminder.

I made this one about two days before Thanksgiving. I meant to make it say gratitude, but I had a friend over and we were talking so I wasn’t paying attention. I realized gratitude would not fit, so changed it mid-way to grateful.

Zen Zone came from Katie at work. She visits our back area where it’s all acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, plants, and quiet. It’s now known as the zen zone. It hit me that others might want a designated zen zone. You gotta claim that space!

A second scripty version of devotion. I wasn’t happy with how it turned out originally but didn’t get around to throwing it away. Later I added black outline to the smudgy gold and liked it better. I like how the firecracker plant is photobombing this shot.

Grit is a favorite word of mine. I love reaching down for grit and finding it! At Rena workouts, Jon uses this word a lot when we are grinding out burpees. This word reminds me of my friend, Beth. She got grit.


GIDDYUP is another word that is fun for the mouth and throat to say. Besides meaning go for a horse, the urban dictionary says it means, “let’s go! or “Yes, let’s do it!”As in, “do you want to grab a pint of kombucha? Giddyup!” I like my giddyup people. Sally is a giddyup gal.


Gaia, the real horse, not the dream one. Thanks, Troyleen!

About a month ago, I dreamed I was riding a horse through uneven urban concrete junctures. Cutting through different grades and hills and drops and buildings did not faze my ride. All I had to do was sit down in the saddle and stay balanced, trust her technique. Trust the anima of the animal upon which I was seated.

This weekend, during awake time, there was another anima at work, in the form of making signs. If you look up anima in the dictionary, you’ll find a few different definitions. It starts with “soul; life.” My favorite: an individual’s true inner self reflecting archetypal ideals of conduct. I don’t know if anima fits here, in regards to sign making, but it feels right, so I’m sticking with it.

What’s your sign? What are your words?

Celebrity voting

I admit it, I hit the link with a picture of Kevin Costner, which said, “how do you think he voted? You’ll be surprised!” I never got far enough to find out how Kevin voted. But I saw many others.

Those who allegedly voted for Trump were not too surprising: Tom Arnold, Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, Hulk Hogan, Dennis Rodman, Kid Rock, Tom Brady, Kelsey Grammer, Vince Vaughn, Bruce Willis…. You get the idea!

Hmmm, maybe a certain theme is forming here. Possibly a few themes. One thing that stands out? Many on this list are cartoonishly male. They are, or really want to be perceived as dominant males. They want to be on the top of the heap. Some said they wanted gun rights, Bruce and Vince. Others wanted a sound businessman, Kid Rock. Tom Arnold, I have no idea where his head is, but he was never my go-to guy for guidance. Tom Brady, of the Patriots, is likely a cheater, so that is an easy call.

Now, let’s talk about the women who voted for Trump.

For one thing, there were not that many big names. I must admit, I mostly didn’t know the women that flashed slowly by. What I do know is many of those pictured had huge fake boobs and shiny platinum blond hair. In this sense, these women appear to me as cartoonishly female.

I had a realization after viewing a number of them. They are actually the women that all the above-mentioned men would be if they suddenly turned into women.  You following me here? Can’t you see Kid Rock prancing around, with amped-up cleavage, tossing his blond mane about? Anyway, I think these women, the Trump voters, see the world through a man lens. A dominant, and most likely, white man lens.

The women listed who voted Hillary were people you might expect. Meryl Streep, Beyonce, Selma Hayek, Demi Moore, Katie Perry, Angelina Jolie.

The men noted for voting for Hillary were Tom Hanks, Leonardo Dicaprio, Ben Affleck, and Alic Baldwin.

Look over this short list, these Hollywood types, these Hillary men are all successful males. They enjoy fiscal and social dominance. So why not go all the way? Why are these men…. not Trump men? My immediate answer is that they can, and could possibly enjoy, opening a book. The others guys maybe can too, but I’m not too sure as to what they are reading.

So, what is my final analysis based on a tiny screen button that reviewed how a handful of celebrities voted? Those who voted for Trump wanted dominance at all costs. The men did, and so did the women. Did nothing else matter? Well, guns and money did matter. Image counts as well, but from where I sit, our image, collectively is crap city.

I still have no idea as to where Kevin Costner fits into all this.

Meditation provokes potato calm

Today’s group meditation was like a smooth slalom through warm, mashed potatoes. Visualize effortlessly carving left and right down a gentle tater slope. An occasional splatter sprays your cheek. You lick at this flavor of experience.

There is only a slight drag on the bottom of your skis, not in an obstructive way, but in a comfort food kind of way. Speed is relatively slow over mashed potatoes. This plant-based base has a subtle granular quality. Butter slows you down more than you would think. It adds a certain weight and fluidity to the glide through starchy spud drifts.

This meditative space is welcoming and open. It allows vulnerability. It offers a new phrase I just learned: emotional exposure. In a totally safe way. The air and the people sharing it do not put out a vibe of defense. Collectively, there is no bristling in response to another. No guts are tightening in preparation to fire off a counterpoint.

I enjoy this rhythm of being. There is no top or bottom, only moving through.