IMG_3519 IMG_3831an elemental is a spirit embodying one of the five elements of antiquity. i feel like this spirit informs much of what we look into these days. click here

current pastimes include:

1. the hobbit – can’t put it down. viv in particular is transfixed. both of us reading out loud to the girls. lots of drawing inspired by this story. her memory of the detail is boosting for me. working magic on her brain and on my spirit.

2. book making: our titles: 1. dragon island  2. birds of paradise (works in progress)

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3. the magic horse by lotte reiniger – click here

4. the tale of the caliph stork by lenny hort –

Tale of Caliph Stork001

5. hopi kachina – click here

6. drawing peacocks from photos on line – click here

7. hoop dance – click here

8. drawing humans mixed with various animals, mostly birds.

9. avatar: the last airbender

10. storyboarding with uncle nico for a film idea about two kids who are on a mission to save the dying trees

11. the marin headlands and mount tam – check out this book jason brought home


12. talking a little bit about classical music. who mozart was. what chamber music is. listening.

13. capoeira

14. listening to music. listening to silence.


tornado, butterfliesreclaim the streets.

forest. wattle and daub.

yesterday we set out first thing on a planned outing to angel island. as with most adventures of a family with young children, getting out of the house was no small feat. i remained unsure we would make the scheduled ferry departure until all our feet and wheels were on the other side of the gangplank.

as usual, jason’s perseverance and determination are what delivered us to the moment of ferry departure. he is a fearless leader (when needed) and copilot to whom i am ever thankful to have at my side. i am prone to hibernation, so he keeps the family moving. moving and arriving.

the weather was perfect. the walk from the port to quarry beach meditative and journey-esque. when i sat on the beach and took off my shoes, i was so thankful i hadn’t remained home and taken the four baths i had envisioned needing.

there was a theater troupe performing the odyssey with the island as their stage. a five hour play in continuous movement – the whole production and it’s audience hiked from scene to scene. we were not there for the play, we were on the island with jason’s coworkers from the department of public health. the goal was to spend quality time together outside the tenderloin. each of us were able to view little tidbits of the production in and out of our own exploration of the island. there was mention about how the odyssey had been referenced recently in a talk given by one of their coworkers as the perfect metaphor for treating people with trauma. everyone shared their experience of the poem or questions about it with each other. the highlight for the girls was seeing calypso and the sirens in all of their green silk dancing on the beach in the wind. the backdrop was a structure made of drift wood and boat sails with a rope swing hanging in the middle. viv took full advantage of the actorless stage as it sat waiting for the production to arrive.

watching the girls frolic in and out of the water and tall grasses was a great companion to my inclination to meditate on the tide. while i missed my book, i was thankful that i could just sit and watch the passing boats on the bay, observing them and the conversations around me. i enjoyed not moving, not doing; there on that beautiful beach with the odyssey in the back of my mind.

the hike back was hot and long. girls jumping in and out of the cart and on and off of our bodies. the ferry ride took longer than i would like. moving from port to port we sat baking in the warm evening sun. this timing, while not ideal, in the end seemed essential to the experience ahead of us on the main land. just before we reached the ferry building, our traveling companion robert, made a pinhole camera so that we could view the eclipse that was just beginning. what showed on the brochure (tore in half to make the pinhole and it’s canvas) was a crescent sun!

we walked off the ferry and into an exploration of tree shadows with thousands of crescent suns. all of us were mesmerized by the stage like quality of the light as the sun and moon crossed paths and the temperature began to drop. the grey brightness was beautiful and alarming. so fun to see all the people on the street in awe. simultaneously, so interesting to see those that had no idea, continuing as if nothing spectacular was taking place.

this morning i woke up and found myself in a quiet home with everyone but myself still asleep. 6am. i picked up my book  (lost woods – the discovered writing of rachel carson). i read about the return of the chesapeake eels from estuary to the sargasso sea. a remarkable and mysterious journey. how do they do it?

somehow, this story of eels hurrying to the sea to complete their cycle of life, rounds out my whole experience of the weekend – the chaos, the island, the ferry, the crescent sun, the sargasso sea. carson’s mention of how vital the estuary is for the eel to grow to maturity in preparation for it’s journey out to the sea, i take as an affirmation that we are on our natural path. i don’t know where we are headed but something is telling me to follow my instinct.