Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Only A Car

When I learned yesterday that the engine of my car was destroyed and thus I would need to say goodbye to my Audi TT, I was flooded with a number of emotions ranging from annoyance to loss, panic to sadness, memory to reflection.  I was really struck by my own reaction and, in my usual way, spent the evening trying to understand what gives.  And I think I have a clue.

Yesterday marked the end of a chapter for me and the beginning of another one.  Both chapters have to do with the end of the era of being married and identifying as such. When I first got my racy little sports car, it was step #1 in declaring my desire for independence. I called it my midlife crisis car, and it was truly symbolic for me.  In many ways, that little car acted as home for me, as a safe haven of Lisa when all else was crumbling around me: my move from Seattle, my loss of a job, my kids leaving the nest, my marriage ending. So losing this car seems to mark an end of this era of beginning of change - at a time when I no longer need the symbol of independence as real change is happening.

Interestingly,earlier in the day, prior to learning that my car was truly dead and not worth reviving, I had finally begun the process that will ultimately lead to the splitting of property between my husband of 30+ years and me, thus allowing divorce. It has taken me two years to get to this point, and I am ready now, no longer scared of what's to come.

I will miss that little car.  I no longer make the kind of money that allows me to acquire such an expensive car, and that is a little hard to swallow.   I no longer live a life with as many of the trappings as I did when the TT entered my life, and I must admit I miss many of those trappings.  But I live a very nice life, and while I may not have many of the material trappings, I also no longer have many of the emotional chains and baggage I once had, either.  Here's to the next chapter, and RIP little car.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Collective Unconscious

Boyan Mastov

One of the experiences in art that never fails to excite and interest me is seeing evidence of the collective unconscious which leads artists in diverse media and diverse locations to be inspired by a similar muse.  How is it possible that a ceramic artist in New Hampshire and a fiber artist on Whidbey Island in Washington State can be exploring similar territory, each with his or her own unique spin, stamp, and stitch?  What informs the choice of color, shape, and composition?  It amazed me when I was looking at my company's site,, to see new work, and I found these very pieces sitting near each other, looking like cousins, like kindred spirits.
Janet Steadman

How is it possible that we as humans think alike, even when separate?  How is it possible that men and women can start in very different places, visually, yet arrive in similar destinations?  And why is it that certain visual cues cause a rise in so many of us?  Is it learned or just part of the human experience?  Are we all influenced by forces of nature that we are not aware of?  I don't know, but it certainly intrigues me when I see it before my eyes.

Joan Gold

Liza Halvorsen

Monday, October 10, 2011


Here in my lovely foodie Mecca known as San Francisco, there is a singular ice cream business called Smitten. Imagine a pop up store in a hipster neighborhood where each scoop of ice cream is literally made one at a time, to order, before your eyes in a super little mixer piping in a cooling agent, very DIY meets hi tech. The ice cream itself is outstanding, and worth its high price and long wait if you are the kind of person who gets a kick out of artisan food-making and heavenly deliciousness. And so my story begins. After a movie the other night with a man I am getting to know, I suggested we head over to Smitten. Why? Because the night was still young and I didn't want it to end; because I am often up for adventure and am looking for a partner with similar energy; because I love ice cream and it seemed just right and he had never been to Smitten and I wanted to watch his reaction, because it was uncharacteristically warm for SF and I wanted to take advantage of the weather with this relative newcomer to the Bay Area. It wasn't a test. I have "tested" men in the past at times when I was playing more of a game of love than experiencing a real connection. This was wanting to know a little bit more about someone through an experience. And may I say? I was and am smitten.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Last week marked  Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year.   I am not, nor have I ever been, a religious person, having been raised in a secular household, yet I have always been aware and observant, at least in a casual way, of this most serious of Jewish holidays.  The idea of taking the time to repent for relationships gone awry and making amends to repair damage - or at least take responsibility - is a practice I hold in high regard and try to uphold.

But in addition, one of the beliefs associated with Rosh Hashanah is the belief that a person’s fate for the coming year is decided during the High Holy Days, and this I find most interesting to contemplate.  Of course I really don't believe such a thing is possible, as it seems to imply that there is a loss of determination of one's life based on the actions of every single day.  But what if?  What if it was possible to seal your fate based on the actions you took during a particular 10 day period?  What might you do differently?

This seems the stuff of movies and romance novels, of science fiction and fairy tales, of operas, both musical and of the soapy variety.  I had a couple of dates planned during these 10 days with a man I am most keen on, but to put the pressure on those dates that the actions from them might seal my fate for the next year?  Unfair to both him and me!  I have some really interesting business meetings coming up within this same time period, but again the pressure to have them determine the year's outcome seems to suffocate them before they even happen.

I realize that how I behave does have a longlasting effect whether in relationships of  love or business.  Both kinds of relationships are so much more complicated than to have their fates sealed by a 10 day window, yet having the marker of a holiday to remind us that WE are in control of our actions, that WE are responsible for how we act and treat others, and that WE are not above apologizing when we behave badly is most welcome.