chrysalis, out of time

It is cool and crisp.
But also clear and bright.

It feels like “my time” – September or October.
But it is July. And even I am not ready for Summer to end.
Just the same this weather and the energy it brings me, are welcome.

This last year so much has been lost and gained.
Ups and downs.
A liquid brimming—and then the vessel emptied.
Over and over.
It is filled and spilled by waves of unexpected and extreme sizes—both enormous and imperceptably small.
My brain can’t decide which parts of life to “reset” or transform first,
so I force my body to STOP.
To listen.
To not receive words, but a sensation-al sign of what direction to move.

For the next brief period—and hour, maybe two—there is no to-do list.
No test message to return or call to answer.
Just a candle and an open window.

because I am so moved . . .

moved as in motivated, not emotional.
Let’s not get crazy. It’s rare enough that I feel compelled to write.
I certainly shall not be having emotions while doing so.

At any rate, I composed an essay while my head was upside down over my tiny bathtub during my miraculous hair washing. Miraculous because it is only due to an ice storm that I had time to bathe—for the first time in 3 days.
Ridiculous. But we Americans are overly concerned with hygiene anyway, so let’s call it an experiment, or water conservation. Anything other than just-plain-dirty.

That essay, now flushed from my brain, rinsed down the pipes with the grime, will not be making any sort of appearance. But I am attempting to get thoughts out of my head more often. I’m an only child and a pretty serious introvert who is obsessed with knowledge and well practiced in observation, so lots of words get stuck up there. Sometimes my brain feels like a fountain recycling its own water, or a plane cabin full of stale air. So, it is time to drain or depressurize, whichever metaphor you prefer.

I have always hesitated to call myself a writer, mostly because I feel that title relates to someone who puts words into form with some regularity. I am a composer of verbage, but nearly never put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I put words together inside my head carefully because there was a time when I did not speak out loud anything that wasn’t properly rehearsed mentally first. I appear well spoken as an adult only because I have scripts. For every situation. And finally after 38 years on the planet I am comfortable altering or abandoning them, but they have given me a good foundation and some confidence ultimately. That said, I spent most of my time with other humans in observer mode for the better part of 20 years, so even now my talk and writing style is more reporter than poet. *shrugs*

My creative expression has always existed in other outlets—painting, acting, design, photography. And when I am not involved in an artistic pursuit my word flow gets even more clogged.

So, I haven’t taken a picture in weeks. It’s cold and wintry and I have been working so much. Even my Instagram is sadly lacking. I have had to cut back on traveling and doing theatre for awhile. I haven’t painted or collaged in so long. The house is such a mess that I can’t bear to make more messes. Especially ones I would probably only half clean up with this nutty schedule.

I am carrying a notebook. And taking a writing class online.

my 70 hour work week

Sounds thrilling, no?
I am a part time professor. 30 hours.

And in this season, I do people’s taxes.
It is my way of justifying what might otherwise be frivolous spending on trips to New York City and Disneyworld.

But in the absence of a manager at one office, I am working 40 hour weeks at my “part time” gig.

Needless to say, I am too tired and lazy to write more than one blog post in a day. So yea, visit The Mountain Spirit blog. Winking smile

before the snow came


I took this photo on the road home.

I was on holiday in Virginia at my in-laws.

I had an epiphany when the power was out and I couldn’t see to record it in any way. It flowed over my regular thoughts like a waterfall and is now six states of mind down the river of enlightenment.

At least I had a good excuse. That time.


and for remembering . . .
from my color of the year reading . . .

“I want to ask a question. Did you choose this color? Or did you intuit it? Did you get a different color and interpret it, a bit, to a color that was more to your liking (aesthetically, I mean?).

If you chose it, or modified it, let me know. I can’t tell, but I get the feeling that this color is not the whole story.

I will interpret it as is, and you let me know, and we’ll see if we need to modify it.

I may also just be responding to the wheel of fortune nature of your life right now. We all have times like this.

Here we go:
If you are frustrated by unclear answers to life’s big questions, it’s okay.

Your color, this dusted plum is the color of peace during existential angst.

It’s a beautiful, classic color, reminiscent of the 1920′s, slightly melancholy. The 1920′s was that decade sandwiched between the horrors of WWI and the Influenza epidemic and the depravation of The Great Global Depression.

People, with various degrees of success, tried to be happy and modern and alive.

I am not saying that you are chronologically between very difficult times. It’s more that you are dealing with the ambiguity of what happens after surviving some difficult times.

I want you to know that the days in which you escape the more persistent reality of this coming year are equally real. I mean to say, don’t invest too deeply in the persistent reality, that which seems to be solidly in front of you. It is less solid than it seems, and you have more power of the outcomes than you expect. It’s important that you realize this.
There are other ways to solve problems than to grind against them. This color is a reminder to feel the safety and abundance that is inherently yours and to be gentle but firm with yourself as you move forward.

And finally, if you find yourself stuck in a situation that you feel you just can’t leave, look again. Question your assumptions. Question what you yourself are really responsible for, and what you choose to be responsible for.

And like Rilke says, Live the Questions.”

Heidi says:

Well, aren’t you a bit of a marvel!
This is the first color I received. I was a bit reluctant to let it pass when a second color came. (The same thing happened with words this year . . . I have two and they go in tandem.) This color I was drawn to as the color of a misty mountain. The second color is more of sky, but maybe with a tinge of green. I don’t know if the connection is earth and sky or mountain and sea. It was my not being able to zero in on the second, stronger vibe that caused me to post this first one! Today in my head it is sort of sea foam-ish. If you have any inclination, please share, but know that your instincts were not wrong! Thanks so much. :)

  • Bridget says:

    Heidi- In tandem colors- Aren’t they fascinating? I think they inform one another. Just be sure when you’re intuiting, that you’re staying in the rider’s seat and not driving. I think that both of these colors were intuited. But just make sure, because it really makes your reading even more specific. Misty mountain sky- with green- it’s a numinous experience of love and compassion from outward sources. Hard to put your finger on. But felt just the same.

That golden color of 2013

I am beginning now to really reflect on the year’s turning–
that color I referenced still a filter for meaning.
I collected representative images on a Pinterest board.
The color, as it turns out, was lamplight and honey.
How can next year ever compare?

Then one of my favorite poems came back to me today,
full of the colors of honey and heat
and also overflowing with connection
to the words I have walked with this year.
Purge. Savor. Manifest.

Last Night As I Was Sleeping
Antonio Machado
English version by Ivan M. Granger

      Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt – blessed vision! –
that a fountain flowed
here in my heart.
I said: Why, O water, have you come
along this secret waterway,
spring of new life,
which I have never tasted?
      Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt – blessed vision! –
that I had a beehive
here in my heart;
and the golden bees
were making
from all my old sorrows
white wax and sweet honey.
      Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt – blessed vision! –
a blazing sun shone
here in my heart.
It was blazing because it gave heat
from a red home,
and it was sun because it gave light
and because it made me weep.
      Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt – blessed vision! –
that it was God I had
here in my heart.

my face was purple

It is this triviality that actually got me to sit down and begin to write.
The past few weeks have been so . . . BIG.
Visits. New York City. So many friends. Such good food.
Semester ending. A historic holiday event. Faculty socials.

And all along I have these moments of total distraction. I am immersed full on in life only to have a glimpse of how fleeting the memory might be. Am I taking enough pictures? Why don’t I keep a journal anymore? Do people still read blogs or would that be a waste?  

The impossibility of capturing the big-ness is overwhelming and (thankfully) I get sucked back into the business of actually living my life, instead of fretting about recording it.

One of the fun crafty things I did in recent days was make an advent calendar with teas to drink each day. I made the actual calendar as a Christmas gift for my friend, Meghan.

This is the most wonderful way to count the days to Christmas .  .  . and I think I am staying fit with all extra the trips upstairs to the restroom. Now, I have to confess, I do not waste a warm tea bag. Before it goes to waste, I press it against my eyelids and face. Is that as weird as it sounds? Anyway, today’s tea was Blueberry with Acai, though I am fairly certain it was the blueberry that was to blame for my star turn as Violet Beauregard.

I am still uninspired to recount a full and magical week in New York City over Thanksgiving or the beauty I was surrounded by as we decorated a beautiful historic building. Tragic, I say.

But it is all hinted at over on my Instagram feed.


I am engaged with the soul care community in curating our holidays.
The word got trendy in the worst possible way when creators in the consumer market started using the word willy-nilly. Unsettling? Not really. However it is used, the deepest parts of me resonate with the word in a host of ways. My undergrad and graduate studies have been largely in three areas – art, ministry/spirituality and library science. See why I feel unashamed in laying claim to this word and it’s many uses?

Curate, as a noun, traditionally referred to "one responsible for the care (of souls)”  from the Medieval Latin ‘curatus’ and used to mean ‘spiritual guide’ in the late 14th century.

The verb is from the same root—though the responsibility for care transferred from souls to special or precious objects, most often art and books. Thus, the word is used most frequently used in relation to museums an libraries and those hired to gather and care for their collections.

So, yea.
I’m not certain I had any real point.
Just word love.

the review begins – 2013

each year people choose words to help guide their year.
and last year for the first time I chose and submitted a color for consideration by professional intuitive and awesome human, Bridget Pilloud. Here is what she wrote for me on her blog:


Heidi, how lovely!

Heidi- This color is quietly exciting.  Your self-perception has been deepening this past year, and now this color represents your ability to be fully present and completely unconcerned about what people think about you.  This is the year that you get comfortable. You say what you want. You’re quiet when you want to be quiet.  I see you leading from your gut, with strength.  This is a refining year for you, where you revisit life aspects that have vexed you in the past.

The orange aspect of this color for you is about nurturing yourself. It’s vital that with the new challenges you face this year, as you test your strength, that you pay attention to what your body and mind need. Keep consistent routines. Get enough sleep.  And take care of your throat (5th chakra).

I haven’t looked at this since the first month or so of this year. It is really quite astounding how true it all is. And though my initial word for the year actually became a trio—purge, savor, manifest—I am pleased at how they have developed through the three sections of my year and how the clarity of this citrus color has acted as a filter for them.

I hope to reflect and write more about it, but for now, I am smiling that as I sit here this color is so prominent in my mental clarity – and in the beautiful paper marigolds I made for my day for the dead altar. (See my last post.) It was actually my deep enjoyment of these flowers that caused me to recall my color for this year and to retrieve and compare what Bridget wrote.

Día de los Angelitos


To remember the lost littles.
A co-worker’s newborn. My husband’s newborn and 10 year old brothers. 
The abducted and presumed dead. The girl who got hit by a car.
One with a heart condition. The one on the tractor.
The strange suicide. The tragic allergy.
Unborn. Stillborn. Born too soon.