lisa congdon

I found this today and teared up when I read Rumi's words.

Over the years I mistook a few turns along the road as the way forward. I've been going in circles. Like the song says, "all this time I've been finding myself and I didn't know I was lost." 

After I got back from Paris, I just stopped blogging, for months. If anyone was disappointed, I apologize for jumping ship without notice.

What I've been doing with the days is travelling home, back to myself. I'm painting again. I'm writing. I'm editing everything out that can't fit in my knapsack.

I'm not sure what direction I'll go with this blog, other than posting quotes, and art, and music that captures my imagination. Thanks for reading.

Travel Photo Essay: Paris 2013 - Protest Outside of Notre Dame

We had just left the Shakespeare and Company bookstore and were circling back to Notre Dame when we saw close to twenty police vans racing up the street. And then we saw the crowds and heard the chanting. The French are known for staging protests, and while we were in Paris our bus had to be rerouted because of a protest staged at St. Michele, and we had heard of two other protests. This demonstration was in reaction to the passage of gay marriage. As we walked from the protest we saw a police boat heading up the Seine, apparently to arrest the two protesters suspended from the bridge. The day we left for home, a man took his life inside the cathedral in protest of the passage.

Shakespeare will have the final word on this: My bounty is as boundless as the sea,/ My love as deep; the more I give to thee/ The more I have, for both are infinite.

Travel Photo Essays: Paris 2013 - Crying in the Louvre

I am always moved when I visit museums or sacred spaces of any kind. No matter how I try to steel myself I tear up and cry when I stand before art or altars. The Louvre is overwhelming. The collections are vast. It would take months, perhaps years, to truly take in the art collections.

I hid out in a window well in one of the sculpture galleries as I composed myself, and took these photos of the glass pyramid and St. Germain.

We stayed until closing the first day, and then spent a few more hours the following day. If you have time for a quick lunch, the Louvre's Cafe serves the most delectable chevrè (goat cheese) quiche, AND an assortment of desserts. Here are a few photos from the multitude I took:

In front of Vigee Le Brun's Self-Portrait with her daughter Julie.

In front of the madhouse crowds amassed in front the Mona Lisa. 

I love religious icons, especially images of Mary. I so would have been a Marian devotee in the middle ages. 

The Islamic Art  Gallery is housed in a courtyard under an undulating gold geodome you can see from the main galleries.

This Moment: Paris 20 May 2013

Cars speed down the narrow cobblestone road outside the hotel. Pigeons peck the ground. A man in an acid green uniform sweeps detritus into the gutter. Foey, Senso, Yolo and indecipherable tags are graffitied in black over the On passé La 6 stenciled on the facing brick wall. A bird chirps in clipped bursts in the tree outside my window. Motos line the alley. The curtains are open and a light is on in the apartment opposite. I now understand the urge to peer into the private lives of others. A woman with flyaway blond hair pulls a small suitcase up the street. The morning air is brisk. Pigeon voices murmur like muffled protests. We are going back to the city of the dead, Pere Lachaise cemetery this morning. I wish to find Colette and Oscar Wilde. My daughter Jim Morrison. An entire city block of marble that holds the bones of the famous dead. One more day is all that is left of our time in Paris. In the Louvre's women bathroom, I felt an urge to take out my pen and write my name in the hollowed out crevice between two marble wall tiles knowing it would be grouted and sealed, so that something of me would remain behind. Surreptitious graffiti as proof that I was here. The city feels familiar, as if we are returning to a place I've been before. Paris feels like home. After we have flown back across the ocean to our desert, the city will exist, in the land of dreams.

Travel Photo Essay: Paris 2013 14-21 May - First Impressions

To say Paris is a gorgeous city, is an understatement. At every turn, my daughter and I were greeted with stunning views and experiences.

And the people! The people are gracious, friendly, and above all, patient, even when visitors stumble about trying to understand the subtleties of the culture or massacre the beautiful language. Don't listen to the well-intentioned advice about wearing money bags, or  horror stories about gangsof pickpockets, or tales of common rudeness.

We felt safe everywhere: on the streets, bus, metro, and train, cafes, restaurants, markets, museums, galleries, stores, neighborhoods, etc... We also felt welcome, despite shortcomings with language and local culture.

My daughter and I are spending the year learning the language via Rosetta Stone Francais, and plan on going back to visit for at least a month.

First Day: We landed at CDG around 9:33 after close to 24 hours of flying, connecting flights and a couple delays, we were in a taxi and at our hotel by 10:30. We dropped our luggage and headed up rue du Chemin Vert.
We seated ourselves at a small table at a cafe across from Pere Lachaise Cemetery. We ordered coffee and hot chocolate. Then we ordered brunch. My first meal in Paris was Salade Nicoise. My daughter had crepes.We learned that drinks are served in the area in front of the cafe, and meals are served inside.

Street scene on Rue du Mènlimontant.

We stumbled on to the entrance for Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours. The entry to the church is a portal through apartments. Walking down the street I would have never known it was a basilica/church. This photo is taken from the opposite side of the street.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery is a literal city of the dead with its own street names and map of its permanent residents. We came back to spend more time here the last day of our stay.

Grand and delapidated doorways are a ubiquitous sight in the city. We had no idea what their purpose was until we saw people enter and caught a glimpse of the courtyard and apartments through the open doors.

We jumped on a bus and rode through the city. We passed the Place de la Bastille July column on our way through neighborhoods. History and beauty are on every corner. Paris is a gorgeous city and I will admit, it was love at first sight. We were gobsmacked the entire bus ride.

This is a view of Seine and Notre Dame cathedral in the distance.

Champ de Mars Bus 69 dropped us at its last stop in front of the Eiffel Tower. We could not believe our luck. Bus 69 was our go to bus the duration of our trip.

The weather was mercurial, overcast and then sunny as you can see in the photo below.

A carriage horse resting in the park opposite of the Eiffel Tower. A local resident was taking photos also, and suggested I capture the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Artist of the Day: Women - Caitlin Shearer

The Librarian , A4 cardstock print
LOVEHEART, A4 cardstock print
The Gentlewoman , LARGE cardstock print
Indulge Me, A4 cardstock print
Stink Bugs A4 cardstock print
All five of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia based artist Caitlin Shearer's marvelous watercolors has fit the ever-changing mood of my day. Exactly
artist bio: Caitlin Shearer: a 23 year old Illustrator and textile designer from Sydney, Australia.

Paris 2013

Paris in Color Notes, Nichole Robertson, Author of Paris in Color

I've never been to Paris...until now.

I am flying out for the City of Lights, the city of art, fashion, food. The City of Everything. And not to be overlooked: beautiful sounding curses. I am a purveyor of expletives.

I have a general idea of what we will do and explore, but I don't feel the need to race to every museum or point of interest. I am excited to wander, with purpose, and aimlessly. I am looking forward to sitting and watching. My plan is to split time between the usual tourist sites and local cafes and restaurants, shops and galleries.

One of our first few stops will be to a local Morrocan restaurant that serves vegetarian fare, a cafe and boloungarie.

I am obssessing over which shoes to pack (my favorite shoes are impractical for walking on cobblestones-sany uggestions?) and clothes I should pack. I'm limiting myself to a small suitcase so that I am forced to edit my choices.

I have packing anxiety. I have at least one packing dream a month that usually involves packing at the last minute, packing too much, usually of the wrong thing, or of luggage seams bursting at inopportune times.

This has to be a disorder with its own name. Google time!... (and this is what I found: Packing Anxiety Disorder).

Whatever I pack won't matter one bit, (well, maybe the shoes matter). 

Paris will be gorgeous. The food will be delicious. I will fall in love with another city.

I will post images once I'm back.

Artist of the Day: In A Man's World - Anna Magruder

In a Man's World - 8x10
in a man's world
Distance - 9x9 Print
Book of Poems - 12x12 Print
book of poems
Coast - 9x9 Print

In A Man's World reminded me of an essay I read recently by Tara Mohr. The thesis is that women do no take criticism well,  that criticism  of any kind is taken personally, rather than as a means to modify and improve. Mohr posited that one of the reasons for this may be:

On an even deeper level, my sense is that women cope with living in a highly patriarchal world by trying to find safety and legitimacy through their own competence, through doing everything right.

Criticism can feel like a gash in the middle of something very important we are building – something that will shelter us and keep us safe.

This resonates.

I've been a crazy perfectionist for as long as I can remember. I'll admit that although I've found some criticism helpful, a lot has felt deeply personal and connected to my worth.

I also have to admit that I am not even close to doing everything right. But I have the impulse.

Intellectually, I know that doing everything right doesn't equal success, or happiness, or appreciation, or acceptance. 

Further, doing everything right is not a safety net. Nor does it ensure equal pay for equal work. That is just the reality of the world I live in.

Doing everything right is exhausting. I'm tired.

I think a better plan is doing everything the best I can, without the pressure or judgement of "right."

I love the idea of doing my best, even if it not's perfect.

What about you?
artist bio: My favorite subjects for my oil paintings are people and faces. Many of my images are inspired by found photos as well as photos from old yearbooks. Drifting between realism and surrealism, I love recreating vintage America, often re-imagining the lives and stories of the characters on my canvas or just exploring the emotional color of faces in the crowd. Find out more at: annamagruder.com

Poem Therapy 25 April 2013: Postcard: Advice to a Young Poet - Carl Phillips

Postcard: Advice To A Young Poet
Carl Phillips

This is excellent advice not only for writing, but for living life following your own bent of mind.

Artist of the Day: Containers - Jeremy Miranda

Containers-Limited Edition Print-
Shelter - Archival Print

Jeremy Miranda's painting shift perceptions of what a home is. In his works, home becomes something much differnt than a structure contains and shelters. Home becomes an oasis, a garden, a wilderness.
artist bio: I live and work in New England. To see more work visit jeremymiranda.com

Artist of the Day: Pink - Georgianna

Flower Photography - Floral Still Life Photography, Pink Dahlia, Cafe au Lait, Wall Decor, Wall Art
pink dahlia
Rose Photography - Romantic Pink Roses, Nature Photography, Wall Decor
pink roses
Flower Photography -  Pink Hollyhocks in Summer, Floral Photograph, Romantic Wall Decor
pink hollyhocks
Paris Photography - Paris Peonies in Parisian Flower Market, France, French Fine Art Travel Photo, Wall Art, Home Decor
paris peonies

I think flowers are the gods apology for the mayhem of winter.
artist bio: Welcome! I'm a long-time photographer, digital artist and designer who switched from corporate marketing in Hollywood to working with my husband in our own studio on a wooded wildlife habitat in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest.

Specializing in garden, floral and travel photography, I journey extensively around the world and in realms of the imagination, seeking to return with beautiful, serene, light-filled images sprinkled with
a bit of magic. I sincerely hope you enjoy them!

Blog: georgiannalane.com/
Portfolio: www.georgiannalanephotography.com
My stock photo library: www.gardenphotoworld.com
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgiannalane/

Artist of the Day: Grow - Jon Duenas

Grow - 11x14 120/medium format print

Four months into the year, I think grow is the theme of 2013.
artist bio: photographer time traveler space explorer

jonduenas.com twitter.com jonduenas/facebook.com/jonduenasphotography

Weekend Playlist April 19-21 2013

Spring Tulip
spring tulip

Flags across the country are at halfmast.

The sun is hidden behind the clouds, but tulips and daffodils are in bloom, the trees are budding, and the world is good, despite everything.

Enjoy your weekend!

Deep Sea Diver
Charles Bradley and The Menahan Street Band
The Fame Riot
First Aid Kit
Tegan and Sara
Alabama Shakes
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The Shins
The xx

Artist of the Day: Found Baseball - Don Hamerman

Found Baseball still life
found baseball

This is a marvelous photograph.

If you look at it long enough, you'll begin to see something else. I began to see a distinct image of John McEnroe, mainly of the tennis player's infantile temper tantrums. I think it's because of the stitches unraveling around the "mouth"  and the unruly "hair"  of the baseball, aka McEnroe.

What do you think?
artist bio: www.hamerman.com

Music & Poetry Mash Up: We the Common - Thao and the Get Down Stay Down + Living In Numbers - Claire Lee

original photography by Umit Ince / free shipping item
nikolay bozhinov
We The Common


Living In Numbers
Sunday, August 22, 2010:
Number of times I’ve woken up after
oversleeping and sprung out of bed like a ninja: 959
Number of broken bones: 3
Number of scars, physical: 4; emotional: 947
Number of funerals attended: 7
Number of friends, Facebook: 744, real: 9
Number of cavities filled: 0

Percentage of people I can stand in the world: 3.5
Number of times I’ve laughed so hard my sides would bruise: 2,972
Number of times I’ve wanted to bawl my eyes out: 320
Number of things I regret: 11
Number of things I know: 918,394

Monday, August 23, 2010:
Number of times I’ve woken up after oversleeping and sprung out of bed like a ninja: 960
Number of broken bones: 3
Number of scars, physical: 4; emotional: 1,293
Number of funerals attended: 7
Number of friends, Facebook: 800, real: 7
Number of cavities filled: 0

Percentage of people I can stand in the world: 3.4
Number of times I’ve laughed so hard my sides would bruise: 2,973
Number of times I’ve wanted to bawl my eyes out: 321
Number of things I regret: 13
Number of things I know: 918,390

Artist of the Day: Animals - Andrea Hauer

Fine Print  Tiger, orange black
Monkeys, collage watercolor
Pink Pigs small print collage
Fine Print Animal Serie - Blue Bull

These lovely collages from Madrid based artist brightened my day. The tiger is my favorite.

They are available as signed and numbered prints.
artist bio: I'm a Madrid based artist and love to work with my hands. I love to paint, print, sew, cook and mainly convert one thing into another, adding in this process beauty and sense.(you can see my almost-daily works in www.andreahauer.es)


Poem Therapy 16 April 2013 2:57 PM: Elegy in Limestone - CJ Evans

View of Boston

Elegy in Limestone
CJ Evans

If the water, everywhere, and if she

is. If ghosts, like water, like if all

rivers and oceans and rains are one

ghost, surrounding and throughout.

If she is, like if the lakes and bays

of Seattle define Seattle, if the ices

Of Mars and Massachusetts,

hidden in their deep stones, define

Mars and Massachusetts; if she is.

A thirst unmet, alkaline or saline,

the water not touching that thirst,

if my thirst wants something else

entirely. If she is. Water, if it is in

and is blood. If invisible until

exhale. If science lies and water

doesn’t reflect sky but sky this

water. If she is the sound, if it isn’t

essential until its lack. If she is

the sound of. Waves. If in the body,

the dew in morning, and the moon.

If she is the sound of the water.

If rising, if breaking, if throughout.

Everyone of us is made of water, and flesh.

We are all born of woman.

In a way, we are all one flesh.

The older I get, the more I begin to understand the meaning behind the Golden Rule, the laws of Karma, the teachings of sages and prophets, the scripture that what is done to the least is done to all.

Artist of the Day: Sweet Connections - Louise van Terheijden

Sweet connections - Featured in West Elm - Reproduction from original watercolor painting A4 print orange pink springtime
sweet connections

This print reminds me of cells.

When I saw it I thought it expresses how my place in the world has been shaking out the last few months. And it's been shaking, not as in seismic, but as in slight tremors turning the ground to sand.

I've been in a very introspective, inward phase.  I haven't felt like talking so much, as doing.

This past January I made a decision to change my life, as in chuck all the "stuff" that no longer worked, and the Universe took me seriously! Be careful what you ask for, because you will get it. Not always in the time frame you think, though.

What I'm realizing is that small decisions or conversations or transactions from years ago are directly connected to the here and now. Some connections are slap your head realizations, other connections are not always that obvious. Some are sweet. Some bitter. Some terribly sad. Others verging on joyful.

Life really is good. And beautiful. And, oh, so complex.
artist bio: My name is Louise van Terheijden. I'm from the Netherlands in Europe.

Artist of the Day: Polyphemus - Shawn St. Peter

ON SALE Vintage Football 11x14 print, Boys Room decor, Boys Nursery Ideas, Sports art, Sport Prints, Man Cave

What does this football in the Shawn St. Peter's photograph remind you of?

I see Polyphemus - the Cyclops from Homer's Iliad. That menacing eye in the center of the leather forehead. That scraggle-tooth mouth.

Do you see him? Of course you do.

artist bio: I am a father and a husband living in the Pacific Northwest. My love of photography started in highschool and it fuels my creative side. I love all aspects of it from the camera to the end product. I love post production and manipulating photos into art. I collect vintage cameras especially old polaroids.

Music & Poetry Mash Up: Fly So Free - Luella & the Sun + Canon 501 - Brian Swann

iona rozeal brown: ...hold on... 2009
iona rozeal brown

Fly So Free


Canon 501
The song was moist, filing away,
   drifting while we drifted, something
in blackface, Al Jolson of birdland,
   not quite right, prophesizing until hoarse
who knows what. The locals say he
   draws poison from you, angatkuk,
shaman, though they don’t believe it.
   Then the incongruous smell of
chrysanthemum crossed us up and
   we remembered the service-station
with someone in handcuffs. Probably
   a mistake, said the attendant, though
they do get violent. The prisoner yawned.
   Our map lumbered from point to point
as if trying to remember something itself,
   anything. We tossed it and got out.
On the long walk back the tundra looked cozier
   by moonlight, everywhere the same,
white as bleached whalebone. But
   things had not been right all day.
In the damp heat everything was wobbly,
   even the bride at the old mission who
seemed to grow clouds like companions,
   drawing them after. I glimpsed a ring
of seal-fur flash on her wrist. Mm-hmm,
   unh-hunh they went. The honeymoon
was spent beyond the rigs. It was enough
   for them it didn’t rain or snow though
the driftwood fire they made beside the boats
   was all smoke. The sea sounded obscure
as if it had no shape and was empty.
   We tried to capture it on Canon 501
and sent it south, but even that seemed staged.

Artist of the Day: Artists & Writers - Bett Norris

Frida Kahlo 'Androgyny' Limited Edition A4 Giclee Print by Bett Norris
Andy Warhol - Glasses 'Androgyny' Limited Edition A4 Giclee Print by Bett Norris
Large Virginia Woolf Portrait Limited Edition A3 Giclee Print by Bett Norris.
Large David Bowie 'Androgyny'  A3 limited edition Giclee Print by Bett Norris

These portraits by  Bristol, England based artist Bett Norris are of four of my favorite artists and writers.

I wish Norris would paint James Joyce, Toni Morrison, E.L. Doctorow, Billie Holliday, Aretha Franklin, and far too many others to list.

 Have you ever considered what the world would be like without Mrs. Dalloway, or Thirty Six Soup Cans, or Modern Love, or every single painting or creation or word of Frida Kahlo's?
artist bio: I'm an Illustrator from Bristol, United Kingdom. I like drawing portraits and am available for commissions. http://bett-norris.blogspot.com