in the ruins…my love story

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While cleaning my desk today…

I found this Main Street photo of my hometown in Burke, South Dakota. I wanted to create a parallel universe of sorts, playing with the way our memories fade and shift.

This photo was taken way before my time. However, because of family stories and photographs, it’s somehow familiar to me…even with a vintage wallpaper sky and a black and white tiled road. I didn’t get too far in my cleaning and sorting project. Oh well, the mess will still be there tomorrow.

Dear 2018…

PrintDear 2018,

I’m going to work on my judgement and I would really appreciate your support.  My stated goal for the new year is to practice some radical acceptance of myself and others.  I heard this term somewhere recently and it really resonated for me.

acceptance defined: the act of accepting something or someone

It’s actually pretty simple according to Merriam Webster…simple in definition only.  Not in practice.  It will require training, diligence and literally biting my tongue sometimes…and I will fail often and try again.

Is acceptance the polar opposite of judgement?   

Don’t we all want the same things—to be loved, feel safe and possess some sense of belonging in this crazy world.  The world seems to be crying out for more connection, not more judgement.

I’ve noticed that my curiosity can smooth the jagged edges of my judgement. When I get curious about people, ideas, choices, places, well…everything, I’m far less likely to judge, because I jazzed about my new knowledge.  Dear 2018, please help me remember to utilize the power of my curiosity.  MORE CURIOSITY = LESS JUDGEMENT

Here’s to 2018 & whatever you choose to do with it…it’s none of my business.

 

 

mind travel & wanderlust

 

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Florence, Italy

Cork, Ireland

San Francisco, California

Pickstown, South Dakota

Los Angeles, California

a rigid or fluid heart? choose.

 

I don’t want half of my heart to be stone-like.

Thankfully, we always have a choice between being rigid or fluid.

 

South Dakota. inspired.

This is one of the items in the silent auction at the Billie Sutton Grit for Governor event this Saturday, November 18th, in Burke, South Dakota.  The imagery of road, earth and sky are meant to give a sense of spaciousness like the prairie.  This bag has been sanded, ironed, hammered, painted and sanded again.  I like my work to look a little tattered, worn out and yet, still hanging in there.

I wanted this project to reflect my love of South Dakota and acknowledge the road ahead for the SUTTONforSD team.  This gubernatorial race requires a lot of heart, courage and grit.  I suspect there will be times when everyone is going to be a little tattered…and yet, somehow, still hanging in there.

The road to me is about leaving, coming home, exploring points unknown & so much more.  I never get tired of working with road imagery.  My creative inspiration for this bag came from Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo (who made a lot of her own wardrobe and accessories) and Calamity Jane (who wore a lot of men’s clothing).  These women had a lot of duality and refused to conform to social norms…talk about grit.

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Billie Sutton is married to my niece, Kelsea Kenzy Sutton and grew up in my hometown.  He’s currently South Dakota’s State Senate Minority Leader (and the father of my brilliant & hilarious great-nephew, Liam).  This gubernatorial race is one to take notice of, regardless of where you live.  Please take some time to visit their campaign site.  The link is below.

Now, won’t election day 2018 be even more fun now that you’re paying attention to South Dakota Governor’s race? 

Go ahead, share the link, make a donation & really have some skin in the game.

https://www.suttonforsd.com/

 

NOLA—shadows, signs & light

TED in New Orleans

November 1st-3rd I had the privilege of attending the TEDwomen’s conference in New Orleans.  I have yet to distill the stories I heard into something easily shareable.  I will eventually though.  However, after the conference ended Friday at noon, and I had lunch with new friends, I had to shift hotels and…

when I walked into the Catahoula Hotel I was so instantly smitten.

This courtyard space at the Catahoula will be where I go in my head when I get dental work done or just want to escape.  It so spoke to me.  My room was really funky.  The staff was great.  There was a rooftop deck and bar.  The coffee was delicious.

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When I woke up the morning after the conference something funny happened.  If you listen to TED talks, which I highly recommend you do, you will get this.

I woke up speaking TED. 

My first thoughts when I woke up were, “Twenty-eight years ago, I was searching for something I did not understand and landed in the hippie hills of Vermont.  How could I, a small town girl from conservative, southern South Dakota believe that the lefty enclave of Burlington, Vermont would be where I would find my husband, my tribe and myself.  How could I…”

And it just kept going on like this.  I couldn’t stop thinking in TED speak.  I cracked myself up.  After hearing those remarkable stories for three days, one right after another, the cadence of the talks became a part of me.  I don’t speak TED anymore—just in case you were wondering.

There are some links below to TED talks.  You can find something to spark you on any subject in the universe—oh, and also the link to the hotel if you are planning a trip to New Orleans.

http://www.catahoulahotel.com/

2600 talks to stir your curiosity: TED talks