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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.



- From my sketchbook writings, July 25th 2010 -

I fear I'm becoming a recluse.
Driving through masses of humanity and concrete I could feel the undercurrent of the city; pulsing like a body on the verge of a heart attack. Pumping ever harder, faster, expanding while the confines of cement and mortar fill in the crumbling chinks. It took me less than 48 hours to remember how to drive that speed, dancing through the gauntlet, slipping by countless street signs and steady ambitions. I could feel the beat ringing in my ears and the need to move faster creeping up knees.

But then I hit the open hills.


The Golden Rolling Hills of California. The live oaks whose roots sink deeper than the mountains and reach their gnarled limbs in every direction like Shiva. I needed that space. I needed to dilate my ribcage and feel nothing pressing back. I needed to throw my arms wide and feel only the sunshine on my fingertips. I began breathing slower, deeper. I turned the radio up; I sang from my diaphragm. I let the wind blow hot over my skin, rumple my hair into an unruly tumble, and eased up on the gas pedal.


And then, like water in the desert to a parched woman, I hit the Redwood Curtain.
The temperature dropped and the scent of the forest filled the car. The road was bare before me and the rivers crashed far below my tires. The trees closed in behind me and I could have cried for the sanctuary. In this time of discovering the depths of my own strength and the fragility of my own body I'm desperate for it.
For Safety
For Shelter
For Refuge
This is where I am supposed to be.
There are hundreds of miles between the voracious hustle and my heart. And my heart is home.