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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.


Kelly Clark

I have so many things I want to tell you... Tantalizations of what is to come in 2014, of projects and dreams, offerings and creation, but that will need to come tomorrow.  I want to tell you about so much light, but I need to tell you about where I've been first.


Here is a truth:  I miss this space whenever I'm away.  I miss the community of rich minds, shared experience, mutual inspiration.  When I'm away, there is an emptiness that whispers to the the truth that I need contact with my women.  My community.

Here is a truth:  I love to be strong, strong of body, mind and heart.  I have lived much of my life with a Darwinian backbone: Only the strong survive, and I will be damned if I'm not a survivor.  But strong is not a constant, neither is it the only way to virtue.  I learn more deeply who I am in weakness, in the broken times, in the way I behave when I'm not strong, for this is the wholeness of being human.


Here is a truth:  I have been physically struggling for months and months.  Mysterious and spontaneous pains have wracked my spine, keeping me home bound for weeks at a time.  Nearly three weeks ago, life hit a new zenith of pain, leaving me unable to walk more than the distance from bed to couch, unable to work, to drive, to sleep, to eat, to function in any way.  I dislike speaking of matters such as these; I fear giving them too much of my precious energy.  But to not tell you these things is to hide the weakness and only show the strength, and I want to give you truth.  I've been in and out of doctors, and new xrays taken earlier this week showed multiple compression fractures in my spine.  I go in for an MRI in a few days, and will learn from there what the next steps will be. 

Here is a truth:  I have clung to hope until my hands were bloodied and raw.  The spark of trust that I will heal is the only thing keeping me going.  I tried for so long to be zen about the whole thing, to be still and patient.  But inside I have a warrior and she roars in holy rage.  This must be part of wholeness, to listen and be still, as well as shake with fury.  I have so much learning yet to do.  There are so many parts of me still asking to be embraced.

This weekend BC drove me to the water's edge, to let the salt air fill my hair, to let the waves wash up to me, and to collect new sea stones.  We walked slowly, so slowly along the shoreline, me toeing promising stones while he snatched them up for my examining hands.  Since then I've been painting, propped up on the couch in a plethora of pillows and blankets, á la Frida Kahlo, leaning into the truths that I know: painting is my solace, my comfort, my joy.  I paint a thousand tiny messages, offered like bottles to the sea, always, always finding my own way home.

sea stones.jpg

Painted Sea Stones

For today I come to say I've missed you, that I recognize each of us is fighting a hard battle, that I honor you wherever you are, and that painting sea stones is such a medicine.   I'll be listing these babies in the etsy shop shortly, then back to resting, recuperating, and tending the fire.  

With big love, 

- U