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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.


Just a pocketful

Kelly Clark

I keep pressing forward, keep creating, keep asking for more.  Somedays I sink down into the flow of work and the magic of process.  It feels like soul balm, it's even cathartic, but when I step back, I'm struck with the tinniest bit of disappointment.  It's missing something.  A radical, pulsing feeling, a wild abandon married to tender attention.  It's like trying to draw a picture of the way fresh baked bread smells; I can just make out the edges in my peripheral vision, but as soon as I try to touch it, it disappears.  Digging deep into your art is not for the faint of heart.  Days like yesterday I just have to scrap the work.  Seven canvases lay discarded in the studio.  The scrap silver jar is half full and there are no less than three necklaces awaiting dismantling.  In the past, this would have felt demoralizing, but today I feel a rising thrill:  My hands are still catching up with my mind, with the exponential expansion of a winter spent in meditation.  One day soon, I hope they'll even catch up.  If they do, the very mountains may tremble.

* * *

Coconut milk, coconut water, dates, fresh mint, frozen berries, a handful of spinach and a pinch of himalayan salt.  If you want an incredibly decadent treat, add a little raw cocoa powder and half a teaspoon of lavender.  Holy!  You can thank me later.  Blended and served for every single lunch this week.  With a side of homemade scone smeared with last year's raspberry jam.  You are what you eat and I'm pretty sure I taste delicious.

* * *

I'm still deep in internal processing.  Somedays, my words are few.  Life has been a forest fire that raged through my body all last year.  I'm still watching the ash settle and signs of new life sprout with wild abandon.  But the truth is, there is so much ash and every day I'm surprised when I hit those physical limits.  Perhaps even more so when I hit those belief limits, when the sneaking fears of "what if I crash again, what if the next round of lab work comes back worse, what if this is only a semblance of health?" slide back into the background noise.  I'm a champion optimist, so it has always come easy to package those thoughts in thick walled boxes hidden away in secret chambers.  But these days I yearn for truth and transparency, and to raise a waving hand, proclaiming total health does not honor that, nor you.  I've said it before, but we are such walking miracles: we are not perfect, we are not whole.  We are lined with the wear of existence, skin scarred, hearts cracked open.  But if we are very lucky, we fill those cracks with gold and go on living, ever more beautiful for having been broken.

So much has shifted: tectonic plates and vertebral disks, the opening of palms and third eyes.  I keep drawing out the cobwebs of old ideas, old beliefs, old myths handed down in DNA, those things that never belonged to me to begin with.  I'm ready to do more than just peer into the void.  I'm ready to expand into all the space my lungs and arms can reach.

I'm working on asking for that which I seek.  I supposed I've always done this for little things, but more and more I believe in the incredible abundance of the universe.  So why do I, why do we, remain small?  I believe in our expansion.  I believe that little tickle running down the center of my scapula is ancestral proof that women truly were once birds and the season for hatching will always come around.

* * *

Be well birds.  I wish you every good thing!

- U