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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 will never be someone who tells you that a serious and life threatening illness is a blessing.  It is not.  But the truth is, I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.  I think about who I've become over the past seven years, the ways I've grown and changed and I know, without the catalyst of fire I would not be who I am now.

A few months ago I created these tiny Saturnian pieces.  I wanted to speak about what it is to look back and recognize the upheaval and subsequent life changing, life realigning force that is the Saturn Returns.  That time in life when the ringed planet swings back to the exact place in the night sky it shone at the moment of your birth.  An astrological phenomena that happens right around age 29, then again around 58, and if we're lucky, again around 84.  A time when life seems to throw some serious curveballs, hardships, ripples of self doubt or straight up trauma.  A time, in reality, when we are being offered a chance to course correct, to shed the old skin of who we no longer are and step into the possibility of who we wish to become.  This is not easy work my friends.  This is not simply a time to do a little yoga and eat some pretty foods and wait for it all to get better.  This is when the nuts and bolts of our contracts in this lifetime get REAL.

For me, smack on time at 29 years old, I got cancer.  And for the past nearly seven years I have vacillated between medications and treatments, between tumor markers rising in fear and falling in relief, between times of incredible strength and times when I've looked Death right in the face.  I have stripped away layer after layer of non-truth, of shame and guilt that was never mine to bear, of fear and fury tangled up in my organs, and now I have found I'm no where near done.  But I am still here.  With a gold-filled backbone of determination and a bloody warrior's soul.  I am here to do the work.

When I sawed out the saturn silver and formed it with fire, my medical charts were looking up for the first time in a long time.  Stable.  Hopeful.  Decidedly not in crisis.  I wanted to tell you about coming up, out and away from the period of that Saturn Return.  How I wanted to invited you to celebrate with me the end of hardships and the start of a bliss-filled era.  An existential springtime if you will.

And then the tumor markers showed a concerning spike.  And the scans confirmed new activity in bones, the sparkling highlights of cancerous cells multiplying.  And so I put the necklaces at the back of a dark drawer and didn't look at them for weeks.  I felt betrayed, unsafe and if we're being honest, ragingly angry.  You see, every cell in my body holds a copy of a mutated gene.  It's not a simple matter of eradicating what's already there; it's the life long work of trying to keep healthy cells healthy, every single day.  

I come back, yet again, to this: I am here to experience life fully.  This does not mean I will only experience bliss and joy and happiness.  It certainly does not mean I welcome in the hardships or call them blessings.  It simply means I will experience life.  All that it is to be human; this human in particular.  And right now, what this means is that I need to focus fully on the living.  Especially as I am a few days out from beginning a new protocol of treatment, stepping into the simultaneously hope-filled and terrifying realm of clinical trials.  I don't know what next week holds; how I will feel, how my body will react.  I only know that today, right now, I am experiencing this life and grateful to choose how I show up.

So.  Today I clasp my Saturnian around my neck, not because the hard times are over, but because I know each day I am stepping into who I have the capacity to become.  Because each day I shed a little more of the old self and show up a little more my true self.  Because I am learning, sometimes rapidly, but more often slow as honey, how to love myself for who I am right now.  Because each day I have the privilege of deciding how I will show up, how I will honor my emotions and my physical body in the exact state they are in.  Because each day I get to engage with my sense of the universe, with source, with magic, with the way I can gift love and with the way I can open myself to receive it.

It is from that place I wish to offer you these small reminders.  To invite you, with great love, to hold truth around how every day you become a little more you.  But also to open my own heart to receiving.  Because my truth is that I need a little ease.  A time of boundless breath and less hustle.  A space to ask my heart, my body, my soul exactly what it needs to feel fully alive.   To step back from work for at least one full week with the intent to lean deeply into just living.

 The Saturnian pendants will be listed with multiple pricing tiers; from the base cost of metal plus labor, to several options for gifts-of-love toward a fund for ease and living life for me.  A way to know I can rest and receive space for whatever this season of treatment brings, to ignite a tiny spark of trust that maybe, just maybe, I - we - are held. 

Here is the truth: asking for help is one of the hardest things I know.  It shakes me down to my very core.  Perhaps second only to receiving.  But if I believe (and hear me friends, I deeply, truly do) that you, You, YOU are worthy of love, of rest, of ease, of receiving, that I would sing that truth from every mountaintop, then I also want to believe I am too.  That maybe if I ask now, then when you need it, you will ask too.  That by the seemingly simple act of asking for what we need, and then being open to receiving it, we can radically shift the paradigm of what it is to give, to ask and to receive.  And THAT I can get behind.  After all, we are here together, on this earth, and we have great capacity to ripple out goodness of every kind.

Know this friend: I believe in you.  In me.  In us.  Thank you for the myriad of ways you support my life and the lives of your own beloveds; trust me when I say it truly never goes unnoticed. Pop on over to the etsy shop and you'll find my Saturnian Pendants and know that I deeply appreciate YOU.