an even keel

Wednesday, November 26, 2014









nautical art is everywhere / early morning in my back yard / close up map of olde town Lunenburg / the houses have so much character / a little snow in the front street side garden / hilly, hilly - my walks are such great exercise / standing in front of "my" house / golden light beauty

Let the wave of memory, the storm of desire, 
the fire of emotion pass through you 
without affecting your equanimity.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba

I had a bit of a down day yesterday, the sad wagons began circling. One little sad bit floats down & lands on me and quickly I find myself scanning my life for more bits of sad - I can make this hurt, I can make this a big, sad deal. I've been waiting' on you sadness, I've been expecting you'd show up. It's been a month or two of passings - of final goodbyes to much loved dogs & cats. First to my own senior pets BleetNess & Winnie Dixon both nearly 16 years old, then everyone's favourite blogging cat Estorbo (who brought so much joy to so many) also nearly 15 or 16 and finally yesterday I received news that Juicy my dogson was also saying that big goodbye to his people.

More sad news from home, illness & aging is taking it's toll and I feel guilty I've been feeling so OK lately, so happy, so carefree. But I've been practicing being in my own moments, staying on an even keel ... embracing equanimity and it feels good. Really good.

I love the idea of not having opinions about people & events. Opinions are really judgements & attachments and I find I change my mind like the wind anyway. Opinions get me riled up and right and ultimately embarrassed to be so adamant one day and on the fence or regretful the next. I'm letting myself off the hook with this new practice ... trying to be neutral about everything. To be patient about everything & to have faith that life unfolds as it's meant to. Sadness & loss & leaving are a part of life.

You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can't control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.
Marcus Aurelius

new for midwest/cbk

Monday, November 24, 2014


6 new Susan Black designs licensed with the fabulous, artist focused, gift & home decor company Midwest/CBK - check out my latest contribution to the Beautiful Soul collection in their NEW November 2014 catalogue here - looking for a Midwest/CBK retailer near you ? call 1 800 394 4225 - see more of this collection on my portfolio blog + Facebook page.



past due

Sunday, November 23, 2014










my paws on Creative Director + my girl Dee's sweet face, my new screen saver / a hedge of pretty red berries along my walk to Lunenburg's every early Thursday mornings farmers market / this home's gorgeous front hallway / a map of this gorgeous & very interesting place / Oliver works so hard / the last honeysuckle blossom in my house's garden / kitchen (back) window avec fridge map / this is how they paint the historic homes here / no cats on the counter !! (of course ;-) 

It's not about forgetting the past, 
it's about accepting the past. 
Melanie Koulouris 

Yesterday marked the 1 week anniversary of me settling into my new home, a 6 month sublet in the heart of olde town Lunenburg. A beautiful furnished historical house, a place where I will work, explore and find my next more permanent home - here in Lunenburg I'm hoping. As I mentioned in my last post I have a big, rather time consuming creative project on the go which has kept me busy and at my desk morning through night with the exception of nearly every day forays out for exercise & exploration - it's super hilly here, straight-up hilly so it's fantastic exercise going up & down (literally) the streets. I'm very thankfully to have this project & the next to keep me occupied almost 'til Christmas as I settle in and get used to living somewhere else after living at 29 Black Street for almost 22 years.

I must say, it's been a breeze thus far - this settling in. In fact it's been so smooth, thrilling & painless that I have been poking at that "ease", picking at it - not believing it to be really true. I'd said the big goodbye to my beloved Winnie Dixon, even though we had been contemplating saying that goodbye before this winter season set in so her arthritic body would not suffer through another winter of ice, frigid cold & drifts of snow. It was hard, it was sad - for the first week I thought I'd die of missing her but it faded and I know that the decision was right (no matter how much & often I try to make myself second guess it). I've packed up all my troubles, my dreams, hopes & plans for an exciting new future along with my art supplies & my cats Oliver & Virgil and moved to a brand new place (a 3 hr drive from Black St.) and I don't feel tremendous sadness, grief ... angst. What's up with that ?? I've been anticipating a big crash & burn ... any day now, any moment ... surely it will hit me.

But it hasn't hit me. I keep wondering am I in some kind of denial about everything ? I'm pretty sure I'm not, I really don't do denial ... I much prefer full-on drama. I'm the first one to admit I can & will get myself in a state over lots of things but this transition has been simple. So ... I've decided to stop picking at how good this move has been for me, for us ... for all of us. I'll stop trying to force upset & anxiety to come for a visit. I was more than ready to move, this decision was way past due. I realize in hindsight Winnie Dixon was the final tie binding me to that former place ... that last chapter was the story of her most excellent & long life. Her spirit will be with me always, & I know she's thrilled for this new me in this new place ...

What you need to know about the past 
is that no matter what has happened, 
it has all worked together to bring you to 
this very moment, and this is the moment 
you can choose to make everything new. 
Unknown