Where there’s a will, there will be a way. I found proof.

May 24, 2019

I’m smitten with this harsh and hot land.
Completely in love.
Where some people see failure, death and destruction, I see life.
I see it in the little trickles of water, in the Shoshan people, in the creosote, mesquite, the ephemeral spring flowers, the animals and the cacti…

…and in those who saw what I see.

This is the Amargosa Opera House.
It’s the home of the late Marta Becket. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

You can go read all about it, but in a nutshell, in 1967, Marta, who was a New York Ballerina, got a flat tire, had it fixed in a gas station right across the street, saw, what was then the remains of a row of shops and a dance hall for the old Borax mining company, rented it…

…and stayed.

She painted the walls, ceiling and stage of the little dance hall, and danced and danced for the next 40 years there.

At first she had an audience of maybe 6 people, but eventually, this little opera house and Marta danced their way into history.
But I think that the most important this is that Marta did what she wanted to do…fulfilled her life’s purpose. Danced like no one was watching, because some times no one was watching, and lived happily ever after. (I imagine)

It took her five years, but I love the way she painted her own audience and just worked her art, did her own magic, made herself happy.

a few miles from Amargosa…ok, 89 miles but who’s counting, is the life’s work of another person who is an inspiration to me.
The China Ranch Date Farm is a little island of life.

The history is shaky and a bit sad, but it seems that a Chinese man, a refugee who worked the mines, decided that the miners lacked fruit in this harsh climate, and so planted a grove of date trees in this little area where there is a natural freshwater spring.
Eventually, he was usurped by a man named Morrison who owned guns…at gunpoint…the wild west.

But what remains is a legacy. A legacy of making it. Making a life of love and contentment…although I’m sure there were tons of road bumps and serious potholes along the way.

Still, that life well lived, a legacy to follow, that to me is the most wonderful life.

Read: To Dance on Sands by Marta Becket
Listened to: Glory in Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts)

Finding the footsteps of the those who came before

I’ve made friends with the Timbisha Shoshone people who’ve called this amazing place home for centuries. One of their elders told me stories of underground cities, of giants, of animal spirits who show the way to water if they accept you as one with…

May 22, 2019

New medium

Robbie tells me that if I keep doing the same things I’ll always get the same results. That is so true; in life and in art. I stopped at a Value Village and bought some random oil pastels. I’ve never used oil pastels before.…

May 19, 2019

Attempted crisis management: hunkering down in the desert

On an impulse I drove south. South for days. I came to the lowest place I could think of: Death Valley. After all, if one is at the lowest place, any move one makes has to be up! There’s just nowhere lower to go.…

May 16, 2019

Attempted Crisis Management: Alone in the Cascades

There’s this meditation guru who says, “if you are breathing there’s actually more right with you than wrong with you.” My wellness Dr asked me to think about what it would be like to wake up one morning as just myself. Not Veronica the…

May 11, 2019


Brief explanation: There is no art and there hasn’t been in quite a while. I can’t make myself “do” art. I end up staring at a piece of paper, tools, lino…whatever, spend four hours trying to “do” art, and end up throwing the thing…

May 9, 2019

Happy Lunar New Year

Hi everybody, The new lunar year has begun. The year of the pig; which, incidently, is my year! Here in Vancouver, it arrived with a spring like feeling… …but don’t be fooled, February is an unpredictable month here. I went to the local asian…

February 10, 2019

Happy New Year and new art inspiration

Happy New Year everyone! I arrived home a couple days ago to a very quiet house. Too quiet, especially after the last few days! But it was also a really good time for me to do some reflecting and make some decisions about what…

January 1, 2019

A winter walk in these liminal days

I love these days. I love holidays and not knowing…and not caring what day it actually is. It’s been snowing all day today, but before today’s snow, I went for a walk on my daughter’s property to gather some winter weeds for reference for…

December 28, 2018

Merry Christmas

Hi everybody, Yes indeed, I’m back. At the moment I’m 300 miles from home visiting my daughter Kerstin and her family. The great news is that my son Jonathan and his family are here too, and that means all five of my grandchildren for…

December 25, 2018