Wednesday, June 14, 2017


One of a kind crescent moon talisman necklace by Peaces of Indigo

"I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself... That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art." 
~Anais Nin

Monday, May 8, 2017


One of my favorite places on the Cumberland Plateau. Photo by Dawanna Young
  Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then-the glory- so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man's importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.
  I don't know how it will be in the years to come. There are monstrous changes taking place in the world, forces shaping a future whose face we do not know. Some of these forces seem evil to us, perhaps not in themselves but because their tendency is to eliminate other things we hold good. It is true that two men can lift a bigger stone than one man. A group can build an automobile quicker and better than one man, and bread from a huge factory is cheaper and more uniform. When our food and clothing and housing are all born in the complication of mass production, mass method is bound to get into our thinking and to eliminate all other thinking. In our time mass or collective production has entered our economics, our politics, and even our religion, so that some nations have substituted the idea collective for the idea God. This in my time is the danger. There is great tension in the world, tension toward a breaking point, and men are unhappy and confused. 
  At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?
  Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creating instrument- the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man. 
  And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.
  And this I believe, that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost. 

excerpt from East of Eden by John Steinbeck
published in 1952

Friday, April 28, 2017


That full bellied moon, she's a shining on me. She pulls on this heart like she pulls on the sea. 
You came on strong like some running wave. Your beauty left me broke and hungry. 
~That Moon Song by Gregory Alan Isakov

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Last night, we went to the Nashville Opera to see Bizet's Carmen. Carmen was my first opera 24 years ago, when I was 16 years old. (I chose the opera as a reward for having the highest grade in Spanish 2 class. How, I have no idea. Please do not ask me to say anything in Spanish.) Last night, while watching the story unfold on the stage, I realized just how much that performance 24 years ago impacted me. Carmen is a force of nature. A free spirit who has no use for rules or convention. That dark haired gypsy girl is mesmerizing. When she sings "if I love you, you're playing with fire", you know that she means it. But you also know that her warning is pointless because everyone fell in love with her the moment she walked onto the stage. 

That smirk on my face is the answer to a conversation that had been happening on this rooftop before the opera. The sun was setting behind me, a plastic cup of wine in hand. I told my husband that this moment was going to be my favorite memory of the night. Not the expensive dinner that we had eaten previously. Or the opera that we were getting ready to see. He shook his head and said 'You have got to be kidding.' And my answer is on my face. Nope. You can take a girl out of the country, and plant her in the middle of a city, but you can never rewrite all of the details that make her who she is. I love visiting art museums. Listening to the symphony. Attending operas. Concerts. But if I never got to do those things again, barbeque and wine in a plastic cup while watching a sunset would suit me just fine. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Pima Canyon in Tucson, AZ by Dawanna Young
When I was in Tucson, Arizona for the gem show in February, I made time to hike. Pima Canyon is insanely beautiful. The weather was perfect and surprisingly, there weren't many people on the trail. These are only a few of the beautiful scenes along the trail.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


waxing moon by moonandtrees

Bewilder me. That's what I'm looking for. With every passing year I've grown exceedingly weary and complacent. Nothing interests me anymore. I want to be kissed clueless. I want my attention to be gripped for more than a few moments. I want to be stunned and surprised and compelled to second guess every damn thing I think I know about the universe. Beau Taplin