The Rainbow Bridge


At the Waldorf School, the kids in early childhood education are told a very special story on their birthdays. The short version is this:

When you were a little angel, you saw your family from the clouds and you loved them right away, so you asked the Big Angel if you could make the journey and go to them. The Big Angel gave you the blessing, and you crossed the rainbow bridge, sailed along the big river in your little boat, went through a dark tunnel and then passed into the light into the arms of your mommy (in our case mommies) and your daddy.

It’s so darling, and in reading about child development and parenting through the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, I’m also really into this concept that babies are ethereal beings who have to be taught how to be in the corporeal world.

Today, on this splashy, grey day I’m a bit humbled at the notion that my body could someday house an ethereal being.

Silly right? I mean, I believe that I have a soul, so technically I already DO house an ethereal essence, but imagining a perfect, untainted, unformed little being thriving within my banged up, bruised up self is kinda making tears spring to my eyes as I type this.

When I really stop and think about my existing little girls as ethereal beings who are moving from their intangible purity through their real, living existence it’s even more rattling. Where was this concept when I met them? How have I not thought of this with every second that I have known and loved them? Surely I could have been better? More understanding? More patient?

The body as a house was heavily on my mind today. Am I worthy of receiving such a gift? Am I ready? Is my body ready? I mused on this as I stepped around puddles and met girlfriends for lunch, and picked produce for dinner.

Then, in a perfectly Schnooie moment of synchronicity my sister-in-love sent me a reply to an email where I was talking about the subject of raw spots. Raw spots are our places that can’t be touched without a serious emotional response that we must learn to understand and master, for our sake, and for everyone else’s. I had told her that there are days where I feel like I am entirely a raw spot.

She shared this with me:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some
new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
~Rumi

Never mind that it’s Rumi, whom I adore. Never mind that the sentiment touched me so deeply and resonated so clearly in my heart. How ’bout the craziness of the first line? I’ve got a real soul-twin in my sister-in-love and I feel that growing deeper each time we get to connect.

So, I guess I’ll be tidying my guest house for any and all visitors who would like to pass through. Hanging up the Vacancy sign. Maybe I’ll even advertise the waterbed and the free Wifi.

I feel like a very small Schnoo indeed today.

Nearly Over the Hump

Artichoke pendant lamp shade

This has been a mostly good week when it comes to separation anxiety. Mostly.

Monday came and went in a flurry of keeping busy, running the business, making dinner. Tuesday started out the same, but somewhere during dinner prep I thought of him and the girls and the busy noise and sweet activity of our bustling week night kitchen and then the sadness started to creep in. My lady went to baseball, and I tried to banish the sadness with books, and then this made me unconscious. I went with that, and took myself to bed early.

Today, as always, is an entirely new day and it’s a good one! I worked hard, and when my eyes were starting to cross from staring at the screen too long, I planted an herb garden on our balcony. The master bedroom has a lovely balcony that we really haven’t used, but I’m trying to turn it into a morning coffee, evening cocktail paradise.

I need a bistro table with three chairs.

I also need a handsome shade umbrella and a very sturdy stand.

Then I need some flowers that are hopefully late summer/early fall blooms.

Next summer I will tackle the rooftop patio on the third floor. Or maybe this summer, if time allows. Early autumn dinners would be lovely under the canopy of trees.

My herb collection consists of:
Flat leaf parsley
Coriander
Dill
Rosemary (I want more of that, in it’s own fragrant pot)
Tarragon
Thyme
Oregano
Basil

Sarah brought home some tomato plants that a co-worker grew from seed and they are thriving! They’ve even got little green fruits ripening on their vines.

Ella the bunny just about ravished me as I tried to carry the paper bag filled with plants through the house. She’s been very naughty since the kids and daddy have been away. Every single night she pees on me or near me, at about the same time. Her consequence has been to lose some of the freedom we’d been giving her. She never has these accidents randomly, so I think it’s some kind of weird bunny dominance behaviour. Guess what bunny? You’re gonna lose that battle.

I found some STELLAR recipes on Epicurious. What a tried and true resource that website has proven to be! For weeknight meals I always search the fast & easy section, and then sort by which meal and by rating.

On Monday night I made Chicken Breasts with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce. It was ridiculously good. I followed the advice in the reviews – more butter, some white wine, some de-glazing – and it was perfect. It was even fantastic the next day.

Last night I made Pork Tonkatsu with Watermelon Tomato Salad. This dish was all about the salad, which was so light and refreshing! The pork was yummy, but my attention was divided by a phone call, so only the first batch was perfectly cooked. Make only what you can eat, unless you plan on a sandwich the next day.

Another new favourite time-killer is pouring through Etsy. There are some birthdays and celebrations coming up, and I’ve decided to only buy gifts from that website from now on. I love it so much! We have a UPS inbox in Niagara Falls New York which only costs us about $20 a month. We visit family in Niagara-on-the-lake regularly and the inbox is just a short trip away. It’s really changed the way that I shop, and Etsy is a nice way to still support artists. I’ve decided to start featuring some of my favourite Etsy finds here too. The beautiful lampshade pictured above is a reasonable $55 and can be found here.

Birthday Weeks

My birthday brunch at Saving Grace

I’m a Leo, born on the cusp of Cancer, but really more Leo than anything else. As a result, I like it to be my birthday for as long as humanly possible. It’s been an extraordinary birthday so far!

Saturday evening I enjoyed dinner at Sidecar with some fabulous ladies. I have to say, I was a bit underwhelmed with the food. Everyone raves about Sidecar, and though the food we ordered was prepared well, I found the menu a bit boring. The cocktails were mad though! Unreal actually. Next time, cocktails and aps there, and then somewhere else for dinner I think.

Sarah looking stunning for our night on the town.

After we ate we hurried over to the Mod Club to catch the Gala Night of the Toronto Burlesque Festival. Some of our troupe members were debuting new numbers, and we wanted to offer our support. This was my fourth year catching the festival, and this year by far had the most impressive offering of acts. I still wish that the festival organizers would stream out some of the acts that are lower in their caliber, and work to create a better lineup. Numbers were sometimes redundant because of where they were placed in the show, and the timing of “thank you’s” and “shout outs” to sponsors and coordinators fell at the end of the show and killed the high note that the outstanding closing act had created. All of those things should be embedded in the show.

I had been asked to MC, but declined because we were planning a family vacation. I was sad to not have been part of such a great evening, but it was such a nice treat to watch as an audience member instead. Of particular note were American performers Jett Adore (who is my first ever rock-star crush after his stunning performance) and duo Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey. Unbelievable presence, comic timing, physical strength, skill, attention to detail, etc. I was moved and inspired from my head to my toes.

My lovely friends and I hit the Gatto Negro for cocktails after and I enjoyed a lovely birthday toast at midnight. We were huddled under an awning in the summer rain, and I felt absolutely surrounded by love.

Yesterday, my lady took me to brunch where we met two of our beautiful girlfriends. Brunch was my weekend food highlight. We went to Saving Grace on Dundas and it blew my mind. It’s really sweet and airy inside, the service was lovely, and their menu spectacular. I ordered the coconut and pecan praline pancakes, and my girl ordered the flautas. Both were out of this world. The prices were good, and we chose the place based on many online kudos which were well deserved.

After brunch we came home and a beautiful Rose of Sharon shrub that was left on our porch by my auntie inspired some spontaneous gardening. I have the passion for plants that seems to run in the women of my family, and so does Sarah, so we both will just tackle the front yard sometimes. It’s turning into something really amazing, and the neighbours are now speaking to us. All this time I thought they were stand-offish because of our lifestyle choices. They just wanted to see some yard work!

We Skyped with our man and one of our girls after that, which made my heart hurt. It’s so fantastic that we can see them and hear them when they are halfway around the world, but not being able to reach out and touch them or smell them made my throat lump up. I was grateful for the chance to check in though, and texting seems to work again which is going a long way towards making me feel better. They are having an amazing time, of course.

After our chat we packed a blanket in the car and headed to Trinity Bellwoods where we lounged with some girlfriends until dusk. I love that place on a nice day – so much fantastic people-watching. After park fun, we hit a girlfriend’s new condo (where she has a covert hair salon in her living room!) and ordered some Thai for dinner. It was the perfect way to wind down the evening and by 10pm we were ready for sleep. We hit home, crashed hard, and I slept through the whole night until waking up to a thunderstorm at 6am.

It’s a perfectly lovely rainy day here. My plants are so happy after the long, hot dry spell. My red boots will walk to do some banking later today and I’m meeting a dear friend for tea later, and feeling generally fantastic. Reading so many birthday wishes on my Facebook wall was a lovely way to doze off last night.

35 is going to be the best one yet.

Freedom? Day Two

John's Italian Cafe

Yesterday was day two of taking care of business at home while the kids and my man are in Africa.

I got up an hour earlier than usual when my lady got up for work and I did some writing. When I went to post what I had written, the Internet was no more. It remained that way until 5pm, and was not a result of bunny teeth, but a service outage across Toronto. I tethered to my iPhone, but this was a much slower method so I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked. A bit frustrating, but I tried to make the most of it.

My girl and I met an old work colleague for dinner and drinks last night, and he shared some news of adventure on the horizon. He’s such a cool guy – super smart, really personable, very active with the Stephen Lewis Foundation – lots of admirable qualities. He and my lady had never really hung out and I was delighted to see them get along like a house on fire.We ate at what is now our haunt – John’s Italian Cafe on Baldwin. They have my favourite antipasti platters and paired with a pitcher of Sangria it was the perfect meal on such an incredibly hot day.

At home we read another chapter of Catcher in the Rye. Can you believe I’ve never read this book? It’s my girl’s favourite, and she got it for us all to read together. I’m really enjoying reading it out loud because it’s written in such a conversational style. It’s like sight-reading a monologue.

Today I need to get some proper work done, make two pairs of pasties for some of our performers who are in the Toronto Burlesque Festival on Saturday, and swing by the rehearsal studio for a sneak preview of Billie Black’s new silks routine. I’m also hoping for a bike ride to the library to pick up some more books.

My sleep was interrupted at 3:30am last night by a strange gurgling coming from the air conditioner. After I investigated the situation I couldn’t fall back into a proper sleep. I also had bad dreams about my far-away travelers. In real life my guy was suddenly no longer able to receive my text messages yesterday, and I’m feeling a little cut off without the instant gratification of an immediate response. I haven’t heard from them today either, and in light of my bad dreaming it’s making me uneasy. I’m feeling very far away from them and anxious, and a bit frustrated with myself for being so emotional about it. Perhaps an afternoon nap with fix everything.

We’re growing tomatoes and beans and basil in containers on our front lawn and our bedroom balcony. I want to get planter boxes for the balcony and fill them with more herbs. I also want to find a little bistro table, three chairs, and possibly a shade umbrella that will fit up there. It’s such a nice spot, and would be so nice for morning coffee or evening cocktails – very romantic I think. Maybe I’ll work on putting some concepts on paper today.

It’s my birthday on Sunday. I’m turning 35. For the first time I can say that my life looks exactly like I dreamed it would, and continues to blossom before me. I’m going to celebrate quietly this year, far away from some of the people I love most and feel very grateful indeed for what 35 is looking like.

 

Adventures in Freedom, Day One

The beautiful Yorkville location of Anthropologie

A day in the life of a mother and wife who finds herself suddenly without responsibility.

The crew got off without a hitch late yesterday afternoon, and then I had a good cry. I nearly lost it when our seven-year-old held on to me so tight and her eyes started to well up. Both girls gave me a great send off that might just get me through. Saying goodbye to their daddy was bittersweet too. More tears, then I locked myself in our house and got the rest of the waterworks out of my system.

I couldn’t immediately relax into the quiet, empty, and oh-so-messy state of affairs, so I had my girl meet me at our local pub for dinner. Then I tagged along to her baseball game, which I promise you was more a commentary on my loneliness than my love of baseball.

Home just before 10pm, I curled up with my new book, a birthday present from my loves, the hilarious Amy Sedaris craft book “Simple Times”. I got about ten pages in before my lack of sleep from the night before took over. My phone was plugged into the bedside and right beside my head so that I would wake when my travelers texted to report they had landed in Amsterdam.

The phone didn’t wake me, but Ella the Bunny who broke into our bedroom did. She was on the empty pillow beside me and licking my forehead. I thought it was cute and gave her a scratch only to realize that she had nestled in and peed all over the pillow. Misery. I managed to execute a very basic clean up without waking my girlfriend, which I think means that I’m awesome.

The travelers made it to their first stop at about 12:30 am our time. The girls hadn’t slept on the plane because it was flying directly towards the sunset. Apparently they were like zombies who were starving at the Amsterdam airport, so they attempted to take on McDonald’s but our littlest one projectile vomited her airplane dinner all over the place before they could eat. Good thing Mama C (that’s me) packed some wet wipes and a change of clothes in the carry on. Daddy had to give her a bath in the men’s room sink.

This morning I overslept and had to race to meet my beautiful buddy Ming Wong for breakfast. I went to the location I had originally thought of instead of the location we finally decided upon. Fortunately they are mere blocks away from each other. It was lovely, and she treated because of my day of birth looming on the horizon. Then I took a little tour through Anthropologie. I love that store, but I seldom ever buy anything because I find it ridiculously expensive. Strangely, being there made me want to sew. I hate sewing.

After this, I hit the library to pick up a stack of books on hold. My latest trick is to find books with incredible reviews on Amazon, borrow them from the library, and buy second hand copies (again on Amazon) of the ones that are keepers. I was on my bike and by 11am the heat was making me feel a bit stoopid. I pedaled home oh-so-slowly and then drank lots of water and attempted to launder the bedding.

In case you were wondering, bed pillows shouldn’t go into your economy-sized washing machine.  A little while after starting the wash, while tidying the kitchen, I heard a thud-thud-thud which I first thought was coming from the neighbours’, and then feared might be the rabbit (who is a mere four pounds.) Realizing the sound was coming from the basement I hurried down to find the washer literally jumping across the floor. The sodden pillow had become so heavy that it was actually wrestling the spin cycle. I liberated it, got soaking wet, and then put it out on the porch. The washer survived.

The rest of the day has looked like this:

Major tidy of the main living space/work space (you can drop in now for a visit and I will actually answer the door)

Kitchen tidy

Main floor vacuum (bunny hair sheds twice a year and it’s more like marabou feathers than pet hair. someone should have warned us!)

Shopping (online of course. for the same price as one dress at Anthropologie I got two dresses, a bathing suit, some wedge sandals, some suede thigh-high boots, two tops, and a linen/silk blend sweater. even more fantastic, I spent my birthday money from mom and dad on these wishlist items at mjrsales.com)

Les Coquettes work (approved our poster for the upcoming New Year’s Eve extravaganza and began working on a press release for said magical event)

Real job work (so much quicker and easier than I even imagined)

Now I’m awaiting the bat signal from my lady. We’re having dinner and drinks tonight with her new pal from work and his partner. My first ever queer double-date! Whee!

The other members of my family arrived safely in Nairobi at about 12:30 pm our time. I’m hoping for a phone call, but can be patient and wait until they are human again tomorrow.

Not so shabby for day one, but you can bet I’m still going to be crossing days off the calendar. This really isn’t so bad though! It’s like the very best of the Fortress days all over again, with the warmth of knowing I have so many people who love me.

It’s Gonna Take A Lot To Take Me Away From You

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Have you ever remained in denial about a thing until it was right there staring you in the face? Of course then what happens is that all of the feelings and fears you refused to acknowledge are there en mass, and there’s no pretending anymore.

I’m folding tiny clothes and tiny socks and packing up suitcases and trying to stay bright and positive, but I’m not good at missing people. I’m not good at “aparting” as my five-year-old would say. My fella and my girls are off to Africa for three weeks and my lady and I must stay behind.

It’s a huge opportunity and a huge adventure for the girls and my man hasn’t been back in 22 years. It’s an important trip for the extended family, surrounding an important religious occasion, and I’m excited for them but so sad.

Sad to miss so many firsts, sad to be so far away, sad to not be able to take time off to visit such an amazing place, and sad that their first time couldn’t be our first time too.

There’s a bright side too because there always is. I get three very quiet weeks to focus on work, reading, writing. I get three weeks to enjoy some alone time with my lady. I’m hoping those great pluses will take the edge off my worry and sadness.

I furnished the girls with a fresh new sketch book, we will Skype every day, and hopefully the time will fly by. In the New Year, I’m hopeful that we can go on a family vacation – something we’ve yet to do all together.

What a magical time for them! I guess it’s a little tough for me because I’ve missed a lot of their magical experiences already, and I’m new to the maternal separation anxiety thing.  I’ll focus on the magic that we’re bound to share as their lives unfold, enjoy the quiet time for reflection, and celebrate the adventures that await us all.

Dear Friends

You are really and truly amazing and important to me. In many ways, I think of you as the family I have chosen, and I hope that you share that sentiment with me. My home is always open to you, as is my heart, and when I love people there isn’t much I wouldn’t do for them.

I have a few requests of you, so I hope you are listening.

1. I am in a closed romantic relationship. Though it defies convention, in many ways we are the same as conventional couples. We are “monogamous” insofar as we can be. We welcome your hugs, kisses, platonic love and mild flirtation, but please know that we are not recruiting.

2. The children in my life call me “mama”. They believe I am their mother. I believe I am their mother. My partners believe I am their mother. Please address me as such, particularly in front of my children, and kindly do not address parental-type conversations directly to their biological parents in front of me. We are called “mamma S” and “mamma C” if you need to make a distinction. Please treat my children as you would if they were my adopted or biological children. I call them my step kids, but it’s a bit different, isn’t it?

3. We are living in the open. Therefore when thanking us as a family please address us either by our individual first names or lump us all together under one tree. Either use my full name and say “and the rest of the x family” or just say the “x family”. We care what you think. We don’t give a shit about what your parents/aunts/uncles/strangers/etc. think.

4. If you can’t invite all of us to events and occasions because you’re afraid of what people will think, please don’t invite any of us. We won’t always ALL be able to come, but we’re not really into leaving anyone behind for reasons other than schedule conflicts.

5.  We are all partners now. Terms like “husband” and “wife” no longer apply to any of us, unless you are trying to be cute and are bestowing titles on all of us.

6. Thank you for your love and support. We’re going to have a lot of explaining to do in this lifetime, and some unintentional social blunders to wade through because of the choices we’ve made. We anticipate this, and hope that this post has been helpful. There aren’t really any etiquette tips that apply to our situation, so we are creating our own.

Take a moment and reflect on your own relationship, if you are in one. Some of you wouldn’t have the love that so enriches your lives if it weren’t for pioneers to blaze the trail to the rights you now enjoy, and perhaps take a little bit for granted. Maybe one day, we’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our own courage in a way that extends well beyond our four walls.

With so much love,

Schnoo

Terra Not-So-Firma

I am squishy as the rapidly thawing soil that makes the most delightful sucking and smacking sounds beneath my Kenneth Cole rain boots today. My rain boots are red. My heart is golden.

We are starved for community, us North American humans. Our marriages and relationships are failing because we have isolated ourselves from family and community. We used to be familial tribes, active neighbours, and friendly acquaintances with everyone we met, but now we have “busy” lives and try to get the kind of love and support we would receive from a village from one or perhaps two people.

I need community now more than ever before.

Some of you reading this understand what I mean when I say we are pioneers. Many searches on the Internet have taught me that the closest thing I can find to community is a patchwork because the many people in this world who have chosen a similar path are too afraid to speak out.

I was born a suffragette, an advocate, and a persona. I have grown into this role as an adult, and have always tried to pin point my cause. Now I am living my cause, one of the only causes I can imagine fighting for, but I am a silent advocate because I’m too afraid to call undue attention to myself and those I love.

I can’t live in secrecy either. Each day becomes an exercise in balance – living truthfully, managing my public profile gracefully, and simply demonstrating through living well and loving well that the choices we have made are right and good.  I pray our lives will remain full of love, that the support of our family and friends will continue to grow, that our community at large will continue to remain open and positive to our choices, and that I will never have to step into the big shoes of the Advocate with a capital ‘A’.

I am frustrated and saddened that my orientation is not afforded the same civil liberties that so many take for granted. I am dismayed that infidelity and divorce are more socially acceptable than the path I tread.  I am cringing on the inside every time Disney tells my daughters that the only way they can be saved is by finding a Prince to sweep them away to “happily ever after”.

I am the Prince of my heart’s own country. All I want to do is govern my kingdom with love. Without the support of the citizenry, I am a raving idealist in a shiny tower.

In the hall of the Gnome King

Pheasant Feathers - David Taylor

Yesterday we bought a Christmas tree, set it up in our living room, went to a pot luck at the girls’ school, and then decorated the tree with all of the decorations we’ve made.

I’m a PTA mom. I have children to enjoy the holidays with. I have a family.

Every day we are growing, and with the hope that peaceful December brings, I daresay getting stronger. I believe we are getting stronger.

The dreamy phase has been paused, and work, and life have sunk their teeth into us, creating some stress and some seriously distracted grown-ups with their faces buried in their computers, but we persevere. I work at being better, stronger, and most importantly, more trusting. This one is the hardest, and it is with real anger that I admit that. I imagine myself free of doubt, and able to sink deeply into the arms of love, and know that work distractions don’t mean the end of the world. My waking brain knows this, but there are still cobwebs that keep this message from being clearly relayed.

Sometimes when I tell my boyfriend some of the things in my head he laughs. Not because he is laughing at me, but because he can’t believe how far his own thoughts and my perceptions are from each other in such moments. I wish I could laugh at this too. Maybe that’s a good way to dismiss such moments, or put them in better perspective.

This has been an incredible weekend. When I can look up and catch secret, special glances from both of my partners each time, I know all is right with the world. We’re listening to Louis Armstrong, each working away in our brightly sun-lit living room, brunch is packed away, and the girls are playing in their now-clean bedroom. The six-year-old is wearing a crazy woolen hat that I own, and matching blue tights with crazy flowers all over them. She has a leather belt with embroidered flowers, where she’s tucked a recently acquired plastic sword. Her fuzzy red and white striped socks match the red and white furry pouch she has slung diagonally across her little self, and she is addressing her father and I as the Gnome King and Gnome Queen. She returns from her epic travels to her bedroom with treasures that she lays like offerings with a bow and a flourish; old rhinestone costume jewelery, feathers, crystals, old coins, and anything else that catches her imagination.

She is a soul-twin, of that I am sure. There are so many moments when I am convinced she can see into my head and my heart. For example, just the other day, she was playing a story game taught to her by a class mate. It goes like this:

“Once, there was a man named Gunkie Dung Gung, and he ate a slug.”

None of us knows what this means, but we have a joke that only children can say the name of this man, because it is unpronounceable to the grown-up tongue. This particular morning though, she changed the game up:

“Once, there was a man named Bookie Boo…”

Bookie Boo was the nickname my father gave me as a little girl. I’ve never told her this, nor have I ever uttered this name in her presence, but there it was. She amazes me every day.

At the pot luck, the children in her kindergarten participate in a little ritual called the Advent Spiral. The teacher lays evergreen boughs on the floor in the shape of a spiral and the path is marked with large shells or crystals or tin stars. In the centre of the spiral are individual white taper candles in fat apples. The children walk with a parent, select a candle, and walking the spiral, place the candle near the symbol that speaks to them. Our six-year-old chose me to walk the spiral with her, and it was so sweet and solemn. She didn’t want to hold my hand though. She led the way, proud and strong, selected her candle, walked with me at her side, and laid it to rest beside a large, beautiful feather.

From the internet:

“When you find feathers upon your path it could be taken to mean that you are on a higher spiritual path (whether you accept it or not), and it may be a sign of encouragement as you philosophically travel on this path.

Finding feathers on your path is also symbolic of having a lighter outlook on life or a particular situation.  When we see feathers in our midst it is considered a message that we need to lighten up, not take things too seriously, and try to find the joy in our situation.”

Light. Joy. Spirit.

Let the holidays begin.

Sometimes I Wonder How to Be Me

Workspace of my dreams

I am sitting by the wall of window that is my new living room, and watching the sun sink slowly below the tops of the skyscrapers.

I feel like me again. Mostly. I wonder if it is because it is no longer November?

I’m waiting for the family to get home. Waiting for our six year old to swing open the door and yell “Hi Distinguished!”. Distinguished is her nick-name for me. I have no idea where she picked this up. Waiting for the silence to be broken by hustle and bustle. Waiting to see how I feel to be surrounded.

I’ve been home alone a lot lately. I think it’s good. It’s been productive, and quiet, and this space is feeling more and more like my own as a result. My partners are working away at their old warehouse, and my apartment, and I am plotting and planning here between loads of dishes and laundry. It is only today that I’ve really felt like leaving my house in about a week or so. Very unlike me, for sure.

These two little girls have unlocked my creative drive like no self-help book I have ever encountered. All of this crafting has been incredible, and I’m constantly on the hunt now for new ideas and activities. Our six-year-old is an incredible artist, mind blowing really, and it’s thrilling to show her new ways to express her talent. It’s also a huge ego boost for me because they think I’m some kind of artistic genius.

I know I’ve written before about never recognizing my own artistic ability. I’ve spent so much time trying to support the artists I’ve loved, and help them realize their own goals. I’ve always thought of myself more as a dabbler, but now that I am the working artist in my household, I think I need to get on board with this idea – Schnoo as artiste.

Thirty-three years of denial is hard to kick. This much I know.

My partners are super supportive. They are supportive in the way that I have been supportive; that ‘I know you can do anything you want, and I want to help you realize how’ kind of way. It’s so incredible, in fact, it’s sometimes hard to believe. I want to be very sensitive about never taking advantage of this, or taking it for granted.

What will I do now, with this opportunity? I know I cannot sit at a desk, in an office, tied to one space for hours on end. I don’t work well like this, and I can’t pretend anymore.

The faint glimmerings of an incredible work possibility are on the horizon, but I don’t want to jinx it. It all came about in one of those moments when timing seemed like everything. I’ll write more as I learn more about this.

Whatcha got for me next, universe?