Permission Slips on a fine drying day


My mother's geranium

I used to shoot film. My mother’s geranium was a willing subject.



I am a little overwhelmed here.

This week I help my son pack for college.
In reality, I am mostly standing by while he tells me what he is doing.
I expect a bit of a flurry on Friday.

Then, next week, I leave for the Upper Peninsula for the Giving Motherhood a Voice book tour and my Slow Time Salon on Superior: art and writing immersion in Big Bay.

I have so much to say about both of those things, but today, the brilliant weather has provided me a gorgeous laundry-drying day.  I am clinging to clothespins to stay my panic.
There are black and blue berries to pick.
There are art supplies to pack.

So I am including a song here by my dear Terri Bocklund.
Terri and I worked at Bay Cliff Health Camp together, singing on the shores of Lake Superior. She will bring songs written on Isle Royale to our talks about mothering and creativity. This song is her newest. If you happen to be in the Upper Peninsula next week, I hope you will consider joining us. Here is more information.
[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Lynn Bowmaster and me on Superior

Lynn and me on Superior at Presque Isle taken by our pal Bob.




My ties to the Upper Peninsula are strong. Here is a post I wrote about the compass of my soul pointing north on Lake Superior Spirit. Another dear friend from my Bay Cliff days is Lynn Bowmaster. As the fates of social media would have it, Lynn and I were reunited this summer after about 20 years of living our lives within one hour of each other and not knowing it.

Lynn has offered beautiful rich writing to the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series. You can read it here. Her perspective on her own small ten-year-old self and what her mother expected of her has been lushly sewn with exquisite words. Her piece is a portal to understanding what makes Lynn who she is today. I wonder if you have a memory of your ten-year-old self that illuminates who you are today? Please read and comment on Lynn’s post. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Until then, I am making permission slips for myself.

Today, for permission to work uninterrupted.
Somehow this slip needs to be circulated among my family members because
I have been interrupted about 75 times so far.

Permission Slips 2

Oh well.
One little thing at a time.
I am off to feed the day wolf.



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Showing 8 comments
  • Ditte Ruderman

    Love this post On permission slips. I will follow suit and grant myself and anyone else that feel the pull to sing in the shower, on the way to the laundry room, on the morning walk (this morning it goes to the Queens sommerpalace right next door to where we are staying in Denmark). No holding back, thanks for the inspiration and permission, Suzi!
    Ps: this picture makes me smile.
    Xox, Ditte

  • Joelle

    This permission to work uninterrupted … your message is humorous and poetic: delicious!
    It makes me smile and help me to stay uninterrupted this morning… and that too is delicious.
    Thanks, Suzi!

  • Becky

    Hello Suzi! I enjoyed this post and am sending lots of love to you all. XO Becky

  • Kathy

    Suzi, it will be lovely to have your energy back here in the north so very soon!

  • Victoria Kaloss

    Suzi, by you giving permission to yourself, you have given me permission. A Toast: Permission Granted to Infinity and Beyond

  • mandythompson

    Good grief this is powerful. I see how it all flows, from life to journal to art to offering.

    • mandythompson

      I’ve been poking around a bit and resonate with your world. & yes, I’m up for some guest post fun—thanks for asking! My wheelhouse is helping creative types master their creative process, aiming for consistent inspiration and perspiration. Especially when facing practical constraints, like mommying—because we don’t have time to sit around and wait for the muse.

      Other intersections:
      The balance of art and mothering.
      Waking early,
      Creative discipline,
      Journaling as a source of ideas and healing.
      Solitude / spiritual practices.
      Managing tasks and time in order to create.
      Self-care for the sake of your art and life.

      If you think any of these would benefit your community here, just let me know (mandy[at]]. I look forward to some fun!

      • mandythompson

        Absolutely Suzi!! Email me with whatever ideas/collabs you have in mind. I’m a big fan of creative sharing and creative community, and I can see that you’re passionate about that as well. I’m so excited about this!