Quest #dreamdone My hand on my heart

One hand holds a green sponge, the other the stencil

photo credit by Knar Babayan

Just say you asked me, as Charlie Gilkey did this week, to put my hand on my heart and imagine myself at the end of 2018. Say you wanted me to picture my work, my life, and me in the future of December 2018. Say you asked me to pay more attention to what is coming from my body, rather than my head. (Charlie’s suggestion too.)

Say you asked me what calls to me, what I see in my heart.

The vision of my book, Laundry Line Divine, revised and edited, compiled and designed with a companion journal to go with it. Two books that women want to keep near at hand, so they purchase them. One is for inspiration and one is to write in to.

The vision of New Illuminations in it’s third year, a fully funded residency in Gyumri and a week with a master teacher of the Armenian binding style. Books made by the artists of New Illuminations sold in galleries and a stream of income support flowing back to those women in Armenia.


an embroidered hand

The vision of what I create with the open space that is becoming my priority for 2018.

What does that look like?





Time and space for my own work and for pieces for publication in other places like the magazine Mingle. (Look for it in April 2018)

one hand in an journal

photo credit: Jake Borden

Time to walk with my friends in the woods.
Time to ice skate.
Time to sew and knit. More and more I find that the space between stitches houses an aura of contemplation.
Time to collaborate with my colleagues in new and exciting ways.
Time in and around the Great Lakes and other bodies of water, like Spectacle Pond on the Cape and Lake Willoughby in Vermont. In my beloved Green River.
Time to do hand stand, doing yoga with my husband.

The vision of Backyard Art Camp in its second year this coming summer, fully enrolled, under a solid tent, port-o-potty hidden behind the garage, plenty of awls for all, and the glorious sweetness of making hand bound journals and writing in circle in the open air.

The vision of the depth of Sacred Refuge Sundays, my intimate offering making itself more intimate.

painty hand of Backyard Art Camp

photo credit: Frania Caulfield

The rampant joy of sharing my Advent Dark Journal workshop with an online gathering in December in to early January 2019. This inquiry made during the dark days leading up to Solstice prepares me and tunes me in ways that I would love to share with more people.



Mostly, with my hand on my heart, I feel the open space I want to have around truth.

The #MeToo movement has set a fire under me. There are things I have held in secret to my great detriment and at absolutely no cost to the people in power that held me to those secrets. This unnerving period in the lives of women and men has unsettled me greatly, but not negatively. It has shaken loose a lid I have held clamped on my heart for too long.

Open space yields revelation. There is light in open space. There is room to breath. And there is room to claim my work as my own. There is room for all of us, to claim, that which is ours, and to blessedly release that which no longer holds power over us.


Charlie, since you asked, when I hold my hand over my heart which turns 60 in 2018, I hear fullness and utter joy, I hear struggle and confidence built of figuring out the next best step to take. I hear my intuition singing in to the ears of my heart. There are angels around, my guardian beings, that oak in my backyard and the waters of this planet. When I hold my hand on my heart and listen, picturing myself one year from now, I hear the exhalation of a woman who works hard, with devoted diligence, and is toned by laughter and tears, shaped by collaboration and intimacy, seen in far away places and those nearer by.
I feel a woman sewn intricately in the lives of her family and friends.
I hear the easy voice of a woman who knows her value.


I hear me.


hands folded over journal, Suzi in Gyumri

photo credit: Sona Andreasyan









Thank you Charlie for asking.
For your conversation with Ishita and Jeffrey, thank you.


More about Tracking Wonder’s Quest here.

My colleagues in the Quest are deep in to this question.

Katie DeJong, responds to Charlie and Ishita’s ideas about free space to dream:

“Creating white space in our lives for quiet reflection, dreaming, and stillness allows us to reconnect to our hearts and our full creative potential.”

Amy Hunt, sees herself at the end of 2018:

“I have made space in my heart for whatever unfurls and trusted that there is space for all of life. The muscle tensing and twitching to meddle with life has been replaced by a calmness that has warmed my heart and inspired others to calm, too.”

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