Latest Painting: "Fireflies"

July 30, 2008




I‘ve just returned from a visit with my brother Whit, wife Sam, and wunderkind Alianne and Thompson, along with my parents, up in Jersey and NYC. I hadn’t taken my paints or brushes with me, figuring I’d just “veg” for a change, but in the end felt that pull, and had to paint. I did what I could with the mess of childrens’ paints, glitter, etc. that was lying around. When I ran out of white paint, I used Elmer’s glue.

So here are Ali and Thompson experiencing a moment. They loved to catch the fireflies. Or perhaps moreso, to run here and there, and FAST, into the darkness in their pursuit.

I especially enjoyed one special evening painting with Alianne. She is six. (Thompson is four, and most definitely worth his own story, at least!) In the middle of our conversation, she said “Uncle Paul, let’s stop talking and listen to the sound of the crickets.” “Cool,” I thought. I had to smile. It is not easy to shut me up!

The sound was like a symphony, or perhaps several.

Ali’s two paintings, and my one. The one she’s holding is finger paint on slate.

Latest Painting: "Fireflies"

July 30, 2008




I‘ve just returned from a visit with my brother Whit, wife Sam, and wunderkind Alianne and Thompson, along with my parents, up in Jersey and NYC. I hadn’t taken my paints or brushes with me, figuring I’d just “veg” for a change, but in the end felt that pull, and had to paint. I did what I could with the mess of childrens’ paints, glitter, etc. that was lying around. When I ran out of white paint, I used Elmer’s glue.

So here are Ali and Thompson experiencing a moment. They loved to catch the fireflies. Or perhaps moreso, to run here and there, and FAST, into the darkness in their pursuit.

I especially enjoyed one special evening painting with Alianne. She is six. (Thompson is four, and most definitely worth his own story, at least!) In the middle of our conversation, she said “Uncle Paul, let’s stop talking and listen to the sound of the crickets.” “Cool,” I thought. I had to smile. It is not easy to shut me up!

The sound was like a symphony, or perhaps several.

Ali’s two paintings, and my one. The one she’s holding is finger paint on slate.

Latest Painting: "Fireflies"

July 30, 2008




I‘ve just returned from a visit with my brother Whit, wife Sam, and wunderkind Alianne and Thompson, along with my parents, up in Jersey and NYC. I hadn’t taken my paints or brushes with me, figuring I’d just “veg” for a change, but in the end felt that pull, and had to paint. I did what I could with the mess of childrens’ paints, glitter, etc. that was lying around. When I ran out of white paint, I used Elmer’s glue.

So here are Ali and Thompson experiencing a moment. They loved to catch the fireflies. Or perhaps moreso, to run here and there, and FAST, into the darkness in their pursuit.

I especially enjoyed one special evening painting with Alianne. She is six. (Thompson is four, and most definitely worth his own story, at least!) In the middle of our conversation, she said “Uncle Paul, let’s stop talking and listen to the sound of the crickets.” “Cool,” I thought. I had to smile. It is not easy to shut me up!

The sound was like a symphony, or perhaps several.

Ali’s two paintings, and my one. The one she’s holding is finger paint on slate.

Latest Painting: “Fireflies”

July 30, 2008




I‘ve just returned from a visit with my brother Whit, wife Sam, and wunderkind Alianne and Thompson, along with my parents, up in Jersey and NYC. I hadn’t taken my paints or brushes with me, figuring I’d just “veg” for a change, but in the end felt that pull, and had to paint. I did what I could with the mess of childrens’ paints, glitter, etc. that was lying around. When I ran out of white paint, I used Elmer’s glue.

So here are Ali and Thompson experiencing a moment. They loved to catch the fireflies. Or perhaps moreso, to run here and there, and FAST, into the darkness in their pursuit.

I especially enjoyed one special evening painting with Alianne. She is six. (Thompson is four, and most definitely worth his own story, at least!) In the middle of our conversation, she said “Uncle Paul, let’s stop talking and listen to the sound of the crickets.” “Cool,” I thought. I had to smile. It is not easy to shut me up!

The sound was like a symphony, or perhaps several.

Ali’s two paintings, and my one. The one she’s holding is finger paint on slate.

If We Are All On Some Great Journey of the Soul…

July 11, 2008


Well, then, here we are.

Feeling for clues, is what I am all about. You see, I’ve grown to realize that I am a healer, and I am here to serve. That is my purpose in life and the mission of my soul, zero doubt about it. And so I reach out, through my painting, my writing, my work in teaching and advocacy as an attorney. Yet it’s different than I once would have imagined, and far richer. On the most important levels, those I’d describe as closest to the soul, I can no longer really distinguish between giving and receiving. We are not better or worse than one another, and in fact have no way of even purporting to calibrate, compare, or judge one another’s experience and journey. Our stories are in equal measure absolutely unique, and fundamentally linked in commonality.

At this point exactly the mystery suddenly kicks in to high gear. It is a challenge to capture in words, and the folly of “assumption” the greatest impediment. So bear with me here. I am allowed to be wrong, and it’s OK if my musings are irrelevant to your experience. Really. The only thing I’d ask from the reader is an open heart, and the only invitation I’d extend would be a sense of wonder. Because no matter what we may be doing, or where we might mark the tides of our passion, I have to feel that it can only be enriched by an open heart. I am not here to say, “Do this,” or “This is the right path.” I am much more here to say, instead, “You are important. Yes, you!” “You do have a reason, just as much as anyone that you can name, or any luminary you look up to, or even hold as sacred.”

“Why not give yourself the respect of inquiring, with an open heart and mind, what it might be yours to do or be here?” It’s a big question, and calls for a spirit of bravery. It’s all right to be afraid. It’s also all right, or perhaps essential, to be able to search your soul as diligently as you can, and conclude “I have no idea. None!” Because if that’s what you come up with, that is your truth. And that is a fine place to start, and there’s no shame in it. We have this terrible tendency to compare ourselves to others, and an awful way of assuming the best about them and the worst about ourselves. But in deeper truth we are all in this together. We are here, each of us and without exception, not because we are “done” and neatly defined, because we are still growing, and are not.

Key Biscayne Trail 36″ X 48″ 1991

So, why not start where we are? Let’s settle in to an open heart, and start exploring truths to which we might hold, and the much larger unexplored areas still shrouded in mystery. Come on, let’s walk together for a while on the Greater Path, and see where we might wind up!

Thanks for the company. I mean that.


If We Are All On Some Great Journey of the Soul…

July 11, 2008


Well, then, here we are.

Feeling for clues, is what I am all about. You see, I’ve grown to realize that I am a healer, and I am here to serve. That is my purpose in life and the mission of my soul, zero doubt about it. And so I reach out, through my painting, my writing, my work in teaching and advocacy as an attorney. Yet it’s different than I once would have imagined, and far richer. On the most important levels, those I’d describe as closest to the soul, I can no longer really distinguish between giving and receiving. We are not better or worse than one another, and in fact have no way of even purporting to calibrate, compare, or judge one another’s experience and journey. Our stories are in equal measure absolutely unique, and fundamentally linked in commonality.

At this point exactly the mystery suddenly kicks in to high gear. It is a challenge to capture in words, and the folly of “assumption” the greatest impediment. So bear with me here. I am allowed to be wrong, and it’s OK if my musings are irrelevant to your experience. Really. The only thing I’d ask from the reader is an open heart, and the only invitation I’d extend would be a sense of wonder. Because no matter what we may be doing, or where we might mark the tides of our passion, I have to feel that it can only be enriched by an open heart. I am not here to say, “Do this,” or “This is the right path.” I am much more here to say, instead, “You are important. Yes, you!” “You do have a reason, just as much as anyone that you can name, or any luminary you look up to, or even hold as sacred.”

“Why not give yourself the respect of inquiring, with an open heart and mind, what it might be yours to do or be here?” It’s a big question, and calls for a spirit of bravery. It’s all right to be afraid. It’s also all right, or perhaps essential, to be able to search your soul as diligently as you can, and conclude “I have no idea. None!” Because if that’s what you come up with, that is your truth. And that is a fine place to start, and there’s no shame in it. We have this terrible tendency to compare ourselves to others, and an awful way of assuming the best about them and the worst about ourselves. But in deeper truth we are all in this together. We are here, each of us and without exception, not because we are “done” and neatly defined, because we are still growing, and are not.

Key Biscayne Trail 36″ X 48″ 1991

So, why not start where we are? Let’s settle in to an open heart, and start exploring truths to which we might hold, and the much larger unexplored areas still shrouded in mystery. Come on, let’s walk together for a while on the Greater Path, and see where we might wind up!

Thanks for the company. I mean that.


A Prayer for the "Stranger Within Our Gates"

July 10, 2008




By day…


Returning from a family vacation last summer in Colorado, my brother Whitney and drove into Boulder, returned the rental car, etc., and checked into the Holiday Inn near the airport. The staff was friendly and the place nice enough, but the one thing I will always remember about the stay was finding a poem in our room. And not only finding it there, printed on a laminated card, but really being moved by it. I don’t know which caught me more by surprise, but there it was.

Its message surprised and delighted me, and somehow touched me. In today’s America especially travel often seems inherently a “tensing” thing, and I found myself melting just a little. For the last couple of weeks the Prayer/ Poem has kept popping back into my mind, and refusing to let go. So I finally sat down yesterday and Googled it, and first found it quoted in a web site by “Jenne Ink,” a talented and spirited writer journaling online about her experience of cancer. She had come across the message at the Courtyard Inn in Oklahoma City

( jenneink.blogs.com/jennethink/2007/07/stranger-within.html ).

In skimming only the first few other postings I saw that any number of travelers had also unexpectedly come across the Prayer in all kinds of hotels across the Country (one in Williamsburg, Kentucky at the Cumberland Inn, another the Embassy Suites in St. Charles, Missouri (near St. Louis), etc., etc.) and thought enough of it to post their experiences. It had been discussed on a forum of a national hotel chain. The prayer and its message also showed up on various web sites: alternative lodgings, churches, and others.

So quite obviously it hadn’t been just me; here was a message with a power of its own, that all kinds of people in all kinds of places were thirsty to receive. Now seems the time.

And so I share it here, its wonderfully simple language changed only a bit. (I must say, I love it that both of our properties share a common Garden Gate, so the prayer seems a propos in a particular and special way.)






In ancient times there was a prayer for “The Stranger within our gates.”

You are here because you have accepted our invitation to hospitality, and we are grateful and glad. Hosts among the Inuit people, sometimes called the Eskimo, customarily greet their guests with this heartfelt acknowledgment: “You bless our Home with your presence.” May you experience peace, rest, and a promise of refreshment while you are here.

May this Cottage and its gardens be your “second” home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house. Or even happier, and happier still to return at last to your own bed.

May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers. From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.




And by night.

Amen.