What's in the gallery?

We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.


chicken of mysterious road signs

Friday chicken

Reflecting on both the hard and the good in the week that was…

Hello, week: we are here.

{a breath for being here when we get here}

Thank you, week!

This is the 417th week in a row and I am glad we are chickening here together!

Or “checking in”, if you prefer to enunciate.

What’s been working?

Not trying to solve/resolve all the things or think ahead to next steps. This moment now: what is needed? And then doing that.

This not only has been keeping me calm but also is supporting my bigger wish-mission of living by Do Less and Choose Ease.

I might try…

Keeping snacks around so that if a panic comes to visit or low blood sugar hits, at least I won’t have to deal with both at once. And also because this is a way of providing for myself, which is a form of self-treasuring.

Naming the days.

I name each day the night before and I love how names change things and also how they become incantations.

This was the week of learning about prowess and these were the days.

Sanctuary is beautiful. It’s all so clear. I’m a Special Occasion. Immersing and releasing. Harmonious space. Better names. Letting a new melody come in.

Upcoming biopic if it were based on this week…

Not A Worry And Not A Care: Okay Well We’ve Figured Out The First Half Of That Which Is Pretty Amazing But We Still Care Kind Of A Lot

If you feel drawn to comment on aspects of my week, I will take love, hearts, breaths, pebbles — I do not need advice or cheering up, though presence and sweetness are always welcome

8 breaths for the hard, challenging and mysterious.

  1. Why do I go to the toxic places? I know the answer. Because pellet-pushing sometimes yields pellets of sweetness and sweet distraction and these are addictive. Ugh I went on twitter and read the things I should not have read. A breath for breathing through.
  2. Holy god, the circus of the American elections in general and the republican national convention in particular, this is all very distressing. A breath.
  3. I have gone from being over Portland to being really over Portland. But also I have to keep visiting Portland because of [projects]. When can we get to No More Projects. That’s the wish. A breath for trusting the exit signs.
  4. Got super disassociated after seeing a woman suddenly collapse in the street and being part of the helper crew. Took a while to realize this had stirred up memories for a very young me (five? seven?) who was a tiny witness when my mom had a stroke? At least that is the word I vaguely remember being used but it seems bizarre. She collapsed. I remember the sound of the dining room chair hitting the floor, my dad running downstairs and kneeling by her side, calling 911 and stretching the phone cord as far as it would go from the kitchen and she wasn’t responsive, I remember seeing his panic and terror and helplessness, I remember EMTs taking her out of the house, and that’s all I know. What happened, where did I go while they were at the hospital, did no one ever talk about it, what was all that and how come I don’t remember explanations or reassurances or anything else about what was clearly a very scary thing. Anyway, there were a few very shaky days this week and I had to (or got to, depending on how you look at these things) drop everything and take care of tiny me and make safe rooms for her. A breath for life and how deep things go.
  5. Oh the rage I feel about men commenting on my eating choices. What is it about a woman buying or consuming food that seems like an invitation for some random stranger to have commentary on it? WUSIT: What Unsovereign Shit Is That. And then also retroactive feelings about my frozen autopilot Placate-Placate-Placate mode, oh sure I will laugh with you about the joke you are making at my expense, because this is the mindset of survival, and you know what, to hell with that. A breath for prowess and not taking crap, and for endless self-forgiveness when I do because triggered response patterns are ingrained and old and have reasons for having come into existence.
  6. Not only did Plans A, B and C for living at the coast fall through, but so did all the back-up plans, including the one I didn’t want. Even the last-ditch hail mary of fine we will just throw all of our money at this and do the really expensive option didn’t work. Adrianna the Italian heiress just shrugs her graceful shrug and does not worry and moves on, but I, while not worried, feel some sadness about this. All my friends keep saying some form of “why are you fighting this, why do you keep trying to make it work when it’s obviously not working, why try to send water uphill instead of letting it float downhill”, and sure, they’re right. I think I want to be in this small coastal town, and everything about being here is saying no to me. But there just aren’t any other options I like yet, any places I want to be, and I can’t be in Portland because Portland is not good for me, and I know there will be a marvelous answer but I want it to just show up already. A breath for me and for my wish and for trust more.
  7. The extreme sound sensitivity that pms brings where every not-good sound is amplified and magnified and makes me want to set the world on fire, combined with the fact that the beautiful faraway cowboy came to visit me for three nights and the only available hotel room at the coast is directly across from a business with loudly beeping backing-up trucks that beep and back up at all hours. A breath for escaping to the wilderness, or at least for the wish of that.
  8. Inhale, exhale. May all misunderstandings and distortions, internal and external, dissolve in love if not in laughter. May peacefulness prevail. Trust-more love-more release-more receive-more. Goodbye (and thank you), mysteries and hard moments of this week.

8 breaths for the good, reassuring, delight-filled.

  1. The morning when the woman collapsed in the street: I was following protocol because Adrianna was delivering instructions. She insisted I have brunch, even though I’m not much of a brunch person, she chose a place I’d never been and didn’t let me walk the route I would normally automatically take to get there. She told me when to leave the house (“now!”) and when to pause and smell roses, literally, and for how long. She even made me smell one twice. And so it happened I was walking down this exact block on a small side street, exactly at the moment this woman’s friend was shouting for someone to call 911 and exactly as a jogger was stopping but didn’t have a phone, and so I dialed and handed my phone to the jogger, and then we waited for the ambulance. I also mysteriously had smelling salts, water and a handkerchief, which came in handy after it arrived. The woman was fine, her scared friend was fine, the EMTs were warm and caring and arrived very quickly. I got to be one of the angels in the constellation, right place right time, and because I listened. A breath!
  2. Last week’s chrysalis is still yielding intense results. I have Adrianna’s powers of I Have Forgotten How To Worry, which might even have been her power that I wanted most. Things are clear and simple because Adrianna doesn’t experience worrisome things as worrisome, and now I can feel things the way she does. A breath of gratitude.
  3. Writing writing writing and it is so good. This year’s YEARbook ebooks are going to be the best of all time. Between Adrianna’s wisdom and my river-to-ocean muse, things are just sparking and glowing all over the place, and I can’t wait to deliver them. A breath for this.
  4. Mmmm did I mention that the beautiful faraway cowboy cut short a two week motorcycle trip and came to see me for three days and three nights? A breath for Sweetness and for Love and for sitting across the table from him at the cafe dancing in my seat to Huey Lewis and the News and we can’t stop smiling and how can anyone feel this glowingly content, like the cat with all the cream, is it even legal, and the amazing part of being Adrianna is that she/I can just experience the joy of this and the deep gratitude of savoring this moment right now, and let all the rest of it go, like the part about how tomorrow it is gone. And as I wrote that he kissed my neck three times in a row and whispered “that is all I have to say to you” and kissed me again.
  5. An hour and a half in the float tank, letting it all go. A breath for deep peacefulness.
  6. A two hours dance lesson with my teacher who came to the coast for the day, after we hadn’t played together in a month. I didn’t know if there would be much improvement, as most of my practice has been crying on the floor or posture-related, but it turns out that integrating Adrianna and her panther prowess has made all the difference in the world. Jen said, “This is the first time I haven’t needed to tell you to relax, this is the first time I haven’t seen you panic when you miss something, you are dancing like a queen, totally in command of your groundedness and your reactions, it’s incredible.” Also I got over my dislike of the mirrors, so there’s that, and it’s big. A breath of big joy for dance training, and the unexpected non-linear ways that progress happens.
  7. I have been training and practicing in I AM A SPECIAL OCCASION, and there are so many unexpected wonderful results to this. The main thing I’m noticing is that I’m able to let go of decades of resentment over [various experiences of perceiving that I’m not appreciated] because I am taking so much time to celebrate myself. I don’t really know how to describe this because (monsters say) it sounds so cheesy. But there it is. A breath, as we did last week, of jubilation for the transgressive work of self-treasuring as a path to freedom! And also for no reason at all because self-treasuring is its own reward.
  8. Thankfulness. Treasure in the form of two of the best meals of my life, surprise good fortune, lovely people to keep me company when the bus was hours late. Everything is okay and so much is good. Nothing is wrong, even when I want to believe it is. Now is not then. All Timing Is Right Timing. Thank you for this grand adventure. A full breath of deep appreciation in my thank-you heart.

Superpowers I had this week…

Last week I asked for the powers of wild magic, freedom in all things, and what if there is enough and more of everything I need. What beautiful wishes, and all received.

I also had the powers of brave-right-now, and Love More Trust More.

Powers I want.

More of the same please and also the powers of opening the doors that need opening and closing the ones that need closing, and being unhesitatingly clear about which is which.

The Salve of Letting Doors Be Magic.

These invisible salves are distributed here by way of internet magic. Help yourself! Take it in a bath, as tea, a cocktail, whatever works for you. Not only is there enough salve, there are also enough ways to receive it.

This salve is an allowing salve. You don’t have to work for it, you don’t have to do anything. You don’t even have to choose which doors or whether to open or shut, you just let them do what they are wanting to do anyway, and rejoice over each opening and each closing. And if there is just a knocking, the kind you feel potentially hopeful about because you think this might be something you invited, you trust your own ability to sleep on it and feel things out, no hurry and no agitation, all will be revealed in right timing.

Side effects include feeling delighted about good surprises and calm about everything that has not yet shown itself to be a good surprise.

Playing live at the meme beach house — the Fake Band of the Week!

My brother and I make up bands, which are all just one guy. The Meme Beach House is the venue.


This week’s album is from a mysterious road sign, and the band is sort of named after a bottle of wine.

Sparkle Toes and the Boom Boom

Their latest album is Cement Washout, and this band is just one guy.

Photo taken just for us in Lubbock, TX by Jesse — thank you!

Announcement time….

The fantastic monster manual is still available in the place that used to be the the shop, and it is enormously useful if you would like to practice being Way Less Impressed with the horrible things that internal critical voices say!

How was your week?

Come play in the comments. Share something from your week, take a breath, or just say hi! No rules, my format doesn’t have to be yours, we’ve been doing this every week for years now and there still isn’t a right way.

Everyone belongs. We let people have their own experience. We’re supportive and welcoming. We lovingly refrain from giving advice.

And of course it’s always okay to comment under a made-up name, whether for play and delight, or in the interest of Safety First.

Wishing you a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come.

Shabbat shalom.

It’s fine if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — jump in whenever you like. Blowing kisses to the Beloved Lurkers too!

17 Responses to chicken of mysterious road signs

  1. Kathleen Jowitt
    Twitter: KathleenJowitt

    Hello, week. Hello, chicken.

    The hard:
    – So Much Stuff coming up. Everything that could possibly come up, came up. And every time I thought that was everything, something else came up. All the stuff I’m working on ran into other people’s stuff around the same topics
    – why why why why why did I book myself three family gatherings and a haircut the weekend before my birthday? I know that I need days of empty space before my birthday. I am going to have to run away to sea on Monday. Fortunately I have an accomplice.

    The good:
    – letting myself be a picky eater
    – 32,000 and feeling like I’m getting somewhere
    – I got a map of the world (see wishes) for me and a map of the stars for the Fairy Godmother who is incoming me

    Worked out:
    – about the map of the world and how everything went wrong in 1998
    – I am weirdly reluctant to talk to incoming mes in case I become them and then lose them, but I can’t lose them, because I don’t lose anybody I was, and besides, the Fairy Godmother has been part of me for a very long time, she just wasn’t looking after me.

    Cluck cluck chicken. Love to you all.
    Kathleen Jowitt recently posted… Unlikely writing techniques 2: take the book for a drink

  2. Nela says:

    Hello chicken, it’s been awhile (I’ve been lurking tho)

    The hard:
    – So much work. Everyone was late with their part, and now I’m giving it my all just to finish everything in time for my vacation.
    – Construction work literally IN MY YARD. No one knows how long it will take. I can’t go journal and draw outside in my spot under the pine tree because it’s now occupied by machinery, workers and rocks. Very illustrative of how I feel about my personal space at the moment.
    – Seems like these days I keep finding new signs of getting older on my body, and it’s distressing.
    – So much bigotry. I don’t know whether my own country is the worst, or if America is beating it, and now the UK is in the game, it’s like a terrible talent show. Oh, the World, you break my heart.

    The good:
    + Was inspired to write a thing, then I was inspired to send that thing to someone who might want to publish it, and they do, and now I’ve made a new online friend, and that’s lovely. Yay for inspiration and not waiting for months to act on it!
    + Beach time <3
    + BFF time <3
    + Socializing with people I don't see very often that are creative, interesting and super nice. More of this, please!
    + Design ideas just flowing, and how happy I am to have a job I love, and how much easier it is to do it when you're dealing with the Right People.

    Superpower I had: One Step At A Time, Just Breathe. Feel Love At Will.
    Superpower I want: Fierce Focus, Luscious Leisure, both at just the perfect time.

  3. seagirl says:

    The Hard:
    A body that feels like it has a hangover. Except it doesn’t. But my head hurts and my stomach is bleck and I want to kayak but it wants to lie on the couch with crackers and gatorade.

    Poor food choices yesterday. A cupcake for breakfast and then nothing until 3pm and then a grilled cheese and then starving at 9pm but too tired to eat and now I see why maybe my body is not happy today.

    An unvitation arrived this morning. “We are doing this thing you love, but this person is coming and so I figure you wouldn’t have a good time, so we aren’t inviting you but you can come if you really want to, I just didn’t want you to see if on FB and think we chose her over you.” A breath for someone who twisted themselves up thinking they were taking care of me.

    The book is at the point where it seems like drivel and I wonder why I spent 5 years on it.

    The Good:
    Central air conditioning.

    Maybe the worse part has to come before it can get better.

  4. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Chicken! <3 Yes, I'm ready to release this week.

    –drained by the news, yet having trouble stepping away from it
    –only a month until my daughter goes away to college, this is a very big deal and I have many many feelings about it, and yes, some of them are sad and scared, and for that matter, some of *hers* are sad and scared

    –the levels of love between me and my daughter are tremendously wonderful, we are appreciating each other and facing this adventure side by side, hand in hand, yes she is growing and no we are NOT losing each other
    –the shirt that I am wearing right now is so wonderfully soft
    –love, kindness and support are all around me
    –my partner has an interesting job possibility, still only a possibility, and it's in a location that interests me
    –I have things to look forward to on the horizon

    I am lighting my candle, and breathing, and singing softly, and sending love…

  5. Kate says:

    The hard:

    I have hit the post-move, holy-shit-I’m-safe, adrenaline-drop-of-doom crash. I’ve got the post-brain-asplosion extreme physical lassitude (fortunately without a brain asplosion this time!) & the uptick in sensory sensitivity, with accompanying complete aversion to clothing. a breath for my brainparts.

    I went to a thing last night, which came up sort of abruptly, & which I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go to. A breath for remembering sovreignity.

    While at the thing I was depending on the friend I went with to take care of X & Y & Q, which didn’t happen, which left me hungry & thirsty & feeling even more out-of-sorts. A breath for I need to take care of me, that is my job, it is nice when others do so but it’s not their job, it’s mine.

    The second & third things have of course made the first hit even harder than it would have otherwise, & so I didn’t get any sleep at all until after the sun came up, & now I am vastly, deeply tired & brainfried. A breath for my brain, which really does an okay job of more-or-less working, even with everything else that happens.

    The good:

    I am in a place where it’s okay to have the post-everything crash! Because I am here, which is safe, & that’s why I’m having the crash! If I do nothing for the next week but eat & sleep & snuggle kitties, thats JUST FINE. A breath, finally, for safety.

    I met some lovely, wonderful people yesterday, in a lovely, wonderful place, & I will be spending more time with these people, & that is a goodness. A breath for community.

    While going to the thing yesterday likely did make the crash worse, it also made it worse enough that I have no doubt what’s going on, & so I am taking proper care of myself, instead of telling myself that no, it’s not _that_ bad, I can just push through it, whatever, & then having the sort of crash that _does_ come with an asplodey brain. A breath for being sure of what I need.

    & while I’m at it, hey, my brain has not asploded! A breath, again, for my brain!

    Also I have been reminded, in a pretty gentle & not-too-damaging way, that yes, by well-being is _my_ responsibility, & while it’s pretty awesome when other people help, I cannot & should not blame them when they do not. In other words, I gotta make sure, for myself, that there’ll be food & water. A breath for the basics!

    & so there will be extreme self-care, lots of sleep, lots of tasty foods, lots of kittysnuggles. Walking when possible/pleasant. Slow, very slow unfucking of habitat. Half a thing at a time, when I’m not straight-up taking a nap. Plenty of nakedness (& occasional nekkidness). Take my sweet, sweet time. It’ll be okay. In fact, it is okay RIGHT NOW.
    Kate recently posted… 07/14 — sandia mountains (twice)

  6. Pqw-orange
    Twitter: fiadhiglas

    The hard:

    Spouse is away until sometime tomorrow – which is lovely & I planned to savor every moment, but… – I should’ve stayed inside until dark (too hot, too bright), but I took the recycling out and now I have a migraine.

    There are things I can do when I have a migraine that I can’t do otherwise, but oh, it hurts!

    The good:

    Spouse discovered a movie abt a transgender girl and her BFF boy, we watched it, and it was charming.

    Later, I described myself to him as gender-variant (which is certainly true, but it was instead of transgender which has been problematic for him before). Actually, I don’t think I have a gender, but that weirds everyone out who isn’t also autistic, so I have to call myself something.

    Began writing poetry about turning 50 shortly.

    Received postcard i’d given up on 2 yrs ago, from Bolivia by way of Belgium. (No cool stamps, tho, bc person is part of diplomatic corps.)

    Huge insight, after reading weird sff book I picked up on a lark.

    I may have reached the point where i’ve read more poetry than anyone who doesn’t have a Ph.D. in it.

    Told Spouse I think my ancestors want me to do… something. He didn’t even blink, although I always feel a little anxious when I have to talk about something mystic.

    Patreon 2.0: smaller amounts, for more ppl. Hopefully a better experience.

    The afternoon light just now is really pretty.
    Pqw-orange recently posted… considering success

    • Kate says:

      My whole opinion on gender is ‘oh god do I hafta’ so I kinda feel you there. I usually go with ‘genderqueer nonbinary’ as a description for others but I also consider myself transgender.
      Kate recently posted… 07/14 — sandia mountains (twice)

    • Pqw-orange
      Twitter: fiadhiglas

      Just to be clear, “Bolivia by way of Belgium” is not a metaphor. Person actually lives in La Paz, but because diplomacy stuff, all mail actually posted from Belgium.

      I wanted cool stamps! And I get regular USA ones. Oh well.
      Pqw-orange recently posted… considering success

  7. VickiB says:

    What worked this week:

    Being clear about what I need and when necessary waving my arms.
    Breaking down in tears.

    The challenging:
    – MrB is home and he’s still in patient mode and I am his only “nurse”. A breath for patience and settling in.
    – Noise from television over the intercom, noise from the DVD player, noise from heavy trucks and equipment as they repair curbs. Noise inside my own head too. Sigh. A breathe for wanting quiet.
    – Dialysis center is cold. I have been freezing in the waiting room while I — wait. I was told that I could see the dietician and the doctor but not given appointments so I just have to wait. A breath for wanting thoughtfulness.
    – Having to cancel my counseling and massage because of MrB’s appointments.

    The good:
    + MrB is home. After 66 days and several near-death experiences. On dialysis, on insulin, on lots of meds, in a wheelchair — and home. A breath for the new normal.
    + Multiple doctor’s appointments this week and all of them saying how lucky MrB is to me, that I literally saved his life while he was in the hospital. A breath for recognition.
    + Telling a doctor that she was wrong about something and making my case so that she agreed. Grudgingly but still. A breath for knowing what I am talking about and for not placating.
    + Bro’s help is essential and it is freely given. Without his help, I wouldn’t be able to have MrB home. A breath for love and appreciation.

    Superpowers I had last week were Firm Footing, and Using What I Know.

    Superpowers I want next week: more of the same, please, plus Receiving Love in Many Forms and Recognizing It, and Making Wise Decisions.

  8. mechaieh
    Twitter: zirconium


    What worked? Striking up conversations at the bar.

    Next time? Go back to bed.

    * Health issues trivialized b/c inconvenient.
    * Health issues dramatized b/c drama.
    * Fishy unavailabilities.
    * I did not want or plan to replace my laptop this year, but D*ll has not demonstrated sufficient clue or interest in fixing its issues. Plus the incessant marketing just amps my ire.
    * Future Me irked by my armchair (in)attention to fitness and like matters.
    * Toxicity affecting sleep.
    * Rejections
    * Terrific reception spread too rich for my system –> gut trouble.
    * So many things to fix. Gah!
    * Hearing the phrase “beyond your flexibility” in yoga classes is really ticking me off.

    * Healthy overall. Issues are addressable or workaroundable.
    * Acceptance!
    * A woman I mentored gave a superb, entertaining presentation.
    * Harvesting dozens of peppers.
    * The cloak Leán made for me some years ago has been handy.
    * Pleasant dessert break with my beau-père.
    * A plan falling through frees up money for laptop replacement.
    * Talking fishing and tats and more with the bartender.
    * Had the right amount of stale bread this morning for french toast + dog treats.
    * Get-togethers ahead with people I haven’t seen in a while.

    Warm wishes to all y’all.
    mechaieh recently posted… reaching with caution

  9. Sarah Beth says:

    This week, my plane to Bolivia encountered some turbulence and in all the jostling my crown was knocked momentarily askew!

    All is well now though, crown firmly in place and I will know more for next time.

    Also reminding myself that the questions periodically floating into my space about landing, like ‘is the runway long enough’ and ‘will the weather be good’ and ‘are the wings securely attached’, none of these are questions I need to answer! I get to do what I always do on planes during landing, which is close my eyes, breathe, and invoke deep trust in the people who are in charge of those questions – the engineers who designed the plane, the pilot and copilot, the tower crew, the very physics that govern flight. There is nothing I need to do but breathe, and wait, and breathe, until I hear that squeak of wheels on the tarmac.

    Speaking of which, during the turbulence episode we heard another plane land in the distance and that sound, the wheels on the pavement, we could hear it and it was amazing, what a beautiful sound unlike any other, soon soon will be our turn for the ka-chunk and then the whoooosh as the plane slows down and you know it is done and you’re safe and arrived.

    So here’s to that. <3

  10. Leni says:

    All timing is right timing! Cluck!

    Much love to all those traveling to Bolivia or newly arrived there.

    LAst week I went to MIami, perpetuating my love-hate love affair with that town. Memoir title: HELL IS MOIST

    what worked last week: All of Foundation and Temple for the whole past several years– it all came in handy. Checking in–how am I feeling? what do I need right now? what do I want?

    for lo, the suck was sucky:
    -my sister got in my face, literally. I thought she was going to hit me
    -despite my promises to myself not to, I have fallen into old bad habits, and in Miami I quickly fell off all Best Practies except sobriety
    -le meme plus change…I really dislike being treated like an irritant
    -having trouble receiving [X]

    but sparkle is there:
    -Operation Bianca Jaguar underway
    -my girls are home
    -much needed landscaping has happened
    -my garden is not completely dead
    -there is a certain peace at home that was not there before
    -baby steps towards Congruent. every day
    -summer! just a few days til Lughnasadh

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