Rising Up in the Dark

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.


This is one of the most exciting posts I’ve written in a while. Since face masks make me feel sick, and they’re still required everywhere you go here in Los Angeles, we’re four months in and I’m still spending most of my time at home. I’ve been feeling trapped! I was talking to a friend recently and I mentioned to her that what was really getting me (mentally) down, was feeling that I can’t really make plans. The future is so uncertain!

Now, I’m well aware that I make a lot of big plans, and that many of them don’t work out—or simply fall through the cracks—but I’ve always been OK with that. I think there’s something about knowing that we actually HAVE the choice and the opportunity to make plans that keeps us feeling content—even if those choices or plans don’t come to fruition. Maybe it just allows us to feel “free.”

Anyway, I don’t want to get into all the ways that my “big” plan has twisted and changed courses over the past three years, but I WILL say that what started out as an idea for a “Creative Center,” for people in recovery, has morphed into a non-profit organization; a center that will offer people assistance and guidance as they begin a new life.

I’ve realized that new beginnings aren’t just for people in recovery, they’re for anyone who has gone through a major life shift; be it divorce, retirement, kids moving out (or any of the other side effects of aging), job loss, and—of course—those who are recovering from addictions of any kind. Today, with COVID-19 disrupting the lives of so many, the number of people “starting over” will continue to grow. All of that being said, I decided it’s time for me to set sail. I’m going to start building this organization, virtually, with the hope that—in time—it will grow to be brick and mortar as well.

One of the things about non-profit organizations is that many of them work off of donations. What I’m wanting to do instead, is to join forces with other people (both inside and outside of the organization) to create wares that can be sold, the first being a website/blog that will (hopefully) grow into a book of compilations. The whole premise here is collaboration, not competition.

Although he had no idea what my plans were, my first collaboration offering came from Samuel Guevara at Photear. I’ve had my eye on this black and white photograph for quite a while now, and he was kind enough to let me feature it. I love how the man’s face is hidden in blackness… and it spoke to me about rising up in the dark—a perfect image for this post!

If you’re interested in joining the collaboration, please let me know in the comment section below or via my new contact form HERE. I’ll be doing most of the work, so please don’t be shy! All I need at this time is authorization to use specific photographs, articles, art, poems, etc. Anything featured on the new site (which will be coming soon) will have credits and links, and anything that makes its way to the book will have credits, contact info, and short bios (if you so choose). What I’m looking for here is a win-win for everyone.

I look forward to hearing from you! No pressure, no hassles, no rush, and no obligation.

It’s all about choice.

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.



  1. Janet you are one fabulous human being. I’d love to contribute. Can I write something? Let me know your thoughts, and how I can best be of service. 💕🙏

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    1. Yes!! I’d love you to write something Collette! Something that you think speaks about your new beginning maybe?? Your new, sober life? We can talk more but I would say… write something that you would have loved to read when you were still struggling. A message of hope. ❤

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  2. Hi Janet. As you say, I had no idea that my photo was for the beginning of this plan of yours, but I love it. And of course I would be glad to continue collaborating. I don’t use to write much lately, just taking photos though.

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  3. Love Mr Guevara’s photo – powerful especially with the quote.

    I love how you zig and zag but always keep moving forward, exploring possibilities. This is life. No certainties and no guarantees. And now it’s led you to a positive and loving outreach.

    Follow your heart – it’s never wrong. Have fun with your new community ❤️🤗

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  4. I am interested in collaborating, but I don’t have a sobriety problem if I understand what you are talking about, but I do suffer from mental illnesses. Many of them. If You are planning on including mental illness as part of your program I am interested and perhaps can help. I have written many articles on mental health issues, mainly Bipolar Disorder, but I also suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder (many of the personality disorders), Anxiety and Panic Disorder, plus OCD, PTSD and ADHD. Let me know if I can help. I have an addictive personality and for that reason I stay away from alcohol. My addictions to pain meds and anxiety meds are legal though through prescriptions.

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    1. Hi Tessa! That is awesome and of course mental illness is a part of it. I’d like to correspond via email briefly, so I’ll send you something to your registered email or at your site. Thank you so much!

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