“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Harry Potter

Now that I’m getting excited about illustrations again, I thought it would be interesting to incorporate my thoughts, ideas, or even a little word play into my images. I thought of the word SHINE recently and wanted to see if I could express it visually… and my featured image is the result of this self-challenge.

I thought about how I had said that I wanted to quiet my mind, and then how I wanted to begin focusing my thoughts on “new life.” As I pondered these things, I began to think about whether or not changes in thought could actually turn a person around – from negativity and darkness, to positivity and light. I’m not talking about real depression or anything, as that is a serious matter. I’m talking about the normal “thought” modes we experience, and how patterns are formed.

It occurred to me that if I was sitting in a pitch dark room, no matter how long or hard I stared into that darkness – it would still be dark. I would never be able to see anything. The only way that I could change this would be the most obvious solution… I would need to turn on a light.

Maybe getting caught up in negative thinking is like staring into that pitch dark room, trying to see something. But unless we shine a light inside, we never will. All there will be is darkness.

It’s a bit of an analogy I suppose.

I think the point is that change normally occurs slowly, and there are often steps to take. Perhaps shining light into the darkness is just the first of many steps… but at least we’ll be able to see!

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my illustration and thoughts…

Until next time,

Side note: I found the quote by Harry Potter after writing my post, so it would appear that my thoughts aren’t too far off. That was a relief! Anyway, I’ll be working on my next image soon, and the word I’ve been thinking about is FLY. I have a cute little story to accompany it as well, and I hope that you’ll stay tuned.

Revision, Revision, Revision!

After publishing my post, Be Gentle, I played around with my illustration a little more and came to like this sketched version better than the original. Maybe it’s a more accurate depiction of “gentleness” because of the softening of the colors. 

I hesitated to share it because you’ve already seen the original, so it seemed kind of redundant, but then I got to thinking about how relevant revisions (tongue twister there) are to life. I mean, we’re always editing and revising ourselves in one way or another. 

My son shared something with me the other night, from Robin Sharma’s book, The Monk who Sold his Ferrari, and it reminded me not only of how people are always working to improve themselves, but of how valuable those changes can be:

One night a father was relaxing with a newspaper in hand after a long day in the office. His son, who wanted to play, kept on pestering him. Finally, fed up, the father ripped out a picture of the world globe that filled a whole page in the paper and tore it in many pieces. “Here son, go ahead and try to put this back together,” he said, hoping this would keep the little boy busy long enough for him to finish reading the paper.

To his amazement, his son returned after only one minute with the globe perfectly reassembled. When the startled father asked how he achieved this feat, the child smiled gently and replied, ”Dad, on the other side of the globe there was a picture of a person, and once I got the person together, the world was okay.”

Another great analogy! It took me back to the start of my (real) recovery, when I came to understand that other people’s attitudes and behavior was not mine to change—but that I had the power to change everything about how I responded to it. 

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.


My pondering also made me realize that the revisions I do to my images and illustrations are important as well, and definitely worth sharing. Nothing is ever really finished, as there is always room for change and improvement.

I think it would be interesting to take one image and revise it several times over the course of a year—just to compare the changes from the first to the last. I might just add that to my list of targets. We’ll see.

Anyway, I think that sums up my thoughts on revisions for tonight.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed!

Whether it’s art imitating life, or life imitating art… it’s all a work in progress.


A Little Note. My post title here is a little inside joke. When I worked in real estate, I was often involved in the advertising of homes for sale and we had to come up with headings for all of the properties. One of the most frequently used titles was less than imaginative and often totally irrelevant:

Location, Location, Location!

I don’t know. I thought it was amusing to follow the ‘repeat it three times’ rule. Maybe it’s another one of those ‘after midnight’ things creeping up on me again.

Until later,
Peace & Love!!


“The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”

Okakura Kakuzō

I’m going abstract today because the thing that’s been on my mind lately is change. Transformation, modification, alteration… call it what you will. Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes—and it is constant and never ending. That being said, I think that some of these words, or the descriptions that they imply, can be misleading.

When I began sharing my story, some 5+ years ago, the plot was pretty obvious (spoiler alert!). It was about how my life was transformed, from alcoholic / love addict, to who (or what) I am today, which is—at this moment—sober and single. The “single” part isn’t some sort of remedy or cure, it’s a biproduct of my new and improved understanding of love. Not all relationships are created equal. It’s Ok to wait for the right one—the healthy and functional one—not the one that’s just a quick fix, seducing me with the promise of a flood of dopamine and oxytocin in exchange for my soul. That’s a little extreme, but I think it illustrates my point.

Anyway, I had a major AHA moment the other day, about this nagging feeling that I get… that my story is forever falling short… that I can never quite reach that end point; the destination. Or in my case… the transformation.

I’ve been looking at it as though there is this person “who I was” (which is true—I know, because I actually “was” her), and then there is this other person that we heard about in the teaser… the person “who I have become.” The me that has been “transformed.”

The problem behind this idea of “transformation,” however, is that it signifies, or at least hints at the fact, that it is referring to something static. Like those transformer action figure toys that kids play with. They are robots, or dinosaurs, but then you can move the parts around a little here and there, and then… voila… they transform into a truck, or a car, or some other inanimate object.

I’m not a transformer toy, dammit, I am human. I may be able to change into a car one day, but come tomorrow or the next week, I may just want to be a boat! Don’t make me commit! I’m kidding, but I hope you get my drift. Living a good life, and being able to flow, evolve, and adapt is what it’s really all about.

Everyone has a “before,” we all know that. But there will never really be this static “after” that I’ve been waiting to write about, because life is about change, and change is constant. No wonder it feels as though my story will never end! And why should it? I hope that, God willing, this fluidity that I am blessed with—that we are ALL blessed with—will continue to flow within, and without, until I take my last breath.

Water is fluid, soft and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.

Lao Tzu

About My Image: I spent a day and a half playing around with what “fluidity” looks like to me. The result can be seen in the featured image, although it looks NOTHING like it did when I started out. That was the point I suppose. I sat down to create an image using Illustrator and my usual “perfectionistic ideas,” and then each time I believed that the image had come together… I deconstructed and then reassembled it. I guess you could call it “change in motion.”

That’s about all for now. I’ve got some more things to say about fluidity and change, and the upcoming new year (which is fast approaching)… so stay tuned!

Until then,
Peace & Love.