Photography: Kim Upton, 2014 
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

the masking of a holy fool

Photography: Kim Upton, 2014  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Photography: Kim Upton, 2014
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity – I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character, not that other simplicity which is only a euphemism for folly.”
― Plato

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
― J.D. Salinger

Digital Art: Kim Upton, 2014 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

On Tuesday mornings my work gets the staccato treatment.  Monday is the only day that does not get writus interruptus-ized. Three to five times a week I am in some kind of health/wellness office with one of my kiddos.  If you think Western Medicine is not a machine that feeds itself, then you are highly delusional.  Or something.

The prescription of “rest” is always given, because it is one of the greatest healers.  But first, see this other specialist, attend this therapy, and take this pill.  One will make you smaller, but the other will make you feel like small bugs are crawling in your hair.  But it is okay, right?  Don’t you want to Feel Better?

In my role as Mother and Wife, I will happily walk through forests of tigers, over miles of cracked rock, with little water in my flask, just to help those I love.

But when the system that helps the sick and weary causes more stress, it is hard to heal the body and mind.

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”
― Isaac Asimov

Today I’m seeking body independence.  Freedom from the tyranny and injustice of well meaning industrio-complexes.  Life is for living, ‘eh?

masking the holy
in a shroud of bandages
will not bring healing
– ku 10-21-2014

Photography: Kim Upton, 2014 
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

walking past nowhere

Photography: Kim Upton, 2014  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Photography: Kim Upton, 2014
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.” ― Leo Tolstoy

“Sad how you’ve been all lead astray.
Go on count your chins.
Wolves are all lined up waiting.
A trick is to not move.
Showing off with jewelry.
Humiliation will be your new rule.

Time to send someone away,
not me I’m not in.” – Jose Gonzalez

A friendly friend suggested that my time online would be better spent in hocking my wares on popular sites.  “Don’t give upon Ello — there is an elite group of folks forming there that would help boost your career.” She continued with the “you are so talented” spiel — the one where you hope they stop soon because “talented” doesn’t always pay the bills.

The thing his, however, that when you are a creative person by nature – as in you must make something every day – spreading yourself thin out in Electric IntarWebz land doesn’t make sense.  There is only so much energy in one body.

I’ve hinted time and again about events that caused me to take a Very Big Withdrawing Time from the world around me.  No art shows or press releases.  Always with a refusal when asked to perform at a show, or send some prints for sale.   “We heard that you have this incredible program that…” would cross my inbox, mailbox and brainbox.  No.  Not now.  Just can’t.

But the world loves a comeback, right?  So when I tried it, folks had already found a new failure to redeem.

At the end of Spring 2014 my son started having stomach pains.  A quick trip to our awesome primary care doc, and we were on our way to x-rays, scans and tests — just a quick thing that would most surely show nothing.

Except that it didn’t.

Six months into the process now, and another kiddo has a rare condition.  And yet another has an “anomaly” on her brain.  Dear sweet Executive Deciding Mystery…what are you thinking?

It comes to pass that my financial path needs to change.  And not just rapidly, but like retroactively.  New ways of eating, travel expenses, out of state specialists – all of it needing that green bill to move forward.

What could I do?  Dear sweet Mister The Mister was already working is tush off, and the pennies were growing thin.  Crap!!  There is no way I’m going to start working creatively again.  No. Not now.  Just can’t.

Each morning was a painful reminder of exactly what we needed.  More time.  More funds. More hope.

And then I just gave up.  Like really, really gave up.  Crying while slumped over in the bathroom kind of giving up.  In agonizing wave after waver of tears, a release came.  Years of welled up pain just cascading down my face.  Metaphors and adverbs all around me, painting pictures of projects long forgotten in the floor tiles.  It was time to not only buy a horse to get back on, but stop saying “no, not now, just can’t.”

This life is not our own.  As much as we try to pack it into little boxes, we must see that our travels always take us back home.  The more we resist, the less fun the run.

Declaring that things have “changed,” or that “I’m back,” will not help me move forward in any manner.  It will not help my children live their creative dreams and desires.  What it will serve is some kind of “see me! see me! see me!” dogma that is bereft of Soul.

standing all alone
was the only way to grow
out of my big head
– ku 10-20-2014

I love you,
~ ku


when there are no memories


“I suppose the other thing too many forget is that we were all stories once, each and every one of us. And we remain stories. But too often we allow those stories to grow banal, or cruel or unconnected to each other.We allow the stories to continue, but they no longer have a heart. They no longer sustain us.”
― Charles de Lint

“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.”
― Willa Cather

Today it is important for me to tell you that my memory lacks events from my childhood.  While peers, friends, and family members can give vivid details about points in their youth, I’m left with years of foggy tapestry.  My only truly clear memories, which I’d bet my bottom dollar upon, seem almost ethereal in nature.  Like droplets of wonder floating in a whirlpool of unknowing.

What I can remember, however, with a deep and perfect clarity, are my dreams.  Going back to about age three, my inner world was full of electric curiosity — and my brain knew exactly what to do with it.  Sleep was a place to find shelter – a safe haven from the chaos that was going on around me.  When the world seemed so unforgiving and alone, my dreams gave me a rich community of friends.

There are also deep memories of connecting with the natural world.  Blades of grass, rocks, animals, and even the sky itself came to help me when needed.

It is the rich inner life that helped me get through all of my younger days.  If I’d not learned how to be my own protector/best friend/therapist/caretaker, then my path today would be much more difficult.

When the “real” world around me seemed so fake and unlike any trace of normality, the time spent in the dreaming, and hanging out with nature, provided me with a strong sense of security.  When grown ups would not follow through, or would case more damage than good, there was another “world” waiting to help me through it all.

One day I decided to tell a friend about my experiences in nature.  We walked up the hill behind my house, and we sat by one of my favorite trees.  As kids do, I told her that the trees told me things that would come true.  She laughed at me and told me that I was “stupid.”  My reply was your typical kid response of “Oh, yeah…ask me a question…the tree will answer it.”  Well…she asked.  And…the tree answered.  My friend’s face turned white, she crumpled her nose, and then asked if we could go call her mom.

The next day at school the kids started calling me a “witch.”

And, dear readers, this is where I’ll stop for the day.  There are things that need tending out there in the non-internet world.  My youngest has just completed her first book, and my son is working on his own story.  My oldest two are ready for some time out and about.

a master will say
the truth will give you freedom
from another’s truth
– ku 10-15-2014


the poet and the shaman

PICT0274a“I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t know what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose.”  ― P.G. Wodehouse

I argued that certain stories are also capable of changing lives, addressing some of the same problems and issues he confronted in his daily work: problems of poverty, violence, and alienation, issues of culture, race, gender, and class…
“Stories aren’t real,” he told me shortly. “They don’t feed a kid left home in an empty house. Or keep an abusive relative at bay. Or prevent an unloved child from finding ‘family’ in the nearest gang.”
Sometimes they do, I tried to argue. The right stories, read at the right time, can be as important as shelter or food. They can help us to escape calamity, and heal us in its aftermath. He frowned, dismissing this foolishness, but his wife was more conciliatory. “Write down the names of some books,” she said. “Maybe we’ll read them.” — Terri Windling

We are all little stories walking around in a bigger story.  Try as we might, no one will ever be able to catalog and keep each one.

I want to tell you a story of a poet and a shaman.

The Shaman goes to visit a Poet one day.  After pleasantries and fact checking, each takes a look at their environment.  Discussing the room, the Poet says, “The light is flowing like a dove’s wing in the morning sun.”  Feeling the energies around everything, the Shaman says, “Ancestors used feathers to make sacred space here.” In my eyes they are saying just about the same thing.  Same story — two ways to tell it.

How many times have we told a story so that it will influence our path in some way?  Not in a manipulative way, mind you, but to help us work something out in our own thinking patterns.  In some healing circles, the practitioner will ask you to write your life story differently – in a way that fosters healing – so that your present life will have more peace and stability.

To be honest, I’ve no idea where this post is going.  So many great ideas have floated into my head this morning, and the weather outside is conducive to creating.

poet and shaman
is often the same person
in different ways
– ku 10-13-2014

Tell me a piece of your story in the comments. <3
– ku


goofing with the bees

PICT0198mandalaabc“One of the busiest and most useful of insects, Bee asks you to examine your own productivity in life. Bee reflects multiple choices. When opportunities present themselves, Bee teaches you to sort through for the most important one.” – from

“The mandala is an archetypal image whose occurrence is attested throughout the ages. It signifies the wholeness of the Self. This circular image represents the wholeness of the psychic ground or, to put it in mythic terms, the divinity incarnate in man.” – Carl Jung

There are days when my brain just will not slow down or shut off.  I used to say that I was having a “bee brain” moment, or that my honey was falling out.

Earlier in the week I was able to spend just a small amount of time with some local bees.  After 2 minutes, it was easy to see that these little critters were dynamos in action.  Their “brain” was not full of thoughts and mania.  Quite the contrary. It was like watching little monks and nuns dance about in the sacred honeycomb of life.

My son was able to get a very close experience, as two bees found him quite interesting.  They sat on his foot for quite some time.  Even
though he moved, it was not startling for them.

While I’m not one to stand on a box, after riding a high horse, and preach about things — my experience with the bees gave me a very good perspective on how everything is connected.  If one strand in the web of life is broken or destroyed, there is an incredible amount of strain on the other fibers.

little buzzing bee
a thank you for teaching me
about harmony
– ku 10-10-2014

buzz, buzz!
– ku




the palpable rawness



“The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.”
― C.S. Lewis

In all the classes one takes to improve their strategy for being successful – or at least not scaring away your client base – it is suggested that you never mix business with pleasure.  It is also highly suggested that you never, not ever, talk about your personal life.

Find a niche. Stay there. Repeat.

But that is entirely impossible for me to do.  And that may be why I lose/gain followers quicker than folks leaving church after the sermon.


As someone who has been deeply spiritual, it is hard for me to sit among Believers that bob and nod in churches.  For me it is all about the mystical divine experience in the deepest moments of life.  And, too, it is about the mundane platitudes and general pleasantries in the religious experiences of daily chores.

walking unwelcomed
through the gates of wild heavens
i talk with my self
– ku 10-9-2014

For years I’ve sort of been wishy washy – as perceived by others, but it is really just a palpable rawness of fear.  Don’t ask me what the fear is – but it is just there.  Or, rather, was there.  Now it is gone.  And while this is a happy thing, good in all its process, I do miss it a bit.  It is time to grieve its loss and move on.

Give thanks and praise for all the broken times.  Give thanks and praise for all the hard times.  Give thanks and praise for fears set free.

Much love,
– ku


“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou


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