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Each of us has our own unique GPS system... Truth-telling is the most thorough navigation tool.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mark Rothko feared: "One day the black will swallow the red."


When most of my girlfriends were getting married the first time or having their first babies, I was involved with an artist four years older than my father. He had been famous in the 60s, when I was a young child. He had been involved in the Washington Color School, was an artist’s artist, had taught at the Corcoran Gallery, his paintings hung in many museums, and was still committed to Abstract Expressionism. I used to sit at his feet and spend long hours walking the streets of our nation’s Capitol, mesmerized by his Southern accent as he discussed many subjects he had studied and mastered in order to come to the conclusions he had by the age of fifty-five.

I include the story of this relationship in my book, COURTING ME(N). It is called The Artist: Painter of the Dancing Circles. Ours was a very brief union but it was archetypal for both of us. He was Pygmalion, I was Galatea. Being with me in his 55th year had him all of a sudden come back to life, paint again after many years of disillusionment, drop weight, and feel hope once more. He who had painted dots, or circles, inspired by me finally put onto the canvas thoughts of transformation inspired in him by The Tibetan Book of the Dead

I recently saw the play RED, which is about Mark Rothko at the Los Angeles Mark Taper Forum. I remember in 1983 Thomas Victor Downing was always talking to me about Rothko and Barnett Newman. At that time I thought he was telling me about three separate artists.

My last physical encounter with Tom was when he gave me the red painting (which looked like a red curtain going up or coming down on a stage) he'd painted for me called ORTUS. Ortus was the name of an Ezra Pound poem that had special significance for him, and he hoped for me. 

Ezra Pound

How have I laboured?
How have I not laboured
To bring her soul to birth,
To give these elements a name and a centre!
She is beautiful as the sunlight, and as fluid.
She has no name, and no place.

How have I laboured to bring her soul into separation

To give her a name and her being!

Surely you are bound and entwined,
You are mingled with the elements unborn;
I have loved a stream and a shadow

I beseech you enter your life,
I beseech you learn to say ‘I’,
When I question you;
For you are no part, but a whole,
No portion, but a being.

A few years ago I studied all the major artists via Netflix biographical films. I was completely taken in by the Rothko story. When I was twenty-three, I didn't understand much of what Tom was telling me about life, philosophy, art, the hypocrisy of consumerism and its effect on art. Tom left the planet twenty-eight months after I left him.

As I finish final edit of my book, as I prepare my web page to explain to the world my fifty-two year labor of love I know I have brought my soul into separation, but I still question if I have the technical ability to share what I've learned with the audience I was told twenty years ago is ready and waiting.

I recently did a Virtual Blog Writing Day with Denise Wakeman.  There are so many technical ways to connect with my audience now, that there weren't five years, much less fifteen years ago. There are so many who can do this in their sleep, the reaching out online and telling their story. So many of them charge lots of money to help those with selfish stories they feel must be told. But I'm not just telling my story. I'm telling many stories that will affect many lives. I trust that the right connections in the perfect moment will help me unfold my gift while I still have the time to get it out there.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Path Diverted.

I agreed to do a fundraising campaign for my book, and then, I demanded the campaign be shut down. While I'm a master multi-tasker at home, I couldn't quite focus on both finishing the book and beginning to push it out of me and into the world simultaneously.

My dead brother used to say I was a reluctant writer. While I write daily, I do so in private. However, it isn't because I never wanted people to read me but I wasn't sure of my self or my thoughts enough, since they certainly didn't follow the status quo.

The book is almost finished. I've been saying this since March 25th which was the date I wanted to be finished. That was a hypothetical date since it was Olivia's birthday. Olivia is my womanhood and since the book COURTING ME(N) is about our journey on the path of sacred sexuality (Big O's) and spiritual evolution (therapeutic alignment) I thought I could say I wanted it done in March and it would be done.

On the list still to put into the book is a tiny tale about soap, one about eight men, and one about seven drawers. I'd say another month and it will be in an agent's hands.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Going Public Before the Summer Solstice

I have a friend who said it was very important to get the book out into the world in front of agent's, publisher's, and reader's eyes before the sun turns back, and the days start to shorten again on June 21st. She is very astrologically educated and she has been right about many things in my life. Another friend told me that if the book is good, it won't matter when it gets into the hands of others.

I have avoided being "public" for a very long time. Those who knew me early in my life, knew I was very externally oriented. Yet, I believe I was born an introvert and after college it took me many years to reclaim my inherent nature.

This is a difficult step. I've enjoyed being a trunk writer. I've loved my relationship with  the muses, how they inspired me, and how I learned to write as they have dictated or instructed words to be put on the page. It's been a delicate dance, and one I didn't want to disturb.

I've often wondered if it wasn't about getting me out of the way, to let them speak. But I've come to realize it was all parts of me hidden, parts connected to full consciousness. My editor, Michele Fergus, came up with the term TEAM LISA three or four days before ABC News Anchor Robin Roberts announced her second diagnosis and called her older sister, the bone marrow perfect donor, and others were all part of TEAM ROBIN.

I hope you will become a part of my team. This blog, the most personal of all, the one I've been told is the least professional, is where I announce it first, to the fewest of readers.

My brother helped me put this KICKSTARTER campaign together. It was his idea. I didn't want to do the video. I wished we had come up with this plan eight months ago when I was thin due to the wasting aspect of my cancer. I didn't care that I was grey, or yellow. I loved being thinner than I had been in decades. However, that is such a superficial thing, and my book is not superficial.

Why don't you take a look at my very first attempt to let others know my baby is almost ready to be born.


Thursday, January 12, 2012


Yesterday was difficult. I dealt with the kind of emotional mentality that was predictable, even repeatable. It’s like how many times does one need to get bashed in the head, or have a knife in the back, or experience a heart attack in the same veins and arteries without seeking help to heal those blood bringing vehicles.

I was painted black yet again. I was pushed beyond where I felt comfortable sharing myself, and then accused of doing it on purpose. The lesson is I didn’t protect my boundary and was punished for not doing so. The gift of the cursed experience is the truth. I discovered the game that was being played on me and can now move forward. I can release the past, release the caring and concern for another. It is difficult to give up that which is my highest physical temptation to date, but perhaps that is all it has been. It’s not like I really learned love and patience and caring. I learned to give more of myself but that was never truly appreciated. This was the physical temptation of that which is promising all the wonders and delivering too many woes. How many times must one repeat the process to realize it is toxic?

I move forward now. I will go put my feet on the sand and let the water cleanse my soul. I will walk a different walk, while getting the glorious sun on my skin, which is shining down upon us all. I will move back into a state of productivity and gratitude for the time I have to transform. I can still accomplish my goals. I can still finish my work. I can still heal my heart and give my gifts to those who have nurtured and nourished me. I need to be proud of my existence. I am the center of my wheel. Each spoke is a story I’ve added to the power of my roll. Some spokes have sped my movement and some have slowed me down. Each one taught me something along my journey. Both my brothers married early and made great effort to make better bad situations. By dating as I’ve had the opportunity, by exploring many different relationships, to learn that some are supposed to last and others not.

Each day is a new day. My body has had certain urges and needs that I’ve compensated for by allowing relationships that weren’t healthy for all parts of my being to continue when the demise of that union would have been better in the long run. I paid a price for that. Now I’m fighting for my life… it’s not the kind of illness that will surely bring me down any time soon, but it’s threatening enough that I must pay attention and streamline my ride. I must release all negativity, which causes stress to my body. I must incorporate new habits and ways of being. I must return to the calm baby who was curious about everything around her. She had no judgment or blame or little anger in the beginning. She was content to sit and learn, or had a way of showing her happiness with a delightful skip in her step. It is my aim to return to her and let her know the coast is clear. She can come out and play again.

This is the human’s job. To raise the self first, and then provide gifts for others. That’s my intent. I do have gifts to give but in the past I’ve forgotten about them when fighting in wars that weren’t mine in the first place. I didn’t come here to fight.


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