Eye Am Art


I downloaded surf photos for my Facebook Page-Secondhand Surfer . I can study my pictures over and over and never become bored. It was the same way with my painting. I believe S ~ S is just a part of my personal, artistic process. It’s an obsessive observation of life, waves, people, composition and color. It is a necessary part of life. Either you are an artist or you are the other; all being a part of the whole.

Art is not a slice of the pie, but an inescapable layer.

I remember when I was studying for a Fine Arts Degree and I had it set in my mind;  I was going to be a master of the old ways. What was I thinking? I’ve always been hard – headed like that.

But things happened. I finished school. Life changed. First, I went to the jungle for a few years with no paints or brushes. There were no surfaces to paint on. I was jarred into a new reality. I was away from computers, telephones and all things modern. All I had to do, day in and day out, was surf and survive. It was my living.

Being a visual artist, I constantly felt the need to create. It presented itself in the form of building my house and planting my garden. I once put up a fence around my lot, for privacy. My neighbors said it looked like a hula skirt. It was a frame built and covered it with palm fronds. All along, I’ve tried to  make my home look like a fairy tale cottage. It’s not that hard to do in Costa Rica.

As time passed, civilization crept in.

Through the years people came and went. One night, in 2010 (I think)  listening to Latin music blaring louder than music should ever be played, I made some new friends. It was that easy. I just said hello. They were starting a new local magazine, QUE. I began to take photos and write an art column for them. That was nine years into the Costa Rica experience and that chance meeting, quick fix, edited my life.

Everything just fell into place. Poco a Poco.

But now Poco a Poco had a digital flair!

This is one of the articles that I wrote for Que Magazine.268489_231932176829434_7603917_nI’m super grateful to my friend Brian who said yes, when I asked him about writing the article and I’m grateful for Jeff, who went along with Brian, when he had never even met me.

It’s amazing how if you let go in life things unfold.

Everything in my world told me that art is meaningless. But, I always new better.

Eye Am Art


IMG_1286I just spent three days in a land locked town, visiting my twenty year old granddaughter. This morning we ventured into one of the local hang outs, THE POOL HALL. It was early, and we had the place to ourselves. All I had to do was open the door and euphoric recall, called my name. Every cell in my body was transformed.

This was the third time in two and half decades, that I have gone into such an establishment. The man behind the counter asked, “Is this your first time in a pool hall?” And like a dummy, I said, “OH, no…..” Now back in the day, I would have feigned a time or two at attempting to play.

Growing up, we had a Brunswick Billiard table in our garage. I played night and day, for years. My brother, who was my unaware guide in life, is a good player. I can remember being his partner, once or twice. It was as if God had asked me to come and sit at his right hand.

Looking back, I can’t believe I spent that much time on a game. Such is youth.

It’s four in the morning and my mind is filled with memories.

I would like for my head, to be able, to easily unhinge, and shake it out.

The days that I get to spend with my granddaughter are special to me. Her life is different than mine was. The same as her mother, who is approaching forty. We are twenty, forty and sixty, more or less.

I asked her if she thought that twenty years was a long time. Her answer was yes.

Her viewpoint and mine are forty years apart.

A chasm of time.

Writing this post, has been the wringing that my brain needed. But, on the last squeeze, a butterfly flew out.

Uh oh, I’m at the Mono Congo.

Good night.

Run To Nature

945295_524777614224868_619996552_nYoga on a Stand Up Paddle Board

How cool is that? When I left Costa Rica a few months back, people had begun utilizing this new style of yoga. Thanks to Rob and Melissa Ruy, Fernandina Beach is being kept in the loop. They are the owners of Pipeline Surf Shop.

Melissa recently travelled to Hawaii and studied these innovative health techniques, with Gerry Lopez, the zen surfer of all time. And now she has brought it home to us.

As a surfer, I have always been drawn to surf shops. Or I should say some surf shops have drawn me in. First you walk in to find a new board or board shorts, and the next thing you know you’re part of a community. One that’s filled with stoke and people who care. It’s an extended family.

Running to nature, has always been a solution for me. I can sit in the ocean, on my board, and meditate. Or, I can hike our Greenway, and be entertained by the animals and birds that I see and hear. Being in nature, gives me the feeling of presence.

So, when I saw these photos on Pipeline’s Facebook Page, I immediately knew where it was. I have sat on the bank, in that exact spot, and watched the sunset many days in my life. I have fought with and caught red bass right there.

We are fortunate, now that we have to share this space with so many, that people like Rob and Melissa have shown up. People that add to the magic of the island.

I seek peace and serenity in my life.

And now, I have friends that I can run to nature with.

I have a deep sense of gratitude + it just doesn’t get any better than that.

A Sprinkle of Love


If I tell what is true for me, how will I be judged? Aren’t we suppose to be forever sucking it up? Aren’t we suppose to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and do the next right thing? YES. The answer is yes. But can’t it be possible that sucking it up and pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps could be telling our truth. Rather than acting out, getting drunk, hiding our feelings, hiding our past and acting like it all never happened.

After having been in recovery for many years, twenty-one, I have known many people to kill themselves. I wonder how great their pain must have been. I have felt suicidal, but I have never attempted to kill myself. I want to live. I want to continue to have the long periods of good days that I now experience. I want to enjoy my life. And I will.IMG_3669wp

I know that I will always be plagued by the past. It will always haunt me. How could it be any other way. But it doesn’t have to destroy me. It can get better. I am sure of it. These are the attitudes that he didn’t have. Or maybe he did have. But he sought his freedom in money, whiskey, women and power. He died at fifty four. He looked seventy.

Some would have said that he was a successful and self made man. Unfortunately, I will never be able to share that viewpoint. I am suppose to stick to my story. I can remember the last beating that he gave me. I was sixteen. A friend was there to witness it. I stood there and stared off and tried to not look at my friend. The belt was not a surprise and I was numb to pain. I don’t think I even flinched. I think that is where my story truly begins.Where does one go from there. My life started out shattered and numb.

At sixteen I already was dependent on alcohol. Maybe not physically but certainly psychologically. I had a love affair with drugs and a habit of running away from all of my problems. And every problem that I had was unsolvable and insurmountable. I would try. I would put my best foot forward. I would ask questions and inevitably be confused and confounded by life. People would tell me to do my best and that would be good enough. Nothing would hang me up intellectually, more, than the thought of what is my best.I had Catholic rules and Catholic guilt emblazoned on my brain like a ranch brand. I had family loyalty. All of the don’t do, don’t say, don’t tell. I had secrets of which I had practiced burials. I was shot-out from the beginning.

 I had the iron attitude of, I am going to do things on my own. I am going to find my way. I wanted my own identity. I already had a my own reputation.IMG_3695wp

* A Sprinkle of Love is an excerpt from an old journal.
*The truth will set you free, but first it will make you very nervous.
*I share this for those that I love and those that I don’t know who want to be free.
*There’s nothing to fear in God’s good world.

The Mindful Addict



I have just finished reading Tom Catton’s book, The Mindful Addict. Once I began to read, I only stopped, for what I absolutely had to.

His story of the dark side, and seeking God, reminds me of my own story and the beginning of change in my life.

Abandon yourself to God and great events will come to pass.

Seeking direction, Flobird (Tom’s spiritual mentor) went to the Bible: It said, If you can’t leave houses, children, and wives to follow me, you’re not worthy of me.

Flobird was awesome in her work for God. She allowed herself to be a channel of His love.

Flobird had what I want.

No matter what situation I find myself in, or what problem I think that I have to solve; if I just let go and let God, my life turns out better than I ever could have planned.

Throughout the course of my day, if my thoughts are on helping others, I am going to be happy.

It never fails.

God never fails.

If you’re interested in reading Tom’s book you can purchase it at Amazon.com….

Troubleshooting Life

IMG_4074bChris Igou – Fernandina Beach, FL

I took this photo yesterday. It was our first summer day. Maybe not on the calendar, but all the elements created sunshine and glassy waves. I could hear Beach Boys’ music playing.

Chris Igou is a stand out surfer, and I have many pics of him, but this particular move was exciting to watch. Being behind the lens and following the surfer is a thrill that I hadn’t expected. I’m very fortunate to be a surf photographer; the local documenter of the Fernandina Beach, surf community.

Secondhand Surfer Blog is my journal and it helps me stay grounded.

I’ve been journaling since 1994(?). When first traveling to Costa Rica, I would keep track of my costs. I can look up what a liter of gas and the price of an egg breakfast was in 1996. I can tell you about people that I met, complimented by pictures. Continue reading Troubleshooting Life