Exhale. Exhale some more.Exhale until you are emptied of breath. And then hold, hold hold.

 

I was empty for months. It was not the feeling of being gutted so much as the sensation of holding an airless breath. There were dark nights of the soul. And there was the welcome, quiet stillness of deep winter. It was a long stretch of intermittent disappearances, invisibility, and retreat. 

Hello. It’s me again. But I’m not the same person of my November newsletter. It’s been over 9  months -- long enough to give birth to something, long enough to finally catch my breath. 

We build our homes where our hearts take root.

 

Weeks like these remind me why I make New Mexico my home. Every weekend is a festivity. The weather couldn’t be better. The cranes are flocking in. And our recent election gave power to a bunch of amazing women and people of color. I moved here (for the first time) 16 years ago and I have no thoughts of leaving. I love this place.

We live here together and it's complicated!

 

September arrives in New Mexico with a cluster of rainbows and rainstorms amidst a late summer heat wave. It's good to be back in the Land of Enchantment after a summer of near constant travel. In May, my sister Nina left for 5 months in Alaska and we rented our house to a sequence of artists. Various journeys that took me all over the West where, at the extreme ends of togetherness and solitude, I was blessed with a balance of work, creativity and adventure.

This newsletter is also an announcement:
IT’S TIME TO GO OUTSIDE!

 

Like many of you, I love camping trips, hiking excursions, and star-gazing more than just about anything else. But these things don’t happen effortlessly. It's easy to make excuses and to stay indoors. The bills need paid, the deadlines seem never-ending, there is always an event that can’t be missed. I worry that my business will fall apart if I stop paying such close attention. 

When the most natural thing doesn't happen naturally anymore, I wonder how do we get outside?

Summoning the courage for a terrible and necessary act: putting yourself out there. 

We've all felt the warped validation of social media. You put something on-line -- a deep thought, an upcoming event, a picture of your latest drawing -- and it feels like you've broadcast something of yourself to the world. In fact, you have. And when the likes stack up, you feel good, validated, visible, important. When they don't, you might feel bewildered. This is a common experience in our world and it's changing the way that people experience intimacy, courage, and confidence. 

What does it mean to really "put yourself out there?" 

Do what you love and you'll love all you do. 

This fortune cookie fortune has been taped to my laptop for ages. As you can see, the computer itself is ancient. I bought it sometime after graduate school and ate this particular fortune cookie around that time. I've used this laptop nearly everyday of my life for the last decade and even had it rebuilt twice. Like the beater cars I've always driven, this machine is a humble champ!

Hello from a new view. 

As some of you know, my sister Nina has been building an artistic and deeply personal connection to Alaska. This summer I had the incredible privilege of meeting her for two weeks to travel the lands that have so captured her heart and mind.

If you've been, you know that Alaska is enormous. Its land mass is larger than that of Europe. Its peaks are so tall that most are only visible on the clearest days. The ice and snow are so abundant that when it melts, the entire state becomes saturated with rivers that wash out bridges, obscuring human passage, and shifting its own geology....

LIFE IS TERRIBLY GOOD and other spring news

In my neighborhood, the fruit trees are blooming and the acequias are full. As I relish the sun on my skin and the packing away of winter coats, I'm alarmed by this early, warm spring. The change of seasons brings a tempest of emotions. We've seen a massive change of season in the political landscape too; it seems to sprout new growth each day...

Some good news amidst these dark times

Many of us are challenged by the darkening of days. This season has felt especially dark with our country's divisions becoming gravely evident. Like many of you, I've found solace in community, art, and activism. My usual desire to hibernate until the spring equinox has been altered by a call to action and an urgent desire to connect to what matters...

Waxing poetic about Gibbous and other artsy news

I’ve enjoyed a year more or less outside the public view but want to say a long overdue hello! It’s been a year of simple pleasures, travel, and self-definition. Since leaving CCA, I’ve been fortunate to consider what makes me happiest, who I want for my community, and what makes me heart pound the hardest. The answers to so many of my questions involves art and specifically artists. I feel grateful to be forging a new path in support of artists, even as I find that I might be one too!

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Erin publishes a newsletter several times a year. Below is an archive. To receive these periodic news blasts by email, sign up here.