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Monday, August 20, 2012


Deep thinking goin' on! Best wishes with discovering the possibilities. :)

Mary Ann. All your commented pros and cons are what got you were you are now, don't scof them, don't dismiss them for they will take you were your going to go . Yes follow you bliss, have a dream, learn, creat, take a new road, and get rid of the fear, remember back when you followed your dream to teach, to creat, to be, there was no fear then.......you just did!.......oh the joys of youth with impols and no fear ...to just do, believe and you made it happen.

You are officially invited to come spend a long weekend in Colorado. Sometime in October (after Art Camp for Women is over) we are going to spend 3 days in Steamboat Springs and one night we will go to Strawberry Hot Springs and in the dark water in the big hot pools I will lie on my back and stare up into the universe and feel as one - it is good.

you got my five bucks! i really do believe you can do anything you want! you are one of the bravest people i know! go ahead and SET SAIL!!!!!

“And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.”
Raymond Carver

Wherever you paddle your boat, I hope you take us along for the ride. I believe everyone comes to a point in life where we question the woulda, shoulda, coulda aspect...the what ifs. You'll weigh all the pros and cons, sift it all through the subconscious, then come to your own crossroads and make a decision that best suits you.

I can't stand that trite, canned, slogan spewing world. If I hear "follow your bliss" one more time I think I'll gag. Yes, we have to dream, ponder all the possibilities, but on the flip side we have to be practical too, have to consider all the mundane things, like putting food on the table, gas in the car, paying the bills.

Toss all those thoughts, dreams, possibilities into the air and see what lands in your boat...I'm sure you'll find the right path. Just remember to leave the roadmap or marine chart for the rest of us here. We'll follow you into the hinterlands. HA!

I feel that Elisabeth Gjessling, as the practical woman that she is, would be very satisfied with the use her book is being put to. Her appreciation for hand crafts are well known, so the stitches and the craftsmanship would be noted. I feel, however, that given her hidden sense of whimsy, she will be wondering if you can give it the right touch of delightful irreverence that is needed, but we will reassure her that you can. We, who were sitting on the porch at Moss Cottage during your travels. Yes, I believe Ms Gjessling will be well and truly content.

Sounds as though a corner has already been rounded, glad you have some soft kitty paws to balance those thoughts in overdrive. Trust your instincts, life is meant to be lived at "Full Tilt":)

Paddling is good, keep paddling. All intrepid explorers know that a journey determined to head true north is impossible. No matter how hard you paddle, the wind, flood and fire of life keep messing with the compass. So learn to enjoy paddling and let the direction take care of itself.

All that pondering lead to one gorgeous new log book!

Oh Boy!! ponder away!! the little monkeys are so very very blessed to have you!!!! the new book will be amazing!!!

I think we all pretty much think those thoughts of yours for you. My thoughts go round and round to the fact that good caring teachers such as you are a blessing to the children you meet. I personally see the LA school system as broken at best, but that even if ultimately hopeless, the lucky kids that you impact will be affected for the better. If not for you, who?

But then I also wonder at what personal cost for yourself? You may be able to support yourself financially with your wonderful classes online or by traveling the art workshop circuit if that appeals to you. But any job will have its yuckky parts, right?

That's as far as I thought about it. I figure you'll flow your way. Us fans wish only the best for you.

You are one of the few blogs that I read everyday. Follow your bliss. You are good enough!

Ah yes, I know that feeling well. When I get it, I just want to curl up in a crafty box like Wyatt and go off into dreamland. Most of the time, I let it percolate in my subconscious. I figure when the time is right, I'll know what to do. In the meantime, I just keeping doing the 9 to 5 on a day by day basis, making art on my own time and enjoying coming here for inspiration from you and all the other craft monkeys with their good ideas and words of support. Thanks to one and all for speaking to my soul when I get tired of listening to life's practicalities!

Hard to come back to this class after the wonderful Norway trip. Hard to come back to any reality,but this year's reality is particularly challenging. You can do it, you know you can, and you can dream - not everyone knows how to. One of the things that helps me is the thought expressed by Julian of Norwich. "all is well and all is well and all things will most certainly be well". All things aren't easy though,or satisfying or rewarding or any of that stuff but you have family who love you,and tons of adoring followers and all is well. Sending good feelings and taking a share of the bad to carry for you.. Hand it on over. Love you from a distance,girl.

Ah, Mary Ann, I've been where you are. Just reading your posts as school was starting made my throat tighten, and I have sent little prayers from OC up the maze of freeways to your classroom. You will know what to do, and when.

Time came when I just didn't see myself teaching another year in LA. Made the big decision to move up here to SLO County. That was over 30 years ago - went through some very lean times, but never was sorry for a minute that I'd made the choice I did.
They never tell you with "follow your bliss" that it can involve a hell of a lot of work and some major belt tightening. But, at least for me, changing course really did save my life.

You are just a breath of fresh air for me and have been ever since I have known you through your blog and wonderful classes. Thanks for just being "you".

I just sent you the longest email in the history of man. LOVE YOU.

So well put Mary Ann. Indeed. I love your honesty. I can relate in so many ways. I've never once been gifted by the universe, never once had a glorious future fall in my lap, wishes on stars only offer up a dark and beautiful night...and in the end I can live with that and try and see what is in front of me with eyes a lot younger than my years. In my heart the little kid in me lives on. The curious, want to look under the rock because it's there kind of outlook. As an adult I am still turning over rocks and digging in the proverbial dirt. Isn't that where the 'truffles' are really found? The one constant has always been in my corner is hope, but a lot of that has to do with how much work I'm willing to put in to keep that 'hope' goin' not easy some days. Life is chaos, always has been, but I've managed to make it 53 years and I can still smile and laugh. I bristle like a porcupine when I read about how we can 'manifest' our reality, that any struggle is brought on by our own weakness, none of that rings true in my life. I celebrate all that I have been gifted with, good friends who I've never met who've gifted me many times over, amazing classes offered at the hands of a truly talented person; the kind of talent that matters, that has some meat on it, one who shares her insights into the mechanics of making a journal, sharing her process as readily as one would share dinner with a friend. So just in case no one has reminded you lately, but you are a 'gift' to so many of us, not the bright, shiny variety, but the kind with the little bit of glue in the hair, paint in places that it's not supposed to be, but what the heck, lets do have fun doing it, then there are your words here, your sweetly, inspiring journal pages and process, the no frills, no muss, no fuss journaling so that us not-so-bright-bulbs, have a place to create our own story, put paint and pen to paper and feel good about it. You tramp the globe and share bits and pieces of your journey. You expose the heart of a place, the 'real' of a place, rather than the touristy, postcard plastered side of these parts of the world and that is what I'd rather see, it's what I would do if I could go...You've been an awesome tour guide on both sides of life, your travels and your day to day reality and that will beat the 'follow your bliss' crows any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Fresh air that blows in on the wind every day. I can live with that. I can wrap my head around that. That keeps me planted on the door step of your blog every day of the week. Thanks many times over and keep it real.
Big hugs tossed into thin air and it's up to your imagination to catch them.

I've been writing in my journal for ... um ... 3 years now? about all this bloglandia trend of 'turning myself into a business' - which has somehow seemed to become obligatory if I want to 'matter' .... Well, that's not me, uber introvert that I am, and that's not the way I want to earn my money. I value my choice to work my proverbial "9-5", and I feel like this: 'step aWAY from my paycheck' with that other chatter. I am FREE when I get home, after 3 decades of working 14 hour days plus weekends. I make more money now, for less work/commitment, than I ever did. When I get home, it's nothing but what I choose -- my intimate few, and my creating. That IS my bliss, so I feel no need to be chasing it elsewhere. I'm not interested in becoming the 'must have/be' human version of 'granite countertops and stainless steel appliances' ... all my choices have to be made via my unique process and have to reflect my true self and standards.

Heavy stuff Mary Ann... Existential if I may say so.;o))
I think though that it is good to have dreams. Just sayin. Even if its only dreams of more books to make. ;o)

I love what Chelsea said!

Excellent post. I agree with you about the cliches and some of the saccharine stuff flying around out there. You are the star in your own story. There's something about you that is very unique and special. I love your blog because it is a respite from so many soul/dream/manifest blogs out there. You will find your way. I have no doubt. You've got a big crew of people ready to high five you when you write the next chapter of your own unique story.

I can see a movie coming on! It starts with you floating in a boat, ship's log firmly embedded under one arm, indeed the midnight sky would be "embroidered"...genius. Then the plot is unpredictable and zany and involves many countries and travels as you dream a la Wes Anderson (see Moonrise Kingdom). I'm still working on the musical score. In the meantime, keep up the quirky fantasy!:) Love your steams of thought. Did Mama Moss ever tell you not to listen to Carol??? :)

I have never heard anyone else talk about the lifeless pander of follow your bliss, etc. You put it very well. I had a friend tell me once that every job has a beginning, middle and end. I figured that it was my job to figure out where I was in my last job. I was a drug and alcohol counselor for 24 years. There came a point in my last job where I knew that I was at the end. I took early retirement which cut my pension down significantly but I have not been sorry. Retirement is probably not an option for you but something else is an option. Hang in there, Jessica

Bravo. You are so refreshing, even though you may not feel refreshed right about now. I adore your sense of responsibility and style Mary Ann. Thanks so much for all that you show and tell us. Safe 'journey'.

Do it, but take us with you!

Seems to me you already do follow your bliss. A career, lots of travel, passion for art...

Saving my pennies in case you decide to do Miracles of Slow Travel with MAM as was suggested by Jane. What a dream that would be!

hmmmmmm. much to ponder MAM. Ponder away, something will come. xoDonna

Yes, I agree with commenter Lisa, us adult craft monkeys would absolutely want to have classes! And we're a more appreciative audience. And books, and online classes. Everything you do now, just focused on it full time. Another idea that might seem "eek" at first, but just a suggestion - how about Miracles of Slow Travel with MAM? You, small groups of us, travelling to places and just staying there. Sketching, dining, carrousing very quietly. Would fund your trips to Europe. Not sure if you asked, but, you know. Something to think about.
Love that corner rounder! And, "sky embroidered with possibility" - so beautiful a turn of phrase!

You could take a year and see how it goes. I feel in my heart that in your case it will go very well!!

Love the journal!!

Beautiful! Let's see more pictures of the pwetty journal Ppppplease!!!

Please mum can we have some mo'?

Pretty pretty book, cat, "dream", desk. XOXO

Love this blue book - and the rounded corners. Can´t wait to see what you put in it.
Love the read your posts too - life in chaos over here too.


Could we not all send a collective 5 bucks each so you could be the artist in residence?

you know. in your own residence.
i know you technically are an artist and in your residence, but we could make it official.
a sponsorship.

i'm not an everything-is-possible kind of person.
but some things are.
keep more of those on-line classes coming.
and you may find yourself on sabbatical from that wrangling gig.

Loved this post...I often feel a little like what is wrong with me when I don't jump on the follow your bliss...mondo beyondo...quit your day job after reading blogs. So happy to know I am not the only one. I do think you could make a fortune teaching your classes around the country. So teaching grown up monkies instead of little monkies:)

So beautiful.

Yo Sister! Don't forget to take your nose plugs with you in case a big wave comes and washes over the boat and you have fallen asleep and you don't see it coming in time to catch your breath. You do not want to get salt water in your lungs when you are contemplating possibilities!!!!! And a tin of hardtack! Don't forget that too. I think it's like a seaworthy cracker - emergency rations are important! I can teach you morse code before you leave too if you want to know it. Dash dash dot dot dash......

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