Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last nights fortune cookie read "I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship." As the year draws to a close, I am not viewing its passing as a year lost, but rather a year gained - in knowledge, love and life. I wish you all a Happy New Year, and hope you get the best of the best in the year to come.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

We put our Christmas tree up this week. I love winter, the smell of pine trees, crisp sparkling snow. I also adore wolves, bears, the wilderness, the Aurora Borealis… I knew even before I went, that I would LOVE Alaska. We honeymooned there in 2004. Mere words cannot do justice to its raw, untamed beauty. On a boat trip into the Kenai Fjords we saw orca and humpback whales, otters and porpoises frolicking amongst the ice and inky blue depths. As we sailed up close to a glacier, a chunk of ice sheered away and crashed into the water; the resulting wave slapped into the boat, causing us to rock violently back and forth. Very exciting! Very scary! One day we flew in a light aircraft into the wilds, past the majestic Mount McKinley, snow topped even in August. We landed on a lake, and rowed in a tiny boat towards shore, where we watched black bears fishing for salmon, and encountered a friendly (or hungry!) brown bear, who swam right past us. It was amazing. As is this little known fact: Alaska law says that you can't look at a moose from an airplane. That’s pretty a-moose-ing isn’t it. Moving on.. Just in time for Christmas, I offer you “The Swimming Bear”, mounted in white, size 14x11 for $100. This is a limited edition of just 20 prints. If you are interested please email me for further details. All proceeds go to the Children of Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization located on Long Island. With the help of donations they provide dignified burials for abandoned babies at the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury. The Children of Hope Foundation advocates the Safe Haven Law, which was first passed in New York in 2000. According to the Safe Haven Law, a birth mother is allowed to relinquish custody of her child in a safe manner, and not be criminally liable for abandonment. A Safe Haven is a designated public place, such as a hospital, firehouse, EMS station or police precinct where a baby can be left, in a safe condition, so that it may be permanently cared for.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Just give in to the ocean, the only way to tame your fear, is to feel her rocky motion Maybe it’s because I grew up a stone’s throw from the rolling seas of Scotland that I’ve always loved the ocean. It’s got a hold on me that’s totally unshakable. It comforts my mind and soothes my soul. When I need to clear my thoughts, the only place to be is staring out at the murky indigo water, lapping back and forth. When I fight with loved ones, and salty tears abound, there is solace there. When I go jogging beside it in the morning, I inhale its energy and somehow I can run faster, breathe more deeply. When I lived in Los Angeles I would sit on the empty winter beach in Santa Monica, staring out at the Pacific, looking for answers to questions that would otherwise go unanswered. I would see shapes turn into shadows, turn into nothing, but maybe something. Being Scottish I am enthralled by folklore. When reading Seal-Folk and Ocean Paddlers - Sliochd nan Ròn by John MacAulay, I was suddenly transported to another time, huddled next to a fire, listening to his tales of the magical seal people of the Orkney and Shetland Isles in the far north of Scotland. The tale is that seals could assume human form, but could not return to the sea without their sealskin belts. It is believed that the male Selkies are responsible for storms and also for the sinking of ships, which is their way of avenging the hunting of seals. I just spoke to my mother in Scotland. She held the phone to the wind, which was, she said, an icy gust coming in from the Firth. Suddenly I felt as though I was there, beside the water, with the wind whipping through my hair, whilst I drew strength from the eternal motion of the lashing waves.