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Into the Unknown

Yesterday marked the two year anniversary of when Hansel, myself, Nyla our dog, and Vinnie and Theo our cats arrived in Phoenix, Arizona to begin a new life. We sold or gave away almost every single belonging we had. Years of collecting funky, kitschy antiques— gone! Piles and piles of books–gone! Tons of paintings, drawings, photographs—gone! Furniture, bed, dishes, appliances, clothes, keepsakes, electric guitar, junk, and treasures–gone, gone, gone!!

We had a huge party at the bar where I worked at, and beloved friends put their money together and purchased tons of gas cards…we got all the way from Cleveland, Ohio to Gallup, New Mexico on the good fortunes of our friends.

We drove our 1994 GEO Tracker with 165,000 miles on it, with absolutely NO air conditioning (our poor animals!) 2,100 miles across the U.S. of A. in five days. We hooked our bikes to the back, put the kitties in a large cage, hid our money under the seat, stashed one suitcase, some art supplies and rolled up canvas paintings, and made a little tent with a towel for Nyla to rest under without the sun beating on her. Oh—and I should mention the best part….a few days before we left….I got CHICKEN POX!!! At the age of thirty I got chicken pox the size of quarters all over my body–especially my face and scalp.

Here’s our last photo in Cleveland before heading off. That was the over 100 year old home we lived in in Tremont…a cool, artsy community located in urban Cleveland, Ohio. I lived there for ten years in that house. Hansel shared it with me for three. Lots of good memories. Nothing like living in an urban community–especially one with tons of artsy types.

We left Cleveland for a few reasons. Mainly we wanted to start a new and better life. It was time to get better jobs (with insurance and responsibilities that don’t involve alcoholism in one sense or another), take better care of ourselves physically as well as spiritually, and leave the bar and nightlife scene completely…something that both Hansel and I were deeply involved in–both as a profession and as a lifestyle. Oh, and of course…we had enough of the grey skies and snow.

We each set out intentions for our new life and started off into the unknown. Mine was to live a completely creative life. I already had a job teaching art lined up, and was excited about teaching art full time. But, I wanted my creativity to be more then just my nine to five. Or in my case, eight to four. I intended my creative life to focus on the things that bring me bliss–art, being in nature, vegetarian cooking, creating, writing, Yoga, being with Hansel.

The funny thing is that yesterday I felt very reflective about my time here in Phoenix so far. I spent a few hours just sitting at the coffee shop writing in my journal about my time here, my present, and what I imagine for the future. I didn’t realize it was our two year anniversary of arriving in Phoenix, until I came home and checked an old calender…just to see.

But the one main thing Hansel and I agreed on is that Phoenix would only be a transition. We both know that our being here is only a bridge. We have no interest in growing roots here, just preparing the soil of our lives together for where our hearts our telling us to go next.


Two years. My life is of such a different hue then it was years ago in Cleveland. The intentions I set before making this big journey have manifested and brought abundance and great joy into my life.

One last coincidence is that yesterday I brought The Creativity Book by the amazing author/therapist Eric Maisel, Ph. D. with me to the coffee shop too. I have had this book for years. It sits in the pile on my nightstand like a good little soldier. From time to time I’ll read an excerpt. Yesterday this book was the perfect companion to read to commemorate my desert life so far….

“Creativity is a mystery religion. An everyday creative person celebrates, honors, and lives with mystery.”

Peace & Love.

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