Yesterday was Sunday, and I wanted to share with you seven lines of poetry
that gladden my heart.
It’s not too late to slip it in today:


Look, it’s morning, and a little water gurgles in the tap.
I wake up waiting, because it’s Sunday, and turn twice more
than usual in bed, before I rise to cereal and comic strips.
I have risen to the morning’s danger and feel proud,
and after shaving off the night’s disguises, after searching
close to the bone for blood, and finding only a little,
I shall walk out bravely into the daily accident.”

………………..ALAN DUGAN

I smile at that.
How often have I, in the past, jumped on the “42nd Street Trolley”,
just making it by a hairbreadth, and launched gratefully into the day!
You, who were not around when there WAS a 42nd St. trolley in New York City,
may have no idea of how young,
full of Spring
and all possibility that was.

Always with love, Antoinette (aka Mom/Mimi/Toni)


It should be dawn about now. No way to know since there’s a mist outside.
Even the birds are quiet.

Coffee is hot by my side and I picked up a book on my way here.
It opened to this:


” The oldest pair of jeans, sweatshirt with paint spills, the parka with a
split seam in the sleeve and those big pockets, last year’s sneakers,
soft cotton scarf, muddy gloves, and I’m dressed for the job in comfort
clothes — ones I can ignore and feel free in, ones that give me room to
reach, to crouch, to sit on bare ground.

I love a sense of myself in these clothes.
They are more like a second skin. Now the garden is the focus.
I am free to be in it and with it.

Is this not the way of prayer as well — to be so self-forgetting
as to lose ourselves in God’s presence?


Conside the lilies of the field.
There is no raiment like theirs.

Your raiment has already been given.
It fits you perfectly.”

…………..GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book, A Mystic Garden,
Working with Soil, Attending to Soul.

Yesterday a friend and I drove up the back way to Bethel, around the reservoirs and
back another route. Wild yellows, soft willow greens, white creamy pastel swipes of color
across the bare branches and trunks of trees, permitting vistas over the hills. Dreamy beauty,
southwestern Connecticut’s way of allowing Spring to drift in any which way.

Now, like a greedy child, I ask, “What will today bring?”

Always with love, Antoinette (aka Mom/Mimi/Toni)


It’s still APRIL!
Since my last post in April, my studio has been transformed, I have adopted “turtle” stance and I’ve figured out how to come back here and share again. Unusual for April to be a long dry time, but the spirit knows no season, and neither do I.

POETIC MEDICINE is the title of a book by John Fox, recording hundreds of ordinary people’s yearning sighs, magically touched into words. Maybe not recognized in any poetry anthology, but the soul of people will not be stifled by mundane details like that.

Fox says, “Unless we have the language to express the richness of our experience, we don’t feel whole, and discovering our innate wholeness is what healing is all about.”

Here’s how one woman’s passionate love for the earth and for speaking truth inspired this poem:


Pale gardeners of flat and moveless hot-house poems
have fast-food eyes for merely words arranged in soil
paper thin, the ash-gray agribusiness of their minds.

They pull the roots of music from the very breath and mouth
that creates Life’s organic blossoming
into rhythm, into sound, vibrations of the word.

Oh, for creatures drunk on juicy light of lyric breath
and incandescent wailing of Earth’s dark and fecund mouth,
that magnificent jazz of which we all are made.”

As I typed those lines just now, I could hear the vibes and powerful push of “…And all that jazz!” from the musical comedy, CHICAGO.

Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h. the warm days are coming, (after this weekend’s showers) and throwing off the coats and long socks will truly jazz up my life and surely yours.

I’m off to splash some color on my new painting wall. It’s the weekend.

Always with love, Antoinette (aka Mom/Mimi/Toni)


April mornings often look like snow from my bed. Checking it out, I see it’s only fog.

April fog has a shimmer not found in any other season. Apparently, it was often thus even in a 19th century April. Words from April, 1834:

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Cliff
with Henry Thoreau.
Warm, pleasant, misty weather,
which the great mountain amphitheatre
seemed to drink in with gladness.
A crow’s voice
filled all the miles of air with sound.
A bird’s voice,
even a piping frog enlivens a solitude
and makes world enough for me.

………RALPH WALDO EMERSON, written at age 34 in April, 1838
Found in the book, Emphatically Emerson, compiled by Frank Concitto.

My own world changed in 8 hours yesterday when a space along the window wall in my apartment was cleared, giving me a 4′ x 6′ area on which to paint at will, with all art supplies in a relocated bookcase at my left. All boxes emptied and books restored to shelves. New piles of papers and folders for me to go through and put in traffic mode.

Those four lines of the story are only the tip of the actual effort it took to remove books and pictures that I’ve accumulated, tucking them in unexpected spots in such a way that now, after 3 weeks of preparing for this change, amazes to even think they were there in the first place.

SPRING TRANSFORMATION! My gratitude is deep. Such generosity of time and effort and skill has created more than altered space here, it has been a very specific response to an unspoken need that i would have been hesitant to mention. Instead, it was offered and completed from family and friends who took the step of really seeing me as an artist. How wonderful to be seen that way.


with love, Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antointte

Testing the Ground

This past weekend I noticed the tiny buds on the trees outside my window. No longer the stark bare branches making
patterns against the sky before sunrise. I want to skip ahead, like a 5-year old, to find Spring at my doorstep.

So, I turned to Norris’s Mystic Garden to counsel patience:

” It’s too early in the season to do much but look things over,
to walk around and survey the winter’s damage and the hopeful
signs of spring.

I stand in my inner garden and in the actual garden.
There is so much work to do, but I know the time for
action is not yet. My arms hang by my sides. The tools are
in the basket. I try hard to believe the old saying, “They
also serve who only stand and wait.”

The air feels metallic. It’s time to go inside again, into
more waiting.”

………………..GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book, A Mystic Garden,
Working with Soil, Attending to Soul.

That reminds me it may not be ‘soup’ yet. There are lots of beginings and endings right now. With the help of family
I am emptying a wall of bookcases to clear space for a place to stand and paint. Right here, my space.

I can barely breathe, I am so happy.
I wish the same for you.

with love, Mom/Mimi/Toni