To listen to this post, please click here:  A Page From My Book

As I by stages move my studio to the renovated third floor, I have been reviewing several decades of my artwork, calligraphy, writing, photographs and so on, choosing what stays and what goes. Consequently, creativity has been much on my mind. I found a notebook with a page or two of spontaneous reflections about creativity. Here are a few for you, my fellow “hounds,” just as they came out of my head on to the page–


Creativity Hound, photo & all text © Irene O’Garden 2013




Talent/Creativity, photo & all text © Irene O’Garden 2013






Talent/Muscle, photo & all text © Irene O’Garden 2013





The Putting Together, photo & all text © Irene O’Garden





Creativity/Community, photo & all text © Irene O’Garden 2013




A reminder for you:



Need Yours, photo & all text © Irene O’Garden 2013




And a reminder for me:


Love Your Memories, photo & all text © Irene O’Garden 2013



What are you creating these days?


Balancing Act: A Writer Wednesday Post

March 20th, 2013 | Posted by Irene in Essays - (14 Comments)

Eggquinox, all photos & text © Irene O’Garden 2013

To listen to this post, please click here:Balancing Act

Equinox. Light balances the dark today. Eggs balance on their oval ends.

Soon the massive green scroll will unroll over the black and white landscape. Colors will breed in irresistible bursts. Windows will rise; our hive will grow social. But for now, inner self and outer self equilibrate. One sits, one acts.

Which is more important, inner or outer?

I’ve continued the meditation practice I reinvigorated in January. (Since I am called outward a good deal, my intuition prompted me to go inward to maintain my balance.)  Watching thoughts fountain up in meditation is a bit like checking a Twitterstream or Facebook feed.  As thoughts flash naturally in our personal psyche, similar groups of reflections, questions, images, and amusements flash through the public psyche at this funny new intersection of public and private: social media.

Like thoughts, one can lose oneself in social media. But like thoughts, one can choose what to ignore, what to retain, what to share. And one stream often reflects the other. For instance, I’m seeing more about meditation these days in the culture at large, and in friends teaching mindfulness to children. ( Among them, Zoe Sameth in California has a great relaxation CD.)

Which is more important, public or private?


Is this



less important than this?




Some things are showier than others. Public can be showier than private. Spring is showier than winter. Blossoms are showier than bulbs. But all are necessary aspects of larger truths—the truth of human beings, the truth of the seasonal year, the truth of the flower. The truth of the whole. The metronome holding the motion.

In this enlightening of the year, may you enjoy an outward spring gratifying to your senses,  an inward spring deeply refreshing to your spirit, and a profound renewal of your whole self.


Is something awakening in you?



Springbrink, photo & all text ⓒ Irene O’Garden 2013


Surveying the soaky landscape that occasioned this photo last night, it’s hard to believe I was snowshoeing just a few days ago. (Give it a try –it’s easy, fun and a bit like having an all-terrain vehicle. With nothing more than a pair of giant feet and two ski poles, you can traverse piles of logs or rocks and power over terrain impasssable at any other time of year.)

Though ice is gone for the moment, here is the poem I planned to share with you this week. It was published in the Wawayanda Review, the annual journal of the Northeast Poetry Center’s College of Poetry.

To listen to it, please click here:Land Assessment




How many lives of every kind flip

and tunnel and green themselves here?

How many feathersnapping spillers

of song swoop, dart, and nestle?

How many whimmer-finned sleek

water bobbers swivel and flash?

How many bodylong bellies richen soil?

How many straight serene green branching

lumivores shade and anchor this earth?

How many clean humming lives skim

petalling shoulders? How many pinpoint

exhalations pierce the ice to breathe us into spring?



If you are in the mood to read a few of my poems about marriage, five of them were published last week in the online literary journal Foliate Oak. (“Canoeing” has made more than one person laugh.)

Thanks to the nearly 500 people who entered our “Forest, What Would You Like?” giveaway. If you did not win, you can buy a copy here: Barnes and Noble  Amazon. And, of course, please feel free to post a review on either site —

Many thanks- more publication news is coming shortly–





Larry David, iPad art & all text
ⓒ Irene O’Garden 2013

To listen to this post, please click here: Comedy in Seven Short Lessons

Folks who know me know I pay attention to my dreams. (A theatre piece and a 17- minute cantata are just two of the many fruits I have gathered from this practice.)  Last night brought me such a clear, funny and instructive dream, I thought you might enjoy it.

I dream that Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) is informally teaching  me about comedy. “Comedy Rabbi,” I think, which makes him laugh.

“Life is funny,” he says. “Don’t go making a work of art out of it. It’s funny. It’s not a procedure.” I laugh.

I am staying at his small, surprisingly humble house. The bathroom fixtures are– and here Larry David interrupts to say “I come into your dream to offer my pearls of comic wisdom and you want to talk bathroom fixtures?” I laugh. “My point exactly,” he says. “Comedy is unexpected.”

(But just to let you know? The towel racks and tissue holder are white extruded plastic from the 70’s. )

In the guest room, I see touching photographs of his family members from the shtetl to the forties. He clearly values and remembers his roots. By this he means: don’t lose touch with the real, with what needs honoring or healing.

At dinner with him and friends, I improvise a character. Their laughter is uproarious and I elaborate, to much hilarity. Afterwards I can’t wait to get back to my room to write it down. But Larry follows, postively pestering me with questions about himself. “ So did you really like my show? Tell me what you remember best. How did I look?” I wish he’d go. I want to write down this great material. A moment. Then I laugh.  “Frustration,” he nods. “Classic fodder for comedy.”

I still want to write, and the longer I spend with him, the less of the character I remember.  But he wants to talk, so I decide to let it go. The minute I do, he says, “Yes. The best comedy loves and builds community.”

I realize that if this character is important, she will come back to me. Larry responds, “Yup. The best comedy builds trust in the universe.”

On awakening I marveled once again how concise and entertaining our dreaming selves can be.  Not only some good writing instruction, but a sly reminder not to take myself so seriously.  As for that character? I’ll bet she turns up somewhere, because we all know that the best comedy has a happy ending.



Please note: Our “Forest What Would You Like” Giveaway ends in just a few days, on March 10. Click on the box up in the right to enter!


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