Tag: self portrait


A couple of weeks ago, my friend Marnie (who happens to be my son’s girlfriend) (Don’t you love when that happens?) told me about an art class she took once upon a year. The assignment was to paint a self portrait, and she just couldn’t get her nose to look on the canvas the way it looked on her face. She worked and worked and worked on it, and finally she asked for help from the instructor who did her a nose job in 3 quick strokes. Once done, Marnie began to look around and was surprised to see that the others were painting self portraits that looked like bananas or trees or flowers. She’d taken the assignment literally, others had taken it metaphorically. All painted a self portrait. All were right.

Since Marnie told me the story, I’ve seen myself in nature at least once a day. Here’s who and how I am today, in case you’re wondering:


self-portrait, 3 (because yes, it’s all about me)



i’ve never been more sure of anything: i needed a breather. needed to take out my pencil; pen; permanent indelible marker and draw boundaries around my life, around my time, around my desires. now maybe i couldn’t take a full-fledged sabbatical just now, but i could put some space between me and the constant demands on my time and energy. maybe i couldn’t check myself into a monastery, but i could choose how to spend my hours, my words, my attention. in just two short days of saying things like “not now, i’m writing” and “no thank you” and “yes, i would like that” – interspersed with saying absolutely nothing at all – i felt different.

i saw things – ordinary things, things that are undoubtedly there on any given day, just covered up with a flurry of commitments and responsibilities and who knows what all. thoughts came together with delicious ease and clarity. in their relaxing, my shoulders peeled away from my ears. i smiled more.

i’m already looking forward to another, extended quietcation. perhaps next time i’ll take the plastic off my new zafu.

inception: before and after



i’ve been dreaming lately.

i love it when i do that.

i’m still trying to decipher some of them.

like the one 2 nights ago about eyebrows.

yes, eyebrows.

eyebrows: hair that protects the eyes by acting as an umbrella, barring entry to would-be vision villains like sweat and dandruff and rain.

eyebrows: those hairy communication tools that are so supportive in strengthening expressions like surprise and anger and disapproval.

i spent the entire dream plucking my eyebrows, and let me tell you: i was giddy with glee having thinned my overpopulated brows and rid my face of strays and runaways.

am i freeing my vision?

altering the way i see things?

getting rid of the superfluous without erasing the necessary?

or do i need/want to pay more attention to my physical appearance?

or maybe get my eyes checked?

(i’m never more indecisive than when it comes to interpreting dreams.)

i spent last night’s dreamtime preserving – funneling hot, gooey, colorful future nourishment through metal wide-mouthed funnels into scalded bell jars.

again, i was giddy with happiness.

honestly, i’d kinda’ hoped for something a little saucier to write about in my dream journal this morning after seeing the movie “inception” yesterday. but no, i just ladeled food into glass jars all night long.

but still, there’s much to chew on . . .

summers spent in my grandmother’s kitchen peeling, boiling, stirring, ladeling. the summer my sister and mother joined me at our farm. we picked pears off the tree that morning and by bedtime, we had jars and jars filled with pear preserves – the best i’ve ever tasted.

is this a dream about memories? i can’t think of a single word or incident in my entire yesterday that would’ve triggered a dream about summertime memories.

women providing sustenance for the winter – is there a message there?

is this a harbinger of famine?

a call to focus (my f-word) and funnel?


for me, dream interpretation is best left to the dark early hours, those marvelous, magical hours when anything – anything at all – is possible. my life has been so different in those hours. i am such a different person in those hours.

then the sun makes its presence known, and the magic melts away, though i’m no longer sure why it has to.

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Allow me to introduce myself . . .

Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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