How the Artist Beat the Soviet Villain

Elephants and Giraffes Found a Home on Facades

Elephants and Giraffes Found a Home on Facades

This is the story of a villain and a hero.

The story happened in a land on the other side of the world. A world where a dark cloud of despair loomed over the heads of each person who lived there.

People had learned how to turn off their feelings and pretend everything was alright.

Those brave or foolish enough to speak out for change were exiled to the remote corners of this land, often never to return.

A soviet villain was controlling the free will of the collective.

Seeing the Possibilities

This gallery contains 8 photos.

 “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
Thomas Merton

I was perusing through some of my  albums today and came across  photos of the early years of my art gallery business in Estonia. The pictures reminded me of seeing possibilities.

The Estonian Song and Dance Festival Continues to Inspire

On this particular day in Tallinn, Estonia on July 1999 I decided to do a DIY renovation in one of my apartments and not attend the Estonian Song and Dance Festival. I planned to rent out the apartment in the fall and was looking forward to customizing the improvements in what had once been my maternal grandfather’s building. The day was hot and my project  was to remove old wallpaper. It peeled off easily enough as long as I kept dousing it with generous jets of water with my sprayer before digging in with the scraper.

Decades of Stories Revealed

Decades of Stories Revealed

Vana Tallinn and the Era of Stagnation

Centuries ago monasteries were the main hub of scientific experimentation. Not surprisingly the industrious monks concocted potent herbal elixirs where spices and herbs soaked in alcohol created delightful infusions and distillations, such as Vana Tallinn.

Monk Distilling an Invaluable Elixir

Monk Distilling an Invaluable Elixir

Intended for medicinal purposes such as easing childbirth, indigestion or purportedly extending one’s life, the potions were sold initially to the nearby villagers.

These liqueurs were considered so tasty they eventually found their way to fine dining tables such as that of Catherine De Medici, wife of Henry II of France, who introduced the culture of liqueur drinking to the French Court.

The Cloud Castles of my Girlhood

The cloud castles of my girlhood were NOT medieval fortresses but great sailing vessels.

The Cloud Castles of my Girlhood

The Cloud Castles of my Girlhood

My Special US Thanksgiving in Camden, Me.

Thirty-one year’s ago today, a young woman named Viviann and a young man named John eloped to get married on Thanksgiving Day. They were married in Beverly, Mass. at the home of the Justice of the Peace. Our perfect day for escape was filled with the radiance of the sunshine from above and reflected off the gorgeously peppered shades of amber leaves still clinging to the branches below.

Cornucopia of Colour

Cornucopia of Colour

Gratitude for my Artists

During the ten years that I owned and operated my private art gallery in Tallinn, Estonia, I had the privileged opportunity of meeting hundreds of talented artists. I visited them in their studios and got to experience firsthand the environment in which these men and women followed their inspiration. I owe them a debt of gratitude.

Each in their own way revealed to me their unique and more often than not fantastic stories that time and again challenged anything that the western mind could possibly conceptualize.

Cure #3 for Postpartum Divorce – Find a Rock Star

Cure #2 for Postpartum Divorce – Find Exclusive Islands

 “Nights and days came and passed

And summer and winter
and the rain.
And it was good to be a little Island.
A part of the world
and a world of its own
All surrounded by the bright blue sea.”

Margaret Wise Brown – The Little Island


A Stiff Lower Lip

Cure #1 for Postpartum Divorce – Part 2 – Find a Boat

I found a boat but I also found myself landlocked and restless.

Self-determination comes with a price tag and it’s not cheap. Thrust back into the precarious world of singlehood I was suddenly sailing solo and without a clear compass course.  Like a true snow bird I packed up and headed south to Florida craving for distance from the dark and freezing New England winters and the melancholy memories that they held. I was anxious to hone in on my new life, whatever that was to be.

A three year stint teaching English to wealthy South American students proved to be almost impossible during the steamy spring and summer seasons in the sub-tropical Florida panhandle.  I was physically knackered and grew increasingly aware of a nagging ache in my gut that refused to go away.  I deduced that I still needed some serious down time to sort out my postpartum divorce blues  and the place to do this was at sea, on a boat.