This little pocket of the web is a place for me to express my personal perspectives on social issues (poverty, peace, education, parenting, gender,...), explore the nature of reality (the self, oneness, perception,...), and reflect on some of my creative pursuits and interests (visual arts, creative writing, music,...).

Although I often write in ways that are deliberately crafted for effective communication (and will publish some of those writings here), I also sometimes need a break from the effort of translating my spontaneous way of thinking and wording my thoughts. This site is the place I've chosen to Just Be Me, so... I won't always express myself in ways that are easy for others to understand. Nevertheless, I hope you get something worthwhile out of reading even the more idiosyncratic expressions of my thoughts and perceptions.

You can see the list of my most recent posts below. Please feel free to share your reactions in the comments; and if you do enjoy your visit, please feel free to spread the word about my work and this blog.

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Here are the most recent posts:

Shadow – a poem

I realize this poem may feel a little dark and despairing. I’m hoping the paradoxical sense of transcendence will come across as well. Shadow A blank philosophy filling the wounded spots shields her invisible threads with so many mysterious whispers. From the unseen to the known, a path is carved in pure uncertainties. Hunger echoes […]

The Children in Jesse’s Dream Skirt – Part 3

Joining in (or not) This is a continuation of the exploration of the differences between the two versions of the children’s story, Jesse’s Dream Skirt. I’ve covered the daycare children’s initial reactions and then the group discussion initiated by the teacher. Now let’s find out what happens next. In both versions, the discussion ends on […]

The Children in Jesse’s Dream Skirt – Part 2

Why does it matter to them that Jesse’s wearing a skirt? This is a continuation of the exploration started in the earlier posts in this series, and particularly the previous one about the daycare children in the Jesse’s Dream Skirt story. I mentioned there were several differences between the two versions of the story, relating […]

The Children in Jesse’s Dream Skirt

Overview, First Reactions, and the Dynamics of Shaming I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that there are differences between the two versions of the story Jesse’s Dream Skirt. I’ve already covered the differences in the way the mother is portrayed. Now it’s time to look at the two different versions of the children and how […]

Jesse’s Mother – two ways of parenting a gender-non-conforming child

Jesse's mother helps him make a skirt that will fit him just right

In the children’s story Jesse’s Dream Skirt, the main character is a little boy who likes to wear skirts and dresses – in other words, clothes that the society he lives in considers to be appropriate only for girls. We can leave for another time the debate about where such an idea comes from and […]

The “Orphan Works” copyright threat

I only recently found out about the plans to reform the U.S. Copyright Act, and about the Copyright Office’s Notice of Inquiry asking visual artists for comments. Luckily, there was still time for me to participate in the process, and I received much of my information through the ArtLicensingShow.com website, on a post titled Your […]

A better version of Jesse’s Dream Skirt

As you know from my previous post, Jesse’s Dream Skirt is a children’s story about a little boy who wears a skirt to daycare. But did you know there are actually two published versions of the story? Before it was picked up by the feminist publishing collective Lollipop Power, the story was first printed in […]

Jesse’s Dream Skirt – the Project

Jesse loves to wear things that whirl, twirl, and flow. How will the children react to him when he wears a skirt to daycare? This project starts with a children's book but goes beyond. Jesse's Dream Skirt, was written by Bruce Mack (a.k.a. Morning Star), illustrated by myself, Marian Buchanan, and published by Lollipop Power in 1979. Decades later, it has become a classic. I’ll be chronicling the making and impact of the book, (including the backlash), making some artwork available for sale, and welcoming your input on where to take it from here.

Jesse loves to wear things that whirl, twirl, and flow. How will the children react to him when he wears a skirt to daycare? This project starts with a children’s book but goes beyond. The book, Jesse’s Dream Skirt, was written by Bruce Mack (a.k.a. Morning Star or morningstar), illustrated by myself, Marian Buchanan, and […]

Harriet Dushane Penniman Patterson Buchanan

Who is it who has such a long name? My mother. The “Buchanan” at the end came later, when she married my father, but even before that, it’s a bit of a long name. This photo will give you a sense of why she inherited family-names-as-middle-names from her family roots. (Does anyone still publish announcements […]

Mousey

I wanted to write up something very special about my mother today, to honour and celebrate her on her birthday, but I find myself at a loss for words. Let me give you a glimpse of her through this painting instead, a portrait she did of me when I was 8 years old. She signed […]