I am a writer, ritualist, and ceramic artist based in Oakland, CA. Having grown up with the bright lights and grease paint of off-off Broadway theater in New York, I moved to California to try my hand in films and ended up getting a master’s degree in Philosophy and Religion, go figure.
In 1995 I founded an alternative performance company called Magical Acts Ritual Theater. I served as the company’s Artistic Director for eight years, until sanity got the better of me and I choose to take a sabbatical to catch up on my writing and sleep. I got a bit of both, wrote a screenplay called “Persephone Rising” which has made it to the semi finals in one screenplay competition, started a third draft of a book about how I do ritual theater, and then I got really sick.
In the February of 2007, after having the flue for about two and a half years, I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitives which means I am allergic and reactive to about half the planet. In the spring of 2011, just as I was getting used to life with MCS, I ended up in the hospital with an extremely bad case of pneumonia. A few months later I began having odd pain issues. Two years later I was finally diagnosed with Central Pain Syndrome, which is pretty much what it sounds like: full body, chronic pain.
Life with chronic illness is nothing I had planned for, I doubt you can plan for it. There are bad days and really bad days but there are also good days and really amazing days. I’m learning that you have to live life in the moment and find the things that put a smile on my face and help me breathe through the hard times. Joy can come in the color of a leaf, a letter from a friend, or the purr of a cat. Its setting my hands to a 25lbs block of clay and letting the clay show me what is wants to be. Its pouring the ideas that swirl in my head into stories that entertain and provoke discussion. Its watching my kids grow into amazing men and my husband craft period clothes. Its not giving in to the depression that lives in the shadows. Its glitter, that sparkle of light and surprise that makes you smile.
As for the rest of my life… I’m a wife to an amazing man who does amazing things with patterns and a mother to two remarkable young men. So far the kids haven’t reported me for lack of attention and the husband still speaks to me – so either I’m not doing enough writing and crafting, or they’re as crazy as I am.
So even though I cant really get out and about because of the MCS and CPS … the world seems to be coming to me… so long as they stay chemical and scent free I should be good!