when the rooftops shone dark all alone saw a spark

2015-12-26 14.23.43



“Smart impresses me, strength of character impresses me. But most of all, I am impressed by kindness. Kindness, I think, comes from learning hard lessons well, from falling and picking yourself up. It comes from surviving failure and loss. It implies an understanding of the human condition, forgives its many flaws and quirks. When I see that in someone, it fills me with admiration.”
-Lisa Unger, Beautiful Lies


Lately, I’ve been letting go of things that went before. At the river, I cast them off, to tumble downstream and away to new adventures, new people, new lives. New, without me, because I can’t move ahead carrying those things either. I felt a lightness spread across me as they slipped away, a warmth that didn’t fit the weather of that early December afternoon.

I am looking to new, beautiful things to fill my heart and life. It’s a joyful process.


Symbolically releasing those weights – the people, the events, the outgrown dreams and ideas – is therapeutic. Going to nature to do it gives me a beautiful moment immediately with which to start the process of filling those empty places.

I am rebuilding the girl into something stronger. Better. Happier.

Every day.


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Let me hold you tight and arms tight and arms you lost your chance/Come so close that I might see the crash of light come down on me




Forty nine years of life and I still have so much to learn. I am full of flaws but also the best of intentions, I swear.

My self-doubt is my biggest flaw. I have sabotaged beautiful things because I couldn’t just stop thinking I was messing up so bad that I became a self-fulfilling prophecy. And then I second guess all my interactions because of that fear that gets reinforced by the letdowns of the past.


No more. I can change this.

I’ve been working so hard to reprogram these thoughts to be constructive, positive – and to trust that taking action towards what I want is much more effective than talking myself out of it.

No more self-fulfilling prophecies anymore, Xiane. You’ve got this.


*lyrics from Mazzy Star, So Tonight That I Might See

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2016 Goals: Fifty Before I Turn Fifty



I’m putting together a goal list for 2016: 50 things before I turn 50. I only get one 50th year on the planet, I might as well fill it with small things that make me happy. I’m the sort of person who finds that making lists and checking things off really helps me stay focused, and sharing those achievements keep me motivated.

For most of you, it’s not your 50th year on the planet, but that’s no reason not to make a goal list for the year if you’d like! And if you’d like to join me, and maybe share your progress, I would be thrilled. When we all support each other, everything is so much easier and much, much more fun.

I’ll be posting things with the tags #2016goalchallenge and #50before50. Look for those posts on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts!

Listed in no particular order of importance or size, split up by category.  There are a couple of placeholders but I’ll fill those in very soon!



  • Hang the art I have collected on the walls
  • Grow a veg in the garden that I've never grown
  • Start a guerrilla garden
  • Launch a model rocket
  • Fly a kite
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Health & Self Care

  • Get a new tattoo
  • Do a pull up
  • Daily selfcare selfie 12/12/2016
  • Weekly hike/walk 12/12/2016
  • Get and use a standing desk
  • Get a massage
  • Take a barre class
  • Start with regular yoga again


  • A trip to a beach
  • Try 5 new fruits or veggies 12/12/2016
  • Hike a new intermediate trail 12/12/2016
  • Visit a new city
  • Trip to NYC
  • See some old friends [outside of fiber events] 12/12/2016
  • Try a fancy restaurant that I've never been to
  • Rhinebeck. 'Nuff said.
  • See a band play live 12/12/2016
  • Go to an art show 12/12/2016
  • Go on a picnic 12/12/2016
  • Find 5 new magical places


  • Take a class in an art or craft I've never tried
  • Make or participate in another yarnbomb installation
  • Take a photo every day 12/12/2016
  • Start working on the sculptural art you've been dreaming about
  • Write a new class to teach
  • Write and record 5 songs
  • Write every day 12/12/2016
  • Write one letter a month
  • Monthly video blog posts
  • Make one thing a month that is NOT for sale 12/12/2016
  • Weave a garment
  • Start a drawing journal 12/12/2016
  • Write and publish a short story [even if it's self-publish]
  • Be in an art show
  • Start blogging mix tapes again
  • Learn how to make cheese
  • Play music with someone


  • Go through my storage and donate what I can
  • Reorganize studio space
  • Set up table for recording videos
  • Give away all unwanted clothes
  • Streamline my wardrobe 12/12/2016
Bucket List plugin by Cleio&Co

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Feels like something that I’ve done before…

I could fake it, but I still want more…

2016 word


The Word of the Year tradition is one that I haven’t really done before – I’ve always appreciated the idea, and thought about it, but I had my own ways of ushering in changes… but you know what? New year, new directions, and new traditions all go hand in hand, so I’m on the bandwagon.

Fulfilled is the word that I chose, after much deep thought on the subject and the direction I wanted.

I’ve spent a lot of time investing in other people, in helping them find their happiness. This year, I hope to move forward in finding some of my own, as well.

Not that it’s been unhappy across the board, but 2015 was pretty crap. That stopped as of last night.

Fulfillment lies ahead.



[lyrics: Massive Attack, Dissolved Girl]

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All those winter words, I want us to forget them

nerves of terra wm


Today is my 49th birthday.

I don’t feel like I should be having birthday #49.

I feel much younger; the years don’t feel like they’re piled that high. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for the changes and the knowledge and the trials and the love and the pain and the laughter. All those things have contributed to what I’ve learned and the new paths I’m taking.

Life is scary, and hard.

Life is exhilarating, and beautiful.

Every treasured face that has stayed on my road with me, and every new face that I’m still learning… thank you for being here. Thank you to those who have moved on, you taught me so much.

See, that’s the biggest gift that birthdays bring: lessons. A way to mark what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown over time. People sometimes ask me if I got what I wanted for my birthday, and the answer is always. I always get exactly what I wanted, as long as I’m not afraid to look deeply within to find that gift inside me.

2015 was very, very tough. But even now, in the depths of winter [even though winter this year so far is more like spring, where I am!] there is the promise of what will come… the chance to bloom.




*if you ever saw my band The Violet Dawning perform, you might have seen me sing this, a capella, perhaps as an encore. It is a song that has meant the world to me for so, so many years. I hope it speaks to you.

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If you sense this you’d better look around you, think it out too

I’m pouring from the heart tonight.

Yes, I know… I always write from the heart, from my personal stories. But this one is really close to home, and it’s a thing that has really been bothering me.

I think that one of the saddest things that can happen in life and love is when you let someone into your heart, and they come in and enjoy that space and what you have to give… but when it becomes obvious that they are now in a position to do the same, the fear [of past hurts returning, of being vulnerable, of losing themselves in someone else] shuts them down, and they withdraw.

No one wins from this. Everyone’s left lonely and sad. Fear wins, love loses, and all those quiet whispers that tell us how unworthy we are, how no one will love us, how we deserve to be alone… those gather strength. Self-fulfilling prophecies, for some of us.

The second half of this year has been filled with these instances, for me. I keep dating people who are afraid. They don’t necessarily reveal that in the beginning, or even consciously know it. What it comes down to is that they’ve been hurt before – by the world, by a love, by their family. Someone they trusted, someone they wanted to trust. And that hurt has made them afraid to be vulnerable again.

That’s all well and good, the drive to protect oneself. I get it.
But the problem is that if you withdraw from every situation where you feel a possibility of getting hurt, of having to open yourself up, how will you ever truly stop being alone? It’s obvious that these people don’t want to be alone. They wouldn’t reach out if that wasn’t the case. But as soon as that possibility becomes real, the reality scares them and they shut down.
Then they go on to do it again.
And again.

Things won’t change if you don’t let them. This applies to every single thing in life.

You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

And you have to be vulnerable in order to allow love in.


It doesn’t have to be with me. [though there’s been a few cases where I really wish it had been. Heavy hearted, but risk is part of life.] But if not with me, choose someone – carefully, yes, but CHOOSE. Choose to live.
Have the cake.
Then go for a walk.
Go on the date.
Try the scary thing.
Travel to the country where you don’t speak the language.
Talk to the stranger.
Laugh out loud.

Just go do it. Life is too short to be scared, y’all.

Things you said and the ways you lied
made me read the writing and see the signs
The clock is ticking in your inward mind
soon the flower fades and you’ve lost the time

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When you fear your life/Then your fear is wrong

fear hold you


It’s easy to let fear rule.

Not comfortable, by any means, but it’s infinitely easier to let that sharp, stabbing feeling dig in than to fight it off, to reassure ourselves that this is normal and it’ll pass and it’s worth pushing through the dread to the other side… that even a feeling of failure will ebb in the end, but without forcing through the trepidation to whatever the outcome will be, all that’s left is the unknown. All that remains is the uncertainty – could it have been good? Might we have made it? Should I have taken the risk after all?

Fear steals that possibility from us. It leaves cold remains of what could be, both good and bad. No fire, no failure, just a tepid whimper of unfulfilled potential in either direction.



I am constantly pushing through that fear. I know that I often look fearless, because I try hard not to let anxiety show, I try to keep my game face going. But here on this blog, you know that it’s all blistering honesty, and I’m here to tell you: I’m afraid all the time. The trick is that I try my hardest not to let the fear rule. I tell myself constantly that I cannot let the fear win, I cannot let it hold me back from the things that I desire, the dreams that I want to achieve, the people I want to meet.

The whisper of fear is seductive: you aren’t good enough. He isn’t really interested in you. You are so fucking boring, everyone thinks you’re a fake, you will fail at this, at your dreams, at EVERYTHING.

LIES. That’s all that fear knows how to do! It lies, and it does so skillfully – because that’s the only trick it’s got. It plays off of reasonable worries, it knows how to get into your head and mess you all up if you let it win. It especially knows that it can be quite valuable sometimes, and that occasionally it’s got a message that you need to hear for your own good. And it takes that occasional usefulness and it plays it up for all it’s worth.

Fear? You are such an ass. But you don’t get to rule me.

Maybe I’m not good enough sometimes. But a lot of the time? I’m great. I’m skilled and kind and funny and smart.

Maybe he isn’t interested in me. But if so, then someone else, a better someone for me, will be.

Maybe I am boring sometimes. And sometimes I will fail. And maybe people sometimes do think I’m a fake, but those aren’t the people whose opinions will matter, in the long run.

What matters is that I try. What matters is that I am kind. What matters is that I keep going. What matters is that I keep my heart and mind open and ready for all life has to offer.

Even if I fall in this moment, I know how to get back up. That’s what matters.


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Why you gotta be so undemanding – I want more


[blog title: More by Sisters of Mercy]


It’s no big secret if you’ve been with me for a while – I get anxious. Anxiety is ALL about fear, generally of the unknown, the big “what if?”

What if I say the wrong thing?

What if they laugh at me?

What if I hurt her feelings?

What if I ruin everything forever?

It’s all about the same thing, even the ones that worry about my effects on other people.


I’m borrowing pain from the future, a future that might not even exist. 

I’m shaping my actions around the premise that I’m going to get hurt, and all too often that leads to inaction and losing out on things that had the potential to be good, because I was too afraid of the possibility that not getting it/making it happen would hurt worse.  Basically, it leaves me the choices of living in stasis or letting things only ever happen TO me, rather than making choices, because that way it’s the fault of Fate, not me. At least I can avoid the extra helping of guilt if Fate is to blame.


And the saddest thing is that either way, I suffer – because I don’t even get the chance of the good outcomes, when I deny all outcomes.





Fear is such a big part of all of our lives. It is often the underlying character in our decisions and behaviors. Fear can be a really great tool, and an amazing way to let you know that something might be worth doing. Get yourself on the other side of fear, what do you think you might find?

Posted by Alexis Neely on Thursday, August 20, 2015

I read this from Alexis today and it really struck home. Too, too many opportunities lost when fear is used as a cushion to keep me from harm instead of an signal to pay attention, maybe this is worth a risk. Maybe the reason I’m afraid is because there’s the potential for an amazing payoff on the other side?


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