Soul Surrender


Just as there are times on a winding walk when you can not the see the road ahead, so too will you lose visibility on your soul’s unfolding. . . If you can find solace in your surrendering to that groundlessness, there is a pleasure possible in this depth of not-knowing, where creativity can use you as a vessel and, for a moment, you can know real freedom in your acquiescence to the numinous. – Toko-pa

“Come in from the cold, into your inner oasis; your treasure island. There’s a fountain of youth there. It’s the well that never runs dry; the gift that keeps on giving. There’s no fear, sadness or suffering there, only love, creativity and gratitude! It’s the center of the youniverse, the source of light, your eternal home where you were never born and will never die.”  ~ Geordie Numata, Deer Spirit Reiki

“What goes on in your mind?” – Lou Reed

You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen. – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

“Genius is nothing more or less than childhood recaptured at will.” ~ Baudelaire Continue reading “Soul Surrender”

Stone House, Wine, the Forest, and the Sea


This is stunning. Fantastical beauty by Amanda Palmer and her father Jack (and friends).

This video is a lush dreamscape. Just watch.


I originally saw this video on Pitchfork.

What Moves You?

This moved me this morning. I miss David Bowie.


sunset from the studio © 5:13:15 Holly Troy

Make Some Art! And then Share It!

Warning: Might not be “work friendly” – there’s some swearing in this video . . .

The point is – do your creative work. The world needs it!

Standing up and living! Who are you? 3rd Chakra

“You’re an artist when you say you are.” – Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

“We are stardust . . . we are golden” – Joni Mitchell

“Life in its becoming is always shedding death, and on the point of death. The conquest of fear yields the courage of life. That is the cardinal initiation of every heroic adventure—fearlessness and achievement.” — Joseph Campbell  A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

Sun Set Spirit (c) Holly Troy 2013“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” ― Paulo Coelho

“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.” ―Frank Zappa

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” ― Jon Krakauer

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” ― George Bernard Shaw

“Resist much, obey little.”
― Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” 
― Maya Angelou

“The sun shines not on us, but in us.” ~John Muir

“Creativity ignited a spark. In that moment, I saw that art is not peripheral, beauty is not optional, but a strategy for survival.” – Terry Tempest Williams 

“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Born on a Thursday #54 – Bicycles, the Beatles, Books, and Underwear

I’m attempting April’s A-to-Z Challenge.

pine and spring snow (c) 2014 Holly Troy
Spring Snow

I was supposed to write something about a word or a phrase that began with the letter “B” yesterday. I didn’t do it. I was tired. I was feeling rebellious, like I needed something to say “no” to. I thought, Man, this last month has been exhausting. You walked through grief, and at the same time, ran an online writing course. Write about B on your blog? You need a break. You just walked three miles in the snow on your way home from work. You still have MFA research to do. A bath would be nice. By 8pm I was in bed.

The Beatles – Sometimes I listen to the Beatles and I wonder what is the point of any other music? They were/are startling good. The year I was born was the year the Beatles broke up.
John-Boy Walton. How strange to call your kid “John Boy”. Boy. Boys. I had a crush on John-Boy when he (er, the actor Richard Thomas), played the protagonist in the movie version of All Quiet on the Western Front. I read the book when I was eleven years-old. It made me a pacifist.
Books. When I was a kid, I read a lot of books. I learned about love and compassion from reading good literature. Books I want to re-read that I read when I was a child: The Call of the Wild, Moby Dick, The Last of the Mohicans, Treasure Island, The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Alice in Wonderland, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Bicycles. Man, how could I forget about bicycles? Why is this not the first word on the list? I love my bike! My bike’s name even starts with B! It’s a Breezer.
and, finally,
a phrase sent to my by my friend Laurent, “Be Yourself, not an image you pulled in, or a projection of what you think you should be.”

I’m supposed to be on “C” today. I doubt I’ll be getting to it.

Below, a little Amanda Palmer for your listening and viewing pleasure. She is in her underwear a lot. I need my own apartment so I can be in my underwear a lot.

Thanks for reading,


Blue Haze, Neon and Earl Grey (or Dreaming Rock-n-Roll)

I dreamed I was in a band last night. It’s been almost ten years since I’ve been on stage. I miss it sometimes a lot. I like group creative projects – I often need something larger than myself to continue, to finish work, and the group is more than “just me”. The dynamic is exhilarating, usually fun, sometimes frustrating – rarely boring. Though I haven’t been making music, I have been in a collaborative project for months now, and it is informing my solitary work in a good way (I’m painting again), and I am waking up with the desire to create almost over all else.

Paul (Ena) Kostabi - photographer unknown
Paul (Ena) Kostabi making art – photographer unknown

In my dream, Paul Kostabi (Youth Gone Mad, White Zombie, Psychotica, Damn Kids) was on guitar. I don’t know the other members – I think Francis DiDonato (Youth Gone Mad, Direct Action, Apple) was on guitar, too. In my waking life, I was in bands with both Paul and Francis for a large part of my music career, they are incredible musicians – real artists.

The place we were playing was small. The stage and the walls were painted matte black. It was an old man’s bar recently taken over by hipsters. Afternoon light from outside was coming in through the open door and front window while we did sound check.

The show was last minute, or maybe I arrived last minute. Before the show, I was in a hotel on an elevator with my sister Kerry and we were talking on the phone with my mother. We promised to visit her. I was planning on driving out to see her after the show.

While the stage was being set up, I went for a walk doing my vocal exercises in the street. I was wearing a white linen shirt and jeans. I walked to a bar on the Lower East Side and put my makeup on. Fushia blusher on my cheeks and eyelids and black eyeliner. My hair was cropped to about three inches all around my head. It was kind of dirty, so it was easy to dishevel and shape. (This was truly a last-minute gig, normally I am all about getting dressed up for a show).

Three women in the bar were watching me put makeup on. They were dressed like flappers, with bob cuts and feathered headbands, cigarette holders and sequined dresses. When I was ready to leave, they got on their hands and knees and crawled on the worn astroturf carpeting out of the bar and fell into a heap on the sidewalk, their skirts flipping up to their waists as they kicked their feet and laughed. I had to climb over them to get out the door.

It was five minutes til showtime and I couldn’t find a cab – so I started to run back to the club, while singing scales. Everything was pale grey, six lanes of Houston Street took forever to cross. Once I was on the sidewalk again, the buildings pulsated, like they were breathing, and they swayed in the breeze. I knew I was dreaming, so I relaxed and walked.

Performing with Francis DiDonato – photo by George Tiboni

When I got back to the gig, everything was exactly as I had left it, except for the light coming in through the door and the window – it had shifted from late afternoon white to twilight blue. Neon red, blue and white reflected from above a wall of booze onto the polished bar. The open door aired the place out slightly, the atmosphere thickening toward the back of the room.

Sound check was still going on. I did some toe touches and stretched my arms and legs. I climbed onstage to check my monitors. My boyfriend (who is a former boyfriend in real life) followed me to tell me he googled my mother’s town and that no way was it an hour and a half drive. More like four hours.

I looked at him, shrugged, and turned toward the mic. Stay in the moment. Music happens in the moment. 

I woke up. My alarm had been going off for about an hour.

My real boyfriend texted me: Love my tea.

I opened my shades. Snowflakes. Pine tree tops. Sun.

A completely different life.

This video by Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra looks like so much freakin’ fun. 

Born on a Thursday #37 – I <3 Neil and Amanda

Amanda Palmer  knows herself – and at the same time, is willing to push her own comfort zone—constantly testing and sharing the results. Yes! Inspiring.

I love how Neil Gaiman partners with Amanda Palmer. They are both willing to be vulnerable – and in public. He is one of my favorite writers (I was sad when American Gods ended – I got so used to the story and the places it took me as i was taking the story in).

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.”
― Neil GaimanThe Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

Of course, Neil picks the coolest stuff! I just like this couple.

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman

photographer of Amanda and Neil unknown (I suspect it’s by Amanda)

Repost from Amanda Palmer: Women Who Slay the Balance

Took the day off from work today – I’ve had a cold that’s been on and off for the last week. I’ve been using the day to rest and to clean out my inbox. I received a “new blog post” notice by Amanda Fucking Palmer a few days ago and finally got the change to open it.

Hurray, I forgot about my runny nose for a while!

I don’t normally repost entire posts, but this post by Amanda Palmer is inspiring . . . There are so many awesome women out there! 

One of Amanda’s readers asked her the following question and a post was born . . .

* * * * * 

Michael Goodman @mikewgoodman.@amandapalmer In your letter, you say re fem artists “Those who manage to find a perfect balance are rare.” Examples? Who are yr favorites?

he was referring to this bit of the letter to sinéad:“It’s a Chinese finger trap that reflects the basic problems of our women-times: we’re either scolded for looking sexy or we’re scolded for not playing the game. Those who manage to find a perfect balance are rare, and the culture at large seems hellbent on undermining our ability to create that balance peacefully within ourselves. And weirdly, it’s generally women scolding other women…we’re our own worst enemies.

responding to the tweet with a few of my favorites (patti smith, diamanda galas, tilda swinton) created a really wonderful dialog and spontaneous twitter-list, with lots of people sending in suggestions of amazing women that should be included.
the internet loves its lists, that’s for sure (THANKS, BUZZFEED)…BUT, it’s actually surprising how at a glance, there seem to be very few notable galleries of awesome females.

why not make one? why don’t we ALL make one fer fuck’s sake?
disclaimer: there are a LOT of great people missing here – in fact, this is almost all musicians with a few random badasses sprinkled throughout (it’s just what me and sean put together quick to get us going with a few from neil at the end). there are plenty of actresses and advocates and politicians and AUTHORS we didn’t even broach. and THAT my dear friends, is what the comments are for. know of a particularly good book by a particularly rad woman? you know what to do.

GRIMES (@Grimezsz)


GRACE JONES (@Miss_GraceJones)






JOAN BAEZ (@joancbaez)

BITCH (@BitchMusic)

MERRILL GARBUS aka tUnE-yArDs (@tuneyards)



PUSSY RIOT (@freepussyriot)



MARGARET CHO (@margaretcho)


“DR. RUTH” WESTHEIMER (@askdrruth)

JANELLE MONÁE (@JanelleMonae)

YOKO ONO (@yokoono)


WENDY DAVIS (@WendyDavisTexas)




FELICIA DAY (@feliciaday)




KATHLEEN HANNA (@kathleenhanna)

KIM GORDON pictured w/ thurston moore (@KimletGordon)


DOLLY PARTON (@DollyParton)


TAVI GEVINSON (@tavitulle)

FLORENCE WELCH (@flo_tweet)



BJÖRK (@bjork)

BRODY DALLE (@BrodyDalle

TORI AMOS (@therealtoriamos)


TEGAN & SARA QUIN (@teganandsara)


TINA TURNER (aunty entity, mofos)

NICO (wiki)

MARA WILSON (@MaraWritesStuff)

JUNE CARTER CASH pictured w/ johnny (June’s wiki)


ANI DIFRANCO (@anidifranco)

MEOW MEOW (@MeowTopia)

CYNDI LAUPER (@cyndilauper)

NEKO CASE (@NekoCase)

ANNIE LENNOX (@AnnieLennox)

(bonus awesome via KRISTEN BELL and LOLA the SLOTH – video)




last but not least…


 * * * * *

My own additions to this list, which I imagine will continue to grow: Elizabeth Warren, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emma Goldman, Isadora Duncan, Toni Morrison, Maya Stein, Rama Jyoti Vernon, and Sharon Gannon

Oh my, I am feeling a slew of new posts brewing . . . thanks again to Amanda Palmer. (Oh yeah, she needs to be on the list, too).