Created To Fly

I am a journey. It begins with a breath.


March 2016

Madrid Day 3 – Life as Art



(Soon all my posting will be over at so please head over there and sign up for email alerts if you want to keep following my posts! Thanks peeps!)

Standing in front of Picasso’s Guernica at Reina Sofia, I became a different person. And I don’t mean that in some cheeky, self-indulgent way. I mean it in the truest sense of the word. This change was not subtle. It was startling.

I have never been a lover of modern art. With its seemingly simple brush strokes, violent streaks of color, deformed faces, stick figures, and incongruent structure, it has always grated against my craving for depth and history and culture. To me, most examples of modern art are easy to pass off as childish.

But we mustn’t confuse childish with child-like, for one is just a beginning, while the other has come full circle.

At first glance this painting, circa 1937, seemed melancholy, monochrome and perhaps somewhat morbid. And yet – like an optical illusion, elements began to appear and disappear. Multidimensional textures and hued colors took turns stepping forward to be counted, then disappeared back into the shadows. The longer I stood, the more it pulled at me. It began to haunt my mind, begging me to continue to plumb its depths, to discover all that it had to offer.

Guernica is an enormous work of art, taking up most of the entire wall of its home in Madrid, eleven feet tall and twenty-five feet long. I walked from one side of the room to the other, letting the altered angles expose its different facets. I have never stood so long in front of a single piece of art, save Michelangelo’s David.

Never have I wished I could stare at something longer than propriety would allow. 

In the space of two short hours I fell in love with an entire genre of art that I had previously dismissed out of hand, and in the process realized my own lacking. I long to return to Reina Sofia for Picasso’s Guernica, Miro’s Man With a Pipe, Dali’s Enigma. Studying art in a book is one thing, but a picture cannot possibly capture the three dimensional nature of oil on canvas. It cannot convey that which lives and breathes within a created work.

I didn’t love everything I saw there. Whether it is classical or modern, some art is just paint on canvas, and some sculptures are just interesting shapes carved out of marble. But there are those rare, inspired pieces that have the capacity to stun our hearts back into beating and shape our lives differently if we stand there long enough. If we let them become a part of us. If we’re willing to make the trip.

Our lives are the art we make. The canvas on which we paint the scenes that will step forward to be counted.

What form will you take? Which colors will you choose?

Day 1 Madrid – Posting to New Blog / New Website

Hey all! Just put up a post about day 1 of Madrid. You can find my new blog over on my new website here: www. The site had a few hiccups last week but it should be good now!

If you want to keep up with all the travel and other posts, please come and follow me over there!


“You want to go home and rethink your life”


Many people spend the first part of the New Year sort of rethinking their life, and it doesn’t take The Force to convince us to do it. It comes fairly naturally. I’m pretty familiar with this ritual.

Each year I take a walk on New Year’s Day and write down my impressions about what I see in my journal, then I use those themes and images to help me think about the coming year. But thinking about the coming year inevitably comes with thinking about what’s gone before, and for me, 2015 was a year filled with change. A LOT of change.

My “walk” this year was actually a drive. And the images and impressions were heavy with birds, trees, and bridges. Not surprising. These have been staple themes for a life built by the desire for a mix of metaphors. Bridges for transition, birds and trees for freedom and stability, roots and wings.

Also the idea of keeping the past where it belongs. Trying to look through a dirty rear window while attempting to drive forward is bound to cause an accident at some point, so I’m going to try not to drive like I’m traveling backwards. Sometimes this isn’t easy for me, and I realize I have a lot of work to do, both inside and out. That’s ok. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. Or my heart, for that matter.

It’s not easy figuring out who gets to make the journey with you, and it’s especially hard to accept the last line of the above quote (which is by Rebecca Campbell, by the way, from her book Light Is The New Black).

“Sharing your path with someone is a sacred gift; don’t cheapen this gift by rolling yours in the wrong direction.”

Not everyone you meet is going to like you. Sometimes even the people you love don’t like you. Being willing to move on and find your tribe takes guts, but it makes all the difference between a life that moves forward vs. one that stays mired in the past. Find those people that make you stronger, not weaker. Who fill your tank. Who make you want to be a better person. Then cherish them.

Find joy.

Find simple pleasures.

Find peace.

Official New Release of Finn Again!

Hey all – I have a new website  and I’ll be posting over there a bunch, so click on over and find out all the haps with my crazy adventures in writing and riding!

But first! In case you hadn’t heard, the new novel just released! See below for more info!

Finn Final Final with border

Hey all!

I’m so very excited to announce the official launch of Finn Again!!!  This book has been a long time in the waiting, but it’s finally here!! It’s currently available in paperback and on Kindle. If you haven’t read it I hope you’ll give it a try. If you have, please feel free to add your comments, questions or reviews to the mix!

Here’s what the book is about!

Finn McCarthy is half Irish, half English, and fully fantastic. Raised in the pubs and educated at Oxford, he never did know which half to favor. His Irish half loves women and booze, while his English half is wicked smart and damned polite. And then there’s Regan, the one girl who never did succumb to his charms. 

When a world at war beckons, Finn answers the call, but there are some casualties even a soldier can’t prepare for. To heal his wounds he must banish his demons, a journey that leads him to a sleepy fishing village, where the mysteries of his Celtic roots begin to take hold. The battle for balance might just take everything he’s got left. 

War does things to a man. But Finn isn’t just any man.

Here’s what a few of the reviewers have said so far: 

“Well written. Throughly absorbing. Thought provoking. Magical. Physical. Emotional. Finn Again touched all the right places.”  

–  Darcy, Amazon reviewer

“I just finished reading Finn Again. Such a good story. Gripped me from the beginning. I loved Finn’s emotional, spiritual and physical journey with lots of twists along the way. I didn’t want his story to end. A great read!” 

–  Dawn, Amazon reviewer

“I loved Finn Again! Such an engaging, gripping story. I loved walking with Finn as he figures out life, love, and who he is beneath the armor. I didn’t (don’t?!) want his story to end…!”

–  Danielle, Amazon reviewer

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