Green & Purple~ Succulent Gardens, songs, & jewelry

Inspiration from succulents and gardens inspires succulent jewelry. Hidden, but everywhere you look- the message of endurance in the face of all odds makes the desert an ocean full of inspiration. And of course, there is nothing more inspiring than a desert in full bloom.

One of the first things I did after coming home from our North coast CA tour was plant small succulents and cactus in little pots.  Amy inspired me.  😉  She has tiny pots of single cactus and succulents in window ledges inside, and sweet succulents artfully placed amid flowers & herbs all through her North coast CA garden.

Since I haven’t been home enough this summer to plant my own garden- others work makes me swoon and melt.  We really enjoyed just talking & hanging out with Bob & Amy in their sweet garden backyard, soaking up the Zen-ness of it all.  I so admire the hard work others do to create beauty in this world…

So once home, I planted a pot of small cacti, and placed them outside in the afternoon sun.  The next day- they were scorched!  Apparently not the hardy species evolved of the great American southwestern desert… I was informed by the nursery man that hothouse cacti must be slowly acclimated to sun.  Wow, how odd.  This never occurred to me.

I named a previous band “The Succulents” precisely because of the rich strength & vitality that pervades the desert- especially the rock solid flora & fauna of the American southwest.  Hidden, but everywhere you look- the message of endurance in the face of all odds makes the desert an ocean of inspiration.  And of course, there is nothing more inspiring than a desert in full bloom.  Besides seeing the redwood forests of Northern CA, and the Autumns of the East Coast forests, everyone should visit the desert during its springtime bloom.  As a child growing up in Arizona, I had to take the required preschoolers desert survival classes.  They told us that there was really little to fear in the desert; that if it was really so inhospitable there would be no life at all there.  And then there was the practical stuff; keep your clothes on;  build a lean-to, and fashion tools to search out certain cactus for water.

Here are lyrics from “She’s so Succulent”

Smooth on the outside/ fleshy on the in

Oh you want to touch/ but the spines lay hidden.

Never thought you’d find her/ alone in this place

(With a few havalina and some tumbleweeds

And the lizards that roam the desert seas.)


In her element (She’ll weather all)

She’s so succulent (saguaro stand tall)

Little bit o’ truculent (but you’ll never mind)

Just listen, watch, wait.


And here is a necklace & bracelet inspired from those hearty, secretly fleshy, gems of the wild-at-heart desert world!  Made of green quartz nuggets, amethyst, flourite, jade, & sterling findings and chain.

Fall Jump Start- New Pieces

OK- so I can’t wait for the rains (my Texas and Atlantic Coast friends can send their clouds our way any day),   I’m craving carnelian, and anything orange, red-orange, yellow… Found this mixed howlite in a store in Trinidad, CA.  I don’t normally get dyed stones, but it looked so cool.

I was serenaded the whole time I made this ring of Native American seed beads from Arizona, by all the coyotes y caballeros!

Trading Muses~ Fighting the Funk w/ more Creativity

I’m trading the Musical Muses for the Poetry and Crafty Muses this month! Stay tuned for jewelry and other gems that will float by like the leaves!

I’m not sure how people do it- blogging from the road.  I’ve just kick started this blog, & haven’t done so well these past few months of getting to computers while traveling.  But I really want to get better at it- and I welcome advice from others!

Now that I’m home for awhile, it feels like I can counter this patch of blue burnout that’s been slowly brewing over the last few weeks.  Since releasing a new CD in May, and working hard to get the word out, traveling short tours (Texas, China, US- Northwest coast, Southwest,…), doing distribution & radio campaigns-  I need some creative down time.  I’m just happy to be able to do this from home for the next few weeks.

Funny, It’s not enough to write the music, record it, find great musicians to perform it.  Being “independent”- unsigned & with no record label support- musicians have to do everything themselves now;  record your own music, find distributors for it, book shows & tours yourself, do all your own promotion, find the funds, travel with little down time, run your own radio campaigns, constantly live on a shoestring, pay bills with crazy low shifting incomes (haah!), and of course wake up happy & energized to keep inspired day after day.  I’m really not complaining- I’m just amazed how much work it takes to try to be an independent, full-time musician.  You definitely have to have a thick skin, and like the journey more than anything else.

Ok so some Good news now!:  It’s not all for naught; I put my heart & soul into my latest CD (Tortilla Western Serenade ) culling what I think have been my best songs over the last coupla years, writing lots of new ones, working w/ cool musicians I never thought i’d meet much less work with.  I’m really excited about how it all came out- it is my opus so far. 😉   I named it Tortilla Western(spaghetti western meets Tex-Mex & rock), to fill a void, a confluence of influences I just didn’t hear & wanted more of.  The reviewers have been kind. Right now, over 50 US radio stations are playing  it (eeek!), its been 7 weeks in the top 25 roots rock/Americana charts; European stations are spinning it; old & new fans are listening & responding so sweetly (which inspires like nothing else!)

I make music not only to serve the hungry Muses that channel through me, but to hopefully put something into the world that is refreshing, unique, hopeful, uplifting, loving, inspiring, provocative, fun, & vivid. It really is an offering- from the Muses & me.  As reward, I just want to eek out a small, modest mode of survival. (ha!- but don’t all artists!!?)

So yes, suddenly I need a break.  I actually kinda shut down 2 weeks ago.  & last weekend (Labor Day) was my first such break of sorts; so I laid low, read Neil Gaiman, wrote a poem, listened to Peggy Lee, & started getting my jewelry space organized to start making things again.  I need this as therapy- am desperate for it~ Someplace to run into & not come out of until soothed.

So Musical Muses! Thank you for so much presence this past year; I treasure you…

But now, I need to nest up for Fall & make some new treasures.  I haven’t made anything in (omg… 2 years!?) But I’m thankful for friends who are asking about my next trunk show, or asking for pieces.  The challenge is on;  its Fall!  Between shows & travel, I’m getting busy 😉  yay!


Prose Poem-Cavernous

You name several things, from a list that says—“Over”. Quietly, slowly, each one pulled from the clingy green moss culled from a black mirrored lagoon. We talk on the phone, you-boarding a plane, me- driving 72mph southeast across the desert.  Two time-zones between us.   Functionally connected, we map a soundweb of present tenses.  Strangers mingle all around-  you apologize.  To whom, no one knows. Fiber optics, now buried beneath sand and shale, split your words down a ravine. All the way to Yuma.  Overture in Aorta minor.  “But there is more”, you say, forgetting the package you just detonated. You want to explain more- later.  Yes, I acquiesce.  Driving numb through a blond cholla forest, ocotillo waving on the outer rim. A blue border of mountains protecting me from anything bad ahead, friends bantering  in the backseat.  Space permeates.  But here in the desert, I get more.  And So I take it.  All of it. Down.  Deep as my last breath.  Down to the bottom of the cavern.  And back.  Space surrounds.  Mine is succulent, yours stratospheric.



From: Experiments in Prose.

Poem by Tara Linda.  Copyright 2010.

Reckless Creativity ~ Quotes by Dean Young

Reckless Creativity. Inspiring quotes~ Dean Young

I’m loving Dean Young‘s book~

“The Art of Recklessness:  Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction.”  2010. Graywolf Press.

Some quotes…

“Poetry mitigates just as fire does, by witnessing its own necessary recklessness and senses of the sacred, its ability to combust the ancillary, to grow and make everything itself…with ash, with death.”  Dean Young.

“Our poems are what the gods couldn’t make without going through us.”  Dean Young.

“To cultivate fire is to perpetually gather fuel, sometimes to reconceive what is fuel. While poetry perpetually examines its own means, it must also move outside itself else it burn pale, offer only a redundant twilight on a cloudy day…” Dean Young.

I’m loving his words now…
How he so radically reminds us that we should take serious risk with our art, (Or what’s the point!?), be reckless in all the ways we serve the Muses, burn ourselves up in this great re-creative process, over and over.

This all hits the spot today;  I’m a little burnt out on the minstrel’s trail but must keep going, & the clouds are hovering low today…

Seemingly Was Never So

In the movie “code 46” a man loves a free-spirited girl, the innocent criminal
he has come to arrest. The one who teaches him to feel in the span of

a 10-hour day. He cannot help himself. This pixie is unlikely. But her Spirit overrides. When She sees him, She see’s what the others can’t [The Dream] and proceeds to verify.

In the movie “Code 46” a man falls in love with  a free-spirited girl, the innocent criminal he has come to arrest.  The one who teaches him to feel in the span of

a 10-hour day.  He cannot help himself.  This pixie is unlikely. But her Spirit overrides.  When She sees him, She see’s what the others can’t [The Dream] and proceeds to verify.

But their post bio-engineered society won’t have it.   As with so many things, enabling temporary cover in matters of state, by State,
There is inside; cool industrial, crowded neon.  Belonging with Certainty.
Tastefulness. A time- tested and even fate.   Sanitized Safety.
And there is outside; the multitudes struggling~ filth, poverty, constant cycles of  uncertainty.

Fear.  And it’s almost Inverse.

He chases beyond innocence and nonsense, until he finds sound & sane, but then
fatefully, looses her.

So off he goes, risks Reclassification to find her again, moves against the Order he is
paid and programmed to keep. But how he must pursue…
to feel alive – something unfelt in years,
Uphill and high speed against the genetically altered authors of morality,

Implanted sensors and satellites locate the subjects in violation of Code.  Locations are mapped.  A chase ensues.

He is the Bait by which they locate Her.    [THIS afterall, a man’s purpose in the Creation of Order & the End of Mystery]

And so first they torture her, erase her memory of him- which, of course, tortures him wildly beyond any edge of pain that has ever suspended him in Time.

Who was it that said “it is better to have lived only 5 minutes of true love in a lifetime
Than to live a lifetime with less…”
Writhing in the anguish of the Fear of Being Erased
from her great Heart’d Mind~  Ego trumps Empathy onstage.

And then they catch him.  Erase his memory of  this brightest lightest love
Her face, her voice, her tears,  yearning in words, her soft porcelain skin.

Fast forgotten and fast forward.

When he returns from the hospital, his wife is pleased.   Regardless of misadventures, he is safely returned.  And with the Removal, gone is the Deviant’s essence.  Slow motion return to a new marriage (Same woman).  [postcripted shadow inserted here;  the vision in satisfaction hues, portending the day a restlessness will override the Code;  an instant of taste- reminiscent but  unfathomable.]  Precious.   Pretty strangers pass on the street.  A splitstage destiny; lonely in relationship and half-life hues.
We forgive him for the ignorance he must forebear. (He is handsome.)

Another  character~ shadowed, blond, comes close- to demonstrate that a taste,  though unidirectional and self-generated, [unshared] is somehow All one life needs.  Presents another kind of predicament.  Man in sole pursuit of self satisfaction= the Man in Denial, shares the experience of  the lobotomized.  Memory/Joy are both self-medicating or forcefully erased.

And when memory is drilled out, and the brain drained of its felt senses.  Proteins (hunger stimulators) keep returning to the same Cells (joy synapses) only to find the hollowed-out spaces of Memories-in-Waiting (pangs) unfired.    Just chemistry.

And bad wiring.

Is this love?

When/how  Should they be replicated?  Keep clones coming nonstop (the human condition bathes in desire) or let us deny the perfume of nihilism.  Allow the full spectrum of pain [it’s full brilliance.]

Tibetan Buddhists would say, ‘you must have loved someone this way, Once;

The hand of slight [corrections] and U-turns.  Get-even Karma, the hand that knows  is the Eon that remembers in stone (and will always return for payment.)  Essential evidence, and the actions you must Revive.   Karma trades then for now.  Rests the brain in the Presence of Payment Due, moment after moment.  While here & now are soothing the heart, Present Perfect,
[makes me remember] splits the pain in two, half of yours is mine now- or worse, if it’s a well-traveled cold; builds to a dramatic end, then rends  all

You can purify the rest.  And all the parts
that say “Seemingly was never so.”

tara linda                                                                                2008  Copyright