Category: 2017

A Legacy… to me

There are people that are always giving. The kind of person who stops what they are doing and very gently focuses all their attention on you, because, you are there, and obviously important.  That kind of full service attention is special and rare. It is expressively loving.  These people are always curious. Flowers are always beautiful and time worthy, the birds, even a common finch, is interesting.  A book arouses their interest and they begin to read it… right now. A restaurant, a new local discovery and adventure or faraway travels are compelling too. These people are open about their experiences; ugly, dark, complex, beautiful and true and they are kind with how they give these stories to you and for you because our stories really are our gifts to people.  They practice compassion, not perfection, to self and others.

The world is lucky for the many people here like this.

I had a person like this in my life at a pivotal time.  She was a lovely neighbor and my first close friend outside of my generation. A grandmother to my daughter’s best friend and old enough to be my own mother, but a far different history than mine. She had an artist soul, loved nature, worked steadily for the environment and loved her family so gently it felt fierce. I admired her character and her spirit. She aged well and unlike many, she wizened as she aged.

Then she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and slowly moved more inward, not less kind or compassionate, but her fight and temperament made her more intimate about how she shared herself. Death is a burden to all who love the dying, and the dying feel this, heavily.

She loved that we were moving to Costa Rica.  When we came back last Spring, I saw her briefly and she was kind though withdrawn and tired.  Then last August she died with her family nearby. I heard the news from Guatemala at the time, and cried a few times.  I learned that death makes me homesick. Shortly afterwards, I booked tickets for us to visit Seattle in December and here we are still, happily.

I had the opportunity to stay in her house for a weekend recently and at first I resented the memory of her.  It made me sad and restless. I felt like I didn’t belong there. Then I let it wash over me.  Her house is so full of her spirit.  The art on the walls, the books, the office space and the magnificent garden are all whispers of her. I want to be a 70 year old like her.

Her partner encouraged me to go through her art supplies and take what I wanted. She would have wanted someone to have them who loved art as much as she did.  I do not know if I loved art as much as she did.  Really. But I am honored and humbled to have her art supplies now.  I will be lucky if I walk a similar path as her legacy. I will think of her with love as I paint.

My Favorite Memory-Makers and a Philosophy of Giving

This year, my Mother’s Day gift to myself is to run the Color Run with my 11-year-old daughter. Together, we will run 5 km while being bathed and showered in all forms of rainbows and unicorns. She rolls her eyes at me and I’m excited. I know we will create a memory that will last our lives.

Memories are the greatest gifts.

I want to be an excellent gift giver and memory maker, even on Mother’s Day. It is a joyful act to create memories with soul. It is personally fulfilling to be a not-perfect-yet-considerate memory-making gift-giver than to shove a last minute card at someone – which of course I’ve regretfully done too. So, for Mother’s Day, I’m actively giving to myself and daughter because it gives back to me in joy and goofy memories of rainbows and unicorns.

Let me be clear, when I talk about gifts, I mean what you give yourself as well as others. Don’t sell yourself short here.

There is also a firm line between a soulful gift and stuff. A joyful gift feels meaningful, like a little lost piece of personal puzzle snuggling tightly back into place. (I’ve always wanted to do the Color Run.) A thoughtful and meaningful gift can become a life-giving vein that nourishes your relationship for a lifetime; a precious memory. In contrast, giving stuff is just stuffing; empty, fluffy, squishy and eventually squished – for everyone.

Personally, I like gifts that are a little off center, create connections and have built-in adventure. They make me giggle and are sticky memories. For this, if I am the giver or the receiver, I faithfully return my heart, my loyalty and my love.

If we all gave this way, all the time, it would change the world or maybe just your community.

With that said, here are some fantastic memory makers that nourish souls, create memories, and connect. I hope they will inspire you.

Artists Way Workshop.

It doesn’t get much more soulful that the 12 week course and book The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. This workshop and the book its based upon take you on a gentle journey into your creative soul to awaken and recover your creative spirit. I read this book almost 20 years ago and it inspired me to paint. I just completed this workshop this month and it was so worth it, again. It has helped me develop my painting and business practice in Seattle despite a not-so-perfect-life-or-circumstance being here. If you or someone you know whispers about a desire to have more creativity in their life; to be a writer, a dance or painter or just want to change their life, this workshop is transformational kick start. I recommend taking the class together too.

Custom Washington Wine Tour from Vin Wine and Events.

A dear friends once said “Love is… Wine.” How could you disagree? Throw in a little travel and I’m in heaven. For the month of April Vin Wine and Events will create a custom Washington Wine Tour for only $15 and then its only $25 after that. The owner, Carolyn Holt, is our favorite wine person in Seattle. She will take all your preferences into account you get the chance to not just sample the increasingly well regarded wines of Washington, but truly experience them too.

Climbing Class at Vertical World.

My husband and I have been rock climbing for 15 years and I think it has saved our marriage more than once. Beyond being good for marriage, a little adventure and facing my fear is a quick route to happiness. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I have completed a difficult climb, it is excellent for confidence and a sense of accomplishment. More, I love the outdoor adventure and bond that climbing has given my family. Climbing is what we do together as a family, an excellent memory maker. The people at Vertical World are friendly, knowledgeable and always keep safety first.

Flora Bowley Intuitive Painting Workshop.

Flora Bowley is one of my favorite soulful artists. On her amazing website, she offers In-Person Workshops, Online Intuitive Art Classes, Painting Sessions and more for a variety of budgets and means. For her, painting is not just product, but a spiritual and permission-giving process that can transform your life. You don’t have to be a painter to try out her techniques. You don’t have to want to be a painter either. But painting could just be a means to unlocking a creative spirit and give you the courage to change your life.

Some Danielle LaPorte Wisdom

Danielle is my giving soulfully guru. Her site is full of wise and stimulating blogs and videos that offer new age counter-spiritual wisdom. The mostly free content is an ultimate gift for unlocking some of the wisdom you didn’t know you had. I love many of the audios and her free e-book Fight for your Joy. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on her new upcoming book White Hot Truth and rereading Firestarter Sessions or picking up Desire Map is a great idea too.

Just Make It Up.

Of course you don’t have to buy a memory. Make a song, a poem, a story, a skit, a painting. The real point is that the intentional heart, novelty, adventure, message and love is there to create connection and memory. My favorite memory of our goodbye party in Costa Rica was of the three kids, standing in our pool, who unexpectedly serenaded us with Count on Me by Bruno Mars. I mean, come on, it was a beautiful goodbye never to be forgotten.

In peace and given soulfully. Love.


PS: What would you add to this list?




Community Acrylic Painting by Marika Reinke 2017 4.5' x 7.5'

Community is in the Heart

Community Acrylic Painting by Marika Reinke 2017 4.5' x 7.5'
Community Acrylic Painting by Marika Reinke 2017 4.5′ x 7.5′

The deepest understanding we can gain of ourselves is through loving others. To be clear, I mean the simplest and most difficult kind of love, the one of no conditions. As I learn to unconditionally love my community the more I discover fundamental me.

It is a puzzling phenomenon.

Community determines identity, bares emotion and uncovers our greatest potential. Our layered and textured relationships can slow time down and birth our deepest joys and bleakest frustrations. Either way, we transform as we collect little soul-pigments of those who enter and paint another layer of our self-portrait.

Identity is embedded in our community; our history, our transactions, our touchpoints and failures define us. When we interact, we become the only us, not individuals, and so different from any other. We reflect each other like light beams on waterdrops, ever-changing and shifting. Never still as stone, we are unfixable.

It is in our chemistry.

Community has an undefinable magic. It connects people across time, life and space. We travel within it without moving, carried forward by love, family, friends, day-to-day acquaintances and even enemies. We call the members “mine” but they are really we. Among others, without words or even eye contact, I am still connected to a life force greater than myself. I do not exist otherwise.

Community is our always changing life-portrait, not just of I but all who pass in life or death, love or fear, curiosity or shame.

What does community mean to you?  Leave a comment below.


The original Community is available to purchase for $4999, please contact me for details at [email protected]

Limited to 25 Edition Prints are Available 

Here is your chance to own a limited to 25 edition print of Community. Your custom order will be signed, dated and customized with a limited edition certificate of authenticity.  Community will be scanned the week of April 17th and these special prints will be available to ship the week of April 23rd.

Click Here for more details.

Every Work of Art Was Once a Work in Progress


Community Acrylic Painting in Progress by Marika Reinke 2017

The Speed of Paying Attention

Have you noticed when you truly pay attention time slows down? Time really is a giving and generous ally.

For example, when I paint for a set time period, time slows down.  The structured time forces me to focus, every moment is precious.  I dig in and move with the process. It kick starts flow and I  surprise myself. During these periods, if you ask me what time it is, I have no idea. If you ask me to speak, I can barely use words.  I’m in a worriless timeless state.  Time is helping me along, giving me as much as I need while I work, but only as I stay focused.

I’ve noticed this when I belay my husband as he climbs.  One time, I could tell my husband was going to fall.  He was grappling with the holds in a steep overhang, almost at the top with a long but very safe fall.  I braced myself knowing that if he fell, I could expect to pop up off the floor from the force of his counterweight. When he fell, I took a breath and… I waited. It was three seconds, but felt longer as I braced and then popped lightly into the air. I was astonished by time’s flexibility and give. Time gave me everything I needed to make sure he and I were safe.

As I work on my Artist’s Way class the phenomena continues. This course ultimately focuses us on paying attention to ourselves, our creative process, our blocks, reflections and actions.  Every week, when I think about how I’m going to check in with the group, I’m surprised. So much change and growth happens in a week during this astonishing class. I used to think weeks past by in a flash.  In reality, every week is long for all of us when we pay attention. But as I work on me, time slows and gives me space to process.

Consider this astonishing phenomena: The more you give to Time, the more she returns herself, plus some.

I’ve never given it a thought before.  Thank you, Time.