Tag: celebrate

The Uprootable Family

Three years ago on the beach in Honolulu, my husband and I promised each other that 2015 was our year to change our lives, a year to do something crazy, a year to invite adventure and play out a little dream just to see how it goes. We have been quietly setting up our lives to do it, saving money, making plans, discussing it and coming to an agreement.

It is 2015 and everything is moving in one direction. On August 21st, we are all hopping on a plane and moving to Costa Rica for a year or two or so. Just to see how it goes. Details have been firming up since our recognizance trip this April.

My life right now is balancing the commitments I have left here which include a couple of commissions and stocking inventory for a gift shop consignment deal, cleaning up, packing and purging the house, connecting at least one more time with special friends and neighbors and a lot of daydreaming about what life will be like in less than 6 weeks.

I have been painting but I have not been blogging about it. I'll get better, I promise. I will be painting in Costa Rica, no doubt about it.

You can follow this new adventure more closely at the blog dedicated to it here:


We are the Uprootable Family.

Much love and excitement to all of you.


getting setup for a party

Plans and Confessions

March 28th, I’m having my first Studio Party at my house.  And I’m just going to confess this: I’m excited but terrified.  If I thought I could get away with it, I wouldn’t do this. But, I know I have to. My husband insisted and he is even more of an introvert than I am.   I can’t say that I want to be an artist and not invite people to enjoy my work.  Well, duh.

In many ways, this will be a coming out.  This is the official event announcing my transformation from teaching faculty to professional artist. It really is something to celebrate!

But on my list of things I’m not so comfortable with: crowds and being the center of attention. Sigh.

I actually like a good party.  And I love to eat. And don’t get me started about wine. 🙂  And I love that art is about people and relationships.  I love the mutual gift that is art-making.

So head down, I persist.  We will have art, gift cards, scarves, some pendants, wine (for my nerves) and appetizers.

So far we expect maybe 40 people. I will see good friends, old colleagues and a good handful will be bringing friends and people I don’t know.

And another plus; I’m going to apply to some art fairs this year.  The jurors want a picture of an art booth.  So in the next few days, I’m transforming the dining room into an art booth for the Studio Party.  Why not?

My vision; navy walls, cream and/or gold tablecloths, classic wood furniture, accents of burgundy and fiery orange.  Flowers and chocolate.  Paintings dripping from the walls and furniture.  Classy, formal and someplace you want to stay and peek around for awhile.

I can hear my husband rolling his eyes.  Me and my visions mean a lot of work for him.

Wish me luck! I can’t wait to see some of you soon!

Spare Change

Spare Change and Legacies

My father, who died 17 years ago, used to keep a 5 gallon water jug for spare change. It was a way of saving, a game and my confession: my brother and I used to “steal/borrow” from it as children.

Dad wanted to see if he could fill it up but he expected to live much longer than 49 years…so he didn’t. And our sneaking didn’t help his goal, the quarters disappeared fast.

After he died, my mom kept it and added a little to it over the years.

Today, she handed it over to our kids; a heavy bowlful of change that can’t be counted in one sitting. It is a gift from a ghost and from a time when having kids were little more than maybe a thought to the 23-year-old me.

My kids are through-the-roof excited.

Dad touches them, with a small habit, very tangibly right now like a small bit of time travel.  I’m happy he could give them something they feel at this age, a small brushing of souls.

He touches us in many unseen ways too.

And maybe he meant to save the money for them and maybe he didn’t. I don’t know.

But legacies play this way. We think we know what we leave behind, but we don’t. We just do our best and leave it for the people left behind to make meaning of it. The meaning making is our legacy.

Nurture (c) Marika Reinke 2015

To Nurture a Watercolor

Being pregnant is a victory and triumph. It is a miracle that, even if you experience it differently, is not a simple task. It is complex, complicated, at a point inexplicable and by virtue of this - absolutely awe-inspiring. That accomplishment deserves a loud colorful scream - I did it! I did this! Look at what my body can do! Celebrate!

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My Mammogram (c) Marika Reinke 2015

A Rite of Passage

We should celebrate baseline mammograms like a birthday, anniversary or graduation.

Mammograms usher in a new era.  Let’s make it official and celebrate. In this era, I take the bodies of my friends and loved ones who age with me side by side.  A party is necessary.

Technically, I “do not have a history of breast or ovarian cancer” in my family.  This is routine.

But, I have a history of cancer; ovarian, breast or otherwise.

  • I remember the colleague who passed away from breast cancer within a year of our first meeting.  Shockingly quickly.
  • I sting when I think of a younger acquaintance whose breast cancer returned just yesterday.
  • My heart aches for a beloved colleague as she forges her legacy in the face of stage 4 cancer.
  • At 49, my father died of gall bladder cancer. With this birthday I have entered the decade in which he passed.  This does not escape me.
  • And others…

I have a history of cancer.  I own this history.  

This is what I speak of when I say a mammogram is sign of turning 40.  Aging brings the continual pile of stories and we are wise to listen.

So when the technician pointed at her screen and said, “Here, come and look at this.”  I held my boiling feelings in check. She was painfully inscrutable.

I looked and thought how achingly beautiful.   

That was my breast with lovely web-like trestles, like palm prints, keeping history.  That was my opaque muscle cradling it.  That was my story; my puberty, my first bra, my sexuality, the humble pride, my first love, the assault and guilt, the sun bathing, my cleavage, the tight-or-loose shirt, swollen from pregnancy, aching from breastfeeding, my milk-giving children’s body, cradling them then slowly turning away and now my own but never the same.  And now to be examined indefinitely.

We should celebrate a baseline mammogram because left unto themselves, they sting and stench of aging and forgetting.

But if we listen, they tell our stories and we are all wise to listen.

My Mammogram (c) Marika Reinke 2015
My Mammogram sketch (c) Marika Reinke 2015 

I should mention, the technician wanted to show me my pectoral muscle which extends significantly longer than average and revealed my “tremendous upper body strength.” Another story in the mammogram.


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