julie, miles and me. san franciso, ca. december 2005. my girls, my girls. heaven knows i've got a slew of 'em. this week has proven to be one of intense gratitude for my chosen family: those that understand me, express unconditional love and compassion for my processes, say WOW! excitedly when i complete a painting, call relentlessly even when i cannot return calls, care enough about the details of my life to ask intimate questions, listen with eye contact, hug me long and deep, plan luxurious dates to spend time with me, send me glittery goodies in the mail, stand in the driveway to tell me that i look really beautiful on a day i think i look like ass, offer to feed my baby so that i can eat with both hands, string beads for me to clutch during labor, design elaborate rite of passage ceremonies for me as i move through the cycles of my life, brush my hair, hold my hand and give me the opportunity to love them madly back. the relationships i have with you are what gives life meaning! you know how to exchange emotion and ideas with trust, and how i cherish you for that. you are the ones i use as a model for my tender son: you ladies who love with all of your hearts, you who have been hurt, suffered loss, abandoned, you who keep on loving deeply, madly, keep on risking, keep approaching each day with integrity and color and kindness, no matter what. i salute you. us. what a beautiful thing we have done!