The Lady in the Tub

True to her nature, as Austin put her mind to finding a claw foot for her outside deck, there was no stopping her. Cruising cow pastures for old tubs, knocking on doors, then finally the tip from a friend which led to “a great tub, in great condition, and we need to go get it now”.

As we pulled up to the address my inner alert clicked on high. There were things strewn around the yard. A truck piled high with stuff, nothing to describe, just junk, everywhere. Toothless, hyper, and way too eager, a man greeted us saying the tub is right in here, come and look.

My reluctance out weighed by my friend’s enthusiasm, she pulled me into the house. Yes, I can see, it is in great shape, but who was selling it? Why is it still hooked up in a full functioning bathroom?  Why are there little kid bath toys strewn around still wet?   “This is a BAD scene. And, No Mister, I won’t help you unhook the plumbing”.  “We will be back in an hour and if you don’t have it ready to go, with help to put it on the truck, then no deal” I firmly stated.  Austin gesturing a tilt of her head, as in a question “Why are you blowing my deal, Teal?”

In town, over tea, the excitement about the great find was hard for me to accept.  I explained to her that this is a drug scene and please don’t hold onto ANY expectation because if the tub is not on the lawn when we drive back, I have no intention of stopping at that place again!  O.K. Austin agreed, trying to be strong, but I could see she was fixed on getting that tub.

When we returned, the tub was out on the lawn, the original woman who Austin had previously talked to on phone about the deal was there, as were three big guys to help load it.  While they hefted it up to the back of the truck, they asked if we had help on the other side.  I quickly said “yes” simultaneously kicking Austin as she was saying “no”.  These were the last people in the world I would want knowing where this tub was landing!   As we drove off I was relieved, though it didn’t feel like the most honorable deal I’ve ever been involved in.

Now we had the tub, the next step was to find help to unload.  Austin was worried about this.  I assured her someone will show up.  We will find someone.

So thinking quick, we stopped at a festival at Jackson Wellsprings and the guys pictured here showed up to help us unload.  Yes, that is Austin in the tub with the strapping permaculturer.


Tonight, true to her nature, there is no stopping her, as Austin’s body and soul conjure the energy to head out off of this physical plane. Those of us who know and love her are fortunate to have all the beautiful gifts she so generously leaves with us~  Love, laughter, and the truest modeling of joie de vivre~  Ciao Austin!


There are 3 previous posts that I have written about my friend Austin:

Post 1,

Post 2,

Post 3

And her latest show:

And Victor Lodato’s beautiful story:

The last pear 

Dear Dennis


Dear Dennis,

You know how energy washes through us, like a current of warm air on a cool breeze bringing in a memory, an idea, or sensation? I had this exact feeling as I followed a track winding up the path the other day. Someone had meandered with a branch dragging behind which left a long mark. I thought~ Dennis would erase this entire line with just a quick swipe of his staff. I could almost hear you bellow once or twice about “damn humans!” and their need to interfere with nature by drawing on the trail.


So much traffic, do you believe how many are in the hills? I’ve lost touch with the landmarks of the past. Remember “The Lady of the Trail”? I can’t find her. Rocks jiggled loose and let go, many of the old footholds, no longer there. At the same time many new routes abundant. Folks are out in nature. Enjoying. Doing their thing. As I write this, the quiet enfolds the echo of a far distant voice.

Quiet. No more.

We talked this week and I was inspired by your enthusiasm, the positivity. A sturdy, confident bear carving replaced the old deer hoof on the top of your stick. I noticed the “anti establishment rant” was gone as you shared your strong message that we humans co exist with nature & the animals. Like a superhero, swooping in, giving me hope for this changing season, urging me not to worry. “The trees loose their leaves and are no longer sucking up water. The animals have plenty of water.” Reminding me of the cycles.


Far below the identity of “character” is your modeling of loyalty to life, to the creative, to the elements, which insists upon a deep understanding. I think I am not the only one thankful that you allow us to be included by the skimming along the surface with your whimsical bubbles, bare foot walking, and the 1,000,000 miles on the VW van, as it is through these connections where we glean insights that, without you, very few of us would ever come to on our own.


And have a really beautiful birthday!


If you haven’t already, you can get Dennis’ book here:

link to True Stories by Dennis Shives

The Last of the Glass

“I just saw your work in Ventana Monthly” an acquaintance said as we crossed paths on the mountain trail. My focus switched from the surrounding nature, quickly to asking, “what work?”
see article here


Having the ambient sound like that of an idling jet airplane, a glassblowing furnace burns, keeping the raw material molten 24/7, the flame has a constant feed from a two inch gas line, the needle on the gas meter in a steady spin. Working temperature for glass is around 2100 degrees plus or minus. The temperature is raised to 2400 degrees for about 8 hours while filling (“charging”) the furnace with silica sand, potash, soda, and lime (“batch”). Maintaining the correct temperature during this charging process is critical in order to sustain a high quality glass. Tending the furnace is the foundational concern for a glass studio, yet only a small part what is behind the actual creating.


From practical making of tumblers, perfume bottles, vases, etc. to “impractical” work of sculpture, wearable glass, and “the glass canvas”, the work has been a labor of love for me. Loud noise, heat, and hard work fed me for about 14 years, until I sold my equipment/studio in 2009.

My version of having children was the nurturing of a studio and the work it produced. My nest is now empty, though the pieces live on.
the kids

Out in the world, the glass pieces have their own lives in private collections, museums, municipal collections, hospital collections, etc. A kitchen window filled from top to bottom with reflection of the colors I’ve chosen, an altar-like setting honoring the work. One piece was broken at the fault of an earthquake within a week of going “home”. Another art show an entire shelf of “crème de la crème” vases were wiped out. In fact as I remember it, at each art show at least one piece would somehow get broken~ “The sacrifice”, I would casually comment.

The Ventana Monthly article is advertising an event this weekend May 21 & 22, 2016 to benefit Focus on the Masters. “Where Art Lives” A self guided tour to homes in the community that house art. Many pieces that I have created are living in these collections.

When you go on the tour please be sure to say “hi” to the kids.

Get your tickets here

Never Forget- Never Remember

The nebulous date of my brother’s death has been floating around as “sometime in the beginning of September” for a long time.

I can look back for years to the first hints of autumn and see indications of my unrest- ending of jobs, moving households, adrenaline hits of choice, as well as underlying depression- around this time of year. I read in my daily writing “deep, deep, something going on, don’t know what it is”.  The scribble echoing concern, a disturbance that runs through many of my journal’s end of summer entries.


It comes and it goes, as do the unconscious gestures I’ve made in order keep this grief at arms length.  Or to give it life- senseless expression out into the world, a relief from the tension, letting off steam.

Just this week a mystery was solved.  September 1, 1966.  The date of Danny’s death fished out of a file.  The veil lifted unto the next clue in this process of life.  In this process of untangling a death.

Mom’s story about my brother’s death So Young.



Astrology footnote:  I celebrate as Saturn finishes strong this last degree of Scorpio- Thank you mom for digging into the death certificates regardless of my being “too eager about death”.  The eclipse (11:41pm September 12, 2015) exact degree Danny’s rising – 20 Virgo. My natal rising being 19 Virgo and my mom’s natal moon at 18 Virgo(7th house) PLUS.  This TedTalk reeks of what I see in the sky now.  As astrology continues to bring to me an awareness of choice.

Thank you for reading.

We are all connected.


Startled by a large dark mass in the distance. I get closer and see, no it isn’t a bear
-it is THE bear-

The one that stopped me short

thought, word, action
blame, projection


-one swift swipe of a well hibernated paw at the cave entrance-


Words, sounds, expression

stuck in the throat.

Study War No More

50 years ago.

“Load up!” The familiar command to hop in the back seat. Business in town.

Bud’s exhale “God damn hippies” combats my silent intrigue as we pass so many sitting on the wall. Three miles, though an entire atmosphere away from home.


The mood is lifted as Bud’s head flips acknowledgment toward on old friend walking beneath the arcade.

Attention now, the tone of a chant streaming through the car’s open window. Peace signs, held by people trickling down the steps of the Bank of America. “Hey Bud! There’s grandma and grandad!” A sudden acceleration throwing our backs to the seat as we head out.

Link to the inspiration for this blog post: MLK Audio
Link to another article on this subject: “Turbulent 60’s”


I once made a pact that I would do something.
As I write these words I am fulfilling that agreement.
It feels lame.
An excuse.
All of those great ideas blown by.
Why didn’t I catch them.
Make myself sit.
Now on this eve of September 30th.
A true challenge.
I admit it.
I accept it.

I, Teal Rowe, have published four posts in September.

Thank you for holding me to it.


No way to cut it off at the pass nor nip it in the bud.
It is here.
How is it going?

The Pool- Tale for a Cancer

Cancer-  ruled by the moon-symbolized by the crab- cardinal- water sign.
I have always loved that my sun is in Cancer.  Home, nurturing, a sensitive emotional side, are typical qualities of Cancer that I enjoy, rescuer, smotherer, worrier, are others that I sometimes loath.
This summer I have had the experience of truly soothing my Cancer sun.  The balm is big.  An olympic size swimming pool filled by mineral water flowing from a natural spring. A place where I float, tread, dance.  
As if after having being starved, my Cancer sun is nourished.  The light of the moon pulls me down, deeper.  The past, all that leads to this moment, vanished into the current of my treading legs and arms.  A process that in order to be buoyant, I let go.  Loosening of the claws in order to sink to depths beyond measure.
A form of nurturance.  
My own.

The List

Sky through the window, Bathtub,
Earth outside the door.
Simply, easily, granted. Thanks.