Love Letters in Tucson

Posted by on Feb 20, 2013 in Visual Inspiration, What I am up to, Workshops and Classes, Written Inspiration | 2 comments

Last week I had the pleasure of teaching for Paperworks, in Tucson, Arizona. It was 70°, blue and crisp the entire week. I stayed with Stan and Linda Penny, who are so very good at hosting I considered squatting for a spell.

The class met in a building on the agricultural part of the U of A, formerly known as the “Meat Science Lab”. There was some kind of event going on there, so while we were inside writing love letters and poetry, we were serenaded by moos and bleating outside. It is comfy being surrounded by large Angus cattle, maybe for me because that is my family heritage, ranchers of Angus.


The class was called “Love Letters: Passionate Correspondence”. We worked with calligraphy, poetry, drawing, collage and bookmaking techniques to make love letters that fit into this container I designed out of corrugated paper.


It was Valentine’s Day, and we read romantic poetry, like this from The poet Wendy Cope.

My heart has made its mind up
And I’m afraid it’s you.
Whatever you’ve got lined up,
My heart has made its mind up
And if you can’t be signed up
This year, next year will do.
My heart has made its mind up
And I’m afraid it’s you.

As it was last year, the class was enthusiastic, friendly, colorful, cheerful and a delight to be with.

At the end of the class, Linda, Bobbie and I went for a hike in Catalina State Park. There were two scenic loop trails through this beautiful desert park. We smelled the javelina, but did not see one, even though they are as common as rabbits. HA! I have never seen one, they are elusive for me.


A rare crested saguaro cactus.


A creek ran through the park.


The saguaro can grow up to 60 feet tall.

I did however, come face to face with a bobcat one morning while eating breakfast. He walked straight up to the picture window next to me and stared into my face. I said “well, hello!” I looked up the bobcat totem, and found this:

“As the Bobcat is primarily a solitary creature, we may take its presence as a sign for us to step back from the company of certain people in our lives. Or, the Bobcat may be trying to tell us that we need some time to ourselves. Alone time is time for us to reflect, and regain our energy. The Bobcat intrinsically knows this, and may be trying to tell you to take a break away from the public eye.”

(I took this to heart, came home and immediately got so sick that everyone, even my family had to stay away from me. I so hope that is not what my feline friend had in mind.)


A bobcat as a totem animal is a sign of patience.

On the last day I learned to play pickle ball.

The court is tiny.

The court is tiny.

It was a rich week, full of goodness.


  1. I bet that was a very fun class. And I cannot say that I have ever been serenaded by cows during a workshop. At least not yet…

  2. how fun! i finally saw javalinas for the first time at linda’s house in january. after all these years, the first! and we had a coyote come by the wash. wish i would have seen the bobcat! the class sounds lovely, and linda is the best hostess!! xo

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