i love music.

etta james recording @ muscle shoals

I love music.

I love how it rips at my soul.

I love how musicians bare their pain and make us feel.

I love how something so painful can end up a thing of beauty and make us feel connected with each other, with ourselves.

I love how collaborations can happen, one singular cause, bringing those at odds together.

I love music; I love how it saves our souls.

wilson pickett @ muscle shoals

I love music.

I love how it rips my heart out and throws it on the floor.

I love how music then lifts it back up and holds it towards the heavens.

I love how music makes me feel closer to G'd. 

aretha franklin @ muscle shoals

I love music.

I love how it unites the beauty we see with the comforting touch we experience,

I love how music is a warm and encompassing hug for my ears.

Music is another way of communicating, another way of seeing, another way of experiencing.

Music saves my soul and brings me closer to humanity.

I feel it in my body, I feel it in my head.  I feel it behind my eyes.  I feel it in my gut.  I feel it in my heart.  

Music will heal our souls and save the human connection.

roger hawkins recording @ muscle shoals

*          *          *

I couldn't even watch the whole thing...  I was feeling so many feelings and aching to be behind my drumkit or have even a thimble-full of ability to sing like Etta or Aretha.  Muscle Shoals, the incredible documentary about the legendary sounds that kept coming out of Fame Studio in Alabama, is beyond magical for any musician or music lover to get swallowed up in.   From early blues to the first ounce of southern rock (I clapped) and beyond, this place has magic water which makes good sounds for my ears happen.

Do watch the movie and tell me what you felt.  Muscle Shoals


so happy for saturday

Lots I could do today, including rest.  We'll see what happens.  I'm very excited for my upcoming open studios, the first weekend of April.  Here are some pieces I've been getting ready.  Pulling together in-progress canvases with the theme TOOTH  WILMA  STRAWBERRY.

photo and art by zarah darling  [TOOTH  WILMA  STRAWBERRY, in progress]

Also, may have found a new, sunny home.  It's got the three L's:  location.  Fingers crossed.

Very excited for my friend at The Westhood who had her photo featured on sfgirlbybay's #sfgirlguide.  Yay-pants Megan!!!  Here is the pic picked.  Love the colors :)

photo by megan @thewesthood

Missing swimming as I'm working from a different location than usual.  I mean floating.  Floating is what I usually do.  And somersaults.

that's not me.  in fact, that's an oil painting by eric zener called somersault

Have a great weekend everyone, what are you getting into?  Oooh, let me know your favorite open studios art snack too!  #grocerylist


my virtual christmas card to you.

Here are some fun things that got me into the sprit this Christmastime. Hope you are enjoying and soaking in all the bits to the end of this year!

- First off, a song by these dapper, dapper men:

- I kept track of Santa's whereabouts on this site!

- I guess this is how Santa let go of some steam during the push of those last couple days before Christmas.

- Here a sassy fruitcake is interviewed.

- A festive tweet capturing the perfect holiday moment:

- Thanks to my 9th grade locker partner for sharing this Christmas gem I hadn't heard of (but my parents were all about when I played it for them):

And below are some photos I took around town, capturing some of the holiday spirit. 

I was sick for my first art show at my new art studio.  Still stopped by for a hot minute to check it out.

Shopping at Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market.

And I got into the painting spirit as well, had to get some new watercolors to scratch my artsy itch.

Some dancing geese downtown were busy tying up gifts.

And the big holiday dinner came with cuteness and homemade cookies!

 Homemade orange cranberry relish, Grandma's recipe.

Mission Pie pies.

And a bright day after, capturing pretty sights.

Hope all your holidays were merry and bright!


currently i'm having a love affair with paris

still shot from Midnight in Paris

It doesn't happen often.  I'm not one to easily be swept way.  But Paris is an exception; it stays on my mind.  Maybe it's like one of those lovers who you don't give the time of day to initially, but you end up falling for them even harder due to their sheer persistence.  And the love is therefore more substantial.  Paris wasn't on my international traveling list, but it ended up being my first stop.  A friend traded houses for a month with a Paris family, so I had to go.  Free room in Paris?  Yes, please.

still shot from Midnight in Paris

As I prepared for my first trip, my co-worker, who happened to be from France, tried to teach me a few French words.  I could barely make out the beat to separate where one word ended and another began.  Such a beautiful, but difficult language.  If memory serves, it is from the novel, The Passion, that I read the eloquent explanation of why French is so beautiful, how each word was scrutinized for beauty, sound, meaning from amongst all dialects around, to converge as modern French. 

Perhaps fanning the fire of my missing Paris was seeing all the discerning instaram photos Lisa Congdon posted during her recent honeymoon.  Each photo captured the quintessential joy of walking Paris. 

still shot from Midnight in Paris

Then I had my own little (virtual) Paris walk when borrowing a friend's copy of Midnight in Paris.  The movie opens with such glorious scenes of city streets.  Vantage points just framed beautifully in the camera and held in view, lingering on my screen.  Smartly, the whole opening sequence continued in this spirit, and I watched it thrice before moving on into the story of the movie.

still shot from Midnight in Paris

I've been back to Paris again.  In fact, it's where I've internationally traveled to the most.  Twice.  This summer, Montreal will have to do as an attempt to satiate my thirst for detailed architecture, the buzz of words I can't differentiate in a sentence, and romance of art.

still shot from Midnight in Paris

i went to the world domination summit and i found my people

Sometimes you just know when like-minded people are going to converge on a place you are headed.  That's what happened to me with World Domination Summit 2013 a.k.a. #WDS2013

I mean, all the bloggers I followed for the past few years wrote about their experiences for WDS2011 and 2012 and I soaked it all in.  I think I tried slightly to get in to last year's event, but didn't make it.  I bought my ticket for 2013's event last October.  I wasn't going to miss it this year.

I had to meet up with my people!  What gave it away that these would be my people?  Well, when starting to explain to my bff what WDS was, I mentioned the online Unconventional Race while pulling my iphone out of my pocket.  She stopped me from going any further with, "Oh yes, these are definitely your people."

And the extra icing on the cake was the morning hi-5 greeting line as we walked into the Schnitz.  Even better, the second morning when I was dragging, I told the greeting line, "Low-5's today!" and they all leaned over to meet my hanging hand.

But those are just peripheral confirmations.  What drew me here?  Folks livng lives that allow them more choices.  Stories of how people found their own way and didn't follow a "should" life path.  If they are trying something different, they may accept my something different.  If they are pushing the boundaries of what's acceptable in creativity and connection, they prolly won't be negative to my ideas.  They'll help create a space that's excited and visionary, open to facing fears and displaying courage. 

Yup, it happened. 

make an inspiring space

Whoa, I really like this.  I wonder how leaders like this do it.  One observation is "letting go" & another is "trusting the talent of others".  Basically, note-to-self, surround myself with people who are awesome and stand back!

QUI "The Makers" from PUBLIC SCHOOL on Vimeo.

Gotta get to Austin!

i plan to do this IRL..

... and see if I get any followers.  But how will I know how many followers I have...? 

Will scope out locations this next week.  Do you have any spots you suggest?

18 out of 29.

And I got the big ones that really count!

here's what happened *being here* tonight.

I checked the 1979 movie "Being There" out from the library and finished watching the last 28 minutes tonight.  Upon it's conclusion, I was compelled to look up some essays on the film and see how it was received when it was originally released into theaters.

It was nominated for two Oscars and took home one.  It's classified as a dark comedy.  I found this out on the wikipedia site then clicked through on the director's name, Hal Ashby, and found many o my favorite directors claim to be influenced by him.  Wes Anderson,

Then this

And then this