Aug 26 2011

Chemo Land

the lights are bright overhead in the oncology clinic. there must be 20+ stations for patients, with only a few extra small sitting chairs for visitors or partners…which i found rather inconsiderate, however what do i know.  my post today is about our 5 sense awarenesses /or our sense powers and how unique it is to each individual.  we all have different capacities just as in our mental capacities to understand or cognize.

i felt rather naive embarking on this journey into modern medicine/science even with consulting with my docs and family and friends whom have been thru it…there is nothing that correlates to real experience. we can share stories but ultimately my awareness’s and truths in my mind may and most likely will be different than what you experience and so will your perspective and story to tell.

like i said i am just beginning this path and for some reason i thought the clinic aspect would be piped in with waterfalls, ocean waves, birds happily chirping…NOT. the view would be dimly lit for meditating or reading nooks….NOT.  the taste in my mouth at first entry is medicinal, they flush my port with a blood thinner and then anti nausea medication, after that my mouth tends to dry out.

one of the drugs has a definate side effect to temperatures…thus the AC running felt like siberia!  hanks sits with me at my side in one of the few visitor chairs and is always at the ready!  like yesterday before getting my portable pump device removed  i realized the bowels were going to bust (again) so i headed with bag in tow to the bathroom to find it locked!!! my stomach at that moment flipped and decided to exit the other way, praticing “mindfulness” choosing a direction with less people to witness this so as not to make all 20 of us barfing i found a waste basket, signaled to hank my demise and he was there with a cold washcloth before the second dry heave!! 

teehee…hank was determined to get my chuckle on! this is a deceptive image(would’ve liked to have been crying), granted temporary happiness is always nice but this round made the warrior feel the battle!  

Chemo Regimen

Folfox + Avastin
Day 1 4-5 hours IV infusion
Days 2 & 3 pump (48 hrs)
Every 2 weeks for 12 treatments (6 months)
Reassess @ 3 months


thanks kassie for your tip on the fluids…saved my arse…!  and thanks to mersadies for “my fighting mantras”!

one perk:  mosquitos must have a unique sense of smell?  they swirl around me and land but never have they bit me while on chemo!!

update: heading back to the oncology clinic…better be safe rather than sorry for the weekend approaches…getting another bag of fluids and anti-diarrheal meds IV!!  little difficult to be hydrating if ya know what i mean, especially with a much shortened large intestine and half a rectum, sorry for the visual guys but eh, it’s samsara!

Jul 20 2011

ALL systems GO!


having gained 6 lbs back now, my suitcase is packed half with foods of high protein and caloric intake!  a Buddhist retreat provides three wonderful vegetarian meals however my metabolism cannot exist long or keep my weight on without cheating!  i leave tomorrow morning for England at 4amish…i cannot believe it is already 7 weeks since my diagnosis and 6 weeks since major surgery!?  i feel great, my strength has improved immensely and i am so ready to get my head into the game now!  

i thank you ALL for providing me with such love, strength, courage, kind words, gifts, food…. Pei Ling, Tracy, Tamra, Gen Lingpur, Laurel, Mariko, Wes, Kimie, Walter, Pamela, Diane, Diana, George,Leah, Mike, Kathy, Mick, Walter, Brad, Lita, Mauri, Shannon, Cyd, Lisa, Kimi, Jeff, Mark, Adele, Cynthia, Marty, Gamo, Mersadies, Andrea, MaryClare, Gabriela, Dave, Land, Erica, Willie, Cheryl, Cindy, Tara, JoJo, Kit, Nancy, Carol, Debbie, Erin, Bill, Klaus, Sabina, Sarah, Chuck, Diana, Betsy, Ann, Christine, David, Debby, Gil, Joy, Frank, Terry, Liz, Tom, Katt, Don, Bob, Marlin, Jacquie, Chris, Amy, Diane, Michelle, Bodhipaksa, Cameron, Connie, Deb, Barbara, Kassie, Sean, Shanti, Stella, Kristina, Jen, Steve, Harrison, Roger, Phil…….random order due to memory and i know i have forgotten many others…i will not be back here for a few weeks.  i arrive back in tucson on saturday, August 6th, that monday i will undergo a “PETscan” and the next day i start my chemo, i’m told it’s  one treatment at the oncology clinic and then self administering through a pump over 48 hours, to be continued every two weeks over six months.

live happy and conscientiously!






May 17 2011

Appearance to Mind

creek in Aravaipa Canyon

Happiness…what does the word conjure for you?

i just spent a few days in retreat on this topic.  Buddha has said that the root cause of all our suffering is ignorance, primarily self-grasping ignorance. to  experience lasting “happiness” one must realize the truth of all phenomena and persons…persons and other phenomena have no existence from their own side but exist as mere imputation by conceptual thought. to be inherently existent the phenomena or person would be static, unchanging, independent and permanent.  there is NOTHING that exists this way, everything changes moment by moment, everything is a dependent nature and everything is impermanent.  when we realize the true nature of  selflessness or emptiness we stop self-grasping and become free from experiencing suffering.

the retreat provided many short teachings with guided meditations, wisdom and method, to a group of approximately 30.  we wake in the mornings for breakfast at 7am  and practice silence till lunch time.  beginning at 8:30am we start with one hour combo’s of teaching(wisdom) and meditation(method) and break for one hour in silence to repeat this to the last teaching at 7:30p. it is very intensive training to be still, quiet and within.  by dark i am mentally exhausted, however i felt light and oddly happy, almost giddy. retreats for me generally are like a boost of vitamins/minerals of energy into my practice and faith. this retreat was no different, i feel less attached to self and stuff in general thus happier and freer to deal with daily life circumstances. i find this knowledge fascinating in itself!  the fact that no amount of technology or external objects or persons can bring such peace, clarity to mind and happiness validates that Buddha, Dharma (his teachings) are effective and simple with effort and faith.

i see or perceive our society as very external seekers. people seem to be in a rush, angry, unyielding, unkind…and i wonder do they even know why?  if you ask and i do, its generally about someone doing something to them, or wanting something they feel they need or deserve, it’s rather endless the stream of wants and blaming.  and yet i understand thru my practice that ALL this is an appearance to my mind.  i am no different than anybody else, i’ve shared in these thoughts and actions countless times! it is one of the many reasons i embarked or searched for some meaning to my life and to change myself, to be a better human being, to be of benefit to others…or simply to just be kind in everything i choose to react to. i can’t change your world but i can change what appears to my mind thus creating a world that reflects a subtle change of kindness…happiness.

this image has many interpretations…what a tangled web we weave from our delusions….home is the journey within…what do you see?

Apr 8 2011

Immigration or Im migration

Toole Shed, Tucson, 6th street (artist unknown)

A call to artists living in Arizona!! please read the following….


Here is a link that inspired this project:


Immigration in our state is a real issue…I am quite passionate about how our state and country “see’s” or perceives this phenomena.  To think about changing our laws to reflect children born in the US w/o documented parents as “illegal” or unconstitutional is a regression of humanity.  Our country was and is created by a diversity unlike anywhere in the world it is how America became the country it is today. Through the kindness of others we are who we are and who we become.

My mother emigrated from Japan and did not become a “legal” citizen until 1959; two years after my brother was born…in essence she and my brother would’ve been deported!

What I want to accomplish is to portray our state and that of Tucson and the artists of this city how a community of diversity “looks”, how we as a people are one.  Many cultures, faiths, races…thru the faces of child/parent we are humanity. No difference except beaurocracy and presentation…no being has the right to distinguish whom is legitimate by birth.

This is a first call to find interested artists in participating by means of allowing me to photograph you (born in the states) and your parent (whom was born in another country), or vice versa, you were born in another country and your parent was born here. If your parent is deceased we can use an existing photo. You will have to sign a release for both photographs so that we may produce these in large formats to paste onto walls, buildings or wherever we get permission. The portraits will be pasted side by side with name/country of birth. I have one wall but we need many to make an impact! If you have a friend who has a business or building or home with public visual access please ASK!

I am in the process of contacting this artist you just viewed. Here is his project website: My hopes are that he will jump on board to help make this a global project and if not we’ll make it happen on our own! I have access to video equipment and people whom can help document but if you know others have them jump on board.  This is a project that must be shared!

I have a warehouse/gallery I own and fabricate out of. I play in sculpture, mixed media, photography, installations and video. Please feel free to call me at 520-624-7290 or email.

Urban art is the best method for public awareness…if you have skills in this area please do not hesitate to chime in!


I look forward to working with you!


my belief is that no being has the right to distinguish whom is legitimate

at birth by country, race, faith, wealth, blood….we are all humanity and

we are all the same in essence.  beings made up of borrowed materials;

earth, water, fire, space, air.





Mar 26 2011

Urbanity ~ Points of Views

mariko burton working a mixed media mural while the reception is going…

Diana Yakowitz’ s photography is truly engaging, if you have the time please stop by her site!

last show of the year at Kuzu. our 3rd anniversary was a success in my mind. i have come to terms with showing fine art in that expectations of sales is not a measure of success nor is the number of people whom attend.  it is about how the people who do show up enjoy the experience and the work represented. fine art is an investment which is not an impulsive buy, one needs to ruminate over the experience and the work..till one finds they are so moved they must revisit and find a personal space and commitment to invest. the quality of the attendance appreciated the works and the environ…raw foods presented by Elise were devoured and impressive…i love working with other artists! thanks everyone whom came out and supported your community!

Mar 2 2011

Urbanity ~ Points of Views

Rainbow View, Bisbee, AZ


Diana Yakowitz

Come join us here at Kuzu; 1991 E. Ajo Way, suite 161, 520.624.7290

March 25th, Friday, 6 – 9pm

for directions under page heading “contact” there is a google map link!

come meet the artists:

Diana Yakowitz, photography

Diane Colligan, encaustic collage

Mariko Burton will be working on a mural during the reception!

H. Colditz, sculptures/installation

Kuzu..where art is not just viewed but is an experience.

Feb 2 2011

going within…

sumi-e, practice…

Jan 4 2011

self vs authenticity

“In philosophy, the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself. Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite these pressures.”  Wikipedia

me sitting under my namesake…my father’s mother. an identity i rarely think of…and yet i was chosen to carry forth her name, actually this name or label has been used by many females around the world. it is not unique unto myself nor that of my grandmother.  do we define authenticity by our labels? personality? physical body?
a beautiful friend sent me a link i’d like to share because one, it’s a rare treat to hear a scientist with humour and second to find a researcher acknowledge their own vulnerability (self) and misunderstandings publicly and stay the path towards  introspection of self and lastly because it’s an empowering message .

self is defined by the dictionary:

1.  a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality: one’s own self.
2.  a person’s nature, character, etc.: his better self.

Philosophy .
a.  the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc.
b.  the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.

In all definitions and even in the video “i, me, myself” are to be understood as separate.  a self as an identity/form existent from others, however, science will show you that is incorrect.  i have been reading a book about our understandings of “self”, and the truth is that we are all, every sentient being….the same!  we come from the same elements; earth(solid), water, air(wind), fire(energy) and space, we only borrow from them to return to its source. Brene Brown’s talk is important because she addresses the importance of humanity in that we are all connected and it is in connection with our true selves that we become liberated (free) to make choices out of wisdom rather than fear. if you look at the 500 million users of the social media site Facebook it is easy to understand our need for connection..however, as a race i fear we have lost how to truly connect human to human, human to animal, human to plant…it has been replaced by human to technology.  she speaks about vulnerability being the emotion to which unlocks our doors to be able to connect. in Buddhist terms we have a saying “accept defeat and offer the victory” , which translates to vulnerability, to make choices not because we are right(pride/separateness) but out of compassion(heart/connection).  whether or not we understand the levels of our connectedness to each and everything on this planet we can understand that there is no such reality as a “self-made” person…i hear it all the time though!!  how can anyone possibly be “self-made”?  life (another word undefinable) is a dependent relationship. i am made up of cells and DNA from my mother, her mother, father, grandmother, her brother before, the waters from the earth, the earth itself, the plants ingested, cheetos…its endless and its mind boggling!  ”i” am not the same person i was at five years of age nor am i the same as i was from two minutes ago! i create sculpture through the kindness of my mate who helps financially, the metal shops who bring and work the metals, the tools/equipment some magicians whipped together, the stores and their keepers, the car mechanic…i am dependent upon countless beings to work, live and learn how to love.
i write about “self” because as of late i have been struggling with my own perceptions of what constitutes “Hazel”…who am i, why and what do i want to become …though i have intellectual answers, what i have learned thus far is that the more i practice connection (equanimity) with wisdom and universal compassion (vulnerability) there is less obsession with self, my focus has no other direction but to look towards others and my environ that surrounds me. it’s progress…slow…mindful progress. as described in the book i’m reading, self is truly a verb, not a noun! i am becoming Hazel! how do you define self?

Dec 30 2010

Sculpture of Space

Isamu Noguchi Museum, Long Island City, NY.

this is the second time a museum of works has moved me to tears.  the first was Dali’s in Figueres, Spain.  both artists believed that ART was to be experienced, not viewed as static works like most museums create, but moving, ethereal, magical and evocative of environment. here are a few views from his space…

Dec 16 2010


KORE Press and the team of grrrls came to my space yesterday for an informal meet and greet…their slogan “connects art with social movements” is what compelled/propelled me to investigate more about the group and meet their director Lisa Bowden. and

what a great group of women and girls…their minds felt like doors wide open, without the life experiences of me with 50+, they do not hold onto views so tightly, motivated to make a difference in their world(s) this program offers a voice through writing…something i could learn from them!!  actually i learn more from youth than i do at times from adults, merely because they still have OPEN minds!! they are like a breath of fresh air…fleeting…curious, cultural, intelligent and motivated!

we started the tour with them allowing me to introduce myself through my work and talk a little about the element of welding and the medium of metal in sculpture.  i am a visual learner and that is how i express my perceptions of and in life.  the tour then took them upstairs to see younger age works by my daughters in fashion…hopefully we can connect them with Mariko and perhaps do a small workshop together integrating their voice thru fashion wear.

time flew…next i discussed meditation and how it fits into my work and life.  i begin each day with a 10-15 minute meditation, i use this tool for many purposes…first, because it is a part of my spiritual daily practice, second to quiet my mind (it is chaotic at best!), when i meditate even for shorter periods i liken it to “cleaning the slate” because in my mind i hold onto too many thoughts and views of what “i think” i should or should not do, many artists sketch, do arithmetic to scale works, document…i keep most images within my mind, so in order to allow the work to just come out naturally i meditate and then begin.

after our twelve minute meditation we discussed the effects they experienced and then proceeded to a very short demo in welding!  by the time they left i was on a high of life!! they had motivated me beyond any words i can express…youth, can be a state of mind!

thank you grrrls and Lisa and Ann for the opportunity!

XO, hazel

the asian welder