Welcome to
Transactions with Beauty.
Thanks for being here.
I hope that this is a space that inspires you to add something beautiful to the world. I truly believe that 
you are required to make something beautiful.

– Shawna



Small Ceremonies

Small Ceremonies

Because the small joys of our lives often get away from us and because they pass too quickly, I’m here to say a word for the importance of small ceremonies. 

When something good happens to you, I insist that you must, in your own way, commemorate it. This might mean sitting with your good news and quietly sipping a very cold glass of water.  It might mean having lunch with a friend. You might buy yourself a single flower. You might buy yourself 3 bottles of small, inexpensive, sparkling rosé. 

I suppose we’ve been watching a lot of old Cary Grant movies lately. But I wanted to just stop a moment and have a toast to my book and to Rob’s show, which is now over. 


We have a funny history that my friend Kimmy can attest to, since each time this happens we have a good laugh about it together. It’s laugh or cry, often, in the hashtag artist life, let me tell you. But almost every single time we’ve gone away on a trip, we’ve come back to news of a big rejection for this or that. These days, of course, we even get the bad news during the trip, thanks to technology. Sometimes we’re home for a day or two, and we start to feel we’ve cheated fate, but oh no, there it is. A phone call maybe, an email. In the old days, we’d go to the mailbox at the end of the street and collect our rejections, big and small. Well, writers and artists know very well the feeling of dashed hopes. 

It’s not like they wouldn’t have happened anyway, odds and probabilities being what they are. But the timing! Really. 

pink cupcakes

I tend to put my faith in hard work, but we all know that there’s some element of luck to winning awards and to getting grants and to having our book published in a timely fashion. 

We don’t have to believe in luck at all to celebrate those happy moments, to save up a few happy thoughts, for those more luckless, mundane times. 


To Luck

by W.S. Merwin

In the cards and at the bend in the road  
we never saw you  in the womb and in the crossfire
in the numbers  
whatever you had your hand in  
which was everything  
we were told never to put  
our faith in you  
to bow to you humbly after all  
because in the end there was nothing  
else we could do  
but not to believe in you  

still we might coax you with pebbles  
kept warm in the hand  
or coins or the relics  
of vanished animals  
observances rituals  
not binding upon you  
who make no promises  
we might do such things only  
not to neglect you  
and risk your disfavor  
oh you who are never the same  
who are secret as the day when it comes  
you whom we explain  
as often as we can  
without understanding


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