Lupa Knows Hard Love

In my urban neighborhood of the Lower Haight, Spring arrives with suitcases in hand. She opens one, and out flies the finch people and the townsend warblers, who alight on branches of Japanese Plums throughout the city. As they sing their heart stiching songs, their magic spells to call forth a mate, the lock on the other suitcase pops open. Spring reaches in her hand and tosses something up into the sky. And suddenly, every street is decorated with absurd and ridiculous blossoms, the first arrivals to a party who set the bar for the rest of the guests. It’s knockout frills, or nothin.


On my backporch, I pull up the over-abundant chickweed, harvest the Miner’s Lettuce for dinner, and dump out old soil from the biggest pots. I sift through my seeds from last year and tuck them under a light envelope of dirt, the invitations to my own party…the one I hope will really get rowdy come Summer. The hummingbird is back, and made a point of letting me know that 1. This is HER sage and 2. The feeder is empty, hmmmmm? I come back the next morning to discover that the Raccoon family from next door is alive and well, and fill in the deeply impressed paw prints they have left all over my little garden.


I look up, my attention pulled to the sky by the cry of a hawk. Of two hawks.


They are dancing, whether in mating or territorial displays, I’m not sure.



The volunteer stinging nettle in the garden next door slaps my hand for my sleepy lack of attention. I feel the venom creeping through my fingers like tiny fire ants, and I recognize the same fire in my heart, ready for another year of seeds, blossoming, fruiting. Somewhere in my ancestral memory, I can hear the animals in the forest stirring, the howling of wolves at night, the whimpering of cubs by day. Lupa the she-wolf stirs in the den of my heart, fierce, pacing, protective.

We kind of sprung Valentine’s Day on Fern, and I don’t think she has much sense of what it’s all about, except that suddenly it’s heart everything and Mama bough some raw cacao, which probably means treats. In looking for Vday crafts, I decided to bring back those melted crayon and wax paper memories.

They came out great. Except that I should have cut them out in the shape of anatomical hearts, complete with aortas, to match the bloody realism.



“Gosh…these are so…ugly…”


Thankfully, the kids were just super stoked to stick stuff all over the windows.







I couldn’t cut them out fast enough.

Outfit: All thrifted except for super rad feather clip from Milla and tights and boots from Target.

I’m also attempting to make a heart basket banner, and hope to finish it today. I have visions of each basket stuffed with chocolate goodness on Valentine’s morning. We’ll see if that actually happens.


In the fairy tale exhibit at the BADM right now, there is a whole section on The Big Bad Wolf. On one wall, is this quote by the author of Lon Po Po..

To all the wolves of the world for lending their good name as a tangible symbol for our darkness

Like so many things in our amnesiac culture with its lack of roots, we no longer remember how it was to co-evolve with other animal beings. Our holidays come and go with vague references to an earlier time, a nod to the victorians with lace on a heart, a nod to the Celts with a mask on halloween. But part of us knows, those silent cellular recollections, an ache in our bones, a wistfulness for something we cannot name.

Several of my friends are currently going through the gauntlet of separation or divorce. Wolves that had slumbered for too long have awakened and tear through the hallways of the family home, wreaking deliberate havoc. As the world around them celebrates with Russel Stover and mass produced sentiments, I want to offer them the sustenance of the heart on fire. Of bawdy bird song and The Hunt. Of dances in flight, a combination of territorial boundary setting and also the expression of sexuality untamed. If the civilization of your life collapses, then may you find the true satisfaction of going wild, going feral.

May you hear the quiet growl of your true heart.



Yes, it’s hard love, but it’s love all the same
Not the stuff of fantasy, but more than just a game
And the only kind of miracle that’s worthy of the name
For the love that heals our lives is mostly hard love.
B. Franke


8 thoughts on “Lupa Knows Hard Love

  1. The view from your window is incredible. I long to go back to SF. The hearts are fab. I have no idea how to make those and I am suitably impressed. Fern’s face is priceless – she’s so gorgeous. It must be Spring in the air, I too have a really strong urge to get digging and planting, despite having incredibly… whatever the opposite of ‘green fingers’ are… I need more green in my life and, as we can’t move house at present, I’ll have to make it happen where I am!

  2. Yesyesyes to Milla’s comment. Pretty please?

    I’ve suddenly gone a little wild myself when I dug too deep at the urging of an intuitive twinge and found truths that tore a gash in my heart. I’ll tell you about it when I have the chance.

    Love you with my big, anatomically correct heart.


  3. 1. The blossoms! Oh, what a treat. Also swooning a little jealously over miners lettuce and chickweed in February.
    2. amazing hawk pictures.
    3. Your window hearts are gorgeous, but not as sparklingly beautiful as YOU so stylish in your own home (which for me is reserved for bralessness and elastic pants).
    4. Your heart garland is going to be amazing. Such a lucky little fairy-girl to grow up in your home.

  4. i third what milla said! you have a gift 😀

    also, i always loved making those waxed paper/crayon creations! i totally forgot about them, thank you for the reminder.

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