Myth Masque

If one is lucky,

a solitary fantasy can totally transform

one million realities.

Maya Angelou



Erin Layne, the glamorous organizer of the Myth Masque

LA Myth Masque Erin Layne by Sharon Birke

Just got back from an incredible weekend in LA catching up with family and friends, reflecting on our life journeys, leaving me shaking my head in amazement as we recounted stories of improbable synchronicity that had blessed us in dire straits.

After watching The Great Gatsby movie on Saturday night, I felt like I stepped straight into a more fantastic version of a Gatsby party when I chanced upon the 2nd annual Myth Masquerade Ball.  I thought I was headed for The Edison club downtown, but my curiosity drew me to the church behind it with purple lights and loud music streaming through the windows. A queue of people in fancy whimsical dress at the gate and a horse carriage ride circling the block roped me in even further.

“Is this party open to the public?” I inquired. A fairy godfather appeared with a spare ticket to sell–then he gave me a mask, too, in case the party police required one. How lucky can a Goddess get?!

Myth Masque was my dream come true of a party, an enchanting mix of high fashion and high fantasy.  I was thrilled to be swept into a sea of elaborate gowns, headdresses and costumes, each more ornate than the next from space age to renaissance to fairy tale.  Polling those with the most fantastic ensembles, many were proud to say they had created their own outfit. It was a glorious celebration of divine imagination–for where would civilization be without this?  Thank you to all who made that unforgettable evening happen, a most richly satisfying visual dessert that had me smiling all night and long after.

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share how you’ve embraced the impossible–like I did using my iPhone for very low light photography here.


LA-Myth-Masque-Top-Hat-Sharon Birke

A ship sails the bejeweled high seas


Alice in Bellydance Land


Gotta Facebook!



Even this mermaid had to take a break from posing by her clamshell to post updates


On stage


The truly Bella Electric Strings Trio

photo copy 13

And a full moon added to the magic, too!

LA-Myth-Masque-Sharon Birke

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email Me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


Great Gatsby

I thank God everyday for my life

and you would, too.

Alexis Bellino, Real Housewife of Orange County

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Can’t wait to see The Great Gatsby movie as I love the high style and ebullience of the flapper era.  If I had a dedicated suitor who woos me with lavish parties and treats, my husband beware! 😉

As an observer of human nature like Nick Carraway, I am impressed to hear about a plain and plump mother of four (obviously not this Powerful Goddess here) who lives in a creaky old house with one bathroom.  I asked, “Is she happy?”– thinking that for all my optimism, I need certain comforts.  I was assured she glows from being adored by her affectionate children and husband, holding hands even when they watch TV and still spooning as they sleep after 30 years together.   I think of how some women with greater material wealth live with far less contentment and I’m reminded of what I call “The Great Leveler”–our tendency to compare and make ourselves miserable dwelling on what isn’t, what we don’t have, what can’t be.  And we’re not just comparing ourselves with next door neighbors these days.  Reality TV raises the bar each week, fueling our discontent with indulgent husbands and the fairytale lifestyles of “Real Housewives.”

Great Leveler or not, there is some comfort in knowing that we actually hold the key to our bliss.  In every moment, we have the power to choose gratitude and seek the gifts of what is, what we have, and what can be regardless of what life brings.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your greatest blessing.


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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email Me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


A Kiss for Rodin


Like the great sculpture Auguste Rodin, dance and movement inspire me.   Throughout his career, Rodin produced several interpretations full of sensuality or eroticism, seeking to express emotion through muscular movement and saying, “The sculptor must learn to reproduce the surface, which means all that vibrates on the surface: soul, love, passion, life.”   

The passionate love of Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta portrayed in Dante’s Divine Comedy was the theme behind Rodin’s The Kiss, a blend of eroticism and idealism in the form of two lovers emerging from the highlights and shadows.  Because he adored nature, Rodin turned to women as his main subject of observation. Depending on the young women who posed for him, he chose postures likely to give her body the most expression.  I love that Rodin’s approach to sculpting women was a tribute to bodies, not just submissive to men but as full partners in ardor.  My photography pays homage to his quote:

 I do not create.  I see.  

And it is because I see that I am capable of making.


My favorite piece in the Musee Rodin in Paris is this small but eloquent La Valse (The Waltz) by Camille Claudel, Rodin’s much younger student, muse and then mistress.  When he left her, she destroyed many of her works and eventually died alone in a psychiatric hospital.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share one good reason why a (talented) woman should lose her head over a man?  Sigh!




© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email Me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother



Secret Garden

My mother buried three husbands,

and two of them were only napping.

Rita Rudner


I love Spring!  Each bloom and bud a reminder that I, too, know instinctively how to grow, that there is wisdom in being patient with my own seasons, that I can choose to move towards the light with no time to waste worrying whether my petals are too big or if I’m the best bloom in the garden.

From Deepak Chopra’s classic The Book of Secrets:

It is very freeing to know that on some dimension or other, every event in life can be causing only one of two things:  Either it is good for you, or it is bringing up what you need to look at in order to create good for you.  There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities.

Evolution is win-win.  Cause and effect aren’t just linked, they are linked in the most efficient way possible.  Many good things come from bad decisions while many bad ones are tangled up in our good decisions.  Life is self-correcting in just this way.  As the choice-maker you can act on a whim; you can follow arbitrary or irrational paths.  But the underlying machinery of consciousness doesn’t alter.  It keeps following the same principles, which are:

To adapt to your desires

To make you aware of what you are doing

To show you the consequences of your action

To keep everything in balance and harmony

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how you’ll bring yourself flowers on Mother’s Day!  xoxox




© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email Me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother



Lucky Guy

Sometimes I’ve believed 

as many as six impossible things

before breakfast.

Lewis Carroll


Two decades ago, my husband confidently announced the wedding date he had chosen guarantees that he will always remember our anniversary.  Lately, giving him frank reminders 2 weeks prior and 2 days prior only made me feel like an iPhone alert to no effect.   So the night before D-day, I finally asked, “Do you want to go out tomorrow?”  He was still sweetly oblivious to the occasion and asks, “Why?  We’re going out with friends this weekend anyway.”  Grrrr!  I finally confronted my laptop to make dinner reservations and grab the last 2 seats to Nora Ephron’s latest (and last) Broadway play, Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks–which my Prince Charming had summarily dismissed as unlikely at the last minute.

My daughter woke me up too early the next morning with a three course breakfast on a rolling cart, complete with flower candles, hot tea, and a printed menu.  She couldn’t convince her dad, the early bird, to get over his aversion to breakfast (and lounging) in bed, so she and I fed each other the meal she has lovingly prepared.  She lay her head on my tummy and asked if I remember how a decade ago she was floating around in it.   I meant it when I told her “You are my best anniversary present!” expecting her usual “I know.”  Instead, she said, “I’m your gift for putting up with Dada!”  And so very well worth it!

Lucky I don’t heed my mom’s advice to “marry him first and change him later.”

Lucky the qualities I married him for are still the same qualities I love about him today, despite seeing the other side of the coin.

Lucky I’ve learned to keep eyes open to the beauty of the one I wake up to everyday–because wouldn’t you know, being married to Mr. Early Bird means I usually wake up to me!

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share how you’ve been so lucky.




© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email Me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother



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