While Away

IMG_1607Hello, my name is Abby Smith and I used to write a blog called “Very Simple, Very Easy Very Good. It had a cute tag line; ” I write about the complexities of the simple life”. It was actually about what happens when ridiculously idealistic people move to another country without enough money and try to live an ridiculously unrealistic “self sustainable” life.

It was a pretty entertaining blog. Lots of humor, tragedy, beauty, loss, and hard won triumphs. Mexico made writing a blog easy, there was mayhem most weeks(mayhem is great fodder for blog posts) and I didn’t have an job. I could put writing first and washing our underwear in the creek…whenever. As long as we had beans and tortillas I was free to create.

It was great.

Except for all the horrors, the poverty, and what I felt was the likelihood that my husband was working himself to death.

So, we moved to Nicaragua. We got real jobs, the kind you get paid for! Our life now is the antithesis of our lives in Mexico. We live in a castle in comparison, with a pool and an ocean view, we have unlimited wine, hot water,  and electricity(most days :).  There are no snipers joining us for dinner, no vicious old neighbors, no babies to fail.

It’s great.

Except, we arrived in Nicaragua with a desiccated marriage, deteriorated health, and moral quandaries.  How do you begin again with someone you’ve suffered so much with you both feel dead inside? What does one do with tattered ideals? How does a political expatriate reconcile living in a US bubble in a third world country?

So, that’s what I’ve been doing for the two years I have been absent from vsvevg: resurrecting a relationship, revamping my belief systems, and ultimately myself. I like to do that about once a decade.  I guess that’s what this blog will be about for the time being, and probably some travelogue, some books, art…maybe even a bit poetry.

Now that things are truly, Very Simple, Very Easy and Very good.

“Play the World”


“Image you’re a border patrol agent, cartel member, or rancher, watching a wall all day through binoculars, then see someone whip out a cello bow and start making music and noise from the wall. How does the relationship to the object change? Does the observation of something change its behavior? How does that change your relationship to the people on either side? Does it create the potential for something more? Can you build a bridge instead of  wall? “

If your interested in the how and why, read more of *Troy Farah’s article, it’s great.

If you enjoy my posts about art, stop by my Face Book page for more.

Happy Ideas

Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel

Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel


When I was a teenager, while reading Truman Capote’s The Grass Harp, I read a passage, that unfortunately, I no longer recall, and was overwhelmed by the belief that Truman Capote and I had shared a feeling– exactly. I was awed by the intimacy of writing, and though I had always loved to read, it was that moment that I fell in love with books… and Truman Capote, and in the years ahead any other writer who could enter my private heart in that way.
When I read Mary Szybist’s poem , Happy Ideas, I was drawn to it because of the quote by a favorite artist, Marcel Duchamp. It is more his method than his work I admire. Happy Ideas, is a perfect reflection of such methods. When I came to the reflecting glass line I could feel myself fill with that wonderful energy, when two people connect, through words and ideas and the magic of art. And I was grateful.
Hello blue soul. Hello.  (hear it here)