Friday, February 27, 2015

Visit

   In my church we invite members to visit each other. if you feel like you can commit to a monthly visit the visit become an assignment. An assignment sometimes becomes a to-do on a list and time becomes a critical factor. How does an invitation become a burden?

                    

    Time constraints are made in the mind. There is a way to bend time. Becoming an observer or an explorer can make time pass a little more slowly.


    While visiting this week I looked for signs of spring. A plum tree in emerging blossom caught my eye. I noticed the orange stamen decorating the white petals. What simple but classic design!


    I stopped to admire the display on a friend's table. We talked briefly about how this arrangement made her feel every day as she entered the room. Her artist's hands collected objects together to delight the eye.


   I do like to talk but I notice when I talk less and listen, time moves more  slowly. My conversations refreshed my time parched soul. My visits became a covert from the storm of obligations. This invitation was a burden no more.



I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Open To Disappointment

    Disappointment is a feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by unfulfilled expectations. Our expectations are so transient and fragile, yet, our disappointments can become gigantic monsters, gnawing away our joy. After years of frustration my mantra as a mother became "lower your expectations." It sounded like a sellout. It was counter to the voices that said "set high expectations for your family." Wanting more for my family was very different than expecting more.
    Don't you appreciate the years I sacrificed my body, my brain cells, and my sanity, to be your mother? Or your daughter? Or your wife? There is a pain deep down in my gut that wants to be appreciated for what I give. Part of that pain comes from the gnawing reality that perhaps I did not give enough to deserve that appreciation. After all, sometimes I gave reluctantly, belligerently, and full of guile. Sometimes I gave to be seen as a good mother, or daughter, or wife. Something for nothing is a tempting invitation.


    Perhaps I caused some of that pain in my mother's gut, or my daughter's, or my husband's. I see it in their eyes. Expectation floats through their words and their  dropped gazes. I disappointed them. They had needs they expected I would fill. More open, more courageous, more selfless, more engaged, more loving………… I should be.
    Sometimes I am. Sometimes they are, too. In amazement I see my Savior's expectations. He expects that I turn back to Him when I stray. He expects that I learn how hopeless my future is without Him. He sees that being open to disappointment might teach me some life lessons.


     I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.

Friday, February 13, 2015

When


     When I grow up I will be brave. I will actually believe that courage over comfort is the better path.
Today is not that day. Leaving the gym this morning I walked out to the parking lot and marveled at the different lights in the very early morning sky. Street lights with over enthusiastic rays marked my path.
Further up the moon was waning with a healthy sliver of light. Which light is more constant?


    In pursuit of courage I need to lean on the heavenly light. It may have fainter rays and seem much further away, but the garish light of man is limited. It can not bring peace and hope. When I grow up I'll trust God more.



I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Keep

     Keeping too much is currently out of favor in society. I am reminded often that I keep to much stuff. I should discard, donate, or destroy much of my hoarded things from the past. While I agree that stuff is a burden I do want to keep certain possessions that are vital to my happiness or better yet, are the root of my joy.


     One of those possessions is my faith in God. Keeping faith with Him is an ongoing focus. I especially see in the natural world how He keeps faith with me. I believe He uses Nature to remind me that he will always provide a means to renew, restore, and rebuild my faith just as he brings Spring back every winter. I'll keep my faith in Him fresh by thanking Him for my life and limb, by being an example of his lovingkindness, and by reading his word with a desire to act in faith.



I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Wait

      Waiting seems to denote inaction, letting time pass without getting anywhere. Sounds like a negative experience, doesn't it? It certainly is not something I do well. I'm trying to look at it differently. What if I see it as an opportunity to become aware of my surroundings. Yesterday I accompanied my four grandchildren and their parents to the big city. I went to the doctor's office with the mom and the twins and dad went to the public library with the older sisters. I had multiple opportunities to wait. Wait to be seen, wait while driving, and wait while picking up lunch.


     I let my mind search for sensory clues to what was going on in the world. The sky was clear and sunny. Mount Rainier was majestically holding court on the south side. There was whining from sick girls who did not appreciate the waiting. Gabi cried with passion "I want out of this belt!" I smelled the lingering scent of hand soap in the air. I like the Mrs. Meyer's flavors that my daughter-in-law uses. I put a piece of cinnamon roll in my mouth and noticed the amazing butter taste that Bakery Nouveau uses in all their baking. The crinkly wedges on my water bottle felt smooth and cold. All this mindfulness made the time pass easily with grace. My wish is to be smart about waiting. After all my time on this earth is in the third quarter and it matters how I play the game.

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Living With Art

   Seth Apter at  The Altered Page made an interesting point. When we show our art digitally we do a close up and we don't show how art surrounds us in our home. Long before I started creating my own art I found ways to acquire art locally in my community. I made friends with one artist who liked an idea we came upon. We called it Painting of the Month Club. I describe it here. Sometimes we acquired art as a trade of music lessons. When I look at those pieces I see the hours we made music together.


    Art does surround me at home. Now there are many pieces of my own. Looking like long lost cousins alongside the "real artists" I can't help but love them more.


    Seeing them in the studio is very close to having life parading before my eyes. Have you noticed that  when you create with your hands the life events of that time are stitched, sewn, or painted into each creation.


    These are the latest of mine. I call them the musical symbols collection. I hope my piano students notice them and see music as visual art.


   Living with art is vital to my life. I discovered that later in life but really it was in my sub-concious mind from birth. I have learned to see more, to see better with curiosity because of art on everyone's walls.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Share

     My grandmother was an older grandmother because I was born so late in my parent's life. I knew her well but she was very formal and stern. My secret wish was to play with her stuff. A chest with a very shallow top drawer is mine today as an inheritance. That shallow drawer was filled with her jewelry, old letters, and fragrant scented souvenirs.


      My grandchildren want to play with my stuff, too. I purposefully share the art supplies and my love of art.  


     Passionate about creativity for everyone, I try to do some form of art every time I see these kids. Friday Art Day is still going strong after a year and a half.


      Why do I share this way?  Because art is affirming, calming, centering, and a vehicle of connection.


    I finally have enough extra cash to keep the Sharpie box filled, the watercolors ready, and the paper in neat stacks. In order to share openly a feeling of abundance must exist.


    As an art lover I am a better grandmother than I was a mother. Back then I was too concerned with misuse of supplies and messes on the table.


     Filled with my own artistic joy, I share better. I guess I growed up.


   There's nothing like having the grands around at my recent art show. "Hey, kids, I made this! And we can try it together this week."


I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.