Friday, April 17, 2015

Tomorrow

    There is a false faith in tomorrow. Sometimes when I lie awake at night I pray that tomorrow things will look and feel different. Or the opposite, I hope that tomorrow things will be the same. In reality, tomorrow never comes, it only exists in my hopeful mind.



         Swimming, One Day In August
by Mary Oliver

It is time now, I said,
For the deepening and quieting of the spirit
among the flux of happenings.

Something had pestered me so much
I thought my heart would break.
I mean, the mechanical part.

I went down in the afternoon
to the sea
which held me, until I grew easy.

About tomorrow, who knows anything.
Except that it will be time, again, 
for the deepening and quieting of the spirit.


 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, April 10, 2015

Relief

   Just considering the word relief is causing tension in my body. When I contemplate what brings relief I also think about what causes pain. Here is a small list.

  1. Bad alignment of my neck during exercise
  2. Burning my finger while cooking
  3. My heart breaking over a bad relationship
  4. Walking too long on arthritic knees
  5. Sitting too long at my computer (LOL)
   So if this list is pain then what would a list of relief look like?

  1. A massage from my kind husband
  2. Lavender essential oil on my burn
  3. Hope that change will improve my relationship
  4. Resting those knees
  5. Finishing this post (LOL)


   I belong to a Relief Society and as a women's organization we desire to bring relief to those we serve. Sometimes that means doing complicated things but most often it means a touch, a phone call, a smile, or a meal. I feel honored and relieved that these women serve well and without much thought to who knows of their service.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sharing Art

    This year has brought so many firsts to my life. My first online art class. my first art show, and now my first chance to teach what I know, the limited amount that I know, to others. Courage to experiment was the theme I picked up among these students. No words of comparison were heard by my ear.


   This was not a project where everyone copied the teacher. This was a process class. Every piece was different and reflected individual thought. I loved that!


     Many new words circulated, such as gel medium, integration, texture, and heat tool. I learned tons about giving instructions and guiding towards the next step on their artwork.


    What focus I had to have to roam around to see where everyone was and what they possibly needed next.


   Mistakes were made but solutions were handy. Mixed Media offers a wide array of opportunities. Opportunities to see and feel with sensory eyes. I like the opportunity it offers me to find meaning and purpose for the simple things in my life. Bravo ladies and kind gentleman!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Good

    While reading Psalms I encountered a scripture.
        "They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy, there is none that doeth good, no. not one." Psalms 14:3
        It was on a day when I just was not feeling good enough. The scripture pricked me. Was God letting me know I did not measure up? I prayed for understanding. The thought came very clearly. It is not about you. It is about Jesus. He is the only one good enough. He is the only one whose good is enough to make me acceptable before my Heavenly Father. Look to him.



   I share the belief that Jesus was most likely born in the Spring around Passover time. All the important events of his life happened during Passover. If this is his birthday week, the week of his Crucifixion, and the week of his Resurrection then truly this is a good week.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Break

   Early, on a bright summer day, I readied the children for church. Listening for sounds from downstairs I expected Grandma and Grandpa to come up, ready to join us. Grandpa emerged from the stairs, head down and serious.
"Grandma isn't feeling well. Why don't you go ahead."
I felt a dread rise up within me but scurried to get us all there by 9:00 am. 
On the way home, as we turned onto our tree-lined street, I noticed their car was gone. A note was left on the kitchen counter.
"Grandma insisted we go home. We are heading back to Texas."
What? I was dumbfounded. I wandered around trying to make sense of this action. I called my husband who was on a business trip.


    " It was probably due to your conversation last night. I'm sure she didn't understand your point of view."
I thought back to the night before. I was standing at the kitchen sink, exhausted after a day in the city, sightseeing. When visitors come from out of state I always feel duty-bound to show them the sights. My tiredness may have turned to an all out case of crankiness. I remember Grandma sitting at the table tense. 
"I would really like to know what you would enjoy doing tomorrow." 
Did I say that with an edge to my voice?
Grandma always went along with all our ideas. Honestly, I did not know what she liked to do. 
Long story short, I was offended by her sudden departure. Six months went by without a phone call or letter. I talked to Grandpa and he played the go between. I have learned how she felt years later. Not because we ever discussed it, because my husband's family did not talk much, but because we forgave each other for the break in connection and renewed our love with time. I see now how she was so vulnerable coming into my space. Her compliance was a gift I did not value. By judging her actions as passive and less than courageous, I alienated her trust and she could not stay under my roof another minute. I was so sorry. We mended that break and before she died I felt close and loved and appreciated. I think she felt the same from me. This life lesson is close to my heart as I undergo breaks and mending with others in my family. A relationship can break but I trust in my Savior Jesus Christ to mend the details. 


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kleine Gabi

    Born the only girl and last child after a break of twelve years, I was a bit spoiled. My family referred to me as kleine Gabi. Gabi was a nick name and kleine is small in german. This memory of what I was like to others inspired me to do a series of watercolors with the same character. My skills at drawing and watercolor are limited to I readily admit that she is inconsistent in size and feature.


   I also admit that I was never this adventuresome, but in my imagination there was nothing I couldn't do. I took some liberties with placing Gabi in more recent settings but these would be more recognized by my grandchildren.


   My watercolor pursuits have been enhanced by a teacher named Gina Lee Kim, who does the most lovely washes. I owe her a debt of gratitude for sharing her talent and process for us to replicate.


    There are elements of mixed media in these pairings. A cutout paper adhered onto the watercolor adds texture and interest.


      I should also say that Naoko Stoop inspired my invention of kleine Gabi, Her Red Knit Cap Girl captured me, totally. I copied her image in sketches and started a desire to invent my own little girl who had adventurous stories.


   I have more ideas waiting in a queue in my head so there will be improvement and change ahead for this little girl who is very endearing to me.



Friday, March 20, 2015

Real

    "Don't ever buy me another book. If it isn't on my phone or tablet I won't read it."
     My son's impassioned declaration made me smile. I imagined his birthday present and Christmas present sitting under a pile of discarded clothing, never to see the light of day.
      "I'll never read on a tablet! I must have the smell of print, the ability to doodle in the margins, and post it notes peeking over the top edge. Otherwise it isn't real."
      Opposite sentiments from my daughter were just as impassioned. Looking around at the shelves of her books in my house made me grimace. One day would she move her hoard to a home of her own?


    Which is more real? Print versus digital is not a clear issue for me. I use both with equal success. Lighter weight tablets made reading in bed enjoyable. I still like writing in the margins and underlining. It helps me remember where passages are located. The page stays in my head and I can visualize the doodles. But, there are books on my tablet I decided I would never care to own. Delete is an easy way to recycle. The debate will be last, at least until the electricity stays on.