Friday, November 21, 2014

Notice

    I noticed my grandson yesterday self-soothing with two fingers. Not at all surprised by this new behavior, it reminded me how much we notice about what others around us are doing. You see, his older sisters, two and four, suck their fingers, as well. Ben is very attentive to the world around him and certainly notices what his siblings are doing.

I follow behaviors myself. Unconciously I pick up mannerisms and habits I see modeled to me by those I live with and those with whom I spend lots of time. From my daughter I picked up the importance of soft lighting. Twinkle lights are in most rooms of my house because I love how cozy her room is.  


    From my husband I picked up the habit to analyze everything. He is a thinker and has modeled his ability to separate fact from fiction and find the truth.
    From my Savior I have found the importance of listening. I see his superior skills in the stories of those who knew him. I think of him sometimes when I am listening and noticing. Just like yesterday when I really looked at my grandson. I saw how hungry he was and how his fingers were taking the anxious need away. I listened to his murmerings, his whimpering for sustenance. I want to notice like my Savior notices.


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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Almost Four Years

          On January 1, 2011 I started a blog entitled Back On The Floor Again. Writing and documenting with pictures filled my need to process my life experiences, share with my family important events, and try my hand at reaching out into the world of the internet. I was encouraged by others, mostly younger women, who enriched me with their stories about living.


    Once or twice a year I have my blog posts made into a paperback book. I would like to think my grandchildren might read my stories and find themselves in pictures and descriptions. Perhaps my children will understand my motivations when they browse through the pages. I offer insight into teaching, summaries of books and ideas that motivate me, my art ventures, and most important my testimony of Jesus Christ.
   It doesn't take too much time to write a post. Most of the ideas are formed in my head before I power up the computer. Pictures seem to be waiting in my file because I love taking pictures. My enthusiasm has not waned. It's surprising to me that I look forward to a good spout of information coming from my head and my heart.
   I attract most people to my blog for the posts I wrote about teaching LDS Seminary for eight years. Three thousand visitors have come to read about Freshman Day. The pictures are so adorable of my little teenage class. Two of them are graduating this year. I also get many hits on my post about Eeyores and Tiggers. The premise of that post was that I find myself taking an opposite view when I come across an extreme personality. If I face an Eeyore, I'll want to be a Tigger. Understanding this post does require that you know Winnie The Pooh.
   I don't have a following to speak of. Just some friends who pop in to catch up. But, my desire to blog was not to attract attention, just be more attentive to my own live experiences.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Still

     My writing is always informed by beautiful images, If I have some beautiful pictures i can find words to describe and ground them into my life experience. As I was playing with some artsy postcards with letters on them I found myself drawn to the words that describe the power of Jesus Christ. He has shown me his power and I can testify of his realness in my life.


    I became very still inside as I worked with paint and postcards to bring to life his tremendous influence. Looking through scripture to find words that were my favorites brought such quiet to my mornings.


  I believe and rely on his power to:
         Enable Me To Have His Added Strength
         Forgive Me For Sin and Transgression
         Restore My Lost Innocence and Even My Body Defying Death
       

  I honor his power to:
    Create An Eternal Existence For Me
    Provide Peace To My Hungry Soul


    My pages are not finished. There are more powerful aspects to his eternal life. Art journaling about him invites him into my quiet, reflective space. He and I can be still there. Even when I close the book he is still there.


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, November 7, 2014

Turn

I read a fair bit of my books on line, but there is nothing like turning the page of a new book. The smell of the binding and ink is reassuring and comforting. I received a new book in the mail from Budapest, Hungary yesterday. A birthday gift from my son-in-law and daughter. It was handmade by an artisan to record my new favorite passion,
 drawing.


   A beautiful sketch book requires some serious compositions. It may be a bit intimidating to put my lines and shapes in such a book. There is however a gracious invitation to record what I love and see with my fledgling artist eyes. Much like playing a Minuet or BoureĆ© on a modern piano.


The artisan's business card takes me back to times when everything was handmade and books were precious. Turning a page was savored and saved until the requirements of daily work were accomplished.


I do so love the binding in red leather. The tactile joy of holding the spine is luxurious. 


So, page one is waiting. I have turned the page. Pencil or brush? Should hands or hearts be the first subject?


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.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Drawing Class

   I'm branching out into classical drawing because I do not yet see three-dimensionally. The class I am taking here in my community is challenging. My shame resilient tools have come in so handy. If I wanted validation and coddling I chose the wrong teacher.


 S. is more a performer than teacher. He is an artist and has ability to demonstrate but his style of teaching leaves me clueless on many assignments. He knows we don't always catch on and tries to catch our mistakes. The class mates have allowed him to be the critic and we offer the moral support to each other to soften the confusing truth the once again we have not "pledged allegiance to the vanishing lines."



Meet E., our Aussie mate who brings humor to all the blunders we make trying to shade and cross-hatch our lovely creations. She made me feel like a million bucks when she told me how much progress she sees in my work,


   Here we are standing around each table looking at our drawings. I love the rationalizations we give for why we did what we did. "My room is crooked. That is why my lines are crooked." D. in the back is quiet until we start drawing bones. She is a doctor and knows her anatomy.


    The concentration in class is intense. B. takes her efforts very seriously and we laugh as we drive to class together because we both know our precious drawing will be flawed.


  M., a performer and producer, loves to laugh and can put S. in his place when he gets pompous. She saved my room corner drawing when she bragged about my hats hanging on a hook. "But, look at her hats. They are just wonderful."


   This week we are drawing hands. Did I differentiate the top of the hand from the side of the hand with shading?

 
       Please hands, let me draw what my eyes see and what my heart feels.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Leave

This word prompt "leave" is a difficult word to write. My thoughts go back to times when I had to leave people I  desperately missed. My family comes to mind but also friends who changed me. I can remember the day we drove out of Provo. My friend Julie stayed to help put the last items in the moving van. I saw her tearful face in the rear window, standing on our lawn and my heart hurt. Never seeing her again was not real. I do see her still. The hurtful part was knowing a chapter of my life with her was over.


    We had growing experiences that are still useful and nurturing today. She helped bring about ideas and spiritual experiences rich and full. Some I have not experienced again. It happens that I call her sometimes to review how we did something back then. I inquire of her if my memory is accurate. She always concurs.
   A second thought brings me to the supper where Jesus closed his chapter of loving, tutoring, and expanding his disciples the apostles. Did his heart hurt? Did he look extra long into their faces? His famous last words were, "As I have loved you, love one another."


      Leaving is painful even when you will still have a relationship to rely on. Leaving means change and change is for sure.




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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Feather In The Wind

I am a feather in the wind, up and down again. I've been to some amazing places in my mind but I have also struggled with darkness. These feathers remind me that being thankful brings me back.

 
  I made a thankfulness banner. Each day in November I will look around and see. The feathers will hold my thoughts of gratitude. I started with Distress Inks by dabbing them on my craft paper. A little spritz of water activates the ink.



      I lay each piece of water color paper on the ink. Sometimes I just hold it there. Other times I smear. There is no wrong way. 

   
 The feathers are connected on twine and hung on my mantle.


   Waiting to hold all my gratitude in the coming month, I think I will have a chance to be more mindful and present.