Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Procrastination


      Today was a glorious sunny day. Day two of writing a long overdue piece of music commenced. Four years ago I received a beautiful poem by a colleague and friend. She wanted music to turn the poem into a song. I let the words rumble around in my head. While playing music one day at church I heard a lovely melody in my head. Grabbing my phone I recorded the music. I sent that recording to my friend and she validated the music as just what she hoped for. I knew she would want me to notate the song. But, I was busy. I stayed busy for four years.


I went back to the music occasionally and just could not connect. The work of notating takes a kind of concentration that leaves me very vulnerable. I have to be "all in" the process. It seems I get inspiration in tiny nuggets. All the nuggets together still do not complete the music. The rest comes from just plain hard work, real hard work. The kind that makes time slow down. I forget that I'm stiff, tired, and needing to do other things. It often feels dis-orienting.


    But still, creating is remarkable. When the piece is finished it is amazing. And it will be finished by this weekend. I promised. I needed to come back to composing after all the painting. When I painted my mailbox I remembered my first love.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

    I wonder where we would celebrate if all my children came together with us at Christmas. Two kids were out of state this year and deeply missed. Three joined us on the island. My wonderful friend let us use her house to accommodate the eight who came from off-island. The views above the marina were breathtaking.


    Having the twins with us this year was truly sweet. They gave enough smiles and cuddles to push any Christmas blues away. 

     
      Two grandmothers and two grandfathers wass certainly a nice way toy celebrate. A Lap was always available.


    My grandchildren took a walk through my art show currently still available at the Arts Center. Oma making art is something they except now as commonplace.


     Everyone received one gift. That left the anticipation to a minimum. Less makes the giving more precious.


     I wanted singing to be part of the festivities. We had our own little Christmas Kirtan with the Harmonium accompanying us.


    My trusty Apple laptop has each grandchild's pictures in a separate album. At Christmas I love to show each child their slideshow with music. We get a thrill seeing our lives go by in pictures.


   

    There were moments so precious and sweet. I hope to hold them dear for a long time.

 
        Christmas Day was dry and the boys went outside to throw the pigskin. What a view! People I love and nature in it's glory.


    Inside the sun played on the walls lighting up every corner. I was satisfied with our efforts to bring the spirit of Christ to our home, well, not exactly our home, but a beloved home which was certainly welcoming and bright.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Longest Night

   It is four pm and already the light is waning. I switch on the porch light for my 4:30 student. Dusk is painfully early. I resist closing the drapes because I am saving the little light there is in the sky. Once the  living room is closed off from the night,  it will be cozy but I put off committing to the inevitable longest night.


      Winter is a time of waiting for me. I do more reading, jigsaw puzzling, art making, and baking, all wonderful pastimes but I know down deep that I am waiting. I would like to wait with mindfulness. I bought tickets today to a children's theater show. The date of the event is April 25. I remember how much I love April. The world will be alive with regrowth and it will be light as I come home from the gym.


     This season the insides are aglow. I can be more mindful about my insides, cast light on the shadowy halls of my fears and anxieties. There are many ways I must simply employ my gift of waiting. I can learn to like waiting because there is anticipation in waiting. There will be new growth, new adventures, and the best of all, more day.
    Three years ago I took the longest walk on the shortest day.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Adore

   Can I tell you in five minutes if I have any experience with the word adore?  "Oh come let us adore HIm…" I hear that that in my head and on Pandora and in church. Do I adore Him?  If I go back to my relationships with earthly beings I see adore on the faces of my babies. They have it. They know how to do it. Adoration is in their DNA.


     Notice how my granddaughter looks at her grandfather. She studies him. She looks for cues to how she should respond. If he smiles she returns the smile willingly, without reservation.
   Can I learn how to adore my Savior from the example of a child?


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.
   The five minute Friday folks are on vacation for the next two weeks. But I will do my own prompt word and be back to muse and try my hand at five minutes of writing every Friday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Giving Tree

   It happens every year. While I am sitting next to a student at the piano they will say, "When will you get your Christmas tree?"
  "I have a tree."
   "Where?"
  "Right in front of you."
    The fact that my two foot tree has been twinkling at them throughout the lesson has escaped them. In 1998 when my grand piano was delivered into my living room it became apparent that there would never be room again for a live tree.
   "But, where do you put your presents?"
   "Under the piano."


       My beloved piano takes up half of a small room. The rest is sitting area. What is lost at Christmas is gained every other day when the sound of melody is wafting through the house.


    I never regret buying my instrument. It blesses the lives of my students as well as my own. There was a year when we had an upright in the living room as well. I did not know how to part with the piano I had since I was eight years old. I found a home and it actually resides across the street with my student.


      Life seems to be a struggle of choosing better over best. Best is often the choice that gives the most to the people we love. If the piano is a tree stand then truly this is a giving tree year round.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Prepare

    Should we emotionally prepare for loss? That is a question my daughter asked of me one week ago when she felt great anxiety over a relationship which she felt was going to be lost. A foreboding enveloped her conscious mind. I had no answers. Then yesterday the break-up happened. I watched the tears course down her face. This loss was real now. He was choosing to walk away from a tenuous connection.


    Preparing for the "other shoe to drop" sounds practical and safe. But, I know there is a devastating consequence to practicing tragedy. When the joy in today is dampened by a potential loss tomorrow suffering is magnified. Think about how Jesus stayed connected to each moment with the full knowledge and acceptance of his coming sacrifice. How could he have opened his heart to his disciples  if he projected his energy on his impending death. Loss is part of the package in this mortal life. We come already fresh from losing our physical proximity to our Heavenly Family. The one hope we fuel diligently is the hope of being reunited to Him again. I have so few answers for my lovely daughter who deserves a husband and children. I can't show her tomorrow. I can hold her today.

   
     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, December 5, 2014

Dear

    This Friday morning I wake to remember that I will be sharing what is dear to me this evening with friends and interested strangers. Showing my paintings to others in a more formal setting is quite daunting and awesome at the same time. As my friend, Garna, and I placed each painting on the wall yesterday I looked at the array of colors and images and wondered which I could sell and which were too dear to part with.


    I pondered the path I followed to come to the completion of each piece. Some paintings just finished themselves and some required stepping away and coming back over and over again. Painting has showed me some lessons of life.


    1- Step away when you feel uninspired.
    2- Come back everyday.
    3- Look for the layers underneath to reveal themselves.
    4-You are done when you love what you see.
    5- Loving what you see doesn't mean perfection.



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 28, 2014

Give

          Give Thanks! I am so grateful to know a little bit about this baby who came to a fallen world, condescended to endure the temptations of a fallen mortal body. Because of Him I give thanks. Without Him the plan of happiness could not continue. We, who are his brothers and sisters, would be forever locked into spirits whose bodies have long since decayed, damned forever, unable to move forward towards the return to our Father in Heaven.  


   I give thanks! For the enduring. eternal power He had before he came to earth, for the power He showed on the earth, and for the power he does now exude that keeps the planets in orbit, the earth able to be a home for His children, and my very small heart beating to know that He lives.


              Give thanks! For unto us a child is born, a son is given, and the governments shall be upon his shoulders. And his name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting power, the prince of peace.

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.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Door Opens Upon Which I Did Not Knock

       In life we celebrate the opportunities that come along. Some of these are planned and executed with willpower but others come unexpectedly.

   
   This week a door opened which I didn't knock upon. It came from an invitation my son issued to me. As I heard him mention that one of the island business needed an artist to show in their store at the First Friday Gallery Walk I had two pathways open before my eyes. I could laugh and feel it to be a preposterous idea or I could embrace the blessing and flow where it leads.


     I made the leap of faith. The owner Lorna liked my work and so I whirled into the process that comes with preparing art to be exposed to the world.


                    I am so grateful to know I have friends who would support me and be happy for me.


                        I am grateful for my son thinking my art was good enough to share.

     
     On the day before Thanksgiving, my friend Garna allowed me to put all the panels on her kitchen table and sort them into groups.


    I was taken back by seeing them together, This represents a year of joy. A year of imagining, playing, and letting failure move me forward to trying new things. I feel blessed. Come by and visit me, please.

First Friday Gallery Cruise
Friday December 5, 2014
6:00-9:00pm
Intuitive Arts Center
17331 Vashon Highway

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 Boure√© 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.