Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Being Mortal and Imperfect

   I'm trying my hand at painting on inexpensive canvas boards. There is much more to cover compared to an art journal. I had an idea that I wanted to re-visit the gifts of imperfection. They could also be called the gifts of mortality. My goal was to show these gifts as jewels.

   I started with a patchwork of color and the peacock as a symbol of the final outcome of trudging through life embracing the gifts. The designs on the feathers ascend to tell the truth that these three gifts lift us up.

   On the tag I have a cage with a smaller bird indicating that our lives can feel like cages where we are trapped. But as Isaiah states there is rest in the future.

      Isaiah 14:3 "And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve."

                      Unwrapping these gifts can make the journey joyous and full of possibility.

Friday, February 14, 2014

"The Red Knit Cap Girl"

   I love children's books. I still buy them and get such a delight in reading them to anyone, really. My current favorite is "Red Knit Cap Girl", written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop.

   She's curious, adventuresome, and a solver of problems. Her friends are very supportive. She always wears her red knit cap. If the greatest form of flattery is imitation then I want to let you know that I love Naoko's stories and illustrations, and her little character keeps showing up in my art journal. Here are some recent examples.

   In my version, her friends are a sort of suspect rat and an "over the top" happy frog. I'm trying to like the rat.

                                        Here she is, a little over dressed in my favorite reading corner.

     She jumped up onto the stool and started painted at my art desk. I hope her skills are better than mine.

         And finally, on our recent snow day she shouted for joy right on my front porch. On this Valentine's Day of red color, grab your red cap and give someone a hug.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Staying The Course

  While I wait for Part 2 of Brene Brown's e-course I am working on her interlude prompts. This week I am reviewing what being authentic means. I get that this means being who we are without bending to outside forces but I reserve the right to change. I have core beliefs that will nor bend but I want to transform as I grow. I still have growing to do.

I am a thinker, a creator, a communicator, a peacemaker, and most importantly, a believer. I hope I change in cultivating more of these qualities.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Valentine

Today is not Valentine's Day but my valentine would not want me to honor him on the day. He hates holidays which dictate what one should do, especially commercially. 

   We will celebrate our 40th anniversary in a few months. I have lived with this man twice as long as I lived with my parents. Our courtship was short due to the fact that when we met I was dating his roommate. I was finding better conversation with Mark so the roommate began to disappear. By the time I fully noticed my error I was committed heart wise to the long. tall Texan. I listen to him breathe at night and feel so fortunate to be with someone who stirs me to be my best self. We have changed since those years at college. Whew! That is a relief. We are in our best years and I pray to have many more.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Preserving Seeds

    I started the Book of Mormon again and I am never disappointed. There are always new ideas that pop out of nowhere. Take 1 Nephi 8 for example. That chapter covers Lehi's dream. But as I read the first verse I smiled to see how Nephi, or the abridger, connected the gathering of physical seeds to the gathering of the family of God.
      1 Nephi 8:1 "And it came to pass that we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind."
     After announcing that his dream he makes the connection to the seed, his posterity.
     1 Nephi 8:3 "And behold, because of the thing which I have seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord because of Nephi and also of Sam; for I have reason to suppose that they, and also many of their seed, will be saved."
     That fruit most delicious and desirable, started from a seed. That seed of desiring to partake of the Love of God, or Christ's Atonement, is what we want to plant, nurture, and finally partake
     1 Nephi 8:12 "And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit. "

          Seeds equal posterity, fruit equals love, all these analogies simmer in the Book of Mormon to be enjoyed again and again. Many of us are gathering seeds right now before Spring comes. It is the perfect time to think about it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Island Living

I chose to live on an island 25 years ago. At first it was an adventurous move but then we started working here and our life was fully engaged in our community. I finally found a sense of place. My place was defined by water. Our line to the mainland was a vessel. 

    Without really planning it, I reached for a dream I had as a teenager. I first saw the ocean when I was sixteen. I felt changed. I seemed to be connected to the ocean somehow. Now I see it often. That is perhaps why  poem by Mary Oliver caught my eye and my heart.

                                                                                     I Go Down To The Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
and what shall-
what should I do? And the sea says
in it's lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.
by Mary Oliver