Friday, November 27, 2015


"Let Us Gather At The Table, and Bow In Family Prayer. To Thank Our Heavenly Father For The Blessings We All Share."

  The table is an icon of thanksgiving, fellowship, discussion, and prayer. My table has been large, small, lonely, and bursting with activity.  It has been the prop around which change has been introduced and formulated. We gathered around the table to tell my parents we were getting married. Plans to move were announced emotionally to the children around the table. New members of the clan have been introduced there. I have sat relaxed and well satisfied, tense and anguishing, and so excited that I was bursting. All different times and all different circumstances. 
   Jesus gathered with others around a table. He cryptically announced change and betrayal around the table. A table is just more intimate. 

   Luke 22:19 "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

Had I been at that table I would have felt my heart beat a little faster. I would have  wondered what the new testament was. I would have remembered the smell of the room, the dishes in front of me and the look in his eyes. I would have remembered.
And, yet I come to a similar table every sabbath day. I come to remember how he gave his body and shed his blood. I come to promise to keep his commandments. I have promised before but I come to promise again so that I might partake of the gift of having his spirit to be with me at all tables, in all circumstances, and in all my interchanges with others.

I come to remember.

  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 25, 2015

Giving Thanks

   I am very thankful for seeing the beautiful in life, the little magic moments of unsolicited peace. There is much doing, seeking, and desiring in my life. Whenever something comes without manipulation or control I truly am grateful.

    I witnessed my older daughter texting her niece about what they should do tomorrow at Thanksgiving dinner. Wow! I don't have to bring them together and create activities so that they will feel connected to each other. It happened without me. Sigh! In fact I see my role in life becoming more and more witness rather than a participant. That used to scare me. If people do not look to me to get things done what role will I have?

                              I will be rooting for their rise.

                          Get This free image at Autumn Hathaway" blog.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Shh, Don't Tell Them

Shh, Georgie, don't tell them. Remember how we figured out how to move the fireplace grate? You pried open the corner over and over again and Mama held it shut. You cried and got her to carry you around while I crawled over and had free access while she wasn't looking. 

     I appreciate your assistance showing me how to pull the crib blankets through the slats. While Mama picked up yours I managed to get mine out right behind her. We are a good team, except when you use my head as a nail. I developed my rear foot move to propel you out of the way before the kitchen pot lands on my head, again. I am trying to forgive you for that. And for stealing my favorite shaker. Oh, and one more thing. I hate that you came out first. I will always be the youngest. That stinks.

  However, I will always be the cutest. You betcha, that's me.

This post is part of a series entitled, "Pictures and Paragraphs". A little bit of fiction writing to enhance a favorite image or painting.
 See an index of these posts here.

Friday, November 20, 2015


 To dwell with someone or with something has interesting stages. Here I would like to compare my dwelling with my newest painting to dwelling with the Holy Ghost. Both have been companions of mine for some time recently.
 The companionship of the Holy Ghost is ever so most more important than my painting but I see similarities that draw me in.


What does the spirit need to teach me? What colors and shapes will emerge on the new canvas.


There are many layers that need to be patiently anticipated. The outcome is not the main objective. Commitment to the process is required.


When I listen well I get amazing smaller vignettes of detail.


If I open myself to variety I hear more subtle shades and textures.


Sometimes the spirit shows you how to go around the edges.

Full Engagement

When you hear and obey the composition comes together and you literally rejoice every time you spend time together.

         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 18, 2015

Music Mends Minds

   Amy appeared at my door one day to ask me to participate in a new group forming in our community.  She needed musicians to help with bringing music participation to individuals coping with dementia, Alzheimers disease, and Parkinson's disease. She explained how playing an instrument affects the brain. I was intrigued and agreed to come see how things worked. I might have said no, considering my busy schedule, but I wanted to check out the idea of creating a band of amateur musicians. The organization Music Mends Minds had a very interesting website.

I learned that when dealing with memory loss music reaches past memory to a deeper place

The sensory experience of music binds with memory in the brain and makes it more powerful. 

Here are some things expressed by those who are suffering from memory loss and their caregivers.

You need to be around people
Playing music together offers a sense of freedom
Having something to do that is valuable and important
Cognition improves when playing music with others
Playing music lowers depression
Playing music raises energy
Playing an instrument requires muscle memory in the brain and is not impacted by dementia
Music is like another language

   At first as I involved myself with this group I had to deal with my own sadness. I met with people who I had known before their decline into memory loss. It was hard for me to "look loss in the face". Really, the weeks of holding back was about my own unwillingness to see my mortality. At some point I felt the impression to look at how I could contribute better. I started observing more and pulling away less. I saw how some people waited, while others chatted and did business. The idea came to me to play music at the piano, right away. I also observed the impact of rhythm and suggested a play along with simple instruments. That provided more of the idea of being in a band. In our group, very few really played an instrument. Everyone liked playing along with something that made sound. We are young still and I am eager to see how we progress. I hope I can help create moments of rest and relaxation for anxious minds. These words by a caregiver resonated with me.

"What radiates on the faces of the band and the audience is a sense of this moment of contentment that has nothing to do with suffering and all about the rewards of taking the risk to show up. They've paid their dues and now have a free lifetime membership to the sanctuary of the heart." 

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Farm Wedding

  Leroy slowly backed his truck into the driveway. His hand grasped the stick shift knob tightly. He looked over the yard at the white tent in the cow pasture. What a day for a wedding. One hundred percent chance of rain, and yet the white wooden chairs were being set up in little rows on top of fresh straw.  The rivulets ran down the windshield distorting the blue farm house and the white wedding venue. They would need more than two bales of hay to keep the pathways dry.

    Bethany and Joe were the newest couple to own this small farm nestled in the valley between the knolls that dotted the landscape. Leroy could remember all the other couples that started their life here. Well, at least six. Their dreams peeked through the fading paint on barns and out buildings. Some had pigs, some cows, and one brought horses to the farm. All of them dreamed in technicolor and all moved on to bigger, hopefully better things. He loved this country road and regretted not one season of his life with Betty here. He felt a sudden happy satisfaction to know his new neighbors and to be helping them so early on.  Good neighbors were a comfort. Now that his kids were raised and gone he needed some new inspiration. Leroy still woke up every morning ready to breathe the fresh air. He hoped there would be children running in the pasture where now the heavy clouds moved out, replaced by lighter, thinner white puffs. The wedding might have a dry spell after all.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue; he brought the borrowed and he was the old, and he liked knowing that they offered something new.

This is a post that is part of a series entitled, "Pictures and Paragraphs". See an index of these posts here.

Friday, November 13, 2015


   The kitchen was like a rumbling tornado. Steam spewed out of kettles over the fire. Their contents exploded droplets of gravy, brown and thick. Building to crescendo, the last steps to bringing the meal for twenty to the table were almost over. 

Acrylic on board by Marcus Fellbaum

    In the epicenter of the tumult, Susannah bowed her head. A great calm fell over her shoulders like a cloak. Her breathing slowed.  Her mind rested on a distant scene, on a hill where thousands came to be fed. She searched for the source of the miracle. Up the hill amongst the crowd sat "the one". Her heart settled next to him, leaning on his strength. A long sigh escaped her lips.

This is a post that is part of a series entitled, "Pictures and Paragraphs". See an index of these posts here.

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 11, 2015

The Piano Lesson

    " Can you start at the top and this time count out loud?"
      Betsey's hands were tight, muscles flexed with too much tension. I gently put my arm around her back to give support. Eyes focused with intent, she was working with every faculty on alert. My hand readied to turn the page. The next sixteen bars were pure joy. 

Reproduction of a Renior by Joan Kutcher

 I listened, a smile escaping from my zealous countenance. Betsey was finally playing freely. The melody soared above the murmuring baseline. I was relieved and full of pleasure at her success. Her father, the Count, would be put in his place. I disliked his constant criticism when it came to his children. He had employed me to teach Betsey and Stewart and each of them had talent. They were just too afraid of him to see themselves as able. 

   Was I putting myself above my station to want to prove him wrong?

This is a post that is part of a series entitled, "Pictures and Paragraphs". See an index of these posts here.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hold On But Let Go

  Penny glanced over at the counter. Her tea was getting cold. No steam circled around the blue enamel edge. Flecks of light danced off the copper tea pot beckoning her to lighten her tone, lighten her heart. The paper in front of her was blurry as she scanned the lines of her electric bill. She pushed it away and picked up a letter to her mother. Penny liked writing real letters but this morning her writing seemed to be getting as cold as the tea in her cup.   

Oil on board by Karen Dale

    Still, with all the dullness inside, the light from the window sparkled. She stretched her legs moving the tight joints. "Go outside!' How could she take a walk when there was so much to do, so many things to fix? She reached for the orange segment. Juice escaped in rivelets down her chin. Brushing away the moisture a long breath escaped from throat. 

                   Perhaps she could let go, just this morning.  

This is a post that is part of a series entitled, "Pictures and Paragraphs". See an index of these posts here.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pictures and Paragraphs

  Writing and making art are married in my life. Their union is young but they married in their older years. Writing was single and lived a solitary life for five decades. She lived in single family journals and diary apartments for one. When she met Making Art things sizzled. Without a painting or a photograph her words seemed lost on the page. But now writing had a focus, a reason for coming alive.

I am sharing posts with the label "Pictures and Paragraphs" to enable my readers to enjoy this union.

                        Come back to this page to see an index of the most recent offerings. 

  1. Dance
  2. Hold On But Let Go
  3. The Piano Lesson
  4. Weary
  5. A Farm Wedding
  6. Shh, Don't Tell Them

Friday, November 6, 2015


  She picked up the outside edges of her crimson skirt. The white ruffled edging felt rough and stiff in her hands. Slowly and deliberately she shuffled onto the dance floor. Stiff black leather heels encased her  warm and ready feet. This was the long awaited moment when she would bring fruition to her hours of practice. Enrico's firm fingers strummed the downbeat. A hush fell over the hot, humid room.
She couldn't lift her eyes. No, not yet. 

Oil on board by Pam Ingalls
   Holding one more second, she looked timidly out into the crowd. Her breath lodged and refused to exhale. The truth washed over her unexpectedly. 

         She was more beautiful than she ever believed.

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.

This is a post that is part of a series entitled, "Pictures and Paragraphs". See an index of these posts here.