I was Supposed to be Blogging About My Artwork

Two weeks ago I received a message from WordPress…..

“Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com.  You registered with WordPress.com two years ago.  Thanks for flying with us.  Keep up the good blogging.”

This gave me pause on the passage of time and where I’ve come since I originally set up my blog.  Having failed to embrace other social media-Instagram and Facebook with enthusiasm to promote my art, the advice out there said: “you need to blog about your artwork.”  Okay, I thought, let’s give that a go.

Up went my first post, The Artist Demystified” on June 4, 2017, not really about my art but it was a start.  I was stunned to get one “Like”  and then double stunned when I received a “follow.” Wow, somebody read and identified what I wrote.  Then I found the WordPress Community Pool and the Weekly Photo & Writing Challenges (now extinct and sorely missed).  Then I found other bloggers and that I really liked to write and share my writing. Then I found (again) that I really hate self-promotion just for self-promotion’s sake. 

Now I’ve officially let go of the idea that my blog exists to promote my artwork since I really wasn’t doing that anyway.  If someone wanders over to my Etsy shop and purchases something, fabulous, but that’s not why I’m here.  Blogging has become a grounding force in my life

This is pretty much a blog about sharing my thoughts and experiences with others.

May my writing spark some resonance in my readers and bring forth some smiles through this process which I so enjoy.

I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BLOGGING ABOUT MY ARTWORK

You know, make a spash

With Google ananlytics

Get followers

Boost sales on Etsy

I was supposed to be blogging about my artwork

But then I discovered blogging as an artform

Blogging just to blog

Sending my words out into the universe

To maybe catch hold on the edge

of some other celestial being

I was supposed to be blogging about my artwork

And then I discovered other bloggers

With their words that fed me

And found a hold

In my celestial body

I was supposed to be blogging about my artwork

And then I discovered that I just liked to make art

Not so much the selling of this spiritual practice

So I think I will continue to make

And I will continue to write

For no other reason than it feeds my soul

The Art of Keeping a Holiday Tradition

 
The holidays have gotten pretty simple around here My son is grown and there are no grandkids.  We are very modest with our gift giving. Who needs more stuff? I’ve come to value traditions that don’t involve consumerism.

The one thing I have hung onto over many many years is making my own holiday cards.  Sometimes they are color copied, some years they are poems I have written. This I got down to the basics with old-fashioned scissors, glue, scraps of paper, stamps, and sequins.  I made most of them with a group of my friends (see my previous post) It’s fun just take time out of life and just be crafty.

I’m skipping the holiday letter this year in favor of putting a very short handwritten note with my signature.  My card list is relatively small. If I do a few a night all will be out in the mail in a few days to friends and family.

That’s my little gift to others afar from the non-digital world of paper, glue, pen and a bit of love.

The Art of Taking the Media Out of Social

“Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.
“Is there any tea on this spaceship?” he asked.” 
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The time was set for 2PM on Monday.  Come and make holiday cards at Mary’s Studio.  Bring something to share.  Enjoy a cup of tea.

We individually began to straggle in after 2:15 too tired from all the tasks of the last few days to muster our creative energy.  So we just sat in comfy chairs around a big ottoman to rest our feet with cups of tea and small plates full of nosh.  There we declared our “Women Who Sit Society” and be social without a device.  We shared stories among us, liked our conversations and the food without nary a mouse click.  For a short respite, we were glad to be among longtime friends escaping the fray that occupies all of our lives, especially around the holidays. 

Eventually, we migrated to the craft table making cards with bits of colored paper and rubber stamps continuing the conversation.  There are no pictures of this event.  My phone was happily tucked away in my purse the only picture being a sweet memory left in my mind.

What a blessing to be among friends- in person, with the only expectation to sit and enjoy the company. 
                                                                                                                                                                      

The Art of Hanukkah

It’s known as the Festival of Light and is a Jewish Holiday that falls close to Christmas. 

According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica “Hanukkah, (Hebrew: “Dedication”)also spelled Ḥanukka, Chanukah, or Chanukkah, also called Feast of Dedication, Festival of Lights, or Feast of the Maccabees, Jewish festival  that begins on Kislev 25 (in December, according to the Gregorian Calendar) and is celebrated for eight days. Hanukkah reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and commemorates, in particular, the rededication of the second temple of Jerusalem by the lighting of candles on each day of the festival.”

I’m not Jewish- but I am. My ancestry is Jewish but my parents raised me and my brothers as protestant. They feared repercussions to us being raised in the Jewish faith.  They did not want us to experience the prejudice they experienced as children. My true heritage was revealed when I was 12.  (You can read about my story here on page 29)  I was saddened to have been denied my native culture because of fear.

 I do not have a menorah.  I am fairly illiterate on Jewish culture but tonight on the first day of Hanukkah for 2018 I lit a tea light candle and said the ritual Jewish blessings. Really, I lit the candle for all people who suffer racism, homophobia, misogyny and all other forms of discrimination and also for the people who inflict those ideas.  May they see the light.  People should have the freedom to practice their religion, have their true sexual orientation and have equal rights no matter what race or gender.

 Let the light of  who you truly are

Shine bright

And may the world

Embrace you

The Art of Getting Out of Bed

hippie-487046_1920It shouldn’t be that difficult.  Most people open their eyes, pop out of bed and voila!- on with their day.  For me, making the transition from Dreamtime to wakefulness is a sacred ritual.  This can sometimes take up to an hour. Even when I was working full-time I always allowed some time for this.

I have a lot of “wild hamsters” that populate my head and if I don’t get them in line my day seems chaotic.  First I brew a cup of tea, heat up my “hotties” for my tight back and then meditate for 12 minutes.  Once my “spousal equivalent” feeds our two dogs, Bandit (Red Heeler) and Dougan (Golden Retriever) he lifts them up on the bed which is the favorite part of their morning as well.  (Nothing like starting the day with four-legged love).  Then he crawls back into bed to read the paper.IMG_1630

I spend a few minutes in my planner thinking about my goals for the day or week.  On to my journal where I may write anything that’s been lurking in my mind, a poem, or a person-984236_1920sketch for some art.

Notice I don’t start the day reading the news.  I fail to see the point of starting the day feeling depressed.  I can always listen to NPR as I go about my day to stay informed.

Then I am ready to transition from human being to more of a human doing with a foundation of centeredness that I carry with me throughout my day.

Continue reading “The Art of Getting Out of Bed”

The Magic of the Deadline

“The difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline”        Unknown

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When I was teaching middle school science my life was run by daily, weekly, and academic calendar deadlines.  When I walked into my classroom door every morning I had to be ready or suffer some really awful consequences.  (Students can smell when you are unprepared).

I longed for retirement when deadlines no longer ran my life.  Finally,  I could concentrate on my art and the other things I had left simmering on the back burner.  It didn’t take me too long to realize that unless I imposed my own deadlines upon myself, my dreams would still languish on the back burner.  As unpleasant as they can be, deadlines can provide a sense of structure and accomplishment- that is if one sticks to them.  Otherwise, count on suffering a hit to your self-esteem.

bieszczady-1002402_1920It’s been a learning process. One thing I’ve realized is to have a series of deadlines mapped out.  Otherwise, when you finish one there is a sense of disorientation that can set in.  Paying for guitar lessons and showing up weekly has definitely insured progress.  My writing and visual arts practices have been trickier.

I usually get one blog post out every week and try to work on either a poem, essay or journal entry every day before I get out of bed.  Recently I joined a neighborhood writing group that meets monthly so I need something for that.  Then I go online to find publications soliciting for entries and mark my calendar with the deadline.  I have had 3 pieces published in the last 2 years with that strategy.

Artwise I just made a huge (tight) deadline applying for a juried membership in Print Arts NW, the regional printmakers association.  It was a lot of work but success!  I was accepted this week and now can put work in their holiday show.

My continuing challenge is structuring my home studio time with deadlines to be more productive.  Having a flow chart posted with milestones has worked before and I’m going to try that again.  Stay tuned…..

 

alien-1295498

Deadline

Dead Line

Sprawled flat in your path

Like giant road kill

Small, undetectable from a distance

Looming larger and larger

Until its great heaving, behemoth body

Brings you to your knees begging

For mercy between pathetic sobs

And muttered excuses

All the while knowing full well

Relief will only come

When you shut up and scale the smelly beast

Head down, focused

Heaving with all you’ve got

Step by step

Leaving all your whining behind

blocking your ears from the siren sounds

Of your favorite distractions

Eventually, you make it

Drinking in the expansive view from the top

Wondering why you made such a fuss in the first place

Until scanning the horizon

You notice a small lump

Blocking your path in the distance

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When Scrolling Was Not a Verb

smartphone-2454611_1920“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein

 

I wake up every day still wondering about the changes in this world since I came of age…..

SCROLLING

Name, address, telephone number

Birthdate

Index finger poised I scroll down the years

Down

Down

Down

 

Down past generations xyz

Down before we were gray

And our faces etched with lines

Down when our backs were supple

And our knees strong

Continue reading “When Scrolling Was Not a Verb”