Sometimes some folks won't let you forget the Christmas is coming. I know it is coming. And resist as I might, it is going to come no matter what. Truly, it is all just part of my natural proclivity to procrastinate. "Never do today what you could do tomorrow," I always say.
Seriously, I do tend to put things off. Getting ready for Christmas is one of them. Now I have this cute little snowman snow globe from my friend that she brought by this morning. I have instructions to plug into my computer to remember that it is Christmastime for heaven's sake. The little guy turns from green to blue to red to white. All this whilst the glittering snowflakes swirl in the warmed waters of the snow globe. It is just too darn cute! And, truly, it is just the festive touch I needed to get myself going.
I can remember many the year lamenting that I just wasn't in the Christmas mood. Holidays? Bah humbug! But it is a gentle reminder that Christmas, like every season, is what we about sharing and just remaining mindful of the wonders of life. We all can decide how we want to feel about things and events. Remember as the Borg in the old TV show, Star Trek, once said, "Resistance is futile!" He must have been talking about the holidays.
So, while I may have other things to do, (don't we all) bottom line is I do love Christmas and I am going to do it up right this year...even if it makes me crazy!
From my window, I see the hibiscus enjoying the rain.
Call me crazy, but I love a rain. Indoors of course. Snug. Maybe a fire in the fireplace. A dog or two in your lap as you write. Cozy. That is the life of a writer...at least that is how I imagine it. Sometimes the dogs just sleep at your feet. Sometimes the furnace replaces the fireplace. But you can still hear the sound of raindrops on the roof. Your flannel shirt feels soft and warm against your body. A soft, gentle, steady rain is one of nature's best gifts. It seems to assure you that life will, indeed, go on. Any drought of the soul can be comforted and eased by a walk in the mist. Yep, I love the rain. Especially when it is outside and I am in.
In the darkening skies,
pink and purple stretchy clouds.
Boys sail loudly by on rumbling skateboards.
Mature lovers cooing wooing at they
walk by hand in hand.
Who am I here?
Seen yet not seen.
Sitting on a chair outside the deli at
State and Fifth,
waiting for a friend,
Dissolving into the moment,
magically, mystically, breaks up.
Fear, anxiety subsiding.
The sky has faded into now solemn grey clouds.
I watch evening drift in from the east.
Wretching from the moment,
the fumes from an old truck fill the air, as it starts up
and in agony, drives away,
the ambiant peace painfully broken,
with the stink of reality in its wake.
Then a car alarm goes off,
on and on and on
no owner in sight.
No one pays heed.
Passersby in their own worlds pay no notice.
On and on and on the horn blasts.
And calmly there I sit, detached,
earnestly working to maintain my serenity, my calm.
And this Satan's song,
along with the cold darkness of early evening,
becomes background to my own experience.
I am not of it
but am in it.
It is not me but it tries to haunt me, to rob me of dispassion.
This moment passes.
My friend arrives
with his own reality, his own anxieties and fears and
I am present to it, but not absorbed by it.
It is just another challenge to the serenity I have found.
but remembering I am in this world,
but not of it,
I am, simply, tranquilly, am.
If this is the end, why is there a road beyond?
That mountain shouldn't be in view.
The sky shouldn't be so deeply blue.
There should be nothing beyond the sign, if this,
The entrance to my hidaway
Everyone needs a place to hideaway. If you don't have one, find one right away. Solitude is where you will find the answers to whatever you are wrestling with. I am always in process of creating this space for myself and others who may wish to visit. It may never be finished, but then what in life is?
Long periods of reflection, Sudden flashes of clarity.
I have been waiting for a flash, some sort of sign. I tried outdoors under the spreading sycamore tree and on the front porch in the little comfy arm chair. I walked around the block and up to our local mountain top. I stood on the balcony. I slept with the window open. And I waited. And waited. And waited some more.
No lightning. Nothing. Not even a storm, no rain, no blustering winds. I am in Southern California. Thunderstorms are scarce here. Even the metaphorical kind.
I was talking with a friend of mine about creativity and inspiration. We decided that creativity is more often there than not, but inspiration comes and goes. It takes creativity to find inspiration. Yet, inspiration is a lot like lightning: it never strikes where you want it to, and when it does strike, if you don’t act right away, it may do some damage, but it is gone before you can capture it.
At least that is what I have been telling myself. For a while now, excuses and distractions have been my constant companion. “Not my fault.” “I don’t have time.” “There is so much to be done and no one else can do it but me.” And the most dreaded, “I don’t feel like it.”
That last thought, “not feeling like it”, is the most deadly to inspiration and creativity. So you turn to waiting for lightning to strike. And it never does.
The I realized, the “lightning” I have been waiting for has been gently tapping on my windowpane. It has been whispering in my ear. I has done everything but struck me. But isn’t that what lightning is supposed to do? Doesn’t it, like inspiration, come when you least expect it?
I guess not.
Inspiration is not like lightning. It is something that can be invited in and welcomed like an old friend. You can open your mind and your heart to its inspiring you just as your body allows the air to fill your lungs and give you the breath you live on. Inspiration. Draw it in to nourish your spirit, your soul and your life.
Oh gee, looky here. Lightning struck and a musing was born. How qwerki is that?
I often don't have a clear self-image. I suspect there those among you who have the same experience. In my mind I see myself as average looking, not horror movie ugly, not Hollywood handsome, just a decent sort. And my self image changes. Sometimes I feel okay about my appearance. Other times I wonder how who let me go out in public like that. The dogs never say anything. They just are glad I feed them and take them for walks. The cat rarely looks at me.
But as long as people don't throw up their arms and run away or come after me with pitchforks and torches, I figure most of the time I pass of okay.
So maybe I am being a little narcissistic, but recently my friend Marty snapped a picture of me during a photography class exercise that I rather like. I am looking earnestly into the camera. My expression is rather intense. My first thought: that could be book jacket photo! That really struck me as significant.
So I had the picture here printed in a 5x7 format to hang on the fridge or maybe the mirror in my bathroom. Somehow it is the me I want to be: someone who looks you in the eye and listens, understands, knows. That is someone I would want to know. That is someone I would like. That someone is...me!
I have taken to going on artist dates again. These are times I set aside for myself. It is when I go places I find inspiring. One of these places has always been Heisler Park at Laguna Beach. I have been going there since my first visit to California in 1973. My aunt who I came to visit that December took me there with her collies. When I moved to California the following March, one of the collies became mine and we would often go down just to walk and enjoy the ocean air and views.
There is something about the ocean that speaks to my very soul. The washing on shore of the waves, the salt air, the seagulls and pelicans at play. I feel alive there. It is at the ocean, I feel a strong connection to Spirit.
I uploaded some images I captured while there onto my Qwerkipix page. Check it out and let me know what you think. And I wonder, have you ever taken an artist's date with yourself?
What is the meaning of art? This is a question I have been asking myself lately as I pursue my interest in photography. Famed photographer Dorthea Lange was quoted as saying, “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” Not so long ago that would not have made sense to me. Now I think I am coming to understand what Lange meant.
When my friend Marty handed me a camera recently and said, “Go ahead, have fun,” I don’t think he realized the impact it would have on me. Neither did I. Now I am beginning to see what the camera sees: the world with depth of field and quality of light. It is all in what you choose to focus on, no pun intended.
The question of “what is art?” is something that has been rattling around in my brain of late. According to Merrian-Webster’s trusty old dictionary, the word “art” comes from the Old English word “eart” or the Old Norse word, “est”.* To me “art” means “is.” The state of existing, just being. Art for art’s sake? That it is...but it is so much more...and so much less.
So this in mind, I am pursuing my “art”. What I do just is. It is me and it is what I see. I capture my “is-ness” in the pictures I take these days and the words I write.
To me, this is art, living life in the now and finding ways to share it, one moment at a time. So, artfully I go, in every sense of the word. And soon I will remove the quotes from the word “artist” when I am describing myself as one who creates “art”.
* Origin of ART Middle English, from Old English eart; akin to Old Norse est, ert (thou) art, Old English is is. For the full dictionary definition go to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/art
There are always opportunities to re-invent oneself. Mine came this past summer when a good friend invited me on a photo-shoot at Venice Beach. It was a photo scavenger hunt sponsored by the Redlands Camera Club. My friend loaned me a very nice camera to use for the day. It is a Canon EOS D50 with a telephoto lens. Well, I took to it like my Tater takes to her dinner every night.
The photo here was taken on Mount Rubidoux as the sun rose. The best part of photography for me has been so far having a reason to get out and go places I might not have gone before. I also have been telling myself that I would reconstitute my blog, Qwerki Thoughts and Musings, and use my own photography to illustrate each thought and musing I share.
So here goes. A reinvented blog, a new website and a new emerging artist from within. I hope you enjoy what appears here as much as I am creating it.