that feeling...

Have you ever had that feeling of...  it's like falling in love, instantaneously with something beautiful. Or, it's like being in the presence of some tremendous beauty that you feel throughout your whole body but that your mind is so engaged in that you don't really notice that your body is reacting so strongly. It's like your body is separate from you, neurons firing all over the place, hormones and chemicals washing through, and you know its happening but your consciousness is locked onto perceiving the thing that started it all.

It's all too much. It's beauty that takes over. It's possession. It's like a first kiss. There's passion and that emotional high, but also maybe a little overwhelming and it makes you feel shy or makes you shy away a little bit. It's like kissing that person you've loved from afar, who you thought was beyond you, out of your league. You're in that moment, in that presence, experiencing that everything but you are out of it too; above it. It's your soul lifted, and your body anchored to the earth. It's connection and awareness, but also mystery and ethereal wonder. 

The first time I saw a Monet painting in a museum, it was like that. The painting was one of his Wheatstacks in winter. And, it glowed. GLOWED. I mean that almost literally. I remember thinking, for just a moment, that it must have some kind of special light on it, or behind it, or in it. That was of course. Not in the way I'd been thinking. There was the light of Monet himself in it. And it's not something I had ever experienced before. I'd seen many photos of Monet's work, probably including this one. But in person... it was the difference between seeing a photograph of a person and meeting them in the flesh. That painting was alive.

   Claude Monet   French, Giverny, 1891  Oil on canvas  25 1/2 x 39 1/4 in.  95.PA.63 


Claude Monet 
French, Giverny, 1891 
Oil on canvas 
25 1/2 x 39 1/4 in. 
95.PA.63 

It was something like that also yesterday, when I came across the work of Stéphanie Devaux. I say it was "something like that" because I don't mean to compare her work to that of Monet. I don't have the right really. I don't know enough about art to make comparisons. And really, it's comparing apples with oranges. They both make magic with art, but very different kinds of magic. What I do know is how her work made me feel. 

 Stéphanie's work hit a nerve in me. It resonated deeply within. The delicacy of her pen work. The calligraphy. The assemblage bent of her pieces. Her restraint. The comfortable ease that flows through the gestural elements. The kinesthetic energy.  The minimalist, open ended, feel of a work in progress, unheeding of a need for absolute completeness or definition.

I'm going to stop talking now. Some wise soul once said, "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." I think the same holds true to talking about art, to some degree. There are a few feeble words to hint at what it makes us feel, but at the end of the day, it's best just to look at the stuff. 

Stéphanie Devaux's blog : Textus (in French)

Some of my favorites by Stéphanie appear in my Pinterest board called, "You when I grow up - Hero Whorship"

cup of tea

I've been gearing up to start blogging again lately. I've had this site up for a few months now, but I've been pretty busy with my son's PTA, and I've been so out of the habit of blogging it has just taken a while to get back in that mindset. I kept telling myself, I can't believe it took me a year to get a new website up after I decided to leave blogger. I mean, I can believe it, because I know me and my tendency for slow action. I just never intended it to take so long. 

And, I'm fairly sure that I will be here on my own for some time, as I am not at all prone to self promotion. I need to work on that.

I've actually read and listened to quite a few people talking about the formula for writing a successful blog and I've realized that I do pretty much the opposite of every single one of those handy tips. 

* Have a declared and discernible scope of topics for your blog. AKA - write about specific things that you know about.

Nope. I can't. I just ramble about anything that happens to enter into my brain and won't leave me alone. If I did otherwise I would get so oppressively bored that I might end up on the news that night. 

* Blog regularly and predictably, such as daily or twice a week, etc.

See the first paragraph. Plus, when I am in the habit of blogging, it still only happens when inspiration strikes. I've tried to put myself on a schedule but I rebel against myself. How CRAZY is that?  I rebel against myself!! 

* Have regular features that your readers can look forward to each week, such as inspiration Thursday, or how to Mondays.

Sounds awesome and very organized and efficient. Again, I've tried and I rebel. 

* Mention or post about other bloggers, creatives, makers, artists, and link to them.

I'd love to do that more often, but typically, by the time I email them to ask their permission and get a response back, I'm no longer excited and inspired to do it. I think that is a classic case of, "Oh, something shiny. Look!"

So, anyway. If you don't know me and you're wondering what this blog is going to be about, it's going to be about nothing and everything. It will be unpredictable and moody and may seem like it needs a prescription for Ritalin.  But, it will also be genuine, honest, kind, and thoughtful. If that's your cup of tea, welcome! If not, you are also welcome, and I'm sorry in advance. =0)

 Please forgive the horrendous photo! I was in a hurry. This is a stationary set that I made for my son's teacher for Xmas. Top left & clockwise, gift tags, handmade notebook, bookmarks, note cards, hand drawn stickers, post its, & a stone with a drawing on it.  

Please forgive the horrendous photo! I was in a hurry. This is a stationary set that I made for my son's teacher for Xmas. Top left & clockwise, gift tags, handmade notebook, bookmarks, note cards, hand drawn stickers, post its, & a stone with a drawing on it.  

thank you technology : first posted on 4/12/12

I haven't been visiting Flickr very often over the last year or so. No real reason really.. just part of the ebb and flow of my attention span. But today I uploaded a few things and poked around my contacts gallery for a bit. 

With fresh eyes, it suddenly hit me hard and clear, that this is nothing less than an abundant celebration of life. Whether it be tree, rock, child, cloth, graphic, paint, body, sky, light, dark, sad, happy... it's all such a pounding, throbbing, screaming declaration of love for life. 

Passion is what I love most about creative folks, and I'm astounded at their ability to communicate such deep, rich, profound emotion in pixels and light. 

My husband and I were recently discussing the relative merits of the online world for those of us who happen to be introverts (of which he and I are two ripe examples), and it helped to clarify for me why I get so uncomfortable when I hear folks lamenting the dangers of an "artificial" connection to others via the computer. My flickr contact gallery is a prime example of why I think the online, artistic, creative, community is so valuable. There I am inspired not only to own and nurture my own artistic development, but my development as a human being. 

Pretty pictures can be a pitfall of unrealistic expectation for one's life, since life is utterly messy and pretty pictures are not. But, if one can firmly plant one's feet to the ground and realize that pretty pictures are the lens through which to view the world, we find we choices. Divorce, loss, finances, stress can all be real and difficult, and noticing the way light passes through a glass or water, or how beautiful even a weed can be doesn't change that difficulty. It does, however, give us a wider context, a focus on what is right along what is wrong in our lives. Without the online creative community, without Flickr, Etsy, Pinterest, etc., I for one would be missing so much beauty and so many reminders to find the beauty in the "real" world. 

So, thank you technology, for making my life richer, deeper, wider, more passionate, more rooted in the world around me, in the earth and dirt and nature that gradually gave rise to you. Thank you, in all your artificiality, for bringing me closer to the natural, the actual, the literal... for being the lens through which I discovered a world, outside your magic screen, that I never would have known existed.... and a me that I thought quite impossible. Thanks computer, and everyone who ever contributed to you.

I think we will be alright. I think we know how to stay human no matter how much technology we surround ourselves with. I think we know, in our cells, what's most important... and those who don't, probably never would have... regardless of what happens to sit on their desk.

 

all tangled up.jpg

alive : first posted on 11/21/12


 

Today, while waiting at a red light, the boy (6.5 years) and I were noticing how a lower level of clouds was moving very fast across the sky, and a higher band seemed not to move at all. There was some silent admiration for a second or two and then he said, "I like being alive Mommy. I like my life." 

Yep... that's it right there. That's everything I need to hear, for a very very long time. I cancels out millions of I'm bored, and No one is being nice to me, and I never get to have fun.

I got a little choked up and he asked why. I said, "I work very very hard to make sure you have a good life, a life that makes you happy. That's my job. When you say that you like your life, it tells me that I'm doing a good job." It's the tip of the iceberg of the truth really, but it's what I could say in the moment that he would quickly understand. 

I struggle every moment of everyday to bypass my demons, to think through my every thought before it leaves my mouth, to accommodate  support, stimulate, enrich, and just plain keep up with a boy who is so different from me (who needs constant contact and almost constant conversation). More than one onlooker to my life has said it seemed precariously close to parenting a legitimately "special needs" kid. It does feel that way sometimes because his needs are so great and so very different from my own. But, what I do for him is likely no more than what every competent mom out there gives. I see it in the faces of the women I know who are moms of my son's friends. I see it so clearly. They give until it hurts, and that is just the beginning. 

They and I do it to give our kids what we had, or what we wished we'd had, at their age. We want to give them everything they need for a great life, now and later. Many of us have been running on empty since their births, some of us since our birth. But we find it in us to give, and in that giving we grow deeper, wider, stronger, and greater. And sometimes something is said, or something is given back that feeds us like the purest nectar of life... and we know it has all been for them, but for us too. They are never completely separate from us. They are of us. Our hearts beat in their chests. 

I like being alive Mommy. I like my life.

everything I need to hear.

 
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the kings of nothing

I’m not a religious person. I’m not even spiritual by probably most people’s definition of that condition. I am an atheist. But, I often find myself in awe of things made by nature, by human hands, by animal hearts (and brains and intentions). I find that I’m in awe to a point of speechless reverence. Like standing in a centuries old cathedral, like the deeply Catholic pilgrim standing before a crucifix, I’m in the presence of the sacred. I am humbled, transfixed, baffled, and made new in the light of all that is greater than I.

I know. I don’t sound like an atheist. Just, trust me.

Secondary to the awe of creation is the awe of humility, of seeing humility in other humans. We humans can be such a proud, egotistical, self righteous, controlling bunch. Comparative to the sheer numbers of seconds in our lives, we hardly ever give over to something greater. We seldom bow, pay homage, kneel in genuine respect and love (not just going through the motions), to that which makes us small. I think we need that. Not the bowing and scrapping that is brought to bare upon the powerless by the powerful. We need the kind of humility that possess all attention, in any given moment, and makes our knees give way. We need to see, more often I think, that we are kings of nothing. We are children, standing just inside the door of greatness, beauty, connections, expanses, being and loving. We are present, but we know nothing yet. Only a brave few rise in knowledge by staying constant in their belief that they are at the very bottom; only make progress when they acknowledge being at the beginNing. Only those who wish to see without taking, without owning, without possession of any kind, will have sight. Humility is everything.

 

clouds paint the sky.jpg