Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Wedding

Easter Sunday was also the day of my son’s best friend’s wedding,
a bittersweet event.
There were tears of joy, there were tears of grief and sadness.

People asked:
Why have a wedding on Easter Sunday?

Don’t they know people have other things to do on Easter Sunday?

Oh, how I love this young man. 

He hugged on me and loved on me and kissed me and patted my back 
and stomped his foot and said:
Dammit, he shoulda been here.

And we all cried at the poignant truth of his words.

Still, what better day than Easter Sunday to celebrate love and a new marriage?

There is so much good with the bad,
so much happiness with the sadness,
or maybe it's the other way around:
much bad with the good,
much sadness with the happiness,
I don't know.

What I do know is that life goes on.
Beautiful brides still smile as they hold the hands of their husband to be
and speak their vows of love.

Even as mourning mothers watch,
their eyes brimming with joy and sorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The "Brutiful" Winter is Gone

It's been a beautiful and a brutal winter, both literally and metaphorically. "Brutiful" is the made-up word I saw sometime today on a blog post somewhere. Yes, that. We had "snow days" on two different occasions. On one of those breaks, it actually snowed! It was enough to blanket the ground in a solid white that lasted a couple of days. I was grateful to see snow again! But the cold weather seemed to last forever. The cold and the dark was not good for my soul. I said more than once that I did not know how people up north survive the length of winter with its lack of light.

The winter was brutal on my exercise schedule and I got off track with that. I am slowly trying to get back around to a regular walking schedule. Progress is very slow. 

But now spring seems to have arrived around here and I am in a somewhat better frame of mind (or I hope to be, very soon). I have stories in my head that I want to write but they seem to be stuck and the words won't come out. My thoughts don't seem to be sticking very well and I can't remember sometimes if I have written about certain things or not.

It wasn't long ago that I stopped and took these photos of an abandoned fire tower located in a field on one of the roads we often travel when we go to the country. They make me remember that part of what I am doing as spring comes is to look around and survey my grounds to see what damage winter has done and to see the places in my life where my attention is needed most.

My blog is one place I want to direct my attention. Comparing myself to others (and coming up short) is one thing that keeps me from here. It is a debilitating self-consciousness that keeps me sitting quietly in the corner. Right now, I have three stories that I need to tell. I need to relax and get them told. Maybe now that the weather is improving and light is returning to the days I will open up and let the stories flow. I want to. I surely do. It seems to me that a commitment to just showing up would be helpful.

Maybe now that the light has returned to the skies, and to the days, I will throw off that dark cloak of winter and choose to show up again, here on the blog, and in my life. I desperately need to.

I am grateful for the light.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Photographs and Memories

Tonight I've been laying around with layers and textures in PSE. I really want to learn more about using masks but it is proving to be  difficult for me. I remember I had a tough time grasping the concept even when I was in school and taking a Photoshop class.
These are tangled leaves skewered on a stick that I saw on my last walk on my trail in the woods. Black and white with a little bit of light on them, possibly proving there is always at least a tiny bit of light available.
And the vine is entangling one leg of the tree, not yet choking it though, possibly proving there is always something to be grateful for.

My art room has been under siege for months now. First we moved a dresser out from there up to the country. That meant I had things emptied out all over the bed. Then my youngest had a couple of friends who stayed several nights in there. That meant my things got emptied out all over the desk and the floor and whatever smooth surface there was available. I got back in there and started trying to organize things a bit. I found a venomous "love letter" note. It is based on a template I got from a substance abuse counselor, basically you work through several emotions and it tends to end up positively. At first I didn't know to whom the note was addressed but I finally figured it out. I hadn't put a date on it, either. I finally figured out who I was writing to but I still don't have a clue as to when I wrote it!

Then I found scraps of paper with half-written poem ideas on them. One was a haiku that went like this:

Waves roll, wash footprints
away. Memories remain,
sparkle like sea glass. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weekend Reading

I am a tiny bit hooked on perusing Amazon for free books for my Kindle. It's a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack and requires some patience (and it makes for an eclectic reading list). Recently I snagged a copy of The Woman's Book of Resilience: 12 Qualities to Cultivate by Beth Miller. It is a very interesting book!

When I finished reading it I realized I had no clue what the 12 qualities to cultivate actually were! I found the qualities listed underneath the chapter titles in the table of contents. I felt a little obtuse for not having noticed them sooner, and for not having absorbed them while I was reading the book!

Here, from Beth Miller, is the list of qualities:
  1. I will admit and embrace my vulnerabilities.
  2. I will practice and increase my ability to connect.
  3. I will find parts of the problem that I can manage.
  4. I will discover and get my needs met.
  5. I will recognize and develop my own special gifts and talents.
  6. I will develop my ability to say no.
  7. I will increase my ability to transform resentment and forgive.
  8. I will develop and use my sense of humor to help me through stressful situations.
  9. I will explore the range of responses and possibilities to improve things.
  10. I will endure suffering.
  11. I will find meaning in the crisis.
  12. I will stand alone, independent in thought and action, but I will not be afraid or reluctant to rely on others.
I think I've done relatively well at developing many of these qualities. I think there are a few of the qualities I need to work on. I am now re-reading through the parts of the book I had highlighted.
"I often wonder what our world would be life if each one of us committed ourselves to the inner shadow work, the work of looking for, admitting, and consciously integrating the darker aspects we all carry." ~Beth Miller, The Woman's Book of Resilience.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Unfinished Story

I read this in a free book I downloaded to my Kindle, "Crones Don't Whine." I'd recently been joking about being on my way to cronehood and I'd also recently accused myself of whining, so the book seemed meant for me at this time. It was free when I got it, but I see it is now $9.99. Score! For me, at least! Anyway, the book is very good (though I don't  know if I'd pay $9.99 for it).

I've been discouraged and in a bit of a funk lately, and needed the reminder that the curtain has not yet closed on my story.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Playing Around

I have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off this week for Mardi Gras. We had a freeze last night and it has been raining most of the day so I will not be partaking in the festivities this year. I have been staying inside like a hermit. I've also been staying up late and sleeping in a little in the mornings. I installed the latest version of Photoshop Elements and have been fiddling around some with that. Here are a few things I've worked on.

 The ice was quickly melting when I finally realized how much there was! I went out and took a few photos with my good camera. Nothing too spectacular but still, fun.
 This is an old one I'd take at a plantation garden in New Iberia. I've added a texture layer and played around with the impressionist brush a bit.
And this one is a donkey I'd seen at the Christmas tree farm. I removed the fence bars in front of his face and did some expressionist painting on him then I added the photo to a larger canvas and put the text below.

Monday, March 03, 2014


Something I wish I'd learned at an earlier age:

In case you can't read it clearly:
Every path has a cost--there are no free rides (the toll booth is in there somewhere, and often it is beyond the point at which you could have turned back, though many people will glibly say "It's never too late." On the other hand, there are always other forks in the path and so, often the most practical thing to do is to just keep moving.")