Monday, December 27, 2010
This photo album was my last creative output before Christmas. It was a commission, for which I am most grateful, and the last in a series of have-to projects that, along with the rest of the seasonal duties and festivities, left me a bit, well, uncreative.
I'm sure it's still in there somewhere, beneath layers of exhaustion, though a break is certainly much needed and will hopefully be restorative. I haven't cleaned up the mess. Yet. The entire house is oddly rearranged with clutter and goodies amid the decorations; there are two teenagers upstairs that don't know it yet, but today we are going to restore order.
Then comes the cleaning and organizing in my studio. A fresh start... yes. I believe that is what we are granted every day, but especially when looking toward a new year. I haven't made a list of resolutions but when I do, they will be very different from those of years past.
Whatever this day finds you creating, clearing, renewing, I hope it is calm, mindful and blessed. Happy Monday!
Friday, December 17, 2010
I just deleted 30 emails... aside from the swap group I belong to, a few blogs I follow and one from Alice's dance studio, they were all offers I could not refuse. Free shipping... only four more days.... last chance... save 50%... final clearance.
Last Sunday's snow storm was followed by an ice storm and my kids spent a day and a half at what was to be their finals - and fun - last week before winter break. I had my projects lined up and my plan in place for each day... wait, like John Lennon said, life is what happens when we're making other plans?
To infuse a bit of holiday spirit, Alice and I baked cookies yesterday afternoon while dancing around the kitchen to Harry Connick, Jr.'s Christmas CD.
Squishing the too-sticky dough through her fingers between pirouettes and kicks she felt like a little kid again. We had fun.
But her dance class was canceled and by early evening she was not happy. She wants to DO something.
I empathize. What is this called... cabin fever?? My arthritis has been complaining a bit more, and though it has shortened my days, the house is decorated and the most important shopping has been done. Thank heaven for the internet!
This year was supposed to be different. I envisioned making dozens of small gifts for those I cherish, in my studio with music, well, a bit too loud, steeped in the warm depth of all the reasons why I cherish those people. Along with doing a Christmas card, they'll most likely have to wait.
Each day has been laced with a unique blend of tension, anticipation and drama sprinkled with newly made memories. I am thankful that last year I made a few small reminders of my philosophy, well, most of the time.
The limbs on my beautiful trees arch low to the ground; hopefully, they'll remain intact to blossom again in spring.
They are captivating and an interesting parallel for life on the inside. Beauty, beads of life encased in ice, a bit off kilter but surviving.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
No matter how many times I tell myself it won't happen, it does. By early December I've savored three Thanksgiving dinners, celebrated my son's birthday, decorated my parents' house for Christmas and, Sunday night, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a party at a fabulous restaurant - photographer and all. I have lost most all of my (prednisone) weight and I'm in good spirits but the auto-immune situation plants the brick wall in my path. And here I sit, more blessed than so many, yet... the shopping, decorating, unfinished art projects that I can't post and who wants to hear a lot of whining anyway?
This advent, Dr. Woody Berry, our Senior Pastor, is centering his messages around being still... listening, no, listening deeper. So, after spending an entire day without checking one item off my list, I silence the noise, the chatter and stories I tell myself whether or not I mean to*... and what is it that I hear?
The peace of knowing that I am loved, touched by life details of friends close by and in cyberspace. Like my beloved friend who finally came home so that his family and friends can care for him during this scary time of illness with vague diagnosis. Another who has found a hopeful alternative to poisonous post-cancer preventive treatment. And today, a post by a friend who survived a surely-fatal aneurysm. And I think about Patti Digh's words... "we are living in choice every single moment."
We may not be able choose our circumstances, cure an illness, live in the Martha Stewart Pottery Barn Christmas commercial, but we can decide our response. So, a bit like the wee pansy poking up through the snow, I can choose to show my color. There is much to be done but I can shine in a state of joyful gratitude for all that is, the wonders I have been graced with - deservedly or not - and the hope that underlines living in faith.
*Patti Digh is amazing. If you don't have her book, Creative is a Verb, I'd suggest it for any/everyone on your gift list, including yourself.