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Posts from the ‘Art’ Category

Sculpt

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” – Michelangelo

“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.” – Michelangelo

“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.” – Michelangelo

The clean edges, the grace of form, the transformation to a work of art comes with time, patience and effort. And the statute is never really done. What life are you sculpting for yourself? What is shaping you and what are you shaping in return? Shaping or chasing?

We want to know the ending before we begin. But that’s not how life works. And when we forego the mystery of the journey, we miss the heartbeat of life, the beauty of it really. Open up and let life in. Trust that you are where you need to be and immerse yourself in each moment. The task of the sculptor is to discover it.

Saunter

“It is a great art to saunter.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Every day brings new choices.” – Martha Beck

“Every day brings new choices.” – Martha Beck

It was hot today so Abby and I sauntered once around Como Lake. In our sauntering, we came upon the same bunch of flowers we that we run past again and again. This time, they jumped up and down in brilliant deep purple calling us to stop and take it all in.

Familiarity brings comfort and ease, a feeling of being home. We often take for granted that which is most familiar, seeing past what’s right in front of us in hot pursuit of whatever we so frantically chasing.

Spend some time, each and every day, sauntering more. You never know what will jump out to embrace you and pull you deep into gratitude and delight.

Trust the Color

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

“I prefer living in color.” – David Hockney

“I prefer living in color.” – David Hockney

No matter the storm, no matter the wind that tries to break your sails, trust the color. When you don’t feel it the most is when you should trust the most. Know that as you search for color in each day, you are not alone. We all long to harness and hold it tight. And when trust comes to fruition, become the color to brighten the world, even dare to do so in the waiting. That’s real trust.

With open hands, eyes and heart, color will suddenly pop out, loud and clear, a symphony fills the air with hope and joy.

Trust the color. It is there. Always. Look.

Blossom Time

“It is the hour to rend thy chains, the blossom time of souls.” – Katharine Lee Bates

Easter proves that  light shall always overcome darkness. When we think it’s over and nothing remains but mediocrity and despair, Easter breaks through the clouds and shows its brilliance and strength.

“The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” – Pablo Picasso

“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” – Pablo Picasso

Often we may not see or feel it, but, the light remains, especially behind the thin clouds, sustaining and pulling us through.

This year, life has felt like a Picasso painting , abstract and out of order. And yet, glimpses of light keep breaking through the cracks and soften the heart.

Redemption, rest, realignment, hope, faith, light and, of course, love. Easter has come.

Homeless Jesus

While in San Antonio for a conference last week, I passed a statute called “Homeless Jesus” in front of St. Mary’s Church in downtown. It stopped me in my tracks. How many times have I passed a real person on a bench and just kept going, touched slightly perhaps but not moved to stop?

When we don’t put the label of “other” on others, we find the source of compassion deep within that we’ve silenced in a hurried world. We appease ourselves with “it’s the church’s or the government’s job” to take care of them. We are the church, we are the government. And while a program will attend to the basic needs, human connection and dignity go to the heart of a human being who somehow ended up on a bench.

Whether on a bench or in the coffee shop, many people are struggling to merely get through the day. Don’t race by those who cross your path without noticing and being kind. If you do, you may miss Jesus.

Ordinary Every Day IS the Gift

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.” – Sharon Draper

As I scrolled through years of photos on my phone, I landed on a photo from April 25, 2016. An ordinary day, a Monday, a most ordinary day.  A moment captured of Molly enjoying one of her favorite toys in the backyard.

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say 'thank you?'” – William Arthur Ward

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’” – William Arthur Ward

At the time, as with most of ordinary days, I had no idea how important this ordinary day was or so many that came before or those to follow. So often, we pass through days like these, unaware of all of the gifts found in simple moments as we pursue and wait for the next interesting thing.

Three days later, Dad passed away and that not-so-ordinary day of April 28th was the start of a series of not-so-ordinary days of loss. Unexpectedly again, Molly passed away on June 27 and Lily on October 4.

Ordinary days become extraordinary when we look back in deep appreciation, after they occur. But we are summoned to gratitude and awe right now in this moment, in the ordinary every day moments. That’s the gift that we need not pursue or search for. It is right in front of us, right now.

Pause and look around each day with rapt attention to what is in the present. Take a picture with your phone, but more importantly in your heart. These days will not come again and we don’t know when those not-so-ordinary days will enter to change our lives forever.

Capture and experience with delight the silly, subtle and sweet moments of every day. That is the gift.

A Blank Page

“Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.” – Julia Cameron

Each day is a new blank page in the story of our life that we are writing with our actions, thoughts and words. We either write our story or we let others write it for us.

Some days, too many days, our page is filled the scribbles of chaos, busy work, mechanically going through the motions. Some days, not enough days, are pure poetry, light and joy. Life makes sense when we connect in conversation with that quiet voice that calls us home to who we really are, not who others want us to be.

So if your story is not turning out the way you want it to or know that it can be, start changing the plot, a few new words at a time, each day. Tomorrow is a blank page.

Poetry unfolds a word at a time, with first drafts, edits and rewrites, leading us down a path to the unknown but known to us at the same time. Take your pen back and start filling that blank page with meaning, depth, dimension and lasting value. Create the life, the story you are meant to write.

This is Your Life, Are You Who You Want to Be?

“We ‘reorder’ our lives when we choose spirit over the illusions of physical circumstances. With each choice we make, we either become more involved in the illusory physical world, or we invest energy into the power of spirit… Each time we choose to enhance our internal power, we limit the authority of the physical world over our lives, bodies, health, minds, and spirits. From an energy point of view, every choice that enhances our spirits strengthens our energy field; and the stronger our energy field, the fewer connections to negative people and experiences.” – Caroline Myss, PhD, Anatomy of the Spirit

As I was driving to work yesterday on autopilot, my thoughts focused on my overwhelming “to do” list, one line from a song playing on the radio suddenly caught my attention – “this is your life, are you who you want to be?”

Songs, books, nature, art all have a way of capturing our attention, bringing us back to center, to the important questions that need answers. Signs, seeds, and clues surround us begging for our attention, to wake us up and give meaning to our days.

Take yourself off auto pilot, cruise control – look and listen to what’s all around. You will be surprised what you see and hear. Suddenly, awe and wonder enter into your noisy busy, busy world that you’ve convinced yourself that you must participate in. Slow down so you can answer the questions that really matter, that define your life.

This is your life, are you who you want to be? If you don’t like the answer, do something different. Not sure what to do? Listen closely, the answers are there.

A Big Band

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” – Aldous Huxley

A big band as the sun prepares to rest can only make for a bit of delight. Music, art and nature sustain and fill our very soul. A light step, a twirl and a smile and the moment is so much more than enough.

Lily and me escaped to Como Lake tonight. To walk, not run. To saunter, not speed. Embracing the gift of a warm summer evening with a slight breeze at just the right time. When we sat down to enjoy the music, an older couple got up to show us how to lighten up and dance like no one was watching.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”- Plato

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”- Plato

Escaping all that binds us need not be complicated or planned too far in advance. Spontaneous and special, and required of us daily.

Turn up the music and get out on the dance floor.

A Picture

“What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; What is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.” – Matthew 10:27

It’s been a month when words have meant so much and so little all at the same time. Indescribable really. Sometimes, many times, a picture, a song, a scent, a sound capture what words could never harness.

Here are a handful of photos from my Lake Tahoe vacation last week with my best friend Sharon. We don’t see each other as much as we did when we were in college, yet each time we get together, there’s a silent connection that needs no words.

Be present with yourself and others. Words will come or they won’t need to. Look around, listen. Say what needs to be said and let silence enter too. In the silence, we hear what we need to, what we must. A picture, more than a thousand words.

“The truth is, I can never die. For I will be in everything and see you in everything and watch over you. I am your reaction in the water of a mountain lake.” – Klaus Kinski

“The truth is, I can never die. For I will be in everything and see you in everything and watch over you. I am your reaction in the water of a mountain lake.” – Klaus Kinski

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

“Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.” – Ansel Adams

“A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.” – Ansel Adams

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” – Ansel Adams

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” – Ansel Adams

 

 

 

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