Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Charles Joseph Hullmandel

Buried in the archives of the British Museum is this wonderful series of lithographs from illustrator Charles Joseph Hullmandel (June 15, 1789 – November 15, 1850) that transforms the English alphabet into sweeping landscapes. 

Charles Joseph Hullmandel  was born in London, where he maintained a lithographic establishment on Great Marlborough Street from about 1819 until his death.

Born in London of a German father and French mother, he travelled widely in Europe, making drawings and paintings of the places he visited.

In 1817 he met the inventor of the lithographic process, Senefelder, in Munich; the following year he established a lithographic press at his home in Great Marlborough Street, from where he produced prints until his death.

He refined the lithographic process, developing a method for producing gradations in tones and creating the effect of soft washes of color.

You can find more of Charles Joseph Hullmandel‘s work The British Museum and other sites across the Internet.

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We Need To Sound Down

I was riding down an interstate highway this afternoon, going home from my grandson’s soccer game. Since I wasn’t driving I was daydreaming.

I noticed so many office buildings, apartment buildings, gas stations, and more blurring past me, and I wondered what this highway was like a hundred years ago.

A hundred years is nothing in the timespan of life.

But it’s the difference between cars and buggies. Electricity and coal.

And I wondered what these roads looked like a hundred years ago.

Was there a traffic jam with buggies like there was going east on Hwy. 94? Were there exit ramps taking them to landscapes unknown? Office buildings ever other mile filled with thousands of desks doing thousands of tasks?

I know it was still a struggle to live back then. No phones. No electricity. No iron lungs. Child labor. Prohibition.

But they survived.

They survived without computers and electric razors and Porches. They survived without The Voice and The Walking Dead.

I know they also had  syphilis and diphtheria. They didn’t have the polio vaccine or a heart lung machine.

You know where I’m going with this.

What do you think the world was like before all this instant ticky tacky gratifications like Facebook and freezers?

It was harder. It was scarier.

But it was quieter.

There was more time to look inside and contemplate our role in the world. Our future. Our past.

We cannot change where we are, what we’ve developed, nor where we’re going. Our children’s children will go places we only dreampt of in science fiction and fantasy.

That’s what people thought a hundred years ago, too.

They couldn’t do a thing about horse dung in the streets or malaria or lack of refrigeration.

But they could dream.

Just like we can dream.

Dream of a quieter world. A peaceful world. A world where time has no meaning, nor does politics or war or greed.

They dreampt of that a hundred years ago.

We can dream of that today. And tomorrow.

Until then, find a quiet place, far away from the maddening crowd, and connect with your soul. You live in a city; find a park. You live in the countryside, find a different countryside. Listen to what the Earth is saying to you. It talks to you, it talks to me…even when you don’t feel like talking.

It’s the only peace and quiet you can find that’s true and good.

And we all need a little true and good in our lives. Right?

 

 

 

Thursday Evening on the Veranda (with a coat) — Ben Ashton

Alas, my art gallery affectionados…this is the last evening standing on the veranda, showing off unique and wonderful art. It’s getting to the point where a sweater is just not enough.

As I was wandering from one point to another, I came across this bizarrely amazing artist Ben Ashton.

On his website he has many different types of artwork.

But I came across these paintings and I wondered….what was he thinking?

Was he trying to smear the most intimate parts of the human body?

 

Looking at the magical paintings, we will never know.

More of Ben Ashton‘s work can be found at http://www.benashtonart.com/

Happy Birthday — Here’s a Pie


A friend of mine through WordPress, TextileRanger, wrote a blog on Gifts for the Person Who Has EverythingShe writes about her birthday, and the best gift she could get was that her daughters came and took furniture and articles that have been sitting around being unused for like ever.

And it got me thinking about birthday presents in general.

I don’t know how many of you still exchange gifts for birthdays or  Christmas. In our family, grandkids and kids are a must. Husbands (or myself as a wife) are more of “I need this now so why not give it to me for my birthday/Christmas?” sort of thing. We still exchange birthday gifts with my husband’s family — there’s about 3 grandkids and 5 adults, and it’s been a tradition for like ever, too.

Once you get up in age — and these family members run from 40 to 73 — have just about everything they need. Their collections of unicorns, Precious Moments, or Chicago Bears paraphernalia is fuller than a landfill. Half the time I don’t know what they do in their spare time, so buying something personal gets to be harder and harder.

So the last few years we have been giving food and drink for presents.

I think my family couldn’t be happier.

These are gifts that are fine-tuned to my friends and family’s taste. They are foods and liquors that they would normally never purchase. I once gave a cousin two lobster tails for his birthday. Last year we bought a different cousin a selection of hot seasonings and sauces, because he loves hot  food. A couple of weeks ago I gave a girl cousin a bottle of Relax German wine and a tin of Pirouette cookies to go with it. I would never buy a $7 tin of cookie for myself, but it was fun to buy them for someone else.

I think realistically our family and friends have enough t-shirts, earrings, and video games to last three lifetimes. But to pick out something special that doesn’t have to find shelf space is probably the best idea ever. That friend/family member can enjoy that special expensive beer, cookie, or chocolate creme pie more than the shirts that won’t fit or the video game that’s too hard.

Think about what you’re giving to those who mean the most to you. Maybe it’s time to stop the calendars and socks and give them some wonderfully decadent treat to show them how much you care.

And maybe if you’re lucky they’ll invite you over to share said goodie…

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sam Gilliam

Sam Gilliam (born November 30, 1933) is an African-American painter associated with the Washington Color School movement.

Gilliam’s hallmark “drape paintings,” which consist of stained fabric or paper resembling tie-dye, are regarded as a major step in the development of American art. 

A pillar of the Washington, D.C., modern and contemporary art communities, internationally acclaimed Gilliam has been testing the boundaries of color, form, texture, and the canvas itself over the course of his long, productive career.

His works have also been described as belonging to abstract expressionism and lyrical abstraction.

He works on stretched, draped and wrapped canvas, and adds sculptural 3D elements.

He is recognized as the first artist to introduce the idea of a draped, painted canvas hanging without stretcher bars around 1965.

More of Sam Gilliam‘s work can be found at http://davidkordanskygallery.com/artist/sam-gilliam/ and other galleries around the Internet.

My Life is on TV

I enjoy the new television season.in the fall. Dozens of shows try their best to make it to the evening line up. Most of the new crop is stinky. Some are merely okay. And some are pretty good.

Now and then there are some that hit pretty close to your life. And it’s creepy.

I just watched two sessions of Cool Kids.

For those who don’t know, Cool Kids is a new show about four “seniors” living in a retirement community who are sassy and a little troublesome. The most recent show was about one of the main stars (Vicki Lawrence) turning 65 and how she didn’t want to even acknowledge it. The foursome went out to a dance club and had a great time embarassing themselves before they went out drinking and met for breakfast the next morning in sunglasses.

65 and wanting to believe 65 is not old. And going out and doing crazy things to prove to themselves they are indeed as young as they feel. Which, in the end, was strained back muscles when they stood up and headaches in the morning.

Does that sound familiar or what?

I’m afraid I identify too closely with these oldsters. They say and believe the things I say and believe. They laugh and pick on each other and get sassy and throw parties they’re not supposed to throw. They fear getting old and being forgotten once they pass. The show didn’t get into grandkids or working past retirement age. Perhaps those will be touched in future episodes.

But what they did talk about and complained about sounded a lot like me.

Vicki Lawrence is 69 playing 65. The other actors are 62, 63, and 75 respectively. All within my age sphere. Their characters — and probably the actors themselves — have been there, done that. And so have a lot of us.

At this point in my life it’s great to see someone else portray my ups and downs on the screen. It’s great to see seniors being proud to be seniors. They may ache a little more and get tired a little more, but their memories of once being young and agile are every senior’s memories.

Of course, my life on the big screen will come crashing down once the show is cancelled.

But for now it’s fun watching the female lead talking about having a Peanut Booze and Jelly sandwich for lunch.

 

I’m Back From Around the Mountain

On my way to researching something or other last night, I came across a blog by Brett about becoming a minimalist. She went through everything — I mean everything — and got rid of 75% of her clutter. 

Now I don’t know how much clutter she had, or what she considered clutter, nor do I really know what a minimalist is…unless continuously getting rid of “stuff” puts me in that category. But I could identify with her energy.

I had to step back for a couple of weeks to declutter my head. I wasn’t sure what my problem was — I still am not sure. But I realized I wanted to get a little more clear on where I was going and what I wanted.

But I realized I had to cut some of the clutter from my life.

I’ve gone into my WordPress account and unfollowed everyone who hasn’t posted in 10-12 months. They’ve moved on. So must I. I am in the process of going to each and every one of the people I follow and comment on their postings. After all, that was the reason I followed them in the first place.

I decluttered. And I feel so much better.

I’ve also decided that I may not have much revolutionary things to share with those who choose to follow me, but I have my experience and my passions, and who knows —  maybe my passion will ignite your passion.

I find that my daily life is very routine, which is just fine with me. But I am into this art thing, and I keep finding amazing art from around the world. Things that amaze me. Humble me. Make me wonder.

Those are the things I want to share with you. Perhaps now and then some sage advice ( like I know what I’m talking about). but mostly I am working on uncluttering my life. Keeping what is important, and letting go of the rest.

What’s left is wonderful. And that’s all I need.

Good to be back.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Wassily Kandinsky

Russian-born painter Wassily Kandinsky is credited as a leader in avant-garde art as one of the founders of pure abstraction in painting in the early 20th century.

Born in Moscow in 1866, Wassily Kandinsky took up the study of art in earnest at age 30, moving to Munich to study drawing and painting.

A trained musician, Kandinsky approached color with a musician’s sensibility.

An obsession with Monet led him to explore his own creative concepts of color on canvas, which were sometimes controversial among his contemporaries and critics, but Kandinsky emerged as a respected leader of the abstract art movement in the early 20th century.

Kandinsky’s creation of abstract work followed a long period of development and maturation of intense thought based on his artistic experiences.

He called this devotion to inner beauty, fervor of spirit, and spiritual desire inner necessity; it was a central aspect of his art.

More of Wassily Kandinsky’s work can be found at https://www.wassilykandinsky.net/.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Vladimir Rumyantsev

St. Petersburg-based artist Vladimir Rumyantsev was born in 1957 in Cherepovets, Russia.

They are so expressive and painted with a sense of humor that can hardly leave anyone indifferent.

Vladimir paints mainly in watercolor, and his works are full of fun. He has become popular for his “St. Petersburg cats.”

His paintings are well-known and appreciated all over Russia, and many of them found their place in museums across Europe, USA, Britain and other countries.

The specialty of his works is the humorous representation of cats’ lives, often in human roles, which still makes them loved pets.

Perhaps one of his cats are based on yours!

Vladimir Rumyantsev‘s work can be seen around the Internet.

I’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain When I Come

I just read a statistic that there are 152 million blogs out there in the world. 152,000,000 people rattling off thoughts and advice and experiences to anyone who will listen.

Blogging has become an inexpensive, anonymous way to purge your soul of thoughts, sins, and the uniqueness that makes us human. On a blog you can be anyone. An old man, a young girl. A college student, a doctor. None of that matters when it comes to writing what you think and feel.

Lately I have been wondering the purpose of it all. What is the end game for all of us writing what’s going on and what we wonder and what we feel?

These 152,000,000 blogs have become the paper journals of the past. A safe, anonymous place to get it all out. Some will sympathize, some will give you a “like.”or two. And that makes you feel good…if for just a little while.

But your problems, your wonderings, your achievements, will still be there.

What is it we want in this blogging world? To not feel alone? To be appreciated? To be loved?

It’s a wide, wonderful, terrifying world out there. For us who love the written word or taking pictures of it, it helps when we pull those wonderful, terrifying things into a 3-D world where we can look at them.

Lately I feel like I’m not really contributing anything to the tangling of words that come from 152 billion computers. I follow a number of blogs that I rarely get a chance to read. Life does that when you’re busy working and living. I feel like I’m cheating other bloggers who really have something to say.

But lately I feel like I don’t do anything special enough to blog about. Not in the scope of this massive blogging world. This is not a depressed or disillusioned person writing this blog. I’m doing good. But I think we all get to the point where we wonder, what’s the point?

I think that for a while I am going to go on a journey all on my own. There is nothing to share that hasn’t been written or shared in the library of the Internet.  I think I will continue my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog, for that is a world unseen by most of my followers, and I love — just love — sharing unique artists with you.

Forgive me if I don’t read your blogs, and feel free to stop reading mine. I’m trying to convince myself that likes and follows don’t mean anything to me in the long run. It’s a false sense of popularity, you know?

I will be back. A writer can’t stay away from writing. But I’ve got to clarify what writing is to me. I need to explore fall in all its chilling glory. Just another step on the footpath to tomorrow.

Be well, dream wonderful dreams, and keep coming back for the Gallery.

Vulnerable

Nancy seems to find words when I have none. For my women friends, and even the men, a heart-felt blog for this Wednesday…

notquiteold

I was speaking recently with a friend, and he said that he finds himself more fearful now that he is older.

He said, “I feel vulnerable. Now that I am old and not as strong as I used to be, I worry that someone could hurt me. That in a bad situation I might not be able to protect myself. It’s a terrible feeling to have to think about that.”

I was impressed that he could share that vulnerability with me.

But part of me wanted to laugh.

I didn’t, of course. He was thoughtful, sincere, open. So I was open with him as well.

“I understand how that feeling of vulnerability can be overwhelming. But think about this:  IT IS WHAT GIRLS FEEL EVERY DAY. Girls – from the time they are small -understand vulnerability. We know that there are others who are bigger and stronger and can hurt us…

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Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Wild Drawing

WD, aka Wild Drawing, was born in Bali, Indonesia and has degrees in Fine Arts and in Applied Arts.

He started off as street artist in 2000 and from that time he spends most of his time to work in the streets, even though he never stopped working in his studio.

In the beginning his work involved a full range of the so called street art from paste ups and stencils to installations and freehand murals.

For about  ten years he has been focused on mural projects and as a medium he combines roller technique with spray paint.

He always tries to interact with the spot where he is working, by utilizing various elements that existing around, so to create harmony between the work and the place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His style consists of highly detailed photo realistic technique, influenced by comics and graphic novels. Social phenomena, life style, art or nature often inspire him.

 

More of Wild Drawing can be found at http://wdstreetart.com/

Looking For Advice

I have a question for all of your art lovers, photographers, painters, and anyone else who love the arts.

You find an artist you really like. It’s a particular form they made that has caught your eye. But when you go to their website there are a number of different forms they dabble in.

How do you know which is their main focus? What they’re known for?

I came across an artist who did abstract photography of things like water drops. When I went to their website, they had different categories to choose from: Human Nature, Landscapes, Abstracts, Commercial Stuff, Services, High Speed Photography, Conceptual, Natural Beauty, Graphic Design, Animals, Bugs, and My Ego.

How do you choose which style to share?

I don’t like to choose one from each heading, for I think it takes away from what the series is trying to convey. It’s like multi-colored confetti.

I may showcase something I think is cool, but the artist is really well-known about some other field of endeavor. That’s why sometimes it’s hard to showcase an artist. All of their talents are amazing, but I can only show off one.

Any advice you have to this newbie art collector would be appreciated.

Sometimes diversity is confusing.

 

Come See What You’re Missing!

I have run out of creative words for the evening — and probably the week — so what is better than an advertisement for my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog?

If you read my blogs and haven’t been over the the main gallery to check out my unique art collection, you don’t know what you’re missing. I highlight artists that take creativity to a new and unique level. That includes the classics as well as the newcomers on the block.

Here’s a sample of what you’re missing:

 

William Wigan

 

Luke Gerram

 

Bathsheba Metal

 

Mézesmanna — Judit Czinkné Poór

 

René Lalique

 

Steve Axford

 

Pink

 

John Lemke

 

Carol Long

 

Follow my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog for new and wondrous art every week! And tell your friends!

Let’s Get Analyzed!

I think I would have a field day if I were a psychiatrist psycho-analyzing myself. Don’t you think you would too?

I would have the obvious analyzations such as being bullied in junior high (who wasn’t?) led to my insecurities about my looks for the following 55 years; dating the same guy for three years in high school only to be dumped when I graduated (who hasn’t?) was a waste of time; or I could have been a writer 40 years ago if I knew anything about the savings and loan business. Those kind of growing up stories we all have. I grew up and survived and found the right guy in the end.

But I wonder how my 65-year-old mind would be dissected today?

Since I can’t fall asleep these days (guess my body’s waiting for retirement to sleep), I get hooked on the strangest things. Not long ago I finished 80 episodes of King’s War, a Chinese TV series with English subtitles. I’ve always been a scaredy cat but now I’m downloading horror movies to watch before I go to bed. I’ve recorded all these cooking shows to watch but all they do is make me hungry so I watch Cabin in the Woods instead. I’ve not made my way through those awful Saw movies, but I saw a predecessor which kind of laid the path before my feet, and it wasn’t bad.

What happened to the introspective, insecure girl who used to watch movies like A Hard Day’s Night and Camelot?

What happened to the woman who felt ethereal? Cosmic? Enchanted?

Perhaps I’ve just gotten older. Perhaps those movies that once pulled my heartstrings would bring an incredible amount of memories back that I just don’t want to deal with.

I think it’s because I’m afraid that if I open that door of emotions I’ll never survive. Not that I have any crushing loss in the past — as a matter of fact, if I had a huge loss, that might make more sense. For I would have something big and real to cause my pain and confusion.

It’s the little things that upset me. Memories of friends I’ve let go. Things I could have done differently with my kids. Cousins I lost touch with. Jobs I should have worked harder at. What should bring me hours of fond memories actually makes me sad. And I don’t want to go through all the uncomfortableness of reconnecting with people long gone out of my life.

I figure handling Freddy or some foreign samurai is a lot easier than trying to remember the girls I used to go to the dances at the Navy base with. Maybe I’m ashamed to know that I don’t remember what I should remember.

Scary movies are safe playgrounds in the fact that I would never go or do the stupid things the characters go or do. I would never explore that tunnel or turn around to see what that guy by the truck was doing with that body wrapped in the sheet. I can handle movie madness because I wouldn’t do anything so shallow or crazy.

But I would do the stupid things I’ve done.

I really do have fun watching the Chinese movies and TV shows. They take me to a time and place I never knew existed. Maybe that’s what scary movies do, too. Take you to places you’ve never been. Nor would ever go.

But I will always go back to my past.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Wu Guanzhong

Wu Guanzhong (吳冠中, 1919–2010) is one of the best known contemporary painters of Chinese origin.

Born in 1919 in the Jiangsu province of eastern China, Wu Guanzhong  went on to become one of the most important Chinese painters of the 20th century. 

He has painted various aspects of China including much of its architecture, plants, animals, people, as well as many of its landscapes and waterscapes in a style reminiscent of the impressionist painters of the early 1900s.

Wu’s paintings have the color sense and formal principles of Western paintings, but a spirit and tonal variations of ink that are typically Chinese.

Natural scenery is reduced to its essentials – simple but powerful abstract forms.

 Wu Guanzhong passed away in Beijing on June 25, 2010.

You can find more of Wu Guanzhong‘s artwork across the Internet, including China Online Museum.

Ode to Autumn Fly

Pesky fly lands on my foot

A most major distraction

I glance towards colleagues

Mismatched socks

Writer’s idea of humor

Creative jokesters, these bards be

Fly lands in someone’s hair

Restless in its annoyance

Won’t someone give him a sugar cube?

Lots of people with no socks

End of summer, end of sandals

Autumn nips of cold and gold

Summer Solstice come and gone

The robes of Fall begin to unfurl

Protect us from Winter’s breath

Soon the fly will hear the call

Change of seasons

Taking its sugar cube along

On its never ending journey south

Hope he wears mismatched socks, too

 

(c) Claudia Anderson

 

Friday Evening on the Veranda — Fong Qi Wei

Fong Qi Wei showcases the radial symmetry found in flowers and the beauty of their individual components by tearing them apart and placing each part separately.

By doing this, all of the various textures and shapes get to stand out on their own, becoming independent sections.

“I am fascinated with the intersections. Intersections are places where boundaries break down, and these are areas where really interesting things happen.”

“Boundaries are comfortable and static.”

“In particular, I am interested in the intersections of the sciences, art and technology.”

There are so many beautiful versions of Fong Qi Wei’s art that you must go to his website to enjoy them all:  https://fqwimages.com/

I’m Tired of Learning Something New Every Day

Lot of drama going on around us these days. Some, like the 17th anniversary of 9-11, can’t be helped. Me, squirting chocolate frosting across my desktop and computer as I try and get it out of my donut, is self-imposed.

I am at the point in my life/career that I’m tired of learning.

I know they say you’re never too old to learn something new.   But that’s not always the way it is. I think it’s just that I’m just tired of pushing temporary info into my already crowded brain.

Our world is whirling around us faster than I ever thought possible. In writing a blog for work about teaching coding to youngsters, they said in 10 years the coding we learn now will be obsolete, as new ways of coding and doing things change.

So I’m starting to wonder then…. why bother?

I know we need to deal with the now now. To keep a job these days you need to be on top of things: trends, programs, new ways to collect and control data. Yes, the methods will be time-saving and more efficient, but you still have to learn the darn way first.

I used to be bothered by the image of the old person sitting on the back deck in their golden years watching grass grow. But nowdays that seems so appealing.

Working for a living is much different than it was when I was a linofilm typist back in the day. Of course, I’m sure my dad would have said construction was different when he was discharged from WWII.

I know. Everything changes. Get over it.

But you get to a point where your brain just wants to stop being stuffed with meaningless stuff that won’t make a difference a few years from now.

I’m tired of learning. What I want to do now is experience something new every day.

Learning how rainbows are formed from water crystals in the sky isn’t important. Seeing the rainbow is. Knowing how they built the Eiffel Tower or Mount Rushmore isn’t important — seeing them is.

The hows have never stuck around in my brain to begin with. I wanted to be an actress in high school but I could barely memorize a paragraph. I wanted to be a marine biologist but I lived in Illinois. A lot of things I had to learn just to get a job, just to get by. And marine biology wasn’t it.

I don’t want to learn any more programming or data entry or try to sell my business. I want to learn what I want to learn, not what I have to learn. I want to learn French and how to crochet and how to cook a souffle. I don’t want my future to rely on how much I remember after I learn it.

Maybe this is a “getting old” thing. More likely it’s a millennial thing. Most of them do pretty much what they want to do.  They work, they save a little, but they don’t tie their money up in in huge bills like mortgages and fancy cars. They take their free money and spend it. They experience things. Not memorize things.

Tonight I’m going home from work and sitting on the deck and watch grass grow. Why not? Nature has a lot of things to teach us, too.

Don’t wait to experience life. To experience the world. Don’t wait until you’re rich enough or skinny enough. For enough will never be enough. And you’ll never experience the beauty of the world sitting behind a desk in a fluorescent lit cubicle.

 

Memorials About 9-11 — Never Forget


I posted this a couple of years ago — it’s still fresh and beautiful in the hearts of those who remember.

And we will always remember.

 

To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts — such is the duty of the artist. ~ Robert Schumann

lady-liberty-statue

Lady Liberty Memorial – 9/11 Memorial Museum

 

 

tony-triggTony Trigg

 

 

9-11-memorial-freehold-nj-nick-zelinsky9/11 Memorial, Freehold, NJ

 

 

the-madonna-in-hell-by-fevorr-j-nwokorieThe Madonna in Hell, Fevorr J. Nwokorie

 

 

hearh-satowHeath Satow

 

 

brooklynBrooklyn Wall of Rememberance

 

 

kenny-wangKenny Wang

 

 

Flight 93 Memorial, Shanksville, PA

 

 

hero-image-pentagon-memorial-photo-credit-mike-myersPentagon Memorial, Washington D.C.

 

 

the-hero-khai-nguyenThe Hero, Khai Nguyen

 

 

 

papquiltPort Authority Memorial Quilt

 

 

Trinity Root,  Steve Tobin

 

 

tumbling-woman-eric-fischlTumbling Woman, Eric Fischl

 

 

fdny_quiltFire Department New York Memorial Quilt

 

 

lower-school-art-students-of-porter-gaud-schoolscLower School Art Students of Porter Gaud School, South Carolina

 

 

thDavid Kracov

 

 

flight-crew-memorialFlight Crew Memorial, Grapevine, Texas

 

 

Postcards, Masayuki Sono

 

 

911-dust-to-dnamikey-flowers-kevinclarkeDust to DNA, Bianca Nazzaruolo

 

 

spencer-finchSpencer Finch, 9/11 Memorial Museum

 

 

to-lift-a-nation-ground-zeroTo Lift A Nation, Ground Zero

 

 

teardrop-memorialbayonne-njTeardrop Memorial, Bayonne, NJ

 

 

victims-quilt9/11 Victims Memorial Quilt

 

 

ground-zero-memorial-design9/11 Memorial Museum

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Fabian Oefner

Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner, 28, from Zurich spent four weeks researching gigantic gaseous formations that can be spotted beyond our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

These spectacular pictures may look like NASA footage of far off galaxies. 

But in fact the star-studded images have been created with some fiber optic lights in someone’s home.

Two hundred bright blue, red and orange fibre optic lamps were hooked up to just three AAA  batteries to produce the incredible sight of one of the universe’s most spectacular and creative phenomena – the nebulae.

Oefner created the images  images by taking long-time exposures of several fiber glass lamps (exactly, those ugly-looking lamps, that were extremely popular in the 90`s) moving around in a darkened room.

Afterwards, several images were multiplied in Photoshop to achieve the density of such a structure. 

While this gallery tends to shy away from Photoshop as an art medium, I believe the initial set up and photography was amazing, so it warranted a space in the gallery.

More of Fabian Oefner‘s work can be found at http://fabianoefner.com/.

Through Pain Comes Beauty

I know a few weeks ago I shared some of my favorite bloggers with you during my #AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek. I do hope you have been able to go on over and check them out.

But I have to recommend another blogger to you. Have to. Because every time I check in with her she’s drawn another great piece of art.

Her name is Sharon Mann and she the creator of Make Art…Magic Happens. I enjoy her art because I just enjoy her art. Every day is an attempt at something new. Sharon seems to enjoy her art, and it shows.

I also love her blog because she is real, with real feelings. In Sharon’s “about” section I read she lost her husband and best friend about a year ago, and her art is her therapy. It’s almost like her creativity is an extension of her love and loss. Check her out.

I find this same mixing of fantasy and reality in my friend Ivor‘s blog at Ivor.Plumber/Poet.  Ivor writes mostly poetry. I sometimes have a hard time reading his poetry, for there is pain there, tinged with hope. Ivor lost his wife and friend almost six years ago, and much of his words are about love and loss and pain.

There are others I follow who have similar stories to tell…stories of sadness, loss, of wandering and falling and getting up again. Some of the names escape me now, but it all swirls into one pool.

I sometimes wonder if all bloggers are like this. Their art, their poetry, their stories, so wonderful because of some loss in their life. I follow those with life-threatening illness, with degenerative eye disease. It’s funny, because I followed them first because I enjoyed their writing. Their point of view. Their pain is almost an after effect.

I am lucky. Except for the loss of my brother a few years ago, and my parents long ago, that kind of pain has not knocked at my door for some time. I know he’s there…she’s there…waiting for me to drop my guard so they can slap me with the cold reality of life and death and some unknown illness. I have to stand guard, for I know once it comes it will rip my heart out and leave such a big hole I will never recover.

For now I will revel in the work my blogging friends do, no matter what the cause. I have led a wonderful life so far…who knows what the future will bring. I put whatever I have in my writing, whether it’s pain or joy or contentment or sorrow. I will deal with the highs and lows of death and beyond in my next life.

I’m too busy being who I am in this one.

Thursday Evening on the Veranda —  Sara K. Byrne

The work of Sara K Byrne is definitely multilayered.  

Her images are double exposures – a technique that originated with film cameras.  Basically a segment of film would be exposed to light twice.  

The darker areas in the first photograph would record light in the second photograph.

Byrne uses a digital camera, one of a handful of models, that can perform the same technique.

More of Sara K. Byrne‘s amazing work can be found at https://sarakbyrne.com.

 

Where Did My Inspiration Go?

Good evening my good friends!

Went away for a long weekend camping with family. I ran around with both grandsons until I passed out at night. I want to live a hundred years. Two hundred years. I want to run around with every grandchild in my bloodline.

Thinking about all that makes me teary.

So I thought I’d come on back to writing.

But I can’t seem to find my inspiration anywhere. I mean, I’ve looked all over for it. Down in the library, under the kitchen table, behind the nic nacs. Yet I can’t seem to find it.

I hear it whispering late at night, when the lights are off and the summer breeze blows through the windows. I think I hear its laughter around the corner, just a step ahead of my treading gate. I sit on my sofa, looking out the window, at the sun setting behind the trees, and I wonder where my inspiration went.

I know emotions ebb and flow, fly high and dig low, and comes back around sooner or later. But while I’m on the flow, on the low, I wonder if I’ll ever be amazed at my own work again.

Does your inspiration come and go? Do you listen to voices on the wind and wonder if there’s a story there, and nothing comes to mind?

I remember those times that I felt possessed. It wasn’t me writing…it was some gypsy spirit or wood sprite or Shakespeare himself writing through me.

Since I’ve lost my inspiration I might as well be writing a grocery list.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been off playing with children who don’t care about much except play and treats and snuggling and watching fun movies. They don’t know much about ego or the evil in the world. They love out loud, they trust completely, and they are comfortable with everyone in the family tribe.

Part of me wants to be a kid again. To not care about anything on TV but fun movies and cartoons. To go outside and ride a bike and kick a ball around the yard and draw on the driveway with chalk. To be a child and not punch a time clock or put numbers in a computer or think about death.

And then, when I wrote a story or drew a picture, it would be the best in the world. My parents and friends and family would think I was the greatest writer in the world, and would tell their friends who would tell their friends.

From the sound of all of the above, I better find my inspiration soon. I can’t keep running around all day acting like I’m three. I wouldn’t be able to  watch the last season of Game of Thrones. It’s rated R. And no three year old is allowed to watch it.

Tell me….do you lose your inspiration? How do you get it back?

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Matt Schlian

  1. As a paper engineer, Matt Shlian’s work is rooted in print media, book arts, and commercial design.

He frequently finds himself collaborating with a cadre of scientists and researchers who are just now recognizing the practical connections between paper folding and folding at microscopic and nanoscopic scales. 

Of his work, Shlian says: “In my studio I am a collaborator, explorer and inventor.”  

“I begin with a system of folding and at a particular moment the material takes over.”

“Guided by wonder, my work is made because I cannot visualize its final realization; in this way I come to understanding through curiosity.” 

More of Matt Shlian’s amazing work can be found at https://www.mattshlian.com/

Green, White and Orange, the Red White and Blue

Everyone loves music of one kind or another. I’m big on new age jazz, upbeat classical, and hair band rock n roll. But my favorite music is definitely Irish music. There is something magical about the chords and dreams of a land across the sea.

My mother was Irish — she was actually a Heinz 57 kinda gal, but I’ve pulled out the Irish in her to celebrate as my music of life.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Irishfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a three-and-a-half day celebration of everything Irish. But the main reason for my two day foray was the band Gaelic Storm.

Now I know I’ve talked about their music before. It’s upbeat pub music, as they like to say. Lots of songs about drinking and wandering and being Irish. They were the band playing Irish music in the movie “Titanic,” but for more than a glance they weren’t part of the movie. But they’ve gained quite a following in the last 20 years, Milwaukee Irishfest being one of their promoters all these years.

The crowd that Saturday night was the biggest of the fest — there must have been at least a thousand people in front of the little stage. I was three benches back — I always love to see them up close.

The reason I’m talking about this group is to highlight what is magnificent about any live performance. For an hour and a half, these one- to two-thousand people sang along with every song, jumped and danced, held phone lights up in the air, and just became one dynamic force.

One of this Irish band’s favorite crowd pleasers is a song about the bond between Ireland and the United States. Of the Irish and the Americans. Patrick Murphy, the lead singer, always starts out this song by saying, “We are not democrats. We are not republicans. We are human beings that need to take care of each other.”

There is something about music…live or otherwise…that transforms each of us. Live is better, for the energy bounces off every individual and onto the next. For two hours everyone is one. Country, classical, blues — it doesn’t matter.  We are what God wanted us to be.

We all came here from somewhere. And we’re all going to the same place in the end. Why not spend that time in between listening to music?

 

Green, White and Orange, the Red White and Blue

Cross the waters, thousands at a time
All we owned was in our hands
Holding tight to faith and something we could find
In this strange and distant land
Took one last look behind
Open hearts and open minds
And these colors that we held so dear before,
We planted them together on these foreign shores.
My green, white and orange, the red white and blue
Yeah, my green white and orange, the red white and blue
Young and hungry, ready for the brawl
We were driven by desire
No way back, we were prepared to risk it all,
We’d been tempered by the fire
We built the roads, we built the rails
We shared our songs, we shared our tales
Now our colors fly together side by side,
And we lift them to the sky with peace and pride
My green, white and orange; red white and blue
Yeah, my green white and orange; red white and blue

Lift your colors every woman, every child every man
Our song has just begun
We fall together if together we don’t stand
We are many, we are one
Not everyone will live to see what we dreamed this world to be
When we doubt we’ll have the strength to see it through
These colors show us all the way to what is true
My green, white and orange; my red white and blue
Yeah, my green white and orange; red white and blue
Yes, my green, white and orange; my red white and blue
Yeah, my green white and orange; my red white and blue
Yeah, my green, white and orange; my red white and blue
Yeah, my green white and orange; my red white and blue

 

To My Friend LuLu

Had a great time away from home for four days. Needed a mental break. I was mopey and dopey because my grandkids didn’t come up to the cabin this weekend, and I whined all the way home.

Then I had coffee with my bestie I shall call LuLu.

LuLu has just gone through eight rounds of chemo for cancer. She has been in the hospital twice for dehydration; she has lost weight and all her pretty dark hair. She’s had sores and she was anemic. She would cry for an hour over real things and no-things.

And yet when we got together she was happy, talkative, and optimistic.

 It’s natural to think that there, but for the grace of God, go I. If the shoe was on the other foot, your sad friend would be thinking that themselves, believe me.

Our friends, our parents and friends and brothers and sisters didn’t ask for their battles. They didn’t IV leukemia or chrones. They didn’t eat one sweet roll and get diabetes. You get my drift. They didn’t ask to have this life and death fight.

It just happened.

It will happen to all of us.

Our friendship has been growing year by year. What started as riding together turned into coffee and muffins and chats. She needed to get out of her house — she needed to talk. And when something big’s going on in your life, you want to talk. You need to talk. You need to understand that you didn’t do anything to get on this side of the fence, and that everyone around you is helping push you back to the other side.

I’ll never forget the day I found out I had breast cancer. I came back to work from the doctor and pulled my little section together and just told them. I couldn’t imagine hiding this from the people I worked side-by-side with. They were friends. Maybe we didn’t hang out after work, but they were friends that cared about each other. Including me.

I made my way through it. LuLu will make her way through it.

Sitting there tonight, gnashing while gossiping and whining together was the most magical experience I’ve had in a long time. We talked about everything. Our being grandkids addicts. We have no money. We hate cleaning house. We have husbands and kids and co-workers. We have fears and tears and dreams of going to our youngest grandkid’s wedding.

LuLu didn’t ask for this burden. But she’s not going through it alone. That’s what coffee and muffins are for.

Take your friends out for coffee and muffins. You never know what burdens they’re carrying. And even if they don’t have a burden to bear, it feels good to talk about husbands and kids and co-workers.

Especially over blueberry muffins.

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Finale

HAPPY CELEBRATE YOUR CREATIVEFRIENDS WEEK!

This has been a great week. I loved sharing the blogs I enjoy reading. There are so many others that I didn’t get to share — but there is always time one day in the future. Know every blog you write is putting magic in the air.

Like I said last year, there are thousands and thousands of bloggers out there. You may follow three or three hundred. The purpose of this made-up week is to encourage you to interact with those who write/paint/travel/share with you. If you like what you read, click that little LIKE button. REALLY like what you read? Drop a comment! We/you/they love to hear back from you!

I love reading your work PiratePatty, Jocelyn, Phyllis, Chrissy, Sara, Sharon, Jane, Ben, Ellen, Dwight, Brandon, Gwen, Marion, Blue, Mary, Jan B, Donna, and all the others  I didn’t get to mention.

You are all magic. Listen to that voice inside you and let it inspire you. You only go through life one time…make  it magical!

 

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek #5 – Glorialana

Happy  #AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek!

 

One of the blogs I’ve followed is Glorialana Magazine. I don’t know if her name is Glorialana, or if it is a reference to glorious thoughts and emotions, but her blogs always shimmer with an ethereal light. Maybe it’s the way she shares historical events or her favorite artists, but I always feel I’m floating on the clouds as I read her. Maybe it’s just because she starts each blog with “Hello God!” How can you not feel the magic that is to come?

 

August Hedonist

Hello God!

Thank You for August-Hedonist.

And Thank You for this happy possibility to write these words I was struggling for them with the enemy of self-criticism and guilty. I had sat down at the desk, opened this page with intention to write something – and checking gmail, surfing Dailymail and etc. were hugging my creative essence. I had felt a bitter aftertaste when days by days spending with a celebrities gossips and aliexpress things I closed an empty page in Glorialana.

Angel Of July.jpg

My dear friend, the Angel is awaking me up. Vladimir Rumyantsev, the painter, by his tender brush has drawn my creative vulnerable essence as a cat with yellow eyes hiding under the chamomile umbrella.  I am afraid, yes, I am afraid, because my inner self-critic prevents me to see you. But Your Love and light is stronger I see in your eyes and I remember how I love your eyes, how I love your smile. You are important for me because I feel that I can enlighten your world. Perhaps it sounds a little grandiloquently  – I live because of You.

Because of You I have find a new motto for Glorialana Magazine – “Romanticizing The World” inspiring by German poet and philosopher Novalis “To romanticize the world is to make aware of the magic, mystery and wonder of the world; it is to educate the senses to see the ordinary as extraordinary, the familiar as strange, the mundane as sacred, the finite as infinite.” Beautiful aim, task and motivation to wake up and to write for You.

Summer Pleasures.jpg

“Darling, wake up, please. Today is the 11th of August. Are you going to sleep whole summer?”, tender voice of the Angel is whispering. “Are you going to sleep and miss the symphony of berries, apples, pears and poetic picnics with you love? When are you going to enjoy my company? Life is short and happiness is subtle. Please wake up the world is waiting!” I has woke up and opened my eyes happily feeling your breath.

Gastronomist

We live this August – Hedonist. Hedonist comes from the Greek word hedone “pleasure” and is related to hedys, which means “sweet”. And you know referring the topic of hedonism I have found a brilliant book “A Hedonist Manifesto: The Power to Exist” by Michel Onfray.

“Enjoy and have others enjoy, without doing harm to yourself or anyone else”, Michel defines hedonism. In these simple words the philosophy of my life is packed.

Gourmet

In hedonistic style we are celebrating my awakening enjoying Summer Berry and Champagne Soup with Floating Islands Gordon Ramsay has blended for us.

Thank You for You. Because of You I grow and glow. Because of You I have found the meaning of my writing here – “Romanticize the Word and Enjoy and Have Others Enjoy, without doing harm to yourself or anyone else.”

Enjoy Summer! Enjoy August-Hedonist!

Make your way to Glorialana’s world and let her sprinkle some sparkle on you!

Second Annual #AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek Part 5 ~Ann Koplow~

Happy #AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek!

Anyone who can post every day AND make it fun to read has to be in my top blogs. Ann Koplow and her blog The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally has been running for 2063 (as of today), and her photos reflect her day-to-day world. She says ” I sometimes say I’m a clinical social worker, sometimes I say I’m a psychotherapist. Whatever title I use, I work with people at a major teaching hospital, and I specialize in group therapy.”

What she should really say is that I’m a blogger through and through.

Day 2038: I give up!

In the last two thousand and thirty-eight days of blogging and living, I have never said, written, or thought, “I give up!” Today, I am saying, writing, and thinking it. Why? Because starting yesterday, every time I use my laptop to try to create a new blog post, contact WordPress support, or do many other essential tasks, all WordPress gives me is this unhelpful, unchanging screen:

That gives me nothing and no way to post or to get help.

I’ve given this a lot of time and many attempts at solving this. My mind is giving me no more ideas and options.

I give up!

But I can NOT give up blogging, no matter how many new obstacles life gives me, because this blog and my readers give me so much.

So how can I keep giving myself and my readers more daily gifts?

My phone does not give me the ability to contact WordPress for help, but it does give me the ability to create a new post.

So I can give you, today, this daily blog and give you my latest photos.

Harley is obscured there, just like solutions to my blogging problem are hidden from me now. Is it curtains for my blog? Or will some solution become clear and emerge?

Is there a recipe of steps that will give me back the ability to blog from my laptop? If not, maybe I can give myself comfort with the delicious food Michael gives me.

Maybe some computer genius, somewhere, will give me some solution to my WordPress problem. If not, I’ll just keep blogging, giving up disappointment and judgment.

This is the kind of look I give the world when I’ve had no sleep the night before. I’m going to give my haircutter, Mia, a look at this photo the next time I see her, so she can give me a similar haircut next time.

Even if nobody can give me the answer on how to blog again on my laptop, my phone will be just that good as my daily blogging machine.

I give my patients the choice of five “Coping and Healing” groups every week. This gives me tremendous satisfaction.

If you were lost in the woods — of WordPress or elsewhere — and it got dark, what would you do? I’ll give you all the time you need to think about that.

Michael keeps giving us amazing meals — that’s the one he gave us last night before we gave my son Aaron a ride to the airport.

I took this photo to give me a clue about how to find my car in the enormous and confusing parking lot at the airport, which always gives me a headache.

After I took that picture, we did not give up when we were told that Aaron needed a printed-out visa to board his flight to India, even though a website had given him the erroneous information that he could board by giving the visa information on his phone. Michael and Aaron gave me his bags to watch while they ran to the Hilton Hotel, which had printers which gave Aaron what he needed.

I give up trying to explain that any better.

Is it time for you to give up some comments below?

First, give it up for Jason Mraz performing “I Won’t Give Up.”

I now give up thanks for all people, animals, and things that help me create this daily blog, despite all the obstacles life gives me.

… “You’re golden!”

Keep those pics and thoughts coming, Ann!

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Part 4 – ~Ray V~

Happy #AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek!

Sometimes as a reader you prefer shorter commentaries that touch you personally, like music, movies, trivia, or illness. Ray V. at Mitigating Chaos, says of his blog: “Mitigating Chaos is sometimes very serious, sometimes frivolous and more often than not… somewhere in between.” And that is where I am in my life. His experiences are my experiences. So much fun.

 

Can’t Buy A Break

I am starting to feel like David Kanigan, one of my blogging heroes.  Just recently, I teased DK that he allows himself to get into crazy situations, simply to have something to write about on his blog.

He did not deny my accusation.

Normal Martha

Last night, we were quietly celebrating Megan’s discharge from the hospital and my wife’s birthday, which is today. It was 9pm and we were just getting around to eating when someone noticed that Martha’s face looked a little swollen.

Indeed it did and being the responsible pet owner/babysitter I am, proceeded to place two, 25mg Benedryl caplets in a folded piece of yellow American cheese and gave Martha a “treat.”

An hour and a half later (10:30pm) I was driving down I-20 towards The Augusta Emergency Animal Clinic with a lean Chow -mix that now resembled a plump, red, Char-Pei.

IMG_5167
Martha last night

.

As we arrive, the entrance is covered in blood (not much of an exaggeration. I wish I thought to take a photo) and Martha gives me that “I don’t care how sick I am, but I’m not going in there” look. Well, it is the only emergency vet in the area and they were having a whopper of a night.  I was talking to the owner of the bleeding dog and the dog survived its encounter with another dog.  There were some mighty interesting characters that made their way through those doors for the hour and a half we were there and I’m sure they thought the same about Martha and me.

Martha was not her “little miss personality” self and had to be muzzled by the staff as they gave her an injection of Decadron and some Hydroxyzine pills to take home.

Additionally, when she gets stressed, her anal glands go into overdrive. If you don’t know what that means, lucky you.

So off we went, back into the rainy, dark night for the 35-minute drive home, arriving at 0128hrs. (1:28 am).

Who needs sleep?

Stop by Ray’s Place and catch a smile or two!

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Part 3 – Nancy Roman

Happy  #AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek!

Nothing is more fun to read than someone who writes and thinks like you do. That is what I find in my friend Nancy Roman and her blog Not Quite Old. She talks about her life and it’s crazy cycles with humor and heart. She is the kind of writer that you can say “I’ve been there too!”  Like a long-distant friend, she shares her thoughts, smiling as she does so.

 

FIVE THINGS YOU DESERVE NOW

Years ago, when I was single – I’d say young and carefree, except I wasn’t quite that young, and I’m not sure I was ever carefree –  I went out to dinner with a girlfriend. It was a fairly skimpy meal as I recall, and we were deep in a conversation (probably about work…we hardly ever discussed men; just our crummy jobs), so I suggested we go back to my place where we could continue to bitch and at the same time have ice cream to supplement our small but pricey dinner.

When I took out the carton of gelato, my friend was rather astonished.

“Were you expecting company?” she asked when she saw the container of very premium ice cream.

“No,” I answered. “It’s just a little pint of my favorite flavor.”

“I can’t believe you would buy something like that for just yourself,” she said.

And I smiled.

Because I had learned that lesson long before.

When I was a kid, I knew a lovely old woman who was part of our extended family. Rachel had been widowed for many years. And when I was a teenager, I remember a conversation with her that made a lasting impression. It was one of those small moments that changes your life and you recognize immediately that it is changing your life. I can’t recall what sparked this serious discussion between a young girl and an 80-year-old woman, but we were talking about happiness and loneliness.

Rachel said that the secret to happiness was being nice to yourself. “I’ve lived alone a very long time,” she said. “So I take extra care to be kind to myself. Who else is responsible for making sure I have a good life?” she said. “I often have no company for days on end. So I treat myself like company every day.”

In that moment, I understood.

I see too many people who don’t treat themselves well.

Who don’t think they are worth the good ice cream.

Here are five things you can do right now to treat yourself like company.

1. You deserve to live in a clean house. When company is coming over you always pick up, right? Well, clean the house for yourself. You deserve a nice environment. You deserve a shiny bathroom. You deserve clean sheets when you go to bed at night. A fresh-smelling refrigerator. A clean house is a gift you give yourself.

2. You deserve to dress well. Remember the last time you got all dressed up and felt wonderful about yourself? You can do that every day. I don’t necessarily mean a fancy outfit or an expensive necklace. Just this: When you do shop, buy only what you love. Even if it is a sweatshirt – which I hope it isn’t  – but if it is, at least buy one that you LOVE. Too many times I see people shopping whose attitude seems to be ‘good enough.’ As if they don’t believe they are worth the time or energy needed to find something that fits well, compliments them – and most important – makes them happy. Hold out for something that thrills you. Soon you’ll have a wardrobe (even if it is a small one) composed entirely of clothes you love. And so you’ll be wearing something you love every day. Think about how good that would make you feel.

3. You deserve to use your good stuff. Do you have your Grandma’s silver? Some beautiful wine glasses that were a wedding present? Some candles with a heavenly aroma that you never use?  USE THEM. Drive that vintage Mustang to the post office. Take out your good china tonight. Light those candles. Treat yourself like company.

4. You deserve to love what you do. Hardly any of us are lucky enough to make a living doing what we love. If you are one of those few – wow. But most of us have to buy groceries and pay the rent by keeping our boring or maybe even awful jobs. That’s just a fact of life. As my mother used to say, “Welcome to adulthood.” But on the other hand, that lousy job is eight hours a day, and you probably need to sleep eight hours too. But that still leaves another eight hours. Every day. Could you fill ONE of them with something you love? Reading, swimming, baking muffins, playing with the dog. You deserve to spend some time with a smile on your face. And what if it turned out that you could do that for TWO hours a day? Double wow.

And while I am on the subject of doing what you love:

5. You deserve to be unashamed of what you love. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I recently overheard someone ridicule a friend for reading a romance novel. And the romance-lover was embarrassed and actually apologized for her poor taste in reading material. How I wish she had said, “I LOVE this book!” What do you love? Star Trek conventions? Dolly Parton music? Making paper airplanes? Knitting little sweaters for your hamster?  You are lucky to have found something that gives you such pleasure. Be proud of it.

You deserve it.  You are worth the good ice cream.

 

Wander over to Nancy’s blog and see if she doesn’t make you feel like she’s living your life, thinking your thoughts.

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Part 2 – Walt Page

Happy #AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek!

My second celebration of all things written is the world of poetry.

Poetry is that magic verse that wraps around your soul in the shortest amount of words. To me, poetry is felt differently than stories. They are more intense, more compact. I follow a number of poets, and one of my favorites is Walt Page at Walt’s Writings. He has a lifetime of memories and thoughts, and the way he writes them makes you feel his love, his pain, and his creativity. He is called the Tennessee Poet. I can see why.

 

I Will Be Back

I will never be gone forever

For I will be back one day

I will return in the words I wrote

In the songs I sang

And in your memories of me

I will be back on the soft breezes

Caressing your soul with soft kisses

I will be in the songs you hear

As you dream

You will find me in your lonesome dreams

Dancing you to the edge of time

I am the man who lives forever

Always returning

Always a memory

Your love is my reason for being

So follow the sun

You’ll find me in the mountains

You’ll find me by the sea

You only have to look for me

So open your eyes and see

For I will be back one day

Please wander over to his blog and feel the magic from his poetry. He’ll love your visit!

Second Annual #AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek!! ~Rita Faes~

Welcome to my second annual #AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek!

This is a totally made up holiday that was so successful last year I decided to repeat it. I follow a number of poets, artists, sculptors, and everyday wisemen and women, and am always in love with their blogs.

Last year I honored: watercolor artist Carsten Wieland at Brushpark-Watercolors; David Kaniganfascinated by the world at Live and Learn; a witty and bright Englishman Dave Whatt at his blog DaveWhatt;  Maxima, a flowering love poet at Hills of her Chastity;  Brenda Davis Harsham, my magical poet at Friendly Fairy Tales; my friend and deeply emotional poet Ivor at Ivor.Plumber/Poet; Catherine Arcolio and her fantastic haikus and pictures at Leaf and Twig;  Mark Andre and Katzenworld is a wonderful world of cats and their stories you cannot resist. And finally Darlene Foster at Darlene Foster’s Blog, a writer and a traveler whose writing is so real you feel like you are standing next to her.

Now it is time to honor my second set of bloggers.

I have no award to post upon their website; all I have is a love of their writing and a respect for their path in life. There are so many wonderful writers out there — all speaking from the heart. I hope that you follow the links and find new worlds too. Be sure to follow the links and check them out.

The first choice of my week-long celebration Rita Faes, in her world called Gwenniesgardenworld. Rita  is a wonderful photographer. Her gardens are her favorite topics, but she has such finesse with a camera she could photograph anywhere. Her photos make me want to walk through her garden or countryside.

I highlighted her work both here and on my Sunday Evening Art Gallery website. Some of her photography:

Take a walk over to her website and take a look at the magic she collects with her camera. You will want to walk through her garden, too.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Kevin Sloan

Kevin Sloan is a Denver based painter working primarily with acrylic on canvas and occasionally drawings and paintings on paper.  

His curiosity and love of travel has led him to live and work in a wide variety of cities across the United States.

Sloan’s work is characterized by a deep reverence for the natural world.

 The often symbolic paintings are an ongoing inquiry into the relationship between the marvel of the natural world and the mundane and often blunt reality of the modern era.

More poetic than merely descriptive, the work moves between direct starkness and lush theatricality.

Recurring paired themes are fragility and strength, wonder and sorrow, and loss and resiliency. 

More of Kevin Sloan’s remarkable artwork can be found at http://www.kevinsloan.com/

Sicky Wicky in the Heady Weady

These last few days/weeks/months have been a flutterby as far as keeping one foot in front of another. I took an online test last night that confirmed that I have adult-onset ADHD. That, along with the online symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia, make me truly falling apart.

Alright, I’m not really sick. Well, maybe a little ADHD, but who isn’t?

I think that as the path in front of us gets shorter and the one behind us gets longer, we all tend to be alert for whatever disease/neurological condition sits waiting for us in the shadows. Along with real symptoms, many of us tend to blur the line between a symptom and a life style. I know I do.

Your lifestyle doesn’t include a lot of extra-curricular walking, so every time you feel a pain in your chest you think heart attack. You’ve forgotten where you left your phone or keys that you just put down two minutes ago and you are well on your way to dementia. You can’t smell the roses on someone’s desk and already you have Hyposmia, Anosmia, or Parkinson’s.

What is with us?

It can be exhausting to get hung up on medical twitches. I don’t have a lifetime to turn around built up health problems like being overweight or wrinkly skin. Most of my ailments are from the fact of getting older, period.

But I know more and more people who turn to the Internet to diagnose their symptoms until they are convinced they are going into a diabetic coma, even if they’re not diabetic. They let uncommon sense run over their common sense.

I do believe that as you get older you are more susceptible to things falling apart and weaknesses in your immune system giving way to diseases with 15 letters. It’s part of life. But I also believe that the older you get the more you fear leaving this world. And that any virus or broken hip can be the start of the end.

None of us want that.

So the point of all this nonsense is to pay attention to your body. Really pay attention. Don’t invent, don’t fantasize, don’t whack out. But pay attention.

I did seven years ago and caught breast cancer before it spread. Another time the moment I saw red on my skin I knew it was cellulitis and went to the doctor. Those are the things you work with. The things you pay attention to.

Don’t be checking the Internet for a symptom found in 19,000 diseases and disorders. It just ages you. Keeps you away from the great things in life. The things that make you who you are.

And that person is a wonderful person.

Although with insomnia, restless leg syndrome…

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Carsten Wieland

Carsten Wieland is a watercolor artist from Essen, Germany. 

During his journeys to the United States he fell in love with abandoned buildings,  and after he spent some time drawing them, decided to paint them in watercolor.

He started filling up hundreds of sketchbook pages with small paintings of abandoned farmhouses until he felt brave enough to paint his first watercolor on quality paper in early 2016.

Painting watercolors became his daily therapy and obsession.

His watercolor scapes include houses, scenery, boats, and anything else that calls to him.

You can find more of Carsten Wieland‘s amazing watercolors at https://brushparkwatercolors.wordpress.com. 

 

 

Thursday Evening on the Veranda — Alexa Klienbard

Alexa Klienbard has focused her work on what human beings must protect in the garden of our Natural Environment.

Individual plant shapes have been cut out of birch wood and feature leaves, blossoms, pods, fruits, and insect pollinators, jaggedly silhouetted and richly painted with traditional oils.

She has  been driven to work on paintings that hint at the potential silence that will be left in our remaining habitats if more and more species are lost forever.

These shaped paintings are each a single character unto themselves, each one reads overall as a single medicinal plant, complete with “dancing leg” roots, standing brave to the onslaught of man’s collective drive to put his species above all others.”

Kleinbard’s paintings, with their close up view of a healing plant and their far away view of a silent world, offers the viewer a chance to ponder the future of our planet.

Her multi-colored creations are beautiful as well as a message to the planet itself.

Alexa Klienbard has no website, but are  for sale across the internet.

The Rocker

William Balfour Ker

 

She sits alone in the rocking chair

At times it seems as no one’s there

She dresses in her Sunday best

And faces the fields out to the west

A soft blue dress and hat of white

A pair of shoes that now are tight

She hums a song that once brought tears

And slips back gently through the years

They danced beneath the tall oak tree

To Goodman and Miller and Peggy Lee

He held her close and sang a song

Of life and death and love gone wrong

They farmed the fields and raised a son

But never finished what they’d begun

He drove away one summer’s morn

Through fields of grass and golden corn

She sat in the chair and began to rock

And kept her eyes upon the clock

The night came fast and next the dawn

The morning dew sparkled upon the lawn

She never knew where he had gone

Or why she couldn’t come along

Her heart was broken that summer night

And never again could mend it right

She sits and rocks for most the day

And hums the song they used to play

She waits for him to come back home

Until that day she rocks alone

 

 ~Claudia Anderson

 

 

Huzzah! It Has Returned!

Hark all ye who read this blog with any regularity! The holy grail has been found! I bow to the north, to the south, to the east….blah blah blah.

It’s good to have my cord back.

Now one would think that now that I’m whole again with computer on my lap I would be lost in the world of Brigadoon or Etruria or Paris. Stories and poems and downloading new images for my gallery.

Ack.

I’m really crashing this Monday night. But fear not, creative friends…I shall be dreaming of new stories that may turn into magical stories.  Or discovering artists of unbelievable breadth and insight .But not tonight.

So what have I learned from this foolish debacle of senility and long distance longing?

Ah, my friend…all it means that I need to pay attention. I need to make lists, I need to make bullet points and Post-it Notes and write notes on my arm and tie strings around my fingers and look behind every couch and chair.

In the long and short of things, I just need to slow down and pay attention.

Sound familiar to any of you?

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Sharon Johnstone

Sharon Johnstone is a Birmingham, England based fine art nature photographer.  She completed her Fine Arts degree at the University of Creative Arts in 1993, specializing in printmaking.

Of her dew drop photographs, she writes:

‘With macro photography I escape to another little world. I love exploring the tiny details in nature that often get overlooked.”

“I love finding beautiful colors and abstract compositions within nature. I think I am at my happiest when I am crawling around on my hands and knees exploring a small patch of moss dripping with sparkling dew in the early morning sun.”

Sharon takes a unique view of the world through her photography.

And our world is better for it.

More  Sharexon Johnstone’s art can be found at http://sjfinearts.com/.

Driving and Flying

Some time ago a fellow writer told me that he used a voice dictation device (app or purchased product, I don’t know) to get his stories down on paper.  I kind of Googled that this morning, and there are indeed all kinds of apps that allow you to dictate your story while you’re doing laundry, picking up dog doodoo or driving.

Do any of you use that sort of device?

I always have a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head. I’ll see something or hear something and think “that might make a good story/poem.” So I fumble around for a notebook and pen and try and jot the input down. Well, you can’t really pull over to the side of the road every five minutes when you’re driving 50 miles per hour to jot down story ideas. Nor can you sneak into the bathroom the same amount of time and write something down while at work.

So I thought…gee…this could be the device for me!

Then I thought about it.

Here’s me, driving down the backroads on my way to work, talking away on my phone/computer/bluetooth device, blabbering away scenes from chapter fifteen. And just when the killer reveals himself, there’d be a 90 degree turn in the road, and I’d miss the turn and blabber straight off the road into the cornfield.

Or what if I’m dictating a poem and I don’t notice the car in front of me has stopped? I have a hard enough time paying attention to the car in front of me the way it is.

So okay. Instead of typing on my computer (which doesn’t work because the cord is 4 hours away…you already knew that..), I dictate chapter three on my phone or Ipad from the livingroom. Again, I know me. It would go something like this:

“At this Vera stood, her well-worn dress falling down to cover Get down from there! the tops of her feet once again. She fumbled with the few buttons at her neck, her eyes and cheeks puffy I told you to get off the table! Stupid cat with sleeplessness, her scar swollen Oh shit I knocked the glass over slightly from her seated vigil all night.”

I think I’m pretty darn good at grammar and sentence structure, as I am a writer and proofreader at work. But the truth is I don’t speak as I write. I’m much more eloquent on paper than I am speaking aloud. So instead of saying, “Clouds and rain and mud and bushes all swirled together in some hideous form of vertigo. Grasping the steering wheel, all Anna could do was hold on. Her brain was being jarred, her body bouncing around as branches cracked and split under the forward motion of her car….” I would find myself saying “She crashed her car in the bushes.”

As much as I love technology, it’s not always my friend. Of course, dictating might get rid of all the “as if”s and “it seemed” and runaway semi-colons. It would save me rereading the story fifteen hundred times to catch all the repetitions. Or all the “he said” “she said”s.

I guess I’m always going to be a computer writer or a pen and paper writer, putting the words down one by one. I’m not the world’s best when it comes to multi-tasking.

And anyway, when writing, it’s like a different person enters my body and speaks for me.

And that person doesn’t drive…

 

 

The Youth of the Faire

Do you ever anticipate an event in your life that you eat, sleep, and dream it until that day comes? Do you fantasize the day, the evening, so much that you’ve worked out a couple of different scenarios, either of which could be the ultimate experience?

And then do you go to this marvelous event, just to have the event not be anything like your fantasies?

That happened to me yesterday.

I went to the Renaissance Faire yesterday. For you who do not know, it is a medieval world ruled by Queen Elizabeth and her lovely court and her manly advisors and knights. People dress up in authentic garb, anything from  bodices and a farthingale to men in doublets and codpieces.

The faire is made up of all kinds of vendors hawking everything from Elizabethan garb to dragon necklaces. There are entertainers everywhere, some on big stages, some standing on the dirt path. It is a jolly good time.

This time I went alone. Now, I have been going to this Faire off and on for 30 years. Times have changed. That’s fine. It’s bigger and better. They have now “theme weekends” to attract more visitors. Swashbuckler Weekend, RenCon Weekend, Monsters and Magic Weekends. Thinning out the original purpose of the faire to attract more visitors.

I used to dress up for these things. My bed and breakfast was the poor man’s Renaissance atmosphere.  I collected dragons and unicorns. I bought wreaths of flowers for my hair and mugs and pottery with dragon heads on them.

But this time it felt different. It’s been feeling different the past years.

The vendors were different, the acts were different. No problem. There was the same youthful vigor and fantasy in all the young people there.

All the young people there.

Suddenly I felt I was on the other side of the gate, looking in.

Now you know I’ve got this problem with getting older. It’s a mindset that sucks and that I’m trying to get rid of.

But sitting on a bench in a dress (no costume this year), trying to write down story ideas from lords and ladies that passed by, I realized that all the women dancing around the maypole and all the men dashing with swords were my kid’s age. The singing and the dancing and the bawdy words and acting were all done by kids half my age.

And that made me feel distant.

When I was a Rennie Groupie I was in my late 30s. I made friends with some of the vendors, bought banners and dragon napkins holders — the whole nine yards. I had had a spot (more like a strip of green) where I advertising my B&B.

Now I sit on the sideline, the old vendor’s shop now a broom market; the only banners I find (which I bought 30 years ago) are on the souvenir shop walls. None of what I thought were “quality” items were to be seen. Like those guys moved along, too.

Why does this change bother me?

I truly believe mankind needs to evolve. Each generation takes whatever’s out there and makes it their own.

Maybe I just don’t want them to take  my  worlds.

It’s like a blog I wrote some time ago about going back and walking the block where I used to live. Nothing was the same. Houses changed, streets changed. Some so drastically I was shocked.

The Renaissance Faire, other faires, are for the young and young at heart. Bringing the thought of gallantry and virtue and unicorns and dragons into a child’s heart and thoughts starts them off on a cleaner path through life.

There’s not a lot of room for crones there.

Or maybe not crones who decided to go alone and became disillusioned.

Maybe next year I’ll get all my over-50 friends to dress up and shop and drink and laugh and dance around the Maypole.

If I’m getting old I’m taking everyone else with me…

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Shaka — Marchal Mithouard

French artist Shaka (Marchal Mithouard) explores a wild intersection between painting, sculpture and graffiti with his colorfully explosive base-relief sculptures that seem to cross from the canvas into reality.

In his compositions, bodies are jostled about, represented in permanent imbalance, destabilized by a natural or human force.

The objective is to reveal, through classical themes (The Ascension) or basic human emotions (selfishness or anger) human relationships and the absurdity of certain behaviors that typify our society.

By depicting these powerful yet fragile bodies, the artist expresses his own contradictions, but more importantly the complexity of human nature.

His artistic playground includes building murals, paintings, and sculpture.

More of  Shaka’s amazing work can be found at http://www.marchalmithouard.com/

Practicing My Sigh

It is the end of the night. I have gone grocery shopping, given the doggie her bonie, and watched The Twilight Zone. But after my busy day, I am still looking longingly and sighing at my dead computer. As you recall, my charging cord is 4 hours away, and no one is going that way for a couple of weeks.

My friend Ivor ( https://ivors20.wordpress.com), my friend and a really fine poet (check him out!) is in worse shape than me. His computer is broken…taken apart, in pieces, finuto. He manages to post via phone and the library.

I should be so versatile.

I would rather gaze longingly at my uncharged computer, lamenting the fact that the charging cord is four hours away.  And no one is going that way for at least two weeks.

I do have a couple of OLD computers that I think I’ll convert into  modern day word processors. I still can research artists for my Gallery during my lunch hour, and here I am with my IPad.

So what all this pseudo complaining just shows me that if I want to write …really want to fulfill my passion…I have to find a way to do it. Not give up. Persevere. Go for it.

This is what all artists do. Don’t have Cerulean blue for your painting?  use turquoise! Run out of gold beads? Use copper! Maybe the change is not what you planned. You don’t care for turquoise. You aren’t doing copper, your piece is gold.

So what would you rather do? Stop your painting until the weekend when you have time to run to the store to buy Cerulean? Do you put your necklace on hold because you’ve run out of gold beads?

You have to learn to work with what you have AT THE MOMENT.

Life is nothing but moments. Don’t put your creative moment on hold  because things aren’t going your way. Take the situation and make it yours. Find a way to do what you want to do.  You want to write a few chapters but your computer’s on the fritz? Write them in a notebook. Need to get that poem written?

Do what Ivor does. Write it on your phone. Don’t let your amazing moments slip away. That same moment will never come again.

Look at me! Writing all of this on an IPad! At night! And my spiral notebook will be by my side until I convert my old clunko laptop into my shadow buddy.

I still am going to look longingly at my actual computer, though…

***sigh***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bumpin’ Around

Well, I’m sitting at my desk at lunch time, eating a turkey wrap, pretending it’s evening time and I’m writing to you from the comfort of my sofa.

I went away for four days with my grandkids and had a busy, wonderful, loving time. I was pretty together…being 65 around an 8- and 3-year old doesn’t take much alteration.

Packing up from a house that looked like someone set a bomb off, I packed up my computer but left the plug in cord plugged in up there. Unbeknownst to me, we drove 4 hours home sans cord, and I didn’t realize said mistake until I sat down to do my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog.

I can’t stand when I get hit with the stupids.

And it’s happening more and more.

I mean well. I really do. I try and slow down and pay attention. I don’t think I’m a Ferrari or a cheetah. I move mid- to mid-slow and make notes.

And I still forget.

I couldn’t find my glasses yesterday morning, so I had to wear an old pair to work. Called home and hubby said they’re right here on the kitchen counter.

I always hang up  my keys when I walk in the door. Today on my way to work they weren’t there. Five minutes later I fortunately find them on that same kitchen counter under a loaf of bread.

It’s getting to be normal. And I don’t like it.

I know it’s a part of getting older, but that’s a battle I refuse to lose. I’m never getting old. I’m not leaving this earth  until I’m damn well ready.

But since I turned 60 I’ve been falling apart limb by limb, organ by organ. Brain cell by brain cell.

So as I wave goodbye to both my lunch time and you, know I’m thinking of you all the time, and can’t wait until I can snuggle in with my computer and a glass of wine and show you more gallery images or just sit and talk.

And to think…I just had a great idea for a short story….

Sunday Evening Art Gallery (on Tuesday) — Tatsuo Horiuchi

Meet Tatsuo Horiuchi, a 73-year-old Japanese artist who creates highly detailed paintings with the most unexpected software – MS Excel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The newly discovered artist has been interested in graphic arts for a long time, but only since his retirement 13 years ago he finally got the time he needed for the new hobby.

The idea of trying out something new in life came naturally to Horiuchi – his retirement was approaching quickly and uncompromisingly.

As in many cases, a new hobby becomes a must. Horiuchi had been interested in graphic arts for quite some time.

However, as graphics software often can be quite expensive, Horiuchi chose to challenge his artistic capabilities by creating his beautiful and highly intricate pictures with Excel.

Tatsuo Horiuchi, does not have his on website, but his work can be found across the Internet.

 

Life is Love and Love is Life

I am going to be away for a few days…running away with my hubby and my grandkids. So sorry, but there will be little time to post or read or think about this world I have created.

I will be busy fishing, throwing rocks into the lake, picking out t-shirts, and watching Spaceballs. I will be eating corn dogs, french fries, and watermelon. I will be hugging and kissing and laughing.

I will be living like never before.

Ruth Goode said it best:

Grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends — and hardly ever our own grown children. ~Ruth Goode

Find someone and love them to death. Someone who totally accepts you for YOU. Children are preferable, but they can also be family members, dogs and cats, or good friends.

Hope you find as much love as I will this weekend….

 

Just Do Something Different

Rage Against The Box …. Kafia Haile

I finally wrote something new last night — a narrative poem.

Doesn’t it feel good when you create something new?

I’ve been working on the third book of two trilogies and I feel like I’m walking one way into the desert. Plod Plod make it to the Oasis. I love these books, and I love the endings I have in mind for them. But I’ve been working on these sets for so long I’ve forgotten how it feels to write something new and fresh and different.

I wonder if that’s a metaphor for our life.

We do the same things over and over again. Drive the same way to work, eat the same lunch, make the same meals for dinner. We play the same games, mow the lawn the same way, sleep in the same bed night after night.

Nothing wrong with any of the above, but what if we slept in the guest bedroom one night? What if we took a different route home from work? Mowed the lawn in a criss cross fashion?

I think we often don’t realize how boring we are.

Painters paint the same styles because they are good at it. Landscapes, abstracts, portraits. Jewelry makers create the same bracelets and earrings because that’s what sells.

But I wonder if that same jewelry maker has a couple of knockout pieces that defy logic (except for what it’s used for)? I wonder if off in a closet somewhere the painter has painted a whole canvas full of boxes just because?

It feels good to get out of your conformity, doesn’t it?

It feels good to do something weird and fun and different, doesn’t it?

We all need to do that. Some more than others; some more often than others. Life is too short to be boring. Make a splash. If your project is taking a long time, take a break from it now and then and try something fresh. Leave your projects to the side now and then and create something quick and fun and so-not-you.

Discover another side of your awesome personality.

You’ll be glad you did.

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti is best known and admired for his tall, thin human figures in bronze.

In this series of sculptures from the years 1945-1960, by his own account Giacometti is influenced by the impressions he takes from the people hurrying in the big city.

Giacometti’s figurative sculpture came to be a hugely influential model of how the human figure might return to art.

His figures represented human beings alone in the world, turned in on themselves and failing to communicate with their fellows, despite their overwhelming desire to reach out.

The relation between figure and space becomes the central issue of his artistic work.

More of Alberto Giacometti‘s work can be found a various art galleries around the Internet including the Guggenheim and the Art Story.

Live In The Moment

Many of us are smack in the middle of summer…hot, humid, sunburning summer. It’s the time for outdoor activities to the max — at least until the mosquitoes find you. Then it’s hell.

I am trying more and more to live in the moment. Today.  Now.

I have a decent past, but not one I’d care to linger in for too long, for I would rethink my mistakes and go head-over-heels in angst wishing I could have done something different.

We’re stuck with our past.  So why do we wish we could change it?

We all fell in love with the wrong person. We all did something shady. We all were promiscuous when being promiscuous was taboo. Yet now and then we glance back and say “Wow..I could have died there!” or “Wow..if only I’d listened!” or “Wow..Why didn’t I do that?”

We are all guilt machines of our own genetic makeup. Some are lucky enough to say who cares and so what and move along. Others can’t get their other foot out of the past.

Back to living in the moment.

The moment is really all we have. Whether or not we go to heaven or get reincarnated or take a spirit quest to Mars, it will be what it will be. So why not live today to the max?

I know quite a lot of young people who live like that. They don’t worry about their employment future; there will always be another job somewhere. Insurance? Maybe they need it, maybe they don’t. If they can’t pay their bills they can’t pay their bills. So what?

Every generation has it’s own way of thinking and believing. My generation went out and got a job right after high school or college and stayed in said job for 10, 15, 20 years. Perhaps we weren’t the gold watch generation, but we worked long enough to get social security and a senior discount.

I’m trying to live in the moment and not complain that I don’t enjoy the heat when it’s above 90 and the mosquitoes are making a pin cushion out of me and it’s too hot to even water my plants. The Now is embracing said heat and humidity and making the most of every day no matter how sweaty you are.

After all, it’s only 165 days, 12 hours, 17 minutes, and 40 seconds (give or take) until Christmas.

And that’s a moment that can wait until I get there.

A Referral and a Reflection

This evening’s blog is more for my girlfriends out there. Of course you boys can read too, but I think my gal peeps can identify more with this.

I read my friend LA’s blog Waking Up On The Wrong Side of 50 called  My Secret Obsession. It is a delightful blog about her reasoning for buying creams and delicacies for her saggy eyes. 

The reason this blog stuck in my mind is because LA hit upon a nerve most — if not all — of us women suffer from that same affliction. Self Worth.

From a very early age, women are brought up to be pretty. Attractive. Lovely. The way we were…some say still are…brought up is dictated by men who design everything for us from dresses to shoes to underwear. Beauty is defined by how thin you are, how few (if any) laugh lines, or lines at all. Our hair is supposed to be thick and wild, our lips full, and our temperament gentle and understanding.

Now, of course, there are more and more women in the designing field, designing clothes that make sense, fit well, and wrap us in colorful colors. 

But face the truth. Society still sets the beauty bar with models and TV stars and movie stars.  We are expected to be thin (or thinish) as we age, no wrinkles, no limps, no waddles. 

We judge by our eyes first, and are judged the same way.

Now most of us are way past the need to be that perfect model. We have aged according to our lives; birthing babies, running marathons, sitting at a desk all day, all contribute to how we look and feel. 

We are beautiful inside, and most of us know that. If I were to gauge my inner beauty and love I would be off the scale. Truly. But my looks put me more at the lower end of the scale. Truly.

Which leads me to LA’s great blog. 

Not knowing her age (but somewhere, as she states, past 50), she is concerned about bags under her beautiful eyes. And knowing her, that is only the beginning of her concerns. 

I have always said that if I came into a bunch of money the first thing I’d do is have these big hereditary bags under my eyes removed. I have pretty green eyes too, but you can’t really focus on them because of these puffs beneath them.

Why are women so concerned about their looks? Who are we trying to impress? The men who dictate how we should look? Not our husbands and friends, but corporate and young hip designers?

We all want to be presentable We want to be clean and smooth and bright. The sad thing is that those traits are controlled by our inside self, not our outside self. Outside we need to use makeup or spanks or curlers to make our outside as pretty as our inside. Which is a losing cause from the beginning, for nothing can be as brilliant and cosmic as our inner self.

I am the first to admit it’s hard to let go of old habits. Heaven forbid I don’t curl my hair or try and soften those circles every day. I know many of you have left that sort of vanity behind, but you still buy clothes that look good and feel good, and perhaps shower with scented soap or brush your hair so it falls just so.

I know LA is a beautiful person just from her writing. And her discoveries about herself are normal for any woman who ages from day to day. 

What we need to do is stop judging ourselves. Stop comparing ourselves to movie stars and pop singers and all those distant points of light we’ll never reach. 

We are pretty just the way we are. No problem if we want to cover up a bit or dress up a bit. That’s the fun part of being a girl. But we can’t spend our time trying to change things we can’t change. 

Aging does a number to us all. We just balance it out with the amazing things we’ve experienced and have yet to experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery – Bansky

Arguably the most controversial street artist in the world, Banksy has developed an entire art subculture devoted to his works. Banksy’s art can impact any location at any given moment.

His identity remains unknown, even after over 20 years of being involved with the graffiti scene. He has worked with many different types of street art media and street art types.

His work not only includes many powerful, often controversial images, but they may also be found throughout the Internet as viral images.

Very little is known about Banksy himself, as he refuses to be interviewed and keeps his identity carefully maintained.

A world-renowned mystery man, Banksy has risen through the ranks to become one of the world’s greatest street artists partly by creating an urgency to understand his character.

Bansky is the most enjoyable artist because he is now. He is everywhere. He is where you least expect him to be.

More of Bansky‘s art can be found at http://www.banksy.co.uk and a wall near you.

 

 

Sentimental in Camelot

Do you have songs or movies you can barely watch a second time for they bring such an emotional knot in your chest you think you cannot handle it?

Sounds so dramatic, but I think you know what I mean. Perhaps it’s the words, the meaning, the inference, that swirls around our minds and hearts and ties everything into a knot. Perhaps it’s a really romantic ending, or a crossed love or missed opportunity. Someone dies before reconciliation. Something so simple yet so personal you surprise yourself at your reaction.

I don’t mean movies where someone dies  at the end. Those are endings I try to avoid. I mean feel good/sad endings that tug at your heart strings in that awful way.

Now, I looked around online for “movies that will break your heart at the end.” There were some doozies there. I have to admit I haven’t seen most — if not all — of them. So everyone’s list is different, depending on the texture of their heart.

For instance, I loved the movie Passion of Mind, 2000, with Demi Moore. She lives one life during the day and another at night. Her letting go at the end makes me cry deep and mournful tears every time I watch it.

It’s only a movie, missie..

Or how about the movie Camelot? That antique medieval musical where the queen marries the king and sleeps with the prince and breaks the king’s heart. The song ‘If Ever I Should Leave You” still gives me goosebumps. True, unrequited love.

There are a number of other deep movies that click my heart, but you know what I mean. Like a love song you can never let go of. Like a dream you can’t hold onto.

I think I’m a hopeless romantic. That is why I love to write. I can create my own dynamic, heart wrenching scenario and feel it over and over again. I can bring people together, punish evil, create ghosts and extraterrestrials and virgins and middle-aged goddesses. Who cares, as long as I’m in control of the heart strings.

That’s what you should do with your creativity. Love it. Embrace it. Get your heart pumping and create like there’s no tomorrow. Scare yourself. Embrace yourself. Make yourself laugh. Whether you are writing or painting, put yourself out there.

You should love it, too. After all, it’s all magic. Just ask King Arthur….

 

Each evening, from December to December,
Before you drift to sleep upon your cot,
Think back on all the tales that you remember
of Camelot.

Ask ev’ry person if he’s heard the story,
And tell it strong and clear if he has not,
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
called Camelot

Where once it never rained till after sundown,
By eight a.m. the morning fog had flown…
Don’t let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mark Ryden

Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art.

His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, “Pop Surrealism”, dragging a host of followers in his wake.

 

Ryden has trumped the initial surrealist strategies by choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation.

 Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul.

 

A subtle disquiet inhabits his paintings; the work is achingly beautiful as it hints at darker psychic stuff beneath the surface of cultural kitsch.

 

 

More of Mark Ryden‘s work can be found at https://www.markryden.com/

How Short Is Too Short?

Lately I’ve been opening my blogs with a reference to my getting older. I guess instead of fighting it I need to embrace it. Or whatever. I don’t cherish getting older…nor do I relish it, look forward to it, or use it to my advantage.

But I know I suffer from what my parent’s generation and my grandparent’s generation suffered from…what is this world coming to?

I wrote a novel about a woman who goes back in time to 1880. Talk about repression. And men were the ones who not only suppressed but designed the clothing they were forced to wear. I mean, long sleeves and a bustle in 90 degree weather?

I survived the bellbottom years, the polyester years, the shoulder pad years, and the overhalls-with-one-strap-down years. I’ve survived looking at underwear sticking way up over jeans, mini skirts and turban wraps.

But I can’t survive the clothing of the 18’s.

Now let me explain my personal hangups first.

I have always had a self-image problem. Certain parts of my anatomy were always too large for fashion, so everything I wore was conservative. I loosened up in my 20s, but was never brave enough to show it all off, as it were.

I try and have an open mind when it comes to fashion, knowing that each generation pushes it to the limit in one way or another. Women should not be afraid to dress the way they want. It is a free world, after all.

I went to an outdoor concert last weekend, and it was a perfect evening for people watching. And did I watch. Every age, every color, every height and weight. It was fascinating. But what I wasn’t fascinated with were the lengths and tops of the younger girls.

Here comes my old biddie attitude.

They were wearing tops as dresses. I was glad none of them bent over while walking by. They were wearing clothes that were too tight for their figure or too low cut. Now I have been known to wear low cut on occasion (especially after I’ve lost weight), but there was too much information pushed together as amazing cleavage to suit my taste.

These weren’t models in their mid-20s either. These were high school and college girls, big girls, skinny girls, not a care in the world as to who sees what.

And I wondered. Is this the fashion of today?

There was sex written all over these outfits. That come-hither look was as popular as the band playing country music. Now before you think me a prude, I’m all for sex and showing what you’ve got and teasing and shining and all that. But how far do you go to show it off?

I hate saying “in my day”, but in my day there were also girls who pushed the fashion limit. They didn’t bother me then. They would bother me now, though.

Now not everyone dressed for a day at the beach. The majority were shorts and tops and sun dresses. (I was in the sundress category.) There were families, couples, singles, all walking back and forth from one stage to the other. The shorts women were just as happy as the shirt/dress women.

I just wonder why it bothered me so much.

Was I jealous because they were young and carefree and I was not?

Was I worried that they gave the impression they were ready for what short skirts usually bring even if they were not?

Was I all hung up on sex when no one else was?

Alas, I’m sure the girls had a great time as did their friends and dates. And not one was disturbed at the message they were promoting. If they were promoting at all.

Maybe it’s a mom thing. A grandma thing. Or, dare I wonder, if it’s a woman thing.

Yes, I hate getting older. And the judgement that comes with it.

 

 

Unique Is A Wonderful Word

Although I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping up with technology, when I talk with real technology gurus it’s like talking to someone who only speaks Chinese.

I do love the ability to turn on a machine and write away, save it, delete some, insert some, and not having used half a tree to do so.

I  also am loving the unique and unusual art I am finding for my gallery.

Most of my loyal readers know this blog has a feature called Sunday Evening Art Gallery. I post 5-6 pictures every Sunday with a short intro to the artist. A few weeks later I post the mother load on my actual Sunday Evening Art Gallery website, showing you the magnificent works these artists create.

I dabbled in painting when I was in high school. I never took formal classes, but I loved being able to create something  unique. I found it was easier for me to take up writing, creating something unique with every word.

With today’s technology I am able to discover artists I’ve never heard of, or research artists I’ve known my entire life. It’s an amazing world out there, and I love the beauty of discovery.

I didn’t realize this was an advertisement for my art gallery site until just now. But if you haven’t taken a look over there, please do. You will find you get lost in worlds you never knew existed.

Oh! And by the way — if you know or have a favorite artist, email me at humoring_the_goddess@yahoo.com and let me know. I want to know what you love, what you enjoy, what you like but don’t understand.

Come on over and wander one evening. You never know who you’ll see there.

Have a beautiful week, my friends.

Graham Muir

 

Stairway to Nowhere

 

 

 

Guido Daniele

 

David Kracov

 

Spencer Biles

 

Jackson Pollock

 

Dean Russo

 

Paperweights

 

Glass Frames

 

Trees

 

 

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Stanislav Aristov

Stanislav Aristov presents a whole new way of shocking through a snap shot. It only involves a couple of burnt match sticks. And loads of fun.

Admittedly, it also probably involves Photoshop. But nobody really cares.

Stanislav Aristov, also known as Pol Tergejst, is a 30 year old photographer from Ekaterinburg, Russia, that can truly make macro – miracles happen, within the seconds needed for a match stick to quietly burn.

 He describes his “Спички” ([spitch-kee] – meaning “matchsticks” in Russian) series as capturing “the big lives of the tiny wood splinters”.

This again goes to prove that a true artist can find artistic potential even in the smallest and most commonplace objects around him.

More of Stanislav Aristov‘s amazing art can be found at http://poltergejst.com/.

 

Life Really Never Changes

I must admit that I am embarrassingly addicted…it should be alcohol or drugs, but no such luck. I’m addicted to Chinese TV Series with English Subtitles.

I know that sounds geeky, and perhaps it is. But let me encourage you — once you get involved you’ll find it hard to stay away.

I watched these TV series (on Netflix) backwards. First was King’s War, mostly about the a lowly peasant who fought wars against the Qin territory and became the first Chu emperor in 202 BC. I love the series because of the drama, the costumes, the vastness of the world of China. 

Of course, at one time, the Qin army surrendered to the Chu encampment, and since the Chu couldn’t feed the extra 200,000 men, they slaughtered them all, including pushing many of them over a cliff.

In the series I’m currently watching, Qi Alliance, I’m already on the 5th chapter. I love the series because of the drama, the costumes, the vastness of the world of China.

And in the first five chapters there was a war that demolished 80,000 soldiers in one sweep.

I think that besides being enchanted by the Asian world, it rocks me into reality about how barbaric the world has always been. Our World Wars and our Civil War doesn’t hold a candle to the barbaric savagery of the ancient world. 

As much as it crushes us every time there is a death in our lives and in our world, I imagine the wives of the soldiers of Chu  were crushed as well. Most of the army was made up of peasant soldiers or tradesmen that ate nothing but rice and perhaps chicken twice a year and a handful of vegetables scraped from the earth.

How do you feed 200,000 extra soldiers, then? 

Of course, those two examples are only the tip of the death iceberg. Consider:

In the Tai Ping Rebellion civil war, which lasted from 1850 to 1864, the total casualties (including civilians) were reportedly anywhere from 20 million to 100 million. 

The Mongols, a tribe of nomadic horsemen from Central Asia, may have killed as many as  18.4 million people in East Asia alone throughout the 13th century .

Today the numbers are much smaller. But there are still numbers. 

I myself can’t figure out how two positions can hate each other so much that their only solution is death. But it has been so since BC, and now it’s AD and we are still killing each other.

I imagine the mothers of the sons of the Chu and the mothers of the sons of Vietnam all wondered the same thing.

Back to the movies, though…they are quite entertaining. The Chinese and Japanese points-of-view are refreshing and curious, to be certain. To me it’s like another world. Like Mars or Alderan.

And I love to escape when I can. Far away from our daily war.

 

 

 

Take Care of Yourself

Sorry I haven’t been around much lately…a weekend stop for the whole weekend at the hospital does put a cramp on your writing and socializing. I developed a medical condition that needed liquid IVs. Happy to say I am home and so much better so all is well.

But being alone for 2-1/2 days with nothing but stat checks and veins that wouldn’t cooperate was cause for mental munching. And I wondered…could this have been avoided?

This is not a case of self-condemnation — it’s a case of being human.

And wondering if we all do it.

We get a cut. We wipe it off with our sleeve and think it’s okay, when we know there’s a chance of infection.

We run across the street because we’re late for work, in rain, in sunny weather, all seasons. We know there’s a chance we could slip and fall, but we ignore it, because we are in good shape.

We develop a cold that moves into our chest, but we don’t believe it will turn into pneumonia because it’s really not that bad.

How many times do we as humans take the short road? Ignore symptoms and predicaments and swim away like a newly released fish? We weigh the odds, the options, the worst-case scenario. And most times we bet on the the popular vote — it’s not that serious.

And most times we are right.

But there are other times we pay for that glib choice. We know we’ve dug open a sore one too many times. Taken cold medicine and gone out to conquer the world. Eaten a decadent desert even though we’re diabetic.

And sometimes it all comes back to bite us in the arse.

I’m thinking I’m in the latter group. I knew my “condition” might trigger something worse… I’ve beaten the odds so many times. So this time would be the same escape as before.

But it wasn’t.

We as adults need to pay more attention to our bodies and take care of them the first sign of trouble. That doesn’t mean your sinuses flair up and you stay home from work for a week — it means taking care of the illness when it first flairs up.

It means paying attention to weird twitches and shortness of breath and pain in body parts and open wounds. It means not worrying what others think of your precautions, but following through on treatment. It doesn’t mean calling the doctor for every little ache — it means paying attention to that ache and noticing if its getting worse.

In our minds, all humans want to be invincible. We want to be strong and healthy and to be able to take the world on without a complaint.

But we’re not that way. None of us. We are mere human beings that just want to stick around on the planet as long as we can.

So put your big boy (or girl) pants on and take care of what needs to be taken care of. Better to take a visit to the doctor than a visit to the hospital. Or the grave. And believe me, there are many around you who want you to stick around a lot longer.

And if you don’t want your co-workers to know you spent the weekend in the hospital, tell them you jetted to Paris for the weekend.

Unless you live in Paris. Then you’re caught.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mary Cassett

Recognized as one of the foremost 19th-century American painters and printmakers, Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) is known for her prolific career and Impressionist artwork.A native of Pennsylvania who lived as an expatriate in Paris beginning in 1874, Mary Cassatt started formal training as a painter in 1861.

In 1865, she took her first trip to Europe, where she would remain for the next four years, traveling and studying in Paris, Rome, and Madrid.

Edgar Degas saw Cassatt’s work at the Salon, and in 1877 he asked her to exhibit with the Impressionists.

Cassatt’s painting style and subject matter changed greatly because of her association with Impressionism. She abandoned colorful costume genre depictions in favor of scenes from contemporary life.

Throughout the latter half of the 1880s, Cassatt produced etchings and drypoints of members of her family.

Her failing eyesight prevented her from working for the last 15 years of her life, but because she had been an exceptionally prolific printmaker, she produced more than 220 prints during the course of her career.More of Mary Cassett‘s marvelous artwork can be found at https://www.marycassatt.org/.

Let “What If” Guide Your Story

I usually don’t write a blog two nights in a row, but I’m on a writing high these days, and so many ideas are running through my head and dancing in my hair.

I am a fantasy writer, but it’s fantasy with a modern twist. Usually my heroine is female, and she finds herself in improbable and impossible situations.  It’s my way of dealing with the bizarre.

You can do it, too. All you have to do is start with….What If?

I know I wrote a blog about “what if”, but this is an exercise in getting a story written. Here are some ideas.

 

What if you were driving home from work one afternoon and in the distance, over the tops of the trees, you see a giant ant ripping off tops of houses?

What if you went to bed one night with your special someone and the next morning they had a totally different face?

What if you walked through a cornfield and came out in another world?

What if you went for a walk in the evening and you actually met an elf  or a dwarf?

What if you were driving and you lost control of your car and crashed, waking up in the 1800s?

What if you were relaxing one night, watching TV, and you say something to your dog, and he answers you in English?

What if someone  crystallized into your living room one morning and asked you to come along with her/him on an adventure?

 

I know it all sounds goofy, but think about it. Close your eyes and just think if any of the above happened to you. Or to your friend. Or to your cousin. What would they do? For real?

My favorite form of writing is to put a modern day person in an absolutely wacky situation. Their situations are REAL. There really is a giant ant walking behind the trees. The person really walks through a cornrfield and finds a different world at the other end.

That is how you get inspirations for stories. A few of the above are my story ideas.  And I’ve had a ball with all of them.

Your “What If?” can be anything you want. It doesn’t have to be out-of-this-world — it could be What If you witnessed a murder? A kidnapping? Someone stealing from the books?

Let your mind wander into various What If Worlds until you find one that appeals to you. Then keep it real within the parameters of the main character.How they deal with the strange and unusual is up to you. 

Let the unusual be as real as you can make it. 

Then go for it. You can’t lose.

Don’t Be Afraid To Live In Your Fantasy World

Let me be clear. I have a good life. I do. I do not want to leave it behind, dump it, change it, or erase it. I am blessed, and I know I’m blessed. And I am thankful.

But I also have a life outside of this plane of existence. It’s a world of my own making. I control the characters, the lies, and the pain. I feel the love, the confusion, and the magic of the world around me.

No, I’m not psycho nor psychic.

I am a writer.

I tend to get lost in good books too, but I am finding I am falling in love with the worlds I create. In my books there’s passion, insecurity, fear, and curiosity. There is no war, no prejudice. There is making love and fun sex but not pornography. It may seem quite vanilla in my worlds, but, to be honest, there is enough crap going on in the world around me that I don’t need to deal with it in my fantasy world.

Are my stories reminiscent of Harlequin novels? You know — girl meets boy, they don’t hit it off at first, they both have a problem to overcome, they are attracted to each other, they fight the problem, they overcome it, then fall in love and get married.

In some form, yes. In most other ways, no. In my stories they lovers don’t always wind up together. Or they do. Or they want to but can’t. Or they can. It doesn’t matter because it’s the journey that counts.

We all have our way of writing. Our own themes. Our own demons. As I’ve said in past blogs, I often wonder how authors like Stephen King or Dean Koontz get into the blackness of the mind and spread it across their books. Do they get off on digging deep and writing scary stuff? Do they become the madness, the psycho, at least for the time they are writing about it?

I believe that if you are passionate about your writing you can’t help but get lost in your stories. Whether they are short stories, novellas, or novels, you can’t help but take a particular point of view. Are you the antagonist? The victim? The virgin? The pompous ass?

Each character you develop helps you get lost in your fantasy world. You want your pompous ass to really be an ass, you want your troubled couple to be passionate about each other. You want poverty or wealth to be real, and your fantasy names to be easy to read.

Sometimes I want to spend more time in my fantasy worlds than I do in my real world. I love my fantasy worlds, my time-travel worlds, and my modern worlds. I work hard to make my worlds believable, along with the people who populate them.

Perhaps that’s why I get so lost in my own creations. I still cry in certain parts, and feel my heart flutter and race in others. I still get pissed off at some people and feel lost when they feel lost.

I hope that you get lost in your writings, too. Don’t hold your story at arm’s length. Get into each chapter, each character. Leave your world behind. Forget the politics, the job, the housework. Find a place both physically and mentally and just let loose.

You won’t always be hot..You might not always “feel” it. But don’t give up. Because when it comes back it will hit you like a lightning bolt. And when it does you better go with it.

Come back to your reality when you have to, but live in your fantasy world as often as you can.

You won’t be sorry.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Davide Bonazzi

Davide Bonazzi was born and raised in Bologna, Italy.

Bonazzi aims to create clever visual solutions to represent complex topics, as well as narrative, witty images.

His style combines digital media with textures of scanned found objects, in order to give his illustrations a warm and evocative atmosphere.

Most of Bonazzi’s work is for magazines, corporations, and advertising.

More of Davide Bonazzi’s marvelous graphic work can be found at http://www.davidebonazzi.com/

Can You Fall Asleep?

I have been having trouble falling asleep for quiet some time, now. So going back through my post I found this one from a couple years ago. Anyone else have this problem?

You Are (not) Getting Sleepy…

Do you suffer from the modern-day dilemma called insomnia?

It’s just after midnight, and I’m still wide awake. Through time I have done all the things I’m supposed to do to fall asleep. I’ve taken a warm bath, sipped chamomile tea, listened to soft music. I’ve listened to no music at all. I have cut out caffeine during the day and take my meds in the morning instead of night. Except for right now, I am off the computer by 8; I’ve read books, tried meditation, melatonin, boring movies, and total silence. I have picked up the pace of walking, both at work and after work. Tried carbs, no carbs; sugar, no sugar. Bedtime snacks. No snacks.

And yet here I am.

I’ve heard various statistics about those who suffer from insomnia. Without doing extensive research at 12:06 a.m., I believe about 60% of older people suffer from some sort of sleep interruption. Not too long ago I read an article that said that as you get older, your body rhythms change, throwing off your sleep patterns.

Surprise.

I have tried prescriptions, and even though I get a hard night’s sleep, I’m the Walking Dead the next day. So those are out. OTCs are more trips into Zombieland. There are dozens of articles on the Internet telling me why I can’t sleep, but that doesn’t change the fact that I can’t sleep.

Sooo…I prefer to think of this stage of my life as preparing for retirement.

I believe that somewhere in the cosmic timeline is a bend in the road, a crack in the sidewalk that says enough is enough. This fifth dimension astro influence is saying: “You’ve worked your a$$ off all your life, first getting up at all hours with your babies, then staying up all hours waiting for your teenagers to get home, husbands on second shifts getting home at 5 a.m., getting up for work at 6 a.m. for the past 45+ years — enough is enough. Us higher forms of consciousness are preparing you for the day you don’t have to get up to an alarm, don’t have to punch a time clock, don’t have to put data in a computer, or drive to and from work in blizzards and thunderstorms and fog.”

Of course, the cosmos’ clock and my biological clock are two different things. The cosmos doesn’t get that I still have a few years left before I can sleep in and/or stay up all night. That I have bills to pay and obligations to meet before I can sleep till 10, have a cup of coffee on the deck, go for walks, play in the garden, and take naps whenever I want.

Did our parents have this problem? Our grandparents? Is it because we don’t work the fields for 10 hours a day that our bodies don’t work to their peak performance? Stress is always a factor. But our parents had stress, too. As did our grandparents. And so on.

It is true we are living in a whirlwind society. That technology moves faster than the speed of light, and if we don’t at least make an attempt to keep up with it, we become as rigid as the statues in our gardens.  With TV and movies and music blaring in our faces and politics boiling our blood and self-centered people taking over our every day world, it’s hard to slow down enough to sleep, no less breathe.

I know my retirement won’t be much of a slowdown. But I will let my biological clock take over, and go wherever the wind blows.

Until then, I’ve found some really cool gemstones on the Gemtopia Shopping Network…

Are You Your Main Character?

Since I am so into writing at the moment, I have a question for all of you writers/thinking about writing/someday maybe writers.

When you write, are you the main character? Do you have any connection to the main character?

They say there’s a part of us in every character we create. If you can think it you are it because it came from you thinking it.

That’s a lot of psycho babble, with a string of truth running through it.

I have to admit that so far I am part my main character. She does things I wouldn’t do, says things I’d love to say, and gets into situations I will never in my lifetime find my way into. She…and sometimes he…is my alter ego.

I get an emotional reaction from in the connection of my characters, both when they’re fighting and loving. So is that being my character?  I don’t often base a character on someone I know, but it has happened. I change the name and the looks and sometimes their philosophy but it’s still someone I know.

I envy writers who can write a main character that is the antithesis of everything they are. Murderers and psychos and nymphs and puritans. I actually find it hard to go against grain with characters. But it’s a challenge I think I’m going to take.

But I’m afraid my bad guy won’t be bad enough, psycho enough, crazy enough. I’m afraid my moral compass will get in the way. I always wondered how Stephen King did it.

Is there a part of you in everything you write?

I’d love to hear your point of view. I really would. I’d love to see where your characters, your inspiration, comes from.

And that goes for you poets. I know a lot of your poetry comes from  personal experience and emotions, but do you ever write a poem from someone else’s point of view? Something totally “not you” yet you know it’s “you”?

I’d love to hear your answers.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich (September 5, 1774 – May 7, 1840) was a landscape painter of the nineteenth-century German Romantic movement, of which he is now considered the most important painter.

A painter and draughtman, Friedrich is best known for his later allegorical landscapes, which feature contemplative figures silhouetted against night skies, morning mists, barren trees, and Gothic ruins.

His primary interest as an artist was the contemplation of nature, and his often symbolic and anti-classical work seeks to convey the spiritual experiences of life.

Friedrich came of age during a period when, across Europe, a growing disillusionment with an over-materialistic society led to a new appreciation for spiritualism.

This was often expressed through a reevaluation of the natural world, as Friedrich sought to depict nature as a “divine creation, to be set against the artifice of human civilization.”

Today he is seen as an icon of the German Romantic movement, and a painter of international importance.

More of  Caspar David Friedrich‘s wonderful paintings can be found at https://www.caspardavidfriedrich.org/