Saturday, February 9, 2013

Begin With the End in Mind

Here's a story about a nurse's observations of  The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. I'd love to hear feedback from you on what you might add or substitute on this list.

I expressed some of my own regrets in 2009 when I penned this poem:

Epitaph for a Spirit

A beautiful, fragile flower has finished her season.
In her own words, 
“She did nothing, she left nothing, she had a good time.”
But we know better.

Driven by passion and guided by intent,
She moved like a graceful, precariously balanced top.
Ever bumping into opportunities to grow in empathy,
And leave behind positive, fruitful energy.

How tragically ironic that one so blessed,
Was unable to feel these contacts more deeply,
Nor recognize the trail of tiny, mighty gifts in her wake. 

Few of us give ourselves the credit we deserve for the value we bring to the world simply by showing up. Our Judeo-Christian traditions emphasize humility over pride (one of the seven deadly sins, after all). I must have bought into this twisted belief early on. For me, accepting and appreciating my own "worthiness" has required persistent effort. Maybe that's why I have devoted myself to encouraging others toward self-acceptance in my daily encounters, and in my career, writing and art. I'm still working on it.

Love Yourself as You Love Others

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Playful Production

It's a new year, a new month, an on-going process of experimentation called "life."

Since I finished the rewrite of my memoir on a time of illness and recovery and delivered the manuscript into the hands of, hopefully, gentle critics for the first read, I've been released back into my right brain, visual persona. Last week I attended the first session of an art journal workshop with Heather Allen Hietala at Bookworks.  It's supposed to  help us break through creative blocks and unleash our creativity. We'll see how that goes.

My problem is not so much that my creativity is blocked, but more that I'm blocked about putting it out in public. The walls of our home are full of my work (along with valued works by others I consider "real" artists). My closets and drawers are rife with wearable art. And I've gifted and donated handcrafted items and artwork to friends, loved ones, and charities. I'm just not good at making my output readily accessible to the marketplace. I think I have a handle on some of the reasons, but not a great grasp of how to break out and get into the game.

I'm a Pisces - I remember at my little girl birthday parties, I was both happy to be recognized by the notes of "Happy Birthday to You....", and embarrassed to be the (unworthy?) center of attention. Oh my - so young to be so serious, but that was me as far back as I can remember. 

It's the same thing now, I guess. I yearn for my unique talents to be noticed, I crave recognition and respect, but in my heart of hearts I harbor the "I'm just not good enough" enemy. So, to make good on an intention to break out and be my own best friend. Here is a brief selection of the playful product of my Winter hibernation period, so far. Just like a Pisces - going in all directions at once.

Bear Family - Water Color Sketch

Catch the Mood Collage

Joyous Dancers Collage

Red '40s Cloche Crochet

"Scrap Bag" - purse made from remnants

Smartphone Mittens