After the Storm

So fellow travelers,  the first big thunderstorm of the season blew through earlier this evening.

Tree frogs are serenading me to sleep through open windows for the first time this year.

Night falls tree frogs sing

Gusting winds and rain abate

Calm after the storm

 Walk gently on the path my friends and may you rest well this nearly summer night.

A Hug from Heaven

So fellow travelers, as Mother’s Day dawns soon, I am mindful of what a gift it is spend the day with my Mom. For those I know whose Moms have left this life,  these words are my gift for you and your Angels.

The sun never sets

on a mother’s love she lives

always in our hearts

Walk gently on the path my friends and may simple joy bless your journey.

Rain

So fellow travelers, a breach of trust is hard to overcome.

Time heals all wounds. Sometimes rain helps the process.

Angels’ tears fall as

Life giving rain gracious gift

Hope for those who thirst

Walk gently on the path my friends and may simple joy bless your journey. 

Corner Jazz

So fellow travelers, taking in the sounds of a Friday evening downtown, letting the mellow tones of a street corner musician soothe ragged edges of a tough week.


​Corner Jazzman riffs

Passing car horns keep the beat

City summer night.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Sailing with Vinnie:  Chasing the Horizon

So fellow travelers, a while back I wrote about a creative adventure involving some Van Gogh inspired art for a good cause.

Sailing with Vinnie the final version.

A few of my friends commented on my project; one thing led to another and soon I was signed up for several paint events with various groups of friends at a local art studios.

One session held at a small independant studio session had a distinctly different atmosphere from the Van Gogh fund raiser, which was held at a locally owned franchise studio. The concept of creating a painting in a casual setting was the same but participants could choose different paintings. The supervising artist walked around our stations giving us simple step by step directions for our chosen artwork. We shared snacks and beverages, chatted about our families, concerns about current events and joked about our not so artistic abilities.

This last bit was one thing our studio host was quick to turn around. She would point out elements in our paintings that worked well, giving simple suggestions and encouraging each person to step back and look at their painting from a difference perspective. She gently reinforced the intention of working on different paintings is to minimize self-judgments and comparisions with others.

We judged ourselves anyways.

Why do we demean our creativity so definitively? Artistic endeavors do not have to produce  a masterpiece every time. Not one of the great artists through all the centuries could do that. Where is it written we have to be good at art to enjoy making it? We cut ourselves out of too many opportunities to try something new expectations of mastery.

Still, I understand the tendency to be overly critical.

I always end up tinkering with my work afterwards until enough of the “not quite right” spots are “good enough.” 

This scene from the recent painting class sat on my easel at home for a couple of weeks until I adjusted a few little details that nagged at me. One of the Adirondack chairs looked awkward, there were some areas in the water where the color was off and a smudge along one of the tree lines that needed “erasing”.  Thank heavens for the forgiving nature of acrylic paint. 

It’s been a little surprising to find how much joy I feel while painting. When my daughters were young I gave myself the gift of taking art classes for a few years. The busyness of life slowly encroached on my creative time and my art supplies were packed away for close to a decade. Coming back to the easel now I find, awkward smudges aside, the “masterpiece” syndrome holds less power over my process. Trusting my instincts of how a painting feels as it unfolds helps me tune out the voice of my Inner Critic. When my work looks right to me it is “good” art. Inspired by the pieces I accomplished in the past few months, I’ve been grabbing little snippets of time to work on an unfinished landscape left over from my summer art class days many years ago.

So now there is a stack of blank canvases in my art corner and the long days of summer vacation about a month away hold the promise of creative horizons yet to be sailed.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Accepting Joy

So fellow travelers, each morning a thought for the day arrives by email.

Good morning. Here comes your morning moment of zen.

Today’s message spoke of acceptance.  More specifically, it referenced accepting our part in a Bigger Plan of what’s unfolding in this life.

That’s been a challenge for me this year, yet slowly I am coming around to comprehending some of the pieces.

In my adolescent years, I knew with the brash certainty of youth there could be no Grand Plan. Life’s twisted circumstances were far too random to make any sense. Along the way to here and now, my experiences with unexpected serendipity and Universal Consciousness gradually brought me back to center.

Dawn kissed dew scatters fairy lights across fresh spring grass.

 

Those experiences were more likely to be a glint of sunlight than a flash of cosmic lightning. The lessons came as quiet whispers, gentle reminders of inner truths waiting to be heard. This not to say my journey did not have it’s crash and burn episodes.

I’m grateful for those tough lessons too. Grateful to have come through stronger, more aware if not outright wiser and most of all with a deeper compassion for those who suffer or struggle.

If this belief in the inter-connectedness of life through all space and time is a simple minded attempt to give meaning to my otherwise insignificant journey, well, I’ll take that as it is. After all I crave simplicity more than ever these days.

Like the simple joy of catching golden light at sunrise in a shimmering dew drop.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Zen moment : Fish Dinner

So fellow travelers, a coffee break between work and an afternoon meeting brought an exhilarating sighting. One moment with the power to clear the mind of a tough day’s debris and give rise to these words ~

Sharp winds blow clouds race

Black and white wings fold and dive

Today’s meal is fish

The river behind the donut shop in town is a favored hunting ground for a variety of birds including cormorants, hawks, osprey and on some occasions even bald eagles.

 

One moment of awe instilled by a bird of prey simply following instinct miraculously reset every cell in my stress infused brain.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Photo note: a few days later i returned to the site with my canon T3dslr. The images are not great but they are as close as I could get even with my telephoto lens.

Thoughts: Homer’s Garden

Funny (or serendipitous) how the Forces fighting for us toss out those lifelines at the peak of necessity. This morning when frustration had just about hit peak implosion, Tom’s moving post appeared in my reader feed. Reading his thoughts which echoed many of my own I felt a wave of relief pushing back at those time eating demons. I no longer feel so isolated in my fight to reclaim what my spirit keeps urging me it needs. Thanks Tom for the connection and the reminders. If we reach out and listen, we will hear the Truth; none of us is ever truly Alone.

Quarry House

Homers Garden 2

I spent some time in my studio yesterday. It’s the second time in a week I’ve cut aside some time to paint.

The woman I love is always concerned when I am not painting. She knows the bigger story of my life, and how, many, many years ago I got so involved in a busy life that I let my creative life get pushed aside and how, after years of letting it evaporate, I slowly came undone.

Was that the reason for my undoing? Not alone. Other things, in particular, my marriage, were also coming undone at the same time, but the lack of creativity was the sign I have come to understand, of something else, something else.

The lack of expressiveness.

In the end, I have come to believe, creativity is less an end to itself than a method of expressing ourselves, of opening ourselves up, of getting things…

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The Gravity of Illusion

So fellow travelers, those moments we pass through when changes come so fast and furious we lose sight of all points of reference like being caught in a vicious riptide until exhausted, we cease to struggle and in letting go find ourselves drifting, free at last from the current and able to swim to shore.

Such a strange existence

 this life under water

 bound by illusion’s gravity

 captive in mind’s mirror

 until a pebble of child’s laughter

 breaks the surface tension

 sending ripples of joy to break us free.

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Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Zen Moment Finding Light

So fellow travelers, the Light this morning on my way to work was enticing.

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Sunrise cast a spell on trees and fields, turning everything rose gold.   Delicate clouds danced across a pristine blue sky hinting  of adventures to be discovered. Yet on I drove, yearning to catch these elusive moments  knowing how quickly they dissipate

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         dawns early light from the road and the same shot five minutes later 

For now a glimpse of gold caught as I walked in from the parking lot. A promise framed by walls of responsibility. I remain committed to giving my students the best I have to offer for as long as I am called to work. Yet I admit the challenges of this year are weighing heavily on my spirit and I am looking forward to spring break when I can chase the Light to my heart’s content.

Fields of ruby gold

Clouds dance trees dawn kissed by light

Savor zen’s blessing

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Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.