Fall

I am checking the forecast who,e the tea kettle readies itself to boil. The toddler and the cat are having a wee disagreement about who should sit on the top of the couch, the answer is really neither but I pick my battles.

I have been working on national novel writing project. I thought it was going to be a novel but it’s going to be a memoir of sorts. Writing my memoir feels like a big task but i am just allowing this to be my zero draft and not trying to shape the writing too much because otherwise , i might get discouraged.

To be honest, i have never been itching to write my memoir….it always felt to painful and crazy to really go there. However, time has marched on and i am seeing things in a new lights. The past is the past but we are doomed to repeat it unless we learn from it.

When i tell people my story…even just the highlights…they are amazed…i am amazed because it is nothing short of a miracle. So i will write it and even if i only print two copies, one for me and one for the hubby that is enough because the story will have been told.

I’m watching the trees sway outside, they gave been calling for snow this afternoon. I don’t feel ready for snow because just the other day i was frolicking in the leaves but the weather is as it is.

These days feel so pregnant with possibilities. I am not even sure what that means anymore but i am looking to the sky and trying not to step in random buckets the kids have left out. There is so much to learn and be grateful for.

the point

from 2017–

somewhere along the way, i internalized the idea that it was better to be opinion-less, emotionless, and benign. somewhere, i got the notion that these things would keep me protected, safe and powerful. of course, this is a nice lie. it sounds good in our head but usually has nothing to really do with us and love and lots to do with pleasing other people.

every time, i write a strong opinion, i feel like i need to defend, erase, deflect or apologize. lol…that woman is annoying. you see, there is nothing wrong with having opinions. strong ones. even “wrong ones” because we are humans. in flux. expanding. growing. if we stuff ourselves in a box of nice and placid. we might never meet ourselves for real. we might never live into our small light or even really live at all.

there was a preacher i once knew, i know, i’ve known a few…who said that Jesus did not come here to help us live a nice and comfortable life. Jesus was table tosser. He hung out with prostitutes and tax men. nobodies, in that society and maybe ours, too. Jesus did not build a human castle to dwell or an aesthetic to be appreciated or even a reputation as a nice person. he was a challenger. he abided among the people he loved, he challenged the status-quo and He was obedient to his Father,  even if it would cost him everything.  i think we all could learn a lot from the story, christians or not because maybe we all have gotten a little to invested in being seen a certain way, in not rocking the boat or hiding ourselves from our life.

for the record,  i am not imploring you to become a christian or think a certain way….it’s just a reference point (insert your deity, philosophy, hero/ine or prophet, at will. personally though, i have lived within the culture of american christanity (of many facets) and that is often my story point.

moreover, i have lived in this culture enough to buy into many things that don’t serve my life or the world in a real or good way. it’s hard to unpack that but i think i must. it’s hard to even know what that means. it’s hard to separate the culture from the heart but i feel i must. this unpacking and unfurling applies to religion, opinions, food, nature, everything…when i see the world as it is…it is scary but the world has always been this way. me, being nice did not save the world and it will not save the world. me being opinion-less did not save me and it will not save me.

today, i thought about letting this blog go. i mean what can i possibly write these days. i can’t even keep a journal practice but i find myself here. challenging myself to show-up and toss the table of fear out of my way. i am challenging myself to live into the light, that i was born to live into. no, this may or not “lead” me there but it is a tool to go deeper, to be seen, to destroy the box that i desperately want to hide in.

last night i tried to paint a painting from a thumbnail drawing that i did earlier this week. i used the same tools, the same colors, the same desk but it just wouldn’t work. i ended up cutting into pieces and vowing to make something new. maybe that’s the point.

this is an old post from the archives of my blog. it’s funny how I have been chewing on the same things for ever. although, I will say my journaling practice has got a tad bit better.

Daily gratitude

There are a few gratitude challenges running this month that I enjoy- illustrated faith + in(courage). I started with the latter but found the illustrated faith one soon after. I really just like to read the scriptures associated with the prompts. It is a way for me ….to have a plan so to speak for bible reading. Otherwise, I would really just be reading my favorite books (which is okay) but you know I like variety😬🤣

I have taken my old (classic) happy planner and refashioned it as a prayer journal with places for prayers, this month’s devotion (via Intouch ministries) ….I follow along m-s with the princess prayer warriors on YouTube. Right now they are doing a ten day reset…that is really interesting…of course none of these things are necessary for spiritual growth but they can be helpful. Especially for us folks that love paper bits and words.

I have really been enjoying this practice of gratitude because it reminds me of the all the good and simple things that I take for granted. It keeps me focus on the present moment and helps me refocus my yearnings….or at least see them for what they are.

Stitches and verses

so.

I set up a little stitching situation in an old pencil case. It’s a little janky because one of the hinges is messed up but it serves its purpose alright.

I also, I cleared off my desk and gave myself a bit of mental space…

I am pondering if I want to do a very tame version of national novel writing month. It feels insane to even type that but also thrilling. I am wondering where I will get the time but I think it’s possible (with an abbreviated goal).

That said, I am wondering if I should prep more. I have a story that I have been loosely working on for years…and it sounds so good in my head but the page…not so much. It’s so hard to let go of stories.

I discovered that I like writing again but if I apply any kind of pressure ….I just feel too anxious about it…it’s the same with art. At first, I thought I didn’t believe in myself but it’s not the case…I just don’t like the pressure.

As I think about it…i would also like to write some poems. Maybe a chapbook. So many possibilities.

things I like, a list

ripping pages out of old books and magazines and glueing them into journals.

crunchy leaves

green beans (not frozen though)

jars of pens

buttons (although I never actually sew them on anything)

rainy nights/I sleep so well

big glue sticks. I really do enjoy them more than the smaller ones…even though they are really the same.

gummies

washi tape

kale (lacto)

disc planners (although I dislike planning)

noodles. all the noodles.

fresh bread

ice water

sleeping under a pile of blankets/with the ceiling fan on

stacks of books

bird songs

Lukewarm food

the Potomac

random lists

Freedom feels

There is glory in smallness.

I am learning this as I explore what creative practice means to me .

It is so easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing but true freedom comes in learning and honoring whatever works for me…in this season of life.

I am learning|

How to leave space.

To explore.

To start again.

To go small.

To let things be.

That it doesn’t have to be a great work of art 🖼 or praised by others to be worthy.

It is enough to create.

Happy accidents

I downloaded the hipstamatic app again. Gah. It’s so fun. & My kiddos love taking pictures with it because of the filters.

Today I was playing around with it and doing and exercise from “get unstuck” by Danielle krysa (the jealous creator). The toddler played happily in the couch and chalkboard (🥴🤗).

I remember how I use to take pictures of random things for a photo challenge on Instagram. There was something magical about showing up with my camera and seeing what I can find related to a topic.

I don’t know how or why that simple act became almost impossible as the years swung by…

So here I am again. Responding to a simple prompt. Looking around at the things of my life and making art….that really feels like a ginormous gift.

Keep going

This morning I just felt inspired to paint. I have been slowly working through a creative bug class about creative block.

Yes, I know…I don’t think I’m creatively blocked 👀🤔🤦🏿‍♀️ but it’s a fun and simple class.

Plus, it’s motivated me to get my paints out. So there’s that.

More inspiration—

Also, Loving this podcast

This sermon

Simone biles is the best and also so inspiring!

Mindful

Being mindful in our creative practice, by actively choosing to prioritize the space and time for ourselves, brings attention to our internal core. Focusing on even just one thing makes us slow down a little from the rush of everyday life. Mindful making is about more than simply stitching or knitting something beautiful it is about learning how to bring that focus or feel of attention to something (the stitch work, the pattern) in our daily lives. ~ Ellie Beck

I have been gathering inspiration from the corners (and center) of my life. Looking through old photos and works. I want to know what makes me happy about my work and my practice. How can I allow it to shift to a more sustainable pace?

Slowing down my creative practice feels weird because I’ve always worked like a buzzing bee. I enjoy buzzing about but doing that 365 is not always good for me. I know that a lot of my production anxiety came from trying to bridge the gap between my abilities and my mind…and some came from the need to self soothe through art. These are beautiful reasons fro making art. They definitely kept me focus but like I said my idea of my practice has expanded and morphed some.

I want to be more thoughtful and personal in my work. I do think scrapbooking is a way of doing that…so is creative journaling but those things are too personal for the internet. Art journaling (for me) tends to be less personal but very intimate, if that make sense. And maybe that means less sharing (of art) on the internets to allow my work to go where it needs to go. I don’t know. I am just typing.

This morning I did some stitching. Stitching is slow for me. It might be the slowest hobby that I have. It reminds me that things take time. Maybe this idea of things taking time has found its way into my other art practices. I want to take my time. I don’t want to rush to create for pictures or likes. That’s not sustainable or good.

I want to be mindful of how I spend my time and energy. I want to give myself to my own life (and communities)and not building other peoples empires or idolizing other people’s lives. But it’s so hard. Or maybe it just feels hard. It’s a complicated pickle we humans are in.

I don’t think we have to figure it out today. But we do each need to figure it out for ourselves…what is important, what are living for and about and giving our days, too and what does a good life really look and feel like(for us)?

This was suppose to be about going slow but it’s all over the place. Meandering, I suppose. Hopefully, not self-indulgent. I don’t want to give the impression I have it all figured out and you should follow me. You absolutely should not follow me…my mind is always changing. I am just asking myself…what matters…right now…I’m this place and time…in life…in creativity…what should my mind be full of?