Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 17,008 Gratitude

Today I am so grateful ...

For whomever came up with the great idea of having a photo booth at wedding receptions.  Mind you, my husband and I haven't attended many wedding receptions in the last ten years (wherein "many" means "only one").  I don't recognize a lot of the songs.  I don't know the dance moves.  Fine with me to sit and watch.  A waiter offered us coffee.  We must've had "early bedtime" written all over us.  Sigh.  Yes.  It's happening.  We are the grown-ups.  Not only that, but we are fast becoming the older grown-ups.  Thank goodness for the photo booth and the fact that my husband never met a camera in front of which he hasn't felt compelled to goof off.  There you have it.  Er, um, us.  Twenty years married.  Twenty-five years together.  The bride and groom got a copy along with our best wishes in a scrapbook.  We get to put this copy on our refrigerator to remind us that we will always be as young and silly as we feel.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 17,000

I am now 17,000 days old.
17,000 sunrises.
17,000 sunsets.
Each day its own story.
Its own leg of the journey.
Humbled.  Grateful.  Blessed.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 16,993: An Otherwise Ordinary Day

Today I am so grateful for ...

The confirmation of plans almost as soon as they're cooked up.
Open windows, billowing curtains, and the sound of distant chimes.
The shameless self-promotion of lilac in bloom.
My lusty feelings toward Vermont extra sharp white cheddar.
The sacred woven into an otherwise ordinary day.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 16,992: The Me I See

I am always grateful
for opportunities to see myself
in a different way, from a new angle
In a fresh light
Taking a workshop or class
will often do this for me
Or forging my way through and to
the other side of a problem
Or doing something, anything
That I was once certain I couldn't
Comfort zone and perspective expanded
I see in the mirror or
Through someone else's eyes
A me entirely new to me
And then other times
It's something silly and playful
Like this Camwow app on my iPhone
That reminds me not to
Take myself or what I see
Too seriously

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 16,990: What Is and Isn't My Business

Some sketches will work
Some sketches won't
Some sketches I love
Some sketches I don't
But I try
To show up in some way
Every day
And to remember
That it's the practice
That matters
Not what I think
of the outcomes

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 16,989: Lost Causes, Egret Medicine, and Fresh Hatchings

Today I am so grateful ...

For yet another reminder that there's really no such thing as a lost cause.  Okay.  Maybe.  Sometimes.  But I stand firm in my belief that there are no lost causes in terms of art.  I started this drawing with a design in mind.  It's no secret that I love my Caran D'Ache Neocolor Crayons.  I am in childlike awe of how my drawings with them are magically transformed with water.  Unfortunately (or not), this time I got a wee bit overzealous with blotting and blending.  The liberal use of black crayon turned it into a snapshot of the bottom of an ash tray.  I let it dry, then started doodling on it with a white Prismacolor pencil and learned that sometimes what appears to be a mess can be the gateway to a new direction in disguise.  I need to remember to apply this discovery to my day-to-day life.  

For a wonderful walk-and-talk late this afternoon with a friend who recently returned from an amazing trip to Sedona.  Our conversation naturally shifted toward how we might get out there together before the end of the year.  Goodness knows that I should need to restock my wrapping inventory by this autumn, right?  A large low-flying bird caught my eye as we schemed.  I thought it was a hawk, but the wingspan and long legs gave it away.  A very odd bird to see in our suburban neighborhood!  Of course, I looked up Egret medicine as soon as I got home.

For other summer travel possibilities that sprung up all of the sudden like dandelions on a sunny day.  They are still in that freshly hatched and fragile stage where I feel like I need to keep them warm and safe in my pocket until they decide whether or not to manifest.  But I can't help but be hopeful, excited and begin to quietly mull the logistics of these adventures in my daydreams. 

What has you feeling grateful these days?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 16,981: Lightened Load

A lot like this photo I took the summer of 2006, I feel in the in-between.  I've crawled out of shell.  My wings are unfurled.  But letting go of what no longer serves me, exciting though it may be, is also scary and a little sad.  I welcome change with a nod and a shrug.  It's just how I'm wired.   

A chunk of the day was spent deleting e-mails and text messages from my iPhone 3GS that date so far back that I'm too ashamed to confess specifics.  I had taken comfort in having history at my finger tips.  As I recently told a friend, I am a hoarder of minutiae ... the bits and bytes of day-to-day life that most others would cast away.  A handwritten letter lover at heart, these modern day means of communication and connection are treasures to me.  But as they say, you can't take them with you when you go.  In this case, go = transition to a new cell phone carrier and upgrade to the iPhone 4S.

There is a lot to be said for clean slates and fresh starts.  Spring begs for such.  No one ever complains about traveling with a lightened load.  There's good incentive not to drag so much of the past with me wherever I go ... even if it's only in the palm of my hand.

Cheers to freedom ... in whatever way you need it!   

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 16,980: Next Journal for the Journey

Today I am so grateful ...

To birth the cover of my next sketchbook journal.  This opportunity only comes around a couple of times per year.  Always exciting.  A bit unnerving.  I do my fair share of circle turning before I bravely dig in.

My cover collages on past journals have been pretty safey-safe so far.  I hungered for this one to have some dimension.  So I began by covering it with a piece of Fred's comforter that I had saved when I relunctantly discarded the rest of it last week due to its sad state of disrepair.  It had previously been the comforter on Dan's and my bed when we moved into this house almost 10 years ago to the day.  There's richness of personal history in the well-worn fibers and patterns of things that comfort and give us warmth, but I don't need to keep them whole forever to satisfy my nostalgia.  They mean even more to me when a portion can be integrated into something new.
In a dream last night, while the new journal still slept in its plastic wrapper, I saw the finished cover with the tree.  My marching orders were to find the stash of embroidery thread, otherwise long ago forgotten, from my daughter's childhood friendship bracelet days.  Afraid to slow down, much less stop, the finished cover manifested through a beautiful mess in a surprisingly short time.  It's like nothing I've ever made before.

Now I'm in shellac mode.  Adding protection and shine.  As I gently brush it on, I realize that I don't entirely understand what the whole of it means.  I do sense that this tree is capable of accommodating the winds of change while remaining firmly grounded.  It appears to be bending and flowing quite playfully, in fact.  Hopefully these characteristics apply to me as well as I fill this journal's pages with art, words and other treasures gathered on this juncture's journeys, inward and outward, near and far.