Friday, August 28, 2009


A friend and I have talked over the years about dreams. Many people, when they recall their dreams tell of a dream of flying. In psychology and other circles, flying can be and indicator of a wish or desire beyond the common one.

I only remember one dream about flying. When I was in college I used that dream in a writing class where we were required to write in vivid detail. Maybe that’s why the dream stayed with me most of my life. The details? Some other time. Anyway, my friend and I have discussed her dreams about flying. But at some point we both agreed, I have to fly as well.

I don’t remember my dreams often. I do know I want to fly. So I decided to do just that. Not hang gliding or parasailing, but imagining my life above the trees and in the air where only hawks and eagles roam. I decided I would fly; I would live my life in such a way where the dreams I’ve held onto, the sense of life being a joyous journey, would be the life I live. I’ve decided each day to fly. When I put pen to paper, fingers to computer, or pencil, paintbrush or marker to a flat surface, each time is a opportunity to fly.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Day in the Water

This is my latest, I'm trying out oil paints. Really I'm trying out all mediums at this point. Anyway, I'm saying this painting is in process. So does my son. My wife says it's great the way it is. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Keeping the Spark Going!!!

Last week, feeling rather down and in ‘the dumps,’ I tried to consider what was needed to make His Words, Inc a business possible of supporting my family and I. Admittedly, the weight of “how to sell,” and “how to reprint” my work was weighing on me. As a result, many days, a sense of uneasiness and fear prevailed. For a few days, when I would wearily drop my head, a vision came to mind of an ember, shielded in the dark, but kept safe from extinction.

I’m stating this emphatically: I HATE FEELING STUCK!!! At this point in my life I feel I can do all things through Christ, so feeling incapable of changing the direction of my life is comparable to someone attaching a rotting corpse to my back! But this morning, a note left for me: “I am a full time artist,” energized my day! As opposed to looking at the tasks before me as insurmountable and requiring a significant amount of external boosting, I began to consider the possibilities…I’ve tried doing that over the last few weeks, but today, an added boost of energy was added to those thoughts. Consider the possibilities “with hope” is so much better than viewing the future without.

Fuel the fire. Take a different way to where ever, exercise, get angry (but don’t remain that way), get happy, look at your life as half full or completely (and joyfully) full. By all means keep your fires going! Blow on it, feed it, and never let life’s circumstances extinguish it!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Disillusionment or Redirect?

It's been one of those weeks where I'm feeling normal again. I don't like putting too much weight on feelings except when I'm riding on a cloud, but this is one of those times when I need a break to clear my head. I need to organize and evaluate the direction of my life. And as much as I want to be an artist, there are times when it feels like I'm walking into a fog.

Last month at this time, I was certain, clear, and determined that the "artist life" was for me. But then I had to consider how I would earn income as an artist and continue supporting my family. Nothing worse than coming face-to-face with one's mortality and thinking you don't have what it takes.

Or maybe I have what it takes and haven't put it into motion. I mean I've worked 30 years of my life for others, doing things I didn't know how initially, but mastered. Why wouldn't I be able to paint (something I love), write (also love it), and encourage others?

There's a line from scripture that comes to mind: "Stir up the gift!" And that's what I will do. If inspiration seems to be fading away I will continue working with what I have available and hopefully, some day, I will feel empowered.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Insight, Intuition and a Sledge Hammer!

Some days insight comes in like a 10 lbs. sledge hammer, slamming in my head like a huge bell. Clarity, an explanation, a warning or just a gentle ‘hello.’ Then there are times when I know I’m being told something, but it is more like a cloud or the image of the Virgin Mary in a chip; not everyone would understand, and if I told it to others they would smile and nod, but they wouldn’t get it. Regardless, communication, a language and words, have been passed.

Response; there are times when I allow myself to swim in it like a huge ocean. I allow the waves of consciousness and revelation to engulf me, fill my being and to find myself in the sea of ecstasy. There are times when I move with purpose in response, words find there way to the surface or images find their way to paper. Plans are made, “Google” searches done, or I tug at the ears of friends, family and anyone who will listen.

I’m speaking of insight and intuition. I know we all have it I’m just not sure we respond to it. Trained from the time we could comprehend ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ we expect knowledge to come through books, a well meaning authority figure or even someone who means us harm. Rarely do we listen to those whispers, which “pop” in our head that doesn’t spell out an answer like a textbook. But insight can easily be ignored if it is nurtured, disciplined and acted on. For me spending years choosing to be bound by the perceived needs of supporting family, I nurtured a dream. That dream now makes itself evident through my writing, artistry and counseling. Insight and intuition are skills and talents available to everyone if we will practice and perfect it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's a Matter of Choice

I know we all make choices but I’m not sure we realize the impact a choice has on our lives. This year, I made a choice to evaluate my life and take an honest look at my feelings, expectations, the “who,” “what” and “where” of it. I begin this year in a career counseling course, part of the required courses for a person seeking a masters degree in Community Counseling. Two years prior, I made a decision that counseling was a big part of my daily tasks, though in my current career I’m a software tester. As long as I can remember, people seemed to find me, seek either advice, or a listening ear. And it has always felt strange because I never perceived myself as the classic ‘outgoing’ person. At best quiet, I wear a constant scowl (it feels like it to me) and I’m never in the middle of the crowd, but somehow, one or two people seemed to make their way to me and strike up a conversation. Conversation always lead to further discussions, especially when we share a common place. To shorten my life story, it just seemed right to move down that career path.

This year, realizing each time there was a break between semesters, I wondered should I continue down this path, I decided to ask myself a hard question: is this what I want to do for the remainder of my life. The answer was usually 'no,' especially when I thought of being in a typical crowded, busy, 'administrative heavy' counseling position. It seemed insane! As I mentioned, I began the year in a career counseling class. Knowing one of the tools used in career counseling are the many assessments, I felt before entering the class, I needed to dig up two assessments I took in 2005. I would think about it, consider it, half-heartedly look for them, but quickly get frustrated because my house (life) was a wreck! And without looking ‘it’ popped up; both assessments sort of surfaced while looking for other things. I sat and looked at them; the Meyers-Brigg and the Strong’s Inventory of skills. Both said what I knew in my heart: that I should be doing art. At best counseling was third on the Meyers-Briggs along with some type of encouraging, admonishing related tasks.

A strange thing happened on quite a few occasions in the career class. The teacher would struggle with computer or audio-visual components of a presentation. Though initially reluctant to help (not wanting to appear as a ‘kiss-up’) I jumped up and helped anyway. A few of the students jokingly called me “Super Eddie,” or said something like “Eddie can do anything.” I realized many times I got excited about the concepts learned in the class or more excited about the possibility of people finding work they love to do. I am frequently discouraged by the impression people have to ‘flop about’ in one career or another. A crack in my shell had appeared.

My classmates’ comments sunk in deeper than I first imagined. Simultaneously, I was taking on challenges in my work environment and also gaining success there as well. But the path wasn’t free of potholes and chunks of debris. I still needed to look down the path of classes to be taken. The summer looked bleak as far as courses were concerned and for all I accomplished on the job, the ‘key’ people who needed to applaud and support my successes didn’t seem to care. Disappointment set in; I realized it could take another year before starting an internship and more than likely, all my hard work and ingenuity would be canceled by a job environment intent on mediocrity. I hung my head, almost in utter despair!

But my despair was not meant to permanently disillusion me; a Grand Plan was in the works! In looking down, I looked inward. What had I been doing all this time, all these years? I knew “corporate America” was not for me. I knew this back in 1979 when I took a part-time job as a stock clerk at Sears. Even then, I was planning for retirement, looking forward to the day I would never have to darken the door of anyone’s office or store as an employee. And in this desperate moment, I remembered what brought joy as a child, a teen and as a young adult: ART.

Springtime, the rebirth of all things growing and beautiful. And it felt as if I was coming out of the winter of my life. A canvas purchased months ago, still wrapped in cellophane began to look like a solution and a ray of light. Paints that somehow remained moist and usable and an old art ‘tackle box’ miraculously appeared. Sketch pads purchased over the years, but never used with any sense of purpose, were carried in the car, and brought our for lunches taken in the forest preserve. There I could relax, draw and sketch leisurely, no ‘projected timeline,’ or expectation placed on the effort. There, I could just move the pencil along the paper, hear the scratch of graphite mingling with paper and allow my hand and eye to rediscover one another. And in my heart, I begin to awake again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


There was a time when I couldn’t say that. “Work” was the “bitter pill” to swallow and in a culture that focuses on weekends, vacations, holidays and retirement, the honorable message is buried. Sure, we’re encouraged to be successful at our careers, work effectively and strive for advancement, but the constant mantra heard is “Thank God it’s Friday” and “I hate Mondays.” Lord knows I’ve said them both for a long time!

A few years ago, I got this crazy notion: why can’t work be enjoyable? I didn’t get a quick response, but I continued asking the question. I remember one afternoon, I had business to handle in the near north area of Chicago’s loop area. Taking a cab over, when I got in the area, I was amazed at the expressions on the people’s faces. Nearly everyone seemed to be relaxed, unhurried, shopping and taking in the sunshine. And hear I was, watching my watch, trying to account for every minute and avoid going over my lunchtime. My impression of these people was they all had money; they had to be “trust fund” babies because they didn’t have my attitude and the rushed, anxious appearance of people just 5 blocks south. But on many occasions, I ran into people like this. Midday, mid-morning, afternoon, there are people out, shopping and some are working, and they look like they don’t have a care in the world. Why couldn’t I have that?

It’s recently that I have come to believe all work is honorable. But the statement begs completion: not all work is appropriate for everyone. A biblical principle spelled out in 1 Corinthians 12: 14, says, “The body is not made up of one part but of many.” It goes on to give the illustration of a foot saying “because I’m not the hand, I’m not part of the body.” So it is with us. We all have roles and a position. Take my word for it, I have tried on many roles and some of them weren’t a good fit. Until recently, I was determined to be a degreed, licensed counselor. I may still counsel, but I can tell you, there is no more honorable task for me than painting and writing. You see I have found a way to live like those people I saw in the near north side of Chicago. It begins with knowing myself and that leads to expending energy appropriately.

Before I get deeply profound, I must say this has been a long journey around a mountain. I’ve known most of my life I should be doing art, but I did everything else. It wasn’t until I faced me, stopped ‘me’ in my tracks and asked, “What are you doing?” I mean it was an honest question with a huge expectation of a response. I came to the conclusion that nothing else for me mattered. I will not stop being a husband, father, brother, minister, teacher or counselor. But nothing else ‘works’ without the center, the critical link for all. Giving in to the “artist’s life” is one of the most significant decisions I’ve made in my life.

Suggestion? Think back to your childhood, when you played in a yard, playground, with friends or alone. Remember the role you thought you were; maybe you were a doctor or dancer or singer. It didn’t matter if you were good or bad at it, it was what you did and who you were. In my opinion, it’s time to let the kid out to play again. Everything else is a misfit; everything else is work without honor. Peace!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa
Originally uploaded by Hudson Gallery
"Clean Slate" - I think this happens more than we're wiling to admit. I think it happens more often than the beginning of the day as many believe, is the start of new opportunities. Have you ever taken a deep breath, sighed or hesitated before one of "those" events? You know, one of those things that happens everyday. The types of things that happen at work or when you mistakenly drift into oncoming traffic concentrating on the last mishap. A clean slate, an opportunity to begin again, approach the next event with a fresh perspective. A chance to stamp "CANCEL" across the pain of the latest disappointment. A Clean Slate.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Blank Page

Quite a few years ago I discovered I could write. Writing wasn’t my major in college and though I wriinge ‘theme’ and ‘term’ papers was part of school years, it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do. So when ideas for stories and poems begin to flow, it was a surprise. One of my earlier writings and one that epitomizes the creative process for me was the “A Blank Page.” Here's the poem:

I sit,
Watching the blank page
And its vast starkness tell stories.
Images take shape
Men fight their way through battles,
Swords slashing and hacking
Women love deeply
And embrace
As though giving away breath from their lungs.
In this ‘emptiness’ there are words
Some spoken below a whisper
Yet their power is felt by the soul
Stories pour from a space that seems to contains nothing
Yet there is so much there
It can be misunderstood or misread as writer’s block, or Artist’s cramp.
Yet it is there,
Waiting for you to peel back the white and reveal the flesh beneath.
Take an adventure with me as we push past the mundanity of our lives,
Let’s go where children are purposely conceived and planned for,
A place where a walk through meadows green is a journey to discover secrets.
Let’s go to a place where one’s name is rarely told because words are powerful and revealing a name is akin to revealing one’s soul.
Leave the land where pages are for numbers and the reporting of what we know already.
Mount your imaginations and let’s go!

Okay, that's it for now. Let me know what you think!