Friday, December 16, 2011

The Turn


No one understands where it comes from and of course we don't know where it leads; the turn. Shows up all over the place! You don't have to call for it or request it, though we do. We want our bank accounts fat, our homes 5 bedrooms and 6 baths, and our spouses to understand us. But the turn...

Find yourself staring at the bend in a road especially when you've mapped out "straight ahead" as the preferred direction, and you find yourself anticipating trouble. Sometimes that bend is exactly what was needed, except at the time, it's the turn in our gut that tells us 'no.'

Experience tells us, if we listen, that bends and turns don't come for nothing and often they are exactly on time. Finding yourself wondering as you stare at a turn you didn't anticipate? Hold on, slow down and ride the bend to see what's on the other side.

Peace.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Same Old Stuff

 
RISE!
Working on a new pastel image, “Rise;” feeling good about the colors, the layout and how I’m inspired to show it to the wife (funny how, no matter how old I am, I still go back to "mommy” for approval). She makes it downstairs, asks, “That’s what you’re working on?” I say “yes,” and she says, “looks like everything else you’ve done.” Slight ouch!

See, this is a work of heart, comes from my allowing my spirit to commune with God. So, hearing that is more of the “same old” (yes, sorely tempted to use Jean-Michele Basquiat’s aka SAMO), I sat quietly with my disappointment.

I’m slow, takes time to process stuff, so going to bed, these thoughts in the back of my head, I looked at the rendering with fresh, morning eyes: same old stuff…THAT’S GREAT! I have a style! Now mind you, she’s right, and mind you, she’s wrong. When I work on something from the heart, typically the image is completely abstract expressionist. This image began with the central figure, the lady seemingly stretching and rising. Never mind, she isn’t anatomically correct, this isn’t about capturing or rendering precision and the body ideal, the image is my expression. The colors are me.

I can’t speak for other artists, only me, when I say, so often inspiration, an idea comes to mind and in the process of developing the image, I begin laying down the sketch of that idea. Sometimes, there isn’t an idea in mind, just a need to render. I lay down pastel, oil paint or charcoal and it’s shape begins to appear. Often, as I’m rendering, other colors or textures, and brush strokes come to mind. Progressing through an image, it’s like having a plate of food before me, full of the best seasoned, best prepared morsels I’ve ever tasted and every bite is like a symphony in my mouth. If there’s good music playing, the combination of music and food brings me to a personal dance. That’s what happens when I stand or sit in front of a work.

Is it all the same? Oh, if you only knew, if it were possible to explain how I am moved to render! Maybe in time, with practice, I can move away from the ‘technical’ aspect of describing a brush stroke, but for now, please accept this explanation: in those moments, it is as if God and I were speaking to one another, completing one another’s sentence and laughing at one another’s jokes. Hope that helps to understand this sense of JOY!

Friday, December 2, 2011

In Process

The Turn...also In Process
 There is something to be said for development. For the last 15 years or so, I’ve been involved, career-wise, in the Software Development Life Cycle. I’ve worked as a business analyst, data analyst and software tester, also known as a Quality Assurance Analyst. The goal has always been to produce a great application, one that meets the customer’s needs. I have worked on multiple projects and watched them go from one or two line requirements to installations on multiple computers, across networks and even across the world. And there is more that can be said for the continued development.

Thirteen years ago, traveling home from work, a question came to mind: “Where do you want to be in 10 years?” Instantly, without hesitation, I envisioned me in a studio space, painting, large canvas in front of me, palette in one hand, brush in the other. And my response was just as fast: “I want to be an artist.” Wasn’t painting at the time; I had paints but didn’t know I had them. I had brushes but they were hidden as well. In that moment, 10 years seemed like a lifetime, as though I was saying, “30 years from now, I should be ready,” or “When I don’t have any excuses, I’ll be ready to do paint again.” Hmmm…the power of a ‘confused mind!’ Certainly, I was excited at the prospect of getting back to my first love; nothing moves me like being in front of a canvas or blank sheet of paper and allowing the work to flow, but Who Would I Be, as an artist? How would I survive? Would my wife leave me because I was a starving artist? All of these feelings surfaced in that same moment I imagined me as an artist. And those feelings kept me imprisoned for 10+ years. But there was work “in process” I knew nothing about.

This is a blog, not my life story, so I’m not boring you with the details. Suffice it to say “I’M BACK!” But funny thing about being back, gone for so long and having to travel so far: I feel like there is so much work to do! Not that sinking feeling when you’re building a house and you look up from hammering a 2 x 4, and realize you’re only at the base of the building. No, this is the feeling like: “I’ve accomplished major milestones; keep going, we have time to improve the current structure and plenty of time to build on additions. I’m in process and making progress…

Friday, November 25, 2011

If My Peers are The Standard...

After the Dance
 Competition is a funny thing; it can be subtle, nearly undetectable, like natural gas without the ‘funk’ additive. J It sneaks up on you, especially when your aim is to live your life on your own terms. Not everyone lives with a ‘scarcity mentality,’ that is, a belief that there’s only a short amount of ______ to go around. A classic example from my past is high school and college art courses. In Still Life 1 (too long ago to be sure if that was a title), we came into the classroom and the teacher arranged a boot, a glass vase, a gourd and a plastic apple and orange, on a table. Our assignment was to draw the images. In a classroom with artists skilled in hand-eye coordination, in an hour’s time, they were finished, including shading, highlights and rendering the various textures. But there were other students who, in an hour’s time, were struggling to round the orange, or they somehow had the boot looking like a swatch of cowhide. But there was a third group: the students who were making a valiant effort, with the shining example of the first group as their model. They had erase marks on paper, a look of determination and frustration on their brow, but they were faring “better” than the second group.

And so it goes: competition without really trying. I recall folks showing up with a number 2 pencil and believing that to be sufficient. It was and can be. But when they would see me with my set of pencils with designations from 4H to 4B, a pink pearl eraser and maybe a kneaded eraser; you could see that sense of self-esteem slip a bit. But I wasn’t the standard and truthfully, I was striving to reach the standard others were setting. I watched them, bodies relaxed, yet focused on the task, confidence shining like a silver knight’s armor. I wanted to be one of them.

I’m not sure if it’s the “times” or a movement that seems to be happening “right now,” but for me, my life is ordered by a higher direction. Certainly, I may look at the work of a Serge Kponton, or Matthew Ivan Cherry and think “I wish I could render the way he does,” but most of the time, I hear someone who seems to direct my work in other ways. I am not instructed to “do it just like him or her” but to allow my mind, my body and my soul to receive what is there and to render as He directs. It’s a beautiful thing!

My peers…they aren’t the standard any more. There is one who directs my steps and he is more than a standard; he’s my muse and spirit of abundance.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Clarity’s Call

Clear Channel
 
This is a repeating theme, but as additional definition and shape come forward, I have to share. I’ve looked at the body of my expressive work, the work that some would call abstract. I’ve considered the ‘naming’ process, especially when I think of musicians like Pat Metheny and Bob James, Roy Hargrove and Joshua Redman. That way you contemplate what is being said “here.” Sitting at work with a piece, I search for the message it seems to convey. And clarity comes through.

There are times I see fine details in a painting before I touch brush to canvas. A response, an answer to a problem I didn’t know existed. Clarity. At times, it’s the simple bob of my head to a song I hear adds to the joy experienced in these precious moments. Moments become eternity when things are made clear.

Love guides my hand; it is both a response and a call. Love motivates me to write and give further light to the subject of my renderings. So sacred are these glimpses into eternity, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the Love. So I paint, sometimes I grab a pencil and sketch, or a pastel and allow the intense colors to draw lines from me to God and back again.

My friends, this is my sharing. This is my heart given to you. Allow the light of God to guide you and reshape you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Declarative Statement

Shaken Up!

It’s important to make your statement.

I know I’m not alone when I say this, but more often than not, I wonder what difference my contribution to the world makes. Do I have an impact? Will the lack of response from those who see my words and images prevent me? 

And when I sit to draw or paint or write, no visible or audible audience is near, and yet I express myself, regardless. And yet, there is an unseen audience that hears, sees, and inspires what is said and rendered. Who is my audience? I’ve asked that question, trying to determine who to ‘target’ for the work. Well, if I take Jesus at his word, then this is my audience: “But I, when I’m lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32)

This isn’t a declaration of the Christian message in plain text. No, this is declaration of the supremacy of God as the creator of all things. I don’t deny my faith in Christ or his deity. I don’t deny that I believe he upholds, holds together, all things by the word of His power.  And yet, though he does this, I know he is intimately involved in my life. He brought me back to my calling, the expression of creativity. He has expanded that expression with words as well.

Sometimes I wonder if others understand; concerned with clarity I do a great deal of editing and withholding. I think I’m somehow ‘responsible’ for YOUR understanding. Then I remember years of underground work done in my life. When I was busy raising children, earning money, and working in ministry, and felt completely helpless, God was doing work that others could not see. While I was depressed to the point of suicide because I didn’t feel like I was being heard or was making a difference in the world, God continued to listen as well as express his love for me. I will continue to express myself in the unique way God has gifted me. Someone, somewhere and somewhen, is listening. They are listening, they are watching and the message is sinking so deep in their soul that the only way they can respond is by the grace of God as he works secretly, underneath the surface of their conscious. His work is never in vain!

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Okay...We'll Take Our Time


I pulled out a charcoal sketch I begin a year ago. As it often is, I start things on what some would call a ‘whim,’ a quick thought or near gut reaction. I took the time after the last time I worked on it, to spray a workable fixative on it, so as not to smear it and just in case I wanted to finish it. Following that ‘gut’ again, I took it out of the case where I keep my work, taped it to my easel, fully intending to return to it today.

Before long, it was time to start dinner. I’m no cook and certainly don’t prepare dinner often enough to be quick about it, so as usual it took some time before dinner was done. As a matter of fact, I had just put the tilapia in the oven when my wife made it home from work. Oh well, so much for having dinner on the table.

Plan B: get back to the charcoal sketch, put finishing touches on two paintings and revel in my success. Plan C: sit back and wonder where the time and energy went. Plan C got a unaminous vote. It’s late, I’m tired, and I’m awake in less than 5 hours. I’m calling it a night. But sitting up looking at the sketch, I realized I had areas of detail to be worked out and like finding a treasure buried in sand, getting that detail out will take some time. In the moment I realize I don’t have a deadline. I also came to realize this: the discovery is not in the destination (reward) but in the journey (effort).

I know how it easy it is to be focused on the other side of an equation. You know 2+2=4 or man+woman=romance; we spend a lot of time looking at the right side of the equal sign and want to rush to get to it. But…

Monday, October 31, 2011

Follow

A Reply...still in process and evolving!
It's been a while since I posted. Not short on words and no excuse offered. But here's my latest musings:
 
Thanks Seth Godin for Linchpin. Informative and idea solidifying book. Of course he aint the only one with the bright idea of pointing up those folks who faithfully cut a new path and not for the sake of wearing crazy-glued, pink Mohawks, but because they know there’s a way that fits them and is better for everyone. It’s certainly our tendency to take these people and put them out front, make them a leader. Not too long ago, this was the best way to pick managers and foremen, my father being one of them. Not saying my father wasn’t a great foremen and manager, but I think it was part of his exercise in “Peter-principal” collapse.

Funny thing about being a leader, people expect you to be the author of innovation and cutting edged thinking. Most appointed leaders I know are ‘quaking in their boots,’ afraid that’s this next dilemma or opportunity to lead in an effective way, will show the world their a fraud. Sure they cover it up, put on a good face and act brave, but all the Harvard training doesn’t cover up what isn’t natural.

Here’s what I’m proposing for those who find themselves in the vaunted role of “leader:” FOLLOW. Yes, everyone stares at you as you walk the halls. When you’re in the limelight, everyone is expecting you to unveil the latest swagger-gear, some look that everyone will try to emulate. Don’t sweat that attention, instead, focus on the one who leads better than everyone else. He’s great at staying out of the limelight and truth be told, no one who’s ‘anyone’ follows him. He doesn’t do much that all the “popular kids” do, but he does what’s right. Yep, people are going to talk about you, you’ll lose your credibility when you say or do something that everyone thinks is stupid and out of step with what’s ‘really happening,’ but aren’t you wearing the emperor’s new clothes, right now because you think that’s what keeps you in step with everyone else? Aren’t there mornings when you would rather crawl under the covers because you know you’re one misstep from being a joke? Follow.

Follow what is in your heart. Quiet the noise of culture and your education and follow. Listen carefully and recall messages only small children hear. They don’t know the popular dance steps and when music comes on, they do what comes naturally. They don’t color in lines, they draw mommy as they see her. Follow, my friend, simply FOLLOW.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Routine


Practice 10/17/11

I woke to the sound of the “gong” sound coming from my clock, at 3:00 am. That’s the time to wake up during the week. I get up; have my time of writing, ala The Morning Pages exercise, shower and out the door for a couple hours of exercise. Routine; love it or leave it, the sense of knowing what your day brings contains sanity and safety. No further opinion from me.

It’s 9:05 am. Normally, after getting back from the gym, I get the wife off for work, my youngest out for school and have my devotional time. Spending time with my Father is vital for the same reasons as my 3:00 am routine: sanity and safety. The added benefit is my soul is fed in ways no other human endeavor matches. Normally, at this time, I’m sifting through emails, thinking about what I want to work on, paint or pencil wise, and planning to work until I can’t anymore. Some routines take longer to establish and I’m learning to set rules to make them happen.

For the last year or so, I’ve adjusted to life at home. For a number of years, I was a contract employee at McDonalds, testing software. At 9:05, I would have been at work for at least an hour, also sorting through email, maybe a morning conference call and by now, employees would have filtered in and gone to their desk or on their way for coffee. I would have reviewed my list of test scripts to execute for the day, checking over what was done the previous day and looking at the defect report. I could plan men’s room breaks almost to the minute, as well as when a coworker would stop by my desk for a chat. I tested software and was the resident counselor.

I know where I want to be in my life and with each day of nailing down this routine, I see myself moving toward that life. I see my days much as it is now, with the exception, rather than going to the basement, I’m in my studio, quietly preparing to open myself for creativity.

There are days when what I want feels like a 345-pound weight across my shoulders, as I try to rise from a squat, but that isn’t the case today. Today, I’m at peace with my life as it is. Yes, I would like to be “in charge,” or “responsible” for more monetary resources (meaning, “I wish I had more than enough to take care of my needs, wants and a few other folks”) but today, I’m grateful for multiple meals, a warm house and gym membership. Additionally, I have a studio in my basement, brushes, paints, pencils and paper and I can go at it as long as I desire. Course, I’m making dinner today, but that fits into the life I want.

Closing this entry with this thought: No further comment on my part needed. What about you?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Waiting on GOD

Sleeping Beauty
There is something to be said about knowing "help is on the way." Of course we want it NOW, especially when, in that moment, we expect whatever assistance we get, is already late. But knowing you can trust that someone beyond your limited capability, stands prepared to rescue, deliver, uplift and make good the path before you - nothing better.

Writing this today, it is the state of mind I'm in. Certainly, there's a sense of angst about the future; I always want it to turn out like the picture I have in my mind, but KNOWING...that's far more vital than an ideal image. I'm waiting...like the image, I'm resting, quietly, waiting. Yes, there are moments when action is required but one has to be aware that any 'call to action' is nearly a response to a command. So often we don't have a clue what's required. We can only reach out for help and hope it comes soon.

I'm waiting...He is responding even as the words appear on the page.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Practicing...It Matters

I'm reading the book "The Artist's Way," and I'm in week 8. Oh MY GOODNESS, is this challenging? One of the things I've found is that in my journey, over time, in many ways I have been getting prepared for this stuff, before it comes. This week, a key point that jumps out at me is coping with the "artist's anxiety." I know I'm not the only one who has to cope with this and it isn't an artist only issue. Everyone finds themselves 'stuck' or 'misdirected,' which is the biggest issue for a struggling individual. You know there's important stuff to do, vital tasks that spring from your very soul. But you also know you've got to do the laundry, build that career, and help mama or someone else with their list of tasks.

Guess what? If you continue to feel that tap in your soul, but continuing to ignore it, you are making yourself miserable. It isn't the job or the nagging issue of work/life balance that's got you stuck. It's the call of your soul that won't give you rest.

Here's a small tactic: do a little bit of the stuff you love. For me, it's a matter of sitting down with my pencils and paper or a brush, oil paint and canvas. Don't do a lot of it, don't create the masterpiece, just do something each day. Okay, I'm back at it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

You Ever Wonder?


I mean seriously, just sit and absentmindedly ask "why?" At the moment there's a certain mystery and moving of the spirit going on. I'm sitting here on a Saturday morning, in my own space, surrounded by people who love me, art(work) in process, exercise equipment and a full belly. I have access to the internet via high speed connection and I'm working on a reliable computer. In other words, I'm blessed.

Not "why" am I blessed but simply "why?" This is a moment where I am flowing in the depths of something far larger than me. I can sense the depth of it all and yet it is indescribable. I have all I need and I am on a path.

Why? Why am I here, where am I going and what's my next move? Really, in the moment, I've gone past these questions. I don't need a response outlining the facts, I have faith. I am certain all of this is working and I am blessed. There is no lack or uncertainty, there is no turning back.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Clear Channel

Autopilot: OFF

So, it’s Friday; on the schedule it’s the day to publish my blog. (Actually, it’s Thursday and since last night I’ve been thinking about this subject.) We are certainly taught the power of sameness or another expression for it, discipline. In a society with roads that should be smooth, cars that are mass-produced and income in the form of direct deposit to our bank accounts (less we should delay depositing the money in the bank and have auto-payments bouncing all over the place), we have learned to stress over something else. Mind you, this is not an “anti-machine” or “down with the establishment” blog. There are experts who are ready to topple the constructs of our lives. I for one, aint one of them!

One of the things I’m learning is that for me, those many years of feeling “different” wasn’t just some crazy kid, trying to be different. No, I am unique. I may not look it to my drawers exposing young folks, to my corporate button-ups, or my grunge, ripped flannel shirt wearing artist compadres, but I am. Sit with me for a while, listen to my perspective; you would find many similarities. Then again, you’ll probably hear thoughts that would make you want to rip my head off. Guess what? I’m different.

I was on a good path, in my young adult years, before I heard the siren song of “sameness.” I boldly declared, “I’m going to college and I’m going to be an artist,” when paying tuition was more than a notion! I filled out an application for a scholarship that didn’t mean much at the time – and I got it. Went to school without paying tuition four years and completed on time. But again, siren song of sameness, the back-up plan or “Plan B” begins to ring in my ear. Everything from “Black folks don’t act like that,” to “I don’t know any Black people who are artists,” was said. And I slowly started to agree. I was kicking and screaming my way into a seat where the “machine” controls the altitude and speed at which I fly.

It is a comfortable place to be, where you know what your income will be. As part of our instruction, we have been taught to work for a “good company,” earn “good money,” and “live in a house in a nice neighborhood” – at least that’s what I was taught. And I did exactly that and in that order. I got the job, the money and the house. Autopilot living. And yet, there was always this nagging since of “something else.” I even accepted and announced my calling to preach and served faithfully in my church. But even that didn’t satisfy that gnawing feeling, that sense that there was something more that needed to be done. For many years, I just assumed it was a sense that would never be satisfied. On more than one occasion, I cried out to the clouds: “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” as I tried to respond to this sense.

I’m sitting here, writing – I love to write. In a while, I’ll make or take a call from a family member or friend, looking for advice or merely for someone to hear them – I love to advise. But then I’ll sit in front of a large sheet of paper or a canvas and listen. Colors and shapes and textures are in front of me, whether the surface has been marked or not. I’ll begin to move, as though someone is guiding me and before long, I’ll catch the rhythm of the stroke, identifying additional colors and shapes with the tilt of my head. It’s not autopilot, anymore; it’s God-directed and inspired. I am not out of control but fully in control as I listen to directions he provides.

What about you? Your autopilot button: is it “off” or “on?”

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Open Clarity and Clearer Channels

Clear Channel ~ in process...
What I want and what I need. From a Christian or ‘religious’ perspective, we are often taught to ignore our wants and focus on our needs. We are taught  that we should ensure we focus on our needs and somehow, our wants will either go away or maybe, someday, we’ll get our wants met. “What do you want?” Has that question ever been asked of you? Especially where it’s asked with such emphasis, you have to search your soul and respond with that. Years ago, my previous pastor said he would visit people in the hospital and he would ask the same question of those lying in bed. They would start out: “well, I won’t God to bless me; make me a good person.” And he would stop them, mid-sentence and ask them more emphatically: “WHAT DO YOU WANT?” Of course, now he has their attention and they would say, “I want to get out of this hospital! I want to get well!”

At the moment it doesn’t matter the “whys” and “wherefores” of our misdirected wants; there are times one needs to cry out from the soul “Rescue me!” without worrying about if you’re saying it right or if help might come. Clarity says, in that moment THERE IS AN ANSWER – AND I NEED IT NOW!

The flip side of our extreme moments of clarity is that there is a response. So often, it seems we aren’t heard – I know I’m not the only one who has asked for a SOMETHING and no genie appeared granting my wish. But I also know I’m not the only one, who having cried out from that secret place in one’s soul and received a response of peace and brevity ~ a gentle and quick response that defies the mind to define. A clear channel makes moments into hours and hours into days. Give it thought as you go on your way. Your journey isn’t wasted; take each step and allow the peace to be your companion. Amen.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Are You "Heads" or "Tails?"

Open Channel (in progress...more to come)
Times are changing, that's for sure. But haven't they always? Haven't we always been "troubled on every side?" Isn't it true that as long as we have been on this earth technology and knowledge have always seemed to push us harder and further than some of us are prepared to go? But isn't that nature of one man's innovation and another man's fear?

I'm reading The Artist's Way, a wonderful book about recovering one's creative self. It's a twelve week course with the consistent process of Morning Pages and the Artist Date. The pages is a daily process of writing one's thoughts, pretty much as they come to you. I haven't gone back to review the last few weeks, yet. Maybe next week. And the weekly artist's date? Well, let's just say it doesn't take much to entertain me! Anyway, this is week four, and I'm supposed to avoid reading. The rationale being, we are often so busy listening and being "informed" by what we read, we don't hear our own voice, or more importantly, the voice of God. Try it for three days; you would be surprised how difficult it is not to read and be attentive to what around you rather than reading.

What does all this have to do with the question in the title? Glad you asked! In light of changes, sometimes we choose to "hunker down," and pretend this is just a trend and will soon fade away. Other times, we think change doesn't happen fast enough and "so and so ought to do..." Funny little people! It may feel safe to wait until "something happens," but how do you quiet that stirring in your soul? I mean really, I tried - wow did I try - to ignore the ache of wanting a bigger life. I bought the bundle of excuses, complete with "if God wanted us to have more he would..." But here I am, once again, sitting on a nail and aching to get off! So I decided to listen to those dreams I thought were "kid's stuff." I woke up and found out, if I try, I mean really try, if I hope as if tomorrow is a certainty and begin to move in the direction of my heart felt desire, God is in most assuredly in that path. No new road - especially a good one - is completed overnight. It takes time and a lot of effort. But I'm staying on the path. I choose to be the Head. That is, I choose to be on the cutting edge, obedient to a larger message. Staying in this path could put me at odds with those who choose safety, but really, what else do I have to lose?

Consequently, the tail. The tail is like this: "don't expect much out of life," or "life is difficult, just take what you get and make the best of it." Usually what follows pretty closely is: "all the goods jobs are shipped overseas!" And "the economy is in the toilet." The tail can only respond to what it perceives. It doesn't look forward to change, it merely reacts to it.

Today, out doing my usual errands, I drove through the Westmont/Clarendon Hills area of Illinois. I noticed the BEAUTIFUL buildings, newly completed to sell luxury cars. BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and a new Infinity dealer under construction, across the street. So if the world is going to "hell in a hand basket," I guess some folks are riding in  an air conditioned, leather cushioned seat, right? Let me put it to you another way, if things are so bad for me and you, what about the dealers, mechanics, salesman and customers, regularly going in and out of these dealers? Do they know something we don't? If they do, maybe we need to find out what they know...

Friday, August 26, 2011

That was “NOW”…what about Then?


(in process ~ Optical Illusion)
It’s so easy, I mean “no brainer” easy, to get lost on the cataclysm of NOW. We sit in it; emotions we’ve trained to spring up, appear instantly. You don’t have to think about it, just sit there a fraction of a second and you have this stinky stew, a dangerous deadly Amazon jungle all around you, INSTANTLY!! Put a name on any given situation in your life; it’s probably easier than you want it to be, recall any given situation. Pick a song – nearly any song about romance – and you find the same emotions bouncing around in you, you thought were long dead!

A few years ago, I purchased an audiobook by Norman Vincent Peale, called “You can if You Think You Can. In it, he tells the story of a woman, living by a river with her three small children. At the time, she has an injury to her left arm, which has her moving about her small place, working carefully to avoid pain. Her youngest child, a three year old comes in, having played outside with her siblings, dirty and in need of a change of clothes. She changes her, sends her back outside and gets back to the work of housekeeping. At some point, mother’s intuition kicks in as she remembers that though her children have been warned to stay away from the river, kids will be kids. She goes outside, seeing only the two older children and asks where their younger sister might be. They say she was walking toward the river. Too concerned to scold, she runs to the river, and arriving there, she doesn’t see her daughter. Fear and dread quickly rush to the surface as she calls her name and looks at the banks and then into the river. Looking downstream, she spots what looks like clothing moving down the river. Keep in mind she doesn’t know how to swim, but she rushes toward the spot where she’s sure it’s her daughter and realizing it is, she rushes into the river, treading water as best she can. Trying to keep herself afloat and get to her daughter, she reaches for her daughter with her left arm, the injured arm. She reaches her daughter, who is near unconscious at this time and pulls her as best she can. Grabbing her and trying to get her to shore, she tries to throw her, only to fail. But that doesn’t stop her; she tries again and gets her daughters limp body out of the water and onto the shore. So, ask yourself, did that mom get lost in the NOW? Or did she focus on the Then?

Pain is real, and at nearly all costs, we try to avoid it. But there are times when the pain of the moment seems small when we compare it to future loss. There are times when we focus beyond are current misery and we HAVE TO get up and GO! We’ve heard the stories of ladies or older men who lift cars off children. We’ve heard stories of people jumping in the path of a car to save the life of a child. So why stop there? Why not continue pushing past that current pain?

In the mix of daily concerns, it could seem we are destined to succumb to the pressures of life. Any given moment, pain, disappointment and despair wield the control of the day. But – and this may be the best place to put this word – in that same day, we find ourselves caught up in the busyness of making through the day. Employment can be a wonderful distraction from debilitating emotions. A shift of attention from the death we are sure awaits us around the corner, is often enough to send that “axe-wielding” despair away for the day. Personally I’ve found a nap in the middle of the day, finds me waking as though I had never had a doubt in the world. It’s a choice to make each day. Now here’s the funny part; hold on your laughter ‘cause this joke takes a while to sink in: some day in a future you refuse to see at the moment “this trauma?” It will be gone and either you will learn to put all the days’ drama in a box for such trash, or you will allow another tragedy to rob you of your joy. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but wow, practice it – I mean like performing curls with 70 pound dumbbells – and soon you’ll be stronger and laughing at calamity!


Friday, August 19, 2011

I've Got to Try...

No picture this time. Just listen. So, I really wanted to be an artist, though I think as early as 8, I thought "I can't be an artist; they don't make any money." So I searched and searched to figure out what I wanted to be and earn money.

I grew up, I did customer service, worked in retail store stock rooms, sold dishes, insurance and car care products. I took other customer service positions with other companies and begin to work with "computers." Data entry jobs. Enter this data and "something happens." But I had to try.

Started making a little more money, which was necessary because I had a family and bills and stuff. Worked with "computers" a little more and thought of ways work could go smoother if we had _____ and _____. Worked with computers more and people less; computers seem good. I've got to try this.

Every department or company I moved to, someone wanted to talk - I mean the baring one's soul type of talk. I'm good at this; I've got to try...

Somewhere along the way, I came full circle. Art: painting, drawing, oil painting, acrylics, watercolor, pastel and charcoal. I've got to try.

I've thrown in 'this' and 'that' along the way, including preaching, teaching and scrubbing toilets, but when it comes right down to it, I've got to try...

You hear me, you understand. This isn't about revealing a great secret or having answers for it all. This is about living and trying. Sometimes I fail at stuff, other times I succeed, but like you and nearly every person on the planet, I've got to try. Check out my website to see what I mean: www.eddiehudson3.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Break in the Clay - Filtered Divinity

(In process) There's more light inside...if we could take a look inside, behind all the confusion, the rattle of "THE ECONOMY," and what-if's, there is a source of incredible energy! Not like plugging into a the electric company energy, where you are the master, but the type that is intelligent, compassionate, creative. To a greater extent, we're a reflection, a scratched, cracked and smeared mirror of it.
A light, an energy so powerful, it's purpose defies our shadowy logic. Yet he chooses to live in us, behind our excuses, our expressions of loves, likes and dislikes. He makes choices as well as we do, choosing to direct our path so subtly, similar to the way water changes the shape and texture of a rock.

What would happen if that light and "us" decided to enjoy one another? What would happen if we allowed ourselves to reflect, to be changed by the light within?

This filter is breaking, the light is coming through...

By the way, I'm working on a poem, A Kiss, to be published at www.eddiehudson3.com. Look for it, next Monday.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

We have this treasure (Filtered Divinity)

Amazing, it is, that life altering truth comes from the places it does. Our tendency is to assume light, or revelation only comes by way of those who spend long hours, head bowed in contemplation or in books. But truth, spiritual knowledge doesn't have to have a "willing body;" all it takes is a mind, a heart, and a soul, and God's infinite wisdom will find you!

In the above piece, you will note the bands of earth tones, particularly browns, clay and oranges, primarily below. That's us. But wait, what's this breaking through the bottom? Seems like light is interrupting the thick dark tones. Yeah, well that happens around us and to us more often than we know.

It is said that artist transmit the will of the creator. Whether it's singing, writing, acting, or rendering in paint or marble, to the world, we convey 'messages.' But have you ever watched a child at play? Especially children who play with great effort? If you've ever seen one who laughed, twirled, jumped and ran, then you've also noted that they "huff and puff" and sweat like us crotchety adults :) But they are expressing joy without separating play from work. They are creating joy with great effort - rather than waiting to be entertained. God, through them, expresses his joy - for joy's sake.

We have a treasure hidden in are "earthen vessels..."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Filtered Divinity

Filtered Divinity - in progress
A new series – and as I write, awareness that like trying to control play and fun, I better allow Divine to be master! Writing and rendering, I play the prophet, the medium, the channel by which God declares to his loved one(s) his big heart.

Looking at a fellow artist’s photos, and thinking of her artist-style unique, caricature-like, heads almost like balloon sculpture, I thought how artist really have to speak the language of their body and tongue. Meaning, while we are the filter for God, who remains master even in our independence, his message is communicated through all aspects of us. Yes, if he desires, he could allow me to speak in the tongue of a remote people and ensure they clearly understand what he wants them to. But more often than not, he allows the words and images to come through ‘me.’ Born in Chicago, raised on the West side, loving Jazz music as well as Soul (that’s what we called it long time ago), and poetry, Greek mythology, reading Bible stories and girls. I don’t stop being ‘me’ to communicate – paint a pretty or ugly picture – but because I am who I am, I speak as he directs.

Every artist, whether they are visually, verbally or kinetically enabled, who feels the depths of the connection to God, understands that sometimes we are just as affected by the message we’re trying to communicate. We aren’t off the hook after we say, show or sing it, it reflects back on us, like a well lit room. The message is big, you all and rather than contain it, control or bend it, it’s best that we let it flow. Listen, Perceive, Respond friends!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

FOR SALE - ART!!!

I've been waiting, patiently waiting and so have you! Well it's official; I now have a page of Oil paintings available for sale! Check out my website: www.eddiehudson3.com!

Practicing Like TRANE...Getting it right

Not perfect, but "right." There is a difference you know. Perfect has that sense that nothing else remains, that 'it' has evolved to it's highest level of powerful output. Well, when it comes to the creative process, I remain in a evolutionary process. There's a new barrier, a new wall and a new _____ causing friction.

I read a biography about John Coltrane a few years back, written by Ashley Kahn (A Love Supreme/The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album). In it, the author chronicled John's period of true initiation, or another way to put it, his period of self-discovery. He says John would practice for hours in his apartment - probably aggravating the heck out of neighbors, though he was one of the world's best saxophonist! He probably drove his wife crazy as well.

But here's a point for all of us: something so right, so incredible that it redefines a genre, or causes upward movement in culture, that's a worthwhile goal to store in the back of your conscious. To place it as a point of reference in front of you is to keep 'ego'  too wrapped up in the work and the work falls short of the goal. To completely ignore that higher goal is also the death of the Supreme. But to allow it to be an irritant, a itching that can't be scratched, or a gentle tap on the shoulder, that's how we make a contribution of Love.

Practice exceeds sitting at the instrument with a stack of liner notes replete with 'new ideas.' It exceeds mulling over fresh tubes of paint, imagining the blend of a Permanent Alizarin Crimson with a French Ultramarine. But it includes doing dishes, laundry, running errands for the family. It includes sleepless nights, early mornings and distress over the lawlessness of the land. Practice is about inscribing one's creative mark on the world where we're found. Practice is calling out of the unknown, the dark conscious a message that points to the light of the divine. Yeah, I think I'll practice it like Trane.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I’ll say It (paint it, draw, put it in rhyme) – His Words


Been at this for a while now, and whether it’s put in electronic form, scribbled in spiral bound pages, sketch, spread in bright hues, I must say it. I have to express it.

I have often said it – mistakenly – to see what the audience will say, but when I say it because it’s in me, when I treat it as nectar and salve for the world, I am at my best. When I say it – express light – from the depths of my heart, it is the power of shaping, creating, and formation.

There are times when I get stuck, but that mental state is only control, trying to determine the reaction. I can’t determine the reaction; I can only deliver what is here, inside me.

This is me; this is my expression. Eddiehudson3, bringing the words and images that my heart ponders. In person, I am quiet, reserved, almost aloof, but in my images, the words written, I am a prolific, wealth of truth and light.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Keep it Ablaze!

That idea, that concept, some may even call it a vision from God…it gets stirred and the very elements bend, blend and meld into a force so strong it seems irresistible to manifest. If it were possible, the grand concept in your head could take on life by itself – or so it seems – and touch the world with Love and Blessings. Dancing on a cloud, nearly impossible to sit still and demanding to be declared, you find yourself scarcely able to sleep and keep quiet? It would be easier to sit on a blazing fire than not tell everyone! But…

So excited about this great idea or this new approach to an old dream, you ride the high of revelation, nearly incapable of breathing at times. But…a few days go by, issues “at hand” demand one’s reasoning abilities. Oh the moments when you can sneak away and give some thought to your new plan! But the water heater just broke down, and yes, “we” can take cold showers until we come up with a way to get that thing replaced. And then we have the sense that our latest inspiration, this new fire is either further away than when we first believed (like it jumped in a GTO and pealed off at 65 mph!), or that maybe we need to scale back our implementation plan. You know, work it around our current and growing list of dilemmas. After all, it could pretty much run on its own.

How many great ideas, life changing plans have made their way to the cobwebbed corners of our head? How many times have we struggled to stay alive in light of the absence of inspiration? It isn’t that we are lazy or that fear is too great, it’s just, well you know, we have debt and the leak in the roof and the shoes needed for the kids

Don’t allow it to fade…I know it’s been four weeks since you had that great idea and in the grand scheme of creatives, if we don’t act on it quick, the fire gets small. But stir up the flame, put kindling under it each day. When the cut-off notice arrives in the mail, lay it beside your dream, also in written form; allow them to keep one another company. Go to sleep and awake to that new found hope each day. Stir up the flame until your limbs and heart move to the rhythm of its beat.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You are Here!

We are often directed to set goals, track our progress, and make mid-course adjustments where appropriate. But I'm finding out, the goals I've set, though higher than my past or current place, sometimes they seem like they're out of reach or invisible. But then, I'm reminded of the quote from Henry David Thoreau:
  I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings…If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.


Good. Great! Now the notion is thoroughly planted in our head, what about this very minute? When one's dreams and goals reside in a higher place, the path can, at times, become obscure. Please understand, I don't have this confusion, anxiety, panic and apathy demon chained and subdued, yet. All too often, my thoughts are primarily focused on "THE FUTURE" or the "task list" generated by others.

You ever find yourself forgetting what or why you went in a room? You enter the room, mindful of a million things beside the reason you got out of the chair? Well, this has been a constant problem since I was a small child. Mom would send me in a room to get, for example, a spool of black thread. In the seconds between her telling me and walking into the room, the 'mission' would be gone. I would have to go back and ask "what was I supposed to get?" Of course she called me an old man and strangely, I've simply grown into the character.

So it's important to take a few minutes, hours, days, even, to stop and determine "where am I at this moment?" I mean, honestly, while we want to know where we are, relative to our goal, we also want to examine - and rather critically - is this the path and goal for me, are there alternatives, what lead me to the very place I'm at, at this moment? We also want to examine the multiple paths this very place could lead us, and will those 'roads' ultimately lead to the "castle in the sky."

We've all heard the analogy of the lumberjack's attempt to cut down a tree with a dull axe. Somehow, he's convinced if he continues as he is, and chops harder, the tree will eventually fall. But some wiser comes along, examines his situation and suggests "why not stop and sharpen your axe?" Whether "someone" comes along or not, it never hurts to stop and determine what's going on at that very moment; what nagging thoughts and emotions are you ignoring, in your determination to reach your goal? Examine where you are, now, before you find you've reached "a goal," but not the one you intended.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finishing what I start

If I'm sitting in someone's office, testing software, one of the things I despise is incomplete requirements. Or it could be a project plan that looks like a grocery list - bullet points - and I'm sitting there saying: "I'm going to test what?"

But the kettle takes note of the black of the skillet: i.e. I'm guilty of the same thing! Last week, my son was flipping through images I have on Facebook and found an image I forgot about. It's called Landscape and apparently, it seemed unfinished, at least that's what he said. I went to it immediately, finding it in one of my old sketchbooks. Looking at the image, I saw the colors that were missing, shapes that would round out the image.

I have to say here, I love Jazz music and styles of music where there's a 'baseline,' notes written and played simply, but subject to bending - we call it improvisation - at the whim of the musician as he flows. Funny thing about images when I start with an idea: I could have the colors, shapes and a general understanding of how the layout should be, but when I start flowing, there's nothing like allowing a line or colors to bend to a will greater than my own.

So I completed Landscape; signing and dating it, for me is the a sort of finishing touch, though my tendency is to allow it to sit around and speak to me. Art does communicate, people; trust me, sit with it long enough and examine the shapes and colors; a story is being told. You need only listen. And when 'we' tell a story in addition to that rendered? Divine communication, love! But the sketchbook has been on my desk for days now, and today I picked it up and flipped the page. Behind that page was another page with a painting idea I haven't got to, yet. And looking at it, the idea was fresh in my head again! The movement of the lines, the back of one of the characters in the painting declared it needs to be finished - heck STARTED!!! And I flipped the page again and there was 'me,' or my rendering of me.

I never have a shortage of "to-do's." There's always someone who needs 'this' or for me to come over and 'look at that.' This evening is no exception, and as soon as I finish this, I putting down colored pencils and going to help out, again. But 'me' was calling, well 'me,' so I picked up my colored pencils and listened to the message. Two hours later, well I've signed it, but if I spend minutes, hours, days with it open and visible, the message will continue to speak to me.

Really, we aren't crazy; we're just more in touch with the messages that are communicated to everyone. Okay, got to go start/finish something else!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Through the Eyes of an Artist

"Hey Mama," included today, begin like so many recent works: trying something out. I bought a fresh pad of charcoal paper, 18 x 24" a couple weeks ago, and knowing my tendency to let paper sit for long periods of time without so much as a swipe of a pencil, I put it to use near immediate. I dared myself to think big, after all it's a large pad. I told myself to start a face and from a point I don't normally, so I begin with a nose, the left nostril to be exact. I liked the half-moon of it's development and continued to lightly render the remainder of the nose.

This was to be an experiment; funny thing about having a grand image in mind. With a great image in one's head, you have a tendency to over-analyze the smallest detail - or at least I do. It's a good place for me to simply allow the charcoal, colored pencil, pastel or paint in a brush to meet the surface and have at it.

But that brings me to the point of this entry: the artist's eyes ~ a fickled, critical being with a life of it's own! Yes "Mama" aint "easy on the eyes" as my grandmother-in-law used to say. She's got a big honker of a nose, eyes that aren't symmetrical and a chin that looks like she's wearing a feed bag under her mouth. Sure, I could pretty her up; I could take this image and store it away for future use, but right about now, I want "mama" to be who she is. It's the latest the challenge to my nature. As opposed to ripping the sheet out and tossing it, I keep it in an obvious place. I stare at it's lack of beauty, how the rendering seems like something a kid in elementary school would have done (though in grammar school I could not draw like this!). I look for places to "trim" and "highlight" and yet, there's always something endearing as well as misshapen about old "mama." Lesson to take from this? Trust your eyes; and then tell them "shut up!"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Expectantly, Listening, for a Reply

Expectation

I'm Listening

A Reply
In the quiet and the clatter, I'm listening. Yes, I want IT. I want it all, but so often settling for a little bit seems appropriate. And yet, a little would never do. I wait, I listen, sensing movement.

At times, there are rumbles,  from above, like rolling thunder across a Kansas sky. Reminiscent of past days, when the earth moved for the briefest moment, there's an expectation of "more to come." A silent "Lord, come quickly," escapes the quiet in my head. I know it's coming...not because the arrival time appears on a train schedule, but because the heart knows.

Certainly it seems like "now" is better than "when it's right," but...if you've ever waited for a fresh from the oven pound cake - no offense Sara Lee - the hour and a half wait, while agonizing, is worth it. What's coming is worth the silence, it stands up to the wondering "when" and "why."

I read Deby Dearman's blogpost today, Artrageous Living and she talks about the fear in the entry: Action vs. Perfection; it struck a chord in me, challenged me to think about the many times I choose to mow the lawn, wash dishes and clothes and play Bejeweled rather than draw or paint. I thought about the other artists in my circle who don't have a great Fine Arts degree from a prestigious school, but yet they're reaching the world with their art and earning money from it. I thought about fear and the energy I choose to give it and I quietly prayed that my ears, heart and soul would be better tuned to respond and act -  NOW!!!

Its coming; I can hear the answer, the reply in my soul. Thank you, Lord.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Response

I've been listening;  I'm learning to flex muscles rarely used unless it's an emergency. You know how it is when you pray when danger is present and your life depends on help greater than ourselves. But then, we exercise our "send" muscle. In those times we only listen when we need a quick answer and a speedy solution. But I'm exercising listen muscles sans "emergency."

It's a different way to wait and calls for quiet beyond sitting solitary in a room lights dulled. It's pushing aside the immediate cries of the heart. You know "I NEED a job" or "I need money for these bills." Questions are asked differently in this quiet, questions like "I'm here for a reason..." "exercising my talents in this way is satisfying..."

Certainly money would be great but there are treasures to be had that exceed 7 or 8 digits proceeded by a $. I'm waiting for a response that changes the very flavor of life, a response that reorders parts of the whole. 

The attached image is in process, appropriately titled: "A Response." The background is red, though my point-and-shoot camera doesn't capture the depth of the red. I'm adding detail, slowly, in a way I have not done, previously. I see a semblance of a flower blooming, opening up, as though Spring and Light surrounded it. But I'm Listening as well, patiently moving pass interruptions and shallow wants and needs. There are words that are stated, seemingly falling on deaf ears. But the heart hears quite plainly and when the time is right all is arranged in a way evident to all.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I want to believe...

Not that I don't, not that I've had a severe drought of faith or that I doubt God will keep promises. It's that moment...that day when, seemingly out of the blue, it feels like the world is on the verge of cataclysm. Well, maybe that's a bit over-the-top. Maybe what I mean is in relation to ALL my hopes and the big dream, it seems like someone opened a chasm between that world and here.

It's my moment of crisis; the one where, for a minute, an hour, a day I hold with a tight grip, FEAR as though it were mine. It's that moment when I've lost sight of the constant reassurance, the reminders and the sense that my life has a purpose. And you know what? I'm not alone. Sure, we want to comfort one another and assure one another that "it's okay, God hasn't abandoned you." And yes, we should comfort one another with "these words." But everyone feels the same way. Everyone has those times when the bottom seems to fall out.

As adults we've become 'efficient' at going on. The more successful of us can get clean, dressed, and appear in any social setting, effectively suppressing our despair. But then again, nothing and everything can remind us of that sense of insecurity and dread.

We are a "solution-based" world; we want a fix, a resolution and we want it now! Stop this pain, and my misery! And yes, there are those who do nearly anything to dull the pain.

I want to believe...and I choose to believe. Though light does not appear in the immediate future, though it seems my prayers are thrown back in my face, though it feels like my life is less than yesterday's trash, I choose to believe. Sure, I want to cry out and present my case to God, reminding him that I'm here and I've been a good Christian, but there are times its best to sit with the pain. Sometimes, you just need to realize that yeah, I can still hurt, I still feel like I'm not worthy of anything good. And yeah, guilt, shame, and low self-esteem are part of my nature. And yet, when it's all said and done, I know my life counts for the greatest.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm Listening...

I'm Listening, Oils, 24 x 40
There's a great deal of noise in our world and that includes the space between our ears. All of this input, this clatter, this static is perfect when you want to run from yourself. And when the energy from past hurts and today's fears scream at you, what better place to hide than in plain sight?

But that's not the place to hide; we all know there isn't much comfort and compassion, let alone reason, in this world. "I'm listening..." quietly, patiently. Sitting, in the noise, in the hustle and bustle, waiting for knowledge and wisdom, healing and love. "I'm listening," though my own heart frantically cries out for relief. "I'm listening," past the roar of my "lack" and my "wants." "I'm listening because beyond all of this, there is a response that defies language; because beyond the easy way out, there is hope defying logic.

I'm practicing patience; not the pain-full type where the next second without relief is agony. No, this patience says "it's coming, it's coming; no, it is here." A relaxed declaration from the soul of a man who trusts God to put the parts together, to bring relief and most importantly, to put this life in purposeful existence.

Listen. Quiet your heart. Allow the message(s) from the well of your soul to bring your life into perspective. Then await further instructions.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bird in Flight

Hi, I'm adding this shot of Bird in Flight. It is a very dark painting, but this one comes closer to getting the essence of the painting. Thanks!

I've Signed it...

I've heard it said that artist should blog about their work. After all, that's why we're on the web...okay, so maybe I'm not an artist on the web. Maybe I'm a writer, especially when it comes to blogging. To those whom I share insight, I guess I'm putting on my counselor hat. When my poetry is put out there, I guess I'm the poet. And the rare occasions I actually say something about the work I've visually rendered, then, yes I'm an artist. So what does all of this make me?

"When" I sign my name...in 2009, I pulled out paints, pencils and other art supplies I honestly had not touched since 1984. I also pulled out paintings from my parents basement from the same year. Most of the work had no signature - but it was all mine - and immediately I recalled my rationale for not signing, back in the day. The bravado put forth, was that it was "vain," sort of like the thinking of bringing children into the world to continue one's legacy.

These days, I sign a few pieces, though the logic for not signing has changed. Pealing back the layers of media-speak, the reason many things aren't signed, or publicly displayed, or placed in plain for all the world to see is me. I could name an ugly emotion or lack of self-esteem, but isn't all of that, as well as a healthy self-esteem, bundled up in my body, soul and spirit? Aren't all the wholesome as well as unhealthy thinking part and parcel of what makes Eddie unique?

I have two paintings that will get a signature today, even if it's 11:58 or :59 pm! One painting titled, "Bird in Flight," seems to have a single focal point on a dark background. To see the painting up close is to see, not only the bird, but a single tree, leaning - as my wife pointed out, yesterday.  The story behind this painting is this: one evening, while in prayer (the type with eyes closed, head bowed and a dark room) the image flashed across my conscious mind. I could see the outline of trees in a dark background, being blown by a strong breeze. Then, suddenly a bird taking off from what seemed to be a body of water. The image stayed with me, giving me the impression I should draw and paint it. I haven't touched the painting in over a year for various reasons, but looking at it, laying in the stack of paintings the other day, I thought it was time to put the finishing touches on it. I put it on the easel and to my surprise, it was finished! Except for one thing: a signature.

Bird in Flight
Finishing things and releasing them is a way of always making room for more. It's realizing that my life exists beyond the four walls of my mind. It is living in relationship with the messages as well as delivering those messages to others. I may always blog about nearly everything, but ultimately, isn't it a way of relating to my world?