Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thought for The Day - Phases...of the Moon

I'm Listening 24 x 36 Oil painting

Silver light over head
Tonight it is bright
Tomorrow it's gone
Hidden by clouds and mystery
Next week, no glow at all
Beating a ragged path across the sky
Year in and Year Out...

The patterns of our lives are too large and expansive to track, but we can perceive today's rhythm. And tomorrow, next week and three years from now, it changes. At times we are the master of our destiny and come too many sunny or cold days, we are changing our climate like migratory birds!

The phases of our lives are greater than crawling, walking upright and eventually bent over; we are multi-leveled beings, driven and tossed by the whims of love, greed, anger and hate. And just when we think we will never settle down, we look up and find we've been sitting in a comfy chair for far too long.

It is the phase(s) of our life.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thought for The Day - Indigo

This time of day
Seen through my window
Alternating patterns of black and blue
The sunrise a distance away
I love the feeling of the velvet blue sky
Slowly giving way to the day...

My music plays as I type, a "Faraway" spotted, dotted recording by Joshua Redman. The occasional truck going by, with a sound like a rolling train. It's my morning; it is calm and peaceful. It is a GOOD DAY.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thought for The Day - Prep Work

"As it is heaven, so it is on earth..."

Each morning, an alarm goes off on an old digital watch, kept on my desk. It goes off at 4:57 each day. At this point, it signals that it's time to wrap up my prep work, work on the blog and mentally prepare to hit the gym. When I set the alarm, years ago, it was to get up early enough for devotional time, exercise a bit at home and prepare for work. I haven't silenced the alarm in years, when I lay in the bed, my wife complaining that I should turn it off since I wasn't getting up. She doesn't know it goes off now because it's in my space and I'm up long before it goes off.

I've noticed that in my work, there are many keys from reality. Certainly, abstract work tends to trigger emotions, thoughts, providing us glimpses of our unconscious and what facts wind their way through our mind. So rendering in this way, I find cues from my past, present and the hoped for future. Patterns, shapes, colors and impressions occur with each stroke and sometimes, I'm certain I can see what lies off in a far away place...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thought for The Day - Life, Unfolding

Petals of a flower
Slowly (time lapse pace)
Peeling away
To reveal more petals beneath
All slowly unraveling
Each one a distinct color and shape
And each one as it falls
slowly fading away

My life
Yours and the life of everyone arounds us
are those flowers
Are lives reveal something new nearly every second of the day
And no part of our lives last forever
Memories are all we have of yesterday
Photos fade
And memories become legend
But we are all a field of flowers
Slowly moving from this life
to the next

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thought for The Day - The Message

You can read words until your head spins,
You can sit in a sweat lodge until every pore pours water
You can meditate until your transcendental spirit floats out to the stars

But the message you want is where you are.
It's no mystery because it is written and spoken in a familiar language
It speaks in patterns and rhythms
In images that haunt long after they out of view
Listen, but don't fixate
Heed, but stay in the present...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Thought for The Day - Day break

In a few more days, this will mean much more to me...

I was never a morning person; come to think of it, I've never been a particular part of day kind of person! But over the course of adult years, I've found it easier to be awake earlier and earlier! More often than not, I'm awake before the sun rises and in a near future, I hope to be seated in a place where I can watch the sun come up over the eastern sky, on a regular basis.

There is much promise in the rising of the sun. The promise can be misplaced from day to day, when we think life doesn't change. If you wake each day with the same perspective, i.e. looking down at the ground, you're right: life never changes. If you wake with the attitude that nothing good ever happens to me, you're right! You can make Israeli conflict a direct correlation to your arthritic shoulder if you like! And while you're in pain and distress, hoping some small relief would come along, the sun is rising and some where, someone is rising, stretching and smiling!

Day break, the opportunity, if you will, to ride the changes of a new day. With the rising of the sun, cloudy or not, you can begin again, go further than the previous day, stretch your limits until you are thoroughly surprised!

This day, I'm not a morning person; I'm an all day person!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thought for The Day - Dreams

Come to you while you're sleeping
Away from the noise of the day
When no one else can be heard or lend their input
They surround you
Become your world
Taking you from the known
To the unknown
I\n this place there is no sensible or reasonable
Only what is possible...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thought for The Day - Beneath the Surface

Externally, smiling
Within, something else
On the surface, quiet and shy
Beneath the surface, 100,000 ideas are flying about
On the surface, a somber yellow
Beneath, a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns...

For each of us, what is unseen is far more than what is seen. The eyes, to the observant, give away a hint at what's behind them, but we remain a mystery to  one another.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thought for The Day - Topic of Conversation

If you are being talked about - not in the sense of gossip or insults - that might be a good thing. A proverb I keep in mind and I remind myself often: "a good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." In a world where people are known for their fashion sense, great body or musical talents, most of us need a reminder of true value! It isn't found in a single act, but a life lived purposely and considerately; one doesn't receive esteem or honor because you know "facts." A good reputation is gained from kindness and compassion, being someone others expect to hear their concerns and heart's cry.

Being a quiet guy, for the most part, I often wondered how this would play out in my life. When I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or my reflection in a glass, I see a "brooding face," putting it kindly. I've always had the wrinkled brow, unless I'm smiling. From time to time, I will try to soften my brow, be conscious of the line between my eyebrows. But my default look is "brooding." I'm not known for that; I've only had a few people to tell me to smile or "try to look pleasant." Somehow, in spite of the "mean look," people find me and confide in me. I've made many friends, simply sitting at a desk from one company to another.

People will say what they want to be known for doing or being, but never go about arranging their life to be that person. Or they seek fame and fortune, assuming it will complete their life. Choose a life of service and care for others. It doesn't have to be large scale projects or community outreach. But it does have to be a life in assistance and care for others.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thought for The Day - Do, Be

Many years ago, I reflected on the short wave of "success" my life seemed to reflect. Graduation from college, a potential fiancé, income from two jobs and i praised the source of my success, God. It was a moment of worship and inquiry. I thanked God for the blessings in my life and asked the question: "what can I do in response to your blessings?" His reply was simple but carried a great deal of responsibility. He said "accept my call." While I understood, I didn't want the responsibility and expectation. On the other hand, I knew the role of servant was as much a part of my life as the success I desired. The full story of the next few years is reserved for another time. For now, let's just say I heeded the command.

Society puts a great deal of weight on titles. The title doesn't necessarily infer the responsibility. For example the title and role: doctor. There are many people who have attended school, gone into debt, joined a hospital or group and hung out a shingle, but they aren't in healing. I mean, they will administer the prescriptions, make suggestions and make referrals to other professionals, but their focus is on the title and the respect to be gained from it. Consequently, clients, patients are seen, but not touched; their ailments persist because the doctor won't reach within themselves for compassion and a cure, and they rarely 'touch' the patient. Truthfully, a "cure" isn't always found in a pill...

There are people in this world who touch, care for, provide without a title. They connect with others without "networking" or being "social." Their concern is you, me, the next person who needs help. And they do this without regard for their life. We go to professionals, people who have studied because they are knowledgeable; but there are times when knowledge and titles are barriers to compassion. It is better to "do;" it is better to simply "be."

Many experiences and situations have exercised God's "call" on my life; writing this daily blog is one of them. No title or monetary return comes with it, but a desire to "do" and "be"guides my words.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thought for The Day - Concept

Where to begin?
Where does it start?
Tracing a line back to the beginning, that tiny spark or big bang,
Is it a thread
Or the cord of a fuse?

Where does it ALL begin?
When did it start?
When you looked at a drawing in process
Or a painting hanging in your parent's home?
Did you understand what you felt
Or was it a "zing" from the base of your spine
To the crown of your head?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thought for The Day - Linen under a Turbulent Sky

My son sat with me for a while, as I worked on the painting above. And he shared his thoughts on the painting. He said he had been looking at it for a while, trying to figure out what's going on. And he had this to say about the sky: "I think there must be a lot of stuff happening up there!" Well said, son; well said! And there is; it isn't a quiet Saturday afternoon sky where it's crystal clear, small puffs of cloud appearing occasionally. No, this sky is violent, on edge, filled with clouds and there's no telling what those clouds contain!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Thought for The Day - One Pebble

Found in a stream, one clear summer morning, it becomes the constant companion, held in the small hand of a child. It is taken out of his pocket, looked at and admired. It isn't much to anyone else, possibly in the stream full of stones and pebbles it would go unnoticed. But one small child, one quick glance and instant attraction.

The pebble becomes a constant companion, it is rubbed and rubbed until it glows with a shine. The child grows to a teen ager and the pebble is placed on a shelf above his desk in his room. He looks at it each day and loves to hold it in his hand. It reminds him of fishing trips with his father and times when his primary focus wasn't education and trying to be what others think he should.

The pebble follows the young man through life, now in a small velvet lined box. As an adult, he keeps it in his desk at work. And throughout the day, he takes it out and holds it in his hand. And it always feels warm in his hand as he rolls it in between his fingers and holds it firmly in his palm.

One pebble, a flat, brown and tan stone, picked out of stream by a small child. In the mix of all the other pebbles, it had no value. But in the hand and heart of one person, it's value is limitless.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Thought for The Day - One Step

In the distance, your dreams...

All those years, those road trips, those long plane rides, life itself...waiting, wondering "are we there yet?" In relationship to our "current situation," all we need to know is we are one step closer.

It may seem you are far away and your dreams are the "impossible task," but keep going; one step more, a little further, you're almost there.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thought for The Day - Submerged

Beyond schedules, missed deadlines, disappointments and health concerns, there is a place of tranquility. Imagine it as a place so secluded and insulated, it's as if you were under water. For those who swim and love it, the feeling is like floating on your back in the water. A better comparison is swimming underneath the water and watching the light from above and below, the waters surrounding and supporting you.

My studio is my space; it is not only a sanctuary, but a place where worries and cares can be checked at the door. In the spirit of the sacred places, it's also the place where concerns can be taken and left in the safe care of One uniquely tasked to solve problems. The work of my hands and mind are my way of unraveling mysteries, of diving to depths no other person knows and allowing my soul to flourish!

One thing I've found to be true: sanctuary and solace can be found where ever you are. Certainly, it's good to have a time and place where you are certain you can commune with God, but in truth, no place can hold him. So out for a walk, sitting at my desk, in the middle of tasks that never end, I go there, to Him, and the light above and below surround me! I am set free!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thought for The Day - Five Minutes

Not long right? Not enough time...

Take a few minutes to consider the world around you. In this moment, I am surrounded by books, computers, art supplies, work in progress and completed work. In a period of five minutes, I can take inventory of years gathering, praying and hoping for a fulfilling life. In five minutes, I consider some items I didn't pray or ask to receive, but I have anyway. In five minutes, I can imagine what life would be like if I didn't have this small space to call my own. In five minutes, I can imagine what life would be like if I had more space. And in five minutes, I am grateful for answered prayers and the promise of rich life!

Five minutes, that's all you need. Consider...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thought for The Day - What was I saying?

Every image, every portrait, every face and movement of the body communicates and tells a story. Every note, the squeal of the guitar or wail of the horn, tells us something and in the core of our being, we understand completely. It is our conscious mind, deluged in the day-to-day grind of "debt, traffic" and "jobs" that doesn't get it. And only in quiet moments, does it permit "the truth" to filter into it's world.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thought for The Day - Enough

This lesson I'm learning; I don't have it mastered and for the moment, that's adequate. Each morning I wake early, probably earlier than most. No matter how early I rise, it never seems to be enough time. But it is; I get up with enough time to write, perhaps dip my brush in paint and dab at the canvas and when possible, squeeze in a few stretches before getting to the gym. I never seem to get enough time in the gym, but in retrospect, it is enough time. I get in everything I want to do in the amount time I have.

When I oversleep or fall back to sleep, and when I wake, on those days, I feel like I've lost something of the morning. It's especially difficult when I have to skip writing or the gym, where I'm so exhausted, I can't get generate enough energy to make it out the door for exercise and back in time to get to work, it feels like I'm slipping. But on those days, I realize I needed that sleep. When I think of the amount of sleep I get each night and how much is supposedly required to have energy for the day, I'm woefully short! But when I consider what I accomplish in a day, while I could use more sleep, I get enough to be effective!

Enough; it may seem like your life is missing something. It may feel like you don't have everything you need. At some point, you will learn to live without "it" or you will get up and go after it. But when you do whatever you decide to do, if you allow yourself time to appreciate what "is" in the moment, you will find you have everything you need.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Thought for The Day - The Saga Unfolds

The Series

Through out our lives, the story is told. We who have the pleasure of sitting comfortably in a 'domicile' probably enjoy "dramas," the most. But in truth, our lives are full of drama as well...

As I write, I imagine stories occurring as people read. I'm "tapping" into your mind, the reader of this blog to see what words evoke your hopes and dreams, as well as your life story. I am fortunate enough to have experienced or told a great deal of stories, so at some point, in some way, "your story" might be told. But don't be alarmed or cautious, because "your story" is the life everyone lives! In one way or another, we all experience similar drama, comedy and even amazing, unbelievable sci-fi type stories.

Painting is the same as well. Standing at a canvas or sitting with pencil in hand, My mind is full of stories and scenes. Coming to mind, floating in my head, are the lives of family, friends, celebrities and people in countries, I "assume" exist. God even has a starring role, as I lay color and texture on a 2D surface. With a million stories, there are as many directions a piece can take. I might have in mind to put yellow over this blue, but as I'm moving the paint to that area, I am directed in another place, decisions, ideas and the Possibility constantly churning. I am bombarded - in a good way - with amazing choices! And the story never ends!

Every life contains moments, those little areas that hinge in our memory and we recall as pivotal periods. We all have them. For me, it's as if some actor decided to speak up and share their heart, with the spotlight on them only. And the same holds true, sometimes within one piece of art. There are sections that are highlighted, that stand above the rest. But they are an integral part of the larger piece or the larger series.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Thought for The Day - Breeze

Many mornings and days
I start my journey headed east
Another day of repeated tasks
And familiar greetings
They drag from day-to-day
And though you are a bright spot in my day
Your clouds seem to be gathering
Like August hurricanes
I watch you becoming restless
Troubled as your feet repeat each step 
Hoping each day brings a distraction
A moment of release
But the dawn seems to bring more of the same
And each adventure
More storms and weight

There is a storm brewing
Greater than you and I
It’s disturbing the very atmosphere of this old world
Troubling life as we know it
It’s more than a change
It is a rockin’ shakin’ tremblin’ force
Sure to disturb

We wont blow away
We’re held fast in hope
Though all around us seems blown away
And every wind seems to rule
Darkness surrounds
Light dissipates


Friday, July 11, 2014

Thought for The Day - In an Instant

Like grains of sand, our thoughts and sensations occur, in an instant. We are seeing hearing, feeling, tasting and analyzing. We are thinking, reasoning, doubting, hoping, losing and winning, all in an instant. We evaluate, judge, discern, condemn, self-correct and self-deprecate, in an instant. This amazing mass of energy, housed in this mass of flesh! It's capacity to guide, direct, to love and hate is limitless!

In a moment, we are capable of changing the direction of our lives. While "external stimuli" may guide our steps, so often, the true inspiration is internal, in our hearts and mind. When we are certain our lives will continue in "this way," something tragic or glorious comes along and we have a new reason to live! And that new direction, while it seems to come out of "nowhere," it was always there, inside you. You may not have welcomed the interruption to your mundane life, but in the long run, you will appreciate the shift, because you took hold of the reigns of your life and turned it around! 

The best planning, the best education and an instant...