That was me…This is me

This week starts my 12 week journey in an online class with Misty Mawn called “Full Circle”.  She is such a wonderful teacher and only offers the one online class each year.  There are so many creative opportunities in this class: art journaling, poetry, iPhoneography, drawing, and painting!  She often throws in a recipe or two as well.

This week I created a digital art journal page using photos of myself from three different periods of my life.  Then I wrote a poem to go with the image.

Thatwasme..

 

That was me…This is me

That was me
Five years old
Candid gaze, challenging
I knew I was special,
Always determined to have my way

Thirty-three
Husband, children,
I had lost that little girl
Living other peoples timetables
Hiding all my dreams inside

This is me
At fifty-two
Becoming strong again
No longer content to be invisible,
I am now dreaming on the outside

A Rainy Day in Holland Park

If anyone knows which Britcom the post title comes from, please mention it in the comments.  For me, it is actually a rainy day in Washington DC (although I would rather be in London).  I love rainy days, especially when I am warm and dry at home, savoring a cup of Irish Breakfast tea, and lost in a mystery book.  Unfortunately, I have a conference call to attend soon for work.  Well, 3 out of 4 is not bad.

Below is a photo I took last Saturday, another rainy day.  Walking home from Tai Chi I noticed the dripping grays and browns of the woods, and snapped the shot using my iPhone.  I played with the image in photoshop, adding a cool filter and a couple of textured overlays.  The text is a Haiku, made of my impressions and mood of the day.  A Haiku on a photo (or painting) is technically a Haiga.   I hope to make a series of these at some point.

Winter Rain

Winter Rain

Fairy Shrimp

Using a poetry prompt from the book “The Daily Poet” by Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano, I wrote a delightfully silly poem.  As a kid, I loved Dr. Seuss, and I am afraid some of that rhythm creeped into this poem, but it was such fun!  The idea was to begin with the word or image of a stone, end with the image of soup, and use at least five words chosen from a list of non-related words.  Today I created an image to accompany my poem.

 

Fairy-Shrimp

 

Stone Soup

The fairy shrimp called out as I tripped over a stone
“Watch where you are going, or you will reap what you’ve sown.
When you’re about to fall, why don’t you thrown down a pillow?”
I blinked as I rolled under a vast weeping willow.

I replied, “But, how do I know when trouble will call,
How am I able to plan where I fall?”
“Before I tumble or spill,” she plainly said
I hear a warning go off in my head.”

“You kamikaze humans are always getting into hot water
Even more clumsy than my two-year-old daughter.”
Her red fairy dress sparkled with glitter,
In my outrage I thought I might hit her.

Next time I decide to take the path through the forest,
Instead I will drive the freeway in my Ford Taurus,
I’ll avoid the fairy shrimp and her preachy troupe
When I go to the market to buy veg for my soup.

 

Finding Stillness

Buddha3

This is the third Buddha painting in my series.  I really am pleased with this one.  I painted the initial layer in the same way as the others, using many colors and freeing up my movement and mark making.  But, when I started to add layers, I began to decrease the number of colors and develop a consistent palette.

Striving to keep myself from getting too tense as I paint, I begin each session with Tai Chi.  This has helped me to center myself and give in to the process.  Then, when I feel myself tensing up, I back away, take a deep breath, and relax.  Needless to say, I am enjoying this method much more than my anxious and impatient former style of painting!

Using this process, there is a point at which I am able to enter the stillness within myself to draw out the painting.  Instead of using my head to paint, I am using that stillness within my heart.  The more I can quiet my mind (especially my critic) the more I can settle into that stillness and be present.

I am finding that every moment in life can be a meditation, if only I let it.

The Daily Poet

I started January 1 working through a book called, “The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice” by Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano.  I will write every day.  I may not produce a poem for each prompt, but I will write in some way every day.  I will post some the material I write, but not all – only those I wish to share.

It is my intention to experiment with words, with my emotions, with finding my voice.  I know some of it will sound amateurish, and some will not make sense.  But, I find myself compelled to express myself with words.  I am primarily a visual artist – I paint, take photographs, and create digital art collage.  Therefore, there will always be an image along with the poetry.  Right now I need to do both.  I imagine myself crawling along in the dark, feeling my way forward in each form of expression, competent in neither, but willing to try.

In my last post, I wrote on the topic for January 1 – resolutions.  The January 2 prompt   concerns protection, and the January 3 writing is a challenge to use words I do not normally use in my writing.

Swing

 

To Protect

When you were little and skinned a knee
A bandage and a kiss were all you needed
Before you flew away again on a new adventure
Now your troubles are more intense and complex
They cannot be remedied so easily
I wish I could protect you as I once did
To hold you and tell you that life is fair
But, of course, it is not.
We all learn this lesson the hard way
You must now learn to bandage your own wounds
To find your own strength and courage
To live your joy and pain and love and anguish
This is the only way to be truly alive, truly human

 

Censored Pain

I joked that my motto for this year is “Fuck off”!
Oh how I wish I could really say it.
How I wish I could stand up for myself
To take no shit from no body.

I am always so patient, so nice
Yes, of course I will do that for you
Yes, of course I will help you,
Yes, of course I will be there for you

But, what I want to say is,
Do it yourself!
Do what you want!
Go away!  Fuck off and leave me alone!

We are all in pain, but I put mine aside
Absorb others pain as if to transform it, make it less.
But, I can’t.
Only you can transform your own pain.

So, when I say Fuck Off, it is actually a kindness.

Happy New Year 2014

I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and peace-filled new year.

SkyOpens

I wrote a Sonnet titled: Resolutions

A new year brings a promise to begin anew.
So we vow to lose weight or give up beer
But our habits doom these plans by January two
And we no longer have energy to persevere.
I often only see my repugnant qualities inside
While my shadow self threatens to appear.
When I believe my darkest thoughts and try to hide
I cannot find solace in the music I hear.
Why not stop berating myself to change?
Simply accept my imperfections and complaints.
I would rather see myself as is, and exchange
The negative perceptions for a bucket of paint.
I will paint new eyes in order to detect
The wisdom that I am already perfect.