What the Tree Told Me

Trees have stories to tell. I’m sure of it. I find my lens drawn to holes and broken places, wonder about the life that finds shelter there, wonder what the tree can teach me.

The art of creativity means setting aside the logical mind, listening to nuances, allowing the expression of the irrational. I let the ink translate the trunk’s image, resulting in the featured image.

Then I add colour.

(What the Tree Told Me is available on Society6.)

Creativity’s Alive

I hit a dry spell over the holidays. Felt deflated as far as creativity went. So Ric bought me new materials – ink pens, markers, pastels, and paper, lots of paper. Still, none of my photographs were inspiring me. I really wanted to create something from my own imagination, but have little faith in my ability.

So, I doodled vines. Over and over again, till the idea for the featured image came to my mind. Then, I thought of trees. I once loved sketching trees – why not try again. I got whimsical:

Now, I’m stuck on trees, and enjoying the ink so much:

Looks like trees are fulfilling my creative need for the time being.

(Submitted for Eugi’s Causerie weekly prompt: alive. Look for my art on Redbubble, Society6, or Zazzle.)

Inked Blessings

It began simply enough; I just wanted to draw a simple Christmas tree, but the lines went a little crazy and well…you can see the result. The pen had a mind of its own, so I decided to let it talk.

Trees with character started to emerge, and began to haunt my dreams.

Christmas trees will have to wait….I am otherwise occupied.

Frames

I’m trying to frame my life with gratitude, adding structure to the chaos I’m experiencing within.

So much of life is a gift, and the troubles, minuscule by comparison.

Life changes, and along with it, so do our perceptions, our abilities, and our dreams. Sometimes it is a hard pill to swallow, and then; other times, we are able to grasp the miracle in it all:

For Lens-Artists photo challenge: Framing the Shot

Oh, To Dream

Imagination floats, full sail
into a dreamy mist,
reality out of focus
delightful course

Beauty wraps my heart
in dream-filled ecstasy
paints my hope
with shades of love

As night falls, the sun
serenades my soul
a symphony of hues
coaxing dream-like slumber.

(For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: dreamy.)

Of Pelicans and Life

Ric spots them first – an almost endless line of birds heading our way. American White pelicans!

They gather as a group just above where we are stalled, waiting for the ferry, and circle the area before continuing their journey. As one group leaves, another follows in a seemingly endless stream.

“There must be thousands!” Ric exclaims, rolling down his window so I can get some photos. “Each flock has a hundred or so birds!”

I feel as if we are privy to a sacred dance. The pelicans move in and out of formation effortlessly – one synchronized glide.

American White pelicans, I read, are highly social, depending on their communities, or pods, to help with the hunt. I struggle with community – a legacy of too much isolation, issues with abandonment, and other hurts. Sometimes, it just feels easier to stay away from the pack, and yet my soul craves companionship, reaches for deeper communion.

As the pelicans perform their circular aerobics, I witness the numinosity in their instinctual ritual – life celebrating spirit; white wings soaring against a limitless backdrop of blue: a portrait of peace.

The air show ends just as it’s our turn to board the ferry. We drive away, moved by the experience. Isn’t it incredible, how a single moment, can stir us so?

(My challenge this week is ‘reaching‘. I would be honoured if you’d join me.)

Black and White: CFFC

Springtime, and daffodils –
in variations of yellow –
memories now, colours
faded to black and white.

Yet, beauty lingers – the soft
edges of a perched dove,
her mourning song still echoes
a lulling, welcoming coo.

And white retains brilliance
against a backdrop of darkness,
in stillness magnifies, beauty’s
exuberance refusing to lay dormant.

(For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Black and White. Also linking up to my weekly challenge: stillness. )

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz: Review

The atrocities of Auschwitz are no secret, and yet, every surviving story reveals another angle, not only of suffering and inhumanity, but also of the incredible endurance of the human spirit and kindness in the darkest of moments.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is about a young man, Jewish, who volunteers for work duty and finds himself in an unimaginable situation.  He makes a pact with himself to survive at all costs, and it is this determination, and his ability to speak many languages that lands him the horrific role of tattooist – marking numbers on the throngs of arrivals.

Saving himself is not Lale’s only ambition.  Although his position sets him apart from the other prisoners, he is not without compassion, and offers help when possible.  He also falls in love.

Heather Morris was introduced to Lale Sokolov in 2003 as someone who might have an interesting story to tell.  All I can say is thank goodness for that introduction.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is written in short, to the point, vignettes, making it a quick and easy read.  Once I started, I could not stop.  I had to know what happened to Lale and the love of his life, Gita.  By the end of the book, I was sobbing.

I would recommend this book for book clubs, or even as an alternate text in high schools.

 

 

Set a time limit on negativity.

“Joy needs room to breathe.” Dr Andra is my hero today. Her words are on point.

Thriving Under Pressure

Time is in such short supply. The sooner we appreciate its value, the better life becomes.

When I was a kid my mom set the egg timer for almost everything we did; whether it was how long we spent doing our homework, weeding the garden, watching television, or complaining about life’s challenges.

It helped us to understand that nothing lasts forever – good or bad.

This was especially important when we felt helpless over things we did not have control over, including chores we  did not want to do.

Setting time limits also taught us to respect how our words and actions impact ourselves and others.

Full disclosure: My mom is a psychologist too.

Your time. Your life.

To this day I set a timer on the stove.

A simple, yet effective way to motivate myself through tedious tasks and become more mindful of time itself.

The timer principle can also…

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Cee’s Flower of the Day: Sunflower

Cee has invited me to join in even though I don’t know the name of many flowers.  I do love to photograph them though, and this sunflower really spoke to me on my walk a couple of days ago.

Sadly, as I passed it by this evening, the petals are all gone and the stalk is bending.  Good thing I memorialized it when I did, so I had something to paint:

IMG_2459

Cee’s Flower of the Day – October 5, 2018.  Hers is a beautiful Dahlia.