wonder

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this ’emotion’ is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. His eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein

That Einstein guy was pretty smart. Merry Christmas and may you open the gift of a long moment of wonder.

ornamental

Ornamental: serving to add beauty

This abstract came from a photo that I had of all our ornaments taken down from the tree. I posted it on a blog that I had at that time and titled it, Until Next Year. I was in that headspace of looking back on the past year and looking forward to what was ahead. Such a familiar place, an annual, unavoidable, tradition for me. Amid the brightness, reflection of lights and sparkle, coziness, gifts and comfort, I felt incredibly sad.

This year I started to think about how my traditions and rituals, touchstones of this Christmas season, may be part of this dynamic. Add the glittering ornamentation that tends to saturate the senses to the miraculous beauty of how Jesus began his human life, and this narrative is not enough. I need the rest of the story and more. In that sense of incompleteness, stripped of any twinkle lights or sparkle, is where God meets me. He breaks apart the traditions and ornamentation; he dissects my ideas of him and how I see the world. Thinking about my past and stretching forward into the future, I sit with him in the midst and look for him. Next year I will take out that box of decorations again and I will see that the ornaments and sentimental traditions have stayed the same, but I am changed. This is where God meets me.

“God is not that which gives a meaning to our world. God is that which breaks into our worlds of meaning and breaks them apart. God is in the midst of life and in the midst of our suffering and not that God takes it away but that God is somehow with us.”   -Peter Rollins

“See, a virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.”  Matthew 1:23

ornamental side view.jpg
layers of glitter cover the edges of the canvas

ornamental

ornamental | acrylic on canvas and glitter | 36 x 36 | $550

only us

Caught a 2014 episode of Parts Unknown in Massachusetts with Anthony Bourdain. Was amazed at the eloquence and truthfulness of his words at the end of the episode. I’m impressed and drawn into thinking deeply. Well done. It makes me realize that I have so many platforms from which to speak. It doesn’t have to be just from an artist’s perspective or just from a mom’s perspective, but many variations, times and places to choose from. I just need to speak.

BOURDAIN: Let’s start by being honest with ourselves. As a nation, for decades, we were perfectly happy to write off whole neighborhoods, whole cities, whole generations of young men and women. As long as it was an inner city problem, an urban problem, which is to say a black people problem, a brown people problem. Send them to prison into a system from which they’ll never return. Maybe now, now that it’s really come home to roost, now that it’s the high school quarterback, your next-door neighbor, your son, your daughter, now that grandma is as likely to be a junkie as anyone else, we’ll accept that there has never been a real war on drugs. War on drugs implies an us versus them, and all over this part of America, people are learning there is no them. There is only us. And we’re going to have to figure this out together.

breathe again

I have such gratitude for however my feet and my mind have managed to come to this podcast. Post-election, I felt so incredibly off-balance. Feeling all the feelings while trying to retain some sanity and do what I needed to do as a wife and mom. Trying not to scare my husband and kids while managing a volcano of emotions.

I listened to this Podcast by Rob Bell with Pete Rollins, called Standing Firm, and for the first time in almost a week, felt the weight lift from my chest a little and my lungs expand with breath. I hope it is helpful for you as well.

one week

one week to go

The TV cameras are rolling at a frenzied clip, lawyers on each side
standing by with wet-tipped pens. We watch, delirious and dumbfounded,
as the country sways and buckles, our bearings loosened by the wear and tear
of competing narratives. And now, one week to go, with the poll numbers still
vibrating, we shift our gaze to the sky and scan for signs of reprieve.
How do you hold your breath and pray at the same time? How do you lay down
your armor and steer your heart away from the trouble? Each day offers itself
like a clean, stretched canvas, yet look how quickly we busy ourselves with the edge,
already shrinking from the finish. But this deadline’s an illusion.
Forget what time it says on the dial. We are not the frame. We are the paint.

this amazing poem was by awesome poet Maya Stein

artist decoded

artist-decoded-by-yoshinoOne of the first things that I started doing after diving into painting again was listening to this podcast, Artist Decoded by Yoshino. Those conversations kept me company as I was stepping into the vulnerability of making my marks on paper or canvas. Yoshino and the artists who were interviewed became my own little artist tribe, support community before I could make that happen in my own world. Yoshino interviews from such a relaxed and respectful place, it creates these open and authentic, extended conversations. I feel so strongly that we grow in our humanity when we listen to other people’s stories. I have found myself nodding and smiling, learning something new about the artist, about myself, in each episode.

Also as a side benefit, my instagram feed and playlists have gotten so much better just from following the artists that I really like or checking out the music that gets mentioned.

One of my favorite interviews so far has been with Blake Neubert.