Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 616: What's On My Desk? - Chaos

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey in
my Photography section, Chaos

Here's my next installment as a participant in this photo meme.

What can I say?
My desk resembles my mind right now.
Lots on it ...
needs some time and patience and attention
to get back in order.

Sounds like baby steps to me!

Slow and steady gets the job done, and keeps you from being frazzled when you get to the end.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tooooooo Funny! HAD to Share!

I got lost in the blogosphere again tonight.

Found this:
How to make a Small Piece of Fabric
out of a Big Piece of Fabric



Sunday Secrets: Apr 27, 2008

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an amazing sociological experiment. These are the secrets resonated with me this week:

I would hope that I would be so creative with a found $15.00. Excellent.

When I was a single mom living on an extremely small income,
I found a wallet in a parking lot.
I returned it to it's owner with all contents intact.
It felt weird when the owner checked that the cash was still there as I watched.

I wonder if she recognizes his hands!
If she loves him, she will.

Happy Dance: Swirl Heart

I finished my fifth heart quilt block for charity! It's posted in my stitching gallery.

This is based on a freebie chart that was in my stash. I had to change the dimensions of the original design to fit the require size and shape for this quilt.

You can read a bit more about this quilt block in Cameo's Corner.

Day 615: I'm Game

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey
in my Photography section,
Black on Black

Here's the last of the photos I took for my photo class last week. This time I worked with dark on dark. So I stood this black game piece on a black fabric background.

It was a little tricky to have enough light to show off the piece. So I put a piece of paper around my camera's lens and allowed my available light to bounce off the paper and onto the game piece. That worked fairly well. It gave the piece some nice highlights.

Mis-step. Survive. Step again.

Success as a person, I suppose. Knowing you're able to survive failures helps you not be afraid of them -- not be afraid to try because you know that if you fail, you can get past it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 614: I Don't Feel Beary Good

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey
in my Photography section,
Tummy Ache

Here's another photo I took for my class. Another tone-on-tone with whites.

I'm not sure that I like the lighting on this little guy. I do, however, like the way his fur came out. He looks pretty fuzzy and cuddly to me!

But poor little guy ... he's about to fall over cuz he's got a tummy ache!

You would, too, if your gut was filled with buckshot. His is!

This little bear is used as a frame weight for needlework. If you hold your stitchery in a scroll frame or large hoop or Q-Snap, it can be a bit unwieldy. But if you put the top edge of your stitchery on the edge of a table, then plop the bear on top of the frame, the stitchery can stick off the side of the table, making it easy to stitch with one hand on top, the other on the bottom of your embroidery.


Part of being a human being is to stop doing long enough to be.

Here's an example. I got off to a slow start this morning. Had trouble sleeping, so woke up groggy. Then I got sidetracked by my beckoning computer. I finally got upstairs, did my morning routine and continued on to my weekly home blessing. Now that the sun is out, part of blessing my home is to sweep off the front porch and the back deck.

All of that went well today. The house is sparkling. The floors swept, vacuumed, mopped. Laundry is going. Dishes are done. Dusting is complete. Hot spots have been cleared off. Trash from around the house taken outside. All that stuff.

When I got done, I took my morning snack and wondered out on the back deck. I was listening to a show on my mp3 player so that I wouldn't have to hear the neighbor's dogs barking at me. I leaned against the railing with the sun on my back, good news in my ears, good food in my bowl (LOVE raspberries!) and just stopped to take time to enjoy my achievements.

Today, I was able push on with my day instead of getting bogged down in yearnings and memories. I call that a success.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 613: Omelet Anyone?

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey
in my Photography section, Eggs

Homework for my photography class this week is to play with light. Try different types of shots in different lighting settings.

Also, to try taking tone-on-tone shots. So for the next few days, that's what you'll see.

This was my attempt at white-on-almost-white. I like the light reflections, the shadows, and the way the bumps on the eggs stand out.

Might as well ...

To me, it seems far easier to be a person of value than a person of success. Well, worldly success, anyway.

But I live by my values. That seems truer, simpler.


And want to hear something weird? I picked this quote for this day a week ago and got it ready to post. When I went onto igoogle today, the very same quotation came up in my "Einstein Quote of the Day" section. Serendipity!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day 612: Light Stripe

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey
in my Photography section,
Morning Light

The way the sunlight was streaming through our eastern-facing windows via the slats of the blinds caught my eye.

Our dining room looks good in stripes.

It's a pretty little corner of our home, isn't it?

March On

If only my dreams would stay in focus ...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Day 611: Springtime Nesting

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey
in my Photography section,
Corliss' Condo

Ah, it's that time of year when the birds gather pine needles to build nests to raise their young.

Or ... as in this upscale neighborhood ... condo redecoration.

That's Corliss, standing on the balcony, admiring the view.

[Know what? When I'm only going on 5.5 hours of sleep,
my keyboard really should be taken away from me
before I get punch silly at 10:30 at night.]

Sticks and Stones

Here's one personal example of Brinkley's idea.

After my parents died, I was given the job as the executor of their will and trustee for their estate. I'm one of eleven children (nine surviving), and in the middle of the pack -- not one of the oldest kids, so I didn't have a natural 'seniority' in the family pecking order.

To put it bluntly, the job of executor sucks. You have a legal duty to carry out certain responsibilities. You have a moral obligation to be as fair as possible. You know the personal conversations you had with your dying parents about how they'd like things handled that are not specifically spelled out in the legal documents, and need to take those into consideration as long as they don't contradict the legal aspects of the will.

And then, you have all the heirs who want their portion of the estate as soon as possible. Most also want you to do the job they way THEY would do it ... and yet those same siblings would not have touched the job with a 10 foot pole because the responsibility it carries is fraught with potholes in which to twist one's ankles.

In our family, I would not necessarily hear complaints directly from the person complaining. Sometimes I'd get a partial story second hand ... like a bad game of "Telephone" where a message is passed from person to person, and the person at the end of the line (me!) often gets a garbled message quite different from what the originator had said.

One of those messages I received said, "She has a God Complex." Meaning ... because I had the legal authority, I was making arbitrary decisions and feeling all high and mighty because, for once, I had a power none of my siblings could take away from me.

That characterization could not have been further from the truth. Yes, I had the legal authority and power and obligation. But I also needed to try and have the wisdom of Solomon. Because I was new to the job, I undoubtedly made some missteps, but it was never out of malice. I agonized over some decisions because I was trying to find the best outcome possible, and second-guessing my reasoning and judgments.

To soothe my own soul and try not to feel so put-upon and misunderstood, I had to take some of those verbal rocks thrown at me and lay a firm foundation.

So ... God Complex.
What might that mean, in a different light?

I gave it some consideration, and then wrote down some adjectives of how I view God. Following my heart and experience, this is what God looks like to me:
  • Loving and Giving
  • Responsible and Freeing
  • Comforter and Friend
  • Decision Maker
  • Creative Solutions
Not bad! If I do have a God Complex, may I act like the loving God that has been revealed to me! That is an excellent foundation on which I could build this new family role.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day 610: Spring Keeps Trying

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey in
my Photography section,
Among the Rocks

Chilly as it was, I donned two layers of sweaters and took a two mile walk this morning on my "old" route, past the elementary school, past the police officer giving a speeder a ticket, and down to the house that sits on a rock-covered hill.

These passionate tiny flowers were defying the recent snow, hail and rain, and pushing themselves to cover the rocks. I like their determination ...

and the sweet beauty they radiate en masse.

The Best Kind of Power

My first husband had this theory about Power that really bugged me. He claimed that each person in the world comes with their own share of "power chips." The game of life has us humans pitted against each other, each of us trying to gain power chips from the people around us. The more chips, the greater the power.

That kind of competition just never went over well with me. I prefer cooperation to competition (just ask my girls ... and they'll start singing the song from Sesame Street).

To me, the most tremendous kind of power is the power for good. I got to experience that a few times this week:
  • Sitting with three of the oldest gals in our quilt group at lunch. All three have recently started using walkers. The oldest is almost 94. I got to be their "gopher" so that they didn't have to get up and down a lot. I also got to be their entertainment for the afternoon, just keeping the laughter flowing. I got to shower them with hugs and kisses on the cheek.

  • Helping a friend pack and get ready for a big move. She and her family have lived in the same home for 15 years. Now they're moving to a smaller place. I offered my time and services to try and ease some of the burden.

  • One of my daughters that lives far from home got food poisoning. She was pretty miserable. I got to try and soothe her spirit via phone calls and give her some suggestions on how to weather the illness. I was the voice that encouraged her to be gentle to herself.

  • I took the burden of cleaning the bathroom off my youngest daughter. For now, I'll do that job for her as a simple way to bless my family -- without complaint.
It's just little stuff, for sure. But simple acts of goodness and kindness leave a residue of gentleness and eases life for others just a bit.

That, to me, is a tremendous power for good.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Dance: Rose Heart

I finished my fourth heart quilt block for charity! It's posted in my stitching gallery.

This time I filled in the blank with a freebie rose chart that was in my stash. Then I added the trellis background.

Love it.

You can read a bit more about this quilt block in Cameo's Corner.

Day 609: On My Desk - Ornaments

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey in
my Photography section,
Tiny Trimmings

Here's my next installment as a participant in this photo meme.

I stitched these 12 ornaments back in March, and haven't quite decided how I want to finish them. I have an idea ... to applique them on to the front of little stuffed pillows ... but I haven't picked the pillow fabric yet.

Should I use the same fabric on all 12? If so, I'll likely need to go shopping. Or should I make each pillow out of a different fabric? If I do that, I can use bit and scraps from my stash.

Since my intent on stitching these was to donate them to a charity (the Diabetes Tree), so they can be sold at an auction, my tendency is to use the same fabric on all ornaments so they can be auctioned as a cohesive set.

I need to put some brain cells to work and come up with a solution.

Believe it or not, I don't really feel like shopping for more fabric at this point!

Reach Higher

That's how counseling and reading help me. They get me thinking on a higher plane. Give me options to solving problems. Help me become more aware.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 608: Fragile Blooms

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, On the Forest Floor

Yesterday I prayed away the morning snow and dodged the afternoon hail.

Today? Spring returned!

After getting my work done at home, I was able to take a two mile walk in the afternoon. I took the route through the park by the river, only this time diverted myself to a small path under the towering tree. Where the sun dappled the ground, these fragile flowers bloomed.

Awareness Leads to Gratitude

I've been going through an identity crisis of sorts. When I meet new people (well ... people new to me) and am asked "What do you do?" I don't quite know how to answer.

It used to be "Stay at home mom."
People can understand that. I chose to stay home and raise my kids, be available for PTA and take care of the laundry and dishes. Now my kids are mostly grown, I found PTA meetings a waste of time, and my routines make doing laundry and dishes a non-event. I'm way more than a mother. I refuse to be called "housewife." I love my home, but am not wed to it.

A week ago I tried "Volunteer."
But because most of my volunteer work happens online through charities that don't have a big names like Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity or United Way, that doesn't seem to register with people, either.

Last week I tried "Homemaker."
The man I was talking to asked, "You build homes?"
"No," I replied with patience. "I turn our house into a home."
Blank stare.

So I tried again, "I'm a needleworker."
Another blank stare. "I do quilting and embroidery that I donate to people who are less fortunate than me. Our group gave 100 quilts to the Food Bank last December." And he wondered what quilts have to do with people who need free food. I crochet hats for premature babies. Don't hospitals buy hats for them?

I've tried, "Trustee for a family educational trust."
That one is weird to say because the job, though real and important to my kids, nieces and nephews, doesn't take much time each month. But it will last years and years and years.

So how about these options? .....

One of my sisters humorously tried that for a while. Didn't last long or go over too well. I don't need to work outside the home because of the nest egg my parents left me. I'm no Paris Hilton, but I also don't need to work in order to pay for college education for my kids. It just means I have a savings account with enough money to do some home improvements.

"Amateur Photographer."
Can you take pictures of my grandkids for me? Uh, I don't really take many pictures of people. I mostly like macro photography. Blank stare. Well ... have my pictures been published? Only on my website. Do I want to have them published? Eventually, maybe. Right now I'm just developing the habit of taking pictures daily and finding the nerve to show them to others. I have so much to learn about lighting and composition and equipment, modeling and product placement and all the other stuff real photographers need to know.

"Creative Pilgrim."
What the hell? To me, it means I'm one that seeks to find creative outlets for many kinds of artistic expression. Again, the main purpose is not creating an income.

"Spiritual Seeker."
Eye roll. Yet very important to me.

"Singer" or "Cantor" or "Music Minister."
I haven't done that in a while. My spiritual seeking led me away from church where I used to lead music regularly. I also used to love to sing at funerals (hated doing weddings). But that weirds people out when you say you'd prefer to be around dead people and grieving families than around a celebration of love. What they don't realize is that funerals are bigger celebrations of love than weddings are, and people are more real in grief than while putting on a show. There is a greater sense of ministry.

What the devil is a blog? Well, if you're computer literate and reading this, you know. But that I spend time each day typing out personal tidbits for the world to see ... well, that makes no sense to most folks who prefer total privacy.

Again, most of my writing is through my blog, my journals, letters to friends, and information about needlework. Though long ago I had some poetry published, I don't write books and I don't write for newspapers, newsletters, or magazines. I enjoy writing step-by-step directions. Telling folks that doesn't make sense to them, either.

Oh, you paint? No. Draw? No. I work in needle, thread and textiles. I have the heart of an artist, but it sounds presumptuous to use that term for myself.

"Co-dependent" or "Survivor" or "Patient."
Thankfully, I no longer live with an alcoholic. He died, so I my identity is not tied up with him. And I'm way more than a victim of my past or my bodily functions ... or malfunctions.

Too many people think that means a stinkin' left wing liberal. I may be that in part.
:: evil grin ::
But I'm more centrist than left politically. My progressive attitudes extend to other areas like church and intellectual pursuit and how my husband and I raise our children.

I wish. Though I give of my time, treasure and talent to others, that word has connotations of bestowing huge amounts of money on others to help them have a leg up in this world. Think Bill Gates. I'm not that kind of philanthropist. Yet that is where my heart lies.

I'm only 50 years old. That sounds cheeky.

"Kept Woman."
I did a test drive on this, but my husband groaned. Methinks that didn't go over all that well.

This morning I considered "Jacqueline of Many Trades."
I doubt that will make any sense to people either. After all, I'm not a handyman ... er, woman.

So what does all this identity seeking have to do with the above phrase?

Looking at who I am — or how I try to describe myself — makes me extremely aware of how much I have in the way of talents and personal experiences and possessions and relationships, how much I've escaped in the way of unhealthy relationships and situations that were destructive to my spirit, and how much I have to be grateful for.

I am Margaret (in real life).
I am CameoRoze (online).
I am Mom (to my daughters).
I am lifelong learner.
I am human being.
I am spirit.

I still don't know what to tell people I meet so they can understand how I spend my time. I don't have a job that contributes to the family income, so I don't know what to say so others can put a value on me, that allows them to place me in a societal category.

:: snort ::
To the question, "What do you do?" maybe I should answer, in a seductive voice and with a single raised eyebrow,
"What do you want me to do?"

That would open up a whole different can of worms.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day 607: Cleaning Out the Game Closet

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Dice

Today was my third digital photography class. It was the first time we shared some of our photos with our classmates. I'd been pretty nervous about it. Critiques are sometimes difficult to accept. But all was well and I learned a couple things that should help my photos get better.

This was one of my test shots today. I'm trying to learn about histograms and how they can help me have a good balance between light and dark in my photos.

Dale and I cleaned out our family game closet a couple weeks ago. I found some classic game pieces that I decided to photograph and see if I can make them look cool. Thus, the old dice. In real life, they are quite a bit more yellowed than in this image. Lighting ... a tricky thing!

The Rubble Bubble

Know what? If I could do this, I could sleep soundly all through the night. It seems like when I awake in the wee hours of the morning, it's this rubble that keeps me from slipping back into sleep.

Maybe I need to just throw those stone off my bed one rock at a time. I can count piles of rubble instead of sheep!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Day 606: At the Democracy Dinner

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Salad Plate

What to do when you're at a dinner with 200 other people and the preacher is going on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on on and on with his introduction to his invocation ... all the while not knowing how to use a microphone so that he can be heard more than every third word?

Take pictures of your table setting, of course!

Sunday Secrets: Apr 20, 2008

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an amazing sociological experiment. These are the secrets resonated with me today:

When my sister was a new teenage driver, she used to take us younger siblings out in my mom's station wagon. We'd start following another car around until they finally got upset and stopped to see why we were following them. Then my sister would innocently open the window and ask the other driver to give her directions to a nearby park or other obvious destination. The other driver was usually taken aback, but dutifully gave the directions. We'd drive off in the correct direction, howling with laughter.

I wish my sibling sent in this secret ... because I stopped sending cards when by sibling didn't answer for months and months. After a while, it's like hitting my head against a brick wall to keep trying and get no response.


An ongoing lesson in my life.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Trust this. I know.
I've been dumb enough to argue with idiots.
I had the bruises to prove it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Joy in the Everyday

OK. My anticipated experience today is that I'll be helping a new friend pack up for a family move. Methinks I can find some joy in that!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy Dance: Heart Band Heart

My third heart quilt block for charity is done and posted in my stitching gallery.

These fill-in-the-blank hearts are fun to do because I get to aid in the design work. So far, I've taken my jumping off point from another designer's work. Then I add my own sensibilities to them to make them unique pieces.

You can read a bit more about this quilt block in Cameo's Corner.

Day 605: On My Desk - Finished Quilt Square

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Heart Band Heart.

Here's my next installment as a participant in this photo meme.

I kinda missed Wednesday again, didn't I? But ... this was on my desk yesterday ... and still is today.
:: sigh ::

I finished up this quilt square and am getting ready to add it to my website. So there's my scanner. And the square. And the patterns I used. And the pattern book.

Later today I'll have it all organized and prettily posted in the Stitcher's Studio.

Patronus Moment

If you're at all familiar with the Harry Potter series of books, then you'll know all about a patronus. A patronus is a magical animal form that serves as a protector against dark forces. To make the spell work, the magician must think of an extremely happy memory.

There are lots of dark memories that leave a residue of pain. Those are not good to tap into, for they mess up the here and now.

But these happy memories — ah! They can enhance the here and now by bringing forth that goodness and adding a lightness to one's spirit.

I need to avail myself of more patronus moments.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 604: Over Exposed

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey
in my Photography section,
Hardy Bunch

I admire these first flowers of Spring. They push out of bulbs, through the frosty ground. They leaf out, then force themselves into bud. The nights still get cold. The daytime weather is unpredictable.

The flowers sit at the edge of a sidewalk, battered by foot traffic and changeable conditions from frost and snow to rain, hail and sun.

They share the first hues of Spring with eyes starving for change.

School of Hard Knocks

Yeah ... I've been to that school. Would rather not repeat it very often.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Day 603: Tug o' War

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey
in my Photography section,
After the Hail

Winter and Spring are playing a game of tug-of-war here in north Idaho.

We awoke to another layer of snow at daybreak. As the flakes were falling, they were huge. That usually means the snow will not last long. As soon as the temperature rises, the snow turns to rain.

And so it rained ... most of the morning.

After lunch was a relatively calm period. Then came the hail which pelted me as I walked across the street to fetch the mail.

Dale and I went for our walk in the early evening. The precipitation had stopped by then. But the many forms of falling water did a bit of damage on the shrubs that had just begun to flower.

Still ... Spring is growing stronger. Winter will have to thoroughly give way before too long.

The Deep Heart

This is much like the tag line I use on my e-mails:
Go where your best prayers take you.

One must get still to hear the loving wisdom, the best prayers. I'll make some time to do that today.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Day 602: If Geese Could Groan

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey
in my Photography section, 'Nother Goose

I didn't get around to taking photos today, so pulled out this one that I took down at the river last week.

It's not spectacular. It's not something out of a horror story, either. It's not ethereal like a fairy tale.

It's just 'nother goose.

:: groan ::
That was a particularly bad pun
even for me!

Hey, You! Listen Up!

My mom used to tell me that one of these days my mouth would really get me in trouble.

That came from me speaking before thinking and inadvertently hurting someone's feelings. So I understand that can be how "from speaking, repentance."

But just listening ..... sigh ...... that can be awfully difficult for me. Perhaps it's why I ain't all that wise ... just a wise-ass.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

I added this new photograph to
Creative Journey
in my Photography section,
17 Years

Today, Dale and I celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary.

I'm one of the most blessed women in the world. We make for excellent partners.

Sunday Secrets: Apr 13, 2008

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an amazing sociological experiment. These are the secrets resonated with me today:

Part of the problem with our English language is the use of the pronouns he and she to try and convey huge ideas that are more formless than corporal. I believe God is one such idea. Calling God "Father" or "He" has messed up the idea of God for a lot of people, including one of my sisters. It's a shame. We had a dad that was really tough to live with when we were kids. To think that God is equated with that version of our dad ... or even the old man with the beard and book of names ...

::shaking head::

I'm so glad my own understanding has grown to a different place.

:: wry smile ::

Yeah ... I'd like to THINK that, too! I know I've had some influence, but the marvelous humans that are my daughters were amazing creatures when they emerged from my body. They have their own minds, their own spirits. It was lucky happenstance that I was picked to instill some of my values and life and love in them.

ROFL !!!

No. I never did anything like this. But I've THOUGHT about doing things like this! There is an evil part of this wild child that would love to stir up a ruckus, to cause a bit of discomfort in others who appear 'false' to me. I don't wish harm. Just an outward sign of their folly.

They'd KNOW About Sand

I think I had that backwards for too many years. Now I'm attempting to grind up those old pieces of marble, and start anew.

For the last few months, I've tried something different. When I receive a compliment or have something really good happen to me, I write it down. I keep these things in a notebook by my bed.

When I wake up in the middle of the night, fretting about something that went wrong the day before or worrying about what might happen later in the day, I pick up my notebook, read it, and remind myself of all that went right ... all the good things written in marble.

The accumulation of the good things, over time, is enough to build a monument.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Day 600: A Country Ride

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey
in my Photography section, Pastoral

I never would have guessed when I started posting photos for my Creative Journey, that I'd reach Day 600!

Sometimes, I amaze even myself. :)

Today my husband and I took some time to drive south to Moscow, Idaho to visit our middle daughter Julie. She attends the University of Idaho there. Julie needed a bit o' help with a dying computer. We dropped off some household items. Then we took her out to lunch.

She's pretty excited that she's now in her senior year, but nervous about what comes next. We had an excellent conversation, talking over options with her, and batting ideas about grad school around.

Then we went for a ride in the convertible — top down on this gorgeous Idaho day — into the country. We decided to take some back roads through the tiny town of Troy. It was charming and idyllic. I took a few photos, but they just don't do justice to the 70 degree warmth in the spring air, the slight breeze nudging the wispy clouds, the slowly emerging colors of spring, or the simple good emotions arising from our family drive together.

We found this barn cozied up in the hollow of a field. The afternoon sun glints off the tin roof. The last of the snow clings to the shady underbelly of the hills. New grasses push through the defrosted soil. In the distance, the evergreens stand sentinel.



My counselor talks with me quite a bit about this subject.

So much of what "happens to me" in my life is, in part at least, dependent on the choices I make. Sure ... stuff does happen that is out of my control. But more stuff happens as a result of the choices I make.

The trick is to make the wisest and most healthy choices possible for a positive outcome.

And one does need to listen and pay attention so that wisdom can seep in. I imagine one must slow down enough to be able to listen, too.

That reminds me of some song lyrics:

Peace. Be still. Be silent.
And you'll hear the gentle roar.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Day 599: Spring Walk

I added this new photograph to
Creative Journey
in my Photography section,
Snow on
the Mountain;
Sun on My Back

Yesterday was the first warm day of Spring, so I was glad to get out for my walk ... down to the park and strolling along the riverfront.

From higher on the hill, I was greeted with this view. This is Spring in north Idaho.

The woods' new growth is yellowy-green. The river is calm, low, a deeper pine hue. The mountains still tower white with ice packed below the cover of forest. The trees in the park stretch up to soak in the sun.

I revel beneath them, breathing in the sparkling air.

Creative Wisdom

To know what's right for me, I need a bit o' wisdom.

These last two years (almost!) have been devoted to my Creative Journey. I was using it as a sabbatical to put concentrated effort into trying out some new creative pursuits and to put more energy into my old favorites.

It's been a hit-and-miss kind of endeavor. I can say that I have some good daily routines now that allow me to have concentrated hours to devote to creativity. It's amazing how well structure and creativity work side-by-side.

I think my biggest leap has been in photography. I've been pretty good about posting a photo-a-day. At first, I beat myself up when I missed a day, or would try to "catch up." Now, I'm gentler to myself. If I miss a day, I just pick up where I left off. My skills have improved some. I've come to see how much I enjoy close-up photography, for example. Now that I've begun a photography class, I hope to learn more tricks and techniques to make even more creative photos.

I've dabbled in some other creative tasks, too. For a while, I was journaling daily before getting out of bed. That has temporarily gone by the wayside. Now I write regularly via this blog.

I still continue to stitch as it's my favorite and most relaxing creative outlet. The cool part is that now I stitch so much for charities. That allows me to do what I love and I get to do a ministry at the same time. It fits me well.

I've gained quilting skills by being a part of an "old hags" quilting group every week. I've been told there that I have a good eye for color and design. That was nice to hear, because I've had such doubts where those talents are concerned. I've also learned some of the piecing skills.

I suppose the other predominant thread of my Creative Journey has been exploring and broadening my scope of spirituality through reading and through classes. This, of course, is another lifelong love ... this exploration of the spiritual realm.

To make creative choices based on what is right for me meant that I had to lose the fear of trying new things, lose the fear of failing (recognizing that failure is just part of the learning process), and most important, learn to trust my own judgments.

This Journey reminds me a lot of college. When I went to college, I thought it was to learn things that would help me land a job. What I learned instead was that college was about learning how to learn.

In my Creative Journey, I thought I started it to try some things out to see if I could determine my life's purpose. Maybe something I learned here would help me find my post-child-raising career. But what I'm learning instead is that I need to just "go where my best prayers take me." To be open to the creative breezes and not be afraid to follow them. To trust that if I take the first step, each successive step will be revealed.

Who knew?

A bit o' wisdom gained at age 50.