Everywhere and without hesitation there is gratitude and celebration in San Miguel de Allende this Easter. Bursting inside of Mexico is a boisterous blend of sounds and sights trapped between the poverty of a place once unnoticed and the unmistakable thumbprint of the next boomtown. Women and children wear purple for mourning and walk almost dancing past dogs content napping and guarding the horses standing patiently nearby. That patience resonates from man and beast alike, born of a people’s faith that is centuries old – assured of its place and purpose. Here it is beautiful to be still, feel the sun, smell the chamomile, and sense the power of family and salvation. Continue reading “Yellow”
“Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” ~ Steven Rogers, Hope Floats: The Screenplay
Change equals loss. I heard someone say something similar to that at a conference a couple of years ago. That is such a simple notion and yet I wouldn’t have necessarily had that realization on my own. When something changes it is different. What was previously there has been altered and therefore no longer exists to the extent that it once did. It could never exist again. In all change something and what it represents to you, or someone and the vision you share together might be permanently lost. Continue reading “It’s The Middle That Counts”
It was another lesson learned in paint.
Back in the Cascade Mountains, everywhere I turned there was the majesty of nature and the promise of artistic opportunity. Surely in the midst of all of this beauty, my fingers would have no choice but to become one with a paintbrush and intimately coerce every blank canvas into it’s own brilliant creation. The first day of class my instructor was already trying to sabotage my vision. There in front of me were the instruments of my doom. Our instructions were to take one of our precious white paint boards and experiment on it with various textiles and tools. If I remember correctly there were sponges, wire mesh, and masking tape to name a few. All sorts of folly stood in the way of my expectations for the day. Did he not realize I was there to produce serious works of art? Continue reading “The Results Committee /or/ Not Every Painting’s A Masterpiece”
At times, there is nothing as exciting as the potential of a blank canvas. When I am having a particularly self-assured day or two, the weather is nice, and perhaps there is artistic energy all around me, that gleaming bright white is swirling with promise. Whatever the circumstance, there seems to be inspiration flowing through me. These are the moments young artists envision for their budding careers. “Each day in the studio will be one of beauty – of revelation, “ (s)he might think. Otherwise, how would an artist wake up every morning affirming: “I am an artist! Today, I will paint!” (Or sculpt, or draw, etc.)? Continue reading “Inspiration Is For Amateurs”
I usually sit down to write a post with at least a vague notion of what I want to say. It is important to me that my words carry my truth. My hope is that the idea I am trying to express will in some way serve the purpose of supporting and helping others. Today, I wrestle with an additional story that I tell myself: “Somehow this blog post has to be as good as, or better than, the last.” My motive moves from “showing up in service to others” to a more self-centered quest for validation. And, seeking that attention is the beginning of abandoning honesty. Continue reading “Motives”
A Brass Bowl
“Worn to brightness,
This bowl opens outward to the world,
Like the marriage of a pair we sometimes know.
Filled full, it holds not greedily.
Empty, it fills with light
That is heaven’s and it’s own.
It holds forever for a while.”
~ Wendell Berry
My sophomore year high school English teacher taught me about Object Poetry. Ms. Ward, I owe you a debt of gratitude for exposing me to this particular written form of art. The term Object Poem comes from the German word Dinggedicht, which translates: “poem of things” or, “thing poem”. The basic idea is to draw the reader into a more intimate relationship with the inanimate object. This object is not only the subject of the poem but often takes on the role of a character, a metaphor, even a life teacher. Continue reading “Worn To Brightness”
Before I sat down to write this post about shame and fear, I asked myself the question: “Am I really going to admit this to my colleagues and clients?” I heard in my head the graduate school debate about healthy versus unhealthy levels of self-disclosure in psychotherapy. Thinking back to my professor’s advice, I wondered, “What is my motive for sharing my own shame?” The answer came in the form of a quote from shame and vulnerability researcher, Brené Brown, who wrote: “Sometimes the simple act of humanizing problems sheds an important light on them, a light that often goes out the minute a stigmatizing label is applied.” (Pg. 22. Daring Greatly, 2012) And so, on the topic of shame and fear, as they say – “Here goes nothing!” Continue reading “What Others Think”
When I was in my early twenties, I awoke in a hotel room in Biloxi Beach, Mississippi with a pain in my stomach and a sense that I was in danger. The next several hours of my life were some of the worst to date. It is difficult to describe without mentioning some pretty gruesome details. Let’s just say that when you eat bad shrimp you could potentially die. Thanks to the medical staff of an emergency room in Biloxi Beach that was not my fate. Continue reading “Trusting The Process”
One of the most bizarre things about driving is how many moments of awareness I have had while doing so. It is precisely one of these times that I have to share with you. A few years ago, I worked for a nonprofit agency as a case manager in the field. This meant that I met with clients at various locations in the community. And, I was in my car…a lot! Nearly every day I drove through the particular intersection of Interstate 35 and Riverside Dr. in Austin, TX. Needless to say, this was normally an unspectacular event. Continue reading “The Monarch Migration”