#One-liner Wednesday . . .joy

I’m so moved by Amanda Clark’s art and thankful to have found it through “Purple Rays.”

Amanda’s beautiful work reminds me of the poem, “Wild Geese,” by Mary Oliver, especially the line about letting the “soft animal of your body love what it loves.” It whispers welcome home. Here’s the poem:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Purplerays

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Be joyful on your journey . .

Beautiful art by Amanda Clark
Text & image source: GODDESS CENTRAL https://web.facebook.com/goddesscentral/

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The Long and Winding Road of Becoming Me

She thew away her masks and put on her soul

First, I wanted to be a veterinarian

and save the whales

Or maybe a biologist

and save the world.

But way before that,

I was an artist.

I could draw dogs and horses

All day long.

No one taught me this.

I just did it.

And people said I was a good.

I loved to write,

And make up stories in my head.

But I didn’t value those stories much.

I didn’t value my drawings and paintings

As much as I wanted to save the planet

But trigonometry hurt my brain.

So I ended up in the mind field.

Fixing me more than anyone else.

While God helped me

Help people

Save themselves.

And taught me things

I needed to learn

About saving time for me.

Along the way,

I’ve saved dogs,

I’ve saved cats,

I’ve saved trees,

And  God saved me some time.

Because the long and winding road

Never disappears.

It always lead me back to my roots

Back to the work of my soul.

 

 

I love how this song can be about anything we want to come back home to.

One-Liner Wednesday: It’s Never Too Late

1linerwedsbadgewes

 

“It’s Never Too Late to Become What you Might Have Been.”

 

I’m counting on it.

Since I was ten years old, I’ve had a talent for drawing. And I’ve loved to write for as long as I can remember. But I never pursued these creative arts seriously. I just didn’t think they were important enough.

Now, I’m about to turn 61. Beyond midlife. Or maybe not, but it doesn’t matter, because I have today and hopefully tomorrow.

Inspired by Jana Green’s post:

http://thebeggarsbakery.net/2015/12/11/the-dream-makers-daughters-women-stepping-out-in-mid-life/

One Liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda Hill at

https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/07/one-liner-wednesday-the-answer-is-right-in-front-of-you/

Here’s what Linda says about the rules:

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

One-Liner Wednesday: PMS After Menopause

circle-woman-2

A photo I took at Brookgreen Gardens

 

Based on no particular research other than my experience, I am convinced that post-menopausal women have subtle hormone cycles that can cause PMS-like symptoms, even 10 years after menopause, leading to a lower tolerance for BS.

1linerwedsbadgewes

For related and not so related one-liners, visit Linda at

https://lindaghill.com/2016/11/30/one-liner-wednesday-words-to-live-by/

Here are the rules she’s made but confesses to not always follow which is fine by me:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

Imagined Conflict

Over rehearsing

I was in a hurry and distracted when I picked up the prints of my “Forest Angel.” They seemed a bit darker than the last ones, but I went ahead and paid for them and headed out the door for the next errand. When I  got home and compared the prints to the proof, I realized they were much darker. I didn’t think I could even use them.

For the next couple of weeks, I debated whether I  should go back and see if they could re-do the prints. Part of me wanted to just go somewhere else and get new prints to avoid potential conflict. But part of me said I should at least offer feedback and the opportunity to correct the problem. Being busy with other projects, I kept putting the print issue off.

Then, last week, I decided it was worth a try. I rehearsed several conversations. Most of my rehearsals portrayed me being assertively diplomatic, while some scenarios led to snarkiness on my part when I imagined being denied new prints at no charge. I even went so far as to imagine a worst case scenario of the manager implying I was stupid for paying for the prints if I wasn’t satisfied and that I should have looked at them more closely. (This was really my own self-criticism.) I became indignant and threatened to tell all my friends. I think I spent about two seconds imaging a good outcome. All this went on in my head before I even got in the car to go to the place where I get my prints. Talk about making mountains our of molehills.

On the way there, I observed that I felt nervous, almost afraid.

“Stop it!” I told myself. “This is ridiculous! What’s wrong with you? You know how to be assertive. This is just an exercise in assertiveness.”

When I got to my destination, I showed the manager the prints and how much darker they were than the proof. I explained that I’d been busy and distracted when I’d picked them up a couple weeks earlier.

“Okay, leave them here with the proof and I’ll talk to the printer. He’s not here right now, and he’s really busy.”

The whole interaction took less than 2 minutes. No debating, no snarkiness.

How many times I’ve worried needlessly over imagined conflict. Having a history of being a pushover, I don’t want to be taken advantage of and tend to over-rehearse standing up for myself. But most of my imagined conflicts never happen. Who needs that extra drama?

I picked up the prints last week with no fuss, no extra charge, and a big thank you from me, feeling secretly sheepish for all that imagined conflict.

I do think I’m getting better at catching myself, but sometimes I still need reminders to let go, have faith, and stay in the moment. Hopefully I’m learning this lesson at a deeper level.

Here’s my “Forest Angel” reminding me to let go.

Forest Angel ligher

What helps you let go of imagined conflict?

A Forest of Dreams

Here’s the follow up to “Coming Home to Art.” I hope you enjoy the fantastic creatures on the Forest of Dreams mural!

Anything is Possible!

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In the face of so much sadness and violence in the world, one community came together and created something beautiful.

When they didn’t get the grant they applied for, Professor Janna Robertson and Matt Carvin, the director of Dreams, an arts program for at-risk youth, put their heads together. The goal was to paint a mural on a 240 foot wall to beautify the neighborhood known as Northside where Dreams is located. They decided to ask community groups to sponsor creatures to inhabit the Forest of Dreams. Over 1000 volunteers worked on the mural, and I was honored to be one of them. We worked in the rain and the heat, with lots of ants and other crawly things, and I loved every minute of it. Not only was I doing something I loved, but the  consistently positive attitudes of the people around me gave me hope. I’ve never before…

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Coming Home to Art

JoAnne painting rabbits

Painting bunnies in the Forest of Dreams

I  did it!  On the 1st day of June, at the age of 60, I made a leap of faith by cutting back to one day a week at my counseling job. Accepting my new-ish husband’s offer of financial support so that I could spend more time following my creative dreams has been scary. I was the super responsible bread winner for over thirty years, during my first marriage, and then as a single mom. Could I trust a man to support me?  But weary of the  burdens of growing paperwork in the mental health field, I  knew it was time to honor my own needs. God gave me creative talents, but I had not valued them, or maybe I needed to learn some things before coming back to the creative arts. Either way, I’m more thankful than I can express.

The synchronicity of perfect timing affirmed my decision. At the end of May, as my leaping day approached, I won blue ribbons for writing and sold one of my original paintings along with a couple of prints at Silver Arts, part of Senior Games. It was also in the second half of May that I went to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference and got valuable feedback. And in May, I started working on the community mural, A Forest of Dreams. Support of my artistic skill flowed freely, nurturing my decision to follow the call back home to art.

Not that painting and writing are easy. I’m not fast. I don’t think I’ve ever been fast at anything. But when I paint or write, or play my guitar, I lose track of time. I become absorbed in the creative process that feeds my soul.

I’m not sharing all this to toot my own horn, though it’s okay to do that. I ask you to celebrate with me, and to know, this:

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”  Mary Ann Evans/George Eliot

Later this week, I’ll write  more about the Forest of Dreams Mural in “Anything is Possible,” and I’ll share that post here on “Loving Me, Too.” Thanks for reading and for sharing this journey with me!