Drawing Lines

As a Sophmore access to the school’s art program could only be achieved by submitting works that spoke to the use of line, texture, emotion, balance and movement. Then there were the verbal agreements: keep a sketchbook, sketch, sketch and sketch some more; be on time, don’t skip out of class, and I had to agree to not argue with the Art Teacher. Wow.

A petite five-foot height with eyes a perfect Cerulean blue that could shoot a selective choice of sparks or flames or dagger, she was a mix of tough like gessoed canvas and soft like fresh mounds of oil paint. Her hair a blond sparkle like strands of gossamer.

She taught. We learned. and with her hovering and threatening to nag we learned to do and do some more and do in such a way that we could continue to do throughout our lives.

“You must fully engage the brain! Draw something, anything, every day. Practice practicing.  Write words, do math. But DO something with pens or brushes or pencils. If we could see the lights of your brains they would look like the pinball machine.”

This was many years before science discovered the lights of the human brain. Or before anyone knew how to make the right and left hemispheres of the brain work together.

But she understood that and more. Maybe all art teachers and students put the brain hemispheres together with little exercises like drawing squiggles then drawing straight lines. Sometimes we had to tap left knee with the right hand while tapping right knee with the left hand. Sometimes there was a class show-off who would tap his head while making circles on his tummy.

Now, a few decades later I continue to draw lines. My hand is sure with a  confidence that comes from having done this very thing every day for those few decades. As I take a pencil in hand thoughts become visible on paper.

 

 

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Readers

Readers are people of rare presence in this global community of XYZ Billion people.

Do know, that as I write these words with no option for Text to Speech, I am awed, humbled and wide-eyed.

Researching my ancestry across decades and continents came the discovery of Scribes as consistent as males or females. The youth were educated to do both: read and write, and often illustrated with drawings. More recently my grandmother wore reading glasses she did not need for her vision, to show that she knew how to read. She carried a pen on a chain to show that she knew how to write.

Employing the assists of Google my researcher’s rabbit-like route led to rapidly declining numbers regarding the numbers of people who make decisions to read multiples of books WEEKLY.

Rarer than fine diamonds are those people.

Whether they read digital or print they are reading and doing lots of reading on many diverse topics. The lifestyle of these folks is one of quiet settling the physical self for long times to have eyes on text page after page while traveling to other worlds and being in a relationship with strangers who do not exist.

Certainly, there are people who read by listening to books on tape, but the research’s numbers drop into the realm of two percent with the people who read multiples of works every week that are text, print on paper.

Several months ago, when I first began this odyssey of insights about people who read, I might have considered myself common among ordinary everyday folks. Now, I must acknowledge the special, special, special significance of my place among the facts.

We, readers, are visitors by our readership with authors from centuries past sometimes. This is 2018 and I am reading written works right now from the eighteen hundreds. I think about that and I am mind boggled. We readers walk imaginary paths in realms not yet discovered. We learn to use items of technology not yet invented or manufactured.

We, readers, get comfortable with complex concepts and abilities by reading of them before we undertake to do them. The works of Leonardo Da Vince speak across time to my sight and considerations right now today on this Monday morning.

Might I suggest, the very next time someone tells you, dear reader, that you are special: believe it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fifty-two Words

Fifty-two words guide my week. Much like the Word of the Week some schools post on their outdoor signs.

My words are neutral but wise reminders: Diligence, Responsibility, Patience, Compassion are but a few.

I print out a page of these words, cut them up into singles, put them in a basket and then draw one out for a part of my morning meditations and contemplations.

Sometimes I include the sheet of these words with a card or a letter to a beloved. It is a simple thing. When I first sent it with a Get Well Card, and a note about why I sent it I got a special response to how important and meaningful it was to the recipient.

Many of my life lessons have shown me this life truth: Thoughts are like seeds on barren ground-rattling around in nothingness. Until we nourish their possibility with our breath and we stir the soil to action with the vibration of our voice.

 

 

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Thoughts Across Three Miles…… Whew!

People! People! People!

What creatures of manipulating other people-creatures into states of anxiety, stress. frustration and sometimes generalized angst.  And that is phrasing it mildly.

People who drive their vehicles on  a twenty-five mile per hour street at sixty and sometimes eighty miles per hour, (its math, simple math: when the driver covers a specific number of yards in specific seconds, I know their speed.), with their face down, hand and/ or hands on a phone or tablet, with glow of phone or tablet  coloring their face, for tenths, as in plural tenths, sometimes several tenths of a mile, I find my condition is stressed, anxiety, and occasionally terror, sheer terror.

The terror takes over when I see a child with the neglectful driver. Or an animal in the back of their pick-up or being towed in a horse trailer. Eeek.

That they never see me is another alarm.

Then there are the people who insist on interjecting themselves into my world. Pushing, pushing, pushing.  “I want to see you, now.” or, “I want us to do XY and Z now.” They say.

They say words and words and words about them, what they want, what they got, how much they weigh or don’t weigh. what they or doing or not doing and why they are doing or not doing it. Sometimes their words make them sound like they are quite shallow of personality.

Of no interest or concern to them is how I might feel.  Maybe, I want to be a hermit for a small segment of time. Or what I want. Or when or if I might want it or this or that or XY and Z.

Also of no interest to them,  is me, really, me. Do they know my favourite colour this month? Or my favourite Holiday? Do they know the story behind the real me this last six months or so? Do they know my goals or aspirations? Or my deepest reasoning of complex subjects?

Do they know my ‘non-them’ relationships and my interests or concerns there? Do they know the whats or whys or hows, I contemplate?

Do they sometimes, too frequently, sound like a petulant, pouting, whining, self-absorbed person? Yes to each and all of those.

But. There is that Corinthian admonition: Love never fails. I try to remember that.

Even though all of these people, the ones who text and drive, speed carelessly and dangerously, are the same as the self-absorbed, shallow people who are all about themselves.

 

 

 

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The Mighty Ant Brigade

The mighty ant brigade almost escaped my attention. Small, like sprinkles of black pepper, the ants moved in a tight serpentine line across my porch. I took one giant step over them and continued my pursuit of one of my top ten favourite things to do: harvesting seeds.

This is a relaxing activity. Walking around in idyllic sixty-degree temperatures, peering deeply into foliage for pods of seed, to collect into a opened, empty, clean milk carton and dream of next year’s flowers is a process of hope and peace.  I walked among Marigolds, Cleome, Four O’clocks, and Morning Glories.

Then I saw Moonflower seed pods. What a gasp I took. Opening at night to take their light from the moon, their presence surprised me happy.  These pods look a lot like brown patent leather plums, which was another pleasant surprise. Some species of Moonflower have prickly spines over all the seed pod. Their harvest requires leather gloves. But thankfully, not this species.

In my eager examination of the Moonflower seedpods, I stepped into what must have been the ants’ nest. A stinging at my toes made me look to see my shoes and feet blackened with ants. I brushed. I stamped. I hopped. I brushed some more.

Later, five tiny red specks appeared on my foot where the toes meet the foot.

But the itching and the burning were fierce. An almost overwhelming mental battle began as I determined not to scratch, not even a little. I am extra cautious to care for my feet and I refused to spread the ants’ poison. Treat and ignore were my rules. For two weeks, now, going on three, the bite places have changed for the better, but the sensations have not. Now in week three, the bites are fading and I am hopeful to be victorious and not spread their poison and irritation. I’ve thought often about the mental fortitude needed to fight such a constant battle, while awake or asleep.

The temperatures are cooler now and the ants are not to be seen. I see seeds almost everywhere I look in my flower beds. I am diligent and careful to cover myself in Skin So Soft moisturizing oil for insect reppellant.

 

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Observations Along My Day

How easy it is to not meet as planned! Let me say at the beginning that this ‘meet’ was not what I wanted on my radar for a couple of weeks or even a month. But there it was on my phones text screen.  Eeeeek. The negotiation for the time and the place over four daytime days

The negotiation for the time and the place stretched over four daytime days. This day or that is better for me. The Beloved Inviting One insisted, ‘Oh no!

‘Oh no! It has got to be that or this, this week!” A lot of messages back and forth for two and maybe a half days.  Then we came to the dilemma of place.  Two more days of this place, not that place, and a lot of: if we do that then I will have to do this.

More eye rolling, mine with many breaths deeply taken.

We got it all set.  The time the place. Whoo-hoo. In less than five minutes, maybe less than a minute, I got a text extraordinaire: “Wait, never mind,  well maybe, maybe not. I may have a. conflicting appointment. I will let you know.”

Days went by one, two, three. No call. No text.  The appointed time approached rapidly.

Hmmmm. So I asked. “What about this XYZ,?” I did not remind about who started it, or the number of texts and messages,

The response startled me to gape-mouthed expression. My eyes are still wide.

“Oh yes, that is on. Didn’t I tell you?” more deep breaths mine. Still not my idea, but ok. I say. “Yes, see you then.” Then I get another message.

“Would it be OK if I bring SuchNSo?” Then an additional message. “SuchNSo is lots of fun and I just adore SuchNSo.”

I’ve met SuchNSo. No fun. The times I have seen SuchNSo without the Beloved Inviting One, SuchNSo has been hateful, to other people, and to me.

I  am laughing. I shake my head side to side. I roll my eyes. I wonder if this how a friend treats a friend?

 

Any guesses

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As a Believer in Jesus Christ

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I have much and many things other people are not aware of in their day to day experiences.

To other people who share similar beliefs as mine, what I write will make perfect sense.

To those who have not experienced what I have, through relationships, reading texts from antiquity, and times of extreme external threats to my life, what I write will seem to them, stupid, fraught with faulty thinking, and detrimental reliance on what does not exist. All that is typed, dear reader as preparation to help you understand my perspectives.

In Scripture’s Psalms, there are references to ‘hedges of protection’ and ‘shields of favor’. in the book of Isaiah, there are references to ‘beauty for ashes’ and ‘joy for mourning’. In so many other places are hundreds of promises, and confidences in an all powerful, omniscient God of Love who, for mere humans to know and understand, is a mind-boggling effort. I do understand that. And I understand the contrast, the seeming impossibilities of existence, the who and what I believe.

There have been many times I’ve questioned and wondered and asked, ‘this horror is so horrible, where is God?’ and ‘if God is so awesome and wonderful why do They (the Trinity) allow Xyz horrors on this earth?’ and many, many similarly worded questions.

The symbol of our questions is an open backward mark ?. For me, it is a reference to looking backward questioningly. It speaks to me what I did not understand at the time of various traumas, aches, and anguish. Backward gazing, hindsight is its other word, is thorough, comforting and assuring.

 

 

 

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