Category Archives: Soul

+28 Winter Birth

bday1-2Today is my birthday. Much of my journey of the past year has been focused on my physical body and trying fervently to rid myself of the extra baggage it has acquired over the past twenty three years. This year I am continuing to focus on the physical but added this blog in as a way to return to focusing on my soul and creativity… perhaps to shed the baggage of accumulated negative waste in my head. I shot this photo during my birthday run on my favorite trail. As a January baby, I tend toward the thread of melancholy that weaves it way in and out of the winter months. I love  how silent snow reflects the moonlight, cold yet inviting.

Memories to savor from my birthday:
– running through the brisk air at a faster than usual pace.
– realizing that despite our immaturity as young parents and our weaknesses in general, we have raised a well-balanced, loving adult son. I treasure his visit for my celebration, the dancing to Just Dance 4, and the conversation about emotions we had.
– time around the diningroom table with 4 out of my 5 kids, my hubby, my Mom, and one of my sisters… of special note was the very odd sounding rendition of “Happy Birthday” sung in varying accents.
– a delicious flourless chocolate cake with fresh raspberries, blueberries, bananas and peanut granola lovingly prepared by my husband.

And, another pic from my run…

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+24 Solitary

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Solitary yet surrounded

Not always alone

Not always known

 

(My Soulful Saturday contribution for week 3)

 

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+21 +22 +23 Pear-shaped

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As an artist, I feel that I shouldn’t go into any explanation in regard to this piece. As a writer, I am tempted to do so. For now, I leave it to the interpretation of the viewer.

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+19 Fire for the body, fire for the soul

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photo courtesy Jeff Reeder Photography, http://www.jeffreeder.com

Sunday started with fire. Physical fire. The installation of the coal stoker/boiler was complete sometime after midnight Saturday and for the first time in 13 years my house was truly warm. I thought this physical warmth was going to be the highlight of my day. And, yet my soul experienced warmth today, too, unexpectedly. Through a series of small events, I ended up attending church today. I’d tried this church before years ago and at the time, it just didn’t seem like a good fit. Today, my husband happened to be with me, as well, which is somewhat unusual since he normally works weekends. This is also the church where my children attend youth group every Wednesday night.

But, enough about the mundane details… the fact is God reached down from heaven into my soul through the voice and energetic spirit of a young man leading worship on stage and for the first time in years, I felt like I was home. A particular song stood out among the rest. Maybe because I have a degree in ceramics and the song was about God creating beautiful things out of dust or maybe only because it is what I needed to hear. And, while listening to this young man sing with unmatched passion and humility, I was blessed with a vision of where my current drawing is going. I love it when God pulls a few of the sloppy threads of life together to give you a glimpse of the tapestry of your life. I am engulfed by fire.

The bring me to tears song:

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+18 Soulful Saturday

+18 Soulful Saturday

As seems to be the pattern for this year so far, I am still working on my project for last week’s theme. The theme from last week was nemesis and the week before that the theme was intertwined. My project below is a combination of both themes. I figured out this week that time is my nemesis and so I am trying to incorporate the female human form in with the tree branches. I want to show the female form in various stages of life and it’s proving difficult. Part of me thinks this project would be better served in clay three dimensionally which is how I tend to think. Here’s my work, so far:

I am working on the pregnant female form being composed of tree branches. I don't think it's even close to where I want it yet.

Very, very rough sketch of the pregnant female form being composed of tree branches.                                                      I don’t think it’s even close to where I want it yet.

For this week’s theme, I’ve chosen solitary. As always, feel free to join me and post a link as soon as you are done under this post so that I, and hopefully others, can comment on your work. Photographs, paintings, drawings, poems, short stories… whatever moves you, are all acceptable.

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+17 Good food, good company

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When my son studying to be a chef was in his culinary class in high school, his teacher told him that even when the economy is bad, chefs still have jobs because somehow people still find the money to go out to eat. Truer words have never been spoken. Today, despite our low funds, my hubby and I went out for breakfast because eating a well-cooked meal and connecting over coffee is sometimes what the soul needs when dealing with life’s bigger problems. And, getting to eat somewhere with heat… ah, the luxury. Breakfast did not disappoint.

We came home and I nestled under the covers in my bedroom with my favorite furry friends, Zach and Tsuki. My dogs, like breakfast, did not disappoint.

Zach, the old man

Zach, the old man

Tsuki, the tiny girl

Tsuki, the tiny girl

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+16 Personal space

+16runtreeWhen I need to clear my head, I run. A year ago I never would’ve imagined myself uttering those words. Every step forward is a physical reminder of my inner strength and when I don’t think I can go any further, I pray. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yesterday, I ran with a pack of angels. Normally, I run alone. (Pictured above is my most favorite running trail)

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+15 Family trumps all

+15 Family trumps all

I always find ice and snow captivating. This morning I awoke to ice-covered trees. The landscape reflected shades of gray and white with warm flecks of rust and gold. I embrace the feelings that a gray and desolate day can hold. Little glimmers of hope amidst desolation. A visual representation of the valley of death with a shadow of light hinting at the coming renewal.

I spent the better part of today thinking I’d be writing a poem about what was occurring in nature but life and the mundane had other plans. My son needed to make a recipe from Madagascar to bring into his Global Cuisine class. What we thought was going to be a simple coconut pudding turned out to be a late night cooking fest. The recipe stated that it only served 4, so we doubled it in order for us to be able to sample some at home. Little did we know that the Madagascaran (?) appetite must be huge because the recipe made enough to serve at least 20. While the recipe’s name indicated it was a pudding, it most certainly was not, nor was it a cake by any true definition of the word. It involved boiling large quantities of coconut milk and then cooking a whole box of Cream of Wheat in the milk with a fantastic assemblage of spices. The topping was made out of carmelized sugar which took an eternity to achieve the correct consistency. Below are a couple of photos of the “cake” and my son experimenting with the carmelized sugar.

What was learned in the kitchen tonight? My son is enjoying listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has a knack for choosing the most time intensive recipes as this was not our first foray into lengthy food creations (don’t get me started on homemade ravioli), and that spending unplanned time with my son in the kitchen into the wee hours of night will always mean more to me than expressing myself through a poem.

So… family trumps all.

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+11 Soulful Saturday, week 2

+11 Soulful Saturday, week 2

This week’s theme is nemesis. Feel free to share a link to your drawing, painting, poem, short story, photograph, etc. below in the comments section when you have completed the project.

Last week’s theme and entries can be found here.

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+10 Intertwined

+10 Intertwined

My Soulful Saturday contribution for this week. It is not finished. The physical side of life occupied my time and my mind for most of the week. Keeping this daily journal is going to help me get over the guilt I have for not “doing more”, “creating more”, etc. It’s easy to tell myself in retrospect that I wasted my time when thinking back on various periods in my life. But, this journal is a time tracker and so far has revealed to me that my time for the past ten days has been spent the way it needed to be spent in order to take care of my family and myself.

Tomorrow, I will be posting the theme for week 2 of Soulful Saturday. If anyone wants to join me in creating a piece of art, writing, etc. please feel free to do so.

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