Duck Whimsy

I love this painting even today.  It touches me in a way that I don’t expect.  The original image was in a nature magazine.  I portray it in my own whimsical style.  The black and white of the duck, the furry duckling going for a ride, the shadow on the water and the background of total colorful whimsy–I find them entrancing…and fun.

When you enter into a painting, when you are so engaged that everything else in your life and the world falls away, if only for a few moments, you are in the creative vein.  What a special timeless place to dwell.  What a gift.  This is something artists and writers share and understand deeply.  Everyone has the ability to enter, but not everyone does.  It saddens me to hear someone say that they don’t have a creative bone in their body.  I know otherwise.  I truly do.  Many of us over the course of our lives stand on the precipice of our own creative vein.  But we don’t take the leap.  Why not?  “I’m not an artist,” is the refrain.  Or, “I’m not good at that.”  I disagree.

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If you dare to take my dare…find a magazine with images.  Choose one that you like.  Start with something easy.  Trace over the image a few times.  Get a sense of what it feels like to trace this particular image.  Then, draw the image on a piece of paper, in a notebook, whatever you have.  Draw it today, draw it tomorrow, draw it everyday for one or two weeks.  Notice the lines in the image.  See if you can spot shapes.  Notice the lines and shapes in relation to one another.  Let your hand practice drawing what you see.  For it is in showing up and practicing that we get good at something.  Don’t strive for perfection.  Let it be your perspective, the way that only you see it, that guides your hand.

Engage with it and notice where you go.

Stay safe and healthy.

It’s Not a Popularity Contest

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Authentic writing, telling the truth (as you see it) and being brave are a few of the requirements of being a writer.  Aside from showing up to the page regularly (daily?), the writer strives to connect with something deep within and then to impart what she or he discovers.

When my parents were in the last few years of their lives, emails flitted back and forth between me and some of my eight siblings.  Having eight siblings means that there are nine different perspectives on how to handle any given situation.  Within such a web of words and voices cramming the ethers, how do you retain and impart your own truth and integrity?  Especially when the topic is one with emotional impact?

I’ve found that doing something that centers me–a walk in nature, yoga, calisthenics, cooking, Tai Chi, whatever–helps to bring balance.  And then I write what feels true in the moment.  And then, I write it again and again until the truth is distilled to something that I truly believe is worth sharing.  I’ve learned not to expect to be understood by everyone.  Ears hear what they hear.  However, as a human, I have a multitude of opportunities to practice expressing myself on and off the page.  Life does seem to present these opportunities for me,  for you, for everyone to practice using our voices.

“And the speaking will get easier and easier.
And you will find you have fallen in love
with your own vision, which you may never have
realized you had.  And you will lose some friends
and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them.
And new ones will find you and cherish you…
And at last  you’ll know with surpassing certainty
that only one thing is more frightening
than speaking your truth.
And that is not.”
–Audre Lorde–

WRITING PROMPT:

Remember a time when you spoke what felt true for you.
How did it feel in your body to speak the truth?
Did you lose friends or lovers?  Write about it.
Conversely, remember a time when you didn’t speak what felt true for you.
How did it feel in your body not to speak the truth?
Did you lose friends or lovers or disappoint yourself?  Write about it.

Do something fun today.