I dropped in on a Wise Women Mixed Media workshop at Sagebrushers Art Collective today. We began by sitting in a circle and setting our intention for the day. We were led by a lovely woman named Maria who talked about clarity and her desire for it and that we can all benefit by having some of our own. I couldn’t agree more! Then we were released to play! I had an idea of what I was going to do going in but changed it when I started. I went with a Dante’s Divine Comedy themed project. Here they are:
I’m not sure what stage or phase I’m in now personally…feels like inferno on Monday, purgatorio by Wednesday and paradiso on Friday afternoon…hmmm….linked to something? Life is too short–might have to consider how I can wake up to paradiso every day.
You can take a photo or you can develop a relationship. If your heart stays open it gets bigger and fuller (kinda like the Grinch). I love portraiture photography because I love faces and stories and connections. If someone trusts you, it’s amazing what you can capture. It feels like a gift every time too. I love the safety of having a lens between us but not taking away from the moment.
This is Emma. She has no idea how beautiful she is…her heart is open, she is kind and funny and generous. We are taking a journey together to capture her own personal before and during …her after has yet to come. She’s lived too many experiences to capture in one image but as you can see here, she trusted me to take the first step with her and so far, she’s timeless.
Does a blank canvas motivate or paralyze you? I used to be paralyzed until I began painting and repainting and another coat of gesso and more paint…and now, I love them. I keep small, cheap canvases on hand for practice and inspiration. I’ve painted over this one at least 3 times in the past month–it’s a 5×7 canvas and I have 3 of them that I’m using for practice. My plan is to paint a large triptych when I finally figure out what I want to look at for a while (because once I ask the hub to frame them and hang them–they will be on the wall at least a year). I tried a few Rothko style paintings and they felt heavy and clunky. Then I tried Bob Ross style fan brush tree and it was too light and practically flew off the canvas. My next attempt will be a variety of brush strokes and sponge work with a little horizontal line to center the eyes…we’ll see what happens! I was inspired by my photo of the ocean yesterday and want to capture it in paint.
Grab a canvas or a piece of paper and some colored pencils and join me, or, like my daughter, grab your tablet and stylus. It’s blank canvas week!
The secret to becoming is to first be…it’s time to nurture my creative self and see what can happen. I’m starting this 365-day project on my birthday in an effort to see how much I can creatively grow in a year. I want to learn what I’m capable of by doing instead of thinking about doing. My day began with the hub giving me a gift card to my favorite, local art shop. This is the start of something exciting–I can feel it! Join me if you’ve been wanting to create more too.
My first project is to paint a 12×12 wood block for a non-profit, artist run, art gallery fund raiser. Let’s see how it goes!
As I was making breakfast this morning I was singing an old, favorite Elton John song (Daniel) and realized it would be nicer to hear him sing it than me — especially since I just repeat the chorus.
So, I opened the Spotify app on my laptop and logged in. Instead of looking for EJ, I am distracted by the “Friend Activity” section and suddenly my inner voyeur is turned on. I decide to peek through the window of my friends’ musical choice from 11 hours ago…hmmm, what time was it there [where she lives] when she listened to this song…ok, it was about midnight. I click on the song and now I’m on sensory overload as I close my eyes and imagine myself in her shoes, listening to the sexy, slow but pulsing vibes wondering where she was when she was listening. Was she in her car, in her apartment or in someone else’s home? Was she chilling out, drinking, dancing, coming down from a long day and taking off her make-up before bed or was she having the kind of sex that you see in a beautifully directed film, smoky light and everything is perfect…no laughing or quick movements, only slow motion bodies (not real but a good fantasy).
Hmmm…I wonder what she’d think of me stepping into her 4:35 second song moment? Would she feel a little exploited, indifferent or excited? She knows me, she wouldn’t be surprised but if I told her would she change her behavior and play songs to make me curious in the future? Would I even notice?
Well, we did it! All nine of us finished and we’re all blistered and sore. Whew. My time was 6 hours and 38 minutes. Stephanie and I stuck together the whole time…thank goodness because it would have been tempting to quit.
It was 30km and the time limit was 8 hours.
I had everyone sign my journal and write their time—the times ranged from 5:50 to our 6:38…I’m sure the Army guys and the Danes had much more impressive times.
In the coming days I would lose 3 toenails (gross) but it was worth it. What a gorgeous country this is and I was lucky to get to see it and meet the kids along the way. My one regret was not loading my pack with goodies for the kids. We had no idea how many would be out and that they would be hoping for candy from us. Next time?
The DANCON March is tomorrow—I hope I do ok. I’m a little nervous since it’s 18.5 miles in the hills surrounding Tuzla Air Base. We must wear uniforms (combat boots don’t quite breathe like tennis shoes) and carry a 20lb pack.
I received 3 boxes from home today! Yay! I’ve been “nesting” all night — so good to have sights, smells and touches from home.
Went off-base with Angel (OSI guy) and Allison (his male interpreter) for lunch and “orientation” today. It was great — very interesting and a little sad. The town of Tuzla isn’t much but more progressive than I expected. Lots of coffee drinking, smoking Europeans. Cute, young girls walking around anxious to meet boys; some on rollerblades, some with pink or orange hair—typical stuff you would see anywhere.
The little ones were so adorable—no different than American kids. There were some gypsy’s and beggars and old people who were just wandering or begging. Lots of rebuilding going on but Allison said not much has been done in the 21/2 years he’s been here. Angel said, “look at all those buildings—they all have termites, BIG ONES!” Well, he was comically referring to the .50 caliber bullet holes in the buildings. The war is very visible here.
I must get some sleep now. I’m not tired but my alarm goes off at 0400 for the March. Yikes!
Happy thought: I got a really nice email from Alyson—the girl who sent the Christmas cards, in response to my thank you email to her. It was so sweet and she appreciated my thank you note.
Fast forward: I have no recollection of this girl (Alyson) or those cards but I continue to be touched by the random acts of kindness from strangers.
Well, I talked to Shane again today and once again hung up the phone feeling awful. I’m sensing his frustrations getting worse and his depression getting stronger. He’s almost ready to throw in the towel with Zoe-dog. She’s driving him crazy, she’s keeping him prisoner and getting the best of him. She’s bringing him anything but comfort and joy, as I hoped. He’s desperate to satisfy her and is at the point where he can responsibly do no more. I think it was perhaps a mistake getting her—but she’s ours now. The whole scenario is making Shane re-think having children…sounds dramatic but it’s true. Unless God intervenes, the only way we’ll have a planned child is if I can be home to tend to it. Although I haven’t fully decided if I want children, this thought still saddens and worries me a bit. First and foremost, I can’t bare it when Shane is so upset. I feel physically ill at the thought of him being unhappy. I’m not sure what to do about it…listen, show him love through calls and letters? I guess that’s all I can do now.
Time to sleep. I’ll call him again in the morning.
Good things to reflect on today:
I went to the chapel to sign up for the trip to Medjugorie, Croatia. While I was there, I saw a basket with charms — St. Michael and St. Joan of Arc (my patron saint) so I took one of St. Joan and am now wearing it. Smile.
Received my box of organic food—I can eat cold cereal now, yay! The crap in the DFAC is all sugar.
Got an email from Dana, she’s in Kosovo until 31 Jan and is doing well.
What a great day for me! I feel so fortunate today because I’ve been blessed with so many gifts.
Received 2 beautiful emails from Shane to start my day. He told me that our twin, 4 year old Russian neighbors told him that they say a prayer for me every morning, wow.
Received adorable letter from Darian. She drew a princess and colored her and it said, “To Ms. Kris I love you. Love Darian” awwwww
Stephanie told me she got to talk to her boyfriend (Jake) and she told him how much she likes hanging out with me. (in spite of me) I told her I felt the same—she’s a sweetie.
Received 3 boxes today!!
My in-laws sent a BIG popcorn tin with cookies and candy.
Mom sent a bag of Halloween candy and cute pumpkin napkins.
Pam G. sent tons of fun dollar store stuff and some yummy Bath and Body Works lotions! She wrapped everything individually so it was fun opening it all. Wow.
Fast Forward: In the 6+ months I was in Bosnia, I received more mail and care packages than anyone—ever. The outpouring of love and support was overwhelming. One of the best things about deploying is the opportunity to see all of your true friendships shine. Amazing. Also, Stephanie and Jake ended up getting married and living happily ever after…
Another Sunday night and many, many, many more to got. It’s been over 3 weeks since I left Alaska and the mindscrew has begun. Typical me—I start over analyzing phone calls and start turning everything into a pity party. I told him that I didn’t feel like anyone missed me…what I really meant was that I didn’t think “he” missed me. He’s so self-sufficient that he doesn’t need me and I know he loves me and enjoys my company but he doesn’t get lonely like I do. Maybe I should re-read his card.
I read the card and feel like an idiot. “I feel luckier than ever to share my life with such a wonderful wife and more aware than ever of what true friendship means.”
He loves me, despite my stupid mindscrew episodes—how lucky am I?
Fast Forward: I want to gag and bitch slap my former self. Gross.