Finding the IMA

I have a macabre fascination with artists who have committed suicide. One, because I love art and the creative process and two, because I have family history of suicides and suicide ideation. In my quest to understand the mind of a person who desires nothing more than to be absent from the present, I have read and reread countless books. Recently, a van Gogh painting was advertised as being on display at the IMA and I knew immediately that I needed to make that a summer destination. This past Saturday my dream came true. I stood before van Gogh’s Landscape at Saint-Remy, 1889, and was blown away by the amount of paint, the number of brush strokes, the myriad of colors and the sheer fortitude he showed in completing a true masterpiece. His painting was by far my favorite of all the works seen, including Gaugahn, Pissarro, Monet and Rembrandt.

“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

–Vincent van Gogh

Volunteering at a homeless shelter I come across so many with those same sentiments. There is a little van Gogh in each of us.

Good Monday Morning, Bloggers

I have been thinking quite a bit about why I started a blog, why I continue to blog and if I should keep this blog alive*.

There is a HUGE story behind my stories that I am not prepared to share. I appreciate other blogs that have courageously opened their wounds to let others enter. My blog is a creative outlet to release ideas. As long as the blog continues to be a fruitful journey, or rather a rough draft of my metamorphosis, yes you can see the good, the bad and the ugly, I will continue to pursue becoming a better writer. With a reader’s help, by supporting and commenting, liking or disliking posts, I can begin to understand what is expected. However, I would like to say I am not looking to make money. I say this in response to all those with their internet money-making schemes. I sincerely hope you like my blog because of what I have to say and not solely to peddle.

 I am not looking to make money.

If I could make money
writing, that would be icing on the cake

I am not doing THIS for THAT.

I currently am reading The Poetry Home Repair Manual by the Poet Laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser. I love how down-to-earth he comes across in his introduction to his book as well as what he says in the first chapter. “You’ll never be able to make a living writing poems.” I get that!

He goes on to say poetry is a gift to others to waken their senses to the world. I am not so sure I can consider my blog a gift, but each person, especially those I consider so much better than I, encourages.

Someday is always around the corner,
possibilities yet to be dreamed.
Today is here!
I hope you take a chance to wander
and enjoy those near.

Holy Peace,

jeannelizabeth©

*As is, this blog is costing me $$$, because I attended a writing conference, in hopes of publishing a book that is stuck inside me. I heard you need a platform, to accrue an audience, to let your publisher know people like your writing, etc., so you get the picture, I became a victim of my own ambitions!

Spontaneous versus Organization

Which serves you better, to be off-the-hip or deliberate and precise?

spontaneous spunk

purposefully planned

How do you garden, with a plan and color scheme,
or let the plants rule the earth?
How do you deal with weeds, blowing seeds
and critters who eat everything?

Do you construct sentences or do the words run rampant
over the page?

When selecting a piece of fabric, do you have an idea
already in your head or do you prefer to make a quilt
around a 12×12″ square or photo of inspiration?

edgy elegance

Do you follow a recipe or pick a spice, a piece of meat,
select vegetables and run with the wind?

Just curious! I am both organized and totally without a purpose.
Some days the ideas flow faster than this person can paddle
and so they get lost in the box that sits by the side of my desk,
overflowing with scraps of future ideas
yet to be discovered and fully digested.

willfull wishes

My computer remains disorganized.
I find I spend hours endlessly trying to find a picture
I remember snapping, a poem that flowed so easily
from a foreign land, or a favorite blog to inspire me.
Someday I plan on getting organized…until then, I just go with the flow.

Shalom,

jeannelizabeth©

All these photos were taken at the Tucson Botanical Gardens in Tucson AZ. If you are in the area, stop by and be inspired. It is truly a beautiful way to spend a summer morning before the sun heats up the air. And Happy Fourth of July to the United States…let freedom ring!

I is for Insightful and Inadequate

To be a good writer means being in sync with your self and surroundings.

The word insightful describes a person who perceives. In the Bible, Jeremiah 5:21, says “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear…” This leads me to question if I accurately know and understand, if I am wise in my own eyes, or do others see me as wise and aware. Along with being insightful, comes inadequacy.

To be a great writer we must know our limitations and understand our weaknesses.

If I am writing only for applause, for admiration and agreement, will I miss my mark to what I am called to express?  Grace is sufficient, in that all I lack, which is made perfect through the power of faith.

Which ultimately leads me to question why I blog. There are many scoffers out there, so why bother to passionately lay bare my soul. I am not trying to turn you around from whatever direction you are already heading but no road is easily traveled without a map.

Shalom,

Jeanne Elizabeth©

The volatile truth of our words should continually betray the inadequacy of the residual statement.” Henry David Thoreau

 
   

Holy Imagination, People!

“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.” – Margaret Atwood

From an early age, I remember thinking I could write. Curly q’s and flying w’s donned blank pages. I wondered why nobody could understand what I was trying to say. Perhaps, even now, that I can spell, people still scratch their heads and mumble to themselves.

This is an image I snapped, while walking the beach along Lake Michigan. What do you see? Can you hear anything? Memories?

Washed ashore

Ever have a day like this?

I took my daughter to school today. She was running late. The alarm went off at 6:00 am and I woke her up, like every morning, to a case of grumpitis. I went back to sleep, until 6:40 am, prepared the daily brew, and knocked on the bathroom door to announce she had 10 more minutes. She then replied that she wasn’t going to make it. Really? Fifty minutes is not enough time to dress, straighten hair, apply makeup, brush teeth, grab your backpack and catch a bus ride? “It is every other morning.” I grumbled, as I trudged up the steps to grab a sweater, tell my husband I would see him at dinner, declare his coffee was waiting for him downstairs, and I was on taxi standby!

“Mother, you are prepared for takeoff!” someone must be shouting at me, from somewhere, to let me know my actions are not without merit. This must count for something, somewhere. I wonder how I can phrase the past 25 years of experience on my resume?

I Thessalonians 5:16-19 NIV Be joyful always; pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances; this is the will of God for your life.

Let this verse ruminate through your mind today, and let us live like we mean it!

The place we all begin

Love is at the starting line
The place we all begin.
What waits for us at the finish line
Is what we all wonder?

For some it is fame
and others it is death.
For me I place my hope
on eternity.

The place I hang my hat upon
my knees bent in remorse.
For all the times I wandered
aimlessly, without a clue.

Yet, look within yourself
To see if you can make it.
The finish line is just ahead
And God is cheering you on.

©jeannelizabeth

In our despair comes HOPE!

Our country is in trouble. The world is in trouble. What is the Lord Jesus’s advice?

John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

What a beautiful reminder that God is in control. Over and over I am reminded of this, yet in my flesh I try over and over to make things better, but all these things must happen before He returns.

Come Lord Jesus!

Still, not in my strength, but in HIS, I was moved by the Sandy Hook tragedy. I felt that same drive to run or fly to those in need as when I heard the news of my brother, but with no sense of direction, I sat still, mourning. We are either paralyzed with fear or set in motion by hope. Hope that God is in our midst during our despair. The following Sunday morning brought inspiration to take the scrap cloth that has amassed in my sewing room and mend my heart and pass my creation onto someone in need of love.  I had wanted to send this quilt before Christmas, but like all my projects, there is only so much time. Indiana’s snowstorm, yesterday, gave me the much needed time to spend with my beloved family as well as heal some more for lost innocence. December 26, 2012 was a great day to finish the project.

DSC_0005 DSC_0001

It is finished! This quilt will go to Wheeler Missions Women and Children’s Center in memory of Sandy Hook victims. I heard of the love outpouring and the city’s wish that further gifts be given towards others and I will fulfill that wish.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

That is my prayer for you today. Shalom! ©Jeannelizabeth

Books Read Recently

I love to read.
I love to write.
I love to write about what I read.

Recent reads include The Chosen by Chaim Potek, A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf, Ultraviolet by RJ Anderson and A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. I like them in that order. I will read some more writings by Mr. Potek in the future. I like his style, full of depth but so easy to follow. You can go really deep into the significance of his universal thoughts, or take them at face value, and cherish the simplicity of meaning. I prefer to go both ways and depending on the circumstance. Without spoiling the ending of The Chosen, I would say that as parents, we give our children everything, so we do not die fruitless.

Virginia Woolf has always intrigued me on many levels. I survived the suicides of my grandfather and brother, and in my quest to understand the mind of a person who takes away their breath, I naturally gravitate towards those on that same path. Her novels are difficult. I have attempted them many times. They start so slow, my interest wanes and I find I soon lose heart to push through. Someday I will finish one of her novels, but until then, I will proclaim that A Writer’s Diary is a read that I will find myself picking up often. I immediately went to the last day of her diary that was published, seeking clues as to her thoughts before she ended her life, and was left unrewarded. Her books are not futile, thankfully, and even if they never paint a good picture for me to begin to understand, I at least feel closer to something that haunts me often.  Her other book, A Room of One’s Own, since I am not finished with it, I will leave for a later date to comment, but wanted to hear from any of you that have read it and your thoughts.

Lastly, I am in the middle of reading Ultraviolet, a young adult novel, and so far I am intrigued. I am sorry to say I would not replicate RJ Anderson’s writing, finding too much description takes away from the depth of the story, but the theme is interesting enough to keep me plugging along. An interesting side note to the story is that people actually are afflicted with a colorful perception to their senses: synesthesia.  If you would like to check out a test you can take to see if you are a synesthete, click here http://synesthete.org/. You can also google synesthesia and find many websites to browse.

Happy reading,

Jeannelizabeth©

Just where have I been?

Much is new in my life. No, I did not move, marry or fall to martyrdom. Nor did I abandon, ditch, forsake or malign my Sweet Promises blog (even though I have been absent for some time). Instead, I have been in upheaval. My feet are firmly planted but my head is in the clouds. I wonder who I am, pursuing truth. Actually, I think I know who I am, but like a diamond in the rough, I yearn to be polished. Underneath the veiled image, I am quite fragmented.

I wonder if I suffer from a dissociative disorder. I am prone to daydreaming. I get lost in thought. I find that I am not organized enough to tell the thousand stories locked inside. Several white pages of paper, more than I care to acknowledge, have been wasted in my pursuit of perfection. I am wasteful. Not just resources of tangible goods but the unconsciousness of time squandered pursuing answers seems unforgivable. Time is running out.

Funny how life seems to zoom, halt, sputter, tumble to a lull and just when you think you have it figured out, well then, you realize you were wrong. Somewhere, perhaps years ago, you took a disastrous turn. Life left you questioning. Ask me if I believe in God, and the answer is “I do”. And Jesus, the Bible and the Spirit He left when He departed earth to be with His Father in Heaven. So why do I struggle? To be brutally honest, I have faced hell.  Many moons ago, I only struggled with growing up. Today, it is painful memories that clog my veins.

Mother’s Day week 2012, I took a summer job as a gardener at Rita’s Backyard. I love gardening. I love plants. I love being outdoors. I have posted here my gardening musings and photos. So I think you believe me. Those are a few of my favorite things but it means time pursuing my craft of writing, to get a pure message to my audience, is faltering. To make matters worse, I burned every written word I had ever produced (years ago). This random act of stupidity was an impulse I carried out while stomping through fire.  I’ll never know if any of what I wrote was worthy of seeing daylight, but it left a hole inside that yearns to be repaired. I wonder if I burnt it to be freed of my tortured past?  At that particular time, absolutely, yes. Now, a clamoring, resounding no, rings inside my head.

So what to do?

I hope you do not think I have totally turned my back on Christianity or my Sweet Promises blog. I just have started to think out loud, trying to form a picture from a thousand puzzle pieces, and wanted to draw in those who are pursuing the unknown, with me, to finally be a polished rock worthy of hearing the words in Matthew 25:23…”Well done, good and faithful servant.” In the meantime, I started a Blogger site, called A Grain of Sand @ http://manygrainsofsand.blogspot.com/ and a pure poetry blog @ http://sharpenedpoint.wordpress.com/, which I rarely publish on because poetry takes more time than a few random lines now and then.