Emotions in Art

Have I mentioned how much I love art? Ideas that come from people using their creative gifts to express themselves send chills down my spine. Art is form, shape, expression and my favorite – color.

Colors, like music, can affect a person’s moods and thoughts. I recently read somewhere that if you eat off of a blue plate, you will take smaller portions. Is that true? Could blue affect me like that? I’ve not noticed. Mostly blue makes me feel calm; that’s why I take so many photos of the sky.

The artist’s expression should elicit strong feelings within the observer. Form and shape, or the lack of them, in art can set a viewer on edge – like when geometric shapes feel harsh and deal a blow of rigidity. Does this remind anyone else of the “Partridge Family” while at the same time feel like a wall?

pietmondrian

(Piet Mondrian “Composizione,” 1921)

Melting clocks cause me to feel soft and distressed. That heat must be super intense to melt those clocks.

persistence_of_memory_dali

(Salvador Dali “The Persistence of Memory,” 1931)

Umbrellas in a park cause the onlooker to feel the afternoon heat as well as a choking sensation under the sun – unless you look closely and see the pointillism, which can cause one to rub the blur from the eyes. How could those people sit in full dresses and suits on the grass like that?

A_Sunday_on_la_Grande_Jatte

(Georges Seurat “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jutte,” 1884)

Each one of these paintings elicits a strong uncomfortable feeling in me, and I study the colors. The first painting straight up pushes me away, the second draws me unwillingly into it and after studying the third for awhile, I am sitting on the grass myself.

Take a moment each day to study a piece of art, or a piece of beauty, as a small meditation for calmness and peace. I do.

 

Solitude vs. Lonliness (a Vignette)

Standing upon this hill, I feel the sense of solitude as a meditation. I could contemplate different aspects of my own life, or I could get out of my Self to look upon the village below.

I focus on the church bell hanging within the white steeple, the tallest point around. I imagine the life of the bell ringer, how she comes early to church on Sundays with a plate full of muffins for the pastor. She rings the bell to tell the village it’s time to wake up.

I look to the right an inch and study the mural on the old brick building next to the park. I wonder about the painter…Did he have a family to feed? Did he make more than a pittance for his work? Or was he only a young man, trying to put his mark on the world, even in this small village?

A barn stands in the distance and I wonder if there is a teenager inside milking a cow, wearing her rubber boots and resenting her parents for making her do chores before school. Does she have to walk through chicken muck to collect fresh eggs? Will she put feed out for the ducks?

Across the valley the sun peeks between two mountains. The grass is crisp with its silver dewy tinge.  A shepherd walks around his sheep, counting. The sheep bleat, straining for a rub from their master. They chew and move slowly with their heavy winter fleece coats.

I stare at one who looks like she knows a secret – something I do not know. She looks directly at me. I feel her ask me what I am doing up here on this hill alone at the crack of dawn. I ask myself this same question, feeling at one with the land and village.

Alone, but not lonely.

The Truth About Me & Jesus

The other day I took one of those social media quizzes that told me my word for the new year would be “truth.” This makes perfect sense to me as I am in the midst of rewriting my testimony book, which is about true stories of God working within my life.

I struggle in my faith. I don’t doubt God (usually), but I have much conflict about staying in relationship with Him and doing things in His name. I know, I know, I’m human. That’s just it, though. I am human. I am of the earth, weak, imperfect and make lots of mistakes.

The other side of that coin is that because I am human, I have the capability of having an awesome, and I mean awesome, relationship with the Holy One. And sometimes I do. I have moments when Spirit takes me over and I cry and tingle and am so very grateful.

But… then there is the rest of the time. I want to watch movies, read books and go do activities that have nothing to do with God – and even may go in the opposite direction sometimes. GOT ring any bells?

Part of living this crazy existence is that we are able to see the beauty and unimaginable creations produced by different humans. No other species can come anywhere close to the creative dominion that man bears. Paintings, architecture, literature in rhythm and rhyme and sculpture all hold their place, but nowadays, in this digital age, creativity and beauty are oftentimes better than real life. Movies and animation, digital comics, photo shopping technology and audio equipment provide experiences that we could not mimic in nature.

The above does not even include the endless information at our fingertips. Means to improve every aspect of our earthy lives can be found: paths to happiness, ease of cleaning, any type of clothing, transportation and food, access to devices that contain and provide our daily activities, music, access to books containing other worlds, and much much more.

So then… Why are we still so unhappy as a species? We do we suffer from disease and depression? Why do we try to fill that gaping hole inside with other things… things not of God?

I don’t know. I wish I did. Will power isn’t always enough to keep me in line as to how I think I should be with God.

It’s a very good thing that He just loves me so much in spite of my shortcomings. It’s lovely and amazing that I am redeemed because of Him. And truthfully, it feels good in those moments when I do connect with Him – it feels better than anything else really. It feels like home.

My truth is that I fail. But I keep trying even though I don’t have to do good works for redemption, because I love Him. And because He loves me.

Peace.

Merry Christmas!

When I was a kid, every Christmas my mom would pile us all into the car and head to our grandparents’ house for Christmas, to be with the whole family. There would be tons of sweets, games, kids running around, presents, and invariably someone would be sick. That didn’t matter though-everyone still came and the sicko would bed down in one of the beds to rest.

Besides being drown in the love that is my family, the best activity was when we would all gather ’round the tree, drape over chairs and each other, and my Grandpa Joe would read to us the Christmas story, from the book of Luke. I miss him and that tradition very much. So, for you my friends, I wish you the very best of Christmas’s and leave with you this very special and most important story…

Luke 2:1-20:  “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shine round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was the angel with a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all those things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

Peace and joy to you…

How to Read a Poem

First, gather some free time

eliminating all distraction.

Next, clear your busy mind,

preventing your abstraction.

 

Let yourself notice specifics

as you take each word, one by one.

Make certain you grasp the lyrics,

but go slowly, until you are done.

 

Use your dictionary to define,

Let the imagery wash over you.

Take a sip of your coffee or wine

As you peruse your new worldview.

 

Read it aloud, the second time ‘round.

Listen to your voice, as you stand tall.

Feel the rhythm and hear the sound,

as it bounces off the ceiling and walls.

 

If you choose to read a third time,

You’ll begin to absorb and contend

the author’s intended gist and rhyme.

Epiphany bursts… as you comprehend.

A Sunday

Do you ever feel like you are in the right place at the exact right time? It feels like physical harmony, not just that vibration in your ears and throat you get when you sing, but a total body vibration – like all is right in the universe.

God has been blessing me with that feeling more often lately. I’ve been growing in my relationship with God over the past few years intensely. I’ve had ups and downs in this process…so many ups and downs. As you know from my last blog post, I have begun to obey the tasks I am given. It’s not always easy. There is often doubt and even panic on occasion, but that’s where that TRUST issue comes in. Faith is trust.

I had recently become dissatisfied with my church. I was led there for a time, at the right time where I was needed and for what I needed. Lately though, I have been leaving there feeling sad or angry and empty inside – not by anyone’s fault, it’s just that the lines weren’t connecting for me spiritually. I decided to go church shopping. It’s not a new thing for me, as we have moved often for my husband’s career. The funny thing is though, that God sent me a message about a particular church. Not once, but twice. Out of the blue I received an invitation in my mailbox addressed to me, and then one of my good friends told me about it – also out of the blue. It just happens to be the closest church to my new home, so I went. Today.

I was in the right place at the right time. The building is comfortable, the people made real connections with God in that house and the music was right up my alley. The best part was the sermon. The head pastor was gone on a mission trip so we were blessed by a talk from the young children’s pastor, and he seemed to be speaking directly to me. The Spirit was working hard this morning, the pastor was fired up!

He preached on Mark 11:23 – “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”

The sermon was about faith. Trust is a more accurate word. You need to trust God. God doesn’t owe us anything, and yet we have been given the most precious gift imaginable. Salvation, connection, redemption and relationship with the most Holy One.  But, a gift needs to be accepted. We need to hold our hands out to Him and say, “Yes, God – I accept. Thank you!”

It’s just that simple. Trust Him. Accept Him. Then…nothing but awesome sauce.

I needed a gentle reminder this morning. Thank you, Jesus.

Peace to you and yours…