Week 32: In Case I Forget


This past week, I:

Finished a weekly spread in my first Midori Traveler's Notebook (above) after long admiring the notebooks of others on Instagram and Pinterest. I just simulated the pages I like, for now, and can't wait to see what appears for me in the weeks to come.

Ordered Getting There by Gillian Zoe Segal, after reading an excerpt: "Mad Men" Creator Matthew Weiner's Reassuring Life Advice For Struggling Artists.

Reflected on these words by Olympic runner and poet, Alexi Pappas: "...I like having absolute freedom within boundaries."

Adored Simon Helberg's portrayal of Cosme McMoon in Florence Foster Jenkins.

Watched Michael Phelps swim his way toward his 23rd Gold Medal and constantly referred to as "old", while thinking about a 98 year old runner who continues to break world records.

My thought for this week?

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
— Mary Oliver




Lyrical Paintings

I wish I was a soft refrain
When the lights were out I’d play
And be your friend
— Harpo's Blues by Phoebe Snow

Many moons ago, before seventy-five percent of what now occupies my life was either made or invented, I listened to LP records and painted. I took watercolor classes and dabbled in oils and eventually, gave it up.  I often wonder how much better I'd be today, had I stuck with it. Yes, I get it: forget it.

I'm painting again. Now that I've let go of all that I went after when I gave it up, I'm painting again.

When I saw that Roxanne Coble was offering an art journalling course using song lyrics as creative inspiration, I couldn't resist. Songs were my main inspiration when I used to paint and I completely understood her concept and excitement.

I watched all of the course videos, selected an old favorite by Phoebe Snow and then played the videos again as I followed along. Technically, there are a few things I'd try to improve (like painting a straight line when needed) and materials I want to purchase. Emotionally, I can't wait to make another spread and see what memories my choices of music and images arouse.

It's like having a conversation with my younger self and listening to her statements of uncertainty and hopes for the future. I get to tell her that it all works out fine and that she'll be happy and in love. Would I tell her not to give up painting? Meh.


In case you're interested:

Harpo's Blues sung by Phoebe Snow.

More images from Roxanne's Lyrical course on Instagram.


The Secret Message

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.
— Robert Schuller

Fourteen years ago, I had that Schuller quote made into a wall decal for the yoga studio I was about to open. I peeled off the backing and pasted it up high to face our classes, right above the position where I thought instructors would sit. After I came off the ladder and stepped back a few feet, I realized that my color choice was too light and the words practically blended into the wall. Harrumph!

I didn't want the quote to be a distraction as I easily imagined people squinting to read the writing on the wall.  Luckily, before the first class, I was given an Indonesian-style wood carving that completely obscured the sentence and no one knew of the hidden message.

A few days ago, I came across that quote again and recalled the hopes I had had for my studio and the people it would serve. I had meant for it to motivate folks to look past their physical discomforts (the studio also offered massage and acupuncture) and focus on their hopes of well-being. No one saw the quote but it was always, the underlying intention.

So much has changed in the fourteen years since I carefully positioned, then hastily covered those words.  What astounds me, is that much of what I hoped for during those years that I sat or moved under that sentence, I now have in my life. It's as though, what I intended for others to do, so I did. Curious thought.

This much I do know, when you focus on what you want, not on what you don't want, the journey and the destination are just what you hoped for, maybe even more. Please, may I never forget that.

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.


Image: A page from my art journal.