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Posts Tagged ‘creating change’

These are my intentions for 2010. They seem both like a lot and not enough. Some of it’s plain common sense. Some is just living better. At any rate, I’m saying it here. This is what I have.

Let the fun begin!



first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010
first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010


body~mind

  • Heal my body. I’m still plagued by bouts of lower back pain, am starting to feel stiff in the knees. Want to be limber and energetic. Water, exercise, stretching. Would love to take yoga. More walks.
  • Slow down. Be present to what I do. Don’t hurry. Take at least one retreat. Maybe two if Jim wants to do one. But one alone for sure.
  • Early rise. Get my sunrise on.








family

  • Take care of them. It’s OK to be a wife and mom. Love them to pieces.
  • Take my girls abroad. Stop saying it, do it.
  • Be present for their development. These are heavy times. Make them light.
  • Get up and go. Movies, hikes, day trips. Be active together.




first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010
first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010


art~writing

  • Get serious about Angels & Demons. Finish Axis of Evil. Plan other works. It’s a long-term series. Go as far as I can.
  • Have fun with the other stuff. Pendants, bracelets, what else? Experiment.
  • Doodle a day. Easy stuff. Keep doing complex doodles but let doodle-a-day be a scribble, if that’s all I can get to.
  • Writing Group. Keep it up. Three times a week. Other writing? Nurture the books percolating. Leap on opportunities that come.








business

  • I have a number in my head. It’s not huge. It’s a start. (Or, rather, last fall was the start. This is the first lap.)
  • Figure out what I want to do and where I want to be. New shows? Get into a gallery? New websites? Don’t rush it. Slow and steady wins the race. And just the right amount of pressure keeps it doable.
  • Stay organized. Get taxes done early. Keep my space to where I can work every day. Lists. I loves them!




first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010
first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010 first doodle of 2010


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This post is the Intention portion of the exercise laid out in WRITING TOPIC — REFLECTION & INTENTION. Unlike resolutions, intentions are put out to the universe. (At least for me they are.) I log ’em in my noggin’. They have a way of coming to fruition. I can’t say exactly why it is that they work for me while resolutions don’t, but they do. I trust the process.

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Looking back I see myself lying flat on my back, unable to move. It was early February, 2009. I was literally lying on the floor of Burlington Coat Factory, my sciatica pinched. That’s how last year began for me. Immobilized.

My best friend from graduate school, Ana Lucia, had come with her family all the way from Brazil. It had been over a decade since I’d seen her and her husband, and I’d only seen her three children in photos. They were on their way to Santa Fe for a week’s ski vacation, stopping off to visit us en route. My sciatica had been giving me trouble for weeks, and then the morning before Ana Lucia’s arrival, I woke up and could hardly get out of bed. I managed to get a chiropractic treatment that morning, acupuncture the next, plus a handful of painkillers from my mom, who suffers from lower back problems.

When Ana Lucia and her family got here, the pain was masked enough to join them for lunch and then to Burlington Coat Factory to buy jackets for their ski trip. For a while, I thought I was going to be fine. Little did I know, it was Codeine that had me walking around the store searching for good deals on down coats. As the drug wore off, the pain became so unbearable I thought I was going to pass out. Panicked, I got the keys to Ana Lucia’s rental and told her that I had to get something from the car.

My plan was to get to the car, drive the less than three miles to my house, pop another painkiller, and come right back. But when I got to the foyer of the store, that space not inside nor outside, I was close to passing out. I plopped myself down in a spot of sun, moaning and sweating. The automatic double doors opened and closed, opened and closed. Shoppers passed through the space, glancing my way. Not a soul asked if I was OK. I’d sit, try to get up, fall back again.

Finally I mustered the strength to hobble to the car. I turned on the engine, put the gear into reverse, and started to back out. When I almost passed out again, I turned off the engine and reclined as far back as the seat would go. I was stuck. I couldn’t drive home and I couldn’t walk back into the store to let Ana Lucia know what had happened.

And that was how my year started. Stuck.

The pinched nerve, I am convinced, had everything to do with a commitment I had made months before. I had been invited to submit five paintings to a show in Manhattan. Thrilled, I signed up to do so. But as the show’s Spring 2009 deadline approached, I let fear get the better of me. I had it in my mind that the pieces were due in New York City in April, but I didn’t go back to verify any dates. By early February, when I finally checked on the due date, I saw that the paintings were due in the gallery by February 28. I had less than a month to go and hardly an inkling of what I was going to paint.

To make matters worse, I had committed to taking on an exchange student from Mexico for two of the four weeks that I might have used to complete the paintings. In hindsight I believe I was subconsciously sabotaging any chance to actually fulfill my creative commitment. (Our experience with the exchange student was so enriching in other ways that I don’t regret having done that. But this is how the mind can work; this is how we create the obstacles to our own creative fulfillment.)

Back in the parking lot of Burlington Coat Factory, I called Jim on my cell phone and told him my predicament. He was there within ten minutes, went inside the store and found Ana Lucia. Then he got me home. I was able to see my friend and her family again on their return leg of the trip. We had a wonderful dinner and have kept in touch since.

Looking back I see that good things come of bad. Aside from my two weeks laid up on the ground, literally, I moved forward in 2009. I completed four paintings and showed them during the Corrales Art Studio Tour in early May. Went to Vietnam in mid-May and again in August. I met Pham Luc, learned how to make jewelry from my doodles, did two art shows in the Fall, and set up a small Etsy shop this past November.

Looking back, I woke myself up. I committed even further to the life I have—giving to my children and husband, to my job. I connected with old friends and new ones, gained from the generosity of other artists, and spent time with family.

Looking back, I see I found clarity. It’s as if Saint Lucy, that courageous woman who gouged out her own eyes so she could dedicate her life to what she loved most, was by my side, carrying her eyes on a plate so that I could see. I began painting her image probably a decade ago and never finished. She’s a constant reminder that if I look inside myself, I can see where I need to go.



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This piece is based on a 15-minute Writing Practice I did on WRITING TOPIC — REFLECTION & INTENTION. Tomorrow I will post my Intentions for 2010.

-Related to post The Making of a Painting Painter

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Planting The Seed, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass window, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 

When I walked out into the sub-zero temperatures yesterday to warm up my car, a piece by NPR’s Enrique Rivera poured out of the Alpine radio speakers. Rubbing my hands together, and pulling the end of a wool cap down over my neck, I stared off into the distance at a couple of squirrels playing tag on an old growth oak, and listened to Enrique Rivera.

His family is from El Salvador, and in his research he had stumbled on a yellowed piece of paper, a poem about red spring lilies that his grandmother had written for Martin Luther King. The discovery led him to contemplate King’s influence on the Latino community. As I listened, I thought about what Martin Luther King means to me.

I’m old enough to remember his speeches on TV, graphic black and white photographs in Life magazine, and the sad day in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis (now the National Civil Rights Museum) when King was assassinated. Regardless of where you lived in this country, who you were, or what you believed, the way Martin Luther King lived his life, impacted your own.

I honor Martin Luther King Day by remembering the past, and pulling it into the present as a reminder. Not only the power of the March on Washington in August 1963, and King’s I Have a Dream address, but the efforts of others to bring to light injustices in the history of my own state of Minnesota (Clayton Jackson McGhie in Duluth in 1920 or the Mankato 38 in 1862). I remember my tumultuous teenage years in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the Women’s MovementStonewall and Harvey Milk. Or the efforts of women like Emma Lazarus. 

Martin Luther King brought awareness to all of our civil rights. That’s what great leaders do. He spoke for all of us. And reminded us that it is our silence that we should fear:

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

No one wants to be silenced. As writers and artists, we work to find our voices every day. Many who have spoken out or taken action against what they see as unjust, have paid a high price. Martin Luther King was one such man.

 
 

Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.       Planting The Seed, Lightpainting Series, stained glass, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.      

 
 

For the Writing Topic this week, write everything you know about Martin Luther King. How old were you when he died, or were you even born? How does your family speak of his legacy; how did they see him in the 1950’s and 60’s. Is there any way that Martin Luther King has changed your life? How has he broken open stereotypes or paved the way for acceptance of your own differences.

 

Do a 15 minute Writing Practice that begins:

I Remember Martin Luther King…

Reverse it. Do another 15 minute Practice:

I Don’t Remember Martin Luther King….

If you get stuck, go to one of the links in this piece. Listen to Enrique Rivera’s commentary on his grandmother who was a writer and artist. Check out the links for Emma Lazarus, Stonewall, Duluth, or Mankato.

Think of conversations/controversies about civil or human rights in your own hometown. Your own family. What about those close to you, people you love, who live a different lifestyle and have opened your mind (and your heart) to a new definition of human rights.

Write everything you know about Martin Luther King.

-posted on red Ravine, Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 21st, 2008

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