mixed media, poetry, Uncategorized

Heart String – Tanaga


Heart String - Tanaga
Tanaga poem on mixed media

The need to belong is something that is ingrained in each and every one of us. There’s no escaping it. It’s part of our DNA.

Did you know that there is a ‘science of relationships’? Scientific studies have been done in order to understand this need for belonging. The “belongingness hypothesis” states that people have a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others, and that caring, affectionate bonds from close relationships are a major part of human behavior.

I believe that we have this deep need for connection because we were created in the image and likeness of a relational creator.

Why do you think we have this strong need for relationships?


The Tanaga poetry form is a Philippino form. It consists of four lines, seven syllables each. The first two lines rhyme and the last two lines rhyme.

 

Art, poetry, Uncategorized

Dance me


Dance me

Do you think that we, as humans, can benefit from times of pain and suffering? Do you think it teaches us timeless lessons and builds character? I do.

Nobody wants to go through painful experiences, but it seems like going through the tough times is what causes true growth and maturity in our lives. It’s like the age-old adage, “No pain, no gain”.

Allow me to share a few famous quotes about the good found in diversity.

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” –Walt Disney

“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”  –Epicurus 

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.”  –Napoleon Hill

These quotes hold a lot of wisdom. I’ve been through the wringer when it comes to inner pain and suffering. All I wanted during those times was to be rid of it all. In retrospect though, I see how they have shaped me, grown me and made me into the person I am today.

How about you? Have you gone through times of pain, suffering, adversity? Have you allowed it to shape you? To be your teacher? Have you grown wiser and allowed it to develop character in you? What painful experience have you gone through, in looking back, you can see that it has produced gold by being refined in the fire?


This post is an updated version of one I’ve done before. I added another stanza to the poem and have embedded it into my original art. I have put music together and hope to record in the near future.

This is also in response to a 3-day quote challenge that I received from Pearl at “writeintent1“. Three quote for three days and nominating three others. I will be cheating though. I won’t be doing it for three consecutive days (time restraints) and I would like to challenge anyone that would like to take this on to go ahead and do it.

 

mixed media, poetry, Uncategorized

Color me Green


Color me Green
Color me Green – Part 6 of a 9 part poem on mixed media

Did you know that green is the easiest color for the eyes to process? It is said to evoke growth, healing, peacefulness and calm. It’s the color of life and renewal. It is a secondary color, meaning it is made up of two primary colors – yellow and blue. It gets it’s optimism from yellow, and it’s peacefulness from blue.

It’s no wonder that my focus is on the green girl right now, because green is known to balance emotions. I have struggled for a number of years with… er, um… we don’t really know. I suffered with extreme insomnia for years, and finally did something about it when I wasn’t falling asleep until daybreak the next day. There were thoughts of it being depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorder and ADHD. I had been on medication since 2004 because of it, however I was having some undesirable side effects. My doctor decided to change medications because of it. I was suppose to slowly wean myself off of the medication I was already taking in order to start the new one.

When I started lowering the dosage, I began feeling down, depressed and a bit irritated. I went to see a friend a couple of days into this and her sisters were there visiting. I told them about what I was going through and they prayed for me. Since then, my mood completely changed. Even my husband was shocked by how tranquil and easy going I had become. I’m still weaning myself off of it, but I really don’t think I’ll have to start the other meds.

Yes, I think green is a wonderful color. Balanced emotions for someone who has been unbalanced for so long is a huge delight.

Have you ever struggled with unbalanced emotions? What do you do to deal with them?

 

 

mixed media, poetry, Uncategorized

Lemons & Lessons


Lessons and lemons

Lemons are sour, but with the right ingredients they turn into a refreshing, sweet treat. We’ve all heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. That’s one of the decisions I made at the beginning of this year. To make lemonade with the lemons life throws at me.

It’s no wonder they’re yellow. Yellow is such a cheery color. One of the additudes that yellow symbolizes is optimism.

There is a small, yet very powerful passage in the Bible – “Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.”

There is so much negativity in the media. So much fear-inducing information. It is easy to complain and grumble about it all. It is also easy to complain and grumble when things don’t go our way. When our comfort and personal peace is being threatened.

Life will always throw us lemons. The secret lies within what we do with them.

Yes, I think I’ll squeeze mine into some refreshing water and add some sweetener.

How about you? How do you handle the lemons life throws at you?


Original illustration and Tanaga poem.

 

mixed media, poetry

Simplicity


Simplicity

Simplicity. Don’t you just love that word? Who wants confusion and complication? Not me. I was inspired to do a simple little art piece with buttercups after reading a post by the lovely Trini.

Buttercups symbolize humility, neatness and childishness, while the color yellow symbolizes new beginnings, joy, happiness and comfort. All of these attributes speak simplicity to me. Treasures that can’t be bought. Treasures that make up a life worth living.

What says ‘simplicity‘ to you?

faith, mixed media

Breath of Heaven – Merry Christmas


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Baby’s breath – Christmas card

Sometimes when I listen to the Christmas song, ‘Breath of Heaven’ (music video in the first comment below) I start to cry.  I think it’s because of the simplicity of it and the way that Mary addresses God, “Breath of Heaven”.  She was just a young girl when an unexpected visitor showed up and shared a message with her that essentially changed the entire course of her life.  She was engaged to be married to a simple carpenter, and she herself, was just a simple girl – that loved God.

As she silently prays to her maker, she’s extremely vulnerable and expresses to Him just how scared she is.  She knows that the world is a cold place and she is feeling all alone.  And rightly so.  Imagine being in her place.  A virgin, engaged to be married, in a society where it is absolutely unacceptable and punishable to have had sexual relations before marriage.  And now she is carrying the son of God.

She pours her soul out to the only one that could possibly understand what she is going through.  God, hold me together (I’m losing it).  God, be forever near me (I feel so lost).  God, lighten my darkness (the stone cold reality of this world is blinding me and I can’t see you).  God, pour over me your holiness (for you are the only one that can ease my anguished heart).

I think it’s amazing how she addresses God as, “Breath of Heaven”.  The word breath signifies life.  Every bodily function depends on breathing as breathing is the most fundamental of all the body’s systems.  It’s at the very core of life.  When one stops breathing, one dies.

She also recognizes that she’s weak.  She doesn’t see herself as one that is wise enough to be carrying such a serious responsibility.  But the beautiful thing is that, even though she’s full of doubts and considers herself as unwise, it didn’t matter to God.  What mattered was that she was willing to offer all that she is.  What mattered was that she had a heart of humility and recognized she needed His strength, and not her own.

*Note on the art piece: Baby’s breath is considered symbolic of everlasting life and purity. I thought it apropos to include it in the star and around the border in response to the song and reflection.


I’m so sorry I’ve been absent. I was away for almost a week and had very little internet access. Plus, it’s summer here in Brazil and the kids are out of school and we will be traveling from the the 26th to January 10th. Once again I will have very little internet access. During this time I won’t be posting, but I will try and visit your blogs when I can get access to the internet and the time to do so. 

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy new year celebration.

 

Art, poetry

The Little Drummer Boy


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Christmas girl

Are you an expert in anything? In art? In poetry? In photography? In parenting? In life? In anything at all?

The little drummer boy wasn’t, and he knew it. Heck, he was just a kid. An insignificant little boy. He probably came from a humble background. Maybe his father was a shepherd, which wasn’t considered a first class profession.

One thing he did possess though was curiosity and wonder. Like any little child, he wanted to know what all the excitement was about. “Come!” they told him. “A king has been born and we are taking our finest gifts to honor him.”

That little boy didn’t care if he was amongst the elite. Those that had fine gold and perfume. Those that possessed wealth and wisdom.

When they arrived at the humble stable, the little boy noticed that Jesus was just a poor boy, like him. He had to be, because the rich don’t have babies in stables. He knew, though, that Jesus was special. He was a king. The little boy didn’t feel like he had anything to offer him that would be worthy of honor. Nothing that would be fit for a king. He so badly wanted to give Jesus something, so he offered to play his drum for him. That’s all he had. Nothing material. Nothing with a price tag. Just his little drum that he carried around his neck.

So he played his drum for Jesus. Even the animals swayed with the tune. He played his very best for him, which was probably not perfect, being that he was just a young boy. He played with passion, and gave it his all. He knew he was doing it for a king.

Then Jesus smiled at him. W O W! The story doesn’t mention him smiling at the frankincense. It doesn’t mention him smiling at the myrrh. It doesn’t even mention him smiling at the gold. No. He smiled at the humble performance given with passion. He smiled at the gift given out of humility. The gift given from the heart.

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The Little Drummer Boy is my favourite Christmas carol. I love the simplicity and sweetness of it. What is your favourite Christmas carol and why?


The above article was written for the faith arts community, His Kingdom Come, where devotional articles are being published daily for the advent season.

 

 

mixed media, Poem

Color me yellow


Color me yellow - Part 5 of a 9 part poem on mixed media
Color me yellow – Part 5 of a 9 part poem on mixed media

Don’t you just love the color yellow? It’s such a cheery color. It makes me think of the sun, sunflowers and summer.

Did you know that yellow resonates with the left side of the brain, which is the side of logic? It’s considered non-emotional, and can make one more analytical.

Yellow for me says ‘FUN’. Who doesn’t like fun? It makes me think of the sun waking me in the morning and kissing my brain, stimulating serotonin function.

What does yellow say to you?

mixed media, poetry

Color me blue


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Color me Blue – Part 7 of a 9 part poem on mixed media

Blue is the color of hope. Hope is one of the three eternal treasures available to all mankind.

Hope that is seen is no hope at all.

Like the wind. You don’t see it, but you know it’s there.

Like the Spirit of God. You can’t see Him, but He’s there.

One can hope, because they have faith, and along with that faith comes peace and tranquility.

Yes, that’s what blue feels like. Peace that passes all understanding and tranquility of mind and spirit.

Have you ever felt blue? What does blue feel like to you?

Art, poetry, Uncategorized

Hope in the wasteland


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Mixed media – Hope

Wasteland:  A barren or desolate area of land, not or no longer used for cultivation or building. a region, period in history, etc, that is considered spiritually, intellectually, or aesthetically barren or desolate ⇒ ■ American television is a cultural wasteland. –Google

T.S. Elliot, the author of one of the most influential poems of the 20th century, “The Wasteland“, was deeply bothered by what western culture had become. The Wasteland was an expression of that. Thankfully, his lack of hope didn’t last.

A quote from his poem, “The Four Quartets“:

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
but the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light and the stillness, the dancing.

Do you believe that western culture has become somewhat of a cultural wasteland? Have you ever read any of T.S. Elliot’s poetry?