Friday, July 25, 2014

Collage in My Blood

My mom just returned from a family reunion with her cousins . . . 
lugging along a "treasure chest" of antique images.

My mom's cousin Barb had the h.u.g.e. scrapbook that had been put together
by my Great Grandma Ruby.
I could hardly contain my excitement when I peeked into the pages.

She also brought a found Bible for young people
and a bag of sewing patterns from my Aunt Barb.

I could barely breathe.

One of the most amazing treasures:
this handmade color wheel.

What a teaching tool!
I just may have found inspiration for my next project!
And the next, and the next . . . 

The pages of the "gi-normous" scrapbook
are completely covered with
images from the late 1890's and early 1900's.

Along with greeting cards and advertisements,
calendars, Sunday school cards, trading cards,

Perhaps, did my great-grandma weave these patterned papers?
With her own hands?

She carefully cut out and pasted every image.

Here is her perfect attendance 
Diploma of Honor
from 1906.

One thing that delights my heart
is to see a connection
with a great-grandma
who only saw me as an infant
whom I never knew personally.

Yet right here,
it was as if she knew
how much this would
be enjoyed
by one of her great-granddaughters.

She collaged papers.
That's what I do.

My Grandma Marj was a photographer.

And I see how the roots run deep along both sides of my family tree.

It's like the grandmas gave me a present
 to discover far into the future 
that they would not have with me here.

A secret message.

That now connects us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Creative Sacred Journeys.

Some journeys,
I want to take.
Others need to be taken.

This was both.

a class that I share with others
from a personal journey that I needed to take.

Once I make it through - - 
or make some steps forward with many left to take - -
I can't help but want
to take the hands of others
as they take

are not only things
that I enjoy,
but also
that help me find my way.

They help me
look at where I am and where to begin.

They help me get real.

as well

Those tools
help me face my fears,
bring them into the light,
so that I can face them with faith.

They help me remember where I have been,
who has been a significant part of my journey,
and how I want to live in my today.

If I'm going to share something with others,
it must mean something to me.
It must be authentic.
It needs to be something I believe in wholeheartedly. 

That's what these times
of sharing art and photo adventures are all about.

Sharing my heart and the tools that have helped me along the way.

It's about providing time and space

to listen to the whispers in your heart,

to work through the hard things,

to have a safe place to be with the questions,

to remember the values and beliefs held dear,

to celebrate gratitude,

and, yes, to be creative and learn something new.

I wish I could put adequate words
to what we do here
and to what I offer,
and the unplanned messages that always show up
that have meaning outside of what I could imagine.

I don't know what to call it.
Art class?  Hmmm.... that's a tiny part of it.
Retreat?  Well, yes... but it's not your normal retreat.
Camp?  Perhaps... but that seems a bit trendy.
Adventure?  Yes . . . but maybe that will scare you away...
It is all of those things.

I know it is real.

I know it is important.

I know it is meaningful to myself, 
and I really believe it makes a positive difference
to the lives of those that attend.

I know that it matters.

It is not just for artists.
Not just for what we call "creative people".
It's for anyone, really, who wants to take time to focus
on what is really important,
to just breathe,
to maybe have space to heal,
to grow and stretch,
to honor who you were made to be.

The projects are fun and beautiful.
But they are not as much of a masterpiece
as what happens inside your spirit.

Some of the most beautiful projects and beautiful moments
are too sacred to share photos.

But sacred journeys 
are what happen.

Perhaps that is what I will call them in the future:

creative sacred journeys.