Thursday, April 25, 2013


I was backing out of a parking space in a very small lot at a local market, when I noticed a distinguished looking elderly man waiting beside my car to get to his.  For some reason, he was morally outraged that he had to wait for a minute because I was backing out.  He proceeded to drop the f-bomb on me eight times (yes, I counted).  I was completely shocked - stopped in mid-reverse, and stared at him with an expression that said, "Seriously?!?"  He kept at it.  I pushed the button to lower my power window, made a peace sign with my hand, and said, "Peace, my brother".  His head jerked back, as if I had taken my two peace-signing fingers and poked him in the eyes.  He was the one looking stunned now.  Total credit for my response belongs to the Holy Spirit, since it is not in my nature to respond kindly to verbal assault. 

Anyway, this amusing little episode got me to thinking about the power of words, and why I like blogging.  Most times, not always, but most times, people say kind things to one another in the comment sections in Bloglandia.  Whenever I'm having a bad day, I peruse old posts and reread the nice things people have shared,  It's encouraging and healing.  I hope to give back the same when I read your posts or emails or letters.  

And speaking of letters, I found on Pinterest a cool way to keep the snail mail I've received over the years from family, friends, and fellow bloggers (who have become friends).  I'm a lazy letter-writer, but I do cherish the ones that have been sent my way.  This little project helps me to keep these treasures safe.

To make one, you'll need a small ring binder and a hole punch.  I carefully punch holes in the cards and letters where the writing wouldn't be damaged, and decorated the front cover with some old stamps from around the world.  Some of you may recognize cards and letters that you have sent.  If not, please know that they are in there and part of the collection.  In fact, I am starting a second binder :)

The good Word says:  "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks".  Thank you for sharing yours with me.  It's done my heart good.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

cue Simon and Garfunkel: Slow down, you move too fast

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I used to work on an 18th century farm doing 18th century labor, where doing things the old-fashioned way takes time.  But there were 21st century time constraints, like each class having to finish their activity in 30 minutes.  For eight years, I have been trained to do slow things fast.

I'm relearning now.  I'm taking classes in classical drawing and painting.  My teacher's beautiful accent comes over my shoulder as she examines my work.  "Slow down, Jodi.  Slow down."  These instructions are good for me.  There are no shortcuts, no techniques allowed--just the fruit of repetition and the discipline of learning to render what you see.  She's an amazing teacher, and I'm learning to tell myself it's okay to take three hours to draw a simple egg. 

The first hour of class is excruciating.  It takes that long for me to warm up, to find my groove.  I love the analogy my instructor used:  "I would never hand you a violin and tell you to play me something.  I would teach to to play and make you practice, practice, practice.  Your pencil and your paintbrush are your violin."

She continues, "You must draw and paint every day, everything you see.  If you are drinking a glass of milk, paint it."  


more homework

learning to conquer the palette

work in progress
first stage - blocking in - still life study

* * *

So that's where I'm at.  S-l-o-w-l-y, exercising lazy muscles, trying to squeeze every bit of goodness from this opportunity I've dreamed about.  Feeling blessed.

"Life I love you, all is groovy
ba da ba da da, da da da da..."


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