#WednesdayWisdom | Some Days and Sunflowers

January Sunnies1

I hope by tomorrow I can unscramble the load of words bumping against each other in my brain. For now, please enjoy the words of Ullie-Kaye. Her poem manages to capture my “some days,” which have been going on for a week or two. Thankfully, though, there were sunflowers.

some days
ullie-kaye

some days are hard. and when they are,
i allow myself to feel whatever it is
that my body asks me to feel and i respect
the time it needs to fumble and flounder
and fall a little. some days i am swallowed whole
by things too big for me to hold.
and so i set them down. i rest, knowing
that even when i cannot slay the beast,
i can lay aside my sword for a moment and
work on protecting my spirit instead.
some days my heart beats like thunder
inside of my chest. it is heavy. and loud.
and relentless. it does not listen to the
part of me that wants to silence the storm.
and so i take my eyes off of the noise and
fix them on quieter places. on music. and art.
and heaven. and trees. and i show myself
grace in the dark. even if i am shaking my
way through it. because some days i still
haven’t caught my breath from yesterday yet.


Note: You can find more of Ullie-Kaye’s work on Facebook or Instagram [click links]. You can also purchase her poems–which always seem to resonate–as 5×7 cards here: Ullie-Kaye Poetry.

Photo Collage | PhotoArt from the Creative Gathering

page0

As I wrote the date in my journal this morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks–we are about to enter the last month of the year. The last month! I slightly panicked about all the things I’d planned but didn’t and won’t get to before Christmas. Thankfully, I quickly adjusted. I cannot allow the unfinished business of the year to plague the last few weeks, especially since the deadlines are self-imposed and none of it is actually necessary.

That said, taking time to share beauty and light is always necessary, so this week, I’m opening my camera roll and creating collages of some things I’ve wanted to share, but have been too busy or too tired to do so.

Today’s long overdue post features the 30 pieces of photo-art I created for Sheila D’s September 30-day Gathering (the Gathering).  I went into the Gathering knowing only one thing: since I wanted to feel like a “real” artist, I would put some work into the photos and alter them using PhotoShop and/or other photo applications. After my third post, I decided to work in threes–that is, I would work with one theme or technique for three days and then select my favorite piece for each day’s post. This resulted in 10 themes/techniques for the month–which resulted in a bazillion photos (not exactly an exaggeration):

  1. Music
  2. Circles
  3. Purple Flowers
  4. DistressFx
  5. Sunflowers
  6. Purple and Red
  7. Purple Fractals
  8. Brushstrokes
  9. Textures
  10. Roses

I usually worked the photos in more than one app to achieve the desired results. I shared four of them on the blog in September, and maybe, I’ll get around to sharing the others–and some of the other 709 pieces I created during September. Yes, that is the exact number. Isn’t that close to a bazillion? 😉

I thoroughly enjoyed the Gathering. It provided time out from life’s vagaries and lots of free therapy! Unfortunately, that was the last time I took time to create art every day. In fact, that was the last period in which I consistently took time for creative fun and possibly the last time I could vouch for my own sanity!

You can get an overview of the full Gathering and a glimpse of the work of the other artists by checking out Sheila’s post featuring the Creative Gathering Group Gallery. There’s lots of wonderful eye candy for your soul!

#ThursdayTreeLove | Green Trees in My Heart

Golden Glow Tree-3

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a songbird will come. –Chinese Proverb

I missed the last month and a half of posting for #ThursdayTreeLove, so I am dropping in to share some trees from a recent brief walk between buildings on campus. The sky boasted an unusual hue–a cross between overcast and golden skies. These pics do not do justice to the scene I beheld. There was no way a phone camera could adequately capture the gorgeous play between trees and clouds, but I hope these are at least adequate.

I didn’t attract any songbirds, but if you look closely, you can see a squirrel hanging out in one of the pics. Close enough, right? 


I am usually joining Parul Thakur for #ThursdayTreeLove every second and fourth Thursday of the month, but I’m playing catchup and sharing on the third Thursday. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link it back to her latest #treelove post.

Musings from My Younger Self | Three Country Heartbreak Poems

52Frames Week 10 Low Key

“Wilting Sunflower.” My submission for 52Frames Week 10: Low Key

Tonight I’m dropping in to make good on a promise I made last month—to share some of the “country heartbreak” poems of my youth.  I really have no idea what I was exposed to that made me write them. They might be based on songs I listened to, soap operas I watched, or even books I read. I repeat: I.have.no.idea.  By today’s standards, I lived a pretty sheltered life, so even though the subject matter of the poems is not comical, my knowing I had little to no first- (or even second-) hand experience makes these poems pretty funny to me. 

I wrote all three poems the same day, about a month after I turned 15. There was a note at the top of “Guilty” that “all grammatical errors were done on purpose.” 

Guilty! 
Chandra Lynn (Age: 15)

I turned my back
and you’re headed on another road.
Well, I’m glad you’re gone
‘cause I don’t want you no mo’.

Comin’ home late ev’ry night
wit’ whiskey on your breath;
I’m telling you now,
nothin’s happened, not jus’ yet.

‘Cause when I git started,
I’m gonna go rough,
‘cause it’s no-good punks like you
who make a woman’s life tough.

So when you’re found guilty,
don’t act like you’re surprised.
Your pathetic life
is gonna flash before your eyes.

Promises! Promises! Promises!
Chandra Lynn (Age: 15)

You promised you’d come back;
you said you’d be back quick.
You promised we’d get married;
you put me in a fix.

Well, now you are back,
only two years late;
now, you’re married,
and I’m not your mate.

You said you love me,
but how could you?
You’ve hurt my feelings
and double-crossed me too.

Now, here I am,
a heart as cold as ice;
I am so heartbroken
that I cry all night.

You made too many promises,
promises you didn’t keep.
You told me you love me,
but the love you had wasn’t deep.

Our Illegitimate Child
Chandra Lynn (Age: 15)

Life has no meaning now—
You have gone away.
I gaze out my window,
praying you’d come back some day.

Nothing seems to happen;
I guess, that’s how it’s meant to be—
I take two steps forward,
and you turn around and leave me.

Nothing or no one can replace you
or your smile,
only this one reminder—
our illegitimate child.

Yes. I know the poems are problematic and flawed, but as I told an Instagrammer who offered unsolicited tips on improving one of my “youthful poems,” adult me is going to let teenage me be who she was as a writer. If you’re not already following my Musings Instagram, click here to follow: Musings from My Younger Self.

My Golden Reminder to #facethesun

Golden Hour 1-B

Today is the fourth anniversary of my sister Lori’s passing, so, predictably, I woke up in the grips of sadness. I wanted to spend the day in quiet contemplation, perhaps, dreaming in purple, but Monday means necessary work. I was not exactly looking forward to a long “working meeting” day and wondered how in the world I would get through, but God reminded me that work is sacred and that as long as I continued “working for Him,” He would do His part in helping me feel safe, focused, and strong enough to get through. 

After a gloomy weekend, the sun is shining brightly, an invitation for me to glow in the moment. I am thankful for this moment. Though grieving the loss, I am grateful for Lori’s beautiful life.

I crafted the sunflower in today’s post for the Week 36: Golden Hour prompt for 52Frames. Unable to find a good “golden hour” to shoot in, I spent a figurative golden hour with this sunflower. It is just the image I need to have in my mind–a sunny reminder to change my focus or #facethesun [the Son of God] when I encounter the unpleasant moments of life.

Creative Gathering | Music and Peace

Sarah R-1

When playing music, it is possible to achieve a unique sense of peace. –Daniel Barenboim

Today, I shot a photo of a new colleague, a gifted violinist, as she performed for our chapel service today. She had such a sweet, peaceful expression as she played that I was compelled to pick up my camera. I attempted the impossible–to capture the profound moment when musician and instrument coalesced and conspired to unshackle us from the bonds of this world and invite us into that peace. 

Musings from My Younger Self | What Is a Friend?

Heart Rose wm

Yesterday I found another two folders packed with poems written by younger me. Apparently, at some point in my “teenagedom,” I put together an extensive collection of writings divided in five parts, complete with introductions. I even used Roman numerals. Whew! I might have been more focused as a teenager than I have ever been in my adult life.

Finding even more writing almost makes me want to extend sharing my musings for another week. No worries. I won’t, but I am sharing a poem from one of the folders this evening. 😉

What Is a Friend?
Chandra Lynn (Age: 13)

A friend is someone you can tell
your innermost thoughts to:
someone you can share your secrets and dreams with;
someone you can turn to for comfort
when things aren’t going as you wish;
someone you can trust;
someone who won’t let you down;
someone who’s there even when [s]he isn’t.
someone you admire and find joy in;
some who can give and take criticism;
someone who’ll understand when you face difficult problems;
someone who shares your tears;
someone to love. 

I was surprised to find this poem written shortly after I turned 13—before life got too complicated. Don’t you just love the innocence of youth?