Slow down, breathe easy, make a poem of your life. Don't let life rush by; reflect. Look for beauty and rejuvenate your soul.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Last Friday I posted the pencil sketch I did as the beginning of the first lesson of Tammy's Art, Heart and Healing course - the first face I've ever had the joy of drawing and being delighted with. Since then the watercolour crayons have arrived and I have brought my girl to life with colour (again under Tammy's awesome tuition).
As the healing part of this exercise we were to add a text to our drawing as an encouragement to ourselves, to understand the positive message our communication-impoverished inner critics were whispering. I was so pleased with my girl that I was reluctant to sully her with words, to pin her down forever with a single message.
But I chose to complete the exercise and I can't tell you how pleased I am that I did! Providing her with a voice brought her to life. She is not limited by the words I have given her; rather she has taken on an identity of her own and now I can relate to her on her terms and I love her for that.
Here she is, my first masterpiece:

And here, her message magnified:

The encouragement of these words to me is twofold.
Firstly, they encourage me to continue in this new art journey without fearing that things will go wrong. If I have learnt one thing from Tammy's lessons it's that you can layer over anything until you are happy with it so eventually it will turn out right!
The second encouragement is as I apply this message to my life. I am currently struggling with an uncertain future, and am unsure which steps to take. But I believe in a God who cares for me, in an ultimately just universe and in my own convictions to do what is good and right and what, at the end of the day, I must. If these things are true then whatever the journey and the uncertain steps I must take I can be confident that what I do will turn out right.
So whatever lies ahead, in art and life, do not be afraid, but step forward with CONFIDENCE.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Joy of Art and Toadstools

This week I have had the Joy of beginning Tammy's Art, Heart & Healing course and thanks to her amazing, patient and detailed instruction I have drawn a face I am happy with. Such Joy!

The next task is to add colour, but am waiting for the watercolour crayons to arrive.

Second pocket of Joy this week: while out walking I stumbled upon this fairy toadstool! Made me happy.

Since it's Friday I thought I might link these two moments of Joy to Monica's:

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Autumn - Where My Poems Spring From!!

I have discovered L.L. Barkat's On In And Around Mondays writing link and it reminded me of where my poetry sprang from.
As a teenager I wrote anguished poetry, as certain souls do. Then I grew out of it for a while. Four years ago I grew back into it (much of it still anguished, but not always). I ventured back via Autumn leaves - my first poem then swirled with the colours of Autumn, weaved into a royal rug of red and golden hues. Since then the weather and the seasons have been a strong element in my verse.
 But today's offering is in keeping with where I am around this Monday (yesterday). I write this looking out at my Autumn garden, here in Essex, England.

          The Autumn Garden

The rain is light, but unhurried as if wishing
To be somewhere else entirely.
Drops catch on the four webs
Which drape the iron fence,

The bare patch in the yard
Where the summer's swimming pool
Stripped the grass from the earth
Is sprouting again, green heads
Like lost friends returning.

A squirrel, settled migrant, interloper,
Tight-ropes the bough of the cherry
Severing leaves. A blue tit
Emerges from a drainage gap
In the brick wall.

Beneath the misplaced gum, stones
Mark tiny graves where the children
Buried platys and guppies
From our tank after disease
Swept through.

The rosemary bush in the southern bed
Lifts the upturned triangle of its branches
In welcome, but the rain
Still reluctant, ungenial,
Peters out...

So now you know where I am as I send out my posts.
If you write poetry, what was your springboard? Was it the weather, a season, a mood, a drama in your life? Do share the story.
And remember to check out the other poems and seasonal writings linked to L.L. Barkat's link above.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Schools Fail To Breed Young Poets - But They Can't Silence Us!

I was sooooo looking forward to today. My daughter was one of 4 children from her primary school to be invited to a poetry workshop for the day. They a needed a mum to accompany the children so of course I volunteered - even poetry skills for 10 year olds would be something I could benefit from (not too proud here). We were going to learn how to express something wonderful through children's poetry - not an area I've ever ventured into before.
But despair! The day has been cancelled because not a sufficient number of schools signed up to support it!!! If our schools don't promote the wonder of words strung together in surprising and  revelatory ways, then how will our future poets hone their budding skills? My girl and I are beyond disappointment.
So I have tried my hand at an out-of-character little ditty. Who needs the guidance of a professional anyway? (Maybe me you'll say after you read my feeble offering...) So here it is, but be sure to read it with a lilt to your voice:

The Seas
The blue seas, the red seas, the every-type of colour seas.
Rise on the swell, fall back from the land,
Swash and buckle, ripple the sand.

Ripple the sand on the clean sea shore,
Lift the waves high, smooth the sea floor.

The blue seas, the red seas, the every-type of colour seas.
Salt the earth well, wash away the foam.
Blast the world with colour wherever you roam.

That one's for my beautiful girl. I'm going to see if she would like to write a poem too...
If you've never written a children's poem, why don't you try it too. Post them here - I'd love to read them. It's our poetry workshop day after all!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Beauty of Discipline

Like many things discipline can have conflicting connotations depending on your point of view.
It can seem harsh and controlling. It can be associated with punishment and pain.
Our heavenly Father disciplines us for our good, it says in Proverbs 3:11-12. His motivation is love. His discipline sets us on the right path where we can grow and mature and flourish in his care. It's not a reactive revenge, but a proactive encouragement.
Then there is the discipline we exercise within ourselves to get the job done. This of course varies depending on the job to be done. Try as I might to do regular exercise, my self-discipline is poor and I continue to lapse into idleness and my body suffers for it. I need to care more for myself and discipline myself to that end.
This blog requires discipline, as any regular writing activity does. I'll while away hours browsing the musings of others, but when it comes to the weekly update of my own thoughts, I hesitate. What shall I write this week? Is it worth the effort?
Why this internal struggle, this self-doubt when the rewards are great? Although I doubt it, there is always something to write. My mind is brimming, not empty and blank as I sometimes fear.
Who will read this? Perhaps someone will, maybe many. Even if none read it but myself it is still not in vain for I myself have benefitted and grown from the act.
I have been disciplined, which in itself is an achievement, because I haven't given up, I haven't failed and that alone builds me up. Then I have produced something - the blank page now has something to say. That is an achievement. I have created something where there was nothing and in the image of my Creator I rejoice. I have encouraged myself, stimulated my thoughts and grown as a person. And just maybe, because this page is "out there" instead of in the private notebook in my drawer, I will encourage someone else.
So whatever you do, don't shirk discipline. Don't be fooled by negative connotations. Embrace it and it will reward you. Like exercise it will make us feel a little more alive and that is always a beautiful thing.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Moody rainfalls

Thursdays have been the days for blogging, but yesterday - my fourth Thursday - life got in the way. Life has a habit of being lived even when we would rather press the pause button. It was a hard day, a sit in the car in a layby and cry day.
Today is a different day and life is still playing. Jesus encourages us to let each day take care of itself. I find that incredibly hard to do. Yesterday and tomorrow clamour for my attention. But there is something reassuring in knowing that today is only ever one day long and the only day I can ever really deal with. Very often more than that is just too much.
Yesterday the sun was shining, but it didn't help me with my day. Today it is raining and that is helping because it fits my mood better which again is reassuring. Like the heavens are telling me it's ok to cry. The sun seems to stand in defiance of sadness; the rain embraces it. I like the dark glint to the day when it rains. I like the coolness. I like the smell that rises from the grass and leaves as they dampen and saturate.

The steady drizzle of English rain quietens my spirit; when we are blessed with a downpour I marvel at the amount of water that is suddenly torrenting down the street.
I love the rain. So today is the better for it.