resolve.

Concentration breaks under frivolous weight. If the right words exist, may they find our lips. Let’s stay the course and let the tension make us new. I don’t know if it’s virtue, I don’t know if it’s just dumb luck. Would it matter if it was? What if we welcomed change in or opened up just enough to let it begin?

{Sleeping At Last}

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This past Sunday, a friend and i stopped in to Image City. Walking around the small gallery, periodically stopping to talk about the pieces that caught our attention, there was a set of photos that grabbed our attention for a good half hour. Out loud, we were trying to figure them out… are they real? Is this a photo of a place or a painting or a combination of both? How the heck did this guy do this? About 20 minutes into our wonderment, the guy who was sitting at the “front” desk (all of maybe 5 feet away), in the midst of getting up to speak to someone else, casually leaned over and said “If you have any questions about those, i’d be glad to answer anything. They’re my pictures.”

Great. So we’d been critiquing the crap out of this guy’s work and he’d been sitting right there the whole time. awesome. My jaw dropped & he walked away before i could say anything. Once he was all done answering the other guys questions, i made sure to get his attention. i definitely have questions. Like for starters, how long were you listening to us talk about your work? He smiled and said that he made a point to not pay attention, so that people could be free to say whatever they want. (i.s. YEAH RIGHT. If it were me, i’d be listening to everything… it’d be almost impossible to not hear what people are saying in this place.) He explained the process of how he takes multiple photos to combine them into one “HDR” (High Dynamic Range) image and also the photo editing programs (Photomatix [never heard of that one] & Photoshop) that he uses to manipulate the end result. The images look surreal and he said, “yeah, they’re almost real”. The objects presented are definitely real, but the human eye would never see it the way his process filters it to be… well, unless there’s something chemically going on with your brain to mess with your sight. It was even harder to figure out surreal versus real with the series he was showing. I’ve never been in Artisan Works, but it’s clear, i need to go.  

DON MENGES <<Check him out.

art

Monday marked the end of my Graphics course.

[a few of the many] Things i’ve learned:

Illustrator is a m a z i n g.

Photoshop is also pretty cool, when you know how to use it.

MCC open lab times suck. Thank God for friends in higher places.*

 

i think i will always be frustrated and enthralled by ART. An intriguing/seemingly inexhaustible communication barrier exists in all art forms — speech, song, writing, photography, painting, etc. The ability to deliver what is in your head into a palpable art form, of any kind is …beautiful/crazy/frustrating/necessary? Hm. Well, i am absolutely addicted to the pursuit. The older i get, the more i’m overly (somewhat painfully) aware of how complex human beings are.* Communication and its laundry list of barrier-like-complications, in particular, tops my personal complexities list (perhaps because science is beyond my scope.) i’m so fascinated that it could lead to paralysis, (and certainly has in some situations.)

* Furthermore, this ultimately points me to God. No human being could think up creation this complex and human beings with all their multifaceted stuff.  I have yet to see anything truly original in art. We only create shadows and peripheral imagery of what we already know, with materials that are not new but rather, pre-existing media. But God… God made it all out of nothing (ex nihilo); born out of his mad creative mind that is leaps above anything we could fathom to conceive; limitless to our limitations. (Is it irreverent to say God’s mind is “mad”? I mean it in the most positive slang – “genius!” – sort of way.) Baffling. I am in love with this Artist and cannot help but feel my heart skip a beat in worship.

* i have decided that if i could do it all over again, i would have gone to RIT. A friend afforded me the possibility to use the labs there, which has also opened up the door into their arts department. Potsdam had some really great artists, but RIT kids… wow. i’m particular drawn to their sculpture dep’t. For example: 

:)

...

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ETO

i would like for every friday to be a vacation day (not too much to ask)

+ one more thing… (clearly, too much)

TODAY inthree

She’s not pictured, nor is her artwork, but there was this lady who traveled around taking pictures of anything she found that resembled letters. Later, she’d assemble them into words. Words like HOPE and FAMILY and BLING. She charged $6 per letter, so a four-letter word = $24.00. What a fun idea! She was honest to admit that it was not at all her own original idea and apparently there’s a big following of artists doing this in Rochester… hm. Mom asked about the location of one of the shots and the artist said “somewhere on the west coast”. Her job (as she described it) is travelling around finding new unique objects that inadvertently make letters. That sounds fantastic.

Can an open field really be closed?

oh ps – random: but i *just* learned tonight that there is a muchMUCH easier way to remove background in Photoshop. Curiosity + one online tutorial & genius. And the fact that i haven’t known this until now = annoying, but happy for the personal discovery nonetheless.



alternate routes

i just realized i get to sleep in tomorrow for the first time in… ? oh wow. i am one happy girl. All “plans” this week have fallen thru. Well aside from a dentist appointment.

p.s. if you’re a dental hygienist and your client says to you, “so it’s thundering & lightning outside. this is kind of an unfortunate time to have metal electrical objects put in my mouth.” Don’t lift the blinds & look outside wide-eyed and turn back to your client and say, “oh wow… unfortunate for you & me both, eh?”

p.p.s. i still find it fascinating/humorous that she asks me questions when i’m in a position of having no way i can easily answer them. i think it’s a big inside joke that all dental people must laugh in the break rooms together about.

i suppose that life is a series of “plans” that stay put or “plans” that shift to other alternate routes, all the time. My definition is assessing there to be no time limitation of how far in advance you schedule something in order for it to be considered a “plan”. So this week, everything that i thought would be, turned into something else. And i’m gonna go ahead and say that the ‘somethin’ else’ was/is turning out to be better. It included:

  • breakfast with mom & playing her Layla by E.Clapton on the mini-jutebox at our table.
  • getting to watch Sonya Tayeh’s choreography again… i don’t like playing this card, but she is my favorite.
  • sucking up my frustration to draw my own design for Matthew 6:25-30, rather than giving someone else that creative control. The last few nights have been spent sketching again & i’m kinda excited about the results.

None of that would have happened if my own ideas of how life should go this past week, hadn’t fallen through. i want to write more about that last one… since it’s been an ongoing thing for months now. i feel like i can’t write more here, until it’s done. i don’t like making proclamations prior to their outcomes anymore. Oy. How unpoetic of me! i used to bask in those expectant emotions. Well… i’m sure i’ll be blindly passionate to gladly be the fool again soon enough, so i won’t grieve premature death of it just yet. Ah, let’s be honest. i’m busting about it on the inside like a 5 year old girl over recess, but covering it up with stale composure (in writing anyway).

(using spaces as my segue’s out of sheer laziness)

i’ve been reading Kierkegaard, slowly with a thesaurus and a British accent in mind. It doesn’t matter one bit if S.K. was British or not. For some silly reason his words translate clearer in my mind, with an accent. How funny. i’m pretty sure (since someone needs to be blamed/thanked for this) it’s John Cleese’s fault. Hearing a portion of his readings of The Screwtape Letters on reatreat, has permanently etched an accent in my brain, for tough-to-read thoughts, for forever more. It’s kinda nice.

Kierkegaard’s thoughts are wonderfully/surprisingly relevant for my own recently. In the midst of writing about “works of love” in the biblical sense, he dove straight in to this whole self-dilemma crap that has plagued me recently. S.K. talked about the command to “love your neighbor as yourself” and has turned it tragically profound. It’s only “tragic” because i think it to be so. It’s only so awful, when i’ve realized how involved my self is, in all i do. That i can really only love out of first understanding just how much i love my own self seems twisted… but so true. i don’t think anyone wants to see themselves this way. Perhaps denying self is less about uprooting self completely (impossible!), but first understanding how tied a person is to their own self and then rearranging what we naturally do, in order to put others on that high platform that we put ourselves on (whether we acknowledge this as being true or not) all the time. That makes more sense (to me).

It makes me wonder why, from the beginning, we were created this way… so selfish. Why would God make us so? Or is it more PC to say, why would God create us with the potential to be so? Something about freedom? The tragedy of being born locked in ourselves (whether that’s Adam&Eve’s “fault” is a whole ‘nother box)… understanding freedom outside of ourselves, only by first unlocking (or perhaps it is revelation not of our own doing anyhow?) the knowledge of how much we love our own selves (there we are, stuck in our bell jars!)… baffling. i started writing about how christians see Jesus being the PR man for this stuff, but i’ll save that for another long-winded-type day. i think i need to write on lighter topics next… perhaps another haiku about something as insignificant as snow. Let me end with a quote that made me smile, probably cuz it’d piss off a lot of poets and artists alike, much like a parent telling their teenager “it’s not love! you don’t know what love is yet!”

Should it not be possible to love a person more than oneself? Indeed, this sort of talk, born of poetic enthusiasm, is heard in the world. Could it then be true, perhaps, that Christianity is not capable of soaring so high, and therefore (presumably because it directs itself to simple, every-day men) it is left standing wretchedly with the demand to love one’s neighbor as oneself, just as it sets the apparently very unpoetic neighbor as the object of love instead of a lover, a friend, the celebrated objects of lofty love (for certainly no poet has sung of love to one’s neighbour any more than of loving as oneself ) — could this perhaps be so? Or should we, since we nevertheless make a concession to this celebrated love in comparison with this commanded love, look upon Christianty’s  interpretation and understanding of life as inferior because it more soberly and steadily holds itself down to earth, perhaps in the same sense as the commonplace: “Love me little, love me long”? Far from it. Christianity knows far better than any poet what love is and what it is to love.

(p. 35-36)

sunday rains

     rainy days are good

  • for being lazy resting & not feeling guilty about lack of movement
  • for watching Horton Hears a Who! The Tale of Despereaux
  • for officially succombing to the latest office plague & feeling like crap
  • for playing with & getting lost in design for hours

listen.

[1 KINGS 19:3-13]

When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: “Enough of this, God! Take my life—I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave!” Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.

Suddenly an angel shook him awake and said, “Get up and eat!”

He looked around and, to his surprise, right by his head were a loaf of bread baked on some coals and a jug of water. He ate the meal and went back to sleep.

The angel of God came back, shook him awake again, and said, “Get up and eat some more—you’ve got a long journey ahead of you.”

He got up, ate and drank his fill, and set out. Nourished by that meal, he walked forty days and nights, all the way to the mountain of God, to Horeb. When he got there, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep.

Then the word of God came to him: “So Elijah, what are you doing here?”

“I’ve been working my heart out for the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,” said Elijah. “The people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed the places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me.”

Then he was told, “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by.”

A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.

When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, “So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?”

 

     i spent the majority of yesterday painting. Not really ‘creative’ painting, since it’s a mural of an image my brother wanted on the garage wall… but hours of painting nonetheless, with Relevant FM (GREAT online station – aka, check! it! out!) playing in the background. i think everyone was surprised by how long i stayed doing it. i really don’t think people understand how art is not a chore at all for me. i’m in love with it. It’s hard to tear me away from it. i’d marry it. The only reason why i stopped is because it got darker and colder and my hands stop working when they’re cold. So, art doesn’t keep me warm enough. i suppose i should reconsider the marriage thing. 

     Anyway, after deciding to call it quits with painting, the sun was setting and i thought i’d be able to beat it’s last rays shining down on this park. i didn’t quite make it in time, but decided to take a few photos of reflections in the pond for a few minutes anyhow, before jumping back into my car. Figuring it was a good time to have some QT, i started trying to pray & got distracted by my own thoughts. With as much as i’m pretty good at being quiet without really trying to be, i sure do suck at shutting up. When i realized how loud my own thoughts were, i decided to try listening to for God. It’s like being involved in a conversation with a friend and realizing that you’re the one who’s been dominating conversation for… forever. If there’s outter “silence” my mind pushes its pushy self on stage with a loudspeaker. Luckily, last night, the park was in full on symphony-peeper-mode. They were so loud, i could hear them clearly in my car with the windows rolled up. So i tried to focus on their sound, buuut my eyes were open. Instead of listening for God, i started looking for Him. Three geese flew by and i thought A HA! But then thought myself silly for wanting & looking for signs to begin with.

     The whole thing made me think of Elijah; this amazing prophet of God who has lived a life dedicated to doing what he hears God (or the Angels of God) tell him to do. The way scripture reads, sure seems like he can hear the Word of God (diff. from God’s voice?) and at the same time, in this scene he still fears men. Specifically it is the men that are after him, who want him dead, that has him in hiding. And so when he asks for death and passes out, the Angel of God wakes him and provides for him and keeps him going. Yet none of this is enough comfort/assurance/fear of God over men, as what a simple gentle whisper is, where God is described as ‘found’ within. (Also, makes me wonder what God’s voice has sounded like prior… or has it always been through Angels that God has spoken to Elijah?) The whole thing is extraordinary. Even with all the years of ‘talking’ with God/’messengers’ from God, Elijah is shaken by this, as though he’s never really heard God before.

     i heard a pastor say once, that it’s funny (tragic) how selfish we are with scripture. That we rarely read to hear from God, but rather read to get personal application for ourselves. And its led us in all sorts of personal propaganda routes. Yeah… i’m pretty sure hearing the the pure voice of God would shake us all to the core. Of all the outside things to distract us, our self is probably the worst deviant of all.

     Yesterdays sermon was ridiculously tough. The day before, i realized something i did that on the outside surface view was good but in part was also selfish. i was sucker-punched-convicted about it on Saturday & then combined with the sermon Sunday… i dunno. How can you separate your ‘self’ from all that you do? This could lead towards an exhaustive way of thinking — second-guessing intentionality in all my moves. By far my worst critic is me, threatening paralysis on myself all the time. No matter how close my relationship with God is, my self is still very much undeniably present also. Yes i can be refined, but there is no end to it while i am still very much human. There is good. There is bad.

     These are the things i was thinking about at the park, all while trying to hear God. The peepers were surround sound fantastic. The colors in the sky were on their standard perfect fade. The geese were ironic as were three ducks that flew in for their water ski pond-landing. And then there were these two trees. Standing close together with a seemingly random, yet intricate in their own pattern of perfection. Like a couple. (yes, i’m silly. i fully imagine they’ve been in a comitted relationship together for many years. likely married.) They became my focus towards the end of color in the sky. Dear God, who made the brain, is it possible to think too much? If so, what/who do i listen to? What/Who do i shut up?