Thursday, November 20, 2014

A big sketchbook for carrying memories (or just cutting and sticking) ...

A little visual inspiration today (hopefully) from a windy day in New York. 

Over the years of many homes and many houses and carrying my life from one continent to another, I have always gathered visual inspiration and ideas in little pieces of paper that I could carry with me ... postcards and scraps of wrapping paper, pages torn from magazines, scribbles on napkins, business cards and flyers from exhibitions. They've piled up over the years in boxes and bags, moving with me from place to place. Now that we're in our house where roots are hopefully being put down, i thought it was time to put all of them into one huge sketchbook where i could page through when i felt like a little visual inspiration. Some are ideas for paintings, some capture a mood I love ... some are just beautiful or remind me of places I love. 

When I was in art school we had to hand in our sketchbooks as part of our assessment each term and I remember how I struggled with drawing enough. For me the words came more easily and sometimes all i wanted to do was to hand in pages upon pages of scribbles and collages, just like this.

This is my happy place.


(None of these images have links or are credited to anywhere as they've been gathered over the years from all over the place and I have no idea where they are from anymore.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

On soup ... and sometimes taking care of ourselves too ...

A few days ago I had to run to the store before going past a friend's house to pick something up from her. She'd been sick for a few days with flu and at the store I stopped to choose some soup and fresh bread for her to leave on her porch. As I walked on, adding groceries to my basket, I wondered to myself what I would eat for lunch when i finally got home. Maybe a quick slice of toast with coffee. Did we even have any bread ? It was the middle of a crazy day in the middle of a crazy week when I felt like i was being pulled into a million directions with all the things I needed to get done, and all the people I was doing them for. I stopped for a second then, right there between the milks and the cheeses ... why was it so easy to pick up soup and bread for a friend when she was not feeling well, but not that easy to do the same thing for myself. Why wasn't I paying myself the same attention I was paying her ? Just because I wasn't sick in bed didn't mean I didn't also need to nurture myself a little.

It's sometimes easy to get lost in our caring roles - the friends and family and school and work and other community projects we may sign up for. We rush around being all things to many people - driving carpools and running errands and cleaning and tidying and helping others around us do what needs to be done ... but sometimes we need to take a moment to make sure we're taking equally good care of ourselves.

I dropped off the soup and bread, and picked up the football kit, and ran more errands. And then I came home and made myself take a little lunch break outside too. To eat the soup I had bought for myself too. I sat in the cold fall sun and listened to the trees and for fifteen minutes I took a little time out of the busy day and savored my meal and felt so much better for it.

Sometimes that is all it takes to fill us up again.