Saturday, February 8, 2014

Week 6 ~ A Snowball To The Face Is Surely The Perfect Beginning To A Lasting Friendship

I found this phrase standing alone, outside the context of the book, "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak, from which it is taken.  "A Snowball To The Face Is Surely The Perfect Beginning To A Lasting Friendship" is a very funny and evocative sentence. When we normally think about approaching someone in a friendly  way, especially with the intent to start up a friendship, we don't normally think of doing it by throwing a snowball at that person's face. That twist in "logic" is what makes this so funny and it illustrates what would be called a "pattern interrupt." 

A "pattern interrupt" is a way to change a person's state or behavior using unexpected actions or words. It actually can be used to interrupt anything; for example, did you ever ask someone a question when they were in the middle of a story and they can't remember where they left off? Or you start to do something and after being interrupted, can't remember what it was? These are all pattern interrupts and can cause momentary confusion, but can also create an open state in which the shift in your attention can interrupt your own or someone else's non-resourceful state, whether we are caught in a negative spiral of thought or, perhaps, if we are stuck in habitual behavior that we'd like to change.

Examples of "pattern interrupts" are:
~ Humor, such as the example in this week's hand-lettered project
~ Clapping your hands in the middle of an argument, to allow people some time to take a deep breath or take a walk to let off steam.
~ Taking a different route to work or school
~ Stepping away from a creative problem that may be frustrating you, by taking a walk or doing the dishes

This phrase about snowballs seems to address a particular type of stuckness to me. It says to me, first and foremost, that it is OKAY to let yourself want something, even if you have a habit of telling yourself "no" about it. And, then, whether it is a person you want to approach, or a dream you want to go after, give yourself a PATTERN INTERRUPT. There may be confusion or discomfort that come with trying a new approach, perhaps with even THINKING about it. Be with those feelings. Use this phrase to keep a positive slant on the discomfort. And when you are ready to put those fears aside, even for a minute or two at a time, then, know that, eventually, you too will be able to throw a snowball right at that dream's face and make friends with it.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Week 5 - Hand Lettered Homage To Pete Seeger

This week's simple hand-lettered piece is an homage to the late, great Pete Seeger. Pete Seeger, in case you didn't know, was a folk singer who had a great love of humanity, and who wrote and sang songs about justice and peace. He wrote (among many other titles) "If I Had A Hammer" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" (which became a pop hit by The Byrds.) Pete revived many old songs that originated as gospel spirituals or songs of solidarity in early 20th century labor movements.

"Ain't Gonna Study War No More" is a line from an old gospel song that is also known by the title, "Down By The Riverside," as well as "Gonna Lay Down My Burden." Pete Seeger did not write it but he performed it as part of his repertoire.

I have a memory of seeing him on the NYC subway once, years ago. I was the only one who noticed him and what had caught my eye was his guitar case almost completely covered in stickers. I looked around to see if anyone in this fully occupied car saw who was riding the train with us and one. I looked at him and acknowledged that I recognized him and probably somehow communicated that I couldn't believe no one else saw him with my facial expression. He smiled back and seemed to put his hand up a little as if to say it's okay. It was a sweet tender moment and I cherish it!

Pete passed away this week at the age of 94. I feel his energy and love for humanity even more palpably present in the world now, in this aftermath of his leaving us. RIP Pete Seeger. Thank you for living your truth and loving humanity.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Week 4 of Hand Lettering Project - Living Your Dreams!

Discuss?!?! Okay, I'll go first! How does living your dream benefit you and others?....Well, first of all, of course, when you are living your dreams, that will be good thing and all. Also! will be an inspiring example to others around you, which, y'know, people need. And really one more will have created a rippling effect with all your dream-living vibrations of happiness and fulfillment...ripples of Daring and Victorious-ness that all living things will eventually be affected by. Oh will. To live your dreams is to embody your dreams, that is, to think and act with the confidence that they are real, even if all the pieces are not in place yet. And oh, in case you didn't know, this is one of the TOP-SECRET ways to bring them into reality. Live them, embody them, confidently step up and feel your way into them and watch the whole world change!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Story Of The Cat And The Moon

This video is stunning. Sorry I cannot figure out how to get the full width of the video to show up here, but you can double click on it to make it full screen on your monitor. You can also click here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

From The Archive: Some Figure Drawings Of A Full Figured Lady

Now for Part TWO of my art and blogging goals for being the Year Long Weekly Lettering Project, two is creating a post on my blog (possibly) everyday! But instead of putting all that PRESSURE on myself to do something every day and to be somewhat organized about it, and EASE into posting a specific subject on a particular day of the week, I present .....tada!......"From The Archives" Saturdays!!! Here are some drawings of one of my favorite body types to draw. I wish I could remember the name of this model, but she was fantastic, as you can see. Very relaxed, natural and beautiful! Enjoy!!! These are in graphite (one in white colored pencil and graphite, one with white highlights) on a buff colored paper. About 6 x 8 inches.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hand-Lettering Week 2: You Don't Have To Be Tall To See The Moon

Here is my second hand-lettering piece for the year. "You Don't Have To Be Tall To See The Moon" is a sweet and yet profound sentiment that conveys the promise that while everyone may not have the same resources or opportunities, everyone has the same potential. And that means, that really..... anything is possible and any story, including your story, can have any ending! This builds on the first phrase - and the theme for the year - to Pay Attention To Your Dreams. Take your dreams seriously! Remember that no matter how small you may feel, your potential is infinite and you can reach your goals, no matter how far away they seem! On January 1, 2014, there was a new moon; this is the dark moon, when the light from the sun is blocked by the placement of the Earth between Sun and Moon. In various ancient traditions, the new moon marks the time for starting things, for putting things into motion which will come to fruition in two weeks when the moon is full and round and fully reflecting the Sun's light (and more longer term plans as well.) The new moon happening on New Year's Day is a rare occurrence; the last one was 19 years ago. It is said that it can add more power to your plans for the coming year. Whether you believe that literally or not, you can be sure that as humanity awakens, dreams do have more power behind them for coming TRUE! The moon has always been an object of fascination for humans since the dawn of time. I believe that there is power and guidance available through our connection to all of Nature including our dear neighbor the Moon. Sit quietly, gaze out the window at the Moon and ask her what she can help you with. Let her mystery and magic reflect back to you quiet answers. And remember: You Don't Have To Be Tall To See The Moon; you can achieve your dreams.