Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy Cool, Aloof And Independent Day!

Hey! Look at that! Three cats that are practically red, white and blue to celebrate this July 4th! Even though this greeting is poking a little fun at the reputation that cats have for being cool, aloof and independent, all cat lovers know that they are actually very warm, loving and expressive and love their humans very much!

This holiday needs no explanation even to those who do not live in the United States. I'm honestly not really crazy about traditions, (I'm just kind of tired of most of them) and yet I like the idea of celebrating things. Mostly because it gives me a jumping off point to make punny art! With cute animals!........which is more fun than anything!

To me, this holiday is about celebrating people who left their homes with the hope of creating a new life in a place they had never seen. And back in the 16- and 1700's people had to travel in very dangerous ways for many, many months to arrive at some promised land that they could only dream about. It was extremely hazardous every step of the way and many individuals did not survive the trip in those days. Even when they arrived, they had to actually cut trees down to build houses from scratch. Can you even imagine this? Then they had to actually fight off the people they were escaping from, who had come across the ocean after them. Today as well, many people travel long distances to escape tyranny and persecution in their home country.They also face grave dangers on the trip and often they never see their homeland again, which must be very difficult. I remember traveling in Europe several years ago for about 11 months and by month 10, I was ready to come home. And fortunately, I could.

I am American, but my grandparents were immigrants to this country. Even in the early 1900's, when they came over, it was by rail and then a long ship ride across the ocean. Very arduous. My heart goes out to everyone around the world who is trying to escape tyranny, violence, persecution and danger of all kinds and who are looking for a new home. These are some of the things that July 4th makes me think of.

Whatever you do for the holiday, be safe, have fun, don't over eat and pass up on the barbecue. Because........ oh yeah, that's another thing. Why do we celebrate a holiday that is about independence, freedom and liberty by eating the carcasses of animals that never saw the sun, felt fresh air or knew freedom in any sense of the word? Go vegan this year and really set yourself - and the animals - free!

Wishing you love, freedom and joy this week.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

This Post Starts Lightly About My Tech Solution For Resuming Blogging And Then Gets Serious

This mixed media piece was created several years ago. It wasn't
intended to be a self portrait, but I just noticed it actually is.
I started this blog in November of 2009. I wrote one or two times a month for five years. (amazingly) In January 2014, I started a weekly project of hand-painted, illustrated quotes and wrote about why I found the quote inspiring. In March, strange glitches started affecting the look of my blog, which I had meticulously designed. I couldn't figure out how to fix these glitches, so for a while, I just posted images, with no text. Eventually, I got frustrated with that and quietly gave up. I continued my project via email and online for a publication called The Brooklyn Reader. These two avenues have been and continue to be amazing and satisfying and challenging in wonderful ways. I get to connect with new people and, in general, am always learning a lot! Still, in the back of my mind, I was always wishing I could figure my blog out. (I often tried searching online but couldn't find answers) I visited 2 or 3 times over these 3 years to see with fresh eyes if anything had changed or if I would find some kind of solution that I hadn't noticed before. No dice.....

.......until last week that is! I went to try once more and YES! I finally figured it out. The formatting within the individual posts had somehow changed and that conflicted with formatting for the whole blog. It required hitting an "undo format" button, which was the last thing I had wanted to do. But once I understood that the two formatting situations existed, they could now co-exist. So, I am happy to is done and I will be resuming writing and posting art here.

What is most interesting about this time table of events is that during the period between January 2014 and now, July 2017, I was going through challenging times. There were so many experiences that made no sense on a lot of levels and yet, did make sense because, now I know, they were the fruit of deeply embedded roots of very painful, destructive and even dangerous experiences I had as a child.  Experiences which were still, until recently, out of my range of conscious awareness. Some parts of my story are frightening. But while it has been an amazing time of uncovering deep wounds and old frozen feelings, I believe that the work I've done to recover myself is something that has, even more importantly, allowed me to understand very deep truths about reality, about the mind and emotions, about belief systems and about how much power we actually possess inside.

I hope you will check back. There will be a whole lot more art and what I hope you'll find to be inspiring writing coming your way here on the blog!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week 20 ~ "People Often Say...." ~ Zig Ziglar

For a long time I resisted anything or anyone resembling someone like Zig Ziglar. He was a renowned salesman and a motivational speaker and author, and he and his kind were just too "sales-y" for my tastes. Also, being a New York City-educated artist, all that smiling went against the grain. Not to mention so did the whole idea of sales....I was an artist after all.

As interested as I have been in self-development pretty much my whole life, I still had never so much as picked up a book by Zig Ziglar or read anything by him. Of course, times are a-changing and today, sales is something that lots of people are interested in. Even looking for a job involves knowing that you are indeed, selling something, in this case yourself and your skills. Artists also need to develop skills in selling. (And this would involve dumping those myths about the "starving artist." It is a bunch of hooey.)

I still have not read a thing by Zig Ziglar, but after finding this quote - which I like because it's funny and makes a lot of sense! - I did visit his website. And it didn't look too scary and/or cheesy. Mr. Ziglar, who was born in 1926, passed from this world in November 2012, but there seems to be a lot of very nice people who continue to write helpful and informational articles for his site. One of these days, I may sit and read one or two or twenty of them. This will come in handy because motivation really does need to be a daily practice, and a nice big selection of resources makes that more fun.

Whoever, and whatever, inspires you, I hope you stay motivated to pursue your dreams.

Have a wonderful week!