Hey there, everyone. It’s been a while, but it feels wonderful to write again.
Today is Veterans Day in the US. For me, it’s important to take time to honor and be eternally grateful for the brave men and women who gave, and continue to give, so selflessly to protect our freedom. My way to do that today is to share a poem that my Grandfather, Robert Kerner, wrote while flying back from a vacation to Israel. My grandfather was a WWII front lines bronze star, purple heart earning soldier and a true patriot. He was also a loving and gentle man, a world class “hug-giver” and a gifted poet. Please enjoy.
It’s fine to see the old world
And travel up and down
Among the famous places
And cities of renown
To admire the crumbling buildings
And statues of the kings
But now I think I’ve had enough
Of antiquated things
So it’s Home again and Home again
America for me
I want a ship that’s westward bound
To plow the rolling see
To the Blessed Land of
Without any iron bars
And the air is full of
And the Flag is full of
I get tearful with pride and how much I miss him every time I read this. Then I realized there’s something we have in common. You see, my Grampy never shared his poetry. I’m not exactly sure why, but he never did. We all, as a family, would ask him to, beg him to, but he wouldn’t. I don’t think he realized that his beautiful words, often written in pencil, could be such a gift to others. They could impact and inspire….but he was just too shy. Maybe sharing his form of art made him feel vulnerable. Maybe.
Wait a minute. When it comes to my art, especially on social media, that’s what I do too. I’m kind of a social media “wallflower”.
I don’t often post class pictures, my teaching schedule or even share my own art. Why? That just makes no sense! Zentangle(r) brings so much good stuff to so many. Why don’t I share these creative celebrations more often?
Ummmmmm……Light bulb. Big, bright, drop the mic kind of light bulb. Maybe, just like my Grampy, sharing my art and experiences makes me feel a little exposed, a bit vulnerable. Maybe?……….Nope. Definitely.
What if I try to do what my family encouraged my Grampy to do. What if these experiences, these class and these little pieces of art that I create with pen and pencil could inspire others? Isn’t that why I started doing and teaching Zentangle in the first place?
Well, today I’m going to start to challenge that technological wallflower. Posting on and reading social media can either lift us up or bring us down. There is so much “wonderful” to share, I’ve decided to let go (or at least ease up a little? ;) ) and go for the “lift up”. Time to step away from the wall and dance with this media thang!
Sooooooooooo…….I’m starting with sharing my contribution to this week’s challenge over at iamthedivaczt.blogspot.com . See how I did that smooth transition? ;) Honestly, I do most of them but couldn’t tell you the last time I posted one!
The challenge was to use the tangle, EAXY, by Nadine Roller, CZT . I also threw in some Huggins, Coil, Tipple and Zinger. I didn’t like it at first and almost (gasp!) pitched it but challenged myself to not judge and keep going. What ended up being pretty cool is that when I was done and I held it away from myself, I saw an absolutely unintentional “Yin Yang” thing going on! Helloooooooo symbolism and more opportunity for deep thought! It’s ok. Adult responsibilities can wait while I contemplate this artistic development.
Now, my next step away from being a media wallflower is to update class offerings and upload some amazing class photos that are currently being held hostage on my phone. Working on it.
And thank you, sweet Grampy. You continue to inspire me to challenge myself and grow.
My best to you all on this very special day,
I'm sitting in my living room and the floor is shaking. No, we don't have tectonic plates here. What we do have are a couple of wonderful construction guys demolishing and rebuilding our basement.
This isn't a "want to" rebuild. It's a "have to" as a result of flooding last May. I'm not usually one who cares much about "stuff" getting damaged. It's just stuff. This one's a little more complicated, though. This was Rach's Make-A-Wish room. It was a wonderful, fun space with many happy memories. To me, it was a symbol of our family's perseverance. No matter what the stroke did to her brain, this kiddo deserved a safe, fun place to be free and play. This was that space.
And now the floor beneath me shakes.
So what do I do with this? I have a choice. I can choose to get lost in the loss and focus on the demolition or I can choose to focus on the hope that comes with rebuilding. How's THAT for a crazy metaphor about life?!
My youngest (4th grade) told an adult at school, Mrs. C., that she was afraid the floor at home was going to collapse beneath her. Things felt unstable and it frightened her. When she came home I took her downstairs. We walked around and looked at all the support beams. We talked about how everything else down there is just for looks. Those support beams aren't going anywhere because they are part of the foundation. We normally don't think about them because we don't see them, but those beams are what holds the house up and keeps it strong.
Cue metaphor number two!!
At school, Mrs. C. was that dependable support for my little one.
I am blessed to have people in my life, both near and far, no matter how often or little we talk, that bring strength and support to my life. In Zentangle, I have found my support beams not only a creative outlet, but also an amazing career that has lead me to new friends and priceless experiences. When I stop and think about it,the strength, peace and well being that flows from my Micron pen holds me up and keep me stable when I start to break down.
This week's challenge over at iamthediva was a "duo-tangle" using the two tangles, Book-ee and Artoo, created for her boys. Over the summer my family flew 1,100 miles to attend CanTangle and spend some extra time with team Diva. We have a lot in common and hanging out with them felt like comfy slippers! Though they are so far away, they are always with us and we are with them. Every person at CanTangle and the memories and connections are now part of my foundation. They hold me up.
So let them shake the floor, swing the hammers and cut those new 2x4s. Build me up buttercup. My support beams are strong.................and the truth is I love the smell of saw dust.
My best to you all,
OK, I’m going to put it right out there. I’ve been in “blogosphere hibernation” for about ten months. Yup.
Truth be told I’ve written about twenty blogs but they’ve been in my head, never traveling to my fingertips and therefore, the keyboard.
But why? Well, that’s where the good stuff comes in.
This year has been remarkably powerful. Each experience seems to defy words so that when I try to write about them I just can’t make sentences. Then another experience comes along and I try to write about that one. Wait!! I can’t leave out the first experience because it was just as uplifting! If I write about both then it won’t be a blog any more. It’ll turn into a post needing chapters. Who has time to read that?
And on and on. Cue my “analysis paralysis”. I get stuck.
I am blessed to write that, when I reflect on this past year, the abundance of priceless experiences take my breath away. I suppose it makes sense that if they take my breath away they also take coherent words away too!
Then there was Maggie. Maggie is one of the many precious people I have met this year who has joined me for Zentangle classes. One day Maggie came up to me and politely told me (paraphrasing in my own unique way here) to get my ass in gear and get back to writing this blog!
Well, hello reality slap. The point is that I gave Maggie my word that I would and that it would be posted by our next class on December 15th. If you’re keeping score folks, that class is today in about nine hours. Apparently I thrive on last minute deadlines because here I am, finding words because I promised her.
Now, when you can’t find words photos do very nicely so I have included SOME photos of the adventures over this past year. I say “some” because in the true spirit of celebrating the gift of imperfection, it appears that I can’t access photos from our journey to Saskachewan, Canada for the CanTangle CZT seminar of awesomeness. Sincerely, this was one of the most uplifting and wonderful experiences both my family and I have ever had. I guess the photos and stories will have to keep until next time.
Now, finally, I proudly present to you, “Elisa’s Now and Zen: A little glimpse into a year (other than CanTangle) in the evolving life of a mother-wife-survivor-Zentangle teacher and student (and wicked good procrastinator)”.
I wish you unexpected joy, fun surprises and strong, loving hugs over this holiday season……and I promise I won’t wait another ten months to reach out again!!
Tangle on, my friends, tangle on