why untitled, unwritten?

I once labeled everything before it was written, until I found it kept too many words away. Now I am leaving the unwritten untitled, until it grows into a name.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

On Perfection

I have been caught in a web of striving. 

Striving and trying, they are such different things. Striving connotes--drips with--screams perfectionism. Trying-that's giving it your best shot, suggests action. Maybe that's not the case etymologically speaking, but that's my impression. 

Striving suggests desperation, tirelessness, exhaustion, envy, attempting to become that which you are not. 

Trying suggests you are acting in the get-up-and-do-something sense, not the pretending; working; making an effort; pushing your limits while yet accepting some of them because they help mark the boundaries of your self. 

I think striving might start out as trying, and perhaps the shift happens with too much trying, all compounding on itself until you lose sight of your self on the pursuit of some impossibly high standard--some imagined ideal you'll never reach and yet will always strive for. 

I don't say this to mean give up on dreams or goals. Rather, I say this to tell myself to stop striving and start trying; stop pursuing this impossible image and just try. Try your best when you can manage it, and accept less when you must. Just try again. Don't strive--just try. 

These ideas are just forming...and I suspect they will shift. 

Tomorrow is, after all, a new day full of new chances and new ideas, and who knows what I will think then?

1: desktop mess /// 2: the page I meant to make /// 3: on the left: the bleed-through on one side; on the right: the first words I thought when I saw the accidental beauty. /// 4: where the ink bled through and to, a secret message to me to embrace imperfect efforts, and a little stream-of-consciousness letter to myself and all fellow strivers who need to be try-ers. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The last few days... They haven't been easy. 

Pop, my husband's grandfather, was one of those people you just end up loving. From the first time I ate Sunday dinner at Pop and Gram's, I was welcomed. He always got out the drinks--every kind of soda, and he always got everyone's favorites--and did the dishes. You could not help even if you tried. That's just how and who he was; he gave daily gifts of service. 

When I lost my weird and wonderful Papa last year, well, I wasn't surprised. We had almost lost him is many times that we were shocked, but ready to say goodbye and so glad that he passed from this life peacefully, at home, in his sleep. 

This weekend, though...we weren't ready. And we were here, not there, so I lit a candle in a jar (washed out with the label removed; both Pop and Papa would be pleased with the practicality and thrift) and thought about the ones who have gone before us, and I realize that I very much believe in heaven and that they are at peace. 

And so we will go forward from here, remembering...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Days Like This

Days like this,
You look up at the sky above you.
Days like this,
You think about the ones that love you.

All I wanna do is live my life honestly;
I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me.
Every regret I have I will go set it free;
It will be good for me.

Days like this,
You think about the ones who went before you.
Days like this,
Have you ever seen the sky such a clear blue?

All I wanna do is live my life honestly;
I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me.
Every regret I have I will go set it free;
It will be good for me.

Days like this,
You think about the ones who love you.
Days like this,
Have you ever seen the sky such a clear blue?

Over the Rhine, "Days Like This," the sort of song you listen to on a day when you're saying goodbye...

Images: the sky on one side of our house and the other: low midmorning sun in the east, clear blue and feathery-clouded skies in the west

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Found: Whispered Truths

I recently came across these beautiful bracelets by Jodi Bond in her Etsy shop.  I cannot decide which speaks to me most...

1 /// 2 /// 3 /// 4 /// Shop /// Blog

(edit: I picked #3 in a moment of impulse when I came across a similar message today...now that I think about it, I came across that message twice.)

Sunday, August 10, 2014


A month ago, I read Thrashing About With God by Mandy Steward.  That led me down a rabbit trail of her blog and that led me down a very long, very exciting rabbit trail of art journalers.

So I went hunting for the Prismacolor pencils I once bought in an I'll-be-an-artist spurt that ended with my first bad drawing and and pulled out this journal I've scribbled in before, but always felt inadequate for and said FORGET IT.  I'm going to start scribbling with a few pencils.

Then I stumbled across this darling e-course called Art, Heart, and Healing, and so I got a five-dollar set of watercolor cakes at a local craft store and once again said FORGET IT and took on week one's lessons (shared here).

And now I've pastel-ed and watercolored something almost every day for a week.  My kitchen table is a mess and so is my desk in the little upstairs room that's become my creative haven and I love all the mess.  I love the bright paints and the white pages ready for ink splatters.  I love the words on the pages and the way I'm embracing the imperfections there because the messy makes the whole a little more tangible.  I love that I'm not a capital-A Artist, but I am an artist because I am getting something down each day.

And I've started Instagramming constantly. Sorry about that (but not really sorry).  It's like a log-book of all the things that are art in the everyday.  Sure, it doesn't reveal my messy kitchen sink or the fridge I really need to clean out or anything like that, but that's not the point.  It's more like a scrapbook, holding bits of each day and a few too many pictures of my dog.

I wrote awhile ago that I was on a journey this summer to find my voice, and I think I've found a snippet of it.  I have to share it a little, too--sharing it is an essential part, in fact.  and I'm thankful for this little blog and its tiny audience, because it creates a safe sharing space.