Thursday, 31 August 2017

Reflections on the heart


50 reflections on the heart - #11 - Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
Song of Solomon 8:7



Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Uncertainty


The wheels of life keep turning and sometimes we don't know exactly what's next. But that doesn't mean everything has to stop. We can still dance, even in the uncertainty.

I scribbled across this page then went away and did something else for a while. When I came back the words for it popped straight into my head. Now sitting back and looking at the page, it makes sense to me. There are a couple of wheels or cogs, like the machinery of time. There's a big black patch in the middle, obscuring the view. But the blue Neocolor just dances across the page regardless.

When things aren't certain, we can be paralysed into doing nothing. Don't let it happen! Don't let uncertainty stop you in your tracks, but keep moving forward, even if it's only in tiny steps.




Sunday, 27 August 2017

Thursday, 24 August 2017

The heart is resilient


50 reflections on the heart - #10. The heart is surprisingly resilient.

One of my earlier reflections was that the heart is fragile - and it is. But it can also be resilient, like a cactus in the desert. When hard times come, we can bear a lot more than we think we can.




Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Reaching out a hand


Sometimes, in the midst of the chaos, you have to reach out a hand to bring some calm. Reach out and connect with someone each day. Be there. Listen.

This page got away from me. The background became more and more fraught. The more I tried to tone it down, the worse it looked.

It was a big hot mess.

What to do?

When it doubt, block some of it out.

So I stuck my hand down, drew round it, and blacked out the rest. When I wrote the words, I realised they are quite apt for the world we live in. Although I was reaching out a hand to bring calm to my page, in life we need to be reaching out to one another, connecting, and realising that we are all human beings, all the same beneath the skin. Love and kindness can heal a lot of wounds, but we need to be brave enough to reach out a hand.




Sunday, 20 August 2017

Comfortable?


When a plant is pot-bound, it has no room for growth. When we become too comfortable, we, too, have no room for growth. There is a thin line between a good fit and pot-bound.

When you replant a pot-bound plant, it can look a little lost in the new pot, just as we can sometimes feel a little lost in new or unaccustomed places. But that extra room gives space to grow. New situations call for new things from us. They challenge us, and challenge produces endurance, resilience.

It is possible to be in a place that is a good fit and not become pot-bound. The easiest way is to be planted in a garden, not a pot. In other words to be in community. Living alongside others is not always comfortable, but that is exactly what helps us to grow in grace, mercy, compassion, and love.




Thursday, 17 August 2017

A fenced off heart


Reflections on the heart - #9.

We build fences around our hearts to protect them, but in doing so we create distance, and so hurt ourselves in the process.

It is difficult to be vulnerable. So much easier to throw up walls and build fences to keep people at a distance. That way they can't hurt us. The stones they throw fall short and the heart is protected from harm.

But if we don't let people get close, our hearts never change.

And something that never changes is not alive.



Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Stay on target


When I finished this page I wasn't really sure what it was about. There was a lot going on. But my eyes kept coming back to the red circle, sitting there like a target.

It is easy to be distracted. There are so many things clamouring for our attention, and so many people giving opinions or demanding our time, that it can be easy to lose sight of what's important. What are you aiming for? What is the target?

Whatever it is, don't let yourself be distracted from it.




Sunday, 13 August 2017

Cheerleaders


Who lines the road on your journey? Who cheers you on?

I had no idea where this page was going. The black squiggle turned up early on and was quite dominating, although it felt uplifting. Once the red and green dashes appeared each side of the yellow stripe, I could only see a road with people lining it. That made me think about races and how people line the way, cheering the runners on.

If we think of life as a race, there are people who cheer us on along the way. Some of them are there for a season. Others seem to run alongside us and keep us moving in the right direction all through life. There are people who hold out water for us just when we need refreshment.

Who are your cheerleaders? And who do you do cheerleading for?






Thursday, 10 August 2017

Inside v outside


Reflections on the heart #7

We see so much of the outside of people, but really it's the inside that matters. We are good at hiding what's inside, but eventually the true state of your heart will show.


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Transformation


Transformation usually requires time in a cocoon. And we don't always remember that. We sit and wonder what is going on; everything seems quiet and nothing seems to be happening.

But it's all on the inside.

Change is happening, but it takes time.

And when that time is up and we emerge, we can finally see what a change has been wrought as we stretch our wings and fly.


When the dragonfly appeared on this page, I knew it was about transformation, and wrote that word on the page. But I left it open on my desk, and then realised a little later that the transformation needs time. Sometimes you have to wait even to transform the page :)



Monday, 7 August 2017

Beanstalks


Sometimes a tiny seed will grow and grow and grow. So keep planting, because you never know which seeds might just take off.





Thursday, 3 August 2017

Heart reflection


It's Friday, so it must be time for another reflection on the heart. (If you haven't visited before, I'm doing 50 reflections on the heart to stretch my creativity.)

Having read Lynda Shoup's post on thinking about your art as a literary genre, I described my work as autobiographical fable without the animals. And then I thought I should do some animals for a change. So here are a couple of whimsical slugs.

This quote from Henry Vaughan is something that I've seen in some people. This year has been particularly difficult in terms of lots of our friends having cancer scares, or accidents, or health problems. But one of the things I see is that they don't let the sickness take over. They rise above on winged hearts and refuse to let their illness or worry be all that they're about. They are an inspiration.