My Little Helper

Having a helper is a joy.

Unloading the kiln is like Christmas day and is meant to be shared with others. On this particular day, friends from Miami came down with their kids to the Florida Keys. Curious, eager and helpful describes my friend ‘s daughter who could not wait to bring the newly fired pieces from the kiln to the table. We worked together as many of the shelves were filled by my latest pottery class at Artists in Paradise Gallery on Big Pine Key. Questions poured out of this 4 year old who wanted to know who made each piece, how they made it and if she could make one too.

The joy was mine on that day as I stayed present, alert and full of answers for my little helper. I did not want to be anywhere else!

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Letting In

Letting in: life, opportunities, people, places, situations, emotions, realities (not the way I want or imagine them to be), deep breath, ideas (without judgement or evaluation), truth, the moment, the 'good,' the what is, 'all things'. That is where life begins for me.

Richard Rohr writes in Breathing Underwater, "...surrender is not a 'giving up,' as we tend to think, nearly as much as it is a 'giving to' the moment, the event, and the situation" (p.19).

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Getting Outside

Getting outside of Me

Getting outside of my house (literally and mentally) is a good thing. Looking, seeing, perceiving beyond my own problems, failures, inadequacies and focusing on something else besides me changes my view (literally and mentally). Focusing on the ripples in the bay not on the pile of leaves left by hurricane Irma, stopping to help the mother with three kids load her car before rushing into the grocery store, listening to a five-year-old‘s story of how she swallow her tooth change me, move me, alter my narrow self-centered state into a wide, light-filled experience. When I get outside, I can see. 

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Allow

Allow: to give permission, to grant the right, to admit, knowledge, concede. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/allow

To allow seems to have two parts: awareness to notice and absorption to let it affect change. I can allow others, God and life to teach me, if I choose to.

I can can allow struggles from the inner screams, the aching morning fingers, the “I cannot stop _______ and it’s killing me!” to get my attention and guide me to reach out.  Or not. 

I can notice and absorb joy from blissful morning silence, hugs from the store clerk, walks with the turkey vultures overhead to change and revive me from the inside out. Or not.

I can see compassion in the efforts of others and say, “Yes, you can help me.” Or not. 

Change can happen inside and out when I allow.

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Resist or Not

Resist:  to think or try to altar and flow of water in a river. (Insanity).

Delusion: to eat or injest something that will make me feel as if I can alter the flow of water in a river or not care about it anymore. (Insanity)

Addiction: unable to let go of the delusion that I need to eat or injest something that will make me feel as if I can alter the flow of water in a river or not care about it anymore. (Insanity)

Recovery: to accept the daily flow and direction of water in a river just as it is.

Awakened Life: to enter into the flow of water, allowing it to take me to places beyond what I can see, beyond my perceptions, judgements, expectations, evaluations, assumptions; beyond my wildest, most beautiful dreams to the precious reality of right now.

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ART FOUND

Riding a bicycle along the old roadways in the Florida keys, one can find astonishing things. Most of these former streets are blocked off and only allow for pedestrian or bicycle traffic, although many still show up on Google maps. I'm not sure why these streets were never developed, but wondering why is not a great question. "What is down this road? What can I discover?" are better.  Large pipes covered artistically in personal tags and drawings were my answers the other day on a side trail along Niles road on Summerland Key.  Creative teenagers (or adults) expressing themselves because they can. There was no maliciousness or trash left behind, just art to be found by anyone who dared to get off the road, ride through the brackish water (the reason to get your keys bike on Craig's list) and go the the end of the trail. 

Take some time this week to "ride" off of your regular road and discover something astonishing. And, send me a picture! 

Unloading the kiln is like Christmas morning (or even better).

I predict. I  plan. I practice and then I proceed to produce desirable outcomes. I combine a little bit if experience with creativity, a little of the former with the later, a little of what is known with the unknown. And then, I take a deep breath, start the kiln and leave room for serendipity  (fortunate happenstance or pleasant surprise according to Wikipedia). 

Glazing Day

Practice and practice again! That is how I learn to do something new.  I can read about spraying glazes. I can look at photos and videos of how others spray glazes. I can ponder and make notes in my journal, but until I actually spray glazes, I will never really learn. (We were made to learn.)  

Bowls waiting to be glazed for the second application.

Bowls waiting to be glazed for the second application.

My spray gun and "booth."

My spray gun and "booth."

Me and my respirator.

Me and my respirator.

Lessons from Paddleboarding

I borrowed my neighbors paddleboards and went out to the bay with my niece. Unstable! Unsure! Unbalanced! I fell on my butt right away. But, as I practiced taking one paddle at a time, I became better, observed my amazing surroundings and learned a few things: 1) Straight ahead is easier. 2) To make a turn, stop forward momentum, wait, take a few paddles backward and then go. 3) Don't look behind you. 4) When in trouble, get on your knees!

Sometimes life brings us a BIG change. We feel unbalanced and unsure. We feel ridiculous and lack confidence. Don't panic. Just keep going forward with the next right thing. Pause for a moment, listen, ask a trusted friend and make a smooth turn. And remember  that going to your knees gives you balance. 

A New Journey

A journey into creativity has been building inside of for a long time.  My conceiving voice, hands and heart have been wanting to emerge, but the right time had not been presented. Now it is time. Time to let fear float out with the tide, let distraction become focus and let a heart full of ideas emerge. Here I come!

Three little vases.

Three little vases.