Category Archives: blessings

The moon, a gift and a purple crayon…

 

taken long ago...

taken long ago…

I am a moonchild, no doubt. I set my alarm for 5 AM and at 5:05 I was standing outside facing West looking at the moon. It was still freezing – I knew this because of the frost on my neighbor’s roof and because I was “freezing”. It was worth it, the moon was beautiful, the earth was still and the day was about to begin.

At that moment, that time where night becomes day and sleep becomes wake, I, possibly, for the first time ever realized the tangible gift I was just given, the gift of a new day. “Here you go, Pam, here is your brand new, never used day. Take care of it, do right by it, for this gift is finite, this gift will one day expire.” Oh my, that sounds so sad and negative; it is not! It is important that we all know that things will change, this knowledge puts meaning on the present, it makes us aware that the here and now are available but fleeting, cherish it.

haroldI pulled William’s favorite childhood book, Harold and the Purple Crayon, off of the shelf as I waited (inside) for the eclipse. For some reason, I made this association with Harold’s moon and the  moon I was watching. Anyway, I read it. It was written in 1955, but the book I have has “1982” stamped on the back cover, the year William was born…I love little “connections” like this. Harold and his purple crayon create a world, his unique world, which begins with a moon, one to provide moonlight for a walk, and ends with a moon, one to help him find his way back home. This little book is fun to read with its simple drawings and chronological wanderings of this 4 year old boy but, as in all good stories, Crockett Johnson is ultimately highlighting the power and importance of imagination with his chosen words and purple lines, all centered around a moon – the theme of this very early morning, hence, the link, I suppose.

The moon has set and the mighty sun has taken its stoic spot in the sky; it’s time to begin the day. I will take with me that moment, when day broke, to remember the gift I was given and I will bring along my “purple crayon” to help with its design.

 b u

p s

"How did that happen?"

Life is very different for me now. I wake up on a Saturday morning and I am not scrambling a dozen eggs and juicing OJ; I am making coffee and writing. They are gone, far away gone, from Colorado to the Cresent City. Elizabeth is still here, finishing up the last hoorah but on this Saturday morning she is in Lafayette taking SAT – something she needs to move her on. “On”, will be far away too, it seems. Next year, they really will be all gone. Hmmmm. It is a strange, but good, feeling, kind of mellow.
 The first thing I ask myself on this morning of semi isolation is “How did I do that?” I cannot conceive of waking up to five kids every morning and getting this house in motion. It seems my instinct of survival has blocked that from my memory – too much to absorb, too much to think about? Funny about life, we go through passages almost blindly, doing what we need to do without question and then later, look back and say just what I have said, “ How did I get through that?’ I am not making this declaration in a negative light, it was great, it was magical, it was fulfilling; I just don’t know how I managed to see about all of those people.I’m really not a multi tasker kind of person – I am very, very laid back. I do remember cooking – alot. I also remember the seemingly endless pile of clothes in the laundry room.Honestly, I thought I would live my entire life in that room – forever!  And I do remember the conscious decision to put away my paintbox for those years. I realized early on that that would cause me frustration – to begin a piece and have to go deep into the night to finish it – not worth it. Instead, I think those years and my children gave me inspiration and I think they will manifest themselves in my art – it was the right decision for me.

Anyway, it is early November and I have the day to do as I please – this is a very new deal for me. I am going to enjoy this little piece of freedom for sure but I will always miss my busy home when they all were here and my day was filled with the most important activity of all, being “mom”.

I think of a quote by Jackie Kennedy and hope that I somewhat hit the target, but more than that, I hope they all know I tried my best on that one chance I got ,  just as all of you are…

” If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.”
just a favorite pic taken on the 100 year old carousel at City Park in New Orleans  – a month before Elizabeth lost her grandmother, my wonderful mom. She was there on the little bench watching Elizabeth go around and around, each time waving as though the first time – this was a very difficult passage for me as “mom”…still is

 

So, whatever your stage in life is, I hope you are trying your best – no one is perfect, but everyone can be the best “them” (most of the time :)).
b u
p s

gifts

The rain is making me stay inside and I’m happy about that. I am forced to read and piddle and be quiet. I probably have 4 books started, all non-fiction, never fiction. One of them contains a quote by William Blake that I just read and felt I had to post:
“I myself do nothing. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me.”
This, as they say, “speaks volumes to me”. I wish people that were arrogant and conceited and smug would read this. I suppose it is a pet peeve of mine the way some people feel they are so credible – like they are responsible for things that they have had absolutely no control over. I suppose all of this rancor I speak with comes from my knowing children that are somewhat “disadvantaged”. I put that in quotes because I personally don’t believe they are “disadvantaged”, the people who think so are the ones that are truly disadvantaged because they are ignorant, prejudice, and certainly closed minded. 
 For the most part, we have certain attributes because we are “born that way”. I was born with blue eyes, a very desirable eye color, but can I take credit for that? No – I didn’t lift one feeble finger to get these blue eyes. I know the eye color analogy is a physical trait but I sincerely believe it applies to emotional, artistic, and mental traits also. It’s all about what you do with the blessings you have been given, “given” being the key word. I struggle with this while looking  to find places to give.
you can do it
I’m on a rant I suppose, but I can say what I feel here on the pages of “sketches” because it is my space. Anyway, I love this quote by Blake. I feel so fortunate, so blessed, if you will, that I am a painter. Art has been a part of my life for all of my memory and I cannot imagine life without it. It has gotten deeper and deeper for me – I have traveled beyond what I could have imagined as a young art student. I am not necessarily referring to the “skill” of it but to the metaphysical part of it – to the dimension it takes you. It is what I am supposed to do – I wish that each of us could discover our gifts – they are there, but sometimes the close mindedness of society tries to disallow you to celebrate them.
If you live the life you love, you will receive shelter and blessings. Sometimes the great famine of blessings in and around us derives from the fact that we are not living the life we love; rather, we are living the life that is expected of us. We have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature.
John O’Donohue
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instructions

walk towards the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.

We all know this, but I know I need a reminder now and then. I need to stop occasionally and gather all of my gifts and lay them out on the table in front of me and count them. As I count them, I need to understand how lucid and fragile they all are and how I should cherish them with each minute I possess them, for just as they have been given to me, they can be taken from me. I need not look far to see my blessings nor do I need to look hard to see how I might share them.

b u
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