Art, a Reflection of Our World

Art is what helped us humans evolve.  Those cave dwelling artists helped advance us as humans. It wasn’t just our opposable thumb that distinguished us humans!

wall art

town scape art on building wall

Art reminds me, who I am, and who I could be. Art gives me hope. Art goes into the human heart. Art can show beauty or reveals what I want to deny. It is a creative act, that can be a lot more than a painting.

carving in tree


wood carving in tree

In this case it is an amazing carving in a tree of an Egret bird. It stands in front of a counseling office. It speaks for itself.

Art is in so many kinds of work: the writer, musician, architect, game designer, photographer, movie maker, wood worker, chef, and  landscape designer. It is also in the farmer who can bring us food, and who has to be creative in hard times. It is in the teacher who finds a way to reach a student with learning barriers.

This is an article about art and its importance.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-ernst-prey/the-value-and-importance-_b_5788116.html

fence art

Art on a fence of private home

This art is wood on wood and makes a statement to me about family.  When I was out taking a walk the first time I saw this on this fence, I felt both joy and surprise.

yard art

Yard art with a message

I liked this small yard sign. For me it is like a wish and a prayer. I am thankful and concerned about the bees, too; this yard art had some flair, as well as a message I and many others on this planet share.

The greatest artist in existence, I saw today, as I was driving home and saw a rainbow.  My source, as I call it, provides  all of us with the colors we use that are in every rainbow. Nature around us in every season shows us a rainbow of colors in the trees and water. The animals that surround us show us other awesome colors.  I was unable to catch the rainbow on film, but all of us can remember the first time we saw a rainbow and smile.

 

 

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Quirky 2

I am so fortunate, I live in a small city where quirky and lack of pretense is the norm! Quirky is something fun and always will be for me. Quirky stuff makes me smile. I went to see family further south on the west coast, and I knew for sure that I was home when I saw an adult woman dancing and twirling around while she was waiting for the bus.

pacifier

pacifier on a fence

This pacifier was on this fence a few months ago. It is a fence at the beginning of one of the many entrances to a walking and biking path.  A few weeks later when I took another walk there, it was gone. This pacifier was my inspiration to do another blog on quirky.

At one of my favorite quirky stores where I live, a man makes signs and art out of wood. These are examples of his signs. I find some of them are funny, and others are make me pause and think.

wooden signs

wooden signs

I love this particular car that I have seen a young woman drive. I have seen it in red, then this silver color with all the designs, and recently when I saw her driving it, it was black.

quirky car

“quirky” paint job on VW

One day if I can intercept her when she’s not driving it, I’ll have to thank her for entertaining me with all the changes and artist flair she brings to her car and how she makes me smile.

There is another kind of quirky I like. That is the “sweet” quirky that I have seen in yards where I live. Here are a few examples.

sweet quirky 1

“sweet” quirky 1

sweet quirky 2

“sweet” quirky 2 with a message

I’ll leave you with an ironic sign from a local business. This was painted on the back of a truck- trailer.

sign on truck

sign on truck-trailer

The huge messages that I receive from witnessing and being quirky are: “be yourself”, do what you like,  and do it as if no one is watching (and do it with loving kindness toward yourself and others)!

 

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Transitions

Where I live the fall leaves are just beginning to turn.  The trees are making their yearly transition as they do every fall.

tree 1

first tree transitioning to fall leaf color

Times of transition for us humans are very uncertain and don’t always flow so easily. Recently, I visited family and  saw drastic changes in my mother.  I was a witness, and at times I let go of the sorrow I felt, but then I just sucked up my tears.  I needed to let go like the trees let go of their leaves in the fall. I needed to cry some more and sit with my own sorrow about the changes I had seen. I was resisting acknowledging what I had witnessed.

pile of leaves

pile of leaves

This is an informative article about why we humans, cry and how important it is to cry for our mental and physical health.

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/why-we-cry-the-truth-about-tearing-up?page=4

tree 2

another tree in transition in fall

We humans have so many challenges with change: losing or changing jobs, moving, divorce, illness, financial issues, deaths of friends and family members, war, and even radically changing weather. There is a lot of suffering in the human condition. I am glad I have found groups of people who have had similar problems to my own and friends who are supportive. I also live where I can be around nature which helps ground me and shows me beauty. Nature has this way of reminding of me why I am here spiritually, and that I am connected to all that is around me.

Here is an article that goes into more depth about this:

http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/nature-and-us/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing

tree 3

third tree transitioning

So often in the past, I tried to make transitions on my own and did not ask for the help I needed. Yes, I complained to a few friends, but I only managed to prolong my own suffering.  Today, I am glad I have reached out to spiritual resources in my community. For example: 12-step programs, therapists or counselors, and a spiritual community, which gives me practices to accept with more grace the transitions I am experiencing. Also having faith in my source has added to my peace of mind. I have choices now on how I can deal with the transitions in my life.

Asking for help is not a weakness, but a great way to take care of ourselves. Here is an article from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/07/business/07shortcuts.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

tree 4

Fourth transitioning tree

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Relaxation

black cat 1

lounging black cat

Cats seem to have relaxation down. Since this cat wanders around where I live, she might also be begging for food, but she looks like she’s relaxing to me.

As it turns out for us humans, we need to get relaxation down, too. Stress is one of the major causes for many of our diseases. Relaxation is important for our mental health, too. I can attest to that myself.

Here is a website you might like to visit: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/rest-relaxation-and-exercise

Meditation is really important way for me to relax. Since I have back problems and have fallen sometimes, I have noticed at times that I avoided it. Even though every time I meditate or “sit”, I feel better. Sometimes I have had to meditate lying down. Usually I sit in a chair because I am unable to sit cross legged. During the last few years, I have worked on meditating more. I started with 10 minutes about five days a week, and now am trying for 20 minutes at least four days a week. The point is I need to be kind to myself and think I’m like the cat in this next photo.

A few weeks ago, I had to wait in the laundry room where I live while the washing machine finished its cycle. Instead of pacing around the laundry room as I have done in the past, I stood up and focused on a kiddie sock and meditated for 8 minutes. We can meditate anywhere!

There are different ways to meditate. I had to find the way that worked for me. I also regularly meditate with a small community at least once a week.

black and white cat 1

another lounging cat

This cat is a real head turner. When I saw it rolling in the dirt, I smiled broadly and talked to it. On another day I tried to find him/her again and was talking to him/her when one of my neighbors glared at me. Doctor Dolittle talked to animals; I can, too! At least I don’t expect them to answer me.

black and white cat 2

black and white cat rolling happily

This photo reminds me that I may not be able to roll in the dirt, but I can laugh out loud with my friends and family when we are together. Why hold back when I’m happy? Laughter is definitely another way we humans can relax and connect with each other and can even help ourselves to heal.

Here is an article about the healing power of laughter:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm

I just returned from a trip and visited my family and saw two cats I do know, my daughter’s cats. I was going to photograph her cats, but my daughter had just taken a great photo of Sofie relaxing on top of the sofa. Thank you, Sofie, for showing us how to relax.

cat relaxing

Sofie, the quintessential lounge cat

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