Pope Francis visited us here in Philadelphia this weekend, bringing with him a spiritual magic that seems to have spread into even the most hopeless corners. Can you feel it in California? In Canada? I hope so.
The most moving moment for me was this morning as I watched him visit a prison and speak so genuinely: powerful and empowering words. He spoke to those prisoners - not as the dregs of humanity - but with great love in his voice and sadness for them and their families.
Why didn't he speak to the victims? Yes, of course. He spoke to the prisoners because that's where the crimes begin: with the criminals. By speaking to them, he address the root. He spreads hope in the root. And love.
He reaches down below the ground and blesses the very beginnings of life and nurtures it there.
Our world has been in need of a Visionary for some time now and here he is. Ghandi, King, Einstein, Francis. I believe Obama is a Visionary. That Maya Angelou was a Visionary. Eleanor Roosevelt. There are some Larger an d Lesser, male and female. You and me.
We can all try very hard to be visionaries. Imagine a future that is bright and hopeful and more beautiful that the present. Affect your own corner of the world with kindness and humility. Offer hope when you can and a kind word. Pay It Forward. I almost wish I were Catholic - wry grin.
I'll be back with art on Wednesday. Thanks for stopping by and indulging me. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Pope Francis and Visionaries. Maybe I'll devote some time this week to writing about it in my journal.
So yeah. Funny story. The last show of the festival season (for me) was yesterday in Jenkintown. My hometown. The town I grew up in, the same one my Dad and his brothers and sister were born in. I was a stone even I could throw from my grade school play ground and bought a hotdog from my Dad's fire company, Pioneer, which is exactly one block from Independent Fire Company. In a town that measures less than a square mile that might seem like a lot of fire companies. One is Catholic, the other is Protestant. Just the way it was.
I was unaware of the presence of judges so was very surprised when one came along. I offered him a waffle fry but he wouldn't take my bribe. I was, therefore, very surprised to find that I had won a prize.
I'm not really great at winning prizes. I had to get up on stage and forgot to wait till the picture was taken and then held the prize upside down. Dang. Jon was really happy and proud and so were my friends so that made me happy. I don't really understand prizes though. Especially in art. But it was still nice.
Thanks to all of you for coming over to My YouTube Channel and visiting last week during #LoveSummerArt. Here are some flowers for you. Do you see something in the photo that doesn't belong?
Just testing your cognitive skills. Honestly, I made so many videos last week that a break was in order. And then I got a stomach virus but am feeling much better now. Just in time to go to Vermont and hang out with this bunch.
Gotta love the group selfie. Do you know of any printing service that prints out 2" or 3" square pictures? The smallest I found were 4".
Speaking of cognitive skills, who's got a coloring book? This is a HUGE trend. And I like it. I pulled out my colored pencils and went to town on this one from Mid-Century Modern Animals. I got one for a family member with Alzheimer's. It's supposed to be super good for your brain.
Are you still reading?
There is a block of time in summer when the studio is super hot and I hate to run the ac. Because it just feels so wasteful, ya' know? I've been spending time on the sadly neglected administrative side of my business. Not much to show or tell. PLUS some super-secret stuff. And a huge pile of art supplies on my dining room table.
I'll ramble to a close now. Because it's summer and the crickets are chirping. The fan is blowing back and forth. There is that richness to the air. Syrup-y. It's unbearable during the day but the dark makes it mysterious and, sometimes, I've dreamed that I live in the jungle. Once I even thought there were monkeys outside in the trees. But it was only a car alarm.
I'll be "gone fishing" in Lake Champlain until next week.
BUT POTENTIAL BURGLERS NEED NOT COME BY HERE!!! I HAVE A VERY BIG AND STRONG 20 SOMETHING SON WHO WORKS AT A BEER DISTRIBUTOR WHILE FINISHING COLLEGE AND COULD WHUMP YOUR BUTT. and a cat. (who's a real big whiner).
I'm going to try some scrapbooking later on this summer. Or probably Autumn. Yikes! We better hurry up and drink all the Sangria, wear out our flip flops and stare idly off into space before that.
I was going to re-read East of Eden but I can't find it. Dang. That is my favorite book of all time. Has anyone read Go and Set a Watchman?? I don't think I could bear to have my Atticus Finch a bigot. My favorite fictional character: flawed. And what the heck does that title mean? OK, done :) A post for the Unruly Posts category. I love putting stuff here. It feel rebellious.
I had a truly lovely and moving experience today. In Trader Joe's freezer aisle. With a total stranger. There we were, choosing between talapia and salmon and
StrangerLady: I wish I'd eat like this all the time Me: Ya know what? I decided that in my 60th year I'll just Love Myself Unconditionally SL: Yes! I'm 60 too! We've got to be healthy. That's it.
We part ways at the dairy aisle and I grab some eggs. Next thing I know ...
SL: Will you pray with me? Me: (thinking: whoa, then: why not) I don't really pray but, yes. I'd like that.
She takes my hand and begins to talk quietly, thanking her God for putting us on the same path today. She said that even though our spiritual practices were different, we loved the same. It was ... quiet and lovely. It was a truly beautiful human moment. We hugged each other and let it go. I'm still feeling the magic.
I had a reminder today. There are opportunities for joy around each corner for joyful connections. Sometimes I'm "so busy" that I miss stuff. What started (and continued as a harried, busy day) had a peaceful puddle of love splashed right in the middle.
*I LOVE Flow Magazine. I've been drooling over it online and gifted myself the Papers Lovers edition over the winter. Packed (Packed!) with the most beautiful papers, very fresh and modern. I recently found an issue at Barnes & Noble. It's loaded with inspiration and lovely illustration.
Mistakes: A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. Albert Einstein
Missteps: Use missteps as stepping stones to deeper understanding and greater achievement. Susan Taylor
Misguided: I tell the truth, and I expose myself as the weak, misguided, misdirected, dysfunctional human being I used to be. Russell Means
I ordered my new 16 month Erin Condren planner today. I am a trendsettin' suckah! No. It's a fantastic planner and it's helped me a lot. I did my own front and back covers *above and below.
And I don't think that was mis-anythinged. I've been thinking some lately. Staring off into space. I'm thinking it's time to let go of another art school block. More later but think about those quotes. I loved them all. The last just made me snort.
If you find yourself wanting an Erin Condren, this is my referral code. I'm not at all sure of this but I think it gives you $10 off.
What did you do with your extra hour this weekend? I treated myself to a really lovely outing on Sunday and some purely frivolous shopping. Some bobby pins with fake gemstones, a magazine, and a few new beads. I gave myself a manicure and hit the gym.
I learned to make woven leather beaded bracelets. They are easy to make and will make nifty gifties for friends and family. Check this ... you can search on YouTube for woven bead bracelet or Luu Chin (?) bracelet and come up with a slew of videos. Minimal supplies; maximal results.
PS: "Hitting the gym" is not a phrase I use much. I prefer Mark Twain's "When I feel like exercising, I lie down and read a book until it passes." However, Planet Fitness with its "no lunk" alarm and scarcity of those gym rats who look like they've devoted their lives to their pecs have made my gym experience a little gentler.
And a special note of thanks to Denise who sent me that very cute zip pouch pictured above. It's a wonderful printed linen.
What is that lurking in the bottomest slot of the blue bookcase?
Evidence of a zine addiction.
Capacity by Theo Ellsworth was wonderful. More of a well-illustrated story than a zine. I treasure mine. My other #1 favorite was Pisces Rising by TL Getz.
and a bit further down in the pile
Academic Excellence. Have an excellent weekend, my dear friends. I am busily shooting and editing videos for Watercolor Wildflowers. I've finally cracked the code to my new video app and the new iMovie app. App AAAACK! (Oh Goodie! This posts goes into the Unruly Posts category. I love putting things there. Much betterr than Etc. or Miscellaneous. Unruly is a very good thing to be. Except for hair. Especially in the summer. But other than that, unruly RULES :) That was a run on sentence in my mind. I just threw in some periods out of a sense of respect for you.