Sunday, January 30, 2011

SRW Weeks #2 & 3 -- What I Learned

  1. Looking back at my life, the times that seemed the most difficult were the times that moved me forward to better things.
  2. It would be nice if I could learn lessons the easy way instead of the hard way.
  3. I freakin' love art journaling!
  4. Painting and coloring and cutting and pasting are not just for kindergarten any more.
  5. Waxed paper between the pages of my art journal can keep them from sticking together and allow me to paint a lot of pages at once.
  6. It is easier to hate the icky parts of myself than it is to love my whole self, icky parts and all.
  7. Loving the icky parts is really, really hard.
  8. I am really hard on myself.
  9. Being really hard on myself is soooo not productive.
  10. Melody Ross is a goddess with the hands of Martha Stewart and the heart of the Dalai Lama.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SRW Week #1 -- What I Learned

I've been doing the online Soul Restoration workshop with the Brave Girls this week, and I have learned many lessons already.  Here is a sampling:

  1. Restoring my soul is time-consuming and exhausting. 
  2. I'm not such a fan of the Modge-Podge.
  3. I'm more of a glue stick kind of a girl.
  4. It's ok to go rogue and use the adhesive I like best.
  5. Soul Restoration is not about adhesive.
  6. Paintbrushes make me nervous.
  7. Paintbrushes are for REAL artists.
  8. Make-up sponges are really good for smearing paint around on paper.
  9. Using make-up sponges instead of paintbrushes for smearing paint ensures that I get a lot of paint under my fingernails.
  10. Paint under my fingernails makes me happy.
  11. Make-up sponges are really, really cheap at Dollar Tree.
  12. Cheap make-up sponges from Dollar Tree make me happy.
  13. The wedding accessories at DollarTree make me sad.
  14. Soul Restoration is not about paint brushes, make-up sponges, wedding accessories, or Dollar Tree.
  15. I find it impossible to think of myself as an artist.
  16. Thinking of creating art as "practice" is freeing.
  17. I have a law practice and a spiritual practice and an artistic practice.
  18. Calling it practice makes things seem less scary and gets me past my inner perfectionist.
  19. Creativity is like a muscle...when I don't use it, it gets flabby.
  20. The only way to get creative is just to dig in and start creating.
  21. The more I create, the more creative I become.
  22. I worry a lot about whether I am doing things the "right" way.
  23. Soul Restoration is not about doing things the "right" way. 
  24. Soul Restoration is about doing the work, any way I can.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Duuuuudes, chill!

I'm very disturbed by the tone of rhetoric in our country.  I've been thinking about this for a long while.  I know I'm showing my age, but I remember a time when our elected officials would stand up on the floor of the House or the Senate and say things like, "With all due respect to my esteemed colleague from the great state of Tennessee, I could not disagree more."  Now it seems that we would rather scream at each other than listen and try to understand.  We all have gotten so entrenched in the belief that our truth is the only truth, our way is the only way.

I know everyone thinks that lawyers can I put this politely?...the south ends of north-bound horses.  But I have to say that as lawyers, we are trained to go into litigation or negotiation and fight to the death, in (usually) a very civilized way, and then go have a beer together after.  We don't take it personally.  We know that there are many sides of every story, many viewpoints, many truths.  (If you think of truth as having a capital "T", as in there is only one Truth, I invite you to talk to numerous witnesses of the same accident or crime.)  I have seen lawyers argue vehemently and loudly in the courtroom, then shake hands and kindly ask about each others' families.  I once witnessed two female lawyers argue so strenuously that I worried at one point it would come to blows, then go to lunch to discuss a concern one of the lawyers had about her children.  I have seen lawyers take time away from their own practices to volunteer to go to court and ask for continuances for a sole practitioner who had a sudden, unexpected health crisis so that his law practice did not fall apart while he was ill.  This, from lawyers who ordinarily were his opponents. 

I'm never going to convince you that lawyers are great people, and that's ok, that's not my goal.  I just want to point out that there are civil ways to disagree.

As if having a lawyer in the family is not enough to heap shame and ridicule on our family, my husband is a lobbyist.  I'm pretty sure "lobbyist" is the only profession more hated than "lawyer."  Mr. Sweetie sometimes amazes me by mentioning what a great guy Senator or Representative So-and-so is.  I'll stammer, "But...but...his political beliefs are the complete opposite of yours."  My husband will laugh and say, "Oh, I disagree with his politics, but he's a great guy!"  Then he'll tell me about So-and-so's integrity, their intelligence, their good-naturedness (if that's a word), their volunteer work, their family.  It seems to me that so many of us are slapping labels on people and discounting them because of this one label--You're a (fill in the blank--Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Feminist, whatever) so you don't count.  I love that the hubs is able to see people in 3D--yes, Senator So-and-so is a Conservative Republican but he is also a husband, a father, a volunteer, a coach, a friend, a helluva nice guy.

From what little I've heard, the shooting in Arizona of the Congresswoman and numerous others was due to mental illness and not a reaction to rhetoric, but still, it amazes me that this country has not seen violent reactions to the rhetoric.  (Maybe we have, I tend to stay away from the news.)  Can't we go back to a time when we could disagree with civility and honor?  Wasn't our country founded on such ideals--"I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it" and all that?  Kindergarteners know you have to play well with others, why can't we?  Our lives may depend on it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Song for my Daughter

In your laugh, there are a thousand butterflies.

And in your eyes glows my sun.

In your skin are all the silks and satins of all the world;
nobody else's skin was ever as soft as this.

And in your song
that only you can sing
are a thousand church bells,
backed by a thousand choirs,
lifted up by a thousand prayers.

In your breath is the smell of wisdom, sweet as fruit.

In your belly button is a little piece of lint.

And in your dimple,
the one by the corner of your mouth,
in that dimple,
right there,
resides my heart.