I’m on an art kick these days. Can you tell? Various artists out in WordPress Land have been relating to my blogs in the last couple of days about our Ennis Arts Festival and the 50+ artists who exhibited their talents there.
I am not a person who identifies myself as an artist. An art supporter, yes. But an artist, wellllll … that’s questionable. But, music is an art – and I play the accordion and clarinet and I love to sing. My love of and pursuit of music makes me an artist, right?
Also, I love to cook. Culinary arts count, right?
How about writing? Is it an art? You know I love to write.
In addition to writing, I do love to doodle. I just discovered a new term: Deep Doodle!!
What is a deep doodle?
Well, it is a sketch or drawing that comes from your unconscious mind without your conscious mind interfering. Think of it as what doodles usually are but in an extended way and coming from a deeper place.
How about you? Are you a deep doodler?
A useful comparison is the idea of automatic writing where writers just start scribbling down ideas in a kind of flow state without thinking intentionally about what they are writing. Deep doodling is the artist’s version, allowing for a spontaneous flow of art free of organization and forethought. Does that sound weird or fun to you? Perhaps both!
Have fun expressing your artistic inclinations in whatever way that makes you feel creative! You know we all are formed as creative beings, endowed with talents we have not begun to explore. Do you have a latent talent? What is it?
You are born to be creative. Where does your untapped creativity lie?
Maybe it is Deep Doodling! Release it! Embrace it!
Listen to this Ted Talk about the “Hidden Path to Creativity.”
When you can look with fresh eyes at old data, the creativity occurs. Surrender your old preconceptions!
Deep Doodling allows you to look with fresh eyes – pushing forward into heretofore uncharted territory!
Deep Doodling connects you to Ah-Hah moments – Let the scales fall from your eyes. Develop the ability to hold focused awareness!
Let what is unclear become clear as you let that still small voice emerge in your doodling! Explicate & replicate!
You can create powerful change! Create something that produces wellness!
Invoke and pull out the insights that allow you to make choices that prepare you for a better future.
Unleash your creativity! Unleash deep doodling and let it draw you in to uncharted waters!
Tell me about the ways you use your creativity to enter uncharted waters.
Happy Deep Doodling, my friends. See you tomorrow (God willing).
Today was our Madison Valley 25th annual Arts Festival. (well… almost annual… we had to cancel it last year because of COVID). Nearly 50 artists from Montana and Idaho gathered here in Ennis to treat us with their displayed talents. It was a delightful day. Come and join me to enjoy the festival vicariously.
Here are some of the artists:
Maybe next year at this time, you can can to come to Ennis and help us celebrate our 50 year anniversary as an Ennis Arts Association. I’d love to house a bunch of my Word Press friends and have us enjoy the festivities together! Think about it!
Thanks for taking my Art Festival tour with me. Which kind of art do you like best?
When are you the most creative? Where do your creative juices flow most freely? What’s your God-given creative talent?
I am not a painter. I may have some latent talent there, but I have never developed it.
Do you have hidden talents that you have not fully explored?
When children are given the tools and the examples early in life, often that becomes the springboard for a life of artistic talent shared.
No one told me that my scribbles might lead to a creative talent that would be appreciated by others!
But, I was encouraged to sing as a child. That was a talent that did not go unnoticed. How could you ignore it when I was a 3-year-old singing “Appo-Tee, Appo-Tee, AppoTee” all the way through the hymns at church. Singing loudly and joyfully!
Hah! It was during the time of WWII and a popular song was “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (with Anyone Else But Me).”
You’re probably not old enough to remember it!! Go ahead, click on it here. You’ll love it!!
So how did my “Appo Tee” singing graduate into a full-blown creative talent? Like any talent, it takes involvement, participation, practice.
I have been a member of a choir for as long as I can remember… … always in school, then in church, and eventually our community choir. I am not a soloist, but I love singing in a duet or trio or with a large group. Recently our church choir was able to start up again… it is such a joy!
Once I even got to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during one of their dress rehearsals for their Christmas concert!
The rendition below of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” was sung by the University of the Pacific Choir at Bob’s and my wedding 2/11/62. Here is the Mormon Tabernacle singing it. I love it so much!
If your talent is not singing or painting, maybe you developed a talent in another area – like cooking or woodworking or metal sculpture.
Of course, one major talent I forgot mention Is instrumental music … the piano or a woodwind or string or brass instrument… Such talent brings so much joy to the player as well to a world of listeners.
I played the accordion and the clarinet as a child and continued to do so until just recently. My accordion is not functioning, there’s a hole in the bellows.
Perhaps I will find another small accordion that I can handle… and will resume that creative endeavor. The children at the day care center and the residents at our local Nursing Home enjoyed it!
Here’s just a small clip – (it’s only 10 seconds!!) of me playing for the residents at my sister’s place in PA a couple of years ago. (I won’t burden you with too much of this!) Hah!
My cousin always used to send me comic strips about the accordion. One was a guy entering heaven and the angel said, “Welcome to Heaven, here’s your harp.” The other was a gal entering Hades. The angel greeted her and said, “Welcome to Hell, here’s your accordion.”
Hah! I miss Cliff and those jokes!!
The question remains: What are your God-given talents? Have you developed an area of creativity?
I forgot to mention writing!! Us bloggers imagine ourselves to have that talent or else we wouldn’t be posting here on WordPress, right?
But, even this writing talent doesn’t improve without practice, right? Never stop learning and trying to improve – regardless of the area of creativity… gardening & photography (Derrick) – poetry (Dwight, Richard, Pat, Rahul, etc.) cooking (Andre’ & Caralyn) You know who you are… and what you need to do!
Our library was having a book sale last week. For a dollar, I was able to buy this wonderful book. Copyrighted 20 years ago, it’s never outdated, and I can never stop learning how to be a better writer. Like any talent, it takes practice, study, and more practice. And feedback always helps!
Roses are red. Violets are pink. I’m an emerging poet. Man, don’t I stink?
No, don’t badmouth yourself!! Keep workin’ at it…
Embrace Creativity! Tell me about yours…
Thanks for sharing! See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
In my devotional time this morning, I read an article that spoke to me of the way poetry fits into my life … a life that is filled with the wonder of poetic healing. I am impelled to share it with you because I hope it will inspire and validate your poetic instincts the way it did mine.
Before you read it, you may want to scroll to the bottom here and click on Laura Sullivan’s piano music. Listen to it as you read Jacqueline Suskin’s inspiring article.
Finding the Poetry in Everyday Life
by Jacqueline Suskin From – Posted on Jan 25, 2021 A professional poet provides tips on healing your life by adopting a poetic mindset.
There’s a saying: “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” These days, the battle feels especially hard. From everyday challenges to the forces dividing our nation, it’s fair to ask: How can I bring more joy to my life? More peace?
My answer: poetry.
I’m a professional poet. For a decade, I earned a living doing a project I called Poem Store… I wrote a story I wrote a few years ago for Guideposts about how poetry can be a vital part of someone’s prayer practice …
What is it about poetry that makes it such a powerful, universal language?
Poetry reveals beauty in the smallest details of creation. It finds light in the darkest shadow. It is a guide and a teacher, reminding readers that life is a miracle, something to be celebrated. Good poetry tells deep truths about joy and pain, triumph and grief. Like the Psalms, poetry explores every aspect of human experience, shying away from nothing and expressing gratitude for everything.
That’s why I believe poetry can be healing for anyone. You don’t have to be a professional poet.
Here are some suggestions for cultivating a poetic mindset, gained from a lifetime of writing, teaching and finding my place on this planet:
1. Be in awe of everything. A dictionary definition of awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”
… The poetic mindset starts with the idea that nothing is an accident. Everything is interrelated and plays a part in a greater whole. Therefore, everything deserves notice and even celebration.
The signs are everywhere. Autumn leaves swirling in wind. A luminous raindrop on your window. The sight of someone you love peacefully asleep. Stars on a clear winter night. (And I, JanBeek, have to interject here: the sight of snowflakes dancing outside on your patio)
Even on your hardest day, a glance around will reveal something miraculous. When I focus on the intricate grandeur of nature, I feel myself relax. My mind unclenches from my problems, and I know that something larger is present, no matter what happens.
Awe is easy to cultivate. Close your eyes. Now open them. What is the first thing you see? Look closer. Ask yourself: How was this thing made? Where did it come from? What does it look like, feel like, smell like, maybe even taste like? What is good about it? What does it remind you of? Does it bring happy thoughts or sad ones? Why? What does it tell you about yourself or the divine?
I’m willing to bet your randomly selected object is full of meaning. A poetic mindset helps you tune into that significance whenever you want. It’s an inexhaustible source of healing, refreshment and inspiration.
2. Make pain your teacher.
Are you brokenhearted and angry? There’s a poem for that…
A poem is a place where you can pour out your hardest feelings. Make the words shout, burn. Don’t be afraid. You can always throw the page into the fireplace once you’ve filled it. Or seal it in an envelope and come back to it later.
Poetry can be a repository for everything difficult in your life.
But there’s more. I find that when I write about something I’m struggling with, my negative feelings begin to ebb. By writing, remembering, I am forced to admit that not everything is so bad. The world is complicated. There is darkness and light. Forgiveness comes into view.
The more I put everything on the page—the whole truth, not just an edited version—the more I ask why things happened. If I could have done things differently. Whether my poem is trying to teach me something. Here’s part of a poem I wrote while I was grieving a loved one.
You were a shining man always giving us a reason to rejoice and so you still are, you always will be.
Writing about grief helped me widen my perspective. I learned that memories are emblems of ongoing life after death. That doesn’t end my grief. My grief teaches me a healing truth.
3. Seek what inspires you.
Life isn’t perfect, but you can live with love and trust anyway.
Poetry helps us remember this essential piece of wisdom. What comes from God is good, and there is always goodness to be found once you train yourself to look.
Poetry to me is a form of praise. I build poems from things I see, people I meet and thoughts and feelings found deep inside. As I present those treasures in poetic language, I am celebrating what is good in them. My poems have an innate optimism. Poetry looks for the bright side of life, whatever is inspiring and beautiful even in the midst of hardship.
To see the world as a poet is to be aware of beauty wherever you go. A poet believes that beauty is a clue to the essential nature of existence. Pay attention to that feeling of joy as you spot a delicate tracery of dew in a spider’s web on your morning walk. The beauty, and your joy, are helping you see something deeply true about life.
4. Open yourself to a new perspective.
Few objects are more humble than the pencil. Yet, for me, a pencil is holy. Every pencil is special because I imagine the thoughts and images that it can be used to create and communicate. What are the holy objects in your life? A poet looks for what is beloved in everything, no matter how ordinary.
That is what makes poetry a force for healing. When you look for what is beautiful, good, true and holy in everything around you, you are really looking for God. When you write down what you see, you are engaged in a deep form of prayer.
When your mind and your heart develop this habit of poetic prayer, you cannot be overcome by the world’s troubles because you carry a treasury of goodness inside yourself.
Your poems don’t have to be perfect. They don’t have to rhyme. They don’t have to impress anyone. All they need is a new perspective, that of a poetic mindset.”
Thank you, Jacqueline Suskin. Your Guideposts article inspired me. I hope it inspires my WordPress friends, too.
EMBRACE WRITING POETRY
Here’s a poem from a fantastic musician, Laura Sullivan, who also dabbles in poetry. If you’re unfamiliar with her music, do yourself a favor and click on the YouTube at the bottom here.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Do you have a poem to share? I’d love to have you share something poetic in the comments section here.
Reach out to others Make meaningful connections Share your thoughtfulness
Did you click the link? The link was “Thanks for the Dance” From Leonard Cohen.
If you didn’t hear – Didn’t see the video, Go up and do it!
EMBRACE CONNECTIONS Look into another’s heart See the hidden pain
Learn to disagree Learn to listen with your heart Show your compassion
Connections can save The loneliest from despair Suicide is real
Express your concern Let your compassion embrace Those in depression
Depression is real Too often it is hidden Inside solitude
Leonard Cohen’s poem Hit me right between the eyes Took me to my niece
‘Twas nineteen years old When her life appeared hopeless Jumped Golden Gate Bridge
‘Twas two weeks later When her decomposed body Washed its way ashore
Only dental charts Helped to identify her Memories are raw
Never imagined Her pain was so very deep Didn’t see the signs
So much is known now Nearly forty years ago We just weren’t aware
Today it’s rampant Especially Montana Third in the nation
Growing suicides It’s not a good statistic Something must be done
These are images from Leonard Cohen’s impactful video. (Haven’t watched it yet? Go back up to that link. Take five minutes and then come on back.) The poetry and his raspy, musical voice will touch your heart. You’ll carry it with you.
You’ll ask yourself, “What Happens to the Heart?” and you will want to be more aware, more compassionate, more helpful. You’ll look in your friend’s eyes. You’ll study your loved one’s face. You’ll ask questions. You’ll care. And you’ll want to know WHAT CAN I DO? When you see sadness, despair, loneliness, you’ll want to help. How??
There are visible Ways we can show how we care Check out resources
Reach out to others Make meaningful connections Share your thoughtfulness
Embrace Connections They can make the difference YOU are important!
Thanks for dropping by JanBeek
Sending you love and hugs – Stay Connected!! See ya tomorrow
On this day in the year 1937, Walt Disney’s animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was introduced to a delighted American public. My sister was one day old. I was born a year and a half later.
Yesterday I posted a poem about God whistling through the trees – and added some other whistlers to the post. Here’s one of my favorite tunes to whistle:
The drawings that created the animation for the movie were mostly done by Bill Peet. I met Bill Peet in the late 1960’s at a California Teachers’ Association Reading Conference. What a delightful man! Bill worked for Walt Disney as an artist most of his career. In his early 50’s, he retired from Walt Disney Studios and began publishing children’s picture books. This was one published in 1967, the year my daughter, DeAna, was born.
Have you ever heard of him? Are you familiar with any of his books? I think many of the more than 30 books he wrote and published for children are available today on Amazon Books… especially in the Used Books section. I don’t think any are still being printed. But, I should research that. His home page lets you see this creative author/illustrator: http://www.billpeet.net/
Many of my Bill Peet books were autographed. I bought them at the CTA conferences and had the author personalize them to me and put his signature on them. I have given most of those to my daughter-in-law, Monika, who home-schooled our four California grandchildren.
Looking at that list, I remember hearing Bill read to us “The Wingdingdilly.” I remember his infectious laugh. That”s such a cute story! Here are a couple of his books that I still have. All his books have a wonderful moral to them. Many of them are written in poetic rhyme. His wonderful sense of humor comes through, just as it did when he produced the drawings for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Another of Bill Peet’s books that I still have is Fly Homer, Fly – copyrighted in 1969, its pages’ edges are mouse chewed – don’t know how that happened – but not so bad it ate into any of the words! Homer is a simple farm pigeon who lives in an abandoned barn. Homer befriended a bedraggled sparrow who was blown by a storm into the barn. The adventures begin when Sparky, the Sparrow, convinced Homer to fly off to Mammoth City with him in search of Pigeon Park where every day was supposed to be a feast day.
And then on this day in 2020…
You just gotta try to find Fly Homer Fly… The pigeon & sparrow adventures reminded me of my youngest grandson, Chris, who arrived today in Colombia from Switzerland.
Yesterday Chris flew via Geneva – Madrid – Miami. And then he realized he had forgotten his American passport. He could not fly on from Miami to his next scheduled stop. So he had to go back to Geneva and have his brothers drive there from Sierre (a two-hour trip) to deliver his USA passport to him… and 52 hours later he finally got to his destination. Whew!! Can you imagine?? Might even beat Homer’s adventures!
I introduced you to our grandson, Chris, back in November of 2018 when he came to live with us for awhile and joined the Job Corps in Anaconda, Montana. Then COVID-19 hit and the government threatened to close the Job Corps centers that were run by the Forest Service. Anaconda was one of them. That was right about when Chrissy’s parents were here visiting. So, he decided to go back to Switzerland. He’s now studying to be a nurse. He met Natalia on-line… and I told you about their romance back in early 2019. Refresh your memory: https://janbeek.blog/2020/02/23/love-on-the-internet/
A Day to Remember
Our grandson will remember this day forever… and someday he will laugh about it with his grandkids, just the way his grandparents are enjoying the story today. It was a surprise to us that Chris made this trip! I hope you are enjoying the story, too… and like us, I hope you are saying a prayer for those crazy kids who choose to fly across the world in this COVID environment. Ah, love knows no barriers! God bless them!
And God bless us all. Bee safe this Christmas week, my friends. Do yourself a favor and go check out Bill Peet! See ya tomorrow. Keep your sense of humor alive. It’s vital!
The Reason for the season Is not always clear. Today as I was decorating, This message caught my ear.
Time to decorate For the coming of Jesus. It’s Holiday Time.
Time to decorate The foyer and entryway; Put up Christmas wreaths.
Time to decorate Dining room and kitchen, too. Poinsettia in place.
Time to decorate Living room and outside, too. Hang lighted snowflake.
Time to decorate For the coming of Christmas Where is the manger?
Is Jesus in your decor?
I can decorate. The reason for the season Must be apparent.
Look carefully at that picture. Santa is back there… But in front of him is a clay manger scene. It looks pretty primitive. That’s because it is! Out son made this as an art project in Sunday School when he was about 6 years old. He’s now 55.
Do you keep such works of art and take them out each year to treasure the memories?
It is a case from a friend who visited from Africa – and in the case are these darling manger scene figures made from grasses:
When the Christmas decoration boxes come up from the basement, with them come so many memories. This is a real egg with a window cut out by my dear mother-in-law, Laura Belle Beekman. She painted it red, decorated it, and added a musical angel to the center of it. It was my Christmas gift from her in the early 60’s, shortly after Bob & I were married. With her Faberge’ style eggs, she comes alive again – and lives in our Christmas decor.
When I hang this ornament on our tree each year, my Hillsborough, California kindergarten class comes alive. This one with our kitty, was the sample I made as my students were creating theirs – with a picture of themselves on their ornaments. One of those students, Heidi, still has hers. She posted it on FaceBook last week. What a treasure! Heidi is now 55!!
How are you doing with your holiday decorations? Have you put up a tree? Or do you have a Menorah? Or an Advent Wreath? Tell me about your decorating fun this time of the year.
And meantime, click on the link below and enjoy two of my favorite singers singing one of my favorite Christmas songs.
Merry Christmas is coming… Enjoy your decorating! And don’t forget the REASON for the SEASON!! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek