***On the third Sunday of the month (that's today!), I post about learning Spanish. It's one way, I'm discovering my roots. Scroll down by the cute picture of Chester to skip directly the learn Spanish part!***
You're probably in one camp and/or the other: taking news of the Coronavirus seriously and/or rolling your eyes at the wave of people hoarding toilet paper. Either way, I hope you're washing your hands thoroughly, wiping down surfaces, and not breathing heavy on your favorite grandma.
Last week, I skipped my weekly blog post because I was feeling drained. I almost didn't go perform at the event in Mineral Point celebrating International Women's Day -- but I'm so glad I did! And not just because I made the front page of Mineral Point's newspaper. The evening, hosted by ButtonHill Music Studio and LunArt Music Festival, was filled with inspiration.
It's too nice out for wasting minutes of gorgeous sunshine reading a long blog post (or writing one). Am I the only one wildly excited for spring? It's officially March, today will get up to 54 degrees, and singing birds have moved back to the neighborhood.
Spring officially starts on Thursday, March 19th this year. Only a few more weeks to go! And, so far, no more snow on the horizon. How are you getting ready for this turn into spring?
Here are a few quotes to with this incredible weekend sunshine:
“Awaken the sunshine within you.”
― Asad Meah
“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
March, when days are getting long,
Let thy growing hours be strong
To set right some wintry wrong.
― Caroline May, 1887
"Every spring is the only spring — a perpetual astonishment."
― Ellis Peters
“It is spring again.
The earth is like a child
that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Last week, I took a Calligraphy workshop. My handwriting isn't what you'd call nice -- but most folks call it "ahhh, how interesting." Um...thank you? Often, they have to ask me what it says, too. I'm not good with physically artsy things. Give me a keyboard? Sure! I call that art. But I have no clue what to do with pens and brushes, or wire and clay.
My friend Michelle puts down the most incredible words using calligraphy. She teaches workshops as Greater Joy Design, and I finally decided to be brave and give it a try!
This was her beginner class, a Valentine's Day themed event with all materials and encouragement provided. Calligraphy is a lot harder than it looks, and I was definitely not naturally good at it. But I took my time, tried hard, and saw rewarded with a few pretty beautiful looking letters! Of course, when you are first doing anything new, there's a lot of mistakes too.
Michelle was patient, an excellent explainer of how-to, and I loved her thoughtfully-prepared lesson packet handed to each of us at the start of the class. The most beautiful thing, though, was how supportive everyone was of each other. I loved listening to the art-studio-owning couple on a surprise Valentine's date, and the older sisters who'd driven a distance to take this workshop together. The whole class, although with a tendency to save harsher words for their own little mistakes, cheered each other on all throughout the workshop. It was a good reminder to be as kind to ourselves as we are to strangers.
Getting out of my comfort zone pushed other pieces of my brain. This week, I've been inspired to begin the long process of revising my first novel: Magic Ungrounded. I wrote it one cold November in 2017. It needs buckets of work, and I'm excited to dive in with all the extra insight I've accumulated since then.
I think that Art inspires Art. The Calligraphy class, and conversations between participants, inspired a a new plot-development for the novel. Sorry, I'm not going to give it away (just yet).
Yesterday, my friend Kayla and I took Chester on a gorgeous winter walk at Governor Dodge. Being surrounded by towering trees, overlooking the calm frozen lake, heaving up (and sliding down) slippery hills, admiring lichen and moss, marveling at the ancient beginnings of limestone cliffs -- all of it felt like being immersed in a GIANT piece of artwork. If art inspires art, then Nature always inspires my inner artist.
Today, I'm grateful for friendship, the feel of sunshine on my skin, and pushing myself out of my normal routine. You never know what little choices like these can lead to!
What inspires YOU? I don't care what sort of things you create -- from mosiacs to afternoon lunches. The world streams in, swirling in our minds, then turns into something a little bit like magic. And we, in turn, let that magic flow out into the creation of something new. It's one of my favorite things about being human. How about you?