Texas winter

Let’s see, last Friday it was 70, in the evening we had a cold front come through and had tornadoes. Saturday, it snowed. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday it warmed up again until it was 80 Wednesday. This morning, Thursday, I woke up to thunder and shortly after, got a flash flood warning on my phone. It’s now 53 degrees.

Gotta love winter in Texas.

On resolutions

New year’s resolutions

Yeah, I’ve made a few. Nothing really big and only one or two life changing.

I remember back in 1988, I had separated from my first husband and divorce was pending and I was afraid of rushing into something permanent with whoever came along, so my resolution was to not get married that year. Well, it turned out I wouldn’t find someone that I would want to get married to but I did get involved with someone who would have a lifetime impact on me. I got on a motorcycle with the wrong person and he broke my body and now I can predict really bad weather coming. I could also have died in that wreck and that gives me a slightly different perspective on things even now. My resolution that year didn’t change things but what happened to me did change my perspective on life.

A few years ago, I threw one out there that I really felt I needed to do. I was feeling something was missing in my life. And I felt like that something out there was somewhere in my reach if I could find it. My resolution that year was to get in touch with my inner artistic child. And a few months into the year, I got an invitation that would change my life again.

I had attended a gallery opening a couple of years before and been introduced to a lady who friended me on Facebook a little while later. She is a local artist and every once in a while would prod me to go somewhere or do something that sounded like lots of fun but I couldn’t go/do that because I have to work for a living for a company that has little interest in personal development and such like. She had offered a workshop that sounded interesting and a few days before it started, I asked if there were any openings left, I would like to attend. She said it was canceled because not enough people were interested but she was having a get together at her studio and would I like to attend? I said I would and that’s when I met the Roadside Gypsies. My inner artistic child was giddy with the chance to play. Being an introvert, I mostly watched and listened the first night. They thought I was intimidated and might not be back, when someone asked me as I was leaving if I would come again, I answered, yes. Most definitely.

Since then, that group has fed my soul and pushed my art in wonderful ways and I have learned so much. Because of her, I have met a whole nother group of artists that have pulled me to other fulfilling things and places. I attended Art Camp in Manzano, New Mexico three times and plan to go again next July. I have enjoyed getting to know a number of other artists in other mediums and had fun collaborating with them on projects and just knowing them and experiencing things they have been involved in.

But, the local group has stagnated. Due to circumstances, they have stopped meeting. And I am left feeling left behind. It turns out, I need the group energy to really be inspired and do the work. And doing the work is what’s required to be an artist.

My inner artistic child has wandered off again. If I yell, she comes back to visit for a few minutes but I need her to stay a while. I need to make a place she wants to come into and play for more than a few minutes.

Oh, I’ll visit Pinterest and go down dozens of rabbit holes and find all sorts of things that look fun…but I don’t have/make the time to do the work. I have several project that would be fun to do. Things I would like to try. Things I really want to do, big things. And little things. And none of them happen.

And I’m really wanting to make a place where I can call that child back again and say “wanna make mud pies? I got a bucket of water and this spot looks like good dirt. “

Random act of kindness

I got to witness an incredible act of kindness today. I was working as a cashier and an elderly lady was working on paying for her purchases. She had used the Snap benefits for her food and had a little over $30 left to pay. Her debit card didn’t work and after trying it twice, she started scratching through her billfold for cash to cover some of it and see what she needed to put back. There was a lady two customers back who saw what was going on and she jumped forward and put her card in the card reader, told the elderly lady “I got this covered, don’t worry about it.” She paid the entire balance left on the purchase. I felt blessed to witness the exchange.

Religion in the small towns

Driving across rural Texas panhandle, I am reminded how small town southern America can be overwhelmingly, in your face, Christian. I have no problem with having religion or who anyone wants to worship or how you worship. That’s your business.

I also know this country was built on the concept of Freedom of Religion. The founding fathers were still stinging from the enforced imposition of the Church of England as the only sanctioned religion in the nation. To the point of, if you wanted to preach any other doctrine, you literally had to stand on the graves of your ancestors to speak it.

I have heard those who say this country was founded on Christian values. If you mean respecting every person, and valuing every life, then yes. But these are common core values for every religion on this earth. Freedom of Religion means you are free to worship in the religion of your choice. And since all religions, at their core, revere human life and believe in kindness and love to your fellow human beings, why is worshiping in a different way a problem?

Being an empath can be a curse. You always see the other person’s side. You always try to understand where the other person’s viewpoint comes from. And if I were a non Christian, driving through all these little towns professing a love of Jesus in their signs, I would take it that a non Christian would not be welcome here. Based on the current state of public partisan Christianity, I would believe I would not receive help I might need, especially if I was a Muslim woman wearing a hijab. Or if I had a Jewish or Arabic last name. Or if I was traveling with a female friend and held her hand as I needed, for emotional support.

I know you are vocally proclaiming your support for what you believe in, but did you think it might make someone feel unwanted, unwelcome or afraid?

Think about it. Really, really think about it deeply.

Do you really need that sign?

A Pirate’s Lullaby

Listen, love, and you will hear

The ocean’s lullaby.

The soothing sound

of waves rolling round

that murmurs to you and I.

The warm ocean breeze

with a soft gentle tease

inviting us to come dream:

of sailing ships and Pirates gold

and treasures of the sea.

A gull’s soft cry

sounds like a sad soul flying by,

fireflies try to outshine the moon.

Moonbeams shine and clouds hide

A silver path that slides

across the waves.

Come with me, love,

and follow that dream

all through the night,

until the sun’s morning light

Brings a new day.