Tag Archives: life

“I wonder if you can”

This week’s artist’s way lesson has taken a turn for the worst!
Every morning, since the beginning of this adventure, I have started, almost, each and every day with the stream of conscious writing known as “The Morning Pages.” For whatever reason, when I write my to do list, at the top is always MAP. At first, I wasn’t even aware I was doing it. Then one day I realized with stunning clarity why my subconscious brain had done it. Morning Pages equated to MAP,  for this is exactly what morning pages do. They sort of map out the frequencies of your brain, so you can fine tune the radio station to the music of the day. Sorry for the metaphor, I’m just weird like that.

 

This week. This week though. *sigh*

This week, I must incorporate the Night pages.

Now, I am to ask myself what it is that I want. What is the free-flowing river of consciousness streaming at the close of each day. It is a moment to reflect. It is a moment to vent. It is a moment to once more check-in with that little inner artist and say, “Baby girl, tell me what you need.”

 

The trouble is… this is it. This is my night pages for the evening. The dogs are settled in, snuggled as close as they can possibly get without me swatting them away for being a hinderance to my typing. The room is cleaned from my earlier morning activities. My sketchbook is waiting for me, perched upon a box of markers and a box of pencils.  There is also the orbiting thought I had moments before coming inside from my cigarette break and the moonlit back yard. This is it. This is my life.

I wouldn’t want it another way. Sure I wish my room was a little bigger. Absolutely, I wish that there was someone other than two dogs nestling in beside me. Sure, I want this, and I’m praying for that. Yet, for the first time in my life–the first time ever publicly stated–I am at the most blissful state of human intelligence and inner peace. I am home.

I may have dreams that seem far-fetched or not worth believing. I may be the dreamer with her head in the clouds. It doesn’t matter. Hey, Mr. Lennon, I’m not the only one, right?

In the end, it doesn’t matter what you believe or don’t believe. In the end, all that matters is what dream you chose to wake up inside of.

Peace and Love,

Kris

Imagine Peace

 

 

 

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“The childhood shows the man, as the morning shows the day” ~ John Milton

When I was a little girl, my father brought me to the paint store and let me pick out the color for my room. I had a silver carpet and chose a light shade of lilac. When he was done, I walked into my finished room and felt that I had stepped into a room made of clouds. The silver carpet reflected hues of lilac and my white furniture seemed to make the whole room powdery. I fell in love with my little sanctuary.

Growing up I needed that sanctuary. The chaos of dysfunction and alcoholism ravaged my home and family like a ravenous beast sent to search out and destroy anything happy. I’d close my door and let my room comfort me.

 

At night, when the moon was full and bright, my room became another world entirely, the colors seemingly made for moonlight. I would climb up to the windowsill at night and pretend that I had a comfy window seat. My scrawny five-year old self at the time easily fit on the normal sill, so in reality it was a window seat.

 

I would stare for hours at my backyard, at my swing set still and illuminated. Where I lived there was nothing around but woods. Sometimes, if I were lucky, a deer and her fawn would venture out into the cleared yard, or a group of bunnies would frolic beneath the moon.

 

My favorite time was winter. I would perch at the window, like my cat,  and watch the falling snow, hearing the infinitesimal hush as the flakes found the ground. Everything was silent when it snowed. My room became even more mystical when there was snow on the ground and the Moon would grace me with her presence.

 

My childhood room made me into an artist. While the war waged on the other side of the door, my room was my sanctuary from violence, anger and hatred. I found peace and serenity in that room and sometimes when I dream at night I visit my safe house.

 

My room now reflects who I am as an individual. Four cork boards hang on the wall facing my bed. They are filled with pictures of places I want to visit, scenes that are serene and mystical. One is filled with random clippings from magazines with words like “words can change the world” and “Let your imagination be free.”  Though I find the secret a bit hokey, one would say that they are vision boards. For whatever reason, they keep me in line.

 

I have my dry erase calendar marked up with things to do, things to accomplish, things to think about.

 

There is a small table resting in the inset next to my bed. Littered with seashells, beach glass and candles, it is a small attempt to claim serenity. There is a crystal lotus votive that sits in front of a mirror. A small Buddha carved from Jade that I found on a chance encounter with a down and out street fair when I myself was down and out, rests on one of the petals of the lotus, and below him a silver cross from a necklace my grandmother had given me. I stare at my little shrine like altar, watching the silver swirl of incense as it curls around my flower. Serenity.

My mother had a CD library that looked like a new age book-store, a relief I found when I came home to live with her after practically living on the streets. The little CD player by my bed plays Chopin or meditation tunes. There are only two windows in my room, both are small and set up high in the corner where my bed rests. When the moon is out, and when I need her the most, she hovers high in the sky. She and the stars are the only thing I see at night. I don’t need a window seat, I can see the sky from the comforts of my bed.

 

When I first came here, when I finally reconnected with my mother after living the down and out life, the first things out of my mouth were, “it feels like home.”

 

I have spent many years as a troubled and angry child. What happened on the other side of the door began to sneak into my dreams years after, and the only thing it elicited was rage and confusion.

 

Things are different now. And while I do try to work through my past, sometimes at night he calls my name and brings me back. I look at my Buddha, I stare at the moon, and I remind myself that RIGHT NOW, in this present day, I am home and what lies on the others side of the door is not unknown or known danger. What lies on the other side of my door is opportunity, peace, comfort, love, and the world waiting for me to come out and play.


“…The great teacher inspires”~William Arthur Ward

Assignment #4: Hall of Champions

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~William Arthur Ward

The Creative Champion Hall of Fame
(an induction ceremony)

Ladies and gentlemen I am proud to host the first ever Induction ceremony to the Hall of champions! The inductees are both intelligent and love giving individuals who would make any artist proud to have known them. A relative, a mentor, a teacher–three individuals who have not only inspired this artist to creative new heights but have also supported her on her mission to create and inspire the world. Without any further ado let the ceremony begin.

To the late Edward King, though unable to attend in physical presence, may his spiritual being accept this honor wherever he may roam. It seems like only yesterday when we first met, though twenty-three years have passed. I still remember the first time you laid eyes on me. Though only an infant the warmth you held in your eyes as you held my wriggling newborn body still flows through my veins. I am part of you and I carry this legacy on with the greatest of prides. The words you spoke over me, part of my imaginative memory, have been told to me through out my life. “She is wise. She is special. She is capable of great things.” Your cancer ridden body, near death, sensed something great within me. Dear grandfather, it is with pride that you are the first inducted to my creative well-being. You sensed the greatness within me, and knowing that keeps me journeying toward the greatness you beheld. You are with me every step of the way and it is because of you my pen name bears your family name. Wherever you are, I hope that you are proud of me. Every day I walk with the light I first found in your eyes. I will not let you down, because in essence to let you down is to let myself down. May your words be a prophecy of sorts as I continue on this journey, and may your spirit always be there to guide me and envelop me in warmth and love, especially in times of hardship and darkness. Thank you for being the first to hold me and for showering me with love and light from your sea-faring eyes. I love you. Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for the late Edward King.

The next inductee came to me in the troublesome times of my middle school youth. Carefully watching our fifth grade snack time production of the Wizard of Oz, a script we collectively wrote from memory, you carefully took in our performances. You noted that my cowardly lion performance was a creative and talented endeavor. A few years later, I found myself sitting in your English class, eager to learn and grow. You recognized my talent for interpretation and deep thinking. You pushed me to audition for my very first play, your production of “Our Town.” Never will I forget climbing that ladder and not pretending to be, but actually being Rebecca Gibbs, the little girl enthralled with the great wide universe. Over the next few years you groomed me for acting school. You picked me up when my self-confidence would start to sink. You kept me going, even though I wanted to quit. Because of you, I was able to see my very first written play be put into production. Because of you I am able to say I am an artist. Thank you for being the shoulder to cry on, the ear to listen, and the man who filled my father’s vacant shoes. Without you, my life would have gone in a completely different direction. I know this now, and I thank you for the direction you chose to push me in. Thank you Mr. Minutello, from the very depth of my depthless artistic heart. Ladies and Gentlemen, the man who is responsible for my creative self-worth!

Last but not least, to the teacher who found me sitting in her creative writing classroom. Still a psychology major at the time, I bit my lip when you asked if any of us wanted to be a writer. I had wanted to be a writer but I had given up the belief I would ever be able to do so. After our first assignment, a poem about a life changing moment in our lives, you came to me before class started and handed me my poem with a long letter attached. It was the first letter of praise I had ever received, and I still have it to this day. You encouraged me to seek out publication, the kind of publication that begin writers careers. You told me I had talent. You were impressed with each of my poems, you fell in love with my short story, and you encouraged my writing every day. You helped make each poem better. You walked down to the chair of the department and spoke endlessly of my talent and creativity. You made me well-known to all of the professors of the English department, a fact I learned once I changed my major and found that they already knew of me. Because of you my faith was restored in my writing potential. Thank You Jessica Williams. Becuase of you I found the courage to disagree with my father’s harsh criticisms and pursue my dream of being a writer, openly. You said to me “You don’t have to become a writer darlin, you already are.” Words that will be with me for a long time to come. Thank you again. Ladies and Gentlemen, the teacher who inspired me to follow my dream!

To my inductees, I am proud to add you to my hall of champions. You bring a smile to my face whenever I think of you. You are what I fall back on when my confidence begins to diminish and my hopes and aspirations seem futile. You are my safety net. I hear your voices, I see the hope in your eyes, and once again I am alright to stand and continue on in this journey. Thank you for being part of my life. Thank you for being my creative inspiration. And most importantly, thank you for pushing me toward a life full of creativity and art.