Life, Love, Death, Dreams, Hope

We Must Ourselves Become The LightI picked up my cell phone just now to text a friend. Then I remembered, she’s gone . . . two weeks already. It’s the fifth time I’ve done that. An idea sparked a laugh, made me think of her, made me want to share a chuckle.

That’s how it was for 28 years, since long before cell phones.

But that’s the thing about the love we have for friends, for family, the way we want to share it, the way we continue to share it . . . even after they’ve gone.

Aside from my mom, Jeannie read more of my writing than anyone. Always supportive. Always reminding me that this thing I love, this thing that is part of who I am, is important. That I need to share my voice. That I owe it to myself, and to others.

Of course, she always added that she’d love to see more happy poems, more happy scenes. She didn’t hesitate to ask, “when are you going to write a poem about love?”

And I would remind her, that is how I try to live my life – full of laughter, of love, of positive thoughts. With my writing, though, that’s me exploring the darkness, the underneath. Trying, at the very least, to understand. To throw light upon it for others to explore.

“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”  – Mary Oliver

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For Love of Art

Other Cool Birds "Painted Egret" by Gretchen Deahl

Other Cool Birds “Painted Egret” by Gretchen Deahl

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton

I’ll admit this up front. I don’t know art lingo. I’m not familiar with technical traits that make a work of art a “masterpiece” aside from the way it makes me feel, and perhaps think, but mostly feel.

Last weekend a new project of mine took flight, one that’s been fluttering around inside the cave of my head for a couple years now. It has to do with my appreciation for art. For the way art impacts my life.

Art in its various forms is an expression of the self, a communication through a unique language (whether that’s actual words used by writers, or images or sounds or movement). I appreciate all types of art, from literary to dance to musical to visual, for the same reason and for different reasons as well. The primary reason, however, is the way it makes me feel.

My new project, called Other Cool Birds, is my attempt to pay homage to artists working in all those aforementioned media through one – visual art.

Not the visual art, I create, but visual art I have come across and have brought together for the purpose of creating a virtual forest where artists gather to share their unique and sundry voices.

Plain and simple, art relies on emotion, evokes emotion, is a means of communicating emotion . . . a way of connecting audience and artist, of connecting the imagination and memory and ideas of one to the other.
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