Dwell

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. (Psalm 23:6 The Message)

“I dwell in possibility.” (Emily Dickinson)

It’s 2:08am and I can’t sleep. 

I feel like a hermit crab that has outgrown it’s found home, and must move into a bigger sphere lest it die.

Hermit crabs move out into bigger shells in order to grow. 

Later today, we will leave. I will drive the boat south on the ICW, while Les takes the truck and trailer to the boat ramp at Bing’s landing. There we will meet and take this shell of a home out of the water. 

We will drive many miles taking two days to return to our larger shell, and the space will feel foreign, yet familiar.

It will be like waking up in the middle of the night. It will take time to adjust our vision to see anew our home, our space to live and to breathe and to move.

Even before we leave here or arrive there, I know it will be different, yet the same. 

I’m not the same me that left seven weeks ago to embark on this adventure. An adventure that chased us more than we pursued it. An experience of a lifetime, but I think that every time we go towards new and different.

Can I capture this place to bring back with me? I already have. In experience, in photographs, in writings, in artifacts and souvenirs, in my soul, all this has been and will be part of me.

I am like the hermit crab that I found in the inlet.

 At first, I thought that I had picked up a beautiful shell for my collection. As I lifted it out of the water, I noticed movement. Something was living in the shell. I set the shell on the beach willing the crab to leave; I couldn’t bring myself to evacuate the crab from its home.

We watched while the crab struggled to lift its shell to get away from its captors. It managed to turn the shell enough to hide from us. I left in search of empty shells. 

Just before we left the inlet to go back to the marina, I set the shell back in the water. Releasing the hermit crab back into its environment, relieved that I didn’t  steal his home. Before I climbed into the boat, I looked for the shell. The tide had already carried the hermit crab away.

I am ready to leave. The tide will remain constantly ebbing and flowing here. The shoreline will change everyday, and if perchance, we return it will be familiar, yet foreign. 


Found

Do this in remembrance of me. (Jesus, as quoted in Luke 22:19 NASB)

“It is nice finding that place where you can go and just relax.” (Moises Airas)

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I find making collages out of magazine clippings very relaxing. I lose myself in the images and fitting the sizes, shapes and colors together in a pleasing and sometimes provoking way. The collage pages above include imagery, but also words and phrases and found “poems” emerge.

One of the found poems brought to mind the ongoing conversations I have with myself to relax.

relax. That’s the first thing;

I move around in my life.

It’s a way of being.

In some sense,

choices forced me

to realign my

perception of it.

Relaxation is a choice for me. I don’t relax naturally; I am always in motion. So collage, is a way for me to be still. Riding my bike is another way to be still, even while at the same time moving. I often try to soothe my soul by sitting in a quiet place, but even then my mind is wandering.

I mentioned in the last post that I am reading The Artist’s Way, and one of her tools for tapping into our creative stores is to set an artist’s date. Go out and do something fun and playful, not necessarily related to your artistic outlet. For me riding my bike, and finding a new place to explore fills that description. This past week, I got on my bike one morning, and headed toward the cafe that I kept noticing whenever we went into town for groceries. When you arrive, you walk into a courtyard, and then go inside to order. I chose to eat outside, since it was such a nice day. I had the whole vast, secluded garden area to myself. It was my found sanctuary for the day.

I met the couple who owns the cafe. The wife tends the gardens and the customers, while the husband cooks. On this day, he was trying his hand at making English muffins. I ordered one along with some scrambled eggs and coffee. The muffin was piping hot, as I pried it open with my fork. I placed the tab of butter inside to let it melt. When I picked it up to take a bite, communion found me. I thought of Jesus breaking bread, and asking his disciples to remember.

Do this in remembrance of me, echoed in my mind. I looked around at my serene surroundings. I remembered all the adventures of the past few weeks, the beach across the street, the restless need to snap beauty or capture a moon with my camera, the conversations with husband or strangers, and enjoying this place with our friends who came for a visit this past weekend. I recalled all the delicious meals, the refreshing breezes, and the calming presence of the created world crashing upon my soul, day after day. The rich text and textures that I was noticing, reading and experiencing. All this! Do this in remembrance of me. Do life in remembrance of me. Of me, the One who created. The One who made me with body, mind, emotions and spirit  to enjoy all this.

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What is your “this” today?

More Stowaways

There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain. (Isaiah 4:6 NASB)

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sale my ship.” (Louisa May Alcott)

Here are the latest stowaways! Most of them are related to art, or I will be using them in my collage works. 

I love this mini road atlas that I found in a booth at the flea market. The vendor gave it to me for free!

More resources for my artistic outlets.

I love maps, and I want to improve my lettering skills.

I found “vintage” art paper and a calendar with quaint illustrated floral arrangements. 

In my leisure time, I have been adding texture to my life through reading books and practicing art. These pursuits are like shade on a hot day and a refuge from the storms of life. I am so grateful for the gift of literacy; reading aids me in my ability to navigate this adventurous life.

The other day, I left my copy of The Artist’s Way on our “back porch” and it got drenched in the rain. It made me happy, because it gave it a well-used and well-loved look. And I can still read it. 

I’m working through it one week at a time. If you’ve never read it, it’s a great work on how to get unstuck from any lack of creativity or creative block you are experiencing in your life. I’m learning a lot about life from the text, as well as, how to tap into my created self.

Where do you find creative shade or spiritual refuge?