The Carousel

For my daughter. She just started high school and it’s a bit overwhelming. She’s doing great, but it’s a little scary.

The picture above is her at the KC Zoo, having fun on the carousel. She was 6. Shot with a Nikon, 35 mm, manual. It was a fun day.


Hold on tight, dear.
Don’t let go.
The carousel twirls faster
The more you know.

Life goes by
In a furious blur.
But it’s oh-so thrilling,
Full of adventure.

Up and down.
Always turning.
Moving forward.
Always learning.

You might get sick.
You might lose your head.
You might just love it.
Turn the world around instead.

Don’t be scared, Darling.
You have to be strong.
You’re not alone.
Mom’s here all along.

So throw your hair back
And laugh at the ride.
Have fun on the carousel.
Don’t leave it untried.


Proud of you, Honey. You’re so special. One of a kind. Brilliant, beautiful and bound for glory! Don’t settle for less, always challenge yourself. Don’t worry about what people wear, say or think. You belong to God. Your value comes from him.

And always ask for help! We’re here for you. Your teachers, counselors and parents. It’s normal to feel anxious, everybody does!! 🙂

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Where the Gutter Ends

This is an old inking of a guttering bend I did for drawing class in college. Does it look like that? LOL A poem for the gutter.


It’s altogether different from
Where the gutter bends
All the way down to
Where the gutter ends.

When you get to the bottom
There’s no place but higher.
You’re among the garbage,
But not for long, my Flyer.

It’s okay to be down.
It teaches you how to stand.
It teaches you to be strong.
How to accept someone’s hand.

Swallow your pride.
Pull on your boots.
Plant those feet.
Let your heels dig roots.

Believe in what you do.
Or don’t do a thing.
If you have a voice?
Open your mouth and sing!

Float from the gutter
To reveal your mystery.
Let the world listen to
Your hard-to-hear (hard-to-tell) history.

Wife

The clothes are washed.
The dishes are done.
Everything’s finished.
The course has been run.

To its bedtime,
I race the sun.
Hoping to remember,
“Leave nothing undone.”

But I fail.

I failed to love you
More than you deserve.
I failed to catch you
When you leapt off with nerve.

I failed to respond
With kindness and restraint.
I succeeded in failing
At withholding complaint.

I’m sorry.

It’s not a matter of racing to the end.
It’s not a matter of winning at life.
It is a matter of walking with purpose.
It is a matter of being a good wife.

I’m not a good wife to you
If I focus on all wrong you have wrought.
It would be better of me
To remember all good you have brought.

Thank you.

I struggle with fairness
And relinquishing grace.
I like to hold grudges,
Call attention to mistakes.

I’m trying so hard to be Perfect.
And I’ve missed the boat.
I should try harder to be Forgiving.
And erase the past someone else wrote.

I love you.

The Best

If you’re a llama?
Be the best llama you know.
Sorry, Non-llamas.


If you can’t be a llama, be the best version of yourself today. Or at least be a little better than yesterday–in understanding, patience or kindness. That’s what all these tomorrows are for.

Drawing credit: Jimmy King (dad)

Dear Lillian (and any other frustrated artists),

Oh, my precious daughter.

I have passed down my intensity. Frustration. Perfectionism. And insatiable need for applause and pats on the back. I’m so sorry.

When I look into those deep, brown, watery eyes of yours and see your struggle and pain? It breaks my heart. But at the same time, it pricks my own frustration.

I have somehow failed you along the way. Not that I passed down some negative trait, but that I haven’t taught you how to cope with it. Mainly because at 44, I haven’t learned my damn self.


Lilli is 13. Barely out of middle school and a budding artist. Her skills aren’t where she wants them, but writing as an artist, are they ever?

Taste and talent never seem to match. Do they? Ugh.


The most valuable skill as an artist, I maintain, is the ability to adapt. (Art finds its own way. You can’t force it. Its going to be whatever it wants. It has a life of its own. You’re merely along for the ride.) This is learned, not innate. So I have, at least, failed to teach you how to adapt. The most important skill I could teach  you. Beyond Photoshop, or how to use watercolor pencils (haven’t a clue), or how to shade properly (if it doesn’t get done with a drop shadow in PS, I can’t help you with shading, sorry!).

But I can teach you (sorry, I keep forgetting to) how to adapt. How to approach art. How to find solutions, how to experiment, find your style.

Do anything that feels real or awesome. And if you’re not there yet? Modify your expectations. I do. Every day. And if you want to get better and I don’t know how, Google that shit. 🙂 I’m sure there’s a Youtube out there concerning exactly what you want to know.

Be true to yourself. Don’t seek attention. Don’t wait for applause. It may never come. Make art for yourself and screw the rest. It’s that simple.

Oh! And have fun. :*


And Me? Don’t get frustrated with yourself or your daughter. Have fun. Take a deep breath. You haven’t failed. You have an amazing 13 yo who is awesome at art and life. She has a big heart and is full of potential and knows Photoshop, sort of. You. Have not. Failed. You have chances to learn. Just like her.

Thanks, Me. You’re awesome.

SpiritPrayer

I’m sure, God,
Our desperate prayers
Don’t always sound
As they should.

We require
An interpreter
For our cries
To be understood.


Romans 8:26-27 NIV

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.


I prayed an angry, ugly prayer the other day, but thankfully, what God heard and what I said were two different things. The day started off bad, but quickly turned around after my desperate prayer.

statue

I forget that He is working for me, unseen. Always. He’s got it figured out before I even utter “Help!” I just need to come to him.

I do pray. Daily. But I have to admit–sometimes? It’s not as heartfelt as it could be. Or as clear as it should be. Or eloquent. Or un-profane. Or correct in any fashion.

I learned the lesson of God working unseen when I was young. From the story of Job. Job is a mess of a story, but if you can get through it, so very valuable.

I think many people think of Job as patient. The patience of Job. And he was. But he was never just totally okay with everything that was happening. He complained. A lot!

He was miserable. He sobbed. And cut himself with a broken clay pot. Dragged it over his sores. Sat in ashes. Lost his family, his house, every-thing! His wife told him to curse God and die. (Thanks, Wife!) Job cried out to God, “Why?? Why me??” (Why did you give me this wife?? lol) Complained to his friends. Rejected their flawed reasoning and comfort. But Job never cursed God. Or turned his back. And there’s the difference.

Job’s body was probably pocked with scars. From head to toe. And emotional scars as well. Job had every reason to curse God and die. Job had wealth beyond compare, a happy family life and then fell a long way down. When he thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. And he got frustrated. Desperate. Wrong-headed. Subjected to and influenced by bad reasoning.

I think we can get frustrated. Desperate. But the key is to always turn to God. To His power. Submit to His control. Never turn your back and say, “God doesn’t exist.” or “God has no power.” If you say that, then that will be true. God has no power where you will not allow it.

Submitting to the process is hard. Crazy. Ugly. Seemingly not worth it. But. In the end, all you can ever do.

Trust. It’s never over until it is. And it’s always darkest before the dawn. Trusting is hardest when you don’t understand how it can get better. But it always does. Eventually.

Job 42
12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters…15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years.


If you’re going through hell, keep going. –Winston Churchill

Trouble

I’ve heard some friends and bloggers talk about their weakness, illness or sadness today. I am praying for you. I hear you. God is by you. Do not despair.

Haiku for You


Thankful for trouble.
It teaches me endurance.
And hard times won’t last.


“Please, heal me, O Lord!”
He said, “Grace is sufficient.”
I embraced my ill.


Kingdom come! I’m weak!
His power is made perfect
When I require him.


Be patient. Hold on.
His perfect timing will come.
And trouble will go.


Amen.

Castles and Pie (mmmm)

Throwing castles and pie
Way up in the sky
And hoping

Throw that hat (Mary)
Everything but the cat (Berry)
And wait

Keep on hustlin’
Don’t stop jugglin’
And watch

Something’s gotta stick
Whip out your Bic
Keep writing!