The mischievous spirits of Halloween must have had some fun last night - I woke up this morning with a slight fever and persistent headache! Today I will be spending the day in my cosy bed, drinking tea, slumbering, and being gentle to my body.
Unfortunately this means that I will not be posting a challenge for this week. Please feel free to look at the past challenges and see if there are any you may have missed or would like to try again!
I'd love if you came back after all your adventures are finished and shared your stories with me! Be safe, my friends, and happy Halloween!
Found objects: a child's message of peace, golden leaves, handwriting practise paper.
View my Flickr photostream.
View my Flickr photostream.
I can't thank you enough for your kind words of late. To those who have written to me, and to all who have ever commented on my blog: thank you, thank you, thank you! I never truly expected to be able to reach out beyond my own little corner of the world, much less my own little corner of the internet. To be sharing and celebrating with readers means so much to me. Thank you!
I know that I have been quiet recently. Truly, I have missed writing and sharing with you. I have mentioned before that I have been feeling stuck - in a rut - uninspired. These feelings continue. Today I decided to break past that; I find comfort and calm in this space of mine and I believe that one can't simply write when one feels a certain way. You, beloved reader, will simply have to take me for the good or for the bad. (And I in return will accept you for what you are - deal?)
I have been wondering lately how we can overcome obstacles like lack of creative juices, boredom, or restlessness. Should we wait these moments out, or is it better to push through them to return to a space of productivity and enthusiasm? I don't have answers yet, but will continue to search for them.
Meanwhile, the leaves on the trees continue to fall and the skies maintain their pale, gray hues. The seeming endlessness of these days frustrates me. I will battle this with candles, with tea, with favourite blogs and with whatever artistic fragments motivate me to pick up a pencil or a needle and thread or a paintbrush.
So, friends - here is to the good and to the bad, to giving and receiving, to joy and to frustration and to all that plays a part in this creative life. Cheers! ♥
Today is one of my favourite kinds of days - wild, windy, mysterious, and unpredictable. The dark, dynamic clouds are chasing each other across the sky, playing hide-and-seek with the sun and teasing the earth with the possibility of rain. The wind is coaxing yellow autumn leaves from the trees, and the air is unexpectedly warm.
This week, I challenge you to listen. Close your eyes and allow yourself to melt into all that is around you. Lose your physical self and be present in this moment, in what is being spoken to you right now, be it creative whisperings, nature's own symphony, or what your heart is saying.
Though it is most assuredly Fall; though the leaves are tumbling merrily from the trees; though a chill lingers in the clear morning and the starlit evenings.. some days, like today, Summer can still be found in the quiet, undisturbed corners of the garden or the sky.
Today, the birds are serenading the world, the sun comes laughing to touch the treetops, and the sky is as blue as blue could ever be. Wild strawberries and violets hide in the shade of the grass of my garden (though they are too shy to have their photographs taken). What a beautiful day ~ what a wonderful gift!
(All images via www.postsecret.com)
A few years ago, I stumbled upon an art project begun by an ordinary man living in Maryland. The man began collecting secrets, written on the backs of postcards, from anonymous strangers. Today, he has published five books (and donated the money to this organisation) and has inspired thousands upon thousands to share every human emotion and experience, be it beautiful or sweet or sad.
I must admit, I struggled a bit with this week's challenge. I did not in any way want to feel as though I were advertising and pushing material things onto my beloved readers. Please know that this is in no way what I intend. My blog is strictly ad-free and it will stay that way; here is a warm, comfortable, safe place intended to foster love, inspiration, hope, and peace, a place where outside worries are left on the doorstep.
I could tell you to run out and buy the PostSecret books. I won't. Instead, I want to share with you something that I hold very close to my heart, something intangible and good and beautiful. I truly believe that this project has changed my life for the better; it is something that has given me hope in the good of humanity and has changed the way I view myself and others.
This week, I do not challenge, but rather invite you visit the PostSecret website, the PostSecret Community, and the PostSecret Archive. Perhaps you will read a secret that you share with a stranger - perhaps not. But I truly, truly hope that you will find love, hope, inspiration, and comfort from these anonymous cards sent by strangers.
PS. Should you wish to submit your own secret to the PostSecret project, please send your postcard to:
13345 Copper Ridge Rd.
Germantown, MD 20874
This morning I found out that dear Tara has given me the "One Lovely Blog Award!" Thank you so much, Tara, and I'm humbled that you enjoy reading my blog and taking part in my journey; I appreciate it so very much!
The rules of this award are as follows:
- Accept the award;
- Post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link;
- Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered and remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award!
- The Drifter and the Gypsy
- Dina at Ponderings
- Erica at Mission 101
- Steffi at Peaceful Living
- Rebecca Sower
- Arty Em at Creative Art Journal
- Lara at Larushka
- Jen Lee
- Violette at Violette's Folk Art
- Erin at 365 Days of Being 30
- Heather at Found & Made Designs
- Boho Photography
- Charlotte at The Tea Drinking English Rose
Please visit their blogs and send them some love!
Make it a Monday to remember, my friends.
"Barely There", September 09
This week's challenge is simple: prove you exist. Though the nature of reality is - and always will be - debatable, the fact that each and every one of us perceives, feels, and experiences is not. Go out into the world today and make your existence known!
Today I was listening to the radio, thinking about other things, when I suddenly realised a little girl - perhaps 11 or 12 - was speaking on the air.
"Can you tell me what to do when you know that your parents are going to get divorced? My mom and dad yell at each other and then don't speak to each other; sometimes my mom says that she can't take it anymore and that we have to leave.." Her voice broke, and it was obvious she was close to tears. "I don't know what to do. What should I do?"
The DJ spoke to her very kindly, though it was pretty clear that he wasn't quite sure what to say. He asked her a few questions and then said, "I'll be your big brother. I'll say silly things and make you laugh. And I'll be here for you; call me again if you need me. OK? Promise? You promise that you call me if you ever need to talk to someone?"
The girl promised, laughed shyly, and said goodbye.
Tears had welled in my eyes, sentimental fool that I am, and I began to think about strangers and how beautiful their kindness can be. Sometimes we may feel forgotten, unwanted, or are struggling with a problem in isolation; but we forget that there is a world of loving, caring people out there who really do want to help.
Take PostSecret, for example. Strangers share secrets with one another, sometimes deep and lonely and sad secrets, and always, always there will be at least one person - and likely hundreds or thousands more - who identifies, who understands, who finds comfort that they are not alone. Love surrounds this project in an astounding, overwhelming way.
Just this week, a woman whom I have never met wrote to me. She had seen that, as part of my Mission: One Oh One project, I was hoping to fold 1000 paper cranes - and she wanted to know if she could help. Just a few days ago I received a stack of paper with a lovely note wishing me happiness and love. (Thank you, Erica! A special letter will be headed your way soon!)
Last week a stranger asked me about my religious faith; though we didn't quite share the same beliefs, we shared thoughts and ideas and had a lovely conversation. Before he left, he asked if he could pray for me - and I was touched.
Millions upon millions of these little kindnesses happen every day, here and across the country and throughout the world; and these small, unselfish acts of love give me hope in the goodness of humanity. And the best part about it? It is so easy to pass the love forward - by letting someone cut in front of you in line, by putting a quarter in an expired meter, by commenting on that woman's beautiful scarf!
Pass the love on! ♥
How do you see yourself? What do you love about yourself? What is the essence of YOU?
This week I challenge you to create a self portrait in as unique a way as possible. Merriam-Webster defines 'self portrait' as:
- A picture; especially a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face
- A sculpted figure; bust
- A graphic portrayal in words
I have created a Flickr group to which you can upload your responses to this week's challenge - or any previous challenge. Don't be shy - I would love to see what you have been creating and discovering!