Monday, January 31, 2011

Out for a walk

Peter did not sleep last night. At least, he did not sleep for more than an hour at a time and often woke within ten minutes of being calmed and set down. This is highly atypical, for which I am thankful. Also, my husband took him this morning so I could get more sleep, for which I am very thankful. Starting my day around noon left me a bit off kilter, so late afternoon I went for about a mile walk. This was partially for the exercise and mostly to have time by myself to think and just observe the world. A bird chirping. Violin music. Wood smoke. A car idling. The front of a mailbox visible in a snowbank six feet high, which had been dug out just enough to receive mail. Children shouting. A woman walking two dogs. A man chopping ice from the sidewalk with a shovel. I cannot create if I do not first experience.

Friday, January 28, 2011

All the world's a stage

My brother works at a small school of about 50 students. Every year, every student in grades six through twelve is required to participate in the school play as an actor. Last year, they performed a musical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which was fantastic. This year, they will do Cabaret. I will miss the actual performance, but had the pleasure today of attending one of the rehearsals. They have room for improvement, but I am confident the final production will be excellent. This is particularly impressive when you realize each of these kids is somewhere on the Autism spectrum. Theater is an amazing teaching tool for these students. They learn how to appropriately express emotions, work together, and view a situation from another's perspective. Some of them have horrible stage fright. Very few have excellent voices. Yet, each year, their production is at least as good as a typical high school musical. These students are an inspiration, challenging me to go outside my comfort zone. Many goals are within my reach if I am willing to stretch a little.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Arguably, my free-hand crayon is not as artistic as the paper-craft cards. He appreciated the sentiment, though.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Come to Me all who are weary

Today has been a rather long day and is still going strong. I had a staff meeting, Mass, lunch with my mom, met with a client, took Peter to his swim lesson, and attended Bible study. I've also been doing laundry sporadically. Days like today make me so grateful for my husband, who (while working more than eight hours from home) assisted as needed while our doors were replaced, drove up to unlock my car when I locked the keys in it, made dinner, watched Peter when I was visiting my client, and also went to the swim lesson and Bible study. We each have additional chores to do tonight in the remaining two hours before bed. It seems I will not accomplish something creative today, unless you count the inspiration to let Peter play with my hair clip during Bible study because I forgot to bring toys for him. No. I will make time for something creative. I'll color a thank-you note for my very deserving husband. Picture to be posted tomorrow, most likely.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh frabjous day!

Today's creative endeavor was reading poetry to Peter while lying on the floor with him. The poems, from Children's Classic Poetry by Derrydale Books, ranged from the whimsical The Kitten and the Falling Leaves to the lovely She Walks in Beauty to the nonsensical Jabberwocky. Peter didn't seem to have a preference for one over another; I think he was content to be next to me and listen to the cadence of the different poems. This has renewed my interest in memorizing poetry. First on the list will be Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. I used to know this poem, but in the intervening years I combined the second and third stanzas, keeping only the first two lines of each in my memory. I can learn from the narrator, and my son, a lesson in listening. Sometimes God is in the whisper, you know.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bloom where you are planted

I recently decided to be proactive about pursuing creativity. Today's project was a set of five greeting cards, which I will be giving to my sister-in-law for her birthday. I'm excited about continuing this project. I should be able to make 50 greeting cards and buy stamps for all the envelopes for about $30. Three dollars for a hand-made gift seems reasonable to me. Another thing I like about this project is that each card only takes a couple minutes, so I can work on it sporadically while taking care of Peter, my six month old son. I am trying to be gentle with myself and realize that the best way to live out my calling is not to attempt to give 100% to every aspect of my life, but to simply seek balance.