Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday Inspiration Celebration: turtle time

This is my process on Mondays: I know I am going to be writing a post which I won't be able to get to until late in the afternoon. So much of the day I ponder what it is I am going to share and I usually have something pretty well fleshed out in my mind before sitting down to write. And the past weekend being a glorious busy one - a field trip to the nature center with Cowgirl's class, the first true weekend of Spring weather, Mother's day and time to paint, sew, read and write - I had a lot to share. My tendency is to throw everything out at you ... I operate under the assumption get it all out while I still can (I am reminded of the frenzy of activity marking the final days of Van Gogh but I tell myself I am not licking my paint brushes - risking lead poisoning which is one theory on Van Gogh's madness - nor am I subsisting on coffee, bread and alcohol) ... but today I am tired.

Tired in a been-outside-been-squeezing-all-I-can-out-of-my-life good way. But tired. And now I am remembering my encounter with this fellow on Friday:

And how ironic I just made this card for my 49 by 49 series

I had forgotten about turtle. Turtle was the totem that crawled into my life almost 20 years ago, teaching me to understand the times when I needed to declare my boundaries, making myself safe by going within for security. Turtle reminds me to balance intellectual knowing with intuition. Turtle also reminds me to honor my need to slow down, be patience and trust in moving at my own pace.

I also had been thinking about Owls and was deciding to add owl to my series so when I also saw an owl on Friday, I went home and did this piece:

Owl medicine is about magic, the wisdom experienced in the shadows and truths known only through darkness. Owl also teaches me about taking only what I need and keeping clear my intentions, thoughts, and actions. Owl is about seeing in all directions; wisdom and journeying within for clarity and understanding.

I've been reconnecting with guides from the past and realized one of my earliest inspirations was St. Francis of Assisi. I remember bringing home the scholastic books catalog and asking for a book called Brother Sun, Sister Moon. I loved the idea of someone who was so gentle and peaceful, birds would land on his shoulders and deer would eat out of his hands. I think I could relate more to someone who preached to birds and animals than I could understand what the ministers talked about in church on Sundays.

Lots more I wanted to share ... I took the plunge and enrolled in a 21 day poetry writing course ... I talked myself into it by thinking I could stay under the radar and just email my poems to the instructor, by passing the whole group thing and my usual angst over whether I belonged there or not. Go figure, it is such a small group, I have no place to hide! I got the first prompt today and had a mini meltdown. Foolishly I read one woman's piece before writing my own and it was - well, pure poetry to me. I wanted to crawl under my desk. None of the prompts spoke to me, no images or thoughts came to mind. My mind was sucked clean and dry.

And then one sentence flashed by me and I quickly grabbed hold of it. Like building a collage, I placed it down and then added another sentence, another image. The words didn't flow as much as I stacked them one after another until my half hour was up. What I wrote has potential; but more importantly I exercised my creative muscles in a new way and it felt good. After my panic, I remembered to trust in the process and know that no matter what, through it I would grow. Poetry may or may not have been written, but I definitely learned something about myself and my abilities.

But the greatest inspiration of the past few days has been the gifts my girl bestowed upon me for Mother's Day. First there was a celebratory breakfast:

Then the bounty of gifts, including a lady bug garden sculpture

but the highlight was this book card made by my girl:

"my mom paints a lot of beautiful pictures."

"my mom makes noodles for me"

"my mom hugs me"
(i love how she drew the window by her bed with the view of the road and our neighbor's house)

"my mom cuddles me I love her."

I am one happy bunny mama.

i saw all my friends at the nature center: rabbit, turtle, snake, hawk and owl. Brandi, this bunny is for you!


  1. what a wonderful mother's day card!!! i just wrote about the postcard you sent me on my blog. thank you so much, lis. i will hang it where i can be sure to see it often. i love being a joy warrior with you!

  2. So happy for you! Hooray for our wonderful totems and guides. It seems that they wanted to gently remind you that they are there for you. Lovely! Smiles.

  3. what fabulous creations you've got going, love love love that turtle.
    and oh my, your cowgirl is simply fabulous. you'll be sharing some of that poetry with us one day? happy belated mother's day Lis!!

  4. How I love childrens drawings. No problem what so ever just drawing. That's really going to inspire me today. Thanks for sharing and tell your girl her drawings are great.

  5. *gasp* *wipes tear* -- that book is SO brilliant!!

    LOVE Turtle...comes up for me a lot in the cards these days....

    spring has finally arrived here too -- we've been out Joy Warrior-ing and are subsequently exhausted-but-in-a-good-way and a wee bit crispy after yesterdays adventures...


    ps. you ARE a poet, btw...{don't get me started on that}

  6. oh sweet!!! happy mother's day-

  7. Awww I love that bunny! Ok I love ALL bunnies :) AND that turtle. I had such a thing for turtles when I was a little girl.

    That card from Cowgirl is so wonderful. My favorite part is about the beautiful pictures that you paint!

    Did you know that on St. Francis Day many Catholic churches do pet blessings? I am not Catholic, but I just love that :)

    And I'm so glad you took the plunge and worked through that first poetry assignment. I need to trust the process and work through my last BIG assignment (I know, still...). Struggling to find inspiration this week as a commission looms over me at the same time as another sick baby (our hedgehog). Thanks for being an inspiration, and for thinking of me :)

    <3 ~Brandi Marie

  8. Oh, what a sweet daughter you have! Glad you're reconnecting with your guides. Hope you will "publish" some of your poems here. Have a great week!

  9. What a wonderful series. The cards from Cowgirl are the BEST! I love seeing what children see and especially how non-judgmental they are about their own art. We can learn a lot from them. Nature centers, one of my favorite places to be. Owls are special to me too, especially the kind in your photo - the same kind that has been in our backyard. There is something other worldly about them. I do love how you find inspiration on Mondays!

  10. I always tell people that Mike&I are often on turtle time- lol! Love the paintings here. Owl medicine is so powerful.And Cowgirl's cards are awesome!I REALLY wanted to join you in the poetry class.Alas. . .

  11. Oh my goodness, Lis! You are so gorgeous through this writing that I want to hug you tight and never let go!

    Such beauty.

    Good luck with the poetry class. You are going to ROCK it.

  12. Lis, I am in love with your turtle card! Turtle is a totem for me also and guess what, I needed reminding of that. Will you share how you created that beautiful turtle outline, I really feel inspired to have a go at creating my own version :) Cowgirl's gift book is priceless, my heart melted as I looked at it, she is one special lady xxx Milena