Fixing Mistakes

I painted a little table yellow.  Then I waxed it with clear wax. Then I put dark wax on it and OH NO it was the worst!  But I did a little reading and found that you can remove Annie Sloan dark wax by putting clear wax on top and wiping it off.  It was labor intensive to do this but it gave me some time to think. Most mistakes can be fixed but the first step in fixing a mistake is admitting you made one. The picture shows this as being a lemony yellow but it's not, it's Annie Sloan Arles yellow. 

Speak Truth, Not Hopelessness

These are extremely hard times for many American people. There are some hard circumstances and hard truths which must be faced, but I think as Americans we can and must face these truths with hope. Today I saw on Twitter that someone had posted a tombstone of the United States of America. And it got my dander up, y'all. Imagine if at any pivotal point in our history Americans had given in and said our noble governmental experiment was "done". Nope. I will not be the person to say that.  And I will snap back at you if you say that.

The scarcity of opportunities for my grown son who is autistic challenges him (and me) on a daily basis. I also see things happening in my country which make me seriously worried. But I am not going to curl up in a ball and say it's "done" - not for my country, not for my son, and not for myself.  This doesn't mean that things are not extremely challenging for our country, or for my son or for myself. But we will get through it and we will create solutions, because that is what Americans do.

So. Acknowledge the challenges. Be truthful about them. Don't sweep things under the rug. And then work like your life depends on it, and speak hope.

Kindness Matters

Kindness can make an unbearable day bearable. I've experienced that more than once. A memory comes to mind when I ran into one of Alex's past case managers many years later.  "You look beautiful," she said. I remember thinking that the last time she saw me I had brown hair and was about 30 pounds lighter. But that comment made me feel beautiful.

I am trying to resurrect my blogging practice.  I use my iPad 99% of the time and Google stopped supporting the app that allowed me to write directly on Blogger.  But I think I've found a workaround.     So I expect to be writing more.
Some things on the horizon:

Soon I start my printmaking class again.  And I am thankful to be able to do it, even though it was challenging to make it work. Izannah Walker's 200th birthday is coming up on September 25th. I'm planning to celebrate several ways, so stay tuned.

The Launching

These young men, cousins, were all born within 15 months of one another. They have grown up swimming at this lake where my dad has a camp. They have spent as much time together as many brothers do. They share a lot of common experiences but are all their own persons. Now we as a family get to see them seek out their own paths as young adults. We love them and hope for good things for them all. I would be lying if I said I haven't shed a tear or two or even three.  But I also recognize this is the way things are supposed to go. They grow up and we learn to let go.

Yesterday we dropped our own son off at his college. We had a really nice day and a half with him and got to help unload his stuff and see him personalize his side of the room some.  We had lunch and then gave him a hug and left him behind to head back home (a six hour drive). Nothing quite prepares you for that moment: a weaving together of concern and pride and hope and excitement. 

There is More Than One Way to Tell a Story

This was a hauntingly beautiful story told through the eye of a needle. My cousins Frank and Pam shared it on their Facebook page.  Esther Nisenthal Kranitz had never drawn before making these incredible paintings of textiles. She set out to document her history for her children, and while doing so made art. You won't regret watching this video:


Love Your Statue As Yourself?

We sure love our statues, don't we?  

After all, Jesus said, "Love your statue as yourself."  

No, of course, Jesus didn't say that.  He said, 

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

Yes, they are history.  But most were erected in the 1920's to underscore Jim Crow laws during a time when the KKK had taken a stronghold in our country. Many are incomplete and sometimes false re-presentations of history.  But they, like the confederate battle flag, have become/are becoming a gathering point for actual Nazis, armed to the hilt, meant to intimidate.  Why is that?  

Would you leave up a statue of your ancestor's oppressor which did not tell the real story?  Was not historically accurate?

Would you leave up a statue of your ancestor's oppressor if it were calling up a new generation of likeminded oppressors threatening your children?  

Would you leave up a symbol that has become a rallying point for oppression of your neighbor? 

Why are these symbols giving strength to Nazism?

Why do we love these statues so much? 

What about your neighbor?

Mark 13:

13 As he walked away from the Temple, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at that stonework! Those buildings!”

2 Jesus said, “You’re impressed by this grandiose architecture? There’s not a stone in the whole works that is not going to end up in a heap of rubble.

Long Haul: The Kind of Life I Want to Live

Times of change are fertile times. I've been thinking about what I want to have in my life, what I don't want in my life, how I can build up others, and how I can build up myself as well. Figuring that out means looking at what you are actually doing and seeing if it matches up with what you want your life to be. In 2011, I wrote a blog post about how choices are a gift. I did not understand some of the hard choices to come. But even so, I have choices, and am fortunate and grateful for them.

I am trying to challenge myself to have a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset, per Brain Pickings.   Here are some questions bouncing around in my brain during this fertile time:

How can I work within constraints and broaden my life?

Are there things I've deemed impossible which are actually possible?

Why is that impossible?

Will saying no to some things create time to do more desirable things?

Have I set up either/or scenarios when sometimes it can be a this AND that scenario?

Does fear of failure keep me from trying things which might be future solutions?

Do I need to let go of my way of doing something so a good thing can happen?

Am I doing some things purely out of obligation?

Are my expectations getting in the way of enjoying what is?

What am I a NOT doing that I want to do?

Has assuming the answer to a question is NO kept me from asking a question?

Food for thought.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden


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