A very artistic writing friend of mine does a lot of “art journaling”—collage interpretations that flesh out visually what’s on her heart or in her head. I’ve always been a little cautious about trying my hand at this endeavor, as I consider myself ‘not artistic.’
Well, fiddlesticks to that, I say. I discovered when you sit yourself down with colored scraps of paper, old magazines and torn out poems or lines from your favorite discarded books that all sorts of ‘artistic’ things will materialize.
The recent challenge she posted echoed her series of the five ‘W’ questions of journalism. Part of the ‘what’ was to make a ‘tree of life’ collage. I was intrigued, as I was unsure of what exactly my ‘tree of life’ would look like—just what did I consider to be life-giving to me? What particular pieces of the world and its wonders would I consider in my tree?
It’s funny how, when you sit with the flotsam and jetsam of cast-off materials, what amazing thing happen—you find words and pictures that speak to you in a way that nothing else can.
Not only speak, but call to you.
I have no idea why the Groucho Marx glasses figure so prominently in my finished piece—I hesitated to put them front and center—“what would people think?” They hardly represent the ‘spiritual’ side of me….
Other details sum up the ‘me’ of who I am much better:
- California oranges-I’m a Southern California girl from Orange County—you can take the girl out of Orange County but…well, you know
- The Italian coffeemaker—top right corner—and cup of coffee-just below Groucho’s mustache—are the fuel of my days. Can’t live in Seattle without it. Can’t start the day without it.
- Then there’s the obvious:
- “A Good Book”—can never have too many
- “Sowing Faith”—always, prayerfully
- A bird singing—(in Groucho’s invisible ear)—the birds in my world bring me great joy.
- “POETRY”–a whisper of a word (hard to see in the photo–just near the bird). Poems send their soft sounds into my world whenever I can stop and savor them.
- “Journal”—yes, please. Every day. For over 20 years. Journal.
The Groucho drawing kept calling me and I finally gave in. “Life is just way too serious. The heart of me wants to be joyful and playful.” So bushy eyebrows and funny round glasses–smack dab in the middle.
But the phrase I was drawn to which surprised me the most was, “It might be…life.”
This season I’m in has been proving a challenge in other ways, art notwithstanding.
I’ve been dealing with back issues which have led to muscle weakness and tightness in my legs for over 2 months. The condition has colored my days, no doubt about it.
I’ve spent some time talking to Jesus about it. Actually, no. I’ve spent a lot of time WORRYING about it—how long will it last? I wish I could sleep without this pain. What will the doctors do? I won’t be able to work in the garden and pull weeds (absolute death knell, I tell you—see “home and garden” above).
And on it goes—I truly have been worrying my prayers, beseeching God for a resolution. However, there’s nothing forthcoming as of yet, until I make another visit for an MRI then back to the doctor for A Plan. Which all takes time, meaning I have to wait and try not to conjure up the future.
So– I take one day at a time—trite but oh-so-true advice—and live in the moments.
The ones where I can have a cup of coffee outside on my deck and hear the birds.
Or water my garden or read a book or sit and journal.
Where I can sit and listen to my Jesus while He sows faith in ME.
The moments which, when put all together, will more than likely reflect the found words right above Groucho’s crazy eyebrows, “It might be life.”
For now it is…
What’s in YOUR tree of life?~~~~~