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The Art of Living
I finally did it! I wrote a children's book and I am collaborating with a very talented Canadian artist, Deb Dunn from Ontario (her artwork is shown here).
The story, "Winter's Gift", is actually a poem that I wrote in December 2017, and is shown in my previous blog. I made a couple of minor changes, so that children ages 5-9 can enjoy reading it with an older sibling or an adult. Deb's illustrations will add to the magic and imagination of that silent stroll one cold winter's day when only me and my best friend, Sir Finlay, walked across the newly fallen snow to find a Coyote's tracks.
A favorite vintage image is the Heart & Hand. Whether I find it on an antique pair of gloves, jewelry, or sculpture, there is something so charming about it, that I want to recreate an image using textiles.
I found these images on Google and Pinterest to inspire me to hook and embroider during the cold winter months. I hope you can be inspired by these images too, and create a charming mat or soft sculpture for yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
Emerson also said:
"Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Plans, credit and the Muse,—
And near the end of the poem, he writes:
"Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,—
Keep thee to-day,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved."
Whatever inspires you, stay with it and nurture it because you will make beautiful art, and create it your way.
I finally did it. I wrote a children's book, and now I am collaborating with a professional illustrator. I've always wanted to write a children's book, but I never had the guts to do it.
When I went back to college in the mid-90's, I wanted to be a teacher, and I got lucky when I got to do a practicum with Andy Bombeck. Yes, that's right, Erma Bombeck's son. I should have known then that was my moment to begin writing for children; but I wasn't ready.
Periodically, as work progresses on the book illustrations, I will be posting updates here.
Do what you love.
Christmas Eve morning, my dearest friend, Sir Finlay, joined me on a walk along the nearby trails. It was early, too early for others to be out walking.
We walked crunching through the newly fallen snow. The only tracks laid down before ours were that of a female coyote and several rabbits.
Sir Finlay is an excellent tracker; his senses following the coyote, wanting to break out in a race to find the mysterious lurking creature. Finlay would look back at me every few seconds, his eyes pleading me to remove his leash.
We saw where the female coyote walked and then tracking back again. She headed down to the frozen pond, and back up to the main trail, then down to the rapidly flowing-creek where the Mallards foraged for food. We could see that she stopped at the water’s edge to drink. Then her tracks following the banks of the creek toward a thicket of grasses.
Her medium-sized paws came upon a narrow animal trail, her personal trail, through the thick mass of reeds and tall dry grasses she walked alone; no companion, no mate, or pup. No, she traveled alone in search of food, and walked this route regularly as evidenced by the trampled vegetation she had cleared by walking this way repeatedly for quite some time.
As Finlay and I continued to track her, we saw where the narrow path led in the distance. The wildlife path curved along the creek and then disappeared into the dense vegetation.
We backed up and headed away from the creek back toward the main trail. We wondered where our coyote friend was while we tracked her. Was she watching us, lurking in the dense brush; her keen eyes fixed on us, the intruders of her quiet solitude?
Sir Finlay and I continued our walk along the main trail until we found an opening in the thick vegetation where we found dense grasses underneath an ancient and gigantic Cottonwood tree. The wildlife path exposing her tracks. She must have bedded down underneath the protection of the Cottonwood branches and enormous trunk because we saw where she laid down in her perfectly nestled bed.
These moments that were compiled into an experience created an ethereal Christmas gift. The serenity and primal sensation to walk along trails where only a solitary coyote walked before me is madly gratifying. The pristine fallen snow and the crisp morning air that lent itself to utter silence except for the sound of my footsteps were indeed a gift from Mother Earth, the best possible gift I could ever receive.
Sir Finlay, December 24, 2017.
The Art of Living is ...
Inspiration from nature's beauty, simple living, love, and peace.