1324. A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

To be creative means to be in love with life.
You can be creative only if you love life
enough that you want to enhance its beauty,
you want to bring a little more music to it,
a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.
~Osho

Screen Shot 2016-12-29 at 8.12.03 PM.png

Have you never wanted to create something? Have you never been so inspired by something at least once that you wished you could replicate in some way the beauty or allure of whatever it was? Is there never a yearning in your soul to leave behind some remembrance of your unique self? Not something that would garner money or medals or statues and the like, just something that would tell family and friends you walked the earth, that you felt joy and suffering, that you loved and were loved, that you were accepted and pushed away, that you knew elegance and crudeness, that you felt anger and delight as well as grief and gladness, that you were compassionate and indifferent, that you knew blessings and defeat, that you encountered kindness and rudeness, that sometime you came face to face with something extraordinary, perhaps even miraculous. If so, it’s because that’s what is found here in this place we call earth, and no, it’s not all good or kind or joyful or loving or pain free and so forth, but I have lived long enough to know that in some small, or middling or grand measure, one inevitably runs the entire gamut of human existence. And I believe that along the way, a voice in each of us calls out for us to create something whilst we are here. Why? Because we are all made in the image of a creative God. Wait, wait, wait before you try to tell me that you are not creative, let me say that I can’t  and won’t believe that not even for one millisecond. My guess is the reason you may feel that way is because at some point in time, maybe when you were very young, someone made you feel like you had no “quote, unquote” “talent” or even worse made fun of something you had created. And these naysayers had the right to decide that you weren’t talented because??? How easily mortals often turn over the keys to the kingdom to those whose credentials are less than Almighty God’s! And finally before any of you reading this launch into the argument that you can’t dance or draw or sing or write or whatever, I would ask of you: can you build a house or car or something else, can you grow things, can you manage a household, can you parent a child, can you teach, can you sew, can you cook…because all those things and more require creativity, Okay, now then, given that and the fact that we humans all have two sides to our brains, a left and a right hemisphere, and that one is the creative half we can be assured that each and everyone of us possesses the ability to create.

Screen Shot 2016-12-29 at 7.34.05 PM.png

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
~Ranier Maria Rilke

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~Genesis 1:27  ✝

**Images in collage via Pinterest; special effects done by me on iPiccy; image of brain via Pinterest; text added by me

1159. Words are such small things, like confetti in the brain, and yet they are color and clarify everything; they stain the mind or warp the feelings. ~Diane Ackerman

Ecstasy is what everyone craves —
not love or sex, but hot-blooded, soaring intensity,
in which being alive is a joy and a thrill.
That enravishment doesn’t give meaning to life,
and yet without it life seems meaningless.
~Diane Ackerman

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 8.06.37 PM.png

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,
In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,
I will honor all life —
wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by Diane Ackerman

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor. ~Proverbs 21:21  ✝

**All images (my enravishments) were taken by me in my yard.

630. If Heaven made him — earth can find some use for him. ~Chinese Proverb

Truly, I am as a grain of sand in the desert,
Infinitesimal, so very small!
And, yet, I serve a purpose in this wondrous world,
As do the trees, so stately and so tall.
I’m just a tiny atom that God has placed down here—
I do not even know the reason why!
But I’m sure that He, with wisdom, has evolved a plan
To fit me in His pattern ere I die.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at 2.01.27 PM

According to Scripture, each one of us is made in God’s image, and though we are, as Buckingham declares, merely an infinitesimal “grain of sand in the desert,” we do indeed, as she also purports, serve a purpose “in this wondrous world.” We are also told in Holy Writ, that the Lord with His limitless power is ready, willing, and able to helps us discern what our purpose is. So the question is how does He do that? Well, we are given a brain that has the ability to learn, a heart that is able to love, ears that hear, and eyes that are capable of discerning a wide spectrum of things. Okay, then, how does He, from afar, orchestrate the discharge of His plan. Well, since our mouths can deliver His loving smile, our voices speak comforting words, our hands administer compassionate healing, our legs carry whatever is lacking to places totally bereft of the “wondrous” aspect of life, it would appear our lives are to be spent serving Him with the gifts we’ve been given. The better question is: how can we who bear Yahweh’s image and breathe His holy breath, do anything but make it our primary concern to spend time with Him and ask for revelation about what it is He would have us do with our “one wild and precious life.” Otherwise, what would be the point of being able to give and receive love if there were no place to spend it nor people with whom to share it?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

581. It’s like nature (in autumn) is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary. ~Siobhan Vivian

The autumn of the year is an artist,
a mural artist who enchants the landscape
with 
touches of tangerine and magenta, crimson and gold.
And we, we who witness and relish fall’s splendor
are invited to tell its story or to dance or to sing
with the same kind gusto as the dazzle of its drama.
~Natalie Scarberry

DSC_0019

Magenta! The mystery of marvelous, magical magenta! But why, why would a color as gorgeous as it be a mystery? Well, magenta doesn’t have a wavelength, and it’s never seen in a rainbow. Yet the rainbow is supposed to be the full spectrum of color, and wavelengths of reflected light determine what color the eye sees. So the answer lies in color mixing. But wait, colors cannot be mixed in physics! And therein lies the mystery of magenta. It has to do, not with photons and physics, but instead with the physiology of the way the eye works. Even though the human eye is sensitive to color, it is only through red cones, blue cones, and green cones in the retina, none of which mixed, result in magenta. However, as it turns out, the brain can be tricked into color mixing or even into inventing or making up a color. And so magenta results from the perceived absence of green in the color spectrum leaving only red and blue, and blue light mixed with red light creates magenta. That’s why my photo of the ornamental grass yesterday and the one today tell me that the Lord, genius and maker of all this is, is a Master Artist as enamored as anyone, including “moi,” with mixing and matching colors and creating what some call “eye candy.”

I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh praise the greatness of our God. ~Deuteronomy 32:3    ✝

566. The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart. ~St. Jerome

The best and most beautiful things
in the world cannot be seen or even touched –
they must be felt with the heart.
~Helen Keller

Screen shot 2014-11-28 at 9.38.16 AM

On the edge of dreaming when the brain lets go, when it stops its scheming, our blood runs slow… Then the heart speaks clearly of the things it knows, things it brought so dearly at the evening’s glow… And a misty sunset fills the west with yellow, gold and scarlet red. The bowl of space at dawn sheds light upon our silky bed. For you, I send refreshing rain to wash the past away. A quiet breeze drifts warmly across your tired face. It brings the scents from flowery climbs, and leaves without a trace. With vines and newborn stars in our hair…undressed, bronzed platinum we are as summer in your golden church… Like whispers lost at sea…we soar beyond the sky of fire…in harmony within the clash of elements… Together lost and free to claim our each desire. Like leaves we float to earth, once more…forbidden passion, romantic eyes, and heated lips…two burning amber hearts released and drinking slowly mysterious champagne of heaven’s sweetest rest… ~Oksana Rus

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

509. How we treat the vulnerable is how we define ourselves as a species. ~Russell Brand

What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The lustre of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
Yes, but not for this alone.

Is it to feel our strength –
Not our bloom only, but our strength -decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more weakly strung?

Yes, this, and more!

Screen shot 2014-10-06 at 2.39.31 PM

It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young.
It is to add, immured
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.

It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel:
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion -none.

It is -last stage of all –
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves…
~Excerpted lines from a poem by Matthew Arnold

Echoes, echoes of the past–voices, so many familiar voices gone, now silenced by the closing of their life’s doors–memories, memories mingling with the present, all bringing the dark clouds that move in across her brain where the fury of raging storms begin on unfamiliar shores. The echoes, the voices, and the memories become scrambled in her dementia so that things and people once cherished create anxiety, anguish, and at times torment. Her mind, once sharp and clear, is now befuddled as she becomes more and more lost inside herself and her fears. Her family raised, her labors done, there is nothing left now but the lonely silence of her worsening deafness and the rapid waning of her vision. Soon she will be ever so far away from me, the one in whose womb my life began. Will she then still know my face and the feel of my touch? Will the skies ever again clear in her head and cast her weary, but back on familiar shores? Or has she begun the final journey of her dreaded aloneness? Please Lord, be with my mother as she struggles to navigate these dark passages of uncharted waters. Bring her comfort and peace, and if not mine, then let her recognize Your touch and know Your face. Let the child she has again become blindly trust as she once did that all is well with her soul and that You will care for her always. And let Your sweet benedictions steal into her senescent heart and fragile mind that’s becoming so profoundly confused, wounded, and betrayed by her aged, earthly body.

One of my followers commented yesterday on my memory post about the sadness of dealing with an aging parent who has Alzheimer’s, and I know that others of you are caring for elderly parents whose memories are failing. In those situations there are two or more people affected by the circumstances; both the aged and their caregiver(s) are profoundly impacted by this passage. So I decided to share the above with all of you.  It is something I wrote in my journal during a long, hard night when I was caring for my 92-year-old mother before she passed away.

 

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ~Isaiah 46:4   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. ~Isaiah 46:4 ✝

388. The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion

How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers?
~Andrew Marvell

Image

Then the heart, the poor jaded heart, that must etherize itself to endure the grimness of city life at all how subtly it begins throbbing again in unison with the great symphony of the natural. The awakened heart can sense in spring in the air when there is no visible suggestion in calendar or frosted earth, and knowing the songful secret, the can cause the feet to dance through a day that would only mean winter to an urbanite.

Image

The sense of taste can only be restored by a constant diet of unwilted vegetables and freshly picked fruit.

Image

The delicacy of touch comes back gradually by tending injured birdlings, by the handling of fragile plants, and by the acquaintance with different leaf textures, which finally makes one able to distinguish a plant, even in the dark, by its Irish tweed, silken or fur finish.

Image

And the foot, how tangibly it becomes sensitized; how instinctively it avoids a plant even when the eye is busy elsewhere. On the darkest night I can traverse the rocky ravine, the thickets, the sinuous paths through overgrown patches, and never stumble, scratch myself or crush a leaf. My foot knows every unevenness of each individual bit of garden, and adjusts itself lovingly without the conscious thought of brain.

Image

To the ears that have learned to catch the first tentative lute of a marsh frog in spring, orchestras are no longer necessary. To the eyes that have regained their sight, no wonder lies in the craftsmanship of a tiny leaf form of an inconsequential weed, than is to be found in a bombastic arras. To the resuscitated nose is revealed the illimitable secrets of earth and incense, the whole gamut of flower perfume, and other fragrant odors too intangible to be classed, odors which wing the spirit to realms our bodies are as yet too clumsy to inhabit.

~Excerpted paragraphs from Let’s Make a Flower Garden
by Hanna Rion (1912)

For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. ~Job 5:6 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

** Images via Pinterest