823. Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love. ~Claude Monet

 It has been said that art is a tryst,
for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet.
~Kojiro Tomita

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Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet
and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale
‘til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Monet’s ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene over and over again in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of seasons. And as he had unwavering confidence in himself as an artist, he would do whatever it took to advance his career including purchasing a boat at the age of thirty-three which with his knowledge of boats he rendered into a studio boat, an act significant both on a personal and a practical level. At Giverny Monet’s lily ponds would become the subjects of his best-known works. It was in 1899 that he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings that were to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life.

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So be very careful to love the Lord your God. ~Joshua 23:11  ✝

**I found the above information about Monet on the Internet; the first collage I created included my photos of poppies at Giverny along with a photo of Monet’s famous “poppies” painting. In the second collage I included a photo of one of Monet’s paintings of his Japanese bridge and lily pond along with some photos I took of such. Then for the final collage I used a photo of a signed painting of his studio boat and an assortment of flowers I found at Giverny along with a part of two rooms in his house and signs pointing the way to Giverny.

756. Because the purpose of any descent is always in order to ascend. ~Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Life is a song – sing it.
Life is a game – play it.
Life is a challenge – meet it.
Life is a dream – realize it.
Life is a sacrifice – offer it.
Life is love – enjoy it.
~Sai Baba

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So it was that upward and onward I went into my junior year–singing a new song, playing a new game, dreaming of Paris, and attempting to meet the challenges of life and school. But the sacrificing and loving part were still on hold. I had taken my mom’s advice about getting a teaching certificate.  To do that I had had to choose a second teaching field, and because French had always been so easy for me I opted to take Spanish. But wait just a minute. Ya know, since I really didn’t want to be a teacher, the sacrificing really had begun in a way. Nevertheless I began taking Spanish as well as learning more French.  In one of my 3rd year French classes we were having fun trying to read LE PETIT PRINCE, and when not in class or working for the Dean, I was continuing to have a great deal of fun playing bridge. Hmmmm? Now that I think back, around the time of my 20th birthday in October, my friend Danny was taking me home after a bridge game and we were philosophizing, as college students often do, about this, that, and the other. During the conversation the subject of marriage came up. Since I still had had no serious romantic love interests, I glibly replied that I didn’t think I would ever get married. Danny responded by saying that he had heard that if you bet someone $50 that you wouldn’t get married in the coming year, it would surely happen. I laughed out loud at such nonsense and met the challenge with, “Okay, you’re on, hot shot.” To be continued…. (2 weeks, 4 days and counting)

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. ~Psalm 51:17  ✝

**Images via the Internet and Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

545. Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but courage and the soul. ~Michel de Montaigne

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
~William Shakespeare

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As WW II raged on in the fall of 1942, my dad was drafted into the U.S. Army on the day I was born and was sent to St. Augustine, Florida, for basic training. Afterwards he was moved to Camp Shelby in Mississippi for medical training before being sent overseas. My mom then traveled by train with me at the age of six months from Los Angeles, California, to Camp Shelby so Dad could see and spend a little time with her and me before being shipped out. (The picture above was taken in Mississippi before he shipped out.) A few months after he left, Mom began receiving small gifts and letters in French from a young Algerian woman whose children’s hands had been severely burned during an air-raid and whose home had been destroyed in the bombing. For several weeks, Dad who was a medic in the Army, made his way from the camp where he was stationed to the town in which the family lived to bring medication and change the children’s bandages. Today, I pray the little candle of Dad’s good deed shines on in the lives of those two little girls.

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Although Dad came home to my mom and the two oldest of his babies as seen in in the photo above, he had been inducted into the army with an enlarged heart, which in retrospect seems to have been large both physically and spiritually. Even though he was shot in the line of duty, it was not the shrapnel in his legs, the wounds of war that ended his life. At the age of 51, my father suffered a massive heart attack which brought an end to his valiant and cherished life. It was then and is now the most tragic of my life as well as a profoundly defining moment. I was the only one of his three children whom he got to see graduate from high school, and 50+ years later I still cry when I see his face or speak his name. He was and is now my hero, and I honor him and ALL who have served and died to protect our freedoms.  And I pray for safety for the ones who are currently serving and for their waiting families.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die… time for war and a time for peace. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 and 8b   ✝