1127. I consider myself kind of a reporter – one who uses words that are more like music and that have a choreography. I never think of myself as a poet; I just get up and write. ~Mary Oliver

I love the line of Flaubert
about observing things very intensely.
I think our duty as writers
begins not with our own feelings,
but with the powers of observing.
~Mary Oliver

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 7.55.09 PM.png

I worried a lot.
Will the garden grow,
will the rivers flow
in the right direction,
will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not,
how shall I correct it?
Was I right,
was I wrong,
will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing,
even the sparrows
can do it and
I am, well, hopeless.
Is my eyesight fading
or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get
rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia?
Finally I saw that worrying
had come to nothing.
And gave it up.
And took my old body
and went out
into the morning,
and sang.
~Mary Oliver

Cast all your anxiety on him (God) because He cares for you. ~1 Peter 5:7  ✝

1094. Part 2: Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never been seen. ~Robert Bresson

Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet
sculptor or photographer or musician or dancer
and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale
’til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.
~Edited and adapted quote by
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 9.13.13 PM.png

How many of you liked to color when you were a child at least until someone said “you shouldn’t color outside the lines?” Or liked to build things that others knocked down for the fun of it? Or loved to twirl and dance around until someone laughed at you? Or beat out sounds on a little drum or hand made flute until someone implored you to quit making that awful racket? There are so many ways that unthinkingly people stifle the creative urge in us when we are young, and then we tuck the urges away until one day we have the courage to pick up that pen or that brush or that musical instrument or those ballet shoes or that camera or whatever to express that our creativity that has laid dormant within us. Wanna know why that urge is there and why it keeps coming to the surface? Scripture tells us that we are made in the image of God, the Creator of all that is. So that need within us is an inextricable part of who we are and it’s there to serve a sacred purpose. Now before you say, “Oh I’m just not creative.” Yes, you are! You have to be because you are part of the Creator of everything. Everybody is creative in some way. Look at all the ways in which Yahweh created. Some of you may be an imaginative cook, or homemaker, or gardener, or teacher, or statesmen, or preacher, or seamstress, etc. Not every one is designed to make music or write poetry or dance the light fandango. There are thousands of ways to be creative and all of them are valid and come from our inherent ability to be creative. Creativity is not a competition. And no one, simply no one, has the right to criticize or discourage us from fulfilling what we have been anointed to do. In fact, in my way of thinking, it’s sacrilege to try to do so. And it is also not for anyone else to judge the quality or the reason or the necessity of what we create. It’s a God-given right and mandate for all that He has made serves a purpose. So I offer the following things to think on:

1) To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong. ~Joseph Chilton Pearce
2) Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. ~Scott Adams
3) All creative outlets require courage. ~Anne Tucker
4) The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
5) What creativity offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit. ~John Updike
6) Creativity is not a thing; it is a way. ~Elbert Hubbard
7) Creativity is the struggle to understand. ~Terri Guillemets
8) Life beats down and crushes the soul and creative outlets remind one that he/she has one. ~Stella Adler
9) Creativity is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail. ~Theodore Dreiser

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.49.32 PM.png

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 via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

852. Silence is exhilarating at first – as noise is – but there is a sweetness to silence outlasting exhilaration, akin to the sweetness of listening and the velvet of sleep. ~Edward Hoagland

God’s poet is silence!  His song is unspoken
And yet so profound, and so loud, and so far,
That it thrills you and fills you in measures unbroken—
The unceasing song of the first morning star….
~Joaquin Miller

Screen shot 2015-08-27 at 3.46.36 PM

There is a silence
into which the world cannot intrude.
There is an ancient peace you carry
in your heart and have not lost.
There is a sense of holiness in you
the thought of sin has never touched.
All this today you will remember.
~From a COURSE IN MIRACLES
by Marianne Williamson

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. ~Psalm 23:2  ✝

**Image of the water lily found on Pinterest

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

Screen shot 2015-07-29 at 1.52.26 PM

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

Screen shot 2015-07-29 at 2.38.04 PM

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.

Screen shot 2015-07-29 at 3.28.15 PM

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.

621. Color is a power which directly influences the soul. ~Wassily Kandinsky

In the house of words was a table of colors.
They offered themselves in great fountains,
and each poet took the color he needed:
lemon yellow or sun yellow
ocean blue or smoke blue,
crimson red, blood red, or wine red.
~Eduardo Galeano

DSC_0044

There is not one blade of grass,
there is no color in this world
that is not intended to make us rejoice.
~John Calvin

DSC_0040

Joy is the sweet voice, joy the luminous cloud–
We in ourselves rejoice!
And thence flows all that charms our ear or sight
all melodies the echoes of that voice,
all colours a suffusion from that light.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

DSC_0066

In nature, light creates the color.
In the picture, color creates the light.
~Hans Hoffman

DSC_0010

Color! Ah, the fabulous, mystic realm of color! Just look at these flowers I photographed in my greenhouse yesterday! What a sacred voice is the song of their colors! It never fails to wow me over and over again! Even in the low-light of a cold, grey, rainy winter’s day, color declares and praises God’s holy name! Thus, may it ever draw us near Him.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you His faithful people; praise His holy name. ~ Psalm 30: 4   ✝

606. God’s poet is silence!  His song is unspoken and yet so profound, and so loud, and so far, that it thrills you and fills you in measures unbroken—The unceasing song of the first morning star…. ~Joaquin Miller

We listen too much to the television
and we listen too little to nature.
Everybody should have his personal sounds
to listen for—sounds that exhilarate,
make him feel alive, or quiet and calm…
As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds—
and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence.
~Edited lines by André Kostelanetz

Screen shot 2015-01-07 at 6.26.59 PM

I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid,
And the silence of the sick…
There is the silence of a great hatred,
And the silence of a great love,
And the silence of an embittered friendship.
There is the silence of a spiritual crisis,
Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured,
Comes with visions not to be uttered
Into a realm of higher life.
There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.
There is the silence of those who have failed;
And the vast silence that covers
Broken nations and vanquished leaders.
And there is the silence of age,
Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it
In words intelligible to those
who have not lived the great range of life.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Edgar Lee Masters

The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.  ~Habakkuk 2:20  ✝

526. Heat lingers as days are still long; early mornings are cool while autumn is still young. ~Po Chu-i, Chinese poet who lived from 772-864 during the Tang Dynasty

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


~Excerpt from i thank you God for most this amazing… (65)

by e.e. cummings, a poet whose peculiar syntax
and lack of or strange use of punctuation
conjures up as lasting and as memorable
images as this photo

Screen shot 2014-10-22 at 10.39.37 PM

I think it curious when I read another’s perfect description of my current reality, especially when it is one like Po Chu-i’s that was written so long ago and so far away from where I am. When it happens, I can’t help but wonder what the writer was like, what he was doing when not writing poetry, and what the landscape looked like that inspired his thoughts and rhymes. Was he young like the autumn of which he spoke, or was he like me, one who has weathered many an autumn. I also  wonder if in China today the heat lingers again in Lady Autumn’s infancy. It’s certainly lingering hear in Texas in the 21st century. However, I’m not complaining because for some time now our early morns have been deliciously cool as have been the evenings that draw the days to an end. So cool in fact was it again this morning that after last night’s watering, droplets yet bejeweled the rose in the photo. That in and of itself is cause for thanksgiving since it wasn’t too long ago that all such surface water would have evaporated before dawn’s first light brushed away night’s obscurity. Actually, despite the lingering heat, this fall has been filled with more than a fair measure of splendor, a smattering of its usual intimations of holy mysteries, and now the first expected touches of nature’s autumnal poetry have been penned. Speaking of poetry, some poets like e.e. cummings write lines that challenge easy interpretation, but often poetry which defies easy understanding endures through the ages because the words and thoughts resonate in the deepest chambers of the human heart. Perhaps that’s why today I’m captivated by cumming’s poetic imagination as well as nature’s magical images and the Lord’s amazing genius.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4   ✝