the pumpkin flowers are up
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the pumpkin flowers are up
Artists live a life of wonder. At times, it’s wondering what to do next. I will not lie, I have been wondering this for the last few months. I am looking for the sweet spot! It’s my favorite place to be in Art. It’s the place where you are working and you don’t want to stop. I think it’s a divine place where God kisses your life with ideas that flow out in a steady stream.
A lot of things can bar you from this place. Looking in the wrong direction, self doubt, self pity, self self self. Ha! Get the point? You have to get rid of the”self” part. If the sweet spot is divine, then you have to seek out the divine.
A few nights ago I had a dream. My dad was in the dream. Someone had driven him to my house. He slowly came up the steps to my house and said to me, ” Bloom“. In a small whisper he said, “bloom where you are planted”.
Then he was gone.
I woke up knowing the “divine” had spoken to me.
No grinding out ideas, just let the divine IN me out… to make the art I was born to make.
A flower does not worry about the bloom. All the coding for that bloom is IN the seed. It simply drinks up moisture from above and the roots go down and the bloom comes.
So… BLOOM today! You were meant to be like none other.
Hi there. Long time no see. It’s me, not you. I’ve been slack.
But tonight I’m putting a hold on the smoothies I promised to make for D and myself, in order to write this post. So listen up. Because it’s important. And because smoothies are on the line!
Lately I’ve been feeling down in the dumps, and it’s not just because of my recent terrible haircut. It’s also because of a project I’ve been working on, which is not going quite where I want it to. It’s gotten so that the last few days I’ve been trying to think of a reason not to quit. Because somehow I got to this point where quitting doesn’t even feel like quitting. It just feels like not continuing, which doesn’t really sound as bad. Does that make sense? It does to me.
But I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this project. You always hear stories where people were so close to quitting when they finally met with success, so I thought, maybe that’s where I am. Maybe I should hang in there a bit longer. But what’s the point? I need a reason. A really rock-solid reason not to quit–something that will actually force me to keep going. Because this is kind of new for me. I don’t quit. Never. Not really. I’m not even bragging because honestly, sometimes it’s a curse. If I get it in my head to do something, then I JUST. WON’T. LET. IT. GO. So ordinarily what keeps me from giving up is that I can’t admit defeat. But this time that isn’t enough.
Because I kind of want to quit. I’ve turned it into something other than defeat. I’ve turned it into the realistic, responsible thing to do. It would save me a lot of grief (read: feeling depressed at my lack of success and guilty for doing anything besides working on my project). It would be easier.
So, while I was washing dishes tonight, the answer kind of came to me in the form of this blog post. (It seems like I always get half-decent ideas while I’m washing dishes. You might think that’s a good enough reason to wash dishes more often, but I’m still not sold.) Anyway, I was trying to think of one good reason not to quit and I realized it was actually pretty simple: If I quit, then I’ll definitely be in the exact same place that I am right now. Forever. My project can’t possibly succeed. And the disappoint that I feel right now will never go away–why would it? But if I don’t quit–if I keep on trying–then there remain two possibilities ahead of me: One is that I might never succeed. I might remain exactly where I am right now. Forever. With one exception: at least I would know I didn’t give up. But the other possibility is that I will eventually succeed. Until I eliminate that possibility, it’s still out there. It could still happen.
If I quit, then all I do is eliminate hope. I control the future by closing off all possibilities except the one I don’t want.
And hope is enough to keep me going. I wouldn’t condemn anyone to disappointment–I want all your dreams to come true. So why would I do any less for myself?
One of my college professors paraphrased Thomas Edison, and I’ll never forget it. At the time, I thought he made it up. I thought he was a genius. So I will always think of R.L. before poor T.E. when I hear the words, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t give up. I won’t if you don’t.
What keeps you going on your low days?
A weary heart i carried
A battered heart i owned
A stonic look i gave
A broken spirit i carried
All, until your miracle smiled at me
And even when i heard the village women yell ”the storm is over. come out” i still did not believe it, for fear had created a comfortable home in my heart.
But you, you never gave up on me
But you ,you never stopped loving me
And now,even now i stand in awe…speechless,useless unable to think out
For what uttered thank-you(s) can demonstrate how grateful i am .
I was sitting in the movie theater today, minding my own business, (and Captain Kirks!), when all of the sudden three words came to me. “Change Your Destiny”. I was so surprised that I dug down into my purse ( the black hole), looking for my notebook so i might them down.
Along with the words came a sudden rush of hope and direction for my future. Instead of watching the Star Trek movie I began thinking of things I could turn around in my life that would mean a different future, even 3 months from now.
How many times in our lives do we stay the course because it is easy or familiar? What would happen if we chose three things in each day, and purposed in our hearts to do them differently? Perhaps that wild mean venturing out to see a neighbor you hadn’t seen in a while? Or put down that cheese sandwich and opt for a salad? Why not carve out an hour of the day to work on your novel or write a letter to a relative? Maybe it’s time you tackle your To Do List?
I will think out loud here and list some different areas of interest to me.
Under each heading could be multiple topics.
Imagine if you took a new course of action for each heading, each day. How might that change your life by this time next year? Just think! You could come to the end of the year a new person. Or perhaps you might become the person you were meant to be? What area might you work on this week?
Heaven! The final frontier! But what will you do before that??? I LOVE the thought of CHA CHA CHANGE!!!
Are you with me?
Romancing the Writing/Sabbatical Update #3 :: Sara Zarr
From late December to the middle of January it is obligatory for people to make one or more New Years’ resolutions. Recent surveys reveal that the most common resolutions made by Americans include losing weight, getting fit, quitting smoking, quitting drinking, reducing debt, or getting organized. This list dovetails perfectly (unfortunately) with an international study of 24 character strengths which revealed that Americans rate themselves lowest in the virtue of “self-regulation”.
Ironically the other leading American resolutions involving getting or doing more rather than having or doing less. Americans want more socializing, more joy, and more learning. We want less and we want more. Should anyone be surprised that resolutions often fail to bring about lasting change?
Less than a handful of psychological studies have been done on New Years’ resolutions. There is scant advice in the database for the layperson to glean except that resolutions are more likely to be successful if an individual is more motivated and a goal is perceived as more important. This is not very helpful “self-help”.
As a psychologist, I would suggest that instead of a piecemeal focus on narrow goals that is bound to fail, people should aim for a higher horizon, a commitment to a more hopeful way of life.
Deep below the surface of many desperate resolutions reside the most primitive fears. The dramatic turn of the calendar on December 31st is a reminder of finitude on many levels, most poignantly, the fact that an individual has one less year. In the northern hemisphere this reminder comes when the nights are long and wind blows hard and cold. However, regardless of where one lives, a different freeze may be felt, what the existentialists call an “ego chill”, the sudden and full awareness that one day you will cease to exist.
The projected fears of the New Year are the same as the deathbed regrets of the dying. They are the twin fears of a self-aware being. “Did I live to my life to the fullest?” Have I have left a mark on the world?”
There is a strong need to feel that one did not leave too much unlived life “on the table”. Emerson put it this way:
“Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day”.
Human beings also fear the specter of oblivion. Aristotle went so far as to coin the term entelechy to refer to an essential momentum within all living things to continue to be or exist, without end, in one form or another. I believe that we all have some form of entelechy etched into our DNA.
In Living A Life That Matters, Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote, “In my forty years as a rabbi, I have tended to many people in the last moments of their lives…The people who had the most trouble with death were those who felt that they had never done anything worthwhile in their lives, and if God would only give them another two or three years, maybe they would finally get it right. It was not death that frightened them; it was insignificance, the fear that they would die and leave no mark on the world.”
The answer to this existential dilemma is to live a double-life. You should balance being anchored in the here and now with investments focused on a more transcendent plane. The scientific psychology of the 20th century focused more and more on the here and now. The most obvious, and in my view, overrated example of this is the concept of “mindfulness”. At best, mindfulness, or an intentional, nonjudgmental awareness of the present is a corrective Eastern strategy for the distracted and hurried mind of the West. It is not a full program for living. Not only is it impractical to live just for the present but such a philosophy does not match up with the architecture of the brain which is dominated by the frontal lobes and other structures designed for projecting into the future or preserving the past. Human beings were meant to live in 3D, the past, present, and future.
In contrast, the American psychology of the 19th century was initially influenced by “moral philosophy”. From about 1850 to 1890, it was not uncommon for psychologists to focus on more transcendent issues such as character, values, religion, or coping with death. In the 21st century we need a more integrated philosophy.
Living a “Double – Life”
There is an old adage that “where there is life there is hope”. I would turn this around. I believe where there is hope, there is life. I understand hope as a composite of four basic needs: attachment (trust and openness), mastery (purpose and collaboration), survival (self-regulation and liberation), and spirituality (empowerment, connection, and salvation linked to a larger perceived force or entity). If you want to live more fully in the here and now while also investing in something more enduring, commit in 2013 to a life that includes more time for building and nurturing relationships, for articulating a mission in life, for increasing your perceived degrees of freedom, and for spiritual fulfillment. You will not only feel happier on a daily basis, but you will be far more likely to build an enduring legacy. Towards this end, I offer eight recommendations, two each for the four cardinal elements of hope (one for the left brain and one for the right brain).
Attachments may be the most significant sources of hope. Note that even the perennial classics of the holiday season such as A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, and the Auld Lang Syne song (Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon?) all deal with the primacy of relationships.
For left brain attachment read Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey. For your right brain, follow this up with a live viewing of his play, Our Town. If you are seeking inspiration to nurture your relationships, it is difficult to find two better sources.
Six months before his assassination, Martin Luther King Spoke about mastery to a group of Junior High School Students in Philadelphia.
“If it is your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”
For left brain mastery, go to the positive psychology website at the University of Pennsylvania and take their VIA Survey of Character Strengths. Find out what your top five strengths are and find ways to craft your life around these virtues. For right brain mastery, listen to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.
Survival hope is strongly infused with a sense of liberation. In contrast, the most common experience in hopelessness is a sense of entrapment. The psychologist Rollo May contrasted freedom of doing with freedom of being. To maximize your freedom of doing, May suggested making the most of your potential or taking advantage of various forms of fate or destiny such as your genetics or time and place of birth. He also noted that when your freedom of doing is restricted, as a human being, you always have the freedom to be, to adopt a particular attitude.
For left brain survival hope, I would read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. As a psychiatrist who survived the Nazi concentration camps, Frankl describes how he found hope by maximizing both types of freedom. For right brain survival hope I would follow Frankl with a viewing (or re-viewing) of the film Life is Beautiful.
For left brain spiritual development reflect on your spiritual type. Spiritual needs and passions will flow from your particular type. Are you a mystic seeking a sense of oneness? Are you a follower seeking structure? Are you an independent seeking support for a chosen path? Are you a collaborator looking to join forces with a powerful other? Are you a sufferer who seeks comfort? Are you a reformer seeking justice? For right brain spiritual development, I would review your list of favorite songs and find one or two that match up with your spiritual type and play them often in 2013. You can find music consistent with your particular religious affiliation that will nevertheless address your particular spiritual type. Here are six suggestions: For independent types: the Chariots of Fire theme; for followers, “Amazing Grace”; for collaborators, “Lord of the Dance”; for mystics, “Unchained Melody”; for sufferers, “Let It Be” (the Beatles); for reformers, “A Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke).
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Anthony Scioli is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Keene State College. He is the co-author of Hope in the Age of Anxiety with Henry Biller. Dr. Scioli completed Harvard fellowships in human motivation and behavioral medicine. He co-authored the chapter on emotion for the Encyclopedia of Mental Health and currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Positive Psychology and the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Read his previous blog articles: “Why spring is the season of hope” and “Contrasting profiles in hope.”
I have always loved the winter solstice. There is that sense of being at the bottom of the curve - the sine curve representing the rate of change of day length. This day (and its summer partner) are the times at which the curve flattens, when the rate of change is at it slowest. When nature stops, or so it feels at this end of the year, and gives us time to contemplate.
I cannot, will not, withhold from my young readers the harsh realities of human hunger and suffering and loss, but neither will I neglect to plant that stubborn seed of hope that has enabled our race to outlast wars and famines and the destruction of death. If you think that this is the limitation that will keep me forever a writer for the young, perhaps it is. I don’t mind. I do what I can and do it joyfully.”I love Ms. Paterson's idea of a "stubborn seed of hope", something that grows beyond painful circumstances, something that can anchor both the character and reader in a better future to come.
-Katherine Paterson, A SENSE OF WONDER: ON READING AND WRITING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
4 Stars Farfalla: A Story of Loss and Hope Vanita Oelschlager Vanita Books 978-0-9832904-0-7 No. Pages: 42 Ages: 4 to 8
From Publisher’s Website: Farfalla (the Italian word for “butterfly”) is a unique look at the death of an unborn child. The story is told from the perspective of young Beetle who, with his mother, meets a crowd of caterpillars in the garden they all frequent. Soon they become friends and he watches in awe as the caterpillars weave themselves into cocoons. A special one catches his attention and Beetle “adopts” it by making all sorts of plans of what they will do together when it hatches.
. . . . . . .
Little Beetle meets a caterpillar and they play together in the garden. Then one day, the caterpillar is not around and Little Beetle cannot find him. Little Beetle is upset until his mother has him look up toward the sky. There in the trees are cocoons. Mother Beetle explains to her son how the caterpillars will soon become butterflies. Little Beetle patiently waits for the butterflies to emerge.
While Little Beetle waits, he sees one cocoon and decides to adopt it. While waiting for his new friend to open into a butterfly, Little Beetle tells the cocoon what fun they will have. Soon the butterflies begin to emerge from their cocoons—but not Little Beetle’s adopted friend. Little Beetle checks each day to see if the cocoon has blossomed into a butterfly. He has named the still unborn butterfly Farfalla. All the cocoons have opened except Farfalla. She has died. Mother Beetle explains death to her son, telling him that Farfalla has gone.
. . . . . . . .Butterflies that are not not born go to live
. . . . . . . .with all the other butterflies who die and
. . . . . . . . fly up in the sky with the stars and the moon
Farfalla is a sensitive story about a delicate situation—the death of an unborn child. I like the use of cocoons and butterflies as “the baby in mommy’s tummy.” With the cocoon, the child can see the caterpillar lying in his cocoon. The unborn butterfly goes up to the stars and the moon; unborn children go up into the sky to heaven. This is a wonderful way to make this subject accessible for the youngest minds.
The illustrations are beautiful, with oversized objects, and color from edge to edge. The pages are lively, until the cocoon has died. At this point, the illustrations become darker, as if night has fallen. I think the black background represents Little Beetle’s grief and confusion. Once he says goodbye to Farfalla, who waves from high in the sky, the background returns to the bright blue of the clear sky. Little Beetle has accepted Farfalla’s death.
Children excitedly await the birth of a new brother or sister and then, for whatever reason, the baby does not survive birth. Young children often do not have the ability to understand the concept of death—of someone leaving and never, ever returning. Three, four and five-year-old children do not see death as a permanent state of being.
Cartoons help reinforce the idea of non-permanence of death when the character “dies” in one episode, only to come back to “life” in the next, or even the same, cartoon. The Tom and Jerry cartoons and the Roadrunner and Coyote are good examples of cartoons that reinforce children’s idea of death as temporary.
Toddlers understand that something is “all gone,” such as their dinner. Yet, that dinner returns each night. Not until age ten, do most kids firmly grasp that death is permanent and can happen to anyone. Farfalla helps parents talk to their young children about the death of not only an unborn child, which is the intent of the author, but also the death of anyone, or anything.
Vanita Books tend to have messages but they are not preachy in any way. Vanita Books tell great stories that are fun and lively. Children will love and treasure these books, and Farfalla is no exception. The illustrations in Vanita Books are gorgeous and interestng. They capture the mood of the story.
Farfalla is a sensitive story with profound meaning. I recommend this to anyone who must explain death to a young child. While the cocoon represents a child in the womb, Farfalla can help explain any death to a young child. The main thing for a child to take away is the person, or pet, went to heaven and are happy there, just as Farfalla is with the stars and the moon, happily looking down upon Little Beetle.
Author: Vanita Oelschlager website Illustrator: Kristin Blackwood website blog Publisher: Vanita Books website Release Date: September 1, 2012 ISBN: 978-0-9832904-0-7 (hardback) Ooooo 978-0-9832904-3-8 (paperback) Number of Pages: 42 Ages: 4 to 8 . . . . . . . . .
4.5 Stars Back Cover: Being mean ain’t in nobody’s blood. Reckon folks will argue that one until there’s no more moonshine on the mountains. But in Freedom Pen that’s what Sarah the Twerp believes. And soon she and her brother, Billy, are setting out on a courageous summertime adventure to free two pit bull pups [...]Add a Comment
In the crazy world
Anything can happen
If you will it to
I'm just a hazy girl
Blurring all the edges
Only seeing blue
It's a wild hope
A wild hope
A wild hope
Everything will be alright
A painting of a city on a hotel wall
Days goes by
Wasting golden hours in the fall
It's a wild hope
A wild hope
A wild hope
Everything will be alright
I catch a glimpse of our reflection
Beside you I see myself
We are the season's new collection
We look like everybody else
Through the crowded streets into the fading Grey
Here and gone
Like a decoration for the holiday
It's a wild hope
A wild hope
A wild hope
Everything will be alright
- lyrics to Wild Hope by Mandy Moore
Hope means so much to me. I encourage you all to really listen to the first verse and the chorus of this song.
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I'm not a huge Emily Dickinson fan, but I do like image from "Hope is the Thing with Feathers"--hope brought to life as a bird. Hope is also an action, something we, as humans, can do. Something we should do.
In graduate school, I was fortunate enough to enroll in a course titled "Positive Psychology". The first lesson: most of the historical study of psychology has been focused on finding what's wrong with a person rather than what is right. Positive psychology turns the focus to what is right with a person--protective factors and strengths one might possess, just as a physically healthy person might be able to run several miles or compete at a high level in a given sport. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses--positive psychology attempts to recognize strengths. Hope is one of those strengths.
Research studies have shown hope can help you lead a healthy, fulfilled life. Hopeful college students are more likely to obtain degrees. Hopeful public school students are more likely to score high marks and graduate at the top of their classes. I didn't need a class to explain what I knew at the core of my being--hope can pull you through some hard times.
Hope consists of agency and pathways, the willpower and the waypower to make something happen. Hopeful people have the energy--agency--and can find ways--pathways--to make their dreams real.
Aimee's death has knocked me down, hard. Once, I hoped for a family and a long, happy life with the vibrant young woman I met in front of the post office. When Aimee was sick, that same hope pulled me through, helped me do what I could to take care of her. She lived life with hope--hope for me, for the boys, for her friends and family. I'd like to think she never gave up hope. I proud of the way we fought together, and no illness can tarnish my cherished memories.
I'm slowly building hope again--hope for my boys, our future, our family, my future... Things I never imagined putting together without Aimee. I also have hope for her legacy and memory. She spread so much hope and love, it can't help but continue.
Hope is a special kind of inoculation; it can't take away Aimee's death or her illness, but it can help with the way forward. I know Aimee would want us all to continue with as much hope as we can muster.
|Noun||1.||hindsight- understanding the nature of an event after it has happened; “hindsight is always better than foresight”.Most all of us have had opportunities to look back on in our lives and see there was a path set before us to follow! Whether or not we have pursued that path is up to us. As I look back, even my disappointments were part of my present.|
1. My childhood was fertile ground for make-believe. We had dress up clothes and plenty of games and things to keep us busy. I always LOVED dolls and I remember my imagination being so keen that I could believe my dolls were almost real.
2. In Jr. High school I met a friend name Ronnie Burton. She made the most wonderful cartoons. I still remember how she drew the ears and the hair. She amazed me! Soon I began drawing my own cartoons. Just a few weeks ago we met up at our high school reunion. She is still my friend after all these years and she is still doing amazing art!
3. When my children were young I read them book after book. I loved reading them stories. My favorite stories were the ones that made us laugh and laugh. Some of our favorites are Ruby the Copycat, Dabble Duck, But No Elephants, Patrick and Ted, Duncan and Dolores, Frog and Toad, Owl at Home and more. Anyone ever read Julie Andrew’s book called Mandy? I sat sobbing as I read that one. Even though I was an adult, my future was still being shaped and my desire to illustrate books for children grew.
4. When my youngest was ready for reading we ordered Ladybug magazine. Since I was an artist and cartoonist I began entertaining the idea of illustrating for Ladybug. I sent off some art and was quickly rejected. I attended a SCBWI conference and an editor from Ladybug was there. She looked at my portfolio and hired me to illustrate the parent pages. It was a dream come true!
5. Meeting my hero, Tomie dePoala was great fun! He came all the way out West to meet ME! Ha!… Okay… so I never met him in person until this day, but he did write me a couple of times after I wrote to him. Yes, if you write an author or illustrator, they MAY just write you back! 2 Comments on Hindsight, last added: 9/7/2011 Display Comments Add a Comment
By: Molly Blaisdell, on 10/1/2011
Blog: Seize the Day (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: bob marley, art reflection molly blaisdell, hope, thriee little birds, writing inspiration, Add a tag
Hi folks, I hope that you are taking time to write. I know it's hard work to put words on the page, and you may get discouraged sometimes. Here's a little secret I've learned. Some days I feel like my work is brilliant. Other days it's more like "at least I did something." Still others I actually feel like a two-bit hack who on her best day can write a grocery list. The secret is this: none of my feelings have any significance. The only thing important is that I show up.
By: Ellis Nadler, on 10/2/2011
Blog: Ellis Nadler's Sketchbook (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: whale, chimney, fish, hand, religion, hope, Nadler, mythology, transport, animals, man, dog, boat, cloud, history, hat, red, gouache, Add a tag
I dreamed that Noah forced his dog to do a test run on a prototype ark.
Gouache 12.5cm x 18cm. Click to enlarge. Display Comments Add a Comment
By: April Henry, on 10/9/2011
Blog: So many books, so little time (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: hope, art, Add a tag
In February, I read the most moving story in the Oregonian. It begins:
By: Sara Burrier, on 11/3/2011
Blog: warrior princess dream (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: angels, butcher, burrier, little, hope, sara b, corinthian, columns, girls, grace, drawings, fantasy, love, illustration, pillars, Christianity, Add a tag
What is your foundation?Before I get into what mine is, I want to give a bit of background to the images you're going to see.
Towards the end of last year I introduced three little angels to you. One named Twilight, one Dusk, and the other Noon. Each one features animals and obviously, a certain time of day. This was the basis/theme for the series. To catch up, here are the two links to those posts:
I have created many line art works for Crafts and Me, and there is something rewarding seeing all of your paintings and sketches in beautiful, black, and clean lines. I knew this past Monday I had to keep painting. Oceana is finished, and I'm still working on the months and another large WIP, but I believe I can do more. With two shows next year (more on that later), I need to be painting!
Though, I didn't want to think about composition or the poses. I went through those beautiful line art works and saw the little angels. PERFECT! Now is the time.
But will I stay with the titles and theme?
Here's what I wanted from these:
The Pillar of LoveDisplay Comments Add a Comment
By: Faith Pray, on 11/30/2011
Blog: SACRED DIRT (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: writers, kids, good books, parenting, hope, advent, holidays, Add a tag
Who says angels smile all the time?
colored beach glass
and beeswax candles
on my grandmother's silver tea tray...
I lit a candle with the kids last night.
We talked about hope.
and longed-for things.
Eight years ago, I was told I couldn't have children.
I was lost at sea,
grasping for a new direction,
for something to hold on to.
That Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a present,
a simple linen square, sewn with one word:
I stared over and over and over at that sewn word,
trying to own it.
It became my tangible reminder
that help is never far,
even when we can't see or feel or think through our hard times.
And that season, eight years ago, is when I started writing, actually sitting at a desk, plotting and birthing stories. Which I'm still doing today.
My four sweet endings, you've seen.
6 Comments on When we need a little hope..., last added: 12/3/2011
Cathrin Hagey, on 12/13/2011By:
Blog: The Giant Pie (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Holly is a doll who finds herself in a toy shop, unpacked for the first time two days before Christmas. She is a Christmas doll because she is dressed in red and green, and if she isn’t sold by Christmas Eve, then there is little hope for her, until next year, which is a very long time for a doll.
Ivy is a little girl who lives in an orphanage and has nowhere to go at Christmas. She is a Christmas girl because she is dressed in green and red. Ivy is shipped to an infants’ shelter for the holidays, but she tells the people on the train that she is going to her grandmother’s house at Appleton. Ivy has never been to Appleton, but she quickly learns that it is a real stop on her train journey. The little girl gets off the train at Appleton, but there is no one there to meet her.
Holly and Ivy each have a wish. A powerful wish. Holly wants a home and someone who will love her. Ivy wants a home and someone who will love her. When two pure hearts have a stout longing for the same thing, surely their hope will be rewarded on Christmas Eve.
Even if you think you know how this story ends, I happen to believe you will be in suspense until the very last page. I can always hope.
One last thing: this story is a lot of fun to read at Christmastime with a child or two, or more.Add a Comment
By: Kristi Valiant, on 3/9/2012
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Blog: OUPblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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By Anthony Scioli
More than three decades ago, linguist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson demonstrated how metaphors can reveal the inner structure of private feelings. For example, when we refer to “high hopes,” we are revealing something about the phenomenology of the hope experience, that it is “buoyant,” “uplifting,” even “energizing.”
Metaphors of Hope
Light and Heat
Hope has been compared to light and heat. Karl Menninger called hope the “indispensable flame” of mental health. English writer Martin F. Tupper wrote, “though the breath of disappointment should chill the sanguine heart, speedily it glows again, warmed by the live embers of hope.”
Spring also brings added light and heat, sometimes so suddenly that we speak of a virtual “spring fever.” The first day of spring marks the vernal equinox, a balance of daylight and darkness. In the Northern Hemisphere this amounts to an average increase of three hours of light since the winter solstice, roughly a 20% gain. With increased light come a host of direct and indirect effects that improve mood and engender hope. Most directly, increased serotonin is produced. Serotonin is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the nervous system, and the target of many antidepressant drugs. Among the indirect effects of spring on mood are increased exercise, and the physically related but psychologically distinct activities of gardening and farming.
Like spring, hope is also a 50-50 proposition. If our odds of achieving a particular outcome fall to less than fifty percent, we tend towards “despair.” If we are more than fifty percent certain of an outcome, we become “optimistic.” When psychologist James Averill and his colleagues surveyed individuals about their chances of realizing various hopes, the average response was fifty percent. For this reason, I believe that some kind of faith, not necessarily the religious type, but something essentially “spiritual,” must be present to ground our hopes.
Hope has been likened to a bridge that can actively transport the individual from darkness to light, from entrapment to liberation, from evil to salvation. 0 Comments on Why spring is the season of hope as of 1/1/1900
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