"I see things differently..."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wrapping and Opening....

Today I find myself musing about the wrapping and unwrapping of gifts. I suspect you are thinking, who has time for that right now? (I’m lying low at the moment, wrapped in a blanket, recovering from a cold).

Wrapping has always been a significant part of our Christmas holiday. But in the year 2009, this activity is all but absent for me. Our children, in their mid-to-late twenties, have decided that they would rather do something special as a family rather than “get more stuff” (what music to parental ears!…) Our own siblings and parents are preferring to go the route of charity donations. Friends are opting for lunches out together over gifting each other. Even gifts that we have purchased or made for others in need are to be left exposed, so as to reach the appropriate recipients.

So I am wrapping and unwrapping only in my mind…

And what is wrapping all about anyway? Here are some thoughts.

Wrapping is about celebrating a gift, something special, by covering it so as to be beautiful and enticing. We not only wrap our presents, but also our homes and our very selves in color and brightness as we enjoy the beauty of life.

Wrapping is about keeping something hidden until the fullness of the time comes for its opening. Like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, there is a perfect moment to come forth.

Wrapping is about protection. In these very snowy days ahead, hopefully, our homes and our vehicles are well-insulated. And it is important that we protect ourselves with warm coats, gloves, and boots. Our bodies are vulnerable to the elements. Even the infant Jesus needed to be wrapped in swaddling cloths.

And the significance of the opening….

Unwrapping is about connection---the giver and the receiver are joined in a joyfully shared moment.

Unwrapping is about releasing the gift into the world, openly revealed in its beauty and purpose.

Unwrapping is about the natural process of gestation, birth, and maturation---the great turning wheel of life with its beauty of change---that often resisted gift from the passage of time.

Here is my virtual gift to you…

A prayer that you will find yourself wrapped in love and protection throughout the Christmas season and that you may open up in joy and strength for the New Year ahead! Blessings for you in 2010! Gail

Friday, December 18, 2009

CHOICES: Cry of the Earth

I tried to place this entry on Facebook a few weeks ago, but it was about 3 times too long! That's when I finally decided to start blogging. As we now near the end of the Copenhagen conference, it seemed like an appropriate time to include it in my new blog.

Reflecting today on this most recent dire report about what we are doing to our environment, this poem came to me. (written 11-18-09 by Gail Speckmann)


“One more thing, just one more thing…”
The words fall with their hollow ring.
“We have more pressing things to do,”
(Before we face this sad milieu).

On and on our litany goes.
It never stops; it never slows.
But our wounded world will at last be heard
She cries out her grief as injury grows.

Ours excuses mount through procrastination.
The issues build, the devastation
Reaching the point of no return.
For it is “now or never” that we must learn.

"One more chance, just once more chance!"
We plead ‘til we’ve danced that final dance.
The options that had been open before
Will be lost, behind a bolted door.

So out of balance, our world is tipping
Reach out to catch it; cry out to the Source.
Countless arms must work together
To right the Earth upon its course.

If we pass the point of “no return”,
A next chance might come, but eons away ,
Gray shadows of night will seem unending,
Before, once again, the world sees bright day.

Earth cries for action from a visionary view.
Strong hearts and wills could still set the world anew!
We have been warned of hard consequences all along,
Wisdom from the childhood song:

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses, And all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again!”

Gail Speckmann c2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Artists!!….What are they thinking!?*#"

This is my second blog entry from my own experiences that may help illustrate why I would want to take up this writing project. My initial plan is to write as often as I feel I have something to say and the time to do it. In other words, this will not be a daily journal, but hopefully one worth your time to read.

"Artists!!….What are they thinking!?*#”

Several years ago I helped my 17-year old daughter enter a couple of her photographs that she’d taken into a juried art show. I helpfully attached the labels on the back: “Recess in Bermuda” (children on a playground) and “Friends” (our collie lovingly licking our panicked rabbit’s head). When the juried results came back in the mail, “Recess in Bermuda” had been accepted; “Friends” had not.

I went to pick up the rejected piece. I arrived there and was handed back the photograph of the children on the playground. Puzzled, I queried if the exhibit helper was returning the wrong piece. So he took me into the beautifully hung exhibit, not yet open to the public. There, hanging on the wall was the portrait of our collie and rabbit interacting, along with the title card clearing reading “Recess in Bermuda”. I laughed and laughed, imagining how the public might have shaken their heads over the title….”Artists….What are they thinking!?*#”

Yes, it is true that artists often have a different way of looking at life. Sometimes we have valuable and unique insights to offer. But, as you can see, sometimes we’re just plain mixed up!

I hope you will enjoy this colorful, “full spectrum” journey with me as I blog of the humorous, the serious, and of whatever amazing moments of life have caught my attention.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Third Eye / Third Ear

One early morning a few years ago, I was standing in the middle of street in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, taking photos from various angles. A pedestrian called to me from the sidewalk and asked “What do you see that I don’t?’’ I responded light-heartedly, “Oh, I see lots of things that you don’t---I’m an artist!” “Ah,” he spoke back, philosophically, “That’s right---you artists have that “third eye” open!”

Well, as a writer also, I need to keep my “third ear” open too! I hope you will enjoy the art and poetry that I intend to share with you. Creativity is a joy-filled act in which I participate, but, at its best, the inspiration comes from beyond.

Looks like this playful painting of myself still needs more eyes and ears!

(See photo at top of my blogsite).