Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bartering and Alms

The barter system is alive and well if you are willing to believe in it. Occasionally I get a request for a commission piece and the request comes from someone who has a skill that I greatly admire and likely do not possess. This holiday season was one of those times.

A friend who is a tremendously talented weaver contacted me about calligraphing a poem for a friend. She sent me the text and some information about the recipient's likes: blue tones and cardinals. In return for this original piece, she offered in trade hand woven trim made especially to match a 13th century outfit I am planning for the SCA. Score!

The calligraphy is executed in opalescent blue ink on bristol board. The hand is inspired by the fonts that Frank Lloyd Wright used on many of his projects. After the calligraphy was completed, I used a wash of blues and pale grey over the whole page. Last, the tromp l'oeil feather and the cardinal tracks were added.

The poem is Alms by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh. Anne was an aviator in her own right, and was an author of some hauntingly beautiful poetry. Not only did this work out as a nice trade between artists, but I was also introduced to the work of an excellent poet. I call this a win.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The last day of our acquaintance

"this is the last day of our acquaintance. I will meet you later in somebody's officeI'll talk but you won't listen to me. I know what your answer will be"          -Sinead O'Connor
I have decided that it is time for a change, so I am making one. 2014 has not been much of a good year to me. So much grief, loss, heartache, sickness and strife for both myself and my immediate circle of humans. It has been a year of trials and of tribulations, with only small joys to remind us that there may be good days yet to come.

What I have learned is a bit more about myself, namely who I want to be, and conversely, who I do not want to be in the future. I am taking that knowledge to heart and making use of it. What good is a lesson if not applied?

So, today, I am firing myself. This Kristen that is, well, just will not do. 
  • I will work to close away the sadness and self loathing because I do not need them anymore.
  • I will be more proactive about my health and wellness, dealing with issues that have crept in but been ignored. I am dissatisfied with my weight, so that is one of the things I am going to face no matter how daunting it might be.
  • I will keep an eye out for a good partner for my life, but neither judge myself by their presence nor their absence. I am enough for myself.
  • I will try to love myself a little bit more and to find ways to come to terms with the things I cannot change about me and to fix the things that I can adjust.
  • I will not shirk from difficulty. Hard truths and real improvement are not born of comfort and sweet words. What I do, I do to improve myself and thus I will straighten my back, square my shoulders and lift my chin.
  • Each day I will rise to meet the challenges that I may face. I will raise my eyes to meet the people around me. I will acknowledge myself as being at least as good as each of them and worthy of the same respect I would grant another.
  • I will accept that I am a good person: that I am loved, that I have good qualities, that I have worth. I will attempt to treat myself as such.
So now, on to the next adventure.

In short: 
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
     -Sylvia Plath