A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 262: Illustrated Quote for Tuesday

Perhaps Truth Depends on a Walk

The illustrated quote for today comes from American poet Wallace Stevens. His words can be interpreted in a number of ways. For me, I love this quote because it has been true for me that time spent in nature, especially around the tonic that is a body of water, brings clarity and peace of mind. There is a magic and a mystery about this that I gladly welcome in times when truth is illusive or hidden from me.

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 261: Illustrated Quote for Monday

Today I Have Grown Taller

Following that creative vibe down whatever path it leads me – That sums up my approach to art for the most part.

Last week I illustrated a couple of quotes that I like with ink pen and colored markers and published them here. This week I want to share more with you. I didn’t intend for them to be focused on hiking, the woods, etc. at the beginning but, as that is a love of mine, they ended up that way (Just following the vibe down the path!).

For Monday here is a quote by the American poet Karle Wilson Baker. The concept I had in my mind and drew on paper came across a little hard to read! My apologies for that. This is what she wrote: “Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees” – a sentiment I greatly connect with after time spent in the forest!

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 260: Sunday God Quote – XTC

xtc

“And if you’re up there you’ll perceive
That my heart’s here upon my sleeve
If there’s one thing I don’t believe in… It’s you, Dear God”

A statement of non-belief in God isn’t very inspirational as a God Quote. Or is it?

The song “Dear God” was released in 1986 by the British band XTC. The songwriter Andy Partridge wrote the song in response to a number of “Dear God” books that had been published at that time, directed at children, which he saw as exploitative. The lyrics are direct, heart-wrenching, and pull no punches.

As a believer in God and a Christian, my first response to a song like this is to protest, “No! You don’t get it! Let me clear up this theology or lack thereof!” To God-followers this kind of spiritual protest song raises the hackles. But I wonder: is that a bad thing? Partridge raises some age-old questions, and ones that are not and should not be easily answered. If anything, after some time with the song, I’ve come to appreciate that this kind of thing gets radio airplay. Why? Because it is all part of a crucial conversation, something so far beyond the “Oh Baby” pop or other vacuous crap pumped through our speakers.

If “Dear God” gets you thinking, if it challenges you as a believer to really understand what you believe and why you believe it  – guess what? It is an inspirational song.

So for my God Quote today is the song that still lingers with raw emotional power more than 30 years later:

Dear God by XTC

Dear God, hope you get the letter and
I pray you can make it better down here
I don’t mean a big reduction in the price of beer
But all the people that you made in your image
See them starving on their feet
‘Cause they don’t get enough to eat from God
I can’t believe in you

Dear God, sorry to disturb you but
I feel that I should be heard loud and clear
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears
And all the people that you made in your image
See them fighting in the street
‘Cause they can’t make opinions meet about God
I can’t believe in you

Did you make disease and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the Devil too!

Dear God don’t know if you noticed but
Your name is on a lot of quotes in this book
And us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look
And all the people that you made in your image
Still believing that junk is true
Well I know it ain’t, and so do you
Dear God
I can’t believe in
I don’t believe

I won’t believe in heaven or hell
No saints, no sinners, no devil as well
No pearly gates, no thorny crown
You’re always letting us humans down
The wars you bring, the babes you drown
Those lost at sea and never found
And it’s the same the whole world ’round
The hurt I see helps to compound
The Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Is just somebody’s unholy hoax
And if you’re up there you’ll perceive
That my heart’s here upon my sleeve
If there’s one thing I don’t believe in

It’s you
Dear God

Written by Andy Partridge • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC
Here is a link to the music video:

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 259: Saturday Life Quote

william-wordsworth-8

The English poet William Wordsworth ( 1770-1850) provides today’s life quote in the form of his poem “Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 258: Monet Minute for Friday

the-pond-at-montgeron-2

Claude Monet, The Pond at Montgeron

If still waters can restore the soul, certainly lingering with this Monet masterpiece can bring a similar balm. The challenge to linger with a Monet painting for 60 seconds has come to its final day. I hope it has at least given you a chance to slow down a bit and remember how much life has to offer when you’re not rushing past it.

“Every day bring a choice: To practice stress or to practice peace.” – Joan Borysenko

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 254: Monet Minute for Monday

Claude_Monet,_Saint-Georges_magiorre_at dusk

Claude Monet, St. Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk

When you take the time to look at a work of art, do you really take the time?

Last week I was feeling tired and a bit stressed so I looked up “Monet paintings” on Google images. I’m sure you do that when you’re tired and stressed, too, right? Anyway, I intended to post a few of Claude Monet’s paintings here as a kind of stress-reliever for myself and you, faithful blog reader. But then I got to thinking (that happens to me once in awhile), “Why post a bunch of his paintings in one go? Doesn’t that just feed the inevitable scroll of contemporary online perusal? How about one painting per day for a week?! And then… then… (my brain needed to warm up some more at this point)…. then… I challenge the people who come to this blog to spend some time with that painting?”

I know – Brilliance, right? I am often amazed at my own insight.

So what I’d like to do is challenge you do linger with this painting. And, if you so choose, to linger with a Monet painting per day for the remainder of this week. Artwork takes on a whole different force of impact when allowed to work on the viewer for awhile. Some think you should sit in front of a painting for a half hour at least! However, this is not the painting but a photo of the painting and, really, I can imagine asking that kind of time commitment from you. But maybe you could take a minute? A full 60 seconds? That is going to feel like an eternity in this day and age of Tweets and Bits and Two-Bite Brownies. But you can do it. I believe in you.

So for this Monday I ask for a literal minute of your time. Let’s call it the Monet Minute for the day. I’ve posted the same image below now for you to give that first 60 seconds a try.

Have a less stressful and more peaceful Monday. Have a Happy Monet Minute…

Claude_Monet,_Saint-Georges_magiorre_at dusk

 

 

 

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 253: Sunday God Quote

To be wounded quote

Inspired by yesterday’s illustrated quote, I drew another quote for today. This one is considerably heavier as the subject matter requires it to be. The quote is from Canadian Catholic theologian Gregory Baum. The image that came to mind when I read the quote was from a painting I had done for Good Friday. In that painting I had presented an abstract Christ with crown of thorns. It seemed an appropriate image for the words presented here so I borrowed from myself to create this drawing.

To all of you who carry the wounds and bleed on behalf of others and their pain, thank you.