A Year of Listening: Week 39

day lilies 010To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. — Emily Dickinson

I studied flower arranging as a 4-Her in my youth.  Using day lilies was an introduction to wabi sabi, a term I would not learn until many years later.  What is blooming today, and only today?


Listening Together

photo 1

The Terpening siblings met face to face in this month; we usually meet monthly via video calls. We talked about work environments.  We visited in Paul’s workshop.  We discussed Beth’s stand up desk.

We are confident that for all of our days we will share creative chat, that we will listen to each others’ creative journey.  We rejoice in good company.

Who keeps you company on your journey?  What can you do to enhance the listening?

A Year of Listening: Week 16

Running With Scissors

Always stay in your own movie.           –Ken Kesey

I discovered Kesey as a young adult.  He can still create in me an odd exuberance.

It is Easter Monday.  Empty tomb.  I am grabbing those big scissors, cutting fabric, and creating a good scene for my movie.

What are you doing today?  Are there any “alleluia”s in your movie?

A Year of Listening: Week 13

Poetry is like a bird; it ignores all frontiers. — Yevgeny Yevtushenko

I am ignoring my guidelines today by not using a quotation from my collection.  Yesterday I had tea and talked about Russian poetry with my son. I searched for this poet whom I read in college.

My practice of listening is enjoying flight.

A Year of Listening: to What?

This is my year of listening. On Mondays I post a quotation from my collection, words that resonated the first time I heard them, and which continue to resonate. That is a plan for listening which I share with others. I also have personal listening that is about discovery. What am I hearing?

I started listening to Ted Talks as I work in the studio. I am listening to understand the size, structure, and energy of these presentations. I also get to think about topics that would not necessarily come across my radar.

I am listening to trusted voices. Good words come from folks dear to me, good and familiar books, and from those who share my path, if even for a short time. I also hear my own voice, sometimes more clearly through my visual art.

The best thing I am hearing is God’s laughter. Several years ago, I told my sister that I wanted a complex answer to a simple question. This was not a whim, not a clever sound bite, but rather a deep desire, a prayer. I listen and I hear complexity. How do I like this? God is laughing and I am dancing.


A Year of Listening, Week 5

Here in the stillness of snow falling on snow. –Taneda Santoka

I chose this beautiful image weeks ago; today snow is falling in the Shenandoah Valley. It is a good day for listening.

The dryer is rotating, soon the kettle will whistle. I am listening for assurance.

I switched metaphorical directions in the autumn, from an adventurous Westward Ho! to a barely imagined True North. I am listening for signs that I am holding to the new course.

The stillness will tell me; I only need to listen.

2014, A Year of Listening

I like shoveling snow when no one else is stirring, except the snow plow coming up the highway.
Everything is muffled, except the scrapping of the shovel against asphalt, worked out in a rhythm that mirrors the movement of arms, feet, lungs.
I am hoping not to fuel up the snow blower this year, but to work my way through the snow with a shovel. Slowly. Sensibly.

I usually have three focus words for each year. This year I am choosing an activity for my focus. I am listening. My sister asked me “for what?” She needs to ask that later.
To what? Collected words.
Here, every Monday, I am posting a quotation from my collection. I will be listening to those words. The words will be accompanied by one of my art pieces or a sketch, a response to the words.

Come listen with me. Tell me what you hear.