26 November 2012

Abbey of the Arts Poetry Party!

Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted. 
~ Percy Shelley


This time Christine V. Paintner has chosen community as her inspiration.  To join in the fun, take a look at the photo and write a poem about community.  When I hear the word community, I think of close friends, neighbors, who form a warm and supportive circle around me ~ a circle which I participate it ~ giving and taking.  Sometimes I give more, sometimes I take more.  In a real community, no one keeps an account. 

Or at least, we shouldn’t.

For some, community may mean stifling, adverse peer pressure, keeping up with the rich neighbors.  But that’s not a community at all ~ that’s just strangers living in proximity of each other, or loved ones living like strangers.

Here is my contribution:

The push and pull
Of flesh and blood
Never lets up.

Like a security blanket
Outgrown –
Tattered and thin.

It can still choke
The life breath
Out of creativity.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
What does community mean to you?

21 November 2012

La Belle's Hobby Farm: Frostbite and Post-Festival Blues

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. 
No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. 
~ H.U. Westermayer

ovember has been a crazy busy month filled with planning and executing the annual arts festival and I now realize that sometimes, when you pour everything you have into one creative outlet, there is nothing left over for the others.

So my blog, my journal, and my book of poems lie bare and abandoned.  So much for that blogging-every-day challenge.  But a good number of people had a great time immersing themselves in music and culture last Saturday night.  So my other creative outlets are happy for me. 

Now to begin planning for next year…..

In farm news, my tomato plants were frost-bitten, but the fruit itself is still hanging on and very much alive.  I have never seen the like!  Seriously, what does one do with tons of tiny green tomatoes?  Can you even eat them?  A lady I met in the store the other night said I should tie them up in the cellar and let them ripen that way.  Never heard of that either.

Likewise, the basil plant looks a sorry mess.  However, the rosemary is bright green and perky.  And will go quite nicely with the turkey tomorrow.  Except that this year, I will not be baking it.  In fact, I will not be baking or cooking much of anything as my sisters are in charge this year.  Praise God ~ because I’m still a wee bit worn from the festival.

Friday I will try to whip up some recipes for those leftovers.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
Ahh, it’s good to be writing something other than registration lists, event budgets, and marketing materials.  I always feel like less of myself when I’m not writing creatively.

05 November 2012

Uniquely You: Why Your Idea Is Worth Pursuing

There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. 
~ Martha Graham

ell me if this happens to you. 

You sit down to write, paint, compose, craft and you come up with a brilliant idea.  You’re excited, breathless, working non-stop to bring this vision to life.  And then suddenly, in the middle of the project, Doubt punches you in the face.  And you think, why am I writing/painting/composing/crafting this thing?  Surely others could write it more poetically, compose a more beautiful melody, paint it with more brilliance, or craft it with a finer skill.

You are right.

Someone else probably can and will produce a finer work of art then you will.  That doesn’t mean that you should give up on your own vision.  Giverny’s vision of a field of poppies is breathtaking.  So is Van Gogh’s Farmhouse in a Wheatfield.  Both add to the overall beauty of the Impressionist movement.  But what if one had seen the other's work and said, "Oh, I could never paint like that!  I should take up bricklaying instead."

What kind of musical culture would we have if Frank Sinatra heard Bing Crosby crooning and said, “Oh, I’ll never be able to croon like he does.  Why even try?”  We would have Bing's rendition of "Would You Like to Swing on a Star" but not Frankie's "It Had to Be You."  And we would never have heard the delightful "What a Swell Party This Is" duet they did in High Society.

Each of us is beautifully unique.  And we have a story all our own or at least, we have a way of telling a story ~ a vision that no one else has.  Even if you reach just one person with your story or your version of it, it’s worth the telling.  

So punch Doubt right back in the face and keep honing that vision, telling your story, and singing your song.  I want to hear it.

If only to know that I’m not alone

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
This particular brand of doubt is a constant bully.  He doesn’t usually punch me, he just whispers ugly things in my heart.  So I write posts like this as much to remind myself to throw him out on his ear, as to encourage other artists to do so.

02 November 2012

Top Five Friday: Anywhere But Here

Try to relax and enjoy the crisis.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


ear Ashleigh must never have produced an art festival while simultaneously holding down a second full time job, finding a new place to live, and keeping the quill from going dry.  Not to mention singing a rather complicated (yet soul-stirring) Requiem Mass tonight.
No wonder I’m an exhausted wreck!
And since I also signed up to blog every day in November, I’ll take a cue from today’s prompt and tell you five places I would rather be right now than orchestrating my crazy life.

Me during the month of November.
Ophelia, Alexandre Cabanel

In the Mountains
Preferably alone.  In a well-appointed cabin.  With a staff of three: a vegan chef, and massage therapist, and a maid.  Who of course are all good at leaving me alone.

Under Anesthesia
Yes.  Seriously the best sleep I’ve ever had.  Not counting the time I had all four wisdom teeth pulled and was on pain meds and Jack Daniels.

Just kidding. That wasn’t fun and I didn’t sleep much.  Plus, I think I was knee deep in festival goo that year too.  Ugh.

On the Titanic
At least it would be over in two and half hours.  And no, not with Leonardo D.  Not my type. 
Are we sensing a pattern here?  Anywhere but here?
In an Elizabeth Hunter novel

I know, second time I’ve mentioned her this week.  I can’t help it.  She has ruined me for other vampire novels.  An Italian vampire?  Yep, I could use one of those right about now!
Okay, so this one is probably what the prompters had in mind: an actual country.  Never been and desperately want to go.  What’s not to love: men in kilts, rainy moors, and lots of single malt scotch.  My idea of paradise. 

Actually, anywhere as far away from my own personal crazy land as I could get right now would be ideal.  Tesoro mio ~ wake me when November ends.

And hand me another scotch.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
So what’s on your never never land list?  Care to share your sweet escapes?

01 November 2012

National Blog Post Month: One a Day, Keep Sanity at Bay!

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness.
Look at your 3 best friends. If they're ok, then it's you.
~ Rita Mae Brown

must be insane. 

It’s November and I had a couple of choices.  Flex my writing muscles with National Write a Novel in a Month (affectionately known as NaNoWriMo) or join BlogHer’s November National Blog Post Month.

Well, I’m not that insane.

Can you even imagine what a novel written by me in 30 days would look like?! Shiver.

So, here I am, posting every day for the next 30 days.  Right after I spent two days curled up in bed with Hurricane Sandy pounding outside (two days I should have spent writing and yes I'm ok and so are my trees), plus an extra day spent in agony with a bout of the flu, which I’m still not over (how many hot toddies does it take to drown the nasty little bug!?)

So, here is my first official post of the month ~ ta-da!

Yesterday, I had so much to tell you about my hurricane-roughed-up garden, but I was ache-y and cranky and sore throat-y.  Today I’m just cranky. 

And feel like I’ve been drained by a 500 year old vampire.  (Elizabeth Hunter, I love you!  And I hate you now, too, because I’ve read all your books. Hurry up and write some more!)

Like, during the month of November!

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
No, I am not on any medications for my flu bug.  And no, a bottle of Jack does NOT count.
And that statistic is soooo right.  I should know ~ I lived with roommates for 11 years. (wink)