Posts Tagged: art

Tending a Garden of Dreams

When I was a little girl I used to say that I wanted to be a dentist.   I don’t even know if I wanted to be a dentist, I think I just had a crush on my dentist.    

Because, really, I was content to write poems in my bedroom while letting lyrics swirl in my head.   Though, some of my favorite memories are those that involved country drives where I would get lost in the trees, watching them zoom past the window, varied colors and intensities; they brought dreams without my knowing.

Years later, a woman grown, I would find myself holding tightly onto the love of life, on the back of a motorcycle with a “Mean People Suck” sticker on the back of my black helmet.   Too noisy to talk.  Too noisy to hear.  I was content to visually wander into the woods as they zipped by.  Each leaf seemingly etching itself on my heart.

When I was a little girl I never believed in cities such as New Orleans or Atlanta or Seattle.   Sure I knew about them through my schooling, but knew not of their ability to feed a creative soul.

Many years after paper studies, my life would take me on literal twists and turns.   U-haul trucks and tears would lead my way, and, oh, how I’d grow during these times.    Experiences would gather at my feet, like sturdy shoes, each carrying me, making me who I am with little regret.   There shouldn’t be regrets on the path of life; for when there are regrets there is sadness which begets darkness.  I’ve come to know that it’s in the light when [you] feel warmth and love—without constraint, judgment, or worry.

Traveling and living in different and new places has supplemented my life in ways that I’m still trying to put into words.  But, there’s something to be said for getting on a Greyhound bus, an airplane, a train, or–even–in a van full of loud and mess and chaos for over fifteen hours, that makes your dreams soar to see the places where you can  Just. Be.

Which leads me to this space where I write and spill dreams.  Most of them recur after seeing something my children do, or when I hear an old song, or smell something familiar.   Locked are they in my heart vault, locked away, begging to come out and play.   With each word.  With each click.  With each foot in front of the other.  They beg to come out, as often they do.

I had no idea that while I sat on my childhood bedroom, writing in various notebooks, dreaming about days to come, that they would come so quickly.  I had no idea that the days would pass almost supersonically.   After all, I thought I wanted to be a dentist.

Dentist? Me?  As if.   More like Dreamer, and a Wife, and a Mother.   A lover of words, and–more importantly– a lover of seeing.   Hoping that no matter what I dream, no matter what I do, that I do it and Live It To The Full.  

Join me, Michelle Ensminger, and Kelly Barton in October 2011 for Dream Tending, a four-week, online workshop.

Class price is $49 and includes daily posts  (Monday through Friday) and weekly activities in multimedia art, storytelling and photography to tend your own dreams in times of transition. In addition, there will be a creative toolkit section included in each week’s lessons.  Class begins October 3.

Course Description

Life is a series of transitions, and navigating through those transitions can be tricky. Tending your most precious dreams in the midst of life’s transitions is trickier still. How do you learn to honor where you are and practice self-care, while at the same time maintaining focus on your dreams?

During this course, we’ll provide helpful tools you can use to nurture your dreams as you wade through life’s transitions. We’ll share our personal perspectives of transition and discuss ways you can keep your creative life fertile. Utilizing photography, art, and writing exercises, you’ll open yourself to the constancy and flow of dream tending  and discover that the fruit of dream tending is an enriched, meaningful, and awakened life.

My Fellow Instructors

Kelly BartonKelly Barton is a mixed media artist and graphic designer from her home base of middle Indiana. She is inspired by the inner-workings of a girl’s nutty mind and believes that growing up girl is enough inspiration for any artist. She features her artwork in her eclectic mixed media art pieces, funky notecards, spunky jewelry baubles, and fun tee-shirts available on her Etsy shop. Kelly created Kelly Barton Art +Design to remind people that we’re all connected, and because she believes we all need a bit of happy.

Kelly’s art has appeared in several national shows, including CORE: The Art and Design of the Torso (2009),the Enormous Tiny Art Show (2008), and Visions of Squam I and II (2009, 2010). Kelly’s work appeared on the cover of Underwired Magazine in March 2008, and she is a contributor to the book Inner Excavation: Exploring Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Media (published by North Light Books).


Michelle EnsmingerMichelle Ensminger loves poetry, photography, and dates with her 8 year old son. A West Texas native, you can often find her curled up in a makeshift fort writing her way through the messiness of life. Michelle always strives to nurture her creative spirit and pursue an authentic spiritual path in the midst of motherhood and working an 8-5 job. She believes writing can heal and awaken us to life, that stillness holds great power, and in the sacred act of honoring the present moment.  She is currently taking a hiatus from blogging, but she is a regular, monthly contributor for Wish Studio. You can find more of her on Flickr and Facebook.



Sky Dancers

Thought of the Day

Coming up on Aiming Low;  I will teach you how to do this to one of your pictures. It’s #EZPZ!

The Art of Art

71: The Art of Art

Come and see an interview I did with White Trash Mom, Michelle Lamar over at Cafe MomMom Plugged In

Also, I started a new gig over at Picture My Camera.  I am the new Portrait Photography Editor!

Best Shot Monday: Reflections

In the wee hours, as the chubby baby suckled upon my breast, I sat there by the blue glow of the community television channel that we affectionately referred to as “the music channel.”   Usually my head would fall back on the couch, tired and weary.  And most nights sleep would befall me, only to be awoken by the sun filtering in through the breaks of the drawn curtains.  This night was different, though.  On this particular night I watched as each message scrolled across the screen.  On this particular night I memorized a number which I would call the next day.   Then the sweet child, in my arms, was through with his mid-night feeding I laid him down in his crib; there was no upright sleeping this night.

The number was that of a community chorus that was looking for singers.  I was desperate to do something different.  I was in need of something more than just breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the basic mama duties.    Singing with a chorus would bring fulfillment, I thought.   I was right, too.   For two-and-a-half years I would be part of the Cheektowaga Community Chorus.  We met on Monday nights, for two hours, at a local high school and during the holidays we would put on various concerts at various churches.

Our chorus was mostly comprised of older women and men.  There was a few others that were around my age, but for the most part it was retirees.   The director was a fiery red-head named Christina.  She was all style and she knew her stuff.  I was always entranced by her and I think she knew it.    Sometimes she was hard on us, but the end result was that of a brilliant chorus, our voices collectively ringing out distinctly and harmoniously.

Last night as I lay beside our family’s youngest member, whom I still refer to as a baby, my baby.  I sang to him softly while stroking his hair, looking into his sleepy eyes.   And as I sang I was filled with memories of my time with the chorus.  What fond memories our hearts are capable of holding!   These memories rush over me, especially during the holidays.   I can feel the butterflies dancing within me when I think about those moments just before we would take our places.   I can hear the resonance of our voices as we came together forming notes for the enjoyment of those listening.    It was a little gift I was able to receive as well as a gift that I was able to give.

This is the same feeling I have with photography again.

On Friday I was conversing with my neighbor in our cul-de-sac.  He recently upgraded from his Rebel XTi to a 50D, and I asked him if he intended to go back into doing photography professionally.   He quickly scoffed that there was no money in it.   For me, though, I’m not looking to get rich.  I just love taking pictures.  I love the whole process of it.  I love learning something new every single time I snap a picture.   It’s a gift that I have received and a gift that I am giving.

This is the path that I am on.   And I feel like I’m running!

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