Posts Tagged ‘resolution’

One of my goals this year is to write more often. It’s not a “resolution” so much as it is a “goal”. Another goal is to finally finish those pesky projects I have tinkered at or played with over the past 20 years we have lived in this house. I also want to purge myself of unnecessary “luggage” as evidenced by the prior post to this one. I’m plowing through that last one and the second one, but I haven’t worked much on the writing bit.

I tossed out a lot of natural detritus I have collected over the years: moldy artist’s conks, interesting pieces of wood, seed pods for some fanciful future craft project, and so on. I started purging the rocks several years ago: the little pocket sized pieces of agate, obsidian, igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, and sedimentary rocks. I moved them from inside the house and inside jars to outside and in my garden beds. I’m still clinging to the found feathers. Feathers are gifts of passage from Beyond: some ancestor or passed friend sends them to let me know I’ll be all tight in the end. I need all the reassurance I can get some days.

I kept nine artist’s conks (ganoderma applanatum). I collected all of them with the intent to use a wood burner and create fanciful scenes of elk and wild creatures. Ha! And double Ha!Ha! I put them in a drawer with all my other finds and let them harden and dry, and in some cases, mold. So my number one project after going through my art supplies was to put those conks to use. I ruined the first two. Recycle.

I finished five. One is still sitting there as I lack an idea of what to paint or carve on it. Please, not another sappy painting of a seven-point bull elk whistling in the rut. I’m done with that sort of painting.

I learned that I am not particularly gifted at painting or carving conks. Ones I find in the wild from now on will be safe from my prying hands.

The ones I “finished” still need to be sanded with the Dremel tool and sealed with a good sealer before attaching a way to hang them on the wall. At least one of them is so “YUCK” to me that I almost discarded it but I remembered that I am not the judge of what people will buy. Someone may actually pay $5 for it and hang it on their wall for a few years before discarding it. So I kept it. Ever the entrepreneur.

The sloth is my least favorite. It’s only six inches tall.

The owl is four and a half inches tall. It is also not my favorite but it will pass muster.

I went with a stain that was on the conk that reminded me of two sleeping bears with this one. It’s 3×2″. I actually was beginning to like painting on the conks with this one.

The sitting bear took me a lot longer to visualize. There was a “face” in the conk, and a bulge below the face that indicated a fat animal. I finally settled on a fat Brown Bear.settling in for a long hibernation. 4×3″ and I’m starting to feel it a little.

I’m going to confess that I like the sea turtle. 4.5×3″. Very “folk art” in design and paint (I blame my “essential tremor” for the messed up spots – some things we have no control over).

I shut down my art webpage last year and I lost access to my Facebook business page so until I figure that out (another headache), these are only available locally and only after I finish them. Or you can comment with your email address and we can have a conversation if you are interested in any of them.

The last one may become a Celtic design. I don’t know. It’s not inspiring me.

So that’s my on-resolution in progress: a new post, a little art, and a lot of purging.

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I have a confession: calling people is not my strong suit. I know, that really knocked you over. I have an aversion to the telephone. I do not know when it happened, it sort of sneaked in there.

When my mother was alive, I could yak on the phone for an hour about everything and anything. But I also knew my mom’s “ring” (and this was in the days before cell phones – it was a “knowing” thing). I just knew when it was mom on the other end of the line.

When I was a teenager, I spent hours on the phone with my best friend. She lived 5 hours away. Somewhere in growing up, we lost that. We post notes on Facebook.

This year, my New Year’s Resolution was to be a Better Friend. I don’t really know what that means, but since I am the friend who forgets to call, forgets birthdays, forgets to return calls… I figured it meant remembering to call, remembering to send cards, and returning (AUGH!!) phone calls.

I’m still not so good at it. But – if you are my friend and reading this – I really do love you and care and I really would call if I didn’t have this aversion to the telephone.

I think it has cooties.

We moved the office out to the far end of Portland. I really could not see any good in the situation. I can rack up the “negatives” pretty quickly, starting with the longer commute. But if you are here, you most likely have read my previous posts about the angst of moving. I will not revisit them.

I try to have a glass-half-full view of life. It isn’t always easy. How was I going to make this move into something positive?

Well, I have several friends I have reconnected with on FaceBook who live in that part of Portland. I haven’t seen these friends in real life for… well, a really long time. It occurred to me that I could go with my resolution and I could reach out to these friends and maybe we could actually get together once. They live closer to my workplace and it would be an easy thing to sneak in a lunch or a dinner…

So I posted about it on FaceBook, naming the names of the four friends I know who live in that area. One didn’t respond, but it’s possible she’s simply not on FB that often. Three did. And those three wanted to get together. So we set a date that at least three of us could make. And that date was tonight.

We met at a Subway over at Peterkort Towne Square. Of the four of us who agreed to meet, only three could make it.

Helen and I figured it has been 21 years since we last saw each other. 21 years!! Closer to 15 for Sue & I, but we couldn’t remember a year. Neither Sue nor Helen knew each other, although they may have brushed shoulders at some point in time. We know a lot of people in common because we all attended the same church at some point in time.

It was wonderful. Sue and Helen hit it off. I got to hear about their lives, their children and grandchildren, and the changes that have taken place (nearly all positive) over the years. We didn’t talk about any of the negative (although there is plenty of that, but why focus on it?).

We hung out for an hour and a half. I saw them both off before I went back into Subway to use the restroom. I still had a half-hour drive home. When I came back out, they were still on the sidewalk, laughing and talking. How wonderful is that?

We decided we need to do this every month. We need to try to get some other old friends to come and visit, too.

Maybe the move happened so I would keep my resolution and try to be a better friend. Maybe it happened just so I would get to re-know these wonderful women who were friends of mine in the past. Maybe the world is just full of reconnecting pathways.

Remember this: you are here for a purpose. The people you meet and befriend are there for a reason. You touch their lives for a reason. And you never know when you will be able to revisit those connections.

In retrospect, this has been a week of lessons on encounters. From Leslie from St. Louis to getting together with old friends, I am reminded that we touch other lives and influence people. And other people touch our lives.

If you read my last post, you know how a chance encounter with a door-to-door saleswoman touched me. Tonight, reconnecting with old friends touched me.

Thank you, Helen, for being so transparent and sweet. I don’t believe you have changed that much in 21 years, except to grow stronger. I don’t think you know how strong you are. You are a heroine.

Thank you, Sue, for being so cheerful. You were always cheerful. It was wonderful to see that the challenges and trials of life have not diminished that light. You still put God first and you still put a smile on your face. You are an inspiration.

I love you ladies. I hope we can really make this a once-a-month date. (And you’ll be helping me keep my resolution… Oh, selfish, selfish me! No, seriously – that’s a resolution that enriches my life because I have to reach out and do something outside of myself. I am so glad we got together!) I have a long way to go to be a Better Friend, but I think I see some helping hands to give me aid on the path.

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