Thursday, March 30, 2006

Collage Card

I made this card tonight with some papers I got from the latest issue of Artella magazine - I love getting a magazine with neat stuff you can make and play with! Kind of reminds of when I was kid - I used to love getting Humpty Dumpty magazine and doing the crafts and activities in it. We should never lose that sense of play! * o

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sunday, Sunday

Some Sundays are so perfect and peaceful, you just don't want them to end. Like this Sunday. Woke up to glorious sunshine. Got about a half hour of quiet journal time before the household woke up. Went to our new church and was absolutely uplifted by the joy of being in the new building (see previous post!). This afternoon I worked on some writing projects, and found out that I made into The Complete Writer's Journal, soon to be available from Red Engine Press (that was a nice surprise!). I sat on the deck and basked in the sunshine for awhile. Then, later this afternoon I put on my iPod and headed out the door for a walk, my favorite opera music serenading me sweetly all the way. With the sun on my face, the sky so blue and clear, music in my ears, I just wanted to spread out my arms and dance down the road. (I didn't though, you never know who might drive by!) Now the sun is setting, and I have a couple more hours before the day is over and I oh so don't want it to end . * o

In the Morning Shouts of Joy

Lord, it was so wonderful worshipping in the new church building this morning. The light flooding the sanctuary, the voices lifted up in joy. Yes, there are still many things that need finishing and it was a little rough around the edges, but there was such a sense of your spirit there. Your presence felt throughout the service. It indeed felt like you had "moved in", and who wouldn't want to move in to such a bright and airy space? It was a blessing to take a small part in the gift of a dream realized. A dream that so many faithful people worked hard to bring to fruition. And when we scratch our heads sometimes, and wonder how it was all done, let us never forget "nothing is impossible with God". * o

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Creativity, Chapter 7 and Wish Jars

The creative process has been in my thoughts a lot this week, partly due to the fact that I received my workshop materials for the How Much Joy facilitators training on Monday and am anxious to start digging in to them.

I finally managed to get through Chapter 7 of the Creative Call - the "Making Time" chapter. It's interesting when we look at all our responsibilities and commitments that make up our day, how often we feel guilty if we try and take an hour or so for ourselves, for our art. It's often a self-imposed guilt as well, at least for me. Today in my daybook I wrote that I truly need to learn to say no, without feeling guilty. And I'm realizing that I need to hunker down this weekend, and map out all my projects that are floating around in my head right now so that I can focus. I have so much creative energy these days, I'm getting "spacey" - at the point where ideas are rushing around, but I can't focus long enough on any one. Ahh, spring - it's always the same!

Some great writing quotes I came across this week:

Jennifer Louden - "In the end, being a writer is not about being published, making truckloads of money, or even expressing your ideas beautifully. In the end, writing is about showing up for yourself and with yourself, day after day, page after page."

Ya - just show up to the page baby, that's what it's all about!

Emily Hanlon - "One of the great challenges that we face as writers is to understand in the core of our beings that the journey of being a writer is the biggest payoff of all."

and lastly, (grin)

Me - I write because I breathe - and I can't figure out how not to do either one.

And, if you just want to be inspired, or get those creative juices flowing, check out keri smith's blog - The Wish Jar Journal. It's awesome! * o

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Saying Goodbye

Farewell, Old Friend

Farewell, old friend
whose steadfast walls
sheltered and nurtured our faith.

You withstood the storms of nature,
and gave us refuge
from the storms of life.

Many Sunday mornings
we watched sunlight dance
through coloured windows,
creating halos of light on the altar.

We tested our faith
on polished wooden pews,
and tasted God’s love
in bread and wine
served at your altar.

In waters from your font
we baptised our children,
teaching them about Jesus
in your basement rooms.

We married here
filling your pews with our celebration,
and buried here
filling those pews with our grief.

We wove our lives
into endless Sundays
worshipping within you.

Farewell, old friend
whose steadfast walls
sheltered and nurtured our faith.

Our journey leads to new beginnings,
but bids us not forget from whence we came.

@2006 Eveline Maedel

This morning the congregation of St. Mary's said goodbye to their old church, after 118 years of faithful worship inside it's walls. Next Sunday we begin a new journey, in a new building.
* o

Saturday, March 18, 2006

How Many Books do You Bring to a Retreat?

Contents of my book bag that I brought to the retreat today:

1. Bible
2. Notebook (in case I wanted to make notes)
3. Journal (in case I wanted to write something profound!)
4. Creative Call book - (because we might get some free time, and maybe I could finish Chapter 7 - which incidentally is not called "How to Multi-Task while on Retreat"!)
5. Pen

Total # of items: 5
Total # of items actually used: 2
Lesson learned: Part of the retreat is learning to simplify, let go and just be!
Favorite moment: The ten minutes or so of quiet when I was alone in the sanctuary, journaling, breathing, and listening to the wind rattle the old windows. * o

Browsing the Book Store

Yesterday we went to the city so the boys could spend some of the money that burns holes in their wallets. Charlie and I got to spend some time browsing around Chapters, just the two of us. It's not hard for me to find a book or two to pick up, but Charlie was having a heck of time trying to find something. He's been trying to get more of The Watcher's series of books but they are really hard to come by, so he had to find something else. When we completed our purchases, we headed to Starbucks for a treat - chai tea for me, and a cappuccino for Charlie. It was an "artist date" moment in what would otherwise be a ho-hum day of shopping and crowds. * o

Monday, March 13, 2006

Ode to Joy

There are pieces of music that are intricately woven into the tapestry of our lives.

Twenty some years ago when I was getting married, I had to pick a song to walk down the aisle too. I didn't want the traditional "Wedding March", mostly I think because as kids we constantly chanted "here comes the bride, short, fat and wide" and I couldn't get that imagery out of my mind when hearing that piece of music.

So, I chose "Ode to Joy" to come down the aisle too. I loved singing it as a hymn in church, loved the words and felt it was the proper piece.

Flash forward twenty some years to yesterday morning. My youngest is playing "Ode to Joy" on the organ in church, his first performance in front of an audience larger than his family. I know he's nervous, and catch my breath as he plays. His face is set, determined. He plays flawless. My heart bursts with pride. I am sure my mother was also pleased, as she watched her piano student/grandson perform.

"Joyful, Joyful, We adore Thee". There are pieces of music that are intricately woven into the tapestry of our lives, like a prayer. * o

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekend Creative Project

I found this neat stuff called, "Paper Perfect" in the store this weekend. It goes on like paint, dries like paper. Thought it would make a neat sort of collage cover for my journal which is just an ordinary notebook. I put this stuff on, and cut out some pictures and words. Then put a clear gloss finish over it all. It's taking over 24 hours to dry though. Note to self - next time decorate the journal cover BEFORE you start writing in the journal. * o

Saturday, March 11, 2006


I luvs Easter Eggs! Some of these are my own creation, and some are pysanky and others I have collected. I love Faberge Eggs too - but those are a little out of my budget.

Update on Spring Fever: I went out shopping today and bought some craft supplies - have a little project in mind. The sunshine was soon replaced by dark clouds. We've had thunder, lightening, hail, rain, snow and wind. The whole gamut. The dog is pacing restlessly. It's a good night to have a hot bath and hunker down with a good book. Maybe I'll finish The Eyre Affair. But first, another egg picture:

* o

Spring Fever

The sun was shining earlier this morning, birds singing and the temps are very mild. Plastic Santa is definitely coming off the front deck today.

The only thing I've learned about creativity this week, is that I'm extremely restless and itching to create something, anything. This restless cycle can probably be attributed to the changing seasons. Spring fever. An underlying current longing to burst forth with something new.

The boys are rearranging their rooms, again. Not normally a big deal except that the oldest's ideas usually involve some sort of re-wiring or re-modeling that can't be done and leads to frustration. The joys of a very old house.

Spring fever has set in. March Break is here. God help us all. * o

Sunday, March 05, 2006


I'm supposed to be working on some poems right now but I keep thinking about Lorna Crozier. This is who will be judging the poetry entries in the NOWW contest. Not being very up on who is who in the Canadian literary scene (but working on it), I "Googled" her name to see who she was. And now, I'm stone cold frozen. Just the minutest chance of having Crozier read one of my poems if I make that far would be like having Stephen King read your horror novel, or Stephen Spielberg read your screenplay. None of my poems are remotely near this kind of quality. Revising, re-reading, sifting through, thinking "naw, that's not it", or "god, that sounds mundane". Surfing the net and avoiding the work. Why am I putting myself through this?

I tell myself to keep revising, keep plugging away, and try to mould something I can enter knowing I pulled out the best I could offer. This is what entering the contest is about, right? Winning is nice (who am I kidding!) - but what I really need now is a kick in the pants goal, and to keep pushing myself. Otherwise, I remain frozen and staring at a blank page. And if there is even the slightest possibility that Lorna Crozier reads one of my poems - I'll be doing flipping cartwheels! * o

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Pieces of Lent

Fragments of my journey through Lent this week.

- lines from a poem I started on Ash Wed. and have yet to figure out what I'm going to do with: "the moon was a fingernail of light, ashes on my brow, sackcloth on my soul."

- still stuck on Week 7 of Creative Call, and am probably going to stay there this week too. This week was busy, and I didn't spend much time reading. Week 7 is about "Time Management" - ain't that a laugh....

- listening to Chaya's song "I Want You More Than Anything" and turning that into my Lenten litany.

- the fresh-washed smell of crisp, white altar linens wafting through the house this afternoon.

- Psalm 51 - "create in me a clean heart O Lord"

- fervent prayers for a dear sister in Christ who was rushed to hospital far away from here

-sitting in the stillness of the old church this morning and soaking up the peace.

- sitting in the hustle of the new church this morning, smelling fresh paint and sawdust and marveling at the "lightness" of the place.

- "remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return". I keep remembering how in grade school we used to sign autograph books with "ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if it weren't for girls, boys lips would rust."

- reflecting on service, and women who serve with whole hearts, like the woman with alabaster jar.

- journaling my way through a forty day prayer journal as my Lent practice. I didn't want to give anything up this time, partly because I couldn't figure out what to give up, and I wanted to do something meaningful, not just "because that's what we do at Lent." So I thought the prayer journal would be a good practice. * o