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Unencumbered

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She collected recollections

From the past

As though they were

Trinkets from a shop

Where antiques—

Roughly used and rusting—

Lay waiting,

Lay trusting

Their time would come again.

 

Again yesterday came

But with a different name

“Today”

So she sat with her

Treasures

Stoic and measured

With a grip not to lose

For if she loosened her hold

They may drip away.

 

Away from the darkness

Of her previous losses

She looked toward the light

Lost her sight

At the brilliance it held

Shuttered with fear

Melted with doubt

Stifled her silent shout

With a thought.

 

The thought

A question

Singed with intention

Smoking

Like the barrel of a gun

Prompting her

To run

Instead of stay—

But she stayed.

 

Stayed in the place

Where she planted the seeds

Grass to grow

To overthrow

The things it seemed

She could not let go

Like a patient

Patiently awaiting

Death.

 

Death that rides

On the back of loss

That stabs at the fear

Of drawing near

“Don’t move from here”

She whispered out loud

And hoped the desire to move

Would evaporate

Like a cloud.

 

Clouds of then

Filled the present

A fog in this room

Invaded by the presence

Of shadows—

Not men—

Only places

They may have been

Had they stayed.

 

Staying threatened her breath

As the air turned white

The longing for safety

Compromised

By this encroaching night

The fear of losing

Being lost from her sight

As a struggle to gain

Awoke to the fight.

 

Fighting for air

She stood to her feet

Considered her options:

Victory / Defeat—

Destruction seemed easy

To fail is so clean

Triumph unknown

Invites mystery:

Shrapnel of

The unforeseen.

 

Unforeseen was the way

Mighty was the day

When the roots that held

Were cut away

When her voice

Unvoiced

Found the breath to say,

“Tomorrow

is where my future—

unencumbered—

lay.”

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: This beautiful piece is by German artist Justine Otto.  Titled: Fourth Corner, 130 x 180 cm, oil on linen, 2013.  To view more of Justine’s work, please visit her website and Facebook page: Justine’s Website , Justine’s Facebook Page .

 

I Will Tell You What to See

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I will tell you what to see—

Everything but me—

A variety:

First, the shape my lips take

When I smile

Then, only aspects of my style—

The ones that deceive the senses

Lower your defenses

Make you wonder

Confidence thrown asunder

A breeze

Whizzing by your certainty

A tornado—

Or a reverie—

Where the facts

Are art-i-facts

Designed to twist

To burrow in your mind

Then to grow

Into trees of truth

Where flowers of falsified youth

And branches that carry the load

Explode into blossoms and

Inspire.

 

 

Time evaporates into years

My collection has piled

Your recollection defiled

Melted

Reshaped

Into unknown

Unsuspected, unsuspecting

Wisdom flown

From your mind

And into my hands

Like clay

Shaped, reshaped

The size of the holes

On either side of your nose

Where what you see

Is only dreams—

The ones I dare to

Echo

Deflected from the truth

Reflected onto the marquee

Like a refugee memory

No longer sure

Which way

Is home.

 

 

I will choose the color,

You will trust my hand

Not because your will is irrelevant

Only because

You cannot understand—

And—

You trust

The choices

I make

Wait for the plans

The paths

That I take

Like a child—

Hope outstretched

Faith recklessly displaced—

Still you smile

And wait to see

What you will be-come

When the operation in done

Your vision restored

To my point of view

The illusion of Truth

Wrapped inside

Like a film reel

Reflecting

My cinematic lies.

 

 

The seed is sown

The deed is done

Now water it with your tears

Blink until you make it your own

Follow my finger

First up and then

Down

First left and then

Right,

“Don’t fight

let it be

trust me

I know the plans

I have for you:

to kill the boredom

to steal the dream

to destroy the blinding vision

to replace it with soothing

fabrication and

elation

for today.

Today is all that matters.

One more spin

Your view will be new—

you will thank me

when I am through.”

 

 

“I can see”

said she who trusted.

“Thanks for your selection.

How can I repay your

close attention,

touch easing apprehension,

voice soothing

the searing dissonance of

incomprehension?”

She wiped a tear

From the corner

Of her newly installed

Perception.

 

 

She who answered

Leaned in

Close

Low

Bestowed the wages

To be collected on

Another day,

“Only three things I pray:

go further than you intended to go

stay longer than you intended to stay

pay more than you were willing to pay.”

 

 

I will tell you what to see—

Everything but me—

I will whisper in the breeze

Rolling from the sea,

Caress your lips

From a hot cup of tea,

Sing in your ear

On the notes of a melody,

Just as long

As you agree

Never

To set me free.

 

-copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

Photo Credit: this poem was inspired by German painter Justine Otto‘s piece, New Shine. 120 x 100 cm, oil on canvas, 2015.  Please explore this amazing artist’s work at her website or on her Facebook page: Justine’s Website , Justine’s Facebook.

Café of Islands

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A brick wall

Falling down

Not down and around

Only down

Crumbling toward the ground

The way crumbs

Tumble from scones.

 

The drone of the machine

Espresso ground

Milk being steamed

Coins dropping

Into a glass mug

Tips for a job well done.

 

Each table is a life

Unto itself

Every person an objective

Reaching

Breaching other island-tables

Not an option

For

We are all alone

In this crowd.

 

Unique and new

And yet,

All seen before

The way Carl Jung

Said that even our dreams

Are shared—

The archetypes of those

Who have gone before

Sit now

Working, stoic,

Talking

Sipping

Fiddling with their pens

All

In an effort to find the right words

Or look right

While writing

The words meant to fill

The page and the time.

 

A woman wearing

North Face,

Facing the window

Speaks loudly about her travels

Every sentence

Some new place

Every description

Some old face

She talks and talks and I wonder

Who she wishes to hear

Her—

The her she shares

With those at the table

Addresses

Filled with he’s

Who listen—

They have no other choice,

To share stories of their own

Is not afforded—

An audience of many

To a line-up

Of one.

 

A quilted vest across the room

Turquoise in color

Hugs the center of a woman

Gray and wrinkled

Smiling as she gives and takes

With a she whose hair is blond—

Old and young

Combine to share the moment

With a muffin at the center

Polite picking apart

Not too much taken

At any one time

By any one woman—

The art of give and take:

Smiles

Conversation

Chocolate chips and

Careful sips.

 

A man just walked in

He met a girl

She fixed her collar

Flipped her hair—

Her secret is simple:

She was waiting

But made it seem

Like not—

Her waiting there

Anticipating there

Was filled with the papers in front of her hands

But only doodles,

Nothing but google searches

Social media and

Watching the clock on her phone—

A carefully timed dance of

Looking busy and

Hair flipping

And the kind of hello

That projects

Emotional control.

 

A gentleman with glasses

At the tip of his nose

Two cups of coffee

But he sits alone

Well, not alone,

He is surrounded by Us

Who he cannot hear

Because his earbuds

Sing close

Like a hug around his ears—

His eyes focus down

Never around

He did not come to socialize

He did not come to share his mind

But maybe the space—

Better than being alone.

 

The brick walls crumble

As this intersection of lives—

The communion of me and the others—

Breathes through the coffee-filled air

Together but

Separate and alone—

Until one of Us says,

“Hello.”

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: This piece by German artist Miriam Vlaming is entitled, Subground.  160 x 130 cm, Egg tempera on canvas.  Please feel free to further explore Valming’s art at her website and Facebook page: Miriam’s Website , Miriam’s Facebook.

Behind the Mask

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The false self has no soul, an empty shell

Projected into being by the grief

Of he whose true self, buried, longs to tell

A story not of knowing but relief.

 

The shadow of this man behind the mask

Creeps through the eyes of plastic, painted face

Allowing glimmer only of the task

He failed to conquer:  victories displaced.

 

Alone inside his painted, breathing frame

The vacant heart he feels displays his pain

To those whose eyes, ignited, bring a flame

Of hopeful truth won through the fight; sustained.

 

Comparison of dead and live cannot be made-

Bartered to the hidden self is life betrayed.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German painter Mark Slavin‘s piece, Life Review.  If you would like to further explore Mark Slavin‘s art, please visit his Facebook page and website: Mark’s website , Mark’s Facebook.

Love, Loss and Fish

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“Excuse me, miss?”

He said with a laugh.

“You dropped your hat.

Well, the wind carried it back.

Please do not fear

I have it here

dangling from my middle finger

so you can place it

once more

on top of your hair.”

 

 

The woman blushed,

Rustled ruffles

At the top of her skirt,

“I had no idea the wind

was so violent.

Next time, I will place my hand

here

so it will not disappear,”

She showed him the gesture

That could make it stay

Then,

She began to walk away.

 

 

“Excuse me, miss?”

He said with a sigh.

“I noticed your eyes

look a little wet

not drowning with tears

but dripping with sap—

are you a tree

whose roots

have misplaced the map?

I mean only to say

You must have lost your way.”

 

 

The woman grunted

But not like a dog

More like a monkey

Throwing her feces

Off the side of a log.

“I do not like what you have said

but I will forgive you in time—

not today—

instead,

when the sun is high

and the mood is right.”

She wiped the moisture dry

And pretended she could cry.

 

 

“Excuse me, miss?”

He said in a shout.

“The fingers on your hand

look cold and pale—

the color is bland

like a deserted land.

Would you like me to paint your nails?

Maybe red?

What about black?”

 

 

The woman hissed

Like a snake in a pit

Drew her hand back

Thrust it forward in a fist.

When it reached the space

In front of his lips

He stopped it

Blew it back with a wisp of breath

And a kiss.

 

 

“Excuse me, miss?”

He said with a smile.

“When I kissed you

I tasted venom and bile

as though your insides

were squeezed like a sponge

placed on my tongue,

the contents ran in and

all the way down.

I can feel your poison in my throat.”

 

 

The woman whistled

Like a child with sweets

Then,

Winked with her good eye

Then,

Turned away

Like goodbye,

“I will be going now

but I enjoyed our game

I will call you the winner

And I will take the shame—

the shame of a loser whose hat blew away.

I hope if we meet another time

On a blue and green day

In a decade or a week

Or longer—

Maybe on my birthday—

That you will be more careful

Tell the truth

When you speak.”

 

 

“Excuse me, miss?”

He said through his ire.

“Am I to understand

you call me a liar?

What reason do you give

to treat me this way?

I feel

through the twitches

in my mustache

I should have let the damn thing

fly away.”

 

 

The woman lifted off the ground

Hovered above him,

“A woman is like a fish

Her hat is like her fin,

If she lets a man’s hook

Pierce through to within

She knows she has the man

And her hat, as well.”

 

 

With that,

The woman

Flew up

And away

And the man sunk into hell.

 

–copyright Jill Szoo Wilso

Photo credit: the beautiful German painter Miriam Vlaming‘s piece, IN BETWEEN, 195 x 170cm, egg tempura on canvas, 2016.  Please further explore Miriam’s art by visiting her website and her Facebook page: Miriam’s Website , Miriam’s Facebook Page.

 

Special thanks to Oakland California artist John Casey whose casual wisdom is inspiring me to attempt surrealism in my writing.

Whisper the Passing Time

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Memory sifted through their hands

Like water

Or like sand—

The kind of sand that

Lays flat on the desert ground

And all around the blistered feet

Of those who stand and watch the sun

With faces red

And cracking under the weight

And the heat

Filtered through dust—

Or like water.

 

 

Like water

In trickles

Between fingers pruning with excess

Trying to keep the water there

Sickeningly aware

Of the weakness in the holes

Between their fingers and their hands—

Their memories fell right through

Splashed around their ankles

In a puddle

Reflecting upward

Like the pool

In which they used to play.

 

Recollections are filled with darkened hues—

Purples and blues—

Certain as Midnight,

Ephemeral as morning dew.

 

The light traveling from those days

Cast shadows

Down and away from the statues

Erected in their minds

Telling the story

And the time

With no respect for the worries

And a reverence for the

Glow of remembrance

In which their hearts were founded—

Nearly grounded

In the way they had to remember

So as not to betray

The way they said it was.

 

 

Not that they lied,

They just could not see

That the laughter of then

Would be the tears of today

In a way that called forth

Reminiscence as a king

And Today as a paltry servant

Of then and

Of yesterday.

 

 

They heard the voices

Of those they knew

From long ago days

When their own laughter was simple

Easy like a single note played on a violin

Or like marbles rolling all the way down—

The kind of marbles children collect

And play on the ground

Smooth to the touch

Brilliant to the eye

When held to the sky

Examined close

A kaleidoscope of colors and

The wonder of beauty—

Or like a single violin note.

 

Recollections drip down the canvas of the soul—

Subtle and uncontrolled—

Fixed as form,

Delusory as a blindfold.

 

Their laughter hummed

On the chord of B flat

Lightly touching

The humor and the stories of

Where they had traveled

How they unraveled,

The twists and the gaps

Leaning into then

Defying the traps

Set by life

Avoiding the strife

Or slaying it—

At the very least—

With a respect for the prelude

And a skillfully resolving

Harmonic A

Played high

Above the circumstances—

Between struggle and sky.

 

 

Their memories were old

But inside these structures

They put on their youth,

Remembered why

They would never say goodbye

To the old days

The ones who had gone before,

Set the path

For their present days and chosen ways—

And remembered

The magic they saw

When they lay on the floor

Watching smoke rise from party torches

Fire dancing in the eyes of those

Who drank and who sang

Whose yesterdays rang

With an echo that reached

Their todays

And the core of what they are.

 

 

Memory sifted through their hands

Wafted through their ears

And painted itself upon their faces

Holding traces

Of those who came

And are gone.

 

Recollections whisper the passing time—

Hasty and sublime—

Simple as a flower petal

Intricate as a rhyme.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: German painter Miriam Vlaming‘s piece, MENAGERIE.  180 x 230 cm.Egg tempera on canvas.  Please feel free to explore Miriam’s art on her website or on her Facebook page: Miriam’s Website , Miriam’s Facebook Page

 

Inspiring music for the piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxw_7yxtjyE

 

Like a Woman, Like a Knife

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Once upon a night

Where darkness stumbled through

Like a drunken man

Who had lost his sight

But remembered her face

And the tune—

 

 

The tune was all he needed

And he hummed

Into her ear—

It sounded like a sigh,

Smelled like beer—

From a war torn land

Where forgetting

Became the People’s glue.

 

 

He held her close

In a tumbling world

Where up was down,

Every other face

A clown—

A smile painted on

To hide thickening frowns.

 

 

Smiles melted

From their eyes

Into lips

Soft and open wide

With laughter

The kind—

You know the kind—

Where nothing else matters

The glitter or the tatters,

Anything outside

May as well have been

A lie.

 

 

Inside they,

Outside all the others,

The children and the mothers

The sisters and the brothers,

The ones who could not be,

Should not be

Invited—

Inside they,

The two whose balance

Existed,

Whose hearts were

Twisted

In one another,

For a million reasons

In and out of seasons

Buoyant in their love

And in their treasons

Like pirates setting sail

With the treasure

Of their journey and

Their tale.

 

 

Then the poles—

The north and the south—

Tilted and slipped

She fell

And he pulled

Held on with his hand

Attached to his will

Stretched out his body

Like a limb on a tree

Ravaged by winds

Near the deafening sea

Until all the leaves were stripped

And his hand

And his girl

Tripped off the side of the world

Into the February zodiac

Where nothing is seen

And no one comes back.

 

 

He stood on the edge

Put his toes near the ledge

Looked into space

Now letting her fall

He wanted to follow

His heart was quite hollow

But instead

He chose to stay.

 

 

He settled on the ground

Where the earth is round

But it feels like a surface

Flat enough to stand

So he stood in his place

Like a wobbling disgrace

He chose safety

Over love

And the earth

Over space.

 

 

As he looked to the stars

Where his heart gently spun

Like a remnant above—

His floating memoirs—

He tried hard to see,

Desperate

His plea,

“I had to let her go—

I hope

something

or someone

will forgive me.

Forgive my weakness

color in the bleakness

turn cowardice to courage

so my confidence can flourish—“

Then he stifled his words

Dropped his head to his hands

Regretted his safety

And forgot how to stand.

 

 

One thought

One instant

Came into his mind

The moment they kissed

On a street

Near a light

When the air was cold

But her breath gave him life

Away from the present,

Hidden from strife.

 

 

He remembers her now

Like a woman,

Like a knife.

 

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo Credit:  German artist Mark Slavin.  Please feel free to further explore Mark’s art on his website and/or Facebook page: Mark’s Website , Mark’s Facebook Page )

Learning to See

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(Image by German painter Ruprecht von Kaufmann: State of Flux, 2013.  Acrylics and Oil on Canvas.  220 x 180 cm.  Ruprecht von Kaufmann’s Website.)

 

 

Two weeks ago, I enrolled in a drawing class. Drawing I, to be exact. For years I have been filling the pages of my drawing books with sketches: sketches of animals, nature, the sky, objects of beauty, deterioration and significance. So, I had a feeling I knew how to draw.

 

I was happy to learn, however, that I was wrong. Happy because it means that there is something I love that I can make better. Something I love that I can dive deeper into, like a pool of discovery waiting to envelop my imagination and sense of wonder. Drawing is a skill that brings me happiness and provides a space for me in which I can be completely alone. Sure, there is a social aspect to the class in which I am enrolled, and I find that I feel quite proud of my fellow artists with each new discovery they make. Each time they find the angle or figure out how to use a new sighting technique, I smile for them and feel a sense of hope for us all. Even so, for now, the aspect of drawing I love the most is the individual space it makes for me in my mind and in my soul.   It is a place of aloneness but not isolation.

 

My drawing teacher, Sarah, stresses the importance of seeing something—really seeing it. She says, “Look and feel. Don’t think.” Her message, which is probably the message of all professors of drawing, is like salve to my weary mind. For me, thinking—the mind—is the place of safety. The mind is like the central control room of a space ship. The mind is the place of logic, reason, structure and equation. The mind is the place of safety and direction. I have come to rely on my mind as a steering wheel of sorts: when what I see and what I feel become too dangerous, or feel as though they are spiraling out of control, I flip a switch on the control panel and let my mind take over. So, Sarah’s voice telling me to look and feel, not to think, actually brought tears to my eyes. It was like the voice of a mother saying to her child, “Just trust me. Just trust yourself.” I accepted her words as my permission to open the door to my instincts and to embrace, instead of fight them.

 

Another of Sarah’s phrases, which is profound in its simplicity, “We are human which means we make lots of mistakes. Which makes us wonderful. And scary.” I laugh every time I say this to myself or share the phrase with others. There is such elegance in the idea of making mistakes. Making mistakes reminds us that life is like a dance on a tightrope between hope and despair. At different times in our lives we strive for perfection, for status, for approval, for affirmation, for worthiness . . . in our striving, our muscles become tense with control, calculations and the act of reaching out for something, or someone, that represents security. As any tightrope walker knows, tension is the enemy of balance and safety, which means it is also the enemy of adventure and true discovery. To understand the effects of tension on the human form we can look to the rigor mortis of the dead. To understand the effects of freedom and trust on the human form, we can look to the dancer, the tightrope walker or the hand of an artist. In this space of freedom—the freedom of looking and feeling—we are free to make mistakes. Which, as Sarah says, makes us beautiful. And scary.

 

My first homework assignment for drawing class was to set up a still life some place in my home, create ten thumbnail sketches of that still life for the purpose of finding the composition of the items that was most pleasing to my eye and then to draw the still life using only contoured lines. This means there was no shading allowed. I was to draw what I was seeing, not what I assumed I was seeing. This assignment—the very first assignment—revealed many things to me about my own state of mind. Two, specifically, that I will unfold here.

 

First, I need to relearn patience. The idea of creating ten thumbnail sketches seemed a bit excessive to me. It was my understanding that I could simply begin to draw what I was seeing. I assumed that whatever decision I made concerning the composition of the items in front of me, and how I placed them on the page the first time, would naturally be an adequate composition. I also thought to myself, “As long as I draw the items well, the composition is not really important for now. This is, after all, a drawing class.” So, it was with a bit of consternation and an impatient hand that I drew the first five thumbnails. As I began the sixth thumbnail, I decided to “zoom” into the still life a bit further, making the items bigger on the page. Suddenly, the items began to tell a story to me and I began to focus more on the still life than I was focusing on myself. This was a subconscious transferal of focus, the result of which was—to my surprise—more interesting compositions on my final five thumbnail sketches. In the end, I ended up using my tenth thumbnail as the basis from which I began to create my contour line drawing.

 

Patience. I was amazed at how the still life began to speak to me. I was also amazed by the aptitude with which my hand began to move across the paper in front of me with less rigidity and a greater use of instinct. As I continued to draw, I listened to music; I looked, I felt and began to see each line as separate. New. Not a nuisance, but a unique and individual beauty. Sarah’s voice rung through my head, “Learn to love lines.” Part of what I was discovering is that learning to love lines is like learning to love anything or anyone, it begins with my own willingness to patiently observe and accept the subject for what it is, as opposed to imposing my own assumptions onto it. Or them.   Another part of my discovery unfolded itself before me in a more obvious way . . . I did not check my phone for notifications, alerts or messages. Instead, anytime my mind wandered in the direction of my phone, I refocused back onto my drawing and decided, over and over again, that I the only communication I would allow would be between the lines and my hand. Honoring the process in this way created the space I mentioned in the beginning of this writing: a place of aloneness. In that place there is peace and a newly burgeoning relationship with wonder and openness.

 

Second, I have experienced the closing of many proverbial doors in my life lately. Without going into too much detail, so as not to exhaust the reader and not to exhaust my own heart in the process, I will simply say that I have felt a great deal of disappointment. This disappointment had begun to work as a hammer into the stone of my confidence. It was as though the harder I tried to do anything, the harder the hammer hit the sides of my head, hands and heart. I was getting discouraged. Really discouraged. I began to hear a voice in my head, “Just stop trying to do anything meaningful. Just stop trying.”

 

I sat with the voice in my head for a day. One day. I pondered what it would mean if I just stopped trying. Just stopped pondering the dreams, the goals, the relationships and the motivations in my life. What if I just simply stopped? If I stopped pursuing, I would stop being disappointed. I would let life happen to me, instead of through me.

 

For one day I allowed this disappointment to grip me and I sat with it, face to face. I felt an overwhelming sense of grief—as though someone died—and I began to understand the words of C.S. Lewis as he describes the anatomy of grief. He says it much better than I ever could:

 

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.

 

At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.”

 

The next morning, the sun rose. As the Bible says, “His mercies are made new every morning.” And so they are. I made a decision to stop focusing on the disappointments, to learn from them and to make new goals. This is when I enrolled in drawing class. This was the day I restructured the things in my lesson planning for the Public Speaking class I teach—the things I knew I could improve. This is the day I began to edit the play on which I have been working for three years. This is the day I decided that I would feel the pain of disappointment, I would allow myself to grieve, but I would also keep stepping toward hope, instead of sitting with despair. I decided to regain my confidence and trust that as long as there is breath in my body, there is purpose. I made it my responsibility to keep my eyes, heart and hope open to new possibilities.

 

What does this have to do with my drawing homework? As I focused on something other than myself, and as I began to experience small victories on the page, I felt a sense of aliveness that I had previously felt had been extinguished. I began to learn that my eraser is equally as important as my 2B pencil. I made mistakes—so many mistakes—but as quickly as I made them, I learned something new. My mistakes were actually teaching me how to see—truly see—what was right in front of me. The still life and I began to work together: when I was truly looking and feeling, I was bringing it to life on my page. When I started to think, I was bringing myself to the page. So, though this process—beginning to learn the process of looking and feeling—I began to realize how my own sense of control, which was a result of the fear of making mistakes, was stifling my aliveness. And I really wanted to embrace my aliveness, not fight against it.

 

In conclusion, the hammer—or disappointment—that was smashing into the sides of my stone confidence caused me a great deal of pain. Even so, pain is often the chisel God uses to sculpt us into the best versions of ourselves.   This means that our pain is not wasted. As C.S. Lewis writes, “You see, we are like blocks of stone out of which the sculptor carves forms of men. The blows of His chisel, which hurt so much, are what makes us perfect.” I am not perfect—not at all—and I really have no desire to be perfect. But Lewis’ metaphor is clear. There is purpose in pain.

 

As Sarah says, “In Drawing I we are learning to see. That’s it. You would be surprised how difficult it is to simply see.”

 

Look and feel. Don’t think.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

Song that inspired me today: Black Hole Sun, by Soundgarden

New Year Unfolding

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The year passed from fire to smoke

As she sipped her tea

And wondered

Where and when

The next would carry her—

Ferry her

The way ashes fly up and

Out of sight.

 

 

“Beauty for ashes,”

She whispered

Into her mug

Where ginger and lemon

Twirled the way children do

Laughing and swaying

Before falling to the ground.

 

 

Outside, she heard voices grumbling

Condescending the number

Twenty Sixteen

And the moments and the feelings—

She thought about getting in the mud but

She chose silence, instead

Because she wondered,

“Isn’t this just life?”

 

 

People criticizing everyone

From the top to the bottom

From side to side

Between families and friends and lovers—

It changed nothing

But only made the world anxious . . .

 

 

And lonely—

She wanted to sing

A song about coming together

A melody about the ways in which

The darkness ebbs and flows

And no one knows exactly how

Or why—

But the light always remains.

 

 

She wanted to hum a refrain

With the intention of—

An interjection of

Hope

Those notes that fall

From the beaks of birds and

Fly from the mouths of

Those dizzy children she remembered

Before.

 

 

She wanted someone to hear

And maybe even

Sing along.

 

 

She dreamed of someone

Who could share the puzzle

Work to find the picture

That was complete—

Maybe dusty with history and

Muddy with the bare feet of

Weariness—

 

 

But whole

And dirty

And beautiful and

Boring and

Adventurous and

The opposite of isolated—

 

 

The same as together

But closer to One

Not the same

But hand in hand

If not possessing a single mind

At least seizing the chance to

Understand.

 

 

The time passed slowly

As she smelled the seconds go—

Like the scent left by a wick

Newly extinguished

Growing cold

And she watched the past

Flitter away

And enjoyed the moment

And the future

Unfold.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: German artist Mark Slavin‘s piece, The Soul.  To view more of Slavin’s work please visit his Facebook page or website: Slavin’s Facebook Page , Slavin’s Website

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