A Day to Soak in the Sun

It was such a beautiful, warm day today–so strangely warm, that I actually felt out of sorts.  I didn’t know what to do outside, but it was so warm and sunny out that it seemed indecent to be indoors.

After bringing Lachlan home from his eye appointment, I walked into a house that was eerily empty. I saw only Justin around. I wandered around outside, where I spotted Evan over near the chicken fence. He was busy picking up big rocks and chucking them down the embankment.

I remarked on the absence of people, and he said Caleb and Deirdre had been chasing the cat around not too long ago. I asked him if he had some plans for that spot, and he replied yes, to make the chicken fence bigger.

Speaking of the chickens–I noticed a group of them in the chicken yard huddled together in one spot, having a dust bath and looking extremely contented. “Man, the chickens sure know how to have a good time,” I said, and he  chuckled in agreement.

I decided to go on a bike ride–after all, what else is there to do outside? At least I would be getting some sunlight.

When I got back, Evan and Justin were both pacing around near the stone walkway, soaking up the sunlight. Justin was munching on something. As I approached, Evan settled into a rocking chair and Justin sat down on the stone ledge. “Doesn’t get any better than this,” Evan remarked. “Weather-wise, at least.” Continue reading “A Day to Soak in the Sun”


Small Yet Rich Blessings

One thing I’ve always wanted to write about are all the things that make living in a big family such a blessing. That way of phrasing it sounds so cliche, but I choose that word because it conveys the idea that it’s really a gift from God, and it’s so much better than so many of the things we think are desirable in this life.

I had this idea of coming up with a list, a long list of completely random and small things that are ordinary and everyday parts of being part of a big family, and something that someone else wouldn’t even know they were missing. Things like, hearing a door open and someone walking down the hallway in the morning, and wondering who it is–you don’t automatically know who it is because there are many siblings it could have been. That’s such a silly and small thing, you may not see what I am getting at. My mind zeros in on the small things, the turn of a phrase, the shufflings of feet, the way someone’s hand is peeling an apple. Within all these small things are contained the complex variety that comes from God’s creations, blessings too numerous to count. Continue reading “Small Yet Rich Blessings”

The Wonder of it All

IMG_3616There was a period of time in my life when nothing seemed beautiful or joyous. Things that used to make me feel excited or satisfied, like watching the clouds change across the sky or seeing the way the sun lit up the trees, no longer did. It was still calming to be outside, but a pallor of meaninglessness and emptiness hung over everything. What is so beautiful about trees or sky or waterfalls or anything? It’s just Stuff, like all the other Stuff of the world. And photos of it, all the photos that I filled the computer with, were just like static on a radio.

But in the past few years, my outlook has turned around. Now the world once again seems beautiful, and I once again have that feeling of wanting to capture the beauty. But more than that–simply enjoying the beauty. This life that I live, and the beauty of the world around me, is like a cup overflowing with goodness. There is wonder in the variety and abundance of the created world. A box with four walls has no wonder to it. So much of life feels like boxes; blank walls, pathways that your feet walk by rote, the normal monotonous patterns of living. Step upon step, breath upon breath, but all so empty and meaningless. All you are doing, it seems, is pacing against the four walls of your box. Continue reading “The Wonder of it All”

Deirdre and Elizabeth

Cousins Christian and Elizabeth are staying here for a week, and they seem to be having a good time. I know Deirdre is definitely having a good time with Elizabeth. She really doesn’t have much interaction with girls her age, and in fact sometimes it seems to me that she has an easier time playing with other boys than girls. But her cousin Elizabeth is one case in which they are like two peas in a pod. Although their personalities are very different, they both have fun playing the same games (imaginary-play type of games, or computer game), they both burst out laughing at the same things, and in general they really connect.

Continue reading “Deirdre and Elizabeth”

“The Yellow Wallpaper”

Lately I have been reading an anthology of short stories, a book I was required to get for a literature class I’m taking soon. Since I haven’t done much reading in a very long time–in fact, my life is amazingly devoid of reading– it takes me a long time to get through each one. But I am enjoying it, sometimes for the story but often just because of the skill of the writing. Sometimes I want to copy down the way something is phrased because it brings to mind such a vivid picture, using words I would have never thought to string together in that way.

The aspect to the stories that I enjoy the most is the characterization of people and their thoughts and feelings, as well as vivid description of the outdoors. I enjoyed Sarah Orne Jewett’s short story “The White Heron”, because although the ending was predictable, the description of the country setting was so evocative, bringing to mind all of my pleasant experiences outdoors. And the character and feelings of Sylvie, the little girl who is the main character of the story, were equally convincingly and compellingly portrayed. Continue reading ““The Yellow Wallpaper””

Recap of this fall’s classes (Part 2)

Continued from last post…

Besides the exercises I showed in the last post, we had a larger, more involved project exploring Figure-Ground Relationships. We isolated three small areas out of a larger project, enlarged them and re-created them with India ink (man, was it hard to use that without spilling!) and each was an example of Figure Dominant, Ground-Dominant, and Ambiguous. I had to re-do several of these because of the India ink coming out sloppy at first. It’s a miracle I pulled it off, because it was late, I was tired, and all the India ink wanted to do was puddle and spill.

Ambiguous Ground - resized
Ambiguous figure-ground relationship (equal amount black and white; either the white or the black can be seen as the background)

Continue reading “Recap of this fall’s classes (Part 2)”

Recap of this fall’s classes

I survived the fall semester 😛 I managed to get through both classes, and soon the spring semester will start up. I keep getting “deja vu” in a sense as I remember last winter break, when I had just finished the Illustration class and was getting ready to start Painting II. I felt the same mixture of relief, anticipation, and dread. But I feel like I’m learning (or at least starting to learn) to not worry and dread so much.  I’ll probably feel the same pressure and “I can’t do this!” feeling. But, as experience has shown me, feelings don’t determine the outcome. I have felt so helpless and “in over my head” and yet had it all turn out well in the end. Similarly, good feelings I’ve had have proven just as deceptive.

I feel like I finally started to take things less seriously this semester. The previous classes I took pretty seriously, especially the one last fall. It was like the only thing in the world was the weight I felt on my shoulders. I think I had on a funeral face most of the time, and I was like a withdrawn turtle, rarely talking to classmates. That’s quite the contrast from how I was in my art class this semester, when I was all smiles (well, in comparison to last year, at least) and talked to everyone in my class, even if it was just friendly comments on their artwork.

Continue reading “Recap of this fall’s classes”