Monday, February 27, 2006

blogger's block

hi. lately ive had a case of the blogger's block.

i am tossing around a toy for wilbur that looks like a furry green corn husk with arms and a face.

i am going to think of things i am grateful for. i know i have already devoted past blogs to this activity, but tim keel said once that God's will for our lives can be summed up in one word: gratitude. it's not such a mystery when you think about it like that.

so i am thankful for:
how beautiful it was today. it felt like summer.i love that first taste of warm weather. i had my windows down and music so loud even though i didn't like the song. i am thankful for wilbur and how he has too much skin to fit his body right so he is just a big ball of fur and fat. so cuddly. so flopsy. i am thankful that my mom is coming tomorrow to stay with me. and that my friend keri is in town who i haven't seen in 4 years since we were 3 months into the hardest summer of our lives with misquito bites everywhere and running on 4 hours sleep. when we finally got off work from the camp, we bought flip flops from walmart (boo) that lit up when you stepped and we made up a night dance. she is amazing. she is so fun. so full of God.

i love god. i love that he is so big. and i am thankful that he is always new to me. yet neverchanging. i am thankful for how he shows me himself in other people. and in books. and in silence.

i read all these articles on the quarterlife crisis in my cubicle today because i really wonder sometimes if i am the only one that can be feeling this way. i know i am not. it was good to hear that this is an actual syndrome that has earned enough popularity to actually be named. i know everyone is lost and looking. trying to figure out what the adult version of themselves looks like. it is comforting to know everyone faces this. but it is hard. too hard, almost.

some days i just want to quit straining and say this is it. this is going to be me. no more development. no more goals. and i will sit home watching full house reruns and dallas and making waffles and taking my dog for long walks. and i'll paint and draw and make up stories all day. and hang out with god and with my friends. and that's it. wilbur and the corn husk just gave the nod to this plan.

so it's official.

at least til 830 tomorrow am.

ps. this lovely lady pictured above is done by the late and great margaret kilgallen.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Elizabeth "Grandma" Layton

This lady is real cool.
I've been wanting to write about her on my blog.

I saw a drawing that she did for my friend Rick at work, who helped design her book. The drawing, which looked a lot like the one pictured here (I guess she did a lot of self portraits like this) was hanging in his house at this party he had, and I asked him about it. And he told me the story of this cool lady. I don't remember all the details... she had an early divorce... struggled with depression... psychiatric hospital stays even... the death of a child... and what she called "40 years of depression" all changed when she took a drawing class for the first time and began drawing these contour drawings at age 68. She was taught to draw by looking at the subject, and not the paper. "I don't know why it is," she writes, "but this contour drawing has completely cured me of my forty-year depression. I simply don't have it anymore."

A little old lady from smallville kansas with just these weird little naive and deeply genuine drawings...
and her work ends up in the new york art scene and galleries all over the place with art critics calling her genius and everything.

I read on one website that she said: "You know, in the beginning I drew myself as someone who was ugly but I don't see myself that way anymore. Now I draw someone who is beautiful." What treasures. I like art with stories behind them.

"All of us," said Nietzsche, "are potentially hero or genius, only inertia keeps us mediocre."