I am a sucker for a beautiful fabric, so I love the analogy of friendship as fabric. Some are thick and strong, others are thin and frail. Some are bright and colorful, others are plain and practical. Some are best at blocking the sun, others are meant to let light in. Some can stretch, others are only stiff and rigid.
Reading this quote that I DEARLY love made me think about friendships in my own life. There have been times in my life when I have leaned heavily on the support of a friend. So much so, that I’ve worried if I’m wearing out the fabric of our friendship. But then we share good times together again, laughing after a good cry, and I know nothing could be further from the truth. I know, too, that the time will come when I will reciprocate and be her support. True friendship cannot be worn ragged. The more you use it (not abuse it) the stronger it becomes. In good times and bad.
Being a true friend means seeing all the crusty, peely imperfections and loving in spite of (or even because of) those flaws. Most friends, like my curtains, will come and go. But a few remain for a lifetime. May you be draped in the forever kind of friendship.
Welcome to Phrase Art Phriday, #19. This series is a way for me to explore photography and experiment with graphic design. Combine those with an inspirational phrase and my thoughts and writing around it all and you have Phrase Art Phriday.
This week I have squeezed every drop of enjoyment from my beautiful peonies, in my home and in my blog posts. In my two previous posts I showed you four of my five arrangements. Here is the fifth.
Now onto the featured photo with a phrase that I absolutely LOVE.
The funny thing about this quote is that while looking for the original author I discovered that it is somewhat unknown. Almost all of the references to it that I could find online (and there are MANY) give Anais Nin the credit. But no one has ever been able to document it for a fact. I also came across an article that gives credit to Elizabeth Appell a.k.a. Lassie Benton, along with some pretty convincing documentation to back it up. For this reason I have not included an author’s name with the quote on my photo. This bit of information also served as the jumping off point for my deeper thoughts on the quote itself.
As a creative person, I have had to deal with the protective feelings that creative types feel for their creations. Anyone who is creative knows how it feels to have their work copied or “stolen”, and how the fear of that happening can cause one to hold tightly to their work and be afraid to share it with the world. I absolutely confess to having had those feelings at various times in my life. I have also fully understood what this quote is expressing and have known the freedom afforded to those who embrace its truth. I have discovered that as I share my creativity I am filled again with ideas and designs that I can’t wait to become immersed in. There is no end! Shared creativity never runs out and can never be used up. The ultimate creator, God, has an endless supply! He is an infinite source of creative thoughts and ideas. But if I keep my ideas to myself and hold onto them selfishly they can never blossom.
I find it ironic that the author of this quote is disputed. What a shame it would have been if the person who thought it never shared it for fear of having it stolen.
An unknown future can be a scary thing or it can be an exciting thing, depending on one’s perspective. When there are things in my life that look bleak and I don’t know how everything will turn out there is only one way I can keep out fear. By trusting in One I do know. Navigating unfamiliar territory is much less overwhelming when I remember that my future is in His control.
One thing that is so unsettling about the unknown is the lack of control that one feels. I’ll admit it ~ I can be a control freak. I am a very logical person and I often have a very good rationale for doing things the way I do them. I think things through to the possible outcomes before pressing forward. But I am learning to let go of my preconceived plans and the need to know what’s next. No, not in every area of my life but in a few. I am learning that if I stay narrow minded as to what and how I think things should happen I may very well miss something better. But by yielding control and trusting God who holds my future, I can rest in the knowledge that He knows the desires of my heart and wants to lead me in the very best plan for me.
I’m not afraid to try things. Just not without a good amount of pondering (a.k.a. analyzing from every angle). But I’ve learned that I can measure, and calculate, and think a thing to death and still not get the results that I expect. How much easier it could be if I could lean completely on someone who knows the way. I count on my Garmin to get me to unknown places, boy do I! With my GPS I can now experience so much more than I could when I had to rely on my (non-existent) map reading skills. I was limited by my poor sense of direction, and confined to a smaller world. Literally. Could the same be true of my life as a whole? Am I experiencing a pitifully small existence because of a skewed sense of direction? If I stop trying to analyze and control every twist and turn and instead live by the grace and direction of God will I experience more than I could ever imagine? There are countless adventures waiting. It’s time to trust with wild abandon.
I don’t know if it’s the extra hour of daylight that spring brings, the warmer weather or the anticipation of seeing flowers and trees in bloom, but I am feeling totally energized and optimistic about the future. I feel like I could sprout wings.
Like many of you, I suffer from the winter doldrums, causing me to feel lethargic and unmotivated during the second half of the winter season. I have to pray my way through it every year. When spring rolls around I feel a huge sense of relief, like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, on the threshold of reawakening, the air is ripe with potential. I’m giddy! I’m ready to breathe in the fresh spring air. I welcome the renewal of all things green and pure. I watch the robins. I hear their song and bask in the rejuvenating melody. I listen and believe. I will fly again.
This week’s phrase art photo is a picture of a bird I created from a dollar store bird, tissue paper, velvet ribbon and wire. I think I might make another and share the how-to in a future post.
Comparison. Deciding if we measure up based on our assessment of other people’s merit, and whether we think we are better or worse than them. It sounds silly when put that way and yet it’s a trap that most people have fallen into at one time or another. Many times we don’t even realize we’re doing it.
I can be happy and content with what I have, what I made, where I am one minute. Then moments later after viewing images on the internet of other people’s creations, locations, etc. I can suddenly feel deflated.
How wise Mark Twain was to boil this important truth down into one sentence. Nothing can rob us of our confidence like comparison. The reverse is just as unhealthy. If I feel good about myself because I have determined someone else to be inferior, well that’s just not right!
The photograph I chose for this week’s Phrase Art Phriday is one that I took in 2007. I was right in the middle of the antiques business at that time. I had a large collection of vintage hats, many with lush embellishments like velvet flowers, beading, feathers and fur. I enjoyed displaying them in my rented space and most of them sold fairly quickly. The two hats in the photo are quite plain compared to most of the ones I had. I loved the one on the right because of the blush color ~ a color that’s hard to find in just the right shade. It’s displayed on a bowling pin. A humble pedestal for a modest hat. It would surely get lost amongst a display of more elaborate hats. It wouldn’t “measure up.” But set apart on a tattered bowling pin with simple surroundings there is nothing out shadowing it. It is lovely just the way it is.