Here’s an innocent little poem that ended up with an unexpected twist.
I decided not to add extra commentary to this short blog. But rather, let you ponder it’s meaning. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
“When you think of me as disabled, leave out the dis-!
Instead think of me as determined-n-able!” ~Unknown
I’m not in a wheelchair, but I do have hidden imperfections.
At a time when I had dressed in much younger women’s clothing, I remember wishing, “Oh, if only I could win that ‘perfection trophy’ or just be the third runner up”. I felt the trophy would give me the respect of others.
Now sitting in old, less than fashionable clothing, I think of the people I respect most. It’s not the ones that hold the trophy. And it doesn’t matter if you’re walking in four-inch stiletto heels, with the aid of a cane, or if you’re in a wheelchair. The winners in my book, are the ones that never stop trying. They are the ones that look for the good in others and see their self-improvements. They are comfortable with who they are. The people I admire don’t compete for that trophy. Because they know that the perfection title and pageantry isn’t what wins the game –of life.
I like hearing different viewpoints. What qualities you admire in people.
When my husband and I moved from the cities to the country, there were numerous naysayers’. I remember people asking, “Have you thought about how you are going to manage way out there as you age?” At first this thought scared me. I thought about the fact that family and medical support may eventually become an issue. I began wondering, what if we spent all our energy building this home only to move back to the city in a year or two? Would it all be for naught?
Crossing a dream off the list because it couldn’t last forever seemed a bit extreme. After much deliberation I decided to take a leap of faith. To follow my dream even if it lasted only one year.
My journey to get where I am now hasn’t always been in the cutest pair of shoes I own, but it’s been quiet an adventure! And, I’m glad I took the risk. Because it’s where I got to meet the me I never thought I was; a woman with determination and willpower. Now, I must admit, many of my dreams are meet with imposter syndrome and hesitation. But, one pieces of advice I received from my father when I was growing up has helped me. He said, “You are going to make mistakes throughout life. The only way to avoid making mistakes is—don’t do anything. But the biggest mistake you’ll ever make is to do nothing.”
It’s been over fifteen years since my husband and I moved to this place we consider “paradise!” And, over the years I’ve followed a few more of my dream. The painting at the top of this blog was originally going to be part of a new book but didn’t make it into the storyline. Writing and illustrating the children’s picture book The Unbelievable Topsy Turvy Day! is another dream of mine that is coming true very soon!
I hope you put on the cutest pair of shoes you own and hike off to follow your dreams! Your time is precious. Thank you for finding a moment to visit me. I’d really like to hear from you. Tell me a dream that’s come true for you.
“Why don’t snakes have eyebrows?” asked the sloth.
“So, that you can’t tell when I’m frowning.” the snake replied. ~Unknown
We have over forty muscles in our face to help us make expressions. Yet we spend most of our adult lives working to hide our feelings.
Even though I watch other people’s expressions or the lack thereof, I seldom think about what my resting face looks like to others. Call it catatonic, highway hypnosis, deadpan, poker face, thousand-yard stare, or RBF. Call it what you will, it’s interesting what we say, when we say nothing at all.
Can you just imagine what the world would be like if we all had tails that wagged? A tail that worked independently; sagging when we were sad, wagging when we were happy, and so on. Maybe a tail would help us to understand each other better.
How often do you think about the expressions you wear? Please leave a comment. I’d enjoy hearing from you.
This adorable painted illustration and many others are featured in my new children’s book The Unbelievable Topsy Turvy Day! Coming soon.
“Are we lost?” asked the girl.
“No! Just free from what the world expects of us.” the opossum replied ~Unknown
We’ve all felt lost at one time or another in our lives. One of my earliest recollections of being lost happened in a drug store when I was no more than four years old. I had stopped to play with a toy. When I looked up my parents were nowhere to be seen. Looking out the large front window of the shop I thought about the long drive we had made to get there and wondered how I’d ever get home. Just as a lump began to grow in my throat, I heard three rapid sneezes and knew it was my father’s sneeze. I ran towards the sound and there standing at a high counter at the back of the store stood my father. I remember how comforting it felt when he put his hand on my shoulder and pulled me into his side. I don’t think he even knew that I felt lost. Afraid that he would be angry, I never told him. My parents expected my sisters and I to always behave responsibly.
Later in life, my mother became lost in a world of Dementia. And at times I felt just as lost. Maybe because I didn’t know what was expected of me. Should I help her live in her home or should I advocate putting her in a nursing home? As her condition progressed, she went to live with my sister and often stayed with me. My sisters and I quickly learned to let her have her altered reality rather than bring her back to ours. We didn’t expect her to remember things or to act a certain way. However, it baffled me how a person could be losing their mind and still remember to be kind and considerate of caregivers. But that was my mother! During those last few years of her life, I enjoyed my mother more than ever!
I believed my father would take care of me. I think, my mother believed my sisters and I would take care of her. –And I believe my faith is what allows me to be free from what the world expects of me.
Please send me your comments. I’d like to know where you find comfort when you feel lost?
I recently returned home from a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. It was the most freeing, liberating vacation I’ve ever taken. That’s not saying it was a leisurely trip. In fact, my husband labeled it as boot camp with extremely good food. Some days we were up at 4am after dining until nearly 10pm the night before. There were giant tortoise to see, walks above the treetops, trees to climb, and snorkeling with penguins, mantra, sea iguanas and more. There was so much to see our group of nineteen was on the move nearly every minute of every day. The most downtime we had was when we were sitting on the bus. I didn’t have time to think about blogging.
After returning home, I didn’t feel like engaging in social media. I had experienced a shift after leaving it behind for a while. I really had enjoyed the physical activities of travel. And wanted to get back to simple pleasures like collecting firewood, going on long hikes, or walks in the woods, laughing with my husband, playing with my grandchildren, and meeting friends like you (at least those of you that are within driving distance).
One of the ways I found to free up a few minutes was spending less time sitting alone with my computer! So, I simplified my blog. For a while I’m going to try this new way of blogging. Instead of spending time with my computer writing and rewriting and rewriting again. I’m going to post a painting. Some pictures will have a caption or even a short description. Other times I’ll let you draw your own conclusions to what you see.
So, here’s my new blog! Most of my artwork is geared towards intriguing children and adults alike. The illustrations are from my new children’s book that’s coming soon. Please let me know what you think about my new kind of blog.
“Why don’t people on the bottom of the earth fall off?” asked the little girl.
“Because we all belong here.” The bat replied. ~Unknown
You’ve heard the old saying, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Well, I took this quote one step further and added two eyes and two hands to the mix. Which gives me the perfect excuse to spend more time creating things.
My husband has told me on several occasions, “You can’t turn off those creative juices. Can you?” He’s right! However, I’ve had help along the way. It doesn’t matter if I’m painting, sculpting, or writing, these ideas, all come from real life experiences. Thank goodness the world is opening up again. Because it seems, the more I’m around others, the more creative I become.
The idea for these two poems in this blog, came to me after listening to a friend tell me of a dilemma, he faced in a poetry class. He described how he had toiled over critiquing a short four-line poem about a bunch of ants escaping a box. The assignment was to decipher the meaning of the poem. To better understand it, my friend studied the period in which the piece had been written. But his research and hard work was all to no avail, because it was word art. He admitted, “I never thought about arranging words to create a picture, a second level of meaning. And I was so surprised by how that structure was just sitting in plain sight, just a simple shift in the organization of the lines.”
Well, I guess you could say a visual poem is a mixture of poetry and art. And since I love art and poetry so much, I decided to grab my pencil and give it a try.
A Frame Of Mind
Coming up with word patterns for visual poetry, is a lot like working on a crossword puzzle. Instead of filling in designs of coloring books, I doodle. And I love sharing ideas with others.
So, please drop me a line in the comments. Let me know if this blog has inspired you to make a visual poem, or a painting, or maybe create a new cookie recipe. Whatever it is, I’d love to hear what you are doing. Thanks for stopping by.
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ~Van Gogh
The Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh is among my favorite artists. His bright colors and bold textures inspire me to paint. I promise you; I’d never compare my paintings to those vivid beautiful artworks that Van Gogh created. However, this quote helps me to remember even though Vincent is a huge success, now. He too struggled to make quality art.
I don’t believe “fabulousness” just happens. Fabulousness is like a flower. It doesn’t magically appear. It starts from a seed. Then sprouts and grows. The plant blooms after a long struggle against the winds of time. Fabulousness is created by those who are willing to take the time to sitting down, to work, to learn from failure, and to keep trying.
Van Gogh kept trying. In about seven years he created over two thousand works of art.
So, when I wiped my canvas clean last month and wrote about my struggles, that was not the end. I picked my paintbrush back up and started again. And well, I thought I’d share this creative journey towards fabulousness with you. So, here’s my new painting. I’ve still got more to learn. But I’m enjoying the steps along the way.
Thank you for visiting my blog site. Please feel free to share these thoughts and artwork with others. Keep watching for my new children’s book The Unbelievable Topsy Turvy Day! Coming soon! Leanne M Benson .com
Have you ever felt intimidated by the wonderful thing’s others are posting? And after browsing the internet, you place that piece you’ve created in a drawer, where no one will ever see it. I think, at a time when most of us don’t see many people or enjoy fun conversations, these little posts are important. So, let’s chat…