Friends sometimes question me with concern when I haven’t posted for awhile on this site. I’m always deeply touched when this happens. One friend asked our daughter if I was okay, because she had not seen any fresh Northern Reflections for some time.
I’ve been aware that each of my five blogs has different readers, and many do not realize that the other blogs even exist. You can check the Blog Roll for my other URLs and topics. But in recent months, my art blog: http://www.northernview.wordpress.com/ — i. e. “The Messy Palette . . . Growing through Art” has been most frequently updated.
I intend to continue this blog whenever and however. But, after decades of words and writing for publication, NOW MY HEART IS IN THE ART. If you wonder why I have not been posting new Northern Reflections, you might just check out the Northern View (Messy Palette) site and see how my world is viewed at present.
I have been reflecting on the language of the arts. Through the “Likes” on my art site, I found a lady in Italy whose paintings thrill me to the core. Truly a kindred soul! Her bio is in Italian which is (metaphorically speaking) Greek to me. I’m comfortable with reading French, but there my foreign language skills rest. Yet this woman’s paintings speak volumes, and words are not necessary when I view her art. Thus the centuries of art and music cross every culture and can potentially dissolve barriers between those who love creative expression.
Have you ever had the experience of feeling terribly embarrassed when trying to communicate with someone whose language you do not know—given the fact that the “someone” is out to sea with your language as well? This has happened to me on numerous occasions. There is a lot of apologetic head wagging and pasted-on smiles as we try to convey friendship and find some common ground. You want to communicate to the other person that you like him or her and want to be a friend. But the smiles and head wags can be borderline inane—like Bobble Heads in the back window of a car.
Try art. Try music. Although our worldview, moral and ethical values, and political leanings must articulate clearly in words, no verbal language is needed to build bridges to simple, every-day friendship—when a passion for the arts is the major motivator. My love for Verdi has long given me insight and appreciation for the pulse beat and intensity of Italy. Viewing Oriental art yields even more regard for Chinese culture than a plate of Egg Rolls (although food works too). Beethoven and Bach are a part of my American family heritage, bringing me closer to my German speaking ancestors: German, German Swiss, and Alsatian. Like nothing else on earth, Celtic harp ballads stir my racial memory and resonate in my Celtic genes.
So through art and music, we can indeed be multi-lingual. If so inclined, or if I don’t post again for sometime on this site, just visit my Messy Palette. :)
Margaret L. Been, September
NOTE: I just updated the ekphrasis page. With the onset of Autumn, I sense the poet is coming out of hibernation, rather than going in. Check out my “Tatters of Time”.
Posted in "Old" is Creative!, "Old" equals FUN!, ART!, Artists and art, Arts and Crafts, Condo Living, Creating Beauty at Home, Creative Aging, Creative Living, Ekphrasis, Fine Arts, Gracious Living, Home grown art, Home is an art gallery!, Living abundantly in a condo!, Painting, Poems by Margaret Longenecker Been, The Home Arts, Watercolor Painting | Tagged Arts and Crafts, Creative Living, Fun and Funky, No Stress Allowed, Poems by Margaret Longenecker Been, Reflective Musings, The Gift of Time. Gracious Living, The language of the arts, Watercolor Painting, Writers and Writing | 3 Comments »
Leonardo Aguilar II: I know I posted this hombre before, but I couldn’t resist posting more. Little Leo will be effortlessly bi-lingual. His Dad reads to him in Spanish, and his Mom (our granddaughter, Jamie) in English. Maybe I can pick up a word or two of Spanish from our youngest great-grandson!
More Little Leo, in Great-Grammy’s Shawl: I made this garment for a Teddy Bear, and then thought “Hey. It would look even better on Leonardo II!” He’s smiling as if he likes his colorful snuggy.
A Backyard Retreat: My friend Karen is a Master-Gardener, and she has the greenest thumbs (and fingers) of anyone I’ve ever known. Here are some photos she took of her beautiful sanctuary in Waukesha. Karen laid yards of winding brick pathway for an enchanting, rustic touch. Along with the gorgeous gardens to grace her neighborhood, Karen has a Little Library where anyone passing by can exchange books. How great is that!
A Memorable Outing: My friend Liz (pictured below) treated me to a day of antiquing, etc. just across our border—in Richmond, Illinois and the surrounding area. The day was just right: perfect weather, delightful browsing, good food, fun acquisitions, and best of all great company!
A Time to Be Silly: Our daughter Debbie took some of her grandchildren (our great-grandchildren—DUH!) on a surprise train ride and a vacation at a Wisconsin Dells water-park resort. The Amtrak speeds by our road every day at approximately 4:20 p. m. So on the day Deb was taking the children to the Dells Joe and I walked a few yards from our door, and waited at our road beside the Fire Station, so we could wave at the children as the train roared by.
Frequently I cannot resist being utterly silly where my children (of all ages!) are involved, so I had to do what I call a “Do Do Dee Dee Dance” with my derriere aimed at the passing train windows while Joe looked on very sedately from his 4-wheeler. (Joe doesn’t do Do Do Dee Dee Dances.) Meanwhile Debbie caught a blurry, impressionistic shot of the vaudeville act.
And Our Private Heaven: That long cold winter has morphed into luscious spring. A month ago it looked like nothing was going to happen. But now . . . ! The treasures in our patio garden are better than ever (I say that every year), and our patio is the perfect outdoor living room—with sun in the morning and shade for hot afternoons.
And SKY: Those of you who have checked this site on occasion over the last five years know that I have a thing about sky. As a child, I spent countless afternoons lying on the grass, watching clouds while searching for dragons, genies, and horses in the sky.
Now I recline on the berm outside our condo courtyard and watch clouds, with Baby Dylan (corgi) at my side. That is our warmish day agenda. On steaming summer days I flop on the patio lounge for afternoons of reading and cloud gazing, with ice tea ever handy.
Never has cloud gazing been more rewarding than it is here in the Lake Country, with the open expanse of park beyond our door. We are surrounded by lakes, so there are nearly always clouds—ever changing, ever exciting to view. I have years of cloud photos, enough to create a picture book. (That’s a great idea, for next winter!)
Meanwhile, here are some recent gems, starting with a sunrise:
Yes, I’ll always have my head in the clouds.
In closing, here is a confession of something that I never thought would happen. (Daughter Laura, are you ready for this?) My man is planning to get me a TABLET. Yes, family, I’m finally taking the plunge. Ever since tablets surfaced, I’ve said “No, I don’t want one”—and I meant it, at least I think I did. But recently something snapped. Now I look forward to having my very own tablet.
People with tablets appear to have thousands of pictures. (Hyperbole intended, but perhaps it’s not hyperbole.) Is this writer turning into an ex-writer, perhaps a “recovering” writer? Maybe a picture is worth a thousand words. :) Well, we’ll see about that.
Margaret L. Been, June 2014
Posted in "Old" is Creative!, "Old" equals FUN!, Age 80 and growing younger every year!, Antique shops, Antiques and Wonderful Junk!, Cloud Gazing, Condo Living, Contentment in the Little Things, Creating Beauty at Home, Creative Aging, Creative Living, Creative minds are never bored!, English Cottage Decor, English Gardens, Family Matters, Friends, Fun and Funky, Gardens, Grandchildren, Great-grandchildren, GREEN!, Growing old is a great joy!, Herb Gardens, Life, Life is full but never busy, Lifestyle, Living abundantly in a condo!, Never say "downsizing"!, New Life in Spring!, Patio Gardens, Patio living, Peace and Serenity, Pembroke Welsh corgi, Retirement Joys, Slow lane living in a fast lane culture!, Small Town Living, Spring Joy!, Sunrise Sunset, The beauty of open space, The Gift of Time, The Home Arts, The joy of collecting, The Joy of Creating, The Joy of Keeping a Home!, Trains, Weather, Writers and Writing | Tagged Antiquing, Beautiful Wisconsin Lake Country, Cloud Gazing, Cloud photos, Cloud watching, Condo Living, Creative Living, Family Matters, Friends, Fun and Funky, Gorgeous gardens, Gracious Living, Great-grandchildren, Life, No Stress Allowed, Patio Gardens, Reflective Musings, Retirement Joys, Richmond Illinois, Spring, Sunrise Photo, The Gift of Time. Gracious Living | 6 Comments »
Before our last presidential election, President Obama stated that “Al Qaeda is on the run.” And just recently, Al Qaeda staged a public demonstration in the country of Yemen—telling the world that Islamic terrorism is stronger than ever before. Al Qaeda spokesmen declared that they will defeat THE CROSS, and that THE CROSS is represented by America; therefore America is their prime target. These words, ominous as they may be in their tragic potential, did not terrorize me one bit—because I know in my heart and mind THE CROSS of Jesus Christ will never be defeated. THE CROSS is victorious!
We are living in “perilous times”, as predicted in II Timothy 3:1. Ever since a certain couple was ousted from a garden, there have been perilous times. Yet a study of prophecy in light of world events indicates that peril on all fronts is ramping up to what may be a prelude to Christ’s return. He has defeated sin and death, through His death on THE CROSS and His bodily RESURRECTION—which we Christians will celebrate this coming Sunday, just as we celebrate THE RESURRECTION every day of our lives.
This week I’ve been musing over events leading to THE RESURRECTION of our Lord Jesus Christ: the perfidy of the crowds in Jerusalem, the travesty of evil religious leaders, the rotten political scene as exhibited in the illegal and phony trials which our Lord endured, the cruel oppression of Rome, and of course the unspeakable horrors of Jesus’ death on Calvary.
As I consider the downfall of our nation and the recent scandals which our government has largely ignored I recall how Jesus was born, lived, and died—yes, and ROSE—in the midst of a perilous, sin-ridden world characterized by evil. Yet none of that evil could defeat Him. Instead, His Word spread—and has flourished in many places over some two thousand years.
THE CROSS, always a symbol of victory, prevails. It will never be defeated or obliterated. Down through history, right up to (and including) my own lifetime, many have tried: Hitler, Stalin, myriads of angry atheists around the globe, and now Al Qaeda. Nations will crumble and fall, as portrayed in Isaiah 40: 15: “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.” But THE CROSS will prevail!
Our Lord is victorious. He is a personal God who desires the salvation of every single person. A personal photo—just taken this very afternoon on the maternity floor of a local hospital—expresses what THE CROSS, and RESURRECTION are all about!
“The thief cometh not but to steal, and kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
THE CROSS AND THE RESURRECTION ARE ALL ABOUT LIFE! He is Risen! He is Alive! He is LIFE!
Margaret L. Been, April 2014
Posted in Amazing Grace, End Times, God's Love, Great is Thy Faithfulness!, He is coming again!, He is Risen!, Israel, Israel's glorious future!, Israel--God's chosen people!, Obama, Our Lord will return!, Our Nation's Demise, Our nation's shame, Politics, Praises, Pray for revival, Prayers for our nation, Prayers for Revival, Religion, Resurrection Day, The CROSS of Christ, The Cross will prevail! | Tagged Al Qaeda, Calvary, Easter, Great is Thy Faithfulness!, He is Alive!, He is Risen!, Our Lord Jesus Christ will return!, Religion, RESURRECTION!, The Cross | 10 Comments »