Writing Prompt: When you were taught a lesson by a child….

I had a job where I worked around children for 13 years. Never having any offspring of my own, this filled a void in my life; the biggest lesson I was taught by a child was from my littlest little at the time.

At a point when my life changed completely, she was only six months old. As a matter of fact, the  day she was born we were having a cancer treatment and my late husband wanted to make sure that he would not harm her if he went to see her.

He passed away before she was old enough to know him. She doesn’t fully understand that I was once married.

I would follow her as she grew and began crawling, then walking, then running.

I was taking life the same way she was. Learning my way around at first crawling if I needed to. As she was learning to stand on wobbly legs, I was doing so emotionally. She quickly became her own little, quirky personality.

I think I admire that part about her as much as anything. When she has an entire conversation with no one on a cell phone with no service or plays with a computer keyboard saying she can run the world from right there, it gives me an insight into imagination.

She has taught me a great deal and when I am around, I am the chosen playmate. This is because when she lets her imagination run wild, I go right along with her.

Last year for Christmas, when she was 6, I gave her the little point and shoot camera  I bought the day she was born, just to take photos of her. For about a month, her entire family fussed at me because she was blinding them taking pictures. She took it with her to the grocery store one day and actually got some amazing photos.

When she shoots with my big camera, she will take one shot and say It’s good. I’ll say well let me check it. She will say why? It’s good and it always is. Now that is confidence.  She is fearless.

She will from time to time pull out the note that I put in with her camera and show me that she still has it.

She loves to collect rocks. She keeps her collection outside beside the porch but I always try to get her a rock if I go someplace new.

You see although not in chronological years, in many ways we are about the same age and she  taught me how to start over.

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The things I Do For Me…..

I have many hobbies. Hobbies, you know those things that you do for enjoyment.

I was going through some paintings I had played with a while back. I had actually forgotten about them. They are abstract. It is just me playing. I liked them a lot. One I am going to hang in my workroom, apparently I am not accomplished enough to call my work space a studio. So, I call it my workroom.

I paint, I read, I write,  I take photos, I try new things, I fail, I try again. Nobody ever gets to see these. It is not their hobby. It is mine. I do these things for my soul.

I don’t need someone judging it by their standard. I simply need to do it to be doing. You won’t ever see any of my work hanging in a museum. You won’t find my writings on the shelves of your favorite bookstore.

It is the pain, joy, flights of fancy and all the other things inside me; done by me and for me.

Stillness In The Eye of The Storm…

So when I was going through my recent bout of anxiety, I got to the point where all I could do was pray. It wasn’t a pretty prayer. It was me at bottom going God I have no where else to look. I need some answers. I need you to help me with this thing. I need you and I need you now.

God is right on time every time. I listened after I prayed. I was taught a lesson in life. I was taught a lesson in humility. I was reminded of some happy times as a child where I overcame my fears and I was told to reach out to others, which I haven’t done in a while.

God showed me through the art that I do how I am being put through the same fire. It will strengthen me just as it does the glass I work with.

I was reminded that I had always allowed my fear to stand in the way of things and it had cost me hours of fun that once I overcame that it was some of the best times of my childhood.

I was reminded that in times of internal struggle, I should turn outward and present others to the world. Build others up. I have cousins who are photographers and jewelry makers just as I am. My person is an artist, he paints and sculpts and so much more. A friend of mine grows pumpkins, his art is in nature. I have three friends who bake cakes. My sister does floral design. My niece is a cosmetologist, her art is done on the human body.  Instead of waiting for them to promote me which none of them do, promote them, not wanting anything in return, just to be kind. Just to show that talent is all around me. I won’t share everything the post but I will try to help them if I can. There are different types of creativity.

In the middle of the chaos of my own making, I found silence in the eye of the storm. I was made aware of a great deal of things. I have now put them into place. Some don’t and won’t understand it. I have to be okay with that. It is not their life. It is mine. I want us all to win. Simple yet so hard for some to understand.

Looking Deep Inside….

Recently, I saw a man I had a great deal of respect for laying in a casket. His time here is over. Now, I am a firm believer that respect is earned, it not automatically given. Much like trust and loyalty, I hold this in high regard so if I respect, trust and am loyal to you, you have to be something special.

I have been very quite over the past week. I have been deep in thought and taking some time for introspection through this process. What am I doing with my life? If I die today, was my life worth living?

I have decided that some changes need to take place. Very few noticed that  I haven’t been talking as much. So if no one misses what you have to say, it really must not matter, so stop talking. If anyone wants to know what you are thinking, they will ask at some point, then I will talk until , just say nothing. If you implode, maybe they will realize that what you said mattered.

I am going to stop promoting a business that is not working for me right now. I will not bore people with what I am working on, I will continue working but once again in silence. I will only share it with those who care about it, not the public.  When you feel like you have little support, you do it for yourself not for others. You make what you like. You enjoy what you are doing even if no one stands and applauds. That is passion.

I am going to make the most of the days I have remaining. As I heard two days ago, we are all one step away from death. Do I want to spend the rest of my time chasing dreams that may not happen or am I going to do those things that stir my soul? I would rather stir my soul. If people like it cool, if not, that’s okay too.

I want passion, fun, life. I don’t want to spend all my time worrying about what I am doing wrong. I don’t want to try to measure up to what others think I should be, being the perfect daughter, sister, aunt, employee whatever…. I will never be the perfect anything. I promised myself a long time ago, no regrets, I don’t intend to have any. I will use the words “I love you” more. I will follow my passions. I will not allow myself to settle. I will be happy with who I am, what I look like at any given moment, what I love to do and who I want to be with. It is my life and I want to live every moment of it. I like the rush I get from trying new things. I like it when I am busy and my mind is racing a hundred miles a minute on something creative or constructive. I love that feeling. It is like jumping out of an airplane and free falling.

I want to live every moment, not just exist because, some day, someone will be standing over me and reminding people that this is coming to all of us some day.

I Will Always Love You….

My girls (my great nieces) are growing up so very fast, the oldest one just turned 13 in May. An actual teenager in Earth years but she has one of those old souls.

She is so wise for her age, wiser than me some days, as she proved to me today as we had a conversation driving up the road.

We were doing a photo shoot for her new CD. Everybody’s first response is that she is beautiful. She is, no doubt about it; she is gorgeous. She is also, smart, talented, funny, goofy, wise beyond her years, a loving person who wants to see good in everyone. She is strong in her faith. She will not do anything she finds distasteful. She is focused. She is driven. She will not put her name on something she is not proud of. She is so much more than what people see.

They simply do not know her like I do. She always tells her other sisters that I love her more because I have loved her longer. I love them all, in different ways. They are all so very unique. They all have their strengths and very singular personalities. I give them the attention each needs. It’s just that right now the focus is on the older one getting her CD done.

We were alone on one of my favorite crooked country roads. It is the second round of photos for the project.  Her parents leaving her in my care,  had left us  to do what we do because they had to take care of some other things. We were fighting for time, there was a thunderstorm not so far away.

We did the shots and as always, I had music playing from an old cell phone. The song “Forever Country”, which is a mashup of some classic country songs sang by some of the greatest voices from the past and the present,  came on. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9gAXwYZtfk

We were looking at the shots we had just taken, she has to proof each of them. As we stood there flipping through pictures, we began singing along with the song. At the end of the song the last song they blend in is “I Will Always Love You” came on. As they began to sing that part, she laid her head over on my shoulder and sang to me.

Of course, I cried. In that moment, I knew that I was loved as deeply and as innocently as anyone could ever be. She wanted nothing but to in her way tell me she loves me. She does all the time but that time was a little more special than all the times before. No one saw it, no one was supposed. It was a moment but one that I will hold in my heart forever.

Comfort…

I need to be in a place of comfort. If that be a space, a relationship, clothing and shoes, hobbies, when I sleep,  all things.

Now having said that, I do a lot of activities in the confines of my home. I dress for comfort. When I am working in my work room, honestly it is very scant. I am there in usually a tee shirt, underwear and my apron.

When I am writing, it kind of depends on what I am writing. I am trying to be tactful here so I am not going to go into much detail. Let’s just say I dress for the part.

It is part of my creative process. I need to feel what it would feel like to actually feel the part that I am writing about. It is something that makes me feel ummmm, desirable which is good when I am writing about my desires.

When I am making jewelry, I don’t worry about how I look, I wear the afore mention workroom clothing. When I am trying to promote my product, I want to look like a business woman. When I am photographing an event, I dress differently than when I am doing nature photography. When I am hiking different clothing and shoes. When I go to work the uniform. To church, dresses or skirts.

I just want to feel comfortable in what I wear, how may hair looks; currently, it has blue highlights. I have mermaid hair.

I don’t wear any of this for anyone else. I change my hair, put on makeup, dress as I wish because it makes me feel good. When I feel good, apparently it is obvious. People notice and I’m not looking to get noticed. I was actually told the other day by someone that they were watching me. Not sure what they meant by it, didn’t ask. I don’t really care anymore who is looking or watching. I am gonna do me. Blue hair and all.

Simple…

I am not hard to understand. I like simple. My mind is busy, but not complicated.

This morning, after finishing a 12 hour shift, I went for a walk. I enjoyed the smell of the fresh morning air. I looked at the dew as it lay on the blades of grass. I got into my music as I walked. I twisted my lower torso to get more effect of the walking. I did a dance with a robin that would hop along in front of me just a few paces ahead, it would fly just a bit and land back in front of me, we did this for a good while.

After he got bored with the game. He flew off.

I went home and I slept. I slept until I woke up. No alarm needed. No phone call from my mom. I woke up feeling refreshed. I didn’t sleep as  much as yesterday. Yesterday I slept all night and the whole day. I needed rest. I was tired.  Today, I was rested.

I wanted fresh air and sunshine. It was my late day to come in. I went and took some of the best photos I have taken in a while. I actually shot in manual and took more control over the camera than I have in a good long time. I spent over an hour trying to get a good photo of a dragonfly darting about. I didn’t get it but I tried. I got some good practice in. I got to understand what I can do without the camera doing it for me.

As the sun set, nobody knew where I was. When I had spoken to my  mom, I was going to get dinner. When I had spoken to my best friend I was going home to get dressed for work. My person, he had no clue where I was.

Where I was, was standing in the middle of a cemetery where my grandparents are buried. It was the best place to get the photos of the sunset I was seeing. I paid respect to them while I was there but the sunset was what had drawn me to this place.

Once again, I shot with the “M”. This mode scares a lot of people. You have to do the thinking. It is in my mind, a dividing line. I would shoot, adjust, shoot again, adjust again. It was a learning exercise for me. When did it get grainy? What are the limits I could push it to and still get an acceptable shot.

I enjoyed my day and I did that thing I love to do. With no thought of what was going to happen with  the images. I am not taking them for monetary gain. I am taking them for me. Most people will never even know they exist. They don’ t need to.

When I got to work, I got into a conversation with one of my co-workers about life. He is newly married and he doesn’t realize that it is a world of compromise. He told me some things and I asked him some questions. The most common phrase I heard was I never looked at it that way. I was just asking questions. It was up to him to make his own assessment of the situation.

It was a simple day. It was a day of reflection and not loneliness.

I don’t need the world. Looking at my little corner of it in a way that no one else sees it, that has to be enough for me, for now.

Life is simple we make it complicated. A place to relax, someone to love, something to be passionate about, a roof over our head and food in our belly. Those are the “simple” things in life that are the grand things.