Thursday, February 07, 2013

Look Out Now or Flying Girl Makes It Through The Storm

Look Out Now, or Flying Girl Makes It Through The Storm
Pencil, Ink and Acrylic paint on vintage Alice in Wonderland book page
7 1/4" x 4 3/4" on 8 1/2"x 11"

This is my first flying girl in quite some time.

I'm not sure what the lesson here is, unless it's about learning how to breathe again after being buffeted about by the winds of fate.

Or perhaps remembering the lessons that I have already learned.

Or perhaps life is guaranteed to knock you around a bit, but if you manage to come out the other side, it is a lesson, not the doom that it felt like when you were caught in the middle of it.

That sounds suspiciously like "this too shall pass," but that's ok since that's one of my favorite old sayings.

Maybe the wisdom of getting older is learning to hunker down and wait it out, and understanding that there is  always going to be something better on the other side. Time goes faster than we think and we are stronger than we know.

Maybe this is just a reminder. It gets better. We get stronger.

Prints of this painting is for sale here:

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

There Are No Failures, Not Even This One

Yesterday, I had the sudden urge to carve myself a new shop stamp.

I love all things handmade, and enjoy the thought of doing it myself.

I took my old stamp and inked it onto the new stamp carving material. You see, you have to do the carving in reverse in order to make it work out right when you stamp on paper.

Did any of you catch my mistake?

Oh yeah.

I out clevered myself. Using the old stamp as my outline, I had reversed the reverse and thus when I stamped, it was all wrong.

Unless of course, you hold the paper up to the sun and look through it. Ah. There's my nice stamp.

I really like the hand carved, hand written quality of it. It's what I do, make things by hand, right?

Pardon my issues with things like left and right, reversals, and negatives and positives. It shows up with arithmetic and numbers and even letters sometimes.  It actually turns out that I have a learning disability that I never knew about until I was a grown up. It's called dyscalculia and is like dyslexia with numbers. I can usually logic my way through things, but every so often, my problems come out. Sometimes I wonder if my life would have been different if I'd known about this learning disability. I did pretty well in school, mostly by trying to stay as far away as possible from math, but what if I'd had learning strategies? What if I knew why I could never remember how to figure out the math problems at home, even if I'd understood them in school. Who knows what I would have been doing now if I hadn't spent my formative years avoiding math?

Oh, don't worry, I turned my mistake around, literally, and used the backwards stamp to stamp a NEW block of carving material, and this time, when I carved it, it was in the CORRECT direction.

I used it to stamp some cute new little bookmarks for my shop.

This brings me to my lesson for the day.

There are no failures.

There are just steps we take on our journey.

It could all be falling down around your ears, but if you keep going, if you fight your way through, and come out the other side, everything that fell down before becomes something to help you climb higher. Every mistake you make, every flaw you possess leads you to the positive outcomes of your life. Every struggle you fight through, even if you lose, makes you stronger for your next endeavor... which might not be a fight at all, which might be made easier, which might even be a pleasure, because of all the hard lessons you learned in your failures.

The stamp carving went smoothly. I already knew it would work. And I solved the problems of the previous attempt, and I was confident in my abilities, so the tension of tiny work was not there. It went faster and more smoothly.

And voila. I have my stamp. It took a little longer than I wanted, but sometimes that's just the way life is. There are bumps and detours on our life journey.

Maybe it just makes us ready when we get to our destination.
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