Friday, July 31, 2009

39


Jack Benny stopped counting birthdays at 39.
Saying he was 39 got laughs. Forty wasn't as funny.


Age is a touchy subject. Now I'll only admit to being
"of a certain age." People can interpret that however they want.

But when I think back,
30 was magical, sensual, sultry, powerful.
40 entitled me to say, "I'm too old for this shit"
so it wasn't as bad as I'd feared, anticipating the big 4-0.

And I'd already had my 50th when I got carded
by a wait person who was really amazed
when she checked my ID and said, "No way!"

THAT, my friends, was a great day.
So yeah, I'm over 50 and still full of sass.

What was your favorite age?
What made that year so special?

Tell me about it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Working on a New Series


I've had lots to say lately
but instead of using my words,
I've taken that energy and worked on a series
of images called Sea Glass.

I gave you a sneak peek of one of the pieces on Saturday
without mentioning that it was one of many images
sharing a commonality
but now that the series is taking shape,
here's another.

"Breathless in the Ether" copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. All rights reserved.

I'm exploring an opportunity to exhibit them
at an Art Walk in Seattle's Fremont District
in December.

And I'm thinking of selling prints of the images online.

I've always been reluctant to put my work "out there,"
worrying that it's not good enough.

But having three pieces published
and the recent sale of the piece I entered in the local art show
has boosted my confidence.

Anybody having good luck with Etsy shops?
Any advice?


And more to the point:
Why is it so hard for us to claim our power?


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Self-Portrait Wednesday: Spirit Guides

Me (on writing in and out of "flow"):

Sometimes, while writing in a kind of
out of body experience,
words come together
in a magical way and when I come back into my self,

I'm amazed at what formed in my absence.
At other times, I feel like Hansel and Gretel,
dropping words
to mark my path
and hoping I find my way back home someday.



Do your spirit guides ever get so frustrated with you
for not getting the message they're trying to impart
that they speak out loud to you in a booming voice?

Mine did once.
In the middle of the night, when I was all alone.

I don't know his name, but I call him
"The Emphatic One."

He pronounced:
The ability to evoke emotion with the written word
is a gift. Quit squandering it!

I guess drafting legal pleadings didn't count.

What gifts did you come in with
that you aren't making full use of?

Do you think you might be depriving the world
of something special that you, and only you,
might offer?

Think about it.

Figure out a plan for using your gift
before your spirit guide has to raise his voice with you.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Light


You know I love the interplay of
light and shadow.

Platform58's theme for this month is Light.
The issue just came out and is online.

Here's my contribution (at page 9).

"I Feel Like Dancin' " copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. All rights reserved.


Next month's theme is freedom.
Hmm. That opens up a whole realm of possibilities.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Working Magic



To work magic is to weave the unseen forces into form;
to soar beyond sight;
to explore the uncharted dream realm of the hidden reality.

- Starhawk (Tango: Dance of Self-Discovery)

"Electrifying Possibility" copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. All rights reserved.

When we paint, assemble disparate bits into mixed media
or assemblage,
photograph things, write poetry or novels,
design invitations or floral arrangements,
create a new dish from items in the fridge and pantry,
make up a story for a child, or any of a multitude of things,

we truly weave unseen forces into form.

Creative expression is your birthright.
Claim it.


Friday, July 24, 2009

For My Dear Rebecca


This morning I woke to find a message
from a friend, sharing her family's heartbreak
over the death of a beloved nephew by his own hand.
They are devastated, reeling, full of questions,
the kinds of questions that have no answers.

Questions that begin with "Why, God?"
and spread out from there
in concentric circles of grief.


My own dark nights never took me so close
to the edge of the abyss
that the leap into oblivion seemed the only answer.

Somehow I held tightly enough onto hope
in the midst of seeming hopelessness
that I avoided being sucked into the vortex.

By some measure of grace,
I held onto the certainty that I'd find
my way out of the darkness and back to the light.

"Visitation" - copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

This poor soul must have been unable
to absorb the love that his family
and friends offered so abundantly.

This lost soul must have believed
there was no light to find his way back to,
that oblivion was the answer.

Why do some of us find the will to go on,
not knowing when (or if) things will get better,
and others
just
let
go?

Where is the dividing line between pain that's unbearable
and pain that can be endured just for today,
and enough "today"s in a row
that it eventually subsides
and becomes a deep well
from which to draw
wisdom
compassion
creativity?

****

Words can't
express how sorry I am
for your family's loss
and the pain left in its terrible aftermath.
Be well, my friend.


p.s. Now that Rebecca has commented
and I know I haven't overstepped,
please see her incredible post
Beautiful Soul.

She is an extraordinary artist,
both in the traditional sense
and in her extraordinary ability with words.
She's also a most tender heart
and will be spearheading another shrine auction
again this year.
Stay tuned for details.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Broken Dryer on the Path to Happiness


Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle,

and the life of the candle will not be shortened.


Happiness never decreases from being shared.

- Buddha


I shared an hour or two of happiness today
with my buddy Adrienne.
Her dryer broke, so she brought wet clothes
over in a garbage bag and dried them here.

It gave us an opportunity to crack open a bottle
of really yummy Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon
and drink to her upcoming vacation,
setting ourselves free creatively,
and friendship.

Did you get to share happiness with anyone today?
If not, make up for it tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kim Archer Band at the Swiss

I don't usually hang out in taverns and pubs,
but if they've got great pub grub
and fabulous entertainment,
I'm there

especially when I'm meeting up with
Gregg & Adrienne, Lisa, Noreen, Paul & Melinda
to hear The Kim Archer Band.

Kim Archer - guitar and vocals.
This girl has pipes!

David McKibbin - lead guitar.

Jerome Gates on bass guitar

and


Chris Tussing on drums.

The Swiss in Tacoma
was rockin' last night.

I shot some video, too,
but can't upload it because my hard drive's full,
so this You-Tube will have to do for now.



It's not quite the same sound,
because Jerome's not there
and I can't tell who's on drums.


Monday, July 20, 2009

PhotoWalk


Saturday evening was the International PhotoWalk
dreamed up by Scott Kelby.

I played along.



I thought I'd share some of the pictures
with you via a Flickr slideshow.

Click on the picture if it doesn't start automatically.
Then after it starts, if you click
on the four-dot thingie at the bottom right,
you'll see everything full screen.

Took me a while to figure this out.

There were lots of people there,
but I wish you'd been able to play with me.

You'd have had lots of fun.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Reflection


Me:
Introspective.
Self-aware.
Intuitive.

Always in the mood for a little
reflection.

"Virgo, Aries Rising" copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

Sometimes I just get lucky.

Here's the back story on this piece and this post.

I took this photo Thursday night when a friend and I found most ArtWalk
venues had closed early. Of course, I had to squeeze the lemons
life had handed us and make lemonade
so out came the trusty purse-sized Canon. "Let the snapping begin."

There were the realistic pieces: the wild flowers in a vacant lot,
the graffiti on a boxcar on the nearby train tracks, bits of architecture.
Lots of pics to use on my Tacoma Photo blog. And there were
some artsy images, like the one above.

Friday I printed it and put it in a Target frame that came
with glass and a mat. Took it down to the volunteers
organizing the Peninsula Art League's member show
at Key Bank during PAL's annual arts & crafts fair.
Because I hadn't paid for a pro to frame it, I priced it at $75.
The show opened Saturday morning.
By early afternoon, the piece was spoken for.
If she came back with her checkbook,
the purchaser can pick it up this afternoon
at the close of the show by producing her receipt.

Cool!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Milestone


Today is a milestone.

My "baby" Gavin


that piece of my heart
who walks around outside of my body

turns 21.

He's a bright, engaging, serious young man
learning to make his way in the world.


I have no doubt
his path will be a special one.

Happy 21st Birthday,
Gavin.

I love you, heart of my heart.


Friday, July 17, 2009

What Makes You Rock?


What song from your past
makes you break out in a huge grin
and makes you want to dance?

Here's one that does it for me
in a major way.



Does Bryan Adams do the same for you?

No?
Who does?

What songs took up residence in your smile zone,
made you want to dance with somebody?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sowing Seeds



What I love best about the world of blog
is knowing that we are all sowing
seeds.

Seeds of kindness.

Seeds of compassion and connection.

Taking a handful of wisdom seeds and throwing them out
to see where they will take root.

We just never know when
something we say will be

just what someone needed to hear that day

the instrument of healing

the only flash of joy and laughter in
an otherwise lousy day

a token of friendship to someone feeling lonely

the turning point in someone's life path.

We just never know.

But what a powerful tool for affirming our connection
as human beings, as entities hungering
for belonging and affirmation.

I'm awed that only 500 years (give or take a few)
after the invention of the printing press,
my words can bounce around the world -
can be read by hundreds of strangers
just by my choosing to click on the words
PUBLISH POST.

May wonders never cease.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Have You Got What It Takes?


Do you?

Do you have what it takes
to face the world
and share your gifts with it?



Makeup or no make up.


Whether or not you have a friend
who's always loyal and curious
about what you're doing.


Are you brave enough to bestow your gifts upon the world,
saying, "Here I am World -- I'm good enough just as I am"
and "I have something to offer" ?


Or do you have still have work to do?


Each of us is born to create.
Every living being has some gift to express
that will benefit the whole,
and it is for each of us to discern what gifts
we bring to the table.
This indeed is the hardest work --
not the actual doing or being, but knowing
what it is that we are called to be and do.

- Jan Phillips
Marry Your Muse

Do you know what you're called to do?


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Long View


Do you ever feel as if
you're standing under a layer of clouds
that are just dumping rain on your head,

but know somewhere deep inside
that if you just take the long view



things will look a little brighter?

Stand in the shadows, feel the rain
and wait until you are bathed again in sunlight.

Neither joy nor sorrow is permanent.

Darkness is eventually crowded out
by the encroaching dawn.

The light of day gives way in a blaze of color
as if to celebrate the coming of the night.

Everything is as it should be right now.

Shhh! Be still.

Let us be silent that we may hear
the whispers of the gods.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Monday, July 13, 2009

Love is a Gift


Love is a gift.
Give it.
Take it.
Make it yours.


It is the true Season of love
when we know that
we alone can love
that no one could ever have loved before us
and that no one
will ever love in the same way
after us.
- Goethe




p.s. Happy Birthday Paramour NW

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Telling Stories


To create a culture that reflects
a reverence for life,
we need
stories and symbols that heal and guide,
that help us remember we are part of a whole.
- Jan Phillips




Fulfilling our purpose in life
requires that we first know our truth
and then speak it:

in words, in poems, in song,
through stories and works of art,
in warm, fragrant loaves of bread & sumptuous soups,
in the quest for justice,
through the rocking of babies,
via the bringing of peace one breath at a time.


We are the Vision Holders.



We are the Storytellers.


We are seekers who know that there is
something greater than ourselves
and we are a part of everything that is.


We are those who know
we hold this planet in trust
for our children
and our children's children
and all the children
in every time and place.


We must tell our children stories
of possibilities and teach them
to dream their dreams into wakefulness,
to bring their visions to a world ready to see.

We need to teach our children that
if the people of this world
are blind to possibilities , not yet ready to see,
they must wake up the world,
dream it into wakefulness.


If no one ever teaches you
to dream the unlimited dream,
if no one ever teaches you to breathe
the breath of the universe in spring,
and if no one ever teaches you
to look at the midnight sky
and contemplate the concepts of forever,
if no one ever teaches you this,
then you will be forever separated
from your greatest being.

- Ramtha quote from
Maxine Jones' book Desperately Seeking Purpose



Storytellers pictured are works of art
created by Native American artists
from the various New Mexico pueblos.


Photo 1: Storyteller by Dena M. Suina, Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico
Photo 2: Storyteller by Diane Lucero, Jemez Pueblo
Photo 3: Storyteller by Vangie Suina, Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico
Photo 4: Storyteller by Carol Lucero-Gachupin, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico
Photo 5: Storyteller by Chris Teller, Isleta-Tewa Pueblo, New Mexico
Photo 6: Storyteller by Mary Lucero, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico
Photo 7: Storyteller by Stella Teller, Isleta Pueblo, New Mexico
Photo 8: Storyteller by Cheryl Fragua, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico

(just some of the wonderful works of art in my storyteller collection)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Stories We Tell Ourselves


My blog post yesterday reminded me that I had an interesting exchange recently with a young woman who loves teaching physical education at the high school level. She had been notified by her school district that she would have to teach math next year because of budget cuts, although she was able to keep her teaching contract.

She was miserable, railing that math was irrelevant and that the kids she will be teaching have math phobias and a history of failure. She didn't see how she could deal with this situation that she mentally characterized as a calamity, especially since she was forced to do something she detested instead of being able to follow her passion, which is teaching kids to be embodied, the meaning of wellness, and how to reduce stress.

After listening to her pour out her heart, telling several of us why this would never work, I had a chance to talk to her alone. Gently, I asked her a simple question. "Would it change the way you look at things if you thought of this new assignment not as teaching math, but as teaching students who have been wounded by math and math teachers?"

She looked stunned. She paused and thought about it. There was a softening of her face, a flicker of excitement in her eyes. A new story started to coalesce. She said, "That would make all the difference!"


We get so caught up in our stories and don't stop to realize that they're just stories.

Sometimes all it takes to move us to a more fertile place is for us to kick back, ground ourselves by lying fully supported by Mother Earth, and have a little conversation with our inner self, our guides, or whatever you call that place of wisdom that is always available to guide you if you open to it.

Sometimes getting unstuck takes a gentle nudge in the form of a question from someone who is far enough outside your experience to know, when you still don't, that every situation is bigger than one lowly story. Sometimes it takes the influence of a sensitive therapist or wise woman elder to gently guide you to a new perspective.

What stories are holding you back, keeping you stuck in a place that you should move out of? You made them up. . . and you can change them. Isn't that marvelous?

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Fresh Perspective


when the pieces don't seem to fit together anymore

when you're stuck in a dark place
you fear you'll inhabit forever

sometimes all it takes

"A Fresh Perspective" - photo copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

to piece things back together

to turn the key and set yourself free

is
to find a new way
of looking at things


p.s This shot wasn't layered or manipulated in Photoshop.
This is as it came out of the camera. I just
took the time to notice what was around me
and found a new way to show things to you.



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Simple Things


I found out by reading Liz Elayne's blog
that Christina had a challenge for yesterday.

The challenge was to list simple things you love.

Oops. I'm late.

But I'll still play along.


colorful horses running in a circle on carousels

sipping chai while chatting with a friend

sassy haircuts

books so good you can't put them down

laughing until tears run down my cheeks

a fabulous photographic subject, perfect lighting
& camera in hand

the smell of books and popcorn

fresh flowers in crystal vases

hummingbirds at the feeder

my new ballerina flats

movies at Grand Cinema

great produce departments in fancy grocery stores

fluffy kittens

logging on and finding email from friends

remembering that this is the anniversary of
one of my dearest friends early enough to call her

Life's little pleasures.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Advertising for a Man


I told you about my photo shoot
in conjunction with
advertising for a man.

So here are the ad shots.

Not a self portrait, strictly speaking.
But portraits of my self.



And here's the ad copy

WHO I AM

a spiritual being in a physical body * a chai baby * a girlie girl
with a soft side * intelligent, capable, creative * analytical * intuitive*
a writer * a voracious reader * a great friend * an adept problem
solver * playful or serious, as called for * funny * someone
who believes that perfume is an essential fashion accessory *
a believer in casual chic * fanatical about comfortable shoes *
sensual * supportive and nurturing * optimistic *
a woman with a zest for life * politically moderate to liberal,
with a touch of libertarian lurking inside * alternately chatty
and quiet * love word play * enjoys my adult children *
prefers cats to dogs, but lives with both * likes listening
to music, seeing films * a blogger * a communicator *
usually patient and tolerant * need private time and quiet
to recharge my emotional batteries * somewhat
romantic & sentimental * when committed,
faithful and "dedicated to the one I love" *
affectionate * demonstrative * financially responsible *
thoughtful * insightful * occasionally drop the neatness ball *
mostly organized * usually early or on time *
sometimes unpredictable * tend to see the glass
as full to the brim (forget this "half full, half empty" stuff).

Any takers?

Not so far.

Good thing I enjoy my own company.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Life Force & Heartbeat



What photographers are looking for is the life force,
the heartbeat of what we encounter.

- Jan Phillips

"Pulsation" - copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. All rights reserved.


Happy birthday, Lise.
Dance as if no one is watching!


Monday, July 6, 2009

A New Friend


This weekend I took a little trip
to Whidbey Island for my cousin's wedding.
She got married (for the second time)
on Independence Day.

How's that for irony?

I stayed overnight in a little bed and breakfast
in Coupeville, Washington called The Blue Goose Inn
where I found a new friend.

He's a little flashier than the guys
I normally meet.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Light of Awareness


Each artist is a facet
of God's unfolding infinite vision,
refracting the light of awareness
in his or her own particular way.
- Alex Grey


"Panels" -copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian. All rights reserved.


Each of us has a unique take
on what it means
to be
alive and living on this earth.

Each and every one of us
refracts the light of awareness
in our own particular way,
a unique expression shaped
by culture, intelligence, curiosity,
our degree of comfort in our skin,
how we relate to the world creatively.

We contribute by the words we add
to the human discourse;
the images we capture or create and share
with others to inspire, challenge, educate;
the tracks of kindness we leave as we negotiate
our path through life.

We refract the light of awareness
by cultivating and demonstrating compassion,
by growing in wisdom,
by learning to continue questioning
even when we think we know the answers.

We add our light to the world
by seeing miracles all around us
and letting possibility shine through,
a torch held aloft for those still
wandering in the wilderness of despair.

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as if nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
- Albert Einstein


Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Belated Fourth of July Post

It isn't just on the Fourth of July
that boats in marinas all over Puget Sound
hoist the Stars & Stripes.



But today's a nice day
for a reflection on freedom

and constitutional rights

separation of church and state

and the liberty inherent in being able to
express divergent views without being shot
or "disappearing" or being tortured
or having your blog shut down.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Book Club & Sunset


My book club met last night
at Monica's house on Raft Island.

As usual, there was great discussion about
the current selection (Russo's Empire Falls)

and we made our choice of new selections
for August and September




and we had just the teensiest bit of conversation about
marriages falling apart after years and years
and how disorienting it is
and how the wives keep hoping against hope
it's just a phase he'll grow out of,
that he'll see the error of his ways.

But the most spectacular part of the evening
(besides touring Monica's garden and viewing
Miriam's husband's pottery yard art via the web)

was the view from Monica's deck
toward the west
as the sun was setting
a few minutes after nine.

I just had to capture the color
to share with you.

The back of Monica and Pete's house
faces west toward the Olympic Mountains.

The body of water, for those of you not from around here,
is Puget Sound.

It's salt water and if you follow the Sound
north via boat and then jog west
through the Straits of Juan de Fuca,
you'll find the Pacific.

Of course most of the pleasure craft around here
find Puget Sound a perfect place to play --
no ocean going needed.

And with sunsets like this
and placid waters, it's easy to see why
(although there wasn't much wind
to fill the sails of wind-powered vessels)

All in all,
it was quite an evening.

p.s. The photos are shown in the order
that they were taken. I didn't increase the saturation --
but I did have my Canon Powershot SX200
on the sunset setting which keeps the colors intense.
The fourth one (with the sailboat) was shot looking off
to the east, so its colors are largely
in the amethyst and inky colors of dusk.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sometimes Things Aren't What They Seem


Sometimes things aren't what they seem.

We settle in somewhere,
thinking it's going to be safe and hospitable
and just what we hoped for,
a magical haven that provides us shelter from harm.


Then reality sets in and we realize that we were mistaken.

That soft place to land
turns out to be



quite a bit less soft than we'd anticipated.

In fact sometimes things get downright hard
and cold and unforgiving.
Not at all what we expected.

Do we stay and make the best of it


or fly away to build a new nest
somewhere else?

Sometimes the most valuable lessons
come from learning to see the beauty
right in front of your eyes.

Sometimes we bloom most gloriously
when we learn to thrive
just where we are
and come to love
just what we have.

Maybe each of us is exactly where we need to be,
learning lessons custom-made for us.