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a glimpse of the piece “Fully Alive,” I recently created on a 24″x36″ canvas.

my heart is full after the past few weeks. so much goodness. to marry my best friend in a place my heart loves was one of the best experiences of my life.

settling back into routine and figuring out next steps without being totally overcome by fear has been a bit challenging for me at times. there is such a thin line between being paralyzed or being motivated by my fears. now that I am living life as a professional creative/artist solely, I find myself walking that line for a period of time each day.

yesterday was my first full day back in the studio. decided to get to work on some large abstract canvas paintings I have been adding layers to for a couple of months.  it was good.  it was exactly where I needed to be.

earlier last week I attended a panel conversation at the Menil, “The Influence of Gandhi & Dr. King on Hip Hop,” and a number of the ideas spoken stirred me to think more deeply about the work I do, as well as the life in which I live.  the work I am creating now is my continuation of that conversation and the truths revealed regarding the complexity and beauty of the human experience.  last night I finished one of the pieces.

each stroke on the canvas was a sentence about vulnerability, fear, need for communion & hope, each layer a chapter on the goodness & messiness of the soul fully alive.

today, I sabbath.

I remain still so I can know and listen for direction.  I trust that no matter what is done today or left undone today, I am enough.

as for tomorrow though… I look forward to time with paint & canvas and returning to the grind necessary to turn my dreams into plans.

tomorrow I will…

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Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

-Frederick Buechner, Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation-

My heart is about to burst.

My brother from another mother & father, along with his family, came into town for the weekend and I got to share breakfast with them and friends this morning.  I have known Courtland since the early 90’s.  He was in elementary school and I was in middle school when we met.  We become friends, basketball buddies and family in no time. Though he is like 7ft tall, he has been known as my “little brother” amongst my circles.

The last time I saw him was 4 years ago in South Africa.  His oldest was in her mother’s womb and he & Rakiya were embarking upon a whole new adventure together… parenthood. Since then life has happened for us both and this weekend I got to be in communion with him, Rakiya and his TWO daughters.

Our time together was filled with so much life for me.

Healing.

His oldest, S.F., and I bonded instantly. Last night her father shared with her that I was an artist, she looked at me and said “I am an artist.”  Indeed she is. This morning I gave her my iphone and she took some pretty cool photos. We talked about future painting sessions and the art of mixing colors. My favorite moment was when she climbed into my lap, resting her head upon my shoulder with a smile. We are family.

The Buechner quote kept running through my head the entire time we were together. It is so very true, and I am learning how true more and more each day.  All moments are key moments, and life itself truly is grace.

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Lift
and
step.

The door has been opened for generations. Sometimes in the midst of the journey, the thick of it, I forget testimonies of the saints & sinners around me and those who have gone before. I can quickly forget my own and the grace that has helped me to lift and step, greeting me at the door.

Today I am thankful to have a testimony. I am thankful to be wrapped up in a community that has a story to tell and Ancient Words that always guide me to fully embracing the possibilities of life within and before me despite my fears, anxieties and insecurities.  Daily they bid me lift and step.

"Christianity is a way, not a state, and a Christian is never something one is, only something one can pray to become." W.H. Auden

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Ponderings of Days Gone Bye