The Observers

Today I spent working on finishing touches to the Jingle story, and some time procrastinating on the next finishing touches. Nothing to post yet, so what can I write tonight? Tonight, was the dogs’ turn. On all their trips each day down in the meadow, they have gathered matts, thorns, and burrs in their fur, and I’ve just been painting and writing away!
Francklin and Lacy, lay at my feet, watching me. If they’re waiting, only I imagine that they are ‘impatient’ and ‘wondering why I waste my time with computer and brush and pencil, mostly eraser.’ no they just lay there and watch, observe, with that wise knowing look of persistent patience. Even now, if I move towards the door, they have learned to not jump up the first time, but rather to watch and wait, until I have made many trips back and forth, gathering shoes, contact lense, cell phone, and all the other paraphenalia that I seem to think I need just for our walk down in the meadow. They KNOW, just know when the last forgotten thing has been gathered, and then they bound to the door, and only then go out if I make that final step over the threshold. Then Francklin grabs a stick from the kindling basket by the door and bounds off on his three forever young legs, while Lacy makes up a four-legged romp to signal PLAY! And off we go! I carry my bucket for gathering rocks along the way. By the time we get down to the hillock, the bucket is full and putting the pieces of the cobblestone puzzle together begins! I am always amazed at how each piece has a perfectly fitting place as long as I’m willing to turn and rotate it to ‘see it another way’…Isn’t that just IT! To be open and willing to ‘turn and turn til we come round right, in the land of peace and delight.’ Or however the Quaker song sings it! And how easy it is to think ‘we know’ the way it or anything should be!’ I can think of so many times of frustration in my life when I’ve tried so hard to force things to match my point of view, when really what I need to pray is: there must be another way of seeing this! please help me see it! This whole cobblestoneway puzzle has been such a meditation in practicing being open to another way of seeing. Then comes quickening my trust process to ‘let go’ of my way so I can see the other! And all the while, Lacy and Francklin, just sit and wait for me to let go of each stone as it forms the way through the hillock. No judgments, no expectations, except maybe a stick every now and then. So tonight, I just write what comes, no judgments, no outlandish expectations. And I guess that’s just it…writing…just like breathing…

The End!

Good thing I’m almost done with paintings for this book! These are the last of the colors on this palette. I’ll need to create a fresh palette when I start the next one. Little guy is clearly elated to have discovered the process for making a jingle ring! And the little birds seem thrilled to have figured out how to play hopscotch! Looks like he’s lost ALL the buttons on his vest! Must add them later! Now for last bits of editing and proofreading.

What Makes a Jingle Ring? (possible cover page?)

Either I’ve just really missed this little guy and had to run into him again, or still had feelings of not being complete. Either way, I decided to do two more paintings of him. Here’s the first one and is my idea for the title page…though I may add one or more of the birds.

The One-Winged Bird

Awhile back, I posted a painting I did of the Castle of the Heart. Behind that castle, in the distance, can be seen a one-winged bird. He is looking longingly towards the castle. I’m posting this, and pondering whether to tackle his story next. I’m not sure it’s ready to ‘put out there’ as it is still flying around in my head…and believe me, it goes round and round since it’s flying with just one wing! There are many other story drafts already written that I could put here next, but for some reason, the characters at The Hillock are all clamoring for front seat on WordPress. Off to bed to see who wins out. AND there’s still one more painting sketched out for the title page of What Makes a Jingle Ring! So much to do!

The Artist at the Hillock

While I’m polishing my last paintings and writing, I’m breathing in the nutrients down at The Mossy Hillock in the Meadow. Every day when my hands get too numb for writing or painting and my mind mingles in thoughts beyond words, I take a breather and take Lacy and Francklin (our wonderful three-legged companion) for a walk to sniff and breathe in the freshness of the day! It’s the best way I know to smooth out wrinkles in my tightening jaw and to let my brain stem unwind to its most natural primal being.

It’s during such meanderings that I hear MossWhispers that stir my soul and renew my real self! It’s moments lilke these that I am a singer, even when I can hardly match a pitch. And I’m a dancer even if I trip over every root! Steps in nature are so forgiving and nonjudgmental. The ground meets me where I am and together we greet the world! Gratitude is close at hand and all fears just fall away! Down at The Hillock, characters and settings unfold so effortlessly and time literally IS without needing mechanisms at all! (Those only matter when I get back up to the house and I realize the other world has kept on going without waiting for us!)
This particular photo is the place where ‘the artist’ dwells…there is a tiny easel that often has a piece of lichen covered bark or some other ‘study of the sunset’ sitting on its ledge. Once there was even a small tree toad sitting in the doorway to her cottage. This particular day, the artist is pondering the droplets of dew shimmering on the grapevines above her. And the moss below all of our feet is swollen with green so lush that snails would probably line up for miles just to take a turn making their diamond trails. As for me and the dogs…we just listen, and honestly I must say, everything fits together as one big many! Manifesting in one magnificent marvelous silent JINGLE RING! MossWhispers….

The End!

Now that I’ve finished expressing this story in words and pictures…what next? For the last few days, I’ve been at loose ends at the end of the evening…what do I do now? do I just ‘go to bed’??? My creative energy is still here…I dabble a little with each painting…adding a detail here or there…wondering whether to repaint a few….add a bird here and there…A young precious family was visiting over the weekend and I read the whole story to the 3-year-old. She was very attentive and eager to discover the jingle as well. Still, I ponder what’s next. There’s still more here for me to sift through my mind…I’m drawn to this painting, page 19. To me, it’s when this little guy has his first epiphany! “It takes a whole pocketful to make a jingle appear!”…it’s ” all those things as one big MANY!” And for me, it took painting ALL those pages, and feeling ALL that support from so many…through wordpress, through Facebook, and just in my ordinary life! And for that, I’m extremely grateful! For having this moment to see pieces come together as one big whole. I’m thankful for the process and all my learnings along the way! So now, why stop? This is it! This wonderful process of laying down the pieces and seeing the whole develop. Thank you little guy! Thank you tree! Thank you birds and all things from button to the key! And mostly thank you to all of you who have urged me on, ‘liked’ commented and fueled the forces to keep me going. I know now, that there are many more trees to climb and symphonies waiting to play their songs! So let’s all keep discovering and singing our songs! Thanks for listening to one of mine!

Mr. Jingle 24

Somehow, I have a really strange feeling posting this last page. It’s either that I don’t want this to be finished or I don’t feel that it is ending quite ‘finishedly’ with a dream and a question. Hmmm…well, at 1:01 AM such is life! Ending with a dream and a question! Tomorrow I’ll also figure out what setting made the colors go so crazy on this one! Yay! Little Guy! You finally made it to bed! Sweet dreams!

If just one pocket makes a jingle ring.

Might lots of pockets make a whole symphony sing?

Mr. Jingle 23

Need to work on his pockets more! And the edges and shadows. This little guy is getting so close to his biggest epiphany! And I’m getting so close to being finished with this first draft! Only one more page! Unless he surprises me!

The day after that, When I start my day…
I’ll wear MORE pockets And see what they say!

Mr. Jingle 22

The baby birds are growing! And so is the sound from his pocket! Only thing is, somehow I hid his pocket in the painting so it’s hard to tell the sound makers are coming from his pocket! Aggh! Most of today was spent trying to figure out how to illustrate the text, and then learning how to make ‘caricature birds’. I’m growing on this one, myself!

At the end of the day…
I’ll always know…
Deep in my pockets
a sound will grow…

Mr. Jingle 21B

Today, I spent hours researching and attempting to paint bubbles! Since this is an ongoing learning, I am experimenting with just ‘attaching’ sample bubbles I’m working with, rather than risking having to do the whole painting over if one of my bubbles were to ‘burst’ into a ‘booboo!. So here are my trial bubble samples. I’m thinking I want the colors to be more reflective of what’s around them. For now, here’s what I have. The text is the same as I posted last time. This page seems pretty ‘busy’ as must be this little guy’s mind as he lives in his dreamworld!
I’m so close to finishing the first draft of this book! Persistence and patience seem to be required.

So tomorrow when I climb from my home in the tree…

I’ll play what I play…

I’ll see what I see…


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