Observing the World…From a Log Bench

Log BenchViewing on-line photo tours of other people’s travels provides me with an amazing suitcase-free, passport-free, ticket-free way to see the world. The traveler’s blog usually includes views of local artisans making their sculptures, fabrics, paintings, or other such craft from local materials, such as in the blog bigBang studioHindustan textiles, food and painting, or in Blogchucuto–Spanish mosaic tiles. Most feature the use of organic materials + the artist’s ingenuity to make a log into a sculpture, clay into a vase, or fabric into a garment. They give a glimpse of the wide variety and unique design aesthetics and motifs from cultures @ the globe.

I am still surprised by my enjoyment of items made from organic materials found close at hand. For example, my husband made me a meditation bench for along our driveway using a split log. It is not merely a natural piece of art that I appreciate, but after getting the mail I can also stop, sit, and read, pausing to take-in the woods @ me–the ferns in the shade along the stream and the sounds of nature. Fern In the WoodsWhen walking by in a hurry, I do not always pause, observe, and listen. Walking for many years in the town where we lived, I came to know specific trees, certain flowers and plants in gardens and yards, places different groundhogs had homes, and unique views of the mountains. While riding along in a car, that is not always possible. As you walk, you are more a part of the environment vs. speeding past and through it.

So I guess today I am rambling a bit…but I’d say this article is about how people all over the world use their ingenuity (and creativity) to make works of art by using the natural materials @ them. Plus, while travelling, one can observe and take notice of the worlds @ them to gain inspiration and renewal

Just like a trip up the driveway for the mail and back…

Walk up the Driveway

with a pause on a log bench.

Where do you sit to observe the world?

Family Fridays—“Look For the Helpers”

Because of the unusually intense tornado season throughout the US this spring, I decided to begin today posting Family Fridays.

Transitions #2: Confusion, © 2005 Joni Beach

So many families, particularly in the South, Mid-West, and Northeast, are reeling from the sudden destruction of their worlds and daily lives. The rest of us are left to watch in amazement and, perhaps, feel some guilt at being relieved that it was not us. Of course, whether a tornado or another crisis, we sometimes wonder, “how would we deal with such circumstances?”

In studies of family stress, Froma Walsh discusses what people need whenever they experience an unexpected crisis. What contributes to helping them to cope, recover, and be resilient? Two very important factors are social support and resources, such as after the tornadoes–water, food, shelter, and medical aid. When a sudden crisis happens, people and their families find themselves quickly needing immediate help from others.

I often wonder how to make sense of this type of life event myself. Recently, I heard the story of Fred Rogers‘ (TV’s Mister Rogersanswer for making sense of scary things. As a child, Fred’s mother always told him to “look for the helpers”. For some reason, this was very helpful to me. While it does not change the bad thing that has happened, “looking for the helpers” gives me a way to focus on something positive and reassuring in the midst of it all. And, I know by personal experience that whenever life has been especially challenging, it was the help of other people who made it possible for me to cope. Looking for the helpers after these intense storms, we see real life examples of the needed social support being given to people, which helps them through a crisis, and how important that help really is…

May we all have helpers when we need them, and may we be helpers whenever we can…

Walsh F. (2003). Family resilience: Strengths forged through adversity. In Froma Walsh (Ed.),  Normal Family Processes (3rd ed., pp. 399-423). New York: Guilford Press.

**I’d love to hear your comments! 

With Our Senses Awake…

We will live this life only once.

Experiencing the world @ us, in ways beyond what we can imagine on our own, is truly an exciting experience of the sensesIt can be…

Water Falls

seeing with our eyes, a huge vista in nature, beautiful beyond words… 

hearing with our ears, music that tickles our ears and vibrates our bodies…                                                                                                                                                                         holding a in our arms, a sweet baby who is warm, new, and beautiful…

      smelling with our nose, honeysuckle’s scent swirling past us on a path…

        tasting with our tongues, golden cookies freshly baked, steaming from                                                                                                                                               the oven….

Fresh Baked Cookies

Or, it can be…                                                                                                                                                  a work of art, large in size, vibrant in colors, and amazing to our eyes.

These  things all peak our curiosity,                                                                                                                     take us outside of ourselves,                                                                                                                          and remind us what it is to be alive…

As a parent caring for your family, an individual working each day, or an artist creating an original design. It is through our senses that we take in information from @ us and the environment in which we live. This information can serve, among other things, to remind us of the importance of the everyday, encourage us to value those @ us, and to inspire and motivate us to accomplish more than we can perhaps imagine!

♦ These are some of the things that help remind me to enjoy my family or motivates me to engage in one of the arts? How about you? ♦                                            (If Comment box is not on page, click below on small gray words, “Leave a Comment”)

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