Jewels of Nature

Jewels of Nature

I love jewels. Not jewels of luxurious and wealthy means, rather the magnificence presented in tiny morsels each morning in simplistic excellence and elegance. Nature’s jewels exist for me as they appear in a raindrop, a perfectly shaped bud of a flower, a molded stone discovered in a riverbed or an iridescent shell plucked from the seashore.

Adorning myself with the inspiration of nature on a daily basis brings me closer to answers I seek. My thoughts arrange themselves in a pattern of words, formed by simply gazing deeply into the heart of each stunning treasure, by connecting to each unique design of powerful creation.

And so, each day I wake and explore a kingdom of unimaginable and glorious riches as I behold diamonds glistening on the surface of the water and emerald blades of grass clothed with fringes of iridescent baubles on their surface.

Wrapped luxuriantly in the chiffon of wispy clouds, as the spotlight of dawn showcases the earth’s museum of artistic treasures, I am grateful to visit without an admission fee once again.

Hopelessly Creative

Hopelessly Creative

It exists in all of us, whether initially a flicker or a flame, creativity eventually asks for engagement.   Art is born not only in painful moments of life’s unexpected and uncontrollable events, but also in the peaceful serene entrance of morning when an invitation is presented to begin a new day with the most playful of heart.

My wish to capture the sunrise this morning as a photograph was not granted as I was traveling on the highway. I could only gape at its beauty and imbed the picture in my memory. Difficult as it was to keep my attention on the road, mesmerized by the half crescent shape of the bright orange globe peeking out from the horizon, I turned my thoughts to the inspiration from nature once again.

Further down the road where the sun’s rays had not yet touched, a heavy ethereal mist was floating above the red river and evoked my fantastical imagination of a world where mystical delights swirl around each and every one of us playfully invoking a powerful urge and desire to create art from the inspiration of tiny water droplets suspended in air.

For me, the mist represents a lightness of heart that floats above the harsh realities of a mundane existence or the senseless casualties of loved ones.  As with atmospheric changes, the heaviness of life can be transformed into featherlight peace.  Once again my sense of purpose has been reestablished and confirmed.

As I was elevated from a mechanical state of tending to daily cares to one of sublime happiness, a magical gift was received again from above.  A place created by a societal and collective imagination, but also quite possibly a place revealed to us in tiny glimpses of unimagined beauty upon daybreak in nature’s masterpieces.

Appreciation of these slivers of magnificence can fan and fuel the burning desire to bring forth our own creative beauty deepening our relationship with the creator of all.

© Erika K Rothwell

Read by Erika K Rothwell

Discovering Hope – A Solo Flight – Day 28

Discovering Hope – A Solo Flight – Day 28

As I see a flock of birds fly across the cloud-knit sky, my thoughts follow them.  Once they disappear from sight, one lone bird flies in the opposite direction awakening a story I tell myself and now share with you.

There must be pleasure in following, not having to forge your own way, deciding what you should do or even where to go next, for someone is always in the lead and many others have trusted enough to follow.  It appears to be a safe route.  Hasn’t it been said. “there is safety in numbers.”?

So why does the solitary bird attract my attention?  Perhaps it seeks a unique path. And, as in the similarity of my venture, I sit at my desk alone exacting words as I venture forth, trying to connect through individuation.

Individuation, a call for awareness of our unique nature and an intimate connection with all life.

Hope secures the quest.  I am looking to discover the idea that appears after the first five obvious ones.  The wind of change moves me in unusual directions and variables often upset the consistencies of my work.  Inspiration exists everywhere I turn, sending me to travel indirect routes.  

All the while, my shadow seeks me out with the fear of commercialism.

The message glares at me, “It can’t be necessary to follow the masses to find success.  My work is art.  And my art, a calling.”

At this moment, contentment resembles only a meditation.  Artistic creation, ongoing pursuit of perfection.  As every artist or writer knows, the search for a perfect element, color, or word is a quest into another dimension.  And some days you must keep seeking.

Suddenly the moment arrives when you bring your creation to life.  Yet, you hesitate unready to share.   

So many of us struggle with diametrically opposed feelings.  Do we covet the peace as we set our work on a shelf never to be discovered, or do we risk the comfort of obscurity to become known to others?

Our fear is well-founded.  In a world of mass-production, artistry can be devoured by hungry giants.  What once was birthed as an original work of art, intricately crafted as the first of its kind, can be copied or modified in a fury with only a blurry likeness.

At this point as I encourage myself, I implore you, believe you are an inspiration.  Your solo flight has attracted a following.  Find others that choose to fly alone. Share your gifts with them. 

Most importantly, never give up.  Hope can always be discovered within you.  You cannot be mass-produced and your originals always live in you.

-Erika K Rothwell

Musical Masterpiece

Musical Masterpiece

Musical Masterpiece

Somedays, I sit and wonder what to write.  Other days, the idea insists that it be written.  It is unscheduled, unplanned and interrupts the day’s agenda.

I hear the words from yesterday and can’t help believing, they are a powerful representation of life.  They were innocently said, with unintended consequences, yet a dance in my mind began when recalled…

My husband was complaining that he didn’t have his earbuds, so I retorted, “I can be your music if you let me sing.”  It sounded humorous, and without another thought, the moment passed.  But the words called for a repeat performance, in my mind and heart.  The depth of meaning in those passing words pined for acknowledgment. 

In the second act, later that night, I was excited to share with my son that I had come up with a new quote.  His exact response was, “That’s great, but that’s already a quote.”  In disbelief, I immediately questioned, “I don’t think so, who said it?”.  He shot back, “Dr. Seuss…I know it because I love all his quotes!”  Now, here is when I defended my originality with my fullest armor on, “No way, he did not!” and I was victorious. He backed down and laughed.  He admitted he was just making it up.  Now, the paradox emerges.

My disillusion was in believing my artistic creation was entirely new.  Words have existed so much longer than any of us.  Words create a timeless imprint in this world.  They may not create a new world, but perhaps a new window. 

The view from each window is dramatically altered by the perspective of each viewer.  My heart should have been singing because my son immediately found warmth and love in my words, reminding him of words by Dr. Seuss, one of the greatest word masters ever.  Yet, my inflated ego chose to focus on protecting my personal, yet insignificant discovery of a word puzzle.  For all I knew, it was written somewhere already. 

But right now, for me, these simple words are alive, capturing moments like an episodic drama series, one leading to another, and keeping me guessing the entire time.   The next episode begins on queue.

As I visit with my social group, I realize we often bring the story back to ourselves in an attempt to connect to one another.  For example, how many times do we say, “Yeh, that happened to me when…”  Perhaps, unlike it appears, self-centered words are not entirely centered on self, but rather are an attempt to bring us together on the same page.  It could be said, our similar experiences bind our humanness; but our unique perspectives create the ultimate connection.

Alternatively, have you ever found yourself trying to persuade someone to see an issue from your perspective when they are not interested?  Have you ever felt that someone wants to change who you are, to become more like them?  Have you ever stopped someone from singing, because they didn’t do it well, or you didn’t know the song? 

No matter who we are or what insecurities plague us, we all desire to be someone’s music and be heard. This can only happen when we truly connect through our differences. 

Thanks for letting me sing!

-Erika K Rothwell