Kitchen Contemplation

Kitchen Contemplation

I have a relatively humble kitchen…and  I love it.  I  love my humble kitchen, because it affords me an “inter-space’, an inner space, and an interstice between the activities of work, home and play.    I love to come into my kitchen of an early morning, make a small cup of strong espresso, (and drink it from one of my Mom’s unique ceramic espresso cups) write, contemplate, write, and contemplate again, even though this initially meditative time often morphs into list making, or checking email on my phone…

If it’s lunch-time, and I’m working in my home office and studio, I may sit in my kitchen, and read articles from an ever-present selection of inspirational and educational publications.  It’s a monthly challenge to imbibe them whole, and every word, as I love to do.  As creative entrepreneur Abby Kerr would say…don’t want to miss a drop!

To enter my kitchen from the central hallway, I pass a door which has become an image patchwork of beloved young family members and their original artwork.  Every time I pass through the doorway, the possibility is there to consider, cherish and appreciate them, and send them my love and well-wishes.

A wonderfully convenient shelf offers display space for treasured wedding gifts; a beautiful Asian lacquered tray, an obscure Belgian coffee maker (from a seriously coffee-obsessed friend), and it’s more modern cousin, the French Press.  We use these for company, and special occasions.  Otherwise they remain a “shelf-scape”.

What contemplative space would be complete without a chalkboard door?  It’s the perfect place to note dreams, hopes and plans. Ours tends towards the task, to-do, gotta get it done before the future comes list, but we do celebrate each task in living color!  The chalkboard border is painted with glow in the dark paint, with a few glow in the dark stars thrown in for good measure.

It must look really beautiful and mysterious at night when all the lights are out…but we usually don’t see it then.  Maybe I can get a nocturnal shot, and use it to illustrate another post, “Kitchen Contemplation II”...

What is your favorite nook or cranny, space or place to muse, meditate, contemplate and commune?

If you have one, or more, please share it with us here.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all contemplating this thing called Life, together.



Taking Flight in 2011

Taking Flight in 2011

What does taking flight mean to you?  New projects, new ideas, new possibilities? A whole new you? (Hmmm…) My colleague, Rebecca E. Parsons recently posted  about her word for 2011: soar, in Cre8tive Compass Magazine.  I found the term very apropos to a project completed in the last days of 2010, which involved painting birds (mostly) in flight, in a young boy’s room.

My client, the boy’s father, wanted the room to become something special and reflect his son’s interests.  Painting (mostly) flying (mostly) colorful birds on the walls and ceiling seemed a fitting way bring the old year down to a soft landing, and take flight into the new.  No time to hover…it was time to take-off!

The initial concept of depicting birds in flight across the ceiling with one Bald Eagle on a designated wall expanded, as I  took off with my avian research of the gorgeously plumed, brilliantly feathered, and stunningly patterned.  Falling under the spell of our endlessly fascinating feathered friends, the project became a labor of love, not lost.

The Parrot ascends,

The Toucan dives,

The Barn Swallow glides by,

The Spotted Owl swoops, but don’t worry, he’s friendly!

Two of the most richly hued herald the entrance to the adjoining bath, perched sentinel atop the door frame.

Color-full beauties contemplate each other in calm communion.

Little Green Bird ( Calyptomena viridis )

Yariguíes Brush-Finch (Atlapetes latinuchus yariguierum)

Just the act of observing birds can teach us so much.  Their gracefulness, the purity of their movement, their strength and agility, the glory of their plumage, their color, the adornment of their astonishing patterns and textures, all worn without a hint of vanity (no Peacocks here!) is  humbling and at the same time uplifting to the human spirit, when we take time to see it. Birds’ beauty and innocence, doing only what nature intends them to do without apparent ego  interference, is a quiet marvel to behold.

Wing your way…

So, prepare to be inspired as you take flight into 2011. Take a lesson from our avian friends, our fellow creatures of the sky, and use this New Year to take off…into whatever you yearn to become.  Of course, there will be those times of hovering, flapping, even of dragging, but don’t let that stop you from lifting, gliding, and making your own ascension.  Don’t worry about a few dives. Like light and dark, up and down seem to be interlocked…two parts of a whole: Life.

Float, glide, dive and circle, but don’t forget to commune, contemplate and converse.

How do you intend to take flight in 2011?  If you feel so inspired, don’t hover and drag, share it with us here.  We love to hear from you.  Remember,  we are all flying though this thing called Life, together.