Saturday, August 30, 2008

Artiste's Saturday

Back when I was in college my mother gave me a devotional that I have written of here before, called "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Ban Breathnach shares a belief with her readers that even the most mundane of tasks and challenges to women can be turned into treasures--sort of an Eastern philosophy meets Edith Wharton. Ban Breathnach's book introduced me, if you recall, to the life affirmation that is the book "The Enchanted April" by Elizabeth Von Armin.

The devotional that Mom gave me was a softcover edition, smaller than the peach-tapestry block of pages that Mom herself owned. The cover was made of a faux pale mint green leather, and my mother had written an inscription on the inside that I have now, four years without the gift copy, forgotten. I didn't pack it in the Lumina to drive to California because I figured I would be back in a short series of months for the things in storage and I had read the devotional for several consecutive years.

The daily writings faded away from my memory in the increased exposure to sun and Pacific winds.

And then I found Von Armin again some weeks back, and was looking for a tie again to the strong things of my past. So last week I loaded the Kindle version of "Simple Abundance" (which, remarkably, is also a 10th anniversary edition--in what way that makes it different I have yet to discover) and began the daily breath and walk again. For the end of August Ban Breathnach is exploring (is present tense correct? Yes, for the message of these pages still breathes out from the binding, electronic or glue) the arts of women. Can you write? Then bloom in a pen. Can you paint? Then bloom in a brush. Can you work in wood? Then pick up your saw and see your soul. Can you bake a cake, nurture a child in patience, frame a film shot? Then these are your callings, and you must answer them, regardless of how small a way your answer arrives.

I thought of this and moved it around on my mind's tongue like a lemon drop as I put words to the page this morning in West Portal with a croissant and coffee during flaky layers of time before my therapy appointment. I thought of it during the morning after the appointment here at home as I made Italian soup and watched cooking shows that turned into a line-up of do-it-yourself shows on how to make shutters for a library and stilts for children. In between these programs on PBS there were advertisements for tonight's movie, a classic on Van Gogh staring Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn. The movie struck inspiration in me...another round of "Frida", on the house! :)

And so I have an artiste's Saturday. Happy artiste's Saturday to you as well, dear reader.

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