“Nobody makes you upset. Your mind makes you upset. It’s time to ask the question, Why do I allow people or experiences or things to determine how I’m going to think, feel, or act?”
Make effort to live a bright and happy life.
One of the foundational threads of advice throughout all the art courses I’ve taken is to add details “for interest.” I’ve noticed that small brush strokes here and there add a lot to the piece.
Everything I’ve done based on my “interests” has borne great fruits: teaching, relationships, art, spiritual growth, and writing. When I pursued activities or work based on anything other than an authentic engagement, it never worked out.
“Interest,” it turns out, is essential to true joy.
I was working on the back cover art and came up with the illustration shown above.
Feedback from my family:
“That first little chameleon is so cute!”
“Um, that second one is humping the dad.”
“Yeah, why’s she humping his dad?”
Lots of laughing.
I started over. There were murmurs that the second baby chameleon was doing something x-rated to the sibling.
“Move the second chameleon up higher, she still looks like she’s humping her dad.”
Despite the pain, feedback IS valuable.
I’m going with this one:
I just need to make the cover and I’ll be ready to start the self-publishing process…
“Complaining is one of the ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself. Every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in. Whether you complain aloud or only in thought makes no difference.”
Oliver, who cited Walt Whitman as an influence, is best known for her awe-filled, often hopeful, reflections on and observations of nature. “Mary Oliver’s poetry is an excellent antidote for the excesses of civilization,” wrote one reviewer for the Harvard Review, “for too much flurry and inattention, and the baroque conventions of our social and professional lives. She is a poet of wisdom and generosity whose vision allows us to look intimately at a world not of our making.”
Her honors include an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, a Lannan Literary Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Prize and Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Oliver held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College until 2001. She lived for over forty years in Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her partner Molly Malone Cook, a photographer and gallery owner. After Cook’s death in 2005, Oliver later moved to the southeastern coast of Florida. Oliver died of cancer at the age of eighty-three in Hobe Sound, Florida, on January 17, 2019.
*This contents of this post come from Poets.org
Mary Oliver reminds me to look to nature whenever I feel humans are letting the world down. Rejoice in the strength of the trees and the persistent bloom of flowers.