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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

As you may know already, Jamaica is pretty rugged. Life and weather arrive and disappear in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it’s rough. Sometimes it’s sad. And most of the time it’s not easy for children to grasp the concept of people, pets and plants going back to the earth. Or as we say in modern times, death.

Yesterday, we lost our cherished, little friend Mylo (pronounced My yo in our household as we are still working on annunciating l’s). Mylo was a survivor and lived through the tumultuous storms and floods of 2010. You may remember we were trapped (by rain) up in the hills and could not get to the GPs to protect them. We finally arrived home to find Mylo, shaking, hungry and terrified but her sister, Spot, and babies, weren’t as lucky. We nursed our beloved, last remaining Guinea Pig back to health and she’s been fine ever since. Until, just the other day when she became a little sluggish. Mylo died at home yesterday morning. The transition appeared peaceful. Ultimately, we think it was a heart attack.

Living in Jamaica, the children have become excellent grievers. Over the years, they have lost three grandparents, a couple of close aquaintances, fish, guinea pigs and their best friend, Cree Dawg. As parents we have discovered how crucial it is to provide opportunities for them to participate in the ritual and celebration of life and it’s passing. And so, we have fabricated several funerals.

Mylo’s celebration and burial was particularly heart warming. The children gathered flowers, made a heart and Iz (6) wrote out the head stone himself. We buried Mylo early in the day and returned after nap to decorate the grave site. Beautiful songs were sung. Memories laughed about and many, many, tears were shed. It almost broke my heart. Mylo was “such a pretty yady” (lady). “We yoved her so much.”

I think it’s important to help children through rites of passage. Allowing them to guide a ceremony for lost loved ones is empowering and healing. In some ways, I am sad that they have witnessed so much loss. At the same time, I realize how spiritually connected they are to life and nature. Gratitude.

Yesterday evening, as the babes headed outside for a sunset, ackee picking session, I overheard Izra say to his little sister,

“Miwi (meely), life comes and it passes. It’s alright, baby, that’s just how it goes.”

One Love, walk good, RIP Dear Mylo…

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Vulnerability is the order of the day. Authenticity is imperative. Forget fear. Abandon barriers. Recognize and embrace your limitations, these are clues that will help you navigate the journey. Live out, and up!!!

I am over at JRU Studio for Sneak Peek Friday! Scroll down for more studio views.

For me, the image above is an iconic example of the mystic space between strength and weakness. So in honoring myself today for my achievements (the greatest of which, are bringing two amazing artists into the world), I am putting it out there!

I am embracing bravery on this day, as my little boy turns six. Happy Birthday Iz!!!Without a doubt, birthing and parenting have taught me more about vulnerability and courage than any venture I’ve ever dived into. I mean, if I can survive two successful water births, and four plus years of breastfeeding (between the two babies), I can do pretty much anything. In my experience, there is nothing stronger or more vulnerable than a mother just after birth.

I am squelching my fears by pouring salt into my wounds. I am sharing my weak and sensitive side, for all the world to see, laugh at, spit upon, or injoy. Trust me, this is no joy ride. But I have to do it. This is, after all, part of my ten year expansion plan.

As you may know, I am currently enrolled in a painting class that is kicking my creative ass. Today, I am sharing studio glimpses of a piece I have worked on, despised, painted over, embraced, questioned, despised again and continued to work with. One of my Mondo Beyondo dreams is to be able to sketch and paint faces in a way that invites the viewer to look just a little longer. No easy feat, especially in paint. I am surrendering to the suck. Realizing that I have to be really bad before I can be really good. Presenting the suck for all to see is crucial to growing as an artist. What is art if no one sees it. Right now, it is better for me to produce bad art, than to produce no art. That’s how “bad” I want it!

Here I’ve shared snippets, glimpses and tidbits of the layers I’ve been creating this week. Have a look. Feel free to comment. Feedback welcomed. This is me doing one thing that scares me today. Showing you the many faces of my painterly style.

One Love, walk good, being really bad doesn’t always feel good. Do it anyway!

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I love dinner parties. Monday, we started the week off right with a quaint evening gathering. We welcome lovely, ital, cuisine, good music, friends and fabulously entertaining conversation. Never mind that the  verbal and culinary exchange was punctuated with high pitched squeals of juevenile delight, running in the house, noise making toys, and some extra parental guidance and commentary (i.e., “you can’t stand on your sister”!!! etc.).

All in all, it was a beautiful night and I look forward to many more of it’s kind.

Perhaps some people wouldn’t consider having a Monday night dinner party, on account of scheduling, fatigue, laundry, the long week ahead, (need I go on?). Well, I think it’s a helluva way to open the week. Applause for bucking convention. I must admit I woke this morning thinking it was Saturday, wait no, isn’t it Sunday?. But you know what? Once in awhile it’s okay. Okay for the kids to stay up a little later, okay if the dishes swim in the sink for a couple of hours and it’s okay  to wake up questioning what day it is. The experiences whirl, swirl, and continue to create such a beautiful and spontaneous life. A life full of color, music, laughter, good food, and an occasional glass of red wine, or two. Not to mention the opportunity to boast and share our beautiful homegrown pumpkin. I mean, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Challenged by shuttersisters (an awesome online community of shutter clicking ladies) today, to post a photo with out editing. The disappearing art of SOOC, or Straight Out Of The Camera, reveals the true nature of the image without interference. No scheduling, editing, planning, or erasing. Imagine life unedited???

The morning after the dinner party, shot. This is it. Plain and simple.

Here’s an idea. Gather up a few of your favorite local folks and dinner ingredients and have a Monday night dinner party. I suppose Tuesday could work too. Your bound to have a marvelous time!!! We certainly did.

One Love, walk good, ciao!

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Have you bitten into a Jamaican apple? Also known as Otaheite apple, they are dark red or purple skinned, shaped like a pear, sweet and full of thirst quenching juice. My kids adore this tropical fruit and will eat off a dozen in the blink of an eye.

My five year old, ate the apple, saved the seed and planted it himself.

He waters and sings (or talks) to it everyday.

For what seemed like a very long time the little seed didn’t sprout.

Patience persists. Alas, the apple tree sprout has arrived.

I can’t remember if I read or was told (maybe both), that if you hold a seed and roll it around  in your mouth, it will absorb saliva and information about your physical being and the trace minerals, that you lack. The seed will sprout into a plant or tree loaded with specific elements that your body calls for. Hmmmmm. What if it’s true??

Faith at it’s finest. Inhale light, exhale love…

One Love, walk good, loving sunday…

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My daughter is a budding cubist. And although I am generally not fond of “ists” and “isms”, I am encouraging her exploration of of this radical and revolutionary art form. As of late, her style of artistic expression is leaning more and more in this direction. I am blown away by some of the images she produces. Complex beyond my comprehension. She has opened my eyes to forgotten flames of art history.

Today  I post this image, Mila’s drawing, De Wirld, (The world).

A reminder to keep looking at the world around me in new and surprising ways. I am deconstructing and reconstructing my own ideas and images in divine and delicious fashion. I am so much more aware of how art and creating an artful life completely consumes my being, intentions and expression in physical and cyber space.

All because of my darling, artist babes.

All because they accept nothing less than wild, creative, passion and abandon.

For years now, we have drawn and cut out animals, and the occasional character (more show and tell on this later). To a tune of hundreds and likely over a thousand paper creatures. At some point they were taking up the space, spilling out of doorways and windows, swept away by the breeze and the broom.

I have since corralled them in ziplock bags and houses that we’ve made from recycled oatmeal boxes. But the zoo has finally grown beyond capacity. We had a talk about this the other day and decided to incorporate all drawn and cut out animals, superheroes and characters into a large painting. This way we can preserve and injoy them while freeing up some valuable shelf/storage space.

Now, it occurs to me how dramatically the King (my husband, baby fadda) and I have improved and honed our sketching and animal drawing skills. The joy, frequency and mild frustration associated with such tasks has crossed over into our routine in colorful ways. I think the King would not have admitted to being an artist a couple of years ago. But now my babes refer to him as the best artist in the family.

Awesome.

C’mon, you know you’re an artist! How have the little people in your life inspired you to be more than you imagined you could be? How do you express your creative passion in the physical or cyber world. Have you turned up your creativity lately?

One Love, walk good, parenting artfully…

 

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We had dinner with friends the other night. Half way through the evening a young world traveler appeared, which is not uncommon in this part of the world. Tourists often find their way into our homes, hearts and gatherings. He was clearly under the influence of Jamaica’s sensational vibe and a more than a few sweaty bottles of Red Stripe. Which, if you’re wondering, is also not uncommon in this part of the world.

We got to talking about where we came from, what we do, etcetera. World Traveler shared that his father was the Dean or Vice principal (or some position of authority) at his high school (also our host’s alma mater). The conversation turned to home schooling because home school is a trip!  Almost immediately, the world traveler delved into a long list of amazing people who were home schooled. Inspiring and impressive indeed.  I was hooked, kings, presidents, executives, actors, pilots, inventors, scientists, artists, and the list went on…

And then came the unfortunate and inevitable, dreaded, esteem crushing comment.

“Jeez, Home schooling’s a handful, I can’t imagine”, etc…

Hmmmmm. Once again, I was invited to look at homeschooling in a different light. Granted, working at home with a three and a five year old is an obvious handful. But for some reason, around here anyway, home schooling is kinda refreshing. I view it as yet another creative aspect and outlet. Although, it isn’t always a piece of cake to convince my babes to participate. I do find that the more excited I am, the more they look forward to their lessons.

Children learn differently. One of the greatest gifts of being home with my two beans is discovering the unique (and very different ways) in which they learn. It gives me an edge in reaching, teaching and preparing them for the world. It has become very clear that our children (arguably all children) are artists to an infinite degree. I am continually impressed with the progressive and prolific nature of Iz’ and Mils’ artistic abilities and works. Iz is currently exploring realism and recently, his sister, has catapulted cubism to a new level!

I am so contented when I witness my children gravitate towards learning about things that interest them. This is particularly gratifying when they are not doing “school time”. Last night Izra was “catching out” (checking out) his alphabet chart when he decided to work on some writing and drawing. The photo above features the picture he gifted me when he was “all finished”. I love that he is learning and schooling on his own.

Perhaps the greatest thing we can gift the younger generation is a strong and insatiable desire to learn.

“I love to learn Mommy. It’s just what I love to do”….~Izra, 5

One Love, walk good, loving learning and the discovery of genius unfolding.

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Happy 2011 to you and yours! I don’t know about you but I’m partial to odd numbers. And although I grew fond of 2010, I am ready for the big 11. Here’s to looking forward! I am pondering the changes I’d like to live out this year. They are numerous. It is time once again, to let go of that which no longer serves us. It’s time to visualize and practice what it is we strive to be, do and feel.

A series of quiet revolutions are finding their way to my New Years list. The first of which is that I am not making any resolutions, per se. I am embracing flexibility and open to change. I am moving forward. I am blogging. I am designing and creating adornment infused with intention. I am growing. So are the children and their trees. Years ago, it  seems I ordered several batches of life changing events. After much delay, the orders are finally arriving and I am scheduled for some big time transformations in the coming year. How about you?

What a splendid time to be thinking, writing, dreaming about transformation. The velocity of the world  and it’s New Year celebrating inhabitants, make a stark jumping off point for change. So many folks are concentrating and aiming their energy towards goals, aspirations and the annual resolution list. It’s contagious.

I wish you all creative joy, passion and the courage to pursue your best possible self.

One Love, walk good, oh, and this photo was taken at 3:00 am today.

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