With broad colorful brushstrokes
and strong, yet slender, lines
he painted a new portrait
on the canvas of his life
Woven on strings plucked
and strummed chords
vocal chords guided by the poet’s voice
• • •
Oh, the joy, the exhilaration
stepping into the bigger picture
wearing the troubadour’s coat
following the Muse in the heart

Vocal Spirit

The focal point of his Spirit
the man was vocal
in most every regard

The pursuit of astute phrases
beguiled his appetite
even in the midst of silence

The poet’s soul, a local bard
and extraneous verbiage

A mirror with two sides

Melody runs beneath it

Hearken unto the Muse

Many years ago, when I was teaching multiple classes at Lassen College, I had an epiphany one day: it’s all the same. To what “it” was I referring? Simple: all design, all art. Designing a stained glass window requires many of the same skills that piecing a quilt does. Putting together today’s outfit, decorating the living room or laying out an ad each bear many commonalities of skill with the other.

I taught glass design and life drawing at that college for years. Many of my students were women with family. Those that had sewn were quite familiar with patterns and fitting. They caught onto the process of fitting the glass pieces together quite readily.

Those that had juggled dinner, soccer games and crying babies had the skillset required to focus on the line of the model no matter what distractions arose. (Note: A high level meditative process – Sit at the piano with a “musically inclined” child on either side, dogs, cats, and other children running through the house, and hear only the notes you are playing while keeping attentive to any indication of emergency).

How does one go about learning a new art form? Hearken unto the muse. Allow the inspiration to flow through, and build your skills doing anything creative. Often, life may not immediately provide you the opportunity to spend hours painting masterpieces. It is important to realize, I think, that all is not lost if such is the case. The creative urge and flow is accessible through sometimes most unusual media.

I remember in graduate art school, where the lofty intellect was given full rein, that there was a big deal made about not selling your art short or diluting your creative flow by transferring your attentions to some “lesser” activity. It is my contention that rather the opposite can be true. If I bring my full attention to the moment while I am creating compost, and open to inspiration as I do it, I find that it increases my state of artistic grace instead of diminishing it.