Down and Dirty: Recovering a Sense of Possibility While Under the Influence of Gravity.

Visual journal, mixed-media page inspired by the poem Feet of Clay posted on the blog, Bernadette's Musings from the Messy Room.

Feet of Clay
While her dance on earth bid her stay,
she came to love her feet of clay.
Though they crumbled and caved
in life’s tidal wave
of unknowing,
she learned to reshape them
and fire them
with the glowing
golden embers within her heart,
the place that remembered where she got her start
on wings of angels delivered to birth,
royalty not subject
to the mirth
of fault-finders with cast iron feet bound to the earth,
impenetrable and too deep
to leap for the stars
and catch fireflies in jars
on hot summer nights
when naked feet
find delight
in the dance that bid her stay
while she came to love her feet of clay.

Bernadette Rose Smith

 

Feet of clay is an expression we use that points to character flaws found in our humanness. You know. Those times when we are so good we must be found bad. Or so bad we are good enough to raise the eyebrows of those mirthful faultfinders around us. (Inner critics included.)

Lets face it. Whether a Hollywood starlet caught in a nose-picking event by paparazzi or the King of Babylon exposed in a dream by prophet Daniel or somewhere in between like the rest of us, having feet of clay ranks low on the bucket list of “I wants” or things to be celebrated.

We try to rise above them with store bought miracle grow wings that promise to elevate our consciousness. Or we hop on brooms with “swoop and sweep” features that offer to deflect Read more

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Writing Under Fire The Artist’s Way

Shameful Stories

Writing Under Fire

Writing under fire saves lives
when desperation overflows pretty journals
and sends pen in hand drawer-diving for a comp book
or some lone sheet of loose-leaf paper.

Even toilet paper writes well at midnight with its multi-tasking talent for
anger venting, tear catching, nose blowing, remorse flushing purges.

Dear God letters. Fill-in-the-blank-you-asshole letters.
Therapy work. Gasping for breath and rhythm work.
Dream logs. Synchronicity logs. Gratitude logs.
Spirit dialogs. Ego dialogs.
Alternate routes through heart and mind traffic jams.

When angst hits the wall grab a pen.
Hit the page. Save a life.
Make it yours.

Bernadette Rose Smith

 

Wish to amp up your life with creativity and delight in Divine Coincidence? Here’s 3 things to try. (Hey, they work for me!)

 

Thing 1: Morning Pages.

In the fall of ’93, my then-husband-now-friend gave me a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Struggling with a loss of career direction, artist’s block and mild depression I couldn’t shake, I committed to reading the book and writing the morning pages that Julia prescribed.

Some might call it irony. I call it synchronicity – amplified by a Divine Purpose. Then-husband-now-friend gifted me with a book that introduced me to a process of writing my way through pretty much anything. Then he left and gifted me with an opportunity to practice that process in a way that I never could have imagined!

What are morning pages? In Julia’s words, Read more

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Writers Blog Hop Their Happy

"The Art of Becoming" spread from an altered book by Bernadette Rose Smith

When Patricia Saxton, art, design and writing diva of Saxton Studio asked me to join her in this Writer’s Blog Hop my first impulse was to hop back with an “I already have too many tabs open thanks but no thanks” response. I didn’t for two reasons: 1) I respect and admire her work and passion so to hop in her circle was an opportunity I did not want to miss. 2) I had just made a decision to better balance my blog time with other social media time when Patricia approached me. (Ask and you shall receive.) In my experience, when Divine Order answers a call this is not the time to become a cherry picker.

The participants in this hop get to answer these four questions about their writing/work. (Links to my fellow hoppers, Juliette Mansour, J.V. Manning and Jill Alman-Berstein are below.) Here’s my musings.

Why do I write what I do?
When I was little, I was gangly and clumsy, always skinning my knees and bumping my elbows. My mother signed me up for ballet in the hope that it would improve my coordination. It did. I fall much more gracefully  – but I still fall.

Life is messy. Creativity is messy. And, sometimes we get lost. And, in the lost, a whole myriad of not so great stories start to evolve. Stories we breathe life into as we journey along comparing others seemingly neat and tidy outsides to our incredibly messy insides.

I write to uncover and share the stories that allow us to be less than perfect so we can claim the goodness in the mess. Some challenges are pearls waiting for us to dive deep. Others are simply creative chaos waiting for a medium through which to express.

There’s an art to a life well lived and writing invites us to witness and experience the exquisite nature hidden in its many layers. Words, in themselves, have no power of their own but point the way to what does. Thus, I write for my life not my livelihood.

I Write to Think poster

How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
Unless messy is a genre, I don’t think I have one anymore. It was self-help. (Relationship. Spirituality. Creativity.) But, when those aspects of my life turned upside down, then right side up, then upside down – again – I threw my genre map into the recycling bin.

I have more questions than answers these days. I figure others might, too. That’s why I like to muse about the messes we find ourselves in. In my writing, I stretch beyond comfort zones and give words to situations, feelings and ultimate storylines folks find hard to articulate and share.

I am comfortable with claiming the messy room in my writing. Am actually having a lot more fun these days. My posts are kind of like cloths lines where I hang out my laundry and talk to the neighbors. Yep. That’s mine. Right out there, waving in the breeze for all to see. And you can pretty much tell what I’ve been up to or the week I’ve had by the size of the freshly laundered panties. Read more

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Blue Angel: forgiveness is freedom

Blue Angel

A hurried back porch morning.
Thrift store bowls sound clinking calls.
Rescue strays greet their meal ticket with circle-eight purrs
around her feet
and get down to the business of a ritual feed.

Her eyes cast up.

Bright blue innocence contrasts a stark winter sky.
A blue angel bobbles high on a breeze.
Let loose, perhaps, by the child of an early morning shopper
in the Kroger lot down the street.

Caught in a downdraft the blue angel dips to the neighboring yard.
The woman smiles a goodbye
and turns to go inside.

She later returns to gather empty bowls.
Bright blue innocence contrasts slumbering branches of the fig tree
in the corner of her yard.

Impossibly deep.

Kodak clicks document the angel’s plight.
Metaphor flashes of figs uneaten, branches unpruned,
dead limb alongside living.
Clicking. Clicking.
Exhaustive angles flicker freedom, flights of fancy,
forgiveness.
Gifting. Gifting.

She cannot bear a slow latex death through hurried days.
Camera down.
Ladder in hand.
She returns, she thinks, to free it from its prison.
But a turn from the garage by stands innocence
open-winged lift out.
Not cage but cradle.

Forgiveness is freedom.

Bernadette Rose Smith

Blue Angel Horizon

Inspiration is unpredictable.

That’s what makes it so magical. When it strikes it has that first time freshness – like falling in love – that defies the dull, deadening impulses of the mundane. We might yearn for inspiration. Even create an environment that encourages it. But, in the end, inspiration will not be bought nor controlled. That we might take delight. Read more

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On being born. Or the effects of Neptune in Pisces.

Thunder Bay Starlings by Donna Harvey

Starlings Leaving Thunder Bay by Donna Harvey. A Lesson in Moving On.


A while back some muses played Kick the Can in The Messy Room. It was a spontaneous game of creative play, each muse “kicking” off the muse’s contribution before them with their favorite medium. There were even enough kicks that it merited the title of “project. Then one day, long after the can dust had settled, a muse named Donna showed up and, after rummaging around in some of the Messy Room’s back rooms, she was inspired to take her kick at the can.

Donna’s kick went straight to the moon – to that lunar side of knowingness. No doubt an angel call landed her in the Messy Room, as I find myself in the company of many these days who are going through what she shares with her kick of the can – self included.

In her email, she wrote, “This was written under the illuminating light of a Cancer Moon going full in Leo wherein my heart will always speak louder than my mind. I followed the pen. If this is too much, I can rewrite and resubmit my inspiration when the moon goes into Taurus.”

You know what I am going to say, Donna? Keep following that pen. Your art and words are inspired, intense, brilliant and playful. And I do believe that a few of us have been waiting for you.

Read more

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