Art as Life: Tear a Page. Turn a Corner.

Inspiritus at Lourdes Mixed Media Art by Bernadette Rose Smith

Ever find yourself heading in a particular direction only to hit so many speed bumps, detours, or cul-de-sacs along the way that you start to question whether you should proceed? Maybe you can recall more than one “where is that road again” trip. Perhaps you are in the middle of one right now. Or, maybe there is one right around the corner waiting for you. (You do know you are not reading this by chance, right?)

Well, get comfy. While you ponder that, I will tell you a short story about Inspiritus. Why? Because, whatever your journey, it is a story that points to a moment we share – that moment when we hear the whispers and feel the breath of the Divine moving through us.

Inspiritus Mixed Media Art by Bernadette Rose Smith

Inspiritus Breath Mixed Media Art by Bernadette Rose Smith

I was not in the neighborhood for inspiritus. I was aiming for a project that I hoped would address a livelihood concern. Inspiritus – the altered book pictured throughout this post – was a spirited calling on the carpet. It started with a phrase that kept Read more

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Angels Wings and Wrestling Mats

Two Wings to Fly. • Visual journal page by Bernadette Rose Smith

Whenever I find myself in a tug-of-war with a challenge, this bible story about Jacob on his way to Canaan comes to mind.

“And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.”

I am not a biblical scholar and am not going to venture into all the rich layers of metaphor I can relate to in this simple story, but I do know a lot about challenges and turning to Divine Guidance for help.

One of the places I wrestle with angels is in my journal. A lot of dialoging goes on in those pages. Blessing and blasting interchangeably linked. I was putting away some older journals recently, when 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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Surrendering: the stories we tell

Surrender the Stories: charcoal by bernadette rose smith

Surrender • charcoal on Bernadette’s Pages substrate; page 63
by Bernadette Rose Smith

 

Ever listen to your thoughts and marvel at how persistently they weave into stories you tell yourself? Stories that do not serve you well? Especially in times of transition?


How happy would your dreams become if you were not the one who gave the “proper role” to every figure which the dream contained. – A Course In Miracles


I woke up this morning with a thought.

“Surrender that.“ whispered the angel.

“What?” I asked.

That ‘My God, sideswiped again, I’m not enough’ story.” chuckled the angel.

“Oh? You mean the ‘How could I have missed this, how dense am I that it took another eighteen years of marriage to figure this out, I’m alone again thought?” I snapped.

“My dear, you had so many more thoughts attached to that one. You didn’t notice the storyteller revving up? You were on Chapter 14 before I could get a word in edgewise.” announced another angelic chuckle.

“How can you laugh?” I asked, somewhat irked. “You were around in ’94. Don’t you think this is a little ridiculous for two people to be this far off base with each other?”

“What? Ridiculous to forgive? To accept the things you cannot change? To move on amicably? To still love and support each other as you embrace your new lives?” A wing fluttered by.

“Well, yeah, that’s a view. But I was more concerned with looking at the part where I am a middle-aged woman who lost herself again – even after she swore she Read more

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Dancing Fantasy

Kamansa Korner Sky

Photo Courtesy Karla Zdroik

How fortunate we are to make our life’s work centered on experiencing life with depth and creating a soulful response to it. – Linda Saccoccio

Dancing Fantasy, a group from Germany, had a song that played on the radio a number of years ago, entitled Walk of Life.

Something about this song resonated so strongly with me that, whenever it played, I would find myself lost in a daydream that never failed to lift my spirit. I would see myself dancing alone in the center of a large circular clearing deep within a forest – happily twirling about like a leaf carried on a gentle breeze.

One day a question popped into my head. What would happen if I “invited” people I knew Read more

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