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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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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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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Kicking the Can: A Collaboration

Effects by PhotoFunia-PBR

Ever play “kick the can” when you were a kid? You’d happen on an abandoned can and before you knew it you were three blocks past your house. Maybe you’d even get lucky and meet a friend or two on your journey.

One could travel around the world with a couple of friends and a can. And that is what we are doing here. Kicking the virtual can! To follow the can, I have to take you to the time BEFORE the can appeared. It started with a post on ephemera. My Life As Ephemera, actually. The game began with a contribution from Sharron. A mandala that she created from my ephemera shot. And a poem.

I thought, “How delightful! I must share this right away.” But a little voice (you know the one) said, “Wait. There’s more.” So I waited. That’s when the can appeared. Well, really, it was a comment made by Juliette on my second ephemera post, Shoe Boxes & Found Objects, with a link to HER blog where “Voila!” the can appeared.

So, I kicked it. And she kicked it back. Then we sent out a call to see if anyone else wanted to play. (That’s when I discovered The Messy Room has a back room … heheheh … one that I dare not post!)

So, here is the first kick from Sharron Cee in South Carolina:

Ephemera to Mandala Composite

 

A Mandala: Created from the shot I used in my post, My Life as Ephemera. Read more

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