Visual Storytelling: She Pitched Her Tie and Put on Pearls

Mixed Media Art, She Pitched Her Tie and Put on Pearls by Bernadette Rose Smith

A string of pearls with the affirming message,
“Today is the day to find courage within,”
lightly dance around the tail of a man’s tie

like the wave of the Chinese symbol for yin and yang.

The oyster with its soft, sensitive body, not unlike a woman’s,
creates a pearl when challenged by the irritation

and discomfort of a grain of sand or grit.
Wisdom that comes from life experience is hard won
in the same way pearls are created.

“Pearls of wisdom” dance around a woman’s throat from where
she gives voice to hard won opalescent experiences
of sacred passion, desire, being, creativity and so much more.

 

What happens when a woman wears a tie or puts on pearls? As women – single, married, divorced – how do we maintain balance with bringing home the bacon and frying it? My desire with Ties and Pearls was to create a piece that spoke to the invisible partnering of the male and female in each of us, and how that manifests in our relationships in a visually appealing way. Read more

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Forgive it Forward: Grievance Trafficking

Forgive it Forward Grievance Trafficker

Gathering grievances is tedious and soul consuming. Past, present or future. AND have you noticed how short-lived their collective pleasure is? No matter how many you manage to gather they NEVER make you feel better for very long. There is no magic number that brings a sustainable relief.

AND if you are grievance gathering to get off a guilt hook (like in a relationship) … well, that never ends well because it never ends. The other ‘guilty’ party will always accept the challenge to top your grievance with one of theirs. Think about it. Read more

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Heart Bypass: Living and Loving on the Highway

Heart Bypass: Living and Loving on the Highway

If you live in Atlanta, you know I-285. Those traveling the north/south or east/west interstates call it the bypass but really it’s a loop that circles the heart of the city.

Locals refer to I-285 as The Perimeter. When asking directions around here, one usually starts with “Are you inside or outside the perimeter?” For insiders, driving too far outside the perimeter is akin to an “out of state” road trip. For outsiders, driving too far inside the perimeter requires a course in street life savvy, the kind that keeps you from turning down the wrong street in a Walking Dead episode. “NOoooo… don’t go THERE! Zombies ahead!” (Hey, it’s not my fault. A friend got me hooked.)

These days, life outside the perimeter mimics conveniences of city life. And for some who choose to settle outside, it’s “close enough” to live on a perimeter that bypasses hardcore city commitments with softcore city-like amenities.

Time was, a reasonably clear inside/outside demarcation could be made but now the inner feels a lot like the outer while navigating this Nascar-esque bypass. In the speedway blur, you think you are in the city proper. Looks like it. Feels like it. Sounds like it. Smells like it. But not it.

Now, lets switch gears. (Hey, I’m working a metaphor here.)

Think about the heart. Your heart. Where it resides. And who resides in it.

Like Atlanta, your heart is the city. The closer to the center the stronger the pulse as blood pumps (emotions, passions, dreams, fears) through the arteries and side streets with all the pedestrian conveniences. Culture. People. Parks. Coffee shops. Nightlife. But also challenges like traffic jams, convention re-routes, and one way do not enter streets. Get the picture?

This is you. You living and loving in the heart of your city.

Enter new relationship. (Or awaken in an old one.)

Maybe you meet this person on the loop and Read more

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Upcycling Raggedy Ann and Other Such Stories

Raggedy Ann

When I was a little girl, I had a Raggedy Ann doll. She went everywhere with me. No doubt the fact that she went everywhere with me is why my Grandmother convinced me to let her take Raggedy Ann to the doll hospital so she could be made “good as new,” with the promise that Raggedy would return on my birthday.

I still remember opening the box with the big red bow, excited to be reunited with my friend, only to find a stranger looking back at me. This was not MY Raggedy! The adults in the room showed me her special Raggedy heart and assured me she was. (Hey, I was four but I wasn’t stupid.) I cried and cried and begged to have MY Raggedy back. My head was spinning. I was heartbroken.

I shared this story with a dear friend, recently, as the first memorable contribution to my sideswiped stories. The telling had just the right touch of drama, or so I thought, when I heard my friend take a deep breath on the other end of the Read more

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Choices: What we see in loving and leaving.

Messy Room Moving Box Puzzle

“I have given everything I see in this room all the meaning that is has for me.” – A Course In Miracles: Lesson 2

 

Journal, April 17, 2012 A fitting lesson to dowse in the Course, as I look around me. From room to room, I see boxes stacked wherever there is a spare space. Some holding 36 years of marriage. Some holding the last 18 years of reconciliation.

I give them the meaning that they have. The objects inside are clueless to the purpose assigned to them. On a good day, they speak to relief and gratitude for the honesty expressed that made it necessary to pack them up. On a bad day, they speak to surprises and sideswipes. If I am the meaning-maker, which meaning shall I embrace today?

Yesterday, I made my first serious “pass” through the divorce papers while my husband packed up his “pieces” of the kitchen that was our kitchen – soon to be my kitchen. I am somewhat in awe as this process of acceptance and forgiveness unfolds. And I am grateful that I am journaling through this – writing under fire as it were – and know that I am benefiting exponentially.

Exponentially? Really? How do I know?

We are always choosing stories, are we not? Well then …
Read more

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