Vita: life, way of life.
Life, it is precious. I have been ruminating over this word as I feel that 2013 will be very lively, life-filled, life-giving. But it has a deeper meaning today as we pray for the life of a dear family member. She is in ICU in critical condition, her life on the line. There is really nothing we can do but pray right now, but I believe that prayer is powerful and am grateful to know that my heavenly Father hears and responds. Please join me in praying for the life, the vital stream, that runs through my sister’s body.
AEDM Day 4
I have no photos. I have no canvas.
My art today is building loving relationships. Art of life that will last eternally. Laughter, family together, friends sharing truly from the deep places in life. I could never draw or paint this day. Yet the joy it has given me I will not forget.
I grew up in the country. By living amongst all kinds of creatures, I am glad to have received a natural education on the life and death of all living things.
My children have also had the opportunity to learn this not only by caring for pets, but also by the creatures that inhabit our world in the city.
This summer, my son found a baby squirrel laying on his tree fort, so my daughter took steps to try to reunite the baby with his mother.
To keep him hydrated, she gave him droppers of saline water. To keep him warm, she wrapped him in some towels. And to bring the mother near, she held him upside down by his tail to make him squeek. But the mother never came. With continued care, a couple days later the baby was still alive, but his brother dropped from the nest, dead. We realized then that something must have happened to the mother. The baby my daughter had cared for died soon thereafter.
I will never forget the feeling of holding this tiny squirrel in my hand.
He was so tiny and velvety and alive. It was magical. I was sad when he died, but the farm-girl me accepted his death with little grief.
And this morning after I let my dogs out into the cold icy/snowy back yard, I was surprised that my dachshund was not waiting at the door to come in like usual. When she did come to the door, she was carrying a full size squirrel, still barely alive, in her mouth. I have never seen her so happy. She has waited at the base of trees, gazing upwards, hours upon hours in hopes of catching a squirrel. Finally she had one in her mouth. I let her in (minus the squirrel) with a “Good Dog!” The little doggy pride was bursting from the tip of her tail, but my heart was not in it. Instead my hand cupped as if holding the baby squirrel. I cannot forget such a beautiful sensation. Maybe today I will grieve.
This is a real advertisement in Life from the July 14, 1972 issue. I thought it so funny, just had to share. I don’t think the drink idea caught on.
The print reads:
Campbell’s Beef Broth right out of the can and onto the ice. Take it straight or add a dash of Worcestershire or lemon peel for a kicky switch. Great way to cool off a hot day. It’s great for dieters, too. Only 16 calories a 5-ounce serving. Don’t even wait for a real hot day; start pouring now. Cheers!
As she added another event to her Outlook calendar, she shifted her priorities in her mind. What would she have to give up to fit this in? Her mind easily wandered to all she’s been wanting to accomplish, but just hasn’t had the time. She thought, “I just haven’t had consistent time in my art studio, and I really need to work on the yard before it gets too cold. But I’ve really got to go through those clothes before fall is too far underway. If I just had one normal week without anything extra happening, I could get so much done.”
I found this thinking invading my mind so frequently that I realized what I consider “normal” rarely happens. The root of normal is NORM. What is the norm in my life? Is it that uneventful week I keep dreaming about? No. My normal week is as varied and unpredictable as my husband’s work schedule (which changes from day to day).
This wrong thinking of what is normal is unhealthy. It breeds discontentment. The various events and experiences of any given week can become burdensome if viewed from a skewed lens of normal. Rather than thinking of what I am losing by adding or moving around events during our week, I must think of what I am gaining. Life should be approached as an adventure. What adventure will I face this week? So I have readjusted my thinking and now view my ever changing ebb and flow of weeks as normal.
When that rare gem of a quiet, uneventful week comes along, will I really tackle all those things that fall to the bottom of my priorities? I may just throw that list out the window and go bask in the sun. After all, Normal will hit again very soon.
One of my favorite songs to play on the piano is Chopin’s Prelude Op. 28, No. 15. Towards the end of the song, right before the last forte, I am instructed to smorzando e slentando. I just love the sound of these words. They mean: dying away and becoming slower.
I want to live life like this song. It is passionate and unyeilding, tender and strong, yet there is a pattern, a note, throughout the whole song which ties it all together. As I age, I am sure I’ll be dying away and becoming slower, but I will have one last forte before my pianissimo. And I will sustain that last note until I’m sure all can feel its quiet passion.
Valentina Igoshina playing Chopin’s Prelude Op. 28, No. 15: