Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Lost Art of Mentorship

It used to be that back in the day artisans, craftsmen, doctors, carpenters, blacksmiths, artists and such types would train apprentices and mentor students to teach them what they knew, in the hopes that the next generation would take what they had learned and think of even more wonderful things and do something even greater with the knowledge they have gained from the teacher.

Even Jesus mentors those who become His disciples (disciples in deed and not just in word). He mentioned this himself in John chapter 14 verse 12: "12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." In this chapter He was referring to the miracles He performed and how it was Father God working in Him. We as disciples of Jesus Christ, should be able take the gifts of the Holy Spirit as we are given them, and help each other out with them. This in theory should come to us as easily as breathing once we apply ourselves to being taught and being students of Jesus Christ.

So where has Mentorship gone? Has Fear chased it away so that few can discover its value?

Now I know there is a little bit still going on somewhere. When I hear the examples of great teachers or groups of people working together I have glimmers of hope that there are people who remember and who know how important it is to pass on hope and pass on skills and pass on the love for ones work. People simply have to be taught these things first hand. We don't really pass on that warmth if we are esconced inside our own homes.

When I look around at the quakes and woes of the financial crisis being thrust upon us, I see a great deal of people in leadership or highly responsible positions who really don't know what they're doing and who have never been trained to do the right thing. People seem to just be making up crap as they go along. There is an outright lack of respect for other people, which simply begins with themselves. They don't seem to expect it, so they can't seem to give it. How else can one explain the willy-nillyness of approving subprime mortgages and setting up people to lose their homes? Where are the supervisors of these people -- and better yet, why do the supervisors keep getting bonuses and golden parachute deals when they've failed so miserably at their jobs -- including failing to teach their staffs? Don't company shareholders have more say than that?

Missing in these inadequately trained people and terrible leaders are basic work skills that need to be learned in order to be good at ones job, including the skills to assess and gauge risk correctly. Things like this are elements of Wisdom, and we have to teach each other how to develop Wisdom and recognize its patterns and apply it to our work so we don't hurt each other by accident -- or on purpose.

Whether ones job is that of a doctor or painter or a financial advisor, there really are ground-rule guidelines that are very clear indicators whether one is actually any good at ones job. I mean, really. The fruits -- the results -- of the work speaks for itself, and results speak rather loudly of the sheer lack of training. Most students, with correct application -- and who are in the right field in the first place! -- can not only do good, they can truly excel.

We should be getting smarter, not dumber, as a society. Information is so accessible now that it's plum embarrassing that we're continually shortchanging ourselves and eachother by not expecting the best of eachother in character. But character, like language, has to be learned, absorbed and applied.

Shortcuts don't help if the rules that need to be known first are skipped over. See, you have to know the rules first before you can know whether they can be bent or changed, adjusted or flat out followed.

An understanding of mentorship at large seems to be missing ... and I hope enough of us wake up and realize that so that we can pull together and make up for lost time. We need to aim to truly make a difference and regenerate hope in and with eachother. We have to chase away and lock out that Fear that is trying it damndest to overtake us. There is no fear in Love.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Drawing of The Wound

The very first comic book convention I ever attended was when I was 18 years old, and it was probably at one of those old Hotels across from Madison Square Garden on Seventh Avenue in NYC, where the Big Apple convention is held nowadays.

I attended it with my then-boyfriend, who was a comics geek and a very nice young man. We were both Illustration Majors. He insisted I go and there was a drawing contest being held that he encouraged me to join. I entered and I actually won like third place or something! I was shocked and pleased, and made me think I could do something with drawing after all ...

I remember my prize package contained three things, but the only one I was completely jazzed about was the 45 disk of the old Doctor Who Theme. I played it when I got home, but it skipped something awful near the end. It must have been damaged. That bummed me out. But I guess it'd be fair to say that my TV/Movie soundtrack love was started/encouraged then.

Every once in a looooooooooong while I will remember that drawing. Like this weekend.

The drawing itself was a heavily penciled illustration of a woman in a flowing robe. She kneeling but sitting on her heels, falling back, looking up to the heavens. There is a large pole that stabs through her heart and anchors her into the ground. She is holding it, trying to pull free. Her face is a combination of shock, pain and betrayal.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, the first version of the drawing would be prophetic in a way. I was so naïve when I had drawn it! Later on, it would represent me quite vividly. Me, torn through those things that anchored me to this very physical life, while yet crying up to God "What have I done?"

I remember this drawing of mine on rare occasions. I've lost the original, and have repainted her once since, as a 2 tone watercolor. I'm considering making a third version. But I am torn between expressing the pain as a piece yet again or letting go of the pain and not recreating the image at all. Why should I give homage to that searing hurt? Again?

The watercolor version specifically conveyed the betrayal of a close friend. A beloved friend. As I get older I try to be kinder when this happens, be more forgiving. After all, I've been considerably stupid in my youth. I've been careless with people's feelings. Sometimes friends let us down without realizing it. There are times, too, when we have to see their actions are louder than words and they just don't know what they've said to us.

The way I see it now, you can forgive them, as you should, but there is no need to recreate the circumstances where they can repeat that act again. You can forgive the accidental trespasser, but kindly show them out, and lock the gate.

This pain this time around at least is work-related, so it will pass. For that I am glad.

It was just completely unexpected. And dang if it doesn't leave a mark.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nashville For All Of Us. Seriously.

We have to have a special election in January just to vote on the English First bill?

We get to spend $350,000 of money -- which we don't have, by the way, since sales tax income is down -- to hold a special election because of the whim of one Councilman? And this after a good proportion of Nashvillians -- and officials representing way more Nashvillians, mind you -- simply think this amendment is redundant, repetitious -- not to mention morally wrong -- and oppose it? How in the bleep did this happen?

I'm not really sure where Crafton got the idea that English wasn't the official language of Nashville. Doesn't he read all that legal Metro Charter stuff he's supposed to be helping uphold for the people of Nashville? It's all in English!

Are there Council members suddenly breaking out in other languages during official meetings?

Or if he's referring to the small amount of government pamphlets translated into other languages that deal with Human Services (for example, at the Department of Motor Vehicles)? Doesn't he realize those are simply designed to accommodate people who are learning English?
We cannot and do not encourage people to learn English by exclusion and opposition. How immature an attitude that is. I guess he's never had to suffer from a mean teacher who thought it was best to teach a child by ridiculing him into learning. Or had to work for a boss who didn't want to train him to do his job, and so compromised his chances of success. Lucky him. But it gives him no perspective. Bad attitudes from teachers or managers doesn't work. We, the citizens of Nashville, are the teachers here.

Let's use logic. Who wants to join a group of people that makes no effort to include them and make them feel welcome? Give me a break. How can we encourage immigrants to become LEGAL American Citizens if we make no effort to help them get there through the paperwork, by translating enough of that basic paperwork to help them get there legally?

Mr. Crafton, this "English First" amendment is worded in such a way as to create the very underground you are trying to prevent. You will create the very nightmare scenario you think you are trying to avoid. Reality is, America is a nation of immigrants. We use English as our common language. People get that. But we don't create a stronger and more united society by making it damn near impossible to navigate its rules. You have to make the rules accessible. and accessible means translating basic forms into other languages, and by providing interpreters to help bridge the gap in the meantime.

"Metro lawyers said that by law, two votes on a petition-driven charter amendment cannot take place in a single two-year period. An amendment which gave voters some control over Metro tax increases was on the Nov. 7, 2006, ballot."

Here's what our Metro Charter reads:

"The council shall not adopt a resolution proposing amendments to this Charter more often than twice during the term of office of members of said council, nor shall any such amendment or amendments be submitted by petition more often than once in each two years."

Crafton is arguing that he submitted the petition within the two year window. The Metro lawyers and Appeals court said he didn't, because the last petition-driven amendment added was voted on by the people three days shy of less than two years ago.

My question is, doesn't Crafton's submission of petitions on both August 15th, then submission again with an "additional" batch of petitions in September for the Election commission to verify, count as submitting petitions "twice"? Doesn't that null and void this issue for two more years, then?

If the measure was ruled out from appearing on this November's ballot because of a technicality of time frame because of semantics (in Crafton's opinion), and Crafton had already tried this to push a similar ordinance through last year (which seems to completely ignore other resolutions by his fellow council members, that already acknowledge English as the official language of Nashville and Tennessee) and it all got vetoed by the mayor then, what in the world made him think this was a good idea to pursue it even further and spend $350,000 on? Why did he say one thing -- and do completely another? What is his ulterior motive? What does he think is gonna happen in the next two years?

Crafton should have let it run through the Appeals process. The petition could have then gone through its normal course, and it could have been voted on -- like he so desperately wants -- in the 2010 election. (This information I picked up from one of these articles I've linked to here.) That's only 2 years off. Not a great deal of time, in the grand scheme of things.

It appalls me that Councilman Crafton thinks he was forced to file for a special election! To pull a quote from The Tennessean:

Just five days after saying he would be "more responsible" than to seek a costly special election, Crafton said the expense should be "laid at the feet of the mayor and Metro Legal and the court system at a time when the city can't afford it."

Oh, really?

Blame the mayor and Metro Legal? Really? [Yes. Use SNL Weekend Report's Seth's and Amy's tone of voice with that, please.]

Um, Mr. Crafton, maybe your boss needs to sit down and go over this with you.

This expense is totally your call. Not the mayor's, and not Metro Legal, cause they told you "no". Not even the people's. You had the signatures in hand -- it was therefore your next responsibility to watch our budget and play by the book, like you were hired to do. Back to that Tennessean article: "Metro lawyers said that by law, two votes on a petition-driven charter amendment cannot take place in a single two-year period. An amendment which gave voters some control over Metro tax increases was on the Nov. 7, 2006, ballot."

YOU are the one who filed the appeal. You had the choice to listen to the rest of Nashville and the other representatives of the Nashville population and respect their input and deal with it. You had the option of letting the court of Appeals hear you out in due time so that you could potentially get it on the ballot legally next time it would be legally allowed to, without added cost to the Nashville citizen. This expense, I'm sad to tell you, is all yours. This cost is the direct result of your unwillingness as a Councilman to work with your co-workers in Metro Government in serving the public of Nashville.

Nobody said you couldn't vote on it. They only said it couldn't happen next month. See the big difference if you had just stopped a moment and taken a breath and realized what they were telling you.

YOU made the decision to bring this cost onto the people of Nashville. Let's tally, shall we?

Previous Mayor Purcell vetoed it. "In 2007, the measure was vetoed by then-Mayor Bill Purcell who described it as mean-spirited and counterproductive.
"This is not who we are," Purcell said at the time."
Current Mayor Dean "opposes the measure and has said it could tarnish the city's image and damage business opportunities. and that it will also misrepresent Nashville's residents."

Here is your fellow Councilman Randy Foster's incredibly balanced take on it.

The Court of Appeals denied your request for an expedited appeal to the chancellor. As in faster-than-normal appeal process. You could have let the appeals process follow due calendar course.

The Metro Human Relations Commission, the Metro Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the ACLU, Service Employees International Union Local 205, and many others have formed a group called Nashville for All of Us to oppose this. I can't wait til they have a website. I think that's a pretty healthy cross section of groups representing actual residents (as opposed to your out-of state financial supporters of this bill). It's too bad they were unsuccessful in filing an appeal to stop this waste of money from happening.

And to pull a quote from the article in the Tennessean:
"How often can you envision the chamber, a union and the ACLU working together?" said Kenny Byrd, an attorney who filed the motion on behalf of the chamber.
"That should tell people something right there," Byrd said. "This thing either smells very, very right or very, very wrong, but that combination has got to mean something."
Seriously.

Crafton and his fellow petitioners should be billed for the special election cost.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Nashville is Truly a Beautiful Place ...

... full of beautiful people from many lands.

We are all here, making our homes. Working at our jobs. Sharing our neighborhoods. Enjoying our families. Every one of us are, or come from a family of immigrants.

Every one of us. There is no exception.

We may look different but otherwise all have very similar wants and needs. Food, clothing, shelter. Happiness. Security. Peace.

We may speak different languages but all it takes is a little patience with eachother. People know they come here and have to learn English. Have a little patience. And make sure there is enough translation available so they know where to do their immigration paperwork and how to file their taxes and how to drive their cars all legally as they learn English.

Let me put it this way. I was born and raised in the U.S. and I don't know where to send an immigrant if they wanted to pursue legal registration and citizenship. How can we expect people who are here, who are fleeing from their tyrannical governments who are willing to deny them legal emigration, to automatically know where to go and what to do when they get here, and can't speak the language yet? They want to survive and have a future just like any one of us.

Come on, Nashville. There is a right way to handle this.

Nashville is a good place.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Joy Ford and The Eminent Domain Issue

OR: Let's Not Be Stupid, Nashville #1:

(YAY! At least on this one we weren't.)

I thought I'd at least start the set with a bit of good news. I was glad and relieved to read that Metro's MDHA agency decided not to push the "Eminent Domain" angle to try and seize Joy Ford's property on Music row in order to sell it to a huge developer. I mean with as many parcels of pretty ugly looking land looking pretty available all around close by to there (my gosh can anyone do something downtown south of Broadway and East of 9th?? The Schermerhorn and Country Music Hall of Fame are in some pretty dry and dire-lookin' neighborhood!) and to pick on her tiny spot on the block to throw her out for her few square feet of land was ridiculous. And the ugly karma MDHA would have generated from the sheer injustice had they done it ... sheesh!

Anyway, kudos to The Lionstone Group and Ford being able to swap land so she gets to stay and they can all settle in a really nice way and be neighbors.

Thanks for that. Very cool.

The Drought of Character (for starters)

I think we're collectively suffering from a drought of character, manifested locally by a drought of rain ... Drought of finances/financing ... Drought of confidence ... Drought of faith.

It's just my opinion. Certainly don't mean to disparage anyone ... But I do think this should make us pause and consider where we all want to go from here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Going Green, Baby Steps At A Time

I saw on the news a few weeks ago that there is a tiny town in Japan where all the residents are required -- REQUIRED! -- to recycle everything. We're talking absolutely every eensy-weensy little bit and scrap of garbage each household generates. Each home even also has their own compost pile.

And although it doesn't seem glamorous or convenient, I can see that this is really the direction we all need to go in. Every one of us. I mean, let's be practical; we're burying ourselves in crap -- garbage that floats around in the oceans and washes up on beaches and tangles and kills wild animals just for starters -- and for what?

The waste we each produce -- and I'm not talking about the dirty useless garbage, like human waste or scraps of bones and meat cause that's actually very small (in relative terms) when you realize that vegetables and egg shells are all compost-able -- just the sheer PILES of plastic and synthetics and such by-products we each generate/throw away each day is really staggering.

So thinking on that and after I despaired for a little bit for the state of the planet, I realized a baby step is way better than nothing and a step in the right direction.

Plus what's already nice about Nashville is I know many of us already think in Green directions. I mean, otherwise locally we wouldn't have so many successful Used Books/CDs/ DVDs stores, Used Instruments stores, a storefront to make sales on e-Bay, and so many GoodWill and such types of stores where we could bring in the nice-condition stuff that we just don't want anymore so that other people would be able to use them. It's a good way to not throw away the useful stuff.

My first baby step was in buying those neat canvas bags at the grocery store. And it's been fun comparing the styles and colors of each of them, especially now that Publix, Kroger, Harris Teeter and Whole Foods all have nice canvas bags that each holds about the same amount of groceries as two and half plastic bags would have. The obsessive collector geek in me wanted at least two from each store (LOL) so I got some from each as I went shopping ... and now I am pretty much done with plastic bags. (Dedicating one or two bags specifically for eggs and raw meats in case they drip, is a good idea.)

Now that Kroger has changed from their bright blue bags -- (which I have to admit, I found not pretty) to their new black bags (with the tiny blue Kroger logo in the corner) I use those the most. Plus those have a teeny pocket inside which are really neat. I find the Harris Teeter subtle green bags the prettiest, though the Whole Foods and Publix bags are also nice and appropriately brightly green-colored (& when they're in stock, you can also find the Publix bags in khaki and black.) I highly recommend using these canvas grocery bags and taking them with you (or leave them in the trunk if you have a car, so they're handy) when you go out shopping everywhere.

My next baby step then, was separating our garbage. I started out this past Spring by just separating each type into its own bag: plastics, glass, metal and cardboard/paper. This past month I finally got each of them their own 13-gallon garbage can. Yeah, it's kinda crowded having 5 trash cans in the kitchen but on the other hand it's now very tidy. It's still a baby step since it isn't easy to get to the Davidson County recycling areas without a car, so it still all still just goes in the garbage just yet, but I feel that separating the garbage now gets me accustomed to the habit. So my next step is figuring out how to get the recyclables to where they need to be.

Can some minor composting be far behind ...?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Thought Bubbles Out Loud: Graphic Novel Discussion At Downtown Public Library, Saturday August 9

I must admit I totally did the girly-squeal thing (yeah, and I jumped up and down a little bit) when we visited the Downtown Library a couplea weeks ago for their story lunch hour ... and I'd noticed they'd made a big purple flyer for Thought Bubbles Out Loud, the graphic novel and comics panel we're having next Saturday, August 9. I totally grabbed a flyer for my portfolio and one which I mailed to my Mom and Dad. They were very happy for me!

So yeah, I'll mention it again!

The Downtown Library is holding a discussion on graphic novels and comic books, called Thought Bubbles Out Loud next Saturday, August 9th at 2pm in conference room 1A. The conference room is located on the first floor before the Main Gallery. Graphic novelist Hope Larson (Chiggers, Salamander Dreams) will be there. Author and scholar Jonathan Lampley will be moderating and I'll be there. We'll be discussing comics, raising questions and I hope -- encouraging a new batch of creators ...!

There will be coffee (YAY!) And I'll try to bring some cookies if I'm allowed (I'll have to ask first ...)

Walking In This Crazy, Globby Heat

So I've spent July mostly working on comics ... and courtesy of my good friend Dawn, got to see a little bit of wonderful local artwork at two openings -- one for Rosanne Awbrey at the Green Hills library and for Garry Hornbuckle and Wyma Hornbuckle over at the Gordon Jewish Community Center. Those things I enjoyed very much.

I also spent a lot of July going to the dentist, which would normally freak me out big time (too, too many cavities as a kid!) but we finally found a great dental staff in Nashville. Don't let their fancy website mentioning cosmetic dentistry make you think they only do the expensive stuff. They're very down to earth, friendly and take care of the everyday stuff too, like normal cavities and normal cleaning ... they're very patient, nice and also take the time to educate you, to make sure you're doing all you can to save your teeth! They're smart folks.

Now suddenly it's August, and like the rest of us here in Middle Tennessee -- I'm dealing with the oppressive, globby, humid heat of mid-to-late summer. I feel sorry for the kids who all have to start school in this heat over the next two weeks or so! Waiting for the school bus (when they even have one, what with the gas prices cutting back the school bus routes and all!!) is going to be rough.

Frankly, it's difficult to walk around on no sidewalks and in humidity that makes the air feel like you're breathing in molasses. It's like a double whammy of difficulty ... but on the other hand, I must make note that it looks like drivers are becoming more aware and more pedestrian-friendly lately ... and I'm really grateful for that. More often they'll wait for us to cross the street when we have the light now instead of trying to beat us to make a right in front of us before we step off the curb.

I kvetch about the heat only because I spent a lot of time walking around in it this past week, getting flyers for next week's comics panel up on the community bulletin boards over in the Davis-Kidd bookstore, Great Escape comic book store and the Borders bookstore near Vanderbilt. Everyone was really wonderful and accommodating. I had already gotten flyers over to our friend Rick's comic book store -- Rick's Comic City over in Donelson -- the week before, so I feel like I did my best to help get the word out about the comics panel, which takes place next Saturday August 9th at 2pm in the Downtown Nashville Library.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Works With Words At Library Closes; Piece Sells

It's always exciting to be considered for and take part in an art exhibition. Then just way great when the piece catches someone's eye and they love it and buy it(!) so they can enjoy it more. Especially when the theme was just so interesting and the show overall was just really terrific, like it was with the Works With Words exhibit at our Main Library Downtown.

It takes a good chunk of time to draw a page, so I do my best to make all my work significant to me. That way completing each drawing or a painting -- even when they are for a long project like a comic or a graphic novel -- had each been worth my time and effort. There's just something really fun about looking over a piece again and recalling the emotions associated with creating it. Or re-finding the train of thought that made you draw that piece in the first place. Or even sometimes finding new thoughts that trail off from looking it over, which even possibly inspires new pieces.

So my Tell Me A Story found a new home after the exhibition. And I am incredibly happy and grateful.

I'll Never Know How Much It Cost 2

Took me a while to get back to this one.

Original post back on 12/17/06.

I was glad when Visitor Walter took the time to comment on my post about this song. It helped me think about Scripture and go read the verses quoted to see why he thought the way he did. After much thought I'd like to explain as to why I think there is no conflict with what the song says and with what Scripture says.

Chris and I had family in town during Labor Day weekend last year, so we were able to get to church with them since they had a car. Amazingly, even after not having been to church in months (because of the lack of car thing) we sang this beautiful song again during worship time. By golly, like always, I got choked up by the emotional content again.

Now I'm no bible scholar, and I'll admit there are times I'll read passages in the bible that I flat out don't understand yet. My brain will sometimes hurt from it, from trying to figure some of it out. But nowadays I try not to stress over it like I used to. Now when I don't get something, I just pray and expect that though I don't understand it now, I will eventually.

I don't see the line of the song "I'll never know how much it cost" as biblically untrue. If we simply take the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and examine what it means to a Christian, then the statement is very true. Jesus died for us and in our place. In that alone we will never know the pain he went through because Jesus deliberately took the pain upon Himself on our behalf. We're not ever going to go through the crucifixion ourselves. We're not going to go through it now, when we understand and accept what Christ did nor will we later after we get to Heaven. That's the whole big deal about His dying for us. It's supposed to be shocking to know that Jesus would actually die for us so that we would not have to. His action shows how much He truly, truly loves us.

Let's read the biblical verses quoted in the comment: John 14:26, John 16:13 and 1 Corinthians 13: 9 - 12 in sequential order as they appear in the bible. Let's also examine further where they appear in context. (I'm reading the NIV translation.)

In the Book of John chapter 14 verse 26, Jesus is teaching/advising the apostles before His death, and He says: "26. The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of all things I have said to you." The Holy Spirit is the aspect of God who stays with us once Christ ascended.

Then in the Book of John, Chapter 16 verse13, Jesus continues advising them with "13. The Holy Spirit will guide you unto all truth. He will not speak on His own. He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come."

Then in the Book of 1Corinthians chapter 13, the apostle Paul is writing on having love for others. This chapter is part of those written about the spiritual gifts -- which are from the Holy Spirit -- that are given to us to assist each other.

This chapter opens up reminding us that if we have the Gifts of the Spirit but we don't have love first, we're useless. (It's a great chapter.)

So specifically in verses 9 through 12 it seems Paul's continuing in the theme of love, only being perfected through Love. Paul's phrase in verse 12 "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." I think is really not so much about knowing in knowledge (see verse 2) but rather being known by God and knowing in Love the fullness of the Love of/for/by God. As in, we can only understand a little bit of His love for us here, but then we will know it much better when we are perfected in Him.

So to me, the song at church is sung by the soul that reflects on Jesus Christ: "Here I am to worship/Here I am to bow down/Here I am to say that You are God" and who later reflects on His sacrifice for us: "I'll never know how much it cost/to see my sins upon that cross."

When we stop and think of how our sins separate us from God, and then learn and reflect how Jesus took all of those sins upon Himself and died on our behalf for those sins we committed just so that we wouldn't have to be separated from God anymore, then it's truly amazing. He died for us! Often through ignorance we create a gap between us and God through committing sin. With Himself, Jesus bridges that gap we make. Oh my goodness!

We really are never going to know that pain/horror of crucifixion, let alone separation once we accept Jesus Christ's sacrifice -- because Jesus specifically took that sin/gap horror from us when He died in our place.

Can you imagine how much Jesus loves us to do that? His motivation -- to do that out of love for us so that we would not perish! -- is heart rending. It moves us to repentance and to accept His sacrifice and helps us to love God and each other all the more. It really makes Him even more lovable to us, because He cares so much and did this for us. To have a God moved with such compassion for His people is astounding.

Anyway, that's my humble understanding of those passages, and of why I don't see the lyrics of that moving song as contradicting scripture. It was good to think about, and helped me to appreciate the song better, in my own way.

Rebuilding This Sidebar is SUCH A CHORE

I sure wish I hadn't messed up my sidebar!

I had such a terrific set of links to all these local and regional art museums and galleries. Having to refind them ...sigh...

But on the other hand, it helps me rediscover what surprisingly wonderful and cool places we have in the South here.

Must.Remain.Positive! (LOL)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Works With Words Wraps Up This Week

I'd meant to blog about several of the wonderful artists whose artwork appears with mine at the Downtown Nashville Library's Works With Words show ... but my plate's been too full. And now the show wraps up this Wednesday evening, the 25th of June. Please visit if you get the chance! But if you can't, here's a slideshow currently on the Library website!

The exhibition on the whole is just really, really good and very striking. We had nice reviews in The Tennessean and in The Nashville Scene. Once you've seen it and stand back in the gallery and look them all over again as a whole it leaves quite an impact. The visual along with the words incorporated in them are so interesting. Seeing them makes thoughts form in your head and you may feel pushed to the edge of spouting poetry ...

I just haven't gotten the chance to wax and gush specifically about my fellow artists' pieces, the best I can do right now is give you the link to the slideshow and later on I hope to link to the websites of some of my especially favorite ones:

Linda Illingsworth, Wind Over Water
Kaaren Hirshowitz Engel, Intertwined
Izamar Rodriguez, Ophelia's Song
Andrew Saftel, My Universe
Daniel Lai, Atlas Supporting Atlas
Anne R. Williams, Two Make a Great Pear. Plus One More
Joy Deean Carson, She Was Distracted With All Her Preparations ... Worried and Bothered By So Many Things
Jennifer Knowles McQuistion, American Muse
Britt Stadig, While She Slept

The Works With Words exhibition runs through Wednesday, June 25th, and is installed in the Main Gallery on the first floor. I hope you will get a chance to enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Works With Words March 29th Program (review)

The Works With Words program at the Downtown Nashville Library was, in a word, fantastic. The weather had been once again rainy-gray, but the turnout was great and the artists all shared wonderful little tidbits about their pieces.

I find when a show is hosted and we are walked through it by either by the artist or the curator (or even a docent that's been well-informed) there is just so much more enjoyment that can be gleaned. Even pieces that I may have been initially indifferent to, take on a greater weight and I can find a whole new appreciation for.

When I have more time -- but before the next (and final) program for Works With Words in June -- I hope to set up a new post with links to the artists with my favorite pieces from the show (and I only narrow it down to these selected few because I'm so short of time because of work lately.)

I highly recommend attending the next program, which will be held on Saturday, June 7th.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Works With Words" Exhibit at Downtown Library

I'm thrilled to have had a drawing of mine chosen to be included in the new "Works With Words" exhibit opening this Saturday at the Downtown Library at Church Street. This branch is particularly art/artist-friendly, and I've visited and enjoyed so many of their exhibitions, that getting this drawing in WwW was a big deal for me.

My black and white comic strip style drawing, Tell Me A Story is part of the exhibition in the main Gallery on the first floor. The exhibit is all about the interplay of text and images, and includes paintings, books and drawings. As I learn who else is in the exhibit, I'm humbled I made it in. It'll be exciting to see the whole show together!

The show opens this Saturday, March 15th and runs through Sunday, June 22nd; there's also an opening reception from 2 to 4 this Saturday afternoon.

YAY!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Money: More Taboo Than Sex After All?

Money just might have replaced sex as a more taboo topic of rational discussion in society and in the home.

It's just a theory, and just IMO ... but just looking around sexual images are everywhere, sexual innuendo in certain TV shows and movies is rampant, and the topic of sex is all over magazines and tabloids ... but yet we tend to throw up our hands when it comes to the national debt and the credit/mortgage crisis.

I think this taboo developed by accident, in a slow slide over the last 40 years (Sex vs. Money). I also think that for an industrial nation we are not equipping our youth with basic budgeting life skills as well as we should be doing. (Although I have heard from some parents and a teacher with under 15 year olds and they are getting budgeting in school, so this gives me great hope.)

How I even got to this train of thought is funny, but follow me here --

When I work, I'll usually work in silence, but by the afternoon I'll sometimes listen to a movie or to movie/TV soundtrack music, Praise & Worship music or I will switch on the TV and watch some of the shows in the kids' block on the PBS station (like George Shrinks or Zaboomafoo). Usually by 3pm, I will turn on the TV and listen to -- don't laugh! -- Judge Judy.

Now if there is just one good thing about Reality TV, it's that you can learn vicariously through other people's mistakes (it's like why I like watching The Apprentice or America's Next Top Model). So I really like Judge Judy. She's a New Yorker, she's no-nonsense, has a great head on her shoulders and has been doing this stuff FOREVER. I'll often just listen to the cases she gets, and talk back to the TV. LOL. Some of the cases are DOOZIES.

The hardest ones to listen to are when parents and children sue each other; and when anyone 22 and younger is being sued for whatever reason. I haven't counted them but I'd become disturbed at just how many families were suing each other (!) and how many 19-21 year old ex-roommates were suing each other. It made me wonder just what bit of information they were all missing to make this situation come about in the first place. It tended to involve someone owing someone money more than anything, and Judge Judy would often yell "So GET A JOB!" It's often hilarious and also makes me cringe.

That all made me think of the bigger picture and of the families suffering with credit card debt and losing their homes in this mortgage crisis. There HAS to be a good reason why people are not better equipped to handle their home budget.

I looped that thought in with how some schools are providing middle school kids with condoms and I wondered if that was going to further compound the problem. What good will it be if you can have safe sex in the park because you don't know how to keep a roof over your head? It's kinda just messed up.

Which all lead to my Sex Vs. Money post last Monday. Then Ragnell's comment made me genuinely curious. So ARE they teaching Home Ec in school nowadays? I didn't get it at school 20+ years ago. Who do I know got Home Ec in school and how many got budgeting/ balancing checkbooks type of classes before they graduated High School? So I began to ask around.

I'm working on getting a sampling of at least 100 people if I can, to see what I find. So far out of the 33 responses since Thursday, a lot of people learned home budgeting all on their own. Then of those who actually GOT Home Ec at school, a shocking amount of Home Ec classes never included the "Ec" at all.

I'm not claiming to be all scientific but I am curious and do plan to report back when I have a good proportion of replies. I think we may all benefit from giving these matters some more consideration.