I have found little bits of inner truths and self-love embodied within every piece of work I managed to finish.
Most of our favorite things we want to touch on purpose; but we do not know what to do with sentimental objects like keys, heart, chain, and symbols of love past and present. We put them in boxes. Like babies who need human contact to survive, our favorite things need to be wrapped in our human experience anyway they can.
Even our favorite books want to be a useful part of our lives anyway they can. If you have read them from cover to cover and cannot easily throw them away, use your bottled-up sentiment to re-purpose them. Make diaries for your kids to enjoy or make them a photo journal as they age.
Give your inner child a place to cherish you. Be selfish. Play word Bingo by blacking out words on each page leaving a special message to the readers.
This is not a new idea. Scientists study the Bible and Moby Dick other books for encoded messages vertically, horizontally and diagonally placed.
Many think most all books are cross-word puzzles encoded with secrets of the ages. Who says that our guardian angels and muses are not partnering us as we write? So go on a treasure hunt and learn to be an altered book artist. Have fun with your kids. Do not stop there; learn to alter everything around you as well!
For those of you with a more sophisticated palette, get a stenographer’s pad from any department store. Teaching yourself shorthand or calligraphy is like revisiting your childhood when staying between the lines was fun. Learn to save time by writing in shorthand. Both are beautiful to look at and read. Shorthand your secrets. Watch your writing blossom across the page in delightful flowing scribbles. Scribbling secrets are fun, creative and instinctual. Few can read it, but everyone enjoys the beauty of shorthand as it stalls and starts on the page.
On the practical side, you can save time writing our grocery lists, reminders for yourself, or when taking telephone messages. You can use calligraphy for greeting cards, thank you notes and invitations. Check out your local art store for newer concepts in stationary, notepads and envelopes that may appeal to you. Get yourself some rubber stamps, when thinking about starting an art project.
All paper can be recycled to make Paper Mache projects. Let your children write their stories on old recycled pages filled with the luck of being published. One special and everyday occasion, paper, wood, and fabric can make our lives memorable, comfortable and more beautiful. It is good to preserve the balance between what we use and what nature needs. When we recycle, we are tipping the balance in favor of abundant forests for generations to come. Sometimes you can get cheap samples of catalog books at wallpaper stores. Save yourself some money. Xerox the pages and use them for scrapbooking or altering books.
Imagine the many things an attractive sheet of paper can do! Imagine the many things a beautiful piece of paper can do! Imagine the joy of future generations enjoying yours. Consider using beautifully restored hard book covers to sandwich your secrets. Altered books don’t always have to teach right and wrong. They simply need to suggest hopeful messages and give you a place to store some of your most delightful symbols like an angel, hearts, and lady bugs.
We need humor and laughter to bumper the pain in our hearts. I know when I can laugh, I am less afraid. How else than by laughing could we so enjoyably exercise our heart, relieve tensions and boost our mood at a moment’s notice? What else but laughing can serve our spirit? Women laugh when attracted to men. Children laugh at adults, and we laugh at them. We laugh at our pets, and they laugh back at us; some even laugh on cue like birds and monkeys. I have seen dogs smile, but I would love to see and hear them laugh out loud. I think dogs were designed to be our companions, protectors, and this is why they love us unconditionally and never get tired of watching us. They are our connection to the angelic realm. Oddly enough statistics say speakers laugh more than listeners.
Even the manic and impoverished Van Gogh obsessively continued painted pictures he never sold. He painted his own mental illness on canvas in striking color, coarse brushwork, and contoured forms way ahead of his time. Each of us may perceive his paintings differently. Even Beethoven needed to continue writing music he could not hear because of his latent deafness. He saw his deafness as a challenge he needed to overcome, and once said, “…with only half this affliction I would be a complete, mature man. You must think of me as being as happy as it is possible to be on this earth not unhappy. No! I cannot endure it. I will seize Fate by the throat. It will not wholly conquer me. Oh, how beautiful it is to live and live a thousand times over!”
Like fingerprints, every person, event, circumstance and family situations affected us deeply and is traced into our soul. To be honest, despite my every intention of not ending up like my mom, here I am wrapped up warm with mom’s precious memories, our favorite colorful books, bindings and distinctive smells that excited the both of us when we needed them most.
She taught me to crochet, sew and keep busy. I feel like mom is happy with the way our stories have evolved. I no longer blame others for everything that went wrong in my life. I have finally learned to let go and let loose of the past. I no longer feel unlucky. I am learning it takes a lot of time to unload the paranoia and fear that comes along with a broken heart.
Each of us in our subjective consciousness has a story of love and survival that is uniquely ours just like my story here.