Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hazy Days, Guerilla Days

Can it be Thursday already?

Our week has been interesting. Tuesday morning we woke up to a haze that grew thicker as the day wore on. The sun was an unreal, rayless orange disk in the morning sky. It was tempting to stare (a big "no, no"!), but I took a picture instead. You can't really see the color of the sun in the sky in the photo, but the reflection on the pond shows it pretty well.

Our kitty, Charlotte, ran in to greet the girls when I woke them and Eve exclaimed, "Mama, Charlotte smells like a barbecue!"

Yes, indeed. Everything smelled like a barbecue. Presently, there are over 220 fires burning across the entire state of Florida. My understanding is that the larger ones are to the north of us and Tuesday was a particularly windy day, pushing the smoke over 200 miles south to our neck of the woods. By about 10:30 a.m. the sky actually looked clouded over and darkened a bit as if it were going to rain... except that the sky was yellowish instead of gray. Strange stuff, to be sure. I had thought that the smell would literally blow over, but things were not cleared up until about 5:00 p.m. I had left the lanai doors open for a while, expecting fresher air, but had to close things up after it became evident that our whole house was beginning to smell like a barbecue! Fortunately, all I experienced from this was a headache and queasy stomach. Others with respritory problems had it worse. We could certainly use prayers for rain.

Before our hazy day, on Monday evening I practiced a little "guerrilla artistry." I have actually done this many years ago, but had forgotten about it until I heard an interview with Keri Smith on the Hip Tranquil Chick podcast. I think that podcast episode is number 79.

Keri Smith wrote this great, fun book called Living Out Loud: Activities to Fuel a Creative Life a number of years ago. While the book is old, it was very new to me and I had just finished reading it when I heard the podcast. In the interview they discussed two of her new, yet to be released books. One of them is called The Guerilla Art Kit and the other is called Wreck This Journal.

My understanding of Wreck This Journal is that it is for folks who cling too much to the idea that a journal is something "precious" - an idea that ends up blocking someone creatively and therefore freezing them into not writing anything at all. Perhaps you have guessed that I do not grapple with this particular issue... and so...

The Guerilla Art Kit was the new book of hers that really interested me. Smith talks about doing "guerilla art" around her community. Some examples she cited in the interview were to leave poetry or interesting and/or inspirational quotes on sidewalks or leave a note on a park bench that reads, "Look up into the middle, third-floor window in the apartment across the street. There is a beautiful, bright red geranium there for you to enjoy."

I love these ideas and can't wait to get her book when it comes out later this year! I used to regularly write quotes and poems on the sidewalk outside the duplex my husband and I rented before having children. I also left favorite passages from books or quotes on my answering machine too. One day, a couple of years ago, I took SARK's advice and had my children record their laughter on our answering machine.

So, I'd had the sidewalk-writing idea on my mental "to-do" list, but had not yet gotten around to doing it yet, when I ran across this article on Sunday. Do you ever get the idea you're being nudged toward doing something? :)

We have one family in our neighborhood that simply hates living here and lets everyone else know it. They used to be quite friendly until they decided that many around here were not living up to their standards of how the grass should be mowed, where trash cans should be placed, etc. The husband in the family has become particularly mean and nasty with his words - especially since their house has been for sale for over a year now and it has not sold. His house was WAAAAAAAY over-priced to begin with and then, of course, the market has taken a nose-dive, but he is quite sure that it is everyone else's fault that the house hasn't sold and he lets folks know it.

So, the first quote I chose was this one:

"Cheerfulness and contentment are great beautifiers and famous preservers of good looks." - Charles Dickens

It was a lot of fun and I even had a neighbor call and thank me for putting it out there. I guess I wasn't too "guerrilla" in my artistry! :) Well, the quote was right in front of my house...

We watered the yard in our once-a-week watering allowance yesterday, so my canvas is blank once more. I'll be choosing a new message to put out there today.

Finally, Andrea asked me to comment more on my pagan/new age past that I mentioned in my previous post. I have given testimonies at my churches in the past and have some things I can cull from in order to share my story here. I intend to do that in the near future.

In the meantime, try some guerilla art of your own today! Spread a little joy! :)

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