When I began blogging I would sometimes scrolled down to the bottom to see if anyone out there was coming in. A chart showed levels from one to ten and indicated that zero, and very occasionally ONE person read my thoughts. But after some time my chart showed I was HALF WAY THERE! But then I saw the graph adapted; the gradation was then between zero and TWO!
Buddha said life is hard. Why then are we surprised every time something is unpleasant.
C. S. Lewis says we are born with a strong longing for home. That perfect and blissful place we lived before we were born into bodies. Whether we recognize this longing in its various forms, or not, it is there. In most all of us the longing for home persists in spite of constant disappointments. I’d say eating two dozen doughnuts in a sitting, shopping to excess, and taking drugs are attempts to return back to that state of being that is natural to us, These are short cuts and their joys are fleeting.
As a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ of The Latter-Day Saints, or Mormans, I love both of these teachers, Buddha and Lewis. This world is run by forces opposite those in heaven, our first home and family. It’s a jarring experience to be here. I’m surprised over and over when my longing for good is pulled out from under my spiritual feet and I land on my head. Buddha, Lewis, and Christ would remind me to land on my heart.
But all is well. I’m more than half way there. I’m here to learn, I am learning, and my value is based on those things I long for. nancymauerman.com
Next week I’ll be sharing an old book I wrote for my children, Old McDonald Had a Haunted House, where he had some salamanders. nancymauerman.com
I’m rereading Drawing On the Artist Within by Betty Edwards which made the point that the left mode of our brains “can not stand” the right. The left evaluates, summarizes, learns step by step, concludes a project then is DONE.
The right doesn’t generalize a flower, it finds each petal unique, the placement of each at an individual angle, and weight, the age of each petal different, some in a bug eaten condition, and its color flavored by shadow and reflection of grass underneath and refraction of the one next to it. When I begin drawing the flower my left brain panics and races around in circles under my skin.
I wonder if our strong left is a result of our western world. I talked to a man who had lived on the streets for years and it sounds to me that he perceived the world much like a small child and an Australian native who knew his mother, across the country, was ill.
Before I started school I could remember being a baby in great detail but some time during kindergarten I noticed I could only remember something about Don and a pink silk umbrella on the dinning table but nothing about what happened there. By first grade I’d practice remembering the general scenarios though the details were gone. Soon most all of those had left too. I use to understand ‘baby,’ the exact meaning of each cry and gurgle and felt proud I could understand what even the mothers couldn’t and that skill was also lost. nancymauerman.com
When children come to my house a second time they know where to go. In our library we have two toy towers, a basket full and an empty book full of toys, waiting to be applied to picture frames. But in the mean time they can be played with.
I’d been making “interesting” pictures for years that particularly young people and artists like. Their only negative responses had been, “You need to make your own frames; I don’t a know what kind but nothing I’ve seen will do.”
I now make “suitable frames” and I also realize what I make is a movement called Art Brut, Raw Art, or Outsider Art.
To find examples see my web NancyMauerman.com and my illustrated children’s book, ‘Bearos.’ nancymauerman.com
This is one of John’s Night lights, an old one and a painting of water, one of my favorite things. I love the smell of water, its taste and look at ice cubes (each one so different) the magic of ice burgs, mud puddles, bath tubs, stream, rivers, and oceans, steams and fog, splashes, drops and drips. I must have at least a dozen bowls of the stuff sitting around on floors and window sills. I share with my cats. I especially like round ball shaped bowls of water. nancymauerman.com
For more picture of my hand painted bathroom see blogs; Sleeping With All the Lights On, Crickets In my Hildegard Bath Tub, and Pictures Of My Bathroom.
On a very cold day we spread out a picnic blanket on the floor of our family room. In a square of sunlight we brought our toys, books, and lunch and spent hours there. We’d eat and read then work and play away from the sunny blanket and return often as if it was home base. We saw the sun had moved off our blanket we moved the blankek chasing the sun spot all day.
Someone once told me making memories is a parent’s most important job. Also non-parents can create art out of life for others, some times without knowing it.
A young woman stopped by two days ago whom John and I hadn’t seen for four or five years. She was very new in our country at the time and is now in her twenties and told me she’s still reading a large second hand fairy tale book I picked up for her. My thinking at the time referred to in our culture so maybe the book would help. I also knew after visiting her family’s home that they owned a bunch of kids, a couch, a table, its accompanying chairs, and little else. Maybe books would cheer up the house and encourage reading.
She told me she’s still reading it! Her brother laughs and says, ‘Get over it.’ But her memory is woven around that book because it’s the first book she could read in English! So she now knows French, a native dialect from her country, English, and is learning Korean, she plans to be a doctor, and she getting straight A’s in high school, but she was so much more animated when she told us how excited she was to read her first book in English! nancymauerman.com
I like a hunk of cold butter sitting on hot bread but each Nebraska summer morning is hotter than the previous one; my new stick of butter was flattening out a little in the center o because of heat. It almost dripped off my knife before I got it to my bread when in walked Don, my younger brother with our fat green tree frog. The frog was known for sitting patiently in our hands for long periods. But Don wasn’t even close to the kitchen table when Froggy leaped out in a long beautiful arch. He landed in the center of the butter stick and sank to the bottom. Slimy butter waved up all around in front and back, curling slightly and shot up high between each leg. He continued jumping and his body applying frosting in squiggles on the table where he landed as if he was a pastry chief.
John is the inspiration for my book, “Gracie’s Grandfather Makes Trouble” the grandfather’s dislike of snakes is based on my fried Westley.
This man is tall, dark and handsome; his wife tall dark and very beautifully feminine but it is she who feels comfortable around reptiles and bugs and fixed most any electrical and mechanical problem they had. He all but ran from the house at the sight of a spider. If Wes came home to a house dripping in fake and ‘real’ snakes he wouldn’t have solved this problems in the way the Gracie’s Grandfather did. I hope! Reed ‘Gracie’s Grandfather Makes Trouble.’ See Amazon for more. nancymauerman.com
I heard tell of a family in conflict, who during a funeral set a guard outside the church door in order that an opponent faction of the family couldn’t sneak out, rush back to the dead woman’s house, and STEAL things they weren’t entitled to. In fact they weren’t entitled to anything.
The funeral was lightly attended, perhaps due to the fact that the dead woman was so busy raising these delightful children she didn’t have time to develop friendships. The several scorned family members sat far away from the others at the back of the chapel. During the minister’s remarks one of them jimmied open a church window and the entire family climbed out, all in their Sunday best clothes. They DID sneak back to the old family home and they pretty much cleaned it out and were over the state line before the service was over!
I’m thinking, they may not be very “nice people” but WHAT A WONDERFUL SOLUTION! The other part of the family didn’t like them, at the moment anyway, so their solution didn’t change that, and think of all the ugly arguments they prevented. Besides I enjoy the image, in my mind, of an old woman reaching her leg high up and over the sill, perhaps losing a shoe, as she reaches her leg through the open colored glass window with her slip showing.
All of the children’s books I write and illustrate are about families because I feel most of what we are and what we learn is because of them. Some families are evil bad but most just bump us wrong but also set a form for us to follow. Most encourage and love us into good. Through my stories I hope mature people can pick up ideas to excite and enrich the lives of the ones we’re living with, like invented holidays. How about celebrating FROG DAY, GIRL’S DAY, or BAD MANNERS DAY! I imagine there are a hundred ways to celebrate each. Even without children in our lives we could be looking forward to these special days every year.
In the book, “Gracie’s Grandfather Makes Trouble” a little girl witnesses then participates in her grandfather’s frustrations as he lives with Grandmother in a house full of fake and real snakes. He DOES NOT LIKE, SNAKES! His solutions are very inventive and funny! Find my book on Amazon. nancymauerman.com
The two evil sets of sproutlings rose up into viney leg- like areas. They lengthened more and more, twined together, then in less than a blink all the green sprouts GOBLINIZED into wood. This means the woody stuff they turned into, now looked like terrifying goblin legs. Reed more in the four Leafman books at Amazon. nancymauerman.com
When someone asks John, “How are you?” he generally says, twinkling from head to toe, ” I’m WONDERFUL!” as if he’s not describing his physical and or mental health at the moment but that he’s giving them the results of a highly prestigious beauty pageant.
He can think of things he should have said at home but so far that’s the only one from his list he can remember when confronted in public. nancymauerman.com