Saturday, August 30, 2008

Birthday Part 2, Living Life As Art

Wow -- what a cool birthday I had! :)

#52 goes down in the books as one of the BEST!
When I woke up at 5:00, my sweet husband held me close & sang Happy Birthday to me. As I got dressed for school, he sneaked into the kitchen and draped a "Happy Birthday" banner across the room, and placed a lovely bouquet of flowers on the table. The scent of stargazer lilies greeted me as I entered the room!
Also on the table was a new travel coffee mug, already filled with my favorite tea, ready to take with me to school. (That was ALL I'd said I wanted for my b'day.) And in my chair was a huge bag, the top stuffed with bright pink tissue paper. I dug into the bag and there was.... a BUBBLE MACHINE! **laughing**

I love playing with bubbles. Small jars of bubbles are always tucked into my suitcase when we go to Africa, it's a kid magnet! I keep a large bottle on my desk at school. When the kids seem to be lagging, or if the room "feels" tense...I just pick up the wand and start blowing a few bubbles to bring a bit of joy into the room. And when we take the boat out on the lake, I simply hold the wand in the air and let the bubbles fly in the breeze!

So... I took the bubble machine to school with me. Plugged it in and sort of hid it behind my desk. Each block, near the end of class, I gave the girls a writing assignment. While they labored quietly, I reached over & switched on the bubble machine. I grinned as they began noticing the bubbles -- their surprise registered on their faces turning quickly to grins. Then I told them it was my birthday & I gave them all a bit of candy to celebrate with me! By the time 3rd block rolled around, word of Ms. T's "looniness" had gotten around. My 3rd block girls came into my room seranading me with "Happy Birthday!"

I received phone calls from my 3 kids, my sister, my mom, my dad, and a large assortment of friends from all over the place. Email greetings came from folks I havent heard from in a long time. My mailbox at home held some more cards -- it's just been cool!

The whole day was fun!
After school, David & I went to his home in SC. I have a group of girlfiends there that I hang out with sometimes. Three of them showed up on the doorstep last night about 9:00 pm with a little birthday cake! Then they asked if anyone had sang Happy Birthday to me all day. I told them yes, and they replied that I was going to hear it again, but just a little bit different. They grinned & recited:
"Fried chicken, Country ham, It's yo' birthday -- HOT DAMN!"

I absolutely cracked up! I am still laughing a day later, every time I think about it! (Thanks yall!!!)

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I'm reading (again) Maya Angelou's "Wouldnt Take Nothing For My Journey Now." I really enjoy Ms. Angelou's writing and "take" on life. This particular book is a collection of short essays that reveal the wisdom and humor that she's gained as she's traveled through life.

In one of these essays, she asserts that life should be lived as art. We are created to be creative, and if we look upon ourselves and our lives as works of art, we can see the beauty in living. But that isnt always easy to do. She asserts, "Living life as art requires a readiness to forgive." That quote really has stuck with me, in its simplicity. Forgiveness means we can move beyond the actions, attitudes, and words from others that might otherwise anchor our souls to a deep rut. We can also remember our own shortcomings -- particularly when we want to judge someone else's shortcomings -- and forgive ourselves as well as others.

Living life as art is how life is *meant* to be lived -- free, happy, following the Golden Rule. Even if we get "stuck" in our routines of work, home, obligations -- we need to look for adventures in everyday things. Connect our over-riding life's purpose into the mundane things we do. THAT is how we bring creativity into our lives, that is how we become "living masterpieces" of God's handiwork!

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Become your own "artist." Make your life a creative work of art.
Do something out of the ordinary. Blow bubbles in the breeze (or in a group of people & watch their reaction)! Send someone a card "just because." Call up a friend you havent seen or talked to in a long while. Wear bright colors. Make up a crazy poem and recite it to a pal to brighten their day. Forgive a past grievance. Dance in the kitchen with someone you love (even if you cant dance -- just do it!). Notice the lovely aroma of a flower and thank God for both the pleasing odor AND your ability to smell. Hug someone you love. Smile.
Paint yourself the color of joy.
You might become amazed at the masterpiece of YOU!

Blessings,
Anita <><

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