Sunday, February 18, 2007

Decisions, Choices, Plans and More

I bought this cabinet card last year and use the image in my art regularly. Look at this little girl, scrubbed face, hair parted exactly and pulled tight, bow and beads for decoration. Her family clearly wanted to record their love for her. Cabinet cards/photos were not cheap in this era. Last night I picked up a scrap off my desk - the bottom section of this photo left over after I had cropped it for a ATC. For the first time I noticed these boots, they are scuffed and worn. The shoe laces have broken and are knotted ,missing some holes, so as to hold the boots on. A choice was made - the money was spent recording a memory. I wonder when, or if, she got the new boots.
At the moment I am struggling to make choices - and yet craving the structure they bring. I am desperate to create and yet can not seem to find my rhythm- I am not 'owning' the art I make. I feel lonely and yet I have friends - am loved.
I feel sure that once again I have reached a cross roads in life and am determined not to pass any paths without making a conscious decision not to walk them, I will not ignore the choices that I, and only I, can make.


littledawnieno1 said...

How precious is she Julie.
Interesting how a photo of a stranger can make you think and feel about yourself.
Life does have a rhythm that for me, gets hard to dance to some days.Ive resigned myself to those days, not forcing 'it'
Those days I give to thinking, planing,resting the weary bones.
Taking those days to smell the roses.At these times I try not to be disappointed in myself for not taking action,being productive.
I'd like to be more of an action girl.Be a better mother, daughter, partner, friend.I do try,but always think I can do better.
The choices we make, big or little can determine so much.Yes life certainly wasnt meant to be easy.
Thankyou for sharing your thoughts Julie,and all will be revealed Im sure.

Have a great week
D xxx

Me said...

I hope you don't mind but it recalls a moment when I felt lonely and I too felt I had no reason too. At that time, I thought that my loneliness was a sinful response - a turning away and a need to turn back. I think what you said here makes me realize it isn't always a needing to turn back - perhaps sometimes it is God giving us space to realize that change is here or is coming and allowing us room to listen and make decisions we could not make if we weren't lonely and listening.

I also wanted to say something about your reflections on the photo. It recalls two things. One is a woman named Mimi that I worked with years ago. She came from a large family and her parents always spent the spare money on photos (and they were quite poor). Her husband too came from a large poor family and his did not. Mimi said she was always glad her parents valued memories that way and she and her husband were sure to make sure their were plenty of photos taken of their own large brood even when money was tight.

Also - it reminds me of this from Little House

"Then they made a celebration. Ma took off her apron and smoothed her smooth brown hair. She pinned her gold pin in front of her collar. Mary tied the string of beads around Carrie’s neck. Pa and Laura put Mary’s pillow on the chair-seat, and set Laura’s pillow against its back. Over the pillows Pa spread the quilt from the little bed. Then he took Ma’s hand and led her to the chair, and he put Baby Carrie in her arms.

Ma leaned back in the softness. Her thin cheeks flushed and her eyes sparkled with tears but her smile was beautiful. The chair rocked her gently and she said, “Oh, Charles! I haven’t been so comfortable since I don’t know when.”

Then Pa took his fiddle, and he played and sang to Ma in the firelight. Ma rocked and Baby Carrie went to sleep, and Mary and Laura sat on their bench and were happy."

I am always moved by this scene - the recognition of the small moments and the ability 'to make a celebration.' I think is at the heart of true happiness. And how does this connect with the photo? Only that it reminds me of the story - because they brought out their precious jewelry and beads and other treasures even for this non-recorded (photographed) memory.

Please forgive the over-long response.

Dotee said...

Hi Julie

I have been thinking about this post today at work. And know how difficult it can be when you feel you are at a cross roads.

And also know the feeling of feeling lonely when surrounded by friends and family.

I know you will make the right choices for you and these feelings will pass.

You are amazing person. Compassionate, loving , talented.

I love you

Dotee xoxo

Natalie B said...

Hi Julie what an amazing gift the parents of this child gave her. And now I bet you can look at all the art you've created using this picture and be proud that you have continued her memory.

Julie I too am coming to a cross road. Our farm looks like it might sell and although I know this is a positive step for all of us, it saddens me no end, as it's the end of an era. My children were born there and there are lots and lots of happy (also sad) memories. It is hard to say good bye sometimes. I've had lots of people say to me how wonderful it will be if the farm sells, but out of all of the family, I am the one clinging most to the memories. And yet, I only came to it, when John and I got married. Funny the path life takes us.

You are a very wise soul Julie and I'm sure whatever path you take, will be the right decision.

Much love to you

ps I just absolutely adore this picture. forgot to mention that!!

Sulea said...

hello Julie,
Thank you for sharing your heart. :o) I too feel like that often but strangely enough, when i feel most alone is when i find myself and sometimes the creative spark.
lots of love

Janet said...

I am also coming to a crossroads. My hubby is retiring and we will sell our house and move away from here. I am not ready to leave but know I must for my hubby's sake but it means leaving my daughter and grandson. Life gives us choices but sometimes they're such difficult ones. I always admire your art and the way you express yourself here on your blog. I think life is a series of changes and we must learn to change when the time comes. I'm sure you will follow the right path and find new adventures along the way.

Dotee said...

Just popping ove to give you a squeezy hug.

Love you

Dotee xoxo

One Crabapple said...

Well your writing art is a true gift.
You ARE a writer.

And .... sensitive to details.

I enjoyed seeing and reading about those little boots and wondering along with you.

Thank You.

Have Faith and Trust Yourself.

You already KNOW the answers.

I am one of those that Loves You.