A Plethora of P’s / #50: Presents

December 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

proactively punctuating life with the plausible, powerful possibilities of positive thought presented through a plethora of “P’s”.

– ♥ –

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.  ~ Khalil Gibran

Everyone likes presents. They feel good to get, they feel good to give. Large or small, maybe wrapped with shiny paper and a big fat bow, maybe not wrapped at all. Presents say “I’m thinking of you”.

And then, of course, are the presents which no packaging can hold ~ your talents, your thoughts, your care. Gifts of inspiration or hope or wonderment.

Children are gifts. Friends are gifts. You, who make people laugh and smile – you are a gift. You, who ease another’s load, are a gift. You who openly delight in another’s good fortune, are a gift.

There’s no doubt that thoughtful things are worthy ~ and tying them with fancy ribbons adds a joyful spirit. But the gifts you cannot wrap are those that often mean the most. So maybe we should all try sprinkling more of the unwrappable around this holiday season, and remember to top our presents with bows of kindness.

And you receivers… and you are all receivers… assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.

Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the freehearted earth for mother, and God for father. ~ Khalil Gibran

Tis The Season..!

December 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’m a terrible salesperson. Remember how in 4th grade you were supposed to go door to door selling greeting cards or cookies or some such thing? … Not. My. Thing. If I got the least bit suspicious that I might be a.) interrupting or b.) annoying, that was the last door that got a knock from me. Shortly after that experience I vowed never to do it again. It’s just not in my DNA.

That said, I’ve gotten a little bolder. It helps when you have something that’s your own, or something you’re excited about, and even better when others are excited, too. So let me extend my gratitude right now to those of you who’ve bought my books and gifts and shared the love with others. It makes my heart sing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

It’s also that time of year when people do an awful lot of gift shopping and I figure I’d be remiss not to put in a specific mention of my own offerings, so here you go ~ especially for any of you who are new to my world, or simply need reminding (as in “hey! yes! I could get THAT for so-and-so… perfect!”).

What’s shown below is also what appears on my Shop page. (< listed over there on the left) For future reference, you can check in there anytime to see where to get stuff (although it’s not always decorated with holly and ornaments).

And please feel free to forward to a friend, in case they decide something would be perfect for so-and-so. Thank you! Blessings to you. Thank you. I’ll go now…

 

saxton.holiday_header14B

 

holiday11.iphones

Outrageous Happiness #13: Bless Everything!

December 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

saxton.outrageous_bless

That’s right. Bless everything. Every beautiful, craggy, uplifting, hurtful, thoughtful, ugly, sweet or sour thing. All of it.

What I’m saying is, don’t bless just the warm, fuzzy stuff and the openly good-hearted souls. Don’t reserve blessings only for the downtrodden. Shower them with blessings, yes! ~ but also send blessings to the grouchy, the crotchety, the rude, the ignorant. Don’t hold back.

Send a silent blessing to everyone you meet and every experience you encounter. Bless your broken down car. Bless your burnt toast. Bless your ex. Bless the ornery waitress, the loud neighbor, the nasty driver. Bless the hole in your socks. Bless the rainy day. Bless the mess. Bless each one.

Sure, sure, you may need to let off steam, (putting it mildly?) but don’t stoke the flames of anger with more anger. Remove yourself, become the observer and fuel the situation with blessings. Pour ’em on. Like a heavy rain. Like a rushing stream to thirsty horses. Like syrup on your pancakes or milk on your cereal. Shoot those invisible waves of light right out like arrows from a tight bow. Like a lighthouse beacon. Like pie in your face. Hammer to a nail. Straight on.

Just bless it.

You’ll feel better, and you never know…. they might too. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. It’s potent stuff.

“A blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal and strengthen.” – John O’Donohue

saxton_blessyouandlightwithin

How’s your Outrageous Happiness going?

Outrageous Happiness #12: Love What You Do

November 23, 2014 § 2 Comments

saxton.outrageous_dowhatyoulove

Do what you love. Every day.

Sure, we’re all up to our eyeballs in to-do’s. I know I am. But try. Whether it’s half an hour or two full hours, give it your best shot each day, wherever you are, to do something that you love.

If you really truly can not do that something each and every day, make it once a week. But that’s as much rope as I’ll give you. It’s critical for a healthy spirit, and a healthy spirit is critical for a healthy everything else.

It doesn’t have to be “the big thing”. You don’t have to compose the next Big Symphony or write the Great American Novel or paint the masterpiece that’ll get you a show at the MOMA. It doesn’t have to be the discovery of little orange beings on Mars. But while waiting for that bigger chunk of time, or the financial backing, or this or that issue to resolve, you can be taking steps in the directions that feed your spirit. Even teeny ones. Bits and pieces. Forward momentum.

Whatever it is that your mind, body and spirit say a big unified “yes!” to, whatever makes hours pass like minutes, whatever makes your heart sing ~ do something about it. Do what you love and love what you do. Give it a nod. Bring it into the light. Make yourself happy. And guess what? Happiness is a little bit contagious, so if you’re happy, there’s that much more happiness in the world to ignite a potential blaze of happiness worldwide. An avalanche of joy. A cosmic reaction. Into the universe. And beyond!

Alright, got a tad carried away. But still. Do. What. You. Love.

(I mean look at these guys. Loving what they do. That’s what I’m talking’ about. More like these at distractify.)

378-934x

Hunter S. Thompson, writing at Big Sur, California

 

1242-934x

Jim Henson and crew working on Sesame Street

 

453-934x

Nat King Cole and his piano

 

Monty Python crew partaking in tomfoolery

Monty Python crew partaking in tomfoolery

 

6b08906a5a61afb1d113ec4339dfc65d

Johnny Cash performing at Folsom Prison

How’s your Outrageous Happiness going?

 

Outrageous Happiness #11: The Goofy Quotient

November 9, 2014 § 4 Comments

saxton.outrageous_innernerd

I was recently marveling at the architecture in an old city in northern New York. “Oooooh! Look at that one! Just look, oh, the detail! And that one, oh my goodness, it looks like something from Harry Potter. And that one. And over there, that’s a beauty! And just imagine, people built these! Who were they? What were their lives like? How long did it take? Did they take pride in their work? They must have. And who designed them? Aren’t they amazing?”

With a knowing smile in her voice, my daughter says,”Mom, you’re such a nerd.”

“Yes, I am,” I reply.  “And I embrace that!”

…………….

So, yep, I enjoy old architecture. But in truth, I’m mostly a word nerd. Granted, I suppose it’s not so “inner” since it doesn’t take long before people know this about me. Like how much I like Scrabble. Or how almost any word game will do ~ on a board, on paper, in the car, at the table. “Twenty Questions” anyone? Maybe a good round of the Geography game to pass the time on a long drive?

Yes, I love words. How they sound, how they form sentences, the infinite varieties of written expression. Some people like old comic books, or maybe they’re all about shoes. Maybe they’re into astronomy or Egyptian hieroglyphics. Maybe football and nachos. I like words and tea. (And hot fudge sauce.)  A bit geeky, but being cool is not the goal, being happy is. (And, true, a nice pair of boots doesn’t hurt…)

Goofy is also good. Not all the time – but the well-placed goofy quotient can really turn things around; in fact, my first love may have stolen my heart that way. He was a pretty big deal, handsome, smart, athletic. And on one of our first few tennis-playing dates, I wore these silly flag socks. Not sure why; it could have been that’s all that was clean, but more likely because they were fun, and somewhat out of character. In any event, my boyfriend seemed to mock me. I acted like it didn’t matter, but it felt hurtful, like an “oh brother, what a weirdo” sort of vibe. So the next time we played tennis, I was sure to wear the plain variety  ~ and he showed up in the same flag socks as mine, grinning from ear to ear. Strangely unromantic as it sounds, I do believe that was that was the tipping point for me.

The moral of the story being that your inner nerd likes to be heard. It wants to play. And I for one think it’s a necessary ingredient to personal happiness, worthy of indulgence now and then!

How’s your Outrageous Happiness going?

6400kh_pop

Things That Go Bump in the Night (… boo!)

October 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’ll be missing the trick-or-treaters this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get into the “spirit” of things. So I present you with some art and prose to keep the spirit alive. (oh, yea, I said that)  Just remember to keep the little ones safe, stir your cauldrons slowly and never take candy from a goblin you don’t know.

eatdrinkbescary3

eatdrinkbescary

Print small_pencils.boo peace_halloween_72
1394452_530175837068113_90376699_n

……………………………..

All Hallows

By Louise Gluck

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:
This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling

Come here
Come here, little one

And the soul creeps out of the tree.

 ……………………………..
Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
by William Shakespeare

Three witches, casting a spell …
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

 ……………………………..

And a song to sing:
to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)

If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.
If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.
If you’re a monster and you know it,
and you really wanna show it,
If you’re a monster and you know it, wave your arms.

……………………………..
FB.spellsBrannan
havebroom.pic_viva2.willfly

……………………………..

And off I go then.
But first I will leave you with this link to some really cool, very spooky art created by artist Don Kenn. Happy Halloween…. !

Vintage Vogue

October 24, 2014 § 2 Comments

These fall into the “they don’t make things like they used to” category. Not just because they’re well illustrated, or because of their artistry and creativity, but because of the cleanliness, the sheer un-clutteredness, the freedom from too many headlines and too much text vying for attention. They’re a breath of fresh air, courtesy of the early 1900’s.

Aren’t they wonderful?

april1918

june1915

nov1917

vogue.year

feb1914

Fun With Apples

October 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Fruits may very well be one of the most universally painted subjects. Fruits, flowers, landscapes, portraits – all very classic.  But fruits in particular, ah … they’re full of delicious secrets, hidden like magic beneath their splendid curves, their dappled, imperfect skins protecting succulent juices dripping with nutrients, new life at their very core. They are marvels. God’s candy. Delivered fresh every season. And to the artist’s eye, something entirely pleasing, century after century.

For me, it’s always been pears and apples. Grapes are nice. Peaches, too. But apples and pears are my favorites. So I delighted in some apple-picking last weekend, and pulling out my handy-dandy iPhone for some on-the-spot shots. And since I’m now an expert, I share with you how to have fun with apples:

First, you go to the farm and walk to the apple orchards. You see your favorite variety (SunCrisps), and just because it’s a beautiful day, stop and take a few pictures. Then you start picking.

Next you take a selfie with your daughter (< insert your own favorite person) (well, she takes the selfie); pick a few more apples, put ’em in the basket, take ’em home.

Then you notice the afternoon sun streaming in lovely ribbons through the kitchen window, grab your camera and shoot a few  more shots of your freshly picked produce. Added bonus: you get to eat your prize. All in all, a pretty sweet way to spend an October day. Costs little, inspires much.

But it didn’t end there, because I thought I’d share some apple art into the mix here too. for a real apple fest. Enjoy! :  )

floating.apple_sm2.sig

apples.tree.sig

apples.slant.buttercream.sig2

saxton.apple.leaf.sig

apples.clos.sig

apples.table2.sig

apples.table1.viva

apple.strokes

saxton.bowloffruit.cropped.sig

Outrageous Happiness #10: Traffic Magic

October 1, 2014 § 3 Comments

saxton_outrageous_meant.to.be2

Sitting out in the sunshine this past weekend, with a book, a cup of tea, taking in the joy of late-September’s gloriousness, looking up at the first real sparks of color in the changing leaves against a clear cobalt sky, I think to myself: I sure am glad I’m not sitting in traffic right now. Why traffic would pop into my mind at a moment like this, I cannot say. Of course, yes, I also think how beautiful it all is. I’m glad I’m here. Not in traffic. And I’m reminded of the time…

My daughter and I were driving back from a wedding. Cruising the 8 hour stretch from Ohio across the Pennsylvania heartland. We may have been singing “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad” to pass the time.

We were super tired. Anxious to be off the road, home and near our pillows, when an hour and a half before “home” we come to a grinding halt. Cars lined up for miles. You know the drill. No where to go, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, you’re just there. I begin to fume. Steam shoots from my ears. Shrill words come from my mouth. Hand bangs against the steering wheel.  My daughter chimes in. We sit. And we sit. The car doesn’t move more than a foot at a time. We’re miserable humans stuck at the tail-end of the Pennsylvania Turnpike with a bunch of other miserable humans. 

It was then that a touch of insanity arrived. I snapped. “You know what, sweetie? This is great. No, I mean this is SO great. This is so great I can hardly believe it! This is exactly where we’re supposed to be, and sitting here, trapped on this highway, is absolutely WONDERFUL! This is FANTASTIC!”

Utterance from the back seat: “Mom, are you okay?”

“YESSSS!”, I shout with delight. “I’m GREAT!”

“Mom?”

“No, really. This is perfect. Don’t you see? This is the best place we could possibly be right now. Sitting here. In our car. Miles from home in a super-sized traffic jam. It’s perfect! I’m so happy we’re here. Aren’t you? I mean, who knows why, but this is where we’re meant to be, so why not embrace that? It’s crazy but it’s true! I’m loving it. Loving the traffic. Loving the road! Loving the other cars with all the other miserable humans inside feeling their miserable thoughts! If only they knew. This is so awesome, hun!”

“O-kaaaay…?”

“Really. It’s more than okay. And pretty soon, the traffic is gonna move and we’re gonna move and then we’ll be on our way and before you know it, we’ll be home near our pillows. We’re gonna travel safely and smoothly. Everyone here’s gonna travel smoothly and safely! The traffic’s gonna move, just you watch. It’ll move exactly at the right time. I can feel it. I just know it. It’s all so right. This is GREAT!!! Smoothly and safely. It’s all gonna move. It’s all good. It’s just as it’s mean to be. And pretty soon….”

And don’t you know, the traffic started to move. Smoothly and safely.

Coincidence, sure …. but it had me convinced that magic had indeed transpired. Nor would it be the first nor the last time that “traffic magic” cast a good spell.

Ah well. Wizardry or not, it was still pretty fine to be enjoying the cloudless sky and shimmering color and warmth of the sun on my skin, instead of aimlessly burning fossil fuel on a highway somewhere.  And all these little joys shone through… The last ripe pepper on the vine, the fully-pumped tires on my bike, butterflies dining on zinnia’s. A cup of tea, a good book. And right then, that was exactly where I was meant to be.

Isn’t it the truth; sometimes the simplest things are the most outrageously uplifting.

leaves2

pepper

saxton_bike

 

How’s your Outrageous Happiness going?

What Poetry Tastes Like

September 21, 2014 § 2 Comments

whatpoetrytasteslikeD2

 

 

 

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the creativity category at saxton studio blog.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,197 other followers

%d bloggers like this: