Tree Study with Pens, Pen and Ink, Marcia Carole

A very good friend has asked for art lessons each week. She is naturally gifted in creating art, and she is excited to get back into it on a weekly basis. So, we began a couple of weeks ago. It's been a privilege to teach her, as she takes in my nuanced advice as to what makes better art. I am still learning as well!

We began by discussing line; we used a variety of drawing media to see what sorts of lines we could produce. We drew trees using various lines(see above) and just doodled on small pieces of paper. I shared the necessity of having good paper to hold the lines we make. Good tools and supplies can make a huge difference in the final piece of art. Cheap, lifeless paper promotes cheap lifeless art. The paper is the base for the entire creation.

All the discussion about a good base makes me think about life. (Yes, I think an analogy is coming forward.) I've certainly learned I need to have a good physical base, down to the cellular level, in order to fight cancer. I've learned the hard way, via chemo and hair loss and thinking I was definitely going to die last winter one or two nights. I must have a good base for what my body does. (Enter spinach smoothies, home-cooked meals and carrot juice.) I can walk miles, lift my 5 pound weights, get lots of sleep, but if I feed my "base", my body, garbage or even quick Lean Cuisine type stuff, it won't do well. Obviously.

In the same way, I need to feed: my emotional self, my mind, and my soul good stuff so they aren't limping along, broken and bruised, either. Attending a weekly class on soul care and healing prayer has been very helpful in nurturing and establishing health in these areas. Reading God's word daily has also been feeding my soul and brings truth to my thinking and emotions. Even my daily walks have been a part of the care for the invisible parts of me as I spend time feeding my soul the sound of a songbird, the wonder of white frost on the burnt sienna colored leaves - the beauty in nature.

As I add art-making and storytelling workshops into my life, my healing base, I am able to invest in others in much more powerful and significant ways. So, when I feel a nap coming on, I take it, knowing I am helping myself to be the beautiful artwork God designed me to be!