When the world is too much with us… wanna play?

Molly at the beach

 “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart.  I’ll stay there forever.”  ~  A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

“Keep your heart open to Dreams, for as long as there’s a Dream, there is Hope.   And as long as there is Hope, there is Joy in living.”  ~ Anonymous

Taking Joy – It’s a God idea! ~ me

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She called to me as I passed her house on foot the other afternoon, and sitting together on her porch with a couple of her other friends she said softly, “I think I’m ready.”

Silently then, our eyes met.

“For the gift you have for me…” she clarified.

Nels-croppedAt her request, I’d been holding onto the simple drawing of her late husband – just a sweet little sketch of his face, wearing his baseball cap, semi shy smile on his lips.   It had been too fresh these last few months, so I’d waited. Had just been looking at the square-framed piece again on the floor of my den, asking God to make way the right time, to use it to bless with peace not sorrow.  Hope… even a light of joy, His Glory on it.  I didn’t want it to just languish away for a year on my floor, when it could maybe bring consolation in some way…   If not for her right now, I’d wondered… maybe for his son who had described him as a gentle man of quiet strength… ?

Now, she’d reached out to me, eyes moist but voice strong.  God had set the time.

Later, picture in hand, she touched it lovingly.  “I think I will share this with the kids and grans,” she said.  Fingering it, she added… “You know, what I hate most is the word, widow…”

I know,” I agreed.

Thoughtless labels that sting.  Spinster.  Alone.

In wordless companionship, we bent over the likeness for a moment or two.

“I love the way you put in his laugh lines…” she pointed out.  “And the inscription...it’s so true…”  (Those words of description, offered by his son at the eulogy, just caught me for this, I told her…)   She swallowed.    “I think now, I want to turn to remembering the joy.”

She shared of wanting to somehow lighten the load of another woman in a similar circumstance who’d been reaching out to her.  A stranger she’d spoken to once, who had somehow retrieved her email and been texting…

We talked of lighter, hopeful things… of so much family who surround her here… how she is not completely alone.  And of the One who holds onto her most.

Later, ruminating on my own, words of a verse God has led me to read so many times fell like a shawl tucked softly round my shoulders.  “You will nevermore be called forsaken.   I call you Hepzibah (I delight in you.“)  I call you Beulah.  (Married, My Bride).” [Paraphrase of Isaiah 62:4).

I love those names You give, Lord, I whispered, rolling them, their meaning, on my tongue.   Hepzibah.  Beulah… 

A zippy song Hayley Mills sang in Disney’s Summer Magic – Beulah Land – wafted back  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ5twH1HVvs   ) – a scene where brother and sister are singing of a joyful new hope they envision for their widowed mom and family as they set out to their new life in the land of Beulah…  A playful tune with lyrics that reference God’s promised land, now lifting me…

And looking at my latest drawing from a sweet photo of little Molly at the seashore (up top), happily sifting her golden bucket of sand… a look of pensive dream on her face, as Mom snapped her picture… I can’t help but think of a promise for refreshing and renewing us to wholeness that God has written into childhood.  How He uses such a gift of creating and imagination to nourish our souls somehow. But…not just for a time…

Stay as a little child, He enjoins us. For in doing so, we will understand faith, hope, free abandonment of care to His Hands…

A little one, like Molly, here.  Openhearted to dream…to play…to create something out of nothing.   Children after our Father’s heart…

Remember to keep close the play times of life, I think I hear Him calling to us who are grown, burdened with loss and cares.   Come away with me, my beloved…

Sit on a beach.  Play a tune on the piano.  Sing round the house.  Plan a day to fly a kite.  Make playclothes out of stuffy old drapes and lark a song over hill and dale.

Hills alive with the sound of music…

“Wanna play with me?”  are words of invite echoing back to me from a time that truly seems not so long ago…  a joyful request from Molly’s mom to me every time I saw her, when she was just such an age as her little one now…

I smile at this drawing now…Molly, living it out, moment by moment.  The finding of joy and hope and dream at play…

And…on this threshold of Sabbath weekend, I hear the Father’s invite (to you, to me) to the same free abandon.

 

© Pam Depoyan

Connor-croppedOne more thought…  Once again, I am wondering if either of the reminiscent drawings here (Sweet Molly up top, or Little Zorro, left) evoke any stories of your life – or speak to His calling you back to something you may have tucked away to the wayside, maybe a long forgotten something that gives you the truest joy? 

Maybe it’s time to return to His Childhood promise of a joyful noise of play before Him… or maybe…to find it now for the first time…

If so, please share about it in my comments!  I want to hear your stories! :)

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Pen and Ink portraits – Mine, from my Picture It In Pen and Ink blog (https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com/).   Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

 

Interested in a print, or a custom portrait that tells one of your stories?  Visit https://pamdepoyablog.wordpress.com to see more…  Ideas or questions?  Contact me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com.

Posted in Wonder Moments | 13 Comments

Storyspinning in Art and Words

Molly-St. Patricks

“Say!
I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!”

~ Dr. Seuss

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”

~ Sue Monk Kidd

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

~ Philip Pullman

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“Molly cooks up green marshmallows for the fam”

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I know.  We’re waaaay past March 17th.  But that’s the power of story, whether painted in words or pen and ink… what I love most about it.  One glance transports you right back to the moment no matter what time of year it is.

It’s what I hope my word pictures here to do —

Taking you to what D.E. Stevenson (and Blake) called a “Listening valley…”  – a place inside the spirit, where we listen

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“There were trees below her, so that she looked out over the tops of them, and…above,, the little quarry was a dimple on the hill, bathed in sunshine, redolent with the scent of sun-warmed pines… In the midst of the town a road ran, curving away into the distance.  The valley itself stretched southward, shallow and sunlit, bounded by rolling hills with green grass and patches of brilliant purple heather and dark pine woods, and above the hills was the pale blue sky with fat white clouds floating in it.  Along the floor of the valley wound a river, sparkling in the sunshine; it wound among fields and yellow cornfields and bright green meadows full of cattle that looked like toys, and over it all was a faint haze, an almost imperceptible opal-tinted haze that softened the brightness of the colors.  Green it was, green and peaceful, an oasis of peace in a land of war…  Tonia knew it well.  Listening valley… ” ~ D. E.  *

When I come across a passage like that, I just have to linger and savor…let the background of the story picture steep…

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“I’m loving drawing toddlers right now,” I told my friend, asking if she’d mind sending me some photos of her young Molly that I might sketch.  Because life’s real stories are what I want to illustrate and capture in words, and in art… the way the artists I talked about here did…

The photo that inspired this one lit into my spirit like a butterfly, taking me into a lovely, everyday (but holiday-ish) story moment of their little family that I would not otherwise have witnessed…

And…because this portrait makes me smile as I finish it today, I just wanted to share with you.

I wonder, just for fun… does this one evoke a story in you ?

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© Pam Depoyan

P.S.   I also saved it in classic pen and ink style… and once again the simple black and white just flows a  mood over me.  Transports me like a favorite old English novel to a place where I love to envision the color of heather on the hills…    Or a beloved black and white film, like Wonderful Life

Molly-St. Patricks-No ColorI can’t decide which I like best.  Color splash or not?

What do you think? :)

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Pen and Ink portraits – Mine, from my Picture It In Pen and Ink blog (https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com/).   Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

*  D.E. quote – from her novel, Listening Valley

Interested in a print, or a custom portrait that tells one of your stories?  Visit https://pamdepoyablog.wordpress.com to see more…  Ideas or questions?  Contact me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com.

Posted in Wonder Moments | 14 Comments

The One-Note Flute

Digital Camera

Martha Washington Geraniums, Gracing My Front Porch

 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

~ Hebrews 1:3 [NIV] – My new favorite verse

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The gentle spring breeze is stirring up birdsong as I pull my wicker chair to the drive, settle with my prayer journal for a bit of sun.  Over here, a smattering of twittering. There, one insistently calling yoohoo!   Another, as if playing his one-note flute, over and over…

They make me laugh at a memory of an old movie that contrived the composing of Strauss from such feathered symphony.   According to the scene, he’d been riding along in a carriage when a single lilt over here, another over there swirled heart-lifting waltz from his soul to paper.

Listening here and now, I almost believe his story happened just that way.

For in pondering a word study I did the other day on the Name of Jesus, a fresh insight tingles across me, in the uncontainable way a Strauss waltz spins billowing gowns across a ballroom floor.

Oh…my…gosh, Lord, I think as I roll the words of Hebrews 1:3 over again in mind.

Mm…The Name of Jesus,

the radiance of God’s Glory

and the exact representation of His being…

Putting that together with the stunning Hebrew meaning of Numbers 6 that I wrote about here 

You illuminate the wholeness of Your Being towards me,

bringing order to my body, my prospering, my success and all that I am…

I uncover a wondrous, Old Testament-foreshadowing Truth.

“Father,” I say in the sudden hush of my spirit.  “It’s  JESUS (the wholeness of Your Being, Name above all Names under which all else must bow) You are illuminating towards us… isn’t it?  The promised blessing of Numbers, richness upon richness!”

JESUS, the radiance of Your Glory!

The radiance.  The only radiation I want pouring in and over and through me.

In my driveway cathedral, the symphony continues… the one-note flute player rising his song louder and louder.

“Take time to sit with Me everyday – simply soaking quietly in My Presence,” He rejoins then, “and I will suffuse you in the Radiance and Glory of My Being, sustaining and putting all to order within you, in your life, by the One who IS My Powerful Word…”      

I close my eyes and sit back, the warmth of the sun melting as His Light over me.

Yes, Lord… Let the radiant Glory of Your SON put all my being to order, in Your sustaining Word… fresh and deeper every day…making me whole in all my ways…

Digital Camera

© Pam Depoyan

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photos: mine  (If you click on the photo up top, you can see the water droplets on the flowers from where I had just watered…  :)  )

Sharing with:

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Posted in One Ribbon at a Time | 23 Comments

Give us this day

branches amd bird

The other day, a minister reminded me of the Father’s song of love and blessing winging over and through us in the Aaronic Blessing of Numbers 6.   It is easy to skim over the well-known words in our Bible… He makes his face to shine upon us…never fully cognizant of the richness encrypted in those words.  But what if it is meant to be God walking in our Garden with us… as He did with Adam…face to face?

Listening to this man’s words brought back something I copied into my prayer journal a couple of years ago.

At that time, I’d been watching a New Testament-believing rabbi who explained the original Hebrew meaning behind the words of the Aaronic Blessing and I wanted to note his words.

Re-reading these today, I am overwhelmed with the Beauty and Wonder and Glory of our Father.  They make me see in my mind a picture of God like any dad, kneeling down to his beloved child with a sparkle of anticipation in his eye.  A dad who is holding out tailored just for his child’s delight and wellbeing gifts he can’t wait for his little one to take from his hands and open.

I confess to “forgetting” about praying these wondrous words and now want to make them part of my every day devotion…

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In thinking that, I suddenly felt a nudge to share them here with you today.

Picture yourself like this little one, gazing upon the One who loves you most…  your Abba father… and let these words soak into you.

Write them down to pray each day… a meeting place in the Garden with the Father who is longing to pour forth blessings on us when we come to sit with Him… 

Something the minister today was saying about such daily prayer being so vital – especially in the times we live in today — struck me so strongly…  How we cannot live apart from the Vine  even one moment…

To flourish in heart and mind and spirit and body, break free of fear and depression, walk in His light and grace, O Father pour out Your Blessing on us!  Make your words the meditation of our hearts and spirits throughout every moment of our days!  You leave me incredulous at the depth of Your Heart for us as I see You here  of your blessing.

Hallowed be Thy Name

Thy Kingdom Come.

Thy Will be Done

On earth as it is in Heaven…

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The Meaning behind Original Hebrew of the Aaronic Blessing:

Yaweh, my God who exists!

Thank you for your promise to bless me. 

You, my God, kneel before me, presenting me with these gifts:

You guard me with a hedge of protection.

You illuminate the wholeness of Your Being towards me,

bringing order to my body, my prospering, my success and all that I am.

You provide me with Your Love,

with sustenance and friendship.

You lift up the wholeness of Your Being

and look upon me.

You set in place ALL that I need to be WHOLE and Complete.

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Word Meditation: 

The God of all kneels before us, his children.  Not as in awe of us, but in intimacy of Father Love, reaching out face to face.

Encircling guard over us.

He illuminates the wholeness of His Being,

bringing order to our bodies,

all that makes us to walk in His grace and favor and overcoming power in a world otherwise cloaked with darkness.

He sustains us.

He gives us His friendship and all we need to be whole and complete.

This… our daily bread.

 

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© Pam Depoyan

Bird and baby portraits – Mine, from my Picture It In Pen and Ink blog (https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com/).   Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

Posted in Wonder Moments | 14 Comments

Treasures and blessings

Moira-ballet pose

Piglet: “How do you spell love?” Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”   ~  A.A. Milne

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It never gets humdrum, the delight of  reaching into your mailbox and finding it stuffed with a completely unanticipated package addressed from a friend.   A gift for no reason other than someone thinking of you.  This day, it was a beautifully illustrated inspirational book of children, falling open from the wrap and into my hands…

“Because I know you enjoy drawing children,” she explained by note.   Telling how she’d come across it in a second time around store, in perfect condition… fallen in love with it, then decided to pass it on to me.

She couldn’t have known I had a couple of photos of two small ones I love on my dining room table cum overflowing artist nook, just calling to my itching fingers… at that very moment.  (This one above – drawn from a year-old Christmas photo where this darling was sitting back in her daddy’s arms in such endearing pose! – had been playing round the edges of my thoughts for a long time now…)

She couldn’t have known what the Holy Spirit would seem to be whispering as I smoothed  pencil across this sweet-faced angel’s cheeks…watched as He wondrously brought forth her genuine likeness beneath my fingers.  (I still find it hard to believe that I’m actually able to capture these faces on paper… I never used to draw this fine-tuned, and am continually struck with how it is truly Him, bringing forth the work of my hands in a new and refreshed way, even leading this self-taught artist to ‘discovering’ the softening touch of graphite pencil mixed with pen and ink and it’s transforming look…)

I’m going to stir blessing out of these childhood portraits…  both for you, and for those I bring to you to illustrate the children of their hearts…  because my Light radiates from  these little ones so fresh from my arms…

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I thought then of all those vintage Good Housekeeping artists who used to paint childhood in such classic warmth…Artists who bless ME that way.  Favorites of mine, like Jessie Willcox Smith (above) and Bessie Pease (below).

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“They must have  employed the children who peopled their lives as their drawing models, too, didn’t they, Lord?” I thought wonderingly… thinking of one in particular who appeared in one pose or another in so many of Smith’s illustrations and the blond-ringleted cherub in many of Pease’s.

I wondered if the public back in these artist’s  time used to love and frame their work the way so many people do today…  I have a few of them in my own home and think of those that hung in homes of friends too, especially a few years back when they were decorating nurseries and dining nooks beside high chairs with these timeless portraits of childhood…

Because I can envision this particular new drawing of mine (up top), framed and hanging in any little girl’s bedroom, I wanted to leave it as it is here, without inscription – a portrait illustration of Childhood and innocence.  For it would be a special delight to have people want this print for their own homes… like I have of Smith’s and Pease…

But…it was then that a fresh idea began forming inside me, like clay in the Potter’s hands…

Moira-ballet pose with wordsFor family who love and know this little one, I could also do a version where I inscribe her name and the inspirational meaning behind it below the portrait…make it a signature heirloom kind of gift that preserves a story moment in her life like a classic storybook illustration… I had done this a few years ago as a gift for another child of my heart…

Might not this be the kind of keepsake treasure parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles would love of their own? 

This little gal reminds me of her once-ballerina mom here, raising her arms in such spontaneous repose… so I added in the sweet slippers by her name.

But in the up curve of her arms...more likely just a camera shy moment :)  — another dear memory comes wafting back…  Of a time when I was holding her mom who was just such an age, and she lifted her arms seemingly out of the blue to begin singing a song of sweet praise to her Lord…

Mm… those are the kinds of remembrances I’d love for you to breathe into these drawings, I said silently to the One speaking this memory into me…

Such is the power of story and illustration… to have and to hold…

In remembrance, I walk through the simply decorated bedroom of my childhood… see again the artwork my mom hung there for me to waken to each morn, and close my eyes to each night…  It’s true, there is a warmth in them that lingers inside me still… like a song that takes you back to a time when the world seemed a bit warmer… simpler…

May you do that in these of my hand, Lord.

© Pam Depoyan

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 Is there a little one of your heart you can picture in a name portrait, storybook illustration style, from a fun photo?  Looking for an heirloom type of gift for an occasion coming up?

On my art portfolio blog – http://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com — my prices are based on the hours it takes me to draw a particular sized piece.

But please don’t let price put you off…

Since these childhood portraits don’t necessarily fall into a specified size range, I’m thinking there’s room to talk special price by piece!    Image result for clipart heart

Ask about prints of the pen and ink portrait shown in this post as well.

Just email me at pam.depoyan@gmail.com if you’d like to start the conversation!* :)

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  • U.S. orders only, at this time, thanks

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Illustrations in color – Jessie Willcox Smith and Bessie Pease

Pen and Ink little girl – Mine, from my Picture It In Pen and Ink blog (https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com/).   Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

Sharing with:

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Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Continuing the frills…

Farmhouse with red flowers

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”  ~  A.A. Milne

 

I think I’ve always had a penchant for farmhouses.  The lovely, the warm, the charming ones you see depicted in classic black and white movies of the 30’s and 40’s… or in white clapboard and huge-windowed beauty of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair.

Typically, they have an inviting air about them with wide veranda porches and crisp white curtains winking from bay windows.   The more Victorian, the more gingerbread and character of these grand old ladies… places where I might expect to find a cozy English floral chair to read in by a fire, or to sample ladles of homemade soup with big chunks of fresh-baked bread in an inviting nook of the kitchen, or to tuck into a four-poster featherbed beside a double porcelain shade lantern lamp, coverlet and quilt at my chin, each night.

And friendly, open people who keep a candle in the window to welcome strangers in to share a story or two…

So, when the gift shop clerk at the apple and cherry farm asked if I’d ever considered drawing a unique structure at their place [you can read about that here: With all the frills upon it], it wasn’t the typical subject of apple haus or orchard groves or gift barn that came first to mind.

Mm… no, it was the beautiful old Victorian farmhouse just across the lawn from the shop I’d just visited…   A place I’d admired from afar for a few decades and often wondered about.   It would be fun to capture it on paper now…  it made me envision a bit of the stories it might tell…

 Though, I never could have imagined the book about to open to me next…

I felt a bit Nancy Drew-ish as I returned, camera in hand, picking my way across the slightly damp lawn in my tennies.  The thing I love about small digital cameras is that they take beautiful photos.  The thing I hate about them is that when the sun is out at all, I never really can see exactly what I’m looking at through the lens.  I just have to point and shoot and hope for it to capture what I’m seeing on the outside.  So there I was, clicking madly in the way you see photographers who are trying to capture the many moods of their living model targets…

I stole up close, snapped…backed up, snapped… made my way over to a large wooden platform wagon and scrambled up top to get a higher view…crept around the side and back, then returned to the front…clicking, clicking.

 As if from a fog then, I heard his voice calling — just as I’d turned to walk away…

“Pam!  Pam!” it came, urgently, startling me.  This stranger I’d spotted off in the distance on farm vehicle – he  couldn’t possibly know my name.   No, I rationalized then…he must be calling “Ma-am!”

Oh, no! jolted through my thoughts like adrenaline.  I looked around, realized though there were customers yards away,  I was a lone person stalking, maybe a bit furtively, round the skirt of the house.  Was he warning me away?

“You have to come back when the rhododendron are blooming!” he waved, indicating a sweeping motion at the bushes below the elegant bay.   “They’re the brightest red!  I think maybe… in May!”  I could  hear the smile in his voice then, the invitation…as if he knew exactly why I’d come and couldn’t wait to see me draw it.

His words echoed like laughter as I put pen to paper later… for surely, God had a hand in that timely message.  I hadn’t even considered the blossoming hidden still by cold and sometimes snowy days, but he’d given me the perfect brightness, a spot of color I suddenly limned in mind for this piece.

When it was complete, ready to show, I slipped it into a clear sleeve with foam core to present at the shop.  This was the part I never feel comfortable with… I was hoping for more than just compliments.  A sale would be fantastic.  An offer to hang on consignment, a nice perk.   Walking up to the woman I’d spoken with earlier, I unwrapped it before her.

“Follow me!” she said,  leading me out the door, across the lawn and up those porch steps before I had a chance to splutter.

She rapped a few times on the door, calling inside to the owners that she had something to show them, pushed me through the doorframe – and disappeared!

An elderly man made his way slowly to the kitchen where I now stood, picture in hand.  I could read the surprise on his face…the unspoken, “Um…Who are you?”

Be calm, I told myself.  To him, I offered –  “Ms ______ thought you might like to see a pen and ink drawing I just did of your beautiful home –”

“Oh…,” he said, graciously.  “Come in…”   Leading through a room adorned with many other drawings and works of art, he brought me into a series of adjoining spaces to where his wife was coming towards us.   She took the picture from my hands so they could look at it together.

“It’s beautiful…I think we’d really enjoy it,” she began, nodding to her husband for his thoughts.

“Let me show you some historical pictures I have here,” he said, not answering specifically, turning to look for old photo books – but just as suddenly changing me from solicitor to guest in their home.  Someone to whom he wanted to tell some stories of old, share some wonderful bits of lore…

We talked of this 1800’s farmhouse, the original builders, how his family came to own and cherish it.

In a tired old man’s quaver, he softly added… “I’m not sure who’ll take care of it when we’re gone…”

“The children will, dear,” his wife attempted to assure.

I looked through the two open rooms from where we stood and on in to what looked to be a sitting room…amazed to be standing here, in this house, sharing a moment in time with these two…and hoped so.

“We have a lot of pictures,” he blurted then, apropos of nothing, waving around.  “I do love what you’ve done…but I don’t think we need more.”

Disappointment is sometimes like a wave that rushes at you.  Sort of leaves you queasy.  Still – well, maybe there were other reasons for me being here… and the drawing had been my extraordinary pass in to this totally unforeseen moment.

“See this old catalog?” he continued, showing me an interesting pen and ink illustration of a piano that graced the original place… pulling out a photo of a 1600’s church in England where his ancestors were married.  “This beautiful old church was damaged in the World War,” he expostulated, “and then they brought it to Missouri and had it rebuilt here, you know…”

Snippet after snippet, like quickly turning pages in a black-paged album of sketches drawn for animation, he spun incomplete little stories, here, there.   It would be like trying to catch dandelion fluff in the wind, I thought, to hold onto his tales.   Still, it seemed enough…to be invited into this divine appointment…just to be a listener to his giving.

“May I have your card?” he asked as I was leaving, reminding me of the old grandpa in “Meet Me In St. Louis” asking for his granddaughter’s dance card…    He encouraged me to take the drawing back across to the gift barn, talk with them some more about it…

I did, but couldn’t seem to connect.  Maybe another time.

God had shown me again…  Look for the stories, the days with Easter bonnet frills stitched on them…

The next morning, I had a thought.   Returned to the copy place to turn this drawing into a greeting card.  I’d send them a note size of the drawing , thank them for the stories.  Maybe include a few words of blessing.  [I’d heard of some of their needs in conversations earlier.]   I could imagine the smile on his wife’s face when she’d hold it in her hand.

Bread across the waters, Lord.

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“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
―  A.A. Milne

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   Have you ever found yourself in such a moment as this one … had some stories spoken into you when you least expected?  Won’t you share a bit in my comments? :)

© Pam Depoyan

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Farmhouse drawing – Mine, from my Picture It In Pen and Ink blog (https://pamdepoyanblog.wordpress.com/).   Please do not copy without permission. See my copyright info button on the sidebar.  :)

 

Sharing with:

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http://tsuzanneeller.com     Live Free Thursdays   

 

Posted in Divine Appointments | 14 Comments

With all the frills upon it

  Nemesia Easter Bonnet

Frilly, Easter bonnet posies!  Aren’t they delightful?  This is the wonder that popped up when I googled “Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it” a week or so ago…             Simply, LOVE these.  Who (but a Gardener) knew such a glory existed? 

O Lord, how majestic is Your Artistry!

As a freelancing writer and artist, I can lead a solitary life in many ways.  When I was working full time corporate world, my days were pretty much predictable.  It wasn’t likely that I would meet anyone out of the ordinary or find myself in an unexpectedly delightful conversation with a stranger.

I don’t know why, but even now that I’m a bit more fancy free (though looking and not having found permanent full time work), I still don’t really anticipate God to send me such days laced with His Easter bonnet frills upon it…  Instead, I can be easily caught up in what needs to be done, trying to think outside the employment box for marketing and income possibilities… and in the so doing, miss the gift of entering into someone’s story here, there

Until...He plunks me down and tips my face up to notice… as He did last Tuesday.

It was a beautiful clear day and I’d driven 20 minutes or so to a family favorite apple and cherry orchard farm to inquire whether they might accept some of my artwork on consignment in their gift barn – as they had a couple of years back.

“Hi!” the engaging woman behind the register greeted me as I laid some brown paper wrapped pieces on the counter.   Maybe ten years older than I, a plucky hat on her head, she had the air of 1960’s free spirit and confident walk about her that made me smile. “What do you have there?”  Enthusiastic, she entreated me to remove the packaging.   “Oh, I love the sparkle in the girl’s eyes,” she pointed out on my illustration of the young girl with her horse…  “And this historic home from downtown…”

Only, when she tried to get the manager, it was a no go.  “She is quite busy today,” the woman returned to make her manager’s excuses to me, “and says we have enough inventory right now…”

Mm…Curt, cut off rejection from a stranger who refused to even take a look.  I tried to sigh back the disappointment as the woman before me chatted on as someone who wished to make up for rudeness by inviting me in to tea…  “You know,” she twinkled at me, “I think sometime we might just see your work here…  When I have a feeling about something, it often happens…”

Kindness extended, I thought.  But a pixie-like wink in her voice almost made me believe her.

“Let me show you around,” she said, gesturing the compass of the room.  I’d been here innumerable times over the past few decades, but not wanting to spoil her fun, I acquiesced with somewhat feigned interest…

That’s when He tipped my face up… whispered, Listen.  There are stories here and no intersection with another’s life is void of My Purpose…

Stories…and so many stories, yes.  She led me first to a beautiful oil painting hanging in a far corner. I’d it seen before but never really seen it.   Never noticed the glory of the sunlight dappling through the maples as the artist had caught it on a long ago day when the barn was not a business and the land was simply gently rolling, graceful farm.

“See this framed photo beside it?” my guide pointed.  Black and white, two women with easels, sitting side by side on country land.  “This is the painter and a student she was teaching one afternoon in the 60’s or so…”

The farm owner had just happened to capture that photo in time, she revealed.  He loved to see artists round his place, and squirreled away the photo until years later when he attended an estate sale of the late artist.  There among her many stacked pieces, he’d discovered the beautiful painting of his barn…

That story both delighted me and saddened me…  I wondered, had she never shown it to the farmer while she was alive?  Had she approached him for a sale at one time, perhaps been turned away?  Or had she loved it too much to part with it?  Why was it simply hidden behind her lifetime of work?  Had she put it there, or had someone less appreciative removed it from a wall in her  home to stash almost neglectfully in a pile?

Most of all, I wished she could know how it was treasured now.

Story after story unfolded as the clerk walked me around the shop, pointing out various artists, confiding to me about this one’s sorrows right now… another’s beauty for ashes that came when a loved one left her an inheritance that freed her to travel the world with her paintbrush…  A wonderful description of an elaborate anniversary celebration someone had planned in the upstairs room they now rent out…

Then, somehow, she began telling me about her own sorrow.  How she lost her husband four years ago to a quick and sudden illness, and the pain still lingered here and there… how she has somewhat abandoned the room in her home where he died, though it meant so much to her that he was able to be at home…

We spoke of shared remembrances of such events… the stuff of hospitals and prayers and goodbyes…

When time came for me to leave, I suddenly realized.  “I don’t even know your name,” I smiled, “and you’ve been calling me by mine the whole time…”

“Oh!  I’m not wearing my tag!”  she exclaimed.   When she gave me her name then, the uniqueness of it struck me, like a fun name you come across in a favorite old novel.  I wasn’t sure why exactly, except that it seemed like a name someone had carved out for her, like a jewel…somehow…lain in my hand.  I rolled it around silently on my tongue the way I often do with words that somehow enchant with their unusual or piquant quality.

“I love your name!” I blurted.  “It almost sounds like you made it up it’s so perfect for you!”

She laughed delightedly.   Like the tinkle of silver against glass.  “It’s real, I assure you!” she giggled.

Before I left, she made a suggestion.  “Have you ever thought of drawing a piece of the farm? “

“I would have thought its been overdone,” I answered, thinking of the lovely old Victorian home where the now elderly owners reside across the lawn, the family-popular barn that houses the bakery and cider mill, the rolling orchards and horse rides out back…

“Oh no…not since long ago…” she said.  “I could see you capturing a unique part of the architecture in pen and ink…” she offered as parting inspiration.

And with that thought lingering like fingers across piano keys… I headed home for camera and return…

I think again how our lives often run parallel with another for only a moment.  Part of His tapestry…  And how even now, God mingles her name in my thoughts with prayer for her peace and gentle release from the grief she spoke of… and for the others whose stories she unfolded a page of…

There are stories here, He’d prompted to my ear.  Listen. 

Tales from people who only want a listening ear.

I want to anticipate them more…these days with frills upon them.

I thought I’d gone there for myself.  But the Orchestra Leader,  He has all the players and parts deeply in mind and bids us to join Him in that…

“In my Easter bonnet…with all the frills upon it…” I found myself humming as I turned the key and my engine toward home…

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© Pam Depoyan

I think this is the first in a series I will post

about such Easter bonnet intersection moments…

The other day I read a beautiful post by another blogger – one that so echoes to a theme God seems to be speaking on our dreams.  Whether you are nearer to 30, 50 something or 70 – I  highly recommend you hop over to read this and be uplifted today –

http://sylvrpen.com/2016/03/new-starts-old-age/

:)

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Reminder!  Just a few days left…:)

Morning RoomSpecial FREE SHIPPING  and Sale over at my Picture it in pen and ink! site –

your 9×12 choice of my drawings… with savings that could total @ 15 off…

Click here to read more about it…    A Little Communiqué Spot 

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