In A Nutshell (Poem and Painting)

“His Hand In The Forest” ©Katie, 2008

In A Nutshell (a poem)

You ask me where to start
and before you know it
we are swinging
like monkeys on a limb
in a jungle of trees
full of screeches and chest-thumping.

What makes you think
I know
where to start here –
Does anybody?

You may notice
some of the gang
have pretty nice hair and nails –
and you should see
their tails!

And before you or I know it
they have us
with monkey advertisement –
otherwise known as:

“Over here” 

“There’s a better tree to swing on!”

And so it goes –
we are lost and asking
“Where do I start?”

So let’s get back
to the nutshell
of our lives

Where the one big seed
IS –
The one we plant
which has everything
it needs to become
a tree
A tree we can depend on
in this Life
This is where we start
Where our design
is magnified and shrunk
so it can fit
and be happily tossed
when we are ripe.

So let’s get it right
or we will never
get out of the jungle.
See how it screams every time we look back?

I believe everyone is a perfect tree
in an endless forest
of potential possibility.
Pick up your acorn
and behold your tree.

Start
and I will reach up
should our branches
touch along the way.

©Katie Kidwell, 2020

 

“His Hand In The Forest” full-scale ©Katie (First in the series “The Rainbow Forest”)

I believe everyone is a perfect tree
in an endless forest
of potential possibility
Pick up your acorn
and behold your tree.
Start
and I will reach up
Should our branches
touch along the way.
©Katie

©Katie Kidwell, 2020 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.

You can purchase Katie’s recent collection of poetry:  “Freedom Is My Nature, Victory Is My Song” at her store.

Between Here and Now

“Between Here And Now” ©Katie

Welcome to the first post of 2020 at The Living Of Loving Blog.  This watercolour of Emperor Penguins was started many years ago while I was wintering in Yuma, Arizona.  Recently I did the little bit needed to finish it.

Have you ever left something and forgot about it?  I find in my artistic work I have done this way too many times.  So now I can share what I have finished and write about it here. 🙂

In this painting of the penguins, there are faint lines where the outline was drawn.  When It came time to paint, however, I was captivated by the thought of leaving it open.  This makes the focus of the bent necks (the heart shape) more focused over the little one.

I have been playing with hiding lines for most of my artistic life.

While I was in Arizona I was attracted to the simple outlines of the cave rock art.  The problem was I didn’t want them to pop on the page.  So I set out to see if I could submerge them in the picture plane.  Here are a couple of examples of how I painted.

Holding Hands ©Katie
Rock Art Turtle ©Katie
Rock Art Snake ©Katie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote the following in my Artist Statement for my 2017 Parkside Show, The Little Birds That Fly.

“The outline of anything is an illusion.  I play with form through the texture of colour.  In some of my paintings, the form is revealed in seen and unseen parts – where it may submerge into, or sit on top the picture plane.  This weaving of colour and form is found in movement.  As an artist, I search to paint the radiant expression of Life, (beyond the container – the “outline”).  Here I find the true identity of forms found in nature.”

I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts here on this.  Perhaps you would like to add your own in the comments below.  Either way, the nature of the Penguin painting “Between Here and Now” brings us to this present moment.  Nature is more than its form.  I strive to paint that.

©Katie Kidwell, 2020 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.

Look At The Mountains (a poem)

Look At The Mountains

I awoke this morning
and found my body
was larger than me
and you were in it
somewhere…
You could say
our toes were curled in Egypt
and our hair was softening
in an Irish rain.
Did you notice our hands?
How we tied the laces
of a young boy in Africa
while he held the strings
and wondered?
If we fall back to sleep now
and separate –
Look at the mountains
we’ll never kiss
or lick like ice cream cones…
Yes, you were always
the funny one
But did you notice
how many laughed
with our belly?

©Katie Kidwell, 2019
my photo of Shasta winter of 2007

To read more of Katie’s Poetry @ https://katiekidwell.com/katies-store/

Click on the orange button below to hear Katie singing her Vancouver Mountain Song “Come To The Mountains”.

 

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

 

Pleasure And Fulfillment

Grace Moore’s 2007 Christmas Message

The following message was published in the 100 Mile House Free Press, the Christmas of 2007.  Having written a message for 2005 (The Light) and 2006 (Awakening To Greatness) this was her last published one (Pleasure and Fulfillment).

Pleasure And Fulfillment

Grace Moore
Emissaries of Divine Light

     Once again we move into the Christmas season.
     Thoughts of celebrating this special day with many people is in the consciousness of most people.  I was considering the possibilities of newness happening in our yearly family celebration by letting go of favourite traditions.
     I am blessed to look out my window in a beautiful valley.  The geese have gone south but horses and cows are frolicking about.  These outdoor scenes are real and possibly stirs up a longing in me to be authentic too.’
     Jesus gave a great message, “the truth will set you free.”
     In many parts of the world, the urge to be with family is symbolic of longing to share and be part of the Christ body that Jesus proclaimed was right here where the Kingdom is.
     At this time of year, thoughts of love and giving have increased in consciousness.  Because we are made in the image and likeness of God; I am aware that God’s gifts come through people, even Santa Claus.  How wonderful to share the Light with others and to let God’s blessings fill the Earth.
     Perhaps sometimes the usual greeting of “Merry Christmas” can transcend into “I love you” because angels are present everywhere finding pleasure and fulfillment.
     Merry Christmas.

 

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
©GWJ Creative Art

Christmas With My Old Ma – the story and song

I wrote this Christmas song many years ago.  It is a true Canadian Story and I hope someday others will hear it across Canada.  Either way, I have made my career out of the enjoyment to catch the true moments that deserve to be immortalised by song.  Below this link for the song is the story behind the lyrics.   Christmas With My Old Ma

Back in the ’70s, when I graduated from high school, I moved from the Cariboo to the big city of Vancouver. No more would I be walking the milk cows across Highway 97, stopping the traffic on the road to Alaska. In fact, when I left, they built a cow culvert under the road, so Beauty and the rest of the girls converted.

When I arrived in Vancouver, on my very first bus ride down East Hastings Street, I knew, without doubt, Santa Claus was living there — hiding somewhere amid the bricks and broken glass. Mr Clause was probably sleeping in a hotel lobby chair, right beside an old Grandfather’s clock. At least one friend who worked for CBC believed he saw him there. Resting while Old Man Time swung his pendulum back and forth. He even wrote a poem about it. His name was Tom Houston.

So you see I wasn’t alone in my belief Santa was a real rub-dub; an out of work has been. But when Santa started showing up in department stores with smooth cheeks and a fake beard I could tell nobody here had any idea of how unreal it all was.

Eventually, I forgot too and Christmas in the city settled into a routine of flashing lights, frantic shoppers and long lineups around Santa’s corral.

Like the cows, my curious thoughts slipped into a culvert under the road and time sped by. Or so it seemed until one rainy night in December, busing my way home from downtown Vancouver to Port Coquitlam, I had a strange experience.

While the window wipers were busy in their hypnotic beat of perfect boredom the bus doors opened on East Hastings Street, and an old man’s voice floated in: “Bus driver, can you take me to where I can catch an eastbound freight train? Momma doesn’t know it yet, but she’s gonna have to set an extra plate for Christmas.”

And there he was, getting on the bus, Santa Claus and all his bags. Now I’m very grateful to the lady who sat in front of me as she faced the sideways chair the older man sat down in. You see the old man had a very soft voice and he talked to her because he was happy and because she asked him questions which told me she believed in him too.

Only once, at the very beginning did I look sideways. I couldn’t help the big grin on my face. But nobody else was paying attention, caught up in newspapers and a chance to sleep. No time to waste looking there, I thought.

So I listened as the older man recited a long list of towns…Towns an eastbound freight train would go through…On its way to Toronto…Where Momma was…Where the extra plate would be set…And oh yes, the friend he had in Edmonton who was going to let him use his phone to call Momma. To let her know her son was coming home for Christmas. And all the years it had been since they last spoke. And would the reception be any good for his radio when they locked the boxcar doors?

He was the person I had forgot I was waiting for. The truth that Santa did live on East Hastings Street and this year he was the gift. Wrapped up and ready for a long boxcar ride home.

Of course, this was before terrorism and security checks…a time when people could still sneak through rail yards and hop on freight trains! Now, I want to thank the bus driver who was excited about it and the lady in front of me who wanted to know every detail of it. While the older man unfolded his world out of the bags and boxes at his feet, he read aloud to her the Ads on the bus walls. Always with a comment to her. He liked humour. You might say he was definitely jolly.

I especially remember the one about the exit doors. He said, “I don’t know much about leaving by the exit doors, but I’ve sure got into a lot of places going through them!” Of course, now the sign reads “rear doors”, and I wonder what he would have made of that.

Well, I couldn’t just forget that night. So because my friend once wrote a poem, I decided I would write a song. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to tell the listeners everything about that night, but it never hurts to sing a song about a Canadian, especially when they’re Santa Claus.

Katie Kidwell
The Cariboo Song Rider

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
©GWJ Creative Art

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.

 

A Tribute To Old Moore’s

Jim Moore’s wine label with art and poem by my Mother, Grace Moore

For many years the last weekend in November was on reserve. For over a decade this weekend was held by my family for my Father’s Annual “Old Moore’s” Wine Party. At the end of his life, these parties were 100 plus regular folks interested in an evening of sharing and storytelling. No one got drunk.

The food, prepared with love, came from all his family members and was served in a decorated space beyond any Banquet Hall you may remember. It was private, and it was meaningful.

There were music and singing and sometimes dancing. Here my Father, the Wine Master, sat nursing his old Navy drink of Rum, behind his vast array of coloured wine bottles, asking each person to choose. So many different fruits. A new one every year, it seemed.

In front of their guests, my Father and Mother spoke about the importance of sharing and being with others. Watching them, I knew they were leading by example. They knew the power of knowing your neighbour and inviting your repairman and your bank teller and the man who changes your tires. I call it: “The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker.”

So for my first blog in December at the Living Of Loving, I am posting their story to celebrate friendship, close and extended. I think of my parents as community builders.

This is my Mother’s poem on the Old Moore’s label:

Fruit is made into wine
Enjoy it while you dine
Loving deeds can build a home
Where the wine of Life is Known

In honour of my parents love for gathering and sharing, I am posting a cartoon drawn of my Father, Jim Moore, by Cowboy Cartoonist Wendy Liddle; along with the limericks and poems that were written over the years for my Father’s homemade wines.  I hope you feel inspired to invite people over this season.  Share a coffee, a story or extend a hand to a neighbour.  Who knows what limerick is waiting for us!

Jim Moore Winemaker “Rhubarb”

Limericks/Poems

There once was a ‘dande’ named Jim,
Whose crock contained “lions” to the brim.
The brew turned out fine,
Rich dandelion wine;
If you want some, why not ask him?
M.C.

A winemaking genius named Jim,
Filled stone crocks with water to the brim,
Then with magic divine
Turned the water into wine;
The Master had nothing on him.
A.B.

There once was a man named Jim,
Who was quite famous for his gin
But there came a time
When he turned to wine
And the dandy-lion he is, is in him.
J.H.

There once was a connoisseur named Jim
Whose view of Carling’s was dim,
So he gathered some “dandies”
And made us fine brandies.
Oh, boy, were those drinks full of vim!
J.F.

There once was a Moore called Jim
Who put himself out on a limb.
His wine was so great
So pleasing the palate
There was never any left for him.
C.F

Old Moore is mighty handy
At producing wines and brandy;
He serves his product grandly
Which devotees think just dandy!
B.B.

O golden brilliant, melliferous wine,
I’ll drink yet again of that nectar divine!
Jim may pour some out
For some other red snout
But God help the man who takes mine!

The bounties of nature are many, I think:
Fruits, flowers and veggies end up in our sink
Let others make jams
Grow peas or cured hams
But let Jim make his glorious drink!
L.M.

Have a blessing day!

This page created by:
© GWJ Creative Art, P.O. Box 1547, 100 Mile House, B.C. V0K 2E0
©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019

 

Grace (a poem)

If you were lost in the desert
Without food or water…
How would you feel
When you stumbled upon
My lunch special board?
Would you ask why
My restaurant was here
Of all places?
Or would you say:
“Thank God, I found you!”

If you were driving down the road
And saw an open gate –
With a dirt road through a pasture…
Would you notice
The little church in the distance
With the lights on?
Would you turn around
For the welcome permission
To enter and be alone?
Or would you say:  “Why in Hell
Would anyone build a church
In the middle of nowhere…
Who’s going to come?”

Well, how did you think I arrived in the desert?
When you needed to be saved?
Did I question God about a feasibility study?
No, he knew we would need each other.

And the church I have built,
In the middle of nowhere…
Who gave me that dream?
Who told me you would turn around
And by Faith and by Grace
I would only see the tire tracks
The next morning…
But because you left His church
Renewed
Your moment of “one-hell-of-a-heart-attack,”
That would have taken the lives of others,
Behind the wheel…was aborted.

I say by Faith and by Grace
And by Grace and by God
We affect each other
Like lines on a blueprint.

©Katie Kidwell, 2019

The 28 Day Twitter Art Challenge

Abe the abominable snowman, acrylic (Universal Folklore)

In 2015 I participated in a Twitter Art Challenge hosted by #kidlitart.  The tag for that challenge on Twitter is #kidlitart28.  The challenge is for the month of February and goes like this.

One drawing/day for 28 days and it must be drawn in 28 minutes.

I chose to illustrate my 1988 South Cariboo Children’s Festival Theme Song,  Magical, Mythical Monsters – Monsters from A – Z.  My imagination went wild as I chose my alphabetical monsters out of Wikipedia.  I went no further than their name and geographical locations (folklore).  I didn’t want any picture “influence”.

I had a lot of fun over those 28 days, posting on Twitter, my 28 minutes sketched “monsters” according to the alphabet.  I also included two characters to make up the 28 days.  In this case, following the lyrics of my song I created a “star child” who had signed out his monster book from the “Librarian Moon”.

I highly recommend the imaginative experience I had drawing the “unknown”.  Since then I have gone on to create a colouring book from my sketches and to paint some of the characters I created.  Abe the abominable snowman for the letter (A) is one of them as is the Greek Garden Nymph for the letter (G).

I have a board at Pinterest of the rough sketches I made which you can view here.  Magical, Mythical Monsters

My 1988 Children’s Festival Song is at Soundcloud if you would like to listen.   It is a song about a young boy who signs out a library book on Monsters from A to Z only to have them come to life in his bedroom.  The monsters win him over with their magical nice monster ways and now his book is overdue at the library.  I had a lot of fun teaching the schools in assembly this song with growls, whistles and clucks.

As I said using your imagination to draw “the unknown” is lots of fun and I highly recommend it.  If you are someone who feels a special connection with something outside of yourself or inside maybe you could draw it out?  Give it a character and a name.

Somehow right now I hear Tiny Tim singing, Tip Toe Through the Tulips.

You and I both know a song like that will never come again but we all know the message it holds and it’s a creative one!  So start tiptoeing…

Garden Nymph (Greek Folklore) Oil

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.

 

 

 

 

Listening To Your Innards

Author, Katie Kidwell

“Honour begins with accepting that what we do, large or small, matters.”
James Webb

All my life, I’ve been blessed with guidance. That is not to say I haven’t been stuck with wonderin’. If you asked me now, I would still tell you, “I’m not sure what I will be when I grow up.” I don’t know if it will ever be explainable to others what all my activities were about and what my “shingle” to the world should have on it now. But I do know, listening has got me this far and with lots of fun souvenirs. I call it, “listening to your innards”.

Like the other day, when I was in Value Village…We could call it “a voice” but let’s be creative here and substitute “an urge”.

An urge came over me, with directions to head for the books. Yes, a book was there, waiting for me now!

You know it’s just like a game. You have to hear the whistle, and you have to want to play. So I’m game, and I head for the books, a place I don’t visit too often at Value Village. In no time I see a book:  Blogging for Dummies. It’s the third edition and already five years old. New it sold for $29.99 Canadian but now is $3.99. I quickly look through it and figure the “timeless” info there is worth $3.99, even though I know a lot of it will be outdated. I’m new to blogging, so it gives me some info I didn’t have before…

The urge says, “Take it, but that’s not the book, keep looking!”

I like “the urge”. We have a long-standing friendship…and there it was. A book title starting with “Magical”…

Magical Worlds of the Wizard of Ads
(Tools and Techniques for Profitable Persuasion)
by Roy H. Williams (the Wizard)  (Bard Press) published 2001

   The first story that opened when I picked it up was near the back of the book, and it was on Dr Seuss. Since buying the book and starting at the beginning, I have read another Dr Seuss, and yesterday my coffee shop had a traveller writing on the blackboard…Yes, a Dr Seusse quote. So serendipity likes this book too.

Besides Dr Seuss, there are fascinating true stories here where the “Wizard” uses his unique observations on the roles of neuroscience, chaos theory, poetry and art and the role they play “in the field of human persuasion”. Roy H. Williams is described as an “amazing explorer” who is constantly looking for new truths.

The Titles of the Contents in this book are above and beyond imagination. Some of them being:

  Speaking Worlds Into Existence
Did Your Valedictorian Get Rich?
Think Big, Start Small

I recommend this book to all who are working in the field of business, advertising and sales. I also recommend it to those who love the duality of Art and Science told through true stories.

So once again, I am thanking my guidance, “the urge”. The urge told me where to go and what to do. I believe we honour, the small and the large moments, and it all matters when we truly listen.

What is your experience in, “Listening To Your Innards?” 

If you’ve have had a similar experience you want to share here, or maybe you have read this book, The Wizard of Ads or other books by Roy H Williams, then please comment in the box below. I always answer.

Listening To Your Innards
©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living of Loving
previously published ©K. Kidwell, 2015, True To You (no longer online)
©GWJ Creative Art

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.

My Back Step

The Greek Garden Nymph by Katie (Oil)

I like to play my guitar on the back steps, facing my garden.  Beyond the garden, the back end of Porridge Forest sprawls.  Over the years different birds have flown through the garden and perched on the fence to watch me.  I accepted their coming and going as part of the notes of the song I was playing…or should I say – we were playing?

The evening I’m writing about a hummingbird landed on the top wire.  Facing me with wings folded and a shrug from each shoulder.  Hummingbirds are seldom still.  It isn’t in their nature.  I expected the hummingbird to leave.  Five songs later, with no pause between…the hummingbird had stopped shrugging his shoulders and replaced it with a slow nod of the head…

As it started to get dark I was asking myself silent questions like:

“Do hummingbirds fly in the dark?”

I never missed a beat on the guitar and my voice soared…that is how it is when you have an amazing audience.  One that is obviously affected.  Just as the last of the light was in the sky I leaned forward and said:

“Shouldn’t you be going home now?”

As if on cue – the hummingbird flew and I took my guitar inside.

Ask me about the stages I’ve been on and my back step at Porridge Forest is still my favourite.

Katie the Cariboo Song Rider performing @ Lone Butte Rocks 2016

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
©GWJ Creative Art
“My Back Step” part of Katie’s 2017 “The Little Birds That Fly” Parkside Gallery Show

Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.  With experience in music, writing and art.  Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.  She also works as a commission artist.