The River

©Colorado River, Glen Canyon (Oil) by Katie “Where The Secrets Are”

“I have often felt we are moved as rivers with Gods blessing afloat in us.” 

I met Shelley Hitz on facebook through Matt Tommey’s Created To Thrive Artist Group. Among other achievements she is the author of “Even Broken Crayons Still Colour”. The other day she posted on Facebook a personal experience with obstacles. A lot of people responded to the post. Here is mine:

 I have always remembered what Helen Gurley Brown said in a TV interview. “Creative people are like rivers. When they are stopped, they find their way around what has stopped them because they are creative, and they must move.” I have often felt we are moved as rivers with Gods blessing afloat in us. What stops us is just an illusion or at least a time to float and see what the clouds show...

This TV interview with Helen Gurley Brown took place in the ’80s while I was out at the ranch. I have never forgotten it. At the time, I was trying to understand all the detours of my career. But a successful woman was putting it into perspective, and now everything was making sense.

It’s been my experience that creative people inspire creative people. There is an authentic exchange when we know our creativity comes from the creator.  Any detours we have to make are opportunities.  So I love the analogy of the “River” in this.  

I can recommend following Shelley Hitz if you are a creative person. She will teach you how to sell on Etsy, write your book and give you free calligraphy sheets to practise. I expect as a “River” she will be about even more than what I’ve listed here. I know I am.

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

The Stone Throne

Juniper Beach Provincial Park/Thompson River

On my yearly fall visit to Juniper Beach, I was once again scouting out the dry river bottom.  At this time of the year, the river is at it’s lowest. Here the rocks and the lay of the land changes after every spring flood.

This year the river has left more talking stones…and fewer “big” rocks to sit on.

Most of the stones are small and round…so I’m having this conversation with myself.

“If I find a rock to sit down on, will I be able to get up?”

Then I laugh. This thought has to be a sign of getting older…Now the rock has to be not only “sit-able” but within my ability to get up from …

My chuckle on this follows me down the river where off in the distance, I can see the shape of something foreign. Something washed down in the spring freshet. At first, it looks like somebody’s armchair but soon it’s smooth round curve makes it a noticeable tire or inner tube or something like that…I have to check this out. It is calling me.

Walking and balancing on the rocks, I make my way to an incredible piece of living sculpture. As you can see, it is a “rock” chair, shaped, polished and positioned just for sitting and gazing at the river! I call it the Stone Throne. Already a bird has taken liberties there.

Thank you, Great Creator. You always know what I need. So imagine my surprise when I sat down and looked to my right.

Two talking stones lined up, with their message only visible to someone sitting on the throne. It was personal. The top stone had my Mother’s favourite sticker sign, the one she put on my gifts…the happy face. My shock, however, was on the other rock.

This summer, I’ve been studying the symbols of Mu and had started a water-colour of one while camping at Howard Lake. It is the symbol of the “Butterfly in the Universe spreading Law and Order.” The shape on the stone is exact. Some people might find an experience like this creepy…but I find it “God some”. Someone knows what I’m doing!

So while I was camping at Juniper, I made it a point to start and end my days sitting on the Stone Throne.

Like years before, nothing of the riverbed will be the same next year except there might be more green…and not where it was this year…

P.S.  While I was sitting on the Stone Throne, the river told me some stories.  So I wrote them down.  “Sky Brother” is one of them.  Look for it soon…

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving Blog, 2019
Previously published ©2015 at “Living For The Present Moment Now”(no longer online)  and “True to You” (no longer online)

©GWJ Creative Art, 2019

 

On Being Popular

“Remembering Jonathan” by Katie

Some months after my parents, Jim and Grace Moore moved their trailer into the Canadian Headquarters of the Emissaries of Divine Light, my mother wrote a letter. She addressed it to the leader of the Emissaries, Lord Martin Cecil, who was now her neighbour.

She wrote to let him know she was thankful to be participating in the vision of the Third Sacred School and to thank him for his leadership in this.

Then she added: “But I wouldn’t win a popularity contest here.”

That Sunday at service, he answered her, woven in without any background of her letter and fitting to his one hour talk. It was simple: “You’re in a bad way if you can win a popularity contest.”

I imagine my mother seated in the log chapel with a big smile on her face. She talked about this letter and others into her later years.

My mother wasn’t popular with the women’s group on-site, but she had friends who “loved what she loved.” She was also a magnet to strangers who had an open heart. — Getting off the greyhound bus with strangers continuing to write to her years later because they sat beside her and enjoyed the conversation. In her care home, one lady stranger wanted her wheelchair beside my mother’s. As she explained to me, “I feel good when I’m beside your mother.”

I tell you the story of my mother’s letter because of the information it gives and reminder. How it is recognized in the bible, “When men hate and revile you, be exceedingly glad because then you know you are doing the Lord’s work.”

No New Age author will ever embrace this bible teaching. They wouldn’t sell books if they did. They will accuse you of “projecting” and offer their works so you can fix your “projector”.

It is peculiar to those who love and serve the Lord with an open heart that life will bring your enemies in various ways. I say what my Aunt Dorthy often told to everyone and everything: “Bless their heart!”

If you’ve had the experience of being unpopular at certain times in your life, chances are you were doing something different and perhaps more reflective of the real world within you.

There are pay-offs for people who don’t like us. Once you understand this, you realize what even the New Age people know is true:

A finger in the hand pointing has three fingers pointing back.

Remember this.

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

My Ten Step Guide To Cooking

Oil 2007 ©GWJ Creative Art,

As you can see in the painting, nature provides and shares food all the time.  In the spirit of this, I wrote my 10 step guide in 2015 for my blogs True to You and Living For The Present Moment Now.  I called it “Kathy Kidwell’s 10 step guide to cooking”.  Looking at the list today I still agree with it.  My fondest memories of human interaction have been around food and sharing it.

So here it is and if you want to add to it you can do so in the comment box.

My 10 Step Guide To Cooking

1.   Cooking is better for you than eating is.
2.  Cooking for others who live with you is twice as good.
3.  Cooking for someone you don’t live with, is the best.
Up to 10x’s better.
4.  Sharing the food you’ve prepared is a natural exercise you can do,
Every day
5.  Eat only enough to know it tastes good.  You won’t go hungry as others will fill you up with kind words.
6.  Food supplies will find you.  People will hand them to you with great anticipation.
7.  Heartburn will be a thing of the past.
8.  Heart joy will be your constant companion.
9.  Recipes and ideas will flood your every cooking moment.
10.  If you do the dishes you will jinx everything listed above.
Enjoy Life! ♥                     Share Food! ♥

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
©Previously Published as Kathy’s 10 Step Guide To Cooking, 2015

A Display Of White Daisy’s

©Angel Horse Card by Katie, 1974 Lino

I am writing this having come back from a long-overdue walk down my road. After two driveways, I observed my neighbours abandoned house and acreage. Here the horses died over the winter, and now their dirt pasture is a mass of daisies.

For 20 plus years, I knew Patches, Babe and Dusty. I like to think they knew me. Being able to talk about the evidence of this in this world is still pending…

This spring, I took a while to register their absence. I was still looking for the horses. Visible at the intersection every time my car returned home and when not visible…noticed. I didn’t realize how much I was watching, witnessing and when I could participating in what was the best I could do for them.

Now I like to think a display of white daisies on their earth table is their reward. What they really ate and what made them survivors and not sufferers.

This arrangement included in the early years the Black Lab “Blotto”. He was abandoned to a chain and a dog house to protect what an empty place can invite, how he dragged his dog house to show his enthusiasm for Jessey and me when we walked by — waiting to repeat the effort when we walked back. A few times he escaped and like all Labs slobbered his way down the road. A black flash oblivious to a heavy chain flying out like a ribbon on a kite.

We knew he was gone when the house and chain disappeared. But not before he spent a few weeks dragging his dog house without his back legs working. For several months Jessey turned her head as if to remind me we were walking by Blotto’s post. Jessey had empathy as most animals do.

You can’t start with what’s wrong to make something right. My neighbour knew I liked his horses and even asked me to ride them. I said no. But I phoned him every time the horses were out and in danger of the Highway. I helped him catch them ’cause wouldn’t you know they usually came to my house. Last spring I called him to let him know I didn’t like the way Patches was looking and were he aware?

So I’m telling you this story to emphasize what seeing Daisy’s in their pasture meant to me today. Here where there was never enough grass growing for three horses to eat. Tall waves of white dancing in the breeze.  I had tears in my eyes.

The daisies are telling me to celebrate. Celebrate the beauty of all those years.  Of the horse’s survival and how they were actually cared for by Life! In the presence and absence of suffering, they lived into old age, and that is their Victory. For Horse and Dog and one nosey neighbour maybe mine too.

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

When The Rock Talks


Several years ago, I had a mysterious experience while camping and painting at Marble Canyon. As soon as I arrived.  Every time I looked at the magnificent rock hanging over beautiful Crown Lake, I saw a face in moving gestureIt was absolutely fascinating and being the sensitive person I am I accepted it as real.
.

Not just one rock but all of them had come to life, with lips moving and heads turning.

So something must be happening, I thought. Yes, I’m ready for God’s mysteries in his creation! Ready to see them in action.
.

So I paddled out in my belly boat, ready to paint with this mysterious audience hanging over me.

That’s when I heard it. The pebble shaking sound of a spray can. Standing in front of the rocks on a ledge (the lake was down) were two young girls poised to spray the beautiful untouched stone of this canyon lake.

“Heh,” I yelled as I started paddling. “What are you doing?”
They both jumped to face me. The girls were surprised to see a “floating voice” out on the lake so close. The spray can’s arm quickly disappeared behind their backs.
“Girls!” Yelled a man’s voice from the far shore.
“Nothing, Dad…we’re doing nothing!” they yelled back.
.

And so the standoff started. The girls are waiting for me to paddle away and I’m waiting for them to head back to camp. Dad is standing on the shore, watching.

I had all the time in the world. I was floating, remember? I had seen the animated faces of the rocks. How did the rock know?
.

So the girls headed back and Dad returned to his site.

Later that evening I met the girls on my walk. I don’t know where this info came from but someone must have planted it in me because out of my mouth it came.
.

“Heh, girls. If you want to leave a message on a rock, then use a stone to etch it with.”

As it turned out, these campers from Alberta stayed longer than us. We had to head back after three nights and wouldn’t you know all the campers at the site left before us.

So we pulled our motor home out knowing the girls and the spray-can would be alone…except for maybe Dad…

It was two summers before I came back. I expected to see all kinds of spray-painted graffitti…but you know what? There was none.

There sure were a lot of names etched in rock.

Etchings you could only see close up from a belly boat…I hadn’t noticed them before and some of it looked pretty old.

Since this happened, I’ve longingly looked for the rock to come back to live animation.

It hasn’t happened.

Yet, this painting I did while belly boating in front of the rocks a few years after the event, dried with a face in it.

Wouldn’t you know? Can you see it?

“Face Me” w.c. by Katie

 

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

The Multiplication Factor (seed collecting)

Heritage Strawberry Spinach
For 12 years I was the Gardener at my parent’s “Splendour View” Garden. I joined the “Seeds of Diversity” and learned the art of seed collecting. Through the catalogue, I was able to send away for starter seeds and plants. I received specimens from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island.
 
The multiplication factor of seeds and roots never occurred to me until I became a seed collector. You start with “one” or in some cases “two” and before long there’s a multitude.
 

One of my fondest memories is seeing my mother standing under the tall umbrellas of parsnip seed.

“Look at all this life!” In her own unique holy way, my Mother was always giving credit to the creator for being so wise. “Look at all the people fed by one plant!”
 

Oh, how I miss her.

 
I look at my family and I see the results and surprises of what my parents planted in our lives. Multiplied and still sending out roots and shoots!
So in this Garden of Life where I have more than I need because it’s designed that way when you receive- I give you this experience. The truth of multiplication!
*

“Look at all this Life!”

 

Orchid & Bee (Splendour View)

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

 

In My Belly Boat

Lake Water Painting In My Belly Boat

I paddle out with a 5 x 7 piece of watercolour paper taped to a lightweight foam board and one plastic bag to hold it in.   In case I splash it on the way back in…but if I did…would it matter?

So I dip my brush in the lake

and with a small box of watercolours on the belly boat apron, I paint.   I keep extra brushes in my wet suit front pocket for easy access and to keep them from rolling overboard.  I am all business when I make my way out to the rocks at Crown Lake.  Once I have the view I want, I have to work the flippers to stay put.  Sometimes I get so caught up I forget and then I have to work my way back.


It all depends on the wind!

 
In the pockets of my belly boat, I have a few things I may need like an apple and water and some paper towel.  A few w.c. crayons, etc. and my Kodak camera.  Otherwise, I’d have a selfie of myself instead of flipper pictures.  But I like to frame my husband in his U-boat when I take the shot.  Yes, that is Wayne in the distance.  He’s reading a book.


Anything and everything could fall overboard at any time…

Since I started floating and painting I haven’t had any major spills.  I did the first time I went out in my belly boat.  It was when we thought we would fish. Wayne was some distance away fishing in his U-boat.    So I caught a fish and reeled it in.  I took the barbless hook out of its mouth and set the hook to the side. Then l released the trout with both of my hands supporting…Oops!
 
Now I’m horrified.  The hook I set to the side is gone and wasn’t it attached to my husbands fly rod he had long before he met me?  I look at the deepwater beside me. I can’t believe I forgot I am in a very small circle and anything and everything can end up….overboard!
 

I’m not as entertaining as I use to be getting into my belly boat.

 
Getting my flippers to pass the seat harness while standing on one flipper…and then walking out backwards to the deeper water… Holding my belly boat up around my waist until I can go down in the seat.  Ha!  My husband only has to sit back in his U-boat and push off!  We’re not trading but I can tell he misses the shows I use to put on.
 
No, I wouldn’t trade the belly for a U-boat anyway.  The round inflated tube and apron make the most perfect art easel.  And the water makes the memory of every painting special.
 
You may enjoy this blog I wrote last summer. It’s on belly boating in Marble Canyon including painting and poem: The Tree That Grew From Rock
 
When I can I will be posting at facebook my belly boat paintings this summer.
 
Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you can comment and tell me where you like to paint?  Or where you would like to paint?  Sometimes writing it out makes it happen faster!
 
©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving

Married With Cows

Married With Cows, Wendy Liddle Illustration for my book “Well Hell”

In my poem, “Married With Cows”,  I take aim.  I hope the poem hits your funny bone.  Here’s some background.

The Story

While I was on the ranch, I gave it my best shot to be part of the Canadian music scene.  My ability to write about my experiences is one of my strengths. For this, I was hired by Ian Tyson.  He was looking for a performer to represent the cowgirl at his Cowboyography Show during Expo ’86. Writing songs about cows and fencing had an audience…and now I had permission to write more!

For his show, I wrote four songs of which there was time for three.  After twenty-one shows that week, I was geared up to play my spurs on both sides of the border!  What a wonderful time. So many beautiful “salt of the earth” people to be around.  Like me, they were expressing themselves and their worlds.

Later I wrote “Married With Cows” to put into perspective all those phone calls I’d had on the ranch.  There I made cold calls to agents and managers I had heard of. 

Life is more satisfying when you can see the funny side of things.  Especially when you don’t have to make it up.  Even though…it meant I would never be part of the Canadian music scene or on the radio.  When was the last time you heard spurs played over the air?  

Not Just My Experience… 

“Married With Cows” was on at Poetry poem.  While it was there, I heard from several men (husbands).  They wanted me to know the same events had happened to their wives.  They felt bad about it.  

So this is what I found to be true as a folk performer.

Everyone loves a good song and a sincere presentation.  Everyone loves to laugh and learn a little about the country they are visiting.    

So after the cowboy gatherings, I started performing for bus and rail tours. I no longer aimed for agents or managers.  From my homeland, I sang to the travelling world about the wonders of the Cariboo as a “singing cowgirl”.  Spur playing included and I also taught the Cariboo Yodel! 

As a folksinger, it doesn’t get any better than that.  To sing about your country in your country.  My handle was Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider.  You can check me out on facebook and here is a link to my music on sound cloud.

Here Is The Poem

Married With Cows

I wanted to be a singer
and sing my own true songs…
They wanted to know my measurements,
was I a redhead or a blonde?
And just how old are you?
And before you send your tape…
Send us a great big picture
and for the last five years – your weight.
“We’re not signing married women –
their husbands make them quit!
With years and years of experience –
our investments have to stick!”
So I didn’t send that picture,
my hair type or my weight.
I didn’t bother fooling them –
and I never sent a tape.
For the rules, they were describing
I never could kowtow…
so I told them, “I ain’t single,
I’m married with cows!”

©Katie Kidwell, 1997
Previously Published by Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine
Vol5 No.2, 2001

From My “Hay Days”

Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider with Abi Sha Trigger circa 1988

One of the songs I wrote for Ian’s Show – “The Cow-Boss Yodel”
You can practise for the next time we meet…

From the Tom Thompson Sessions – Meadow Show – Album I

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

 

Lost Luggage

The “Secret Life” Of Lost Luggage…

In 1974, after graduation from high school, the spiritual community I lived in with my parents handed me and three others a brand new suitcase.  I often joke there was a hint in this….

However, the blue Samsonite suitcase was a well-known one as lots of people travelling by bus had one.  On one of my trips home via Greyhound, I arrived back in Vancouver minus my suitcase.

The Greyhound bus station then was on what is now an empty lot in Vancouver where an Art Gallery is planned.  A few days after this happened I received a call from Greyhound freight.  So I picked my suitcase up and headed back to North Vancouver.

I didn’t have much in it.  Just a few clothes, mostly dirty ones from my trip and my diary.  I wondered if anyone had looked at my stuff…

Monday night was my laundry night in my small apartment building.  So I tossed the dirty clothes out of the suitcase and into the machine.

My diary which I hadn’t used for a while had made the trip and seemed no worse for wear.  I seldom wrote in it now but when I did I was passionate.  I signed off on everything I wrote there with a “Praise the Lord” ending.

As I arranged my dirty clothes evenly in the drum of the washing machine I felt something hard.  Something wasn’t right.  I pulled a piece of clothing out… a pair of undies…with a 1″ x 3″ piece of cardboard stapled inside the crotch.  Written with all caps in blue ink was:  “PRAISE THE LORD”.

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
You can message me @ GWJ Creative Art