A high school graduate with shorthand, accounting and typing. I had always worked after school and during summers so I expected to find a great job with all my references! Excited to move away from the little cow town!
On one of my job interviews…
In downtown Vancouver I was applying for a receptionist position. This was a company leading the way for other company’s on: “How to hire the right people for your business.” Now I don’t remember their name. But I do remember their office was full of packages, pamphlets and signs for “industrial psychology.” Something I had never heard of. They were very busy.
The test would take three hours…
I was informed at my interview I would have to undergo the testing they were teaching other company’s. If I wanted to come back after lunch they would have the test ready and it would take 3 hours. I had a folded newspaper in my purse with the days job opportunities. I wondered if I wanted to give up most of my day to one application.
I thought about it….
Then I realized – Heh! People pay big money for this and I get to do it for free. So I came back and sat down to a stack of papers. Most of the questions were multiple choice. When I finished – yes it was 3 hours – I went to their waiting room. In time I was called in.
And the results of the test are…
The man behind the desk looked at me with what appeared to be a mixture of kindness and sadness. Holding the papers in front of him he shook his head several times and then he apologized.
“I’m so sorry…I don’t know what to tell you. What you should do…”
You have the highest marks I have ever seen for someone in the field of writing…with music second and art third!”
He looked at me as if I should say something. I sat stunned. He continued. “I don’t have a clue on what to advise you…maybe…(and at this he really sounded doubtful)…more schooling?” Then he really perked up: “I can tell you would never be the right applicant for an office job!”
And this was just a receptionists job…
So I had wasted a whole day. One part of me agreed with him. I did love writing, music and art, BUT I had already proven myself out working in office jobs I had references for. I had all my high school training! I could do short hand! And this was just a receptionists job…I kept these thoughts to myself. I thanked him and walked out.
I like to think I went for a nice coffee…
Today, I haven’t forgotten the atmosphere of his office, his look and his words. I wish now I had looked deeper at what he told me.
I became Secretary to the highest paid scientist in forestry…
I did work in Vancouver in temp positions moving in and out of many office buildings. In the course I learned dictaphone and telex machines and zerox. I became secretary to the highest paid research scientist in forestry in Canada at that time. A two year hiring on Russian research called “Muka”. But in the end I became sick with agoraphobia.
Eventually I became a folksinger and a multi-media artist. My ability to juggle the work on the ranch gave me what most ranch women get. Expert ability to handle logistics. This meant I could organize shows with successful outcomes and I did! My typing has been invaluable and I still love short hand. But everyday I’m faced with the same dilemma my “tester” had.
I still don’t know what to tell myself about the writing, the music and the art.
“The mystery is in the magic. How the magic appears is the mystery.”
In school, science taught me to approach Life through dissection. To view Life as a study of how things work…
So to figure out the Life of a Frog – I would need to dissect a dead one. I refused. How can the dissection of what is dead ever lead to how it had Life? Only it’s anatomy which is now purposeless.
As an artist I find Life at the centre of everything worthwhile. I accept Life as a mystery…A mystery full of magic. I live fully engaged in this because I agree with the Magician and expect the mysterious. In return, I have received a wonderful Life.
How does an artist find their way in this world?
So without taking things apart how do I find answers? I find them in direction – by having a sense of one and by listening for it.
The distilled essence of artistic vision is a direction. The sense you were given one at birth and all you need now is the discipline to follow thru. Only you have yours.
Agreement being the vehicle of free choice – choose now to agree with this. You were created to create by a creator.
Your direction is?
A question to ask yourself: “What does my heart really want to do?”
Remember: What we absolutely love we must follow or we will have no peace.
Note: No one ever discovers their direction through someone else’s dissection. Sorry therapists!
Listen to your heart. Something great is there – speaking. Learn to listen. Be patient. But mostly give your heart – Your Love.
The right direction?
You will know you are moving in the right direction when the mystery and the magic show up and take you by the hand. It might even be slight-of-hand as in: “How did that happen?”
Be a child…reach up for the hand reaching down.
Now’s the time to talk about all the things you love. What is living in your heart? Is it a mystery? Be prepared for magic. Write it down as words have a way of telling you something.
My Personal Experience
I find the multi-media work I do comes from the direction of my heart. The station I have tuned into. The life-long love I have for the creator who lives in my heart. In mysterious and magical ways – His Life shows up and asks me to create for him. He knows I am open to listening!
Creating my Christmas cards (The Snowflake Butterfly), led to writing it’s story. This happened while I was still painting the cards! So the piece of watercolour paper I was testing my colours on started taking on words to.
It was a matter of brush and pen working at the same time.
There is never a dull moment when you are truly alive in what you love. I am thankful to return the results of my “loving” to the Master of it all. There is always another assignment waiting!
I Only Have Questions For You…because You have the answers for You!
How do you feel as a creator in your world?
Alive or dissected?
Like I heard and am now saying:
“The mystery is in the magic. How the magic appears is the mystery.”
Is there something hidden in your heart? What do you truly love? Listen for direction. It’s a road map…it’s Life!
I was an early riser at the ranch. Cows to milk and feed, horses to feed,
chickens…well you get my drift. If I wanted a coffee first I really got up early!
One winter with the tiniest of light on our Long Horn Meadow I saw a huge snowman. Right smack dab in the middle of the meadow! Of course it was my imagination but I thought it would be so neat if my family could see it too.
So I’m not sure if I wrote the song right away or if I fed the animals first…but I did follow thru on what I saw. This is how my song “There’s A Snowman Out In The Meadow” was born… On a cold winters morning!
(Guitar players…this is an easy melody to play. Have fun! )
There’s A Snowman Out in The Meadow
There’s a snowman out in the meadow A snowman big as Life And how he got in the meadow – You’ll have to ask my wife.
For the children in the forest, Asked her if she could play… And they built him out in the meadow Just the other day.
There’s a snowman out in the meadow A snowman smiling at me And the shape they gave the snowman Looks a lot like the letter “B”.
Oh he’s big around and “rolly” He’s awesome in a snowman’s way And I met him out in the meadow When the sun was far away…
The owl’s were there in the evening The birds at the break of day Then the sun began it’s journey And the snowman ran away…
But a sound I heard this evening From the forest there was a sigh… Oh the snowman’s back in the meadow
I recently found this poem in an old steno book. In 1995, I was four years away from living on the ranch and now on 3 acres. Musing about how the world would look from the eyes of a deer…a long time ago.
From The Eyes Of A Deer
Have you ever wanted to travel
The fields of Yesteryear?
Just to see the way things looked…
Perhaps from the eyes of a deer?
When everything was wild
Wild and alone
In overlapping wonder
This Earth at Peace, at Home.
And silence so enchanting
The air of every note
Conducted from Divinity
The Master Heart has wrote.
Your senses filled to bursting
The return to Now you’ll dread
For hit with sudden living
You’ll recognize what’s dead.
Travelling to Boston a few years ago I took this photo of Walden Pond where Henry D Thoreau loved to be. I imagine he saw the world of yesteryear through the eyes of a deer and more. Lucky are we that he wrote about his nature experience.
This is a short story published by Whitecap Books, 2000, “A Cowboy Christmas, Celebrating the Season on Ranch and Range,” Edited by Anne Tempelman-Kluit
When Cowboys Were Boys
by Katie Kidwell
You know, I’ve got some real fine memories of Christmas.
Now when Christmas comes, and I’m snowed up and alone in some line shack feeding cattle, I get those memories out and have myself a grand old time remembering.
Used to be when I was a boy we always had something happening and I remember one Christmas when the folks had to go into town to pick up some Aunt who’d just arrived from Boston. My sister was quite a rascal back then. Just as soon as they were gone we opened up both the front and back doors of the house and filled the floor between with a good layer of snow. Then we took our old sleigh up the hill which was right behind the back door and boy did we let her rip…right through the back door and out the front. Course we had to aim real careful or we hit the wall.
Sure was fun…of course we caught hell when the folks got back. I think my father got a kick out of it but he wasn’t gonna let mother know. No, she wasn’t all that fussy about the mess we made, that’s for sure!
Yes sir, it sure is nice to remember Christmas when you’re all alone somewhere listening to the wind howl. Kind of puts the sound of church bells and carols into your soul just thinking about it.
Today I was invited out for Moose Chile with the Canim Lake Elders! There I presented my painting and story about Weswisxe. Here is the story which follows the painting. Also a note of thank you at the end.
by Katie Kidwell (a story as shown in the painting)
The Great Spirit, the Father, lives in the sky and at night the Star People dance for him.
Silhouetted by the night, the Mother Robin sits on her nest like she is a mountain and her nest is the earth where life is born. Notice her chicks in the nest as valleys and hills, rivers and lakes.
When you see the mountain in the robin; she sees you with starlight in her eyes. In the light of her beak her words are now a song.
The Father lives in the eyes of the Mother’s children. His light glows like the cool part of a flame. Together, in the nest, the Mother and Chicks are a living fire of Life. A campfire where the peoples of the Earth can gather and remember the star dance. The dance of flying over mountains in the breath of the Great Spirit; the dance of living and of being alive right here on Earth.
With twigs and with moss we build our nest…and live like a mountain.
My note on this: I am grateful to a Canim Lake Elder who expressed an interest in my painting: “Robin and Chicks” at my show, The Little Birds That Fly. There she told me the Shuswap name for Robin was “Weswisxe” and wrote it down for me. I promised her a painting with this name. The story came along for the ride and I am grateful to the wisdom of the Great Spirit in using every opportunity to reveal His presence. I trust I heard him right. If not, I will hear about it around the campfire…
One morning, while I was laying in bed, half awake and half asleep; I heard the voice of an expert.
“Her work will never sell.”
“Yes,” I thought dreamily as I stretched. “I know this one…it isn’t seen as commercial.”
Half awake, I understood what was being said. It was as if I was there, looking over the shoulders of the “expert” who was looking at my work.
But this is when I really woke up. The booming voice over it all…
“It’s the currency of Love!”
Two voices waking me up with two different messages!
So I laid in bed for awhile mulling it over.
It was such an intriguing line… “It’s the currency of Love.”
The fact is, one voice wanted me to know I would never make money from my work. The other voice wanted me to know I had already received!
Currency is another word for money. The largest part of the word is current suggesting flow, energy, power.
Yes, Love is a powerhouse – it runs the Universe.
The bible says: “God is Love”.
If you asked me I would tell you this. I find agreement with the work that comes to me. I believe God created me to create. Creating Love is what God spends on me and expects from me in return; The currency of Love.
This is the story of my Life!
This blog “The Living Of Loving” is what I spend on you the reader. If you leave “inspired” it’s been a good exchange.
A near stranger said to me once:
“You have different creative expressions because you are still exploring who you are!”
This is the ultimate pay off. “The currency of Love”
P.S. I will be mulling this experience over for awhile as I’m sure there is more to discover…on my own or in listening.
My blog today is a short story. It is in response to a friend who was wondering if he would protest for democracy or the rights we have come to know and love in the free world. I wrote this story to show where my heart would be.
We live in a moment of Time.Having shopped our circumstances; we are left with what’s hanging in the closet.Or the blessing of not having one.How naked is that?
We might take a cup of tea, or better yet, the makings for a dozen cups.Imagine ourselves into a new adventure.We can never change what is all too common now; the protests and the angry sounds of people dying on the street.
But out where the earth slips though our toes and where the nuts still hang for boiling, we may find each other wanting.Yes, a bunch of vagabonds who know the tea is better when boiled with the nuts!
“The Tree That Grew From Rock” is a watercolor painting I splashed on last summer, from my belly boat on Crown Lake, at Marble Canyon Provincial Park. This scene has fascinated me for years. The tall column of rock with the lone tree on top. In a zippered compartment of my belly boat I found the water stained pad of paper, from which I had tried to express in 2010, the poetry of the rock and it’s invitation to the tree and everything around. So I have combined here the poem and the painting. I highly recommend floating and creating together.
The Tree That Grew From Rock (watercolor, Marble Canyon, Belly Boat)
Rock – Magnificent rock
Rock that hasn’t said
come tree, come bush
come crack, come hole
come be with me