Testing…Testing…

I moved to Vancouver when I was 19

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.

 Oh well.  All’s well that ends well.

 I hope it does.
 
© Kathy Kidwell, 2015  True to You (no longer on-line)
©The Living of Loving, 2018
 

Mystery & Magic by Katie Kidwell

“The mystery is in the magic. How the magic appears is the mystery.”
Art by Wendy Liddle for my book “Well Hell”
 

Science Class

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.
 

Direction

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

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.
 

Act

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!
 

Recently

 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!
 
Enjoy the scenery…the real you is on its way!

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

There’s A Snowman Out In The Meadow

The Painting

My “Snowman”
©GWJ Creative Art
Christmas Card
2015

The Story

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!

The Song

(Guitar players…this is an easy melody to play.  Have fun! )

The Lyrics

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

And so was I………………….

©Katie Kidwell, 1982  SOCAN

©The Living Of Loving Blog, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

Sleigh Ride

My song “Sleigh Ride” was inspired by the sleigh in this picture.  The story of this particular sleigh is another story for another time.

Bridge Creek Estate Sleigh circa 1970’s. Photo by my father Jim Moore.
Over a space of ten years, two different Turtle Dove choirs performed “Sleigh Ride”.   Under the direction of Moira Hunter and Beverly Maize at Martin Exeter Hall.
 
The Turtle Doves were three to seven year olds.  Performing with me they were the live vocal bells in the chorus!  We had lots of fun and energy on stage and our audience loved it.   It was winter time and the right time for an imaginary winter sleigh ride.  Thank you Moms and Dads, Grandma’s and Grandpa’s!
 
In SoundCloud, Sleigh Ride is my second most popular song. Some teachers are having fun with it!
 
Here is the horse whinny recording of Sleigh Ride and the lyrics.  Enjoy!
 
Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider

Lyrics

SLEIGH RIDE

Oh I went for a sleigh ride, a real winter hay ride
Out in the farm country.
And the horse’s wore bells and had real long hair
And they wore special shoes you see.
They went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

Through the fields of snow by the full moon light
We headed out on a starry night
And the Leader danced and the “others” pranced
And the sleigh ran along behind.
It went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

Well I held the reins, rolled around in the hay –
Laughed and acted like a fool they say.
And the horse’s ears went back and forth
As we sang those sleigh bell tunes.
We went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

There by the glow of the Milky Way,
I fell asleep ‘neath the pricky hay.
And the horses nodded their shaggy heads
As they dreamt of sawdust beds.
**********(slowing down till very slow)*************
They went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

Down from the hill in the dark of the night
They saw the glow of their barn light.
And they thought of warm water and oats and hay
And they pranced and they whinny’d away.
**********(with quick excitement)**************
They went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

Oh I went for a sleigh ride, a real winter hay ride
Out in the farm country.
And the horse’s wore bells and had real long hair
And they wore special shoes you see.
They went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..
(fade:  chinga, chinga, chink, chink….)

©Katie Kidwell, 1987 SOCAN

Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider
Art by Wendy Liddle, CCI

©The Living Of Loving, 2018

Visit me on face book!

Children Want Peace On Earth

Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider
Children Want Peace On Earth was scrawled on a wooden sign, as I walked through Lorraine’s Arrowhead greenhouse on Horse Lake Road.
 
The sign became the inspiration for a song I later wrote and then forgot about.  When Lorraine was diagnosed with cancer I remembered it.  It had been eight years…”Oh…no…I never told Lorraine…maybe it will cheer her up.” It did and more…
 
Luckily, the song wasn’t as hard to find as some of my work has been.  I call it my treasure hunt and if you come back to my blog, I’ll explain it over time.
 
Lorraine has since passed away.  In honour of her love for growing and for a world full of beauty and ORGANIC I will leave you with the lyrics to her song.  I hope someday to hear children singing:  “Sing Lorraine’s song…“

Lyrics to Song (followed by a recording)

Children Want Peace On Earth

Children want Peace on Earth
And Love for everyone’s Life
To get along when things go wrong
So take a big breath, and sing Lorraine’s song…
“Children want Peace on Earth.”

Children want Peace on Earth
And a safe place for all living things
To see our hands respect the land
For in our dreams we are more than we seem…
“Children want Peace on Earth.”

Children want Peace on Earth
And lots of food and to play
To fly so free where no nets should be
To laugh out loud and always be proud…
“Children want Peace on Earth.”

Children want Peace on Earth
And an end to war and to grief
To hold their candles in the wind
And know the flame grows strong between friends…
“Children want Peace on Earth.”

© Katie Kidwell, 2006, SOCAN

Here is the audio recording:

You can listen to this song at it’s web page or on SoundCloud

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving blog

GWJ Creative Art

Sunflowers

“Sleeping with a sunflower under your pillow will permit you to know the truth of any matter”  (Old Folklore)

Watercolour by Katie @ Juniper

My post this week is on Sunflowers.  I know it’s the middle of January!  I awoke with sunflowers whispering in my ear so Sunflowers it is!

Photo’s of Sunflowers @ Splendor View Garden (where all my sketches of sunflowers originated)

The Heart Shape Leaf I So Adore

The leafs were always shaped like big hearts and the biggest one’s always asked:  “Place your hand here?”

 

Heritage Sunflower Seeds @ Splendour View

I only planted Sunflower seeds the first year.  Once established, they were the first seeds up in the spring!

I let the birds have the seed as I always knew they would drop some for next year.

I took care as I walked on the soil.  If I could spot them sprouting…and move them to one place…they would become big!

Once in awhile one would sprout under the Lovage and SURPRISE!!!!!

“In the middle of everything is
THE SUN.”
Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)
Polish astronomer

From The Eyes Of A Deer

Poetry from The Living Of Loving

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.

©GWJ Creative Art, 2019

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.

©K, Kidwell, 1995

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.

Thoreau’s Walden Pond

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

 

 

Conrad O’Brien-ffrench

I remember drawing with Conrad…
Conrad O’Brien-ffrench.   He was an aristocrat who had been a spy. My parents, who knew him, told me he had been a close pal of Ian Fleming’s. Conrad was the “real” James Bond.
 
Conrad laughed when you asked him but a lot of people knew this about him.
 
I knew him as an old man who could draw and paint horses, people and places. Here I was walking down a dirt road with him. A little girl and an old man and all because I told him I liked to draw. So he invited me to come along with him.
 
I remember sitting behind the Bridge Creek Estate barn with him. Drawing horses and fences and the way the grass grew along the creek. He told me I must know the anatomy of a horse if I want to be able to draw it moving. He drew bones on my paper and I still have it.
 
It was a wonderful afternoon. Drawing and talking. Later, I saw his home in Colorado when I went to visit my Aunt. She signed me up for one of his drawing workshops. It was on hands and feet and eyes which he was very good at.
 
The workshop was okay but nothing like that afternoon sitting behind the barn drawing. He is gone now and I tease myself with the memories of sketching with the real James Bond.
(from my 1992 notes at Elko, Nevada)
During an estate sale a few years ago, I found an oil painting by Conrad that had been stored in Lord Martin’s Attic.  It was leaning against a wall behind Lillian’s piano.  There was no price on it.  I asked  and bought it!  When I took it to the framers I discovered it wasn’t square. I knew Conrad had painted it on one of his many visits to the Lodge and had used the wood from their local wood shop.   So I took it to my trusted carpenter friend, Peter Dalby (who also knew Conrad).  He did the job proud and $400.00 plus dollars later it was framed.  A fitting wood frame of knots and beauty.  It is a picture of Jesus in the Garden.
 
Not the best of photography but for now.
1969 Oil Painting by Conrad O'Brien-ffrench
Sermon On The Mount

Conrad wrote in pen, on a piece of manilla paper glued to the back of this painting the following, which was later lifted and placed onto the new backing:

This is what he wrote: 

Sermon On The Mount  “The Kingdom of God is within you”  Leo Tolstoy wrote a book with this Title concluding it in 1893 the year I was born .  Conrad
Partial/Close up of 1969 Oil Painting on board of Jesus by Conrad O’Brien-ffrench 19″ x 38″
Also written on the board before back was put on: “I am the Vine, Ye are the branches.”

©Katie Kidwell, 2018, The Living of Loving

Contact Katie at GWJ Creative Art.  Or by e-mail:  katiekidwell8@gmail.com

The Christmas Loon

Terry’s Loon Box

THE CHRISTMAS LOON

     On the last Christmas my brother Terry was alive, I heard a loon. From the top balcony, outside his house it came, drifting down Sheridan lake.

I had stepped out to be by myself. Admiring the stars and the way the snow wrapped itself on the tree’s. Here and there a Christmas light poked through on the tree closest to the balcony. Having enjoyed a beautiful Christmas dinner with my family I pondered there. The haunting sound of a loon answered. I looked down the lake thru moon light and shadow only to hear it again.

“Loons in the winter,” I thought. “Was it possible?” So I went downstairs where the men hang out.

“You’ll never guess what I heard…a loon on the lake!”

I had to speak a couple of times. They seemed to be unaware of what I was saying. Then it came:

“Oh no! That couldn’t be…,” they chorused.

     Perplexed, I went back up the stairs and stood by the large glass patio windows. The night was bright and the stars were dazzling. Turning to face my sister-in-law Roberta’s shelves, I was deep in thought. I know what I heard.

     Faintly, like whispered murmurings, the sounds of a nature tape. “Oh,” I thought, Roberta had this on so low she must have thought she had turned it off! Would this tape have the sound of a loon on it? And if so, how did it get outside, increase in volume and come down the lake?

Today, I remember my brother Terry with the only craft he ever made. Dad had shown him how to make a loon box out of wood. He only made a few so I bought one before the other’s went into Roberta’s store. This was the summer before anyone knew… Now I have his loon box and the mystery of the loon I heard after our last Christmas Dinner with him.

Did the loon call come from the tape? How did it find its way into a beautiful night and setting? I often think of it as the Christmas Loon and it makes me think of my big brother.

“Shake a paw for a treat!” Sam and Boots with Terry 10 years earlier @ Christmas 1988.

©Katie Kidwell, 2018

Contact:   GWJ Creative Art on Facebook

When Cowboys Were Boys

     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.

©Katie Kidwell, 2018

Previously published:
The Cowboy’s Campfire in Cyber Space, 1999

Whitecap Books, 2000, 
“A Cowboy Christmas, Celebrating the Season on Ranch and Range,”  Edited by Anne Tempelman-Kluit

Contact Katie:  GWJ Creative Art on facebook