The Light of the Sun

By Ann Marie Newman

The shotgun blast of the screen door slapping shut

Announces to the bright, sunny world

The arrival of

ME!

Hah-Hah!

My eight year old legs

Leap off the top step in a single bound.

I soar through the air

Down,

Down,

Down.

My landing is muffled in the pillowy, green grass

Surrounding my grandma’s farmhouse.

Overcome by the delicious ecstasy of warm, crystal clear, sunlit air,

I twirl, leap, and dance upon my bare toes like the

Bolshoi ballerina I imagine myself to be in that very moment.

With one final spinning leap,

I land, fall, and roll

One, two, three times, finally stilling

Spread eagled on my back,

Cradled by the grass whose silken blades

Tickle my bare legs; their welcome, gentle.

Beneath the calming midday sun,

I rest beside Grandma’s flower garden,

Where my eyes are treated to a brilliant, polychromatic rainbow

Of lusty blooms swaying in the breeze.

There I bask,

In the in-betweeness

Of soothing, cool earth embracing me

From behind,

And warm, flower-scented air caressing me

From above.

My right hand reaches blindly into the grass.

Plucking free a few blades, I bring them to my mouth and chew.

Mmmmm…the grass is a savory blend of sweet and bitter.

It tastes GREEN, and green tastes like life.

In the safety of Grandma’s yard,

I dare to close my eyes against the brightness of the sun,

So brazenly exposed in the naked blue sky.

I inhale. I exhale.

My breath slows and deepens. I feel my heart

Began to beat in rhythm with the pulse of the earth.

My hearing intensifies, magnifying the cacophony

Of living beings vigorously celebrating the day with me.

Bees humming, crickets chirping, Grasshoppers fiddling,

Birds singing, trees waving their arms and rustling their leaves.

Their symphony flows deep into the

Very center of my being…

I am in complete harmony with the universe.

Here,

In Northern Minnesota, summers are far too brief.

Days such as these must be appreciated with purposeful intensity.

The sensation of the sun’s warmth upon my skin,

The vivid sight, the heavenly scent of flowers, blooming,

The sacred songs and sounds of life, living.

The sensual feel and taste of luscious green, green, green grass.

All must be absorbed into my every cells memory,

As I lay in communion with the light of the sun.

So that I may be sustained through the long, cold winter

That will surely arrive

All too soon.

Like the shotgun blast of a screen door, slapping shut.

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My cousin Mauri Torgerson (younger girl) and I standing in our Grandma Torgerson’s luscious flower garden while trying to ignore the busy bees about us.

I Remember…

I remember the Lake House best,
Not so much the Farm House that came first.
I saw the Lake House get built
The summer I was seven.

I watched Grandpa push a
Wheelbarrow full of wet cement
Across the soon to be
Walkout basement floor.

He accidentally lost control
The wheelbarrow rolled
Spilling a gloppy, glumpy
Pile of cement goo.

Oh he was so mad!
So mad at himself that he
Cried big boy tears.
Grandpa felt feelings like me.

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Me and Grandpa and a dog at the farm in Clearwater, Minnesota.

I was born two days after his 61st birthday. I always felt a close, emotional bond with my Grandpa Peterson.

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Reading the evening paper together. I still read the newspaper every day.

Grandpa was a “do-it-yourselfer” who liked working with his hands. Me too! He also felt feelings strongly. Me too! I try to channel those feelings into my creative endeavors in healthy ways – though, when things go topsy-turvy, you just might find me struggling with big girl tears. It’s all part and parcel of living my life with ARTitude.

April is Poetry Month, and so, so, so…

Doncha’ just know, know, know…

I’m reading a bit of poetry.

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I’m also giving it a go, go, go…

Doncha’ just know, know, know…

At writing a bit of poetry.

Here I go, go, go!

ARTitude Gratitude 

Written by Ann Marie Newman

With extreme gratitude

I hereby direct my attitude

Towards an enduring certitude

That keeping one’s days trued

To the celebration of magnitude

moments of ART-filled solicitude

Blesses life in plentitude

With energetic fortitude

Making each day ever renewed

always imbued

With ARTitude!

It’s my personal Proc-la-poem-a-tion! >snort<

ARTitude is EVERYTHING!

That Old Tattered Quilt…

wasn’t getting better with age. It was now 70 years old (probably more). Handmade by my mother-in-law’s aunt, it featured oh-so-patient hand stitching throughout, and had been well used as a bedspread years before it landed in my home, stored in a trunk. Numerous holes now marred it’s faded cloth where vintage cotton batting puffed out. I certainly couldn’t throw it out. Nope! This quilt had sentimental value. What to do?

Time to upcycle! This took a bit of bravery on my part, for it required the deconstruction of the quilt compliments of my favorite pair of scissors. It took me about a month to get my nerve up to make the first “snip-snip“. Yikes!!! Once I did that, there was no turning back. I made an assortment of items.

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I created several primitive style Easter Bunnies. These make nice keepsakes for our family to be enjoyed for many years to come at Easter time. I made to ghosties too, for Halloween. Next, hearts and tree ornaments for our Christmas trees, then valances to go over interior windows, and many, many “Dream” pins with added bits of vintage embroidery, lace, bric-brac, and buttons.  There was A LOT of quilt and I didn’t want to waste one bit of it.

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I made one final item. A pillow. It’s not done yet. I plan to appliqué a design on it…I’m still deciding on what that will be. When it’s finished, I’ll share the image. Right now, I’m taking a breather. That was one BIG a$$ quilt! LOL!!!

Stitching away with ARTitude. Of course!

México 1900–1950: exposición brillante, hermoso

Dallas Museum of Arts latest exhibit,

México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde is outstanding!

I enjoyed everything about it. First it’s HUGE! The vastness of gallery space used to showcase the art means you really need to set aside at least a few hours to see it all, read the educational and historical information provided along the way, and spend quality time watching the videos. I did not do that, so I’m planning return visits and bringing others with me to share the experience with. The DMA has excellent food providers inside and outside the museum, so do plan a nice snack or meal while there. You won’t be sorry. Fun time!

One thing I noticed was all the self portraits from the featured artists, Frida Kahlo wasn’t the only one producing marvelous portraits of herself.

I played around with the whole “selfie” thing in honor of their “selfie” portraits as seen in the following photos.

So much about Mexico’s cultural life from 1900-1950 is there in the richly diverse exhibit. There are the many massively gifted male and female artists, the indigenous peoples, the politics, wars & sufferings, the celebrations, the night life…even it’s cinematic arts. Most of all, throughout the entirety of all the artworks, there is the powerfully visual story of the strong, beautiful and dignified people of Mexico. That can never, no must never be overlooked!

I highly, highly recommend seeing Mexico 1900-1950 to everyone, even those folks who rarely if ever, go to art museums. Runs March 12, 2017 to July 16, 2017. $16 with discounts for seniors, students, and military. DMA Members and children 11 and under are free.

                  Another blissful day practicing ARTitude. Hooray and Amen!

March 12, 2017 to July 16, 2017