believer, wife, mother, storyteller,
Digital Scrapbooker since 2006
inconsistent journal keeper, lifelong learner
facing my fears and taking my stories beyond the journal and off the page
finding inspiration in my garden and herb beds and on photo exploration trips with Bruce and the girls
self-taught hesitant artist, and writer
I can be found on twitter
as lorigg and on Google+
as Lori Guenter.
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Welcome to My Fragmented Journey
Monday, March 10 2014 @ 08:57 AM CST
Monday, February 25 2013 @ 10:15 AM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
Forward. Backwards. Sideways. Movement needs direction. Running. Swimming. Shovelling. I have attempted to add regular movement to my life. These movements are easy to see Other movements are more difficult. Am I moving forward in other areas? I hope so but I am not sure how to measure it.
I continue to create scrapbook pages and art pages. I create far fewer than I once did. A few years ago, I created a digital Project Life
style album. I never printed it. By the end, Bruce and I were a little tired of the daily photo requirement. I liked the reference it provided for what life looked like in our family. The journaling was key for me. We started a second year because of the journaling habit it had formed. By spring I let it fizzle. That may have been a turning point for me with scrapbooking. Since then I have created fewer and fewer pages. At the same time, I have created more art pages.
Journaling remains important. I have tens of thousands of photos on the computer. Some were taken primarily as art shots. Bruce and the girls all enjoy photography. Sometimes photos are taken as an experiment. Some of the photos document our lives. Without the words to go with them, it becomes impossible to tell which is which. Words are important!
Preschool Grad 2004
My interest in words has led to other experiments using words. I have short stories in need of editing and story fragments needing a home. My art pages inspire stories and stories inspire art. What direction will these take next? I hope they move forward with improved art skill and word play.
Movement is hard to quantify in my creative endeavours. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to any movement goes with me everywhere. Doubt plants itself between my ears and asks for a free ride. The only direction I am certain of is doubt and fear need an eviction notice. That will free up space for creative play.
Sunday, February 24 2013 @ 09:04 PM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
I continue to work through that which is holding me back whether physical or mental. One day, I will be thankful that I persevered.
Friday, February 22 2013 @ 12:49 PM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
February is the month of love and I picked a book to read that I did not love. I have read other published diaries and journals and enjoyed them. My two favourite to date are those of Louisa May Alcott and Lucy Maud Montgomery. It was interesting to learn about the life of the authors not just their characters. With that in mind, I searched the library stacks for another journal. I expected to enjoy this one. I started it before January was even over.
The time period for this diary is 1952 through 1963. It follows the war which was a tumultuous time in Europe. Dali talks of events during the war. It could have added interest to the book. Unfortunately his ego gets in the way. His ego is larger than the continent can contain. Some of the entries in the journal are surrealist stream of conscious writings. They are hard to follow. In other entries I stumbled on the ego that oozed everywhere. Dali set the standard for current shock jocks in some of his entries.
While I found this book a difficult read, I did find a few quotes and thoughts that challenged me. He at one point talked about an art experiment that failed. His comments relating to the failure were informative. " My pleasure is to discover all the truths of my painting technique with the help of episodic and momentous failure. For a few moments more, I savor my sin absolutely, and then I ask them to bring me something that is at the same time very relative and very real, ..." from September 16, 1953. He called the experiment a disaster before pondering it and learning from it. The following entries show he returned to the same painting to work over the area of failure.In contrast, I often call my experiments a failure and do something else without taking the time to learn from them and try again.
Other entries give glimpses into his work process:
"Very important: color may melt on the edges to the point where it disappears. Necessary to start from the middle and to blend in the edges. The smudges are made by color that has not been blended and not been worked." August 21, 1953
Port Lligat, Spain
I had a variety of ideas to try this month for art. I worked on two of them. The others I may return to or they nay fall by the wayside neglected and unloved. The two pieces I did are postcards. I have returned to my writing or attempts at writing. Last years postcard characters continue to inspire me. The first piece is a harbour scene much like the one Dali looked at from his studio window in Port Lligat, Spain. Some of his works were obviously inspired by that scene. I used watercolor pencils to create the scene. Maggie's note laments the waste of time it was to read a book she did not love. It is far better to daydream. kitty on the other hand loves books. She can not help but respond. Her art is a pencil drawing of an old pair odf shoes. Early in the diary, Salvador Dali talks of putting on a pair of shoes that pinch slightly. The pinch was to remind himself not to talk too long during the speech he was about to give. I have sat through a number of speeches where the speaker should have done similar.
Others in the Artful Reader's Club have been inspired by books this month. To find out if they recommend the book or not and see their art join the club or just browse through and be inspired.
Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 10:42 AM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
I haven't read a good mystery in months. Instead I have been reading non-fiction, mind-altering non-fiction. In the middle of challenging my ideas on failure and success and economics and risk, I need some time to unwind. The reading is undoubtedly influencing everything I do including my art.
Today was planned as a writing day. A time to let thoughts and characters run wild across the page. I am joining others around the world who are also focusing on writing today. Sounds simple enough. I cleared stacks of paperwork in preparation. I made progress on laundry and enlisted the help of the girls with meals. The family knows the plan and agreed to it. In return I need to take the girls shopping tomorrow. But apparently, I neglected to tell the characters the plan. A new character is demanding time. Last night, she featured in an art page. I did not know her name at the time. To write it is necessary to know the characters name but to create art, they can be more elusive.
Janet told me her name as I was ready to sleep. No problem. I hoped she would tell me her story as well. She can dictate, I'll write. I even have a cleared off schedule ready to here her story. Maggie
would be overjoyed! Janet not so much. She likes to create a stir. She is used to turning heads. Just what I need a demanding character with attitude. Janet thinks she is being framed. Martha is supposed to help her find out why. Sounds good but now I need to know who Martha is. Who is framing Janet? Do I really want to find out? They think I need to join the hunt and help them discover their answers. Maybe I should have stuck to reading mysteries instead.
What does all this have to do with success, failure and risk? Why is a new character a problem on a writing day? It is only a problem because this story so far is playing out visually. I was not planning to open a myriad of computer programs. It was to be a simple exercise with pen marking paper. The risk is that Janet leads me on a wild goose chase. I don't even know her and she is being very demanding. She is not making it easy to find out her story. She could be setting me up for failure. So now I have a decision to make. Do I explore this story using art to set the scene and inform the writing? Do I push through to write the non-fiction articles I planned to start the day with?
I think Janet is swaying the decision. Characters with attitude can get very pushy. Maybe the non-fiction will just have to wait for Saturday.
Monday, February 18 2013 @ 08:28 AM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
A busy family means I am the primary chauffeur after school. I often find myself listening to the radio while driving. This month I have been regularly reminded it is Love Month. While there has been a great round up of love songs over the years played, I find myself annoyed. Why do we only focus on love for one day or month of the year? My family is important all year round not only on valentine's Day. If Bruce were to ignore my 364 days then try to make up for it on one day, I would not be impressed. The hype seems to build with each year as we commercialize everything including love.
Bruce learned early on that my ideas are slightly contrary to society. The first Christmas we were dating he bought me knives. He knew I wanted a good set of knives for the kitchen. His mom thought this was a rather unromantic gift to give your girlfriend and convinced him to add something romantic to it. I thought it was a great present it was something I wanted and needed. It showed he cared enough to listen to what I was saying and ignore what the advertisers claimed was the way to impress a girl. Eighteen years later, I am still marching to my own beat. I recycle the jewelry fliers immediately. I don't need a flashy piece of metal or a big rock to show the world my guy loves me. This year, I recycled ALL the valentine's advertising before looking at it. I can't be bought with a flashy ad or a piece of something that I then need to look after. Instead, I want a walk in the park. I want to go for a drive in the countryside. I enjoy a simple game and visiting around the table.
On Valentine's Day, my love took the girls out for a coffee and hot chocolate. He treated them with my blessing. Earlier in the day, the two of us played a game over an extended lunch break. He continues to show his love for me by being a great dad to our girls and by spending time listening to me. On the weekend, we took one of those countryside drives and played some more cards. I made a valentine's card for him. He'll get it this week because love shouldn't only be shown on one day of the year. Besides, it's still love month so it is not even late yet.
Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 09:15 PM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
Since reading through the Bible in 90 days, I have continued with mostly regular reading. The amount I read varies. What doesn't vary is that I leave thinking over what I have just read. This February I am reading in Hebrews. There is lots to mull over in this book. Instead of rambling on with my thoughts. I am just going to quote some of the verses from this week.
Hebrews 11:1-3. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.
What would we be commended for today?
Monday, February 11 2013 @ 02:26 PM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
Contrast adds interest. Music has rests. Speaking uses a pause. They invite the listener to participate, to reflect and engage. Some passages are slow. Some are fast. Some are soft, others LOUD. Monotony causes the listener to drift off. Their thoughts wander and they miss parts of the whole.
The weather outside is frightful. At least it was for parts of January and will be again before spring arrives. The cold air threatens to slow everything down. It is a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of previous months. The summer warmth is enjoyed in part because it is different, it is in contrast to winter. Each season has its own personality. They have their own rhythm. Slow follows busy. Harvest follows the lazy days of summer. The rhythm repeats.
I find myself simultaneously fighting and embracing the rhythm of the season. It is hard to pause. Musicians practice playing the rest so they don't rush through them. Speakers practice the art of the pause. Many fight it by joining sentences together with needless words. Space can be threatening. Without attention the spaces in my house fill with remnants of the past. They become neglected and unused residents of our home. The pause gets squished in the corner until it gasps for air. My schedule fills relegating the pause to eight hours at night when I fall into bed exhausted.
I fight back. I need space to think, space to create. The memories need space to form, unhurried by the next event. Life begs to be savoured and enjoyed. I start timidly to embrace the rhythm of the season.
Monday, February 04 2013 @ 02:29 PM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
I have turned off the TV. There were many reasons to do so. I still watch some popular shows. Later. I wait for the DVD to show up in the library. I learn about new shows from family and friends not from ads.
Advertising was not one of the main reasons for unplugging the TV. Time was and is. I don't miss the ads. Well sometimes I do, when others refer to memorable ads that I have no memory of, or the big budget Super Bowl ads. Most of the time though, I do not miss it. I never miss the unrealistic expectations that are set. "Want fabulous hair, use our product." "Show how much you love her with a...."
The continual barrage of selling wears away at the soul as a river erodes a bank. The message is always you could be better. You could do better. We have just what you need to fix you. Really? Will new clothes fix me? Do I really need a new car to get to work or to drive the kids to school? Until I turned off one source of ads, I didn't really think about them. I tuned many of them out but they still played in the background.
I don't want to find my value in something that needs to be upgraded next year or worse next month. I will never look like the supermodels. I have more curves than Marilyn Monroe. Many are not where I prefer them. But it doesn't matter. My looks are changing and will continue to change. Silver is appearing in my hair. I wasn't made to stay the same. Beauty is fleeting.
I desire joy and peace. Some days I have to search to find them. They don't come naturally. The things of value take work. They are also a gift. The work is obedience. The gift is grace.
I need to stop comparing myself to everyone around me. I need to listen to the voice of the creator. He made me for a purpose. He has good works planned out for me. If I refuse to pause and listen, I end up randomly throwing darts at the wall. Many miss. Each miss causes feelings of failure. Pausing takes work. Listening takes work and often risk.
I pause to listen because I want the result. I want the lasting attractiveness that comes with a spirit of peace, of patience and of joy. It doesn't fade like those built on the fad of the day. It doesn't fade with age. It is produced over a lifetime as step by step and day by day, I learn to listen.
Friday, February 01 2013 @ 09:17 AM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
The year started as a sprint. Unfortunately, life is more of a marathon. If this pace continues burnout will ensue. Actually the pace has already started to slow. A head cold has me re-evaluating my to do list and priorities. I have not joined my running buddies at the gym since Monday. Stacks of writing sit untyped waiting to be edited. Last year, I started my monthly review inspired by Katie's Roundup. By summer my pace had dropped off and my review's stopped. However, I continue to see value in them. I have regularly fallen off the training plan for my running and I just restart. I am restarting my reviews.
The questions I hope to answer each month are:
1. What books and or magazines did I read this month?
For the Artful Reader's Club, I read Around the World in Eighty Days. Other books I read this month include Living_art Pablo Picasso by Hajo Duchting, Money Saving Mom's Budget by Crystal Paine and Thrifty by Marjorie Harris. I started a fascinating book Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Unfortunately, it is a very popular book at the library and I had to return it unfinished. It is not a book to read in a hurry as it is full of thought provoking ideas. I will return to it before the year is over. In the meantime, I started another book that promised to be an interesting read Quiet by Susan Cain. With my ladies BOOKClub bible study, I read through Proverbs.
2. What movies, TV shows, plays, etc. did I watch?
Bruce and I watched some episodes of BattleStar Gallactica on DVD. With the girl, we watched Finding Farley and some Get Smart on DVD.
3. What interesting things did we do as a family? With friends?
We celebrated three family birthdays this month and sent wishes for a fourth who lives in another province.
4. What were our accomplishments?
Victoria participated in a speech contest. Kathryn ran in an indoor track relay, her team made it to the semi finals. I helped with SpeechCraft at SIAST and the University of Saskatchewan helping students with their public speaking skills. We have started to investigate high school options for Victoria. On January 1, Kathryn and I ran the 5K Resolution Run. Kathryn is currently winter camping with her classmates. They left Wednesday and have had the two coldest consecutive days of the year so far.
5. What were our disappointments?
Juggling schedules continues to be a frustration. There are many things we all want to do and it is hard to choose which to focus on. Victoria pent the first part of the month recovering from a bad cold she had before and during the Christmas season. I spent the last part of January with pressure on my ear. I tried to return to my writing. I have found a pattern of stopping a story just at the climax leaving myself and my readers wondering "and then what?" It will be an ongoing effort this year to work through this and finish some of the stories.
6. What did I do for exercise?
I have traded the outdoor running for swimming, treadmill and stationary bike. The treadmill does not happen as often as I hoped. It felt great to return to the pool. Once the spring weather arrives, I will return to running outdoors. Hopefully, I will continue to swim once that happens.
7. Did I make progress on my goals?
I am still in the process of recording my goals for the year. Writing and exercise are a necessary piece. We are discussing a few bigger ideas as a family that will affect this years goals.
As the year progresses, I expect this list will change to more accurately reflect the things I want to track and remember at the end of the year. I am also working on a list of tasks I want to make sure I complete each month. I have had huge stacks of papers to file. I hope to build routines to keep that from happening.
Monday, January 28 2013 @ 02:51 PM CST
Contributed by: Lorilee
Every once in a while, Bruce and I toss the to do list and just do. This morning started out as usual. I head to the gym and he headed to work. When I got home, I enticed him to join me exploring the foggy countryside. But first we had to get the kids to school.
The ride to school was disappointing. It seemed the fog was lifting. The trees had a slight dusting of white. Undeterred we headed to the river hoping to catch the ice fog lifting and obscuring downtown. The fog was thin and we each had tasks to complete so we headed home. The closer we got to the edge of the city, the harder it got to see. We intentionally missed our turn and headed out of town. The fog was thick enough we wondered if it would obscure not only the background but the foreground. Would there be no happy middle?
Staying on the highway was not an option. We turned off to the north. The exploration had begun. Occasionally the fog lifted slightly. Just after Bruce commented: "It would be nice to have something alive in the photo", we saw a pair of deer. They froze. We took a few photos, moved the car and took a few more. In the thickest fog, we hoped not to find deer. We did not want to be surprised by them on the road. We did see few more feeding on some round bales off the side of the road.
It was time to return home and back to work. As we approached the city, it looked like the city had been erased. A blank canvas awaited those who wished to recreate the neighborhood.
The to do list remains but the fog is gone. The opportunity has faded but the memories remain.
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