Consider this question from Shawna Lemay, Is it possible, even, that the light of the world, carefully observed, enters us, enters our breathing, and even our souls?
With this Breathe sign, I discovered that my new lamp was not illuminating enough of my work table, focusing light in a small area, and creating glare in its path and shadows all around. Light is meant to be shared.
But even without the right lamp, the intersection of light and breath is still strong when the light catches the iridescence and the shimmer makes me happy.
Breathing in the light is a way to come into your own being, a reminder that you belong to yourself, to the light, that you exist in the light, and because of light. And once you have drawn it into you, and I’m talking about the real light you observe and are warmed by, as well as a more spiritual type of light, you are able to share this with those who are struggling, you can inspire others who might be inhabiting a darker, more shadowy place. (Shawna Lemay, Transactions with Beauty)
This Breathe went across the street to our neighbors this week. They have commissioned pieces over the years, starting with their house number when they were able to move back in after a fire. This was a classic Christmas story, where they both asked us to make a house number as a surprise gift.
My #oneword for 2018 is Tend: to pay attention, direct energies, to stretch toward my life and take care of the things that matter. Stratoz kindly colored the background orange for me. I have it in my studio where I can see it every time I walk by.
Choosing a word as a touchstone for the year began for me in 2016, when someone commissioned Nutmeg Designs to make a mosaic sign of the word Create because it was her word of the year. I realized this was a word that inspired me as well, because when I am creating, rather than consuming, I am rejuvenated.
The word I chose for 2017 was Up. I had made a sign with that particular word because of my experience with Alexander Technique lessons and the concept of feet rooted on the ground, and the head up, as if with the help of invisible threads. I also was inspired by all the aspects of up: Show up. Speak up. Stand up. Rest up. Get up.
Commissioned by a client for her inspiration in her office. She defined this Urdu/Arabic word as meaning peace, bliss, contentment, when all is right with the world, and something she seeks. I hadn’t heard this word before and I like knowing there are words yet to be discovered to describe well being.
What is your word for 2016? Nutmeg Designs has words. If your word is not there, just order the one with the same number of letters. Leave us a note in the comments field of your order. And if you want Times New Roman font like the ones above, let us know that too. We always check in about colors and details before we begin. In 6-8 weeks, we will send you a word to resonate for the rest of the year.
After creating a Create for a client the first week of the year, I chose Create as my word for 2016. A reminder to go into the studio for rejuvenation.
She arrived with print-outs from our website, and a bag of Scrabble tiles. She wanted the word “leap” in flowing bright colors: red, orange, yellow, and the tiles spelling out “and the net will appear.” She wanted the light to shine through all that color, so the project went to Stratoz. We’ve known this client for a long time, along her path to becoming a minister, with all manner of hurdles, and yet discerning her call, attending Community College, Seminary classes, finding a church and her ordination. It was an honor to know she looked at our work when she needed an infusion of inspiration and joy and that she chose to commission original art as her birthday gift ~ rather than, as she put it, getting another piece of jewelry that she never wears.
Stratoz shared an image of this Dream sign, and one of our clients said she dreams in orange. I chose blue backgrounds for our previous Dream signs, and I loved the evocation of the sky as part of our dreaming. But when Stratoz handed over the lettering this time, I wanted orange. Some readers might remember the ubiquitous career book, What Color is Your Parachute? I was baffled by the title, in how it related to career choices, but just as a question, it is poetic.
Listening was my natural state as a child. Listening to the adults tell stories to me, or talk to each other above me. I became a writer with my storehouse of listening.
Stratoz and I had a Christmas commission to create a sign with the word Listening for a spiritual director. Listening had become a gift of her vocation, when her natural state was talking.
I was introduced to spiritual direction at the University of Scranton in the early 1990s, where I had my first librarian job. The University had a contemplative spirituality program, and I started seeing an Ignatian nun(as she called herself) once a week. She asked me about my experiences that week, and asked me where I found God in this. Then she would listen. It was as if she was handling a treasure, gently holding it in her hands.
Winding my way around the letters of listening many years later, I am grateful for the listeners in my life who encouraged me, recognized me, loved me, and my desire is to stay true to my listening nature, and in turn encourage, recognize, and love.