Monthly Archives: January 2011

Post-A-DayDay2011 ~ Sorting

On being Short:
“Don’t sell yourself short, just because you are.” ~ T. Jon Worden
Today is not about ART. Or Poetry.
Or is it? It’s about Life…
Facebook asks “What’s on your mind today…”
Here’s what’s on my mind today:
Cold – 0F
Go ahead, you sort it all out!
Laundry is easy to sort. Going to a job is easy – someone else tells you what to do and when to do it. Laundry done. Sorted by color. Washed. Folded. Put away. Easy. I am grateful for the washing machine, water, soap, sight to see color, clothes to wash & then wear, drawers to put clothes in, a warm home to hold the dresser with drawers. Simple. Easy. Clean. Neat. Done.
May your sorting be easy and done with kindness, love and gratitude.

Namaste ~ ♥ Star Bear

Post-A-Day2011 – Exposing myself

Reading other bloggers is inspiring. Today I visited Practically Twisted and discovered once more how many other artists and writers deal with being asked to work for free. No more giving it ALL away so often. I remember this line from “The Color Purple”. “Stop givin’ away all your shit!” Maybe I am becoming more forceful. Seeing purple? (It is after all a healing color…LOL!)
Harlan Ellison says it all very clearly, in words I have spoken. He says it clearly and forcefully!
Hearing the words “but it will be good exposure for you” one too many times prompted me to say quite clearly, “If I simply wanted more exposure, I could take off my clothes and run down Main Street. You know people can die from exposure!” I try to keep a sense of humor about it all – to a point.
A few years ago, I, too had a very brief career as a professional photo journalist.
After the publication of my poem (yesterday’s post) I was asked if I would be willing to write some short farmy feature articles for a newspaper. Yup.
After the first article was published I was paid – $40.00. It was short, so okay, I had agreed ahead of time to that. They liked my work and ideas so much they asked for more. I agreed to produce more. They loved them. They were popular… their readers responded positively. The last article I wrote for them was about an outdoor adventure with a local organization. I wanted to go on it anyway, so I did. After three days on the road (2 in the rain), interviewing people, documenting their adventure in words and images and joining in, I then wrote the story, which took three days of writing, selecting and editing photos and soggy notes.
When it was published, a full page plus, a lot of people called with positive feedback. The pay? Still $40.00. At that rate I figured it out – 3 days of expenses for travel, camera equipment, roughly 40 hours of writing and editing… what’s wrong with this picture? Less than 50 cents an hour, I quit. I made more baby-sitting as a teenager with few bills to pay!
$40.00 per article. That was their policy. Didn’t matter how many photos, how many words. $40.00. The saving grace in this story, I did sell a few photos to some of the adventurers from that last article, and will probably sell more. After I quit writing features for the paper, the editor offered to hire me – full time. A nice man, an excellent writer, who became a friend. The pay was modest. That was an issue and the bigger issue came when I asked what I would be expected to write about. The answer? Murder, accidents, court cases. “No thanks, ” I answered. “I intend to write about the positive things in the community. I believe that when we focus on the negative, for shock value or whatever, it encourages more. I want to encourage families to do things together, for people to appreciate this countryside and see the opportunities around us. Thanks, and no thanks.” He understood and I appreciate that. He said he envied me for not selling out.
As an editor he gave me support, encouragement and words I will never forget. “Everybody has a story. All you have to do is ask the question and listen.” Thanks, Tom, that was worth the $40.00.

Yesterday, I wrote “Why do we write? To remember, to capture a moment, a feeling, a smell of something or someone we love and then… to share it.” I also write and make art to be paid. Compliments and admiration are encouraging and do not pay the bills.

Yep. (and a note to my friends… don’t worry, yes, you will still receive gifts!)
May your day be filled with everything you deserve – we all deserve the best. Follow your bliss and be sure you keep your clothes on… most of the time anyway. 🙂

Namaste~Star Bear

Post-A-Day2011 – Why do we write?

To remember, to capture a moment, a feeling, a smell of something or someone we love and then… to share it.

The first poem I had published this century was written in this loft where our hay was stored. The barn was built in the 1880's and was filled with history and character. I think it was contagious!

Winter Endured by Summer Cured ~ Counting Days

Summer sits
in pale green blocks
in the loft sunlight sneaks
‘tween ancient boards painting streaks
bright broad to narrow strokes
on bales of darker green alfalfa
and second cutting grass
stacked like children’s playthings
in neat rows, mostly,
except when one is wrenched askew
and others shift around it crookedly.

‘Merely hay’ some folks may chide
know not the secrets locked inside
orange and sisal baling twine
holding summer wrapped and dried.
‘Merely hay’ to those who only see the shape,
green sticks, picky, prickly, trying to escape.
Feed for cattle, horses, sheep…
They do not see the country-dance
of sweaty bodies throwing bales,
or smell full-bodied summer’s green
waiting for release as twine is cut,
the bale opened, sending out aroma
sweet to nose of one who knows
this delicate perfume
inhaling deep rich odors bring
warm thoughts of summer’s breeze…
Yet, when I try to share this
most folks only sneeze!

Summer rests in pale green blocks
counting done by timeless clocks.
Days pass, rows disappear
Bales are counting out the year…
Sitting high up in the loft
Smelling hay, feeling soft
chilly winters are endured
inhaling smells of summer
so carefully cured.

Edited slightly January 29, 2001 Copyright Betsy Lewis

Poetry is meant to be heard, read aloud. Thank you Jim for the discussion about reading poetry out loud. Reminded me of this, which was published because I called an editor, read it out loud to him and he said “Yes, send it right away, please!” It was in print the next week.

May we all remember our “just do it” experiences and then just do it!

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Post-A-Day2011 ~ Songs of Lake Superior

Lake Superior

I love the sound of Lake Superior singing, rushing, roaring, laughing,
and have not “seen” the Lake in daylight for days.
I visited her last night at dusk.
We talked quietly in the half-light.
Looking out as far as eyes could see,
she seemed unmoving, frozen, still,
resting in her cycle of winter.
I sang to her, as usual, off key.
She thanked me anyway.
I thanked her for being, always there, always patient.
Home, to rest, to recall her other songs.
This is one:
Beneath my ice
Water flows
In ebbing tides
My mystery grows
Moving water
Cannot freeze
Kept warm by unseen energies.
Rest, move, flow,
Rest, move, grow.
In your dreams
In your sleep
I’ll hold the secrets
Safe and deep.
Come spring
Sunlight dancing yet again
Sparkling laughter tossing
Beauty on the beach
mysteries to the wind.

Namaste~ Starbear
May your day be filled with rest, action, food for thought, and most of all love.

Copyright 2011 Betsy Lewis

Post-A-Day2011 ~ Celebrating Change, Saying Farewell

Where is the line between my fantasy and your reality?
February 1, 2001

Celebrating 10 years of blogging. Kinda – visual blogging anyway… combining images with words was new then… except printed on paper.
This artist’s “blog” was started before blogging was readily available as a way of sharing ideas and images…

So as I celebrate, I am also not saying good-bye to this artist’s statement. Go ahead! Click on the links – have fun – explore a little… There are even some hidden pages, it gets a lot of hits on the anniversary of this sad event.
10 years ago I had a dream, and others have made it grow. Thanks!

Photos were done using the best technology available to me at the time – a Sony Mavica. Images had to be tiny due to limitations of upload times, cameras produced images less than 1MB, on large discs, not tiny cards.

I do hope you will celebrate with me… I was/am a forerunner… keeping up with technology may have left me in the dust… And I celebrate anyway, dusting these off, moving them, I celebrate my own persistence, diligence, creativity and even not so hot images. I saw an apple 2e on display at the Smithsonian in 2003. I learned computer graphics on huge, room sized systems using 8″ floppy discs before there were pcs…in 1982 when we celebrated 64 colors and 16k images!
I learned, I grew, I have watched my fantasies become realities!

For some odd reason it is hard to let it all go… There are somehidden pages
It was begun, and stayed for 10 years. It served a purpose. It was not kept up, a stalker was following it and hacking my computer… I kept it anyway, without adding to it. It was built using handcoding! So long… this is easier. I like easier. I like better images. I like change! I am an artist…

May your day be blessed with changes you love and keeping in touch with who you are… let go of what no longer serves you and keep the good stuff! Onward…

Post-A-Day2011 ~ Moving Forward or Being Behind?

Sometimes Being Behind means being in the driver's seat...
with a light hand on the reins.

Keeping up with postaday2011 while writing a grant and creating 2 books, editing photos, communicating and balancing that with life and work and snow plowing… you know what I mean

So… today I am recycling, a photo from a past life combined in a new way with a past post, instead of reinventing the wheel – If you haven’t read this before, here is a humorous reminder: “Ode to Being Behind”

May you live your dream and remember this wonderful horse quote: “Ride the horse in the direction it’s going…” to which I will add “If you can remember where you have been with joy, you can move forward with love”. When I learned to jump with horses the instuctions were simple – Throw your heart over the fence and follow it. Here’s to leaps of faith forward and loving old lessons relearned!
Not changing horses mid-stream – finding a whole new range to ride in. 🙂

Namaste – Starbear

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Basket of Abundance

Spiritual Harvest

These are some of my treasures, from where I live and why I live here… in addition to the abundance of snow and cold…
Agates, little dipper stones, cedar, sweetgrass, tobacco and sage… a basket of spiritual abundance, including golden angel wings! East, South, West, North and heaven. A feather fan for smudging ceremonies, a wooden flute that holds the call of the loon…(the flute is not pictured..)
It was so cold outside today, I never left the house! I think that’s a first for me. It was -20F when I got up this morning and the temp rose to a balmy -4F during the heat of the day. A quiet day spent counting my blessings and expressing gratitude for all of the teachings I have been exposed to.
As one of my native teachers always says, “Take what works for you, what feels right and good…” and so I have been gifted with sage to grow, harvest, and bundle.
Bundled with the help of Good Spirits and beauty. It was not a chore – it was days of delight, cutting, drying, hanging singing, wrapping…
I have been gifted with sweetgrass plantings, and hopefully, this summer will be harvesting that, as well.
My basket is full, and always emptying and making room for more… when I go to the beach in summer, beautiful agates and stones find me, and the angel wings? A secret I cannot tell, just that they are golden angel wings, given to me by a powerful spirit guide in the course of a magical miracle… another story for another campfire.

A different day, a different mircle…
A few years ago, at Summer Solstice, I participated in a special ceremony for many days. In the process of having a medicine wheel marked on my left arm, the elder who was performing the ceremony had placed 11 of the 13 marks necessary to complete the wheel…when I passed out – cold. It took several minutes for me to regain consciousness, during which time I went on a magical journey. When I awoke I was so embarrased! Yet many came to me afterwards and thanked me for sharing the vision/journey and taking them with me. Then they shared with me what they saw and experienced, and it was what I saw as well. It was an open place where people on the path gathered and celebrated… and everyone was kind and caring for one another. There were specific people in the vision, and I had never felt so included, so caring and cared for in my life. We were visited by Thunderbird, and soon after, as ceremonies ended, an eagle circled our ceremonial camp.
Later, the elder who was performing the ceremony pulled me aside and we talked. He asked me what I thought it all meant, passing out, going on a spontaneous vision quest. In my dazed state, I was unable to say. He said, “It will come to you. Give it time…” and then he said about my not completeing the ceremony of the medicine wheel offering “It may well be a sign that you have given enough, and it is time for rest. You can complete it next year, if it is meant to be…” The following year it was complete.
I have a medicine wheel for life. I am a Master Reiki Healer. I create healing through art and heart and talking with people. I know my totems well, and am a keeper of others secrets. It is my way,
I will soon be changing once again – and that is why part of my name is starbear… a part of the night sky, constantly changing… and denning up today.
Namaste ~ may your visions be clear, joyful, and filled with love.

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Living with Laughter

Laughing In Spires... copyright 2011 Betsy Lewis

Laughter in the spires…
laughing wind bends a spire
giggly curving line with droopy snow
making me laugh
reminding me to bend, dance with wind
be flexible… look at what is being pointed to…
a drawing in the air…

I love the way trees get along,
No judging, no measuring, no gossip,
No scorekeeping, no winners or losers
Just peaceful coexistence
Just creating happy windsong…
dancing in the wind.

May your day be filled with joy and warmth – it is -2F this morning after warming up! I think the birds are hiding somewhere, none at the feeders today.

Namaste ~

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ In Spires

Snow on Spires

In Spires

Snowing blowing freezing
Full moon teasing
Through crystallized clouds

In spires of snow laden pines
Cathedral in the woods
At times too tired to be inspired

Except by moon or stars or trees
with snowy frosting reaching
up to sky like these

Though tired, weary to the bone
Greeted warmly by woods, at home
too tired to answer any phone

Yet the words go on the page
imperfect for this tired age
a promise kept to me.

Inspired, In Spirit, in keeping with my word.

I wish you could see these tall tall pines, deeply rooted, buried in snow, reaching for the sky… The wind will clear them soon enough, shake them good and lick the frosting off in a whoosh.
Enjoy the Full Moon! May you soak in that energy, bathe in the full moonlght, breathe it in… then give it back into the world with kindness, love, peace, and gratitude.
Namaste ~ Betsy

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Living with Post-A-Day 2011

So many writers on board. Someone new looked at, read, AND “liked” my post today – so I decided to see who was reading.
He is in Africa (no snow?), writes poetry and another blog.
Most of all, it seems we are all going through the same growth spurts – he expresses my thoughts succintly and humorously, so go read his blog! It’s so true! I think his name is Kolembo and his description of the challenge we have taken on is priceless.
“Everything Happens for a Reason” ~ read it
I laughed out loud when I read “Hitting the Wall”.

Enjoy – and Thank You for holding up the mirror!

Namaste and be sure to laugh today. 🙂
…and before I posted this add-on I noticed that today is 1-17 and this post had 117 words! The strangest things keep appearing to be noticed…. still chuckling.