Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Art of a Created Heart



Old, dead dried out calla lily leaf –
Shouldn’t you just be tossed on refuse heap?
No, for papery texture of leafy part
Lends itself to pleasure of created art.
Leafy part, when scanned digitally,
Transforms into an artistic sort of tree.

Lord, pleasure yourself, breathe me anew,
Make my every effort a reflection of you.
Transform my papery wrinkled texture to art;
Breathe new life into my dead dried out heart.
I’ll no more be like old calla lily leaf
If you enhance the design of my God-belief.

photos and text
copyright 2011 by Marilee Miller

Feel free to link to this post, but please, no copying for public display without permission

This post is also shared with L L Barkat's Seedlings in Stone
On, In, and Around Mondays

and Laura Boggess' The Wellspring
Playdates with God

Monday, August 15, 2011

Seeing Beauty Gives Me Hope


So many terrible things are happening on the world scene, and in the lives of people we know. Sometimes it’s hard to keep from feeling that today, and our future, is nearly hopeless. Yet, in his epistle to the Philippians, Paul admonishes us: “Whatsoever is pure…lovely…honest…of good report…, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8) It’s not that we are to “be in denial” that bad things are happening. But it’s making a choice to trust our Lord and God IN ALL THINGS. We choose to remember his goodness and mercy – and his gift to us of continually making beautiful things for us to “think on”.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all…
--Emily Dickenson

My comparison:

Hope is the thing with plush-fur
That delights my very soul,
For she sings the tune – without the words,
And never stops at all…

Playing with Dickenson’s words, I’m referring to Hope, my lovely white cat. She’s a beauty! Looking at her uplifts my mood – and a renewed sense of hope flutters in my soul. When I speak to her, she gazes soulfully – attentively -- into my eyes. And that stirs me so deeply I tell her, out loud: “You’re so-o-o beautiful.”

Dickenson “feels” that inner-hope is singing a tune without words. When I think of Hope, my cat, singing without words, I’m not considering her “meow” (though it is soft, gentle, and infrequent). Rather, her very presence reminds me of the lovely God who has given us his lovely creation, and who empowers us to go on hoping, whether our journey takes us into the best of times or the worst of times.

My Beautiful God, my Lord and Savior, encourages me through Nature’s abundance of beauties. One of his beauty-gifts is the profusion of flowers. A branch I plucked from a flowering tree, again reminds me of how God’s beauty touches and renews me!

Truly He is everywhere! And in everything! Thanks be unto God.


Photos and text copyright 2011 by Marilee Miller

Feel free to link to this post, but please, no copying without permission. Thanks.

This entry is also shared with "Seedlings in Stone" On, In and Around Mondays


And with "The Wellspring" Playdates with God


(Sorry, I can't seem to make the links work right; copy and paste url into browser.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


A Leaky Bucket

Wanted to paint some cardboards
To make background for arty collages.
Had a bucket of redwood fence stain
On hand, about a third full.
Old paint, sitting too long in the can.
Pigments had separated into layers,
With some slimy stuff that the stirring stick
Just wouldn’t mix in.

Not worth getting out a paint brush!
Dangled a paper towel in the syrrupy mixture;
Spread the goo on the cardboard.
Colors so separated from mysterious chemicals
That the mix only stained the cardboard slightly.
And all the rest got rubbed off to keep
From wetting the cardboard to melting.
The highly diluted old-blood sheen
Was better than the cardboard suggesting,
As it had before, “I’m just cut from any old box.”

Finished the staining. Lifted the bucket,
Unsuspecting, ready to put the lid back on.
Saw a tiny pool of reddish.
But I couldn’t have run the goopy paper down there!
Lifted more. Uh oh!
The paint bucket had sprung a leak, underneath!

Thick puddle of intense redwood stain!
It filled all the circle under where the can had sat.
What a good thing the bucket hadn’t leaked
While still on its storage shelf.
Lucky the spill only marred an old workshop bench!

Set the can on paper towels, but rivulets kept on,
Quickly oozing. Not a mess I could let sit and drain!
Dashed upstairs, returned at once with roll
Of paper towels, old newspapers, and empty plastic cartons
To hold a pour of remaining paint.

Soon had the cartons filled, one deep color
And one thin stain and swirled minerals.
But couldn’t set down the bucket anywhere
Or the remaining two tablespoons would leak out
And maybe overflow the sopping paper again.

Could have just stuffed the can full
Of newspapers and paper towels to absorb the mess;
Could have just set it down on a cardboard to drip.
But I had many cardboards. (And paper towels!)
“Waste not, want not!” Why not follow an arty mood?

Pouring out the residue, a few drops at a time.
Deep intense redwood fence stain,
Swizzled here and drizzled there.
Spots and blotches, and places where I let drips run freely.
And a multitude of wadded paper towels
Blotted up the rest, until I could let go of the can at last.

Cardboards got strewn over most of the workbench space,
Left there for puddles to dry.
Straightened out the oozy paper towels,
Laying each on newspaper to absorb underside.
Even draped one heavily-saturated towel over a box, artfully.
Pages of wet paper-towels on newspapers
Spread all across the basement floor.
Uh, oh! My cat came down the stairs!
Just what I would need - cat prints all over the floor!
Quick, I chased her down and scared her enough
That she trotted back upstairs.
And I trotted up the stairs to close the door,
And down again, this time to sop the bench.

But there’d been objects lying there:
Two nails, a screw, a hook, a rubber band.
Each made a dam to back up paint deep.
A lot more paper towels went to suck the mess.
There’ll always be a redwood stain,
But thankfully, it’s only a worn old workshop bench!

After my “artwork” backgrounds dried, I saw
Opportunities for crafting, there!
Later on I fashion a tree of blue painter’s tape.
On another piece, a young friend and I
Add to a dribbled forest, new blue parts.

If I can be arty in disposing of a leaky mess,
If I can dream of unplanned craft ideas
All because of a leaky bucket of paint –
Why, just think of the God who created this earth, and me;
He has imagination and artistic ability.
I give him my leaks and stains: the fear of failing,
The bent toward discontent or over-worrying;
The wear of too much care, the weariness of humdrum life.
I’ll trust Him to make something capable,
Unique and beautiful, out of me!

“For we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of Christ may shine through.” (II Cor 4:7 )

copyright 2011 by Marilee Miller

This post is also shared with L. L. Barkat's Seedlings in Stone
"On, In and Around Mondays"

and Laura Boggess' The Wellspring
"Playdates with God"