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Speck-Sized Faith

O sweet seed—

you small not yet,

smaller already.

The final flower waits

in speck-sized faith.

Come forth—unfurl 

the gentle petals

of patience.

Oh, the Places We Go!

Ten springs ago, I walked the hills of Wales. I was in the middle of making a choice, and this little pedestrian path sign seemed like the perfect metaphor for choices. 


It also reminds me of these lines from the Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!


You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose. 


That day on the path, didn’t know that I’d make a really bad decision later that year. Nor that I’d make a really good one not long after.


Interestingly, all those Welsh paths eventually led back to the same trailhead. 

 

Interestingly, all of our choices—bad and good—lead us right where we need to be. Even if we feel lost in some landscapes and seasons.

 

I guess this post is a kind of blessing on our choices—a reminder of the great gift choice is.   

 

Happy trails, happy choosing,

 

Anna

 

 

The Heart That Took Flight

Happy Book Birthday!

I was rummaging around in my old blogs looking for something this morning when I made a happy discovery: my first little book, The Heart Takes Flight, just turned 10, almost to the day!

This illustrated vignette was a labor of love. In fact, it was born out of what I thought was lost love. I had met my now-husband the summer before, but it hadn’t worked out at the time. Heartbroken, I decided to finally write a book. About hearts, of course.

I had no idea how prophetic this little book would become. It was the first of six published books (and counting!). It traveled the world with me in subsequent workshops. And it’s a continual reminder that when we feel like we can’t go any further as we are, we are being invited to grow a whole new way to move through this world. 

Here’s to heart-flight. 

Love,

Anna

Blessing of Endurance

Deep in the umpteenth revision of my book, I feel like toddler-me knew exactly how I feel.

I’m saving my writing juice for the Big Project, so this month’s post is a little encouragement to press on & press through. And maybe remember the determination we had once upon our little selves!

Plus something lovely from John O’Donohue’s poem “For the Interim Time:”

The more faithfully you can endure here,

The more refined your heart will become….

Blessings of endurance,

Anna, now & then

 

S is for…

One of the things I learned from my husband:
Shoe Goo fixes most everything!

Part of my book-writing process is creating a list of terms: alphabetized proper names and odd or specific spellings. This is helpful both in style sheets for future copy editors but also when I can’t seem to remember if “corn dog” is one word or two. 

The list of terms for my current book on the first year of marriage is now ten pages long, and when I skimmed through looking for something the other day, I thought that some of the letters read like little found poems. And so, I share the letter S here. 

(Random things I did not know: what was once the capitalized acronym SCUBA is now lowercase scuba, and Snoop Dogg spells his name with two Gs. Always learning!)

Saint Lucia

Saint Teresa of Ávila

Sarah & Byron 

Sarah & Christer

schnapps

Scott Valley

Scripture

scuba

Seinfeld

Serenity Prayer

Sharpie

shawarma

shish kebabs

Shoe Goo

Shriners

Six Mile

Skycrest Trail

Smith (River)

s’mores

Smucker’s

Snoop Dogg

Sour Patch Kids

Southern Oregon

South Kelsey Trail 

South Fork Salmon (River) 

The Space Between

Spafford, Horatio

Spectrum

Sperry

Sporos

Springdale

Sriracha

Starsky & Hutch

Steens Mountains

Subaru

summa cum laude

Sunrise Point

Symphonic Chronic

A Compass of Love

A few Decembers ago, I painted this little heart compass. I had words for each of the four points that I wanted to cultivate in the coming year, but I remember deciding not to write them onto the paintingto leave it open for future words. 

I was also leaving it open to share it with othersfor your words. 

This is my Happy New Year’s hope: may you point your heart in the direction of all that is good & peaceful & beautiful in the coming year.

Blessings & joy,

Anna 

 

9th Annual Angels Show is here!

Southern Oregon Artists Resource is beyond delighted that Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville is again hosting our annual Angels Show! This is our 9th Annual Angels Show of angel art for Christmas, and the angels are on the wall, waiting for your visit.

Angel Thoughts From the Founder of Art Presence:

December at Art Presence brings the 9th Annual Angels Show. Why, for the ninth year, are we showing such a lively interest in the invisible world? Some of the greatest among the saints and men of God have found a place for Angels. Many of the most difficult questions about their nature, their grace, their intellect, and their love have been addressed masterfully. Their mission has always been to look after each of us here on earth in the pursuit of our salvation. Regardless of our question “why,” we invite you to join our artists as they present their unique perspectives on these winged, haloed beings.
~ Anne Brooke

A Little Angel Art History

Angel-like beings have appeared in art for millennia. However, the earliest artistic interpretation of an angel was found in the catacomb of Priscilla in the 3rd century…with no wings! Though there is some dispute about this, the angel is generally believed to be Gabriel, delivering the Annunciation to Mary.

9th Annual Angels Show : First known angel art from the catacomb of Priscilla, c. 3rd century BCE
9th Annual Angels Show: Image of wingless Gabriel delivering the Annunciation to Mary in the catacomb of Priscilla

Winged angels first emerged in 4th century Anatolia—on the Prince’s Sarcophagus, found at Sarigüzel, near Istanbul (c. 379–395)—the first of many found in Byzantine art. Check out this interesting piece on angels and their wings here, more angel history here, and another on the history of angels in art here.

Meanwhile, humanity’s ancient fascination with these celestial creatures continues to this day. Many artists return year after year with fresh artistic interpretations painted especially for the Angels Show with imagination and inspiration. Moreover, many patrons return year after year to add to their collections of angel art and to select angel art for Christmas gifts. Here’s “The Guardian,” a small yet powerful impressionistic piece in oil by Katy Cauker:

9th Annual Angels Show : The Guardian, 9 x 7 oil on panel by Katy Cauker
The Guardian, 9 x 7 oil on panel by Katy Cauker

9th Annual Angels Show

Come view the Angels Show from 11am–5pm every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. At least 2 angels had sold by the time we hung them on the wall, so if you find one that speaks to you, make that purchase of angel art for Christmas before someone else does!

Really? You have enough angels in your own home? Then consider giving angel art for Christmas to someone who needs a beautiful guardian in theirs! Note: Angel art needs to remain in the gallery until the show is over. You might be able to discuss a special angel certificate with the artist if you plan to give one as a gift.

The Angels Show is on display at Art Presence Art Center at 206 N. Fifth Street in Jacksonville, Oregon. It runs from Friday, December 3, through Sunday, January 2. Moreover, the gallery is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12–5 pm.

Watch the Art Presence Facebook page for featured angels throughout the month! Meanwhile, here is the gallery’s virtual tour of their December members show, artisan treasures in the Galleria, and the 9th Annual Angels Show to get you started.

Wine and Watercolor — Give an Experience for Christmas!

In addition to our exhibitions of fine art, the artisan treasures in the Galleria, and books written by local authors, there’s another way to give the gift of art for the holidays at Art Presence Art Center. You can drink wine with friends and family while you learn how to paint with watercolors together in Anne Brooke’s “Wine and Watercolor” workshop! All art supplies are provided, just bring your favorite wine and hors d’oeuvres and enjoy painting in festive company. Give the gift of a wonderful experience that will last a lifetime for Christmas! Call today and reserve a Thursday evening with up to 7 friends & family. $25 per person, vaccination required. Make your reservation today!

To ask questions about the art you see in the Angels Show or to reserve a date for Wine & Watercolor, contact Anne Brooke at 541-941-7057 or [email protected]

In the Middling

I could call this photo “Miles per Life,” quoting myself from the last time I turned the age of a speed limit. But 10 years on, I don’t think that phrase quite works with such little numbers. There have been so many more miles than 45.  

For my 45th birthday, I wrote myself a quick little poem, as I did for my 35th (you can find that one here). I’m sharing it below for all of us in the vague realm of middle age.  

As an adjective, “middling” means average, moderate. As an adverb, it means fairly, moderately. And though I’m not necessarily a fan of average—or adverbs!—I like the idea of navigating this life moderately. Grace to us all as we try.

 

Middling 

 

Ever lover of edges

and brinks,

I don’t know what to do

with middles—

the center 

the belly

of life.

 

The softness scares me—

far from either hard

start and end.

 

One friend just gave birth.

One friend just died.

Give and take.

Maybe life is in 

the “and” of grace. 

Five Wise Things

Beneath Baker Mountain on our recent road trip

I’m writing a book on the first year of marriageit was a wild ride! Besides the “primary research” of experiencing matrimony for the first time, I’ve also researched by reading a lot of books. A lot. And most all of them were filled with gold. In fact, I dog-eared so many pages, I couldn’t even make a stack of the 30+ books—it was too lopsided.  

I’ve since gone back through, freed the folded edges, and typed up some of my favorite quotes. My wonderful problem right now is deciding which of the 20-pages of quotes to include!

 

For now, I’d love to share five wisdom-chunks that will likely make it into the final draft. May they bless you the way they’ve blessed me: 


 

“I believe one of marriage’s purposes is to teach us how to forgive.” 

 

—from Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More than to Make Us Happy?  by Gary Thomas.

 


“I thought of how helpful it would have been to have learned, early on in my marriage, that not every problem can be solved and not every irritant can be negotiated away, that a good marriage is a mixture of delight and disgruntlement, that unhappiness comes from expecting it to be otherwise.” 

 

—from It Takes One to Tango: How I Rescued My Marriage with (Almost) No Help from My Spouse—and How You Can, Too by Winifred M. Reilly.


 

“[T]he best way to work on ‘us’ is to start with ‘me.’” 

 

—from Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, & Switzler


 

“The trick to achieving the kind of connection you want is to develop the advanced relationship skill of binocular vision, the artful ability to see your partner’s perspective as well as your own.”

 

—from How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love & Steven Stosny

 


“Marriage is the perfect opportunity to improve yourself. No other single setting in life can form more character.”

 

—from Two Become One by Dr. Harold R. Eberle

 

Oregon Fringe Festival Announces 2022 Festival Dates!

The Oregon Fringe Festival Announces 2022 Festival Dates!


Mark your calendars! The Oregon Fringe Festival is thrilled to announce that next year’s festival will take place Wednesday, April 27 – Sunday, May 1, 2022.

After a long break from gathering in person to enjoy live performances, the Oregon Fringe Festival is excited to reintroduce live programming while continuing to offer online programming for festival-goers around. Last year, over 40 artists ranging from students to local artists, and even national/international artists participated, providing viewers with over 50 opportunities to engage and interact. As curating and planning begin to take place, the Oregon Fringe Festival is confident in being able to provide similar programming, if not more, for 2022.

“This year’s festival will be special in that we are able to provide content to our local community again that has always enjoyed our live performances, in addition to our not so local community that really flourished as a result of going mostly online last year. Especially for artists, this will be great in providing more accessibility when it comes to locating a platform to present their creative work,’ Paige Gerhard, Director of the Oregon Fringe Festival explains.

While applications to present at the festival haven’t been released quite yet, updates and more information can be found at oregonfringefestival.org.


About the Oregon Fringe Festival:


Each spring, the Oregon Center for the Arts produces the Oregon Fringe Festival (OFF), a multi-day event bringing together emerging creators and real-world artistic practitioners to share their respective experiences and to engage with each other’s work. The festival’s mission is simple: to provide a boundary-breaking platform for free expression and to celebrate unconventional art and unconventional spaces.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend our events. If you are a person with a disability who requires accommodation(s) in order to participate in this festival, then please contact Disability Resources at [email protected] in advance.

The OFF is committed to providing a boundary-breaking platform for free expression that amplifies the voices of those who are all too unrepresented in the creative arts industry. A lens focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusion will filter our selection process for all projects submitted.

About the Oregon Center for the Arts:

The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University serves as a creative catalyst for the mixture of students, educators, and artists from the state, the nation and the world. The beautiful Southern Oregon mountain setting provides a special place to learn, explore and train in all of the arts disciplines.

Visit: oca.sou.edu

About Southern Oregon University:

Southern Oregon University is 175 acres of beautifully maintained campus with outstanding facilities, occupied by a committed and well-respected faculty and talented students. SOU’s vision is to be an inclusive, sustainable university for the future. Faculty, staff and leadership collaborate to achieve those ideals, and are united in their dedication to the students who will create lives of purpose and fulfill our region’s promise. SOU enhances the economic, cultural and social well-being of southern Oregon, and helps its students learn the skills to work both independently and collaboratively, be adaptable and embrace creativity. Its diversity gives SOU both texture and strength. Students’ thoughtfully shared points of view are valued and respected.

Visit: sou.edu

Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Fringe Festival are located within the ancestral homelands of the Shasta, Takelma, and Latgawa peoples who lived here since time immemorial. These Tribes were displaced during rapid Euro-American colonization, the Gold Rush, and armed conflict between 1851 and 1856. In the 1850s, the discovery of gold and settlement brought thousands of Euro-Americans to their lands, leading to warfare, epidemics, starvation, and villages being burned. In 1853 the first of several treaties were signed, confederating these Tribes and others together – who would then be referred to as the Rogue River Tribe. These treaties ceded most of their homelands to the United States, and in return, they were guaranteed a permanent homeland reserved for them. At the end of the Rogue River Wars in 1856, these Tribes and many other Tribes from western Oregon were removed to the Siletz Reservation and the Grand Ronde Reservation. Today, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon (https://www.grandronde.org) and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (http://www.ctsi.nsn.us/) are living descendants of the Takelma, Shasta, and Latgawa peoples of this area. We encourage YOU to learn about the land you reside on, and to join us in advocating for the inherent sovereignty of Indigenous people.