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Sunday, October 25, 2015

What do you Desire and Why?

"Pumpkin Surprise" an old-fashioned pastel on textured paper
Have you ever looked back at your life and wondered how you ended up in this particular place at this special time on earth? Or are you filled with regrets? Whether for good or for evil, your experiences and mistakes have come from the yearnings and desires of your heart. You may laugh and say “The devil made me do it;” but in reality, you got what you wanted. Perhaps you even wished for something that turned out terribly wrong.

These are the scenarios that end up in books, in paintings, and on stage and screen. The writhing pain and the tears of a broken heart make great viewing. But in reality, they shatter lives and burn relationship bridges. We are moved watching emotion on screen or observing it through visual arts. Seeing angst and frustration or lust and desire moves us because we are all subject to these same feelings and passions.
"Broken Hearted" pastel on textured paper; matted and ready to frame
Failure and sorrow are part of the human condition. When written about or illustrated, we may weep or feel pain vicariously. Our own weaknesses and desires help us to relate to the fallen. The courageous and brave inspire us to overcome and achieve. There is no better way to reach people than through the arts and through spiritual enlightenment.

The Bible, still a best-seller in 2015, is the greatest work of literature and truth of all time. The Book of Proverbs illustrates so clearly the consequences that follow our careless actions. Psalms is full of the sorrow that follows sin and of the hope and forgiveness that exists for those who seek God.

Today fantasy, horror, and evil are the preferred fair by a majority of T.V. viewers and moviegoers. Suspense, espionage, action are all at the top of the list. Artwork has trended toward colorful, fun and humorous or unusual and quirky. Inspired by new technology, the scenes can be edited and enhanced heightening the tension for viewers.

Three-D is even more spectacular than it was back in a long-ago era. Using the latest software and sound, the thrill of actually walking in the footsteps of the characters is now possible. People are becoming satiated and overstimulated to the point of numbness.

Simple pleasures and experiences are no longer a draw. If something doesn’t terrify us or fulfill our lusts we turn to other venues. Is there a point of no return? What happens, God forbid, if some terrorist or enemy triggers gridlock or cyber blackness? What happens when someone clever and evil pulls the plug?
"India Rising -- The Lost" acrylic on canvas
The world is full of what ifs. What if mothers and fathers spent more time with their children? What if children returned home and discovered how much their parents really cared about them?

I raised my children without smart phones. When our television burned out we had nothing else. How did we fill the gap? We read together Jack London’s “Call of the Wild.” We read Treasure Island and The Jungle Book. We put on plays together, the older children reading for the younger. It may sound boring by today’s standards, but a wild imagination is even better than watching made-up stories and manipulated tragedies on screen. 

My boys made their own spook alley in our basement that was not only fun, but super creepy in the dark. They shared the adventure with all of their neighborhood friends who then wanted to make one for themselves or add to the existing one my boys had created.

Some precious "grands" getting ready for Halloween
We had a night in the kitchen called “cooking class.” The kids learned how to make jello and muffins, and to follow a recipe. My 12 year old daughter made homemade bread. Her younger brother became an expert at making cream puffs for his boy scout troop.

Cook up some memories for your family during the next round of holidays before your children are too old to enjoy them or participate in them. Happy Halloween!
My grandsons and a friend carving out pumpkins.