Farther In And Farther Up

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Life can be very hard.  There is no getting around it.  Bad stuff happens in this fallen world. We lose people we love. Our children can be lost to alcohol or drugs or some other destroyer.  Healing does not always manifest.   None of us can avoid pain.  First, it appears to us as an enemy.  We try to run from it, deny it, leave it behind.  There are those who have been running all their lives from the hard truths pain brings to us.   In the last 3 years of my life, all my best wisdom did not stop me from experiencing divorce.  It may help some to cast blame.  I found surrender to be of more use to me than defense.  There are usually no quick fixes.  People are not always healed.  Love comes to us eventually though.  We are given a choice to surrender to its wisdom.  I found that acceptance is the first step back to healing.  Acceptance.  After that, we can choose to learn to admit our failings.  When I accept my shortcomings, confess them, even embrace them, I have moved back into the land of sanity. We will never arrive at perfection.  Grace becomes our biggest gift.  Undeserved, and free.  C.S. Lewis used the term, “farther in and farther up”.  He gave us a treasure in this phrase.  This journey is eternal.  When we belong to Love, we recognize His voice.  No matter what language we use.  When trust has been born again in our hearts, we are reborn.

Prayer of St Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let me sow Love;  where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;  and where there is sadness, joy.

Happy Easter to you…all year long! Dorsey

My Landscape

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I hear the humming of warm air rushing through vents somewhere beneath these floors.  Nothing unusual, except for the awareness.  This backdrop makes me sleepy in the same way standing in the line during busy shopping at the grocery does, or the way my mother’s sewing machine sings a lullaby with its steady climb up hills of thread and needles and fabric. I am one soul,  One body, one mind.  I am learning to sing my own song,  I am learning to be thankful for all.  This lonely pain surely must know its purpose.  There must be some reason it has become a fixture in in my landscape.  This inner life has been fostered since early childhood.  This scene which has expanded mile upon mile, giving me more than what I need to keep on climbing.  I want to see His face.  I want to know Him.  This True…Surely He wants to be found.

You Are Dear

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“You are dear.”

What a lovely thing to say to someone. There are few people in our lives who hold that role without question. They are open and soft and they love us. They also tell us the truth. They tell us without any judgement when they think we could try harder to mend a broken friendship. They find a way to get past the thorns growing around our hearts to isolate us. We trust the people who are dear to us. We do all this imperfectly. We stomp over and bump into other hearts all the time. But, love and forgiveness and thanksgiving are waiting for our surrender. It is easy to see where strength lies. It is easy to see how to love when we know we are loved. The few steps it takes to surrender to loving are worth the miles it took to get here. I wonder, if life would change with this being our most treasured priority? I wonder.

A World of Shadows

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Inspired after watching Birdman – a very effective study of shadows…

We live in a world of shadows.  Everything here of substance, casts a shadow. Its size and density is largely determined by the light source.  As an artist, this is a constant source of interest.  Learning how to see shadows has been rich and tireless.  Shadows have grown in my understanding from being a necessary and intimidating task, to being a source of beauty and intrigue.  Shadows can be the most beautiful part of a painting.  A shadow in art is rarely the center of attention, but certainly can be the subtle actor which holds the objects of light in a composition to their task.

Art has proven itself to be a source of wisdom when paralleled with life.  After years of studying, I have come to a new understanding of a shadow’s importance.  I learn as much in studying an object’s shadow as I do in studying the light. I tell my students they are not painting objects, rather they are learning to be painters of light.  I will amend this to include shadow.  We are painters of light and shadow.  We study the heart of both.  Light is open and enriching.  We gain nutrients from it.  Light is a necessity for living.  Shadows are generously given life by illumination. In some ways shadows give us a rest from reality.  Shadows can be fantasy.  At times, they hold our deepest secrets, our fears, or they can sing of a mysterious loveliness.  They are the binding which holds us to this silent planet.  It is time now, to make friends with the shadows in our lives.  Time to stop fearing them.  Let us find our shadows and trace them back to their light source. Our truth will set us free.

Learn to Love

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“Love is our destiny.  We do not find the meaning of life alone, but rather with another.”  Thomas Merton

From the moment of our birth, these are the waters we sail.  The world has lost its clear definition of Love.  So we are on a quest, seeking that which we no longer understand, often thinking we recognize something as Love, accepting that which bears only a  resemblance.   This is a story of such a journey.  We offer you a map of sorts.  Though, there is no defined route. We find ourselves having fallen into a deep crater lake, with no way out.  Our choice is to learn to Love.  In order to survive, we learn to rely on and trust another.  We learn to freely give all that we have, while in return, we receive that which others have to offer.


You Hang the Moon

Cowgirl in the moonlight by Dorsey McHugh

Honey, I always thought you were wiser than I. Now I know you are just like me. Sometimes you know things…mostly you guess. My journey brought me straight into your path. You were shelter from the storm. Though nearly everything else has changed, one thing clearly has not. In this moment. You. Still. Hang the moon.

A Symphony

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If this moment were music, it would be a symphony. Music so filled with gratitude that joy overtakes the notes. Takes them captive, dances in little whirlwinds.  Coming together then moving apart. Rejoicing, rejoicing, again and again.

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