Wednesday, March 21, 2012

30 minute challenge

First Week's Writing Assignment: write 250 words in 30 minutes (split your time in half: first 15 write, second 15 edit). Your topic is "a meal"
I'd love to challenge ya'll to do this too. I'm sure you can find 30 minutes in your day. It doesn't have to be good writing, in fact it most likely won't be. You just need to get the words on the paper. So here's what I came up with--definitely not polished and perfected, but it is do-able. ready, set, go.

Time was taken to make the table beautiful, to prepare with love beforehand what would be so quickly consumed. Mother, my sister, and I poured hours into this celebration feast (as we do every week). It is devoured within minutes. Silverware set on either side of brightly colored plates, double salt and pepper, food steaming in the dishes set in the middle of the square table. Wine catches the light in its special way—made even more special because only on the Sabbath do we uncork the aged juice and pull out the stemware. A cloth and flickering candles adorn the oak table, dressing it up from its every day service-garb. The ladies stir and scrub and slice; the boys clear away the week’s motely collection; Dad grils to perfection: everything is prepared and waiting. This dinner is not a come when you please, just pop it in the microwave meal. It is not another quick bite and rush out the door. Today we sit together as a family—all eight of us—and delight in each other’s company. Song books are opened before we dig in and we bow to give thanks with hearts overflowing. Heavy wooden chairs slide up to the table and napkins unfold. Eagar faces smile expectantly as Daddy serves the green beans, potatoes, steak. Full plates are passed around, only to be emptied and sent back for more. We feast. Dessert is in the fridge, ready to be pulled out when the coffee pot beeps. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

magic of the soul traveling through fingertips

Art classes, art history, art galleries—all are attractive to me. Something in my soul is magnetic to canvas and paper. Why is it that the splotchy doodles of a preschooler and the impeccable works of famous artists can relate truth and cause me to wonder at the beauty within? Is beauty inherent in pencil touching pad and brush streaking thick?  People pay to see chiseled faces with ferret-like eyes hanging on museum walls but they complain about fingerprints of motley colors on a countertop after kids dig into the paints. But do they realize that the artists they most admire developed their skills somewhere? that they had to have made a mess of someone’s kitchen before their “Mona Lisa” could be respectable enough to be hung in the Louvre? Bleary-eyed we expect to have genius without practice, art without profound emotion, deftness without instruction.