Sunday, November 2, 2008

Art Blog: Attitude of Gratitude

November is the THANKFUL month. In a few short weeks, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. I can smell the turkey now. Yesterday I was lucky enough to flip on the television just at the right time. I found Maya Angelou speaking on Booktalk. I absolutely LOVE Maya Angelou. Just seeing her and listening to her speak even one word makes my whole body relax. She brings me instant comfort and warmth. Her wisdom and insights are my truths. I can’t help but move closer and tweak my ears to hear every syllable. She reminds me to be my best human being.

I saw her speak a few years ago. I sat directly in front of her. It was a few hours of total awe. Even though I have listened to her many times, her words are new each time she speaks. Yesterday she told a story I had never heard before. She spoke about being suicidal when she was a young woman. She ran to get help at a clinic, but wasn’t comfortable with the clinician. Instead she fled to her singing teacher’s house. He asked “What is wrong?” She told him she wanted to kill herself or somebody else! He responded “No, what is WRONG?” She said “I told you! I want to die. I want to kill myself!” He handed her a yellow legal pad and said write down how you can see this yellow pad. Then write about the people who can’t see. Read the words aloud and then write about those who cannot hear words. Write about the people who cannot read nor write words on a yellow pad, etc. Obviously, her depression was eased. Ironically, yet very intentionally, she has written every poem and book on one of those yellow legal pads.

She continued to speak of being thankful. Her favorite prayer to God is “Thank you”. I say this prayer very often. I walk around my house and look at the abundance and say:
“Thank you!” “Thank you!” “Thank you!”

Another important thing she said which relates to all of us, is when you feel insecure about your writing (your art), take one of your pieces into a room and read it to yourself out loud. I do this all the time. Sometimes I feel so insecure, I think I forgot how to create. It is at that time; I take a walk around my house and just look at all my work. I study it. I touch it. I remember every stroke and every thought behind the work. This reminds me who Sheree is and what she is capable of doing.
I am so THANKFUL for Maya Angelou. She has taught me so much and reminds me of what I believe.

“When it looked like the sun wasn't going to shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds.” Maya Angelou

Maya, you are one of my rainbows. THANK YOU


deb said...

Yesterday was early thanksgiving at my house, my husband's family are snow birds are leaving for the winter, we all cleaned the first floor of the house and we had a huge feast with 4 desserts (my favorite part, so this morning i woke up to an immaculate house (except the kitchen!!) and as things get ticked off the to do list I am feeling less stress and a clean house always makes me happy! So today I am thankful for that! and the leftover pie!!

As to work, I keep (and I know this is a little juvenile)a brag book, it has all my press, all the wonderful letters of recommendation, thanks etc people have written for/to me, pictures and cards from my shows, all the things that help me remember my accomplishments, so I can look at my successes in black and white when I am in doubt... blessings, dryadart

Clarisse Teagen said...

First the halloween and then the Turkeys!!! OH My.. wish i was there.

deb said...

and the cherry pie goes on, oh life is sooo sweet!!

Sheree Rensel said...

Clarisse, I have to tell you. I am having a difficult time understanding your comments. I deleted your first comment placed on another post because I thought it was a MySpace spam message. Now that you have returned, I am thinking I was wrong.

However, this comment is so vague, I can't tell if it is positive or negative. Are you making fun of me or are you serious?

Sheree Rensel said...

I hate pie. LOL LOL LOL LOL Oh geesh. I just had to go ruin the positive energy!!! Tee hee hee

Well, this statement isn't totally true. I LOVE pumpkin pie!! :-)

deb said...

lol, I love pie, I make great, no fantastic, pie, (a fringe benefit of an all girls school education) sooooooo I married the only man in America who doesn't eat the stuff... who knew?? and besides the costumes are done and I'm giddy with relief that that weight's off my shoulders!!