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Time to get off the merry-go-round

Artists and writers march to a different drummer and hear a different beat. It’s the beat of the heart.

If we are on a merry-go-round, going in circles, just doing and not changing and growing, then we are marking another day, and probably not another dollar. W need to be moved by inspiration and pulled into another world outside of time and space.

Looking at the face of a clock, we see the hands going around and every tick is a sigh. Our lives move like the hands on a clock. Every 12 months, the same season comes around. Fashions change but come back with a slight difference; disco colors of the ’60s are now the new urban colors of today. Nothing new is under the sun, just different names.

So how do we capture the inspiration of a new and original idea? David, the psalmist says it this way. “My times are in your hands.” Why did he use the plural for times? Does he mean all the events of his life are in God’s hands? Could be, but there is something deeper in this statement. The Hebrew word for “times” is to bloom, to burst out of a bud, spread wings to fly, create an offspring, go forward. David is saying each time I encounter the one who holds my life, the originator, I come into a new awareness of the moment and in it I am bursting out and unfolding into who I am suppose to be, an original of myself.

One of my favorite poems of T. S. Eliot reads, “The moment of the rose and the moment of the pine tree have the same duration.” The rose will bloom and live for a season and the pine tree will live for hundreds of years. They both are complete in their time frame and their element. They have each brought the beauty they were intended for.

Some artists and writers peak early in their career like the rose; others spend a life time understanding who they are and where their life is taking them like the pine tree.

I see myself as a pine tree, I have had my spurts of growth; rings in my life and my art show the years. I have gone back to my old paintings and enhanced some of them; some I can not improve on. Some things I’ve done, I can’t return, the place is too small and burdensome.

They say a bird only sings five notes and it keeps singing the same notes over and over again. Our stories and our art really are the same story, but they change us as we explode into them. We only can write and paint our stories.

The watch maker who finds himself in the mental ward has just broken all the clocks in his room.

Someone asks him, “Why would you destroy what you love?”

He responds, “I couldn’t stand to hear the tick, tick, tick.”

If we are learning how to master the art of life and the art we produce, we should be running in perfect precision and our every moment should be bursting forth into new life into the next generation. We will actually enjoy the ticking of the clock. It is more than marking time; we might revisit the past but we will be going forward. Otherwise, we are going around in circles, riding the merry-go-round of life until it stops.

Final brushstroke: While the clock is ticking, embrace each moment, allow yourself to surrender to the inspiration in you and move towards completeness.

Readers comments

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Dear Betty:

On your article, Our Song out of Sorrow -

Thanks for the inspiration your article brings, Betty. We all need to be reminded that our Creator expects us to use the talents he has given us, not bury them.


Farmington, N.M .

 Dear Betty:

Regarding your column, “Our Song out of Sorrow,” I printed it at the office, drove home in the pouring rain, got into my PJs and propped up in my bed to read it as a treat to myself after a dreary day. What a treat indeed! Thank you for the inspiration. As a writer, I need to remember why I show my sorrow, the hole in my shoe and lay my heart on the line if it will bring clarity to someone’s life. Today, after reading this, I stand affirmed and ready for battle!




On your article, More Glory, You are so very wise and have a great ability to see.  

I was so important to my children as they were growing up, and then they left to seek their way in the world.  Still important, but not in the same ways.

The four kids range from 36 to 22, and have their own paths to follow.

We have always held them with an open hand, allowing them to spread their wings.

When Christian left for Seattle at 18, I was no longer the center of his world... he was.  Your self-importance is truly in you own mind, and it is your job to reconcile yourself to that fact.  After his adventure started so did mine.  It was like being reborn.  Patrick says I am the girl he married again.  A free spirit finding the glory within, not without.  Yes, our glory comes from within and with the help and wisdom of others. Loved the story!



Artist’s quote

The future is something, which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” — C. S. Lewis, author.