I have recently returned to some of my routines, one of those being playing in my church’s praise team. This past service we did a song titled “It Is Well”. This version is a mix of modern praise and an old hymn. The course states “through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You. Through it all, through it all it is well” and later morphs into the hymn “It is well, with my soul.” The history of the hymn adds so much to understanding of the newer praise lyrics. So here is a brief historic reference.
Writer Horatio Stafford suffered through some very difficult circumstances. He was, at first, a prominent lawyer in the 1860’s. During that time he invested heavily in real estate in Chicago. Guess what happened in 1871. Yep, the Great Fire. Sending him into financial ruin. A couple years later after overcoming his capital losses, Stafford decided to take his family over the Atlantic. A last minute change of plans put him leaving later on a different ship. The boat his family was on sank killing his four daughters. His wife alone survived. It was on his way, as he past where his daughters drowned that he wrote “Ville Du Havre” titled after the boat that sank. Which would later be known as the hymn “It Is Well”. I had heard this story many times. For your infoemation this information is paraphrased from Wikipedia.
I did learn some new information while researching. He later lost a son to scarlet fever. After that the church labeled all of these events in his life as “Devine Punishment”. This spurred him to form a new messianic sect known as “the overcomers”. They lived in Jerusalem where the group grew to become a major humanitarian organization helping communities recover after World War I.
All of this has sparked me to consider the word “well”. The noun well is a described as an issue of water from the earth, a pit or sink hole, or an enclosure in a ships hold. The verb means to rise to the surface and usually flow forth. The adverb is when someone does something in a successful way, good and proper. And then there is the adjective that means prosperous, of satisfactory condition.
When Horatio Stafford themed his song with the term “well”. I am sure he didn’t mean the noun, well. Although it is fun to insert sink hole instead of well into conversations. I am pretty sure he was referring to the adjective form. Oh, he could’ve described his situation as being in a pit or a sink hole but instead he chose to look at it contrary to the norm. The lyrics don’t say everything will be ok but that it is well with my soul now. Also, if he would have believed the “churches” Devine Punishment theory I don’t think his soul would have felt so well.
A friend of mine the other day, when expressing his condolences, ask me if everything was back to normal. I believe he was referring to my schedule, that had been difficult during my Dads illness, but I took it to mean my life in general. I replied, “no, what is normal? I have to make a new normal.” There are always changes when loosing someone close to you. Changes that are not a part of normal life for the individual, aka…me.
The day before my coworkers and I had a workshop on trauma and grief. The expert spoke about how grief is always with you and that you never heal. Correct or not I can’t view my loss that way. I believe it is a wound. Some wounds are worse than others and take varying amounts of time to heal. These particular wounds nearly always leave scars. Some are visible constantly some are not. Some wounds cause us to make large life changes and adaptations because of the injury that caused them. These scars also make us even more unique. They are signs of our life battles, our experiences, our journey down a difficult path. They give us empathy, compassion, and they connect us.
It reminds me of an art piece I started about 6 weeks ago. It is a colored pencil drawing on black illustration board. The subject is just a bunch of green pipes. I just keep adding pipes and adding pipes. It kind of remind of the Microsoft Windows Screensaver. When finished the board will be full of them connecting and changing directions constantly over the entire surface. Reminds me of our day to day lives. How people are constantly added and are daily interacting. Some connect while others just pass through.
Take a good look at others. Look at their scars. They are not flaws or defects in beauty but evidence of a life lived.
Time to get back at it. No rest for the weary they say. Who every that is I would like to slap them. Why can’t the weary rest? Is it because weary people just don’t rest, hence why they are weary? Just a random thought. It seems I am always tired but I am one of those that chooses not to rest. There is always so much to accomplish. Life is too short to do nothing.
So, with that, I started back on the second guitar in the “Courageous Freedom” series. I sanded down the body a few weeks ago and this week started working on putting different inlays in the neck. I debated on not changing them but once I got it in my head that I wanted stars instead of the usual dots I just couldn’t let it go. I would have loved to have left it alone and spared myself about 5 hours of work but that would not have satisfied me. It would have glared at me each time I saw it wondering “what if”. I am withholding what the final result is going to look like just to tease you guys. I will tell you that it is a bass guitar. My love.
I have not worked on the pipes abstract I started a month ago but it is still on my mind. I carried it with me for weeks while caring for my Dad but just could not seem to pull it out and work on it. I could not get my mood right to do the work. I know art can be a wonderful outlet in times of stress but I couldn’t get to that point. Now that my life is opening up I want to get back on it. The struggle is to get caught up on the things that went neglected during my busy season.
Why do I make choices that keep me so overloaded? Could it be that I want to do more than everyone around me. No, that’s not it. I try not to make mental notes about what others are doing. Could it be that I am afraid to do nothing one day that it will be a habit and I will never achieve anything again? No, not that either. How about the need for attention? Maybe, a little. I am, after all the third of four siblings and was born to older parents. Is it where I find my worth? Man, I hope not!
I can’t completely answer for certain. I just know that ideas pop into my head all the time and if I don’t get them out it gets crowded. My husband has, in the past, said he imagined inside my head was like the lottery machine they use on TV to make the number selections. Ideas bounce around and I randomly select one to do. It can be exhausting but it is me and I accept that because I am accepted. After all I am beautifully and wonderfully made by my creator.
All though my original purpose of blogging was to stay focused on my goals I have drifted all over the place. Just kind of speaking to where I am in this thing called life. It is very tricky being transparent but not too personal. My families privacy is theirs not mine to tell. However, I would like to tell you about a man that I could never know enough about.
This man I grew up with my whole life but could never deeply understand. He was a man who loved deeply but didn’t know how to show it. You see this man knew little of love growing up, or at least little of the nurturing kind. The family struggled greatly for food and clothing. The children were on their own young and found their way somehow. He was caloused and hardened laboring as a young teen.
One day he met a young woman who had the opposite rearing. Not wealthy but doing ok. He admired her enough to go to a tent revival just to see her. She later led him to love and eventually he found love personified in a life with Christ as well. Together there was a balance, a completeness. They had a family and weathered the ups and downs together. They were a unit, whole.
Until one day the man lost his soulmate. He was never complete again. He did continue as was possible because he was strong and even a bit, a lot, stubborn. Time passed and he pushed through his lopsided life until it came his time to transition. The days were numbered and all he wanted was to see his bride and his Lord. On his last day he spoke to her. He could be heard introducing her to people and calling her name. The reunion must have wonderful.
The man left such an impression on everyone that his funeral, with a packed church, changed from a sad ending to a roast of sorts. Random people stood and told humorous stories of his life. He was still being the life of the party even in his death. What a legacy and what an assurance!
I have never liked the whole Rest In Peace phrase so I will just end with; love and be loved on for Eternity, Dad.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
As I move more toward a career in art I continue to struggle with the same problem over and over. What to charge people for my work. You never know if you should charge by the hour or the personal value or even how much you “need” the money. I have read lots of articles on this subject but still question myself. If I am too cheap people may not respect me, after all I am an educated professional. If I am too expensive I may not make a sale not to mention I love to see people happy. I am just not a good salesperson.
I also hate selling my originals. Copies are not hard to part with but what is the true value of an original P H Younger art piece. How can I part with something so important to me? All the time, effort, thought and love that goes into each one. I know every line, mark, and space that I slowly and methodically added. Each one has its on importance, it’s own purpose. Leaving out even the smallest spot would make the piece unfinished or incomplete. The steps of creating them in my head long before they become a visually concrete piece of work can be exhilarating.
I have had some nice offers on the Thorned Guitar but I can’t place a value on it right now. The joy and challenge of it I still feel so clearly. It is a part of me. As it’s creator, I am a part of it. Like a finger print.
It is with these thoughts I see God as an artist. The creativity that went into carving the World. The intricacies and attention to detail amaze me. I am not talking about the science of how things are put together, which is incredible as well, but the parts of Him that are all over me. “He knows every hair on my head” because He placed them there. Just as I place every mark on my creations. I am the masterpiece He can’t put a price on. The artwork that is priceless.
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