Tag Archives: love

My Super Bowl XLVI Zipline Experience

This is a follow-up post from a couple of days ago. My plan was to face my fear of high places by heading to the Super Bowl Village in downtown Indy and experiencing the zipline: eight stories above ground level, you harness up and fly into the ether, tethered to a thin steel wire. 
Event day, pretty calm. Standing in line for an hour and a half, calm. Signing the waiver, calm. Getting the helmet and harness on. Calm. Eight-story steel stairway? Calm makes hasty exit. Eyes riveted to those horrid, hole-punched steel treads, my fingers unconsciously curled a death grip around the handrail. With each step, my body grew heavier, slower. I started chanting to God. People passed me. KIDS passed me. Halfway up, Wug put his hand on my back, and said, “are you gonna make it, honey?”

Flash back to a 1960’s family vacation at Mammoth Cave National Park. My family had reached the end of the cave tour, and it was time to exit via a metal staircase strategically located over what was touted as a “bottomless pit.” At six years old, I believed them. As an evil bonus, the steel stair treads had holes in them, and the railings were covered in condensation. My mom was carrying my little sister in one arm and holding my big sister’s hand. With no immediate hand to hold, I slipped.
Back to 2012. Fear had wound it’s tendrils from an unexpected place, and unwittingly revealed it’s roots. Thankfully, it didn’t stop me. Gratefully, the platform was ahead, and a kind young woman expertly hooked me to the cable and led me to the edge.
Airborne, weightless, all fear gone, the rush of wind propelled me through the sunshine, over the people below. The line spun me, and I kicked myself around, like a kid on a swing, screaming and whooping for the sheer joy of it. In 30 seconds, it was over. The guys at the end of the line hauled me to the platform and unshackled me. They asked, did I like it?
Seconds later, Wug joined me. Divested of our safety gear, we enjoyed the rest of our day hand in hand. Over burgers and beer, he heard the childhood Mammoth Cave story. No wonder, he said. At the conclusion of our perfect day, we were rewarded with a gorgeous sunset from the 11th floor of the parking garage where our car was parked.
Later that evening, a phone call to my parents brought us all back to that moment in Mammoth Cave National Park. They remembered that day pretty much the same way, and they were scared, too. When I told my dad about my stairwell trip that afternoon, and the zipline, he chuckled and said, “To each his own.”

A Few Moments of Amazing

Do you ever have moments where life just goes ahead and tells you that you are headed in the right direction, and just keep on doing what you are doing? I hope so. Because they are real gifts, and we don’t always get as many of those as we need. When we do, though, it’s important to make note of them. Bear witness to the good. That’s what I’m doing here.
I’ll keep it brief so you will be encouraged to watch this uplifting video (below). Or skip right to it, it’s okay.
This weekend: I taught at the Indianapolis Art Center. And it went sooo well. My four students were “dream students.” Happy to be present, focused, attentive, helpful and kind towards one another. And adept! Good thinkers, good designers…I could go on, and probably will in a future post.
Last night: I dreamed my good friend Ginger (of LEDE Studio & Gallery) held up my work in front of all of her studio helpers and clients and declared it great. Wooo-hooo! I talked to my son on the phone this week – yay for moms of grown men!
This morning: Email inquiries for custom work have been coming in, and even though it is challenging to provide creative blueprints with words over email, things are progressing. And I received some photos from Emily Schwank of Raincliffs Photography, who will be doing a show in my little gallery – my first time showing an artists work – and I about cried I love those shots so much. More on that soon.
This afternoon: met some friends for lunch, where I also ran into a couple of other friends, and it was really sublime.
This evening: A “virtual” friend I met during an online business coaching class held her own teleconference this evening. I got some goodies there – I discovered some astrological info that sheds some light on my life path. Kinda a biggie (Thank you, Lisa Zimmerman of Soul Level Solutions). To cap it all off, I received an email from a very dear friend who I have been missing lately – containing the video below.
Draw your own conclusions. Hopefully they will all be uplifting ones!

P.S. – the more I thought about the good things that have come up lately, the more grateful I became, because the process reminded me of even more good stuff. Try it! and, I cried when I watched the video.

Mistakes, Soul Statements, and the Wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes

2011 is mere hours away in the Midwest and it’s time for many to reflect on the year past, take from it the best we can, and apply that knowledge to the highest and best New Year possible. How did 2010 pan out for you? Were mistakes made? How have those been dealt with? Are they to be forgotten, or learned from? An embarrassment – or a journey towards an ideal? Or perhaps you are a fortunate soul who thinks and plans clearly and doesn’t allow mistakes to occur? If you’re the latter, I want to meet you. Um, no, I don’t…
What follows is a simple story, with quotes from smart people to make it seem important.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
— Albert Einstein

In my full-time practice of creating beauty, I often make mistakes. Incorrect engineering, melted components, successful joins soldered beautifully backwards. It’s part of my life as a metalsmith. Sometimes these are correctable. Other times, they are additions to the scrap bin. On occasion, certain remnants stay with me on the bench, providing companionship as the perfect piece they were supposed to become a part of is completed.

I may not be smart enough to do everything, but I am dumb enough to try anything.
— Geoff Johns

During that time, we have conversations. We wonder if something else is in store. While the metalsmith in me ponders the piece in progress before me, my heart sneaks glances at the castoff keeping me company. I cannot bear to get rid of these bits of memory. They seem to want a life of their own. Not merely as a melted spherical decoration on a ring or a pendant, but as the centerpiece of something truly special, something so lovely that no one would be able to guess at their past. This is what drives me to give them voice and value in this throw-away world.

Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.
(translated by Brooks Haxton)
— Heraclitus

In my art, there is no big political statement, religious iconography, or scream for sexual equality. Just the respectful use of the materials at hand to create an idea of beauty, its meaning left up to the viewer.  Statements simply made from the soul, crafted to last a lifetime.

Handmade Sterling "Confetti" Pin with Goldstone
Handmade Sterling “Confetti” Pin with Goldstone, private collection

That is why I decided to begin naming these special works Soul Statements.  There have been previous Soul Statements. But the significance of prior works has been left a mystery to their owners. Who knows – maybe you own one!
There is no way to predict how many pieces will be created within this line of work, no way to know how many will be available at any given time. The only thing that can be promised is an offering of beauty direct from the deepest part of me – a Soul Statement. The meaning is left up to you.
I leave you with a favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoon quote, along with a sincere wish for a New Year complete with happiness, health and an abundance of love.

Look! A trickle of water running through some dirt! I’d say our afternoon just got booked solid!
— Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes in Mud Puddle, by Bill Watterson
Calvin and Hobbes in Mud Puddle, by Bill Watterson