Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Can you hear it....?

We are surrounded by noise.  We are woken up by it in the early morning hours when our alarms go off and our bedside radio's go on automatically.  Dogs bark, children shout, parents run through the day's programme, motorists blast their horns, teenagers bob to the rhythm of the music blaring from the car radio or on their i-pods, whistles blow, computers hum, telephones ring.  You get the idea. 
Our days are filled with continuous sound.  When we return home, we immediately switch the radio or television on to fill the house with background noise.  We fear the silence.  Silence is so foreign to our existence today that it makes us feel ill at ease. We have no appreciation for silence in our lives. 
We equate silence with something that is lacking, absent from our lives.  Silence means we are alone, deprived of company.  We feel threatened by it.  We immediately need to fill the silence with sound, with noise.
Wherever people get together, they immediately begin to fill the silence in with words, with mundane chatter or ear-deafening music.  Conversations are carried on above the sound of the television playing in the background.  Strangers fear the silence that threatens to develop between questions and comments.  Even churches are continuously filled with music even during times of silent prayer, lest the silence would find a way into my thoughts.
We view our verbal abilities as a testimony of our education, we use it to convince, to rule, to impress.  Boastful people make sure that everyone else is quiet so that they can have everybody's full attention.  Very often our verbal communication is merely empty chatter, and a continuous repetition of what others have already said.  When we are quiet, silently looking on, people tend to view us with a certain amount of suspicion.  They do not understand silence, and feel insecure in its presence.  Mostly people would try to entice the quiet person into having a conversation, and if that fails, would then proceed to ignore the person as if the quiet, introspective person ceases to be of any importance.
We are so busy complying with the world's addiction to noise and sound that we have forgotten the importance of silence.  Only in the silence can we begin to truly hear again, to listen.  Our spirit, our soul is crying out to be heard.  God is trying to reach us, communicate with us.  As long as we keep up the sound pollution, we cannot begin to listen, to understand.  Silence is not just empty time, devoid of something.  Silence has presence, it is filled with an energy of its own.  Silence has substance.  Only when we are silent can we hear the spirit's guiding voice.
In the quiet our senses start to become more acute.  When we are not so busy thinking up new words to utter we start hearing better.  The tremble of insecurity in my child's voice, the silent scream of depression, the way fear is disguised in an angry voice.  We also begin to see better, to notice the hidden sadness behind a brave smile.
Maybe it is time to schedule silence into our busy lives.  To consciously spend time away from all external sound, to even switch of our internal dialogue, and just be quiet.  To breathe deep, being completely conscious.  To listen.

I ask you this week to make a concerted effort to spend 10 minutes everyday to just be quiet, to listen with your heart, to hear the voice of the Spirit......

If you flutter by here, share with me your thoughts on silence.  Just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Let Your Words Take Flight!!!!

I love words, the way they sound, the way they feel on my tongue, the way a simple word can take my thoughts on a fantasy flight.  I love the rhythm and melody of poetry.  Poetry is like a painting done with one's soul.  Poetry give our thoughts wings. So it is just natural that on my blog there should be a place for poetry.  Every month I will share some poetry with anybody who happens to flutter by, and I will also post a poetry prompt/ challenge for you to take part in and I will give awards to 3 of the participants.   You can enter as many poems as you want, but only one of them will be eligible for the award. The rules are simple: any poetry submitted here for the challenge must be your own, and it must comply with the prompt given.   You have to also comment on at least two other entries.  Remember only positive feedback and constructive critique please. Any poetry you want to share with us that belongs to somebody else must be clearly marked as to who the original author is.
I will also give short discussions about poetry forms, rhyme or interesting titbits.

Do take part, there is a poem within each of us!!  Have fun!!!!

To take part or comment, simply scroll right down to the bottom and click on the words "no comment/ 1 comment" , then write your poem in the white comment box that will appear and click on "publish".

8 March 2013

The poetry challenge for March is "Friendship". 
Any type of poetry, free verse or rhyme. 
Minimum 6 lines, max 20 lines.
You can submit your poem all through March, but the closing date is 31 March 2013. 

I am looking forward to your poems!!

To read my poetry click on the All Poetry link on this page.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mixed Media Challenge

Mixed Media Challenge

Mixed Media Painting "Jar of Hearts" by Charri F. 2012

I love all forms of Art, but the art I absolutely adore is Mixed Media Art!  Therefor I decided to add a monthly challenge about it here on my Blog.  Every 1st Wednesday of the Month I will post a challenge for the new month.  If you flutter by please feel free to take part and share your take on the challenge with me simply by befriending me via my FB page and then post your entry om my FB page.  Here is a link to my FB page: http://www.facebook.com/charri.hart

To comment, simply scroll right down to the bottom and write your comment in the white comment box and click on "publish".

6 March 2013

Thank you so much to those who took part in February's challenge.  I appreciate the lovely photo's I received on my cell, but would like to ask you to not be shy and to please enter them on my FB page once you have befriended me there.
The Mixed Media Challenge for March  is "Friendship" and it must please be submitted on or before the 31st of March 2013. 
Rules are easy: any media (2 or more different types), any size, but keep pixels down low as for most other blogs.
Post your Challenge entry on my FB page : http://www.facebook.com/charri.hart

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Treasure of Friendship

Friendship.  The need for this is woven into our DNA.  After the creation, God saw that it was not good for man to be alone.  Relationships are a God given gift.  Even the most reticent of us have a longing for the companionship of another human being.
Very early in childhood children instinctively start reaching out to other children.  Just last week I watched in amazement how the face of an eight months old baby lit up as a little two year old girl walked into the room.  His eyes followed her everywhere and when she came close he tried to reach out to her.  Although very young children do not really start interacting actively with each other during play until they are a bit older, they enjoy the company of other children. 
All through our lives we come into contact with people and with some of these we forge friendships.  Some of these friendships are very short lived, but some are for life.  Others are "seasonal", lasting only through a phase or a similar situation which threw or drew us together.
However long the lifespan of a friendship is, they all have something in common, we learn from them and grow through them, even the worst of friendships have an enriching effect on us, as we are taught valuable lessons through them about life, people and ourselves.
Every friendship has something about them to celebrate, even if it is just to rejoice that you are now free from that friendship!!!  The sad thing is that we very often start to take friendships for granted, we forget to treasure them, and value them.  Each friendship is very unique, with their own unique challenges and joys.  Every friend we make reveals something new about ourselves.  Anais Nin said this about friendship: "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."  So true and worth pondering about.  I have had many wonderful friends in my lifetime and each one of them was so incredibly special, and everyone I have presently in my life I value and treasure.  They have helped form me, they've taught/ still teaching me, they've broadened my horizons, loved me, listened to me, comforted me and made me laugh.
My most valued friendships I have are those within my family.  The saying goes that friends are the family we choose for ourselves, but if they weren't family I would have chosen them as my friends.  Nothing can ever take the place of my family, their friendship is indeed far above all the riches of the world.
Each one of my friends is a flower in my bouquet.  There is the bright yellow daisy - my lifetime childhood friend, the delicate purple beauty of the violet - the one who has known me before I even knew myself, and named me, the cosmos , the rose, the fairy bluebell, the carnation, the forget-me-not's, the sturdy geraniums, lilies, poppies, tulips, honeysuckle and lavender.  The iris, marigold and pansies.  Each one adding their unique fragrance and beauty to my life.  Thank you, dear friends, for your gift of friendship!!!

If you flutter by here, please share your thoughts on friendship with the readers here, and pay tribute to them.  I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Tuesday Art-Tickles

Art-Tickles is for those of you who enjoy art and the process of it.  I love all aspects of art, and often experiment with new ideas or try something new and challenging.   Every first Tuesday of the month I will post a challenge and I'll share with you the art I made for the challenge.  Feel free to share your art with me too on the web/blogsite where your art can be viewed, or post your entries on my FB page :  http://www.facebook.com/charri.hart  .If you are not a 'friend' yet on my FB page you will first need to send me a friend request before you will be able to post.  I am looking forward to your entries. I would love to hear from you.

To take part or comment, simply scroll right down to the bottom and write your comment in the white comment box and click on "publish".

5 March 2013

This month's challenge is "Like Van Gogh".  Any medium may be used, the only requirement is that you do it in the style of Vincent van Gogh.  Entries are to be posted between now and the 31st of March 2013.  Post your entries on my FB page :  http://www.facebook.com/charri.hart  .If you are not a 'friend' yet on my FB page you will first need to send me a friend request before you will be able to post.  I am looking forward to your entries.
Here is my first entry for this month,  Oil on canvas.

Vincent Willem van Gogh was one of the most important painters of the modern era. His influence is still seen centuries later as his painting techniques are repeated on the canvases of today's most successful young artists. Van Gogh's stormy life and sad death are the inspiration for many books, song lyrics and movies.

At 25 van Gogh served two years as a preacher in the coal mining community of Borinage, Belgium. His brother, Theodorus van Gogh, was a protestant preacher. The people of Borinage were very poor and Vincent tried to minister to their spiritual needs , but was not very successful. His first noteworthy painting, "The Potato Eaters," depicts the difficult life in Borinage.
Van Gogh wrote over 800 letters during his life as he suffered from a compulsive writing disorder known as hypergraphia, and is associated with temporal lobe epilepsy, that he is said to have suffered from.

Vincent Willem van Gogh was given the same name of his stillborn brother, and was born exactly one year later.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Set Free!!

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo is the world's most famous sculptor, he was an absolute master craftsman and artist.  He painstakingly would turn an ordinary piece of marble into a statue of exquisite beauty.  Where others would merely see a pretty piece of stone or marble, he would see a figure, lovers or angels, then he would carve and chisel until it was released for all to marvel at.  God, the ultimate sculptor, blessed him with an incredible talent.
The same way as Michelangelo would chisel at a piece of marble, the Lord is also busy with each one of us.  Sometimes I look at myself and wonder what it is that the Lord could possibly love about me?  I am so full of rubbish, sin and uselessness, what on earth could be my purpose? We look at others sometimes with these same questions.  We look at others and judge them, shaking our heads at the seemingly wasted life of a murderer, a tramp, a prostitute and cannot see any purpose to their lives, yet the Lord looks at them and sees something beautiful.  However, He looks at them, at me and you and see something wonderful, so he gets out his chisel and starts carving, hammering and polishing until his image of me is set free.
We are all in the process of being shaped and moulded by the Master Craftsman, and he will not stop until we are completed to His design and purpose.  Sometimes this process is not easy for us, we might experience pain and anguish, we might fight against it and get injured in the process, yet in the end the work is completed and we have been renewed into a masterpiece to the glory of God.  No two pieces of marble is exactly the same, and each piece get lovingly shaped into something totally unique and created for a specific purpose.  It becomes easier to bare the rough and tumble of life when we think of it as the chiseling and carving taking place to shape me into what the Lord has planned for me.  His plan is never to hurt me, or destroy me, but for me to prosper according to his Master plan, He is busy setting me free from my prison in the stone.

If you flutter by here, please feel free to leave your comment here, I would love to hear from you.