Sunday, April 6, 2014

Low-Key Sunday Notes

These photos are from almost exactly one year ago.
It's just that I'm really timely. I'm just exceedingly relevant like that.

Also, I haven't taken many pictures, lately. All the photographers seem to have left 5th Street. 
I mean, what will I share next year if I'm not taking them now???


Siley desperately wanted to pose like this.

Speaking of my inherent knack for eternal relevance, the most magical moment happened last Thursday night while I was dipping my chip into the salsa bowl with two of my besties.

Friend 1: So, how was Dallas?
Me: So good, so wonderful, blah blah blah, there were Instagram celebs there.
Friend 2: What's Instagram?
Friend 1: It's like twitter, but with pictures.You take pictures and follow people...
Me: Hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Friend 2: I still don't get it. Just, what's the point?
Friend 1: I don't know, really. My brother-in-law follows me.
Me: (crunch crunch crunch) Hahahahahaaaaaaa! (I love you!)

That brief blip on the radar of life cured me of months of pent-up smart-phone inadequacy.

People, this is why the internet only gets us so far. I've met some of my favorite people in all the stinking land on the internets. If I were to get married right now, I would be wrangling a few blog ladies into strange, A-line bridesmaids dresses. Cyber-friendships have steered me delicately and hilariously through some of the darkest days of my recent life. They have shored me up and really known me in a shockingly short amount of time. They have understood me uniquely and challenged me gently.

But there's this whole other thing, where we scrabble together one free evening every couple months and catch up on all the dailies with local ladies and sometimes they read my blog but often they don't and it's all so okay. We're bound by my husband's history, by years and tall tales and proximity and motherhood. We're connected by our faith and our worldview. And our love for salsa. And our ignorance of what's cool.

This afternoon I finished A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman. It took me months. I don't know.

It was one of those books that needed to be doled out. In my experience, this is usually a very good sign.

I also think timing can be everything for books, and lately, I've spent a lot of hours thinking about my art.

Why is it so hard to say "my art"? Try it. I'll wait.

But the thing is, we all have art to offer the world. The world needs our art. The universe and our communities and all our people depend on it. Can we really believe that? I wish we'd try.

I was uprooted by the words in this book. I was filled and settled and underlining like a mad fool.

I don't want to over-think everything, or bend the will of my art into something it's not. I don't want to believe art has to be fancy, that it has to be my most unique offering. Because sometimes, art is sauteed cabbage, offered with love. Sometimes it's the simplicity of a moment where the chips are warm and I feel completely a part of. Sometimes it's the bend of late daylight across the leaf of a houseplant or a little boy's hands covered in the kind of dirt that can only mean Spring finally came for us.

The ease with which I am able to release the art I was made to live seems directly related to my willingness to embrace wonder.  - A Million Little Ways

Amen, Sister.

That frozen wonder is starting to thaw and I think I see my art running back to meet me again. I need to haul the big camera out again and start taking a harder look at this world I'm in.

It's spring break here, and I can't wait to see what we discover.
Happy New Week, Friends and Dreamers.


  1. I want you to write a book. You are my favorite wordsmith! Happy Sunday night, Shan.

  2. end of winter/ugly pre-spring are my least "photographing" seasons. Every year is like this according to my facebook albums (That and November is usually pretty meager)

    Also - I have been reading Emily's book since the new year. It was a present from my sister-in-law. Such a good book I just have to digest it in little bits - which is not like me at all. I tend to be a speed reader. I read her words in the waiting room at my son's appointments.

  3. Okay, I am so glad you said that about Emily's book because I saved up my little amazon bucks and ordered it and sat down all excited and then
    Whoa, Nelly.
    Must put book down and read something that doesn't make me think.
    Maybe that's exactly why I should soldier through and ponder those pages?

    1. Soldier through!
      It's definitely a new kind of "meat" for me...but it kept repeatedly kicking me between the eyes. Nicely. :)
      The last 2 or 3 chapters especially slayed me!
      Finish it up (even if it takes a while) and let me know so we can discuss. :)

  4. You should know I have a growing crush on your writing.

  5. I'm halfway through Emily's book! I devoured as much of it as I could while in Florida in January and haven't been able to steal a few moments to pick it up again! But I Love.It.So.Much!! You do take wonderful pictures, but don't forget that the words that you share here and the pictures that they create are very much art!! I know that I appreciate that art of you, or part of you!! :) Can't wait to see what you find on spring break though!! And I have a fruit salsa recipe that I'm going to send you! My daughter Jessica made it yesterday and it was divine -along with homemade cinnamon/sugar tortillia chips!!! So so good!!!!

  6. I have not read the book....keep wondering if it really applies to me! hmmm.... this morning about the (in)courage writing! Congrats. Super glad that more of God's story will be shared!

  7. ah! this post is excellent. and God just used your word-art to bless me. i was at the conference, but did not get to meet you. (sad face with a grumble of regret) i usually cannot bring myself to say "my art". even though i majored in art in college and have a bachelor's degree hanging on my wall that says "Fine Art" on it....for some reason, i just can never seem to say it. and i thought about teaching art for a profession, but i struggled to figure out how to teach kids to be proud of this thing that i had a hard time even claiming as my "gift". (i say "gift" lightly....not claiming to be a monet over here.)

    but what you said....oh how it hit home. "But the thing is, we all have art to offer the world. The world needs our art. The universe and our communities and all our people depend on it. Can we really believe that? I wish we'd try."

    sometimes i forget every good and perfect gift comes from God, and that HE wants me to paint....HE wants me to draw....HE wants me to craft. he gave me that talent to glorify him, and it is necessary to USE IT!

    i mean it when i say, this is the first time i have been able to fully wrap my head around that. God is so good. He wants to see us succeed, even if the only audience is him.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Girlfriend, your comment gave me GOOSEBUMPS!
      You need to get your mitts on the book. For real.

  8. You ruminating on Emily's words....The day just was made! And now I'm hungry for salsa and my local peeps.

  9. I'm just finishing up Emily's book too, it has inspired lots of conversation and thought! In fact, today I posted about my art!

  10. To quote someone from above, "you are my favorite wordsmith." Please share your art with all of us...

  11. Congratulations on being selected as an (in)courage writer, Shannon - I love your story and your voice, and you'll be a beautiful addition to that community!

  12. (in)courage. oh snap, shan. big things, I tell you! big things He does with your words. xoxo

  13. Nature is the "art" of God.

  14. I can't wait to read this! It's on my book list. Also, is it weird that I use instagram to do art? I wish I had a real camera, but in the meantime, it feeds my soul a little.