Saturday, November 23, 2013

Reflections on the Ring

c. Lori Colombo-Dunham
 I was on the edge of my seat as Lori Columbo-Dunham described her whirlwind love story in Reflections on the Ring.  It is one that our throw-away culture would think could only end in disaster.

Every marriage is stressful to some degree, but an unplanned pregnancy and a shotgun marriage to a guy she barely knew would not seem the best foundation for a great life-long relationship. Even the most well-intentioned would advise to bail out.

Thank goodness she didn’t, if she had, she would have missed the ride of a lifetime.

She describes her frantic second thoughts as she’s preparing to get married in a cold, bland courthouse, rather than the elegant church wedding she had been previously planning.

She describes their humble beginnings in a cramped, one-sink condo, to their dream home, complete with a yard for her children; leaving nothing out. She describes in detail all of the growing pains; the “what am I supposed to do with this child”, the career changes, the “where is the money going to come from?” 

While both must be invested in it, she describes the untold power the wife holds to either make or break the marriage, just by her responses.

This is certainly not your average marital self-help book. It is her story, but there are quotes from the likes of John Gray and Laura Schlessinger, as well as the Bible peppered throughout. There are questions at the end of the chapters meant to spark discussion or solution.

The best way to learn, I believe, is through a story. Whether you are married or not, you will find it truly inspirational.

c. 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Matisse's Mistake

Who says mistakes are always bad? Tell that to Henri Matisse who accidentally knocked over the statue he had been working on for weeks. It, of course, broke and crumbled [OMG!].

Well you can imagine his shock and frustration. His wife took him, mid-cringe, for a walk. The best thing you can do, if you can, amidst a bad situation is step back. The solution will often be waiting for you when you come back with new eyes.

Matisse came back to his studio refreshed from the walk and saw the ruins of his sculpture in a different way. He was inspired to paint a nude, but in an unconventional way, using interesting lines and colors. This would be the controversial and buzzworthy Blue Nude [Memory of Biskra 1907].

Blue Nude [Memory of Biskra 1907]
this image is in the public domain
Blue Nude, you may or may not know electrified the art world, inspiring other artists, including Picasso, who actually was green with envy at the sight of it. But don’t worry, he got over it.

Many don’t realize that Matisse was primarily a sculptor. He was inspired to paint after this frustrating mistake. [He did remake the sculpture as Reclining Nude I(Aurora).]

Matisse did what all artists do, took a common art subject; in his case, the nude; and added his touches to it. His use of color and line [which were very progressive for his time] made an ordinary nude, a revolutionary piece of art.

Artists are good at reinventing themselves. They have experience making mistakes. They also have the experience to see that what some people see as an “accident” or a misstep can become a masterpiece when framed the right way.

c. 2013