Friday, January 24, 2014

Inkheart, Love, and Valentines Day

I absolutely love the movie Inkheart. Maybe it's the child in me. I mean to be a Sivertongue and have the ability to read characters out of their books? A-w-e-s-o-m-e!!

But, there were horrors linked to that gift--the bad characters were read out of the books along with the good. I guess that's a lot like real life and even writing books. You can't bring out the good in your character without exposing some of the inner "demons" in the process.

The song Demons, by Imagine Dragons ( I love that group) talks about how we want to hide the bad parts of ourselves--the greed, the sin, the selfishness--but no matter how hard we try to hide it behind a mask, the truth still remains. We are a fallen people. We make mistakes, we do stupid things. We are not perfect. It's actually kind of a sad song, but I like the way it talks about how when you love someone enough to be yourself, and they love you despite your "demons", they help you get rid of the greed, the sin, and the selfishness.

Love is an interesting thing. It is the only feeling that can cause completely opposite emotions. Unbearable pain or inexplicable joy. The loss of someone we love brings us pain because of what their absence does to our heart. It is painful to love and not have that love reciprocated. It is scary to open our hearts to love and take the chance of having it broken. But, the truth is a guarded heart turns to stone, and the crazy unexplainable joy that love can give to us is worth every sacrifice.

As mere mortals we are incapable of unconditional love (except maybe in the love between parent and child). Marriages fail, friendships die, hatred is all too common throughout the world. Sometimes it is easier for me to dislike someone than it is to forgive and love them in some circumstances but, I also feel it takes a great deal of effort to truly hate. It's draining, debilitating, and poisonous.

Love on the other hand gives us the desire and power to forgive. The power to pick up the pieces and move on after grief or tragedy. It gives us the power to look past the vices and follies of others and see the heart underneath. It gives us the ability to look at those around us and recognize something beyond their imperfections. We are all imperfect people trying to make it along the difficult path of life. We all fall, we all screw up, we all find ourselves traveling down the wrong path now and then as we chase, or run from, our "demons".

A part in Inkheart that always makes me cry is when the author of the book (they refer to him as the Creator) begs Maggie to read him into the world he created. He feels like he will fit in and be happier there. I understand that feeling. There is such freedom and joy when you can leave reality and create your own world--or enter the worlds created in other books.

But, wouldn't it be great if we could find all the joy we need in the world we currently live in? Maybe if we could accept one another's "demons" and try to love a little more it just might be possible.

Abraham Lincoln has a quote that says in essence, when you look for the bad in mankind--you shall surely find it. Maybe this Valentine's season we can go beyond just giving flowers or chocolates to our significant others. Maybe we can try to carry more love in our hearts for everyone around us, be a touch more forgiving, and look for the good in people.

It's a nice idea right?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blank Pages...

It's a new year:)

I confess I'm one of those people who makes resolutions faithfully every year. I don't always fulfill them, but I make them. Maybe it's the hope for something better, or maybe just something new. Or maybe it's the blank spaces on the calendar that has me itching to fill them with something new and important.

I guess I have an issue with blank things.

Something about blank pages in a notebook or on a computer screen, a blank canvas, or even a lonely piece of wood makes my fingers tingle and my arms ache to get moving--to pick up that pencil, or paintbrush, hammer and nails, or start tapping those keys. I'm not sure why certain colored sunsets, or certain songs strike up a desire in me I cannot seem to quench until I pick up that pencil or strike those keys--but I always seem to feel a void until I can take what is in my head or in my heart and transform it into something tangible.

I don't have a lot of time to create. Work schedules, family schedules, and church callings always take top priority. Sometimes I wish the voices in my head would shut up so I wasn't always thinking about my projects when I need to be focused on other things. It would make the time management thing a lot easier. I realized a long time ago that I'm a lot more balanced mom when I take a little time to try and develop this desire to create that won't leave me alone. Elder M. Russell Ballard, an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, once said in a talk he gave to mothers that you can't draw water from an empty well. We need to take time to develop our talents or "refill our wells" in order to be more content and balanced. A mom's needs are important too. But I'm really struggling with not feeling guilty about scheduling time to create. I told myself long ago I wouldn't let writing take time away from my husband and my kids, but my husband's new work schedule is making this goal very difficult. Maybe I've found a new resolution for this year--better time management. I wonder how I'm going to do it. . . .

I'm thinking. I'm thinking.
Hmmmm. . . . Nope I got nothin.

If anyone out there has some awesome time management suggestions--sans guilt--I'd love to hear them:)

I wish you all a fabulous 2014 and that all your blank pages be filled with great things!!!