Friday, January 29, 2021

Creativity Sparks and Connections

Brene Brown says, "Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world." As a writer, I certainly agree with this thought. Creativity is my spark, illuminated by desire and passion that begins a new thought, idea, or project. It is my venture into the unknown, a design that takes shapes into a digital inspiration. It is often art with a dash of technology that lifts my sparks to finished pieces.

Join me as I share various creativity sparks and connections with fellow creative friends that brought joy this week.

Poetry Postcards:
Poetic goodness arrives with a new group of postcards. The creativity of three poetry friends, Linda Baie, Robyn Hood Black, and Becky Herzog, brings sunshine in winter with special artistic messages for a bright new year.

Becky Herzog shares a musical theme to ring in the new year.
Linda Baie welcomes the new year with an inspirational image poem,
One leaf drops..., and a quote by Rilke.
Robyn Hood Black offers a poem from a different era with one of her current haikus.

Sanctuary of Thought:
Once again, I present One Word 2021 Sanctuary of Thought slide share and padlet. Participants of #SlowK12ArtChat offer their #oneword artistic expressions for silent reflection.

Poetry Note Card:
Carving silent space is essential for mindful practice. In the stillness, I mix different fonts and sizes with thoughts and images to create a poem of reflective action.

Rest assured
your sanctuary 
in creative spaces.
©CV, 2021

Poetry Friday:
Jan Godown Annino hosts Poetry Friday this week at her blog, Bookseedstudio. Jan's one word 2021 is Sing and she is singing with joy throughout her post today.

Storm brewing.
Winter wish:
Fill your day with cozycalm,
Mindful practice.
©CV, 2021

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

#OneWord2021: Creativity Bursts & Connections

In a world of shifting thoughts and temperaments, words play a significant role. They hold the power to create peace or disharmony, balance, or upheaval. At the beginning of a new year or new project, a single word becomes a focal point, intentionally centering our thoughts toward future growth. 

The one word phenomenon has influenced my life journey each year since 2014. It called to my muse and invited me to venture on a new path of living toward change. This year, my one word is beginThis simple word is the light shining my way to creativity bursts and creative connections with life. With begin as a guide, I will move to Virginia soon and write a new chapter in the story of life.

On January 14, 2021, Laura Grundler and Matt Grundler, moderators of #K12ArtChat asked me to guest host their Thursday night chat. Honored to work with these dynamic and creative educators again, I opened the discussion on one word for a new year with an invitation to gather in our creative space on Twitter and to reflect on our craft and practice. I created a series of questions that would assist the participants to create one word that would impact their personal and professional life.

When the chat ended, Matt Grundler posed a question for #SlowK12ArtChat that would run throughout the week. Reflaction (Reflection with Action) - What steps will you take to create a sanctuary of thought that blends art, technology, and literacy for yourself and others? Respondents began to share their thoughts using the hashtags #SlowK12ArtChat, @SchoolArts, and @AdobeForEdu. As promised, my reflaction blended art, technology, and poetry to create a collage of inspired words and art. Please join me at my One Word 2021 Sanctuary of Thought here

I invite anyone who has a one word 2021 to add your digital inspiration to the One Word Sanctuary of Thought padlet here.

"Creativity is contagious, pass it on!" -  Albert Einstein  
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. -Pablo Picasso

It's Slice of Life Tuesday.
I join the community of writers with gratitude to Two Writing Teachers for their sacred space.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Celebrating America

On a cold winter day, a new dawn of excitement began.

The country celebrated America!

The inauguration of our new president, Joe Biden, Jr., and vice president, Kamala Harris, took place on the same steps as that of an unexpected insurrection a week before.

The opening words of President Biden's Inaugural Address rang through the chill as a strong message of hope. From the beginning of the speech to the very end, inspiration flowed. Democracy and unity were key ideas delivered with heart and purposeful intent. 

This is democracy's day.
A day of history and hope.
Of renewal and resolve.
-President Joe Biden
This is America's day. This is democracy's day." - President Joe Biden


Windswept flurries floated in
On a winter day.
A new dawn, alive with passion, 
Rose for America.

46 bells rang.
Words exchanged.
Oaths of trust promised.
Songs uplifted
The sweet sound of one word,
Democracy, filled the sky
As unity joined in.
 History was made.
"My soul is in this!"
Was heard around the globe-
A solemn and celebratory
Entrance for the 46th president.
A young voice spoke
of America, unity, and change.
"History has its eyes on us."
"The dawn is ours."
Fireworks exploded.
Hopefilled eyes lifted.
Democracy celebrated.
Breaths exhaled.
America begins to heal.
©CV, 2021
"...Being American is more than a pride
we inherit.
It's the past we step into
and how we repair it.
-Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate, The Hill We Climb


To keep the spotlight on the poetry of Inauguration Day, Laura Shovan, author, poet, and host of Poetry Friday this week, focuses on the words of Amanda Gorman.  

Teaching Tolerance offers a curriculum guide to teach The Hill We Climb and the 2021 Inauguration here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Winter Walk on a Day of Peace

Winter dresses in muted blue tones on this day of peace. A crispclean chill cuts across the park, awakening January animals to perform for wandering visitors. Time stands still in in this bubble of stilled beauty. World turbulence, COVID updatings, and sounds of swiftling passing cars do not disturb the tranquil setting.  It is in this quiet place that our soul whispers and finds stillness to withstand the strife of the outside world. 

winter morning chill
cloudshifts share sky with sunshine
winter walk welcomed
©CV, 2021

peaceful pace
daystroll at McDonald Pond
sunlight sparkles
©CV, 2021

During my midday winter walk, I soak in the peaceful feeling nature presents. Watching life moving slowly, slows down the pace. Water sparkles; I watch diamond-studded shapes bounce in the water. A dog frolics, sprinting across the expansive grounds while a squirrel poses for a picture or two. The crispclean air fills the park. Conversations take on a different tone. Tranquility moves from nature to a space within the heart. 

Please listen to a song, O Day of Peace, befitting of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 

Josh Garrels's soothing song delivers a reflective close to a day honoring a man of peace.

within the stillness
we can dream of peace for all -
in God we trust
©CV, 2021


I turn my Slice of Life thoughts over to Two Writing Teachers.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

New Year Gifts

This year started with hope, my one word begin, and a collection of poetry postcards to decorate my writing desk. 

As a collector of Victorian and vintage items, I have always enjoyed the art of postcard writing.  I am grateful to Jone MacCulloch for bringing back this art with the New Year Poetry Postcards Exchange. I also extend thanks to our poetry community for bringing  good cheer to my home this January.

     Welcome to this January's Mini-Gallery of New Year 2021 Poetry Postcards    

Each poetry postcard below is a beautiful and unique gift from poetry friends. 
I shall cherish them throughout the years.

Jone MacCulloch sent greetings in Scottish Gaelic and English.
recently minted
shiny coin of here and now
ready to be spent
-Mary Lee Hahn
In 2021, Year of the Ox, my wish for you and yours:
& Peace
Plus Inspiration for
Your Creative Endeavors
-Diane Mayr
Linda Mitchell, Bookmark and Poem
                                                              Connection longing
                                                              Watching the great conjunction
                                                              Universal hope
                                                                                -Kimberly Hutmacher
-Margaret Simon
January Sprints
past New Year's
merry making-
Springtime is waiting. 
-Janice Scully
Turning the clock back to the early 1900s, I linger over W.A. Martin's postcard to a dear friend.  

Karen Eastlund states in her recent blog, Good Gifts:
Scripture tells us that "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above."
James 1:17 

I am reminded that the above poetry greetings share the essence of kindness, sweet nuggets of wisdom to fill the receiver's day. As a gesture of kindness, I send these postcards off to you to brighten your January, dear friends.

Enjoy the Year of the Ox!

I am strolling over to Margaret Simon's blog, Reflections on the Teche, where I was writing to the picture prompt she posted. Margaret is hosting Poetry Friday this week and shares her nestling poems created by her students and herself.

Picture Prompt

My Reply:

 I hear the howl of the night wind and reflect: 
winter bares its soul
in nighttime stillness
moonglow softly shines.
©CV, 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Reflection on a Year Passing

At the end of last year, there were many discussions about 2020 moving on? No wonder. COVID-19 had an interesting way of bringing sadness, isolation, and stress into 2020 lives so wishing the year away would be a logical choice on New Year's Eve. While I agree, I would like to focus not on days filled with struggle and sadness but upon those with some sweet surprises. 
  • Early in January 2020, my granddaughter Aurora was born - such a joyful event.
  • In February, my husband and I purchased a new home in Virginia, only 1/2 hour away from my granddaughters.
  • In June, I designed and delivered an intensive, remote learning, 4-day Summer Graduate Institute for teachers. The small group of educators were creative thinkers and eager participants. While the work of remote learning is demanding, it is also rewarding when learners reap the benefits.
  • In December, we closed on our new build and became proud new owners. 
The poem, The Passing of the Year by Robert W. Service, brings closure to sadness and hope for a new year. The line, "Old weary year! it's time to go", offers the opportunity to create a Golden Shovel poem. (Each word in the strike line becomes the last word of each line of my new poem.) 

Pass into the night, ye old
365 days. Are you weary
from your long walk this year?
Are you wondering if it's
your time
to rest, to
surrender, and let go?
©CVarsalona, 2021

It is always best to look back and remember good times when struggles outnumber the positivesHow do you see the passing of the year? Did you choose your #oneword2021 that will guide you on a new journey? I am ready to begin anew! Join me on January 14, 2021 at Twitter for #K12ArtChat where I will guest host a chat on #oneword thanks to Matt and Laura Grundler. 

Enjoy the beginning of a new year.
Put on a smile of gratitude behind your mask each day. 
Slice of Life 2021