The Unexplained

Watch this oil painting “Visiting Rabbit” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I explained the story behind this mysterious encounter with a wild rabbit on the “Visiting Rabbit” page. This week there have been some serendipitous events, nothing of the emotional magnitude of the rabbit in my yellow roses, but powerful nonetheless. It would be difficult to explain all of the small connections that have lined up in an improbable string of consequences, but it really doesn’t matter what is happening in my little world. The larger picture is that this sort of thing happens to all of us, sometimes because we’re paying attention to it, and other times because it’s so in-our-face blatant that we can’t ignore it.

What’s on my heart tonight is to remind you that we are loved beyond what we can understand. We know this- without a doubt- when mysterious unexplained events happen to us, that make it clear that there is a God who loves us, sees us, and wants us to know that He does. There are strange signs, and things that only we know, that come together in perfect synchronicity. I believe that when we feel spiritual lonely, all we need to do is pray for a comforting sign. Then pay attention to what happens. We are never alone. Everything is connected.

God bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace. Good night, dear friends.


Spirit Birthday

Watch “Bird of Light” oil painting come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

Today would have been my mom’s birthday, had she lived to see this day. I explained the meaning of this painting and blogged about Mom’s mysterious ways of connecting with us in the post “Are you open?“. That post also shows a video, further down the page, of what happened to the above painting the morning after I painted it. Today, I’m just going to keep this short. Happy Birthday, Mom.

Serendipity

Watch this oil painting called “Time” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

Two days ago I blogged “One gone, another enters” and I was reminded of the story of when Mom died… one dies, another is born. I meant to talk about this yesterday, but the toad drummer distracted me and I had to blog about him first! I figured we could all use something funny and joyful, so I went with that first.

This other story is somber and mysterious, yet uplifting and I’ve shared it here before. But I never know how many have seen the things I’ve written previously, so it’s good to share them again as new friends join us. Also, there’s a bit of an update. The story is now published as the first chapter of “Beauty of Time” and can be read free as part of the new Kindle Vella program which officially launched recently.

I thought I could copy and paste the story in, but Amazon won’t let me do that… which is a good thing I suppose. A screen capture is a bit of a mess to stitch together, so please visit the story directly. It is FREE to read “Serendipity”, and it’s a very cool template, at least in my opinion. The text feels easy on the eyes to read. Anyway, my story is here, and if you like it, there’s a little thumbs up button at the end… that no one has yet pressed. I’m not sure anyone’s even read my stories. I don’t write the type of things that are popular there. But that’s OK, I write what is true to who I am.

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Holiday Break

Our house is already changing from pumpkin spices to gingerbread. Today we decorated the Christmas tree and made cookies. Yesterday for Thanksgiving we had a

Read More »

Happy Anyway

I struggled to think of what to say for today’s blog post. World events paint a bleak, angry, and fearful picture. What popped into my

Read More »

The Unexplained

I explained the story behind this mysterious encounter with a wild rabbit on the “Visiting Rabbit” page. This week there have been some serendipitous events,

Read More »

Going Fast

You might remember when I shared this painting in September, and now nearly two months have passed by. Autumn is going fast. Didn’t it feel

Read More »

New Painting

This is the painting I finished yesterday. Thanksgiving is coming up fast. Beyond a special meal that features a roast turkey, those of us who

Read More »

When Lions Fly

I last shared this art in a blog post called “Guardians“, which was about protectors and believing in spiritual protection. That’s a big idea sort

Read More »

Who we are

Do you ever see yourself in the past, through a photograph, a video, through the eyes of an old friend or relative, or maybe a

Read More »

Veteran’s Day

My oil painting is of a roadside American flag on the only way to/from Tybee Island, Georgia. Police officers rescued it from hurricane flood waters

Read More »

Update

I like to use this painting for my updates. The music in the video is an instrumental version of “Be Thou my Vision”. The lyrics

Read More »

Thanksgiving Plans?

I talked about this painting in an August blog post called “Feasting“. Today, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving and how quickly it’s coming up. For those

Read More »

Is it a sign?

This painting is about serendipity and events that make us think about how the puzzle pieces of life fit together, and how important we are

Read More »

Peaceful Sunday

Psalm 36: 5-7 “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies… You, Lord, preserve both people & animals…. People take refuge

Read More »

Tired?

You might remember when I shared this painting in a May blog post called “Are you Weary?“. It seems a lot of us are struggling

Read More »

Are you open?

Watch me paint “Bird of Light” in 2 minutes (time lapse)

The oil painting “Bird of Light” was created especially for this collection, and specifically for this section “Life after Death”.

 

I wanted to share with you about how Mom (who passed away many years ago) seems to communicate with us. Numbers were important to her, and Mom had a habit of calculating figures in a notebook. She would do this by hand, usually to add and subtract purchases. She kept a balanced checkbook and would become anxious if even a single penny was off. She’d do the math over and over until she found the error and the account was balanced. This type of focus is a big part of who she was, so it makes sense that, instead of seeing cardinals or butterflies- as many people see when loved ones pass- we were instead seeing a number.

 

Specifically, we were seeing the number 62. It took us a while to catch on that this number kept popping up, happening so often that it defied the statistical laws of probability, but eventually we made the connection. Mom was sixty-two when she died. That number was connected to her, and I also knew that the age she was would have been significant to her. So, it makes sense, as long as I’m open to the idea that our loved ones communicate with us in a way that is recognizable, identifiable, and also timely.

 

As in, we see 62’s more often when we are going through a hardship, approaching a milestone, or coming up on the anniversary of something. We’d see 62 on a license plate directly in front of us, on billboards, in a show, on a receipt, in a price tag, in a phone number- anywhere where numbers are found, we may see a 62 several times in a single day.

 

I didn’t know how to paint a number, without actually painting the number, but the idea came to me to paint an abstract that captures the idea of the number, drawing into my emotions about Mom, and the essence of her- what colors did she like, what colors seemed to represent her?

 

I began by literally painting the number sixty-two on the canvas and using a variation of the “doodle game” that she and her family used to play with me when I was little. I could always draw very well, like my dad. The other side of the family was enchanted by watching Dad and I draw. They’d draw a doodle- just a curved line or shape- and challenge us to draw something from it.

 

When I painted the number sixty-two, it felt like Mom had given me a doodle game challenge, which I thought I’d blend into an abstract art, but it took on the shape of a bird. I was attempting to blend the colors while deliberately avoiding making recognizable shapes, but shapes formed anyway. It looked like wings were in my brush strokes, and part of a bird shape. I realized that Mom wouldn’t like abstract art, but a subtle simple bird in her favorite colors would probably be her cup of tea.

 

So, again, it all made sense… as long as I was open to the experience. And that’s how, instead of an abstract named “62”, Mom’s painting became “Bird of Light”.

An update:

 

This past week my daughter received her first paycheck from her new job. Guess what number was in the random serial number on the paycheck? Yes, 62! My daughter was close to Mom, and she looks for her number- a message that Nana knows about the important things that happen in my daughter’s life.

 

Of course, one could say, “If you look for something, you will find it.” And that is true. But you can’t see something that isn’t there, and the odds that the number 62 would be randomly on that check seem very low to me. Patterns are reliable, as are laws of probability. When something defies those predictable patterns and mathematical laws, we could be seeing a glimpse of a mysterious spiritual world that we can’t fully understand.

Watch this painting in real time, live taping show: “Bird of Light

See the amazing thing that happened after the show:

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Are you worried?

Watch me paint this puffin in 2 minutes (time lapse)

We have many reasons to feel worried. We worry about our personal circumstances that few (or maybe only we) know about. Private fears keep us awake at night: fears about illness, tragedy, work, financial crisis, grief, and trouble concerning our families. We also worry about things that the world tells us to fear; things that may be real or built upon deception in whole or in part. These worries may never come true, but life has its share of heartache and hardship, so we can never be completely safe from the things we fear. 

In my video of the puffin, you may notice:

  • As I’m painting, you can see glimpses of other paintings in the background. You see not only this single painting session, where I’m sitting there in my comfy red work shirt painting at home, but the evidence of several others. This represents hours of my energy and focus directed toward creating art to share.
  • If you’ve made it to the end of the video, you saw the music credits. Can you picture someone recording that happy guitar music to share with others? That musician invested energy and focus into making music. It was probably after years of playing the guitar, perhaps a lifetime.
  • And… the puffin is investing time and energy into simply being a puffin.

When we invest our time and energy into CREATING, MAKING, and BEING, we occupy ourselves with the act of living. We have filled the spaces of our minds with positive thoughts, leaving little room left over for worry.

  • CREATE: We don’t have to create art to be creative. I feel the same peaceful awareness of the goodness of creativity when I garden. Planning and growing my garden creates a new living world that is a masterpiece. Creativity can be in the kitchen, the garage, or any other place. An “artist’s studio” is wherever we feel creative.
  • MAKE: I’m grateful when musicians offer their music. I have a tight budget as a one-person enterprise, yet I need quality talent for my art videos. My art is made better when music sets the mood for my videos. But we don’t have to make music to contribute our talents to this world. Not everyone was born to be a musician. We all have our own gifts and talents, even if it seems we don’t. Making the effort to make life better for others, especially our families who love us, is one of the greatest roles we can have. What we make of our lives matters. Each of us has an opportunity to make a difference.
  • BE: When we are busy creating something new or making a difference in the lives of others, we have little energy leftover for worry. But, the true state of peace is when we don’t need to busy ourselves with positive distractions to fill our spiritual spaces… when we are unworried while in a state of simply “being”.

When I was learning about puffins to create that painting, I discovered that the puffin is a social creature who seems to love hanging out with other puffins. Yet there were plenty of instances in which the puffin was fine to be alone while flying, swimming, or simply being. The body language of a puffin suggests a relaxed, content spirit. 

Do you think that the puffin is aware of what an inspiration he is to humanity? As he goes about his animal life, with his funny stature, color block body, and unusual lifestyle combination of flying and swimming, does he worry about anything? This interesting little bird was given a singular purpose to live the life of a puffin. He was given gifts and talents to make that life possible. He was blessed with the company of other puffins for the journey.

Is the puffin immortal? No. They live an average of twenty years. But during that time, they protect each other from predators by forming groups when they are feeding at sea. They are highly social animals and deeply loyal, as they mate for life. To protect themselves, puffins nest high on top of cliffs and burrow deep under the ground. Instinctively, they understand their vulnerability and they take measures to keep themselves safe. But do they “worry” as we humans do? Probably not. It doesn’t seem to be the case.

Puffins are mysterious. They spend a lot of time at sea, where it is difficult for researchers to study them. In a world where every living creature is spied upon, analyzed, and intimately known, the puffin has managed to keep part of its life relatively private. I’ve blogged about how important it is to be mysterious.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, you may have noticed that I’ve mentioned activities like painting, playing music, gardening, cooking, socializing, swimming, and flying (unlike the puffin we obviously need planes, but we too can escape to far away places). Nowhere did I mention filling our time with a devotion to media, the Internet, or packaged passive “entertainment” scripted with an agenda to steer us toward a faux reality, and away from our natural intuitive lifestyle. When we reject that which is fake and choose those things that are real, we live an authentic life. It is easier for us to just “be”.

Our life expectancy is much higher than that of a puffin, yet we waste so much of it in worry. May we strive to invest our time and energy into making and creating until we evolve into “being”, at peace while standing still. Whenever you start to worry, think of my puffin painting. Be a puffin!

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Mythical Blue Cardinal

First, my oil painting of a blue heron and the update. Then, the mysterious and bizarre story about what happened yesterday! Don’t miss my challenge to you to “go blue”.

Watch me paint this blue heron in under 1 minute (time lapse)

“A strikingly beautiful blue heron appeared at the lagoon one day. I quickly took its picture to paint later. This is a different style from how I usually paint. It looks like a watercolor because I was trying to get away with using cheap paints that turned out to be watery and hard to work with. This was a happy accident, because the watercolor-like effect captured the mood. He has only made one more appearance that I know of, but I hope he will return next spring. On the day he arrived, he just happened to be standing at the water’s edge when the light reflected the colors of the trees in a streaky wave of color. He was all alone, with no other birds or creatures in sight, which only added to his mysterious presence.”

- from the book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Update to the above story…

The blue heron still comes back occasionally, always alone. We see him about 2-3 times per season. It’s always a treat to see his blue feathers and serene spirit. His presence is calming.

“Calming” and “serene” are NOT the right words to describe the bird I saw yesterday! Oh my! So, let me tell the story…

I’m just sitting at my computer, same as usual, when there’s a flurry of motion at the patio doors a couple feet away from my chair (the same patio doors I keep showing you in my other bird videos). This is a small house with only one source of windows on this side, just the patio doors. I’m inches from my portal to the outside when I’m talking to you.

I was typing when a flurry of motion caught my attention. I turn my head to see a glorious vivid neon blue bird hovering in front of the glass. Keep in mind, he is so close that I could almost touch him if not for the glass between us. At some point he stands on the welcome mat, which brings him so close to the glass that I can see his distinctive cardinal shaped head.

He looks just like a red cardinal that someone tinted blue! Now, some say that this mythical Blue Cardinal doesn’t exist, and this bird is likely a Steller’s Jay. I have looked into this, and the bird I saw doesn’t look like a Steller’s Jay enough for me to claim it as absolute. He really does look like a Blue Cardinal. He doesn’t have a dark head like the Jay, and his face looks like a Cardinal, not a Jay.

Watch the 1 minute video – in this footage you can see how he flies into the scene like a blue angel. What you don’t see, is that he did this many times prior to me getting the camera and having it ready to film him. He was also “hovering” like hummingbirds do… (unfortunately I didn’t get that on film) staying in one place, mid-air, directly in front of the patio glass, seeming to make direct eye contact with me. To be honest, it rather scared me and I called out to him, “What do you want?”

Although I didn’t get a clear shot of him on video because he was always in motion when I had the camera on him, when I saw him before I got the camera out, he stood on the welcome mat, still. I got a very clear up-close look at his face. I could identify this bird in a lineup.

My daughter saw him later in the afternoon and said she saw red markings on the tips of his wings. I don’t recall seeing that, but it’s possible I didn’t notice. The footage of him is while he’s flying and fluttering. It would be next to impossible to detect small red markings on the wings.

So, my family is now hoping to catch a glimpse of this bird. I want a good clear picture of his face to show you. This is driving my husband crazy because once again we’re talking about an exotic bird and he can’t see it. It took over a year for him to finally see the Painted Bunting with his own two eyes.

I don’t know why this bird came directly to me, and seemed to be trying to get my attention. It was unnerving. I may talk a big game, but when something happens that seems spiritual in nature, I am afraid… uncomfortable. My truest reaction is that I want the experience to stop. And then it does. If I were to hazard a guess, I’m open enough to see these wonderful things, but not quite “there” yet to see it through. I become easily spooked and then the whole thing shuts down… whatever it was.

I feel I’m getting braver. Perhaps next time I won’t panic and blurt out scared questions. I was asking the bird, “Why are you here? What do you want? Why are you doing this?” Of course I didn’t get an answer, but the bird did fly away.

Even if my blue angel meant nothing at all, but was a random intersection between nature and humanity, the quest to see a glimpse of the mythical Blue Cardinal will keep my family entertained all weekend. Hope is a gift. All it takes is one small thing to alter a mood and elevate all the people who live in this house.

Whether we wish to see the calming presence of the Blue Heron, or we seek the exhilaration of discovery in the flurry of a mythical Blue Cardinal, the quest to see something extraordinary keeps us alive. Energy begets energy. Today, I challenge you to “go blue”. Look for blue spirits in nature. Seek, and ye shall find. Report back… did you see a blue butterfly? A bird? If you see the mythical blue cardinal, take a picture!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Holiday Break

Our house is already changing from pumpkin spices to gingerbread. Today we decorated the Christmas tree and made cookies. Yesterday for Thanksgiving we had a

Read More »

Happy Anyway

I struggled to think of what to say for today’s blog post. World events paint a bleak, angry, and fearful picture. What popped into my

Read More »

The Unexplained

I explained the story behind this mysterious encounter with a wild rabbit on the “Visiting Rabbit” page. This week there have been some serendipitous events,

Read More »

Going Fast

You might remember when I shared this painting in September, and now nearly two months have passed by. Autumn is going fast. Didn’t it feel

Read More »

New Painting

This is the painting I finished yesterday. Thanksgiving is coming up fast. Beyond a special meal that features a roast turkey, those of us who

Read More »

When Lions Fly

I last shared this art in a blog post called “Guardians“, which was about protectors and believing in spiritual protection. That’s a big idea sort

Read More »

Who we are

Do you ever see yourself in the past, through a photograph, a video, through the eyes of an old friend or relative, or maybe a

Read More »

Veteran’s Day

My oil painting is of a roadside American flag on the only way to/from Tybee Island, Georgia. Police officers rescued it from hurricane flood waters

Read More »

Update

I like to use this painting for my updates. The music in the video is an instrumental version of “Be Thou my Vision”. The lyrics

Read More »

Thanksgiving Plans?

I talked about this painting in an August blog post called “Feasting“. Today, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving and how quickly it’s coming up. For those

Read More »

Is it a sign?

This painting is about serendipity and events that make us think about how the puzzle pieces of life fit together, and how important we are

Read More »

Peaceful Sunday

Psalm 36: 5-7 “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies… You, Lord, preserve both people & animals…. People take refuge

Read More »