Inspiration From Mappy Maps

I was recently writing with a fellow blogger about my first Spark of the Week post and image, and realized something I haven’t ever talked about here, something that can give me hours of inspiration and enjoyment: studying maps.

One semester in college I worked in the copy room of the Health Sciences library at Mizzou.  It was an awesome job because it was quiet and I could read or study and not have a lot of interruptions. One night, I had gotten all my work done and had a few hours to kill, so I retrieved one of the atlases from the main floor.

I was so happy.

I spent several dreamy hours studying regions of the middle and far east so closely, looking at the topographical markings of the different lands and imagining what it would be like to travel there. Then I studied Gujarat, India, a state my then-boyfriend was from, and looked around his home town, trying to place the landmarks he had told me about in context.

I remember buying an atlas to have here at home when I first moved in, and spent several nights just alone in the recliner – no TV, no music, nothing. Just studying the pages.

Last year, at the renaissance fair in Bristol, WI, I found a vendor selling maps he had created of different fictional worlds: Narnia, Middle Earth, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, Asgard, Atlantis, and Verona according to Romeo and Juliet, to name a few. He had drawn them on old parchment-y paper, you know, so it fit in perfectly with the imaginative (and nerdy) environment or a renaissance fair.

Processing Change Through A Painting

It begins and ends with love.

When I first learned I was pregnant, I was lost; overwhelmed by swirling thoughts of anxiety and fear. I sought insight from dear friends and internet strangers, and one idea from these searches struck me: No matter the fear or anxiety or dread I felt, this Wee One was created by the stong and beautiful love I am lucky enough to share with Cohiba.

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The Art in Protest / The Protest in Art

As I have written several times lately, I was raised in St. Louis.  Police action in one of our suburbs, Ferguson (yes, legally it’s a small town, but it’s really a suburb of St. Louis), has been the center of protests around the world over the past week, but especially in the U.S. The night it was announced the officer would not face criminal charges for killing a young man, different parts of the city – literally – burned. Cars and buildings were on fire and in other ways destroyed and fire crews couldn’t get to them for the force and crush of people on the streets.

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