The Shape of Branches

Would any of you be interested in doing an online art show together? Read this and hear where I’m going with the “theme”. Then let’s make some art together!

The Shape of Branches

I haven’t fully unpacked this idea yet, but I wanted to share it’s  beginnings here. For years I’ve loved that you can find  the shape of branches in so many places. I’ve wanted to do an art show  with this idea or an album or something like that.  Here’s a short list below of things in life that seem to follow the branches pattern:

Trees, root systems, rivers, canyons, blood vessels, highways, genealogies, art & music genre developments, conversations, religions (Christian denominations), the Milky-way galaxy, evolution, nervous systems…

I find it fascinating that in the branches pattern there is always a tracing back to a source, a beginning. You see it all over: What started jazz? Go back further to ragtime and New Orleans music earlier. Major arteries have been identified in our bodies. Years are spent trying to find the “source” of various rivers.

Wrapped up in the branches pattern for me is the  mystery of God. What started this that started that that started this… All the way back to a true source  Like I said, it’s just the beginning of an exploration. I don’t know what will branch out from here.

Wonders of Your City

#wondersofmycity

What are the wonders of the area in which you live? Sometimes just recognizing the great places in your town, whether they’re restaurants, museums, natural wonders, or events can reinvigorate love for your home. The question we’ve been asking ourselves as we put our list together is, “Where would we take someone if they were visiting? or just moved here?”

Perhaps post a poll online for your local Facebook friends and come up with a list of 7 or 8 for your own city. Make a point to visit each of those places this month. Take some pictures and use the hashtag #wondersofmycity

For our 7 Wonders of Greeley, Colorado we had to split it into three different categories: places, events, and restaurants! These are places both very popular in our town, but then also have sentimental value to us:

Places:

1. Centenial Village (the hidden gem of Greeley where Betony and I were married!)

2. Glenmere Park (and it’s secret bird sanctuary)

3. Kress Cinema (a renovated, art deco experience)

4. UNC Central Campus (giant trees and an outdoor amphitheater to explore)

5. The Greeley Train Museum (one of the largest in the US)

6. Poudre River & Sheep Draw Trails (wide biking lanes through true Colorado plains habitats)

7. The Moxi (a high-ceiling space just for music and night-life worth catching a great show at)


Events
:

1. Block Party

2. Greeley Stampede

3. Potato Days

4. Greeley Chataqua

5. Baby Animal Days

6. Father Daughter Dance

7. July Concerts in the Park

Restaurants:

1. John Galt & Blue Mug (Betony and I’s favorite places to sit and be together)

2.. Alberto’s Breakfast Burrito (THIS is an institutionalized Greeley breakfast event)

3. The Rio (great building and large margaritas)

4. JB’s (a diner who’s most recent re-branding happened in 1972. Carpet on the walls and framed velvet clown paintings, people. It’s amazing.)

5. Sushi One (our go to date night place)

6. El Poblito (the undiscovered champion on this list)

7. Roma (the college experience with bazooka beers and a 45 minute wait for cheap and delicious pizza)

Summer Boats Adventure

Supply Needs:

Cardboard

Exacto knife

Hot glue & hot glue gun

Thin Paper (tissue paper, newspaper, clothes patterns, etc.)

Stick for mast

String

Glue

Water

Paintbrush

Directions:

1. Enlarge templates on photocopier (or freehand)

2. Trace boat shapes onto cardboard and cut out

3. Hot glue boat pieces together – if you want it to be water tight, add an extra layer of hot glue in any cracks

4. Add small strip of cardboard in center and cut a hole for the mast

5. Insert the stick into the hole, creating the mast. Hot glue to hold in place

6. Brush pieces of tissue paper with glue and overlap over the cardboard both inside and out of the boat to help seal it and make it pretty.

7. Cut a sail out of paper and tie to the mast with string (if your paper is thinner, first create a few layers of tissue by glueing them together and then cut your sail out.

Gather your supplies and some friends and family. (Make an good afternoon of it.) 

Follow the directions and build the boat structure, but beyond that, include pieces of yourself as well. What pictures, symbols and sayings represent you? Place these on your ship.  

Then fill out a small piece of paper. What are the things you need to let go of? Are there unresolved relationships? Grudges? Missed opportunities and disappointments? Inscribe these anchors and hide the scrap paper in your boat. 

Take your crew to some region with water- a lake or river, creek or ocean. Let the boats go (perhaps light a candle to place on the boat if you’re area is safe). 

Watch as your ships float away. Think about the things you are letting go of. Let the boat carry it away from you and enjoy the moment of freedom.
IMG_1374boat template part 1 boat template part 2

Theme for August and Poetic Intro: “Branches”

Whenever I think of August I think of it in terms of the last summer month- the last days of hot sun with everything growing and flourishing all around. I also think of family reunions. If they haven’t happened yet during the usual break people take in summer, then they will this month. Lastly, but not really lastly in these thoughts towards this wide-catching theme, I think about swings and long hours of play outside in August.

So for our Almanac this month we decided on the theme of “branches”. The growth, the roots of family and influence, play… Here’s a poem that hails all that is August!

Branches

August is a family tree
a reunion

an examining of roots
and an amazement at just how high, tall and wide
these things
can grow

The deep heat of the summer is passing
and all that sun, all that water
has given way to life on the edge of harvest,
a marvel of stretching and greenery

and the summer pause gives room for aunts and uncles and cousins
it gives room for the rumination of root and where all this comes from
it gives room in that open, blue sky for 

branches

to stretch and angle themselves closer and closer

to the light