RSS Feed

May 2022

The art prompt for May was to choose a person or people who matter most to you in life and create unique art for each.

Writing Prompt for May:

1.Write a story involving a friendship between two different species.

2.If you have a pet, describe their day from their perspective.

3.Silence. How do you feel about silence? Does it make you uncomfortable or do you like it?


Silence is church bells.
Ringing, Ringing
Divinity, relief, tacit lacrimae
Silence is doors shut, voices swept
Choices made, baited breath
Another time, another way
I’ll hear it all another day
Tacet sunt lacrimae

Whats left is gone
Tattered flags and gas stop ruins
Apothecary’s of no use
tincture, powder, no panacea, no fruit
A poison for the fairy
Bottles on shelves, a noose to carry

By Anonymous.

 


Artwork by A. R.

Silence 

How do you feel about silence? Does it make you uncomfortable or do you like it? 

I love silence. I am very comforted in this place. 

I embrace it and return to this place at least once a day. In this space, one can encounter  the infinite. Within us all there is a silence in the gaps between our thoughts.  

I once read… 

“Within us all, there is a quiet place we can go and be ourselves”. I remember thinking,  “this can’t be too difficult”, and soon learned this is not always so. Somehow one can easily  get lost going such a short distance. Like learning anything else, it requires persistence and  practice. 

When I am feeling “less than”, either physically or emotionally, I simply close my eyes and  attempt to transcend to this place. In this place I am not limited or disabled. I simply am. 

Some don’t enjoy silence. It may be a lonely place. It can be peaceful , liberating, irritating, scary or blissful. 

As much as I love silence, I don’t really get to experience it. I have tinnitus in both ears, so  there is always a slight ringing. Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes. 

Maybe I just love the concept of silence. 

Author – James Joyce

February and March

Art Prompt: For February and March our project for art was to create a spirit animal or other structure that inspires. We used clay to make it three dimensional.
Writing – We had a few choices for writing.

1. Karma means action. One can think of it as Newton’s spiritual law. The difference is that karma is an equal and similar reaction. Every action, whether physical, mental or emotional, causes an emission of karma, which will bear fruit at some point. Write about Karma.

2. You have invented a time machine and set off to the time you would most love to visit.

3. Write about measuring time with something not expressly intended for that purpose, like cracks in a floor, scuffs on a boot, or weeds in the flowerbed.


The Dolphin by Alexis.

I chose a dolphin as my spirit animal because I like to swim. Until I was five years old, I lived near the Chesapeake Bay and would often go to the beach. Sometimes I would see dolphins, and I like how they are friendly and communicate. I have seen dolphin shows at the Baltimore Aquarium and am impressed by the tricks they do. I enjoy swimming in the pool at my building and seeing my neighbors. I painted the dolphin blue because it is my favorite color and reflects the water. Dolphins are very social and have fun spending time with friends, like I do.

A. R.


The Angel by Nicole.

I did the angel because I wear a guardian angel necklace that I wear and I have done so ever since my friend passed away. I wanted to make the angel to remind me that I have people looking out for me.

The bear I did because I found the bear cookie cutter and I just thought he was cute.

Sculpting by N. D.

Measuring Time by Steven Collier.

I confess that in the last two years, time feels as though it has lost all meaning. As an individual who is at high risk of covid, living with two high-risk parents, I have been bunkered up at Collier Bluff for quite some time now, I seldom go outside anymore, except to walk my dogs. All of my social engagements, including this one are entirely digital. I am dimly aware of the passage of seasons outside my window, but I have been living in isolation so long it rarely even registers. There are just some days when the trees have leaves and others where they don’t. Every spring feels like an extension of the last one, rather than a new cycle. On some level, I think my brain still believes we’re in 2019 and the year just refuses to end.

As such, the only real indicator that life is happening somewhere in the world and that the march of time continues ever onward would be my allergies. Even if it doesn’t yet feel or look like spring to me, my sinuses are screaming another story. Every violent sneeze is another trumpet call heralding the arrival of the new season. Just as I can count on my leaf mold-induced migraines to welcome fall, and my chapped and bleeding skin let me know we hit winter. I wonder if this is a sign that I am truly getting old, and if soon I will only be aware of the weather only so far as which of my bones are aching today. There is a sense that things are happening around me, but there’s no internal drive to figure out how, much less when.

Days all feel the same, and months bleed into one another so insidiously that I rarely even notice. With my senses so diminished, the only real measurement of time I have is prestige television. Since quarantine has confined me to my home, my world has shrunk to only recognize the chronology of what I experience in this house. Spring of 2019 lasted Better Call Saul and most of Breaking Bad. That summer was longer, spanning the entirety of Game of Thrones. It was a bitter Fall that seemed to go on for an eternity of Sopranos episodes, but Winter brought with it a Twin Peaks binge. I only recently finished several cold months of Weeds, with Killing Eve just now bringing in a late thaw.

With nowhere to go, media has become one of my only escapes and with little else to distract me, it has slowly become an ever more vital part of my lived experience. When I used to watch shows, it was something I did alongside everything else in my life. Now, it feels too much like they are my life. They are my culture, my nightlife, my vacations, even my social life. I think I finally understand what it was to shuffle into the movie hall every week regardless of what was screening.

All of my friends are in the same boat. And that means it’s easy to put together online watch parties. In a weird way, it feels like reclaiming a part of my life. No, I didn’t watch Mad Men when it was new. But, I got to watch it adjacent to a lot of other people seeing it for the first time and that lead to a TON of discussions that I missed out on around the water cooler. With nowhere to go, we all go back to try and see what we missed.

Last year, I watched every NBC sitcom I didn’t have time to watch when I was in college. And I watched it with people with whom I used to go to school. It’s hard to stay temporally grounded, to remember it’s still 2022, when so much of your life revolves around watching 30 Rocks from 2008. This period of my life has felt chronologically confused as I ping pong between the latest episode of Ozark right back to The Office with equal ease. As I experience them, both shows are new, products of the current year. For me, most American TV didn’t really exist until the Pandemic. And, while I am very glad I saved myself something for a rainy day when I would need literal years of quality TV backlog, I worry it creates a weird kind of disconnect from anyone else who has seen these shows.

After all, I didn’t see the same Breaking Bad everyone else did. My Breaking Bad was antiquated and cliched by the time I got to it. Heck, it wasn’t even the first in its series for me. I apologize if I lose people here, but I saw it after Better Call Saul. So, for me and maybe me alone, Breaking Bad is an inferior sequel to a show that actually came out years after it. And so, I count my seasons by a TV schedule that could probably only exist at this particular moment in time. Where Black Mirror was a sister show to Dead Wood and Tony Soprano seems to be a response to Trump’s America. I think there’s something fitting about quarantine time only being measurable by that which is itself displaced in time. Like one who is lost at sea and the only things to grab hold of are your fellow pieces of flotsam. But still I drift ever onward across still waters and violent storms, hoping that this Spring of The Crown will finally see me to a port…or at least another season of Russian Doll.


Family – by Laura.

I wanted to make something to symbolize my family, and the ducks seemed like a fun choice. We like doing nature walks and watching the birds, so that gave me inspiration when thinking of what to sculpt with the clay. 

Artwork by L. K.

December 2021

Storytellers had a guest presenter for December. Craig donated his time and materials to our group and help everyone created fresh table pieces for our holidays. Thank you Craig!

Our instructor Craig

Arrangement by Nicole
Arrangement by Alexis
Arrangement by Judi
Arrangement by Nick

Arrangement by Momma Kim

NOVEMBER 2021

This month we started a group project separately.

Each group member received pieces of a puzzle to respond to the prompts of fall and coming together. We will put the puzzle together when everyone is finished. Stay tuned!

OCTOBER 2021

Our theme this storyteller project was color and how it affects us. For art we found three colors in the color wheel next to each other to create a calming image. For those choosing to write; the emotions colors bring.



September 2021

In September we had a special project with a group friend, Joyce. Joyce was so kind to offer a project and donated all the materials. Here are some of the beautiful terrariums designed under Joyce’s guidance.


Terrarium by A.R.


Terrarium by J. and N.

August 2021

Art prompt:

Finger painting!

Writing prompts:

You go down in a lift that doesn’t stop for hours. When it finally opens, what do you see?

Or:

Take three random nouns and write something including them.


Retractor. 

His allegiance abandoned,

He gazed through his window 

At the buildings

From his office perch.

Then leaving the firm

And his profession,

He walked past

Looks of condemnation,

Averted eyes,

And backs

As firmly shut as doors.

In the elevator

His only way was down.

Was it a bee in his bonnet?

Or more a matter

Of honor and pride?

He had played along

Longer than was wise,

Deaf to the buzzing

Of conscience,

Blind to the shadows cast

By doubts,

Until one day

His moral disability

Became a liability,

And he found his tongue.

Breaking muted silence,

He spoke of the evil

He’d seen and heard.

To many, truth is a relic

As antiquated as

A schoolchild’s

Fervent

Promise.

Yet as the lift,

Which one time bore him

Upwards

To fame

And fortune,

Fell,

His long 

Descent from the infirm firm

Of lying, 

Fatuous, 

Corporate monkeys

Brought him ever nearer

To his honorable self

Whose feet were on the ground.

Written By Nick Pentzell (2021)


Artwork by A. R.


Artwork by Momma Kim


Artwork by N. D.

July 2021

The devil is in the details.

July’s storyteller group focuses on exploring details of larger imagery.

Our art prompt was to paint, draw, color the thing as if a microscope were over it.

Our writers were asked to choose a subject or scene and dive deep into the details. Describe, explain, or retell those details in their own way.


Detailing a section of a beach banner.

Artwork by – Momma Kim


Artwork by A.R.


June, 2021

Exploring our senses –

Taste, Smell, Sight, Hearing, and Touch, oh my!

Artwork by Momma Kim



Sounds in the Morning.

The first sounds I heard today happened early even before my alarm sounded to wake me up was the sound of my air conditioner running to keep it cool.  Once I turn off the AC which I can do while still in bed because it has a remote.  The next thing I hear are the birds singing and sometimes I just lay there and listen until the sound of a guitar strum starts to play which is the sound of my alarm. I then become more aware of the ticking of my clock on the wall.  Those are the sounds that start my day.  I start to move my hands and kick my feet which makes a rubbing sound against my sheets. The slight thump my feet make as the hit floor when I get out of bed and then the sound of footsteps as make my way to the bathroom.  The click of the switch as I turn on the light and then the sound of running water as I prepare to take a shower.  At this point I can hear my neighbors’ footsteps as she starts her day.  Those are the sounds I sometimes hear as my day begins.

Written by N. D.


The Eighth Sense

I was pondering the prompt for this writing session. As usual my perception of the task at hand takes a connotation, or wanders down the road less traveled by many…

I found that traditionally there are 5 senses in humans. not in any particular order) our senses sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.

If we look beyond those traditional sense there are two more movement and body positioning which brings our total to seven senses. 

Here is my thinking way outside the box.   I want to say I have an eighth sense which connects me to one other person in this world like no one else. My twin sister.

Our beginning details have as many craters as the moon’s surface. When there no specific details to your history one can keep or change timelines of significant details, depending on who the editor is, rewriting the beginning.

Now where was I?  The eighth sense.

There are countless stories of how twins communicate through osmosis.   My twin sister and I share what I would call an eighth sense. There have been times when my sister was experiencing a health crisis and my eighth sense has urged me to call her that instance.

When my sister travels in an airplane my ears generally pop as the plane lands.  My sister went on a cruise and experienced sea sickness from my couch at home. When my twin went into labor I felt the remnants of her labor pains.

I can’t even count the number of times we showed up to an event in similar attire or color coordinations like we planned it.

The uniqueness of being twins

I’m sure they’ll be many more twin sensory experiences.

Written by K. H.

MAY 2021

May

If you had a window looking into anything, what would you see?


Just a Glimpse of Heaven 

If I had a special window that could give me a “Calgon Take Me Away Moment” I would like my window to provide me with a glimpse of Heaven.  

Some days I find myself in awe watching the formation of the clouds,which in my head,seem to conceal a much different realm of life “way beyond the blue.” 

I have so many questions about Heaven  and our loved ones who passed on before us. 

I will spare you my many questions. I’m not in a hurry to go to heaven anytime soon.

I often wonder what the aging process looks like in heaven..

I  ask only because, I have daughters there. Krystyna  Louise’s departure from our world, as we know it after a year and 20 days of life.  If I knew I’d only get to hug her.for

a limited time I think I would have spent that time with her so differently. 

Jasmyne Vernice,

 the middle child passed away 38 days before her 30th birthday. Somewhere in my head. I just knew she’d be here with a family long after my own passing. 

My girls never got to see or know each other  here on earth. I’m sure they are making up for lost time now ,because their spirits passed each other. I believe they knew each other long before they knew anything about this life and their role in it. 

These two events left me 

broken beyond measure.  I’m working at healing  a shattered heart and body mind and spirit. 

The scriptures say choose you this day. Which refers to something else entirely, but given my 12 week or more battle with Covidi I had a choice to a make, a choice of life or death. 

I told God that I wanted to live  but that is a testimony for another day.

I want to know who  sings, rocks, plays with  or comforts the little ones that arrive in heaven way before their parents do?  I picture youthful  grandmothers meeting their needs.

Do the little ones 

 grow up in heaven?or will it seem like time stood still waiting?

Does it rain in Heaven? I imagine that it does because I picture so many beautiful flowers everywhere.

Just a glimpse of heaven would assure me the order of things are still intact. A glimpse of heaven would give me some assemblance of solstice. 

These questions will resolve themselves as its meant to be answered …. Thanks for the opportunity to dare to dream if only for a little while.

Written by – K. H.


If you had a window looking into anything, what would you see? 

If I had a window looking into the future, in addition to things I cannot imagine, I would see my daughters grown with families of their Own. I would see how well , or how poorly, Barbara and I did teaching them important life skills they will pass on to their children. Or… they will teach me , better ways to communicate with their children. 

I see the recent breakthrough in viral medicine treatments accelerating the ability to alter illnesses as we now know them. 

While I am usually optimistic about the future, our recent reality doesn’t leave me feeling very hopeful. However…when the going gets tough-

Written by – J. J.


Artwork by – N. D.


Artwork by – A. R.