A New York Yankees apple was in order – a big thank you to all New Yorkers for embracing the Apple-A-Thon.
Since I was born in Princeton, NJ and my Dad grew up in Upper Montclair, NJ – listening to the Yanks with my grandfather, Willard who was a huge fan – I will root for the Yankees happily this year. My brothers, Red Sox fans and my husband a Colorado Rockies fan will have to – have to – approve this year.
Here we’ve been all these days and I’ve been saying it’s about the apples.
Let me see if I can explain.
About a year after I finished college I ended up following a boy to Colorado. I had fallen big time – nothing else would have made me pick up my few belongings get into my grandmother’s Oldsmobile Calais and drive 2000 miles away from my family.
The boy was handsome and rugged and very involved in the mountaineering community of Boulder, CO. I was so completely intrigued by this set of people and of course by him that I threw myself into a life that was foreign and challenging. I had just graduated from art school and here I was trying to keep up with extreme athletes, skiers, and yes, even people who’d climbed Mr. Everest. I kid you not! What was I thinking? Well, as many of you have seen – I become focused on something and I don’t turn off to it easily. So, I started running the trails around Boulder, learned to rock climb, and back country ski. Each endeavor was enormous to me and it came so easily to them. I was proving something to myself – or trying to – I wasn’t succeeding. I lagged behind in every task. I could never find my wind (the reason I quit track in High School) I injured myself non-stop etc. etc. You are all shaking your heads – you know the drill because my body, my genes knew I had AS, it would just be years until I found out why I couldn’t do these things. It was frustrating to say the least and it eventually ended the relationship because really – I wasn’t worthy of the “group” or this silly boy.
One day near the end of my stint in Boulder, a large group of us went to hear Reinhold Messner speak on the CU Campus. I had to be explained who he was with many eye rolls. Reinhold Messner is thought to be the greatest mountaineer in history. He is renowned for making the first solo ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. Yes – amazing person to hear speak.
Although Mr. Messner has a long list of ascents his talk was mostly about one fateful day in 1970 when he and his brother attempted the first climb of Rupal face of Nanga Parbat – tragically his brother Günther Messner died on the decent. It was obvious to everyone in the captivated auditorium that although he would continue to climb, the tragedy was always there haunting him and in his mind on every trek. With his heavily accented English he spoke of how you can do everything in life to be prepared for contingencies but that life simply comes down to the “cows.” To a stunned and confused audience of Messner worshipers – they all nodded and agreed. I sat silently with a smile on my face. So strong was the misunderstanding that it became the biggest topic of discussion after the talk was over. You could hear people saying “what was he talking about cows for?” I couldn’t believe it actually. People wanted to believe and hang on each and every word of this amazing man that they ended up missing the context of the powerful message. Life doesn’t come down to cows; it comes down to CHAOS! That element of science, of life that cannot be predicted. Once we can accept this – we can handle anything that comes our way.
Guess who was in that auditorium that night – guess who I may have walked right past. The chaos would show up in it’s glory for us and we’d be married just a few short years later.
So, when you’re feeling like you just wish you could wrangle life and make her go your way. Remember that there is no controlling chaos – not so sure about cows!
Day 362 was created in acrylic. A cow with an Apple Bell.
***I wonder if Reinhold Messner ever thought he’s make such an impact in the life of an artist who crossed his path by sheer – chaos!
I for one will celebrating and thinking about the glorious apple.
They have come to mean so much to me and hopefully to you all as well. Maybe I had apples on the brain all those months ago because it is simply the time of the year for the apple harvests. Perhaps it was that the adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” was so meaningful at the time but for sure the idea sparked in me for a reason.
What do you think Johnny Appleseed would think of blue spondylitis apples? I have a feeling he’d approve!
Day 361 was created with a few separate images of an old Johnny Appleseed $.05 postage stamp pieced together to make into a square instead of a rectangle as the original stamp was created. Ink and watercolors to give it a bit of paint and color!
*** My Mom asked me to add a note to today’s post that she plans on responding to every comment that you all made on her guest blog post from Day 350 – My Mom’s Perspective. She was so touched by your comments that she wanted to have the time to respond thoughtfully to each of you. I will post here once she’s done in the next week or so. In the mean time she’s says she’s looking forward to the Apple-A-Thon!
Listen to the Mustn’ts, child, Listen to the Don’ts Listen to the Shouldn’ts The Impossibles, the Won’ts Listen to the Never Haves, Then listen close to me — Anything can happen, child, Anything can be. – Shel Silverstein
I’m being drawn to the words and images of the great children’s writers. I wish we could keep being told the lessons we teach our children; the lessons of love and persistence and of starry eyed dreams of childhood.
As an adult it is so difficult to keep going after your dreams and to continue to believe that anything can happen, anything can be.
Do not listen to naysayers. We sure as heck wouldn’t let our children listen to them. Hold on to your dreams and don’t listen to anyone who insists on telling you what you can’t do.
Dig up those stories and listen to their messages…
And sprinkle in some pixie dust for good measure!
Day 342 was created in pen & ink in the style of Shel Silverstein with a twist – a little girl instead of a boy and a blue apple for spondylitis instead of a yellow star.
I weighed all of the options, listened to all of your comments, support, and opinions (which were so wonderful!) and in the end, I’ve decided to keep with the rules I placed on this endeavor all of those days ago.
Perhaps this means I’m not as courageous as I thought. But… in the end, I’ve decided to listen to the same counsel that got me past day eight when I almost quit before I had really even begun. That night, my husband Doug and my friend Elizabeth were there for me; they didn’t let me quit.
I received an email from Elizabeth this morning and she said
If you are good with it, and it can make you be freer with the process, than go for it and enjoy yourself in the doing. But if at the end of the month you start dissing yourself because you didn’t do what you said, and you are disappointed in you, then stay with the 5×5.
I read Elizabeth’s email to Doug we discussed the fact that if I don’t change the rules I won’t regret it because I will have completed exactly what I set out to do but if I do change the rules, it is possible that I will be disappointed. Which got me thinking about about regret and regret stinks. So, although I would adore to break out and go crazy and play and “break all of the rules” and go to the place my imagination would like to go – to go where the wild things are, I will instead turn towards home – to what I know, to a place of safety. I do think creativity takes courage – courage to break from convention, to explore but I do not want to regret my decision and hopefully I will create courageously even if I’m taking a step that seems a bit less so.
AND… as Sabrina mentioned, I can break out at the same time I keep to the rules. So, look out for some extra apples this month!
What an amazing modern day fairy tale Shrek is. An ogre who finds true love with a princess who is beautiful on the inside. Shrek goes on quite an adventure all in the hopes of getting his quiet, lonely life back to normal and having his swamp ousted of all the fairy tale creatures.
What Shrek finds much to his surprise is friends and love. It’s an irreverent tale of happiness and life lessons! One of my favorite scenes is when Shrek helps Donkey face his fears – a scene when his heart starts to truly soften.
Shrek helps Donkey over a rickety bridge and says…
“Come on, Donkey. I’m right here beside ya, okay? For emotional support, we’ll just tackle this thing together one little baby step at a time.”
Shrek gets Donkey distracted – he says “That’ll do, Donkey. That’ll do.” His way of saying each step Donkey takes is one more that will get them there together.
4. Check out the new and improved emails from – The Daily Apple! If you haven’t already done so, please sign up to receive apples in your inbox. The New Daily Apple will include information that I don’t post on my blog including art, health, and of course… apples!
The Red Baron, Snoopy with the typewriter, I even considered the image of Snoopy hugging the heart and switching it for a red apple (that would have been cute) but in the end I went with classic Snoopy konked out on top of his now apple shaped dog house hanging on to the stem to keep from falling off the curved top! Doesn’t seem to have bother Woodstock one bit!
Snoopy and I are hanging on – heading down the home stretch.
Day 317 was created in pen & ink and illustrator markers by Letraset.
3. AS’er Blogger Maya – Loving With Chronic Illness. Maya is a truly gifted young lady, she wrote a poem about her brother that I adore and posted here on my brother Jason’s Birthday. Maya’s blog was voted Top Chronic Illness Blog of 2010 – boy did they get that right!
5. Check out the new and improved emails from – The Daily Apple! If you haven’t already done so, please sign up to receive apples in your inbox. The New Daily Apple will include information that I don’t post on my blog including art, health, and of course… apples and whatever strikes my fancy 🙂
About a month ago I posed a question on my Facebook page asking people what their favorite fairy tale was because I was looking for ideas for The Daily Apple and I received some amazing suggestions. Initially I was thinking of doing a week of Fairy Tale Apples but I decided that I would go insane and good ideas might start to get blurred together so…
I will be doing a Friday Fairy Tale apple each Friday from now to the end of my year and I have been really wanting to do Cinderella’s Carriage as an apple instead of a pumpkin.
Doug says I should have made the carriage red or green or yellow even – I can’t win! But to me it was always going to be a golden apple carriage.
A few updates:
1. The Daily Apple will be coming in your emails again soon – I’m working on changing the service so I can get you better information.
2. The Apple-A-Thon plans are coming along. Please make sure to mark your calendars for September 29th & 30th and sign up under separately with the “Contact” tab to receive information specific to the event.
3. Send me your apple ideas! I’ve got another 50 days to go and ideas are greatly appreciated at this point. Feel free to be as creative as possible and don’t worry if you think I have already done your idea – I got an idea from someone the other day and it was awesome and I hadn’t done it yet!
4. If you haven’t joined my Facebook page – I post The Daily Apple there too as well as things about art and health. I’d love to have you *like* me.
5. You guys are all so fantastic – thank you for supporting me through this year.
Day 316 was created in inks and watercolor – and gold metallic!
”Let’s begin by taking a smallish nap or two.”
-Winnie the Pooh
Poor Pooh has been lost in the Harry Potter buzz. I adore Winnie The Pooh. Ok, so who doesn’t?
There is a new Disney animated film about the Hundred Acre Woods with the whole cast of characters – Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga & Roo, Eeyore, and TIGGER! I cannot wait to see it and get lost for a couple of hours in my childhood.
I also loved the book The Tao of Pooh – I think it would be a great time to re-read it. The book uses Pooh’s natural optimism and outlook to teach Taoism which is a way of appreciating and learning from whatever happens in everyday life. Get stuck in the door to your home, no problem, sit back and enjoy the time with a friend as you wait patiently to lose a few pounds. No need to panic, it will all sort out in time. Live in the present for heaven’s sake!
I didn’t sleep but a wink last night and my weary AS body needed a smallish nap or two today – and since Pooh begins most tasks in life with naps – how bad can they be?
Day 295 was created in Black India Ink and Watercolor.