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Posts Tagged ‘Dale Chihuly’

Dale Chihuly in the garden. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Dale Chihuly in the garden. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Swami Vivekananda

Is It Worth It?

I spent this morning editing a chapter in Travels with Maggie, the book I’ve written about my journeys in my RV with my canine companion, Maggie. The chapter includes an account of my visit to the Missouri Botanical Gardens, where Dale Chihuly’s glass art was mingled with tropical plants in the garden’s geodesic greenhouse.

Chihuly flowers

Chihuly flowers — Photo by Pat Bean

I was awed by the exhibit, and lay in bed that night, with Maggie by side above the RV’s cabin, pondering how a genius like Chihuly came to be. But I already knew the answer: Single-minded focus and dedication.

For almost as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a “great” writer, yet I’m always finding excuses for not writing. I lack the focus of a Chihuly, or a Van Gogh, or even an old boyfriend who religiously practiced his guitar four hours a day, seven days a week. I’m always getting distracted, and it used to be that when the writing went undone, I flagellated myself.

Beside a waterfall. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Beside a waterfall. — Photo by Pat Bean

Such abuse went on for years, until I finally realized that giving up riding roller coasters with my grandkids, arguing politics with my friends, discovering who my grownup children had become, exploring new hiking trails, white-water rafting with my river-rat buddies, mindlessly watching the sun rise and set, piddling with my watercolors, reading Harry Potter the day it came out, and sniffing every flower in life I came across, were more important to me than being a great writer.

Writing is a part of my life, and will always be, but it will never be my whole life. Knowing this, accepting this, and now content with this, I lay silently that night in bed, content and listening to Maggie gently snoring at my feet before I let the waves of sleep take me.

That was several years ago, and time has only made me more content with that decision.

Swami Vivekananda, whom I quoted at the beginning of this blog has it exactly right,  But I’ve chosen another path, the one Albert Schweitzer recommended when he described what it takes to be successful.

“Success,” he said, “is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

I did and I do.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: Hunting Butterflies http://tinyurl.com/qxckzg5 Living in the moment. Good advice

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            “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Pablo Picasso

From a distance, these looked like plants. Instead they are the welcoming art of Dale Chihuly the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. -- Photo by Pat Bean

From a distance, these looked like plants. Instead they are the welcoming art of Dale Chihuly to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. — Photo by Pat Bean

And Realizing I’m not Like Him

I recently caught an exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass art at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. One word says it all. Fantastic!

Nor was this a celebratory stack of balloons. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Nor was this a celebratory stack of balloons. — Photo by Pat Bean

It was the second time I had seen Chihuly’s colorful glass creations in a foliage setting. The first was in 2006, when I was living and traveling full time in my small RV, Gypsy Lee. The setting then was the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, where Chihuly’s work represented everything from reeds and Mexican hats to herons and meteorite-looking balls plopped down among a bounty of foliage and brilliantly hued flowers.

When I later looked at the photos, I found I had mingled Chihuly’s art with the creations of nature so well that I sometimes had to stop and ask myself which was which.

That night, as I lay in bed awake, I pondered how a genius like Chihuly came to be – and the answer suddenly hit me: Single-minded focus and dedication, which I knew was something I lacked.

For almost as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a “great” writer, yet I was always finding excuses for not writing. I knew I lacked the focus of a Chihuly, or a Van Gogh, or even an old boyfriend who religiously practiced his guitar four hours a day, seven days a week.

Don't you just love the color yellow.

Don’t you just love the color yellow.

While in my youth, I flagellated myself for this lack, today I’m thankful for it.

My life has been richer for the fact that I didn’t give up riding roller coasters with my grandkids, arguing politics with my friends, discovering who my grownup children had become, exploring new hiking trails, white-water rafting with my river-rat buddies, mindlessly watching the sun rise and set, piddling with my watercolors, reading Harry Potter final book the day it came out, and sniffing every flower in life I came across.

Writing is a part of my life, and will always be, but it will never be my whole life.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: The Why About This http://tinyurl.com/p7w7bll As an Old Broad who evolved from a barefoot and pregnant southern girl to an associate editor position at a 65,000 circulation newspaper, this blog has special meaning to me. And to this day, Helen Reddy’s first time out as a song writer continues to inspire me. I listen to it regularly, but loved this chance to see her perform it in person. I hope you will, too

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You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” – George Bernard Shaw

Green trumpets growing among the green foliage. — Photo by Pat Bean

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

 

These brillantly hued flowers will last forever — or until broken. — Photo by Pat Bean

In the summer of 2006, Dale Chihuly and the St. Louis Botanical Gardens got together. The world-recognized glass artist created an exhibit to merge his art with nature’s art in the garden’s geodesic dome greenhouse. I had merged with St. Louis at the same time.

As I walked through the dome’s earthy rain forest, I couldn’t stop taking pictures. Usually I find too much time with a camera in front of my eyes dulls my senses. So I snap a picture or two, then put my camera away and bring out my notebook.

Glass meteorite for the garden. — Photo by Pat Bean

While it’s said “one picture is worth a thousand words,” as a writer I appreciate that it takes words to express that idea.

But this day, staring at Chihuly’s colorful glass creations that represented everything from reeds and Mexican hats, to herons and meteorite balls plopped down among a bounty of foliage, to brilliantly hued flowers and snaky vines,, left me wordless.

When I later looked at the photos, I found I had mingled Chihuly’s art with the creations of nature so well that I sometimes had to stop and ask myself which was which.

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Chihuly's orange herons among the plants -- Photo by Pat Bean

 What marriage of art and nature has amazed you?

                 ________________________________

“Great art picks up where nature ends.” Marc Chagall

Travels With Maggie

I love plants and I love art. And when I visited St. Louis a few years ago, I came across the perfect marriage of the pair. Famed glass artist Dale Chihuly and the internationally acclaimed Missouri Botanical Gardens had temporarily married for a wondrous exhibit. .

The joining had taken place in the garden’s geodesic dome greenhouse. As I wandered through the dome, I found myself constantly snapping pictures of man and Mother Nature’s amazing teamwork. When I later looked at the photos I had taken, I sometimes found it difficult to distinguish between glass and plants.

Blooming glass -- Photo by Pat Bean

I was reminded again of this memorable summer afternoon when I read a comment made on yesterday’s blog. The reader had noted that the mushrooms illustrating my blog looked like pieces of Chihuly art. I looked at the picture posted on my blog again, and agreed with the observation.

I remember lying awake that night after visiting the gardens, asking myself how a genius like Chihuly had been created. Dedication to his calling? Love of his work? A willingness to make mistakes to learn new methods? Hard work? Patience? A natural talent? Probably all these and more I decided before falling asleep that night.

Dr. Seuss words: “Oh the places you’ll go, and the things you’ll see,” have accompanied me on my journeys in my RV, Gypsy Lee, with my dog, Maggie, now for seven years. Seuss forgot, however, to add “And oh the things you’ll remember.” That’s OK. I did it for him.

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