Can Art & Poetry Serve A Purpose Without the Story Behind It?

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When I was a young teen, I always kept a small spiral notebook and several Bic pens close at hand in the event I should get the urge to dash off some prose. Society was different back then. It was before “After School Specials” and was when the Victorian-Era attitude that “Children should be seen and not heard” was still pretty much the norm. Anyone who knew me back then would probably tell you I was this happy-go-lucky kid, always ready with a smile and some absurd observation geared to make people laugh and forget their woes. Very few, if any, had a clue what was really going on in my mind and my life. Of course, the same thing was likely true for the other kids at the schools I attended. It’s just the way things were back then. But keeping up the façade of “all is right with the world” was at times an unbearable burden and that’s where my poetry came in

Writing prose was a life-saving outlet back then in the same way that visual art serves me today. It allowed me to vent, to dream, to cry, to wonder, to argue and even to pretend. Early on, I discovered that I had the natural ability to assume the literary voice of any character I read about in a book, saw in a movie, or dreamed up from scratch and write about their feelings as if they were my own. It was really no different than what most authors and actors do, but because I recorded these creative ramblings in a book that had the word “Diary” on it’s cover, anyone who picked it up to read assumed it was all about me. Of course, I hadn’t intended for anyone else to read it but it happened nonetheless, each time causing great suspicion and worry or ruffled feathers or outrage on the part of the unauthorized reader(s). Had they only asked me what the poems were about or what inspired them rather than jumping to erroneous conclusions, a lot of grief could have been avoided. But, as I was still considered a “child” then, it never occurred to my elders that I could possibly have something intelligent to say or that my feelings mattered.

Thank God our society (for the most part) has finally woken up to recognize not only that children DO have opinions and feelings and that they deserve the respect to be heard, but also, most people today realize the importance of being able to share their feelings with others. As a society, we’ve still got work to do in learning how to listen to each other but it is getting better, one individual at a time. And as long as we’re moving forward in the right direction, regardless of how slowly, there is hope.

For tonight’s Freebies, along with a few empty frames for you to fill with your own content, I’ve mixed together a couple of my shorter prose, written when I was teenager with decorative backgrounds I created close to half a century later. These poems served their purpose for me at the time they were written and so now I hope they can serve some purpose for you. It really doesn’t matter any more what or who I was actually thinking about so feel free to interpret them in whatever way you choose.

Free Icons and Clip-Art of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

Children Play

“Children Play Games” – 1973 by Leslie Sigal Javorek – (600 x 309px)

Nouveau-FrameNouveau Frame 2

“Art Nouveau Style Frames” – Download size: (600 x 763px)

Listen

“Listen” – 1973 by Leslie Sigal Javorek – (600 x 763px)

Book Opening

“Book Opening” (600 x 595px)

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A Shaft of Light

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By nature, I’m an optimist, an idealist and generally a cheery sort of person. But there are times when my body rages against me so thoroughly that it can be hard to see, much less reach, the light. When the night terrors come, I’m told that my screams can raise the dead. Oddly, they never seem to wake me; perhaps this is one of the benefits of having lost most of my hearing… When I awake later on, I am only aware that my throat is sore and that my muscles are sore all over and even my bones seem to ache. Since I have no memory whatsoever of the content of those dreams, I am not really disturbed by them other than the aftermath and feeling badly for having frightened my husband lying beside me and my son, in his room next door when he’s here on a visit. I don’t know whether or not these dreams are related to the conditions and diseases which are ravaging my body or whether they’re related to external threats experienced in the past or present. The scientific side of me wants to believe that there is a reason for everything and that perhaps the night terrors and my amnesia to their stories are a blessing in disguise: perhaps my Superhero Alter-Ego is battling the demons inside and outside so I don’t have to when I’m awake.

For way too long I failed to question their cause and purpose. But it’s time to set my house in order and toss out what’s no longer needed or in the way and making a mess or which I wouldn’t want to bequeth to anyone. I know tomorrow will be better for having rid myself of this clutter tonight. Please bear with me my friends. Soon the REAL me shall return, one way or another, with silly little pictures and light-hearted tales.

Dark Prose for a Dark Night

“A Shaft of Light”

A Shaft of Light

“The Conch”

The Conch

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Printable Gift Tag

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For those of you wondering where is the rest of my Nuevo-Deco series, I promise to resume posting the next batch this weekend. In the meantime…

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I’ve created 6 different styles of gift tags and laid them out for printing on a single letter-size (8-1/2″ x 11″) sheet. Document is saved as a high-quality, 300-dpi Photoshop-.pdf. It is not necessary to have Photoshop to open and print the document but the benefit of opening and printing it in Photoshop vs. Preview or Adobe Acrobat or other .pdf reader is you’ll have access to a few more options to adjust color and other settings. For best aesthetic results and ease of use, I recommend you use peel-off sticker stock that is made specifically for ink jet printers for best results. (20 sheet pack or 100 sheet pack) Finish size of each sticker is roughly 2-1/2″ square. Please Note: because of the high-pixel density required for the best printing, the file is rather large (28.5mb before zipping).

Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save a zipped file to your desktop that contains all images in each preview group (each image is 512px X 512px in .png format) or, in the case of the individual icons, do your clicking on each one you’d like to download.

GiftLabel-5_72dpi_Preview

72dpi Preview of 6-up GiftLabels-2009