Blessed: 1 a: held in reverence : venerated <the blessed saints> b: honored in worship : hallowed <the blessed Trinity> c: beatific <a blessed visitation>
2: of or enjoying happiness ; specifically : enjoying the bliss of heaven —used as a title for a beatified person
3: bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune (from the online Merriam Webster dictionary)
Feeling blessed? More blessed than usual? I’m not surprised being “blessed” is in the air. We Americans latch on to phrases. Much like buying into fashion fads even if it doesn’t work well on our body, age on personality. I first became aware of “blessed” trending in after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Those escaping said they were “blessed”. After the most horrific tornado on May 3rd 1999 which devastated sixteen city blocks in Moore Oklahoma, people being interviewed that lost their homes, all their belongings, their neighbor, their dog and could have had their child ripped from their arms and land in a field yards away were more likely than not to say they were “blessed”. For me it rang as odd. For if one assumes that God blesses those who survive why did God not bless those who did not survive? This burning question is why I am not planning to use “blessed” any time soon as it refers to my life and me. Feeling “blessed” use to be purview of those ascribing to religious and spiritual beliefs but now even those self proclaimed atheist use the word willy-nilly. Add to their ranks pro athletes, politicians, rap singers and scantily clad beauty pageant winners, and all manner of twitterers and the word (lets face it) has lost its impact. Let me “break it down” for you. (A phrase being overused on local news and weather)
Not that I am ungrateful for my circumstances. My life is in a good place with wins balancing out the losses. Most days I feel positive, ready to spread my emotional wealth. At rare times you might hear me acclaim I fell lucky. Lucky because through no effort on my part something or someone wonderful happens in my life, like the fortune of being raised by intelligent caring parents. But most often I have put out an effort or walked through a door opportunity, making my own luck.
It is perhaps my hyper-awareness of emerging word patterns that makes me weary of hackneyed phrasing. (Note this is an observation rather than a critique of the usage.) I went to Catholic schools so it is not surprising that the “blessed” as it is used today is not the meaning I grew up with. Bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune, is the 3rd definition in the Merriam dictionary and is the meaning that it has most often taken on today. Will “feeling blessed” fade away like the trend phrases “seeming endless”; “paradigm” and “very unique or like the word “awesome” will it lose the halo it once wore?
FYI at this date Google lists 48,700,000 entries for blessed and only 1,400,000 for cursed.
The clock I chose to render in 3D is the Nelson Wall Clock designed by
George Nelson in 1948. George Nelson was a signature mid century designer. And this clock clock which produced in wood and metal both painted and unpainted symbolizes that post WWII era (the atomic age).
A full Nelson is a wrestling hold executed from the backside and so the the metaphor. Holding back time, grappling with time, wrestling with time. Interesting to note that it is not a “finishing” action and you cannot pin you opponent “time” down.
Not that either of these came to mind when executing this 3D. I liked the clock and thought “easy” to recreate in 3D.
So what’s next in my 3D brain buffer? Perhaps something by Heywood Wakefield. Mid-centure Moderne so much easier than Victorian.
I have never thought of myself as traditional but in fact my traditional side has taken years to emerge. But my traditional is nontraditional traditional. For instance this year I decided to download itunes Christmas music while my husband daughter assembled the new gas grill my husband got for Christmas.
But what about New Years? As a family we stayed in many more years than went out. Home with the kids watching the Ball drop in NYC on TV and then one year, 1986 in fact, I thought we should write our resolutions down and put them in a container. What I had was an Antique Quick Mother Oats container c1912. We began with a simple format which included the year, our names, weights, heights (fun to watch the kids grow; not so fun watching our weight fluctuate) our favorite movies, songs, words, and events of the year. The hard part came when we made our resolutions and put them in writing and then predictions. We were halfway okay with our resolutions but NEVER good with predictions. Every year we would take out last years and previous years and have a laugh of what we wrote and some serious moments too on what we lost and what we gained. When the kids became adults we were not consistent about always doing them but as we happened to be together for the holidays in 2007 we added that year. It a little more complicated since we don’t live in the same towns. This morning we were checking the back of the cupboards to find the box filled with remembrances scrawled on all manner of note paper. It has been with us through 3 moves. It is one of the few things I am really sentimental about. So again this year I sent out a plea to have our New Year’s Report. Since we stay connected by the internet I emailed out a form I made in Word. And the reports came in. They will be added to the Mother’s Oats box and the Virtual Mother’s Oats box so we can look back on 2009.
I recommend this tradition for families, couples, and or friends. I added this to the email to the family:
Note: Feel free to modify. For instance I added a place for my blood pressure reading and favorite websites. I added more lines for events and less for TV. No need to fill out any area you don’t want. Replace some favorite for new one EXAMPLE favorite clothes, foods etc.
And these endnotes:
These should be personally significant (note on events)
We usually suck here but try anyhow ( note on the predictions)
Now go to it and create some new traditions for yourself!
Back from Ireland at least physically. We found Ireland enchanting. We avoided the cities, stayed in B&B’s, visited ruins, drank pints and listened to music in pubs, rambled the countryside and the in town alleyways and indulged in fresh from the land and sea cuisine. We met some charmed folks mostly Irish but a few delightful tourists as well. We photographed to capture the moments. I kept a journal of our trip. What I have included here is an expanded version of my scrawls. Clicking here to see pictures and/ or read the journal.
One would think if a person has been working with computers since 1985, on the Internet since 1987 (anyone remember CWRU Free-Net?) all their correspondence would be email. One would think. But I am inconsistently unpredictable if nothing else. Ask my family. I have been told that I was the most serendipitous person they knew. I like that. Anyway I still write snail mail to one person. A good friend and former art director from my greeting card days at American Greetings.
I look forward to writing her letters and receiving hers. She hand writes her letters having retired before computers took their place along side paintbrushes in greeting card companies. To add more handcraft she adorns her envelopes in collage style. The envelopes, since they are pictures, are probably worth a thousand words however I am always too eager to get to the content to meditate on their meaning. Her letters expound on garden delights; what rare new fern she has discovered for her Pteridological garden and what affect the current weather is having on her tomatoes. And what would a note from Lily be without one of her political rants, a clipping from the Progressive and copies of her latest letter to the editor? I devour her letters. They cannot be forwarded but can be filed in my sock drawer.
I write back, occasionaly in longhand because I like the feel of the pen in my hand or I am traveling somewhere but more often I type it on the computer and add photos. I like to craft my writing (control issues) and get frustrated if I have to cross out or do inserts with arrows. My envelopes combine my photography with my computer imaging and on occasion poetry of philosophy. Sometimes the envelope is plain but the letter is designed. Last letter I sent a hard copy of one of my posts. It is my way of meeting her half way. (I think that would be someplace near Springfield, IL.)