Glow bugs in my heart’s jar

I traveled to Redding, CA this summer in the middle of the moving chaos that was going on at home. The decision to go was extremely spontaneous, and I asked myself several times,”What are you thinking?!” But the flights were booked and there was no turning back.

The trip was weeks ago now, and looking back…I can see how it all began. My glow bugs. During that time away I carried my heart along, transparent like a mason jar…and then, there was a shift. Something changed inside. I found a glow bug. And then two, then three…

When I got home, we moved the next day and life became a flurry of unpacking and coordinating tradespeople, trips to Home Depot, packing and unpacking. Though I carried my little jar around with me, I had no time to crack the lid to process what had happened while I was away, and it seemed like it may have even been just a dream.

Now that the new place is unpacked, I have been staring at the treasures in my jar. As I write this today, I am unthreading the lid and setting them free.

Freedom. What does it look like? Is it a physical condition like looking out at the beauty from the top of a mountain? Or is there even more to it?

I was singing at the altar that day…My eyes were closed. I was conscious of only the Lord and me. That was when I saw the scene unfold before me.

Everything was sepia…like it had been tea-dyed. Beautiful, uneven, messy, artistic. I saw a piece of paper with words on it. I tried to read it, but before I could, a pair of hands reached down and began to fold the paper; and the words began to be pressed deeply into the middle until I could no longer see them. More folding ensued. Then, I saw that the paper had been folded into an airplane.

Hard to describe how I know this because I saw and felt nothing. I just knew. But there was a breath…and the paper airplane caught the flow and took off. No sooner had it begun then the wings of the airplane turned into the wings of a bird.

The bird flew briefly and landed on a brown bush. I mean EVERYTHING was still sepia colored. The bush also had no leaves. Instead it was made up of quilted pieces of material all grafted together. Perched on the tip of a branch, the bird began to sing…

I was mesmerized. Instead of a sound, tune, or whistle…little words began to flow out of the birds’ mouth on tiny pieces of paper. And each time the bird opened its mouth to sing, a new word came out.

They appeared almost as if they were alive, and they began to float towards a low-lying cloud that hovered like fog in a valley. When the words reached the cloud, they began to dangle like crystals from a chandelier. It was so beautiful to watch, I wish I could have grabbed a coffee and sat down and just adored the whole scene. But there was more.

Another breath came. Again, not sure how I knew. They all just simultaneously dropped… this time heavy like rain; and when they landed on the dirt, everything turned to full color!! The brown, what first seemed so cozy and artistic now paled in comparison as gardens began to team with the most vivid life I had ever seen.


God, what are You up to now?


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15 thoughts on “Glow bugs in my heart’s jar

  1. Redding… is a weird place…

  2. Dan says:

    Like there is a painting in progress is how I feel.

    Good to have you back in so many ways and to see you writing with your heart again. Life really isn’t all that complicated, we just make it so. Busyness is often mistaken for fullness. Uh oh. Gotta go. I need to send a mail, now.

    • feelingpaint says:

      I am so excited to have my own art studio and time to spend in it…next week 🙂

    • Dan says:

      “…time to spend in it.” That’s the most important part. I’m almost as excited as you are about it. This couldn’t happen at a better time for me. I was telling my wife earlier I feel like I’m just existing and waiting for that “other shoe” to drop. Having it drop for you is something I can share in too and I feel better already. You get a studio and I get to read your thoughts and see your work once again. How great is that? And Jenny just left an encouraging comment on my blog a few minutes ago. I feel pretty good. You have a nice night. I look forward to your rendering of the Redding experience.

    • feelingpaint says:

      Ahhhh…but first to finish up two pieces that have already been started.

      Today is that day!

    • Dan says:

      Get on with it then. I’m waiting.

  3. Sounds wonderful…! How are you going to translate it on to canvas?

    • feelingpaint says:

      That is the million dollar question, my friend 🙂 I’m thinking there has to be a way…

    • I’m sure it will emerge as beautifully as your other work. Good luck in your new home by the way. I hope you and your family will be very happy xx

    • feelingpaint says:

      Thank you! I am realizing more and more as time goes on that life always was and will always be about people. As long as I surround myself with that purpose, I will !

    • That’s so true…it’s hard sometimes, trying to find the right balance between solitude and surrounding ourselves with other people. I got my realisation a few years back after I’d separated from my husband, and slowly started to withdraw from the rest of the family. I’ bought myself a new home and had renovated it virtually on my own. One day, after I’d finished decorating, I walked around the house. I sat in each room for a little while, looking at what I’d achieved, feeling proud of myself for being capable of doing what I had. Suddenly I started to feel sad, and as I explored why, I realised that all that I had meant nothing, if there was no one to share it with.I’d been so busy I never realised how much I’d missed my children and family. Now I did, and it was at this time I made the decision to stay as close to my family as possible, which I’ve done. We can be happy alone, but it’s so much better when we can share our life with others we care about isn’t it!

    • feelingpaint says:

      Yes!!! That’s EXACTLY what I’m talking about 🙂 I’m making lists of people I want to invite over…too bad you live so far away lol

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