An Artist's Quest

Rocking my World

A friend who is struggling with health issues sent me an email saying she had spent a sleepless night up rocking and asked for my reflections on rocking. Upon my first reading I set this question aside not sure how to answer. This was one email among 225 emails waiting for me after a week away taking my son all the way across the country to college at Penn. While I was away my beloved dad ended up in the emergency room and resulting in a pace maker procedure, this all converged on my fifty-second birthday – my feelings were so balled up – full of worry and concern and unknowing. That is all to say that when I first looked at the email about rocking I couldn’t see how to connect with the query, I had other things to think about. A couple of days later I returned to the email and the following spilled out and I think it has everything to do with enduring, and worry and being and comfort and all the things that make this human journey rich and hard. So for your reflection here is my answer to that email:

Rocking Inspired by my writing it is a collage that combines a drawing of my grandma’s rocking chair that I scanned and printed on Grafix injet film then layered on a wood panel

Inspired by my writing is a collage that combines a drawing of my grandma’s rocking chair that I scanned and printed on Grafix Injet film then layered on a wood panel

The rocking chair for me has always been a comfort zone, from my own childhood sitting on my grandma’s lap she rocking and reading the old oak chair creaking on the wooden floorboards it has been a comfort, a prayer. I have that same chair in my home now rockers resting on the wooden floor. When I had a crying baby my own mama taught me to sit in that chair with my babe and rock and count to one hundred because you can do anything for that long and if the babe is still crying then you start counting to a hundred again because you can do anything for that long. Now I have no babe to rock but my own self needs rocking sometimes and the rocking chair and my mothers simple wisdom come back to me sit and rock and count because you can do anything for that long and then the counting and the rocking clears the mind and opens the heart and you really can do anything you can face anything receive anything be open to anything both great and small, wondrous and worrisome and wearisome. A deep creak, creak, creak like a heart beat like a breath, solid and real something to hold on to something to count on…. one, two, three, four….

PS My father’s pacemaker procedure worked wonderfully and he headed home Tuesday reportedly pinker than he has been in some time and ready to rock and roll. My son is thrilled and thriving in his first week at Penn – it was hard to leave him on the east coast but not hard at all to feel the thrill and joy he exuded as he launched into the solo adventure.


12 responses

  1. Mary

    Love this blog!!! It touched my heart. ❤️

    August 29, 2014 at 11:00 am

    • Thanks Mom, I’m glad it touched you and I think the art and the words together convey my rocking feelings…Love

      August 29, 2014 at 11:10 am

  2. Sandy

    Glad Dodd is doing well after his pacemaker-it’s kind of amazing – modern science! I have been really thinking of you and Jack a lot after all the cute FB pics of you all in the East Coast. This is one of those major crossroads in life -Ivan is off at college! Hope you are adjusting – can we get together soon??? Love to you and Jack!

    August 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm

  3. Jeanette Bernard

    Ohh dear, I reread my note after I sent it…big mistake; should have said “wise” woman! beg your pardon….JB

    August 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm

  4. Jeanette Bernard

    Dear Lisa, I so appreciate that you shared about your dad….I shall go call him right now. He calls me about once a month to check up on me…ever since my Bill went home to the Lord 4 1/2 years ago. It’s so very sweet of him, I know Bill would appreciate his thoughtfulness…as I do

    I don’t have any words of wisdom on your empty nest, but I’ve been there. I watched Tim go off on a bus with a forlorn look n tears as he went to Air Force training then to Germany eventually. We both had to do a lot of growing up. I know with your sweet nature and faith you will be fine in your grandmother’s rocker as you pray often. Your mother is a wide woman….counting relaxes the body, heart, mind so you can get a better perspective on the situation. It also lets us hear the Lord more clearly and receive his calm directions.

    I enjoy your creativity. Lovingly, Jeanette

    August 29, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    • Thanks, Jeanette thanks for you kind words and remembrances.

      August 29, 2014 at 1:50 pm

  5. Bonnie Orr

    Rocking! I thought surely it would be about the earthquake in nearby Napa, but surprise, Lisa! You have so many for us who read your blog. I started many years ago with an art journaling class in which we were talking of (and creating) mandalas. Your weekly “challenges” were “over the top” with energy and spirit, week after week. When that slowed to a more humane pace, and you saved the best for us to enjoy and emulate. Your words and visuals always feed me, filled with beloved family and friends. I go to a Threshold Choir practice tonight because of you! Loving thoughts go out as you work and play in your new “empty nest.”


    August 29, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    • Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. The threshold choir is something I have an interest in participating in some day maybe that time is coming soon?!

      August 29, 2014 at 1:49 pm

  6. Mary Anne

    Thinking of you and your family during this time of change and upheaval. Life is all about growth, change, loss, and your rocking chair can provide the perfect place for hearing God’s calming voice. I wish you abundant blessings.

    August 30, 2014 at 4:43 am

  7. Marisa Wilson

    From time to time I take the time to read your deeply inspiring thoughts and perspective on the most amazing topics or events. My brother Tim told me that Ivan would be attending Penn. If you ever need an east coast contact know you can consider me as a resource and for support. I live 20 minutes from Philadelphia in Claymont, Delaware….Leonora wouldn’t expect anything less of me. My home number is 302-439-4693. Stay strong west coast parents, with much love, Marisa

    August 30, 2014 at 8:13 am

  8. Karin Tredrea

    I’ve been thinking of you and Jack and Ivan lately. I’m glad to know he’s happily ensconced in this new phase of his journey.

    I remember, at my Blessingway, you passed on the wisdom of counting to 100 when faced with a challenge. I still use it these days–most recently while backpacking.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. It feels good to stop once in a while and really soak in what’s happening. Blessings to your dad!

    August 31, 2014 at 12:45 pm

  9. Jane

    I always love your words of wise reflection Lisa, but this week was so busy that when I saw your email I did not feel I had the luxury of the time to read the text (until today). I did however skim down the message on my phone and when the rocking chair appeared on my tiny screen I felt so comforted. Long after the illustration had disappeared from view its image continued to roll around in my head. I feel that almost everyone I have ever seen with a young child, whether male or female young or old, knows without any instruction understands instinctively the comfort of rocking. How you mange to make my body feel the comfort and peace of a cozy rocking chair from a glance at two dimensional image I have no idea, but somehow over the next three days it continue to provide me with the rest that my schedule did not allow – you are a miracle worker Lisa!

    August 31, 2014 at 4:33 pm

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