Category Archives: Dolls

2 Flags, 3 Shrines, 4 Mice and a Word About Sin

The last two weeks have been extremely busy. I even skipped my morning workout several days in a row in order to give my inventory a much-needed boost. I have also forced myself to learn to respectfully decline every new demand that would lead me to sin.

This tiny, yet hugely powerful world takes on precise significance the older I get. Since I love etymology, I will pause here briefly to observe how incredibly suitable it is that spiritual masters would invite us to avoid sin at all cost. Indeed, our general understanding of the word “sin” does not begin to scratch the surface. It means far more than the images that first come to mind. To sin means, “To stray from the target.” It is an archery term.

Perhaps it would be easier for us to learn to focus on the target, rather than to aspire to avoid sin. With only one target in sight, the rest takes care of itself. With only one target in sight, there is no doubt about the course to take and whether the course is good or bad, or sinful. If we choose to do good, then good it is in a layers of life, and most of all in becoming the very best expression of what it is to be human. The cost of not doing this is high indeed.

The masters might as well have said, “Do your best,” but such common sense words clearly do not have the same striking impact as “Do not sin.” The masters knew they needed to use wording that would somehow endure through the ages. It was meant as a loving warning; we sometimes take it as a dare, and resist. Our loss.

As you can see, I’ve had plenty of time to ponder these things lately while I spend hour upon hour doing my best to give shape to my creative ideas. Doing this is inevitable, after all. There is one powerful lesson I am learning over and over as I continue on this course. That lesson blows my mind every time I put it into practice. In fact, I believe it is the key to peace of mind: Live without unfinished business. 

This means: No procrastination. But more than this, it must shape every moment. I have come to understand that every single time I feel impatient or uncertain or unable to focus, I must ask this question: What is unfinished? What was left undone? Then, the only logical response is to always act in a manner that resolves the question, one little mundane or creative task at a time. The progress I have made by applying this simple personal rule is astonishing. Target in sight. Target in sight. Target in sight.

I love that the fruit of my labor and efforts took me on the road for a second trip to Grand Isle Art Works, yesterday, to deliver new creations. Driving is one of my guilty pleasures, and a perfect reward to conclude new steps forward and pause before continuing the journey.

The shrine is a prototype; a starting point. I had postponed making this because I worried it would not be perfect, yet it is in making these first three that I was able to see what else it could become. So these are perfect after all.

The flags were a wonderful nudge to explore new ideas. They were provided by Grand Isle Art Works with an invitation to design according to whim. They will be displayed through the summer as part of their Sweet Harmony by the Lake Art Show, beginning July 10th. The guidelines were simple and fun. Each color has a theme. Mine were red for fire and green for water. The mice are a recent creation and a must-have addition to the Grand Isle collection. I think there are more critters about to come out of my mind in the days to come.

Gotta get back to work.

NEW! A Messenger Mouse

Here it is. The fruit of playful imaginings, inspired by the fabric at hand, no doubt. In any case, I was looking forward to putting this little guy together. It was playing against the screen of my imagination, begging for a place in the order of things.

It was time for something different. Of course, the focus tends to shift back to replenishing good sellers that dwindle to nothing, consistently. No complaints. This is what I want, after all. But it can be challenging to live with new ideas that take on life and even a conscience of their own, it seems. It gets to a point where you have to sooth it, as though it were a child, begging to play. “Not yet,” you plead. “I need to finish this or that first. Then I can give you my full attention. Isn’t that what you want?”

Then, we meet. At last. The living object of my imagination rests in my hand and it feels right. I think the wait is an important part of the process. It helps define the shape, so that when it is born it has an undeniable presence of its own. Or it’s all in my head. It does not matter. It is real anyway.

It does not have a tail? No. I doesn’t. The shape, the outline, is all that is required to make a connection. The soul is in the eyes, after all. This little guy could be the first in a line of animal-inspired buddies for children and the young at heart. Or how about this: it could be a tooth fairy mouse!

Eleven more await assembly. They will be distributed among my four sales point locations. 7 1/2 inches tall. Color schemes will vary.