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Inspired Mic Spotlight – January 2015 – Michele Berg.

PeaceValleyYacht Club 3rd Place 1993 nOVICE rEGATTA

Peace Valley Yacht Club; 3rd Place; 1993 Novice Regatta

Today’s blog is about a reminder I found today….a happy accident, searching through still unpacked boxes, I stumbled upon a trophy I won in the summer of 1993, for sailing.  Why this occurrence is so welcomed is simply because I have been stuck in a rut. Yet I feel a nudge to get off this deep groove I have paved that has left me stagnant.  Funniest thing of all is my biggest problem has always been showing up….I joined many a thing growing up but never finished anything tennis, school plays and  the debate club to name a few incompleted extracurricular activities I joined throughout my youth, but never attended until the end because something inside myself kept me from accomplishing anything I attempted.  Somehow I tended to wander away from the activity,  crossing the start line only to  turn as faraway from the finish line as I could manage.

So, here I am staring at the only trophy I ever won reminded of days long gone, when my Dad, my sister Christine and me would go sailing together in Core Creek Park’s Lake Luxembourg on warm afternoon’s in the 80’s. The sailboat was a sunfish it was the perfect size for one adult and two kids.  We all got so in sync that we could ride the wind adjusting as needed to feel the ease of the speed that we created as a team.  Then all the summers we would visit Peace Valley Park by this time my sister and I were able to sail our own rented sunfishes.  How we would sail around Lake Galena and play Bumper Boats.  Then my Dad bought a blue 15 foot O’Day sailboat when we all lived less than 15 minutes away from our beloved Lake Galena,  so we could sail after work or on the weekends.  Wanting to learn more, I took a Red Cross Boating safety class and a Sailing instruction class held on Lake Galena’s familiar waters.  As a result of this class, I entered a novice regatta held by the Peace Valley Yacht Club using that blue 15 foot  O’day sailboat with my Dad as my coach and my Step-Mom, Holly as my cheerleader.

I looked long and hard at my only trophy thinking about that summer day, how it was one of the best days of that summer.  The race was a mixture of every kind of small sailboat you could imagine, in fact my boat was one of the bigger ones.  What I remember most was waiting at the start line for the horn to sound to signal us to  begin.  It was a windy day,  we all had to keep our boats still behind the starting line until that horn blew; it felt like trying to hold on to wild horses; in fact, I came really close to playing bumper boats with the committee boat, a feat that as a rule knocks you out of the race completely.  I really do not recall how many boats entered or the tacking and jibing, the aft and after or how many times I ducked the beam; in the end I actually crossed that finish line in third place!!!  My first ever and still only trophy.

Fondly I remember the thrill in my spirit as I regaled  my closest sojourners  with the experiences of that afternoon’s regatta, while we gathered to watch a Midsummer’s Night’s Dream that evening.  The outdoor theatre located between  the Movarian Tile Works and the Fonthill Castle was the perfect setting as twilight turned into a memorable night under the stars.  We sat on blankets eating from a picnic basket full of wine, cheese and grapes;  I felt excited, hopeful, entranced by my friends, the play and the setting of the park. It was as if we were owls perched in the trees looking down at the merriment of the actors below us on that midsummer’s night of our own making that would have made Shakespeare proud as his imagination turned reality.

I think the memory  is a message in a bottle from a former self who always gets lost in the forest for her inability to stay on the path.  Yes, I’m in a rut and my health reminds me we are only here for the smallest speck of time in the infinity of existence.  This has bothered me as I have been so exhausted by the luff in my sails that I am unable to find  a gust to even be able to adjust windward as I been trying to sail on the stillest of days without a ruddder.

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere.
 ” replied the fairy to Puck’s question “Whither wander you?” from the Play a Midsummer’s Night Dream. Still, stillness is required for us endless wanderers as it allows us to readjust our focus and ask ourselves who we are and where  do we want to  steer the boat that is our  lives?

So, I ask myself where do I wish to point my rudder?  As, it has been since the dawn of the 21st century I want to point my rudder towards art.  What makes me feel stuck?  My yearning to define what does art represent to me?  It is the mystery that has me both holding on and letting go of that rudder as I am sailing three sheets to the wind with only moments on clarity’s  course.  Searching my telltales to figure out the direction of the wind allowing me to trim my sails with the zephyr at my back and my eyes focused on the horizon until I discover the way to my dharma that is art. It is this quest that leads me towards the joy I feel with wind on my cheeks as my sailboat glides with the unseen force of a breeze freeing it from inertia.

Blue 15 ft oday

One more item checked off of today’s ‘to do’ list….

Raindrops in a Pool by Barb Forristall in progress

Salvo window view

So, I made a pledge to myself and the vastness of the void to write more often so here goes:

It is Sunday, for me a day of rest and preparation for the coming week. Also, a day to prepare a super delish meal for Sunday dinner, tonight salad with salmon. As such, my intentions for today are as follows: in a lingering non procrastination manner attempt to blog, paint, groom and clean house, in preparation of coming week’s second baby step pledge of going to Salvo 5x’s a week and explore those trees!!!

Why, all of the sudden am I swiftly thrust back out onto that path I described in my previous blog?  Because it is time to take action for all those over thought plans of mine that are in need of implementation by doing them!  Then I can finally  check off those items on my artofbarb list and stop hiding behind those trees!  In short, it is simply health that prompts me to move forward coupled with the fact that we are all dying from the moment we are born! So, time is essential , we must make the most of it, for it is more limited than we can bear to accept.  We should also trust in our inner voices to assist us in finding our bliss and following it,  as Dr. Campbell describes it.  While I agree with this concept I have one exception that has come into my contemplations, which is that perhaps murderers are doing what makes them happy as advised? While it may make the murderer happy, I’m not so sure about the murdered.

Signing off now-catch up with you next blog baby step…


Yes, this is no big surprise to anyone who knows me as ART is in one way or another, always what is on my mind; but, today the part of ART on my mind is MY ART…

Life ebbs and it flows and time moves forward whether or not-we are ready or not! Alas, my dilemma has always been me, myself and I. “Most of the Shadows of this Life are caused by our standing in our own Sunshine” -Ralph Waldo Emerson. I am so passionate about ART: wanting to paint, share, learn, research, and simply be in awe of others greatness in ART for they inspire me to join them to play and perhaps offer something back from my own love of ART touched by my life experiences.

So, where does this land me in today’s thoughts…Here, I feel I am on the right path yet, I am hiding behind every tree along the way just peeking at all that could be if not frozen with choice, do I stay or do I leap forward. Always afraid of my yearning to be more than I am in that moment, that moment, when the urge to grow pushes me out from behind those trees despite my clinging to them; I am compelled back on the path to walk in the direction my soul navigates if only I could just trust.

I dream, dreams of checking off all those To Do’s on my never-ending list of tasks from the everyday to the ones that actually have to do with MY ART. For instance, I created this blog but how often do you hear from me? If I am honest perhaps, it is because I feel no one is reading my mundane thoughts in an era inundated with millions of people’s thoughts. Yet sometimes, I think that’s what gives me the courage to write out loud my thoughts at all. Picturing my written words all alone in the vastness of the void. Despite this, to share the journey of MY ART, I must blog to share what Art is inspiring MY ART on my way to find my own path on what I call the journey of ART. Every one of us has a story, we all have our joys and our sorrows, our hopes and dreams; Artists try to listen to their inner voices then document what they discover.

Many other things are on what I dub the “artofbarb ” list. What I have come to discover is that ART in all its forms have ‘must do’ tasks from mudane tasks such as buy supplies, then use the supplies to share your creations with others. Like blogging more often, for there is so much in my head to say that I might as well set it free here… so here goes from this day forth I pledge to myself and the vastness of the void that I will blog more often; baby step one of a million…

One Chosen for cd Cover Art

Lee Villaire “Victory Dance” series

Chosen for cd Cover Art

Lee Villaire “Victory Dance” series

Sunset 12-24-12 by Barb Forristall, artofbarb

St. Augustine Sunset as seen over ocean in plane.