Manna from Heaven?


Tonight I’ve been up to some random things. This image is a mixture of thoughts and ideas that I was having for the past couple of days.

First of all, I wanted to try a Hawaiian dancer because of the skirt, but then I decided I liked it without all of the lines that delineated the raffia. I thought this was more fun… it kind of reminds me of something you’d see on the Flintstones.

The leis around her neck is actually something I pieced together using a real photograph of a tiny segment of a leis I found online – and the flower in her hair was a real hibiscus. I don’t really care for the color mixtures here, but I’d already illustrated the woman and done her coloring, and I didn’t feel like going back to change it. If I ever try to repeat the process I’ll probably use a different colored leis.

Now for the part that’s really random. I started watching the show ‘The UnXplained’ and learned that it literally rains fish in Yoro, Honduras. Not just once, and not just once in a while, but about 4 times a year.

I realize that this woman is not from Honduras, but I thought it was more fun to use something tropical because – well – fish rain sounds kind of tropical to me. And weird.

But the thing that really got me was the fact that the people of Yoro don’t worry so much about how this happens (which, of course, I am still wondering) – but they celebrate the fish rain – and they eat it. It’s like free food, falling from the sky, for everyone!

It reminded me of the Biblical reference of ‘manna’ – some form of nourishment that fell from Heaven for the Israelites. While fish aren’t really manna, what’s important here is that the people of Yoro just appreciate the food, and they don’t waste their precious time trying to solve the mystery behind it.

I wanted my piece to reflect that, because it was kind of a lesson to me – to just appreciate the good things that happen, or even life in general… and stop trying to find answers all of the time.

I guess it’s human nature to complicate things by dissecting and analyzing them, but the story of the people of Yoro made me step back and realize… hey, just enjoy! Eat!

Anyway, that’s the story. And I think that whether the girl in my image is from Yoro, or Hawaii, or even Timbuctoo, she is smiling with gratitude and saying…

“Look! It’s raining fish! Heat up the grill because it’s time for a feast!”


That’s about all for now. Thank you for reading!

Until later,
-Janet

Storytelling

The irony of life is that the protagonist doesn’t realize they were in the spotlight until the curtain has come down.

Quote by Me

My quote was written for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Spotlight (21 Words).


And I’m sorry I can’t stop at 21 words, but – as some of you know – I’m a rule breaker. The truth is, everything about this post is random. No planning. No idea where I was going to go with it. Not a clue about anything. Nada.

The quote may be a bit of an overdramatization, but it fits with what I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out why I’ve been failing at some of the art I’ve attempted recently, and why I’ve wanted to write so bad but I’ve stopped in my tracks every time. Why? Because I felt I had nothing to write about. Nothing to say.

The fact of the matter is, however, that I never give up. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Since I found it so hard to get back into illustrations, I decided to go through my photo archives to see if anything inspired me.

I found an old black and white that I had photographed with my iPhone so that I could upload a copy to the genealogy site that tested my DNA. I love working with apps that modify photos with paint or sketch effects, and I thought this oldie would be perfect as a sketch. I also added a slight paint effect just to tone down the sketchiness, and I am really happy with how it turned out.

I mean, look at those clothes! Can you imagine people walking around like that today? I think it would be awesome, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that it looks like the set of an old movie – which makes it even cooler. And the man bending down with the cup in his hand? Well, that’s my granddaddy.

I don’t remember what my mom told me they were doing, but if I had to guess I’d say they were playing dice or something… which makes it even more intriguing. Everyone is so involved. So alive! What a story this picture tells. And if gramps were still alive today, he might not even remember the day it was taken. But this one moment was part of his story.

So, what’s my point? Well, I’ve been thinking that the reason I’ve had nothing to write about is the fact that – during my voluntary isolation which has nothing to do with the old pandemic – I’ve been feeling as though I haven’t “really” been living. I mean, alive… yes… but not taking part in anything extraordinary or “newsworthy.” I’m no expert, but I would guess that writing about my movements over the past months (years?) would literally bore you, the reader, to tears.

I don’t know, but something lit up in me when I looked at this image and thought about the quote that I wrote for Sammi’s challenge. The truth is, life is happening all around us, no matter where we are; no matter what we’re doing.

Maybe some days it’s just in our thoughts about life. Other days, maybe the story is in the dog that chased us halfway down the street when we took the trash out in the wee hours of the night (didn’t happen, but it could!). Maybe it’s in a game of dice, with men in fancy suits and hats looking down at the roll. Or maybe someone just dropped their donut. Who knows?

The fact is, LIFE is our story. It need not be action packed, or full of unimaginable achievements, it just needs to be lived. And in every movement, every thought, every action… we are living our story and it’s worth something. It’s worth everything.

So, like my quote says… sadly, some people wait too long, and suddenly they realize that life has passed them by. And they missed it, because they were always on the lookout for the major headlines. But every story matters, big or small, because it’s ours. And one day that curtain will come down.

I don’t know about you, but when that happens for me, I’d like to take a bow with a big smile on my face, thinking about each and every moment in my life, and then say to myself….

THAT was a great story.”


Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my thoughts this evening because, well… it’s my story. And it’s worth everything to me.