How did a maple learn to fly?


I see a maple’s sunlit dream
of flight, in early seed-hood.
Giant’s reaching roots drink deep,
but stretches yearning branches high.
Remembering that first, best spiral
when wind-swept ‘cross veiny airfoil
and landing, settled to the ground.
Who first taught a tree to fly?
What evolutionary climb
gave wings like owls, and sparrows
and Beeches, and Cessnas?
Next time I spy a maple seed
helicoptering from heights
I’ll listen closely for the whoop
of dizzy joy and pure delight!



-Rohvannyn Shaw

Tell a Story

Whether you are painting, drawing, or sculpting, it is best to tell a story. It doesn’t have to have a beginning, middle, and an end. But there should be little details about the character and setting that help your viewer place themselves inside the work.

If you are painting a landscape, what creatures live there? Are there little nibble marks on a stump, perhaps? Tracks? Weather?

If you are drawing a portrait, give the posture a little life. A little contrappasto, a bit of jewelry that says something about the character. Have the person doing something. Not just staring at the viewer, doing nothing!

It’s such a simple tip but it can really make a difference in your work. Details, energy, life. All these help make a great piece.

The Meaning of Life

I see people ask the same question over and over: what is the point to life? What is the meaning of life? Not having found the answer, I see those same people descend into the depths of depression with seemingly no hope in sight.

My SO says that the purpose of life is to do the most with what you have, and have fun while you are doing it. To me, fun is important because when you enjoy what you do, you do a better job at it, are easier to be around, and make others happy at the same time. Joy spreads.

The key to this is finding your passion. You can do this by doing something you are good at, whether it is sports, helping people, drawing, writing, tending plants, taking care of animals, typing, cooking, or whatever. It may not be the only thing you do, but do a little of whatever it is at least each week. The other thing you can do is find meaning in life, is see the meaning in what you already do. Say you work a really boring job. It can be hard to deal with but it’s usually possible to find ways in which you make a difference. Find how your life is relevant to others.

Example: Factory job. Putting together widgets. It can be mind numbing, sure, but think of all the lives your widgets touch. Such a job also gives you time to dream, which is useful if you write, for example. Even if you cannot work, and cannot leave the house to volunteer, if you are reading this you have the ability to reach out to people online and help that way. There is always a way to be relevant. Humans, as social beings, often feel more meaning if they touch others in a positive way. This, to me, is the meaning of life. Do what you can with what you have, because you may not get another chance. Even if you believe in reincarnation, as I do, you won’t have another chance with this same skillset and with these opportunities. This is not a divine plan, it’s a matter of what you wish to do. Those who take responsibility for their own happiness are most likely to find it.

Joy spreads. So does sorrow. Which would you rather feel? Which would you rather pass along?