What holds you back•Advent Begins•December 1, 2018
December 1, 2018
How to change your mind • 12.3.18
December 3, 2018
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Patience • 12.2.18

I took my car to the garage last week to prepare it for the winter season. As part of the service, they check the tread of the tires. My tires all came in at the exact same measurement. The mechanic remarked that I must be a very patient driver because most people’s front tires wear faster than their back tires. Had my father been alive I would have excused myself immediately and called him. I know he would have laughed, because I am anything but patient.

I must cultivate patience right now. Doug and I moved house six days ago. (Not far, 10 miles or so from our old house.) My studio has been in boxes for over 10 days. It will likely stay that way for another five days as I transform the space with paint and deep cleaning. I mostly anticipated this challenge by packing a number of bags with the tools and supplies needed to make it through this time. I find little spots throughout the house to draw in my sketchbook, collage papers, and do the creative problem solving that fuels my living. I feel the tension of not knowing where paint brushes or colored pencils might be, if the really special papers made it without getting damaged, and how impossible it feels to fit my old studio into my new smaller studio.

This prose poem by Max Jacob and translated by Elizabeth Bishop captures how I feel right now.

Patience of an Angel

You can beat me, beat me! beat me, said the demon who stood near the stoup of holy water, but you cannot destroy me. I am the rebel angel but I am an angel and my face that you so often mar bears at least the trace of one virtue: patience. You can beat me! beat be! My time will come.

Today’s Prompt:
  1. Put together a traveling art kit, something that can fit into your regular bag easily. Small scissors, glue stick, quart-sized bag of paper. Create, write, work in a different place than where you usually work.
  2. Add an element to your work that is out of character. (For me it’s the disembodied eyes.)

Everyday through December 25th, I’ll be making a 5×5 inch collage, writing a short entry on this blog and sharing a prompt for those who might want to participate along with me. You can follow my progress by subscribing to this blog through the sidebar on the blog homepage, or by following me on Instagram.


  1. Andrea says:

    I glanced at travel items I collected this summer and wondered when I would cut and paste them and put them somewhere. Your idea of a travel art kit is inspiring and reminds me that once one has one’s materials “ready to go” – art/making is possible and can be done in mini-moments.

    • Melanie says:

      Yes, yes, yes! I also have my pen travel kit that has a bone folder, mini-ruler, pencil, sharpener, assorted color markers/pencils, and travel safe scissors. (Although the scissors still occasionally get confiscated even though they are TSA approved.)

  2. Mary McHugh says:

    I so appreciate your taking the time inthe midst of all this change you are going through to share your thoughts and feelings and create a collage in the process! Thank you for this gift of self

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks Mary! Gift of self, gift to the self, it’s from the latter place that this comes. I need this so much right now.

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