I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.
Good designs sell – mine sell out!

http://www.artbyhensley.com/index.html

Friday, December 30, 2011

"Highlight"

As I huddle next to my space heater and peer at the computer screen through bleary, sleep-deprived eyes and type with slightly frost-bitten fingers, “highlight” holds a certain amount of irony while I wait for the furnace guy to call and explain why my furnace sounds like a jet flying through the house. The woman at the 24-hour phone service asked, “Is it an emergency?” In other words, do you want to pay triple to wake up the poor guy who actually fixes furnaces? “No.” Sigh. That was many hours ago. I’m starting to rethink “emergency”. It is winter after all. Maybe the “highlight” is that the temperature has worked its way up to 45F outside, which is actually rather balmy for this time of year.

I had a disagreement once with my sister about optimists vs. pessimists. My position is that all pain is temporary and it’s better to look towards future good when things aren’t going well. My sister said it’s better to always look at the down side of things because then you’re never unpleasantly surprised. In this case, she wouldn’t be surprised about a roaring furnace, but her resulting happiness would only be in being right about potential furnace disasters. That doesn’t seem very helpful when I’m cold and don’t want to hear anyone rubbing it in. Wait… extra friction might create some warmth?

When I visited California, my host apologized for the “bad weather”. Huh? I looked around at the blue ocean, the handful of puffy clouds slowly drifting across the clear sky, and wondered where the “bad” was hiding. He moaned that it was “so overcast”, and I laughed. My friend Korki recently said it was a good day because she “almost saw blue”. Yeah! Toughen up California boy! People in Ohio actually live longer than you people with reliably pleasant weather. Of course we might have a heart attack digging snow out of our driveways, but at least that’s a quick death instead of your prolonged skin cancer. Yep, I prefer looking for positives.

Of course I can get down just like anyone else. In fact, I can get somewhat more down because I’m a competitive perfectionist. Why experience a simple down when you can experience exquisite misery? Obviously you’re just not trying hard enough. On the other hand, how can I be anything less than grateful that the furnace broke on a Friday instead of on the weekend when the repair guy wants to party on New Year’s Eve and charges holiday rates on top of weekend rates? I’m glad that my furnace problems happened in 2011 instead of bringing unpleasantness into the new year. I’m glad my brother Pete gave me some beautifully split firewood. It’s all a matter of perspective.

I often think the pessimists have me outnumbered. How many people are waiting for the world to end in 2012 because the Mayans quit filling in their calendar? Church people love to predict disasters too. “Do what we say or bad things will happen!” I mean really, what’s worse than perpetual hell? Why not focus on the promise of perpetual heaven? A lot of people listen to the negative rants by politicians too, which is why we end up having wars and doing a lot of other stupid things, but they always seem to be looking in the wrong directions. Why get riled up because some people are gay? Isn’t that the gay people’s problem if it’s actually a problem for anyone? Let’s talk about pollution instead which we can prove causes cancer and other unpleasant and preventable problems. Of course the longer I sit in the cold, the more negative things I’ll probably think about. At least I’ve got a home and a warm puppy, which is more than a lot of people. Sometimes we all need a reminder to be grateful for what we have.

I like making snowflakes. I liked cutting them out of construction paper when I was in elementary school, and I like drawing them in PhotoShop. I used bevel/emboss just to highlight the highlight theme. I don’t know why I picked these colors. They seem illogical, but seemed logical in the cold.

Happy New Year everyone!!


25 comments:

  1. Happy New Year Linda! I hope they fix your heat quickly. You'd think that mine was broken because I never turn it up very high. My kids have gotten used to cold fingers and toes ;) Love the snowflake. Stay warm :)

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  2. Goodness me Linda...I think you have had your share of bad luck, these things often happen in 3s (do they?) and of course the only way now is up.....just don't get snowflakes in your eyes! Happy New Year my friend and keep up the banter in 2012...what on earth would you have written about if the furnace had not given up the ghost!?!Love the snowflakes...keep snug.
    Jane x

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  3. Your snowflake for 'Highlight' and two doves for 'Messenger' are beautiful. The colors make me think of colored porcelain and colored glass. Anyway, hope to see more of your work in 2012. Happy New Year!

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  4. Oh My! A working furnace in winter may be the key to happiness! Keep up the optimistic spirit and the beautiful artwork in 2012---Happy New Year!

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  5. Heat has been restored. Yay! Thanks for the comments. Wishing everyone a safe and fun holiday!

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  6. yep. perspective. "-) and your snowflake is beautiful.

    the gift firewood sounds so cool to me. and go get a bunch of construction paper...or better yet, some wicked cool craft paper in shades of eggshell, bone, ivory, winter white. make a flurry and hang them from your ceiling! then dance underneath them with your puppy! '-)

    the very best in 2012, linda!

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  7. What a beautiful, skillfully executed snowflake! Have a super Happy New Year, Linda!!!!

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  8. Happy New Year to you, Linda! Sending you warmth from sunny southern Cal! Thanks for sharing a crisp snowflake- rare around these parts, but still a wintery treat! :0)

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  9. Thanks everybody! I thought firewood was a good gift too. My brother cut and split it all, which seems more personal than a store-bought present. Penny always acts concerned about my sanity when I dance her around the room, but I like the idea of sticking snowflakes on the ceiling. Happy New Year!!!

    @Michele, I make fun of California because I'm unabashedly jealous. Still, home is home and the traffic is way easier here :)

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  10. Hey Linda! Your post was the “highlight” of my morning! Glad you’re a fellow optimist :o) We ARE outnumbered. I’m sure you’re puppy is an optimist too. Sometimes I think we can learn from those little guys. Great snowflake and the colors actually work. Glad your heat is back on and keep warm. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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  11. I can now officially say we have a few unwanted snowflakes outside. And I'm grateful for our working furnace. And cats to cuddle with. I bet you are warm and toasty by now. Happy blogging in 2012!

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  12. It's hard to stay positive when your freezing. I hope you've warmed up by now. I love your snowflake and the ones in your header! I've already covered snowflake cutting with my students for this season, it's a project that never gets old.
    Happy New Year!

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  13. very cool illustration. i really like the color combination.

    happy new year!

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  14. The snowflake is gorgeous! And don't worry, 2012 will be a great year!

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  15. I've gotten more than a few unwanted snowflakes, but this time of year I don't even bother complaining. Thanks for the comments everyone!

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  16. Beautiful snowflake, Linda. Here's hoping that your furnace was fixed and you're warm and toasty now!

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  17. I have many fond memories of cutting out construction paper snowflakes during those winter school days when it was too cold to be outside for recess. Such a beautiful and graphic image.
    I hope you soon have heat...

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  18. Happy new year Linda and Penny, looking forward to lots more of your fabulous posts this year :)

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  19. Hey Linda!

    happy New year too you too! :)
    You know, yours is the only blog I actually 'read' - except for Jack's Bible Blog which I read cause I want to see what happens next! :)

    Well you made me crack up as usual, especially with the thoughts why be just plain old boring unhappy when you can be exquisitely miserable ? Haha! Yes, it's like hangovers. If you are going to have one, make it a good one!

    Sorry I haven't been around, I've actually been staying off the net as much as possible till I get a project finished.

    Ahh it is so hot here today. I had a run and a swim yesterday and was glistening with the heat all afternoon. Then we had a thunderstorm and the temperature dropped to about 30 :)

    Love your snowflakes, we don't have a freezer at the moment. Your snowflakes would be just the right thing to get that champagne cool.

    I hope you feel warmer now and the furnace guy has done his job good and proper!

    Happy 2012! :) Here's to another year of wild parties, late morning sleep ins, sunny days and breakfasts of crumpets and croisant with melted butter that are only eight calories each

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  20. Beautiful snowflake! Definitely a highlight in a winter storm.

    I'm also an optimist. Sometimes not only is the glass half-full, but it is definitely rose-colored. Happy 2012, Linda!

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  21. Thanks everybody! I'm looking forward to seeing your posts in the new year too.

    @Andrew, I hope you're enjoying the sun and fun since the rest of us are looking at cold and snow. I'm glad somebody's having a good time! I love reading your posts too!

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  22. Spent a lot of time as a kid catching these wonders on the dark part of a mitten knit by my grandmother, trying not to breathe so it would last long enough for me to absorb its beauty. Again and again. This is a lovely piece, and a reminder of wonderful times. Hope it's warmed up at your place. Thanks for adding beauty to my day.

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  23. I've spent a lot of time looking at snowflakes on winter coats and mittens too :) Thanks for the comments!

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