Sunday, July 27, 2014

TRUE obligations...mine, at any rate...


I have agreed to teach a class in Danny Gregory's Sketchbook Skool (and yes, my spellcheck cringes at that K in school, too) and some delightful people are signed up for it.  This is the third day of class and I am truly enjoying the interaction, the work, the responses and questions.

I am glad to finally be DOING it rather than preparing for it, which engaged my attention for months.

It is overwhelming, confusing, challenging and marvelous.

The platform we are using for the classes is much more complex than I'm used to, and I worry about missing questions directed to me (and as a reminder, there is a "Questions for Cathy" page at the end, and that's where I look, several times a day...otherwise I may not find a question.)

I do miss being able to hit a "like" button!  It would be nice if people knew I saw their comments without trying to comment on all of them, which is, in fact, just not possible.  I regret that reality, but there it is.  It would be nice to be able to reply to individual comments or questions, as you can on YouTube...but it is what it is, and with a class of thousands, it works amazingly well.

Interestingly, I ran out of time to do the one lesson I really felt closest to, finding a Heart Home...but that can be another day, another class all my own.

My obligation, in this case, is to the students who signed up for the course, and specifically to those dear people who are working through my week.  I do care, even if I can't keep up, or respond fully.  Time and age conspire to prevent that!

And I take time to remember that my other true and ongoing, eternal obligations are to God, to spirit, to my husband and our cats, to nature, to life, and to creativity itself.  Those things will be here long after Klass is over, and for that I am beyond grateful.  They don't feel like obligations, they are joy itself.  Gifts, pure and simple.

The gratitude list above--one of many in my journals--attests to that!

17 comments:

  1. Occasionally I feel like there i a friend in the internet world, a kindred spirit. You are one of those.

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  2. I'm with dkatiepowellart… So glad to rub shoulders with you and several of the others who are inspiring me.

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  3. And PS… would really love "finding a heart home".

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    1. Sharon, mine are all around me, for the most part. A small oxbow of the Missouri I've visited for years, a local lake, my shed, and of course the ocean. A bit far from landlocked Missouri, but I love it nonetheless!

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    2. And ooops, sorry I misspelled your name, Sharyn!

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  4. Oh so true and so heartfelt, Kate ... It is truly IMPOSSIBLE for one person to answer the thousands of questions, remarks and more that an instructor in SBS can be expected to do ... Quite frankly, I find it challenge to respond to folks who comment on my postings, let alone comment on those I enjoy!! LOL But it is, as you said, important to keep perspective and gratitude, and for those of us taking the class, especially because you are part of it, we deeply appreciate the great amount of time, commitment, kindness, and resourcefulness it takes ... big hugs, Kate ...always ... Lin

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    1. Thank you, Lin! It IS a bit different from my own classes, where we put a lesson out there, everyone does that lesson, then we move on to the next. Everyone doing everything at once is pretty amazing...no wonder my head is spinning.

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  5. "And I take time to remember that my other true and ongoing, eternal obligations are to God, to spirit, to my husband and our cats, to nature, to life, and to creativity itself. "

    I so agree with this statement, and remind myself of these same "obligations" (except change cats to dogs in my case) whenever I find myself stressed about all the "urgent" demands on my time that crowd out the truly important. And yes, when I give them their proper place, they feel more like privileges or gifts than obligations.

    It seems that it is a nearly constant balancing act, as life shifts the balance, requiring frequent reevaluation. I spent the last two days pondering along these lines and reading my journal entries around this date from the past two years to see whether I was making any progress. It was gratifying to see that I have made progress in some areas, while others still need attention.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for all the ways you encourage mindfulness in your teaching and writing, including this wonderful week of SBS. You have helped me tremendously both in your teaching and by your example, and I thank God for you.

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    1. I think it is SO important to re-read our journals from time to time...I take "compass readings" and correct my course when I need to. (That would be now. :D )

      I am grateful for you as well, Melissa.

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  6. Oh, thank you so much for all your work on Sketchbook Skool, the classes and responses. I am way, way behind in the Skool classes, between one trip and another next week. Alas, I will wait until I return to catch up! But can't wait for your class....so I may leap ahead this week...at least watch the videos and then do the stuff when I return! Again, thanks so much!!!

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  7. Well, said, Kate. If SBS is overwhelming for me at times, as a newbie, I can only imagine how it must feel for the instructors. I really appreciate the commitment you're giving to your week in klass. I know I've learned a lot! And as someone who has been having trouble finding a balance between SBS homework and, well, life in general, I'm glad for this gentle reminder to remember my priorities, which are the same as yours, except that I would add our dogs.
    With blessings, Susan (SusanLily in SBS)

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    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying it! Yes, it is indeed overwhelming, isn't it! I always feel such a responsibility...off to check the class boards again...last time today, though!

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  8. I am an absolute beginner in the sketching world, but was inspired to sign up for Seeing in the Sketchbook Skool because you were one of the teachers. I've had a copy of your book about nature sketching for ages, but never did anything with it. Then recently I picked up your volume on Art Journaling which is my favorite book on the subject by far. I probably should have started with the Beginnings course, but I'm not sorry. I've enjoyed it all, and although my drawings are rudimentary, I am learning, inspired, and encouraged. Thanks for such wonderful lessons and videos! Once class is over, I'm planning to get to your videos on You Tube. Hoping to get to the last assignment today, but with family visiting it's been a challenge to find the time to devote to the lessons, so I appreciate your reminder about what matters most.

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