Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hands, pencil prayers, a handmade journal

Carol Myers
Watervliet Michigan USA

Hi Maria, here is a little bit of "peace" for you -- I call these little drawings "Pencil Prayers" and they are my healing meditations for the world. This one popped into my hand, so it must belong to you. You are amazing, thanks for letting me play with this puzzle. Carol

Sharlene Wong
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada;

"The creation of art is a peaceful endeavor.  (Or that's what I think many of us experience when we aren't busy poking holes into our fingers with the sharp objects we play with...)  
And the research backs it:  A 2014 study by Bolwerk et al. looked at ten weeks of participation in visual art production versus an art evaluation group, and researchers found that those who created art had a higher level of psychological resilience (backed by both survey and fMRI data)...  In other words, the art-creating participants' capacity to handle stress improved.
My piece of the puzzle is dedicated to what most of us know all so well:  Our peaceful carvings are also carving peaceful neural connections in our brains.  We are thus better able to cope with stress and make peaceful choices and connections with others."

Carolyn Wong Richmond Hill
Ontario, Canada

I worked on my peace puzzle block on July 1, 2015 – Canada Day – hence, my decision to include a Canadian flag in my design. This reminded me of a conversation I had with my grandmother many years ago. For a grade 5 project, I had to interview my grandmother about her life story, which eventually led me to ask her the question “Why did you decide to immigrate to Canada, out of all places?” My grandmother responded by saying “I had heard that Canada was a peaceful country, with more opportunities for my family.” Her response still comes to the surface my mind from time-to-time, and I am reminded of the many peaceful, gratifying experiences I have had throughout my life so far in Canada. One activity that I particularly enjoy and find comfort in is spending time outdoors with close family and friends. Whether it be going for a half-hour walk around the block with family on a nice sunny day, or having a day trip with friends by the Harbourfront, I find it very easy to find peace and joy in these simple activities in my daily life.  I am grateful to my grandparents and parents for all the work and effort they put into immigrating to such a peaceful country.

Carol Berryhill Portland, OR USA

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