We had today, with all of its gratefulness, all day.

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

A most precious gift began with the rising of the morning sun. The gift of the opportunity to continue our journey for another day. The gift of the freedom of our choice about how we wish to utilize the new day however we so choose. In a blissful world we are often thankful to rise from our slumber to twirl once more before the sun. We are often eager to begin our day with personal tradition and routine. We greet dawn with a renewed vigor and strength, whether it be from a restful sleep or through a personal promise for improvement of any kind.

The hustle and bustle of life is a seemingly real thing. We have bills to pay, children to chauffeur, grass to mow, a house to clean, errands to run, meals to prepare. So often our days are filled with us trying to “get it all done” that we become overwhelmed and are left to settle with “there are not enough hours in a day”. With today’s progression of technology and society’s ever accelerating expectation of response time, we put ourselves into overdrive by sleeping less, eating processed foods that are quick and convenient on the run, and bypassing activities that are beneficial to our health. Before we realize it we have fallen in to a cycle that spins with the fury of a hurricane, a cycle that prevents us from receiving the gift, the cycle that robs the Universe of its gratefulness.

We all try to be grateful, rarely do we make a conscious effort to be otherwise. But what if we reconsidered our grateful actions? Generally we are grateful when we receive a gift and we appropriately show our gratitude toward the giver for it. This giving and receiving is an exchange of love, however large or small it is. In our reality world, the gift of a new day is sometimes not met with such gratitude. Perhaps we overslept and are running late, still tired from a late night watching the game on television, hungover from an evening celebration, or just overwhelmed that it is only Wednesday. Whatever our reason, the gift of a new day may appear as a curse as we begin the day with dread rather than excitement. These are the mornings where we completely miss acknowledging the giving and receiving of the gift and do not feel the exchange of love. We move through the new day caught up on the very same cycle that we ended the day before. Without a shift of mind it is the very same cycle that is likely to continue throughout many more gifts of a new day until we have spun all the way around the sun.

But, what if we are actually not the receiver of the gift of a new day? What if it were the other way around? We so often hear old sayings such as “it’s good to be on the right side of the ground” or “I must be doing something right since I am not six feet under” or my personal favorite “since I am not pushing up Daisies, must be good to be alive”. We generally accept that being alive is a good thing and that having the opportunity to be alive for another day is certainly a gift bestowed upon us. What if the true gift is actually the embrace, the gratitude, the sharing of love for this new day? Perhaps it is we who are the givers of this exquisite gift and the universe is actually the receiver. The true gift being the gratitude that we feel, the gratefulness that we share toward the Universe for this very special new day. The gift of our love that is spread toward and throughout the universe is more powerful than we could possible fathom.

When we remember momentous occasions from our life such as marriage, the birth of our children, or the shiny new bicycle that we received for Christmas as a child we experience a warm happy feeling. We enjoy this feeling. The gift giver also feels this euphoric feeling when giving. Not expecting anything in return, the giver bestows the gift as a message of love. We cannot deny that this feels good. For the moment, there is love shared in the exchange and the gratefulness that both share for this love is the gift. Without the giver and the receiver both acting together there is no true sharing of the gift and the act of love is dismissed.

Our positive reception of the new day that is presented to us is the beginning of our feeling grateful for the opportunity, for another day, to live our life with the free will to do as we choose. The Universe considers our being so great to bestow another day for us to continue our journey. Our greeting this new day with the vigor to rise to the challenges that it presents, to be kind, to live in a manner that is beneficial to all beings and to be mindful of the lessons presented to us is a supreme showing of our gratitude, a wonderful exchange of love between the Universe and ourselves. The Universe is full of greatness and the greatest feeling of being is love. Everyday we have the opportunity to experience this magnificent love and it’s our choice whether or not we do so. One of my favorite songs, and sayings for that matter, by renowned Reggae artist Clinton Fearon is “Living is an Art”. Recognizing the gift of life and sharing our gratefulness for each new day is a blessing that truly goes both ways. If living is indeed an art, perhaps Nietzsche was on point when he said “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude”.

Photo credit, the author. Libby Hill Park, Richmond, VA at sunset.

A collection of words in Jefferson Park

Jefferson Park (1 of 1)

One of the greatest offerings that was gifted to us on this beautiful Autumn afternoon was the energy of excitement in the air coupled with the spirit of pure creativity. 

Where do the words come from? The author who crafts a novel weaves a tapestry of words out of thin air. Ultimately, a vampire tale is spun from his mind onto the pages of his newest paperback, available for twelve dollars which we gladly forked over. The poet, whom was once a nanny for the Picasso family turned small business entrepreneur offering bicycle tours on the Capital Trail in Richmond, Virginia, greets fellow book lovers across a table filled with books that she has penned along with assorted merchandise featuring bicycles and bright colors.  Her latest book of poetry was released earlier this month, “The Grit and Joy of Being”, features a drawing of a nude figure.  I found it to be a fitting representation of the word “being”. I flipped through the pages and read several of these rich poems while my wife purchased a copy to gift to a friend. A photographer who specializes in creating moody images of old and abandoned properties throughout Virginia was pitching his new coffee table style photographic book that features a curated collection of these stormy images. Looking back now I should have purchased a copy. I know someone special who would love this book and may find inspiration in it.  I am thankful that I grabbed the author’s business card.  At least now I can order one from him. Many more tables and booths were arranged in Jefferson Park, high up on its hill overlooking the City of Richmond. These tables all displayed collections of words that their respective authors dreamed up, perhaps collected right out of thin air. We visited each and every one, some of them twice.

We learned about the Richmond Book Lover’s Festival about a week ago.  It coincided with the Oyster and Beer festival that Union Market organizes every year.  We knew it was going to be a wonderful day in our neighborhood. Two festivals that we can easily walk to that was going to supply us with books, oysters, and beer? Yes, please!  One of the greatest offerings that was gifted to us on this beautiful Autumn afternoon was the energy of excitement in the air coupled with the spirit of pure creativity.  I could see it in the eyes of the creators and the event attendees. From the authors performing extroverted duties as they try to make a living with their collection of words to the cooks making some of the most beautiful and tasty authentic Paella in 56″ pans, to the vendors selling their hand crafted specialty bloody mary mix flavors to the sweet yoga instructor introducing her soon to open neighborhood yoga studio, they all exuded an energy of excitement and their spirit of pure creativity could not be mistaken.

While I waited for our friends to regroup for the walk to Union Market, I stood in the park with the book loving crowd behind me. I stared out toward Jefferson Avenue taking a moment to recharge and just observe the scenery.  I thought about the photographer with his new photobook and how much I enjoyed his art and his charisma.  I thought about how I could create a photobook and perhaps join the book festival next year with my own table and story to tell.  I thought about the poet whose words I found to be soft and comforting.  I thought about penning a book of poetry just because I can.  I was feeling inspired by these wonderful creators. I continued my gaze and focused on the photograph that was right before my eyes. A young couple sitting on a park bench overlooking a row of traditional houses. They were joined only by the shadow a live oak tree whose leaves were beginning to turn and a single lamp post. The blue sky held wispy white clouds while the afternoon sun spoke its message of a beautiful day. I stood there in the park absorbing this wonderment.  I made the photograph that I saw and thought about where words come from. I thought about how I wanted to collect and craft words again.

It is said that a journey of one thousand miles begins with the first step. Or “you gotta start somewhere and that somewhere may as well be your right here”. I made that photograph in the park with the intention of describing the afternoon for no other purpose than “starting right here”.  The creatives that make this city their home are many.  We are fortunate to live here and to be among them, to share their energy and to create alongside them.  I may always wonder where the words come from, but for now they are right here.

Light Falling Through The Trees

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I have abandoned Facebook. Well I, sort of, like abandoned Facebook.  I am specifically referring to my personal page.  The feed that I would see became more and more limited.  The same thing, the same people everyday.  Don’t get me wrong, the people are great and I know personally each and every friend that I have on Facebook.  But it was the constant barrage of ads that really worked on me.  I lost interest in Facebook just like I lost interest in commercial television decades ago.  It was the ads that did the medium in for me.  I continue to keep a personal page up for those who are interested and I will push content that I create on other platforms to it.  I also will continue to be very active in posting content to my artist page.  Yup, you guessed it.  I am not about to miss out on the publicity factor that Facebook offers.  That brings me to another point.  If you are not actively going to my page to get the updates, then you are certain to not see a thing that I put up.  If you operate a business type of page on Facebook, then they want you to spend money to boost your posts.  AKA, pay them the money and they will share your content on someone’s news feed as a sponsored post.  I get it, I really do, we are all out there to make a dollar.  I must admit that Facebook’s approach is genius. I even experimented with boosting some posts on another business page that I started to promote my company, The Bohemian Culture House.  The results from the trial run were promising. So much in fact that I am creating a campaign to run later in the year that will strategically boost posts when we announce new products and offer discounts.  Heck, I will probably start boosting posts that I make to my artist page as well.

With regards to publishing content, well we are going back to our roots.  The website http://www.christopherthomaslimbrick.com is really where the magic happens.  That is where artwork that I create is posted and made available for sale.  That is where my collectors, designers and consultants know where to go to view the galleries when they are searching for a work to purchase or to recommend to a client.  That is the place where I want to drive the traffic.  This Empty Blog is where I get to run my mouth and get some thoughts out of my head.  This is where I get to write whatever I care to on any topic that comes to mind.  Mostly it is about art, the practice of meditation, nature, sharing lessons learned, or just sharing my art and talking about it.  I used to write many posts that would end up here in the past.  Take a look at the archives on the right side of the blog.  You will quickly notice the time lapse that would occur between posts.  This would reflect the periods of time that I was 1.) just so damn busy and working on production deadlines or 2.) spending way too much time posting on social media.

I believe in the full circle effect of things.  While I have and love An Empty Blog, I have also created another blog over on Medium.com simply titled Christopher Thomas Limbrick.  I plan to publish original content on both blogs on a regular basis.  Some content will be published to both blogs simultaneously.  The primary reason for operating two blogs on two different platforms using basically the same content is that I hope to build a bigger audience that I can drive to, you guessed it, my primary artist website and my business website.  I will be effectively melding Christopher Thomas Limbrick and The Bohemian Culture House together through these posts in order to share traffic between the two sites.

My growing dischord for my Facebook personal page led to my realization that it is far more productive and powerful to create genuine content on a blog platform or to my websites directly, and then push that content to social media.  I am pretty excited about that.  I began this post with the objective to discuss the new work, Light Falling Through The Trees that appears above. However, I got distracted and decided to do some explaining.  I have a habit about doing that.  Both being distracted and caring to explain.  In an effort to not run this post into a completely different topic, even if that topic was the original premise of the post, I will offer a quick description of the attached work.  It is a full color photograph that was made on a particular cold and windy Winter night here in Richmond, Virginia.  The final result of the photoshoot became a collection of twelve monochrome images that will be available in the coming months.  I will tell you more about them, in a new post.

It worked the first time!

So, I have a blog over on Medium that I began experimenting with.  Yes, I know, I have not written a new post here on the Empty Blog for quite some time.  How ironic is that? An Empty Blog?! I also learned about this thing called Bloglovin, so I started checking that out.  It turns out that by experimenting with these two platforms, I have been exposed to a plethora of writers producing fantastic content!  My girlfriend happens to be an excellent writer and produces a blog of her own right here on WordPress called Learning Strikhedonia, https://learningstrikhedonia.wordpress.com/blog/.

One afternoon in the studio we were sipping tea while discussing different ideas about how to promote our blogs.  While we both are routinely published, we are not professional writers by any means.  Meaning that we do not rely on our copy to pay the bills.  Art production, well that is another matter because we do rely on those sales to pay the bills.  So go out and support your artist friends and purchase original art!  We wanted to figure out how we could best reach a growing audience who would be interested in and benefit by reading our work, without spending an extraordinary amount of time on promotion.  So, I started digging around and came upon both Medium and Bloglovin.  These platforms support independent bloggers by pushing content to their respective audiences based on interests, likes, previously read material, etc.  While Medium is a dedicated blogging platform like WordPress, it promotes and cross promotes content in a very dynamic manner to its users.  Those users reap the reward of easily being fed new and relevant content while the authors reap the benefits of promotion.  Bloglovin acts a collector of individual blogs across all blog platforms and then dishes out that content in a variety of ways that include curated collections, search features, feeds and more.  One can now even directly create a blog post from their profile on Bloglovin. A blogger who is also a Bloglovin user simply connects one or more blogs that they operate to their profile by “claiming” their blog.  Once this is done,  their content is included in the mix for all to discover!  It is so simple that I was actually able to connect my blog on Medium to my profile on Bloglovin on the first try.  I realize that this may not seem to be such an impressive feat, but I am quite proud of this accomplishment.  So here I am on An Empty Blog on WordPress connecting again by pasting the HTML text below:

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19784141/?claim=bgadx43uz66″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Disclaimer:  I created this post for the explicit purpose of connecting An Empty Blog to my Bloglovin profile.  I really did not mean to actually write a full entry, but I do hope that it is useful for some reader out there somewhere!

 

Bohemian Culture House

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I bet you guys thought that I had abandoned The Empty Blog!  Well, in certain respects I would agree.  I have not posted anything new here for a very long time.  But, I never forgot about this special place.  The interesting thing is that the last post, which was from early 2017, was announcing the roll out of Official Christopher Thomas Limbrick merchandise.  This post is about announcing the roll out of The Bohemian Culture House.  You see, nothing is ever static.  Everything is moving, vibrating, growing, learning, etc.  Our art continues to grow everyday.  The Official Christopher Thomas Limbrick grew to become The Bohemian Culture House and we could not be more excited about it!  Over the past year we have been traveling and shooting, drawing and painting, designing and building. We are creating an art mecca here in Richmond, Virginia that is all about spreading the love and shining the light through our positive vibes.  Just like our little elephant mascot friend, we are “elevating the beautiful” with our products and our messaging.  We invite you to join us and to “Become a Bohemian”. Come check us out online at www.bohemianculturehouse.com.  We have beautiful and fun designs and without a doubt, the coolest yoga pants you have ever seen!  We look forward to seeing you soon.  As always, the fine art that I produce can be found at www.christopherthomaslimbrick.com.  I am producing new work all the time and I have recently updated and refined this site to be much more dynamic and easier to navigate. Come stop by for a visit and feel free to hang out for a while.  See you soon!

Official Shop in the works.

The year has arrived.  2017.  It is not just another year that comes after a previous one and before another.  It is the year of artwork and a new official merchandise shop for Christopher Thomas Limbrick, artist.  We have been working hard right at the start of the first month of this great new year to bring to you The Official Christopher Thomas Limbrick and the self created brands that showcase all that is cool, funky, and fresh.

Set to open in Spring 2017, the new shop will offer all the goodness from the Artist’s house brands: Buddhafari, YOGA/YOGI, and RVA Art/Experience.  Stay tuned, because sneak peeks will be dropped regularly.  You can find it all at:

 WWW.CHRISTOPHERTHOMASLIMBRICK.COM

You will Never Complete Me.

via Self-love is a Journey. | elephant journal

 

For some time I have enjoyed reading the positive articles on Elephant Journal.  Now, Jennifer Davis is writing them!  Check this one out, her newest.