Hallowed Halls of Johns Hopkins

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The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. ~ M. Scott Peck, author of Gifts of the Journey, In Search of Stones and The Road Less Traveled

Happy Halloween, everyone. On October 3rd, my cousin Meg Heisse and I witnessed a little hocus-pocus when we attended An Evening of Victorian Magic at Evergreen Mansion and Library, which is a Johns Hopkins University Museum. Since my cousin is a member, we attended a pre-performance reception held in the Asian red room among Chinese and Japanese collectibles. The bartenders stirred up Victorian libations and we saw up close magic tricks by David London. Mind reader indeed, out of a 52 card deck, the magician asked me to select one card and show it to others.  No slight of hand involved, through telepathic transmission he correctly identified the card I had picked. But that was just the start of the delightful evening. The magician had many more magic tricks up his sleeve once the show started and he came to the stage.

There was no need to build a stage for the evening because there is already a Victorian era theatre in the Evergreen Museum. And although there were no upper level seats for celestials to sit as in many Victorian theatres, we were told apparitions are in or about the rooms of the mansion. The theatre, painted by Russian Artist Leon Bakst, was used regularly to entertain the three Garrett boys, who at one time lived there.

The Evergreen Museum and Library was built in 1850 and became home to railroad magnate, John Garrett and his family. He was President of Baltimore and Ohio “B & O” Railroad. A little over one hundred years later, in 1952, the Italianate home from the Guilded Era was donated to Johns Hopkins University and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also in the mansion is a 30,000  volume library with much of which is English Renaissance literature. Paintings by Picasso, DegasModigliani and stained glass by Tiffany, a 23 karat gold plated bathroom all are housed in the structure. In the Asian red room I spied several pieces of Chinoiserie furniture and as I snooped around in the museum gift shop at Evergreen, I saw several beautiful publications about stained glass.

Today, my Halloween treat to our readers is a recipe for soul cakes which traditionally was the offering to others on All Hallows Eve. And here are a few pictures of our evening at Evergreen Museum and Library, too. Look carefully you might see things that fool the eye!

Some time soon I do look forward to returning to the historic Evergreen Museum to take the full tour. This wonderful landmark is only one of the institutions of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins. Check out the others on their website.

Thank you Meg for inviting me to accompany you for the evening.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.

 

Art Writing Opportunities

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“Art helps us see connection and brings a more coherent meaning to our world.” ~ Ernest Boyer, Founder, Carnegie Foundation

In my previous post about two weeks ago, I wrote about a plein-air painting workshop I attended given by Artists-in-Residence Mike Bare and Joanne Bare at Ladew Topiary Gardens. I’m grateful I have acquired knowledge about painting through past life experiences with several master artists. It has led to opportunities to write about art and the humanities in general, such as all the essays on the website Through the Lens of Her Camera, about photojournalist Cheryl Ito.  Her work is in the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Over the past year, I have been engaged in another art related writing project. Soon the manuscript will be going to print. It has been very gratifying and more will come about this later!

Some of what Bare spoke about in the workshop at Ladew Gardens can be applied to writing.  “Art,”  Mike said,  “allows us to understand who we are.”  This is precisely why I find writing so fulfilling. I have learned so much about myself and what I value through my writing.  Authors tend to write about what they know.  You can understand much of what is important to me by reading the 2500 posts (which are indexed by category) on this website, AllThingsFulfilling.com. Four topics – art, gardens, independent publishing, and faith are just some of the subjects I return to time and time again but always with a new perspective.

Painters do the same thing, according to Bare, they tend to return to the same spot time and time again because one makes connection with the scene that way and paints it well. There are often seasonal variables when painting “en plein air” but one finds value in coming back to the same location. Capturing the changes in light or other seasonal/environmental/atmospheric conditions holds both significance and challenge for the artist.

During the workshop at Ladew Topiary Gardens, photos were shown of other artists work. In one image, a cityscape, we saw a part of the composition was intentionally left unfinished. Yet, as the instructor pointed out, we did not notice it until we made a closer inspection of the painting. Why?  “Because our mind makes up what is missing!”  says Bare. True enough, I thought. Readers do the same thing with stories. They read into it what they will by the associations made with the words given on the page. Not every detail in a story is drawn-out. Some readers get irked when they have to draw their own conclusions and others like to be left hanging so they can use their own imaginations and create what happens next.

Thank you to Mike Bare and Joanne Bare for continuing my art education simply by allowing me to be a listening participant in the morning lecture. A writer’s life is wonderfully fulfilling.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.

Remembering Leaps of Faith

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I will be taking a new leap of faith in the very near future. Stay tuned! More information coming!

All Things Fulfilling

If you have ever been successful at anything against all odds, you come to understand that sometimes risk is worth it.  There are valuable lessons to be learned when we let go and take a leap of faith. Without some element of believing in something greater than ourselves, it is hard to move forward. For instance –
I remember….

When I was in my late teens our family vacationed in the Thousand Island region of Canada on a lake called The Opinicon. On many of the islands that dotted the lake there were huge rocky cliffs, perhaps 20-30 feet high. We’d jump off the crags into the water. It was scary and exhilarating all at the same time.

I’d run up the edge of the cliff all filled with vim and vigor and then stop just before going over. Finally after a few failed attempts, I’d surrender and take the big…

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Protect and Defend Wholesome Values

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All Things Fulfilling

unity in spirti

Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. ~ Mattie Stepanek

The mission behind All Things Fulfilling has been always been a multi-media approach to sharing information about things that make my heart zing – what fills my heart with joy and happiness. That includes information on what has become my career and passion since 1998 – independent publishing.

I seldom make strong statements on All Things Fulfilling because we don’t need another platform on which to air controversial opinions all for the sake of being heard.

This statement I am going to make is about valuing human life and it really doesn’t matter where you stand politically. We need people in this country to discover and fill open spaces in their hearts with what brings them personal fulfillment, not evil and violence.

Dr. Ben Carson recently said about the recent occurrences in Charleston, South Carolina that the

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Giving Oneself Permission

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All Things Fulfilling

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be the boss and work twelve hours a day.” ~ Robert Frost

Some people  need a boss behind them cracking the whip, helping them to stay on task and motivated. Having the corporate structure behind them saying “Your workday begins promptly at 9am and ends at 5pm, with a half an hour for lunch,” is what they relate to best.

Guess what, I worked under those conditions for most of my life. Now I’ve gotten a raise! “Twelve hours a day, hmmm, Mr. Frost?” Tell me, how does a writer, who is also essentially an entrepreneur, limit oneself to that?

Sometimes I find it hard to give myself permission to “lay off, let it go and call it a day.” It’s a challenge to remember the person in charge of me is myself!

Believe me, I am not complaining!…

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Meet You at the Sandbox

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All Things Fulfilling

“Play is the work of children. It’s very serious stuff.” ―Bob Keeshan

Welcome back! Hope you had fun weekend.

A few years ago when I moved to Colorado, I went to a business conference for entrepreneurs. I sat next to a very nice young woman, not many years out of college. We visited throughout the day and enjoyed each other’s company. At end of the conference, she turned to me and said, “You know, you really ought to join the young professionals networking group.”  I began laughing!

“What?” she asked, in all seriousness. “What are you laughing at?”

“Young professionals?” I asked. Not because I thought joining networking groups for professionals was a bad idea but because I was questioning her judgment of how old I was. If fact, there are great advantages to joining organizations to meet-up with other entrepreneurs and business people. http://bit.ly/1uICWXy.

“Yes,” she said, “they are a great group and…

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Good News: The Simplicity Concept

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All Things Fulfilling

simple day 2To some people, living the simple life conjures up thoughts of living out in the woods with no running water, cooking over an open fire and being entirely self-sufficient by growing one’s own crops and hunting and fishing. A bit extreme for most people in this world of modern conveniences.

The good news is there is more than one way of living a pared down lifestyle. We can chose to simplify our lives in ways that might better suit us rather than returning to the homesteading concept.

In the interest of simplifying my blog writing today, here is a link to a great article that outlines 10 ways to simplify your lifestyle. Do a little soul-searching by assessing which choice suits your interests best.

This blog is brought to you by the author of the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons…

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