Monthly Archives: November 2011

Natural Talent

talent  (ˈtælənt)— n
1. innate ability, aptitude, or faculty, esp when unspecified; above average ability: a talent for cooking ; a child with talent
2. a person or persons possessing such ability
3. any of various ancient units of weight and money
4. informal  members of the opposite sex collectively, esp those living in a particular place: the local talent
5. an obsolete word for inclination

[Old English talente,  from Latin talenta,  pl of talentum  sum of money, from Greek talanton  unit of money or weight; in Medieval Latin the sense was extended to ability through the influence of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14–30)]


There is a quality of egoless perfection in a person exercising their talent.  Egoless because they are so full of joy in doing what they were designed to do that there is very little self-consciousness or striving.   This is how I felt when I watched my beautiful sister-in-law Emilie help take care of my son Aaron.  She has rare talent for care-giving, whether it be of animals or of little people.  It’s as if she can sense what they need and patiently she responds to that need with beautiful skill.  A talent, I think, often overlooked in our society, but never more urgently needed.

I suppose most talents are visible early on in life.  Take Alexa Richter, for example.  She is 4 and a half years old, and already it is clear she has a keen sensitivity to infants.  She was so helpful with Aaron when she was visiting us for Thanksgiving, expressing both a capacity for learning about how to care for him, as well as great intuition about what he might need.  I look forward to seeing her talent come into full bloom as she grows up!

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Calm Evening

I love you Ben Faubion (my husband, best friend, counselor, creative partner, fellow traveler, muse)!  Tonight after Aaron went to sleep we listened to a few chapters of A Tale of Two Cities on Audible.  We’re debating whether to get a TV…on one hand it would be nice to see Netflix on a screen larger than our iPad or laptops; on the other hand, not having the big screen forces us to be more creative with our down time…listening to great literature or to Ben’s latest Blues riff on the guitar, for example.

I suppose the bigger issue is how to maintain and cultivate an atmosphere of calm creativity in our home.  As Aaron grows up, I want him to be a kid who knows how to use all of his senses, especially his sense of imagination.  I want him to know how to entertain himself and his friends via his own creativity, as well as having the capacity to sit back and enjoy media created by our society.

This means Ben and I need to continue to model it.  How do we spend our free hours?  Are we engaged in meaningful dialogue with each other?  Have we made our home an environment that reflects both of our styles and interests, but nonetheless harmonizes in a satisfying way?  Do we spend our time productively, challenging each other to grow past our fears and insecurities and truly live out our calling?  Do we know how to rest together and just be?

Giving Thanks

This year I have so much to be grateful for, it is hard to know where to begin.  By far, the biggest blessing is our son Aaron.  As Ben and I look at him, we can’t believe we’ve been entrusted with something so pure.  It’s a sacred trust, according to my good friend Judith Montgomery.  The life-giving energy of a new baby is so profound, it reaches back into your past and changes the way you view the future.  I see my mother and father with a newfound gratitude, a sense of overwhelming love. It’s like this sweet grace poured out over all of our human shortcomings, because in spite of them, a new life has come forth, through us.

This year we celebrated with our dear friend Irena Polic, her adorable and rambunctious twin 4-year olds, my mom Bobbi, and my big brother Jesse. Irena lived with my family when she was a senior in high school (I was a freshman), and we’ve been crazy about her ever since.  She is Croatian, beautiful, brilliant and a fabulous example of a woman who balances career and motherhood.  It’s amazing to look at us, just teenagers when we first met, and here we are, both moms of sweet young children.

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The Poet-Painter

There are many reasons why I am continuously inspired by the painter Marc Chagall (1887-1985).  Here is just one: his overcoming faith in Love. When we consider what he lived through (the Russian Revolution, two world wars, the Holocaust), the following quote becomes even more extraordinary:

“Despite all the troubles of our world, in my heart I have never given up on the love in which I was brought up or on man’s hope in love.  In life, just as on the artist’s palette, there is but one colour that gives meaning to life and art — the colour of love.”

For an excellent link to more about Marc Chagall’s life and select works, click here: http://rusart.ca/history/chagall.html

This is Where I Write

This is where I write.

At a little wooden desk I found in one of the Laguna Beach alleyways (the jewel box town of Laguna is sometimes a treasure trove of promising castaways–whether in the miniature backstreets or at rummage sales on weekends).

You can see I’ve a little companion-in-arms: my newborn son Aaron.  He is being fussy at the moment so I’m holding him while I sit down at the computer.  It does make typing a bit more challenging, but Aaron is such a delight and I’m grateful I get to spend so much time with him.  Besides, I’ve always believed having kids and being a writer/artist is quite doable, you just have to bring your little ones along for the ride.

Whistle While You Work

How do we rediscover joy in our work?  Whether we work at a public space, in a cubicle, have our own office or work at home, I believe taking time for the adornment and regular updating of our physical environment is key.

I have for years wanted my workspace to include the following:

  • a red-orange desk or a desk alongside and accent wall painted peachy-red/orange
  • Framed artwork by artists I love, including child-artists
  • Framed photographs of places or people I love
  • A hint of things from other times, places & cultures (i.e. French decorating magazines, small objects, maps)

In fact, the inspiration for these elements came through an exercise in the touchstone book for creative recovery: The Artist’s Way (you can order the book on Amazon or click here for a link to author Julia Cameron’s online course).  Here is what I wrote in one of my morning pages (an foundational daily exercise explained in the book):

November 12th 2009

In my ideal environment the house…has an accent wall that is a luscious salmon-orange color.  It has loads of color and fabulous real paintings on the walls.  It is neither cluttered nor bare, it is calm and yet vibrant…

What is so lovely is the way this exercise really did ignite the process whereby my husband and I moved from our dull, drab, dreary, lackluster environs in a taupe-colored townhouse in a boring suburb, to the south facing, light-flooded, funky, airy, palmed tree-lined, centrally-located and creative apartment we now occupy.  With the help of some of our brilliant artist friends, we do have real, large-scale oil paintings on the walls.  And, as the following photos attest, I did set up a little work space for myself that includes a red-orange desk and the other items listed above.  The result: one happy Mamma who is beginning to connect with her “writer within.”

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Beginning

Welcome to What Color is Love?, a place where I explore themes like Art, Creativity, Love, Marriage and Motherhood.  I write from the perspective of an artist, traveler, poet, educator, wife and new mom and I invite you to journey with me.   My goal is to inspire you with fresh vision for a colorful, creative life that nourishes your inner artist as well as your most precious relationships.

May your work/life environment begin to bloom with the color of Love!

Sincerely,

Rebecca Anna Faubion