A while back I took a class in Adobe Illustrator. I learned what it felt like to be at the (very) bottom of the class. (I learned so many other things, too! After all, there was no where to go but up.) It was all new to me, including the concept of designing in layers. I didn’t know that so many of these eye-catching works of art that I had admired were often built from layers stacked on top of each other, allowing easy changes to one part without disrupting the entire creation. I was smitten by that new idea (even if I never mastered that technique)!
This morning I looked out my kitchen window and actually SAW the layers in my view. There was the far-off background of the cloud-dotted sky, the next layer of trees in the distance, the closer and larger trees near by, the fence and shrubs in my own backyard, and last the dogwood right outside my window. What really caught my eye was the redbird that went from one layer to another. Closer, then farther away. (If I were using Illustrator, I would have to decide in which layer he looked best.)
On TV an advertisement for tourism in another city announced: “Come. Shed life’s layers in Asheville.” I could feel myself relaxing just pondering that idea. So often, stresses and responsibilities pile up in us and on us very quickly, but yet, when we have time off, a few days are needed until we fully unwind. The tension often has to be pulled away, layer by layer, uncovering our true self, one tier at a time.
This year’s SOLC has not heaped more layers of pressure onto my schedule. Instead, it has uncovered the layers of observation, and thoughtful consideration, and word play that often get concealed by everyday life.
All these thoughts about layers have caused me to think about the pieces required to make the Slice of Life Challenge work:
- I can’t even begin to imagine the time spent in setup, getting the rules in a clear format, finding inspirational quotes and posts, recruiting Welcome Wagon helpers, and soliciting and distributing prizes. Once the challenge starts, it requires checking daily, especially at first, to insure things are running smoothly for all.
- There are so many different writers (and those amazing teachers whose classroom students are also writing!) and that means there is the time, thought, and talent that each one puts into his/her writing, each and every day.
- The comments from around the world are like the glue that holds all this individual effort together – they unite us as writers and give us the firm foundational assurance that what we say matters, and that our voice is heard and appreciated by others.
- As I contemplate my own writing, how one post can spark another, and how the history of this little blog overwhelms me when I see how long ago it was begun, I see many layers here, and I realize how much this opportunity means to me.
Layers upon layers. Many thanks to ALL who have participated in the 2017 Slice of Life Challenge. I leave March a better person than I was when the month began.