My daughter has four unusual plates on her Dining Room wall and whenever I visit I stop awhile before them to ponder on the thoughts they convey.
You see they are plates with “messages” on them. Messages about the things that speak to us about life and about our planet. For some time I have wanted to write about them on my blog but I keep forgetting to write down the words to quote here! But not on Sunday. I remembered. And I wrote them down. Alleluia! At last. It’s only taken me three months.
But not content with this, I went in search of a photo of the plates and sure enough, that wonderful internet that gives us all sorts of amazing information, came up with the goods! It did require a few searches however, but I persevered until as “Investigator Mum” I found what I wanted.
And I found the artist who designed these lovely plates: Rob Ryan. “He is a British visual artist who specialises in paper-cutting, screen-printing, drawing and painting. He is now most famous for his detailed paper cut outs.”
But enough chatter, let me show you the first of the plates:
WE HAD NOTHING … WE HAD NOT MUCH … WE HAD ENOUGH … WE HAD EVERYTHING.
How thought-provoking this is! And how unusual is the art work on the plate? Still, the part ‘WE HAD NOTHING” got me thinking about the program I watched on Australian Story on ABC TV last night about Scott Neeson an Australian who became a Hollywood movie executive promoting blockbusters such as Titanic, Braveheart and X-Men. The website says:
“But after a holiday in Cambodia, Neeson made a deliberate choice to give it all up. Gone are the slick designer suits, traded instead for the cargo pants and hiking boots required to navigate the rubbish dumps of Phnom Penh. He now owns ‘nothing’ but says he couldn’t be happier as he works to help some of Cambodia’s poorest children.”
Note that word ‘NOTHING’. I think that he now feels he has ‘EVERYTHING’. Scott now fund raises obtaining money to educate the children who lived at the dumps and it also gives employment to the parents. Oh, and he is doing all sorts of other things too. This story was really inspiring! You can watch the show online if you want some inspiration for yourself. http://www.abc.net.au/austory/default.htm
Now, the second plate has another interesting piece on it:
“GIVE ME WORK TO LAST ME ALL MY LIFE”
This saying reminds me that we need work. It tells me that as much as we think we want a life of leisure, a life of leisure is not really good for us. There is no sense of satisfaction in leading a self-centred, selfish life of indulgence. I heard a man being interviewed on radio recently who was talking about happiness and struggling.
I was taken aback when he said that we are only truly happy when life involves a struggle. He told of his own incredible struggles in order to overcome various problems in his own life and to achieve certain other things. And then he added that when we overcome, we gain the most incredible sense of happiness and satisfaction. We do not get this by having no challenges in life. I tend to agree with this.
This also reminds me of a saying I came across this morning on a blog. It said:
“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” ~ David Allen
And that’s where the struggle comes in! So when you are tempted to stop a few metres short, keep on going until the job is complete. No wonder I feel so good when I complete a job!
By the way, I also found the above design as a tapestry, but it is on a UK website. If anyone is interested: http://www.clothkits.co.uk/ryan-tapestry-give-work-last-p-927.html
Now for our third plate. I am sure we could all agree on this:
“OTHER PLANETS CANNOT BE AS BEAUTIFUL AS THIS ONE”
I have never been to another planet and the chances of my going to one are zero, so based on the planet on which we live, it would have to be damn good to come close! And the more I travel all over the world, the more I realise the beauty that every continent possesses. And yet … I feel sad too when I think of the mistreatment of our environment by so many and I only hope and pray we can keep it beautiful for a lot longer yet.
Now for the fourth and last plate:
MOONS CIRCLE PLANETS … AND PLANETS CIRCLE STARS … STARS AND ENTIRE GALAXIES ROTATE ETERNALLY … AND YOU AND I CIRCLE EACH OTHER … FOR YOU ARE MY UNIVERSE AND I WILL BE YOURS.
At first, I couldn’t decide if this was a statement of personal devotion but after a while I came to see it as more of a collective “circling of each other” where, like the universe, we all revolve around each other. Perhaps it says a lot about how we treat each other? We are reliant on one another like the planets. It reminds me of Jesus’ command: Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
On that note, I will conclude my blog for today giving you all plenty of food for thought. You can read so much into these plates and I have simply given you a few of my own thoughts to get you thinking.