Guest this Week: Lorraine Bonzelet | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Guest this Week: Lorraine Bonzelet

Guest this Week: Lorraine Bonzelet

At the Online Mindful Writers Group (OMWG) Page, I invite a new guest-of-honor every week. This week’s guest is Lorraine Bonzelet. To read her daily posts and look at the accompanying photos please go to the Home Page on this website and click the middle button, “Visit and Join.” Here is her bio:

Lorraine Bonzelet is a retired engineer with an obsession for picture books. In 2005, she nurtured her passion by taking courses at the Institute of Children’s Literature. She started taking a mindful approach to writing and journaling when she was introduced to the Mindful Writers Retreats and Madhu’s Online Mindful Writers Group via Facebook.

Lorraine is a long-time member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her first non-fiction article and photographs are published in Boys’ Quest magazine, Unusual Sports Edition, Oct 2008. Her other publications are a poem in the Mindful Writers Retreat Anthology, Into the Woods, 2018, and a short story in Mindful Writers Retreat Anthology Over the River and Through the Woods, 2019. 

In pre-COVID days, Lorraine coordinated and led a writing group at the Eldersburg branch library in Maryland. She loves the outdoors: running, hiking, kayaking, gardening, and daydreaming on her hammock. She indulges her wanderlust by traveling – near or far, it doesn’t matter – as long as she’s on an adventure.

DAY 294, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2020

I closed the door to my lip-sync career.

I opened the door to Art class.déjà vu!

I was surrounded by talented students. When did everyone learn to draw and sing? 

Should I have been learning landscape techniques with Bob Ross or mastering C-sharps and treble clefs instead of struggling to get those skin tight pants over Barbie’s plastic hips?

The art teacher, Ms. Icono, was young, sweet, and soft-spoken. She took time to work one-on-one with every student. She embraced my limited artistic talents: doodling and creating abstract thingamajigs.

Ms. Icono taught me three lessons –

Lesson 1: Break it in to manageable chunks. THE SHOES – I drew a grid over a black and white newspaper advertisement. On a large blank piece of paper, I drew a corresponding grid increased in size. Covering the entire ad, except for 1 square – and covering my larger piece of paper, except for the corresponding square, I shaded. Day by day; square by square. Each square, in itself, contained unidentifiable hues of blacks and grays… yet the final picture was a larger replica of the shoes.

Lesson 2: Examine things closely. THE FLOWER – Ms. Icono gave me a flower. She directed me to draw, in detail, what I saw on the inside. I felt an overwhelming connection to Georgia O’Keeffe. Ms. O’Keeffe denied that she drew flowers as female body parts. I couldn’t deny that my flower had masculine… ummm… parts. (I submitted this to my Catholic school teacher. Oy!)

Lesson 3: Be true to yourself. THE ARROW – To the best of my recollection, we were supposed to produce a self-portrait. I didn’t draw a stunningly creative charcoal, watercolor, or pastel rendering. Surprisingly, I didn’t make a Picasso-like distorted self-image.

I made an arrow. Yup, an arrow! That’s how I viewed myself – a million disjointed pieces searching for direction.

Although I had no idea what mindfulness was back then, my hand effortlessly flowed as the hours flashed by in a moment. I didn’t direct the artwork. I let the pieces guide the movement.

When I started, my concentration was on the black areas. As time passed, I became mesmerized by the ribbon of white – the fine line effortlessly flowing around each piece – holding them together, yet giving them their space. I didn’t care that my project didn’t look like anyone else’s. The arrow and I were one.

Over forty years have passed since its creation and I still feel the energy flowing through it.[Fun fact: Many items are hidden in the arrow – a masquerade mask, turtles, rubber duckie, banana, hearts, butterflies, sailboats and my initials.]Tomorrow… Dear Diary

GUIDED AND SILENT MEDITATIONLET’S MEDITATEToday let’s meditate with “Mountain and Lotus” from Meditations for Mindful Writers II: Sensations, Feelings, Thoughts


TODAY’S PROMPT If you had to draw something to represent you, what would you draw and why? What inner feelings does this self-representation invoke or uncover?

SUGGESTED READINGI Want My Hat Back by Jon Klaasen – For adults, this picture book is a spit-your-coffee twisted ending. For sensitive animal lovers, like my daughter, one might be forced to come up with a creative explanation to cover up for the author’s wry humor.

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