Isabel Rower painting / fragment
isabel rower via maria robledo

We’ve gotten quite a few email submissions from our readers lately, along with a stead uptick in traffic. Yaye. Or should we say YUM, the beautiful fragment of type Maria Robledo’s daughter Isabel created. At bottom, a shipping pallet that’s been transformed into an artwork by Mexican artist and reader Mary Carmen. You can see the process at her Flickr.

But what really knocks us out are letters from readers – some who have had to deal with serious life  transitions’ – saying how much ‘the improvised life’ resonates with them…and how they are using its message to expand their own life and work. Instead of crumpling, they’re rising to the challenges, thinking in new ways. Like this one from Tina Juvonen in Seattle:

Dear Improvised life.

I am an avid reader of your site. I came to love it about half way through my first cancer. As a creative person, stuck in bed, I really looked forward to reading and looking at what was inspiring you every day.

I started my own blog when I started my treatment for rectal cancer because I am a busy hairdresser in my normal life and thought it might be a good way to keep my large clientele up to date on my progress etc. What I discovered, was a whole new world of writing. I had no idea that it would be so cathartic to write, or that having a blog could connect you in a highly personal way to people you know and ones you don’t. I found myself being very truthful and unembarrassed about the things that were happening to my body. I didn’t know I could be so funny until my clients started telling me they felt guilty for belly laughing while reading my blog.

After getting through the colon cancer I was then diagnosed with breast cancer (yeah, really! the day after my all clear colon scan) so at that point I decided I needed to get the word out to more people and started . The internet is an amazing thing and as a not very savvy computer user I have learned enough to be really and truly thankful for my little lap top and the joy it has bought me. Thank you for your daily dose it’s just what the Doctor ordered.

mary carmen san vicente

Jody Lotito Levine described the many improvisations she came up with while “camping” in a borrowed summer house:

as your post suggested, there is something about being in a rented house at the beach that begs “improvise”
….the railing that becomes a clothesline/rack (common but noteworthy)
…an art studio for the children that is two plastic tablecloths on the floor  (we brought paints, but forgot paper, so paper towels served for a day and the kids created beautiful abstracts… no bowls so the table is strewn w/pots of every size and shape)
…not enough refrigeration, so we constructed another refrig w/5 coolers and ice we replenish daily
….one lonely kitchen scissor i brought from home at the last minute used in the “art studio”, to cut string for a kite, to cut open a box…we laugh every time someone yells, “where is the kitchen scissor”
….my 7 year old nephew here for the week w/no “toys” has grabbed a sleeve of hot/cold cups and is using them as building blocks
….pouring rain so the microwave “toasts” marshmellows for s’mores…l love the view from here!!
so, just to notice again the profound affect your perspective has had on me – thank you for this particular invitation into the unlimited, creative realm of possibility and playfulness…its such a rich journey 

paper cup construction
So, it seems, we give a ‘daily dose’, and get ’em back all the time, full of heart, courage, creativity, inventiveness, surprise.

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

2 replies on “four from our readers…from typeface to pallet art

  1. We are very happy to have you here, Mary Carmen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *