Breaking Rules

The day she discovered her wings is the day her dreams took flight. 11 x 14″ mixed media on canvas board

There is a painting hanging in our bedroom that I created several years ago, in our old home, in my old studio.

And still, it speaks to me.

Of breaking free. Breaking out. Breaking up the constraints I arbitrarily place on myself about what makes good art, good poetry, good writing.

Things like, ‘The Rule of Thirds”. Never use black. Always use a good reference to paint from. The rule of ‘don’t end a sentence with a preposition’. Don’t begin a sentence with ‘because’, ‘and’, ‘but’.

They are just rules.

And rules are made to be broken. Right?

Yesterday, as I walked along the river with Beaumont the Sheepadoodle and felt the warm ‘it’s almost spring’ sunshine on my face and watched chunks of ice float down the river and listened to birds twittering in the trees as Beau chased after the ball and I navigated the almost clear of ice pathway, my mind was full of thoughts of the painting I was working on and its message that was not yet clear.

And suddenly, like the sun breaking through a cloud, a thought skipped into view and landed with a resounding plop on my heart. “The day she discovered her wings is the day her dreams took flight.”

Yes! That’s what the painting’s about, my happy heart sang as it did a dance of gratitude for the muse’s tending of my creative expression.

When I returned to my studio and put the final touches on the painting, I wrote the quote along the lefthand side.


And the muse kept dancing.

After dinner, I finished tidying up my studio, came back upstairs, chatted with my beloved for awhile and took my journal and self to bed.

And the muse kept dancing.

The painting may have been ‘done’ but its creative expression wasn’t.

There’s no rule about writing a poem to go with a painting? Right?

Oh well. If there is, I’ve broken it more times than I can count! I like that breaking of rules.

She Was Born To Fly
by Louise Gallagher

She wandered through her days
like a leaf tossed by the wind
aimless, directionless, weightless
her heart aching
and her feet leaden
to some invisible thread
of memory
in the veil
of yesterdays
in the darkness
of believing
she did not know
how to fly.

It’s not true.
You are born to fly,
a voice deep within
in those moments
when her attention
grew weary
of the world beyond
the pale
of all she could not see
in the here and now
leaving her exposed
to the exquisite mystery
of her life.

She didn’t believe it
the idea of flight seemed too
the mystery too deep.
She had feet,
not wings
she whispered back,
closing the door on chance
as she turned back into certainty.

But then, one day when
she least expected it
she felt the urging
to stretch 
beyond the realm
of her imagination
and on that day
she discovered
her wings
beneath the layers of life
hammering at her
to stay tethered
to threads of memory
keeping her tied
to life’s heavy toll.

It was that day
she discovered she was born
to fly
and her dreams 
were too.

26 thoughts on “Breaking Rules

  1. I love how you let your creative spirit fly. The painting with the red looks almost like she steps out of the illusion and into the real. So so pretty! I think those doves represent the peace she finds there ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To walk alone head held high,
    I do.

    To run with the wind as I see fit,
    I do.

    To enjoy freedom of choice and speech,
    I do.

    To live my life as I wish,
    I do.

    To follow my heart, my intuition,
    I have,

    What an uplifting post and artwork. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How I LOVE those two paintings, especially the ‘red’ one would go right with my ‘dreaming angel and flames’ (I’ll mail you a photo of it!), it would go well with our red De Sede leather sofa and the red oriental rug which is loosing slowly the last fringes because it has been walked on, pulled at (dogs, kids!), nibbled at (bugs and more)…. I confess I love RED, it’s such a vibrant, living, joyful colour. But (hey, who said Never start a sentence with a BUT?!) I also love the first image, the wonderfully beautiful woman with her birds – they tell a lovely story too. Yep, our dreams can and often do take flight – when we let them, when we give them the liberty to go on their way. Your words are wise and strong. It’s a beauteous post, in every respect!


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