Annie Olson

"Artist Musings"

Come into my shell with me! My "Artist Musings" will give you an insight into my inner workings and why I create these faux shells and other works of art.


“Satire should, like a polished razor keen, wound with a touch that’s scarcely felt or seen.”

- Lady Mary W. Montagu

This morning I was cleaning up the kitchen after last nights Pho soup supper. As is my routine, I had rinsed off much of the remains in order to make my future job of washing the dishes by hand easier. Allowing the warm water to cleanse the dishes and my spirit at the same time.

After a breakfast of leftovers Phil put on CNN. This being Saturday morning, Smerconish was on. I could hear the words he spoke. I don’t recall what triggered this Awareness to surface. But it did! So I quickly wrote it down.

I’m just now rereading what I wrote. It was about restraint. Restraining ourselves.

This is what I scribbled down.

“To restrain yourself carrying a sign when you ache to do something physical, you are whispering. Going into the Capitol-you were shouting-when a person shouts-people cover their ears/their eyes-can’t see/hear but when you whisper-people strain to hear/see. Satire is whispering.”

A thought I scribbled on a pizza box years ago

I have been aware of this for a long, long time.

This is what Monty Roberts was doing with horses. Whispering to horses to gentle them, instead of breaking them.

His book on whispering to horses came out in 1996. Five years later he wrote on How to whisper to people. Using the same means.

Paul McCartney wrote Let It Be a long time ago. Mary whispers words of wisdom. She doesn’t shout. He got it.I got it. Lots of us have gotten it.

When Will Rogers was on stage doing his tricks with his rope, he found himself whispering words of wisdom. First for himself, and then for the ones watching, listening. That first time, when it happened, he was surprised. It was as if the positive vibes of the audience allowed hidden wisdom to come out of the shell of his soul for he and them the hear at the same time.

Although Will was killed in a plane crash in 1935, and I born the end of 1943, I found him to be a very special person. I grew up loving him! His words of wisdom, even as a child, comforted this shy, skinny Dutch/German girl. Here in Holland, Michigan. The very city Betsy Prince DeVos grew up in. Her grandfather, Mr. Zweip owned the garden store I loved. Because he sold baby turtles, chicks, bunnies and all sorts of aquarium fish. He sold bits of Nature that whispered peace to my spirit.

So it isn’t strange at all for me to follow in these footsteps. I hope these words whisper a bit of the wisdom

I’ve found coming through me.

Martin Luther King Jr. grasped what Gandhi was aware of.

That non violent protest is all about whispering Truth to Power.

Pink Eagle (Annie Olson)

January 9, 2021

I’m sitting here on our couch. CNN is on. Phil asleep a few feet away and Miga, our cat waiting for me to stop typing so she can sit on my lap. The reports coming in on the run off in Georgia. Prompting me to remember this story.

Strange, I just heard the word GARBAGE mentioned. The lies that our president has convinced so many to believe. Without any facts to back up his words. And this story I’m about to relate is all about GARBAGE!

I don’t remember which shell fair it was when I heard this tongue in cheek antidote. Probably the 2004 one. The year Phil and I drove down so we could both attend.

David, Phil’s brother had been going to Florida for a number of years. To escape the cold and dangerous Chicago winter for 3 months. So we had a place to stay while we were there.

I wish I could remember who related this tidbit to me. Maybe Rusty. My dear friend from Texas who won best in show with her miniature shell store.

It goes like this. “The garage pails of the Georgia Visitor Center located when you leave Florida is the best place to collect great seashells!”

The explanation is simple. The ignorance of people from the North being unaware that the pretty shells they picked up and placed in their car to take home wasn’t empty!

Either the original owner/builder of this shell was hiding deep inside or a hermit crab had taken up residence in an unbroken glossy seashell.

You can imagine the snail or hermit crab being roaster alive. But not enough to prevent its flesh from decomposes. And as we all know,

decomposition creates an odor that is repulsive to us and attractive to other life forms ready to recycle the flesh.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to encounter this odor molecular with the help of your nose, you haven’t lived. It has its own particular “color”. It’s own hue in the rainbow of fragrances that our Earth offers to us all.

I can still remember going into the Georgia Visitor Center on our way home with this antidote in my head. Of sharing it with a young woman behind the counter. Taking her card, giving her one of my shells. And telling her that someday I’d write about our time together.

So now is the time. You were cordial listening to this senior citizen.

So right now, January 6, 2021 I’m seeing and hearing about the run off election that is deciding what way the power structure will unfold in the Senate. Looking as if the Democratic wing will have power after a long time.

So no wonder hearing the word garbage spoken as I’m writing about garbage felt strange to me. Perfect timing!

Satire is quite often funny in a wry way. So it is with this story.

Lies, like garbage, also emit a particular hue.

It’s always odd for when I sit down to finally write an essay. Having something come along to add its own voice to mine.

Pink Eagle (Annie)

By the way, Miga knows I’m done writing and is now on my lap

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Phil and I got back from the Farmer’s market. Phil gets out so little now; an outside place to go and be with people, in spite of The Virus.

When we came home, I saw this package outside the front door. Didn’t know we were expecting something.

I pick it up and instantly know what it is when I see COA!

My article has finally been published - extra copies for me.

These are photos I took an hour ago. They will not be so easy to read. The words I wrote weren’t easy to write either. Keep that in mind. But I think it’s real important for you to see the magazine itself. Do read how long the COA has existed. Why they started in the first place. What I’ve been reading every three months for years now. Not hard for any of you to see why I joined The COA a long time ago.

Let’s imagine the 5 year old in me seeing the article with my words and photos of my shells/my art. Trying to act grown up as I write this.

So much more I could say. But for now, I’ll leave it at this.


 © 2020 by Essence of the Spiral - Annie Olson.

Created by Robin Canfield