Category Archives: Biography

Appropriation In Creativity

I have seen some debate on creatives working outside their culture, ethnicity, race, religion, or any other difference. This has caused me to evaluate the work I have consumed over the years.
Many creatives over time have assayed to represent characters and works that were not of like kind with themselves. This has enriched the fabric of those works. If we only illustrate ourselves, we are likely to bring forth characterizations, portraits, paintings that die an untimely death because of our eccentricities, and our lack of originality.
Life informs art. Creativity is not bound by human constructs, it is soul work and transcends fate and destiny.
I have always lived by the maxim that being copied was a form of flattery, not that I am often copied, but I have been known to see something and try to find something I could shape as mine.
America is an anomaly in that it is a smelting of various human components come together to form a nation of great accomplishment. If we borrow characters in our literature, appropriate fashion and style from various people groups, copy accents and vocabulary, take cuisine and make it ours, wear our hair the same as someone of a different tone, all this is being ourselves, being citizens of the world of a diverse universe.
It worries me that we are becoming less willing to share our cultures, fashions, thoughts, creativity, abilities. No one does well in a vacuum, it sucks the life right out of us. Sharing, generosity, kindness are attributes we can little afford to lose.
Perhaps, if we live with the guiding principle of love toward everyone, we will be less inclined to guard what we claim jealously is ours. Openness gives more significant opportunity for growth and understanding.
I am reading Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges and one of his essays, The Argentine Writer and Tradition, deals with this in a way. It moved me to write on this controversial subject, though I had thought to in the past and decided it was not something I wished to contemplate publicly.
As a prompt: Think about this subject and how you deal with it. Are you generous of spirit or do you hold back and conceal the intensity of your reality? Creativity flourishes in freedom and accelerates the breaking of chains that bind.
Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative, I hope you found something to your liking. Please follow the site or come back as you can. All the best to you as you endeavor to make the best of life. Create, be kind, be engaged, smile, and love as if it were all that matters because in truth it is.

Taken Over

You Are A Gift From The Hand Of The Creator COLOR

I am not much an outdoor person. Most of my pursuits are better done indoors. However, sometimes outdoor things, like a fallen oak tree, intrude into my life. I was fortunate enough to be at church when the tree decided to leave its preordained position and fall right into the spot where I usually park my Explorer.

Inconvenient, you see. I had to park the Explorer in the barn, where appropriately enough, I should have been parking it for the foreseeable past. I do not like carrying all manner of things back and forth over the extended distance (I tend to move house every time I go out), and when it gets dark that barn is black as pitch, and me, I am a bit afraid of the dark.

The tree, it was a full-grown oak, lay on the ground quite a while. (Really, it is still on the ground, just in a different arrangement.) I asked for help with it because being outside does not agree with my bronchitis. A week later someone comes up to me with a grin and a dismissive attitude and asks, “Why can’t you just drag the limb out of the way?” I explained that it was a tree. Still got a look.

I had tried to cut into the tree soon after it fell with an ax. The effort was wasted, but after being made light of, I decided to go examine it again. I found a place about half-way the tree that looked as if I might be effective with the ax. I do not know how you pray, but my aim with an ax is abysmal, so I had an audible talk with Jesus and asked him to guide my ax and help with the tree. My aim still was not perfect, but it was improved over the usual. I went inside and ate, looking at the small handsaw next to the refrigerator, I began to wonder if my Dad had left a bigger saw in the barn. I found one, with a cracked up handle and a rusted-over blade. The cracks necessitated gloves.

My idea was since I had cut about halfway down from the top and hit heartwood that maybe I could saw into the middle on both sides and twist the tree, equipped with a solid leveraging limb so that it broke apart. The idea worked, but when the tree came apart, the whole weight of it came with the roll. My arms were abraded and had I not been a water-skier and roller skater with well-developed balance in my youth, I would have sat down in the gravel. As was, I stumbled and strained my knees a little.

The tree even sawed apart was extremely heavy. I managed to roll, pull, push it somewhat out of the way.

You may ask, “What has this story to do with creativity?” Sometimes emotions can be used in creative ways to manipulate the world outside ourselves. Anger and determination were fueling my impulse to try something different with the blasted tree. I had to look at the problem differently to see how the ax could be used in a way that would accomplish my goal. Sharp objects are not usually friends of mine.

Prayer was involved. Some do not understand that involving prayer in even minor problems can help resolve them. Mine was my aim and my lack of belief that I was capable of dealing with my situation. I called Jesus out loud, granted I was alone in the woods, but sometimes hearing the words ourselves somehow works better. Maybe it is more effective in engaging the Holy Spirit. I do not quite understand it, but it works with affirmations too. Prayer is always a creative force, involving powers beyond ourselves. The idea to look for the saw in the barn had not occurred to me until I had my talk with Jesus. My brain was given more clarity.

I fixed the problem, which took tenacity and creativity, with some help from a Friend. Later, hours later, after dark had fallen, I realized I had lost my Fitbit while dealing with the tree. I prayed again, that the lost Fitbit would be found, and went out with two Maglites. I looked around some, of course, it was not lying in the open, would have been too easy. Nothing is easy. I went back to where I cut the tree. Under a pile of leaves, straw, and other debris from the tree, I saw a glint. It was the Fitbit. The waste had protected it from damage when the tree broke apart.

Tackle problems with prayer and with creativity on board. Very little exists we cannot do if we attempt creative solutions to our quandaries. I say everyone is creative, not just those in the arts, I also believe that all our situations beg the use of creativity.

As a prompt: Think of a time you used creativity to solve a real-world problem outside your sphere of normal creative endeavor. Now, write about the instance. Explore how you might apply imagination to other issues.

I am grateful:

  1. The tree is out of the drive, and I can load the Explorer more easily.
  2. The mower cranked on Friday, and I mowed the small yard.
  3. I found the lost Fitbit.
  4. I came up with a neat idea for a tee-shirt.
  5. Life is never boring.

I encourage you to keep a Gratitude Journal. When we look at the things for which we are grateful, our problems tend to become less all-consuming. We enjoy life more and become more tolerant of people and situations in which we have no control.

Remember, you are
Never alone, you are loved
And treasured by God.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Haphazard Creative. If you like, follow the site, or come back again as you can. Do not leave your creativity at home at your desk, easel, stove, wherever, take it with you into all the places you go. Find uses for creative ideas in everything you do. Be aware, be involved, share yourself and your love. Make the world you touch a brighter place because of your shining light. Smile, you might enlighten someone’s day. The world can be a gray and cheerless place, do your part to bring joy and happiness where you go. May all your dreams come to fruition, and all your hopes be sustained. God bless and keep you in every moment of every day.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

It Called For Haiku

Brown Teddy

If you have been with me awhile you know one of my favorite things to write is haiku. I will remind you that a haiku is a form of counted syllable poetry consisting of three lines that number five – seven – five syllables. In the original, haiku were usually nature poems. I have, over the years, adopted my own way of doing them, as long as the syllables add up, anything goes.

As a prompt, I recommend you write some haiku; however, you choose.

I had written two and a half dismal pages in my journal, and then on the new page, the haiku took over. As usual, everything about my mood got turned upside down. I  cannot ever remain in depression and create haiku. For me, this short form is a therapy. I do not really invite haiku, they just occur. So, enjoy.
1.
We have seen the stars,
We are the material
Making them shine bright.

2.
Nothing is beyond
Creativity’s power,
It brings life to life.

3.
You are not alone,
The universe cheers efforts
You make to succeed.

4.
When suicide seems
A viable solution,
Reach out, share your love.

5.
You! Never forget,
Life is love and love becomes
Reason and purpose.

6.
Creativity
Lodges within every soul,
Building life, a whole.

7.
It may not go right,
But failure is no reason
To desert your dreams.

8.
Just create something,
See where the making takes you,
Discover yourself.

9.
If you feel down, lost,
Grab paper and pen, see if
You find your way back.

See, there is no way to stay in the doldrums and write haiku. Try it, you will see.

I am grateful for the creativity God blesses each person with, that they may make the world a better place. I am also thankful for your visit here today. I hope you will follow the website by clicking the button or that you will come back soon. If you enjoyed this entry, take some time to peruse some of the other material here. The site is mainly devoted to creativity, and you might find some edifying ideas to inspire your own work. None of us lives in a vacuum, we are supported by each other. Love carries us through the best of times and those that are very difficult. Helping one another makes the whole stay together.

Remember, no matter what, there are people to whom you are a treasure, and your love for others maintains many peoples’ feelings of worth.

Be well. Create. God Bless You, Always.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Adventures in Technology

A lot of my world is tech. I am alone, and it keeps me company. The thing is my relationship with tech has always been fraught with disaster.

Tractors used to start up mysteriously when I got near, I know that is mechanical, but early tech.

Telephones rang, and I knew who was on the line before the phone was answered. Analog phones folks, not caller id. Now the handsets randomly turn on in their cradles.

I broke my share of watches, just by wearing them. It is not a lot better now. Sometimes my smartwatch loses its mind.

Calculators and cash registers would malfunction when I was around. The cash registers still happen. I usually prepare for something to go wrong when I am in line, I do not get in a hurry.

Computers, printers, scanners, our modern technology, I have struggled with them since 1991. If I had money for all the times components have malfunctioned, I would be wealthy. It is indeed a miracle I have not destroyed some of the machines. The computer I am using right now is an atrocity. It mangled its file system so severely on the first boot that even DELL could not fix it. I have a printer that loves to eat cardstock and photo paper. If I am fortunate and remember only to send one item at a time, sometimes it cooperates.

My cellphone, just today, decided as it streamed music, to play a few notes and jump to another song. I cleared the cache, more than once. It worked a few moments and began its rotation again. I pulled over, stopped, and cleared the cache again. This was not acceptable to the phone. So I restarted, even though it had updated and restarted during the night. Evidently, that was the proper propitiation.

Early this morning, in the dark I mean, probably around 2am, my Kindle gave me the error message that it was not connected to the internet. I opened the system tools and watched, the Kindle would scan, find the internet, connect, then the screen would go blank, and the process would repeat. How annoying! So, I turned off the Kindle and gave it time, restarted it. It began its little circus trick again. I reset the router, turned the Kindle off, waited for the cycle, turned the Kindle back on, and yeah howdy, there is the internet.

This morning the Artificial Intelligence decided to wake me up talking to me before my alarm went off. This was not a thing I set up. There was another time this week that the AI just began talking.

I wrote a review to go on Amazon of the book I just completed. Between the Kindle and the internet, something went wrong, and cyberspace ate my review. I hope it put it with all the other things it has swallowed over the years. I am quite sure it could compile it all into a rather large volume, like maybe the World Book Encyclopedia, Complete Set.

So hey, do not let your tech get you down. Remember you could be me.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan 😂

An Old Favorite – Updated

When I was a kid, before microwaves, in a household that pinched pennies until Mr. Lincoln wished he had never entered my mother’s clutches, the above was a regular item on the limited menu.

Fast forward to this future, and you have me, who despises cooking and turning on an oven in scorching temperatures.

I have adapted the dish to something microwave friendly. The ingredients are:

Place a number consistent with your appetite on a microwave-safe plate. If desired you may make slits across the weiners to keep them from bulging in the heat.

Add:

You may use any brands you like, these are those I had on hand. Distribute ketchup over weiners in the desired amount and thickness.

Lastly, add:

I am a cheese fiend, and this is my favorite binge. Place cheese slices over wieners and bed of ketchup.

Place plate with preparations in the microwave, heat for a minute twenty seconds, or until you decide the meal is done.

Serve with your choice of chips (if you like) and beverage.

I do not usually share cooking ideas, so if you like this, drop me a line.

Have a blessed day and stay safe.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Changes Spark Creation

Design Your Space

I wanted to make a standing desk because I rarely sit down, that is how I lost sixty pounds, but that is another tale. I thought about putting cement blocks under the legs of the table I was using, but I thought that would look terribly unappealing. Though I have few visitors, my sense of style would have been insulted.

There were plastic file holders and other assorted important junk on this bar-like extension of counter space, I moved all of it. I cleaned the surfaces and moved the technological equipment and various desk accouterments here. There are spotlights just over this space, and the area is much brighter than where I had worked on the table.

My willingness to explore creative endeavors has increased dramatically. I have programs of which I never took advantage nor learned to use correctly; now I have begun expanding my repertoire and horizons.

I encourage you to optimize your workspace. Proper lighting is essential, it will lift your spirits and make your work much more comfortable. I did not spend anything to make the changes which I made. I merely expended some cognitive resources and some time. You can do likewise.

We often think our creativity is unaffected by outside influences, but the evidence shows that the environment can positively increase productivity.

I hope you will consider this advice, as always, take what you can use and discard the rest.

Your visits to my website are genuinely appreciated. If you have thoughts to share, please leave a comment. May all you do be blessed and may you ever be safe.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I am totally messed up! Really?

You alone are you, and you are enough. There is no need to hide who you are nor strive for unachievable perfection. You are adequate in all your ways. You be you and let the world think what it will, for you transcend the world. You are magnificent and whole. Be yourself. Believe in yourself. Use your creativity to outshine the stars, realize yourself more fully than yesterday, and build your dreams. Treasure your ideas and be uniquely and entirely genuine. Do not fear! There is no need to worry! Your journey will carry you where you belong. Trust that even in the darkest hour you are being led into your good.

Advice to a friend, I share with my friends…

You cannot give up, you have family and friends who love you more than they could ever express. You have survived and thrived in situations people cannot even imagine, you are as strong as most and stronger than the rest. You are vibrant, generous, friendly, loving, lovable, funny, kind, beautiful, and good; the world needs you and more like you. Believe in yourself, believe you are Beloved, remember the Lord is with you, and Never, Don’t You Ever, Give Up!

DSC_0101

We Are So Much More

Growing wild in a world
Where trials seem like mountains,
And temptations insurmountable;
There is hope because we surely know
God loves us more than any creation,
And made us with greater love,
But look, see, even the weeds are beautiful.

Do not doubt your worth,
Do not hold down your head,
Do not tell yourself you are less
Than enough; you are purposed
For this time and place, a chosen one,
A Child of Most High God,
He gave you life, He builds your hope,
He knows your pain, He supplies fresh joy.

Every day you are given
Is a chance to enact agape goodness
To those traveling the same realms.
Lift up your face, set your shoulders,
Lighten your voice, settle your smile,
Claim your place as one blessed,
One Beloved, given to share Love.

I am grateful:

  1. Even in my darkest times, I am given positive words to share.
  2. Things are no worse than they are.
  3. Libraries are bastions of knowledge.
  4. I live in the hope of the resurrection, believing there is more than this life.
  5. My dog, Hope is still with me.
  6. I renamed Ko-Ko as Tribble.
  7. There are always little things to bring smiles and satisfaction.

 

As a prompt: Consider the weeds, write or create what you will.

 

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

 

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