Category Archives: Biography

Doubt: A Reconstructing Power

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There are times in every person’s life when doubts besiege the mind. I am plagued with this often. I have learned to, if not welcome it, at least to deal with it.

Doubts come about relationships, faith, decisions, talents, gifts, finances, health, morals, honesty, actions, skills, any area of life can be invaded.

As a creative, imagination may make doubt seem more devastating than its reality. All the possibilities and probabilities of failure come like puppies to an offering of steak. The work is to manage all the errant thoughts and dispel as many as one might.

There are times when merely redirecting the mind to something else will enable clarity. Sometimes reaching out to a stabilizing influence, someone who merits trust, and discussing the doubts can free one from unnecessary fears. Sometimes doubt and its partner, fear, are deeply entrenched and require a great effort to depose. Such a battle is beyond the will, mind, and heart. It involves the soul and powers not easily fought. Prayer is a necessity, and enlisting others in prayer can be efficacious.

When confronted with doubt we are often made aware of areas of weakness we had not previously recognized. It can illuminate parts of our lives that need bolstering. If we doubt the sincerity of a relationship, we can gently investigate the fears and seek reassurance. When we question our skills, we can take stock, and perhaps ask someone we respect to evaluate how we are doing. When faith becomes a battleground, we may call upon God to more fully reveal His presence in our lives, for Christ is never far from we children. These and such situations tend to reignite our passions, inflame our creativity, and reconstruct the mental edifices that support our lives.

Doubt though a shadow gift can build us up and make us stronger. From strength, we can lend service to others who find themselves in like circumstances. Therefore do not so much see doubt as an enemy as a remodeler, reconstructor, that may be used to a useful purpose.

We are always able to take contrary situations and turn them to benefit if we remember that we are never forsaken, never alone.

God is forever present. Conquer your doubts and fears.

As a prompt, consider your misgivings, write an action plan to deal with the most pressing of them.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Excellent Example For Our Times

I just finished The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King. I want to encourage you to read it.

There is a message Mr. Fred Rogers spoke in the event of a tragedy that I think in tumultuous times like the current ones could well be remembered by all of us.

“Look for the helpers.”

If we put our focus on those who are making a difference and exhibiting love, kindness, generosity, care, giving, maybe we can better cope. Perhaps we can follow their example and be instruments of constructive change amidst destabilizing conditions.

I was not one of the kids who watched Mr. Rogers a lot; I liked Captain Kangaroo. Television has never had a significant draw on me. The times I did see Fred in his neighborhood, I always came away feeling special.

After reading about his life and how he became who he was, I am in awe.DSC02293

Creativity, Being Unique

God Is

A maxim I live by is, everyone is creative. I believe creativity is a functional portion of every person’s creation in God’s image. You can look at the world, its creatures, its objects, all we humans, the expanse of the universe and you are instantly in communion with the nature of the Creator. We are endowed with talents, abilities, attributes, and learn and acquire extraordinary skills. Our bodies and beings are masterpieces of complexity.

There are some who deny they have creativity. Often society’s focus on the arts and literature, liberal arts, beguile people into thinking there is nothing creative about them. This is a mistaken attitude. The mother who cooks tasty meals that nourish her family on a slender budget is using creativity. The man who can almost magically diagnose and repair a vehicle that helps transport him to his employment is creative. The accountant who juggles figures to make the best of a tax return is creative. The store clerk who manages to keep a positive attitude in spite of the negativity of some customers and the standing for unending hours uses creativity to heighten his or her mood and keep smiling. The friend who listens attentively and encourages or inspires someone to go on living is sensitively using creativity. The internal monologue that each of us participates in so much of the time is creative, it helps us maintain equilibrium in a world which is often fraught with problems and distress.

Because each of us is creative, we are indubitably unique. Every one of our lives is special. No one else can achieve what we can, nor has anyone ever been or will ever be exactly like us. Through our creativity, we can nourish love in the world and help others understand their importance. When we make something, repair something, say something original and uplifting, help someone, exhibit generosity, we are putting action to the creative and loving spirit which animates us. Maybe we cannot be on stage, or place something in a show, or use perfect elocution, but what we can do is so crucial, it can change the world.

Do not denigrate yourself, realize you are a vital part of eternity’s plan. Your handprints and footprints are indelibly stamped on creation with your personal signature. What you create, what you restore, your legacy is an influence that will reverberate through time. Celebrate the gifts, talents, abilities, and skills you accumulate and know you are a precious creative being who contributes to the good of all.

Love is most important, and creativity helps express love. Go into all the world and be you, you are needed, you may not realize it, but one day you will understand.

 

As a prompt, think about how your creativity is a blessing to yourself and others. Make a plan of how you can more closely incorporate creative acts and works into your life.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you found something that made you think and I hope you will follow the website or visit again. If you know someone who might benefit from the work here, be sure to share.

God Bless and Keep You, All Your Days and In All Your Ways.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, September 29, 2018

Let Love Survive, Thrive

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I just want to clear something up. If someone loves something or someone and it does not immediately detrimentally affect you, let them have their love. If there were more love in the world, our planet would not be in the mess it is.

You may not love that, you may even hate it (I hope not because hate is destructive to those who retain it), but there is little enough happiness and joy in life that you in your selfishness should not try to destroy someone else’s treasure.

In America, we are free to pursue our dreams, no matter what they may be. Stealing aspirations is an awful business because it wounds the heart and the soul. We cannot all be rich and famous, or even worldly wise successful, but we all have things we hold dear and to stomp your footprints all over someone’s love is shameful.

A little love, a little understanding, a little knowing that everything is not your business would go a long way to healing the divisiveness we are experiencing.

Maybe a love means nothing to you, but to the one who holds it, it is life and meaning.

To those whose dreams are trampled, pick them up, embrace them, continue in your love, and if you can, forgive the damage. Bitterness, hate, unforgiveness are not your destiny, you are a creative being of light and love. When you nurture your dreams, you nourish existence and the best of life.

Love, understanding, acceptance, tolerance are guides we may reach for in our quest to become the best persons we can be.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Friday, September 28, 2018

As a prompt, consider how your loves improve your outlook on living and how you can encourage others to nurture what feeds their soul. Make a plan or an expression of loving purposefulness.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. Follow the site if you like, or come back when you have time, and if you enjoy the content, consider sharing the address with others or linking it.

Comments are always welcome, I love to find out your thoughts.

God Bless You! May creativity and love fill your days.

When You Catch Me Smiling

I Smile

I smile not because
Everything is going right,
But because I know
This time is not all there is;
I want to encourage you.

If you know me well,
I want you to remember
We can face the future
Without taking today’s pain,
Making it tomorrow’s sorrow.

Those less acquainted
My smile can show there is hope,
Even when most things
Seem shuffled and much confused;
Love still survives in our world.

Maybe my smile can
Remind you of your possibilities,
Opportunities,
Life is not done with us yet;
There exists joy to share, happiness.

The smile holds purpose,
We cannot reach to the stars
If our attitudes are
Bogged down in the mire, mud,
Of disillusioned negativity.

You are a being
Of unlimited creativity,
My smile reflects all
The wonders I see in your eyes;
You inject beauty into life.

If you ask I may
Tell you there are some problems,
But I smile in spite;
Because the darkness cannot
Hide that which is imbued with light.

So do not think smiles
Mean everything is perfect,
Smiles just carry us
Past trouble, onto a path
Where we can win almost every fight.

I smile not because
Everything is going right,
But because I know
This time is not all there is;
I want to encourage you.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Friday, September 28, 2018

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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

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