Process

Occasionally, I am asked how I maintain my creativity and output. The answer is not easy to give. I do not fully understand it myself, but there are things I practice.

I choose to create every day. Writing is what I do most often. I keep a journal that catches much of the produce of my thought. It is not a personal diary or a planner, but a book of ideas. I keep it in longhand.

At times I have no desire to write, but I do it anyway. I am aware that all I create will not be great or even good. I am comfortable with writing poorly at times because I can edit that out. Getting words to flow is the goal. If I skip days, a dam develops, and priming myself is very hard.

For me, writing is the constant of my lifetime. I began at a young age and have continued working with words no matter my situation. It is like eating, I do it to survive.

To inspire me, I read everything, and each day. I study reference and craft books. I read fiction, non-fiction, scripture, devotionals, newspapers, magazines, professional journals, biographies, poetry, various pieces on-line, and anything else that comes before me.

I rarely watch television or video. I have an extreme aversion to advertising, which is inescapable with television, so I avoid it.

I listen to a wide variety and large quantity of music. When I work, I often have it playing though I love quiet too.

My vision is that no subject is so dull it cannot be covered in writing. Surprising results can be achieved writing about the seemingly mundane. A word can be the basis of a poem or story. The life of the mind, a task, a visual, an emotion, an idea, anything is material.

After years of writing, I realize something I believe of keen interest, may appeal to no one else. An essential part of maintaining creative practice is distancing one’s satisfaction with the work from the results. If no one reacts to an effort, it is not an indication it is unworthy. It only means at this moment it did not draw attention.

Creation is never wasted. Skill and definition require training in methods and practice. All words lead toward correct composition. Labor is not done in vain. Talent must be honed to become stronger, better.

I keep producing because I love people, and I hope to encourage and inspire. Often I am unsure of my offering, but words manifest, so I capture them.

I create a lot because I see it as a good practice. The process must progress to accomplish any success.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

It Ain’t Over

In December of 2013, I needed a watch. I had a Samsung Galaxy S3, but I have always needed time at hand because I do not do time. I ordered an Invicta from Amazon, and it was damaged when I got it. I saw something somewhere that the Samsung Gear would be released in December. It would have a pedometer.

At this point, I weighed in over 200 pounds. I found out the date of the Gear release knowing it would sync with the S3, and I went that day to Best Buy and got one. That changed my life.

I used the pedometer and an app called MyFitnessPal and journaled in a notebook each day. By the end of 2014, I lost over sixty pounds.

Losing my mother and my beloved Hope caused extreme stress and threatened all I had done. More recently, I have fallen back into my binging due mostly to depression and feeling less than worthy. I have gained some weight. Now when I need support most, MyFitnessPal has begun predatory pop-up ads. I will not deal with advertising. I took the app, after almost seven years, off my devices. I still walk, lots of days over 20,000 steps. The pain I experience makes this a trial.

Now, I am not counting calories for the first time in ages. I know what to do. I am trained. So, I am working this in a new way. If I can avoid the binging, I will lose back down, but I am a sweet nut. Nutella, Airheads, Peppermint Patties, Hershey’s Chocolate, we could go on, binging is hard to give up.

Understand, I have worked so many programs since I was a teen. I know nutrition, I know exercise. Most of us do, the thing is staying stabilized emotionally so we can work the loss. Eating is comfort, consumption is companionship, food is the reward. This is a battle for our lives. Make no mistake, fat cripples, and obesity kills.

Today, I wanted to drive to Douglasville, go to Dairy Queen, and have a Large M&M Blizzard. I had a headache because I was craving so hard. I took a nap. I later made a glass of Almond Milk with Pure Honey, mixed and mixed and mixed. I did not have that over 1000 calories of Blizzard today.

It is the small victories added up over time that win the war. I am going to take that frigging hill again. You can too. We should never die young.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Many Tidings

In life, it seems, there are often many things of which to be downcast over. I have my moments of despair. In living with my condition, I find I must find novel ways to lift myself beyond the particular tar pits which present a snare.

Often writing is my principal weapon, trying to create something of a more lucid, lighter air always presents an enormous challenge. There are times the conviction overwhelms my soul that there is no talent or wisdom within on which to draw. Yet, I cannot forsake the words, lines, for they will seek me out and become mine.

I have not been into my town or seen a human in the flesh since March 14. It is not unusual for me to go for some weeks without leaving my redoubt, but this is the longest ever. I must break this soon. I did not realize how even speaking with strangers had such a positive effect until this restriction.

I occupy my time. I thought I would work against the mess here, but I, as often, have no inclination to do so. I make small inroads, but unlike the wholesale change, others might affect, I avail little.

Time is always erratic, but in the pandemic, it has become bizarre. I have no idea when it is most of the time. Confusing days, hours, minutes, and when I do mark them, they run strangely.

Had I known how the world would be besieged, I would never have chosen to do a 2020 Creativity Project in which I am, of my own volition, served with the duty of working here each day. I fear I may fall short of inspiration and encouragement to share. Somedays, I want to hide in the rushes in a dark corner of my cave and make nothing.

Enough. I love this too. It is what I do. Having lost my copy editing hobby job, at least temporarily, I have plenty of moments to follow obscure trails within the country of my mind.

I expect this will not be a popular post, but I need to get some thought of what life is now into permanent form, The internet lives forever, or at least until the grid ceases.

When tucked away inside
Do more than just survive,
Create something, thrive.

*****

Nothing can hold us down
If we build each other up
With encouragement and love.

*****

We all belong
Because we are here,
Beloved and precious.

*****

The Earth is the Lord’s,
We are only visitors –
We should use love, care.

*****

Each time when we talk
The words come near emerging,
But they sip away.

*****

No one walks into
The distance without caution,
Life may be forfeit.

*****

These skeleton words
May build a structured body,
Or fall waste apart.

*****

Levity may lift
Spirits a while, but these times
Try the strongest souls.

*****

Every day is so strange;
Different in challenges,
Unique in its gifts.

*****

No one understands
How work arrives without plan,
We create at will.

*****

A bird in a tree
Longs to rise into the sky,
Our dreams also fly.

*****

I hope all is well with every one of you. I hope you are finding joy in this disruption. Maybe we needed a time-out to reprioritize what we do. I do not believe even something as troublesome as this pandemic will only have an adverse effect. I think great good can come from it.

I apologize for the lateness of this posting. It has been an unusual day.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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Ever So…

My house is somewhat
Unacceptable, a mess,
But it is also
Home, where I can be, do, dream,
The magics living inside.
I have my treasures
Which no one else so measures,
But they keep me here
On Earth where it is hard to
Want to be sometimes for me.
I am alone here,
But my house delivers welcome
When I need holding,
All life encapsulated
In this home where I create.
My body, my home,
Tattered, threadbare, torn, worn, wraps
Me into this living
All the pain, I overcome,
My house shelters, helps, supplies,
It is so peaceful
Here within these careful walls
The dogs and I are
Safe and have space enough to
Enjoy being within my house.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

The prompt at Prompted Positive Poetry today is “My House.”

Lucky?/Unlucky?

Sometimes we believe living
Alone is an unlucky state,
All the hype feeds our conception,
It is accurate for some, at times,
But being alone can give space/time
To discover the self, independent,
Outside the other with only one
To know we are adequate and find
The purpose of who we have become;
Sometimes it takes being by ourselves.
We stare in the mirror and see our
True reflection, not the projection
Filtered through other eyes with
All the bias contained in another
Mind which may be doing calculations
We cannot see in our recasting,
Addition/Subtraction, Multiplication/Division
Are always trickier when someone else
Does the equation, maybe in the work
We miss important steps or carries.
Even if being alone is extremely temporary
It can give us insight that leads us
To be the better persons we wish to be
Giving us desire and passion to
LOVE
Infinitely better than we ever have before.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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Tuesday’s prompt for the PAD Challenge on Poetic Asides was Lucky/Unlucky. I got some rocket fuel (Coffee), which I usually avoid, and so I have developed this poem.