Category Archives: Gratitude

The tempestuous soil

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This Soil I Call Home

They wonder why tearing down monuments rankles. Apparently, they do not know the history of this earth where we are bound. I only know a little, but I know the land is holy.

Once, tribes of indigenous peoples, later called Indians roamed this country. They battled among themselves in societal tribes. They lived, loved, hunted, died, made lives. Then all they owned, all they loved was taken, and they were left, bodies, bleeding into the soil once their heritage.

These conquering Europeans also brought criminals who they restricted and mistreated, tortured, letting some starve, others became indentured servants, used, abused, unpaid. Some finally won free but were still cast down, called trash.

Then industry rose and needed cheap labor, or labor unpaid. So ships brought cargoes of ebony people taken captives from their lands, forced to do the back-breaking, soul stealing work, making greatness by the labor of their hands.

A cry for freedom rung clear, a peal that would not be silenced. The nation, tore asunder, brother against brother, blood was shed. The ground cried out, flooded with scarlet rivers and elsewhere torrential streams of tears.

Other fights, other massacres occurred. A price was always paid in blood, for blood has ever been the sacrifice for freedom. The fighters, their names too numerous to recall, on both sides of the stories gave everything for who we are.

Whether right or wrong they paid, and it is we who should remember. We should let the monuments stand that we never forget how great is the price of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Least in tearing down, we awaken the hungry monster who destruction, war, and death, is named, and allow it to break loose drinking lifeblood again.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, January 19, 2019

I am always surprised by inspiration. It usually has no reason nor rhyme. It overtakes me in its own way and time.

For a prompt: Write or otherwise create about an issue that moves you, heart and soul. Be blunt, be real, let it show what you feel. When you access your creativity, you should be your most honest self. Share if you like. If not, allow the revelation to be yours alone.

I hope this suits you. If not, still come again. Have a blessed night.

 

May it fill a need

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Reach for Forever

You’re still here today,
Though last night held bitter dark
Which nearly took you,
You fought the fight and survived,
You will battle on again.

This war, it never
Ends, but sometimes the winning
Becomes easier,
You find someone to help you,
Becoming like miracles.

Sometimes you reach out
With a little faith, and feel
Heaven touching you,
God’s embrace empowering
You, through love, to carry on.

You are not alone,
There are those who are rising
To the challenges
Of fortifying against
Death’s shade in its onslaught.

Do not consign to
Darkness, a self so gifted
By Christ that no one
Like yourself exists or will
In all the records of time.

You who see yourself
Damaged, insignificant,
Unworthy of life,
Are a precious treasure, made,
Endowed with unique purpose.

Chase those dark shadows
Out of your existence, rise
With fresh found meaning,
Become the person you know
Grace made you to be, alive.

Arise, walk, for you
Have missions to accomplish
Of such importance
You are exclusively meant
To creatively succeed.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Prompt: If you will spend a few moments looking around you, then pick something and imbue it with some sliver of meaning, touching it with your creativity, you can make art or writing that might change your outlook. You might share it and wake someone to themselves in a new way they have forgotten or never noticed before.

You may fail to recognize it, but with your gifts and talents, the skills you have learned, you are an agent of change. Though change may cause fear it is the one constant in life. No matter where you are today, or even tomorrow, change will eventually exert pressure on you, to make you into a new being. You will still encompass who you are, but like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, you will leave what you were behind. You will carry an essence, but nothing will be quite the same.

If you have not done one lately, make a gratitude list. Here’s mine:

I am thankful:

  1.  I realized I need to read my own books more than those coming from the library. This because the books I purchase I need or want enough to invest.
  2.  My son, Alex, called and we had a good conversation.
  3.  I have done a little art lately.
  4. Themes were available for free.
  5. I have Tribble and Marbles to keep me company.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoyed your stay. If you like, follow Haphazard Creative, or come back when you wish.

All the best to you and yours. May God Bless and Keep You in All Times and through All Things.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Loss, New Grace, Conversation

In my time of absence here, I have been making an effort to recover. I lost Hope on October 10, after her battle with cancer. This is her last picture.

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On November 21, I went to the shelter, which was a new thing for me, and adopted Marbles. Marbles is a Plott Hound/Border Collie mix. She is a much bigger dog, with more energy than any I have had, and she is a challenge. She has helped get me out of my head some, which is an improvement. Tribble and I are adjusting to this new personality in our home.

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I would like to be able to say that the new puppy has made it all better, but that is a truism I cannot assert. She has made things different. I think the pain will be here for a while.

I hope all of you are having a fantastic holiday season.

I wrote this piece in my journal this morning and thought it worth sharing.

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The fitful nightmares
Visiting in deepest night,
Cannot live in light.

I am thankful:

  1. I had twelve wonderful years with Hope. She is free now of suffering.
  2. I have a new friend in Marbles, to help me with my journey.
  3. I did not awaken with a migraine today.
  4. I have some of the best friends one could hope for in a turbulent life.
  5. I read some outstanding books.
  6. I have learned life, while not always easy, is always filled with generous rewards.
  7. Love and hope remain even through the disasters of living.

As a prompt, write a mission statement of how your beliefs can lead you further on the paths of life you travel and help you deal with obstacles you encounter.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. I hope you found something edifying. If you like, follow the site or come again. I should be able to update somewhat more regularly going forward. My apologies to those who have missed me.

If life explodes your serenity, gather your love and hope, rebuild what is broken with faith that the future contains better experiences.

Be well and create something unusual at every opportunity.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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

Observation

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Life is a puzzle, endlessly morphing so pieces in place must be rearranged to come close to a resolution. Then the whole thing falls, coming apart. It must then be put together again. Or perhaps, life is a composition that arrives nearly complete in a maestro’s mind, but upon concentration digresses into separate notes with no continuity.

These are the days of individuals, communities, states, countries, and the whole of the world. Constant change, revolution, reorganization, reformation are the lot of humanity, both singularly and in mass. We are made to grow, create, become, and, these are processes of the destruction of knowns and the construction of theories, which we assimilate as the new knowns, which then must be replaced.

Those who explore, create, envision the future before the dissolution of the past, become the heroes and heroines of the present, rewarded with wealth and prestige, positions of power and authority.

Time is not, however, static, it flows, and current triumphs become novelties of yesterday. Chaos surrounds, summons us. We are invited to delve deep into its recesses, to plunder its treasures for our edification and enrichment, but the things we gain are ethereal, quickly resolving back into the turmoil from whence they arose. We may briefly conquer and harness chaos, the unknown, to our will, but it will tear away, and we must rejoin the chase.

Thankfully, over all these elements, the Lord, Jesus Christ, stands sovereign, and in His wisdom and power, constrains what would destroy all of us. We, the whole of human life, are protected by God. Though we live, blissfully unaware, our steps are marshalled and guided in ways needful for survival. I am most grateful for the Lord’s constant loving care.

© 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 😂

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