Category Archives: Gratitude

Meaningful Investment

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I am disheartened by the continuing destruction of media in America. My primary interest is print, and the related consigns, but much is the same across all disciplines. Publishing, books, poetry, magazines, newspapers, photography, art, have been my loves almost from the time I left the cradle.

I remember the few books I had during childhood as treasures. The photographs came back after weeks, and were a surprise, did I get the shot or something other? Humpty Dumpty magazine was read repeatedly and the puzzles all done. School newspapers on pink paper smelling of mimeograph ink with a poem or two of my own were the height of achievement. Reading about the health hazards of smoking, in Reader’s Digest, and other concerns kept me somewhat abreast of the world. Having to get the AJC because we did current events once a week, was a pleasure, otherwise, I would never have seen a newspaper.

There is a great deal of media on offer these days for no cost if one knows how to circumnavigate the paywalls. I understand the desire to save money, I acknowledge spending on media may seem unwarranted, unnecessary, and even a luxury. There is an unfortunate lack of vision in that attitude.

For writers, artists, photographers, editors, any creatives to continue in their respective fields they must be paid. Living costs money for them just as for executives, health-care professionals, teachers, legal representatives, politicians, engineers, and any other profession we might name.

If media outlets are not receiving money through advertising, subscriptions, or sale of publications, the compensation paid to creatives continues to shrink. The more talented creatives seek other avenues to make revenue and the overall quality of media available degrades until there is little veracity in what is produced.

Generally, if a creative produces intellectual property, there is an expectation of payment. If as creatives, we are not investing in the properties of others, how are we to expect others to finance us?

Invest in media for the future of media, the fewer funds go into media, the more significant the lack of truth presented will become. The people, particularly creatives, need to save the press through an infusion of time, talent, and money. If we don’t, who will? If not now, when? There is a tipping point where a downward spiral cannot be stopped. Let us never reach that point.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

I am grateful:

  1. I have recently realized that one of the groups I listened to when younger have a more extensive repertoire than I was aware.
  2. Reading continues to carry me places I never would go, introduces me to characters I would never know, teaches me things I would otherwise fail to learn.
  3. Writing continues to be a pleasure in my life, though I have doubts about the worth of my expressions.
  4. There is currently food in the house.
  5. The dogs are doing tolerably well.

Blessings…

Computers connect worlds of people who never knew they needed one another but give each other hope.

Books can transport us from the mundane to the fantastic, or teach us how to love one another.

Phones can bring the voice of a loved one from far off, up close and personal.

Music can lift the spirit when everything seems to have fallen apart.

Video can show us things we might not discern without its illumination.

Art can bring us joy and teach us strength.

People, God places in our lives to teach us to love, give, believe, grow, hope, become who we are.

 

The Cuckoo Clock

It was a gift
From my son
When he was
A Marine,
Brought authentic
From Germany
Early in his enlistment.

It stayed in its box,
A fateful bird caged,
Because mother
Would not deign
To have it on a wall
In our common areas;
My encroachment.

Freed, I brought
It to a wall, hung
It where it might
Arbitrate day and night,
The hours which
Pass with sylphlike
Swiftness away.

Now, it seems
I am ill-equipped
To keep it enlivened
Because the chains,
I often fail to pull,
And it stops
A jarring silence.

Still, as often as
I may, I set it
In motion, loving
Its ticking,
Its cuckooing,
The comfort of
Its company.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Sunday, March 3, 2019

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As a prompt: Explore your relationship with media and evaluate whether you should make changes in your expenditures on consumption to bring you goals for creative compensation in line with your desires for quality. Perhaps, a written Pro vs. Con evaluation would help you come to a valid conclusion.

But my smile still stays on… – Freddie Mercury of Queen  The Show Must Go On

Experimental

The Poem

An invitation
To meet myself
In the free space
Offered by a page,
And perhaps bring
Some others along
To join in a celebration
Of life’s incantations.

Who knows what dragons
Might be conquered
By an apt word proffered
At an inauspicious moment,
Suddenly made perfect
In lines unschooled,
Unmetered, but found
Very appropriately.

The dream crystallized
In verse may be that one
Which settles in a wayward heart
Giving fulsome courage,
Reviving will once trampled,
By the rampage of harsh
Realities laced with death,
Resurrecting abiding hope.

Yes, it is meager,
Only words, but words,
Words hold the power
To encourage change,
Evoking freedom from
The penalties of chains,
No one can stop words
No boundaries can jail them.

The poem is innocuous
Unlikely to foster ire
But it carries the soul
Of desire untethered
By earthen fetters
It rises above language
Whispering on the air,
Sometimes unknown, yet bare.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Sunday, March 3, 2019DSC00111

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

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