Category Archives: Prompts

Bytes, Bits, and Buffer Zones

Computers with their networks of streaming information arriving from everywhere take in packets of bytes, and sometimes they buffer because of traffic in their lines of supply, but usually, the experience is almost seamless. However, at times, the buffering becomes a period of waiting for we humans. In reality, all we perceive on screens is a translation of a series of ones and zeroes into creative forms we understand.

A human being taught language from birth and reading, writing, the arts soon after, may gather information from the distant past, created by persons long deceased, but not indeed expired because their thoughts, ideas, individual creativity live as words or images captured in forms brought into the future, our present.

These interpretations of being are unknown to us until we encounter them and ingest them as packets we find useful. As they sit waiting outside our experience, they buffer in time. They are extant, valid, and exert influence, but until we discover them and peruse their content, we are unaware of their gifts. We do not know the minds who built our present. We, nonetheless, are unacknowledged beneficiaries of the contributions to the intellectual universe we have inherited.

Our processes of thought, creativity, intelligence, faith are not merely our own but are buttressed by everyone who has voiced and recorded some personal understanding throughout history. Our world, our society, our very being cries out for us to learn the lessons of those who bequeathed the lives we live through the exploration, exhortation, creations they left behind.

Books, paintings, photographs, recordings, movies, architecture, monuments, anything created has lessons to teach us if we take time to decipher the message. These things we who are conscious must protect from the ravages of those who would destroy bits of the past’s treasure because it does not conform to their worldview or the fashion of the moment. Freedom of expression is a right for all and everyone, including those who lived before us, and in essence, created our culture and our present.

We do not live as islands, we are immersed in the flow of history. We are free to dip into the stream when and where we like, but what lies in the buffer zone also has a presence and exerts pressure on our now that we may not discern, but is no less real.

If you wish to “live forever,” create something. If you only choose to journal, to doodle, do that. Create a legacy, leave a history. Leave a record of who you are and what you have learned. Your experience may be what someone needs to witness in order to become who they are meant to be. We do not intuit the specific reasons for our being, but we learn, love, give, create and so we leave thumbprints on the walls of time. We are and we matter, there is meaning and purpose in our lives.

Nothing is wasted. God in His wisdom does not make mistakes. No matter where you have been, are, or in the future go, your life is a rare and beautiful thing. It is no accident you are here, all eternity conspires to bring forth your offering to the world.

Tell the doubts, fears, negativity there is no place for them to shelter within you. Do what you must even as you fight to be courageous. You have the lives of millions supporting you, and you may touch millions along your journey, even after you are gone. Create a memory that will last through ages, and spend love as if your supply is unlimited because, in truth, it is.

The light reflected
In your eyes from other stars
Shines forevermore.

To know oneself well
Reading and writing are musts;
Outlining the soul.

Purpose to become
The person your heart reveals
When falling in love.

Owe the world nothing
But give others all you are,
Let love be your guide.

Hide nothing so real
You fear it may become lost
In its translation.

When tomorrow dies
Abandoned by the dreamers
Hope will still survive.

Weak, broken, and torn,
The pages of your story
Will yet be written;
For isolated moments
Do not the ending portend.

An accident, no,
I believe there is reason,
Even little things
Have significant meaning,
God guides every action, word.

As a prompt, delve into the work of the past and see what it may teach you, then express what you have learned in word or image.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative. If you have found something, you enjoyed, please share with others, follow, and come back again soon. Blessings on you and all you set your mind to do. Create, love, be present, make your moments memorable. You have so much to give and share, never doubt you are precious and significant.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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

The Question IS The Answer

Asking

We each have secrets, stories we rarely share. Those things can prompt us to tears, or elicit smiles, upon a sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch. Some we hide because the pain is more than we can deal with comfortably, or because the pleasure is too precious to allow others.

These experiences, the answers to the questions why we are ourselves, are rich fodder for creativity. Sometimes we bury things under thick blankets of forgetfulness in our minds. If we dare to exhume the flesh and bones entombed, sometimes stories, paintings, essays, memoirs, tragedies, comedies, romantic novels can result. What are our secrets, but mysteries and thrillers that deserve a telling?

Did we act out once too often and alienate our best friend? Did we move to a new town, and never get over the home we left behind? Did we think about dying, or try our hand at suicide? Did we fall in love and learn our darling was not the person we adored? Did we want to travel, only to be stuck in our morning commute? Did the job we thought would solve all our problems become a nightmare with no escape? Did someone leave us desolate and alone? What about the dream that was better than we imagined? Who was that person we glimpsed, then met years later and became lovers? How is it we all have cell phones and are always connected, but we have lost touch with ourselves?

That was just brainstorming. What if? Why? When? How? Who? What? Where? Those are simple, but questions are best friends with creativity. Watch a toddler who is trying to understand the world. Questions are continuously on his or her tongue. Parents often wish they could shut down the constant curiosity, but we need to find it in our creative lives. We need to discover engrossing questions and create whatever may be our answer.

The question is the seed, germ, reason for bringing imagination to life. Maybe we are at work, and we wonder why things are always done a certain way, a change, a solution, could positively impact, maybe revolutionize our company. The most significant way to innovate, build resolutions, is the use of creativity after examining problems through extraordinary questions.

As a prompt: Take one of the mentioned questions or create your own and give life to your answer in whatever media you wish.

Thank you for sharing your day here on Haphazard Creative. I hope you will either click the button to follow the site or come here again soon. If you have comments or criticism, feel free to share in the comment section. As always, keep creating, and make your day the best you can. God Bless You!

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Making Time to Free Imagination

Creativity Thrives

Our lives are so busy, and we invite our cell phones, computers, tablets, Kindles, AIs and other technological wonders to notify and alert us of everything happening whether essential or just noise. We hardly leave our screens. It is a bit disconcerting to go to a restaurant where people are dining together and see them rather than engaged in conversation, sitting across from one another busily tapping on their cell phones.

We need to distance ourselves from devices for some bit of time each day. I am not anti-technology. I have ridden the wave as an early adopter since 1991. However, there is a need for us to have time to think and imagine with clarity. Everyone is creative, but not everyone allows time to find the expression of their creativity.

An excellent way to engage in some noggin time is to take walks. This is not about walking from the desk to the water fountain or break room, or the bathroom. Leisurely walks outdoors or even indoors without the interruption of devices give the brain space to make novel connections.

Some of our great creatives, the Transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, walked to generate ideas. Henry became a surveyor to support himself and continuously observed the natural world around him. He was not as successful in his writing and lecturing, as was Emerson, while alive, but he is now considered one of the linchpins of the Transcendental movement. Henry often wrote about what he had seen during the day on his walks far afield of his home. He also sketched. If you have not read Emerson and Thoreau, they are highly recommended.

We may think we have no time to break out and away from tech, but the rewards are great. We can explore plot lines, observe the symmetries of nature and turn them into works of art, we can generate ideas for essays, anything creative can be born in times when we give our brains free rein to create imaginative ideas.

If we have children, we can take them along. Let them run ahead or fall behind safely and carry on their delight with its giggles and exclamations. Then gather them close and walk together playing a game of silence, maybe see how long they can maintain quiet. Spending time like this with kids inoculates them with a love of movement and freedom that will fare them well later in life.

Time is something the creative person needs to set aside for thought. Maybe writing it into a schedule or on an electronic calendar will give a proper reminder. This is time to fill the well so when one tries to bring up a bucketful of ideas the supply has not dwindled to nothing.

As a prompt: Take some time to walk or to sit and imagine without the constant distraction of technology. This enables visits to universes of creativity that cannot be reached in the busyness of every day.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I hope they encourage or inspire you. Please, click the follow button, or come again as you can. Your comments and criticisms are always welcome. God bless and keep you always. May you find all you need to create the worlds and life you wish.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

A note of explanation: The ideas, writings, and photos found here are my creations. I do not use photo stock. My interests and views are wide-ranging, but I communicate as myself.

 

What We Remember Is Ours

Inspire with Masonic Lodge

This building was a vintage Masonic Lodge, it was also used as a meeting place for various groups in our community. Someone in their deviousness, arsonists, burned it down. The citizenry of the area came together and rebuilt it, though I have no photos of the new construction.

Often, our memories lay dormant, unconsidered, but they are gifts that may fire our imaginations with inspiration. Creativity hides behind the veil where the present meets past. We can explore memory for treasure to use in the present.

A photo from childhood may contain the germ of a story, relevant today. A song may remind us of a time we had let slip away but can be used as the setting for a drawing or a novel.

We are time machines, and our minds contain worlds. Creation is our default parameter, it makes our lives impact others in ways we may be unaware.

As a prompt: Find a photo and let it loose your creative imagination.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

 

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