Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Cover Up

tolkienI wish folks would stop asking me about my favorite book.  Can a parent pick a favorite child?  (Well, even if parents could pick, they usually won’t say).

But, I will say that I have book covers that I love more than others.   One example is the cover of the Ballantine mass market imprint of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring trilogy.  These came out in the 1970’s and depict on the cover watercolors painted by J.R.R. Tolkien himself.

As much as I appreciate the rich art work of other cover artists (Alan Lee comes to mind) and as much as Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Middle Earth fills my mind’s eye, I always come back to these editions of the LOtR saga.  My copies of these paperback editions are crumbling and disintegrating,  and I have replaced them with subsequent editions both in print and on e-book.  But I cannot bring myself to pitch out these editions.

I think the main reason for this is that I believe that these paintings are the closest we are ever going to get to seeing what Middle Earth really looks like — images straight from the creator’s imagination.

So in answer to the question:  do I judge a book by its cover?  I guess I do.

ljg (c) 2013


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A Little Deja Vu

crystal ballI passed up the last two Daily Post prompts because they did not really resonate with me. Today’s  prompt doesn’t really either but I cannot afford to go too many days without posting or I’ll lose momentum.

So the question of the day: “Have you ever experienced déjà vu?”   Yes, I have — a couple of times as a child.   I don’t recall the circumstances too clearly but I do recall I was just doing ordinary things.   The clearest memory was when I was on an athletic field in junior high and I had this overwhelming feeling that the conversation I was having there with my classmate was one that I had had before.   Quite frankly, I may have.  After all I was in a junior high P.E. class that met every day, on a field that I was on nearly as often, and I can’t imagine that as a junior high age child that my topics of conversation were all that diverse.  It was probably a conversation that I had had before.  So maybe it really wasn’t déjà vu?”  

All I know is that I felt outside myself for a few seconds, looking at this conversation as if I was not a part of it.  It was an odd feeling that I have not experienced as an adult.  If it was not déjà vu then what was it?  Maybe these types of disruptions of consciousness are common to children, but we grow out of them before we have time understand them fully and find a purpose for them in our lives.

If that is the case, then that is a real shame because it was an extraordinary feeling.

ljg (c) 2013.

Image: “Crystal Ball”


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Future Tense

When I look to the sky I cannot help but look to the future.  When I was a kid, it was all about the space race, and the future was in stars.

Riding on that feeling, I took an astronomy course in college way back then — when Pluto was still a planet and going to the moon was still fresh and new.

I had access to a reflector telescope with a motor drive. I borrowed my dad’s 35 mm slr, mounted it to the eyepiece of the telescope, and I opened it up for a very long exposure. Fortunately, I was able to synchronize the telescope’s motor to perfectly track the moon in order to keep my long exposure from turning into a big old blur.

Here is one of those photos I took.   That moon is still looking back at me and calling me to the future…..

the moon by me -- ljg

LJG (c) 2013

Prompted by the Daily Post Photo Challenge of the Week


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Bedtime Stories

greek myths

I cannot say that I had one particular favorite book as a child. I can say that I read a lot — and a mean A LOT — when I was a child. My dad would take me to the library every few days and he would comment on the fact that I kept checking out some of the same books over and over. One book I kept checking out was D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire. It was (and still is) a beautifully and vibrantly illustrated book. I liked this book so much that when a re-issue came out a few years ago, I bought it.

I like reading mythology and archetypes of Greek gods and goddesses sometimes emerge in my stories, and to this day I keep fantasizing about illustrating my own children’s book of tales.

So I guess I can say that this book has had an influence on my creative endeavors.

Prompted by the Daily Post

ljg 2013


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Riding the Energy Waves

The question of the day has made me pause and think (always a good thing, I guess).

Do I like crowds and parties or peace and quiet?  I don’t really like this question since it suggests that I must do one or the other.

I won’t say that I don’t like crowds since I have no problem going to events where there are large groups of people; for example, going to the theatre, sporting events or outdoor fairs pose no problems for me.   However, at those events I am not expected to engage with anyone from the crowd.  I find that when I am at a large, loud, crowded party where I must socially engage with a large number of people, I end up feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, often times coming down with a headache.  In such environments, I have found myself fleeing to a room where I can just sit and quietly converse with a small group of guests.

At the risk of sounding all airy-fairy-woo-woo, I think I can say that I may have some empathic tendencies.  It may be that in crowds I can put up a defense to block out the waves of energy from strangers.  However, I may have more difficulty riding the waves of energy coming from too many people I know all at the same time.

I’ll have to give this question a little more thought and do a little experimentation the next time I find myself with a large group of people.

Until then, “Shields up!”

ljg 2013


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Menagerie

Today’s Daily Post asks “Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?”

siamese paintingI have many animals in my life, but none live with me at the moment.  Over the years I have had dogs, cats, a tortoise, chickens, a cockatiel, a white dove, a peach-faced lovebird, several budgies, hamsters, and lots of tropical fish.

Now I live in a tiny apartment on a busy street and am not allowed to have pets.  But I am, and have been for many years, an “auntie” to many friends’ and relatives’ pets.

I think I may be partial to cats.  When I go to friends’ homes, I spend more time playing with the cats then visiting with my friends.  In fact, I think it is probably a good thing that I am not allowed to have pets since I may end up being one of the those crazy “cat ladies” with a dozen cats in a small apartment.

Yes, I think being a “pet auntie” works out best for me.  I can spoil my friends’ pets with treats and affection and not have to worry about cleaning litter boxes, paying vet bills, and keeping fleas out of the house.

I think I have it pretty good.

ljg (c) 2013

Watercolor painting, “Siamese Cat” by me, many, many years ago.


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Lunchtime

The Daily Post Photo Challenge of the week is “Time to show us your lunchtime. This might seem like a pretty narrow task, but if you think of “lunchtime” as a theme, there are lots of places you can take it.”

Okay then.  Here’s the photo:

oatmeal

The poor resolution of the photo is a result of taking it on the fly with a poor camera.  However, I think this is in keeping with the theme of today’s lunchtime experience:  my lunch was made on the fly.   I was short on time this morning so all I could manage was tossing a pouch of instant oatmeal and some dried fruit and nuts in a sack.

This exercise has gotten me thinking about why so many of us like to share something as mundane as what we eat with everyone on our social media outlets.  I’ve heard critics moan “Who cares what so-and-so had for dinner?”

I have a theory about this:  there is something fundamental about “breaking bread” and communing with others at the table.  Every culture, every community, every family has food rituals that involve other people.   This is one of the most basic of human activities.   So it stands to reason that this activity should flow over into the virtual world.  We share pictures and comments about what we cooked and what we ate just as we would if we were in our own kitchens with a group of friends or family.

I only wish I had brought something better for lunch today to share with you all.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

ljg (c) 2013


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Ghostwriter

The Daily Post asks “If you could have any author –living or dead – write your biography, who would you choose?”

Since I have never really done anything interesting in my whole life other than work to survive, the author to write about my life would need to be a master of character development.  The first person to come to mind is Barbara Kingsolver.

I propose this author because I am currently reading her latest novel, Flight Behavior.   This novel is very short on action and long on description of the complex internal struggles of the main character:  a young poor Appalachian woman who has never been outside her state and lives only to provide for her children.  The woman has an extraordinary thing happen to her and the bulk of the novel is centered on how she handles this thing and grow beyond her circumstances.  This main character, by most standards, lives a mundane life — as do I — but is moving forward — as I hope to do. Through Ms. Kingsolver’s handling of this character’s life and growth, this woman has become “real” to me.

Maybe this author can make me “real” for others.

ljg (c) 2013