Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Being Struck by a Moment of Clarity

The Daily Post prompts us to write about  “clarity” and how it enabled us to solve a problem.  The other prompt was to depict in a photo the notion of “being awestruck”.   I did not have a moment of intellectual clarity where I worked out a problem,  but I did have an odd experience this week having to do with literal clarity and being struck by a visual sensation (maybe not “awestruck” but definitely unusual and intense).

I went out of town a few days ago.  It has been quite a long time since I have been on such a road trip.   As we were driving up the coast,  I began to notice the colors of the hills, sky and sea.  The more I looked,  the more the colors seemed to become clearer and intensify.  Furthermore, the play of light and shadow on the land and sea seemed to be actually shimmering and vibrating.   Everything seemed to be surrounded by a luminescence.   I had never experienced anything like this.

This effect may simply have been some optical illusion brought on by unusually warm and dry weather.  I think most likely that I have been trapped for so long in a concrete-colored urban setting that my mind started dancing when it met the long absent colors of nature: blue-violet, azure, brilliant green, and shades of umber and tan.   The optical center of my brain overloaded.

The lesson I learned is that I need to get out of town more often.    🙂

Here are some of the colors that reacquainted themselves to me:

malibu coast small

sommers house 1 small

hills small

tree on hill small

camarillo valley small

ljgloyd (c) 2013

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Festivus

dancing girls smallI do celebrate Christmas with all the traditional trappings and for all the religious reasons, and  I don’t want to try to improve on what already is tried-and-true.

However, I have on many occasions thought about what it would be like to create a holiday:   a Festivus — but not as a festival for the “rest of us,” but rather it would be a Festival for “All-of-Us”.

It would not be the  squashing together of customs from disparate holidays, but a cohesion of the common concepts behind certain holidays.   My Festivus would be three days long with the last day being on the winter solstice.  Each of the three days would be dedicated to one of these particular concepts.

Day 1 of Festivus:  The Day of Reflection.   Everyone would find an individual quiet place to meditate and reflect upon the blessings received during the past year and to focus on ways to improve oneself in the coming year.  Each person may partake of a full or partial fast of either food or some other indulgence.   The fast is entirely voluntary and is not required.   Think of this day as a coming together of the ideas behind Lent and Thanksgiving.   The theme of the day is Peace.

Day 2:   The Day of Reconnection.   Families and friends gather to prepare food for the next day’s celebration.   They would typically gather in the kitchen of a family matriarch (but men are expected to participate in the food preparation too).  As the food is prepared, stories about departed relatives are shared so that all members of the family — living and dead — can be a part of the day.    The main requirement of the Day of Reconnection is that each family unit must invite at least one person from the local community who does not have a family to join in the day’s activities.   This person is considered an honored guest and is also invited to join the family at the next day’s celebration.   Gifts are not given in order to keep the focus on people, not things.   The theme of the day is Love.

Day 3:  The Day of Renewal.     This is a day of communal celebration.  The purpose of the day is have fun.   This day begins by participants taking some of the food prepared the day before to the poor in the community.   The community then joins together in a common area (perhaps a neighborhood park) to partake of a day of eating, drinking  (non-alcoholic drinks are encouraged, but car keys are taken away from all just in case), singing, dancing, story-telling,  and game-playing.    The end of Festivus is marked by the lighting of a giant bonfire at midnight and to welcome the new year.   The theme of the day is Joy.

The Day After:  Hangovers are tended and clean-up is initiated.

So when I am named Empress of the Universe my first decree will be the inauguration of my vision of Festivus.

Prompted by the Daily Post.

ljgloyd (c) 2013