More messing around with Photoshop manipulation: a more “painterly” rendering……
lgj (c) 2015
The simile that life is like a baseball game has become a bit of a cliche’. However, this may be because the comparison is an appropriate one. For example, how many of us have risked stealing a base only to get tagged out by that baseman standing between us an our goal? We try to make changes to the quality of our lives only to encounter naysayers and crazymakers who trip us up. Sometimes we are inclined to stay on first base and never take that risk of making a change.
I have encounter this many times in my life. When I decided to pursue a different spiritual path than my extended family, I met with resistance. When I decided to go to college right after high school instead of going to work, I was told I was being lazy. When I decided I wanted to be a writer, I was told that I was being weird. And now as I am trying to do things to save my life, I have heard the terms “masochistic”, “not healthy” and a few others being pitched at me. These barbs may seem harmless and all in good fun, and one may be inclined to think, “What’s the big deal?” Let me tell you: the messages are subtle and all aimed to sabotage.
What possesses the people who know us and presumably care about us to say those things? It might be that when we attempt to change, we shake up the status quo of THEIR lives and make them feel uncomfortable. Maybe they just like being mean. Who knows?
But what I do know is that when you are trying to make progress in your life, you will have to deal with these people. To achieve your goal, you need to go around them, over them, under them or even through them. But whatever you do, just don’t listen to them.
That is what I have tried to do with all my endeavors. Not only did I begin walking a different spiritual path, I have stayed on it for nearly 30 years and am flourishing in it. Not only did I go to school, I achieved a BA (magna cum laud) and an MA, all the time working full time. A writer is someone who writes. I do this nearly every day, and the fact that you are reading this right now is a sign that I have achieved that goal. And now, I am embarking on the run to the next base — to improve my physical health -and I am not going to let anyone get in my way.
I don’t say all this to be proud and boastful. I share this for two reasons: First, as a form of accountability. If I put it out there, I have a better chance of achieving my goal. I appreciate a fan section that urges me on and I thank you. If you want to trip me up and tag me out, be prepared for me to slide right into you and knock you out of the way.
Secondly, — and you may have heard this before but it bears repeating –I am telling you this so in case you have a desire or a goal you want to achieve, you may need to stand up to the naysayers and crazymakers in your own lives, confront them with as much love, and kindness, and respect as you can muster and simply say:
ljgloyd (c) 2015
Reality has finally gotten so up in my face that I cannot ignore it anymore. The reality is that I am at an age where I am beginning to see my friends and family members suffer from all sorts of debilitating and life-threatening conditions. The cold hard truth is that I may be joining them if I don’t get my own chronic health issues under control.
So I am starting a radical (and I do mean that) lifestyle shift. Another bit of reality is that I know myself and if I don’t do this right, I will fail. I have to do this slowly, one step at a time. One baby step at a time.
My first step has been to gather information on what I want to do: eat a plant-based diet, no junk, more water, juicing, and supplements. Coming later will be detoxing and other quality of living goals (What do you mean ‘no television’?! And “you are NOT telling me I can’t drink COFFEE!”)
With the guidance of wise friends and a lot of research, I’ve moved to the second step. I cleaned out my refrigerator yesterday to get rid of the junk. I did make some perplexing observations. For example, I have no idea how I came to have three open jars of peanut butter. And when did I buy sun-dried tomatoes? (At least I think they’re sun-dried tomatoes). Hoisin sauce? When did I ever use hoisin sauce on anything?
Out went the squeeze bottle of chocolate sauce, several bottles of foreign-made condiments from the 99 cent store, an open package of stale pita bread, and oh, how I cried over the jar of neon-red maraschino cherries. No, this was not a pretty scene.
As you can see, I have replaced all the junk with healthy things. I did try to “juice” some of these veggies in my blender. That didn’t work so well. I ended up with a 20 ounce glass of green pulp that could hold a spoon upright. Next step: buy a juicer. Before that: clean off the top of my kitchen counter to make room for the juicer. (I am a terrible clutterer which is also a lifestyle choice that needs to be put to death.)
I am on my way folks. Stay tuned for more.
ljg (c) 2015
I recently published a post on the website of my faith community. Since the article is about the creative process, and this blog deals with this topic from time-to-time, I thought it might be appropriate to share with you. Even if you are not of the same faith tradition (or any traditional at all), I hope you find these words encouraging.
For We are God’s Handiwork: Using Our Gifts
The writer of the book of Genesis states that humankind is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Much has been written and preached over the centuries on the meaning of this verse, and the general conclusion is that one of the ways we reflect the image of God is through our creative capacities.
That being said, it is no surprise that we are required by God to exercise the creative gifts He gives us. In fact, the human capacity to create is elevated and sanctified by God himself. In the book of Exodus, He specifically names and calls out two accomplished artisans to coordinate the decoration and furnishings of the temple.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you (ex. 31:1-6 NIV)
In bestowing wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, the Lord fully equipped these men and “all the skilled workers” to engage in the creative process with a wide range of media. We too are equipped for creative works in a variety of ways suited to our time and culture. Some are called and gifted to make music, art, written works, spoken addresses or the like. Even those skills which we may not consider “creative” can be employed with such wisdom, knowledge, and understanding so to be elevated to a level of artistry. For example, if you are an adept administrator, then hone your abilities to be an even better one. If your life is centered around the home, then make that home an oasis of beauty and serenity in a chaotic world. The apostle Paul tells us …Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,…(Colossians 3:23 NIV).
What is the purpose of our gifts? The apostle Peter points to the reason: Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10 NIV). It is that simple– we create for the glory of God and for the service of others.
We reflect the image of God whenever we engage in our creative endeavors, for we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
LJGloyd (c) 2015
I wrote this fifteen years ago. These rules still hold true for me today.
Euboulos (“Wise Counsel” — Lori’s Rules to Live By)
Gaze at the night sky
and catch your breath,
buy breakfast for the woman
who sleeps under the pier.
Never let your mind
deceive your heart,
believe in what you cannot see
but never believe your demons.
Read in the bathtub (use water),
never bungee jump if you can help it,
break open a sand dollar
and set the angels free.
especially when you cannot walk.
never betray a friend.
Make your passion an act of worship.
Allow nothing in your body
that doesn’t belong there,
own a red car
at least once in your life.
Write a poem about a cat,
kiss a dog on the head
laugh often, breathe deeply,
and sing with all your heart.
Lori Gloyd (c) 2000, 2015