During the lock down, I spent a lot of time viewing the videos of The Unexpected Gypsy. Based on her practice, I have been trying to do a daily drawing practice as well. I’ve learned a lot from her. I base my warm-up practice on this:
On a past post, a commenter said I should post more art work. Well, here is a colored-pencil sketch. I need more practice in portrait drawing.
LJG (c) 2021
One year ago today, I was in a local grocery store trying to stock up on supplies along with throngs of toilet paper panic-buyers. It was the first day of my quarantine, a Friday the 13th. I thought it would be only a few weeks of working at home.
One year later, I am still working at home.
Like many people I spent the year exploring new activities and hobbies. I’ve baked bread. (But only three times. Store-bought is better.) I studied the Tao Teh Ching and read the Bhagavad Gita along with books on Buddhism and meditation. I got into doing at least one of the daily offices from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (okay, not every day, but enough so that it is somewhat a habit). I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen with vegetarian cooking. (Beans, beans, the magical fruit….). I have been gardening– you’ve seen plenty of pictures here– and I have been trying to establish art-making as a daily practice (except I spend more time arting in my bedroom where the light is better than in the studio I set up.)
I have not been writing much. I need to be out and about gathering experiences to write on. I have not been drumming. I cannot drum alone and zoom drumming is not an option. I have not been exercising much. Bad girl, bad!
I’ve spent way too much time on social media. The upside: I’ve been cultivating virtual relationships with other artists and like-minded people in FaceBook groups. I have spent hours binge-watching series like Downton Abbey and The Good Witch. I have been taking crash courses in ancient history on YouTube. Technology has been a God-send: I’ve gotten to know the people of my faith community and my work community a whole lot better through Zoom. I’ve had many “virtual happy hours” with my personal friends via text messaging.
And I’ve been reading and reading and reading fiction– especially in the genres of fluffy mysteries and magical realism.
I’ve been more politically aware thanks to 24/7 cable news. I’d like to think I made a difference for the better with my vote.
But these activities, along with work, could not fill up all the hours of the day and night. So I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting: Reflecting on heavy issues like death and dying. (Yes, Covid has touched very close to home). Reflecting on the difference between being alone and being lonely. (Not something you want to ponder at 3:30 in the morning). Reflecting on my own physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. (I’ve got some work to do there).
Tomorrow, God-willing and the creek don’t rise, I am supposed to get my first vaccine dose. Even though the pandemic is far from over and I still need to be careful for the sake of others, when I get my second dose, I will consider this journaling project over. I will have survived.
This quarantine has been as if the Universe has given me a time out to sift through a lot of inner stuff.
And I am trying hard to be grateful for that.
I know I haven’t posted much in a very long time. It is the same old same old: working at home trying to get through this quarantine. My turn for the vaccine is not here yet so I keep waiting. That being said, I have not been idle. I’ve been slowly regenerating the soil in my garden.
There is a corner in my yard that gets almost no sun except for the very high days of summer. As a result, not much grows there. A curious thing happened a few days ago. Somebody, no doubt a neighbor who was moving, dumped a bunch of trash on my lawn. In the process of throwing out the trash, I discovered in the heap this terra-cotta sun face. I could not bring myself to throw him out so I put him in this corner. He seemed a little lonely so I moved this small cairn which I had built elsewhere in the yard. I followed up by going to a local garden center and getting a helleborus plant, also known as Lenten Rose, which they tell me does well in the shade.
Maybe this new guardian of the garden will smile on this little corner and things will start to grow and thrive. We’ll see.
I realized that I have not posted much in several weeks. I’ve been working—thank God—and doing a lot of reading, journaling, puttering in the kitchen and gardening. I find it very hard to drum and make art. These take a lot more creative energy that I simply do not have right now.
However, I was struck with a little green energy yesterday and I started working on a small container garden of succulents. I already had a bunch of baby aloe vera plants which a friend gave me and I added echeveria and tiny donkey tails. My mama aloe vera has a 3 foot blossom.
So I do what I can to stay grounded and focused during what remains of a hideous year. I am hoping that with 2021 things will start to get better. If I don’t post again this week, then everyone have a happy new year. Stay well.
November amber: Where sunshine sleeps until the coming of Spring.
ljgloyd (c) 2020
I believe in science. I have little patience for flat-earthers who ignore basic, observable evidence, or those who won’t wear masks during a pandemic because …. well, I really don’t understand their “because”. They make no sense.
That being said, I am open-minded enough to believe in the possibility of things that don’t have a readily available scientific explanation.
For example, I have, for decades, practiced various types of energetic practices such as qigong, tai chi chuan, and yoga– practices intended to move vital life force energy (Qi) through the body to optimize good health I receive acupuncture treatments and take Chinese herbs for the same reason–they break up stagnant Qi. I engage in these practices because I can observe the outcome: I feel better afterwards.
So for the time-being, I will be content to embrace the mystery and assume that one day our methods of scientific research will shed more light on the existence and operation of something so basic as our vital life force.
Here are two fascinating clips from the classic Bill Moyer’s documentary about Qi and traditional Chinese medicine. In the second video, I appreciate the young man’s comments about advancing our methods of studying Qi.
ljgloyd (c) 2020
On the Sunday after the election,
I turned off the chorus of cable news pundits,
Called a friend and chatted for an hour,
Zoomed to virtual church for a drink from my spiritual well,
Washed my kitchen floor.
I listened to the wind rattling my windows and stirring up
Then I pondered how to rebuild the bridges between
old friends and anonymous adversaries
and then realized how tough
it is going to be.
ljgloyd (c) 2020
Character does matter.
Way back in March when we started our work-at-home lockdown, I fussed a lot about having to stay at home all the time, enduring the “sameness” of every day. Of course, there is still a lot of that feeling, but I have come to appreciate the benefits.
The primary benefit for me is the work/life balance. I don’t have to rush home to meet the handiman. I don’t have to spend my weekend or evenings doing laundry or vacuuming. No stress in dealing with commuter traffic. I can make a pot of tea and drink it like a civilized person instead of gulping it from a paper cup. I can go out and weed my garden on my lunch hour. And I don’t have to binge cook on Sunday afternoons. I have time to tend a simmering caldron of soup on a Thursday afternoon. And this morning, I roasted a kabocha squash while answering work emails and preparing for zoom meetings.
Yes, I can get used to this. Wait, I think I have gotten used to this.