ljgloyd (c) taken sometime in the 1980’s or so, and edited 2018
ljgloyd (c) taken sometime in the 1980’s or so, and edited 2018
In looking back at my more recent blog posts, I find that the dominant topics lately have been about writing, drumming, and cooking. Once in a while, I’ll post some airy-fairy philosophical spew or a general rant about something that has irked me. I’ve gotten a little creatively narrow.
The other day I saw a video on one of my social media feeds of the aurora borealis. That simple video reminded me that my interests used to span all sorts of disciplines. There was a time when I used to gaze at the night sky and marvel, and a time I used to read Greek mythology for fun. And I loved it when these two converged.
When I was in college, I took an astronomy course to fulfill a science requirement. It was then that the heavens opened up for me (pun intended). For example, I learned that the color of stars indicate their temperature and thus their age. I also learned that no one really knows if light is a wave or a particle or both. This is not particularly useful information for navigating my day-to-day routine, but it is cool information nonetheless.
My point is that I should be ever mindful not to become so embroiled in the mundane that I forget how to be awestruck.
A writer could examine “orange” in a number of ways: as a sweet, juicy type of fruit, as a prison uniform, as the aftermath of a bad trip to a tanning salon. A writer might describe orange as an emotion — not as angry as red nor as happy as yellow. Orange is confident … or orange is sickly… it depends on your frame of mind.
A good writer can convey this visual through words. However, I am a photographer as well so I’m just going to show it:
ljg (c) 2015, 2017
If you have wondered why I use the pelican as my avatar, a trademark of a sort, it comes from an encounter I had with a pelican a few years ago.
Pelicans are actually indigenous creatures where I live, but I never saw one while growing up. DDT and other pesticides had killed them off, but when those substances were banned, they made a comeback. One day while I was hiking along a sea bluff, I came across a juvenile or a female — it’s hard to tell which– perched on the railing. She did not startle when I approached. Had I wanted to I could have reached out and touched her. Instead I just marveled at such a magnificent creature. Right then she became a symbol to me of one coming back from the brink. Whenever my creative spirit feels crushed I think of her.
The picture above is the actual pelican I encountered.
I have other “trademarks” — ravens, the moon, the sun, stars, and dancers — but I always seemed to come back to the pelican.
ljg (C) 2017
I joined a couple of hundred of my fellow employees to watch the eclipse. We are outside the “path of totality”, but even so, it was mighty cool to see a crescent sun.
What I found almost as amazing as watching this celestial event and all the mesmerized watchers is the fact that all across the country millions of divided and feuding people put aside their differences for a couple of hours.
Now why can’t we do that all the time?
Yes, yes, I used filtered glasses….
LGloyd (c) 2017
If any of you are wondering about my apparent fascination with pelicans, it comes from an encounter I had with one a few years ago. Pelicans are actually indigenous creatures where I live but I never saw one while growing up. DDT and other pesticides killed them off, but when those substances were banned, they made a comeback. A number of years ago, I was hiking along a sea bluff and I came across a juvenile or a female — hard to tell which– perched on the railing. She did not startle when I approached. Had I wanted to I could have reached out and touched her. Instead I just marveled at such a magnificent creature. Right then she became a symbol to me of one coming back from the brink. Whenever I am feeling defeated, I think of her.
And this is an image of her, THE pelican, on that day:
ljgloyd (c) 2006, 2017
However, I do have an intense fascination with the sea. I have never lived far from it and I wonder if I would be happy if I ever had to move away. And as much as I have an interest in the heavens and the exploration of outer space; I think there is much to be said about the exploration of “under space”, the vast void beneath the surface of the sea. We may speculate about life on other worlds, but if there is any new life to be found on this planet, it will be under the sea.
What follows is a series of photographs that I have taken over the years of “under space”. No, I am not a diver. These were taken at an aquarium. Like I said, I am just an “earth woman” — with a deep appreciation of the sea.
ljgloyd (c) 2006-2017
There are some beliefs upon which you think you can absolutely rely. For example, the sun always rises, the moon predictably phases across the night sky, and the North Star is always, well, north. So one can say that the astronomical realm may seem constant and unchanging, at least from our perspective here on old terra firma.
So what’s the deal with Pluto? Growing up I was taught that Pluto was the ninth planet. Though barely discernible on the frigid edge of our solar system, we knew it was there and that it was a planet. Then, in 2006, poor, pitiful Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status. So troublesome is this demotion to some that the issue comes up in popular culture. For example, Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory is just beside himself over this. Why? My theory is that in this increasingly unstable world we find ourselves, we need something greater than ourselves to believe in. For some it is the seemingly constant and rhythmic dance of the cosmos.
Fortunately, my faith is not in astronomy, though I think I might be a little upset if someone suddenly told me that T-Rex is not actually a dinosaur. 🙂
Post-script: Just days after I wrote this, I came across this announcement: Pluto is a Planet again.
But I think my point is still proven. You can’t rely on anything…….
I had a solo moon-viewing party last night. The sea clouds parted long enough for me to capture a sliver of the super blood moon. What does one drink while moon viewing? I improvised this: coffee, milk, cocoa powder, agave nectar, almond extract, orange extract, cinnamon, and chile powder blended with a molinillo and poured over ice. (I would think if you wanted to make this more adult, you could add a shot of Kahlua.)
Sipping a Mayan mocha under a bloody harvest moon. Perfecto!