Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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A Small Corner in My Realm

I sometimes feel overwhelmed at the enormity of what we must do to save this planet. As fires rage and oceans rise, as lands become barren and the path we walk along the edge of extinction crumbles away before us, I still feel hope. I am one simple woman. What can I do? I will take my one small corner of green that I am blessed to steward and plant flowers. Sounds silly and naive? Tell that to mourning doves who graze in my garden and the hummingbirds who hover about, and the bees who come looking for my lavender and rosemary. And when I plant milkweed and borage this spring, I hope the butterflies will come. That is what I am doing. Even if all I had was an apartment balcony, I would put out a pot of flowers to feed a passing pollinator. Before I start though, I need to show a little humility and perhaps, to use an old fashioned term, a little repentance for my part in damaging the planet.  Then I will put on my gardening gloves and get to work– sowing one tiny seed at a time. 

 

ljgloyd 2020

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/rdp-sunday-realm/


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Easing into the Roaring Twenties, 2.0

I usually don’t do much on New Year’s Day. It’s the day when I put away my Christmas decorations and think about how I must go back to the day-job in a few days. This New Years, though, is a little different. The “Teens” were a little rough for me, and I am easing — maybe even limping— into the “Twenties” with the hope that this will be the decade when things will change for the better and where I really might finally come into my own.

Today I am sitting in my garden eating lunch, enjoying the sun as it chases away the frigid cold that has burrowed deep into my bones these last few weeks, I am praying, meditating, affirming —whatever you want to call it— that I will enjoy an abundance, —physically, spiritually, creatively, and relationally,— in this new decade.

Let the Roaring Twenties commence.

ljgloyd 2020

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/rdp-wednesday-frigid/


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I Had a Temper Tantrum this Morning

I had a temper tantrum this morning. The usual place I buy my morning cup of coffee was closed.

Of all the nerve.

I had to drive a mile out of my way to get a cup. All the while I was mentally cursing the thoughtlessness of the closed coffee house’s management.

When the caffeine finally kicked in and the fog began to lift, I realized that I was behaving like the first-world, privileged princess that I am.

My priorities began to reorganized and I had a moment of thankful clarity.

 

ljgloyd 2019

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/11/rdp-friday-thankful/


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SBRC

 

Life just blindsided me.  The details are not important, but I want to share what I know about my thinking process that is helping me cope with the confusion and insanity that are impinging on my life.

First, I have learned that:  

  • A situation leads to a negative thought.
  • That thought leads to a feeling.
  • That feeling leads to a behavior.
  • That behavior can lead to detrimental physical symptoms or ailments. 

The remedy for me is if I can change my thoughts, then everything else beyond it will change for the better. 

So when encountering a situation, here’s what I do:   

  • I stop.
  • I breathe.
  • I reflect. 
  • I choose a positive thought.  (“SBRC”)

I choose positive thoughts by practicing positive affirmations.  There are lists all over the internet and I google them whenever I cannot come up with any on my own.

Second, for me, negative thoughts are often based on my anger at other people.   Anger is my false attempt to control other people.   Since I cannot control other people, then the only solution is for me to forgive them.   Forgiving is not letting them off the hook; it is me letting go of the anger within myself.     I feel empowered when I forgive since that puts me back in control, not them.  

One more thing, regarding breathing, I just read Yogi Seane Corn’s new book, Revolution of the Soul.  In it she writes there:  “Breathe and everything changes.”  I have found this to be true. 

ljg (c) 2019

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/rdp-friday-insanity/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/rdp-friday-confusion/


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On Libraries


I have a love affair with libraries. When I was a child, my father used to take me to the library twice a week in the evenings and I would often walk there on Saturday mornings as well. The library was my refuge against the chaos that surrounded me.

It was the fount of all knowledge and creative inspiration for me before Google, Pinterest, and Instagram. But even in these days of the internet, the library still serves as access for many people to world wide web and the acquisition of knowledge.  This points to the fact that libraries are great equalizers in our society. Everyone, no matter their status in society, in theory, can have access to knowledge.

Libraries often provide free services to those who do not have the means to pay for them: after-school tutoring, literacy and language learning labs, and technology and job-training programs. There are adult book discussion groups. There are child and youth programs: story-telling hours and college prep courses.

Libraries are the holders and purveyors of our cultures and civilization. Thousands of years ago our ancestors sat around campfires and shared the collective knowledge of the tribe with the next generations. Libraries do the same today and we must improve them in areas where needed and preserve all of them at all costs.

Ljg 2019

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/09/18/rdp-wednesday-library/


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La Dolce Vida


I woke up this morning with a splitting headache. I don’t usually have them, so I suspect that it might be stress-related.  As I parked in bed trying to decide whether to get up or take a sick day, I turned on the Saturday morning cooking shows. Giada was on, talking about the sweetness of life (especially if you have the means to float around the Mediterranean slurping pasta).  She shared the image above, three women doing that very thing.

Now I don’t usually go around taking self-help advice from Food Network stars, but she had a point.   So I hauled myself out of bed, enjoyed a cup of coffee, made up a bubbling potpourri of soothing scents, spent some time at my art-making space, and in a few minutes I will be leaving for the drum circle

Life can be sweet, if you let it.

 

LJG 2019

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/rdp-saturday-sick/


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Is There Really Nothing New Under the Sun? Only If You Don’t Work at It.

A page from one of DaVinci’s notebooks

From where do our ideas for creative endeavors come?  I think our inspiration comes from our interaction with the world around us — the natural world and the people in it.  From those sources we extract portions, break them up, shuffle them around, ponder and consider, scrap them all and start again– until we come up with some sort of creative prompt and subsequent product.

I know I like to think that any creative idea I have came from some deep well of inspiration within me.  Maybe it does, but I also know that this well of inspiration consistently needs to be filled with memories of the experiences I have with the exterior world.   There are only two activities from The Artist’s Way that I have found useful.  One of them is the “Artist’s Date” (the other is writing every day).   I try to go somewhere or engage in some sort of activity either by myself or with other people that will fill that well.   Since I spend so much time drumming, cooking, gardening and engaging in reflective self-care activities, my writing and image-making often engage those themes.

Maybe we mere-mortal creatives re-purpose other ideas gathered from our worldly roamings, but what about those individuals whom we credit for inventing lofty ideas and devices that have had profound impacts on the world?  Archimedes, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, DaVinci, Shakespeare, Locke, Curie, Tesla, Einstein?    Where did those ideas come from?   If you look at some of them who we consider “geniuses”, most of them were philosophers and scientists.    What do they have in common?   I don’t know about all of them, but I know some of them kept notebooks where they worked on their ideas, no doubt drawing from the same sources that you and I do:  the external world.   In fact, I think Plato is the guy who came up with the notion that there is a place where everything in the world has an Ideal Form, a perfect Idea of it,  and anything we create is merely a reflection of those ideals.

I propose that we can be just as inventive as these folks.  The key is to take the ideas from the well and work and re-work and experiment and write and consider that work until we re-create something glorious on paper or canvas or film or device.   They did.  So can we.

I am just writing this off-the-top of my head.  I am still working on this notion.   I may re-work it again.   That’s the point!   Keep working until you get it “right” (or at least close to it).

Now get working.   🙂

ljg (c) 2019

 

 

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/31/rdp-friday-prompt/


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Plato and a Manipulated Woman

Once upon a time there was a woman, a beautiful woman, filled with life and vigor.  She sat for a sculptor who tried to copy her in marble with his chisels. Unfortunately, the sculpture was just a manipulation of her true image.   The sculptor could not capture her essence.    A few thousand years later, a photographer took a picture of the sculpture which became yet another manipulation of the true woman.  Finally, today a bored computer nerd decided she wanted to mess around with Photoshop to pixelize the photo and manipulate the poor woman once again.   And on it goes.  Who knows what someone might do with this image?

I’m sure you know what happens to a document when you copy it, and then copy the copy, and then copy the copy of the first copy.   Do that long enough and eventually you cannot see what was on the original document.  But the question is, does the original copy cease to exist?   No.

The same is true for the woman.  She still exists somewhere in time and space.   Well, maybe not the flesh-and-blood woman, but the ideal of that woman, the perfect form of Woman.

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato called this the Theory of Forms.  He postulated that  there is a spiritual realm that contains the blueprints of everything manifested in the physical realm. That vase, that music, that cat, those people, that government, that social relationship—everything— has a perfect and pure template in that realm.  The world of forms“…is a philosophical theory, concept, or world-view … that the physical world is not as real or true as timeless, absolute, unchangeable ideas. According to this theory, ideas in this sense, often capitalized and translated as ‘Ideas’ or ‘Forms’, are the non-physical essences of all things, of which objects and matter in the physical world are merely imitations.” (Wikipedia)

Do scholars and philosophers still believe this explanation of how the universe turns?  Not so much anymore.   This classical worldview was one of the underpinnings of western civilization for centuries,  at least that was what the Jesuits taught us in Philosophy 101.

So I sat down to screw around on a computer and make a pretty picture, and I ended up visiting with Plato one more time and letting him bend my mind.

If you would like to view a short, expedient explanation of this bit of Platonic philosophy and a very practical application of it, take a look here:

Image: “A Manipulated Woman” in Photoshop, LJGloyd 2019


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Wandering

I recently read Keri Smith’s book The Wander Society, another of countless books on how to jump start the creative process. The author promotes the practice of “wandering” through the world, both literally and figuratively, and learning to mindfully observe what is discovered.  The book’s description at the Amazon website describes “…the act of wandering, or unplanned exploring, as a way of life.” At Goodreads I gave the book only 3 stars simply because this is not an original notion. That criticism being made, I quickly realized that I have been negligent in this very form of creative self-care.

It has been raining quite regularly for many weeks, but this morning the clouds cleared and the sun broke through. So I grabbed my camera, hopped in my car and began to wander.  I ended up being entertained by a pair of white rabbits in a vegetable garden, joining a gathering of members of a bread baking guild as they made pizza in a wood-burning oven, roamed around the outside and inside of an old church, paused for a few minutes in a Zen meditation room, drove through a university, stopped at a library, and came home to a steaming bowl of home-made beef stew.

I visually documented my wandering.  Here are a few of my images:

ljgloyd (c) 2019