Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Viriditas: An Earth Day Reflection

It seems appropriate on this Earth Day weekend that I spent a little time working in my small container garden. In the past, I have not been overly successful with gardening, but this time I approached it in a different manner. In the past, I would determine that I would plant a garden, and then spend large amounts of time sweating and toiling, ultimately not seeing much of a return for all the effort.

This time I am letting the plants grow themselves. What do I mean by this? All I need to do is four things: plant when the temperature is warm enough, and provide them with proper light, nutritious soil, and the right amount of water. I only spend about an hour once a week checking on them, giving them a good long drink of water, and keeping an eye out for insects and anything else that might be an obstacle to their well-being. Other than doing these simple activities, I get out of the way and leave them alone to grow. Plants, it seems, have the power within themselves to grow.  I don’t need to fuss over them

The medieval abbess, Hildegard of Bingen, who was a theologian, musician, writer, scientist, medical practitioner, mystic and visionary, had a word for this inner force: viriditas, or “greening” power. This power pulses with vitality and fruitfulness.  It resides in every living organism.  It is life in abundance.

What if we applied the same basic gardening principles to our own lives, both physically and spiritually? What if we got out of our offices, away from our computers and devices and exercised in the fresh air, feeling sunlight on our faces, eating nutritious food, and drinking lots of water? The greening power within us would heal our bodies.

Similarly, what if we disengaged from social media and all the other obstacles to our peace of mind? What if we were to take time to pray and meditate, fellowship face-to-face with others, feed our souls with things that are pure and wholesome and not negative or hateful? What if we partook of the divine Spirit that “greens” this world?

Then true healing would take place. Of this, I am certain.

Ljgloyd 2018

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Noisy Toys: How I Start a New Creative Project, Part II

In yesterday’s post, I shared how I engage in a new creative project. In the process of working the plan I ran into a glitch. Or, to be more optimistic, you could say I expanded my knowledge base on a grand scale. At first, I almost jumped through the loophole I articulated yesterday of admitting the plan was not workable. Instead, I powered through and made the first of I hope many recordings of my own percussion music.

To make a long story short, I had no problem mixing a very short audio clip. The problem came with sharing it. Oh, is that not the bane of the creative’s existence: showing the rest of the world your work? In order to share the audio, I ended up having to make, with great difficulty, a video. Even though I felt like I had enrolled in a crash course in film editing, I was pleased to learn some new applications, and refresh myself in some old ones.

What I learned is this:

  1. Pushing the boundaries in my creative process requires hard work and a headache. The idea came easy.   Mastering the tools and technology, well, not so much.
  2. It is not enough for me, at any rate, to create. I must also share it with an audience for it to be worth my while.
  3. Finally, I will never be happy with just one creative genre. I need to be trying new things on a regular basis. I may never be very good at music making, but I enjoyed the process. And that is just as important as the product.

Without further delay, here is my twenty-four second sound mixing experiment.

Note:  To create and share my percussion work,  I used my iPhone to access Garageband (only available for Apple products) and to shoot the video,  a PC laptop in order to access Windows Movie Maker, my email application to mail the audio and video files from one device to the other and, of course, WordPress. Oh, and the instruments:  A darbuka, an egg shaker, and a cowbell.

Oi.

ljgloyd 2018


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A Cow Bell, Two Shakers, and a Strumstick: How I Start a New Creative Project

I am an over-committed person (AKA a workaholic):   I have the day job. Then I have a continuous home improvement project that is going to take months, if not years, to resolve. I do things for my faith community. I drum as much as I can to relieve the stress of the first three commitments. I love to read (see the Goodreads list on this site). I do about forty-five minutes to an hour a day of cardio exercise and yoga for health maintenance.   And, of course, I write.

Sometimes I don’t feel like I can permit myself to try out new activities because of all these other activities. I believe, though, that to call myself a Creative, I must constantly push the boundaries through to new experiences. And once the permission is granted, it is simply a matter of making a plan and then working the plan.

One of the new activities I am considering is composing and recording some of my percussion work. Let me say here that I am most definitely NOT a musician, but nevertheless I have given myself permission to still explore this creative and technical genre.

So how am I doing this? First, I set the intention by granting myself permission to try something new AND, just as importantly, permission to set it aside mid-stream should I find it not a viable endeavor.   Next, I brainstormed the project on a pad of paper, grouping the dump of ideas into actionable items. For this project, I realized that I needed to review the technology I had on hand or could access without cost,  investigate online videos and tutorials for the software, and inventory my percussion instruments* and song sheets. After sorting, reviewing, and prioritizing these actions, I determined that I would start by learning if I could use my cell phone and the Garageband app on it to record and mix MP3 tracks.   Before I start working on this, I started a Project page in my planner.

So my process is: 1) set the intention, 2) brainstorm ideas, 3) sort the ideas into specific actions, 4) implement the first action and make note of the results.

If I am able to get past the first action, then I will proceed to the next, and so on until a finished product is at hand.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

ljgloyd 2018

*FYI:  I have four frame drums, two darbukas, four egg shakers, a flex-a-tone, a strumstick and a cow bell.   That’s going to be one weird and funky track if I am successful.


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Stop Worrying and Love Someone

You may have realized by now that I’m a bit of a planner. I brain dump everything into a journal, tease out actionable items, and then move these tasks to a separate calendar book to be done on certain days and at certain times. And this is just my personal and creative life. My work tasks are planned and organized on my computer at work.

One of my life mottos is “make a plan, work the plan.” By adhering to this, I am productive and I get things done.

I have been on vacation for the last three weeks and had planned to write, create some drumming compositions, do some art, go to museums, exercise and do yoga.

I did none of those things. Instead, I got sick, and between that and making preparations for holiday activities, I did none of the things I had planned to do. I was just too tired. My body was calling for rest, and because I ignored it, it knocked me down hard.

Yesterday, someone told me to slow down and listen to the voice of Spirit. I was admonished to stop worrying about plans for the future, live in the present and “love someone now.” This little bit of advice is so profoundly simple that it knocked me back on my heels. Upon reflection I have come to the conclusion that if I were to have a New Year’s resolution it would be to slow down, to engage in more self-care and to seek out people who need to be shown love, kindness and compassion.

No small order in this messed up world.

Ljgloyd 2018

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Tangential Resolutions

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So this is the expected, somewhat obligatory, New Year’s Day resolution post.

First let me provide some historical context regarding my process of making resolutions:

Over the years, I have made resolutions only to discard them shortly– if not immediately–after I made them. In other years, I declared that I wouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions because I have such a dismal track record in keeping them. And once I even made a declaration that I would not be bound to making resolutions just on New Year’s Day but rather to make resolutions throughout the year.

None of these strategies were quite satisfactory because I kept forgetting this important fact: Life is unpredictable and is always throwing up detour signs along my way. Sometimes the universe will say “Aha, you want to go that way but I want you to go to that way.”

Sometimes those derailments are painful. This year I had a family crisis that consumed so much of my time and emotional energy that I did not get to all of the activities that I had planned.   In fact they seemed stupid and shallow.  Contrarily, some derailments have been pleasant.  I had resolved to buy a new camera and spend more time engaged in photography.  I never got around to it because of the aforementioned crisis.   Instead, Providence recently dropped a drum in my lap and I have been exploring and enjoying this mode of expression much to my benefit.

Therefore, since life loves to throw wrenches into my plans, I have decided that this year I will incorporate broader boundaries to allow for the tangents my resolutions will inevitably follow.

So here it is:   I resolve for 2017:

  • I will express my creativity on a regular basis in a variety of media and genres.
  • I will practice a healthy lifestyle.
  • I will engage in activities that make my home a comfortable and organized place to live.
  • I will engage in daily spiritual practices to benefit my mental health and fortify my soul.
  • I will strive to mitigate the effects of toxic people and develop healthier relationships.
  • I will participate in activities that benefit others.

I will let you know at the end of the year how this all worked out.

Happy New Year.

ljgloyd (c) 2017

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/year/