Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Enough Is Enough

It is my intention today to declare that I have had enough. I am sharing this statement issued last week (before the latest massacres) from the leaders of the Washington National Cathedral.

“The escalation of racialized rhetoric from the President of the United States has evoked responses from all sides of the political spectrum. On one side, African American leaders have led the way in rightfully expressing outrage. On the other, those aligned with the President seek to downplay the racial overtones of his attacks, or remain silent.

As faith leaders who serve at Washington National Cathedral ¬– the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance – we feel compelled to ask: After two years of President Trump’s words and actions, when will Americans have enough?

As Americans, we have had such moments before, and as a people we have acted. Events of the last week call to mind a similarly dark period in our history: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. … You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

That was U.S. Army attorney Joseph Welch on June 9, 1954, when he confronted Senator Joseph McCarthy before a live television audience, effectively ending McCarthy’s notorious hold on the nation. Until then, under the guise of ridding the country of Communist infiltration, McCarthy had free rein to say and do whatever he wished. With unbridled speech, he stoked the fears of an anxious nation with lies; destroyed the careers of countless Americans; and bullied into submissive silence anyone who dared criticize him.

In retrospect, it’s clear that Welch’s question was directed less toward McCarthy and more to the nation as a whole. Had Americans had enough? Where was our sense of decency?

We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person’s sacred identity as a child of God. We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society. This week, President Trump crossed another threshold. Not only did he insult a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality for all persons; not only did he savage the nations from which immigrants to this country have come; but now he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here? Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous.

These words are more than a “dog-whistle.” When such violent dehumanizing words come from the President of the United States, they are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human “infestation” in America. They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation. Violent words lead to violent actions.

When does silence become complicity? What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we have had enough? The question is less about the president’s sense of decency, but of ours. As leaders of faith who believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over. We must boldly stand witness against the bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and xenophobia that is hurled at us, especially when it comes from the highest offices of this nation. We must say that this will not be tolerated. To stay silent in the face of such rhetoric is for us to tacitly condone the violence of these words. We are compelled to take every opportunity to oppose the indecency and dehumanization that is racism, whether it comes to us through words or actions.

There is another moment in our history worth recalling. On January 21, 2017, Washington National Cathedral hosted an interfaith national prayer service, a sacred tradition to honor the peaceful transfer of political power. We prayed for the President and his young Administration to have “wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties that they may serve all people of this nation, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person.”

That remains our prayer today for us all.

The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington
The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral
The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas, Canon Theologian of Washington National Cathedral”

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/rdp-tuesday-intent/


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Some Thoughts about Solitude and the Creative Life

Lonely Beach on a Rainy Day

My first response regarding solitude and the creative life was to say, “Of course!  The creative life absolutely requires solitude.”   I absolutely must be left alone when I write or paint.  I don’t want others tagging along when I am in “photo-shoot’ mood.

But then I thought about my drumming.   I don’t drum when I am by myself.   I should.  I need to practice, but it seems like I cannot drum unless I am with other drummers or musicians.

Then I thought of those who are involved in quilting bees, crafting circles, or other group art-making projects.  The social component seems like a necessity.   I know writers who produce their best works at writers’ workshops or weekly writing meetups.   These creatives don’t NEED to be together to produce a product– yet it is part of their process to collectively make art or write.

So like many functions of life, the need for solitude in the creative life depends on the person and the art form.

But I will tell you now, if I say “I am spending the day writing,” do-not-bother-me.    🙂

Ljg (c) 2019

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/rdp-thursday-solitude-solitary/


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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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This is NOT a Product Endorsement

Through my school years, I had teachers who corrected papers and graded tests with blue pens, green pens, and, most scarily– red pens.   Later on, I worked for various people with specific pen choices:  a man who would only write with purple gel pens and a woman who only wrote with Sharpies.    I also know people who don’t care what they write with– pen, pencil, iron-gall ink, crayons….

I think writers in particular (though not all) are fussy about their writing implements.  Some writers have rituals around their writing practice:  place, artifacts in that place, time of day, special music, a special journal, and, of course, PENS.   I truly think they believe that the creative process only flows if they use that one specific type of implement.

I would not go that far, but I do admit that I have a pen preference.   I don’t believe that the Muse will have a hissy-fit if I don’t use it; my reasons are purely practical.

I use medium felt-tip Papermate Flair pens in black.  My reasons are that I can write while in an inclined position which is how I usually hand-write my journaling and they are so economical that I won’t have a melt-down if I lose one of them.

Hehehe, and I bet you were wondering how this post had anything to do with the Ragtag theme of the day?

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/rdp-wednesday-flair/


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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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An Island of Ideas

Inside of me is a vast, tempestuous sea where all my idea toss and churn. Occasionally, those ideas wash ashore on islands where I comb for creative inspiration. Those “islands” for me in the physical world are journals. I am one of these creative-types that has a bookshelf full of notebooks, journals, and sketchbooks, all of them islands of ideas and I turn to for inspiration.

I came across this video this morning about creating a commonplace book.

I so agree with the speaker in this video below:

 

Today’s Ragtag Prompt