Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Through Rose-Colored Glass

rose windowToday’s Prompt: “Through the Window:  Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.”

I have very few windows and all of them look out upon the backs and sides of other apartment buildings and busy streets and walkways.  It is a dismal experience to look upon the plain boxiness of the adjacent buildings, my neighbor’s parked cars and trucks obscuring the view, the thin film of dust on the window panes from the construction site down the street, and the terrible waste of water as the automatic sprinklers feed the tiny patch of lawn under the front window.

However, the prompt instructs us to look out the window for a full minute.  This is good.  This is necessary.  Taking the time to really look at something can reveal many things.   For example, I see the jade plant just outside the window.   This crassula ovata has been here as long as I have, even longer.  It has grown so large that I can no longer see the ceramic pot it lives in.  Looking at it closely has made me wonder how this plant can thrive so well in such a confined space.   Then it is revealed to me that this plant’s life mirrors mine.  I live in this tiny apartment, yet I thrive as well.   Confinement makes one appreciate what one has.

Looking through a window often adjusts perspective.  If I turn from the far-sightedness that sees only the ugly buildings across the street and become near-sighted, I see the objects that I have placed in the window sill to beautify the space.    There is the stained glass rose panel I acquired years ago down in Baja.  It reminds me of the days when my circumstances allowed me to wander a little further than I do now.  It reminds me of the friendships long gone.  blue glass ballThere is also the hand-blown glass globe that I purchased from an glass artist in Mendocino even longer ago.  The swirling blues of the glass remind me of the colors of the sea crashing upon the rocks on the northern coast.  I remember the beauty of that area and my time up there as one of artistic and personal growth.

Looking through rose-colored and blue sparkling glass makes me realize that, God willing, those days will return.   I will one day travel again.  I will one day have a view of the world that is not clouded by ugly buildings and dusty cars.

In the meantime, I will continue to thrive like that jade plant.

ljg  (c) 2015

Note: I have pointed out the waste of water to the manager but nothing has yet been done.  If I knew where the timer was I change it to once a week.  Such a horrible waste.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/through-the-window/


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Skyscape Series

In these days of camera phones and the like, it probably is not as necessary to remind creatives to carry such photographic devices with them at all times to capture that unexpected shot.  I was driving home from work yesterday after a particularly severe winter storm.  When I turned onto the road that runs alongside the beach, I was thunderstruck (pun intended) by this glorious array of light and color.  I stopped, along with a lot of other folks, to snap some shots on my iPad that I had with me.

After the Storm: Looking Towards Avalon

After the Storm: Looking Towards Avalon

After the Storm: UnPersoned Paraglider 1

After the Storm: UnPersoned Paraglider 1

After the Storm: UnPersoned Paraglider 2

After the Storm: UnPersoned Paraglider 2

After the Storm: Setting Sun 1

After the Storm: Setting Sun 1

After the Storm: Setting Sun 2

After the Storm: Setting Sun 2

ljgloyd (C) 2014


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Hard Hats

Palms at Dawn

“Palms at Dawn”

 

I went on a my pre-dawn walk and decided to go in a different direction.  I took my camera with me in case I found something cool to shoot.

I walked by a construction site and observed several men standing in front of a small tent dressed in hard hats, plaid flannel shirts, reflective vests, heavy  stomping work boots…

and doing yoga stretches……

I did not laugh.  And I sure as heck did not take a picture of them (I do have some common sense.)

Instead, I rejoiced that I had been blessed to see a shattered stereotype.

 

ljgloyd (c) 2014

 

 

 

 

 


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Jiminy Crickets

I have a cricket.  His ceaseless chirping is unbelievably loud, especially at three-OMG-thirty-in-the-morning in the resonance chamber that is my bathroom.  I cannot believe anything so tiny can make such a racket.  Gryllus assimilis “pavarotticus”.

I cannot be too critical of his singing, though.  He is, after all, just being a cricket.  To do any less, to be any quieter, he would not be living up to his “cricketness”.

How true for us as well. When we are not expressing the individual talents each of us have been given, when we are not disrupting the existing state of affairs with our singing (or writing, painting, dancing, or just plain existing) then we are not living up to our humanness.

So, little cricket, you are one lucky little bug– I just can’t come after you this morning with a can of Raid.  You get to be a cricket for another day. Now sing!

 

 

ljgloyd 2014


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Hamburgers and Har Gow

dimsum 2 smallI got an email earlier this week from a relative of mine.   She told me that our local Norm’s Restaurant would be closing in a few weeks.   It is being closed to make way for the new commuter train line heading from downtown to the sea.  She wrote several paragraphs about all the good times we had had at that restaurant.    I wouldn’t say that the food there was good, but it was plentiful and cheap and not really the point of going there.  This diner was a launching pad or the landing place for other activities we enjoyed. So it is the memory of those excursions that make this place so important.

A couple of days after getting her email,  I received a post on my Facebook page from the Empress Pavilion restaurant, the vast and awesome grand dame of dim sum in the heart of our city’s historic Chinatown.  The post announced that it had closed for financial reasons.  This saddened me as well.  I had many good times and fun excursions with friends that started over those nifty little metal baskets of steaming, savory knoshes.

I have started thinking about all the other places of my youth that were now gone:  the go-cart track, the Discount Book Library on Grand View, the Rollerdrome, Stern’s BBQ where our family would go on Christmas Eve when “Santa Grandma” was at home putting our presents under the tree.

Memory and Place go hand-in-hand and when the places change, we fear the memories will change too.   Not to worry.  Those memories just grow stronger and more vivid.

I should not be surprised that all things change.  Constant flux, that contradiction of terms, is fact of life and a law of nature.   So we remember and celebrate the things that are gone so they become brighter in our minds and hearts.

And today I think I may reinforce one memory by finding some cheap diner food.

ljg (c) 2013


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A Volume of Forgotten Lore

poe cover

Yesterday, for a mere 99 cents,  I downloaded Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems, and I am excited about this. You may think that my giddiness has something to do with Poe’s work as a mystery writer. It does in part. But my first exposure to Poe was through his poetry.

When I was a child we had a set of books filled with stories and verses suitable for young readers. I remember curling up with the poetry volume and reciting the poems aloud. There were several of Poe’ s poems: Annabelle Lee, El Dorado, and The Bells. Sometimes I would wander around reciting the refrain from this last one, letting my intuition guide me in finding the rhythm: “From the BELLS, bells, BELLS, bells, BELLS, BELLS, bells…”  Sort of the thing you might expect a young child to do.

When I was a little older, my fifth grade teacher did a unit on poetry and made us each memorize and recite before the entire class a poem of our choice. I chose El Dorado. With a great deal of dramatic flourish I spouted the final stanza of the poem:

“Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,”
The shade replied-
“If you seek for Eldorado!”

To my astonishment the class applauded.  I learned that day about the emotional power of the written and articulated word.

Fast forward to junior high school: my English teacher had us analyze The Raven.   It was in that lesson where I learned to savor unusual words and seek their meanings. “Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe…”  comes to mind.  I also learned to look at the meaning behind the words of a poem. In this particular piece I learned it was not just about a talking raven; the poem was about death and love and madness. The lesson I took from The Raven taught me the necessity of reading between the lines and going deeper into a writer’s work, to not take anything on face value and move beyond superficiality.

So finding the complete works of Poe in such an accessible format brought me back to these essential childhood lessons, and I am thrilled.

So if any of my friends find me wandering about muttering about tinkling bells and the Night’s Plutonian shore, don’t go looking for a butterfly net — yet.

ljg  2013


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Imperfections

Yesterday’s Daily Post prompt asks us to discuss an imperfection that we cherish.  I passed by the prompt because I could not think of anything off the top of my head.  However, this morning, I stumbled across this wonderful TED talk.  The speaker uses the imperfection of Raku pottery as a metaphor for the creative process.  If you have about 15 minutes, may I suggest you view it.


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Future Tense

When I look to the sky I cannot help but look to the future.  When I was a kid, it was all about the space race, and the future was in stars.

Riding on that feeling, I took an astronomy course in college way back then — when Pluto was still a planet and going to the moon was still fresh and new.

I had access to a reflector telescope with a motor drive. I borrowed my dad’s 35 mm slr, mounted it to the eyepiece of the telescope, and I opened it up for a very long exposure. Fortunately, I was able to synchronize the telescope’s motor to perfectly track the moon in order to keep my long exposure from turning into a big old blur.

Here is one of those photos I took.   That moon is still looking back at me and calling me to the future…..

the moon by me -- ljg

LJG (c) 2013

Prompted by the Daily Post Photo Challenge of the Week