Lens-Artists Challenge #115-Inspiration 9/23/2020

I am so lucky, so blessed, to be inspired, energized, and moved to gratitude by so little.

Oh it’s not that I don’t love witnessing grandeur. The Redwood Forests, Grand Canyon, the Mighty Mississippi, and a sunrise in Fiji, all moved me to tears.

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And it’s not that I always remember to look for inspiration in the really small or mundane things.

But when I need inspiration, It shows up for me in amazing ways….

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Like the sunset last night…first time I’d seen the smoke-hidden city and the Olympics in 10 days. Inspired me to keep holding on…

And these lovely, end of season flowers have been such a joy. I can only have flowers in my house in one location, the bathroom. My otherwise, well-behaved cats insist on dumping vases, just for fun, and the bathroom is off limits to them, because they also climb shower curtains!

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My junior high school boyfriend, and his son, paid me a visit a few weeks ago from clear across the U.S. We’ve stayed in touch all these years, which inspires me to value shared history, and to refuse any limiting definition of “friendship” .

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Spotting this lovely on my car inspired me to consider deeply, the hand-painted beauty of Nature!

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This, in my yard…

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And these at the local Farmer’s Market yesterday, inspired me to eat healthy, even though otherwise disgusting treats are extra tempting during this Covid Lockdown time!

Speaking of produce…this guy moved me to a huge Belly Laugh! At first I saw a large- nosed cyclops with a tail. But then I realized the tail was an arm…still on a big-nosed cyclops.

 

During our 8 or 9 days of Smoke-from-Hell, due to West and Northwest Coast fires, I had to be doubly sequestered…behind drawn shades, closed curtains, air purifiers blasting 24/7, and no daylight. So seeing the return of our usual beautiful blue skies was more than inspiring. It gave me the determination to hang on.

 

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This morning in my unused office-group therapy room, I spotted this plant. At first, I thought “tears”…but then realized it could mean “abundance” (of water).

This one, you may have to think about for a minute, but seeing the two things side by side inspired me to remember…everything is relative, and I can choose different perspectives on things as time passes. (Forgive my rare derogatory, political comment, but seriously, have you ever seen a more condescending smile???)

 

Seeing that last one, I am moved, energized and inspired to encourage everyone I cross paths with to VOTE!!!

 

https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2020/09/19/lens-artists-challenge-115-inspiration/Du

Thank you, John R. Lewis—1940-2020

(couldn’t find this video without ads…sorry! worth watching though!)

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/john-r-lewis-front-line-civil-rights-leader-and-eminence-of-capitol-hill-dies-at-80/ar-BB16T4CP?ocid=msedgdhp

 

 

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #103: Theme Song 7/10/2020

VJ says, “Let’s have a little fun this week, discovering our current theme song.”

OK.

I am so boring.

I have a current favorite them song, but those who read my blog regularly are probably tired of this one.

It’s just that it still fits so perfectly for me…for these treacherous health times, for this political chaos, and for this long-needed, though painful racial upheaval.

So once again, pump up your volume and enjoy the music, the beautiful video and the message!

 

 

I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table, again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen

[Hook]
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh

Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh

[Verse 1]
These times are poignant
The winds have shifted
It’s all we can do
To stay uplifted
Pipelines through backyards
Wolves howlin’ out front
Yeah, I got my crew but truth is what I want

Realigned and on point
Power to the peaceful
Prayers to the waters
Women at the center
All vessels open to give and receive
Let’s see the system brought down to its knees

[Hook]
Whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh

Ooh, oo-ooh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh
Whoa, whoa, oh-oh

Ooh, oo-oo-oo-ooh
Ooh, oo-oo-oo-ooh
Ooh, oo-oo-oo-ooh

[Verse 2]
I’m made of thunder
I’m made of lightning
I’m made of dirt, yeah
Made of the fine things
My father taught me that I’m a speck of dust
And this world was made for me
So let’s go and try our luck

[Bridge]
I got my roots down, down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down deep

I got my roots down, down, down
Down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down deep

I got my roots down (I got my roots down)
Down (I got my roots down)
Down deep (I got my roots down)

I got my roots down (I got my roots down)
Down (I got my roots down)
Down deep (I got my roots down)

[Verse 3]
So what are we doing here? What has been done?
What are you gonna do about it when the world comes undone?
My voice feels tiny and I’m sure so does yours
But put us all together, make a mighty roar
Roar

[Refrain]
I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table, again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen

 

Directors- Chloe Smith and Leah Song Cinematographer/Editor- Alex Allaux Movement Director- Justin Conte

https://www.risingappalachia.com/resilient-1

 

 

 

 

https://onewomansquest.org/2020/07/06/vjs-weekly-challenge-103-theme-song/VJ’s

Lens–Artists Photo Challenge #103–Surprise (Day 116 of being “grounded”

What a delightful challenge for this starting-to-seem-endless, cooped-up time. It comes from:

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2020/06/27/lens-artists-photo-challenge-103-surprise/

I am especially blessed these days by my father’s powerful teaching and modeling. His most strongly held spiritual belief was that boredom was a sin, and an insult to Mother Nature. He taught us to always look for that big surprise. He believed we were constantly surrounded by miracles and could find one anywhere, anytime.

Nothing cancels out boredom better than a miracle.

Being trapped in my rooms for so long has been mostly OK because of this exact philosophy. But I have to admit, I almost get to the point of boredom sometimes. When I find myself feeling that, I know it’s time to get outside. Even if just in my country-like, suburban neighborhood. Rain or shine, day or night, peopled or not, the miracles abound.

Here are some recent Surprises!!!

First, water, early morning sunlight, and shadows…a great combination for surprising beauty.

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Next, the bunnies are still around, which means the Coyotes, Owls and Hawks are probably well-fed elsewhere…for now.

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Surprise! The baby Apple Tree has its first baby apples!

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Next, very early sunlight sometimes messes with my mind. At first I thought these lovely plants had been attacked by some strange blight, only to discover on closer examination, was surprised to see it was the sun slipping through the cracks in the fence!

 

I love experimenting with things that close-up, are mysteries….but a step back reveals the origin of the surprise.

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And this one surprised me because I didn’t notice until writing this post, the shadow, light and colors from the Hummingbird feeder look remarkably like a Hummingbird!!

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And lastly, though I’m not sure it will actually work to post this, I had a long-awaited surprise just this morning.

I love my local crows and have been feeding them everyday for many years now. I wait each year for early summer, hoping to capture the Teenage crow “Feed Me!!” phenomenon.

They put on quite the show for me today!! The video is long-ish, and kind of bumpy, but if you listen closely, you’ll hear the reason for the camera jerks.

 

You can hear Miss Lucy, purring her competitive little heart out, and see the results of her head-butting my camera.

What a wonderful, surprising challenge today!!

 

Go here to see others’ creative interpretations of “Surprise”!

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2020/06/27/lens-artists-photo-challenge-103-surprise/

Spirit Lifters; Day 85 of being “grounded” 5/29/2020

To find the Spirit Lifter in this post may require some work.

Dig deep. You’ll see it.

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Being falsely accused of something has been one of the most painful experiences of my entire life. Countless little accusations, misunderstandings that were never quite cleared up.

But there were a couple of huge ones, life changing ones that, had I not heeded my father’s early teaching about having the ability to choose how I look at things, well, those condemnations would have been the end of me.

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And somewhere along the line in my 72 years, I realized there is always, ALWAYS something beautiful to balance out, or even counter-act, life’s repeated icky, dark, mystifying tragedies.

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Of course, retrospect is my best friend, and when I search for light and fail to find it, if I can just wait long enough, it will eventually show up…often reminding me that it was there all along.

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We are all in the middle of the dark right now, but in small, seemingly insignificant ways, if we keep our senses open and awake, we can gather up pieces of light every single day. These discoveries have a cumulative effect, and can eventually outweigh the heaviness of these dark days.

Often, it is not until later that we can see the obvious gifts we have received, in spite of the catastrophe or heartbreak. And sometimes they are miracles that simply could not have happened without that dark time.

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I wrote this on my friend Karuna’s comment section this morning.

Touched My Heart

I just watched and can’t stop crying. Here’s a big thank you, Karuna. I have been teary all morning, because of what’s happening in Minnesota and across the country, after George Floyd was killed. This incident was highlighted for me, following a powerful connection just last week with Milton Grimes, Rodney King’s attorney. And then 2 nights ago, we just happened to watch Rocket Man…

I had been searching desperately for other “perspectives” to choose from today and then I see your post. Thank you so much!

If it’s OK with you, I’m going to write about this today on my blog.

 

Worth the whole watch…

 

I can’t light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I’m growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life
It’s much too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when I met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me
I can’t find
Oh, the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way feel
Don’t discard me baby don’t
Just because you think I mean you harm
Just because you think I mean you harm, oh
But these cuts I have, cuts I have
They need love
They need love, they need love to help them heal
Oh, don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
Cause’ losing everything is like the sun going down on me
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I that see, yeah
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free baby, oh
‘Cause’ losing everything is like the sun going down on me

Spirit Lifters: Day 75 of being “grounded” 5/20/2020

OK, it’s really getting long now…so it’s time to seriously shift our perspectives and consider instituting new, healthy daily habits into our “new normal” lives. Along with taking care of ourselves physically, we simply must attend to those other parts that are being insidiously drained, even damaged during this pandemic.

Here’s one of my regular self-care habits, a potential, inspirational resource, as well as a couple of new musical treats.

This is an excerpt from the newsletter of one of my favorite people, Karen Drucker. She is a talented musician, comedienne and public speaker.

Almost anything will work again if you unplug it for
awhile…including you.
Anne Lamott
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
Joseph Goldstein
This is precisely the time when artist go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
 Toni Morrison
I have to admit I have gone through every emotion during this last month of shelter in place: thrilled to be home; deeper connection with my hubby; anxiety about gigs cancelling and how to pay bills; feeling like I need alone time; happy to not have to fly followed almost immediately by wondering if I will ever be on a plane going to a gig again! Back and forth – happy, panic, bliss, fear. Lather, rinse, repeat!
The most positive thing for me, though, during this time has been connecting back to doing music. My friend, Alan Cohen, has a great expression: “Make the main thing be the main thing!”  I realize that with all the gigs and traveling and hyper-busy-ness, I let the joy of creating music get pushed to the back burner. It seemed to me I just didn’t have the time. What has become clear to me as I analyze what really lights me up is how writing and performing healing music helps my soul. When I get emails from people telling me that a certain chant helped them get through cancer treatments, or how singing along with me during this challenging time we are in is easing their anxiety – these messages validate what the main thing is for me – creating music. Right now, what feels like a suspension in time also feels sacred to me to be able to have the space to write and record again.
The greatest gift along this healing path that I have received was delivered this month – a beautiful 64-page booklet produced by Unity Churches featuring my “Heart of Healing” songs. It includes essays written by various writers and Unity ministers, with affirmations around each of the themes that the songs convey. This is a free booklet available to anyone. Even though this project was started last year it seems so perfect for what we are all going through right now. For information on how to receive your booklet contact: The Heart of Healing
So like the quote above from Toni Morrison, I am committed to do my part in helping us all heal by writing songs that, hopefully, will uplift, heal, and connect us as we all get through this challenging time together. I wish you peace during this time and hope that we will meet in person soon!

 

Here is Karen’s calendar (lots of virtual options) and a way to hear her music and to get her newsletter.

Calendar

Or her main website;

https://www.karendrucker.com/

If Karen isn’t your cup of tea, find a person or organization who speaks your language, fires up your brain, and touches your heart.

And really important, keep access to it easy, handy for those days when you need something to balance out the bad news we are be inundated with daily! (I read the Greater Good Science Center articles.)

When all else fails, music can make us think differently, feel deeply, or just smile!!

 

And this really fun one that was around even before this Virus took over our lives!

 

Look up more songs by  Playing for Change ! I bet you’ll find something you like.

That’s it for now. As always, I love comments, any kind, and I’m not getting many, so if you “like” this post, take a minute to write me something, just a sentence will do!!

Thanks so much.

Chosen Perspectives