24/7

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We are all open on Sunday

And available

24/7

Texting, tweeting

Surfing, checking

Posting, blogging

Multi-tasking

Thumbs dancing

Thoughts racing

To the point our roots

Have pulled from the earth

& screens are the master of our minds.

Surrender the busy- ness

To the being- ness

To the pause between

The in & out of the breath

The rhythm of the beating heart.

dandelion-1557110_1280Go outside & gaze at the sky

Feel the wind on your face

Your feet on the ground

Wrap your arms around your people

And give thanks for the day.

 

 

Listing Maya Angelou

On Feb. 21st I had the pleasure of watching “And Still I Rise,” a phenomenal new documentary about the life of Maya Angelou.  Years ago I read & loved I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings & some of her poetry- but until I watched this program, I truly didn’t understand her greatness.  This poem was inspired from this experience.

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Daughter

Mother

Singer

Dancer

*

Actor

Reader

Writer

Thinker

*

Poet

Seeker

Orator

Teacher

*

Leader

Lover

Giver

Inspirer

*

Courageous

African

American

Proud

*

Black 

Woman

AP OBIT MAYA ANGELOU A FILE USA DC

My Escape From Social Media

twitter-292994_1280It all started with my decision to sell my artwork online.  I spent hours setting up my shop on Etsy, learning how to photograph my artwork, figuring out shipping and then posting listings.  Now I began the hard work of self-promotion so that my little enterprise could get found among the virtual soup that contained thousands of others.

My three new “how to” books on the subject all instructed me to start setting up social media accounts, get involved in forums, start posting, liking & commenting on a regular basis.  This activity would eventually lure customers to my site, hopefully to buy.

Previous to this, as a Baby boomer I was quite happy with my life in the tangible world and saw no need to be a party to the social media craze.  Nevertheless, trying to be open-minded, I set up the necessary Facebook & Instagram accounts to start and took the plunge.  I started posting regularly. Unfortunately the prescribed practice of liking and commenting just to build a following seemed very sleazy to me so I dragged my feet on that.  Then there were the apps that will like & share for you. Really? You can buy likes? No thanks.
Then suddenly, a Pandora’s Box of distractions was open to my brain.  My somewhat ADD personality quickly became hostage to this mysterious world on the other side of the screen.  I found myself constantly checking my posts & listings to see how many likes or comments they got. It was hard to tell myself from the other scrollers & tappers that were everywhere I looked. Who was this Pavlovian creature I had become?

Then recently, after over a year of this grand experiment, I realized that this whole exercise was sucking away too much time energy from my creative process.  I had a few online sales but not enough to warrant all the effort. More so, my heart was just not into it & I wanted relief from the distraction.

instagram-1474232_1280It was an easy fix.  I deleted the Facebook & Instagram apps off my phone & IPad.  It took a couple of days for my mind to feel free of the social media sirens calling my name.  I could be fully present again.  My Instagram, Facebook & Etsy accounts are still active.  The difference is that I manage them rather than them managing me.  I peek in twice a week now either post &
then check for responses.

There was one social media platform that was left to me to try- blogging.  About a month ago I put this blog up just to give it ago.  The self- promotion goal I had for blogging instantly dissipated as I rekindled my love of self-expression through writing. What a nice surprise WordPress has been!  Here is this great community of interesting people I can interact with.  Now I am  writing, reading, & commenting on others blogs because I want to, not because I should. This online experience continues to be meaningful in contrast to hollow exercises I had been pursuing on Facebook and Instagram.blk-goddess-front

My Etsy shop languishes as my desire for screen time has waned.  Currently my internet store & social media accounts mostly serve as virtual portfolios for shows I enter.  It appears that I am not cut out as an online entrepreneur. I’ve realized that selling my art in person offers me more  financial & emotional rewards than the world of online commerce can offer. Back to the real world of face to face relationships & writing just for the love of writing. No regrets.

P.S. For what it’s worth,  since you’re here, here are links to my social media accounts…..

Etsy

Instagram

Facebook

 

These Lines

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THESE LINES

from my pencil

anchor me to this earth

like a kite on a string.

These lines

form words on pages

giving shape to my thoughts

running wild in my head.

These lines that form words

are lassoed into sentences, then paragraphs

a calm order brought from the spiraling chaos.

My soul is tamed

At least for a while

From the simple act of writing.

On Finding Inspiration

 

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There is a magic in the creative process.  When I am totally in the  “zone,“ it seems as though some divine force plants a seed of inspiration into my psyche & leads me on a journey to bring from the ethos something new & different into the world.  Generally I need to be in a space where I am fully present-  at least with my own thoughts.  I don’t necessarily have to be in my studio.  Often inspiration comes on a walk or doing something as innocuous as washing dishes or weeding the garden.  At this point it is important for me to get the idea either in process immediately or at least written down, for inspiration can be as ephemeral as fairy dust in a breeze.

Sometimes I must plant a seed myself if nothing has been offered from above.  I keep a list spirit-of-g-r-horse-qeof concepts that fascinate me.  For example, a few of my favorites are migration, germination, metamorphosis & salmon.  I will make a list of every sub-concept  I can think of that has to do with that topic, pick a few & then tie them together into a piece.  The Illustrations that are shown in this post are from a triptych titled “The Spirit of Ghost Ranch.”  In these mixed media pieces, my goal was to embody different aspects of Ghost Ranch Retreat Center in Northern New Mexico where I  visit to take art classes & spiritually recharge most summers.

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Then there are times I must “prime the pump” for ideas.  One of my favorite hunting grounds is Pinterest.I can get inspiration from other artists & pin them to my own “board” for reference https://www.pinterest.com/wildntotions/.   One of the beauties of the Pinterest algorithm is that it will suggests similar pins that may be of interest to you, leading you down a rabbit hole of endless possibilities.  I can also prowl about blogs, and storefront galleries as well.  My go to guide when I am in a rut is the book, “Steal Like an Artist,” By Austin Kleon.  It’s maybe an hour read and so very encouraging
and inspirational.  If you need a tow truck, this is your go to guide. I refer to it over and over again.51b3zefka3l-_sx258_bo1204203200_

For the most part I work intuitively.  I just start putting down a scrap of paper,  a stencil, a swish of paint, sentence , or start to work a lump of clay  as bait for my muse.  Once I start down the creative path, I follow the breadcrumbs that she has left to tell me where to go next.  I know that if I am tired or stressed it not the right time for creative work- just like you don’t plant tender seedlings in bad weather.  Now it’s time to do something mindless & let my subconscious work in the background.

It’s all a mesmerizing journey of faith but it works- if you give yourself permission to let go & play.

 

Roll Call

Would the good of mankind

Please raise your hands now?

Are you still in attendance?

All I hear in this cacophony of voices

Are the whistles of the greedy

The shouts of racists

The fervor of religious zealots

The chest beating of narcissists

& the cries of the oppressed.

I know you are there, somewhere

Interwoven in this dark fabric of society

Doing good deeds for others

In humble silence

All but shut out from the print

& the stage of the media

Dwarfed by noise

But not by stature

Hidden in the chaos.

(writer’s note:  written  Fall 2016 during election season)

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