Looking For the Helpers….

231e993b6196d2b40494d84b610af470Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”

 

These are dark times-, especially in the U.S.A.  If you listen to the news enough you would think that there are no more good people left on planet Earth.  I refuse to believe that- even though the media showcases all the crooked politicians and sex offenders of the world at the expense of everyone else.  Sensational sells.

I only have so much real estate in my brain for the negative. In order to function and remain positive, I have made a conscious choice to monitor what feeds into my psyche on a regular basis.  Rather than start my morning with the news I turn on upbeat Irish music and then switch to podcasts that showcase people making a difference- the “helpers”.  My favorites are “The Good Life Project” and “On Being with Krista Tippett”.  (Then the Moth Radio Hour provides me with plenty of inspiration.)  If you are new to podcasts, give them a try.  I don’t even use earbuds when listening.  The speaker on my smartphone is adequate.

 

It is important to me that my art expresses beauty or brings a smile.  There is no way I can achieve that when a dark cloud is spewing from my radio as I work.  Trust me, I remain informed but not at the expense of hope.  Like Mr. Roger’s mother said, I will continue to “look for the helpers” and give them my attention rather than further empower those that would rather have us discouraged.

Paying Homage to a New Year

calendar-3042204_1920This is a reblog of a poem I wrote for New Year’s Eve last year when my blog was brand new and had few readers.  I read it at a gathering of friends. We were all still reeling from the presidential election fallout.  As the poem as it was read caused a hush in the room.   Later, several friends told me how much it meant to them.  Feel free to share this at your gathering on this New Year’s Eve as we hope for change in 2018.  What better way to start the New Year than with poetry?

On This Last Eve

There are no more squares to fill

Nor pages to turn

Nothing can be changed

But how we act tomorrow

And how we think about the past.

It is done

A tapestry of memories woven in our minds

Events left to history.

In the morning

A new calendar will grace the wall

Waiting to be filled with commitments & adventures.

Let the glasses clink with their bright sound

Among this circle of friends & family.

Let us toast to the warmth of love & friendship,

A better tomorrow

& the chance to begin again.

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How I Survived 2017

…..as a citizen of the USA

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(Not necessarily in any type of order)

  • Limited my news consumption to the bare minimum
  • Listened to lots of upbeat Celtic music
  • Sang in a choir this holiday season
  • Fed the wild birds around my house
  • Spent a lot of time watching the wild birds around my house
  • Started feeding 2 feral cats that showed up on our porch looking for food
  • Watched lots of comedies and movies with happy endings
  • Binge watched “Call the Midwife”
  • Started blogging on WordPress
  • Read lots of blogs on WordPress
  • Started writing poetry seriously
  • Read lots of poetry
  • Made lots of art
  • Snuggled with my dogs
  • Took many walks with said dogs
  • Increased my swimming workout
  • Spent time with friends
  • Went whitewater kayaking
  • Hugged my partner a lot
  • Meditated
  • Prayed

I’m looking forward to the New Year with hope

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In the Path of Totality

IMG_8191No matter how much the terrorists, the despots, (& our president) try to steal the show, nature wins hands down.  What a magnificent sight it was to gaze up at the sky & witness such a celestial event among friends.   It was a great morning in IMG_1484Oregon!

 

 

 

ECLIPTICA

The sun & the moon

met each other in the freshness of an August morning

and as they embraced, the sun smiled brightlyIMG_1464

then grinned as he crowned the moon

with a corona of dazzling light.

The earth hushed

The sky darkened in reverence

& we stood in awe before the crown.

Then the two lovers slowly

parted ways

committed to their lonely orbits

leaving us in the fullness of day

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Reach for Happy

Just when you thought the world couldn’t get nuttier, the next day brings even more crazy- especially here in the USA.  Being the sensitive type, I have had to develop strategies to keep a healthy level of sanity & stay creative.  It’s still there- the good, the beauty, the hope.  One just has to turn off the noise of all the negativity and reach for happy……IMG_1454

WE HAVE A CHOICE

Shut off the news

and choose beauty

Let a song well up in your throat

and fill the air

Read poetry, write poetry

Bask in books with happy endings

Shun violent movies, media

and enjoy laughter instead

Treat yourself to lovely music

Watch the birds & look for bees

Sleeping in flowers

Hug your dog, your cat, your partner

or anyone you love

Be hopeful

We have a choice

 

 

 

Evidence

cave-paintig-490205_1920Some of my favorite art is the cave paintings from Paleolithic times or the rock paintings from ancient Native Americans & Australian Aborigines.  There is an ongoing debate about the purpose of this primitive type of art.  I believe it was about story telling or merely leaving evidence of their existence, much like tracks.  These images were made to be viewed by other people.  A simple hand print on a wall is powerful. It says “I was here.”rock-art-375225_1920

When I ask the question to myself, will my art have a lasting impact on the world?  The fact that I wrote or made is enough.  It proves that I

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Horse & Raven
Horse & Raven

was here.  It tells part of my story, of my experience on this earth. Fame is not in my destiny but evidence will be. It is part of me I leave. If someone happens to connect with my work, I am most fulfilled. 

I got this off Austin Kleon’s blog that inspired this post.  His take on the subject is worth a visit.  Keep on keeping on…….img_4441-768x614

 

 

After the Storm

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After the storm

it all looked different

destruction was everywhere

and our hearts were broken.

Still our homes stood

in this sea of rubble

The sun rose

continuing its journey across the sky

and the wild birds

flittered about the feeder.

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