Saturday, April 30, 2016

Abandon the Dreary

"I gladly abandon dreary tasks, rational scruples, reactive undertakings 
imposed by the world." 
  - Roland Barthes

Barthes said he would do the above, "for the sake of love." Even though he knew it might cause him to act like a lunatic sit freed up tremendous energy."

What if you take time off from the ordinary? 

Launch from daily tasks. Search for an amusement, an adventure, or creative idea that might stimulate your imagination.  

Use boundless vigor and act like a lunatic to accomplish the goal.

Abandon the dreary
    Alter your rhythm
         Free up energy
Take a chance
       Make a change.

Friday, April 29, 2016


“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, 
for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine” 
- Ludwig van Beethoven

Author, Mark Z. Danielewski feels, "Passion has little do with euphoria and everything to do with patience."

When we create art, endurance propels us past frustrations and failures. We enter into the unknown with awareness. Puzzlements and dark emotions circulate during our path to a project. Even though we do not always feel good, we eventually create good feelings through the art we share.

As the artist Henri Matisse said, "if you want to paint a rose, first forget about all the other roses ever painted." Work from your inside out, explore your true nature, its freshness and originality.

Surge into your secrets and explode them into creations of all kinds.

Wander into the forest of dreams. 

Lizardo imaginates under the O.  

He grants marvels to the unsuspecting.

Octavio hugs the weary and forgetful.

Discover a turtle that beckons dreams in waterfalls of wonder.

Whoever paints the illusive sky receives a ride on a heron's back.

Watch the majesty of miraculous arrive.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Self-Reflection in Ink

"A good penman can make rivers that race to the sea, rivers as wild and dizzy as a flume in the Alps, as choppy as the Isarco, as wide and smooth as the Tiber at Ostia, or as deep as the Po where it rolls into the Adriatic."  
 - from A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin

A meditative state results when writing in cursive. It stimulates both sides of the brain. The hand moves to energize the brain's logical side. Letters form words in artful flow from the right side's intuitive cells. Integration of both sides occurs as a result. The physical process of writing connects the writer on a sensual level.  

Cursive writing has become a lost art. Children today do not learn it as a requirement in elementary school. Many individuals do not even know what a fountain pen looks like.

Technology requires the fingers to push keys on computers, cell phones and ATM machines. A world of total keyboard input might work for everyone but writers. A pen gripped by fingers stimulates creativity and lets out the magic of words..

When writing with a fountain pen, the wetness of the ink drying on the page reflects a scent of its own. Feeling the elegance of writing and seeing the splash of color adds to the creative flow. Mindful moments with a pen slow and focus thoughts. 
As fingers blend with swirls, loops, and angles of letters, relaxation of the mind occurs. 

The rhythm moves the writer away from the rapidity of life's requests that bombard the psyche. 

Return to your emotional core and connect by thinking and writing with a pen. Without a fountain pen, try any pen that flows. Avoid the use of a pencil.

Experience a freewrite for ten minutes. Find self-reflection in ink.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Trills of Birdsong

I grew up listening to a variety of birdsong. My eyes opened to a blue jay with its raucous chatter. Song sparrows and finches entertained during my tree climbing exploits. When I filled his seed bowl, my pet canary trilled his arias. Twilight blended the coos of mourning doves.

Now, birdsong brightens and energizes my morning runs. Each spring, I teach mockingbirds to sing the first notes of the Oregon Fight Song.

A research project at the University of Surrey studies the impact of birdsong on creativity and on our sense of well-being. 

Supported by the National Trust and Surrey Wildlife Trust, the study examines the psychological impact of exposure to birdsong. Does it help us relax? Will it assist our ability to complete tasks and even think creatively? Does birdsong have a restorative effect?

Eleanor Ratcliffe, the researcher, interviews the general public. She wants to understand how people perceive natural sounds and birdsong's effects. 

Ratcliffe explores different songs and how individuals relate birdsong to their own memories and sense of place. 

She also will examine whether recorded birdsong played on an iPod will have the same impact as listening to birds in cities and the countryside.

Read more about Ratcliffe's study:

Write about your experiences with birdsong. Do warbles, tweets or a series of trills bring memories or a sense of well-being? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Art of Nature

In 1902, William James the father of American psychology, urged the study of transcendent experiences. James believed experiences we enjoy with a sense of wonder represent reality. Often this “true reality” eludes us as we stay busy in our day-to-day lives. We need to discover our true nature through interactions with the natural world. He felt these encounters held keys to help us explore the possibilities of human personality. 

Fifty years later, Abraham Maslow began his explorations into self-actualization. Maslow focused on peak experiences. He described these as moments of intense joy, wonder, appreciation, or a spiritual relationship. 

Maslow felt educators could promote peak experiences by instilling a sense of wonder and appreciation in children. 

As a result of opening individuals to a sense of wonder, he believed more creative individuals would abound in sciences and the arts.

The Art of Nature

Each day provides opportunities to witness and appreciate nature's ways of expressing beauty. Designs and expressions whirl around us in bird song, wing movements, and cloud formations. 

The scent of jasmine, a poppy opening, smile from a stranger, or the expression of someone we love vaults us to elation, awe, and wonder. 

These elevations to bliss provide personal well-being. 

Imagine your life and the world energized by love, respect, and joy. Replacing frustration with wonder comes in small breaths with opened eyes and ears.

Discover an opening never considered before in a flower or yourself.

Search for peak experiences that reveal humanity at its best in optimal flourishing. 

Appreciate the variety of nature's offerings.

Experience the sun and breeze on your skin. Observe with your fingers how a rose unfurls. 
Promote your wonder. Find solace in something greater that ever imagined.