About Diversity

ex2

This is a line weave drawing done in colored ink. It was done in a small 3.5 x 5 inch sketchbook. I have several of them, because they were easy to carry around, and use, when I was caring for my Mother in her final years. But, I like to play with these sketches digitally. So, I tried it in black and white.

2a

Of course, I had to find out what would happen if I put it through the kaleidoscope app. Was really surprised at some of the results.

ex2a (2)c

And again in black and white, which makes for a good template to color.

ex2a (2)a

Just had to keep going and find out where it might all take me.

ex2a2-2

And then to this.

ex2a3 (2)

And this.

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And back to black and white.

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And then inverted.

ex2a2-2ab

All of these images, each one diverse, able to stand alone. Each one a different, but unique expression. Able to tell a different story, allowing for a different perspective, yet all connected one to another. All coming from the same source, as though sharing the same DNA. That is the strength to be found in diversity. It allows us to grow, to expand our own horizons, as well as that of others.

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Thoughts On Calmness

purle14

The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own — for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined … to the Twilight Zone. – “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”

There is something bothering me. I go to Facebook everyday. Many of my friends there are writers, poets, I’ve never met, but care about deeply. And, over these past few months, I have watched some of them change in ways I can’t, and don’t understand. Granted, I only know them through the words they write, and I read. But, I do believe that our written words, because they come from within us, say something about the very real person we are. That one who lives and breathes on the other side of my computer monitor.

I have just spent forty days creating word prompts to help myself and others get through the current upheaval and distress of our present political and everyday reality. I did that for several different reasons:

1. Because I was aware that people were frightened, and I wanted to show them how to use their own skills and abilities to alleviate at least some of that fear.

2. Fear is a signal from the brain that the individual is being threatened. It manifests itself in anger.

3. Anger is a flow of energy, meant to be used against that threat in one of two ways. One either runs like hell, or stands to fight off the threat.

4. Sometimes running away is not a bad or weak thing. It can provide the time needed to assess ones skills and weapons for coming confrontation. It can and does provide for preparation.

5. Creativity is also an energy flow that comes from deep within. It focuses our efforts and also provides us with the knowledge of what we really can do, or be.

6. I truly believe that Creativity is a built-in healing agent, meant to help the individual grow in the ways and means of living a fuller and more actualized life.

7. Thus, my main purpose for creating the forty day Challenge, was to show others how to use their given talents to heal themselves and the world around them.

When I began the Challenge, I had no idea how long it would continue. Some days, I had to work really hard to come up with a word prompt that was suitable. Other days, I knew as soon as I sat down at my computer, just how I needed to proceed. In other words, it was very much an up and down hill climb. A journey, without a map, or a known destination. But, as the days continued to pass, I could see a definite pattern developing. The words that I chose seemed to have, or appeared to hold, a certain sort of movement. They seemed to be directed: first inward, then outward. That made sense to me. We must go inside before acting outwardly. Become aware of our own person, before directing our thoughts and words toward the outside world.

And, somewhere around Day 31, I knew it would all end on Day 40. That also made sense to me. My original faith system is based in Christianity, but over the years, I have explored and incorporated other belief systems into that original basis. Although I am going to use a Christian story for this further explanation, I’m fairly certain, that others will identify something in that explanation that will allow them to relate to what I am about to say.

Before entering his final ordeal, Jesus went into the desert to meditate for forty days and nights. He met a great deal of difficulty during that time and was also confronted by the devil, who tempted him with the lure of the outside world and promised him that world’s adulation and ownership, if he’d just stop what he was doing. Jesus resisted those temptations. Yes, he ended on the cross, but his final words were a prayer that the people be forgiven because they didn’t know what they were doing. He did not act out in fear or anger. He chose otherwise. He came from inside his own being, having learned the meaning of his own existence out there in the desert.

I am well aware that my example is an extreme one. But, I also believe we are in extreme circumstances. We are facing the possible end of the world we live in and on. And although we may not face the exact end of that world, our children, or their children, have a possibility of doing just that. Is that the legacy any of us wish to leave those children?

We are faced with a leader who is essentially a business man. A billionaire who has used and abused others to gain whatever he wants. A creature used to playing ‘the game’ and winning. He promised us a wall, that someone else would pay for. And by using fear as a weapon, he has created that wall. A solid demarcation line between us and them. And we will pay an exorbitantly high price for his efforts. Because while we are fighting one another, he is amassing a cabinet of cronies that will ensure not only his leadership, but all of their bank accounts as well. He doesn’t care, as long as he stays on top.

Which brings me to what concerns me in this present moment. When we use the language of fear and anger, we lose our ability to be heard. And all we accomplish is to add to the noise that doesn’t allow us to hear, let alone, in ways that are beneficial to ourselves, or the world around us. The use of foul language will gain us nothing. Nor will vulgarity or spitting rage at others. We might have valid points to make, but who will even try to listen?

When we express ourselves with anger and rage, we defeat our own purpose. Remember those famous words, “Walk softly, but carry a big stick?” It is the quiet voice of reason that will be heard, not the one of vulgarity and violence. Yes, the vulgarity and foul words feel good as they cross the paper, or page, on which we write. But they are just more bricks cemented into that wall he is building. By all means, write them down, but don’t post them. Release the anger on a personal page, and then enter the public fray with kindness, caring, and reason. And above all else, please remember, those others are not the enemy, they are people just as afraid as we are. The only way we can be, or become, a calming influence is by remaining calm.

And the only way to remain calm, is to spend some time each day, going inward. Making contact with the real person and potentials we all own. If we truly want to be heard, we must first learn how to listen. Listen to our own heartbeat, then reach out from that place.

Elizabeth Crawford 1/2/2017

Note: For me, purple is the color of personal power.

 

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Creativity Challenge Day 40

Creativity Challenge 40

The Challenge here is to use your creative talent to bring light into the current distress in the world around you, in whatever form that talent takes. Please remember that we are reaching out to a world that is facing upheaval and possibly a great number of changes. Let us reach out to that world and bring it the lessons we have learned by becoming artists and writers.  You may use images, photos, music, poetry, prose, short story fiction, personal essay, or whatever suits you best. I will post one word a day, adding a few of my own thoughts about the word. The rest is up to you. You may post as many times as you like, and may use old or new pieces, as you choose. When you have finished creating your post, return here and leave the URL in the comments section below. Then post it to whatever social media you are involved with. If you are not connected to some form of social media, consider joining one now. If not, say so when you post, and I will attempt to post it on mine, which is Facebook.

Word for Today

 Finish

To complete a task, or any endeavor. Crossing the finish line. Putting the finishing touches on something. This will be the last of the daily prompts. I have to get ready to resume teaching a class online. And I want to thank all of you who have participated. I can only hope that it helped you to see how your art, and your creativity, can be healing in times of stress and upheaval. And how reaching out to others is the greatest gift we have to offer our world, while finding our own sense of balance.  I wish you well in all of your adventures. There is both relief and sadness in finishing the task, and you may express that in any form you wish.

Example

 new-year

Elizabeth

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Creativity Challenge Day 39

Creativity Challenge 39

The Challenge here is to use your creative talent to bring light into the current distress in the world around you, in whatever form that talent takes. Please remember that we are reaching out to a world that is facing upheaval and possibly a great number of changes. Let us reach out to that world and bring it the lessons we have learned by becoming artists and writers.  You may use images, photos, music, poetry, prose, short story fiction, personal essay, or whatever suits you best. I will post one word a day, adding a few of my own thoughts about the word. The rest is up to you. You may post as many times as you like, and may use old or new pieces, as you choose. When you have finished creating your post, return here and leave the URL in the comments section below. Then post it to whatever social media you are involved with. If you are not connected to some form of social media, consider joining one now. If not, say so when you post, and I will attempt to post it on mine, which is Facebook.

Word for Today

 Silence

The absence of sound. Many individuals are afraid of silence, so they fill it with distractions. Silence makes us aware of our own person, alone. The mind rushes to fill that void with memories and feelings. Depending on the person, silence might trigger fear, or a sense of peace. There’s a lot of territory between those two realities. Silence might be seen as a weakness, or a weapon. A crutch, or a sword. It might hide ignorance, or a depth of wisdom. I’d like you to try something. Sit quietly, and just breathe. Concentrate on the sound of your own breathing, entering and leaving your body. Once your mind has quieted, breathe deeply for a few moments, then starting with the word silence, write out a stream on consciousness list, adding words as they come from one another. When finished with your list, use a few of those words, in phrases, to create your post for today. Or simply post about your thoughts and feelings about the word itself.

Example

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Creativity Challenge Day 38

Creativity Challenge 38

The Challenge here is to use your creative talent to bring light into the current distress in the world around you, in whatever form that talent takes. Please remember that we are reaching out to a world that is facing upheaval and possibly a great number of changes. Let us reach out to that world and bring it the lessons we have learned by becoming artists and writers.  You may use images, photos, music, poetry, prose, short story fiction, personal essay, or whatever suits you best. I will post one word a day, adding a few of my own thoughts about the word. The rest is up to you. You may post as many times as you like, and may use old or new pieces, as you choose. When you have finished creating your post, return here and leave the URL in the comments section below. Then post it to whatever social media you are involved with. If you are not connected to some form of social media, consider joining one now. If not, say so when you post, and I will attempt to post it on mine, which is Facebook.

Word for Today

 Relief

Release or ease from pain, distress, or discomfort. A positive change. Help when or where it is most needed. Replacement during a time of duty, or work. What relief would you most like to see in the present moment. What would bring relief to our current situation/s? What can we, as individuals, offer to our world, friends, family, neighbors to ease their distress and discomfort?

Example

elephants

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Creativity Challenge Day 37

Creativity Challenge 37

The Challenge here is to use your creative talent to bring light into the current distress in the world around you, in whatever form that talent takes. Please remember that we are reaching out to a world that is facing upheaval and possibly a great number of changes. Let us reach out to that world and bring it the lessons we have learned by becoming artists and writers.  You may use images, photos, music, poetry, prose, short story fiction, personal essay, or whatever suits you best. I will post one word a day, adding a few of my own thoughts about the word. The rest is up to you. You may post as many times as you like, and may use old or new pieces, as you choose. When you have finished creating your post, return here and leave the URL in the comments section below. Then post it to whatever social media you are involved with. If you are not connected to some form of social media, consider joining one now. If not, say so when you post, and I will attempt to post it on mine, which is Facebook.

Word for Today

 Path

A narrow walk or way, a track that something or someone follows, a course of actions or procedures that lead to an ultimate goal. What is the path you followed that brought you here, to this present moment? How did you find, or discover the path that you follow? Would you suggest this path to another? Have you ever walked a path called a labyrinth? What did you discover along the way, and what, if any, result did you find? How would you describe its affect on your person? We each follow a path, for many different reasons. What is the path you see that the world around you is following? Do you agree with that path? Why or why not? I am simply offering different paths that you might follow. Or maybe you have another one to share. Do so.

Example

Stepping Stones Photograph by Elizabeth Crawford

Stepping Stones
Photograph
by
Elizabeth Crawford

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Creativity Challenge Day 36

Creativity Challenge 36

The Challenge here is to use your creative talent to bring light into the current distress in the world around you, in whatever form that talent takes. Please remember that we are reaching out to a world that is facing upheaval and possibly a great number of changes. Let us reach out to that world and bring it the lessons we have learned by becoming artists and writers.  You may use images, photos, music, poetry, prose, short story fiction, personal essay, or whatever suits you best. I will post one word a day, adding a few of my own thoughts about the word. The rest is up to you. You may post as many times as you like, and may use old or new pieces, as you choose. When you have finished creating your post, return here and leave the URL in the comments section below. Then post it to whatever social media you are involved with. If you are not connected to some form of social media, consider joining one now. If not, say so when you post, and I will attempt to post it on mine, which is Facebook.

Word for Today

Invigorate

To bring vigor to something, someone. To energize, give energy to. It’s the day after Christmas, and many of us are feeling a lack of energy, caused by the activities of yesterday. How do we invigorate ourselves to get back to the things that need to be done? How do you energize yourself? Or someone else? More importantly, how do we invigorate the world around us? The world scene hasn’t changed, it remains the same. How do we encourage others to act, when many seem to prefer to just ignore what is happening, perhaps hoping it will all go away or disappear?

Example

d8744520f3d05bfcc3c71d7444e3e913

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