Britt Decker, our host at www.ethicalela.com today for the Open Write, shares a prompt that proves that we walk by thousands of writing opportunities everyday. We walk in them, past them, heck – we wear them! She shows us how to take a t-shirt from our closet with words, a picture, or a memory that will inspire poetry. It's as simple as going to the closet and considering all the possibilities. I love how her t-shirts inspire a poem about her own need of distance between work and play. Read the prompt here, and consider writing with us. I bought a t-shirt at the NCTE conference in Anaheim, California last November with a message I enjoy sharing – your story matters. My poem is a 3x5 today - short and simple like an index card - three lines, five syllables. Your Story Matters you’re a child in God’s great universe so your story matters
Slathered in the Spirit: My 2023 Spirituality and Inspiration Goals
When I took listen as my OLW of 2022, I ordered a bracelet with my word on it to remind me to listen when I was tempted to forget. I also ordered a wooden word cutout to go in my kitchen windowsill to keep listen at the forefront of my mind.
I ordered a bracelet for 2023 also, but I got one with a whole verse instead of a lone word. Pray without ceasing it says on the outside, and on the inside it has the scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:17. It’s one of those verses that could stand in line with the shortest verse in the Bible: Jesus wept (John 11:35). Pray ceaselessly, it might have been written, if Paul and John had been in a two-word verse challenge like on Name That Tune….”Lord, I can write that verse in two words….”. As it stands, John won the shortest verse challenge. Even though it’s not ONE little word on the bracelet, those two extra words make all the difference.
My One Little Word holds within it divine power to achieve (or not) every goal I set for myself this year, especially in the area of spirituality and inspiration. My spirituality goals for 2023 include continuing to tune in to my childhood church service on Sunday mornings (First Baptist Church, St. Simons Island, Georgia) and any churches where Dad may be preaching. I also like to “attend” where my children go to church sometimes so that I can hear the same messages that they are hearing. No matter where I “attend” in the wide world, I continue to grow spiritually from Sunday services – – the only way I am able to start each week ready to face the world.
My guidebook for this area of prayer and spirituality will be The Meaning of Prayer by Harry Emerson Fosdick. I’ll read this book from cover to cover this year and reference the quotes as I apply them to my own prayer life. I’m a fan of the Women of Faith, so I’ll also be rereading their daily devotional book as well. It’s a well-worn favorite! Today’s devotional, in fact, is by Patsy Clairmont, titled “Slathered in the Spirit,” and based on Proverbs 31:30. That’s how I want to be: Slathered in the Spirit. The devotional for January 7 ends with this prayer:
Lord, I want to be beautiful in your sight. Slather me in your Spirit, soften my heart, and firm up my faith. May I be taut in my resolve to please you alone. Amen. -Patsy Clairmont
Hunting Magic! My Creativity Goals for 2023
Q: What is creativity? A: The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration. -Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert asserts that the universe buries strange jewels deep within us all and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels is what she calls creative living, and the surprising results of the hunt are what she calls Big Magic.
During this first week of 2023, I’m spending time each day defining my goals – not resolutions – for the year, in seven broad categories that include reflection, spirituality/inspiration, self-improvement, literature, gratitude, experience, and creativity. Definitive goals for creativity would be in direct contrast to the open-ended creative spirit and energy that can only emerge organically within any given moment from the right slant of light at a particular vantage point, but I aim this year to spend more time on photography as a visual art form.
I have taken a couple of photography classes over the years, my most recent being through University of West Georgia. I had a friend taking the same course, and we would spontaneously go on “photography excursions,” jumping in the car and driving the rural countryside to look for images of beauty. I miss those days of creative adventuring and look forward to resurrecting the energy I felt on those outings. One goal is to improve the photos I share on my blog. I also want to create some photo displays of recent trips with favorite pictures from our travels, beginning with a few photos on canvas.
As a hobby, photography is relatively inexpensive – far more so today than in the 1980s, when I took my first photography course in college and had to purchase film and develop it in the dark room. Unlike my children, I don’t have the gifts of drawing and painting. But I’m often able to find a subject of beauty and click from several angles to find that certain slant of light that magically illuminates the shot and brings a dazzling luster.
The Big Magic ~ I’m hunting the jewels buried within in 2023!