Imagine

With a little imagination, we can do anything.

No more spoon fed ideas!

Puréed politics is as unpalatable as over-cooked carrots spun through the food processor.

Talking heads in 1950s suits telling us what to think is so retro (and not in a good way like that mid-century modern you’ve been eying).

If your words are sharp, short and fire rapidly, think for a moment: have you heard this before, in exactly this way. If you have you know you have been memified.

Let everyone know, our brains are not empty waiting to be filled with their memes that crowd out original thought. Imagination needs the space that the memes take up. So throw them away like moldy cheese.

We have been playing it too safe. Think of your worst ideas.

The worse the better.

For brilliance rises not in the safety of acceptable ideas that carry no risk. Brilliance bursts into life from outrageous ill conceived unconventional thoughtS.

Failed ideas are the food of the precious few.

You cannot fail if you open a void

and imagine.

The sketch

By now, most of us have seen the sketch that went viral. In spite of its simplicity (or because of it) a thief was caught. I get it. A few lines and a couple of dots captured the visual essence of a man.

Less is more in the detective business.

Saturday over breakfast, my son and I decided to throw our towel into the forensic artist business.

I offer the following sketch to my lovely neighbors in case their dog should go out galavanting and get lost on their way home.

You would surely recognize their dog at a glance if posted on any poster.

Please understand I have complete faith in the careful puppy parenting of our neighbors. I anticipate that this image will never be needed for anything greater than my own portfolio.

I also present my talented son’s forensic sketch.

He is seeking a long lost friend from kindergarten.

The image is a good likeness though perhaps less effective than my own.

I do not mean to throw my son under the bus but if a position for a forensic artist becomes available, I am the better candidate for the job. Our family would be better served by an income spent on food than an income spent on the latest and greatest hockey sticks.

Resisting the propaganda machine.

Propaganda is pervasive and we are more easily influenced than we would like to admit. Information is flowing so quickly we are drawn to shortcuts to make sense of the world around us. Simplification of complex ideas to a single emotional meme works like a virus. Right, left or center, no one is immune.

Some signs that infectious content has hijacked your brain:

  • You believe you completely understand the issue with little research.
  • You are emotionally attached to purity of your perspective. Other perspectives are seen as a threat.
  • You find you are unable to sustain a meaningful exploration of an idea without resorting to prepackaged words and slogans.
  • You reject nuanced discussion.

What we can do:

  • Really talk to people we disagree with.
  • Fact check.
  • Use of own voice and our words to describe our perspective. Avoid the slogans that come easily.
  • When things get nasty, exit with strength and dignity.
  • Learn to recognize propaganda
  • Find out more about propaganda theory.

Here’s a few articles about propaganda that I enjoyed.

On our drive to be influenced.

On our need to simplify in an age of information overload.

photo credit: “Nixon is the One” from examples of propaganda by Caitlyn Jordan. An artful collection of propaganda posters.

Inspired by the daily post. <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/theory/”>Theory</a&gt;

Yoga, yoga everywhere

In my second week, yoga moved beyond the constraints of my brief morning practices. I find myself noticing the breath flowing in and out with the rhythm of ocean waves. Deep breaths that are visible by the movement of my chest and belly. Belly breathing! Once I struggled to relearn and now it comes naturally.

Throughout the day, my awareness moves to tight muscles while sitting in meetings and I consciously soften.

I spontaneously do mountain pose and side stretch when I am cooking or in the bathroom.

Yet I struggle in my practice. Memories of deep poses push me past my body’s edges. Every couple of days aches and pains remind me that my body is in a different state. My heels remain inches off the floor in downward facing dog. I cannot touch the floor in triangle pose.

Oh how intolerable this feels sometimes.

I recognize now that my past yoga practice has a touch of serene boastfulness. I would rise and rotate and settle in deeply to the poses. My minds eye would see grace, symmetry and balance in settings where the sun rose pink and golden over deep blue seas.

In nostalgic moments I press pass my stiff ligaments and popping joints. Twinges pull me back to my edge.

My yoga sessions are different this time around. I know the poses and the adaptations to make my practice safe.

I must practice acceptance and gentleness.

I must float not force.

We shall see what week three brings.

A jolly good morning

“Aren’t you glad you are flexible mom?”

My son and I were walking back from an early morning game of passing the puck on the icy roads near our house.

“Yes. I am.”

“I knew you would enjoy this game.” He said proudly with a twelve year olds wisdom.

And I did.

I enjoyed his company, the light of the early morning sky, the way most strangers smiled in amusement, the way he passed pucks accurately and softly this season (less chance of twilight blue marks on pale winter shins).

I enjoyed the way being a mom has made me less conventional.

But mostly I enjoyed his smiles and our laughter.

—-

Inspired by “jolly” in daily post and the first snow.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/jolly/”>Jolly</a&gt;

Week two, daily yoga

Gray Heron standing in icy water.

Week one of daily yoga was filled with discoveries.

The most surprising is that I was oblivious to the way my heavy computer bag had gotten me in the habit of lifting my shoulder ALL THE TIME! Here’s what I am doing to my body. (Not my skeleton.)

I really need to resist the urge to intensify my yoga until I heal this. Other observations.

  • Pride of my past flexibility had me over-rotating in my first week.
  • My migraines were practically nonexistent except for one stressful day that I felt too rushed for morning yoga. I managed evening yoga though I was in pain.
  • I love the way my body feels even after a short practice.
  • I started craving healthier foods.

Next week’s focus: unclenching when stressed and relaxing into symmetry. The clenching is both physical and emotional.

By focusing my attentions there during my practice I should be able to heal that shoulder.

The hard work of procrastination

Day 2 of my 365 day yoga challenge. The key is to start the day with my practice.

Over coffee, I assess my return to yoga after years of setting aside. I have lost so much flexibility. Over-stretching is highly possible. I need to be mindful and not go as deeply as I used to. Also, my core is soft and compacted. It’s like my insides have all collapsed into my pelvic bones.

I really should get going.

But first…

I need a catch phrase to sum up my theme for the week. Something that sticks in my mind. If I focus on flexibility I’ll over stretch. I was secretly so proud of my flexibility.

I got it. “Discover tightness”. How about “climb out of your pelvis”. Can I have two? Should I save one for next week. I can always come up with a new one. But what if I run out of ideas for catch phrases? I need 52 for a year.

I run through them in sequence. They work. I’ll take the risk.

Hmm.

I think I need a graphic to help me remember the catch phrase. Something that I can set as my phone home screen. It will motivate me. It will be hard to avoid yoga when I look at my meme multiple times each day.

I do have this new drawing app. It will be great to build some skills. I do like creating my own art for my blog.

Let’s do this!

That might be a bit hard to live up to.

I lay out my yoga mat. A timer will help me relax into my sun salutations. Otherwise I could go too long and forget to wake my do

Cosmic too jarring. Crescendo. Sounds like my phone. Zen sound too synthesized.

Doesn’t anyone have a simple chime.

I log onto iTunes.

There we go…

Wait a minute. $1.49 for a ring tone? That’s more expensive than a whole song. Ridiculous.

How about a meditation app?

In his clutches

“Ba ha ha ha”

His evil laugh echoed through the house.

“I have you now.”

I curl smaller in the dark space.

He storms from room to room.

I breathe quietly.

The door to the bedroom opens.

He stomps around the room and I wonder if he knows I’m here.

I see the light of the flashlight sweeping back and forth but never shining onto the closet where I hide.

I realize he’s he must be toying with me.

“Ba ha ha ha” he yells and I hear his footsteps running towards me.

I scoop him up.

He holds me tight.

“You’re in my clutches.” He’s says.

I smile, tuck him in and kiss him good night.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/clutch/”>Clutch</a&gt;