Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


17 Comments

Animal Communication: Language Beyond Words

An animal eyes with wolf

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is, “language.”

The first thing I thought of was that animals have language though some snobs say they don’t. I didn’t mean to write snobs. But I wrote it right out of my stream of consciousness. (I don’t usually call names.) But I do love and respect animals.

In college, I wrote a research paper on the intelligence of dolphins and whales. There was plenty of research, even back then in the 1970’s, that suggested that dolphins and whales communicate in complex ways. This was based on their behavior. If you pay attention, you will see, hear, and sense things that you don’t notice when you don’t pay attention.  The songs of humpback whales are complex and change over time. Who’s to say that this is not language? Just because we don’t understand, just because it sounds different from human languages, doesn’t mean it’s not language.

Many animals have a keen sense and use of body language. They are more aware of it than we are as humans. My dogs have observed my body language very carefully. That’s probably the dominant way dogs communicate, but how do I know? They are probably way more complex than we realize. Who’s to say that a wolf’s howl is just a song? And song’s are language anyway.

great voices wolf pup

In Jean Auel’s book series that started with The Clan of the Cave Bear, the human-like tribes thought the Neanderthal-like tribes were animals because they did not speak. But we learned from the main character, Ayla (who I named my daughter after because I fell in love with these books), that this was not true. They did have a very complex language based on subtle body movements. Ayla knew this because the people of the Clan adopted her (even though she was one of the others) and she learned their language. Even though some of the Clan people thought she was slow and stupid because she did not have the “memories,” she learned healing from the woman who adopted her.

So, language is relative. Language is complicated and beautiful. Like The Five Love Languages which I’m mentioning in my May newsletter. There is the language of love that we communicate with our eyes, the windows to our souls, with no words at all. Perhaps a language without words (as we know them) has the potential to be even more powerful than simple words. Considering that, it’s pretty amazing that we communicate as well as we do, here on WordPress and other blog spots. I’ve made some good and meaningful connections with this language of words. So I’m not knocking language as we are accustomed to it. I’m just saying, there’s a whole lot more to language than just human words.

This video excerpt starts with lots of surface action which I recommend watching in full screen. The singing begins just after two minutes.

(The photos are from Pinterest.)

Linda G. Hill is our host for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness. Visit her blog to follow more streams at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-1317/

SOCS

Here are the SoCS rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


25 Comments

Serving at Cursillo: a Spiritual Weekend

 

Trinity Center pond

My weekend was intense, busy, and very social. I knew it would be outside my comfort zone, but I was asked to be on the music team, and I wanted to give back for all the blessings I’ve received. Leaning heavily toward introversion, I’m more comfortable finding my spiritual moments alone in quiet places, but thankfully, I found God in many varied moments during my four days serving at “EC 95” (The 95th Cursillo weekend of the East Carolina Episcopal Diocese.)

Cursill is a three day adventure for 20 pilgrims who are there to learn about Christian leadership and to be loved and served by the team. One of the common experiences shared by pilgrims was a deeper relationship with Jesus and one another. As a team member serving the pilgrims, I felt this deepening, too. Even with the lack of sleep from late nights and early mornings, even with my occasional discomfort from being around  many people who I didn’t know well, I felt the deepening. I felt the love for people who became family.

It helped that our Cursillo weekend was held at Trinity Center, a place close to nature and close to my heart, where they build around the trees.

Tree in deck

Trinity is an Episcopal retreat center nestled on the North Carolina coast between Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunset at Sander's Point (2)

ocean from the pavilion

One of my favorite places at Trinity Center, besides the beach….  and the sound….. and the pond….

pond throug trees (3)

Trinity Center pond

…is the tunnel that runs under the main road and leads to the beach.

tunnel sign

tunnel entrance

tunnel with turtle

The tunnel is a great place to sing. Imagine the echo. Or is it called reverb?

On Friday afternoon, as I walked the wooded road to my room during a short break, I stopped to admire the light shining through the leaves ahead.

path of connection with Mom and Dad (2)

It was here that I felt the powerful and undeniable presence of my parents. They “told” me (in feelings more than words) of their joy that I was there serving with my husband, and that they are proud of us both. My parents had a long history of ministry in soup kitchens and working with veterans. This is the first time I’ve felt them both together since my father died in January. The confirmation that they are together still makes my heart sing.

djembe purple background

I finally got me a Djembe!

And I did a lot of singing at Cursillo. As part of the music team, I sang, played my guitar, and got to experiment with the new drum I bought for this occasion.

Cursillo music is mostly folksy with some contemporary praise songs. When somebody requested “Wade In the Water,” we had to hunt for the music because it wasn’t on our song list. But it turned out to be such a big hit, we sang this powerful spiritual three times during the weekend. This article explains that “Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade in the Water” to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water to make sure the dogs slavecatchers used couldn’t sniff out their trail.” 

The following arrangement, while different than the simple version we sang, gives a feeling close to what I felt during our closing service singing with about 50 people and three guitars as I kept a strong, steady beat on my drum.

In spite of the intensity, I’m thankful to have served at EC 95. But some day,  I want to go to Trinity Center just to relax. I bet I’ll do some singing and wading, too.

Silver beach (2)


8 Comments

Time in a Bottle

Song Lyric Sunday

Jim Croce was one of my favorite singer/songwriters in the seventies, and time is one of my favorite topics. It’s fitting that my first Song lyric Sunday post is about saving time as I sit here on my bed, covered in blankets, listening to the rain melt the snow that rarely falls here.

Let’s make the most of the time we have.

“Time In A Bottle”   By Jim Croce

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with youIf I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do, once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty, except for the memory of how
They were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do, once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go through time with.

I’m not sure why the video isn’t showing up, but here’s the link to the song:
For more information on Song Lyric Sunday, visit:


6 Comments

Love Songs with a Twist

agape-candle

When I was single, one of the things that helped me tolerate and even embrace love songs that came on the radio  was to sing them to God. I know it sounds corny, but it helped. One day, on a solo road trip, that old song came on the radio: “Some Kinda Wonderful.” I was about to change the station, when I got an idea. I substituted the name of Jesus for “my baby.” Later in the song, I sang about my sweet loving savior.
And I’m telling you, it worked. Singing love songs to or about Jesus helped ease my loneliness.

Just try it. When a love song comes on, but you don’t have a romantic interest, or if you have one who’s not good for you, substitute the higher power or ideal love of your choice. Think of someone who’s always got your back.

 

Can I get a witness?

I realized I could do this with any love song. I even sang love songs to my dog who was always there for me. Cause you know what dog spelled backwards is. Dogs are like mirrors reflecting unconditional love. Natalie, at Sacred Touches, agrees.

jesse-howling

 

As I write in Trust the Timing:

“The dogs provided more comfort and less stress than the men I dated after the divorce “

 

 

 

You can sing love songs to any body you want to. Because love is valuable and wonderful . It doesn’t have to be romantic love, though romantic love is pretty darn special. I’m talking about caring for someone else so much that their happiness is just as important as your own. (Love your neighbor as yourself, not more than yourself.)

Whether it’s brotherly love, sisterly love, parental love, platonic love, romantic love, self love, dog love or AGAPE God love, love is good.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love,

JoAnne/JoAnna

 


15 Comments

Sewing Memories and Off-Grid Fantasies in the Stream of Consciousness


foot-pedal-sewing-machine-from-pixabay

Photo compliments of Pixabay

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is: “so/sow/sew.” Use one, use ’em all, use ’em any way you’d like. Bonus points if you start and end with any of them. Enjoy!

So, I use the word “so” a lot. I suppose it could mean, therefore, but sometimes it’s just one of those words that allow me to gather my thoughts. So, I used to sew a lot, I use “a lot” a lot, too…. In junior high school (which we not call middle school) I took home economics just so I could learn to sew and make my own clothes. I made a couple dresses and a scooped neck shirt/blouse that I wore in tenth grade to the party where my high school sweetheart and I met. I still remember that blouse. It was white with green print. And I think it looked good with my red hair. So he said when I interviewed him for the book.

I started out sewing on one of those old, black, iron pedal machines that use foot power on the pedal instead of electricity. I flexed both feet back and forth on the flat rectangular foot pedal which made the wheel turn and the needle go up and down. They had a few electric sewing machines, and I eventually got to use one of those. I know this sounds like I grew up in the dark ages, but this wasn’t that long ago – in the late sixties. The pedal machine was actually kinda fun.

I like the idea of a machine that doesn’t use electricity. Just imagine: years ago, people made all their clothes by hand. Sewing by hand can be fun, though time consuming. Once I made some curtains by hand. Where did I find the time? It was before we had personal computers, so I could watch TV while sewing on the couch. Yeah, I always liked TV, though the computer has taken the place of that for the most part.

What would it be like to live off the grid? With no TV and sewing by hand, reading books by a river, or by candlelight. Sowing seeds and reaping a harvest of potatoes, corn, beans, and lettuce? I think I would like it as long as I had toilet paper, clean, fresh water, and it didn’t get too cold. And if I had my own space, and a shower. And if it didn’t last too long. I’d like to try it for a week and see if I really liked it. But off the grid doesn’t mean without electricity, does it? Maybe having a little electricity, from an alternative, sustainable source, would be the ideal living situation. I could sow seeds, sew buttons, and sing songs like: do, re, mi, fa, so……

Bonus points!

SOCS

If you’d like to join in the Stream of Consciousness or just watch it flow by, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-1117/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


11 Comments

Peace in the Stream of Consciousness

Peace.

The Peace that passes all understanding.

Peace that comes with a smile

Or a nod of understanding, or acceptance.

Peace like a river that flows freely

Nourishing life with sparkling waves

Peace of silence in an evening snowfall

When there is no wind – only the sound of snowflakes

Peace Will Come

An old song I loved in my youth.

 

Peace, Please.

flowers-close-up

PS: I’m planning to march in the MLK day parade Monday with a group I just joined: it’s called Grandmother’s for Peace.

Peace was the first thing that popped in to my head when I read Linda’s SoCS prompt to use a word that begins with the letter P. I get bonus points for beginning and ending with a words that starts with the letter P.

Come play in the Saturday Stream of Consciousness persistently provided by Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-1417/

SOCS  just-jot-january


11 Comments

Anything is Possible Cooking with the Stream of Consciousness

socsbadge2016-17

I enjoy cooking when it’s an experiment. That means not following a recipe. With the exception of baking – cookies, pies, cakes which require specific measurements or else you could have a bunch of dog treats on your hands, or Frisbees – I think of a recipe as a general guideline or an idea generator.

My husband, on the other hand, likes to follow a recipe with precision. When I’ve made an experiment that turned out good, he says, “How will you be able to replicate it?” But following a recipe, or writing down what I did, just seems to take the fun out of it.

One exception that we can both have fun with is soup. We’ll throw all our leftovers or last chance veggies in a soup.

I’m making my traditional vegetarian lasagna for Christmas Eve, even though it will probably be just me and my husband, and even though I’m experimenting so it won’t be a traditional recipe, just the tradition of Christmas Eve lasagna. This year, I’m experimenting with vegan cheese. Yeah, it might not melt on top, but, well, we’ll see. I’m also baking ginger cookies, but I’m taking the easy way out with a mix. I’m just adding the vegan butter and one Humane Certified egg. So the cookies will be soft and chewy, a step above the store bought in a bag ginger snaps, but easier than starting from scratch.

Speaking of easy, Christmas day, we’ll go take my dad out for Chinese after church. It’s a new tradition for us since my mom died a few years ago and it works okay for me to not cook.

Here’s a cooking song my dad used to sing to my mom. It’s not my kind of music, but it’s my stream of consciousness, and the words are cute.

“Hey, good lookin’ whatcha got cookin’?”

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE, EVERYONE!

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “cook.” Find a word that means “cook,” (or use “cook” itself) and use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

The Saturday Stream of Consciousness is brought to you by Linda Hill at:

 https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/23/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-2316/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!