Posted in Culture, Events, flashback, Music, Quotes

The Importance of Play: A Mysterious Lion Captivates

As we grow older, our playgrounds change – where do you go to play?

Shelley @ Quaint Revival
Created a word cloud with Background Image from Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Hello there! Hope you are all well and safe!

Shelley’s quote peaked my interest today. How often do we neglect this area of our lives dismissing play as being infantile and frivolous? Throughout history, many influential people asserted the importance of play.

  • Albert Einstein: “Play is the highest form of research.”
  • Mr. Rogers: Play gives children a chance to practice what they’re learning.”
  • Johan Huizinga: “Culture arises and unfolds in and as play.”
  • Abraham Maslow: “Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.”
  • Roger von Oech: Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.

Play relieves stress by releasing feel-good endorphins. It improves connections with your relationships which can help ward off depression. Play helps increase vitality and helps replace negative beliefs and behaviors. For adults it can be something small like flirting with your partner, joking with your coworkers, or enjoying spontaneity with your relatives.

A Young Adult’s Playground

There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme.

Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen

A few days ago, I received a gift in the mail. As I unwrapped the box, I was stunned by the beauty of “Mysterious Lion”, a wooden Unidragon puzzle. I found out my thoughtful siblings mailed it to me as a surprise for my birthday. Mom called the night before and laughed when I told her I received a “toy”.

My eyes got watery. Unintentionally, the gift was rather meaningful and symbolic for me. VJ invited her readers to think about circling this week. For me, the invitation to play again was coming back full circle. I remembered the joy I felt to complete a puzzle as a child. Even though it’s been a while since I physically completed one, I was always attracted to things resembling a puzzle. Circling around the idea of solving a mystery.

My heart swelled a bit when my Facebook wall was flooded with lovely messages from local friends. It’s a strange sight to behold since I’m typically not active there. Since the quarantine however, all sorts of groups popped up to hang out. I had trouble choosing a non-profit to invite donations this year. So, I created a short video featuring non-profits that help the local community to drum up support.

Google Arts and Culture partnered with more than 2000 museums all around the world. I virtually explored some of these spaces and their exhibits. In the evening, I watched Verdi’s opera, Un Ballo de Maschera, a free nightly streaming at the Metropolitan Opera.

I had a very small gathering to celebrate in my cozy home. My roommates created a tasty meal of BBQ ribs, asparagus, mashed potatoes, ambrosia salad, chocolate cake with coconut-pecan icing. My boyfriend helped me build a desk as we enjoyed chatting with one another. My friend gave me hilarious t-shirts, Hawaiian floral hair clips, makeup which I’ll probably feature soon on Instagram.

Creating this banner made me feel pretty happy and features my bright personality. 😉 Sometimes it’s the little things that can bring a smile to your face. 😊

Posted in Culture, fiction, Quotes

#A2Z- The Ciselure Shop (fiction)

The chimes on the door clanged. A portly gentleman dressed in an olive-green tweed suit just entered Vpyshit’sya, a small shop nestled within a mountain village of Dzembronya, Ukraine. Novak took a burgundy handkerchief from out of his breast pocket, and wiped the dust off his gold rimmed glasses. He breathed a sigh of relief that he arrived in one piece as the foggy weather made safety of the travelling conditions questionable.

After taking a quick glance inside, he decided to walk around the shop quietly studying the craftsmanship of the metal pieces that were on display. He displayed a keen perspicacity in recognizing quality pieces. He heard about this shop as he chatted to the barman last night. Ukraine was well known for a variety of metal and wood carvings.

He was immediately enthused by the diversity of products he found: unique jewelry that was encased by glass display boxes, brass Viking shields that hung on the walls, intricately engraved kitchen knife sets, engraved metal wall decor.

He slowly found his way to the check out desk in the back of the shop. He noticed a young lady diligently working in the back room. Sophia’s family has been in the ciselure business for five generations. Her family taught her everything they knew, and precocious Sophia became a young master in the craft. She was inspired by a few techniques from a video she watched.

She was finishing up an jewelry box for an exhibit held at the Metal Working International Trade Fair in Kiev, the capital. She was looking forward to learning new things in metallurgy and the innovative tools in metal industry.

Novak cleared his throat, “Excuse me, mam. I was told that you can create metal designs for a wide variety of things.” Sophia broke from her trance, got up from her workstation, and walked towards the man. He took out a wooden box from his bag, and set it on the table.

“Careful now, there’s a golden pocket knife I would like to engrave for my son. It’s his birthday and there is something I would like to inscribe.” He took out a note for Sophia to read:

My son, take time to sharpen your skills, your tools, your resources, and you’ll be more productive. Much love, Novak

Image Credit: Pixabay

In response to:

Posted in Culture, Dreams, fiction, poetry

#A2Z – Burj al Arab (quadrille/cinquain)

Listen
Near string quartet
Enjoying 3-toned drink
Seeking closure from past mistakes
Sharp shame

Image Credit: Pixabay

Hotel
Burj Al Arab
Shields from disappointment
From its opulent interior
New life

Image Credit: Harrison Jacobs – Business Insider

Golden
Seashell Entrance
Tries sweeping memories
Welcomes those who choose a new path
Journey

Dubai’s bright allure!

In response to:

Posted in Culture, fiction

#A2Z- Axolotl Meets Charlotte (Fiction)

“Alrighty Watson, you can do this! Just one step in front of another!”

Charlotte chatted to her Hierex prosthetic leg as she would a close friend and gave good ole’ Watson a pep talk as she began her morning walk in nature. She gazed at the gorgeous sunrise glimmering across Lake Xochimilco, Mexico. The skin on her arm felt the warmth of the sun. She enjoyed the precious rays of light peeking through between the trees.

Image Credit: https://lakesofmexico.com/lakes/xochimilco/

Whoosh! Competitive bicyclists rang a bell as they passed by her in a flash on the sidewalk. Athletes determine to make their regular rounds around the lake. As she felt the fresh breeze, Charlotte’s mind unconsciously revisited an old memory seven years ago.

She was excited to jog with the bustling crowds. Crowds on the sidewalk gathered near the sidewalks of Boylston Street. She trained hard and conditioned herself to participate in the famous 24.5-mile run for an entire two years. Charlotte was proud that her breathing was steady this entire time as her feet hit the pavement in the city.

She smiled as she noticed she was nearing the finish line when all of the sudden she heard a loud explosion. Screaming in pain and blinded by the smoke, she wondered what in the world could be piercing her leg. The last thing she saw were medical personnel tending to her before she blacked out.

Charlotte shook the flashback away as she tried to calm her racing heart beat. After her leg was amputated, she had a case of phantom leg which made her leg feel like it was always there. When the doctors showed her the Hierex prosthetic that they would attach, she cried. It was difficult to accept.

To get over this new alien limb, she decided to call her new leg, Watson, a beloved fiction character. Emulating Sherlock Holmes, she was delighted to have a reliable friend that will support her.

Charlotte has been living in Mexico for the past few years wanting to start fresh. As she walked along the path, she noticed a movement in the grass by the lake. Wanting a closer look at what was ruffling the grass, she hobbled over hoping to see a baby duck.

Shift the grass aside, she gasped! “What an adorable looking alien!”

Charlotte was in shock. She read about this creature in one of the tourist brochures. This cute amphibian is an endangered species called the Axolotl! One of the remarkable qualities that intrigued her the most was that it could regrow limbs.

“You know, lil’ guy, I’m slightly envious of your ability to regrow limbs.”

Image Credit: https://lakesofmexico.com/lakes/xochimilco/

Inspired by:

Posted in Culture, poetry, Quotes

#Haiku-Feline Above | A-Z 2020 – Theme Reveal!

Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.

Eugene O’Neil
Image by Pixaline from Pixabay

Uneasy kitten
Chatoyant green gems staring
Mystified by feats

Hey there, Kitty! Not to worry! You will get to live another day!

It’s that time of year again! A to Z April Blogging Challenge is a fun challenge where bloggers participate in topics of their choosing corresponding to letters in the alphabet.

And my theme for 2020?

I discovered a lot of topics that I’ve never heard of before and wanted to share them in story and poetry form! Random categories include:

Architecture | Animals | Manifestos | Festivals | Music | Gifts

My curious mind will transport us in a variety of places. I’ll be a fun travel buddy. Look forward to you joining my journey!

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay
Posted in awareness, Concepts, Culture, Events, Quotes

#FFE 16 – Phases of the Effects of Broken Glass

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

European Proverb

As Mel has done, I turned to Google for help in interpreting this statement that Fandango has shared with everyone. It boils down to not criticizing the character faults of others when you have similar faults. Sounds like an ideal in understanding humanity’s fragility.

I came across some very striking interpretations along the way. Below is a creative work done by tattoo artist, Sam Barber, featuring a vulnerable woman who is struck by the aftermath from the blow of broken glass. It touches on some points Mel has written about how painstaking it is to rebuild a person who has been shattered. The storms in life can rank up such fear. How can one be comforted when they’re exposed and open to another attack once the glass has been shattered?

Jentheripper – 8 Sharp Broken Glass Tattoos

My mind jumps to an extreme literal example. My memory recalled an assignment I had about “Kristallnacht”, otherwise known as “Night of Broken Glass” during November 9-10, 1938 when the Nazis brutally assaulted the Jews while everything was ravaged and shattered.

Realizing that his home was now uninhabitable, he broke down and – as he confessed in the letter – started sobbing like a child.

Jewish merchant, Martin Fröhlich
The Conversation – The forgotten mass destruction of Jewish homes during ‘Kristallnacht’

Koenigsberg’s New Synagogue took as long as 80 YEARS to rebuild from the aftermath! Now that is the recovery of a building, can you imagine the recuperation of the people? Despite these devastating events, another Kristallnacht occurred 17 years later in Turkey in September 6, 1955.

Image Credit: Greek Reporter

Below is another compelling interpretation I found from a Dutch artist who seems to favor a realism approach acknowledging that people from glass houses will always throw stones even though they shouldn’t. From this pain, one can acquire wisdom.

Image Credit: MAF RÄDERSCHEIDT 

They say people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Maybe, but sometimes it’s a good idea. Only those who live in a fragile surrounding in consciousness and with the fantasy of danger, protect themselves. And other glass houses. Daily Painting about glass houses

Alles, was Kunst ist – A painting a day keeps the doctor away

It leads me to think of the individuals who felt this way:

Pain makes me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore, for me pain is pleasure.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

Lao Tzu

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

Kahlil Gibran
Image Credit: Envato Market

It makes me wonder why people are attracted to super human individuals who can withstand the symbolic impact of broken glass when watching a film. Perhaps it’s because we realize how fragile we can be, and anything to the contrary intrigues or inspires us.

Image Credit: Envato Market