Category: Music

Meditation: Books and Journals

I look at the books and journals in our home and am grateful. There is a wide selection: poetry, memoirs, novels, books discarded by libraries, books from thrift stores, books given as gifts. Poets I’ve read for decades, and new poets in journals and who post on their blogs.

Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings, by Joni Mitchell, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2019; and is a beautiful book. She wrote a forward in May 2019. And she is as grateful as ever.

Poetry called to me from the Psalms, and the hymns, from church. Then when I was young I heard Joni Mitchell, and other artists. I could write too!

Monday afternoon
in March
sun fills a bookcase
from my father

Photo by Tom Mann on Pexels.com

WordPress.com Free Photo Library

Wisconsin winter

Wisconsin winter
today the calm beauty
I’ve known all my life
classical music
on the radio

We’ve had strong winds, and Lake Michigan waves splashed up into our front yard, tossing some wood that was drifting in the water. We are high enough above the lake, our shoreline was reinforced years ago, and so we are safe. It’s a different scene with the water this high, and no beach.

Karl took this photo on January 11, 2020.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Creativity Over Time: Music Notes

I enjoy a wide variety of music, and still buy CDs. I like seeing how the artists create the whole work.

From Pandora, I learned of Helen Jane Long, Karen Marie Garrett, Brian Crain and others.

From the News Hour on PBS, I learned about Patty Griffin’s latest CD, Patty Griffin. There was an interview with Jeffrey Brown earlier this year.

After watching a WoodSongs program on PBS, we bought Silver Skies Blue by Judy Collins & Ari Hest.

And I just began listening to Threads, by Sheryl Crow, which includes many artists.

When I was young, we bought albums. One of Joni Mitchell’s covers would be part of my decoration.

Life now is a combination of blogs and also books and music. Everyday work. Fall chores outside when flowers have completely faded, though I leave some plants to look beautiful in the winter snow. It is a blessing to simply wash dishes and look through the window to the yard.

And I continue to read Luci Shaw’s poetry often. She writes in such a healing and honest way about her long life – she was born in 1928.

I took the photo yesterday. As you can see, the pumpkin is on the ash tree stump with October hosta plants. The ash tree fell in a storm, and we created a new image of beauty in the yard. Of hope. I love the hosta weathered now too – all part of the cycle of the seasons.

Blessings,
Ellen Grace Olinger

Friday afternoon

I listen to quiet music and read some poems aloud by different poets. Many voices and ways to write.

Sometimes I like to hear all the words, even as thoughts of the poets are sometimes too complex for me now.

My love of language is at least in part a gift from my mother. This week is fifteen years since she was called Home. She stayed as long as she could. My thoughts are peaceful now. My mother was with us when we first saw our home, which we had to rebuild from the inside out.

The sky is so blue and the light falls upon evergreen branches with snow. Then the sky is another shade of blue. All the change within the simple routines of my days. So time does go by. And some moments seem eternal.

Reading is a good way to improve our writing skills. With the short forms, every word is so important. Reading a lot, perhaps new words and old words will be more available to me as I write.

The beautiful CD I am listening to is Allure of Sanctuary (2005), by Karen Marie Garrett.

Creative and Music Notes

Winter so far is not as severe as some years, though yesterday was a grey and cold day. We walked around Veterans Park in town, stopped at Mentink’s Piggly Wiggly, and then enjoyed a simple lunch at home.

In the afternoon,
I listened to It’s About Love,
a beautiful CD by Karen Marie Garrett
“Award-Winning Pianist and Composer.”
I ordered the CD from Karen Marie Garrett’s store.

And I learned of Karen’s art from Pandora, and then bought a CD from Amazon. So all seems to work together. So wonderful that there are so many ways to share our creative work. On Sunday, I bought two books at Goodwill in Sheboygan. I looked at every book shelf, and perhaps other areas of the store next time!

Last week, I received a letter to remind me to schedule a follow-up medical appointment, and I called on Monday. Grateful for the care.

We bought tulips at Walmart.
These pictures are courtesy of wpclipart.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Rest and Renewal

snow rests
on birch tree branches
that will grow new leaves

and also
on evergreen branches

the yard asks little now

some light seems to rest
with the clouds

I listen to music without
words and then practice
new poems

last year I read many books

mystery of rest and renewal

I am working with some of the ideas I shared in the view has changed.

Today I am listening to music by Helen Jane Long.

And I remember a haiku:

January thaw . . .
letting go
of old heartaches

“January thaw” was published in A Splash of Water: Haiku Society of America 2015 Members’ Anthology, edited by Catherine J.S. Lee.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Creative Notes: Posts

These are a few posts from the past that readers found, and that I then rediscovered from the stats for this site. I also use the Top Posts & Pages widget (filed under Menu), which provides information and may help new readers get an overview of the content here.

Yesterday, I mentioned a few pages from this site.

Photo of the Moon Shining on Lake Michigan, Recalling a Joni Mitchell song, is a post from May 2010. There is a photo by Karl and a quote from a song by Joni Mitchell.

Acrostic for WIND was also inspired by music. I was listening to a CD by Sarah McLachlan – please see the post for the poem and more information. Sarah covered a song by Susan Enan, “Bring On The Wonder.”

Over the years, I have received good feedback about this poem:

IT IS IMPORTANT

To have a vision
to sustain the effort
to see it all the way
through – –

Even when it seems
to leave you

It Is Important was published first in Time Of Singing.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Photo by Karl
Community Path
July 2, 2018