Tag: Joni Mitchell

Creative and Music Notes

I am interested in the creative process in general.

Many books have helped me over the years, and some examples of authors are Madeleine L’Engle, Luci Shaw, and Julia Cameron.

In November 2013, I posted a quote from the back cover of THE ARTIST’S WAY EVERY DAY: A Year of Creative Living, by Julia Cameron (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin; 2009 author copyright).

“Creativity is God’s will for us and should be practiced like any other spiritual practice – a day at a time.”

When I was young, we bought records – albums – and the covers were larger than CDs and also works of art. I remember Joni Mitchell’s paintings. Health is a part of her story and art.

I am also interested to see how artists I have followed for years are offering CDs with remastered recordings and demos. Fleetwood Mac and the solo work of Stevie Nicks are two examples. Sometimes I may like a demo version better, and then the beauty of how the music is produced. Harmony.

When I look back, I see that poetry and music began for me in the Lutheran Church with the liturgy, hymns, and Psalms. Then the contemporary music of my generation, and all that continues to grow. During my first recovery from a major health condition, in the 1990s, all the great literature of poetry was waiting to be discovered. What I did not have time for before, when working full-time outside the home, was there for me at just the right time. And I began with haiku then. I write from my heart, and gradually learn about craft through reading a lot. Thank you.

And we all work in many ways. Many chapters over the course of my life, including my mother’s home years ago, and volunteer work in different places. These years I am grateful to be home! People don’t have to ask if I am a senior citizen before offering a discount.

So much to reflect upon. Another poet is Emily Dickinson – took a long time for her work to be published as she wrote it.

I am not an editor or critic – these are simply personal reflections from over many years. One day at a time.

And I continue to pray the Psalms.

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Ellen Grace Olinger

Clouds

On July 31, 2018, Karl and I went to the Long Lake Recreation Area, in the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit.  We saw reflections of clouds in the water.  Karl took these beautiful and interesting photos.

sunrise clouds
years that passed too soon
are with me still

“I really don’t know clouds at all”
from Both Sides Now, by Joni Mitchell (1967)

A classic song, always new

R  ose clouds at sunrise, and the day
O  pens to songs, silence, and new
S  trength, with hope
E  verlasting

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

Music and other thoughts

Music is a part of our daily lives.  What a gift.  

I grew up in a Lutheran church and remember singing in church – words I could not truly understand as a child.  “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (from Psalm 51).  The poetry inspired me always.

I began Quiet Christmas Poetry with “In the beginning was the Word . . .” from John 1: 1.  

More recently, I discovered Helen Jane Long and her beautiful compositions without words.  Yet her titles of CDs and songs seem so right, and I hope to learn more.  For example, “Porcelain.”  Perfect for a CD and the song.

Working with visual art more, with blog posts, I also look anew at the album and CD covers.  For example, I remember seeing Joni Mitchell’s paintings all those years ago.  I begin to see different languages of expression, and how artists put their work together for others to enjoy.  Sustain others in difficult times.

And I continue to enjoy Wendy Brightbill’s art.  Her site is a girl and her brush, gathering beauty in the every day.  I buy her calendars, and certain paintings are associated with certain times.  Her style is varied, and includes mixed-media art.  I think, “I could do that too!”  She is a teacher.

Life changes, and it is good to have our sources of inspiration that can travel with us as we learn new times.  One song can recall a lifetime of work.  One painting can fill a room.  I have my Bible with the Psalms taped together now, as they have held me together.  When I was not well enough to read, my heart was full.

Blessings,
Ellen

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book note

This morning I began reading Gathered Light: The Poetry of Joni Mitchell’s Songs (Edited by Lisa and John Sornberger; Three O’Clock Press, 2013).

A picture of the beautiful cover, painted by Joni, and more about the book, can be read on this page at her website.  She endorsed the project.

Photo Challenge – Life Imitates Art

“I really don’t know clouds at all”
from Both Sides, Now, by Joni Mitchell (1967)

For Life Imitates Art – “This week, find inspiration in a piece of art. Then, imitate it.”

Lake Michigan and sky

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I also think about Georgia O’Keeffe, and her influence.

My Poem For Georgia O’Keeffe

The ripples of a life:
Your black iris hangs
In my study–
(the walls are grey and
you would approve);
How could you know the beauty
You would bring into our lives
You, who painted flowers
big to make us see–
Intensity of color to
Mirror intensity of soul,
And, having found
Expression, tranquillity of
Soul.

You couldn’t have known, not truly.
You were simply working hard,
Faithful to what you saw.

You painted your way
And your passing grieves me.

Published in HARD ROW TO HOE, Reviews From Rural America (Winter 1994, Vol III).

The print referred to is from a showing of O’Keeffe’s work at The Madison Art Center:  Paintings 1919 – 1977.
March 3 –  April 29, 1984. 

A few of my garden journal photos of an iris:

Ellen Grace Olinger

Blessings In Return

Joni Mitchell’s art comforted me many times over the years.  I may have been in junior high when I first heard her voice.  In the mid-1990s, I also began listening to Amy Shreve.  They both need prayers now, for their health.  My turn to bless.

Joni Mitchell’s official website may be viewed here.

Amy Shreve’s official site may be viewed here.

Poetry found me through the Psalms and liturgy of the Lutheran church, then through contemporary music and writers, on to small press poetry journals, and especially haiku and other short forms of poetry.  I could never reread or listen to all the art on our shelves, which recalls a poem from my archives.

books and music
from over the years
live on these shelves

even if I don’t
reread or listen again

somehow their
healing influence
is in these words

Ellen Grace Olinger