Updated: 1/25/2005; 7:10:39 PM.
Hand Forged Vessels
A woman blacksmith's journey to creative power, learning how to increase psychic energy, use dream interpretation, learning to work freely and fully - making hand forged vessels, hand-made paper bowls, tree spirits art, mixed media vessels. Categories include quotes on creativity, blacksmith training, and living a simple life in the woods. New category: DVD and video reviews. (So much for the simple life.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

An entire new category of internet humor is emerging that we could call "ad irony." Take a look at the ads served up, by a robot I presume, at the bottom of an article reminding us that potato chips are unhealthy. Potato chips are mentioned several times in the article, because they contain a lot of fat, trans fat, salt, and sugar. What are the ads lined up at the end of the article? You guessed it: four ads for potato chips.

On the other hand, knowing U.S. consumers, maybe the ads are perfectly well placed. "No government agency's gonna tell ME what to eat." "My grandmother ate a whole bag of potato chips every day and she lived to be 97...."

7:10:36 PM    comment []

Friday, December 24, 2004

Yesterday on NPR's All Things Considered, I heard a heart-lifting story about how giving livestock to families could transform their personal and village ecoomies. It made immediate sense. Give a goat or cow to a family, with the proviso that they give the first newborn female to a neighbor. Then it goes on. Eventually the whole village prospers from livestock: milk from goats and cows, eggs from chicks or ducks, meat from pigs, etc.

I went right away to heifer.org to check it out. What a fun catalog! There are lots of animals from which to choose. You can also give trees. And of course you can give the gifts in someone else's name.

For big animals that cost quite a bit - such as a A$500 heifer - it's possible to buy just a share. For a heifer a share is only $50. A share of a $120 goat is only $10. Or you can send a bunch of chicks for $20. Any of these gifts can transform the economy of a family, and eventually that of an entire village. What a bargain!

It was also heartwarming to learn that a big store in New York City, ABC Home Furnishings, has established a foundation to help people give this kind of gift. They screened nonprofit organizations, then established a website to promote this. Computers are available right in the store, so ABC Home Furnishings shoppers can select a cow, pig, or something else - an eye operation, for example - that can change someone else's life forever.

I may among the last to know about this. Earlier this month, The NY Times did a story on the ABC Home & Plant Foundation and other retailers promoting charitable giving. The Foundation is a gift to the world. This is the kind of Christmas story that to me, provides more light than miles and miles of outdoor Christmas lights. This story turned on my inner lights - and can create a lasting glow.

5:43:06 PM    comment []

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Yesterday was another personal holiday: Darkness Restored. On that day, years ago our closest neighbors turned off their security light. They did so in response to a letter I wrote, pleading them to do so.

After they turned it off, darkness was restored. At night I could see stars again. My bed was lit only by the changing cycle of the moonlight. It was as if I lived again in nature - not in a city parking lot.

Now that so many autumn leaves have fallen, views open up through the woods. Unfortunately, in three directions I see bright lights. It's technically against the county planning code to install an outdoor light where it can be seen from a neighbor's house. If this provision were enforced, most of the security lights would have to come down. But to my knowledge, it's never been enforced.

When I ask the Planning Department about this, I get no answer. The director doesn't answer my phone calls or emails. I'm blocked from seeing him in person. Am I angry about it? I have to admit, yes I am. Every "security light" I see triggers a little stir of anger in me. I believe these lights are destroying the night sky in the very places where people move "in order to enjoy nature."

I'm not alone in my view. The internet has many fine articles on light pollution. There's even an organization, the International Dark Sky Association. Still, I'm pessimistic about being able to do anything about it locally. In my area of northeast Georgia, any initiative on light pollution would probably be viewed by most people as a United Nations conspiracy. That's how most environmental initiatives are viewed here.

I don't get it either. But it's a standard response. At first it was "Oh, that's Communism." After the Soviet Union fell apart, the response turned to "Oh, that's a United Nations plot to take over our country."

Still, if I look to the west, I can see mostly darkness. As more leaves fall, a few security lights will show up in the distance. But they'll look small. And the darkness will remind me not only of the delight of moon and stars, but of the kindness of neighbors.

10:36:05 AM    comment []

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Thinking today about what's at stake for the next four years, I think these are the most vulnerable points:

  • the environment - wilderness areas, endangered species, clean air, clean water, protection from toxic chemicals overall, slowing of global warming.
  • civil liberties - freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to gather peacefully, privacy, freedom of information - that is, access to the truth of what the government is doing.

There are plenty of other things - the war, the deficit, the taking away of programs that help children in order to give tax breaks to people in the top income brackets. There are the "corporate welfare" programs. But I think these things - even the deficit - can eventually be reversed. It could take years, but America is still strong.

I'm less sure that damage to the environment can be reversed. Global warming is already inevitable; it's just a matter of how fast and how much. Once a species is gone, it's gone. Once groundwater is toxic, it's toxic. So I think this is the area in which I need to become most vigilant.

Even civil liberties once lost, can conceivably be regained. The Patriot Act is a law that can be changed. States can change their constitutions. Even the Supreme Court judges appointed in the next four years will eventually face their mortality and be replaced.

But wilderness? Habitat and migration corridors? Clean air and water? These are much more difficult to reclaim.

That's my thinking, the day after the 2004 election. Others will have different priorities, some of which will be directly opposed to mine. That's all right too. Despite four years of Bush presidency, we still have the right to differ and to speak our differences.

Well, I have to amend that a bit. During the last four years, many scientific study results have been suppressed. I should say that we still have SOME freedom of speech.

To this freedom, let's have a toast - of clear clean water.

10:28:08 PM    comment []

Canada is opening its heart to American liberals. See this site, Marry an American, for matchmaking opportunities to assist Americans in emigrating to Canada. Maybe other countries will offer similar assistance. (Then again, maybe not.)

Remember the late sixties and early seventies, when so many of us contemplated emigrating to Canada or New Zealand? New Zealand, especially, looked like the Promised Land. I wonder what happened to those who actually went.

By the way, I found the Marry an American site this morning from my bloglet subscription to another weblog, ladida. I enjoy this blog a great deal.

If you subscribe to my weblog, did you realize that you can subscribe to other weblogs too? You'll get one email with all the subscriptions together. If the weblog doesn't have its own bloglet "subscribe" window, (like the one in the right hand column here) you can go to bloglet to add it to your subscription list.

10:07:21 PM    comment []

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Today is my mother's birthday. Helen Elizabeth Janney (later Sterrett) grew up in Muncie, Indiana - later documented by sociologists as Middletown, USA. She wanted to be a scientist, and worked as a chemist in WW II. Eventually she earned a degree in botany and later a master's degree in library science. A lover of music as well as of science, her last work was in the music library of the University of Illinois.

How can I count her gifts to me? She gave me a stable, orderly childhood no matter how the family was buffeted and torn. She showed me how to love music, wisely choosing the exact  classical music and opera to attract the heart of a child. She gave me my love of plants - genetically I'm sure, as well as by example. She taught me to love reading and books. Later in life, she showed me how to enjoy life no matter how its limits might increase.

I'm sure there's more. Like most of us, I perceive her gifts to me more and more as I grow older myself. And of course there's that one gift that we all know is most important of all. She loved me. She showed it in action. She told me in words. The greatest gift of all.

12:36:56 PM    comment []

Monday, October 18, 2004

 This is a tiny detail from a new archival print in my eBay store, called "Broken Hearts." There's an original painting in this series, "Blue," in the new Broken Heart Pictures page on my website. I have two more in this series already done but not posted yet. I think I'll put one up as an eBay auction soon. When I do I'll mention it here the same day.

Just finished reading Joseph Chilton Pearce's book, "The Magical Child Matures." This is a sequel to "The Magical Child." Both book are about normative human development, as contrasted with normal. In other words - they're about human development as nature has set it up to occur.

"The Magical Child" was illuminating but depressing to read. The gap between the ideal and the actual was just so enormous, and one couldn't help comparing the ideal to one's own childhood. As Robert Bly said, the only appropriate response to one's own childhood wounds is grief. "The Magical Child" certainly made those wounds bleed again.

"The Magical Child Matures" is much more encouraging. It led me to search for some more Pearce writings online. I found one last night that showed his excitement over research at the Institute of Heart Math. I'd been reading books from this institute over the past few months, so it was exciting to me to see this convergence.

Anyway - the heart is "where it's at." And I seem to want to do paintings about broken hearts healing. So - why not?

  "Begin Now" - My daughter has the original painting on canvas. Prints are available at my eBay store. Also you might want to see the Heart Pictures page on my website. It will keep growing.

6:51:14 PM    comment []

Sunday, October 17, 2004

 This cloth-lined paper vessel is named "Effortless Prosperity." It's a star-shaped Chi Energy™ Medicine Bag. I've just reorganized the website page that has small photos of all these amulet bags. Now they're organized by color. I watched a friend browse the website deciding which ones to buy. This helped me see that organizing them by color would help.

If you go to the October CJ Morgan Collectors Club page, you can get the discount code that works through Tuesday, Oct. 19. It gives you 15% off any of the Chi Energy™ Bags still available. Of course you can also email me or sign up on the site to receive the club newsletter every month. Then you'll get previews and special offers even if I forget to mention them here.

In any event, I wish you the blessing of effortless prosperity.

6:45:23 PM    comment []

© Copyright 2005 Catherine Jo Morgan.
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