Give Thanks…

NO MATTER WHAT

Hmmm… well isn’t that a wee bit grandiloquent?!

Between the Word of the Day, grandiloquent, and the weekend writing prompt, peristeronic, I’m beginning to think that I need to keep a thesaurus and a dictionary at my desk! 


Grandiloquent: Language or behavior is very formal, literary, or exaggerated, and is used by people when they want to seem important. Fancy or pretentious. 


Honestly, I don’t think that being cheerful, praying, and giving thanks no matter what is grandiloquent at all. It’s biblical.

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 (MSG)

I thought that this might be the perfect opportunity to submit my entry to Out of the Ashes, for the challenge: New Directions—a prompt that was started by yours truly—ME.

It’s terribly awkward, spreading myself so thin like that… but these are the COVID days, and I think that most of us can agree… anything goes.

I have a zillion things that I could write about new directions—starting over or changing the course of your life—but I think that the perfect starting point is gratitude; being grateful for every single thing in your life: A roof over your head, food on the table, or even the basics like air, soap and water.

I think that when we learn to be grateful for “life itself”—when we’re cheerful, prayerful, and thankful—it clears paths and opens doors. An ungrateful mind is muddled with negativity and complaints, and it creates a toxic fog.

The more we focus on despair and hopelessness, the cloudier it gets. After awhile, we can’t even see ahead of us let alone try to change our course! Mindsets are crucial, and I like to think that this biblical instruction is offering us truth and wisdom about the value and benefit of having a healthy and positive mindset.

So, at the risk of sounding grandiloquent, “be cheerful, pray, and give thanks… no matter what!”


Written for Word of the Day Challenge: Grandiloquent, and Out of the Ashes prompt: New Directions.

The featured image is another friend portrait that I did. The leaves were added as a finishing touch, and I couldn’t help but think that a woman celebrating the falling leaves (which my friend would inevitably do) was the perfect representation of gratitude.

The “oil paint” tool on my old PC never worked before—I think because of my graphic card—and I realized yesterday, while working on my “moon art,” that it’s available to me now, on my new laptop. Hence the new oil paint effect.

And I couldn’t be more grateful!

That’s about all for now. Peace & love to you all…

Rising Up in the Dark

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

CARL JUNG

This is one of the most exciting posts I’ve written in a while. Since face masks make me feel sick, and they’re still required everywhere you go here in Los Angeles, we’re four months in and I’m still spending most of my time at home. I’ve been feeling trapped! I was talking to a friend recently and I mentioned to her that what was really getting me (mentally) down, was feeling that I can’t really make plans. The future is so uncertain!

Now, I’m well aware that I make a lot of big plans, and that many of them don’t work out—or simply fall through the cracks—but I’ve always been OK with that. I think there’s something about knowing that we actually HAVE the choice and the opportunity to make plans that keeps us feeling content—even if those choices or plans don’t come to fruition. Maybe it just allows us to feel “free.”

Anyway, I don’t want to get into all the ways that my “big” plan has twisted and changed courses over the past three years, but I WILL say that what started out as an idea for a “Creative Center,” for people in recovery, has morphed into a non-profit organization; a center that will offer people assistance and guidance as they begin a new life.

I’ve realized that new beginnings aren’t just for people in recovery, they’re for anyone who has gone through a major life shift; be it divorce, retirement, kids moving out (or any of the other side effects of aging), job loss, and—of course—those who are recovering from addictions of any kind. Today, with COVID-19 disrupting the lives of so many, the number of people “starting over” will continue to grow. All of that being said, I decided it’s time for me to set sail. I’m going to start building this organization, virtually, with the hope that—in time—it will grow to be brick and mortar as well.

One of the things about non-profit organizations is that many of them work off of donations. What I’m wanting to do instead, is to join forces with other people (both inside and outside of the organization) to create wares that can be sold, the first being a website/blog that will (hopefully) grow into a book of compilations. The whole premise here is collaboration, not competition.

Although he had no idea what my plans were, my first collaboration offering came from Samuel Guevara at Photear. I’ve had my eye on this black and white photograph for quite a while now, and he was kind enough to let me feature it. I love how the man’s face is hidden in blackness… and it spoke to me about rising up in the dark—a perfect image for this post!

If you’re interested in joining the collaboration, please let me know in the comment section below or via my new contact form HERE. I’ll be doing most of the work, so please don’t be shy! All I need at this time is authorization to use specific photographs, articles, art, poems, etc. Anything featured on the new site (which will be coming soon) will have credits and links, and anything that makes its way to the book will have credits, contact info, and short bios (if you so choose). What I’m looking for here is a win-win for everyone.

I look forward to hearing from you! No pressure, no hassles, no rush, and no obligation.

It’s all about choice.

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

RYUNOSUKE SATORO