Creative Blogger Award 

Millie Thom from Bringing History to Life nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award and I accept it. I am currently reading Millie’s book Shadow of the Raven, a story of historical fiction set in 9th century England. I cannot wait to finish and pick her brain about bringing such distant history to life. 


The first definition of “creative” that came up was “relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” 

ONE: Creating 1874 has been a way to engage in a discourse with my imagination by making things: essays, photographs, paintings, poems, even starting to write a novel (which I have since abandoned, without regret – writing 35,000 words on one topic was an experience.) When I first started 1874, I thought I would want to write a novel but I have gravitated mostly to poetry, photography and visual arts. Today, I realized that I’ve been unwilling to learn the craft of novel writing and have even avoided reading other’s novels for many years. Maybe the path towards original ideas in an artistic work entails doing the regular work after all. 

TWO: Earlier this week a big thunder storm rolled through our area. The rain broke a couple of minutes before the end of my run. The world looked dark and beautiful.



THREE: Here is a selfie, edited with Enlight and put on canvas. It made me happy to see my work hanging on a wall. 

FOURTH: T.E.G. Diez is a pen name. 

FIFTH: We just got back from vacation at the beach and I fell in love with the color blue. 



The following blogs inspire me to create: Mischief Memoirs, Daily Paintings, Motivating Giraffe, A Meditative Journey with Saldage, Millie Thom, Storyshucker and Qwiklit

duration & disorder 

The other day, it was overcast and I could not see my shadow as I ran. I had not been able to see my shadow in life much in the past days either, I thought. I am my feelings, I am my thoughts, when I am in that way. I trip all over myself without the distance from my thoughts and feelings then. They inhabit me without mercy, without order, like a haunting.   

I though then, I am not the thoughts, I am not the feelings that flow through me. They flow through me and I know I am not them because of their duration and disorder.  

The watcher knows this. The watcher is alive but silent and immobile like an old enormous tree or mountain. The longer the watcher watches ebbs and flows, the pulsing life inside me,  the less convinced I am with the mirage that is ephemeralism (mother of fear). The watcher grows bigger and stronger. A sense of permanence takes root somewhere. In permanence there is primarily order.  


The ebb and flow are necessary. They are life. They are telling. The same things keep getting dragged to shore and I learn that love and discipline are the parents of joy and freedom. 


The price we pay, we gladly will, for life to explode out into time, along its serpentining thread where only a moment can happen in a moment instead of all at once. That is all it is, the experiment of impermanence: life unrolling along a track in mystery going interminably fast or interminably slow. You choose.  


The photograph of the flowers in a vase was taken by me and edited with Instagram filters. The subsequent double and triple images were done using Layout (which allows you to do mirror images and has no seams) and the last image using PicStitch (I could not find another collage app with 12 frames). 


I went running today in the late afternoon.  I usually am not outside at this time of day. The light was great. My run is short and most of it is going up and down hills. It was wonderfully fun. 


Seeing my shadow reminds me I exist like others do. It reminds me that there are three parts of me, that like any human my distinct trait is consciousness. 

Running quiets my mind and my heart. It frees up space in my mind and energy from my heart. The third part of me, the part that is  aware of the other two parts, can throw off heat. It throws off energy in the form of unbidden thoughts like my body throws off sweat.


 To feel physically rooted to this world like a tree, to feel that I am like water in water as my mind and heart move through the world, I can always run towards that.


As a child, I lived a one-dimensional life. I could not tell the difference between what was me and what was reality, often mistaking one for the other. It was very confusing. It pitted me against the outside world. I had to be always alert to the ever changing landscapes, certain that the living code was to tame the outside world, through understanding or force. 

When I was 27, I started a meditation practice. I started out meditating one minute at a time. Within the year, I realized that there were two independent dimensions within me, my head and my heart. I could recognize each of them as an entity. My head ruled and was power hungry and egotistical. My heart was abandoned and under-nourished. I arrived at this conclusion through the mantra, “I am you.” My mind was telling my heart and my heart was telling my mind that they were the same being, me. My heart started to grow stronger after that. 

There was another startling revelation first arrived at by my mind. If there were two dimensions of me, there had to be three. The third dimension of me was the dimension that was aware of the two other dimensions. It was very quiet that dimension. It was still and sat back and watched the other two, only watched. Its stillness and quiet was startling. My third dimension started to grow stronger after that.

My third dimension is my inherent me, my eternal me, my eternal you. I am learning that it is more me than my own head and my own heart. The more I live in my third dimension, the eye that watches the other two dimensions of me, the more I thrive. My heart still needs much fostering. My head still needs much discipline. That third part of me doles out the love to each of the other two parts like that. 

When I run, it is very hard for me. During this time all the parts of me interact with each other more intensely than usual. A few weeks ago, in an attempt to adjust the volume on my music, I took pictures of my shadow while I was running. I edited one with Enlight and named it the first in the “talking to your shadow” series. In a very two dimensional cartoon-like way, it captures one second of my three parts interacting. 

Nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Last week we went to Asheville, a little city in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We took the kids to the Western North Carolina Nature Center to see black bears, coyotes, wolves and cougars. There are other animals too, but my son is specially interested in large predators. The featured image is the flower I thought I saw growing wild along the road between Greenville and Asheville. I will have to ask my mother in law. 

I had my iPhone and could not zoom on the resting cougars. I did the best I could with the photos after. The big cats were pretty lazy and cuddly in the shadows of what ended up being a hot April afternoon. 



I cannot forget the sheep. Their expressions in the photos make me chuckle. They look, well, sheepish. As though we have walked in on them in their private quarters. Which we had! 



The first lesson

A proverb is a “simple and concrete saying, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity.” Proverbs are handed down generation to generation. The study of proverbs is called paremiology.

Otis Elevator’s friend recently sent me the featured image and the following proverb to accompany it:

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.

Some attribute the saying to Shakespeare, but I could not confirm it. It looks like it is a Jewish proverb. Shakespeare’s plays have so many truths based on the practical experience of humanity, I am not surprised at the confusion. Shakespeare would have made a great therapist. Many proverbs are biblical and also cultural. I may have to take up a project to find proverbs relating to the parent-child relationship.

Passing on truths based on the practical experience of humanity is something that perhaps our modern dispersed way of living in separate one family units makes challenging. Instead of portals for proverbs conveniently placed along our daily path, we have therapists, social workers, churches. Proverbs strategically deployed throughout the day seems more effective. Perhaps there was an instruction manual for parenting after all under all our layers of modernity. And, maybe it looks nothing like I thought it might. This is lesson #1.