Hunting the Elusive Rest

I found this month’s prompt Rest, Sleep and Hibernation very inspiring, and I’m excited to share my finished multi-media video. I really enjoyed how the stills and video fit with the sounds I collected and arranged. And it was fun to put my poem in the fire. I hope you find this relaxing and restful.

Wreaths of Light

Owl Wreath in Nature by Maria L. Berg 2021

For today’s images I tried something new. I thought I could just loop my lights in a circle and make bokeh wreaths, but that didn’t work. Then I remembered a metal loop a friend had given me with the idea of framing my fabric glass. I wrapped the lights around the metal loop, and it worked, but I needed serious distance to get the whole wreath in the shot. For some of the pictures, I put the wreath on my hearth and took the pictures through my open door from as far as I could push back into a bush and tree on the other side of the porch. For others, I hung the ring outside on my door and took the shots from the end of my driveway. I’m excited I got the look I was going for. I might try some more of these with different lights.

Rainbow Wreath on the Hearth by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

Wreath in a Breeze by Maria L. Berg 2021

Stupid Cold

My nose is stuffed like a turducken frying
My nose is as productive as the elves making toys
My nose gushes like Niagara Falls during weeks of rain
My nose is a geyser building pressure, about to blow
My nose is as sore as calf muscles the day after a marathon
My nose is as useless as my laptop without a charger
My nose is as frustrating as slow internet
My nose is full of itself like a megalomaniac with a podcast
My nose is as evil as a troll on social media
and stomping on people in Norway
and people who prey on the elderly
and identity thieves, and thieves in general
because it stole my ability to breath and think
My nose has turned me into a whiny mouth-breather
I know it’s doing its job fighting the germs
but it feels like I’m a casualty

Wavy Wreath by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoyed the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun.

The Changing Focus Blogging Challenge

December’s theme is Rest, Sleep, and Hibernation. I didn’t get much done yesterday. I have a terrible cold and feel sorry for myself, but this challenge inspired me to clean my room to make it more relaxing for sleep. I also made a “Pleasant Dreams” calendar to mark the days that I don’t sleep with the computer, and I am happy to say, I put my first star on it this morning. It was a really tough night since I can’t breath through my nose, but kitty woke me up, wanting out, just as my dream was turning into a nightmare, so I can happily report, I did not have any nightmares.

Techniques I used last night:

  • Clean room
  • Unplugged computer and internet at least an hour before bed
  • bedtime tea
  • Write a worry list (I was surprised how well this worked. When I looked at the list of things that worried me about sleep and nightmares, it didn’t seem so bad)
  • Hot shower
  • positive imagery ( I propped open a page of my Tiffany glass book with a beautiful stained glass scene where I would easily see it from my bed)
  • read by bedside lamp (not overhead light)

And kitty cuddles definitely saved the effort.

So though I did not sleep through the night, and got up often, I call that a complete success for night one.

December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

September’s Changing Focus Blog Challenge: Reflections

Last month I was excited to find the Changing Focus Blog Challenge, because I’m always looking for ways that my talents and creativity can work together, and a multimedia project around a theme each month felt like just the thing for me. I came up with, and executed, my Pathways response in two weeks. I like it, but it felt like a draft: rushed and rough, And I didn’t realize I didn’t have until the end of the month, so it was late.

So this month, I paid special attention to the end date, and got started right away with an oral poem to music for dVerse Poets Pub.

I thought about reflecting bokeh and tried several shots with the big mirror in the closet, and got some very interesting shots, but that needs a lot more practice.

The lake wasn’t calm enough to get much other than dock shadow. I took a few photographs of reflections in the windows, thinking of setting up scenes inside and doing an inside/outside type reflection.

I wrote more poems about reflections. I found a great site for kids that inspired me to do an acrostic, but that led me to working on a submission for Constellations: A Journal of Poetry and Fiction with the theme Redirections. I love how my work on pathways and reflections had my mind firing for redirections.

After I looked up “reflections” definitions and found “folding back,” I thought my daily inkblots that I started during “Pathways” could continue into this project and I thought about playing with my Rorschach mask, a mask that reacts to temperature change to change its black and white pattern. I couldn’t see through the mask, so the 10sec timed shots were very tough, but I had some fun with it.

However, a couple of minutes of that would take more space and time than my computer or I have; we would all get dizzy; and it seams like something I want to save for a more Halloween inspired piece.

I came up with some melodies in A-flat, chose beautiful chords with my capo on the fourth fret, and yet nothing was coming together. I even started a page in my hardback The Musician’s Notebook: Deluxe Edition, titled it “Reflections in A flat major.” But blank those pages stay. Perfectionism is a curse. Nothing will ever be perfect.

I took my small, ornamental mirror into the bathroom, creating eternal reflections, then I remembered that the large mirror in the office closet wasn’t attached to the wall. It was heavier than I would have liked, but I shoved, slid, carried it into the closet where I was working. I had ideas to film myself moving the mirror while filming to create more and less eternal reflection with my eyes and feet around the mirror: naked to full costume was also an idea through all of these processes.

By this time I was stressing and hitting other deadlines and any one of my ideas would take another month. So this morning, I decided I had to let this reflections project go and do a project every other month and be happy for the inspiration.

But this evening, the world provided. And this panoramic image says it all.

Oral Poetry: Trying a new writing process

The Poetics challenge from Ingrid at dVerse Poets Pub is to write a poem without writing it down. This intrigued me and sounded like a great way to start exploring some ideas for this month’s Changing Focus project around the theme “reflections.”

I thought I’d share this vocal warm-up I like to do before recording (because it’s fun):

Yesterday, I discovered that the bass effects pedal I’ve had for many years, has a built in drum machine, so hold onto your hats world.

Focus on Reflections words and music by Maria L. Berg

Focus on Reflections

I face a self-imposed focus
on reflections
a month of looking
of looking in mirrors
looking at me

not turning away
looking further
and deeper
finding the deep waters
past the imperfections

What will I find there?
What does reflection
smell like? What is its
taste? How will I get to
the point where I
only see what I like?

All those flaws
become only a reflection
only the light
hitting a chip in the mirror
everything reflects light
all we see is a reflection

*That was an interesting experience. After finding a drum beat and recording the drum and bass. I played it back while saying lines to the room. When I felt like the concept was flowing, I recorded myself, then typed up what I said as if transcribing. That was fun. I think I’ll play with that a lot.

Cover of The Cynic in Extremis, a poetry collection by Jacob M. Appel. There is a picture of a grumpy looking pug wrapped in a furry blanket.

I hope all of you will come by this Thursday, Sept. 2, and read a special guest post about revision by Jacob M. Appel. I recently enjoyed his poetry collection, The Cynic in Extremis. I found it both entertaining and provocative.