In the spirit of Earth Day I’m sharing some ways I’m working to preserve, recycle, and reuse. For those of you who participate in Lent, many people give up something for forty days/nights. In my family it was a choice between giving something up or doing something to better yourself and/or do better for others. This year I decided to give up plastic. I thought it's a great way to improve my lifestyle and help the environment. Seeing images of landfills and the ocean with so much pollution breaks my heart. We may not be able to make everyone straighten up and fly right but we can do so ourselves. My goal for lent and beyond is to take better care of how I treat the world and how I use Mother Earth. I don’t know if it’s the same in your grocery store but it’s pretty hard to find products of any kind that aren’t wrapped or packaged in plastic, sometime several times (Overkill!!). I’ve already started towards my goal by: using reusable bottles instead of buying water or other drinks in plastic bottles. I’ve stopped wrapping leftovers in plastic wrap or bags and use Tupperware instead. I take mesh or material bags for store bought items. This still leaves the problem of all the plastic wrapped items that you can’t always avoid. Obviously, I’d love to shop in markets like I have in Italy where you don’t touch any produce, many things can be wrapped in paper or can be put directly into your material bag after purchase at each booth. Farmers markets and such aren’t always a choice so, what to do?
Luckily there are numerous ways of recycling and disposing of items that aren’t meant for the trash and landfills that do so much harm down the line. In my area, the city puts together info for residents for all the things that can and should be disposed of in alternative ways. (pic above) It’s easy to not think and throw away anything you’re finished with because we don’t see where it goes; out of sight, out of mind. Eventually, we won't be able to ignore trash and pollution on our front porch and by that time we might not be able to reverse the damage. These issues aren’t that far away in time or proximity. We’ve all seen photos of sea turtles and fish stuck in plastic can wrappers and such. That is not just happening in far off oceans, it’s also happens in the river and lake down the street from each of us. Speaking of the river down the street... I was so happy to be a part of a friend’s Yoga and River Clean Up today! She led a peaceful and rejuvenating yoga class in the park near the San Marcos river and afterward we picked up trash. It's amazing what just a few people for a few minutes can accomplish. Thank you Jenny for a wonderful Earth Day morning!
To go further into my “fast” of plastic I’m being very conscience of what I purchase and how it is handled once I’m done. I have become very aware of all the film plastic that is in packaging and it’s terrible to look back on the way I discarded those items in the past. Like I said, it’s easy not to think about it but once you do it changes your actions. Most grocery stores near me have a plastic bag drop off and they take film plastic as well. Then there are things that have the recycle sign on it, which are usually easy to identify and can be recycled in the normal way. One thing I’ve learned recently is that rinsing recyclable products that have had food in them will help insure they can be recycled. Too much bacteria can prevent items from being recycled even if you’ve put them in the correct bin. Although plastic was my main focus through Lent I’ve been looking at the other products my household uses and have started using more appropriate means of disposal. And finally reuse or repurpose of items. Sometimes somethings need a little tender loving care or there might be someone out there that wants what you have no use for.
The things in life that are truly worth doing are never easy but ignoring an issue doesn’t make it go away, it only builds up to produce an even bigger problem for tomorrow. I hope you are grateful for Mother Earth today and everyday. Lets show the love and do our part for this beautiful planet that we all call home!
Let's make sure future generations can see the beauty of the world in person and not just in photos.
I’ve been reluctant to share this with many people, but slowly I’m gaining confidence in this work and mostly in the emotion behind it. I think I’ve also been afraid of the response; what if they don’t understand it or they don’t like it? The same questions we all have. There is relief and revelation when you stop asking those questions because there is healing and growth in the process. There is a truth in the product, even if it’s not anyone else’s truth.
I started listening to a wide range of music again recently. For many years, because of work or comfort in the familiar, I only listen to two or three genres of music. I haven’t thought much about it until now, but I was avoiding music I could have danced to or could have pushed me creatively. By dance, I mean modern dance, which at 22 was everything I was. I was a dancer through high school, pursued it into college and I was going to be a choreographer. Then I got injured and eventually had to stop dancing. The pain of the injury was one thing, mostly manageable, and would subside for the most part after a few years. But losing a part of who I was, was different story. Memories and emotions can last much longer than the physical afflictions. It also led to fears I didn’t have before such as what other people thought of me. After a few years I found solace in other arts and I was able to let most of that pain go. I started trying on different hats, if you will, discovering who I could be without the movement and expression that had defined me. My husband asked me a few years ago if I ever missed dancing. I told him reluctantly, yes, but only rarely now. That was true but now I know it was the freeing feeling that came with dancing. The emotion that you can express without saying a word and take someone there with you, making it possible for them to feel too. That’s what I really miss.
Last summer I was listening to a song that stopped me. I listened to it in the corner of our little gym, mid workout with my earbuds in, just sitting on the floor with my mind in a very different place. It was a strange feeling, it was as if I was choreographing a dance in my mind, which I literally use to do in my sleep. But this time I was seeing images, I was painting the song instead. I pulled out a canvas and my oil paints that day. It’s been a long process creating this first painting, but it has been an adventure to explore a new process. I have now started several of what I call soundscapes, my visual interpretation of a song. It’s not dancing but it somehow involves all of the important element to become something like a dance. Instead of two people there is a song and paint. Instead of steps there is imagination and audible sensation. And in the end, you have an image that you can see movement in and imagine sound. You can interpret its meaning how you like, just as you do with a piece of music or dance.
Inspiration can hit at any moment, it’s up to us to have the courage to create.