under1000skies Newsletter 1.7

I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend. ♡
This week on ¤ under1000skies.org ¤under1000skies Newsletter 1.7

5.08

Photo “Milky Way” by EvgeniT, Pixabay

“Ecstatic Love is an ocean, and the Milky Way is a flake of foam floating on it.” -Rumi

Includes the origin of the name Milky Way – it’s called so many other things by other cultures. Plus two beautiful photos from Steph Law, and two poems from Elanthian Love Songs.

5.09

Photo by Larisa-K, Pixabay.

“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.” -Claude Monet

5.10

Photo by Niki Flow.

“I’m not changing anybody. It’s hard to change ourselves but we can plant seeds; pure intention that will eventually bloom on its own.”  -Nimo Patel

From “A Smile and 5 Blessings:  Nimo’s Nothing (iii)”

5.11

Photo, “Archangel Boomerang” by Niki Flow

“An angel has no memory.”  -Terry Southern

5.12

Photo by Cornfreak, Pixabay

“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”  -Rudyard Kipling

 

1.7 under1000skies

 

Gems 4.67

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Gems 4.67 John Olander First Light In Memoriam

One of our most generous contributing artists, John Olander — aka Johnny O. —  created this beautiful poem to read during Homeless Memorial Day service last year in Denver.  John has had to say goodbye to many friends every year due to the hardships of life on the street.

Compared to the general population, people who experience homelessness are at greater risk of infectious and chronic illness, poor mental health, and substance abuse. They are also more often victims of violence, prior to and once homelessness. Homeless persons also have a mortality rate four to nine times higher than those who are not homeless. With an estimated 40 million Americans living in poverty, 19 million experiencing housing insecurity, and 28 million without health insurance, the risk of homelessness and poor health is a concern for 1 out of 8 Americans.

In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), coordinated by the local HUD-funded continuum of care (CoC) programs, conducted the Point-in-Time (PIT) survey to identify and estimate the United States’ sheltered and unsheltered homeless. According to the report…553,742 people in the United States experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017. This number translated to a U.S. homeless rate of 17/10,000, where 33 percent of those homeless were families with children, and within those families, 59% were children under 18 years of age.

https://www.cdc.gov/features/homelessness/index.html

(Emphasis added.)

 

The Gems Project

21 MAY 2018 – IMPORTANT UPDATE:

I promised to send artist packs to Sheltering Grace in GA, Shower Up Nashville, my friend MJR in Santa Cruz (our first Volunteer Biographer client); our friend JohnnyO in Denver for his writer’s group; Michelle (Chilis on Wheels) – our next Spotlight Saturday; and Nicole Huguien, friend and founder of Dream Together, (fka Wild Dream Walks) in Hawaii. Each artist pack costs about $25 and includes a disposable camera, waterproof notebook, pens, scarf (or baseball cap in summer), lip balm and chewing gum as well as a waterproof pouch to hold everything.  We got several out since we started and so far we did get one film back which will be developed soon.  To publish Elanthian Love Songs, we purchased a limited copyright for the use of Steph Law’s beautiful paintings.  This was a loan which was repaid recently as a gift from a generous donor MDD. =) (Thank you!♥)  That means that 100 percent of the profits from now on — that means every dollar now since it’s a digital book — go to into these artist packs, shipping and developing the photos.  Very happy to announce that today.  ^_^  In the meantime, I hope to find a place to purchase the cameras and develop the film in bulk more cheaply. The reason I’m plugging Elanthian Love Songs again tonight is because I really want to make good on this promise to get artist packs these beautiful people and friends who serve the homeless folks in our community every day.

Thanks for reading.

♥. Niki Flow

Gems 3.5

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

SONY DSC

Photo © Alisa Reagan 2016.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. Thank you! ♥   Quote submitted by Rajni. Thank you! ♥

 Journey Notes

The theme for the month of January is “journey.”  If you have a favorite quote or poem about “journey,” or the journey of life,  please leave a comment!  Also, we don’t do fund raising.  Our only source of revenue is donations and the sale of Elanthian Love Songs – A Bard’s Tale by Sara Michele O’Sullivan (Niki Flow).  Starting in 2017, 100 percent of the profits from the sale of this book go to buying artist packs.  If you would like to contribute photos, artwork, writing or to be one of our volunteers, please contact us at the email address at the bottom of our About Us page or leave a comment below.

May you find joy every day on your journey,

♡. under1000skies
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

Gems 3.4

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

under1000skies-pale-crab-ball

Today we’re featuring a sketch from Niki Flow’s #the1000dayproject on Instagram (which is accompanied by a one-minute recording there)..  Niki was invited to this project while listening to an interview on Awakin.org with Elle Luna (author of The Crossroads of Should and Must).  Every day for the past 69 days she has used a post-it note and a sharpie to do broad sketches, inspired by a story Elle told during the interview about designing for IDEO.  Today, inspired by her friend MJ’s poetry contribution yesterday, Niki decided to begin to show her poetry to a  wider audience.  As we announced last February, 2016, profits from  Elanthian Love Songs – A Bard’s Tale go to funding packs for under1000skies.   When we published it was 50 percent until we paid our artist, the fabulous Stephanie Pui-Mun Law (Shadowscapes.com) and our editor.  At the end of 2016 we did so and now we can contribute 100 percent of the profits from the sale of Elanthian Love Songs to funding artist packs.   This is part 1 of one of the poems in Elanthian Love Songs.  Parts 2 until the end will be recorded one minute at a time (the limit on Instagram) and will be illustrated there every day with Niki’s post-it sketches.   The plain text of this part of the poem is below since the type is small.  Please pass this on and let others know to support our only way to raise funds.  We don’t do fund raisers or solicit funds of any kind.  This is in line with the gift economy and Nipon Mehta’s beautiful economic vision called “Gifivism.”  Thanks so much for supporting under1000skies.

PALE CRAB BALL

(Part 1)

A long time ago, or perhaps yesterday,

I heard a sad story of lovers betrayed.

‘Twas a pity.

The story begins a short distance from here

In the time of full moon, in the Spring of the year

near our city.

For during that time you can hear a strange call,

“Come one come all to the pale crab ball!”

near the river!

“Tis a day to be merry, to dance and to sing

“So come little crabs, let your pincers ring loudly

with rhythm!”

With eyestalks that wiggled, inside eyeballs jiggled

On quick little legs, they skittered and zigged

by the dozens.

And with them came one, a shy pale-crab lass,

Shell polished and sparkling, to this her first dance

with her cousins.

Now off to the side, a band was beginning

With reed pipes and grass lutes, and shells for a’pinging.

The dance started.

The pale crabs all rose up on multiple legs

And gracefully spun with each other and swayed,

so lighthearted.

(To be continued – here – tomorrow and ongoing.  There are approximately 7 more minutes to go (49-50 stanzas or so.  )

clu

 Journey Notes

The theme for the month of January is “journey.”  If you have a favorite quote or poem about “journey,” or the journey of life,  please leave a comment!

♡. under1000skies
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

Save

Save

♡ Gems 2.16 ♡

ith aWEDDING SONG cypress

Cyprus by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Shadowscapes.com, one of the paintings featured in Elanthian Love Songs.

♡ Gems, Gemstone and Elanthian Love Songs – A Bard’s Tale ♡

Serendipity

Things are going smoothly here save for a few last minute changes to my poetry book Elanthian Love Songs – a Bard’s Tale.  It is to be my first published book.  The release date is still set for Valentine’s Day (Sunday) on Amazon.  It’s nearly there!  The book is closely tied in with Gems as you will see, below.  Serendipitous…ly, Hay House came out with a series of free videos on getting published with some great practical advice.

My days are more balanced as I work hard, and as dreams I’ve had for years are coming to be.  I’ve been getting up with the sun, doing yoga and meditating, then starting my day. I’m off coffee completely and drinking either ginger and lemon tea or peppermint (from fresh-cut herbs) as a morning drink.  At home, we’re putting in a hardwood floor in our living room and hall this week.  We’ve been unloading boxes and boxes of papers and I’ve been organizing filing systems both for our house budget and my own writing projects.  The Hay House video series had some great ideas about that.

Seashore Strolling (or Running)

We’re walking more and as the snow is melted now, we’ll be out daily again to get ready for the 5th Annual Running for Joy 5k/1 mile. I  can’t believe this is the 5th year.  You’re very welcome to join us (no matter where you walk the miles). =) Remote walkers/runners who do either the 5k or 1 mile will receive shiny awards made of 1’s and 0’s too!

Son-shine

 My oldest son is staying with us now and has been such an encouragement and good example.  He is learning musical healing techniques, Ayurvedic yoga, herbal healing and meditation.  I’m learning with him!  It’s been a joy to talk to him every day about everything he’s learned.   I’m stronger and healthier than I’ve been in a long time using his suggestions and especially getting rid of all the toxins in our home.  We eat really clean now, and almost everything is from one-ingredient organic sources.  We rarely eat meat and most of protein comes from fish and plants.  We recently joined our local, organic whole-foods co-op in Newark which also has a huge selection of fresh-cut herbs.  This summer we’ll be growing our own herbs and vegetables.  Our entire backyard will be rototillered as soon as the ground thaws.  There will be lots of room for herbs and veggies. =)

Sara Michele O’Something-or-other and Shadowscapes

Today I’m putting the final touches on my book and cover. I’m waiting to hear back from my editor on two poems and from my artist friend about the cover design I did.  The cover and every one of the poems features the beautiful art of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law (Shadowscapes.com).  We purchased a limited copyright for Elanthian Love Songs.  I will have a supporting website — either saramicheleosullivan.com (which is the pen name I used for my old poetry) or wolfkin.net.  I couldn’t get NikiFlow.com because that was taken by an inspirational speaker named Niki Flow.  I’m happy with Wolfkin.com though.  (Wolfkin is Niki Flow backwards).  =)

Soon:  Online Gallery Show for Gems

Under 1000 Skies and Gems is on temporary hiatus until we get more original photo donations.  I’m working on a gallery show (online) that will have a way to donate to support the work of Gems.  The opening date will be February 29th.

Seeking Gems

If you or anyone you know is interested in donating photos and/or becoming a volunteer for Gems in your area, please let me know.  The volunteer pack includes three disposable cameras, three pairs of gloves and three scarves for the winter.  Summer packs will include cameras, sunglasses and baseball caps.  The packet also includes scripts for approaching with respect those who are currently between homes, three notepads and pens for the artist to record notes after each photo and three self-addressed stamped envelopes to return the cameras to me for developing.    In the days to come, I hope to include fleece blankets with the winter packets and sun screen with the summer packets.  Once I receive the photos, I scan and upload them, then I use PaintShop Pro to add the frame, the artist notes (or inspirational quotes if there are no notes).  Then I distribute these via the email list, the website and the social media sites (listed below).

Songs of the Heart

So far I am working with a homeless man in Denver named John who also writes poetry.  He is working on putting together a two- or three-week series of photos for me and those will be featured next  My friend Nicole (Wild Dream Walks) has facilitated my introduction to John.  He’s a beautiful soul and very creative.  Nicole also has one person in Denver that is interested in being be a volunteer for Gems / Volunteer Biographers and one in San Francisco, so that’s exciting!  We’re also hoping to affiliate soon with a soup kitchen in Philly.

Seeker Finds

My biggest contributor of photos in the past two months was a man who was homeless most of 2015  — my son Benjamin.  He says he prefers the term “nomadic” to “homeless.”  =)  During that year, his life was touched deeply by a spiritual awakening.   He came close to dying twice and both times, and in both circumstances, his survival was miraculous.  During this year and his awakening, my son literally did an about-face.  This new direction he walks is filling me with joy — and health! He has been instrumental in helping all of us — my husband Mike, his brother Joe, his Nana (my mom), and many of his friends, too.

So Grateful for Laddership!

 The Laddership Program by Service Space where I have been one of the co-creators (as our beloved mentor Nipun Mehta calls it) since 2014 showed me that I can be a part of the gift economy and design for generosity, too.  The people I met through the program showed me that I can live my dream within the framework of my principles as they are doing or plan to do.  So, to that end, half the proceeds from the sale of Elanthian Love Songs will go toward Gems.

 

So Much Inspiration!

 The poetry book, Elanthian Love Songs, is a bridge for the Gems project because I wrote every one of the 21 poems in the book while playing an online text-based role-playing game called Gemstone — thus “Gems.”  The creativity flowed like water in Elanthia, and it was a beautiful time of learning from and being inspired by the brilliant and beautiful people for whom I wrote my poems.

Soon, More Songs (etc.)

Elanthian Love Songs is the first of four poetry books, three short-story volumes, one screen play and at least two novels that will support the work of Gems 50/50.

I’ll be posting an invitation for you soon to the Gems “1st Online Gallery Show” eta February 29th.

I hope you have a beautiful day.

 

__________________________________

 

Here’s the blurb from the “About” section of “Under 1000 Skies” blog on Word Press where Gems are featured. 

Welcome!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our featured photos. We now linked with Volunteer Biographers. We’ll be working with some folks who are currently between homes on a really exciting photography project, “Show Me What You Love and I Will Know Your Heart.” ♡

We distribute disposable cameras to these artists and the only assignment is, “Show me what you find beautiful.” When you know what someone finds beautiful, you get a glimpse into that person’s heart.

Every six months or so we’ll have a Gallery display to show all the work contributed. You can download the photos to print and if you like donate. All donations (100 percent) go to the purchase of disposable cameras and developing the film.

I would love to feature your artwork or photos. Please send me a note and anything you want featured. I will add title, copyright info, and your website if you have one.

The world needs more light-filled Gems. So please think about all your art work and paintings and photos and let’s sprinkle these beautiful light-filled gems into the world together. =)

More about Gems

You can find the “Gems” all over the net, featured

You can find *Gems” on Facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/LightFilledGems

On Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/jazztizz/gems/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/jazztizz

Tumblr:
http://jazztizz.tumblr.com/

and G+
https://plus.google.com/u/0/115176813967792654833/posts

 

We Need You

If you’d like to be a donating artist and/or volunteer coordinator for an outreach in your town, please leave me a note. It is no accident you are here.

We Are All Connected.

♥. Niki Flow