Gems 5.189

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

Gems 5.189

CHECKMATE
Can’t Wait or Too Late?

The King Needs his Queen, he needs her indeed.
It is not just a matter ardent desire, but of absolute need.
The Army might save him once in a while,
But there is little joy in walking, step by step, single file.
Yes, one square at a time is all he can take,
Teamed with his great Queen they will crush the whole board,
Creating surrender in their wake.
The joy in their partnership expressing is a sight to behold.
Here is hoping I find that Great Queen before we are both too old.

-John Olander

Welcome back Johnny O!

♥.

Gems 5.188

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

5.188b Photo by Wild0ne

Photo by WildOne, Pixabay

“All’s well that ends better.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

This is the last in the Tolkien-quotes series.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them.  Once again, special thanks to the Pixabay and Picmonkey photographers.

The journey of Samwise, Frodo, and company continues to Rivendell here:

ÉOWYN, Bag End to Rivendell-Frodo.

 

I’m taking a break for a bit and will be back with Gems featuring some new photos from Cord X. and a poem from Johnny O. the week of November 18th.  We’ll restart the videos and newsletters every week after that too.

Until then, may all your journeys be green and golden.

♥.

 

Gems 4.147

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

4.147b

Photo by Orlando, Heidelberg, Pixabay

 

Special thanks to John Olander, one of our favorite featured artists, for sharing this wonderful song.  I love the guitar rift intro especially and Eric Bibb’s smooth jazz voice. Thank you dear Johnny O.

Special thanks also to Richard Keys Photo Sociology, for offering his beautiful photos to be used any time we like for our daily quotes.  You’ll be seeing some of Richard’s photos next week.  Thanks so much Richard!

In the meantime, if you know any homeless artists who would like their poems, photos or art featured on under1000skies as well as our accounts on TwitterPinterestInstagramG+ and through our email list, please pass on our information. Thank you!

Have a great weekend.

under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

 

Happy Birthday Johnny O

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Today we celebrate a light-filled Gem named ¤ John Olander. ¤

Happy Birthday John

Our friends John “Johnny O” Olander and Nicole Huguenin, superstar Dream Walker, giftivism co-creator, and photographer.  Nicole introduced us to John.  ☼ Thank you! ☼

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

☼ HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN! ☼

Today is a very special birthday. Our first contributing artist, John Olander, is celebrating 60 years on our sweet old world. Today we feature John’s contributions over the years in a slide show. John has something really special planned for today that he wrote and which he’ll be performing live in celebration. He has given us permission to share it soon. Meantime, if you get time today, please leave John a birthday wish in the comments below. 

 Thank you John for you trust in under1000skies and for your generous contributions and open-hearted friendship. Happy Birthday dear friend.   

______
under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

Gems 4.74

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

Gems 4.74

“Annual Light” Copyright John Olander 2018. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Thank you! ♡  Photos “Moon Sky” and “Sky Amazing” by Niki Flow

 

under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

Gems 4.73

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

Gems 4.73 graphic design by Niki Flow Poem 2nd Grade by John Olander Nun photo - photographer unknown

Poem “2nd Grade” John Olander.  Photographer Unknown.

2nd Grade

by John Olander

What was I thinking in the second grade?

How about the luminous face of my vibrant teacher?

She may have been a nun, but she still looked like she’d be a lot of fun.

But let’s not get carried away,

She did rap my knuckles with the ruler more than once,

And looked like she was enjoying it.

Just the same, what you are taught in the second grade is to love each other.

That comes long before bullying and ridicule, arrogant self-identity,

Followed by the beginning of separation and cliquish behavior.

Your drawing need not be perfect,

Your penmanship doesn’t matter.

Your Generosity permeates everything.

You still emulate everything that is good.

Your joy in life itself is both palpable and contagious.

It is only in becoming jaded and forgetting the joy

that is the giving of yourself that you begin to age.

 

. under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

.

 

♥ Gems: A Thank-You Note ♥

Who Inspires You to Be Your Best Self?

Our homeless artists inspire me every day.  Johnny O has been on the street for 20 years, and he has never given up. He constantly focuses on helping others, on improving his life and on giving to the world with his uplifting and inspiring poetry.

Cord is a very gentle soul whose quiet presence and comments on Simbi made me feel so welcome there when I joined. He was homeless for a long time, but he keeps a gorgeous poetry blog that blew me away first time (and every time) I read it.  He’s so talented. He also takes some of the most stunning photos I’ve ever seen.

I was homeless as a teen in 1974 (a runaway for a week) and again in 1997 when I lost literally everything.  Both times, I met some really cool people who live in the cracks between everyone else’s reality. These are my people — the ones I feel most comfortable with.  I guess that’s because, in my own way, I live in the fringes too, made “homeless” in this world by my own demons. I live in shelter, in comfort, with abundance and with as much support as I could possibly need. Yet both these kind souls have never judged me and have been really supportive about under1000skies.

The irony of an agoraphobic trying to help the homeless is not lost on me. I hope some day it will be a really cool part of the story of how I overcame this thing; about how under1000skies thrived; and about how, together, we connected and helped homeless artists around the world.

Who inspires you to be your best self?

Posted on KindSpring here:   300 Days of Gratitude Day 13:  Who Inspires You to Be Your Best Self?  

300K+(VI) – 12: INSPIRATION