Categories
Creativity Love Memoir Poetry Wellness Writing

The S.S. (Space Ship) Pussiewillow II

The S.S. Pussiewillow II is a whimsical machine by inventor-sculptor Rowland Emett, who was known worldwide for his intricate machines that whirr, spin, flash, sway, and quiver, going nowhere, doing nothing, poking fun at technology. It appeared on display circa 1980 in the Flight in the Arts gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, complemented by music composed and performed on antique harpsichords by Trevor Pinnock. This indescribable kinetic work became a favorite of adults and children alike. The object was taken off display in 1990, but visitors with long memories still ask about it.

From the postcard:

The S.S. Pussiewillow II, a Personal Air and Space Vehicle of unique Stern-wheel configuration, with Flying Carpet attributes, by Rowland Emett, O.B.E. An adapted Kashmir carpet is enmeshed within a light Jupiter-ring, which undulates and spins to provide False Gravity. Twelve variable-speed Zodiacs spin up to ensure activation of suitable Sign, to nullify adverse contingencies. In combined Control Module and Hospitality Room, the Pilot, accompanied by his Astrocat, pedals lightly (aided by helium-filled knee-caps) to energize Stern Paddle-wheel. There is an elevated Power-boost G.E.O.R.G.E. (Geometric Environmental OARiented Row-Gently Energizer), and a Solar Transfuser for trapping random sun-rays. Module is shown in open attitude, revealing possible Extraneous Being being won-over by Afternoon Tea, and toasted tea-cakes.

“A memory I wasn’t entirely sure was real, of finding something that seemed completely but wonderfully out of place in the National Air and Space Museum,” says the person who took the video below, and I completely agree. Like them, I too, remember wandering around the Air and Space Museum and finding myself in this magical room with its dancing machine and fantastical music. I’ve kept the postcard (above) tucked away ever since — what fun to revisit the memory all these years later!

Postcard and text from the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 1981

If you like this magical creation, you’ll LOVE the It’s About Time issue of MANIFEST (zine). On sale now!

Categories
Living Poetry Wellness Writing

Transubstantiation

Be the change you wish to see in the world — be the change you fear.

Serve it up in bite-size pieces and make peace with it because resistance is futile.

Change comes and change comes and change comes
and you change and you change and you change.

Extra change in your pocket
is just reserve for the next detour.

Recalculating.

Better to live in fluidic space, liquid and organic,
bending time, not biding,
moving from here to there effortlessly.

Gracefully.
Gratefully.

Because an object at rest stays at rest
but an object in motion stays in motion

and we all know it’s the motion in the ocean that counts.

Poem ©Jen Payne

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE the Divine Intervention issue of MANFEST (zine)

Categories
Wellness Writing

11 Years and Counting

ARE YOU READY TO STOP SMOKING?

Get support — it takes a village.

Read Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking.

And STOP.

If I can, you can, too.

I promise.

Categories
Creativity Living Wellness

Blessing Shout Out!

I fell in love with this fabulous Self-Soothing graphic! Isn’t it wonderful?

Know what’s event better? The lovely Miss Dominee at Blessing Manifesting who created this fab artwork. Are you anxious, worried, scared, sad? There a blessing for that!

Needing a little self-care, some mental health boosters, positive affimations? There are blessings for that, too!

She even wrote this great article about “Managing Anxiety About the Corona Virus.”

Please visit BLESSING MANIFESTING now. What a treat in these dark and twisty times!

 

Categories
Creativity Living Wellness

Calm Down

calm down
what happens
happens mostly
without you

— JOSEF ALBERS

Poem and image, Homage to the Square: Blue & Green, by Josef Albers.
Categories
Creativity Living Wellness

Coping in Our Genes

This is my grandfather, Henry Clay Payne, posing in Okinawa, 1945. The photo was taken about a month or so before his ship was torpedoed and then sunk by a kamikaze. He was one of 152 men killed that day, four days after my Dad’s second birthday.

He’s been on my mind since I read the article “These Royal Navy Submariners Know A Thing or Two About Isolation,” by BuzzFeed correspondent Tom Warren. Blame it on the vintage, black and white navy photos, I guess — since Henry Payne was neither in the Royal Navy nor on a submarine. Still, I imagine that he — floating somewhere in the East China Sea, away from his wife and young son and daughter — might have offered up similar suggestions:

Routine, routine, routine!
“Develop a routine quickly and stick to it….This means giving yourself breaks, permission to relax, and times when you’ll focus on work.”

Exercise.
“In order to be mentally alert you need to be physically alert.”

Eat healthy.
“If you eat badly your serotonin will drop and you will go into depression.”

Start something new.
“Keep your mind active… With no commute, you’ve just cut down on a load of non-value added time. You can use it to take up a new hobby.”

Keep talking — and joking.
“Conversation is really important, it keeps you and your friends informed. Laugh at anything. At this moment when stress is high, it’s really important you don’t stress the little things.”

The other reason Henry Payne has been on my mind is that this pandemic is pretty scary stuff. Probably the scariest thing I remember, really. But my grandparents’ story reminds me that the world has faced things like this before — global crises like when Henry went to war, and my grandmother raised two young children on her own. There was fear and anxiety, isolation, and an undeniable sense that their world had changed. But they found ways to cope. All of our families found ways to cope back then. And we will too. It’s what we do, right?

So stick with a routine. Exercise and eat healthy. Keep your mind active. Keep talking, and hold on tight to that sense of humor until we see it through.

Take care.

©2020, Jen Payne. With quotes from the BuzzFeed Article “These Royal Navy Submariners Know A Thing or Two About Isolation,” Tom Warren.
Categories
Creativity Living Wellness

Coping Tools

I hope this blog post finds you safe and healthy, with a good selection of coping tools at the ready. Goodness know we need them right now.

My coping tools include reading escapist fiction, keeping creative, taking long naps, and maintaining some semblance of a normal routine with my business and my writing. If you’re like me, work offers a familiar place to settle into when the world outside is swirling too fast and crazy to recognize.

While we wait in this holding pattern, I’ll be posting regularly here on Random Acts of Writing, trying to share words of wisdom, coping strategies, and the saving grace of humor when possible.

Like this. This lovely piece of wisdom I saw online this week. During this time of social distancing and quarantines, ask yourself:

  • What am I grateful for today?
  • Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
  • What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
  • How am I getting outside today?
  • How and I moving my body today?
  • What beauty am I creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?

Please share your responses below in the comment field.


Here are mine:

What am I grateful for today?
I am grateful for my health and the sweet network of friends helping to keep me in the moment.

Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
Today I have phone dates with my old college roommate Melissa and my friend Judith.

What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
I try not to think about Normal right now. When it sneaks into my thoughts, I remind myself to be present and just right here.

How am I getting outside today?
Hoping to take a short walk in the woods this afternoon.

How and I moving my body today?
Yoga this morning at 4, PT exercises for my knee a little later.

What beauty am I creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?
I find I keep saying the Serenity Prayer, not so much to keep me calm, but to remind myself what I can change (me) and what I can’t change (everything else).

Please be well and stay safe.