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.

Advertisements

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

 

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 4.37

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

Gems 4.37

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

 

 

Gems 4.17

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

Gems 4.17 under1000skies_1

What Is Equal?

It is non-existent, that is “What it is”.
There is no such thing as equal.
God dealt the cards and one can only
play the hand which they are dealt, regardless
of the obstacles. Fair or unfair.
The biggest “offenders” feel no shame, they know no guilt.
They embrace only their own bigoted double standards.
Asking someone to resolve problems that they not only perpetuate,
but don’t even acknowledge, is a fruitless waste of your precious breath.
You are either of a mind of equality or you are not.
Few are persuaded to do an about face.
Children of all races, creed and colors are not BORN haters.
THEY ARE TAUGHT.
Those thoughts and beliefs of inequity become their values,
No matter how injurious they may be.

​”What Is Equal” Copyright © John Olander 2018.
All rights reserved. Graphic Art by John Olander.
Used with permission. Thank you! ♡