Friday, January 13, 2012

Ultimate Blog Challenge Post 13: Visit from a Grackle

 Today's post is the transcript from my YouTube video, "Ultimate Blog Challenge Day Twelve: Totem Animals" Enjoy!

Hi! Jack V. Sage here. This is post 12 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and yes, once again I have skipped some posts. I will eventually go back, maybe, and fill those in.

I wanted to talk today about totem animals. Those of you who have been following me know that I have taken a job as a waver for Liberty Tax. That means putting on a turquoise velour toga and cavorting around and waving at people. Basically, I have a great big red foam hand and I just sit there all day going "Hoo, hoo hoo, la, la, la" and getting everyone's attention. The idea, of course, is to point toward Liberty Tax so that they'll go in there and get their taxes done, and so that they'll associate getting their taxes done with fun and enjoyment rather than with pulling teeth and things like that.

Anyway, yesterday while I was busy waving, this great-tailed grackle - Quiscalus mexicanus - which is one of the birds of the Sonoran desert - it's in the raven family, the Ictidae? Icteridae? I can't remember. I'll have to look that up. But anyway, it's in the oriole/raven category of birds. The males are black with purple heads, and the females are a kind of dark brown with a cream underbelly. Well, it's not really cream, it's more of a light tan underbelly. Anyway, the females are usually really, really easily scared. They are the last to land and the first to take off, when you see a group of grackles. So yesterday, when this female grackle did everything it could to get my attention and was only a foot away from me most of the time and dancing circles around me, I realized that this was a visitation from a totem animal.

My usual totem is the swallowtail - the zebra swallowtail butterfly - which is a beautiful yellow and black butterfly that is very common in Ohio and North Carolina. I have some really awesome photos of a group of thirty or forty swallowtails that had landed on the ground when we were camping in Asheville, North Carolina. They had landed in a little group to sip water and it was really, really fun to watch them.

I looked up the meaning of a visitation from a grackle. Grackles refer to repressed or suppressed emotion, clogging your energy channel with too many different emotions: too much conflict, too much anxiety, too much fear. And I discovered that you need to think about what's going on and figure out what exactly it is that you need to do to change things.

One of the changes that I made is that I no longer write for content mills unless I really, really like the topic. I also plan to get another job. Right now I have the Liberty waving job and I have a job doing phone surveys. I also plan to get my food service handler's card, because I want to be doing jobs where I am making that personal connection with people in the real world.

I think we become really detached. We form really wonderful friendships online, and yet our day to day, face to face friendships tend to suffer as a result.

I want to make sure that what I'm doing brings people joy. And that's why I love my Liberty waving job. Because I love that moment when people's faces go from "Oh my God, I'm traveling along, I have to get to work." to "Ha! Oh my God, that's so funny!" I like that moment, I really like that moment, that connection. I mean, today, these guys in a moving van - there were six or seven of them - were beeping and waving and doing as much to get my attention as I was doing to get theirs. And it was just fun, being part of that moment of "Yes, you exist, I exist, we know each other." That's a great moment.

I want to do things in the real world. I don't want to just have friends online, and that's nothing against my online friends. I have marvelous online friends: Jordan in Mississippi, Trystan in Maine, Michael, and Aubrey and Jordan in Phoenix, and Chrissy, who I haven't seen since June or July. I did see her face to face at the coffee shop, but it's been awhile. Hunter, thank goodness. Hunter and Andrew came to Christmas dinner. That was really awesome. But I want to do more of that. I want more face to face, more direct contact, more time spent with people in the real world.

Think things over. My question for you today - and I hope that you'll comment below - is, "What emotions are you stuffing? What things do you need to do to make a change in your life?" And I'm not just talking about the kind of change where "Oh my God, my life sucks! and blah, blah, blah blah, blah." I'm talking about when you have a life that's fairly good, but it could be better. It could be better. So I want people to think about what you need to do today, and what real-world thing can you do right now - right after you turn off this video - that will make a change in your life.

Post your comments below. Make video responses - because that's really fun. I'd love to watch them. Join the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and come visit my blog - that's - and also look up my stuff on - that's under MegSmith. It's an old identity. And have a look at some of my articles, particularly the article "What's Your Totem Animal?" Google "What's Your Totem Animal?" You'll find it on Socyberty. Let me know what you think of it. And if you have a totem, tell me what your totem animal is and why. Post a photo if you can, and make a video response.

And have a great day! "Ha, ha, ha, ha." That's the Liberty wave by the way. OK. Bye-bye!

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