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Musings of Jazzy

The only thing constant is change

Familiar Stranger

It is that time of night again. Religiously, she finds herself pacing the empty sidewalk. The air is crisp,cold and thick with fog. The sky is black and littered with stars. The beating of her heart, and the gentle inhale of air into her lungs are the only sounds audible.

She doesn’t mind walking in the fog. There is something safe and secure about the enfolding misty air. She can only see a few steps ahead, and each step is taken with anticipation. The mystery of what is behind the wispy veil brings promise. This is a place to regain her thoughts, contemplate her future, unravel and unwind.

It is her sanctuary.

It’s about a quarter till ten, and she squints through the fog and sees the same tall black figure pacing steadily across the street. His gentle footsteps creating an empty echo.

She wonders what aches him. What distresses him so, to where he and her stand parallel with nothing but the cold concrete dividing them. They have shared this corner in this quiet neighborhood for many nights, brought together only by a similar scramble of numbers on their houses. She can’t make out his face from the static blackness. She is surprised that his presence doesn’t threaten her, only surfaces new fascination.

It is so still, that it seems that the leaves will cascade down from their branches with every step of his foot. She is soundless as she glides towards the road that runs along an orchard of oranges. The breeze carries the intoxicating scent of citrus and the night over them.

He starts to cross the street, moving aimlessly in her direction. The moon light reflects its milky glow off of his masculine features. The combination of light and shadow almost makes her feel like she is watching a character in a classic film. He is still unaware of her presence and causally lights up a cigarette. He places his free hand in his pocket and tilts his head back, exhaling.

She leans against the chain link fence, the chill in the air causes her to fold her arms to her chest. This is the closest he has ever been to her, and she feels overly conscious of her own being. She usually ventures further down the gravel path, but tonight she is frozen in place, her eyes locked onto this familiar stranger. She hears the sharp grinding of gravel beneath his feet, and stiffens with each approaching step. Before he completely passes her by, he lifts his head and acknowledges her with a simple nod.

” There is something tranquil about the fog, isn’t there?”

Those are the only words he speaks before he makes his retreat. She watches him walking slowly down the street, appearing then disappearing underneath the street lamp lights.

She feels more connected to this stranger than the people in her closest circle.  During this observation, she uncovered a reflection of herself.

We end up in certain places at particular times to simply observe people. Undeniably, these small observations and interactions will have an impact one way or another. During this moment of realization, she is comforted in knowing that in this world of millions, there is one place of solitude two souls share together.

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Watercolor Memories (An Inspirational Dream)

A moment resurfaces every now and again when I find myself walking in a large courtyard. It is open yet secluded; its tiles are sun withered with hairs of grass sprouting effortlessly between its aging lines. Columns reside at all corners; each uniquely concealed with enfolding emerald green ivy. The time is always evening, and the chirping of crickets becomes almost deafening. There is a wooden bridge that leads to a tall wall; vines and brush cover its base. Alongside the courtyard is a stream; crystal clear in spots, cloudy in others. It captivates me every time I glare into its abyss. My eyes follow the waters gentle course; memories of my past start to appear. These memories are painful to see again, they are filled with all of my fears, tears, arguments, losses, broken expectations, and broken hearts.  In a panicked attempt, I quickly submerge my hands into the stream and twirl the memories into a twisted painting of myself. Unaffected by my rattled actions, the swirl of images slowly start to fuse back together.  I watch my memories pass by over and over again, piercing into my soul. I start to chase them down the stream, feeling overwhelmed by their numbers. Which one do I catch first? They are all equally painful.

As I proceed to follow my watercolor flashbacks, I realize that I have been running in circles around the courtyard. When I feel like I have finally caught up to the first watercolor; I am standing in the place I started. Confused and now frustrated, I scoop my hands into the water in attempts to capture my memories,thus somehow ridding the stream from this pollution. Successfully, time and time again I watch the colors bleed through my fingers back into the subtle streams flow; still…nothing.

My images intertwine once again looking unaffected, and still religiously flowing along the stream that surrounds my courtyard. I start to feel isolated and barricaded. I stare at my reflection for a long time, watching my face stay…unchanged.

It is not until I see a bird’s reflection dart across the water, and soon after two more. I follow their path of flight to a stone bird bath in the center of the courtyard. There are two small birds and one quite larger. The larger bird is fearlessly flapping her wings in the bath, occasionally taking the water in with her beak. The other two are still perched on the statues edge, looking hesitant and rather skeptical of this newly found treasure. The larger bird slowly encourages the other two to follow her lead. First the feet, the legs, and finally…she submerges herself completely, allowing the cool water to wash over her feathers. I watch intently, they look so peaceful and serene.

Then it dawns on me, if they can why can’t I? I turn back towards the stream, close my eyes, and jump in head first. My first thought was how deep the stream was, my second thought was how incredibly warm it felt. In an instant, all my memories, all the images, all the pain…and lastly all the experiences suddenly started to cling to me; cling to me as if I was a magnet. I let them absorb into me, and as I lifted myself out of the stream I felt heavy. I dragged myself over to the bridge, managed to remove a layer of clothing, and looked down at the waters passing under me. They started to run dry, and the streams floor was starting to be visible. I glanced over to the bird bath and realized that it too was now bone dry.
It was in that moment that I understood that the stream needed my memories, it was the make-up of this place. I took a layer of clothing and gently started to ring it out into the water. Slowly, I started to see my memories mold back together. One by one, each drop of water fell from me. With each twist and turn of my cloth, I inhaled then exhaled, and decided it was a memory that I was ACCEPTING and was willing of LETTING GO, thus releasing them back into the water. The pieces were and will always be a part of me, for this courtyard and it beauty would not exist without them. As I watched my memories flow underneath me and the bridge, an overwhelming sense of clam surrounded me. I glanced over to where the wall once stood only to see a fresh opening before me. I walked towards the opening, with no fear of looking back.

 

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Spectator

She is constantly present. Whether you see her or not, she observes, she translates. Quietly she stands, allowing the wind to wash over her. People pass by in fast motion, oblivious to her being. She can almost predict what will happen, based on a simple gesture, eye movement, or the brush of a hand. It is fascinating just to watch, examine, and calculate.

People are loud, predictable, thinking her naive. Too engrossed in their own thoughts, their own opinions. Nobody can just “be”,just exist. Everyone is out to prove something, be better than someone, have more than someone. She is amazed how much is learned in just being present, silent. Thoughts are acknowledged with a nod, and then make their retreat.

Sometimes it’s all that is needed, to be present, to listen.

White T-Shirt

As a child, my backyard was more than just flowers and soil. My backyard was a never-ending landscape full of tall pines, candy colored fruit trees, abandoned fortresses, and fragrant petals. The hills existed only for me. Cardboard sleds were my only means of transportation. When those were scarce, then using myself as a human roly-poly just had to do. The earth beneath me left its art on the large white t-shirt that hung loosely over my tiny frame.

It wasn’t that I owned clothes that did not fit. This particular shirt belonged to my Grandfather.

His drawers were constantly lined with the neat squares of cotton. There was not one day that went by where he didn’t wear one. They were essential, an under armor. He had a physical job, a job that would leave its mark day after day.

Our two acres seemed to go on forever. The landscape was full of random patches of a variety of different flowers, all hand-picked and planted by my Grandmother. It was a getaway for not only myself but for my best friend. A getaway to a world only children can enter. Pine cones were ammunition against the “Boys Next Door”. They were our mortal enemies, and not even the thick brush and thorny bushes were enough protection from our eyes.

Getting dirty didn’t exist, especially when I wore his white t-shirt. This was now my armor, and my protection against the mud demons. It held up against water balloon fights, blackberry smears, and God only knows what else.

To anyone else, it may have just appeared to be a simple plain white t-shirt, but to me, it was my super-suit, my ability to do anything and be anyone I wanted to be.

 

Perception

We all view or lives through our own personal filter, or viewing glass. This filter is made up of all of our past beliefs, morals, and biases. What would you say if someone asked you to define truth?

One person believes that the door is green, and another person believes that no, the door is red. When in fact the door is yellow. Both individuals are “color blind” and see the door through their own filter. The first person views the door as green because of their “filter” and the other views the door as red because of his or her “filter”. How do you determine the TRUE color of the door?

Through the facts. 

It makes me wonder just how many “truths” (perceptions) are out there considering the number of filters in the world. Everyone sees things, people, and the world through the filter that they choose. Some cannot change their views because they have yet to discover that they indeed have the control to do so. Once we realize that the way we perceive the world and the things which reside within it are just mere pieces of ourselves, we will have more control over its power over ourselves. It may be difficult at first to break away from your ego, and the definition of yourself and what makes you “YOU”. But once you have realized that our perceptions are merely a culmination of memories and thoughts, we may be able to better see… truth.

9 O’clock

When 9:00 p.m. approaches, I am blissfully aware of the “me time” ahead. Yes, being a new parent is wonderful, all-consuming and wonderful. But after a full day of diapers, bottles, sticky messes, and crying taking up every inch of your mental and physical space…I embrace the time. When that time approaches I am relieved to be able to sit down, relax, and let the gentle hum of the ceiling fan drown out the clutter in my head. I dim the lights, and prepare for the night.

It is a time for reflection, salty snacks, good reads, and cooking shows. My little one sleeps, sleeps so soundly…and I should probably be sleeping too. This, is impossible my friends. Like I said, this is “me time”. Yes, the clothes in the dryer probably should be folded, the dishes in the sink should probably get cleaned. I tried desperately during the day to finish these tasks, but to no avail, they were not completed.

My mind ventures off to far away places. Even at 30, I sometimes feel I have the imagination of an 8-year-old. I go places, beautiful fictional places full of music, color, and light. Sometimes these places are just my past, my childhood past. The house has cooled down by now after being scorched by the sun for hours. The trees in the backyard are nothing but black silhouettes. I close the blinds, nobody wants to feel vulnerable. What is it about glass doors and night?

I glance over at my sleeping child and am overcome by nostalgia. I remember so vividly being a child, filled with innocence and hopefulness. I remember the smells, even though I am unable to tell you what exactly they were. I remember the comfort in a hug. It’s all very overwhelming, looking at my child and knowing that he will be experiences these feelings as well. What will his imagination be like? Will he pretend to fly over the town at night as I did? Watching the town lights twinkle, and all the homes dimming theirs. Will he play in the dirt in the backyard with no regards to the soil under his fingernails?Will he be able to eat berries off the vine until his face is half covered in blackberry jam?

These thoughts come almost nightly, at 9 o’clock. Thoughts still full of wonder and hope. Not hope for me, but hope for him, my sleeping child.

Destinations

 We all need a place to travel to when we get that feeling to just “ get away”. Whether this place is physical or not, it can still be considered…somewhere. I have a couple of places I venture to when my mind is feeling cluttered and a little overwhelmed. They are fictional places that they are made up from the fabric of my imagination; but, nevertheless they are still destinations…in my mind. I am still not too sure as to why I choose certain destinations over other’s, all I know is that It depends on my mood.  And while being on this new adventure called parenthood, I definitely need a place to go, with just…myself.
For example, when I feel like I desperately need to relax I find myself on the top of a hill during the twilight hours. This hill is always the tallest in comparison to its surrounding neighbors, it is always covered in wisps of emerald green grass. Grass that can only be made by the stroke of a paint brush. The air is crisp, jasmine and orange blossoms fill my senses. Majestic thin trees act as a partial fence between my safe place and the darkness beyond the horizon.The sky is always a shade lighter than sapphire blue, and it’s texture is a mixture of blue velvet and water colors. The sound of crickets always surround me, along with the gentle “ding” of a wind chime ever so often.
 When stress or anxiety starts to creep up on me I find myself usually in a forest surrounded by fragrant vibrant flowers accompanied by the sounds of nature.  Running water is close, and the wind always has just the right amount of chill. The trees act as a canopy of entangled branches; they take on the appearance of soft willows. The stems and leafs are always glistening as if they are made up of hundreds of tiny diamonds.
 These snapshots, these “places” are calming and beautiful to me. To some they may seem to be only colorful paintings or elaborate settings in a fantasy novel; but to me, they are just simple destinations. Where are your destinations?

Dark Wonder

She paces steadily with grace and vigor

With polished amber eyes

A blazing inferno amid the darkness

Under the dark shifting sky

A captivating spirit

Fearless yet entrancing

Her stride renders the air to churn

Enduring and outlasting

The winds sweep beneath the soil

Through the leaves and brush

The water stays still, only to ripple

With just her simplest touch

She is the feared, the unknown

A timeless marvel

Her shadow is brilliant,

Stunning,statuesque, and tall

The night is silent, all just stay away

In fear of a creature

Who is mischievously just at play

Light gleams through the beads of water

Trickling down her faux veneer

Blending so effortlessly among the blindness

Remains only her piercing stare

Hidden Path

It is warm, a little bit too warm.The silence is almost deafening, and I can feel the dewy air thick with spring on my cheek. My eyes open easily and I take in the sensations around me.The grass is damp under my body, and the suns rays are giving the leafs a golden glow. How odd, how the branches are swaying, blossoms are falling, and I hear nothing. The lake before me is wide, almost too wide to be just a lake.

I realize now that I am on a secluded piece of earth, an island, so far away from the other side of the lake. Panic sets in and I scramble to the edge.  I need to get across.  I don’t see any way around the lake; it looks too deep and I am afraid to cross it, I don’t know how. Suddenly a figure appears, and seems to be gazing over the body of water.  When I approach the figure, it turns to me. It was like stepping into the blazing sun and trying to allow your eyes to adjust to the brightness. Momentarily, a face appears, a familiar face.

She appears to me occasionally, in random settings,” Time is non-existent” she tells me, as if it is a reminder of something important. I need to get across, but there’s no way. I think to myself. My Grandma smiles and steps into the water, I try to tell her to stop but then she begins to show me…” You see…” she says ” The water isn’t always what it appears to be, it may be deep, but if you take the time to focus on what is right under the surface you will see your path; just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there”. After staring into the waters for a moment, a rocky path starts to appear.  It was there the entire time. She points to the far side of the lake to a path and says “Sometimes we need to take the difficult road to get to where we need to be.”

I wake up wondering where these inspirational dreams come from.  But they are nice to have anyways. The message is pure and simple, but sometimes the simplest things that are most important.

 

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