Unspecific Thoughts*

There are days when writing feels like the first day in a new school, dressed in homemade clothes, and being beaten up when we arrived at the bus stop. It is not easy to walk into the big crowded room and have a tallish stranger direct us to a seat, sometimes with the warmth of a December snowfall.

We take out our notebook, the same one we used two years running already, but the paper is new, even if our Moms tell us that we should more often erase instead of beginning new pages. Some of the kids make signs at us like we are monkeys at the zoo, and others just smirk and focus on their desks.

We settle in to learn, knowing it is why we must be humiliated like this again and again.

Ah, forward, today we approach the page, and we grovel humbly seeking a word, subject, name, anything to give us a start. We know we can do it because we have written countless times before, but nerves may set in reminding us, no one has to like it. We try to smile, it does not matter, but who does not love adulation? Do not all of us want our spot in the bright lights with waves of applause?

Maybe we dart outside the lines and try to go out of bounds, to preserve the effort, to stop the clock. The clock that often yells, “Time is running down. Will we busy ourselves figuring out all the things we must?” New methods, forms, addresses, compatriots, styles, genres, and we are so overwhelmed, the words hide in the mental caverns and will not show up.

Today, we would skip, paint, cook, vacuum, scrub tile, anything to avoid writing because even when we leave it, running away, the work is us. We cannot divorce ourselves because we were born to it. It is as real as our birthday and will follow us to the moment of death. Writing is inside, outside, besides, over, under, around, everywhere, everyone, how, what, when, who, where, if, but, and by now, it should be known, writing never lets us go. It may be unwilling to care for us, but it is inevitable, we shall care for it, and there will be no escape.

Celebrate, celebrate those lines we drew out of the well, ones we harnessed that they mean our meaning and present our thought. It is hard, words are obscure, can be obnoxious in their games of hide-&-seek. Every line, sentence, is a victory, a hard-fought battle won.

Never Give Up! Allow no gags around our thoughts. Never drown our heads in buckets of apathy. Show up, dig deep, overcome obstacles, persist, because the world needs the words of the thinkers, poets, novelists, biographers, memoirists, journalists, artists, those who are attentive beyond the surface and dance with the indivisible invisible. Conscious thought is in high demand throughout the world, in our land. We must be courageous and keep going even when our hearts become frosted with feelings of cold. Light the fire and go, go, be the ones who experience, hear, know, see, and stand forever for freedom for even the least. Lift love a banner of work, over every land, and all peoples. Be a voice, authentic and meaningful, in this and all times.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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Creativity Now

If you are fortunate enough to have some extra time in your schedule now, I want to encourage you to spend a portion of your day engaged in a type of creativity:

You might want to write your observations of this time in a journal or create poetry and stories that are entirely unrelated. If you have ever had the ambition to write a book, perhaps this is your ideal time.

Photographers might enthuse themselves with taking photos of a scene over some interval of days, and look at the changes, or use them in layers combined for an HDR effect.

Artists might find ordinary items in the household and anthropomorphize those objects, even working them into a cartoon or short animated movie.

For those who have culinary desires, now might be the perfect time to delve into grandma’s recipes or that book you never opened and do some food magic.

Those musicians who need some practice could try something they have never gotten around to, or write some new songs that would surely receive a warm welcome the first time they are performed.

Computer programmers and other computer geeks, this is your time to code your own project until your heart is content.

Readers, this is the time to explore everything you choose. Go everywhere, everywhen, everyhow, you wish all within the covers of books or the pages of eBooks.

Of course, any of the above could engage children or pets as subjects in work, also involving children so they better understand what can be done creatively is a valuable learning activity.

I am confident if you look at this time from the perspective of opportunity that you will find inspiration and things to explore creatively. Time is only wasted when we fail to recognize its value. These are a few ideas, I am sure you have more if you allow.

Take care, be well, God Bless You!

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

 

It Is For Such Days…

I am 56 years old, my son is 31. For years circumstances have widely separated us geographically. We have remained best friends through the wonders of technology. The kid got his first computer at age three. He is wildly creative, has over 100,000 words on a novel you will hear about soon enough. He has been home with me since early December, except for a few trips he took to visit others.

I irritate him a lot; I have bizarre idiosyncrasies. We get along, though, and we work together somewhat. He wants me to be bold, like himself, I am a coward. I asked him last night if he would go with me today. I explained it was Norma’s memorial service, for which Richard requested I write a poem and read it there. He surprised me and said yes. Alex is an inspiration to me always; we have been through so much.

We got Chick-Fil-A for lunch, which Alex puts up memes about being God’s restaurant. He allowed me to read the poem because I do not do public readings. He said I did it well. I thought, well, maybe I can do it.

We got there way early. My Mom always believed in being way early, and I seem to carry on her habit. We talked. We went inside, and I was reproached because there was an individual there, and I mentioned it to Alex. He was right, but… and he says there are no buts. Anyway, we went back outside. It did not seem many people I knew were about that early.

When we came back inside, one of the funeral directors talked to me and gave me an order of service. We spoke to Richard when the room opened. When we sat, one of my favorite people came up, and I got hugs. I love hugs. We promised to be better in touch. I hope it occurs.

When the service began, some very renowned poets were read by a very distinguished person. She opened the floor for attendees to speak, there was no movement or sound. So she said, maybe Jo Ann Jordan, who is a local poet, would like to say something. Yeah, me. I walked up to the steps and prayed that my knees would allow me to make it up to the podium. It was a near thing. You do not know my knees.

Next, I stumbled through the presentation.

Betwixt Times

Sometimes two people
Find the perfect match within
One another and mesh
So their souls permanently
Entwine, declaring them complete.

Cherishing each other
They come to understand
Their bond is so rich,
Their complement so pure;
Lives shared are exceptional.

Norma and Richard
Were always present to give,
Contribute whatever
Was required for their success;
And helping others do their best.

Love infused their lives
So there could be no doubt
Their dedication
To one another was sure and true,
Adoring, always respecting, the two.

Working together
They did it in perfect sync,
Creating things of which
Others could only dream;
They were a successful team.

Norma was a rare beauty,
Quiet in public, but given
To laughter and devotion,
Kind, tender, precious, sweetness,
Expressing love at home.

It is a tearful loss
Dealt out of season, against time,
The world a bit dimmer,
Without the smiles and gentleness
Norma so freely shared with all.

Her creativity
Dedication, work ethic,
Motivation we can
Hope to reflect, even as
We miss Norma’s selflessness.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Thursday, January 16, 2020

“With Norma and our two kitties, we have had a home full of continuous love, respect, laughter, and adoration.” – Mr. Richard Nichols

I did the poem reading my large print copy with some muddling when I had to change pages. When I did manage to look up, there was Alex, smiling, which no one knows how that helped.

I got all messed up on Richard’s quote adding extra ands, but it really is a miracle I could do it at all. I love and respect Norma and Richard more than I can express. They have been mentors and friends to me. My copy editing is directly due to their influence.

I forgot to pray before I headed down those steps, and what a mess I made.

The service was the most inspirational memorial I have ever seen. Richard spoke, and I managed not to cry there, but I have tears now.

Norma had a truly angelic spirit and was one of the most highly intelligent creative people ever. She will be sorely missed.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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