Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday morning musings.

Hello there, dear blogging world that I have forsaken for three months. Three months of upheaval and chaos. Three months of determination and transformation. Three months of.... life.

Life. You funny little idiom of existence. When life throws her arms around you, smothering you with her madness and delusion, you either learn to A). embrace it or B). run like hell from it. You ask, which of the given choices I submitted to? In order to better answer that question, I will revert to the wise musings of Homer J. Simpson: "A little from column A, a little from column B." (Who says The Simpson's aren't applicable to everyday life?!) So here I sit, 1/4 of a year spent running like a mad woman away from the rigors of the world then, just as abruptly, throwing myself into Life's arms, fully giving into her whims and aspirations. Life you tricky tricky creature you.

In those endlessly short three months, I have discovered my perfect trifecta for pursuing life in a way indicative of passion and virtue: transparency, transformation, and tenacity. The willingness to remain transparent to the ones who love and protect your being. The ability to transform and adapt to/for situations/people, allowing oneself to learn and grow from experience. And the tenacity to not let circumstances define you but to allow yourself to define your circumstances. Though the past year has held much of the unenjoyable and at times the unbelievable, with those three small words of declaration, I stand here now striving to be that empty vessel that is filled up by the life-giving and not being drained by the vampires of this material world. Or as past circumstances have dictated, not running from those said life-suckers.

Here I end with one closing thought that both surmises the past few months and (hopefully) defines times to come: Do I want to spend my existence running from that which is overwhelming or, instead, running towards my fears, embracing them and in turn, transforming them and myself with courage and perseverance? This answer is much more aptly chosen than Homer's. I choose courage. I choose perseverance. I choose to spend my days not just existing but thriving.

Bring it, Life.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Scarred Perfection

by Lesli Jamison

Carrying a contemplative air of determined indifference, she neither arrived late nor on time. Time was conceptual, after all; a fleeting idea to those that lived in the ‘hypothetical ’ rather than the ‘now’. Now was too concrete, too real. What if’s, on the other hand. Now they held a gloriously abandoned presence that demanded not of its partakers, but indulged them in a romantically, extravagant way. For who, when given the opportunity, prefers caustic realism to the soothing balm of escapism? Not her. Not in any instance. Not in any capacity. She exists only to escape.

Her dreams and meditations separated her from the surrounding world. She flitted and fluttered through daily life, acquiescent to none but her freedom. Such a stark contrast from my life led in meticulously planned ‘perfection’. Perhaps this perfection I so desperately aspired to was a red flag for an unrequited vacancy in my own life. My plan did not involve dealing with those flaws, however. That would potentially derail my power-driven desires.

I took the bus as an act of scheduled defiance. Public transportation was (generally) on time; near perfect in its punctuality. More than I could strive for battling the transportation elements on my own. She took the bus because she couldn’t find her keys. She started riding the bus three months ago. Her keys are still lost.

The first time I met her, I hated and envied her instantly for she exuded an admirably abhorrent quality; tumultuous serenity. I hated that she had such power in her carefree demeanor. Such grace, giving her the ability to produce more action from her lackadaisical attitude than my hardest attempts at controlling any and every situation. She didn’t care to command, therefore, she was in command. It was on this day and in this way, three months ago, that I was forced to reconcile my Type A personality to that which had no title. Then I hated and envied. Now I pity and love.

The bus held no parameters for her presence. The masses of confined, rapacious riders parted for her effervescent persona. Carefree, sea-green eyes paved the way for her petite frame while freckles and vintage accoutrements adorned her porcelain skin. With a dream like quality, she glided effortlessly through the crowd, and sat, no alit upon the bench I occupied. The bus, whose departure was laid waste to one rider’s latent tendencies towards all things scheduled, crept into traffic as if her presence freed it from the bondage of the bus stop. Disgruntled, begrudged, and annoyed I stared helplessly at this subtle force that permeated my cramped existence. She smiled a smile, gracious in it’s intent yet vacant of focus. I looked straight ahead. Anger management had taught me to distract myself from potentially volatile situations.

Unobtrusively, she folded her petite legs under her body. The ability to sit ‘normally’ was beyond her. Every movement of hers was a grand defiance of the prosaic. There we sat, each the antithesis of the other. I in my starched business suit, her in a patchwork of flowy fabrics. My rigid stature; her nymph-like poise. Corporate America meets bohemian princess. Corporate America actively avoids bohemian princess.

I was uncomfortable. I was self-conscious. I was completely out of my self-assured element. I was….dare, I claim the word…nervous. All from a whimsical character that closer resembled fiction than actuality. A fidgety tap of the foot, an anxious cough and my laptop and paperwork landed on the floor. Inconspicuous, I was not. She, politely extended her outstretched arm to the floor in an attempt to help me pick up after my uncharacteristic oafishness. That graceful arm with nimble, delicate fingers, I will never forget it. For in its beauty it also held a darkness that rarely made itself visible to bystanders. Peeking over the edge of her sleeve lay the dark markings of a past not so savory as her nymphish qualities predicated. Gouges, both raised and deep, carved themselves into the perfectly pale pallet of her skin. Fiery purple, deathly crimson these scars edged over a sleeve meant to obscure not magnify. A few fresh strikes emblazoned themselves as indicators that this past was not so distant. The knowledge that came from a glimpse of mere seconds, took my breath away. She heard, she saw, she knew that I knew. That on her arms and wrists were the reminders of why she chose to escape reality. Why time was conceptual. Why her air of haphazard indifference was no more than a guise used to distract from a torment that long ravaged her heart and mind.

“Are….do…can I help?” I managed to utter in the most hushed of whispers. Not one to acknowledge my own faults, I found it nigh unbearable to offer help to another that suffered from something obviously more incapacitating than my workaholic mentality.

I had barely looked at her as I spoke that which was never meant to be said, but having stated the unmentionable, I raised my eyes to meet her swimming green pools frozen in horror and shock. One lone tear escaped to trace a feathery trail down the landscape of her cheek. This particular gaze was not vacant nor was it wistful. In her eyes, I saw a depth of anguish only equal to that of death. She was dying. Not the death of a cancer stricken patient but the death of a woman whose soul was being extinguished. I had discovered her ugly reality. The façade of chaotic peace was shattered. The ugly and the chaos, they collided.

Her lip quivered so slightly that had I not been fixated upon her stricken face, I would never have caught the tremble that prefaced the emotional turbulence pressing to be released. Though it felt to be an interminable amount of time, two minutes had passed. Two minutes was all that was needed to destroy two individual’s perfectly sculpted pretenses. In that span of time, she went from free-spirit to caged animal. I, from stoic narcissist to empathetic protector.

Unnerved and having tapped into an unknown maternal instinct, I reached for her. In a swift motion meant to comfort, I pulled her sleeve down and lay my hand atop hers. She neither resisted nor encouraged this act. Human touch seemed foreign to this hapless beauty. Or maybe it wasn’t foreign enough.

Our bus ride continued. Stop after stop. Minute after mile, there we sat. Two strangers. Two compatriots. I, heart-broken over the unsaid atrocities that afflicted this delicate soul, mulled over situations, possibilities of outlandish horror that had dethroned this bohemian princess. She sat in silence. Not the silence of one whose daydreams have captured their thoughts but the silence of ones whose thoughts were captured by nightmares come true. The bus drove on.

We never exchanged names or phone numbers. We never discussed details. Our lack of words meant nothing, for in our silence we spoke volumes. Those scars, that evidence of the hopeful forfeit of life, they screamed her pain. My involuntary act of compassion shouted my comfort. Together we conversed through the foreignness of emotions oppressed. Suicide? Cutting? Rape? Molestation? Her past unspeakable. My prayers; voluminous in their silence.

I see her most days…when she arrives on time at the bus stop. On those days, we sit next to each other. Daily we exchange glances more meaningful than our initial encounter. Each day we sit silently. The days I don’t see her, I’m left fretting and worrying that her livelihood's strength has been extinguished at her wrists.

That day, three months ago, I never arrived at work. That day I was forced to be self-less, not selfish. That day, I rode the bus with a broken, disenchanted princess.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Purchased Innocence, Pillaged Adolescence

Shrieking. Convulsing. Oh God, save me! I cry. Take me away, sweet tears! Transport me…NOW! I inwardly gasp. These tears, my tears, I succumb to them, escape in them. Through them, I beckon my past.

My tears, they transform me to the rains of my youth; a summer’s day washed fresh by the storm. I ran. I skipped. I played with the vigor of a child whose innocence dictated her aspirations and past times. Upon butterfly’s wings, I flew. Despite my malnourished belly, my unwashed face, these times equated bliss…in comparison. Yet, this youth I speak of, is a not so distant past. For youth I encompass and am in years. The rings of my soul, however, dictate an age bequeathed to me by those that ravage, that ransack, that devour. My body is of twelve years, my soul….is dead.

I see hell. I feel hell. Hell is my every waking moment. No light. No sun. No chance at the glow of warmth from a friend. However, alone I am not. I’m stalked by the hunter; the predator that seeks to kill me slowly but surely. He comes not in one guise, but in many. He lurks behind the pretenses of son, CEO, father, teacher, and lawyer. He comes ready to rip, shred, and eviscerate my body. He cares not for my humanity, for I am devoid of it. Devoid of pride, dignity, love….even a name. No longer do I answer to that which my mother adoringly anointed me with at birth, for I have become a number. Lost in the math of insidious lust and greed.

Behind glass, I am displayed. The choicest of morsels left ‘select’ for men whose pockets weigh heavily with lust. No…no… In this store, avarice always supercedes mercy. Not again, oh no….To be chosen is not the lottery I desire to win. Please no… Dare I look them in the eye those that choose to plunder my prepubescent body? Oh… I’m chosen. ..God….Defeat. ..NOOOOOO!!!

If I scream, I am beat. If I thrash, I am brutalized. …death… I am drug, a lifeless body acquiescent to her fate. Take me now….I am beaten; a hapless victim held hostage by malice. Take me before I see or…. I am pinned down, crushed, devoured,…destroyed. ….remember…. In shame, I let the psychosis of nostalgia rescue me from the present. I run. I skip, I play. My tears morph into rain drowning the now. …sweet escape.

The façade, the reality, they intertwine in a sick and alluring demise. Each vision becomes subjected to the next; the anguish becoming inextricable from the innocence. Crushing arms…Let me go!!! Dainty butterflies. I reach for those beautifully delicate wings. Tumult of fists. AaaaggghhHH… Laughter. Rape. JESUS! Nothing. ….

Saturday, February 27, 2010

More School poetry submissions....


by Lesli Jamison

Stillness. Breathless.

The mountain, she invigorates my soul.

Silence. Abundance.

The snow. He purifies. He makes me whole.

Lavish and indulgent.

Sweet breath of natures grace.

My languid stroll, my hiding spot.

Creations abundance reclaims me. I am safe.

Oh forest, unforgotten.

Undefiled yet gloriously adorned.

The winds saturating presence;

Oh how abundantly she restores.

Earths distinguishing presence

Intimately and succinctly refined.

Mother Natures copious extravagance

My clandestine affair with creation. Exquisitely intertwined.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wanderings in the Dark


Wanderings in the Dark
by Lesli Jamison

Itinerant, my thoughts dwell,

Amidst nowhere and here.

Cognizant obscurity.

Unsettled, yet so clear.

These peripatetic wanderings

Of a mind left undisguised,

Undermined yet determined,

Seen through unseeing eyes.

A visage without description.

A hope without a cause.

Over zealous ambivalence

Met with an applause.

Vague light begins to filter

Penetrating concepts unknown.

Tangible or fantastical?

Accompanied or alone?

The flutter of an eye-lid,

The sensation of being aware.

I open my eyes, my dreams dissipate.

Awake I lie grasping that, which had no cares.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Simply Abundant

Simply Abundant
by Lesli Jamison
Yesterday, I spent a glorious day up in the mountains snow-shoeing. Nature has a way of lavishly and indulgently revealing herself to us leaving us to ponder the desire that her beauty evokes. How beautifully complex yet simply abundant the crunch of the snow, the gentle undulation of the wind in the trees, and the crisp air is to our overly chaotic lives. To think, that one hour out in God's creation can introduce such a refreshing air to our harried lives. Why on earth do we not reach for this ever so accessible catharsis more often?
This got me to thinking about how, in our lives, we allow simple pleasures to pass us by unnoticed and forgotten. Or, even worse, we recognize those pleasures yet still strive for materialistic fulfillment. When will we realize that the momentary joy of a shopping spree can and will never surpass that of the incandescent peace discovered when witnessing a sunset? Abundant simplicity at its finest.
How then, do we learn to recognize and put into practice those simply fine pleasures that leave us filled with joy? I decided that now is as good a time as ever to create my list of 'Simply Abundant Pleasures'. Along with my New Years Resolution accountability, I am choosing to use this blog post as a catalyst to continually look for the innocence and integrity in simplicity.

My 'Simply Abundant Pleasures':
~A fresh, hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. There is something comforting, nostalgic, and hopeful about my morning coffee.
~A child dancing, singing or laughing. There is nothing so pure and untouched as that of a child partaking in song or laughter for it comes from a place not tainted by outside concerns but truly from the childs' heart.
~Music in all shapes and forms. For me, something spiritual takes place when I listen or play music. To feel the emotions put forth into a song and to bring it to life is such a beautiful pleasure for me.
~The written word. All forms thereof. I am a voracious reader either always looking to learn or looking to be inspired which thus leads to writing for me. Writing is one of the most therapeutic activities I take part in. It allows me to simply and expressively vocalize my heart and my mind.
~My camera. Capturing a moment, a visage, a breathtaking view.
~Being outdoors in any way, shape or form. The beauty of our Creators planet leaves me feeling awe-inspired and completely insignificant in His great significance.
~Working out (ha ha, right?) Working and challenging my body reminds me of what a miracle we, as humans are. Not that we've created it for ourselves, but that we were created so perfectly and meticulously. To feel my muscles strain, my heart beat....those are reminders of what a wonder we are and to never take advantage of the simplicity of ourselves.

This list is just the tip of the glacier. As I began to think about simple things that bring me joy, an insurmountable list began to form. What an incredible challenge to remind ourselves to be awed by life. I hope this challenges you to think of your own simple pleasures and to not live vicariously through stuff but through the little nothings that make our life a big something.

Simplicity. Life unadorned. Unprocessed. Undefiled.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Embracing to embark...

One of my New Years Resolutions (as stated in a previous blog post) was to do something I had only dreamed about. Today, I made my first step towards accomplishing that goal. I began the, what is sure to prove, long process of searching for a school that I hope to pursue a journalism degree at. This may seem a mundane and prosaic accomplishment to many but for me, it is the beginning of living my life for myself and not someone else. A newfound, slightly forced upon me dream that I am attempting to embrace to the fullest. Embrace and embark. Two words that encapsulate what I hope is the beginning of a new era in the life and times of Lesli Jamison.
The past six months have reintroduced my passion for the written word initially as a source of catharsis, but has unyieldingly produced a greater desire. A desire to use this passion not only for the expulsion of my own emotions, but perhaps for a greater good. What if, my passion became my power? The power to give a voice to the mute. The power to shine a light on the hidden. The power to save. Now, do not tempt yourself into believing that I am as egotistical as that sounded. I know that I myself have very little power. But what if, in conjunction with other people that share the same desires and talents, we, as a whole, can create pieces that not only speak to ourselves and where we come from, but speak to the world and where we all should be? That, is why I want to be a journalist. This I have embraced.
Now to embark. In order to be a journalist, it is a well known fact that education is a well advised stepping stone in that direction. One can not report upon facts that they have no knowledge of nor can they communicate to masses without an understanding of societal mindset. My current research has given me to believe that Northwestern is a top contender when endeavoring to become a journalist. Other schools are noted and mentioned often but Northwestern appears to have grasped a firm hold in all review departments. All of this I can accept gladly and look forward to eagerly. Then I remember, I would have to move. I would have to leave my beloved Colorado behind, move to a city I know nothing about (Chicago), am friendless in and start anew. Weirdly, I find that the most exciting and intriguing part of this adventure. In my 28 years of existence I have lived in two places. Northwest, Kansas (18 years) and Denver/Boulder, Colorado (10 years). As I near the third decade of my life, is it not fitting that I would choose to start it with an entirely different life? To each his own, of course. The 'my own' part of that cliche is what I am holding onto firmly. This is for me; my own. All this to say.....I sent for some applications and school info....oooooo....big step. *said with mock enthusiasm*. No, to many this is not even a gentle nudge in the journalist direction. But for me this WAS a big step for up until this time, I had not allowed myself to entertain the possibility of moving. I retract that. I may have entertained but never fully believed that it was a possibility. So yes, I did embark. If only slightly.
What has 2010 pressed upon peoples hearts? Who is embracing and embarking? Revisiting or renewing? Let us start this decade unrelenting in our passions and resolved in our ambitions.