Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Relevant Night Before Christmas....

photo from

A Relevant Night Before Christmas
by Lesli Jamison

Twas the night before Christmas, when all throughout,
The homeless were huddled, the broken turned out.
The desires and wishes of humanity sparked,
But action and empathy were hidden by the dark.
The children were displayed in a window for a price;
While men chose 'wisely' which one looked most nice.
Innocence lost because of action forgotten.
Joy and happiness stolen for the devils' begotten.
When out in the slums, women beg for their dinner,
I sat inactive. A self indulging sinner.
Away from the headlines, I turned my head;
Tore open a book, looking for an escape instead.
But the visions of hollowed out eyes sick with AIDS
Disrupted my abdication on the first page.
When what to my wondering eyes should I spy,
But the announcement that many innocents shall die.
Die of illness, die of violence, die of monstrosities so dire;
I knew in an instant, to what I must aspire.
More rapid my heart beats inundated my brain,
These children, these women they are not without name.
Their hurt and their sorrow is not just theirs to carry.
Come compassion! Come love! We all must not tarry!
Now sympathy, empathy, peace and relief!
Stop hatred and violence! We command you to cease!
To the depths of my heart, to the depths of my soul,
I cry for forgiveness for inactions great role.
As tears of distress stream down my pained face,
Conviction and motivation find a new place.
So up I jump wildly, ignorant of my surroundings,
With the hopes of a generation hanging by my new findings.
And then, in a twinkling, I felt most distinct,
A new hope forming; humanities great link.
We are not here for our individual plans.
People. All people are our mission we MUST understand.
This vision was cloaked with an aggressive alacrity,
Despite knowledge of evils most evident tenacity.
A child appears, gripping hope by the reigns.
Witnessing, for the first time, a true, unyielding change.
His eyes, how they sparkle! His smile, how it shines!
For never before had someone been kind.
His heart, how relieved to know this hell will not pervade.
Living in slums without food; made a slave.
His malnutrition is vanquished, clean water abounds,
Educations clear voice is the sweetest of sounds.
His sister will laugh with unadulterated bliss,
Instead of hiding shame from being raped by those that are remiss.
She too, will find peace in knowledges great arms,
Using information to protect her people from harm.
The spark of hope in the children of desolations eyes,
Soon gave me to know we COULD attain this prize.
Speaking not words, but walking the walk.
My challenge to you is to stand up, shout out. Give malevolence a shock.
And laying aside all our fears and our dreads,
Let us destroy depravity. Denounce debauchery. Lay it to shreds.
Lets spring to our feet. Inform, empower, invite
Humanity to involve themselves in others' plight.
I feel a great fervor forming in our midst,
Merry Christmas to ALL! Your pain is our pain! We shall persist!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Contrived Christmas...

Its that time of year again. The time of year where all of my perfectionistic expectations go unmet, my self-righteous wishes remain unfulfilled and my incorrigible romanticism with traditions sustains its' non-existent life. Ok, now that I've admitted to my absurd desires, let me attempt to re-forage my character in a way that is ever-so-slightly less narcissistic. All aforementioned yearnings fall in the category of, let's face it, inconceivably selfish motives. I envision the perfect Christmas memories complete with snow falling, carols, candlelight, and while we are at it, a host of angels singing laudably overhead. Yes, ridiculous. Especially when it comes down to the true meaning of the season. Regardless of religious affiliation, I think we all can agree that this time of year has become too much about stuff and too little about things that aren't necessarily tangible but prevalently more profound and meaningful.

I am curious behind peoples traditions and motivations for the holiday season. As our economy hangs by a loose thread, we, as Americans, are being forced to rethink our fiscal 'dedication' to the holidays. More and more I see people drowning in financial subjugation or a sense of responsibility to monetarily challenge the 'Jones'. When will the all-mighty dollar finally lose out to game nights and home made gifts? When we spend our time instead of our money, we retain the money in our bank accounts along with a sense of selfless dedication to something that lasts.

Even after evaluating our choices during this season of love (even better if we dedicated this to the entire year) when do we decide to focus our thoughts, prayers, and money if we so have, onto others? When do humans become our responsibility rather than an inconvenience? I have worn the banner of self involved, over indulged holiday extraordinaire, and I must say, it was not note worthy. The crowded mall. The time spent acrimoniously fighting over a parking spot. The hours lost with our precious family members while we are stressing over credit card statements. This is what we have to show for our consumeristic outlook on Christmas. Maybe it is fortuitous that certain books and articles have been placed in my hands this past month that have reminded me of my place in this chapter of life. I just recently finished Half the Sky by Nickolas Kristof and am continuing to inundate myself with information that not only pulls me out of the ignorance gap, but motivates me to not just sympathize but empathize. Information regarding our beloved compatriots in life, will always trump 'stuff'. I encourage us to look past our glossy ornaments and frosted window panes and into the hells that haunt many areas of our beloved planet. We have the opportunity and presence of mind to bring a real Christmas miracle to the starving, raped, and demoralized. A bit more meaningful than yet another neck tie, huh?

"Worship fully. Spend Less. Give more. Love all" (Wise words brought to you by Let's conspire to live this season in a way that reflects love of people not love of the mundane and ordinary. For material possessions are anything but extraordinary. They come, they fall apart, the go to our dumps. Human beings shouldn't be treated as expendable items. Dedicate the time you have to loving on people. Treating them as the special individuals that they are. Celebrate through the giving of yourself for no other gift will find itself more cherished.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Trials and Tails (see how I did that) of Sami and Enzo....Part I

Part I-

I have two dogs. Sami and Enzo. Both of which defy brilliance, oppose common sense, and disregard all laws of obedience. Sami, my five year old yellow lab, is the counterpart to Marley (of Marley and Me) and Enzo, my border-collie/husky mix, he's, shall we call him, challenged?

My life circulates around these two lovable miscreants thus I am assembling a collection of "Trials and Tails of Sami and Enzo".

Let us begin with Sami.

Sami has been an intrinsic part of my life for the past five years. She, irrefutably, has been my constant and unflagging companion through great joy, extensive heartache, immense laughter, and moments of desperation. Not only has she played part to many major events in my life, she has thus created events of her own. Never will I forget the day she rolled in fresh cow excrement at an open space/dog park and then made me chase her a good few miles to catch her stinky self. Forever will I remember her dragging a roll of sod into my home and then relieving herself on it, as if to say, "If I have to go outside, I will bring the outside in." Always will the sound of my buried cell phone ringing from the yard be embedded in my memories. These are truly only an infinitesimal dose of her many 'Tails' of adventure as my beloved dog, yet, they hardly touch upon the beautiful companionship she has given to me.

When Sami first entered my life, she was a 19 lb bright, white, yellow lab with expressive eyes, cumbersome paws, and an overzealous tail. At the end of month one, she had doubled in size (tail and all) and developed a personality unyielding to conformity and acquiescence. Each month, thereafter, produced the same results. More doubling of the weight, more doubling of the personality and hyperactive tail. Then she reached her final destination. A healthy and sturdy 90lb lab with discernible authority issues; not to mention her penchant for ink pens and socks. Not an inch of my town home escaped without a battle wound inflicted by the incorrigible Srgt. Sami. i.g. corner of fireplace chewed off, hole chewed in the middle of the carpet on the stairs, chewed up kitchen we see a trend here? Wherever she set paw, she left a mark. A rather chewed up, obliterated, slobbered on mark. The chewing has stopped but her life impression will forever remain. She was, and remains to be comically absurd.

As ridiculous and obstinate as she could be, it is all null and void when compared to the loyalty and love she has shown me. A dogs' faithfullness and instinct is comparable to none. Sami always knows. Her inimitable intuitiveness places her in my arms in the most heart aching of times, positions her by my side when loneliness strikes, and establishes her as my shadow for any and all emotions that surface. Her head laid in my lap after three and a half years of incapacitating pregnancy tests. Those damned tests that were an unrelenting reminder of my desire to be a mom but my inability to procreate. Yet, there was Sami. Did she not look to me as a child looks to a mom? Does she not depend on me the way an adolescent depends on a mama's strength and love? She was my baby. She knew it and she knew she could fill that void. And now, as yet another season of pain has entered my life, she has been my ubiquitous comforter through, dare I say the words, my divorce. Even though her sweet little heart aches for her other companion of five years, she none-the-less has remained fixated at my side through deluge after deluge of emotion; unrelenting in her desire to ease my anguish. Benevolence at its greatest.

Through her jocularity and sincerity, Sami has been an affirming being in my life. Her heart is pure. Her intentions,. untainted. And despite the fact that few humans leave drool and fur wherever they go, she takes top bill, for she implicitly loves me. No person possesses such altruistic motives devoid of humans' instinctive narcissism. She has proven to me that there will never be a life force more guileless and virtuous than that of man's best friend.

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. ~Josh Billings

Thus begins my sappy commentaries on my dogs....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Surrendered Pursuit

Over the past several years, I have found myself in a creative rut. One rarely shows up in a rut aware of their surroundings. It usually takes years of obscure intentions and apathetic aspirations until one morning we wake up and say, "Ummm...what the hell happened here?". That is the definition of my life over the past decade. Not that the years held only regrets, but that the years weren't filled with the little details that make life an experience, not just a passage.
Yes, we grow up. We get jobs. We pay bills. The intrigue of our early years becomes shadowed by the reality of our 'adult' lives. But why, oh why must we lose our passions, our childhood hopes and desires? No. Practicality and reality both instruct us that being an astronaut, rock star, or president may not be the path we were meant to tread upon. However, what makes us choose a life that is based purely on the stresses of adulthood rather than the pleasures? Who is to say that the ability to experience life shouldn't be hindered by but rather be encouraged by our passions? For passion does not have to be a 'hobby'.
Creating used to be an active passion of mine. All forms of art. Sketching, writing, singing, instrumentation....all were a visible part of my youth. Then I grew up. (No worries, my antipathy is directed to myself not adulthood in general.) A few months ago, certain events in my life woke me to the fact I had let everything I held dear to me, go. My lackadaisical outlook over the years had finally added up and it hit me with such a force that left me feeling incompetent and completely debilitated. I had both figuratively and literally silenced my voice, my release, my escape. No longer did my fingers light upon the delicate ivory keys of my piano; vicariously releasing my pent up emotions through Rachmaninoff or Saint Saens. My sketch book laid devoid of etchings. Empty pages of my journal glared with hostile desolation. The most wrenching aspect of this revelation was that I had done this to myself. For no one, not anyone can stifle the desires that lay imbedded in your soul.
Many times we do not realize what we have oppressed until we find ourselves in desperation, longing for something that at one point was a conspicuous part of our lives but is now only the vaguest of memories. That's where I was. In a rut. And not only was I in a rut, I was heartbroken and inundated with so many feelings of loss that I had but one way to emerge from that chasm. I reached out and grabbed a rope, that I believe, had been there all along. It had just been camouflaged as another 'thing' that I had no time or capacity for; another stress of adult life. It was my passion. My piece de resistance.
That figurative rope has given me a new lease on life. An inner-joy that can only be eclipsed by the inner-peace that accompanies pursuing passion.
Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping... waiting... and though unwanted... unbidden... it will stir... open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us... passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we'd know some kind of peace... but we would be hollow... Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we'd be truly dead.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Autumns Relief....

Autumns Relief
by Lesli Jamison

In leaves that crunch with the memories of the forgotten year;
Longing and desires inundate.
Crisp breezes penetrate summers smothering air;
Here relief and gratitude permeate.

Oh refreshing wind, curtail my thoughts,
Of summer's oppressive heat.
The heat that dredges up the past,
And consumes me with defeat.

Dear breeze of change, sweep clean my heart,
Let the rains of renewal commence.
Falls golden sun and steel gray storms
Beguile the summers torrid countenance

Reap, oh autumn, my ensuing nostalgia,
Left lingering from seasons past.
The memory of a heart broken, a love lost,
Harvest these. Glean these. Sweet relief at last.

Prismatic colors, enchanting hues,
Resplendent trees rejoice!
For life bequeathed and thus decreed
The silence of summers voice.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

AA for Book Nerds

Hello. My name is Lesli.....and I read too much. No, seriously.

This thought hit me as I was situating my fourth book into my purse today. Thank God current fashion dictates large purses, otherwise I would be left with a small bag and perhaps only one of my cherished books to keep me company. (Not to mention the fact that Atlast Shrugged, one of my all time favorite novels, would never fit in a clutch.) On the menu for todays reading pleasure: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card (part of the Enders Game series which is incredibly brilliant), Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis (one of the very few books that I will read over and over again), The Bhagavad Gita (Hindu epic), and last but far from least The Romantic Manifesto by Ayn Rand. A little something for whatever mood shall strike. Apparently I am anticipating moods that swing from earthy, Hindu poetry to bugger wars on Lusitania. I have never claimed to be sane. This only fuels that fire.

I have an incorrigible mind that fails to see the severity of escapism. For that is what a book elicits for me; an escape. A beautiful traverse away from the mundane, away from the sad, away from the broken. Not to say I live a mundane, sad existence. I just happen to find beauty in the creation of the written word.

A story lends itself in the most vulnerable of fashions. It allows you to partake of its existence in every sensory way imaginable. It enables you to free yourself and live vicariously, if only for a moment, through the eyes of another. If not for Douglas Adams, I would never have traveled the galaxy with a towel and the knowledge that 42 is THE answer. Jack Kerouac lead me into the seedy alleys of 1950's Denver. Nor would I have sat with the inimitable Kurt Vonnegut reiterating the phrase "so it goes".

Now is the time to end this inspired lunacy. I unashamedly pronounce my self over-read and under-apologetic. Sweet dreams my friends, and just remember, whatever mood may strike, just look in my purse, there is bound to be an adventure waiting for you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Beginning....

Today is the birth of my blog. It took many hours to deliver; its birth was accompanied with screams and groans; its inception was unplanned and its parent is a neurotic, over-bearing, scatterbrained, single-woman. Unnervingly, like so many humanoid births.

Today, I will lay down my trepidation and begin the journey of narrating, both visually and verbally, my thoughts, my heart and my mind regardless of a potential audience's judgment. I pray that my inhibitions be eradicated and my objectives be altruistic.....unlikely but a hope none-the-less.... :)

Today, I acknowledge my hearts desire to unload my itinerant thoughts on the world. Beware world, for once your feet light upon this path, accept being "clearly obfuscated". begins.... :)

With love,