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AVA Daily Prompt Jeanna' Soul

Soul Speak (Opened door again)

S O U L S P E A K

Whispered
Art
Falling
On A World
Of Deaf Ears

Drenched
With
Emotion

Igniting
A
Spark

A
Dying
Language
Always
On The Brink
Of Extinction

Seducing
With
Beauty
That
Conceals
The
Razor
Of
Truth

My
Soul
Speaks
In
Empathy’s
Quiet
Untrembling
Voice

Elusive
And
In-Direct

A
Masochistic
Endeavor
Revealing
The
Gentlest
Form
Of
Human
Courage

Invisible
Footprints
No Mountain
Can Erode

Soothing
Our
Wounds

Making
Our
Scars
More
Beautiful…

-randini-

What can I say

My deaf ears heard

So many things

When the soul would speak

I sat captived

Eyes unwavering

Lips formed words

Pierced my heart

Broke it into a million pieces

Just as I asked

Long ago

Be careful

So I was told

What you ask for

You just might get

I wanted a broken heart

And a soul on fire

Filled to the brim and beyond

With invisible footprints

Left by all those

That walked in

Made themselves at home

Carved their names

Into the walls of me

And filled me with the courage I needed

To see the beauty

In all the scars

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead

707 a.m 9.18.19

http://www.jeannasoul.com

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AVA Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect Daily Prompt Jeanna' Soul kindred spirits Writing

One Thin Slice

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Mema and Momma cleaned the house from top to bottom. Mema dug out the Thanksgiving tablecloths and napkins and her heavy gold flatware.

We rearranged all the furniture to make room for extra tables to hold all the food.

With 22 family members coming, Thanksgiving was a special time.

A long dessert table draped with a beautiful lace tablecloth was placed along the wall in the den. Another long table went in front of the large picture window, close to all the electrical outlets so the warming plates could be plugged in.

Mema spent hours going through familiar cookbooks and scraps of yellowed clippings piled high in boxes,trying to decide what dishes to make this year.

Eggplant casserole, sweet potatoe casserole, green bean casserole-all those were on the “must have” list.

Mashed potatoes and gravy,turkey and dressing,cranberry relish and deviled eggs…the list grew longer.

Momma,on the other hand,knew all her recipes by heart- she never had to look at a recipe because her cakes and cookies were “hers.”

She had made them for every holiday for so long that they were engraved in her memory. She made chocolate fudge sheet cake,prune cake,cowboy cookies and tea cake cookies from scratch.

Momma baked the chocolate pecan pie and Mema made the “regular” pecan pie, German chocolate cake and all the “whipped topping” pies-chocolate,lemon,buttermilk custard.

Three days before Thanksgiving,with all the final choices made and list n in hand, Mema, Momma and I went to the grocery store.

My job was to hold the list and check off everything as we walked along the aisles and to make sure we didn’t leave the store without some essential ingredient.

When we all got back home,the groceries were spread out; butter and eggs,vanilla and cocoa, sugar and spices to one side.

All the canned goods were stacked together;the recipes were laid on top. The turkey was put in the garage fridge to thaw.

Finally, the day before Thanksgiving arrived.

Mema and Momma woke early and began baking all the desserts. The aroma of Brown sugar and cloves filled the house. Chocolate fudge simmered on the stove,cookies were rolled and baked and laid on wax paper, and pie after pie cooled on the table.

The cakes were frosted,the fruit salad chilled, the banana pudding cooked and placed in the fridge.

We laid all the desserts on the special table that was reserved for them; beautiful pies with golden meringue toppings, three layered German chocolate cake under a glass dome, a white coconut cake, Momma’s chocolate sheet cake in a long pan,the prune cake on n the tall platter, tins filled with cookies, pecan pies lined up side by side.

It all looked absolutely beautiful, perfectly arranged,uncut, untouched and ready for the Thanksgiving guests.

But Daddy had his own Thanksgiving tradition.

When Mema and Momma were not looking, Daddy would sneak over to the dessert table and cut the tiniest,thinnest slice out of every cake and pie. He would load up his plate and eat every last bite.

He always said he had to try them out first, to make sure they were good enough for everyone else.

Mema and Momma would get so aggravated with him and try to convince him to wait so that the dessert table would look prettier when everyone showed up on Thanksgiving day, but he never listened. He always cut that tiny slice from everything he wanted.

Daddy died 14 years ago. Ever since that last Thanksgiving with daddy, the dessert table has been perfect when all the guests arrive. All the pies and cakes are still whole and everything looks like it should be in a home cooking magazine. But for Mema, Momma and me and the rest of the family, we would rather there be a thin slice taken from every cake and pie.

💙👣 This was my first published column for the Dallas Morning News on Thanksgiving day of 2004.

Momma went to bake in heaven that year and Mema joined them in 2009.

It’s now been 25 years since my Daddy took the thinnest,tiniest slice but we remember well how that house on Sharpview Lane was filled with love and laughter on Thanksgiving day and we are grateful.

I still have the recipes and the cookbooks and my daughter carries on the traditions of baking everything from scratch just like Mema and Momma.

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AVA Daily Prompt deaf girl Heart to heart Jeanna' Soul kindred spirits Uncategorized

A Blessing and A Curse

Friday afternoon a friend of mine stopped by my massage studio and we sat outside on the patio,drinking beer and catching up. He had been doing yard work all day and I had just finished several massage sessions. It was a rare chance just to sit down together for a little while.

We started talking about our days and I mentioned that I had done a Thai massage on the patio early Wednesday morning and that it had been so peaceful. He grinned and said,”It’s a little loud out here right now.”

I looked at him with enough surprise in my eyes that he pointed out that he could hear someone hammering 100 yards away, cars driving by and car doors shutting and people talking in the parking lot across the street.

100 yards! I couldn’t even imagine because,since I’m hard of hearing, I think-although I KNOW better- that only what I am seeing and feeling is making noise.

For me, sound is visual and tactical. I can feel the wind blowing so I realise that it’s making a rustling sound, and I can see the wind chimes moving,so I know they are making a sound…but I’m not sure how loud it is or if it’s as soothing as i assume it is.

I had no idea that my clients would be hearing a lawn mower yards away or the chatter of people walking up the sidewalks during the Thai massage sessions that I do outside on the covered patio deck at Rockwall Body and Soul Massage.

This space is surrounded by trees and a high privacy fence so I’ve always considered it a peaceful, sacred oasis..far removed from the sounds of everything but when Jim told me what he heard, I was, quite frankly, a little shocked and then, I was filled with gratitude..

You see, hardly anyone ever tells me what I’m missing and I’m so used to missing out that it’s an incredible act of kindness when I’m made aware of something that I didn’t know.
I told Jim that I didn’t realize how loud it was outside.

As we sat facing each other, only inches apart, I explained that, as far as I was concerned, he was the only person in the world at this time. My eyes were watching his lips so I could read his words. I paid close attention to his eyes and his body language and I listened with every ounce of my being, concentrating so hard to avoid missing anything important and to have to ask for it to be repeated.

He nodded his head in understanding and said, “It’s a blessing and a curse.”

A blessing and a curse.

That’s exactly what it feels like. A blessing that I’m unaware of noises that I don’t see. A curse because it could affect the way others feel about the sessions they receive.

A curse because I’m so used to being left out that I just accept it. When people are talking right in front of me but don’t bother to slow down just a little so I can understand, I just pretend it doesn’t sting and walk away.

A curse because I feel invisible- unnoticed,unnecessary, uninvited.

I’ve sat at tables,sharing meals and not sharing conversations. People glance up, catch my eye and pause, as if they just now realized I was there, and then give me the “Readers Digest” version which usually begins like this, “Oh,we were just talking about……”

But it’s a blessing,too, because I’ve learned to be alone. I’ve learned to find the beauty in solitude, to fill the voids in my heart with other things. it’s made me a very compassionate woman. I appreciate kindness so much, the extraordinary gifts of patience and understanding. I marvel at the wonders of technology like AVA -Audio Visual Accessibility- an app I use every day and captions for lyrics through Sound Hound and MusicMatch which gives me the gift of understanding the songs I’m listening to.

It’s a blessing because I don’t take anything for granted. When someone takes the time to include me or tells me something that makes me feel connected, then I am overwhelmed with gratitude, especially when I haven’t asked.

My Mema used to listen intentionally and purposefully wherever we were at and then, when we were alone, she would pat the seat beside her, beckon me over and give me a play-by-play of everything she had heard.

I would look so forward to these times because I knew she would tell the stories in such a way that we would both be roaring with laughter.or bought to tears, or shaking with indignation. She made me feel as if it was the greatest adventure to be able to share the stories with me. She had a knack of making everything come alive.

It was a blessing and a curse to hear the stories second-hand, filtered through her Southern sass and sensibilities.

It’s a blessing and a curse because I can’t choose what I hear but I can choose how I listen to others. I choose to sit closely, and to seek out places that make lip reading as easy as possible. I choose small.intimate gatherings over large,rambunctious events. I choose to be mindful and grateful, instead of bitter and spiteful. I choose to walk away and find my own peace rather than stay and feel alienated.

That’s why it was such a rare thing when my friend came by, sat outside and talked with me. He knows full well that it is a blessing and a curse to be friends with a deaf woman. It takes longer to visit and sometimes people get the wrong idea because I sit closely and lean forward to understand. I touch often, which is my way of feeling the vibrations. of making connection, of being centered with whoever I’m listening to.

It’s a blessing because he knows that I’m giving him my utmost attention,but it’s also a curse because I look so much deeper into the heart of a person and that can make some people feel a little vulnerable or uncomfortable.

It’s just the way things are with me and all I can hope is that I’m more of a blessing than a curse.

Jeanna’ Mead

9 18 p.m. 6-6-18

http://www.jeannasoul.com

#deaftherapist #writingmyheartout #myownwords #jeannasoil

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Flowers and Faith

Yesterday,my client was running just a few minutes late which gave me time to walk outside and look at the flowerbeds and the empty pots. I stood there in the front yard, and adjusted the single pot of pansies, and picked up the picture that had the saying, “Life is a journey..enjoy it.” engraved on it then I walked to the back patio and gazed at the yard and the bare trees and felt the familiar tinge in my heart- the call of nature, the urge to plant and be filled with the peace that comes to me every time I am doing what I love.

Since I had found out that I would need to find another place for my business, Rockwall Body and Soul Massage, soon, I had made a conscious decision to step away from my beloved patio and not to purchase the patio sectional that I had wanted or plant new flowers.  “It’s not going to be yours much longer,” I reminded myself, “Let it go, let it all go.”

When my client arrived, we chatted just a few minutes and then I started his session. moving my hards, gazing out the window, letting my mind focus on what I love to do and as I was working on him, I felt as if God was speaking to me, a whisper of assurance,
“Plant flowers, Jeanna’, plant flowers here.”  and then again, “Go ahead, buy that patio furniture you want.  Have faith.  Believe that there will be a place for you. ”

Believe. Faith. Plant.  Go  Ahead.

Tears sprung in my eyes. This is what I needed to hear, to feel– that deep, down assurance, that powerful boost of courage and conviction that didn’t always fit logic but that had always been my guide- God speaking to me.. and my intution kicking in.

I decided right then and there that I would go to Lowe’s after my last session and buy a few flowers and check out the sectionals. During my gap between clients, I jumped in my car and drive over to Greg’s office to share what I had experienced with him and he just smiled at me and told me to go ahead and do what I felt I was told to do.

My next stop was to Tuesday Morning where I went in with the intention to get a birthday gift, gift boxes and tissue paper but, like  always, I rambled over to the garden section and then to the wall decor and there was another sign, waiting for me .

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”  Simple black letters on a glass pane spoke further truth to my soul.   I held those words in my hands for just a few seconds but they made their mark on my heart.

I found some small garden stones inscribed with e words that I was searching for – a blue one with “love” and two white ones, one with “faith” and one with “believe”  and I felt as if this was all coming together in ways that I had not expected.

Saturday morning of March 3, I planted lantana and placed the stone with  “BELIEVE” in the middle of the blooms and then I placed “FAITH” in a pot  filled with red dianthus  and I laid the stone of  “LOVE”  right by the front door where everyone that walks up will see it and maybe, just maybe they will feel it.

This is one of those times that I just lmow that I am doing the right thing and another thought keeps running through my head, “It is mine, until it is not.”

It is mine… until it is not.  It is until it is not.

Let this sink in for a moment. Ponder these words.  “It is mine, until it is not.”

This house where I operate my massage studio is still mine, until it is not, and I am going to leave it better than I found it, but most importantly, until the day comes that I no longer have a key, I will fill the place with my presence, with love, with faith, with attention to detail and yes, with red, yellow, pink and purple flowers.  I will choose to decorate, to create and to make memories.  It is still mine, after all and it is a reflection of who I am and what I want to be known for.but

Maybe this is something that we all need to give some real consideration to. what we have is only ours until it is not…and during that time- no matter how brief or how long- we need to make the most of it.  We aren’t guaranteed anything but yet we have enough faith to develop friendships, we have enough courage to start a business, enough love to pursue somone and we believe enough to plant flowers and create gardens.

All these words, all these thoughts, all these choices and one thing I know for sure is that whatever happens, wherever I go, whatever I do, it is my chance,  my choice,and only mine until it is not and I want to be known for love, for faith, for believing and for having the courage to listen to the whisper of God and go ahead, to chase my dreams and follow my intuition and to love who I am with and where I am, as long as I can.

It is mine,after all, until it is not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Red

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Right On The Edge

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AVA C.A.R.E Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect Daily Prompt deaf girl Heart to heart kindred spirits Make Love Massage with Soul

Margaritas And Music

Here I am, sitting in a chair

A woman is putting color in my hair

just like Mema always did

I’m carrying on the tradition

ain’t no gray gonna give me away

I already had my coffee

dipped a cookie in the cup
 listened this morning

to all the greats

those deep. rugged voices of the men she loved so much

Got me a little Conway, Tom T and Marty

“Elvira” by those Oak Ridge Boys

I’m going to do a little shopping

buy something bright and sparkly

I won’t know until I see it

and it calls me by my name

Then when I’m good and ready

all dolled up and looking pretty

I’m going to sit at a table

with others that knew and loved

 her just as much as me

drink a frozen cmargarita

eat a bunch of sopapillas

covered in honey

tell a few good stories

flirt up a storm with the waiter

sweet talk to everyone

just exactly like my Mema

would want me to do

celebrating her birthday

just like she would do

carrying on traditions

like I was raised to do

.
Jeanna’ Mead

12 04 p.m. 1-25-17

http://www.jeannasoul.com

Happy Birthday, Mema

I love your bones!❤❤

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AVA C.A.R.E Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect Daily Prompt deaf girl Deaf Massage Therapist Heart to heart Jeanna' Soul kindred spirits Make Love Massage with Soul writers with soul Writing

Body and Soul

Our body is our soul’s best friend.”-Paulo Coelho.

When I read these words, I immediately drew a heart in the margins next to the words and jotted down my thoughts. 

There is such profound truth held in these simple words and just yesterday, a friend and I shared some thoughts about this.

I had been invited to an event and instinctively, as I read about the event and what to do and bring, my stomach began to tighten and my stance changed.  I felt my body instinctively go into a protective mode- ready to “flee or fight.”

I tried to talk myself into accepting the invitation, but then realized that my body was truly my best friend and the reaction I was feeling was my body whispering to me.

My body knows when and how to protect my soul and I have learned to pay attention, to listen and to honor my body and my soul.

While I knew the opportunity to network and mingle would boost my business, I also know that I’m much better at small, intimate gatherings than at large social functions. 

 My deafness is actually a gift in many ways because I tend to place myself only in situations and with people in which I know I’ll be able to have some measure of control and to understand, to connect, to feel my best and be the best version of myself.

Now that I have the AVA -Audio Visual Accessibility-app I don’t worry about not hearing things like I used to. AVA doesn’t just give me the words that people say. it also gives me insight into others and to the relationships I have.

Many of my friends keep AVA installed and ready to use…but I’ve also ran into people that have told me that AVA is “too much trouble” and those that have made it perfectly clear that they would rather I didn’t use AVA.

When I go someplace, i consider the lightening.the ambiance, and the acoustics…I think about how I’ll stand,where I’ll sit, and who I’ll seek out and I also make sure AVA will work wherever I’m at.

In many ways, being hearing impaired  makes me more aware of my body and others. Since I can’t depend on what I hear, I depend on what I feel.

That’s the way I use my body to benefit my soul, to make sure I get the best chance and give the best I can to every situation.

That means listening to that small whisper from my body way before it becomes a moan of despair or scream of frustration and anger.

So I put aside this invitation and instead accepted better ones..an invitation to go out for a walk, to sit at a table for two with a bottle of wine,  to listen to music and dance and go out on a treasure hunt.

Those are the invitations that my body craves and my soul responses to with an excited “YES!”

I also believe that when we touch someone’s body, we reach their soul and that’s why,as a massage therapist, my touch is so mindful, compassionate and intuitive.

I want to always touch the body with knowledge of how far I am reaching…into a person’s soul..through muscles that hold memories, through skin that covers wounds and shows scars. I know that it’s never “just” a massage, but it’s a gift of trust,a step of faith when someone gets on my table.

 At least that’s how I see it and how I treat it. 

I hold another quote close to my heart. This one is also simple and profound.

“Only those that love your naked soul,should touch your naked body.”

In a time where people dive in and out of physical relationships without giving a second thought to how the soul feels about it, there is a sacred intimacy in the relationship that honors the soul first and the body knows it.

That’s why I’m taking care of my body- by listening to the way it lets me know who can touch me and who can’t. 

But I also listened to another clear message..the one telling me who I shouldn’t touch. 

 Recently I’ve came to understand that I can say “no” to touching some people, that if a person makes me feel uncomfortable, I do not have to allow them into my space, or on my table. I don’t have to accept everyone as a client just because they book a session with me.

This has not been easy, though. I had wrestled with the rationalization but the way I felt about approaching sessions was too strong to push aside.

I chose to do what my friend told me to do. I trusted my guts; embraced my strengths and worked around my weakness and felt my soul dance inside my body…you know, like best friends do when they are finally together, again. 

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AVA Create A Ripple Effect Daily Prompt deaf girl Deaf Massage Therapist Heart to heart Jeanna' Soul kindred spirits Make Love massage writers with soul Writing

Red Rover

“Red Rover, Red Rover”

She lays there

half awake and half asleep

long ago memories

pushing thru the haze

“Red Rover, Red Rover”

She stared at the row

of hands held tight

looking for the weakest link

to run to and break free

much to the surprise 

of those that doubted

 her might and strength

They only saw her size

bites and pieces 

of who she was

the label that they used
to try to describe

the girl they called

to break the line

“Red Rover, Red Rover”

She heard them call 

“Come over, Come over”

Spurred on by the doubts and the taunts

She ran as if her life depended on it

Broke the chains and the expectations

and suddenly she was in

standing in a row

lined up with the very same ones

that moments ago

spurred her on with doubts and taunts

“Red Rover, Red Rover”

Here she was

needed now 

She clasped the outstretched hands

and braced herself

dug her heels in

willed herself to have

more might and strength

Don’t let anyone think

she’s the weakest link

never let them break through

even if they knock her down

with doubts and taunts

she’ll surprise them all

that thought they knew

bites and pieces

of the girl they used a label

to describe

“Red Rover, Red Rover”

She sits up 

wide awake now

seeing clearly 

all the times 

she clasped hands

broke through the chains

the expectations

the labels

surprising herself and others

with her might and strength

and finding out

exactly what are the weakest links

and who is strong enough

to hold her hand

break free and be there

“Come over, Come Over”

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Roses and Thorns

A person that plants thorns, must never expect to gather roses.           -Paulo Coelho

I read this and sat outside on my patio, pondering the wisdom of these words as I looked at the garden filled with flowers and green plants,and tall trees that are losing their leaves.

There’s a chapter in Paulo’s book,The Spy, where the mother gives her daughter a package of flower seeds and tells her to carry these seeds so they will remind her of who she is and where she’s from. 

The mother says to her daughter, “These are seeds of tulips, they will only bloom into tulips. The seeds you plant will not change into another type of flowers.”

There it is. Simple as that.

What you plant, is what will bloom. 

Or at least, that’s the way it works in the garden and the yard.

 I dig up wayward trees that are growing in cracks and even in the gutters of my studio, and I replant them where I believe they will grow deep roots and become tall, beautiful trees that offer shade and shelter.

I buy clearance plants from Lowe’s- bedraggled, pitiful, little things and I plant them and I nurture them fully expecting them to thrive and bloom…and they do. 

That’s another lesson from my Mema, who would tell me over and over, “Don’t give up…the tiniest little root is all it takes. You just gotta pour love on it.”

This is how people are,too, but sometimes you can plant roses and tend to the roses as they grow and bloom, only to find out that others look at the beautiful roses and only see the thorns.

They may breathe in the scent of the roses, understand the time and work put into establishing the roots, nurturing the soil, making sure it receives plenty of sun and water and is encouraged to grow, but instead of focusing on the beauty, they point out the thorns.

“These thorns can cut. They might leave a mark or even a scar. You could get caught in those thorns and they will rip through you. There’s just too many thorns here.”

Never mind the intoxicating scent. Never mind the way the roses add beauty and color to the garden. Never mind how the roses climb along the bricks, offering shelter and privacy.

All they can see is the thorns.

I think that’s one reason I don’t really like roses. I always think of roses as high maintenance flowers. They are beautiful but they require pulling on gloves that reach to my elbows, using special tools, wearing shoes and tip toeing around as I work.

I’m the kind of woman that likes to reach into the garden with my bare hands, picking off dead leaves, pulling up weeds, digging holes and laying in plants without giving any thought to thorns that might cut me. 

I prefer to stand with my feet in the soil, turning stones over with my toes, wiggling down and using my body as a tool instead of looking for something that might make it easier, but won’t feel as good.

I may be “good and sore” as my Mema would say at the end of the day, but there’s just something special about the feeling of good, simple, hard work that you can feel and see.

That’s so much like the relationships we have. Sometimes we plant roses, and get distracted by the thorns. Sometimes it’s because others point those out to us.

Sometimes we plant yellow tulips and to our delight, find that a single red one somehow got mixed in the package and bloomed- making the garden even more beautiful.

Sometimes we plant flowers in pots and find that a tree has taken root in the fertile soil   and we know that, in order for it to really reach it”s full potential, we must transplant it out of the confined pot and into a place where it won’t be limited.

Sometimes we have to sit back in a rocking chair and wait and watch for the seasons to change, the roots to get established and the time to be right for the beauty to grow, show up and ssurprise us.

Just remember…anything can grow if you pour on the love and attention….and you can grow beauty or only thorns….it’s all in your hands and in the way you choose to look at the garden of life.