Carrying On

fb_img_15321781892331729917040.jpgShe said to me

so long ago

“Don’t you go bawling,

squalling, and carrying on

after I’m gone”

I’ve kept that promise

that I made

over and over

Twinkling blue eyes

looking straight through

my own tear-filled brown ones

She would say

over and over

“You love me too much

I don’t know what you’ll do

but promise me

you won’t go

bawling,squalling and carrying on”

So here I am

keeping that promise

best as I can

brown eyes still fill with tears

but I don’t go

bawling and squalling

I just keep

carrying on

Days when I feel all alone

and I long to hear her voice

Times when I feel

like dancing

and Elvira comes on

and I just can’t help

but sing along

When I pass by a cart

piled high

Orange Crush, Big Red and Pepsi Cola

or see all those Little Debbie cakes in the aisle

I find myself smiling

shaking my head

wondering how in tarnation

we ever ate that

When I feel that hunger

for a pot of stew and skillet cornbread

hot as fire prune cake

straight from the oven

and that call she used to make

“Come on over and fix you a plate”

I just keep carrying on

Nights when I can’t sleep

and my body aches

I try all the old remedies

that she taught me

and I just keep

carrying on

I touch base

keep track

stay in touch

best I can

her words echoing in my head

“We ain’t got much family

so love on what we got”

I dig in the dirt

plant anything with a root

Stop and at least

get out and look

at any roadside sale

and I don’t go

bawling and squalling

I just keep carrying on

Sometimes it don’t make

too much sense

but I find myself

thinking of what she would be saying

whenever I’m facing

another predicament

and there’s no-one that understands

It keeps me from

bawling and squalling

and keeps me

carrying on

best I can
👣❤ Jeanna’ Mead

8 00 a.m 7-21-18

http://www.jeannasoul.com

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,empathic woman. I appreciate kindness so much+ the extraordinary gifts of patience and understanding. I marvel at the wonders of technology like the AVA -Audio Visual Accessibility-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














Glow

If only I could see me

the way you see me

everything would be different
I keep the lights on

because the darkness

hides your lips

and I can’t, 

for the life of me,

 understand a word you say
But the same light 

that lets me see

to read

shows everything 

I wish I could keep

hidden in the dark
You see my imperfections

the scars on my body

the way time hasn’t

always been so kind
it’s a double edged sword

a battle that I fight

day in and night out

trying so damn hard

to see beauty in the ages

embrace the changes

to keep on dancing

with all the broken pieces

to glow in the light

and not hide in the dark
I look in the mirror

remembering so well

when the reflection

showed a different woman

a different time
if I could only see me

the way you see me

everything would be

so different
I would look beyond

the imperfections 

straight to the heart

of the matter
and I just might be able

to glow in the dark

from the light in your eyes
💗Jeanna’ Mead

6 25 a.m. 12-10-17

http://www.jeannasoul.com

Music of Life

She looked at what it had to say

shaking her head

as she knew full well

the memories it would bring

of times gone by

heart to heart

kindred spirits

laughter shared

walks and talks 

early morning texts

late night replies

beautiful exchanges

some gone

others remain

choices made

that changed everything

and it’s all in the songs

lyrics she had never heard

bands she hadn’t known

the music plays on

and she dances

as she reads the words

feels the vibrations

does her work

vows to her heart

that she won’t be

anything less than

the brown eyed girl

in the song that plays

again and again

She’ll keep right on

living her life

being the Wild One

playing the songs

that take her down

the ragged edge 

of pleasure and pain

that the music brings

🎶 💗👣https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1E9KFFRpXPpB3U?si=49FL322MTFGXPRXI8AcrmA

Not A Word

There were words

hidden in the cracks 

between the lines

along the ragged edge

that weren’t so easy to find

like a pirate’s loot of treasure

disguised in plain sight

only a very few ever looked

long and hard 

deep enough

to see what was there

Not a word was said

no hint it had been read 

but she knew

by the sound of  the silence

that she had hit a nerve

crossed a line

left a mark

a little trail

unleashed a floodgate

of ?what-if’s” and “if only’s”

and although

Not a word was read

she wrote them anyway

so she could find

her own treasure

in plain sight

Jeanna” Mead

8 32 a.m.  11-13-17

http://www.jeannasoul.com

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.