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Pirate ….door left open

He is a pirate
down in his soul
born two hundred years
too late

doesn’t matter
all that much
since he still lives
in wonder
anyways

He looks for treasures
in all kinds of places
flirts with women
of all ages and races
falls in love
despite his best intentions

It’s not such a deep
dark secret
how much he loves
the ocean
scotch, vodka and wine
a good rum
and a circle of friends

He walks with a swagger
of a man that knows
full well
he’s being watched
and he doesn’t care

he’s a pirate
down in his soul
born just in time
to make you wonder

what he would do
if he was given
half a chance
to set sail
again.

ūüć∑ūüėČJeanna’ Mead
5 37 a.m. 12-11-17

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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.

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As If

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Take Me There

“Take me there.”

…most people just say “It was amazing!” or “I had a great time.” and ” It was really nice.”…etc

But , then, there are the ones that can literally take me wherever they are because they use words in such descriptive ways that I, too, can feel the pounding of their heart as they skied down the slope, crashing into the snow and catching the eye of their daughter……I can almost hear the stories shared around the fireplace as glasses.of wine are refilled again and again. I can feel the energy of.the day that eased into a night of simple pleasures.

I was taken to the front rows of an spectacular performance, where grace and strength, talent and skill kept the audience on the edge of their seats.  I sat on my chaise, miles away….. transfixed and almost able to taste the energy of the place. 

I was taken to the bar where soldiers sang karaoke, celebrating a milestone birthday…..and to the reservation where a man received a life changing massage which lead him to become a therapist, too. 

I have tasted delicious food in Austin……and have never been to the restaurant. I’ve sipped coffee at a French cafe….but I’ve never been overseas.

I felt the people walk past me, smelled the hot dogs on the corners and yet I’ve never been to Chicago.

I laid on the floor and watched a baby squeal and kick and play from hundreds of miles away.
It’s all in the way you use your words, in the pictures you create, in the things you choose to share.

“Take me there ” really means to let me be part of what you feel, let me know you and, then, maybe we’ll take each other there.

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The Tree and Me

I had gone on this trip for one real reason-to get time to write and this tree was the first thing I saw as we parked and I knew with absolute certainly that it was speaking to me. 

I had been wrestling with my changing appearance. and sometimes felt like the woman I saw in the mirror, wasn’t the same woman I felt I inside. 

I had never been the type that fit the “standard” or tried to be the same as everyone else but the last couple of years had shook my roots and filled me with some doubts and longings, and I struggled to find my own sense of beauty and confidence once again. 
This tree was not a “typical” tree. It waa clear that no one had ever trimmed the branches, shaped it or tried to make it conform or become anything it wasn’t meant to be.  

And you know what?  It is beautiful and inspiring, graceful and purposeful, strong and unwavering…just as it was meant to be.  

The tree simply grew, right where the Almighty Creator planted it, shaped by the wind and rain, by the Texas sun and bathed. by moonlight. 
It spread wide and low, reached to the heavens and offered shelter and rest as needed.

Storms came and beat hard, knocking the branches and leaving scars-tell tale marks of battles survived, of years gone by, of experiences.
I realized that my body had also bent low…to lift babies, plant flowers,clean and stretch…..I’ve stood on tip toes, reached for the heavens, planted kisses on tall men, hung stars on Christmas trees, danced around to every kind of music. 

I’ve made love and made mistakes, made cakes and made my point. I’ve used my body to shelter others and to offer comfort.  

I’ve carried my babies inside my body, stretching to provide space, nutrition and love.

My body has scars, healed wounds, lines and marks from days in the Texas sun and nights bathed by moonlight 

And you know what? 

I am finally beginning to see that I’m created by the Almighty  and, in my own way, I’m beautiful and inspiring,graceful and purposeful, strong and unwavering ….just as I was meant to be. 

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TAKEN

She’s been taken

By the hand

Led onto the dance floor

Towards the light and the end of the line

Up the hill, out of the way

Down the steps.across a path, over the ŇĶater

Into bed and onto a stage

She’s been taken

For a fool by those that didn’t know any better

For weak instead of strong

On many a wild goose chase

By mistake for someone else, a different nationality

Just another pretty face

Shes been taken

To breakfast, lunch and dinner

Sometimes just for dessert

Out for wine and coffee

And to a picnic in a park

She’s been taken

To the very end of her rope

Right  down to her knees

And she’s been taken to the heights of absolute ecstasy

Breathless

She’s been taken

advantage of far more than she’ll care to admit

the wrong way by those that don’t understand

But most of all, she gets taken for granted

more than anything












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That Feeling

Can you describe
The feeling
Of satin and lace
Of your favorite well worn jeans
Of the perfect pillow
Sand beneath your toes

Can you explain
The feeling
That you just don’t belong
The outcast
Third wheel

Can you tell me
What blue feels like
Why does gray make me turn away
And how can red invites me in?

What ever does love feel like?
Does it wrap you tight
Or set you free?
Make you have butterflies
Or bring you to your knees?

Tell me,please,
What does the air
Feel like
On the cold,dark days
What about on
Nights like these?

Who can say
What it feels like
To be
Touched
Caressed
Pursued
Cherished
Beloved?

Do you even know
How to put
Feelings into words?

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Collections of Connections

While at the store, I stopped to look closely at¬† a beautiful table display with collections of vases,picture frames and knick knacks and as I touched the items, the reality struck me that I really didn’t want any of things on the table.

You see, a family friend had told me just last week that she was teaching her son to build connections instead of collections and that simple comment has been stuck on my mind every since.

“Connections instead of collections.”

Let these words roll over in your mind,speak them out loud,and write them down.
Whisper them to yourself and see how it causes you to reflect and ponder,and to take a deeper look at the things you have collected.

Do you really want a collection of blue vases and bottles or do you want a good friend that you can count on to chase away the blues?

There’s something incredible about having a kindred spirit that just gets you, someone who will catch your eye and without a word,understands what you’re feeling.¬†

It’s not just in family members or life-long friends,sometimes a simple connection is made while exchanging smiles as we pass by each other in the grocery aisles.
It is in the knowing look between¬† two moms carrying toddlers, as one elderly couple passes another, as we make eye contact and acknowledge another’s¬† presence.

That’s what life is really about -seeing the invisible red thread that connects each of us,seeing the divine in the dust,the possibilities in the seed, the beauty in the chaos.

It’s being open and willing to take the first step in building friendships. I think about all the people that I’ve wanted to get to know better but just didn’t.¬† Instead of offering¬† the first invitation, I hesitated and let the opportunities pass by.
I found excuses,instead of reasons to connect with others and, in doing so, I put up walls against the chances for wonderful things to happen.

I know that all deep connections go through hardships and difficulty and that’s exactly why I believe it’s important to reach¬† deep within and find forgiveness and mercy, acceptance and hope, faith and trust,again, to rebuild the relationship.

Sometimes, we realize that, although relationships change, it doesn’t have to be the end. There’s still goodness,still worthiness,and yes, still reason to continue but in different ways.¬†

There’s other connections,too, that have been formed by social media. I became part of Massage Therapy groups to learn more about my craft, not expecting to gain such insight and help for my day-to day life.¬†
One online friend found AVA, the Audio Visual Accessibility app that has changed my life. I haven’t met JT yet, but every time I use¬† AVA, I think of the Florida graphic artist that not only designed my first logo but also took the time to research accessibility apps after reading my post about not being able to understand group conversations.
Then there’s Joshua, the ocean lovin’, guitar playin’, skateboard ridin’, husband,papa and serious massage therapist who finds time to put together music selections on Spotify so that I- the deaf therapist- have clients exclaim that they absolutely loved the music played during their sessions.

Over time, understanding and intimacy¬† grows as stories are shared and bonds are formed and these people become the ones that know each other well. Distance may stand in the way of gathering¬† and sharing meals, but there’s still the “connection” that brings people together and lets them be there for each other.

Another thought that occurred to me, that actually has always been part of my “love language”, is that the “collections” that really matter to me have all came from my “connections.”

I spend hours in my massage studio room,  giving others my touch and attention,
surrounded by things that I’ve chosen to display because they bring me a feeling of contentment,of love,of security, of the connections I have made.

I look around and see a painting that reminds me of blue crab dip and beer with my friend, Keri. There’s a book from Jan, a quilt from Judy, a wooden bowl, framed quotes and painted words from other friends.
The dresser and desk were my mom’s that my husband repainted a bright turquoise ,my favorite color.

So when I look around, I don’t see “things,” I see the faces of the givers, I hear their words, I feel their touch and I know they are with me, in spirit and in truth.

Truthfully I do feel something special-a sense of empowerment and confidence, of love and strength when I wear certain things. It’s almost as if I’m being wrapped in an embrace, given an encouraging pat on the back, having my hand held as I go through my day just because I’m wearing something that came from someone else.

When I feel like I need an extra boost, I reach for my mom’s amethyst ring, layer on bracelets that have been given to me, and slip my feet into a pair of cowboy boots from my collection.
I have cowboy boots from back when I was 20, to the¬† pair my Mema bought me just weeks before she went to glory.¬† There’s the flowered pair that I tease my clients about…one bought the right,the other bought the left when they surprised me with a Christmas bonus two years ago.
My newest black stitched boots came from a long time client who tucked a Cavendars gift card in my hand to make sure I kept on waltzing around the table.

These things I wear are more than just accessories, they are wearable memories. It’s tangible collections showing me and others what’s already carved into my heart.

I’m building collections from my connections….and I’m going to begin giving bits and pieces to others so that when they look around their space, or at their wrist,or touch their neck, they will feel¬† my presence, my warmth,my love and gain a little extra confidence,a shot of sassiness,and waltz out to make their own connections in life!

Connections AND collections….this just might be the beginning of something wonderful!

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Only A Few

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Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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it’s Been Said

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Feel with both hands, Jeanna’