Trusting is Hard

I mean really, really hard

Are you searching for the wisdom to make a tough decision?
Are you afraid of what might happen if you do the right thing?

Have you pulled up roots and embarked on a new journey?
Are you staring down a new road, about to take your first step into the unknown?

Are you weary from carrying burdens beyond your strength?
Are you at the end of your journey, battling sorrow and pain?

…Then these words are for you.
Continue reading

Run On

So. I beat NANO.

YAY!

I could excuse the lack of posts by saying I don’t have the time to do this.
The truth is, I’m more comfortable with the silence.

It’s comforting to think you can’t do something. You feel neither guilt nor shame; no doubts burn behind your eyes.

image from unipus

image from unipus

You stop wondering how much distance lies between the road you currently walk and the path to your dreams.

If you’re even walking. You might by lying among the lotus, wondering when the road will find you. Someday, you tell yourself. Someday your chance will come. You tell yourself you’ll be ready when it comes

Someday.
Bullshit. I’m sick of someday.

Writing a blog is not my dream at the moment. More of a way to keep my sorry ass in line when I start to procrastinate instead of doing what I know I should.

unipus_unearthly_tb

images via unipus

It’s more painful to see my mistakes writ large. Makes for better motivation.

As for lounging about rather than chasing my dream, well…
I could say my eyes aren’t strong enough, that my hands hurt, that my body is weak. Who allowed this weakness? More to the point, who gave this weakness permission to stop me?

I know I’m not alone in this fight. I’ve seen countless brave souls illuminating the pages of history like stars. So many have struggled to overcome greater challenges than I will ever face. I’m not the first to run this race.

So, rather than inventorying my obstacles, I’ll skip to a vow to overcome them.

I want to know what I’m capable of, instead of wishing, hoping dreaming. I’d like to see what forces come to my aid.

images via unipus

images via unipus

Free yourself. Make light your burden.
So you can run the race set before you.
For all our pretty words, none of us can cheat time.

So in the words of the immortal Wireman
“Do the day, and let the day do you.”

Here’s to burning down the dawn,

~ Jessica

NANOWRIMO

So! I’m doing NANOWRIMO (however you spell it) next month.
For fellow artists and students who wander across this blog, I’d like to share something with you. I think it would’ve helped me to hear this:

You will not magically find the time to write after college.

Time will fly as never before in your life when you leave this campus. Looking back, you will wonder how you ever had this much free time… when whole hours seemed to drift like lazy summer days. Cherish this gift, and use the days well. You will not see their like again.

You will never be more free than you are right now.

As graduation looms, you will see the corridors of commerce open to you. You may find yourself in a dark suit, winding clockwork patterns beneath marble pillars. Or you may drift into chaotic markets, where life’s rhythms shift endlessly in a whirlwind of color and sound.

I’m sure you remember how it began.

One day, you started to hear music over the noise of the crowd. You looked up and saw leaves dancing on every tree. Stars wheeled overhead, and you realized there are other worlds than these.

And you began to write.

This month, I invite you to join me in finishing something.

To call it into existence. Because the thought of silencing that beautiful song becomes a act of criminal negligence. Because you cannot bear the shame of leaving a blank page when you have seen masterpieces of beauty and truth.

Those of you truly dedicated to their art will make that decision today.

Those of you who wish to succeed, will not stop until the work is done.

I thought of cheating with this – not sending it till after I finished NANOWRIMO.
It’s probably more advisable to succeed first before boldly painting myself into a corner like I’ve just done.

I guess that’s why the crazy heroes always make a speech.
For that extra boost of motivation; knowing they’ll be laughed out of town if they fail. It will mean they conned someone into believing in them and let that person down.

I don’t intend to do that.

I’m writing with a buddy, and we intend to kick each other’s ass if we don’t write. (Michelle, take notes) I think it’s better this way. I can imagine ahead of time the sting of becoming a hypocrite should I fail. It’s on the page in black and white. I have someone to remind me if I fail. I need that.

Join me: let someone know you’re doing NANOWRIMO this month.

Let your classmates or your writing group know you’re serious. Let yourself know you’re serious. Let them kick your ass if you start to decide otherwise. ;-). Because if you’re not serious, what are you doing here? You want a vacation, visit Tahiti. You’re want to write, then write, dammit.

Ps. For those of you lucky enough to be attending Category Fiction, Novel, or any other classes at the University of Oklahoma with Deborah Chester

— READ the books Chester assigns.

Books assigned in Chester’s classes are the exception to the rule you became familiar with after several semesters in college:

“Will there be a test on it?”

“Well, no”

“Then I don’t need to read it, do I?”

Normally higher education involves somebody you do not know, teaching you about something you do not want to know. Instead, you have the privilege of studying under a woman who imparts secrets of the most ancient magic known to man.

You’ve done well by choosing Chester’s class. Do yourself another favor and listen.

Listen and write.

Today.

Two trees in the storm

I have a theory: Plants (and people) who survive rough times come back a bit hardier than the rest.

An old legend speaks of two priests, each planting trees on opposite sides of the temple. As the saplings grew, both priests petitioned heaven on their behalf.

The young priest prayed for soft sun to warm the branches, soft winds to caress the leaves, and gentle rains, that the roots would never know thirst.

The elder prayed for frost to harden the branches, rough winds to teach it to bow instead of break, and times of drought so the roots would twine deep into the earth.

Both prayers were granted.

The tree of the younger priest knew a life of ease, weaving a delicate lace-work of branches against the temple walls. Times of hardship left their mark on the elder’s tree, yet the gnarled trunk threw a shower of blossoms into the sky each spring.

Two years later, a monsoon swept through the region.

As the sky grew dark, harsh rains stripped the leaves from the younger priest’s tree. The fragile branches snapped under the lash of the wind. By morning light, every branch lay twisted on the ground.

The elder’s tree survived. Legends say it still dances in the lightning and the wind.

(image source: Weekend with Kusabe-san from Swan Ceramics)

Patio Garden

This is a little purple basil plant I rescued. It’s cascading out of the pot because when I originally received it, it was lying on its side, roots exposed, but still growing towards the sun.

You can’t help but love something that struggles so hard to live. The leaves fade from light green to deep purple; lightly spicy.


I don’t have the right to call these bonsai yet. They are very adorable ficus plants though. They’re almost healthy enough that I can shape them.

I love that blue pot. It’s like looking into Caribbean waves.


The latest edition! Such a bright spirited plant. Jon picked him up in Southwoods, and I’m trying him out on the ledge.

Reminds me of our sub-atomic Thai peppers from a few years back. *sighs* Fond memories.

First Impression of New Project Runway Judging Format

For those of you who don’t know me, I enjoy design, and love Project Runway. My friends and I have watched for several seasons.

We were so disappointed by this week’s new judging format. They cut our favorite part of the show!

I enjoy rooting for my favorite designs, anticipating which of my favorites will win. I like seeing how the judges define “winning” design, even if I don’t agree.

Bravo took that away.. why? For shock factor? Do they expect us to bite our fingernails wondering which bad designer is going home?

I don’t mind double-eliminations. We weren’t sad or surprised to see either of them go.

Just don’t sacrifice the brilliant designs for another close-up of the garbage. It brings a fun show down to a really negative note.

We know you have to push the envelope. All shows must evolve, but don’t wreck the genius of it.

I still want to be inspired!