Thursday, December 31, 2009

Don't Be Afraid to Fail...

Stop worrying about what you don't have & start finding real joy in what you do have. Stop agonizing over what might happen & start moving toward the best of what can happen. The limitless abundance of the universe is yours right now to experience. Any shortcomings you come across are mostly a product of the perspective...Expand your perspective & the shortcomings will disappear...Stop being afrad to fail~ George Fraser

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Changed Waters Project: on Post Katrina New Orleans performed@ Berea College 2008

If you were to leave me
By Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney

You remind me of a sunrise," I said on the day my eyes fell on your face.
And your name becomes my mouth,
Feeling like chilled mimosa on parched lips
While Katrina winds carried on all around me.
That I be in the right place, you to me & I to you & you to thee…
I am as here as I could be gift wrapped by your words…
Like beignets & café au lait & the moonlight at 2 am.
Or champangne & grite if you please..
And a dressing gown of your voice and draped in melodic sounds of you despite it all.
If you were to go away right now it would be like the air stopped at half past not anything
If you were to leave me now I would be like Shakespeare’s
To be or not to be that is the question whirling in a drunken hurricane drink on Bourbon Street
If your were to leave me now all I would have is
A melody of silenced stringed notes…,
A cosmic symphony of no mores
That would have an audience of one
When the levees broke
Though you may never know of how I deeply you are in the marrow of my soul…
I give your promise to me
And I to you that I would never forget you nor will I allow anyone else to
Though your name may appear to some
To be quieted by time it seems
New Orleans, Gulfport, Biloxi, Port Arthur, Lower Nine, Iowas, Illinois,Wisconsin and all the others
When the levees broke…
This is what I remembered of home today
Adaptation of original poem “If you were to leave me” for Katrina ProjectJHM 6-18-08©

Can I Hear ?

Can I hear?
By Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney©03

Can I hear your poem today?
All the prepositions, synonym, antonyms…
And the confunctions at the junction.
And words whose lips met and ah, a metaphor was caught up in the sigh!

I want to hear your poem today.
That provokes and prevents…
To pierce and stay, parade and swing and rapidly escalate my heart.
You who conjugate all the nouns, pronouns, adjectives and adverbs
That congregated and held a caucus at the Washington mall.

Can I hear your poem today?
Blowing rhymes that chimes…
The ones that encourage…
And the ones that discourages you from hurting just one more day.
Let me, this Big City Woman demonstrate and not regulate….
What your muse does to me.
Nothing taste as good as these words…

And words…
And words…
And words that feel so good on my skin.

Can I hear your poem today?
So I can feel alive and all others can stride
I want to hear your poem today.
May I?
Can I? May I?
Can I?
May I persuade you to say your poem t me, so I can sway?
I don’t want to trip over the words from your lips.

Can I hear your poem today?
I want to skim some of the morning mist’s lift off your words.
To embellish and enhance me
Words are the voice of my heart…

Can I hear your poem today?
All rights reservedJHM ‘Muse me chapter 6-3-03©

Dress Rehersal

Dress Rehersal
By Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney ©02

Ladies’ sounds in dress rehearsals…
Showers the room with spherical sounds.
A bounty coming forth from luscious lips crooning pearl drops…
From the ladies’ sounds in dress rehersal.

Shall the universe be in repast?
Engorging on this poetic parade…
A soul serenade…
Twinkling twilights caught in the moment
The soul serenade from the other side of muse…
A ladies’ sound in dress rehersal.

Bell tones…
Work those bones!
Midnight hands serving as the backdrop.
Candlelight dressing the ambience…
A staging so grand…
That even the sun…
And the moons…
And the stars...
Must stand in rapturous wonder…
For the ladies sounds in dress rehearsal

All rights reserved JHM 8-5-02 © Jazzism

Friday, December 18, 2009

Taking Rocks and Bulding Castles Cyber "rent party" fundraiser

Taking Rocks…Building Castles

“The last dejected effort often becomes the winning stroke”.~ W.J. Camero

This has been a mad, touch crazy, crazy year, filled with much befuzzlement, bewilderment and bewailing. And of course the year has to go out in a bang with the rug being pulled out from underneath me for the last time by George!
It is not an easy thing for me to reach out like this in such a public way & f I had alternatives that have not already been explored & were feasible, I would not be doing this now if there was an alternative I would have done It. Yes many are in dire straits working furiously to finding creative solutions, thinking out of the box, to make it happen.
Like others, I am being proactive as in this Polish proverb:” You cannot wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time”, to making my challenge a resolved reality.

My prayer in reaching out with hope & determination, anyone or a group of someone’s would see fit to help or reach out into their networks to help… My circumstances is fixable and can give me the necessary boost so I can indeed help myself and then stable reach out & help someone else.
So this is what is happening:

Thrown Stones... Building Castles fundraiser

I am throwing a "cyber- rent party".. .

This is why:

I have to move from where I am living.
(No it is not an eviction)
My current dwelling is unsafe to live in & landlord who seems to be unconcerned & thinks its ok to live in an unhealthy environment & pay for that "privilege".

He was somewhat misleading in or discussions prior to my moving across country & it wasn’t until several weeks after I moved in that I came to realize he had no inclinations to correct & repair things that make the property safe to habitat (like mold in the ceiling, broken stairs, unreliable access to utilities etc)...

This is not about vanity and I am choosing no to disclose the unsafe and sanitary issues I am challenge with. I do know however I have to get out of here before it gets any worse then what it is...

I do not believe he was out to get me personally though it does little to aid me knowing that in this dilemma. My need to move is for my physical safety & health as I said I have been ill for over the last year & now readying for badly needed surgery. . Almost from the beginning, he has taken to using his keys to enter my home with prior knowledge or warning and then letting two men come in on me last week. Legal boundaries have been crossed but he seems to really believe he is not doing anything wrong.

Happily, I've found my former landlord who I enjoyed a wonderful relationship leaving in 2004 who has 2 spaces available that I can have. In every way, it will be near perfect for me if I can secure the funds. If my funding had not been delayed it would have been a no- brainer, I simply would have moved. But my previous endowment funds are now exhausted. I am not being evicted, but my choices are extremely limited at this point and the clock is ticking.

This is the 1st time in over 25 years+ that I've been with no income and have not collected unemployment in 20 years. Yes I’ve been very fortunate, worked hard and have been in the right place at the right time to have the accomplishments, I’ve enjoyed. But this time it is different…I am schedule for a badly needed surgery by the end of January 2010 and I have to be moved b4 then as I will not physically be able to move for a couple of months after that.

Like many I've been slammed by the recession. One thing for sure I have not nor will not give up. Coming home to New Orleans and seeing on an almost daily basis people pulling ways out of now way keeps me buoyed.

What I propose to do:

I’ve wracked my brains for solutions when in a moment of creative insight I came up with this: A “cyber rent party”! If you are over 40 you probably know what that is, if under 40 you may have read of it or seen reference in a movie.

Nonetheless I figure if I could by walking out there on faith and network with 200+ kind souls would hear my plea and aid a working artist to regain her footing. I will not let them down. I am delighted in the last few days I have come to enjoy some of those kind & caring souls and even among hose who want but are unable have come up with support & help in other ways.

What I propose is that the 1st 200 “patrons” will receive, post surgery & recuperation, a limited edition lapel pin design by me.

You can Google my name,Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney and see I am no slacker. I have an extensive body of work that has enjoyed even an international flavor & vibe at one point.

Now the future:

In 2010, I will have my first solo show opening in March & I go upward from there.

This is my 1st in 2 years with that and several other events lined up I could be fully functional & engaged before the end of the year, but for that to happened I have to be proactive and move and get my house literally & figuratively in order..

I’ve reached out via Face book, other networks groups as well as my blog to link to those generous souls who could help this struggling working artist. I humbly asking different ones to reach out in their network & pass on the request. You never know...

I recall a story from a speaker years ago in the early stages of my career who said in essence “when you go fishing do you cast the line out once if no fish bites, do you pack up and go home? Or do you keep casting out the line or even move to another part of the lake?”

Or as another artist said to me, “if you ask not… you have not”.

Right now is not the time for false pride. If there was another way I would have done it before now...

I am asking people if they can put this call out & I respectfully ask all who read to please not judge or condemn or send me negative comments which are counter-productive. This was not an easy thing to put out here, but I am fiercely determined to return to self sufficiency with as much dignity in tact. In fact, I am planning to in passing forward to reserve a percentage of all my future art engagement Second Harvest & Habitat for Humanity which has really been vigorous in aiding my beloved home town.
I know many of us are treading water in difficult times, but I do know as George Frasier puts it: "Net does work"

People can reach me via Facebook, my email, blog: . I am hesitating in giving out my phone number or address online, understandably so for safety reasons, unless one of you contact me 1st.

I do have Pay Pal and there are others like Money Gram/Western Union, snail mail etc. I would have to have folks' addresses so they will receive their gift this spring***
Thank you for your help, contributions or network assistance in advance. I believe in people, I believe in miracles & I believe in me

Taking rocks to build castles...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Brought it on Home...


I came back home to New Orleans after a 5 years absence. I had been craving to go home for over two years but time & circumstances would not allow it to happen before this fall.

I've created the Burnt Toast blog to document my experiences especially in this 1st year through my photography, muses & whatever suits me. In part, I want to experience being part of the never to be repeated, I pray, revitalizing & reinvention of New Orleans. It will be my own eyes & how I see the fits & starts, hills & valleys as I see this quirky, magnificent, perplexing, never a moment of boredom, resilient city glow as it never has before.

My family's stamp is all over the city & goes back a century or more.My maternal grandmother in the early 1900's worked at Two Sisters where she passe blanc(passed for white) in order to support her only daughter who was too brown to pass off.

In the 1940's my parents met & fell in love right on 600 block Burgundy in the French Quarters where my father, a handsome, striking musician home after the war (WWII) moved next door. My mother was living with my Uncle Ellis a French speaking Creole who own a very successful bar & restaurant at that time called the Golden Pumpkin. According to family lore, it was the hangout for the Zulus during Mardi Gras. My mother worked there.

Shortly, before I was born my parents moved to Gert Town on Fig Street (I was a Charity baby) but before I was 5 months old bought a house in the Lower Ninth Ward which became my childhood home.

In my teens my mother moved us to Southern Cali only for me to return to N.O in my early 20's then back to Cali for another 22 years returning in 1997 living in both the Marigny & Uptown until I left in 2004 for work.

I only escape being in Katrina narrowly by the job offering me an additional year otherwise I would have been here in Katrina, other family members were not as fortunate.

But like a boomerang I would always return to New Orleans as I did this year.Whatever it is that pulls me back I cannot get voice to that yet. I just want to see what will flow this time around. So welcome to this thyme...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.

- Albert Einstein, physicist"

You cannot wring your hands
and roll up your sleeves
at the same time.~ Polish Proverb

Bywater Home

A (wo)man who wants something will find a way; a (wo)man who doesn't will find an excuse.

- Stephen Dolley Jr