Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oh Happy Day: Go with it;Flow with it JHM©11

"I want to be lean and clean for the future, dust off my wings. I know for sure that doing so will make it easier to fly."~  Oprah

"Stash's Sunset" photography by JHM©08

I am just in a good place right now and I am simply going to enjoy it...Circumstances around me have not altered to any great degree.  I'm just very happy.

Happy is as happy does and what I am going to do is flow with it, go with it.   I don't have to work to prolong it,simply enjoy the feeling. 

I have sunlight streaming through all my front windows, listening to my favorite show CBS' Sunday Morning, preparing to read my Sunday paper and have a healthy breakfast.

I joined several groups recently who have similar interests.  Maybe it is the shared interests that suits my sensibilities is contributing to my feeling of continual happiness, I don't know. 

I am simply going to go with it; flow with it.

Maybe it was going through some of my photography and remembering the pleasure in shooting them helped.

"Betty's Table" photography by JHM©10

Don't matter;I am simly going to enjoy it.

Could have been my finishing up a project that I've procrastinated for weeks, sticking with it and knowing it is done and I don't have to do it again contributed...

Don't matter; I'm going to enjoy it anyway.

Or it could have been dreaming about decorating a new loft space with wonderful floor to ceiling windows in a new space, relishing the challenge of shaping it into what will work for me now, where I am now having said to myself it is just doggone fine to now format my space for who I am today.  Feeling my adventuresome self, seeing the world with childlike wonder and old school experience could be fueling this.

Don't matter; I am going to go with it;flow with it...

Or is it seeing images of veggies and flowers who have long since returned back to the soil to replenish and re nourish?

"Arty-chokey" phtographyJHM©08

Or seeing a picture of my eldest daughter with 2 of my grandbabies (her niece & nephew) sound asleep. She was on her off day from work and helping her sister out so she could get to work.  It makes me feel good that my children do indeed have a sense of community.

Or the trust my grandbaby, Tassandra age 11months,secured in sleep that all is right in the world, even if the world is not acting right, that Mom & Dad, Auntie and Grammy will make it alright with all they got.

And big brother Tevin almost 3yrs can camp for the camera:

Maybe it contributes. Don't matter; I am just going to go with it; flow with it

Could it be possible that shutting down a situation that was an exercise in futility; of releasing someone to go where they need to go as long as it is not near me be a contributing factor?

Don't matter,I am simply going to go with it; flow with it.

I had been so stagnant in trying to get the mojo working keeping it going which is almost near impossible to do with so many things working in opposition to what was need.  I had thrown my hands in the air as I could not push what was not there.  For those who can, more power to you!  I applaud that ability; it is  a skill I do not have or acquire and don't see the likelihood that I will.
I've always known in the later years of my life that there is always a way out of no way if as my good friend would say "if I could smooth myself out of the way".  I am what I am, a work in progress & as I figure it out, things get done.

And done well, I do tell...
Has this acquired knowledge contributed to feeling happy?

I am simply going to go with it; flow with it.

"The foolish (wo)man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his/her feet".~James Oppenheim

"Standing out in a Crowd" PhotographyJHM©08

All rights reservedJHM©11

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Clap Your Hands... Clap Your hands...

Maybe its the respite from cold, maybe it is the wonderful sun beaming in low 70 weather this week, but here I was early, early Saturday morning online writing... 

I woke up at 2:30 AM as in "sez wyut"? What on earth?

I had gotten already about 5 hours of sleep, but was not planning to be up this early...

But I know in part what it is about; I had a great day yesterday overall & on impulse I went by to look at a converted space that I had been curious about for months...

Since I had decided I will move this spring from where I am currently living, I figure what the heck, let me go and see.

Big mistake...

When they showed me the only available unit as I came down the entryway and turn the corner, my immediate response was OMG!  What hit me was floor to ceiling windows with a gorgeous view of New Orleans.  I rushed past seeing the other rooms to immediately go to the window which also had bay seating.

 The windows were not unlike these except wider.  I've always love Mister's house in The Color Purple.  I love lots of light, lots of windows...

My instinctive, knee-jerk reaction  was so ok "this is it"...

"Whoa slow down Nellie.. Be a grownup look around the apartment and ask question... Hold on hold you can do this, you can be mature about this" all the while my heart is doing Zumba!

The one two punch came when I discovered the rent was 50% less then I am currently paying, the building is green and it is walking distance in any direction to all I need to attend to.  Adding to boot it was high ground.

For those who may have been hiding in a cave,  you want high ground if you are to live in N.O. especially since Katrina.  Call it a knee jerk,although totally justified, reaction  post storm, you just might want the highest ground in case of flooding.  If info given me is correct, this was an old department store built in the early 1900's so you know it has survived many a hurricane, solid as a rock.

The neighborhood although having seen like many large cities a seediness, some by accident, some neglect, some by design but a neighborhood not unlike many others in this city or any other metropolitan ;it is now going throw a regeneration , a re*sparking;there are many pockets of this re-emergence all around. Fits & starts, an unplanned plan that will not benefit all, sadly.

In 2-3 years it will be impossible to get this area or at this price.  It has been known for awhile almost a decade that this area had been eyed for the expansion.

When you start seeing artists, visionaries, entrepreneurs moving into an area its a clear heads up a happening is getting ready to happen! But for the right now there are some who won't see it that way which suits me fine for the moment. Until we are priced out of the area.  I've always kicked myself one too many times by not taking advantage of the time, when the time stares me in the face...

But getting back to the apartment.. 

When I could slow my heart down some and stopped my eyes from bugging out I took a look at the rest of the unit. It is minus 1 bedroom as I currently have, does not have some of the architectural features in my current place,(but I can correct that) AND I would have to give up my veggie garden and a back yard.  Upside there is a farmer's market within walking distance.  The owners seems amendable to taking a tiny corner in the back for my  garden containers, but even in the end it is not feasible for that I could work with it. There are a few things I have to give up, but I would gain others.

Please know I am so NOT a fan of apartment living.  Its been decades for me to live in one.  Even where I live now is a 125 yr old house converted into 3 apartments.

But something about this place resonates with me.

Did I mention the windows?

 In the bedroom is also those massive windows facing the New Orleans skyline of downtown and the river. 

One things that struck me is running parallel to the building across the street is a now empty lot that in it hey day was my father's business when I was a little girl.  This area was during the height of segregation was what I called New Orleans' Harlem... Now it is, not unlike Harlem & like me, going through a resurgence.

What was shown to me, someone already got, but the next door unit will be coming up for rent after the 1st of March & larger then the one shown me. Quite timely with spring around the bend.

I am going to propose something to the owners of making the halls a walking gallery, there is lots of space for that... And of course it being my art even if it is in the common areas...The majority of the people living in the building are over 55.

So now, how will I do it.

I will find a way.

Reducing my output by 50% is quite enticing. The worst that will happen right now is I have to stay put if someone beats me to the unit.  Eventually, another will come up...

What my job is to put it out there, to speak words to truth to be ready & open for when the opportunity arises...

And clap my hands, clap my hands (with glee)

Now maybe I can go back to sleep....

The addendum to my 2AM  couldn't go back to sleep musings. 

Now I am completely wide awake!

However while in la la land, I dreamt I was having (I think) lunch with the last 3 mayors of the City of New Orleans: Landrieu (Sitting) Nagin (last) & Morial (previous to Nagin).
Why? I haven't the foggiest notion, but I've learned to pay attention to my dreams; it is my subconscious, yearnings or challenge that needs figuring out, especially the ones I remember all or in part.

I know it had to do something with the place I spoke about in part one.  I also know each one had innovative visions of what New Orleans was to become and each were in different stages of that when their time ran out sans the sitting Mayor.

I look at each of their contributions, some successful some fell flat and thought of one things.

Let me put a disclaimer in here; I am not a fan of politics...

It was my dream and why they were there I don't know.

 It was a  dream...

 I was asleep.

Now, sometimes we all have things we envision or hope for yearn for to happen with us or for us.  Some will come to fruition, some will come through but not in the time or manner of our expectations and others will fall flat, not unlike these three men.  Mayor Landrieu is still the freshman Mayor, still fresh, still in his honeymoon period . Some will fuss, a LOT will resist & others will find ways to toss a monkey wrench, the kitchen sink & a baseball bat  into his vision. 

I simply am an observer

But as in the case of them or us, in certain matters, we have to wait until things get to its final conclusion. I, too, like others at times want instant gratification but despite all the effort, I simply may not get what I want when I want it and in the manner I want it. 

But it will come. 

And precise in the way it should but I wouldn't know that until the final conclusion.

Slowly I've learned, put it into practice but awhile away from it becoming a habit, to smooth myself out of the way allowing something to come to its final conclusion.

Case in point last fall I planted some wildflower seeds in a pot and nothing happened.  I tossed the pot and the residual seeds in a pile on my back step where I kept my pots and promptly forgot about them.  I did not think they would survive neglect nor the winter especially since we had a colder then seasonal winter of us.  The winter being a weird roller coaster ride in temperatures.

Much to my surprise a few days ago I came to discover they not only germinated & grew, but survived the neglect.  One pot, not only grew but gave me flowers all winter!  I did not know wildflowers could survive cold.

So i took the others thinned them, re potted all of them in new pots giving them space and air thinking that if they survived the transplants they'll be just fine.

Well as I would have it when I stepped out to get my paper this morning, the biggest one gave me blooms! Yes blooms! In 3 days! And all the other pots not only survived my transplanting but look mighty sturdy.

It brought a smile to my face apart from the fact you can tell it is the beginning of another lovely day.

I say all of this for a reason.  Sometimes we have to smooth out of our way.  

Everything and everyone has an appointed time when things  happen.  Sometimes even when we are neglectful or doing things others may look upon as not the "right" way something is to be accomplished, just may, despite everything grow & blossom if we let it be.

Those wildflowers had their own way; I was in their way & I gave up on them far too easily since they did not do things in the appointed time that I designated for them.  And then when I wasn't looking (Whew) they did what they needed to do.  Grow, glow and gave me a pleasant gift this morning...

So as I be about my day I will remember this and as I continue on working on new habits and refining the old ones I will repeat here what I saw in a woman's office yesterday: "Thank God for what you have; Trust God for what you need". 

There are some things I do not need to control; it will happen if you give it (or us) room.

Clap your hands... Clap your hands...

"Spring Rendevous" by one of my favorite artist, Charles Bibbs

"You can't hit a home run unless you step up to the plate.  
You can't catch a fish unless you put your line in the water.  
You can't reach your goals if you don't try."  
-Kathy Seligman

Monday, February 14, 2011

Say Yeah... say yeah...

I learned this evening that one of my poems will be released in someone's book! The publishing company University Press & the author had been trying to find me...I got so excited (and honestly I had forgotten) to get the name of the book.  She told me but I cannot remember!  Also tomorrow I will be used as "the lady at the table" in a segment of HBO's series Treme.  I get to have a fabulous lunch, get paid and listen to New Orleans jazz? 

Made me happy.. It doesn't take much!

Say Yeah… say yeah

By Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney©11

Say yeah...
Say yeah...
I say yeah.
Go down Moses… 
Tell Pharaoh that I'm in an Effie mode today...
This is a hand on the hip, gutbucket groan….
That can only come from someone who knows...
Who’s been there more then on time?
In a scene where she be on familiar terms with stuff…
And stuffed people who distinguish themselves with nothing other then
Bits & pieces
(It is not yet their time yet)…
But knows experiences trumps assumptions
And one does not know
But knows...
When it is time to say yeah...
Say yeah
Say yeah.
To do what is necessary
To see what's possible
And then pull off the impossible
When one must say yeah...
Say yeah...
Say yeah...
All Rights Reserved JHM 2-14-11© 

Vous et nul autre (You & no Other),


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I am Clear (About) ..What I am Not...

"Sometimes the very thing you are looking for is found in the very thing you weren't".~ YKWTD (You Know What To Do)

Decisions,decisions, decisions.  Will they ever go away?

Well if you are over the age of 5, no.  Although I say this somewhat in cheek, making decisions is hard work.  It may not seem that way say if someone is deciding "Is he the one" or "Do I take this job although it means moving away from my family"  or do I want mayo AND mustard"?  Some decisions are harder to make (or keep) then others.

Time and experiences make some decisions really easy to make and implement without nary a bump.

And then there are the others...

I have to make somewhat painful decisions; this I am clear.

What I am not is do I want to do this? Will I do it.

What I am clear about is I need to do things for my well being.

What I am not is how.

What I am very clear about is that my present situation needs a radical change.

What I am not is not can I be radical but WILL I be radical.

I've not doubted for a minute my returning home to my beloved city of New Orleans was a right one, I now doubt whether long time I will stay.  And it is not that I don't want to, but I've changed.  The city is changing, some of it very good and badly needed, others well, it is the same old song just repackaged.

Mind you as I say this that it is not you who are not from here, never visited here and only know what the news tell you , which is so blown out of proportion, bad schools, extreme poverty, over the top crime  yada yada yada, it is not anywhere near that.

We have to remember even with so called  "traditional" news the "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality rules.  Here is a radical concept: New Orleans is really no different then many major cities (and minor ones, towns or boroughs) in its ills.  But it true Franco-Lousiane manner it is blown way out of proportion.

What it is is a place steel reeling trying to restore its equilibrium after the most devastating (un)natural disaster in the history of this country & having carpetbaggers, visionaries, the young seeking adventures, hipsters, con artists, idealist & people rife on exploitation who have jumped into this restoration gumbo with little thinking of what or how to go about it without destroying the city.

And in this flux, I am clear that it is going to be a heck of a lot more work involved and more  hands involved working extraordinarily, exceptionally hard to do the almost near impossible, but possible  retaining/maintaining a measure of control.  In every aspect of this we can sometimes wrecking havoc on our health & well being; of not knowing or seeing the way out; wanting to be as healthy, as autonomous, as fully engaged as we need to be while the world once known is fragmented.  Of putting pieces back together or really fully have what is needed so one can indeed be independent, contributing community.

Or individual...

The way is not always clear.

Sometimes things gets muddled, we may have to redirect, revisit the choices and then step out...


Understand I am not exercising the often futile sport of what is wrong with New Orleans or what is wrong with me... This is clear.

What is not is how to stop this sick sport from continuing.

I am clear that while undergoing the worst time of the worst time of my life, I am happy that I am not gone backwards in my work on reaching a healthy weight.  Truly there is plenty of room for improvement, but I am good with that...

What is not is will it happen here? Can I do more to reduce even more the chronic stress that continues to keep my blood pressure high?

The easy answer is yes; 'cept it ain't that easy.  

On paper the answer are definitive; get my economic circumstance improved and the rest will (truly) fall into place...Duh..

What is not clear is How? Where? When?

I am at the conclusion there is some huge really bad cosmic joke being played, but I did not get the punchline. 

 And the joke is being played over & over until I get it.

Alright! already!

If determination, fortitude, resilience, effort, heart, drive was money I would be wealthy enough to rival Gates, Winfrey or Forbes. And telling me I am not alone doesn't help.  It stresses me more just knowing more people are hurting and hurting as badly if not worse then I am.   And that raises my blood pressure more, not less.

Just like with my home town as it is going along trying to really shape its future and its present, so am I.  As a good friend calls it, something we have to smooth ourselves out of the way in order to make that way.  

We are in perilous times, far more serious then people like or want to believe.  I am not talking from a national time, but a global one.  There is a lot of shifting going on and whether we want it or not we are on the ride of a lifetime.

That I am clear...

What I am not is so what do I do now?

A friend had this on a email she sent me:

"Searching for a miracle, expecting the impossible"

So I guess now I've answer my own question...

And hold on...

What's difficult in life is to stay centered when somebody does 
or says something that tempts us to close our hearts 
because their heart was closed. That is hard. ~
-Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Illustrate that Note~Buttonwood Art Spaces opens Friday Feb 4 with 1st Friday

 "Improv @ Dat Sharp Eleven"©11JHM
 "Improv" top half closeup
 "Improv" bottom half

"Steppin' Out on Dat High Note"©11JHM  24'x36