The Sea….

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“A boat is safe in the harbor…but this is not the purpose of a boat.” (Paulo Coelho)

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“A warning for the brave. For those who seek to navigate life far from the protection of the harbor’s shores. Never fear the crashing waves, the sting of a relentless wind, or permanent shelter from a temporary rain. Mother Nature’s grandeur, unifying the harsh magnitude of an unforgiving perfect storm.

No, what one should fear far above the honesty of any storm, are the moments they find themselves in the solitude of thousands of miles of blue. Shades of breathtaking blue painting the horizon in every direction.

Consumed by the calm within a sudden realization, a hypnotic stillness. Spellbound by the restfulness of the water. We no longer hear the voice of the ocean now perceived to have gone silent .

The peace and serenity immediately intoxicating to all our senses causes us to forget.
and we fail to remember, the unforgiving power that is the sea. We become vulnerable, no longer mindful or respectful of the catastrophic destruction looming just below the surface.

A constant danger and a continual reality whether we chose to acknowledge it or not.

Our vigilance for survival, cast casually out of our minds the moment the danger left our sight. All we will need time and time again to weather the torrential storms of life.

A life we chose the moment we raised our sails and smiled when the fist gust caught our sails. We think only of the momentary yet transitory break in the weather.

We become complacent and blissfully unaware to all we know of the sea but do pay mind to we are not witness to it.

We ignorantly ignore the truth and with ease we repeat our hidden denials time and time again…and then we die.

We die forsaking the reality of an ever changing tide. We die dismissing the ebb and flow that is life.

Tangled in a temporary state of enchanted delusion. Foolish it may seem to most blindly trusting in the tranquil safety of the sea.

For the sea is never safe and a cost to witness the absolute vulnerability of sheer power at rest. The price is paid time and time gain by those green and naive.

By those who ever dare trust in the fake calm of the sea.”
SEH / Fake Calm

OLD STUFF for a NEW DAY…..

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All my life I’ve felt like a fish out of water, living in constant struggle gasping for air. Snared, eternally caught in the perpetual ebb and flow of the crisis and failure that had been the only glue holding together the vague sense of the word normal, as I ever knew it to be.

I spent my high school and what would have been my college years watching, as if I were a spectator to “real life”. The life that always seemed to slip through my fingers at the very moment when I would have once again convinced myself that it was safe to breathe.

I had always been on the outside looking in. Looking in on, a permanent observer of friends and family who always seemed to find their “god given” talents, develop them to perfection and eventually lead them onto big and better things. Unfairly I judged them as they appeared to swim in a perfect synchronized shoal. They  swam effortlessly, the current of life always moving them forward towards every goal society implies we should.

Their success and happiness written neatly into their destiny. I believed this serenity was afforded to them from the accomplishment I perceived about their lives. It is that vision that looms ominously above me as I fear I may never swim with such confidence and determination.

As the years went by I found myself frequently lying awake each night, abandoned now too by the sweet release of slumber. I coerced myself into trying to envision a career, any career. I set no limitations, as these hours were certainly not the time to induce practicality or reason into my vocabulary.

So I paid no attention to details such as education, money even or ability and yet I never seem to be able to see myself ever doing any of it.  Stuck in those lonely dark hours in which time never seemed to move, rather end and begin.

“There is only …

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“There is only one rule that I subscribe to as an artist. An artist whose destiny gave her words. For just as the painter carefully selects his brushes to create the visions he sees within. I select words from the endless sea of language, to illuminate the reflections of my soul. That is my art.” SEH

Regardless of critic or standards, rules and regulations all that really matters in every part of art is TO KNOW WHAT ONE IS DOING, not to go sheep-like with the flock, ignorantly, unthinkingly and heedlessly. Discover the way in which to mold speech to create a form of expression trust to what the writer knows above all. 

ART IS….

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Today is just a day to smile! I can not stop! The world feels electric and yet it looks the way it did yesterday and every day before that! However, what I have determined the cause of this change is the added flow of energy! The thousands of tiny vibrations rushing upon my soul, screaming within the words of absolute certainty..”yes, Sarah…Yes!”  “You” ARE and have always been right where you needed to be!” “Be proud and trust in all of it….. every step….for the slightest of movements, as well as the times you remained still, all created  your journey. A journey that has lead you to these days drenched in gratitude. A life that allows your days to be spent chasing and writing the greatest dream you’ve ever had!”……”Sarah, this is your heaven on earth!

“Art is the sum of all the active energies of Mankind.” ~ The Dance of Life by Ellis

“Satin Doll”

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The hot, thick southern air clung to everything, sticking her skin to the tight white cotton nightgown that fell just below her hips. Savannah walked along the moss covered, tree-lined cobblestone streets all hours of the day and night. Some days she wandered with purpose, other days aimlessly, admiring the beauty in her simple understanding that she was doing exactly what she desired. She wondered if she would see him again tonight.

Would he be there, lying on the same wooden bench as if he owned the entire square, smoking with a slight smirk upon his face and writing in a black leather-bound journal that to her must contain all of the words in the world her own soul had been longing to hear? Would she say something, or would she simply pass by, for it had been her experience that the thoughts occupying her head and emotions filling her heart far exceeded the realities that had been her relationships with men in the past?

Perhaps he would be different, he would be the one, the teacher who would allow her to become the student and for once in her life be captivated by a man whose arms held her rather than merely stuck.

She rounded the corner and there to her delight he was. Only this time he was waiting on her as well. She wondered what she should say. “Ask for a lighter? Too predictable. Ask the time? Too transparent, as anyone meandering the streets at this hour couldn’t possibly be concerned with time, and neither am I.” Here, she was free, if only for a moment.

She was nothing more and nothing less than Savannah, a thirty year-old, divorced, newly remarried mother of two, and a daughter, sister and friend, yet here she was alone, a girl walking through a southern square in the middle of the night.

She stepped beyond the safety and certainty of all that lay just short of the curb, and her heart quickened as she yearned for any change from the monotony of what her days back home had become. Then, suddenly, without intention or provocation, a scene from the not so distant past began playing as if on an old movie reel she was powerless to shut off.

“Yes, honey, I signed your permission slip, and please tell your brother to stop pouting. I am chaperoning his class trip to the museum next week.” Nothing seemed to differentiate one day from the next, other than the nightly prime-time television shows to which she fell asleep alone every evening. Divorced from her children’s father and newly married to a Lieutenant in the Air Force, she spent many days living as a single parent to her two children, Francesca, ten, and Sawyer, eight.

She recalled the countless times people had stopped her and her ex-husband on the street to compliment them and their beautiful children, remarking on their “perfect family.” She remembered feeling drastically, sadly disconnected from their comments, a feeling worsened by her husband’s glowing grin each time the remark was made. She was fortunate to have her beautiful children, of course, and appreciated the stability and affection their father provided, but to her these comments tragically echoed the sentiments he held about their life, but reflected little of the feelings that she had until the very end kept locked deep inside her heart.

 

 

 

When she finally did leave, the reason was not because Jack was anything short of a wonderful husband or an even better father. She left because she could no longer muffle the restless cries of her dancing soul, the ones begging her to live rather than to merely exist. Yet she wondered if she had left only to find herself married again and living a majority of her days alone while her new husband was deployed half way around the world. She began feeling as if she had spent the past four years playing the same old game with new characters. She longed to discover a way to live that provided an escape from the past that seemed to do little to enhance her life rather drain the very passion of living from her magical soul.

Therefore, she instinctively plopped down next to the intriguing stranger, whose “lost yet found” outlook seemed to mirror hers. They continued to sit in a comfortable silence, as the space between them lacked any of the awkwardness one usually expects between two strangers. He finally turned to her and said, “I have learned that all who wander are not lost.”

She grinned, knowing that for the first time in as long as she could remember, she was in the presence of someone who understood her better than the family she left back home and most of those she had known a lifetime. She replied coolly, “I read that somewhere.” The stranger, who almost instantly had become a reflection of her soul in one simple sentence looked directly at her and remarked, “I knew that about you.”

Savannah blushed, for all her life, or at least the most recent years as she struggled through her twenties, she longed for someone to see her for what and who she was in all the ways that were important to her.

He continued on by admitting, “I have a confession to make. I saw you today down by the river.” Savannah, a bit confused, wondered to herself, “How did this beautiful stranger who I found by chance sitting alone in a square in the middle of the night already know me?” Now more intrigued than ever, Savannah let out a giggle and inquired, “You did?”

“Yes, you were talking to Mosses.” “Mosses?” she thought. She didn’t know anyone here, let alone by name. “I was?” she asked, slightly confused by the stranger’s assertion.

“You walked up to him as he played his saxophone, and when his song stopped, you placed your two dollars in his old worn out black case. “O.K.,” she thought, “I clearly remember the evening’s events, but as to why he was so taken with her on account of them she failed to see.

“Mosses, gave you his standard line, ‘What do you want to hear, kid?’ and it was what you said next that not only took me by surprise, but also flustered old Mosses. He couldn’t stop talking about the girl who had done what no one in his twenty-two years of playing down by the river ever had. You asked him what he wanted to play for you! And you asked him, “‘what song came to his mind when he looked at you!”

 

 

 

She smiled bigger now and turned her head in slight embarrassment and disbelief that she was the only one to have ever asked him such a seemingly innocuous and, to her, obvious question. Unable to mumble anything representing a concise, witty reply in the instant following his confession, she softly whispered, “Satin Doll, by Ella Fitzgerald.”

He said, “I know, and for the rest of my life, when I hear that song, or see old Mosses playing down by the pier, I will think of the girl who was everything beautiful and different that I seek in the world daily.”

The enormity of all he was expressing was what she too yearned, an undying passion to witness and observe thoughtfulness and find no evidence of disinterestedness in daily life that most people had. For to her, truly seeing people is to believe that they all have a story, regardless of circumstance, status or appearance, yet no one else until her random stroll through a sleepy southern town in the middle of then night had what she trusted to be unique to her been recognized by another.

In that moment, she was compelled to admit to her heart that she felt more connected to this handsome and unfamiliar soul than to anyone she had ever known. She also became strikingly aware that regardless of how the rest of her adventure may bear on her life, this moment was to be the highlight not only of her time away from home, but also, quite honestly, of her entire life. For she had found the beauty in discovering the true depth of one’s unshakable impulse to act rather than spend the days reacting to life.

The essence of her being was heard not by what she said but by all she did not. Her inner beauty and vibrant soul was discovered in listening to the words and songs of two strangers created from a serendipitous symphony, a fleeting entanglement of three lives, who were now forever changed for the better by recognizing the essential goodness in humanity.

Written By: Sarah E. Howard

 

You can NOT fail, if you Never stop trying….#IthinkIbelieveinthat

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I used to plead for peace, for love, for understanding, for what I thought was right and against what I knew was not. Each fight, each heart-break another lesson, disguised as something personal, albeit betrayal of those I once loved,  the loss of those I never imagined would ever leave,  and my faith in those who in the end proved I was expendable, replaceable and worst yet easily forgettable.   Ultimately my overwhelming and paralyzing disappointment grew and grew over time and transformed casting its shadow not only upon the memories of certain individuals but most heart-wrenching, the setting of stone that seemed to be my new founded and perpetual disappointment in all of humanity.

In the humanity I wanted for so long to desperately believe in and somehow, somehow find a way or somehow become worthy  of being heard and turning on a light, and not for myself, rather all the world. A light to illuminate the common good that for so long I blindly trusted was in us all and would always have the power to prevail.

However, perhaps I have been wrong and more wrong and in more ways than I ever could have imagined about any of it? For what if there was a great amount of truth in my paranoid and frantic moments in which I allow myself to become comforted by self-doubt and redirected by distractions.  During the worst episodes I would actually accept the possibility that it has all been merely a manifestation. A manifestation of my own sheer improbability and utter delusion.  Convincing myself again that my cherished moments of midnight madness were simply that, nothing more and nothing less. However in with predictability of the ebb and flow of my life the next night I would be sure to call again upon the bravery with. I would again be able to entertain the possibility that my words did hold slight glimpses of all that is special inside of me . My favorite nights the ones regardless of where my writing life takes me will be the breaths I took while secretly assigning them enough grandeur to define what is purpose in this world.

Aaaahhh breathing the breath of purpose built upon a dream what a sweet peace it brought to my soul and my life. Yet, we all know the sun is masked by night and blue skies give way to rain. So with each beautifully discovered revelation of hope, the pieces of destiny placed in my path. Excited and proud of what to me has always felt  and in my head compared to what I imagine whomever the artist was that carved the statue of David from a single piece of stone felt racing through his mind when he really took note of his work and saw beauty where once was a simple rock.  Euphorically inspired in the days I could understand it all and wanted nothing more than to transform my discovery, my idea to find the most useful means to express all that had never been. Give it to the world in its raw form it so that others could mold it into its truest and greatest value. Then the rain would come and wipe clean the ink of my perceived brilliance and my soggy paper torn and tattered for the harsh winds of reality never fail to find me and strike out and destroy my fragile collection.
My delicate thoughts. Thoughts not only mine but part of more? Maybe, just maybe? Thoughts not strong enough to stand the forces upon them. Over and over they crumbled, time and time again under the weight of my newest sorrow, latest distraction, doubt and responsibilities and social pressures that relentlessly have; as they do for everyone, howl viciously and without care across my life.

After the storm I would begin to take a count of all I lost. In my mind I could see my thoughts yet again scattered and out-of-order. Like an airplane crash in which at one moment the entity of flight is intact and full of life and possibilities and  in an instant all is lost and can not even be discerned as to what its previous form and purpose and existence. That is the destruction that my hurt for and from the world has countless times left upon my heart. Worst still is that I possessed no direction or even outline of how to reassemble any shred clarity to even begin to weave back together and clearly make coherent sense again out of such a mess.

I cry silently in those moments of absolute limbo. Time that feels heavy and frozen locking between fearing something truly, great was lost and the chance that nothing had real or ever existed?

I would for days be silently terrified, a fear that would come from deep within my soul knowing that although I had thought the order and rhythm of the words once I would never again be able to create their equal.
Left to grieve that tiny piece uncertainly certain, the piece of my heart and soul that knows and has always known… there IS true value in my work and I must somehow rebuild. Again!

I WILL….for to not….would without a doubt be certain die to my spirit. I would become ordinary and that is what I fear most.