Monday, May 26, 2008

Be You...


It is not exhausting to be me
Actually its rather fun to be me, don’t you see?
I get to dream dreams that others may have put asunder…
As they plunder the fragments of other souls’ lives…
Looking for the I don’t knows that be you.
And shudder to think that in that folly, by golly, that being you is not wearing…
But challenging
And engaging & exhilarating.
Humbling & humorous…
Lightness & yes some darkness.
But yet the sun keeps on rising
Warming & lighting…
And the waters will replenish
And the grass will stay green & the birds will chirp
And people will fall in love
With luscious food to they seek & eat.
And I get to see it all from close up and sometimes afar.
Grabbing at lightning bugs placing them in a jar
Then releasing them on their way, sometimes long before the month of May.
It is not exhausting being me, oh say can you see?
Be you…
Not me
There is so much to relish for thee.
Be you…
Not me
It is not exhausting you see?
All rights reservedJHM4-3-07©

Simply Smiling

At the beginning of dawn- Greensboro, North Carolina February ©2008

Early this morning I threw on some clothes stumbled outside to shoot some of the foliage in the early morning sun. From my kitchen table there is this old fence probably older then I am on the side of the carriage road that was partially obscured by vines and sweet peas & for the last several mornings I kept on saying to myself I wanted to go out and capture it or give it a good try, so that's what I did. I stop preparing breakfast and headed out getting what seemed to be a couple of good shots.

As I turned to head back to the house, listening to the crunching gravel somewhat muted by all the dropped mulberries & the grass overtaking the previous owners' attempts to make the carriage row into a driveway & inhaling the perfume of the jasmines in bloom on the 2 bushes in my front yard.

On impulse, I took the notion to get something on film of them which then lead the way to shooting this one tree-like bush that I have shot numerous times before in different seasons. That directed me to a bunch of lavender buttercups I noticed at the foot of the concrete steps leading to my yard and it went from there...

It was wonderful grabbing hold of a moment in the morning light. This morning was one of those times when I am on fire and not a day of "what am I thinking" when I shoot. Later this afternoon and then again at twilight.

I will see if I can latch on to the same spots to see how they differ in the shift of the day.

A different angle…

Atypical moment.

After I returned inside, I found myself simply smiling, not grinning ear to ear. Simply smiling.

Such a small thing it may seem, that made me feel first-class. What if I had bypass this morning like I had all the other mornings getting caught up and never buying out the time to do this?

I grant you for those who work 6:30a is either getting up preparing for work or preparing for family and might not have that luxury, but if you find a moment and there are many of them, its just most of us are rushing with other things and we bypass the moment.

It is just like with the rest of living. We may bemoan that the weight is not coming off as fast as we like, or "I can't help myself" in trying to overcome a deeply ingrained habit or spend an enormous amount of time on something better spent elsewhere, or cannot or will not change what is changeable that we bypass the moment of I did not gain or I have drank more water today, or my eyes are sparkling today, better yet someone else’s eyes sparkle when they laid on us, that maybe somewhere in the world a hungry child got a little food today. Or someone mastered something they saw as futile. Or that someone loved someone today. Or that one grew to quietly accept something they could not change.

All those little moments are there.

And for now this is my moment.

Vios con dios.

All rights reservedJHM©08

Saturday, May 24, 2008

From Where I Sit...

This was shot after a snow in Guilford County North Carolina©08

At half past eleven…I am keeping an eye on…
Over-stuffed, alabaster clouds on a merry chase…

Dancing nimbly on a backdrop of inky stained linen sky.
A solitary brighteningm from a lone-star on this wintry nigh.

I enjoy the engagement of a late snow…
Husky, endearing sounds of enjoyment that was possible from where I sit.

Oh that peace-ness can reign supreme, though off in the miserly distance…
Staccato popping shatters the still.

Aie! For a few seconds the peace-ness was denied.

Yet, from where I sit.among the jasmine bushes, nude branches coated in the remnants of snow

Peace-ness flows again at half past eleven from where I sit…

It is all I’ll ever need.

All rights reserved JHM 02 ©

On an Ordinary Day©03

Ordinary Day©03 ~Photograph was shot as an approaching storm over Tangiphoa Parish, Louisiana

On an ordinary day, I am still extraordinary.
On an ordinary day, I can rock the world!

How magnificent it is to be alive, to breathe, to be genuinely real!
Dazzle the worlds with you smile be as brilliant as you want!

On an ordinary day, may your life be spectacular!
For it only last for a moment.

Drink plenty from Maisha Maji (life’s waters) until you are full.
And dare to dream, to be bold and to be fearless with love!

On an ordinary night that trails behind an ordinary day…
Look up and behold a shooting star, so impressive…

As it streaks across a blackened sky just being so breath takingingly spectacular…
That millions of stars could only stand still and applaud

You be that way…

And on any ordinary day, be as extraordinary as you dare…
(How wonderfully made you are!)

Your vision statement can be so impressive…
When you can see what can be accomplish on an ordinary day.
All rights reserved JHM 7-25-03©

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Every Goodbye Ain't Gon-Katrina series

This was created in memory of Elruad BurtIII, New Orleans jazz flutist who passed away in 2007.

Elders Keep Telling the Story closeup

Accepting the Goodness

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Then pray tell, I implore, for anyone to give a good answer with this but why is it getting harder and harder for ones to be gracious to themselves and accept goodness?

Goodness is according tho the dictionary "the quality & state of being morally excellent". So then what makes it so hard to be receptive to moral excellence? No matter what packaging it comes in, accepting goodness for some is fraught with angst, suspicion, trepidation, being analyze to death and often times tossed away becomes one is afraid.
Could it be that somehow we have reached a stage of beliving or acting like we are not worthy of moral excellence in whatever form it comes in? Is there a part of us that thinks we are not good that because our imperfections that we do not deserve or can handle excellence? Though I fall down more ties then I care to admit, excellence still appeals to e and I still strive mightily to attain it, to be a better sort of person then I was the day before though there are always deflcetos that want to insist that you are not.
There was a book out years ago that was called “If you See the Buddha on the side of the Road, Kill it”. I never read the book but I liked the title. A psychologist-friend once told me that summarizing the book: "People are really afraid of accepting goodness when the packaging is something not familiar. Rather then wait a moment the internal fears that drives those shifts into overdrive and in essence we kill the messenger”.

Can we count the times when we in essence try to kill the goodness? Or allow external things giving people, time or things carte blanche permission to hijack our ability to have health,wellness, peace, bliss, joy or goodness. I do not mean an absence of pain or suffering, I mean health, the just plain ole feeling oh so good that we cannot stand ourselves to know immeasureable joy that comes from being of good service, to have a mission accomplished or being a decent person. To think or be just giddy delirious with bliss. And if we dare just for a few minutes even, someone will reminf us of others' suffering of people that are starving on the earth, or murdered, harmed, diseased, gobal warming, etc.
However the dire examples are usually from these deflectors, stem not from a genuine concern for the very real, very palpable sufferings in the world, but more from telling you Shame, shame Shame! Who told you you can feel good? And yet, I believe you can still have joy which often time will give you the impetus to come to the aid of others' sufferings, because you know what suffering isn't good.
Then there are those of us who in a moment of accepting goodness may look around passing the time looking for the shoe to drop. There has always been this underlying, punitive “there is no pleasure in the world without suffering every minute, you are so wrong for feeling too good today” mindset, so we drop the shoe, feeling guilty because others are suffering.

And oh yes there are people who keep that subculture going because it is profitable for them. Our culture has downgraded seemingly in taking more pleasure in people’s perceived downfall rather then all they have and can accomplish. In essence, we want to kill the Buddha instead of accepting the good.

The next time someone wants to give you the “Who do you think you are doing or being________________(you fill in the blanks) tell them, if you are so inclined, with your shoulders thrown back and your head erect, “Let me show you who I am”! Better yet, smile and wish them on their way. There cannot be a reaction without action.

Reaction is without thinking and is a regressive not a progressive way of seeing yourself & it is almost dishonorable that we deprive ourselves and by association others to be purposeful, happy & of service. And it is hard to be those things if your body, heart and mind is hurting. So when deflectors come (and they will), are troubled or nervous because you have stepped out, be mindful that it is their script & while they are attempting to put you in the starring role, you did not audition, nor do you have to accept the part.

Accepting the goodness in feeling proud as you walk, meditate, job dance your way to wellness is an inalienable right, not a privilege.

Now how cool is that?

All rights reserved©08 JHM-IIAmMoon of She Roks! Studio & receptive to the good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

If Jazz was a Color exhibtion 2005-06

This is from the opening reception of The Kemper Gallery at Kansas State University On Pillar is "Da Face" In rear "Sounds of the Men"

Banjo Lady, Lady Blue

This quilt was created for Blu Barker , sassy blues singer of New Orleans and wife of jazz giant Danny Barker. Exhibited at the Amewrican Jazz Museum 2007-08

Sometimes it Hurts Too Much-Earth07

Second in the Hurt Too much Trilogy-Katrina
This poem was written 4 days after Katrina struck when the media misrepresented suffering people. I simply wanted people to know the New Orleans I knew.
A Song for N’Awlins Moon©05
I want to sing a song for New Orleans…Of the neutral zones of Treme’ and Gert Town…
Sing a song for Rampart Street and Congo Square where everyday is a history lesson.
Sing a song for my ancestors Alexander, Sarah, Ellis Hughes.I wished I had told her that she was the only one…That filled my heart with its lassiere faire and living in extremes …That sometimes is too hard to bear, the in your face, with so much life and verve and noise.
And the music, the music, that bubbled up in the cracks of the promenade
Where the cadence in bottle caps on sneakers of younuns crying“Throw me a coin, mister”And the “Don’t worry bebe”And having champagne and grits at midnight.
Sing a song for Dunbar’s and Dooky Chase, Hubig pies and Blue Bonnet ice Cream…On those hot humid days that make you scream… Me scream...We all scream for ice cream.
“Where love is like a card game, you only have to deal it once”
There were no refugees here, only hardworking, tax paying citizens who held up a redolent city sometimes with sheer grit and determination.
Sing a song also for St Bernard and Jefferson Parish in water flowing deep.. In the eyes of a man who could only weep at the death of a motherwho waited for her son to come and get her?
Give a field holler for Port Gibson, Biloxi, Gulfport, Oxford, Jackson
And the Mississippi Delta for the blues that came up out of the fields .For all the ones that say…“Where yer at? And " for true?”
Shout out for the Panorama Jazz Band and Hector…For Mrs. Baptist and Mrs. Sanders spending a quiet afternoon catching up on the latest local yoreAnd Tony’s to die for barbecue and his “Fosho! Greeting you.
And my dear hearts Ed and Tony who hearts and soul s are incomparable who was there always there.And Snug Harbor (one and two).And C. Ray Nagin and all the rest you are the best.
Sing a song for the ones who were treated like gum stuck on the bottom of a dog’s paw …When the chips were down...For people who wanted to know who your mama was rather then asked you how much you made.Sing a song for Roysalis, Sammy Lee, Aunty Ruth and Donovan, Chief Tootie, CAC and NOCCA.
And all the “Yeah you right” that have not yet been declared.The White Linen Nights…The zydeco…Second Lines not yet boogie woogie to.For boudin …And poboysAnd poor people who could not afford anything elseAnd could not flee because they had no place to go.
Tell the story of Novelle d’Orleans where for an evening it was a place where care forgot…
And for Xavier, Suno, Dillard and the Amistad
For praline pies and real crab cakes, crawfish …And African people who knew the difference between Creole and Cajun…
And whose souls intertwined in the soils…The Ashanti, the Gambian, the Senegalese and the Wolof who knew dafuskie
For the 1.5 million who are standing on the shores…(Even here in Greensboro) Watching their homes and their lives…And their history swallowed up by the lies of thugs…Rampant shootings…And “lawless New Orleans”
Sing the songs of Jelly Roll, Louis Armstrong, Gate Mouth, the Nevelle Brothers, Buddy Bolden, Wynton Marsalis, Harold Baptist, Marva Wright, Danny Barker, Kid Creole, Mardi Gras Indians Andrew Young, and Marc Morial …And Fats Domino who found his thrill in New Orleans
Where jazz is the democracy wrapped up in music.
Sing a song for New Orleans making her dramatic exit as we once knew her…Stage left embraced for a moment in the watery arms of the mighty, mighty Mississippi.
As the Ponchatrain claims its own
.A second line for the beignets, pralines…3rd Ward, 13th Ward, 7th Ward and the Lower Nines.
For the ones who were reunited today and the ones till missing.Herald a joyful noise full with beignets, café au lait,
Jazzfest and Bayou Classic
And Essence Music Festival
Les Bon Temps Rouler!(Let the good times roll)

All rights reservedJHM9-6-05©

Sometimes it Hurts Too Much-Fire-closeup

Part of a Trilogy.

Changed Waters Katrina series2006-07

These are a few of my "itty bitties" from the Katrina series exhibited in the Textile Monument in 2007. L. to r. "Blowing in the Wind","Be seeching", Elders Keep Telling the Story". "The Last Red Cross", "Sometimes it Hurts Too Much-Fire". There has been numerous quilts created since Katrina landed on August 28th, 2005

What Color will it Be? 2006

This quilt is from the If Jazz was a Color series, shown here Strecker- Nelson Gallery. It is in the collection of Neil Belensky, president of NC United Way

It'll Fire up Red Hot! 2006

This installation is a line from the poem "If Jazz was a C o l o r"?

St Kitts/Nevis Islands

Starry,Starry Night

Office of Tourism

I wrote the following poem in St Kitts. The nights there are gorgeous!

Starry, starry nights underneath moon dusted skies.
I was being charmed by clouds drifting toward distant canopies far off & a long way.
Just a’glowing melodic declarations of itself on turquoise quiet seas…
To my eyes an orchestrated a sumptuous, visual feast.
While dusky eyes alight upon your heart as I gazed at you afar.

Oh the starry, starry night underneath moonlit heavens.
A rapture of husky night sounds murmuring sounds of future promised times.
And the tiptoed, pensive thoughts rotating, gyrating…
Not daring yet wanting to come next to me.

What was brought about, be the cause of what finally into the light?
Ah, the starry, starry nights underneath moon rhythms.
Yearning to be brought to fruition the sounds of ripening sweet mangoes tasted dreams.

Cremaos en los suenos ("We believe in dreams)…

Of shared fingers, uncommon thoughts weightless promises of times not caught sight of.
Dreamy eyes off in the distant light seeing & knowing in a for a moment place
That was there for the minute underneath starry, starry nights layered under a Kittian sky.
My heart knew then that it shall be grand & at peace.
All rights reserved 02©JHM

Flamboyant flower-Not the firecracker flower

St Kitts

Entrance of Rainforest

Office of Tourism

I Got all My Sisters with Me… Fit Matters newsletter

Rainforest in St Kitts/Nevis Islands

Several years ago I was in St Kitts/Nevis Island in the West Indies on a women's retreat. One of the things we had scheduled was a hike in a rain forest. Yup. Starry, starry nights… This was in May 2001. I decided I wasn’t going to attempt the hike because I didn’t think my knees could make it. My plan was to sit on the edge of the rainforest, enjoy the beautiful skies, the birds and whatever else I could see while waiting for the group to return.

There were guides that were to take us through. There were also three other women with knee, hip or back issues that decided to hold back; who were truly disappointed and didn’t want to miss out on the experience. On an impulse I said “Let’s go, we’ll simply be the caboose and bring up the rear”.

What an experience! The visual feast of birds, foliage, gorgeous trees, and seeing things we buy in the nursery in its natural habitat in sizes never seen before was jaw dropping. Not to mention the peace, and clean fragrant air. And a flower called firecracker (and that is exactly what it looked like) that is still breathtaking when I look at the pictures today. I have a picture of me standing in the folds of the roots of a tree that was at least 2 stories high (I kid you not). Due to legal restrictions, we couldn’t, remove anything from the rain forest if it was not already open like a pod shell. I still have a collection of some I’ve made into earrings.

Our “git along” team simply walked moderately and at some point lost the other group but the guide was still with us. We helped each other through places we had to climb or step over or go down slowly. By the time we got to the end, the biggest and most tender surprise awaited us. There in the clearing was the rest of the group, waiting patiently for us. They burst into cheers, stomping and whistling as our group strutted and pranced down the last few feet. It was so touching not only seeing that level of sisterhood, but the fact that we chose to have a chapter added to a well lived life. Storing another experience that if we had let fear and worry restrict us, we would have lost an opportunity to walk through a rain forest. But more importantly, wouldn’t have allowed our sisters to support us in the effort. If we look around our cheering section may be right under our noses. We tend to amplify negativity and lack of support, disregarding the people who are there for us. Just last night a close friend of mine who has always patiently waited and listened to my rantings told me how much I amaze her! That took me back a moment. We’ve known each other for 33 years. But just that one quiet comment put things back in perspective.

Allow your sisters to cheer you on. Cheer your sisters on, even the ones you’ve yet to meet. Tell her she is wonderfully made, that she is beautiful, and mean it. Perhaps the day will come when you get to strut out of a rainforest to cheering, stomping, celebratory sisters who true indeed have your back.

Now how cool is that?
All rights reservedJHM©08

Essay ran 5-22-08 in Fit Matters newsletter at

I Hear a Symphony 4-17-08 Fit Matters

“The woman who wants to lead the orchestra must turn her back on the crowd”.James Crook

Everyone wants praise and attention for a job well done; receiving recognition is euphoria and plain old feels good. But it is not with a lot of hard work. When we hear of people who are an “overnight” success we sing their praises. Then wonder how or why I can’t do the same. We don’t realize that what seems overnight, really was years of hard work, sacrifice and determination.

But to do those things one also needs to have vision and clarity to see the realization that vision means lots of work. You have to believe even when you think about not believing. It helps to have a sense of humor, not sweat the small stuff and pay attention to your language how you speak of yourself, to yourself and to others even in humor which oftentimes is masking hurtful things with a little sweetness. In a wellness journey, so much attention is given toward what we are not doing right rather then what we are. Be still and listen to the things we berate ourselves with when we have an “oopsy”. So you went over your caloric intake by 250 calories. Ok…But does the “punishment” need to fit the “crime”? Is it necessary to even punish yourself? When did having a donut become a crime?

Why do you need someone to kick your hiney or beat up on you so you can be impelled to do something about your weight? First of all kicking your own derriere’ hurts (if it was anatomically possible) and someone else beating up on you is an assault! Shame or blame will not bring change!

If it was successful we would not have a near pandemic explosion of obesity to begin with. So why not be your own leader, remembering that you are the one conducting this orchestra and to do so means you just may have to turn your back on the crowd. The crowd being the one telling you what you cannot do rather then cheering you for what you can. Of telling you that wellness is a size 00 & until you look like a poster child for famine relief you are not an acceptable human being. Let your body aid you in what fits well. You take the lead and are in charge of this extraordinary reinvention of your life. See what it is that you want that’s in front, not what wasn’t that’s behind (you).

I read recently this here on : “Recognition is good, but you lead…pay attention to the group in front of you, not the ones watching behind you. Spectators will soon forget about you, but those you led will remember” It may not be easy, but it can be done and will be because it is you who will orchestrate this time.

You are the one conducting this symphony.

How cool is that!

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All rights servedJHM©08

Monday, May 19, 2008

Moonwalking 2000

Moonwalking was a piece I thought as I can do a lot of reflection, introspective work. The poem was a bit tongue in cheek about when things go wrong... they just do.
It comes and it goes…(That’s’ Life) © 06

It comes…
And it goes.
So I’ve be told…
That life can stink at times…
And when it ain’t…Well maybe it should?

I will forage for something,anything so it to be it right.
G’wan… Be bold! Do what you are told.
People will come …
And people will go... Trying to nick at the secret station....
Or swallowing the hold.
(So I've been told).

Watch the ancient crones…
As she drones, her insights, while in the zone. As she be’moans….
What could have been loaned,to her?
Life! To foil the groan-ing?

Life is a maze of counterpoints…
Dancing in the do-si-do, like a Southern belle’s palpitation swoon.
In the lazy afternoon’s moon.

Oh,the angst’s edgy thang,showers and rains...
Then gulped by the drain.
And the nighttime fog will log…
The contradictory drama, from sister-girl’s mama that runs pell-mell.

Oh well!

The highs and the lows swimming to and fro…
Scampers with might!(That's alright)!
The merry-go-round with the twinkling sounds…

And snippets of light.
Looking to discover and recover.
What’s been in denial.
Now what’s on trial?

It may be slow…
Or it may be ‘mo…
Then what meets the eye?
So be not surprised.

Don’t sweat it too much.
Just have the right touch.
As it comes and it goes…
Yup,it just comes and goes.
All rights reservedJHM© 06

Love Dem Arts

This was a series commissioned by the Art Council of Greater New Orleans for the 2000 NewOrleans Mayor's Arts Awards. This was one presented to Jazz trumpeter Pete Fountain.

To our knowledge only 2 of the 6 awards survive Katrina in 2005.

I Wanna Send to ya…©02

I wanna send some swing to ya…

My solitude is not a millstone imbibed in a gilded cup behind translucent shades.

Ya see…I’ve been rocked by the wind and warmed by the sun.

Is my green blued? As in a finely tuned riff?

Or did the purple immersed samba graced a sienna sky?

I wanna throw some rhythms to ya…

As you incline on the red leather de-vine…





Sharing the sanctuary with my moments .

That will groove and then settles behind my right shoulder waiting for the muse…

To begins.

I wanna hold the be-bop for ya…

Straight ahead to the road…

Where purple moons will come

And purpler heavens to meet ya.Incline your ear toward majestic sharps…

That grabs and pull ya!

Grace the tunes…

Is my green blue?

Or my round up?

Now swang will ya?

So the funk can get to ya!

I wanna groove the soul to ya…

Suspended, I am.

By the crooning in my heart.

The in-between submerged right behind my left ear where all my hopes and dreams…

Begged to begin.

Love-ness in the yearning-flower, seeking the right words to explain itself.

Showering the scope.

And then…

I wanna exude the blues to ya.

I was born by the rivers and the whistle-walks.

Where the wind ran at liberty and there were no enclosures…

For the spot between my eyes where all that I will be…


l.And the blues continues.

I wanna flow the jazz to ya…

With silvered sculptured treble clefs

Washing over curried brick clay.

Enchanted with…

Yeah it was…

Mellowed afternoon sun showering over a red leather de-vine.

Toward mellowed days and mellower nights

.And that is what I want to send to ya.

All rights reserved © 3-7-02 JHM

Da Roots of Dey Learnin' Tree closeup

This quilt was commissioned by Bennett College for Women and presented to Ms. Oprah Winfrey in the fall of 2006.
"Da Roots" are signatures of professors and alumni as well as students signifying the importance of having a solid foundation or roots in education. Since it is common knowledge how much Ms. Winfrey values education I felt this would be the catalyst for the art.
On the right side you will see Ms. Winfrey & Mr. Stedman Graham on the park bench with Ms. Winfrey reading The Color Purple, one of my all time favorite books & movie.
To the left you will see the young women of Bennett, the Bennett Belles in the school color approaching the elders, the griots/storytellers That will impart knowledge & wisdom to them with dewdrops of wisdom sparking in the leaves of the Learnin'Tree.

Da Roots of Dey Learnin' Tree-art 2006

The Right Now ©07

For the ones who did not know the beginning and the ones who could not see the end.
This suite is for you.

The sheroes and the heroes whose lives kept on living in a world not of their design
But uncovered a way, someway to march the miles & miles and miles that it took
To run off from what they were told did not belong to you,…

And yes.
Be worthy of the right to put away the unearned spoils of abduction…
The can’t see to can’t see, until you can see again

In those times when it seems impossible to move away from yet another weight
From the lost souls whose words that desires assail my ears
A momentum that can move faster…
Fly higher…
Then Oprah, Obama, Tiger or the eagle in the sky, racing over one mile…
And miles and miles and miles and miles.

I have to think of your lives mislaid & your dreams nowhere to be found, we thought.
(And oh oh my)…
I have to get up, as there are no alternative but to do what is essential to do
Yes it can be hard, so terribly hard…
But vital to do …
The right now…
The right now…
The right now is a gift for you.

All rights reservedJHM2-20-07©

Created for Oprah Winfrey 2006

Sounds of the Men art 2000

I f jazz was a color, what color would it be?

Blue as in 'mo better?
Cobalt, azure, teal,
Sapphired, indigoed midnight sky?

If jazz was a'll fire up red hot!
Cinnamon salsa, mustard tinged lavender lace.
Improvising multiple patterned hues & blues..


Effortless blacks & whites!
Shading elegant brocades in smoky velvet

Billie, Sarah, Duke.
Fly a way Bird!
Groove on Wash- ing- ton!
(No Kenny G here)!

Miles awake,
Miles high!
Miles wide

Colors erupting like a Cannonball!
If jazz was a color, the color would be what the eyes see...
Blue! As in mo betta…
All rights reserved ©97JHM

Featured at the American Jazz Museum exhibition "If Jazz was a Color"? 2006-07

Invent what you can Imagine

This is a piece I created for Bill Gates,Sr 2006

I am Moon Image from Emerge magazine 2000


The woman who wants to lead the orchestra must turn her back on the crowd

All I could say is Wow! A catalyst for change?

I am sure we all have had something that comes along that seems to impel us forward to do something. A few months ago a sister-friend and I were having a conversation about my art and the gift I seem to have to go on and on with stories and how could that be used as a catalyst for change.

Far too many times I got started to write and then something would rear its ugly head and I would get distracted with stuff, you know it, things & life. So the writing was always in fits 'n starts with this going on for years. If I had a dollar bill for every time someone would say to me you should do something with this, except I could not tell you want the "this was", I continue to allow things & life to get in the way...

One of her comments my colleague made was in reference to a friend of hers commenting how that 07 represented a stage of completion & 08 new beginnings. I had told her of having the same repetitive dream over the last years and a sense of not being satisfied with the status quo that I was itchy to do something differently. That the things that had brought me so much joy over the years had become a chore, a drudge and I was angry with having to be put I felt on a assembly line and that is not how I wanted my life to be, stifled.

Was I at a new beginning? A new curve? Perhaps but the events of the last several days of so many people being killed, maimed & traumatized throughout the world as well as the U.S from the recent tornadoes, floods, mankind's ineptness as well as the ongoing continuing distress from Hurricanes Katrina & Rita really if it couldn't do it before, can do it now.

I do know that my perspective has been irrevocable altered. A shift that occurred that I had not know when or why and does it matter , but it happened. Things that I cared far too much for now seem far more irrelevant to me. I am feeling a different type of responsibility to do & to be the best kind of human being. To use what gifts I have and do them so awesomely well that as Dr. Maya Angelou says "that the world cannot take their eyes off of you". And then also to use that for a larger good.

The reoccurring dream, as I recalled, was this:

For whatever reason my daughter and I and two former friends of mine (who I have not seen in years) were here and we decided to drive to Mexico one morning. And I was driving in a straight line to get there. (Understand in a straight line would have put me perhaps in Cuba, Haiti or Puerto Rico, not Mexico from where I live). Anyway, stuff kept on happening to prevent us from getting on the road. Most of it had to do with my former job, I kept on ending up back on the campus with still yet another delay. At some point the other two friends got on the road in the other car, but my daughter & I kept on getting stopped and delayed. Around 3 PM that afternoon (I don't know why I knew it was 3pm I just knew) here comes another delay, but I was bound and determine I was getting out before dark to go to Mexico! ( I don't know why I was going to Mexico, but I was going!) Anyway I just woke up out of a dead sleep and the first thing I thought that was a silly dream, but it wasn't silly...

The obvious is that stuff keeps getting in the way and (I allowed it) to block me from getting on a new journey. I believe that Mexico represented perhaps something far away from what I am doing+something foreign to me, so perhaps I am looking to do things differently. The fact that my daughter was with me could be simply that she is by far more passive and quieter and shyer then I am, but once upon a time I was just like that!

I relayed this dream to a friend of mine who is a counselor/artist and the first thing she said to me was “You know everyone in the dream is you, right? What do you see happening in this dream that you are trying to tell your conscious mind?” Without a hesitation I said “That I need to get out of the way of myself. That I had been sabotaging, misdirecting my goodness with distractions to avoid what I know I needed to do. That I have mistrusted myself and my ability to truly have my life so grand.

I had grown comfortable, it was conscious or willful, that despite the fact of all I have accomplished in really believing a lot of nay-sayers who we all are quite familiar with or have had a relationship with at one time or another, being unabashedly loud, voluminous like crashing cymbals reminding me of what I call the "Who do you think you are? You should be small, how dare you"?

How dare I indeed!

So instead of dashing this recording CD into a gadzillion pieces, I let it play on.

But I was reminded by a sister-friends says I "have more chutzpah ( nerve) then anyone she has ever met" and that was one of the things she admired about me. So my determination was winning out despite the fact that what I used to be coupled with all the stalling tactics was blocking me from really fulfilling my purpose. And all I had to do was put my back to the crowd and lead the orchestra

And all I could say is WOW!

Since I had that reflection, I have had this continuing good feeling that I have tried to name then I stopped bothering & I am grinning on the inside down in my bones. My challenges have not abated, but I am feeling very good. Do I want to lead & am I doing it for the right reasons? Well I hope so & do I have the nerve to pursue?

Well I believe so as this blog has begun...

I am no different as I get discourage and want to pick up my marbles and go home. But I haven't & I won't.

And to that again I can only say Wow!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

She Rocked

By Moon ©08

She’s rocked from the day she was born,
Even though she’s been scorned
By those who borne untruths designed to scar and deform.

She’s rocked from the day she was born,
Even when she had to mourn
For the unseen things she had no control on…

She’s rocked from the day she was born…
Knowing full well that she was not of the norm
This dame set about to get going, a fais do do all of her own.

She’s rocked from the day she was born,
Though at times jaded & worn
Staging a production for the world through divergent eyes…

She’s rocked from the day she was born,
Indeed the sunrise to the sunset came where she shorn
All the things she released that worked feverishly to restrain her.

She’s rocked from the day she was born
And then in a sweet overflowing morn…
Sister-girl abundantly, fully, engagingly, came to be…
All rights reservedJHM3-23-08©

Friday, May 16, 2008

Seeing the Wonder in Wonderland

Biemvenue! This is my first ever blog and my very first posting. After getting numerous comments from people as to why I have not done it before on impulse this evenig I decided why not? If I continue to put off doing this as I have put off other things before I may never get a chance to see the wonder in wonderland.

These essays came about from another discussion group and after getting almost 20,000 hits I deicded well maybe they are right, maybe there will be someone who would be interested in my moonlight ramblings.

Bear with me as I figure things out as I am not of the generation that grew up with Ipods,blogs,texting and a host of other things.

I do hope you enjoy this process for me & if you don't at least be gentle...

So ok... Here we go.

Reading someone comments about being discouraged because they tried something and swore they never would do it again made me think of a experience I had several years ago when I was in St Kitts/Nevis Island in the West Indies on a women's retreat. One of the things we had schedule was a hike in a rain forest.


Starry, starry nights…

So there I was in May 2001 & I was not going to go because I did not think my knees (which were in better shape then & I was 50 pounds lighter) could make the hike I was going to sit on the edge of the rainforest and wait until people return and enjoy the beautiful skies and the birds and what I could see.

We had hiking guides that took us through. There were three other women who had knee, hip or back issues like I who were reluctant, but truly did not want to miss out on the experience. So impulsively I said lets go and we will simply be the caboose and brig up the rear.

What a experience we had seeing birds, foliage trees that were jaw dropping gorgeous. Seeing things that we buy in the nursery in its natural habitat in sizes we had never see before. And flower called firecracker (and that is exactly what it looked like) I have a picture of me standing in the folds of the roots of a tree that was at least 2 stories high(I kid you not). We were because of the laws could not remove anything from the rain forest if it was not already open like a pod shell. I still have a collection of them some I have made into earrings. We simply walked moderately and at some point lost the other group but the guide was still with us. And we helped each other when there were places we had to climb over step over or go down slowly.

By the time we got to the end the biggest and most tender surprise awaited us. There off in the clearing was the rest of the group that patiently waited for us and they burst into cheering, stomping and whistling and our group just strutted and pranced down that last few feet. It was so touching not only seeing that level of sisterhood, but the fact that we chose to have a well lived life, storing up another experience that if we had let fear and worry restrict us, we would have lost out on a opportunity to walk through a rain forest.

Starry, starry nights…

I mean how many people get to do that? And we all many parts damaged but we did it. And to this day I still grin when I think of that experience and others that came while on those islands. I who do not care for large bodies of water actually boarded a ferry in the Caribbean Sea so we could cross from St. Kitts to Nevis and while for the first few minutes would not let go of the interior pole in this 20 min trip, actually let the pole go and went to the side to take pictures! And I would have missed out on a gorgeous plantation and the to die for food and sat on the veranda and wrote a wonderful poem about the extraordinary woman who organized this whole event as I saw her rushing across the lawn to tend to yet another detail to make this experience truly wonderful for all of us.

"Wind Runner shifting in the breeze...Tendrils flowing between the leaves.Coming from somewhere, returning to a bared truthsThat bears to share, to declare!The unseen scene.Wind Runner...Can you dig on massive, circling waves.Of fragrant rose-mangoed, salty sea breezes?Rolling through the veranda on a mission?Wind runner shifting in the breeze...Tendrils flowing between the leaves.Lifting you.Up & up & up! Gliding on the wings of the unseen scene...And I've shared an exquisite, captivating sigh with you...Lavender 'n grapefruit airborne morning gloried sunset skies.Swirling through the Wind Runner slippered feet.As you flow through the unseen scene, we'll be with youKeeping pace.Wind Runner shifting in the breeze...Tendrils flowing in the leaves.Coming from somewhere.Returning to bared truths.That bears you onto the unseen scene".

How little I was to know in this experience that less then 5 months later Sept other was going to hit? But that week from start to finish was an experience that was going to stay with me forever.
And what if I had vetoed going. I mean after all I was going to have to fly over a ocean and a sea, but if I hadn't I would not have seen the beauty of Kuba, Puerto Rico, Granada and a host of other tiny jewels from the sky. Or feel the trade winds or see the night sky so lit up and take your breath away. Or the crab that decided to pose for a picture or wind the dance contest and brought back the biggest bottle of rum (and I don't drink) or a host of amazing experiences.

So I ask,what holds you back? When did we stop trying new things? Can we say we hold ourselves back because a unwarranted fear? Can you take a risk? Sometimes we don't take a chance because we are afraid of that we will look foolish or we will mess things up.

And I say , so what?

Sometimes we get so settled because someone else us we're too old or too young, too fat, to broke. But you know what? We can be too-too...

And in time it just becomes to easy to live out loud. I plead guilty of that at times which is another reason why I am making the leap of this move going into the unseen scene. And trust me though few would say it to my face, even among some of my friends they would quietly roll their eyes and say "That's Moon. No wonder she ______________(you fill in the blanks)" But secretly some of them could come to me and say how much they admire my chutzpah. And you know I know that sometimes they are secretly envious because I do do some of the things they fantasize about but won't.

Starry, starry nights…

And it doesn't mean sometimes I fall flat on my face, cause I have and sometimes with a loud resounding thunk! And sometimes several thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk! But if we look at how children used to be and still to some degree know that there are times when you just have to jump in feet first to have fun or to dare to do the do. How many of us who are old enough to remember put the towel on our neck and pretended to be Superman, Batman or for those who wanted, Wonder Woman? Of course we knew even in our childish fantasies we couldn't really fly, but that didn't stop us from trying!

At what price we do we stop paying our dues to sustain a well live life? I don't mean for some people they do not have to go off to a hike in a rainforest or run up and down the West Coast with very little money and no job but what price do we pay for no growth, no sense of discovery, few real experiences? For some it will be buying their first home or changing a job different from their degree or going back to college at age 70 or knowing when to stay put.

Or like me taking this time to write a book and seriously pursue getting it published or setting up a blog not knowing if any would read or care much about my words...

For me the sacrifice isn't worth it, not doing it & the dash between my beginnings and my end will be quite long...

Starry, starry nights

And I'll have lots of experiences to tell the younger grandchildren and hopefully great grands who think their Grammy is pretty cool.

Starry, starry nights underneath moon dusted skies.
I was being charmed by clouds drifting toward distant canopies far off & a long way.
Just a’glowing melodic declarations of itself on turquoise quiet seas…
To my eyes an orchestrated a sumptuous, visual feast.
While dusky eyes alight upon your heart as I gazed at you afar.
Oh the starry, starry night underneath moonlit heavens.
A rapture of husky night sounds murmuring sounds of future promised times.
And the tiptoed, pensive thoughts rotating, gyrating…
Not daring yet wanting to come next to me.
What was brought about, be the cause of what finally into the light?
Ah, the starry, starry nights underneath moon rhythms.
Yearning to be brought to fruition the sounds of ripening sweet mangoes tasted dreams.
Cremaos en los suenos ("We believe in dreams)…
Of shared fingers, uncommon thoughts weightless promises of times not caught sight of.
Dreamy eyes off in the distant light seeing & knowing in a for a moment place
That was there for the minute underneath starry, starry nights layered under a Kittian sky.
My heart knew then that it shall be grand & at peace

Life is full of adventures and some of them are right underneath you nose, but if you are a gotta, gotta, gotta person sort of like the schizophrenic rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, never slowing down for a moment to look around & explore savor and then do it ,you may never get to see the wonder in the land.