Author Archives: Jessan Dunn Otis

About Jessan Dunn Otis

Founder|Owner|Strategic Writer|Published Poet|Entrepreneur|Collaborator|Communicator|Creator|Motivator|Advocate|Mentor|Realistic Optimist ; and, a tad more mischief. Based in Rhode Island (USA) since May, 1996.

Fear and hope in the time of a global pandemic

In these times of profound uncertainty, there’s an undercurrent of two parallel emotions.

The first emotion is fear: fear of catching and dying from COVID19; fear of not working; fear of homeschooling your children; fear of increased domestic violence; fear of sliding into suicide; and more.

The second emotion is hope: hope that you’re doing all you need to do not to succumb to the coronavirus; hope that your spouse, relative, friend, or acquaintance will survive this virus; hope that, when a vaccine is found, you’ll still have a job to go back to; hope that this tragic, global pandemic nightmare will end sooner rather than later.

Fears are stories we tell ourselves. Hope lives in the heart. Which one do you nurture?

Please, stay safe. Carry on.

~ Jessan

Open Letter/4/

Preamble to The Constitution for the United States of America

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Dear Reader,

Prior to the last election, I was appalled and dumbfounded by the individual who rose up and, eventually, became the candidate. Subsequently, this individual assumed the role of the 45th President of the United States.

I was (and continue to be) appalled and dumbfounded because he appealed to the basest of human emotions – fear, greed, prejudice, hate, bullying, and immoral economics.

He juiced his base over and over again with these tactics. He still does.

He threw out red herrings to distract and detract. He still does. It works.

He continues to take no responsibility for what his words and policies provoke. He’s opened Pandora’s Box of biliousness, throwing our country into a time of toxic leadership, that permeates each crack and crevice of living. It’s as if the blindness of party loyalty and party line continues to support the putrid stench his administration has released.

Is this our “perfect Union”? There is very little, if any, “domestic Tranquility” these days; and, it’s becoming less so as I write.

The “Blessings of Liberty” are for all the people, not a few. “We the People…” means everyone – regardless of party, religion, color, sex and/or sexual orientation, national origin, and/or race.

This is my last “Open Letter” regarding this administration. I thought “Open Letter /3/” was it. However, the abominations have become so atrocious and heinous that I’m compelled to write one last time. I do not condone, nor can I sit silent and allow this administration’s activities to continue without speaking up again.

I have one request, Dear Reader, and that is that before you cast your ballot in 2020, you step away from all the noise, find a quiet place and go deep into your conscience. No matter what side you’re on, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you deeply, honestly and truly believe that the current administration has earned another four (4) years in office?
  • Are their values your values?
  • Is this an administration that holds true to the spirit of
    the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America?
  • Imagine what America could be with another four (4) years under this administration?

As you think about these questions, consider whether your responses are rooted in morality or economics.

Sincerely,

Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer
Labor Day, 2019

“I stand alone.” ~ Jessan Dunn Otis ~ #poem

I stand alone.

 

I stand alone.

Splattered by a bolt of sun.

It’s morning.

  (c) 9.7.18

Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

       

Sun's rise / September, 2018 / photo credit: Jessan Dunn Otis, Writer (c)
photo credit: Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer / September, 2018 / Rhode Island (c)

Open Letter /3/

“Open Letter /3/” by Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you’re a leader.” John Quincy Adams

Dear Reader,

My tolerance for the present administration in Washington, D.C., has come to an end.

The major players in this administration, after more than enough time in office, have shown themselves to be two-faced, triple-talking, bigoted, smear-happy, opportunistic, money-grubbing, throwers of red herrings; and, masters and mistresses of chaos and confusion.

Enough.

Stop.

It continues, ad naseum.  Day after day. Week after week.  Tweet after Tweet. (Using the Twitter account of a former private citizen, who is no longer a private citizen since swearing in day January, 2016.)

Enough.

Stop.

Words matter.  Actions matter.  Words and actions reflect the character of a person. The words and actions of the major players of this administration become more transparent, self-revealing, disturbing and profoundly embarrassing. Undignified. Rude. Petty.  Insulting international leaders, long-standing allies, while insulting then complimenting and admiring other leaders of less than applaudable character who torture or murder their own citizens and systematically squelch and incarcerate any whisper of dissent against their own government.

This is some kind of surreal madness.  A world turned topsy-turvy. Up is down.  Truth isn’t truth. What was stated one day is mocked and denied the next day.

Does this administration believe that enough folks will forget a couple of years from now and be duped again?  Do the folks who voted this administration into office continue to believe that these elected officials are making decisions based on their best interest or their own?

How long can the duplicitousness of this administration continue?  How many more lies? How many more insults, slurs and misogynistic, racist, bigoted barbs to be shot out and then denied and/or spun away?

Enough.

Stop.

I, for one, have had more than enough.  Have you, dear Reader, had enough of this, too?  If you answered “Yes.”, my next questions to you are: What are you doing today? What are you going to do the next opportunity you have to stand up and speak out for what you believe?

Finally, I have never liked bullies. I am decidedly uncomfortable with inflated, self-centered personalities.  Those three attributes in one person who is the President of the United States is chagrining, disheartening and, ironically, motivating.

It is my goal that Donald J. Trump be a one-term President.

Most Sincerely,

Jessan Dunn Otis

This is the last in a series of three (3) “Open Letters”.

 

Sailing With My Father – #poem

Sailing With My Father 

 

Historically a quiet man with an

extraordinarily dry wit

 

When sailing your quietude

became fierce, sailing on

the edge

 

The hand with a piece of shrapnel

from a war on the tiller, holding

steady

 

Face turned windward, eyes

noting obstacles, checking

cat tail direction

 

The rush of wind caught to

fill the sails

 

We were happy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dedicated, in Love and Memory, to my father, Mahlon Hendrickson Dunn, Jr., 1914-1992 / Until we meet again.

 

© Jessan Dunn Otis, August 6, 2018

Open Letter /2/

Open Letter /2/ 

Dear Reader,

To write that we are living in interesting times is an understatement.  To sit back and witness the proliferation of slurs, insults and innuendos and to say nothing is a relinquishment of one’s essential right as a citizen.

I’ve witnessed many changes in administrations over decades.  I am hard-pressed to recall such venomous, vitriolic and smarmy behavior as I’ve seen throughout the past two + years.  Stooping to the most despicable displays of bullying, consistent strategies of distraction, while slipping in another barb at that one, another demeaning comment about this one.  No side of the aisle is truly exempt in this.

Enough.

Stop.

However, this behavior does not stop.  It rolls across our television screens. Is repeated and reprinted, re-interpreted and propounds itself all over social media – day in, day out.

Enough.

Our democracy is founded on a few, essential principles – one being that all [people] are created equal.  Another principle is that we all have certain, inalienable rights.

Just those two principles are enough to remind me that the founders intended to form a civil society – unlike any other society.

Where did that civility go? How did that lack of civility bring us to this quagmire of dirty, pathetic, embarrassing harangues and hissy fits?  Is this your interpretation of democracy?

Enough.

We, the people, don’t have to agree.  In fact, we can be almost diametrically opposed on one or more issues.  Neverthemore, when we, as a country, cannot accept and agree to simple, civil discourse, we’re all in very deep trouble.  When we, as a people, can only live in the narrow, bigoted, opposition condition of them v. us, you v. me, then I say: “Stop. Enough. Step back. Take a deep breath. Clear your head of distracting noises.  Begin, again.”

When the pendulum swings to its apex, it must, in time, swing the other way.

My concern in all this is, if we don’t re-establish a more civil national conversation, we will continue to run and stumble (not walk) down this path of insults, embarrassment, contention, lies and destructive behavior.

Enough.

Stop.

Is this what we, the people, want?  Is this what you want? Is this your vision of what civil discourse and democracy is?

Sincerely,

~ Jessan

Jessan Dunn Otis | Writer

This is the second in a series of three (3) “Open Letter” posts.

Weeding With My Mother – poem

Weeding With My Mother

 

I learned to weed a garden

    squatting next to my mother

 

Once I began to learn what was wanted

    and what was unwanted

The rest was easy

 

Bend down

 

Get my hands dirty

 

Smell the earth

 

Look carefully

 

Make clean spaces

 

    Talk softly.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Dedicated with Love and Memory to Helen Constance Smith Dunn ~ 1912-1980 / Until we meet again.

 

© Jessan Dunn Otis, June 30, 2018