Category Archives: New

The beauty of this place

The beauty of this place

 

Sweet, salted sea air     Pine and palm     Sugar sand and St. George Island – sand dollar, shark tooth   “TomTom, how you doin’?”  “I’m doin’ alright.”   Tillie Miller Bridge between here and Tiki – Plump, Gulf shrimp and Apalach oysters   Hickory smoked chicken and ribs (no rub) and sunfried jellyfish

 

Seagulls     Sea terns     Great blue herons     Dolphins spyhop and blow every now and then     Distant light on Dog Island in a 2:20 AM blueblacknight

 

Sopchoppy   Eastpoint   Panacea   Alligator Point

 

A few days back Julie and Artie left, again, having returned from leaving once before and we all walked this beach, beyond the pine tree point, further than any of us had gone before – sea-silvered driftwood, beheaded brown pelican in the brambles of sea grass and pine needles     Warming sun     Cool, hard-packed, low tide sugar sand under bare feet   Sassy leaping pine-stained, sepia rivulets

 

The laughing gull has returned each morning, greeting and reclaiming its territory and, more than likely, calling out “Sea urchin!” to the others that, eventually, return — glide, drift, rise and drop, land     Eat, stay — then, again, depart  —  leaving this length of calm, shallow bay to terns, herons and egrets to forage

 

The beauty of this place is as intricately delicate as the silent glideflight of eleven brown pelicans in singular formation, skimming the shallow wave crests – moving from east to west – becoming, eventually, a pulsing line disappearing into the horizon

 

The beauty of this place

 

The red smirch of Crystal hot sauce spilled at the edge of a previous high tide line, scattered with Apalachicola oyster shells from our early evening appetizers, has been consumed by the storm-driven, rough chop of last night’s rain, wind and the approaching full moon     Wind out of the Southeast, breaking diagonal crests of gunmetal gray and the red buoy strains on its chains as the tide shifts and the channel churns

 

There is violence in the beauty of this place, too  –  ships lost, lives swallowed whole, coyotes grab dogs, alligators grab anything

 

Waves meet land and visibly reverberate back into water, again –

making     unmaking     remaking

 

A broken buoy drifts     Freed until it’s caught on low tide sea grass before this tide turns     The sun breaches darkening, layered afternoon storm clouds to the West, while brilliantly illuminating the etched, white sandbar over there

 

Burble of language bounces inside my ear – “Hey! How you doin’?” heard so often it becomes as familiar and unnoticed as the wave and the air and this light

 

The beauty of this place is as much a mystery to me as you

 

Bert and Kathy, Hattie and Zack – come and met and gone     Orange and onion salad, frittatas made and shared   Al and Sandy, Sharon and Larry, Scotty, Doug, Gen and Ted     Sun-warmed, woman laughing with Pat — LaVerne with her easy, flashing Apalach smile     Kim and Tony and oystering all Monday morning across from St. Vincent because the rip was too chopped

 

Three brilliant, crested egrets graze along this shore, dolphins pass and blow and continue on, as heedless of us as the swarm of terns that rise and twist and glide away to feed further down on this storm-tossed, driven gloss

 

WOYS, Oyster Radio, 100.5 FM, plays softly as the shrouded sun journeys further West     The playful pinwheel whirls and chatters, stick jammed between the weathered 1st and 2nd boards of that well-worn picnic table     Just outside this open window, burlap oyster bag flaps

 

Steelwater, forbidding wind along this coast of Carrabelle     Another invisible finger whips this water, etching new (yet ancient) patterns

 

Tide turns, distant sandbar, barrier beach revealed     Unseen fish school as flocks follow and feed, far off

 

Damp, salted air     Thin, singular electric line that leads from shore to dock light               Whisper of wave and wind

 

The beauty of this place

 

No matter where I go nor what I do, the beauty of this place will taste like home as salt is in my tears

 

The apparent void dissolved     The horizon I can never reach will always draw me in, seeming to want to go further than my eye can see, when the greatest daring starts within

 

The beauty of this place…
~ ~ ~

Dedicated to: Suzanne Creamer, Stephine McDowell, Marlene Moore, Jennifer Moro, Albert Otis, Jennifer Pickett, C.J.(Joe)Pouncey, Sassy, Judi Rundel

~ ~ ~

HoHum RV Park/Carrabelle, Florida/January-February, 2004

 

(c)Jessan Dunn Otis / 2004-2017

 

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Open Letter

Open Letter

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

Dear Reader:

I unequivocally stand up and speak out to recent egregious events, actions and words put forth by America’s leaders.   

The United States of America, as an ideal, is greater than all Americans combined.  However, our history is splattered with blood, violence and death.  That history splattered, yet again, on the streets of Charlottesville most recently.  

Throughout our history there have been lies, deceptions, cover-ups, atrocities in the name of “science”, lynchings, and slurs. “The rule of law” has become almost unrecognizable. Rampant, thinly-disguised discrimination from our “discovery”: based on race, sex, color, religion, sexual preference, income, education, place of residence, national origin, occupation, attire, hairstyle, etc., has been/continues to be the norm. The lists go on.

If we continue to make the choice to hate, demean, insult, disrespect and attack each other, at home and abroad, based on whatever characteristics we want to use for our own “agendas”, this is the America we’ll continue to create and this is the America from which others will move away, distrust and attack.  

I’ll have none of it.

This is not my America.  Hate is not my choice.  The values of the present administration and other leaders are not my values.

Each morning I wake up grateful for another day.  Nevertheless, when I look in the mirror of the America that’s been created today, much of what I see is self-serving hubris, pandering, hissy fits, policies inarticulately blurted out in 140 characters from a bogus Twitter account, some of the worst “positioning” to sustain and accrue more apparent and presumed “power”(while not “offending” too many people); and, making absolutely certain that “the base” is kept re-invigorated and juiced up with rallying cries of political promises that cannot be kept. Neither predominant political party is exempt.

This is not my America.

We can agree to disagree on many points, with respect. But, when our “leaders” persist in appealing to the basest human emotions of fear and hate, bullying anyone and everyone who disagrees or gets in their way, our American mirror must reflect what’s there, be seen clearly, no flinching and called out.

For my part, I re-affirm to treat others as I wish to be treated.  I resolve to listen and respond with respect, even if we passionately disagree.  I stand firm on the side of tolerance, understanding, empathy, compassion, social justice, non-violence, equality, ethical and individual responsibility, respecting our Constitution; and, my right to question authority.

Is this what we, the people, accept?

Most sincerely,

~ Jessan

Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

 

“Dirty Money”

“Dirty Money” 

Think of all the things you’ve done to “make money”.  That, in itself, is a ridiculous concept.  We don’t “make money”, the government does.  We, you and I, earn money.

I started earning money as a girl – granted an allowance for accomplishing certain chores.  Chores done, allowance paid.  No chores done, no allowance.  Some chores completed, partial payment.

Simple.

Time passed.

At 19 I landed my first “adult” job as a clerk-typist at a social service in Providence, Rhode Island.  Paid weekly.  Still living at home with my parents in Warwick, RI.  Within a few months I fledged myself.  Time to go out on my own.  One room apartment on the East Side, shared bath, no parking.  Independent. Earning money. Paying my own bills.

Time passed.

Many changes.

Some time later I began to see and understand better about what money, as a thing, did to folks.  The earning of it, who had more of it, who had less of it and how those two conditions stratified and segregated people from and against each other.  Judgements.  “Better than” because one had more money.  “Less than” because of having not so much money.

This is nothing to say about how the getting of that money perverted folks – what one did to get more, as if the flash and bling and apparent “power” that all that money was had made a person, somehow, superior or more influential, ultimately.

I still earn money and appreciate what it allows me to do – support a household, buy food, purchase something beautiful, share it to support a charitable cause or new initiative.  There are times, however, when I think about the earlier tradition of barter – I have something you want, you have something I want, we determine a fair value, make the deal and each of us walks away satisfied and happy.  Simple.  Neverthemore, in most Westernized societies, barter has faded and it’s the dollar that rules.

Next time you think about money, think about what it really is – a coin or a decorated piece of paper – and, what it takes to earn it, how the having or not having it creates false and devastating divisions between us (as people and as nations); and, what’s the true value and human cost of “earning money”.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(c) 6/8/ 2017

written by:  Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

Happy Birthday ~ poem

Happy Birthday

Can you remember;

or, is it only a story

told and told until it becomes

what you believe is your reality

 

That day you mysteriously passed

from one realm into the next,

having floated in that seawomb

of oblivion

 

Yelping, speechless, totally dependent –

one year later a celebration of one year

passed; and, on and on until there are

no more

 

Some I’ve known have come and gone so fast

it took my breath away and, to this day,

their sudden loss is felt

 

Others stayed for many years, celebration

after celebration until, finally, all the

vital parts slowed down, faded, failing, slipping

into Rest

 

Loved short or long (some unknown, but

told of or heard on the evening news)     It is

the way we all must go — from flesh to flesh

and dust to dust, we do not know the number

of our days

 

(In this dark, still night I think about these things)

 

The coming in

The going out

 

It is the Spirit that survives, lives on

 

Only for a moment or two (however short

or long that is) does Spirit take body and is

named

 

Happy Birthday

Birth Day

Birth

Day.

 

 

 

 

A new spin on K.I.S.S. ~ essay

A new spin on K.I.S.S. ~ essay

Sitting in my science class in junior high school, my desk was at the back of the room, situated to look down one of those long hall ways.

Someone was out of class and shouted out, “You’re stupid!” to someone I couldn’t see. That echoed ’round that long, empty hallway and smacked me right in my gut.  What an ugly word to shout at someone.

Years later someone shared K.I.S.S. with me and there was that ugly word again.  Despicable.

I’d have none of that.

From that time forward I changed that last “S” to “Sweetie”.  So much better.

Words have power.  They can heal or they hurt.

Mind what flows through your lips.  You are responsible for what you speak and what you don’t speak.

K(eep) I(t) S(imple) S(weetie).

K.I.S.S.

~~~~~

 

May 1, 2017 – #poem

May 1, 2017 – #poem 

So much to say

So much Silence in between

Solitude is my constant companion

 

Blessings

 

Gratitude

 

Balance in all things

 

Letting thoughts and breath

run out and back

 

Sun on skin

Joy-filled hoot from behind

that hedge

 

Mating calls of this bird and that

 

Distant roar of plane pushing into

brilliant blue of this afternoon’s air

 

One mourning dove lowing

soft and close

 

Blessings

 

Gratitude

 

Thank You for this life

This one I’m living at this moment…

…this moment   …this moment

 

Each of us is in service to someone or

something

 

Who do you serve?

 

…this moment

…this moment

…only this moment.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(c) 5.1.17 – Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer