Stepping into this morning’s light, it’s the same as yesterday’s but not. My heart breaks open, knowing that, someday, I’ll have to go away. Tears of sorrow. Tears of joy. Who will come and comfort me? Who will come and comfort you after I go?
Tag Archives: life
This Place Called Home
This place called home has shifted over the decades. Growing up the first several years, home was a Cape Cod-type bungalow, built just after WWII, in a suburb of New York City – commuting distance. The large tract of land behind our home was an old orchard farm. The barn still stood, slowly falling into disrepair. But, the apple trees! Oh, those acres of Granny Smith apple trees were magnificent!
Those trees had, obviously, been tended, pruned, and nurtured. The branches were smooth, easy to climb. The apples were tart/sweet, brilliant, sap green, and always in abundance. I used to climb those trees as the Granny Smiths ripened, perfuming the air with their plump greenness. The pruning created upward, smaller branches where some of the best fruit was.
Sitting among the apples, dangling my legs over smooth branches, crunching baby teeth into sun-warmed flesh that puckered my lips – was there anything better than that those days?
Social Media Fanfare Winner…Ten Years Later
Social Media Fanfare Winner Shares Her Telework Tips
Social media has changed the way we interact with friends, family, and yes, even coworkers. As part of Telework Week 2012, Telework Exchange launched a Social Media Fanfare contest, to find the ultimate telework fan.
We sorted through hundreds of tweets, likes, posts, and tips on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare to pick the top fan who actively posted on Telework Week’s social media platforms. Read more below about her telework experiences as well as some of her favorite things about teleworking. Congratulations to our Telework Week 2012 Ultimate Fan.
Jessan Dunn Otis
Teleworking isn’t anything new to our Telework Week Ultimate Fan, Jessan Dunn Otis. A teleworker since May 1996, Jessan finds she can accomplish more when working from home. Not only is she more productive, but telework allows her to spend more time with her family and friends while still being able to manage her work schedule.
An independent freelance writer, editor, consultant, and mentor who works in the Providence, Rhode Island area, Jessan says telework helps her be more accessible to her local, national and international clients since she can spend more time working, and less time commuting. “[I have] a very short commute (approximately 12-14 steps),” she says. Technology tools such as her laptop computer, phone, and voice-over-Internet Protocol services help her stay connected.
Jessan knows work/life balance is key when teleworking. She takes breaks from her work schedule to go for a walk, sit in the sun, run errands, and enjoy lunch every day with her husband. “Celebrating 2nd day of #TeleworkWeek by going 4 a well-earned walk. Enough ‘time on task’ 4 now. Join me? #PVD #RI pic.twitter.com/w6rgzYtf,” she tweeted during Telework Week.
But for this full-time teleworker, Telework Week is not a once-in-a-while thing. “Alas (for some), #TeleworkWeek comes to an end today. For those of us who’ve been teleworking a long time … #DanceOn…! Cheers!” she tweeted.
Jessan can be contacted at:
P.S. Ten years later Jessan’s still teleworking, now referred to as remote working. This piece was slightly edited in October, 2022.
Sometimes life fools you.
#Rise_and_Shine Welcome to #Monday, September 5, 2022
Sometimes you think you know your life. Sometimes life fools you.
Yesterday afternoon, while traveling only a very short distance, my SweetMan and I were going to pick up a specific kind of clam rake that someone we’d never met was offering for free on our local Nextdoor site.
Thing is, Al had not been feeling too good the past few days. He’s had severe motion sickness all his life. With birthdays, unbidden it comes and goes often, causing him to sit, quietly, and make no sudden movements. But, he really wanted *that* clam rake!
We arrived at Jim and Jane’s. The clam rake was perfect! Instant kinship. Jim and Al hit it off – lots of shared interests. Jane was sunning on their deck. Jim and Al went inside to continue to talk. I joined Jane on the deck. Good conversation.
Eventually, Jim and Al came outside. Al wasn’t looking too good. Longer story short: after they joined Jane and me on the deck, Al grayed, broke a cold sweat, collasped, passed out, and vomited.
Jane called 911. Jim helped me bring Al to an upright position so he wouldn’t aspirate his vomit. By the time Warwick Rescue arrived, Al was sitting squat on the deck, phasing in and out.
Time was approximately 2 PM.
I arrived at Kent County Hospital Emergency, just after they brought in Al. I had to wait until they processed him to get the okay to see him.
Doctors. Information exchanged. “Tell me what happened.” more than once. All the while I’m watching to see his color come back – he had looked like library paste sitting on that deck.
Chest x-ray. Off for a ct scan. Back in #22. Color looking better. Speech more coherent. Waiting for blood work tests to come back. Talking with each other. Laughing. Relaxing.
Shift change. Two new doctors come in. “We think it’s better that you stay overnight for observation.” I raised my hand. “Do I have a vote in this?” Al said, “Okay.”
Once in a while I had stepped outside to breathe the (now) late afternoon/early evening air and to exhale.
When Al got supper, part of which we shared as I sat on the edge of his bed, I felt he was in good hands; and, although he doesn’t like hospitals, it was okay for me to kiss him and leave.
Time was approximately 7:15 PM.
On my way home last night, I stopped to thank Jane and Jim for their kindness. They offered me an adult libation, just a shot. I accepted.
All things being good and equal, once everything is okay today, I’ll go back to Kent County Hospital later and bring my SweetMan home.
Sometimes you think you know your life. Sometimes you don’t. Just as well, sometimes.
(posted to Facebook, Monday, September 5, 2022 at approximately 6:44AM)
“The more I think I know,…
“The more I think I know, the more I know what I don’t know.”
#PUSH – Persist Until Something Happens
If you feel you’ve hit a brick wall, if everyone is telling you you’re being foolish and will never succeed, if you believe your dream is unattainable, if you think you’re the only person in the world that’s ever been [____fill in this blank___], if you can’t find your joy anymore, if the curb looks up to you, if you think you’re too young, if you think you’re too old, if all you seem to be getting is failure, if anyone has ever called you stupid, fat, and/or ugly, if you simply can’t go another step; repeat after me, like a mantra: #PUSH.
Wednesday Prayer ~ June 3, 2020 ~ by Jessan Dunn Otis, Writer
“Begin each day with gratitude – for your life, for the sun, for the rain, for your breath.
Begin each day with love – for your life, for the sun, for the rain, for your breath, for yourself, for each other.” @JessanDunnOtis 6.3.2020 (c)
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
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.
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.
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
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
Yelping, speechless, totally dependent –
one year later a celebration of one year
passed; and, on and on until there are
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
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