Tag Archives: love

DISSOLVE

As when you touch yourself for the first

     time inside and out

Or when you have left without saying goodbye

     for the last time and you do not know it yet

Like walking into a dark room where everything

     is known and you are excited that

     something alive and beautiful will brush

     your face

Or I am the long tree whose branches

     move gently wild from the wind

     and leave marks on your face

     that you will remember when you dream

     and you will go back to stare for days

     until your eyes ache

Like arms that nobody who has ever loved you

    has had before or has held you more strong

    than you will ever be held again

And you will weep because you know that

    that is true.

(c) Jessan Dunn (DeCredico) Otis – 1985/1987 – CQ, California State Poetry Quarterly, Spring-Summer 1987, Volume 14, Number 1, p.11. 

“Tell her your story. She will listen.”

People have told me their stories since I was a girl. I listened.

Over time, doing walking errands in the city, complete strangers would stop me and begin to tell something they wanted me to know. I listened as long as I could before I had to contine on my way.

Eventually, I began to believe there was an invisible (to me), neon light on my forehead that flashed erratically announcing: “Tell her your story. She will listen.”

Thing is: folks have been telling their stories to each other for millions of years. In a cave. Around a fire. Most likely to indicate where food could be found – an important imperative; or, what areas to avoid because of imminent danger. Perhaps, eventually, expressing more abstract sentiments, like respect or hate or love.

It’s important to share our stories with each other – our universal, human common denominators. To bear witness and to tell about our joys, losses, failures, challenges, successes; and, even a ridiculous recounting.

Sometimes, when you share a deep, long-silent experience, memory, or desire with another person, it can change you and your listener. The burden of your story is brought out and into the light, no longer tucked away in a dark place. It takes courage. You trust you’re telling someone who will not judge, who will understand and empathsize. In the telling and the listening a weight is given up and a recognition that “Ah ha, I know what you’re talking about, I’ve had the same experience, too!”

By telling, you can, also, share a story in a way that reveals just how silly we can be, making complete nincompoops of ourselves (often in public) that elicits a similar, response: “Me, too!” Laughter is a healing thing.

Imagine, if you will, for just a moment, that you’re sitting around an open fire, with millions of stars dancing in the blue-black night sky. What story do you want to tell?

What do you leave for this world?

What’s the legacy you leave for this world when your time on this earth as a breathing, living human being is done?

Did you love enough? Were you kind enough? Did you give it your best effort each day? Did you, in James Taylor’s song, “…shower the people you love with love…”? Did you overcome your fears? Did you give all to what you do best? Did you take care of yourself (not selfsih), so you could better take care of those who needed it? Did you hold the door for the one behind you? Did you give a stranger a hug when they needed it? Are you grateful for the gifts you’ve been give – like waking up each day to give it your best, again?

Or, did you give up, give over, slip down that slippery slope of anxiety, selfishness, hate, bigotry, and loathing? Did you tell a story about someone or something when you only knew less than half the whole story? Did you knee-jerk respond to someone you care for when a moment to step back would have stopped the words that you can never take back? Did you forget that your life is worth living?

It’s always a matter of deciding to do this rather than that. To say, or not say, something. It’s always a choice. Every day, it’s always a choice.

What’s your legacy?

Walk with love…

#Rise_and_Shine

☀️

Welcome to #Sunday, July 31, 2022 / Walk with beauty. Walk with peace. Walk with joy. Walk with happiness. Walk with grace. Walk with foregiveness. Walk with humility. Walk in this world with your whole self – each day. Walk with love. Amen.

🙏🏻

This is just to say… For ARO

This is just to say I’ve left you a bouquet of wildflowers, fresh-picked from our garden, on the table in front of the couch where you, often, sit. You are sleeping. The sun’s up and so am I and the birds and other living things. Continue to breathe easy in the room across the hall. https://pic.twitter.com/is3Bgi1j2O

Love,

~ Jessan

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This was originally posted on @Twitter on June 22, 2022.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

As the first bird is heard, the half Worm Moon continues to head West, and the sun rises, again, in the East, I celebrate each hand or eye that ever loved me.

There are invisible blessings, if one can hear and see and feel and remember.

In gratitude,

~ Jessan

To the women who sing – written by Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

This is dedicated to the women who sing.

This has been a long time coming. I’ve composed and re-composed this piece for years as I would sit, in silence; or, when doing mundane things.

Music has been in my life for as long as I can remember. First, there were lullabys, sung by my mother, Helen Smith Dunn. As I grew, when she sang in church and I was rib-high, her rich contralto vibrated against my ear.

Eventually, I learned to play the violin. After days and years of practice, I became the second violin in the Rhode Island State Youth Orchestra. In addition, I joined the chorus in junior and senior high school. I have my mother’s deep, rich contralto voice. I’m forever grateful for that.

There are many women who sing and I know and love their songs. You may know them, too. These women who sing have voices that rise up, challenge, comfort, give solace, as only the human voice can do. Gracias a la vida.

Then, there are the women who sing because of how they live, how they give of themselves over and over again. They are the neighborhood community leaders, the mothers (even if they have no children of their own), the Aunties, the elders (Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers). They are our friends. These are the women who laugh together, dance together, love together, share together, support each other. I have had and continue to have such profoundly beautiful and strong women in my life. I’m forever grateful for that.

There are the women about whom history refers to as “Anon.” (Anonymous). Often, these women are cited in writings that have come to us through hundreds of years of human history. Their names are forgotten or have been erased. But, what they’re attributed to contributing to our shared human history survives. I’m forever grateful for that.

I’ve, often, dropped to my knees as I came to learn and understand how women have survived – actually survived and endured – for eons. Women have been raped, killed, beaten, mutilated, emotionally abused, spiritually tortured, denigrated (publicly and privately), referred to as sluts, whores, pussies, dykes, mother fuckers and more. What we do to each other out of fear and hate and bullying.

Finally, to all the women who believe you have no voice – you do. Your empowerment is the fact that you are a woman. Through you, through me comes the next generation. What’s more powerful than that?

To all the girls who are becoming women, do not be afraid. Explore. Challenge. Think. Create. Don’t take “No, you can’t.” as a satisfactory response to anything. Listen to your heart. Find and follow your path. I’ll tell you, right now, it won’t be easy. Life isn’t, always, easy. But, you have one life to live – live it.

*Dedicated in Gratitude, Love and Memory to my mother, Helen Smith Dunn (1912-1980); and to my sisters – Barbara Dunn Blossom, Tacy Dunn San Antonio and Genevieve Dunn (1955-2013).

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)

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

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