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”.
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(c) 6/8/ 2017
written by: Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer
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
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).
May 1, 2017 – #poem
So much to say
So much Silence in between
Solitude is my constant companion
Balance in all things
Letting thoughts and breath
run out and back
Sun on skin
Joy-filled hoot from behind
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
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
Who do you serve?
…only this moment.
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(c) 5.1.17 – Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer
FRESH NIGHT AIR ~ #poem
There are moments that will always twang a heart –
like the sound of a plucked steel string guitar
echoing far beyond the resonance in a
fresh night air
That was one of those moments,
embraced by winds of an oncoming tropical blow –
day filled with bluest sky, dancing clouds and
dancing crowds When, unexpectedly, an
invitation is extended and accepted
That rhythm that thrums through all of us was
thrumming through a quiet, gentle, loving tenderness
in that fresh night air, as a whisper
whispered close and low
(Time to go
Time to go)
Steel string echo plucks a heart
in this fresh night air
I am there.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
© Jessan Dunn Otis/September 7, 2016
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6:41 AM ~ poem
In this early morning, break-of-a-new day light
In this cooling, new-day air
I could live
(c) poem and photo credit – Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer – August 30, 2016