Friday, December 28, 2012

Angry Widow Birds

I once told you something that widows are not meant to express, well here is another one for you, as warning Universe Jayne has hit the mildly angry stage.

I am absolutely sick of being able to sort everything out by myself!

Now of course it is fantastic that I can sort everything out, however, I am sick of it!
I would love, just for once, that there be a man who will help me carry a bag or a box.
A man who will help me work something out OR work it out for me and just tell me the answer.
Bing Bing Bing- there's an idea! Just tell me the bloody answer.

It was so handy that I was born with a heart large enough to include that of a robot. A robot that needs no fuel, no batteries, petrol or water.
Sometimes I want to wear heels and say I broke a nail. Actually NOT to break a nail.
Sometimes I want someone to buy me theater tickets and collect me in a bleedin car.
Sometimes I want someone to say, it will be OK Jayne.

Yesterday, I had to take Mum to the walk in clinic as my own pneumonia (I'm not kidding)  has inspired Mum to get a nasty strain of the flu. We were there for five hours. It was raining, so when we were leaving, Mum waits by the door as I grab the car to drive up close to collect her. A man who could make a turtle look young, blasts his horn at me because we are not moving fast enough.
I walk over to him and say:
"My husband is dead, I'm sick, my mother is sick and your sitting there smoking and tooting your horn."

Now what makes me mad is that I said such a pathetic sentence as "tooting your horn."
Me, whose favorite swear word is shit-bollocks-wank - could only muster up tooting.
I burst into tears and hurried back to the car. How pathetic.

Later, for fun in my Christmas Special double feature, I went to sort out the tombstone for David only to have the man ask me  - "Was he ill then?"
What a fucking stupid thing to ask a widow ordering a fucking tombstone - was he ill then?

Look, I don't feel sorry for myself. Life is hard on everyone. I know I have to move forward and I'm  doing that or is the Universe sitting there tooting its horn because I'm not going fast enough?
I wouldn't mind just a little bit of support though. A little smile. A little something to look forward to that does not include me doing everything.

And if any of you dare try to explain that my life is any different than what it is - I will do more than toot your horn. Give me a break and please remind me that I'm just a girl, who lost a boy, who is asking if she can be a girl again!





Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Morning

My brother and I would be up by four am when we were children on Christmas morning.
We would creep down the stairs to the Christmas Tree to find a mountain of wrapped gifts, that had never been there before. Excitement would then burst noisily forth as we declared the house to be up, awake and celebrating as we screamed; "He's been, he's been!"

I have always loved Christmas. Still do. The magic of the possibility of there being a Santa, has never left my heart.

This year it has been different for me and yet easy not to celebrate with the same passion as I have before. I didn't buy a tree. I didn't try to bake gingerbread, make homemade cards or find a perfect gift. I just allowed it all to slide over and around me. Some of the pine needles hurt and some of the cinnamon fragrance is delightful.

I admit, tonight I stayed up beyond midnight. I thought perhaps it was allowed that a widow had a secret kiss, one last conversation of love or the feeling of warmth from a familiar hug. Sometimes I like my imagination and hope, and sometimes I don't care for it. I'm not even asking for three ghosts, just one, I just found myself saying.

I wish tonight for everyone that there is a magic that arrives, despite science, religion, fact or fiction.
Regardless of faith, hope or belief. I wish a tiny piece of bright white love may arrive and beautifully spiral into a sky full of miracles.

I guess I still want to believe.

Much love everyone xxx

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My David at Five Months

Dear David,

I am unsure of what to type today, with it being five months ago that you passed away at 4pm on July 20th.
They say everywhere that a widow/widower should not make any major changes for one year. Well they got that right, though who has the luxury of a year? Sadly there is a large part of me that feels as though my care giving job has been completed. The contract is over and I must move on out and away. I hate that. Some say: "Well, you did take care of him." No, I loved him. There is a big difference.
That type of love certainly belongs to our ten years. I imagine you laugh when I say, well I'm not doing that again, and I know you know I mean it.

I am aware of the bitterness and hurt. I am aware of when I feel the me you liked and how much I like that too. I notice how all I want is champagne and warmth, and how I can tell when it's cheap crap and a blanket with holes.
Or when I receive a message, as I did this morning, from such a friend who took a moment to care and think, can she really do this? Thank you Sandy x

No matter what is taken from me David, I have the real stuff we shared and that's what a true relationship is about. That's what a true life is about.

Our love continues as it begun, on a wonder of just simply being. I liked that and OK, I will focus on that. Promise.
Always with love
Jaynneee Girl xxx

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 16 2012

When life doesn't make sense, all you can do is breath and look closely to those you care about.

My thoughts of strength and dignity flood to Sandy Hook in CT.

I watched the story unfold with shock and fear, and simply cannot imagine facing anything like this.
As a father of a young, young victim said - "let this not define us."
How does one find such courage and wisdom?

For my dearest friends with children and grand children I send love.
For my own Godson, Step Children and future granddaughter - I wish you to always be close to goodness and kindness.

Let's do what we can to learn and grow.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse

I am learning to let go of my dreams, wishes, needs. I am sending them out and asking for guidance on how they may be cherished by me.
This is the opposite way of how I usually work, which is to be continually pushing, reaching and aiming. In the letting go of that busy-ness, it has given me the soul space to embrace new light around me. Some of that space became heavy and dark, especially so against the brightness of Christmas. For a few days and nights my loss completely drenched me and I never wanted to get up again.

Yet I did and I continue to do so. The reward -  to be gifted with simple joys and breathtaking signs, that take me back to the power of standing in that beautiful quiet of the Arizona desert.

Last night during dinner with a friend, I noticed a couple at the next table. Yes they were obviously happy, connected, enjoying time. Here was the act that grabbed me. He leaned over and gently placed his hands on her face. It was incredibly tender. It took my breath away, as I imagine it did hers. It was a gift.

How many moments are shared like this? Is there a magic in old romance that appears like a spirit showing us another way to be and to feel? Kindness and tenderness - wow, how often do we slow our pace to become those two things? Not to only think about them or give them - to actually become them. 

When taking the hand of another or sharing a hug, saying I see You and You matter to me.
To walk on wet cobbled stones where you stumble because you are, just for a moment, flying.
To see and hear strangers laugh with abandon at a gifted actor whom you are fortunate to know and sit quietly with to discuss the heart and soul of things.
To have someone say you are amazing and to actually hear it.
To be within the love and respect of friends who show you all they are, while making coffee and serving muffins.

When I am free, that is when I touch the possibilities and dreams that I am asking guidance for.

I know I am being Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler rushing from room to room in a long white dress with long white hair flowing behind me. I however, do not have the school boy with the odd bright eyes at the end - and for that I am blessed!

This is truly me.
With Love, Ease and Grace.



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Imagine




Imagine for a moment that Santa is real. Both children and adults would line up to meet him.

With children the conversation may be:
Santa: What would you like for Christmas?
Happy Child: A barbie and a some Lego please.
Santa: Ho ho, wonderful. Merry Christmas.

With the adults the conversation may be:
Santa: What would you like for this holiday season?
Anxious Adult: Oh dear, I'm not really sure.
Santa: Go ahead just wish out loud.
Embarrassed Adult: How much does it cost?
Santa: The fear of letting go.
Angry Adult: Are you being sarcastic?
Santa: Just tell me what you want more than anything in the world.
Sad Adult: That would be selfish. How can I choose? Should it be
just for me? What about my children? Shouldn't I want world Peace - well of course I want world Peace, would that mean I'd get a new Mercedes though? Mind you I need a new washing machine before a new car and what about my clothes? Just look at my clothes, then a vacation................................

Santa Claus embodies a spiritIt's not as easy is it? Perhaps children know everything until they are encouraged to forget.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Things to Notice

Things that have recently caught my attention.

1) John Travolta's Action Man Doll hairstyle. I don't get it.

2) How on earth do you open Garniers Dark Spot Creme? Truly, it would be easier for a child to pop a champagne cork. It's ridiculously complicated and the instructions are tiny. My reading glasses cannot even help.

3) Sometimes the GPS acts weird. The other day it stated that I was at my final destination, which was a church named "Of Sinners and Saints'. What was it trying to tell me?

4) Repeating a certain word like Sorry or Thank you. I like saying thank you, however I thank people for their thank you. It's annoying because then it sounds sarcastic. Do not get me started with me saying sorry. I'm quitting sorry.

5) When I light a candle next to my bed to relax, the fear of it falling over, exploding or being seen as something naughty from the outside, does not help me to relax. Yet I always try it and end up tense.

6) I have bought a really good full length mirror. It allows me to look taller and slimmer, resulting in a happier me. So why aren't ALL mirrors produced this way?

7) I noticed that the goose that chased me on Sunday, appeared to have lips. Could this be correct?

8) Today my bubble bath smelt of chicken pot noodle (a UK plastic potted food). Have my bath bubbles always smelt this way? How did I not notice this before? Or if it was only today - why on earth would it smell that way?

9) In the car, I was enjoying music from an unknown radio station when the name of the program was announced: Dance with Marjory and Dick. It really put me off.

10) I adore wearing boots with jeans/trousers tucked into the boot. I can do this successfully with a pair of skinny black trousers - yet only for one leg! The other leg looks like a plumbing malfunction.
It doesn't matter which leg either, right or left, it's always the second one that doesn't work. I have even tried pushing down all the bulging rims with a ruler, (genius!) until the ruler snapped and was stuck in the boot.

PS - by the time I have flustered and bustled with the boot situation, once I stand up again, the skinny trousers have since rolled down from my waist and I get that nice hammock of material between my thighs and the stomach peeking out above, like dough waiting to become bread.
(Even the skinny mirror can't convince me of that one!)





.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sedonas Secret

When I was eighteen I met an American man who put the thought into my mind about driving in an open top car, to the Grand Canyon.

When I met David, the love of my life, we talked about this dream. This July, when we decided to include a quest for yourself in Davids obituary; I knew I would do a version of the road trip.

I found that courage and am so excited and proud to say I did it!


Flying to Phoenix, Arizona - I rented a red Mustang convertible I named Georgia D.  I drove carefully (I promise) to Sedona, where the next day I drove (carefully I promise) to the Grand Canyon with my Bowie music blasting.

Now truly I struggle for words to describe this entire journey. Usually on trips I lose myself in doing what others need or what laziness/fear only permits while collecting snacks and gifts.
Sedona inspired me to collect me.
It was stunning. Divine. Where I want to live in order to be.
I will never forget turning that bend and seeing the red rocks for the first time.
Yes, I exclaimed the same as the first explorers did: "Well fuck me!" Yep, sorry I did. That and "Oh my Giddy Aunt" - haven't said that for years.
View from my hotel room


I do have a secret, in that I never felt alone. David was with me, laughing and singing, as he did.
I even climbed on the rocks, just a little, and next time I will hike.
Yes I cried in the darkness at the Southern rim of the Canyon. Yes I felt awkward when I ordered a dessert for two by mistake and yes on the red rocks I wished I had a physical hand to help me go that tad further.
Crying at the Canyon alone is releasing, dessert for two when it's one is naughty and nice and I only had to look even deeper to feel that hand.  Or ask!
This was an extraordinary journey for me and I literally feel pages turning in my life.

Rather than sending postcards or trinkets bought from the airport (shop was closed when I flew back!) I hope for us all, the serenity and beauty that can only create good.

Today, back home, when I went for a walk I noticed that my head was held high. I usually look down, or should I say - I used to look down.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My David at Four Months

Take My Hand 

I see him running down that English hill
His laugh full of joy, celebrating freedom.
A light shone around him, from him and through him.
My breath pondered. Questioning it’s need to continue.
As I had seen a simple truth in that moment. Love.
I thought to myself;
I either want to be You or be with You for the rest of my life.
Not needing You to turn as I knew your face already.
It was the handsome one with charming smile.
The one who kissed me in a premonition many years ago.
And now, twelve years later I know I received what I asked for.
You gave me time with You and now
You remain beating through my heart.
For that’s the only way I can explain how I move through this dreadful,
Empty, lowliness and loneliness.
I say that I will live for You. To do the things You wanted.
And I know it's your gift, because it's all for me.
To reach the peaks that You never thought You could climb to.
To share words. To illuminate to and for others.
To care. To laugh. To sing. To touch. To kiss. To mean something for a while.
Just the same as You
 As You ran down that English hill.
                                        This is that actual moment
                                           Photo by our dear friend Erik Johnson - April 2001 


I miss you David my love. I miss the things we had and those we had no chance or honor of knowing as our own. I wonder why it has to be like this? I hope that it makes sense when next you take my hand.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Meet My Editor

Thanks to my writing mentor and teacher - GiGi New, I am back to writing a lot and near completion of a project I've been thinking about for a few years.
It's wonderful to be writing plays again, in the manner that I do it. Which I'm not sharing, otherwise medication will appear on the doorstep.

I am moving into my editing phase on a fourth draft, which is like knowing you are going to have a root canal and yet looking forward to it because of the drugs.

Editing is all about trust.

Which is my bridge to the point of this blog; my latest discovery that I need a personal in real life editor.
I've never been one for stumbling over what I want to say. My words are generally carefully thought out. I consider the other persons ears. I think before I speak. Unless anger is involved then it's out with the cockney wrestler that spits the bitterness, loudly.
Previously I was so busy with work and life that I rarely had the time to not get things wrong. My eyes were focused to my desk with my feelings beating from a drawer.

So, it's a shock to me that I am now saying; "what on earth did I say that for?" Or worse, "what on earth did I text/email that for?" This is where I add the ??????? and the !!!!!!!!!!
Don't you dislike that agony? It seems a good idea at the time, until you hit send, and a chewing teenage gremlin appears screeching; "you did not just do that!"

In addition, my emotions are gerbils in a wheel, at the water, at the sawdust, at the wheel again, look at me, don't even find me! Wheel, sleeping, water, climbing a wall, climbing the wheel, needing water, sleeping, sawdust, water. You get the point. Busy feelings create a muddied mind.

Now I find myself saying; "what on earth did you feel that for!" Or "what on earth are you feeling now and where did that come from?" It's like you try something new to eat, and then wonder if you really do have food poisoning or if you are convincing yourself that you do.

I publicly declare, that I'm driving myself mad in thinking too much. I must find my personal in real life editor. If only I can trust that they like me! As I said it's all about trust.
I said that before, there's no need to repeat.                  Should I really hit publish? Shut up.


                                                                Max The Editor

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How to Heal

It's ten am in Massachusetts and I am incredibly fortunate to have time to recognize that I am smiling.

Wrapped in a blanket, still in pajamas I am drinking a good cup of tea and Frasier is playing on the television. The pain in my shoulder is fast asleep, there is no headache, there are no tears.
I remain bereaved and concerned, no to be honest scared about my future. I need to look for work, a new home and to focus on a dream. It all takes tremendous courage and energy to continue and yet right now I am loving just smiling.

Taking a blind stab at it, I am guessing this is how to heal.
To notice everything and then forget everything.
To stop and breathe.
To let go.
To let go of heart, mind and spirit.
To then embrace them all again, welcoming them and saying all will be OK.

I am ignoring the inner voice, who says bitterly, that's easy for you to say.
Because actually it can't be easy - as this is the first time I have had this recognition for years.
Even if the feelings have been here, I have not considered myself enough to notice.
It's wonderful to care enough to notice and pay tribute.

It's ten am, do you know where your heart, mind and spirit are?





Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day 2012

It is Veterans Day today in the USA. Armistice Day coincided with Remembrance Sunday in the UK yesterday.
I shamefully admit this is the only time I have truly considered the day.

Obviously I know about war. I was at school in London when The Falklands war begun and it was a real threat that older school friends may be enlisted.
My parents were children when they were evacuated in the Second World War. My Mum went to Somerset and she remembers the gas mask in its box held over her shoulder and the fact that her older sister demanded that they stay together. My Dad was sent to Northampton where he promptly returned home on the train by himself. In London, he was forced into a shelter after the house disintegrated underneath a bomb.

This morning I think about the families who visit stones instead of faces and hugs.
I think of those who continue; with their right side focused on regularity while the left side is numb with an ache for loved ones serving overseas. I wonder about the men and women with their dusty boots, their finger on a trigger and a family photograph in their pocket.
These are spouses. Siblings. Friends. Relatives. These are parents. These are children.
I simply cannot imagine.

My own bereavement at least has a story I witnessed. The control that I lost haunts me, so not to have had any control nor great reason for a death is something I can only use as a personal tool to be strong in order to send out healing messages for others.

I send out my desire for peace, collectively and individually. That sounds grand from just one woman sitting in her pajamas with a cup of English tea on a sunny morning in Massachusetts. Would the same message of peace mean more coming from a monk sitting in robes on a misty morning from a Mountain in the Himalayas?
It all counts doesn't it.
I hope so.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Artful Doubters

Three am to five am had become her doubting hours.

She had always been the glass half full, never liked the word bittersweet, even when describing chocolate, and recently had embraced words such as fortunate and blessings.
Yet the doubting hours would trip her, use her as a tango partner and perhaps even deceive her. Tapping her shoulder to awaken, bringing attention to the gnawing idea that struggle was also part of the plan.

After a stolen handful of Halloween candy along with headache pills, closer toward five am, she named these feelings The Artful Doubters. They were the ones strong enough to stop a new document being opened. A title being typed. A stamp being placed on an envelope. A meeting being requested. A dress being bought.
They teased her about writing a blog featuring pointlessness, when people were standing without a roof, or a tree on their car, or continued without power because mother Nature took a violent turn.
She considered being lucky to have those hours, they could after all, strengthen her decisions and celebrate her ambition.
As the weatherman warned, a tree can only be as strong, it may be the final wind following hours and hours of being pushed and pushed, that will rip it from it's roots and bring it to sawdust.

These hours were as fruitful as they were tormenting. She wondered if The Artful Doubters always visited, even when she would sleep through their whispers. Then again she wondered if she simply thought too much, and yawning in order to relieve her jaws and teeth from tension, she hit delete instead of publish and begun another day.

Monday, October 22, 2012

My David at Three Months

October 22, it is now three months since David passed away.

When asked if I have moved on yet - I am at first angry, then incredibly sad. What does that even mean? To pick myself up! Really, for this loss?

Is it only younger spouses who are told to move on and pick yourself up? Are people too scared to ask that of older people, in case they have a heart attack and actually do move on?

Of course I'm doing my best to keep going. I have no choice. As much as I have always been strong and independent, occasionally I really want a hug and pleasant plans.

I am blessed to have days when I feel connected and certain that I can cope. While other days are suffocating and I am amazed that I even try to continue. Healing is top of my to do list and I'm taking great care not to listen to my negative voice that does not approve of when I do absolutely nothing. Wanting to talk about David and my current concerns is perfectly natural and even required. Crying is to healing as frosting is to a cupcake.

I sleep most nights downstairs on the couch with the TV running. I only sleep well because of sleeping pills. I do not feel sorry for myself, it's just how I am right now. My focus is limited. I am often late and get easily confused. For anyone wanting to employ my freelance services: I am always on time and have a keen awareness of everything around me.

My hope and humor is still intact, especially as I have heart-fulls of memories that guide and support me. Each month brings something that hurts, yet more importantly things that are familiar and kind.

David and I adored Halloween. This will be another occasion to face. My Mum and Aunt Violet will be arriving tomorrow from London (hurray) and we will decorate the front door steps, put on witches hats and give out candy to make David proud.

October 2006 or 2007 I had both David and our dear friend Scott Winters narrating ghost stories on a Halloween train ride through a zoo. I was a witch jumping out from the woods, frightening myself more than the guests! I enjoyed hearing their booming voices, the spooky stories growing funnier and more theatrical as the season went on.

October 2002, David was teaching and one day he dressed as Dr.Seuss - Cat in the Hat. His entire class could not stop screaming, poor things. When he realized they were scared, he pulled the mask off, which made it worse as the children thought the Cat in the Hat had eaten their teacher! I was there to be the storyteller, and spent the time counseling on the art and danger of imagination.

David loved to entertain and share time in the buoyancy of conversation. In a costume or not, with a funny accent or his warm deep voice, we were never far from laughter. Other people and then his illness attacked this gift tremendously. I trust now, that he is receiving as much love and admiration that he has deserved all of his life.

David - I hope to find some empty candy wrappers hidden around the house, like I used to on October 31st.   I miss you so much, and I know you know that.  Nothing is the same without you.
Love you always. Thank you for showing me how.






Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stonehenge


I went to the beach to find you today
It was empty and beautiful
Windy and the sea was sighing
As eagerly as the grasses waltz.

I asked for signs and a miracle.
I received both in an unexpected way.
Deadlines, for sale signs,
The distance of lawyer words.
Does anyone hear my heart breaking
Would anyone believe it to be mine?

I built my own Stonehenge                                                 
Because I am incredibly strong.
Yet
I am expecting too much
Being too open
Talking too much
Trying too hard
Perhaps reaching too far.


In trying to find you, will I ever find me?
Perhaps I will just settle with
Empty and beautiful.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Tama Kieves - thank you

Most of you know that I have just had the privilege to be part of a program at Kripalu entitled Unleash Your Calling facilitated by Tama Kieves.
What is there to say about this experience without including the words amazing and life enhancing?
Well nothing actually, it was amazing and life enhancing.

Kripalu itself is a wonderful institute in The Berkshires, USA. It is predominately a yoga institute. Even for this meat eating, chocolate with artificial flavors, swearing Londoner - I understand the tranquility and sheer magic of the place. I may be one of few who puff as they walk up the incline from the parking lot to the door, I am however also blessed to be touched by the peacefulness.  http://www.kripalu.org/
What happens at Kripalu - does not stay there!

Tama Kieves is an exciting personality to be with. She is honest, strong, vulnerable, inspired and inspiring. She is a facilitator who remains by your side, gently guiding and opening inner door ways with intelligence and humor. Tama wants to be (and already is) the difference. She leads as an example, so that we all can be the difference. http://www.tamakieves.com/
Non-subliminal advertising - read her books, go to her programs!

I liken my own lesson from the program as a ride through a Cupcake Factory where I cannot taste anything then finally arrive at the Gift Shop to discover I own it and may have anything at anytime.
Please now sing "Heroes" by David Bowie while eating birthday cake, sitting on a warm beach next to everyone I love - that is how I feel.

I went with a focus on my writing and found what I really needed - my permission to stop and to heal. Despite looking lazy, I am actually a doer. My mind and heart rarely take a break. Here, I realized I could stop. I needed to rest. My car will ask for petrol, yet I do not award myself a pit-stop. Look at that, I even call it an award! It is not - it is necessary for all of us!

Through sadness I faced the fact that I acknowledge my inner critic on the hour and every hour. Conversations regarding a positive inner voice left me admitting that I had turned mine off years and years ago.
Now back home I am switching my volumes. I am resting, I am breathing. My shoulders have dropped and my jaws are not super glued to one another. I am looking for safety, where I will walk, think, talk, dream and dive into the wonder of space.
I am the opposite of the incredible free fall of Felix Baumgartner, from the edge of space to New Mexico. I even have that outfit, it's just invisible and called self love.

Always a promoter of self care, love and time, I have rarely practiced this upon myself. Like many of you, I sell tickets to a fair that I've not visited. I am certain that in doing this, my desire to write will grow and flourish. Even the skill and the opportunities, I trust.

It is illuminating to begin something. As busy human beings, we only keep this for work, diets, relationship with others and whenever we celebrate our New Years. It is exciting to discover that a beginning may begin whenever and as often as you need and desire.

Once upon a time it was a Monday in October and Jayne's eyes opened wide, awakening to the gentle adventure that waited.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Inspired and Unstoppable

The flowers are wild, lavish and free
They will always grow, regardless.
Within the meadow; a sweep of purple
A yellow, white and a punch of blue.

Dancing with the confiding breathe 
From an Autumn breeze
Each stem with their own desire to grow.
Yet here, within that distinctive place
They lean in one direction.
Toward the wondrous sky
That holds an incredible sun.

Their heart. Their knowing. Their love.

Together they have created a spirit
Of powerful community.
They are Inspired and Unstoppable
Forever and This Day.

  
 To Tribe with Tama Kieves - at Kripalu Oct 8 to 12 2012.
                                                 With love From Jayne



Monday, October 8, 2012

Meaningful Beauty Part 2 - The Crossover

My post regarding the commercial Meaningful Beauty received positive comments from friends. I noticed how hard I fought to allow a compliment to truly resonate. Perhaps I needed to hear the French Doctors voice telling me to listen while putting "melone" on my face. I love the way he says "melone." You should watch the commercial just for that.
The most interesting reaction came from myself to my lovely friend The Jen Smith. 
Hence Jen was inspired to suggest we present a Blog Cross Over today regarding the infamous Meaningful Beauty post. Which means you are to visit Jen on her blog immediately after reading this. You may find her writing at www.moresinglethannuns.com. 

So, the facts: When Jen read my Meaningful Beauty post she left the following comment:
I think it's funny that I just mentioned that infomercial to the Anonymous Mother and the next day you posted about it. Are we sharing some brain cells or something??

When I read that, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that I had copied a post she had written.
Please note, I did not think Jen was suggesting I had, I was already in the copyright prison and walking the plank away from our friendship.

So I sent Jen an email AND the JenBatOwlSignal which is a text message saying:
Hey Jen -
Just read your comment. I am vulnerable, I am woman.
Hope you don't think I'm copying you??????????????????????

To which she sent a text back saying "Read email, we're good."
Which I took as: "you did copy me you bitch, however...."

This is Jens REAL reply for your enjoyment: 
If you could copy a thought from my head or a conversation with the Mother that you weren't actually present for than we have some serious money making ahead of us because ... YOU'RE A MIND READER!!!!
We'll be RICH!!!
I'll play the part of the eccentric bumbling assistant and you be the Madame Gloria Van Gildenburtn (See, that's funny bc Madame implies french but Van implies german or norse or something) And I'll handle all your bookings while we travel the continents with our "Distinguished Spirit Guide Animals" (that way Ted and Max come too as long as Ted wears a turban and Max wears a bow tie) reading people's fortunes by reading their minds.

It's Perfect!!! 

Then you'll read a play producer's mind to pitch him EXACTLY the script he's been longing for and you get to go to Broadway as an eccentric playwright and I'll pop in and out as an eccentric patron of the arts (cuz now we're rich from all the mind reading tours) and we'll be FAMOUS!!!
Then I'll hire a ghost writer to write my blogs and a few books to, you know, get the ball rolling while I'm having tea and crumpets with David Tennant and his wife during which they'll introduce me to The Man of My Dreams--- D.T.s twin brother!! (Or cousin, no matter.  As long as he's hot and Scottish- ow! ok, or Irish, sorry dearly departed o'mine) then...
BOOM!
Twins!
And you'll have made the Mother very, very happy.

So, that is my version of the events. Now visit moresinglethannuns.com on Tuesday morning to read  Jen's thoughts. You can easily link to Jen by clicking on her icon to the right of this post. 
Perhaps Jen will explain BOOM TWINS - because it is where all roads should lead.....according to the Anonymous Mother. (Whom we love loads if you are reading this!)

And Jen - I hope this is what you meant by The Blog CrossOver. Damn where's my confidence?
 

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book Giveway Winner

What a great experience it was to take part in the recent blog hop. Thank you Libby Mercer for organizing it and inviting me. Congratulations to all the writers for great postings and for sharing their books.

I enjoyed going through all my comments and your thoughts on what job the birds from Cinderella could do if hired now.

Favorite suggestions ranged from plastic surgeons, working in delinquent centers, running the Haunted Mansion and being undertakers.

I chose my winner - Marie Hahn - congratulations! Marie's idea was that they would make great lawyers.
I loved this as half the time who can understand what a lawyer means? Then if they found anyone guilty, which they would constantly, they could just submit them to a pecking punishment.
Eye for an eye - pound of flesh - you should not bite the hand that feeds you -  the court may eat seed (instead of proceed!) It's endless.

To end here is a favorite quote regarding birds in the best way:

“She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing “yes” in the sky.   by Monique Duval


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Secondary Characters - Blog Hop

I am excited to take part in my first blog hop with other writers and inspired by Libby Mercer.
Our invite was to write a post about secondary characters.

When I was at drama school, studying to be a professional actress, a tired, bitter female teacher told me that the only roles I would ever get were the secondary character ones. The quirky and/or plumpies with British cockney accents, often the comedic friend who pops into every episode.
I did not take this news as the negative comment it was meant to be, because those were exactly the acting roles I wanted. Ironically enough, she was totally wrong! I became a successful stage lead, ha just kidding. I failed many auditions and didn't get to be fourthly characters let alone secondary. However, I digress (often and with snacks). Here follows my post on fictional secondary characters.

Thinking about "girly books" I am reminded of one of my favorite chick heroines. That being the wonderful story of Cinderella. Short story run through in case you are not familiar with the tale (really?!):
chick gets poor, moves in with step mum who hates her, there is a lot of magic with a pumpkin, chick dances with a prince, she leaves behind a Prada shoe, (always good to leave something behind for the excuse to go back) prince finds her, marries her, paparazzi everywhere, she goes topless and everyone lives happily ever after.
I read the original story of Cinderella from The Grimm Brothers. The secondary characters for me are the birds. Alfred Hitchcock would agree because he made a movie about them. 
It is the turtle doves and the pigeons who pick pick pick all the lentils out from the ashes and bring CinderChick a great frock to wear. Those birds saved her day, actually her life, and the Princes life. That's what a great secondary character could/would/should do: inspire, motivate and put into action a change of events that our leading character cannot begin. It is often a surprise when the secondary steps up to do this and it's the moment that highlights their loyalty and love for the lead. 
Here's something that I admire in writing; is when the secondary does an additional act, that will show yet another side to their character. In the movie Notting Hill - remember when Hugh Grants Welsh weirdo housemate, jumps out of the car to direct the traffic in order for Hugh to get to Julia Roberts.
My second surprise from the pigeons in Cinderella were that they peck peck peck peck the eyes out from both Ugly Sisters. Isn't that awful???? They risk becoming a bad thanksgiving meal for the anger they have toward Cinders enemies. Good idea Mr.Disney to edit that scene from your movie.

I have a prize of my favorite Summer read from the brilliant Leslie Daniels - Cleaning Nabokov's House. I loved this book and thoroughly enjoyed a set of dishy men as secondary characters.
So to win please post your answer: If the Brothers Grimm had a modern day life profession other than writing, what would you have them do?
My favorite answer will win a brand new copy of the book. You can also tweet me (see my connection to theme!) @JayneHannah1
Please do not forget to add your email so that I may contact you.
Take a look at other writers below at their postings and prizes.
Remember if you cannot be a leading character at times, then be a sensational secondary character.
Surprise yourself.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meaningful Beauty and Getting Wiser



I know I am getting wiser because…………


  • At 1am I do not want to hear Cindy Crawford tell me how much I need to purchase Meaningful Beauty.
  • Listening to a popular radio station is like listening to songs from the Disney Channel.
  • Clothing leaves imprints.
  • I no longer wear reading glasses trying to show that I’m intelligent and/or sexy. Now I actually need them to read.
  • I’m putting my pennies together to exchange for notes at the bank.
  • I buy earrings and sparkly bracelets instead of lingerie.
  • I’m considering buying Meaningful Beauty in the next fourteen minutes for the fifty percent discount and free shipping.
  • I was shocked at the cleavage on the Red Carpet during the Emmy Awards. How do they do that?
  • I double check for tooth loss after chewing Mentos.
  • When visiting the store Forever 21, I keep saying loudly: “Now what did my niece say she wanted?” For fear that people will imagine that I am in there for myself.  Which I totally am and never understand why I torture myself like that.  I'm glad to say it is only an annual event that often inspires depression, a diet and a chocolate binge.
  • I’m searching for the credit card to purchase Meaningful Beauty. I just need to locate my glasses in order to find the credit card, and why do they give that telephone number so quickly?
  • Wait a minute - why am I still up?




Sunday, September 23, 2012

Alzheimer's Month - Dr.Jekyll

September is World Alzheimer's Month and it would be remiss of me not to post something.

Since David died, I have not been keen on thinking about the disease. I am on a break.  Somewhere within me, however, is an ambition to do something for Davids honor. He was treated professionally by the hospital, as though he were an experiment. It would be incredible if I could assist in saving others from this, and perhaps for his pain to eventually become part of the reason others do not suffer.
Sounds grandiose I know. I bet they said the same about Clara Barton, or Christiaan Barnard or Dr Jekyll. Well perhaps not Jekyll, though wasn't he the good personality? Actually he was fictional, (kind of) so best not to think about Jekyll.
Anyway, main purpose for this posting is to share the reminder that personal caregivers for an Alzheimer's patient - remain in love with their loved ones.
It is the hardest challenge for patience, tolerance and strength, both emotional and physical.
Last year Sandy, my inspiration of a friend, whose husband had passed away from cancer in 2011, once said to me, no matter how hard the care giving had been, that the grief was so much harder.
I was so fortunate that she told me that, as I knew to enjoy the time I had, no matter what was going on. Sadly I was not perfect - that's right everyone not even me! My biggest regrets are all connected to not supporting myself well, and hence I had bad days. The exhaustion and fear did not serve David and I and I'm left feeling that I let us both down.

If you know a caregiver - reach out to them. Do something to assist. Even a little thing like an email or phone call. A pint of milk and a bucket of ice cream. Well, not that if they are lactose intolerant, that really would not help. Anything good, really counts.
Remember that if you witness bad times between the couple, at some point, they will sit quietly together and smile. I would watch David sleeping knowing there would be the day that I couldn't do that. Within this post I include all caregivers who are relatives. I recognize that taking care of a non spouse has issues that a husband and wife do not encounter.
My heart pours for all the caregivers who give and love fiercely. I feel responsible somehow to support those who I know personally. It is an honor not a duty. They all should/could/would be treated with compassion.
The fear of the unknown can make us unknown. Don't be like that when we have so many other choices. Jekyll or Hyde is a choice - I knew I could reference that again!



Christiaan Barnard

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My David at two months

Today is the two month anniversary that David and I share in our new relationship.
I celebrated my birthday on Tuesday and am so happy and lucky that close friends knew without asking that I required extra attention to move through the day. In fact, I truly have not celebrated a birthday as much as this year, and it's all happened as if by magic.

With the loss of a husband or wife, it is not that the widow or widower need look for reasons to feel sadness, it finds you at the most obvious and oddest moments. A happy memory will easily turn with a knife, while a painful one may suddenly melt into an embrace. I believe I am now doing everything we enjoyed together. Though I avoid a certain supermarket and walking our local roads without David is still not possible.
I truly cannot bear to think about his final resting place.
Though, I do not imagine David as a body. He is a bright dancing light for me. His hello appears with a sighting of a dragon fly - a real one or a picture. And they are showing up. I was having dinner with dear friends last night in a restaurant that David and I loved. The sunset had appeared as four fiery feathers, it was elegant and gorgeous. Then during a great meal, Tony showed Rachel and I a photograph he had taken earlier of a dragonfly that had landed on the book he was reading. I received that image as a romantic kiss.
Some days I beg for a sign and am devastated when nothing seems to arrive. I cry and cry, and yes, eventually I stop. On the beach the other day, I ended up laughing through my tears, as I discovered a duck starring at me, drifting on the ocean by himself. Was that a sign?
"Yeah, that's right Jayne, I came back as a duck!" David said with that sarcastic tone he could use to deliver the perfect comedic answer.
And this morning, Shannon and I were discussing how David had worked his love magic. With an inspired confidence, a note and a door alarm being set off, Shannon had connected with Kevin, her soul mate. So now we imagine David was hired to be Cupid, with a sexy outfit, great tan and constant whisperings of love. Bruce Willis will play him, in the best romantic comedy of the year.

So my dearest husband David, I think of you constantly. I prefer the days when I'm moving forward, allowing me to feel closer to you, rather than the despairing days when I am swallowed up by an empty darkness. There is no description of my missing you, in the same way as there has never been an accurate telling of the tremendous love that I have for you.

This time last year we were on Marthas Vineyard. You smiled here for me, not the camera.
I love you.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Friends and Sunflowers

Friends episode: "The one where she is acting strange."

This new phase is really sifting out the friends who are up for the challenge of being with me. New and old friends in years, young and older in age, close mileage or long distance.

During a day I will sprint from being winged fairy godmother to raging deranged witch.
From singing "I believe in Angels" which is a line in an Abba song to "Never Mind the Bollocks" by the Sex Pistols, which was a song and a torn t-shirt.
I have perfected the art of changing ones mind. I am that annoying person in the car in front of you who doesn't trust that the green light means go.  I consider every single Vacation Discount-Groupon- Living Social-Anti Social-Living Coupon that pops up on the screen. I've nearly registered and/or bought every self help-retreat-book-CD-seminar-conference-course-self study-on line-in person-drive through-12 step program-tap ball change step- talk to whomever you believe is your God this IS your answer. It will all work while I think about it, until I think that it won't.

I scroll through Facebook photos and comments feeling creepy as though it's illegal to do so. I want the phone to ring and sink into a cushion when it does.
I swear some mornings I sing on the door step "Who Will Buy This Doubtful Lady."
Some hours I act like Oliver asking for more, while other hours, I am Lady Bracknell, judging and puffing my way through endless cups of tea. Or wine. Or martini. Or chocolate. There's always chocolate.
I have considered vacations, working, short trips, no trips, dinners, cooking, television, walking, talking, silence, dancing. I'm a uncatalogued shelf of suggestions.
I cannot sleep. I laugh. I feel strong. I do not want to carry on. I do not want to think about a job. I think about a job. I hope. I wonder. I cry. I still fancy George Clooney and David Silverstein simply makes my heart thump so loud that I search in my blindness for him.

Yesterday I experienced a reminder that I have lost everything that has been my focus for ten years.
Everything.  Then Jill jumps up, puts coffee in my hand, holds the other. Takes me for gentle shopping and feeds me brownies.

Whatever crap field I am currently walking through, I see far worse for others and I know that sunflowers still grow for me. I'm a lucky one going through grief and I have the opportunity to grow in new ways, even though the opportunity has been forced and feels entirely false.

Thank you for my dear friends who are throwing the seeds, the rope, the raft, the cookies, the carrots, the dollars, the hugs, the space, the closeness and the genuine love to act as my trellis.

There will be a garden again. I miss you my love xx

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Agnes and Pulled Pork

Today I ate too much. Well not so much the quantity, just the concoction of items. I must be eight years old, back to the one day when you were allowed to eat all the wrong things, while someone wiser, hopes that you will learn not to mix your foods. 

Pulled pork, red wine and chocolate cake may not be the appropriate food to settle a nervous stomach - it is however great for realizing that change is required in your life.

My world has tumbled and I have no current role to play for anyone. All my attention can, is, sometimes, focused just on me. Time to heal, calm, listen and grow. One step forward, two buttons fixed and a new way to wear a scarf. I'm trying to re create and paint on a canvass that is not blank.
I can pretend along with the best of them, yet the emptiness can bury me in the lack of a heartbeat.

I'm reading "This Time I Dance" from Tama Kieves. I have nearly bought this book many times before and I'm pleased that I waited until now. It's tagline is: For every person who has yearned to find their true work in the world.  I love this book.

It's the perfect timing for me to consider following my heart's desire regarding work. That is not to put down anything I have been doing. It is to embrace a dream with the support of valued experiences. 
My inner critic, Agnes is howling with laughter. Everything she wears is purple and velvet, with feathers. Her eyes are green, heavy with mascara and her mouth grew with a cigarette attached to its lip.
"Go on say it," she barks. "Tell them what you want."
"I want to write, again." I say, like a cannibal offering her own hand.
Agnes laughs so much she knocks herself off my shoulder, landing, blissfully, into her glass of scotch.

So that's kind of where I am today. Eating the wrong things yet, possibly, thinking the right things.
At least for now.
Agnes, I have more to write than just the parking ticket I received today.

And so we begin..............................................

Friday, September 7, 2012

Are you Off Course?

Following my self indulgent yet honest post yesterday, I feel a tad better today.
So thank you dear blog world of public therapy! Your check is in the post.

Here is my Top Sixteen pointers that suggest you are 'off course' on your life journey.
If you respond yes to one or two points, you are doing OK just remain aware
If you respond yes to more than four points, you need to take a quick hop back on track
If you respond yes to more than eight points, you need to leap back on track
If you respond yes to more than ten points, I know a great therapist

1) You wake up with a hang over from cake rather than alcohol
2) You take photos of yourself to prove you can still smile
3) The term "pop of color" means you put a grey tank top with your black outfit
4) You print MapQuest directions, just in case the GPS is wrong
5) You watched the DNC speeches last night hoping to see George Clooney
6) For the longest time you realize you've been saying GNC instead of DNC
I had always wondered how a health store could sponsor so openly
7) You say out loud to yourself - "my hands smell like old people"
8) You had marked your calendar at Sept 4th, as a reminder that Kelly Ripa was finally
declaring who her new co host would be
9) You apologize to international readers that point 8 will only make sense to USA readers
10) Every time you hear the term hash-tag - you crave hash-browns
11) During the Chicos Slimming Jeans commercial you shout out "but they are already skinny" every single time that commercial is aired
12) You apologize to international readers that point 11 will only make sense to USA readers
13) You cannot work out how to offer friendship on Facebook
14) You do not trust ending anything on number 13
15) And by that I mean everything
16) You work out that a local dog sounds like he is saying Arsehole when he barks and you spend an afternoon trying to get the impression exactly right

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cake and Recycling

There is a blog that I enjoy written by Betsy Lerner. She has a skill of writing short posts that engage in lengthy conversation. http://betsylerner.wordpress.com
Yesterday brought up the question: Who am I?

My answer was: I am a birthday cake delivered to the wrong house at the wrong time with the wrong amount of candles. And that's how I feel.  Hence, you are what you eat, is really true.

It sounds dramatic when I say that I am currently grieving for my last ten years. It is however a heavy truth. I emigrated from the UK with the excited knowledge that I was changing my life. I was moving to a place I loved, to a man I loved and was fortunate to quickly find a job I loved. And I was a size eight.

This summer all of those things have gone, and yes strictly speaking two of them are from my choice. The home and location either embraces with comfort or pokes me by remarking "you shouldn't be here."  The job no longer matches my pace. I would let it down. And the size eight could have a one in front of it.

So who the hell am I now? Yet another reinvention time and the struggle again to find the bravery to go for what I want or what I imagine I deserve, to finally what I imagine is left for me.
It is ironic that people who are in my position for the opportunity of starting anew, are often forced into this place and are actually at their weakest and most vulnerable.
It's like winning the lottery, losing the ticket and still trying to work out what will you do with the money.

I used to say that every day can be a beginning. That with hard work and focus you can create a life that you want. I just do not know anymore. It seems that people who are already at the party can dance longer, while those of us who pay for the napkins get stuck in just that; paying for the napkins!

I am caught at the bitter and angry stage, reliving times that are too painful to deserve such attention. Doing things that I think are the right things, yet finding the reward is smudged. Like driving in a murky fog to discover you are going in a circle. Am I'm acting like a victim, when I blame myself for so much that has brought me to this moment? My lack of confidence had lowered my vocal cords years ago. It's hard to truly hear me and I only blame myself for that.

I am fortunate compared to many.  The Queen of England once said during her Christmas speech that she had endured a horrible year. "Annus horribilis" she said. The country was outraged. Most of them screamed: "She thinks she had it bad!" While others smirked that she'd said the word anus on television.
Do you ever wonder who the one person is who thinks they have it really bad?!

As I write, there is a woman walking down my road collecting peoples recycling. She has to walk in her own relay, back and forth, to carry all the bags. She also pulls a small carriage packed with empty bottles. Now that's strong determination found through necessity.

I need to stop thinking and be as strong as her to move into action. To sort my own bags into recycling or trash. To decide if it is worth carrying those bags for the return or to find something new.

What do you need to do to be who you are, let alone who you want to be?

PS: Since completing this post, a van pulled up, collected all the recycling bags from the woman, who then walked to her shiny Volvo on the corner and drove off.  I need to broaden my vision! I need more cake!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pretty Odd Exsistence

Well, it's been one month since David .......................... yep, can't type the words. You know what I mean though. Unless you do not, in which case, you are advised to read older posts! There is no quick "on previous episodes" re cap.
The biggest thing I have discovered in this month has been a tremendous energy that would be described as positive, ambitious and downright fantastical.
My first two weeks featured a to do list highlighting, the completion and selling of a play, training for a half marathon, raising money for Beacon Hospice and spending time in Hawaii.
All very doable, suddenly, even though I hardly move, hardly write, do not raise money well nor have the dollars to go to Fall River every day, let alone a trip to Hawaii.
Yet, in this zone, I imagine that I am now able to do these things and a million others because I have learnt the secret to life. And, whats more, that I have loved and lost, big time and can still face the world with a smile.
Also on the list is burning down McLean Hospital - I know, just when you thought everything I want involves good intentions. Sadly an ability to love, may also empower an ability to hate.
I can now meditate, suddenly, and communicate in the style of The Ghost Whisperer. Yes I have sat on the kitchen floor, calling out for David when Max The Cat appeared with a long lost favorite toy of his. The toy belonged to Max, not to David, just to clear any confusion.
I admit to speaking with the lamppost outside our front door one night, that was flashing on and off for a few minutes.
Conversations occur out loud and in my head like:

JAYNE: David, if you are here, blow the candle out.
DAVID: I can't do that yet, I'm still learning.
JAYNE: David, if you are here, blow the candle out.
DAVID: I know, I heard you the first time.
 
I'm considering taking up Demi Moore pottery, just to see what happens.
Anyway, the significant point to reveal, that among this sudden power is also an extreme tiredness, a lack of motivation and utter confusion. My mind will change what it wants to do half an hour before I realize I should have been doing something else.
What do you want to read? Do you want tea or coffee? What time is it? What day is it? Where are you going to live? What are you going to do?
Every question feels like I've jumped into the ocean to swim one length. How do you know how long one length is in the ocean? Just when I feel at my weakest, is the time I need to explore what, how and where I live my next chapter. It's like taking a law exam on your thirteenth birthday.
So my right arm believes it will create a center for young people with Alzheimer's, while my left arm ponders on how to use the television remote.
It's a pretty odd existence right now and for the billions going through it, we should all receive a sign to wear that says "please make us cups of tea and give hugs gently."
So, please ........... would you make me some tea and give hugs gently?