I had a relative of mine ask me how, as an artist, I could adopt a conservative, rather than a liberal position about certain issues. He berated and compared me to other artists who held firm to one absolute liberal position.
I maintain that a true artist may want to keep an open mind, exam many ideas, accept others opinions and feelings and consider them. We all live on the same planet in the same Universe. My feeling is, if we shut off parts of ourselves, we close off light. How can we create and keep fresh and move forward without our full spectrum of colors available to us? Are there some colors that, to me, I absolutely find repugnant to use? Yes. Still, sometimes I try to understand why, and sometimes I use them anyway.
I would always like to keep an open mind. I love the process of contemplation. I love the art of expression through "Words" especially. I have been told, "Jackie, when you perform, just go out with you and your guitar and your "Words." Those wonderful arrangers, conductors, writers and producers who I respected so much in the past, who I have mentioned in my bio, advised me over and over again "Just go out alone, guitar and vocal and your writing." Yet, I have been hesitant to do that in the past, but it has always worked best for me. I have always felt I had to put a lot of "production" behind me and I've hired people who put a lot of music behind my songs that never quite came out the way I heard it in my head. I never thought just going out by myself was enough. I think the way my mind works, and the openness of it and the way I weigh things and come to my balance of thought, should be good enough on its own. But that's the way the Universe, God, created me, and that's how I was meant to be. So I think that's what I'm going to do. Just be me from now on. Honest and unfiltered. I think that's why it's taken so long for me to complete this new website. All this back and forth in my mind about whether I should do "Productions" or just "Guitar and vocals" with maybe light strings here and there, light embellishment, if I feel it.
Why did I add the comparison of going back to being honest in my music and what's going on in politics and the World? I believe sometimes it takes chaos, even in our own selves, to break up patterns of complacency and the need to try and fit in that can sometimes start out innocently but can become the pattern that overtakes us and what is right for us. It eats up originality. Thinking outside the box can truly influence and change lives. We're all unique. The Universe/God put every single one of us here to give something positive to the World, I would hope. Even if it feels painful now and we can't understand it's immediate purpose.
How can we balance the Universe if we're unwilling to take a chance to be who we really are. I believe that's how things are playing out right now in the USA, in my humble opinion.
1/5/2017- Happy New Year and many blessings your way. I'm finally getting my new Website completed. I want to thank Delaney for all her help. I hope to keep everyone up-to-date on what's going on with me and my projects.
3/17/2017 - Shared insights! I'm not a sage or a prophet but sometimes I share a thought or two with some younger people I hold dear to me. I don't offer the thoughts. They usually ask me what I think of this or that first. I know many folks who fight with their own feelings; "should I do this, should I do that." I know because I've done the same thing all my life. There's a fine balance between mulling things over, making a hasty decision or spending time going back and forth in your mind trying to figure out what to do that you get stuck and wind up doing nothing. I call this "THE BOXING MATCH."
When you box with yourself you can never win, You're boxing "YOU" and no one knows how to kick your ass better than "YOU". You know every trick in the book about how to keep yourself down, and when you get up, you know the trick to knocking yourself down again. You know how to make a "Punching bag" out of yourself. And, here's the thing, when people see you using yourself as a punching bag they figure, "Hey, he/she set themself up as a punching bag. I might as well get a few shots in too. People, with few exceptions, love to knock one into you, especially when you're down. And, for those of you who have come from abusive backgrounds where it's especially tough to make decisions, there are very few sensitive people who understand that an abused person's head is wired in a more fragile way, sort of like a fighter who got knocked in the head one time too many and is a little wobbly. Also, people in general will punish you for their own shortcomings, and that has nothing to do with you. . And forget how people mistake kindness for weakness.
This is a conversation I had with someone I love recently... They were getting eaten up by their feelings of guilt. They were boxing with themselves. They didn't want to do something that was bad for them, but they felt they had to or they'd be punished in some way. I said " You're already punishing yourself." They started to laugh. If you can't find humor in all of this, what's the point. Life is filled with lessons.
All of this is easy to say. To put this understanding into action is much harder. I know that. It takes so much soul searching, and most of all...living.
My horse Maverick and I got a new horse named Bo. So now Maverick has a brother. He's an Arabian. He is much more feisty than Maverick and a lot of fun to ride. I'll put it like this, Maverick is a quarter horse Paint and riding him is like driving a truck. Beau is a beautiful Bay color and riding him is like driving a Ferrari. He has fallen in love with Maverick. He gets very upset if he is separated from Maverick for 5 minutes. "OH GREAT! " Hearing Beau "neighing and pacing back and forth" until I can rather quickly walk all the way from the round pen back to his stall to get him out so he will stop these antics is a whole lot of fun. I'll try to get a good photo of him, though I did put up a small photo of the two of them loving each other on my gallery. You can't see it very well.
Have a wonderful week everyone.
Life is change, movement. I think anytime you change position it's uncomfortable, but you adjust. I suppose that's what survival is. I'm not sure. I'm sure many parts of oneself rearrange within your mind, body and soul until they fit into a new place within, in order for you to become a refined and redefined person. Without that, you remain stagnant or...dead, in a sense.
Complacency is comfortable. Being given choice to change can be painful but it's a blessing if you have the foresight to recognize it. You can stay in a bad situation or you can go through the pain and make the moves to get out. Like I said, life is change, movement.
I have yet to make a move where I didn't come out with some kind of mark on me, be it, physical, mental or emotional. But, that's what I think makes us who we are. That's what having "Character" is all about. That's also what gives you compassion.
God bless the risk takers, how ever large or small the risk.
First, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
To hurt anyone is not my intention in life. I want a peaceful life. Life throws you enough on its own. With humility, I mean no harm to anyone.
I'm working hard to clean up my own inner home and outer home with what time I have left on earth. My intentions are good. What others do, and how they meddle, I have no control of. And what others do, sometimes in my name, even if I advise them against it, I have no control over.
I just want to move forward on my road, peacefully. I have some friends who have been good friends who have been lovely and un-intrusive. I love them.
Advice by those whose lives have not been lived with love but with drama and chaos for the most part and want to meddle and advise you on how to turn your life into one like theirs just want you to join their club of high drama because without it, they have to look at what a mess they've made of theirs.
I want my life to be filled with sunshine, and all the seasons that I love. Music, horses, art, true love, which means wanting to see others live their dreams out and helping those who are bullied just because they are full of something "different."
If you have someone's back and they don't have yours, in fact they stab you in yours, you can't stick around for each wound to heal. They don't want you to move forward with your own life. In reality, they don't like you. They don't want to fill you up. They want to leave you full of holes. They want to kill you. You must move on and protect yourself.
This is my Christmas message. Jesus Christ wanted to fill you up and see you on your way so you could be a child of God. Rejoice in that! HE died so that you could live! Don't slap HIM in the face by allowing others to kill you.
GIVING: I like to think I'm a fairly strong person, a survivor. Some people think I'm weak because I have a generous nature. I think that's ignorant. I'm generous, but that in itself is a very selfish act. You see, when I give, it makes "ME" feel good! That's the thing about cheap spirited people. They're usually not nice people. Someone recently told me that even though I'd always thought it. "Giving" makes one feel good. For example, when you buy someone a gift, and you see their face light up...what a joy it feels like inside (at least to me). Let's face it, "Stuff" slips in and out of your hands. You look at it for awhile and it passes on to the next person, either right away or soon enough, like when you die. My feeling...I give because I have enough gifts inside me that I can afford to give out some. The person who doesn't want to give you anything, who hoards everything and saves everything for themselves, comes from a place of "lack." Why should they give you anything? They don't feel they have enough gifts of their own inside. Here's the thing that really makes me laugh. They truly believe when you give, you're trying to "Buy" their love, "People please them" "Show them that you think they are more valuable than you" "Try to get in good with them" and on and on and on. As for me, I'll simply say this, "I have enough gifts in me to give out for the rest of my life." I'll never run out of them. I love to share. The more I give away, the more room I make inside to receive from the GREAT GIFT GIVER...GOD!
CHANGE: And so it goes. As is in nature, the great equalizer there is -- CHANGE. That which we welcome, yet fear. That which excites us, yet terrifies us. Who of us runs into the cold arms of CHANGE with abandon saying "Take me. I'm all yours.?" Not me, for one. I baby step my way through that cave of, the cave of the great equalizer. ---Voices call me from the past and say, "Come back where it's comfortable. At least you knew what you had here." --- But, I can't because stronger voices in my head push me forward through that tunnel to, who knows where. --- I didn't even want to go through change. Someone put my back up so far against a wall that I had to move forward. Then did what people like that do, blame me for forcing "Change." Can't anyone take responsibility, tsk tsk.. But, and I like to call it the "BIG BUTT, lol" If it wasn't meant to be it wouldn't have been forced on me.
Once, in a particular situation in my past, I was told that I was like a rabbit in a cage with a lion. I was also told that there are givers and takers, of which I know I'm a giver (if any of you can relate), and that takers are like Hawks. They circle up top until they find a victim who looks ready to be devoured, and then they swoop down and destroy it. Well guess what... In the Chinese horoscope I was born the Year of the Tiger. Whoever thought they were swooping down on some defenseless sick rabbit didn't have the depth to sense the "Chi" in me. They came down and woke the tiger and got a big surprise.
All my life I've been taking care of others, my mother, even when she was a young mother, kept me home to comfort her and entertain her. Kept me home with her to care for my sick father. My sick father relied on me at the end to lean on. Not many realized the full extent of this because they don't really analyze people like me or people like you who underplay themselves. You know, the ones who are "There" defending their families, their husbands, mothers, fathers, brothers., sisters, etc., the ones who'll stand up alone against the world for those they care for. We are the true heads of our households. But we don't like someone battering us down either, and we'll say so. When you are battered and never appreciated you will walk away. Let someone else fen for these predators. Don't cast your pearls among swine.
I am on my own now, as so many of you are. I know you have the strength to move forward, break the locks of the past and walk through the gates of change, all alone, with dignity, because you are tigers. If I can do it, so can you. I will do it with a smile on my face or with anger in my eyes. With the grace of God or with the hammer of Thor. One way or another, I will get through that damn door.
I know people like me. I know a lot of you. You're tough. And for those of you who are on your way to developing your "Tough" If you don't have the strength to do it on your own yet, you can come with me and probably with them, but the minute you try to devour me like a hawk would a sick beast, I will chew you up and spit you out. These have never been just "Words" with me. I love with all my heart. But yes, I let go with all my heart too..
Ps I know I messed up my grammar because I wasn't paying attention
Sometimes God puts the right people in your life just when you need them most. It's nice to have people you knew long ago, who thought highly of you, who remind you of who you are and what you are inside. Even though you should always keep tabs on that yourself, it's nice when someone builds you up rather than knocks you down. We all need to surround ourselves with friends like that.
Keep the faith. When your intentions are good I believe God smiles on you. We're here to pull each other up, not to put each other down.
9/20/2018 - SEASONS
I haven't had much to blog about for awhile. Guess I've just been walking down one path in my road. I had to say goodbye to a long time friend, my sweet little brown dog "Monkey" about three weeks ago. It was very sad. She was one of the sweetest dogs I've ever known. -- I've been getting out and riding my horse Maverick more. I'm so happy he's there for me. What a steady guy. He was a blessing from God. Through the good times and the challenging times he's always been there. Where I ride is so beautiful. There are big mountains and they're red and blue and all sorts of beautiful colors. --Nature is beautiful. I've come to know my nature better this year, the seasons within me and that if you're kind at all, you can only be pushed so far if you have any "chi" within you. That's what makes a pliable survivor. One who doesn't shut down. I've learned how far I'm willing to go within myself to weather a storm, or take the heat. And I've realized that as alone as you can feel, if you're blessed by God, maybe you will be given just one person who is a real, true friend who will walk along side you, who is stronger than you thought even you could ever be. That will humble you and knock you down to size when you think you're so tough and such a big shot.-- And I've also learned that The "Godly" will surface and the "Meddlers" will come out of the woodwork. The evil like to interfere in any hope of redemption between old friends by whispering their own agendas in your ears. People love to see other people live out their lives as boring, empty and miserable as they've lived out theirs. They'll tell you to do the opposite of what they did themselves just so they can use you for whatever selfish, petty "thing" they need to fill up their own life, be it to spend your money buying them a bottle of wine or a pack of cigarettes or a dinner.
I wrote a song called "WINDOWS" with a fellow composer. I'm going to have to put it up next time I go into my music page.
God bless the tender hearted, who mean well and don't shut down. Why else are we here? It's hard to catch yourself. It's hard to own forgiveness...for yourself and for others.
As my year wraps up I have to say "what a year." It's been one of greater knowledge. I've come through a big storm and managed to survive. I've learned to accept that there are truly treacherous people. There are those who will smile to your face while plotting to stab you in the back. Those who feel so empty they want to use you as a whipping post because to them, your life looks so full, whether it is or not. . No one likes to fight, but sometimes you have to fight back. You have to be your own boots on the ground. Your own "Troop." . Some people are just mean. You've heard the expression "Low life." One would like to believe there is good in everyone, but I've learned only God can pull that good out. It's not my job. Some people choose to live low lives. They creep around like lizards. . You always see them at your feet, but instead of allowing them to crawl up your leg, swat them off. Save your nobility for the truly deserving.
I've made a few new friends and let go of those who were never friends. Those who "Tell you what to do" are not friends. How can they tell you how your heart should beat? I've had friends point out those who harbored jealousies against me. Why? What could I have that they couldn't pull out of themselves? It's a waste of time trying to be someone else, and, it's impossible. . They should devote themselves to...themselves.
Through all of this I've been given a gift...I've made one best friend who I'll cherish the rest of my life, my cousin Eileen. She has been there for me literally through thick and thin. I don't know what I would have done without her. She was there "Whenever" I needed her. She just...understood. Her capacity for love, empathy and compassion knows no bounds. Her own husband (my blood cousin) is suffering from a paralyzing stroke and still, she made time night and day for me. She is the most fair person I've ever met. She doesn't tell me what to do. She only says that I should do what I feel is right for me no matter what "Anyone" says. That I shouldn't care what anyone says. That life is short and getting shorter every day.
I have learned not to allow people to treat me poorly anymore or discard my feelings or treat me like an afterthought. I come first. And if they want to make family out me, they will come first. If you have someone's back, they should have yours or, give them back. I've gone from someone not looking me in the eyes or even knowing the color of my eyes, to people telling me what beautiful eyes I have. To being told for years that I didn't sing well to being told I've accomplished so much in my life and they love my writings and the way I sing and the way I sing out and bring joy and humor to their lives. I've gone from those who only worry about a painting on a canvas being ruined rather than wondering whether a life was being ruined. People who broke precious "Things" of mine and when their things were broken even then they didn't understand how it might have felt when someone didn't care about your treasures or even if your heart was broken. Whether you asked for a simple favor and they couldn't find the time for you but took stranger's parts. Whether me having devastating cancer after a mother died would frighten me into facing my own mortality so deeply I could only quietly bear it for so long. Those who would not ask me if I was frightened about if and when that cancer might return and where I'd be buried if it came back.. Having someone "forget" to ask how to help me find out where I'd be buried.. I've gone from hearing a group of people whispering and plotting in the next room about how to get me out of their life, to people wondering how they could convince me to stay in their life.
I'm sad about some things and happy about others. I've wondered why I was never given a "proper and very sincere" apology by some people and yet they feel they are absolutely owed one by me. Which despite everything, I have even given them. Why not? I had nothing to lose, and I had everything to gain for myself. I do things for myself. Why some people feel indignant and bitter when I actually stand up for myself is beyond me. If they ever loved me you'd think they'd want me to be strong. Even Christ got angry in the Temple. Even Angels wings must cause some destruction on the ground and sweep away "Things" when they build the momentum to fly off. Hearts and souls are all that matter. Things can be replaced, people can't. A "thing" is only one thing. A person is many things and always if there was once love, there is always love and always forgiveness. But one has no time to forgive lizards, lol.
I was recently told by someone close to me this year, "You have so much of your father in you!" That was strange for me to hear. I knew my father well so I thought about it. I knew both sides of him. He was brutally cold if you pushed him too far. On the other hand he once said to me, "Jackie, if (and he named a horrible dictator in history, lol") gave me the right story I'd forgive him, hahahaha. We had a good laugh over that. Some people, especially the ignorant and out and out cruel, he could never find it in his heart to love or forgive again, because he was such a sport and so generous. I know who these people were and are and I cannot forgive them either. But I understood what he meant about forgiveness, lol. Ignorance is never bliss.
Again...My absolute blessing this year besides my self-respect is my cousin Eileen. You were never judgmental. You never filled my head with dos or don'ts or any hatred nor did you have bad things to say about anyone. You are a fair person and Eileen I love you!
Happy 2018 and onto 2019. I hope it is filled with surprises, forgiveness, revelations and love.