If you grew up in Jacksonville, you probably know these people. Or knew them. Or worked for them. Or they slept with your wife. Or they are your father and you don’t know it. That’s always a doozy. Or there might have been altercations. Stories old and cold. Love is all there is.
Ruth’s Chris, My Family and the St. Johns River
That may save you or kill you. It’s a matter of perspective.
I sat and stared at the river. The eight foot span of glass window framed the movement of the dark water. White painted lines highlighted the altering circles. it was oddly the polar opposite of a
Max Peter’s painting. The black water provided the forefront and middle of the vista. A drab grey ship provided part of the back drop on North Bank.
A 390′ Navy Battle Ship was blending into the concrete facade of the Hyatt Regency. The sun shone down blanketing the vessel. Just ugly and there. But the city has plans and it will be a museum. A place where people make up stories of the past. Where one questions and doesn’t believe. Where one will believe anything they’re told.
“Do you mean to tell me a 390′ ship was framed in by an eight foot sheet of glass?”
The skeptic just had to have a voice. No matter how obnoxious.
“Yes, And you would drown trying to cross that river with those criss crossing currents. It’s impossible from this point. You would be sucked into the abyss.”
The one we’re all going to swim in one day.
This (my writing and viewpoint) reminds me of my life. My history as an artist. My years of living. “Girl, you don’t know where your bread is buttered.”
“Yes I do, I smear wonderful tasting butter on Ezekiel bread. I do what is good for my health. Mental, spiritual and physical. It has made me vastly unpopular. Well, as unpopular as I can get, being a nobody amongst nobodies.
When one sets out to do something, write a story, buy a house, catch a wave, track fish, deal with social climbing South Afrikaners, wrestle with new age realty contracts, log a WOD, pull a weed, read a book, share about a book, there are always decisions to be made.
Life can be complicated.
So, they built the bridge too short. Just don’t tell anybody.
Last night, I gathered with twenty two other Jacksonville writers. We had a party. Hosted by Brad and Darlyn Kuhn, at their Trout River Home, it couldn’t have been better. It was a comfortable setting, with a beautiful view.
Our motive for gathering was to meet each other, and to read our writing.
Most there were professionals, all were talented. It was an enlightening experience.
After committing, to this party participation, I believe writers are a somewhat like skaters. You put yourself out there. Getting up to read is like climbing up the pipe, knowing your getting ready to make the drop. If you don’t climb, if you don’t go, there’s nothing. But if you do, and you take that chance, you can fly. And like the skaters, the writers have bit the dust and practiced enough, to be able to put on a good show. Each take their turn. They support one another, and have fun, including ups and downs.
JaxbyJax.com is community. It’s about Jacksonville, Florida. It’s about making our hometown a better place. It’s a gathering and it takes heart!
One must be strong ~ to be a writer.
This is the advertisement for the event which is happening next week, October 15th and 16th, at the Jesse DuPont Center, which I am fond of calling, the old Haydon Burns Library. 40 East Adams St.
Come out and support your local writers, watch them skate. They make some tricky turns. It’s heady and colorful. It’s art and it’s free!
Open this link for particulars ~ https://www.jaxbyjax.com
We Are Gifted With Their Stories
See you at the park!
I was in her apartment. It was a two bedroom, one bath, concrete hovel. It was navy housing. The war was going on and I loved to smoke pot and listen to Cat Stevens. I was in the company, of a stranger, strange neighbor.
She shared with me that her parents were in the KKK. She was so proud, of her father in his robes, when she would attend rallies with them. She told me about the philosophies, of the KKK. They wanted to keep the white race white.
She boasted that her boyfriend, of the time, was a leader, during the 1964 St. Augustine Rallies. She claimed they fed a black man, to the hogs. She laughed.
I was silent. I loved Cat Stevens. I was twelve.
I went to visit a relative, who worked in the Georgia education system. She was so proud of her job. She told me how stupid the black children were. They just had to deal with them, but it was so difficult and a waste a time. My backbone straightened and I came down upon her with an intellectual vengeance. I showed her who was stupid.
I walked out, went home and rarely ever visited again. I was 36..
I had a friend that I admired. She was an artist and a middle school teacher. I went to her class, to see the students work. She let me know, which work, was from black children. She said they had zero creativity.
I could no longer be her friend. I was 40
I was close to an older woman, who told me her Daddy owned nigger town. She made the claim, that black people could only go so far in education. They couldn’t cut it. They would quit and give up. And she abhorred Venus Williams. She believed that Venus had destroyed women’s tennis. She was a highly respected and affluent member, of the Jacksonville community.
I stayed by her side, until her death. I was continually shocked at her class consciousness and racism. I am in my sixties.
I still like Cat Stevens
Racism, friends and family, and overgrown children who don’t know how to be civil.
Yes, for God’s sake, don’t ever speak up. Don’t loose it. Hold it inside. Sing a song. Look the other way. Take it on the chin. Pull yourselves up by the bootstraps. Dodge the bullet. Don’t throw water on the burning cross, that would be too uncivil.
Am I Civil – sometimes.
Am I Confused – hell no!
I saw a post on Facebook, concerning a protest. It was a rally, planned for today, to solicit, once again, the removal of a Confederate soldier from it’s high perch, in Hemming Park. It’s centered in, the ever angry and racist city, of Jacksonville, Florida. My hometown.
It’s a city, with a large black population. People who were brought here from Senegal, Africa, to be slaves. They are mostly all hemm-ed up, in a part of town, the North West Quadrant.
If you didn’t intentionally, or accidentally drive through there, you would never know it existed. – It’s shocking.
Last year, the muses inspired me, to go down there and do some photography. It never happened.
I had planned to attend the rally today. However, things changed. The Confederate soldier was removed, from the park. Now that some time has passed, I suspect, to keep it safe, for a future re-positioning. But let’s hope not. Maybe, it will be put in a museum.
Today, the rally is going to be in front of the Jax Courthouse. They are protesting police violence.
My still small voice, said, Don’t go. So, I’m not going.
I will be in my house, in my chair, breathing and meditating.
The rally is at three. I will be present, I will have my eyes closed and I will be One with the Universe.
That is what I should do –
Be still and Know
Following a death, engulfed in grief, people can take on the energy, of an out-of- control fire, behaving erratically and moving in a direction, that creates a veering and unpredictable path. They search for a target to blow their vaporous, hot air of anger. They want to hurt someone. Modern day mourners zero in on their quarry and begin to hurl their bombs. Hate filled words are the ammunition and cell phones are their technological armory. Continue reading Blocked and Deleted/Yet Another Battle in a War I Thought Was Over
This is set 5 of 10. These are some of my favorite portraits that I am sharing. I have ten more days until I fly out of here, destination, Costa Rica. I have hopes for my life there. I thought I was going to be an ex-pat and live there full-time, but none of that worked out. I still keep allowing my life to unfold; I go where I’m lead. God’s plan always seems to be better than mine.
Let Me Show You
Look closely~see people~beautiful!