“Sun and rain, are both precious gifts from God. Yet, we consistently bitch when it rains because we don’t want to get wet. Good and bad, again are both precious gifts from God. Yet, we consistently bitch when something bad happens because we don’t want to deal with it. Do you see where I am going here? Good, apply this to your life, pronto.”-ME
Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Tag
Real life is the present tense. We don’t fix our eyes to what was, or what will be. But rather we focus our hearts on what is. In this way, may we all find a measure of peace. -ME
“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”-Buddha.
Often we are taught to look upward toward the sky for answers. The sky represents a bigger metaphor, which represents everything physical between us and the sky. Everything that will in fact give us no answers. To find God, to find the way, to find your answers, you must turn your eyes inward.-JMD
“It’s not how well you write, but how you feel when you write.”
First, let me say I dare not touch nor even begin to discuss the fact that my dear mother was the one who created the quote above. I have tried to tell her for years she is smart/creative, just in her own way and well the proof is above. But, I digress…
In my humble opinion, the quote above speaks volumes to not only the writer, but to the reader in all of us as well. Often there is a misconception that writers are at their best soon after they experience an event that is traumatic, heart breaking, or life altering to the point where we are “sad”. We enjoy poetry, stories, screen plays, etc, which touch on very sensitive subjects, which are certainly born from heart wrenching experiences. And we assume at times that these powerful episodes lead directly to the creation of art. I tend to believe this is the exception not the rule.
I can picture it now, a young woman who is also an avid writer, recently discovers that her boyfriend is sleeping with her best friend. She runs to her sanctity, her laptop, and begins to let loose on the keyboard one of the best poems she has ever written. It contains vivid images of pain, anger, and confusion. The emotion is so very real because it is so very fresh. It is raw, uncensored. She looks at the screen after the poem is complete, reads, and hits the delete key. She types again, only gets half way through, and delete. Wash, rinse, and repeat until finally she gives up, hops in bed, and cries herself to sleep.
Weeks, months, and maybe even years later our same writer goes back to her laptop. A fresh idea has popped into her mind from an unexpected source of inspiration. She begins to type a poem. Its words beautifully describe a scene containing love, despair, and a phoenix rising from the ashes. Her fingers do not stop working until the final word is crafted. She scans over the poem and smiles. Born from experience, but executed with a clear, calm, and peaceful mind; she has finally created a work of art that does justice to the standards she holds ever piece too.
As writers, experience and emotion are two of the biggest tools at are our disposal. But that does not mean however that we can create when our wounds are newly fresh. Now granted, there are exceptions to any rule and well quite frankly, I could be completely wrong about this whole thing. But I think most writers would agree; we are at our best when we feel the best. A bad mood doesn’t lend itself to great writing. In fact, it is quite the opposite, it is like my mother says, “It’s not how well you write, but how you feel when you write.”
Roaches & Cocoons
I can recognize a tattered and torn cocoon when I see it; do you dare to call me naïve when I am also able to recognize the butterfly inside…
James M Davis
Thank the Lord, Algebra 101 is finally over. 101 my ass, I hurried out the door quickly. With my backpack securely fastened across my chest, I took my usually short cut between Perry Hall and the Commons. Directly above my head, the sun was beginning to peak out from a scatter of clouds. Today would be another hot, humid one, no surprise there. I reached for my cell phone.
“What’s up, where you at?” I asked, with a slight shortness of breath. I continued down the side walk with a hurried pace toward Vernon, my junior college home away from home. Ok, enough with the theatrics, I was headed toward my dorm room.
“In the parking lot, waiting on you. Where are you at?” My friend’s voice answered and asked.
“Just go out of class, I’m about to be there.”
“Ok, bet come on.”
Click…I hung up my phone with precision. This is not the first time we have had a conversation like this and certainly would not be the last one. I rubbed my hands together, enjoying the anticipation of what was to come. I hurried my pace again.
I reached the parking lot in short order. I scanned the area and with ease, I spotted my friends white Chevy S10. It was in its usual place, on the outskirts of the parking area, a short distance to college drive. Parked in the shade, I walked up to the passenger door. My friend had already spied me coming; he reached over and unlocked the door.
I hoped in, threw my bag in the back and before I could even mutter a word, my friend was dangling a cigar in front of my face. It went back and forth between his fingers with graceful precision. He spoke up, “You break it down, fill it up, and I will roll it.”
I knew the procedure; he knew I knew the procedure. “What’s up, you going to English class today?” I asked, my hands worked in near perfect unison with my two thumbnails; I had almost completed the task at hand.
He looked at me with a sly grin on his face, “Yeah, we got a test today. I have got to do it well on it too. Ms. Hill told me if I can manage a B that I might be able to finish the course with a passing grade.”
I opened my door, took a couple quick glances around and dumped the tobacco on the pavement underneath my friend’s truck. “Well, you know what they say, third time is a charm.” I replied laughingly, as I motioned with my left hand that I was ready for the weed.
He lifted up the middle arm pad resting in between us and handed over a small plastic bag. It emitted a bright green sparkling glow. “Yeah, no shit. It is multiple choice, so hopefully I will be able to work a miracle. Got a few classmates on board with doing a little uhh…I guess you could say answer sharing, so I should be straight.” He looked over at me, as I began to fill the cigar paper up and spoke again, “Only use half, I want to save one for later.”
“Answer sharing…good luck with that.” I replied, passing the cigar over to him. As he was finishing up the job, I looked through my cell phone to check a few messages. There wasn’t much to check, “So, where are we going to go, airport, park..?”
He was rolling the first side of the cigar over, and answered, “Nah man, we can’t go out that far today, I have to be back for that test.”
“Oh, yeah no doubt. The bridge then?” I asked, sitting up in my seat, looking out for campus police.
“Yeah, the bridge sounds good. We haven’t been there in a while anyway.” He answered, as he put the finishing touches on our little escape from reality.
“You sure you want to take this test high?”
He looked at me and laughed, “You sure you want to see me take this test and not be high?”
I nodded in approval, as he wheeled the manual transmission out of the lot and we headed toward College Drive.
On the way to the bridge, we lit, smoked, and finished the blunt. We shot the shit about various things, and listened to some rap music in between that. The drive took about ten minutes, which was perfect for today. When we arrived at the bridge, we pulled underneath it toward the left side, nestled nicely in the shade. At this point, both of our eyes were quite red and barely open.
I had my arm hanging out the window, enjoying the coolness of a breeze that seemed to never come around often enough. I was looking out into a small thicket of trees, when my eye caught a glimpse of something that would prove to be rather peculiar. There was a lone cocoon hanging from a branch. It couldn’t have been more than five or so yards away from my side of the truck. Its color was greatly distorted; it looked as if it had been through days of war. Scars lined the outside of its protective shell. On the limb itself where the cocoon hung, there were insects a scurry everywhere. Ants, small black beetle like bugs, and other insects traveled up and down the branch. It appeared that the ants had caught scent of the struggling cocoon and were preparing to ready a meal for their queen.
I looked over at my friend and said, “Hey man, you see that cocoon?”
He nodded, “Yeah, so what.”
“Oh, nothing. Just kind of crazy if you think about it. That cocoon has no chance of making it to a butterfly. I mean hell, look at it. It is in bad enough shape as it is, not to mention the army of ants that look like they are about to finish it off.”
My friend looked over and replied, “Yeah, that thing is definitely fucked man. That caterpillar should have picked a better spot.”
“You think if we grabbed it and put it in a jar or something that it would be able to change into a butterfly?” I asked, as my eyes continued to study the situation at hand.
He leaned over closer, to get a better look. “Shit man, I am not sure. It is probably already dead, but hell it wouldn’t hurt to try I guess.
I opened my door, and took a few steps toward the cocoon. “Yeah, you are probably right, but what the hell I am going to grab it anyway, what do I have to lose.”
“Well, hurry up and get it, we need to head back. I got twenty minutes before class starts.” My friend spoke. I reached the branch, and delicately grabbed the cocoon. I could sense the disappointment radiating from the army of ants lined up to do their duty. “Not today my friends.”
I hoped in the truck and we headed back to school. I had the cocoon in my right hand. I studied it with great anticipation. We continued down the road, when…
“Fuck man, we are being pulled over! Toss the sack, toss the sack, toss the sack dude!” Without hesitation, my right hand dumped the cocoon out the window. It fell with great speed for a thing of its size and landed amongst some grass and weeds in ditch. “Shit man, shit, I threw the cocoon out! Hand me the sack!” My friend quickly put the sack into my now empty hand and I threw it out the window…
“Your license and insurance.” The officer ordered, as I stared straight ahead. My friend handed his license and insurance over to the cop. He scanned over it and spoke again, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“No sir, I don’t. I didn’t think I was speeding.” My friend answered rather confidently.
“No, you definitely were not speeding. In fact, you were doing 15mph. Any reason why you are driving so slow?” the police officer asked, as he stole a quick peek over at me. “You, let me see your license too.”
I handed my license over to him. My friend spoke up with a bit of shock in his voice. He definitely was not prepared to defend against a case of driving too slow. “Sir, I am not sure why I was only going that fast umm..I did not realize it.”
“When is the last time yall smoked?” The cop continued with his questioning.
My friend was more than prepared to answer this question. We both have had to answer that question to many times to be honest. He looked at the officer and answered, “Like four, six hours ago.”
“Is that right. Cut the truck off and put your hands on the steering wheel. You in the passenger seat, put your hands on the dash. I will be right back.” He ordered, and then retreated to his patrol car. I could see another cop pulling up in the side mirror, Great.
“Holy fuck man, you were going 15mph.” I said in a low voice, trying not to laugh out of amusement and nervousness.
“You threw the sack out right” My friend spoke, confirming what he already knew. “I don’t think he saw it.” He finished up saying, as he looked at me with eyes wide open.
“Yeah we are straight; I think he is going to let us go.” The officer approached the truck again.
“Ok fellows, here are your licenses. Both of you checked out, no warrants, no unpaid tickets. I am assuming you are both college students.” We nodded our heads. “Get back to campus and I don’t want to see you two again. Be careful.” The officer finished speaking, tapped the top of the truck, and headed back to his car.
We pulled into the parking lot at Vernon. We both let out a sigh. “Shit, that was intense man.” I exclaimed, looking out the front windshield.
“Yeah it was. That cop was cool though, he didn’t mess with us that bad.” My friend spoke with a tone of relief.
“15mph??” I started to laugh. “I guess there is a first for everything.” I punched my friend in the arm.
He looked over at me with his eyebrows held high on his forehead, “You are one to talk. You threw that fucking cocoon out the window instead of the weed!” He was now laughing at me.
“Yeah, I kind of shit the bed on that one, but I recovered. I wonder where it landed though. I mean that ditch was right there, who knows right?”
“I don’t know and I don’t care. But I do know this, I am five minutes late for class!” My friend opened his door, throwing his backpack on his shoulders. He headed started to jog away from the truck and yelled back to me, “Lock the door!”
I opened my door with backpack in hand and stepped half way out. I finished pushing the lock down, when something colorful caught my eye. I closed the door, looked toward the center of the hood, and I saw it. I studied it for a few seconds. I turned my head, let out a simple laugh, and walked off shaking my head with a smile.
…At times chance happens and someone takes a risk. Grabs a dying cocoon; fights for it, when it cannot defend itself against the world. Offering the butterfly a chance to spread its wings when no one else well. These flawed, unsung heroes are not always around to see its beautiful colors nor are they always successful. Those details matter not; for hope was given when no hope was in sight.
A Door Closes…Another One Opens
My stomach was in knots, as I continued walking up the beautifully brick path toward a large elegantly engraved wood door. The light from the moon were shining brightly off the huge glass window that adorned the front of the house. The house was absolutely marvelous. It had that wooden ski lodge feeling, but it yet it retained a feeling of home. My heart was beating a thousand miles a minute. I could not wait to surprise her. I stood at the door and rang the bell twice. I began to smile, she had no idea it would be me at the door.
The door opened and I heard the shocked voice of Tiffany’s mother say, “Jake! What in the world are you doing here?” She had a big smile on her face. She quickly smothered me with a hug. Tiffany’s parents love me, especially her mom. I am always good with the moms.
As she stepped back, I replied jokingly, “Hey! I was in the area and I thought I would stop by real quick!”
“Well come in out the cold”, she spoke in a motherly tone.
I stepped and began to explain, “I actually finished up with everything at work and decided I would surprise your sweet daughter with a visit.”
“That’s so sweet of you and it’s great to see you. Everyone thought you had to work. Tiffany is going to be a mess when she sees you”, she proclaimed as she leading me down a hallway.
We ended up in a family room that was the size of my apartment back home. I exchanged greetings with Tiffany’s farther and had to re-explain my surprise plan. We talked for a few minutes about different things, mainly work, and some sports. Then it dawned on me, I had not even seen my girlfriend yet. So I waited for a good break in the conversation and said, “So where is Tiffany by the way?”
Her mom perked up and replied, “Oh, yeah, the reason why you are here, right. Well you actually just missed her. She went out with her friends just about an hour ago. But it’s not a big deal, I will just text her and see where she is at and I won’t mention you are here.”
“Ok, thanks that would be great”, I replied. It was twenty past ten o’clock and I should have guessed that Tiffany along with her friends would be out on the town at this point. But this would not hamper my plan. I would have to surprise her at a different location. Actually this might even make it better.
Sharon, Tiffany’s mother, provided me with the directions to the place she was at, which I typed into my rental car’s GPS. It was only a short drive from their house. A short drive before I would see my beautiful Tiffany. I could not wait. She was such a fun girl who did not take life to serious. It was approaching out two year anniversary. I had recently thought about popping the question to her. But for now that would be on hold. A cross country surprise would suffice. Would she run into my arms screaming? Or maybe she would punch me in the chest with shock? Whatever her reaction was, I knew this was going to be something to talk about for a long time afterwards.
I parallel parked on the street adjacent to the bar Fat Whiskey. It was tucked in among a row of other bars, stores, and other buildings. I walked up to the door and pushed my way through with an air of confidence with feelings of warmth about me. The set up was more like a bar than club, but there were areas where you could dance or sit on lounge furniture. I scanned the bar quickly and saw nothing. I was nervous at this point, so I stopped at the bar for a crown on the rocks with a splash of water. Trust me, it is one good drink.
I continued to look around, when boom! I spotted her two friends Nicole and Whitney seated on colorful couches. They saw me at the same time and their eyes suddenly became big. They were the size of saucers as they stared at me with their mouths open. I looked to Nicole’s left and I saw Tiffany. Well I saw what I could see of her. Suddenly my eyes grew to the size of bowling balls and my jaw hit the floor, as I now began to stare. She was seated on the lap on some guy with her face firmly planted in his, while he was getting a nice feel of her ass. To say they were making out would be an understatement.
I stood there staring at her. Her friends sat there staring at me. I could feel them looking at me, but I did not care at this point. It felt like I was watching her making out with this guy for an eternity. Feelings of anger, hate, sadness, confusion, shock, and mostly anger coursed through my body, pulsating like an electric current. I began to feel sick to my stomach as I continued to gaze. I could not shake the thought of are you fucking serious? Are you fucking kidding me? I said that over and over in my head, as I became angrier with each ass grab and kiss. Finally, her friends snapped out of their trance and nudged Tiffany on her shoulder. Nicole, I can’t stand that bitch said something to her and she spun around. She stood up, fixed her clothes, and proceeded to walk toward me with a look of surprise on her face. Surprise!
Before she could get to me, I walked out the door and started to walk back to my rental car. “Jake! Jake! Stop! Come here”, she yelled at me as I neared my car.
I turned around and saw her boy toy right behind her oddly enough. This should be interesting. “Jake! I am so sorry, this is not what you think!”
She was now a few feet in front of me and her boy toy was about twenty seconds away. “Really? Fucking Really!? Are you fucking serious. I flew all the way out here to surprise you and you are making out with this guy? Get the fuck out of here!”, I yelled, eying this guy as he approached closer.
“Hey babe, who is this guy?” he asked, while slapping and grabbing a handful of her ass from behind.
“Just go away, this…” before she could finish explaining to him that the guy in front of him was in fact her boyfriend of almost two years, I punched him as hard I could in the mouth. He went flying to the ground as if he was a crumpled piece of paper. I quickly shook my hand off and looked at her calmly in the eyes and said, “I have a plane to catch.”
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” -Alexander Graham Bell
Strength of the Heart…You Need It.
Moments before I took my seat on the plane, I put my cell phone away. No, need for it now. Not to mention, shortly the pilot is going to tell everyone to shut their phones down. I wonder if he was trying to text me now and wonder what insensitive comment he made. See I was flying to California because my Nana had become sick recently and well the doctors feared the worse. Most of my family has already flown out. I am stuck on this long plane ride by myself. And it was too much to ask of my boyfriend to come with me, even though money is not a problem. Lame excuse after lame excuse and he would only make me feel bad when I questioned him about going. Do I really love him? Better yet does he really love me?
Now situated in my seat and I took my head phones out in order to listen my troubles away. I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Sorry babe, but I think you are in my seat”, a full figure gal belted out with her powerful lungs.
“I am sorry, I did not even realize”, I replied. This is great. I am sitting next to this woman, weird stench and all. I put my ear phones in and closed my eyes.
I felt another tap on my shoulder, it was big momma again belting away, “So hun, I need to use the restroom, would you mind if I get by real quick?”
By this time ,the plane was 30,000 feet in the air. I was in the midst of a nice nap. “Yeah, that’s no problem, let me just…”, I was interrupted by her forcing her rather portly frame across me as she headed to the restroom. I gave her one of those go to hell looks, flipping my hair and thought this is great.
After being disturbed from my little cat nap, I had time to think. I thought about my sweet Nana and how the doctors had said it did not look good. I remembered back to past, when I was a little girl and she would hold me in her arms and call me her sweet little girl. Then I started to think about how much an asshole my boyfriend was for ducking out on me. My eyes started to tear up some. I mean really my Nana means so much to me and he knows that, I just don’t understand why.I felt that lovely tap again on my shoulder, “Babe, let me get by real quick again.”
This time I was prepared and shot up quickly in my seat. She was not about to force her big ass on me again. She took her seat and pulled a magazine out to read. I was just about to put my ear phones back in when I heard, “Hun, let me ask you a question.” Her fingers pointing to a magazine. I took a quick glance at it as she spoke again, “Woman to woman, do you think it would be inappropriate of me to ask my husband to consider using Viagra?” I caught of a glance of the ad she was pointing too and I began to laugh.
“Hun, what do you think?” She asked again, but this time I tuned her out. The question from this full figure gal made me think of that sweet boy, I meet about an hour ago in the airport terminal. He was a cute, silly boy, but I found that to be enduring. He seemed a little arrogant, but I saw through that act, he was just trying to be tough. And it was so sweet that he was going to surprise his girlfriend. My own boyfriend could learn something from him. He was so cute and silly.Wait I already said that once, do you like him? No, stop being stupid, you don’t even know him.
Regaining my composure and I took a look over at my seating partner, who now was face first in something that appeared to be food, but I could not tell. I relaxed, put my head back in my seat, and put my ear phones back in. The plane continued traveling on its way to my destination. Closing my eyes, a subtle thought popped into my head. A small smile crept onto my face. Wonder if I will ever see him again. Maybe.Just maybe so.
Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, and then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart. -Author Known-