Jasmine (Chapter 2)

Today had a brightness, colors leapt and peeked out from the usual dreary, clouded, dull grays. This brightness was something Jasmine sensed, she was feeling something good, it was coursing through her as she woke to the morning light.

This day started well for young Jasmine. To begin with, she could already appreciate that it was Friday, “…at last,” Jasmine concluded with an exhale that was released in an attention grabbing audible just as her bunk mate began to sit up at the sound of it. Finally, the week of school work, sitting in that hard plastic chair and following loads of rules had all concluded. She had completely finished another week of schooling. On this week, Jasmine could hold her head high as she successfully finished each of her homework assignments, logging sincere efforts before she laid her head down each night of the week. She worked diligently, even on those assignments that Mrs. Parker had given out on Saturday. It was unusual for Jasmine to focus on school work over the weekend but she made the decision to do just that and she followed through.

This gave her a sense of accomplishment, a good feeling of perfect contentment that she wanted to feel more of. This feeling was alive in her for a number of reasons. The greatest reason, what really lit her up on this day of days was the knowledge that her favorite teacher, Mr. Paulsen was coming in to join her class this morning. This made her happy. Mr. Paulsen knew so much about the world, he understood things that other adults couldn’t understand. Then when she asked questions he listened with eagerness.

Mr. Paulsen was unique, he was quiet and the students appreciated how well he listened when they spoke with him. It was as though everything they shared was something meaningful. The student who most deeply appreciated Mr. Paulsen was Jasmine. He often called her ‘Jazz’, this among other things that he did gave her a feeling of being seen, appreciated and in those moments when he spoke the word jazz in her direction, she loved her name more than he loved his jazz music. He referenced his favorite jazz musicians and educated her on the great Jazz artists who had played their instruments to create the unique style that became known as the American created; jazz music. Mr. Paulsen reminded her that these musicians played their instruments masterfully. He spoke so gracefully of the ways jazz evolved over the years, it was with acceptance and appreciation that he spoke about this development. She liked Mr. Paulsen, he was different from the other teachers, exceptionally different. He was a person who inspired her to consider the term: love. She wondered about love and Mr. Paulsen brought about much of this curious reflection that floated about in her thought stream.

Mr. Paulsen walked, spoke, dressed and even stood in a different way than other authority figures who visited her school. When he came to visit Jasmine became keen to question many of her presupposed conclusions about adults.

Some of these authorities came in to the facility she called home just to look around with concerned expressions, then they easily departed. Relief appeared as they left. It was as though they placed a weight on the shoulders of the staff members around the building. Tensions arose with these suited figures entered the buildings and very few pains assuaged because of these so called professionals. Some of these figures just took notes, barely looking up from their clipboards.

Mr. Paulsen though, he was different.

He was funny, . He wore red rimmed glasses that had been decorated with sunflower stickers, one on each side. He smiled wide, brightened up her morning and gave her the best complements when she participated in his creative writing exercises. There were only two times she couldn’t participate, those were tough days for Jazz. On those especially emotional days she stayed in bed, held on to the covers and held on to her ‘self’. It was on those days that she realized that she was looking out for Jasmine( Young Jazz), holding on to her sanity the best way she could. Even on those days Mr. Paulsen would keep dropping by her desk as he imagined that she would be sitting there.

Even if she didn’t want to write he would encourage her, unendingly. He was praise her efforts tenaciously. He’d ask if she’d like to draw a picture, talk or write a song together. He would keep trying and show his soul-felt approval for anything she produced.

She appreciated Mr. Paulsen dearly, often wondered what life was like for him outside of the ‘facility’ where fate insisted that she maintain residence. Imagination was her best tool, imagination was an absolute necessity in her eyes, she needed a healthy imagination to survive. This ability she had to drift away into other places offered her a chance to envision him taking nice, long, meandering strolls through the forest that was alive just outside. On these slow journeys Mr. Paulsen would reflect on something that happened during the week. Or … maybe he would consider one of the novels he was reading. What else would he think about?

She wondered as this daydream would come to an abrupt halt when he’d announce that it was time for his departure. It was his time to disrupt her daydreams with an open armed, kind but firm; ..”farewell my good students..”. Then, as he finished his salute he would raise both arms and glide out of the room, lithely moving past the entrance until he was no longer visible.

…….”aaahhhhh”, she’d sigh.. exhaling in a long, audible tone as she felt the pressure of her reality begin to weigh heavily on her chest once more.

In these late hours she continued to hope and yearn.

She yearned for quiet, a home with two loving, caring, adoring parents. She knew this was unlikely but she hoped, prayed and imagined that it was possible.

She wakes to wonder…

She wakes to wonder…

These days when she wakes,

she lays … lays- still –

for a moment,

then another moment..

Then she —

listens and wonders..

She often wonders,

in mumbled whispers….

Her thoughts peek out in utterances;

“Where could they be? ..

Where are they? …

Who are they? …

When might they come by?

Don’t they want to see me?….

Why…. ?… hmmmmmmmuuummmmmmmmhmmmmm~..”

Then she drifts to other distracting thoughts, before fading back….

back to the inevitable questions, the questions of right now;

… “how did they just, just leave their child? How does a parent leave their daughter?

Did they think I’d be cared for … … …–

— – …. with the state?…

……….. with this state??

In – This- State?!!?

…… how can a state -ever love me??

Will someone … …..

Will anyone—-

ever ….

…… actually want to adopt me????

….. hmmmmmm…. ooohhhhh……

if –

they-

don’t come get me?’… ”

She recently learned that ‘if’ is a conditional phrase. This recollection will make her English teacher happy. He liked when she paid attention to his lessons.

“God…”, she says quietly but still loud enough to audibly hear, causing her bunk mate to look up with a semblance of curiosity. “God, can you hear me? … God??? Do you listen to my thoughts?”

Her tone is saccharine, bleached in a melancholic whining voice. It was a sentiment that laced many of her thoughts.

These thoughts layered upon other thoughts, along with prayers and various considerations that have so often hurried about in her head space like directionless mice. It was in this morning time she found the space where her memories so often jumped around..

Her attention and focus jumped about, she wanted to calm it down. She sought out images of her mom and coveted these thoughts above the quagmire of vague recollections of family members that clumsily continued to dance about in her head.

These thoughts fed feelings that poured into her as she rubbed across her waking eyes and massaged her temples with the palms of her calloused hands. Her hands are nearly as rough as the course of her life has been, from before the day she was birthed.

Her hands are her proof that she has endured. These hands tell her every waking day that she can continue to endure, nothing can stop her ability to persevere.

She thinks aloud again, “…hmmmmm..”, then she audibly mumbles, “isn’t it enough?”

All of it felt so extremely unsettling. It’s been a series of moments that made her dig, question, fight, run, …

move and finally…

Finally, an ongoing quest to survive is what she has committed herself to.

She has survived…

unrelenting, tiring but never giving in to the temptation that called on some of her peers.

… she is … …. a true survivor. .. she is a warrior…

… After all, she is alive and fighting with both hands, both feet, knees, even teeth when needed;

she will survive.

She wakes unsettled, feeling uneasy and often distraught but she knows better than to allow these emotions the space or enough air to mature and find their way to calcification. She knows better than to allow enough breath to reach these thoughts as she just can’t let them find the surface.

These thoughts hurt… they are a monstrous garden that doesn’t need any more oxygen.

If her eyes begin to water or redden she’ll no doubt be interrogated with less care than she would certainly be hoping for.

She needs to find empathy, she desires care and to be cared for gently.

The interrogations come with a harshness. The types of questions and prodding that begin to transpire are offered up with far less sensitivity, less humanity and less care than is absolutely required when these emotions are flaring up. Her inner sadness is rising, it begs only to find a tender sympathy.

She knows to remove herself entirely when such raw material pain is flaring up.

Today she wakes to wonder, soon as her eyes start to squint, she is immediately conscious of her surroundings..

The sounds of linoleum flooring when they meet plastic shower-slippers pains her on this specific Wednesday. Again she brushes her eyes, now it is just past 6AM. Now she looks up toward the cracked window and leans toward the sounds of young chirping Robbins perched atop firm branches that lightly sway outside.

She listens to the layers of sounds until she hears her own voice wail out, echoing in to the morning air.

“Oooohhhhhhh….”, she sighs, this exhale is audible to Sarah bunking just above.

….”ohhhhhhh, my, my, my…. Hmmmm….”

She then retreats inward and reflects some more while sitting up; legs slovenly hanging over the mattress’ edge.

She becomes aware that this- ….

This……..

… this …

… this is..

This is now …

Although she knows that more is out there, she is -not- ………..

out — there.

She wonders if that. … that which is out there, if that… that imagined paradise of frolicking families is where love is …

She mumbles…

…iterates in a solemn but hopeful drawl;

..”..Is love- ..ee..?? Is there love?? ”

She is now a bit less coherent, slightly foggy with such meandering thoughts, thoughts of love… what it means… and the outside world ..

And family….

……. And…

that this …

Is now her life, somehow her fate was made and she just wakes to watch it …

She is here – now, she is ..

.. Here.

These leaves….

These leaves surround us….

They circle around us….

With change….

These leaves change…. With an un-changeable certainty….

These leaves are certainly— ….

changing.

It’s a change-thing. These leaves will teach us.

Scattered about like clouds….

These leaves change….

With leaves…. Change- comes..

Beliefs…. Come….

These leaves arrive, they come in colors…. Streets are red, orange, yellow…. Brown, tan…. Precious colors…. They come alive…. These leaves …. From trees they come….

These leaves are change….

Change comes….

Antonella Anedda

Antonella Anedda

https://thevaleofsoulmaking.wordpress.com/2021/06/02/antonella-anedda/
— Read on thevaleofsoulmaking.wordpress.com/2021/06/02/antonella-anedda/

To write to disappear is to honor the code.

To write to disappear is to revere the art, the act and the intention of communicating beyond the limitations imposed by our ego, beyond this space and time.

To write to transcend time and exist beyond what we currently perceive.

His espresso…

His espresso toned skin was splayed

Out near first base,

the same plate

he claimed

Each Sunday softball game..

….

Now he laid –

without a breath

near the base,

Smeared on face was white chalk

If the rocks could talk they’d relay

What he’d say when he’d play

Imagining winning to celebrate

His name … they’d keep saying

So he did, as if:

Jamil, Jamil, Jamil-il-il-il (with echoes)

friends chose

J,

this made him proud-

as his uncle would say;

“one day you’ll be biiig as your cousin J”,

then off he’d dash to catch the last bit of sunshine..

All until the ‘one time’,

On

one fine

autumn evening

When …

Sunset met dawn patrol

on patrol

On the clock..

parking lot now made hot

They came ..

J was playing

Had a toy

As a young boy will …

The problem is

This young boy – -was killed

On that day when..

There’ll be no –

repent…

Young J was sent

Was it meant…?

To be

He

laid down,

made sounds & an utterance

His mother bends,

knees,

tweaked, collapsed as she has folded..

Sakura

The Sakura bloom has disappeared, without a slight hint of evidence that it was ever here. It’s gone, it has disappeared.

Today….to- day

Today is…

Today is as…

Today is like… none before.

it’s like there was no other..

…And the sky is soon – 

                                    to be born.. 

today-                 is as no other..  

the Sky is coming..   

our sun is here..  

today is like none that have come..  

today is here..  

our Sky is with us..  

as – Love- ……. our Sky is love.

it is–

us..  

our Sky is –

-with us..  

today is like no other ..  

our Sky is to be born..   

he is ….

our drumbeat, 

He is ….

our heart, our mind,

he is …

our breath -with rhythms dancing in his mother’s womb…  

he is ….

our Sky…  

he is … arriving soon.   

He is here.

This Rain..

This rain splashes, it collapses on concrete grounds that remain almost unchanged…

… as -it- rains… as -it falls,

….. it drops…   

this rain…  

calls and cancels out spells with -new spells,

a few too many to count, these Rain drops blast skin….. this rain will fall.  

I won’t care at all if it continues.  

In fact I’m a glad lad, grateful for it all.  

Grateful to breathe… grateful for each visible leave.

The rain drops fall, subsiding when …

When these clouds are satisfied, they have completely abandoned their mission to purge..  

These clouds released, expelled all that which leaps – on the grounds beneath..

These raindrops drip- down windows’ skin, providing me …. granting me, bestowing upon me a perfect moment … with the blessings …

A perfect meditation.  

Rain;

…. the perfect meditation.  

Write.  

Write today.  

Write thoughts, write words, write feelings and how to feel, or how it is -to feel.  

Write about the depths beneath, the space that is unseen, all of that which is invisible .. Write about  what is behind the curtain of what you are seeing -now; or what we are able to see.   Just write.  Simply stated then reiterated, as I said…  Just write.  

She watches…

She watches …

Buildings fold into claylike shapes, trees are barely visible. They pass on as her husband has, allowing her eyes to drift
… beyond what this train -is. She sees -beyond the seats; she sees. She watches and waits, holds her breath for a few short moments, imagining that he just may gently brush the skin of her weakly dangling hand. Her eyes have closed, she knows he’s gone but yet she

wonders,
on and on.. She hopes, she watches these visions, daydreams, spacing -out without a goal. Without an out-come she’s come- to this and this is what she lives -for.

She watches as his wrist watch ticks atop her bag, she lets it hold her captive. She watches….