Jazzin’ Thru Thursday ~ I am NOT a Breast Cancer SURVIVOR: The Survivor’s Guilt is a Fate worse than death featuring Francesco Santucci – “Last Train to Heaven”

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.  ~Emily Dickinson

 

Salvador Dali's Exploded-Head
Salvador Dali’s Exploded-Head

October has been designated as Breast Cancer Month.  Everywhere I have looked over the last 17 years it seems as though folks have been in  denial and use terms like…I AM CURED, SURVIVOR, IT CAN’T COME BACK…blah blah blah ad nauseum.  I realize that I cannot be defined as being a Breast Cancer Survivor ~ I am NOT my breast cancer diagnosis, I am so much more.  Macmillan dictionary defines a Survivor as:  Someone or something that still exists after an event that could have killed or destroyed them; someone or something that still exists after every other member of a group has died or been destroyed;  someone who manages to continue a successful life despite very bad experiences.  Well it doesn’t capture my breast cancer journey nor even touch the quality of life I had with my mother.  It makes the mistaken assumption that I am:  merely existing; or that I still exist after every loved one and other members had died; or have manage to continue a successful life. That would be a big fat NOT!  God brings challenges into our lives to make us stronger and remember those things on the way to living a life of grace.  Here is an excerpt to my memoir, Being Jazz where I the lessons from jazz mindfulness improv truly taught me how to turn adversity into love.

Contrary to popular belief, everyone has the ability to change their circumstance, point of view and/or state of mind.  Now you say She must be tripping….  Well, I was skeptical about the whole change your mind and life thing, too.  Breast cancer was the second adversity that changed that for me.  It made me question what I thought; my beliefs and why I was so unhappy.  Going through chemotherapy I discovered that I wanted to desperately live with music and not die with the noise of surgeries, chemotherapy, loss of my hair and everything I believed made me happy.  That being said, this was by no means something that could change overnight.  It meant to go back to my fondest memories.  I had to get rid of all of my attachments and material things because quite honestly, they didn’t mean much.  Dad died six years earlier and mom’s cancer returned after so many years.  It was just us.  My friends found it hard to talk to me.  They simply didn’t know what to do or say.  At the time, I was angry and frustrated about everything.  I wanted to give up.  It began in November of 2000.  I was having reconstructive surgery. Here’s an excerpt from Being Jazz that became my major Aha! Moment…

“It was Thursday, November 30th, 2000, I was 46 years old.  A week after Thanksgiving, this was going to be my big Reconstructive Surgery Day.  It was my attempt to make up for all of the losses and the ravages that resulted from the traumatic complications from my bilateral mastectomy.   Life, as I knew it six months before today, would be restored.  I wanted to believe that life was the space between the notes and would free me from the exiled island where I had come to live.  Today, I realize that every breath I take is the space between the notes in a melody that is fueled by God’s love and grace.  I learned that surrendering, accepting and embracing everything that has happened in my “so called perfect life” for example, … in 1990 being — completely paralyzed from Guillain-Barré Syndrome; my father’s death in 1994; my mom’s return of cancer that was terminal in 1997; my breast cancer diagnosis on April 14, 2000 (ironically on my father’s birthday); my bilateral mastectomy in June 2000 with all of its complications followed by my chemotherapy with all of its’ dreadful side effects in July,2000; my reconstructive surgery November of 2000 and finally the loss of my career as a successful paralegal after 20 years. Yes, today   is going to be my day; I get the chance to make things right with my soul and universe within.  I hoped that it was not just an illusion.?

The downside is that it is easy to get lost in the maze of traditional medicine and living a life that is not based on quality.  There is a sense of apathy and a sinking feeling that as long as you ain’t in the acute phase then there is nothing to worry about.  Somehow that creeps the hell out of me.   Mom survived six years when the Oncologist  predicted she would only live a year and a half to two years.  We fought the good fight and when I was at the threshold of the “Last Exit” and my reconstructive surgery failed and on the way into back into the O.R. my mother told them to ignore my DNR and when I asked her why she said…”It is not your time yet!  I surrendered and she even though which resulted in having ten  subsequent painful ambulatory surgeries because the graft failed.   Jazz served as my way of escape because just before I went the anesthetic  my father’s CD was playing in the OR.  It brought back the happiest times of my life.  Jazz has its own code for living.  Words are the reflection of what is going on inside you and I have discovered from Carlos Castaneda that we must be impeccable in our word choices.  So for me Survivor is OUT and Living with Breast Cancer [livingwithbreastcancer.org] is IN and a more appropriate term.  What do you think?  Are you existing as a survivor or are you learning to dance on life’s shores of living the life that is waiting for you?  I hope you dance…Peace & Love Out!  JBC 😎 & ❤

Japanese translation for meaning

© Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

Riffshot to A Poet’s Beat ~ Excerpt from Memoir featuring “Song of the Open Road” by Walt Whitman Acoustic ambiance by The Rippingtons – “Pastels On Canvas”

Romare Bearden Collage
Romare Bearden Collage

Excerpt from Memoir…

I am the daughter of a 60s Jazz arranger/conductor where the reining tradition was “rents had the final word”.    I would hole up in my room for hours overhearing myself admit difficult truths that I could not hide from.  It welcomed creative inspirations into my sensory consciousness.    It gave me the chance to explore and discover the province of sound and words.   I found my rhythm. Mom taught me how to read when I was 3.  I was eleven years old when I had fallen in love with sound, art and most of all words.  Dad throughout all of the civil rights Tsunami did not faze him because he was driven to do the best on all levels for the upcoming Festival.  I followed suit in my own little way.  I survived by living in disguise. Since I was very young, the sanctity of my bedroom provided a canvas where I hoped, dreamed, set my own values and aspirations.  When I left my room I had to leave them behind like my books and other treasures tucked away on a shelf nestled in the opposite corner of the room.  I knew that Dad loved me, not without surrendering and bartering my own thoughts and feelings when he told me what I was supposed to want.  Dad repeatedly drummed into me that …being a doctor is where it’s at.  My foray into the jazz world began when I could feel my father intensity and determination of each note I mirrored in words at my desk.  I discovered and accepted the gifts and talents that Grandpa used to tell me… were gifts God gave me.  I let go of my family “persona”  free to let my imagination come alive and tap into my personal sense of purpose and who I really am.  Early mornings I would lie in bed hearing the music climb the stairs, it had a purpose, it had an intent – it was harmonic, it had a rhythm that grabbed my heart and rendered the beats to prepare me to go to my desk open my curtains and let the burst of the morning gently touch my face.  Jazz was transformative.  I was paralyzed by the feeling of losing my father’s love if I chose to follow my star.  I needed for him to tell me things would be okay.  That he would help me, encourage me, teach me the way things are in the world I was living.  How did he do it?  Every time I tried to step out of the role he was created in the song for me, he would resist.  So I would withdraw and try to convince myself that he knows what’s best for me.  I was so conflicted when he would teach me how to sight sing music, take me to his rehearsals and ask what instrument I wanted to learn how to play.  There were definitely rules of conduct and engagement with others.  There were two distinct behaviors, one associated with our home and private life and the one associated with our public life.  I spent most of the time in my room.  There the only rule was to be myself…. So here we go…

Just for today, I wanted to share poem that I read when I was eleven years old that somehow transformed my life…Hope you enjoy a mindfulness improv moment in jazz…Peace Out & Love JBC 😎 <3.

 

Song of the Open Road

BY WALT WHITMAN

1

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

 

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,

Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,

Strong and content I travel the open road.

 

The earth, that is sufficient,

I do not want the constellations any nearer,

I know they are very well where they are,

I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

 

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,

I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,

I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,

I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

 

2

You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,

I believe that much unseen is also here.

 

Here the profound lesson of reception, nor preference nor denial,

The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas’d, the illiterate person, are not denied;

The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar’s tramp, the drunkard’s stagger, the laughing party of mechanics,

The escaped youth, the rich person’s carriage, the fop, the eloping couple,

 

The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, the return back from the town,

They pass, I also pass, any thing passes, none can be interdicted,

None but are accepted, none but shall be dear to me.

 

3

You air that serves me with breath to speak!

You objects that call from diffusion my meanings and give them shape!

You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!

You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!

I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.

 

You flagg’d walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!

You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides! you distant ships!

 

You rows of houses! you window-pierc’d façades! you roofs!

You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!

You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!

You doors and ascending steps! you arches!

You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!

From all that has touch’d you I believe you have imparted to yourselves, and now would impart the same secretly to me,

From the living and the dead you have peopled your impassive surfaces, and the spirits thereof would be evident and amicable with me.

 

4

The earth expanding right hand and left hand,

The picture alive, every part in its best light,

The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,

The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

 

O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me?

Do you say Venture not—if you leave me you are lost?

Do you say I am already prepared, I am well-beaten and undenied, adhere to me?

 

O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you,

You express me better than I can express myself,

You shall be more to me than my poem.

 

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all free poems also,

I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,

I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me,

I think whoever I see must be happy.

 

5

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,

Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,

Listening to others, considering well what they say,

Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,

Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

I inhale great draughts of space,

The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

 

I am larger, better than I thought,

I did not know I held so much goodness.

 

All seems beautiful to me,

I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,

I will recruit for myself and you as I go,

I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,

I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,

Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,

Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.

 

6

Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear it would not amaze me,

Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d it would not astonish me.

 

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,

It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

 

Here a great personal deed has room,

(Such a deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,

Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law and mocks all authority and all argument against it.)

 

Here is the test of wisdom,

Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,

Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,

Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,

Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,

Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;

Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.

 

Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,

They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.

 

Here is realization,

Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him,

The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.

 

Only the kernel of every object nourishes;

Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?

Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?

 

Here is adhesiveness, it is not previously fashion’d, it is apropos;

Do you know what it is as you pass to be loved by strangers?

Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?

 

7

Here is the efflux of the soul,

The efflux of the soul comes from within through embower’d gates, ever provoking questions,

These yearnings why are they? these thoughts in the darkness why are they?

Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight expands my blood?

Why when they leave me do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?

Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?

(I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees and always drop fruit as I pass;)

What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?

What with some driver as I ride on the seat by his side?

What with some fisherman drawing his seine by the shore as I walk by and pause?

What gives me to be free to a woman’s and man’s good-will? what gives them to be free to mine?

 

8

The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,

I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,

Now it flows unto us, we are rightly charged.

 

Here rises the fluid and attaching character,

The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman,

(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)

 

Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old,

From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments,

Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.

 

9

Allons! whoever you are come travel with me!

Traveling with me you find what never tires.

 

The earth never tires,

The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,

Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,

I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

 

Allons! we must not stop here,

However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,

However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must not anchor here,

However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

 

10

Allons! the inducements shall be greater,

We will sail pathless and wild seas,

We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.

 

Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements,

Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;

Allons! from all formules!

From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests.

 

The stale cadaver blocks up the passage—the burial waits no longer.

 

Allons! yet take warning!

He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance,

None may come to the trial till he or she bring courage and health,

Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself,

Only those may come who come in sweet and determin’d bodies,

No diseas’d person, no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted here.

 

(I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes,

We convince by our presence.)

 

11

Listen! I will be honest with you,

I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,

These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,

You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,

You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d, you hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart,

You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you,

What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,

You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you.

 

12

Allons! after the great Companions, and to belong to them!

They too are on the road—they are the swift and majestic men—they are the greatest women,

Enjoyers of calms of seas and storms of seas,

Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,

Habituès of many distant countries, habituès of far-distant dwellings,

Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,

Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,

Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of children, bearers of children,

Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers-down of coffins,

Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years, the curious years each emerging from that which preceded it,

Journeyers as with companions, namely their own diverse phases,

Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,

Journeyers gayly with their own youth, journeyers with their bearded and well-grain’d manhood,

Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass’d, content,

Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,

Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe,

Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.

 

13

Allons! to that which is endless as it was beginningless,

To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,

To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,

Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys,

To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,

To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,

To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you, however long but it stretches and waits for you,

To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,

To see no possession but you may possess it, enjoying all without labor or purchase, abstracting the feast yet not abstracting one particle of it,

To take the best of the farmer’s farm and the rich man’s elegant villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,

To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,

To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,

To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them, to gather the love out of their hearts,

To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,

To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.

 

All parts away for the progress of souls,

All religion, all solid things, arts, governments—all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of souls along the grand roads of the universe.

 

Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.

 

Forever alive, forever forward,

Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,

Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,

They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go,

But I know that they go toward the best—toward something great.

 

Whoever you are, come forth! or man or woman come forth!

You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.

 

Out of the dark confinement! out from behind the screen!

It is useless to protest, I know all and expose it.

 

Behold through you as bad as the rest,

Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,

Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash’d and trimm’d faces,

Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.

 

No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession,

Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,

Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,

In the cars of railroads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,

Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bedroom, everywhere,

Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the breast-bones, hell under the skull-bones,

Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial flowers,

Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself,

Speaking of any thing else but never of itself.

 

14

Allons! through struggles and wars!

The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.

 

Have the past struggles succeeded?

What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? Nature?

Now understand me well—it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.

 

My call is the call of battle, I nourish active rebellion,

He going with me must go well arm’d,

He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions.

 

15

Allons! the road is before us!

It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well—be not detain’d!

 

Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!

Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!

Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!

Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

 

Camerado, I give you my hand!

I give you my love more precious than money,

I give you myself before preaching or law;

Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

 

Japanese translation for meaning
Japanese translation for meaning

Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Jazz in Your Ear ~ RiffShots of mindfulness improv thoughts using literary and acoustic jazz 2 change ur life & world we live in! featuring Roberto Menescal – The Shadow of Your Smile

Listening to the Universe within
Listening to the Universe within

The Monterey Jazz Festival begins today.  I just wanted to share some riffshots of mindfulness improv thought using  Roberto Menescal;s “The Shadow of Your Smile” to demonstrate a third version of expression and improvisation.  Have a wonderful day!  Peace Out!  JBC 😎 & ❤

 

 

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”  –Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

 

Because there really is still a chance for peace — and that chance will definitely increase if we each do our piece. It is ultimately up to us, each one of us, all of us, individually and together, to create the kind of world in which we want to live — to be the change we seek — starting right here, right now. Within the context of our immediate lives, within the concentric circles of our ordinary interactions. With each step that we take, we must walk our talk, speak our truth and put our money where our mouth is. ~  Mama Donna Henes, “Being Change Changes Everything”

Japanese translation for meaning
Japanese translation for meaning

Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artisthttp://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Jazz on Canvas ~ In Camera: Jazz and the New Aesthetic ~ Sounds by Rens Newland – “About aesthetics” ~ and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Things are Here”~ Photography by Roy Decarava ~ Prelude

In Memory and Rezpect ~ Roy DeCarava Flickr Sharing
In Memory and Rezpect ~ Roy DeCarava Flickr Sharing

“It starts before you snap the shutter… It starts with your sense of what’s important.” These are the words of Roy DeCarava, one of the foremost photographic artists of the twentieth century, contributor to the Family of Man exhibit and the first black photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. These are the words of a man who focuses his lens, sensitivities and conscience on the life, tempo and sensibilities of black people and the contemporary urban environment.

The first time I met Mr. DeCarava was when I was five years old. We lived on Riverside Drive and my father knew him as an up and coming photographer and he became our family photographer most of all a dear friend.  He took family pictures that I have lost over the years of moving around the country.  However, he had a distinct “eye” for the details of our daily life.

Flickr Share Roy Decarava 4th of July, Prospect Park, New York, 1979
Flickr Share Roy Decarava 4th of July, Prospect Park, New York, 1979

 

There was one photograph that effortlessly appears when listening to jazz guitarist Rens Newland’s “About aesthetics” is a sepia toned photograph of New York Ciy Riverside Park across from our loft taken in the late ‘50s on the Saturday just before  Labor Day.  Mr. DeCarava was capturing families and folks in the park.  We would always go out on the weekends either to the park, movies, museums, etc .  Mom was wearing a brown striped sun dress; I was wearing one of my Sunday best dresses that was white with red polka dots with white socks with black patent leather Mary Jane’s. My father was sitting on a bench, mom was looking down at both of us and I was holding a bottle of  Coca Cola that was three quarters my height at the tender age of five that dad had given to me.  He wanted to pour the soda into my mouth,  Mr. DeCarva was perched in a tree about five yards from us and he captured my snatching the Coca Cola bottle away from dad declaring “I do it, I do it” turning away from him and lifting the bottle straight up and didn’t miss a drop.  The shutter closed on each and every frame as though watching a slow motion film with a syncopated tempo.  Mr. DeCarava was so excited he ran over and said to us “that was crazy man!”  My mother and father laughed and I was looking at these old folks wondering what was so funny…  There was no such thing as a digital professional cameras back then.

 

Courtesy of Creative Commons Administrative Offices
Courtesy of Creative Commons Administrative Offices

In the early 60s technology was in its infancy stage.  Mom had cradled me and taught me how to read at three years old.  My father was very busy and had a grand piano in the loft that he would let me sit next to him and he would teach me how to sight sing and hearing while watching him play the keys.  Sometimes he even let me stand in front of him and he would move my hands and we would sing the notes.  It was the same way he taught me how to ball room dance atop his feet.  It was an enchanting time and when I actually remember falling in love with reading with mom or sitting on the piano bench learning jazz at the piano and sitting on the couch nestled between my rents looking at photographs.  My world was either black and white or sepia which felt as though it was a treasure of times gone past and something that made me feel safe and warm and most of all loved.  Today, when I reflect on those times the aesthetics were a part of liminal living.  It was commonplace to go the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to movie theaters, Broadway plays, a chic and marvelous urban living that held magic and secrets hidden in the streets.

Roy Decarava's Boy in printed shirt, New York, 1978 Flickr Share
Roy Decarava’s Boy in printed shirt, New York, 1978 Flickr Share

Now it seems that the more we include technology in our lives, i.e. iPhone, IPad, iPod, Androids, laptops, tablets, Xbox the list is growing exponentially.  I think it happened overnight.  Growing up it was a big deal to have a Black and White television set.  However, I know that I am not too old to remember that life and school was about developing and creating and finding out about the world and making your way in the world.  Slowly but surely technology is seeping into our lives and causing a sense of “dissociative identity disorder” that is manifesting and causes us to live in a virtual reality plunging us into a chaos that is impacts and influences how we conduct our lives.  If  we  had a brown out or black out folks would absolutely lose their minds  they become filled with anxiety, frustration and not knowing what to do.  Arianna Huffington in her book “Thrive” she speaks of living life plugged into an outlet sort of life you must take back the control in your life and reconnect and reclaim the part of ourselves that makes us who we are.

I honestly believe that the society is reflecting how technology and reliance on it to define and design our life that will become fragmented, mindlessly drawn into a virtual nightmare  that addicts us to our tablets, Xbox and being educated in hybrid classrooms further dis-associating us to the point that we have surrendered to the wrong master.  I want to live a life that is evolving and changing everyday with or without electronic apps, tablets, video.  I know that God has a plan for all of us and we become complacent finding ways to engage and inspire one another.  If this continues we will eventually lose the ability to create and identify aspects of  our lives that we are living.  Mindfulness improvisation is a portal for me to reconnect and reaffirm my life in the present tense and  to effectively and completely live the life that our Creator has Graced and Blessed us with…  See you between the notes…more on Aesthetics, get your shades, kicks and open your mind to explore The New Aesthetic and Jazz terrains and vistas.  Peace Out!  JBC

Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

Jazz on Canvas ~ Four Mindfulness Improvisational Steps to Find Your Life’s Wake feat. Francesco Santucci – Last Train to Heaven ~ Artwork by Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden Jazz Collage
Romare Bearden Jazz Collage

I am in the present. I cannot know what tomorrow will bring forth. I can know only what the truth is for me today. That is what I am called upon to serve, and I serve it in all lucidity.” ~ Igor Stravinsky

It is a beautiful morning here in Seattle and I wish you great health, a very long life, success in all your endeavors and most of all awesome joy. Most folks are capable of setting goals of things they want to accomplish in their lives.  But that is not where the riff comes in; it comes in how the heck we intend on doing that!  We all make resolutions as a routine ritual for New Year’s, but, unfortunately one fourth of those resolutions are forsaken after fifteen weeks.  Could it be that setting up goals is easy enough but when the first sign of trouble or difficulty arises that is when sticking to your dream and waiting through the strife goes out the window?  This is what  separates girls from women and boys from men happens.  I say this because I have lived this cycle of being hopeful, making plans and end by giving up  at the first sign of difficulty or say …”it was only a resolution”  Living this cycle has created a tremendous  hardship in my life. I had a lot personal habits I wanted to get rid of or change, but due to lack of self-discipline and mindfulness improvisation, I was not able to do so.

Live in Music Inspired by Romare Bearden, by k Madison Moore
Live in Music Inspired by Romare Bearden, by k Madison Moore

Here are four mindfulness improvisational strategies based on Jazz Lifestyles that changed and improved  and transformed my life that worked and made me feel like I am capable of living life to the fullest and could handle any riffs or licks that came into my life.

· Romare Bearden Estate; art  Copyright Licenced by Romare Bearden Foundation
· Romare Bearden Estate; art Copyright Licenced by Romare Bearden Foundation

Step One: Getting Centered
Mindfulness improvisation creates the inner stillness that is the key ingredient for “listening” our soul’s calling to us. It is what I have found when I pray, I have to wait for the answer.  Sometimes it is the answer you don’t want to get.  Sometimes it seems irrelevant but it is a necessary step for us.  That is what I learned from my father, he was composing a song that he could construct from listening intently and connected with the sound and story emanating from within.

Facing the challenge to Getting Centered
Suffering a loss of job or someone can create a sense of sadness and confusion making centering virtually impossible. Taking small steps at a time can make all the difference.  You will be acknowledging your pain and loss and not being “hard” on ourselves will provide a nurturing state rather than a guilty state.  Mindfulness improve is the surface from which our worst emotional pain rises, crests, breaks and withdraws like a wave of the surf. Mindfulness improv allows you to stay mentally and physically still while  we acoustically and visually observe the process giving us the experience, knowledge and courage to face whatever our lives may bring.

How to get into a mindfulness improvisational state
Getting into mindfulness state is simply sit or lie down and focusing on your breaths.  Sometimes it helps to intentionally slow the intake and pause for a few seconds then exhale.   Let’s say you are upset or angry about something, you would breathe in all of what is bothering you, hold it for a few moments, then slowly exhale slowly releasing your issues.  You would do this until you feel relaxed and at peace.

 

Romare Bearden art in harlem renaissance
Romare Bearden art in harlem renaissance

Step Two: Living Your Truth
This step is about getting a better understanding of ourselves and is not some metaphysical state that springs forth with some mythical epiphany.  It is getting a better understanding of yourself by acknowledging what is happening to you, what is happening within you and through improvisation you resolve those issues based on what your truth is with respect to that specific circumstance.  My truth on the same situation might be totally different.  Also, when you share your circumstance with others, you will find how they would handle it and take from that your truth.  When we own our truth positive changes begins to transform you. The truth really does set us free.

Obstacles to Knowing the Truth
You may want to hide from the truth because once it’s out in the open, it will cause your life to change or you fear you will not be liked. That’s always scary however spoken truths  that emanates from the heart are always cause change that is positive in the long run, despite the discomfort you experienced at first. It is the best way to face and overcome your fears.

How to recognize your Truth
After doing a mindfulness meditation and have dealt with a person or situation that you want to handle through improv, there are questions you can answer so you can improvise a plan of action.  Ask yourself… What is really going on in my life right now?  What is my truth about how I honestly feel about the situation?  What is the compassionate answer to this situation right now?

 

The Blues by Romare Bearden
The Blues by Romare Bearden

Step Three: Feeling in order to Improvise Your Soul’s Desires
Most folks go through life believing they will find happiness and success through other people.  Believing that if I get married all of my troubles will disappear.  Or if I get a good job and make a lot of money and become rich I will be happy.  But in all honesty you are conditionally living your life.  That one circumstance will make your life so much better.  If we use mindfulness improvisation to identify what we are facing and finding ways that all parties will benefit is living in the moment.  Improvisation means living in the moment; using lies or manipulating others is,
Obstacles to Improvising
A lot of folks take what other people describe as desires and not identifying our own is the best way to go about life.  We abandon our ability to separate ourselves from our tribes, i.e., families, peers and most of all our culture. The soul reveals what we want and need, while the mind allows us to think we know what we want and need.

How to use Mindfulness Improv to Know Your Soul’s Desires
That is where visioning and seeing what comes to mind when you set up a sheet of paper that has “Things I want.” You free write whatever  comes to your mind.  On the second sheet of paper you would write “Things I yearn for.”   Once again you will free write things that are completely different from your want page.  You will discover when reviewing both Want and Desire pages that does not automatically lead to freedom, intimacy and self-acceptance. It is okay, if immediately you don’t know how the universe intends to fulfill your soul’s desires.  The secret is to let go of outcomes and confusion of what you truly need from what you want will manifest the second you let go and allow the process to happen.  I can honestly say that has always been a truth for me.  Also, I don’t always get what I want, but I do always get what I need.

Romare Bearden
Romare Bearden

Step Four: Trust that your life is unfolding gracefully
Why Trust brings Grace into our lives

Completely letting go of desires and outcome you achieve a sense of non-attachment.  This frees you from depending and relying on Outcomes.  The art of letting go is a naturally occuring spiritual result of trust.  Your relationship and trust in God will fulfill its own nature by answering your soul’s requests, once you have identified and acknowledged them. To sit patiently with the anticipation that has not yet been fulfilled, and to trust that, that fulfillment will come true, is indeed the most powerful “spiritual gift” that human beings are capable of.
How to Trust through Applied Love
You begin by opening your heart to Hope!   Your trust in the universe and the process to bring into light your soul’s desires is what is necessary to have your dreams fulfilled.

You can start by making a wish or request then listen intently to a song you love.  Take time to ensure that your feeling is really coming from your soul. Then, intentionally choose to trust that your wish will be fulfilled. Sit back close your eyes and watch and feel how your feelings and desires have shifted and your reward is a great and peaceful feeling.  Sometimes letting go allows us to get what we need.  Peace Out!  JBC 😎

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Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

Poet’s Beat ~ “Transformation & Escape” by Gregory Corso feat.Gil Fuller & Monterey Jazz Festival – Things Are Here – Feat. Dizzy Gillespie

For Kandinsky-Great grandson Anton S. Kandinsky
For Kandinsky-Great grandson Anton S. Kandinsky

This is a prelude to an understanding and appreciation for poetry and jazz in terms of harmonic complexities and spontaneous or improvisation utterances from the soul of the poet in both an acoustic and literary styles.  The American social and literary movement of the 1950s and ’60s brought out the artists’ communities in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.  For me, I had the best of all of these locations growing up and experimenting with sounds and words and colors.  Its modality was expressed alienation from conventional society and advocated personal expression and illumination infused with an awareness and higher state of consciousness.  The Beat poets, included Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso who sought to liberate poetry from academia creating verse that was syncopated extrapolations of American life that was sometimes sprinkled with missives, and digressions but very powerful and moving.  It was a time that was riddled with LSD and mushrooms from Kerouac that I felt was not truly an expression of genius but a drug induced state that smacked of “Alice in Wonderland” perspective leaving out the key elements of Jazz Poetry and its impact in our lives.  This poem I believe establishes that.  Peace Out! JBC 😎

 

 Transformation & Escape

BY GREGORY CORSO

1

 

I reached heaven and it was syrupy.

It was oppressively sweet.

Croaking substances stuck to my knees.

Of all substances St. Michael was stickiest.

I grabbed him and pasted him on my head.

I found God a gigantic fly paper.

I stayed out of his way.

I walked where everything smelled of burnt chocolate.

Meanwhile St. Michael was busy with his sword

hacking away at my hair.

I found Dante standing naked in a blob of honey.

Bears were licking his thighs.

I snatched St. Michael’s sword

and quartered myself in a great circular adhesive.

My torso fell upon an elastic equilibrium.

As though shot from a sling

my torso whizzed at God fly paper.

My legs sank into some unimaginable sog.

My head, though weighed with the weight of St. Michael,

did not fall.

Fine strands of multi-colored gum

suspended it there.

My spirit stopped by my snared torso.

I pulled! I yanked! Rolled it left to right!

It bruised! It softened! It could not free!

The struggle of an Eternity!

An Eternity of pulls! of yanks!

Went back to my head,

St. Michael had sucked dry my brainpan!

Skull!

My skull!

Only skull in heaven!

Went to my legs.

St. Peter was polishing his sandals with my knees!

I pounced upon him!

Pummeled his face in sugar in honey in marmalade!

Under each arm I fled with my legs!

The police of heaven were in hot pursuit!

I hid within the sop of St. Francis.

Gasping in the confectionery of his gentility

I wept, caressing my intimidated legs.

 

2

 

They caught me.

They took my legs away.

They sentenced me in the firmament of an ass.

The prison of an Eternity!

An Eternity of labor! of hee-haws!

Burdened with the soiled raiment of saints

I schemed escape.

Lugging ampullae its daily fill

I schemed escape.

I schemed climbing impossible mountains.

I schemed under the Virgin’s whip.

I schemed to the sound of celestial joy.

I schemed to the sound of earth,

the wail of infants,

the groans of men,

the thud of coffins.

I schemed escape.

God was busy switching the spheres from hand to hand.

The time had come.

I cracked my jaws.

Broke my legs.

Sagged belly-flat on plow

on pitchfork

on scythe.

My spirit leaked from the wounds.

A whole spirit pooled.

I rose from the carcass of my torment.

I stood in the brink of heaven.

And I swear that Great Territory did quake

when I fell, free.

Gregory Corso, “Transformation & Escape” from The Happy Birthday of Death. Copyright © 1960 by New Directions Publishing Corporation. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Mindfield: New and Selected Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1989)

 

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Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Part One ~ The Book Proposal for My Memoir: A Song From My Father: A Creative Journey of Race and Legacy ~ featuring Gil Fuller & Monterey Jazz Festival – Things Are Here –Performed by Dizzy Gillespie

I thought it would befitting to tell you that today is my birthday.  Also, last night I had an Aha! Moment when I realized that my website Fifty Shades of Jazz is a composite on canvas of my life….  Importantly it is a composite of the various aspects of my life.  That being said, I feel that I can conceive that there are more than just one book …1- my Breast Cancer journey with my mother (“Saved By Jazz), 2.  Jazz Poetry and Contemporary Visual Arts (“Visual & Acoustic Muse of Jazz), 3.  The one closest to my heart and what I need to write first…Memoir (“A Song From My Father:  A CREATIVE JOURNEY OF RACE AND LEGACY.

The album above would be the companion because it would provide the acoustic substrate for living in the 60’s during the Civil Rights Movement and Countercultural revolution that changed the face and life of America.  I would like to point out that my age is nothing but a number because it my no means does any justice to my challenges and finding meaning in my life or mindfulness improvisations that I learned from my father in the life lessons in jazz.  That jazz creates the same creative inspiration and my instrument and I have to play the utterances that manifest when listening to the sounds that are translated into words.  I would love to know what you are thinking when reading this post because it is the best way to know if I am making the sounds come true in my words.  Besides I love hearing from you…  Thank you for sharing my birthday with me…Peace Out!  JBC

Doodles and sketches for memoir
Doodles and sketches for memoir

Part One

Overview

 

If you were to put  bestsellers  filled  with ingredients  like jazz, culture, life lessons and being a musician, personal transformation and sustainability in MOVING TO HIGHER GROUND:  HOW JAZZ CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE; civil rights riots, insuperable chauvinism, the search for racial identification in America in THE COLOR OF WATER:  A BLACK MAN’S TRIBUTE TO HIS WHITE MOTHER; or have a consciousness raising of living the life you were meant to live as portrayed in DREAMS OF MY FATHER:  A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE add a dash of cross generational creative spiritual journeys amidst the Civil Rights and Counterculture movements of the 50’s and 60’s  in her father’s life it was a passion and dedication to notes and in her life she had fallen in love with the sound of words and jazz, you would be reading A SONG FROM MY FATHER:  A CREATIVE JOURNEY OF RACE AND LEGACY.

In this lyrical, sentimental, and compelling memoir, the daughter of a Creole father and a white American mother searches for her voice and a sustainable creative meaning to her life as a Multiracial American.  It begins in New York in the 1950s on the Upper Westside where her father’s music career as an accomplished  Jazz composer/arranger and band leader take off and who wrote a song for her when she was three years old that inspires a creative spiritual journey in Los Angeles California in the 1960 decade..

The memoir will be divided into five parts of a song:

Overview

If you were to put  bestsellers  filled  with ingredients  like jazz, culture, life lessons and being a musician, personal transformation and sustainability in MOVING TO HIGHER GROUND:  HOW JAZZ CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE; civil rights riots, insuperable chauvinism, the search for racial identification in America in THE COLOR OF WATER:  A BLACK MAN’S TRIBUTE TO HIS WHITE MOTHER; or have a consciousness raising of living the life you were meant to live as portrayed in DREAMS OF MY FATHER:  A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE add a dash of cross generational creative spiritual journeys amidst the Civil Rights and Counterculture movements of the 50’s and 60’s  in her father’s life it was a passion and dedication to notes and in her life she had fallen in love with the sound of words and jazz, you would be reading A SONG FROM MY FATHER:  A CREATIVE JOURNEY OF RACE AND LEGACY.

In this lyrical, sentimental, and compelling memoir, the daughter of a Creole father and a white American mother searches for her voice and a sustainable creative meaning to her life as a Multiracial American.  It begins in New York in the 1950s on the Upper Westside where her father’s music career as an accomplished  Jazz composer/arranger and band leader take off and who wrote a song for her when she was three years old that inspires a creative spiritual journey in Los Angeles California in the 1960 decade..

The memoir will be divided into five parts of a song:

~ Part One – Prelude will begin with a grace note of appreciation to my father.  Jazz as an Imitation of American Life will be a narrative of the author’s life  living immersed in 60’s Watts Riots and how the jazz world became her refuge and salvation.  Feature an article entitled THE UNRECOGNIZED TITAN by Leonard Feather, DOWNBEAT Magazine Feburary, 1966

~  Part Two  –  Measures – will lyrically capture how the author’s exposure to jazz rehearsals and interactions with musicians and writers provided a catalyst to living a creative life as a writer no matter what.  It is what one has to do to live with music or will die with noise and chaos.

~ Part Three – Chorus – will chronicle what the author discovered how mindfulness meditation and improvisation are the elements in jazz that musicians  used to make it through the strife and still expressing oneself as a way of coping and dealing with racism and chauvinism and hostility to be present and lean into her life actualizing a sense of serenity, a peace that thrives on understanding and acceptance. with grace

~ Part Four ~ Bridges – • Homecoming  the author was living in San Francisco, when she found out in November of 1989 that both of her parents were sick and I decided to come home to New York.  On her father’s deathbed the author had a chance to talk intimately with her father and tell him how miserable she felt because she was not living the life she felt was meant for her and wanted him to show her how and if he ever thought she had talent to write.  We came to an understanding before he died and I forgave him liberating us to transition opening his heart to die.

~ Part Five CODA – Finding My Way  – the author discovers the Gibson guitar her father kept for her in the basement and when opening it she realized that he kept all of my poems and journals nestled between the guitar and sheet music and a note he wrote ~ To My Daughter ~ I always knew you could write your heart out and I wrote a song for you to help you to discover that you cannot live without exploring and developing her gifts.

 

The memoir has approximately 75,000 words to date. The manuscript will be completed twelve months after receipt of the advance to help defray editing and publishing costs. It will be written under the pseudonym of Jannat Marie.

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Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Jazz Riffshot ~ Improvisation ~ Awakening to The Life You Want…feat. University Of Toronto 10 O’clock Jazz Orchestra – “Awakening”

Reflections-of-a-Teaching-Artist-

 

“To live your dream, you’ve got to see something (dream) and be willing to act it out (action)  Acting out a dream is always the more difficult part since it requires a leap of faith without quite knowing exactly the way to go about achieving your desire.  It is easy to get discouraged and ultimately give up on your vision when you don’t know how to achieve it.”  Nadia Brown from Becoming:  The Life & Musings of a Girl Poet

 

A time comes in everyone’s life when you finally get it!  In the fog of Life that is colored by all of your fears and confusion you stop and listen to the still small voice inside your head that cries out…ENOUGH1 Enough fighting, crying, blaming, and most of all struggling to hold on to the past or future. You center yourself to a mindfulness meditation like a child quieting down after a tantrum holding back your tears or just let go you lean in and visualize the world through new eyes.

Charicature of Igor Stravinsky
Charicature of Igor Stravinsky

I am in the present. I cannot know what tomorrow will bring forth. I can know only what the truth is for me today. That is what I am called upon to serve, and I serve it in all lucidity.” ~ Igor Stravinsky

 

 

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You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.

 

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You realize that in the real world fairy tales and movies have happy endings, and that there are no guarantees of “happily ever after”.  It has to begin with you…and living the process you feel  a     sense of serenity and acceptance.

 

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You realize that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are… but that’s OK. They are entitled to their own opinions. (however wrong they may  be LOL)

 

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You realize the importance of loving and nurturing yourself…and in the process you have created a sense confidence that is rooted in self-approval.

 

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Your no longer complain and/or blame other people for the things they did or didn’t do to or for you –you realize that the only thing you can really count on is God’s grace and gifts you were born with,

 

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You realize that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say.  Not everyone will or can always be there for you  accepting the fact that it is not about You.

 

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You are able to stand on your own and can take care of yourself…and in the process you gain a sense of safety and security that makes you self-reliant and sufficient,

 

 

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You stop judging and begin to accept people as they are.  You realize that their shortcomings and human frailties are what God created in us freeing us so that we may gain a sense of peace and contentment that is a manifestation of forgiveness.

musical_note_clip_art_12518 You open up to new worlds, different points of view, and the tapestry of possibilities and wonder that life has to offer. You reassess and redefine who you are and what you really stand for letting go of those things that no longer serve you.

 

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You accept the difference between wanting and needing.  You discard the doctrines, values and thoughts that you’ve outgrown.

 

 

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You accept that there is power and dignity in creating and making contributions to make the world a better place.

 

 

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You understand that the principles of honesty and integrity are essence of what holds us together and the foundation upon which you must build your life.

 

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You don’t know everything and it’s not your responsibility to save the world.  The only cross  you have to bear is the one you choose to carry.

 

musical_note_clip_art_12518You realize what love is.  Relationships only thrive with mutual respect and caring and harmony. You understand that “alone”  does not mean lonely it means solitude.

 

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You realize that you cannot control people, situations or outcomes. You  distinguish between guilt and accountability and the value of setting boundaries and learning how to say NO.

 

musical_note_clip_art_12518Your body is really your temple. You must take care for it and treat it with respect. You eat a balanced diet, drinking more water, add walking meditation to your lifestyle.

 

 

musical_note_clip_art_12518You understand that being “tired” fuels doubt, fear, and confusion and treat yourself to rest.  Sustenance comes with the understanding that ‘food fuels the body’ ~ ‘laughter fuels the soul’ and ‘gratitude makes your life fuller and richer’. It is vital that you take more time to laugh and to play.

 

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You accept the fact that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also understand sometimes you cannot do it alone, and when to take the chance to ask for help and support.

 

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You understanding that fear is not real and a tremendous drain on your energy.  You are now able to lean into your fears understanding that there is no wrong choice, you must make another this is what life is all about.  You are able to handle whatever comes before you because you are on the right wake.  “It is the not the destination that matters it is the journey.

 

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You fight for your beliefs and life and not waste it living under a cloud of confusion and despair.

 

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Most important principle in improvising your life is that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you want and that sometimes bad things happen to all of us.

 

 

musical_note_clip_art_12518Negative emotions such as anger, envy and resentment must be redirected or you will disappear.

 

 

musical_note_clip_art_12518At the end of the day, you realize that you must have gratitude for your life and the simple comforts of shelter, food and a life you can create.  Instead of looking at what you don’t have you focus on the things you do have.

 

It is necessary for us to take responsibility for ourself by making a commitment to honor yourself and others never to settle for anything less than what your heart and soul desires.  Keep smiling, trusting, and to stay in mindful awareness allowing life to unfold into possibilities you never thought were possible.  This is what my mindfulness meditations have given me and what I learned from the jazz lessons I have included in my life improvising, experiencing, learning, accepting and waiting.  At the end of the day, with courage in you heart inhale your dreams and exhale those things that don’t allow them to become a reality.  July 30th is my birthday and I can honestly say that I have a love of life and are living the creative life that was only dreams when I was eleven years old.  How about you?  What have you learned?  I bet you will surprise yourself…. Peace Out!  JBC 😎

 

rhythm primer rest

 

 

Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from My Memoir: The Prologue (1st Draft)

healing spirit art creating circumstances
healing spirit art creating circumstances

It was Thursday, November 30th, 2000, a week after Thanksgiving.  It is a typical New York  City style event.  Sakes Fifth Avenue was ramping up piercing the veil of  festivities evoking spectacular window dressings that were dressed to the nines. The lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was set to be lit that evening to awaken and welcome the world to New York City ‘s Winter and Christmas’ Wonderland had arrived.  The Plaza was as beautifully bedazzled with lights  and folks in horse drawn carriages were riding through Central Park.

It was my last chance to make up for my loss and devastation resulting from my bilateral mastectomy.   Life, as I knew it six months before today, would be restored.  It meant to examine my tools and gifts to create what 1Peter with respect to creating a “spiritual house” which your tools will reveal your destiny.  10As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God

Today, I am accepting and embracing everything that has happened in my life so far:  It began with  father’s death; my mom’s return of terminal cancer and continuing treatment; my diagnosis on April 14, 2000 (coincidentally on my father’s birthday); my bilateral mastectomy with all of it’s complications; my chemotherapy with all of its’ dreadful side effects; my loss of my job as a successful legal assistant for over 20 years; basically my whole life.  Today is my day; I get the chance to make things right with the world and my universe within.  I hoped that it was not just an illusion.

Counting, 100…99…95, I am breathing in life, I see my surgeon with her mask, her eyes were reassuring and smiling, I blink.  85…80 I open my eyes again halfway, I see my mom, beautifully 1960’s  coiffed light brown hair; almond shaped pools of peaceful hazel green eyes; skin so soft and radiant that has been paled by society’s proscriptions; a sweet smile that always masked the pain of living in two worlds, now standing by my side, smiling and leans over to kiss me on my cheek.  I hear the music of my father’s music that I gave the surgical team begin to play, “The Shadow of Your Smile”, it is filling the air, I am breathing and moving my soul– feeling every note.  75…70, I open my eyes again, I see my father, I can only see his face, I close my eyes tightly and slowly open them again, he is still there, he is smiling and leans over to kiss my forehead and says, “you are playing my music, I added the song I wrote for you when you were born, can you hear it?”  I feel myself nodding.  Darkness now has consumed me.

            The next time my eyes open I am in the ICU, I am connected to several machines, they are beeping.  Morphine drip is set on automatic.  I stir trying to find some comfort in being in a lot of pain and searching for relief.  I turn my head and open my eyes and I see Todd a friend from work is standing by my bed.  He said he sneaked in, my mom told him where I was.  We smiled and laughed.  Suddenly, an alarm went off—nurses and staff come running in.  I scream.  “What is going on?”  My mouth is covered with an oxygen mask.  My surgeon is now standing next to me,  says, “the graft failed, I have to take you back into the OR.”  I said “WAIT!  How long have I been in surgery?”  She answered, “16 hours.”  “What about my DNR?”  She said “your mom rescinded it.”  Suddenly my mother was beside the gurney as I was being wheeled to the OR that was awaiting me.  My mom motioned for them to stop the gurney, she positioned herself to be in front of me.  “I can’t mom, just let me go, ”  I cried.  She took my hand and said, “I need you, you have been my caregiver for the past 3 years and I still need you, I am your caregiver now and more importantly, it is not your time.

“Jannat” performed by Gilberto & His  Musicabana Orchestra

It meant that if God gives an assignment,  you also are given the skill.  So that meant to me to return to writing and art with all of my heart and it will reveal your wake or assignment.  That is when my journey became healed and was transformed.  My fears drifted into the darkness at the center of my soul.  I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, I exhaled, letting go of the most frightening and painful parts of my life and awaked to the allow grace to flow into my life.   I began to feel as though I was sailing into uncharted waters, completely trusting and hearing the song my father wrote for me having faith that my life’s purpose and plan would take care of itself.    This is my song and story…

“…I keep looking for one more teacher, only to find that fish learn from the water and birds learn from the sky.” (p.275)”   ― Mark NepoFacing the Lion, Being the Lion: Finding Inner Courage Where It Lives

What do you think?  I would love for you to take a few moment to share your thoughts and comments, JBC 😎  Peace Out!

Japanese translation for meaning

Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

Jazz on Canvas ~ Under the Influence ~ In Pursuit of a Happy Ending

“Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that you are the customized expression of a loving God.  He has wired you through some genetic mechanism we do not yet understand.  You have been endowed with a unique mix of competencies and the drive to use them in pursuit of some outcome of unrivalled personal importance.  Your life has meaning built into it.  Effectively you have an exciting, challenging, achievable destiny if you will, but discover and embrace who you are destined to be.” ~  Arthur F. Miller

 

in-pursuit-of-happiness
in-pursuit-of-happiness

We all like to believe that we are autonomous beings, that our personalities belong to us and we are separate in mind and spirit from behaviors of others and their influence upon us. But in real time we live under the influence of everything and everyone around us. Dad always emphasized and drummed into us to “be your own person don’t follow others mindlessly, your purpose in life is unique to you and your friends may want to play, but follow your heart, it is the best navigator to following your North Star.  And at the time, I really didn’t get what he meant by it.

 

“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” ~ Charlie Parker 

I was raised believing that in order to survive I had to live in disguise. When I was very young, the sanctity of my room is where I had hopes, dreams, values and aspirations.  When I left my room I had to leave them behind like my books and other treasures tucked away on a shelf nestled in the opposite corner of my bedroom.  I believe with all of my heart Dad loved me, but I caved and bartered my own thoughts and feeling when he told me what I was supposed to want.  I sacrificed what I really wanted because Dad tells me that being a doctor is where it’s at.  The early part of my journey amidst the jazz world I would hole up in my room discovering and accepting fully the gifts and talents that God gave me.  I would let go of my family “persona” to free my imagination tapping into my personal sense of purpose and who I really was.  Early mornings I would lie in bed hearing the music climb the stairs, it had a purpose, it had an intent – it was harmonic, it had a rhythm that grabbed my heart and rearrange the beats to prepare me to go to my desk open my curtains and let the burst of the morning gently touch my face.  Jazz was transformative.

I was paralyzed by the feeling of losing my father if I chose to follow my star.  I needed for him to tell me things would be okay.  That he would help me, encourage me, teach me the way things are in the world I was living in.  How did he do it?  Every time I tried to step out of the role he was creating for me, he would resist.  So I would withdraw and try to convince myself that he knows what’s best for me.  I was so conflicted when he would teach me how to sight sing music, take me to his rehearsals and ask what instrument I wanted to learn how to play.  There were definitely rules of conduct and engagement with others.  There were two distinct behaviors, one associated with our home and private life and the one associated with our public life.  I spent most of the time in my room.  There the only rule was to be myself.

Beautiful Pastel Pop of Color Painting
Beautiful Pastel Pop of Color Painting

Our outer selves are in constant flux.  Folks come into our lives and go.  We move from place to place.  We are creating and establishing in every living moment.  When taking a peek at our inner selves it always remains the same.  Our awareness is what changes because we are in touch with our true self.  It was inheriting breast cancer that caused me to embark on this journey.  That was the biggest game changer with respect to finding and identifying how jazz is part of my true nature.  When I think about all of the setbacks or side effects that are related to cancer I play dad’s album or listen to Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch or Coltrane or Miles or Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra I am reminded of being in my room laying on my bed as a child.  Now if I am not in balance with my  true self, I stop, crank up the sounds, put on the cool shades and dance around building up the energy to write because I am re-aligned and grateful for the smallest things, like the sun, moon stars, and of course, the life thing.  Some folks say that we were not born with an instruction manual.  Parents are guiding us, but, now I know I am going to set sail to follow my North Star.

Somehow, I made it through the tumultuous 60’s cultural and civil rights revolutions.  I believed that suffered greatly from it, emotionally and physically which made it conducive for Cancer to enter and uproot my life. Worst of all, i lost my rents.  For all intents and purposes, those years and awful experiences could have irreparably broken me.  However, the jazz lessons I learned healed and transformed me guiding me to the other side a better person for it all.  Rather than becoming a broken, bitter and mistrustful person, I found a compassion and tenderness within me I never knew existed.  I found optimism and joy in the little things, the ability to laugh and find humor in just about anything.  And through that, I also discovered the will and ability to start my life over, to go back to school and learn a new vocation helping others find comfort from their own woes.

The secret habits of Jazz living allows us to coexist with folks around us and the situations in which we find ourselves immersed, we have the power to choose a mutually beneficial and filled with compassion and understanding of one another.  The true blessing is that we can take our adversities, learn from them, and transform them to effect a positive outcome not just for ourselves, but for those around us.  So let’s get to it, pack your bags, get your shades on ‘cause we are gonna set sail and discover that jazz is transformative in everyday life.  It’s all about awareness…How about you, do you remember a turning point in your life?  Peace out!  JBC 😎

Japanese translation for meaning

Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.