rugged angel: the day my bike was almost stolen

•February 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Someone was watching me.

Sometimes you think you are alone in your thoughts.  You think you are alone on your daily commute and routines.  Safe. But someone may be watching, noticing you in your solitude.  Waiting for a vulnerable moment.  Watching from the shadows, seeing you very clearly.

I was starting college and was proud to have transport light enough to haul up and down three flights of stairs (with a dress on) and rugged enough to get me across town.

I tend to be lost in my thoughts most of the time and biking was liberating.  Somehow in a busy city, I seemed to find the perfect time to ride.  I don’t recall feeling stressed or overwhelmed by my surroundings.   I remember enjoying my solitude and how pretty the trees in the park were. I was content as I navigated through streets, sidewalks and crowds of people.  .

The last time I’ve used a bike, mind you, was in middle school.  But there I was, a seedling in college, with a brand new bike, gliding down Boylston Street, cutting through the Public Garden, Downtown Crossing, heading toward the clock tower to work.

My day came to an early close on Fridays.   Fridays I had a meeting at school..

A stranger was waiting for me at my bike.

I’m not the person that likes talking to strangers.  I’m the girl who goes out on walks with her nose in a book.  I wear headphones sometimes without any music playing so that I may avoid talking to people.  The stranger didn’t look like he was going anywhere.  He was waiting for me.  As I approached him, a couple of guys stopped by to shake his hand, give me a hello nod and then took off.

M:  “My friends saw someone trying to steal your bike.  We have been trading out turns to wait for you to get out of work.”

JNET:  “Wow.  Thanks.”

M:  “I’m Matthew. You don’t know how to lock your bike very well.  Someone noticed that and tried to take your bike but we stopped him.  ‘Hey, we know the girl who rides this bike.’  He took off.  We have been keeping watch since then.”

He didn’t say much about the person trying to take my bike.  Perhaps he didn’t have more to say.  Perhaps that person was a known foe on the streets that the couriers were aware of.  He and his friends were simply people noticing someone trying to do something not so good.  I think they made an impression on that person to leave me alone.  .

He showed me how to lock my bike better.  I wasn’t locking it properly.  He also showed me how to best adjust my seat so that I don’t have future problems with my knees or back.  They knew bikes, noticed every bike rider and got that I was green.

My day could have gone another way if it wasn’t for Matthew and his friends.  The shadow could have won the day and blemished it for me.  But strangers rallied that day for me and brightened it.

I never saw Matthew again after that day.  But I felt safer knowing the world has good people like him and his friends.  The world has bad people watching.

And the world has good people watching too.

Jnet

outwitting the devil: walking on rainbows

•February 8, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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Do you remember a time when you laughed, smiled and danced a lot? Thought the world was exciting;, the days welcome to wake to, the evenings a time to stretch hours?

You sprang out of bed and you felt compelled to stay up finding ways to extend time?

I walked on rainbows. You too?

Once upon a time….

I lived as if jelly beans and champagne coursed through my veins.

I read my second post, “thankfulness in my solitude” and realized that I’ve not left the path I was on but rather I’m holding on to it from a different angle.

It’s not comfy. Imagine having your harness secure (support system ie friends and family) but your dangling in midair on your zip line because you’ve lost momentum.

That’s me.

Maybe you can relate too.

It’s scary and embarrassing to not feel a wind on one’s sails.

On a bad day it’s a dull pain of thought and on a better day an urgency to go, fight, win hitting like a splash cold water.

I have a sense to want to pull myself upright and forward. Many days, slower than I’d like. Being discouraged and tired has now annoyed and frustrated me ….multiple times.

Do you know what scares me the most? The notion that I may forget how to be happy.

That is what compels me to write.

That…and being sick, tired and bored of how things are marching along. And like the beginnings of this blog, I am writing for myself. To help me make sense of anything that is good and right with my life, affirm my own existence and snap me out of my stuck on my zipline thinking.

And if it helps anyone who accidentally stumbles upon my world….. who relate to being midair. Reading quietly along so that they too may find their feet on the rainbow. Yay.

Jnet

outwitting the devil: awaking the sleeping warrior

•February 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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Have you ever felt like you’ve woken up from a foggy nightmare only to realize that everything terrible that you’ve dreamed of did happen and that your waking moments were burdened by the weight of the experience?

Yet somehow, you had the tiniest bit of sense that you had to snap yourself out of a hypnotic, soul deadening way of being lest you lose yourself, living your days on a slow death march.

I used to…..

I can fill the blank with many many things.

I used to sing.  I used to dance.  I used to write.  I………

My mind was filled with dizzying thoughts and fancies that I had to write, perform, do something to express that fervor for living.

And then I found myself silent.

Call it the fortress walls, the defense shields.  I placed all energy and trust into a protective system while I worked on restoring myself.  Time passed and I found that though I felt safe and parts of my world yet thrived; I was dying.

Wait… didn’t my friends call me warrior?

Vague memories of bright yesterdays bank about a head that feels like swiss cheese.  I cannot rely on my friends or family to break the codes that will free me.  Loved ones are always there like guiding stars.  We all have our guiding stars.  Yes? And at the helm directing our feet forward and our thoughts beyond us, its simply you.

What say you captain?

What shall I tell myself?

I feel as brilliant as a brillo pad…and just as cute.

For now, I sleep walk.  Half awake, half asleep and weighed by a nightmare.

I don’t remember how to be alive.

So I’ve returned to the beginning; to my first blog post.  Like a baby, I’ve put my feet upon the feet that knows how to walk.  I will use words that I once used so that I may find my voice again.

The future begins here….

I’m waking up…

JNET

ss: in training two year olds

•May 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hello sweet world. The fireflies are treading and toddling along. We’re TWO years old, FOUR months and TWO days old TODAY.  And I’m keenly aware that I miss writing so…. HERE I AM.

We stumbled through a brief dark spell of uncertainty during the winter, then tumbled into a crazy spring period of rehearsals and auditions; little sleep and LOTS of activity followed by…..injury.

I introduced my firefly to my chiropractor and he introduced me to his acupuncturist. Yay to our extended world of awesome people. I can now walk on high heels without looking like a pained zombie and he can wear a shirt without feeling annoyed that either he or the shirt is on crooked. Who knew that playing pin cushion and cracking bones would be so remarkable?

What does the firefly world look like today?

I’m falling asleep a lot earlier so to join my firefly at the gym at 6am to workout. (No late night writing routine.)  I WAS doing weight training before I got injured. I have since been on a modified regime as I rehabilitate myself. As for him, he’s counting calories and weighing his food like mad. Even a Porto’s pastry cannot sway him. He waits until cheat day.

He’s got a new job. I’ve been working on a friend’s short films and book trailers. And we’ve both taken a break from dancing and it feels kind of nice to spend a lot more time able to relax and visit my family and see friends. Or simply stay in and watch a movie or game.

We watched ALL of “Breaking Bad” (stressful for me – watching dysfunctional people is not relaxing) and am now working our way watching Marvel films in proper succession (much more fun and inspiring) and for laughs and giggles watching MLP.

Our first year was a lot of OOOOHH AAAAH discovery…. and in our second year we’re in a new space that’s a lot more goofy and cheesy with some moments where we feel like real grown ups. We don’t know what we’re doing but we’re happy. It’s been a time of moving on from uninspiring jobs and people, paring down activities and things to create new habits.

And find new strength. Physically, mentally and spiritually.

Latest sweet memory..

We arrived visiting a newly renovated church at the wrong time and caught the tail end of service. Instead of leaving to arrive at our other church late, he said.

“Let’s stay here after everyone leaves to pray for a bit.”

Yup. He’s the nicest calorie counting, food weighing, sports fan man I know. Even though he’s going through a phase of trying to gross me out a lot.  Details to NOT follow.

jnet

minding the castle

•December 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes certain souls walk through the halls of your world, champion your shadows beside you, and help you realize lessons on perception, love and loyalty that change you forever.

It’s nice to find you’re not as big of a loner than you think are.

From mind numbing routines that  carve out daily time to the occasional explosions within activity and interactions; its easy to feel alone and on a treadmill.   But every once in a while, you find yourself standing next to someone who lets you know that they see you and wakes you up from the ordinary.

I’d like to think that everyone is having a relatively amazing life.    I’d like to think that everyone understands struggle and knows the taste of bitterness yet knows the flavor of goodness.  And I’d like to think that everyone feels an intrinsic sense of awe and respect over the beauty of being human.

But I know there are many who don’t give a toss about thinking.  Period.    They were given different eyes to view the world.  And if you listen to them long enough, you may become convinced that there is nothing to believe that is beautiful and real.

That even your own reflection will disappoint you.

Still, I would like to think that certain souls have walked through the halls of your world, championed your shadows beside you, and helped you realize how worthy  you are.

That when you are alone, reflecting on life, you see how beautiful it is.

JNET

jnetsworld turned 8 and then 9

•December 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”

 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

A friend once told me that if she had a dozen essays on her desk, she would know which one was mine.  It was the best compliment I could ever hope for from a writer and friend that I respected.  I’ve received many encouragements to continue writing.  And its in re-reading those encouragements that bring this quiet soul back to writing.

Lest my soul harden.

So here I am to declare that you can return to something you love even though you feel like you are sputtering through a season or two or three or four trying to remember your voice.  Here I am even though two birthdays went un-noted —- jnetsworld turned 8 and then 9.   Life has been profoundly heart breaking and heart building these past couple of years.   I’ve cleared out house, sat in the silent space, had friends visit bearing gifts and pails of paint.

Thank you for your voice.  It’s what brings me back.

JNET

Favorite hellos:

My favorite hellos throughout the years.

UMA:  “A blog with a soul!!!!!!!!”

DOCTORMATE:  “Presence …A superb diarist resides here … jnet writes with calming power and silken insight …”

DAWNBLUE:  “Beautiful artwork along with beautiful words as to what the importance is to this person. I spent time stumbling Jnet and found myself lost in her world of music and art and could spend an eternity.”

IFIKNEWBETTER:  “i enjoyed her blog… lots of neat quotes… wonderful lasting images… lasting thoughts… a rainbow of ideas… “Beauty, the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.” “Don’t go through life, grow through life.”

QUHQUH:  “JNET is an explorer on the frontiers of her self and her trail is worth sharing. Thanks, JNET.”

COOLBUS:  “this is my second review of a stumbler that has a beautiful blog. it’s full of excellent writing and more. her writings always tickle my mind. visit here. spend time, and come away the better for it. 200 thumbs up for this neato person!”

SWEETMELISSA2005:  “JNET’s way with words.., WOW. If she is not a writer or does not plan to become a writer, well then too bad for us because she does it so eloquently. I am truly in awe.”

PAULFRANK:  “I think I am in love.”

DESTINYSFATE:  “Different in each & every way possible yet so much in which she shares….I’m in awe of how I can honestly concur & relate to the 100th degree. Unique virtual boutique of expressions and suggestions”

JAMES:  “Jnet, I love the way you write…such beauty.”

LITBITOFSONSHINE:  “I loved her creative writing on her stumbleupon and her wordpress.   She rocks and rolls and has such a open and sharing and caring understanding soul; one I even marked to read again as I will also visit her pages.  Its nice to learn about families from her point of view as well as so many other mind expanding things – just wowzers.”

DAVE:  “I loved your “loving like an athlete.”  Keep up your good writing….”

ALAN:  “You inspired me to change my blogs look as well, alas, my change was not as stunningly successful as yours. This is to be expected though, since your talent shines through everything you do here.  My compliments!”

DESTINY:  “Love your world and thanks to you, I can now define myself in all the diversity and unique(ness) that I possess as a person…as a woman. Just saying Hello and wanted to share that..nothing more.  I enjoy the substance of your blogs.”

METALT:  “Very impressive blog about life and I might add – balanced life. jnetsworld is a place I want to visit often and I deeply appreciate her for sharing with us.”

RICHARD:  “My beautiful and talented friend.  Again, I must tell you how well you write, but of much more importance than that, how very proud I am to “know” someone like you. You have such fine judgment, your values are impeccable and you seem dedicated to your art. As you know, choosing a life of creativity is not without its pitfalls. However, you do not need my advice and will find your way.  You know I wish you well, Richard.”

noteworth: the family room

•May 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Their piano room is not unlike the one I enjoyed growing up in; a sunny room where board games and books had a home.  It is a room of comfy couches and framed family photos. It is where people gather to talk, play tournaments of Scrabble, watch television, play video games and of course listen and play music. Their piano room feels like home to me; full of life and memories.

I can tell within 5 minutes, if a practice environment will inspire or not.   If no one including the family cat or dog doesn’t know of a spot to relax near the piano, chances are naming that particular spot the music room will not be a place to think and practice.  If only dust bunnies feel welcome in the room while everyone else socializes in another room, chances are practice will feel as lonely as a book forgotten in a corner.

For a young learner, will it not be against their best interest to have the piano in an active space? Shouldn’t the piano be in a more formal and quiet space away from the distraction of family life?

I’ve taught in a home where a beautiful baby grand Steinway graced a formal gathering part of the home. It was austere with not a dust bunny in sight. A beautiful place to have a family concert. Still, it was not an easy place for little boys to naturally bring themselves. My students were the youngest boys of a large family. The tumbling and full of energy sort. They literally came into their piano lesson each week through the back garden,  breathless from playing outside.  They were fine and full of cheer during our piano time together but I am not quite sure they entered the room in the same spirit when I wasn’t there.

I never had a quiet formal room to practice.  

I had a small keyboard that I played in my room but it never got the kind of love that I had for the piano in the family room.  I didn’t mind the bustle.   The piano rooms at school lent some solitude but not quiet.   The reality of life was that absolute quiet and privacy was a treat and not the norm.

And so I survived having a piano, television AND family computer in the same room.  Sometimes my piano competed against video game music as my brothers played across the room.  Sometimes I enjoyed the luxury of having the room to myself while they played outside. Most of the time my brothers and I exercised some form of social diplomacy.  

A piano isn’t LOUD LOUD.  Conversations and television programs can still continue and share sound space. I know playing didn’t always refrain my mom from wanting to start a conversation asking me if I’d eaten or done all my homework.

I managed sharing practice space.

Conquering distraction is a daily exercise; a good one for young people to learn and perhaps easier for a young person to consider than feelings of isolation or missing out feelings.  Put them in a room where they are out of earshot of all family activity; it may feel too much like their punitive time outs.

A place to relax, to think and to share…and feel very much at home.

K:  “I just need a little table next to my piano so I can have a snack and glass of water nearby.  That would be perfect.”

I like hearing how my students set up camp to practice.

JNET

 
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