Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Matisse Walk Into a Bar…

Still seeking artists, writers, poets, Creatives to be a part of print and online versions. Contact me at scmedia620@gmail.com is interested. Submission Guides will be posted on site soon. Blessings, Marissa

Serenity Café

Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in Paris, 1920’s.
Photo Credit: Public Domain

Actually, it is a Paris café, serving beer, coffee, delicacies and solid hot meals. Hemingway grabs a beer and heads for his favorite table on the edge of the crowd. The Fitzgerald’s wave and beeline toward him from across the room – Scott is affable, he thinks, but he can already tell Zelda is a dark mood. Downing the beer, he waves for the waiter to bring another as he sits. Scott and Zelda land beside him within seconds. Matisse steps around the corner, shuffles down the Montparnasse and raises his cane in greeting.

An hour later, they are laughing and drinking, discussing the politics of the world, the latest literary achievements of their fellows, and dreaming of a “next” none of them can rightly define. Their individual genius, heartbreaks, and confusions flow and ebb through the…

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The Artist Enters the Void

Starting work on the Serenity Café magazine site….Print publication slated for end of November 2020.

Serenity Café

Photo Credit: Marlon Schmeiski via Pexels

The artist enters the Void with nothing and comes back with something. Her skill is to turn off the self-censor. Her skill is to jump off the cliff. Her skill is to believe.

As artists, what are we believing in? We’re believing in a conception of the universe (or at least of consciousness within that universe) that is not random, not pointless, not devoid of meaning.

Steven Pressfield, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t

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Answer Words Symbol

 

man and woman pose on a cross monument

~for Peter

 

The Words are only
and always
only
a symbol
for the truth emotion energy
they seek
to convey
hieroglyphs forms symbols
we forget
they never truly say
anything
this artifice of speaking
writing
symbols iconography
for the internal aspect
of human divine knowing truth
that
mute words can’t speak
these mute donkeys that plod
the garden of living
trying
to reach
thoroughbred status
this
is not possible
but
like us
the words do
the best they can
and I find
they are
the one place
where honesty shows up
in mystical magic
the words speak
a truth
we viscerally
know
and I
would never
take back
any of the words
I bled for you

 

 

~Photo Credit:

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

wet trail of falling

pink and white flower with white background

Drizzle of raindrops
across a broken rose
its sunburnt edges
of yellowing leaves
green grass blades

Drip and drizzle
moves shimmers rolls
plops to another petal
falls drifts streaks wet
trail of falling —

like the trail streak tail
of a comet burning

like the sloshed snow
trailing the skier

like the tear glistens
a trail as it wets the cheek

Slow pour cacophony
of water and pain
that floods and fills
with deep misery
or flushes and flows
with deep catharsis

this wet trail of falling
Deeper
Deeper
Deeper

Into

the unknown

 

 

~Photo Credit:

Photo by Evie Shaffer on Pexels.com

 

One Touch

person holding a flower

~June 2020, for my friend Peter

 

One touch.
Handshake a million years ago
meaning — only
the imprinted energy remained
your signature
written
in the palm of my hand.

One touch.
Brushstroke upon the canvas
meaning — only
that memory would keep you
vivid bright color stroke
painted
in the memory of synapses.

One touch.
Melody rolling across deprived days
meaning — only
that you sang the hours
a song of calming
solace
in a soft whispered breathing.

One touch.
Illusion and Truth and Seeker
meaning — only
that variegated thread of being
runs through us all
weaving
a tapestry of disjointed discovery.

One touch.
Heartbeat tapping ka-thump
meaning — only
we are living moving flowing life
blood body spirit soul
one
essence divided into many.

One touch.
Begging arms reach out
meaning — only
the tears we cry dream dreams
of yearning and growing then
disappear
into a deeper realm.

One touch.
We have this gift
meaning — only
we are this gift
of chance chaos beauty
expanding
to touch one another.

~Photo Credit:

Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m lost. Can you help me find my way?

man s hand in shallow focus and grayscale photography

It is 4:27 pm on Sunday afternoon. The small convenience store at the corner of Hwy 17 and Ocean Boulevard is packed with customers two lines deep waiting on a single cashier to ring them up and send them on their way. She is a sweet black woman near my age that I chat with every time I visit the store.

I am third in line behind an older white man wearing a scraggly beard and walking with a slight bent limp, and a Hispanic father with two teenage girls wearing shorts, smiles, and sunburns. A young black man and his friend are behind me. The line on the other side of the store has an older white couple, a Hispanic woman talking on her cell phone, an older black lady wearing jeans, a God Saves T-shirt and a ball-cap, and a well-dressed younger couple speaking quietly in Russian.

Two miles away, in the center of downtown Myrtle Beach, SC a protest ends without major violence or rioting after arrests and releases, a few hours of tense stand-off and news reports, and a slow push forward by a police line that encourages dispersion. I watch the local Facebook news feed for hours. Then, make this quick run to the nearest convenience store for cigarettes before the 6 pm curfew takes effect.

I am in line. We are all in line. Each of us trying to observe social-distancing rules and patiently wait our turn in the tiny overcrowded store. My mind is trying to sort the images and realities of the day. I’m looking for a way to make sense of the deep emotions of anger and pain I’ve seen and heard. The questions of meaning and how to address these issues and help heal them in my community float across my consciousness.

How it is possible that we are still battling these issues of race, prejudice, and inequality in the year 2020 my mind asks. I cannot fathom an answer. The sad pain over the reality of these deep, ingrained wounds and behavior our nation and its’ people are suffering is too overwhelming. I am floating between rational thought and simple prayer as I stand in the line, waiting my turn.

A young black man in his 30’s walks in the store and steps in front of everyone, seemingly oblivious to the lines of people standing there. He asks the cashier a question:

I’m lost. Can you help me find my way?

My breath catches in my throat as I feel everyone tense around me. From behind him, the older white man with the limp and scraggly beard, reaches and puts his hand on the mans shoulder. In a deep Southern accent he says, “I’ve lived here all my life son. Maybe I can help. Where are you trying to get to?”

The whole store seems to breathe one long sigh of relief as they talk and the man is soon on his way to his destination. Both men show nothing but respect and kindness to one another during the interaction. I am almost in tears at the gift of this moment. Hope comes back into my heart. I believe we can somehow find our way through this … one person-to-person interaction at a time.

I think about the question, “I’m lost. Can you help me find my way?” It sums up the surreal place the people, our nation, and the world seems to be at in this moment. We are all lost and needing a little help to find our way. It starts within each of us and moves outward. It is the simple truth of Gandhi’s words, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

man person people old

 

Photo One: Photo by lalesh aldarwish on Pexels.com
Photo Two: Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

How will you serve the world?

woman near window

“How will you serve the world? What do they need that your talent can provide? That’s all you have to figure out.”  ~Jim Carrey

 

Jim Carrey is the perfect guy to help you survive a mid-life crises. He is funny, eccentric, wise, and doesn’t believe in reality. The best kind of friend for the transition spaces in a life between what was and what will be.

So, I heard Jim say,  “How will you serve the world? What do they need that your talent can provide? That’s all you have to figure out.” And the question and answer stuck. I walked around with it for months, rolling and turning it over in my mind like a precious gem in my palm.

I was beginning to move forward from a 3-year period of devastation and redirection. A twenty year marriage had ended in a nasty way, the following relationship became a traumatic and painful experience, and I’d exited a fifteen-year career field with no serious idea of what was next. All those standard future plans, life assumptions, and normal expectations disappeared along with the personal identity aspects of the woman who held them. I was entering my 50’s in an existential crises state!

I was suddenly in one of those mid-life crises states that I’d read numerous articles about through the years but never expected to experience. Life has a funny way of surprising us! We get all comfy and cozy and complacent and … Bam! Our soul suddenly moves us toward greater circles of being, brings us new challenges and growth in the form of a major shift and expansion of the self. Hang on! Life says. Change is coming whether you want it or not! My favorite Picasso quote, once applied only to my artistic endeavors, suddenly became my whole life experience!

Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.      ~Pablo Picasso

The “I” listening to a You Tube video of Jim Carrey was a skeleton sketch, a “flat character” I was trying to figure out how to flesh-out into a multi-dimensional, active character in my own living story. At that time, not much was certain. I knew I needed to heal and build a new life based on a different structure of understanding, both within my self and within the world. I’d spent fifteen years in a high-pressure, profit-driven industry that ate my soul away a piece at a time. I knew it was imperative to leave that arena and return to the arts and my love of creation and contribution. But, how?

Being open-minded and exploring new facets of myself and my interests was the first step. Opening my mind to new possibilities and fresh ways of seeing life and the world within me and around me allowed me to find new loves and joys in different forms of artistic expression and involvement.

Writing seemed a natural option after all the years as a poet, writer, publisher. But, it also felt old and stifling to some degree, too much a part of the “old me” that I’d outgrown. And what exactly was I to do if I wrote? Should I finally put a book manuscript together? Focus on poetry? Do some essays or short stories? Or, something new? Contemplative pieces or activist efforts?

The shift of creating from a more personal perspective to creating as a way of serving the world wasn’t totally new to me. My first writings and Infinity Forum Magazine were easily “activist oriented” back in the nineties. Still, activism as such wasn’t compelling. There was no fight I felt pulled toward or battle I wanted to join. And yet, there was the desire to do something worthwhile; to create in such a way as to bring value to others and the world around me in whatever way my talents would allow.

Eventually, the desire to serve the world and the fun and enjoyment of taking pictures  led me into photography. I spent a year “playing” at it with my I-phone, and then bought a professional camera, gear, and books on photography and the Adobe Programs. It became a new passion and a serious area of study and effort. I started seeing photographs from the narrative, story-telling perspective. They became a form of visual poetry to me.

In photography and poetry, and it could be easily argued – in all art, the artist is in the act of creating a picture or an emotion for a reader or viewer. Painting with words is not dissimilar from freezing a scene and its emotive quality in a photograph. The interest and willingness to try a new thing and master new skills gained me a position as a photographer for a local neighborhood magazine. I serve my local world in a small way by taking photographs of families that help tell their stories and introduce them to other members of their community.

The photography and work for the magazine led me back to my love of writing, design, and publishing. A new glossy national magazine is in the works to begin publishing this fall. The love of artistic expression and creatives helped me to reach out and initiate  connections and friendships with other local artists and craftsman. They are like-minded souls seeking to create positive change in the world by using their gifts and talents in service-minded venues and organizations. I am learning to work in co-creative groups and spaces with the goal of talent as a form of service rather than only individual expression.

These are still major changes for me — some days I dive right in and other days there is some tension and stress in the growth process. But, that’s okay. Life is wonderful about meeting you in the growth and expansion as you move forward and deeper into it!

Every day is a new opportunity to learn and grow, to become a more expansive being within ourselves and within the world we share. It isn’t about being perfect, having all the answers, or even knowing exactly what to do in a given moment — it’s truly about being open to living in such a way that we are open to the newness and beauty and opportunities life brings our way. That we find courage to keep believing there is more to learn, understand, and experience. This growing into wider concentric circles of connection and being is what a vital, conscious life offers us.

 

~~~

So, dear friends, take some time and ponder the quote by Jim Carrey. How will you serve the world? And remember, you are constantly going into the next widening circle of living. Trust life to carry you and know that we are all still learning and becoming. And that is a beautiful thing!

Blessings & Love,

~Marissa

silhouette photography of group of people jumping during golden time

 

 

Take My Hand

adult aged baby care

~for Peter & Mickey

Gulls drop down from a darkening sky —
knowing the land is temporary — sky
their true home. As they fly away again

I walk the sands of shells and time changing
from day into dark into day again- changing
is the flux of dying and living and dying

in this one lifetime — A heart-child cries
in the dark hours of storm and shadow
reaches — toward the shimmering-sparkling

lights shinning on a new horizon – those
bright-built heart diamonds of love light
answer the cry with a gentle-soft whisper —

Come, baby girl, they say, take my hand.
You don’t have to be afraid, storms passing
and a blazing new sunrise is coming soon.

 

~Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

 

 

how she loves

love heart flowers spring

As the mirror loves
The face reflected –

As the water loves
The sun that warms it –

As the lake loves
The night that chills it –

As the air loves
The lungs that breathe it –

As the peach loves
The mouth that tastes it –

As the word loves
The pen that writes it –

As the poem loves the poet
That hears it speak –

 

~Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

the old bones of the past

autumn autumn leaves blur close up

~of Michael

We talk over the old bones of the past,
The way people sitting beside a campfire
Take a stick and poke the dying embers of flame
Licking the last log-remnants
Burning in the night air of endings.

We sigh over how it makes sense now
The scenarios once locking us all in blindness
Show themselves clear and sparkling
As light dancing on water
Their jagged-edged episodes
Blistering clear in the light of passed time.

It is how a mother and daughter pick through the past
Of a husband, father, grandfather – his absence
Like a leaf we hand back and forth
Turning it over and over again
Examining its veins and edges and discolorations —

As if this examining will somehow tell us
What made it turn loose and drop from the tree.

 

~Photo by Valiphotos on Pexels.com