My New Year’s Resolution

New Year's 2016It is the New Year and now is the time for people to state their New Year’s Resolution. Most of the time it consist of adults saying they will go to the gym every day and will feel accomplished when they can again fit into those snug jeans or tight dress. I think last year I said, “I will give up eating French fries!” My younger brother also took that oath and we survived one day; because, when your older siblings are eating them in front of you, you cave and stuff your face.

I was planning on setting my resolution to getting back in shape and go to the gym, but I already must do this.  Because once I start my high school coaching job I want to be ready.  It is of most importance because this year I get to coach the Varsity team, and if one of my athletes challenge me to a race I want to be able to still beat them. Actually no, I have to beat them so, they understand I know what I am talking about.

Instead, I have decided to look at life as an adventure. Last night I did a puzzle with my mother and I have not done that in years. However, when we opened the box it was revealed to us that two pieces were already missing, but we had no idea which two. When we saw that note we debated on whether we should even attempt to assemble the puzzle knowing it would not be complete. So, we faced that puzzle head on and believe me it was a struggle. Because knowing that two pieces were missing would make us continue to second guess ourselves whether the piece we were looking for was lost of just hiding under other pieces.

I guess, what I am saying, is I want to try new things in my life.  I want to explore different possibilities and new activities. I have for years just stuck to the same cycle for years and years never feeling brave enough to break out. I want to attack my life with the understanding that sometimes things will not fit, or that if I finish a new activity I might not feel complete. I want to keep this image of an incomplete puzzle in my brain, but to not be afraid of jumping into life head on filled with courage.

An earlier post, I said I am an artist, but I guess I did not really specify what I meant by that. I want to explore and challenge myself in every aspect of my life. I want to bring an artistic side to everything in my life, whether it is: art, writing, photography, dancing, singing (only my car and close family hear me), speaking, coaching, etc. I am an artist and I am proud to be one, but I want to be an artist in every feature of my life.

So for people making their New Year Resolution remember if you falter off the course you have set remember you gave this goal to yourself; you can jump right back on it if you decide farther on. I know I will drift back into my old ways and try to fit my old cycle… but I want to be different this year and I am determined to be. (My competitive edge is helpful sometimes.) So to begin my New Year I will be signing up for two dance classes the East Coast Swing and the Argentine Tango…enjoy your New Year and discover who you want to be.

A Story: Part 3

A Story: Part 1

A Story: Part 2

All is changed. A family sits around a beat up table impatiently waiting for food to be brought to them. Their faces are unclear to us; I have never clearly seen their faces. I believe this is because if we do our lives will be done.

The small children scurry to their occupation and begin their strenuous work throughout the kitchen. I do not see them until the day is over. The blurry shadow’s heads turn to me and David, the darkest one slurs her words, “Start cooking or you will not get to feed your little helpers.” This is always her punishment for my reluctances to work; which always succeeds, because if I don’t work those starving children will die from hunger.

I take up my apron and David turns to the grill. I believe we work in a store or diner, but the faces of the customers are blurry as well, and I am the only one who gets to venture out into the masses. I wonder why this is, even though I already know the answer, it is because if I screw up they will cancel all of us and start over. I will be the cause to the obliteration of these children. I know this, because this is not the first group of children depending on me.

I wish I could just see one of the customers I am serving. I constantly bring coffee to them, hoping my eye sight will give me a clear view of one of them. But that never seems to happen.

Back to David, he is the only older boy I have met, usually the children are Danny’s age and I am their keeper. David, I think, was brought into the mix to be the professional cook. We seemed to be losing customers when I was cooking, but then the next day David was here and he does his job well.  I come to his side as he finishes his next order…a six stack high pancake tower with sausages and eggs. This plate of food would feed all of the kids’ one delicious bite that they would savor, because they have never had this type of food. I gaze at the plate feeling my insides lunging at the food wanting to devour it. I know I cannot, but the thought of my animalistic side exposed for a plate of food is severe.

“Which table?” still gazing at the plate, but needing David to answer me so I don’t divulge into my desires.

“Table two, take a cup of coffee, they always ask you for a refill when they are brought their food.”

How does David know it is the same customer, he like me, cannot see anything? Even though we are not technically related we confide in one another like siblings, and he was the first to express his lack of sight in the kitchen. But he seems to know the person at the table is the same as every day. Which would not be unfamiliar, I have regulars, but I tell them apart because of their voices. The funny sounding man, with the wicked strong breath always sits at table four. The woman and her three crazy kids, who tend to always pour syrup in each other’s hair, sit at table 6. The customer at table two never says a word, never moves in a way I can tell their gestures from anyone else’s.

Still pondering this strange feeling I make my way over to the almost frozen dark blue figure sitting at table two. I try to recognize something familiar about this character, but nothing does.

“Your pancakes, sausages, eggs and a fresh cup of coffee.” I place the meal in front of the figure and take away the cold old cup.

The figure does not say or do anything different. I realize now David must have known it was the same person because he must have experienced their silence as well.  “Would you like anything else?” No answer. “Okay,” I pull away and hope for something to stop me, but nothing happens. My fantasies never seem to happen. That moment which someone stops you dead in your tracks and enters your world does not happen in reality.

However, the figure again left about half a cup of coffee in his mug, which is the best part of my morning. In my early days of working, I would pick a customer and I would finish their coffee if they would leave a small amount in their cup. Even though this is technically breaking the rules, what the owners don’t know will not hurt them.  Also this small amount helps keep my hunger at bay. However, since David joined the group I had to share my secret with him, and why wouldn’t I? He told me that he sneaks bits of the burnt food that the customers don’t get. To survive we decided to share our secrets and trade off on days to survive and have enough food to give to the little ones.

Today was his day of coffee and my day of food. I prefer the coffee, but I cannot break our deal. “David,” whispering because the owners sit just beyond the doors, “I have your coffee.” I turn the corner and there is David stuffing his face full of the burnt clippings from the morning’s food. He stops dead in his bite and stares back at me.

“Jane, I am sorry. I couldn’t help it today. I almost ate off my hand because the hunger.”

All I did was stare at him. How could I have known this was the first day this had happen? His amounts of food had been slowly diminishing after our deal was struck. “You liar. How can I ever believe you again? We had to be a team in this, I cannot survive another change of people.” I didn’t mean to start yelling at him, but the words just kept pouring out of my mouth.

“Quiet Jane! They will hear you.” As sounds of screeching chairs scraped across the ground, and boots began to make their way to our place.

David turns back to his work and ignores the noises coming closer to us. I run to the opposite side of the kitchen still holding my cup of precious coffee. However, not thinking it through the liquid sloshes back and forth spilling over the edges.

A head peaks through the opening revealing a dark red figure with enormous hands grasping the doors. I stand tall and begin sorting the kitchen ware which I do every day at this point. David continues to cook, but his shoulders are so ridged that he looks suspicious and the figure hovers behind him. It looks as if this is the end of David, but the figure slips back through the opening and back to their darkness, just a customer comes up to me to pay. The morning is dying down and I remember my cup of coffee. I hide away for a minute taking my now cold mug with me. Staring down into the bottom I see only a small amount of coffee in the cup. Sadly I remember my running was not the best thing to have done, but it did save my skin. I cannot risk heating it to be seen by the owners or by David. I devour every last drop as the cold and bitter liquid runs down my throat. Wishing there was more I sink to the ground savoring the taste of that coffee.

I stand up with a new found amount of energy and a loss of hunger. The morning is over and all the customers have gone. I stand at table six trying to clean up the syrup with strands of hair mixed in. Those kids did more damage today. I feel a weird sensation and turn to see the dark blue figure from table two standing in a way so still and casual, but almost as if it is not there. Feeling uneasy I turn away to retrieve a knife and as I whip around the shadow is gone. I feel strange for believing a figure was there. But as I turn back to the table there stands the dark red figure from earlier.

“So, you decided to… some of our property… did you….” which is all I could make out that this figure was saying, but realizing I have been caught. “And you have decided to defend yourself against me.” Realizing I still had the knife in my hand, I drop it instantly and shut my eyes preparing for the worst.

Instead a child name Leslie is pull out by her hair and is held in the air by the dark green figure. David is also standing beside the figure, but he has no wounds or fear in his eyes. He seems to be smiling or enjoying himself.

“What…what is going on? David? What’s happening? PUT HER DOWN!” the words came lashing out of my mouth and the dark red figure closed his hand over my throat stopping my screams.  “Da..vid…? What…happ..ing…?” is all I could muster.

“Isn’t it obvious Jane, I turned you in for your crimes against our powerful owners. They have decided to spare me for my honesty and commitment to their power.” He said with no emotion what so ever. He seems brainwashed and dead. Also his face was beginning to blur.

The dark red figure’s grasp squeezed me throat a bit harder constraining my airway to a small pathway. Leslie hanging by her hair does not muffle a sound because she has no more energy to fight back.

“It is your decision. You choose, the girl to be eradicated by you or us?” He ends that sentence with such glee, churning my stomach. I puke all over the floor under me. Surprised the figures grip did not lessen but tighten hoping to kill me by having me drown in my own vomit.

I look at Leslie as she hangs there almost lifeless, with small clumps of hair already removed from her scalp from being hung in the air. She looks almost dead herself. If I end her she will die peacefully, but my life will again be a living hell. But if these goons end her she will suffer and I will live with the guilt. “I…will…” I sputter spitting a few drips of vomit onto the figure’s hand.

He drops me and I gasp for air hoping to wake up from this dream. David just stands by Leslie watching me cower beneath her. How can he do this to me, there is nothing left of him standing there. He is just an empty void…I crawl towards Leslie and she is lowered to the ground. She whimpers slightly loud enough for me to hear. She cradles herself into my embrace. She whispers, “I understand…thank you for ending me in a peaceful way…I forgive you.” My heart is breaking as I hold this child who is not old enough to know her own words.

I begin to shake as I place my hands almost touching her head. I must engulf her essence into myself. She will live on inside me, but just as a whisper. David sinks down to my level, “You should have been a good girl and been smarter and turned me…”

I suddenly shift and grasp his head to mine and I end him instead. He is captured inside of me and can never harm the kids again. His body crumples to the ground and lays lifeless, because there is no longer a presence inside him. Leslie crumples into my lap and squeezes the air out of my lungs. Unlike the times before I feel the presence of David inside me. He is lingering and not disappearing.

The dark figures stand motionless hopefully stunned by my actions. However, the dark green one again hulls Leslie into the air by her hair. The dark red one looms over me. Bending down so that his clouded mouth breaths freezing air at me. “You should not have done that. Now Leslie will die by my hands.” As he pulled me up to watch as Leslie would end before me. Leslie pleads with her still beautiful eyes at me to end it first.

Strangely the grip loosens on my throat and I shove the figure back and clasps my hands on Leslies head and she is gone. Her essence enters me and I feel her wander to the back of my mind. Leslies’ body crumples to the floor and she lays lifeless and forever dead.

Then all is black…

I wake with the worst headache and a groggy memory of what had happened. But the voices of David and Leslie woke me and I remember what had happened. Again my insides felt as if they would sallow me whole and I would die from agony and despair. I remember Leslie’s form dropping to the floor and then the smack on my head sending me shooting to the floor with great force. I open my eyes and I am again in my room, however, it seems colder and the walls are gloomier. I hear nothing except my breath which is more of a wincing in and out. I lay there trying to push back my memories and the voices stirring inside my already full head. David is there making enough noise to drive a sane person insane. But he is just one of the many voices trying to escape their confines.

I try to raise, but the pounding of my head surges to my forehead and slams me back down onto the bed. Causing my head to spin not planning on stopping soon. The only way to end the motions is to sleep. I drift back into dreamless sleep, knowing that these next few nights will be twice as bad, because there are new additions to my already counted number of voices at two hundred and forty-three; which now is two hundred and forty-five.

Darkness consumes my body, leaving my mind to float in the borderlines of sane and insane.

My Decision

shadow runner

“Shadow Runner” photographed by Emily Jane (Taken 12/27/15)

I have discovered that my personality of being super competitive is a great addition to my essence. The fact that my athletics has given me the output to express and act on my instincts and skills have helped me develop who I am. Athletics has always been there for me to participate and achieve the goals I set for myself. And that mindset has helped me in my future. When I swam competitively I would pressure myself and I would put all of myself in a practice and push past my breaking point. I would strain my body to accomplish the believed impossible and succeed in anything I wished to attempt, but I would leave that pool with the knowledge that I completed what I set out to do. Even in the now I venture towards every athletic encounter and I drive myself to be better than the last time I tried. (Even if like today, the last time was 6 months ago.) I never back down and I fight through the pain to my goal I set for myself beforehand. I don’t regret the sore muscles, the loss of breath, or the weakness of my legs. I see this pain as accomplishment. It is not in my nature to start off easy. I am someone who pushes through the grief and suffering in search of the light.

At this point in my life I have been wandering through without a clear path of what I want to accomplish. I have not swam competitively in 3 years due to an injury and I feel lost. However, my competitive edge has pushed me through my endless days in search of a dream that most people attempt to reach and end up only gaining it after death. Every day for the past year I have told people that I am undecided in what and who I am. However, this was just a lie to them and myself. I know who I want to be and what I want to do. I want and am an artist.

All of my siblings have set goals and paths that will deem them successful futures. Of course I feel inadequate and I have labeled myself as the lesser of my siblings. I feel less professional in my field of which I want to pursue, but I am not my siblings.  I could probably drop all I want and pursue a career that would deem me wealth in years to come, but I would never be happy. And to me that is the easy way out. To drop your own dream and pursue someone else’s in the knowing you will be successful but never content, leads me to believe I would never be satisfied. My competitive edge has driven me to the breaking point and I can no longer lie to myself and others around me. I am an artist and I will pursue my dream and skill to my breaking point. I am not meaning I will end my life as a successful person, but I will have accomplished my dream to its fullest and I will live life proud of who I am and what I will be. An artist.

Christmas Cards


Christmas is the time where I get to give out my cards to family and friends. And again I forgot to take pictures of all the cards; I have already sealed them up in envelops. However, this is the last one I have made and it is a happy an sad moment. This year I made 24 original hand drawn cards…I feel accomplished.

Have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Years!

The Dreaded DMV…

It has been a long time since I was at the DMV. It was six years ago, when I was getting my own permit. I was with my mom and, I don’t remember any of it. Now it is my turn to be the adult and bring my brother. He is old enough to sign up for a license. He is so much older, and I cannot really call him my baby bro anymore. It is an honor to take him, but I am now experiencing the dread of the DMV…the waiting with random people sitting around you.

There are two men next to me speaking in a  different language . Two women next to me another language. I have no idea what they are saying. A baby girl keeps staring at me, I guess, she is curious who I am. There is an Australian accent behind me and it is fun to listen to. But the continuous annoying voice saying, “now serving…letter/ #’s at window #” is pretty annoying.

No matter the happiness I feel for my brother, I really don’t want to be sitting listening to people. I probably wouldn’t feel so against it if my coffee hadn’t been awful. My brother chugged his and he almost died. (But his face was priceless after) I need more coffee…coffee makes everything better.

What If?

 

What would you chose FullSizeRender (1)

Sight or sound?

If one was no longer

To be found.

Would like to see

Bumblebees and other bugs

Travel through time

Dancing and giving hugs.

Would you like hear

The faint rustles of leaves.

Stirring up your simple fears

Drifting off into the breeze.

Wonder if you didn’t have these traits,

Would your life changed?

Or would you embrace

The subtle wonders within your space?

A Story: Part 2

A Story: Part 1

Unbending my crunched body, now I am completely stiff from being in the perched position too long.  The sweat of my face has dried into a salty mask. Beginning to get dressed for a new day I hear a faint knock at the door.  Still wearing my P.J. pants I slip a shirt over my pale cold body.  Because of the knock I do not fear the intruder.

I slide to the door, open it enough to let the little form enter, then I quietly close and lock the door.  The small figure curls itself into the fetal position grasping a pillow so tight it might explode.  I wander over to him pulling him into an embrace knowing he must be in agony.

“You okay?” stupid question to ask him.

“No, they’re gone. They’re gone…” the boy cried into my shoulder.

“Don’t fear Danny.  I can help you to remember some of the dreams, but not all,” trying to comfort him because he is not the first to come to me.

“Will I remember my mother? I cannot see my memory of her.  She is my only memory getting me through each day.” Danny said muffled as he sobbed into my shoulder.

This is not the first child to tell me their fears.

.   .   .

After Danny scurried outside my door and hopefully back into his room, I change my shirt again. Because it is currently plastered to my body because it is drenched in Danny’s tears and snot that was trickling down his face.

I take a moment at glance at my reflection in the fractured mirror. I glance at my eyes, they are dead to me. I have not cried for some time and now my eyes are only useful to observe my surrounding and keep me alive.

I quickly glance over the rest of me, but the garment concealing my nude, pale body covers my dreads and fears beneath it. My vison drifts back up to the shard, of mirror, capturing my eyes. My eyes are the only part of me that do not lie to me. They are piercing blue with flakes of orange and green; however, depending on who sees me they always see a different color.

Knock! Knock! Knock! ”Get your lazy butt out of that room and cook up the food!”

I scramble for my shoes and hurriedly slip my feet inside them. That voice is one you cannot let enter into your room. The fear of him far outweighs any other danger.

As the stomps fade away, I crack my door wide enough to slip through the opening. Placing a penny on the door knob, is my own security system and I will know if there was an intruder in my domain. We have no locks on our doors; there is no imprisonment to keep us in, but no protection to keep things out. Beyond our rooms hold the true dangers.

The hallway…the hallway is the quietest space in this place. The musty, burnt umber wood streamlines down the narrow corridor, which seems to travel forward forever.  Every three feet there is a brown tall door, every one exactly the same as the next. The smallest difference seen is the door knobs. Some are drenched in a black liquid slime; others have only a small smudge. The marks help determined who and how many have replaced their dreams with screams.

Continuing down the corridor I come to the only glimpse of change, a bright red door. This is the entrance to reality.

Reaching for the knob a hand clasp my shoulder. I turn and there stands David with Danny on his back, and following him are all the other children stranded here. Danny’s face is still a rosy red, due to the sobbing earlier, but something has changed in his eyes; they seem glossed over or dull. David’s hand still hovers on my shoulder, he is the only other older one I have seen, and he gives me a reassuring squeeze to continue.

“You ready Jane?” he says softly, not wanting to stir up the emotions of the children following.

Of course I wasn’t ready; when is anyone ready to face the unawares… “Let’s go,” mustering up the courage, pulling open that heavy, bulky red door, stepping over the threshold of safety and towards the unknown reality, and then venturing into the light.