PAYOFFS THAT MATTER

Normal is not coming back! WHATTTTT????????

Welcome to 2022! We cannot go back to what is “normal”. It does not exist. Normal is different for each one of us. And — LIKE IT OR NOT – most of us are victims. I don’t need you to agree. BUT – Although all of us have been wounded and without choice in what happens to us, we can select now how we will Respond.

This is what I believe – I have been a victim all my life. I have sacrificed myself time after time to get what I want. You name it. I chose to be the victim. And now I am not. I am loving myself more. It is as simple as that. If not now, when???

Bottom line – we are all victims of victims, and our parents could not possibly have taught us anything that they did not know. If your mother did not know how to love herself, or your father did not know how to love himself, then it would be impossible for them to teach you to love yourself. Victims with secrets and hidden agendas.

They were doing the best they could with what they had been taught as children. If I did not know how to love myself, I could not possibly teach my kids to love themselves.  Instead, I chose to sacrifice myself throughout my life “.  I had made my bed, and now I must lie in it.” 

So, my kids did not and do not know how to love themselves. How can they teach their children ? They are finding answers on their own as they sift through the confusion. doing the best that they can with what I taught them – that discipline and hard work make the day. Lots of criticism. Rough seas make good sailors. They don’t care where my rigid patterns come from. They just don’t want to be like me – frightened and scared like a cat chasing its tail. I am now suffering the consequences of that life of discipline, self -control, and hard knocks that I was taught by my parents.

Who or what have I “resented”?  Who or what have I criticized?  About what do I feel guilty? What am I afraid of?  Am I making myself sick?  Can I heal? I need to change my way of thinking. WHAT??????? Hang in there and just listen to these ideas that I am tossing out there to my JAYSPEAK readers.

Meet my sister Barbara.  Every January 14th, I know that it is my sister Barbara’s birthday. I celebrate this date every year. To know Barbara was to love her. She was witty, intelligent, an accomplished pianist, beautiful, and a lover of all peoples and their cultures – popular and adored by all who knew her. (Plus, she had long eyelashes, naturally-curly hair, and a figure to die for.) She was not only my older sister but also my hero. When Mother or Patricia would get mad at me, Barbara was always there to take my side (even if undeserved – because I liked “making waves”).  In her late teens, when we were vacationing in Daytona Beach, her appendix ruptured. We did not think she would survive. She did, but after that, she developed rheumatoid arthritis and struggled with her health from then on. At the time, she was attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. She had to move to Tucson, Arizona, where she lived for the rest of her life, eventually graduating and getting her Masters Degree at the University of Arizona. She died in 2000. Her memory lives on. Lots more to her story, but this is enough for now. I will always love you, Barbara. Happy Birthday. She died February 9, 2000.  She was my sister, my friend, my confident, and my inspiration.  I miss her very much.  But, I did not really KNOW her. I did not listen to her. I thought I knew. I am posting pictures today in her honor.

This is her daughter – the miracle baby – Anna Beth.  Janet and Anna Beth!  Never a dull moment when Anna Beth was around.  She inherited her mother’s wit!  Lots of good times and good memories!!

The Junior League (Barbara was a member) had a member who was interviewing Barbara.  Barbara was still alive at the time.  She said that interviewing someone she had have admired for many years is not an easy task.  Barbara Jewell Asmussen is an inspiration to all who know her. Born in Gainesville, Georgia, she studied history at Vanderbilt University for three years.  Then, crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, she became bedridden and was taken out of school.

Barbara came to Tucson primarily for medical reasons and soon was well enough to attend the University of Arizona where  she received her bachelor’s degree in 1954.  She was introduced by a mutual friend to young Richard Asmussen, a Hughes Aircraft employee and graduate student in the U of À’s MBA program.  Following their wedding, Barbara decided to return to school for her teacher’s certificate. She taught fourth grade for a year at Government Heights Elementary High School’s Mardi Gras School.  But she found the regime too strenuous and switched her energy to volunteer work. In 1960, she became a League provisional and the very next year had a daughter – Anna Beth. This was a miracle pregnancy and miracle birth.

After a severe health setback, Barbara became more involved in the League where she served as vice president.  She was active with Planned Parenthood and served as its president, as well as serving as the president of the YWCA residential intervention center. 

Uppermost in her mind was helping others, SO Barbara returned to the Universitv for the third time to take her master’s in rehabilitation counseling. She did her internship at St. Mary’s Hospital and continued to work there tor ten vears. But last year, she was moved to St. Joseph’ Hospital temporarily but found that being next door to her home was most convenient and has since made St. loe’s her permanent office.

This lady always seems to look beyond herself and has worked diligently for the handicapped, although she does not seem to fit into that category. Barbara’s philosophy of life is that wholeness is within.  Although all of us have been wounded and without choice in what happens to us, we can now select how we will Respond. 

Barbara was convinced that we had been emotionally abused as children. We were. Long story that I don’t want to share. Besides, they are all gone now and I have my memories and realize I had so much good happen along with the pain. I love my family. I love me, Janet. Outstanding little girl.

Did I need to show off in order to be accepted? Yes. That was the only time I got my family’s attention.

This is not to say that I did not love my family. I did. But I am wanting to feel whole and complete just as I am – with all of my imperfections.

Just something to think about during this pandemic. Welcome to 2022! Be happy. Be present. Get with the program. If not now, when.?

Best, Jay

REMEMBER WHEN……

What is on my mind this morning? WELLllllll, a lot. I have made it a resolution not to complain in JAYSPEAK and to be positive. (sigh) But that is NOT on my mind. So, I will distract us both by posting an article that was a memory on Facebook. It may or may not be interesting, but I am frustrated that we lost a lot of people of late – Betty White, Sidney Poitier, Peter Bogdanovich and others. Plus, I am not inspired by inspiring stories or memes of late. I did a detox and am now detoxing from the detox and forgiving myself for making a lot of mistakes. But I am making a lot of decisions right now. I of course remember fondly my acting career. I was practicing employment litigation and entertainment law at the time, So this lets you pause with me for a moment to reminisce with me. In keeping with the the theme that the glam and fame dies with me, i reminisce and apologize for the inability to read it. But maybe you will enjoy the pictures ….you can read the article here

I checked and you can read the magazine online. You cannot download it, but they allow you to turn the pages and read it. https://issuu.com/hollywood/docs/hwdecember09jm

Best, Jay

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NEW YEAR / NEW LIFE

ALIVE!!

How is that for a “lede”? Did I get your attention?

If so, get a coffee. This may take a few minutes.

I HAD A DREAM.  As an early age, I knew that I wanted big things for me.  What? I did not know, but it was big. 

I used to dream of Europe, living somewhere in Europe.  And anything that came between me and my dream, I eliminated. 

In college, I had the opportunity to study at the Sorbonne for a year.  Mother would not let me go.  Too many foreigners to do me wrong.  That is what foreigners do.  (Sigh).   That was when I knew that I had to get to Paris, one way or the other. 

LOTS of passages.  Men, careers.  

And one by one, I moved on.  And now I am here!!  I am so happy.  Not all of us are still alive. I AM!!!

Now, it is not my idea of a good landing in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, but here I am.  I will admit that I feel late to the party.  But I AM HERE!  Paris. 

OK, it is/was not everyone’s dream, but it was mine.  IT propelled me all my life.  Not Gainesville. Atlanta. Not Nice.  PARIS. And all of the stops in between.

THE PROBLEM IS I am a small town girl, needing to embrace a city.  How?  Like I did Los Angeles? 

No.  This is different.

How?

I don’t know yet.  I am going to try to find out. From my point of view, they say that every great city has a pulse.  San Francisco has one, so does Boston, London, and New York to be sure.  But to have a pulse, one must have a heart.  This town has a heart and it beats like a kettledrum.  The traffic is still just short of frantic.  And the people still walk with a pace and a purpose.  It is possible to tour without a car, a taxi, a bus or even the Metro.  The great cities are the ones you can walk in – say hello to a great city  Police with sub-machine guns walk the streets, but there are no scars, there is no fear.  Life goes on.  This place was here long before the terrorists and it will be here long after.  That said, Mister Porter had it right. “I love Paris every moment!”–

And a big shout out to my teachers en route.  When a student is ready, a teacher appears IF the student is willing to learn.   I am expanding my Universe.  And, in 2022, I plan “to embrace” Paris. 

How?  I don’t know yet. 

December 22, 1933 was Hadidjah’s birthday.  Hadidjah was an important teacher in my life.  Here is the beginning of a list that I made of my “teachers” of important life lessons.  And, I don’t have confidence in Karma.  I am not sure that most students are willing to learn.  And life may or may not force it upon them.  I count myself in among those willing to learn. PLUS, life most time insisted a lot of times.  Haha. 

So, I have been thinking about “teachers” in my life – that magically appeared, or I happened to meet by accident.  Synchronicity?  Maybe.  There have been a lot that made my list over the years.  Some are good memories.  Some are painful memories.

Daddy (both good and painful)

Ruby Parks (good)

Barbara Jewell (my sister) (both good and painful)

Miss Bessie (painful)

Jane Hulsey (painful)

Bertha Turner (painful)

Dr. Kahan (good)

Dr. Leighton Ballew (both good and painful)

Josiah Crudup (both good and painful)

Lou Pilgrim (both good and painful)

Hadidjah (good)

Audrey Boehn (both good and painful)

And more throughout life and others who continue to this day.

Have you had “teachers” in your life? Each one of us has teachers appear from time to time because life is a process that is ever-changing if I/we am/are alive. And, recently, I have discovered that I harbor grudges. Oops. AND, I am in Paris, trying to enlarge my universe and get healthy. And money is a problem. BIG OPPS.

So, I am on a crash course heading to find out why I think I am here and letting go of my mistakes in the past and forgiving bad experiences. And, if you have a problem with that, STOP READING THIS BLOG. And, by the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY. NEW YEAR, NEW LIFE for all of us. Every moment is brand new.

And now for some funnies.

Best, Jay

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EXPAND YOUR UNIVERSE

ON MY MIND THIS WEEK, expand your UNIVERSE.   Learn something new every day, no matter how small and how insignificant it is..  We are STILL IN THE WOODS!!!! and we are going to be there from now on. Get used to it. And create your own universe. What do I mean and…..

What am i learning?

I am very interested in the politics of my country.  I don’t write about it, but I follow what is happening with great interest.   And I follow several historians who describe what is happening in terms of the historical in America. And in France, I read the French newspapers online and I am succeeding in detaching myself emotionally from American history and European history.  My memory is so-so but some of it sticks.  It keeps me busy during these Covid times.   Today, I was surprised to learn that this has all happened before.  These were the first lines in a pamphlet called The American Crisis that appeared in Philadelphia on December 19, 1776.  If I ever learned this, I did not pay attention.  Now, I am paying attention.

Quotes that I like today are these:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered,” Paine wrote in that fraught moment, “yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”

I then looked up “dearness” and this is what I discovered.  It is a noun. Duh.

erdear·est

1. 

a. Loved and cherished: my dearest friend.

b. Greatly valued; precious: lost everything dear to them.

2. Highly esteemed or regarded. Used in direct address, especially in salutations: Dear Lee Dawson.

3. 

a. High-priced; expensive.

b. Charging high prices.

4. Earnest; ardent: “This good man was a dear lover and constant practicer of angling” (Izaak Walton).

5. Obsolete Noble; worthy.

6. Heartfelt: It is my dearest wish.

n.

1. A person who is greatly loved. Often used as a form of address.

2. An endearing, lovable, or kind person: What a dear she is!

adv.

1. With fondness; affectionately.

2. At a high cost: sold their wares dear.

interj.

Used as a polite exclamation, chiefly of surprise or distress: oh dear; dear me.

When I was a young student at the University of Georgia, I took a course in European history.  I had learned a lot about American history and Southern history, but never European.  I think that I avoided it because there was so much of it. And, everything was in a different language – people, leaders, and places.  All wars were significant for one reason or other, and I did not understand any of it. My grade point average was very important to me, and I did not know how I could make a good grade in so complex of a subject.  But it was a requirement for my degree, so I did not have much of a choice.  So, I signed up.

My professor was a man in his 40’s who was pleasant.  He smiled a lot.  But I did not look forward to his lectures.  My main worry was taking notes and not knowing how to spell anything. It was difficult at first, but I soon decided that I had to be selective with what I wrote down.  He planned to have pop quizzes frequently.  And, I had to use phonetics for spelling.  Lots of problems with complicated solutions.  But he seemed to understand that we would have problems.  So, he helped us out.

After he had made a factual point, he would say “and the significance of this battle (or this man, or this whatever….).  THAT WAS what would be on the test!!! Take a note. And that is the way I learned European History, what little I know.  France is complicated enough, much less all of Europe.

I don’t remember his name, but I will ALWAYS remember that course. And today, I find myself saying “And the significance of that is……”  Try it. It helps you understand life and living in these busy, confusing times. 

Last week, a friend asked me if I liked living in Paris in my 80’s, and was I glad I moved from Nice in 2020?

My answer is a resounding YES and YES. 

Why?  You are living there in a pandemic with lots of rules and you don’t speak the language well.  You are in an apartment on the edge of the city.

I cannot write about that now.  But I am changing BIGTIME.  Chapter 11 is amazing.  I have no idea where it will lead, but I am engaged in all of it.  And, the significance of all of this is……..  JAYSPEAK now has stats that are booming.  50,000 views, 14,000 visitors.  From all over the world.  Thank you very much. 

Happy Holidays to all of you.

Stay tuned.  I am expanding my universe and the significance of that is I am changing, like it or not. It gives new meaning to “kaleidoscopic shift”

Best, Jay

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JOURNAL OF JANET TALLULAH

This is a pitch for my book that I transcribed from the Journal that I wrote at that time in my life. It can be bought on Amazon. I tried to edit the entire book, but I cannot continue. I have had minor brain strokes and am doing the best I can. I can write my blog but not edit a book, haha. So the Journal will remain as it is. I like it. I rewrote the unpublished preface for you to read in this blog. But, I won’t be publishing it. Here is the NEW Preface that I wrote before the strokes. Word of warning- I still have a lot to say and strong opinions so stay tuned…..

Preface

    This is based on an intensive daily journal that I wrote when I got to Los Angeles, California in July 1968.  I arrived from Gainesville, Georgia, after having a lot of problems getting out of town.  I was a junior college professor.  Actually, I was the Chairman of the Division of Humanities.  That was a PhD position and I needed to get my PhD. I was accepted in the Theatre History doctorate program at UCLA in Los Angeles.  But there were other considerations that propelled me to travel cross-country.  In my heart, I wanted to be a professional actress in film and television. AND I was married to a guy I didn’t like but was sexually attracted to and had gotten pregnant, gotten married for my family’s reputation, and had three small children by the time I was 27. Oops. 

The problem was – I thought the grass was greener somewhere else even though Daddy kept telling me that it was not!  In disgust, I decided he did not know because he was trapped. That was why he drank so much. No wonder!  I would drink, too, if I were married to Mother. But he had ‘made his bed; he must lie in it.:” Oh, for goodness sakes, life was not a bunch of clichés. Life was to be lived!  And, I must leave Gainesville before I, too, got trapped because “it was the early bird who got the worm”, and I was “already late to the party”.  Life was passing me by.

     It was not until I was in my early 30’s that a psychiatrist helped me realize that I did not have to accept things the way they were. Yes, I had made my bed. I DID NOT have to lie in it.  What?????  What a concept!!  Well, I definitely did not like the way things were. I then chose to do something else. Move. Where? New York City?  Broadway?  No. Not with three little kids.  California?  Hollywood? Hmmmm.  Maybe.  There was grass there. Plus, an ocean.  My friend in theatre, Jimmie Ralston, had moved there. Hmmmm.

     How would I get outta’ Dodge?  I knew. I would try to get accepted into UCLA Graduate School – get my PhD in drama. And, at the same time, try to break into the film business without telling anyone.  That would work.  I wouldn’t tell them I planned to stay if I made it happen. I could take a year’s leave of absence from my job. I needed my PhD, anyway. I’d come back if I didn’t like it. 

     At that point, I started taking steps – writing letters, sending applications, doing research – to move to Los Angeles.  I applied for and got accepted into the PhD program at UCLA.  I applied for and almost got a Fellowship to the program.  I also subscribed to the Los Angeles Times, having it mailed to my office address, in order to become familiar with the City.  Needless to say, life became chaotic.  Events became unpredictable and unfathomable while I was making life-altering choices that would affect the lives of those around me for years to come.  Now, later in life, I painfully regret some of the choices I made.  But, at the time, I forged ahead making changes right and left, believing I knew what I was doing. I was convinced that I could not grow into the person I wanted to be by staying where I was.  I was destined for bigger things.  Thus, I must position myself where opportunities could arise. 

     Who is to say that I was wrong?  Maybe I was right!!  I am glad I had the courage to take risks.  I am proud of my children.  It is all a matter of “perception” – how I perceived things then, and how I perceive things now – and how other people perceived and perceive things. The same set of facts is different for each one of us. And each of us can believe what he/she wants to believe.  Most interpretations are on the surface and misconstrued, anyway – accumulated from bits and pieces of information and observations that lead to right or wrong conclusions that are hardly ever the same. It wasn’t until I went to law school in my late 50’s that I began to learn the difference between perception and facts. What happened.  As an actress, I acted SUBTEXT. As an attorney, I needed FACTS. 

     That said… I am not focusing on facts in this Journal – well, sort of.  This Journal is filled with my perceptions, my obsessions, my goals, my fears, my thoughts, my loves, and my hates – in my search for the “real ME’.  I went through a LOT of changes. It is especially hard to relive all I went through during the years 1969 through 1971, because I was young, vulnerable, naïve, and very Southern. I have chosen those years because my entire family went through a “crash course” in living. I was not ready for what came at me. Neither was my husband Darrell. Or the kids.  As a result, we all “grew by leaps and bounds.

     1969 was the year of Woodstock, of the Beatles breakup, of the start of the draft lottery for the Vietnam War, of the trial of the Chicago Seven, or of the horror of the Manson Family murders in California. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon; the Internet was born; the first artificial heart transplant was performed; the personal computer revolution began, and the world’s largest airplane – Boeing 747-100 – took flight. 

     In 1970, Paul McCartney announced the Beatles had disbanded, and the Apollo 13 mission to the moon had been abandoned.  100,000 people demonstrated in Washington D.C. against the Vietnam War.  A fire at a nightclub near Grenoble in Russia trapped night clubbers leaving 142 – mostly teenagers – dead.  California became the first state to adopt a “No Fault” divorce law. 

     1971 saw China admitted to the United Nations and NASDAQ debut. The Sylmar earthquake hit the San Fernando Valley, and Walt Disney World opened in Florida. The N.Y. Times began publishing sections of the Pentagon Papers starting on June 13, showing the U.S. Government had been lying to the American people.

     I was oblivious to most of that. I had just arrived in Los Angeles, California, from Gainesville, Georgia!!! I was making changes! Big changes!  How?  Well, in 1969, I began writing in a journal to help me “think”.  And, this is what I wrote (sorta).  Actually, I began writing in a journal at that point in time and have continued writing in my journal ever since.  I enjoy writing.  The wonder of it is that I have “published” some of it – the beginning years. 

     In 1971, I wrote in my journal: “I will write a book. My [working] book title will be ‘This Woman’s Search’. The gist of it will be – OK, here is the story. This is what I did and what has worked for me. I’LL TELL YOU. All you have to do is listen and see if you can use any of it.  Hopefully something will hit you, and you will be motivated to do it, to begin it [write in a journal]. I could also call my Book “A Search in Progress”.” “Janet Tallulah” is somewhat of an edited transcription of my first journals – the time when I made major changes in my life journey that still remain.  My search is still progressing.  I am now in my 80s.

     First, I want to build a foundation [“attorney-speak” for giving my readers some background].  I was born at home on Cleveland Road in Gainesville, Georgia, with Dr. Davis in attendance.  It was a Tuesday, March 30, 1937.  Mother and Daddy named me Janet Tallulah Jewell.  Daddy’s mother was named Mary Tallulah Dickson Jewell-Loudermilk, so I was named after her.  I grew up in Gainesville.  My father was in the chicken business, and my mother was a housewife:  Jesse and Anna Lou Jewell.  I had two older sisters – Barbara and Patricia.  We moved to Green Street Circle when I was four, and that remained our family home until Mother died in 2002.  I loved school from Day One.  As a result, I got good grades. I was a leader from the git-go.  I participated in school activities, extra-curricular activities, and First Baptist Church activities.  I loved Wade Lindorme from the time I first saw him when he moved to Gainesville from Atlanta.  He was a year older than I was.  We remained a couple throughout grammar school and high school, dating until I went to the University of Wisconsin to college in the fall of 1957. 

     Things changed once I left Gainesville to go to college.  I chose the University of Wisconsin because I wanted to experience something different.  But I was not prepared for what happened.  The somewhat sheltered existence that I had lived for most of my life began to disintegrate. Everything was different. I tried to be the leader that I had been in high school, but that was not to be.  I made a lot of wrong choices.  I was miserable.  I missed the comfort of the familiar, and most especially, I missed Wade. I had dreams and goals, but I did not have the muscles and/or savvy to handle the myriad of changes that came at me. 

     In my second year of college, I met Darrell William MacIntyre.  He was a Phi Gam from Madison, Wisconsin, and very good looking.  He was considered a “real catch”.  I was very attracted to him.  I was a Kappa Alpha Theta.  We dated all that year, eventually getting “pinned”.  That is when a fraternity guy gives a girl his fraternity pin. It is like being engaged – college style.  And, by the end of my sophomore year, I discovered that I was pregnant.  So, after deciding that I did not want to get an abortion AND facing the fact that I had “ruined” my family’s good name in Gainesville, I made to decision to marry Darrell, knowing that decisions come with consequences.  My life had changed forever!  I cannot say that we were ever in love.  We had a strong physical attraction to each other that continued for many years until he died in 1986. 

     All of that is a long story that I will save for another book – maybe, but I married Darrell William MacIntyre on August 17, 1957, and became Janet Jewell MacIntyre or Janet MacIntyre.  Many people called me “Jan”.  Still do.  I think it was a Wisconsin thing- shortening names.  In the fall of 1957, we moved to Madison to live until Darrell had to report to duty [as a Second Lieutenant] to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, in January 1958.  He was stationed in Special Services at Fort Sam for two years.  And that is where our daughter Tracy Lee was born – on February 23, 1958.  She was a beautiful little girl.  I was so happy.  So was Darrell. 

     After Darrell got out of the service, we both enrolled in the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, to continue our college education.  Darrell was accepted into law school, and I was accepted into a Bachelor of Arts program with a major in drama, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.  That is where our son Craig Dickson was born – on April 5, 1961.  After college, Darrell and I, with our small family, moved back to Gainesville, where Darrell began practicing law and I began teaching speech and drama at Brenau College. 

     In 1964, while teaching at Brenau, I got pregnant again, so I resigned from teaching at Brenau.  I stayed out a year, giving birth to our son Blake William – on December 11, 1964.  During the spring of 1965, I was hired to serve as Chairman of the Division of Humanities at a junior college, Gainesville Junior College (“GJC”) that was opening in Gainesville as part of the State University System.  It was a PhD position, and I got the position on the condition that I would obtain my PhD at some point in the near future.  I was the only woman in the State of Georgia to hold such a position. 

     So, in 1968, after discovering that UCLA had a PhD program in Theatre History, I took a year’s leave of absence from GJC to move with my family to Los Angeles to work on my PhD.  I applied for a Fellowship and it looked promising.  Darrell got a job as a prosecuting attorney with the U.S. Justice Department in the Criminal Division.  And we rented a home in the Huntington area of Pacific Palisades, California.  I did not get the Fellowship, missing it by one person.  Darrell had difficulty passing the California Bar Exam.  And, the children were unhappy and missed Mother and their friends in Gainesville.  Life was not good.  The truth be known, I did not want to go back to Georgia.  Georgia itself was/is beautiful.  But I had grown to hate much about my life in Gainesville.  I wanted more.  I LOVED California.  I wanted to give my children more and better.  So, I begged all of them to be patient so that I could establish residency and still get my PhD.  Meanwhile, I began exploring the possibility of a career as a professional actress in film and television. Gregory Peck offered to help me. He helped me get into The Actors Studio where I started training with Lee Strasberg and his “method acting” right away.

     That is enough background.  This book begins in 1969.  I am 32; Darrell is 35. Tracy is 11. Craig is 8. Blake is 5. All of us were young and vulnerable. AND, naïve. Darrell and I separated for a short period of time, and I had an affair during that time with Norman Russell, a good-looking, smooth-talking con-guy, who got me to loan him a lot of money.  Just in time, Darrell returned and kept me from giving Norman a LOT of money. He threatened Norman with a gun, telling Norman to stay away from me.  After that, we moved from Pacific Palisades to Brentwood, renting a home on North Bundy. Meanwhile, while I was “establishing residency in California” to get lower tuition at UCLA, I got an agent, Harold Swoverland.  I got professional headshots taken by Max Factor’s son.  I was happy. 

     Now, a word about “The Journal”.  I began writing in a journal in 1969.  A friend of mine, John Prince, told me about a weekend retreat in San Jacinto, California, that was conducted by a man named Ira Progoff.  I discovered that Ira Progoff was an American psychologist who had studied under Carl Jung.  That didn’t mean a lot to me, but I didn’t care.  I was unhappy and trying to change my life, confused as hell. I discovered that Ira was best known for his development of the Intensive Journal Method.  His main interest was in depth psychology and particularly the humanistic adaptation of Jungian ideas to the lives of ordinary people like me.   He founded Dialogue House in New York City to help promote this method.   So, I started attending his weekend retreats in 1969, with John Prince. 

     The first weekend was a confused mess. I didn’t understand much of what I was hearing.  First of all, Ira said the main idea of journal-writing was to provide a total program for the inner life to discover what is taking place inside of a person. Well, I did not know that I had an “inner life”, much less need to discover what was taking place inside of me. Ira said that The Journal was the hub of a wheel – a person must use it not only in privacy but also in a group because a group and group contact opens one up. In a workshop, each person was like a well in a circle of wells. If that person went down into his own well, there was a great benefit in hearing himself say something he wanted to say. The Journal was structured to prevent the self from going in a circle.

     In the Journal, one wants to dialog with all the important things in his life. The aim is to get seriously involved with the dialogue. Plus, one wants to keep enough daily entries for a week to give a sense of what is happening and do dreams and dream extensions. It is important to get started without waiting in order to get started. There is a process that works within the depth of a person – it must be given the opportunity to work for that person. Basic dialog is the dialog that works between one and one’s inner self that will keep one in the “eye of the hurricane.” Forgive me for not explaining everything to you. I am still learning myself.  And, as I said before, I am now in my 80s.

                                                                                       J.W.M.

Best JAY

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DECEMBER “NO COMMENT” COMMENTARY

On My Mind this 4th of December…… I am pondering how I want to justify to myself, and to you, my strong feelings about friends who are no longer “friends” and I miss them. Best friends? I thought we were. Well, we know that facts are not feelings. They don’t even « pretend « to be caring. The problem is that I miss them. And this week I am treading water because I poured out my heart last week.

I know that I should let it go, but I don’t want to. I liked it better when people pretended to be my friend. I don’t like this blatant honesty of distance, this “true colors”. Especially at Christmas. People used to be civil to each other. At least, I thought they did. Mutual respect. I liked that the Wizard of Oz was a belief. They believed he was real. And that was fun. I liked the yellow brick road. And, at 84, the reality is that my memories are all I will have until I don’t anymore. So, it seems to me that it is better to pretend than to just walk away. I don’t like to walk away.

I have my fantasy of a two-story townhouse on a tree-lined street in Paris with a staff. And a garden with a gardener. And, all of my children with their significant others are upstairs in bedrooms, and all of us at a table in the dining area eating a meal together, and being respectful to each other. Hey, I can dream, can’t I? I can dream anything I want to. And I want to believe that fantasy. That thought makes me happy. And, being happy helps my physical condition. I think that is a fact. Make up your own dreams.

So, I collect pictures and memes from Facebook. And I pretend a lot – Actress that I am. Hey, there are a lot of us living alone without someone special in our lives, who don’t paint or are dealing with something or other. I used to watch the news. But, the news is terrifying. So, I plan to enjoy Christmas movies and comedies for this month. And pretend “as if” I have all the people still in my life that I have loved over the years. I “thought” we were friends and that meant something. To me it did. But, not to another. Facades. Spinning a yarn.

No, I have not lost my mind. But, I am alive.. I am dealing with brain strokes that come and go. So, I am finding ways to have fun in this apartment. During a Pandemic. With vertigo. So here are some No Comment Commentaries.

Best, Jay

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DECEMBER PONDERINGS

This is on my mind at this beginning of December.  I want to take my time when writing this piece because it is important to me.  I begin by saying I am sorry for my choices.  But sorry is not enough.  No one ever knows the best way to be a parent.  I did not.  And my parents did not. And now, I am reaping what I sewed.  It makes sense.  Now what do I mean? I can only tell you what happened to me.  I think.  My memory comes and goes.  But I think I had my version of a miracle happen this Thanksgiving.  This is what happened.  This may take a while.  Grab a coffee. 

One of the benefits of a pandemic and being cooped inside is self-reflection.  I have had a lot of time to think.  So, I have tried to see what I could have done to avoid these brain strokes.  I don’t like them.  And I get better. Then, I take four steps back.  So, let me fill you in on my thoughts of late.  Why do I keep returning to new beginnings over and over? Is there something I am doing to cause this?  Hmmmmmm.   Now I am not asking you to agree with my reasoning. But this is what I think is happening. 

When I was a little girl, Mother would say to me A LOT because I was so headstrong, “You’ll be sorry when I am gone.”  “NO, I WON’T!!!!!!”  “I gave up my life for your children!”  “WHY????  NO ONE ASKED YOU TO DO THAT.   I WILL NEVER TO THAT!!!!”  And I didn’t.  If you have read my Journals, you know that I had several careers and marriages with a modicum of success.  I would do anything with anyone and go anywhere not to stay home with my children.  I was in a lot of plays with rehearsals and went to college classes a lot. And we all suffered in a lot of ways because of my actions and choices. 

Now, today, I do not have a good relationship with my adult children or my grandchildren. They are all good people with lives of their own. Often, I would try to be a friend to each of them and try to get them to cooperate. That did not work. I have apologized and said I am sorry, but sorry is not enough. I don’t know what would have worked. A mother’s love, time, and attention. Now, nothing will ever be enough. I cannot undo any of it. Regret and what could have been are useless and a total waste of time. I can’t go back and change any decision I ever made. I can learn from it but not change it. Try to embrace the right thing right where I am that unlocks the future. When I am centered and focused on the joy and beauty of my life, life unfolds effortlessly. And now, in my 80’s, on some level, I believe that I began to punish myself by having brain strokes over and over and over. And, this Thanksgiving, behold the miracle, I decided to stop doing that. Can I do it? I am going to try. By the way, the miracle was also my realization that I could be doing my own self-sabotage. And I have realized that feelings are not facts, and the fact remains that I love and miss my children – all three of them, and I love their father with all of his faults . And that love is bigger than the lives.

My goal was NOT to be like my mother. My children’s goal is NOT to be like their mother. Oops. My heart goes out for all the parents who hurt as a result of choices made. Goals reached. Missions accomplished.

This is the REVISED unpublished new Preface to JOURNAL OF JANET TALLULAH. I doubt I will ever update that book. 

Preface

    This is based on an intensive daily journal that I wrote when I got to Los Angeles, California in July 1968.  I arrived from Gainesville, Georgia, after having a lot of problems getting out of town.  I was a junior college professor.  Actually, I was the Chairman of the Division of Humanities.  That was a PhD position and I needed to get my PhD. I was accepted in the Theatre History doctorate program at UCLA in Los Angeles.  But there were other considerations that propelled me to travel cross-country.  In my heart, I wanted to be a professional actress in film and television. AND I was married to a guy I didn’t like but was sexually attracted to and had gotten pregnant, gotten married for my family’s reputation, and had three small children by the time I was 27. Oops. 

The problem was – I thought the grass was greener somewhere else even though Daddy kept telling me that it was not!  In disgust, I decided he did not know because he was trapped. That was why he drank so much. No wonder!  I would drink, too, if I were married to Mother. But he had ‘made his bed; he must lie in it.:” Oh, for goodness sakes, life was not a bunch of clichés. Life was to be lived!  And, I must leave Gainesville before I, too, got trapped because “it was the early bird who got the worm”, and I was “already late to the party”.  Life was passing me by.

     It was not until I was in my early 30’s that a psychiatrist helped me realize that I did not have to accept things the way they were. Yes, I had made my bed. I DID NOT have to lie in it.  What?????  What a concept!!  Well, I definitely did not like the way things were. I then chose to do something else. Move. Where? New York City?  Broadway?  No. Not with three little kids.  California?  Hollywood? Hmmmm.  Maybe.  There was grass there. Plus, an ocean.  My friend in theatre, Jimmie Ralston, had moved there. Hmmmm.

     How would I get outta’ Dodge?  I knew. I would try to get accepted into UCLA Graduate School – get my PhD in drama. And, at the same time, try to break into the film business without telling anyone.  That would work.  I wouldn’t tell them I planned to stay if I made it happen. I could take a year’s leave of absence from my job. I needed my PhD, anyway. I’d come back if I didn’t like it. 

     At that point, I started taking steps – writing letters, sending applications, doing research – to move to Los Angeles.  I applied for and got accepted into the PhD program at UCLA.  I applied for and almost got a Fellowship to the program.  I also subscribed to the Los Angeles Times, having it mailed to my office address, in order to become familiar with the City.  Needless to say, life became chaotic.  Events became unpredictable and unfathomable while I was making life-altering choices that would affect the lives of those around me for years to come.  Now, later in life, I painfully regret some of the choices I made.  But, at the time, I forged ahead making changes right and left, believing I knew what I was doing. I was convinced that I could not grow into the person I wanted to be by staying where I was.  I was destined for bigger things.  Thus, I must position myself where opportunities could arise. 

     Who is to say that I was wrong?  Maybe I was right!!  I am glad I had the courage to take risks.  I am proud of my children.  It is all a matter of “perception” – how I perceived things then, and how I perceive things now – and how other people perceived and perceive things. The same set of facts is different for each one of us. And each of us can believe what he/she wants to believe.  Most interpretations are on the surface and misconstrued, anyway – accumulated from bits and pieces of information and observations that lead to right or wrong conclusions that are hardly ever the same. It wasn’t until I went to law school in my late 50’s that I began to learn the difference between perception and facts. What happened.  As an actress, I acted SUBTEXT. As an attorney, I needed FACTS. 

     That said… I am not focusing on facts in this Journal – well, sort of.  This Journal is filled with my perceptions, my obsessions, my goals, my fears, my thoughts, my loves, and my hates – in my search for the “real ME’.  I went through a LOT of changes. It is especially hard to relive all I went through during the years 1969 through 1971, because I was young, vulnerable, naïve, and very Southern. I have chosen those years because my entire family went through a “crash course” in living. I was not ready for what came at me. Neither was my husband Darrell. Or the kids.  As a result, we all “grew by leaps and bounds.

     1969 was the year of Woodstock, of the Beatles breakup, of the start of the draft lottery for the Vietnam War, of the trial of the Chicago Seven, or of the horror of the Manson Family murders in California. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon; the Internet was born; the first artificial heart transplant was performed; the personal computer revolution began, and the world’s largest airplane – Boeing 747-100 – took flight. 

     In 1970, Paul McCartney announced the Beatles had disbanded, and the Apollo 13 mission to the moon had been abandoned.  100,000 people demonstrated in Washington D.C. against the Vietnam War.  A fire at a nightclub near Grenoble in Russia trapped night clubbers leaving 142 – mostly teenagers – dead.  California became the first state to adopt a “No Fault” divorce law. 

     1971 saw China admitted to the United Nations and NASDAQ debut. The Sylmar earthquake hit the San Fernando Valley, and Walt Disney World opened in Florida. The N.Y. Times began publishing sections of the Pentagon Papers starting on June 13, showing the U.S. Government had been lying to the American people.

     I was oblivious to most of that. I had just arrived in Los Angeles, California, from Gainesville, Georgia!!! I was making changes! Big changes!  How?  Well, in 1969, I began writing in a journal to help me “think”.  And, this is what I wrote (sorta).  Actually, I began writing in a journal at that point in time and have continued writing in my journal ever since.  I enjoy writing.  The wonder of it is that I have “published” some of it – the beginning years. 

     In 1971, I wrote in my journal: “I will write a book. My [working] book title will be ‘This Woman’s Search’. The gist of it will be – OK, here is the story. This is what I did and what has worked for me. I’LL TELL YOU. All you have to do is listen and see if you can use any of it.  Hopefully something will hit you, and you will be motivated to do it, to begin it [write in a journal]. I could also call my Book “A Search in Progress”.” “Janet Tallulah” is somewhat of an edited transcription of my first journals – the time when I made major changes in my life journey that still remain.  My search is still progressing.  I am now in my 80s.

     First, I want to build a foundation [“attorney-speak” for giving my readers some background].  I was born at home on Cleveland Road in Gainesville, Georgia, with Dr. Davis in attendance.  It was a Tuesday, March 30, 1937.  Mother and Daddy named me Janet Tallulah Jewell.  Daddy’s mother was named Mary Tallulah Dickson Jewell-Loudermilk, so I was named after her.  I grew up in Gainesville.  My father was in the chicken business, and my mother was a housewife:  Jesse and Anna Lou Jewell.  I had two older sisters – Barbara and Patricia.  We moved to Green Street Circle when I was four, and that remained our family home until Mother died in 2002.  I loved school from Day One.  As a result, I got good grades. I was a leader from the git-go.  I participated in school activities, extra-curricular activities, and First Baptist Church activities.  I loved Wade Lindorme from the time I first saw him when he moved to Gainesville from Atlanta.  He was a year older than I was.  We remained a couple throughout grammar school and high school, dating until I went to the University of Wisconsin to college in the fall of 1957. 

     Things changed once I left Gainesville to go to college.  I chose the University of Wisconsin because I wanted to experience something different.  But I was not prepared for what happened.  The somewhat sheltered existence that I had lived for most of my life began to disintegrate. Everything was different. I tried to be the leader that I had been in high school, but that was not to be.  I made a lot of wrong choices.  I was miserable.  I missed the comfort of the familiar, and most especially, I missed Wade. I had dreams and goals, but I did not have the muscles and/or savvy to handle the myriad of changes that came at me. 

     In my second year of college, I met Darrell William MacIntyre.  He was a Phi Gam from Madison, Wisconsin, and very good looking.  He was considered a “real catch”.  I was very attracted to him.  I was a Kappa Alpha Theta.  We dated all that year, eventually getting “pinned”.  That is when a fraternity guy gives a girl his fraternity pin. It is like being engaged – college style.  And, by the end of my sophomore year, I discovered that I was pregnant.  So, after deciding that I did not want to get an abortion AND facing the fact that I had “ruined” my family’s good name in Gainesville, I made to decision to marry Darrell, knowing that decisions come with consequences.  My life had changed forever!  I cannot say that we were ever in love.  We had a strong physical attraction to each other that continued for many years until he died in 1986. 

     All of that is a long story that I will save for another book – maybe, but I married Darrell William MacIntyre on August 17, 1957, and became Janet Jewell MacIntyre or Janet MacIntyre.  Many people called me “Jan”.  Still do.  I think it was a Wisconsin thing- shortening names.  In the fall of 1957, we moved to Madison to live until Darrell had to report to duty [as a Second Lieutenant] to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, in January 1958.  He was stationed in Special Services at Fort Sam for two years.  And that is where our daughter Tracy Lee was born – on February 23, 1958.  She was a beautiful little girl.  I was so happy.  So was Darrell. 

     After Darrell got out of the service, we both enrolled in the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, to continue our college education.  Darrell was accepted into law school, and I was accepted into a Bachelor of Arts program with a major in drama, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.  That is where our son Craig Dickson was born – on April 5, 1961.  After college, Darrell and I, with our small family, moved back to Gainesville, where Darrell began practicing law and I began teaching speech and drama at Brenau College. 

     In 1964, while teaching at Brenau, I got pregnant again, so I resigned from teaching at Brenau.  I stayed out a year, giving birth to our son Blake William – on December 11, 1964.  During the spring of 1965, I was hired to serve as Chairman of the Division of Humanities at a junior college, Gainesville Junior College (“GJC”) that was opening in Gainesville as part of the State University System.  It was a PhD position, and I got the position on the condition that I would obtain my PhD at some point in the near future.  I was the only woman in the State of Georgia to hold such a position. 

     So, in 1968, after discovering that UCLA had a PhD program in Theatre History, I took a year’s leave of absence from GJC to move with my family to Los Angeles to work on my PhD.  I applied for a Fellowship and it looked promising.  Darrell got a job as a prosecuting attorney with the U.S. Justice Department in the Criminal Division.  And we rented a home in the Huntington area of Pacific Palisades, California.  I did not get the Fellowship, missing it by one person.  Darrell had difficulty passing the California Bar Exam.  And, the children were unhappy and missed Mother and their friends in Gainesville.  Life was not good.  The truth be known, I did not want to go back to Georgia.  Georgia itself was/is beautiful.  But I had grown to hate much about my life in Gainesville.  I wanted more.  I LOVED California.  I wanted to give my children more and better.  So, I begged all of them to be patient so that I could establish residency and still get my PhD.  Meanwhile, I began exploring the possibility of a career as a professional actress in film and television. Gregory Peck offered to help me. He helped me get into The Actors Studio where I started training with Lee Strasberg and his “method acting” right away.

     That is enough background.  This book begins in 1969.  I am 32; Darrell is 35. Tracy is 11. Craig is 8. Blake is 5. All of us were young and vulnerable. AND, naïve. Darrell and I separated for a short period of time, and I had an affair during that time with Norman Russell, a good-looking, smooth-talking con-guy, who got me to loan him a lot of money.  Just in time, Darrell returned and kept me from giving Norman a LOT of money. He threatened Norman with a gun, telling Norman to stay away from me.  After that, we moved from Pacific Palisades to Brentwood, renting a home on North Bundy. Meanwhile, while I was “establishing residency in California” to get lower tuition at UCLA, I got an agent, Harold Swoverland.  I got professional headshots taken by Max Factor’s son.  I was happy. 

     Now, a word about “The Journal”.  I began writing in a journal in 1969.  A friend of mine, John Prince, told me about a weekend retreat in San Jacinto, California, that was conducted by a man named Ira Progoff.  I discovered that Ira Progoff was an American psychologist who had studied under Carl Jung.  That didn’t mean a lot to me, but I didn’t care.  I was unhappy and trying to change my life, confused as hell. I discovered that Ira was best known for his development of the Intensive Journal Method.  His main interest was in depth psychology and particularly the humanistic adaptation of Jungian ideas to the lives of ordinary people like me.   He founded Dialogue House in New York City to help promote this method.   So, I started attending his weekend retreats in 1969, with John Prince. 

     The first weekend was a confused mess. I didn’t understand much of what I was hearing.  First of all, Ira said the main idea of journal-writing was to provide a total program for the inner life to discover what is taking place inside of a person. Well, I did not know that I had an “inner life”, much less need to discover what was taking place inside of me. Ira said that The Journal was the hub of a wheel – a person must use it not only in privacy but also in a group because a group and group contact opens one up. In a workshop, each person was like a well in a circle of wells. If that person went down into his own well, there was a great benefit in hearing himself say something he wanted to say. The Journal was structured to prevent the self from going in a circle.

     In the Journal, one wants to dialog with all the important things in his life. The aim is to get seriously involved with the dialogue. Plus, one wants to keep enough daily entries for a week to give a sense of what is happening and do dreams and dream extensions. It is important to get started without waiting in order to get started. There is a process that works within the depth of a person – it must be given the opportunity to work for that person. Basic dialog is the dialog that works between one and one’s inner self that will keep one in the “eye of the hurricane.” Forgive me for not explaining everything to you. I am still learning myself.  And, as I said before, I am now in my 80s.

                                                                                       J.W.M.

I did not write this, but I like it.  I dedicate it to my children and my grandchildren even though they are alive and missing from my life. I am the one who moved away.  But, this began years ago. 

— You Don’t Just Lose Someone Once —

You lose them over and over, 

sometimes many times a day.

When the loss, momentarily forgotten,

creeps up, 

and attacks you from behind.

Fresh waves of grief as the realisation hits home,

they are gone.

Again.

You don’t just lose someone once, 

you lose them every time you open your eyes to a new dawn,

and as you awaken, 

so does your memory, 

so does the jolting bolt of lightning that rips into your heart,

they are gone.

Again.

Losing someone is a journey,

not a one-off.

There is no end to the loss,

there is only a learned skill on how to stay afloat,

when it washes over.

Be kind to those who are sailing this stormy sea, 

they have a journey ahead of them,

and a daily shock to the system each time they realise,

they are gone,

Again.

You don’t just lose someone once, 

you lose them every day, 

for a lifetime.

Just know that you can be sorry, but sorry doesn’t do it.  I am also sorry you had to sit though all of this but maybe it will help someone to find that delicate balance in loving children and having careers and good health and ……… The point of all this is still me-centered. Oops. I want to stop trying to punish myself by being the headstrong girl that I have been all my life. The times are very different now. 

Best Jay

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ROSES FOR YOU

Today, I want to post something easy on JAYSPEAK because it has been a stressful week, and I am exhausted from the emotions that I have experienced.  I don’t want to write about all the things that have happened, so I am going to do what I do when I need a rest – post photos of roses.  That is my go-to “happy place”.This memory came up on Facebook for me – I don’t know what year.  Sometime before October 1, 2015.  That is the date that Steve and I moved to Nice, France. 

So Enjoy these photos.

“For the record — in case anyone thinks that all I do is walk around the west side of Los Angeles and take pictures of flowers, let me say that I choose not to post about my job – litigating employment cases on behalf of plaintiffs and practicing entertainment law.  Maybe I should, because I practice law full-time, and it is contentious, stressful, exhilarating, upsetting, anxiety-producing, interesting, and demanding.  I am constantly on the move, writing motions, answering and propounding discovery, conducting or defending depositions, going to court, meeting new potential clients, and so forth.  So, as many mornings as I can, I walk for 2 hours – early before dawn — to work out the stress and prepare for the upcoming day.  During those walks, I allow my mind to wander, and take pictures of roses (mostly) with my IPhone.  As Paul Harvey would say… and now you know the rest of the story.—”

Best, Jay “Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone who Celebrates.”

FROM PARIS WITH LOVE

Some days I am filled with energy and others are very lethargic. Today is not so hot after a wonderful day yesterday. So, let’s both grab a cup of coffee. That helps to give us a break. And coffee goes with everything in Paris.

This week I have been pondering a lot of things – mainly how I spent most of my life planning my life around a man. The men changed but I did not. You would think I would have learned a lesson, but noooooooo. I just found another man. And I would give each one that good ole college try of 10 years or so and move on to another man. We Southern girls liked the men. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself without a man. Like NOW. Haha. What am I going to do with all the insights and awarenesses that are coming at me like Mac Trucks? And lots of dreams about lives that happened a long time ago.

I must stand alone, and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. So, as the songs I once loved fade away, so do the thoughts and feelings of others. I tell myself what’s meant to be will always find a way, so I’m letting go. And I am paying close attention to what is finding a way to stay. Wow. Really letting go. It has been hard for a while, but it’s getting easier. Day by day, step by step.. that’s how I’m living my life now. Finding small joys in the little things that make me smile. I’ll get where I need to be, eventually. Or not. Knowing that I will, for me, for now, will have to be enough. I can do this. Yes, I miss my family. Yes, I miss my friends. But I am now loving them as they are without trying to change them in any way. They will either make it or they won’t. I will either make it or I won’t. You will either make it or you won’t.

Today’s borrowed piece that I want to share with you is this.  These lessons do not limit to any one aspect or one person. They are universal and will help you through all walks of life. Embrace them and make them a part of your life for a peaceful, joyous life.                                      –    Featured Image Source: Pakin Songmor © 123RF.com

“Gautama Buddha: a prince, a warrior, a meditator and an enlightened teacher. Nothing will ever stress enough the kind of wisdom he imparted at his time, the kind which still exists to inspire millions and millions of people around the world.  Buddha means the one who is awake. He indeed was and his teachings continue to knock sense into the lost and the drifted. Buddha was the embodiment of peace, acceptance and detachment to material possessions.  Through his messages, we can better understand our spiritual and emotional selves. Here are 11 of the life-changing pieces of lessons from this enlightened soul.

1. “When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily”

Love is a pure, undemanding emotion. You don’t hurt the ones you love. True love will always be a reason for your growth. There is a clear distinction between unconditional love and the emotions based on our ego’s needs.

2. “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth”

No matter how hard you try to hide the truth, it will eventually be revealed. The seekers of the truth will ultimately find it. Truth can never stay hidden.

3. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

We often seek solace and happiness in the external environment, the things we buy and the material possessions we have. In reality, peaceful living only comes from acknowledging what you have within. Peace resides within you only.

4. “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path”

Ever heard how life is about the journey and not the destination? Well, it’s the truth! Accept the joys and the sorrows of the journey and you will understand what it is to be living. Happiness isn’t the end goal, being happy all along is.

5. “An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body but an evil friend will wound your mind”

Your life becomes more meaningful and happening when you have the right kind of people in your life. Supporting, joyous, compassionate people. Having negative people around only means hurting our own lives.

6. “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

It is a very deep teaching and a very meaningful one if we understand what Buddha was trying to convey. We all are one. The differences are only presumed by us only. There was no segregation originally. In the eyes of the universe, we are all one and equally worthy of love and happiness.

7. “You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger”

Anger and resentment eat you like fire eats wood. It destroys the one experiencing it and not the one it is against. Learn to forgive and move on.

8. “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

It is something many religions endorse: our thoughts create our reality. What we focus on is what we believe. If it’s the darkness you concentrate on, how do you suppose you will see the light? It’s all about our perspective and thoughts.

9. “Believe nothing no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

Don’t let others think for you – think for yourself. Know your ground and stick to it. You have your view of the world and, if something clashes with it, you have the right to disregard it. Popularity doesn’t mean it’s the right thing.

10. “You only lose what you cling to”

If you do not attach yourself emotionally to something, it will not be a loss. Nothing lasts forever. Unconditional love and happiness will come when we fully accept the experiences, even when they are short-lived.

11. “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk our path.”

It’s your life and you will have to live it. No one can do it for you. You cannot let others guide your life but you have to steer it yourself. Be your own torch to carve your way through this journey called life.”

I took the cat netting down from the balcony and now I think I can see clearer outside my window. Maybe. Maybe not. BE CAREFUL! Beware making another person the center of your life. YOU ARE THE CENTER OF YOUR LIFE. Love yourself first and foremost. Then love others.

I have a lot of memes that I have saved, but it is becoming too many memes. So, I will leave you with lots of words to think about. I don’t expect you to agree. Also, I have a lot of thoughts to share on another day. After the pandemic. Everybody is hurting. Getting to know my neighborhood. Facing fear. Making decisions. Stay tuned…….

Best Jay

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HELLO FROM PARIS!

Hello from Paris! Guess what? I have made the decision to stay in Paris. I will NOT be moving any time soon. Who knows about tomorrow, much less “the future”? If I have my way, I will have a wonderful future!!!! And it takes place in Paris. So, I have unpacked my bags and am preparing to stay. AND, MY COVER PHOTO ABOVE IS BORROWED. I APOLOGIZE TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER. I am the photographer of the photo below.

So, I ‘want to tell you about another pet peeve and share an interesting message I found on the internet. So, grab a coffee.

My pet peeve surrounds CODE SPEAK. What is code speak? People who post a photo or send an email with an attachment with no foundation. And I have NO idea what they are talking about.?What do I mean by « Building a foundation”? Use your common sense. I don’t like guessing what the person means or where the person is or why he/she is there. TELL ME IN ADVANCE!!! Or, at least, enjoy my not-knowing, if that was the intention. Whew! I am glad I got that off my chest.

And, now, for a fun post for me and gives you something to look forward to,

“An extensive study in the U.S.A found that the most productive age in human life is between 60-70 years of age.

 The 2nd.  most productive stage of the human being is from 70 to 80 years of age.

 The 3rd.  most productive stage is from 50 to 60 years of age.

 The average age of NOBEL PRIZE winners is 62 years old.

 The average age of the presidents of prominent companies in the world is 63 years.

 The average age of the pastors of the 100 largest churches in the U.S.A. is 71.

 The average age of the Popes is 76 years.

 This tells us in a way that it has been determined, that the best years of your life are between 60 and 80 years.

 A study published in NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE found that at age 60, you reach the TOP of your potential and this continues into your 80s.

 Therefore, if you are between 60 -70 or 70-80 you are in the BEST and 2nd.  level of your life.

 SOURCE: N.Engl.J .Med.  70,389 (2018) ..

 SO, I am not old.  I am just getting started…..if I can remember what  I was doing.  Haha.  

And now some favorite memes…….

BEST, JAY

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