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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Question For the Moon


   Why can't we have all night cafes with old books and a lazily plucking guitarist smelling of tobacco and Bukowski's poetry with a  hat like Tom Waits and callused fingers, maybe one who never quite stands up straight?
   He might, but effort's a costly thing when not for the purposes of pleasure, and the night, only lasts so long. (snap-quiet-snap)

   And it all lit by an intermittently buzzing neon sign that says, "Gladys" or something with the image of a leg-lifting can-can dancer with a dusty black velvet choker round her buttermilk and cigars songbird neck (click-quiet-click) and heavenly notes that spill over regrets.

   And a pool table where the overhead light reflects off of a tired dishwasher's misstruck 8-ball and the slap on the back with a, "You'll get 'em next time," followed by the crunch of a cockroach under the owner's fine faux leather loafer, and me leaving a few coins in a dented green metal ashtray, and the sound of these old shoes walking out the door? (Jingle-quiet...


Saturday, February 4, 2017

For Joe and Kim: Missed Connection

    I guess things got to me, every day things and people. Maybe I've become cynical as people seem to have traded policies for real connections and caps lock for a caring hand. Some days I can't seem to be more than cordial, and some days, I'm just tired, tired of superficial conversations and sources and...nothing that touches the soul.

   I forget sometimes to be still, take care of myself, and all the lovely things I'd say to you. I take care of my son. I'm far from alone. I enjoy solitude, and I'm grateful to have a beautiful life full of love, laughter, struggles and quiet days. After all, that's more than some people know in a lifetime.

   In my life I've been really in love a few times, but the first was named, "Joe." We were together a few years when we married and had two amazing children. I was so in love and he was my prince. We had the struggles everyone has, and we grew apart. Both had faults, and we divorced after 12 years together.

    There were others, but he was part of my life and that of my children, until he passed away a few years ago. I have relished very sweet memories of us since. He was the, "Sitting into the night on a swing," person, the,"Looking at the stars and holding hands," one. Somehow, that was enough and maybe something of Heaven then. He was the rides in that Blue MG Midget with the top down, the one who wrote me letters and made geometric colored drawings for me. He was the wrapped up in ribbons and kept promises, the one in the tuxedo who took my breath away, and the one who held our babies. He was the laughter, the sleepless nights and the one who rigged the kitchen sprayer to spray me when I turned the water on. He was the one whose baths I stole while he was getting his clothes, and the one who didn't mind at all.

   I'm much older now, and vividly aware I've had a charmed life in many ways despite the pain, and I sometimes chuckle at myself for envisioning me as the old lady in the Titanic movie, but it's not a bad gig.

   I can get so committed to just putting one foot in front of the other, so responsible. It's good and bad. It gets a person through life without repercussions and usually isn't too dangerous. Sometimes I've been so jaded that any risk seemed useless. Other times, I just didn't want to screw up the good memories I've had by having some tragic romance.

   Forever is such a strange concept when all we have is this moment, and I forget that sometimes all connections are is here and now, and in this forever that breathes this breath, anything is possible.

   I never answer wrong numbers, so I let it be. There are so many scams out there, and I really have too much to do. The number called back in seconds and that was strange, but that time, they left a message.

   "Kim, this is Joe," it began and he mentioned being at the post office in a nearby town, but it was after hours. Maybe he was an employee and was still at work. He told her he'd call again in about 20 minutes, but it was me listening and not her. He sounded so excited, and happy to be meeting her, and it made me smile, but I was sure it would work out. Maybe she'd call him. I thought it wasn't my business, and I let it go. He'll figure out he has the wrong number, I thought, and I hope it all goes well.

   In a short while he called again and left another message, Still giddy, he said he was on his way to somewhere I didn't quite catch. I wondered if it was a planned meeting place then put it out of my head. In another hour he called and left another message. There was background noise, and he was calmer and seemed concerned, "Kim?...This is Joe." He asked her to call, and I could tell his voice was straining to sound cheerful. I hoped she'd just show up....if she knew where he was.

   "Surely this couldn't be a scam," I thought. "Oh, no." I sank. "This is hurting him. What if she's home thinking he doesn't care? I can't answer this or call the number! It still could be a scam," I thought, so I began randomly searching "Joe's" in nearby areas on Facebook, Twitter, Google -anywhere! I was hoping for a sign or some serendipity, a neon light that read, "That's, Kim's Joe!" I considered leaving a message at the post office. "For the love of ...You have the wrong number!" I looked up USPS, and you can leave a message, but it goes to the National office rather than the local one. This was awful! My heart was breaking! I can't take it! I'm weak!

    This is why I avoid romance movies. It gets personal for me, and I don't need that. I have laundry to do. It was late. I turned off my phone for the night, and I went to bed. Earlier today, I talked to my daughter a while, and I hadn't thought much of the calls this morning, but she and I were joking about avoiding mushy romances and love songs, and ick! "Feelings." No one needs that... maybe. I mean eventually one leaves, or they die, or they both part ways, so what's the point?

     The point is, "Now." I repeated to myself, "Here and now, Tina." (I talk to myself.) "Focus, Tina." It's not the, "After it's over," it's the first moment when my Joey took my hand. (I heard my heartbeat when I typed that. Maybe it was his.)  My daughter said, "This could be the story they tell their grandkids!" She said, "I never get good wrong numbers like this!" She was right. This is their story. This could be their, "Once in a lifetime!"

     I've had helping hands in connections, and the opportunity to help one more love happen might be in the numbers looking at me on my phone.

    It rang in my hand! My daughter was still talking to me, and I had to go. smiles. She was excited too. I waited, "What should I do?" and she laughed at me and said, "Make wise decisions." Damned if I didn't teach her to always encourage and never give advice! haha! I was on my own. I hear her father in her laugh sometimes, and see him in my son's blue eyes.

   We hung up and I was shaking my head at God, The Universe, Kismet, Cupid or Russell Stover. "Whatever You've got going on up there, help them?"

   I was trying to muster the courage to call still holding the phone, and it rang again! I heard myself answer into the phone, "Hi. Is this Joe?" He sounded surprised or relieved, and said, "Yeah, What's up?" trying to be o.k. and sound cool about all the calls that "Kim" didn't answer. He didn't know it was me.

   I am 51 years old, and I went right back to my first phone call at 15 when I asked for, "Joey," but this time it was their turn, and I was on a mission. I said, "Joe, Listen my name is Tina, and you just have the wrong number. Don't be sad. She doesn't know you've been trying." He began to laugh, and said, "Wait!" then he repeated it back to me, "I've been calling the wrong number?" I could hear the excitement returning to his voice. I said, "Yes! You've *got to find her!" He tried to apologize, and I stopped him, and said, "No. By now I am so in love with the idea of the two of you! You've restored my faith in humanity and the possibility of love. Thank you! Go make this happen." He was still laughing in embarrassment, and I said, "Joe! Go find her!" smiles. He said very happily, "Yes, Ma'am! I will!"

   I hope you find her, Joe. And Kim, don't give up on him. I promise you, it's worth it.

   I don't imagine I'll hear from Joe and Kim again, but thank you for reminding me of a love story. smiles. I'm sure you'll pick a good one, but if you're looking, this was, "Our song."

To Joe and Kim,

With love,

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Oh My Darling Cliche: Madness With Peas

I don't recommend English or any other language, not as a first or second form of communication, but more as form of torture. I'm 50 years old. It's my first language, and still I stumble. Try tap dancing instead. You may stub a toe, but it's less painful than dislodging it from the mouth.
I once thought the forlorn sentence, "Never the twain shall meet," meant that I would never have the pleasure of Samuel Clemens over a light dinner with bland chicken and early June peas. I'd never be able to see if he'd chuckle when I told him his name reminded me of lemons and clementines. 
(Samuel Clemens is the name of an American Author of ordinary genius in the opinion of anyone I'd be of a mind to listen to. His pen name was, Mark TwainI, being a fan of Albert Einstein, and Giorgio Tsoukalous,  struggle to know if it was his mind or his hair that so enchanted, but this is no time for romantic hair ideas.Besides, I loved this guy too.)
Sad as that seemed, and no doubt we'd have gotten along brilliantly, I thought surely there were more tragic events to reference.Turns out, I was only cliched. That alone is reason to cry, and I'd tell it was from Kipling's, "East Meets West," but that would deter and entirely siphon the humor out of this otherwise perfectly melancholy quip. I can't help but wonder what Mark Twain would say about that. I sigh at memories of curling dancers from a pipe, an overgrown mustache, and white tendrils be-smoked with wisdom, and a healthy dose of smart aleck -that will never occur. 
In some twist of heavenly wisdom, I arrived entirely too *later for the company of Mr. Clemens, in a world that's in an awful hurry to go nowhere of any benefit that I can tell. And I have a path too, dreaming of Old Masters and maybe card sharks, and while I'd like to have known you, times are moving on, this chair's beginning to creak or maybe it was my knees. It's getting *laterer, and never the Twain shall meet.
tina jones

Friday, November 6, 2015

Anita, the singing cashier: My Ongoing Understanding of Neurotypicals

I didn't want to bother her. She and two others were standing, waiting at the entrances to their checkout lanes, but I'd already turned in the direction of her aisle, before I noticed she looked a little labored to be standing, and she'd done caught me with the dreaded.....eye contact.. I was stuck. 

   She turned to go the short way to her register to meet me, but someone was blocking her with one of those riding carts. "I'll just go this way," she said, and Anita (so her tag said) went hobbling.

I felt like such a terrible person, until I heard it, "Do, do, doo, do, ...Do, dado-do..." I don't know the tune, but she was, "Do, da,doo-ing" possibly the most pleasant bit of Scat singing I've heard. I was putting my things on the counter when she made it to the register, and I, smiling, said, "It was worth the trip, just for the song." People filed in behind me, and she smiled at my comment, and raised the volume and her smile, whereupon I began, my subtlest of jigs, mostly the shoulders and head...a little arm and hand hula action - nothing overboard. 

 Ah, she sang along, and it was beautiful, and I happily paid for the lettuce and cheese. I took the bags from the carousel, and put them in my cart saying, "I think I got them all." She answered playfully, white hair sparkling and lilt in her voice, "Let's give it the traditional twirl and see!" and she spun the carousel while I spun a hand in the air to flourish with a wave, and bid good evening with a shared giggle and thanks for the song...

Should you find yourself in the aisle of Anita, the singing cashier, I recommend dancing along. She knows her stuff! :)

tina jones

Thursday, October 29, 2015

What's It All For?

What's it all for?

   I haven't published a blog post in ages, and my apologies. I've written a lot, but it was mostly for my own growth, and far too self centered to torture another with. I've asked myself the same old questions that I come to time and again, and each time the answers seem to get a little simpler, and a little clearer. 

   I was scrolling through posts here on Facebook, and happened upon a picture of an older celebrity holding his grandbaby. Seems he got the job of sitter for the night. He was holding this baby asleep on his chest, and granddad was smiling.

Another celebrity has recently taken to taking in farm animals with his family, and each seem to be a little more out of the spotlight, and likely making fewer dollars.

 All of those weeks, and hours, pay periods and always saying just the right thing, or having just the right suit or hair cut...That wasn't the point...It never is.

It's, "The farm" and the grand babies, the grey hair and sleepy smiles. It's the moment when there isn't a crowd or a boss or a soul to please, except a few that a person might like to keep close. Even then, I'm not sure if pleasing loved ones is by accident or design, or maybe they love us despite us.

  I think it's those moments of baby's breath and the stopping time when the stars come out when you just look and feel so small... I think that's what it's all for -the work, the struggle of all kinds. It's all for the sweetness of letting go...

with love, 

tina jones

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm a Great Introvert

I'm a great introvert. You never hear an extrovert saying, "I'm a terrible extrovert," yet I all too often hear, "I'm a terrible introvert." Self judgement can be pretty cruel. I don't talk a lot, but I am a great listener, because I can be still and not have to fill the air with meaningless sound. Conversation isn't a performance, nor a competitive sport. It's a real opportunity to connect, and if no one is listening, it wont happen. If you don't know what to say, that's your cue that listening is your job in that moment. If they don't know what to say, I don't have to rescue them from silence either. Silence between people can be a very, very beautiful thing. For me, that awkward stage of not knowing what to say, is a natural place on the path to realizing nothing need be said. (and it didn't just happen in the beginning. It's just I stopped judging myself for it.) The way I am around people (or in any situation) is not what I thought it was or should be when I was drinking. It's all new. If others are uncomfortable with your stillness, they have steps too. Be good to you. If you're like I was, it's about time to do so. Until you're more comfortable with it, you can do what I and so many others have done. smiles. Be that member that brings their crochet to meetings. It worked for me. and I never even liked crocheting.   07/23/97 (But the only sobriety that counts is what I have right in this moment) An aside. I'm a very private person, and out of respect for that and A.A., I keep recovery to private groups, so I don't accept outside friend requests, any more than I'd invite all of you into my living room if we were at a face to face meeting. I'm off to listen some more...I'm still learning.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

JMW TURNER"S WORK: Unfinished?!

"Might not be finished." (Gratuitous, "I told you so!" ahead)

  Narrator, Alistaire Sook suggests in this Telegraph UK Video that JMW Turner's work, "Norham Castle, Sunrise," might not be a finished painting. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. Why?   

                      Because I TOLD YOU SO! :D
                                 (Gloating is an unattractive habit of mine.)

   The sentiment is repeated in the article from the same page by 
Ju Zhang, " exhibition at Tate Britain, Late Turner - Painting Set Free looks at the way that Turner's health and his increasing infirmity may have affected the way he painted in his later years. It asks us to look hard at the paintings and question whether they are as the artist intended, or whether some that we most love are simply unfinished." JU Zhang
FULL ARTICLE:    Click Here

   Exactly, and that's why I get the urge to finish the works of the early impressionists. No, I wont touch them. Darnit! Yes, I do have that much of an ego, and it irks me, because they had more talent than they used. At least that's my perception, and it's apt to be wrong, but....why stop?

   Since I'm on a opinion roll.....Enjoy this image of
 "Norham Castle, Sunrise," by JMW Turnercourtesy Wikimedia Commons,while I rev it up. 
"Joseph Mallord William Turner 062" by J. M. W. Turner - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

   Nobody seems to like hearing that I think early impressionism was a matter of unfinished work (Wonder why? ;) ), and of course I wouldn't dare touch the pieces, but seriously. Blurry underpaintings are lovely all on their own, and I'm not the first to think so. 

   That little group of artists (The first Impressionists) who I think didn't want to finish their paintings got them in the Salon. I see what I see, and I think it was a con. Turner, however wasn't. His work was thorough. I look at the above work, and I can tell it's Turner by the beginnings of "his" light, but I'm left waiting for the finish. In fact, if it were a finished piece, I might have named it, "Cliff Hanger." I can't be sure what, if anything happened.This particular piece may have been the result of a sudden eye disorder, or he left the work before finishing for some reason. It's undoubtedly beautiful, but finished? No, I don't think so. 

    Caviat: If you are in an art class, and questions come up on a test regarding this work, insist that it *is finished, and he did this on purpose. (Roll your eyes in private.) Also the Impressionists were, "Geniuses" (at more than just telling others what they were supposed to like in art.) #KeepAntacidsHandy Throughout art history, new movements have made great breakthroughs and set the establishment on it's ear. It's my opinion that it needed to happen, and I'm glad the Impressionists came along for that reason. I think we may have gone too far though, throwing the proverbial, "Baby out with the bathwater." I'm of the feeling that all art is needed past, present and future. Even Impressionism has been set aside with the company of Realism by the likes of Post Modernism and Op Art. Change is certain and of it's own comfort. Like music, dance and any other art form painting must surely change as new materials and technologies as well as new minds develop with new social systems play into their artworks. I may romanticize the ARC (Art Renewal Center), and that's fine, but there is a richness to the totality of art through the ages. 

   Keep in mind, I love the Impressionists, and I do think they were geniuses of their craft. I also loved The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. What can I say? I think they pulled a, "Fast one," (Just like every other new art movement or new take on a mouse trap. And who's to say that isn't what I or any other artist is doing? Trying to invent ways to create our own, never done before, niche, or at least to do what was done before but better?) I have a soft spot for cons, magicians, alchemists and angels, and as and artist, I'm a little of all of these things even if only on a canvas.

  Turner, Constable and Church were some of favorite landscape artists. To say this one holds such significance is to spotlight one of his lesser works, and we all have them. Somewhere beyond the grave, I'm sure he wishes he'd finished this one.
There! I said it! :p

tina jones

  If you'd like to see a really cool site on Impressionism, check this out: Impressionism.Org