June 8, 2015

Jessica Williams, Pianist & Composer
Leaving one's own Mythology Behind
I found myself standing, at 2:30 pm on a Saturday afternoon in a cold day in November, on the grass of what is referred to as a "yard" by the neighboring populace. A yard to me is a big open space with room to have many dogs running far and wide, to and fro. No great number of dogs would fit happily into this yard I find myself in, so I share my life with but one dog and for her the yard is still too small. But there it was, and there I was, on that approximate time and date, standing in a wedge of sunlight, amidst all that was left of the day. It gets dark early in the northern climes.
I had fastened my awareness on a single blade of grass near the edge of "the dark zone" (that place where the shadows encroached on, fed on the sun's rays) and watched as, within minutes, its bright green illumination was eaten by the darkness. So swiftly! Our planet turns so swiftly! We are not even aware of the turning of our own ship as it wends and wafts through the great Void of Space. And this was not a new awareness for me, but it was a reminder of the transience of things, the inexorable move toward something not yet revealed.
Other blades of grass attracted my attention and they too would soon experience the same yield. And I reflected that, if we're all very lucky, the sun will rise tomorrow and these blades of grass will again be illuminated by it—including the one blade that I had originally noticed. So it seems true: That which is nowwill pass away and return in its changed form at another time.
Incidentally, I don't think that time is sequential, but that's the way it seems to be filtered through our senses . . . a past, a present, and a future. I think that's too complex a model. It seems all one thing to me. But that's another bunching of words for another page.
Back to the story at hand: Earlier, I had awoken from a not-unpleasant dream-state in which I was playing a piece at the piano, a piece first sung by Frank Sinatra and later played by Miles Davis and then played or sung by many, many others, a piece called I Fall in Love too Easily. This piece of art, by the way, was written in 1944 by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne and was sung by Frank Sinatra in a movie called Anchors Aweighwhich also starred the great dancer and fine human being, Gene Kelly.
That Sammy and Jule wrote this wonderful tune is a thing worth mentioning because we have been recently informed that it is not the song-writers who deserve the big bucks, but the people who have fat media deals, the star-people who are in the news for smashing their cars into utility poles while stoned on expensive drugs or saying asinine things to the press and such. To quote a corporate big-wig, "You won't find groupies hanging around the song-writer! So they should get nothing for their song."
And another thing worth mentioning is that you'll find me wandering off-topic at times: Not only do I write songs, but, when I write words like this, I'll veer to the left or right, careening off the path for a moment or two to indulge in a passing thought that has significance, most often, only to myself. That's just me being me in my 'later years', as the sun is setting on a fading and once-brilliant youth. Like a blade of grass at the terminator, that place where the light gives way to the shadows, I suppose I'll return again, but in changed form.
But I guess that's not such a literary detour, because it's nearly right on the mark of what I want to say about permanence. Namely that permanence does not exist except through one facet of our mysterious Universe: Change. Change seems permanent. I suspect it is, but only in most cases. At the end of the Universe, entropy may have collapsed all possibility into a tiny point of nothingness, and even Change will go "pffft!" . . . but I don't think we'll be around to see that.
So I've discovered that Change is a constant. This is not a big leap, like the discovery of Relativity or the invention of the wheel, but it's a leap for me.
So I ask: Are we always the same person, every day of our lives? To the bureaucracy and the government and the big-wigs in our life, I suppose we are. But ask anybody and you'll find out that we are Change personified. Even the most static of people grow older and die. That's a Change!
This is why I made such a big deal about Sammy and Jule and Frank and Miles . . .
See, when I played that song in my dream, it was nothing like the thousands of times I've played it in this "real" world. So, when I got out of bed, I went right to the piano and played it like I'd remembered from my dream, and darned if it didn't sound like a totally new and different song! It was the same song, but oh how different it was compared to the way "the old Jessica" would have played it.

That's what I call my self of a few years ago: The old Jessica.

And the old Jessica was not about to invent the wheel or discover Relativity or write Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Neither is the new one. But there's a lot to like about the new Jessica, about me "now", after all of the experiences and thrashing about and wild excitements and explosive moments of success (and failure) that I've been through, that I put myself through.
I wore myself out!
Today is not the first day that I've realized the mythology that springs up around any kind of achievement, particularly if it affects a large group of people. And today is not the first day that it seemed to me that mythologizing someone was a dangerous thing to do, both for the myth-maker and for the targeted myth-person themselves.
Just a few extreme cases of the unpleasant effects of being mythologized: The actor James Dean. The jazz musician Chet Baker. The philosopher Jesus Christ.
As if that weren't enough!
There are many thousands of examples. Think of your own. A weekend to-do for the entire family: Make a list of extreme cases of people suffering from the unpleasant side-effects of being mythologized.
I'm sure glad I'm not the old Jessica. It's been hard to convince a lot of people that I'm not. To them, I am and always will be that tall young blonde-haired lady on the stage playing some frighteningly good piano music. To me, I might as well be Emily Post or Mary Kay. That's how different the new Jessica is from the old Jessica. As different as all the ways the old me used to play that song, I Fall in Love too Easily, from the way the new me played it this morning! There was, fortunately, nothing frightening about the way I played it this morning!

Some musicians change their names to herald a change in the mythology that inevitably springs up around them like a prison fence with razor-wire atop it. Snoop Dog to Snoopy to Snoop, Puff Daddy to P-diddy to Puffy to on and on, Prince to the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. And there are lots and lots of actors who would never have "made it" if they had stuck to their original names—imagine watching a movie starring Betty Joan Perske (Lauren Bacall) or Bernard Schwartz (Tony Curtis). It's about creating a mythology.
I don't want to be a myth. I want the freedom to be who I am at every phase of my art, in every day of my life.
I presently believe that human beings are a lot like ecosystems. We may be a colony organism in theory but we sure haven't realized it yet . . . that's at least a million years off. Being an ecosystem means we have weather. Drought. Famine. Bumper crops. Bad years. Good years. Sometimes our fields lie fallow. Sometimes it's a big harvest and we "cash in". Like the planet we live on, like the galaxy we inhabit, like the very Universe that we dwell in, we have lives that become changed by time and experience and illness and love and joy and hate and fear and pain and on and on. 
To stay the same is to die of boredom.
To hold on to who we were is to never get to experience the thrill of being who we might become!
When I go out and stand in the sun tomorrow—assuming that it's not raining or snowing or just plain cloudy—I will not be able to find that one blade of grass that I watched so intimately today. But there are millions, billions, trillions of blades, and I might pick one. And then again, maybe not. Maybe I'll stay in bed and come up with a nice new melody that's never been heard before. That's quite a feat in itself. I know I'll never invent the wheel or discover Relativity, and I sure won't write Beethoven's Ninth Symphony! But I'll at least try to do my part to change what is into what might be.
Maybe that's our job as human beings. It's certainly the job of everything else.
JW, Nov 23, 2013
Jessica Williams, Pianist & Composer
"In our culture, males have been consensually deemed more important than females, logic more important than emotion, and money more important than life itself. Until the balances are correct, we will continue to be cut off from our Source, the Universe, the Earth, and our spiritual centers." - Stephanie Austin, The Mountain Astrologer
People everywhere have noticed a change in the realities to which they've become accustomed. I've had friends tell me they're sick, they've lost their job, their old ways of living no longer worked. Many are losing their homes. Many more are trying to keep up with food prices, rents, and the daily demands of corporate greed.
I've had many friends pass away. So many that I even made a list!
There is something happening and most of us do not understand it.
We can take a "survivalistnew window" view, a "patriotic" view of it and come away convinced that all of our leaders are corrupt and psychotic. Or that democracy and capitalism cannot work, or that it's all a huge conspiracy to destroy every vestige of our nation, its infrastructure, its food and water supply, and dominate the Earth's ecosystem. Getting even more negative, we can convince ourselves that a few evil billionaires have decided to destroy most of us using nearly-invisible but efficient planning. We may even name names. Rumors of mass genocide seems the order of the day. And, as we stew in this fertile ground of paranoia and resentment, our own values and codes slip away from us to be replaced by a morbid intensity of misery, a feeling that we are all sheep, all helpless, all doomed.
A really lovely way to live, huh?
Actually, I have more hope for our country and our species than I have ever had before. There are so many factors in play, so much potential for a kinetic change in this world, that to be blind to it is to rob oneself of a great deal of pure joy and excitement.
A "mentat summation", that is, an hypothesis based on available data (Dune-Speak) suggests a period of trial, of suffering, of extreme change . . . followed by a long period of recovery, along with new ways of living, a balance between the male and female sensibilities, a fuller understanding of our part in Nature, a deepening respect for our planet, the use of new technologies to free our minds and our bodies from the domination and submission so inherent in our present cultural system, and a very profound move towards the spiritual, emotional, and integrative aspects of our miraculous existence.
I already see these things occurring. We used to "hang out" in parks when I was a young girl. Now we hang out in malls. The mall has become a place to meet people, to experience a life not fully livable on the Internet or through texting or emails. And in every mall and store and gathering place, I sense a shift from the old ways. I am not mocking the old ways—I am simply saying that new and healthier ways are appearing everywhere I look. This could be entirely subjective, but I choose to believe these words over those who would have us be no more than mindless beasts of burden for a few wealthy "masters" and bankers. That "old way" is considered by many to be the way, the only right way.
Muad'Dibnew window, when told that it was the old way to have power struggles within the ranks of the Fremen, sternly replied: "WAYS CHANGE!"
I watch with some personal gratification and approval when I watch teenagers and young adults express themselves through their wardrobes and their behaviors. I see gender boundaries easing, and the social acceptance of femininity in some males, accompanied by more assertive behavior in females. I see it in their modes of dress. Of course, Seattle is a progressive city, but it is happening everywhere, according to my friends in other parts of the world.
The only domination and submission that these kids might be interested in is corset dresses and high heels.
I envision a world where yin and yang have been balanced and are truly equal parts of the whole nature of humans, and that humans realize that they themselves are biologic parts of a complex and eventually stable ecosystem. The Patriarchal/Dominance culture of "Dominion over Nature" is opposed to equality and inclusion, parity and social justice. It must be, because its very existence is owed to its continued propagation through religions, politics, and corporate advertising.

Separate women from men and you separate parts of yourself.
Give little boy children toy guns and they will grow up hungering to use real ones. Bully the boys into acting hyper-masculine and they will eventually be ready for any war of any scale for any duration at any time.
And women will be as active players in that system. They will produce the children who will die in senseless wars or wither at meaningless jobs, eating food-like substances, drinking contaminated water, believing in out-dated and obsolete assumptions.
In the Patriarchal system in which we find ourselves, most "big" decisions are made by men who are relying on out-dated and obsolete assumptions. Patriarchal systems seek to "tame" nature and control its FLOW. They seek to control people and things. They seek to engineer the weather, the air, the thoughts and the aspirations of the citizens. They always seek to thoroughly dominate women. And they always seek to repress or fully control art, music, literature, and self-expression. They are always sexually repressive. They do not tolerate dissent or individuality.
They are, essentially, anti-life.
These old warhorses made from the pipe-dreams of old, wizened, dominant males no longer serve our species.
They are as outworn as the ox-drawn cart, as civilized as the Spanish Inquisition, and as workable as a Rube Goldberg Machine.

Finally, what do I see happening?
Here's what it is, and it isn't a bad thing.
Those of us who are mutable, with aspirations to be better human beings, with dynamic core systems and a healthy love of life, will make the switch.
Those of us who cling to the old ways will have a very very hard road ahead.
Those of us who accept other humans based on their character rather than their appearance or belief-systems or sexual identity or orientation will be able to see and feel life living through us.
Those of us who judge others, who speak negatively of other "kinds" of humans, will reap no benefit from the coming tide of change. They will resent it and actively try to prevent it. They will fail.
As life lives itself through us, our world will change. “When you change the way you look at a thing, the thing you are looking at will change."

all the little children
all the sweet and small
living life together
loving one and all
all the lovely children
playing in the sun
we’ll be happy anywhere
long as we are ONE

Being your self. What a dangerous concept!

Sometimes, getting only halfway there IS the entire trip.

All that we need may be found in the weed.

Anything that I put in my mind now becomes my reality.

You complete the circle of my self.

Believe me, you will have more sex if you get off of Facebook.

We will all see ourselves as One someday
but meanwhile there will be hell to pay.

"God" has become nothing more than man's excuse to act like an ass.

"I'm not comfortable with the idea of a Celestial Dictator." —Stephen Hawking

We all were born to love and be loved. We were all born as a result of cosmic superimposition—the merging of two bodies, whether microscopic liaisons or celestial collisions.
We are sacred beings, made of the same stuff the stars are made of. We are all very beautiful.
We do not flourish in slavery. We become deadened by the death all around us.
We seek a better way.
It is foolish, I suppose. Often, we fix a thing only to have it slip back into its own repetition, as if bad things were needed so that good things could stand against them. I do not like this arrangement. I did not create it.
But I am needed to stand against the crimes of others. Many others want everything. They want what I have. They want what you have. They want it all. They lie, steal, kill, yet there are usually enough of us to fight this plague.
And if there are not enough of us, I will still fight to see it fall, even if I am alone.
They may kill me, but not the ideas I carefully hold like a small, precious bird in my hands and my heart. I wish to see the end of slavery. I wish to see the end of war. I wish to see my sisters and brothers set free.
I will eventually die but others will come to replace me.
They will come holding the same small bird.

To a friend:
You are authentic, and more so than in the usual meaning of that word. We are sailors, we are captains. We are explorers. The stars guide us, the sails unfold. We are adrift where the only true ally is our own courage. Our courage becomes an emotion. We cast off from the shore and we visit many paradises. We have seen many things and much good, much evil. We are beautiful in our passage. All these things I see in the photos of your face. Your many familiar face(s). It is familiar because I look at her every day in the mirror. You, that is. Oh, my hair thins and my teeth are less than wonderful, and my back hurts from time to time. I be "a-slitherin' up to da boneman . . ." but I still be authentic. If I go bald and lame, I'll still be, like you, me.

This empty, frightened feeling
like lead in my veins
has been here all along.
When you came to me
and took my heart
I was ready to begin breathing again.
Living, however, is a danger
only magnified by it’s own resilience,
and escape is near impossible.
My father chased my mother
around the house,
inside and outside—he was fire itself,
ignited by bad beer and self-deception.
The roar of his charge was
fear and dread to a child born only for love.
My mother, despite her weight
and swollen legs
ran from him in short steps
befitting a geisha—
already hobbled, trained, beaten
and subdued.
Still, she moved fast.
She died early, as did he.
It was a cloudy, dark, silent death.
The empty feeling, the
lead in my veins, is gone, and
in its place is you.
You brought me here to this
place behind and beyond time,
and it worked. I forgave myself.
You complete the circle of my self.

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to other, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” - Sonmi 451 in the movie “Cloud Atlas”

Over and over again, I am reminded that evolution goes in two directions, forward and backward.

Many do not understand the nature of time.
Forward motion on a conveyor belt is an illusory version of time. Most people choose to live in the past, semi-embedded in amber. But even the past changes in reaction to human perception, and thus affects the future. Lies about the past also alter the future. 
As a Senator recently said of "trickle-down" economics, "Have we learned nothing in 60 years?" Really, we have learned little in several million years. We are human.
The "present" is the most human of illusions. It is even possible to dispose of the concept of a "present" altogether. We live between what was and what we create, what will be.
"Whatever I think or feel becomes my reality."
Thus it's vital to think and feel truthfully, honestly, and with self-love and forgiveness.

I will continue to create new and hopefully positive changes in myself and those around me—I will endeavor to bring special, unique, and astoundingly variant themes into reality. My joy is change. and this is good because the Universe is with me on that one. And it is needed on so many fronts.
I love people. To be a part of this world at this time is a great opportunity.
We hurt ourselves when we seek to be all the same.
And we judge our reality too harshly as we do ourselves and our neighbors. We are not primarily our faces or our bodies or our genders or our jobs. We are our true selves, spirits, souls, magic star-stuff, and there are many ways to be helpful. We are all different and in that lies our connection to each other.
I sometimes think that the pain we have endured and the great gains we have made may spread outward like ripples in a pond and bring balance and harmony to people with very different pursuits.
MLK is a great source of inspiration. For every person, in every age, across every illusory boundary, our work will hopefully change the Earth.

In the USA, high school is where you go to learn false pasts written by prejudicial historians who bend history to fit their versions of reality. Thus, they change the future. Many attendees are recruited for the "forever war". There is also much carryings on, drinking, drugs, sex, rock'n roll, and ennui. This is followed by a morbid 45 years at a job one hates and is not trained for. Correction: in this new age, it is followed by 45 years of 45 jobs that one loathes. After all of this, retirement! A brief 7-8 years with the "sick-care" system and then a slow, painful death. Tip: they're stingy with the morphine. I will say this though: it IS an education. A real education. I abstained and consequently, I survived.

SpaceTime is an immovable point.
We move around it to create space, we travel forward and back to create time.
When we understand that past, present, and future are the same thing, we are free to think and move in more than 3 dimensions.

If we measure and judge our world on the book covers instead of the books, we will only read the worst.

A reputation built solely on other's opinions of you is unworthy of you. 

None of us want the world to be like this, and I still believe that most people don't either. It is criminal, this abuse and slavery disguised as "commerce". It will only fall away when the rigid codes, belief systems, dogma, religions, moral laws—and the outworn concept of "the natural order of things"—become useless as a defense for bigotry and hate. How we do this, none of us TRULY knows. But there is power in numbers and our numbers grow. We can no longer be silent at this time in history. It is time to write our own history. Let's remain optimistic as much as is possible. They want us to hurt. We are stronger than that. This is very close to revolution, and evolution often ignites dangerous opposition. Love and beautiful lives . . . I wish this for all of my sisters and brothers.

THEM
The Poetry of our blood is pilfered
for the edification of a select few.
For the rest, nothing.
The primitive things . . . pianos,
bands, musicians, artists, writers,
soon gone.
In darkness, they turn our friends into
informants, software shadows,
instruments of data storage and retrieval,
while censoring our passion for our tribe.
Our lifelong commitments to others?
Unnecessary artifacts of youth.
We pollute our own air so that our
children will not be able to breathe.
And our food? They are busy creating
engineered food substitutes for the
masses of slaves They have created, the
masses of the sick, the lame, the insane.
(Did you notice?
The children are smaller
this year.)
The hope we had when we were children,
the excitement of surprise, the gathering of
family around a table at Thanksgiving,
the lavish amounts of real food set before us . . .
gone. They do not need Thanksgiving and are
slowly phasing it out. Every day,
they are well fed, and need give thanks
to no one.
And what did they prioritize as necessary,
what did they preserve for us?
Junk food and coke. Drugs of all kinds. Wars without end. Reality shows. Contact sports. Ball games. Gladiator warfare. Jobs that steal the will to live. Soil in which little may grow. Music without humanity. Art without soul. Food without nutrients. Air that causes asthma in our children. Bills that creep up higher each month. Housing that is substandard or unattainable. A way of living that is unsustainable. Oceans without fish. Democracy without votes. Capitalism without regulation. Tax-exempt religions. Tax-exempt corporations.
And the opiate of this age of loneliness,
coded by their minions, just for us, Facebook.
They have stolen our world
and still we do not see it, do not complain.
They reduce our life-span so that we will have no
Elders. Thus we will soon have no oral history.
They record everything that we write on their devices.
Every item we buy, any word we search for,
every place we go to, they collect and study.
They wish to know how and what we think.
( It is as if we are living under the rule of an army of
alien invaders from another galaxy.)
We do not speak their language.
They do not speak ours.
They are here to take what little we have left.
They speak of the “natural order of things.”
They champion Darwinism, of how, in the jungle,
only the strong survive.
Yet now, even our strong of body perish.
They have created this jungle and its cardinal rule:
Only the rich will survive,
only the greedy will thrive.
They forget the lessons of history because
they have erased or rewritten so much of it.
A nation of slaves is a dangerous formula,
a maw of revenge waiting for ignition into motion,
a juggernaut that cannot be controlled.
They are now our enemy.
They forget how strong the sick and deprived can be
when the chains that hold us become so painful
that the only thing left is to break the chains
without caring whether we live or die.
We who do not care so much for living
become remarkably violent when necessary.
Perhaps this time approaches for them.
Perhaps it is time for them to leave this planet.
It was good here before they came.
(Have you noticed
how frail the children are
this year?)
Jessica Williams, May 16, 2015