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necessary whispers

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Month

May 2016

Dripping Needles

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(Photo Credit: Photographer Robert Hutinski.  http://www.robert-hutinski.com)

 

 

Why do so many gifted Musicians

Cloud the mind

With smoke or

Liquid spiraling through

Needles

Capturing and releasing

Needs and wills

Like prisoners

Escaping

From barless jails

Where notes and melody

Hang around their necks

Likes keys

For entry and

Release

Freedom

There—

Right there—

The tune vibrates

Twists the stomach

Like an orange

Juices unceasing

Pressure decreasing

Flowing down the arm

Sweet like honey

Flies policing sugar

Something sweet

Already something sweeter

Coursing through

The veins of

The remains of

So many

Makers of music.

 

 

Why was it not enough

The escape of the trumpet moaning

The bass and

The dusty, muddy groaning

The exhales and

The alto wails and

The way the skirts of women

Flutter in the dark

Make love between

The flicker and the spark of

A cigarette lit in a

Smokey room where only

Silhouettes give form to the tune

And the story and

The dilapidated glory of the

Mundane

Exhaulted in a sweet refrain

To make kings of average men

To set high

The low and even

The lower

But in music

The sowers of

Wild kingdoms in our midst.

 

 

The rush and the panic

Of swells and vibratos

Should have

Could have

In dreams of such power

As is wielded in swords and in

Measures full blown

Like helium balloons

Air creeping in

Then sweeping in and

In the crescendo

Screaming in

Before the burst and the

Truth of the moment

In the song that moves us along

From a place of not knowing

To a grand understanding

Without planning but

Feeling

Repealing the logic

That moves and shapes

In ordinary days

No longer concealing

The core and the

Unaltered shore where our minds

Sink into sand but for

The tide that rolls in and

Pulls back to reveal

A treasure

Laying wide

Open

A chasm to divide

The would’s and the should’s and the

Is.

 

 

The war that I wage

Is not against the drug

But the substance that

Drags

So many healers—

The musicians

Who climb in the holes

Dug by the dealers and the

Stealers—

The substance of misery

Lifeline of dead escape

When the dream and

Reality

Fail to create

The explosion of

The illusion of

Euphoria

In the form of

Love

Being loved by all

Euphoria

Like a hole cut in the center

Draining the cancer of

Doubt and

Disappointment

All the way out and

The running from

Running to a life

That is new

Sinking through the old

Burying the untold

The lies

The goodbyes

The setting aside of

Innocence and,

“But I thought it would be

like that,”

In an actuality of this’s.

 

 

 

The escape

Like a bait

Switched in a moment

Too late

So many

Who were great

Now great

But for an hour

Only an hour

And then devoured

Devoured not by passion—

Which would have

Been enough—

But by the dissonant refrains of

The resounding chords of

Escape

From images of

Switchblade visages

About which they sang

The nooses from which they hang

The track marks

With names and

The steady progression of

One more way to

Kill the pain.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Barbed Wire Love

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(Photo Credit: This poem was inspired by American artist John Casey‘s piece entitled, Barbed Wire Love 2016, acrylic on panel 16 x 16″.  http://www.johncasey.com)

 

 

His love is the color of shade

The way it fades

Inside a forest of trees

Leaves clapping in the wind

Like applause

Or like a storm approaching

A warning.

 

 

Dutifully he bows to the dark

Inside and out

A student of drought

A professor of doubt

Encompassed by the notion that

A subtle devotion to

Hopelessness is inevitable for all.

 

 

His name is Bitterness

Not as his birth

But—

He secured it like a title

Crowned with barbed wire

Reigning over the past and

His subjects are called Denial.

 

 

His legs are roots

Sink all the way in

Comingle with worms

Threading wooded tangles

Out of sight

Pulling him toward the earth

With sinister deference and delight.

 

 

The light in his eyes

Is no illusion, instead

His soul hiding inside

Enshrouded extrusion

From a dream that flew away

Like a bubble reflecting a flame

Or a Crow whose been terminally maimed.

 

 

His hands once reached into

A golden flame

Lips that melted like marshmallows

Hips that followed the curve of a guitar

A neck as delicate as Springtime stems

Eyes that spiraled much too far

Into the core of him.

 

 

As the base of fire paints hues

Of blue and

Scorches at a sweltering degree

So his vitality was

Burned

Inside and out

Peeled off and shredded

Pulpy pieces of flesh

Fell between the teeth

Of cockroaches and dragons

Nefarious creatures refreshed

By the shedding of his waking death

And here is where it came,

The rain.

 

 

Gentle in its falling—

Nature cannot be blamed

She only releases what she obtains—

Painful as it dripped between

The sinews and pustules

Laboring like slaves to build

A bridge or a grave.

 

 

There he stands

Still today

A memorial to

His yesterday

A cautionary man

Oozing to convey

What this deluge weighs

And the price that he paid

To turn on his soul

And lose the control

He imagined

He could hold

Between his skin and

The story she told.

 

 

My forgiveness

Greets his pain

Extends a hand with skin

Soft

As an approaching refrain

Set to the tune of a distance

Horn like Jazz

Or like a call

To step through

The wall and the rain

Feet still shackled

Hands still raw—

No matter—

It is

The mind

That must be freed

Before the flesh

Stands

From the comfort or

The temptation

To crawl.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

 

Maggots, Lovers and Losers

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(Photo Credit: German painter Ruprecht von Kaufmann‘s piece, Xerxes 2015. http://rvonkaufmann.com/home/)

 

 

What you do not see

Is

She

Survives

More yet

She fights

And she

Is no stranger

To anything

You offer

Or pretend to offer—

An offering of taking

Which is no charity

At all

But

An encompassing

Release of your own

Need

Without knowing

She sees

What you ask

Sees

What you take

Sees

What you leave in your wake

And

The time you are willing

To waste—

She has lived a life

Much longer

Than you realize

(Oops)

To realize

You would have to

Pay attention to

She

And forget yourself

For a while.

 

 

If you want to see

Pull out your eyes

Wipe off the lies

Squish the green between your fingers

And watch the inside

Come alive

Like maggots

Escaping

Your decaying

Cavity—

Poor maggots

Who chose the wrong feast

Forced to leave a warm meal

Inside a putrid

Beast

To follow the purer scent of

The outside world.

There is a world—

Her world

Of he’s—

Who came before

Who washed up

On the shore

Of her heart

Actually, what means more,

Of her mind—

She understands more

Than she will say

Saying it all

Never equals the

Total

(The all)

Instead the meanings fray

And tumble away

From careless ears

That stray

But tumbling away

Is not an intentional

Choice.

 

 

She sees your defenses

Imagined you might be

Different

But you

Never

Are—

He or he or he

Never was and

You are not as extraordinary

As you yourself

Quietly Deem.

 

 

So she wakes

From the dream

She hoped would persist

In waking

Instead

Puts her feet on the ground

Her head once reeling

Now

Steady in the approach

And quietly discerning

It was

Is

You

Who cannot know

How to find her

And she

Who comprehended you

And

It

(You know)

It—

The kick in the balls,

Advances and withdrawals

Infused with emotion

But cheap

Like bottom-shelf liquor

And fear

A little too raw to pull

And pushing away

Like, “I”ll go” and

“I’ll stay”—

She knew it all

Long ago.

 

 

It is no weakness

Only tattered bleakness

Fractured beams of light

In an otherwise

Consummate darkness

That teach her

Who you are.

You

Are no longer needed, dear

Disappear

If all you can muster

Has been rallied

Adjust your game

There is no use

For playing here

She will know the rules

Before you lay the cards,

Call your bluff—

You will say you are

All in

And your words—

Placid lies—

Will materialize and

Somehow

You will lose the gamble—

Your ego and

Delusion falsely conspired to

Outwit your self-illusion with

The poisonous infusion of

Naiveté to imagine

You were not playing with

Real money

Or

With

Fire.

 

 

She will tell you

The game is over—

Believe—

You don’t have to pretend

Take the dividends and

Walk away

Further—

Go ahead,

Further, go—

The house never loses,

Player.

 

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Primal Rest

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(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German artist Thorsten Dittrich‘s piece, Katharsis.  http://www.thorstendittrich.de)

 

He held me

Suspended

Like a cloud—

Air above

Beneath

Around

Weightless

Somehow

Waiting—

Even as the sun rose—

To fall.

 

 

All

In a day

All

The way

Down

Along the path

Between

Pain

Vague in consistency

To the textured warmth

Of a soul unseen.

 

 

Soulfully

He pulled me in

The rest of the way—

Floating

Buoyant in my approach

Now captured between

The weight

Of his intellect and

The lightness

Or the brightness

Of his passion.

 

 

Side by side

Our dichotomies stood—

Emotion kissed

Philosophy and

Science held hands with

A sense of wonder

While

Face to face

The whole

Of our parts

Emerged.

 

 

It was as though

There was a world

More

To know

And yet

The knowing came

Slow

Dripped down like

Wax

Under the glow of

Fated recognition.

 

 

He

An old soul

Eyes open wide

With no skin

To hide his secrets in

And I

Content to detect

Without certainty

What splashed

Below his surface

And inside of me.

 

 

Converging

Our isolations—

Denying the desolation

Amongst

Ruthless ruins

In a world

Sharp with fear—

We

Lingered and

Whispered grace

Into and around our ears.

 

 

He cradled my neck

In the space

Between cloudiness and

Shadows growing tall

In the setting sun—

Safety in his

Humility and

Ability

To perceive fragility inside

Fragmented pieces

Of me.

 

 

Together

We glued

Our broken pieces

Made something new

Imperfect

But true

Traveled

On the strength of

The currents and

Trust like a draft

Winding through.

 

 

He held me tight

As I released—

With no words

Like a beast

Confessing to a priest—

Primal moans

That stabbed my bones

Tore through my skin

And pierced my heart—

Blood poured down my chest

And then it came:

Rest.

 

 

Floating and

Falling

Surrounded by you—

Above

Beneath

Around—

No sound

Only what I could not say

Whistling between the air

And your courage

To stay.

 

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

The Kiss

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(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German and French artist Emmanuel Bornstein‘s piece, The Kiss, 200 x 300 cm, oil on canvas, 2015.  Courtesy Galerie Crone, Berlin Wien.  Fotos: Marcus Schneider, Berlin.  www.emmanuelbornstein.com)

 

Within me

(One)

Are many—

I stand before

A hall of dreams

In the shape of

Experiences made

Both

Fair and unbalanced trades

Of who I am and

Who I cannot

Be.

 

 

I sit in this gallery

Of my imagination

Hover above

The movement and

Stagnation

Looking for

Patterns—

Logic—

Keeps me safe

Amidst the mingling.

 

 

The sound of a projector

Clicks

Slowly first

And then

Like a train

Clunking along the tracks

I am lulled by

The sound

Hypnotized by

Flickering light

And by sight—

 

 

I understand the staying

And the leaving

The letting go

The cleaving

Left and right

Up and falling

Down

The subtle

Entertainments

Like a clown—

 

 

Confusing

Are the shades—

Shadows dripping

In between

Choices made and

Consequences delayed

Like wax

Rolling from my tongue

Flaming with

Lies—

 

 

Shocked by spies

I did not realize

Hidden

Inside the eyes

Of masked

Faces

I thought—

But thought wrong—

I understood

Or

At least,

Trusted.

 

 

Spinning above

A clue—

Vacuous subtlety

Sucks me out of

Reason

Spits me onto

The shoes of

Risk

Actions taken

Reactions forsaken—

What are the questions

I should ask?

 

 

Falling into the dance

Floating limp

Entranced by

What I see

Because

I thought

What I felt

Was Real

Illusions encircle

Delusions surround

Heavy with vision

Surprised by

The lack of sound.

 

 

Brushing past

These memories

A second time

I feel

What I denied

In the moment

When first they flew by—

Objective

In review of life

A rebellion of

Discovery—

The shades of

Subjectivity

Perceiving

Inside the reeling

I finally have a feeling

I was wrong.

 

 

I want to travel in

To unravel all

The meaning

The goodness

The sin

But instead of

Losing myself therein

I will choose one

Moment to rescind

My faulty impression

And then leave

Once again this hall of

Recollection.

 

 

The kiss.

 

 

It split my core

Side by side

Once one

Now two of me

Floating free

In airless chambers

Awaiting destiny

Now I see

I built a case

For future disgrace

Called it true

But now

Upon review

I see

You tilted me

Then let me go

Let me fall

When

What I called deep

Was actually small—

I never should have dipped

Into the angle

The descent

Is the fault

I carry

Or drop

When I think of you.

 

 

Okay. It’s true.

I was wrong

To believe

Weak and

Deceived

Crushed by the weight

Of the moment

The denouement

Just after the peak

I wanted—

Instead of received—

You to speak

Truth

And so I heard

What I wanted to hear.

 

 

Within me

(One)

Are many—

But now one less

Than there were

Before

I acquiesce to

The hall of dreams

Laying down

As an offering,

Reality.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

The Day Before You

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(Photo credit:  This poem was inspired by German artist Thorsten Dittrich‘s piece, Even Though You’re Just a Stranger.  http://www.thorstendittrich.de)

 

It was a normal day

The day before

The kind of mundane

Marked by sky and

Sun

Wind and

Boredom

When pulling the label

From a bottle of beer

Takes the place of

Work or

Conversation or

Attempts to shape

What is unclear to

Clear.

 

 

The day before

I took the train

Read a book about—

Now I can’t remember—

My thoughts escaped

Reality detained

In the lives of other people

Awake

And I dreaming

Outside

The world passing by

My seat vibrating

With movement

And I

Contained.

 

 

The air was cold

The day before

I drank coffee

Sweet

Like caramel

It kept me warm

While waiting for

Inspiration

To inform

My scattered thoughts

Subdued

Waiting for

Renewed vision

To take hold

To make me bold.

 

 

The day before

There was ringing

In my ears—

Now I understand

The interplay

Of body

And reality

Like a clock

Were warning me

Alerting

Something to foresee

A chaos

Beautiful

Filled with symmetry

Approaching me—

 

 

I forgot to notice the moon

The day before

My eyes to the floor

And lost

In cracks

On the sidewalk

Dripping down

Between pavement

And the ground

Beneath

Where things

Where people

Who are lost

Drown and

Fade like memories.

 

 

The day before

I fell asleep

In clothes I wore

And dreamt of

Something

In between

Flickers of light

Television on and

Dark of night

Surrounding me

Without holding

Comforting

Without touching

Speaking

Without needing.

 

 

I grinned

The day before

Content

With who

I knew myself to be

Caught my visage

In a mirror

Stopped

Straightened my hair

An isolated moment

Aware

Of just enough

To feel

The just enough

I knew was true.

 

 

The day before

I could not know

The glow

That would hold

Me captive

In the space

Between my soul and

The beauty of your face

Paralyzed by

Being alive

For a reason more—

No treason more

Than this:

The day before is gone

Today

Tomorrow

Tomorrow again

You are my dawn.

 

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Gravity

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(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German artist Ruprecht von Kaufmann‘s piece, Die Flucht von Ogigya 2014.  http://rvonkaufmann.com/home/)

 

All of myself fell out

Into atmosphere

With no gravity to

Keep me there

I spun

Like a Ferris Wheel

Rolling away

Picking up speed and

Dizzying vomit spilled

From my mouth and

From my heart

The contents of which

Died on the way out

Poured all over the concrete

Where people passing by

Slipped

Tripped

Because they were subject

To the pull

The Earth’s center

Kept them steady while I

Rolled and rolled

Away.

 

 

In a moment of sense

I jumped from my seat

And flew toward

The clouds

Thick with rain

Withholding liquid inside

Like my eyes

Holding tears

Because tears floating up

Make no sense

It’s like a dance

With your head on the ground

Your feet in the air

And silence instead of music—

Tears are a waste of time

In this floating

Of mine

No time

To stop

So I continued

My journey

Into space

A safe and quiet place.

 

 

Halfway there

A memory

Came to me

Occurred to me

One thing below

I could not let go

I panicked

Grabbed onto a star

Prayed to the moon

To change the tide

To let me glide

Slowly

Like a bird

Gently

Like a bee

Quickly

Like a stone

Down

Was the only way

To regain

What was lost

No time

To count the cost.

 

 

A vessel came

Careening away

From an alien bay

Where boats and dreamers

Cannot stay

I borrowed its gravity

Held tight with all my

Might and

Depravity

We glided

Sailed

Drifted

Fell

Back to the Earth

Where my recollections

Lived and

Life promised to give

Something real

Instead of stale

Something broken

But broken is okay

As long as it is

Real.

 

 

On my way

Slipping back

A bird

On the downward side

Of the atmosphere

Saw my need

Picked up his speed

Pulled me through the ozone and

Like a friend

Listened to my tale

Inhaled

My exhaled tearless

Cry

Hidden behind a vale

Of numbness

Breathless songs

Sounding more like

Cymbals and like gongs

Loud

Impatient drums

Telling stories from my heart

Divulging what I could not

Impart.

 

 

Once again

Under a violet sky

My friend lead the way

To a place I could stay

Lent me gravity

Injected it

Into my feet

I stood upright

On the street and

Watched

The last of the Ferris Wheel

Roll away

Like a creature

Escaping its prey

Like pain

Stray and

Homeless

Running—

And I walked

In the opposite direction

Saw my reflection in

Windows I passed and

Recognized myself.

 

 

The moment emerged

Called to me

From St. Michael’s clock

When it was

The time

The hour

The minute

The second

To face

The clarion memory

That called me back

To the soil

From which my flying feet

Preferred to escape—

I headed East

To seek my peace

Wet

With sweat and

Fear and maybe

Doubt and yet

The time—

Ticking like a bomb or

Like a wristwatch.

 

 

I walked through the door

As he sat on the floor

Surprised to see me

There

Not prepared—

Neither he nor I

To my surprise—

And I waited for the words

To appear

Invisible they stayed

Because words know

When to speak

And when to

Silently pray

For a better way

To express the truth

They melted into the

Slats of wood

So I was naked with

No sword

No armor except

The reason I came,

And so stumbled my tears.

 

 

I sat

With my plea

Felt my safety

Beneath me—

Words—

Thought in colors

Instead

Purple

Yellow

Red

Then in images

Tucked away

Then in music

Then

Touch

The touch of his hand

My scattering thoughts

Stilled

Gathered into one

No other place

I would rather be

Finally

Gravity.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

Stay.

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(Photo Credit: This poem was inspired by German artist Gabriele Schlesselmann‘s piece, Observation.  http://www.gabriele-schlesselmann.de)

 

Peter pressed the issue

About the past

He said it is a bridge

Collapsing behind

With every step

In space or in the mind

The sound of crumbling

Is all that remains.

 

 

Anna disagreed

And touched

The back of her head

She said,

“The past is braided

here next to my skull

interwoven threads attached

cascading down.”

 

 

The debate rolled around

Like a tumble weed

Dry and filled

With agitation and

With wind and

Picking up the dust

Of misunderstanding and of

Disconnection.

 

 

“But I remember,”

Said Anna, and

“I do too,”

He whispered into

The air heavy with

Distance between

Her admission and his

Isolation.

 

 

Invisible walls

Erected between

Murky like swamp water

Disorienting like smoke

Thin like clouds—

And if he looked with only eyes

He would have turned away

Like fear.

 

 

In his imagination

He was strong

Moving along

The path in between

His hesitation and

Her vacillation

Conquering impending

Devastation.

 

 

Peter felt bolts

Screw through his feet

Into the floor

Caught between

Tomorrow and

Before

The middle of the moment

Weighted like an anvil.

 

 

He felt like a clown

Tears rolling down

Behind a mask of

White painted on

A smile red

Withdrawn

From the truth

Within.

 

 

Anna said a simple thing,

“You are afraid

of the future

and I run from

the past

maybe the middle

is all

we have.”

 

 

Something true

Like a bolt of lightning

Filled the room

Forced

Confusion to scatter

Like bugs or

Like demons

Who dwell in the dark.

 

 

They stood in the colors

That splash

Onto eyelids pulled down

After sunlight exposes

Reality

Leaving only

Shapes and pigments

Behind.

 

 

Peter did the thing

That frightened him

Most

And Anna met him

Halfway

He stepped into the future

She let go of the past

From the middle she whispered,

“Stay.”

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

This is the song I listened to on repeat as I wrote this poem.  It is called “Samantha,” by Matthew Halsall:

 

Thank You, Readers and Artists.

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For my 100th post to Facebook, I would like to do two things: one, share the reason I began this blog in the first place.  Two, I would like to extend thank you’s to those of you who read my posts and to the artists who have allowed their work to be featured here.

 

First of all, I am amazed at how Necessary Whispers has transformed and how it has transformed me. I began my first blog post as a result of encouragement from several people who told me, repeatedly, that I should write in a more public forum. Some might call their methods of encouragement “badgering” but I will save this judgment for my own personal thoughts.   Alas, the week I finally began was the week a good friend of mine said, “Jill, stop thinking about what you should write and write what you want to write. Bang the drum and your tribe will appear.”

 

I love that metaphor: bang the drum and your tribe will appear. My tribe, of course, did appear. And I believe they will continue to come near.  One of the things I have learned through my writing is that if we share our thoughts, ideas and stories honestly, we will soon learn that we are not alone.

 

Something unexpected and perfect happened about midway through my posting. I was on Facebook one evening looking through strangers’ photographs–as I am wont to do when I am searching for inspiration–when I stumbled upon a painting by Heiko Müller. I had no idea who Heiko was at the time but I kept thinking about that painting. So, eventually, I found it again and I asked him if I could write the story that I saw in his painting and then use the image on my blog.  I was so grateful when he said yes.

 

The reason I even thought to write about that first painting was because I used to go to art museums, sit in front of large paintings or sculptures and write what they made me feel. Sometimes my feelings would begin to shape themselves into stories and, usually, those stories would remain untold because I always thought, “Who cares. It’s a waste of time to write stories I will never share.” Perhaps every artist—whichever kind of artist he or she may be—struggles with the question, “Who is my audience?” When I was sitting on dirty museum floors I had no idea who would listen. Or read. So I gave up.

 

Now, however, through the generosity of several amazing artists, I have found the courage to write a number of pieces to the end. Each of the artists who have entrusted their work to my hands has supported a desire in me that has laid dormant for years: to be a writer. The words “thank you” do not feel adequate enough to express my gratitude to each of the artists. And yet . . . thank you from the bottom of my heart, in order of appearance:

 

Heiko Müller, http://www.heikomueller.de

Gregory Crewdson

Conny Stark, http://www.diemalerin-connystark.de/home.html

Boje Arndt Kiesiel, http://www.kiesiel.com

Ruprecht von Kaufmann, http://rvonkaufmann.com/home/

Gabriele Ahrens, http://www.gabriele-ahrens.de/index.php

Thorsten Dittrich, http://www.thorstendittrich.de

moki, http://www.mioke.de

and soon

Gabriele Schlesselmann, http://www.gabriele-schlesselmann.de

 

Incidentally, I have never considered myself a poet. Sure, I have written Shakespearian style sonnets for years but those sonnets are highly structured. There are a set of criterion that must be followed in order to make each sonnet work: 14 lines, each line must be comprised of 10 syllables that follow a pattern of stressed and then unstressed syllables . . . there are a myriad of rules that make the form very technical and safe. My point is that poetry was never my style of choice. And yet, there was something about the stories I saw in Heiko’s pieces that gave me courage to write what I saw in a free form of poetry. I cannot explain how or why this happened but once I felt the words fall from my mind and splash onto my keyboard I realized there was a freedom in being brave enough to write in poetry about images, thoughts, ideas, questions, people, moments, etc. that I would not have dared write about in prose. And yes, I just called myself “brave,” which sounds really prideful. But I hope you won’t think I am filled with artistic pride: I was more surprised than anyone to learn that I could be brave in my writing.  I still have many days when I feel like I am sweating blood as I fight against going back to that “safe place.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. I told myself in the beginning of this process I would probably stop once I reached my 100th post on Facebook. However, now that I am here I feel like I am just beginning. I will continue to bang the drum and be grateful that I have a beautiful tribe with whom I can share my thoughts and who I hope will always feel free to share their thoughts with me.

 

Peace to you,

Jill Szoo Wilson

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