#FWF Free Write Friday: Image Prompt … The Musician

This week Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompt is an image.

walmart-man

” … tell me his story.

By the way, his name is John.”

~*~

The Musician

I’m told his name is John, but he actually prefers Jack.

It’s what his mother called him.

Not that he was a mama’s boy, but she had this idea in her head that if John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States could be called Jack, so could her son … John Fitzsimmon Kennedy ~ named after said President but not so close as to be tacky.

Jack had always hated it. He wanted to be his own man.

His mama’d had hopes for him … big hopes. Hopes he did not share. All he wanted, from the time he was 10 years old, was to be a musician. But not just any musician ~ the best darn harmonica player in the country.

His mama had been none too thrilled with this notion when he’d told her at age 17.

“A musician!” she’d wailed as he finally came out of the career closet. He was cradling his precious harmonica in already farm-weathered young hands. His mama about yanked it from him but he held it closer. She glowered. “And when, pray, did you start entertaining this notion when all along your daddy, God rest his soul, and I have had plans for you to go to law school?”

Jack just shrugged.

“Just come to me, mama,” he shrugged again. “Called me, like. … Saved every penny I could to buy this lonely pipe from the pawn shop after I heard an old fella play his at the local fair. … I been practicin’ in secret in the old cow shed down by the river meadow for years.”

His mama was livid.

“Well, you can’t play it no more, you hear? We got big plans for you, your daddy and I, and you ain’t gonna be no musician.”

“A musician!” she repeated, bereft, with one hand on her heart and the back of the other brushing over her brow with dramatic effect. “Jack Fitzsimmon Kennedy you may as well just shoot me.”

Jack rolled his eyes and walked away. He was going to be a musician whether she liked it or not.

Ever since his daddy had died several years before his mama had ruled with an iron fist, feeling she had to be both parents to the fatherless boy. It was a terrible thing, his father having bled to death after getting his hand caught in the thresher. His mama never got over it. Jack’s uncle and a couple of farm hands  now ran the farm, but Jack had no interest. He’d do his chores grudgingly, waiting for the day he turned 18 and he and his harmonica could high-tail it out of there and travel the country with a rockin’ country band.

It was all he wanted.

His mother didn’t live long enough to wallow in her disappointment. Just before he’d turned 18 she slipped on a frozen cow pat hitting the ground with such force that she broke her neck, dying instantly.

Sad as he was he knew it was his ticket to freedom.

Within days of her burial he’d begun the long trek by greyhound bus from Bantry, North Dakota to Nashville, Tennessee. He was going to be lead singer and harmonica player for a band, any band … come hell or high water.

And he was … for The Rambling Wranglers. Travelled all over the country. Played all the big shows and festivals through the prime of adulthood. His heart’s desire.

But somewhere along the way he’d lost his way. The parties, the women, the drugs. On the road so much he became Jack Fitzsimmon (he dropped “Kennedy” cos he was his own man) of no fixed address.

When I saw him last he was unkempt, unshaven and looking lost, perched on a step looking wistfully into the distance, perhaps remembering better days. In protective hands he cradled his precious harmonica. Slippers replaced his cowboy boots; a battered fedora his stetson.

Perhaps his mama and daddy had been right. Perhaps he should have taken their counsel and become a lawyer. He might have made a hay wagon load of money and lived the high life.

But he’d followed his heart. He’d lived his own high life. The bank account may be almost empty, but his heart was completely full. His hope for a brighter future, even at this stage of the game, clutched in his weathered hands.

Jack turned to look at me. His expression neither happy, nor sad.

“I broke my mama’s heart.” He spoke with an absent neutrality. “But she broke mine worse by not believing in me and my dream.”

Jack turned away. He removed his hat and placed it bowl up at this feet, and then he cupped the harmonica to his lips and played the lilting tones of the haunted soul. I placed a token in his hat and left.

I understood him only too well.

~*~

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreDon’t know where that came from. Edited a little because it was so long and sentences were running on.

Thanks for the challenge, Kellie!

~*~

Herewith an update to The Guarded One as well as the first letter to The Critic.

~*~

Thanks for stopping by …

Be well,

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

#FWF Free Write Friday: Famous Last Words …

free-write-friday-kellie-elmoreIt’s Free Write Friday (well, Saturday for me, now) and Kellie Elmore has issued a most intriguing prompt:

… use your choice of lines as your prompt. They can be the ending lines of your favorite book, or a favorite poem…whichever moved you the most. You may begin your work with the lines, or simply use them as inspiration.

I take my inspiration from American poet, Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ~
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference

~*~

The Next Step

Where Faith Took My Hand

I did not take the road,

The road took me.

It bade me by

The way with

Hints of who-knows-what

To who-knows-where.

Uncertain, I yet followed,

Fear a weight unburdened

At the step

Where faith took my hand

And said, “Fly!”

Oh, how I wanted to fly!

Be free!

See what others may never

See. Be what I never dared

To be.

My soul’s inner journey

To that place where

Truth abides,

Down the road less

Travelled where strength and

Beauty lies.

~*~

I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge everyone who’s stepped in the deep in to follow this blog. It is an expression of the inner journey, so I’m not surprised my response to this week’s challenge unfolded as it did.

~*~

In the spirit of this blog, here’s a link to The Guarded One. This week I posted the next three instalments of letters to this aspect of my Self. For some background on this, please visit Dear Me: A Collection of Letters to Various Aspects of My Self.

~*~

And finally, I’m thrilled to announce that my equestrian blog Musings of a Horse Mom, specifically my post Confessions of a Coaching Intern: Finding Clarity with a Pitchfork and a Song, was Freshly Pressed on WordPress.com this week.

Please take a moment to check it out when you have an opportunity.

~*~

Thanks for stopping by …

Be well,

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Letters to The Guarded One …

Free Spirit

Six weeks or so ago I had a dream.

It remained vivid in my consciousness after I awoke so I wrote it down and shared it later with my therapist.

It occurred to us both, during our discussion, that this dream was introducing to me another aspect of my Self looking for some resolution. This time one of mystery I’ve dubbed The Guarded One.

Click on the image above to connect to The Guarded One.

This series of letters is an ongoing exercise and I will notify you of further updates as they roll out.

A third series, this time addressed to the Critic, is due to begin soon.

Please feel free to spend some time with these letters. Though personal I believe they deal with universal issues to which we can all relate to one degree or another.

Perhaps something you read here will resonate with some lost part of you.

Be well,

Dorothy 🙂

 

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Dear Me: A Collection of Letters Addressed to Various Aspects of My Self

Free Spirit

How often has your life with all its good intentions and dreams been hijacked by some aspect of your Self with whom you just haven’t been able to connect?

Mine has. Many times. So many, in fact, that four years ago I finally enlisted the help of a good therapist to lead me to a new level of self-awareness. I was tired of being middle-aged and feeling broken. Something had to change.

Recently, as part of my therapy, I started writing letters to my Self. This exercise is helping me to connect, through the written word, with the wounded parts of myself that are, subconsciously, getting in the way of my ability to lead a full and happy life.

At its most basic this is a free-writing exercise connecting me to my subconscious.

My issues are not unique.

Abandonment, rejection, isolation, neglect, loss, etc. are universal issues we all experience to a greater or lesser degree. How they manifest, how we act out and how we respond to them is what sets each of us apart.

Finding the strength to look in the proverbial mirror and make the changes necessary to help us heal and move from survivor to thriver is stressful in and of itself.

We build our individual worlds around the way we’ve been programmed. Changing that programming takes self-awareness and courage.

These letters are written with the intention of reprogramming aspects of my Self that are working under old protocols that no longer serve.

For some reason I feel prompted to publish them. Maybe they’ll inspire, in some way, other’s looking for answers. I don’t know. I’m just doing as the muse moves.

This project is entitled ~ “Dear Me: A Collection of Letters Addressed to Various Aspects of My Self.”

The first series of letters, “Dear Panic, is posted in the menu as a static page.

The series is complete as is unless Panic crashes my party again and I need to spend some time talking her down.

Two more series are in the works. Rather than wait until they’re “finished” I’m going to publish them on an ongoing basis. Together we can observe what happens as the series unfold.

When a new letter has been posted to its relevant static page I’ll send out a notice via a post to let you know.

Life is too short to allow emotional pain to be our driving force. Our wheels spin and become stuck in a rut of our own misery.

We either tune up, or tune out.

The choice is ours.

Please feel free to explore these letters. Maybe they’ll resonate with you … maybe not.

Regardless, there is no formula, just a sincere desire to become whole and live my life with my best Self forward.

From my heart to yours … please take care of your Self.

Be well and thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

~*~

Copyright Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013