Drip

Sweat dropped down his back as he inhaled the sweetness of a crowd of hundreds of people.

He knew the day would come and he knew he would be the result of such chaos and excitement.

Appreciation, celebration–for the evolution and brilliance in music.

A can of beer burst open spraying the small crowd in the center and aggressive laughter dominoed. Everyone turned to see a group of frat boys with red faces dripping in beer.

The crowd was

Massive.

Like walking through an explosion of people. The stage was the rocket and everyone wanted on.

He stood tall and pointed at the crowd speaking into the microphone welcoming the students, faculty, and staff.

Someone disrupted his welcome with a yell and everyone turned to see a student standing in a tree. He danced around and some people laughed.

But the explosion was still happening, and the rocket would soon take off, so they turned their attention back to the man on the stage.

He started the countdown and they waited…

They didn’t know but that man built that rocket ship…

And in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 the artists entered the stage and the show  took off.

They all exploded with joy.

It was a moment to stop and appreciate the ones who take life and words and instruments and synchronicity and passion and pain and create…

MUSIC

A moment to celebrate the victory and loss of human life crafted together by a community of often underrepresented groups of people (the musicians, the artists, the lyricists, the songwriters, the creators, the hearts, the minds).

These people are the ones we build the rocket ships (stages) for and it’s them who take us to the stars.


“Music is a core human experience and generative processes reflect cognitive capabilities. Music is often functional because it is something that can promote human well-being by facilitating human contact, human meaning, and human imagination of possibilities, tying it to our social instincts. Cognitive systems also underlie musical performance and sensibilities. Music is one of those things that we do spontaneously, reflecting brain machinery linked to communicative functions, enlarged and diversified across a broad array of human activities. Music cuts across diverse cognitive capabilities and resources, including numeracy, language, and space perception. In the same way, music intersects with cultural boundaries, facilitating our “social self” by linking our shared experiences and intentions.

This draws us together and, as a social species, remains essential to us; a chorus of expression in being with others, that fundamental feature of our life and of our evolutionary ascent. Music is indeed, as Timothy Blanning noted, a grand “triumph” of the human condition, spanning across cultures to reach the greatest of heights in the pantheon of human expression, communication, and well-being. It is in everything (Cross, 1999; Huron, 2001).”

With Love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

Dedicated to The Man on The Stage


The quoted statement above was taken from an article on the Frontiers Media SA website titled “The Evolution of Music and Human Social Capability”, written by Jay Schulkin and Greta B. Raglan (also both being the primary researchers).

Here is a link to the article:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2014.00292/full

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Meeting the Ground

I’d support them while they talked amongst each other. They’d be sitting in those chairs laughing and letting time carry them to peaceful new beginnings.

I thought maybe they forgot about me. Many humans do. I just lay beneath and support the force of gravity from the North to the South Pole everyday since daylight and every night since moonlight.

So, yes when the human man laid on me I was surprised. He welcomed the ground (me) beneath him like he knew I’d been there all this time.

And I have, you know?

The ground beneath you to catch you when you need to rest and shut those heavy eyelids.

A place to meet whatever you want to move you from one place in the universe to another (even planes, helicopters, jets, rockets, drones eventually must come down to meet me if they stay in this planet’s hemisphere). I’m unavoidable and yet, you think I’ll always be here. I have a life too, just so you know. It’s just longer than yours will

Ever be.

The human woman kept walking around on top of me in an anxious rhythm but she caught sight of me holding him up with his arms and legs spread freely–and stopped. Then she laid beside him.

I don’t know why she did it but I know it was because of me.

Because I am a ground that does not discriminate, but only gives without yield or much consequence.

You are free to roam and create but yet some of you choose to stay on me for too long (or are forced to meet me) and I just can’t love you the same because of it.


Consider this, at 100 Queen’s Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada laying on top of me is one of North America’s largest museums and Canada’s largest museum–The Royal Ontario Museum.

Inside of the building I support, along with its walls, the art, the displays holding and showcasing the art, the benches for people to rest, the cafeteria full of children, the childrens’ backpacks hanging from the wooden shelves–you’ll find rooms full of this world’s culture and history.

The main entrance to the museum faces Bloor Street located North of Queen’s Park in the University of Toronto district. This is what it looks like from behind a statue facing the main entrance:

On the top most level you’ll find an exhibit called “The Evidence Room”. Plated on the wall is the following explanation of the exhibit:

“In a landmark libel case in London, expert testimony provided architectural forensic evidence from the remains of the gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz, attesting to the truth of the Holocaust. In models and casts, The Evidence Room traces the work done by German architects between 1941 and 1943 to construct the Auschwitz Camp–a systematic factory for mass murder. The evidence points to the greatest crime committed by architects.”

The exhibit shows models of the doors, swinging open and closed to trap, then remove, what were once hundreds of dead human bodies. The human invention and its control belonged to the people who I supported above. The humans above forced the other humans below. Once below, the humans above would trap the ones below. The ones below listened as hydrogen cyanide pellets fell and soon a gas emerged. The gas did something to the humans below and they wouldn’t breathe anymore after breathing the gas. Sometimes numbers of up to 2,000 would go through the chamber to die at one time.

The ground wouldn’t be good enough for these bodies so you’ll also find evidence of the crematoria in the photos hanging from the walls I’m holding up. The crematoria being the location the humans above ground created to burn the dead human bodies falling to meet me to their death.

I remember this moment in time and even though I still did not discriminate yet another human invention, after they forced the planet’s soil to the sides and forced the other humans inside to die, I wondered if I had been in on the crime. Without me, where would all of those human bodies have laid to die?


I embraced these two creatures as I embrace any and all of you. You who stop to lay out and cease the moment. The moment of appreciation for me. For me being here all this time to witness you carry your hearts as I carry you to what they desire.

I am vast and I am true to my cause. Truth recognizes truth. I support the weight of this world, including its pasts, presents, and supposed-to-be futures, whether you see me or not.

But when you do notice me, I welcome you back to the moment. It just seems like I am only seen by some of you.

And many of you force others to meet me–the ones who should be running across my lands with freedom, love, and acceptance.

The innocent ones.

Photos below taken from the following website:

https://www.azcentral.com/picture-gallery/news/politics/immigration/2014/06/18/first-glimpse-of-immigrant-children-at-holding-facility/10808687/


Here is another link with details on what exactly a U.S. migrant detainee facility is and its comparison to a concentration camp, like Auschwitz:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/childrens-concentration-camp/

The most astounding fact I noted in the article above was the progress of Judge Dolly Gee:

“Immigration advocates fought back, and last year in the Federal District Court for the Central District of California, Judge Dolly Gee made a ruling that helped their case. In her decision last July, the judge said the centers were in “deplorable” condition, and that they failed to meet even minimal standards. Gee pointed to a 1997 ruling that determined the government cannot treat a child in detention as it would an adult. She ordered the Obama administration to release the migrant kids from both Texas centers.”

Even she argued the conditions of the detainee facilities as deplorable, which means the conditions subject the “detainees” or children, to feelings of unworthiness, dishonor, and shame.

Come on America–

How many more must meet the ground for us to feel it beneath us?

With Love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

Sanctuary

There was this place.

And she really liked it because she just did. She didn’t need to explain herself but she could if she wanted to.

The walls were different colors and the smell of paint lingered everyday in new ways. Fresh paint, flaked paint, dust mixed with paint–the sweetness filled the main floor.

Furniture decorated the rooms in interesting ways, yet profoundly dynamic. Like a picture might be leaning against the wall not hung up and collecting dust, but the painting justified the dirty crime committed of neglect. Always a project or an idea one could finish creating someday in a 3 legged wooden chair or with a piece of bottle glass from the ocean.

This house promised everything but had nothing.

She and anyone else would leave only to come back. Sometimes she’d see how long she could stay away just for fun.

She really liked this house. She liked coming back.

The room she spent most of her time was were the sofas matched the color of the floors but not without intention. And in contrast, the tapestried rug in the room’s center broke up the affair with its deep, dark shades. The wall she faced to exit the room and the house itself revealed the rug’s lush color with its own mysterious matching shade. But only this wall had been painted as such. Only the exit wall. The other walls matched the sofa–like the floors–with inviting brightness.

Everything intentional in this house. Nothing to give but everything to promise.

The windows were the first thing she’d see walking into the room. Windows. Glass panes with wooden frames double layered carefully. Curtains drawn most times to show the trees, that old dirt road beyond the creek, and the reminder of green on earth.

Green, so green.

She could breathe when she stepped into the house; the room. But every room in the house promised peace and love. Just didn’t have nothing. She’d sit their for hours. She’d laugh at time. She’d sweat. She’d sleep. She’d eat. She’d do it again the next day. This house loved her. She really liked this house.

Then she stopped laughing one day. The end didn’t come with surprise. She had started to spend more time away. Laughing at time in other places.

She started to forget what was everything in all that nothing. Even sometimes after being reminded.

She didn’t know why she’d waste away. She just believed the houses promises and most times didn’t even understand why she did.

Only the house had nothing. She couldn’t accept the nothingness from the house. Maybe she didn’t need to.

But she accepted it anyway.

At night they’d plug in Christmas lights to highlight the hallway floor and around the outline of the room. The lights made her sleepy and excited. Excited for the morning. She believed morning would always come, but naively. Because she really liked the house in the morning.

She’d wake up to light pouring through the sliding shutters and music playing gently beyond her bedroom walls. There was never a fragrance of bacon or eggs but on good mornings, there was coffee.

She’d lay there unmoving at first. The house woke her up and demanded her attention. So she stared at the walls and the shutter shadows on the floor before she did anything else.

Sanctuary

Noun, plural sanc·tu·ar·ies.

1 a sacred or holy place.

2 Judaism.

a) the Biblical tabernacle or the Temple in Jerusalem.

b) the holy of holies of these places of worship.

3 an especially holy place in a temple or church.

4 the part of a church around the altar; the chancel.

5 a church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest.

6 immunity afforded by refuge in such a place.

7 any place of refuge; asylum.

8 a tract of land where birds and wildlife, especially those hunted for sport, can breed and take refuge in safety from hunters ❤ ❤ ❤

The house was her sanctuary.

The house made her holy.

Holy – inspiring fear, awe, or grave distress

The house was her temple.

Temple – an edifice or place dedicated to the service or worship of a deity or deities

She was no longer a fugitive in the house.

Fugitive – a person who is fleeing, from prosecution, intolerable circumstances, etc.

The house gave her immunity.

Immunity – special privilege

The house became her asylum.

Asylum-

1 (especially formerly) an institution for the maintenance and care of the mentally ill, orphans, or other persons requiring specialized assistance.

2 an inviolable refuge, as formerly for criminals and debtors; sanctuary:

Thank you for reading.

With Love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤

Canadian Coins are Magnetic

It all started with hives. I’ve never had hives before, but then again it really could’ve started when I picked up “Brain on Fire” by Susannah Cahalan. I sort of bulldozed through the entire first half of the book on my three hour flight from Salt Lake City International to Toronto International Airport. She made me see myself in a new light. The light exposed me in a way where I felt free, but also unsure. That’s all I’ll say about her book for now–just read it. Seriously. It will teach you something about yourself…

I sell wood pellet grills for a living in Costco (Costco Wholesale Corporation, trading as Costco, is an American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs.[4] As of 2015, Costco was the second largest retailer in the world after Walmart,[5] and as of 2016, Costco was the world’s largest retailer of choice and prime beef, organic foods, rotisserie chicken, and wine[6]) and I love my job. I love it in ways I didn’t expect to experience when I first encountered the opportunity back in early November. Good ol’ Kelly B and I got put into the same “money profile” group at a Millionaire Mind Intensive (founded by T. Harv Eker). She and I flew ourselves over to Los Angeles for a follow-up conference known as Master of Influence (MMI). She approached me with such love and fierceness. I remember thinking, Whatever this lady does for a living, I want in. She seemed to read my mind because she invited me to take a chance as a Brand Ambassador of Traeger Wood Fired Grills.

Now here I am in Ontario, Canada for the first time in my life and I am writing this literally surrounded by a bunch of bad ass Canadian teenage boys who tried to start drama with me because they want the computer. No surprise, Canadians are fierce and they hate that Americans invented “fierce”–explains why the immigration rate of Canadian Citizens to the United States is 4x higher than the rate of United States Citizens immigrating to Canada and becoming legal permanent residents (https://www.immigroup.com/news/immigration-united-states-america-vs-canada).

Believe me. I ordered some pizza from a restaurant and on the box the words were boldly printed:

“Authentically Italian. Fiercely Canadian.”

Not that I have anything against Canadians, but I am only sharing my own views and observations based on my experiences so far here.

So here I go back to where it all started…the hives…

I ordered a coffee with milk–just a little dairy. I’ve been strictly dairy-free for two years but from time to time I’d have a little chocolate with milk or some dairy in my coffee…only large amounts of dairy would push my skin to pop and expand around my joints, blood rushing to attack instead of build because of a hyperactive immune system. My diagnosis is Rheumatoid Arthritis (Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints.[1] It typically results in warm, swollen, and painful joints.[1] Pain and stiffness often worsen following rest.[1] Most commonly, the wrist and hands are involved, with the same joints typically involved on both sides of the body.[1] The disease may also affect other parts of the body.) but I see it as some inflammation that speaks to what my soul or spirit needs.

The sales day was almost over and my energy felt low so I purchased a coffee from the Costco food station with–yes, you guessed it–dairy. I drank it down and before I knew it my whole body became warm. It started in my feet with a tingling sensation and then intense itching. Then it spread to my hands and wrists. I looked at the underside of my forearms and stared in amazement at the tiny red bumps that flooded over my soft skin.

What the hell is going on? I thought to myself.

I yanked off my Apple watch and bracelets as I ran to the bathroom. My heart raced and I felt nauseous.

It’s an allergic reaction. The coffee.

Dead-bolting the employee bathroom door behind me, I pulled off my shirt and stared with horror at dozens of red bumps covering my shoulders, arms, chest, stomach, and back. I moved my fingertips over the inflamed and itchy skin. I knew I needed to get help. I found myself 20 minutes later driving in a panic to the nearest drug and grocery store in search of Benadryl.

The next day, I felt completely not myself.

What was I doing in Canada?

I wrote this in my journal the night I got home…

I walked into Costco in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada with a heavy and uncertain heart. I was certain of my potential and strength in weakness, but this time felt different.

I looked around at all of the Canadians and realized with a shock, You are the minority.

I thought about Kendrick Lamar’s song Feel and his words, “I feel like say somethin. I feel like take somethin.” I wanted to scream. My better half–my stronger half–found amusement in all the ways Canadian culture are fragments of American culture, especially considering our ancestors come from the same place.

Yet still, I couldn’t shake the downpour of negative thoughts as my mind turned to fog and I felt myself losing my ability to stand.

They know you’re mixed and American. You’re not fooling anyone with all that curly hair and sixteen-year-old face.

[Looking back now, I see this experience as culture shock. The shock and the allergic reaction worked together to turn me ill, resulting in intense inflammation both internally and externally.]

I felt myself breaking and my first impression in this moment of human fragility was that I needed to forgive my father, so I unblocked his number and called him right then. Tears flooded my eyes.

Forgiveness is such a beautiful action and it’s forgiveness that exposes true love.

Sometimes we tell ourselves what we don’t want to believe and it’s this kind of focus on the assumptive nature of our thoughts that can frame our reality, destroying our identity.

Awareness is essential to human progression, but even when our assumptions are actually our reality, we can still see them as opportunities to accept ourselves rather than turn away from ourselves.

As a quote that I once read goes, “Through our pain we become full.”

Over the next couple of days I would experience a sickness that would rob me of my freedom, but today I stole that freedom back and it’s how I discovered that Canadian coins are magnets.

I emptied out the entire contents of my backpack onto my hotel room bed. The U.S. coins mixed with the Canadian coins. I picked up my Traeger name badge to throw it into my bag when a Canadian coin flew to the magnetic strip on the back and stuck there. I paused and moved the badge over the pile of coins. To my amusement only the Canadian currency revealed to be magnetic.

I then realized the Canadian cuŕrency will always be made of a different kind of material than the American currency, but I choose whether to magnetize my identity with the Canadian identity. I am and always will be in control of what sticks to me. Afterall, the coins are still both currency, created and used for the same purpose…to feed the mouths of the people in the world.

With Love,

Kelsey With Some Jo ❤