Excerpt from Chapter 13 of Tally: An Intuitive Life, All Things That Matter Press
A letter from PJ:
What profited a man to wake daily and write a page of words to substantiate the concept that one wakes, alive, to perceive and experience a new world beginning? Why search with palsied fingers and decrepit remains, but a febrile mind, for logical answers to why was I born and why am I living?
All the answers are already stored in the limitless area of the universal stream of consciousness, and one has but to think of (saving the time out of his life) thoughts (worthwhile or worthless) and these thoughts will be added to the boundless stream of human consciousness.
“A living person, living alive, seeks to penetrate the perpetual underlying stream of consciousness. Even when he is asleep he seeks to know and experience his dream, for it is just so, a stream of consciousness.”
Words of Paul Johnston (PJ). Artwork by PJ. Read more.
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More about Miami Morning
From the beginning, Jo Robinson’s world of fantasy and harsh psychological realities in Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight held me in thrall. This is a story of an interior life, as Donna, the main character, struggles to break free. She is trapped in a loveless and emotionally abusive marriage by a narcissistic husband. For many years she has poured her love and hope into her garden. And it is in her search for seeds for her garden that she meets Elvira, an extraordinary woman, who shares her interest. These gardens flow from the spirits of the women into land-shaping, and life-shaping, manifestations. They are touchstones, as the story evolves, for many lives. Elvira visits Donna, which very few others have managed to do, and sees Donna’s fantastic garden. Elvira has an impressive garden of her own, in town, with a café catering to people who are in transition from divorce, job loss, or death of a loved one. One of the ways they heal is by working with elderly people who live alone.
Donna begins to connect with Elvira and her friends, and gradually reveal to them what she has been creating for so long in the icehouse of her isolation. But her husband has other ideas. Will she succeed? Her story is a testament to the resourcefulness and tenacity of the human spirit in its drive for freedom, and the greatest human act and experience of freedom, which is love.
Back in the 1980s and 90s local graffiti artists were asked to do murals in the playground. These murals were respected and not marked up with others’ graffiti or tags. This artist, Victor (I forget his last name) did a beautiful one called Summer Scene, which unfortunately I didn’t photograph. It was blue – cool blue. The playground is Mathews-Palmer, mid-block between 9th and 10th Avenues, on West 45th and 46th Streets, in Manhattan, New York City. I lived in that neighborhood for more than 20 years. More photos
While I’m writing, worrying over this comma
And that misplaced paragraph, dialogue tags
And other such nonsense as makes a book,
I hear on the TV the news that my country
May elect a man who wants to do more
Than waterboarding, and tells others to shut up,
And these silencings enter my writing,
Through the openings, necessary for art, for life,
In the carefully woven fabric of my belief
In where we are as human beings
And so I write over the chaos, because
All I can do is place my personal sense
Of order across the wild face of despair
COMING SOON! Watch this blog for special offers related to the publication of my new book, Miami Morning, coming from All Things That Matter Press. You can also sign up for email notifications and receive information about additional Special Offers on my website.
From South Beach to South Africa, Leila has an adventurer’s heart.
The creation of my heroine, Leila Payson, was inspired by a woman I knew. She, like Leila, had a full-time job, but she spent hours each day as the “guardian angel” of the local playground, and in community improvement activities. Her smile made others smile. She was generous, but she knew the cruelty human beings are capable of. She was curious about the world, courageous in her approach to problems, and had a self-deprecating sense of humor. Without any fanfare, she did her work and improved the lives of many people, even if only in making them believe in their own decency. I feel passionately that such good people make all the difference in the world.
Leila lives in a place I love: Florida. Although I don’t live in South Miami, my intuition and research led me to this place. It was perfect for her. Leila enjoys the big city, with its cultural richness, and also living in a smaller town, with nature near to hand. There’s a wealth of experience in this book: teaching, disability issues, occupational therapy, a diverse group of friends, travel, family, romance, food, and nature. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
More information on Miami Morning
Posted in Miami Morning: A Leila Payson Novel, My Books, Uncategorized
Tagged birding, Cuba, Cuban food, Cuban-Americans, cultural diversity, disability issues, education, Florida birds, gay friendship, hearing-impaired, high schoolteacher, Miami, novel, occupational therapy, organic food, people with disabilities, romance, Social Studies, South Africa, South Beach, South Miami, teaching, The Everglades
Memories are fossils, she said,
And left him on the strand
The carnival was whirling around
Food, family and dancing
On the Day of the Dead
He walked to the sand
And ran for miles, apocalypso miles,
Tumbling down to the exposed bone,
Curving bone that rims the sea
And there memory came as a tsunami
And all the fossils on the shore
Were particles of I;
After love has swept by,
Memories are fossils and I