jessiehancock

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Jumping Off the Train

When it moves too fast,

When the lines become a blur,

Will anyone stop to look for you?

The train was too fast,

The pace required by society couldn’t last.

Another track where it breathes slowly and the sun warms your cheeks

While the smell of fresh-cut grass sticks to bare feet.

When you can’t find the exit, write one in the space ahead.

Letters to deliver you safe and sound,

Letters to remind you are loved even when no ones around. 

One promise above all others,

One love that remains true.

Power of the Word

Don’t wanna sit, don’t wanna go,

Restlessness overcame me whole,

I sat back and let them flow. 

Twisting words left and right,

So they might line up and tell you things you sought to hear.

I’m just the carrier.

Snippets of verse bounce to the surface throughout my day,

Short strings of letters greet you like the dearest friend. 

My words-

They antagonize,

Hypnotize,

Oh the power of their arrangement.

Girl in the Window

Every morning we meet. Always at the same time, usually the same place. As I’m shaking off the sleep and searching for daily thoughts, I see her. She calmly regards me without any words at first. The water makes a rainbow of light in the coffee grounds of the pour-over, then I glance upward to see her in the window, free to stare as long as I want. She looks different in this place, I can see a younger version of her instead of the one that I’m expecting. Her brown hair is unkempt and she lacks the self-consciousness that we as females have been trained to wear like a false badge of humility. We are similar, but not a mirror image. 

Time does not accumulate on her by carving lines upon her skin the way it does regular people. It does not tire her out with the incessant demands of the mundane tasks she must complete. This girl; she exists in her own time and space. Full of ideas, the possibilities of her mind overflowing with words, with the need to bounce her voice off of others to find out which things to keep and which ones to discard like a card game. The very best of her is waiting. Sitting utterly still for the painfully long durations in between interactions where she is fully seen and valued for all that she can offer. 

Surprisingly, she does not view me with any of the running dialogue from my own head. Her gaze is quiet, allowing me to think freely without any of the restrictions that another person’s presence can impose. Who am I now? Who am I becoming? What do I see in her that I don’t see in myself? 

The water line has reached its mark. It’s time to add the cream and sugar to the steaming cup of midnight and watch it metamorphosize into a caramel concoction of a liquid spark plug that will race through my veins and bangs on all the doors inside, telling the occupants it’s time to wake up and make things happen! Our time is done for today, but I’ll be back to see the girl in the window tomorrow. She waits for me there. 

Have you ever met the girl in the window?

The Right Places

It bends, twists, and flies,

A beat that oozes soul from a back street where they roll dice outside.

Air is thick with purpose and feet move with direction,

Jazz grooves that take hold of your spine and shake it like a rag doll,

Until you’re flowing like liquid gold, just right.

It’s warm where we move.

Travel in packs, never quiet or alone,

Cases with names faces on stages.

Living for the permanent flow,

Pause isn’t allowed, there’s always a crowd.

Saxophone knows my mood, blows me where I need to be.

Boys onstage keep it going ’til we could be anywhere,

State of mind to lose track of all time, now get in line.

The sound is our oxygen,

We paint shades you’ve never seen,

But your soul recognizes them and sighs with a smile.

The music never stops in some hearts,

You just gotta go to the right places.

Growth In The Quiet​ Times

For writers, fear can take hold when the words go on vacation. Fingers in position on the keyboard, but no flow. Handled wrong, it could lead to stress at the misconception of having nothing to say. Our gifts come from our Creator and they are not going to abandon us. We can use a bridge of love to cross over the fear and safely wait for our inspiration to return on its own time. This quote from John the Apostle is short and sweet, but it carries some serious weight. 

“There is no fear in love, perfect love casts out fear” from 1 John 4:18. 

Fear and love cannot be roommates. When we live with faith, love takes precedence and we see the good around us. Maybe your voice is growing and it has to change style and outgrow familiar footprints to become what it’s meant to be. It means you’re going to face the unknown. That includes stillness of the mind and the patience to let things happen as they’re meant to. 

When I went a month without writing any blog posts, I felt a small nagging voice that whispered “Where is it? When is it coming? Are you worried you’ve run out of things to say?” You could hear the cracking of the screen door as it slammed on that voice while I walked away from it with my head up. My voice isn’t going to desert me; it has its own way of doing things and requires patience on my part. How do you handle the seasons of waiting when they come upon you? 

Four weeks after my creative hiatus, the words come back. Relief and joy elbowed each other for room as I raced to put ideas down on paper. You too may struggle with currents that rise and fall, taking your sense of worth, identity, and creativity on a roller-coaster ride, but the currents are not the truth and they are only temporary. It all comes back to love. I had to sit and wait for the current to subside, ultimately trusting that my voice would return. It took me out of the driver’s seat. It defies our cultural logic. Self is no longer front and center. Letting go of perceived control frees you to move into new places you would never experience otherwise. If you return to love, you are known. That brings peace. It’s so simple. Your words, talent, calling-it will return from that vacation. Just wait for it on the other side of the bridge.