Monday, December 9, 2013

jnetsworld turns 8 and 9

"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden."

A friend once told me that if she had a dozen essays on her desk, she would know which one was mine.  It was the best compliment I could ever hope for from a writer and friend that I respected.  I've received many encouragements to continue writing.  And its in re-reading those encouragements that bring this quiet soul back to writing.

Lest my soul harden.

So here I am to declare that you can return to something you love even though you feel like you are sputtering through a season or two or three or four trying to remember your voice.  Here I am even though two birthdays went un-noted ---- jnetsworld turned 8 and then 9.   Life has been profoundly heart breaking and heart building these past couple of years.  

I've cleared out house, sat in the silent space, had friends visit bearing gifts and pails of paint. Thank you for your voice.  It's what brings me back.


Favorite hellos:

My favorite hellos throughout the years.

UMA:  "A blog with a soul!!!!!!!!"

DOCTORMATE:  "Presence ...A superb diarist resides here ... jnet writes with calming power and silken insight ..."

DAWNBLUE:  "Beautiful artwork along with beautiful words as to what the importance is to this person. I spent time stumbling Jnet and found myself lost in her world of music and art and could spend an eternity." 

IFIKNEWBETTER:  "i enjoyed her blog... lots of neat quotes... wonderful lasting images... lasting thoughts... a rainbow of ideas... "Beauty, the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband." "Don't go through life, grow through life."

QUHQUH:  "JNET is an explorer on the frontiers of her self and her trail is worth sharing. Thanks, JNET." 

COOLBUS:  "this is my second review of a stumbler that has a beautiful blog. it's full of excellent writing and more. her writings always tickle my mind. visit here. spend time, and come away the better for it. 200 thumbs up for this neato person!"

SWEETMELISSA2005:  "JNET's way with words.., WOW. If she is not a writer or does not plan to become a writer, well then too bad for us because she does it so eloquently. I am truly in awe." 

PAULFRANK:  "I think I am in love."

DESTINYSFATE:  "Different in each & every way possible yet so much in which she shares....I'm in awe of how I can honestly concur & relate to the 100th degree. Unique virtual boutique of expressions and suggestions"

JAMES:  "Jnet, I love the way you write…such beauty."

LITBITOFSONSHINE:  "I loved her creative writing on her stumbleupon and her wordpress.   She rocks and rolls and has such a open and sharing and caring understanding soul; one I even marked to read again as I will also visit her pages.  Its nice to learn about families from her point of view as well as so many other mind expanding things - just wowzers."

DAVE:  "I loved your “loving like an athlete.”  Keep up your good writing…."

ALAN:  "You inspired me to change my blogs look as well, alas, my change was not as stunningly successful as yours. This is to be expected though, since your talent shines through everything you do here.  My compliments!"

DESTINY:  "Love your world and thanks to you, I can now define myself in all the diversity and unique(ness) that I possess as a person…as a woman. Just saying Hello and wanted to share that..nothing more.  I enjoy the substance of your blogs."

METALT:  "Very impressive blog about life and I might add - balanced life. jnetsworld is a place I want to visit often and I deeply appreciate her for sharing with us."

RICHARD:  "My beautiful and talented friend.  Again, I must tell you how well you write, but of much more importance than that, how very proud I am to “know” someone like you. You have such fine judgment, your values are impeccable and you seem dedicated to your art. As you know, choosing a life of creativity is not without its pitfalls. However, you do not need my advice and will find your way.  You know I wish you well, Richard."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

noteworth: the family room


Their piano room is not unlike the one I enjoyed growing up in; a sunny room where board games and books had a home.  It is a room of comfy couches and framed family photos. It is where people gather to talk, play tournaments of Scrabble, watch television, play video games and of course listen and play music. Their piano room feels like home to me; full of life and memories.

I can tell within 5 minutes, if a practice environment is uninspiring.   If no one including the family cat or dog doesn't know of a spot to relax near the piano, chances are naming that particular spot the music room will not be a winning match.  If only dust bunnies feel welcome  in the room while everyone else socializes in another room, chances are anyone wanting to practice will feel as lonely as a book forgotten in a corner.

For a young learner, will it not be against their best interest to have the piano in an active space? Shouldn't the piano be in a more formal and quiet space away from the distraction of family life?

I've taught in a home where a beautiful Steinway graced a formal gathering part of the home.  It was austere with not a dust bunny in sight. A beautiful place to have a family concert. Still, it was not an easy place for little boys to naturally bring themselves. They were the youngest boys of a large family. The tumbling and full of energy sort. They literally came into their piano lesson each week through the back garden,  breathless from playing outside.  They were fine and full of cheer during our piano time together but I am not quite sure they entered the room in the same spirit when I wasn't there.

I never had a quiet formal room to practice.

I may have had a small keyboard that I played in my room but it never got the kind of love that I had for the piano.  I didn't mind.   The piano rooms at school lent some solitude but not quiet.   The reality of life was that absolute quiet and privacy was a treat and not the norm.

My brothers and I survived having a piano, television AND family computer in the same room.  Sometimes my piano competed against video game music.  Most of the time my brothers and I exercised some form of social diplomacy.  Mom always requested that I play.

A piano isn't LOUD LOUD.  Conversations and television programs can still continue and share sound space.  I know playing didn't always refrain someone from wanting to start a conversation.  That's how comfortable the space was.

I managed.

Conquering distraction is a daily exercise and perhaps easier for a young person to consider than feelings of isolation or missing out feelings.  Put them in a room where they are out of earshot of all family activity; it may feel too much like their punitive time outs.

A place to relax, to think and to share...and feel very much at home.

K:  "I just need a little table next to my piano so I can have a snack and glass of water nearby.  That would be perfect."

JNET:  "That would be.  You don't want to put food or a drink on a piano.  It would be very sad to have a spill."

I like hearing how my students set up camp to practice.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ss: coach firefly

R opened a brand new world of sports to me.   I never paid attention before, not knowing when playoffs were going on let alone knowing when Superbowl weekend was.

Sitting down to sports was my punishment when I was little; a several hours of timeout time whenever I did something naughty.

I grew up keeping a busy distance from all things sports that it is ironic that I am dating someone that is very very fond of sports. R's fondness for sports had me unsure during the beginning of our relationship.  Watching sports was punishment to me, not a happy bonding time.  I had a head full of “what ifs” that my girlfriends helped me de-clutter so I may have perspective.

Football season was in the horizon as well as plans to take a break from dance classes.

JNET:  ”What if sports is more important than me?  What if his fondness for sports trumps taking part in family events?  Will he ignore conversations and get swallowed up in innings and quarters?  I remember spending hours with my dad to watch a game but I can’t remember ever talking.”

N:  ”JNET, there are other vices.  R is good to you.  I wouldn’t worry.”

Still I had other what-if’s…

What if sports becomes this terrible reason to not relate to each other and he wishes he had a girlfriend that wouldn’t get the teams’ names confused and who knows how to throw the perfect Superbowl party? What if sports opens up a monster in him and the sweet man I know turns into an angry, violent man that screams at the television or at me?

These are the thoughts that weighed upon my mind last year.  And yes, I realize that I make up funny stuff to lose sleep over.

We made it through football season, I’m following the basketball playoffs and I even know that baseball season is still at its beginning.  I’ve even earned coolness status points with my piano students that take part and have a love for sports. Random trivia for you – Did you know that Kobe Bryant knows how to play Beethoven and that Jeremy Lin practices the piano regularly?????

R made sports time fun even if it was just a party of us two.   Our abs exercise regime went on off-season though.  OMG….CARBS!!!  We celebrated with pizza and fried chicken and relaxed.  We took a break from dance practices but we attended church each week.    We never missed a day at church due to a game.  Sometimes we cuddled in the couch, sometimes I disappeared to do my own thing and sometimes i played the piano while he watched (setting the television volume very low).  And always, he would pat the couch and invite me to return.

I didn’t turn into SPORTS WIDOW!

We attended a few games this past year, enjoying a couple of Dodger Stadium dates and my first ever basketball game.   To get me ready for our sports dates, Roland would surprise me with a cute tee to wear for the special night out.  The fun memories make for a good list:  learning about different leagues; American versus National, learning the rules of the games, packing picnics, cute tees, a pullover and hello kitty night at Dodger Stadium.

We’ve also been enjoying movies and documentaries on sports figures.  So many inspiring lives; athletes that press themselves past great odds, coaches that inspire greatness.

Coach Firefly taught me a lot this year and made it fun.  I never felt ignored or forgotten.    He did yell at the television a couple of times though.  But I never for a moment felt less than loved.