Add mixed messages to your site

Monday, October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Impossible Tour: Artists are Such Wonderful People

I am still on my Impossible Tour. I cannot think of a good reason to end it so it continues on...Tonight I performed at an event called Streaming Hope in Hollywood. It was my first real feature in LA. Most of my gigs this year have been out of town or out of state. I was the feature but about ten other artists: comedians, musicians and spoken word artists took to the stage before and after me. A nice crowd. Some good talent. Positive energy. It is nights like tonight that I am reminded of a basic fact about me that remembering is essential to my well-being: Artists are my favorite people!

I was having a crummy day today. Got some bad news and then some more and yes, I meditated, but not long enough and too late in the day to erase my simmering bad mood. I actually found myself driving to the gig expecting something bad to happen. It was that kind of day...

But then I got there and the beautiful host, Brianna, chatted with me and revealed that she had done some research on me....and had many nice things to say about my work. A nice surprise. Next, some ridiculously hilarious comedians came on stage and I thought if only I always had comedians as starters before my gigs...I would be so happy and giggly by the time I walked up on stage each time. Note to self: Find comedians and talk them into going on the road with me....It occurred to me tonight, that tour or no,  I need more comedians in my life.

I was interviewed by the charming Brianna and then read only a few short  poems (as I was given serious time constraints: 11-14 minutes!) Included in my set were: Demands of Existence (Impossible poem), You Look Like my People,  Would the Shock..., Poverty, We Are the Women, Some Wounds, and, The Spark ( a new poem in progress)

I was shocked to find that I was a big hit. I gave cards out to many people after the event (failed to bring CDS- ugh) matter how often I hear people telling me how much they like my poetry it still always shocks and embarrasses  me a bit when they go on and on about how much they liked it. Of course I expect to be successful but I still never cease to be amazed when I am. And it matters that I am, but not for the reasons that success matters to some artists. It matters to me because for me it comes as validation of what I am trying to do with my art. Change the world- shift it to a higher level of vibration.

As one of the artists said to me after the show, "Most of the time when I hear people say they are trying to change the world, I just laugh. I don't believe them or take them serious. But you really are changing the world! We laughed about that and then I replied, "Yes, I am dead serious when I say that."

At another point in the conversation, another artist told me that I should not worry that I had  abandoned my students at the University when I left my professorship. I just had new students, he said. More students, he said. everywhere I go, I am holding class each time I perform, he said. Ah, yes...

Thank you to all the artists who stayed afterwards and encouraged me in my mission. Artists are such wonderful people!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Creating an Artivist Vision: Seven Tools for Creative Transformation

Sign up for my workshop in July. It promises to be a lot of fun and also to transform your spiritual, political, and creative lives

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Starting Huge, Foolish Projects

"Start a huge, foolish project like Noah.
It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you."
(12th century Sufi poet)

It is possible that my current life could best be described as a series of huge foolish projects. After all, I left behind a tenured professorship with status, money, and job security to wander the hills and deserts of the Southwest in pursuit of poetry, spiritual revelations, and gigs. There are, no doubt, more than a few people out there who see such my choice  as foolish....but I think I am gonna take Rumi's advice where those people are concerned....

Because many people working at stable secure jobs are unhappy. How many people are pursuing their dreams? How many people are willing to pursue huge foolish projects despite the risk? How much are you willing to risk?

Ultimately, I am risking so much because I believe in my projects. I think that writing my poems and my books, getting them published, performing and speaking for righteous causes throughout the country,  and creating performance pieces, workshops, radio shows, and TV programs, among other as yet unimagined huge and foolish projects, are important and worthwhile endeavors. And I really cannot afford to care too much anymore what people think about my decisions. Not if I want to stay on course.

Because to do the impossible you must remove from your life all persons, places, and beliefs that would limit you to what heretofore you had defined as possible. To do the impossible is to be willing to have countless people laugh at your goals and discourage your dreams...because you know that ultimately thousands more will support them and benefit from them in the long run.

Pursuing the impossible after all is absurd. Accepting absurdity as an integral element of your life is par for the "huge foolish project" course.

Now, because of my early indoctrination into the scientific method (Bachelor's degree in Physics- what cha gonna do?) and my lifelong tendency to rely quite heavily, if not exclusively, on logic and empirical evidence to guide much of my life, this whole letting-go-of-the rational-in-favor-of-the-absurd path has not been an easy one for me to embrace.

I find myself falling back into fear, doubt,  and worry when I begin calculating expenditure/income ratios, or considering the probability of my becoming successful in certain fields, given existing stats available on the subject. I have to continually remind myself to have faith in my huge foolish projects, despite the apparent facts. I have to forcefully shift my focus to my successes and not allow myself to focus on my failures. I have to stay true to my vision and surround myself with people who have their own visions.

People who have their own visions will not be as ready to shoot down yours. They may give you constructive criticism and advice based on their own experiences, but they will never try to divest you of your vision. No one who has ever lived their life according to a vision would ever wish a vision-less life upon anyone.

People, on the other hand, who have abandoned all their dreams often resent the carefree dreamer. How dare I wander about the country writing poetry and meditating when you have to get up every morning at 6 AM to feed the kids, drive in rush hour traffic, and go to a job you hate? Misery really does love company unfortunately.

But visions also love company and the bigger a vision is and the more people share it the greater chance exists that it will be realized.

My vision is for the world. Through my writing and speaking, I am bringing people together to dialogue across difference. I am helping people to shift their individual lives into a higher vibration in order to assist in the planetary shift to a higher consciousness.

What is your vision?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Help: Writer is Rockstar-less!!!!!

 Its happened--what I have feared for  a long time--Rock Star has removed all the beneficial ingredients from its drink. I have been drinking this drink for ten years; it has been my mainstay, my daily ritual, my get-up and go beverage. I knew once the small company  was bought out by Coca Cola that there was a chance they would stop adding the expensive, healthy ingredients and turn it into a red bull, or some similar sugar-laden, caffeine pumped party soda with zero nutrients. I never suspected the change would be precipitated by a pharmaceutically- controlled FDA hell-bent on making sure Americans are restricted from access to nutritional supplements- (another rant for another day). But that is how it ultimately went down.....

The FDA told Rock Star that they could not use Ginkgo in their drinks as it was a supplement and the drink was being sold as a beverage? Say what? We are only allowed to take our supplements in pill form? What kind of malarky is that? Then there is the suspicious article that was recently published claiming Ginkgo was linked to cancer in rats. Seriously, people? Ginkgo is the oldest tree on the planet and Chinese medicine, which is centuries older than anything we Westerners ever thought up, has been prescribing the herb for various brain, heart, and circulation considitons for eons. But all of sudden, its dangerous because it has become popular?

Funny, but the  National Insitutes of Health has been touting the health benefits of Ginkgo for years...hmmm

I am wondering, now that we are in the Shift (in consciousness, that is). how long it will take for the FDA to be reformed? For the Pharmceuticals to lose their power? Hmmmmm....

But back to my all-important dilemma: I have no Rock Star! And while I do already take Gingko supplements twice a day and can just take a third dose to replace the rockstar, that is really not my idea of a good time. Supplements work but most people do not want to down numerous pills several times a day. Which is what made Rock Star so appealing. It tasted good and was fun in addition to being nutritious.

And unfortunately, Gingko was not the only winning supplement featured in the drink- which I will now have to replace with more tortuous pill-swallowing. It also contained Milk Thistle, Inositol,  Ginseng, and B-vitamins. Lucky for those who will remain loyal (I will not) the B-vitamins are still included. But hey, that Milk Thistle was cleaning my liver every day, that inositol was improving my brain function, that Ginseng was improving everything...

And hey, who knows how many crazy people were kept on an even keel by downing RS on a daily basis, given the studies indicating Inositol may be a useful treatment for psychiatric disorders?...think of the havoc that may be wreaked by the change in RS recipe. Do those crazy people even know they are crazy? Maybe they were downing rock stars twice a day for so long nobody noticed...Are they going to be able to rush out to the health food store and stock up on inositol before its too late? I, frankly, am a little bit scared of all the undiagnosed un-treated mad people already roaming the streets, but maybe thats just me.

Speaking of me, lets get back to my problem; I need to find a tasty way to imbibe more gingko, milk thistle, inositol, ginseng, and B-vitamins each day. Any suggestions?

Desperate Creative seeks creative way to get vitamins on the regular

Thursday, May 30, 2013

She Said Tell Stories Manuscript...Trinida

Compiling the manuscript. Tedious in many ways: fonts, ordering, printing, scanning. The poems are written. Have too many poems already so no need to write more. Just compile and send out. Looking for a new agent, a publisher...tedious.
The writing part is the exciting part, the performing, the attentive crowds, the response. The creating part is the important part, everything else feels like post-production, after-party cleanup.

But it must be done.

Here is another poem from the manuscript:


I didn't think I
Could get you out
Of my head
Your persistent heat
Your red dust breezes
The prayers we swallowed
The songs we sang
Are dancing thorough
My head still

I didn't think I could
Come back and live
This life
Without spirits
Without visions
Without all night sojourns

But you let me leave
Like you let me come
And I'm here plotting
Ways to return to you

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How About....

How About

How about if a girl
Could grow up
Never get hit
Speak loud
Run fast
Wear her hair
In her face

Live any place

Marry or not marry
Whoever she pleases
Have as many babies
As she wants
And can feed

Be proud of bleeding every month
And never walk in shame
Because of the jewel
Between her legs

Be proud instead
Of the power it represents

How about if a girl
Could grow up like a weed

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Retreat Rewards: Poetry Book Compiled

Most recent leg of Impossible Tour involved a 7-day meditation and writing retreat at Questhaven. I got a lot done. I went there with the intention of compiling a new poetry book manuscript and I did just that. Its a meaty book, divided into 9 chapters sorted by theme. The tentative title is "Stories Somebody Forgot to Tell You." Title may change. Still thinking about it. Titles matter. People judge books by titles....

Stories Somebody Forgot to Tell You
Jennifer Lisa Vest

Chapter One:  Origin Stories
Chapter Two: Love Stories
Chapter Three: Everybody’s Life but My Own Stories
Chapter Four: Tales Told By Rocks
Chapter Five: Cautionary Tales
Chapter Six: Mother Stories
Chapter Seven: Spirit Stories: Voices Down the Hallway
Chapter Eight: Tales of Tribute
Chapter Nine: Tales of Tragedy, Tales of Triumph

So far, the book includes 119 of my poems. May tweak a few poems and then....Next step is sending it to an agent or a publisher. Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Impossible Tour: Back to the Mountains

I am headed back to Questhaven Retreat Center this week for a much needed meditation and writing retreat. Plan to meditate 8 times a day like I did last time I was there. Hope to compile my poetry manuscript. 

Tentative title: Stories No One Told You.

II go into the woods

To listen more deeply

To hear what the universe

Endeavors to teach me

No internet for five days....