Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…


Leave a comment

Tap. Tap. Tap.

I don’t know enough about it – (if anyone really does) – the laws of attraction, but things happen that make me curious…

I wrote a post featuring the painting of the woodpecker just a few days ago. The day that followed, I was sitting at my desk, like I do every day, the window open, and I heard this “tap, tap, tap…”  I kept typing, and again, “tap, tap, tap…”  I stopped and looked out the window. Dominique wasn’t in the yard. It was almost silent. I waited. Moments. And there it was again. This time I was able to follow the noise, in the tree. And there it was. Just as I had painted. We have a lot of birds. We have a lot of what we call “pic vert,” similar to the bird I painted, but different coloring – green, and they normally pick at the ground, not in the trees.  Did I attract this bird? Is this the law of attraction? Or did I just open my eyes and start seeing? I don’t have the answer for this… but either way I like it. 

Whether I attract positive things, or just start seeing them, it is something positive – and I want that. I want that for me, for all of us. I remember someone saying once (don’t judge me, but I think it was Oprah, and she probably wasn’t the first), that we have to pay attention, the signs often come softly, they aren’t going to be belted out with a choir! You have to really listen. 

I don’t know how many “taps” I have missed through the years, but I want to get better. Pay attention. See the signs. Find the beauty. And I suppose to hear them, I need to quiet the sometimes din (noisy clamor) of my brain. Not the easiest task, but I’m working on it. Quietly. 

I’ll whisper the last few words – I wish you a quiet day of beauty. It’s out there. Listen for the taps.


Leave a comment

SU

Robert Caro, one of the best known biographers, is a voracious note-taker. When interviewing people for his books, in his notes, you will often see the letters SU. They stand for shut up. This is a directive from Caro, to Caro. Through years of experience, he learned that some of the best details come in the silence. He trained himself to listen to the silences. The power between the words, around the words.  This is where he gets inside his subjects. This is why his books are so powerful.  

This morning I opened the door to take my daily walk in our garden. In this time, I often find my inspiration for my daily blogs. This morning, hit by the pinks and greens and yellows, I knew in an instant, the words I wanted to write were already hanging in the trees, and lit by the sun.  This was my time to just listen. 


I walked in silence, and was filled with the story around me. All I had to do was pay attention.  What a powerful gift, this colorful silence… whispered directly into my heart.  Breathe, my friends. And listen. 


Leave a comment

Play the way you feel.

Today’s subject was obvious. Too obvious. Blowing at furious speeds, seemingly in every direction on my morning walk. The wind. I have written about the wind for years. I know this subject. My first poem framed was this:

It was so windy that day,

I couldn’t stand up straight.

It blew my hair this way and that way,

and sucked the tears right out of my eyes.

It was so windy that day,

I tried to tell you I loved you,

but you couldn’t hear me.

Deaf to my cries, your ears heard a different calling.

It was so windy that day.

On hands and knees I crawled to your side.

I reached up to you, begged you to hang on.

I closed my eyes with visions of our hands joined,

like they were before the storm.

The wind shook my insides, leaving me hollow.

I opened my eyes and you were gone.

It was so windy that day.

What used to blow through me, now gives me wings.

It hangs in my mother’s apartment. I know this wind that beats against my face today. But the podcast I was listening to, told me to do just that — listen.

NPR was reviewing the life of pianist, keyboardist and composer Chick Corea who died last week at the age of 79. To be honest, I recognized the name only because my nephew posted about this loss to the jazz community, to the music world, to his world. My nephew lives in this sound. He listens, he loves, he creates. This is the wind that blows through him, every day.

I guess the only way to really know people is to listen. I want to know him. I want to know my family. I want them to know me. So I listen. The podcast continued and I walked. Corea passes through Latin bands and I walk. Straight-ahead jazz bands, and I walk. Miles Davis joins him, and I keep walking. He plays through Mozart and Monk and I keep walking. I walked much longer than I had planned, because I was now being carried by the music. That is how, I imagine, my nephew Vincent feels, to be carried by the music.

I am not a musician. Oh, I played the clarinet in the high school band and now it serves as eclectic decor in our library, but I don’t live in the music – I live in the paint, the word. But I am not trapped in this world. I am free, and I am lucky to visit all the worlds around me. What a pleasure to travel in another world. Learn a bit of the language. The reviewer said that diversity was Corea’s greatest strength. Maybe that is true for us all.

Play the way you feel, and then listen.