i simply am...

I don't cook.

I am not athletic.

I don't finish what I start.

I am lazy.

I am not domestic.

I have worn all of these labels - and others - for much of my life. I have let them go... and picked them up again, only to release them some time later. They're never very far away. Too often, I have let them define me and determine how I walk in this world.

I have made progress in moving beyond these self-defeating definitions. Can I truly say "I don't cook" as I feast on a Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili that I made from scratch? When I cross the finish line after running 21.1 km, am I still lazy... and non-athletic? And when I take money out of the ATM to pay for our housekeeper, am I... um, well... OK, let's face it. I am not domestic. :-)

I wear other labels too...

I am spiritual.

I am compassionate.

I am a good listener.

I am kind.

I am calm.

These labels seem more appropriate to wear, but they too can work against me. Some days, I am not kind... and I am not calm... and I am not compassionate. On those days, I judge myself harshly and become critical of not living up to the label. I pick up another label: I am a failure.

Just for today, I don't want to wear a label.
Just for today, I am here... I am now... I am enough.
Just for today, I am.

- simply jag


on governance...

In a democracy, every citizen, regardless of his interest in politics, "holds office"; every one of us is in a position of responsibility; and in the final analysis, the kind of government we get depends upon how we fulfill those responsibilities.

We, the people, are the boss and we will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and deserve.

- John F. Kennedy

In July 2005, I copied this quote from a wall at the JFK Library & Museum in Boston. It spoke to me then... and it still challenges me today.

Just sayin'...

-simply jag


word. poetry.

in. my. absurd. art. experiment.

the. masterpiece. appears. surreal.

a. sculpture. created. from. purple. smoke.

its. silhouette. smeared. on. white. canvas.

an. aesthetic. metaphor. for. harmony.

and. balance.

- photo & poem by jag


re-committing to my simple focus...

(I'm back - one day at a time...)

I attended a dinner party last weekend and one of the guests - a woman I had never met before - had a bag of scrolls. As I was getting ready to leave, she asked: "Would you like a poem?" I asked her if they were her poems... "No, just poems." OK, why not? So, I thanked her, blindly took a scroll and stuffed it in my purse.

A few days later, I remembered it and discovered this...


Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

(David Whyte, 2003)

She could not have known how much I needed this.
But the Spirit of the Universe knew...
Everything is waiting for me.

- simply jag xox