Joy Works Everywhere is an urban heart center, a place of welcome, created for the joyful development and expression of holistic living. Joy Works is a philosophy of living that speaks to our ability to attain health, wellness, peace, and laughter.
Joy Works Everywhere is an urban heart center, a place of welcome, created for the joyful development and expression of holistic living. Joy Works is a philosophy of living that speaks to our ability to attain health, wellness, peace, and laughter.
December 13, 2022
Choice, conscious decision making is a key element in human claims of distinction from other life forms and, for many, claims of superiority. Reading, observation and feeling awareness tell me we’re not that distinct, and the aspect of “superior” that has importance is our ability to control and dominate—and destroy on a mass scale—other animals and the environment we share. We can choose to care & share in abundance.
We have more information from people and cultures past and from contemporary cultures than ever before. We have extraordinary access to our own hearts, minds, and souls—also access to the hearts and minds of others. We have arrived at this access as a result of art, literature, work, and study of those come before us and the synergistic pace of energy moving through our light. This informational sharing comes by way of our computers and cellular devices, through our evolving common awareness and perception because more of us can physically visit each other in each other’s neighborhoods and homes, and increased connection between those of us aware of existence on levels extending beyond physical form. This allows many more of us to awaken and connect in ways that once mostly occurred with shamans, witches, holy people throughout the world.
Living in the cell phone and internet age has increased information available to the literate, semi-literate and those not able to read at all. We can be in our world and aware of across the world in intimate ways simultaneously with text, images and sound. We can be almost anywhere in the world in a matter of hours; less than a day will get us nearly everywhere a map can locate. Whether one frames this as positive or negative, good or bad or like myself neither, more a fact of current existence, we have to increase our learning and ability to be fully responsible and caring for our contact and intimacy.
October 26, 2022
The dominant choral songs encircling horrors defiling humanity are mostly binary and discordant.
News streams in – live stream, on tape, in stills, in print – constant flow; it begins to feel like, and is a death dirge, an operatic lament. I am faced with how to speak, how to write from the intelligence my “heartmind” understands. In the weeks preceding this essay hundreds of Muslims, in the period of Ramadan (July 2016), have been killed by attacks on public gathering places by a very, very small sect of other Muslims who have claimed singular rightness in practice and interpretation of faith. Two black men have been killed by white police officers. The “reasons” for these killings is not known. I have little to no information about the mind-intellect-reason for these murders, or the heart-feeling-reason for these murders.
Matter – what and who matters is central to refrains being sung out about shootings and killings in the United States. Listeners in a competition for misunderstanding of the lyric – black lives matter, all lives matter, blue lives matter, and do Muslim lives matter. Are women included in black, all, blue. Are children? My youngest sister once wrote, “We love as we love” in response to my writing in an email that I loved her. It rings true in this contemplation seeking understanding and change. We matter as we matter. I matter! What I do and what is done to me matters. You matter, what you do and what is done to you matters.
I do, you do, is done is the we in this one shared earth turf ‘hood.
Black Lives Matter is response and action facing up to a haunting specter of inaction, numbness, powerlessness, and giving up claim to fairness in the face of the specificity of “attack black.” All Lives Matter is reaction. Blue Lives Matter following Black Lives Matter (and we will prove it with legislation) is focused coordinated reaction. Black Lives Matter then reacts to the reactions, and the truth in the specificity of this movement dilutes and rigidifies into false truth. Breathing, breath inside hearing and understanding becomes thin.
From my experience, my reading, my listening and observation, the vast majority, if not all of us living, have been subject to some indignity, some behavior action/inaction that affronts us. Too many of us have been subject to horrors that defile to us as human beings—defiles humanity.
There is need for healing in the core mindheart/thinkfeel DNA. Binary, dualistic thinking will not achieve the oneness of heart that disallows the violation of self and another. The practice of holism requires unity of thinking, feeling and breath.
Several days into the writing of this essay, five, then three police officers were targeted and killed, and two additional incidents of concentrated mass violence resulted in deaths of children, men and women.
Weep and pray, pray and weep; be love, act love, see hear, speak love. Respond, train reaction – compassion inseparable from wisdom; wisdom inseparable from compassion, a means, a model, an understanding to have results look like and be a world in harmony with itself.
Matter appears in Black Lives Have Always Mattered: A Collection of Essays, Poems and Personal Narratives, Edited by Abiodun Oyewole, 2Leaf Press, 2017
May 3, 2022
I ask that we live peace so justly, so actively, so effectively that it will be seen for the vibrant, exciting, life affirming, productive social political force that it is. Let us expose powerlessness, fear, and the contorted conditions that violence and brutality arise from. Let us recognize the illusion that violence and brutality provides for any lasting change; see the futility in them as solution to social political disharmony and injustice. I ask that we become the all-powerful Deities and enlightened being we conjure and instantaneously drop our body armor, vaporize our weapons and laugh as we are tickled by the harmless joy infusing our beings.
Celebrate the joys—little daily ones and ginormous whenever ones. I ask that we sprout communities that ring true to the meaning of the word—let us join together in living, being, sharing and creating joy in life. Let us acknowledge and release without shame or hesitation any and all hurt and harm. Let us stop hurting and harming, harming and hurting instantly, instantly, instantly until we have stopped hurting and harming. Let us be available and present in our lives and the lives of the people and other beings we share living with.
Let us dream peace, tumble across vibrant meadows, parade down tarmac streets embroiled in raucous laughter and genuine joy as we revel in appreciation of each other’s sacred life. Let us evolve stories, myths, fairy tales of music and dance festivities filled with colorful food and replenishing liquids. Stories having the gravitas of long forgotten warrior tales…once many years ago weapons of mass (and mini) destruction were dissolved in pools of love, feats of useful engineering, and ecological inventiveness. With abundant delight, earth, the oceans, the forests, the deserts and inhabitants forgave and forgot human caused mistakes and devastations. They gave us plenty in celebration abundance.
Let us nurture ease and embrace sorrow for as long as is needed. We can wash pain with salt water tears knowing earthquake, lightning or death from passing storm is without malice, fear or envy. Imagine the possibility of abundant ease and joy in joy and in sadness; imagine ease and joy. Imagine reflections of love, joy and welcome from every direction holding together community, openhearted community. Imagine this is real; this is real.
January 4, 2022
o Stepping Up to the Finish Line
o Harmonizing : Them: Us; Venus: Mars; Old: Young; Color
o Intention Matters: Language
In a world of oneness, every time any time I’m hurting you, I’m hurting me; thinking I can forget about you, your needs and wants is delusion.
Your flood, my drought is we problem; this year or the next. Rain doesn’t discriminate, it just rains. It is for us with dominion over earth to work out distribution details.
Air, oil, gold, diamond, uranium, bauxite, wind, calcium, tree, stone, potassium, copper, iron, sun, and moon are provided. It is for us little children, big children, adults, single and in pairs, to work out distribution.
In this world of same sun rays bathe kindred skin and same water quench human thirsts and same soils feed all that walks, you hurting me hurts you.
In a time of wonder the body weapon lays down.
Stepping Up to the Finish Line
Participating in completing our evolution, or at least this phase of it, is available. We can end rape and dominance as a means of interacting—literally, and as political, conceptual approach to other. People from every (or almost every) culture on earth have shared the pain and horror of their experiences of violation and subjugation—body, land & livelihood. We have information from people and cultures past and from contemporary cultures as well as perhaps unprecedented access to our own hearts, minds, and souls. This a result of the art, literature, work, and study of those come before us, and the synergistic pace of energy moving through our light.
Because we are living in the World Wide Web, Internet age, and cell phone omnipotence, information is available to the literate, semi-literate and those not able to read at all. We can be in our world and aware of across the world, in intimate ways, simultaneously. We can be almost anywhere in the world in a matter of hours; a day will get us nearly everywhere a map can locate. We have to be, have to learn to be fully responsible and caring for our contact and intimacy!
August 30, 2021
Peace is Sanity 9 – Afghanistan leavings…
Peace is free, war is costly. The first war cost the first life, the second war cost two. What kind of changes come from rivers of blood? I say let us only raise our hands in love; the first hit is the first war. Stop hitting.
Years 2001 through 2008, over two hundred and fifty-two billion dollars spent in Afghanistan, Iraq; that’s $250,000,000,000 worth of Shock and Awe, the name the United States Military gave to the invasion of Iraq. It was to be quick, but the six weeks turned into 1,2,3,4,5,6 years and counting…. A play name for a “game war”; did the planners of this war want to be heroes? War toy spending brings in eight hundred and forty-two million dollars per year, that’s $842,000,000 per year; aren’t the toys enough?
There are large institutes for weapon research and warfare simulation.
IS ANYONE SIMULATING PEACE? Is anyone simulating peace? I SAY IS ANYONE SIMULATING PEACE? As Shock and Awe plan the next war can we simulate into reality World Peace I?
About nine hundred Billion dollars is spent YEARLY on arms, $900,000,000,000. The United States sells more weapons than any other country. Military sales account for about 18% of the national budget; a much greater portion than any other nation. Can the United States take a different kind of leadership? Can we admit the addiction; can we see our own affection for combat; can we look at where we equate strength with might, with violence? Can we begin the weaning process? Can we begin a different romance; fund a romance with something other than war?
Twenty-eight hundred killed, twenty thousand wounded Americans; forty-five thousand Iraqi lives dead. Children in relationships with cardboard daddies (and some mommies too) so they’ll at least know what their parent looks like, have a likeness to talk to and maybe they hug it too; we all do the best we can.
An advertising firm for a transformer toy and Television program promotes “Peace through Tyranny.” This is a lie. Tyranny is oppression, dictatorship, cruelty, domination, theft.
Peace comes from peace, being peace living peace, walking & breathing peace. Peace is harmony, balance, stillness, joy, laughter, sharing; peace is dancing & playing music & gardening; peace is running & jumping and dreams of running & jumping & sitting & riding & laughing & eating & conversating & telling stories & seeing any trouble way before it is trouble and then practicing our calm, our balance, our harmony, our best thinking & feeling with ourselves and each other.
March 18, 2021
In a world of oneness, every time any time I’m hurting you, I’m hurting me; thinking I can forget about you, your needs and wants is delusion. Your flood, my drought is we problem; this year or the next. Rain doesn’t discriminate, it just rains. It is for us with dominion over earth to work out distribution details.
Air, oil, gold, diamond, uranium, bauxite, wind, calcium, tree, stone, potassium, copper, iron, sun and moon are provided. It is for us little children, big children, adults, single and in pairs, to work out distribution.
In this world of same sun rays bathe kindred skin and same water quench human thirsts and same soils feed all that walks, you hurting me hurts you. In a time of wonder the body weapon lays down.
Peace is one flag full of stars and moons, stripes & leaves in reds & greens and yellows & blues, white & black with red suns and golden trees, purple doves and orange wisdom waving over lands on loan.
Peace keepers all, we are fiber dust become thread become the weave of cloth that is an emblem announcing, we are here, caring for this earth on loan, learning the courtesy of dominion, the ridiculousness of power come with 70 or 100 years on a planet millions of years old. God or science we are flesh for a second. Like flag in sun, wind & rain we thin, tatter, disintegrate returning to fiber dust.
Be spirit of peace and care; nurture and grow love, light and sound. Preserve night and silence, stars and showers.
Be one flag full of peace keepers and joy walkers caring for the earth that is on loan to us learning being peace. Be peace.
Peace is balance. Peace is enough water, enough food, enough laughter, fun, sadness, enough awe.
Aching belly too full, too empty must find peace; cells dehydrated, flattening, dulling life must find the peace of enough; cells swollen, stretched from ceaseless imbibing dulling life must find the peace of enough.
Peace is balance: enough food, water, laughter, fun, sadness and awe.
Backs bent, fingers locked in repetitive nerve destroying motion, eyes losing sight from too much toil must move into balance of enough. Backs bent from the load of one, two, three, four times enough must move into the balance of enough.
Peace is balance.
Peace places a loving hand under our back until our spine has strength. I say let hands’ loving touch enter vertebrae, leap into tendon connecting bone, penetrate muscles, become flesh imprint given out from every look, touch, gesture.
I say find spines not touched, spines ill touched, spines wanting, needing more; open peace hands, let rays of loving nourish, strengthen spine.
Peace is lush ripe cherries offered from cupped hands, clear clean water from cupped hands, seeds for gardens, soap for dirt, salve for wound, nails for building, paint for walls, beauty for living, music for living, dance for living, land for walking, air for breathing.
Peace is Sanity.
October 29, 2020
I am to enact Baby Doll, one of the three characters in The Unsatisfactory Supper by Tennessee Williams. It is one of several plays being produced that preceded A Streetcar Named Desire containing a Sketch of Blanche Dubois. For weeks we talk about Tennessee Williams, read not only his early plays but also see film excerpts, read his poems and his essays. We’re reading these earlier plays and looking at prototypes that become the quintessential Blanche Dubois.
Williams explores and exposes the family. He writes, to my reading, not to shock or titillate, though both can result from reading his work. His work is seeking an understanding of relationships and the substance that binds one to one’s self or to another and the lack of glue that allows freedom or disintegration of relationship. The lack of some adhesive in the family can cause individuals, mainly women, to literally become unglued as many do in Williams’ plays. The characters become insane and are taken to mental institutions; they walk into death as alternative to other no exit situations or they wax in slow grimness. Freedom is generally ambiguous but it usually involves the sacrifice of another, i.e. Blanche for Stella; Tom for Laura in The Glass Menagerie; Aunt Rose for Baby Doll; the entire family for first Big Daddy, then Brick in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.
Williams doesn’t set the characters up as bad or ugly but if you spend any time in someone else’s house (or your own) you see the bad and the ugly, whether they see it as such or not. Williams peers beyond polite company behavior so we see that brother may be sexually intimate with sister, we see that mommy is competing for sexual favors, we see daddy too drunk to notice much, we see sister in another world. We also hear yearning that accompanies repressive families and societies – the freedom to think, the freedom to explore sexually, the freedom to be homosexual, the freedom to leave the family. We see the constraints in effect with the rich and the poor. Poverty, material deprivation is an additional constraint and always somewhere, often front and center, in Williams’ work.
Most of Williams’ plays are set in the South. Williams was from Mississippi; part of his fame is bringing aspects of southern life to the Broadway stage. Nigger is ubiquitous in America, casually and often unashamedly so in the South. For him to have omitted the word would have lent, regardless of his personal usage or lack thereof, dishonesty to his work. To me it would have placed a large question mark about the veracity of his entire depiction. No nigger no truth.
When we reproduce an author’s work, some changes (some might think any changes) significantly change the work. Words are easy to change. Now with computers using Photoshop and other such tools we can do to photos, pictures and painting what we can so easily do to words. Should we do any of it? If so what can we change and why can we do it? Would we recolor a Picasso? Or, take the growling, teeth baring dog being used by a white sheriff to attack a black demonstrator out of the picture? When is the new production merely derivative?
In The Unsatisfactory Supper Baby Doll in response to her husband Archie Lee’s suggestion that she keep the old lady [her aunt] out of the kitchen replies, “You get me a nigger and I’ll keep her out of the kitchen.”
The white director of the production wants nigger replaced with maid.* Human being, African American/ black/Negro/Colored/negra/nigger me enacting Baby Doll and being in that moment Baby Doll wants it to remain nigger because, that is what I says and it’s who I am until I learn something different. Stepping out to speak in aside she might say, I’m not a bad person. I live with my husband. I do the best I can. I haven’t been comfortable on this mountain for a long time. This ugly fat takes care of me but I can’t run through the mountains any more. It’s also padding between me and Archie Lee on top of me. I love Aunt Rose but Archie Lee pays the bills. Maybe I do lack courage. Maybe it was taken away by brother or father or mother. I’m uncomfortably dark myself, not odd here in Mississippi but uncomfortable never the less. I’m goin back to my porch now, wait for somthin to change.
“Nigger” is still ever present in America and now we have exported it around the world. Some blacks have owned “nigger” so thoroughly some other blacks, i.e. the Diaspora of colored folks, and some whites, have appropriated it as culture. What is a “nigger?” For Baby Doll it was someone to be better than. The one someone whose worse life, and believe me it, for Baby Doll, had to be a worse life to make hers tolerable. However horrible her life, she could thank God she wasn’t a “nigger.” This is one of the ways Family and Society get us to shut up, it could be worse. “Nigger” was all she had. A maid gets paid. A maid can change jobs. A “nigger” stays a “nigger.”
In reading the Williams’ plays my first encounter with the casual use of “nigger” is jarring. When I’m reading them in character I have to remember I’m in character. Theater is the enactment of roles. I Carletta in becoming whomever I’m enacting stop being me. I act the other so well that I Carletta am lost before the audience’s eyes and ears. I don’t want a maid, “you get me a nigger” is not jarring.
As I Carletta know Baby Doll, somewhere, now Baby Doll knows me. In this intimacy lies the seed to address the word “nigger” and more importantly the concept of “nigger.” Tennessee Williams has provided the material for the exploring and exposing of this family society to continue. I Carletta Joy Walker am thankful.
*Note: As a courtesy I shared this essay with the director before it was to be aired on a weekly radio program I produced. In addition to leaving the word “nigger” in the play, he included this essay as part of the program.
With the 2017 scent of USA xenophobic nationalism in the air, I finally renewed my passport. This providing me with the possibility to leave the country, with the full awareness that I can’t run from attitudes which can exist everywhere; and in truth, I don’t want to run. I do always want, hope for, and work toward community where we see the beauty of all we are when we look at each other. My hope is for all of us to see that we share our one planet, and need act from a mindset of kindness and understanding. For me this helps each of us maintain our wholeness and our decency.
I went to England spring 1990, the year my mother died; a physical demise was occurring, was evident when I left. I was invited to participate in facilitating a workshop. I had my journal, other writings, spiritual reading—the Daily Word, I think also Louise L. Hay. My skin color, the nature of my hair, my state of minimal economics alarmed the people at immigration: I was flagged. A white male had me follow him. I was passed to an Asian male. He opened and started to go through my carefully folded shirts, socks, panties. I watched his fingers touch me; a chill of violation creeps through me. I said nothing. This Asian man, originated in some country that allowed a British Empire to exist and boast that the sun never set on it looked into me, said, “I’m only doing my job.” Looking at his regret, sadness, I reply, “I’m only having my feelings.” I neither smiled or raged; I hurt.
Finished, the Asian man replaced my things; the white man returned, took my journal, another book of writings, some things I’d brought to read, and left me to sit in a lounge. My books were filled with love and affirmation. I read my Daily Word, which was a perfect word for the day and moment: Friday April 6, 1990, the word for the day, “Relax.” The title introducing the day’s thoughts was “Because My Trust Is In God, I Am Relaxed And At Peace.” The reading began, “If the events of my life seem to be unfolding in ways that are not for my highest good, I do not get upset or anxious. Instead, I quiet myself, relax, and turn to the presence of God within me in complete trust.” I read on smiling that I was so provided for and tickled at the subversive passages on love and the power of transformation that were throughout my journal, my novel, and other writings.
The white man returned; he offered reasons for their search, was as conciliatory as, I suppose, a man with empire legacy could be. An apology seemed an impossibility for him, would cause a rent in his life that would be beyond repair. I thought about the Asian man, forgave him, hoped he didn’t commit suicide. I search through my journals, looking for that April 6 day many years past. I’d written, “I’m glad I didn’t trivialize what I felt.” In response to their taking the words that surrounded me I wrote, “There is only beauty & hope & me in them. What are you looking for? I don’t make sense in your world. I do understand what is happening. My left knee is paining me as I write, a bit of pain in my left hip, my left ovary. The Asian man does not like what he did. Fortunately his discomfort did not turn outward, did not make him brutal toward me.”
My Celestial Guide 1990, week at a glance calendar has a picture of my godchild. He’s not quite one; he’s looking upward with bright eyes, his smile is radiant—there are only the beginnings of teeth.
Did they look at him? What did they see? I’d forgotten the Black woman. She was at the beginning of this process, the initial yea or nay. Brief, her part was brief. What did she see: skin color—her skin color, not her skin color; hair—her hair, not her hair? I don’t remember her and I resist the image that comes to me now. She did stop me, and we did not look into each other’s eyes and declare our love.
I am finally released back to the beginning port of entry; as I walk through, a white Woman flags me. Is it my skin color, the nature of my hair, does she want to experience my aura? The Asian man is there; he stops her quickly, completely. I enter Gatwick. I’m in England, for the second time in my life.
April 7, 2020
HT, Sweetness and Arletti: Bike Adventures is a story of three friends bicycle ride through their neighborhood to the horse stables in the park, where they visit their horse friends–Buckeye, Pony Express and Jezebel.
March 23, 2020
Fossie Bear Plays Saxophone is a story loosely based on the life of composer, jazz soloist—baritone, alto, soprano saxes, clarinet, flute, vocalist—and band leader Fostina Dixon. It came to me after a concert. I remembered the electric energy that flowed through Fostina the first time I heard her play. A vision of a little girl, filled with electric energy, and her discovery of music came to me.