Category Archives: Auth: Jamie Brazil

Emojis, the Soul and Genetic Memory

Emojis are like the soul – our essence without context reduced to pure impression.

Wahula Gonzo

I think we each have a soul. When we die, our brain, our memory, all that is gone. What’s left is an energy that has been influenced by our living experiences, but doesn’t remember any of it. The soul is like a compendium of emojis evoking emotions that are now lost, yet there is a retained glow, an echo, an effect of their existence.

Pretty heavy.

Emojis are also fun. My tween nieces just got their own cell phone to share. I’m their favorite text-buddy.

Which brings us to emojis. The older niece is very literal and loves to write exactly what she wants to communicate, though she will sign off with a few special emojis. The younger is a free spirit still running on magic fairy dust and would prefer to communicate with the world exclusively through emojis. Which made me ask, “What is an emoji?” Not just a smiley face. Deeper. Way deep. Like, are emojis in our genetic memory deep?

If man has been around for centuries, what about emojis?

I know there was one back in 1969.

Rolling Stone Tongue

If you don’t know this from the Rolling Stones, designed by John Pasche, we’ll have to go back further. How about the Mayans? This is Ajaw, maybe a sun god from thousands of years ago. I think the sun god is a happy guy. I’d sign off a text with him.

ajaw (2).jpg

And what about the Egyptians? Hieroglyphics are like writing with all emojis.


And let’s not forget Asia.


Yin and yang. The balance of the universe. If you tip it on its side it’s almost a smiley face.


So what does this all mean? I don’t have a clue. I can only guess that when we all join that universal flow of energy in the afterlife, maybe our genetic emoji memory will kick in. Hopefully, we’ll all be as comfortable communicating with them as my nieces.


Compassion is a Bitch

0fd5dd1e246d6c7e6cca2ce7b2859c72-wildlife-paintings-bird-paintingsBlack Bear came to a meeting late and said, “I’m feeling frazzled after dealing with my cubs. What if I don’t feel compassionate?”

Raven said, “Fake it.”

That doesn’t seem honest,” said Black Bear.

It doesn’t begin with honesty,” said Raven.

~Zen Master Raven Stories by Robert Aitken Roshi

Here we are, a new year, yet again. Most of us are in familiar resolution territory: fitness, nutrition, save money, and write that book. I’ve given a lot of thought to Raven’s advice above. Fake it. For much of the past year I’ve struggled with compassion — especially relating to one person in my life.

In pursuit of compassion I’ve seen a counselor, an acupuncturist, and a yogi on a regular basis. They all help, to some extent — the balance of yoga building physical and spiritual muscles. Yet it wasn’t until October 2nd in Ann Arbor, Michigan when a stop for gas turned into one of those before and after moments. A man committed suicide, jumping off a roof of a parking garage. His lifeless body less than 100 feet from the gas pump.

I realized then my compassion was still present. Just buried under many many… MANY… layers of anger.

So here I am on the cusp of a new year. Much of the same old same old. I resolve to be healthy, slim, solvent and prolific. Less angry. More compassionate, too. Eventually. For me, compassion is still a bitch, contended with on a daily basis. My greatest challenge.

In the meantime, maybe we can all benefit from Raven’s advice and fake what we really really want until it becomes our truth.

Finding My Funny Bone

flamingophotoYesterday I threw out my January 2017 poster board of goals. In a quest to Marie-Kondo-ize that closet you see there behind me — the closet that up until yesterday held a mash up of both literary and garage sale sins — I figured out that I lost my sense of humor.

Yeah, it’s been a tough go of things this year.

My sense of humor was NOT in the closet. It is somewhere, but it was not in the closet.

In the meantime, I heaped piles in the middle of my office floor and edited. Brutally.  Boxed papers for shredding. Stacked a four-foot-high tower of stuff near the front door to be re-homed. There are wicker baskets (why do I own a large collections of wicker baskets?) , hangers, clothes that don’t fit me, things I’ll never get around to selling, books (lots of books) and the ramblings of half-finished projects. Oh, and at the aforementioned garage sales, I’ve found REALLY USEFUL things like light-up animatronic flamingos.

Hmmm. The center of the floor was still a mess.

Disheartened by the chaos I bailed and went to a movie (Wonder Woman… brilliant… though the stabs of humor in the script felt forced).

Mentally restored, I returned home and tackled the last of the pile, finishing my task around 9pm. Exhausted, with an aching elbow that I don’t know how I injured, and still humorless.

What I do know is that I need a fresh start. For writing, for excavating even deeper than an office closet, and for laughter that comes from the belly.











April Showers…

lily valleyDo April showers bring May flowers? We’ve had enough rain last month, and on a personal note, many tears too. When the Janes gathered last month at the RCRW Spring Fling I had no idea the month would end in such heartbreak: less than a week ago my two-year old Bloodhound passed away  Whether it was an accident or intentional, he was poisoned

Though my “fur-baby” Angus is gone far too soon, I try to remind myself how fortunate I’ve been to have shared my home with not just one but TWO Bloodhounds. Each one magnificent in his and her own way.

So here’s hoping the rain wraps up, the sky clears, and the blossoming flowers in the coming days of May lift everyone’s spirits. IMG_5760




12 Real Life Love Stories in 60 Seconds

FireworksLove stories abound this month, but I know you’re busy. So on a practical, and succinct, note I’ve curated the best stories. Quoted and paraphrased for brevity. Here we go, 60 seconds of IRL love:

Costco. Bought one tire at a time until I worked up the courage to ask him out.” (17 + years together )

“She was my student. Adult ESL.” (9 years)

“It was after the war. My best friend’s boyfriend’s buddy needed a dance partner.” (50+ years)

“1965 anti-war protest. I was studying to become a priest.” (40+ years)

“Scattering the ashes of deceased husband.” (3 years)

“Knew him from square dancing. We were doing dishes when he threw the dishtowel over his shoulder, got down on one knee and proposed.” (20+ years)

“On the job. Funeral home.” (25 years)

“On the bus, commuting to work. Saw each other every day.” (30+ years)

“Conference. Slept together before our first date.” (15+ years)

“Too broke to take a vacation, I played tourist with my best friend and an acquaintance set up a sailboat trip for us. Met the love of my life.” (50+ years)

“Overseas. Volunteer relief work. I was drawn to his compassion.” (20+ years)

“She put her paw in my hand. Everything went still in that moment.” (6.5 years)Frankie1







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