Mary Jane's Shoes

Mary Jane's Shoes

Musings of one person among many. Not exceptional in any way, as with all, I have exceptional experiences and varied reactions to those events. Mine is one of many life stories and how I manage and cope with the events which make my life my own, I attempt to put forth by way of my writings.

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October 7, 2016


Connecting through shared experience is an unselfish, truthful avenue leading to small, yet meaningful, comfort for the fearful, the hurt. ~ mj goodman




September 28, 2016

Raspberry’s Natural Food Store in Charleston, SC
has a spot in my heart. Tiny, but it does exist with the amalgamation of many places carrying warmth from my heart to my mind. About two miles off the peninsula taking the bend on 61 to the left, Ashley River Road in West Ashley, you were there. 

Raspberry’s was an unassuming building, a former home I believe and it looked. As one would expect it did have notices covering the outside and inside of the door and the walls in close proximity, many overlapping another and corners rough with age. Homes for rent, bicycles for sale, and seems to me sometimes classes on yoga were advertised. A small counter at the rear of the store held the cash register, business cards and from it more notices hung. 

After entering and on my right, organic produce sat in a lonely used grocery store stand, white with several shelves. Not much was available, but in the eighties this wasn’t surprising. As well, on the opposite side of this one large room, books on herbs, paperbacks warning of the health risks of consuming white flour, those advising organic pest control were for sale. My memory is far from stellar, a fact that saddens me as I used to own a good sense of it, but there were multitudes of books condoning a chemical free, natural lifestyle. 

A trip to Raspberry’s was a special trip for me. I had thrown myself full force into the raising of my little ones and to feed them in this manner seemed the only way to see them grow. Again, not much was available, and it was more expensive. My trips there were few and far between as we were a young family living on a very tight budget. I longed to go weekly, and more. 

The staff at Raspberry’s was quite pleasant, not intrusive; yet they were able to answer a myriad of questions. I had many and often was too embarrassed to ask them. By doing so I would reveal my lack of knowledge about tinctures to help with minor aches and pains, teas and the like, herbal remedies, and substitutes for poisonous (to humans and needed creatures) pest control. 

It is spectacular to see how things have altered. My 25 year old self never expected to see the availability of organic food stuffs we enjoy now 30 years later. Full markets built around organic healthy foods were not something I thought I would ever know. Grateful I am for the changes, but I do miss climbing the front steps to the door of the first natural/organic food store I tried to frequent. I do wish I could find a photograph of its front door facing Hwy. 61 in Charleston. Does anyone have a photo?   


August 7, 2016

Wave ~

A wave in the ocean only briefly moves the water that carries it. Each molecule of water returns swiftly to its position, the position it held before the energy of the wave struck. 


I saw you, sitting. I saw you sitting on a low chair under a dorm room lofted bed, next to a reel to reel. Strangers, soon to be friends, laughed and flirted; each reminisced of the fun that had enveloped their months. Still my attention returned to you, the quiet man with a flirtatious one sided grin. Your wave hit me, but I did not respond as water, nor as the medium of air to sound waves. I was forever moved. Returning to my former position was in no way possible. Physics has no discernible place in my heart.


Chaos Over Order

June 23, 2016


I once believed life was a constant, vast space, not a continuum of sequential ordered events.  The immediacy of a childhood day was not seen through the lens of time. Events were occurrences, filling the immense space I occupied, seemingly not related to the clock. 

As children we understood. 

Lost was this truthful magic in the midst of our aging; we grew a need for order over chaos. Calendars and clocks took hold of our thoughts.

As children we were wise and brilliant, immediate people. We flourished in the present. I need to unlearn the notion of order; live in the chaos. 

I once believed life was a spatial constant, not a continuum of moments. That belief need return. 

~ With what we fill the space takes precedence over the time we have to fill it. ~

~ Mary Jane Goodman

Silence Has Swallowed Sound

June 14, 2016

Silence has swallowed sound.

Blinders have shadowed sight.

We strain to find any noise, 

to see any light.


We live in an era varied from our country’s past. A call for musket owning by our citizenry was answered. Those in 1791, ratified that which was proper for the time, simply and without knowledge of our future. Our founding fathers would be the first to seek appropriate change for the society in which we now find ourselves. They were believers in change for safer, more fair lives for all. To live amongst those who have been under investigation by the FBI, yet still carry assault rifles, is neither safe nor fair. 


For family and household protection, a gun without large capacity magazines will still maim an intruder, or kill if a life is truthfully threatened. Guns meant for military use, guns made for war are not necessary in the home. To a related point, hunters will hunt. Some will for the food on their tables, some for sport. Though I do not condone the latter, in either situation, never is an assault rifle a necessary piece of equipment to put down a deer or a duck. 


To further this argument assault weapons shouldn’t be available for the general public to purchase. My belief firm and simple is this. Retroactively, they should be surrendered by the general public. If some want the thrill of shooting an assault rifle, they should be available for them at shooting ranges and used only there. Hobbyists can satisfy this desire in an enclosed place where the general public isn’t and doesn’t feel threatened, nor live in fear. 


It is grotesque that background checks for all aren’t the norm, and are not detailed and somewhat lengthy. A hunter or a parent wanting household protection should have no problem with this. If they cannot wait that is grounds for a modicum of concern on the part of the seller. The police can provide protection in the interim, if an urgent situation makes itself evident. It takes months, years, to be fully licensed to get behind the wheel of a machine that kills many each week. Can owning a gun take at least as long to process? Those asking for stiffer background checks are not even asking for the same as drivers’ licenses. 


In light of recent global massacres, we find more evidence of the radicalization of citizens in many countries is an entity that needs to be addressed. Though I do agree with the current president’s stand on gun sense, whole heartedly, I feel he has blinders on when acting to fully protect the United States’ citizenry. I did write ‘fully,’ meaning as well to say ‘all encompassing.’~Yes. All crimes of this magnitude involve hatred, whether based on religion, race, sexual, identity, or what is perceived as a decadent lifestyle unacceptable to another section of our world’s population. Those that seek to maim and kill Americans, for any reason, those that seek to eradicate our lifestyle of freedom and love for all, need to be called out for the reasons they take the actions they do. To refer to the Orlando Massacre as a hate crime is correct. To refer to this heinous crime as radicalization and extreme perversion of a religion is correct ~ radical Islam. This latest horror on our land is both and needs to be handle in that fashion. All have to except it is not either or, and make decisions accordingly. With the degree of hatred and many zealous perversions of thought we live with in this society in the 21st century, we must strip the potential perpetrators of some of their weapons. True Americans can see the sense in this if they clear love the country in which they reside, and love the people with all their differences and make our home what it is. 


Silence has swallowed sound.

Blinders have shadowed sight.

We strain to find any noise, 

to see any light.

~ Mary Jane Goodman

Eight Days

June 3, 2016



Eight days I listened for a name.

Eight days marked a passage. 

Eight days the sun set and the moon rose.

Eight days the tide pools drained and refilled.


Eight days I felt mixed stirrings in my heart ~

of excitement, of loss, of love, of fear, of pride. 

I felt excitement for the moment. 

I felt the loss of a bird from my nest. 

I felt love for my child now adult. 

I felt fear of the future unknown. 

I felt pride as each walked the stage not unlike a young bird lifting off a branch. 


Each came to life through me, but each is not mine. 

I was merely the first warm blanket. 


Each I have been privileged to meet.

Each I was fortunate to hear first breath and see first tear.

Each I have been privileged to first touch fingers.

Each I was fortunate to hear first laugh.


Eight times the same I have lost my footing. 

Eight times I have dressed for celebration,

though sadness I have worn with gratitude. 

Eight times my selfish loss may have shown more than my proud lioness. 

Eight times have I listened for a name. 




A Day

May 6, 2016

A Day

It moves forward yet sits still.
It is spent with focus, or wasted with too great a desire to be another. 

Boredom within is not boredom, if taken fully as a gift, as space-forming time. 

This is a day. You choose. 

It may seem as if waiting; for invested creatures it is patience. 
Patience is a gracious sloth in form invisible.

The movement of the sloth, do emulate. 

Each movement of muscle speaks of a decision, 

of a mindset determined.  

Painstakingly, slow moves respect time. 

Slow moves grasp underground corridors.

Slow movements feel the pulse running through these passageways. 

Slowness feels the blood to heart moving in the chest, and to the destinations needing oxygen. 

Precious, not entitled, are true results. 
He thrives, the sloth.

He carries the visions of his today. 

Only of today, this day, 

though to the flighty seen as boredom, this is the true sense of living. 

He has taken many breaths of which we should breathe. 

He sees more than we. 

He is now;

he uses time slowly without anxiety. 

Within our own chests, his lesson of the slow, of patience, we need learn. 

More can be learned from the wind passing though the leaves as you sit amongst them than by swiftly traveling past along the branches of the tree. 

~ Mary Jane Goodman

Again, Thoughts on Music

April 10, 2016


Again, Thoughts on Music (If the subject interests, read the following quite short paragraphs.)



Though not trained in music in any capacity, other than childhood violin and piano lessons and a short stint in voice classes, music to me is second on life’s ladder; family has its place owning the top rung, absolutely and without question. If I regretfully had been part of neither a beautifully complex extended family nor a family of nuclear love, the sounds coming to me in the form of music would be my family members. Notes would be my siblings, the melody and harmony my parents. 


Music catapults the true listener to the most spiritual of thought, without using conscious thought. The receiver is taken, without resistance, to a different realm. The mind absorbing the notes and rhythm, while possibly relating to the words, is given a taste of another life, another plane of existence, perhaps. It hints at worlds beyond what we know, or think we know. I like to believe it is a window into what follows our physical passing. It brings powerful connection. It creates its own power. It is a deeply emotional family connecting this earthly life to any that lies beyond. 

~ mary jane goodman


I Saw You Glance

March 27, 2016

I saw you glance. 

My eyes met yours 

in innocent recognition, though I believed only my own. 

To you, I was any other.   


The light fell gently and slowed all movement. 

Candle flames burnt yellow 

and in their most heated, blue. 

The voices of those celebrating gayly, 

their words were indistinguishable to me.

I relied on sight, on body language, on facial expression. 


Standing so far across the marbled floor,

the women in multicolored dressings looked to me as butterflies, 

and men as black or navy fence posts wearing hair coiffed like the tines of a fork, slick as silver.

The butterflies each found preferred fence posts upon which to light.  

Human nature

All creature behavior


Wind driven ivy streamers 

dancing in front of lights,

became bats skimming my shoulders. 

I thought of disappearing through the calling doors. 

I was a white statue against a white washed wall. 


With gracious smiles,

with small talk given,

I heard not a sound from you. 

The doors did reach to me,

offering a simple escape. 

Lips formed words, 

and I watched you kiss many a cheek.

As yet to you, I was not present. 


Fantasies are dreams. 

Dreams are the mind’s art expressed,

formed with desperate wishes and often with stifling worry. 

The dream of eye connection, with you, 

became a real event. 

A dream come true seems the purest form of art.

~ mary jane goodman

Castles of Sand and Seaweed

March 27, 2016

Castles of Sand and Seaweed~

Music. When I hear notes glide into one another in a pattern soothing and mathematically sensible, there is no break for my mind to wander. I am caught. I have been snared in the fisherman’s net, though startled, albeit ensnared willingly. The netting represents the bars and released bubbles, the notes. 


Thoughts other than those the tune itself brings, are not given permission to enter the six walled space enclosing me. Outer subject matter seems not to exist, and is not granted permission if it does indeed want entry. If the patterns and notes flow seemlessly and with allure, permission is simply not allowed for interruption. Nothing disrupts the musical tome. How could anything command attention from sound’s musical perfection?


If I am listening intensely, and more so if I am as well singing with lyrics, I am protected. I am insulated from all that causes pain. Even if pain is known and felt through tune, it is experienced in a way that brings release and comfort. 


The other of my senses are shut down to a degree, as if I am alone on the sea, with no other, with no biting fish nor broken shells to cut my feet. I am safe with the music of rhythmic waves crashing as my guardian, my castle of sand and seaweed. 
~ Mary Jane Goodman

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