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.

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

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 ~ Originally Written in 2003

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

It Catches My Peripheral Vision

March 24, 2016


Driving, it catches peripheral vision,

a swash of graffiti,

fire red paint on the yellow yield sign. 



A change in colored light, a flash on the side of the road does startle.


The distraction of sprayed color
disturbs the passing view of corn and cotton,

soybean and pecan. 

Soothing it was passing fields that were planted as if pages in a book. 

But I was driven, driving. 

I did not note the words. 

The faster my driving,

the more quickly I read, and the more overlooked.


The flash of bright red interrupted
the quiet flying rhythm as it fed a break in turning farm row pages. 

The field’s book has now attention paid it. 

Smooth movement now is staggered. 

As rain languidly transforms more the view,

reading each line now requires the slowing speed so as to catch each word before it runs down the leaves, 

to the dirt, 

on the backs of rain droplets. 


Crops as words in his field, the farmer oversees. 
The author he is. 

If country road drivers flip pages too quickly,

missed is meaning and heart of his dirty, earthy written lines. 

Slow down the pace. 

The complete story then can be read, even with peripheral intruders 

and rain to drown the words. 

With concentration, with slower pace,

the pages’ words can be caught as they fold into ditches. 

To be sure, the rain with dirt will deliver again the story.




March 13, 2016


i turned down 

his white shirt collar 

after i slipped into my well-worn shoes

and adjusted his paisley tie that shown beneath,

a small gesture 

          not much

          though much

he held my sweatered arm

and steadied me as i tripped on an unruly lace

guiding me into the passenger seat,

he buckled my belt

pressed a kiss to my cheek

a small gesture 

          not much

          though much

cat hair on my sweater

he brushed it free,

his mug held no coffee

i filled it with the first from the pot,

a towel to the steamy shower door

he draped for me,

he napped on the sofa, work forgotten

i removed his shoes

          not much

          though much


~ mary jane goodman


If Numb

March 11, 2016

If Numb~

if you see the flames, 

  but do not feel the warmth

if you see the smile, 

  yet do not feel the laugh

if you know the punch, 

  but do not feel its pain

If numbness is left,

  from stiffening frostbite


move inside,

  deep inside the home where winter snows 

live beyond windows

and fire burns in the belly, 

and in the hearth


notice, and dissect, and linger
you will learn again of keenness and sensibility


~ mary jane goodman

Too Much

February 26, 2016

~Is it possible to feel too much? 


Like others deemed too emotional, I do a fairly decent job at feeling and revealing my emotions in response to circumstances life delivers. I do not hide them nor do I tuck them away, in general. There may be a few instances where I find it important to close shop. I may retreat to my home, my room. With this does come a guilt of my dishonesty, rather sin of omission. I don’t mean this in an arrogant way. 


Some may see this expression as a lack of strength. Maybe it is in a few specific circles. Sometimes it seems a curse. I do fall apart. Then I occasionally find a strength I didn’t know I possessed, though I do not see myself as a steel magnolia. There have been several points in time where I wanted the ground to open beneath my feet and cover me whole with soil, never to feel fear and pain again. If I were to be this southern flower, it would surely take me a long time to reinforce my inner strength, to find my steel interior. In and with some situations the fear never leaves and it whispers in my ear daily. 


When I wrote previously, a decent job, those perhaps were the wrong words to choose. Feeling is not a choice. The resulting reaction of expressing said feeling and how to do so is often a choice. I wouldn’t say they always are. It may simply be that this heart and soul lives in the extreme. It just is. It is in my DNA and possibly yours, the known-to-some-as-dramatic reaction to life. Releasing emotions is healthy and necessary to communicate. Each of us does to varying degrees. To shut down and hide leaves you and the would be receiver lost. The emotion aches in you; there is a burn. Confusion is the receiver’s gift. 


Do I feel too much? I do not see how one can unless there exists a mental illness twisting the feel and release of emotions. For myself and possibly you, I see this personality trait at times a heavy load, but overall a gift. I feel deeply always. It can be exhausting and at the same time exhilarating. If I become drained, which I do allow myself to become, I know I have seen the emotion through fully. I can move forward in a way refreshed. I couldn’t have lived more than to feel it all and deeply. To some I laugh too often and too hard, but to do so is one of the more pleasurable feelings of which we are capable. Why not feel and express something this wondrous fully? I cry, hard and completely. I get spitting angry and cuss. I feel such a release when I do so. I know some believe cursing is indicative of a lack of vocabulary, but to me it carries the same fullness of life as does slamming a door, or a belly laugh, or tears at beautiful music.


While cradling my babies I felt more of this earth, more human than I thought possible and I never felt more warm love. Caring for another is, I believe, the way we are to live. Life cannot be lived fully alone. Overwhelming feelings of nurturing and protecting create connections that support us as the human race. That type of love, that for our children, for others, is primal. Emotions and their depth make us human. 


Being human is feeling all the emotions afforded us, and to experience them is to experience the entire spectrum of our personal humanity. It is to share our common nature. It is to sincerely live amongst and with each other. I believe I have answered my initial question and the answer is no. 


Mary Jane Goodman 2016 February

Imperfectly Perfect Chaos in Our Home, I’ll Take It Thank You

February 22, 2016


Full weekends with family are chaotic love. 


A barely there in time arrival at a political rally on a Friday night with two children, one of voting age, one not, meets an early morning out of town tennis trip to watch a third play with the heart and soul only he and his tennis brother possess. 


I am their mom and I am allowed to give such praise. 


I am smiling. 

The two rally witnesses bike a trail with their father after one rally witness wakes early and bakes bread, an every other day treat here. I do wish he’d as well wash the bakeware. 

A fourth leaves his college apartment to visit the crew of Giddenses and share his wit; his winter hat is seemingly permanently affixed to his head. His sister’s kidney is functioning beautifully inside its new home within him. 

During this stretch of 20 hours, multiple phone calls and a greater number of texts have traveled invisibly through the various grades of atmosphere, some of which are anxiety producing. Such is life with six offspring and two grands. 

Again I turn a smile. 

Posted photos from a fifth and sixth, who now care for their own new families, complete the weekend picture, for now. 

As I sit in my pajamas, draped with a blanket I have tucked beneath my toes, in our yellow family room, Kenya the Ragdoll feline licks her paws and I watch our boys play Guitar Hero as the darkness overtakes the sun coming through the window. By the way, to me it looks as though they are killing this musical instrument game. 

The dogs add their voices because what is more fun for a dog to do aside from chasing a cat?

By the way, we, in total, visited the market five times, the pharmacy once, and cleaned a couple of dog accidents; one of us slipped in a parking lot of gravel and has the cuts on her knees to prove it. 

I keep a smile, and still tomorrow is to come and is only tonight away. More goodness and chaos promises to enter our home through the windows with the sun. 

~ Mary Jane Goodman

%d bloggers like this: