Wisdom Found On the Beach (Based on Picture #3 of Prompt #3)

Hair flowing loosely with flowers falling with each step, 
her tambourine flicking sparks with each rattle,
wrapped shirt tails revealing she now has a bejewelled belly button
flicking light matching the mirrors in her blousing loose cotton maxi skirt,
Janis Joplin has just arrived on this beach.

Drinking in the salt air and cool mist, she is swaying to waves
crashing in and out, each time creating ribbons of blues, silvers, purples, 
fleeting sunset-orange, white froth, and back to blues all the deeper and fuller.
Deep from her throat her heart surges in breaking songs matching each falling crest.

Dumbfounded, I stare. I know who she is, yes, but I know no more than three of her songs:
Freedom found when she sings about Bobby McGee,
a wail when giving a piece of her heart,
then that Mercedes Benz song that caused so much turmoil years after she died.
I knew them only from the AM radio station I listened to growing up
crackling with static, accentuating her gritty, gutsy voice.

Does she realize it's me?  
"Jan, yes you" bemused, I look to see if she's speaking to anyone else, but now 
she's right before me.
"Let me tell you, I've been journeying over this earth over forty years now, 
close to fifty.
We were supposed to meet, but you were only three when I died. 
I was supposed to come and meet you when you cried in heartache-
I've been there.
I would have understood about the risks and adventure.
When everyone else was worried, I was going to be the one to 
whisper encouragement. . . why not?
So, my death was not the plan - but hey, 
life's improvasition with planning for a back-up band.
It's the improvisation that gives you voice. . . "

She caught another deep breath of seaside air as cooling summer waters
tickled over her toes, and she gasped a loud, long laugh.
"Are you expecting a stereotype? The fast life? If only I'd lived long enough, 
I'd be drinking the teas - chai, matcha, chamomile - teaching yoga and music therapy, 
and falling in love every damn chance I'd get."  

She smiles at me, clearly looking right at me. 
"Ah, yes, I was supposed to be in the fights for equal rights, and the marches -- 
oh! those fabulous marches.
I just took it all too seriously but not seriously enough.
Why did I listen to the meanness? 
Why did I doubt myself? It wasn't about me in the small me.
It was about me being part of something bigger -- the ME I was supposed to be."

She's stopped the swaying, and she has grown fuller and brighter.

"Don't be afraid. You've got today, tomorrow, and at least a few days more.
Be bold. Be brave. Be beautiful. Have fun. 
You don't know what's coming, but remember about the improvisation.
The electricity doesn't come from the guitar. It comes from you. 
Make your life a song. . . ."

She disappeared, but the sparkles remained.
The starred sky dipped down to the beach where I stood, 
the heavens and earth somehow connecting as the waves crashed in.

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