I was unpacking some of my books last week and found this beautiful book written by Jewel I had bought years ago. At that time I had only read just a few tidbits from the book...but in the last week, every night at bedtime I get comfy and have found myself reading it from the very beginning of the first page. I discovered Jewels first cd "Pieces of you" way before it got any airplay, I saw her on some local PBS show singing with Melissa Etheridge and Melissa introduced Jewel to do one of her "own songs" and Melissa said "you'll be hearing from this great artist soon she is making a cd now a great talent with a beautiful voice"...so I listened to Jewel singing this beautiful song in her beautiful voice titled "Foolish Games" and I was blown away! I thought "okay I've got to find where I can get her cd"!.. and it took weeks of calling around and then ordering the cd and I played it all the time. Then about a year later "wham" she's all over the radio. I love her song "Foolish Games" it's so incredibly heartfelt and honest.
Jewel's writing in "Chasing down the Dawn" is incredibly honest, pure, beautifully poetic and descriptive of her life as a child in Alaska, no electricity, no tv, no bathroom, a very rough life, yet you can tell it made her who she is today. She writes of living in her van, being so poor she could not get any medical help for her chronic kidney problems. Her mother traveled some with her and would encourage her and support what Jewel wanted to do in her writing and singing. She writes of life on the road doing concerts all over the world, she writes so "Flowing" of her experiences meeting people from all walks of life, her very difficult relationship with her father and how he finally was willing to acknowledge and open up to her in his own way and to learn from his mistakes and improve his ways. This is wonderful when a parent can and is "willing" to do this when the child becomes an adult...it's so much easier to heal when you know your wounds and "hurt" are not only being acknowlegled but that person who hurt you changes and heals also.
Jewel is also a very good artist, her drawings in this book fit what she is expressing in her writing about.. and I just love the way she shares so much of her heart and so connected with nature "as God" and how she is most definitely her own "person" and follows her own heart and instinct and has known who she is since a very young child. Her mother taught her these things as a child, that it is not only "okay" to be who she is but also to listen to her own "inner voice".
I highly recommend this book. It is something very different not something you would find usual or common....it's very very much like a poetic diary journal. If you end up reading this book and like it, I highly recommend her first book, "A night without armor", it's full of beautiful poems she wrote. I like that Jewel is so feminine and there is this essence and grace about her the way she carries herself...and her great spirit is so strong and so brave...you don't have to look or act "tough" or bitchy or "macho" in order to have strength of character. and speak "Your truth"....never judge a book by it's cover...but judge by the grace of inner strength and beauty from the "inside"....Jewel never sold out I don't care what anyone says...she's decided to keep her tooth crooked that some people make fun of or think now that she has lots of money she should "fix it"..well I think she is keeping what the divine blessed her with, she is staying true to herself. She lives on a ranch with her "rodeo" husband "Ty" and she doesn't really get into the hollywood deal and likes ranching and being out in the country...
From Jewels book "Chasing down the dawn" and finding her "inner voice" at a very young age.
"I learned to keep an ear turned always inward, to track and dialogue with that inner voice. I often found the voice within me possessed a wisdom or peace beyond my years or experience. During stressful times I would take great solace retreating inside. I felt things would be "okay". My mother encouraged me to turn my ear to the subtle voice that was inside me. Without her encouragement I'm sure I would have become numb to it."
"There were times when I lost touch with the voice. It felt like losing the compass by which I have always navigated . There have been times when I have lost trust and faith in my own intuition and tumbled around aimlessly, like a ship tossed against the rocks of other people's opinions and criticisms. Writing has helped me immeasurably. What I feel most deeply surfaces when I write. It is a very tangible way to see what inwardly has no form"
"I sit in silence each day for one to two hours, not to pray or meditate, though it may be like that. It is to sit in communion with myself. A dialogue inwardly, to dream new dreams, to redream old ones. To update old habits or thought processes that no longer serve me, to contemplate the source and the wonder of all things."
"I'm getting better at hearing my voice. I'm learning that the more I make decisions from my gut, regardless of statistics or popular opinion, the happier I am with the outcome...the more the outcome looks like who I am, not what I feel obligated to be".
Written by Jewel in 2000-2001