Jay O'Callahan's New Novel is Available!

 Latest news and update 1/17/2013

By Jay O'Callahan

I felt lousy. The garden was not just colorful, It was filled with so many scents. I would take a step to the left or right and there would be a new scent. Sweet scents and sharp ones and dank ones. I loved all those scents.
The apple we ate was quite crisp.
We ate the apple and so we had to leave the garden. For one instance I saw all that would happen in the future. 
I'm sorry we ate the apple
But I would have liked more warning. You know He could have said, "If you eat it you'll be banished. Out. Fini. Gone. Misery.
But I have to forgive the Creator. He overdid it but the truth is we were really after His job.

By Jay O'Callahan

I loved your touch
Your fingertips
Twirled me
I had not expected to dance

I like your nose
I had not expected to
         Give off my scent

I loved your eyes
They took in my
         Yellow, red explosion

I am beautiful . . . but 
Dear Sir 
So are you

Jay latest novel Harry's Our Man available at Jay's Store  or at Jay's Amazon page
Book Signings 
joining Jay will be  Spoken Voices Author Lloyd Prentice
with his new novel The Gospel

               Jay at Harvard performing Nasa Story "Forged In The Stars"
Jay O'Callahan grew up in a section of Brookline, Massachusetts called "Pill Hill" because so many doctors lived there. The magical house and grounds were a perfect setting for his parents' parties which were filled with singing, drama and conversation -a great atmosphere for a child's imagination to blossom. When Jay was 14, he started telling stories to his little brother and sister at the parties to keep them occupied. It felt so natural, it never occurred to him that it could become a way of life.
Storytelling has brought Jay around the earth. "The storyteller of old got on a horse. I get on a plane, parachute into a community and I'm part of its life for a while before moving on to the next one." 'The Spirit of the Great Auk,' about Richard Wheeler's re-tracing of the migratory journey of this now extinct bird, has taken him from Nantucket to New Zealand.

When he isn't on the road, Jay runs a writing workshop at his home. His other interests include reading everything from Walt Whitman to Herman Melville to Flannery O'Connor to Edan St. Vincent Milay. And he enjoys listening to jazz, classical music and opera. "I love Maria Callas. Her singing touches a joy that's very deep."
Jay is currently working on a novel about growing up. It takes place in a single day.

Posted 6/21/2011

                                                           Laura's Wedding Story
                                                              December 2010

She was born on a warm spring night.
In the morning, on the edge of the marsh, a wild cherry tree
Burst into blossoms bright
As if to say, "Welcome to you little girl of the marsh."
You'll be a delight.

The little girl of the marsh was born
With an invisible cloak of wonder and dreams.
Soon her laughter spilled out onto the marsh streams.
With her brother she
Tumbled in the leaves
Climbed all the trees
Laughed at the bees
And played pirate on imaginary seas.

She was born very wise
She'd learned hundreds of things by the time she was five.
Her mind was discerning
She was surprised to find out school wasn't about learning
It was about taking a test.
Ah, well, she thought, I'll do my best.

When she was fourteen she thought life was going too fast.
She said to her parents, "Can we get our dear friend
To build me a swing?"
She swung very high and cried, "Hooray" to the sky.
But she could feel her invisible cloak of wonder and dreams
Was beginning to fade.
How can another
Ever be made?

This story has four hundred and ninety seven chapters. I won't tell every one.

In the land of granite and pine trees
There was a lively boy who liked to play with his musical sister,
And his musical brothers.
His father was a kind man who brought travelers safely home.
His mother was lively, imaginative and strong.
She encouraged their music and was fun all along.
One day the boy saw on the ground a new flute.
Not a lute but a flute. He played on the flute and it went toot, toot.
He kept playing the flute until he played it so fine
Every note did shine. His spirit floated out on the notes of the flute.
People opened their hearts to the boy of the flute.
His notes created a root
He followed the root
It led to the sea
He heard the sounds of the sea
And said, "Those are for me."
He too was aware that his invisible cloak of wonder and dreams
Was about to fade.
How can a new cloak
Ever be made?

Then there were chapters and chapters
Chapters of achievement, of joy and of loss.
Chapters of broken dreams
For life is never what it seems.
For Laura there were chapters of mountains and miles
And chapters of buying a house on her own
And living with great spirit alone.

For Tim there were chapters of being a good father to three wonderful children.
Chapters of telling them stories, singing them songs, bringing them skating,
Bringing them along and along.
And in time seeing them
Go bravely out into the world.
And chapters for Tim of living in Cambridge alone
Both wore the cloak of alone.
But there lives were full day by day
And they thought, well perhaps alone is the way.

Chapter 400
As yet Tim and Laura have not met.
They both entered the world of the Deaf.
They learned much about themselves and the world from the Deaf.
Interpreting at conferences, concentration was a test.
At the end of a long day Laura wanted to rest
For Tim being with people was best.
"Hey Laura, want to join us for supper?"
"No thanks."
"Hey Laura, want to join us for lunch?"
"No thanks."
"Laura want to - - - "
"No thanks."
"Yes, Tim."
"Would you go out on a date with me?"
"Yes, Laura."
"Monday night seven o'clock. The Wine Bar in Kenmore Square."
So a date!
"So Laura, are you athletic? Do you like to run?"
"I'm not athletic, Tim, but I've done some running."
"Yes, I ran the Boston Marathon."
"Laura, I like to do some biking in Cambridge. Do you bike?"
"Well I biked some. I biked across the country twice."
"Oh! Laura, I like to camp out in New Hampshire and sometimes climb mountains.
Have you climbed any mountains?"
"Well, my brother said 'come along' so we climbed the Himalayas."
"Oh!" Who is this Woman?
"So Tim, you like to bike and hike. What else?"
"Well, Laura I like yoga too and I do at least one of those three every day.
I have for five hundred straight days."
Then Tim talked of poetry and music. His knowledge was enormous.
Who is this Man?
"So, Laura, what else do you like?"
"I like gardening, Saturday morning.
Come to my house, I'll show you my garden."
"You have a house?"
"Yes I have a house, two ducks and a frog."
Saturday morning Laura said, "This is my patio. I have two rickety chairs.
I need a love seat. Let's go." (We've known one another a week and I'm going shopping with her?)
Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you.
(Laura on the phone). "Tim, I'm standing in my basement. It's filled with water.
The water heater is broken."
"Laura, I've got to tell you something. I'm not handy.
I'll never be handy but . . . I'll write you a poem."
"Do," Laura said. "When?"
"Now." Tim said.
Getting to know you
Getting to like you
Getting to hope you like me.
They were driving in Cambridge and Laura said,
"You missed the parking space, back up."
"Laura, I hate to go in reverse.
To me there's nothing worse. I just hate to go in reverse."
Getting to know you
Getting to know what to say.
Laura declared an art day.
Tim discovered painting. He discovered he was so good he was almost fainting.
When they were putting the paints away
Laura thought she felt a new invisible cloak of wonder.
Tim did the same but they didn't tell one another.

Tim was cooking eggplant on the grill
Laura was in the garden picking dill
"Laura, sing me a song."
"Okay. When we were kids we were going on vacation.
As we drove through Bangor, Maine
My brother made up a song. Here it is.
Bangor, Mainnnnne. That's the title. Here's the chorus.
Bangor, Mainnnnne. Here's a verse.
Bangor, Mainnnnne."
"Great Laura. This line reminds me of you.
Hold fast to your dreaming for all you're worth.
            As long as they're sailors
            There'll always be dreamers
            Bringing back their bright treasures
            From corners of earth. (Tim sings)

Hold fast to your dreaming for all you're worth
            As long as they're sailors
            There'll always be dreamers
            Bringing back their bright treasures
            From corners of earth."
"You've held fast to your dream, Laura."
"We have, Tim, we have."

Chapter 470
On Christmas Eve Tim was cooking lentil curry.
It was Christmas Eve there was no need to hurry.
There was song and story and sitting by the fire.
In time Laura's parents began to tire.
They went up to bed and sleep.
Tim and Laura stayed up talking.
And Tim said, "Laura just open the big package."
She opened the package and inside was
A package, a package, a package
A package, a package, a package
A package, a package, a package
A package, a package, a package, a ring!
"Will you marry me, Laura?"
"Yes, I'll marry you."
Laura went running up the stairs.
Thump, thump, thump, thump,
Thump, thump, thump, thump.
She burst into her parents' bedroom.
There was no need to turn on the light.
Because her invisible cloak of wonder was so bright.
"He asked me to marry him!"
"Congratulations, Laura, where will you get married?"
"On the marsh of course. Remember the wild cherry tree that burst into blossoms so bright on the marsh?"

This is Chapter 491 and we're all in the chapter.
We're standing in this great space
In the marsh's embrace.
And Tim and Laura's cloaks of wonder and dreams shine so bright.
Their love is so strong
We're all swept along
In the wonder of their delight.