Collective Breath – Episode 20 – 11/22/20 – Transcript


Week of Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

Number of people attending Facebook (personal portion):

Number of people attending Zoom Meet (group portion):


“We did not ask for this room or this music. We were invited in. Therefore, because the dark surrounds us, let us turn our faces to the light. Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty. We have been given pain to be astounded by joy. We have been given life to deny death. We did not ask for this room or this music. But because we are here, let us dance.”

— Stephen King, 11/22/63

A transcript of this segment and each subsequent session will be posted (for anyone interested) at which is my main outlet for personal poetry and photography: Sideways Eight Projects.

“Shortly after noon on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas.”

Today’s date all those years ago is the Baby Boomer’s ‘Flashbulb Memory’. One in which the vast majority of people alive at the time remember where they were and what they were doing at the moment when they found out the horrible news and whatever grim details were revealed at the time.

Many years later on September 11th was my generation’s Flashbulb Memory. Or, because of the collective trauma of both incidents, one preceding the other as a generationally defining moment, 9/11/2001, The September 11th attacks, were my generations ‘JFK Moment’. 11/22/63 & 9/11/2001 are both grouped significant numbers in the lives of the vast majority of people in this country who were at least 8 years old at the time they occurred. The number 8 is particularly significant to me as the host of this show which is segway enough for what we’ll be talking about this week: significant numbers.

Hello fantastic people! My name is Jesse James Ziegler. I am the current Poet in Residence for the Bruka Theatre of the Sierra in Reno, Nevada. I am an active poet, special event MC, principle photographer, special event series host, and now weekly wellness writing workshop host in collaboration with Spoken Views Collective of which I am also a Board Member.

This Weeks Writing Prompt:

This week’s Prompt : Write about significant numbers in your life.

When I was much younger, and I had never been introduced to the concept of infinity, or the word itself, I was in the habit of consistently writing untitled short pieces and poems. I was in need of a page break in my journals and within my reams of printer paper. I had seen an infinity symbol before. Unknowing as to the label or the significance of it I referred to each marking between each creative writing piece as a ‘sideways eight’. Hence all these years later, when I started keeping a website blog, that’s what I decided to call it, Sideways Eight Poetry, as an homage to the initial spark from my childhood. This later morphed into Sideways Eight Projects as I wanted to include my first love poetry as well as photography, involvement in live theatre, independent film, special event hosting, and creative writing in general. Art with forever in mind.

I want for this podcast style personal portion to contain information about famous writers and their quotes as well as, futuristically speaking, local guests to this program who help everyone involved gain a diversity of perspective and positively impact our individual process.

Quote(s) of the Week:(7)

“Numbers do not feel. Do not bleed or weep or hope. They do not know bravery or sacrifice. Love and allegiance. At the very apex of callousness, you will find only ones and zeros.”

— Amie Kaufman, Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

“When I read obituaries I always note the age of the deceased. Automatically I relate this figure to my own age. Four years to go, I think. Nine more years. Two years and I’m dead. The power of numbers is never more evident than when we use them to speculate on the time of our dying.”

— Don DeLillo, White Noise

“Great leaders are willing to sacrifice the numbers to save the people. Poor leaders sacrifice the people to save the numbers.”

Simon Sinek

“Numbers don’t lie. Women lie, men lie, but numbers don’t lie.”

Max Holloway

“When you have mastered numbers, you will in fact no longer be reading numbers, any more than you read words when reading books You will be reading meanings.”

W. E. B. Du Bois

“When you see 11:11, it is a spiritual message to remind you that you are the creator of your own reality and you need to take responsibility for it. Your current situation is the result of your past thoughts and actions. By taking a proactive approach, you can become aware of what you think, what you say, and what you do in order to completely take charge of your life.”

— Kianu Starr

“The problem with the 11:11 Phenomenon is getting anybody interested in it that hasn’t experienced it themselves. Other phenomena, such as U.F.Os or crop circles, are able to be seen. We can debate them. But seeing and being guided by 11:11 is hard to convey to those uninitiated in its ways.”

— Harry Whitewolf, Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol

I’m hoping this sharing and vulnerability I’m demonstrating will encourage others who love creative writing as well to open up, by sharing from their innermost, related to the topic provided. I’m hoping we all gain perspective, compassion, hope, and discipline through such organized sharing.

Piece or Pieces of the Week: (3)

Iron Forge

Decimal Level

Odds on Becoming

For further personal reading

Mathematics, Poetry and Beauty

Three Types of Mathematics


Flashbulb Memories: 10 Historic Events that Everyone Remembers

Next Week’s Writing Prompt:

There is a great differing of opinion as to the significance and impact of this week’s upcoming holiday: Thanksgiving. As such, the focus over the next week will neither be on the holiday itself specifically, or the mass genocide which occurred during that historical time and since.

Next week’s writing prompt will focus on something which knows no bounds, gratitude. The topic provided, which will also be posted across Collective Breath and Bruka Theatre’s social media platforms: Answer the question ‘What are you thankful for?’

Closing Sentiments and an Invitation

Touching upon next week’s prompt, ‘what are you thankful for?’ and circling back to this week’s prompt, ‘write about significant numbers in your life’, I’m very thankful for my wife, Amanda, and that is why I have 713 tattooed on my left hand ring finger. 713 South Virginia street is the previous address of Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Co. (where we first met doing a play together) July 13th, 2018 our three year dating anniversary (as good things come in threes) is when we wed as the best luck I’ve ever had in my life was marrying her on that Friday the 13th, another significant number for many. A figure of imagination if you will.


Death and Earth are what we all have in common,

Though how and where are the subjective test,

Breath and Birth are the best of our problems,

Between we manage meaning and realize rest.

That’s it for my personal portion. If this is where you get off this train of thought, because you checked in to listen, thank you for tuning in and absorbing. I appreciate your time and consideration. If you are here for the Weekly Wellness Writing Workshop group portion via Zoom Meeting, please transition to that application now using the link provided in the details/description section of the ‘Collective Breath’ Bruka Theatre Facebook Event Page. For previous episodes, visit GhostLightTV on YouTube. The link for GhostLightTV is in the bio section of the Collective Breath Instagram page @biggestlittlecollectivebreath

As always I’ll close with my ‘Frictionless Benediction’

Keep writing. Keep your heart open and your mind aware. Keep coming back for more. Keep going. Keep giving. Keep doing. Keep daring to believe in a better way of living. Keep loving and creating. Keep each other safe and sound. Keep it real, and keep the faith. I love you. Goodbye for now.






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Being heard, stirred, and perhaps cured by life's many hidden images and the written-spoken word.
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