Collective Breath – Episode 39 – 4/4/21 – Transcript


Week of Sunday, April 4th, 2021

(Easter Sunday)

Number of people attending Facebook (personal portion):

Number of people attending Zoom Meet (group portion):


Happy 4th day of National Poetry Month!

Happy Easter! Happy Sunday!

When I was a child hunting for plastic egg vessels carrying the cargo of milk chocolate and jelly beans, I’d try to envision the fastest route to cover the most territory in my search field. Likewise, a man made canal imagines the most direct route of seafaring cargo for the sake of commerce through waters of inequity and turbulence.

“There was a pleasant party of barge people round the fire. You might not have thought it pleasant, but they did; for they were all friends or acquaintances, and they liked the same sort of things, and talked the same sort of talk. This is the real secret of pleasant society.”

— E. Nesbit, The Railway Children

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.

“Since 1849 I have studied incessantly, under all its aspects, a question which was already in my mind since 1832. I confess that my scheme is still a mere dream, and I do not shut my eyes to the fact that so long as I alone believe it to be possible, it is virtually impossible. … The scheme in question is the cutting of a canal through the Isthmus of Suez. This has been thought of from the earliest historical times, and for that very reason is looked upon as impracticable. Geographical dictionaries inform us indeed that the project would have been executed long ago but for insurmountable obstacles. [On his inspiration for the Suez Canal.]”

— Ferdinand de Lesseps

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 :

Which was posted across Collective Breath and Bruka Theatre’s social media platforms: Write in response to the following picture…

The large container ship Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal, causing a traffic jam for cargo vessels.


When I managed a commercial greenhouse in Virginia, I worked inside a building which had previously been a poultry barn measuring 50 feet wide by 400 feet long. 20,000 square feet. If each square foot of floor space from that place of commerce was converted into a full sized cargo/shipping container, that’s how many boxes can be held upon the ‘Ever Green’ barge which had gotten stuck in the strip connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. Wrap your brain around that.

I want for this podcast style personal portion to contain information about famous writers (and other artists) 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:(4)

I was inspired this week to look for quotes regarding or in reference to various canals.

“Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

— Ronald Reagan

“The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“People generally have more feeling for canals and roads than education. However, I hope we can advance them with equal pace.”

— Thomas Jefferson

“Venice is ever the fragile labyrinth at the edge of the sea and it reminds us how brief and perilous the journeys of our lives are; perhaps that is why we love it so. City of plagues and brief liaisons, city of lingering deaths and incendiary loves, city of chimeras, nightmares, pigeons, bells. You are the only city in the world whose dialect has a word for the shimmer of canal water reflected on the ceiling of a room.”

— Erica Jong

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: (2)

Sam Soul

We are in the Business

For further personal reading

Two books about canals which are closer to home as well as a piece on psychology.

winner of the National Book Award

The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914

by David McCullough

Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation

by Peter L. Bernstein

The Elephant in the Brain

Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
By: Kevin Simler, Robin Hanson

Next Week’s Writing Prompt:

Next week, Sunday, April 11th, 2021, the show will air at 11am as per usual. However, it will be PRE-RECORDED and set to AIR AT 11AM out of necessity. I will neither have cell service or internet access at that time. As such, next week there will be NO GROUP PORTION VIA ZOOM MEETING at 11:15am. We will pick up the following week (Sunday April 18th) with our group workshop and cover two weeks worth of topics and material relating to those topics in a shared setting at that time. The writing prompt capitalizes on that promise.

Next week’s writing prompt, Which will also be posted across Collective Breath and Bruka Theatre’s social media platforms: Write about an adventure you had while traveling in your home state or country.

Shout Outs

Since we are in the midst of National Poetry Month I have a few shout outs for friends who are building great ongoing projects of their own as well.

Stay tuned this evening (Sundays in general) at 5pm for the Spoken Views Radio Hour hosted by my friend and colleague from the Spoken Views Collective Griffin Peralta. Sundays at 5pm

on 97.7 fm KWNK Radio. Also streaming online for those out of antenna range from the broadcast booth. and

@kwnk97.7 @spoken_views_reno

for more details

Stay tuned Wednesdays at 11am for Stephanie Lynn’s program ‘Poetry With Me’ on IGTV

Stephanie is also planning a larger event for the end of the month, Thursday April 29th, entitled ‘Assault’ bridging April as National Poetry Month and Sexual Assault Awareness month in collaboration with the Potentialist Workshop and Safe Embrace. I have the honor of helping her with said event.

@stephmystic and for more details

Closing Sentiments and an Invitation

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 Bruka Theatre Facebook Event Page for ‘Collective Breath’. The link to watch previous episodes is in the bio section of the Collective Breath Instagram page @biggestlittlecollectivebreath

‘Keep’ (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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