Poem: Convergence


We meet upon the rubbled path

as comrades often do

weary travelers in a lonely place

not by chance the journey crossed

By the crackling fire

shared stories told resting long and slow

of future climbs and mountains high

and moonlit rivers flowing near

Our hearts have been separate

but souls have been in sync

recognizing kindred spirits

and distant hopeful dreams

With these bonding moments

promises are cast

someday in a future life

the trail may yet converge

A single road then

we shall walk

together side by side

To create a burning reality

from a bridge of given thoughts

that passed between

us two

 

 

 

 

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Clearing


These days I have a lot of time to think. And think I do. All this thinking sometimes leads me to see my world completely the opposite from the way I used to see it. Maybe it’s like when you get way close to something, then it may not look like the same object at all. The perspective is distorted, but not necessarily in a worse way.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t help but think about our past. I’ve gotten beyond tearing it up and regretting it, and yet, it still passes through my mind. I turn things over and look at things and pull them close, and lately when I do, I’ve started to realize that maybe some of the seemingly disruptive, hurtful things I did, really had the right instinct behind them.

And all these years later, those I have walked away from, I can now see didn’t have the staying power to be near me anyway. They moved on easily, while I still am working my way through it all–alone.

But the other thing I’m finally grasping is that there will be some (maybe only a very few) that will stay close for the long haul. Some of these may only make themselves apparent after a long time or suddenly, but they’ve been there all along. Some are with you every step of the way. These few are the true ones.

So looking from a different angle while we brush off the detritus that our minds have built around our past, maybe we can see it all from an organic place. Or maybe someone else, someone who has been hiding in the shadows, will appear to remind you that it’s OK.

Either way, stepping in close and twisting the past at a different angle can be the peace you need for today.

Poem Art: Elusive


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I had a conversation today with a person who played a prominent role in my past. He said something that triggered a visceral, and for me, odd reaction. It was odd, because it surprised me, that I could feel such a ‘gut’ feeling (like I had been punched in the gut) to a very simple thing this person said in a perfectly normal conversation. It wasn’t like we had delved into the past or were reminiscing… and yet, the comment, in a sense, was about the past, because it referenced a place we had shared together.

This moment touched off many thoughts in me. Like what constitutes relationships and ‘falling in love’ with someone? And is love even the right way to approach a relationship? Should it be more about wanting or needing something–for yourself; in others?

Certainly at my age, love seems a far cry from where I am these days. My relationships with people close to me seem to be based on things much more involved than love. Things that seem even more important and lasting than love if that makes any sense. The things that keep people together–the glue.

Those of you that have lasting relationships of any kind know what I mean here, so I won’t explain what I am talking about. Love can be fleeting and fickle and hard to get a grasp on. But we can still build strong, solid and meaningful bonds even after the love may turn into something strange or convoluted. Or maybe if the ‘love’ was strange from the start.

So can I re-evaluate life and how to live it more openly? To be open to a different way to to be with someone if love isn’t the defining point? It’s another perspective really, but not unfamiliar. It’s a theme that has repeated in my life.

What is the ‘want’ then…or the ‘need’? These become the hard questions to ask. Because simply hoping to exchange love with someone, I feel, is not where I should place my hope.

It seems it should be in far more reliable, tangible and maybe simple things that will help to grow a connection with someone else; things that will ultimately not vanish, just in case the love remains elusive.

 

Saving Me


Many years ago I did something that most think was to help someone else, but it was really to help me. It was actually not a selfless move to save a part of the world, but to save a part of me.

The journey began when I decided I wanted to adopt a baby. I am adopted as some of you may recall. It was not an easy journey, as I had criteria that made constraints that other people adopting might not have through their paths. It was my goal to stay within the US and to maintain birth order (my husband at the time and I had a 3-year-old), so when approaching an adoption agency, they showed us the ‘blue book’ of the “waiting children”–it appeared as though this might be impossible. Either we would have to take on siblings of 4 or teenagers. Neither of these situations seemed fair to my daughter.

But then the social worker mentioned foster care: the backdoor to adoption. At that time, 51% of foster children got adopted by their foster parents. It seemed like a reasonable plan to me, especially since I was a stay at home Mom anyway.

I won’t go through it all, because this is not what this post is about. Suffice to say, we became foster parents, eventually to a 2-year-old girl: mentally challenged, but high functioning, emotionally rocked by her first 2 years and HIV positive.

That toddler is now my 25-year-old daughter and she just had my first grandchild today–a little boy.

It has been a rocky road all along. My 3-year-old (now almost 28) has had a rough relationship with her, which has worsened as an adult. The birth daughter that came after her, has a distant, but OK relationship. And this daughter’s life has been one challenge after another. While her health is way better than anyone would have predicted (they figured she wouldn’t live past 9 years old), she has met with prejudice, job losses, school bullies and lots of tears.

She has been with her partner for many years, a young man who is also mentally challenged, more so than she. When she announced her pregnancy, we were all pretty upset. They are poor, with no jobs, living in abject poverty. While we help, there is only so much you can help those who often do not believe they need it.There was great concern for the welfare of a baby coming into these circumstances.

But she was determined, and her determination has always been one of her greatest (and sometimes most frustrating) attributes.
So today he was born. The doctors have taken every precaution, and so has she, that this baby be born HIV free. My daughter has tried very hard to take care of herself and many around her have been helping to get her hooked up with the proper services so there will be the best possible outcome down the road.

It is so easy to be negative, but success can’t happen unless we believe it is possible. Sometimes I think that she never thought much about her HIV and just figured she would live a normal life, so she has. And I understand her desire for baby, someone who belongs to her through genes, looks like her and comes from her. I get it when no-one else in my family may understand this–because we both have that connection, that mutual disconnect from our birth heritage.

So on this day, I will celebrate her decision and her new baby, my grand-baby. Because her adoption wasn’t about fixing her, it was to rescue a part of me.

Almost


Before me I stand on the brink of a three day weekend. Ahhhh. Today a lovely co-worker said some kind and thoughtful words to me–unusual in that cold and harsh world. Most days the words are indifferent at best and rude at worst. But a small miracle happened today and someone showed kindness.

I already went out tonight to eat with Mom and her friend. For some reason I can’t seem to slim down the way I had hoped here in the warm weather. My old bones and busy days seem to keep my athletics low key, therefore the pounds on. Dinner out doesn’t help. But it was a nice visit.

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Tomorrow, if I get the nerve, I may visit a Buddhist monastery/teaching center. It’s an open house so a good day to go. I need to see what it’s all about and find some different folks.

Then who knows….anything may happen. Or not.

On a strange note: my oldest told me that an ex-boyfriend of hers has been taken into custody for murder. Quite disturbing and creepy, but honestly not surprising. We all knew him at a challenging time in her life and found him to be a very troubled young man. Family issues and other grave problems have most likely landed him in this place.

That was a time when I kept him close to me so I would have my daughter close, while knowing it was like feeding a wild lion. But I felt I had no choice at the time–do that, or lose my kid. I gambled. Luckily I won, but I see now by this news how close I came to losing.

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Chasing Butterflies


I’ve been watching lots of love stories and romantic comedies on Netflix lately. Maybe it’s because it’s spring and we have approached Beltane. Or maybe it’s something else?

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Is love beyond grasp?

I’m no stranger to love or relationships having had my fair share of both. But I’ve been single for a very long time now. Living alone is a beautiful thing with peaceful moments, the ability to control one’s own life and no disagreements over mundane things. This lifestyle has been one of choice and one I have sunk into as though it was a big comfy bed waiting to give me a good night’s rest. Believe me, I needed it.

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Single by choice!!

My marriages and relationships were all different, and while not awful, obviously didn’t meet my needs at the time. Nor did the subsequent relationships I tried (and tried) after. So finally, I threw in the cards and fell into the quiet solitude of a peaceful life.

Friends and family have tried to push me into relationships and insisted ‘the right one’ is just waiting around the corner. And all the movies I watch insist it must be so. These love stories show couples meeting in the most unlikely places and falling in love within minutes of meeting one another. It makes someone like me feel, well, rather inadequate.

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Maybe I am some alien creature??

When I take a really close look at myself and my situation though, I know that these movies are purely fiction and real life does not happen like this at all. Look as one may, it is quite unlikely one will find someone so easily.

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What do you find if you look closely??

Especially, I think, once such as me… Oh I know what you all must be thinking. But no, I really do not fit in the typical box in many respects. This goes for many aspects in my life and why I also have a limited circle of close friends too, often finding as people get to know me, they find me ‘too different’ to become near and dear.

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Always the squiggle surrounded by smooth shapes….

Mind you, I embrace this about myself! This off-beat, quirky part of me–but when it comes to meeting your average partner, well, yeah, not so much. I say this to you all there in my blogging community, because there are times that I wonder if I want to go through my whole life without sharing the love that I know I have inside me. Can I do it? Absolutely. But would it ever be possible to find that companion to share this crazy ride? It might be interesting at some point.

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Woo hoo….let’s celebrate together!!

Life is so random. Matching up with that other quirky/tolerant person is probably very unlikely. It’s like chasing butterflies hoping they will stop long enough to share their beauty with you. Ah and to feel the butterflies again….

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I have these butterflies at least….

Will it ever be so….???

 

Time Warp


Do you ever feel like you’re back in time? Like some situation, smell, place or song brings you back to a place you once were long ago… This weekend has been like that for me on a couple of occasions.

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The Time Warp Man

Yesterday, my Mom and I decided to go clothing shopping together–in a consignment shop, which I have to say we’ve never done. But once there, I was immediately transported back to childhood in NYC, Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s maybe–my hand in hers, picking out school outfits for the first day of class. I’ve not been clothing shopping with her for many, many years. And while yesterday, we were pretty much in our own bubbles, picking out clothing for ourselves, it still felt reminiscent of those days.

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No Tweeting here!

When I tried on a cute little red coat and asked her if she liked it, and she said no, I took it off and hung it back up on the rack. Because, she is after all, my Mom and knows best what I should be wearing on my first day of school.

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Looking cute.

And I’ve been trying to avoid looking in the mirror lately, as the passage of time has not always been good to me. My hard-body runner image no longer stares back at me these days. It’s a sad sight to see now. But recently, I’ve decided it’s time to take time back into my own hands.

So, I pulled out my old running shoes and dusted off the New England road dirt, slipped them on and well, off I trotted. I wouldn’t exactly call it a run–more like a slow lope. My intentions were to do the loop as best I could and stop and walk when I needed. But to my surprise, while my legs may look flabby, my lungs are still young and carried me the whole way without stopping!

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They did me proud! 

While I jogged along, I warped to so many running days–gosh, years and years of them: the smells, the sounds, the wonderful deep breaths. I truly love running and was so sad when my body failed me and I had to give it up. But maybe, just maybe–if I’m careful, and now that I live where it’s flat and warm, I can slowly bring it back into my life.

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Just look around!

Time warps come with a whiff–our olfactory system is one of the oldest and most powerful. It will trigger a memory in our brain’s limbic system. It’s a beautiful thing that nature created. So we could find where food once was maybe, or who was an enemy, or family. Like a flash, we are carried to a place, just by a smell.

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Enter the gate to the time warp.

How many times have we had to sit in our cars because a song came on–and we were back in high school–dancing with our sweet heart, or feeling broken-hearted because it had been ‘your’ song, the one where they dumped you.

Until we can beam up and be transported like in Star Trek, I suppose we’ll have to make do with our time warp memories. The trick is to be tuned into our triggers: so breath deep, listen carefully, look with eyes wide open and have a nice trip!

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Let’s do the time warp! 🙂

The Oldest


The other day I received a wonderful surprise in my mailbox. It was a late holiday gift from my oldest daughter. There were a couple of gifts, including a great picture of her with her boyfriend and a lovely necklace. It also contained an amazing card.

You all may say: well, this isn’t so amazing–a daughter sending her Mother some gifts and a card for the holidays. What’s the big deal? But you see, it is a big deal–for a number of reasons.

Yes, many daughters and mothers have their issues, and my oldest and I are no exception. She had some pretty rough issues as a teenager and I ran myself through the mill wondering how much had been my fault. We became pretty distant because of them too. But she’s not a kid any more, closer to 30 than 20 and as my mother has been saying for years: by the time she’s 30 or so, things will change. It was hard to believe…but now I am beginning to think it may be so.

She got through her tough times pretty much on her own. Moving far from home and scratching out a life (with help from me and my ex too), and is now an amazingly successful young woman. It has been an incredible thing to watch. But the really beautiful thing to experience has been the slow and steady mending of our relationship. For this is what I have truly mourned.

So when I received these personal items…a necklace–a piece of jewelry, something she hasn’t given me for years and years, I was so touched. And the saying that went with it was clearly thought out and matched with where I am in my life right now, something she clearly sensed. In fact, I wore it to my new job today, feeling rather lost and unsure. For it is a tiny compass and reads:

“Go confidently in the direction of your Dreams”

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And so I shall….

You all can see what the card says on the outside, but inside my baby wrote:

“Dearest Mommy! I’m so proud of you for following your dreams & finding happiness. I love you always and forever.”  H

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In most cases it’s supposed to be the Mommy saying these words to the kid, but this kid has already followed her dreams and gave me the inspiration to follow mine. And well, that last line…if I ever doubted her love before it seems I may have been imagining things. One thing I do know: I never stopped loving her…and I never will.

 

Golden Footsteps


Last night I had a dream about an old boyfriend. Our relationship was odd and rocky–just like much of my life during those years and many of my years prior to my move. It gave me pause, and I began to think about it while doing my yoga and meditation.

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During my meditation I had a sort of vision. One gets in a rather trance-like state at times, and I guess I was ripe. In my mind I saw a shadow woman walking during a dark, stormy street. There were trees blowing, lots of rain and dark blue. But in the distance there were these footprints that were illuminated in the darkness: a path to follow. They lit up as this woman was ready to see them.

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I wish I could paint, because I could see this so clearly in my mind! It seemed to encompass where I have been and where I am now.

My past so often felt as though caught within a dark storm, with my paths unclear and being battered by the debris coming at me. Walking in the gray left me weak and hungry for the light, but my eyes had become unaccustomed to seeing it any longer.

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But somehow I reached the eye of the hurricane–the calm place and from there was lifted out. Those moments allowed me to find the golden footsteps, those brightened by my own need and will. It seems as my eyes adjust, another appears….

So as I follow them out of the tempest and into garden, they may fade into the sun itself. And then it will have to be something else that guides me I suppose, something from within–then again, maybe that something already does….

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