Poem: Walking By


Down the sun drenched pathways

we wander through our days

And pass by many gathered

who may not share our ways

 

An outstretched hand

may call us in

to this circle that lays before:

enter and belong within

 

But some may choose

to walk on by

and remain on a private path

but not because we’re shy

 

Nor do we think

these folks are bad

or we unfriendly be

and hope you don’t get mad

 

In fact the truth you see

not only do I save my space

for a special one or two

being with myself actually touches grace

 

 

 

 

 

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Poem: For R


The call for magic

will bring you to me

unlock it sweet friend

with the old-fashioned key

From faraway

pulling us close

like two silver magnets

the force only grows

Through time we have danced

together as one

sometimes far sometimes near

our love never done

Someday again

our pathways will cross

and near by we will stand

whatever the cost

So till that moment

comes none too soon

look up in the sky

to see my love in the moon

 

 

 

Small Town


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Sometimes I wonder how pathetic I am.

Today there was a post on my Instagram account (if anyone wants it, please just let me know) from one of my friends who is hiking the Appalachian Trail. Very cool. The AT goes very near where I grew up in Connecticut. A lovely little town in the NW region…a very little town.

It got me reminiscing. I honestly have way¬†too much time on my hands these days, because when I get in one of these moods, I can really get on the track of things. First I went on Google. That came up with some pretty typical stuff: the town page and all. I wasn’t too surprised to find that one of my Ex’s was listed as a prominent figure on the list of ‘important’ figures in the town. The town sexton actually. I had to look that one up: a sexton. In this case, they may be referring to taking care of the town?

I had contacted him a number of years ago as part of a healing process. We were married very many years ago (and divorced). He was very glad to hear from me (thank goodness), which isn’t totally surprising as he was really a very nice man. He still lives in this beautiful town in the family home. Cool.

After the Google search, I decided to dive further and went to YouTube. This was where I hit gold. There was a video of the town, apparently one of many (all the others to be found in the town library), that actually was a bit of a historical and present day visit to it. The best part was that it had actual footage of my Ex!! There he was making maple syrup, just like his Dad did many, many years ago.

It kind of hit me (this is where it gets pathetic I suppose), how life goes. I remember going out on freezing nights and checking the temperature of the sap to make sure it didn’t burn. And I think to now: what an amazing gift to still be participating. It’s just the kind of life I envision–we had envisioned long ago. What happened?

I look back on so much of my life and wonder about it. How a part of me must have known that some of the people I picked were right, but then I couldn’t see far enough to stick with it. What was it in me that didn’t have the ability to stay?

And now I’m simply so jumbled about it all to even want to step into it all again. It all felt so much simpler when I was young. Looking at someone and thinking you could be with them. But when I was actually there–I always seemed to see something else.

Now I don’t know what I see these days.

It’s so easy to get lost in these fields of that little town; in the hope and the green and sounds of the stream. Is it all just something from long ago? Or will I someday walk again in a place and feel something is right?

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Unintended Consequence


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The law of unintended consequences….

I heard this term used today and it was new to me. It intrigued me. In looking it up, I found that the context that it is often in reference to the human effect on the environment (usually negative). But I wondered about it within my own life. Surely this law has played a role somewhere….

In thinking about it, initially I believed it was my haphazard approach to living that would bring unintended consequences to my life. So many of my previous decisions seemed terribly unplanned; my huge degree of boredom would motivate me into life altering steps with utter abandon. So then, of course, there would always be unintended consequences to these choices. Ones that propelled me forward down a path that allowed no turning back.

Sometimes, others choices set me down these unintended paths–the consequences to be paid then were hefty and to be dragged with me forever. But they defined me too and made me the person I am. Good? Bad? At moments, either/both… The weight of these, had they been changed, could have reset the entire course of my journey. Had they understood the consequences completely, where would I be now? Different consequences I suppose.

But really, even with a direct approach to life, I still face things unintended. Don’t we all? Think about it: what may be the unintended consequence of each action we take? It’s all ripple effect. It can be huge. Or maybe just something simple. The point is that nothing we do is without meaning. We bounce off of something else.

Maybe I am simplifying this concept.

But really, when it comes down to it: many things we do come with great responsibilities.

So now that this is in my head, I will try to be more aware of its presence: in my life and in the greater world. By its very meaning, I won’t be able to change anything I guess, as the outcome will be unintended. But maybe, if on the front end I think more carefully, the consequences can be good.

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Memorial Day 2017


Honoring those who served on this Memorial Day. We must all take a moment to think about what freedom truly means. And to give a moment of silence not only for our veterans but for all the people in this country who have given up their freedom because of any kind of injustice laid upon them. Freedom is not just for some in America, but it is for everyone who came here, was brought here, was born here or was a native. And we all need to figure out a way to make sure this freedom is shared equally. 

Peace to you all.

Poem Art: Community


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Today has been a dreaming sort of day. One of those days where I have looked at the life I have wanted to live and wondered if it will ever be possible and if I will ever follow through–or if it will always just be a dream. It was a day filled with research and videos, thinking and feeling things in my heart–even conversations with friends.

How many of us just have these yearnings that niggle at us? It is easy to let life pull us in other directions and I admire folks who just do what they want. It’s not that they are better or I am worse at living life, it’s just different paths. And it’s not that I didn’t do what I wanted, because obviously I did.

But what about all those ‘big’ things that we think about when we were young? Where do those ideas go?

Funny, but my next poem art sort of reflected my thoughts today without my trying. But the words I came across just floated out…and spoke the things in my head.

What are your dreams?

The Crazy Man?


I readily admit a feeling of doom and gloom, not just because of yesterday…but life in general has been seeming blah. I’ve been working over-time to keep my spirits up, and during my meditation this morning, my old thoughts crept in. Those dark and bleak thoughts where I convince myself that I don’t know how to be positive for very long, that life always seems to put stuff in my path to make me feel low or lost.

Luckily, I don’t stay in this place very long these days…but it stinks that I go there at all. It seems like a shadow that follows me, on sunny days as well as rainy. It lurks just around the corner, like the crazy man smoking the cigarette by the lamp-post–the one that is a bit scary and mysterious all at the same time.

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But happily some good things are happening to get me out of this slump I’m in, thank goodness. By luck, an old and dear friend is visiting. We all know there is nothing like friends to cheer us. Being surrounded by love and those that accept us for who we are without trying to change us is so important as times like these, especially when we are at odds with ourself and questioning our sense of self. For someone to take time away from work and to pay to visit really means a lot to me.

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The other good news (although slightly bittersweet) is that my old home will finally close on Monday. It has dragged on for over a year and I’m really ready to be done with it all. In the end, it didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked, and I was probably a sucker. Sometimes I am nicer than I should be and folks take advantage of my good nature. That was the case here. But hopefully I will gain some Mitzvah in the book of heaven? Or I am creating good Karma or at the very least the whole darn thing will be over once and for all.

I will miss that house and all its beautiful memories. This apartment can never compare in many ways: the gardens, the peace, the lake, the woods, the birds, the sunsets…. But its time has passed. And I am so grateful to be here with my Mom.

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And I’m so blessed for the friends I have now, who accept me, even when I disagree and speak my mind. They seem to understand my moods, my faults and how I can be different. I am lucky that I can call on them to vent, to cry or to be silent for they will always listen and not judge me.

So even if the world may change in a way I might not like or agree with, my tiny world will stay the same as long as I have those near and dear to me close by. And we will continue to keep our world filled with love, kindness, empathy and compassion for each other at least–and there’s usually some left over for others that may need it too.

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Blinders Off


So many things can skew the way a particular incident is relayed or interpreted. Perspective or jealousy may be different sets of blinders that will cast a shadow over the eyes of the orator. These are only two.

It’s so hard anyway to remember minute details from the past. Our memories are clouded by so many things. The human brain can be such a poor machine at times, only as good as its guiding tool, the heart. So it may remember something based on what it wants to recall rather than what actually happened

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The snap shots that our eyes see and that the brain processes are really pretty feeble. This has been proven time and time again when ‘eye witness’ accounts are disproven in court. We all know that if you ask 12 different people an account of an incident, they will come up with 12 different scenarios, each with their own bit of flair based on their personal perspectives.

In leaving my job recently, when the people who liked me asked someone who was my friend what happened and where I was, the reply was that I had a family emergency and had to leave suddenly. The answer was accepted and understood wholeheartedly and well wishes were sent.  On the other hand, when someone who did not care for me got their information from one of my ‘enemies’ shall we say: then the answer was–oh she left on bad terms. This, instead, makes me sound like a bad guy. Information then gets passed on to others and the gossip line continues….

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People are all so fascinating . The paths they choose to walk and what they want to hold on to. And we all see things from our own perspective. Trying to see things from someone else’s is a challenge, one that you must work at, but is greatly worth doing. When we put ourselves in another’s place, new worlds open up. A path into theirs…

Sometimes the worlds we see may be hard, sometimes beautiful. But they are not our own. And this is when we learn true empathy. It’s very easy to be insulated within our own bubbles, especially around those that lose perspective and hurt us. But keeping  open to their troubles that makes them hurtful, gives us understanding and keeps us humble to our own issues.

None of have been perfect and we have all done things wrong to others. Goodness knows I have hurt people along the way. We are  lucky if we’ve been forgiven. To be forgiven, we must learn to forgive. Keeping anger out of our souls can be tough, but it is a real path to enlightenment.

This is what I am learning. And I keep hoping that I can continue with the blinders off and a heart without anger.

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Caring


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I watched a movie over the weekend that made me wonder about how much empathetic people suffer.  Do people that care deeply for others or actually physically care for them have a great  toll on their psyche?

We all know that, while it’s very rewarding to help others, I was quite shocked to hear that a very renowned caregiver suffered sadness during her lifetime. It has given me pause as I have carried this same kind of sadness.

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Maybe the trouble, illness and sadness in others piles up in empathetic people and acts like cholesterol lining our arteries, slowly suffocating us until our joy level cannot flow freely anymore.

I don’t know. I’m only theorizing. It can be an isolating feeling, which is almost the opposite of what one would think. One would think if you care and are helping people, then you would be connected. But for me, usually I am not, and this person wasn’t either, even though she affected the lives of millions of people.

Anyway, maybe I come closer to an answer. I would never choose to be different or not care, even if I could, but some days it does feel like a lonely place.

There’s more research to do.

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The Power Of Support


Recently I experienced something different with a new and dear friend. He took me to one of his AA meetings. While I’ve heard about them for years and had contemplated attending one when someone close to me was struggling with addiction, this was my first. I was awed.

While many of them don’t allow visitors and are closed, this one was open and they warmly welcome family members, new alcoholics or people simply interested or needing guidance. For me as a paramedic, an empathetic person and a family member of an addicted person, I found it profoundly moving. That a group of complete strangers can gather together to tell their individual stories and help one another is a concept that many groups could take a hint.

I was first struck by the varied and heterogeneous group I saw! The room was filled with men and women both young and old, bikers, business people, well dressed, dressed down, tattooed, pony-tailed, smoking, non-smoking, coffee-drinking, water toting, bandannas, pierced, fresh-faced, lived hard,gray haired, no hair, bleached blonde hair and with kids in tow– but all with one thing in common: alcohol. Some had been dry for a day, some for 40 years!

It was a meeting where some from other groups got up to tell their stories: who they were as alcoholics and who they were now and how AA had helped them. The honesty and raw human sharing brought me to tears. I haven’t had a drink in many years, and never did have a problem with it, but I’ve had my share of demons. And I know what it’s like to face them and lose and face them again! These were some of the lucky ones that found a way out, a way through their pain, their darkness into the light and into a supportive atmosphere. They are on the path to healing.

So many of us stay tucked in a ball of ourselves when we are in pain not wanting anyone to know we are hurt. They call it ‘guarding’ in the medical field when you have a part of your body that is hurt. But I saw the power of what sharing your pain and your story can do. Maybe you will fall again, but in the right group, or with the right person, they will help pick you up. If you are alone, you will stay curled up and hurt.

Learning to ask for help can be the hardest thing to do. Admitting and knowing we have a problem is the first step toward healing. Once we reach this step, reaching for the hands on the top of the stairs will pull us up to the top of the landing. And from there we will see the horizon ahead: the blue sky, the sun and the hope that we can’t feel laying alone at the bottom of the staircase.

So remember, if you know someone who is in need of support–any kind, remember to reach out and lend it. Gently, lovingly and with your caring heart. It’s a gift money can’t buy.