Poem: The Street Lamp


wpid-2013-02-12-06.20.48.jpg

The street lamp

seeps

through the jail slit blinds

while I lay wide-eyed

remembering

trying to sleep

It lights my thoughts

the moment when you

got on your knees and begged me to stay

when I played the now dead song:

“I Will Always Love You”

(which wasn’t true)

Laying on the lamp-lit bed

even with lavender soaked eye-pads

I cannot escape

the path of memories

illumination

 

 

 

 

 

Small Town


wpid-20150116_075630.jpg

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?

wpid-20141125_083056.jpg

Poem Art: Elusive


poem art 3

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.

 

Putting The Brakes On


As the holiday cards roll in, and the enclosed letters, it reminds me more and more how much I have changed and how different I am from so many people. Contemplating my life during my meditation today, I couldn’t help agree that youth is indeed wasted on the young. It’s only now that I seem to have the ability to remotely peer into the depth of my soul and have a glimmer of what I might want from this life.

In my younger years, I blasted through life and its critical junctures, like one of those crazy Chinese super sonic trains that travel at lightning speeds. I imagine the commuters that sit within them who might dare to look out, only seeing a blur of scenery fly by at any given moment: flashes of color with no discernible lines separating objects one from another.

Such is my past it seems. A blur of memories and decisions. Ones made without much thought to slow the train down to decide which track might be best to travel upon and certainly not like the trains of old chugging along slowly enough to get one’s bearings.

Husbands came and went. Jobs and more moves, enough to make one dizzy. Always this underlying sense of discontent, that just around the next bend might lie the answer to joy or inner peace.

My journey has been up and down following a path to the highest mountaintops and then into the lowest valleys of despair as I rode this churning rail car that never slowed down.

And now, as I’m finally coming closer to the final stages of my journey, and wisdom has come in bits and pieces…I finally see that I am really the conductor after all. I’m not sure if those new fangled trains have a caboose, but they must be steered somehow, by someone none-the-less. So the time has come to put the brakes on and slow life down.

I’ve learned surprising and valuable things about myself; things I inherently knew, but maybe were just confirmed. A personality test confirmed that I am in the 1% (INFJ) of the population. The literature describing this personality type was so affirming of many things I knew about myself but could never put my figure on. (If only I could send it to all my ex’s!).

I’m learning that being a racing freight train is not healthy or good, and I ended up making poor decisions my whole life because of it. But I also understand better now why I did it. And I forgive myself.

The most important thing is to figure out how to live the next years better. How to stand at a cross-road and make the right choice? How to decide when it’s right to leave something or someone? When it’s right to start something new? And simply not to be rash when doing anything.

While it’s true I will never be your typical person, I still have a lot more growing to do and even a longer road to joy. Someday that old train will pull into some station and I will simply step off, walk towards the horizon and never look back.

Time Travel


Not too many of us get to travel back in time.  All the quotes say: live for today, forget about the past, don’t think about the future. Blah blah. But there can be something said about revisiting the past. About taking a peek down memory lane or even a good long walk, or better yet staring it right in the face.

This is exactly what I did the other night when I met with my ex-husband (well one of them) at a local restaurant. He was in town (living in a different state) visiting a son in college. Now, I have to add, this isn’t so odd because his sister and I are still very close after 30 years or so. She came to live with us as a child, along with her brother. So there is still this partial connection to him, and we do occasionally communicate. But I have not seen him in many, many years.

We both had remarried. I have been divorced again, and his wife sadly died of cancer. There were many years of no communication between us while we were both otherwise engaged in our other lives. But for me, at least, he remained somewhere on my radar screen I suppose.

One day a few years ago, as I was putting away Christmas decorations, I found a letter he wrote as we were in the process of divorcing. It was very old–probably close to 25 years. It was on New Year’s Day that I found it. His number was easy to google, so I called it and left a message. I didn’t hear back…right away. But eventually did, and this was what officially started our conversations.

They have been sporadic over the years, but his sister is our bridge, so I keep informed.

So recently, when he suggested meeting, I was fairly stunned. I never expected it, but welcomed it. As part of my whole self exploration/healing path, it seemed like another piece in the puzzle.

Of course it was fairly awkward for us both, and we looked A LOT older! But as the course of the evening wore on, it felt pretty comfortable. Funny how easy it is to lapse back into patterns, or at least notice them. The discussions we had were interesting, cleansing, weird and normal all at the same time. It was an odd little dance.

It’s like a mirror to see how much I’ve changed, who I am now, who I was then and to say I’m sorry for the dumb things I did (there were plenty of those). It was also good to hear him articulate his mistakes (whoa!). How often are we blessed with that gift? Yes, it truly was a very empowering evening.

I’m not sure where it takes us from here. Thanksgiving is coming up and we are all slated to be together again. It seems it’ll all be fine. That feels pretty good to me. It’s another rung on that ladder of life where you know you are taking the right step. That blast from the past sets me clearly in today and helps me to feel that while I am surely much older, I’ve gained some wisdom along the way.

Flying Solo!


Recently I was fortunate enough to reach another rung  in the ladder of my life. One that has given me much puzzlement, anguish and lead me down many unsatisfying paths. It’s a part of my life I’ve spent searching for answers both internally and externally and has never seemed to turn out the way I had imagined.

But the other day, finally, after one final try–the epiphany came to me and I now know where I stand within myself and can breathe with ease. I no longer need to seek or to listen to anyone else’s advice, chiding or clichés about what I should be doing.

I received an email a week or so ago on my smart phone and I had no idea who had written it. Opening it cautiously, so as to not spam my computer (I did it on my phone), I found out it was from a man I had approached quite some time ago (well over a year) on match.com. At that point in my life, I was still hoping to date and maybe find a companion to meet for occasional things to do.

At that point in time, this person had already met someone and was polite enough to say that but I gave him my email in case anything changed in the future. Never in my wild imagination did I expect to hear from him again! One usually never does.

The relationship fell through for him, and since we had some things in common (mostly fire fighting things), he wrote me. I recalled him after he reminded me who he was and we exchanged some pleasant emails. Then some nice phone calls. He seemed a pretty decent guy so I decided to meet with him.

We did, in fact it was on Christmas day after the kids went their separate ways. We were fortunate enough to find a lone bar open! It was a nice afternoon exchanging pleasantries, sharing some food, laughs and stories. Yup, he was a sweet guy.

At the end of the visit, he asked where we would go from here. I was kind of stunned, because I really didn’t know. He had sort of fallen out of the sky at a time in my life where I had no interest in dating. But he seemed like a good person, so I left it at: let’s just see what happens.

A day or so passed and I found myself wrestling with it all! It was rather crazy. And then I woke up one morning soon after and realized in an instant, that no, I didn’t want to see him with the intention of dating him! It was like the fog of so many, many years suddenly cleared–just like that!

The only thing I could liken it to was loving to eat a certain food–you even craved it. So you ate it all the time. You made all sorts of dishes with this particular food, and was almost gluttonous about it.

And then one day you realized you were sick of it. You lost the taste for it, in fact it made you sick. The thought of it was too much, overload. So you decided to give it up for a long time. But it nags you that you have, because you used to love it so much–and people keep telling you that you should really try it again just in case you changed your mind. Once in a while you do try it, but you find it makes you feel bad when you do. And that’s when you realize you’d rather just hang onto the memories of when you loved it!

That’s where I’m at with relationships and men. I’ve been blessed really: three marriages, too many dates and short relationships to count. I’ve been there and done that so much that there’s really no need to go there again!

I’ve finally found me now. Underneath the layers of garbage that I’m slowly scraping away. The needy feeling I had to be with someone is gone. It’s so freeing! I’ve got three wonderful children and now I have myself. I’m still learning about that self. It may take a while. Honestly I don’t want anyone distracting me from that task.

There are some things in life that we can simply have too much of and then just grow tired because of overdosing. Relationships can be one of these things. But if we learn from them and don’t become bitter then there’s nothing wrong with flying solo. We must just realize who we are and what’s best for us and not let the outer world dictate our fate.