Poem: Swallowed


Some people

enter our lives

to share some time

Laughs around a cafe meal

hikes on Goddess mountain trails

and quiet moments sitting near

Together dancing

sweetly in sync

characters stepping

upon the stage

Playing a part

with heart and words

till the performance

fades away

Then all that’s left

are props and scenes

covered with ancient dust

And those who played

a starring role

are swallowed

by velvet wings

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Poem: Hole


I miss you

far away far away

tear-streaming side-splitting

laughter together

you cooking sushi

and me standing near

or quietly reading

while you’re on the computer

I miss you upstairs

knowing you’re there

clicking off all the lights

heading for bed

now you’re just far

away

and it’s left a big

hole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem: Dearest


Hands wrapped round

lonely lost child

hide and seek come out

and smile

Touched with warmth inside

the past slipping distant

sweet kiss

on lips long laughter gone

now sing sweet song

Close face pressed

cheek to virgin speaking

whisper soft past meaning

fondly lift heavy heart

away

away

 

 

 

 

Just A Wee One


 

Finally I have landed a wee job that fits in perfectly with the criteria I had listed in my head (I hope). It’s been a long and interesting year experimenting with various things while waiting to find something, but hopefully this will work.

It’s nothing much really, but that’s part of my plan. Just a little PT position in a very small Charter school working as a lunch monitor.

So here’s how it fit the bill and my way of thinking:

  • It’s Part time: It’s in the middle of the day so allows me my workout in the am and the ability to get home for the pets in the afternoon or any chores/appointments.
  • It’s a no-brainer: After 20 years of the stress of being a paramedic, I didn’t want to do anything too difficult. Yes, I know, maybe I’m being lazy, but for now, this is the case.
  • It’s NOT in healthcare: I had made a distinct decision that I was pulling out of working in healthcare altogether. This is why I’ve had such a hard time finding something I reckon. With my resume reflecting 20 years in the business, not many folks were interested in taking a chance on me for something new.
  • It’s something new!: This is the very reason it seemed cool. While it’s not some deep, difficult task, at least it’s different.
  • It’s fun: The kids are great (albeit VERY noisy) and it will be a great new challenge to work closely with this population for a change. I’ve had my own of course, but now I have 300!
  • It has potential for more: I’ve been assured it has growth potential should I want it at some point. But for now I am quite content with the hours.
  • It’s close to home: After commuting 40 minutes each way (in ice storms) for so many years, having a job very close is a blessing.
  • I’m in ‘the system’: Once I’m within the public school system (yes, Charter schools are publicly funded), there can be potential for movement.
  • I can handle just about anything for a few hours: Even if there are difficulties, it’s only a few hours a day and plenty of vacations!

So all in all, I hope this works out. My fellow employees in the lunch room seem nice too. I have no idea how I will begin to memorize the names of all these children, but hey, I’ll figure it out.

And I’ve already ordered special ear plugs that will hopefully block out some of the major noise, but allow me to still hear them when they talk to me. (I mean it is REALLY loud in this tiny room!)

But I have to say, we never lose parts of ourselves… Because as I look around at all these kids eating and talking, and eating and laughing, and eating and being silly— the paramedic in me can’t help but think:

Just keep chewing, swallowing and breathing… NO CHOKING allowed!!

 

Poem: Madness Approaches


There is an otter swimming in the tub

and chimps that wear evening gloves

Sometimes a little gray mouse

playing  music with her beloved spouse

Or a drowsy dreamy sloth

sipping upside down chicken broth

And the sleepy lion laying near

is too lazy to really fear

While nearby drying with a towel

found in the bathroom is the owl

In every corner of these rooms

birds chat with Vidal Sassoon

On a chair tucked away in the back

some lumbering bear his toupee so black

Little creepy crawly insect things

with ancient writing on their wings

All these creatures just hanging plain as day

looking like they’re here to stay

Maybe it’s all not so bad

the outside world is just as mad

 

 

 

 

Joy Through Sacrifice


Watching an interesting TED talk today about a young Arctic surfer (yes, you heard me right, that was Arctic surfer), he said something that really struck me–not about surfing, but about sacrifice. As you can imagine, someone who surfs in frigid waters does a fair amount of sacrificing.  He does it in part to get away from the normal tropic crowds, but also to take these amazing photographs. To paraphrase very loosely he said something like: most things worth any kind of real joy usually involve some kind of sacrifice.

That gave me pause.

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I began thinking about some of the things that take sacrifice but bring joy:

  • 9 months of carrying a baby: the worrying, the weight gain, the hormone shifts, the vomiting, the swelling, the potential dangers involved…
  • being in a relationship: any kind really. It’s constant ups and downs, bargaining (with the kids, partners, co-workers, family members), tears, give/take, compromises, giving away parts of yourself at times
  • having a dream or goal: these can take huge amounts of time, money, changes in lifestyle and re-evaluating ourselves for the final outcome
  • moving somewhere new: leaving friends and family behind; leaving a career or job, doing something scary, taking a leap of faith
  • starting over (with a job/a person/or alone: leaving your comfort zone, stretching parts of yourself you may not know you had, or totally remaking yourself
  • helping others or someone else: living with less than normal, learning about other cultures (which maybe is uncomfortable), focusing less on “me”
  • giving up something completely: getting used to life “without”, feeling what it’s like when others perceive because we are now “different”
  • changing our point of view for the greater good: getting into arguments (political/family?), battling within ourselves over the old point of view, reconciling what’s right/wrong
  • coming out: about our sexual orientation, addictions, mental health, illness, abuse, political view or anything else we’ve been keeping inside for fear of judgement, shame or condemnation
  • sharing our home with animals: limiting our work day, getting up in the middle of the night, cleaning up hair, poop and vomit off the floor
  • Waiting: for anything you want, it can be excruciating at times because we are a culture of wanting everything now, having patience is like hot iron swirling in our bellies…the loss of precious time while we wait
  • standing up for what you believe when others around you don’t agree: this can be going to rallies or being a vegan, it can bring agitation or arguments from others, confrontations or simply tiresome questions
  • sharing our home with children: never having peace and quiet (or rarely); suddenly realizing you have to sacrifice so much and become a very good teacher when you hardly know yourself (or much else for that matter…)

There are so many more things…what can you add to the list? And it all comes down to mindset like anything else really. We give to get. Nothing comes easily really.  It seems like many things feel like work these days, and trying to pick out the little pieces of joy can be tough. But when you think about the sacrifices we make all adding up to something beautiful–that it’s the wrapping surrounding the gift inside, then it doesn’t feel quite so much like drudgery. 

So when you are climbing that next mountain and it feels like hell: the boots are giving you blisters, the sweating like a banshee and the mosquitoes buzzing around your head: remember that when you get to the top you will see this incredible view of the world below. Every step you took to get there was worth what lies before you as you look out. See it as you breathe the joy and try to remember that you couldn’t have experienced the splendor without a bit of pain.

earlier 2

 

Walking


During my walk through my ‘village’, I am constantly struck by what an alien landscape it is to me. Even the name of the place reminds me of some sort of Sci Fi novel where you can’t be quite sure who is human and who might appear so, but is really a look-alike with highly functioning artificial intelligence.

The homes are all blazingly white, with only specifically allowed colored shutters and all laid out with the same floor plan–this giving the effect of some weird colony created by Big Brother (it was actually in the ’70’s, and BB was the usual group of condo types trying to create the ultimate paradise), but getting cookie cutter instead. It was a good thought and the prices were good, so the humans came…

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But as I stroll around a corner and am by myself, the southern sun shimmering off the dazzling white homes, I feel transported to decades into the future. Maybe I am the last ‘real’ human left here, wandering the streets, pretending to be one of ‘them’. They sit behind their curtains, with no honest food in their refrigerators (because they don’t eat) and their hollow laughs echoing in my mind. Who are they really?

I walk and wonder. Do they know who I am? Do they watch me from behind those standard colored shutters? Am I safe? My heart picks up a pace. The heat beats down.

Then I turn a corner. Music drifts from one of the identical homes. I listen: some 60’s tune I recall… And in the driveway next to this home, a car has a bumper sticker: COEXIST. You know the one: with each letter representing some spiritual symbol.

And I snap back: maybe they are really human after all? I remember now, it’s 2017 and it might be OK.

As I’m walking, I briefly look up at the empty blue sky above me. And just for a moment, I imagine a huge billowing mushroom cloud. I lower my head and keep walking…

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The Value Of Friendship


Being an only child, my friend are everything to me. We all have different levels of friendships, from acquaintances to best buds. Some may be new budding relationships and some may go back years and years. But whatever they may be, our friends fill a gap that family can’t really fill. As a friend said, “You’re really stuck with your family and can’t get rid of them, but friends you get to pick.”

Happily, I’ve been so blessed over the years to have friends that have been like family (or maybe even better). Not having siblings, this has been vitally important to me. Having gone through ups and downs, and having been far from my Mother, my friends have pulled me through very tough times. I’ve gone through divorces, child-birth, illnesses, breakups, deaths, job changes, moves, marriages, graduations and a multitude of life changes that most people would share with family. I had my friends.

My friends have pulled me off the brink of depression and made me laugh so hard I thought I would wet myself. We all know those inside jokes that only the oldest and dearest friends understand–the rest think you are nuts when you relate the story. You share the good times, but they are there too to scoop you up when you make your stupid mistakes they told you not to do. And they don’t say: told you so. One friend once said: I know you AND I love you!

I’m getting to the age in life where I am losing friends to cancer–and this is so very painful. It slams mortality right in my face. These people have been my buoys,  lighthouses and life vests…and now they are floating away. A part of me dies every time one of them dies. And I can do nothing to save them.

My Mom says you should be able to count your truly good friends on one hand. And that if you picked up the phone to them and said: start walking, they would hang up and start coming–no questions asked. I agree. I feel like my friends are concentric circles with the very dearest in the middle. That’s the smallest group and the circles get bigger and so do the friends in them. I cherish them all, and they may move in and out of the circles.

I honor loyalty and friendship highly. Not everyone does these days. It’s a throw away world in general, but making vital connections to others makes our web stronger. So work on the friendships you have every day and create new ones. You never know who might be your best new life long friend.

Things I Would Like Soon


Today, twice, I heard mention of lists. The first was on NPR and it was in reference to songs–that some songs are done in the style of a list. A song like our favorite Christmas carol: Five golden Rings is an example of a ‘list’ song. The second mention of lists was at church today when the minister mentioned how this time of year was made up particularly of list making. We make lists of whom to send cards to, who to give gifts to, where to buy what, what needs to be baked..well, you get the idea.

To me, when events happen like this, it’s not random. It seems very serendipitous to me that these two events occurred. Maybe they are telling me it’s time for me to make a list too! And so I shall.

Things I would like soon:

To be more like my dog, resting and being peaceful whenever I’m not eating, going to the bathroom, playing or loving those around me.

I would like go to work and keep the attitude of patience I leave the house with despite becoming frustrated with all the things that come at me during the day.

Remembering my daughters when they were young and loving and keep that in my heart when they are disappointing and forget me on important days or even on not so important days.

To continue to give and be kind to those close to me even when they may not do the same back because it is always better to give than to receive anyway.

Never forget to keep my heart open to new opportunities for love, work, people and places because it may be just around the corner that the miracle may occur.

To stay committed to the environment even when it’s easy to be lazy and consider new ways to help more than I do now.

Keep focusing on my health, my body, my soul, my intellect even when others challenge me and try to make me feel my way of thinking is odd or not main stream.

Work harder on standing up and speaking out for justice, prejudice, equality, freedom, poverty and try to actively DO MORE!

And to dive into my heart and spread laughter, kindness, friendship and always walk within my beliefs, ethics and moral standards that all people deserve to live in peace and happiness.

These things I would like soon