Poem: Lights Out


In dreams

we can want

or walk through

the past

in a chosen Universe

And also be

the better us

we never were

So please

Do not disturb!

 

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Gimme Shelter


Yes I am sheltering in place even though Mother Nature is about to unleash her wrath and fury upon the land where I live. I’ve received numerous worried phone calls and texts from friends and love ones of concern at my half-baked plan to stay. Their feelings that I should evacuate, or should have days ago, have been coming across loud and clear.

Agreed, it’s all a bit freaky. The worst hurricane in the Atlantic in history!! Yikes. This doesn’t leave for a good nights sleep mind you. And yet, I plan to stay and wait it out. Am I simply nuts?

Well, no, I don’t think so. Having been an emergency worker for 20 years, I wouldn’t choose to shelter in place without giving it some good hard thought and without reasons. Maybe my reasons are emotional ones: my pets and my mother, but I still feel the gamble is worth it.

Where I live is not in a flood zone and my apartment building is a cement box. I’m on the first floor and have hurricane windows on most of windows and on the ones I don’t, I put up my shutters. I have candles, canned food, batteries and will fill up lots of things with water, including my bath tub. And then I will simply wait.

Sure, we may lose power, but after being without power for 11 days in New England in the middle of winter without a wood stove, I guess I can handle it. I have a small battery charger for my phone, and if my car doesn’t get wrecked, then I can charge my phone in my car to let folks know I’m OK.

As long as my Mom, my pets and I’m OK, I really don’t care if I lose stuff. There is nothing I own that is more important to me than my ‘family’. Things can always be replaced. If it blows away or gets wet… so be it. Maybe I’ll end up in the land of Oz…

And the upside of these disasters is that it always brings out the best in humans. Maybe Mother nature does this to reminds us of our need to care about each other. My neighbors have been great. (Note: my neighbor for Canada flew BACK to be here for his Mom and just stopped by to make sure I was alright and didn’t need any help!)

So, yes, I’m staying and hopefully it won’t be a mistake. If it is, well, it won’t be my first mistake. If it’s the last, well…we all gotta go sometime.

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

The Rolling Stones

Poem: Lured


The ripped raw slash

of disappointment

cuts me

A wounded animal

once again dragging

my leg pulled from

the trap

It was the sweet smell of bait

luring me to the center

as I sniffed my way

to the heart of doom

Each time coming away

more caked with sap

leaking from torn open

disillusionments

from crawling toward you

even knowing

you would never understand

 

Living Now


How much of our life do we spend looking forward or back? Countless moments wishing about the ideal new future we will have someday or ruminating endlessly over all memories we wish could be do-overs. The hands of the clock just keep spinning as our minds play these scenes in our heads; it doesn’t hold still saving those precious minutes for a later day. No, it marches on ahead in its endless walk toward the end of time, our time at least–and what have we really gained during these memory visitations?

It’s true, there are certain positives that can be created from walking away from the present down our other time zones. Going back in time can prevent us from making the same mistakes (hopefully) by learning what felt wrong to us. And going forward can help us plan so we don’t create some huge disaster in our lives by simply going blindly.

But too much of either maybe isn’t good, is it? Making mistakes is hardly completely preventable and thinking too much about them can fill us with deep feelings of shame and guilt. And maybe taking leaps of faith into future plans may not be such a bad thing–it’s called trust. Trusting your intuition will know when something is or isn’t good for you.

It seems to me the only really effective way to be able to survive with any sense of contentment and ease, is then not to spend quantities of time in the past or present. Rather to live most fully in the present.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
Henry David Thoreau

If one truly commits to doing this, and it is no easy task as the mind is constantly aiming to pull you off task, then life begins to open up before you with crisp alertness. As each sensory organ gets tuned in to the world around us, everything becomes heightened. Noises leap out, smells drift under our noses, scenery becomes more illuminated and our sense of touch more sensual.

As our mind tends to drift away from the now, which can happen every minute with the distractions of every day life, we can pull it back to this minute by asking it to notice: what do I hear? do I see? what am I feeling right in this second? It is giving us back the gift of time, and while the clock is still moving, it is our lover instead of our prison guard.

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”
― Benjamin Franklin

So if we can wed our mind and time, and bring this union to one beautiful moment, then the child created stands still in bliss.

Poem: Crossroad


image

Forever at a crossroad
Missteps from the past
These paths with footfalls
Etched in grains of time

image

Hard not to blame
Scold that weathered image
Those eyes
Staring now wondering
Which way to go

image

And it all just rolls on
The bottom is stirred
Debris swirling upward 
Flooding the surface

image

Walk on
Walk on
To the next crossroad
Which way to turn?

Unfinished Resentment


A couple of pretty sad things happened to me over the weekend and I’m not sure quite how to absorb them. They are related I suppose, so maybe it’s really only one thing. I was speaking with my ex-husband about our middle daughter taking an LNA class and the possibility of him helping her pay for it. He has been more than generous contributing to our other two kids and their schools, ventures, life etc. It’s a long story but suffice to say before I knew it the conversation became about how he felt I haven’t been a good mother.

While I was unprepared for this statement during this particular conversation, I had known deep down he had felt this way for some time. While he masquerades with proper manners most times and a controlled temper, underneath I know has been an unfinished resentment and unforgiving heart. Sometimes words are said that make it known how he truly feels and his anger bubbles to the top.

It’s been over a decade since our divorce, and even though I wanted it, it seems to me plenty of time for us both to have moved on. He has since remarried (I have not), has a lovely huge home (I do not), a job where he makes large amounts of money (I do not), a partner that is extremely devoted to him (I do not) and pretty much everything going his way (often I do not). I have never once resented anything he has, and in fact, been happy that he is happy. Or at least thought he was so.

But the huge, burning disdain for me and my ability to care for our children, made it clear to me that either he isn’t happy with his life now or he is simply someone who can just never move on and live in the present. I personally cannot live being that way. Letting something like this eat you up inside. It’s self destructive.

I’ve never claimed to be mother of the year–and I’ve apologized for the mistakes I’ve made to him and for hurting him. But he never accepted it. What more could I do? I was not happy and we weren’t right for each other. I see that more than ever now! We have two very different hearts. But what really saddens me is that my oldest daughter seems to be rather like him and feel the same way about me as he does.

Whether she has come to this conclusion on her own or was influenced by what he feels, I do not know. But words that were said to me yesterday were some of the most hurtful words that I have heard in my lifetime. It’s hard to believe that one we raise from a tiny baby could utter things so cruel and not understand how deeply they cut.

But apparently they both feel the need to place blame and I am the focal point. I have thought about it all day. It makes one feel very lonely indeed. A family is a place where one is supposed to feel safe, accepted for who we are, where we can make mistakes and not have them thrown in our faces for the rest of our lives. And when these things don’t happen we feel shame, depression, isolation and even self-loathing at times.

Luckily I have two other daughters that are mostly OK with me. They know I’m not perfect and that maybe we don’t have the greatest relationship in the world. But they accept I did and am doing the best I can. And I have friends that are helping me through this too. They are giving me perspective. And luckily I’m pretty strong and in a time in my life where I am feeling OK about who I am. I understand that our past shapes who we are and how we may handle our lives.

Maybe my mothering style was poor. Maybe I made a lousy wife. I own both those things. But they are both mostly in the past. My kids are young adults now. They don’t need as much mothering. And I wasn’t such a bad mother as I know are out there. I had my faults like any, but I wasn’t nearly as crazy as my daughter made me sound! And as for my ex, well, they both have selective remembering. It is very interesting what I recall about the past and the things he did ‘wrong’ while we were divorced. Or what he is still continuing to do wrong now! But we pick our battles. And I look at the overall. I would never say he is a bad father because he is not. Is he perfect? No. But who is? The kids love him and he’s there for them. And I would never turn them against him.

I have no idea how I will get those words out of my head: I am bad mother. It haunts me because I have always felt like I could have done better. It was my Achilles heel and he shot an arrow right into it. And then my daughter put salt into it. I will keep trying to breathe, stay calm and do the best I can. For now I can avoid speaking with my ex. And hope one day my daughter has children of her own so she may understand what I am feeling after all this. Should that day ever come, I pray they only say kind words to her.