My Poetry


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I’d like to take this time to invite all my readers and followers to feel free to ask me questions or simply wonder about my poems. I’ve had some folks be confused about them or describe themselves as people who don’t generally understand poetry. I suppose I have trouble with most poetry myself.

As I’ve gotten more into writing it, I know it can be quite obscure to others and maybe only makes sense to the poet. But maybe that’s the point. That we all interpret it differently. I’ve decided that’s the beauty of poetry. It’s more like a painting than say an essay which may try to make a particular point more emphatically.

With my poetry, I may get a picture or idea in my head. And many times it may be something that only I may understand to be a truth. Still, the words may resonate because they may create a picture in one’s mind or instill a feeling anyway. This is why I would hope you all will comment anyway without fear that you aren’t ‘getting’ the (my) gist of the poem. It doesn’t matter.

I’m only a novice. It is the joy of the words and the feeling when they make their way into my head like visitor getting off the train at the right station. Sometimes they just keep riding that train and refuse to step on the platform. But on the days they are happy to jump down and into my waiting arms–these are the days I feel rich.

So, remember: don’t worry about asking me who this visitor may be and what they are saying. I understand it may be a language you don’t understand. I will do my best to explain if you want. Or you can tell me what you heard this stranger saying to you…

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Being Human


“Being Human is more important than being full in the know.” Pico Iyer

I heard this on a TED talk the other day and thought it very poignant. One can interpret it many different ways I suppose. This gentleman was talking about what we will never know…that the older we get, the less we know.

Most people feel that with age comes wisdom, but maybe Mr. Iyer is correct. Maybe, instead we learn that as humans we really know very little. That with all our technology, science, predictions and machines–there is so much about the world around us, important stuff, that we simply just will never understand.

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We might predict if someone has cardiac disease, but not the exact minute they might have a heart attack, or if they will at all. So in the end, even though I moved here to help my Mother, I was not with her the moment hers came, therefore the incident became bigger.

Humans have never been able to predict love: when love will strike, who will be blessed with its arrow or when it will be wrenched away. For the ages poets, writers, painters and almost all creative people have tackled love within their medium. But none can truly define it. It remains a sacred mystery, one that is cherished, sought after and defined abstractly depending who is creating the script. It just is and anyone who has felt it understands it. It’s part of being human. We ‘get’ it, but a Webster definition…? Good luck.

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Is ignorance bliss? Maybe in many cases this saying is yes. With the onslaught of the internet and the overabundance of information, being in the know can be a dangerous thing. We have stopped being simply human and relying on those skills we once did that provided us the ability to survive. Our ‘gut’ told us what and who was safe or which way to go; we could sense when our body needed something or when something wasn’t right. Those subtle signals that made the hair stand up, or when we just knew someone was nearby even though we couldn’t see them. Now we ignore signals either about these invisible others (or we are overly sensitive about people different from us) and we are completely out of touch with our own bodies.

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How do we begin to detach, then, our ever whirring minds, so filled with all the data, and get back to ‘just being human’? Can we relearn to trust our inner selves again to become at least partially instinctual in our decision-making? It would be hard for many who have become so co-dependent on digital information. They must be ‘in the know’ for everything. Trusting in themselves would be a hard thing. Especially the generation raised on computers–they have been breast-fed on them, so how do they know otherwise?

For me, tuning in more and more–over many years–to my inner voice, the nuances of my physical self and trying to quiet my chattering mind has been a challenge. But it has been one I take on gladly. Because I am human, this is the animal I was born to be, and getting back to the bare bones of this beast is where I belong.

When we truly quiet the mind, turn off the data stream and just be the beast, we become in tune with the Universe and all things sacred.

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Blessed


It’s rare these days that I have as bad a day as I did today. Or that I post something that is down in the dumps or negative. Over the years of my blog I’ve worked so hard to try to be upbeat and more positive in my life. But today I think maybe the storm left some residual pressure that has left my life a mess.

Everything that could go wrong seems to be. The most important thing is a major family emergency. And really, all things being equal, it’s the only important thing. But the other things that stressed me out were such bad timing, that for the first time in a very long time I really thought I might not be able to cope.

This blog has helped me so much to do just that: cope. My writing and sharing and meeting so many wonderful and dear people on my journey here has literally put my life back on course towards  a more content and peaceful one. It helps me clear my mind and soul while sorting out difficult moments or simply sharing my insights toward light.

Some may not understand this venue and some have other ways to get on during difficult times. To each their own. And this is not my only coping method, but it one of my very important ones. Especially during times of extreme pain or stress.

I’m feeling it now as I may be heading towards something extremely challenging. I do not know for sure, but I sense a potential change. Only my really dear and close friends respect what I am going through while most concentrate on their own lives. It’s a rare thing that people can put their own stuff aside (their anger, hurt, stresses, frustration) for the moment to concentrate on someone else’s needs. It’s a gift to be able to do it and only the kindest most compassionate of people can. And I am blessed with some who do.

And with them I will get through all my upcoming challenges. There will always be lonely times in my life anyway I know. Lonely because I say what I feel and am brutally honest, but those that really know me, love me anyway.

For My Work Newsletter


So this is the article I am submitting in response to my decision to being asked to reconsider my resignation at my job:

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My April Fool’s Day

When I moved here in September, it was for a few reasons. The main reason was to be close to my Mother, but it was also to be away from the brutal New England weather and to retire from a stressful career where my co-workers often did not care about one another.

It’s been a blessing living near my Mom and the weather is sublime.

Applying for jobs was exhausting, and when Bethesda called I was very excited. I actually had applied for a different position than the one I am currently in, but with my experience, they felt I would be better suited for this one.

They were forthcoming about the stress of the job, which made me a bit nervous at the time because of my hopes for coming here mentioned above, but assured me about teamwork among colleagues.

It’s been three months, and yes indeed, it’s stress on steroids! I’ve seen how the stress reveals parts of people that probably, under normal circumstances, wouldn’t bubble to the surface.  Some of these parts have directly affected me and, I won’t lie, this has been difficult.

For years I’ve been told ‘you are too sensitive’ or ‘have a thicker skin’ and often it made me feel there was something wrong with me. But as I grew older, I realized that I embrace this part of me and know that this is what makes me a kind, compassionate and loving person. I don’t want to keep people out with a thick skin and I prefer being sensitive to the world around me.

So I had to make a decision about the stress once again in my life and if I wanted to (not could) deal with it. And after much soul searching I decided to resign on Friday, April 1. Even though it killed me because there are so many wonderful people and I actually really like the job and am not ever a quitter. But I had also promised myself not to live a stressful life anymore.

Amazingly though, something happened. I was asked to reconsider. And many people, including some that had been stressed out directly at me, came to me and were very kind.

This made me think about some things.

  • We all have our troubles, so trying to be conscious that another person may be suffering personally may help us to be more patient
  • We all are tired and over worked, but acting as a team will help us all in the long run
  • A smile and a kind word goes a long way
  • Someone we think may not care, really might in the end but just may not know how to show it in the moment
  • Be the first one to extend a helping hand, or even consider being social with someone
  • Try to talk directly to the person first if you hear something you don’t like—remember: don’t assume
  • Let’s accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative in regards to people, how we say things and our attitudes

I guess this all sounds hokey and maybe I’m being unrealistic. But my feeling is that if we reach high than maybe we may obtain at least just short of our goals. And this is better than not reaching at all.

The decision then about reconsidering? After so many great people asked me to, and because I am hopeful and positive person…

The answer was absolutely!

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I’m not sure how my co-workers will take it. They are a mixed and motley bunch. Some may be sympathetic and find it inspiring and others may find the words insipid. None the less, I am choosing to put them forth, just like I put myself forth every day in my blog to my blogging community. Many here hail me, some have walked away. Hey, it’s a free country and freedom of speech is regarded highly and we must be brave when we put ourselves out there to a new audience.

So shall I do when this gets published in our Surgical Services Newsletter. And then let the commenting commence….

 

Good Or Evil?


There are some things in this world that can either a very good thing or a very bad thing. Recently, I’ve wondered if the Internet is a perfect example of one of these things.

Certainly it is quite obvious the wonderful qualities the Internet provides to us all–especially you bloggers out there! For me personally, I never would have had the opportunity to test my writing or photography skills on such a public scale. Much to my surprise, both have been greeted with great positive delight and careful considerations. It is truly a highlight in my life (if that says anything about my life!!).

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Delighted

Another amazing–and so current–part of the web is how it connects people! Again, it has been my great fortune to meet some wonderful bloggers who have become my friends. But beyond that: people meet future partners, have job interviews, start businesses, visit Grandchildren, read the news from around the world and get any random bit of information from this amazing thing called: The Internet. You never, ever would have thought of this 30 years ago!

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 Fellow bloggers fall from the same tree!

But this very same thing that helps, can harm. Most of us are innocent in our browsing and searches: looking for how to spell some word or how to cook some new dish. All these things are at our finger tips. We can do or find anything…and so can someone with evil intent.

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The dark side of the Internet

The Internet gathers information like Antarctica gathers snow. Each snowflake holds a bit of data waiting to be read. Purists have been trying to keep the web free from monitoring–let the data be free and unencumbered. People have a right to search, gather and download whatever they want from this treasure trove of information no matter what they may do with it after some say…. Or do they?

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The treasure trove tree

Police, FBI say it’s OK to get on a perp’s phone or computer if they were terrorists. Maybe they could get information that could lead to stopping further attacks. Others say if we set a precedent  of hacking into people’s privacy, then we’re as good as lost. Back to the McCarthy era of profiling potential bad guys. Some feel if you have nothing to worry about, then you shouldn’t worry about the Internet being monitored–your data being monitored for subversive searches: if you’re innocent, no problem.

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Find the Red!!

There is always a way to get information from one group to another, Internet or no. If the bad guys want to recruit, they will. Even within Nazi concentration camps, the prisoners had underground rebel groups that stock piled weapons. They had no web to pass this information back and forth, rest assured of that one! But the Internet makes it so easy and so International! Click a button and wham…join a terrorist group. Scary.

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A mysterious symbol? No just a tile on my patio! 🙂

Certainly, we all want to be safe from these horrible extremist groups, but our right to privacy in this country is also paramount. Unfortunately, every time we push the power button on the computer and hit either Google or that big E….we’re putting ourselves out there for anyone to find us….eventually. Hopefully it’s only for things like clothing ads and other nuisance items that attach to your searches.

I guess the moral of the story is: be careful what you search for, because Big Brother may eventually may be watching.

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If you find me big Bro, I just want peace!

Poem: Learning To Live Again


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Maybe I will just quite my job

And go back to school

Become a student again

And walk snow-covered paths

Into busy brick buildings

Filled with kids just starting out

They will look at me like I’m some kind of nut

The gray-haired lady in English literature class

Because maybe I could really learn to write a poem

After taking “Poetry Workshop”

Or maybe I could take a class called “Writing In The World”

And get a job as a reporter for NPR

(But I would have to change my name because it’s too boring)

I’d walk from class to class

Take notes

My daughter in college would laugh at me

While helping me with my homework

Or tell me not to bother her

While she was doing hers

Either way it could be no worse

Than being at work

Where the laughter is not the same

But coming from some place outside

Where my walls must be built every day

Like a sandcastle built but washed away by the tide each moon

My comrades in class could joke

But In the end

As the semester drew on and

Midterms and finals and study groups were formed

There in the circle was the gray-haired lady

Very much like someone they know

Back taking that step forward

Learning to live again

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Blogging For Growth


“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” –Anais Nin

This morning I was writing in my personal journal and this quote happened to be on the bottom of the journal page I was writing on. Part of what I was writing about was my blog and how much it has come to mean to me, how it has made me grow and what I have gained from it. As it happens so often, we see little things that serendipitously go along with what we feel or need, just like this quote.

When I started this blog, it began more as an exercise in writing and somewhere to put my photos. While I was still on Facebook then and did display my pictures there, my “voice” was rarely shared, and only then in short comments. I’ve always loved to write and have done so in the past. After having my astrological chart read by a friend, it blasted all over it: WRITE, so I decided it was time to find a venue.

Knowing my writing wasn’t professional or good enough to publish, someone suggested blogging. That seemed the ticket. It was free, easy and a perfect way to express myself openly. If I was lucky enough, maybe some people would even read my essays. The first time I got a hit, I was literally amazed! So now, at almost 500 followers, I’m ecstatic.

But I realized today, my blogging has gone way beyond my being able to share with others. It has brought something to me on such a deeper level. Or rather it has let me be the me I already am, but be able to express it now out loud. And this is a beautiful thing (for me).

Since as long as I can recall I’ve always been an observer. Not only an observer, but a story-teller. Even as a young child–an only child–I would make up huge tales, out loud, even if no-one was listening to keep myself amused. I would talk to trees, animals, the wind….any’thing’ that would listen. If a person would listen-or even if they wouldn’t, I would talk. I’m not so different now.

And as soon as I could write, I did. The important thing is that I was observing the world around me. As an adult, and now especially as I become more and more aware, my blog has helped me go deeper. Everything has potential to be material.  It’s made me hyper-aware. It’s made me a better listener, more observant, a critical thinker. Overall, I hope, a better person.

It’s given me the time to slow down and create. This, versus, just reading the garbage on Facebook. And I’ve made some wonderful friends on my blog. Other creators and artists. I’ve learned some amazing things too and traveled all around the world through other’s blogs. Everything is fair game now in my mind for my blog.

I’ve become like a reporter, author, photographer, comedian,  an autobiographer and poet all wrapped into one. It’s liberating, humbling, challenging and made me grow so much. My mind is always whirring away now in everything I do: what will make a good photo? Will this make a good piece for my blog? It keeps my mind active and healthy. It gives me the opportunity to experiment without fear of rejection.

So I thank the stars, literally, for giving me this opportunity. And I thank all of you for supporting this fancy. For without you, I’d still be that child just talking to myself! And honestly, this is way better!

Seeking Joy


How many of you believe words make reality? It seems that way to me, especially lately. Some of you may recall the mantra I created a month or so ago. It was short and sweet, but very necessary to my life. It was a very positive paragraph and something I have recited at least twice a day–and sometimes more. Basically a positive affirmation of what I would like to see for myself. And, well, it’s all happening in this short time.

Of course, we all know that positive or negative thoughts/words only lead to the same in actions. This is no great new revelation to anyone. It has come down through the ages. The very act of prayer has been going on for centuries. “Ask and ye shall receive” is a most familiar saying we all may know, whether we go to church or not. Many religions believe that the very act of writing something down or speaking words releases their power. And therefore one must be careful what one asks for as it may not come quite as you ask. We as people know that words can harm or heal, whether or not they say: sticks or stones may hurt my  bones, but words will never hurt me. Ah, not true!

This is why I kept my words quite simple in my mantra. But the simple act of saying it over and over seems to have brought the things for which I ask. Two lines in particular: “I am seeking joy” and “My first priority is love” are coming with delightful abundance. One might think these things have dropped from the sky, but in reality I have created them in my life by focusing on them and drawing them to me.

Numerous books have been written on this subject and have made millions. Positive self talk will in turn bring good. And so the opposite is true. I once read that if you are angry you should try to force yourself to smile because it is almost impossible to stay angry when you are smiling. It’s all about changing one’s reality. And I believe this is possible.

I’m sure you’ve met the people who are eternally grumpy and always draw the negative stuff to them. Or the people who are constantly having bad stuff follow them wherever they go–they draw this black cloud around them. And then there are the people who carry the light around them! I decided I wanted to be like them. And so I made it happen.

Armed with my mantra, my smile, my attitude adjustment and my hope the tide had changed and my world is slowly changing. Some really big things are changing, but even the little things are noticeable. For each one thing that changes, I surround it with gratitude and more positive energy. I want each small movement to grow into something bigger.

My two favorite yoga moves are the sun salute and the warrior pose. I am trying to do these as much as I can now, not only to heal my body, but to ease my spirit. As the sun rises, I know the past is behind me and I greet a new day filled with new possibilities. And the warrior woman within me can face any situation with strength and perseverance and the steady balance of one who has seen empires rise and fall.

So I will continue with my positive speak and keep a clear mind. Not every moment is perfect, but as a warrior, I can shield against the difficult moments armed with my light and the vision I have in my head. And with these tools, some humor and the understanding I may have to lick my wounds now and again–I am confident I will find the joy and love I am seeking.