The World in Which I Live

Musings from my life – poetry and prose

My grandson turned four
amidst a great pandemic
He is strong and brave

Late start to the day
My dreams kept me so busy
Awake, I can rest

She lived such a life
Full of adventure, so brave
She was my hero 
for my Aunt Betsy - Mary Jane Myhand

Just days until dawn
A new light come from the east
Let it be lovely

Sleeplessness last night
Waiting for the sun to rise
It brings new life

Raindrops fall again
finally a respite from 
drought and pestilence

Snow fell this morning
the ground covered white and clean
In an instant, gone

The sound of nothing
but the blowing wind outside
My mind is at rest.
Heartbeat, racing fast
Always tragedy brewing
I must take a breath

Late start to the day
My dreams kept me so busy
Awake, I can rest

She lived such a life
Full of adventure, so brave
She was my hero

Just days until dawn
A new light comes from the east
Let it be lovely

Sleeplessness last night
Waiting for the sun to rise
It brings us new life
Customer service
Does it even still exist
I'm giving up hope

All shame falls on me
I failed to write yesterday
Oh well, I will now

Hope springs eternal
Victory within our reach
Please Bless us with peace 
(written just hours before the violence on Capitol Hill)

A house set on fire
Just an illusion or a dream
What does it all mean?

A new week begins
A vast seven days lie ahead
Will we make it through?

I decided to restart this practice, since it feeds my creative needs a bit, and I really want to get back on track to writing each day.

The force of the winds
My house creaks and shutters slam
Inside, I am warm

The rain hasn't come
The sky and earth are still dry
Tumbleweeds blow in the wind

Community care
All boats rise with rising tide
We are not alone

(Birthday Haiku)
They say that your age
is nothing but a number
I'm forever young

The rain is falling 
The sky is a dusky gray
The sun shines inside
Loving you was easy
with you a million miles away
Loving you was easy 
never near me long enough to stray
Loving you was easy
only moments, we weren't at arm's length
Loving you was easy
In your arms, I only felt your strength
Loving you was easy
I never had to show you all my fears
Loving you was easy
you never saw me shed my tears
Loving you was easy
You never really knew me well
Loving you was easy
That's the story, I'll continue to tell

Weeks go by without a thought of you, 
but today is not that day
Songs we never heard together 
bring you to the top of my mind

Tears well up before I can even know 
they are tears for you
then it hits me so hard
that today I will think of you

Years gone since I last heard your voice,
but today it rings in my ears
Not the anger, but the love
haunted by the gift that I let go

An eternity has past since I last held you
I'll hold you again no more
the memory haunts me still
and I still long for your touch
 
Tears well up before I can even know 
they are tears for you
then it hits me so hard
that today I will think of you

There’s a theory that if you place 4 people on each corner of an intersection and have them witness an accident, all four people will see a different accident and tell a different story.

I tend to believe this theory is, in fact, true. 

“We see the world not as it is, we see the world as we are.” ~ Anais Nin

So, as I am metaphorically stuck and standing still at the intersection of my latest accident in love, replaying it over and over in my mind, I am finally compelled to use my own words to work out the details and find the truth to my perception.

Up until this moment, I have been only using other’s word to vaguely and partially express my feelings. They have helped ease the pain, but having been down this road before, I know that only my words and the expression of my truth will help me truly heal, find closure and move on with my life.

Every morning when I awake, I open my eyes and see a room I hate, a room where it all ended, in a house meant to be our home, a house I feel stuck in, at least temporarily. Waking every morning to the images of our last moments, his cold demeanor, and unwillingness to look at me.  He is in this space and I am revisited daily, meanwhile, he is living a life in a place where I have left no footprint, a home he never invited me into, a job that keeps him moving. Getting on without me was easy for him, I suspect, finding a new “love of his life” so quickly and easily, now sharing a home with her.

I knew it was happening, even before it actually did. I knew this would be the final outcome. I even knew who the woman would be. Knowing now, how good my intuition is, is no comfort. I wish I had listened sooner.

I wish I had listened a year earlier, at his initial pursuit, and recognized that I was nothing more than a game to him. Someone to woo, someone to win, with promises of love and forever. Knowing the right words to say, to make me give in, to open my heart and to believe in love again. To believe that perhaps I was worthy, that it wasn’t too late for me. I don’t think he knew it was a game, I think he, for a time, felt real feelings, wanted the things he promised, and even thought that he wanted them with me. I don’t believe it was a malicious game, but I think it was wishful thinking at best. On both our parts.

No matter what the case, I opened my heart to him. I let him reside in it. I let my life become his, making all the choices I made based on what I believed he wanted.  I put my dreams on hold, giving them over to new dreams of a life and future WE would have. A life that would make us happy on his terms.

The truth was, I didn’t know what he really wanted and I don’t think he did either. I think he tried until he just couldn’t anymore.

I try to remember the beautiful moments, the first kiss, the moment when he proposed, the moments I felt the real love and tenderness in his eyes. But what really haunts me is the anger in his eyes, the moments when he was clearly trying to upset me, when he accused me of telling him stories I never told, because they were not my stories to tell. The moment when he told me his heart wasn’t here with me anymore, but could not tell me where it was.  The moments when I cried that he was not moved and the times he was angry because I wasn’t sad enough. There came a point, where every conversation felt like he was picking a fight. No matter how much I apologized for things I had no control over the more he seemed to resent me. I could do nothing right. It was becoming a life, I couldn’t live.

So I let him go. I said the words, I ended the engagement, which ended the relationship. I did what I know he wanted to do, but was too weak to do. If it was to end, I wanted to end it face-to-face, not wait for the phone call, or most likely, text message telling me he didn’t love me enough to stay with me. So, once again, I am the quitter, I am the one to say the first goodbye. I am the bad guy and he is the victim.

I said the words, I returned the ring, and still, I feel as though I am the one who was dumped.

Because we had enjoyed a long-held friendship, we initially tried staying in contact, against my better judgment. I didn’t want to hurt him and I believe he felt the same so I answered his nearly daily text messages. After a love and an engagement broken, the thought of making small talk via text was just not something I could do. When I finally asked him not to contact me unless he really wanted to have a real conversation I was greeted two days later with a notice of a new relationship on Facebook. So clearly, he was still trying to remain in contact while building a relationship with another woman. I wasn’t sure at the moment I read that if I was more angry at him for deceiving me or deceiving her. In any case, I was hurt and feeling incredibly unforgiving (which I do realize is completely unhealthy – I will get to the place of forgiveness).

By nature, I am a relatively strong woman. I know I am capable of surviving a lot. I have learned to deal with most of the issues in my life head-on. I know that because I have children, that I feel still need me, that I cannot collapse into heartbreak and so I put on a strong facade and try to move through things. I even tried to commit myself to going through the five stages of grief in a mere weekend. (it took me awhile to concede that it just didn’t work) This trait, while in some ways helpful, often prevents me from feeling the real feelings and doing the real work to get through the pain.

I’ve been compelled for quite some time to write, but have had a difficult time getting started. I have been more interested in editing my feelings, rather than expressing them. The stifling of emotion, unfortunately, leads to depression and the past week or so has been particularly difficult, so I felt it was time to finally write.

So now, it’s time to deal with the aftermath of the ending of the relationship; learn the lessons that lie therein and hopefully grow in a way that will open my heart again, fuller and more capable of a mature and enduring love if ever I should be faced with the possibility again.

Again, this is just my truth, my perception. I am sure anyone standing on another corner may have a different story to tell.

One word
All you allow
When you ask how I am

Fine -
Freaked Out
Insecure
Neurotic
Enraged

All that is not 
even close to 
what I actually am

I am also in 
deep physical pain
my heart hurts

Not just 
figuratively
It does, but 

I am 
in literal pain
every part of me 
aches

No one word
can describe 
the grief 
surging through 
my veins

The Anger
The Fury
The Guilt
The Anguish
The Denial
The Despair
The Hopelessness
The Helplessness

So let me rest
let me be silent
let me heal
in my own time

Give me leave 
to not be 
Fine

“Hurt now or hurt later? — I’ll take now.” ~ Mirabelle Buttersfield – Shopgirl by Steve Martin

Smart women choose to hurt now as opposed to hurt later. But what do you do when the hurt doesn’t go away? When the longing stays long past the time when you should be able to let go.

How long does it take to get over someone that you’ve loved for what seems a lifetime? Is there a mathematical equation to determine how long the pain will last? Take the number of years you’ve loved someone, add your age, subtract 18, multiply by 3, and divide by seven… Okay, I just made that up; there is no real number, no equation, and no answer. It lasts as long as it lasts.

I guess sometimes you never fully recover a piece of your heart forever in the possession of this person lost to you. Maybe logic never wins out, despite the mounting evidence of rejection and ambivalence.

It’s easy enough to wake each morning and say today is the last day, today I give up, I give in, I quit trying. I won’t shed another tear, give another thought. I’ll move on, I’ll move up, but invariably, you hear a song, someone turns a familiar phrase, and out of the blue, your thoughts are where you swore they wouldn’t be.

Heartbreak, rejection, loss of love, are all parts of life, the human condition. Whether we are 14 or 41 or 19 or 91, it still hurts, the ache is hard to shake. We hold on with everything to the hope that the heart can be repaired, the relationship renewed, the loss felt less deeply.

Maybe the best we can ask for is that there is a lesson learned a sense of a future that allows for love to re-enter. A love that will be more mature, more honest, more rich: a love that will pass the test of time: a love that will not succumb to complacency and the hardships of everyday life, a love that will grow more beautiful and fulfilling as time passes. A love where lingering glances and hand holding and long wet sweet kisses can be revived and renewed again and again.

Very often, I think I am past my prime, that a life of love is lost to me, that perhaps because I have known love and lost it, I had my turn and I blew it and I don’t get another chance, I’ve used them all.

But a still small voice inside me and sometimes outside of me in the form of my dear friends says that it’s possible, that it’s not too late there is always hope and I should believe, and hope and dream…

But clearly, I am no expert…

It’s Monday morning and I really should be getting ready for work, but something small, but extraordinary happened this morning that I need to write about, while it’s still fresh.

It seemed like a typical Monday morning, except for the fact that I actually did want to get out of bed and start my day. It’s been a while since I looked forward to a day at work, so that was different. As usual, though, I realized that I hadn’t gotten cash over the weekend to cover lunch money, so after dropping off Mike at school (he makes his own lunch) I drove to the bank with Kate. The plan was to get cash from the ATM and then go to Starbucks and get coffee and change.

We got our cash and drove around the corner to Starbucks, which oddly enough was line free. I vaguely remember a green truck in front of us as Kate and I were in conversation and I don’t often stare down the car in front of me. As we drove up to the window, I pulled out a twenty-dollar bill to hand to the girl working the drive-thru window and she said that the man in front of us paid our bill.

It almost didn’t register. By the time it did, the truck was long gone. I could not offer thanks. Now over my many years on this planet, I have had more than my fair share of men buy me drinks. (usually in a bar and usually with some intent of receiving some sort of payback) I don’t say that to brag, because I don’t believe myself to be unlike every other woman in the world, it’s just something that happens. This was different, I didn’t even have the chance to give a slight nod of acknowledgment or thanks and there was no indication that this person paid for any other reason than it made him feel good.

I started to put my money back in my wallet and then it struck me that this was the perfect opportunity to pay it forward. So, I paid for the person behind me. I hope that this random act of kindness I received today and passed on will be passed on and on all day. I hope the kind gentleman in front of me in the Starbucks drive-thru has a truly blessed day and that by the end of the day, his sweetness is returned to him tenfold. It was especially nice to share this experience with my daughter, as I don’t think she had ever experienced a random act of kindness from a total stranger. In her own words, it was “intense”.

It’s nice to know that even at Starbucks, tiny miracles can happen.

Several years ago, when I first ventured out into the world, truly on my own, I was so frightened and unsure of where the world would take me and if I would, in fact even be able to survive on my own, for I was determined to never again be needy, I came across a quote from Louisa May Alcott ” I am no longer afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my own ship”. It had a profound and inspiring effect on me and gave me a sense of strength, I wasn’t sure I had before, and now I find it interesting and somewhat compelling how I often use boating/sailing/oceanic metaphors in my writing. I guess I’ve been (and perhaps still am) adrift in a stormy sea; looking for a safe harbor.

I was asked recently if I was the girl that tried to save (or fix, I don’t remember which – ah old age) the bad boys and, I said I didn’t think so. It occurred to me that it’s not the bad boys I seek to heal; it’s the lost boys I am drawn to care for. Perhaps I am a poor man’s Wendy, the open window in the dark night. I do find in myself the need to comfort, console and perhaps restore faith. I find great joy in that and maybe even a bit of a calling. It doesn’t always serve me well, but I think it is a part of me. I cannot force it on anyone, but I can offer it, and offer it freely without need of anything in return.

I think we live in a society, where there is the prevailing attitude of “tit for tat”, and people are somewhat distrustful of kindness and empathy. I get it. I see it every day in my work and daily life. The odd thing is, I even suffer from it myself. I have a hard time accepting kind and complimentary words without a sense of “what do they want from me?”

I have to remind myself that kindness is a by-product of the highest kind of love, one that is of a spiritual nature, one that supersedes personal gain for the betterment of others and of the universe in general.

We silly Americans define love in such limited ways. The Greeks had several definitions and different names for the different kinds of love and because they were so clearly defined the idea of love was probably less frightening. We use only one word for so many feelings and we’ve formulated slang words to better define the types of love we feel, but they are not so clear as their Greek counterparts. If the Greeks used “Eros” you knew it was referring to sexual love and desire, appreciation for beauty; “agape” – the love of god – a spiritual love and a self-sacrificing love: “Philia” friendship, brotherly love, the kind of love we feel for our families.

Today we use one word and it sometimes elicits fears of unwanted and unwarranted commitments, of guarantees and demands on one’s heart and soul (and even bank accounts). So we avoid it, and in many ways rightly so, for the use of it can end something wonderful before the exploration can even begin. There are never any guarantees in relationships or in life in general. We are promised nothing more than the moment we currently have, so it is imperative that we make the most of those moments we are blessed with. Life is such a rare and precious gift and so easily lost, we must take care and appreciate each moment.

I don’t buy-in wholesale to the idea of destiny, that we have no free-will or self-determination, but I do believe with all my heart that we are destined into the lives of the people who we are meant to touch and who are meant to touch us. Whether that means we are touched for a brief moment, a day, a week, or in fact, a lifetime there is no way to know and I try to not have those types of expectations, for those types of expectations do nothing but disappoint. But I believe that people enter my life for a reason. Whether I meet a need in their life or they meet one in mine, the truth is we have both been blessed by the coming together.

The world turns on its axis, all day, every day, millennium after millennium. Why is it that despite the fact that the world is in constant motion, we find it so difficult to welcome and embrace change?  We even balk at the change that can ultimately bring us great joy, choosing at times to stay in a place of misery rather than risk change.

Is it possible that it is the very constant of our planet in cyclical movement is what keeps us from changing direction? When reading “Catcher in the Rye” in high school, I remember a conversation in class about being caught on the carousel. Around and around it went; an occasional rise and fall of a wooden horse or dog, or pig, but for the most part, a constant, steady ride, and although the music was joyful, it was still a trap. The only way to actually go anywhere was to jump off. The jump was likely to cause some bumps and bruises, and maybe even some broken bones, but without the jump, you’re just stuck in the cycle FOREVER.

Despite our desire to stay in the comfort of what we know, life often forces change. We don’t always have anything to do with it. Sometimes it is another person making a decision for their life that affects our life so severely that we have no choice than to change. At other times, we lose jobs, people we love pass on, new people come into our lives and turn what we thought we knew to be true on its ear. We have to adjust. We have to learn to bob and weave. We have to change direction, change our pace, change our perspective and set our sites on a new life, we may never have imagined in our wildest dreams.

In Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about the “Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared — most of all — to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.”

The Quest has been the constant in my life; the desire to always be moving, to always be learning, to never get too stuck in my tracks. In my life, I’ve been accused of never being satisfied; of never being happy. As long as I feel like my life is on a forward trajectory, nothing could be farther from the truth. I am a happy soul, if not always a content one. I know that for me, the lack of contentment is an actual source of my happiness, it drives and compels me as long as it is being fed and nurtured. It’s easy to confuse contentment for happiness; to expect that if you HAVE enough, that you ARE enough. True happiness isn’t about material comforts it’s about soul comforts: a partner whose love challenges you and nurtures your growth. A love that expands your vision and not locks it down as one would a possession.

Transitions in life can be frightening. They often make you feel the sensation that all is lost, but life has taught me this; no matter how difficult things seem to be, the situation  you find yourself in is temporary, because basic physics tell us that the world will continue to spin on its axis, gravity will hold, life will go on, and if we’re brave enough to keep moving, to keep learning and keep believing, the truth will come to us and life will be a beautiful gift.

In an effort to mark the growth in my life, I like to occasionally review old essays and see the ways my life has changed; good, bad or indifferent. On Saturday, January 13, 2007, I re-posted this essay originally written circa 2001.

More old words – Amazing how some things never change

The nourishment starts on the inside.  When we tell ourselves and others the truth, and identify what we really want and need, we are nourishing ourselves. ~

I sense the futility of my life and my own lack of bravery.  I dream of greatness, but I fear to leave my safe white-walled apartment.  The box in which I dwell has begun to suffocate me.  I feel as though I’m floating in limbo, unaware of where I am heading.  I want to experience adventure and full-blown passion, yet I cannot leave my home.  I am stuck in a rut of the details of my life.  I look at myself, as if outside my own body, and I see myself wasting the precious life I have been given.  I know that is the greatest of all my sins, yet I do not know where to begin.

I dream of hopping on a plane to anywhere but here, and yet, I never purchase the ticket.  I want a new life, but the responsibilities I have prevent me from moving forward.  I keep telling myself that once this thing or that passes I will begin to live my life.  What happens if I die before those things happen, will my life have been fruitless?  Where is the meaning?  I want not to live in fear.

I want to love without apology and without fear.  I want to travel the world and share it with a man I love and who loves me as I am.  I want not to own him nor have him own me.  I want to acknowledge that we are both our own free souls and that we are complete without one another, but are together out of a mutual decision to share the joys of this world and share our personal perspectives.

I want to control my own destiny.  To decide what it is and to move forward with the confidence that I can and will make my life all I want it to be.  I want a clear perspective.  I want to quit letting life just happen to me.  I want to look in the mirror and see a reflection of everything I truly am, to accept the beauty and embrace the flaws and acknowledge that they are all part of me and all worthy of true love.

I want to not edit everything I feel and think and want and need.  I want to be free to want what I want without feeling selfish or undeserving.  I want the freedom to ask for what I need, to be loved and to love another.  I want to not always act nobly, especially when it flies in the face of what I really want and need.

I want to accept my past and feel no more shame and to move on to my future with no regrets.  I want to be open to new opportunities and recognize love when it comes my way.  I want to trust again.  I want to freely give myself over to love and not live in fear of possible heartbreak.  I want to let things come as they may, and accept them as part of the cycle of life.

I want to read between the lines, to find the truth in every situation.  I want to not be afraid of the truth.  I want to say what I think, feel, and mean without hesitation or fear of judgment.

In 2007, it seemed as though not much had changed, I still longed for the plane ride to “anywhere but here”. I believe I was more open, more honest, but still not near where I wanted to be. That was the year, oddly enough, when my world was, in essence, turned upside down. Shortly after the posting, I was laid-off from my job of 4 years, without any notice, and was completely blindsided. I had previously never been fired, or left a job outside my own volition, so, to say I was shocked is an understatement.

I ended up taking a position with a small town non-profit business association. Immediately I was making $30,000 less per year than I had made at my previous job, so needless to say, my life changed drastically. I had become very comfortable in my life with a good salary and benefits, and in a single moment, all of that was gone. I, along with my children, whom I was raising alone and without child-support, had to start the arduous task of down-sizing. “No” and “I’m sorry” became two of the most frequent phrases I used with my children. Amazingly, I found it to be absolutely true, that when I told them the truth about our situation, they adjusted. They found ways to make it easier. They learned to need/want less.

In addition to the financial issues, I found myself in an environment for which I was not fully prepared. I had in my life encountered office politics, but that is a vastly different scenario than dealing with the politics of government and political officials. While I had the marketing experience and the business management experience necessary for the job, I don’t think I was well-equipped to deal with all the hidden agendas, and self-serving individuals I was to encounter. Thankfully, I adapt and more than that, I generally adapt quickly. Adaptation served me well, and I believe that when all is said and done, I was able to meet and create life-long friendships with some truly wonderful people. I learned a great deal about leadership and being the type of leader  I respect and I want to be, and not the type we so often see in the political realm. I was able to create new community programs that continue to flourish long after my departure and see growth from the seeds I planted.

After four years in the public sector, I was blessed to return to the private sector and the storage industry, where I have been able to re-connect with some truly exceptional human beings. I have a job that allows (forces) me to travel, so I quite frequently am on a plane to “anywhere but here”. While there are still a few white walls in my house, I do feel brave, I do feel passionate about a great many things and I do feel like I am fully and completely living my life on my terms.

A wise woman once said, when asked if a woman really can have it all: “Yes, just not all at the same time.”

It took some time, and many many chapters in the book of my life, but somehow, when I add it all together, I really do believe that I really do have it all.

Amazing how some things REALLY DO change.

That I would do harm to myself
rather than confront 
the one causing my anguish
What does that say of 
my love for myself?

That I would suffer in silence
rather than to speak 
my truth to power
What does that say of 
my own self-worth?

That I would hope for death
rather than fight
for my finest life 
What does that say of
the strength of my dreams?

That I would give up my life
rather than remove
the thorn from my side
What does that say
of the pain I can bear?

What does that say
What does that say
What does that say
About me?




 

Upon a shelf
two vases sat
one was made of common clay
one was made of cloisonne

One cheap and utilitarian
the other
Priceless and ornamental

One plain and unremarkable
the other
alive with vibrant color

One used without gratitude
the other 
untouched and on display

One dark cold day
the earth shook
and knocked the vases
to the hard dirty ground

Which survived the fall?

Grace ~ For quite some time I have been wanting to write a book. I’ve struggled with the concept of what it should be. They say to write what you know, and there is nothing I know better than my own life as I have examined it. I have been toying with the idea of writing about grace. I wrote this to a dear friend a few months ago and she asked me to share it with others. When I did I got a very positive response from people who said it was something they needed to hear, so I wanted to share it again here:

We all make mistakes, we all hurt others at some point in our lives. But there is grace and forgiveness and I wish nothing more than to have you feel showered with grace. You are a beautiful person, with a beautiful soul. That is the eternal part of you. The errors in judgment, the mistakes you’ve made, the people you hurt; those are merely moments of your life, You mustn’t let them define you. For every “bad” thing you do and beat yourself up for, there are a billion wonderful things you do, that you never give yourself credit for. When you think you are unforgivable, think of those who love you and see your self through their eyes.

Last week a childhood friend took his own life. He was a great hero to a great many people. He accomplished a great many things in his life and oh, how he was adored. Hundreds of people have been sharing stories and telling of the blessings he gave them during his life. Although his life was cut short, it was nonetheless, miraculous and full of grace.

Although he was not the first friend I lost to suicide, I think his death has been harder for me to take. I was not more close to him I was than my other friend, but I think somehow, the “hero” factor has measured in somehow. I’ve been trying to examine why his death has been so profound to me. This morning I woke up to the realization, that it is because there but by the grace of God, I would have been too.

I believe that when a person suffers from mental (I prefer emotional) illness and they survive it, they have a certain obligation to help others heal from their own, and we do it by sharing our stories. So here is my story:

When I was 28 years old, a young mother and wife, I had a very severe emotional breakdown. I had always prided myself on being strong and smart and able to handle anything, and this completely blindsided me. After all, I had survived the illness and death of my mother, a love-less and rejection-filled emotionally abusive first marriage, and I was actually (I thought) in a happy place in my life. I was happily married, had a beautiful child, a life I had dreamed of, and all I wanted to do was die. Intellectually, I knew it made no sense, but emotionally, it was very real and very immediate.

My husband came home from work one evening and found me sitting on the floor, beating my head against the wall and screaming uncontrollably, in what probably sounded like a foreign language. It sure sounded like that in my head. Thankfully, he had his head about him and he picked me up put me in our car and drove me to our family doctor. Back then, you could still make calls in your car, so he made arrangements to sneak me in the back door. Our doctor had by this time become a great friend and knew me well enough to know how to speak to me and calm my heart and spirit. I was blessed with him and he, of course, showed me grace. When he told me I was suffering from clinical depression, my first thought was, that it wasn’t possible, because I was so happy! I didn’t yet understand that depression is not a state of mind, brought on by circumstance, but a real medical condition which has NOTHING to do with the immediate circumstances of your life. A person can live in the worst of conditions and have true joy and a person can have a life filled with abundance and still suffer from depression.

I spent six years of my life in treatment, I was treated with a number of anti-depressants and therapy and group therapy and ultimately, it was an incredible acting class with an incredible teacher (and healer) that taught me how to integrate my emotions and my intellect in a way that truly healed me. The years in-between though were tough. I had to face some tough truths about myself. I had to learn to look at things as they really were, not the way I wanted to justify them to make them okay.

During the course of my treatment, there was a lot of experimenting with new drug therapies, at one point my libido was near non-existence (which made my husband unhappy) so we changed meds. The result was nearly fatal. During the course of treatment a slowly and steadily became more and more depressed. Getting out of bed every morning became so difficult that finally, I just didn’t do it. For 3 days, I made my husband take the kids to school in the morning. On the third day, I had decided to end my life. I was convinced that the whole world would be better without me. That all my promise had been relinquished and that I had nothing left to give the world. I can say without any doubt, that coming to that conclusion that I needed to leave this life, was at the time the most peaceful and calming thought I ever had. My sense of peace when I made that decision was greater than I had ever felt. I made several really lame attempts that day, all were circumvented by my husband, bless his heart. Eventually, he got fed up and called our doctor and after a little research he determined that the meds themselves were causing the severity of the depression and told me to stop immediately. Well, I wasn’t having any of that, so as soon as he left the room, I took all the meds I could swallow. I figured I would just fall asleep and never wake up. The world would be a shiny happy place again.

Well, the next morning, I woke up and let me tell you, I was one pissed-off little unit. The real kicker was that my brain seemed to be working just fine, but I couldn’t speak and I had very limited motor function. My husband came into the room, mad at me because, once again, he had to take the kids to school. I somehow was able to communicate to him that I had swallowed a bunch of pills, and so just like a scene out of a drug movie, he had me in a cold shower trying to get me moving.

Once again, he carried me to a car and this time drove me to an emergency room. Unlike most emergency room visits, they rushed me right to a room and began the process of pumping my stomach. I must say, if that can’t get you over suicidal thoughts, nothing can. I was put on a 51/50 and had to see a therapist before I could be released. I had started the morning unable to communicate, which for me, was excruciatingly painful, I LOVE to talk! I had spent the morning listening to hospital staff saying stupid and ignorant things like “but you’re so pretty, why would you want to kill yourself?” I wanted to scream at them and tell them that how a person looks is MEANINGLESS if their soul is ugly. Good thing for them, I couldn’t speak. After the meds were out of my system, again, by the grace of God, I was able to speak and thankfully suffered no lasting physical or mental damage.

The therapist came into my room and at first, I felt too ashamed to talk to him, but he was kind and compassionate and he said some things to me that struck to the core of me and I carry them around with me every day and try to share them whenever necessary to the care of another person.

  • Today, this decision you made to take your life, was just one moment of bad judgment. One moment. Think of all the other millions of moments in your life when you made the right decisions; when you gave birth to your beautiful children when you made someone else’s life a little better. Remember and celebrate those moments and forgive yourself this one.
  • Tell me who is the only person Guaranteed to be with you on the day you were born and the only person GUARANTEED to be with you on the day you die. You need to make sure that person is happy.
  • You are the highest functioning, intelligent people I have ever seen in this situation. You need to go out and claim your life and live it. You have so much to give.

That doctor showed me grace; the kind of grace that truly changed my life and my perspective. A Course in Miracles teaches that a miracle is merely a change in perspective. If you can change your perspective you can create a miracle.

During the course of my treatment, I learned to be more honest with myself and with people in my life. Ultimately, I believe my depression drove my husband away but made me a better mother. I experienced both respect and disrespect from people who I spoke freely to about my experiences. Even today, as I write this, I expect some, who actually make it through reading it, will feel helped in some way and others will think I am a kook. All I can say for certain is that it was grace that saved my life and my heart and that now I am truly happy with the person I have become and the life I have fought for and created. For those in my life who have stuck with me through all of this and those who accept me now as I am.

We are here to love and care for one another. To pass the grace we have received to others who are in need. There is no higher calling!

It’s just past 4:00 am (The Witching Hour) and I’ve been awake for the last half hour or so. Unable to sleep for the second night because of a misunderstanding that has cut too deep and been carried too far, and a grammar correction, that for some reason, really bothered me; enough that I woke up just to give myself a grammar lesson. The grammar correction didn’t hurt my feelings, just my over-critical brain. That was an easy problem to solve. Now all that is needed is to kill off old bad speech habits.

The misunderstanding has me thinking about how we have come to communicate as a society and how social media is shaping the way we deal with emotional issues and the problem of the acute narcissism that may be being over-developed by all of us.

Clearly, we have elected the leader of this country (regardless of collusion or not) who is by his very nature a narcissist and uses social media as his primary method of communication, simultaneously building his own ego and attacking his supposed enemies.

It’s no wonder that we have developed a thin-skinned and at the same time vitriolic means of communicating through social media. This sense of “Don’t you dare post anything that I may not like, or I will (or my friends will) call you the most hateful names, or threaten you, or make you pay in some way.”

There is really no way to win in a game where the rules of engagement aren’t clear and at any moment, the most innocent phrase or imperfect meme can set off a firestorm of hurt feelings and angry outbursts, by people who don’t know you or worse by those who should know better because they do know you.

This assumption that anything or everything shared or posted on someone’s social media page is meant to be a personal attack is becoming so prevalent, that it’s no wonder a foreign actor can infiltrate our personal communication systems and influence a political election.

I’ll admit whenever a friend of mine writes about or shares something lambasting “liberals” (something I am and quite proud to be) it does sting, and I do have the urge to call them out, but I don’t one because I know they are not attacking me personally and two because by engaging in the discourse that has already ensued, I am simply exacerbating the vitriol. The minute that names are called and individuals are lumped into an easily but wrongly defined clump, the conversation is already soiled.

It’s been just a few weeks over a year since I last wrote here, and I’m hoping that this release of words will get me started again, because, while I have on occasion, felt the urge to write, I have stopped myself. Once too often I’ve silenced my voice for the sake those who don’t actually deserve it or care about me enough to hear me, but I am old enough now and hopefully wise enough to know that I am at my best when I express myself here and in some way work out the things I want to say verbally, face-to-face to the people whom I love and want to speak my truth to in person.

In the past, I’ve written about the importance of our stories and that the telling of them is a gift we give to the world. Our stories are shared as our nature is human nature. What we as individuals face, we as a species face. The telling of our stories cleanse ourselves and can help in the healing of others.

It’s taken me about an hour to get out these last 600+ words. I feel a little more clear and if you’ve read to this point, thanks, I hope in some way it’s helped you too.

I have of late
Been compelled to rhyme
To take my verse
to places sublime

I had forsaken
My poetic past
Then was reminded
The truest rhymes hold fast

I was aware
Of the price I would pay
Having my soul
sheltered this way

I am not proud
of this simple verse
but the attempt was made
there's no more curse
Going down the road
with nothing to do
I close my eyes and 
think of you.

There's hardly a moment
You're not on my mind
The memories of you
Are not hard to find.

We dreamed of the future
we forgot what was past
it's sad to know
that it couldn't last.

A few days in the summer
just seem so unfair
We never had time 
to learn how to care.

You're gone far away 
and now it's too late
Our time is now gone
just call it our fate.
I saw you tonight, in a brand new light
I let go of all my preconceived notions
The beliefs that kept you at arms length
That kept me safe and alone
I saw you tonight, for the first time
As a man, and a friend, and someone
I wish I could know more intimately
Without walls and fences
I saw you tonight, in a truer way I thought I’d never own
Than I had allowed myself to before
You laughed with an ease I never knew
And I felt for the first time, I saw you.
What if I loved you and you loved me
Would you still be the boy
who made me smile
Or would the world have
made you cold?
What if we were married
the way I used to dream
Would you still find me amusing,
Or would you have
grown tired of me?
What if I hold you and you hold me too
In that special place deep in our hearts
That no one else can see?
What if I never get over you
and you never get over me?
You haunt me
You seduce me
You fill me with desire
I thought I’d long outgrown
You frighten me
You fill me up
You show me a life
I thought I’d never own
You touch me
You warm my heart
You make me want a love
Unlike I’ve ever known
Your words permeate my very soul,
filling me with desire for your touch.
Your warm lips cover me with soft kisses, I am yours.

I cannot escape you.
I don’t wish to escape you.
I want to be forever lost in this dream of you,
Lost in this dream of you.

Your eyes see through to my very soul,
And I am weak in your presence.
Your fingers explore my secret places,
And I open myself to you.

I cannot escape you.
I don’t wish to escape you.
I want to be forever lost in this dream of you.
Lost in this dream of you.
“If you were here,
Would you make love to me?”
Those words, those words,
I was not prepared.
I felt my ice-cold heart melt,
In an instant,
I felt the hot blood rush through my veins.
I knew I could not say no.
Words,
I myself, would never have uttered,
Came from you so easily
As if they were a mere afterthought
Unaware they would so easily break me.
I had readied my heart,
never to again hear those words
prepared forever to be alone.
But there they were in black and white
Those words,
I was broken, and warmed
and I saw myself again, as a woman,
a woman who could love a man.
A woman who could open up
The most sacred parts of my being
Share with you freely,
the nectar of the Goddess,
free you from your own enslavement.
Words, those words
easily written,
easily taken away.
You, safely a million miles away,
Couldn’t see the tears fall down my face,
Couldn’t hear the beat of my heart
slowing growing ever colder.
Will the day ever come
when I can open my heart
When I can believe what you say
When I can look at my reflection and feel free
When I can love what I see
And believe that someone else can love it too.
Will the day ever come when I can say “yes?”
When I can quit hiding from the world
When I can leave the safety of my room
When I can look beyond what I’ve known
And live a life I’ve only dreamed?

I sit alone in my room
Only the light of this monitor on my face
Is this my lover?
I ask myself, is this my only friend?
The hard cold keys
click away as I touch them
And whisper the sweet nothings
That no one else can
This object has my attention
Only it feels my touch.
It tells me what I want to know
I decide what it says
There is no warmth
In this piece of hardware
No heart, no soul, no touch
Does this describe me, as well?
Why now?
After all these years,
when I thought our time had past,
you come back
unexpectedly and surprising me.

And now, here in this room.
After all these years
I am faced with all love I denied.
You brought back
the joy, the pain, the questions.

Here now, After all these years,
My heart is open for the first time.
You gave back
The tenderness and sorrow of loss.

After all these years
I have to admit that I love you still,
And give you
freedom to love someone new.
I grieve for you tonight
I’ve lost you and I finally grieve
I hate myself for letting you go 
I was stupid and sanctimonious
And I didn’t mean a word I said
I would have gladly borne 
the slings and arrows thrown at me.
Your love could soothe any pain
Inflicted upon me by those
Too frightened to understand
But in my pride I let you go
I let you disappear from my life.
I never cried a tear for you 
That anyone could see. 
I laughed out loud 
So no one could see 
The truth of what you’d done to me.

I hid so well, the pain I felt 
I wore a brave façade 
The face I showed the world 
Defied the truth 
Of what you’d done to my heart.

The tears I shed were in the dark 
Behind the locked door 
To the room where we made love 
No one heard me cry 
The music we loved covered the pain.

I cry for you now 
For anyone to see 
No longer afraid Of what they all see 
The truth of what you’ve done for me.
You leave and I feel as though
I’ve lost you forever.
But forever never comes.
Time just lingers on and
I lie awake and wait for you.

To hold me once again and to
Whisper in my ear that you love me
That you need me
I ask you to stay, I hold on too tight
My grasp begins to cause you pain, I cry
I have lost myself in you
And without you near, I am empty
I have bled you dry, I emptied you
You are gone
You touched me that night
Your hands moved through
The tepid moonlight-drenched water
Your hand grazed my naked belly
And up to my breasts, that arose and quivered at your touch.
You took my face in your hands
And you lifted my mouth to your lips
You kissed me sweetly with a soft passion
And I believed at that moment
The only real thing in the universe was your body and mine
You pulled me close to you and our bodies touched
I was hot and cold in the same moment
I felt you all around me, enveloping my soul
In your strong arms
The rest of the world melted away
In that moment, my heart was lost to you
You let me go in the glare of prying eyes.
I went home to my own bed And tried to sleep with my lie
But you haunted me that night, as you haunt me still.
Your touch, no longer mine.
I am lost without you.
You’ve disappeared from my life
And I cannot release you from my heart.
I do not grieve at all
For all the other lovers I’ve had,
Only you who I could not keep.
I would move heaven and earth
To be with you again,
To hold you and love you once more.
Our goodbye was empty.
I did not believe it was real.
But you disappeared without a trace.
Silent whispers in the dark 
Calling you to me from afar 
You always hear 
The soft call of my heart   

Silent hours pass so slowly 
Time moves forward without us 
Miles divide us 
Always, you are with me   

You always know 
when I need you most 
You always come 
when I need you most 
You always fill 
empty places in my heart   

Silent prayers 
fill the night 
Pleading for another 
moment of bliss 
in your arms 
moments of calming peace   

Silent longings, 
well hidden 
veiling all I am without you 
only you know how to 
pull aside the curtain   

You always know 
when I need you most 
You always come 
when I need you most   

You always fill 
empty places in my heart 
You always know 
when I need you most   
You always appear 
the moment I need you most.
In the quiet of the night
I ask the questions
In hope to set things right.
Yet I always see
The the questions I ask
Do not pertain to me.
When I ask of you
To know who you are
I see, what I know is true.
You love me
And I love you
My heart beats in my chest 
I hear it’s pounding in my ears
It says to me, “let down the wall, 
let yourself be loved
Love yourself”
I try to listen but traffic rolls by 
the radio announces another car chase
I am distracted and I shut out
the important voice that says
“You are lovely”
I begin to cry without knowing why,
a voice says to me
“Take comfort, 
someone will love you 
It will be soon”
The tears flow
I hear a voice outside my head, 
I realize it is you.
You say to me, “Take a chance, trust again,
I will love you”.
I take your hand
A dream awakens me in the pre-dawn hour, 
I leap forward
I look beside me and you are there, 
you hold my hand and I know,
I love you.

You are here and yet
you already can break me
with one sad goodbye.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why can't you see me
for everything that I am
I am not simple.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Complex as I am
you only see a small piece
of all that I am.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Withering away
unattended by
loving, warm, sunlight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Empty room, no music
Children's laughter far away
Alone small words come

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pen scratches paper
Black marks sully the parchment
nothing real is said

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You tell me goodbye
I choose not to believe you
still, you are not here

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No words are spoken
no kiss on the cheek - goodbye
yet you are not here

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Disappearing Man
so long he stays in my life
gone without a word

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Am I lost to you
Have I escaped your last thought
I thought you loved me

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What a fool am I
to think you ever cared
your words were not true

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cling now to last breath
the air so faint and fleeting
slumber comes too fast

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Screams the girl alone
I am here and alive now
no one hears her cry

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Small bird sings softly
cricket wings break the sky
I alone hear you

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tears roll down your face
salty drops wet your face
I can't wipe them dry

I have so much I want to say
But the words are trapped
Afraid to surface
Wanting not to reveal 
too much too soon
Many times I’ve almost said
The words I know as true
But I stop myself
And hold them back
Keeping them from you
I am sure you know by now
The words I want to say
I’ll hold them in 
Until I know
You are here to stay.