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Posts Tagged ‘love’

Hiya First Pagers!

It’s been a while, I know.

I so very deeply love the community that has developed here over the years… we’ve shared much.

I haven’t been blogging for a while because I needed to reconnect with my 3d world, although I’ve missed this space you’ve helped to create.

Summer is approaching which means I’ll have time to let all my creative juices start juicing… or something like that.

In the meantime…  here’s a little video to let you know what has been happening in my wonderfully messy world ~~~>

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Hello all!
Seems it’s been far too long since I posted here, not to worry. I’ve been writing and making merry… just not here.

I wanted to let everyone know that I am participating in the 13 Stories For Halloween again this year and am very thrilled to be a part of the collection over there — I will post the link as soon as the fun… I mean spookiness, begins.

Now… for the fun here. I am thrilled to share an amazing poem by an even more amazing young author that I feel very fortunate to call friend.
Cameron Eileen has been writing since a wee age (she’s all of “almost” 17 now). I read the poem I’m going to share for you and was blown away, and then she told me she wrote it when she was 11. Her words are so pure and honest and powerful. I will be sharing more from her in the future, to be sure.

Show some love for Cameron in the comment section after you breathe in this beautiful poem —

image

The Mirror ~~~

by Cameron Eileen


Look in the mirror.
Do you see what I see,
Looking back at you and me?
That little blemish upon my nose,
And all those freckles!
Where did I get all those?
My tiny little lips and my curveless hips,
That’s all I used to see,
Until this smile finally found me.
Now, smile is all I do,
For I know what I thought was not true.
I know now that no one is perfection,
And all the mirror shows is a reflection.
Look in the mirror.
Do you see what I used to see?
If you do, look deeper,
And you’ll finally see me.

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when my words and my mind were spinning madly, on the brink of a collision with reality, i wanted to share stories and jokes and all the intimate details of the lives we were living.
… and then
it happened. the inevitable collision that i had spent a lifetime ignoring was now, unavoidable. the spinning thrashed around my mind like an orca beating its kill on the ocean top.
slap
slam
… and then
my head burst open and everything escaped, oozing out of those darkened crevasses so fast that to grasp them, to contain them, was an impossible feat. i crawled out from beneath, prostrated myself, hated myself.
i hated me
… and then

i looked at all the pieces lying around, scattered, unrecognizable, knowing the reassembly process was impossible. i couldn’t decifer which piece fit where and if some of the pieces had been altered.

all the pieces had been altered
… and then
the altered pieces looked so beautiful, so magnificent in their new imperfect shapes. i saw that, you see? i saw it. i saw the love inside. i saw the beauty that was forming and growing and busting through a wall to shout at the world.
shout at you
… and then
the porous pieces of myself, those imperfect and all too occasionally fucked up pieces of myself took on a magnificent shape. they looked like me. a crooked smile. a blemish. a lonely dimple.
me
me
i stood upright and strong and dared to move.
dared to love
dared to love me
i took the onus for me

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When my son was in the sixth grade, he had a girlfriend. Like most romances that take place in the sixth grade, it was short-lived… it ended when his “I want to break up” note got to her before her “I want to break up” note got to him.

In the sixth grade, that’s the way the world spins — sometimes predictable and rotating calming, sometimes spinning wildly and madly.

A few days after the “break up”, he came to me upset. The grandmother of the young girl had sent him a private message on Facebook, in it she wrote that she was disappointed in him, she expected better from him, she couldn’t believe he had broken her grand-daughters heart. As I read this message from her, that I doubt would have ever come to life had it not been for this feeling of anonymity that we get typing from our keyboards — we say things through our computers that we would never imagine saying face to face, we behave differently… the computer lends itself to an air of “make-believe”, but that’s another story for another day, as I read this message to my son, in the sixth grade, from a little girls grandmother, my blood boiled with an anger that, I believe, only erupts in a few people on a few occasions — this was my occasion.

I was angry.

I was livid.

I was ready to gnash my teeth and bear my claws.

But, I paused and looked at him, his round sixth grade boyish face, frightened and upset that this adult, who he didn’t know, was now disappointed in him. It’s easy to see confusion racing through the mind of a sixth grade boy, they don’t cloak their feelings, it’s there, in their eyes. I told him that this woman was upset and it had nothing to do with him. I told him to forward me any other messages he got from her. I told him I would take care of it. Of course, to him, this meant I was going to track this grandmother down and drop her with a quick and decisive punch to the kidneys (in my mind, this is what I did and it was spectacular) — I assured him, everything would be fine.

I sent the grandmother a reply and let her know that what she had done was not okay. I reminded her that these were sixth graders, I reminded her my son was a real person and not some imaginary being she could chastise from the safety of her keyboard — I made my point and she apologized, repeatedly.

It wasn’t Mother’s Day when this happened, it was just a day — maybe it was a Tuesday or Saturday, maybe it was January or maybe May. It was a day, a day when I was not necessarily a mother, but a caring person, a caring woman.

Mother’s Day is a time when I find myself in an emotional limbo — I don’t fit in with the daughters who are mourning the memories of their mothers, I don’t fit in with the daughters who are celebrating with their mothers. I don’t know where I belong on this continuum of mourning and happiness. I hope to fit in with all the women who provide nurturing and caring, kindness and strength, the women who listen and who respond — you don’t have to give birth to someone to care and respect and show compassion for them.

My children see me triumph and fail, they see me laugh and cry, they see me angry and compassionate — and from that they grow, we grow. Not just one day a year, but every day. I hope that my children never find confusion in Mother’s Day, that they never feel the loss or the burden of this day that comes around just once a year. Every day our battles are fought and sometimes won, every day we choose to hold someone’s heart, gently — as we spin wildly, and madly.

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Last week on twitter, when hearing the news of Roger Eberts death, I tweeted this:

If cancer has blown your world apart, every time you hear of another death, a piece of you is cut out and trampled on.

It must have struck a chord with many others, it was “retweeted” and “favorited” and passed around many times.
It was what I was feeling, I didn’t know Roger Ebert. I used to watch Siskel and Ebert on Saturday mornings to see what movies they were bashing and sometimes praising and often I’d argue with the TV screen. But hearing of his death, like hearing of the death of Nora Ephron, or that girl I went to high school with, or the grocery checker who was always so nice… it affected me, they all affected me.

Cancer has blown my world apart, so often that I’m not sure if it was all one big explosion or several smaller ones linked together, like a mega roll of firecrackers rolled out and lit… the bangs go on forever — I hate firecrackers.

The aftermath of cancer, the picking up of the pieces, the stringing reality back together, the return to a normal existence… those are the things that take longer than it did for the cancer to take over a body and destroy it — cancer lingers. When someone dies of cancer, it doesn’t end there, because cancer has invaded you, your life, your world is now a world that contains cancer. It has you in its grips forever, you are never free of it — death does not destroy cancer.

It is the constant background noise to your life, the ceaseless ringing in your ears. I am not brave before it, I cower, I lower my head, I try not to be seen by it. But, it makes sure I know it sees me, there is no corner dark enough to conceal me from it.

I forget, briefly, in those periods in between hearing how its taken over another persons body. I forget. But, never for long. The periods of forgetfulness become shorter each day. Each day I hear of a friend who has been diagnosed, a spouse of a co-worker, a favorite professor, a screenwriter who made me laugh. When cancer has blown your world apart, every time you hear of another death, a piece of you is cut out and trampled on.

Pieces of me are scattered around — pieces from my father, pieces from my mother, pieces from my brother-in-law, pieces from my dog, pieces from friends and co-workers and friends of friends and complete strangers… I have been trampled on by cancer.

I wish I could tie these thoughts up like a beautiful package under the tree on Christmas morning — when you open it, out pops bravery and triumph and fearlessness. But, that’s not the case. There are no ornate pink bows big enough to cover up cancer… it’s ugly and ruthless and cunning.

Often now, my fear and cowering is accompanied by an over-bearing hatred. Maybe that’s what we should hope for, that we become so pissed off at this monster that we are moved to action, not just reaction.
After all, if you believe they put a man on the moon, the ability to stop this creature shouldn’t be far off.

Please visit the following sites:
Lisa Bonchek Adams Giving Page
Lisa Adams
Lisa Bonchek Adams Blog
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

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My youngest is having a Valentine’s Day card exchange tomorrow at her school. We’re busy addressing cards to all her classmates and decorating a shoe box, perfectly, with just the right amount of hearts.
I’ve never been one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Even while I was married, we never did anything special, it was just another day. I remember in school getting a few cards from boys I thought were cute, that was nice. But, I cared more about decorating that shoe box and hoping I would win the prize for the best decorated box than I did hoping some boy would want me to be his Valentine. One year, my dad and I made the most fantastic box… it was shaped like a mail box and had Snoopy and Woodstock lying on the top. I remember spray painting it black and my dad carefully carving out a sleeping Snoopy for the top. That’s what I remember, not which boy I hoped wanted me to be his Valentine.

I recently had a conversation with a friend about me “dating”. I had been “dating” someone for a few months and my friend commented that he was glad to see I was “moving on”. My brain stopped focusing at that very moment. I lost track of anything else that was said. I remember fighting my voice to stay quiet when it so desperately wanted to spit out a slur of angry boisterous words. I’ve since stopped dating that person, and those words, “moving on”, have hung on to every active brain cell I have.

There is this belief in our world that to be complete as a person, we must be attached to another person. I believed it too, for a very long time. I was married but was far from happy. I had someone to spend 18 years of Valentine’s Days with, but I certainly was more splintered than whole. I believed so strongly that being with someone, even if you were unhappy, must be far better than being alone. That belief kept me in a situation that ripped tiny pieces of me out with each passing day. I wasn’t alone, I was lonely. I distinctly know the difference between the two.

Being alone and being lonely are two completely different situations.
I love being alone.
When I’m alone, I write and I paint and I read and I vacuum and I eat peanut butter off of a spoon for dinner.
I go camping and hiking and running.
I sit and I think.
I quiet my soul and I breathe.
I am not lonely.
I am alive with love, on Valentine’s Day and every day.

I am filled with enough love to know that if being in a relationship involves me giving up the wonderful pieces of myself that I am just beginning to uncover or hiding those pieces in fear that they won’t be accepted, it isn’t love. Being with someone who is less than what you deserve just so others can see a person hanging on your arm, isn’t love. Love is what we all deserve… what we all have, if we just open our eyes to see it.
Love for ourselves.
Love for others.
Love for someone special.
I won’t attach myself to someone because they seem “nice enough”, I won’t repeat the mistakes of the past because I’m scared of what you might think if I go to the movies alone.

A Valentine’s Day will arrive when I find myself attached to another person and I will welcome that day like a child welcoming the first snowfall of winter. But I’m not watching the clock tick, waiting. I’m not standing still and refusing to be alive awaiting the arrival of someone who may or may not exist. The world around me needs to know that, the world around us needs to know that being whole is who we are individually. I’m a whole person, alone.

I’m not attached to another person this Valentine’s Day and am looking forward to eating peanut butter off a spoon for dinner. I won’t play the role of an “attached person” just so the world around me will think I “moved on”.
I “moved on” the day I had the courage to be alone.

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My kids used to love Legos.

We would build farms and houses and castles and helicopters, there was a roller coaster once, some cars and some superheros. Sometimes, there were missing pieces, it didn’t stop us — a few creative adjustments and our house would come to life. We would step back and look at it, not worrying about the pieces we couldn’t find, our Lego house was perfect just the way it was. If we wanted to make a change, if we wanted our Lego house to now be a Lego spaceship…  we could knock it all down and build it back up again.  The stories we played out with our Legos one day, could be changed the next, and we had so many stories to tell, so many pieces to learn how to assemble.

I’m finding the final words to the “shitty first draft” of the book I’m writing. Reviewing the last five years of my life has been a terrifying/exhilarating/tiresome/worrisome/scary/courageous undertaking… holding a mirror up to your inner most thoughts and taking in the reflection that comes back to you is many things. The reflection I’ve seen hasn’t always made me smile. Sometimes I run as far away from the words that I’m typing out as possible. Sometimes I sit and read the words over and over and I am back in the moment that they occurred. Sometimes I wonder if the words are really from my life, they seem so foreign to me now.

There was a time when I was in the midst of reeling and swirling and flailing about, not moving… just standing still. I was scared that some pieces of me had disappeared, washed out to sea as I stood in the ocean and let the waves pound me relentlessly… too tired to fight. About that time, I had a conversation with someone who I’m not exactly friends with, we don’t really know each other, but our paths intersected — for me, it was perfect timing. His words adhered themselves to my inner most self and I’ve held them ever since. He said that I wasn’t missing any pieces, I had everything I needed already in me, I just needed to put them back together.

This book, this look back on the last five years of my life, is like gathering all the pieces to a Lego house. I put a piece here and one there. I build the foundation and a few walls. I step back and see a few cracks, perfectly placed. I have just enough pieces to make a beautiful home, I’ve always had enough pieces to make a beautiful home. And if things go wrong, I can knock it all down — I know how to build it back up again.

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Bonus!

So, obviously I didn’t think raising three (completely amazing) kids, having a full-time career (as an Autism Consultant for the public schools for almost 22 years!), writing a memoir (about the most gut-wrenching years of my life), managing this blog (that has allowed me to meet all of you amazing people as I’ve (at times) cut out pieces of myself and handed them to you and you’ve held them and nurtured them and continue to be a huge support system for me) — I thought I might as well add something else to the mix, so… I opened an Etsy store!

Now, the story behind the Etsy store is this, in the last year, I started opening up to other areas of creativity as a way to relax and calm my often trembling soul. In the process, I began painting and making creative art pieces specifically for people in my life to show them how much I love them — I wanted to give a little happy away. But, I was the one who was getting this amazing feeling of calm and love and my inner rumblings are a bit quieter. I realized that we do really get back from this world what we put out into it — so, an Etsy store. My hope is to create items for others so that they can throw a little love out into the world. Click my Etsy button ~~~> and lets spread a little love.

If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliché that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal. ~~ John Lennon

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