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Posts Tagged ‘Zebra Sounds’

I discovered this wonderful new website called, a human thing. It inspired this poem. Please go there and look around, it will make you feel all warm and glad to be a part of this wonderfully messy world that we all share.

… and we dance around in the chaos of the waves,
wondering what the tide will bring in.
shifting from side to side,
digging in our toes.
… a human thing
… and the waves pound us,
deep in the chest,
trying so hard to take a breath.
listening for the voice,

looking for the beacon.
… a human thing
… and we steady ourselves on the uneven surf,
waiting for the calm to fill us.
our religion is here,
where the waves battle the sand.
… a human thing
… and i turn my head to look at you,
the tightrope we’re walking between the waves and the shore.
connected by the messy beauty of love,
the grayness of that space between.
… a human thing
… and so many of us,
unbalanced on the sand,
a community of reluctant warriors.
the strength we see in the others,
inching our way closer to the waves.
… a human thing
… and we keep falling down,
it’s so hard to keep our balance.
i feel a hand reaching for my light,
pulling me to my feet.
… a human thing
… and connected together,
we’re much stronger in this space.
as we all breathe in the love from each other,
falling down,
messing up.
… a human thing
… and if we loosen our grip on each other,
we may get tripped up by the sand.
don’t give in to the sea pulling us under,
we’re all navigating the same stormy ocean.
… a human thing
… and these tangled words,
they tend to lead our messages astray.
but we’ll breathe and we’ll leap and we’ll evolve,
connected like kite strings,
drifting up from the surf.
… a human thing
… and somewhere in that salty mist,
our bare skin is so exposed.
we look at all the others gathered here,
holding each other in our hands.
… a human thing
… and love is so much easier than we realize,
a laugh,
an ache,
a song,
a story,
a smile,
a painting,
a poem,
a glance backwards as the words bounce around on those waves that are far less intimidating when we’re all shifting on the sand together,
this is who we are.
this is who i am.
… a human thing
… a human thing
 

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I’m carrying them around,

like stones in my pockets.

Discarding the small ones as I go.

The big ones are so heavy, they don’t easily fall,

they cling to my skin,

to my thoughts,

to my heart.

I pack you all up, in a matter of minutes, whenever I need to go.

You travel so well, weighing me down just enough,

you’ve been my excuse when forward was simply too far to travel.

I’m walking around from memory to memory and dropping these stones along the way.

Hoping no one sees what a pile I have amassed.

Hoping no one sees the holes they’ve worn in my heart.

I sit down at the edge of this cliff, weighted down by my pockets filled with stones.

I can’t stand up.

I can’t jump.

I can’t take another step forward.

I reach into my pocket and grab a handful of you and toss you out of my life.

Throwing stones this way and that with a smile on my face, as I watch them disappear over the ledge.

I turn from the edge and with all my strength I stand and I walk away.

I’m not packing you up, in a matter of minutes, I’m leaving you far behind.

These pockets filled with stones have secured me too long to the bottom of this ocean floor.

I want to believe in me as much as I believe in…

These pockets filled with stones.

I’ve scattered these stones, far away from my thoughts and my heart finally beats.

These pockets filled with stones are smaller and smaller, each day I throw a few as far as I can.

Reminders of the life, beckoning you to live, surrounding you with love all around.

Don’t forget…

that I believe in you.

Don’t forget…

how much I care.

If ever you start to doubt, just read these words and hear my heart,

beating,

filled with pride,

love.

Don’t forget…

that I believe in you.

You are a magical shell, waiting to be found, sitting where the waves break against the shore.

You are a whisper, spreading through the world, shining your light all around.

You are a scream, bouncing off a mountain, spreading through the valleys below.

These pockets filled with stones that try to hold me close,

to scare me to stay in a world of afraid.

I’ve deposited them around, here and there…

emptying these pockets filled with stones.

Freeing my hands to hold on to you and my heart and my soul and my hope.

.

.

Check out all the poetic goodness at The Gooseberry Garden and at dVerse poets!

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I’ve been sitting on these thoughts for about a year now… a year because I didn’t think I could put my thoughts to paper clear enough to be read and understood. Then I decided, yes… I could. An indication of what a difference a year can make in the evolution of a person.

I recently read a post over at Zebra Sounds and the author made the comment that we are “complicated beings”. I thought to myself, “Right?, Please explain it to me.” I think you really have no idea how complicated we are as humans unless you take the time to try to figure yourself out — to understand your own evolution, as women, as mothers, as daughters, as friends — the friendship of a woman is like no other. I’ve been making a conscious effort to figure a few things out this year. I think to say the last three years of my life have been stressful would be the understatement of the century. I knew where I was emotionally was not where I wanted or needed to be, but, I was stuck… unable to move forward. Stuck is scary.

I had a friend who mentioned therapy, she thought, maybe, I should try it (I was, admittedly, holding her captive in the rabbit hole with me) — I scoffed… not me, never. This friend said she thought I was one of the bravest people she knew and asking for help would just be one more example of my bravery. I didn’t really believe her, I should have. But I was stuck.

My world crashed.

I was not only stuck but lost.

I needed help.

There were a few days last September that completely rattled me, tossed me around like a kite in a tsunami. I was thrashing about, confused, disoriented, struggling to stay afloat when I could feel the tug of the under current dragging me down — but you would never have known, you would never have suspected.

I am a woman.

I am a mother.

I am skilled at the fine art of outward appearances.

When I say there are things I don’t really remember, it rattles me even more. But, thanks to google, I discovered that memory loss or memory confusion is a by-product of stress and anxiety — not an excuse for ill-behavior, just an explanation for a rational being having irrational behavior.

I think to try to describe depression would be too difficult, there aren’t enough words to paint a picture of the truly eery poetic thoughts and feelings that swirl around — it all makes sense, it’s so clear — the storms are beautiful. Then, the sun comes up and you see the illogical process of your thoughts and this continues… over and over, it continues. All the pieces fall into place and then they clang to the floor in a discombobulated mess of utter confusion… then, once again — clear.

All the while, you go to work and you drive the carpool and you pack lunches and you cook dinner and you have lunch with friends and you clean your house and you do the laundry because we are women, we are mothers, we are skilled at the fine art of outward appearances. This “thing” that had me in its grasp could not leave a smudge on my bubble.

I contacted a therapist… eeny meeny miny moe — that one will do, after all… I only wanted to pretend to seek assistance. I still didn’t think I needed help, I thought that if I went to therapy then I could steady myself enough to regain my shiny outward appearance — I, as sometimes happens, didn’t care about the turmoil on the inside. I was the only one privy to that information and I could handle anything. Several sessions went by, I did a lot of “uh huh”ing, a lot of head nods. I thought to myself that my therapist was really pretty and smart and compassionate and caring… she must be good for her clients, not me though. I was only here to get my outward appearance back —

I am a woman,

I am a mother,

I am skilled at the fine art of outward appearances.

A month went by, or two or five. I began to look forward to my sessions with my therapist, I began to trust her, I began to tell her the things I needed to tell her and I listened to what she had to say. I started to feel better. I slept… for the first time in several months, I slept. I started being honest with people, but mainly with myself. I started therapy for all the wrong reasons, because, when you suffer from stress and anxiety and depression, thinking clearly is not one of the benefits. But I continue my work because of the most important reason of all, me.

We are women.

We are mothers.

We are skilled at the fine art of outward appearances.

We are complicated beings. We mess up and we try to fix. We say the wrong things and we try to shove the words back into our mouths. We love and we let go. We laugh and we collapse under the weight of a shattered heart. We dream and we face reality. We hope… we hope that our hearts lead us back to the friends we’ve lost and lead us forward to those we have yet to meet. We hope the cracks let the love in. We believe in each other and we believe in ourselves. We are women. We are mothers. We are complicated beings — reaching out, holding on, surviving, loving, hoping. Hoping that we can guide each other past the murky water and the glass cage hearts, hoping you understand I’m a complicated being, shattering the outward appearance… reaching my hand out, hoping you’ll grasp it… again.

Because we are women,

we are mothers,

we are complicated beings.

Image from Kind Over Matter

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When I’m having a sucky day, I stomp my foot on the floor in a dramatic fashion. ~~~ quote from an 11 year-old with autism

I think my world is often confusing and mixed up. I think I struggle to find the time to do what I want and what I need. I think I struggle to say the right words to the right people at the right time. I think I, too often, want to be the “best friend” that says everything perfect and can cook a great dinner while I’m doing it. I know what it means to dream of trips and conversations and walks and talks — I know what it is to say, “I’m just dreaming” and stomp my foot in a dramatic fashion. I think that makes me just about average.

I think I’ve discovered something in an attempt to discover myself… I’m a mystery (and I kind of like that). Not in an undercover-spy-like-seductress way. More like a why-the-heck-are-you-feeling-that-way way. I often think I need to figure things out, to take control, to know what steps to take to lead to the desired outcome. I plan, I think, I evaluate, I re-plan, I proceed… and often, too often, I find the path I’ve taken leads me to a place of aloneness and isolation. I become weary and tired and loathsome and I perseverate on things that I need to let go of… I need to let things actualize in that ever elusive natural flow — uncontrolling, me… just floating along with it. It scares me. To float along, to not know the outcome of this journey we are all on — it scares me. I think, possibly, we become stronger by looking at our fears — becoming unafraid of them. So… I’ll bob and weave and when I need to, I’ll float along the steady current.

I was visiting one of my favorite places, Zebra Sounds, and watched this amazing video that was featured recently. To be honest, I haven’t been able to watch the whole thing. Maybe tonight — when I finish this post… maybe then I’ll have the strength to watch it. It hurt to watch it. The pain of losing a loved one, the pain of letting go, the pain of moving on — and perhaps… the pain of not knowing love. So many things went through my head — my grandparents, my parents… me. I think to feel love as completely and honestly and openly and wholly and painfully as it is felt in the video… as it was in the lives of my grand-parents and my parents — I think that must be a wonderful thing. Love is not elusive — it is within our reach… waiting.

Back to that wonderful quote that my new favorite 11 year-old boy with autism said to me… how full of wisdom is he that he can recognize a need to stomp and hiss and be dramatic when he’s having a sucky day? I was having a sucky day when I sat down to chat with him. I asked him to show me how he did it, how he stomped his foot in a dramatic fashion. Then I asked him to watch me and help me do it the right way (apparently I was very good at it — go figure). Soon we were both stomping dramatically and we were both laughing and our sucky days disappeared — just like that.

When I’m having a sucky day, I want to stomp my foot and scream and curse and mostly… I want to laugh with a friend. Love is all around us. In our partners, in our sisters, in our brothers, in our friends, in the people we make eye contact with for a brief moment on the street — it’s there. It’s ours to take. It’s mine to have — the dream of love.

I love everything about this video!

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As you may know, I’ve been participating in the 21.5.800 community adventure. The writing portion of the adventure has taken me to different places so far, some places I liked and some places I don’t want to visit again. The yoga is always a welcomed relief and a great way to focus and breathe and think quietly about the day ahead (I mentioned I have three kids, right?) This is where it took me today:

I was recently sent this text message — “What happened to you?”

I had no response. It wasn’t really an inquiry, more like an inquisition and the inferred remaining words were probably something like this, “… because you are doing things for yourself and taking time for yourself and not waiting around like always and…” well, you get the idea.

To steal some fundamental words from Zebra Sounds, I’ve been leaping and thinking and breathing and loving. I’ve also been writing — which has been scary for some people in my life, and I’ve been reading — again, some people find this scary, I’ve been exercising and getting healthy — scary to some, and I’ve been enjoying some alone time — this too, throws some people off.

I’ve been enjoying my kids and being the mom I always wanted to be — the one who isn’t perfect, the one who falls down sometimes, the one who gets up unassisted, the one who is messy… sometimes. A friend told me messy is good… it is.

I’ve been falling a little in love with some very small avatars. I’ve been laughing with some friends. I’ve been feeding my brain with some brilliant words by some brilliant writers. I’ve been leaping, some more, without a cape and the net keeps appearing. I’ve been trusting the people I’ve let into my life. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next — and… I’ve been doing it.

So, what happened to me? I stopped pretending, I stopped walking through life in a fog, I stopped approaching everything like it was a business venture and started embracing the life I want, the friends I want… the things I want.

What happened to me is emergence. What happened to me is letting go of fear. What happened to me is embracing solitude. What happened to me is finding my own strength.

What happened to me? I’m leaping… some more.

Picture from Kind Over Matter

Now, it’s your turn. What’s happening with you? Seriously, I want to know.

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