Trek through a Thought

Through times of unbalance
We stand on weighty scales
Pondering each side
Which wins, which fails
The sun goes down each day
Like an anchor in the sea’s floor
We graciously abide with less, while needing more
Smiles of momentary bliss flow
Though not many deeply know
One reality from another
In the life of a strange mother

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Aside

Continual Resort #10|Checking Traps

Continual Resort #10|Checking Traps

businessman talking over phone

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Donny finally managed to compose his list of ingredients for his new entrée idea although he was quite perturbed by the days events. Not knowing how this weekend would play out and not caring much, Donny gave Sandy the heads up to let everyone else know that he was taking the rest of the day off and would not be back until Tuesday. In an odd way, he did find some comfort in being able to take time to gather his thoughts on all that was happening in his life. He also felt better about being able to plan on seeing his daughter during his time off. It would give him a chance to casually question Sheralyn about what she may or may not know about Linda’s sneaking around.

He truly did not want to become suspicious and cause things between himself and Linda to blow up again, but he could not help but wonder because his father had actually told the truth – for once. Donny was determined to not let his family issues to destroy what he had with Linda, but still…he needed to understand what was going on right under his nose.

Pushing all doubts aside before leaving work, Donny thought about John, because he would be stopping by the store on the way home. “I guess I’ll hook old boy up today.” With an ample ‘to-go’ box in a bag, Donny quickly headed towards Walmart so that John’s meal would still be reasonably warm once he received it.

“Awww, so you remembered me after all! Thanks man!” John graciously took the bag from Donny who was happy to be of some use to the man who sat regularly in front of the store…asking and hoping for help from somewhere – anywhere. John smiled. “Is this that mah-hee-mah-hee thang that I had at your place that day?”

“Well John, it ain’t really my place…I just work there.”

“Really? Yer shit’n me! Well…if that ain’t yer place then it damn shore oughta be, but whoever owns tha place is damn smart, I’ll tell’ya that.” Donny chuckled and smiled before answering.

“Yeah, uh…it’s actually my dad’s place. He worked a long time and went through a lot of shit to get there too, so I sorta learned what I know from him.”

John already knew full well the information that Donny had freely and unknowingly given him before he left. John was sure that Donny knew nothing about how his father had actually ‘worked his way up’, but as soon as the fitting season arrived, the perfect storm would blow into all of their lives without warning, and John vowed that he would either live or die  through it – satisfied.

**

With her last client happy and gone, Linda quickly and thoroughly cleaned her utensils and station before heading to her mother’s house to tell her the good news about the meeting with the agent from the Angel Investment program. Sheralyn answered her daughter’s excited rapping and doorbell ringing; curious about what had caused Linda’s elated actions.

She brushed past her mother and headed for her usual seat at the kitchen table.

“Oh, mom I don’t have time for coffee right now. I’m so excited I could just burst! ”

“And that is exactly what looks like will happen if you don’t spit it out, but aren’t you forgetting something – or should I say – someone?”

“Oh, my goodness mom…I’m sorry. Bri must be asleep because she didn’t come to the door with you as usual.”

“Well, you’re right and I’m glad that she was asleep because you would have knocked the poor child over and stepped on her on your way in. I barely managed to keep myself standing.” Sheralyn smiled knowing that Linda had very good news, so she calmly sat at the table, waited, and listened. “So, what’s all the hoopla about?”

Linda composed herself a bit and began to explain the call from the agent who would be aiding her in the start-up of her salon. She explained in great detail her conversation with Steve and asked Sheralyn if she would keep Brianne another day so that she could attend her meeting the following day to which her mother agreed but noticed that Linda had not mentioned Donny.

“Well, I’ll say it this way…I’m really happy for you and I’m very hopeful that you know what you are getting into, but this does seem a bit hasty. On the other hand, this may well be the break that you need, but you do know to not let anyone rush you until you have all aspects in place mentally and otherwise, right? I also notice that you apparently have not spoken to Donny about all of this – right again?”

Linda calmed down considerably, realizing that she had not fooled her mother through all of her animated gestures and fast talking in hopes that Sheralyn would not question her about the details that she had purposefully omitted. Although she suddenly did not want to have this discussion, it was inevitable so again, the explanations accompanied by some meager excuses began. Linda told her mother that she had not yet had a chance to speak with Donny but would be sure to tell him a little ‘white lie’ about her having to work late on Saturday. She explained that it was not time to discuss everything with him as yet, because she wanted to make sure that she was actually ready to move forward. Promising that she would in time tell Donny everything and that he deserved to know because their finances depended on it, Linda somewhat gave assurance that things had to be this way for the time being. Sheralyn held a look of skepticism, but accepted what she was told for fear of putting a damper on Linda’s gleeful demeanor, but despite all, she still needed to delve deeper.

“So what you’re saying is that I should not make mention of your plans for tomorrow and after you’re sure of all of this, you will have a talk with the father of your child? Linda, you know that I don’t like lying about anything no matter how crucial it may be, but I guess I’ll have to let it slide this time…I just don’t understand why he can’t know beforehand.”

“Oh mom! Can’t you see? Like I said, this really is happening kind of fast and I really need to be absolutely sure of everything involved. It’s not that I think things won’t work out. The agent – Steve, is so nice to me and he explains everything so plainly. This program is on the lookout for potential entrepreneurs and they help people in the community so I’m actually just being extra careful. You know how I am…I have to see it through to the end before I spill the beans. Steve has already made it clear that I won’t be rushed into anything and there will be some involvement in learning the ropes which is a good thing. He assured me that he would be with me every step of the way with anything that I needed to learn and that I wouldn’t have to worry about being funded and left without knowing anything else afterwards. Mom, you’ve just got to do this for me this one time!”

By this time, Brianne awakened to the noise of her mother’s pleading and came into the kitchen for a hug and kiss, glad to see her.  She climbed into Linda’s lap, nestling her little head comfortably into her mother’s bosom and went back to sleep. Linda rocked her lovingly as Sheralyn spoke again.

“Sweetheart, I’ve known you since before the day you were born…there is still something you’re not telling me. I’m not willing to drag it out of you so I’ll just voice my suspicions. I’m sure that you already know what I’m talking about, but please tell me that this Steve guy looks like an ogre and has no other hope in life besides whatever he is doing to earn money. Her daughter gave no answer. “I thought so. Linda, you’ve got to stop this fantasizing and make up your mind about what you really want for your life. You’ve done this sort of thing ever since you were a girl and though you are still young now, you are living a grown-up life. Please don’t get yourself into any trouble. I know that you and Donny were on really shaky ground not too long ago, but you guys seem to have done well since then. Make up your mind and let business be business…don’t go out on a whim simply because you are letting your imagination get the best of you.”

Linda almost cringed at her mother’s ability to read her and be precisely right in her thoughts and suspicions.  “Damn”, she thought. She couldn’t get anything past her mother. Linda had indeed enjoyed Steve’s attentiveness and gentleman-like qualities when they’d met in person. Their phone conversation had induced even more ‘getaway from reality’ images in her mind about this stranger falling hopelessly in love with her and taking her away to live a rich and blissful life on an island far away from the norm. Fully aware that these scenarios were merely a portal through which she could temporarily erase that fateful night when her baby’s father raised his hand to her in a brief yet violent spell of anger and distrust, Linda iterated that she was and would continue to be faithful to her relationship and that she was well aware that everyone made mistakes, especially due to the fact that she had thrown the first several blows. She and Donny would be just fine, she told Sheralyn, but inside she asked herself, “Won’t we?”

*

That night, they were free in their own ways, but both had and hid their reservations about their circumstances. Donny’s frustrations followed him home. Thoughts of his brother’s remarks and nasty attitude along with his father’s  impromptu syrupy sweet friendliness that was sure to morph into an explosive and disastrous poster child for parental fuck-ups ran back and forth in his memory despite the mixture of liquor and herbal smoke invading his psyche only to induce an urge to release all. Linda’s high gave her the same urge to release the build-up of excitement, nervousness, and apprehension from all aspects of her day at work and with her mother.

Relaxed and willing, their lovemaking occurred in heated throes , though not from passion as much as the need to be free if only for a brief span of time. Their tryst soon became a hurried abruptness which would have failed Donny in Linda’s behalf had it not been for her savior – her imaginings that enabled her to reach the pinnacle of pleasure that had almost escaped her. Despite an unexpected yet satiated end to this episode of physical action, Donny was able to detect that Linda had a lot on her mind just as he did. She told him that she would be working late the next day after he spoke about his trying day. He accepted her statements and understood that her schedule was the reason for Brianne’s absence. Donny showed no inhibitions about their conversation though his suspicions grew. He had to keep his cool to avoid the potential for another argument, so he again kept his feelings hidden. Trying to see things as positively as possible, he looked forward to being able to sleep in late on Saturday and visit his baby. He also mentally broke himself down enough to take Donald up on his offer to save his material until that Monday. Still apprehensive about riding around with his father, Donny kissed Linda goodnight, turned over, and they both slept…anxious to experience what the events of the next day would bring.

**

Donald had finally convinced Jesse to take her meds. For some reason, she had no intentions on going through this process, but gave in to her husband’s admonitions. He wet a cool hand towel to place on her forehead while continuing to try to encourage her of the wonderful weekend that they were sure to have. Their son would be over, and hopefully everyone would be present at church on Sunday to stand under his voice as he led the congregation in an earnest prayer, and they would all have dinner at Robertson’s.

“Don’t worry dear…everything is going to be all right. You just rest now, Jesse…I love you.”

Aside

Shades of Self

The past couple of weeks have been filled with more family business and a bit of exhaustion. However, I am in the process of researching some issues that are necessary for installment #9 (which may spill into other installments) of Continual Resort, so I am taking my time with the story, although I am excited about having the next part published. I have been thinking about possibly ending published posts at installment #10 or maybe #12, but I’m not sure. I would like to compile all of the installments into a book (probably an ebook for my first time), but I feel that I may be able to add more to it to compose an actual novel or maybe a ‘novelette’, so once I get to the 10th or 12th installment, I will be finishing the story privately until I am ready to either give it away or sell it. I am aware that this may be a rather slow process as I have a lot to learn about self-publishing etc., so any tips that you guys have for me will be greatly appreciated. This process may take quite a while, but I am so excited about making a new move – YAY!

I am also in the process of stocking up on books for this fall (in ebook form or otherwise) from some folks that I follow and who follow me that I am very anxious to take in the stories that they have published. I have already purchased ‘Pathways to Illumination’ by ChristyB at poeticparfait.com – can we say AWESOME??? I also intend to enjoy a novel called ‘The Eyedancers’ in which the first three chapters can be found on the blog which has the same name. Those first chapters truly held me captive and I cannot wait to get the book – this story is so intriguingly suspense filled and wonderful! Among others intended, I also contemplate the purchase of Kellie Elmore’s ‘Magic in the Backyard’ as well as every other book that she has written – naturally!

I intend to thoroughly enjoy the fall months with these works among others, and hopefully one day you will all be able to do the same with mine in due time.

I didn’t add links to the bloggers that I mentioned because I have not yet asked for permission despite the fact that I truly love going to their spaces and indulging in what they have to say and offer. Also, due to my slow technical abilities, I will need to take some allotted time out to get this all done in one post  – hopefully on installment #9 of Continual Resort.

Until then, please go and check these extremely talented writers out – you will be well pleased.

For now, I have written a poem that features colors. I guess this piece is derived from the slew of weirdness that I have experienced over the previous months although things are really peaceful now and have been for a while – hence – the weirdness.

Hope you enjoy! ❤

Shades of Self

On days when my sun beams shadows , I find a Dogwood tree

To find shelter and protection from fearful black rays

Then, night falls and my moon emits a dingy cream spotlight held solely on me

I cannot veer from it, for it menacingly stays

Milky blades of navy grass lay helpless under my feet

Refusing to be the hue that they should be

Nothing is as it was; deliberate, light, and sweet

It seems long forgotten when true colors I could see

Discernment has become impossibility…

Temporarily; until I flee…

From confusing woes and heavy lows

But I shall not remain there

Giving in is not an option behind tangerine dripping blows

That strike as charcoal lines of lightening, sending me on a tear

Pain or pressure, I cannot evenly tell

Which of them laugh at me the most

But I fought back until my brown eyes welled

With tears of wrath, til pink dust flew up as a ghost

Knowing the difference escaped me for a while…

Until intolerance for what beset became vomit-green vile…

The smoke soon cleared, but my skin turned grey

The golden needle of my inner compass failed

Refusing to show me the way

“You – you are a damned liar!” I mutt-brown wailed.

Even though I shouted from a hidden place

Knees shaking, voice in a quiver

Yellow uncertainty covered my face

Still…white, smoldering determination lulled me thither

To that glowing gateway that always stands

Guiding me back to myself

Into the midst of bright familiar lands

To own transparent peace is to have true wealth

Apparently I had been heard

From a murky place somewhere outside

Of myself, for this place reversed my words

The royal violet gateway opened; I no longer needed to hide

Discernment is now a possibility…

I can see clearer this stoic tree…

My shelter now stands alone

Temporarily empty inside and underneath

I have left it and am gone

Away and up out of the depths of the neon indigo heath

Confusion filled woes are replaced

With exactness of what is – as I am

Accepting the imperfections of my space

Releasing my glass-like ethereal dam

My sun beams now, brightly

My moon discreetly does the same

I take not the palette of life lightly

Discernment left briefly, but the aura of strength timely came

The colors don’t really matter much

Unless you take heed

To the revelations and such

That make our hearts bleed

There is a shelter for anyone to run inside

We choose our own locations

We either sink or ride

The waves of our own reservations

In what shade does your sun shine most

Does your night tell all?

Is the color of your strength a protection post…

Lest you fall?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Aside

Continual Resort – Part 3 – ‘Cohabitation’

The next morning came as usual with Linda not realizing that she had fallen asleep on top of the covers. With a groggy head, she headed for the shower to wash away the dizzying high that had apparently lasted during her deep slumber. It was Saturday which was always her day to go and get her daughter from her mother who lived only about half an hour away. It was a neighborhood that was slightly better than the one she grew up in. Sheralyn now lived in a house which was improvement number one. Where Linda had grown up was a horse of a different color in that their front  yard consisted of the dirty confined space in front of their trailer. Sheralyn had an actual lawn now. The environment was not plagued with chemically dependent individuals who had time bombs for tempers, and the area was clean. Everyone pretty much minded their own business with the exception of that one nosy neighbor that most neighborhoods have the pleasure of knowing, even if not by choice.

While brushing her hair back and binding it with a scrunchy into the usual ponytail that she wore daily unless she was going out for a night of fun, Linda thought back to the small dorm sized refrigerator that housed eggs, milk, ice cream, and not much else.  Although they also kept an ample supply of potato chips,  boxed cakes, and canned meats in their little cabinet, the idea of home cooked meals was a mere fantasy because back then, they never knew when they would have to pack their garbage bags and boxes, head out, and leave for another trailer.

Linda truly felt that her mom wanted to do better in those days because she eventually did, but at that time, it was easier said than done.  Her father – Stanley Wright, had been working for a local mechanic shop that helped him to provide somewhat, but he did not feel that what they had in their small abode was enough, and when he decided to hook up with some fellows in the park to run a lab in one of the vacant trailers, things were good need-wise, but this ride was short-lived. Linda was sure that her sister just as she would never forget the day that the NARCS  burst through their door and made everyone inside lay face down – guns in position while other officers tore their home apart creating much more clutter than what already existed, and later handcuffing her dad (who had nowhere to hide) and taking him away. With no money for his wife to bail him out, it was the last day that Linda remembered seeing her father. With a charge of five years, there was no way that Sheralyn could help him, and over that five year span, Sheralyn and her children assumed that Stan had gone on with his life somewhere else, with someone else…with a new life…somehow.

Despite Stan’s angry outbursts of frustration that often became violent – however, brief incidents involving Sheralyn, Linda had vowed to herself the day that she turned fourteen that no man would ever treat her that way. “One hell of a birthday gift.” Linda thought aloud. Her torn feelings about her parents’ actions and her love for her otherwise happy-go-lucky but seriously  paranoid father crept up through the back stairwell of her memories like a medieval king shouting death penalizing orders from his throne to armored knights who would drag a fort encamped kingdom invader to the guillotine to suffer his inevitable demise.  “His severed head on a platter is my wish.”, the king would say as Linda imagined her dad’s loud yells at herself, sister, and mother to just sit down and shut the fuck up for a friggin’ minute so that he could friggin’ hear himself think. If there had only been shouts and yells, Linda felt that they all could have dealt with these outbursts a little easier had it not been for the whiskey bottles, ammonia containers, shoes, and anything else that he could get his hands on to throw before ultimately knocking her mother off of her feet just before profusely apologizing to the two young girls who were forced to watch in horror.

During these incidents, Sheralyn would usually get herself up as quickly as possible to show her girls that she wasn’t actually hurt, but the truth rang loudly when on this particular occasion, she did not rise immediately and Linda’s older sister ran to a neighbor to get help. All in all, Sheralyn never made a trip to the hospital in hopes that she would prevent her children from being taken away.  Linda remembered her mother sitting while holding an ice pack on her face as she and her sister sang “Happy Birthday”. Stan had stormed out in frustration and did not return until the next morning.

Her mother was determined that a better life, environment, and day would come to them if she could only make it ‘this time.’ Sheralyn would explain to the girls on those nights that though things looked bad, she still loved them and that their lives would get better.

Though they were young, Linda and Sheryl knew full well that their mother had gotten herself into a situation that was practically impossible to get out of, but with their mother’s constant and seemingly empty explanations, they still had hope that what she was telling them would one day come to pass.

With a splash of cold water from the bathroom tap and a shake of her head, Linda washed away the negatives that always greeted her in the mirror each morning. Showered, dressed, and without a second thought, Linda made her way to the kitchen for a glass of juice before taking off for her mom’s house. “Shit…should’a known better…I’ll just stop and get some on the way back.” Grabbing her purse and heading for the front door, Linda knew that Donny had left the empty jug of orange juice lying dormant in the refrigerator. It didn’t matter…she’d had her good time too, but by it being the weekend, she would need another jug for them both. The apartment complex was enough for their lifestyle accompanied by occasional parties, gatherings, and important company, but she still hoped for something better just like her mom, and she would have it someday…by any means necessary.

She did not deserve to wait endlessly whether Donny worked his ass off or not, she needed more – she and her baby would get it – as soon as she could manage, and in the meantime, she would make sure that while Brianne  was in her custody she would eat as well there as she did while at her mom’s house. “M’kay, gotta stop at the store too, no biggie.” All plans in order, Linda had made her way down the stairs and to her car with her thoughts clear and ready for the day ahead.

Donny’s Night…

His confusion and unease had finally simmered once he’d had enough drinks. The orange juice was gone and there was just enough vodka for one more drink, but at that time, he did not feel like travelling the five-minute walk to the store for more. He knew that Linda had to go get Brianne from her grandmother’s house and upon noticing, would also stop for more juice. By the same token, he realized that Linda knew that he would be bringing in a fresh bottle of vodka along with other treats. Although he had enjoyed the buzz from the night before, he did not end up falling asleep, but rather up with pen and pad which sat on his end table to hurriedly jot his thoughts until he could get to his father’s house to file his entries and save them. He could not wait for the day to come when he had his own laptop where he could continue building his collection of rhymes, and hopeful lyrics that he dreamed would someday become a reality once published and accepted by any famous producer or at least anyone – famous or not – who was willing to hire him as a songwriter.

His father did not support him or his dreams except for allowing him to save his weekly entries  as long as he promised not to post anything publicly. “I know I raised you better than this boy! Why can’t you just face facts and get into the business like I’ve worn my head grey trying to convince you for the past seven years? It’s just no damn sense talking to you, so go on and write your little words, so you can get the hell outta here! How can I call you my son when I have to watch you screw up your life day after day? Well…know this…you  will either shit or get your ass off of  the damn pot, cause I’ll be damned if I’ll give you another stinkin’ penny when you’re hell-bent on layin’ up with that tramp thinkin’ I’m gonna keep helping you. Write your shit and be gone!”

He listened to the same lecture each weekend, but Donny dealt with it along with swiping up the rubber bands from newspaper subscriptions that his father so graciously elected to save for him which would be lying on his kitchen table. As weird as it seemed to him, Donny accepted his father’s rejection, anger, and collection of rubber bands knowing that he had committed an unforgivable sin in not following his footsteps in the family business, but his words as Donald Sr. called them had led him to instead follow his heart and mind. It was a fact of life that could not be helped.

Aside

Free Write Friday|Kellie Elmore – Continual Resort

I have so enjoyed everyone’s short stories from last week’s Free Write Friday|Kellie Elmore’s prompt that I decided to try the free style short story bit out, but couldn’t resist the urge to rhyme so here is a mixture of the two!

Continual Resort

The sound of the rustle of tall weeds awoke him as his eyes opened to a rolling cloud filled with dust which signified the immediate misery that assailed his thoughts upon becoming coherent of his new surroundings. He knew exactly where he was…alone…again. In an attempt to breathe in a sigh of usual acceptance due to the state of his current solitary existence, the humidity in the air stifled the process of inhalation, howbeit; at a relieving exhale, that feeling of deliverance returned as always.

“Well, this is a new one for me…

never thought that here is where I would find myself to be…”

He could feel thick patches of dirt sticking to his back as he raised himself up on one elbow to be still just before sitting up; legs outstretched in front of his weary body. Flailing one hand at his back to knock off the dirt, he noticed that his bare legs had practically baked under the heat of the sun. The smell of his own souring sweat filled extremely dry nostrils, and as if involuntarily, one hand reached up to pick strands of burnt grass – also causing even more grains of dirt to fall from the stickiness of his hair which was now matted with heat, sweat, and natural products of the elements. No birds flew or sang happily overhead as he again raised his eyes to the sky only to be blinded yet comforted by the sun and its brief incapacitating power of causing him to not be able to see what was in front of him. He did not want to see…neither did he want to feel anything now save the heat that seared his skin and the discomfort of the thickness of the hot and lonely atmosphere in this place.

“No pain, no gain

I guess that I should be content, 

but it would be nice to have a little rain.”

Just after this thought escaped his enclosed mind, the long and dusty billowing cloud opened ever so slightly to release a slow pattern of warm to lukewarm raindrops that without warning turned into a tepid downpour; washing away all that previously adhered. This refreshing coolness rejuvenated and strengthened him enough to where he was able to place himself on all fours in order raise momentarily on his knees. At a quick glance at the ground upon becoming upright was when he was struck with the realization that not a stitch of clothing covered his bare, sunburned, and now not so dirty body. The earlier happenings before his arrival here must have been a real doozy, but in this moment – the past did not matter regardless of how late whatever had happened not long ago entailed. His immediate assumption was that his nakedness must have meant that he had succeeded in another escape from an insurmountable pain to which there was no choice but to be catapulted into some other realm in order to keep from totally losing it. He could actually feel the freedom that he so desperately needed to survive and under the welcomed, rainy torrent – feeling stronger now and with outstretched arms, he belted out a solemn sincere prayer under roaring thunder to whomever – be it himself or another who had been the author of his prompt escape from confusion…

“Oooohhh, thank you – I SO needed this,

I have been cleansed – could this be bliss?

Whatever it was, it is now gone,

Though I am alone – my strength is damn strong –

But still, not damned to a living of NO;

Through You – I’ll always have somewhere to go!

Why should I care if it’s there or in this crazy place?

As long as I return while able to save face!”

It seemed as if it had never happened when the rain, wind, thunder at the same time suddenly stopped! All that was left from this particular episode of subconsciously self-endorsed elopement was to the right of him, a small puddle in which he could see his reflection at first sight of turning to look into it. Peering into this nature induced impromptu mirror revealed the faces of an obedient yet mischievous child that morphed into a rebellious but depressed, hurting but creative teen, which finally evolved into the gift, artist, poet, victim, philosopher, warrior, and then – the monster! Not much to his surprise, these changes came in that exact order although he was well aware that each image shown on the water was a true replica of the many facets of himself. Though slightly perturbed at the monstrous side of his reflection, he was still aware that it had been born from his past as well as his presence of which he was at the moment – totally free from. He completely refused to give up this feeling of self-vindication from past woes despite the fact that this rebellious and retaliatory presence was prominent. Now deep in thought at the possibility of the necessity to find a way to cancel out the monster, he suddenly became viciously irate at himself for not having an inkling of an idea of how to go about this much-needed process. He prayed again:

“This must be the calm that comes after the storm,

Why do I see myself as anything but the norm?

Will I ever reach the heart of my true self that was meant?

Or should I just waste the rest of my time not well spent?

Why is the hate so strong –

So prominent in my life?

Could it be from having no mother – no wife?

Regardless, this is not who I truly should be…

My time shall forever be spent finding me.”

With a sense of relief, he stood in full stance…the birds began to fly and sing, a cool breeze made the tall weeds dance.

The dusty cloud now clean split apart revealing blue skies…it’s bright colors drowning out past woes – inner cries.

Taking in a long deep breath from clean air physically and mentally soothed;

Giving new light to a better outlook and the strength to not be moved,

By the pain of abandonment felt by a boy suffering from rejection;

The presence of the man having slaughtered the monster created from constant dejection.

Now exhausted from this journey, he lay himself down and fell into a deep sleep

Covered in tall weeds that made a soft bed temporarily for fresh dreams to keep.

He did not worry at all about his eventual return;

To life where truths hurt and harsh realities burned.

He knew that to continue was the plan to survive;

Knowing that there would always be a continual resort whenever hard times arrived.

 

 

 

It took me a while, but this was truly a blast, thanks to Kellie Elmore rocking the FWF!! 🙂

Aside

What the Race Revealed

The sun shone brightly on the heart of a lonely one yesterday

A fresh and new outlook brought yearnings for an enduring full life’s stay

Without traveling back to the pain of a past not long ago

Encircled by the demon of No’s induced thoughts tossing the soul to and fro

But at this time my private wind now chooses its own content and patient path

Straying away from downtrodden confusion, negative influence, and ultimate wrath

Peeking through a single cloud’s cover – maintaining my own acceptable pace

Staying the course through thick humidity – so determined to win the race

The finishing line is near, subsequent to the obstacle course

That stands eminently and taunting – yet  helps me to find the source

Of what initially caused me to cave in and suffer an exhausted fail

Purged is an oppressed tribe of strength…stoically refusing to ail

From diseased differentiation, status quo, isolation and offensive pull

That wolf cannot fool me now, for I can identify his wiry wool

Though I run along – alone – my view is now perfectly clear

Until my winds begin to blow stronger…explaining my true purpose here

Which is to be a light…beaming towards another lone  dying heart

Nurturing humanity and love – we all must do our given part

To find ourselves running the shining path together – never again alone

For all our destinations surely lead to the very same  sought out home

Abiding well in understanding, clarity and peace – truth –  not hard to obtain

As long as we live to give –  as opposed to a life of selfish gain

While rain falls, floods rise and brittle hail breaks the soul of the lonely one

Who runs alone – yet with many the path…til at last the race is won!

We all have our flaws, fears, and inhibitions. I truly believe that these three work together to feed the starving artist in us all, and our various manner of expression touches the hearts of those akin to the cause.

Thanks for reading!

Aside

Self-Menace

Standing disoriented in the middle of nowhere

Wishing that I had been available for someone – anyone to care

But as I stand in wherever I know that I am alone

Having no place to truly call friendly – except mostly in my home

Because of my actions accompanied by a bad attitude

Not realizing the hurt of others while my disdain exudes

Negativity

I can’t see the forest for that giant tree

It seems to enjoy taunting…intimidating me

So much that I beg to be free

From the pain that I cause and the pain that I feel

Should my life move on now or forever be still

Will there ever by some miracle come another day

When forgiveness finally sinks in and ultimately makes its way

Into the hearts of the broken…retaliatory yet strong but not mean

Will we ever be witness to the real or just an idea of what it seems

To be in the now at a moment not captured in time

Shall I grotesquely err, or ultimately fall in line

With the mentality and routine of the judgemental masses

Or shall I  obediently remain under the category of asses

Who cannot find or refuse to search out or travel their own winding path

Is it really us or them – somebody please do the math

Because I am stuck between a rock and a very hard place

In fear of revealing the shape of my body or the shame on my face

Due to the absence of ample self-esteem

Thinking that only therapists and patients understand what I mean

Deep down and in truth I embrace the better for sure

Knowing that it is solely my mind’s life – the victor holding the cure

For what I subconsciously dive headlong and choose to delve in

Sometimes it seems easier than fighting, pressing, and struggling to win

But putting all aside and being honest with myself

I find no importance in high status, pedigree or wealth

Happiness and peace are my true main goals

As my heart aches silently while sanity unfolds

Despite it all, I press on for a brighter day

Rolling with the punches – hearing my self say

It could be worse so be thankful for how it is

The self-menace quietly bears the load but freely opts in and still gives.

 

I’m not sure where this came from – it just came out, but in hopes that you will be inspired by this or some other, keep on in whatever you do!

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Aside

The Wayfarers Foundation – A Hopeful Amendment

I came up with this title around a week or more before I was actually able to get my thoughts together for it today. It was inspired by one of Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompts, also ckisler’s Braking Points blog – post – Homelessness in Galilee and USA Luke 8:26-39.

In Memphis, the homeless situation is profound, but it seems to be ignored which really bothers me in a big way.

While my father was in the VA working very hard to recover from his first stroke. Several years later with the second stroke, he wound up in the same facility, but things were worse than the first time. I was faced with riding to and fro (with my husband, mom, and very young daughter) for visits that hurt my heart.

What hurt even more was knowing that I had survived these visits only to be more hurt by the man at the corner of the intersection, accompanied by a sign that read, ‘Help me, I am a veteran.’

Every day on the way and back from visits with my dad, I would see this man in the same spot with the same sign and wearing the same coat. Unshaven, hot, and uncomfortable in the worst way, and apparently unrecognized as important, because traffic – as if in a recurring dream, constantly passed by with no stops for me to witness or take part in any sort of grand attempt to take this man from where he was to where he needed to be.

Somehow I knew he was surviving somehow, but my mind could not fathom this possibility in a realistic way because – he was still there…every day, just as my father was in that hospital bed…every day with hopes of coming home to put finishing touches on his recovery which did  happen with the first stroke, not so much with the second, but a recovery non-the-less.

The fact is that my dad had somewhere to go, which was the house that he had and was still dearly paying for. But the veteran on the corner who had also served his country was left outside to abide the elements, traffic, and who knows what else for twenty-four hours a day – each day of his life.

Is he still there today, or has he gone on to a place where he need not worry about an ideal place for him to live in? I know not as this man and his unfortunate lifestyle is considered a negatively superfluous extension of our city and it was several years ago when I was visiting my ailing father in the VA.

What struck me more than the question of why I never saw anyone stop (including myself although I thought about it with no real helpful scenario to follow up with) was why the man couldn’t simply walk that one block to the VA for help. We eventually passed the veteran by one last time on the day we brought my father home, and I was overwhelmed with an undying sense of chagrin. With reluctant acceptance, I knew that while that building stood where and as it was, it – just as well as I had miserably failed that man.

Despite understanding that the VA was a hospital and not a shelter, I still viewed the homeless hero’s sidewalk station as an undeniable display of the actual ‘aide’ that any given veteran may receive following his/her signed and sealed service.

Years later, this man is still on my mind.

 

Several years later…

 

My family (husband and now 3 kids) and I were on our way home from church (which I no longer attend now but also question on the same level as organized facilities such as the VA etc.) and we saw a family of about seven crossing the street at the old end of Bellevue Blvd which becomes Elvis Presley Blvd once you pass the intersection.

The mom, dad, and about five small children were making their way across this very busy area…the mother making sure her children held hands tightly while in step with each other as they carefully made their trek from one side of the street to the other. Holding a smaller child’s hand and carrying a bag of snacks in the other with the smallest child on her hip, I could plainly see caution and fear on their faces. The father, protector, and head of his unfortunate family walked in front, playing the role of shield. His defensive attitude was obvious as he valiantly led his family from point A to B, and they made it. I had no idea where they were going, but I did know that the small bag of snacks they had just purchased with what little they had would not be enough to fill either of their bellies.

I saw them again last week in the same area, but this time they were washing cars in the lot of a restaurant that has been closed down for some 3-5 odd years, but the father looked as if he were on a cell phone (probably borrowing from the client), hopefully talking to a new customer. Maybe he was speaking to someone about finding somewhere to live, but his body language showed that the conversation was not going well. I saw nothing but desperation, frustration, and hopelessness.

No one asks for this.

That family has been on my mind since the first day that I saw them crossing the street that day. Seeing them as well as the homeless veteran and so many others that we pass by every day reminded me of  a dream (a hope for the future) that my mother and I had in common. Today, this hope has become quite urgent in my thoughts since her passing. She often talked about starting some type of self-organized foundation for feeding/helping the homeless as she was an excellent cook and all of her daughters would use what we learned from her to make her dream come true.  Although my parents participated in several charitable organizations that were big on feeding and helping homeless people, she still had the urge to do something on a personal level, but her dream was unfortunately not lived out as she succumbed to an inherited family history of silent killers.

This dream that my mother had still lives with me today and I am determined to act on it.  Although I am limited in what I really want to do later, I still give when I can, haphazardly and random as it may be. For now, I will simply have to settle for what works in the now. But if by some miracle, sudden stroke of luck, perseverance, or whatever it is that will make it happen, I know what I want to do with my life. If I am able to make another life better, my living will not have been in vain.

In the meantime, I come from the heart (as usual) with this poem called:

The Wayfarers Foundation

Many scores lasting forever and many years to date

We the ‘eyesore’ have been forced to patiently suffer and wait

For some action to be taken…shall more of you awaken

To the fact that our living quarters called ‘homes’ have been taken

In the midst of a dwindling and eroding economy

Do we seriously need to question the severe lack of money

Despite being a member of the land of the free and home of the brave

It should matter not my choice of which service I gave

The potential to lose my comfort or ability – namely my very life

Yet my bedroom is a cardboard box regardless of the weather every night

What about those of us who were simply dealt a bad hand

Booted from common livelihoods, now unable to lease a piece of land

Higher authorities casually ignore us

While inaction and self-piety beget more of us

Is there no law written

For the ones who have been smitten

By the force of abiding at the lowest grade

Possessing the need to find elms for mere shade

Are we not deserving of hand-built roofs also

Shall it be called justice as we travel to and fro

On pavement and gravel alike, even dirt roads to nowhere

Our destinations far beyond us just as our very welfare

As we the wayfarers are deemed non-contributers of supply and demand

Our miniscule supply is depleted while the latter still stands

It is unfortunate that holiday charities do not very long last

In order to satiate our hunger and lack once that time has passed

We set up quarters of blankets,various leftovers and if lucky – tents

In places that are public –  where privacy is not meant

To be obtained in weather such as heat, snow and rain

Our candles go out just as we do much the same

But we the ‘eyesore’ come strongly together as one

As a whole people working endlessly to get something done

For the betterment of The States which is sadly and sorely due

If nothing changes, this could happen even to the most wealthy of you

As a union we stand yet divided according to place

We ask to be rationed daily resources with which to wipe dirt from our children’s face

In order to be presentable as we stand before the great panels of our nation

To plead our God-given rights in the name of The Wayfarers Foundation!

Blog Dare Writing Prompt – The Last Straw Part II

Later on that year, after bringing my 15 lbs gain back down a few notches to around 162 lbs, I began to search for a new primary care physician because I had not been to see one as my last appointment was my 6 week checkup with my obstetrician.

I had flat-out refused to even see another doctor until I had at least taken some of my regained weight off, plus the PCP that I had gone to for years (male) did not want to honor my requests for checking my hormones for the menopausal symptoms that I’d been experiencing (this took place a couple of years before my mom passed).

He proceeded to tell me that I was too young to be having those symptoms and that I was simply depressed about my mother’s illness. Then came the offer for Lexapro.

Okay, I admit that I was extremely worried about my mother and yes, it was very saddening. I’m sure that I was depressed, but that was pretty much the norm for me from the first day that I entered junior high school where I endured endless teasing.

I was teased for being skinny, short, not putting out, and anything else that those who taunted me daily could force their severely compromised brains to scrounge up. – (at least until I began to practice the art of cussing so well that I created new levels in the craft and the teasing stopped.)

Those same teasers suddenly became quite friendly.

So I was already well acquainted with what I call ‘the black hole’ at an early age and if I didn’t let that kill me, there was no way I would go off the deep end and not be able to help my parents.

Anyway, when I told the doctor about the hot flashes and mood swings, etc., I asked, “Well, why is this happening if it’s not menopause?” He replied that he did not know and wrote me a prescription for the Lexapro.

There was no further discussion with him and it was also the last day that I visited his office.

Back to the new doc…

I had been to see her for my very first 6-weeks check-up ever. She was a nurse practitioner at that time and was great, though I found it a bit uncanny that she was working under my former doctor’s father’s practice.

When I found her again several years later, she had her own office so I decided to switch over to her for my belated and somewhat dreaded annual. I was okay with this because I figured if she was good while working under someone else, my next experience with her had to be even better since she had her own practice.

The inside of the office up front was nice, neat, and the lady at the front desk was friendly. After all the preliminaries (weight, BP check, etc.), I was then led back to an examining room.

I think that I should explain that when I go into any medical facility, family practice, dentist, or anything else, my radar always goes off and I end up looking around the room to check for cleanliness.

I have always been this way for some weird fear that I will end up receiving an exam with unwanted germs to go along with it.

It’s just a strange little ‘ism’ of mine that I can’t seem to get rid of, but I could see dust on the tables where medical tools are placed and dust on the floor set off my internal alarm.

I thought to myself, “There will be no pap-smear here!” as the nurse walked in. Despite seeing evidence of one of my most despised pet peeves (dust), I was still eager to go ahead with the blood tests that I had requested.

Hormones, a re-check of my vitamin D to see if my levels had improved, thyroid levels, and anything else that I could think of. That process went over with no problem and soon after the doctor came in for a brief exam and our consultation.

Hello, doctor…

After going over my family history and discussing my exercise routine, my stress, insomnia, and all of my other annoyingly ever-present symptoms, she told me that my results would explain everything and not to worry.

Then, she asked if I would like to start on some type of birth control. I politely refused as after over 15 years of marriage and not having at least 15 children, controlling births must have been one of my strong points.

So after about three more polite refusals, she finally relented and said that I would receive a call when all of my test results were in.

At this point, I was annoyed, but still willing to move forward. It was time for my exam.

The exam consisted of nothing but the normal check of eyes, ears, glands, etc., and then it was time for me to lie back so the doctor could check my belly… you know – when they press all over and ask if you feel pain or pressure.

As soon as I raised my top she goes, “Whoooo! You told me you were sure you weren’t pregnant, but are you really sure? You look like you’ve got a bun in the oven right now!”

At that very moment, I conjured up an extremely clear mental picture of me raising up and slapping all freckles from her left cheek while being witness to said freckles gracefully flying into the air before falling like fresh snowflakes, travelling down diagonally by a light winter’s breeze on the way to their silently awaiting bed of dust on the floor.

Curiosity may kill the cat, but pure satisfaction brings it back.

So despite my ‘eating habits’ and the scarlet letter ‘O’ that was symbolically stitched into my forehead, I felt a sense of comfort in knowing that I actually did have some semblance of self-control, though my mental picture remained just as it was.

I calmly replied that I was not pregnant, but was having a problem losing weight and needed to know what was going on with me internally as I had tried to stress before. She assured me that I was in good health – maybe a little too healthy, but that I would be fine once I cut out eating all of my favorite greasy foods.

(The slap vision immediately came back, only this time involving freckles from right cheek.)

Just for the record, I bake and boil damn near everything and fry not even on every blue moon! But I explained this to her nicely. Determined, she suggested that since my belly was already out there, I may as well ‘go for another one’.

I reminded myself of how well I’d kept my composure earlier and informed her that I did not want to have more babies and had been successful at accomplishing ‘no more babies’ for a good while on my own.

I distinctly remember stating, “I believe I’ve reached an age where I’m old enough and have enough experience to not need a planned parenthood oriented consultation…I’m way past sixteen, but thanks.”

My attitude may have been present in my voice or facial expressions, or maybe by some miracle, she could see the mental pictures of patient to doctor freckle killing slaps…I don’t know. But somehow, she finally came to her senses and said I was free to go.

Lesson learned…

The last straw for me must have been due to my negligence in missing the breaking news report on the fall of professionalism in the medical field before I made my appointment.

At that point, my next move was to get my results and fire this lady who had apparently changed for the worst immediately after her move up the ladder, but I would still move on with my life. I knew that I didn’t need any pats on the back from anyone, and if I had no support from paid supporters, I simply didn’t need it because it was my life.

This realization led me to find yet another PCP (so much better) who actually has all the quality characteristics that one who resides in the medical field should.

I have since been ‘working on myself’ but this time, it is not in desperation or because I don’t love myself as I am now…it is because I do.

I don’t know if the doctor meant harm or not as she was the joking type. What I do know is that a person with a vulnerable complex could be crushed by what others say about them when ‘others’ speak before they think.

The results from feeling crushed will show up sooner or later – even if not realized until later.

With all disappointments thrown out of the window, I now embrace my downs as well as my ups and keep it moving.

Though I still deal with being self-conscious about buying new clothes or going out in public, I am still determined to make my way through this battle victoriously and that particular straw will surely be the one that breaks the camel’s back in my behalf!

Just for the record, I think freckles are darned cute, but in this case and at that time, they were mere minions used to install a new flight to the ongoing spiral staircase of the fortress that surrounds my empire of retaliatory fantasies dwelling within the dungeon of my mind’s angry eye. My advice… keep the naturally conjured mental picture of choice, but don’t act on it. Be you and love all of you!

Thanks for reading.

Aside

Blog Dare Prompt – The Last Straw – Part I

The Last Straw – Part 1

I had always been rail thin during my teen years and early twenties. Eighty-eight was the year of my high school graduation and this number also matched my body weight at that time.

Now that I think about it, that number sounds rather low as I recall not being a happy camper in school with the bad habit of not being able to eat (or just not wanting to) when I felt depressed which was quite often.

This habit  lasted on into my first and only year in college – experiencing even more depression and not eating enough, but faithfully participating in band camp and practice which was at times much like a military boot camp.

By some miracle (must have been the never-ending rice dishes served for lunch almost daily) I went home with a three digit weight of nothing more than lean muscle mass that just happened to stick around despite my deciding not to go back the next year.

Not being the typical 18 year old, I did not cope well with supposedly normal life changes such as adapting the mentality of my peers, being away from my home and family, and hating sharing a room with two other people when I was used to having my own room at home.

I clearly was not ready for the extra course in ‘One of Your Room Mates is a Freaking Kleptomaniac-101’… I didn’t sign up for it, but it did turn out to be an intriguing study.

Anyway, I kept up with much of my exercise routine once back home where I decided to go to cosmetology school in my hometown. It was definitely a better experience.

My twenty pound gain remained in tact until I got married and began to enjoy take-out on weekends (my mom always cooked – take-out was a rare treat) while also relishing in the beauty of frequent alcohol consumption.

I had begun to put on a small amount of weight but it actually looked good on me as I was still working out and still had a functioning metabolism. I was finally beginning to reach the ‘normal’ weight of an adult female.

At the seven year marriage mark, there was no itch, but there was finally a baby…long awaited by my family who frequently volunteered and enjoyed feeding my ravenous appetite during my first pregnancy.

Despite my gorging on mom’s famous butter roll (yes – with cinnamon) and a two foot long Hershey Bar from one of my sisters (Christmas gift), I was still able to drop the baby weight with no problem. I worked out religiously.

Five years later, my next baby came and I had read about how breastfeeding would help to take off baby weight and I found this to be true.

During that time, my appetite dwindled even more because my parents’ health problems had begun to deteriorate, so I was taking care of my kids while helping them also. I noticed that whenever one or both of my parents were in the hospital, I would go into ‘help mode’ which killed my appetite. This went on for several years – emergency runs and stays in the hospital, cleaning and cooking for two houses, taking care of young kids – who had time to eat?

I had totally forgotten about working out as much as I had eating, so my weight stayed down for unhealthy reasons, but this all changed after my last baby and soon after the death of my parents.

I began to eat everything that wasn’t nailed down and found myself at a weight that I had only seen during my pregnancies.  The emotional eating continued as a coping mechanism until about one year later, I took a good look and noticed that I could hardly recognize myself.

Upon this realization, I began to change my habits and started working out faithfully.  I was no longer in a marching band where working out was the norm, but I was as die hard as if I were back in band camp.

This time I was actually concerned about my weight, not comfortable in my own skin, and very self-conscious. I counted and logged my calories, burns and losses on a website that I had found and kept up with my workouts like a pro until my lean muscles began to show themselves again.

At that time, I could look in the mirror and know that I was winning the battle. Proud of myself for all of my hard work and determination, the battle continued on until…

My husband’s job offered a health workshop in which employees and their spouses could visit a facility that would run a battery of tests and give a thorough health report.

I had become a bit of a health nut, so I was all for it. Everything went fine with my husband who eats pretty much whatever he wants and can do fifty push-ups once a week and poof – the mere three-pound gain is gone. But my appointment was just a tad different.

I walked in with a confidence that I’d never experienced before. By my own volition, I had gone down from 171 lbs to 156 and feeling stronger than ever! I was proud of my results. But my pride was short-lived when I found out that my so-called BMI placed me in the ‘obese’ category. Obese?

What the hell was I before? Determined to not allow one tear to fall, I kept my composure as the nurse gave me all types of documentation on how, what, and when to eat, and how often I needed to work out.

I was expected to return the following year having lost 15 lbs which would only be the beginning of working towards ‘becoming a fit individual‘.

Don’t get me wrong, I was glad that everything else came out well with the exception of a severe vitamin D deficiency, but these people acted as if I had done absolutely nothing to help myself despite my calmly given explanations. (I don’t usually explain myself due to my ‘like it or lump it’ attitude) But with each explanation, I received a lecture on how I could either change or improve my ‘behavior’. Really?

Although I knew they were just doing their jobs, I still wondered if they were telling the same mess to every female who didn’t fall under the same weight bracket as I was as a teen which is completely ridiculous.

But for some reason, I still walked out of there feeling like a lazy, non-caring, gluttonous slob. The preceding words are a total taboo for me, but the attitudes of the nurses made me feel like they saw me that way.

Despite all that I had accomplished, it apparently meant nothing according to their standards.

The idea of goals reached went clean out of the window, and all I could hear was that I was obese and needed to start working on myself. Without even bothering again to tell these people that I had already been ‘working on it’, I spent the following months desperately trying to follow their instructions which produced a 15 lbs gain instead of a loss.

My spirit had been broken and I was angry. I was angry at them, for telling me that I was not good enough.

I was angry at myself for giving what they said an ounce of merit. I was angry at my body for not doing what I (they) wanted it to do, not realizing that I never should have changed in the first place.

So my life of fitness was a serious struggle until I finally went back to doing what worked for me before, and I never went back to that facility.

As I finally began to come out of my rut, I realized that the last straw for me was trying to conform to a standard that was not my own.

For the first time I could remember, I let myself be thrown for a loop and couldn’t believe how easily I fell for it. But once again, by my volition, I recovered successfully and was on my way back to myself…or so I thought.

Aside

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