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

Aside

Private

There is a place where noone else can go except me

Unless I let one in, no other can be

This space is reserved for those who identify

With me when I laugh, when I shout, when I cry

Not many are invited, this place is private you see

I guess you could think of it as a symbolic VIP

Invitation only

Eliminates being lonely

Sign in and hang your coat

Main rule – don’t come to gloat

About what I have or what I don’t

Your visit will not go well, no it won’t

My bouncer is my soul and will throw you out

Our meeting is not about class, certainly not clout

I am willing to share with all walks of life

But non-mutual competition begets envy and strife

You are who you are just as I am – let it be

Should it be so easy to ruin your acquaintance with me?

I think not, just have some coffee, beer, even tea

Where it goes from here, who knows – we’ll see

Otherwise I can simply sit here by myself

Not contemplating on status or wealth

This is not what life should be geared towards

Rather happiness, satisfaction, and peace – moving forward

If you’d like to join me, you’re welcome to

When you arrive, let right be what you will do

Make the best of your day as well as mine

After all, what is better than spending quality time?

It has to be living as you are and not fretting the rest

Where is your private place? When you find it, don’t settle for less

 

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!

The Mind’s Life

For once the day is good

Finding a smile as I should

On my own face as opposed to yours

My life does not compete, nor does it take scores

It just lives

And grows as is

To be that; that it will be

So I’ll just wait and see

While currently relaxing with a hot cup of green tea…

That so happens to be…

In a green mug

By some miracle, I managed to miss all slugs

Not that I was the target

They rang out as I on my way to the market

To re-stock on fresh veggies from the store around the corner

I stopped to ration out change to the mourners

Of a good life lost, some simply strung out

But their specifics is not something I need to know about

Because it’s not my business after all

Of what took place prior to the fall

Of the have-nots or their unfortunate history

But for the grace of God – it could have been me

Who am I to say

That I would never turn out that way

Shit happens…

That’s why I’m tappin’…

Typin’ instead of rappin’…

Reading aloud…to whoever hath an ear

Let him hear

Life has two gears

Courage and fear

It all depends

On which end

You choose to move the shift

It’s your choice whether you opt for a sink or a lift

En route to ‘Don’t Know’ but I know where I am

Stopping to visit real folks from the fam

Sorry, gotta pass by those who ain’t

Real I mean – won’t deal with you – I just cain’t

Oh yeah, that word is commonly used

When you’re from the south where language is subconsciously abused

But honestly, it is our native tongue

Derived from ancestors from everywhere – not just mom

From Africa to India and America too

I may be a mutt, but technically so are you

Can you really go back and find them all in one place

Thought so; yet not many of us check the ‘Other’ box when identifying our race

Somehow we’ve been groomed

To not leave much room

For what we actually know

Like puppets we only acknowledge what shows

Society’s design

Boggles the mind

Before it is placed

In a spot

Called the proverbial box

Where you will follow suit until the very end

But as a rule, you don’t have to stay in

Your mind is a priceless tool for what you aspire to be

Regardless of origin, crime, or design – screw the set-up;  freedom is for free!

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

Poem #27 – Do’s and Don’ts

 

 

This one came out a little weird. Not rhyming at first but changed towards the end. That as well as the context gave me a title after the fact. I guess it could go for a short bio too as all statements are true. I just wanted to add a little humor to cut through some of the darkness that is my real inspiration for much of my writing although the dark poems are a bit better in my humble opinion… just trying something different. Anyway, here it is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I never learned to swim

 

 

 

I don’t even know how to float

 

 

 

You will never catch me at a pool

 

 

 

Or at the edge of a lake

 

 

 

I know exactly how to stay in my place

 

 

 

Which is nowhere near deep waters

 

 

 

I don’t know how to make good biscuits

 

 

 

I know all the steps but

 

 

 

Somehow they never come out of the oven

 

 

 

Edible

 

Baked Goods Heaven

Baked Goods Heaven (Photo credit: Renée S. Suen)

 

I know exactly how to stay in my place

 

 

 

And keep my teeth at the same time

 

 

 

I refuse to drive on the expressway

 

 

 

At least I won’t do it alone

 

 

 

My sense of direction is practically non-existent

 

 

 

I would never find my way home

 

 

 

I know exactly how to stay in my place

 

 

 

Which is to sit on the passenger’s side and hope for the best

 

 

 

I have never been on an airplane

 

 

 

I have an irrational fear of heights

 

 

 

I don’t like the idea of being off of the ground

 

 

 

Nowhere comes to mind

 

 

 

When thinking of places to visit that require a plane ticket

 

 

 

I know just how to stay in my place

 

 

 

When I want to travel, I read a book

 

 

 

A roller coaster ride for me is just a fantasy

 

 

 

That is the only possible way

 

 

 

For me to make this accomplishment without

 

 

 

Turning green, throwing up, or dying from sheer terror

 

 

 

Once again, off  of the ground is a no – no

 

 

 

So is moving at very high speed

 

 

 

I will continue to stay in my place

 

 

 

And be happy for others who enjoy what I don’t do

 

 

 

I have no problem with slightly living

 

 

 

Vicariously through

 

 

 

As long as I am satisfied with myself

 

 

 

No problem should be posed for you

 

 

 

I know where my place is and I will stay there

 

 

 

My pride is stored on a shelf

 

 

 

I will simply stick to what I do know

 

 

 

Because I am good enough at it to share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside

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