Category Archives: Inside Me

Boxes

Boxed in – no fancy ribbons

just cheap imitations

sold at the local dollar store

Boxes tighter

claustrophobic, choking,                                                                  

“for your own good” and yes

we are worried about liabilities

a danger to any who may pass you

and, of course, you yourself.

Meanwhile boxes are continuing

to slip one inside another – seamlessly

gasping for air, understanding

resolution . . .

Yes, yes, there are reasons

whether simple or profound

this brain is rattled, aching, worn . . .

but what of those wild women

who lived on the edge

defying societal norms –

smoked their cigars, wore pantaloons

conducted torrid affairs, never

afraid to break away, defying expectations

Could I be one of these?

ride a horse, a motorcycle, a jet

daring authorities to stop me

Yet, I’m a good little soldier

compliant, scared

angry at them, at me,

for maintaining the status code

gasping to breathe –

suffocating – these boxes

will surely kill me

which, I suppose, is

the tightest one of all.

There is no light in this tunnel

the time for light has passed

and is still in the offing

for now there is just

dripping from the ceiling

cobwebs in corners

rust on beams

rot on the floor

 

I could be fearful

anyone might be

in this shadowy world

of discontent

 

Rattling down the path

the harbingers of night

echoing about me

disassembled and alone

bottomed out

waiting patiently

for there is naught else

to do when in this space

 

Ever stalwart, I know

this is just a handful of moments

holding me in stasis

for the eventuality

of new beginnings

And I need just hold out

until I can walk

into the sunlight

 

 

Holding Pattern

There are empty corners

in the basement of my mind

all the nooks and crannies

are growing cobwebs

paint peeling from upper floor walls

a yawning chasm of expectation

Pause . . . . . .

in the dawn of a new day

change in the offing

a fresh wind blowing out the webs

scraping down the walls

picking color in new designs

planting landscaping for a new exterior

moving in new furniture

for a new day

and a fresh outlook on life

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the Truth

I have had a lazy mind, I admit it.  It is humbling but the reality is that while I know I am a smart woman, I am woefully inadequate to face the awesome wealth of knowledge and information in this world.

I know I have issues.  Math is a dismal reality of failure in my life.  When I was married, my husband wanted me to get an MBA.  Not that I wanted one…an MFA or a Master’s in Psychology were more suited to my interests and abilities.  However, there I was, with a full force Migraine, driving through dense Fog to a college an hour and a half away to take my GMATs.

When the Math sections came, my Migraine lit with a force beyond reckoning. During Verbal sections, it abated somewhat.  Bottom line, I scored a 5% in Math and a 93% in Verbal.  It’s not a one-shot deal, I vividly remember my Father and I both crying as he tried to help me with Math homework, clutching “The Parent’s Guide to Modern Math”. I wasn’t going to be good at Math as they weren’t.  My parents told me I wasn’t going to be good at Math as they weren’t.  I believed them.

The Internet has awoken my mind to the complexities of the World and its inherent knowledge.  TV hasn’t done that to such a large extent.  Most of what is on it is garbage.  Blogging and its huge sphere of influence have acquainted me with the world in a new and awesome way.  So has research on my book.  I am learning more in my 50s and 60s than I did in the subsequent years of child raising and employment not conducive to learning beyond its boundaries.

I Love Learning.  Exploring the larger world, not just that which stares me in the face, it fascinating.  I can feel my brain prying open, trying to digest and make sense of that which I read.  And I haven’t really moved into the sphere of YouTube yet beyond research.

Perhaps when I reach the ripe old age of 80, I will know the world on a much deeper and richer level.  I wonder what my purpose is in life and whether I will know when I have achieved it.  Looking at all the people who have done so much more than I could ever dream, is daunting.  I will never reach those levels of grandure.  I didn’t start early enough and I’ve hid from so many issues over the years.  For too many years I lived in the shadow world of my bubble.  Depression and trauma transfiguring my world into one of smallness and darkness.  I am no longer trapped in that shell.  What a glorious feeling.

Now, at my age, I have little use for how others see me.  I am comfortable in my skin.  I might have more pain and physical issues, but my brain has reawakened to a vividness I don’t remember having before, or at least since college.  Because of my not caring how others think of me, I feel free to explore the world on my own terms.  I don’t feel silly knowing more than my living conditions would seem to project.

If I had the money, I would go on Missions to countries that need helping hands. I would go for an MFA.  Archeological digs and traveling would become a much desired reality. I saw on Facebook a story about a woman who uses cruise ships as her retirement plan.  Instead of paying out the money for an Assisted Living facility or a Nursing Home, she travels on water, having all her needs met at a senior and a frequent traveler discount.  What I wouldn’t give to make that a reality!  But even with that, cruise ships don’t go to the places in the world that need the most help. And they don’t do much to open the mind.  That is where I am most needed.

Should I give up, knowing the money isn’t going to be coming from my account?  Hell no.  If it is my purpose in life, the money will come.  In the meantime, there is so much left to learn.  I remain open to the possibilities.

 

 

Pollen

Pollen floats down these days of Spring, coating everything, Leaving behind streaks and yellow caking in every crack, on every surface.  Unless, your home is hermetically sealed, coating your furniture.  It’s like a haze in my mind.  Spinning, spinning, self-perpetuating.  I’m getting excited about going to our family cabin in upstate New York in a month.  It is my spiritual center.  I need some centering.  I’m also going to the Methodist Conference in Garden City, Long Island, NY.  this coming week.  I’ve never been.  I’m told it is overwhelming but there is something powerful in being in the midst of hundreds of people acting in the common good and worshipping the Lord.  I could use some of that.

I’ve been working hard for my church, usually scratching my head and wondering what I’m doing but that is the nature of the position I am in.  How do you mentor people who have the guts to get up in front of a congregation and share from their hearts?

My mother used to say “I could do that but nobody asked me”.  Well, I could get up there and say a bunch of words but I’m not sure about whether they would be coming from my heart or my head.  I’m a skeptic and analytic by nature.  I still have too many questions which involve more research and prayer than I’m able or willing to give.

Coming to Christ is an awesome responsibility.  You can’t do it lightly.  It comes with thought, prayer, a willingness to accept the unknown, and the will to devote yourself to a belief system knowing you’ll never understand fully or get right.  It isn’t a college course.  It is reaching inside, grabbing your gut, investing your mind, pulling yourself up, and saying with all your heart, “I believe”.   How many people truly can do that?

My children are avid, deeply believing Christians.  It is woven into the fabric of their lives.  My son-in-law’s large book collection completely involves the study of Christianity.  He is going to the seminary in upcoming months.  However, there isn’t a single book other than those involving Christianity in their entire home.

My collection is diverse…history, archeology, mysteries, fiction, non-fiction, women’s studies, biographies, and, of course, Christianity.  And I’m not that diverse in my reading.  There are no books on the Sciences, Mathematics (God forbid), Politics, World Studies.  Those are covered in National Geographic and Time magazines and what I glean from the internet. I am limited in space but even if I had an entire, huge study, some of those areas would be slight. I think about however sheltered I am, how left-brained,  how lazy my expansion into the world of knowledge is.

How can something that fills my life, leave me so short-sighted?  Will my questions ever abate?  There is so much I need to know, want to know, but, in the end, its all about acceptance. And that is where I fall short.  I want to believe with all my heart.  But the skeptic says But.  It has to do with being comfortable in my skin.  About saying Yes, not Yes But. About relaxing and acknowledging it’s okay to have questions.  That not everything requires complete knowledge.  Acceptance is the key.  I need to find the key.

So I’ll accept the Pollen floating inside my brain with its yellow haze, and content myself with continuing to place one foot in front of the other and hope for the best resolution.

 

 

Mirrors

When I’m with you I feel real,
he said, the gentleness
in his eyes belying the fear
in his heart, the quivering
insecurity of his soul.

He is a wounded one, all right,
the pain of betrayal
steeped in his loins.

There once was a woman,
she said, who hung mirrors
in every room, every niche,
in a towering edifice
she insisted was home.

Done so she could look
and remind herself that she
still existed, that she was real.

Read the “Velveteen Rabbit”,
she said as she softly
slipped her hand into his.

Look in the mirror
and tell yourself again
and yet again,
that you are Real.

She knows that emptiness
brought on by years
of holding herself erect,
while inside she melted away,
the “who” of herself
fading from the “what”
of her life, brought to bear
upon her by those called family.

Within, she said, rests a kernel
of effervescence –
luminous, brilliant, yet
with a purity too true to destroy.

Let the mirror be your guide
into the heart of you.

Sibilant Murmurs

In the still, soft calm of silence,
the soul speaks its sibilant murmur
so hard to hear in the clangor
and clash of daily life –
in the quiet of night,
when the only sound
is the fountain of water
my fish play in –
I listen . . . for in those brief
moments, so precious and rare,
does the ring of truth sound
clearest – finding its way
past jangled nerves
and knotted, choked synapses
bringing the wisdom I seek,
the strength which I draw
from a wellspring of heart,
coming through to renew
my sense of vision
and lend credence to my reflections,
softly, gently guiding down
my troubled path of life

Music soothes the sorrowing soul

Music, melodious, bluesy,
tingling, tinkling
nape of neck
curling about spine
down to its lowest rung
easing, soothing,
breaking free shackles
of discontent
hours, maybe days or months
in the making.
Music gives pause
to daily life,
makes the heartbeat
to a different rhythm
then one just moments previous.
Of God’s many gifts
surely music is
among the very best
giving the chance
of a shift in perspective,
an ability to see nuances
just recently hidden.
the capacity to regroup,
rewrite the verses of the soul
into ones so much more
palatable, serene, life-giving.
With the dawn
of a new day
the voice rises in song
to match Nature’s heartbeat
and rejoice in being.
Music soothes the sorrowing soul.

 

 

Disappointment

Disappointment is the muck I drag myself through.  It eats my days into brown sludge.  I am mired in the cloying, pervasive debris as it washes over me and search as I might, sometimes I can’t find my way clear of it.  For many, the Holiday Season is cloaked in it.  What might be a time of Joy is a quagmire of dusty dreams and disappointed disheartenment.

The days to come bring dollar signs and an unconscious acknowledgement the coming days will bring low lights, not highlights.  Even though   my family and friends love me, they are wrapped in their own dynasties and can’t make time to comprehend my place in their worlds.  The wet blanket covering me is off putting. I need to remember that.  They are a reflection of what they see in me.  They glance at me and their eyes slide away.  I’m barely there or perhaps too much there, soaking in their perceived rejection, whether real or not.

As the leaves dance merrily as they flit down to the road I am driving, I have to give homage to the day when life glowed.  Although always the quiet, guarded one, I once found joy in the Holidays.  Thanksgiving meant the “Macy’s Parade”, “Babes in Toyland”, and finally “Miracle on 42nd Street” as a child.  Then I would join my people for a feast.  Mom would always invite others in need to join us.  I’d help with the mountain of dishes.  Night would bring a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce sandwich before bed. Some years we would pile into the car and head over to my Aunt’s.  One year my sister and I were in the back of the station wagon.  I had on a peasant dress I loved.  Dawn got car sick and threw up all over my front.  I jerked back, falling into the pies. As a Mother myself, I took pleasure in fulfilling some of those memories with my own family.

Christmas had a magic of its own.  On Christmas Eve Dad would read the miracle of Christ’s Birth from the Bible after Church.  One year I woke extremely early and tried to go downstairs but my Father made me come into their room and sleep next to them . . . when I tried to slip out, he put his leg over mine and went back to sleep.  Another year as I was a teenager, he was drunk and fell into the tree.  But most of the time it was precious.  We would excitedly open presents, although some years my parents had to make some last-minute changes since my sister would have switched the labels on mine and hers if she liked mine better.  There would be another feast and we’d loll away the rest of the day.  I delighted in bringing Christmas to my own family.  One year my husband and the kids fell asleep in the living room as I watched “The Nutcracker” and I felt such peace.

Now, older, living alone, and more tired, I don’t take pleasure in the Holidays as I used to.  I cook my side dishes and head over to my sister’s house and try to watch the Parade.  Sometimes I have to work instead of celebrating.  The Magic of the Holidays has faded under the mantle of my Depression.  Going through the motions would be a more accurate description.  Pleasure is rare for me, laughter even more.  The days are chores to be done gotten over, to fade into Disappointment.  I wish I could change my attitude but it is likely to end up as it has for some time now.  I have to accept my reality and go with the flow so I am not making waves.

Failure

There is a name I call myself
thrust down deep, not voicing aloud
for fear it will be more outwardly
manifest – Failure.

Others may call me Strong,
Committed, Spirited, Feisty,
Pushing through the Dark Times
to come through Stronger.
Pointing out the accomplishments
I have made, the great gains
managed at high cost.

But inside I know
there were other choices
which could have made me
Great, Successful, Healthy
not clothed in Fear –
and so, the bottom line
is that of Failure.