Articles

You Matter…

Picture if you will…

It was a beautiful Saturday evening… sitting in the courtyard of the local shopping plaza on plush out door furniture… and fake green grass being cartwheeled across by a handful of rambunctious children.

The fountain is spraying in a choreographed multihued performance to the music playing from the well placed speakers… out of sight in flower boxes as if the flowers themselves were singing to us…

Happily seated between Mr. Amazing and Small Child… waiting for our XD 3D center row seating to the latest magic Marvel has put before us.

Perfection … halted by the alert of a text on my phone…

The following image was received from my  best friend… She explains that she was cleaning her teenage daughters room while she is off at camp when she climbed into her bed which is in a nook and saw something that could only been seen by someone laying there… that is was not visible from any other angle… and she sent me this image as she lay there as her daughter does daily…

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A lump formed in my throat and dread settled around my heart like a cloak… and I can only imagine this is a sliver of what my friend is going through… I try to imagine how she must be feeling… and try to say the right thing…

I do not need to imagine how the girl is feeling… I do not need to imagine the depth of shame and self loathing that drives someone to write such things… to punish oneself so brutally. No Imagination required… I have an infinite pool of experience to swim in to know exactly what she must feel like… and what it must feel like to wake daily and look at those words. I run my fingers along the scars on my arms… they are 23 years old… I touch the deep gouge of a scar on my thigh… I can still feel it even through my jeans… I remember carving the word “Worthless” on myself… I remember my journal entries filled with too many feelings… filled with hate and pain.

It is wrong how we sometimes treat ourselves… If someone on the street… or in the children’s school spoke to our children that way we would beat their asses… we would intervene… we would get them help and support them and make sure they knew they were not alone…

But what do you do… when the bully… the abuser… the hate is being spewed by the person you love… in the case of our offspring more than we love anything else on the planet… People are left speechless… afraid and confused in these situations… They say horrible things… “They just want attention”… “Its the media… the marketing… the music… their friends”

So we did what anyone in my situation would do… We awoke early this morning… and I went to the craft store… I took small with me… not only to talk about the situation… but because we all love this girl so very much…  Her amazing mother and older brother hauled the bed in pieces to the carport and covered the words that beautiful girl… whose only vice is feeling maybe a little too much… and they painted over them in her favorite colors… Small Child and I went to work with stickers, stencils, acrylic paints and sharpies… 3 hours later…

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She may be angry with us when she discovers it upon climbing into her bed… and finds we paid little attention to her want of privacy… and space…she may be embarrassed… she may be revolted by the cheerful affirmations.. and flowers… and butterflies… but the message is loud and clear… “You Matter”… “You are loved” and if anyone had seen two teenage boys painting her bed pink and moving it around so that us mothers could tell her to “Shine” they would understand how very true those words we adhered onto her bed… with nothing less than gorilla glue…. were.

They were true for this young woman… they were true for the young men taking the time to make sure she heard them… without judgement… they were true for the mothers so concerned as we worked so hard to give her a different perspective…

They are true for everyone…

So if you needed to be reminded… as we all do from time to time… You are Loved… and You Matter!

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Dear Son…

It’s so fucking hard to believe you’re turning 16 today.

Apparently… when I blinked, your little blond mancub self… who used to spend hours catching grasshoppers and swimming and music has grown into a tall…kind.. thoughtful…  smart teenager who loves games and girls…

I know this journey hasn’t been easy.

I know your dad and I (especially I!) have made mistakes… but we have done our best… I promise to continue to do so.

It’s not easy figuring out what should be said and done and those words that should remain unsaid and the actions that should remain undone.

Because sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to stay back and let the lesson teach itself… I am so sorry about your dad not being here.

There have been a couple of close calls–a few times I felt my heart in my throat.

When you chased your sister and her friends around the block… with myself and some neighbor lady trying to catch you… when you got past the dead bolt for the first time… when the lump formed on your neck… and later when they wheeled you away to surgery to remove it….when you broke your leg… when the scuba gear sank you like a lead weight…. when your dad died…

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell you what I want you to know. Many times… we don’t see eye-to-eye. Sometimes…  I don’t do well when I’m put on the spot. Sometimes (most times),  I do better in writing. So here goes.

I know you think you have it figured out. Life, I mean.

And in many ways, you do. You get good grades, you get along with your peers, you love music and your viola,. You feel things deeply… and injustice bothers you.

These are all attributes that make me proud of you.

Please–never fail to listen when somebody older and wiser tries to give you advice… Let the BFG offer to help with math…  You don’t always have to take it (many times you shouldn’t!), but listen to those who care enough to try to help.

In just a few years, you’ll be going off to college– Now you are driving without me… making decisions on your own.

I’m not worried about that. Well shit…  I do worry a little, but I think you’ll be fine.

Your moral standards will hold. I know it may sound cliché but I’m going to say it anyway…  follow your heart. Follow your conscience. It’s kept you kind and compassionate.

One thing I do worry about: I want you to make time for friends. I know you are introverted and it’s easier to stay by yourself … but you have so much to offer others: your sense of humor…  your knowledge of current events… your integrity…  your wit. You’re so funny!

Please, don’t sell yourself short. Shoot for the stars! Set high goals. It’s okay to not always succeed — sometimes falling is part of the process. Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Sometimes, you’ll get told “No.” Even though it stings, it’s not the end of the world. If it’s important to you, keep trying…don’t let one person (or opportunity) hold you back. Never let YOU be the one to hold yourself back.

When you do win…know you deserved it. Nobody can say you didn’t.

I’m your mom, and I love you more than I can say… more than there are words to write…and I can’t wait to see how you’re going to shake up this world of ours.

It’s going to be beautiful.

You are My Sunshine...

You are My Sunshine…

 

 

Plot Twist!

Writing Prompt :Write a blog post in exactly 15 lines.

Writing Prompt: Write a blog post in exactly 15 lines.

Everything is Changing!

<Insert action shot of leap of faith here>

Small Child bought a car 17 days before his 16th birthday (Pictures)

Tall Child is squeezing out a baby girl any day now

The Supreme Court ruled… churches burned… the flag was taken down by someone who could not wait any longer.

Change is in the air my friends and I can’t wait any longer.

Locking arms with my truth and facing the world without a single inkling of a purpose or plan

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

The definition of genius is doing something you have never done before and not having any expectation of result.

I am somewhere in between these two

I am so far out of my comfort zone I cannot even see it from where I stand

But I am standing

I am irresponsible… and irreplaceable… and no one else can play my part

It is the role of a lifetime… my lifetime

this is line 15.

Layer 2

The Light and Shade Challenge

The Light and Shade Challenge

An Epiphany has happened! I am about to tell you about it without the use of an adverb. Thanks to the Light & Shade Challenge! So if this is a hard read… Well… be grateful you did not have to write it.

As I spoke with Small Child last night (Small Child is a nick name, he turns 16 next month) he expressed his dislike of my Nicotine addiction. No, No, I am not a smoker… I used to be… I also used to carry 100 pounds more body fat than I do now… I used to smoke a pack a day…

I need to lose another 100 pounds (I say that with such a casual tone) I need to get off the Nicotine Gum.

Yes… the gum… I have chewed it for years… I feel a little embarrassed by it.

I am half way there. I have done half of what needs to be done.

We set a date… August 10th… to be weened off the stuff…

I hate that anything has a hold on me… I hate being dependent on anything… and as Small Child put it… What if…

What if the Zombie Apocalypse came… He said he would use me as a Nicotine withdrawn weapon… as it would not be available to me.

But I think at this moment, I could face any challenge ahead… Other than writing one more horribly boring … incredibly un-descriptive line of dribble about my mundane physical addictions… I would gladly write a million things other than that… but I needed to get it put in writing… and what better way to do it and aggressively make the point!

Small Child and I!

Small Child and I!

I’m going to be fucking brave.

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I thought I was a courageous out spoken confident person…

I was wrong… The truth is… I have been placated… pacified… terrified… trapped… and I have not been true to my self… and I have chickened out more times than I am comfortable admitting.

I have been toying with an idea for about 5 years now… Career wise…  and just as I was about to take some risk and turn my idea into a reality… Something would happen

A kid got sick

Someone passed away

The dog had a lump

I got sick

custody issues

extravagant vacations

I want a new couch

you name it… I did it… all of it… rather than be real…

All the signs are pointing for me to move in this direction… Better things are in store for me… I know this… and I am still scared… Scared of “What If” and if I am honest with myself, not moving in that direction has just as many scary “What ifs”…

So I have made a plan… one that is well thought out… and well planned… and I am moving in that direction.

I have some back up plans for some of those “What Ifs” and if all of the “What Ifs” happen? well you will see me flying by the seat of my pants through life taking one If at a time…

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Uprising

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I despise the words ‘riot’ and “thug” carelessly thrown into the conversation… They do not understand… They scream their condemnations.

The term “The Final Straw” has never been more literal … and that straw is on fire…

We watch it on the TV… We question who we are… We wonder if the flames will spread… to our own cities so very far…

I am not going to pretend I am someone I am not …and with a heavy heart I look around me…trying to see anything that makes me feel right as I type this from my privileged neighborhood… in my middle class home… on my macbook air…  2 kids… 2 pets…  the news on the big screen…

From this view point I watch as images being filmed in the firelight…show people being ridiculed for stealing their most basic needs.

Fire is vibrant in the dark…

I study the faces of those gathered… Peaceful. Stoic. Calm.

They are not vigilantes… simply vigilant to the cause

They didn’t start the fires… but they feel a deep burning within them….

They do not condone… but they do understand… as they hold their ground on the street

They do not see a riot… but an uprising… and this is the language of The Unheard, The Ignored. The Downtrodden.

and oh I know there are a million different point of views… thousands of opinions… and everyone thinks they are right.

and I apologize if I have offended you or any of them…with these very broken thoughts

But I have to hope that one day the image of the street ablaze will be remembered as the start of how we changed… And that the word ‘thug’ will die out with the flames

and my heart goes out to those Mothers that are praying for their children that are not home tonight…. while mine are tucked into bed safe and …. White.

 

This post was so painful to write as I follow the current events …

I have been paralyzed in my writing for weeks as I am unable to even process thoughts and feelings with all that is going on with our world… I am grateful for the prompt from the Light and Shade challenge for letting me shed a little of the weight…. and I cling to the belief that there is still more good than evil… even if we forget to report on it

The Light and Shade Challenge

The Light and Shade Challenge

No Loitering…

Image from WikiCommons, taken by Elia Biraschi and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

Image from WikiCommons, taken by Elia Biraschi and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

I cannot walk through the suburbs in the solitude of the night without thinking that the night pleases us because it suppresses idle details, just as our memory does. ~Jorge Luis Borges

After finding refuge under a tree… though it’s roots make my lawned mattress a lumpy bed… where I slept away the daylight hours… with one eye open… and my wrist twists through the handles of my satchel to avoid it being lifted… to the sound of someones small children playing on the playground littered with broken glass and sharps of all variety… Knowing that people stared… pitied… loathed me… crossed the way to avoid me… patrol cars counting the hours before they can tell me to move… I did move finally.

I pass the homes… still some windows lit even at this late hour… my mouth is dry… I have no water… my stomach is angry that I have no food… my skin crusted with a salty layer of dried perspiration… the summer heat is not too far off… but here in the night it has not found me yet… Soon it will hunt me and haunt me even in the night… though I just barely have recovered from the last attack… a bitter winter war hunt that many of my tribe elders did not survive…

My shoes are so thin that I feel each crevice in the walk way… each piece of gravel beneath the parchment thin sole between my foot and the road.

My legs ache and knees stiffen giving my walk a quirky swing that will soon cause my hips and lower back to beg me to rest…

There is no rest for me… No where to sit… So I continue to shuffle along both longing and fearing the suns return

At every bench… and every bowery… there is the mark against me… the unwelcome sign.

“No Loitering”

and so I walk.

This is a work of fiction.

I see this each night in my city.

Do not cross the street from them.

Do not lend to their belief that they do not matter.

They are not invisible.

Every Life Matters.

 

Brought to you by…

The Light and Shade Challenge

The Light and Shade Challenge

Husbands.

This guy right here…

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An ode to my Husband…
There are many reasons why I love you…  too many to share…
It’s not just for your handsome face… or sexy… floppy hair
It’s in the we found ourselves from what started as a sordid fling
and the way you make up the words when you’ve forgotten what to sing.
It’s how you tuck me in at night hoping that I will sleep
How you listen to my troubles… and are afraid of water too deep
It’s for your big broad shoulders and strong arms that hold me tight
It’s how you make me laugh no matter what… every single night
It’s the way you’re eyes disappear every time you smile
For all the fun and silliness that makes our lives worthwhile
It’s the way you love our children, and amuse them for hours
Playing knights and spies and dolls and building all the towers
The way in which you look at us with love… you love us to extremes
But most of all it’s for being you…the man of my dreams

 

So here is the thing… I know more people would read this if I talked about how he leaves paper towels everywhere… They would probably share it if I wrote cleverly about his bodily functions and when forgets the dishes he leaves soaking … but the truth is even though I laugh when I read other wives accounts of their husbands habits… I know I could never write a satirical post about him… He gets enough of it from TV… and other woman. I just love him.

Inspired by MamaKats World Famous Writing Prompts….

“Husbands. A post that hopefully will not get you in trouble.”

                                                            mama kats

Maybe I am just weak?

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Mahatma Gandhi

But what if you can’t forgive?

I wanted to kick off this blog by extolling the virtues of forgiveness… I know that forgiveness is the seat of liberation…  However, try as I might, I just can’t muster up the energy to write a big soaring blog on something I’m still having trouble with.

The truth is, sometimes forgiveness feels impossible.  Is there someone in your life that no matter how hard you try, how many books you read, how many lectures or workshops you attend, you still can’t forgive? Are you tough on yourself for that? Me too.

Here’s a baby step: Forgive yourself for not forgiving.

Thanks to the Light and Shade 100 Word Challenge… Great Prompt! Even if I am not great at it!

The Light and Shade Challenge

The Light and Shade Challenge

Beauty is only skin deep… choose to be bone deep

The Light and Shade Challenge

The Light and Shade Challenge

You can be bad to the bone… you can be blonde to the bone… you can feel the cold in your bones…

We are often defined by the character of our “bone” … there is a back bone… a funny bone… don’t forget the hopeful wishbone.

If you are skinny… you are skin and bone… if you are larger… you are big boned

people speak of a cruel bone… but I don’t know if it exists as when referenced it is usually as not having one in their body. No one ever says they are full of them.

If you give a dog a bone… you are leading him on… but if you throw a dog a bone… it is charitable.

When you are tired… and can not fathom lifting your head to face what is in front of you… you are weary to the bone.

You can love every bone in someones body… its a sign of affection.

When you are critical… of those you love… it cuts to the bone.

Make no bones about it… Who you are Bone Deep is what matters… Skin Deep and Thin skinned are no competition.

mage courtesy of Wiki Commons taken by Nevit Dilmen and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

Image courtesy of Wiki Commons taken by Nevit Dilmen and used under the Creative Commons Agreement