17 May 2013

A plea to a dying friend

I know it's been a long and hard life for you.  For a period of time in your youth you were homeless.  Sure you got food and shelter during that time, but not much love.  People would walk by you and just from how you looked or what you were they rejected you.  So often they'd ask one of the passing caretakers about you, why you were in your condition, what it might take to keep you going, help you thrive, or even to be independent and successful on your own.  I know when I first arrived and saw you I was a bit worried.  You were thin and small.  Your color wasn't what I expected either when people described you to me.  Not that that should ever matter, but somehow it did in your case.  Is that horribly wrong of me?  Did you know one of my best friends had thought about helping you?  She decided you probably wouldn't fit in with the rest of her already crowded house.  So I came by.  I saw your need and longing for a home and a place to belong.  It was a tough decision.  My husband wanted someone who wasn't going to be so needy.  My kids wanted someone who looked and smelled better.  But I saw something there that told me you'd become a very valuable member of our household.

I remember when we put you in the car.  I don't think you'd ever been in one and it jarred you a bit.  I remember how you almost came apart and everyone was worried you'd make a huge mess in there.  You did a little, but I got everything cleaned up and no one was the worse for wear.  After we got home it was a tough call to decide where to settle you.  I suggested the guest room, it only made sense to me.  But my husband was worried what his parents would think when they came to visit.  I said no way to the basement.  It's too dark down there and not a place you put anyone you value and want to help thrive.  We finally agreed on the living room.  It was a lesser used room and still gave you a chance to get the attention you needed and to be part of our every day life.  The first year or so were rocky. Especially when we went on vacation and hired that teenage neighbor to look in on you and the cat.  She thought it was below her to even say "hi" or to make sure you had enough food or company.  When we got back you looked so depressed and almost worse than when we first got you.  I stayed in your room for hours each day for a week after that.  Do you remember how I'd groom you and fed you little bits here and there?  I didn't want to give you too much food too fast and have you get sick from over-eating.  After just that one week I swore you looked brighter and better than ever before.  Everyone else was skeptical and thought I was being generous and optimistic.  But slowly you improved.

When we finished the addition over the garage we were able to create a fourth bedroom, so we moved you into it.  Then you really thrived!  Being in a larger space seemed to help you.  Even the kids started to hang out in there.  I heard them telling you about their problems, just as I did.  You always have been such a great listener and never tell anyone our secrets.  Even my husband would stop in and say "hi" and chat a bit.  I think he felt awkward though, given what you are and all.  You were thriving so well and on your own almost too.  We hardly had to care for you aside from the occasional food.  Granted you were still bothered by the cat from time to time when she got bored.  And we learned that you really were bothered by any bugs that got in or by the wind if we left the windows open during a storm.  You and my youngest bonded over those.  You really were thriving and had become such a part of our family.

That's why it bothers me so much to see you like this.  I don't want you to die this way.  You've shrunk again, you're color's gone down and I can see signs that you haven't been grooming well.  My husband thinks I should just let you go like yesterday's garbage.  My eldest is starting to compare you to a weed.  My youngest says you never smelled good to her.  I had a specialist come look at you.  You've grown just enough that I can't carry you to appointments.  You were pretty out of it and probably never noticed them examining you.  They'd never heard of a case like yours and didn't quite know what to suggest.  They gave me a prescription to see if that would help your appetite.  We thought you might be malnourished again.  But it's been a month and it doesn't seem to be helping at all.  I've spent time crying over you and trying to find a solution.  You've become such a friend!  You've kept me company while I work on my writing.  You've listened over and over again when I rehearsed lines for plays.  You really have brightened up my life.

I've got one more possible solution to try and I hope and pray it works.  A friend from college said that since you had spent so much time living outdoors that maybe the four walls were stifling you.  That maybe you miss being outside all the time.  I have noticed how, when you've spent time outside, you seem to perk up.  But I've worried about the cold and you.  But, I've made room in the back yard by clearing out some things we didn't want anyways.  It's sheltered from the strongest of winds and I've got pest repellents up.  I think the bats from the bat box will take care of most of them anyways. So they shouldn't get too close to you.  It isn't right next to my room, I know.  But I'll still come out and chat with you. And you'll get to hang out with us when the girls play outside or when I work elsewhere in the yard.  You'll be right near the deck when we have parties too.  It'll give you more space to set your roots deeper and wider than the space you're in now.  I promise I'll bring you water and food when nature doesn't provide enough.  I'll weed your area first so that you don't get crowded.  But please my dear friend and my special plant, don't die.

08 May 2013

What Can Happen in a Second

One of my best friends got me a book of writing prompts.  642 Things to Write About has already given me a lot and today is only the first day I've used it.  It's exactly what I need though.  A little background so you understand why.  I went to an awesome high school called simply, The Arts High.  My art area was Literary (duh!).  For my Junior and Senior years the amazing Shannon led the group of Lit kids through prompts.  We'd write for about 15 minutes at a time and then would take some of what we wrote and write again.  We did much more than that, but that was part of each day.  We'd get a new prompt and then have to write, keeping our pens and pencils moving the whole time while she gently encouraged us.  I've missed that since I graduated in 1996.  But today I've felt like it was back again, all with a book.  It's like having a Shannon in a book. I took the first prompt "What can happen in a second" and wrote the following piece.  Then I took one of the ideas from those 15 minutes of writing and wrote another piece.  I'm inviting you to pick an idea from this and tell me what to write.  I'll write about it for 15 minutes and post it here.  This is all un-edited and just stream of consciousness writing.

"What can happen in a second"
A lot can happen in a second.  Your world can change: for good or evil/bad.  You can die.  You can discover a world famous something or other, or even something not so famous but that leads to other things.  In "Hello Dolly" they say it only takes a moment to fall in love.  But that's less than a second so I guess more than one thing can happen in a second.  You can fall in love and then out of it or then realize it.  In a second you can blow burning melted butter all over your kitchen (yeah, that was a great one Hr).  In a second you can almost get into an accident and then realize how precious life is.  Or you can get into an accident and others can realize how precious your life was.  In a second you can realize that most of your writing is about horrid depressing things and wonder why that is and why you have such a hard time writing anything light hearted and witty.  But that all takes a bit more than a second.  I wonder, if you were able to create some sci-fi tech device to record each and every second of your day or life and see what happened, or what you thought and did in each second, if it would change either your thinking or actions?  Perhaps you'd realize that you spend too much time sighing or reading on the toilet?  Would you catch yourself doing either and stop?  Or if you thought you thought one way but you realized by going back over your seconds that other thoughts or other attitudes were more prevalent would it change your attitude?  A lot can happen in a second but so can not much.  It takes a lot of time to create and formulate thoughts and actions. While you may think the synopsis of your brain are instantaneous how long does it actually take you to form the idea, the thought and get your hand and pen to respond the way you want?  In a second I can "read" all that I write as I write it. But at what point did I first think it or come up with it or decide to actually write it and put it on paper and not the other thought I had?  Like the sound and feel of my charm bracelet dragging on the paper or hitting the edge of the desk and how it's the house charm Adam got me for my 35th birthday.  And how it means SO much to me because he really thought about it and it is a charm, which I've always wanted a charm bracelet.  And it's a house to commemorate our 1st house.  And I think, often so in many seconds, that I shouldn't wear the bracelet so much because it means the world to me.  And I don't want to break it or lose parts of it.  But what's the fun or point of it if I only wear it for special occasions?  And each second that goes by I wonder when my 15 minutes will be up.  And if I actually remembered to hit start on my timer of if I'm close to done because my hand is cramping and hurting.  I've decided, in more than a second but the idea took only a second, that I should take 1 of my ideas from this and write on it for another 15. but I need time to rest my hand it hurts so much.  And the timer went off a second ago.

18 September 2012

Thoughts to Page

Pushing away
scribbling notes frantically on a page. 
Hoping something of sense,
of worth,
would come out. 
That it would spew forth
or erupt
onto the page and out of my brain
like so much inspiration
tallent overflowing. 
Rushing, racing, pushing
past second hands ticking by
on the watch. 
Hand supporting weight
of my head,
so much in there needing
to get out
onto the page
into the world. 
Seconds push past 
I cannot keep with the pace
of my pen
or my mind.
I know in the dying light
that I will fail
to fully convey all that is there
bubbling, burbling, roiling
under the surface, the baricades
rocks, mortor created to push it down
and away. 
To move it out
of thought, pushing, pressing
my pen against the seconds of the clock.

08 September 2011

Behind "Not as Intended"

It's interesting.  I tried to write about the beauty of the smoke curling from incense and how it seemed sort of Zen.  Since the smoke moved and curled with the air and didn't try to resist.  I was thinking of how we should try to just move with the rhythms, the winds, the flow of what comes and happens.  But all I could do is write about death and destruction.  Here was something marvelous and beautiful in front of me that was soothing and calming and I turned it into something macabre.  Even when I feel at peace and even when I try to think and feel optimistic and happy I think dark thoughts.  Is that simply my inner self?  Am I really just that dark?  Or seriously fucked up and bi-polar?  Why is it that even when people see and say that I am happy and bouncy I am really quite dark and morbid?  I remember during my senior year of high school I felt the happiest and most whole and at peace.  It seemed like everything was going in a great direction for me.  I wasn't doing any self-mutilation that I can remember.  But all my poems, all the writing was so dark and deathly.  I wrote about slashing my wrists, child abuse, strangling people.  It was as if by being so happy my psyche had to balance it out by being depressing.  Perhaps the quote I used to have on my wall is true- writing takes the real inner self and, as a person turning out their pockets to see what's inside, it puts it all out there.

07 September 2011

Not as Intended

Smoke curls as the wind blows
moving in dances and rhythms seen but not heard
a musical destruction beneath
that creates a deathly scene
Beauty that mesmerizes and hypnotizes
can bring death if the spell goes unbroken


Smoke curls as the air moves
not caring which direction it is taken
the fire that burns beneath
creates a scene of devastation
The beauty of the their mixed dance
hypnotizes and mesmerizes
death comes to those who cannot break the spell.

28 July 2011

Behind "As of Now"

Last night I went outside to take in the diapers I had hung to dry earlier.  I noticed it was a beautiful night.  When I went upstairs I got the kitchen cleaned up and thought that I would clean, do a bit on my computer or read the newspaper then go to bed.  But I remembered how nice it was outside and that I don't get a lot of chances to just sit on my own like that.  Everyone else was asleep, I knew Adam could listen for the girls without me.  So I took my laptop, a snack and the paper outside. 

I've been meaning to start writing at least once a week, if not every day for at least 5 minutes.  In high school Lit class we'd be given a topic, often just a word.  And we'd write for some amount of time.  I honestly can't remember how long but I want to say 15 minutes. Which seems forever at first but is such good practice!  We were told to just keep writing, not to stop.  Even if all we wrote was how we hated writing for so long or had nothing to say.  But just keep writing.  I want to have 15 minutes a day, but I rarely do.  So I'll go with 5 for now.  Anyways.  I told myself to just write.  I didn't set a timer, I said just write.  Don't edit yourself (ok, so I did a bit).  Don't say it's crap or good (ok, I did).  I didn't give myself a word or anything.  I just wanted to write.  And man oh man did it feel good!  I would have preferred to have my paper and pens, I can write with a computer but it feels more halting, more detached for me.  I decided to just post it.  Let it live and let the interwebs decide if it has any merit as actual literature or was what it was supposed to be, a chance for me to write.

Hopefully you'll see more of these in the future.  That big part of me that writes is sort of getting pissed off about being in a cage.  It's been given too many formal "write a lovely letter" or "have an online polite discussion with someone and try to get them to see your point of view".  Time to let it run wild and free.  Who knows... maybe some of this will actually be good!

27 July 2011

As of Now

As I sit in the stillness that is night I appreciate the glow of indoor lights.  The keys under my hands I remember a time of only paper and pen.  Trying to balance bending notebooks on bent knees gives way to warm motors heating a lap.  Words used to flow like water from a high ledge.  Now they stutter and stammer in a desert.  Do I blame this lack on self or the change in time?  Do I blame this death valley of writing on fears and regrets?  Do I blame this on where it belongs or find some excuse to take the burden off my own mind?  Crickets, unnamed insects in the dark.  A dark I avoided once and now want to delve into with a fierceness one starved contains.  Smells of night and hidden vices bring back memories of wrapping into the world and not wanting to miss a moment. Memories trigger another and another and another, a sudden flow that gushes the water words out of my hands at too slow a pace for my mind to prefer.  I rush to get keys closer to find the way to get the words through faster to find the ending the way the means... to comunicate.  To reach out.  To let it all out in a way that others will hear, read, feel and know.  To get them to understand.  Understand what?  To understand that the night, the dark, the time.  Yes that's it, the time. The time is what's key.  The time is nice and now. It's stolen from sleep from cuddles.  But also hidden away from the cries and the "mama"s.  The kitchen cleaned, a bit, I can escape to a now cool place and listen, and feel, and hear and remember.  Dark secrets whispered in the night. Dark secrets I share again, I relive again. Does he think of me?  Does it matter if he cares or wishes me ill?  Why does it haunt my mind? Because it is nature to do so.  To push the thoughts away does not service my self.  To hide from feelings only makes them push at you harder like the torrent of words behind the boulder that was shoved in their way.  No more they say.  No more, let us out.  You cannot avoid them any more.  Do not run, do not hide.  Embrace what you think, what you feel.  Zen or no, enjoy them and let them slip away.  Try to follow the flow, the ebb.  But do not get swept up in the hurt.  Joy brings pain.  Pain brings joy.  One is not without the other. 

My brain slows.  The thoughts retreat.  The start of a car reminds me of sleep.  I am tired of driving.  I desire to rest from my control.  I turn to the paper and let the noises, the smells, the memories fade.  For now.