Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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Hide and Seek

January 12, 2010

I play hide and seek with the woman in the mirror.

It is through the steam of the shower, when droplets have formed and run small rivers down my reflection, that I see her best.  She peers back at me through a prism, sparkling and muddied, distorted like broken glass, and averts her eyes.

She is shy and insecure, a master of the game as she hides and I seek.

The woman in the mirror is an expert at finding hiding places.  She can be found behind social norms and expectations, small town gossip and fear of rejection.  She is a chameleon.

I am determined.  I will find her.  In my quietest voice, and with gentle hands, I will coax her from the dark and quiet. 

She will find that I have finally given her a home base, a place where she can call out Olly Olly Oxen Free!  It is here, now, in this place.

And, in time, I hope she will give up the game, for good.  She is home.

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Relationships are like Teabags

December 29, 2009

There is a knot in my stomach and it won’t go away.  Something is afoot. 

I fill my cup with steaming hot water and open the pantry to choose my tea.  The pantry is tidy, I have chosen my teas wisely and kept them organized.  I peruse the flavors – black, white, green, herbal, fruit infused, peppermint, decaf, caf, plain old Lipton.  Tea from China, tea from England, tea from South America.  Some have shiny wrappers and promise to do amazing things for my health.  Others are old and dusty, all the way at the back.  Still others are believed to contain traces of toxins, but the memory of their delicious flavor keeps them out of the trash.

It’s been a rough day so far, so I choose one of my favorites.  Its flavor is consistent and strong.

I dip the teabag and watch as the tea mixes with the hot water, making swirls and creating something soothing for me to drink.  I marvel at how relationships are a lot like teabags – you never know their true worth until they’ve been put through hot water.

Throughout the day, I need cup after cup of tea.  I line up the cups, amazed that just one teabag made almost every one.  It is even stronger than I ever imagined.  I am soothed, and grateful.

As I pass the pantry, a dusty teabag leaps from the shelf and into my hand.  I place it in the next cup of hot water, and it makes a beautiful cup of tea, full of nostalgic aroma.  I weep for having left it neglected for so long.

The day is hard, but my cups of tea see me through.  They ease the worry and the pain, and help me to see that tomorrow will be another day.  A fairly new and as-yet unopened package of tea falls to the floor at my feet, and as I put ot away in the pantry – sure it is not ready to be a cup of tea today, of all days – it gently places itself in my cup.  Again, tears fall as I drink the strong and stable tea.

My husband and I lay in the darkness, comparing the cups of tea we have consumed.  We don’t know what the days ahead will bring, but we find comfort in the fact that we are doing what is right for the one we love, whose life is spiraling out of control.

The sun shines through the window.  It’s a new day, the knot in its secure place in my stomach.  I walk into my office to find many cups of tea waiting for me, the bags having taken it upon themselves to come in from the pantry.  I smile, knowing I am loved, and hope the tea I make for others is even half as good.

I sit, and drink my tea.

Originally posted at The Sweet Life 1/30/2009 5:51 am

Comments:

heartatpreschool (Kari) wrote:
Love this post, and the comparison of teas to relationships.

There is something so soothing about tea, moreso than any other hot drink. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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Rock the Boat

December 29, 2009
I was the girl who got rocks thrown at her when she showed up at high school parties… because she just moved there and didn’t fit in.  The girl who dressed in her own way, had her own style, and always spoke her mind, regardless of what others might think. 
That girl got beat down, my friends.  With piles and piles of rocks.

As I got older, I learned not to make waves as a form of self-preservation.  I don’t handle confrontation well, and in fact it usually makes me physically ill.  I’ve learned to pick my battles, and in the mean time – I don’t rock the boat unless I have to.

However, as I wade through the current flood of political chatter, I find myself amazed at the number of people who will not accept another person’s point of view as just that: another person’s point of view.  The rocks are flying, and the young girl in me wants to step up for the “black sheep” who are receiving the brunt of the blows.

Attacking people for being different is just wrong.  And telling them that they are wrong because they are different is sending a host of other messages, realized or not.

If someone has come to an educated decision about their political beliefs, and is not afraid to stand up for them, why must people try to break that person into submission?  Would it be better for them to blindly follow the shepherd, not knowing if they are being led off the edge of a cliff?

Is it better to choose a candidate who resembles your own beliefs, or one that mirrors the beliefs of people who want to bully others into conforming?  And as people throw those proverbial rocks, do they truly believe that they are representing the best side of their candidate?

I have gained much respect for both liberals and conservatives who are able to debate issues with the respectful understanding that other people are entitled to have a different opinion.  That policies can be discussed without trying to force someone into changing their mind.  

As for the rock slingers, you’ve caused me to stand up and willingly rock the boat.

Originally Posted at The Sweet Life 9/14/2008 9:03 pm

Comments:

  • 9/15/2008 4:51 AM AMomTwoBoys wrote:
    Great post! This election has brought out the best and worst in people. It’s been interesting and there are still 2 months left to go!Speaking personally, if someone tries to bully me into doing something, it just makes me more determined to do the opposite. :0)Thanks! You’re awesome.
  • 9/15/2008 8:25 AM sheasy wrote:
    I think something people can exercise no matter what their beliefs are is tolerance. It makes us human and not just a box of ideas walking around (like robots). Great post.
  • 9/15/2008 1:57 PM Cindy wrote:
    Great point. Very well said. Amen sista!
  • 9/15/2008 2:05 PM Mike fro the Newborn Identity wrote:
    The emails that float around are the most hateful. Watch out for those!9/15/2008 8:22 PM anymommy wrote:
    Well said! Disagreeing, even on huge issues, does not have to involve personal attacks or nastiness. The greatest thing about this country is that we are free to view things as we will and say what we want. I love discussions about the issues because I have so much to learn, but I hate ‘politics’ in general because things can get so nasty. I think you rocked the boat in a great way here!
     
  • 9/16/2008 4:20 PM Christina wrote:
    Well put, my friend. Well put!
    I am like you in the sense that confrontation makes me ill. It is something that I try to avoid at all costs unless I’m uber-passionate about the issue.
     
  • 9/16/2008 6:48 PM Kia wrote:
    amen, sista! i think they threw rocks in high school because you were pretty AND smart. too much competition. take this and go with it, my friend!
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A Life of Sunshine

December 29, 2009

I wrote this when I was 16.  It’s a poem of rebirth – of finding the strength to break through the binds that hold.  It was originally written without punctuation, but it’s hard to find the rhythm of it if you don’t know where to pause.  I’ve tried to punctuate accordingly, but there is supposed to be a slight pause at the end of each line. 

Each day as I wake
from a lifeless sleep,
I wish for a change
or a life I can keep.
How will I know
when my thoughts
are for real.
My sunshine, my light
does it know how I feel?
When my mind opens up
to accept each new day,
do I push it closed,
do I find my way?
Hours of darkness
take all my light.
My heart takes a trip
it leaves for the night.
I’m left all alone
to deal with my dreams.
Do I bring them on?
Do I cause these screams?
Warmth on my face
wakes me from death.
The sun, it has risen.
I breathe my first breath.
Pride fills my heart,
I know it’s at home.
Returned without scars,
it survived on its own.
The feeling of triumph
awakens my soul.
A smile on my face,
this night took its toll.
Another day gone;
another survived.
Though pain may take over,
I’m never deprived.
I know I can make it
if I can stay strong.
Look to the sun,
I’ll never go wrong.

Originally Posted at The Sweet Life 5/4/08 7:10 am

~No Comments~

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Counted Sorrows

December 29, 2009

The other night my friend Natasha and I started going through my tattered old notebook.  I’ve had it for at least 15 years, and it is where I write story ideas, poetry, and pieces of other people’s writing that has inspired me.  No matter how many journals or notepads I try, my red, falling-apart single subject notebook always gets picked back up instead.

In recent years I haven’t cracked it open much.  Life gets going and I don’t have a chance to do much writing.  Writing – that I can be proud of, anyway – takes more time than I’ve had (or made, if I’m being truthful).  I love writing this blog so much, regardless of my readership, because it’s given me back my voice.  Or helped me to start rediscovering it, anyway.  I’m still rusty, but at least I’m using more than 10% of my vocabulary, which is a start!

One of my favorite poems of all time came from the front of a Dean R. Koontz book, The Bad Place.  I don’t remember a thing about this book, and since I’ve never been a big Koontz fan anyway (other than Trixie Koontz, who is dog) I must have borrowed it from my best friend Rachel circa 1993 or so.  You can go ahead and laugh about my favorite piece of poetry coming from Dean Koontz, but it spoke to me then and speaks to me now on a very personal level. 

In its entirety:

Every eye sees its own special vision;
every ear hears a most different song.
In each man’s troubled heart, an incision
would reveal a unique, shameful wrong.
As we read through things I had written and things I had painstakingly copied down in teenage-me’s handwriting, Natasha asked if I had struggled with depression.  The answer, sadly, is yes.  I never felt like I belonged anywhere.  As an adult I know that lots of people have felt that way.  But back then, I was totally alone in the world, because I was a teenager and no one could possibly understand.  All I can say is: my poor, poor, patient parents.  Reading those pages reminded me of how painful my adolescence was, and made me want to give teenage-me a big hug.  Which teenage-me would have resented, I’m sure.

Stranger fiends hide here in human guise
than reside in the valleys of Hell.
But goodness, kindness and love arise
in the heart of the poor beast, as well.

~The Book of Counted Sorrows

I try to keep this blog fairly light-hearted, but I’m going to post some of that old stuff every now and again and talk about them in the now.  Maybe I’ll even poke fun of teenage-me, now that I’m old enough to laugh about it.  Or not.  We’ll see!

Originally posted at The Sweet Life 4/23/2008 7:08pm

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Perception

December 20, 2009

Originally Posted at The Sweet Life: 4/16/08 8:49am

Jeremy and I were having a conversation last night about people we used to know.  And by that I mean, people we knew well at one point but have spent so much time away from, that we don’t know them anymore.  I admit that when I bump into certain people from way back, I immediately become defensive.  I feel almost like I can’t be my normal self around them because I know too much of what they didn’t like about me.  It’s OK if people don’t particularly get my brand of humor, but I don’t want to go around aggravating people, either.  You can imagine the conversation they’d have with their spouse that evening… “I ran into her today.  Yup, still annoying!  And she had some crazy stuff in her grocery cart, too.”

I wonder, if someone used to get irritated when you, say, used funny voices when telling stories, would they still get annoyed today?  Even if it was 10, 12, 15 years later?  Because yeah, I still do that.  And how appropriate is it to just come right out and ask them, now that you don’t know them anymore?  If you did, would they be honest?  Or would they remember being annoyed by that at all?  I have come to realize that not everyone remembers the minutiae of every conversation they ever had, as well as what they were wearing at the time.  And people, why can I remember all of that but not what I had for lunch yesterday? 

On the other hand, does time soften things?  I can run into former boyfriends and be glad to have seen them, even though they may have done some pretty horrible things to me in the past.  It doesn’t mean I want to see them on a daily basis, but the bad things don’t come straight out and smack me in the face.  Is it fair to assume other people have changed and matured as much as you have?  Or is it better to assume they are still the same asshat  person who thought you were nice, but boring, and pointed out the least flattering things about you so that you could work on them?  Such as, maybe, the fat ass she thought you sported when you weighed 95 pounds?

Lastly, if a person like that, from your past, were to express a desire to rekindle a friendship, is it worth pursuing?  There was a reason you stopped being friends, but there was a reason you were friends in the first place, too.  Would it be a huge hassle to change all your numbers if it didn’t work out, and would your friends spring for a fake going-away party for your fake relocation to Yemin Moshe?

Original Comment: (side note: this was the first comment I ever got from someone I didn’t know in real life! Woo!)

4/16/2008 5:41 PM Jane wrote:
Interesting post. Especially as I face my high school 25th reunion this summer and have been wondering similar. I am no longer living in that city but surely many former classmates live in the area I do. Can I see becoming close to them emotionally once more?

I rather doubt it… As you say, there was a reason we lost touch. And so much time gone under the bridge.