Poetry, Reflections

The Other…

I see you…

I see the struggle you undertake every day.

I see the smiles you fake along the way.

I see the haunted looks you hide

and the tears you haven’t cried.

I see you…

I hear you…

I hear the words you say

and the ones you’ll never speak

I hear the strength that’s gone,

your voice now tremulous and weak.

I hear you…

I feel you…

I feel your pain in the day to day

I feel the joy that slipped away.

I feel your fear that nothing will change

I feel the certainty that we’ve lost this game.

I feel you…

I know you…

I know what makes you different

I know what makes us the same.

I know where you are headed

I know because I’m going that way.

I know you…

My Other isn’t other

Any more than I’m my Self.

Interchangeable…

Unique…

Separate…

But together.

I am Me.

I am We.

I am…

Quite simply

Every thing.

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Essay, Reflections

Lie to me…?

Everybody lies…

Including me.

That being said, I have to wonder why it bothers me so much? Is it the kind of lie that gets to me, or the reason for lying? Or is it merely my pride balking at the idea that you think you’re “getting away” with something because I’m too naive or gullible to question it? I don’t know. Honestly…

I mean, there are simple “white lies,” usually meant to protect someone’s feelings. Unimportant in the larger scheme of things, or so we tell ourselves. And yet somehow they are “important” enough to justify themselves. Because not telling them would cause harm to someone. Or so we believe… (And that is quite likely the truth!)

There are “lies of omission,” when we could tell the truth, but we don’t. We imply things, tell half-truths, but shy away from telling the whole truth. And usually we do that to protect ourselves. Because we don’t want to be judged. Or because we fear the consequences of being judged.

Yeah, I could tell my boss I was late today because I was shopping online, but why bother? I told him I was going to be late, he didn’t ask why, so I gave no excuse at all. Would there have been work consequences if I told the whole truth? Probably not. But he would have thought less of me, perhaps felt disrespected because I thought shopping was more important than doing the job he hired me for. But it’s unlikely I would have faced any “real” consequences. So I left a blank slate between us; no harm done, to the relationship or my sense of integrity…

Lies of omission are good for avoiding embarrassment as well. Could my friend have told me she was headed out for a possible late night booty call with a stranger? Of course! Not my place to judge her, and there’s nothing “wrong” with her wanting such, but still… Is that something she wants to openly admit? Apparently not. Better to say she’s “going out to coffee with a friend.” That way, regardless of how it turns out, there are no awkward follow-up questions, no voicing of concerns or friendly warnings, no attempts at explaining desires, and no fear of “I told you so” if it goes poorly.

And then there are the unintended lies, those told for expediency’s sake, but never meant to be untruthful. Like my boss promising me a different job within the company. He always meant to fulfill that promise. But it’s been more than five years now, a hundred “excuses” later, and I’m no closer to that job than I was when it was first promised to me. I’ve lost my old job, and now they’re making up busy work for me to do, just to keep me around. Still not the job I’ve been waiting for.

Are lies the necessary consequence of living in community? Or is the truth enough to really set us free? I’ve not seen a lot of truth living in communal circumstances, but I have seen a lot of hurt arise from it. Even if that truth is only what I admit to myself…

People call me gullible because I so easily accept people as they present themselves. That doesn’t mean I cannot see what lies beneath the lies they tell themselves. The truth is, I accept the version of reality that someone else chooses to show or tell me because it’s not my place, usually, to correct them. We all live in a fantasy of our own creation. Who am I to spoil your delusion?

Seriously…

I have my own delusions, too. Including the one that tells me you’re lying to my face, intentionally or otherwise. Even if you aren’t. According to you…

So go ahead and lie to me. It’s what we do. It’s what we want. Even if it’s only because I want someone to blame when the truth seeps through, and reality becomes a glaring, blinding, painful thing to witness. Comfort me with an alternative fact, however absurd, so I can tell my Self that I’m ok.

It’s ok… Really.

Everybody lies, after All…

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Reflections, Uncategorized

The Endless, Timeless Now…

As I rev up the old writing machine, feeling the sluggishness of the gears, the stiffness of disuse, listening to the grinding of rusted pieces beneath the surface of things, I can’t help wondering if this exercise is as pointless as any other…? Is there any thought worth sharing here, any voice worth listening to? Is there any part of my experience today that an’Other could relate to?

And the laughter moves within, like gas bubbles in my intestines, swelling and growing, eager to be released in a fit of uncontrollable hoots and giggles… For Now has finally arrived for many of the masses – the endless, timeless Now…

Late last summer, I finally moved. Living with my daughter now and her two children, in a house we can call our own. A “dream” come true – a multi-generational living space I can call my “forever home.” It even included a chair, the one thing I’d yearned for more than any other; a place to sit on the main floor, away from my sleeping space…

At the same time, I started training my own replacement at work. The first attempt was a dismal failure, resulting in conflict, and firings, and worse. The second attempt hasn’t fared much better, though the threat lingers on, temporarily on hold while the economy shuts down…

But the changes within Me ran even deeper than that, reorganizing overnight in a profound way I could not articulate. Nor did I want to, as there seemed no point. I had nothing of value to share, and no voice volunteering to speak. I unpacked only enough to resume the daily grind, then sat back and watched my new life unwind…

Took me months to realize I wasn’t even driving the vehicle anymore, content to sit back and silently observe. Rarely engaging with any outside force, I became the Watcher of all things Me; amused, frustrated, compassionate to a point, but virtually emotionless at my core. Or perhaps dispassionate is a better choice of words. I felt things, to be sure, as deeply as I ever had, but those feelings were not sufficient to move me anymore. I watched. Things happened. I thought, briefly, casually, without embracing any causes. And more things happened, while I watched them conform…

It no longer mattered whether the thoughts created the things, or the things generated the thoughts; I was caught in a cycle of “in” mirroring “out.” And I named it off-handedly as us language people do: the endless, timeless Now. For that is exactly how it felt!

Only now, with the world on pause, and the people feeling lost, have I found a common cause to relate with you all. For so many others at home and abroad are reaching out to describe this state of Nothing-ness while Time marches on.

It is really quite peaceful when you stop trying to stir the pot and muck it up. Thoughts and feelings wash over me in waves, impersonal but moving, indistinguishable as they roll away to lose themselves in the warm seas surrounding me. An ocean ever-changing with the motion of the tides, but monotonous as far as my human eyes can see. And all I need do is think thoughts that ignite activity somewhere near me. A brief visit from another denizen of the deep, or a storm washing over its surface will shake things up for me.

No time to be bored here; no need to be scared. A simple experience of day after day. And suddenly seasons have changed, sort of anyway. (There was, after all, that snowstorm this May!). I’ve watched moon after moon cycle through, aware that Time passes without carrying me, too.

Welcome… a voice whispers. Welcome, my friends…

… to the Endless, Timeless Now that I’ve been living in.

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Essay

Happy Mother’s Day…?

This post is likely to be wildly unpopular, and I’m ok with that. If you happen to be one of those who are easily offended, I suggest you move along without reading any further, as I expect this may trigger some deep-rooted trauma or sense of self-doubt. I’m not writing it to purposely upset you, but because it epitomizes a trend that deeply disturbs me. And this is, after all, my blog…

In an effort to be sensitive and all inclusive, I’ve noticed a tendency in recent years toward expanding the definition of “motherhood” to all who have considered the role, at some time, to be desirable. After reading several traditional expressions of sentiment aimed toward actual mothers, there will be some voice that speaks up and mentions those who would love to be mothers, but aren’t…

“Let’s not forget the women who have tried to get pregnant and been unable to…”

Or…

“Be sensitive about how your happiness affects those who’ve had repeated miscarriages. This day is especially tough on them…”

Or… Worse yet…

“Be aware that some mothers have lost babies in infancy. Imagine how they must feel today!”

Why?? No, seriously, why? Why should I, or any other mother, be guilted into minimizing their mother’s day? Let’s be honest here…

Mother’s Day is a made up holiday, created by cardmakers and promoted by anyone with a gift item to sell. Like so many other holidays, its primary purpose is to separate people from their hard-earned cash with yet another excuse to buy goods that are likely not needed, or even wanted sometimes. And yet, in true opportunistic fashion we, as a society, have coopted the day and transformed it into an actual thing – a day to honor mothers. We honor equally those who have birthed or adopted children, but we honor the role they play even more…

Today is a day to remember both the good ones and the bad ones. And it’s a day for acknowledging the courage, the love, the protectiveness, the nurturing… the sacrificing that motherhood always requires. If you’ve been one, you know what I mean. If you’ve loved one, you know what I mean. And if you’ve been loved by one, you hopefully will figure it out, someday if not yet today…

If you haven’t experienced any of those scenarios, by choice or circumstance, then today is, quite simply, not about you. I say that with absolute compassion, even if it doesn’t sound that way or feel that way to you. So please… stop trying to make this day about you, and the troubles you’ve known! Stop trying to draw attention your way. Believe me when I say that the maternal instinct, once awakened, will want to reach out to comfort you. And that’s not fair, or just, or justified, just because you’ve suffered by not being a mother yourself!

Every mother I know has made sacrifices in life. They have often put others’ needs first; it’s kind of a presumed requirement of motherhood. They’ve experienced, or will, what it’s like to be irrelevant in the eyes of those they love the most. To be completely ignored when asking for help or cooperation, while simultaneously being expected to act immediately to address the child’s perceived “need.” To be heartbroken countless times by callous words or actions thrown their way. To be held accountable for every “mistake” they’ve ever made, while others expect immediate and total forgiveness. The hypocrisy, the double standards, the judgment that every mother deals with is astounding!

So let it go, already! Let them have their made up holiday. Let them have this ONE stinking day that is about them, that acknowledges them, and they will fade back into obscurity tomorrow, like the other 365 days this year (yay leap year!)… Find another way to express your sorrow and grief today, that doesn’t rain on mom’s parade. Please…

Turn away from social media if the happy posts trigger you. Avoid the Hallmark channel on tv. Don’t try eating out, or ordering in, because it’s a day when families celebrate by not making mom cook, and the waits are endless. Or, better yet, go outside and honor the earth in some significant way, because no mother has sacrificed more, or suffered more, or deserved more respect than She who nurtures all life! Including yours…

And we can get back to your sorrows tomorrow…

… … …

Yeah… I said all that.

And I meant every word…

Let the backlash begin if it must.

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Conversations, Poetry

Norma Jean…

Today I finally (!) got a few minutes to meditate. It’s been weeks since I’ve been able to sit in silence and listen to Me. This is the conversation I overheard… (And no, I have no idea who Norma Jean might be, or who she might be speaking with… lol!)

Norma Jean, Norma Jean…?

Norma Jean? Where are you?

I don’t know, I don’t know…?

But it’s a place where trees and flowers still grow.

Norma Jean, Norma Jean, I need more to go on.

How can I grab you, if I don’t know where to reach?

I don’t know, I don’t know…

But here the air is still breathable and the water is clean.

I even saw animals, and they were coexisting in peace.

Norma Jean, Norma Jean, I still can’t find you,

but I promised I would, and that I would rescue you.

I don’t know, I don’t know…

But if ever you do…

My question will be “who should be rescuing whom?”

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Poetry

Disconnected…

Tomorrow doesn’t matter any more than does today…

My next breath isn’t worth as much as the one I’m currently taking…

Random thoughts pass through my mind

disconnected…

Like autumn leaves

in a breeze.

not entirely of my making.

A phone rings in the distance, not mine, but someone else’s…

I reach out to answer anyway, just in case it matters…

But it doesn’t, of course; it’s not for me

Just static on the line

Noisy silence in my mind

Disconnected…

And lost in time.

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