Poetry, Reflections

A Simple Expression…

It is what it is…

We are who we are…

A simple expression

in human flesh and form.

“And what is mine?,”

One thinks to ask.

“Love heals All…

eventually.”

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Reflections

I’m Already Gone…

There is a mockingbird calling outside my window today… (not really)… To be honest, I have no idea what a mockingbird sounds like, or if they even live in my part of the world. I suppose there could be one, but I wouldn’t know it if there was. I just like the name, and felt the connection, and the intrigue drew me on…

There is an icy wind slicing through the warmth of the strong spring sun… (true enough)…

There is a sense of expectation welling up inside me, spilling over, spreading out… tainting everything it touches today.

There is an image haunting me – a single line that branches into many separate ones – repeating over and over again. It’s in the bare tree branches only just beginning to bud, and in the broken ones so callously discarded by the wind. It’s there in the pavement cracks created by the spring thaw and freeze phenomenon. It’s there upon my very skin, where age and dryness intersect. And in the movement of the clouds so far above my head.

There is a phrase that’s taunting me, as my mind touches lightly upon discomfort of any kind… it plays itself, distracting me from every other thought… Don’t like what that person has said or done? Doesn’t matter anymore; move on. Got too much to do today? Doesn’t matter anymore; just get to it. Not feeling up to meeting your obligations today? Doesn’t matter; you do what you can. Feeling sorry for yourself today? Ha ha, hee hee, you’re too funny… damn!

And then the simple, all pervasive, perspective shifting thought…

I’m… already… gone!

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#BlogBattles, Stories..., Uncategorized

Ashes to Ashes…

“Ashes to ashes, dusk to dusk…,” began the pastor at the graveside service.

“Umm… excuse me,” interrupted one of the mourners (the only one there, in fact). “Don’t you mean ‘dust to dust’?”

The pastor looked confused for a moment, before understanding smoothed out the lines of his expression. He smiled warmly at his only living guest.

No, no, no…,” he chuckled quietly. “Why would I wish that fate on anyone?”

“Because that’s the way the service goes…?,” answered the mourner, a touch of snarky in the implied question.

The pastor waved off the comment, his usually placid expression fully restored. “A simple misunderstanding is all. Easy to see why it might happen, though, isn’t it? They sound so similar!…”. He paused for a moment, thinking.

Have you ever played that game where you try passing a word around a circle of people to see how it transforms? I think it’s called Telephone, or something similar. This is kind of like that; someone heard ‘dust to dust’ instead of ‘dusk to dusk,’ and others kind of ran with it.” He smiled again. “A silly game, a silly mistake, but enlightening in the end.”

The lone mourner looked confused now… “Are you serious, pastor?!… No! You can’t be.” His tone sharpened as his sensibilities rebelled against the offense. “A person is dead here! This is no time for jokes or games! How dare you dishonor my great aunt this way!”

Dishonor your aunt?!… Oh my, never!,” he reacted automatically, the mere thought of such completely disorienting the usually serene pastor. “I adored Agnes! She was a wonderful woman, who lived an extraordinary life, right here in this little town! Did you know she never left this place?…” He paused, but no answer came on the warm spring breeze…

I thought not,” added the pastor, smugly. “Well, Agnes, dear soul that she is, believed that this little town was enough. Always. When others grew up and moved away, she stayed. When the man she loved moved to the big city to make a name for himself, she stayed behind, promising to be here if he ever came back… Of course, he never did…” An almost sad sigh slid past the pastor’s lips…

And yet, in spite of all that, I never once heard her complain. She was content here, keeping her parents’ farm going after all the others left. It was a struggle, of course, especially after her parents were gone, but she carried on. That was her way. And if she lost most of the farm over the years, who could blame her? She was alone, and aging, and really… what more could she do?”

The pastor stopped talking. He looked at the young man standing at the grave site. He looked a long time, a thoughtful expression upon his face…

“What?!,” snapped the young mourner. “Why are you staring at me?!”

The pastor sighed deeply. “I was just looking for a trace of your Aunt Agnes in you, but…” He shook his head mournfully. “I’m afraid I just don’t see it. I’m sure she would, of course,” he hastily assured the young man, “but her gift of seeing the truth of others was always stronger than mine. I learned a lot from her over the many years we were friends, but never enough, I guess.”

“But then, isn’t that the point here?…” He waited patiently for a response that would never come. Sighing deeply, he continued…

It’s all about transitions, young man. Birth is a transition, a dawning of a new form. As is death. And it is in those twilight times, when shadow and light begin to balance out, that we see the truth of things. Outlines become stark in the growing and fading light, revealing the boundaries between…”

“Your aunt welcomed this transition, whatever changes it might bring. She was ready to move on into a new form of being. I will miss her, and our time together very much…” A single tear slipped down the pastor’s cheek…

Did you ever get to meet her?,” the pastor asked the mourner.

“Um… well… no, not exactly,” the young man began.

The pastor held up his hand to abruptly end the awkward explanation about to spill from the young man’s lips.

Never mind,” the pastor reassured him. “I understand. You’re here to liquidate what’s left of the farm, and you came to pay your respects. Enough said.” He turned back to the grave and lifted his arms, palms up, as if beginning to pray. The young man bowed his head.

The pastor, realizing this, turned to address the man once more. “It’s ok, son. You’ve done what you came to do; you don’t need to stay any longer. Agnes is still smiling, even if you can’t see her beyond the veil…”

“But if you’re looking for a quick sale, I’m sure the Jones’ will be happy to take the old homestead. That’s pretty much all Agnes had left, and Ned Jones, her neighbor, had bought most of the rest of the farm already. Probably pay a good price for it, too, if you push him. Some developer wants to come in here and build a resort for rich people – you know the type: big houses, a gated community, expensive coffee places, the works…”

The young man hesitated only a moment before nodding curtly and turning away. “Thanks for the tip, pastor. Please carry on…”

Resuming his prayerful stance, the pastor began his service again… “Ahhh, Agnes, you were right, as usual. Everything changes in Time…”

“Ashes to ashes, dusk to dusk…”

(933 words)

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Uncategorized

#BlogBattle: Dusk

The newest prompt if anyone wants to play… 😁

BlogBattle

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March 2019 Blog Battle

Our word this month is:

Dusk

Any photos included with the prompt are only for your benefit as a pinch of inspiration. They don’t need to dictate your theme or story genre. Only the Word of the Month counts! Photos are thanks to various photographers from Unsplash.com

You can start writing at any time, but make sure you post your story by the 30th of the month to come into the running for featured writer by your friendly, incorrigible encouraging Blog Battle admins!

Once you’ve posted your story to your blog, put a link to it in the comments section, and we’ll add your story to the Battle Stories Line-up post.

Make sure to check back and read some of the stories of your fellow battlers. Leave comments to encourage these writers, and share each other’s stories!

The battler who is chosen in a given month…

View original post 132 more words

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blogbattles, Stories...

Clink, Clank, Rattle Rattle, Whoosh…

I was inspired to join this #blogbattle challenge by Sha’Tara’s submission. I mean, a maximum word count and a pre-chosen topic (loss) are the very definition of “challenging” to me as a writer! How could I resist? Lol! You can find out more about it, including how to enter yourself by going here:

https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/blogbattle-loss/

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Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

Welcome, listeners, to this week’s edition of Conversations. I’m your host, Jules Seeker, and today we have a wonderful and unique guest with us. You’ve probably heard of her, and whether you love her or hate her, you’ve got to be at least a little curious about what all the commotion has been about. So without further ado, please help me welcome the infamous guru of our time, Ms. Elyssa Campton!

“Ms. Campton… Or may I call you Elyssa…?”

Call me whatever you like, Jules. Names and titles matter little to me.”

“Ok, then, Elyssa it is. You must be aware of the controversy surrounding you. Some say you run a dangerous cult, others claim you are a modern day savior. Which would you say is closer to the truth?”

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

[laughing…] “And here I thought you were going to ask the tough questions, Jules! Or so says your reputation, anyway… But if you want to start out easy, I’m game.

“Which would I say is closer to the truth? Neither. And both.”

“I’m sorry, Elyssa, I don’t understand.”

“I don’t run anything, Jules, nor am I here to save anyone. Do I have a following? Sure. But I didn’t invite them, or in any way entice them. They choose to follow me, but I haven’t asked them to…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“As to the modern day savior bit, I’d say people are giving me undue credit for the choices they’re making. Of course, they will, in time, also find a way to cast blame my way, when things don’t work out as they hope.”

“And you’re ok with this?”

“Does it matter? I have no control over others, good or bad. That’s my point. If they want to toss their power around, who am I to stop them?”

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“But… but… hmmm…

“Ok, let’s go in a different direction. If you could sum up the purpose of life in just one word, what would it be?”

[laughing again…] “Easy… Loss.”

“Loss?! Seriously?… I’m sorry, I just don’t understand.”

“Yes, loss. It’s simple, really. We’re born into this time and space complete and whole as individuals, and as we progress through days and weeks and months and years, we gradually lose it all…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Or so one would hope…”

“Umm… Well… Hmm…

“Ok, I admit it, I’m totally lost. I have no idea what you’re talking about, Elyssa! Care to explain that a bit more for myself and our listeners today?”

[a smile lifting her voice]… “Sure, I can do that, Jules.

“When I was born, I lost the security of my mother’s womb, being cast out into an uncertain world, overwhelmed by light and noise and fear…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“When I was about a year old, I lost my mother. Or she lost me, depending on your point of view, I guess. After all, she was the one who abandoned me…

“When I was five, I lost my place in my family unit, being replaced by step siblings and relegated to the role of family bartender…

“When I was eight I lost my innocence because my drunk and lonely father often got confused, uncertain whether I should be his daughter or his wife…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Around that time I also lost my belief in justice, learning that no one really wants responsibility for protecting children from their abusers…

“By the time I hit thirteen, I saw potential slip away, as alcohol gradually replaced any desire to succeed…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“When sixteen rolled around, I lost whatever integrity I had left; right and wrong have no place in the struggle to survive…

“And when that desire to live slipped quietly away, and Death became my most immediate goal, I learned that wanting anything was pointless and absurd. The Universe simply doesn’t care what I want, and life steals every hope away, twisting it into something unrecognizable…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Wow, Elyssa… That’s truly depressing! Why would anyone want to live like that? Why would anyone want to follow someone who believes that?!”

“Because everyone has experienced such loss in one way or another. If you’re honest with yourself, Jules, you’ll have to admit your life has been a series of losses, too.”

“Well… maybe, to some extent, but still…”

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Christ! What is that annoying sound?!”

[laughing] “Oh that? Not to worry, Jules. That’s just the sound of marbles slipping (not so quietly) away…”

Dead silence…

“You’re crazy, Elyssa! Totally bat-shit crazy!!”

“Yep! And proud of it, thank you very much!”

“So… You don’t actually know anything about enlightenment, do you? Your whole gig is a lie, a con, a scam!”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that, Jules! Everything I’ve told you is the truth. What you choose to do with it is entirely up to you…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“It’s true I’ve lost a lot, that everyone loses in life, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Because part of what we lose, repeatedly, is our sense of expectation and entitlement…

“And when all that is gone, our egos slip away, along with everything else that makes us different or special…

“And we are left with nothing…

“Nothing but the present moment. Nothing but the common element. Nothing but the purest essence of what we are created from…

“And that complete and whole individual we were born as disintegrates completely…

“Allowing us the freedom to be every person, place or thing, simultaneously and without contradiction…

“And that, my friend, is what we stand to gain from all those losses…”

Clink… Rattle, rattle… Whoooshhh…

Silence…

(960 words)

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Poetry, Reflections

Fractures…

Fractures…

Glaring defects in all we know.

Micro glitches in my CD, bringing dissonance to those soothing sounds.

Shattered lines and missing pieces in the mirror I hold, distorting every image it reflects.

Spider-web cracks spreading across the window glass, blocking every vision that might exist beyond the pane (pain)…

Simple lines bisecting bones, altering every relationship I hold with gravity on this Earth.

Eliminating any weight-bearing strength I might once have had…

Fractures…

Massive movement on a global scale.

As continental plates rub against one another, creating heat in friction,

threatening to overflow in melted stone and ash.

Shaking up this world in trembling anticipation of what is yet to come.

Ice shelves slipping gracefully into the sea, drowning out the sound of whispering winds,

roaring out a challenge and a warning, so remote it’s voice is barely heard.

Icy winds drive massive storms, burying the cities and the plains in blinding snow,

freezing every person, place or thing in time that moves without changing anything.

A sun that rises, strong and warm, driving out the chill,

Melting all the evidence of all that we’ve done wrong.

Water rising as clouds cry, and snow recedes,

washing away the memory of death breathing down our necks.

Almost…

Fractures…

In the dams that keep the floods at bay…

In the foundations that keep us standing up…

In the beliefs that kept us calm through so many of life’s storms…

In the hope that life will triumph over catastrophe next time…

Fractures…

In the rose-colored glasses and the ego-driven classes.

In the delusions and the promises and the trajectories of our time…

Not broken… Yet!

But soon enough we’ll see

the fractures running through each and every one of us.

Giving up and giving way

collapsing under our own weight

destruction of all we’ve made

creation of a whole new day…

*** *** ***

And with Day 8, One Truth made manifest,

the blinding Light chasing protective Shadows away,

leaving a Mind to crumble and cast about, seeking something solid to hang onto.

But there was Nothing left…

And so it fractured, and fell into a heap.

And tiny pieces trembled as they lifted themselves from the ruins of all-that-was,

seeking Wholeness,

seeking Peace.

“I am alone,” One thought.

And her Heart broke at that realization.

New fractures replacing old…

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Reflections

The Co-Dependency Crackdown. (i.e. Taking My Own Inventory)

Life is a challenge. A series of lessons. A chance to improve. A path to evolution. All of these things. And then some…

Right?

Maybe. Or maybe not. That is what I am discovering, anyway.

I mean, I have spent so much of my life in “school,” learning the hard way. Gaining wisdom, some might say. But all of that implies progress; slow, steady (sometimes regressive) steps forward. All of that implies time.

And if I look at the sum total of my nearly 55 years here (this time), and add to it the memories I have of other times and places, the “facts” (or experiences) would support that hypothesis.

Time heals all wounds. To everything there is a season. Slow and steady wins the race. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Keep on keeping on… Time wins every time!

But Time is a construct. A deception. A barrier. And a lie. At least for me…

The truth is, every major breakthrough I’ve had (in this life or any other) came as an epiphany. There might have been wallowing that preceded said epiphany. There might have been intention. There may even have been hints and clues strewn about the landscape of my current timespace. But the moment of change was always dramatic, instantaneous and complete.

I spent months pondering the pros and cons of sobriety before I actually embraced it, still using occasionally and making excuses. And then one day someone said the “wrong” thing to me, embarrassed me, and made me mad as hell. A week later, as my anger subsided, I stopped drinking. And I’ve never even been truly tempted to look back. Does that mean I’m not an alcoholic, after all? Doesn’t matter, because I’m not interested in drinking anymore…

I spent years in and out of therapy, on various medications, trying to “fix” what was broken in me. Then one day it occurred to me that broken or not, I enjoyed my kind of crazy. I’ve never needed meds since…

I have spent a lifetime feeling like I need to “earn” my place in the world, developing integrity, seeking reciprocity, taking responsibility for whatever crosses my path. And yet…

It finally occurs to me that I have a right to exist, simply because I do!

Not earth shaking news for many of you, I’m sure, but it was a life-changing revelation for me.

And I don’t need to save the world, after all. Because each of you is capable of making your own decisions, whether I approve of them or not. Each of you has the same right to exist as me…

And as this “truth” sinks in, “gravity” falls away. My back straightens as my load is lightened. My wings unfurl once more, and I am delighted to discover I can fly once again.

And my spirit soars…

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