Poetry

Limits…

Ever wonder where your limits are, just how much you can take?

Standing on the precipice, prepared to take the leap?

How many obstacles can you overcome?

How many sorrows can you shoulder?

How many more tears are left in you to cry?

How much more pain can you, yourself, endure?

Are there limits to what we do?

Or must we carry on, as we always have

making something out of nothing

because we simply can’t surrender?

*** *** ***

Standing on the brink myself

wishing I could jump.

But something keeps my feet planted

after the rest of me has given up.

It isn’t noble, selfless, vain or brave;

just ignorant, habitual and desperate.

If only I knew how…

to leave it all behind…

to go and test my limits

on another training ground…

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Reflections

Movie Dreams…

Rough night last night with movie dreams. Dramatic scenes, like out takes, removed from context, but clear nonetheless…

With sound tracks playing in the background. Snippets of songs on endless repeat…

A happy scene living with my daughter, sitting on the couch with a couple of cats and the dog asleep at my feet. The kids are spiraling out of control, and with a quiet voice, I speak their names. “Can you feel those waves of irritation coming from your mom?,” I ask. They both nod. “That means she’s had enough. For real. Settle down now…” And little one comes to sit beside me.

…our house. It’s a very, very fine house…”

Suddenly my daughter explodes! Ranting about how I stole her animals, and now I’m stealing her kids away from her! And after all she does to take care of and protect them…

I don’t know what to say, knowing no words can heal that self-inflicted pain…

***

I’m at work, encouraging my replacement to look at boxes and paperwork to try and get a sense of what’s ahead of us. “You’re going to have to learn how to prioritize,” I tell her. But she is dawdling and slow to pick things up…

“We have to step this up!,” I snap. “I’m not going to be here to hold your hand much longer, you know!”

“…turning the inside out…”

***

And here, in the waking world, things are stranger still…

Standing outside in a misty rain, watching the streams of water fall in the light from the deck spotlight. All around me the world is wet. Except me and my cat. Holding my hand out in the stream, I feel no water, though I can still see it falling. But I am not even damp, nor is my cigarette…

***

Later, and all is quiet outside. Too quiet. It’s eerie. No traffic, no factory sounds, no slamming doors. Nothing. Not even the bats are flying tonight. What is going on?

And I realize that every time I come downstairs, nausea nearly overwhelms me. Along with that sense of everything being… just totally wrong

***

Co-workers are reporting strange dreams to me. Significant images they feel compelled to share. White horses rearing in the clouds… A tiny car with removable covers on the windows. And my friend who is driving must keep shifting perspective from inside to outside the car, changing window covers, seeking the best combination that will allow her to see properly…

…talk to me. I can’t seem to speak now… talk to me… the words won’t come out right… what are you thinking?… sometimes I wonder… what are you feeling?… where do we go from here?”

And another reporting anxiety. “You know, the kind that precedes a full on panic attack.” And I can feel it all around him like a dark cloud, but none of it infects me…

***

And every time I touch my phone, my remote, or any electronic device, I can feel the electricity coursing through me. Tingling. Numbing. Uncomfortable. I must put it down…

***

Rough energy going on with movie dreams and reality. Dramatic scenes, like out takes, removed from context, but clear nonetheless…

“the ringing of the division bell had begun…”

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Reflections, Visions

Off the Rails…

I close my eyes and chaos reigns. Objects, like thoughts, flying in all directions at once. Little spirals of change and corruption, like dust devils, spinning out of control, starting with me and sliding away.

And I am also moving, aboard my little animated train. Not afraid, not anxious at all. “Just hold on, Lisa,” I tell myself. “This, too, shall pass.”

So I focus in more deeply on the swirling thoughts and objects, seeking to identify as many as possible before they are gone. But they are fast as pixies and just as sly, layering over one another before any become clear.

Just glimpses of faces. And places. Of movement and stillness. Of joy and sorrow, anger and forgiveness. My train has become a roller coaster ride… But the images are relentless, flying around, now with the weight of cars behind them. Each significant enough to warrant recognition, but moving away more quickly than my conscious mind can grasp.

I withdraw my focus, pulling back, to better see the chaos from a distance. And there goes my train car, chugging along, but oddly having no track to follow. And all about, strewn in my wake, a litter of vehicles tossed and tumbled, as though a great wind just juggled them all…

I smile. No track means no one is directing this trip, controlling where it goes. I am free of normal time and space, at least for a little while. And the tumbled tokens in my wake are proof that all of it is real, even if I haven’t figured that part out yet…

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Reflections

MIA (aka “Out of the Loop”)…

How long does something need to be missing from your life before you notice it’s gone? How long does it take you to identify that missing element? Can you even identify it?

Just curious, I guess. Lately I’ve been experiencing that a lot.

I walked into my craft room the other day, and noticed a gaping hole on a display shelf. I stopped to wonder what might have been there…? I mean, clearly something else must have sat there, else why would the one other item on the shelf be sitting off to one side? Or am I missing something obvious here…?

I have a shelf of broken and forgotten toys at work, gathered over my 13+ years there, and including some that predate even me. I noticed a similar “hole” on that shelf recently. But I absolutely cannot imagine what used to sit there!

My daughter was in serious crisis the weekend before Thanksgiving. It dragged into days… then weeks. She is attempting to reconstruct her life around new principles and priorities now. Yesterday, someone thought to ask me how she was doing with that. My response?

“I have no idea…”

“How can you have no idea?!,” she asked with incredulity.

Hmm… good question, so I pondered for a moment.

“I guess I’m just out of the loop these days,” I answered finally. “She doesn’t report to me, and we only talk when I see her once a week. But then the kids are there…”

A co-worker asked me about something work related yesterday (damned if I remember what – lol!), and my response was “I have no idea.” When she went on to question me about it, I learned something else I didn’t know! She just stared at me like I’d lost my mind, and I merely laughed, pointing out the obvious fact that I was clearly “out of the loop.”

And frankly, I don’t seem to mind…

Working the floor, dealing with customers a lot this time of year. And over the last week or so I’ve been pressed for things we haven’t carried in years. All things I remember having… once. But no more. “Sorry” is all I can offer. Why the sudden fascination with things long gone, things I wouldn’t even know we’re missing unless someone asked?

And so it goes, day in and day out. A monotony of dim colors with an occasional splash of brilliant sparkle, rapidly lost to memory. I not only feel detached from reality, but actually distanced from it, as though none of it is real anymore. My thoughts aren’t even present anymore, spinning as they are around long forgotten memories suddenly resurfacing in my conscious mind. Memories that seem to lack both purpose and significance. Memories that make me wonder why I’m even bothering…?

And all I can “hear” when I question all this is “I’m out of the loop…”

Missing in action…

And I didn’t even know…

So… how long has it been? How long did it take me to realize this?!

Ahhh, time. The loopiest of life’s loops!

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Visions

Completion…

and so I stood there, back to the ocean, waiting for that wave to topple and drown me. I did not flinch, nor did I try to move away. Which is not to say I was not afraid, for clearly I was. But it was not fear that rooted me in place, nor courage in defying that fear; rather it was determination, and stubbornness, a desire to see this vision through to completion. I wanted to know whatever the ocean jasper would reveal…

And to my surprise, the wave did not topple me at all!

I watched and felt, awestruck, as the full force of that wave funneled through my chest, blasting open a hole large enough to allow all that water through without resistance. It pooled rapidly around my feet, rising as an incoming tide. The spray of our encounter misted me, melding with the sweet and salty tears flowing down my cheeks. A pressure began to build behind my forehead and in my belly, pushing for release, until small cracks appeared, allowing the water more exit space. Rainbows formed around me in the abundance of ocean spray.

And the water continued to rise…

There was a moment, before I was submerged, in which all the pieces came together. I felt the solidity of the earth beneath my feet, where shifting sands met solid stone. I felt the sun upon my face and skin, warming me from within. I felt the winds of change whip through my hair, euphoric and invigorating. And then the water claimed me.

As it always does…

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Poetry, Reflections, Visions

“Say My Name…”

A voice whispers nearby, though I cannot see its source

it speaks my name…

And there is love in every syllable

embracing shadow, light and shame…

And suddenly I’m not alone anymore

on this journey I have chosen…

I am not judged, for triumph or failure,

only acknowledged for my wholeness…

And there is peace beyond measurement

in that act of remembrance…

rectification, validation and atonement…

in the silence that once spoke my name.

Out of sight, but never out of mind

just say my name, and I will come…

Love…

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Visions

“Transitions…”

There is a place not far from here,

sitting on the edge of town.

It calls to me across the miles,

like a siren or a clarion call…

I cannot resist my curiosity,

a compulsion welling from within,

to seek this place of gathering,

to understand this whim…

So I drag myself out to my car

slip it into gear

and follow the road that leads who knows where

out on the edge of town…

Long before I arrive, I sense the others there,

each led by their own compulsions,

their own urges,

their own reasons to be near…

I feel the giddiness that permeates the space;

the restless energy pervasive,

and persuasive,

pulls me ever closer to that place.

A reckless undertone puts me on guard

that not everyone is true.

Hiding something behind the masks they wear,

uncertain if it’s hope or fear.

Traffic thickens as I approach,

surprised by how many have been “called,”

worried now that it can’t be real

however sure I might have been.

Neon lights blaze from the place

so bright they hurt my eyes.

But illuminating nothing really

in the moonless, starless night.

A storm smell weighs upon my senses,

a pressure of impending rain.

Cold chills race down my spine

chasing away the heat of daze.

A golden glow on the horizon,

a hint of dawn? Or dusk?

Feeling so completely disoriented now,

I can’t tell east from west?

A kind driver in the long line of oncoming cars

allows me to cut in front.

Turning left, I enter

what appears to be a parking lot…

So very many people here now

some headed in, and some out.

A parking space opens up before me,

so I gratefully pull in.

Getting out of my car I realize

how heavy everything is…

The air is dense and hard to breathe,

each step a measure of will.

Feet dragging in the dirt

too gravity bound to even lift.

I should be happy I tell myself

like everyone else is pretending to be.

But all I feel is weakness

and trembling in my knees.

The door looms large in front of me,

a line queues out in front.

A headless snake meandering

in this dusty nowhere lot.

And finally I see the sign

flashing in and out.

Some bulbs lit while others fade,

the name difficult to make out.

I stare thoughtlessly, giving my inner sight free rein,

to decipher and fill in the cryptic code

dancing in the patterns of light…

“Ahhh, I see. I get it now,”

I whisper into the wind…

“Transitions is the name of this place!

I guess that explains it All!”

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