Roots and Routes

Credit: www.penandbell.com

Roads, paths, byways and highways

Places I have seen

People I have met

Those whom I have loved

They are beginning to exist in my memory

Dwelling in a happy space of a life well-lived

The long flat road of childhood

Pathways of the campus

The bustling avenue of a young woman

The winding lane of a small town

and the rolling hills that I have run upon

Streets pushing the strollers that carried my babies

The muddy country road in the mountains

and the long highway to John’s Island

Road trips, day trips, field trips and side trips

Mystery trips to the notches and beaches

I see them in my dreams

I have not yet reached the mountain top

and gladly so

Now I hold hands with my beloved

We stand at the gateway

Our eyes fixed on a new direction

Our hearts following their own path

 

Day 9. A dream scape poem that needed to be written.

 

Invisible Woman

Credit: vi.sualize.us

Kept out of sight

Shielded and veiled

Would the taste of sweet freedom ever prevail?

Used for another’s purpose and pleasure

She learned to keep secret her own inner treasure

No voice of her own

Living in fear of his twisted ire

She learned to tamp down her simmering fire

No voice of her own

Her movements dissected and judged

Her body reflected his ideal

Her intellect she learned to conceal

No voice of her own

‘Til one day she burst forth

A near nuclear force

Her voice shouted out

Now in plain sight

Unshielded and Unveiled

Her voice shouted out

Her treasure no longer hidden

No need to do his unending bidding

Her voice shouted out

Her world was on fire

No longer stuck in the muck and the mire

Her voice shouted out

The whole world could hear

No Fear! No Fear!  No Fear!

 

 

A Conjugation

Credit: www.pinterest.com

Arriving for a Tuesday titillation

Shedding layers

Seeking sanctuary from mundane machinations

Standing bare

Longing for dark spaces and places

Lusting heat

Breathing in whispers and sighs

Touching skin

Exploring midriffs and thighs

Rising sensation

Tasting the sweet ruby fruit

Devouring delight

Giving sheer pleasure with each spicy release

Wanting nothing

Needing only pure physical touch

Dreaming spirits

Departing deftly with dawn’s early call

 

 Day 2 of NaPoWriMO. This is written as 2 poems combined as 1 with the odd lines being the first and the even being the second. A purely accidental play on words and a lyrical metaphor for the poem’s theme!

 

Sleeping Equinox

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Rough edges of spring barely beginning

sightings of old brown ground . .

long lamenting winter’s discontent

April: the fool’s own jester

Perhaps we deceive ourselves

into thinking winter will begin to disappear

leaving no traces of its existence

We fear this season will be fleeting

Barely appearing

A verdant apparition

A lush hallucination

A grassy delusion

We await the unfolding

March Madness

Credit: time.com

“I’m so angry about this snow,” griped my friend J, as we watched yet another round of white precipitation whirling around outside. We were having a luscious lunch at Maggie’s Farm and the spring afternoon was anything but. We are beyond tired of dealing with our record-breaking snow fall this year. Never mind the cold.

Up here, we pride ourselves on being tough and up to the task of winter’s woes. But when the guy who plows your driveway says he is sick of it, you know the limits of collective tenacity have been reached. In fact, I have been claiming that this season has literally shut down my ability to write a single blog post.  I haven’t even had the wherewithal to read the ones I follow!

The season was one of havoc and hazards. Ice dams that caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to friend’s ceilings, tires blown out by potholes, falling ice that collapsed a colleagues’ deck and ruptured a gas line just minutes after she had been out there with her dogs, cars totaled from numerous accidents caused by slippery roads…

When the weather rules your life every day, it’s hard to get out of your own way mentally. Each night I went to bed with the worry about the growing icicles along my roof line and the several feet of snow piling up on the garage and front porch roofs.  Each morning was greeted with what became a rite of layered preparation before heading out the door. I would wear the same four sets of clothing for weeks (with washing in between, of course!) because it was essential for getting where I needed to go (if I could get there). I spent a few weeks taking an alternate route  to work because the driving conditions on my normal route were too hazardous. Once, on the alternate route, someone painted “UNCLE” in blue on the snow bank at the end of their street!  Often, we would call one another from outside the house for a push up the driveway (not everyone has four-wheel drive). It takes three strong people to accomplish the task.  Running and writing were pushed aside-two important things that help to define me. We longed for our normal rituals and routines-the predictable rhythm of daily life that grounds us.

Still, we remain hopeful for the sweet smell of spring. The sounds of melting snow and chirping birds. The glimpse of color on the trees. I miss the wildlife. The ducks on the pond (too frozen for them-many have been rescued this season, very unusual), the deer at the far end of the yard, even the wild turkeys who have been known to block my running path in the morning!

April is around the bend. I dream of spring hikes, short sleeves and sauntering soliliquys.

A New Take on Being a Bold Woman

Credit: www.pinterest.com

(with Thanks to Emily who sent it to me!)

I love new perspectives and interpretations on ancient stories. Specifically the ones you may hear in a house of worship. Two Sundays ago we heard the story of the three kings and their visit to Bethlehem. These astrologers believed in the messages from the heavens and the story goes that they followed one particular star all the way to the birthplace of Jesus. Their journey was loosely reenacted during a portion of the service with the ‘kings’ passing paper stars out to us. Each of these had a word on the back  and were selected at random; we didn’t know what we got until after we picked a star. Our task was to keep this word with us for the rest of the year and look for moments when we may need it or even use it.

My word was ‘boldness’.  For those who know and love me it’s a word that suits me and one that may not stretch or make me uncomfortable in any way (like a pastor receiving  the word “faith”).  I am a woman who is never afraid to stand up for herself-the strong feminine and feminist figure forthright in the face of unfairness and injustice. Yep. That’s me!

So this word, this word. What am I to do with it?  How will I use it in a new way? Am I already doing it?

Since the publication and reblog of my post On Being a Bold Woman, I decided to contemplate and maybe redefine (at least for me) what it means to be bold. Now, I know the year is young but it doesn’t hurt to at least begin to examine alternate avenues of how it can help me as I move forward into a new life in June.

Shortly after receiving this word, Steve (a fellow parishioner) stated that he felt that it took great courage to up and move myself to a whole new place especially after spending my entire life in this region (now that would be nearly 54 years!). Yeah, yeah. True. True. I am heart and soul a New England girl.  Give me hills, mountains nearby, the brisk Atlantic waters and the big white church in the center of town. A place where practically everyone knows your name. There is a lot to be said for that feeling. I will miss all of it.

 But there comes a time in your life where you have to shake things up. Make a change just for yourself. Small town life can be stifling at times. And things happen where you could feel like a stranger in your own neighborhood. Signals for a change for sure.

Moreover, I spent years needing to be outwardly bold -what with standing up to my ex-husband who attempted to leave me destitute and without shelter. Who, at every turn neglected his financial and emotional responsibilities as a father. Yeah, yeah he is a broken man but he needs to help himself now. No longer my problem. I purposefully carved out a new life for myself and my sons throughout it all. It was not easy and at times truly sucked. But here we are!! The life that was created simply planted the seeds for new growth for each of us.

Maybe this new boldness is a sleeping giant. The big steps may not need to be taken quite yet. In the meantime, perhaps I can rest. Conserve my energy as I prepare to venture into the next wild phase of my life ( oh yes, I do expect it to be!).  In so doing, perhaps I can reshape my definition of a bold woman. In fact, I have already begun.

Ready?

A bold woman does the best she can.

A bold woman asks for help.  She knows not EVERYTHING can be done alone.

A bold woman keeps it simple. She does not create or allow for drama in her life.

A bold woman lets things unfold. She is wise enough not to maintain control all the time.

A bold woman rids herself of unnecessary things. She creates wide open spaces and room to breath.

A bold woman does not engage in negative thinking.  She knows it weighs her down.

A bold woman keeps moving forward even when obstacles are placed in her path. She stays strong.

A bold woman stays present. She knows each moment is precious and rich with positive potential.

A bold woman always offers up to the Universe her highest wishes for the best possible outcome. In doing so, she dreams BIG!

 

So dear readers, what do you think?

Days Like This

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The house is quiet. The kind of hush that comes from the end of the holiday season and the bitter cold of winter’s kiss. The tree came down today and along with it all the decorations which filled this small space called home. I am at once sad and relieved. My last Christmas under one roof with my sons. No matter that a new life, a new start awaits us all-change is difficult. I don’t need to say good-bye to the warm memories of all the shared holidays; they are in our hearts and minds forever. Even though my boys are in the twenties (oldest turned 24 yesterday!), the little child in them still exists during this time of year. This despite their responsibilities as young adults at work in the wide and wacky world!

Last night as we sipped champagne, my youngest son’s best friend remarked as to how rich we are. We are indeed awash in abundance.  This wealth does not come from living an overly large home that is pristine in its vapid sterility. At best it is cozy with photos of family gracing shelves and tables. Moments of warmth and love captured and held still in time. Places experienced. The refrigerator door is covered and cluttered with quotes of the famous and not so famous ( that would be us!) and more photos-especially of the boys through the years. Our bedrooms reflect who we are and serve as a haven after long days when the outside world causes chaos.

Our wealth comes from a multitude of sources. We’ve grown into our present life through the fits and starts.  The rocky adolescence made worse by their father’s shenanigans and ultimate abandonment was tempered by the saving graces of therapy, our awesome faith community and the determination to always make joy and positive memories amidst the pain.  We mined loving nuggets of gold from these times.  We grew a new and better life.

So here I sit on this chilly January night, holding fast to all that is good. Preparing once again for a new phase. Glad to keep one another close as we walk the path together for a short while longer until the road diverges.

 

 

Untying the Knots

 

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A season unfolding

Held close this year

Remembrances of loved ones newly and long gone

Thoughts turn to those here

Present

But some not quite

Some whose path is lonely

Fraught with regret

Some where Darkness

sheds light on the coulda shoulda

as the year’s end draws near

 Yet how much is their own doing?

Their focus on what they didn’t get or don’t have?

Another year another reprise of not fixing their own brokeness

Not delving deep within

‘Tis the time when light is hard to find

It is but a pin prick 

in the deep dark corner of your soul

Awaiting its unraveling

A beacon of self love

and hope

and faith

and your own Amazing Grace

Wrapped in a Black Bow

Credit: www.idolbin.com

Today I gave myself a gift. It’s wrapped not so neatly in a word document for now. I’ll unveil it after the new year and I’ll share it with my therapist but no one else. It’s a letter to my ex-one that will never be sent; yet one that needed to be written. One last bit of closure. A chance to shut the final door on the house of shame that I once lived in.

It’s funny how the past reveals itself in unexpected places within our hearts. I understand that it is a normal process when undergoing an enormous life change. (I’m getting married in six months and moving to a new house for those who are new to my site.) It is important to examine these nuggets, these itches that don’t seem satisfied with just a mere surface scratch.

Sometimes I do wonder if I will be permanently scarred by the emotional and verbal abuse that plagued my first marriage. I no longer consider myself a victim nor do I present as one. I am a survivor, I think. Although that seems like such a heavy and misapplied term given that there are worse things that humans have endured compared to my experience. I mean, really, I have an amazing and very happy life now. I don’t wallow in past hurts. I’ve gone through all the stages that victims of abuse pass through on the path to healing. I’ve been lucky enough to have been in therapy two years before the marriage ended; I had acquired the basic tools for surviving the dismantling and its endless aftermaths.

Maybe I am more of a karmic avenger for others who themselves have been or are currently in a similar situation. Because I have lived in my community for nearly twenty-six years, many, many people have seen my transformation. Some have needed an ear, a shoulder to cry on, or words of wisdom to help them through their journey. (And for those of you in blogland, it has always been my sincere wish that this space serves the same purpose through my posts.) When you’ve been there, done that and crossed to the other side, people seek you out. They see it. They sense it in the way you carry yourself. They want some of that! And why not?

It takes supreme psychic bravery to free yourself and move forward out of an unhealthy relationship. The hard work of healing can take you down roads that are often dark and full of pitfalls. It is at times very uncomfortable. Sometimes you find yourself on a temporary detour when you least expect it. (Like me, this month).  Most of all, it takes time, lots of time.

Are you ready to receive the best gift of all?

A New Voyage

Source: We Heart It

 

Late summer. You’re wandering, lost in the woods. You come across a gypsy wagon, and you call out…”hello?”

 

A stilted stillness settled in the air

 The ground gave way

Moist, muddy and mucky

Her skin soaked and sweaty

Awash with the effort of escape

Her breath languid

Near to heaving in its heaviness

Limbs listless

Flagging with effort and exhaustion

Her mind dank with dread

Heart shredded and asunder

Soul decimated and desolate

Cloaked in wretchedness and woe

Path unclear

Shrouded in shadows

A  dank darkness closing in

as she stumbles in the thicket of stones and naked roots

Sleep washes over her

A comforting wave of release and rejuvenation

Rays of yellow drench her awaking

A sense of rebirth and  renewal surrounds her

A vivication

Her eyes enlighten upon a vessel of vindication

A deliverance from doom

Seizing the moment, she cries out:

“Have you come for me?”

 

 

#FWF Free Write Friday: Time & Place Scenario

 

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Another great one from divine Kellie Elmore!