Wide Awake

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                                                 Image courtesy of: Genius

Blindly

I could not see the damage to your soul

Blindly

I thought I could love you through the break in your heart

Blindly

I followed the false path that you contrived

Blindly

I thought I could take it

The sadistic words

The trepid  fear of you

Blindly you moved further

Becoming lost to us and yourself

  Blindly

I thought it could not get any worse

 And then

Blindly

I stayed

Until I became invisible

Even unto myself 

Cautiously

I awakened

Carefully

I spoke

Purposely

I moved forward

Clearly

seeing the many paths I could walk

Day 10. Today’s WordPress prompt was Blindly. I had to wait all day to write this one!

 

Moving Out of Comfort Zones

Image courtesy of: cocospeaks.net

For nine years I have been living outside my comfort zone. Previously, I had a steady vision as to how my life would proceed. But now I realize I was wearing rose-colored glasses most of the time! In August of 2007, my life’s plan was wildly disrupted and I was thrown into the turbulence of divorce. It was as if the earth had opened up and I was being swallowed whole into circumstances that were beyond my control. I spent the next five years in various states of unease and hardship as I navigated my way into an independent life. Along the way, however, I enjoyed moments of great peace, joy, grace, and a growing sense of inner strength that surprised me time and again.

As much as the independent life I had created brought contentment, it was unsustainable. In fact, it was becoming uncomfortable as the responsibilities of single home-ownership were beginning to become more taxing and overwhelming. Additionally, my boys needed to move forward into their own lives. The adventure was finished. I had done my job.

I am now literally in a whole new zone. I’ve said it before, I know! The climate makes me sweat profusely, and at times I think there are way too many sunny days. There’s a whole lot more traffic and this place seems so BIG to me.

Yet within this seemingly vast concrete jungle, there are delicious bits of paradise. (The paradise that brought people down here in the first place, the paradise that is at risk of getting lost for so many reasons). I have the comfort and contentment and continuity of a healthy partnership. A partnership that doesn’t pass judgement and is consistently patient and supportive, undemanding and full of humor! And, for the past year, I have spent many of my days way outside my educational comfort zone- teaching in positions that grew my brain cells and tested my creativity as an educator. It has been exhausting and exhilarating! But most of all, it’s been a gift. I found my community once again. A place which accepts and embraces me in all the ways I hoped.

In the nine years that my life turned in an unexpected and vastly different direction, I have learned a lot about myself and about who I really am. I have met and continue to meet some truly outstanding and amazing people. People whom I never would have crossed paths with if not for that dastardly day in August all those years ago.

Moving forward is a path that is rarely straight. But if you’re willing to allow the way to unfold before you, the detours may bring you unforeseen adventures!
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Image courtesy of: Quotesgram.com

 

 

 

 

Fairies, Genuises and Other Magic

 

Image courtesy of:  www.bbc.com

On Friday afternoon, while writing my latest post, I received a Happy Anniversary notification from WordPress. I had forgotten that I began this blog four years ago with the intent to find a forum that would tap into my love for words and the wish to empower and inspire not only myself, but others.

The last four years have been a journey of self-discovery and self-recovery. Writing has helped me to process the emotional trauma and abuse that I lived with not only in my first marriage, but in its aftermath. I could never have fully and truthfully written about those dark times until they were safely in the past. Most importantly, I discovered that I can write across all genres and subjects, with poetry being one of my favorite ways to express myself.

Interestingly enough, I found the space and time for writing when I had more responsibilities than I do now. I was always juggling bills, home ownership issues, full-time work and being the rock for my sons as they left adolescence and moved forward to young adulthood. At the same time, the pull to create was strong-perhaps stronger than it has been in this past year since I moved away-both literally and figuratively- from my “old life” into this new one. But as think about it, I might not have had an “old life”. Maybe that was my first marriage. Maybe what I call the “old life” was something else. Not a transition to my current life-that would diminish the eight years I spent between marriages. As I probe a bit deeper, I realize the life I was living was one of hope and courage and great emotional challenge. I had to prove to myself that I could live independently, fully, creatively and most of all, joyfully. It was essential for my sons to see this as well-especially that last bit. My former husband wanted nothing but for me- as he said- “to scratch, crawl and suffer”. I didn’t want to prove him wrong; I wanted to take that provocation, that rock in the road, and move it.

I suppose I could have spent the last year writing daily observations of my latest incarnation. But I think that would have gotten in the way of the creative process and transformation that was-and still is-occurring. I needed to be in it just as I needed to be in the dismantling all those years ago.The words needed a sabbatical as I settled into being here. Most importantly, I needed to learn to let go of my boys and trust they would be fine without my daily presence. It has been hard, but we’ve done it.

In a week, I begin to get busy once again. Work and other commitments will pull at my energy. At the same time, I know I have released more of the grief that I was sitting with for the past year. It was a necessary and healthy process. I hear the Writing Fairy knocking on my door once again and I am ready to let her in.

 

 

Mountain Oasis

 

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View of Mt. Lafayette from the deck of the house

We’ve just come off a 12 day trip to New England, most of which was spent in the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire. I had been looking forward to the trip ever since we planned it in back in February. Not only were we to take up the challenge of a half-marathon in the heart of the Green Mountains, we were also reconnecting with our tribe-our children, sister, niece and closest friends.

Emily and I at the summit of Artist’s Bluff

I love the new life I am building with my husband. He makes me laugh every day; we are true partners in our relationship. I am grateful that I am in a situation where I don’t I have to prove myself with every breath I take. Also, I have really enjoyed exploring some parts of this new landscape in addition to re-establishing myself as an educator in a supportive and positive school community. But hiking and being in the mountains is one of the things I miss the most about living up north.

If you are neither a hiker nor a runner, it may be hard to understand the joy found in the challenge of a long hard run or a long hard climb. Or even the purpose of arising early in the morning to begin the trek! Although my half-marathon time was slow and the hills nearly impossible to run, the landscape raised me up and the weather cooperated by staying cool. I was so happy to be there! Rolling hills, farm houses, red barns, fields of green and friendly folk enveloped by misty mountains had a medicinal effect even during the hardest parts of the race.

One of the best cures for post-race muscle fatigue (besides yoga) is a good, solid, short hike. My husband and I chose the Sterling Pond Trail at the top of Smuggler’s Notch. At 3000′, it is Vermont’s highest trout pond. With a 1000′ elevation gain, it proved to be the perfect antidote to the previous day’s rolling roads. Slippery, wet rocks and muddy paths were rewarded by the view at the summit.

Sterling Pond, Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont

I knew this was only the beginning of finding my joy and, despite my aches and pains, I was ready for what the White Mountains had to offer us for the rest of the week.

Upon our arrival at the house in Franconia, we were greeted  by this view:

Mt. Lafayette on a sunny afternoon

My eyes welled up. I felt as if I was coming home. And indeed, home came to us in human form as well. My friends rented a place five minutes down the road and we shared many a meal and hiking paths together that week. My sons and stepdaughter arrived a few days later along with my sister-in-law and niece. We had girlfriends, boyfriends and other young adults added to the mix. At times, it felt like herding cats for hikes, but in a good way. Emily and my youngest  and his girlfriend (along with my sister-in-law) were always up and ready to go. And truly, everyone else was a good sport about heading out and attempting (and completing) the climbs.

We talked a lot about finding the joy in the challenge. For me, it isn’t only about reaching the summit, but in touching the earth along the way.

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Wildflowers across from Cannon Mountain

Being in the mountains makes it possible to be embraced by nature in ways that living here does not. The silence, the evergreen scents and sounds and the refreshing tingle of cool air are a reminder of how blessed we are to live on this planet and the need to preserve it.

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Arethusa Falls, Crawford Notch

 

Once and Now

Credit: acelebrationofwomen.org

Once cowering, a wallflower at a junior high dance

Now prancing, a thoroughbred fresh from a sweet victory lap

Once previewed and reviewed through the warped lens of  snide criticism

Now judged in the reflection of the mirror born of her own making

Once held back by the selfish needs of another

Now setting her own pace, advancing audaciously to meet her own desires

Out of the shadows

Into the light…

 

Day 18. Started the first two line this morning and got a bit stuck. Then I read Mark’s post over at Maleko’s Art.  His piece was all I needed to help me finish.

This is once again dedicated to all of you experiencing any form of abuse or working your way out of the situation. Man, woman, child. It doesn’t matter. You deserve your own life.

 

Ever-Changing Groove

Credit: udomag.com

Moving in forward motion

Aware of time passing

Living in a continuum of small moments

A flow unfolding

Releasing cascading energy

The past perfectly placed

              Purged

Tapping on my shoulder

               No more

Never whispering in my ear

                 Or 

Causing my stomach to lurch

                 And

My heart to palpitate

Approaching future is on the edge of palpable

Controls in the hands of the unknown

 

 

Day 18.  The inspiration for this one came from Suzanne over at Arts and Fiction (http://artifactsandfictions.com) Check out her post:

                        Seeking wisdom

 

Self-Savior

Credit: www.bwss.org

In this season of renewal and reawakening can you transform yourself?

Can you peel back those layers that cover and cloak you?

Can you abandon your hibernation

and rouse yourself from winter’s slumber?

Can you escape from your own darkness

and fill the hole in your soul? 

Or will you let those layers weigh you down?

Will you face the ground carrying burdens

or cast off your afflictions and face the sun?

Will you be clearminded and level-headed? 

Or will practice continued insanity?

Repeating and Repeating and Repeating

and expecting a different result?

Or will YOU be the creator of your own deliverance?

 

Day 15.  This came from a place I haven’t tapped into in a while. A good sign. This is for Suzy Q and others who may need encouragement.

Skin to Skin

 

Credit: en.wikipedia.org

When he first held her she was all skin and bones

Rail thin

Emaciated

Drawn looking with hollowed cheeks

He held her gently for fear she might break

She seemed as delicate as bone china

Seeds of romance were planted

Enriched in the soil born from gracious tending

Seedlings took root

Then were transplanted

Growing stronger with every lustful union

He wrapped her in white downy covers

Cocooning her and feeding her with the sweetness of his love

She began to bloom

A lustrous buttercup flower

Rounder

Displaying curves and small handfuls of flesh

She’s bursting

A luscious garden

Born again

Sown from seeds of love

 

Day 11. Inspired by one word: fleshy

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!

 

 

Before I Go

Credit: www.wallallies.com

My oldest asked me to write an Easter story just as the April poetry challenge got underway. I reminded him that I did write one two years ago (Traditional Non-Traditions , a worthy read for background).  I guess he wanted a fresh take on a not-so-old tale. But in keeping with the spirit of this month, I am also inserting a poem:

                                      Before I go, can we see one more show?

                                      Before I leave, can you tell me you still believe?

                                       Before I’m gone, can we see another dawn?

                                        Before I go, can we find another road to hoe?

                                     Before I leave, can we find more mountains to achieve?

                                         Before I’m gone, will you let me ramble on?

I guess our Easter story is a kind of resurrection. It seems so long ago that our family life fell apart. For a while there, it seemed the three of us were torn asunder. Separated from each other and even our own selves. Perseverance, determination, along with letting go and the gift of time (which does heal) gave birth to a new incarnation. A strong trio-thick as thieves- settled in and grew up together. We spent time in the wilderness, pondered our fate and learned who our true friends were. Our new life enriched us, and like all good things, allowed for more treasure and more joy.

And now we are all ready for a newer, fresher start. When spring is done and summer has just begun, we’ll go on to new lives, knowing full well that yes indeed we have risen!