Thursday, April 3, 2014

Do Not Go Quietly Into That Good Night

The wind ripples across the River of Grass,
Delicately undulating, up and down, side to side in the breeze.
A butterfly brightly colored seeks nectar from the blooming flowers.
The butterfly flutters above a ghostly shadow,
Traveling silently across the ground.
It is the shadow of a tawny, red shaded cat – a panther.
Lurking through the brush, it is a female returning to her kittens from a successful hunt.
She is a creature of beauty, with her golden eyes and twitching whiskers.
She senses the world around her as her black-tipped ears swivel to any new sounds.
Her coat gleams reddish in the setting sun, a warm aura surrounding her.
She is a survivor of the long struggle that her species as faced.
Her kittens are the future, worth all of the love and guidance she can give them.

She is a mother who will not go quietly into that good night.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

LIfe


Life persists;
It insists;
It invades;
It thrives in dark places;
It divides and conquers;
Life is all things, everywhere, in everything;

Life prevails.

Watching Someone Else Sleep

Watching Someone Else Sleep

I toss, I turn.

I beat pillows, I fluff blankets.

My cats, sleeping deeply, get rudely awoken as I push them to the floor.

I need the room dammit!

Fan on too cold, fan off too hot.

What is that incessant noise!

Oh right, the white noise sleep machine that is supposed to lull me as I count sheep.

My God that’s annoying.

No matter how much I plump, punch or prod; my pillows are like stone,

No matter how much I shake the bed trying to find one last cool spot,

No matter how much I whimper, whine and curse,

My sweetheart sleeps through it all.

Eyelids closed over baby blue eyes,

A sweet smile on his lips, as he dreams about God knows what – me naked I hope!

Hands gently clasped under his oh, so soft pillows.

I look at him in his sweet slumber and growl.

No matter my volcanic eruptions and earthquakes shaking of the bed,

My honey sleeps the slumber that I so desperately seek.

God damn him I mutter to myself,


Green with sleep envy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Visit to the Zoo

Today was an interesting experience in opposites.
The park appears to be a wonderful sanctuary.
The animals are well cared for.
They are loved and are the picture of beauty and health.
Yet there is something amiss.
A sense of longing, and maybe a hint of sadness.
They are God’s creatures, meant to be wild and free.
Yet they eat, sleep and play, and do what mammals will do.
They are ambassadors to us.  They share their world with us in the hopes
that one of us will be touched, affected and perhaps changed so that their
brethren in the wilds can remain what they are not, free.
A picture of opposites, free versus captive.  One sacrifices for the other,
when will we change so such generosity of these beautiful creatures is

no longer needed.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Arctic Blast

Arctic Blast

Stanley always shopped for his fruit and vegetables at the town’s weekly Farmer’s Market.  He believed he was doing good by supporting the local farmers and was reducing his carbon footprint by not driving to the mega-stores.  Stanley had not always been so environmentally friendly.  He used to drive his gas guzzling SUV everywhere.  Stanley assumed, like everyone else, that everything was replaceable, disposable and in endless supply.  That was until the day he had met her, Josephine, she of the arctic blast.  Even thinking her name caused a chill to overcome him, and he had just seen her striding purposely towards him.  He froze in place as she reached him and said, “Stanley, there is something I want to say to you...”

He was the pastor at a new church that was rising in popularity.  His church was different from others because not only did he spread the word of God, but also instilled a love and respect for the Earth.  His message was to find a way to balance the needs of humankind and of Mother Nature.  His unique message and the rising environmental awareness helped to fill the church’s coffers, and Stanley was able to support local initiatives with local farmers, and educate people about energy efficiency and recycling.  Stanley’s new found environmental respect was due to the woman standing before him holding him frozen under her gaze.

Stanley recalled how he met Josephine during his gas guzzling days.  She was a beautiful woman, with light blonde hair and arresting glacier blue eyes.  Their romance was brief and intense.  He fell for her immediately, and believed that she was the one he wanted to marry.  Josephine returned his affection lightly, but there was an aloofness about her that he couldn’t reach; apart of her was out of bounds, walled off behind an ice fortress.

As time passed, Stanley tried to get closer to Josephine, but she pushed him away.  He couldn’t understand her distance and distrust, and instead of backing away he continued to pursue her.  If he had known the truth, Stanley might have turned tail and run away, but he was in love dammit.  He vowed that he would break through Josephine’s icy walls.
                
Stanley would never forget the day that Josephine turned him to ice.  They had been arguing, again, about her emotional distance and refusal to trust him.  She said Stanley had no idea of the hell that she had been through.  Stanley argued by saying that he loved her, and accepted her for the person she was.  He only wanted her to trust him and have a life with him.  His love did nothing to melt Josephine’s icy distance.  Josephine told him that her heart had been broken too many times, and any warmth she had melted away long ago.   The more Stanley pursued her the more her bitterness emerged. 

In a fit of rage so intense, Josephine told him that she was in fact an avatar of Mother Nature, and was older than time itself.  She walked amongst humankind in the hopes of raising awareness and respect for the earth.  At first Josephine had felt their love and respect; there was a tenderness and appreciation for the bounty that Mother Nature provided, and a love for the land, the animals, and an awareness of the balance inherent in all things.  Yet time passed and as humans learned to bend the Earth’s gifts to their will, their greed and ambition grew.  Josephine watched in horror as the forests and land were destroyed, animal disappeared forever; and the earth’s resources were stripped away, never to be replaced.  Josephine felt mankind’s abuse of nature so deeply that she became bitter and angry.  Her once warm, deep brown eyes turned to glacier blue as the coldness enveloped her.  Josephine fed her anger, and it was she who was responsible for the polar vortex that had caused the frigid blasts to shriek across the land.  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned; and maybe a blast of arctic air would remind humans to respect nature; for she that giveth can taketh away.

Stanley was awed by her story.  He believed that his love for Josephine could help her regain hope in mankind once more.  Yet, after years of coldness, Josephine remained untouched.  In an act of self-preservation, Josephine turned Stanley to ice so she could disappear once more.

It took a month for warmth to return to Stanley.  He emerged unhurt, but forever changed.  He saw for the first time his true calling.  Josephine, as the avatar of Mother Nature, had reminded him of the blessings that she provided, and he loved her deeply for those gifts.  Stanley channeled his belief and love into forming his church, and his movement began. 

Josephine said “.. thank you for your love Stanley.  You have helped me to have hope once more.”  Stanley looked straight into her eyes and saw flecks of glacier blue and warm brown glistening in her irises.  “Your welcome,” he replied.  “If it wasn't for you, none of this would be possible.  We must be more respectful of that.”  Josephine smiled as she walked away, and a warm feeling of love engulfed him.  
Picture a glass on a table; on the table there is a glass filled with water, but only about halfway to the top.  As you see the glass what strikes you about it?  If you’re an optimist you would view the glass as being half full, while if you’re a pessimist you would see it has being half empty.  We all are familiar with this adage of conveying whether we view a situation, or life, as either being positive or negative.  I’m of the later variety; although I like to add my own twist to my life view.  I like to think that I’m a reformed optimist, who became a pessimist and ultimately became a realist.

Frankly, I have always feared the eternal optimists.  I cannot understand how they maintain such a positive outlook no matter the dire situation they may be in.  Their house could have been burned to the ground in a fire, their earthly possessions blown to the four corners of the earth, and yet they maintain such a positive outlook and belief, and yes faith that everything will work out; that everything happens for a reason and they are protected and guided by the higher power.  I respect these individual so highly that I feel unworthy to even stand near them, as if my pessimism and negativity will somehow alter them.

Then again I am not special as we have all lived rich and varied lives; we have all had our shares of upsets, tragedies and hurt.  We have had experienced events that have shaped us, affected us and helped us to become the people that we are.  Yet, it is how we view those events that will dictate how we allow them to affect us.  If we are the optimist we see it as a blessing in disguise, a way to help us on the path of where we need to be, we will find the silver lining in the gray clouds whirling around us; and if we are the pessimist then all we see is gray dreariness, the bleakness of the situation and no way out of the situation but through our own perseveres.  We pessimists feel as if life is out to get us, while the optimists view life as an adventure and call the events that happen a mere plot twist in their lives.  

As I said, I wasn’t always like this.  When I was a little girl I believed in the good of all man, I still do although my view has become tarnished over the years.  I believed that all things were good in the world, that no matter how messed up my life got, and it got plenty messy, that it would work out and I would land on my feet.  I had faith in a higher power, a belief, much like the optimists, that I would be guided out of the turmoil and into greener and safer pastures.  I viewed that glass sitting on the table as being half full.  I was an optimist until I reached my early 20s.

I can say in looking back over my life that I have lived through things that often only happen once in a person’s life.  I have been through hell and back so many times that I am quite familiar with the scenery.  First let me begin by saying that I am not special or any different from any of my fellow humans.  The events that occurred in my life and how they affected me are by my own choices.  I lay no blame and have no regrets.  Yet I am also of the mind that each person’s issues and problems are unique to them and cannot be compared or contrasted to each other.  This isn’t a question of my problems are bigger than yours, yet they are uniquely my experiences and are therefore a big deal to me.

Life has been knocked down more times that I can count, but each time I have gotten up and went on, but I immediately view the negative side of the situation that is facing me.  The end of a relationship well he was an asshole, he deserves it, or I deserve better.  Watching my father and mother battle through his myriad health issues; my dad doesn’t deserve it, something bad is going to happen, always negative, always planning for the worst and maybe hoping for the best if I still had the strength.  Having my heart broken and mistreated, I deserved it, I was never going to find Mr. Right, I was destined to be alone.  Yep, you get the idea, no matter the situation, either a minor bump or a major, life altering event, reacting pessimistically was my default setting.  No matter what bump in the road occurred, my world was ending and much like Chicken Little the sky was falling.

I staggered my way through life ever the consummate pessimist, happy to sit in my muck crying oh woe is me.  In my defense, whenever adversity arose in my life, I would fight my way through it, much like a heavy weight championship title fight.  I would lurk in my corner and come out jabbing, and usually I would win the bout beaten and bloodied, but the clear winner.  I had beaten life at its own game, but oh what a struggle it was.

So I traveled the pessimism road for the majority of my life, and my often companion was bitterness who started to show up later on as I let my negativity eat at me.  As the years passed, I began to watch the optimists around me.  I saw them happy and smiling, and going about life in what appeared to be a carefree manner.  I smirked and thought to myself, boy now there goes a bunch have happy people who have no clue what is about to hit them.  I thought I was in on the true reality of life; that life was hard, mean and trouble was always just around the corner.

My mindset came from years of strife that I had experienced.  Mind you most of it was my own doing; but I didn’t necessarily thing that.  I just thought that some higher power was out to get me come hell or high water, plus I walked around with a chip on my shoulder that was the size of Texas.  I wasn’t a nice person, nor did I really desire to change my ways.

As I continued my meager existence I began to watch the optimists and a small part of me was envious of them.  They seemed to be on a big secret, even deeper than the one that I had thought I had discovered.  They faced strife, sometimes a hell of sight worse than anything I had ever faced, yet they approached it openly, without fear and believed there was a purpose to their turmoil.  As I watched them I began to try to figure out what I thought their secret was: faith and a positive outlook on life, you know the whole glass half full thing.

As time passed and I began to reflect on the error of my ways, I discovered a shocking secret ever darker than the harsh reality of life; I was allowing my pessimism, bitterness and anger to eat me alive.  No wonder I felt half-human, no wonder I felt like an outsider; my negativity was burrowing deeper and deeper into me and coloring my perspective on life with drab colors of gray and black, very little vivid colors were present.
After must self-reflection and a lot of trial and error of trying to adjust my outlook, I shift from an blanket pessimist to a realist, borderline optimist.  I have seen too many real things in my life that are mean and hard and therefore I can’t necessarily become an eternal optimist and have utter faith in the higher purpose.  Don’t get me wrong I believe in God, and I acknowledge that there are forces around me that I will not be able to understand, but I have just seen the underbelly of life a little too often to forsake my former ways like a repent sinner. 

Yet I know there is a higher, a noble purpose to life; a spark of humility and compassion that is seen amongst the people around me.  I have accepted that part of optimism into my life, and welcome it.  I no longer feel on the outskirts of living my life and allowing things to happen, now I try to make things happen and live my life to the best of my ability each and every day.  So now when something bad happens, and it will, my initial reaction is a pessimistic one, hey its part my nature, but now instead of crying that the world as I know it is over, I pause and take a deep breath.  My second reaction is to have faith that there is a purpose here and it will work out, and my third reaction is to be realistic about the situation and plan for the worst, yet always hoping and believing that the best will come.

It doesn’t hurt that my other half is the eternal optimist who gives me the kick in the butt I need to stay on my new track.  I sometimes cannot comprehend how he always stays so positive about the situation, no matter how dire it may be.  He truly believes with all of his being that everything always works out for the best.  He amazes me.

The one lesson that I have taken from the good old adage about the glass, is that how you view life and its ups and downs is really all about perspective.  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Petulance

Petulance

There is a petulant child who resides in my head, and that child is me.  No matter what I do to try to coax her into action, either with soft words, treats, begging pleas, or yelling; she sits there tautly, arms crossed shaking her head, and saying “No” repeatedly.  I am just about at my wits end with this child, which is me.  What do you want for dinner, I think.  No idea, I respond.  I can’t seem to make up my mind on something as simple as that.  Never mind more major decisions like what to take out of the closet to wear to work.  I’m literally numb and frozen in my inability to make a decision, and frankly I hate it.  That petulant child is what I picture in my mind’s eye as being the cause of this internal melodrama.  She is the source of my inability to think and act clearly and decisively.  The only problem is why is she here?  I cannot think of any cause that would justify her presence.  My life is happy, my family is well, and I am humbly grateful for all that the good Lord as seen fit to send my way, so then why this internal strife and suffering?  Why do I castigate myself for every misstep, every wrong thought, and allow my worries about nonsensical things consume me so?  Why has this little child decided to come into my mind and plant her plump little bottom in the middle of the clutter that is my brain? 

I enjoy writing, I enjoy playing games, and I enjoy reading.  Writing especially brings me a sense of peace and repose.  It provides an outlet for the endless chatter that echoes through the halls of my mind.  It  helps to ease my anxiety and worry in a way that is better than any medicine a doctor may prescribe.  Yet when I begin to pressure myself to write more, to take a more definite action in pursuing it, I freeze and that petulant child who was happily playing in the corner raises her brilliant blue eyes and I can see the tension rising in her as she stares at me.  Out she marches, saying “No” repeatedly and sulks as I try to prod her out of the way.  The more I try to force her to move the more she resists; she is a stubborn girl I’ll give her that.  But then again, she is me! 

This ongoing back and forth between my adult self and my child self is driving me crazy and this inner turmoil spills over the dams and floods into the other unrelated areas of my life.  I begin to think that I am missing out on something; there is more that I can offer both to myself and those around me; I begin to doubt myself, my purpose, and what it all really means!.  Everything is colored in gray and dulled as I try to reason with this child, myself. 

I have much to be thankful for, a loving boyfriend who is my partner and better half; a mother who is my best friend and guiding light in life; a job that brings me immense satisfaction and that I enjoy doing.  I am grateful for these things in my life, and humbled that I have been so blessed; yet it still feels like there is something more that I can be doing, should be doing, and therein lies my melodrama, and that petulant child, that road block, who is certainly not giving me any answers when I peg her with questions of why she is her and just what the hell she wants, but then again there sometimes can be no reasoning with a child, who is me, when they are in the middle of a tantrum.  So where does that leave me?