creativity · culture · Family · life · poetry · writing

Nonlinear

Soldier through!
Father preached,
as if life is linear
and all falls behind.

I left the straight path
refuse to march

choose to circle dance
seek empowerment
in soft rhythms

Less stoicism
more love.

(Tuesdays I borrow from my Twitter account @Vjknutson.  Image my own.)

aging · Humour · life · poetry · writing

Victim

Can’t take responsibility
for what gets laundered here
my vehicle has no steering wheel

I am merely seeking understanding –
comfort, like support shoes  –
and I get flack, indifference
slapping me in the face.

Why did I put myself in this position –
revert back to old ways, think
I was destined for anything
but penniless devotion –

should have been a nun.

(Image from personal collection.)

creativity · Love · poetry · relationships · writing

How Does the Heart Choose?

Set me on a lonely road
and I will shine –
solitude a strength

And yet, I have an inner pull,
a need for connection,
a longing for depths of love.

But what of these dreams –
do relationships deter direction,
and must I always wait on another?

Intimacy is complicated,
the route undefined,
I am chilled, fatigued

How does the heart decide
when love challenges
arrogance, and fear takes hold?

(Connecting to Eugi’s Weekly prompt: complicated, and Reena’s Exploration Challenge – featured image.)

 

 

 

disability · dreams · health · poetry · recovery

Call It Wisdom

Get back to work! Bravado punches,
but my pick up is shelved – would love
to wheel out of here and take flight –
and interview skills are ungrounded,
fear I will let fly unfiltered gibberish.

Go for it! Boisterousness cajoles –
but boldness is dangerous, and pushy
only puts up walls; shifting gears might
be an option, but the road ahead’s a steep
decline, and I have to carefully find footing.

You have to try! Good-heartedness offers,
but the path and I are both handicapped,
movement needs support, and my focus
is failing – am more tortoise than hare –
regressing into this pedestrian existence.

You can’t just give up! Impatience scowls,
but not only is the party of energetics with
its social antics out of my reach – nuances
included – but to be honest, I am no longer
interested in being a part. Call it wisdom.

(Image: http://www.astrolog.org)

aging · disability · dreams · Family · health · life · poetry · relationships · women's issues

I Stand In The Doorway

Surrounded by the animated chatter of youth,
a mother piles food on plates, busies herself
with addressing individual needs, smiles warmly.

In another room, a woman lies lifeless, grieving
a life now passed, children gone, an absentee mate;
she is alone, feels the burden of her inadequacy.

I stand in the doorway between the two,
longing to join the reverie in one room,
unable to tear myself away from the other.

Would you like something to eat? I offer,
wanting to draw her her out of isolation,
but she turns away, claims to be dieting.

That’s not the right way to go about it
her eyes are cold, dying, my words a lecture,
how can she ignore the succulent aromas?

Outside, the men gather, raising glasses
and voices, masculine camaraderie, content
to let the women do their thing – oblivious.

We could join the party, I offer, but she is
tired of parties, tired of small talk, tired of
it all. I am inclined to agree, have known futility.

I want to go back into the kitchen, forget
about her, but it’s too late; I’ve touched
her sorrow, cannot let go, am powerless.

Think I’ll go outside, air out my mind,
sit amongst the clueless, talk about
everything and nothing, deny responsibility.

I stand in the doorway between two women
one who finds purpose in service to others,
and one whose life has lost all meaning.

I stand in the doorway between the two,
and notice that the mother is no longer me,
and that woman in the bed has no future,

and suddenly realize that I have choices,
and that motherhood or empty-nester
are self-imposed definitions, irrelevant.

Whether to participate or not in life is my call
and not a reflection of how I feel about my body
or whether or not I am giving or doing enough.

I turn from that doorway and make a decision
to just walk away – the kitchen will always be
a place of vitality and the bedroom a refuge

and me, I will be outside enjoying a drink
and conversing about who knows what
and living, obligation-free, in the moment.

 

adversity · dreams · Family · Humour · life · relationships

Choices

“Come live with us”, Mother suggests
in her there’s-nothing-we-can’t-handle
tone of voice.  Father lowers paper,
raises eyebrows, stern blue eyes
flashing over spectacle rims, says
nothing.  Am I supposed to interpret
concordance or contradiction?

“But you live in a box!  Where would
I sleep?”  “More of a rectangle.”
I contemplate room dividers, imagine
claiming a corner of the room.

Or I can move in with the man-child,
learn to tolerate delusions, listen
to incessant rants of how he’s been
wronged, content myself with
picking up after endless trails of
discards – same four-walled
containment, different cohabitant.

But wait!  “Where’s the plumbing?”
How does one discreetly manage
personal excrement in a one-roomed
existence?  I startle; awaken.

No plumbing needed here;
I’ve received an invitation
from the grave!

Sometimes life gives us choices;
no guarantee either will be palatable.

th

dreams · life · Love · memoir · nonfiction · Uncategorized

Best Laid Plans

The man seated across the table pried me with questions.

“Who played Wendy?”  he asked.  “Was it you?”

I nodded.

“And who played the Hooker?”

“Also me.”

“Really,”  he drew the word out as if chewing on it.  “Both you?”

We were celebrating closing night at a local eatery.   My questioner was not a familiar face amongst our usual theatre crowd, but I could tell by the way others were addressing him that he held some position of esteem.

“Have you done a lot of acting?”  he persisted.

“High school, mostly.”  I loved acting, and had contemplated pursuing it at University.  Just recently, I had purchased a ticket to travel to Great Britain.  It was my plan to investigate theatre school there, hopefully Shakespearean.

“I am currently writing a play that you would be perfect for, if you are interested. You have heard of me?”

I recognized him now – playwright and critic.  He was well-known in our area, although this was my first meeting.

“I’m flattered,”  and I was.  “I am leaving for England shortly.”

“Of course you are.  It would be a shame to waste that talent locally.  If you have a change of mind, look me up, will you?”

The play had gone well.  Even though I had bit parts, apparently I had made an impression.  Maybe there was hope for me.  I looked forward to the future.

The date of my departure was fast approaching.  Disillusioned with life in my hometown, I was anxious to explore the world and embrace adventure.  To celebrate my move, my sisters threw a party.

Seven years older than me, Mae is a classic beauty with dark eyes, and a perfectly sculpted face draped with beautiful flowing brunette hair.  She stands 5′ 8″ and has curves in all the right places.  I was used to being eclipsed by Mae’s presence, but she made up for it in sweetness.

My other sister, Lily, was eleven years my senior.  Also a brunette, she was a fireball, who commanded attention and rivaled Mae for attention.

I shrank into a corner and disappeared into my dreams.  This was not my crowd.  Apart from a fellow I had been casually dating and a mutual friend of my sisters, I really didn’t know these people.  Just when I thought the night was a total loss, I heard a knock at the door.

I opened it to find Stewart at the door.  Stewart was one of Mae’s many suitors, and I knew he’d be disappointed.  Mae’s current boyfriend was also here.  I offered him a drink and some friendly conversation.  I felt bad for him.

“I’m headed to England,”  I offered.  Stewart had a very distinct British accent.

“When?”

“In three weeks.”

“Really?  I’m headed to England in three weeks.  Where are you flying into?”

“Heathrow.”

“Me too!”

“What date?”

“What date are you going?”

“The 19th.”

“Me too!”

“No way!  You are flying to England on the 19th!”

“Yes, I am.  We might be on the same flight.”

I have to admit, he had me going.  Turned out he was just playing with me.  Always fun to tease the little sister.

I busied myself in the kitchen, playing hostess.  Stewart made his move on Mae.

Last to arrive was the last to leave.  Mae had already left with her beau, and Lily was nowhere in sight.  I escorted Stewart to the door, where he paused before stepping out and turning around to face me, leaning in for a kiss.

“Good night,”  he whispered leaving me alone and slightly stunned.

What had just happened?

“Don’t pay it any mind,”  Mae told me the next day.  “He has a crush on me.”

I knew she was right, but it was me that Stewart invited out later that day.

Our courtship was a whirlwind race against the ticking of the clock and my imminent departure.  Stewart made me laugh, and caused my heart to flutter.  I couldn’t sleep, didn’t care to eat, and was certain that this was love.

He was all I could think of while in England, and I wrote to him everyday – long, lengthy letters oozing with mush.  When I’d received no reply, I finally called him.  He hadn’t received one letter.  I had sent them care of Mae, and she had forgotten to check the mail.  I couldn’t stand the emotional turmoil.

I came home.

Stewart and I would later marry and have three children, ending a seventeen year relationship in a bitter divorce.

I always wonder what might have happened, had I stayed in Britain, but I have never regretted the gift of my three children.

Isn’t it miraculous that life turns out the way it does, despite our plans to the contrary?

(Image:  afadedromantic.wordpress.com)

culture · education · life · memoir

The Fourth Bun

The significance of the fourth bun comes from a story about a fool, who upon discovering it takes four buns to satisfy hunger, thinks that she can skip the first three and just eat the fourth with the same result.

I have been that fool.

* * * * *

“Why are you here?”

We are an eclectic group of first year psychology students:  ten of us that have been appointed to this group facilitator.  Meeting twice a week and doing “group therapy” is a requirement of the course.

“Because we have to be?”  one student jests.  Nervous giggles all around.

“No, really.  Think about it?  Are you here to fulfill your destiny, or are you here because that is what expected of you?  Are you pleasing your parents?”

I knew I wasn’t pleasing my parents, well, at least not my mother.  She didn’t see the point in women having an education.  I was interested in psychology, but not yet sure that was the path I wanted to follow.  Why was I here?

The question haunted me.  What was I looking for?  What did I hope to achieve?

The answers had nothing to do with education.  On my own since seventeen, I had an intangible hunger that I sought to satisfy.  I felt as if I was swimming in murky waters,  unaware of the dangers beneath the surface, and just treading water on top.  Trying to achieve my education, while having to work full-time to support myself was not easy.  At some level, I knew that education held promise for the future, but the immediacy of my hunger overshadowed any rationality.

I wanted security:  the kind of security offered by a stable home.  I wanted to feel loved and supported, and not like I was clawing my way through life in order to survive.  I wanted to not always have to be so strong and independent, and I wanted an end to this feeling of being so alone.

The first bun would have been to finish my education; two, to find a career; three would have given me time to establish my independence; and four to marry and create a family.  Young and impulsive, I skipped to four.

Now I understand why I never found the satisfaction I was looking for.  It took a long time for the hunger to subside.

(Image:  leitesculinaria.com)