disability · dreams · poetry

Pity Party Over Here

Methodical might be successful –
ask for assistance; help granted
pass over fixation;  will not stir
this appalling head to toe disease.

Dependability would be welcome –
I beg for it – but this rodent-like
Illness will not acquiesce, runs
amuck, operates at will – not mine.

I can allude to my needs all I want,
reach out for loving, but perspective
is lacking when I am vertically unable
to manipulate, shaken, appear the joker.

Illness is a trickster – labels me freak,
this vessel’s malfunctioning limits
the broader vision – I shudder to think
this is what life has amounted to.

disability · dreams · health · Humour · life · nonfiction · Rants · recovery

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

I’d go back to school, continue post graduate work, rally the troops to get me there, scrounge
the fees, find someone to carry the books (I no longer have the strength) – undoubtedly miss a few sessions, get behind, feel frustration building, consult with the energetic youthful instructor, become brain locked when I cannot interpret the email address she writes down for me, confront the fact that transcribing the required reading assignment in nearly impossible (which means the work will likely never get completed in the allotted time period), and drop out.

I’d look after your young children, give you a break, but my hand is not steady and if I drop a cup it will break and what if it shatters where the children are playing – barefooted because I couldn’t rally the wherewithal to get them dressed without that much needed tea – and now the shards are a real threat, and the children are laughing and bouncing around, not heeding my warnings, thinking it’s all a joke, and I have lost control, needing to clean it up and manage the children, which I cannot do because multi-tasking is no longer within my realm of possibilities.

I’d visit my sister, the schizophrenic, who lives in a group home, and try to be supportive, but my mind is still reeling over the children, and other accumulating failures, and I know I’ve let everyone down, and quite frankly, her current state of neurosis seems so much less troublesome than mine, and I have nothing to say that would aide her other than I know what it feels like to be fucked up and exist outside the ‘norm’, and right now I just want to crawl back into my cell of isolation and breathe again – so have a good life.

I’d get a scooter, try to go for a ride on my own – be independent – but I’d likely choose the back roads to avoid the traffic and, not having accounted for inclement weather, would find the pace too fast and be forced into some small town where (with my luck) they’d be having their Christmas parade and I would be caught between crowds lining the street and marching bands and in a moment of panic would duck into the nearest opening – a family restaurant from which people are constantly coming and going  and where I’d realize that I just need to get home – and try to exit  just as someone (equally as pressed) is trying to enter, and having lost all vestiges of my normally polite self, I would refuse to back up, choosing instead to rage at the poor unsuspecting woman, who only needed a quick place to pee.

So, when you next ask me what I do with myself all day – and aren’t I bored – be assured that I am not lacking in suitable stimulation, do not need to take on added responsibility to give myself a sense of purpose, am incapable of volunteering with any degree of compassion, and have accepted my current state of dependency as the most appropriate given coping capabilities. I am, at present, unable to navigate life with any degree of normalcy, am content to struggle with my own limitations, putter at a speed below tortoise, bear the silence of solitude, and stay home.  I am not broken, in need of rescue, or lost.  I simply am.

Grandparenting · health

Sedentary

Spent the day in prone silence –
first as a human pin cushion
in the naturopath’s office –
motionless except my mind
pouring over Christmas plans.

Later, beside my granddaughter,
three-year-old arms akimbo
daring not to budge, until her
innocent breaths deepened –
my body burning to move.

Now, the window of energy
closed, I lie here with you,
no longer motivated to sort
or organize, my brain spent –
mindless poem on fingertips.

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disability · dreams · health · Humour · poetry · Rants · recovery

Rehabilitation Scheme

Disability wants me back to work
(rehabilitation they have promised)
and since I’ve given up my car –
driving is difficult when cognitively
impaired – I’ve decided to take a bus.

It’s a school bus, which is fitting,
although much harder to drive
than I had originally anticipated,
and since I’ve been assigned to
a new school, parking is a problem.

This is an inner city school, so no
parking on site, and if they expect
me to park at the back of some lot
across the street, they are sorely
misinformed about my capability.

I cannot walk that distance, and
come to think of it, I will not be
able to maneuver through the
hallways of this three-story ark –
we are not off to a good start.

I pull in front of the school – begin
my return by breaking rules – and
head for the office to explain my
misguided efforts and question
the sensibility of this whole idea

when I suddenly realize that even
before I’ve entered the classroom
I’ve just abandoned a whole load
of students, who are undoubtedly
wondering where their bus got to.

This rehabilitation scheme has
proven to be a bigger fiasco than
any extravagances I have allowed
myself – and paid for – since falling
ill – thank god I’m only dreaming.

To my insurance company, I say:
thank you for being there, and the
support administered monthly, and
please be patient – I will voluntarily
return to life when feasibly plausible.

adversity · disability · dreams · health · passion · poetry · recovery

Juxtaposed

Muted shades of browns
and greys
define my black and white
existence
while succulent pink skies
explode in my dreams: neon
green vibrancy beckoning,
enticing – rude reminders.

My life is measured in
handfuls
one visit a week, two
outings
three phone calls, seven
minutes
for standing, fifteen for
sitting.
I dream in exponentials
multiples of numbers,
unlimited possibilities,
combinations, outcomes.

I live a stripped down
dirt floor
one room, structurally
unsound
solitude, boundary-less
instability
and dream of concrete
cities, institutions housing,
nurturing, protecting, life
with abundance – crowds.

How do I resign myself
to this juxtaposed reality,
fill in the missing gaps,
find sustenance in a void?

Acceptance is shattered,
faith
undermined, storm clouds
intensifying
threatening cyclones of
chaos
blacken the horizon, no
bottom
in sight to ease this soul.

Only in dreams will I find
my legs, run with mercy,
embrace freedom, and
know fullness of spirit,
fueling one more day
of survival,
until I am once again
whole.

adversity · disability · dreams · health · life · poetry · Rants

Disability’s Rant

It’s not that I’m not open
to new perspectives –
I am aware of daylight
beyond these walls –
conscious that mine is
not the only viewpoint.

It’s just that the inflexibility
of this existence is unrelenting,
and I have come to see opposing arguments
in the bleak morbidity of aging –
am having doubts about the willingness
of skilled, principled, professionals
whose rigorous platforms require
energetic, sheltered, regard.

I am lacking confidence
in my ability to articulate –
sanitizing personal inkling,
disinfecting institutional
impotency.

What lesson have I signed up for?
How is it I’ve found myself,
mired in sterility,
shrouded in grey,
an unwitting student
in my own life?

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disability · dreams · health · Love · poetry · relationships · spirituality

The Red Box

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“I am sending you a red box,”
the voice says in my dream
(a dream within a dream, really).
“Will you be there to receive it?”

An image of a lipstick-red, life-sized,
shiny red box dances in my head.
“I will!” I say, wondering who would
send me such an extravagant gift.

“Will you be coming, too?”
I add quickly, remembering manners.
I am asleep, if you recall, have no idea
who I am speaking to: a poor connection.

“Do you know who I am?” asks caller.
“Yes, of course!” I respond, not actually
knowing at all,  trying to be polite.
“Looking forward to it.” Am I?

“You don’t sound surprised.”
“Surprised and delighted!” I assure,
falsely – in this semi-consciousness,
sensibility has not yet set in.

Only when I disconnect, do I panic.
Some distant memory surfaces,
a vague recollection of indiscretion –
have I invited danger into my house?

Now, I am awake – faculties firing,
heart still beating, curious/ alert.
What could this mean, this
dream within a dream?

Look to where my mind went –
larger than life expectations,
when no such detail was revealed –
was the panic just as unwarranted?

Am I subconsciously mocking:
commenting on the instability
of thought processes, in this
altered state of health?

I ponder meaning, wonder at
the significance of red boxes,
when my husband delivers –
a small, red patterned box.

“I won this for you,” he says.
Three beaded necklaces inside.
I thank him, dismissively, rapt
in my mystery, inattentive –

I’m sending you a red box;
was the message, will you be
present to receive it? –
Oh God!
The pieces fall in place.

Presence alone heals
weakening connections,
honest communication,
with expectations aside.

Distraction, fear, anxiety
are the undermining factors
that rape relationships
turn us from the actual gift.

I am awake, but dreaming
suspended between fantasies
of promising futures, and insults
from the past – selfish indulgence.

Marriage is the red box,
in its ever altered form –
offering endless gifts if
only we’d receive it.

 

adversity · disability · Family · health · memoir · poetry

Adrenal Spin

Death has visited us,
and subsequently,
visitations, and
a funeral.

Ours was a loss
long anticipated,
suffering relieved
by passing on.

Dutifully, I planned
to accompany Mom,
show support, and
represent our side.

Disability answers
to its own drum,
and this added stress
inflamed the beat.

Attempts at resting,
met fired adrenals –
locked on fight/flight
as my mind reeled

conjuring images
of confrontations,
inquisitions, and
judgments, then

raised unrelated
issues unresolved,
spinning webs,
speeding pulse

I spiraled into
a perpetual abyss
of wiry panic –
release unattainable.

Disappointment
my hangover,
as predictably,
I am a no show.

adversity · disability · health · poetry · Rants · recovery · relationships

In Wisdom Released

The officiousness of your interrogation –
tones of authority (masking ignorance) –
unnerve me, conjuring memories
of past violations; re-victimizing.

Proclaiming concern whilst fishing –
probing deviations; implying blame;
I am aroused to counterattack;
dis-abled, not dis-armed.

You think I chose this abduction,
wittingly willed myself crippled,
invited helplessness:  laid down
and tolerated this life-invasion?

I find your tactics bullying, bordering
dubious, and revert to adolescence –
a surrogate adult, hyper-vigilant
in my self-protective backlash.

Your judgments are incredulous,
like a petulant child you protest
efforts to quiet unwanted advice
insist upon your righteousness.

If I was able to dislodge this ball
of stifled rage, I’d educate you on
the differences between support
and impertinence – but I am tired.

Strong-armed into submission,
I am left raw, newly battered,
maliciously wishing retribution,
cold-shouldering instead.

Is it the precariousness of current
suffering that has ruptured caring
or present reality that has shattered
the pretense of so-called friends?

Repercussions of confrontation,
(vows suddenly lacking promise)
weaken already tenuous success,
undermine self-actualization.

I only wish you’d understand that
although life has raped me, I am
stretching my wings, awakening,
cherishing, for once, self-worth.

In my new-found sensibility, I will
re-evaluate, and re-value meaning,
discern and select empowerment,
embrace (and reject) relationship.

Infirmity, you see, has advantages –
obliging new perception, discounting
material trickery, retiring innocence-
wisdom gained a just rebuttal.

 

 

dreams · recovery

Chasing Mermaids

Impulse use to drive my plunges
unrestrained confidence propelling
fortuitous dives – unknown waters
an adventure to be conquered.

Even when anxiety came along
stalked the shoreline in horror,
assured of catastrophe (or worse),
I”d hold my breath and submerge.

Doubt would follow determination,
buoyed by adversity, swimming
forcefully, commanding adaptation –
I’d find my mermaid’s breath.

Motherhood brought restraint
called forth sensibility and caution,
replaced whimsy with practicality
shed the iridescent tail.

I only dig in dirt now –
ground my offspring to earthly
forays, forbid capriciousness,
convince myself I’m solid.

Absentminded burrowing –
(corners of compulsion)
reveal abandoned passages –
old waterways exhumed.

Proclaimed pragmatism falters;
spontaneity descends,  transforms
I am nymph again – free floating
Neptune’s daughter resuscitated.