creativity · poetry · writing

Quester

Like Quixote
and his windmills,
I chase horizons

Questing after
the unattainable

Like a windup doll
mechanically tuned

set on failure,
motivated, nonetheless.

creativity · life · poetry · writing

The Quest

The heart resides in fragmented nests,
each beat a rhythm of its own desire;
we search for wholeness between breaths,
haunted by longing – a secret fire –
a quest for knowledge to lift us higher.

(Written for dVerse pub, hosted by Grace who challenges us to write a quintain. Image from personal collection.)

life · Love · poetry · recovery · relationships

Production

What will be remembered
when the show is over –
will humour linger
will dreams tarry
will belief matter?

Friends depart sans farewell
lost in the debris of divorce
we pass in shopping malls
serve each other with smiles
avoid lively interaction

new responsibilities develop
we are directors obsessed
with reason, ideals now lapsed
singularly hoping that personal
potential is in tact; mining

an openness that overrides
lost love, tunnelled explanations,
want to act obligingly, are remiss,
we are fetchers, penetrating rows
no enclosure for fails, will accept

encouragement when available –
hard work is polish for the talented;
I am alive but in need of help,
shutting down, what remains
tinged with immediacy, lucky

just to communicate; would mirror
love, not look for exits, but endings
are all I know, have shopped for
balance, an intermediary to dissuade
rejection, I am a puppy, unfailing

loyally holding onto this puzzle,
wonder at all that is unrequited,
how easily we detach, considering
the carrot that is intimacy, how
all of this is such a production.

(Image: www.pd4pic.com)

dreams

Today is a Good Day to Die

A satiny bed awaits me,
pearly white, with a prop for my head,
indigo drapes offering privacy,
comfort for eternal rest.

Today is a good day to die.

Yet, I wander,
in search of self,
I travel the highways,
seek respite in rest stops
along the way –
Tim Hortons,
souvenir t-shirts,
no place to settle.

I look for myself
in overpriced
boutiques
promising originality,
reeking of pretentiousness,
I remain restless.

It is only in your distress,
as I pause to lend a hand-
help you fight your demons-
that I forget my own condition.

It is only in selflessness
that I am whole.

Today is a good day to die.

 

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Day 213 “Life After Life”

“Scoot up on the step, Rie-Rie, and let Mommy put on your new shoes.” With only weeks to go until my second child was to be born, I found bending over impossible. Obligingly, Marie climbed up the steps and offered me a foot. “Look how shiny they are! Don’t you love them?”

The black patent Mary-Janes fit her tiny feet perfectly. She sat patiently while I adjusted the buckles, chattering away as she often did, but this time I found her words strangely unsettling.

“When you were little you always loved your Baby Dolls the best.”

Baby Dolls! It was a term I hadn’t heard for ages.

“Where did you hear them called Baby Dolls?” I quizzed my two-and-a-half-year-old.

“You called them your Baby Dolls. You had to wear them everywhere.”

Marie often talked of when she was big and I was little; I had just thought that it was a thing that young children did. When you were a baby, I fed you applesauce, she’d say, for example. But repeating a name I’d left behind in my own childhood and forgotten startled me. Who are you? I wondered.

My second daughter was born at the end of October, the same day we moved into our new, unfinished home. Without kitchen cupboards, or a proper countertop, I was forced to bathe my newborn in the bathroom sink. I assigned Marie as helper and stood her on the toilet seat where she would be within reach. On the back of the toilet, I had placed a flower arrangement, made from the silk flowers that had been part of my bridal bouquet. Marie spotted it at once.

“Oh, how pretty!” she exclaimed. “I made one of these once.”

“You did? And when was that?” I couldn’t help but be amused. In her short life, at home with me, I knew for certain she had not.

“Oh a long time ago, before you were born. Only I made it out of yarn.”

Yarn?! Where did she come up with such things. I would say ‘wool’, not ‘yarn’.

“Oh yeah? And where was that?”

“It was when I lived in England. At school.”

“And how old were you then?”

“Sixty months.”

“And how old is that?”

“Five.” Marie said it so matter-of-factly, but I was stunned. How does a not quite three-year-old know that sixty months equate to five years?

“Marie is scaring me with the way she talks,” I told my mother over the phone. “It’s like she has been here before.”

“You were like that too,” was her response. “She is just very bright, that’s all.”

I wasn’t so sure. I called my cousin Lynne. “Could she have been here before, like she says?”

“Some people believe so,” she said. “It’s called reincarnation. There’s a book you should read that might help you out. It’s by Ian Currie – You Cannot Die.”

It was the beginning of a shift in the way I thought about life, and life after life.

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Day 194 “Buddha Nature”

The bus I am riding on is actually a small house. The bus driver sits at the front door and collects fares. The front door opens into a dining room, where riders are playing cards. I move back further, into the adjacent sitting area. My friend Sandy is here and she has a young child; a girl. The girl remembers me although I am sure I have not seen her in ages. The bus stops, and panicked I rush to get off, only to discover this is not my stop, so I rush back on the bus. I feel frazzled, but laugh at my error and return to my seat trying to relax. Then I realize I am missing my purse. Thinking I’d left it at the last stop, I holler to the driver to go back, but then see that I’d left it on a table in the front hall. I pick it up and notice that it is lighter than it was. In fact, it is the purse, emptied of its contents. I am outraged, and accuse all the occupants of the bus. As it turns out, I know many of them, and I rifle through their belongings looking to recover mine. Worst of all, my passport was in the purse and losing that is a nightmare. I know the culprit is on board.

Coming to terms with the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is difficult, not unlike being robbed of one’s identification. In the dream, it is my passport I am worried about. My passport, in particular, is the only document that bears my full legal name. More importantly, it allows me to travel.

Replacing a passport is possible, but difficult. Metaphorically, I have lost my passport to come and go freely. Life now needs to be measured or paced, and I do not have credit to draw on. My purse has been emptied.

The bus that I travel on is me: the driver, the same robotic ego that takes me mindlessly through my daily route. The passengers are me also. Sandy is my over-analytical, uptight self, which is balanced by- or, perhaps (if I am more honest) protective of- my little girl innocence. The card players, and readers on board are me too. So is the thief.

Why is my bus a small house? My husband and I bought a small house over a year ago to retire in. We haven’t moved in yet, but it continues to be our promise for the future. Is this a premonition dream then? That the greatest struggle, or lost, will come when we move to our little house? Time alone will tell.

Derek Lin says that we each have a Buddha Self – an enlightened, loving self that lies at our inner core. As in the dream, I am struggling to find my bearings, conscious of the need to register my progress, and be on alert. I have long since moved away from a time when I trusted the process, and I am feeling disconnected from my Buddha Nature.

I can only hope that those who surround me don’t lose sight of it also. Reconnection will be my saving grace.