change · life · poetry · psychology

Indecisive

Decisions weighty
I plan but am divided
half sailing; half cowering

Optimism cheery
experience berating

Nested in tradition
craving alternatives

Can I not see that plans
are investments,
overcome the fear
in favour of expansion.

(Writing this I am reminded of the saying: “I used to be indecisive; now I’m not so sure.” Image my own.)

adversity · culture · health · mental-health · poetry · writing

Duelling Personas

Outward facing –
contrived effort –
composure checked,
face appropriately presented.

I turn away –
internal chaos clouding –
lacking resources
for social banter

Wolves taunt me –
predatory monsters
shaming me into retreat –
defences down.

Wade back into superficial,
desperation seeking solace –
hide the flooding within.

 

 

creativity · life · poetry · writing

Accustomed to the Dark

Nine months of incubation –
dark, watery womb of life –
emerge to blinding brightness,
learn to covet the light –
yet our soul struggles, defies
ego’s hold on certainty –
fights against conformity,
draws us back to the tomb –
deep into the mysteries,
where discomforted, challenged
we grow accustomed to the dark.

(For Reena’s Exploration challenge, which this week asks us to end our work with: “We grow accustomed to the dark.”  Image from personal collection.)

creativity · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

A Call for Harmony

6:30 a.m. alarm sounds.
“Time to wake up!” Compliance commands.
“Just a little longer,”  Sensibility suggests.
Guilt, like an incessantly annoying child
tugs on Conscience:
“Come on; there’s lots to do!”

Body does not respond.

Sleep wins
and dreams come:
homeless,
relying on friends,

no food,
backed up toilet,
children’s wide eyes fearfully imploring:
When is this all going to end?
Guilt propels a return to consciousness.

8:25 a.m.
“Up and at ’em! There’s a good Soldier!”
Compliance attempts to be chipper.
“There’s really other more important than rest,”
Sensibility insists.
“Can’t lie in bed all day!” Guilt counters.

Body is MIA.

Dreams surface again:
setting up house in a thoroughfare,
people coming and going, oblivious
co-workers indifferent,
eyes scolding: convicting
Guilt mutates to rage,
Body wakes up choking, gasping
reaches for the rescue inhaler
sucks in, desperate for air.

11:11 a.m.
“That’s it! Up you get!”
“No! No! Rest is needed!”
“The day is wasted! There’s no going back!

“SILENCE!”  A new voice emerges.

A collective intake of breath.

“Breathe; just breathe.”

A unified sigh.

“And breathe again.”

Tempers cool, and emotions begin to settle.

“What’s going on?” Guilt wonders.
“Just trying to stick to routine,” Compliance explains.
“It’s always been this way.”
“But she’s ill now,” Sensibility adds; “concessions are necessary.”

“Breathe,” the voice asserts.
All sigh again.
“Just be in the stillness of the moment…”

Stillness has no voice.
Her language is compassion and infinite,
infinite wisdom.

“…and surrender.”

Compliance sobs, releasing enormous obligation.
Sensibility gratefully releases burden of responsibility,
and Guilt – well Guilt is little – happily snuggles up
to Unconditional Love.

“There, there,” Voice soothes; “isn’t harmony so much better?”

Body concurs and rises out of bed.

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(Today’s prompt challenges us to look at the differing parts of self and start a dialogue.   I decided to rework a poem I wrote in 2014 when suffering from severe M.E.  Dealing with a debilitating illness brought all the inner voices to the surface, and I struggled with the emotional and psychological aspects of having my life shattered.  A Call for Harmony attempts to illustrate the struggle.)

disability · dreams · LGBQT · life · mental-health · poetry · women's issues

Internal Struggle

Onramp for freedom is just ahead
but all considered, I will not push
forward, am fragile, misinterpret
signs.  Add to it isolation – who
can blame me….

Move! Move with the throngs!
Set your intentions, correct and
change direction – take a tangent
even – future is just around the
corner…..

Wears me out; I am shattered,
descending, would rejoin life’s
celebration, be a sister, but this
disability shows no compassion…

Couple with feminism; get ahold
of yourself, move forward – there

is no wrong time – be in support
of something; leap….

This reality is disparaging; in
the aftermath, I have no fight –
lightheadedness sabotaging –
an added foe….

Be independent.  Righteousness
makes a good point of entrance…

Inability to motivate, emancipated,
confused on my own….

abandoning is not an option;
motor!  Want to do the right thing;
come on, turn the page…

…too taxing, paralyzing to
show up, catch up with friends
clueless about ME/CFS….

…don’t you care that people
are being exploited, refuges
fleeing, can’t you feel the need…

impatience possesses; I am
beaten, am legless, spinning

keep pushing….harness strength…

..faint without a stance…

…defy fear…

… desperate…

adversity · disability · Family · health · life · mental-health · nonfiction · spirituality

On Suffering

“All I need is to win the lottery,” Mae often proclaims.

“That’s not true,” I tell her.

“But if I had enough money, my problems would all be solved.”

“No.  If you had lots of money, you would still be schizophrenic.”

She takes this in and nods solemnly.  Then she laughs.  “You’re so funny.”

“I am studying the dictionary, though.  If I can get smarter then I’ll be better, don’t you think so?”  (Mae finished nursing school with 96%).

“Schizophrenia has nothing to do with intelligence, it’s a chemical imbalance.  You are smart already.”

The conversation is redundant.  We will revisit it many times.

Mae, like many people, just wants an end to her suffering.

As a student of alternative health care techniques, and a caregiver, I too have looked for answers to the riddle of why suffering exists in the world.  I have witnessed parents watching their infant die, and young children sitting at their dying mother’s bedside.  I have met those whose disease has debilitated them to a point of total dependency; and others whose lives have changed in an instant due to an accident or violence.  And I have met many, like Mae, who are born into suffering, with no hope for a cure.  Void of answers, I am only left with more questions.

What I have come away with, though, is a sense of awe for the spirit that drives each and everyone of these people.  In the midst of so much tragedy, I have encountered strength, willingness, compassion, and incredible resilience.

I don’t believe, as some do, that suffering is a choice; I believe it is inevitable.   And in some instances, I believe that suffering can open the doors for much discovery.