Fear wears many faces.
Sometimes it pretends to be droll.
Then it will let me think
It is here to protect me from harm.
It presents many disguises
Seducing me to trust .
It will lure me in under pretense
Only to abandon me.
Fear is fickle and does not care.
Lately I have been afraid.
I want to be strong, at least
Appear to be so, yet
I don’t feel strong at all.
I’m afraid that life has beaten me
And I won’t be able
To get up again, this time.
I know that all things die.
It is the natural way of life.
But now I am living each day
Waiting for that other shoe to drop.
I realize in my heart
This is no way to live.
I wonder if I am caught,
Trapped in the many sorrows.
I no sooner say goodbye to one
Then another and then another,
When one by one those I have loved
Go on their way, away.
I don’t know if I can do it again.
I haven’t had a chance to breathe.
There has to be a way
To find a lasting peace.
So far it has been fleeting.
To accept things as they are
Realizing it is the answer
I seem reluctant and just can’t.
Maybe I see things as they are
But haven’t reached the place
Of a peaceful reconciliation,
Only fearful resignation.
So I am afraid right now
I don’t know where to turn.
Answers are evasive
No safe places to hide,
Fueling this sense of futility.
If I can manage one more day
And then another and another,
To persevere and trust
That all things come to pass
I might wake up and start a new day.
In my journey there is much I know
Yet so much more I don’t.
Somewhere within the unknown
There dwells a truce with uncertainty
Trusting that all is and will be well
Regardless of what fear tries to say.
There can be comfort in not knowing
So I will seek it, get to know it
Learning once again to trust
That which I don’t understand.
We Endure 3-29-21
The days I felt as though I could not brave another day,
The nights I was sure I would succumb to the darkness
To ever be where no light existed, no love and surely no hope.
One day melting and leading into another, ceaselessly on,
Immobilized and paralyzed with intolerable grief and loss,
I survived those days finding myself here, so many days hence.
We endure. Somehow we manage to count every second,
Those eternal measures of time that prey upon our minds.
We do endure it all in spite of ourselves, in spite of it all.
Our minds seek the light when we are submerged in blackness.
We strain our eyes to see beyond the heavy shroud of night,
One day to find ourselves shielding against the returning light
I don’t remember the day the color came back into my world
I just know it had returned and I noticed, feeling alive once more.
Relishing the long moments, I tarried and then chose to stay.
To bear tragedies that would surely kill us if we conjured them
Is the mystery of our ability to endure the impossibilities.
Curiously we seek and find higher ground to view the horizon.
When the sorrow and sadness eventually becomes uninteresting,
The thirst for life shifts towards an insatiable desire to live and thrive.
And so in spite of the occasional eclipse, I will linger to endure.
To Die Is To Live Again 3-22-21
Black silhouetted ravens dance amongst gathering clouds
Soaring high above me, I imagine myself, there, with them.
Reminding myself to notice the subtle nuances of nature,
Contrasting colors, the sounds of music playing on the wind,
The sadness that has dogged me of late begins to fade some.
I am thinking of a broken world, a broken spirit, a broken me
How to fix any of it, if even feasible and where would I begin?
Perhaps it is not possible to fix, making things right is relative.
Considering what is and accepting things as they are, as imperfect,
Presents an opportunity to let go of the mounting outrage.
To recognize that which is outrageous is not the same thing
As finding myself lost in the maize and seduction of egregiousness.
Stepping back into a balancing perspective clears my vision,
A chance to see what it is I can do and what I cannot change.
Receding into minuteness helps me to see the broader picture.
Allowing myself to be lost, to be directionless to feel purposeless
To float freely high above the clouds, abandoning all like the birds,
Letting the sorrow, disappointment and fear fly away with the wind.
Perhaps I might discover within this weightlessness, some comfort
A restoring of my fractured soul, a chance to find a lasting peace.
The frenetic distractions of life do not satisfy the emptiness.
Frantically pouring kinetic cement into all the cracks and holes
Serves only to buy a bit of time, delaying the inevitable pain of loss.
The fire breathing dragon waits patiently for me to succumb
So now, I cease the running and fighting, letting flames consume me.
Lying quietly in the darkness of my tomb, surrendering to nature,
This is my return to the dust which first created me so long ago.
In life we die many times, to reappear, renewed, more than before.
Brokenness is necessary in all things for ongoing change to occur.
So it is with me, another resurrection for my wounded soul to come home .
There’s a purple flower out side my window
Stretching it’s petals out as far it is able to
Catching every ray of nourishing sunshine.
Its simplicity reminds me of my own desires,
Needs and wants which now have retreated
To the uncomplicated, easier and quieter.
What sustains me these days is much reduced.
Ambitions have lessoned, hunger tempered.
The insatiable lust to get ahead now sleeps.
Now is the time to reflect, to mourn, to grieve
To remember those who have passed and gone.
Feeling their weight, grateful for their worth.
Like the little purple blossom lazily basking
I am attempting to replicate this modest change.
The essence of life expresses in its innocence.
The Gifts of Choice 3-4-19
From my window I’m observing the world as it is awakening,
It’s ahead of me this morning but I won’t play catch-up.
I’ve come to appreciate these solemn moments of pondering
Where thoughts are not contrived or managed in any direction.
Memories play within empty halls inside leaving behind echoes.
To fill up that space seems wrong right now, so I leave it be.
The need to be someone is gone and that allows for a freedom,
Like a vast and empty canvas to throw color at , unplanned.
Each day presented now relaxes into itself, ripening and expanding.
The lists and agendas dance about in my mind and I see to them.
That constant, inside badgering to prepare, produce and provide
Has quieted itself and flows gently in it’s own free direction.
I am removing the sticks and stones that have deterred the waters
Letting them ripple spontaneously wherever they may decide to go.
A slight breeze is evidenced in the gentle rocking of yellow daffodils
While raindrops bounce and jump about the puddles in the yard.
I am realizing that life is and always has been chaotically ordered
Furious and deafening, constantly moving, yet ultimately purposeful.
I cannot and do not desire to change it but rather, I can treading and out
Letting it carry me from one place to another, I can determine my own course.
Like a fast moving passenger train, life surely races swiftly through time
I’m learning to embark and disembark as the need arises and choice dictates..
No longer pushed or pulled in directions I would prefer not to go in
I’m choosing to get on board, riding along and enjoying the scenery.
I’ve been given the opportunity to retreat occasionally for the needed R&R
Filling up my reserves for another attempt to meet the pandemonium.
I’ve discovered a level of personal choice I hadn’t known before.
This time I am not some witless weed being tossed about by the wind.
This time I am choosing to remain planted until my flowers fully bloom.
Remaining & admiring the view or deciding to move again, the choice is mine.
Being Seventy Something 3-2-21
At some point,
Don’t know when or where
I stepped off the path and decided
Enough was enough!!!
One day I had decided
To get off the beaten path
Park myself and sit awhile.
Watching my memories
Swept along in a current
I was acutely aware
I had no desire
To get back on the road.
I'd grown tired of the pace
Preferring to stop and observe.
After all I am still reeling
At seeing my age printed
Right at the top of a page.
When did that happen?
I really can’t relate to it
Back to slowing the pace
I've been letting myself
Revisit the, “Back-When” again
I can feel myself exhale.
To be honest, it's all just fine.
I’m still upright and breathing.
And that’s a good thing any day.
I am amused just recalling
The cacophonous noise
Of crowded dance floors,
Perfectly content to say
"Been there, done that!"
These 72 year old bones
Would rather just and watch.
Swept along in a current
Of living life on the edge,
Frantically trying to keep up.
Comparing my progress
To the rest of the herd
My fragile self esteem became
Battered and bruised.
In between all the the fun,
The frenetic pace and
The adrenaline rushes
Going back for more,
When I knew I shouldn’t
Seduced by the drama of it all
I’m comfortable right where I am.
So, I’m seventy two, so what!!
I’ve survived my past and
Lived to tell about it.
That’s an accomplishment
` In and of itself.
I don’t waste the time I’ve got left
With regrets. It doesn't change a thing.
Having a furry companion is paramount to surviving the trials of life. The truth is I don't know if I'd do very well without mine.❤️
Yoga With My Dog 11-29-17
Before dawn the sky is an ineffable hue.
Nighttime’s blanket of stillness remains.
Sunrise still awhile away, morning approaches.
I watch the sun paint the leaves of each tree.
Rendering them gold, they light the garden.
I am inside wrapped in my night clothes, warm.
In my hands I am holding a hot cup of coffee
Feeling and tasting it’s warmth and comfort.
A candle breaks the dawn with its flickering.
On a pillow on the floor I welcome the morning.
Listening to the soft meditative words of a song
I find my center letting thoughts drift in and out.
Tears come and are replaced with a memory and I smile.
Nearby I hear the rustling of my little companion.
He nuzzles me and pushes himself into my space.
Moving through poses meant to loosen my limbs
He rolls over and lets me scratch his fur
Joining in the stretch, he and I greet the day.
From: A Widow's Walk by Diane Burns-Haussler
Being Alright With Not Being The Same 2-5-21
The words, “I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again” resonated deeply with me.
They were spoken by someone who had lost his beloved after many years together.
I have thought and felt the very same way, many times, over the last few years.
How could life ever have meaning again? Where would I be able to find joy again?
Initially there were no indications that I would ever recover from the loss and sadness.
My entire world had lost all its color, had gone dark and I could barely function.
Over time, however, signs of spring and the newness it brings began to get my attention.
Sometimes I heard my own laughter breaking the silence, startling and surprising me.
Without really knowing it, time was buffing out the sharp edges, softening the blow.
I suppose I cried a little less, smiled a little more and began to notice I was still alive.
Because I had lost the ability to pay attention life had gone on, seemingly without me.
And in the interim parts of me began to heal a little. I was no longer an open wound.
Maybe this is the resilience that is spoken about. That tenaciousness of being human.
I realize that not everyone survives deep trauma but the reality is that most of us do.
Sometimes I have thought of myself as a stone tossed and tumbled about in the sea.
Originally rough, cracked and jagged after a long time becoming smooth and beautiful.
When I look back at where I was I do see some progress and I am truly grateful for it.
In spite of wrestling with thoughts of “who am I?” I think I’m beginning to find out.
At least I feel a bit of a spark inside tickling a curiosity to find out what might be next.
This is new and I think it’s because I have begun to accept this new version of me.
Moving out from under the perpetual cloud, day in and day out, one step at a time
I found myself a stranger in a strange land but I am beginning to be okay with it.
I don’t know when that happened but I suspect it didn’t suddenly happen all at once.
It’s been a gradual metamorphosis from obliteration to finally feeling I might live again.
Grief, that was once a stalking hound has surprisingly become a welcome companion.
It has shown the way through every necessary tear, teaching me the value of them all.
So now when I remember, I might shed more tears but then find that I am smiling too,
I am realizing that I have actually become more than I was not in spite of, but because of.
Being blasted apart and then having the willingness to open myself to be repaired
I didn’t know it then but see it now, love is putting me back together one piece at a time.