My Sorrow

Blood seeps into the ground and I wonder how much more it can take, this world of ours.

The men cry, and the women weep, their sorrow dragging the wind down to whip their hearts until they too bleed.

Blood for blood, we grieve together.

The past rears its head, pushing slowly through the red earth.

There it is, the black hole of hate, wide and deep, it grows again.

And I am afraid.

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One day I ventured forth…

One day I ventured forth…

…I was brave, and I was determined.

Oh, the stories I had heard, those stories, those wonderful stories—they carried me ever forward, but my strength she was not there and I failed.

Let me begin afresh…

Once upon a time, a day opened before me and I felt invincible, as if all my fear had been banished. That is the moment I remembered the stories: The right bra can do wonders for both your appearance and your self esteem. Get thee to a professional fitter. And finally Oprah’s input: Do your boobs hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? You need to rise up and get a proper fitting.

Rise up! Rise up! Join me in this cry, my sisters!

So I ventured forth.

Going into a change room can be, and usually is, a very excruciating process. I strongly believe that the women’s fitting rooms, like the cubicles that contain us at work, were designed by a man.

The moment you enter the room, you feel trapped, your throat constricts, your mouth goes dry, and you begin to gag as you notice how the lighting brings out only the worst in you, on you, around you. Lovely. Just lovely.

Do I really need a new bra? Do I? Is it worth the pain?

I continued on, clutching little bits of my confidence close.

I entered the fitting room, my heart open for a change.

The sales woman assigned to my case was a woman of substance; she filled the room with her feminine size and confidence. Her skin was the colour of a sought after chocolate sundae and her bosom was encased in, I’m sure, an official Oprah approved brassiere. How could anyone, much less me, doubt her?

She approached me without an ounce of discomfort.   Examining my form with new bra attached, she quickly took control of the situation. Slipping her hand inside the bra, she efficiently positioned my girls into their respective cups.

“ Whoa,” I said.

“There,” she said.

We both looked in the mirror.

I’d like to say I heard the music, that I experienced a transformation. I really would.

But I would be lying.

The wide shoulder straps looked like seatbelts snapping me firmly in place, the lace netting embracing the front, reminded me of a sagging, soon to be replaced fishing net.

I thought of the terror I could inflict merely by hanging such a garment outside on the clothes line. A light summer breeze would—pardon the pun—give lift to the cups, allowing them to draw in an abundance of air, thereby initiating flight like a monstrous bird of prey. Its black shadow, exaggerated by height, would sweep over the fence, its tendrils reaching far and wide into the unsuspecting neighhood.

Brave boys, always curious, as boys tend to be, would sit atop the fence, their eyes wide with alarm, and a touch of disappointment, as the netting billowed and puffed.

“I thought,” one would stammer.

“…it would be like in the magazines,” finished the other softly. “But it’s not. It’s not at all.”

Poor sods.

The saleswoman was smiling. “Perfect,” she said. It’s best to buy two.”dressing+screen+lady+graphicsfairy005

“Okay,” I squeaked.

I should have asked for a backbone while I was at it.

Why do I tell you this tale? Well, it’s time, my friends…to go shopping again.

Wish me luck.

 

Note: Thank you to http://thegraphicsfairy.com/ for the picture perfect illustration.

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Beginning My Work

The beginning, for me, is a New Year, a new outlook. It’s a process of growth, a slow and steady progression towards a stronger soul, a stronger me.

Reflection is there at the beginning, splendid in its peak at the approach, or arrival, of fresh days ahead. Doors in my mind, and in my heart, are flung open, as I eagerly view the newly minted months stretching out before me. They are pressed clean these new months, their surface blemish free and unmarred by disappointment in self.

It can be a time of renewal.

I rather like the fact that the New Year leads directly into my Birthday month. Such celebrations, first Christmas, then the New Year, and then me. What better time to review!

Every year I am presented with, I treasure, trying always to give it the reverence it deserves.

I don’t always succeed.

Unchecked emotions, usually peppered liberally with fear, mark the pristine months I leave in my wake.

I can be—no, I am—my own worst enemy.

The months no longer whisper as they pass me by, perhaps they’ve grown weary of telling secrets to one who never listens. I should, no, I need, to pay more attention.

I lift my eyes, I’ve grown tired of examining the endless details of my worries, and there it is! I have reached Birthday number 59.

I have soft wrinkles on the underbelly of my arms now. They remind me of tiny waves skimming across the surface of a pond. The backs of my hands are spotted here and there, and those I can no longer claim as freckles. All not a surprise, but an adjustment.

I remind myself it is an honour to step towards my sixties. There are many who did not have this opportunity of age, and they too I want to honour.

It is a time of action. It is not too late.

So, I lean down and eagerly set about removing the chains that have anchored me.

I must guard my time selfishly. I must begin my work in earnest.

“I am going to change my life. I am going to do something that is important to me.” -Paulo Coelho

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When does it happen?

When is it that we forget how to dream?

When does that exact moment occur, when we look forward without first sending our dreams before us like trusted guides to follow? I like to think never, but I would be lying.

Dreams came easy when cloaked with the optimistic attitude of the young. Even during the tumultuous, ‘will I ever survive’ times of youth, dreams, aspirations of success, and possibilities bubbled through my mind, overflowing easily into my everyday life. Optimism whispered always to keep pushing, keep looking forward. The call was to chase those dreams, go after them with all you’ve got. Having those dreams to follow, told you that anything really, truly was possible.

But somewhere along the way, my dreams started to weaken, to fade into memories as opposed to possibilities. I can’t quite pinpoint when I started to mentally shelf first one then the other. I don’t know the instance when I felt too weary to push a particular aspiration forward. I wonder if soon, when I pause to peer back through the years, will I see, and recognize the litter of my dreams scattered and forgotten behind me?

I need to keep on, keep on dreaming, keep on pushing, because it is only when we turn away do dreams die.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

~DreamsMark Twain

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Yes, it’s true…

I like dreaming.

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The innocence

The innocence, the trust, with these words I see a child.

I sat in the early morning hours watching my six year old Granddaughter’s hockey practice.  Watched as the players gathered around their coaches like trusting little baby birds.

They pointed at their water bottles, the hockey gloves too cumbersome to grab the plastic bottles, the finger dexterity not there as yet to unscrew the tops loose themselves; instead they stood, heads tilted back, their faces lifted, partially hidden behind their protective helmet grill, open and trusting they asked and were received.  Slowly the coaches went down the line, offering the Eucharist of hockey as they gently pour tiny swallows of water into each opened mouth before them.

The kids know Mom and Dad are nearby in the stands, there are no worries thickening the air.  The coaches offer wise words and skate like pros; the children emit naturally an openness that says: You will protect me.  You will not hurt me.

The trust is heart wrenching in its stripped bare innocence.

When searching for the magic that is hidden in the folds of everyday life, this is what your eyes should seek, this is what your heart should wish to recognize once again.  Our purity of soul becomes pressed thin with the weight and responsibilities of our passing years; it’s an honour to be reminded once again of its presence.

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Letting Go

MountainsI went to the mountains

To open my heart,

To refresh my spirit,

To awaken my soul,

And to remind myself that sometimes I have to let go.

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Comfort

We are always seeking comfort.

We look for it in every minute of our day, every moment of our lives.  It’s what we need, what we use to fuel us forward.

Even in the midst of our dreams we look for that touch of warmth that gives us a little bubble of pleasure.  It is this pleasure that comfort brings us, that ignites our sense of well being, which in turn, lets us know all is well in the world, at least in our own little corner of the world anyway.  And sometimes that’s all that counts.

Whether it be small or large moments of the heart, or merely the slip of a moment we spend sitting quietly in the shade, we crave the softness of what makes us feel good.

We all have a different lists I’m sure: puppies, kittens, that lovely spoon full of sugar that Mary Poppins sang about, clean fresh sheets, a hug from someone you love that makes you feel like you could just float away, the new book that promises hours of enjoyment, all of it adds up to a shiver of home comfort which allows you to power up for the next battle life may bring.

For me just the other day, it was…believe it or not…a peanut butter sandwich.  There I was at work, starting to get a wee bit sluggish in the late morning, when I remembered what was on my lunch menu that day.  I swear I wanted to high five myself!  I was, truthfully, taken aback for a moment: I’m excited about a peanut butter sandwich…a peanut butter sandwich?   Hmmmm, I thought.  I wonder if that is a good thing or a ‘maybe I should worry about my life’ thing?

Nope, I decided there and then, it’s a good thing.

It was rather nice to realize that my life is not so tangled up in past, present and future worries that it has forgotten about the simple pleasures of comfort.

I’m liking that.

I must check the flyer again for the next sale of peanut butter.

 

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Sometimes…

There are days when I want only to only look forward, when I want only to run freely under the trees, through the rain, to the sun on the other side that is my future.

But then there are days that wear heavy on my soul and I want only to turn back.  I want only to look with arms outstretched to the person I was in the days that have flown by.  I want to look squarely at the past that holds me still, and instead of quaking in regret, I want to take that person I was by the hand and say quietly “Come with me.  Stay with me.”

And together, with those words between us, we will walk away, with hands linked in strength, from that which we cannot change.

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An Eye Opener

Of late I have been working diligently on introducing more colour into my life.

My wardrobe has for many years centered around the basic black ensemble.  Now I would like to think of it as me striving for the ‘little black dress’ look…simple but stylish, but for many it just initiates the question: why do you wear black all the time?

So this spring I felt the urge to add a splash of blue, some pink, even a flash of magenta to my attire.  Look at me people!.. I am stepping out of the box, broadening my horizons!  I rather liked the fact that the colour magenta apparently assists in releasing old and outdated patterns of behaviour, thereby enhancing growth and personal development.  Yes!  That’s it!  I am so there!

Or so I thought.

I was at work the other day freshly robed in a top newly purchased.  The material seriously felt wonderful against my skin, and the light shade of pink definitely added some colour to my sun starved complexion.

On a bathroom break, I paused for a moment in front of the mirror to primp and preen a wee bit, to fluff my hair, check my make-up, and admire how the new top made me feel, made me look.  Hmmmm, let me think, how does that saying go…oh yes: “pride cometh before a fall”.

Finally I grew weary of my own admiration (ha, ha, ha..) and exited the ladies room.  I took one, two, maybe three steps tops into the hallway, when a co-worker approached me.  That’s how quickly these things happen.

“Hey,” she said as she reached up and lightly touched my cheek.  “Would you pay for an ointment that would get rid of these for you?”

I stumbled and felt the fall begin.

“The redness?” I  asked nervously.  My pale skin does tend towards rosacea, which does bring about concerns and insecurities, so perhaps, hey maybe, she was offering me a remedy. It could happen, right?  Little did I know that another insecurity was soon to be added to my carry-on baggage.

“No,” she said.  “The bags and the circles, here and there.” She pointed helpfully.  “Oh yes,” she continued.  “Do I have a product for you!”

Wait, what?

I could hear the audible hiss of the air as it leaked slowly out of my bruised ego.

Was I smiling?  Was I?  Too much maybe.

The day just continued to tumble on down from there.  For some strange, twisted reason I decided right after work that it was as good a time as any to go buy a bathing suit.  Rubbing salt into the open wound that was my ego perhaps?  Was I saying ‘oh yeah, you think that was painful?… wait til you see this?’  Again…maybe.  I don’t know, I just don’t know.  I am so confused.

Anyhow, the bathing suit immediately, like magic, turned me into a stuffed sausage, right before my eyes…a stuffed sausage with bags under her eyes.

The bathing suit went back the next day, the bags under the eyes, well, they appear to be staying.

And it leaves me to wonder, do people who think they look good every single day, ever, ever, have days like this?  Do they?  I think not.

 

 

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