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And I will Write…

Once upon a time I use to write.

I wrote letters to people my own age in foreign countries. I wrote letters to relatives in other states. I wrote journal entry after journal entry. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote.

I wrote to make the day better, or get through a day I thought would never end. I wrote because I was happy, or mad, or sad, or because I just didn’t understand. Writing made sense. Writing made the world make sense.

Then….I stopped writing. I lost my love of words, and books, and poetry, and…lost a piece of myself in the noise of the world. That never ending noise of be this, do this, act this way, talk this way, use this product, believe this belief, dress this way, do your hair this way, this matters but not this… the endless noise of mindlessness.

It hit me when I was young. I saw it first in speech class. The teacher telling me I’d never be a writer because I couldn’t stand before a crowd of rambunctious teenagers and speak. What writing had to do with public speaking I’ve yet to reconcile in logic. I still have a lot to learn about writing, and public speaking, but neither have ever stopped me from writing.

Depression. Now that has stopped me from writing. It has stopped me from so much. Enslaved my mind and body in endless darkness, while setting my imagination in flight with what could be…if only…and then crushing it deeper with fear and dread. You raise your head, gasp for air, only to find a depth of despair you never knew existed.

And still, I write…

Not often. Not like I use to. Maybe a note. Maybe a scribble. But I write. No matter the darkness within me. No matter how deep the hopelessness drags me. I fight, and write, and trudge on.

They have a name for what ails me. They always have a name. Bi-polar 2. What a name… Why name it such a boring thing? Bi-polar 2. All I can think is Polar Express, but I expect no Christmas train comes with this disastrous label. No bells and whistles, but maybe… demons and broken angel wings. I’m sure I’ve seen both in my darkest hours.

And still, I write….

There are nights…like tonight… I question the sanity of it all. Why do we all fight so hard for our labels? I am a certifiably eclectic, sometimes erratic, frayed walking catastrophe. I’ll proudly wear that label. It gets to the heart of who I am. No other sociologically acceptable label does. Yet so many will fight for the label society hands them. There in lies true madness.

And still, I write….

I am finding my missing link. The part of me who wrote for the love of writing. I see her in the distance. She waves now and then. I think she misses me as much as I miss her.

And so I will write…

I will write the story as the story reveals itself. I will write this moment, because this moment is precious. I will write my ups, and downs. Even when the downs out number the ups. I will write my hero’s, for they are many, and are worthy of being immortalized. I will write the truth within my soul, even at its darkest.

Because, I will write…

No matter where the words shall lead me. They are the one absolute I can trust in a world of ever changing rules, and labels. Even in silence there are words. Silence screams, and darkness listens. I find comfort and fear in both. Knowing this, I thank whatever gods may be…for my unconquerable soul. I AM the master of my fate…. and I will write!

Invictus

By William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

A Call to Arms

Re-blogging from Wicked Witch of the Midwest.

when hope diesPolitics and religion.

Two topics best skirted in mixed company. At least, that is what I’ve always been taught. Being who I am though; I find them hard to avoid. In the world of this new president, Trump, I am the enemy: Female, bi-sexual, Witch, married to a woman. In Trump’s desire to “Make America Great,” again. My world views, life style, and belief system do not fit the mold.

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
―Catherine of Siena

I am a pacifist by nature. I firmly believe each person deserves respect. That respect extends to their beliefs, lifestyle and world view. I can no more expect others to live up to my ‘picture’ of what they should be, then I can live up to theirs. This way of thinking is quickly verging on illegal with the new administration. There is an inherent sadness with this realization.

“We should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.”
― Michio Kaku

In a diverse and wonderful world, fear should never be a motivator. It is fear which guides those in power now. It is with fear I now view the future. My trepidation growing daily.

It is for this reason I ask the following…

A call has went out among the community to do two things.

  1. Light a vigil candle, nightly, to help light the way to true change, peace, and understanding.
  2. In the course of your practices, perform a binding to prevent the current administration from doing harm.

The world is in a state of flux. Minds which were once closed are now opening. The world view is changing. Guided more by love, inclusion, and peace. We cannot allow a few to derail all the good which has been accomplished.

We must believe one voice can make a difference. “We the People…,” need to speak louder. I started with the two steps above, and followed up by going to: https://impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org and signing.

I do not believe Trump means to harm. He is not evil, or bad, just archaic in his fundamental ideals. He is a small man, hungry with power and it is this hunger which must be tempered. For the good of all, harming none.

Blessed Be my friends!

And may the future hold more peace, and less fear.

thankyouI am not good with Thank You.

It is not that I have problems saying thank you. I can enunciate thank you effortlessly, and often. The words roll of the tongue like dew off a leaf. The ease in which we use these two words frightens me. I have an innate sense of the minuteness of the words. They lack the ability to convey the profound depth of emotion behind them. They cannot portray the surge of love, relief, gratitude, and overwhelming desire to express the deepest aspects of our soul.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.

We move on.

Never hearing, or comprehending, the endless depth of sincerity. Yes, we throw the words a round at times. The rush of meetings, ringing phones, honking horns, encroaching voices. A quick, “Thank you,” typed hastily at the close of an email. Nothing more then simple words. These are not the thank you’s I refer to.

I mean the thank you’s I cannot put into words. The ones surmised in unwritten cards. The unsaid. Blank. Lonely. Heartbreakingly meant more deeply than expressed. These are the Thank You’s I cannot verbalize. The words catch deep in my chest; to never leave my lips.

How does one say, “Thank You!,” when what is meant is, “You saved my life!”? “You mean the world to me!”, does not fit in two simple words.

“Your assistance was vital!”

“Having you here meant the world to me!”

“What would I do without you?”

Even the depth of gratitude in these phrases fails miserably to portray the truth.

To put pen to paper, to say Thank You, is my nemesis. It is a profound short coming in my character. I have yet to find a viable solution to rectify this matter. I’ve searched. I’ve written. I’ve tossed many great ideas. And still, I come up short.

In truth, I blame it solely on fear of failure. I’m terrified of not saying enough…or saying to much…or not saying the right thing…or saying the right thing…or…. the complexity of the fear stills my hand.

A psychologist, I’m sure, would say it is due to lack of social, and emotional, development throughout my formative years. I, however, would not trade my years of quiet contemplation, alone, surrounded by animals. Solitude in nature portends many lessons. Most importantly, a deeper understanding of our connection.

Still, Thank You is a weight I do not carry lightly. Although my actions may incur doubt when my silence persists. I will sit here, nightly, dumbfounded and struggling simply to say, Thank You. Those words carry with them my soul; a depth and breadth one cannot conceive, nor portray.

And I will hope, for today, you grasp my ‘Thank You,’ as one grasps a life raft. Clinging, pulling it closer, in the realization you are the reason for my thankfulness. Your existence, your very being, the miracle which is you, is the reason I go on. Always.

My heroes. My angels. My family. My friends. From my heart to yours, Thank you!

A Letter to My Parents on the Day of My Wedding.

Dear Parents,

As I prepare for my wedding day, and the nerve wracking walk down the aisle. I realize now, more than ever, your absence will have a profound effect on this day.

My dearest father, your absences is by far the most deeply felt. In all of my life it has always been you there beside me. You have wiped away my tears. Held my hand in the best, and worst of times. You were there when I was most scared. Comforted me when I faced my own mortality. Laughed with me in appropriate, and inappropriate times.

You taught me to love life, and not to fear death. You raised me to be just like you – free thinking, caring, out spoken, strong willed, and loving. You helped me see the miraculous in the mundane. You believed in me when I failed to believe in myself, and no one but you will ever understand how grateful I am for “D-Day.”

But today, I face the future without your calm assurance. You are not here to take my arm and walk me down the aisle. Your smile and glittering eyes will not be here to help me face what is to come. I feel your absence, in this moment, far more deeply then you will ever know. Today, I face the world alone.

I asked you to be beside me in the walk down the aisle. You answered, “No.” I sent save-the-dates and the wedding invitation. The lack of an RSVP was a harsh way for you to again say “No.”

We talked, and I understood. I am not angry you said no. The choice was yours, and I still understand. Life is a series of choices; the outcomes of which bring either happiness or regret. I truly hope you never regret your choice. History is not on your side though.

You chose not to attend, because I was marrying a person of the same sex. You do not believe two people of the same sex should marry. Who I am, believes you have an outdated view on same-sex relationships. Who I am, however, is not making the decision. It is your view, your belief and to change it would be to change you. I would not change a thing about you. I wonder….would you ask me to change?

You grew up in a time where sex was rarely discussed. Where same-sex relationships were greatly taboo. You joined the military – The Fighting Marines – in a time of unrest. You survived Vietnam but gained a darker view of same-sex relationships. I’ve read the stories, I know the side of the fence you stand on. It is part of who your are, who you were raised to be.

Belief systems, phobias, inherited behaviors; they all make up who you are. I cannot be angry at you for any of it. I understood, and I understand, because I love you. You will always be my hero. And I know, you will always love me.

But today,…

I could have used your strength, and your shoulder. I fell apart this morning because, for a moment, I felt so very alone. I could have used your calm voice, reminding me I’ve survived worse. I could have used your ability to laugh which, so often, accompanies your presence. The lost little girl in me could have really used her father.

I will make it through today. I will laugh. I will dance. I will be surrounded by amazing people, heroes and angels in their own right. I will marry the love of my life, best friend, and split-apart. But…

The absence of your presence will be profound, and have a lasting impact. I will never be angry at your choice, and I will ALWAYS love you.

 

My Not-So-Dearest Mother, they tell me little girls dream of their wedding day. They’re wrong in my case. Throughout planning my wedding I’ve never ‘seen it,’ as many girls would. I feel robbed of the anticipation I should have felt. In turn I robbed my girlfriend of hers. It should not be this way!

I have never pictured myself in fancy dresses. Lavish decorations, the perfect music, the wedding party to end all wedding parties. These things never found their way into my daydreams, or fantasies. It has made ‘The Wedding’ planning increasingly difficult. How do you say, “This is what I want!,” when what you want is empty.

The screen of my mind is blank. No picture perfect wedding day exists. No fanfare. No beautiful cake. No swishy, swirly, lacy dress with matching shoes. Just blank, black, endless nothing.

In a perfect world, you were supposed to be there for wedding planning. There were supposed to be conversations on makeup, hair, dating, clothes, etc. You should have met my first boyfriend, or girlfriend. I should have been excited to confide in you. Telling you my secrets. Seeking your opinion on everything, anything. You were meant to be there. You should have been there!

Instead, you disappeared into a fantasy world of your own design. You surrounded yourself with brick walls. Wrought iron bars locked the world out, and you in. You were more afraid of life than of living it. And in your disappearing act you took the world with you. The animosity I hold in relation to you is never ending.

My wedding day will not including you. No save the date, or invite, will ever be sent. You could barely be bothered to visit while I lay close to death. What point would there be in you attending my wedding?

Perhaps, one day, I will send you a wedding invite. You can add it to your filing cabinet, where possibilities have endlessly went to die. I’m sure you’ll find a way to blame my father for this as well.

The absence of your presence will be profound, but for all the wrong reasons. Your life must be so very cold and lonely.

To My Kids, I will never consider myself the greatest mom. I failed you in so many ways. I made mistakes throughout your lives. I failed to be there when I should have been. I pushed to much, or not enough. I yelled when I should have listened. I walked away when I should have fought. I was far from the perfect mother, but I loved you unconditionally with each breath.

It is with that love I tell you this now. I will listen to everything you have to say. I may not always hear, but I will listen. I will love you unconditionally, even when I don’t love your choices. You may be gay, straight, crooked, or cross eyed; and I will still love you indefinitely.

I am not perfect. I will always make mistakes. My first reaction to something you say, may not be the one you’re looking for…give me time to analyze and think things through. The reaction which follows will be worth the wait.

I want to share everything I can with you, but I don’t always know how. I will be awkward. I will embarrass you. I will make you angry. I will torment you. I will ask a million questions…or none at all. I will be annoying and send you “Are you still alive?” text messages. I will plot the demise of any and all who hurt you…until you tell me otherwise. I will drag out the baby pictures every chance I get. I will remind you that, while you may have 20+ birthdays under your belt, you are still my baby. I will welcome each and every hug; their value to me is immeasurable.

Each of you are my sunshine, and I will love you unconditionally and endlessly; until my dying day. Your absence from my life, even if just by distance, is more than profound. There are no words…

Learning to Lose

There is this great idea sweeping the nation. The reason the idea is so great is because… well… we’re all unhealthy. The idea? Oh, weight loss of course!

It is a great idea. If you can do something to work toward being healthier more power to you! Just don’t get stuck on the idea of looking like a movie star you see on TV, or a model, or someone you’ve seen in a magazine.

If you are plus size now, don’t disillusion yourself. Weight loss will not solve all of your problems. That is the biggest lie we’ve been sold. Working to be healthy is smart. Deciding to lose weight because, ‘it will solve everything!’, is a mistake to many make. It is usually what causes a person to gain back all the weight they lose.

Let me put it to you this way. I started a weight loss journey five months ago. It has been an eye opening journey. I started it out of frustration. I was tired. Tired of being uncomfortable in my own skin; tired of worrying about a dozen things every time I went somewhere. I worried about whether chairs would break if I sat on them. I worried about being around people, and walking through crowds. I worried about what people thought if I ate something in public. I could see the thoughts, and I was tired….

Being ‘plus size’ is exhausting! The looks, the stares, the comments, the comments when people think you are not within hearing range… you can learn to live with those. You even feel sorry for the people giving you the looks and making the comments. They live a sheltered life. They have been ‘protected’ from being larger. They have not had to experience the embarrassment, or true, deep, unending, disappointment.

There is only one way to fight anything that makes you uncomfortable – knowledge. So, after trying diets, fad diets, different doctors and their not so brilliant answers. I finally did what I should have done. I went for the science. I found a doctor who didn’t just shove pills at you, or hand you off to a dietician. She introduced me to the science behind weight gain. The science behind why so many of us are losing the battle of the bulge.

Our own bodies are our worst enemies. They are built to store fat. That is what their sole purpose is at times. When we lived in caves and food was scarce. Our bodies stored everything it could so we could survive. Now, with an abundance of food, it is still storing.

Don’t get me wrong. What we eat matters. Eating McDonald’s every night is not going to cause weight loss. Although those warm, golden fries are hard to resist! We have to learn a tasty but healthy alternative. As with most things, WE, is the keyword. We have to make a choice. And it won’t be an easy one.

I made that choice 5 months ago. I’m glad I did. I’m glad I know the science behind it. It is what my mind needed to change. The thing is though…

They show these weight loss shows on TV where people drop hundreds of pounds in a year, or less. The people on these shows are always smiling, happy; life is perfect, after the weight loss. They don’t show reality though. This is what I have been learning through my journey.

In the beginning it was easy. Nothing really changed. Drop twenty pounds; go down a pant size, no big deal. When you start dropping 40-50 pounds things change. The shoes you use to wear are now too large. You have to invest in a new wardrobe. Your face changes. Your body changes. Suddenly your skin is saggy. Along with all of your under garments. Let me tell you, that is not pleasant on either level.

Those fantastic weight loss shows don’t show how your daily showering routine changes. You’re suddenly using cotton balls and rubbing alcohol to clean the places the excess skin hangs. If that isn’t a sexy, appealing image for the fairy tale ending!

Your body has to relearn how to walk and move skinny. After years of being plus size, your body has adjusted to the extra weight. The same is true once you lose it. Your mind also has to adjust. You can suddenly fit into places you couldn’t before…and you have to remember this!

People also start looking at you differently, and treating you differently. Granted, this may have something to do with your growing confidence. I use to scoff at the idea that people treated you differently because of your size. It was finally driven home recently. I’m still having a hard time coming to terms with it. There is a big part of me that is angry at the injustice of it. Then…

I caught myself doing it. Walking to the break room at work – I noticed a plus size person filling a plate of food to the top. Before I could stop myself, the thought of, “Should they really be eating all of that?,” flew through my mind. I stopped midstride, and felt like a complete, and total as..terisk! It was as if everything I’ve been through didn’t matter. I was one of THOSE people. The judgmental, bullying, type of people who drive me nuts!

Through this journey I’ve learned many things about myself. I’ve learned I’m an emotional eater. No surprise there! What did surprise me though is I turn to food more when I’m sad than any other time. I also turn to it when I’m in pain. I’ve had to find new ways to handle those emotions. I’m still working on it, but at least now I know my triggers.

I’ve also learned I hate clothes shopping. I don’t care about fashion. I truly am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. My closet will never be filled with the latest and greatest fashion trends. I will always be years out of style. I’m okay with the basic black dress for the rare occasions that I wear one. I’m okay with a dressy shirt and comfortable dress pants when I need to dress business casual. Just don’t expect me to be fashion conscious. Clothes really are just another way we can judge people.

So, what have I really learned though it all? Hhhmmm… Well. No matter what we change on the outside. No matter how bad we may want the fairytale. The beauty, prince charming, the perfect body, the world! We’re always going to have the grandest thing of all – our individuality! We will always be uniquely ourselves. Our body will always be ours – not perfect, not always comfortable, not always what we picture, but ours. Beatifully, and uniquely ours. Once we realize that…the world is ours.

So…for today I wish your realizations that change your heart and your mind. Beauty that is solely yours, and a life created around your inspiration. Today is just a moment. Yesterday is just a second. Tomorrow is everything your make of it. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the best tomorrow ever!

Goodnight my friends!

Complex Ponderings

Life is complicated!

When I was a teenager, life wasn’t all that complicated. You got up, went to school, had a crush on the cutest boy in school (we had a few!), hung out with your friends, and tried not to do anything socially embarrassing. Simple! Granted, I wasn’t your normal teenager – I preferred a guy’s car to the guy himself. What can I say, cars are sexy! Especially Mustangs, GTO’s, Corvettes, old Chevys and Buicks, and….. the list gets longer the older I get.

Then, I became an adult. I’m not sure when it happened. It didn’t have anything to do with a specific birthday. I didn’t blow out the candles on my birthday cake and suddenly, “BANG!” become an adult. It would have been easier if it would have worked that way….I never would have blown out the candles!

Nope, I suddenly realized one day I’d became an adult. The sky got a little darker, and the world a little heavier. You don’t wake up one day and realize you’re an adult. You have it hit you like a ton of bricks. It is usually tied to a negative event in your life. Death, divorce, realizing your kids have grown up and no longer need you daily. It is overcast with a sadness.

Simple things don’t make you an adult – paying a bill over hitting the bar. Getting the oil changed instead of buying the new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for weeks. These are not adult inspiring moments. You learn, at a young age, that money matters and bills come first.

Cleaning house instead of hanging out with friends – still not an adult inspiring. You have a choice; either clean the house or live in a pig sty. Personally, most of us would choose clean. We just wish someone else would do the work. That’s another thing, getting a job; still not adult inspiring. Many kids have jobs – clean their room, take out the trash, pick up their mess. It is part of life.

The adult realization moments come with a jolt. They come when your son is 18 and moves out of the house…and on his own…. and you suddenly realize you needed him more then he probably needed you. It happens when your favoritest uncle in the world passes away…and you realize all the things you loved about him are gone. There is no more furry beard and Harley motorcycle lover in your life. Not ones who triggers fond smiles and memories of laughter. The noise and wildness is gone. Others can try to duplicate it, but it will never be the same.

Being an adult isn’t about acting mature. That’s just part of growing up. Being an adult is about facing those events in your life that you try desperately to believe will never happen. You know they’re going to happen. You know you can’t stop them from happening. You just never want to believe they’ll happen to you. But they do happen….and when they do…when you are knee deep in the worst of it. That is when you are an adult.

Life is complicated! Only because we spend our lives trying to live up to our age ‘category.’ You’re either an infant, toddler, child, tween, teenager, young adult, adult, or elderly. Yet through it all…you never feel any older than a teenager. It is the moments which age you. The moments which define you.

I’m no longer an adult. I’ve decided I’m going to be a youngster who has adult moments. I’ll react as an adult in situations which require it. Outside of those situations though. I am going to live life in a manner which includes laughter. Lots, and lots, and lots of laughter! Life is far too short to be serious all the time.

So, for today, I wish you realizations steeped in an ever widening circle of silly. Where clowns scare no one, and silly noses inspire boughts of fitful laughter. And the dreams you had at 10, or 20, or 30, still guide you to be, and do, what you have always wanted to do. And the life you live is truly your own. Adult-ism be darned!

Goodnight my friends!

sheep
Okay so….who would like to hear me preach?

I’m betting the number isn’t very high. Nor, do I believe there are many people who know I could.

You know, you get ordained, you find a church, you start preaching, and praising, and … well, being what you’re meant to. Unless…you can’t picture yourself standing in front of people preaching ‘at’ them. That part just never made sense to me. I’d rather understand ‘with’ them.

I don’t think religion should ever be one sided. Nor do I believe it should be closed minded. It is probably why I struggle with it constantly!! I went to learn. To understand. To make sense of what didn’t make sense to me. The more I read, and learned, and researched…the less defined religion appealed to me.

People are not dumb sheep, which need to be lead. They’re smart. They question. They need something more than one person standing in front of them telling them,” This is the way it is, and only this way is right!!” Sheep, meet staff, not Shepherd.

People don’t go to church to be held hostage. In fact, most people don’t like to go to church.  (I am sooo going to get negative emails for that statement.) They simply go because other people will be there. It is either to keep up pretenses, or they have a message for, package for, note for someone who is going to be there. Very rarely will you hear someone say, honestly, that they learned something new from the sermon. Something, they can apply to life today. We are being honest here, right?

We’re so stuck in the past. On a book written by men, put together by council vote, and truly defined by one man who was afraid his teachers beliefs would be lost forever. We rarely consider what was really going on during the time the bible was piecemealed together. 

It was a time of seers, mystics, prophets, and magic. Yet, how many modern Christians would throw a fit if you even suggested such a thing? Most of them.

There is this delusion that the time of apostles, and Jesus, was a sacred time. Bad things didn’t happen. At least until Jesus was crucified. People use the book for guidance, but I can do the same thing with a deck of cards. Does that make the creator of the card deck god-like? Perhaps.

The one piece of the bible people constantly preach is you have to believe in Jesus to get to heaven. It is not what he preached though. Not if you truly read the words. It is our choices, and our actions, which get us there.

We have a lot to learn. It is why we are here. To learn. To help others. To show compassion. To be better than ourselves. We lose sight of that so very easily. We get so stuck in our own little worlds. Locked in our own “Poor me, life is so hard. Life hates me. Poor, Poor, me” lives. We forget…it is NOT about us. It is about others.

Maybe, that is what I have forgotten. Maybe I am supposed to preach, to lead. It is fear that keeps me from it. Fear of saying the wrong thing. Doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. The fear of being completely wrong. Failure. There is the name of my fear; pure failure. Yet, isn’t this where one should have the most faith?

Perhaps, the two things I need to learn right now consist of this: 1. Everything you do should be to help others, and 2. Faith is the first step.

My faith will never be in the Nicene Creed. It will, however, be in truth, honesty, perspective, and people. Tomorrow may lead me to exactly where I need to be. Today, I will do my best to work on the two things I need to learn.

So, for today, I wish you a place to gather and commune that brings you peace, joy, and true faith. I wish you the truth, and the drive to not just be sheep. The choice is always yours. Learn what you can about the choice you’re making. Faith will do the rest. And never doubt , one person can, and will make a difference.

Goodnight my friends.