Archive | March 2015

Sweet Dreams

Another week…another Haiku.  Thanks as always to Ronovan, who puts an unnatural amount of effort into putting this all together.  He truly is dedicated not only to the Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge segment of his blog but numerous other blogventures.  You should really check it out.

As for this week’s word prompt, to be honest…I wasn’t loving it. Sorry, Ron.  Not for any specific reason.  They’re not hard words to fit into a poem so I’m not sure what my hesitation was.  Maybe I have a disdain for the word foul?  And sweet is not really a description I’d use for myself. 🙂 So, who knows.

Whatever the reason for my subconscious wanting no part of it, here I am.  I ignored the challenge all week but now the weekend is here and the deadline approaches.  And so it seems, the more I dislike the word prompts the more pleased I am with the results.

Another two from me this week.  These were two separate Haiku written in the reverse order.  Once I saw the words on the screen though, I thought they’d go better together as one full poem if I changed the order in which they were written.  Thus, Sweet Dreams.

Your foul stench lingers,
As my lungs gasp for fresh air,
Sweet freedom blows in.

It was a sweet thought,
Happily ever after,
Turned foul in your hands.

_____________________________________

Read more Haiku challenge entries here.

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Suppressing Fear

A while back, I attempted meditation.  I only did it a couple of times but it was an enjoyable experience and it seemed like something that would be helpful if I could continue it regularly.  Of course, I didn’t continue. No specific reason as to why. Just stopped. You know how it goes, too busy with work, family, blogging…etc.  Plus, it’s hard to get a quiet time to really focus.  I have a small window before my day gets going and phones start ringing and if I forget then there’s no time to squeeze it in.  Also, there are things that I do for me and my own peace of mind (such as writing) that I’m not into the rest of the household knowing – therefore, less comments from the peanut gallery – and meditation is on that list.

So, out of the blue, I decided on Monday to start again.  I’m working on “realigning my chakras” and I have to say, I’m enjoying it.  Monday happened to be a noisy morning so I put in ear plugs, which really helped me focus, and so I have been using them every day.  For me, it’s a smart move because I can tune right into my breathing and clearing my mind.

This week I’ve been working on my Red Chakra which represents my base aka my foundation. The meditative exercises I’ve been employing deal with understanding the source of my life energy.  Not only from my current state but what has been passed down to me through the generations.  I’ve been focusing on Renewal; change and new beginnings.  This is part of the book I’m reading, sort of a Chakra guideline.  To my surprise and yet not a shock, apropos my life, part of the meditation was to feel fear, sadness and let my mind journey to that place I want to inevitably be.

Pleasantly, my consciousness has quickly adapted to letting my thoughts and visuals go where I need to in order to conjure these very real feelings.  It’s only Thursday, and I’m already feeling a clarity about certain things, so I’m interested to see where this goes.  Here’s the thing.  This week brought up a feeling I always knew existed but I’ve been so determined to suppress it that when it showed up in my meditation it was very emotional.  Very emotional.

Fear.

I just can’t shake it.  It’s this shadow that is living inside of me and no matter how hard I push it down it still pops up.  Strangely, the fear is not in being here or in the actual act of leaving.  I’m very aware of the process I’ve outlined and what needs to be taken care of in order to accomplish this.  I’m confident in my ability to get out.  However, every action has a reaction.  The fear is in the unknown response of what leaving will snowball into.

At this point in “our” lives, I know on some level he knows I’m leaving or at least suspects it but doubts I’d actually do it.  He still plans for a future of growing old together – as if.  But I know, as with any change, there are going to be stages he goes through.  Of course, we’re both going to go through stages but they’ll be vastly different.  I already know how he reacts when he’s angry so I anticipate promises, threats, and destruction.  I think it’s the hunting down part that keeps me in a certain head space.  I mean, he’s turning 50 – does he really still have the chase in him?  I tell him continually that I don’t love him and that I’m not happy, and in giving the benefit of the doubt, I feel like that will click (at some point) and he’ll accept the fact that I’m not coming back.

It’s not even fear about what he’ll do to me.  That’s pretty much the least of it.  It’s more of the lengths will he go to in order for me to come back.  Who will he harass?  What will he do?  Where will he show up?  When will he give up?  And of course there is – why.  I know he’s going to play this pathetic…Why did I leave?  Why didn’t I give him another chance?  Why didn’t I let go of the past?  And whatever else his brain can muster to dump all of this on me, as if it’s my fault.  I guess the fear is that he will actually come through on one or more of his threats made over the span of this marriage.

Fear of the unknown is horrifically cruel.  It plays every single scenario over and over, each time making the outcome worse and worse.  This gut wrenching fear is paralyzing.  I was talking to a friend of mine about all of this yesterday, and they said that [since I’m aware] I can start to detach from the fear and start really confronting it.  That I’m, moving away from it but it’s a process and I have to move through the process, which has already begun.  My friend said, the control needs to shift to me now. The battle is in my heart.  The battle is with the fear. That I’m already bigger than that fear at the deepest level and ready to take it on. Now it just has to reach the surface.  “When you decide it’s time to go, you’ll be ready for whatever he brings your way.”

I know that’s all true. It makes sense. I guess it’s just that after all these years, now that the end is so close, all the suppressed trepidation is bubbling up. Maybe that’s the point of starting back on this road of meditation.  Maybe it was a subconscious decision that is meant to lead me down the path of self realization and enlightenment in order to finish this part of my life.  I guess I’ll learn more as I continue on this journey – through darkness, dawn and light.

Prevent Domestic Violence ~ Power Punch Words by Kendra Lynn

This is the only way I feel I can properly thank Kendra for writing such an amazing piece.

As exciting as it is for those of us who have been a victim of Domestic Violence to see the PSA commercials air on television or actors/actresses and public figures speak up about their own stories or use their fame in ads to say this behavior will no longer be tolerated – we’re left wondering… What happens when the camera is no longer rolling?  Is the thrill gone?  That rush of thinking – this is it – this topic is now mainstream – is kind of lackluster.

I’ve said it numerous times before, the fact that there are so many women sharing their Domestic Violence story truly amazes me.  From those who have made it out and those who are still in, the numbers and stories are staggering.  And as she discusses, the word courageous gets thrown around a lot.  Courageous for enduring it, escaping it, and speaking about it.  The real courage is surviving the aftermath once you’re out.

Kendra describes her own feelings about the approach Hollywood has taken, as well as her brush with the judicial system in her own battle with her abusive ex.  And damn, if it doesn’t strike a chord.  Although she is out of her relationship for 5 years and I’m on my way out – every word she writes I can feel deeply and agree with wholeheartedly.  There is something about being in this “club” that unites us in a way no one should be united.  I don’t want to know how it feels to be beaten but it’s too late for that.  The deed is done.  Now all I want is to know is how the hell are we going to stop it from happening to my sister…or your daughter…or your best friend?

Here’s what Kendra Lynn has to say about it:

Hush.

Now the Public Service Announcement (PSA) commercials on domestic violence (DV) have gone silent.

The award show has ended and most people no longer think about the speech against domestic abuse. Janay Palmer-Rice and Patricia Driscoll (Kurt Busch’s ex-girlfriend) are silent. There’s still no word on the progress of either Ray Rice or Kurt Busch.

What stays the same? The statistics of DV do:

  • A woman is beaten every 9 seconds in the U.S.
  • 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence.
  • 3 women in the U.S. are murdered by their partner every day.
  • 15 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year.
  • The median age for a female to become exposed to an abusive relationship is between 18 – 29.

Real numbers gathered every year by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Nice to know there’s at least a task force.

While social media and Hollywood are great ways to reach a multitude of people, I fear the message is lost. I fear the actresses speaking out against domestic violence aren’t taken seriously because they typically portray a fantasy. In the mind of the median aged target group (females between the ages of 18 – 29), the actress is a glamorous fantasy. Why are the statistics remaining the same? Perhaps because we have unknowingly glamourized the idea of being a survivor of this terrible thing.

If you look at the family history of any domestic abuse survivor, you will find a family tree riddled with various forms of dysfunctional family dynamics and abuse. The 18 year old female precariously hanging from this thin limb sees the notoriety; the center stage presence of the actress courageously speaking out against domestic abuse. A low self-esteem and poor outlook on her future – the young victim of domestic violence perhaps sees only the glory in the story. The roaring applause at an award show and the gleaming lights and the perfectly coiffured actress; a chance for a survivor to be honorably mentioned in front of millions of people. I fear the stage lights are blinding the crux of the words and message of the actresses providing the speeches to end DV.

We all know the reality of any one survivor telling her story on center stage is rare. The real survivors of domestic abuse are sitting at home – still too afraid to speak out and up against domestic violence because of the stigma, the shame, the horror, and the hell that still echoes in our mind. The real survivors speak of our story with a catch in our throat, stuttering words, and tears that spill of their own volition as the story hits the core of our soul.

I am a survivor of DV of almost 5 years and I still cry at odd times while telling my story to those who genuinely care to know. I’ll tell you right now, being a survivor is not glamorous in any sense of rational thinking. It’s taken me nearly all my time of being a survivor to *not* look at all men as abusers.

I remember insomnia clutching my hand with a fearful grip. I remember going through motions; pretending to have it all together but inside feeling like an absolute failure. I remember the heavy sledge hammer memories invoking my first real symptoms of PTSD. I remember finding my voice – a voice that growled and screamed and yelled and cussed vehemently for the simple joy of being able to finally do so (but inadvertently pushing people away).

I remember the cringe I felt when someone hugged me for the first time after leaving my abuser; the foreign feeling that surrounded me in waves of nausea. It’s taken me nearly 5 years to finally learn to love myself and forgive myself for my past choices.

I become silent when someone calls me courageous. It’s at that exact moment I hear my screeching hell hounds – remembering as they chased me during my escape from my hell. I think of the countless victims too afraid and beaten down to leave their abusive partner. To me, that is the heart of every survivor of DV. We don’t categorize ourselves as courageous. We learned very early that labels have a not so funny way of causing a deep bruise. We are our own existence – renaming ourselves outside of our riddled and decaying family tree and relational history. Glamorous? Honey, it’s far from it. It’s its own hell being a survivor.

So what’s my point? Hollywood needs to stop its current form of PSA against domestic violence. It’s not working. The world needs to see more real survivors speaking out against it. The world needs to see a petite girl being punched in the face. The world needs to see real blood, real bruises, real tears, and real fear. It needs to be a power-packed PSA that rocks the core of everyone daring to watch. If I’m going to see a commercial about ending domestic abuse, I need to see a real survivor – someone I and every other survivor can relate to.

Birds of a feather flock together and more survivors will speak up. Everyone watching such a commercial should have tears rolling down their cheeks – much the same thing that happens whenever I decide to speak the harsh truth of my story to someone that wants to really know. The voice of a survivor is a hushed, cracking voice welling up in tears that the listener has to lean into to hear clearly. She’s not dressed up in her finery standing proud. Her voice continues to tell her story but she winces, thinking of any backlash that might occur in doing so. When the world can read past her shame and feel her fear maybe we will begin to make progress in ending domestic violence and Hollywood will become a strategic partner in this fight.

It’s worth your time – please continue to read the rest of her article here: Prevent Domestic Violence ~ Power Punch Words by Kendra Lynn | VoElla

Follow Kendra on Blogspot & Twitter

Realistic Dreams

Under the dark moon, by the light of a faint lantern,
I am captivated by your adoring chestnut eyes,
as they are entranced in the cerulean depth of my own.

Unbridled passion increases into an animalistic frenzy
with instinctual urgency to fulfill each other’s needs.
All the while verbal communication is unnecessary.

Yet another night I’ve awakened from my dreams
as a thousand yesterdays replay within my psyche.
Each one continually leading us in the same direction.

Indeed, if our eyes are the doorway to the soul,
we can slumber peacefully knowing our yesterdays
will turn into our tomorrow sooner than we think.

___________________________________________

See this poem on Pinterest.

This #ComboPrompt is a compilation of the following prompts:

Issued by #ashverse – “dark moon” & “faint lantern”

Issued by #Magick_Words – “awaken” & “the soul”

Issued by #WrittenRiver – “a thousand yesterdays”

Wildflower

“When you’re happy, you enjoy the music.  But when you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.” – Frank Ocean

This quote circulates on social media quite often, and each time I see it I like, share, and retweet.  There is something about it that makes me feel, I don’t know…justified?  That’s definitely the wrong word.  All I know is that when I first read these words I thought YESSS this is SO true.  I’ve known as much for a long time.

I guess it resonated with me because over the years, I’ve been sad more than I’ve been happy and music has always been one of my escapes.  I’d put on my walkman, cd player or iPod and tune out real life.  When alone, I’ll listen to the music and love every rhythmic sound which will usually be anything with an upbeat tempo.  And on those not so alone days, I’ll put on my headphones and get lost in every single lyric of the slow songs that have some meaning and depth.

Being a child of the 70’s, and being lucky enough to have had young parents who also enjoyed music, I had the opportunity to listen to quite an assortment.  My father had an extensive album collection and there was always music playing.  So much variety in general plus the musical changes over the decades and then add to it the music my own kids listen to, I’d say my tastes vary in extremes.  My iPod holds everything from Dean Martin to Run DMC to Frankie Valli to Celia Cruz to the Spice Girls, NSync and anything Motown.  Needless to say…there’s diversity, and I enjoy all of it.

Every song sparks a specific memory or takes me to a certain place in time, which can range from extreme happiness or bring me to tears, and I’m sure the same holds true for mostly everyone else on the planet who listens to music.  I guess that’s the entire point – and the same song can mean something entirely different for each person.

This song, Wildflower by Skylark, happened to pop up on my iPod the other day.  I’ve heard it many times before and love it which is why it’s part of my playlist.  The last time I heard it, I remember thinking…wow, this song really fits [my] story.  This time around, I really took a listen to the lyrics – not because I was feeling melancholy or anything of that sort.  There’s just something about the melody that calls your attention to the words.

The first and last verses are particularly meaningful to me.  The first one is pretty much self explanatory and can bring on a heaviness alone just in the breakdown of the words.  It’s that last verse that hits home.  “And when you walk into her eyes, you won’t believe the way she’s always paying for a debt she never owes…”  In the beginning of this godforsaken journey, there was a very long time when I believed I deserved it and that I was being punished for making the decisions that I did…thus, paying for a debt I never owed.  Luckily, since blogging, I’ve worked through that and know now that none of this was deserved or my fault.

Geez, I didn’t mean to get heavy with this post.  I hope you can still sit back and enjoy the song.  It really is beautiful.  No matter the genre or our personal favorites, music is indeed the universal language.

She’s faced the hardest times you could imagine
And many times her eyes fought back the tears
And when her youthful world was about to fall in
Each time her slender shoulders bore the weight of all her fears
And a sorrow no one hears still rings in midnight silence, in her ears

Let her cry, for she’s a lady
Let her dream, for she’s a child
Let the rain fall down upon her
She’s a free and gentle flower, growing wild

And if by chance I should hold her
Let me hold her for a time
But if allowed just one possession
I would pick her from the garden, to be mine

Be careful how you touch her, for she’ll awaken
And sleep’s the only freedom that she knows
And when you walk into her eyes, you won’t believe
The way she’s always paying for a debt she never owes
And a silent wind still blows that only she can hear and so she goes

Let her cry, for she’s a lady
Let her dream, for she’s a child
Let the rain fall down upon her
She’s a free and gentle flower, growing wild

Strawberries and Flowers

Special thanks to Ronovan, who after being sick and having not such a great week, still fulfilled his blogations and posted this week’s Haiku Challenge right on time. And I, for one, am glad he did.  You don’t have to be into writing poetry to be into his blog.  He’s got a lot more going on than haiku.  Definitely check it out.

Although new prompts are posted every Monday, I usually take a day or two or seven and let the words marinate before I commit to my haiku.  This week’s words seemed to have so much flavor that I was able to get out two, haiku.

My entry for this week’s

RonovanWrites Weekly #Haiku
#Poetry Prompt Challenge #36

Prompts: Field & Beacon

Haiku #1
Her beacon of hope,
Contemplating the next move,
Waits in flower fields.

Haiku #2
I can hear John sing,
Strawberry Fields, forever
a beacon of peace.

_____________________________________

Read more Haiku challenge entries here.

Right > Wrong

Apparently, I’m always right.  Well, at least most of the time I am.  I didn’t always have this – gift.  I don’t know how it happens, it just does.  Of course, it also depends on who I’m dealing with.  If I tried to figure out where it stems from, I couldn’t pinpoint it.  However, my guess would be that after so many years of dealing with a person who wanted me to shut up 9 times out of 10 and thought I was lying every time I opened my mouth, it taught me to keep it shut unless I knew what I was talking about and could prove what I said was true.

Plus, with age comes wisdom.  And since there came a point where I didn’t want to speak to the other adult in the house I just watched television, the news, the dreaded shows we hated as kids that taught us about history, geography, etc. And of course with technology, everything we want to know is at our fingertips.  Not to mention having to keep up with the Kardashians.

Now, in no way am I saying I’m this uber smart person.  In fact, this post is mostly tongue in cheek.  The point I’m trying to get to is that…since I’m so used to being the right one I sometimes come off as {some would say} – cynical.  That too depends on the topic and the person I’m dealing with.

However, I do enjoy proving I’m right, most especially when there is a disbeliever about whatever the topic is.  (i.e. The difference between seltzer, club soda and carbonated water.)  That being said, when I’m wrong I do admit to it.  And now it’s become a sort of game with my friends, that when I’m wrong they get to hear the oh so coveted…

“You were right and I was wrong.”

They LOVE when I have to say it.  I will say it when it’s due but that just fuels me up to make sure that same person never hears it again.  Although, once hearing me say it also fuels them up to try and get to hear it again and again.

One of those pain in the neck friends is not only getting it again but he’s getting a big fat post about it.  So this one is for YOU…

YOU WERE RIGHT and I WAS WRONG!

That’s two in a row and I’m not enjoying having to say it.  Do NOT get used to it! 🙂