Big Troubles and a Fence – Reprised

Getting bullied feels like you’re alone in the middle of a cavernous field surrounded by an electric fence charged by your fear, the callousness of bullies and the apathy of bystanders. I remember this from when I was nine years old. I’ll always remember because no one forgets their encounters with bullies, ever.

playground 1For whatever reason, in grade four I caught the eye of our school bully. His name was Shane and although we were in the same grade, he was almost a head taller than me. I suppose it’s not surprising that a bully might have sought me out; I was one of the smallest in our class. I’m sure he felt confident of my vulnerability.

Shane would look for opportunities to push me around and because he was so much bigger than me, it didn’t take much of a push from him to knock me down. He would generally follow that up with slapping me and threatening worse after school. There weren’t many options for me after school, it was either run like hell for home, try to hide behind people as they were walking, or just take the beating while trying to fend off too much damage. Teachers weren’t much involved outside of class in those days and my parents were otherwise occupied with the drama of their own lives.

One Saturday I was heading over to a friend’s a few blocks from home. I had a temporary shortcut because a house between my street and hers had been torn down and I could cut through the now open yard. The only impediment was a fence in the back that I could climb over at the alley.

I started to walk across the yard, but suddenly a shadow caught my eye. Shane stepped out from behind some building debris that I’d just walked by. His face was sheer glee at having me cornered and alone. My mind took in the entire scenario in about eleven seconds. I knew exactly what was in store.

My heart dropped as I watched him slowly stepping toward me with the promise of pure menace. Within those eleven seconds, I figured my only options to get away were to run back past him or run for the fence. As my panic escalated with his every step toward me, it felt like I couldn’t move my feet anyway. I knew I’d reached the point of no return.

He got closer and as he raised his hand, instinct took over. I closed my eyes and I ran toward him. Hard. His head being higher than mine was providence; it turned out it was the perfect height for my hands to reach his face, which I blindly pummeled with my fists. Hard and fast.

I heard a cry. I opened my eyes and saw that Shane had stepped back from me. He was holding his nose and just staring at me. Then he took his hands down and looked at them. They were covered in blood. He couldn’t see it, but so was his face as the bleeding from his nose dripped steadily down his chin. We stared at each other equally stunned.

Then he brought his hands back up to his nose and started crying. I took this as my cue to head for the fence. At the same time I started to move, so did he, but the opposite way.

My body was unbeaten that day, but the adrenaline continued to beat in my heart.  I didn’t bother running to the fence, but I’m pretty sure I scaled it like a parkour athlete.  I was safe and I would remain safe.  Shane never bothered to come near me again.

I didn’t know it at the time, but that was a life changing event.  It wasn’t just that I was able to defend myself, no matter the miracle was unplanned. It was because it was the first time I was consciously aware that I did something I had no idea I could.

Unfortunately it wasn’t the last time I would encounter bullies in my life, but sometimes, when I do come up on the short end of the stick in those meetings, I remember that sweet, sweet time I kicked ass. Like a boss.

RL

Posted in Bullying, Confidence, Life, Storytelling, Surviving Life, Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Friday Funnies – ‘Cause, I Had to Put ‘Something’ Together

I didn’t get a ha-ha in for March or April? Wow, time flies in these box loads of crazy that’s passing for life lately. Kinda makes a girl feel like throwing in the towel on societal issues, humanity issues and all ‘Home & Garden’ issues really. I know I’m not the only one dealing with the feeling of falling behind or down and dammit, with nary a drop of liquor involved.

So the very least we could do (literally) is, sit back on someone else’s funny bone and catch a breather. (Don’t go there, Randall).  Therefore, in deference to our victory over low bars; in indulging the least we can do, let’s look and learn from some commiseration of our uh, win.

Not even kidding. Every Jehovah’s Witness or girl scout offers to call the police every time they come to my door

Clearly, Frank is on top of the yard work. Suck it, Bob.

Need more glue on the yellow line…

That’s some top notch ‘screw it’, right there…

I’m not sure I’d even count the bracelet as one of the three… just sayin’

Some things are best left unsaid… (by me, I’d love to hear what you’d say!)

Yeah,  maybe it’s time to turn it all over to the animals. We can always count on them to add the sweetness factor…

It might take a minute

And for a stand alone project:

That’s it for this week or until the whirlwinds of ‘are you kidding me’ politics, personal duties, and community expectations settle down – hahahaha… Just kidding, that never happens – and y’all know it. We’re in this sin wagon together…

Here’s to an easy weekend and if not, at least settle for yard work at Frank’s level.

RL

Posted in Humor, Life, Lighter Side, Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

Amusements

toying with kittens

Toying with kittens
Child’s play, like taking candy
Fear not wee scratches

Little ones playing at big
Amusements of life growing

RL

Haiku / Tanka
Writing challenge: Chuckle
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/chuckle/
Photo: Zawadi Mungu, lion dad at Oregon Zoo, Portland
Posted in Haiku, Micro Poetry, Poetry, Tanka, Writing Challenges | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

I Used My Intuition, Your Honour

Instinct photo

There is no way in hell anyone is going to worship you forever like you’re the only flawless, amazing, insightful and intelligent being ever. Forget all those Hollywood, Disneyland, comic book love stories, and all those earnest love songs too. Ain’t gonna happen. Not for long, not even sustainable as a nefarious ploy, and definitely not if you’re a member of the regular ol’ human race.

It took learning that with a shocked home-group coalition plus some world-wide reach out and touch me, to grow to a new level of human reality honesty.

There were two parts to my blindsided experience for review. Why didn’t I act when I sensed things were off? The clues were there, but there was also the very real intoxication of being treated like I was that amazing.

I’m not sure that’s the whole case, but I do know that when I did feel something was amiss, I decidedly dishonoured myself in favour of enjoying the worship and in honouring the effort to see the best in someone. We can’t go around being – too judgmental. God forbid, right? Wrong. I got that part wrong too.

Look, if any hint of overt darkness advances, I’m all set to say, cheers and goodbye. I don’t even need to feel the slightest brush of a demon feather across my aura to sense that. However, what if the dark approaches in the form of the absolutely, nicest person you’ve ever met, whose been treated unjustly, and needs a little support? Did your spidey senses just light up? Mine didn’t.

They did spark up from time to time a little further into the relatively short journey until, one day, for reasons I still don’t know, something deep within me rose to the surface and offered the friendship test of a lifetime. When that last red flag raised, I didn’t allow myself to ignore it and I blew out a full blast of WTH(?) dynamite.

That’s all it took. The façade of perfection was instantly erased; a whole new personality emerged from my understanding-beyond-human-capacity-adoring buddy. In the next 3 exchanges, I was dazed and demoted to lowest wretch at, “Sarah Palin on crack” level! Um, wow-for real? Which was immediately followed with all kinds of insane demands to maintain the friendship. I was honed enough by then to say, buh bye, but not enough to understand what the hell had happened during a literal overnight event.

After desperate work of trying to understand and reach peace, I’d reached out to some other friends who said, yeah, you’re not the first and you should talk with people who’ve already had direct experience with the same. That’s where the other countries came in; 2 Aussies, the American and the other Canadian. Amazing how far these weasels can reach. In short order they helped me see where I’d slipped, what I’d really been dealing with & how to get on in a solid upward positive march.  I’d been soundly introduced to the topic of a Cluster B personality who adores triangulation. This issue is so valuably covered in great and helpful detail with an internet search so I won’t go into all of that now. I will pray you avoid that hot mess.

I really want to emphasize my own slip here. I did have those red flags and I acknowledged them enough to have made my friend work even harder to talk me into some things. The thing is, I never did get entirely comfortable regardless. The point is, it doesn’t matter how it comes at you – if your soul, spirit, or gut, is saying this doesn’t feel right – then it’s not right. End of discussion. Real care or love may be a little messy and even a lot frustrating, but it doesn’t make you unsafe or feel unease or revulsion. Coercion is coercion in its belittling or heady adoration or needling begging form. Rejecting that is not being judgy.

Our instinct tells us many things, take a chance or step back, but what it never does is lie. Any situation where raised red flags need to be talked away, especially regularly, is a lousy one. In the face of fear or temptation, our instinct may be our only sound and safe judgment. Trust it.

RL

Posted in #MondayBlogs, Life, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

First Thought

morning bliss I am the first thought
On his mind as daybreak blinks
Sunday morning bliss…

 Gently smudging pain’s traces
Sweetly replacing wishes

RL

Haiku / Tanka
Inspired by the artwork of: aaronpaquette.net and prompted by: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/heal/
Posted in Haiku, love, Micro Poetry, Micro-Poetry, Poetry, Relationships, Tanka, three line poetry, Uncategorized, Writing Challenges | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Shut Up; Inspiration’s Tapping

Road blocks, creativity blocks, block heads…It’s a mindbender how often we stumble into the crevices of mental-logjam hell. Where you can’t get past step: what the hell is wrong with me? We’ve all encountered it and I have a theory about why. I think it’s a kind of, forgot who we are blockage.

I don’t mean traumatic amnesia or movement away from some great metaphysical understanding, not that those couldn’t be the issue. I mean by forgetting the simplest of our own self-connection, barring an osis attached to our psyches. I’m sure this isn’t new thought, but I landed on it while catching a breather.

I’ve had a few years of weaving around so many traumas that at times, I wasn’t sure I was still in the realm of general reality. It was hard work to get through that and one of my key coping tools was writing. I wrote out everything. I put it into journals, onto my blog, worked it into comments for online stories, into letters to friends. I wrote as though I was being chased by some spade-tailed catastrophic, disaster-delivering satan ready to fork me the minute I put my pen down.

Clearly, I wasn’t suffering from any blockage throughout all that. But – it was within this flurry of activity that I realized something. So much of what I was writing really didn’t have to do with the actual events that had occurred as much as what they activated in the storage room of my life.

One single lived moment can trigger a cascading torrent of imagination. A few incredible moments that shake us up to levels unknown can offer years of material. They needn’t have been traumatic, just the kind that opens up something, a doorway to that kaleidoscopic onion of infinite colors that is our subconscious.

We’ve all had them, these events, but we can’t really know how they will affect us when they occur. Sometimes, despite even our best efforts to forget them, memory will continue to haunt as though a living character in some perverse corner of the universe stuck on auto-replay. Relentless input, a consciousness stalker and its flying monkeys.

As a writer, any of these flashy inspirations can initiate a series of songs, poems, stories, or a simple chronicle of the event detailing what, why and how we were affected. They can induce flow for anyone – a photographer hits on a fantastic series of scenes to shoot. A politician may find that ideal answer to policy, the cure for cancer will attach to a researcher, the anybody who may unlock a talent long ignored, maybe bogged in banal duty or years of focused yakking about exes or bad bosses.

Conversely, there is another inspiration reality that’s just as effective, but seems to be less courted. Remember Newton, relativity, equal action/reaction? As much as huge events of any type can inspire, so can a simple minute of letting go and shutting up.

I suppose I’ve been learning that we really don’t have to search for inspiration; not when there are literally thousands of moments already in storage ready for excavating. Every one of our memories are multi-faceted jewels and each face has absorbed a song, a smell, a sound, a texture. Each is available and waiting. The only key to their door is closing the gate to absolutely everything else for a matter of mere minutes.

It’s a bit of practice initially, just letting thoughts float around, then up, then away… and wait. There will be no sudden heraldic choir announcement that it’s time to get your ass to the grindstone & forge the greatest creation ever. At least not typically, but if we wait a few minutes, the creation is there, ready. It will seep out timidly or flood our receptors, but either way, we’ll have achieved a nice BM, as in blockage movement. Yes, just as satisfying as any other.

Bottom line: rest is a requirement of the creative process, not a death sentence. So, shut up and let your muses get through to you. Or so they tell me… Mine mince no words. Ever.

RL

Posted in Blogging, Inspiration, Life, Writer's Block, Writing, Writing Challenges | 6 Comments

The Wins of Futility

[Short story – theme: conquer]

He enjoyed the idea that he was tormenting her while he dangled his presence around her, but the facades of his intent were very poor disguise, rather sophomoric and predictable. The fitting of his mask rendered him completely unaware that it was she, who was leading him by the nose.

So, there was little intrigue to hold her gaze. The offering was thin, weak even… the fact that she’d seen it for what it was and rejected it, in the end, was genuinely puzzling to him.

It drove him to play cat, but without the appearance of pawing at the mouse. He left that to the kittens he’d made believe were his fighting defense of immense ability.

The worst of it… that part that whirled his twisted out vision was that it didn’t look like she’d made any changes in her life that completely sealed out room for him, and that – that was the most incomprehensible.

So, he continued to prowl around corners and spy, hoping to provoke a second look, but it never comes. Not the way he craves. It will never be returned, and he will labor in that Sisyphus sort of way for as long as that emptiness and his meowing backup guide him.

She remains true to her purpose, employing her memories and inspirations without ever having to touch the reins he casts toward her. She shoos away the gnat-like fly-bys, exercising her right to indifference. This is her freedom, and his own imprisonment.

RL

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/conquer/

Posted in Fiction, Life, short story, Storytelling, Writing Challenges | Tagged | Leave a comment

Turning Corners …and Tossing Blanket Excuses

Street Art, say hello to my little Haiku…

Chortles for healing Chortles for healing
Yes, another truth cliché’
Eyes wide open; cured

Chasing fiends togetherPain’s scales fully cleared
Nothing’s like smiling with you
Cleansing fiends away

createdbyrcwNice doggy...good doggy.JPGProffered disclaimer
“Stimuli response creature”
His faults “in stasis”

Ah, ha ha, behold
How sweet to laughably view…
Saps teach ogres wordsSaps and Ogres

createdbyrcwBefore the morning coffee finally kicks in.JPGSadly, pulled below
Into sulphurous kisses
Temporary bath

createdbyrcwLady of the LakeFool’s paradises
Repelled for solid grounding
Upscaled to real life

createdbyrcwGlorious colours on a dank day2.jpgElevated me
New knowledge; true tenderness
Freedom completed

An exercise in summer re-discovery. A former summer’s draft of haikus met up with a friend’s last summer street art photography. Great fun matching up those thoughts to these illustrations of chance.

Outside of that, I’m guessing at this point in the year, many of us are in a need of some seasonal change. I’m definitely hungry for more sunny experiences in sunny destinations.  I’ll bet you are too. Let’s get at ‘er, mon anges et amies!

RL

All photos – various Toronto, ON street/graffiti art and graciously leant to me by photographer and writer, Randall Willis, of  CreatedByRCW and So, What’s Your Story
Posted in Abuse, Grief, Haiku, healing, Life, Micro-Poetry, Pain, photo, Poetry, Relationships, three line poetry, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Nice Folks 2.0

This is the follow-up story to the article “Nice Folks” which was published on March 9th. These stories are about a gang of seemingly average folks who are taking over multiple Facebook groups, in the guise of free speech, in order to push what very much looks like an anti-minority agenda.

Following the publishing of the first story, despite all pleas in contrary to the story by these people, that they are only exercising free speech of tastelessness – no real foul, they persisted in harassing people as usual. I was one of the people they contacted in an attempt to intimidate me into haranguing the AuntieThis writers to take down their story. True to their historical form, they seemed to pointedly revel in harassment toward people of color, in particular Indigenous women.

It was rather interesting to watch this reaction of concern for themselves, considering their own direct and very public harassment was seen by hundreds for sure, but more likely by thousands. In any case, there is nothing within these story details that has not been put out in the public realm by themselves and their friends.

I find it interesting that people continue to allow these people to fly with their vitriol. I have to wonder if this is in fear or with the view it’s cheap entertainment. Whatever the motives for sitting back, I am very glad to know there are other groups of people willing to step up and counter these growing voices of prejudice.

RL

auntiethis

Nice Folks 2.0
Last week we had a conversation about one of those “Nice Folks” problems: the kind you have when Nice Folks say the things that run around in their head out loud – and are surprised when people get mad.  Surprised and confused; cause they’ve been talking like that for years, and nobody said much about it.  If you need an update, you can find it here

Long story short: Margo pulled herself off-line; was in tears for days; worried about her kids – a lot; and went to the police.  Or not.

Because she stayed online the whole time – under one of her “alt” profiles, and just kept playing for attention; was laughing about it the day it happened – and ultimately had this to say:

Margos Wish

Because, ultimately, it was all about getting the attention.

What Margo was doing was using hate-speech to get attention; and that’s a big…

View original post 1,959 more words

Posted in Discrimination, First Nations, Indigenous Peoples, Internet Abuse, Racism, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

First Blog Resulted in 3 Unbelievable Opportunities!

Four years today… Blog Womaning bliss! The outlet for personal record became a portal of learning, teaching opportunities and making contact with the some of the greatest examples of human decency – and well, admittedly, an occasional dip toward the lowest. Luckily, those are very few, kind of like that deal I got to mull over not long after my first post back then…

teacher blackboard green irishI was really quite flattered when after I published my first blog, I received some attention from a fellow blogger with a message to follow his blog too.  I looked at his page and saw it was very well done. Quite sophisticated and up to date with all kinds of interesting media to flip through.  I liked, as in appreciated the post that was at the top of his published works. Nicely written, inspirational. Even more impressive was how young he was – only 18 yrs.  So, I hit the like button and even clicked on the blog ‘follow’ button.

Not long after, I started receiving inspirational emails from him that included ideas on changing my life, by changing my financial circumstances, by learning a really, super cool way to earn a living via my blog!  This guy did it and look, he’s only 18 and already retired in the Thai jungle of his retirement dreams – as demonstrated in his selfie-video telling me so.

The promo soundbites were right up my marketing background alley; though slight, the description sounded reasonable and plausible.  So, I followed the links as directed and got to a 45 minute video of two guys sitting casually in elegant chairs in front of a beautiful interior pool of an obviously expensive house.  My spidey senses began to web-out.

The guys opened their pitch with their personal histories and like young blog guy, they described their beginnings from nothing, with little prospects.  One had actually lived out of a van that cost less than the pen he was holding in his hand.  It was a pretty good looking pen.

The beautiful house was also his, and we wouldn’t believe that all he has now, was achieved after figuring out – are you ready for this – a simple, 3 step idea for making millions via the internet.

About 20 minutes into alternating the talk between how really hard life had been for them, yet so drastically changed with little effort into the still unexplained way they did it, another screen flashed up under their picture.  If I act now, for only $25, I will learn (finally) the secret 3 step plan for making millions – or as much as I am willing to work for, it’s all up to me – but I better hurry because there are limited spots left.  Ugh! Gut instinct confirmed, video turned off.

Pffftt! The not so secret ‘secret’ was revealed; original flattery flattened, thrill about having blog skillz fizzled. Hell, maybe I even did miss an opportunity to ‘retire at 18’, but I trusted my gut and I’m sure I’m richer from not doling out those bucks.

What this did do, was get me thinking about all these pyramid or multi-level marketing schemes that come up over and over. Sometimes they provide genuine product offerings, but mostly they’re about the quickest immediate cash grab for the idea guys.

I can’t begin to count how many of these pitches/ads/infomercials I’ve seen and you know what they all have in common?  Vans.  Ever notice that too?  Almost every one of these self-made from dirt poor guys who luck-out on the answer to millions, start out by living in vans.  Really shaky rickety vans too.

I’m re-thinking plans for my son’s formal education after high school.  I’m going to just shove him into a van when he’s 18 and say, “Go forth, my son, and prosper”!  Bring me back one of those expensive pens when you’ve made it.

This lit up the third idea bulb – I’m going into the old van selling business.  Low overhead; at near break-down level anyway. We’ll sell ’em to these young guys who’ll eventually get rich. Win-win. Whose in? Time limited offer. Oh, and my son gets his half-price.

Top of the marnin’ ta ya, (sorry about that)

…and a round of green full-bodied gratitude with a heady froth of love for these awesome folks, each a very fine mug-O’-talent; thanks for the ongoing support and friendship over these years…

Cheers,
Ned Hickson
Le Drake Noir
Robert Hookey
Trent’s World
Joanne at My Life Lived Full
Lynne at Life After 50
Jill’s Scene
Dan Antion
Randall Willis

RL

Posted in Blogging, Junk Mail, Life, Lighter Side, Storytelling, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 16 Comments