Figments Of My Heart

Summer heart purging, it’s like spring cleaning, but the summer haze softens reflection edges without the sweat inducing labour. If you’ve a chance to sit back for a bit with your memories and you’ve grown enough with them to have learned something real, something honestly measurable, forgiveness is sometimes an unexpected result.

I know there are different understandings of what forgiveness means, and for me, it’s mostly along the lines that the flare of anger sparked by a flash into my past is essentially gone. It’s that point where I can remember an event – even with a shudder, but without the piercing hurt. Where I can speak freely without tears, where I can see I was led astray and where I followed even when my instincts stung me with a no.

It’s when I know if I were to meet that situation again, I’d know exactly how to handle it in the best interest of my heart forevermore. It’s when I know I have stopped beating myself up and in clarity, realized where it all took me. So far, even the worst of monsters in my life ultimately mined strengths and abilities I’d never dreamed were in me… and beyond even that, the truest reveal is, I’m at peace.

ProselyliarsDo ask the prophet
Please sate your spiritual needs
‘Cause he’s God’s right hand

Ask him, pray tell all knowledge
Your belief, the deadly price

Double BillingDouble dog billing
Starring bereft alpha souls
Red and gold flame outs

Beware harem frenemies
Two faces, double the bites

Ogres and  MonstrositiesFair and fairer won
Booby prizes of the year
Outsmarted themselves

Thought they knew better than, but
Fell harder than anyone

RL

Here’s to the times we get the last laughs… Cheers!

 

Street art photo credits and much gratitude to the talented Randall Willis of CreatedByRCW and So, What’s Your Story

 

 

 

Hey 2017, I’ve Been Waiting For You Forever!

Last month I was sent a note reminding me about the kindness or kick-in-the-ass power of Karma. Interestingly, it was a topic I ended with last year. I guess I was meant to review it again. However you want to define Karma, mostly it’s believed to be the energy of all-knowingness and balance, equalizing all wrongs with a right, etc.

2016 made me witness that, regardless of how intense the attempts to rationalize the most self-serving of behaviors, the real underlying motives are already and always, known. In other words, we can run, but we can’t hide – not even from our own very best designs of delusion.

Regardless of how open and honestly we enter a situation, we may not be received in the same vein. Trying to find or understand how anyone can talk themselves into believing their own good motives, while they take advantage of someone, is futile. It’s an infinite circling of crazy.

The sort who act in these ways may never capitulate. Contrition is a game of supply and demand. They demand you supply it, even when they’re blatantly exposed. Twisting falsehoods into acceptable fact for themselves and anyone willing to believe them, is fair play (flattery is their best friend). …Pffft, no matter for the all-knowing Karmic eye.

We don’t always get to see this, but this year I did; regardless of how things seem on the surface or in public, the course correction energies are always at play. Where I was devastated that I’d lost something amazing, I found I’d been absolutely rescued from the lowest of possible futures. Yes, it hurt, all the way to that final understanding, but when the smoke cleared, it was obvious that some months of pain could have easily been an engagement in years of agonizing misery. Well, what can I say? Things are looking up.

I hope for the same for any others who have struggled to keep heads and hearts above water. Fight for what you have to, but be bold; bravely look at its truths too, then hold the faith that you’ve got what you need.

Thank you, so very much, to those who saw me, heard me, and stood by me. Thank you for your strengths that allowed you to gently hold my heart even through my (most definitely miserably) worst. Thank you, for teaching me and healing me, and most of all, for the love in 2016.  

Wishing the very best for all souls in 2017… Cheers!

RL

Happy New Year - 2017, here's to those of us who are more than ready for different and definitely more uplifting experiences this year. Cheers to all!

Happy New Year – 2017, here’s to those of us who are more than ready for different and definitely more uplifting experiences this year. Cheers to all!

I Would Die For My Words, But I’ll Stand With My Superpower

i-am-my-words

“Why are you speaking out so much? You’re going to get hurt”.

Going to get hurt? I’ve been hurt my whole life, what don’t I already know about hurt?  I’ve been hurt deeply enough to have died.  Literally.  (Life skillz pro tip: I highly recommend dying near a handy defibrillator; CPR hurts like a bitch – for days).

As a matter of record, this year has been one of the most painfully tumultuous for me and yet, I’m still here and I’m still talkin’ – unflinchingly.

I wish to continue asking people to step out of what they’ve learned is ‘success’ and question if it truly makes their heart sing, keeps them at peace and benefits anyone/anything else outside of constant, immediate personal gratification.

Well known, feminist activist, Gloria Steinem said, women become more activist conscious and engaged as they grow older because they lose power. I agree with her, re: our current paradigm.  We are prized for our beauty, our ‘niceness’; especially our willingness to ‘pleasantly get along’ regardless of any inequity levels in front of us.

She also said, men gain power as they age; that many tend to become more conservative – because they become more fearful about losing that advantageous power and so will use whatever manner to constrict others to protect that cushion.

I believe her words. I’ve lived them, but I refuse to accept them for me and my son.

This year especially highlighted my weaknesses, particularly from a genetic disease that doesn’t allow me to march or dance in all the ways I love, and from profound losses that reshaped my life, but I found ways to help change old paradigms anyway.

I’ve been gifted words and words are a superpower.

My words burst or seep in all kinds of form. I’ll write statement after statement about injustices that ignite my passion or calls to fierceness.  I often confess my words can be a stream of the most colorful profanity, that I could be speaking 6 other languages I don’t even know. Sometimes my words just want to be heard in the softest tones of poetry.  Sometimes my words are filled with laughter, and sometimes my words can embarrass the hell out of me.

What my words mostly are though, are a life source; a critical part of my purpose.  It’s been said so since I first spoke (a string of 3 expletives). My family gleefully and variously confirmed it with all sort of eye-roll inducing teases.

So, in answer to my concerned friend that I may get hurt by my expanding work to speak up against injustice – yes, I may, but since when is stretching not painful? On a personal level,  I’ve turned that around. I now refuse to spend any unnecessary time with anyone over 30 who refuses to relate in a straightforward grown-ass manner. I can confirm, time is precious. As Betty White said, “Vagina up, man”. She explained, why say,  ‘grow a pair’, when testicles are really quite fragile? We’re talking about actual birth canals; talk about taking a beating”! Man, I love that woman! Anyway, maybe this’ll net me fewer conversations, but saving time and connecting with people in a more real way for purposes greater than myself seems in fact, to be the point of my life.

I know that’s not entirely the pain my friend is concerned with, but – I can speak with some fair firsthand authority now, to assure that the most painful hurt, is not harsh words or bruises, broken bones, CPR or even dying. Outside of losing loved ones, what hurts most, is indifference.

So, I’ll continue to ask, which of our success representations are truly so valuable that we couldn’t live without them?  We don’t have to die to learn most of what we fear losing is really, not so much after all, but many do die because we refuse to look at the question.

We do everything we can for the safety and comfort of our loved ones, but will we extend that to include those who have suffered on any level for that comfort? If you don’t know who that is, please, please seek to learn; we need to look beyond our own small space in this great big world. Indifference is the poison that is instantly diluted by even the simplest act of compassion.  Just do it. I know you want to.

RL

Emotional Liquid Bugs, Floating Upon Haiku Tension

water-nymph-jpgWater nymph skimming
Measuring the surfaces
Of her jealousy

wasp-drinkingOld wasp sits & sips
Watching for validation
Of her loyalty

hydrometridaeHydrometridae
Sought win by claiming waste
Loses face for it

RL

Just a little light-hearted fun in the middle of intense yet gratifying circumstances. Definitely back to loving life.

Inspired by the writing challenges issued by the Daily Prompt: Passionate https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/passionate/

Monday Blues and Champagne

Monday Blues 1-1
…And so I got a little bit drunk on a Monday afternoon….
It was just a little bit too much to deal with, all the bad news of the fall…
It was just a little bit too much.
No, I don’t do this often… I don’t do it often at all actually,
But today, I did
Because the sound of silence was not a comfort today.
Today the silence threatened to silence, even me.
A little champagne with the omelette,
To dampen despondency … to throw a block at that insidious intrusion sneaking in …
The judge that reminds me of my failures, blames me for my losses, wants to decline my sense of safe esteem.
I did get a little bit drunk
To evade the judgement that sentences me to self-recriminating hell for losing to the merely inane.
I got a little bit drunk this afternoon,
When all the meditation in the world wasn’t enough.
So I could instead turn to only the encouragement of lovely, thinking people.
So I could feel the comfort of gorgeous words that were written to assuage my fears.
So, I could remember that these people matter, and to know that the insidious, more than anything,  especially on Mondays, could use … a little champagne.

RL

Silence

There are no words worthy of the gratitude I feel toward the people who champion me in the hard times as much as during the laughs. I raise my glass to the ones who prod me to carry on, and carry on with my words even within my fears that I will give away too much.
To the ones whose own words speak so directly to my heart that they give me a strength they can’t possibly imagine – thank you… thank you… thank you…
To the women who worked so efficiently to enlighten me about what is, thank you.

Photo Credit: Darren Quarin, Quarin Photography, “A Glimmer of Hope”

Ever Been Properly in Love?

During his first year on CNN, TV Host Piers Morgan always asked his guests, “Have you ever been properly in love”?  Of course that always got his guests wondering or reminiscing, and so, I did too.  Forgive me a few moments of sentimentality. It is Valentine’s season after all.

Valentines-Wallpaper- whiteI realize as I’ve got older that I have been properly in love many, many times.  Hey, keep calm and read on, it wasn’t all hormones.  I don’t mean just in the romantic sense that Piers was inquiring about, but with all the wonderful friends that I have known over the years. They may have come and gone, or come and stayed, but I am forever changed by the genuine love grown between us.

It’s the kind of love that inspired countless shared hours of deep laughs, light fun, brilliant thinking and inspiring ideas, and so many fabulous occasions. It is the kind that offers a solid place to lean on while navigating troubles and sorrows.

It’s the kindness of love that draws us to each other maybe for only moments in shared interests and similar stories, or for a quick friendly review of talent or taste.  Of course it has also taken my hand and flipped me flat out on the threshold of deep resonating romance, and then even permanently tied me to the indescribable heart-song of my child.

Love is a song made of infinite notes; it’s a never-ending tune that rises and fades like all dynamics of life.  There are no real endings because even after we’ve moved on, we left the trail of what we gave.

And so,  after all of this, yes, I would get to answer that question, yes. I have been properly in love, many times, maybe always. And, actually, isn’t that really the truth of us all?

Happy Love Day!

RL

Class, The ‘80s are Dead, & Now We’re All in the Service Industry

What if your job was used as an example for what not to be when you grow up?  Imagine that – your job served up as a warning for what you will end up if you don’t do well in school.  This recently happened to a friend of mine. He didn’t hear this warning firsthand. The class that did was attended by his daughter.  Now, imagine that.

It’s probable her teacher had best of intentions to motivate the students, and even my friend acknowledged that. He also said, good thing his daughter has thick skin, but even so, she felt compelled to apologize for the ignorance of others.   As a parent, you would think about your child in that class at that moment, then you’d be taking measurement of your own skin depth.

People in – generally accepted as respectable- careers, might breathe a little sigh of relief at not having to deal with a situation like that.  I don’t even have to mention his job because many will have already assessed whether or not they have one of ‘those’ jobs. Probably something menial, or in the service industry, right?  I think on some level though, most would feel there is something not quite right about it all.  Do unto others, etc.

server 1 diffusedIt doesn’t matter what road we go down, ultimately whatever we work at is in service to someone else, and whether we are aware or not, we are also teaching. We will share our combined life experiences in some form or another, for better or worse.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about, after reflecting on my friend’s experience, is the idea of a simple shift in how we perceive and pursue success and the related esteems.  Success definitions aside, there’s nothing wrong with shooting for the top or making top dollar, just that there could be more emphasis placed on important pursuits leading to that.

For performing our services, most want to earn respect, appreciation, and even admiration with our money. It’s hard to honestly earn good money without applying these qualities anyway.  What if we started reaching for the stars from a place that sets aside aspects slavishly pursued in the 1980s like image, titles and the bottom line? What if we started our pursuit of work or career by thinking about those aspects that we care about as people regardless of role in our careers. Corporations spend billions on ways to humanize their images, to be relatable to people.   What irony.

Could we make more of an effort to shift, and teach to shift, the perspective from what can we get out of life to what can we give?  Could we consciously ask ourselves before we start our day, school, work or career directions by asking in what way(s) are we best suited to serve? What can I, what do I, give to the big picture? I wonder what kind of success levels as a society we would have then.  It might sound lofty, but it really isn’t.

This isn’t simple idealism; it’s still about earning a buck and a decent living. The Real Housewives TV franchises will live, just wouldn’t it be nice if we could make them even less real than they already aren’t?  We can still aspire to C.E.O lifestyles, but doing it with that simple shift in perspective changes the complexion of how we view status and value through titles and job types. It’s not what do we do, but how do we serve?

I think on some level we already know this as mostly true.  No matter what title we achieve, what everyone really wants to know is how well, and what, were we able to contribute. We really care about the type of person we are, and who we’re working with. It’s how we want to be described when we die.  If you need a touch of proof, watch an episode of Undercover Boss sometime.

Knowing even the little that I do about this, I’d still wager that the rewards for turning this table in society would be huge, including financially. It all begins with just a small change in thought. Imagine that.

At a minimum we could leave the examples of what not to be at drug dealers and crooks.  And tofu hot dog makers.  (Just kidding tofu people, some of my best friends are tofu hot dogs).

Click on picture to read note

Click on picture to read note

Oh, about that example of what not to be?  To start, he is an outstanding parent.  For pay he works with staff and children, in a host of ways, every day of the school year.  After that, his resume’ includes being an amazing photographer,  a writer of beautiful poetry and witticisms, and an extensive world traveler.

He must also be a pretty successful service provider because one day he received this note on his work cart. Seems like outstanding achievement to me.

RL

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”                Sir Winston Churchill