First Thought

This could be a Spring of retreat; a step or two toward the past. Maybe time on our hands and loads of room for reflection. My own longings lean toward the masses questioning all the holes in all the systems that Covid-19 surged right up to our every sensibility.

My next prayer is that all this new-found realization of what matters, this renewed knowledge of what essential is, will not get tossed and lost for good by most.

Reflection choices can be simple too; in fact, the majority of mine certainly are. I can’t believe how much it means to walk in the woods right now. All the smells of Spring are especially entrancing, and I am so in beyond land when I look at the tender shoots that replaced the tiny seeds I planted weeks ago. I’m so excited to be a back deck farmer this year. Small things. The every things.

It was within these lines of thought on this lazy Thursday, I was reminded of a sweet and lovely moment of 3 years ago, when we were allowed more fearless touch.

Wishing all a gentle and inspiring weekend.

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

 Gently smudging pain’s traces
Sweetly replacing facades

RL

Haiku / Tanka

Inspired by the artwork of: aaronpaquette.net and prompted by: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/heal/

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 that 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 slammed for ‘breaking his heart’ and 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

For the interested, here’s a quick review of the process these personalities engage in: Why Narcissists Disappear (Hint: It’s not just the silent treatment)

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

Waking a 12 Year Old’s Dream, Part 1 – Short Story

The girl ran over hills and dunes, striving to keep up with him while holding back the hair whipping all around her face.  He urged her to follow, and hurry.  He made jokes about how tiny she was… how he could just throw her into his pocket and rocket them away. They were going to wherever their running legs would take them.  Who needed a plan when any direction was good enough? There wasn’t any need to determine a finishing point. Their companionship was the ultimate destination.

cropped-2016-09-15-16-45-36

Her 12-year-old heart laughed with his in complete ease. He told her she was the nicest person he’d ever known. He called her every name that he knew meant precious and he said that no one could ever be the best friend she was.  She was so happy to have found him; no one wanted her for their best friend like that – ever. She was somehow always lacking a certain something that said No. 1 material,  like the kids who always get picked last for every team.

She’d first sought him out when she caught glimpses of him in behind all the grown up discussions coated in angst, behind all the searches for adult contentment that had surrounded them for years.

At 12, he was still as shy as he’d been at 6, but she saw him when most barely acknowledged he’d even existed. He was taken off-guard when he realized he’d been spotted.  He was used to being ignored, often drowned out by back to back beers or wine or depression. When the grown up around him wanted company, the last person he chose was his 12 yr. old.

The boy didn’t know he was lonely until he’d been seen. He didn’t know he could actually even love. He came to adore her, first for her seeing, then for being.  He couldn’t bear to be away from her for even an hour.  He’d go to sleep with her fully enveloping his thoughts until he woke up to resume them.  Lifetimes of plans replaced empty, faraway dreams.

One night, after an effort of determined, careful planning, they got to share a room, snuggled within the safety of one another’s presence. They were startled awake though, in the middle of the night. The grown ups were fighting, loudly.  It terrified the boy and he bolted.  He ran as fast as he could. He left her behind.

Somewhere in the middle of his running he decided the grown up of his experience was right, the only way to be, the only way to cope was the head-on pursuit of simplicity, the eternal chase of a good cocktail and easy lovin’.  Safety ensured by familiar pattern.

When she realized he’d turned back to the shadows, she stumbled from the room, once again rushing, this time blinded by the tears coursing over her face… As she ran, she heard his grown up and his grown up friends laughing behind her.  They yelled out, “Ah, face it, kid you weren’t enough anyway”…

When she got home, her grown up cried with her as she rocked her.  She whispered, “I’m so sorry sweetie, but you were always meant for far, far more than simple”…

RL

Dedicated to one 12 year old heart that still doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks about her or them; ever the bravest, of them all…

Thug Angels

Thug Angels 22A

His vision, his world, a shambles
Soul matter blasted into splinters
His prayers for freedoms and joys splayed
Across the Universe
The result of his grasping in silt for light

He blamed her, she who berated him
For his throwing her under the bus
He forgot she was the one who hears when he refuses to listen
He set about to break her, then eradicate her
He didn’t notice she’d already been shocked into a heap of sobbing incertitude

He accused her friends, the ones who stepped in
The ones who told him he was over the line
But they only needed to have their say
And then they moved on
Anything else was of minimal intrigue

Incredible how he missed the obvious; how he didn’t recognize their handiwork
Smoke swirling around their heads, cigars on their lips
As they sat at the liquor laden table surveilling
His own nearest & dearest slogging to tell him, show him, lead him
And he’d left them laughing, cursing and then sighing

Thug Angels 2B

It was time, he was overdue
The escapes of old were disingenuous now and the diversions too unworthy
The old schtick overworked, overused, overdone
His purpose was grown now, and he needed to catch up
Seemed to be taking him forever to catch on

It grates on them, the way he pisses and moans
When his prayers are answered
As if his puny ideas and plans matched the Universal facilities
They roll their eyes at his indignant umbrage and dismissal of Universal intent
At his constant returns, to deferral, to keep playing in skin deep

He’s meant to clean up the broken pieces… hold them in his hands
To plead for honest to God help and forgiveness and real humanity
To finally step up to accountability
To put it all back together
And again be whole

Time to stop blowing smoke, they tell him
It is so bloody well up to you now, this part, bud
Bemoan it, ignore it, delay it, but it don’t matter
It’s only fear in the way and fear’s no match for the inevitable
Your prayers, pal – so, get your own arse outta the way

Thug Angels 2C

Hey, Tony… your turn to deal…

RL

They said to her,
“Hard work being convinced the latest & the latest latest is the real thing this time, hey”?
“Haaaa…as their laughed soared & faded, “Sure… sure it is, ha ha haaa”…
…and she only smiled back at them. After all, they know everything…

That Time I Saved Me From Him

RED sky

Sometimes life has you re-visit the worst experiences of your existence. Maybe there’s something in them that needs refining or a new understanding. A friend’s post about a near-miss with a likely abuser found me in commiseration of that place, a truly surreal, soul-sucking misery.

I’ve been aware of all forms of abuse since growing up in a home built on them. Unfortunately, as an adult, I re-lived them in a couple of relationships.  Even if you’re lucky enough to apply what you learned from those experiences, you can never really be certain that you won’t meet up with an even greater insidious player at any time in your life.

My last encounter came up against a well-practised talent for speaking to the heart of one’s fears, desires, and beliefs – a red-hot champion of all those things. In hindsight, despite his delight and proficiency in the game, I do believe he truly wanted to be those things for me then.  I think he truly wanted an ‘honest us’, at least for a little while.

I think he wanted that not only because I came to him unexpectedly and from out of left field, but because I came from a place of the real deal, a genuinely open heart. I’d not shared in any of the usual repartee he indulged in where he normally scouted.

The world he had built for himself before meeting me was a cadre of women who were at various levels of need and were also quite willing to rationalize betrayals or were so lonely that any word of kindness was seized with the same frantic grasp for water in a parched desert.

However, by his standards they weren’t ‘true heart material’. One of the kinder things he said about them and given the history he detailed, I agreed readily and then some. It’s a numbers game for him, more than quality.

Still, regardless of how much he may have wanted it, it’s hard to maintain a wishful façade for any length of time and his began to crack within months. An ingrained habit of lying is impossible to hide from someone close over time. His resentment at being found out was too difficult to check indefinitely and so when it surfaced, it was cruel and of course, my fault. Our last month together was a stunning whirlwind of shock – from exceedingly gentle charm to baffling nightmare.

He wasn’t physically violent, but he became utterly ruthless in emotional and mental turmoil that included brutal name calling, ridiculing those same fears, desires and beliefs that he’d originally treasured, and complete dismissal of my every thought.

Because there wasn’t anything physical, it permitted him to wallow in complete denial of abuses. He said his lies, broken promises & lurid pursuits were cause for merely, “some hurt feelings”.  To his mind, my angry responses were the real crime. He was the one really suffering in this and I was just so “wrong” about him, except for the fact every wrong was in plain and copyable typeset. He was thorough with his online chronicles.

I know this is about an ugly sickness as is, but there was more to come. Even as I strove to get away, concerned friends asked me to try to persuade him to seek help.  I did try, because even when you should run like hell, when someone says help, most of us will try, especially for someone you’ve loved.

He only responded with more derision, blaming me for other distresses in his life that I had no part in: his financial situation, an illness, an apparent lack of concern for threats to his life. He continued by furiously and jealously insisting every man I had contact with only wanted to sleep with me, including professional counselors. Nearly every talk ended with him calling me vile names.

More vengeance included OK-ing one of his deceptive divas to taunt me, then he descended further, claiming my dead father was responsible for trying to kill him.

By this point, I knew I should’ve stayed gone the first time.  On the other hand, I did act when I began to see the truth.  I did pull away and stood up for myself without the self-doubt & castigation I would have once indulged to justify attempts to ‘save him’.  This time I put me first.

Sometimes, the only way you can save yourself is to expose the rot and that was his only true Achilles heel. I swallowed my humiliation & spoke out – including to his cadre, and that was the one legitimate & unforgivable sin in his mind.  That was when he declared himself, brokenhearted. “Strange kind of love you’ve got”, he said.

Cowardice hides its image in the dark; it needs to ooze its poison undercover. When this insanity was revealed, it opened the door to light, back to sane.  I was freed, and he took nothing from me that I can’t get back.

He gutted me and broke my heart, but he didn’t close it. He may have discarded any value for me, but that love was real to me and it didn’t die the minute our life went off the rails. I will always hope that someday he’ll be helped toward the man I believed I was with. Maybe someday, all the stories he tells about himself will  actually be true.

Mostly I wonder, if it will ever occur to him or them, that the only way to really protect your image is simply by living the way you want to be seen.

RL

If you need a place to read or talk about these issues in warm environments, try these lovely spaces: Deliberate Donkey or Better Not Broken

That’d be right, Babe

Gili Copy

He was a little less oblivious than she believed.  He’d feel it now, without seeing anymore, how her expression would change from the melancholic stare out at the water while she washed dishes or while they were out on the sand and she casually sifted it through her fingers to pick out shells or sea glass for photo projects or perhaps something poetic. Yes, he knew she was already gone across oceans.

He’d known for some time, watching as she drifted into her dreamscapes within the screen, feeling the sweet release of understanding from him – the other hims.

He knew all about her yearning explorations, racing off from the edge of her keyboard to faraway places of sand-groping windstorms.  He knew that she whispered with them all about his limitations, searching for commiseration and to be desired at the same time.  Daring and challenging any of them to be her answer.  She loves him, but…

Yes, Davis knew all about her whole other world and he knew it would only be a matter of time before he told her he knew. It was only a matter of time.  He loved her, but…

RL

The Daily Post Prompt Challenge to write about the experience of being outside, looking in – short story form.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-outsiders/

 

Roads that Twist Love

Have you ever come across someone who could break your heart, no matter how far away from them you could get?

Sister MirrorI had a best friend like that; no matter how often we did or didn’t speak, she could somehow open a wound just by existing.  I know that sounds odd, but all those years ago, when we once were so close, the bitterness of her wounds began to run too deep and widely.

It’s been years since I was last within her grasp, but even now I never know who I will run across or when something will let me know that her reach may be interminable; infinite maybe.  Probably.

Her ways back then were so needy.  She needed to be the biggest, the best, the most regarded, and the only.  She jealously guarded her needs.  She would place herself squarely in front of whoever was to be her latest trophy for career advancement, for recognition, for friends, for love.

I know where those wounds began, I know what they’re from, but what I don’t know is why they became stuck within her, why they screeched a halt to her ability to see with light.  I’m not even certain when that started, but one thing for sure, the child within flat-lined any more emotional development.

She needed special, which was measured according to what was special to someone else.  Coveting, I think that’s what that’s called, except she needed to covet up close and personal.  It really didn’t matter what the source of the glitter that caught her eye: someone else’s community recognition, someone else’s parental praise, someone else’s loves.  Nothing was off limits, as even I would eventually learn.

There were signs when things started heading south for her.  Accusations began to overtake any conversations, then retributions were meted out generously. Punishment of choice -malicious slander and brutal betrayal. Soon anyone near was indicted and we would all get turns at being the source of her poisoned well. Hell hath no fury like un-eased fears.

After a while, despair was not about living off the guilt of who did her wrong; within a few years of committing 6 of the 7 deadly sins, it was completely about how her own guilt was smothering her. The only way to keep ahead of that is to hit, numb, and run.

There was one moment when she realized the source of her pain was really found in a mirror, but it was only a brief dawning.  Besides, time is stopped for the inner child. They believe they have forever to tilt at windmills and they never really see how much the world has kept turning without them.

Someone told me recently how much he had loved her so many years ago.  I know how that felt, when we knew her. I live with the loss of that long ago love too. I don’t hate her – anymore, but I did learn that it’s not necessary for the both of us to drink the poison.

I also now know the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.  When we weren’t serving the purpose of total agreement with her, we got to experience her ‘or else’, and we were cast out without second thought. Some of us kept walking. I’d learn that a certain level of indifference was life-saving. Leaving the well to save oneself is not casting a stone upon another.

I don’t think of her every day anymore and I don’t feel that hurt either. Once in a while, I may fleetingly think about that someone I used to know.  I don’t try to understand any of it either. The most I will do now, is simply wish love and good health for her, and to continue in my own journey to move on in the same.

RL

Thank you to some people who inspired me to finally work out years of rumination.  Although I’m pretty sure they don’t know exactly what they said, I hope they’ll see some reflection of the thoughts they shared: Roberta Boulette, Christy, Melanie, and Rachel – Sisters to me, one and all – thanks.

Natures VS. Nurturing – If They Really Loved Me and Vice Versa – Couldn’t it Be More Simple?

hearts

We all want to be nurtured.  We all crave that caring sense of love me, pick me, have my back support.  I’ve seen how trouble comes though, when we also expect that nurturing to be presented as we understand it.  Because we are all unique representations of beings with unique expressions in need and gifts, it can be difficult to have those expectations met by others with equal fervor.

People who have already learned how to work around this, need not read further.  For we average folk still treading through the minefields, I luckily have found Donna, a good friend who puts this expectation to bed with a much simpler approach.  I think she’s onto something.

Troubles begin with a line of thought that goes something like this:  If they really loved me, they would know what I want or need, and they would do everything they could to provide it!

I have seen this thought put to action in varying ways; the girl who is angry that her mother didn’t buy a Christmas present that met her interests (guilty), the girlfriend deeply disappointed in her boyfriend’s missed idea of what is a great Valentine’s Day plan (guilty again), the wife who is sad and furious that her husband still doesn’t know her after all these years (divorced, so yeah, kind of guilty).

In each of these cases, the result could have been quite different if one simple effort had been practised  – talking with the object of those disappointments, (the person, not the gifts).  I stress could have, I make no guarantees of would have success for reasons upcoming.

For example, I cannot believe how long it took me to realize that all of my loved ones – family & friends – were not psychics! I don’t claim to have had much of a well-adjusted background to begin with, so I had to learn that I had unfair expectations that they should be able to just know what would make me happy.  Not just for gifts, but for when I was feeling low for whatever reason. Hey, they do it that way on TV all the time! To back-up that notion, I bolstered it with the fact that they were around me enough to know what I pointed out in varying degrees of hints and comment on what I liked, enjoyed, found beautiful, etc., etc., etc.  They even sometimes acknowledged that they heard those comments.  But, did they?

The thing is, I didn’t take into account that maybe they were having thoughts of their own at the same time.  Maybe they were tuned into what was needed at work, or what they should have for dinner.  Maybe they really couldn’t see the beauty in what I was pointing out.  The what really doesn’t matter, the point is there has to be allowance for the fact that no two minds are on the same page all of the time. Maybe they are even more different than the same most of  the time. Ugh, the heartache!

Much like most things in life, we need to simplify this meeting of the minds process as much as possible and/or the ways we can live with them.

For me, this starts with exercising a page from my own belief system in which I declare that I am (already) fully loved, nurtured and supported by the Universe. I believe something like this is a foundation for what is to follow in actual demonstration.  Whatever you choose to do or say as a foundation is up to you, but as all guidelines have said since the beginning of therapies, it starts with what you believe.

We can’t be who we are not, and we cannot demand that someone else change to suit our needs.   Change is a gift that we choose to give, it cannot be taken.  I can guarantee that it will crumble if demanded.  If you want to give the gift of changing something about yourself, then give it gladly, not in resentment.  If a relationship, of any nature, doesn’t work out, it’s not a failure.  I repeat, not a failure.  It was what it was, and another course in life knowledge is under your belt.  The grade you get depends only on how you apply what you’ve learned to the next one.

So it comes back to us. Starting to see the pattern here?  It’s about us being more gentle with our friends, family and lovers. How? Dare I say it?  By lowering our expectations, and letting go of any ‘what can I get out of this relationship’ thoughts.    Instead of demanding superhuman relating abilities, how about expecting only what is absolutely and honestly vital to our sense of nurturing, (i.e. respect, honesty, integrity)?

Taking into account that basic compatibility needs are met, & that you actually like the person, what is really necessary beyond someone simply wanting to give you their love and their best, as they know it?

My friend genuinely lives this way and she has a list of genuine friends longer than the new pope frontrunners did.   She and her man work to provide what is needed, but their true treasure is every moment of family time they share.  No need of fulfillment from the biggest toys life can offer.  She is married 20 years and counting; she couldn’t be more cherished or in love with her man, & family and vice-versa.  I‘d trade the most extravagantly planned Valentine’s evenings for that.

Think about it, we can gratefully accept nurturing in the way our loved ones can give it, and in return, we can gracefully fill in any blank needs  of our own by ourselves. Why couldn’t it be that simple, and why wouldn’t we want to, at least try to, practise it a little?

If someone is giving their love, then thank you Universe because really, how many of us have an over-abundance of people lining up to do that?

RL

(Um, quick note here to my loved ones: you’re still going to remember my birthday & Christmas, right?)

Robyn Lawson c/r 707-1 March 15, 2013