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Poinsettias are usually not classified as things that last, but this one, scanty as it may appear, is special. It is ten years old. My boss gave it to me when I got back from ushering my Mother through her death. It was awkward, she said, because it was Christmas, and she wanted to give me flowers, but…it was Christmas, so she gave me a poinsettia. She was my boss then, ten years ago, and after the twisting, turning roads of the corporate world, she is my above boss-boss at my current company.

Poinsettias usually only last a season. And they are toxic to cats. This one has lasted a decade, and Mr. Man has had no problems with it. It is special. It represents my Mother. These were her last days, ten years ago, and I was with her every minute. It is a difficult time for me. As I have said each year, I live through every moment on some subconscious level. This year, with the turmoil of the election and the issues that it has raised for many women, myself included, I have found myself reliving other tragic and traumatic incidents from my past, owning them, writing about them (and wondering if I should make these writings public) and trying to let them find their place in my soul. It is not a peaceful process, but it will have a peaceful outcome. Every memory, sweet or agonizing, is and always will be, a lasting part of me.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “We all have our time machines, don’t we. Those that take us back are memories…And those that carry us forward, are dreams.” — H.G. Wells

Daily gratitudes:
Helping others
Fellow nasty women
Seeing MKL for the first time in three days
My giant coat on bitter cold days
That tickle of courage when I look at terrifying events of my past

 

 

I don’t know. But I feel that there are people I love waiting there – people and animals. And there were people waiting for all of those who arrived so suddenly yesterday. I imagine that when I get there, I’ll see something like this. Peaceful. Beautiful. Tranquil.

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Somewhere over the sea.

Quote of the day: “As the rose-tree is composed of the sweetest flowers and the sharpest thorns, as the heavens are sometimes overcast—alternately tempestuous and serene—so is the life of man intermingled with hopes and fears, with joys and sorrows, with pleasure and pain.” — Edmund Burke

Daily gratitudes:
The concept of Bolivia
The man listening very intently to the pillar on the corner of 15th and Wynkoop
A little girl in the dancing waters
That Kelsea is (still) on her way home
How beautiful my cousin looks

The Cat

He sits
close enough to my head
on the Red Couch
to be within reach
and to lick
the salt of my tears
off my hand
with his sandpaper tongue.

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Quote of the Day: “Dignity: The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. ” — Shannon L. Alder

Daily gratitudes:
Tomatoes ripening on the vine (not mine this year)
The other house in my neighborhood with a metal winged pig
MKL
Kelsea’s happiness
Horseradish cheddar cheese toast for dinner
The return of Peyton Manning

On Regrets

I once gave you a two-headed coin
to protect you from fates that hurt you.

Now, you choose to hurt me with your words,
again
And I am thrown into the River Styx,
again.

I do not want to be here,
again,
trying to breathe.

I hope the ferryman
will accept that coin as payment.

Please ask him to take care
not hit me with his oars
as you pass by
for I have been hurt
enough.

Tonight, around 1:45 in the morning, is the fifth anniversary of my Mother’s death. It has been a difficult week of remembering her last days.  In my mind, I can travel back to any minute of that week and be right there.  And that is hard.  It has been easier this year than in past years, but still hard.  There have been so many times this past year – these past five years – that I have wished with all my heart that I could talk to her. Really talk to her, not just to her spirit. I wish I could have asked for her advice, felt her love and support and comfort, heard her joy and her delight and pride in me. I can’t have that. I can never have that again.

It’s so hard.  Especially through these hard years.

I love you always, Mother. I know you’re having an amazing time wherever you are.  But I sure do miss you.

I was restless today. Antsy. Like one feels before a thunderstorm, sometimes.  That disturbance in the Force again.  I texted a friend about it, who suggested I check in with my spirit guides to see why.  That’s hard for me to do at work, so I wombled off to the Tattered Cover.

A less comfy chair at The Tattered Cover

Bookstores always soothe my soul.  Bookstores with cats are particularly satisfying.  The Tattered Cover doesn’t have cats, but it does have squishy, cushy, comfy couches where you can sit and read or write or meditate.  I did a bit of all three, and I talked to my Little Sister. I wound up the proud owner of four new books from the bargain shelf:

Books are simply irresistible.

Within the forty minutes I was inside, the blue skies had turned threatening and fat raindrops were coloring the pavement.  Back at my desk, I received an email that threw me into a tailspin.  And then the restlessness faded.  It had – as it so often does – predicted both a natural and emotional storm.

Tonight though, things are quieter. I took a bath in the clawfoot tub.  I read my current book. I am looking forward to a first date tomorrow.

Life goes on.  It just does.

At the Bottom of the Deep Blue

I am caught in its tender tendrils, swept up in a rush of salt water,
Frustratingly feeble as I attempt
To catch a wave with my bare
hands.

The shades trap me, tripping me up, turning my head and my ankles
until I am nothing but a sodden heap of shattered fabric on the sand.

A sail rent so terribly that it cannot ever again love the wind.

So many tears trickled down the crevasse of my breasts,
tumbled into the wildness of my fragile hair,
teased into the tunnels of my ears as I lie on eiderdown alone.

Is the sea always as alone as I?

It has the sky to keep it company, a rich match made in changing tides and cycles of planets
and the light of certain stars.

The blue comes, a terrible torment, stealthily circuitous, catching me
innocently unaware, basking in a bliss that could never last.

It encroaches on my spirit, nibbles at the nape of my neck, an unease that I know
will smother me
until it fades away,
seeking some other
wayward
trusting
spirit.

Weapons are ineffectual.
Intellect is ignored.
The blue comes,
and stays,
of its own accord.

It curves around the edges of my light, false softness slipping a dream around my shoulders,
clouding my vision with gentle pulsating pain, pain so soft I can mistake it for pleasure,
until it is too late, and I am muffled, choking, speechless, sightless,

Drowning
in the unlenting blue.

Today’s guest poet  —  Conrad Aiken

Chance Meetings

In the mazes of loitering people, the watchful and the furtive,
The shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves,
In the drowse of the sunlight, among the low voices,
I suddenly face you,

Your dark eyes return for a space from her who is with you,
They shine into mine with a sunlit desire,
They say an ‘I love you, what star do you live on?’
They smile and then darken,

And silent, I answer “You too — I have known you, — I love you! –‘
And the shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves
Interlace with low voices and footsteps and sunlight
To divide us forever.

“The  fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.”

This poem by Carl Sandburg is how I feel now, except substitute “blues” for fog. This is not a full-out, twelve round, knockout bout.  It feels like it’s creeping in, like I’m in a battle with my own brain and my own body for my own soul.

I had been doing so remarkably well, too, that when I have a misstep, I become discouraged.  I suppose one of the lessons of the Blues (yes, with a capital B) is that nothing – not even feelings – are permanent.

Somehow that does not make me feel better.

My small sage tells me to be patient, relax, and let things run their course, that everything will work out just fine.  It’s hard to believe that when you’re fighting the screaming blue meanies that seem to attack from every direction, leaving you tear-streaked and silent.

Honestly, writing helps.

But when that sense of tearing emotion seems to edge closer and closer, like some thick, wet, blue, velvet cloak trying to smother the life out of your heart…. it reminds me of women in gothic novels and B-movies, paralyzed at the approach of the charming vampiric villan, so desperately wanting to resist, but so powerless in his forthcoming embrace.

I sense a poem of my own coming on.

Missing Who

I miss the you who loved me
Not the you who left me

And now I cannot reconcile
within myself
that you hold both those yous
within you.

The you who loved
would never have
hurt the me you loved
the way you did.

I wonder who
I gave my heart and soul to?

I no longer know
which who.

The you who left
turned so quickly to
another who
one you could never
love so well.

I miss the you with whom I shared
not kisses, but breaths –
not passion, but realms –
not time, but worlds –
and I wonder
do you miss that you
too?

Is the you who loved
now lost forever,
buried in an empty grave
by the you who left?

I do not know.

All I know is that
I miss
some
you.

 

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