Posted in death and dying, inspirational, Writing for healing

I’m Still Here, She Used to Say

 

May 6th, 2019

There’s nothing more to say after my moody and sleepless weekend. Now I know why that restless spirit lurked.  She passed away early Saturday morning.

I liked to call her my auntie even though she was my mother’s cousin.  For a while it seemed that her concern for status and a certain type of propriety would dim my need for Sunday chats. Having someone to talk with, to chew the fat with, to simply say hello to became more important than any mutual tales of glory or woe.

She defied the odds,  continuing to breathe on her own for over a year after they took her off the oxygen. She lingered on, clear-minded, in her own home, with caretakers coming in and out. She persevered through visits and outings, ignoring the whispers and patronizing statements-the way people talk to old folks, loudly, sounding as if the encapsulated soul is some kindergartner needing to be chastised for squirming.

 

I’m still here she used to say

long after any morning happiness

ceased, leaving a darkening doubt.

 

I’m still here she used to say

and we would make jokes about surviving

day after day, hour after hour, a gaze, a shift, a sigh groaning into  slumber- yet- like a mean-spirited joke being played out against her will,

she would awaken.

I’m still here, she used to say,

long, long after a lonely dusk, the ancestors and angels gathered her in their welcoming glistening arms–

she’s free!

Posted in death and dying, memoir, Writing for healing

They Don’t Tell You

in the background the usual
misogyny
rattles around like the crusty rickety
and impetuous
drunk hanging out at the corner bar bragging to his seaside pals.

mama had warned you about stranger danger
but forgot the part
where your own sister
won’t call you to report
that Linda May had passed away
a month ago.

they don’t tell you
and never did speak
directly
except when the iron was hot
and the blue cold ribbon of one-upping
was theirs to display
and cheer.

Posted in cartoons, death and dying, Writing for healing

Whacked Out News vs Hope for the Future

Hello Kindred Writers and Readers,

I haven’t been on WordPress since August but I’ve been journaling and slowly working on my memoir manuscript. I’m not giving up. It doesn’t matter to me anymore how long it takes.

As I scan over my blog I’m tempted to toss out writing and stick to art and poetry. Then I remember a few words from various teachers and authors, especially Arun Gandhi who worked on one of his books for many years and when it emerged, the final product was a children’s book.

Then I check out all the incredible, talented, and hopeful young people in the world. I can’t give up on hope when I think about people such as those involved with DACA, education, women’s rights, civil rights,  along with so many un-named s/heros who wake up every morning to remind us to have courage.

I’ve about had it with adults, especially politicians who act worse than spoiled children. Since I last made a blog entry, we’ve seen the horror of hateful and fearful lost souls (KKK)  marching in Charlottesville, juxtaposed to kind, loving and inclusive gathering of people opposing the ignorance. What a tragic event.

Then came Hurricane Harvey, a natural disaster most surely caused in part by factors of global warming from man-made pollution. The fact that our president, ( I call him Humpty), thinks he can boast and buy his way through office and railroad legal experts, is absurd. He alone, is responsible for setting the tone and pace for critical dialogue  as the leader of the free world. Wake me up from this nightmare. Yet he remains a dangerous buffoon. He claims to know more than the generals? Ok. Good luck with that one. My response: Amendment 25.

We are allowed, according to the First Amendment to write and say what we want in the US. I’m beyond disbelief anymore. I find relief in political cartoons, especially Steve Sacks  who just published his first book. I may publish some of my rudimentary cartoons this year. Here’s another link.

So, I write about death often it seems. Not that I’m trying to be morbid or depressing. Quite the opposite. Death is like love. It hurts when we are in it because of fear of losing. Yet, the big L word is uniquely about freedom and not controlling others. Much of what I’m exploring in my own life story has to do with relationships and the challenge of being “good enough.” Isn’t that nutty?

The power of love and death is undeniable. People spend their lives trying to control anything or anyone around them in search of the race against time. Then, by the time you get old enough, if you’re lucky, you realize that none of crap you fought against in the self image category is important. People may like you, hate you, or whatever. No matter you do, they will talk about you, and for the most part, people don’t care that much. The hubs and I will both attest to the fact.

I’ve been through all the fads of spirituality on the market, only to come to the conclusion that most of feel good pablum IS a market, with branding, advertising and the whole mess.

Back to the drawing board.

I hope to have something more entertaining for my next post. Rusty, dusty.

Meanwhile, I’m happy to post that our granddaughter who has cystic fibrosis is doing very well. She’s in middle school now. Thank goodness and God (I’m a believer) for medical staff, doctors, nurses, administration, and volunteers who give hope and courage for anyone dealing with a disease. When you or a loved one has a challenge, no matter how cliche it sounds, not one second, not one minute of their lives is taken for granted.

Journal prompt: How do you see the world right now? Are you concerned? Bored? Angry? Happy? Numb? Describe your feelings about your environment. Do you sense that things are improving in your life or not? What do you dream about accomplishing?

Love and light to all.

Below: original art circa 1972, charcoal drawing, “Claude”

Posted in death and dying, friends

Neanderthals

 

It was fun when you were alive

and we would laugh together

about men being Neanderthals.

You should see what is going on now.

Well, of course you see it from your view

on the other side.

You do send signals- when light flickers off a hummingbird’s buzzing green wings

just as I lift my head to glance out the window.

And on my recent solitary sojourn to a place

you would surely have adored,

did you feel the intense vastness of mystic water underneath the orange heat?

I did see your reflection in the dolphin’s soft splash amidst a deepening evening at the canal

and with a quickening, a pang, I thought about uncertainty, the irony of

our private language.

And I only wept once at the thought that both of you had gone

home to the angels.

Even the dogs died that year. I was out of my mind over the cold abruptness of it all.

I winced at what most certainly was the dark secret you hinted at,

but I was too much of a cave girl to understand.

 

Journal prompt: write about losing a friend or relative to death. How do you, as a journal keeper, deal with death and dying? What images come to mind when you think of your loved ones who have crossed over.

This poem is in honor of my BFF (and her husband) who died in 1998.