Being Alive

Listen to the body’s words
In the event of pain
Very unusual to withstand
Even as infection is lanced

So my orange tabby, ‘Cutis has a puncture on one of his legs. It’s healing, but I have to lance it for any new infection at least once a day because of the way cats heal. If a cat has a wound, it has to heal on the inside before you let it fully scab over (unless there are stitches involved, I think.) If you don’t let it heal on the inside first, then it can become infected and burn through a cat’s skin making a new hole.

It was not fun learning that with a previous cat.

Anyway, with other cats, it hasn’t been fun having to lance a scabbed-over wound to make sure it isn’t growing infected underneath the scab. Very few animals like it with you have to clean and bandage a wound in the first place, much less have to lance it at least once a day, just in case.

‘Cutis lets me lance any infection with at least two pokes before he gets antsy. He could break free really easy but just shifts away from me a little. He’s large and strong and heavy, but he just lets me check his wound over as it heals. I can’t remember anyone, animal or not, who let me do that something like that so often. The fact that it was with someone who I can only understand via body language…

‘Cutis might be one of the most patient and calm person I have ever met.IMG_20200225_082354936

image: ‘Cutis; from martha0stout’s phone

Life

Worth it at the end of the day
Or maybe the sun is just starting to come up?
Real life requires more than just a breeze.
Keep in mind that it will not be over quickly.
 
Pretend you’re someone you’re not!
Let the stress of the day run away for a bit.
Always remember to leave your work at your job.
Yesterday only needs to be thought about later.
 
Listen to yourself, don’t forget your own voice,
I know that it’s hard to make another choice.
Very important to remember that you matter
Even when no one else will cheer for the batter.
 

It’s just one of those days.

“Dawn” by my mother

My first books of poetry were given to me by my mother. At the time I was studying different styles of poetry in elementary school and found that I loved it, even if it was one of those things that I wasn’t the best at. It wasn’t until several years later, when cleaning out some boxes from the storage room, that I found a slim red-covered notebook with ‘A Collection of Poetry’ written on the front page in my mom’s elegant cursive.

(Seriously, her cursive is so beautiful that it reminds me of calligraphy. I lament the fact that cursive wasn’t as important during my learning years as it obviously was during hers.)

Inside of the notebook held a lovely collection of works that my mom had written throughout her life. Many of them were written for people that I have never met, but my favorite one is the first one inside the notebook. It goes as follows:

Dawn
 
I saw my daughter just today,
All rosy pink and new.
My precious little gift from God
Shone fresh as morning dew.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
Her chubby hands still held
Her favorite doll, a circus clown,
All ragged, smiling still.
 
I saw my daughter just today
With pigtails curling round,
And tied with ribbons, white and pink,
Dressed in my evening gown
 
I saw my daughter just today
With rouge and lipstick on,
High heels and all the latest styles:
My little girl was gone.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A woman now, full grown.
Her beauty took my breath away;
Oh, how the years have flown!
 
I saw my daughter just today,
So still and white with death.
I pled with God with all my heart,
“Please, do not take her yet!”
 
I saw my daughter just today,
She talked of memories sweet,
And of tomorrows we will share
When once again we meet.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A promise in her eyes.
“Someday I’ll be with you again,
We’ll say no more goodbyes.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“Keep close to God,” she said.
“Draw comfort from the things He says
And death won’t be so sad.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“It’s time for me to go.
My love for you is always here
Because you loved me so.”

She wrote this for her cousin when she lost her daughter. I don’t think I was even born at the time. She says she was cooking dinner at the time she received the call from her sister-in-law. Mom had to stop what she was doing, sit down and just write this.

“It just flowed.”

I still can’t read this poem without crying no matter how old I have gotten and how many times I’ve traced her words.

Written for Suzie’s Weekly Challenge: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/06/08/weekly-word-challenge-books-poetry-and-prose/

See the World, Don’t See An Ocean

To go the distance is a wonderful thing!
Remember all the moments that had you smiling…
Away we shall drive, across the continent
Vows to make it the the next graduent.
Even though it’s the middle of the week
Live while you can and don’t be too sleek.
Sometimes it’s cheaper just to drive rather than fly.
To California now! The other way,
How long are we going to stay?
Even though we’ll be together  all the way.
Everyone will help when only one moves away.
Wow! You’ve scattered all over the place!
One to the West and one to the East states.
Recall that you’ve sent another to the South.
Let me know what it’s like going that route.
Don’t forget that wherever you go, you’re always home.
Home is where the heart is.

Written for Suzie’s Weekly Word Challenge this week: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/05/26/weekly-word-challenge-travel/

When I was 12 years old, my family decided to drive across the Continental U.S. to see my second eldest sister graduate from boot camp. It was the middle of exams and we only had a little money. We went anyway and made up all the exams the week after.

Five or six years ago, another of my sisters was moving to California. So the majority of my family got time off, packed her up and we headed out. Nevada is a beautiful place, but once you get through the mountains and into California near Sacramento… There are practically no mountains. I spent the entire time completely lost. I grew up surrounded by mountains, without them I have absolutely no idea where I am. Having a compass didn’t help at all. (I have slight panic attacks when I have no mountains for an extended period of time.)

I’ve been to both the East Coast and the West Coast and yet have never seen an ocean.

I’ve had a panic attack and had to spend all day under a blanket while driving through Arkansas.

Many of my family have been all over. At one point I had a sister in Germany (stationed there), a sister in Hawaii (college student), another down in the bottom corner of Utah in the middle of the National Parks there (college, again) and my elder brother over in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (mission). They were all gone at the same time and the household was the smallest I’ve ever seen in my family (there were only five of us at home: one mom and four pre-teens/teens.)

My parents did all their traveling before they had us passel of kids (Dad was in the Air Force when they first met and he was stationed in various places) so I know about places, but other than reading, I haven’t actually been to very many of them.

Well, my imagination has always been up to snuff enough for me  and I do so love to look things up and then picture them in my mind. Maybe someday I’ll actually see an ocean in something other than through a lens, but until then, I’ll listen to the stories my family can tell and enjoy every moment of my travels through my mind.

All Day Long

What is it that you do all day?
Only it seems very much like you play.
Really, what is it that you do?
Keep going on about it, don’t you?
 You’ve had all day.
Please set that aside,
Look, I don’t mean to deride.
At least listen to me,
You know there is more that what you see.
 Don’t judge my book without even seeing the cover.
Let’s take a step back,
I know know you think it’s sanity I lack.
Very much work I put myself to,
Even if it is not something you do.
We all have to begin somewhere.

Written as an answer to some of the children I live with. They come home from school and often think that I have just played video games all the day long. They don’t seem to understand that I have spent just as long working as they have at school. (shrugs) Ah well, life goes on and I’m sure that like I did they will learn that there is always more going on behind the scenes.

Just Breathe

Take a moment to stop and breathe.

Did it work?

Were you able to take a full moment where nothing was happening within you save for the breath entering and leaving through your body and mind?

I didn’t think so.

It is a tall order to try, much less succeed. It is possible, there are countless people throughout time and all over the world who have been able to accomplish it. But is it something that everyone can accomplish the same exact way?

I think not.

Breathing, meditating, taking a moment to really calm down and let yourself just flow within your own mind, is something that is done differently and means something different to each and every person. The countless combinations that are the human mind and soul make it so. There are those that have similar enough personalities and wants and needs and desires that have to accomplish this differently enough and then there are those who couldn’t be more different who find the same comfort and balance from the same exercise or practice.

For myself, I think that the moment where I can ‘go with the flow’ of my own mind, my own heart, is when I am most content with who I am. When I have accepted my life and have decided to work with it and through it rather than needing to ignore something within it. When I am with my family, whether it is all of them or just one or any combination of the above that I am most at peace.

Listening to my eldest nephews play in the backyard, carefree and innocent with the world. Knowing that each has already been touched by something that I would never wish to happen to even my greatest enemy and yet knowing that they are still there, trying to live their lives and find their own joy, even if it is only for the moment.

Watching my eldest niece curl up with a good book, cat in her lap purring in contentment as she slowly turns page after page of whatever had caught her fancy. Or even leaning back against the dying tree in our backyard with a notebook and pencil in hand, drawing out the pictures and scenes in her mind using the knowledge she has gained from the various classes and practices as well as incorporating and using her own style of drawing.

Attending the birthday party of the current youngest of my extended family and watching him enjoy ripping into the wrapping paper of the presents around him while the other children lean forward in anticipation of what their newly turned two-year-old cousin has received. The big smile on his face as I hold him up to blow out the candles of the basketball-shaped gingerbread cake his mother has made from scratch.

Having to run outside to stop the younger nieces and nephews from digging up the stakes holding the fence on the hill in place and pulling on the hibernating branches of the blueberry bush. Finding out that a small amount of hand-sanitizer can make more mud than you’d think possible even on a dry and clear day.

Watching as my mother gathers her granddaughters around for various sewing projects and lessons as each of them and any friends they have brought soak up the attention and the joy on their faces as they present their mothers with the first sampling of their labors. The pride on their faces when they see their mothers using the gifts every day.

There are too many moments where I find myself at peace with my life, being able to ‘move with the flow’ of my own spirit to write down, but knowing that they are there, waiting inside of me to be brought forth, helps to soothe me during times of grief and moments where what little control I have is lost for uncountable minutes.

Taking a moment to just breathe and be.


Written for this week’s DungeonPrompts: http://theseekersdungeon.com/2014/05/01/dungeon-prompts-season-2-week-17-writing-in-the-flow/