After my mother died I really struggled, partly because I was in the midst of a divorce and felt like a massive failure. I did not like myself. But I kept thinking about my mother and how much she hid: and eventually I thought, you know, I love all of my mother. Even the stuff she hid. If she is lovable then so am I.
What is lovable in your parent? And would you miss her/him if she/he were truly gone?
That is the hard thing for me, that I couldn’t think about that until she was dead. With my sister, I thought about it before she died and changed how I behaved and let her know when I disagreed with her. Even though she had cancer.
Isn’t the greatest gift we can give each other loving honesty? I love you and I disagree with you and I am not going to do what you want just because you (are my mother/are my father/have cancer/have emphysema/want it/are dying). Isn’t the greatest gift to be ourselves and take the flack for it?
Cucumber love is a poem I wrote more then ten years ago about dropping the exoskeleton that we wear for society’s and our family’s approval. It takes courage. You can drop a little piece at a time and let them get used to it. And yes, some people may reject you for good. That is their choice. But you have to ask yourself then, did they ever really love you or did they only love to control you?
They say they love you And they do
One day you find yourself Wearing a construct An exoskeleton Awkward You can move See out
You built it slowly over years Because that’s what you were told to do You wanted to be loved It made you feel safe
There is praise Or at least pressure to keep it on You may not have known it was there And slowly begin to feel Who you really are Awaken to the shell
One day you slip out
They are still saying how much they love you To the empty construct
You watch bemused For a while
You say “That isn’t me.” “Of course it is,” they say
“I’m over here,” you say
Shock and outrage “That’s not you! You’ve changed, you’re depressed Confused, manic, gone out of your mind!” Off the deep end
You might even go back in to the construct for a little while
But now you’ve tasted freedom You won’t be able to stand it for long You will be out soon
Some people will see you as you really are
Some people will tell you they still love you But as they say it to the construct They act as if you’re still wearing it They still think you love cucumbers Though you ate that dish once to be polite They hold the construct in their minds Even after you’ve destroyed it And behave the same as they ever did
Why are the roses caged, you ask? What did they do? Nothing, they are being protected. I found that rose and transplanted it years ago, but our deer eat the buds every year. This is the first time that it has bloomed in the 21 years I have lived in this hours. Isn’t it beautiful?
I am listening to this:
I wrote this poem today. This is one of the poems where I have no idea where it will go when I start writing it. I start writing about judgement and it never ever goes where I expect. The poems go where I want to go in my deepest heart, in my soul. I am never where the poem is, the poems show me the way….. Then I try to go there. And it can take years….
I am being judged and watched
I have no issue with the Beloved
it’s the humans I don’t like
I twist people’s words but not with malice
when the antibodies are up it is hard to communicate hard to explain it is hard just to survive and I might be focused on survival first and comforting the people around me second
can you blame me?
how near to death have you passed? and how often?
first pneumonia heart rate 135 when I stood up
my doctor and I could not understand it
my doctor partners thought I was lying in 2003
second pneumonia after my sister’s death which was bad enough but the legal morass that she had set up with her daughter as the center
pitting me and her daughter’s birth father and my father against all the PhDs in the maternal family smart, smart, smart yet emotionally stupid
my niece is not an inheritance to be passed to whom my sister wants
she reluctantly came home and the myth endures that this is an injustice
third pneumonia one year after I find my father dead triggered by grief and the outdated will and the mess he leaves
and I don’t even get sued about the will for another year
Our clinic had a band back before 2009. Me and 4 of the nurses. We were into heavy metal. This was when I was working for Port Townsend Family Physicians. The county let me go and PTFP changed their name. Could not have been because we wore our band regalia to work, right? After all, it was Halloween.
Maybe they were afraid that the songs would catch on.
I have always seen the monsters under the bed
I have to
you don’t tell people about their monsters
I learn that early
they get angry hit punish send away
and anyhow they leave you even if they love you
when I am alone
the monsters and I
they are so happy to be seen
they cry often
why doesn’t he love me?
why won’t she hold me?
why does he throw me out?
I hold them
dry their tears
wrap them warmly
they cheer up
they never forget
their person is near
they rush back
sometimes one rejected
returns with seven friends
hoping to storm the person
that doesn’t work
the monsters never lose hope
sometimes I see
a person see their monster
let it be conscious
the person is grown enough
I am so used to the monsters
I work with them in clinic
visit after visit
the monsters weeping on my lap
while the person refuses refuses refuses
and sometimes a crack opens
like a portal light blinding
and the monster
that’s why I am here
what makes it worth staying
now I think
I am new again
it’s hard to date
when the monsters are yanking at my skirt
crying howling distracting
and I am hopeful
but it is not my role
it’s not ok
to ask about the monsters
I am new again I won’t date anyone with monsters that I can see
How can light on water be security? What is secure?
When I think of security, I think outdoors. The ocean will change and change and change, moment to moment and day to day. The light changes with each wave and the wind. But the ocean is still present. And water also represents the unconscious for me. All the things under the surface, all that depth, an infinite place of exploration: the water, the earth, the sky, the universe. For me, security is the internal exploration and the outdoors, which is so vast, there for me always. The poetry of nature.
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