Changes of Color

Back by D. Bently 

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The trees change color around me

leaves fall and I feel that each

floats like a feather to the moist ground

gracefully carrying us to the new year

 

yellow, orange, and deep red

surround me in this foreign patch of

grass-tall fir trees tower above

 

they creak as the wind blows them

this and that way…

pacific northwest winds swoop in

the cool breeze brushes my bare arms

my grandfather’s military green sweater

oversized, itchy wool, a bit musty

wraps me in memories

 

barefoot I stand,

soil cold and wet

pine needles cover the path

McDonald Forest is my place

of solitude this morning

 

I look up to the sky

guarded by tree branches

eyes closed I can picture

beyond the pine needles

 

comforted by the silence

I walk for about an hour

and then back again

wind picking up and the chill

makes me quiver and shake

 

my worries swirl around me

stolen by the air

time comes to mind

I try to push it out

forcefully, I fail

 

the hustle and bustle not forgotten

I was unaware for hours

In the breeze, in nature

nothing seems to matter

where I can just be stand

in this moment

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I think, I got this…

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It’s been awhile.  Harvest is always a terribly busy time.  Every year I tell myself, “I got this” and every year near the end of harvest, I am trying to keep my head just above water for me to breath and the statement “I thought, I had this” always comes rushing back.  After nine years, I still feel this. I write things down every year in my own secret “diary” so to speak, of ways I think I can prepare for the next year, what I could have done different this season, and I honestly have not perfected it yet.  I don’t know if I ever will but I wasn’t raised to be a quitter. There is always hope for next year and I have eight months give or take, to make a new plan.

Inevitably everyone can apply this feeling, this sense of drowning– in their lives, careers, next chapters, finances, and relationships, etc. At some point, I believe most adults have felt this way in their lives. But it is up to each of us to decide whether we will sink or float.  Sometimes it can be an agonizingly long process because the decisions need to be weighed equally, both sides need to be looked at and mentally calculated with precision and the time comes when we have to un-tie the cement blocks around our ankles and kick like hell to get our heads above water.

And as the tip of our nose, lips, chin, eyes open and we gasp for that first breath…that is the moment our decision has been made (take the leap, shit or get off the pot, or whatever reference works for you) is where instinctively, we know which decision we are going with…of course, there will be an adjustment period but moving forward with our gut feelings is what we all should pay a little more attention too.

Once we take that first step, we may be knee deep in the dark unchartered waters pulling those cement blocks forward again but our heads are above water.  We have chosen and in that choice we all begin to create a different and new sense of comfort.

There is an infinite amount of decisions and choices we can make in our lives, they will affect the people around us and that is always something to consider but in my last days I would hope that my decisions were unselfishly chosen, my family always felt love from me, that I never intentionally tried to hurt someone, and most of all, that I was proud of the way I lived. Lots of adventure, risk-taking, and a whole lot of lovin’.

Can we heal our scars?

img_how_to_get_rid_of_burn_marks_on_the_skin_with_home_remedies_1630_origI have scars that remind me of old stories.  Some happened so long again I can barely remember; I know if I asked my parents about them, they would surely know some of the answers of where my external scars came from.

I have two scars on my right hand from trying to do hand stands. She challenged me to how many we could do each and when we collapsed to the ground, she scratched me.

Another scar, on the inside of my right knee where the corner of the screen door ripped through my skin after my Dad had repeatedly told me that was going to happen if I didn’t move from where I was sitting.  I didn’t move and I now have a six-inch scar on the inside of my knee from the screen door tearing through.

I have a scar just under my belly button about 10 inches long from a C-section horizontally just beneath this scar…there is an internal scar I can’t see, running vertically about 10 inches an emergency to save one of my sons. I have a scar from my first love – shattered and broken.  It is now just a memory.

I am sure if we all thought about our scars we could list them.  I have created scars on my body…self expression…designs and patterns that I want to be remembered.  They are all apart of my body now and on my skin for all to see.  I chose each of them for a very specific reason and they will forever be on me.  Would I do this again…yes.

Scars are easy to spot or see on most of our bodies. There is an entirely different type of scar that may be so deep that no one knows it’s there. One has buried it and only a few will ever know it’s there. These scars can change you; redefine you.  These scars strip us down to the core, make us define our ourselves and create an entirely new way of looking at the world.

These scars turn our lives inside out. They break our hearts, tear us apart, and make us wonder if we will survive.  These scars, I believe are more than one sided…there is a cause and effect to everything and there are always two different ways to look at any given situation.  I believe that these scars require conscious decisions…guided by our individual faith.

I have made a handful of these types of scars inside of myself and because I have made them, they in turn have affected others around me…and scarred them as well. We cannot change any of our scars but we all can make the conscious decision as to how they will effect the rest of our lives and how we look at them in our current lives.  We can change how we react to them in the here and now. If they happened years ago, we can still learn from them. We can allow ourselves to keep them close but at bay as long as we keep moving forward.

Do not dwell on things of the past, we will never get those moments back and who wants to move forward constantly looking over their shoulders? If people look beyond what is rooted within them; their children for example…one can never get that time back and the children will change and evolve as they get older. Someday, one will get that knock on the door, hear the ring of their phone, an email and that child will reach for them.  The children will want to know why, where, how; they will want to know you – the biological parent.  At this point, the parent and child will have lost so much time….and the building may begin but there will be so much lost time.  This indescribable scar can never be the most difficult to heal.

 

 

 

 

Life Is Short

Flame by Foreigner

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I have been reminded lately that life is so short.  Things can change in the blink of an eye and some people don’t see it coming at all.  It feels like running full speed ahead into a brick wall and I won’t break threw it, I bounce back on my butt as if I was a rubber ball hitting that wall.

In the last week, I have found out that one of my family’s dearest friends has cancer. He has just started chemo but his hands are full with work, his other children, and fiancé’. It is the most wonderful person and has been in our lives for the past 13 years.  He has a wonderful sense of humor which I believe will take him far in this journey.  I saw him before his treatment and I love this guy so much and we have gone through so much in our sudo-family that I couldn’t hold back some tears.  I think I hugged him like four times and at the end he was reassuring me that everything would be fine.

Last night I got a call while I was watching a movie that someone I love with my whole heart, had fallen and was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a concussion and doctors were taking x-rays of her entire body.  Again, I was again reminded- life is so short.  Thankfully, she will only be bruised and sore but she was taken home last night.  My children saw the entire fall happen and were great helpers but I could see the worry in their eyes.

I didn’t sleep well last night.  My mind filled with love and prayer for these two people and their families.  Life changes quickly.  My friends and family were lucky at least for yesterday, they are lucky, because things could have been much worse! I have this strong desire to seize the day, carpe diem, or whatever mantra you believe in.

Care for the people who care for you and care of the people who just need to be cared for whether you know them or not.  Show the world you are kind and do something for someone else this weekend without expecting anything in return.  Pray for more kindness and always have faith.

Shadow

By Joshua Radin

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Castle like rocks stretch the lining of the west side of the water

casting a shadow across the left side of the canyon

the shadow slowly climbs to the top of the ridge

a warm breeze blows the hair across my face

trees scattered about the canyon walls

and I can count the ones that circle me

 

the stair steps of the rock that cascade around us

now shelters the water from sun

the gray flicker of water rocking the boat

back and forth

back and forth

Darkness cannot come fast enough

 

Trees show off their reflection to left

To the right

I rest in the middle of this beauty

 

Wet hair dripping lake water down my back

observing…

being in this moment

 

 

 

 

Sinking Sunlight

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Wake Me Up by Ed Sheenan

 

You come to me in the sunlight

The flicker on the water

my mind sinking into you

deeper and deeper

 

and I can’t get closer

will you find me somewhere floating?

toward you

can you take the time?

find me, I am here

 

this moment wont come again

the grey, white and black

toward you

but do you see me

…everything reflects

 

I picture you

I see your hands

And the depth of your eyes

Lost somewhere below the surface

…eight feet below

 

they move quickly around the light

darkness surrounds me

and the people near me are unaware

in my mind

…sinking deeper

 

this can mean what you want it too

the transparency, I need

give me a chance

 

companionship is what I seek

conversation, I require

attention, I need and

Still, I have to feel wanted

 

 

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With Arms Wide Open — By Creed

The sun creeps over the peak of the barn

beats down on the dew covered grass

The outer row of the orchard

cast beams of light through the rows inside

 

So much space and yet I take it for granted every day

not everyone has this, the ability to wake in the morning

and see the day break across the horizon

 

I prayed for this day to give me clarity, a path

when I woke this morning, to see the world differently

 

No more guilt, just life experiences

no more trying to please people

at the cost of myself…

 

I seek true happiness for myself because it is what I need —

at what point should I live and let live

 

There as a part deep down inside of me that is not satisfied

if I could figure out what it was I would nail it

to the floor and chip away at it until it’s gone

 

Standing in the rain is an amazing cleanse-

I wished for the rain last night

running down my face, neck, arms and traveling

the length of my body until it falls to the ground

 

Clouds paint the sky in blues and shades of white

going through the motions, might just get me to tomorrow

My list of chores continues to grow

so, I start at one

take a cleansing breath in and prayer for rain

Whisper

Small Bump by Ed Shennan

I wait for you

Quietly you are hidden inside me

No one knows me like you do

Am I afraid of losing you

 

I wonder where you are

Every day

Every second

 

Do you feel

I feel

Want to know what you feel

 

A candle flickers in my window

And I still wait

Find the light I have left for you

 

Have you looked for it

Do you look for it

Dusted across the sky

 

I search for you to find romance

The kind you show to me

My heart bleeds for this

 

Broken for the lack of luster

Have you noticed

I have given up

 

I can’t talk about it again

I will not beg

Why don’t you see me

 

This could be a start to something

Beautiful & new

Creating as we go

Whispering through unknown

The Cassette Tape…

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As a 13 year old girl, I thought no one could hurt me. I enjoyed school, sports, band and hanging out with friends. I felt awkward at times as any new teen would but I felt secure with my surroundings, felt safe, and I felt invisible. My favorite thing to do was socialize with my friends and play sports.

I woke one particular morning in May, I got ready for school I listen to a mix tape a friend had given me, and I hummed and danced to the music as I picked out my clothes for the day. I remember putting on my favorite acid-washed jeans with a t-shirt and sweat shirts, I particularly remember that morning feeling like summer was coming soon as the sun broke through the curtains on the windows.

My sister yelled from the bathroom, “if you want a ride to school, you better be ready in five minutes.” I raced around my mess in our room, throwing things in my backpack, pushed stop on the cassette player that I had been listening to and remembered that my friend had wanted me to bring it back to her that week but I hadn’t gotten a chance to record it yet so, I left it on the player.

My sister and I drove to school, she dropped me that morning in the high school parking lot and I walked the short distance down the bike path between the middle and high school. The sun was out, warm on my face and I was excited for the start of a new week.

As I walked to school, I notice that just beyond the soccer field to my left, long yellow caution tape lined the tree line. It seemed to stretch almost the entire length of the field and I remember thinking it seemed strange and out of place but I didn’t really give it a second thought. I had been so excited to see the cute blonde haired, blue eyed boy I had a crush on.

I walked through the double doors at the end of the hall and I headed straight for my locker and as I fumbled with the dial to open my locker. A friend approached me with tears streaming down her face and asked me if I had heard. In my head, “I thought heard what.” I assumed it was something about her being dumped by the boy she liked. Why was she so hysterical?

Instead what fell from her lips, stopped time in my 13 year old life? I was still but trembling and I remember saying, “what are you talking about, how, why, what, where,” and my heart began to race. I felt light headed, sweaty, and nervous, my body was without response.

I walked to the band room and one of my favorite teachers’ was not in her classroom. I then walked the inner quad of the building and saw that on two walls outside my math room they were covered with white paper and I could see through the door that students and staff were inside her class. A few students retreated from inside, walked directly to the wall covered in paper and started to write something on the walls. Memories of …….. And on the other side they wrote, Feelings of ….. .

I leaned against the wall, felt my body collapse slowly down the side of the wall where I sat slumped over, my head in my hands. I was burning up, numb to everything around me. My favorite science teacher walked passed, he helped me up off the floor, hugged me with a tight long squeeze, he didn’t pull away and as my tears soaked into his light blue shirt, I said, “I need to see my sister, I need her, I need her.” In my heaving chest, racing heart, sweaty palms he aided me to the front office desk and gave me a pass, as I walked out the front door, he said “I will call the high school and let them know you need to see your sister immediately.”

I walked quickly to the high school, back down the bike path that I just walked earlier that morning and past the same yellow caution tape,. This time when I passed it, walking in completely parallel to whatever horror happened behind it, I noticed a few police cars and I started to run.

I made it to the high school, I threw open the door the students buzzed around inside, it seemed strangely loud and I walked into the office, announced who I was and through my hysterical state my sister walked to my side and I collapsed in her arms. I let go and the tears came like a heavy down pour as I tried to explain what was happening at the middle school and remember wanting an answer from her.  We moved into the principal’s office where we sat, she held me, and everything inside of me was empty.  I was so confused.

Did my friend really get murdered? How? When? Why? Who? My mind went to the mix tape I left at my house that morning that she wanted returned to her. The yellow caution tape told me where she took her last breaths and I looked to my sister, “Can we go home?”

We drove home, the car was silent, it seemed so hot but the heat wasn’t on and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My heart was broken but even now I can’t find the right words or perhaps the full magnitude of how it felt. We pulled in the drive way, my sister brought me in the house and I went straight to our shared room. I sat on my bed and my eyes fell to the sight of the mix tape sitting on my cassette player.

I knew her laugh, her smile, her generosity, and how everyone always laughed when they were with her. And she was gone. I would never see her again, never hear her voice, see her smile or never laugh with her again. I was in shock. I felt numb, empty, and in complete disbelief.

I would never see life the way I used too, never feel free from fear, and I learned that day and still to this day that no knows what life has in store for us tomorrow.

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Out of protection of the family and friends that had  go to through this and all the surrounding people that had to deal with this and still do. I cannot share any more of this real-life story out of respect. I pray for this family every day think of them often and every year that passes I visit her grave with that same cassette tape early in the morning and play that song. Every year I shed tears for her and her family.  Many prayers to you all. She will never be forgotten.

Metal Gate

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We drove for miles, tracing the road with one headlight. In the front of the car there was chatter of fumbles, passes, and touchdowns during that night’s game. The asphalt curved around a bend in the road beneath the 80’s Honda Hatchback.  A dent in the front bummer from rear-ending someone.

The night was so dark, the windows were down and I could see my breath in the crisp moonlight.  She sat next to me, long locks of blonde hair curled around each ear, she smiled and giggled at the conversation in the front seats.  I never knew why because the conversation wasn’t funny.

She was so much fun and for a shy girl who never really knew where she fit, this was the girl everyone wanted to be around.  She was something!  She was beautiful, she was my friend, and her energy and laughter were magnetic.

Maybe that is how I found myself in this car. She liked this boy so much and I came with “her” to keep her company. The driver turned his conversation to her and he reached back with one hand and stroked her leg.  I was so cold, the window still down and the first words I spoke were, “please, roll the window up.”

The other guy, there to amuse me, I assume, didn’t seem to want to talk but I guess, neither did I. The road turned to gravel and it felt like we were driving on uneven ground for miles but to tell you the truth I have no idea where we even were…at all.  I had this uneasy feeling as we started up a hill and around a corner, the car slowed and we stopped in front of a huge metal gate like the entrance to a spectacular home.

We all got out of the car, it was still and quiet. Tree branches crackled under our feet, overgrown with weeds we found our way around the gate. He held her hand and the other tried to hold mine but I pulled away. Bats above our heads and the wind blew threw the trees sending the fall leaves to the ground. We continued on the incline up the hill, I was shaking partly from the cold and partly out of fear.

We broke off into couples and as we walked further we found the foundation of what looked to be the beginning of a building. We stepped further, he grabbed for my hand and this time, I took his. We crested a hill and found what seemed to be three walls of a home.  We stood there on the wooden floor in the center of this building.  The floor was covered in leaves, branches had fallen, two-by-fours cast about…I looked up to the darkness and closed my eyes. Whatever this place was, it had been abandoned and it seemed like years since anyone had been there.

The Douglas fir trees whispered around me and I caught a glimpse of the moonlight. I heard giggling from somewhere in the darkness. I turned around to face him and before I could speak he kissed me.

We never spoke again.