Quiet on the Blogging Front: The Happy Soul

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It’s tricky navigating through the junk.

 

I’m back after a hiatus full of funk, junk and many deliveries to the local transfer station, formerly referred to as THE DUMP in childhood days.

 

 

 

We mark our days by events. Having surpassed the 19th anniversary of the worst day of my life, I’ve been in a funk, a funk dark and deep enough that writing didn’t seem to bring joy.

In an attempt to prod my way out, I’ve been clawing and pawing through useless junk in my home.

Sorting through things I once valued, I find the hardest part is making decisions: stay or go? Sometimes it’s really tough.

Asking myself two questions helps speed the process and eliminates much hedging: “Has this thing served me?” and if the answer is in the affirmative I ask: “Will this continue to be beneficial to me on a regular basis?”

Murphy’s Law says that the thing I stored for 15 years and never used, will be the exact item I need in two weeks’ time. Such is life.

The new rule is that if I bring something new into my home, something old has to go.

Paralleling this physical activity, I’ve encountered meaningless emotions, thoughts, attitudes, perspectives and memories tied to these things. I am actively exposing the crap to daylight, dusting them off and asking the same two questions above. These things haven’t always served me well. Thus, the rule applies: bringing a new (positive and edifying) thought, emotion, etc., into my soul requires the old must go.

This requires active, purposeful and constant care. I suspect it’s going to take a lifetime. A healthy soul is a happy soul.

Excerpt #2 (1000 Deaths)

Burn injuries are not like a broken bone that once healed, can be concealed by flesh. There is no place to hide, no protective shell to retreat beneath. Four days from this writing, July 4th, will be my 19th burn-a-versary.  There are many deaths from burn injuries: 1000 surely seems exaggerated, unless you are the burn survivor. Below is another excerpt from my story:

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A machine emits a tone, flat and hopeless.  The never-ending pain engulfs me as an ocean-wave swallows a tug boat. I flutter like a blue-bird and I gain a bird’s-eye view while I watch my body convulse beneath nurses and doctors, frantic, scurrying like a horde of bees, blue and white.

A tiny beam, the width of a pen-light, shafts through the ceiling and I move toward the light. Someone yells clear!  I back away, drifting through the stars until I shudder back to the room, shrouded in black, cold air, and am resting on the pillowy mattress of  the bed.  I think I hear the crowd release the breath they have held in, or is it my own?

The night sky surrounds me, and a glow brightens as stars begin to rise. Suddenly, one rises beneath me and lifts me high on its beam. I am fringed in majesty. The warmth of light surges, begins to melt and meld me as I fold inside out like an elephant-shaped origami. The elephant sinks into nothingness.

A star glides, slow and sure, behind me until it circles around my left and is facing me. Two beings, transfigured, and perched atop the star engage in sober conversation. I see the Maker of the moon and I hear the voice of Job.

“Quash the day I was born.  Delete it from the books. Rescind the day of my birth, bury it in deep darkness, shroud it with the fog, and swallow it by the night,” Job laments.

“Can you stop the thunder with a shout like I can? Or can you pull in the great sea beast, Leviathan, with a fly rod? Can you lead Behemoth, most powerful and magnificent of all beasts, by a tether like a lamb such as I?” the Moon Maker asks and adds, “Show me your stuff. Let’s see what you are made of.”

I awaken to a darkened room, empty. I hear the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator at my side––my lifeline­. I close my swollen eyelids and return to the stars.

silhouette of trees and mountain under blue starry sky
Photo by Sindre Strøm on Pexels.com

 

A Polarity in Self-Awareness

Oh, the faces I make while moving through the events of an ordinary day. Something tells me I am not alone.

My trail-walking face: smile, wave, greet passers-by with a cheery “Good Morning.”

My traffic face: scowl, growl, and glare with shoulders scrunched up to my ears and hands raised, outspread to each side,  greet fellow drivers with a screech “What the hay are you thinking?”

Stop. The. Insanity.

red stop sign
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com 

 

The Abyss

Dear Jaydan,

Your mother prepared a wonderful tribute
to her beloved son:

I ‘ve enclosed a note to you––

You didn’t know how much
you would be missed.
You didn’t know of our unfailing love for you.
Your mother, your father,
Your brothers and your sisters,
Your Gram and many others, too.

This abyss.

Every day
We think of you––
Of what could have,
What should have,
What would have,
Been.

This abyss.

I flew in a jet plane to see you
The day you were born.
Your sweet, tiny face shadowed
With my father’s image.

You were three weeks old
When you took your first jet ride
1,000 miles to your Gram’s house.
You were the tiniest of visitors.

They called you Jay-Jay the Jet Plane.
I called you Cricket.

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The Cricket and the Frog (photo credit: Jessica Martinusen)

I could not see you, but I could hear your teeny voice.

It was in a stupid moment, a cursed choice.
that will not allow us your face to see.
Let us hear you.

Many thoughts are of you this day––
Of what could have,
What should have,
What would have,
Been.

Your 18thbirthday.

With much love,

Gram-Gram,
from the abyss.

Excerpts from 1000 Deaths

I am posting an excerpt from writings I began several months ago. It is a true story, written in the present tense, of life after burns, yet the story in its entirety does tells of the accident,  subsequent hospitalization and such. The title 1000 Deaths is a temporary, working title at this point.

 

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Dr. Greenhalgh, my burn doctor next to me in August 2012 at UCDavis Medical Center, Sacramento, California.

            1000 Deaths

I stand proudly before the oven in our newly constructed house. We’ve moved into it three days ago and this is our first home-cooked meal––roast beef with roasted carrots and red potatoes. I secretly gloat at the memory that as a licensed Real Estate agent, I earned a commission for buying my own home.

I open the door for a peek at the goods and I wheeze from the heat-blast, and I’m shaken and tossed. Like a soldier with PTSD, I am standing in the blaze screaming for Frank.* He tells me my hair is smoldering, but it is my hand I notice, melted and deformed.

Someone yells, and I about-face to find off-duty firefighters suiting-up––but they stop, frozen. The fuel tanker explodes, and they shed their gear. They tell me to lie down on the sizzling asphalt.

Once there, they douse me with saline. I am howling, animal-like for more. They say they are out and I plead for water. But they say they can’t because water might cause the burns to become infected.  I yell that I don’t care.

I see the treetops burning as I lie on the asphalt, waiting for my seven-winged bird.   I’m reassured the Medi-Vac helicopter is on its way and I hope. Black smoke floats higher and higher above the flames.

I see Frank on the ground to my right. He has arms in the air and my stomach churns at the sight of the skin falling from his forearms. Rows of vehicles line the road, watching, waiting for the danger to clear, gawking at the unlucky ones. I turn my face to the left and a camera is inches away.  Behind the camera, a woman is crouching and flashes light the air. I yell for her to stop. How dare she?

And I begin to yowl.

The sound of Frank’s footsteps on the hardwood floor and his worried cry catapults me into my world of roast beef, carrots and potatoes.

“What happened?” he demands, “Are you alright?’

It’s nothing dear, wash up, and please, set the table. Dinner is almost ready.”  I turn to smile at him then turn away and wipe the tears away with a dish towel.

*This character’s name has been changed.

 

 

My Little Town––My Earworm

My father, 81, still lives on the property he acquired from his father in the mid 1950s. I visit him on a weekly basis, typically Sunday afternoons.

On my most recent Sunday visit, I decided to listen to some oldies, via Pandora, on the Simon & Garfunkel station.  My current town is about 20 miles from my childhood home, so I was enjoying quite a few oldies and the pleasant memories associated with each song.  As I turned into the long drive way, “My Little Town” (Simon & Garfunkel) began to play. That song has earwormed its way into my head for the past week.

A midweek visit was necessitated–– Dad needed my help with some banking back in my little town. Coincidentally, “My Little Town” repeated in splendid reverie, as I turned onto his little lane.  As I wailed the lyrics of the chorus, “nothing but the dead of night back in my little town,” my curiosity compelled me to Google the lyrics to the full song. (I’m a lyrics kind of girl.)

I was stupefied to learn that for the past 43 years, I’ve been belting out incorrect words. According to lyrics.com, the correct lyrics read “nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town.”

My bad.

Dead and dying seems to be more appropriate of late, as in the past two years my little town has lost my mother and three aunties, two of whom I was especially close to.

The lyrics of the song seems to imply nothing productive comes from their little town: whereas, my little town has lost four bastions of strength, grace, faith and character.

I prefer to keep my version. Maybe its born from habit of 43 years. Maybe it’s plain stubbornness.  So, I’ll keep on keening “nothing but the dead of night” safely within the confines of my little black car on my way to my little town.

It’s Saturday Morning–in Honolulu, USA

I didn’t make my Saturday morning blogging goal by Pacific Time, but hey, it’s Saturday morning in Honolulu. I’ll console myself with that.

I’m not really the sort to be happy coming in second place, but I am elated to learn I placed second in our university writing contest. Am I maturing? Maybe, maybe not. I was up against some pretty stiff competition, so I wasn’t sure I would even place.

The first-place winner is one I am positive will continue to be an award winning and prolific writer. I look forward to reading her books in that seemingly never-land of after graduation.

Write on bleeps, as Mike Senczyszak writes, write on

Manic Monday

I missed my Saturday morning blog reminder again.  I’ve been buried in geometry (gulp) communication ethics, and starting my book for my English course.

I’m making headway on that book: title and one paragraph of two sentences.  I console my self that it’s a start.

On a side note, I accidentally omitted the “o” in courses—turns out I wrote curses at Simpson University.  Oopsie daisy.

 

 

 

Font Nerds

One of the things I enjoy about Brick on the television comedy, “The Middle,” is his love and knowledge about fonts. On “The Goldbergs,” Adam had a font showdown recently.   I don’t know why I chuckle at the idea every time, but I do. I’ve concluded that I’m a closet Font Nerd. Surmise this admission as my coming out.

While I am not nearly as knowledgeable as Brick, I do enjoy an occasional migration from the typical Times New Roman required by most professors.  I applaud unabashedly when instructed to use a font of my own choosing.

However, I quickly become overwhelmed with the plethora of font choices listed, and then there is the dilemma of what font transfers between programs and applications best, if at all.  Audience should be considered ––I want to provide the smoothest reading experience as possible for my audience, especially a professor.

 

FYI­–On Microsoft Word 2016 for Mac –– this is Adobe Arabic (10)

 

Saturday Mornings

I’m here.

I’m on pins and needles: reading over syllabuses and textbooks 📚 for the upcoming semester.img_2487<<<<

On the plus side, only three more semester remaining until I will have completed requirements necessary for that coveted Bachelor’s in English and a minor degree in journalism (provided I survive a full four months of Math.)

So here I am on pins and needles while biting my nails at the daunting task ahead. I’m thinking of playing a Scarlett O’Hara and putting off these thought for another day .

It’s time for a Saturday morning walk in the sunshine. And contemplate my future.