Under his spell

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lempicka-saint-moritz-1929

What wouldn’t she have done for his love,

for the forbidden taste of his lips,

for the soft caress of his fingers tracing lightly upon her skin.

She savored the memory of his smile,

she recalled his sweetness as he spoke his words of love,

words that were meant to only fall on her ears.

But his carefree words deafened the ears of the spoiled.

Those words were never meant for her.

His life had been promised to another.

And now her soul was trapped,

forced into everlasting damnation,

compelled to bear witness to his life with another.

Their black magic hardened on her skin like a crust,

holding her face in sadness for eternity.

Her body now a statue,

held fast in its place,

her eyes meant to watch him,

reminded every day of what she cannot have.

Her consciousness banished

to a lifetime of anguish and melancholy.

In the darkness he would sneak out to visit her,

his touch was just as warm and his words of love, just as sweet.

~~

Written for the Grammar Ghoul Challenge - combining the above painting, Saint Moritz, by Tamara de Lempicka with the word prompt:

Crust (noun):

A hardened layer, coating, or deposit on the surface of something soft

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How a funeral home typo helped us get through our grieving

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Dark red carpet and stained wood encased the visitation rooms in the funeral home.  The atmosphere was quiet, somber.  The air had an icy quality to it.  But beneath that chilled facade was a team of people full of emotion and empathy – a staff that was ready and willing to guide us through a tumultuous but necessary experience and to find the right way to help us get through a difficult time.

Butterflyinthesky1

There is no one way to grieve.  Each person will find their own way to overcome the loss of a loved one and each experience will be different based on the circumstance of loss.  When my brother and I lost our mother in March, we had been mentally preparing ourselves for the day that we would have to face the news that our mom was no longer going to be a part of our daily lives.  The phone call with the news was a still a shock, but we were grateful she went peacefully and no longer had to suffer the effects of her illness.  What we had not prepared ourselves for was the way that we would be able to celebrate her only 36 hours after we were told she was gone.

We received the news on a Friday morning.  The rest of that day was a blur.  Phone call after phone call was made to tell family and friends that she was gone and then Saturday morning was upon us.  My brother and I made our way to the funeral home to make the necessary arrangements and have the notice printed for the paper.  Upon proof-reading the notice, I realized that the funeral director had mistakenly typed my mom’s name as “June” and not “Jane”.  It was a simple fix and seemingly a forgotten mistake……until we went to my Uncle’s cottage for dinner that night.

There were six of us.  My brother and I, my mom’s two siblings and their spouses.  When I regaled my aunts and uncles with the story of the misprint it was, not offensive but, really amusing.  We raised our glasses and had a toast to “June”.  Thankfully we all knew my mother would have seen the humor in the mistake and toasted right along with us.  For the rest of the memory-filled evening, through tears and laughter, we continued to raise our glasses and make the heart-felt toasts to “June”.   If I listened really hard I could hear my mom laughing along with us.

We had mom’s celebration of life two months later.  I had gone into the funeral home to have the notice done for the paper and the same funeral director asked if I wanted it to say “June” or “Jane”.   We both had a good laugh and I felt comfortable telling him how his simply typo had made our evening so much better than the sorrow-filled night it could have been.  During the course of the evening, we changed my mom’s siblings names as well.  (Eight months later I still refer to my Aunt Carol as “Cheryl” and my Uncle Peter as “Proctor”)

The simple change of one vowel that day gave us permission to laugh that night.  It allowed us to hold the grief close to our heart but let our minds remember all the good in the world when my mom was still in it.

 

 

 

 

Would I hit the button and turn the chair for MY voice?

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Lately I have been going back through past blog posts and reacquainting myself with some of the words I have thrown out into the eternal abyss known as the Internet.   After spending time digesting my previous musings, I have come to a great awareness about the novel I am attempting to finish.  Unless I just keep writing the damned thing and stop editing as much as I’m writing, I’m never going to finish the book in this lifetime!

From two years ago, when I began this blogging journey, to now, my writing voice has changed.  That same voice that was so timid in the beginning has grown and evolved into someone different.  It has gone through that rite of passage to be comfortable in its own timbre.

Looking back on some of my earlier posts, I am so tempted to edit and repost some of those phrases and paragraphs but I would be doing myself a grave injustice.  I would be denying who I was when I wrote those posts and not allowing myself to accept the voice I had when I began.  The same holds true for those chapters of my novel that were written from that less experienced recess of my brain.  While the characters will evolve with my determination to finish the book, those first chapters speak volumes about the beginning of their journey as the cast and my journey as a writer and their director.

chair on the voice

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I’m glad my voice is different now.   It sounds more experienced.  It is comfortable being heard by others.  It has a more believable quality to it because it has faith in its ramblings.  If I were a judge in that chair, I would hit the button to see what my voice has to say next!

 

Sunny day, sweepin’ the clouds away?

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pot of gold

I’m sorry if the theme song from Sesame Street is stuck in your head, but I couldn’t help but sing it when I saw this landscape greeting me on my way to work this morning.  But Nature is a fickle thing….five minutes after I passed under this skyline the black clouds fought back and the snow flakes liberally spilled onto the ground.  Welcome to November!

The scars that you can’t see

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I saw this quote on Facebook the other day and it really hit me in a profound way.  “Scars remind us of where we have been, but they don’t have to dictate where we are going.”

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(image credit)

I have many scars.  Not all are visible, but I know where each and every one of those hidden memories are located under the surface of my skin and they serve to remind me every day of the strength I possess and the road that led me to where I am now.  Those deep fissures in the core of my being mark a place in my journey that I have overcome an emotional hurdle and I wear those inner scars as a badge of triumph.  Although they may not all be visible to the naked eye, I know where each of them lies under the layer of cells that shroud those truths.  I know they are etched in the foundation of my being and they are meant to remind me of the path I chose to follow.

My scars inspire me.  Those deep cuts in the fabric of who I am have made me mend in ways I would have never foreshadowed as a child.  Jagged edges of cloth that once hung in tattered pieces have since been woven into the comforting quilt that now envelops and protects me.  What were once gaping wounds, those scars are now veiled by memory.

My scars are lessons.  Whether those wounds were self-inflicted or whether they were cast upon me by another’s carelessness with my emotions, they serve to teach me about strength and endurance.  They give me knowledge and a new sense of purpose.

My scars are a map.  They are path that will lead me back to my past, but the road ahead still lies uncharted and those scars will not burden my footing.  There are no footprints to guide me in my journey forward.  My future is an open road and only I can lay the steps in the dirt that will take me in the right direction.  My scars hold no power over my destiny, they only exist to mark the places that I have been.

The world needs more Audreys

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I am feeling very reflective today, about life and the way people treat each other and this quote seems to sum up my mood completely.

audrey

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his / her hands through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed, never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.”

~ Audrey Hepburn

(image credit: huffingtonpost.com)

A symphony of silence

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Everyone feels the need to belong to something or to be connected to someone. It is a normal human desire to be accepted by others and we strive for that feeling of belonging. But there are times when we wish to pull ourselves away from society, bask in the glory of our own company and leave the rest of the world behind for a few blissful hours.

The state of solitude disengages us from the immediate demands of other people and, for a short time, we put our own needs and pleasures above all else. There is a fine line between solitude and loneliness but solitude is a conscious choice to remove ourselves from the whirlwind outside of our private sanctum and relish in the down time we can create in that time alone.

solitude

Solitude can bring healing, bliss and a sense of abandon. But you must be truly comfortable in your own skin to be able to fully appreciate the pleasure of being alone. Being able to let your mind wander in a myriad of directions, having an inner dialogue with yourself or just enjoying the serenity of your company is a rare gift.

Everyone needs to occasionally give themselves the gift of guilt-free isolation – the permission to do nothing except for the things that you never give yourself time to do. Forget the needs of others for a brief period of time and read a book, take a bubble bath, cook a fabulous dinner for one, watch the show that is your secret guilty pleasure and kick back with a glass of wine. Whatever your vice of quietude is – seize the opportunity to revel in it.

The moments we have alone to reflect are the rare gifts we are able to give ourselves. Enjoy your own company once in a while and give yourself a chance to really breathe in your life. Solitude does not mean isolation. Solitude is merely silencing the outside world for a moment and obtaining that inner peace that we all crave.