When the past slaps you in the face

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It is a very rare occurrence when my emotions take me by surprise.  I am usually fairly in tune with them and I can feel them bubbling gently below the surface.  But last night on my way home from work while driving past my mother’s old house, the same house I drive by every day on my way to work and again on my way home, the emotion stored within my walls hit me like a ton of bricks.   Last night I glanced at the house, as I do every time I follow that familiar road, and I burst into tears.

I don’t know where the tidal pool of emotion came from but suddenly I was flooded with images of moments that had become important memories in my life.  Christmases, birthdays, family gatherings and quiet nights spent as a family were at the forefront of my brain.  Lingering snapshots of magical kisses witnessed by only the walls upstairs slowly transformed themselves into moving pictures to replay those scenes.  That house, the building others would only see as walls and a roof, was my home.  It was the vessel that helped create and store some of the most precious moments of my life.

And I do the same with my childhood home.  Every so often I feel the pull to drive by and just look at the house that began our journey to becoming locals in this town.  It was home to my family and a welcoming second home to many of our friends.  It witnessed great happiness and great sorrow, but it was always filled with love.

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Although there were many happy times in our second home, there were also moments of great sorrow.  Those walls echoed my overwhelming grief in May of 2003 as I told my parents through hysterical sobs that my best friend had passed away unexpectedly.  That roof sheltered both my parents as they battled their illness and those walls protected them for as long as they could.  That structure, that old building that is seemingly unnoticeable to passers-by, will forever have a large part of my history carved into its frame.

That architecture will always be a part of me.   And each time I drive by and take the time to trace the outlines of those walls I will always have an affinity to its design and purpose.  It is said that we need to let things go to be happier but I feel the need to embrace those things to stay connected.

 

More than rainbows….

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That inspired moment,

the moment that seemed to stop in time,

when there were so many things I wanted to say,  yet,

none of them would come out.

Silence stole the spotlight,

but there was a shared comfort in that quiet.

I realized,

in that muted moment,

when the silence was deafening,

that I didn’t need to say anything.

My words needed no sound.

The emotion in my reticence spoke volumes.

And in that breath of repose,

everything I wanted to tell you,

you already knew.

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Stuart Smalley said it best

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Most of us are hyper-critical of ourselves.  I am certainly guilty of that crime.  We are truly our own worst enemy.  We over-analyse the most minute details about ourselves and never give a second thought to the perception that others may have of us – a perception that may be the polar opposite of how we see ourselves but much closer to the truth.

We have become a society of comparison.  We gauge our success, or perceived failure, by how we think we measure up to those around us.  We judge ourselves by their opinion and not by the standards we set for ourselves.  What we fail to take into consideration is the amount of effort we put into each day by just being ourselves and how difficult that journey can be.  It takes a person with a strong moral compass and courage of conviction to follow the direction in which they feel will allow them to be the most comfortable and to genuinely be themselves.

Too often we allow our actions and our decisions to be swayed by outside forces.  We ignore that little voice inside our head and we succumb to the white noise around us that berates us for those actions.  But that initial behavior represents our true self.  Those nuances of our personality are what set us apart from every other person on this planet. Those are the things worth cherishing.  Those subtleties are the little details that friends and family will hold onto long after you have left this Earth for your next journey.

It would be easy to conform into a stereotype that you feel would be welcomed by society, to make decisions that would be accepted by the masses, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if those choices were not right for you.  Hold true to the things that make you who you are and know that the important people in your life appreciate the choices that you make.  We all need a little daily affirmation – because you are good enough, you are smart enough, and, doggone it, people like you!

stuart_smalley

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Cry Baby

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“There is a sacredness in tears – they are not the mark of weakness, but of power.  They are messengers of overwhelming grief, and of unspeakable love.” ~ Washington Irving

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Having shed my fair share of tears in my life, this quote struck a chord deep within my emotional register.   It has always been easy for me to saturate my cheeks with salty tears and I come by it honestly.  My dad wore his heart on his sleeve and many times that same sleeve was used to wipe his tears as he watched movies, TV shows and even commercials.   When my apple fell from the family tree, it landed right at his feet, and I’m sure that made him cry as well.

My mom was very private about her crying, although she didn’t cry frequently.  She would gracefully leave the room and gently close her bedroom door.  There were never heavy sobs heard from the other side of that door but her swollen, red eyes the next morning are what Crime Scene Investigators refer to as ‘evidence’.

Sometimes being able to cry so easily is a gift, a genuine release of emotion that feels much like a cleansing.  But the burden of  not being able to control the moments that those tears appear can also be slightly detrimental and result in having my friends, family and co-workers questioning my stability and well-being.

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I will never regret being an empathetic person, a cry baby.  I love that I can feel so deeply that life, whether it be my life or someone else’s, can have such an intense impact on me.  And I can take solace in knowing that the people who understand this about me, the people with whom I choose to share those emotional moments, have inevitably shed the same amount of tears with me.

Into the Mystic

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orbs-in-the-woods

Faint whispers.

Rustling leaves.

Movements in the bush.

As I strain to hear them,

I know they long to be seen,

if only for just a moment.

They are the ghosts of my past,

the purveyors of my future,

and the keepers of my secrets.

They linger in the spaces

between shadow and light.

Their consciousness

meets my curiosity,

and I strain to see their light

in my twilight vision.

Their dance

is my celebration.

 Their presence

is my comfort.

They seek my truth.

They are my warriors, my army,

and they will always

be the reason I smile in my sleep.

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What love could look like

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embrace

I remember the moment.

It isn’t hazy or clouded, but clear in my memory.

Your eyes met mine, your hand touched my shoulder

and you curled me into your embrace.

The day had been frivolous.

The sky was untouched by clouds

and our laughter permeated the wind.

We sat with the sun soaking into our skin.

We allowed the true beauty of life to envelop us

and we just enjoyed living.

That moment drew me to you.

I saw you as you are.

I saw you in the moments you are happiest,

the moments where nothing else existed.

I was intoxicated by your ability to escape from the shackles of the real world,

to let life drive while you took the back seat,

able to enjoy the ride.

I remember the moment.

That moment will thrive in my memory.

It taught me about your passions and wants.

It reintroduced my wishes and desires.

And it made me know what love could look like.

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Because that’s how he held me

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holding-hands

His grip was strong,

but tender,

and that’s how he held me,

firm in his grasp, but tender in his emotion.

But it wasn’t just how he held me,

it’s how he saw me.

His look was beyond flesh,

it looked past imperfections.

He just saw me,

for who I was,

under the shroud of my physical form.

He looked into me and,

as his hand held mine,

in that frozen moment,

I became lost in him.

His grip was strong, but tender,

and in that grasp,

now lies my heart.

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