If I say I’m fine….I’m lying

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Many memes and many jokes (mostly at men’s expense) have skirted around the fact that if a woman says, “I’m fine”, there is an emotional undertone that means something far beyond being fine.  My experience with the phrase ‘I’m fine’ has completely surpassed that, to the point that nobody in my immediate family uses those two words to describe their current state of being.

Both of my parents were alcoholics and suffered through a myriad number of complications through their later years.  It is an ugly disease with ugly consequences.  The worst part of watching the effects of alcoholism deteriorate a human body is having that person tell you that, while they are suffering numerous symptoms and contrary to every doctor’s diagnosis, they are fine.  Fine is no longer a word I use to describe how I feel and for very good reason – it’s bullshit.

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I sent a text to a friend yesterday to ask about their well-being and was given the response “I’m okay”.   Although it was not the tried and hated response of “I’m fine”, it ranked right up there and it made my Spidey senses tingle.  I knew there was more going on but I also knew not to push.

When you get a text message from someone you know on a very personal level, the inflection in their voice is heard loud and clear above the silence of a text message.  The only thing I can do is be here when they need to vent, to be present when they realize that I know they are not “fine” or “okay” and just be ready to listen.

 

Old souls

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Whether I have been spending more time on the internet than I realized or the whispers in my ear have been making me more aware, I have recently been seeing a lot of posts and memes about old souls.  The above meme struck a chord much deeper in me than some of the others I have seen.  It rang true to me as soon as I read it and I knew it would soon be the subject of a blog post.

I have always believed myself to be an old soul but I never really took the time to figure out why I felt that way.  Doing a little more research into old souls gave me much more insight into explaining the feeling that I have lived a life beyond the one in which I find myself now.

Old souls are empathetic and that character trait is probably one of the ones I am most proud of.  I never related the ability to feel other’s pain so deeply as a sign of being an old soul, but it makes sense.  I have the wonderful gift of being able to put myself in that person’s shoes, to truly understand what it is that they are going through.  Intuitive may be a word you can use for the feeling but it seems to go far beyond that.

I can give advice that seems to come from a knowledge far beyond that of which I have studied in this lifetime but I am confident that my advice is sage and I trust it completely.

At the very beginning of my journey on this blog in 2012, I wrote a post titled, Soul Mates and the Red String of Fate. (you can click on the link to read the post).  I wrote it because the idea of souls being deeply connected really resonated with me.  The friends I hold close to me, the ones I am very drawn to in a way I find hard to explain, I consider my soul mates.  That bond doesn’t have to be about a marriage but it does have to be about an understanding and a connection on a deep emotional level.

Old souls are drawn to each other.  They understand each other without question and they just want the other soul to be happy.  There is wisdom in age but that age does not have to be defined by a calendar.  It just has to be understood.

 

 

 

The road already travelled

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“Time moves in one direction, memory in another.” ~ William Gibson

Nostalgia is a funny thing.  When you least expect it, what began as a glimpse into your subconscious suddenly floods your senses and overwhelms you with thoughts of the past.  It could be a song lyric, a smell or an old picture that triggers the trip down memory lane but, regardless of how the journey begins, the open road to your past looms behind and begs for you to follow it.

 

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On occasion that journey can feel like you have stepped through a portal into the time-space continuum and have completely ensconced yourself in that moment so many years ago.  You can visualize the wallpaper on the walls that no longer exist in reality but feel like they are an arm’s length away if you reached out to touch them.  You can inhale fragrant scents and feel the presence of the person who used to wear that particular perfume or cologne.  That one song can play and transport you back to the time and place you have associated so strongly with those lyrics.

That road that stretches behind us still waits for us whenever we feel the beckoning pull of sentimentality.  Venturing down that protected surface serves to remind us where we’ve been but will always afford us the opportunity to turn around and forge ahead into the future.

Understanding and embracing those things from our past can only motivate us to continue.  We carve the paths of our progressive journey knowing that the moments that have shaped us will always be there to remind us of where we have been and where we have since chosen to go.

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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Yes, I can see it. No, I’m not neurotic.

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I’m a cloud watcher.  I can only sunbathe for so long before I feel like I will spontaneously combust (thank you blood pressure medication) so I move my overheated body under the canopy of my deck umbrella and watch the clouds go by.  They never cease to amaze me.  Whether it is the pattern in their wisps or the shapes I see in their billowy contours, I can cloud gaze for hours.

I have not been able to watch the clouds lately,  however, because the sky has been a solid, monochromatic grey.  Perhaps because I am so accustomed to looking beyond what I really see, recently I have been seeing faces in the strangest locations.

This morning I rolled over, still shaking off the remnants of my slumber, and faced my closet.  A shirt that was at the top of the laundry basket was piled in such a way that the aged face of a man stared back at me from the shirt’s folded elbow.  For some reason, I couldn’t avert his keen focus on me and I stared back with the same intensity.

He seemed familiar to me.  And this is not the first time I have discovered a genial visage in a random place.  It happens more frequently than I should probably admit.

I have since discovered that this phenomenon has a name – Pareidolia.  There are many people, like me, who have the ability to see faces or animals in a benign object.  An extreme example is the woman who sold a 10-year old grilled cheese on eBay for $28,000.00 because it supposedly had the image of the Virgin Mary on it.  Some people see a cinnamon bun below, others see Mother Teresa.

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Whatever the reasoning behind this strangely named anomaly, the writer in me enjoys the visits from these odd characters.  I’m sure one day they will insert themselves into a story line somewhere along my writing journey and I will be grateful for their intrusion into my reality.

Time for audience participation – cinnamon bun or Mother Teresa?

Through the looking glass

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I generally have a good handle on my emotions but circumstances of late have made that handle much more difficult to grasp.  I feel like I have boarded a train that has sped into a murky tunnel and I have no idea what awaits me on the other side.  Perhaps that is the most difficult part for me since I usually have a well thought out plan and I feel, now, like I am slightly clueless.

Alice had the benefit of being able to see beyond the glass into the world she was able to observe.  Her situation gave her the advantage of knowing what awaited her on the other side and any foresight into a situation is welcomed knowledge.

It is difficult, having moved forward into that mirror, feeling gravity pulling me in the rest of the way and, blindly assuming that the other side will be as beautiful as it is in my dreams.

I can only continue through that looking glass and hope that my intuition and my gut are leading me the right way and that the fate I am wishing for awaits me on the other side.

alice

‎”Alice through the Looking Glass” Sculpture located in Guildford’s Castle Grounds.

 

Grab the eraser, the blueprint is changing again

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“We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

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We are all designers and if I have learned anything in my 45 years on this revolving orb of surprises it is that life never goes according to our intricately drawn plans.  Maybe it is the shifting tides or global warming or an ill-timed sneeze in the wrong direction that erased the lines we had drawn on our personal architecture but the structure of our life always ends up being different from what we had originally anticipated.

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Somewhere between concept and construction, the lines of communication are interrupted and life continues with one plan while we are left scratching our heads looking at the original drawings and wondering what happened.  Life is never exactly what we imagined.   And if yours is I applaud you and you can stop reading because this will have no bearing on your perfect life.

Adapting to change is something we are all too familiar with – the capability to shift our focus and rebuild a few walls to maintain the structural integrity of our lives is of key importance.  The giant eraser of fate can remove one small line in the rendering of our life and change the bones of the entire skeleton of our reality but it is how we learn to live the life that was meant for us that makes us successful.  Being able to leave the old drawings behind and start building again based on the updated sketch is what life is really about.

Maybe those blueprints we so carefully drew helped to build the foundation of our life but I’m willing to bet a little something called fate is going to fill in the rest of the lines for us.

How close is your life now to what you thought it would be?