Cloudy with a Chance of Change – Conclusion

Gusts and lightning, hurricanes
Tornadoes, floods, torrential rains
The Captain lashes to the wheel –
Character – an even keel.

Speaking of the weather,
Let not these words dismay –
Change may be a feather
That falls on who it may,

But each is her own Captain,
Her well marked maps abound.
No feather tells a Captain
Which depths that she must sound.

 

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Cloudy with a Chance of Change

Speaking of the weather,
I think it’s safe to say,
Change is like a feather
That falls on who it may.

It flits, it floats, it falling, flies,
Emits a casual lift of ties,
But not for easy, not for cheap.
Its shoulder queasy wants to keep

The ties that bind, the merry smiles
The hearty find, the traveled miles.
The bearer, weighted down with change,
Does find the passage dim and strange.

And wanting still to hold that place –
The people, friendships, love, and grace –
Doth reach both ways but stands so still,
The future frays the battled will.

And so she knows the change must win,
And freeing courage deep within,
Releases anchors founded here.
Tucks safe the memories held so dear,

And lets the winds of fortune wail,
The goals she’s set – the billowed sail.
So waving, frantic that they’ll see
She cuts the mooring, cruises free.

The sunset forward, history aft,
Heartaches cried and funnies laughed,
A ballast full of lessons learned,
Friendships forged, demons burned –

The Captain sets a course for Then,
Embraces now, begins again.
So Change unfettered, rides the clock
And elsewhere seeks another dock.


 

Tune in for the conclusion of this self-fulfilling prophecy on December 20th.

Tboi: NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (25)

Participant-2014-Square-Button

Tboi.  She liked the sound of his name when she said it.  He’d said her name too.  His words leading up to it had been angry, but not when he said her name.  She closed her eyes, could still hear it, “That’s why we don’t touch the ground, Terra.”  She shortened it.  “That’s why, Terra.”  His voice had softened at her name, had been gentle.  He’d asked her what she was thinking.  She wondered, in the silence that divided them after angry words subsided, what was he thinking.


 

Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

 

More Malone Snippets – Chance Meeting with a Friend

Child picking nose. Oh - and a Smart Crossblade. - Flickr - exfordy

At the gala she saw Kaylee with her son, Echo, tagging along beside her.  She could tell Kaylee was excited to finally introduce her boy – of whom crayon drawings and amusing stories had abounded up to this point.  Kaylee reached for the socially appropriate hug while Malone shrank clumsily into a simple shoulder tag.  Kaylee smiled, entertained at Malone’s usual social awkwardness.

Looking down at Echo, Malone realized Kaylee was completely unaware of his tiny little finger, deeply rooted in his nostril, and rummaging around.  Malone broke into a huge grin at the boy – sun painted curls adorned his tan, freckled face – pure innocence at its best.  “Hey Echo!  Save some for me, huh?  How about it?” she smiled.  He was instantly charmed as evidenced by his beaming return smile, finger still planted in his face.

Finally recognizing the situation and feeling the impulse to be embarrassed – Kylee dropped his free hand and gently removed his digging finger, wiping it on her jeans.  But the contrast of Malone’s own social anxiety in comparison with her genuine appreciation for her son’s youth caught her at the heart level and she giggled … almost like a school girl.  It was completely unlike most encounters when her son’s childish antics made other adults uncomfortable and led to her hasty apology which always felt like a betrayal to her love for Echo.

Tea Time with Idaho Indians

This past week I had tea over at the independently owned grocery store.  Not the “heat your water and throw your tea bag in there” kind of tea.  I had the “British Empire leaves India but the tradition still remains” kind of tea.  My new friends Ekaraj and Mishti, the husband and wife that own the place, had extended an open invitation to the store at 4pm, just about any day, when they host tea time. Continue reading

Birthdays

I don’t know why I dislike the idea of people celebrating my birthday.  Maybe I didn’t get the memo from my family that the big giant deal made on birthdays ends at 18 and it crushed me.  Maybe I actually like it a little, but a deep sense of guilt permeates me for liking that kind of attention?  Lord knows I like to be listened to and watched as if on stage sometimes.  What I mean is, I want people to view me as knowledgeable and charming, dependable and as someone to look up to.  But I’m a wall flower by nature (and occasionally by hormones).  So I want people to only pay attention to me when I’m seeking it, when I’m ready for it, when I know my lines.  Otherwise, I like to be able to melt into the cracks of everyday casual and relax as I disappear into usual.

So when people make a big deal about my birthday, Continue reading

Mentor

Dear Sheri,

I miss you.  I wish I could still have your example to ponder and appreciate.  I wish I could emulate your direct, organized, no-nonsense, matter-of-fact leadership.  I wish I could find the combination of language, persona, and demeanor that would convey calm cool and collected while also stealthily wrapping people in your love.  If you were still alive, I would have called you at least ten times by now. Continue reading

trust

Don’t give up on me.  I strive for perfection and fall short every time.  I don’t sleep regular hours and rarely stay down all through the night, but that’s not why I’m restless.  Stress throbs my temples and you know what that feels like.  Bear with me.

I only give up about ten times a day.  If I had a dime for every time I got side-tracked …  Just have a little faith.  This could get scary and time is the only damn thing that will tell.  There’s a lot riding on my efforts so have a heart.

All I need is your confidence and occasional encouragement.  I can watch as the cracks form in the sky.  I don’t mind bearing the weight of the continents on my shoulders.  I can take it when all seems lost and tomorrow could totally crumble around my weary corpse.  Don’t look at me.

I don’t care about the money, or the clock ticking.  I will keep moving forward little by lots, blow by blow, life and limb.  Just don’t ever give up on me.

Play crack the sky.

Play crack the sky. (Photo credit: timothygareth)

Invisible Dirt (May 1999)

baby talk
chew and walk
rub and pat
i can do that

twist and shout
sweat it all out
rock and roll
deep in my soul

fancy free
insanity
no order
inside of me
no method to the madness
no clear reason for the sadness

happy hurt
invisible dirt
painful joy
broken glass toy

wash and wear
have a care
permanent press
more for less

be a friend
make it end.

fog

Photo by inturruptingcow

What’s Wrong? aka The Three Stooges of Depression

For many people who have never experienced major depression, it can be hard to understand why, on any given sun shine laden day, a person can be low and have no apparent reason to explain it.  Those who have experienced it will tell you, there’s no question more annoying, or that can turn the pain into a burning desire to rip someone’s head off, than this one: “Why are you sad?”  Even marginally intelligent people, when dealing with an actual tangible “something” that makes them emotional, can figure out a way to deal with it.  Asking questions like, “What happened that’s got you down?” to a major depressive is like asking a Harley owner if her bike is broke because it needs a new fan belt.

Just chalk it up to gang warfare in the brain.  As best I can tell from what I’ve read or been told, it’s like this.  There’s these three stooges on the molecular level who like to call themselves “The Monoamines.”  Individually they are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine*.    Serotonin is a sort of “trafficker,”  and deals with neurotransmitters in the brain to help move messages around.  When it gets low or doesn’t show up in force, messages don’t move like they should and symptoms can occur.  The other two fools are like enforcers, only in a positive way.  They don’t break your knee caps when you don’t pay up, they give you a high when you do.  That’s why some depressives turn into addicts – because drugs and alcohol can serve to boost these two clowns (at least for the short term).  If you prefer to see the movie rather than read the book, check this video out.

Video on this Brain Gang

So you would think that someone with major depression would want to take advantage of prescription drugs that help fix these brain wire wars.  Maybe save everyone else the mystery of being around them?  Some do.  Some have played that drug roulette and won with a solution that helps them.  But try and see it from my point of view.  Let’s say you just bought a shiny new sports car.  Imagine someone telling you they have done the research and had some trials and would like to use this new chemical to help keep it shiny when it rains.  This new batch of chemicals will not only keep it shiny when it rains, but it will keep off the dust and dirt when driving it regularly.  Are you skeptical?

You should be.  What are the unseen effects of this sludge that keeps your car looking so good?  What if it means that your car will lose its resale value in half the time it would have otherwise?  What if it looks great, but smells like a paper mill?  What if it looks great, smells just like a new car, but there is a very slight chance that you will encounter circumstances while cruising that cause the chemicals in this auto-pharmaceutical to explode, killing you and everyone around you?  Would you take that chance?

lambourgini

Never trust an MD to prescribe any kind of antidepressant.  I suspect many of them work for the sludge companies.  Either that, or they are just blissfully ignorant; Hippocrates be damned.  I once had an MD see me for under 10 minutes, ask me a few questions about the depression I reported experiencing, and prescribe me Effexor.  It was the 24 hour capsule and, although I feared taking drugs for my funk, I was desperate.  I waited until bedtime and downed the thing at 9pm that night.  I had the deepest, most disturbing sleep I’ve ever had … every two hours.  I dreamed of dark shapes, muggy, stale air, and reptile like movements.  I sat bolt-upright in a cold sweat every two hours on the dot.  I felt creepy-crawlies on my body and sensed evil demonic elements all around me.  I checked the clock each time, went into a brief panic-mode for fear I would not make it to the morning; then I convinced myself I preferred the dark tank of my dreams to the freakish alter-reality around my wakeful self.  I had to be driven to work and home the next day, and had to get help finishing sentences on a project I was on. The drug committed homicide on every thought I had before I could finish them.  It held me, a helpless hostage, until it finally wore off that evening at bedtime.

The sludge lackeys recommended I try a different sludge.  Trial and error no doubt.  No thanks.

There’s another, non-medical way to look at depression.  Spiritually, depression is quite easily explained as severe selfishness.  Don’t get flustered with me.  I’m not one of those religious ignoramuses that blame people for lack of faith or prayer when they are depressed. I know this explanation sounds shocking and insensitive. Americans especially don’t like that word.  Hmm.  Try and see it in a non-blame way – a kind of psychological diagnosis.  Because my experience is that it really applies.

Of course, don’t ever tell that to someone who might be dealing with depression unless you are just evil or cruel.  Instead, ask them for some help.  Seriously.  Be sensitive to their stripped-down exposure by putting yourself out there with them.  That’s the highest form of love.  And if you have no need of help in any way (talking about a struggle you have and asking them for advice, or help moving some things from one place to another, or help getting organized) … then do this.  Find a volunteer service project and tell them you need someone to go with you because you want to help, but feel awkward going alone.  It’s brainwave therapy for the mind.

The chemical mafia that controls moods can affect your thinking patterns.  We could argue the chicken-egg question – is it selfishness that causes depression or depression that causes selfishness? None of that is the point.  When you can’t own a gun because you are afraid you might use it on yourself one day – who the hell cares about the blame game?  Point is – doing things to help others and giving of your time helps shift thinking patterns and the types of things the brain focuses on.  This, in turn, helps adjust production of the three stooges and can improve mood.

Related articles

Pretending Otherwise (Apr 1999)

peel and feel
with me here
tell me your real
and do not fear
be near
no matter where it takes us

everyone hides themselves and me
who do we think we’re supposed to be?

crack the stone
break your mold
help atone
our lies of old

like purple haze whispers
of screeching halt vespers
hint of edges brushed behind
out of practice, can’t find
our cliffs of dover
to even think about diving over
sailing into what we are
and how we feel
not what we pretend
but what is real.

peel and feel
don’t hide, ride
and trust the fact that the true you
the free me
will either be or not
but we will not be lies
wasting time pretending otherwise.

I took this picture myself on 14/05/05.

Spell (Apr 1999)

walk with me for a spell
let’s head off down the seawall
tell me all you have to tell
let’s share things great and small

give me a call
ring my phone
i won’t fall
and be left alone

we are friends
that’s where it ends
no sob stories ahead of us
we’re better than that, just
believe me

hold my hand as we walk
smile at me when we talk
be close to my true
let me be close to you
without going through the motions
of building lifetime devotions

we can need without needing
we can share without heeding
perceptions of what we are together
or whether we’ll hold hands forever

walk with me … at your own pace … for a spell.

Galveston Surf

Galveston Surf (Photo credit: Tom Haymes)