Hearty Love

Hearty love masks madness with petals and dark chocolate.

Bottle caps ring against the marble, 

Like the metal blade of your tongue hitting my internal walls.

We drink to our forgiveness with deep fruit and sweet carbonation. 

Sacrifice drags on in the dark hours of anger.

Each moment a memory adds to the growing fire.

Forgotten acceptance echoes in wisps through the grate.

Dinner for your troubles?

Holding around your waist is hesitance and humor.

One is unsure of the future of our life.

The other bursts through the questionable silence

With silly wit and ridiculousness.

What is the coupling, but a testament

To the strength of letting go

And grabbing onto the string

Of the flying balloon?

I will rest on it with you

Beside our pictured beginning,

The calm moments lingering

With the imagined uncertainties.

Tethered forever.   


February 10, 2023

Crippling anxiety attacks on the brightest of days.  The battle wages in the mind as the soul heals beneath the fleshy form.  To fight against me is to lose me to the one you forsook.  He protects me and guides me through the endless struggles of human life.  You on the other hand, seek to destroy me, breaking me to my weakest in shaking fright.  How dare you touch me.

I now know the depths of my weakness.  It was an uncontrollable night rife with screams and crying.  Sleep would not come, but I made it.  Invisibly I am held with loving arms to give me peaceful rest.  I am not worthy of His embrace.  I must learn to be afraid of Him, because to lose Him is to lose everything.  

Now that sleep has come and I have rested in His gifts, I can breathe again.  I wonder how to live and be me, while changing my ways to better serve others.  I am working on a list of struggles, but the more light shined upon them, the more room I have to live freely.  Anxiety will continue to wrestle with me, but I will have the great light holding my hand. 



February 4, 2023

I realized today that I live my life like an organizer ghost.  The goal is set and all achievements are broken down to tasks. Most of the time those tasks are easy: five, ten, or fifteen minutes to complete, depending on my experience level.  Others take quiet concentration and hours set aside to consciously breathe through each triple check in order for me to be satisfied that I have completed it properly: I don’t want to make a mistake. 

My most troublesome trait is the propensity to agonize over the unfinished to-do’s.  They weigh heavily on my mind until I either snap at others or mentally break down in front of the television, leaving my tasks aside for another day.  When the other day arrives, I mentally restart the vicious cycle and take it out on myself for being too tired or too lazy.  Sometimes, others join in. You can never have enough criticism!  Being a perfectionist control freak is a real pain.   

You’re probably wondering why I am calling myself a ghost when I am clearly alive with anxious energy ready to get the next thing done.  Well, all this habitual mental energy that accompanies my need to organize and straighten my life drains me.  Sometimes I feel like a walking robot who has lost her heart, though she knows it’s there, buried under a pile of lists.  Do you know, I can’t even plan a vacation because all I can think about is budgeting, safety, rules, fear, and how I could possibly lose a family member if I choose to go to another country instead of visiting my home state?  Yes, I don’t know how to vacation.  I don’t know how to relax.  

Speaking of relaxation, I just got baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church and I am already quite anxious after I had a renewal of life in Christ.  Already, I am freaking out about how much wrong I do and how hard it is to be a peacemaker and also be honest at times.  Not to mention all the other ways I have made mistakes and continue to make them on a daily basis.  It feels like I am climbing up a steep mountain, slipping after every few steps.  I know I chose the right path, even though I am rolling my eyes considerably more at myself than normal.  It’s a hard conviction and no amount of checking boxes is going to make life that much easier.  I might feel more accomplished, but I would still have another step to climb up the ladder or inch up the mountain.  

I am renewed in my pursuit of life beyond the world, but in the world.  That’s where the people are, the people that need help not just with money or food, but with time, applications, resumes, positive safe relationships, or emotional support.  I have come far, but it wasn’t on my own and I struggle with my pride to remember that it took more than me.  I learned from God how to love and how not to hate from my grandmother.  Grandpa taught me to work and to always pay my bills.  It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  A lot of seeds were planted and I was given water, fresh air, and sunshine.  As I drink my post confession tea and ponder on my struggles, I realize that we will all have ghost moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and even years!  It’s part of living; it’s a part of being human.  I have to remind myself to be present in the world around me and to give freely, but not to forget that I too need to refresh. Gotta add that to the list!


Broken Reflections

Figures dance along the edges of the cracked glass,

Judgment dancing in their eyes,

Though their shadows shiver at your gaze.

Chills whisper on your skin,

Peppered in missed droplets,

Never dried away like the words stuck inside.

Fans suck the tears from the air,

Like your towel wipes away wishes

Around reality buckling at the knees.

They don’t know the weight your body carries

And only the head can turn away

From the reality of broken reflections.

An Uprooted Flower

The rain drowned me under its force as I lay discarded on the muddy ground amongst the ferns.  Even they shivered.  Laden with water drops, they bent towards me, covering my petals and my stem from the rain.  I envied their roots in the ground, huddled together like families.  They weren’t like the one who carried me and dropped me here on his fleeting wind: He must have been an enemy from the start.  

What could I, a lonely flower do, but lay here and let the earth take me back, the way I had seen other flowers go.  The color fading in the petals until they shriveled and dropped completely when the cold swept in.  They almost always returned in the warm sunny days; it was the way of the seasons.  But my fate is to never return.  My stem is severed from my roots in the land and no amount of sunshine or water will bring those back.  When my petals fall, they will be gone forever.  I will wither homeless amongst these ferns.  One petal at a time.   

As I pondered the fading of my petals, the rain stopped and the dark clouds moved to make room for a bright expanse, shining down on me.  It blinded me, but I felt the calm warmth of it cover my drenched body:  It felt like an old friend.  At once, I realized I had forgotten about my friend, the sun.  I never said goodbye or told him I was leaving when I was plucked from my home beside that mountain road.  

I forgot about his warm hugs and selfless light.  But I remember now: He never tried to take me.  He was always by my side, always happy to shine his friendly light, while listening to my flower sighs.  I didn’t know he would find me.  I didn’t know I missed him so, until he said, “Hello.”  I poured out my heart to him like the rain, telling him of my taking and flying against the storm.  He stayed and listened all day long.  

When it was time for him to go, I cried a little and wished him well.  I knew I might not see him tomorrow or that I might not be around, but I told him I’d see him later.  Even if it is my last day, I know I will see him, because he was like the Spring in the garden.  Always beautiful and warm to me.  

*Hello readers! This is the second part to Picking a Flower, that I posted in September. Thanks for reading!*

Fear and Anxiety

If I were to say fear is a constant friend, that is a bad friend and I need to give that up.  I do not like being afraid and I can’t honestly put a number to how many times fear has held me back. Nearly every day that I have been on vacation, I have wanted to write, but I don’t.  I am struggling with a story and for some reason I think avoiding it is a great idea. I keep thinking my story is terrible and there is no way for me to get into it again.  I am afraid all of my hundreds of pages are bad.  Logically, it is a rough draft, so it will be bad.  I can’t shake myself out of it.  Not only do I have this fear, I also have anxiety.

Anxiety, the bedfellow of fear, is a constant state of being for me when my to-do lists are long, my stories aren’t finished, I can’t lose weight, I fail at my goals, and my budget doesn’t include hiding away for months.  I am on vacation and last night I actually felt anxiety about not going to work like everyone else.  In my mind I thought, “What if they text me and need me for work?”  I know that’s not going to happen, but it could.  If I can’t even be on my staycation, what am I doing?  Why do I let all of these little detestable thoughts cause me anxiety and fearfulness?  Pressing play on the remote or controller is much easier than dealing with these bad friends, instead of working on it.  

Thinking about these unwelcome thoughts, I am reminded that thoughts are powerful.  Instead of letting my mind be crowded with fearful and anxious thoughts, I could spend my time changing my negative thoughts to positive ones, like my red velvet nightgown is comfortable and my coffee smoothie is delicious.  The lights in my room blink colors that match the blue of my ceiling light, making me feel relaxed.  My desk is organized and mostly clean of dust.  I get to spend time relaxing in my warm home while the winter wind blows and snow covers the land below my window.  How I dreamed of this time to wander through writing images of comfort and colorful scenes: I think I am starting to feel better.