Why Aren’t There More Love Poems

Why aren’t there more love poems

About Grandmothers?

Epic hero’s journey tales recounting

Their fantastic feats?

My Bonmama is nearly 93.

Once she was of noble blood, a beauty queen

Raven hair, dark eyes, sharp wit.

She is trilingual, a WWII military translator

An immigrant, a mother of 5, an entrepreneur

In short,

She moved mountains with her bare hands

(Usually before breakfast.)

Later in her life,

After raising all her children

Building a business

Assimilating into a foreign culture

Earning retirement,

She raised two more kids.

Not half-heartedly, not begrudgingly

But with love, enthusiasm, and candor.

My grandmother is my mother.

She is my very best girlfriend.

She is extraordinary.

Every time I talk to her I feel home

(In the way that only her home has ever felt)

She gave me culture, humor, and grit

She is my beacon and my true North.

And I’m sitting here after a long late chat

Wondering why no one writes love poems

About Grandmothers

My Bonmama has loved me more honestly

More enduringly, more enthusiastically

Than any other, and in return I have

Tried to treasure her, honor and humor her

Though nothing could repay her for

Her heart

Which I know I hold in my hands

Perhaps the challenge is in articulating

The greatness of a woman unprecedented

Unparalleled

There are no sufficient words to express

All that she has been and continues to be

For me.

And so no poems are written here,

No songs are sung

She is otherworldly.

Too dear for this kind of thing

I’ll keep it to myself, then.

I’ll keep it between us –

Where it has always been.

Protected: sweet dreams

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Come at Me, Paul

Since I have been slowly inching my way out of the metaphysical closet, I have been surprised (shocked, saddened, scared) by the response from friends and family. Not all of them, just a tiny percentage.

One friend whose husband doesn’t like me anymore because I’m not “a believer”. Literally nothing about me – my countenance, my attitude towards him, my friendship with his wife, my sense of humor – has changed, save for the little mental box he pictured me sitting in when he saw me or heard my name.

Before I started talking about meditation and grounding and trying to help people heal, I was in a box labeled “normal”, “safe”, or “Christian”. He liked me fine. I was actually not a Christian but he didn’t know that. Now that he knows I sit in my floor and hum to light up chakras, well, he’s convinced I’m going to drag her soul to hell. And it’s confusing to me. Disorienting, even. I am the same person, apart from where and how (and perhaps whom) I worship.

I grew up in the church. Mostly Catholic and Southern Baptist, with a sprinkle of Methodist and Assembly of God in there, too. At times we were strict observers. At times, sporadic.

Today as an adult I can honestly say that some of the most morally bankrupt, rude, cruel, greedy, exclusive people I have ever met are a part of “the church”. They are believers. In what, I do not quite know. Perhaps in the blanket coverage insurance they think someone else’s sacrifice has bought them. A blank check to do and say what they please and then be forgiven.

I’m not writing from a place of judgement, I point this out to say that perhaps it stands to reason that those of us who operate without the promise of a safety net are more inclined to treat people well the first time? Since I’m spiritually uninsured, so to speak, I don’t take human interactions for granted. Therefore, I am not a religious asshole. (Not all religious people are assholes, that’s not what I’m saying at all.)

Anyway…

Tonight my aunt sent me a message. Apparently she had heard my podcast and taken issue with it. The podcast is so special to me, it is my life’s purpose. I talk about my struggle with anxiety and how I’ve healed, and I encourage others to do the same. It’s a good message and I deliver it with an open heart.

The message she sent me was basically a list of Bible verses and a snarky “only Jesus can help you”.

It hurt my feelings because it felt like a personal attack from a woman I have always looked up to. A women who is sweet and generous and welcoming. I know what happened. It appears that tonight is the night she realized, like my friend’s husband, that I sit in a different imaginary box than the people she loves and approves of.

I suppose for that I deserve to be reprimanded? Cast out? I can think of Bible stories I know by heart. The woman at the well. The man on the side of the road. Jesus himself! Jesus was crucified by his followers, man. And somehow I am in the wrong for wanting to help others get well? To keep them from suicide and show them they are not alone in this world?

The good news here – can I get a hallelujah- is that I don’t need to be cast out. I’m already out. I just don’t understand how something purportedly built around love can feel so much like hate.

Jesus was not a Christian. He, like many others, taught love. I am not a Christian. But I work tirelessly to show love and to be a beacon of hope for people who are struggling. The idea that my finding peace means to anyone that I deserve eternal damnation really boggles the mind.

Why not simply love me for who I am?

If you trust God so implicitly, why not leave the rest (including the wrath and judgement) up to him?

Stop Me If You’ve Heard It

Some things were always going to be the way they are, and only in hindsight do we realize it.

**************

The Scorpion and the Frog 🦂 🐸

One day, a scorpion decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey.  Down from his rocky mountain he went, crawling through forests over hills he travelled until he reached a river.

The water was swift and the river was too wide to jump and too deep to ford so the scorpion, who could not neither fly nor swim, was compelled to stop and contemplate his predicament. 

Unable to see a way across the river,  the scorpion searched up stream and down hoping to find a fallen tree that might serve as a bridge.  The scorpions search was unsuccessful. Unable to find a way to cross the river, the scorpion had all but decided his journey was over and that he might have to turn back and return to the mountain.

Then the scorpion spotted a frog sitting in cattails along the opposite bank of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help in crossing the stream.

The scorpion shouted out across the water “Hellooo there Mr. Frog!”  Are you a good swimmer? 

The frog replied that of course he was!  At which the scorpion made his proposal.

 “In that case then Mr. Frog, would you be so kind ferry me on your back across the river?”

Knowing that scorpions had a bad reputation, the frog responded.

“Well now, Mr. Scorpion, How do I know that if I carry you to the opposite bank of the river that you wont try to kill me?” 

Because, the scorpion replied, “If I try to kill you, then I would surely die as well, for you see I cannot swim!”

Now that logic seemed to make sense to the frog.  But still cautious, he asked the scorpion. “What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore”

“This is true,” agreed the scorpion, “But then I wouldn’t be able to get to the other side of the river”

“Alright then …but how do I know you won’t just wait until we get close to the other side and then kill me?” asked the still skeptical frog.

“Ahh…,” crooned the scorpion, “Because you see, once you’ve taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so very grateful for your help that it would unfair to reward your service in that cruel way”

So the frog finally agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and picked up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog’s back digging his claws into the frog’s soft skin and clinging on for dear life. 

The frog slid out into the current and began the swim across the river. The water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface and the scorpion clung on tightly so he would not drown.

The frog kicked steadily across the strong current but then halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp pain in his back and turning to see what it was,  out of the corner of his eye, the frog saw the scorpion remove his stinger.  A cold numbness began to creep into his limbs and the frog, still carrying the scorpion, stopped swimming began to slip below the river’s surface.

“You fool!” croaked the frog, “What have you done, now we shall both die! Why on earth did you sting me?”

The scorpion gave a little shrug and as they both sank below the turbulent water he replied.

“I could not help myself. It is my nature.”

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Instagram

I am losing hope.

I feel disfigured

Disgusting

Unsuccessful

Untalented

Betrayed

Stupid

Sad

Tired

Mostly tired.

Hashtag: good vibes only.

Venn Diagram

Hold me/Thrill me/Kiss me/Kill me

I thought that was the best song title ever.

Then when Ryan Adams said

Come pick me up/Take me out/Fuck me up

Again I was taken by the contrast, – or what’s meant to be contrast – but anyone who’s ever loved anyone can tell you, those words and phrases aren’t contradictory. Those are synonyms. They’re parallel realities.

So today when I thought the phrase, “slow and agonizing love”, I felt at once exceedingly clever and shamefully obvious. A genius composing with crayon.

Ah, but then I think the truth is that all of these: love, death, happiness, destruction, genius, madness – exist in and around each other and the really substantial, life-altering moments happen when they blur and overlap.

Protected: Over Under

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Protected: Fool me twice…

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Again

I have slept a thousand nights

Without the walls closing in

A thousand nights!

I won. I win.

Suddenly, without warning,

The walls are pressing in on me

Again

I can’t sleep

And I can’t breathe

And I will die before I let them crush me

Again

Please don’t let them crush me again.