ReBlog: Epoch of Autocratic Fuckery

This was EXACTLY what I needed to see today!

In these trying times, we must find something/anything that makes us feel better.

Chuck writes:

“I want to articulate a finer, more poetic sentence than the one I’m about to write, but I find that difficult, so instead I’m going to go with the sentence inside my heart:

Shit is pretty fucking fucked up right now.

I mean, it just is. Look around. This country, and by proxy the world, is a hot, hot mess. It’s like a preschool where all the toddlers are drunk and have been given power tools, oh, and also, they’re not toddlers but actually tiny grifters pretending to be toddlers, and they don’t just have power tools, but also, THE POWER TO REWRITE AMERICAN POLICY AND LAW AND THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM FOR SEVERAL GENERATIONS AND..”

Read more here

 

 

 

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Fire Sale

Sandbox Challenge: Vulnerability

 

Hazel eyes so full of pain

   leaking slow moving snakes of shame

       like twisting streams down the cracks of his face.

           Hollow and black like the deeds and the mire and muck he plays so impulsively in.

 

Liars lips begging forgiveness from a well long run dry

   from putting out the endless dumpsterfires he creates from his chaos

      & burning all who dance close enough to the flames

          mouths gaping like fish out of water, perishing from the fumes of his toxic entrails.

 

Heart hardened and closed, mute to the cries

   of the damaged, needy child within him

     who bellows and then whines the apology verses that

        are as familiar as the back of your own hand.

 

Nothing left of the man in this moment

   just the plaintive cries of need and feed and bleed again.

     Your saviour’s cape musty with age

        polluted by the stench of regret and shattered trust.

 

Searching carefully for any shred of the man who so

   lovingly brushed your hair by the light of the moon and

       softly traced his name all over your skin with fingers that felt like butterflies landing

          to soothe you back to sleep after the nightmares.

 

Your mind plays tricks and makes you

   believe it can’t have been so long

      but it has been years

         since that man last appeared.

 

To witness daily the vanishing of the soul of a man

    is a suffering that cannot be written in words 

      he seeks his solace in the flare of the flame

          and in the pipe to his lips.

 

The Salty & The Sweet

What have you done that no one knows about?

“I’m looking for a writer who doesn’t know where her sentence is leading her; a writer who starts with her obsessions and whose heart is bursting with love; a writer sly enough to give the slip to her secret police, the ones with the power to condemn in the blink of an eye. It’s all right that she doesn’t know what she’s thinking until she writes it, as if the words already exist somewhere and draw her to them. She may not know how she got there, but she knows when she’s arrived.”

Sy Safransky
Editor and Publisher of the Sun

It wasn’t until a few months ago that anyone who knows me personally knew that I was writing. I kept it close to my heart, as I wasn’t sure it would go anywhere, if I would be able or honest enough to allow the words and memories to come, or if I would lose interest or stop due to sheer laziness. I was afraid if it turned into a chore, I would let it go. I was fearful that no one could even begin to understand the craziness that has been my life, and I was most frightened that by letting the feelings out into the light, that they could no longer be kept safe in the darkness where they had resided for so many years.

It is the readers here that have inspired me to tell my stories, some of them very painful indeed, but rather than reeling in hurt during the revealing, I started to feel lighter and the weight I carried in my shoulders started loosening up, story by story.

I would be a liar if I said that there have never been times I have had tears running down my face in the storytelling. Frequently, I cry while pushing all of this out of me. It feels like labouring during childbirth in so many ways. The waiting and preparing for the pain, knowing it will come within minutes again, but welcoming it for the inner work that is taking place within. The knowing that the outcome will be worth all the pain.

Life has been like that for me.

The enduring, the suffering, the pain , and the losses….all necessary emotions and events that had to occur in order for me to know enough to be fully present during every wonderful, life affirming moment that I have so far been blessed with.

I have now moved beyond writing about my own experiences and have started research and prep work on a novel that I want to complete sometime in the next year or so. I will need to be very disciplined, and write every day. Due to the fact that I will need to wait for information that I need to send in formal requests for, this could be daunting, indeed.

I am very excited about writing this novel, as my challenge as the author will be to take you into the mind and heart of a man who within a fifteen minute span, committed an act that altered his life and the lives of his family and who has spent the fifty years following trying to make up for it.

A redemption story in its most classic form and one which happened upon my path quite by serendipity.

So, to Cheryl, who has been my greatest encourager, infinite love and gratitude for your friendship, attention and wise counsel.

To the rest of you readers, who have stumbled across my blog accidentally or via links from other blogs, thanks beyond words for all the encouragement you have given me as well, during the times I have puddled along, but most of all virtual hugs to all of you for taking the time out of your lives to read my pieces and for understanding that my path may not be a straight one, but I will eventually get to where I am supposed to be.

Namaste

XO – Shannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m looking for a writer who doesn’t know where her sentence is leading her; a writer who starts with her obsessions and whose heart is bursting with love; a writer sly enough to give the slip to her secret police, the ones with the power to condemn in the blink of an eye. It’s all right that she doesn’t know what she’s thinking until she writes it, as if the words already exist somewhere and draw her to them. She may not know how she got there, but she knows when she’s arrived.”

Sy Safransky
Editor and Publisher of the Sun

A Hairy Situation & Making Lemonade

If you could, what parts of yourself would you throw out?

I wish I could be all blasé and “woman-power” and act like I am perfectly comfortable in my middle-aged body. Smiling at myself in the mirror upon awakening every single morning in wonder at the transformation that seems to take place every night while I sleep.

I so want to be that graceful, all-knowing woman, who welcomes the aging process taking hold all over her body, as she books a yoga class or weekend retreat to some coastal spa, where she will consume nothing but raw kale and green tea, sitting in a cross-legged pose, and listening to nothing but the sound of birds, or waves or Enya.

I want to be her so badly that I can picture her in my mind and I know she has a name like Caryline, or Kathryn, or Jayne with the random “Y” just carelessly tossed into the mix- but it seems so far away from my reality.

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I have been a pretty a good sport about this aging shit – I really, really have.

I have accepted my new stomach, and the loss of my once rounded bottom.

I woke up one morning and realized to my horror when I accidently glanced in the bathroom mirror while stepping into the shower that they had somehow decided to switch places! The fullness of my bum had sneakily moved around my waist somehow and placed itself in the front of my body at some point during my sleeping hours! And no matter how much celery I ate or how many squats I reluctantly did, while watching Sister Wives, and yelling at the t.v. ” you should ALL grab a few brother-husbands and fix his little red wagon but good!”, I have never been able to coax those body parts back to their original home stations. So, I reluctantly made lemonade with the lemons and moved on. I started eyeballing tunics and leggings online and laughed until I cried at the “shapers” that had built-in bums in them.

shaper
Side note: Shapers my ASS! Call it a girdle, girl – our mothers certainly did and who are we to think we are somehow better than that generation at the aging game, anyway? I can still recall the first time I walked in on my Mom fighting to get into one, and the combination of my squeal of utter shock and her efforts to get the damn thing up over her hips made us both erupt into giggles that left us gasping for breath afterwards. Me from giggling, and her, I’m sure, due to the combination of laughter and the oxygen restriction she was enduring due to the vice-grip that girdle had on her abdomen.

The lemonade I have made out of the sad state of my 60’s era National Geographic cover-worthy boobs, is that on cold winter days, while I am sitting in my house and feel the chill, they provide bonus warmth to my new stomach, and have actually become pretty good friends, as a result! They almost seem to suffer separation anxiety on the rare occasions when I need to strap on one of my industrial strength bras, with the steel reinforcements, and the 23 clips required in order to constrain all that matronly sexiness that just wants to ooze out at the most inopportune times in public. I’ll be totally honest here – sometimes just getting the thing on winds me – similar to the days I need to swap comforters out of the duvet covers.

Life’s a struggle and we all have our hills to conquer, but we carry on, don’t we ladies?

The hardest thing to make lemonade out of for me regarding the aging process has been the hair situation occurring in the last few years. This unforgiving trauma I endure on a daily basis has been one of the stealthiest missions of my life as a woman, and my secret shame.

In my youth, I had eyebrows like Brooke Shields. I actually had what some affectionately refer to as a “unibrow”, in fact. I was not allowed to pluck my eyebrows or shave any body part OR paint nails until I reached the age of 14 (some of my mother’s rules were absolutely wack- just pick an age out of your ass and make it law? Regardless of circumstance or evidence to the contrary??)

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My Grade 7 School Picture

But I digress – the minute I hit 14, I went off in a frenzy of hair removal and nail painting. I spent more time pulling hair out of my body than I did eating, or sleeping or exercising, or cutting the David Cassidy pictures out of Teen Beat. Any pictures of me from that summer show my sleek, tanned, bare legs with cute polish on the toes and my brassy Sun-In’d tresses blowing in the breeze. Two razor-thin lines where my eyebrows used to be – one cocked up in what I thought made me look quizzical, and mature. Oh- and my boobs where they belonged- their original placement, their designated lane.

I have barely any eyebrows now. A few wispy strands here and there. And the majority of them a glaring white that makes me squint if I look too close. It can sometimes make my head ache so bad from the glare that I need a vodka cocktail vitamins to make the pain go away. So, I sit there, with my cocktail vitamins and stare into the abyss mirror deciding which method I should deploy on that day to draw some on. I have pencils, and brow powders, and fancy brushes designed specifically to create eyebrows. Every shade from auburn to gray. Because the white hairs hurt my self esteem eyes, I usually pluck them all out, leaving myself with a larger canvas to work on. Most days, I just style my hair so that my bangs are hanging down past them, and call it a job well done!

Pat myself on the back for my exquisite time management skills.

The lemonade I cannot make and refuse to swallow involves my eyelashes. Somehow, maybe during that period of time that my ass went AWOL, my eyelashes started one by one dragging themselves down my face towards my chinny-chin-chin. I couldn’t swear in a court of law that the little hairs ARE my missing eyelashes, but I suspect that is what happened. So, now there is the extra work of removing them from my chin and then because life is so brutally unfair that it HAS to be a man, I cannot simply move them back where they belong – I have to decide whether I am going to use 56 coatings of mascara, glue a set of fake ones on ( glue= kryptonite), or just say screw it, and let my bangs grow even longer until they are completely covering my eyes. The mascara option is the one I most frequently choose, as it doesn’t involve the potential for blindness that the eyelash glue does and has frequently in the past.

The only downside to the mascara is that even with the application of the $40 primer to my eyelids, I end my days looking in a mirror to the sight of the menopause spiders© above my eyes. I assume it is because my temperature these days fluctuates from arctic deep freeze all the way to tropical rainforest, sometimes within a 5 minute span of time, but I am starting to take it personally, and that always means more vitamins.

mascara
Menopause Spiders ©

The plus side to all of this aging bullshit, and disappearing body parts, and the sketchy hair realignment process, is that once you are my age, nobody really looks at you anymore anyway!

You are past the age of child-bearing, out tripping through the world blindly due to your long bangs, and the fact that your melting pool of mascara has temporarily blinded you. You are light-headed from the constriction of your bra and shape wear, hot-flashing like a mutha, sleep deprived and quite possibly in search of anyone to be mad at due to your raging hormones and the fact your face is slowly morphing into Doc’s from Back to the Future.

And you know what the answer to all of that is, don’t you?

MORE vitamins!

vodka
Vitamin V ©

My Uncle George

via Daily Prompt: Evoke

Looking back as an adult, I can’t help but marvel at his deep pool of patience with all children. He was a steady, stable constant in my childhood, and then due to my own father’s death before I was 20, he stepped in and stepped up as a father figure when he sensed I needed him.

He was never demonstrative with his affection or advice. He just let me know with a smile or look that he was there. He knew he couldn’t and most certainly would never even try to replace my Dad, but he was such an honorable and loyal soul. He had a genuine affection for my father, so there that there was a natural shifting of sorts in our relationship following my Dad’s passing.

He gave me away at my wedding and our time spent together alone that day before heading to the church is one of my most precious memories.

In the ensuing years, he moved closer to where I lived, and there were many more opportunities to spend time with him. More time to sit and listen to the things he had to say and also, more importantly, to those he didn’t say out loud. Time to learn by observing how he managed difficult people and difficult situations.

What he thought about the world and the messy people in it. His reaction to crazy situations and people contributing to the craziness was a slight shaking of his head, with a quiet grunt and a big smile.

His views on what made a person “good” and what made them less than. He was the first person in my life that explained to me that humans are fallible beings. No one wants to act badly; situations and life cause that to occur.

The best compliment I ever received in my life was from him. He told me out of the blue one time that what he loved most about me was that I wasn’t judgmental and he told his daughter and me that we had open loving heart for others.

When I think about that day, I wonder if I was, in fact, judging someone or complaining about someone to him. We were together at his place with my cousin, his daughter. It seems a strange way to start a conversation like that with the 2 of us. I wonder if we weren’t venting to him (likely about our mothers). But it isn’t about the compliment or even what we were discussing leading up to that moment of the compliments getting thrown at us out of the blue.

What I am trying to recollect and share, is what and how he chose to teach us both that day. His way of counselling was to point out a positive within us. By pointing that out, whether it was true or not, he made me strive to live those characteristics and show them moving forward in my life.

His was a heart you wanted to make full of love for you and your love and everything you held dear was so very, very safe with him.

His children were his world, and when he lost his daughter, that beautiful heart of his was working hard to deal with the hole left behind and stepping up to spill all of what he had left into her son, whom he held so close and loved so dearly.

My uncle died a year following his daughter’s passing and the only comfort I ever got from that was the thought of them together again somewhere. Because he lived far away from me when he died, it has been easier for me to just think of him as “away”.

He will always be with me, especially when I hear certain music and memories flood in of him playing DJ, mixing his tapes, a beer close by.

Nodding his head with his eyes closed, smiling that amazing smile of his. “Niece- check THIS out!”

And that laugh.

Thank you for everything, Uncle.

Sergeant Stinkers aka Lil Sarge

I am so excited I am vibrating!

After serious introspection and decision-making, I am going to collect my new baby next week and could not be more excited.

I lost two beloved furry family members within 6 months of each other two years ago, and it has taken me this long to grieve them properly and allow my heart to open enough to consider the possibility of going through it all over again. But it did, and I am and it is NEXT WEEK!

I have visited with this cutie and have observed him with all his siblings and his momma and actually picked him out from a picture before I ever met him in person.

My previous cats were Sylvester and Yayo aka Babygirl.

Sylvester I have written about here on my blog and he lived longer than any pet I have ever had in my life. He was pitch black in colour and incredibly chill in temperament.

Babygirl was white and black and looked like she had a beaver straddling her back. She was far more fiesty but very funny and adorable, always positioning herself for “spankings”, as she loved being patted, sometimes rather hard, on her rump end. She was also incredibly fickle and could be snuggling with you all content and then if someone she fancied more came into the room, she would sometimes tear half the skin off you in her struggle to plant herself on THEIR lap, instead of yours. My youngest started calling her a little trollop as she reminded us all of a woman who would quickly dump your ass if she caught a whiff  of someone with a fatter wallet approaching!

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I chose my new baby due to his colouring, as I have never owned a gray cat before, so he would be his own person in my heart, with no reminders of the ones that have already carved out their spots before him.

He seems to be that perfect blend of cuddly and independent, which I need in my life at this point. I work and am away from home for at least 7 hours a day. I have the flexibility to run home at lunch to check on him, which I will do during our adjustment period, but apparently he is also OK to be alone, according to  the people he has lived with since birth.

When his siblings all do that kitty-pile thing they do, he curls up with them for a bit, but then wanders off on his own to a chair, or bed, and plays with a toy alone and content. He sounds quite a bit like me, actually. I like my playtime  and socializing but also wander off to be by myself when I need to be.

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It was so hard for me to see all those kittens and only choose one to bring home with me but I want to be able to give everything to Lil Sarge, rather than spread it out. Also, I really could be the type who turns into the “crazy cat lady”, so I tried to use some restraint.

I am already buying the little things he will need and planning to set up a space for him in a spare room, where he will feel safe to run away to, if he is fearful during his first days here.

I cannot wait to have him home with me and just wanted to share my excitement with any cat lovers who may follow my blog.

Stay tuned- you can bet I will be writing more in the future about our shenanigans together.

 

 

 

 

No Matter What

Please check out this piece by Jena Schwartz.
Her writing is so very beautiful.

Jena Schwartz

This stellar swarm is M80 (NGC 6093), one of the densest of the 147 known globular star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. Located about 28,000 light-years from Earth, M80 contains hundreds of thousands of stars, all held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. Globular clusters are particularly useful for studying stellar evolution, since all of the stars in the cluster have the same age (about 15 billion years), but cover a range of stellar masses. Every star visible in this image is either more highly evolved than, or in a few rare cases more massive than, our own Sun. Especially obvious are the bright red giants, which are stars similar to the Sun in mass that are nearing the ends of their lives. This stellar swarm is M80 (NGC 6093), one of the densest of the 147 known globular star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. Located about 28,000 light-years from Earth, M80 contains hundreds of thousands of stars, all held together by their mutual gravitational attraction. Globular clusters are particularly useful for studying stellar evolution, since all of the stars in the cluster have the same age (about 15 billion years), but cover a range of stellar masses. Every star visible in this image is either more highly evolved than, or in a few rare cases more massive than, our own Sun. Especially obvious are the bright red giants, which are stars similar to the Sun in mass that are nearing the ends of their lives.

No matter where you are tonight. No matter what you’re going through.

No matter how busy or bored, confused or tired, pissed off or content.

No matter if…

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