A Death in the Family

She lived a good life
Protected and nurtured us
Now lost forever

Yet birds keep flying
The sun continues to shine
Heedless of her death


Our grief is immense
Life, though, continues apace
While this old world turns


I’ve been asked repeatedly today how I feel about Trump winning the election. Truthfully I feel like there has been a death in my immediate family. Ultimately I know we will be alright, but right now I’m experiencing a deep grief.

I spent a sleepless night in which my thoughts circled relentlessly like a dog chasing its tail, and I recalled reading Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s book, On Death and Dying, in which she introduced the five stages of grief:

  1. denial, 
  2. anger, 
  3. bargaining, 
  4. depression, and 
  5. acceptance

From my psychiatry courses in college (where a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing) I remember that one can cycle through these stages in a variety of ways unique to each individual. 

I ran through denial pretty quickly. The numbers were there. And while it was heartening to note that Hillary won the popular vote, Trump undeniably took the electoral college votes. 

Anger is my current companion. I’m not angry at Trump or his supporters so much as I’m angry at their willful ignorance. They don’t care that he has no real plans to implement his policies. They like him because he’s not a career politician, and he isn’t politically correct. 

I’m angry at the registered voters who just didn’t show up. I’m angry at those who used their votes to protest by voting for non-viable candidates. I’m angry at the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle voter suppression tactics that were employed in several states.

I can’t imagine there’ll be much bargaining involved, but depression is anger’s little sister and I’m going to do everything in my power to avoid going down that rabbit hole. Today I smiled at everyone I saw and hugged a woman at work who supported Trump. Little steps.

Acceptance? That’s going to take awhile. But I won’t be like those conservatives who disrespected President Obama and actively rooted for his failure these past eight years. I’m going to support Trump as our president while continuing to fight for the rights of all those living in our country: health care, reproductive rights, racial and gender equality, etc. 

I know other bloggers have addressed this much more eloquently than I, but I think the healing starts when we lay it all on the line. This piece was part of my healing process. Maybe it will help someone else along the way.

Peace, people.

Lost Girl

On this cold, snow laced night party crowds skirt ’round a long-limbed girl.

Who is she? Standing on the sidelines, looking lost, unfound. Nobody claims her,

No one takes her hand. But there are no tears on her plain featured face. Perhaps

Smudged traces of those she’s wiped away in a weaker state. Those private times, 

Few and distant. If she could find the courage and a quarter the lost girl would

Call home. Maybe this time they would welcome her voice. Maybe this time they’d

Honor her choice to be herself, not what a piece of paper and a doctor declared.

  

Beauty Full

  

I take myself apart
piece by piece:
a nose too long,
a chin too weak,
moods too intense,
and patience too thin.

There are no redeeming
qualities as far as my eyes can see.

Still, I hold hope that
somewhere deep in my bones
beauty does reside,
I only get a glimpse
when I witness and honor
the beauty in others:
generosity,
forgiveness,
acceptance,
gratitude.

the spiritual overcomes the physical.
the soul embraces the imperfect.

Meditating

in shadowed spaces
stretching
look up into the gloom
listening
whales call sonorously
undulating
peripherally, fan blades
whirring
negative thoughts intrude
pushing
failures and regrets
begging
grant them pardons
releasing
mind making peace
accepting
body seeking balance
meditating
soul sighing gratefully
surrendering

  

Love, Damn It

i loved you
before it was cool
before i knew
what love meant.

love it seems is more
than hearts and flowers;
more than sweet
expressions.

it’s hard work,
honestly, this love stuff.
not for the
weak of spirit.

there have been
days when i felt the dearth
of love; its
cold absence.

but mostly love’s
embraced us like the warmest
hug on the coldest
night. perfect.

  

Codes By Which To Live Haiku

In response to The Daily Post’s prompt:

I. Do unto others 

As you would have others do

Unto you my child.

 

“The Golden Rule” Norman Rockwell, 1942 

II. Be kind, consider

Every living person

Equal unto you.  

III. Keep your heart open

To the possibilities

Your soul aware.

 

IV. Allow your self to

Love unconditionally

Live without regret.

 

Peace, People!

The Hood

Under the hood
Find a frightened white
Man.
Afraid of change
Afraid of diversity
Afraid of losing his every
Privilege.

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Inside the ‘hood
Find a frightened brown
Man.
Afraid of hate
Afraid of censure
Afraid of losing his very
Life.

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Would they know each other’s
Fear
If they met outside the
Hood?

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Above: A team of African American doctors scramble to save the life of a Ku Klux Klan member. Photo from YouTube.

Aging Gratefully

When I am old
My cheekbones will be
Exquisite reminders of the
Beauty I never had,
My lips will quiver with
Unsaid words:
Apologies,
Explanations,
Regrets.
Unlike some,
I always knew I could
Not stay young forever.
I could always picture
The veiny hands,
Crepe-y skin,
Varicose legs
Beneath my youth.
Now I find myself
Somewhere between;
Not young
Not old,
Past the boundaries of one
On the brink of the other.
If I could I would
Not go back, but
I gladly go forward with
Small apologies for what I
Might have been, but no
Excuses for who I’ve
Become.

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Ocean

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Ocean

Messages of anger,
Hate, and despair
Tucked in blown glass
Riding atop
Waves of arguments:
He said!
But they were!
You should!
All rebuffed with
Words of hope,
Love, and peace.
Wrested from the
Brink of anguish
Cresting swells of
Sweet, sweet
Acceptance for
Ourselves and others,
Our lives and loves,
Without a care for
What any might
Think or say.

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