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Curiosity in Moderation

The only reasons today is different than yesterday,

was a dental appointment.

thus lunch was two hours late

and I laughed hard enough

at a sly mockery of my cat

so intensely that,

for a few seconds I lost control of my evacuatory system.

my productive routine in the limbo corner

getting lower and lower beneath my standard bar

and I woke up singing regardless,

I have never been able to reproduce these days

of joy, for joy’s sake.

I cannot discover the variation in the equation

which feeds my energy, persistence, my patience,

and my happiness.

I can only monitor patterns

and honor these treasures

by blooming, brief as it may last,

in that light.

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Entremist

I laugh at the extreme,

and thus I laugh at myself

all the time.

I have disregarded death

and felt nothing for its power

even rushed though fluorescent halls

into emergency operations,

outcomes uncertain.

Numb.

perhaps because I wear my wounds

like branded clothing,

and dripping blood

is my name-drop.

I fear the power of minds

beyond my own,

because the perception of dependence

dehumanizes me

disables me

far more often

than any body part

and I am always battling

the endless weight of mistaken perceptions

I may not die at the muzzle of a law enforcement officer,

I will live, with my vocal cords crushed repeatedly

by new people every day

who share no uniform features

and I am not the only one

but one of a fraction,

able, and extreme enough,

to draw attention to

another uncomfortable -ism

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Weak of The Living Migraine

I skipped a beat

because my body took *another*

beating,

this reheated corpse,

grew fingers

deep in her right eye socket

which spent two days trying to make room

upon an unproductive torture session

of forty-eight hours,

the digits seemed to uproot,

and migrate a few inches west

to press down between both sockets

the best of both worlds I suppose

signals of nausea and fatigue.

were sent along every roadway of this body,

on horseback, because even in the best neighborhoods,

the post is gutted.

the deliveries kept waking me,

11pm, 2:30am, 3:20am, 5:15am, 6am

the good news is,

this is their winter home

the bad news is

the other three seasons of my body

only last 28 days!

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Past Tense (AKA Group Psychosis)

My eyes catch on the tents we pass

I am one fish in the ocean,

and each tent is a hook

holding a member of my school inside

as they writhe for warmth and

fight for life.

It is nothing but chance

fickle and random

as an unbitten opportunity

that separates us.

I can’t convince myself

that these tents are part

of the context of this moment,

Even though more effort was taken

to hide the forest with the trees before

because tension, and division erases

the need

if the symbiotic creature kills the only host-fish

they both sink to the bottom of the pond

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The Exercise of Life

If picking myself up

after life knocked me flat

was exercise

I would be a bodybuilder at this point

when I was young,

I sought the strength that is confidence

in my interpersonal relations

the ability not to live in the consciousness of a burden,

not to fear the letdown of letdown and loneliness,

to find safety the voice of my desires and boundaries,

without the sound cracking,

whenever I called upon it,

the muscles in my legs are narrow at best,

but when someone asks how I manage to wear

a smile, as I speak of dingy moments,

and how it can remain strong,

I tell them.

I have taught that muscle well,

for it is the only one strong enough

to lift me up when I am knocked down.

it does sometimes step aside to allow for pain and loss

but my muscles of sorrow have little stamina.

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I Don’t Need Children

I went from a child peacemaker

To enter adulthood through a hall of invisible terror

I would have clicked my heels three times,

there’s no one like old Misty,

*click*

there’s no one like child Misty,

*Click*

there’s no one like farsighted Misty,

*CLICK*

Once through that ten-million-mile hall

I have no desire to turn around,

even facing the Sisyphean task

of constantly dressing wounds

of so many siblings,

trying to hold a mother’s tidal wave of chaos at bay.

As I tiptoe through the start of middle age

I am facing the possibility

of a life without children of my own,

but, perhaps I have more to offer than DNA

whose only limit is the span of my entire life

Though that is not the choice I will ever make

I will not feel empty if it is a choice made for me.

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I Despise Erasers (or I did)

Have you ever written, drawn, or otherwise created something that you put hours, or longer into? Did you reflect on your favorite part and excitedly tell your test reader about it, only to find out that they don’t get what you’re trying to say, or see what who you drew? I can’t be alone!

I had two main reactions toward the negative reactions of others, and even my self, which held me back for a long time. First, and especially with writing, I responded by getting defensive or angry. How could “they” understand the picture I’m drawing for the reader? (This was my initial reaction to feedback about the overuse of metaphor!) When I went back to reread the manuscript I started to see them though! Metaphoria, so to speak! So, even though the manuscript has taken 30 months to write, I am editing, changing and plain deleting sections because they take away from the story.

My approach to drawing wasn’t as defensive, I knew I “couldn’t draw.” I could start out ok with a single eye but, when the other eye didn’t look even, I didn’t re draw, I kept going. my hope was that by not hounding for perfection, I could avoid burnout. The end product was always disappointing, and I gave up on drawing for many years.

When I tried again early this year, I started with a low pressure class online. I took my time, I practiced, and I erased and redrew. I liked the instructor. (JW Learning on Skillshare.) He was realistic about mistakes, and redrew parts in his videos! So, I stayed with it, I’m still practicing, learning, and trying again when I know I can do better! Truthfully, erasing and reforming my written imagery and my sketches keeps my desire burning! Time is my friend, so I hang out with my projects as long as needed instead of rushing to complete. The results are fantastic!

What is your experience/ approach to drafting?

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Anger

I prefer explosive anger if I am going to be mad.

I burst, reel, and collect myself,

reflection and redemption are easier

than vendettas or the crackle of annoyance

Anger has a purpose

in fueling growth and change,

but the little flares I get of it

over things I have no power over

are draining in spirit,

and time required for acceptance

some people are mirror opposites

because bursts of rage would destroy them.

through the destruction they would wrought

and it leads me to question my disability

is it a blessing or a curse in that light?

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Revenge of the Body

I tortured myself for years,

and became an in between,

barely human,

without an identity

without a self

for years, decades, their was no timbre,

no dance in my happy stories

no, regret in my lies

no hormones in my body

and no fight in my heart

and still I have revived

but, body remembers,

and takes vengeance on

the slightest change in self now

natural and healthy,

to stop a return to sickness,

or to dole out revenge

I am unsure.

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Everyone Says, And Few Attempt

Everyone says “You can only control your actions and reactions.”

but not how much work that takes.

It means making choices, in the middle of a trillion little moments…

okay, maybe a thousand,

to challenge you’re own interpretation,

Each reason for why,

even the ones we don’t like

because the other person,

is different,

not necessarily a threat

and our bodies alone are bias

to improve the speed of our judgment

to keep us safe

it is our brain’s job

to think critically,

and compassionately.

before we act on instinct

those who don’t try are inhumane

sub-humans.

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Elastic

for you I have a love,

like water,

like elastic

in your name I stretch,

to encompass you

and all of your overflowing trauma,

to hold what you cannot,

even when it snaps and stings

I may be thin

but I am that circle unbroken,

if I do nothing else,

at my distance

I will witness your destruction

and hold that story

as a light to those who want to remain

nocturnal in the face of the fire of mental illness

zero percent contained

beyond the elasticity of love.

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You’re A Little Pain In The …

I’m going to call this a side-gripe. Is it just me, or are the minor persistent pains more bothersome than the unexpected horrible ones? Do you know what I mean? My body can handle the pain from a third degree burn, or a big surgery, better than the gas pains or headaches.

for another example consider THIS SONG

Maybe it’s the fact that the small/minor pains wear you down. But headaches, for example, really slow me down. When I have major surgeries I don’t end up taking the majority of the pain meds I am prescribed. I end up throwing them away! But if I get a small cut, headache etc. I get worn down and taken out until it heals or goes away.

I think my body may be backwards! Prove me WROOOOOOOOOOOOONG please!!!

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Balance Gratitude and GRRR!

It sucks to be stuck in a house,

in one room where everything must take place

or not.

but I am here,

typing at a third generation typewriter desk,

on a laptop.

I lost a decade

to illness and near death experiences

just to get to this desk

living in this room, for seventeen months.

I am happier here because I am freer here,

I am freer here because my choice was taken,

and I found out I would not die.

I am healthier here,

More creative and productive.

in a single room.

When the world opens again,

I will be able to stand taller,

walk stronger,

because I lost the freedom,

and the planet kept moving

while I took the time to heal

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Just to Remind You

I was so free of that decade of depression,

that I hadn’t thought of it outside distant memories.

Even in the middle of a war that I could only witness

I could still find stars through the gun smoke

but, to continue the metaphor,

at an odd hour the stars were captured by dark clouds,

and I was blanketed with that steady depressive weight.

As if to brighten the edges of contentedness,

and remind me to appreciate the marvel of the night sky

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Silence is the Darkness

I have never had a gift for silence,

that darkness is not a cure for our wounds

and that pride, that impression, that peace you want to salvage

is bleeding the life out of everyone

who believes in silence.

you can’t mend a broken mind with a hammer.

So, I answer questions,

I speak with compassion, about the wounds I know,

and the ones I know they have hidden

because I am tired of those able to hide their secrets

condemning the people whose pain overflows

there is no “other”.

we are “them” at a different angle to the light

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A Robot Read to Me

I went to do some Sickybeat editing today and realized I hade my page view all funky! I saw under the “View” toolbar of my laptop a “readthrough” option. I’d never seen that before and, after clicking to explore it I was disappointed. The text was big and abnormally spaced out.

When I saw the triangle shaped play button I couldn’t resist pushing play to see what happened. A robot read my writing! The monotone voice is perfect for seeing how well the flow works and catching errors I missed! It’s also funny to hear the pronunciations!

So, my thought is, explore! (And make sure you have your work backed up when you do!)

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Ahoy, Be ‘Ware

All of my “shoulds” are what gives my body tone,

Than why, you might ask, don’t I have a sick set of abs?

because my tone is that of a resister,

a pare of opponents at war.

Every time I want to step forward,

to stand apart,

my body says I should stand down.

but, I find my extra strength and, I step.

the cost is high, yep, you bet

But the cost of inaction,

is to side with the “shoulds”

and I refuse to live, or oppress others, by that standard

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There’s Having no FILTER And Having no filter

pity the philosopher,

the thinker.

Her senses are hieghtened

Her emotions crash.

After resurfacing one area of mind

its neighbor fills with pinpricks.

just big enough to make her crazy if they aren’t fixed.

a stain on character, that is shared with the world

and she is uncapable of ignoring.

Translucent except with age,

it soils pages in so many life stories.

And here so few philosophers emerge

willing to pick up those grape juice thoughts.

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Reducing Friction!

Books can be tedious. Sometimes books are a pain to write. Sometimes, no matter how passionate we are about a story, we can’t get it out. What we see in our mind, doesn’t come out as pristinely on paper. There could be many reasons, and those reasons not to write come up against our desire to say our piece.

here are three of the reasons I know of that we become stuck in our work and ways I’ve found to address them:

  1. IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOO OVERWHELMING!!!!!!!

if you don’t know where to start the writing: start in the end, and work backward, or in the beginning and just brain-dump anything that comes, you can shape it and polish it later

2. No big name? No publisher? No agent?

Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

I know the feeling! But there are people who want to help us! Check out Reedsy.com!

3. It’s just hard to write for an hour (on the rare days we manage to get one!)

This one’s a real struggle, isn’t it? Try adding elements to make your experience more pleasant: Clothes that make you feel comfortable (but, not sleepy!) Music that has bite to it (movie soundtracks work for this!) Your FAVORITE, DRINKS/SNACKS cuz, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Any reward works, just make the good feelings outweigh the head smackings.

Bonus tip!

break the project down into steps that are big enough to challenge and engage as well as being DOABLE and celebrate every. SINGLE. SUCCESS!

we’ve got this!

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Please Keep Searching

As a begin writing this post, ads for faux diet miracles are floating around in my head. You may have noticed I didn’t put quotes around the word miracles, I chose not to for a reason. Even though quick fixes (for any issue) don’t work for the vast majority, I am confident that every quick fix worked for at least one person.

Science may not bear out the claims of quick fixes, or certain websites (Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop venture is an example) but, if it does what you need it to without causing harm, use it! Personally, I like to take a reason based approach, I can’t accept a solution very well if I can’t understand that their is concrete evidence behind it. Others can accept things through faith, and still others only through lived experience. And, in my opinion, if your approach makes you a better, happier, more compassionate person, I support you!

However, just because one variation of a tool doesn’t work well, don’t give up! A personal example: mindfulness. I despised the meditation and deep breathing techniques I was exposed to for 30 years of my life. (I’m almost 32!) I never said no when I was offered a new way to approach and think about mindfulness and breathing, and eventually I adapted the ideas and experiences into something that I benefited from.

If the last example wasn’t relatable, think about pens. Really! :p there are Ballpoint pens, wide tipped pens, pens with grips, gel pens, there are a ton of different styles! I write the most clearly with narrow tipped, ballpoints that are ergonomically shaped. (triangle shaped pens are easier to control for me) Different people prefer to write with gel pens. The same idea is true of learning concepts, building habits, and mental and physical health. What works well for one may do nothing for the person next to them.

So, if an approach or explanation doesn’t work for you, keep looking until you find one that will. If no existing approach in a field (health, learning, building or growth of any kind) make your own! Just keep trying.

All the best

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The Beginning of a Series

 Personal Hot Takes

One, the term “Hot Takes” is ridiculous

We should be able to disagree respectfully,

 and “Hot Take” has a negative connotation

the fact that we are riled up by an opinion

 says more about us, than it does the opinion.

Two, waffles are more than a vehicle for syrup,

If you drench every pocket in an inch of syrup

it makes me think you just want to drink from the bottle.

And, don’t get me started on quality of product choices.

Three, the people who want to be prayed over will request it

 if you approach someone at random to pray for them

it’s a microaggression

if you wanted to make things easier for us,

do it within the law,

but it seems you just want to feel better about you

Four, Children, and the way they think, deserve more respect

They don’t know hate or fear until adults teach them,

They love learning until adults dictate learning at them

And they have more creativity in a day than 90% of adults do in two decades

 It becomes reality if adults don’t destroy it.

Five, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s just.

Or even close.

The last presidency…

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I’m Gonna do it For Me

You know those family members you love and are fun to visit with, but they aren’t so good at keeping in touch? They get super busy (and that is the truth), or they aren’t so great with letters (WHHHAAT?!?), or they can’t stand phones (talking on one anyway)? I have several siblings like that, and I get it.

I spent time working at a call center and it turned me off of calling people. keep very busy with life, letters take a lot of time, hand written or emailed, to have any real meaning. (Side note: I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE paper letters.) but, I digress..

My brother called me today, and it was at the worst time. I was getting close to home on paratransit when I got the call, I didn’t think it would be long, so I didn’t mention that I didn’t have more than 10 minutes. We talked for about 5 minutes before the bus driver began asking which house was mine (it was dark, she couldn’t see the numbers on the houses). Before long I was overwhelmed because I couldn’t give my brother my attention, and had to hang up as he was trying to speak. I was able to quickly tell him that I had to get into my walker (I need both hands,) but I couldn’t get out an “I love you.”

My brother had originally planned to call last Sunday. Even though I had no warning that the call was coming this evening and no way to block out time for it, I still feel bad about rushing off. So, I’m going to write him, and just let him know that any time that I know a call is coming from him he will have my full attention. I know my brother is smart enough to realize what happened, but sending him an explanation of sorts will make ME feel better even if he doesn’t need it. And sometimes people do things in the name of others, but at heart they do them because, the thought of the other person’s smile makes US feel better. Besides, I can never tell my brother that I love him too often.

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The Reasons I Won’t Let Me

Others will think I’m weak, ignorant, unaware…

She will lose her temper and hell will break lose.

I’ll inconvenience everyone.

I’ll have to deal with their unreasonable reactions,

they could leave, and take my freedom too.

I move too slowly.

I’ll lose control.

I believed a person in the know who said I wasn’t good at it.

The poem above is my own negative self-talk. Every line is a thought that has held me back. I am a confident person and, until a week ago or so, I didn’t think I had negative self talk come up that often.

I was listening to a podcast (click on the word for the link) I started to ask myself, “What do I think about before I make a decision to take/not take action?” That is where the poem came from. I always thought of negative self talk as a set of buzz words that someone had to overtly speak to me and, because of that, I brushed the idea aside.

The thing is, many of the negative thoughts I inherited about myself were unspoken ideas. I learned I was inconveniencing people when they huffed or rolled their eyes or sighed if I wanted to, say, get into my storage locker. no one said, “You’re such a bother,” but their body language did.

And I unconsciously chose to belief ideas like that, I didn’t have to. I am almost 32, and I’ve missed out on many opportunities because I stopped myself out of fear. I will face this struggle in the future too. Because I am human. I am always growing and can only learn life lessons in my own emotional language and when I am ready to hear them.

What do you usually thing before turning something down or, for that matter, accepting an opportunity?

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Workaholic?

if I can’t stand stillness

because there is no accomplishment,

am I a workah…?

You know, MY BED IS MY BEST FRIEND

So, I can’t be a workaholic.

I just love what I do,

and when I’m not doing something

I’m missing out on the opportunity

there are billions of things I will never experience

no matter how many lives I live,

without taking into consideration all the

walls people build into every culture,

so, I gotta do all in the years I can

breaking bricks, breaking bread, and breaking bias

It’s better than boredom, after all

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Numb

Have you seen chaos so sickening

that you dreamed of going numb?

Even though there would be no hope of joy

the numb calm would outweigh any loss.

there are enough sharp corners to war and murder

that they could be grabbed with a scalpel

of creative thought and be thrown out

for the obsolete waste of time that they are.

but those other poisons

that have seeped so deeply into us

that they are brushed aside

until they hit a wall

and we must acknowledge them,

bits at a time.

the one’s that we choose to ignore

because the suffering is quiet

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

and the survivors strong

and lucky enough.

Do you wonder about them?

Or do you blame them for going numb?

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Because, the number keeps growing.

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Lost Thoughts

I am a heavy thinker;

Photo by Francesca Zama on Pexels.com

I am a “Dig my own rabbit hole,” thinker.

I am proud,

because I often find golden ideas and crystal clarity.

but, there are times,

when the “Rabbit hole” I’m digging becomes a grave

and all it takes is a few nearby footfalls to bury me,

in ideas I’d already thrown aside.

I know I don’t want to change my thinking -AND-

Sometimes I am resentful toward the minimalists.

What it must be like,

to leave understanding, compassion, and efforts for equity

stowed away.

I create so that I am surrounded by the gift of my effort

ceaselessly I am given damaged pieces,

and with them I make better ideas

As I gain influence, marching behind positive change,

I will deny ignorance with the art of reality

until I become the art of a younger marcher

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Creativity and Chronic Illness(es)

In motion I am powerful

Creating, building, learning.

But, my body and brain are out of sync.

One is ahead of the other if they function at all.

By light years if by inches it seems.

Years of plans have been sold to unappreciative minds

With too much space,

And eons of ideas have been buried in my blood and mind

As I work toward better days

My tears are dead visions too

Their weight is heavy,

but as I close the gap

between my self and my muscles

the ground beneath my feet is finally drying.

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My Favorite Editing Tool

I have found that the most effective editing tools I have are, time and space. Do you think that’s weird? Maybe if someone doesn’t like to write those aren’t the best tools to improve but, as I writer, time and space are priceless ways to polish my work.

Have you recently read any of your writing from a decade ago? Do you cringe at the editing errors, the cliché bits, or even the story quality? I look back at my old writing and think, “I’m so glad I got better.” Don’t get me wrong, everyone has to start somewhere; I don’t beat myself up over even blatant errors because, at the time, I was doing the best I knew how. I’m just grateful to have learned and polished my craft. Someday, I will look back at this post and probably think the same thing, that’s growth.

But we don’t need a decade to come at our own work with a fresh perspective. I have began to edit Sickybeat a third time, after a break of about 4 months, I would get rare comments about it from my “Reader Zero,” but not often. In 4 months time, my own blurry writing has shown itself and my gold nuggets glitter even more. By detaching from my work for this relatively short time I allowed myself to see and experience my story more like a reader.

I can tell more easily if I am getting my point across, or if I piled on so many metaphors that I have to read a line twice. I know, we are busy in society and want to be productive but perhaps it will be more rewarding to be more thorough and persistent. I am the proud of the things I do that take the most effort to accomplish, what about you? #MoreWorkMoreBraggingRights If you want immediate gratification there are other options 😉

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Does it Matter

I have said in previous posts that we will do what matters to us (going to the gym, studying, writing blog posts…) But, we prefer easier activities and/or more rewarding ones (team sports, games on our phones, Netflix under the covers) I know, there is no way in hell studying is going to EVEEEER be fun, right?

We study books all the time! The one book you couldn’t put down. Harry Potter, The Notebook, Stephan King’s “It.” reading books requires the same focus, recall (memory) and critical thinking. (What do the clues tell you about the story as you go?) I know that we can’t always choose what we have to learn, but we can make it fun.

How? make a bet with your friends, who ever gets the best score/performance review/ ____ gets $50 from each person in your group. Or, try and out-do your own performance with a measurable factor (I read 10 pages today, so I try for at least 11 tomorrow) When you improve and stick to it REWARD yourself, as soon as possible! ( I like to make some homemade hot cacao!)

Of course, if you have the flu or someone you love dies, give yourself a break, you will make more progress taking time to deal with emergencies than you would working through them! (When I’m sick I have so many typos in my writing it is embarrassing, and the internet lasts!)

We have more power than we often think, change is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Studying is just an example of hard behavior to stick to, the ideas I mentioned can be applied to almost any desired habit!

How do you reward yourself? We could all use some more ideas!

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How to Play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon w/Words

I have heard a lot of people I know ask me how I write poetry because its so hard. My inclination is to say something along the ” I just write.” I used to “humble myself” by adding that what I wrote was “just…” as in, it’s OKAAAAY.” because I didn’t want to let anyone down who had expectation that weren’t met.

It took me years to realize that, by downplaying what I express or create, I was also implying things about the people who enjoy my stuff. If I only write “Okay Poetry” and you like my poetry the most, does that mean that you only have okay taste? It’s kinda implied. (It’s 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, but with language).

If I were being honest and not buying into public expectations of my cognitive abilities as a person with a disability I would answer the question this way:

  1. I put my thoughts on paper
  2. I use words that evoke emotion and images
  3. I don’t force it, I write about what I experience
  4. I share what I write
  5. people relate to the feeling, even if the story behind it is unique (or not)

Not everyone has to flock to our stories for them to be successful, unless that is the only way we define success. When I don’t meet my own expectations I’m likely to try a new approach rather than letting go of things that matter to me, I will keep adapting, taking breaks and coming back to where I left off until I get to where I want to go.

goals can take days or decades but if you believe in what you’re doing you keep learning. growing, and trying.

Do you create, if so, will you share what it is by leaving a comment ? Something tells me you are better than you think

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Things I Have Faith In

                Things I have faith in:

The value of minorities

The idea that some answers will linger,

Out of my reach.

The power of trauma to quash infinite voices

That the comfortable among us will not seek growth

Even as so much shrivels and dies,

That those who demand “English Only,” speak division,

instead of human.

The meaning behind the unspoken

My life will be one, that leads for others,

Only if I am willing to give it now.

Have a great day/night!

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DeaDly Ideas

To this day I cannot believe that silence is not wasted time,

Time is a construct of people.

People create, from our own ideals,

Monsters and fears

 to obscure and manipulate,

us against our own reflection

by proclaiming we, are the people of our own dreams

our pockets are not picked,

we revel in the jagged kindness of our giving

until we have no clothes to hold pockets

those who do not worship at the giving alter

are, by definition, worthless

and thus expendable

until only one rich man is left

and no one needs.

The taker is absolved

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Thick Skin

I had full faith as a child

that by age 30 I would have skin so thick

I would be a human callous.

It was almost a religion,

a mantra.

In the same way that religion is a tool

to cope with not understanding at present

and offer reassurance at any, future, minute.

My future fearlessness and confidence

helped me survive my fear

of a woman I loved, but couldn’t understand.

Her actions had no rhyme or reason

and I was powerless but to watch them unfold

She created me with flaws,

and I am still paying

for the legacy

Pounds of paper document all the jabs, tubes, and scalpals

that have broken through skin, muscle, and mind.

but I just bleed.

I have left the church of thick skin

the congregation told me,

“The day will come.”

and all I could say was,

“The price of patience is far too high.”

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Forget my Shadow

After years in the cycle of being seriated and then sown again,

broken to mend other fraying parts

before they came entirely unspooled,

I existed in the shadow of my memory of

the girl in the mirror.

Because she was not permitted to reflect a smile back

from irises of others,

She used her teeth to hollow out my bones,

and took shelter there, waiting.

When I was seen,

by the man who taught high school Spanish

I was beginning to wake up, in my osteogenic bones

not yet realizing,

When that teacher,

an all too patient guy came in

time seared a little bit more that reflection into me

and these bones begin to glow, as she smiled

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I Will be…

I have witnessed chaos,

and the blood pooled under my skin

Blessedly blinded by my silent fury

Frozen by the cabinet of fears screeching

inert amid the slaughtering of dreams,

Time marched on, over my curled up body.

I didn’t notice the boots thundering down,

Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

but, as I sat up with fresh bruises and saw the walls,

as a prisoner of war I bled thoughts.

The doubting spirits of thousands

watched at a distance, waiting to be a part of this history as I bled-out.

words pooled from my mouth.

some spattered across the dim walls

from repeated wounds to my consent.

the blood cells that heal

those that say, “In the future, I will…

Be fearless in the face of pain,

Remember who I am,

Trust and respect her,

find joy,

or perhaps just calm…”

My Someday was dieing

faster than the cells of my spirit could be renewed.

the safety of stillness waned,

and offered fear that could not release,

its message without a tongue.

It’s sounds without meaning

it took a dacade to stop the bleeding,

and the echo of my enemies’ shouting

when I unfurled and began to stand, defiant

still bellow like gernades.

forcing the false light of death through dark moments,

and dark months.

I still catch those embers from time to time

I use them to light my memory of the possible,

and my path into the future.

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To be Drowned in the Tide of Tension

The day seems to have stormed in

and I seek to harness it,

even as I am battered before I can rise.

with my brain screaming, “Bow! RETREAT!”

I am fueled but the minute failures

so small that they cannot be evidenced,

only known.

And because I know them

I do all I can to rise,

and suffocate them in the shadow of a successful day.

But the moment I find my footing.

I’m swallowed by a pounding wave of nausea and weakness

I am humbled and I bow

I sleep and I wake up “fully in control”

for a few brief minutes,

before being forced to bow under the weight of another wave

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

So, this evening I write in a nightgown that got to meet the day

and hair that was not tamed

with not but the coming morning for my happy begin-againing

I have yet to learn how to stop swiming against the current when I fall into illness,

but at least I don’t jump off of its deep in and try to inhale it anymore

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Ride the Waves

The good, the bad, the frightful, the funny, everything moves ang changes. Some people follow the flow of the world easily, whether they started from a better position, or are purely exceptional at the art of rolling with the punches. I lost my psychological and emotional elasticity at age sixteen, and gave myself a beating fighting with my demons! Since I began the healing process I’ve noticed that for chunks of time I can overcome any obstacle. But in those in-between times, one hard blow can knock me down and I stagnate in impossibilities.

Time, and the rest of existence moves on, even if we don’t. When we are unable or unwilling to change, it’s easy to feel trapped in some weird space/time anomaly, and humanity is not built for that. We need growth to feel good, even if the process of growing feels AWFUL!

Sometimes, we do the best we can, and still feel awful, because of things relating to biology, or the social world and our particular uniqueness. These are not necessarily things we can, or should, change. A generalized personal example follows:

If we stay at that vomit-inducing job (stress-vomiting is not a joke, I’ve been there.) why do we stay? if we realize that we need the -____ provided by what we’re doing, but hate the job itself, we can look for another job. Yes, it takes extra energy we don’t have in the short term, but humans are better at sprints than sustained running, We can bounce back from exhaustion better than we can from burnout.

If a depressive or uncomfortable internal state persists, we can only feel better when something changes. Sometimes the change feels impossible, or even more uncomfortable at the first attempt than the gnawing discomforts we know, again, I’ve been there, Anorexia is no joke, for example.) Keep trying, more than once, or twice. Set an amount of time that you will stick to a new activity or approach at something, if you don’t feel better after that, try something new.

The good news is that a lot of thing naturally fluctuate, and given time the down gets up, and the mourners carry the lost with them into the future. We get sick and we mend, tired and we sleep, if we wait. If there is no light at the end of your tunnel (whichever tunnel you are in) create a light, or ask people along your route for help creating it.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
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Ruth-Bader-Ginsberg (1933-2020)

Death is hardest for the living.

Because we are hoarders of our clans,

protecting the like-minded with fervor.

And when they die,

it feels as if every pain they knew

Bares down on us, the living.

Perhaps in tribute,

 as a reminder of the cost of love.

But, no wisdom makes the burden of emptiness less heavy.

To lose Ruth Bader-Ginsberg,

Is such a cost, that it ripples through millions of households,

And though I know her as a great Heroine of Justice,

So many will never realize the loss for themselves and their lives,

Though we walk under a dimmer sun now.

For her eighty-seven years of service,

I will learn, I will listen, I will empathize, I will act.

I will vote, especially in the face of defeat.

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Soggy Cereal and Pumpkin Spice

Sometimes, you can tell that your views are unique. I have learned that skill called confidence with many of my idiosyncrasies. I like to laugh at myself often (in a loving and playful, but honest, way. And thus, I offer you the first in a series of “Quirk.” pieces:

Soggy

Maybe the reason I love being in the water 8 hours at a stretch,

Is the same reason I let my cereal sit as I read in the morning.

I am not quite sure what that common reason is, beyond illogical.

But my favorite part of a grape nuts box is the bottom.

And, I know many people disagree, as I hold my stance in the ever-changing ocean of public opinion.

I now have a use for pumpkin spice,

On top of my soggy cereal.

Since you’re already twitching in disgust involuntarily.

Tis’ the season!

Do you share your quirks? Do you feel ashamed of them? What is Your opinion??

I’ll check back for comments as I eat breakfast tomorrow! 😉 :p

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Correlating Change

I recently realized that some of the feedback I’ve gotten (repeatedly) on Sickybeat is seriously bothering me. So much so that I have not stopped thinking about it since the last time my “Reader Zero” repeated it. I was stewing over the fact that this feedback was more based on her stylistic preference, which I respect. Because of the repetitious cycle, and my waiting to make any changes until I had the whole thing in my hands, I communicated and even validated that I understood, that my use of metaphor can go overboard. My assurance has done little to stop the topic from coming up again.

I feel I can use metaphor to great effect, but wanted to be sure my ego was not leaving me a weaker writer. I set out through the online learning platform SkillShare to see what some accomplished writers/Teachers might say. Is the effective way of writing for an audience going to challenge me to change the writing “Voice” I’ve cultivated since age 14?

Different genres of writing require different skills, but there are skills that can be adapted across the board. I am not ineffective in my approach as such, in Moderation. I did pick up some new ideas that got my mind turning, and my hands working, but I also learned something which can be more broadly applied to life.

Learning a more effective method to do anything, that I enjoy doesn’t require that my past methods were bad or that I have changed my values or identity. A better method is that which allows me to show more of myself, not create a new self.

Just like I wear different clothes than I did when I was 5, doesn’t make me a different person. As messages grow and change, I rise to the occasion.

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Be patient, or Just Don’t Curse on Camera

Monday was my LSAT and, even with a persistent light headache, I was happy. At least I was functional and not fog-brained! The exam wasn’t without surprises. My test started off smoothly, almost TOO smoothly. I felt confident in almost all of my answer choices!

Second guess much?—> me to myself.

I TRIED not to overthink and to pay attention to detail and context; I only thought it would take 2.5 hours. But, do to unforeseen issues, I was testing for four hours. I was frustrated and struggling with the idea of being overcome by tech issues after working so hard for a year to get where I was. it took all the strength I had not to curse while I was being monitored.

by the time I had finished my headache had mutated into an incapacitating beast, I barely got a small sandwich down before I crawled into bed. I didn’t brush my teeth, put on PJs, or journal, I laid down and fell asleep within five minutes.

All this and I still feel positive about what my score will be. I may not be the top scorer, but I’m pretty sure I did well enough to get where I want to be. (I don’t want to be cocky or jinx anything, so I’m going to leave that there.)

I am happy on a personal level that I’m not incapacitated by post-test, pre-score, anxiety. Primary school weekly quizzes were the death of me, anxiety-wise. Even after I would survive one, the next was the end of the world.

But today, today, is my day. If I fall I get up again. When I succeed I learn from it, and continue on to the next barrier. It all makes for good writing.

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The Times, They’re A’changin!

With three days to go, I finally finished my Masters Review Summer Contest piece 🙂 I wish all the entrants good news and good stories!

I still have my LSAT in four days. (Though I did the LSAT writing sample yesterday 😉 )

Though I have not been this social or productive in a very long time, I’m exceptionally grateful for this moment and my abilities.

I learned and am still learning to be a better me, I am choosing effective ways to be a person I like.

Though it took a long time to be at piece with what I see in myself, I’m glad I was given the opportunity to own it.

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O-M-G! Are We There Already? (Can We Rewind Things a Second?)

Thank you for not forgetting me! I feel like it has been too long since my last post, and I wanted to give you the explanation.

The person(s) doing a feedback reading of the manuscript halted for a time in order to address some professional commitments. The good news is that the process has began again. Day to day I still write other (much shorter) pieces, some of which I share here.

On the topic of the short story for the Masters review contest, I have not given up on it. I am having a hard time with the last paragraph or so. I could just throw something down for the sake of finishing, but I don’t like not giving my best and I can get it a lot better. Oh! And that test is looming now, too!

By “that test,” I mean my law school entrance exam. (The LSAT.) This test requires long term preparation, even for many very intelligent and diligent people. I started learning about this test and all it entails in late 2018. 2019 was a year of getting used to and “decoding” the question types, and last February I started solving sample question sets daily. Last week I received my exact test date and time! So, I’ve been making sure all of my ducks are in a row and doing extra practice. I have ONE WEEK!

*Formal & informal logic are really helpful for my studying, I recommend looking at it concurrently with the LSAT!*

I hope to post more regularly very soon. I wish everyone well in your endeavors until I see you again.

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From A Wheelchair To A Rock Climbing Wall

Good evening folks! I thought I’d share a piece of writing more like what will be in the Sickybeat book!

My 2014 rock climbing adventure follows. Longish post, so you have been warned

            When people see me pass by in the mall or grocery store, I can nearly guarantee they don’t think, “I’ll bet she likes rock climbing!” the boxy walker I stand inside virtually assures my guarantee to be accurate. But, I DO love rock climbing, and I’ve climbed more than one wall. I had the assistance of two friends, and my heart was pounding in a way I’d never felt before or replicated in the years since, but the exhaustion was liberating.

            Co-dependence has been much of the story of my life, Cerebral Palsy can do that. Day-to-day life is enough work that caregivers don’t have energy left for their own self-care let alone the adventures I dream of undertaking. However, I’m a dreamer, a planner, a problem-solver, and a doer; there is nothing I have wanted to accomplish that I have left undone. When a hospital employee I walked the halls with talked about her rock-climbing hobby I knew I wanted to try it.

            When my hall walking buddy suggested that we could go to a local rock gym together and that she would help me try out climbing, I had my doubts. Nonetheless, I threatened to hold her to her word. over the next few days this friend was my nurse’s CNA, and I was eager to solidify details of our plan. My surgeon confirmed that it should be safe for me to go climbing if I waited six weeks after release so that my stomach was fully healed from the surgery I’d undergone.

            Afraid my friend would forget about me, I convinced her to send me an email with the covert intention of saving her email address in order to remind her of our agreement after I’d healed. One by one I counted the days as they rolled on back home. My surgery had failed before the requisite six weeks passed but rock climbing couldn’t make the pain any worse, it wasn’t possible. Thus, I began a persistent game of email-tag to pin down a date for climbing.

            The fact that my friend had a life, and a job really got in the way of my desire for an immediate climb. I am not a patience person, that’s why I was born at twenty-four weeks, the point in my life at which I wanted to rock-climb was a particularly patience-restricted time. I had no life to speak of; everything fell into one of three groups, food restriction, calorie burning, and burning calories as I paced around whatever hospital I was in at that moment. This would be the first time in a year that I’d happily participated in anything with friends. Sure, it would take a hell of a lot of energy, but the activity was done for fun, not any of my punitive ritualistic marches et al.

            I was awaiting the letdown. She would put off and put off until we lost contact, that was my base expectation of the large majority of people. When she agreed to meet me at a rock gym the week after I’d emailed her about it my anxiety didn’t subside. As was my M.O. I began to worry anew; something would happen to stop our plans. I could get immobilized by a puking bug; she could get in a car crash! Anything would stop my word from spinning.

            My sense of panic only lowered when I was at the rock gym, with momma and not just one friend from the hospital, but another gentleman I knew as a CNA. Getting into the gear, I felt alive, happy, and playful, it was almost foreign. One person climbed up behind me as I tackled the first wall, he had to lift my leg from one “Rock” to the next, most of the way up, and he did it so that most of the work was still mine. I pushed and pulled my body and lifted my foot as far as I could get it to go, before he pushed it the last inch. Or two, maaaybe. I hadn’t climbed half way up one wall before I felt compelled to turn my head and look down at Artemis. “I hate admitting you’re right mom. But, with as hard as my heart is thundering right now, I probably didn’t need to take that forty-five-minute walk before we got here. This is definitely a workout.”

            My tiny heart’s pounding didn’t stop me from forcing my seventy-five-pound body up two full walls before calling it a wrap.  I needed to have one victory during the year. I was twenty-four and adults are supposed to accomplish things.  While I was getting help to de-strap I had a sense that it was possible to conquer all things, even the demons that drove my illogical and unhealthy behaviors. For that day I was human again.

            The song in my soul would not claim freedom for six more years, but those rare shocks of “Happy-Dance-Enthuisiasm” were enough to energize me to continue climbing back into myself.

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Follow-UP!

In my most recent post I said that there would be a follow-up! This piece is short, and please enjoy, and leave feedback!

Tugging at a Trigger

Two hands,

two feet

enhanced dexterity

A mother’s twisted love

and a trillion triggers

the weight of my short note

sets off the illogical verbal barrage

and she runs in circles to escape her own bullets.

How is one to realize

“ I love you, Mom.”

is a damaging phrase.

Or was it my smile

on video chat,

meant as a light,

which lead her demons home

defining boundaries is simple for me,

because I never shared her house

without an escape route

and an alley in the field.

But, I not everyone has escaped.

And I wonder,

how many times

my reaching out in good faith,

pulled a trigger.

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Why People Mourn, or Not

When I hear an idea that strikes me and gets my mind turning I hold onto it. If that thought comes back to me repeatedly in the following few days, I write it down and keep writing about it until it feels done.

Most of my poetry takes the above path of creation. Tonight I wrote a poem based on a quote from Commander Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

“Maybe if we felt any loss as keenly as we felt the death of one close to us, human history would be a lot less bloody.” ~ William Riker

I wrote this poem in correspondence with that quote:

We barely flinch for dead bodies.

We mourn the losses of what we see is ours


Our nation,

but only in large numbers that we can’t distinguish ourselves from

our city,

because the people across that line in the ground

like different teams

Our schools

because we are taught more truth

Our Colors,

because novelty

is a virus

Our spirituality

because our peace is so much purer

While we dissect ourselves into identity groups

No one mourns

as the blood of an entire species spills red

In the history of time,

we proceed into memory,

as nothing but bones of possibility

The stain of humanity

has left little reason

for the future to mourn

a fear so virulent it embodied us

when to our death, we misinterpreted

the warning of caution, for that of danger.

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Help -I’ve Fallen and I’m Trying to Minimize my Public Profanity!

I wanted to let reader’s know that I’m still writing. I’m in pain right now ( I DIDN’T fall!) I’ve had a strong and pretty constant hip pain which has affected my ability to work as efficiently as I would prefer. Related, I also need more sleep. And, yes, I contacted my doctor long enough ago that I will be trying again tomorrow.

As a thanks for your patience I will share a poem I wrote, and then read, for another event on zoom last Sunday, enjoy!

A three year old, holding a pastel pink two cylinder bottle,

small fingers griping at the center gap

I was a “double fister,”one might say.

Looking at the hole in the wall,

I feared snakes, I knew there was no escape.

I was imagining -for the first time-

preparing for the life I didn’t know

that life of complex, every.damn.day.fear, trauma

I knew it when I was berated for pretending, hands-to-myself.

She opened the car door, where I sat alone,

telling myself a story out loud to pass the time

as she packed that blue Chevy-Nova.

“Don’t do that!” she spat, you sound Fuck’n crazy.

Before taking five young kids into hiding,

based on a delusion.

Eight-years-old.

Orange shag carpet

in the middle of a living room

Compassion and fear battled as I crawled around saving people

because, that is what makes me human.

In this real family home, safe to be weird.

When scarily fragile started to stick to me,

when “in-need” was spit-balled in my direction,

I laughed, at what people imagined.

And raged in the privacy of what could be,

what would be, and what was.

Imaginations so shriveled

egos with cracked armor.

I was protected with imagination,

Imagination crafted a shield of empathy and understanding

though sometimes difficult to wield,

and occasionally cracking

In the face of death, I imagined the pain to bear,

Looking inward, I lost the song of my soul,

I made death give me a new one for the price of my company.

I am alive now, because I became a bored hunter,

preferring protection against the strikes of enemies

over the ability to strike them down,

like a knife, the weapon fear can sever

and it is only the strength of a target

that can defend against it.

Sometimes while crossing over.

If I must pay the price of fear,

or the price of change,

you need not imagine

my choice.

I will pay for change, in any life I am given

I won’t imagine any other option

Everything I Hated

It was insanely difficult,

To do so many things as a child.

Showers were a pain in the ass

Shoes, I hated shoes,

Even though I had weak feet.

Walking is a high-intensity workout,

As is scratching my damn back,

E.

T.

C.

But,

So many years later,

I spent two years living in a single room,

Having been set free,

by time and hard work.

Every shower,

every walk,

and every shoe’d foot

Is not just a victory,

It’s a joy.

That Grocery Store Letter

I had the time,

And she was the type of judge,

And person,

I wanted to be.

In June 2019 I began writing,

in the Safeway Starbucks.

Dear Justice Ginsberg,

…………

Sincerely,

Misty

Address,

And drop off at the post office window in-store.

August 18th 2020,

A great woman died,

Without writing back

To an aspiring great woman.

But the effort was an honor,

And that great woman, worth every moment.

I sleep well knowing I took an opportunity

While it existed,

Even if it didn’t catch.

Dancing with exhausted

The alarm is set,

For 6am.

I go to bed at 10:30pm,

But my internal clock dings at 5am,

And the snooze button isn’t functional.

So I throw myself vertical,

Make my bed, and meander to the bathroom.

On nothing but momentum and coffee fantasies.

The tired will weave,

Ebb and Flow at its extremes,

All there is to do,

Is to push until I break through.

The Light of Day

Is quiet

The dark of night

Never speaks a word

Even though those eyes

Say so much.

Holding back the mystery of space,

The soul of the night

Each species beyond the sky

A different personality of a single universe,

Mental illness when inconvenient,

Prophetic when it’s useful.

An echo of our universe,

Or it infected by humanity,

Or a language we have yet to understand.

Justy

I used to live ¼ mile from a produce stand.

The owner, Justy,

always cheerfully welcomed

And helped me,

Beyond making a profit.

If the foodstamp reader was broken,

He let me take my items

On an IOU he rarely collected

For ten years.

And when I moved,

I never got to say goodbye,

And couldn’t go back for two years.

Thanks Covid19.

And I moved on,

into a new city.

When my momma stopped by,

With berries,

And flowers,

She had stopped at Justy’s for the berries,

And he remembered me,

Giving my momma free reign of the flowers 💐

On the house.

And they now sit,

Radiating light and friendship.

I am eternally grateful.

Closer

For the longest time

I lost part of myself.

And it doesn’t matter why, now.

I never thought about getting it back

Because I am grateful just to have peace.

Grateful for laughter amid a world of stress.

Busy flexing my flexibility muscles.

And, after a time of mourning,

The life I have is enough.

Still, I missed waffles 🧇

And sick-days.

Even in a good life as I have it.

But, yesterday I found a piece of myself.

As I ate waffles with butter,

The REAL stuff,

And REAL maple syrup.

Beyond the joy of taste,

I was at home within myself.

And I will never let myself go again.

Into The Wild

It is said that to learn a language,

It’s easiest if we immerse ourselves in it.

It’s more complete,

our brains build neurons

In a comparative snap.

The same is true of life.

I practiced for my move to law school,

Mobility, daily tasks, healthy habits,

And it was hard as fluc.

I move, and within a week,

I could do everything that was a fight.

Without fighting.

In this wild, I have grown, I have adapted

I am thriving, at least for now,

(Stay humble)

The thing I WASN’T prepared for,

And could never be,

Was the finale in my rewatch,

Of Star Trek Deep Space 9.

It was impossible to muffle,

My cries,

At the incompleteness,

Emptiness left.

But hey,

That’s just part of the laws of nature.

Never Thought I’ Be a Preacher But…

DRINK! WATER!

I have empirical evidence as to the importance:

I woke up yesterday,

Feeling like a cheap TV dinner, microwaved for the 5th time.

Hot flashes, lethargy, stomach upset.

I did everything slowly, half-heartedly,

Considering a nap,

But not convinced I could fall asleep.

As previously reported,

I decided to push through.

Took a meandering walk,

Returned to do simple things,

And. Drink. Water.

Passionately.

Only to look up at 7:52pm.

And drink more.

By the time dinner was done,

My body had lifted, partially.

Enough to close the day,

again slowly.

Drinking water while wondering,

Am I going to wake up to pee, in a panic, at 2am?

It wouldn’t be the first time.

But, 6 hours later I woke up,

Uneventfully, except for the fact that

I felt human again.

The moral:

Good chef-made meals,

Don’t use dehydrated potato flakes.

Push Through

My body

Is refusing to wake ⏰

And when it does,

It will not stay that way.

I hit my pillow so hard and quickly,

There was no time between

my fall and my dreams.

But I wake,

and find,

That by the time leave that room,

I am tired again.

I push through, regardless.

This too shall pass,

And I can rest with the uncertainty of when.

Even as a week passes.

Science and Evidence Based Care

Variables fit into equations,

And equations can be solved.

They can only be right or wrong.

But equations have human handlers.

Humans don’t always like black or white.

Even though the law on its face,

Needs concrete like black and white to survive.

Humans paint concrete with the spatter of blood,

And the tears of bystanders swept up

in the flaws of humanity:

The “right” reflex,

The superiority complex,

Greed,

Drive for popularity, to be known.

And that beautiful art of ease.

One day, I will help clean the walls of evidence.

But I will not act alone.