Flirting With Darkness

10-12 Lava Tube5

I’m submerged,
on the brink of
forever losing my footing.
Arms flailing,
body swaying…
threatening to tumble
from the narrow plateau.

I curl up to absorb
the crushing blows;
the one-two punch-
sadness aches,
loneliness paralyzes…
I avert my gaze to hide
the mottled bruises inside.

I waver between
giving in and fighting back,
succumbing to weakness
or summoning strength;
I taunt the darkness…
I beg it to finally claim me,
yet dare it to set me free.


I’m not sure how much explanation this poem needs – it seems pretty straightforward to me… but then again, I wrote it :)  Here’s some background just in case:

I wrote this poem a couple months ago.  After several months of not seeing hope or a reason to look forward to another day, I grew tired and frustrated.  In the first verse, I’m balanced on the edge of darkness, in danger of being swallowed forever.  It’s like a force was pushing me from behind and I did everything I could to not fall.  In the second verse, I’m tired- beaten down by sadness and loneliness.  My bruises are on the inside, so no one can see them but me.  The third verse is the contemplation of whether to keep fighting the darkness or let it claim me.

This struggle has been very real and obviously, I’ve chosen to fight it.  With the loss of 2 of my pets recently, I’ve had passing moments of darkness, but nothing like the total immersion I experienced for the first half of the year.  Right now, I feel that little hope is good, but too much hope is a set up for disappointment.  Perhaps the longer I’m in the light, the more I will trust that hope is more than just a mirage shimmering on my horizon.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you have a beautiful Monday!

Inspired By 6 Words And Loss

This represents what 2015 is for me thus far
Snapshot of my 2015…

Death trails behind me,

Decaying carcasses lie uncovered;

Youthful hopes and dusty memories-

Remnants of broken dreams,



Each breath reminds me,

Eternal failures rediscovered;

I’m unable to escape shortcomings-

Fragments of who I used to be,



Scattered ashes cover

Three quarters of a year-

Whether I rise remains to be seen,

But I have to accept what will be.


I have a bad habit of explaining my poetry, and I will continue that, but first, I’ll take you on a scary ride of how my train of thought ended up here.  Hold on, it’s a twisty one :shock:

This post was originally going to be to refer you to a post compiled by Eli Pacheco at Coach Daddy where he asked bloggers how they would upgrade themselves – in six words.  (If you have some time, check it out… there were some great contributions.  Mine is #46)… “accept what will be; no worries”.  Hold this thought…

In the past month, I’ve had to say goodbye to two of my pets.  First, my seventeen-year-old Yorkie-Poo, Bulwinquel.  Then, a few days ago, I lost my beloved cat, Cybil.  She was fifteen years old and had been in kidney failure for over a year.

When I started writing this poem, it was to deal with the grief of loss over my pets.  Then my mind wandered a bit farther back, over the landscape of this year.  I half-joke that I’m done with 2015, but I don’t think it’s done with me.  This poem ended up being more about another loss I’ve been dealing with:  in January, I made the decision to end my 18-year marriage. Until last week, we were living in the same house which has been… well, miserable.

I won’t go into details as to what led to this because I have kids who might happen upon my ramblings here someday.  There were several factors involved, but one aspect, I wrote about last October in a poem that was particularly difficult to share.  Sharing that poem forced me to see things I chose to ignore for years.

This brings me back to my six-word contribution and this poem.  The death that trails behind me are my pets, my marriage, and the idea of what I thought my life would be eighteen years ago.  I failed.  I don’t like failing and stubbornly tried to deny this failure, but the first 3/4 of this year has been coming to terms with it.  It’s a continuing process.

I have spent a lot of time thinking (obsessing, really) about things I have no control over.  It’s a daily thing to remind myself not to worry about tomorrow and to instead, rely on faith.  I have no idea what the future holds.  I’ll find out when it gets here.

This isn’t supposed to be a depressing post. I’m okay really. I’m working on a photo-inspired story but was too busy to complete it for September as I had planned. I’m not going to jinx it by saying when I think it’ll be done. I’ll just leave it at “soon.” :)

Thanks for hanging on to this thought train. Now, relax and have a beautiful Thursday!

Moments Passed, Moments Noticed

Recently, I went for a walk in the evening to clear my head.  I emerged from my thoughts long enough to look up and notice the illumination of the clouds in the eastern sky.  I snapped this photo with my cell phone:

This got my attention!
This got my attention!

I walked a hilly cul-de-sac and upon heading east again, I looked up, anxious to see how the sunset light show had changed.  I thought maybe I would be blessed with an even more beautiful display.  I was surprised to find this:

Seven minutes later....
Seven minutes later….

In the span of seven minutes, the glow had disappeared.  The beautiful display obviously intended to be brief, and only for those who paused long enough to take notice.  Of course, this got me thinking (and dashed all hopes of clearing my head, haha.)

It made me wonder how many moments like this in life I miss because I’m wrapped up in the unimportant stuff that I allow to consume me… those worries that seem so large.  The funny thing is, these thoughts that occupy my mind are often things that no amount of obsessing over will resolve because the variables are completely out of my control.  I’m finally starting to learn that maybe, just maybe, being outside my head is a happier place :)

Sometimes taking notice of things around me takes a more humorous turn.  I’ve told the kids countless times not to leave their cups on the table.  Aaaand, their cups are always left on the table.  One day, within forty minutes of each other, I took the following photos:

Sure, there are three water dishes, but "forbidden" water tastes better
Sure, there are 3 water dishes, but “forbidden” water tastes better
Well if she gets "forbidden" water, I want it too!
Well if she gets “forbidden” water, I want it too!

That day, my younger son got home from school and refilled his water cup.  After he took a drink, I showed him the photos thinking maybe he would see why he shouldn’t leave his cup on the table.  He did turn a little green so I got all smug, thinking my point had been made and the table would now be cup-free.

Nope.  Cups are still left on the table; the only difference is, they each use 5 cups a day instead of 1. Oh, and they always leave fresh water in them for the cats- “because it’s cute.”  (Um, no it’s not…)

Sigh. I didn’t see that one coming.

Representation of Me

09-08 Lake Reflection2

Reflections shifting on rippling water,

A breathing oil-on-canvas,

Mesmerizes, hypnotizes…

Introspection draws me deeper.

Only from a distance,

Can I envision the scene,

The lines between colors…

Nature’s representation of me.


I haven’t posted poetry in a while, so I figured it was about time.  As I’ve done before, I’m going to share what I was thinking as I wrote it.

When I looked at the lake, it occurred to me that the reflections of the clouds and trees on the rippled water looked almost like an oil painting on canvas.  As I often do, I drew comparisons and related this to me and my life.

I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at an oil painting up close, but I find it fascinating how what looks like nothing more than blotches of different hues of green can suddenly turn into a beautiful tree when I take a couple steps back.  This is exactly how my life is right now.  I’ve been in the trenches of difficulty for most of this year and I had been submerged in darkness and hopelessness.  Up close, I failed to see beyond the mess that is “now”.

It’s only been the last couple months that I have been able to take those important steps back so I could see that, although my life seems to be just blotches of colors, it’s the beginning of so much more.  From a distance, I can envision beauty emerging at some point in the future.

Living (Fiction)

8-31 Leap

Two months ago, I had an epiphany of sorts… a life-changing moment that happened in the midst of the ordinary.  In the timeline of our lives, it isn’t often we can identify those moments at the exact time we breathe them, but here’s the story of my moment.

I sat on the sun-baked rock clothed in Capri pants and a t-shirt.  I didn’t hike to the waterfall to jump in; I came to clear my mind and watch the crazy people leap into the murky unknown.  And the pool of water had turned an icky shade of brown after the last monsoon storm.  My mind never slowed as it ran through all the things that could go wrong.  You could slip off Lloyd’s Log and bust your head open.  I mean, the log was probably named for Lloyd after he did just that.  Lloyd’s body could have still been there for all I knew.  The old log could break and impale you as you plummet into the water.  You could over or under-shoot the leap and break your legs on rocks jutting out that are obscured by the muddy brown pool.  You could belly flop and drown after the wind is knocked from your lungs.  The list went on.

I held my breath every time a child leaped from the carved log and exhaled each time their head bobbed back to the surface.  In between, I’d shake my head and wonder why the parents didn’t protect their children.  If I had a child, I would never let them do something so dangerous.  I scanned the dozens of people around me and tried to match the offspring.  I grew bored with the game when the string of unmatched jumpers grew too long for me to manage.

My attention turned to the children and the way they would just jump, arms spread wide, legs tucked, into the unknown.  They had no fear.  I wondered what it was like to not be restrained by the shackles of consequences.  How did it feel to experience flight, even for just a few seconds before plunging into the water?  I puzzled over how an anyone could jump without knowing for certain it was safe.  But they did.  Some hesitated, but eventually they leaped.  I imagined their eyes squinted closed, but still, they jumped.

I looked down at my faded brown pants and the realization came to me:  at least they came prepared to let go.  In that moment, I saw my street clothes as an outward representation of my abundant supply of fears.  A more alarming thought surfaced:  I breathed, but I didn’t live.  

On impulse, I unlaced my shoes and set them beside me.  I peeled the damp socks from my pale, hardly-seen-sunshine feet.  I stood and took a deep breath before walking toward the water.  I gasped as the shock of cool water met my hot skin.  Thigh-deep in the unknown, I considered turning back.  But I’d gone this far.  I continued until my feet no longer touched the bottom, then I swam toward Lloyd’s log.  I shimmied up the submerged log and crawled up the crudely-carved stairs.  With shaky legs, I stood on the last step.  Things that could go wrong began to cloud my mind, but I jumped before they could paralyze me.

I didn’t hit my head on the log.  The log didn’t crack and I didn’t break any bones.  Lloyd’s corpse didn’t reach up and pull me under.  I wasn’t afflicted with flesh-eating bacteria.  The silt washed off my skin in a warm shower.

The thing is, my outward appearance is no different than it was before, but the moment I leaped from Lloyd’s Log with my arms stretched like a bird in flight, I lived.


This story is fiction but was inspired by some real thoughts and introspection that I’ve had.  At church on Sunday, they talked of faith.  Faith is often believing in something we cannot see or prove, and trusting that the outcome will be for our good.  Fear is the exact opposite of faith. When there is fear, faith is a risk.  Like the character in this story, I tend to see all the harmful/dangerous things that could come from any given situation.  I recognize that I need to lean on my faith more.

Still, I did not leap into the nasty murky water from a carved log. There are certain things I couldn’t work past… like, where do all these beer-drinking people go to the bathroom?  Oh, I knew….

Baby steps :)