Let the Scene Write Its Self (Everyday Inspiration, Day 10)

I got behind on these just a few days after I started them, so I’m just writing the posts whenever I feel inspired to write them (or as was the case with Day 9, pushing thru the ones I don’t feel that excited about so that I can get to the ones that actually sound interesting, like Day 10). The task for Day 10 was to let the scene be the inspiration, in a way to let the setting become the story. I was at Starbucks this morning and decided I wanted to do this task. I was going to take notes and then write a piece based on my notes, but I actually think my notes are written well enough that they are the meat of the post already. So here goes:

DEP Starbucks 11:34 AM 073016
A pair interacts across the diagonal in front of me. A man and a woman. The woman is a bit strange and honestly a little rude. There’s an older well-dressed woman eating a pastry and squinting at a smart-phone. Another older woman wearing a pretty red blouse and blue nails that look young, but not out of place on her. She’s having a close conversation with a younger woman. It looks serious, but not sad or tense. The younger woman has glasses and pretty hair pulled back. Against the wall, another older woman. She’s using a laptop. Glasses and nice hair, silver mixed with native dark brown or black. She might be Native American or perhaps Pacific Islander, I’m not good at uncovering roots. A middle-aged dark man, can’t tell quite what he’s doing, but he’s slouched and doesn’t look happy. Another pair in the middle of the room. I can’t glean many details about them because of the distance. They are actively engaged in conversation, but not overly lively. A young man on a computer further down, perhaps watching a movie. An employee, petite and pretty, sweeps the floor with an ugly yellow broom. Employees behind the counter, I can’t see them, but I can hear as they talk light and friendly to each other between customers. Two Hispanic men out on the porch, they’ve got bags with them, maybe homeless, but maybe not. Out the window, an older model car, dark red Mercury, dirty and waiting in the drive-thru. I’m sitting in the corner, just letting it all exist around me. Plaid dress, cuffed jeans, pink shoes. 11:54 AM

Writing and Not Writing (Everyday Inspiration, Day 9)

If I could step into a machine that gave me more time, how would I structure my day? What would I write with this extra time?

I would set aside more time to organize my personal space, in order to create a space for art and writing. Once I had an organized space, I don’t think I’d need the extra time because I would better use my normal 24 hours and not have to look for things or worry about things being in the way. This is a tough one to write about because honestly I think there is plenty of time already and I just waste too much of it and then complain about the things that I didn’t accomplish.

Today task had two parts, the second part was to reach out to someone in order to do a collaboration to be posted later in this series. I have yet to reach out, but I do have someone in mind who I want to ask. So sometime in the next two weeks I’ll be mixing it up here and featuring a guest blogger. I think it’ll be interesting.

Letter (Everyday Inspiration, Day 8)

Dear Depression,

For a second I wanted to start this letter with “I effing hate you!” But that wouldn’t be the truth. The truth is that I would not be who I am today without you and I am very happy in my skin. Wishing you away would be like disowning myself. I think I’ve said that I wish I didn’t struggle with you, but my opinion on you today is this: you have shaped me into a beautiful, creative, strong, young mother. And for that I thank you. Getting to this point has been a mixture of agony and bliss, with everything in between too. I first met you when I was fourteen, that’s when I first admitted you had a name, we may have been acquainted before then, but I don’t remember. That jerk brother of yours, Anxiety, he started stalking me when I was only 7 years old, who does that? But anyways, this is about you, not him. Depression, I did some crazy things in your name. Shortly after we got on this first name basis, I carved a mark into the flesh of my right knee with a broken piece of plastic I found in the dirt while sitting on the edge of my back porch. I said it was your fault. All your fault. I spent nearly 10 whole years carving up my skin and pointing a finger at you, claiming innocence. It’s not my fault, that’s what I used to tell myself. And suddenly, I’m at a loss for words. I thought I had a million things to say to you, but none of them will materialize at the moment. I guess just like any first letter to someone when you want to put distance between you and them, it’s normal to stumble for words. In ways I still blame you, but I’m trying not to. If I blame you, then I have to blame whoever introduced us and that just goes on down back towards the beginning of time. If you’re to blame, then the list would only grow and I’m sure I could find a way to blame everyone. So the simplest answer is that no one is to blame. Blame should not exist, let’s do away with it. This isn’t goodbye, this is to be continued. I’ll write again.

-B

Let Social Media Inspire You (Everyday Inspiration, Day 7)

*Note: The main part of this task was to get inspired by a tweet, but an alternate route was to get inspired from a quote from Goodreads, so I chose that path.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
Elbert Hubbard

By this definition, I have about 2 and a half friends. This is totally cool with me though because I like it better that way, being close to only a few people, but being extremely close to them. So here’s how 2 and a half breaks down: H is about three quarters of a friend, my sister-in-law JT is about three quarters of a friend, and R accounts for one whole friend.

The reason H counts for only three quarters is because he doesn’t know everything yet and honestly I’m not sure if he’ll stick around once he knows the darker parts of my soul, but I hope he stays. JT is only at three quarters because she knows almost everything, but her love is conditional to a degree. R knows basically everything (except a few details of the past 2+ years that I haven’t found a way to tell him about) and his love is truly unconditional. I don’t think I really want more friends than these. I know JT and R would both be there for me in a heart beat if I asked for their help. I love H and JT in the way I love my siblings (well most of my siblings, except MK, but that’s a whole different story).

But R, of course, is in a different category because well for starters he was/is my first love, it meant enough that I married him, and to top it off he’s the father of my children, so even though we are now divorced (or maybe we’re not, I never got any final papers) I still count him as my closest friend. We disagreed about preschool in my parents’ driveway yesterday and during every moment of it I felt love for him, even when I was jumping up and down in frustration and he laughed a little, even when he questioned whether or not he himself had turned out okay and I wanted to yell at him not out of spite or anger but out of frustration that he does not see what an amazing man he has become.

The Space to Write (Everyday Inspiration, Day 6)

I usually end up posting to here from the far left of my parents’ ’90s floral print couch that came from a yard sale 2 years ago for 10 bucks. But sometimes from the Starbucks a block away from school. And sometimes from my bed, if it’s after midnight usually.

But where do I write? I write everywhere, I am always “writing” in my heart and in my head, I physically scribble down thoughts whenever I get the chance no matter where I am. I spend a lot of time on the bus, so a lot has been written on buses and at bus stops. I write in class when I’m not paying attention to the instructor. I’ve even written poems in church, not because the pastor wasn’t doing a good job, but because he WAS doing a fantastic job and it inspired words in me. I like coffee, so I spend time in coffee shops, so I do end up writing in coffee shops. Occasionally my poems are inspired by my surroundings, like this one that I wrote about six months ago while sitting in Starbucks, called Poetry is like Breathing.

If I had a dedicated writing space, it would be a comfy chair surrounded by bookshelves packed full of books and a stack of comfy blankets and pillows within arms reach. I’d also have a coffee maker in the room and a fridge stocked with French vanilla creamer and string cheese.

Untitled/072416 (Everyday Inspiration, Day 5)

“I only miss you late at night when I can’t sleep and get way too honest.”

-Real Friends, Cover You Up

i think i’m over it
think i can stop reading now
i’ve played this game out
it’s not fun anymore
and i see how incredibly
fucked up it really is

the rest of the song doesn’t fit,
but that line does
i don’t think of you in the daylight
at least not often
but come ten PM
you’re on my mind

and i’m just a stupid girl
with a stupid crush
on a stranger
and there’s another line
that fits me well:

“i’ll keep sleeping sideways
in my empty bed
to fill the lonely space,
i’m just a kid
with too much lonely space”

a thousand words, give or take (Everyday Inspiration, Day 4)

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he didn’t think she would really do it, she’d said it a million times and never followed thru. she hated being there, here, alive, and he knew it. no matter what he did, he couldn’t make her want to be here, here on this earth. he hated her for it. he hated himself for it. he didn’t know what happened inside to make her feel so broken. he knew it had to be something. he thought that if he poured every ounce of love that he had into her, she would stay for him, she would stay because she loved him. he didn’t know that she couldn’t love. she was too broken to love.

now thirty six years later, he’s sitting in a church for the first time since her funeral. he swore he’d never come back, too angry at God. God, why didn’t You save her? why didn’t You tell her how much she was worth? why didn’t You make her stay? she would have stayed if she knew how much she meant to You. You let her down. You let me down. i hate You. on the day she died something broke in him. he didn’t want to be alive anymore, but didn’t have the heart to end his own life, and plus he felt responsible, guilty, and he decided to live every day in shame and destroy himself from the inside out because it was his fault that she died, he deserved to suffer a long life without her, without the love of his life. this is what he thought.

but yesterday, yesterday something happened- he heard a song on a classic rock station. classic rock, the thought still made him cringe, these songs were the songs of his youth, the songs of her youth. “Wendy, runaway with me, i know i sound crazy, don’t you see what you do to me, i wanna be your lost boy, your last chance, a better reality”, there was nothing classic about it in his mind, but it was her song, her anthem, but why couldn’t she remember it on that day, her last day? maybe she did remember it and that was why she couldn’t stay. she left to find Neverland. she knew she would make it into Heaven, there was no doubt in her mind about it, she never doubted her faith, but still she left. so now he sits in this church, something inside him told him he needed to meet God here. the place is familiar, yet he doesn’t know why, he’s sure he’s never been here before, he chose it at random, just walked in the first church he saw off the street.

he’s been sitting here for an hour, suddenly a door opens off to the side of the stage and pulpit, a man in a robe walks out, a priest. the man makes a beeline for him, as if he already knew he was there, the first man panics, he’s never talked to a priest before, what is he gonna say? is the priest gonna throw him out because the church is closed? it’s not time for Mass, he checked the time on the marque before he walked in, but the door was open. do churches even close?

the priest is standing in front of him now, “Tom?” he asks.

how does the priest know his name? “yes” the first man chokes out the word.

the priest sits down. “we’ve been waiting for you” Tom feels panic rising in his chest, what’s going on? what did i do that a priest is waiting for me? is he a messenger from God? of course he is, but a direct messenger?

the priest is talking again “i have something for you” pulls out an envelope, hands it to Tom. It’s a soft purple color, her favorite color, his name written in her small messy hand across the front. Tom’s heart began to flutter. he hadn’t seen his name written by her in thirty six years, on the note she left on the day she left. God, how he hated her for writing that note.

he doesn’t feel like he has the strength to open it, he turns to the priest, “how?”

“we knew her well here, she was here several times a week, she left that on the morning it happened, said you’d be here some day, she didn’t know how soon, but she knew you would be drawn here eventually, i don’t think she imagined it would be so many years.”

she left this note thirty six years ago, he was having trouble wrapping his head around it.

“i’ll leave you for now, but i’ll be in my office if you want to talk” and the priest stands and walks back towards the door he came from and Tom turns his attention back to the envelope.

how can he hate her still? how can he hate her if he still loves her, seeing his name scrawled in the perfect printing of hers, messy and perfect in the same letters, on that beautiful color that reminds him of her favorite t-shirt, the one she lived in all summer once, by Autumn it was so thin and threadbare, but she couldn’t bare to throw it out, she put it in his bottom drawer, said she’d be back for it someday, someday never came. it was just a plain purple shirt, but the way it rested against her curves, he couldn’t look away when she wore that shirt, maybe that was why she wore it. he kept it in his bottom drawer for years, he couldn’t bare to look at it without her body in it, knowing her body would never be in it again.

Tom looked at the envelope, what could she have written here that she didn’t write in the other note? did he still hate her? he couldn’t decide. he ran his finger under the sealed flap, gently broke what had been sealed for thirty six years…

(*want to read more of this tale? words 1006 thru 2008 have now been written.)

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One-Word Inspiration: Secret (Everyday Inspiration, Day 3)

so many secrets
i haven’t yet shared
but i’m in no rush
i feel like
we have a lifetime

and knowing
doesn’t mean you know me
i am more
than my secrets
and you are too

you’ve given me
a few to keep
and i cherish that,
not the secrets themselves
but the trust in sharing

i’ll reveal my secrets
to you in time,
but like i said,
i believe we have
all the time we want

26 Things I’ve Learned About (My) Life So Far (Everyday Inspiration, Day 2)

  1. It’s okay to be sad.
  2. I will struggle with depression for my entire life, and
  3. that is okay.
  4. Falling in love isn’t a bad thing in and of it’s self.
  5. It’s okay to have crushes.
  6. It’s okay to feel “too” much and
  7. it’s okay to be sensitive, but
  8. it is not okay to treat other people like crap.
  9. When I’m myself people actually like me.
  10. I am beautiful on the outside.
  11. People enjoy my written voice and
  12. people enjoy my spoken voice too.
  13. I am capable of more than I ever thought.
  14. Hard work with a purpose is great for my soul.
  15. Sunshine encourages me to bloom.
  16. Collecting other people’s secrets doesn’t mean those people are my friends.
  17. My children aren’t messed up, so far.
  18. R didn’t leave because he didn’t love me;
  19. he left because he truly does love me.
  20. Unconditional love does not mean staying with the person for life.
  21. I would be missed by at least one person and
  22. one is more than enough.
  23. My actions cause ripples that go so far beyond my control and
  24. that is reason enough to be more mindful of my actions.
  25. I forget all of these things on a bad day, but I need to remember them.
  26. I need to remember to LOVE.

I write because… (Everyday Inspiration, Day 1)

“I don’t know how I could exist if I did not write,” quoting myself here. And I wrote those words to H and later to AM, but this is about me, not them. I write because I like to talk but there aren’t enough people to talk to in person in my life. I write because I have a million things that I want to say to R, but I can’t text him in the middle of the night. I write because my imagination is over-active. I write because it’s natural. Will Stafford was once asked in an interview when he became a writer, he answered that the question should really be when did everyone else stop being writers? There is truth in that. Children are master story tellers and as soon as they learn to make marks on paper, they start to put those stories down on paper. The same is true regarding art, but I digress, this is about writing, but isn’t writing art? I don’t think that I write my poems, my heart writes them, but am I not my heart? I used to say that R was my heart, maybe he is. Does that mean I am R? Maybe soul mates are really pieces that fit together to form a larger soul. Stick to the topic at hand, B. I write because… I write because I exist. Wow, that was deep, yet really simple. I write because I exist. I write because I love, because I dance, because I cry, because I read, because I hike up to abandoned houses with guys I secretly wish I could have sex with, except it’s not so much a secret anymore and it’s only one guy, not guys plural. I write because I see beauty but don’t feel confident with a paint brush. I write because God gave me the words to do so. I write because I am a poem written by God. I write because R loved me with all of his heart for a time and because R still loves me with a little sliver of that same heart, the heart that used to be named after me. I write because people read. I write because I laugh. I write because I like to dress up. I write because I go to school. I write because I want to be a teacher. I write because I want to be like Jesus. I write because I am a mom. I write because words consume me. I write because I am afraid of fire. I write because I want to tell the truth. I write because I can’t tell the truth. I write to see my soul in print. I write I write I write. And I said before that I had never read any of Sylvia Plath’s words, well now I have, she wrote too.

“I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still”
— Sylvia Plath