V is for Void, #AtoZChallenge

The door slams shut,

sucked from his clammy fingers

by persistent wind.

He slumps against the frame,

sighing.

His stale air like the breeze

trapped within the still apartment.

He calls out

an aching tone, desperate.

His lips spill apologies.

His voice yearns for forgiveness.

He rubs his eyes until they are rimmed red,

pokes a finger to draw out droplets

of forced sorrow.

He makes his way to the closed bedroom door,

throwing his pleas like a fishing net,

aiming to trap innocence as it wriggles unknowingly,

baiting his prey with the lure of hope.

A gentle knock returns no reply.

His facade slowly peels away.

Slamming fists thrust through his barrier

And finally, finally,

there is nothing left to catch.

He stands in the center of the room,

realizing.

He is the black hole

that turned his life into a void.

 

R is for Rough Draft for Starting Over, #AtoZChallenge

 

“I need coffee like a junkie needs dope!”

She laughs and injects liquid gold

straight to her vein where it colors

from blue-green to murky brown.

“It wakes me up and makes me feel good.

Look,” she says, “look at my smile.”

And takes a knife to the corners,

widening her grin in jagged edges.

“This doesn’t happen on its own.”

She says, “This can’t just happen you know,

something has to make a smile.

It can’t just happen.”

Sweat is beading on her upper lip,

her forehead slick and moist,

hands are clammy, trembling.

She says, “LOOK at me.”

She says, “Look at ME!”

 

 

Q is for Questions, #AtoZChallenge

She was just learning how to sit with this soft sadness. It crept up like a warm blanket, hand-crafted crochet, and promised the comfort of familiarity, the absence of change. She was just learning how to set her face in such a way that her eyes would reflect whoever was looking at her. They would see themselves and be distracted from whatever question they intended to ask. They would look deep and then never manage more than a quick glance as they were reminded of secrets they wanted buried and regrets yet to be faced. They would claim how nice it was to see her and then rush  home, not to be heard from again. She was just learning how to entertain her thoughts so she felt more distracted and less like drowning. She asked herself questions she’d never be able to answer. Questions that seemed minuscule in her own life, but for some were their lives. How does a battery work? What does it really mean when cats purr? Why don’t people use more public transportation? She let the questions tumble in her brain and picked one out at random. She guessed solutions and mused different scenarios in her head. She was just learning how to be her own best friend. She was just learning what it meant to be alone. She was just learning, and then, she just was.

 

 

O is for One Perfect Moment, #AtoZChallenge

after the hourglass has filled

with time-worn sand

turned dusty and coarse

after the air has settled

still and stagnate

after the weight

of disintegrated decay

that plagued the mind

after the realization

that change is inevitable

after the faces

streaked with saline

after the anger

hot and unbridled

after denial

after rage

after acceptance

afterafterafter

after everything

comes one perfect moment.

Goodbye

Then, after comes….

 

 

K is for Kindness, #AtoZChallenge

Kindness is definitely not a flaw. It’s just hard to think of words that start with K. Of course there have been times when I’ve been told I’m “too nice” like that’s a bad thing. Which begs the question: Is being too nice a bad thing?

When can kindness get you in trouble?

My theme should have been “I ask readers a bunch of questions about basic personality traits people typically don’t think twice about.”

One of the biggest times this dilemma has crossed my mind has been in teaching. Many times I am told I’m too nice as a teacher and this leads to classroom management being difficult. Objectively I can see this happening, but then I also see how my students react to me. I think it’s important for children to be able to trust adults and know they are cared for. That is probably my main goal over teaching music, although I think that is super important too. When I get “firm” or “strict” I know I am being “fair”, but I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I just can’t seem to always find a balance. I don’t want to change my personality of always being kind and helpful, but sometimes I’m forced to in the classroom so things run smoothly.

I think this is my biggest doubt of whether I am a good teacher.

I love my job, but I also think it is one of the hardest jobs someone can choose. I need to find the balance between being kind and not being too passive.

Until then, I will lead with kindness. I will always try to be understanding and compassionate. I will keep an open-mind to accept people from all different walks of life. I will risk the struggles and criticism that come with being “too nice” until I find that balance. If life has taught me anything, it’s that I’m much better at dealing with my own pain than handling knowing I’ve hurt somebody else.

 

 

G is for Grown-up, #AtoZChallenge

All I wanted was to paint my pain

With forced brush strokes across

A gleaming canvas.

To let it sparkle like

The sinister Cheshire Cat grin,

With teeth short and blunt.

Nothing like my own

Sharp canines

That rip and tear,

Salacious shreds fluttering from

My gaping maw.

I would use thick oil paints,

Stacking them layer by layer

So you’d have to dig away

To get to the vulnerable truth.

All I wanted was for someone

To see my artistry and understand.

Past the pretentious philandering,

Past the obnoxious pleas

Of obvious words that read too loud,

Too blatant, too bold.

Subtlety was never my specialty.

It’s passivity or aggression.

I hid for so long,

A lost child – never made it

Out of the blanket fort.

I opted for false comfort

In the company of feathers and cotton,

Soft fabrics that could cradle my head

And soak up hot tears

That leaked endlessly from

Sunken eyes.

Now I’m all grown up,

Or, I have grown

My anxieties and frustrations.

They are adult sized

In this kid fortress of my brain.

Now it’s time to let them out,

The pent up problems

Of a first world child

Who misunderstood the world.

Because being taught morality

Is not the same as living it.

Nebraska to Utah

From my last post I left off in Omaha, Nebraska. We took an extra stop in Parowan, Utah and in between we stayed in Boulder, Colorado. Here are some pictures from our adventures!

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Hotel View in Omaha

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Somewhat sketchy gas station in Nebraska

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Apartments we stayed in Boulder

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Redford and Kate, our Boulder companions (Ben’s cousin’s dogs)

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Random haunted house in Boulder (surrounded by businesses)

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Colorado

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Driving through Colorado was beautiful!

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View area in Utah

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Also at the view point, I just thought this was cool

Today we are heading to Las Vegas where we will spend a few days with Kevin’s parents until our final destination in California. Hopefully I’ll have some more adventures and pictures to share!

Goodbyes with Family & Friends and Beginnings Born from Ends

I meant to publish this post four days ago, the day before I left for California. As I was going through all my family and friends and visiting one last time the title for this post popped in my head. Instead of beginnings from ends I first though of “nights we don’t want to end” because indeed, each of my goodbyes I drew out for hours. Awkwardly standing around saying “alright” about 50 times before finally heading out the door. There were tears, there were embraces that shook from the power of our sobs, but there was always laughter and the reassurance, “See you later.”

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A Weekend in Norfolk

I grew up in the very small town of Norfolk, CT. It seems fitting that the week before I leave this place I’ve considered home for 24 years, the town puts on a celebration of its rich history. The weekend was packed with activities, music, and exhibits showcasing the way this small town has developed over the years. And by that I refer to what I always tell newcomers, “Norfolk is a town untouched by time.”

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