Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Mastermind Group

I've mentioned my friends a few times already.  I have a close circle of friends I’ve dubbed my “Mastermind Group”.  I got the name from Napoleon Hill’s classic book, “Think and Grow Rich”.  He recommends keeping a group of people together, advisors in a way, in your corner.  People who know more than you do, who can guide you or provide a sounding board.  (I can’t recommend this book enough.)   I have seven close friends—wow, when I say that aloud I’m amazed!  Seven?  I’m quite the lucky girl!  These wonderful women make up my group.  I go to them for everything—support, venting, laughter, dirty jokes, etc.  I know they are there for me, and I hope they know that I am there for them.  I love just talking to them and appreciate so many wonderful things about them.  Sometimes, depending on the problem, I only go to one or two of them; sometimes all.  But I know they are there.

Donna, Christine, Janis, Michelle, Marian, Sindy and Judy:  I love you all and am so grateful and happy to have you in my life.  You keep me sane.

A "Meltdown," A Letter, and An Epiphany

I had a bit of an epiphany today.  It came in the form of a weird, noticeable sense of knowing, and with it came a feeling of relief and release.  Of course, it is a lesson I already know, and try to practice, and don’t always succeed most of the time.  So today’s…sensing is noteworthy.

If you’re on Facebook or Pinterest or anything like that, you notice all the photo memes that are posted and reposted.  There are very common themes in the “don’t waste your time on people who don’t want to be in your life” and “Let go” categories.  We all know these.  I know these.  And still I find myself struggling with them on some level, in some form or another.

THE “MELTDOWN”:  I made a new friend.  We had a great time for a while, texting every day, and then hanging out together.  One day I did not hear from him. And (I’m somewhat ashamed to say this) I sent one of those cliched, needy, stereo-typically female, “Why haven’t I heard from you?” letters.  I know, I know BIG mistake!  I have no defense other than it was just a bad day for me.  I had a special friend who died last October; and that particular day would have been significant for us.  We hung out, texted/talked every single day, and one day after a message that said, “It is not time to worry yet,” the texts and calls STOPPED.  He was gone exactly one week later.  Suffice to say I was a teensy bit emotional when I realized what day it was. (Ha!) I reacted.

The response to my letter came a day later.  It was simple, downright condescending, decisive and cutting.  Extremely well done, I have to say:

            “I did not respond right away because I was floored at your message.
It is unfortunate that a busy day at work for me equals a meltdown on your end.”
(Can we say “OUCH!”?)
Of course, my first reaction was to respond in kind, which I did. Immediately. Basically a short note, “I’m used to hearing from you daily. I’m sorry you can’t understand…” blah, blah, blah.   I was PISSED. Lol.  I admit I overreacted with the initial letter, but I was surprised to get such a harsh dismissal from someone I thought was a friend. And it was a dismissal.  I haven’t heard from him since, and it’s been a week.  I even sent a short “I am sorry. Can we talk?” text that has also been ignored. I’m sorry, but NOBODY is so busy they can’t respond to a text with a simple “yes” or “no” (even just a Y or an N).

Of course, you can all imagine now what I’m feeling.  I’m hurt.  Hurt that I obviously don’t matter enough to a supposed friend to be treated…like a human being.  And, I am angry.  In the “You’re so much better than me that only you can have a bad day?” and “Who the fuck do you think you are that you can treat people like that?” way.  I went back and forth (another Libra trait) between hurt and anger.  A little.

(To my girls: STOP LAUGHING!)

I realize that my letter to him was a reaction to my own baggage, and I’m assuming his (what I consider extreme) response was also some form of reaction to something in his own history.  Nobody’s that much of a prick, right? I have to believe that. I need to believe in the good in people.

THE LETTER: Two days ago I was in angry mode.  I wrote a very angry letter.  My way of saying “If you are walking out, let me slam the door behind you.”  It was a good letter, I thought.  And when I realized writing it out did not make me feel better, I contemplated sending it.  I consulted my Mastermind Group.  My girls, my support, my guidance, my friends.  I’m so very lucky to have them in my life. One of them said she wouldn't stop me from sending it.  So I asked her, are you not stopping me even though you think I’m an idiot and are just, as my friend, allowing me to be an idiot? (I love them all!)  Another actually called the letter hurtful. That actually gave me some pause.  My own feeling was that for it to be hurtful, I would have to matter, and if someone could cut me off that fast I obviously don’t.   Yes, it was a tad heavy on the sarcasm (!), but I did end it on a somewhat positive, “I don’t hate you” note; she said that was like cutting someone’s throat then handing them the towel to wipe up the blood.  She also said I would get an A+ in Snarky Speak (as an editor, she herself is no slouch with words; I have to say I was a little impressed with that praise!). She also asked if I really wanted to ‘put that feeling out there’.

I had already had doubts about sending it, anyway.  Her thought that it was hurtful stopped me from sending the letter…temporarily, anyway.  Give it a few more days, I thought, even if I didn't understand anyone needing that kind of time to respond to an alleged friend’s idiocy.

I wait a few days more.  Nothing.  And I wonder why I’m so angry and hurt.  I have so much more important things on my plate to worry about.  Was I just focusing on this to get my head out of the real life challenges?  It wasn't like we’d been best friends forever.  Obviously, it hit an insecure nerve in me.  Do I matter at all?  It also hit a pride nerve that I’m always surprised by when it rears its head.  I didn't deserve that condescension and dismissal.  No one does, on a first strike. I would never take that road first.

You know, I get that kind of angry when I’m driving and I see someone driving with the “I own the road” rudeness.  We’re not supposed to be like that. I try not to be, why don’t you?

I know I can’t control the actions of others; I know I can’t force someone to like me.  And still, the unfairness of all of it really gets to me.  It wasn't even like I initiated the friendship in the first place.

THE EPIPHANY: So now, still with no response or human acknowledgment, I feel another ‘letter’ coming on.  And during a two and a half hour drive, the words are forming in my head.  My friend’s comments about being hurtful in general and getting back what you put out are also sneaking in my thoughts, between the not-as-snarky-as-in-the-first-letter lines of my mental letter.  I was trying to be fair and not hurtful, yet not wanting to come across as ‘needy’ in any way.  And all of a sudden I got this intense feeling and clear realization that I was putting hurt and anger ‘out there’.  Because of something as silly as hurt feelings and pride.  The childish response of ‘I want you to know you hurt me, even if you don’t care.’  It was a very physical feeling of a weight being lifted off of me, and I realized that I really don’t want to put that kind of negativity out there, and that is exactly what I had been doing.  And that realization that I really don’t want to be hurtful in any way stopped the mental letter-writing dead.  And I felt good. And then none of it mattered.  It was a truly amazing feeling.

(I really wish these things would happen more often and a little sooner!)

There will be no letter.  There will be no more attempts at communication.  There are no more feelings of hurt and bruised pride.  I did have a great time, for as long as it lasted.  That really is enough. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Don, Grief and Insanity from THWF

A bit of grieving, going back to the day I last saw him, my birthday...

Once upon a time,
A Cinderella went to a ball
And met a Prince.
And they danced, they laughed, they loved…

And they kept an eye on the clock
Knowing they had only ‘til midnight
They tried to make the best out of every minute, every second
Tried to give each other only the best of themselves

Midnight came
And with great sorrow they parted…
Taking each with them a memory and knowledge
Of laughter and love
And making the most of time.

There are too many words
To describe what I’m feeling
They spin around and around in my head
Yet choke me when I try to speak
My pen can't keep up with them
It would take a lifetime to get them all out
And in no way would 17 syllables suffice


I don't question why.
I can see a big picture.
I just miss you here.

Still waiting-ku

The air is misty
Dampening the surface
Of everything it touches
A solitary raindrop falls
Then another...and another still
The clouds let go
Releasing the floodgates
And it rains
Gray skies are crying
The tears I cannot shed

I’m waiting…waiting
waiting…quiet and still
Listening..for the sound of your voice
Hoping…for that connection
Feeling…a heart so full

Soft kisses stolen
lush kisses shared in private
impressed on the heart 

kisses are forever-ku

Patience is a word
I'm told I need more patience.
FUCK is a word, too.

I'm screwed – ku

Go through the motions
Smile, speak when necessary
Sleep. Begin again.

A sad day, indeed
When even Milton Hershey
Can't take care of me

breath-taking moments.
but to be able to give
some of them back?

always with me-ku

Happy, satisfied
Stable, determined, content

Complete, connected
Receptive, present, able
Things I dream to be


Internal pressure
Demanding to be released
Gaining momentum

I can feel it build- ku

In matters of time
it's a drop in the bucket
and, now, forever

A love resolute
Is a gift. To the worthy
It becomes priceless

Juvenile? Probably. But I bet I could make a good pop(tart) song out of it:

Hit and Run

I wasn’t looking
When I crossed that street
You came along suddenly
I was blindsided
With no protection against the collision

Stunned, with no sense of direction
You turned my world upside down
When I looked up
You were nowhere to be found

The heart has no insurance 
Against a claim like this
Just try to pick up the pieces
And move on…move on

You came into my life like a hit and run
Hit me hard, and now you're gone

I'm riding the fence
Between what is and what was
A life in limbo

Sunshine on my face
attempting to pervade the
dark thoughts of the mind

bright warmth creeps slowly
across damp skin, slight breezes
dry the tears away

Nature's tissue-ku

Yes, it takes time, but
when will I stop noticing
plans made 'without you'?

constantly reminded-ku

Spread my wings and run
into the heart of the sun.
I get it. Swan song.

through all the days and all the years right here I'll be – ku

you’d bite your lower lip
in an effort to refrain
that would distract me
and I would stare at your mouth
made me want to bite it, too

a nice memory – tanku

you turned a corner
left me, then, standing by myself
unsure, to move on

We hadn’t seen each other for two whole weeks
I got there first.
I remember not being able to watch for you, 
I was so excited to see you
and was afraid I’d make a fool of myself
jumping up and launching myself at you…

I miss those butterflies – ku

go through the motions
and do what I have to do
one day at a time

can't hurt any less
yet there's the silver lining
can't hurt any more

to feel it again
to feel anything again
passion is feeling


Right now I am still
a moment between moments
something and nothing

trains are wonderful
time to enjoy the journey
something not to miss

read between the lines-ku

I write ev'ry day
I know what you want for me
I'm okay with that

baby steps-ku

who would have found me
I wonder, if I managed
to knock myself out 
when I hit my head on the
towel rack in the shower?

and if this is some kind of subliminal joke about the train....! – tanku

you can't force feelings
as I'm learning now, but it
would be nice to be
able to feel more than the
nothing I am feeling now

(And anyone who posts Morris Albert's song now will be slapped!- ku) :)

Make me come alive
Let creative juices flow
Turn me on again!

I gots to be me-ku

Need to feel alive
to get excited again,
to be able to

proof of life-ku

Play. Listen. Repeat.
My music as therapy.
The Show Must Go On.

the memories rain
droplets of smiles, yet still not
enough to douse pain's fire

try to change focus
yet some times there are never
enough distractions

Tupelo, a chance
to leave it all behind,
but I took it with me

No matter where you are, there you are-ku

It's there
just under the surface
all the passion, the love
the rage, the pain
waiting to erupt

how is it that such
a hollow, empty feeling
can take up such space?

I see his picture
That wasn't too long ago
It's hard to believe
it all went downhill that fast
I can't believe he is gone.

sadness is heavy
weighs down on your heart, your lungs
makes it hard to breathe

I see you by the water
in that special place
I'll meet you there
and we can talk

"Good Morning!" Simple
words that become less simple
when no longer heard

The life of a flame
it starts with a spark
burns brightly for a brief moment
then slowly, quietly dims
until it goes out.
yet before that happens,
that flame has the opportunity
to ignite other flames
even full conflagrations.
each new flame
ignites other flames
keeping that original flame
eternally burning

A part of me is missing
I don’t know where it is
because that part is with you—
and I don’t know where you are

message to the cosmos – ku

comes in two forms, breath -less
and -withheld. I wait...

I received a beautiful notebook
as soon as I saw it I knew what it was for
what I was supposed to write about
and yet it still sits, unopened, where I left it
I'm not prepared to write in past tense yet.

Can't sleep
feel so useless...helpless
and so very far away
are you ok?
are you alone? 
are you scared? 
I am
it hasn't all been said
and I needed to hear it
this not knowing...
it's tearing me to pieces

I know what i want
worried it will never be
nothing I can do

The rain understands
It cries the tears of others
While they all pretend



I belong to a great writing group on Facebook, The HaikuWednesday Fiasco.  Yes, it’s mostly haiku (and different variations thereof) with a ‘no-rules’ policy. The people in that group are my family and keep me sane.  We write whatever and whenever we feel.  NO RULES. Freedom to write what I want, how I want. Some of my 'stuff'.
I can be shallow...And still have great depth
I can be frightened...And still fight with courage 
I can be greedy...And still generously give 
I can be sexual...And still guard my femininity 
I can be arrogant...And still show humility
I can be impatient...And still wait quietly

To know me is to understand...I can be all these things
To know me is to understand...I can be more
To know me is to understand...I have no limits
To know me is to understand...I will not be judged
To know me is to understand...I am worthy
To know me is to understand...who you are
Spinning the Coin

The coin spins slowly
balancing precariously on its edge
looking at it spin you see Heads then Tails, then Heads then Tails.

Heads and Tails. Good and Bad. Joy and Pain. 
Happy and Sad. Life and Death. Light and Dark.
Both sides in constant rotation 
keeping the coin upright.
Sometimes it spins in the opposite direction
Tails then Heads, then Tails then Heads.
Tails and Heads. Bad and Good. Pain and Joy.
Sad and Happy. Death and Life. Dark and Light.
As with the Earth's rotation around the sun
we go through Dark to get to Light
and Light to get to Dark.
Whichever side we are on, the Dark or the Light
there is always an awareness of the existence of the other side.
Our coins will spin
we will see both sides, 
will experience both sides
because neither side exists without the other.
We can choose the direction in which our coins spin
Ever aware of, feeling through, experiencing both sides.
Heads and Tails. Good and Bad. Joy and Pain. 
Happy and Sad. Life and Death. Light and Dark.
Choosing which side, Heads or Tails,
starts the spin
and ultimately
stops, falls over
and ends

Fireworks all around me
Cannot compare with the fireworks inside 
Splashes of color
Pale next to the 
rainbow of emotion I feel
The burn fizzles against
The desire that erupts from
the depths of me
The thunder
Is a mere whisper
To the pounding of 
My full heart...

I innocently came on the scene
with haiku that was actually quite clean.
these folks from Fiasco
brought heat like tabasco
Thus bred the Cougar, hyped up on caffeine

Did someone say limerick-ku

Once I thought, "He does!"
Quoth the raven, "Never Was!
-- Susan Haiku-Poe

their farewells they made sure to bade
should there be truth in predictions Mayans made
spent the night rashly carousing
when they woke up they were grousing
(except those of us who didn't get... any)
End of the World Limerick Ku
fragile leaves dance in the wind
uncaring of direction
delighting in movement
spiraling skyward
then floating gently down
softly touching ground.
I can see myself
arms raised as if in flight
a long, diaphanous gown
dancing alongside
heart lighter than air

Sunlight streams through the windows
adding warmth to an already toasty room
the smell of coffee permeates the air
stimulating wicked thoughts
as I pad around the kitchen
wearing only my nail polish
I grab my notebook and settle among the pillows
and enjoy MY time, in MY space...

Patience is a word
I'm told I need more patience.
FUCK is a word, too.

I'm screwed – ku
The life of a flame
it starts with a spark
burns brightly for a brief moment
then slowly, quietly dims
until it goes out.
yet before that happens,
that flame has the opportunity
to ignite other flames
even full conflagrations.
each new flame
ignites other flames
keeping that original flame
eternally burning
The page stares blankly back at me
there are too many words inside 
bigger than this page 
bigger than me
too big to write
so I sit
staring at this page
and FEEL
every single word
while the page waits
and stays