Henry’s Healing

poetry

The damp, cool relief I felt leaning against his stone-cold-frame at high noon mid August. The sun that laid prisms on the rugs down the halls through stained glass windows- gave warmth on a frost-bitten February morning. I felt my depression ease, his purpose take place within my own mental state.

He taught me to keep aware.

Hugged by his spiraling staircases, I felt secure within his mass. Boarded by his twelve-foot-doors, fourteen-foot-windows, eighteen-foot-ceilings. Comforted by his stance exuding confidence that I envied. Proud of his intent- built for royalty – built for the “insane” actually in 1872; a time more kindly engineering than today.

He taught me to keep humble.

The smell of freshly baked peanut-butter-jelly crumb cake in his kitchens. Burgers on plates the size of your face- shoved into my face left me swollen and sleepy with an irregular heartbeat for days. The bar’s aroma wafted black licorice, ginger and mint, and over-served me like a gluttonous Queen.

He taught me to keep generous.

The many rotating faces of erratic emotion or internal dread- already known or accidentally bumped into to befriend, comfort, or confront day-to-day. He held my hand through the many anxieties and animosities of social interaction and urged me to seek sincerity and authenticity instead.

He taught me to keep compassionate.

Navigating him became a subsequent flow of repetitive turns, bends, and motion. I became fluent in his language- his map- his less traveled stairwells and doors- all while making sure not to trip into an armoire or beam- one of his many giant legs. Running pillows to the western corridor while I’d realize the broom I needed for another wing – a mile long dart to complete- was waiting.

He taught me to keep patient.

Man is Dead

poetry

Charleston Church Shooting is blaring on my TV. On my radio and through my phone’s screen.

What is the meaning? When a heartless bias stops a loaded chest from rising, another rise should be happening instead.

When I heard what happened I thought, “of course again this has happened.” In my country something has happened. Something inside me has horribly happened.

I’ve grown numb. Where is the blow to my chest that this news should deliver? Unmoved by the earth shattering broadcast, my knees do not buckle, hands do not shake, my conscious does not break. “This world is beyond reason.” An acceptance I’ve been carrying like

Hope sewn on a sleeve I used to boast proudly now washed off like a tattoo’d thumb, taken from me when I was

sleeping the American dream lost in a Sunoco Casino and my patience? A desert run dry from rain-less nights needed to water it’s kind-hearted intentions. A revelation so to speak up for mothers grieving the loss of their child, hands and feet and heart like my own gone because of something so irrelevant like

color.

No, I can’t sit down and let the world my children grow up in be flooded with hate, crime, and hate-crime then keep saying, “We’re doomed so why must I bother?”

It was Nietzsche who once said the famous phrase, “God is dead.” but not for the reasons we think. The phrase was not a winning statement but, a heartbreaking murder of greatness. We killed the almighty argument to provide some sort of comfortable, false ease.

And so what would Nietzsche think- if he never died from the wretched green -would he state, “Man is dead.” just the same?

June 2015

Invest in Patience

short stories

Some mornings are made for hitting the snooze button one too many times or well, not hearing all four alarms go off at all and jump-scaring yourself out of bed to start the day.

Some mornings are made of waffles popping out of the toaster and into your six year old’s hand while on the way out the door dressed in cowlick.

A two year old in need of a fresh pullup and a five year old saint holding the door open for you while you forget your keys only- the five year old has let the dog out and now we have to chase the dog down the driveway with a juice cup, human and coffee in hand.

Life Management Tip: In hectic situations where multiple things go wrong all at once, prioritize on urgency and pace your quality control until nobody has died and all is right with the world.

That’s motherhood. Resolve all issues in the most efficient way possible without anyone running into traffic or choking on a lego.

Life Management Tip: If You’re a Leader, Don’t Lose Your Shit

If the kids sense me panic, they panic. I have to keep calm and reassure everyone that nobody is dying and no beloved dog of the family’s will run lost.

I’m the only faith they know. Mom’s got it. And, the dog is fine. He’s more than fine actually, he’s a jackass.

Invest in patience.

Life is chaotic, and it’s hard to sort through which chaos is worth pursuing and which isn’t worth your energy. Life is gonna cause you to hit the snooze button from time to time. Life is going to make you tired. But, you choose what you invest your mental focus into. The house may look a little muddy today but, everyone is fine. I’m writing.

Invest in patience.

Last night, my six year old was having a day on the way to Delaware Park. He was outside of himself, frustrated with the world and he wasn’t in the mood for the playground. THE PLAYGROUND! He was irrationally upset and we could’ve easily gone home, wasted the night on unnecessary tears and crossed arms, tired…

Invest in patience.

So Oliver took Pax to the playground while Janek and I took a stroll. We talked. We played, “I Spy” on the way to sit down somewhere nice. Things calmed down.

I sat with my five year old son and our dog on the steps of Albright Knox Art Gallery and we played, “Which Color Car Will Drive By Next?”

We took in the view of Delaware Park, Do Ho Suh’s Karma behind us – sooo many people in the park on this beautiful summer evening… Some tourists drove by in a cab to snap a photo of The AKG. I thought, “This is Buffalo.” – and we played our silly game.

Sitting there, it may not have looked like I was actually doing anything to comfort my irrational six year old but, in hindsight… I was educating him on E.B. Green’s architecture, Frederick Olmsted and the works created by internationally recognized creators.

We continued scouting for purple punch bugs.

I spiked his interest to actually see the museum. I promised him we’d go to the next, “First Friday” and we made a date of it. The dog was becoming tolerant of park activity (he’s very anxious) and, I was hungry and had to pee something fierce.

And then my son took a deep breath and said he was ready to go back to the playground. Like, he’d gotten everything he needed to feel better and continue on with his day.

I was his, “feel better.” Me. He just needed me to invest my patience into him… that’s all any kid really asks.

He ran back into action and when it was time to leave he negotiated an easy exit for one last time down the big slide… and obliged.

You’re Five.

letters

You’re excited for Earth day and want to go- “to one of those places you put the gloves on and pick up the litter.” You think about things larger than yourself already. You tell the other kids at school that they’re, “doing a really good job” on their crafts. You already think about another’s progress. You’re the kind of kid that pats my head when I’m sick and says, “You don’t do anything today, Mama. I’m gonna do it for you” and cleans your playroom.  You’re thoughtful. You’re smart. You’re strong willed and some days it’s hard. But I’m so proud of you.

Please Excuse My Time In Use

poetry

Please excuse my lack of calls. I think of you often and I miss you as well.
Please excuse my unanswered text.

The response was lost but, not the words left still ringing in my head as I cash out a guest with a wom-wom, “Thank you” I think left my lips that also left you to feel dismissed. I’m sorry.

Please excuse my absence at the party. I wanted to be there but again, priorities. Not saying you’re not a priority. My life in double negatives, I begin to feel sorry.

My practice in meditation diminished. Longing for a future that we give a cheeky kiss, sit down over coffee or tea or a beer and hopefully my mind won’t start wandering about things I haven’t held dear or who else is left I’ve shunned to sit down with over coffee. I’m sorry.

Please excuse my self absorbed state where I cancelled our week-in-advanced date. I wanted breadsticks while we waited just absorbing. Please excuse the next week that comes. Or the next month, four packs of fresh breath gum I’ve been giving to strangers touring.

Please excuse me of the mess. Of my house or of my dress. I turned the iron on but it went again unused this morning. My hair was giving me a day and two little boys that need me most, well… I am first their host and for that I’m not sorry.

The problem with me is my list of many things…to do and things dead before I’m dead to get ahead. Please excuse me while my time is taken. I’m sorry.

saturday mornIng.

poetry

I passed out at ten O’Clock last night. I woke up well rested in a gloomy living room so quiet I heard the furnace tick. 

I didn’t snooze an alarm. I didn’t run for a shower. I didn’t pack a diaper bag or a lunch.  I didnt rush to find someone’s homework (we still have to do). I didn’t change a landslide diaper that sometimes requires a bath while I’m putting on my eyelids. 

I didn’t forget the check for school pictures, the signed permission slip for field trip,the payment for daycare, the carseat for grandma, or a blanket for child…

I didn’t move.

I waited until I was able and not a second sooner, then made a pot of coffee (ten beautiful cups of it). I openned the curtains, loaded the dishwasher, poured a cup of Brita-Joe and added 5lbs of mocha creamer just because it made me happy. 

I sat down at the table, read some articles and listened for the thuds above me (first a jolt, then a leg out of bed, and then two feet pounding across the ceiling). I hear my three year old slam porcelain against porcelain and I laugh at the next 18 years of my life. I hear a baby cry and a dad get out of bed. 

I just sit here waiting like Santa’s bringing me presents on Christmas. I have a Saturday morning.