Gifts of Reading Online

Oh, oh, and oh. I’ve been given two gifts today, this the latter.

However commonplace the title of Broken might be, I am lifted by

“…with a willingness to die.”

Rich. A relief of a destiny at hand. Soul station found and dialed in.

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Traffic Patterns

Two weeks ago I drove past houses that suddenly are the main exhibit now that construction has finished and traffic is rerouted. There is a little-needed traffic signal light where a four-way stop once regulated the crossing of two roads. Bright pink sneakers, new enough from the looks of them, carried more than six feet of height and close to 300 pounds of weight from toe to heel, toe to heel as a man in his mid forties pushed a shopping cart of assorted belongings between the crisp, white lines of the crosswalk. Perhaps crosswalk tells what there is to tell.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Periphery

PShe was forgettable in a handy way. Quiet, she wore unremarkable clothing in analogous colors. Neutral hair of medium length, neutral skin, no beauty marks or tattoos. Her posture wasn’t open or closed, just demure, accepting. Her eyes were on the path or whatever was just below another person’s clear view of her face.

She was the new kid in high school—a sophomore—in a town of fewer than 500 people. The males were sharks, circling for a couple of weeks before deciding she wasn’t much of a thang. The females seemed not to notice her.

Heaven, though, don’t let her smile. I mean, she had a closed-lip smile that failed to reach open eyes and left her head in the down-nod position. In that sense, she smiled constantly.

The first snowy day of school, everyone took off their shoes at the wide entry hall. What a picture that made! She followed the lead of the more experienced and added her shoes. By this time, the hallway to the classrooms was a riot of bodies run-sliding in their socks. More hilarity than injury.

She picked up her backpack and stepped away from the door onto the heated floor. Her chin lifted to share surprised green eyes, and her smile bloomed. Transformed, transfixed, she hadn’t even noticed I was watching. I was always watching, curious.

Her toes wriggled inside her socks. The building was heated from below. Her brightness spontaneously spilled at random times during that first snow day.

As much as she wished, she couldn’t return fully to the periphery of attention. What is seen cannot be unseen, much to my delight.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Author’s note: This is my fourth attempt at the letter P for the April A to Z writing prompt. Certainly not because I was displeased with the writing of the first three; however, each of the three became too intense to post.

 

Legacy Without Mirror

Legacy Without Mirror

An older man holds a sign insistent of the value of art and idea, that these superseded wealth and possessions on which the youth of most are bartered.

Yes. I’m learning this right now. Finally. It’s been hard work, ya know?

Society has a grip on what a person’s legacy looks like—another, more youthful human. Some without a legacy to mirror themselves certainly feel pressure, even condemnation for not fulfilling the order of go forth and multiply.

There is another legacy. I accept the gratefulness of a nameless traveler who ate a nearly-hot meal because we chose one path home from a restaurant rather than another. It was a cold night, though not as cold as it is now; that doesn’t matter. I’ll never forget his response.

That is enough. These are memories I build.

Perhaps my words do not number the thousand words of an Instagram, or only 140 for a Tweet. The journey man lives in my mind and I revisit his look and demeanor, his words and pure expression of thankfulness. He was in only his first 24 hours of a long wait-to-see. (Hitchhiking or walking on the highways is illegal in at least two states here in the Pacific Northwest.)

I don’t have to keep hold of a thing to retain my own value. Letting go is so much more useful.

©2013 Sandra Davidson

Confused Selves

Confusion and division will slay the finest and fiercest of troops.

I haven’t said much recently; nothing’s really been worth saying. I agree with:
We Need To Be Ashamed Of Our Confused Selves. | DEPRESSION: my muse.

I love my sisters and my nieces and nephews. They each struggle to their own degree to know who they are without the interference of all the voices around them saying who they should and shouldn’t be, what it means if they choose A and that they can’t have it both ways.

My sister, V, she’s got it now. You don’t choose: You have it all. Her babies, she holds them by the hands, barely keeping up with their tugging in each direction, but she does.

Those two boys have the world in the palms of their mother’s hands as she brings them up with her gentle laughter and I-ain’t-gonna-brook-no-**** seriousness. They’re beautiful, bold, polite, inquisitive. They stand together, they two, because she stands with them—not between them or beside them or behind them.

When you become confused, divided, told to choose—raise your beautiful eyes to the clear vision of a child. It doesn’t matter which child, whose child. Watch them for guidance as much as they watch you for the same.

©2013 Sandra Davidson

With Child and With-Child

Dear Mr. Jesus,

“Unfortunately I can’t have any children, but I have raised and had several in my life. That ship has sailed so I just make the best of the little ones in my life now.”

via Not Mine | DEPRESSION: my muse.

You have grasped the solution I still struggle to accept. I don’t struggle often; with-child isn’t a title I will wear. Every now and again, my child slides its hands around my neck and squeezes until a lump forms, and then immediately am alone to recover in gasps, wheezes and tears.

Unlike you, children are a part of my life no longer. The children who were aren’t children anymore.

Your grace and acceptance humble me.

©2013 Sandra Davidson

Reminding to Remember

“I’d like to have balance in my life, but I don’t feel I do as a rule. Sometimes for short periods of time I seem to achieve balance, and it feels real good—so good that I’d like to have it all the time.”

Balance today was revealing and also self-revealing. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and it’s hard to admit where I have been and how different I want to be from a reactionary recluse.

Jean writes, “…I don’t have to spend energy any longer scolding myself for being lazy. I’m not lazy; I’m terrified….” I take a deep breath and support my jaws in my hands as I stare at the screen. I’m not a survivor of ritual abuse or cults. I don’t have multiple personalities. Abuse. That is what we have in common and I’ll not crack myself open to count the ways, means and times.

 Jean goes on, “…the false belief that I am only worth something if I am being useful to others. …but my instinct is to put myself last. …I am worth as much as every other human being on earth—no more, no less.”

Agh. My husband, he tries to unravel my illogic when I say I am using more resources than I am giving back. I seek some—well, balance, of course, but also purpose. I do not wear a watch. That I cannot have in our home a ticking clock counting the wasted minutes and counting down to whenever it is that I will cease to exist is ridiculous but necessary or I too would be (and have been) paralyzed.

I want to turn away from you, from what you feel because your words, experiences ignite a volcano at my core—destructive, cleansing, and eventually the bedrock from which new growth rises.

Turning away is not an option. I can accept what pieces of you are so familiar to me, and I can remind myself that I know, I already know. I often just need to remember and your timing is usually right when I need reminding.