Monday, November 30, 2015

Lunacy


I used to dance with the moon. The brilliant, glittering darkness was my gown, and I wore slippers of perpetual vibrance and youth, (or so I was convinced.) When sleep arrived, it was the heavy slumber of exhaustion, and I delighted in it. My finest hours were lived in the spaces filled by Night; music, dancing, laughter, and nefarious deeds that would have never been carried out in the harsh light of day. Sleep was my companion, and I was faithful to her out of necessity, and truly thought she loved me as I did her. 

A millennium has passed, in hours at least, and Night has lost her shimmering beauty. She has become bitter (or, have I?) and she taunts me now. She and Sleep have become friendly, and they conspire against me, even though I call out to them longingly. I beg for their old, familiar embrace, but they do not answer my pleas. My once beautiful slippers are threadbare, and I mourn their loss, and despise them for deceiving me. Daylight has too few qualities I desire in a companion, so what am I left with, then? Memories of dear old friends, resilient soles (and, soul), a tired old gown that no longer fits, and an aching desire to not only wear it again, but to sparkle.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Shamanized

Frequently, I'm asked to blog again. Frequently, I tell those who ask, that I simply don't have the time. Life in my 40's has become vastly more complicated and difficult than I ever imagined. So much for the glory of adulthood.

This past weekend, I spent a fast and furious 48 hours in Washington, DC. The trip was made on a whim. A snap decision. A half dozen times between booking the flight and taking off, the voices in my head battled it out. "What are you DOING?! This isn't you!" "Oh, hush. This will be fun! Loosen up and see what's out there." So...I went. I saw things that inspired, awed, and moved me. I did things, like meeting an old friend from the blog, in person. Actually face to face! It was marvelous.

While in DC, this old, new friend from the blog, shamanized me. That's right. She worked some sort of voodoo magic. I allowed myself to do something new, something bold, something totally not me, and I let the world in. What happens, happens. What happened, was "epic," as she put it. Energy was put in motion, pain moved out, peace moved in. Breath started fast and anxious, and ended up slow, and relaxed. Calm. Peace. Love.

Whether it was my friend the Shaman, the city, the monuments, the Reiki ...I was repaired. At least briefly.

I arrived back in Texas to news that Baltimore is on fire. Literally and figuratively. The world needs shamanized. We...the collective WE, need to let love in. We need to feel the pain, convert it to energy, let it go, find peace, and move forward.

Don't talk. Just listen. Not to others, and what they want you to hear and believe, but to your inner voice. The voice has the answer.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yesterday



Yesterday, I am clueless as to how my car ended up parked neatly in the garage or how The Duchess got a bath, got her hair braided neatly, and tucked into bed by 8:30 sharp. I think I slipped into a mini-coma and functioned merely out of habit and some built-in Mommy GPS.
I vaguely remember taking The Duchess to school while wearing camo pants, a sweatshirt that didn’t match, my eyeglasses and a clip in my unkempt hair. I may have had Monday night’s martinis oozing from my pores to boot.

My car must have driven me home from the school because I woke up in my bed three hours later feeling no better than I did three hours before. The dog had planted herself firmly next to my disgusting, un-showered corpse and shot me a look that said, “Really? Three hours? I’ve had to pee for the last two.”

My inner fat chick arm wrestled the part of me that wanted to climb back up the stairs and throw myself on the bed again, so I made a turkey sandwich, ate a giant handful of cheese balls and polished off a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich. Honestly, I have no idea what I did up until the time my cell phone rang and I answered only to hear Snotty on the other end begging for a ride home from school because she had cramps.

Somehow I managed to pick Snotty up, listen to the one hundred and ten exclamations of, “I’m gonna die…I know I’m gonna die,” retrieve The Duchess from school, return home and help with homework.

At some point I recall having the desire to eat but no desire whatsoever to actually conjure up food. It took about ten minutes of my inner fat girl yelling at my inner lazy ass before I grabbed the car keys and hit the drive-through lane at Kentucky Fried Chicken. If you haven’t had Kentucky Fried Chicken in awhile, just a word of advice: let your inner lazy ass talk your inner fat chick out of getting some.

The rest of the evening is a messy blur of baths, dogs, teeth brushing, etc. etc. Truthfully, I barely remember putting The Duchess to bed.

This morning when the alarm on my cell phone sounded, I had the overwhelming urge to throw it through the window and fake an illness so horrific that it would give me an excuse to not have to take The Duchess to school for the rest of the week. Mr. Right was out of state on business though, so I’d only be shooting myself in my own damn size 8 ½. Up and at ‘em, Warrior Mommy.

By sheer willpower and the strong desire to not let my sweet daughter see her mother once again taxi her to school looking like a B movie zombie, I dragged my bloated arse off the bed and actually managed to put on a little eye makeup and clothes that matched. Kind of.

I’ve spent the better part of the day trying with all my might to be productive and to, “snap out of it,” but Middle Sister’s phone call Monday night is still rattling around in my brain box and I’ve yet to be able to rid myself of the shrapnel caused by the explosion that reverberated through my skull when Sister said, “Dad is going back to jail.”

No child, no matter the age of that child, should ever have to hear those words once, much less twice. But, as they say, “shit happens.”

It took the thirteen years my father served in prison, plus another eight or nine for me to work through all of the shit-that-happened. I had to come up with truthful, yet not completely accurate answers to questions such as, “where does your dad live,” and, “what does your father do for a living?” Sure, I tried the truth a few times, but quickly learned that for some strange reason, having a father who’s in the clink for murdering his girlfriend isn’t the most acceptable fodder for small talk at cocktail parties. Who would have thought that people would judge ME for the sins of my father?! People are odd, no? 

After thirteen years of collect calls from prison and censored letters that my eyes only got to see second hand after a prison guard's…after thirteen years of declared repentance and promises of becoming the father he’d never been, he was returned to society and back to the Land of Stainless Steel Utensils. I braced myself for the impending tsunami of love and affection that was soon to wash upon the shores of my childish and broken heart.

The tsunami never arrived. Nor did a wave, a ripple or a droplet quench my thirsting heart. I reached out. I called, wrote letters and sent items for which he’d asked. Still…not even a speck of humidity.

When my Gram passed away, Mr. Right and I traveled to Illinois to attend her funeral. For the first time in twenty years, I was going to see my father. I have no idea what I expected, but whatever it was, I didn’t get it. As we left my Gram’s house two days later, I turned and watched the shape of my father growing smaller in the background. It was then that I knew that the father-sized shape in my heart would never be filled and that it was time to start letting go.

It’s a strange thing it is. I thought I’d done a pretty swell job of filling in that void in my heart. I’d accepted things as they were and moved forward. Nice and neat was the package I’d tied a string around and tucked far back into the corner of my ticker.

With one click of a button, with one uttered, “hello, Sister,” with one blink of an eye and one nervously delivered sentence, I shattered once again.


This time…oh, this time…he’s learned his lesson. THIS time, he’ll never touch a gun or a drink again. No one was hurt this time and it was all just a big silly ordeal, but for sure…he’s learned his lesson this time.

Today I’ve thought about what I would say to him if I saw him. I’ve come to the conclusion that I probably wouldn’t say anything. Not because I have nothing to say and not because there aren’t things I want him to hear, but because he wouldn’t hear them. He's incapable. My words wouldn’t change a thing.

Middle Sister keeps hanging on. She clings by the tips of her fingernails to the precipice of the deep empty canyon of Fatherly Love. She explained to me her yearning to be a better human being than my father and her feeling is that if she continues to hold on and remain a part of his life, she will have done better than he did with his father. She still desperately hopes that one day he will give her heart what it has so desperately needed since the beginning of her memory. I understand her need and her desire, really I do. It just hurts my heart to know her longing.

My path will be different from Middle Sister’s. I will choose, rightly or wrongly, to continue healing until nothing remains but a daddy shaped scar.

Scars have a certain beauty, I think. When I look in the mirror at the Frankenstein-ish scar left on my clavicle from the two surgeries after my car accident, I am vividly reminded of my own frailty. But, sometimes…when my shoulder is really hurting me, I reach up and run my fingers over the uneven scar tissue and smile, because it is proof positive that I also have the ability to heal and to overcome more pain than I thought I could bear. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finding Home


Growing up, my home life was much like living in a circus whose performers had recently escaped from the local asylum so, the subject of Home has always been a touchy one for me. What is it about Home that stirs within our hearts such emotion, such happiness, such bitterness and such angst?

In my 20’s, day after endless day was spent being wretchedly and miserably partnered to a wretched and miserable mate, and I often found myself longing for Home. After the initial trickle of tears would begin, the realization would hit me that I had no home to which I could go. This thought would completely break the dam, and all hell would break loose in the desolate cavern that was my heart. Where was Home?!? What was Home?

For a while during my childhood, Home was a place. Home sat at the edge of hundreds of acres of corn in Southern Illinois and was warmed only by a pot-bellied stove in the winter and cooled by open doors and screen-free windows during the summer. Home was the place I left every summer morning as soon as the sun lifted its fiery red head and to where I returned when it dropped its lazy round bottom below the horizon every evening. Home was where I ran barefoot, wild and free through fields of corn. It was where my sisters and I skated on frozen creeks in the winter, pretending we were beautiful ice skaters, despite the fact that our “skates” were Wonder Bread wrappers secured with rubber bands to hand-me-down tennis shoes.  It was where my mother made bath soap in a churn in the front yard and where we ate watermelon while sitting on the tailgate of my father’s battered truck. Home was this place…this ancient, run-down, dilapidated, beautiful place. And, as it turns out, this house was the last place I would ever truly feel at home…until now.

After moving from that old house when I was the ripe old age of eight, life became much more treacherous. Home became a place to lay my head at night, a place from which to flee during the day, and at night a place I feared to return. Details aren’t necessary to tell my tale. You’ve most likely experienced very similar bumps and bruises to body and brain, dysfunctions and malfunctions, loss of innocence and hard-earned gains in character. What I will tell you…and don’t act shocked…is that life is hard.  So difficult at times, in fact, that our brain boxes often seek refuge and sometimes in the most unlikely places. In retrospect, I look back on moments in my life and wonder, “Why in the bloody hell did I ever want to go home?!”

Now that I’m in my 40’s, happily partnered and the recipient of large doses of expensive therapy, I can sit back with relative ease and survey my past. I see much more humor in it now.  The harsh lines have softened and memories are seen through the hazy filter of time. My family has become what I refer to as a, “family by choice” and Home is an ever so lovely stained glass window made of places, people and feelings.

In talking to my friends and family over the years about what Home means to them, I’ve heard varied responses. A friend of mine grew up in the same house her entire life and, to this day still goes home with her husband to that same house. She says she gets excited that she’s almost Home as soon as the highway signs over I-35 say, “Oklahoma City.” Getting through Oklahoma City means she’s only about an hour away from her old house and the landmarks become familiar. Those signs tell her that Mama isn’t far away and, as she put it to me, “Home is where Mama is.”

My sister says that Home is where she’s created a history, formed relationships, become familiar with an area and has made memories. “Given enough time,” she says, “Anywhere can feel like Home.” Indeed, when you walk into her house, no matter if she’s lived there for ten years or a month, her shelves contain the same old familiar and comfortable books and treasures. She carries with her those tangible memories that make her feel at home.

My friend J.T., (and former Sadie Hawkins Dance partner, whether he remembers it or not!) says that because his family lived in several houses during his childhood, Home has become something all together different than merely a place. Home is when he’s with friends and family and the conversation turns to, “Do you remember when…?” “That,” he says, is when he’s “home.” Shared memories and shared pasts sometimes have sturdier walls than even the best built houses.

My cousin’s mother passed away last November, and she no longer feels a connection to “home.” Her sister attempts family get-togethers, but the sense of belonging remains lost to her. She has yet to be able to find her way home again, but I know she will because she commented to me, “home right now, is where my sister is.”  Home still exists for her but her heart remains much too broken to accept that Home will be different now.

My sister-in-law grew up in a crowded, loud and chaotic household (Actually, several crowded, loud and chaotic households). She now feels that, Home is where there is “peace, quiet and comfort.” I’m fairly positive that she would be perfectly at home if her favorite comfy chair suddenly took flight and landed in the middle of a jungle, so long as the Natives left her to her iPad (and chanted very quietly). Home for her, is being where there is literal peace and quiet.

Across the country in D.C., I have a soulful and beautiful friend who feels at home when she’s in the kitchen cooking for her closest friends and family. She’s a kindred spirit, she is! Home is not where she was raised, but who walks through her doors, eats her food, and who makes her laugh until she forgets that any variation of Home ever existed outside of her chalet walls.

Then…there’s my sweet friend I’ve known since high school whose longing for home is deep and intense right now. Her parents are fading, and her extended family is in emotional shambles. Mere photographs of her childhood home bring tears to her eyes, and even traumatic memories are all but forgotten to make room in her heart to remember Home as she needs it to be remembered. Although tragedy, pain, and misery happened within those walls, “Home,” is still that old house on Walnut Street where she felt safe and where there was a sanctuary from town gossip and judgmental peers.

In all of these stories, there are differences but, even so, the similarities remain. “Home,” it seems, is indeed, “where the heart is.” Broken hearts feel homeless even among the familiar faces of family. Gypsy feet may wander hither and yon, but always feel at home when planted firmly next to an old friend’s while swapping tales of yesteryear. Highway signs that lead us down well worn roads to houses we know our way around by heart, don’t tell us what really makes that house a home. What makes it “home” is who is behind the door waiting with open arms when we arrive.

Looking back on those times when I wondered why I ever wanted to go home again, I now understand what it was that I really wanted. It wasn’t the chaos, the shabby house, or the emotionally absent parents. What I wanted was comfort and the feeling that I belonged somewhere.  Now that I’m grown with a family of my own, and I’ve had plenty of time to sort through the tattered old memories which comprise the scrapbook of my life, it is clear to me that I am home. I’m home because I’m loved, and because I stay in touch with old friends with whom I share a home town and a heart-shaped box of memories. I am home because I have a sister whom I love, who loves me and who knows all of my secrets and keeps them safe. I am home because when I cook for my friends and family, we eat and laugh and share our souls with each other. Home is in my heart, and it abides there, wherever the road may take me.

They say you can’t go home again, but I’ll let you in on a secret: You can. 



As written by Amy Colclasure Warner for the inaugural edition of Hom~o Magazine, published October 2011.http://www.hom-o.com/ All rights reserved. Content may not be duplicated. Artwork by Alex R. Warner. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dusk Dame




It is after the sun has set that I feel most like Me.
If I were a cowboy in one of those old-time Western movies 
and they asked me to ride off into the sunset,
that's when the real fun would begin.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Final Waltz



Reaching for his hand she laughed and said,
"Dancing with you is so much fun.
I want to go on but, I'm ever so tired."
He smiled and pressed his lips against her ear
and said, "My love, I've never been able to keep up with you." 
She blew him a kiss and leading as usual,
 let her hand slip from his and gently
waltzed away.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Musterion


Only after the moon came out
and the stars began their evening dance 
did she reveal her true identity.
Oh...what beauty and mystery the moonlight revealed! 
And when the sun rose, so no one would be the wiser,
she once again donned her daytime disguise
of an apron and sensible shoes.