Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Trading Time for Time



 I haven't been here for a while...Life, it happens to us all.

  We are all time traders of one kind or another. I realized this fact while writing all the words that have come before this post. It was a wonderfully flawed, strong soul who started me on this journey and it is he who has continued teaching me still- even as he is years now gone from us.

  I sat in a room for weeks that seemed like months- at other times as -minutes with that soul in his last times on this Earth within the confines of a body that ultimately failed him, as all of ours will. I was there only as a supporting role. I was an in-law, an out-law, one of many that were in attendance.

  I had no pent up hurts or slights held as if treasures tightly to my breast, no unresolved issues with this man who could no longer make amends. I had known him when, in those waning years, he had too much time and so he traded it for sorrows. That painful place where memories are open wounds that never truly heal. We had held hands as he cried over his own falsehoods, his short temper and long grudges. Ashes all.

  I listened as he poured out his failures, the ones that haunted him. This was a strong man, a force in all things. I sat while he bowed his head to hide his tears. I myself am strong in my own way, I too have held firm, but there is nothing in this life that prepared me for it- when a mighty one became humbled, sorrowful of his own nature and completely...filled with regret for his own sureties which he later realized were in error. He could name off dozens, they took up his hours and gave him nothing worthy in return.

  I cannot speak for the others who shared that soul's last days. I would never presume to. As for myself, he gave me a gift it would take me years to fully discover and though it cannot be insured or measured, it is the most treasured thing I own, and I do own it.

 Recently, I was honored to be included in a small private gathering, in the company of souls who were heading down that same path as had been traveled with that other man. Again, it was another Patriarch, one who had been massive in his presence and now his body had been abandoned by his knowing mind. Leaving his own family to become time traders.

  We all do it, we look back over things, some good -others not, to do so we must give up the present. We are linear on this plane. We are free to thumb through our past, we can linger over hurts or joys all that we choose to, for a price. Time is still going forward, whether we wish it to or not. Choose well.

  The day will come when our hourglass simply will no longer turn for us. Where ever we have chosen to allow our thoughts to meander, whatever time we have traded, will be etched in stone with a name and a date. We will be carried forward through others who will be trading their own hours in our memory. Be worthy.

 The cavern between that first great man and some who loved him was never transversed. It was not to be. I saw the pain it caused, but I could do nothing. He could not lay down his shield and they saw no choice but to leave with one more strike from a dying man who never laid the blow. Let it go.

  There is a great honor, a spiritual renewing, in helping another being in the twilight hours, when they are neither child nor adult, but a new being too heavy to carry and to helpless to leave. We must learn to see them for what they are and also to understand that this is a natural progression, one that we all must go through, not in regret for the ravages of disease or the rages of discourse but as a step toward something more. Have hope.

 It is a new kind of time trading. There is something healing in these precious moments of caring for one who can no longer do for themselves. Be open.

 Grace is found in these times, if we choose to acknowledge it. Hands that once wielded great power at last tremble without control. Eyes once judgmental, all knowing, are lost to things unseen. It may be too late for the apologies we all feel we are entitled to, the endearments we did not receive, kind words withheld, but we can free those very things from our own moorings. In holding those once capable hands, let go of any slights. Give your time and you will gain doubly.

  It is a very easy thing to say, but they do not know me, they do not recognize me and to walk away,  with no more resolutions gained. It misses the point. It is no longer about "them", it is about us, me, you. It is about watching over the watcher and comforting the once mighty. It heals us.

  In nurturing our those in our present we can release the bitter past. It does not mean that the suffering was less than or that you are giving in. It takes the greatest strength, when finally finding oneself with the whip in hand and deciding to let it drop. Righteous indignation is never right. It is a thinly veiled attempt to excuse one-selve's own behavior by laying the blame with another.

  I believe that God is within us all. We see this most clearly in the very young and again in the oldest among us. They are not our burden, they are our salvation. There is no greater trade of time than one that blesses both the giver and the receiver and by lovingly caring for one who has done you harm, as we all will do, you free yourself. Be Free.

  I send you love and as always, hope. Live in grace given and it will be received. This is your life. Bad things are going to happen. Live anyway. Love hard and hold fast. We all trade time. Trade wisely.

   I am asked many times how can I forgive, because I wish to be free. Because it is a gift I ask for everyday and I will never get what I refuse to give. Because I want to be more than a set of stories, blog posts and news clippings. Because I am trading time for time and it is good.

With great love to SP, DSP, JD, CM


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Salt and the Sweet

I am sitting here, either too early in the morning or too late at night, my cheeks aching from smiling too much...if there is such a thing. There have been many changes in my life in the last year, some painful and others wondrous. This latest one is by far, both the most surprising and rewarding. I really do not remember when I first noticed it. That thrill you get when something special happens, be it a unexpected, yet appreciated compliment or maybe an much treasured gift. Only, now it is not about things that happen to me, or for me, rather it is the sheer joy I feel in watching someone else fulfill their dreams. I have had the honor of witnessing several wonderful souls reach their goals of late and it is a glorious thing.

 I know that two years ago, or so, I would have been "happy as I could be for them", but I would be secretly comparing my life, my goals to theirs. I would be looking for ways to discount the value of their efforts in order to appease my own feeble ego. I no longer do that. I read a quote a bit ago and it really touched me. It convicted me and I could not deny my own image when I saw it reflected within the adage: "Your light will never shine brighter by blowing out another's." Oh, well...there I was...right there...Well I mean, I have vacationed in denial before, but somethings you just have to own.

  So, instead of seeing the place where the needle may have slipped, where the craftsmanship could have been slightly improved, I celebrated the confirmation of the possible. The beauty in the creation. If someone else could do it, then it could be done. If it could be done, then I could do it. And in the mean time, how cool was it that someone I had watched pour themselves out, struggle and stretch to grow into what they would need to be to achieve their goals, reached them.
I had the freedom of no excuses. Of owning my place and the power to change it. How amazing is that?

 My soul is made happiest now by doing things for other people. Whether it is a big thing or a small one, and it matters not, if they ever know I did it. It is the simple act of giving, of serving from one soul to another. I am in love.

  That is exactly what this is. I am hopelessly and unabashedly in love with the lightness and joy my soul feels when I let go of myself and concentrate on someone else. It is the most marvelous thing. It is a delirious, drunken, headiness that I can only compare to seeing my children's beautiful faces for the very first time. It is something spiritual. Something my soul is doing of it's own accord. I hope that you are well. Life is hard, bad things are going to happen. Hang in there, because there will always be good, if you cannot find it, be it. It is life's salt and sweet. And I try to always, always, remind myself, when given the choice, be kind. I have never regretted being kind. 

The Salt & The Sweet

I am sitting here, either too early in the morning or too late at night, my cheeks aching from smiling too much...if there is such a thing. There have been many changes in my life in the last year, some painful and others wondrous. This latest one is by far, both the most surprising and rewarding. I really do not remember when I first noticed it. That thrill you get when something special happens, be it a unexpected, yet appreciated compliment or maybe an much treasured gift. Only, now it is not about things that happen to me, or for me, rather it is the sheer joy I feel in watching someone else fulfill their dreams. I have had the honor of witnessing several wonderful souls reach their goals of late and it is a glorious thing.

 I know that two years ago, or so, I would have been "happy as I could be for them", but I would be secretly comparing my life, my goals to theirs. I would be looking for ways to discount the value of their efforts in order to appease my own feeble ego. I no longer do that. I read a quote a bit ago and it really touched me. It convicted me and I could not deny my own image when I saw it reflected within the adage: "Your light will never shine brighter by blowing out another's." Oh, well...there I was...right there...Well I mean, I have vacationed in denial before, but somethings you just have to own.

  So, instead of seeing the place where the needle may have slipped, where the craftsmanship could have been slightly improved, I celebrated the confirmation of the possible. The beauty in the creation. If someone else could do it, then it could be done. If it could be done, then I could do it. And in the mean time, how cool was it that someone I had watched pour themselves out, struggle and stretch to grow into what they would need to be to achieve their goals, reached them.
I had the freedom of no excuses. Of owning my place and the power to change it. How amazing is that?

 My soul is made happiest now by doing things for other people. Whether it is a big thing or a small one, and it matters not, if they ever know I did it. It is the simple act of giving, of serving from one soul to another. I am in love.

  That is exactly what this is. I am hopelessly and unabashedly in love with the lightness and joy my soul feels when I let go of myself and concentrate on someone else. It is the most marvelous thing. It is a delirious, drunken, headiness that I can only compare to seeing my children's beautiful faces for the very first time. It is something spiritual. Something my soul is doing of it's own accord. I hope that you are well. Life is hard, bad things are going to happen. Hang in there, because there will always be good, if you cannot find it, be it. It is life's salt and sweet. And I try to always, always, remind myself, when given the choice, be kind. I have never regretted being kind. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I Am, a Letter to Apple & Others


In this day and age of fast paced internet and electronics that manage and rule our lives, it is very easy to fall into a blissful lull of tech tranquility. Everything is synced. My laptop talks to my tablet, which talks to my phone and my camera, which is on a first name basis with my TV. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. Everything can go wrong and when it does...be aware help is hard to find, no matter what promises are laid before you. It is all just digital dogma set out to make us feel comforted as we are tracked, logged through every device we own or even casually come in contact with. My car? It talks to my phone, which we already know cannot keep a secret. 

 I vaguely knew these things, in a detached "who cares about anything I do?" kind of way. Seriously, not that interesting over here and I like it that way. So, when all the NSA, Snowdon things came out, well you know...I felt I should care, but really...eh, I am an open book. I could not relate. So strung out on my supply of instant answers from my smart phone that answered my questions with a cheeky attitude, meant I am sure, to entertain me while she logged all my activities, my location and what not. Still, I am you know...whatevs about it because...dude again, boring. 

 And then one day it got real. Actually it was months. It has been many, many months and I can never go back to that half sleeping state of digital delirium again. 

 As my marriage came undone, so did my privacy. While investigating glitches and lag times on my MacBookPro, my computer wiz found a remote access. I take my laptop everywhere. There would never be a need for such a thing and in fact, due to the sensitive nature of the things I become the keeper of, other people's painful experiences, my laptop is always locked. The list of culprits were short and the wait for help...well it is still long, 7 months now and counting. 

 I hocked my baubles and bought a shiny new Apple, not willing to trust the treasonous tendencies of the old one, I spent extra on the best, I was assured, security software. I was fine. I changed all my passwords and cut the list of who was welcome in my home to a small handful. I set about on my way, thinking I was back to my supply of living a life spent interacting with the world through Apple. You see, I live most of my life right here, online. It was a safe bubble, or so I thought. It was my lifeline to the world. How I stay connected to those I loved and how expressed myself. 

  I had no idea how quickly that could be taken from me. The relationships I had established with different authors, writers in all forms, artists, healers and even the ways I practice my faith could be cut away from me, with a few mere key strokes. 

  It started with a continual keychain error. It was no big deal, something to do with the OS upgrade. I called Apple. 
It was fixed and then it wasn't. This same issue continued to come up. I was told to reformat my computer...if you know what that means, you know what that means... This was just the beginning. A remote access was again found and viewer logs on my new computer. I lost all administrative control of my laptop. Now, if you wish to upset any person who uses their laptop as an electronic version of themselves...take away their admin powers. Especially one they have invested $3,000 in. Seriously, it is an effective way to get in touch with a person’s inner anger. I went through any number of Apple employees. There was Korie, she was nice and assured me she could help. Apple felt, as I did that someone was continually hacking me, in fact a kind employee named Mark said he would make it his mission to get to the bottom of this. He was the first one to say he thought it must be connected to my ex, because it was such a continual, targeted attack. Then came Eric, he and I played digital chess for over three weeks. That is right, I had my own Apple employee who called ME...everyone said pretty much the same thing: 

  I needed to have Pierce County Sheriff's Office assign someone to the case and contact the legal department for Apple and then Apple would provide all the information regarding my account. It sounded so easy,  Except, it was not. It took months, months to get the attention of the Sheriff's Department. In fact, one officer spent the better part of 45 minutes counseling me to get over my wasband and move on. As if I, were the one harassing someone, when clearly I was the victim. This same font of wisdom stated, when I shared my clear fear of this person I felt was stalking me unchecked that "My ex is in love and has a new life and you need to move on." Seriously, this was a member of the Sheriff's Department. When I reminded him of the reasons for my great concerns he countered with "In my experience, your ex is just a big talker. You can take it for what it is worth, he isn't going to do anything." 

 Perfect. It took another month and a half or so of pleading and finally, I simply went to the Crystal Judson Center and would not leave until I spoke with someone. That got me a sit down with a prosecutor who refused to look at any evidence. Not the ip addresses and read outs of the different computers that had accessed my various e-mail, Facebook and other accounts. Nothing. I wrote an email to the online site of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department and that got me a call from Detective Stepp. We sat down I showed him proof of what I say, including vulgar attacks I have received online and the contact information for the sites where these things have occurred. Because, these sites, they actually want to help. So far, nothing. Detective Stepp stated he was unable to reach anyone at Apple. So, while we sat there I called them myself. Surprisingly, for the first time in 6 months the person on the other end had NO idea who could help us. Seriously Apple?

 I spoke with Detective Stepp on Monday and once again, he has not heard from Apple. I however did talk to Apple this weekend. In an odd set of events, I could not sign into my Apple id. I spoke with Chad Jones and we went back and forth until we got it handled and then, oddly he wished to know what "we" were looking for with a subpoena and his second question, one he repeated many times, “who did I think was doing it”. Why would anyone, least of all a customer service person care about such a things? It is Wednesday, it has been over two weeks since Apple was notified by a member of law enforcement that they needed the information to serve a subpoena. I am one small person. I have no secrets. I live a simple life. I have no secrets. I still somehow have grown to feel a fear, a sense of being hunted, haunted.
Of great foreboding. I cannot write. I do not sleep, I sit here and I wait, for what I do not know. I do not understand. This should be so easy. I collected all the proof of ip addresses and how my laptop was breached, with no help from anyone else. Just me and google. If I can show everything I say is true, if I have an active Restraining Order, why will no one help me? I will not stop, I will not give up. This is not okay. And I am sitting here shifting through feeling so helpless and hopeless, so overwhelmed and alone and an anger that has laid dormant since my childhood. The feeling that I am once again lost to other’s wishes and I do not matter. Oh, PTSD, you never leave me. This is not okay. It is not okay to do this to a person. This is cruel and wrong and I am not going to be silent. I am small. I am one, but I AM and that will be enough.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Silence



 In every circumstance there is a lesson. I find myself often asking no one in particular, why? And on most occasions of late, the answer has been the same. Silence.  Whoever it was that stated silence is golden, lied. Silence is a sharp knife on tender flesh. It is an endless, aching quest unfulfilled. A hunger unquenchable, a void too great to be breached.

  It is pain and sorrow too great to be spoken. Silence is a weapon cruelly turned on a beloveds soul.
It is an echo unanswered. A careless, wanton heart with a fickle beating. Muffled, intentionally, quieted to inflict a demon's desires on freshly formed love. A forced kiss from dry lips. Dust laid thick on words of adore.

 Silence is a mourning of all things lost. A sentinel, ever guarding dark things. It carries more grief than tears can measure. It will awaken you from the deepest of sleeps to bid you listen, forever listen. Waiting for a message that will not come. It demands your attention but gives nothing in return.

I have tried to parse it out...the what and the how of it. I plot out waypoints, looking for a star, some far off light to show where I have gone astray. I make attempts to understand, to give atonement, appeasement to this stranger who has taken up residence without invitation.

  Silence is not moved. It will be neither coddled nor bullied.  Eviction notices pile up at its door and still it persists. Accusing in its attitude, as if I were somehow the interloper. I can reason out any puzzle, pairing up things in their proper order, but I do not understand silence's game. I search endlessly through tomes and words left by those far wiser than I can ever hope to be. Yet I come away with nothing..

 There is no place named silence on any map that I have found. Rest assured, I have looked, in hopes of finding its secrets. What is to sit in this place so empty? Is it something I have lost? Was it never really there? Endlessly my fevered mind cries out for the why.

  Silence will not be banished by a crowd. No, it will sit patiently at your shoulder biding its time.
For silence is not ruled by any clock or timetable. Its schedule is its own and it will not be swayed from its coarse. You may put it off for a scant hour or two. Silence smiles slyly, nodding to itself secure in its knowledge that it will linger long after your last visitor has gone.

 
 Silence is its own cruel master and its demands are high. Silence has weight and measure, can be felt yet goes unseen. It slips in and out of a room at will.

  So, here I sit with my jagged edges that will not stay in place and a reckless heart too loyal for its own good and I wait. Silence and I will keep house until its purpose is clear. I am adept at waiting it is my strong suit and so I wrap myself in this cloak of nothingness and give my companion its due.

 Finally it whispers, a soft sound of a voice unused to it's own tone. "Be still and know", not every lesson is meant for me. I am merely a witness, a small bump on a long road that someone else is traveling. In this I find great comfort. Silence also holds grace and I am thankful

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Haunting



  Your words came to me today...I do not understand, I will never understand. They reminded me of other words set down for me, from you. I have them all, every text and e-mail, every card and Valentine. When I miss you I read them.

  I do not know what it is that you want from me, whatever it is I cannot give it. Your feelings are your own and I am no one to argue over them. They belong only to you. It pains me to think that I have somehow harmed you. The one I loved so. What is it that you are trying to get me to say? Or to do? You make accusations so easily proved false...why? Is it not enough? Will it ever be enough?
Must medical records be produced now as well?

  You break me.

  I read those words that started the ending of it all. I reexamine them looking for clues...
There is nothing. Only lies professing your love on what was to be a surprise birthday for me. You could not have startled me more. The truth is often an unwelcome gift, but it is much better than the continued lies. How long did you plan? The better part of a year it seems.

  I poured all the love I could hold into you but it was not enough.
I cannot get passed your words. Why? If you attacked me for something I had actually done there would be a solution. How am I to address a lie set out merely to do me harm, to color other's opinions? To isolate me further? Why?

  I do not understand, I will never understand.

  For any harm I have caused you, I am truly and deeply sorry.

However, I will not let your lies stand unchallenged. I love you. I will always love you, but not enough to sacrifice life for your pleasure.

 Let me be. That is all I have asked throughout this. Leave me be. Let us dedicate our lives to forgetting each other.

I am haunted, by your words, your deeds by others who come to add to my pain.

I mourn. I think of you and I am deeply grieved. Nothing he could have ever done would have achieved what you did so effortlessly. Will it ever be enough? Is it finally enough for you?

you haunt me and I grieve

Friday, February 21, 2014

Elephants of Dust



 It starts as a little thing really..a bit of easy emotional housekeeping. Someone lifts the mental rug
and another sweeps whatever issue between them under it. There is an agreement to let it be. No one can see it and so, just as when they were children, they believe it does not exist. As time goes by, this ritual is repeated again and again.

 What started as an easy way to keep the peace has become a lifestyle. Eventually one person cannot see another for the mole hill, turned into a mountain, standing between them. Some will try to climb it only to either slip and slide and come rolling back down in complete failure or they will huff and puff and mop their brow at the effort it took just to reach the top of that mount of denial, vowing it is far too much work. Planting themselves on top of the hill and refusing to budge and vowing to never make the trek again. Others prefer to go around the subject. It is a journey of many words and it is equally exhausting.

  As always happens, someone new comes along and see the lump in the middle of the room. It might be an elephant made of dust, one never knows it is covered so well with threadbare cloth. Unaware of
the rules, this well meaning soul will lift up the carpet and peer beneath, sending up great waves of half forgotten slights and unresolved issues drifting on the breeze.

  There will be great clamoring, protests and complaints. Sputters of "how dare you interlope!" and the like shall be shouted from on high of the mount. The visitor will be perplexed. In an effort to solve a problem that can only get larger and will someday out grow both the rug and it's room, they have unwittingly become the target of scorn. An instigator. The lesson is simple. Some would rather wallow in piles of ash then to live together in truth.