Turn it off

Have you ever felt totally completely alone, even when there are others all around you

Whether you are by yourself or at a party and you get that feeling that absolute feeling

That you are utterly alone in the universe? That nobody ever gets you, nor will they ever?

If ever there is a feeling I’ve carried with me forever it is that feeling, that raging knapsack of doubt, fear, Neediness, utter neediness.

 Is it being the youngest child? Is it being completely self-absorbed? Is it the creative gene?

Or do all people feel this way at one time or another, like they’re sitting on the edge of a knife

Like at any minute they just may explode from the intensity of their need? I think I’ve heard of other people feeling this way, but that can’t be true, can it? Can the world really be full of us?

 I feel like I’m in the circus and I’m tied to that spinning board and there’s a man in a black cape

Throwing daggers at my head, but he’s hoping to hit me, right through the brain, if he hits the wood,

He’s missed his true target. It would be easier for him to make his mark than for me to be free.

Some days I feel it’s just me,

Some days I’m walking through the forest alone but feel my Creator

Inside me, around me and we commune, He and me, and some days it’s like I’ve been, like the detritus

Of the Titanic, lost forever on the bottom of the ocean, never to be found again.

 

But learning, shutting out the doubt and fear, the voices, real and imagined, that hurl insults

Shutting it down, tuning it out. I will be me and do what I do and when the good comes

It comes and when the bad comes I’ll try not to slip and fall into the mire again, but, no doubt, I will.

I will feel it again, I’ll feel it all, again and again, because this is who I am and one day maybe I’ll learn to

Turn it off.

 

 

Follow Your Passion

I have always sought beauty truth and love and have tried to be as genuine as I knew how to be at whatever point in my life I found myself. You do what you know to do, like Maya said, when you know better, you do better.

I’ve learned so much over the past several years, it’s amazing what comes to you straight from God/the universe when you tune out all the noise. There was a time when isolating myself would’ve brought me destruction but this time it brought me salvation in its truest sense.

Why is it that I am now in my early fifties I see so much clearer than I ever have? It’s hard to have any kind of spiritual experience, epiphany or paradigm shift without everyone around you blanching and fleeing. Such experiences are as personal as your own blood and DNA and often cannot be fully related to others, I’ve learned to accept that. I don’t know why I feel such a need for others, particularly those I care about, to understand me, but I am now settling for acceptance and I’m also allowing that those who need to leave my life are going and new ones are pouring in every day. Finding a new tribe at this juncture in my life… who knew? And I love the ones leaving enough to let them go, want them to, even. And I welcome my new friends with open arms and an open heart.

This path I’m living and walking down is so full of wonder, joy, and contentment and that is because I’ve been blessed with love and care in my life and creative outlets that keep me sane. I’m a recovering people-pleaser who has been set free and I’ve learned that more people than ever connect with me when I’m my truest, realist, most vulnerable self.

Anytime you do something creative you are putting yourself out there—wide open to the judgment of others. Writing, painting, poetry, all of those things, can feel as though you’ve emptied your very heart and served it up on a platter. Then comes the tough part of seeing how others react to that, to the things birthed out of your very soul. It’s not an easy life if you are sensitive (and by and large Creatives are very sensitive), so we must develop the thickness of skin to let criticism fall away (from those who just don’t get it) secure in the knowledge that those who DO get it, they are your audience, your target. You WILL find those who love and appreciate both who you are and what you do.

To my fellow Creatives out there, if you’re feeling unloved and misunderstood, welcome to the wonderful world of Creativity! It can hurt sometimes, but you’re gonna love it. Press on, don’t listen to nay-sayers, follow your passion.

 

 

 

 

 

power and control and being a woman

Bringing Order to Chaos, that’s what I do 

Or at least that’s how I explain it to myself and others but what it may actually be is trying to impose a measure of my will in any given situation, to prove I have some power.

 What causes a control freak, what are the ingredients?

Is it born with you as part of your DNA or is it that which life draws onto your soul?Looking back over my early life I remember many times I felt I had no control and that made me anxious, maybe even rebellious because by damn nobody was ever going to control me again. I’d be the master of my own destiny.  

That “don’t tell me what to do” attitude grew in me quicker than a fox on a hunt. At seventeen I just knew I was grown… enough. Had to move out of my parent’s house even before I graduated high school because I knew better, I didn’t need anyone else telling me what to do. 

I can remember feeling powerless with a guy in the back of a car, powerless and also ashamed that I’d allowed myself to get into such a position. That wasn’t me or who I was supposed to be. But I was there, not because I really wanted to be, what I had wanted was someone’s time and attention, affection… love. I had no desire to be mauled in the backseat of a car. But a man (or I should say boy) knows exactly what to say to get a woman to respond, just what she wants to hear.  

But when a woman stands up for herself and takes back control she’s seen as sinful, brazen, haughty, bitchy. How dare we stand up for ourselves and demand respect? Who do we think we are? 

Unfortunately just saying “I am not in control, God is in control” has not been enough for me. 

Are we not also created by God to be loved, cherished, beheld? Yes, but not our strength, no, never that. We are loved so long as we stay in our place. This feeling I understand. Of course I do, I’m a woman. I’ve been objectified, talked about as if I wasn’t in the room, used and discarded like a wad of tissue, teased, bullied and perhaps above all, underestimated. Maybe that’s the worst one of all. Having people expect less of you because you’re a woman, think you are not smart, not intelligent, not capable of any sort of greatness in thought or deed. 

I’ve never really considered myself to be a feminist, at least not in the same way that others appear to be, I’m not a very militant person, but even I know that every human being deserves, and has the right to demand respect from others. I agree with equal pay for equal work and some other issues. 

In my life I’ve seen so many women utterly lose themselves in a man, and not always in a good way, I mean totally lose sight of who they are.  

A friend of mine when I was young used to drive with her windows down in 90 degree summer weather, not because her car didn’t have a/c but because her husband forced her to. He wanted to save a few pennies on gas, you see, but she was the one who worked fifty-plus hours a week while he tried to find himself. (He wasn’t looking very hard. I knew just where he was) but she never seemed to get it. He ruled her with an iron fist and her eyes were clouded over with love. Really? That’s love? If I have learned anything it is that we must respect and love ourselves before we can expect it from others. We have to know what it is, enough to recognize what it is and what it isn’t.  

And that’s only one example. I saw it many times throughout my life. Girl meets boy, falls in love but doesn’t realize he is only out to use her. Women put up with emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuse and will stand up and defend the one perpetrating it on her. All in the name of love. 

We women love hard and often foolhardy. 

So when I speak my mind, when I follow my heart, when I use a gift, I am asserting a measure of control over my life.  And maybe at least some of my past experiences have influenced this control thing. (And my Rebel/Free-spirited DNA.)

 And like the song says, “God bless the broken road that lead me straight to you”—I can now say I’ve found a man that shows me a free and giving sort of love. I hope he understands me when I try to assert my power, when, as he hovers over me to give me a kiss I sometimes back away. It is sometimes a knee-jerk reaction. I’m making sure that I am in control, that nothing is gonna happen that I’m not okay with. I’ve had man-handling and I’m not okay with it, not ever again. 

He loves his mama and his sisters and he treats me with such love and respect and kindness and he brings out the best in me. Maybe he’ll be around when I finally conquer my control issues.

Piece of Myself (poem)

 

Most of my life I’ve been keeping a little bit back

A piece of me that was walled and secure

Having seen the devastation of a heart shattered by death and loss

I vowed that would never be me

So

I built that wall, brick by brick over days, over years

Turning away, tuning out, not letting people in

 

Oh I seemed to be, I showed love the best I knew how

But part of me was shut off and after a while even I didn’t notice anymore

 

And then a person comes along and sticks and stays

And they know me more and more and yet still they stick, they stay

But I don’t know how to handle that, always waiting for the shoe to drop

Waiting for them to decide that today is the day they see something in me they just cannot abide

And off they go

 

Again

 

Another one chased away by my truest self and what does that say about me?

Am I intrinsically unlovable? Why has it always seemed that the more they know

The faster they go

 

So I kept that bit, that slice of my heart in cold storage, never letting it out to thaw

Knowing that one day the tragic would happen and it would be that piece that got me through

It was my life insurance against pain you see

Because if I could keep a part of me whole I could rely on that part when the grief came

 

And it always comes

No-one is exempt

 

And now I can feel the ice melting, drip, drip, drip

And it scares the hell out of me

Because if that slice of me is gone, gone to love and acceptance and

Loving with all of my heart and soul then I am a goner

I’m done

There will be nothing left to save me from the pain

 

It’s thawing and now I can’t even stop it, the freezer has stopped working

The wall is crumbling

And when you’re gone I will lose

Even that piece of myself

 

 

blah blah blog

This week hubby is on vacation and since we’ve just had to replace the roof on our home, I’m not sitting on a beach or visiting family in far off places.

It’s going to be nice just hanging out together though, getting some projects done in the yard or around the house. Hoping to see the grands that live nearby over the coming weeks, and I get to see my younger son and his wife and family this week as well (from VA). Summer seems to bring excitement of its own…. pool times and daughter times and lots of inspiration to be found for writing poetry and painting.

Writing (and painting too for that matter) helps me process life, helps me cope and deal with the chaos in the world and often in my own mind and soul. I wonder at times how people cope if they do not have outlets such as these.

I suppose some just lead horribly stressful lives, get ulcers, eat too much or drink too much, do drugs, whatever. Anything to deal with the woes and pains of life. Faith offers a refuge as well. I am a firm believer that all people find coping mechanisms… some are more obvious than others.

But we are all humans, doing our best to navigate this earthly existence. Perhaps how we navigate is the point in the end.

Off to do something with hubby now… pull weeds or varnish artwork or run errands, not sure what, but I will do it in peace. However you cope this week, I wish you a good one.

May the Fourth Be With You! (And a bit about flowers and just being.)

A productive day today, indeed, a great week thus far, but I have not painted in a few days. Lots of  errands done, cleaning, laundry, groceries bought and the like. Keeping the day-to-day business of  life going. But like a lover pining over an out-of-town love, my heart keeps yearning for the peace, joy, contentment and often euphoria that comes with creating.

I don’t know what it is about us “Creatives” but I’m convinced we see things others do not see. For instance I’m obsessed with the flowers on my deck, the yellows, pinks, oranges… (this photo does not do them justice as they’ve been pounded with rain and wind today) but their beauty is obvious when the sun is shining and all is as it should be. They need the nourishing rain but when that sun comes out they stand a bit straighter, open a bit wider and appear to smile at the onlooker. You’ll never catch a flower struggling with ego and self, with God or fellow man, they simply… are. They spend their time being what they were created to be, in all their glory.

Is it their color that attracts me or their innate ability to fully be what they were created to be??

 

 

Emotions are for Real, ya know, like Emoticons

Just wanted to say a word (or several) about emotions today. I feel like we are taught, or at least many of us, from a very young age to stuff those things in. Emotions are relegated to a box, either positive (acceptable), or negative (unacceptable).

I’m here today to stand up for being ticked off, sad, frustrated or flustered.

It’s not about the emotions, after all, it’s about what you do with them. I used to label and stuff, label and stuff… it’s exhausting. I’m gonna call some of you out and say that some of my own friends are longtime stuffers. Stop it. Stop feeling guilty (another feeling!) about having emotions. We were created with them, weren’t we? Then the key must be knowing what to do with them.

For many years of my life I would get migraine headaches when I was upset because I was trying so hard to keep everything in and not cry or scream or let anyone know I was having a (Heaven Forbid!) negative emotion. Somewhere in my thirties I realized this and determined that if I needed to cry I was gonna cry, dad-gummit, consequences be damned. Oh, it was so freeing. To be at a funeral or watching a sad commercial on TV (ya never know with me) and just let the tears flow when they wanted to, well, that was one of the most liberating experiences of my life. The migraines stopped.

I don’t think it’s cool, necessarily, to throw yourself down and have a fit worthy of a three-year-old, but hey, maybe, (but maybe not in public). Do what ya gotta do though, let those puppies out. Like anything caged up and yearning to be free, emotions will be very unhappy in their box and will get back at you by way of tension headaches, migraines, ulcers, bitterness, just all sorts of fun things.

You want to experience personal growth? Experience your emojis. Don’t just post them, live them.

There are those in my life that I’ve come in contact with that seem to think (especially if you have a spiritual life and believe in a higher power) that one must be ALWAYS SUNNY (like Philadelphia??) always smiling and laughing and upbeat.  (Obviously I’m not very on board with that.)

Taking physicality out of the equation, there are three things I’ve always been called throughout my whole life, long as I can remember. I’ve come to terms with them and realize they are very true.

I am weird. (Yes, different, goofy, free-spirited, march to the beat of a different drum, yada-yada.)

I am REAL. (I do not put on airs-whatever that means) and what you see is what you get. I don’t get along well with people who are otherwise tempered. If you’re wearing a mask, keep on stepping, I don’t have time for that.

And 3rd, I am intense. Don’t let my sometimes sloth-like demeanor fool you, this mind is going 1,000 miles a second all the time. It never shuts down, never closes for inventory, doors always open, no cover charge any time. I haven’t slept (naturally) in…. how many years? Maybe 35? I always have to take something, Benedryl, or Something to aid me in sleeping because if not my mind never shuts off and I never sleep and I’m a tired cranky-pants all the time.

So, in conclusion, I’m Really Intensely weird. Or something.

Anyway, don’t you think they should have a REAL emoticon???

Feel all the feels, peeps. It’ll do ya good.

Are Perfectionism & Art Compatible?

I’ve been thinking that there are times when perfectionism is a gift but a lot of times it feels more like a curse. Ultimately, perfectionism is caused by a need to control something or anything or everything.

When I sit in front of a canvas I have learned to turn off any need for perfectionism and think a little less. I like to let the subconscious take over and paint on mostly instinct. It’s one of the few times in my life when I feel like I truly just let go and BE. I’m totally in the moment. Maybe that’s why it’s become such a passion of mine.

 

Welcome to the new site!

I began writing on more of a full-time basis in ’09 and was blessed to be able to write several books, open an independent publishing company with my husband and partner and help others on their writing journey as well.

A few years back after dealing with some health issues, I found that my creative juices began to flow away from full-length book writing and I began to do more  poetry. (I am planning a book of all my original poetry to be published in probably about two years’ time.)

Not too long ago I revisited something that had been a more peripheral part of my life and creative journey: painting with acrylics. I grew up with an extraordinarily talented older brother (all three are extraordinary in their own way) but one of them was an amazing artist.

Although the written word has always been my path with creativity, as long as I can remember I have enjoyed abstract art and impressionism with a sort of intimidated awe.

I was afraid of the canvas.

Colors and shapes have always spoken to me, but until recently, I just didn’t have the nerve to try my own hand with painting. I knew my creativity was about to take a new direction, and with the encouragement of some friends and family members, I finally faced the blank canvas.

I could not have imagined how I would take to it. My first attempts were not stellar, but I finally got over the need for perfection right out of the chute, and just began to play with colors and designs.

I have such a passion for it now that when I’m not painting I’m thinking about painting. I think, eat, sleep and breathe painting (when I’m not writing poetry).

People grow, evolve, and change all throughout their lives, facing new challenges and dreaming new dreams. I’m excited to pursue both my love for the written word and the thrill of splashing vibrant colors onto surfaces and molding and shaping them into “words” of their own.

I’ve posted some of my older links, trailers and articles for anyone interested, but I hope you enjoy the new website. Feel free to look around and stay a while. (And who knows what direction my creativity will go in the future, but it will be fun, that I know.) Follow your bliss!!

Pam

Twinkle Lights

 

Something about the white and the light

The shadows they cast, never the same twice, like snowflakes

They’re joy and prom night and weddings and parties on the deck

They’re childhood but the best of it, the kind you really wish you’d had

Laughing at you or with you at every joke you’ve ever heard

Drawing the best thoughts and feelings from deep inside like water from a well

It’s impossible to be sad around them as they fully complete their mission

And a lesson we learn: do what you do, be what you are, shine, chase away the dark

 

They stir me, every time