Tag Archives: therapy

Where am I going

The first thing about where I am going. Is where I have been.

Years ago I traveled across the country with a friend. It was a great trip and adventure. But important to my future? I didn’t think so at the time. One of the places I stopped was a small town in Wyoming. There was a festival going on in town.

When I graduated from college I looked for my first job. And I got hired in the same part of Wyoming. Now the trip felt like it was important. Being out there and seeing the land. It wasn’t some place I had never been. A place in a land far away. It was still far away. And it was still new. But I felt a little more comfortable with the move.

Going on the trip with my friend, I had no clue. The idea of going back to college wasn’t even on my mind. But somehow the pieces of my life came together for me anyway.

So where am I now. I work at Walmart. I live in Vancouver. The reason I am here is another friend from years ago. We met at work. Then became good friends. When I was getting tired of being in Texas she said I could come and live with her. She and her boyfriend and their kids live in Vancouver. So I moved out here and got a job with Walmart.

When I was in Upstate New York I had applied for Walmart. But they didn’t hire me then. This time they were opening a new store, and maybe they needed more people. The hiring process was also different than it had been years ago. Working at CVS for years gave me experience also. The first time I worked for CVS was in Upstate New York.

So where am I going from here. I still have a few dreams in my life. There is the dream of having my own newspaper. It would be a small paper with a small but strong staff. And it would be in a small community where the paper could be a part of the community discussion. Maybe where I am now is helping me to get there. Maybe it is helping me in ways I will only see when I do. Like the trip to Wyoming.

Another dream relates to the idea of being a teacher. Helping students learn about news. But also learn about reading and writing. I had thought about being an journalism teacher later in my life. But truth is I could also be an English teacher. Funny thing is I hated English classes in school. Then again I hated school when I was young.

And those potentials may still be out there for me. Who knows what today will add to tomorrow.

My journey of writing

My journey is my writing. It takes me where I want to go. And where I need to go. Yes, sometimes where I don’t want to go.

My writing is like a journey. I know the process so well. The words and the sentences are like home. Like and old vehicle. They are comfortable. But they are always new at the same time. The words are always on the page in a new form. The sentences put forth have never been before. Like snowflakes they are unique.

The journey of my writing takes me places I know well. When I am writing it is like in my dreams. I know the words as they come to me. I see the visions of the words. Each sentence forms itself in my mind one at a time. But not the whole paragraph. And I don’t always know the way the story will end. Or the paragraph will end.

My writing is something I direct. But it is also something I follow like a trail of bread crumbs. They were left there so I could find my way. But through the woods, and across the plains I do not know where they take me. If I did I wouldn’t need the path to be marked.

When I start writing I do no always know where it will take me. The ideas which will become a part of the journey. The images which will flash across the page. The words come on their own. Like friends to assist me on my journey. And then they go on their own when they are done.

In my writing I am always moving. There is love and dreams in my writing. It isn’t a small room, in a cluttered house where I live. But a large world of light and life. In my mind I’m going to so many places. And my writing is the vehicle. And sometimes I am the driver. And sometimes I am the passenger. Even when I know the route.

If I keep on writing maybe a part of me will keep on dreaming. Even though most of me is stuck in a different reality. If I am writing then I am loving. Remember to dream is to love. And writing is a form of dreaming for me. It is a form of projecting my ideas into the world for others. But do the others see my dreams? Do they see my love?

Much of the writing journey is alone. The formation is just me and the words. And maybe later someone will read these thoughts. But often they sit unattended. They wait at the train station for someone who never comes.

But my writing isn’t for the others. It is first and foremost for me. And for me writing is air. It fills the voids of my mind with life. And when I push it out old thoughts are released. Like a rush of exhaled breath. Old ideas are pushed from my mind. Writing is the journey I take to health. Writing is the journey I take to wholeness. The journey to love. To God.

Where Am I going?

Sitting on a couch and writing. The world seems far away. A stream flows down a short waterfall. I’d like to think I am going to create something. A work of art, a novel, a life worth remembering. The coach tells me I can do anything. Aim for your dreams, aim for the moon and land in the stars. Maybe I could be a good author. Someone who writes in various forms for a living. The coach tells me I can earn a living following my dreams. But the other voice tells me the world is not a place for artists, dreamers, poets or writers to make a living. You can’t live off a dream. This world hasn’t been for dreamers since Van Gogh. It values fast and cheap. It does not value people or the creative process. The little they pay artists for their work couldn’t support anyone. News is a job, but not my dream. I enjoy news. But I do not love news. My coach tells me to write about what I know and what I enjoy writing. And the other voice tells me to write what people want to read. But what do people want to read? It feels like the world is a more and more angry place every day. And I don’t want to write about anger. To dream is to love. My coach tells me the world needs both more love and dreams.

On Family

I guess mostly my ideas of family are loose. My first experiences with family was my great-aunt, her friends and my sister. In some ways my mother became a part of my idea of family later. I don’t think I had the concept of family at the time. But retrospectively the image I have of family now, projected backwards.

This means of course people who weren’t blood related felt like family. As I grew up and met relatives I started to understand their was a difference. But I never really felt the difference. I know I met people in my own expanded family living with my great-aunt. But also members of her friends’ extended family.

Through the middle years, I lived more with my mother. And the number of blood family members outside our immediate family shrank. Mother had reasons based on her father. But truth is they just lived far away, and she never made much effort. So of course I knew my sister and brother, mother were my family. But I don’t know I ever experienced the family bond others seem to have known.

Which is why once I left the house at 18, I lost contact with my family. At school I had friends, but I didn’t feel close to anyone. And the idea of family was mostly an empty one.

I remember living on the street. I met a girl named Sarah. I told her, “that’s my sister’s name.” She said I could be her brother. Then I met her again a couple weeks later, and she said the same thing. She was younger, and I don’t know why she was on the street. It makes me sad thinking about it now. I developed a real concern for her, and helped her out a couple times. Later she met a girl, who became her street sister. And she became my sister.

Once I met two girls, both 15. They were on the street like I was at the time. They decided I would be their street father. Which was an odd idea to me, but I accepted the idea. They camped with me for a while and I took care of them. At one point they took some acid, and I had to hunt them down. And then try and keep them safe until they came down.

And then they found a new street father and left. Thinking about why they were on the street also makes me sad.

But at the same time I wasn’t in contact with my own family. I know one Thanksgiving I had planned to go to see my family. But when I called my mother before the trip, I changed my mind. All she could do is complain about my sister. Instead I took the bus for 24 hours to Washington to see my girlfriend. I think the relationship problems between my sister and mother make it hard for me to feel a family connection with either.

When I started to travel I met Shaylyn, Pam and Laura. They weren’t real sisters, but still sisters. And I adopted them at the time. I sometimes think my sister is still upset at me for leaving California while my niece was being born. And I went to New York to live with Laura and Shaylyn for a while. I have been in touch with all of them on Facebook. And off and on closer contact through the years.

When I was in college I met a fellow student. A man older than myself. Through the years we have remained in contact. At times he has been somewhat of a father figure to me. My real father, I didn’t know until I was 12. And I didn’t develop much of a relationship with until I was an adult. At this point, they are in many ways equal. I trust them both, and feel equally comfortable talking to them and getting advice. But still not compellingly close to either.

In the last couple years I have started to get to know my dad’s family. When I first met my dad’s sister, I called her “my dad’s sister,” all the time. And people would ask, “isn’t that your aunt?” But I never used the word because it implied a relationship which didn’t exist for me at the time. We are closer now, in a Facebook generation sort of way at least. And her kids too, my cousins.

So I guess I have a lot of family out there now. Both blood and non-blood. But my closest family is my cat.

No man is an island

We are all connected. At the most basic level the food we consume has touched many other people’s hands. It required a true village if you follow the chain of events. Most people are familiar with the concept.

But it is more than just the basic connection of supply. The moment we go out into the world and encounter others we touch them. If you smile, maybe another person will smile. And they may spread the smile on to yet another. And like a cold, a smile is spread from person to person.

In a way it is so simple, so un-thought. But it can still be powerful.

But we get wrapped up in our own problems don’t we. Leaving the house we have a grimace on our face. The attitude we project to the world is negative. And the world picks up our attitude and often reflects it back to us. Which means a day starts out bad and just gets worse in many cases.

You drive and cut someone off in traffic. Which just puts them in a bad mood, or worse mood. And they start to grimace too. You don’t understand why, but people don’t seem friendly and helpful. And it makes you feel worse about yourself and them.

It is because we are all one. When you step out the door put a smile on your face for the world. Because it is there and you are there. Spread smiles and not frowns and your day will get better. It can go from bad to better at least.

Who knows how many people are one smile away from having a good day. How many people may decide after one smile, life is worth living. We need each other.

And the smiles you give will be the smiles you get. There are days where it is hard for all of us to smile. But when other people see us on those days they will return the smiles we gave them. Many times people will smile in anticipation of your smile. When they see you they remember. And you can take those smiles and use them to brighten your day. Let them be the light which guides you back to remembering the beauty of the world.

 

The Shoes

The shoes weren’t clean. She didn’t want them clean. They still diffused a slight odor of sweat into the air. It was her sweat.

As a child she dreamed of being a dancer. Like other girls dream of being a princess. And she was a dancer. Her life was dance.

Now she shuffles from bed to toilet to bed to the big couch in front of the TV. Her legs are sore and her ankles swollen. For over 60 years she danced. Now she shuffles.

Every morning though she passes those shoes. In her mind her body is young. She is still a dancer. With the scent of sweat, the images come back to her. In her mind she is dancing again. She is not old. She doesn’t have a walker. She does not shuffle.

But life was good. Those shoes are the last of many. Many shoes on many stages in countless plays and musicals. The world once so big, was her stage. And the music played for her alone.

Now her world is smaller. One small bed. A hallway and a small bathroom. A kitchen/den/dining room combination. Once she danced across continents. Now she shuffles across rooms.

(This was written using a photo of dance shoes as a prompt. In the photo a map was sewn into the soles of the feet. It wasn’t until after writing this, I saw the maps.)