Indy Reads

Indy Reads is a nonprofit bookstore run to support literacy programs for adults and families in Central Marion County and the City of Indianapolis.  This was my first visit and well worth a trip from anywhere in Central Indiana.  Paperbacks are $5.99 and hardbacks are $6.99 and they have rare books for sale as well.  Currently (1/12/2018) they have a complete set, five volumes, of Virginia Woolf’s Diary for $60.00.  And they have a great collection of Poetry….

I ended up purchasing some modern poet’s books I had never read before and whose style I enjoyed by a quick glance.

Nicholas Christopher The Creation of the Night Sky
Carolina Ebeid You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior
Chuck Carlise In One Version of the Story
Catherine Barnett the game of boxes

Indy Reads has a quality children’s book section. Do note the children’s books are not organized in any fashion so you should plan on spending some time looking through the shelves of books.

They have a Facebook page, a website, and always need volunteers.  Oh, not to forget, they enthusiastically support local artists and writers with ongoing programs and opportunities to display works for sale.  If you ever find yourself in Indy, do stop by.

Art Therapy

We (Susan and I) had a fantastic time at Eric Carle’s Picture Book Art Museum in Amherst MA back in October 2017.

And at the end of our visit, before we left Massachusetts, to head home to Indiana, we created our own masterpieces.

Many hung theirs in the window. We took ours home with us.

With much gratitude

This is truly a heartfelt post. Why? You!!!

I never could have imagined sitting here nine years ago. I could barely talk. Was I saying any thing? Perhaps in my eyes you would have seen the pain. I welcomed death. I contemplated suicide.

After a year of therapy, my confidante encouraged me to reach out. I wrote everything in prose, and poetry to him, and so I thought, why not gather my thoughts and start a blog. It is anonymous after all. (Hahaha. That was not quite his idea of reaching out.)

Hahaha…this! (I may have posted elsewhere, a picture of myself?)

Regardless, I have changed from those once fateful days. I graduate with highest honors, a 3.96 gpa. I walk on December 16 and will be with my husband, two of my children, and countless bloggers who have seen me through. Whether you know it or not, you do now. I will be thinking of you. And my therapist. Forever grateful! 🤗❤️

I hope to continue my blog. I have become fascinated with the arts. I have traveled alone. Taken two poetry workshops with incredible poets. I have become. And when those brief moments appear, and I slip, dancing with death, I fight as all my might will muster. And write a poem. Or paint a picture. Or visit an art museum. Etc. Etc.

Morning Muse

I wonder what planet awaits a mind able to override saturnine thoughts. 

“Your will to survive, your love of life, your passion to know … Everything that is truest and best in all species of beings has been revealed to you. Those are the qualities that make a civilization worthy to survive.”
–Lai the Vian, “The Empath” (Star Trek)

There was day, June 10, 2017

What mirror holds you?  See?  Look into the staring eyes, release the eager heart, break the calcified shell to birth a new start.  Are we all not souls as luminous as Shakespeare, Mother Theresa and Gandhi?  

Can you believe someone, somewhere understands?  If not here, where?  Perhaps in the end only you can save you.

All so personal

Taboo talk
everything locked up tight.
Everything
about every neighbor he gossiped.

img059
Dad and Grandpa, year unknown

Everything has been locked up tight. I wrote feverishly during high school years and burned the papers in 1998. The poems and letters from time I had rather forget. Moving home to Wisconsin, having lived in Michigan (UM-Ann Arbor), Connecticut (Yale) and NYC (Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital) I was happy to return to a rather unhappy place in my mind. I choose to move close to our children’s grandparents so my husband took a job at Abbott Labs in IL. Looking back I regret that decision. I should have chosen to live in NJ, my husband working at Merck. It is shame I reminiscent about mistakes, keeping me from loving my place in life in 2016. All the same, perhaps it will heal the pain, I hid for so long.

I regained my voice in 2008, the urging of my husband. It was taboo to speak of family matters of old, as it spread to my childhood years, with no stopping the gossip about neighbors. Denny, the farmer down the gravel road from my grandparents, could not live up to town standards, nor could grandpa’s children or grandchildren. His row of tobacco, so straight and proud, became the beginning of a tragic downfall.

Grandpa never realized nothing lasts forever, even in desirous wishes and prayers. When grandma became sick and unable to help with farm chores, grandpa was forced to sell the farm. My aunt bought it and grandpa moved into town with grandma, within walking distance to attend church, visit the post office and friend’s houses.

His mental health withered, days turned to weeks and nothing improved in his mind. The slow churn downward was speeding up and on a brisk October day, grandpa lay in bed. The doctors tried shock treatment to no avail. He wintered several months before the morning warmed. Grandma headed to the post office, most likely to pick up a letter written by me, her chance to escape the shackled cell. Upon returning, the house stood quiet and she decided to sit down for mid-day tea. Grandma sat to read my letter, politely folded and treasured it safely away, then rose to check on grandpa. He was gone. (Dad’s family comes from England, Maxwell my surname, and traditions of tea had been passed down since the American Revolution. This another story for another time.)

Scanning their five room bungalow, what appeared were empty chairs and a blank TV screen. She took to the garage, side door open, car in the parking stall, and there lay grandpa, shotgun by his side.

I was working when mom called and told me I needed to come home, fast. Why so rushed? Traveling to Viola WI, the car wheels spinned no faster than my head. Not a thing was said, a four hour drive west. The silence unbearable.

It was Memorial weekend, the end of May, a cheery Spring morning. I was planning my July wedding and quite happy. Upon entering the funeral parlor, seeing grandma stark white, a line of people greeting her, things began to fall in place. Or rather apart. Grandma and I, eyes averted, understood while I wailed in her arms. She was totally uncomfortable.

Grandma and grandpa were Methodist. The congregation sang How Great Though Arta memorial to a man’s love of the land, the hills and valleys of Vernon County, and his prized Jersey cows. He treated his cows to classical music morning and evening, they long been scattered, so they would never know of his departure. Yet I was forced to sit in the pew, thumbing through the Bible, and came upon verses in the OT about sins of the father, generational curses and needing to be the change of the NT. A dawning of life in 1985 that would later be rattled by new news years later.

Today, October 2016, driving down the highway, my daughter videoed a burning car. I had never seen such a sight. I feel naive to think life is invincible while also anxiously awaiting my fate. Danger lurks at every bend. After two suicides in the family, I have become an anxious neurotic. I have been told I am a survivor, strong and courageous to face days, but no one ever feels that way unless armed with a weapon. Emotional resources are absent to me, with no way to construct love from the emptying hope seeping through my skin. I have found words again, though I wish it did not have to be this way. I write down the bricks built, from the outside looking in, to release the pain.

I have approached child-rearing differently from reading those Bible verses in 1985. My children and I talk about everything. Nothing is hidden beneath bushels of bull. My children know as they grow, I will share more, knowing they are mature to handle the unthinkable. I have warned my daughter about men who spike drinks, taught my son to treat women with respect and continually encourage my youngest daughter, who finds high school a mountain too tall to climb. She suffers from thoughts of wanting to die. There is no reason for those thoughts, she realizes, as she tells me thank you every day and apologizes for her agony. I understand her battle, battling those same suicidal thoughts. I believe mental sickness hereditary. A generational curse. Our thoughts take sparks from life to light the inner battle. Some people are strong enough to overcome setbacks and others are vulnerable to the tiniest pin drop. The reverberations strong enough to bring down the most beautiful and loving life.

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”  Ned Vizzini It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Sunny day muse

Sunday morning poetry. Church: words spoken to me, shared lovingly with you.
My second chance to shape my faith every Sunday for a year.

I have adopted a practice of mindfully picking positive precepts each morning to set the day’s mood. It is difficult when depression and anxiety hits, always uninvited. An intrusion that brings war. Negative balanced with positive, my tactic.

Four months
the year a quarter over
anxious thoughts
enter my mind.
i found a purpose
i laid it out
will, i pray,
stay the course?

Elusive depression
crawls around the corner
in hunt for vulnerability.
i am no good
in war
even preparation, with smiles
tucked in my back pocket
cannot ward off fate.

Silly, really
this fear.
Memories of days
scare me
when it made no sense
hovering over voices
rising in taunts
my flaws surfacing,
wading.

muddy, deep waters.

Hold on!
Don’t let go.
you know the waves
they drown
and the way back
up is never easy.
A lonely road
few understand.

i tell myself find a friend.
Take a walk,
hold their hand,
cry for no reason
other than sadness
dwells deep. If they
understood
their presence stabs
they would never show.

i am sitting here.
A sunny day
ripe and inviting.
Hold on!
Don’t let go
you know the waves
they drown.
The way back is never easy.

The Song of Moses

10 In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, 11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. –Deuteronomy 32:10-11

Dickinson

Emily sings me a love letter. She brings a deep understanding when humanness, in all cruelty and ugliness, shines through in a life well lived writing poetry. Look for the door where a wall exists.

You are a fictional character
in my head.
You standing at the foot
of my bed.

I try to touch you.
You are gone.
Whispering softy,
I don’t respond.

Dig deeper still.
What do you see?
I think we could be friends.
Do you recognize me?

 

Talking out loud is scary.
My voice trembles when I listen.
Choice words echo in my heart.
My soul quakes when it is seen.

Emily is a fictional character after all.
I talk to her for days. Wait.
Is she speaking?
Did she answer me?

 

I do not consider myself a poet like Emily.  No person’s words mimic another, our voices our own. I only enjoy her poems.

the unknown does not shadow the peace

surgery
scheduled
tomorrow

staff
scurrying
today

results
forthcoming
soon

cancer?
treatment!
hope!

rest
weary
soul

His
hand
reaches

Are you facing the unknown in sickness? I am. Let us walk the journey together. Grateful for those in the healthcare field. Grateful for those willing to share this journey. We are not alone, but have a Father in Heaven who cares deeply for us, as well as fellow pilgrims, the hands and feet of Christ. I BELIEVE!

The following is taken from http://www.strengthfortoughtimes.com/Trusting.html

We can also get to know God better by spending time in  prayer and worship. The Bible says,

“Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing  by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known  unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep  your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Notice that the peace comes when we give things to God  in prayer. It does not wait for how He answers our prayers. It does not depend  on the outcome. The peace comes when we put the situation into God’s hands. The  Bible says that we should cast all our cares (concerns) on God because he cares  (loves and takes care of) us. (1 Peter 5:7)