Friday, May 28, 2010

Napkin Scrawls #12 - My Best Friend

My Best Friend

I meet new people everyday,
Who easily call me friend.
Cordially we jest, fritter, and obsess;
And just as quickly we move on,
Our lives remain the same.

One day, we met by chance,
I figured you the same.
In and out so quickly
Jesting, obsessing, and frittering life away.

But on that fateful day
You stepped into my life,
You saw something I could never see
A friend who would hold on tight.

You saw through the many masks of me,
And understood what made me tick.
Feeling broken and insecure
Your friendship shows me strength.

Reaching out you showed me kindness.
With a bond I cannot explain;
Our friendship has grown deep,
Perhaps you are the other half of me.

We’ve never touched or seen each other
Yet you always seem to know when I am sad
By the keystrokes, I invoke.

Just me on this side and you over there.
Our souls just connect.

You will always be
My best friend forever.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Napkin Scrawls #11 - Blank Emotion

Swirling, swirling, swirling. Flailing, flitting, whirling. My thoughts escape me. Fleeting, flitting, scampering away. Not one remains. Panic ensues as I sit here grasping for a memory, a thought, anything. But, nothing stays.

There is nothing behind the eyes. No thought, no emotion, blank. Exhaustion fills me.

All is at a loss as I stare blankly before me.

A tear emerges, spilling over the blank face, leaving a trail of moisture as it falls. And then, another.

Music on, eyes now closed, music fills me now with it’s own emotion. Soft swirling, emotion fills my mind as the strings strum, the keys pound, the horns blare. Like a shot in the arm or an electric current, my heart begins to pound… I take a breath. And then, another.

Life emerges as music promotes new emotion.

Breathe in breathe out.

Is it enough? Will it carry me through the day? Only time can tell.

No longer completely blank, I look to you for happy joyful thoughts. Something, anything to hold life for me, as I continue through my day.

Tiredness still abounds, but sadness is fleeting now. It’s time to catch a second wind in the sails of my day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Napkin Scrawl #10 - Remember When...

As I stand in my shower, my fortress of solitude if you will, my memory is a flood of “Remember Whens.” Who knows why this topic astounds me…

Remember when…
You woke to the sound your little brother crawling to the bathroom because he couldn’t walk with his braces on his feet? The braces were to help straighten his knees, but you laugh because he still runs like Forest Gump.

Remember when…
You kissed a boy on the school bus when in Kindergarten. First love of your life, first kiss besides your mother. Kenny, never could put his shoes on the correct feet.

Remember when…
You and your brother collected toads and kept them in the milk box outside on the porch. The milkman hated us that day when he delivered milk and freed the toads.

Remember when…
The neighbor twins came over to play with said toads and decided to see if toads flew. Mom was not happy to have toad splat on her roof.

Remember when…
At six years old, your family picked up stakes and moved to a place where you knew nobody. Sucked!

Remember when…
After moving into new home, neighbor girls came over to meet you. They didn’t care for your brother too much … which was fine because neither did you.

Remember when…
While at Oma’s ranch, Opa was milking cows when you and your brother decided to run through the troughs. The cows were not too pleased with the interruption and Opa didn’t care for getting kicked.

Remember when…
You took matches into a dry field, next to a creek, with your brother. That was fun until the retired fireman/farmer came and insisted upon frisking us because he KNEW I had matches. Lucky for me, our Aunt and Uncle arrived in the nick of time.

Remember when…
You got so sick of your brother that you threw darts at him when he wasn’t looking. *evil grin*

Remember when…
The darts stuck in him.

Remember when…
You threw a broom at your brother and Mom saw the hole in the wall… Oops.

Remember when…
You thought it was cool to cuss… but now you can’t because it speaks your emotions on so many levels.

Remember when…
You stood up to the class bully because he was picking on your best friend. Thanks Mom for teaching me how to kick between the legs. He never looked at me the same.

Remember when…
You played “Truth or Dare” and “Dare” was what all the boys would pick for you.

Remember when…
You played “Truth or Dare” you always picked “Dare” once for them and “Truth” the rest of the time, because we all know that once you’ve seen it, you don’t need to see it again.

Remember when…
You met your trumpet teacher and all you could do was stare at his lips.

Remember when…
You took your trumpet teacher out to dinner. He wouldn’t ask you, so you made the first move.

Remember when…
You and your trumpet teacher got married and while on the first night of your honeymoon, you got a crank call whilst in the throws of passion.

Remember when…
Nine years later, your first son was born. And almost two years after that, your second arrived.

Hmm, the memories do astound me…

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Napkin Scrawl #9 - 25-Years

Sleep, sleep is all I want. So peaceful, so calm, so… nothing.

Waking only brings sadness. Waking brings loneliness. Waking brings duty.

Maybe there is more in sleep than I remember. Maybe there is no sadness, loneliness, or responsibility. In my sleep, you are always there beside me.

Today should be a happy day, a day to rejoice, and a day to celebrate our love. But, its not. It’s just another day, full of a list of things to be done. I’m tired.

I awaken to find you missing. I know where you’ve gone, but I need you. I miss your touch, your warm embrace. I miss your kisses.

Has time brought us to this impasse? Has responsibilities brought us to never touch again? Are we so old that assumption is our best friend?

I miss you. I miss how you once looked at me. I miss that I was once the center of your world. Am I still?

You have seen me cry and you have made me laugh. You are my lifeline when things grow dark. You have seen me raw and afraid. You have been my strength, my comfort. You have always been mine. My true love.

The years have grown on us, changed us I fear. But, deep inside, I’m still the same. Inside I am just a young girl needing love and acceptance. The years have only buried deep that young girl, protected her from hurt and disappointment. The years have buried deep that young girl in bittersweet memories and what-ifs.

I cry tears of sadness and joy thinking of you. I miss you. I love you.

Young love, come back to me. Shed that chrysalis that protects your heart. Burn brightly once again.

This day so many years ago, I made a commitment to you my love. To have and to hold, to love, honor, and obey through sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. These words still hold strong in my heart!

The years are a blur, but never once have I regretted saying those words. You have stayed by my side through it all. I smile because that, in and of itself, shows your commitment to me.

Today, reminded again of my commitment to you, I ponder renewing it once again. The vows don’t fade. They don’t lose their strength of binding. But, I renew them in my heart and mind to you.

Come back to us young love. Show us newness, a fresh rekindling of our love.

Touch me, embrace me, and kiss me once again, my love. Show me once again why I no longer want to sleep.

I love you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Napkin Scrawl #8 - Dream

I woke one morning to a dream. I don’t know where I was exactly… the house was unfamiliar. I remember the dream started with my husband entering the room. I had the feeling he had just come back from camping, fishing, or some other outdoorsy over night outing. He was dirty and in desperate need of a shower. But I was very glad to see him.

As my husband came into the room, I asked him where our youngest son was. He had gone with my husband but not returned… at least, not yet.I missed him immensely and wanted to hear all about his adventures with his dad.

My husband turned to me and explained that something terrible had happened. Apparently, our son had an accident of which my husband was responsible. He explained that he had accidentally killed our son and buried him at the cabin where they stayed. He hugged me and then apologized.

Of course, I was extremely upset. I was all a jumble of emotions, anger, sadness, fear and disbelief. I couldn’t believe that my husband, father of our son, would have first, killed our son, and second, been so nonchalant about the whole thing. I was hysterical!

“What do you mean?” I screamed. “How could he be dead? Are you sure? What did you do to him? Where did you leave him? Did you check his pulse?”

My husband replied, “Well, I kicked him in the butt for doing something stupid and he fell into a pile on the floor. It looked as if I had broken his neck. I saw no life in him at all! I didn’t know what to do.”

“Did you check his pulse, was he breathing?” I asked.

“Well, yeah, I checked.”

I wasn’t convinced. I sensed that he didn’t do a thorough job at any of it. I couldn’t understand why someone so intelligent would be so ‘Ho-hum’ about killing his own son, whether on purpose or accidentally. “Where did you leave him? Did you bury him?” I asked frantically.

He went on to explain that he had buried him up at the cabin where they stayed. I was desperate. I begged him to take me up to the cabin so I could check myself. I had to know for sure! I had to see my dead son’s face!

The dream moved on and strangely, time went by.

We arrived at the cabin and I leapt out of the car and ran to the cabin door. Strangely, as dreams go, my husband was ahead of me. He led me to the laundry room out on the back porch, where he hefted the washing machine gently out of the way. Under the washing machine was a mound about a head’s height above the rest of the ground and about as wide as the machine’s base. It seemed really strange to see where he had buried my son. “How could you bury him here under the washing machine? What were you thinking?” I said in a deranged huff.

I fell to my knees next to the pile of dirt. (Yes, this was a cabin and it had a dirt floor.) I looked up to my husband with tears streaming down my face. I begged him to tell me if he really believed that our son was dead. He gave me no verbal answer, but a shrug of his shoulders as if to say, “I don’t know.”

I laid my head down on the dirt mound. I tried listening for something, anything, as if I would hear something through the dirt. Wait! What was that I heard? No! It couldn’t be! I looked up again, and then put my ear back down on the dirt. I heard snoring! What the HELL?! SNORING? No way! “Listen!,” I said freakishly, “I hear snoring, breathing!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

I began digging, moving all the earth from the mound as fast as I could, but carefully! An arm popped out… and then there was my son’s head. His eyes were closed in that angelic sleepy way. I knew he was just sleeping. I continued digging. I dug until I found his shoulders and then I began gently pulling him upwards, out of this hole that he was in. As I pulled him out, he was unclothed. I thought that was strange because I knew that my son never ran around naked. I remember wondering why my husband had stripped him of his clothing to bury him… how strange!

As I pulled him out, he awoke with a look of relief and a smile on his face. I held him in my arms as I sat there on the ground. All I could do was wrap myself around him and tell him that I loved him. He hugged my neck and said, “Mommy, I knew you would come! I was scared and couldn’t breathe, but I knew you would come!”

I turned to my husband and asked, “How long has he been here?”

“About a week,” he said.

“A week! What were you thinking? He couldn’t breathe, he’s had no water! HOW…” and I went back to comforting my son.

I awoke from my dream… Strangely, I had no animosity toward my husband. I just got up out of bed and went off to my son’s bedroom. I woke him when I picked him up to hug him. I cuddled him as if afraid I would lose him if I didn’t hold him tight.

Dreams are strange... What can I say?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Deep Inside My Head

Head against the shower wall, soaking in a hot, steamy shower, I’m filled with a flood of thoughts. If only I could stay here, soaking, basking in the quietness of this shower. I know that if I can just stay here, my thoughts would put themselves in order. I love the solitude here. Nobody bothers me. No noise…. Nothing!

But, I’m not one who can live alone. I must have people. I need to be useful and relied upon. So, this shower will only last until the water turns cold.

Why won’t my muse speak to me once again? Maybe she is, but I can’t hear with all these thoughts jumbled in my head. Perhaps I need a “thought muse;” a muse to order my thoughts so I can hear my “creative muse.” Hmm, now that’s interesting.

The other day, I was hit harder than ever by my muse. Again, in the shower, I was contemplating a new banner for a blog. The contemplation for the image was very short… for it just popped in my head. But, the thought process of how I would create it took more thought. To create the banner, I would need just the right images… I started getting frustrated because I’m not like my best friend who can just throw images together and get something beautiful. I lack time for one thing. I can see the banner in my head… Wait! No… it’s more than that… the image moves… no, I’m moving through my image! In this image, I’m hearing voices in my head. That day, I wrote everything I saw in that image. Everywhere my mind went inside that image, I wrote. Wow! What a rush!

As much as I love to create things, I’m not very good at it. I lack skill. I’ve always loved words, so talking isn’t a problem… Words are wonderful. I also love to draw… or used to anyway. So, two things I’ve really been working on are writing and Photoshopping. Of course, my hobby/career is web design so you’d think I’d have a strength some place in there, right?

I have at least one very harsh critic on everything I make or do… myself. If I’m not happy with a piece, I cut myself to shreds… and then whatever the creation, it gets chucked because I wasn’t happy. What a conundrum!

There was a part of me, who whispered loud enough, “In order to get good at something, you have to finish something.” It made sense to me and that is how I got here.

Maybe this is ALL I’ll ever be? Maybe all I’m good for is contemplation of what I COULD be someday. Maybe only nonsensical bullshit is all I’m cut out for. Such a waste of energy, space and air, don’t you think?

I have so many artists in my family; you’d think I could be good at something.

Standing here in the shower, I have come to the realization that I lack the ability to pretend. I have a vivid imagination, but not much into pretending. I think its due to my fear of acting out what’s in my imagination. Performing was always difficult for me as a child. The only part I was comfortable with was, narrating. I had a part once in a “Tom Sawyer” play. I was chosen to play the part Becky Thatcher, but was too afraid of the kissing part, so I was a narrator. *shakes head*

In elementary school, I was the artist for the school paper. My biggest obstacle there was the fact that I couldn’t draw horses or dogs. So, I ousted myself there as well. Yes, I had many who loved what I published, but because I couldn’t do certain things, I quashed everything else. I have to laugh, looking back I remember, I was really good at drawing cars and trucks. I was also very good at drawing 3D text. If only I had some sort of encouragement back then. *sigh*

Standing here in the shower, I began to realize that I crippled myself. I have blocked myself from creativity. I’ve lived my life in fear of what others would think, that I’ve completely crippled my creative self. I also realized that I’ve surrounded myself with creative people. I wonder why I’ve done that? That seems really odd to me. I feel so small next to them, why would I do that to myself. I certainly don’t like to feel small. I am very competitive. So, why do it.

Some of those ‘friends’ have been very encouraging. Maybe they see something that I no longer do. Maybe they’re just yanking my chain… hmm… I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter much, I guess.

However, I have a point to make to my boys… I have taught them, and have always believed that you can do whatever you put your mind to. For instance, if given creative writing assignment to tell “what it was it like to watch Jesus feed the multitude first hand”; or “what it‘s like to be sought after by a town of scared ignorant people trying to kill whatever monster you might be,” then you should be able to put your mind to it and create something. Therefore, I have to practice what I preach. Right?

With this thought in my mind, I’m brought back to my original thought of, why won’t my muse speak to me once again? Priorities and time are the first answers to this dilemma. I need to make time in my day to sit and write.

My shower is now complete… I must get work done. I think today I will only work a couple hours and then sit down to ‘create.’ This needs to be an every day practice.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Napkin Scrawl #7 -Storm Beneath the Calm

LOBSTER RED! That’s what color my backside is right now, LOBSTER RED! Soaking in a “hot-as-you-can-stand-it” shower for 30-minutes will do that to you. I needed something to calm my mind, my body, from getting all worked up for the past 2-hours.

Rewind the day and picture pretty butterflies flitting through the air… NO! Not that kind of butterfly! The cartoon kind of butterfly! Yeah, that’s right! Now, cue the music, "Ranz Des Vaches", from Gioacchino Rossini's William Tell Overture. I am certain everyone has heard this most wonderful piece of music!

My day started peaceful, happy, even keeled. I spent my day reading email, tweeting, shouting out orders like a sergeant in the military to my children. All is well, in my universe… I think.

Fast forward a few hours… kids are sitting behind me playing the most annoying game in the universe. It repeats the music over and over and over… NEVER once does the song change. Never once does the rhythm change. It’s fucking mind numbing! I digress… So now, there is an undertone of “Super Smash Brothers” with both boys talking at the same time, with intervals of yelling.

I’m proud of myself. I’ve maintained a calmness up to this point, even though I am beginning to feel the pressure rise inside my head. I sit quietly, focusing on my work, creating one page for the fourth time, knowing that this time will be the last time I have to redesign.

Finally, without skipping a beat I order the boys to shut down their game console and get out of my office… Whew! They’re gone now, resume tranquility!

More peace and quiet ensues when all the men folk in my house evacuated to their party destinations, leaving me alone with only my dog. Trust me, even Jasper knew that I would allow nothing to screw up my day.

Actually, this all sounds boring… but actually, it was nice having a boring day. No obligations, just sitting here consumed with getting stuff done. Butt numbing to say the least.

I am what many would call a “High-Bandwidth Broad.” I have a cell phone, Skype, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, Twitter, Blogs, emails… you name it, I have it! I was always afraid I’d miss out on something. To some degree, perhaps I still am afraid I’ll miss out. Today, I should have shut it all down!

Oh. My. God!

First, one-client left me messages on Skype, which I purposely ignored, then another client logged onto Skype. My heart skipped a beat because I had a job I was suppose to have done days ago for her and hadn’t, so I rushed to get that job spinning. Then I get a Skype call from first client. She wants to know how her stuff is going. We had discussed all this previously, I had it all set up to do, but she rang to tell me she needed changes! Ugh!

Meanwhile, I’m developing server issues on my other client’s job. Mail server malfunction! My job comes to a screeching halt.

Everything requires attention all at the same time. Twitter, email, text messages, Skype, Msn, husband, children, and the dog, all sound off at the same time. Oh. My. God. But, God forbid that I miss a thing!

All peace dissipates, poof, gone!

I can feel the pressure increase… blood pulsates behind my eyes. Heartbeat pounds in my ears, shoulders tense so tight they feel like they’ll snap.

I snap.

Expletive upon expletive erupts from my mouth, like Iceland’s recent volcanic eruption. Even the walls begin to shake in fear of my anger. Maybe it was when I punched the wall that they shook.

If I were a cartoon character, my face would turn red, my ears would blow out steam and the top of my head would blow off. Thank goodness, I’m not a cartoon!

There was only one thing to be done. Step away from the computer. Step away from everything. So, I did. I felt like running! But running accomplishes nothing. Instead, I decided that hot soak in the shower could help, and it did. I turned that water up full blast, and put it as hot as I could stand. Leaning against the shower wall, I let the heat melt away the tension.

My mind is numb now. My eyes are heavy. But, most importantly, my peace is back.

The moral here is this, “In order to eat an elephant, one must take one bite at a time.”

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Napkin Scrawl #6 - Waking Dream

Every morning it’s the same. I open my eyes and am slammed with a bazillion of thoughts. It used to be that I could stretch and smile as I lay next to my husband, and on Saturdays, I still do that. However, today, I wake to two sides of my brain.

First thought I wake with is, “Oh SHIT! I’ve lost my earring again!! Where is my fucking earring?” Looking around everywhere I’d been, I search. I notice the dirt on the floor. There is no carpet, just wooden planked floors covered in dirt. I squint my eyes tightly as if that will help me find my earring, but I wonder, where-the-hell am I? I begin my search like all who lose earrings… first my hair, then my blouse. Wait. Blouse? Something is strange. I continue my search from my hair to my blouse. I reach down my blouse attempting to feel for my earring. It isn’t there. I brush my blouse and straighten it as I listen for my earring to drop, but hear nothing. By now, I am frantic! I can’t afford to replace my heart shaped earring! As I search the floor below, I am saddened and worried that this time I won’t be able to find my earring. I’ve been lucky in the past, to always find my lost earrings. This time there is just too much debris on the floor. How am I going to see my gold studded, heart shaped, amethyst earring in this dirty place? I’m not stopped. I press on with my search. Strangely, my feet won’t move. It’s as if I am stuck to the floor! All I can do is twist my self around. Even though this is odd that I can’t move, I begin to search the floor. There… over to my left… there is a strange shape of dirt. What the hell is that strangely shaped piece of sand? At that moment, within the blink of an eye, I’m there on the floor examining this odd piece of dirt. Hmm, no not dirt I ponder. Perhaps it is just a piece of the tumbleweed that blew in next to it. As I reach for it, my eyes finally put a shape to it. I gasp as my brain finally realizes … It’s. My. Earring! My heart begins to beat flutter as I pick up my earring from the floor. “Thank you, Lord, for helping me to find my earring!” I whisper a prayer of gratitude.

My eyes pop open and I check my ears. Earrings are intact. Wow! That was a strange dream, I think. As I take in the fact that all was a dream, I turn toward my husband whose gentle breathing is still quiet and steady. As I lay here watching him sleep, my mind becomes a flutter. I have so many things pop to the forefront of my mind. One of which has nothing to do with getting things done. The second side of my brain kicks in and all I want to do is lay there, watching and caressing my husband. All is calm, serene. I feel the breeze blowing through the window and hear Jasper moving in his kennel.

My mind begins to think of ways to wake my husband. All is perfect for some serious cuddling or perhaps more. I feel a grin form on my face as I try to follow that thought. But, no sooner did I think that thought, he turns over. That very same moment, as if Jasper is somehow, jacked into both of us, hops onto our bed searching between us for a spot to lie down.

Normally, I would shout at the dog and tell him to get off my bed that he doesn’t belong here… but no sooner is the thought complete, my husband reaches over to the dog. He pets him and tells him what a good boy he is... WHAT THE HELL!! Ugh!

Jasper then takes this opportunity to find his spot to lie down between us… But wait! Damn it Dog! His spot today is on top of me! What? Can’t you tell I’m here Stupid? He looks up at me with those puppy dog eyes, which tug at our hearts. He snuggles in, and I mean snuggles on me! His muzzle fits nicely between my breasts. Ugh! Dog!

My husband, propped up on one elbow, smiles at me and says, “Looks like Jasper wants to cuddle.” I smirk and give in because now, dog has thwarted all my plans of any serious cuddling of my own! “Dog! This is NOT the cuddling I had in mind!” I tell my dog… I’ve learned that if I push the dog away, all that will happen is my husband will get up and carry on with his day. So, I decide to give into the dog’s behavior so that MAYBE a second opportunity might arise. As lay there, calmness engulfs me and I fall back to sleep.

In what seems like only minutes, I awaken to my dog, floundering to get off me and move to a more comfortable place… his kennel. Ah, freedom! I look at my clock to find that we fell back to sleep for two more hours! Now, my mind is racing! Eleven-in-the-fucking-morning! What the hell! My day is half-gone! Of course, there is still the wisp of thought lingering as I turn to my husband to find him turning over in his sleep. He’s so far away this time. He’s on the edge of his side of the bed. Perhaps, I’ll let him sleep a bit more…he only came to bed at 5 A.M. Thoughtful of me.

Ok, fine. Perhaps this would be a good time to read my new book. I guess that was wrong too, because no sooner had I begun reading, my husband awoke and decided it was time that he get out of bed. Foiled again! Curses!

My original decision made. Only two choices left to choose from now, read or get up. I read.