Feature photo by Felipe Galvan on Unsplash
Author: D.K. Sanz
Celebrating What Is
A beautiful, uplifting blog from my writer friend, Amy Henry.
Comedian Robin Williams’ famous quip “Reality… what a concept!” has played in my head like a tape loop on steroids during these past—count ‘em—22 months of pandemic pandemonium.
I mean, do we even know what reality is anymore? Do we want to know?
Add to the COVID powder keg a toxic sludge of gun-toting fascists (some of them members of Congress!), a slew of anti-voter laws designed to finish off our crumbling democracy, plus the skyrocketing threat of climate change, and it’s easy to understand why reality has gotten such a bum reputation. It’s not an accident that my local supermarket has stacks and stacks of snack food in every aisle. We want so much to MAKE… EVERYTHING… THE… WAY… IT…USED… TO… BE.
To the point where we run the risk of missing the good stuff that’s right in front of us. The actual hope, the joy, the positive progress…
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TOUCHY FRIENDSHIPS: PROCEEDING WITH CAUTION AND CARE
I remember this story from about ten years ago.
A young college girl decided to track down her long-lost cousin. Their families hadn’t spoken to one another for over a decade, so she hadn’t seen or spoken to him since he was six years old. When she got him on the phone, she began the conversation by telling him that whatever his mother had told him about her family wasn’t true. She defended her family and told him he could visit them anytime.
All the guy wanted to do was shut her down. The assumptions she’d made infuriated him—that he didn’t know the truth, that he hadn’t witnessed any of what happened for himself, and that he’d be open to hearing someone trash the mother he loved.
She didn’t understand his anger. Instead, she blathered on, offending him more and more with every word. She was like I was once, rushing headlong into a minefield she didn’t have a clue how to navigate. The result was he never spoke to her again. That’s sad because they might have become friends.
While someone discussed this story with me, they called the situation between the cousins “loaded.” It came to mind recently when I thought about other loaded predicaments between people.
Sometimes the relationships are precarious for simple and obvious reasons, and one of you had to set boundaries. Maybe it’s an intolerable but understandable behavior issue or substantial differences of opinion. Maybe one of you is married and the other single. Perhaps one of you wants something the other can’t provide. Or you’re at odds with a friend of theirs or a family member and can’t defend yourself or your position without talking trash about the other person.
I once worked with someone recommended by a woman I admired tremendously. He was her partner. When he and I spoke on the phone, he eventually divulged very intimate details about their romantic relationship. He seemed to adore her, which was beautiful, but I didn’t think she’d like me knowing what he was telling me. It made me uncomfortable, so I suppose I put up some barriers, which made him uncomfortable. Suddenly, he used the withholding punishment—not keeping me updated about the project, dragging his feet on it, and ultimately not delivering quite what I’d expected. I used someone else for the next project, but there’s now a barrier between the woman who referred him and me. I have no idea what he told her, but the additional weight hampers any interaction with her, and I hate that.
It gets heavier than that. There are situations where people grow up with devastating trauma. Family members have different outlooks about what happened, maybe different experiences. One may still feel the agony of the hurt they or someone else caused in doing what felt right in their heart. Things said may remind you of the pain they caused you or the pain you caused them. There’s a lot of re-traumatization within the same dynamics or dealing with the family.
I believe it’s crucial to become fully aware of all this because situations aren’t loaded when you don’t care about the other person. You could easily blow them off and never have anything to do with them.
To this day, there are people I’d love to drop a line to and ask how they’re doing or just to say, “I miss you.”
You can have so much love for a person and at the same time have to handle your interaction with them like you’re holding a piece of glass.
There are no-fly zones.
And sure, it’s painful. You wish things were different. We grieve relationships like that. It saddens us that there was so much good, and we cherish the memories to the point of tears. We may wonder, can we ever get it back? If we did, would it ever be the same? Both parties have to come to the table with an open mind. There must be a willingness to walk hand in hand through that mine together. It’s hard because quite often, the trust isn’t there any longer. And you have to be willing to trust someone to do that.
Plenty of people out there can discern these situations, I’m sure, but many of us had to learn that. As I alluded to at the beginning of this post, there was a time I’d have flown my plane right into that restricted zone and not for a moment realize the potential damage I’d cause. I’d gotten used to a cycle of being hurt and fighting back. These days, I think of what I might say in these circumstances and recognize how it could go wrong.
Often, I decide I can say nothing. Or I wonder how to rectify a situation, resolve a conflict, and every way I might think to approach it, I see a flashing red light, and it’s just no. Don’t. You can’t. There’s a need to tread gently, take care.
One might ask themselves:
What are safe topics we can discuss? Should we stick to a public forum in responding to one another rather than talk on the phone or text? Can we support one another in ways that don’t involve us in their lives?
I find these things helpful in dealing with others where the cautions may apply:
It’s often the difference between reacting and responding. Realize you’re communicating with another vulnerable human being who likely has had their own trauma. They are not bulletproof. Sometimes we are blinded by rage, and we keep firing at someone, but we don’t realize they’re bleeding.
There’s a difference between reaching out and setting a trap. We can’t be condescending. We may feel we’re in a better place or farther along in our healing, and it may or may not be accurate, but it doesn’t matter. We all have our paths to walk and on our timetable. It goes in that “Not all who wander are lost” category..
It helps to be genuine and sincere under these circumstances, to let go of any bitterness or resentment, and respond only from a place of caring and love. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s tragic, but we can accept it and be grateful these individuals are still in our lives in whatever capacity. We can still love them with all our hearts and send that love to them whenever possible.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Feature Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
YOUR DREAMS ARE NOT JUST FANTASY
Friends inspired me to write this post, but so did my son, Jesse, whose job has him working nine hours a day or more. It’s what happens to the best and most reliable employees these days. He gets calls for help on weekends and holidays and can’t even take a vacation without the whole place falling apart. Meanwhile, he has dreams of other pursuits.
For people in this position, the idea of taking those first steps toward change can be overwhelming, even terrifying, because it means taking risks they can’t afford to take.
Sometimes I think almost everyone has a dream—one that’s always in the back of their minds. They would love to achieve it or pursue it, but they see nothing but obstacles. I lived that life myself for decades, working at okay jobs. Some were fascinating or fun but not what I wanted to do.
Great opportunities came along, but I knew I didn’t want those things badly enough to make the type of commitment and investment I’d need to make to be a success.
Writing, for me, was different. I loved it so much that I was determined to find a way. I was more than willing to take risks and make the commitment and investment. Nothing could stop me. When we feel that way about something, the odds of making it happen are better, but we need a plan!
One thing people say to me a lot is they don’t have the time.
Of course, we juggle many, many things in life. For me, it’s writing, cleaning, cooking, the household infrastructure, exercise, reading, taking good care of myself and the people I love, etc. Time management is everything, as we know, because time is such a precious commodity.
I’m a big fan of schedules or “to do” lists. It’s my way of making sure everything gets done. If I begin to fall behind in one area, I’ll work out a new schedule. They are easy to update in Word documents, rearranging priorities as necessary.
To that effort, if you make a list of what you spend your time on, you will likely find you devote hours to stuff you don’t want or have to do so much, if at all. The same goes for people who will drain you or upset you for hours or days afterward. Some will even waste precious moments arguing with people on the internet. There has to be a way to make less or no time for those people.
It doesn’t matter if you find only fifteen minutes a day to work on your dream goals. Find the space to make your dream come true. Use whatever time you’ve got. You will expand as necessary and adjust, ultimately realizing it does fit in.
For many years now, I’ve been waking up early (4 a.m.!) and writing in the dark with the moonlight. It’s always something to look forward to when I turn in for the night. When I had to, I did my writing before work, whatever time I could devote to it, plus a workout. Before heading to work, I’d already been up seven hours. For night people, you may be able to set aside time after dinner or before bed. Make it a romantic adventure just for you, your coffee, tea, whatever, and what you love doing.
And you have to guard that time! Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m working.” Tell people when you’ll be free. Treat it like a regular job, even if others don’t.
Of course, the time you spend working toward your dream is a priority but not the only priority. How would you respond if someone approached you or called you at work? Is it important enough for an interruption? How would you respond to an invitation that conflicts with your work schedule? You get to decide if it warrants the afternoon off or not. Avoid losing momentum. Sure, you can be sick or take vacation time, but you don’t let it go for months or years. It has to be a constant in your life.
Of course, we have to have a backup plan always—a job to fall back on. Most people know to save as much money as possible.
Many years ago, however, I loved curling up with catalogs and making lists of what I wanted to order, and I intended to pay off my credit cards, but I ended up filing for bankruptcy. It took years to rebuild my credit score, and now, they give me a nearly perfect score. Imagine that!
But I’m the last one to get “the latest thing” if I decide to get it at all. I’m not looking to impress or keep up with anyone. I get to decide what’s worth it. For example, people love to go to the movies, the thrill of being in theaters and being among the first to see it. I’m so over that. I watch movies at home and save money there. Living in New York, I’ll rarely shell out the price of a ticket to a Broadway show, and I love Broadway shows. It’s just expensive, so I’ll splurge only now and then. I’m not too fond of concerts because I don’t like crowds, so I save money there, too. In short, I’ve learned, we don’t need everything we think we need.
And when you get good at saving, start investing. Your investment account can be growing toward buying you more time.
Take it seriously. Build a website. Create a Facebook page for what you do, an Instagram account, etc. Keep doing your thing no matter what. Share what you do with people who enjoy it and are likely to encourage and support you. Vision boards are great. I’ve used them in the past.
Believe in yourself. You can do it. Work hard, and don’t let people discourage you! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Strive for humility. That helps. Above all, learn, learn, and keep learning! Keep getting better at what you do. It’s a love affair, a relationship. Devote yourself to it, heart and soul.
UNMERCIFUL: A POEM FROM MY NEW BOOK
My body was a useless entity.
In your presence, it betrayed me.
Like dangerous waters beckoning
In their mystifying beauty.
Their tantalizing fluidity caressed my body
As I resisted taking the plunge.
My body betrayed me,
Ignored me like a preoccupied stranger
With a will of its own.
And, I cruelly learned,
I could control what happened
Only if you were merciful.
But, watching you,
Listening to you,
Was not merciful.
It was a torturous joy.
Feature image above by Stefan Keller from Pixabay
“Unmerciful” is from Awake with the Songbirds Available on Amazon.com
DAMN THE LIES AND TRUTH BE TOLD
THE ELUSIVE TRUTH
Fantasy often bests reality. Sentimentality can provide us with an illusion of innocence in a safe and familiar world. That’s fine, and it’s not hard to understand why people, in their everyday lives, cling to illusions and delusions that comfort and protect.
That said, most of us would say we are honest. Webelievethat we are. The trouble is, we can’t be honest with others until we are honest with ourselves. And we can’t be honest with ourselves until weknowwhat is true—until we confront it, accept it, and deal with it however we must.
So, why would we not know?
Many of us grow up indoctrinated with a built-in belief system. The beliefs we hold may lead to harsh judgments—to the point of shunning, oppressing, and hating others. There is often an unwillingness to understand people who are different. And these core ideologies can…
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IS FACEBOOK MORE BAD THAN GOOD?
Let’s put this massive collection of egos in a fishbowl and see what happens.
That’s the gist of it.
We never before had so much access to one another’s thoughts and opinions, which can be unsettling if not altogether frightening. If we ever entertained the notion that telepathy would be a great superpower, we now realize it would be a fate worse than death.
Is Mark Zuckerberg putting profits before people, creating a deep divide among users, and manipulating our emotions? The fear, rage, stress, drama, frustration, etc., we put out there are undoubtedly good for engagement and subsequent profits. But, at least part of the blame for the insanity has to go to some of the users, right? “People” tend to mess up everything.
Relationships that had seemed unconditional are not really. Many want you to validate their core beliefs, never challenging or opposing them.
It’s similar to working in a corporate office where someone or another spreads misinformation about a situation, and it goes “office” viral. The initial gossip spreader and everyone who passes it on has no idea what they’re talking about, nor do they care. I hated working in corporate offices for that reason, yet that’s what we have here on Facebook. Often, too, when Facebook flags someone’s posts for providing false information, the poster doesn’t remove it. People insist on believing what isn’t true because it’s what they prefer to believe. The truth doesn’t matter.
Part of the problem is how addictive Facebook is. I am a person who can get addicted to water, cough drops, you name it. (I know what to stay away from.) Here, we get addicted to the dopamine effect—that little blast of euphoria from getting likes on our posts. Addiction, however, does often distort things, and it often impairs our judgment.
People don’t realize there’s no absolute privacy when you voluntarily publish stuff on the internet. They’re not aware of what rights they surrender when they create a Facebook page. They think they can get around the privacy issue by posting disclaimers. Disclaimers do not override Terms of Service, but, having created networks in the past, I realize most people do not read the Terms of Service. Some don’t even know there are terms.
Then, of course, there are the trolls. People stress themselves out arguing with trolls and then complain that said trolls are threatening their family or that they have three brain tumors and this and that, yet these trolls won’t leave them alone.
Don’t talk to trolls, FFS! Please don’t sit there answering them all day! They will never feel sorry for you. You may as well tell them your house is burning down as you tweet, or you’re tweeting them from the ICU. That would be hilarious to them. The more misery they cause, the happier they’ll be. These are not people you can reason with or convince. If they can’t get a rise out of you, it’s not fun for them, so, yes, don’t feed them. That is all.
Troll lecture aside, we fight mostly over politics here, taking our anger and frustration out on people with opposing views. Personally, I always hope, more than anything, that some post or another will help someone see the light. Don’t we all? Of course, that doesn’t usually work. In the meantime, we’re questioning and attacking one another’s integrity. Sure, you only wear the shoe if it fits, but many are determined to squoosh those shoes onto your feet any which way they can.What’s worse is, we’re not changing people’s ideas. Instead, we have them digging in their heels and becoming more vindictive.
What I know is, I don’t want to participate in this kind of thing any longer. I want my contribution to the world to be love, strength, compassion, empathy, and whatever wisdom I can muster.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal recently said, “The damage to self-interest and self-worth inflicted by Facebook today will haunt a generation.”
Over the years, I’ve dealt with people who were in the throes of agony because they can’t help comparing themselves and their lives to what they see posted on Facebook or Instagram.
There’s a syndrome out there—people having a sense that there isn’t enough to go around, and it extends to everything. You get attention; you take from my supply. You succeed; that means I can’t. Now, you’re getting more dopamine effect than me, damn it!
The adverse reactions may often be about envy, sometimes jealousy, but other factors come into play. People-pleasing is one. Preoccupation with it is born out of trauma and persists with societal pressure.
For example, I had the affliction of body dysmorphic disorder for most of my life. Despite the incredible progress I’ve made, there are lingering components.
I’ve often hesitated to post photos because almost every picture I see of myself is hideous to me. Many people feel the same, I’m sure. We may put up an image of us we’re happy with, and then the next day, we see it again and think, ugh, that’s awful. Why did I even post that?
It’s funny because my son once told me, don’t do that fake smile people do when they’re posing for pictures. Usually, when they do that, they look like serial killers. (We were laughing about this and not entirely serious because even he understands my sensitivity about photos.) So, I had to add, try not to look like a serial killer to my picture-taking goals. 🤣
Every now and then when I found a photo that I thought was good, I got pushback or shaming—someone or another saying it was fake, narcissistic, etc. Over the years, I’d heard it all. So, I’ve gotten confused over the whole picture deal.
And my insecurity seems to be a contest I have with myself because:
- I have zero interest in dating.
- By this point in my life, I know I am enough—more than enough and worthy.
- I don’t get jealous of people. There’s so much joy I feel in appreciating how beautiful others are, and I’m not just talking about hair and lips or a body type. Beauty encompasses everything about a person and radiates from within.
- I live the life I created for myself, so I’m happy to see others enjoy themselves.
For me, it’s the people-pleasing thing. I don’t want to disappoint people. It’s an old obsession that seems to be taking longer to go away than any of my other obsessions. I say that because it’s a good reminder that most everyone has their issues and insecurities and their reasons for feeling uncomfortable.
I once thought I didn’t like people in general, but I realize now that I love people; I just don’t know how to deal with them. That’s my issue. Sometimes, along the roads we take in life, that message gets reinforced and stuck in our heads because of what people we care about say to us with or without realizing, or what we see happen when we reach out.
Being against anyone isn’t my thing. Wanting the best for everyone is very much my thing. At the same time, it’s essential to know the difference between being genuinely kind and caring and pleasing people to ward off someone’s hostility, ridicule, or indifference. When I wake up every day, my goal is to be a better person, and I think if we focus on that, the other stuff won’t matter so much.
But if Facebook is making you feel like you’re not enough, remember that your time is precious. So is your energy and your peace. Don’t let anyone have you questioning your worth! There’s a reason we don’t fit in with certain people, and it usually means there are other people out there who are better suited for us. I know it’s hard, but lots of people love and appreciate you. Don’t forget that.
SAME OLD NEIGHBORHOOD
My new book, “Awake With The Songbirds,” which includes the above poem and many more, will be available by the end of next week. I’m so excited!
Please let me know if you are interested in obtaining an advanced review copy or if you’d like me to notify you about any upcoming giveaways. There will be a few chances to win a copy in the forthcoming months!
WHAT DOES HAPPY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? 🥰
We hear a lot these days about your “happy place” and “living your best life.”
Your best life may be nonstop traveling or vacationing in a tropical paradise. Many are content going through the years with their extended, continually growing family, enjoying all the milestones and get-togethers. For some, it’s tending to their garden or going on a cruise, maybe taking photographs of nature. It may simply be achieving your professional goals, especially a long, fulfilling career helping others.
Ten years ago, when both of my parents were ill at the same time, I had panic attacks—even in my chiropractor’s tranquil office while listening to her soothing music. She was a gentle soul with an ethereal beauty about her, and she told me, “Don’t think about it. Just go to your happy place. Visualize it. Focus on it.”
For a lot of people, that happy place is a sun-filled or moonlit beach. Some find immediate comfort thinking about God or Jesus or prayers while surrounded by nature. I pictured a magical place with flowers, trees, birds, and a glistening lake. Taking out a rowboat was a nice thought, too.
Of course, we can have many happy places. I picture people—ones who make me smile and laugh a lot. Then there’s reading books, watching dancers, hearing people sing or play music. I love all of that.
Now, what about that timeworn phrase “happily ever after?” Is it what fairytales have dictated, something we’ve held onto since we were children? There’s a bit of societal pressure, whether it’s your dream or not, but I think most people do genuinely want to find their ideal partner and live a comfortable life with a house, pets, and children.
As I see it, the problem is what others expect of us and what we expect of ourselves. I’ve encountered many people who automatically assume everyone wants what they have. Have you met anyone like that? At best, they feel sad for you. At worse, someone thinks you want to take what they have away from them. Sure, that happens in some instances, but, more often, we’re not reading each other or reading the room, as they say.
I learned, long ago, that I don’t want what most people want, plain and simple and don’t necessarily like what most people like. I never felt the need to run out and get the latest thing because everyone else had it. I got it when and if I needed it. I’ll say, too, another of my happiest places is writing. Any artist might understand that, but a great many others may think that’s just pathetic!
What’s evident to me is, people often envy a life they don’t even want. They may see themselves as failures. It often happens that they didn’t succeed in creating that life because they never really wanted it in the first place. If so, they might have tried harder to get it. They think they should have gotten it, and that maybe something’s wrong with them. Or course, they worry, too, about what others may think.
Well, I agree with those who say, “You do you.” The truth is, it is 100% okay for people to want everyday, traditional things or to want something else entirely. That’s hard for a lot of people, I know. They want to fit in. Me? I only want to fit where I belong—where I’m welcome, accepted, and embraced as who I am.
LETTING GO (WITH ❤️LOVE FOR YOU)
Did you know you could die?
Did you want to die, or simply not care?
All that bravado,
A hellion in rebellion,
But you knew things.
And, everything you said was true.
We smoked in the factory corridor,
Played ball in the streets.
Through summer school and Nok Hockey,
You were everything.
Just like those caramel nut sundaes at Klees
And the old rooster we cried for.
You taught me to be tough
And gave the best advice.
Looking after me
When it wasn’t your job.
You needed your space,
Your own place.
You didn’t need a pesty shadow
I didn’t understand.
We all loved you.
At least, I thought I loved you—
But I couldn’t see you then.
Ghosts can be so many things.
Whatever haunts you.
And, sometimes, what brings you
A silent joy and blessed peace,
You can’t share it with anyone
But the one who shares it with you.
I see you now.
And, so, I released you
When you needed to go.
Like a balloon to the sky.
Or a butterfly,
Or one of those Wish-niks
You and I loved to cling to.
I do love you now,
And I’ll keep sending love to
Wherever you are.
I’ll cherish them forever.
And, I hope you forgive me,
As I do you.
You always did amaze me.
Letting Go from Awake with the Songbirds by Kyrian Lyndon
Photo of sisters in hammock by Janko Ferlič at Unsplash
Photo of rebel woman by Tibi_Varzaru from Pixabay
Photo of caramel nut sundae by chotda on Flicker
Photo of ghost girl by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay
Photo of red balloon in window by Alfons Schüler from Pixabay
Photo of dandelions by InspiredImages from Pixabay
One of The Most Inspiring Videos Ever – KEEP GOING
This is so powerful and on point. I wanted to share it for anyone who needs uplifting and motivation! It’s well worth the ten-minute time investment.
Speakers: Stuart Scott, Steve Jobs, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Les Brown, Andy Frisella, Denzel Washington, Eric Thomas
BEST FOR ALL OF US TO DO THIS TOGETHER
As one of those people who believe kindness is a key to survival and, yes, empathy and love, I see that as more evident now than it ever was.
Once upon a time, I worked in a hospital where nurses, children, and hemophiliacs were testing positive for HIV along with heterosexuals who got it from an infected partner. People were saying that quarantining the infected was the solution. Of course, they believed it affected only drug addicts, gay people, sex workers, etc. Some decided it was God’s wrath.
I think most of us agree that law-abiding people with addictions, afflictions or different sexual preferences and ethnicities do not deserve punishment or anyone’s wrath. It’s just the opposite. They’re entitled to the same rights and to be treated with equal dignity and respect. We embrace them and love them for who they are because they’re as worthy of that as we are.
But when HIV was the biggest concern, I heard people say that quarantining the infected was the solution. They, including our leaders, saw no need to aggressively fight the spread of HIV because they didn’t think their own communities could be affected.
Now, here we are with COVID. Many people who might have thought it was an excellent idea to quarantine people back then are talking about their freedom not to wear a mask or get vaccinated. At a time when the disease seemed to affect minorities they’d deemed undesirable, they didn’t question the government or the existence of a pandemic. They somehow found methods of complying with safer sex.
Meanwhile, I guarantee those people infected with HIV would have loved to get vaccinated if it meant the disease going away or not being transmissible. I’m sure most of them willingly did what doctors asked them to do to prevent the spread of this disease.
Thanks to scientists and the gay community who fought tooth and nail for help, effective drugs came along, making HIV no longer a death sentence. Many of those infected live normal lives with the virus and achieve an undetectable status where they can’t infect others.
So, what is the thing about COVID that people suddenly want to be so defiant? I’m sure they’d be outraged if anyone tried to quarantine them or discriminate against them the way they did people with HIV or AIDS. And COVID is so much easier to transmit than HIV. Why would they not, at least, wear a mask?
With all I’ve seen throughout my life, I firmly believe this is not a thing to fool around with, and ego/pride is not anyone’s friend in this sort of crisis.
Please, please, everyone, be safe!
BOOK REVIEW – THE KEEP by F. PAUL WILSON
“Something is murdering my men.”
Thus reads the message received from a Nazi commander stationed in a small castle high in the remote Transylvanian Alps. Invisible and silent, the enemy selects one victim per night, leaving the bloodless and mutilated corpses behind to terrify its future victims.
When an elite SS extermination squad is dispatched to solve the problem, the men find something that’s both powerful and terrifying. Panicked, the Nazis bring in a local expert on folklore–who just happens to be Jewish–to shed some light on the mysterious happenings. And unbeknownst to anyone, there is another visitor on his way–a man who awoke from a nightmare and immediately set out to meet his destiny.
The battle has begun: On one side, the ultimate evil created by man, and on the other…the unthinkable, unstoppable, unknowing terror that man has inevitably awakened.
The Keep by F. Paul Wilson is a supernatural thriller set at the beginning of WW II. The story is rich in history and has many elements I love—Gothic horror, immortal creatures, Romania, a creepy fortress, revenge on nazis, and a worthy nemesis in Rasalom. The book is brilliantly atmospheric.
Wilson’s descriptions are lovely. It’s a fast-paced tale with a great twist, never dull, and it has characters I loved, which is always a plus. In my opinion, it’s a fun but not a terribly scary read, but, then again, I don’t scare easily.
The best part is, I’ve found a new favorite writer in F. Paul Wison and feel as if I should have known about him long ago!
WONDERFUL! LET’S DO IT! WRITE A MEMOIR!
I enjoy a good memoir as a brief respite from psychological thrillers and horror books and have always gone for the human-interest element. What can I say? People and things fascinate me. The idea of writing a memoir, however, hadn’t occurred to me until recently. It seems somehow relevant now in these days of the pandemic, a time when people are still fighting for their rights and their lives.
I’ve oven heard people say, “Certain things need to be kept private.”
Hey, we’re on Facebook and Twitter. The Internet spies. They know what kind of shoes I like. You get messages like, “Don’t you want to give this another look? Come on; we know you don’t have any willpower. Go on. Get it.”
Everything I research for my writing shows up in ads. My character gets injured, and they show me compression wraps.
So, we are living in an age of transparency and accessibility. As an introvert, I never liked that, but I get over it when I’m writing.
WHY I WANT TO DO IT
Understanding is critical in the world we live in today. Oh, I know, some people think there’s way too much empathy in the world and that we need to go back to being vicious and cruel. Maybe even with a bit of medieval torture thrown in for good measure. As for me, I like the fact that time has taught us more about humanity. It’s part of evolving as a species.
The aim of sharing is not to gain sympathy but maybe help shed some light on how certain things develop and how we overcome those challenges even when the odds are against us.
One thing I’ve heard and can relate to as a poet and a writer is, “Don’t waste your pain.” Life is beautiful and tragic, happy, sad, and everything in between, and, as a poet, I’m here for all of it. The pain is often long gone by the time we relay things in poetry and books, but through the pain we once felt, there’s a collective empathy we feel for people trying to navigate whatever we’ve already sorted out.
Speaking of that, I learn from everyone. If someone doesn’t want to talk about a subject or hear about it, that’s okay. Others may be looking for answers to the questions we once had, wanting to survive and thrive as we managed to do and then become better and stronger.
WHAT I DON’T WANT TO DO
Some of the memoirs I’ve read have shown me what I don’t want to do. Here’s my shortlist.
- A personal grudge memoir – If the book is full of swipes at others for revenge, no thanks! As someone who has been on the receiving end of character assassination attempts, I don’t want to do that to anyone. I think it would hurt my soul more than it would hurt them. Write from your heart.
- Get into other people’s stories – Other people’s stories are theirs to tell, not mine. For the most part, I want to make every effort to respect their privacy. I won’t reveal real names (except for mine, but there are still those who would be easily identifiable, so unless I’ve found it necessary to get their permission for one thing or another, their secrets are safe with me.
- Name dropping – I’ve lived in New York all my life. When you live in New York, you see famous people. You meet famous people. None of them had anything to do with anything relevant in my life.
- List sexual conquests in graphic detail– Just no. Recently, I read a memoir where the author constantly got into what physical characteristics he liked and didn’t like in a woman. What body parts were his favorite, all the intimate details of his sexual prowess. It made me wonder, why am I reading this? What is the focus? Yeah, no.
I’ll ask my alpha and beta readers to check me on all of that.
And, don’t get me wrong, there are people who read memoirs for all of the above, and they love it, so I’m not knocking it. If that’s your thing, go for it, no judgment here.
WHAT I DO WANT TO DO
Memoirs have a focus, yes, and it’s not just to present your life story like you would in an autobiography. Mine is a story about addiction and recovery (from many things). I am one of the fortunate ones who lived to tell how it went for me—going from victim to survivor and beyond to what we call “surthriver.” That fits because we’re learning to do so much more than merely survive. It would focus on an all-consuming fight for sanity, peace, and recovery. I want to make readers feel like they are right there with me for all of it. But, fair warning, being right there with me is bound to get pretty scary.
And let me tell you, when people say they have no regrets, I’m sure I misunderstand what they mean by that or, perhaps, take it too literally. I can’t imagine not having regrets. Most of us do cause pain, even if we don’t want to, and the one thing I regret more than anything is the people I’ve hurt in my oblivion and ignorance.
Recovery, for me, has also been an ongoing journey toward authenticity, removing the veils layer by layer, discarding the masks. I was told, in recovery, we are only as sick as our secrets. Of course, we are allowed to have secrets. But if your hidden truth has you living a double life or creates a barrier between you and the world, and you tend to compartmentalize aspects of your life as part of the deception, it can make you sick. It can limit your healing. It can impede your goal of authenticity.
Oh, I’ve revealed my secrets to certain people and groups of people, but some of the struggles weren’t public ones, so, in this case, I will tell the whole story of my recovery. Unfiltered, I hope to include the humor and joy among the tragic madness.
My favorite memoirs have been well-written and inspiring with a powerful message. They are my inspiration. It makes me happy, too, when an author is aware of their patterns and vulnerabilities and seeks answers. That’s how we evolve as humans. The constant transition brings wisdom and strength. Raw honesty combined with accountability helps everyone, especially those of us who have gotten caught in a cycle of self-loathing and self-sabotage at some point in life. There is a need for truth and spiritual courage, as well as a need to remain teachable.
And what is the truth? For me, the truth is what makes sense to you after all your exploration and quest for authenticity. I say it all the time, no group, no matter who, what, or where is perfect. Some have seen the light, and others have yet to see it. Let’s hope they keep looking.
Joy Can’t Wait
Love this post from my friend, Amy. She has so much wisdom to share, and she’s not only brilliant, she’s funny, too.
Last month, I mentioned that I walked my hood daily during COVID as a healthy alternative to going completely bonkers (for which there is no vaccine), and that I continue to do so even though my local gym has re-opened. Yes, the gym has a range of equipment that exercises all of me, large flatscreen TVs with a zillion channels, regulated comfy year-round temps, and fluffy towels, but after nine years, it’s… boring. Not so the varied streets of my town, where every day brings something new and interesting to my view:
A jumble of tiny painted clay gnomes set beneath a maple tree.
An interweave of hedge branches so intricately constructed, so heartstoppingly beautiful, I paused in mid-stride, certain British nature sculptor Laura Bacon had snuck in and arranged it all moments before.
An eye-popping purple gate leading to a hidden garden.
The May morning everyone’s tulips bloomed, cued…
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A LOVING LETTER TO A FRIEND
What are we going to do about the fact that I’m dying?”
She asked him.
“There’s a lot we haven’t resolved.
There’s so much we can’t say to each other,
I don’t think I’ve done enough for you,
Or that I ever deserved you.
“I keep trying to let things go,
Let it be,
And I think it works, most of the time.
Wisdom is crystallized pain,
And my greatest pain has been your sadness.
I worry so much about you.
When you entered my world.
You led me to the right path,
Revealed my inner shadows.
You made me a better human.
And, I love you.
And, I just want you to be okay.
More than anything, I want you to be happy.
But, you’re not, and I can’t leave you like that.
You deserve to find your joy.
“Walking away from hard-hearted people is easy
Despite your impenetrable shell,
Are the kindest person I have ever known.
I could never walk away.
I’d miss you more than
I’ve ever missed anything in my life.
“Oh, and what are we going to do about the fact that you’re dying?”
She asked him next.
“I think you’re afraid.
A lost soul who can’t find the path that leads home.
I see innocence,
Your eyes don’t light up.
I see the beauty you don’t see,
Or in the world around you.
“Believe me; I get it.
The world makes you angry,
Robs you of the will to fight.
What you say concerns me, though.
I want to talk to you about it,
But when I do, you shut me down.
You can’t forgive those people,
And you’re right about them:
They don’t deserve any more of your energy.
It baffles me that they were so unkind,
To someone so precious.
And, because of them,
You haven’t been kind to yourself.
You don’t love who you are,
But I love you.
“Thank you for continuing to live when
You wanted to die.
Maybe I had no right to insist
Life’s worth fighting for.
It’s your existence,
I can’t suffer it for you.
And, I’d never say you were selfish,
No matter what you chose.
Unbearable is just that.
But, in every blessed way, you transformed me.
You showed me unconditional love.
“Of course, I know, too, how hard you fought to survive.
I’m honored that you chose to stay with me.
And, though you’d never admit it,
You’ve come such a long way.
It still hurts, I know,
But you’re never alone,
And never will be.
“Promise me this, though.
Begin, once again, to cherish
The whisper of the wind,
The beauty of a clear day,
And the divinity in all of nature.
Hold hands with someone,
Sigh at the faraway places,
Laugh at yourself,
Find humor wherever you can,
And let somebody hug you.
Embrace your vulnerability,
Savor your progress,
Celebrate your triumphs, and
Learn from your mistakes,
“Promise me, too,
You’ll take a chance on love
Again and again.
Reach out, my dear one.
Find it in your heart to forgive.
You’ll be back.
I’ll be back.
We’ll cross paths again.
We are all dying, my friend, so, please
Begin to live.”
“My Friend” from Awake with the Songbirds by Kyrian Lyndon
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Thank you! Hope you enjoyed the poem!
THAT DEVOTED GIRL SHATTERED BY YOUR TRUTH IS FREE
I had a dream about you last night and woke up crying. I couldn’t sleep after that.
In the dream, you were angry with me—full of anger, full of hate. You had shut the door on me and left me out in the cold. I kept calling to you with a child’s unbearable anguish. You didn’t hear.
At some point, I cried, “Help me, daddy,” and finally, you came. I thought you were going to hit me or hurt me with your scarred and violent soul, but you didn’t. You hugged me. Well, you didn’t just hug me. You gave me the kind of hug I’d wanted from you since childhood, the comfort I always needed, and I didn’t want to let go.
I miss your smile and your jokes, Dad, your handsome face, and all of your wisdom, but I have to ask. Does a father realize he is the first man a girl gives her heart to completely? The first man she trusts blindly and devotedly? Did you realize?
I used to think I was hard to love.
Whatever people said—men especially—I wanted to believe them. Deep down, I didn’t. Not a word. And every time a man took something from me that I didn’t want him to have, every time a man tried to silence me, belittle me, or make me doubt myself, I punished him, pummeling him with words and crushing him with goodbye. I could be angry with them but not you.
What if things had been different between us, though? Would I had been less vulnerable or had the confidence to be my authentic self, knowing I was worthy and lovable? Would I have chosen more wisely? Would I have stopped running and hiding, oblivious to my weaknesses and my desperate needs? Would I have respected myself more? Might I have found someone I could love, for real? Someone who could have loved me back? Because I didn’t let them … I made sure they couldn’t.
Well, no matter, that’s all changed now. I picked up the shattered pieces of my heart and began to love myself.
It’s hard not to feel that twinge of emotion when I hear father tributes of the heroes who boosted confidence and taught children to believe in themselves. I honestly wish everyone could beam with that pride, feeling safe, content, and protected in that eternal bond.
It’s easy to defeat someone when you have all the power, when you are on a pedestal from the start, and you make all the rules. You can create vulnerability and punish the very same, though you don’t mean it. You can erase one’s humanity because of your denial, your self-loathing, and your shame, though you’re not aware. You can damage a person almost beyond repair. And, after the wrecking ball, cleanup of that wreckage rests solely on those tiny shoulders. Yeah, those shoulders get bigger, but somehow it all gets harder and more complicated.
I cleaned up that mess, though. The void lasts forever, and many people can attest to that, but I got those things I needed. It just takes ongoing effort to hold on to them.
And by the time I had a child of my own, I knew all too well what a child needs. I was able to give him that, but I couldn’t give him YOU. Oh, he’s brilliant and kind and funny, and so very loyal. Like you, he’s hard and strong but with such a tender heart. He needed you, and he still needs you, though he’d never admit it now. He’d been shattered right along with me, but we rose to the challenge, and he loves with his whole heart like I do. I’m proud of him, and I’d like to think you’d be proud of him, too, but it doesn’t matter now.
Look, maybe you didn’t give me what I needed, but you gave what you had. I saw a brave and modest man, generous with assistance and advice—a hero to many, and I know why they love you. I know why I loved you. Sure, it’s easy to love someone when you think they are perfect; when you hold them up on a pedestal and pretend they are everything you need and always wanted. You fell off that pedestal when I was twelve, Dad, but I loved you so much, flaws and all, and I still do. That’s unconditional love, and though you couldn’t give that to me, you still get it. Because guess what? You deserved that, too, from the people who didn’t give it to you.
Yeah, I knew why you were the way you were, though you accepted no excuses from me when I fell short. You could never understand me, but I understood you. Though you couldn’t hear me, yours was the loudest voice I’d heard in my entire life—a voice that continued to bellow in my ear for a lifetime. It kept me from standing up. It kept me from fighting, and it kept me from winning until I did all those things because I couldn’t lose any more. I climbed in spite of you, because of you and for you, because you couldn’t do it yourself, and I understand that.
When you were angry, devastated, and tortured, I tried to tell you it would be okay, that I was sorry for you, and that I loved you, but it seemed too much for you to bear at the time. Then, in the end, I forgave you, and you forgave me. It took a lifetime, but we got there.
Sigh. There are many things we never got to do, Dad, and it’s too late now. You’re gone. But I do have some fond memories of you that I will cherish always.
And here’s what I wish.
I wish I could go back in time with you—to those boyhood days when you were punished severely for no good reason—when you were invalidated, shamed, ridiculed, and ignored, just to tell you how awesome you were, and all you could be and do with your life. I’d say I believe in you, and that you have everything you need to succeed. I would say over and over that I love you to the moon and back, so you would know how worthy you are of that love. And maybe you would have grown up to be what you wanted, and have felt no shame. Then when it was your turn, you could have done the same. You would have known I was not an extension of you and didn’t have to represent you or your ideals. Perhaps you would not have expected such a conformist “go with the flow” type of kid who didn’t make waves but sang to a song you couldn’t possibly hear. You would not have lost empathy. You wouldn’t have cared how others saw me or what they would think. You’d have simply treasured me for the person I am. Imagine that!
The aching in my heart is that I want that for everyone. I wish all men and women who didn’t get what they needed as children would give that and get it back in abundance however they can. And I’m infinitely grateful to every hardworking mom and dad who gets up every day ready and willing to get it all right, including you.
Rest easy, Dad, and know you will always be in my heart.
10 Ways Strong Women Move Past Their ‘Daddy Issues’
Why Dads Matter — Especially to Girls
© Copyright May 31, 2016 by Kyrian Lyndon at kyrianlyndon.com
YAY! MY NEW BOOK IS HERE! 😊
I’m putting the word out that my new poetry book, Awake with the Songbirds, is available NOW on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle versions!
I also have free review copies in both formats, so please send me a message or comment if you’d like to review the book.
Lastly, if you would like a chance to win a free copy, follow this blog for upcoming details.
AND I FELT DRENCHED IN LOVE
From “Awake with the Songbirds” (coming soon)!
DO YOU SEE A LIGHT BEYOND THE DARKNESS?
“When the whole world is entrenched in the bunker of physical and often emotional isolation, only flexibility and ingenuity can revive us to remain grounded and imbibe the bolstering sunlight piercing through the canvas of chaos.― Erik Pevernagie
Whether it’s socially, mentally, or physically, being out of your comfort zone can be unbearable—more so for some than others.
During the pandemic, we’ve had hard decisions to make, all of us, knowing whatever decision we made for ourselves would impact the loved ones in our bubble who’ve been riding it out with us. They’re not only counting on surviving it themselves; they’re counting on you to survive. A year is fleeting compared to a future without the people you love.
I always remember what my younger sister would say when things were not so great. “It’s temporary.” And what I used to tell myself, “Life is an adventure, part of which is figuring out what to do with every challenge thrown at you and then rising through the challenge.”
The restrictions, added to other stressful political and personal situations, have been tiring. They certainly brought out the ugly in some and the beauty in others. There are people in my life who’ve been sick with Covid or lost loved ones to the virus, and, at least for the time being, the spark I used to see in them is gone.
Finding ways to cope with even simpler things like wearing a mask and the constant handwashing and disinfecting is frustrating, yes, but we are warriors and survivors, and I love that about us. It comes down to preserving yourself for when you can get back the life you want. It’s definitely a time we need therapeutic measures—including ways to escape.
Sure, it was easier for most of us writers. I worked on several books, wrote poem after poem, read one book after another. Those were all things I could never wait to do, so, believe it or not, it was exciting.
Taking walks has always been an excellent balance for working in isolation, but there’s a lot of construction going on around here, where I live. Long Island is the suburbs, but my neighborhood, right now, looks like a rundown part of the city.
My son, who never cooked much in the past, decided to watch all these cooking videos and learn to make all these incredible meals from scratch. He became a great chef and managed to lose weight in the process because he worked out daily while doing his job remotely. All of it was a great confidence builder and kept him motivated!
Working out whenever, wherever, makes you feel good (well, afterward, at least 😉).
As for me, along with whatever else I was doing, I’d think crocheting might be enjoyable or maybe guitar lessons, but then I’d have to buy a guitar. So, another pastime I had was deciding what place I wanted to move to and then, from time to time, check out what houses were for sale there. For a while, it was Norway, then Germany, then Amsterdam. Right now, it’s York, in England. Yes, I want to move to York. I do very much, want to move.
And who knew I’d rediscover Super Mario Brothers and become so good at the Dr. Mario game? (Listen to me, bragging!) Well, it helps your coordination and response time. That is good for me. 😆
Music was another Godsend.
We’re so lucky, too, to have the internet for connecting with everyone—being able to talk to people all over the world about how they’re coping with the very same thing. I can’t imagine how people managed crisis after crisis in the dark ages. But they did!
And what I love most is the fact that laughter gets you through everything. You can’t ever lose your sense of humor. I was joking with a cab driver the other day about neighbors who never knock on your door, and suddenly, during the height of a pandemic, they come a-knocking. And it’s to tell you something like there’s a piece of paper outside your door, an advertisement. Uh, thank you?
No! Don’t bring me things when we are in lockdown! Do not knock on my door!
He and I laughed so much about that, joking back and forth because you have to. Sometimes people mean well, I know. And sometimes they don’t.
Another day, I got a letter in the mail saying that my neighbor (mentioned by name) is a disgusting boyfriend-stealing whore who will sleep with anyone, and her family deserves better than that. High school shit or something you’d expect to see on Desperate Housewives or maybe Jerry Springer. Its author used cut-out letters like a ransom note and pasted a biohazard symbol at the bottom. It’s not what healthy people do. It’s more so the work of a narcissist dragging everyone into their bullshit. They are experts at character assassination.
How dare they, right? Whatever happened between these people is their business, and I don’t care. Imagine someone cutting out all these letters to make a note like that? And God knows how many of these the person sent out! I found it appalling. Not my circus, not my monkeys, as they say. Come to think of it, I don’t have any of that chaos in my life these days, and I like it like that.
Aside from the heartbreak I feel as so many are still struggling to cope, I also have this stubborn enthusiasm that we may finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. And that has me talking up a storm lately with an energy I haven’t put forth in a while.
Hold on to your peace however you can, and you will be okay.
“I can be by myself because I’m never lonely; I’m simply alone, living in my heavily populated solitude, a harum-scarum of infinity and eternity, and Infinity and Eternity seem to take a liking to the likes of me.”― Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude
SAME OLD NEIGHBORHOOD
My new book, “Awake With The Songbirds,” which includes the above poem and many more, will be available by the end of next week. I’m so excited!
Please let me know if you are interested in obtaining an advanced review copy or if you’d like me to notify you about any upcoming giveaways. There will be a few chances to win a copy in the forthcoming months!
AWAKE WITH THE SONGBIRDS: POETRY BOOK WRITTEN DURING THE LONG COVID PANDEMIC
COMING IN EARLY JULY
This collection consists primarily of poems written during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time of loneliness and rumination.
Lyndon’s poetry stems from intense emotions that swing from one end of the pendulum to the other as she captures the agony of love and loss, along with innocent joy and lighthearted fun.
Each poem is an earnest response to life, love, and everything in between.
Here is one poem in the collection.
SAME OLD NEIGHBORHOOD
The neighborhood hasn’t changed,
But the draperies on the windows have been swept aside.
We see you.
Telling someone to go back to where they came from,
To the place where they had no voice
And no choice.
That place where they were beaten,
Neglected and shamed,
Where they never felt safe,
Never had a chance.
Oh, they’d love to go home,
But, home isn’t home anymore.
The neighborhood hasn’t changed,
But, the fanfaronade has consequences.
We hear you.
It’s not just words.
It’s not simply freedom.
It’s a weapon to harm and destroy.
To punish those who aren’t the same.
People just like you commit horrific crimes,
But you don’t identify them
Only with crimes because they mirror you.
People just like you hurt you and fight you and hate you
But you don’t see them all as threatening because they are you.
The neighborhood hasn’t changed,
But many more of us want to live here only in peace.
You can make that happen.
So many beautiful people I’ve known in my life
Were those people you rejected,
And they were full of warmth and kindness and wisdom.
You don’t see them because they’re not the same.
The neighborhood hasn’t changed,
And neither has any divine love for all who live here.
Like you, we are sacred.
All is sacred every moment of every day.
WHAT READERS SAY
“She has the ability to convey to the reader some of the most complex thoughts into words that truly reach our hearts.”— Love Books
“Her lyrical voice speaks with careful observation and passion. In the narrative mode, she is masterful in reading life around her. Kyrian possesses the sensitivity, insight, and soul of the true poet. Her writing provides a primer on how to compose meaningful poetry.”—Lou Jones
Please let me know if you are interested in obtaining an advanced review copy or if you’d like me to notify you about any upcoming giveaways. There will be a few chances to win a copy in the forthcoming months!
BOOK REVIEWS ON A COUPLE OF THRILLERS
I love a good thriller.
Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin and As So It Begins by Rachel Abbott are two books that provided the page-turning suspense that kept me reading but still managed to leave me disappointed.
The main reason is I need characters I can like and root for throughout the book. Please give me one, at least.
It’s particularly distressing when I think there’s one, but it turns out in the end that they all suck.
My reviews for these will be short.
Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders…and he’s tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain’s elite SAS. Now he’s an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn’t just one cop trying to catch a killer, he’s the man who’s got all the pieces to the puzzle…
Knots and Crosses introduces a gifted mystery novelist, a fascinating locale and the most compellingly complex detective hero at work today.
My review: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I know Ian Rankin is good. So many people recommend his work. I also know Knots and Crosses was not the best example of why he is popular.
The main character in Knots and Crosses , Detective John Rebus, does not seem to do much of anything but drink and get laid. He didn’t solve any crimes, let alone the main one. There was nothing to like about him and plenty to not like. Oh, there is sufficient reason to feel sorry for him. I felt sorry for the victims, too, and, of course, I rooted for the ones still alive, but it’s not as if you get to know them. I liked the book, sure. I just needed more.
Mark and Evie had a whirlwind romance. Evie brought Mark back to life after the sudden death of his first wife. Cleo, Mark’s sister, knows she should be happy for him. But Cleo doesn’t trust Evie…
When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.
Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As Evie stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?
And So It Begins is a darkly compulsive psychological thriller with all the hallmarks of a Rachel Abbott bestseller – a provocative dilemma, richly-layered mystery, knife-edge tension, and brilliant characterization.
My review: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This book I liked a lot. Rachel Abbott is a wonderful storyteller, and As So It Begins is a well-written page-turner. I hated the twist and the ending for personal reasons, but I can’t get into that without spoilers.
What I can say is, the detective here, Stephanie King, is nowhere near as interesting as the people involved in the mystery that unfolds. (This is her series, and she is the star, but you’d never know it.) She turns up now and then and mostly worries about her love life. I feel like the whole story could have happened without her minimal involvement. A couple of minor characters impressed me, but, as I mentioned above, I want to root for at least one of the main characters.
As an aside, I’m reading another of Rachel Abbott’s books right now called The Invitation, and I love it, but now that I’m many chapters deep into the book, Detective Stephanie King emerges once again.
Hopefully, she makes a better impression here than in the last book.
CHANGING YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON CRITICISM HELPS!
“What other people think of me is none of my business.”
Yes, I’ve heard that, too, but I agree only in part. We still have to be accountable for our behavior, and it doesn’t help to stubbornly insist we are fine—and that whatever we do is okay regardless of how many people say otherwise.
It doesn’t mean we have to believe every negative thing anyone says about us. It’s more about the willingness to consider what others have to say, whether we like what they’re saying or not. It’s about our responsibility to learn, grow, and evolve.
Everything comes back to balance for me, but when you’re able to set aside ego and keep an open mind, discernment about what to take personally and what to blow off becomes easier.
You can surely tell if something is malicious or plain stupid.
For example, and speaking as an author now, we…
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QUIET ETERNAL SONG – a short story by David Antrobus
Here is a short story written by a dear friend of mine, author/editor, David Antrobus. I just love the beauty of his writing and storytelling, and, so, I wanted to share it with you.
David Antrobus Posted On Saturday, December 5, 2020 At 10:53PM
She showed up every afternoon in the town square, her guitar and amp ready to display her bona fides, ready to dazzle. She used to hear god’s whisper but no longer.
She was an auburn beauty, which was incidental, but her gathered ponytail and her classical vulpine face were assets, however the music came.
Yes, pretty hurts, but goddamn, it still had such currency.
“Pretty lady, I won’t rain on your parade, but this isn’t the place for you.”
The wolf had appeared from shadows beneath the chapel roof and the market awnings, and he smiled through tumultuous teeth and tried to dam his drool. Oh, he was hungry.
“The skies are clear and this isn’t my parade, Mr. Wolf,” she said. “This is a way station, and I come from elsewhere, but here I sing my truth.”
“Don’t push me, woman.”
“I won’t. Instead I’ll make my music.”
And she did that. Splashes of half or quarter melodies, staccato squalls merging into dreamscape, arpeggios traipsing on ramparts of crenelated chords, spiralling into the darkest of wells and spinning into meadowlark updrafts. Distortion like the most shattered of mirrors, hot liquid globules and elastic spans of glass, a glittering haze of misted diamond. Her thumb like a hammer conjuring bass notes, rhythmic and sundry as coitus, her arachnid fingers a blur as lacquered nails plucked and glissandoed reflected layers of overlapping melody. And above it soared her voice, like the great mountain condor, effortless and buoyed by thermals.
The townsfolk gathered and grew in numbers, and they sometimes sang snippets that only augmented her song, and children danced, and then their mothers, and then, looking sheepish between themselves, their fathers.
The wolf was humbled, reduced, his snout a wilted thing, his ears flat, the luxuriance of his tail now tucked.
“Mr. Wolf, I won’t stay. I’ve done what I came for, and it’s always time to move on. What will you do?”
Cupping the town in its rough hands was a landscape of clear streams and falls, forests dappled by light and deer, skies that paraded like blue and white and grey ticker tape, crags and flats and the quiet eternal song of the land.
The wolf, who recognized the good as well, knew all this and loved it, but he felt thwarted. Her cello nape, her downy hollows, her female scent itself a taunt, and though he knew he was wrong, he let himself down.
“I will eat you; it’s how I’m made. It’s what I am. And you, my chestnut fawn, were made for this too.”
She sighed while she packed her instruments. Something in the faraway hills echoed and crackled like an exhaled nightmare. She wished she could love the wolf and receive his love in turn.
“You will do what you were made to do, Mr. Wolf. But you are not emblematic of your kind.”
The wolf was puzzled. He didn’t know what emblematic meant. And while he crunched her words like marrow from the bones of a lover, spurned and sickly as the plague-struck, the townsfolk moved in silence with their clubs and knives and systematically dismembered him, and hearing his last furious yowl she cried as she left town, her hardware hunched like a stigma on her back, the neck of her guitar a phallus, her keening cry a screech of corvid grief in the spent and airless afternoon.
SO, WHAT’S NEW? HERE’S MY EXCITING UPDATE! 😊
I’ve been shut down and holed up here in my little world, feeling very disconnected. It’s like I activated my “off button” and can’t seem to switch it back on for long. I wonder how many of you need to do that now and then. I also had a sinus infection and then a pinky toe stress fracture, which I still have.
Last Friday, I went to have blood work done—all ready to do the people thing. The nurse drawing the blood didn’t have a printout for the thyroid part of the order. She told me to go to the front desk and ask them to print out that order. When I did that, they printed the same one she already had, and the nurse told me to go back again and tell them it wasn’t the correct printout. So, the woman at the front desk got all flustered. She complained to someone on the phone that this was “really stressing her out.” I have to walk back and forth with one sneaker and one shoe cast s to get printouts that should be in the lab, and she’s stressed out. Then she keeps repeating into the phone, “I know. I know, right?”
At one time in my life, I would have had to say something to her, but I just wanted to achieve what I was there to accomplish and get out of there. I explained politely, remaining calm, and someone eventually took care of it. I mean, have your little hissy fit, just give me what I need, and I’m gone. These little things are not worth my peace anymore.
Anyway, during the healing process, I have been writing a lot. My new poetry book is almost complete. A paranormal fantasy book is underway, along with the sequels to Shattering Truths.
The idea I had for a non-fiction book has turned into something else entirely—a somewhat shocking recovery memoir. It’s not fiction like Shattering Truths, so, for me, it is a huge deal. I’ve written most of it already, and I hope I don’t change my mind about publishing it. I believe it can, at the very least, be helpful to someone.
I’ll be looking for beta readers who’d like to read along and give input for any of these projects.
Of course, I’ve been reading a lot of books, too. Right now, I have a few lined up that are about Edinburgh detectives. It’s what I’m into right now, reading about Scotland and these mystery thrillers.
I watched a lot of the heartbreaking Derek Chauvin trial, and I’ve read about all these shootings across the country (including a recent one in my county on Long Island). For quite a while now, this whole world has needed a reset button. I always thought if there is a divine message for us, it would be, “Start over, people. You can do way better than that.”
On a lighter note, I’ve also been watching:
Netflix – Bridgerton, Lucifer, and the 100.
Prime -Dark Shadows, Mad Men, and Suits.
Network TV – I love Good Girls and Manifest.
I am such a fan of the 100. I love Suits, and Dark Shadows is one of my all-time favorites. Lucifer is hilarious, and I like Bridgerton, but I’m still waiting to see what all the fuss is about.
(It takes me a long time to get through a series because I may watch one show a night.)
What about you? What are you watching? Let me know in the comments, and, stay safe and well! ❤️
THE WORLD NEEDS TO BE FULL OF LOVE 🥰
“The rationale seems to be that we keep people as victims by validating them, empathizing with them, and fighting alongside them for equality and the dignity they deserve. I don’t think people are kept down by that. I believe what keeps people down is the constant dismissal of their pain, the degradation, the humiliation, the fear of injustice, and the continuous crushing of their will, their faith, and their hope. This type of oppression kills the self-esteem people need to empower themselves.” ― Kyrian Lyndon
“The world is getting too small for both an Us and a Them. Us and Them have become codependent, intertwined, fixed to one another. We have no separate fates, but are bound together in one. And our fear of one another is the only thing capable of our undoing.” ― Sam Killermann
First image by danielaceronmarin10 from Pixabay
Second image by Anderlane Andie from Pixabay
REVIEW: IN THE GRIP by Myer Kutz
Well-drawn characters come to life with superb dialogue and compelling description, transporting the reader into the time and place of this narrative.
Myer Kutz has a writing style that is lively and entertaining. A slow-paced beginning sets the stage for skillful plot development with many clever twists and turns.
Mordecai Bornstein is the story’s endearing protagonist. He is someone to admire, root for and respect despite his weaknesses. He tells the tale of a charming love story, his profound devotion to the lovely Patricia who is not simply a stunner but a brilliant, successful woman making her own strides.
Be patient with the author’s masterful storytelling; the pace picks up and continues to accelerate until you can’t put it down. The end reward is delivered in spades. You will want to go back and read it again for anything you may have missed.
The epilogue was beautiful. I loved it. I think it would make a wonderful movie.
by Myer Kutz (Author)
Purchase on Amazon
SHE SAID NO, BUT YOU DIDN’T CARE
SHE SAID NO
Dying embers set alight—
What had those vile creatures unleashed in me?
What beast had they awakened?
I think I vowed to kill the beast
With a single flame’s fury and resilience,
Bury it so deep in the abyss
That it would never again rear its ugly head.
Part of me did make this promise.
The other part embraced
An unfolding of life’s inextinguishable flames
And the mind’s unspoken bondage.
Because the crushing of one’s will
Didn’t cease with the conquest.
Poison oozed from the wound
Like some fairy tale curse
That corrupted your spirit,
Making it so vile,
You couldn’t know or understand your desires.
Kyrian Lyndon – Deadly Veils Book One: Shattering Truths
WE HEAL FOR THE GREATER GOOD
Above image by Brian D’Cruz at Hypno Plus
Every day, something reminds me of how vital it is for us to heal and recover from all trauma and harm and the consequences of subsequent obsessions.
I read something yesterday that said we should treat everyone like they are sacred until they begin to believe they are. That would be the ideal way to live, wouldn’t it? It would certainly solve a lot of problems in our world, individually and collectively. I’d love to commit myself to that. I’m certainly going to try, and, of course, I’ll need to remind myself always. It’s so easy to be impatient with people, but we all could use a little patience from others. We’re trying. We’re doing our best. Breaking the cycle of continuous damage to ourselves is a divine process.
I’m sending love to everyone and wishing you the very best, an abundance of all good things! Stay safe and well. ❤️
Feature image (at the top of the page) by Brian D’Cruz at Hypno Plus