From The Heart

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” -Rumi

My character is experiencing this right now. He is learning that…

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” –Tom Bodett

How about you?

Clarity

That awesome moment when you realize everything you’ve lived through has come to this: that moment text transforms pain into healing, joy into triumph.
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It requires deep energy. It’s a beast to tame. It is reality then crafted into experiences that others can grasp and understand and accept. They”hear” you. You have been heard. You have touched other souls.
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But first comes the work. The trust. The giving of oneself to the All. And the return of peace. And joy.
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You got this, writers! Carry on.

Excerpt (Deliverance)

He pulled up the drive slowly, enjoying the hum of his new Jeep, fresh from the dealership, and the scenery.  As much as the property in the Salinas foothills isolated him, it nourished Joe’s soul, especially on a clear blue day like today.  The sun lit the oaks and cast early afternoon shadows that almost hugged the trees as noon faded away.  He rolled down the driver’s side window to catch the chatter of blue jays and inhale the scent of sweet, dry grass that cattle grazed.  He was alone, but he wasn’t lonely.  It had taken only a month on house arrest, with Daniel and Ryan present, to help get him back on his feet and back to the new early days of a life without alcohol.  He’d accepted the pain and embraced it.  Pushing it down had only pushed Wendy away. Acceptance brought healing in an unusual way, he mused.  And Addie.  Just knowing how happy she would be to see him, quickened his heart as he pulled under the great oak that shaded his drive.  There she was, wagging her body, greeting him with a prance and a bow.  

“Hey, girl!”  He got out of the Jeep and wrapped her in a bear hug, both giving the other a nuzzle. She licked his face; she ran and brought back a tennis ball.  Joe obliged and threw it high and far, deep onto the property.  Addie shot forward like a bullet.  He waited while she tracked it and sniffed it out, then joyfully returned it to him.

“Good girl!”

Addie sat expectantly and Joe threw the ball for half of an hour before they both went inside for a drink of water.  Joe watched the Golden Retriever lap at the bowl while he finished his bottle of Aquafina.  Ryan had been so right.  Addie was just what he needed.  She’d arrived fully trained at the age of three years.  There would be no extra fuss or puppy days to work through which was ideal for him at this state in life.  Addie and he were fast buddies through and through and he enjoyed her company so much that he found his days full and complete, centered around her.  Thanks to Addie, Joe enjoyed walking twice daily and rode through the country in the new Jeep with her.  She slept alongside him and licked away his tears when the loss of Wendy haunted him.  She nudged him until he wrapped an arm around her and fell asleep that way, comforted and content knowing that the night would carry on in peace and a good day would follow.  As the months passed and became a year, Joe accepted Wendy’s absence and when the divorce papers were served, he accepted those as well.  She had never contacted him personally at any time since she’d left, and he had kept his word about not attempting to contact her, though he often dreamt of seeing her again, offering apologies and comfort.  He missed her.  He often talked to her as if she were there and Addie would watch him inquisitively, then nudge his hand until he smiled down and pet her.

After All

(Excerpt from Deliverance – WIP)

Suddenly, Joe knew regret, anguish, loss, relief, guilt, and anger.  He fell to his knees and Daniel and Ryan rose to lift him off the kitchen floor.  “Damn,” Joe cried.  “To hell with her!”  All he had left were the memories of her abuse and his disgust.  Could things have been better?  Could they have been worse?  Their relationship had been a hate-hate relationship on his part as awareness and an understanding of her behavior toward him had torn his heart open in the last few years of her life.  But he hadn’t known the cause of her anger at him; he could only guess what motivated her to try to control his life the more he advanced into recovery.  But when he’d fallen again after the baby died, after Wendy left, she had been satisfied and claimed to know him, and claimed to identify with him.  He’d wanted no part, no bonding in pain, no nothing.

Visitation

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

(100 Word Challenge)

In a rainbow haze she arrives. 

She is fussy and spoiled and I am overjoyed.

Random moments, unrelated, gel together making sense.

Her diaper is dirty.

I’ll buy her this dress for Christmas.

Spongebob, cats, carnitas…

At once I remember her favorites.

She laughs: “Hey-yeah!”

and I smile again.

She naps, then wanders from her toddler bed to find me.

I hold her.

Gently, I place her back in her bed.

And I lie down.

At dawn my eyes pierce the brightening day, searching. Yet, she is a fading wisp.

Where has she gone?!

I panic.

I remember.

I ache.

Dreams Bring Back The Memories

Photo by Urs van Osch from Pexels

Memories

By Maroon 5

(adapted-lightly-by yours truly)

Here’s to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not
‘Cause the dreams bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through
Toast to the ones here today
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the dreams bring back all the memories
And the memories bring back, memories bring back you

There’s a time that I remember, when I did not know no pain
When I believed in forever, and everything would stay the same
Now my heart feel like December when somebody say your name
‘Cause I can’t reach out to hold you, but I know I will one day, yeah

Everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody hurts someday, ayy ayy
But everything gon’ be alright
Go and raise a glass and say, ayy

Here’s to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not
‘Cause the dreams bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through
Toast to the ones here today
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the dreams bring back all the memories
And the memories bring back, memories bring back you

Doo doo, doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo
Memories bring back, memories bring back you

There’s a time that I remember when I never felt so lost
When I felt all of the aching was too powerful to stop (ooh, yeah)
Now my heart feel like an ember and it’s lighting up the dark
I’ll carry these torches for ya that you know I’ll never drop, yeah

Everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody hurts someday, ayy ayy
But everything gon’ be alright
Go and raise a glass and say, ayy

Here’s to the ones that we got (oh)
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not
‘Cause the dreams bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through (no, no)
Toast to the ones here today (ayy)
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the dreams bring back all the memories (ayy)
And the memories bring back, memories bring back you

I’m Back

Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels

Q: What was the moment when you realized that you should be a writer? Not just wanting to be, but that moment that said “yes, this needs to happen”. The eureka moment.

A: When I was a sophomore in high school (37 years ago!). It was then validated my first year in college when I discovered I could major in Creative Writing. Never looked back though my life twisted and turned in some horrible ways. I survived. I’m here. I’m writing again.

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How about you?