I had to attend a funeral today, held in a very old Orthodox church. As the mourners piled in, I found my grief numbed slightly by the beauty of the church. It made me more conscious of the beauty of life. All life. Especially mine. I wondered what I would hope for if I lived long enough to see death coming. Would I make it to old age, where the whisper of the wind becomes a faint calling from the other side; every passing Winter is a warning, every Summer a blessing, every Fall an omen and every Spring a re-birth of the will to live longer to see it all again.
The 94 year old great grandma being buried today was a lucky woman… She made it far longer than most and leaves behind a joyous legacy. Even in me for, as I sat there in the beauty of the church, grieving her passing, I found a will to live my life not for the better but for the moment – the here and now. My life, my present, my here and now, is blessed and beautiful. I just never saw it before. Thank you great Grandma and God bless you for eternity.
The colours of happiness will never appear without a border;
The darkness of sorrow, without which we’d know not joy.
Elation, it seems, is like an obsessive hoarder;
It hangs on to the fragments of life like a child clutches a toy;
Memories shade every section of our lives;
Childhood to present are strokes of a brush;
Every new colour the result of how one strives;
Blocked out with black to symbol death’s eternal hush.
Before the blackout comes a swathe of light;
See colours dance on a canvas of our making,
The dark border is there but rarely captured by sight;
Look at the edges for inner awakening;
We are framed by the dark to make more vibrant the bright.
A merry-go-round forever spinning in high gear,
A playground for all to love and to fear,
A new road branches behind every bend,
A devil’s delight or a true God-send?
Instructions and rules are broken and discarded,
The grim reaper stays close though often disregarded,
Angels tread lightly without making a sound;
Silent watchers of the merry-go-round.
Some will jump off, others ride for the duration,
The former labelled ‘weak’, the latter praised for ‘dedication’,
Pace never changes yet each ride is unique,
Scenery swirls past but you can find what you seek,
For open minds have widely opened eyes,
While closed hearts mourn nothing but sad goodbyes.
Longing and yearning, twisting and turning,
Desires and dreams unravel at their seams,
Tears start to sting, no end to the burning,
Heart and mind at war; a lurch and a roar,
Stomach in knots, painfully churning,
Mouth forming words to start a furore.
Explosions inside where emotions reside,
Containment impossible, no place to hide.
Screaming, shouting, spitting, then crying,
Reason and sanity inexplicably dying,
Relief from expression, regret for confession,
When calm soon follows, in creeps depression,
No retraction of hurt, no clock to turn back,
Control and restraint painfully slack,
Self-loathing abundant for all that you lack.
Silence is golden, but rage is gothic black.
Spotted this piece of Art being sold at a local shopping mall. It’s not a great photo of what is actually visually striking. If you can’t make out the detail, those little orange and white specks are carefully crafted 3D figures of miniature rock climbers (or construction workers?). That’s real string used for ropes (not merely painted on) and the rock surface is probably crafted from some kind of latex.
Can I see this hanging in my living room? No. Can I imagine it hanging in the lobby of a funky construction company or adventure tour group? Yes.
Otherwise, look upon it as a motivational message; never stop aspiring to climb higher. If little orange men can do it, so can we
Drained, devoured, discarded and bruised;
All of the side-effects of being used.
Weary, bewildered, deeply confused;
The pain continues after you’re used.
Anger, frustration, even bemused;
It makes no difference; you were callously used.
Hatred and self-pity, now strangely fused;
Rage burns hotter after you’re used.
Decorum and pride, not so politely excused;
Self-loathing for weakness: only fools get used?
Thoughts of vengeance – revenge for being abused;
But your energy’s spent from being so used.
A crisis situation that cannot be diffused;
Until you get over feeling so used.
It was while I was walking to the toilet at the back of the aeroplane that it first happened. It sounds crazy, but I swear it was like something or someone had suddenly crept up in the dark and tickled me from behind. I turned around sharply, expecting to find some drunken lech who couldn’t keep his hands to himself but all I could see was a dark, empty aisle, illuminated by a weak set of floor lights. Row upon row of passengers, shrouded in scratchy blue blankets, were either sleeping or yawning their way through the in-flight movie.
I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. I couldn’t breathe. My eyes frantically searched left and right trying desperately to see something that would explain what just happened. I’d walked past ten rows and was only yards away from the washroom when it occurred. To my right, a small child, a little girl no older than three or four, slept soundlessly in her chair, her tiny head leaning against her mother’s shoulder. Underneath her blanket, two fluffy, pink bunny ears stuck out awkwardly. I remembered her from the airport; the exhausted mother had held her daughter tightly all through the four hour delay, trying deperately to rock her into a slumber. The kid – exhausted and irritable – writhed and moaned the entire time, unable to fall asleep in the cold, uncomfortable lounge. I had watched her hurl her cuddly toy – a pink rabbit – onto the floor more than once, from fatigue and frustration. She was practically out cold now; she probably fell asleep the second her mother had settled her onto the flight. There was no way she had reached up to touch me. It wasn’t her. It just couldn’t have been. But, on the other side, to the left, was an empty row of seats.
I hesitantly rubbed my ribs, still feeling the lingering touch of whoever – or whatever – had crossed the line seconds earlier. Feeling scared, I turned and rushed to the toilet cubicle. Once locked inside the cramped, tiny space I finally exhaled and tried to think logically about the terrifying incident.