Letters

8/17/2016

Dear Universe,

Do I make sense?  Sometimes I wonder.  I go back and read the things I have written wondering if I only make sense to myself.  Adequately articulating my thoughts can be a struggle at times. Getting what is in my mind out and down into written word without it being a jumbled mess of rabbit trails.  I can see the connecting dots, the intersections of patterns and flow of understanding, but am I able to get it across to another soul?  This I am not quite sure I have accomplished.  I have thought about taking courses again.  Heavens it has been years, and now that I am caring for my mother. Where and when would I find the time?  Excuses?  Maybe.  Fear?  No, not fear.  Frustration?  Yes, frustration, because if I am unable to do something with my full attention I feel it would not be my best.  This is the perfectionist part of my Capricorn personality coming through.  So, I fight the perfectionism my super ego is trying to impose, yes?  I know I am not perfect, there is no such real state.  I may enjoy, no, not may, but would greatly enjoy the mental stimulation and challenge I am sure.  I have a concern.  I have a solution.  I just need to implement a strategy to begin.  Question is, how bad do I want the solution?  Does it really matter in the end anyway?

In other news, mom is doing well.  No extraordinary changes, nothing good, nothing bad.  Life continues to putter from one day to the next.  It is hard to believe October is just around the corner. This actually fills me with a little glee because I know I can start playing Christmas music soon.  One day I will experience Christmas in New York, or maybe a cabin in the mountains watching the snow fall in all its beauty.  One day I will get to experience the many things I see in my imagination, my dreams.  I am still young yet and have much to learn, much to live.  It is the knowledge that I am an eternal soul having the opportunity to live beyond this place which gives me hope.  Maybe even come back to this place to gain more experience if I want.  I discount nothing in the realm of possibilities, for only the Father has the final say.  Does He not?  Whether or not the possibility is real, it is something my vivid imagination uses to make a most mundane existence tolerable during this time.  A time that is most important to experience.  I know when all is said and done they will be some of the days I cherish most.


~ Ellen                       
7/24/2016

Dear Universe,

I am so tired.  The days run together like paint on a rain soaked canvas.  Blurring from moment to moment without conscious thought.  Auto pilot is not the way for a soul to exist, and I'm finding it hard to find my footing.  The weight of life has shifted the balance and all around me seems to be off kilter.  There is a struggle within me to seek wise council, to sit and speak what I am holding within. But, I do not confide easily the deepest parts of me.

The rambling of my thoughts is so very chaotic.  I have been unable to express on all pillars of life.  I cannot afford the luxury to allow myself to crack, to bleed from the heart the pain my soul feels.  It is so hard to watch someone you love slowly pass before your very eyes, knowing there is nothing which can be done.  There is no power, no cure, no going back to what was before.

With everything at home, the world has become no place for solace.  What have we become, we humans?   Where is the empathy of life?  What happened to the care of our children's future upon this Earth?  So many seem to have lost their moral compass, slipping into the inky darkness of hate.  Is mankind so far gone that love will not prevail against the dark?  Have we lost our way so horribly that we no longer have the ability to envision a beautiful future?

Sadness on so many sides, and it has taken me this long to be able to express my soul through the pain.  The waves of hopelessness I have fought has taken the breath from me.  I feel as though I have been in the most epic battle ever.  Although it is my soul, my spirit and my heart which has done battle with the darkness, my body feels it too.  Some days sleep eludes me to the point of madness, and other days it holds me in its grip too tightly.  I have poured myself into work hoping to keep myself busy and distracted.

I hurt for life.  The knowledge of how short it is, and how little it seems people care.  There are lights that shine, and their light must keep shining.  It is the only way out of the darkness for all of us.

  ~ Ellen                      
5/11/2016

Today was a hard day. How you ask?  Well, do you want the short version, or the long detailed version?  I have learned that although some ask in concern needing every detail, others are merely curious, but then there are those who after asking tip their head to the side, having a glazed stare and begin to drool.  I'll will assume you are the type who wishes to know all the details.  If not, I advise you to stop reading now for your own sake, this will probably bore you to tears, or drool.

My day has been hard as an artist.  As I have stated before, I have found myself on an open stage, and over time it has become bigger as the curtains begin to be drawn further back.  I can now see the world stage, and I am staggered by the intensity it causes within my soul.  As the introverted artist, I have always played within my own musings and world.  Rarely, I would allow someone in, but would most often times find myself tossing them out as soon as possible.  Thus my writings, whether short or long, have always been mine, a safe haven.  But due to a few short sentences from a dear friend I found myself tip-toeing out onto the open stage and whispering, "Hello."

I have always guarded my writing, thoughts, imagination and fantasy world.  It is a place I can go, be free, and express my goofy, nerdy, brilliantly crazy self without fear of condemnation or reprisal.  The need to write is not about others, or gaining notoriety, it is all about a vicious need of my soul to express the vivid and vast imagination I live in.  However, I must admit, I have never written on a grand scale such as writing a book.  I would love to do such, but unfortunately for me my mind wanderings are extremely ADD in nature.  I flit from one extreme to the other, and find it very difficult to stay on one project at a time.  With all of this said, I have never been driven to put my writings on the open stage, on which I find myself at the moment causing me the greatest anxiety.

Because of this anxiety, I find myself wanting to leave the open stage and retreat.  But, every time I think about deleting my blog, and every social site I am a part of, I hear my dear friend speaking to me in my mind.  "You're words may not be for everyone," she said, "but they are meant for someone." She went on to tell me I would be selfish to withhold them.  I am not in fear of being rejected, for again I write for myself, but I fight against my innate nature to hide.  I have made some wonderful friends, whom I would never have known had I not ventured 'out there'.  Still, the stage is a very strange place to me, and I am still trying to process how others operate upon it. Humans are just weird, me being one of them, but because my mind does not operate on the same level as many, I find it difficult to traverse the social atmosphere.  I find myself lost most of the time.

Some of my writings seem to be well liked, and others rarely get a glance.  For a while I found myself trying to figure out what to write to get people to read it.  This did not go over very well with my soul, and my gut instinct kicked into a temper tantrum because I deviated from my path.  I enjoy others finding solace, joy, humor, sadness, love, passion, empathy and all the beautiful human emotions one could possibly experience within my works, but they find this because I write from my soul.  It could not be found if I wrote 'for' others. Does this make sense?  I love experiencing other people.  Getting small glimpses into their universe is wonderful, and enlightening, but I need to become accustomed to the feelings of my own exposure.

To give you a visual illustration of how I'm feeling, envision yourself walking down 5th Avenue in New York. Up ahead you see a crowd of people in front of Bergdorf's department store. Their windows dressings are famous, so you think nothing of it except the crowd seems to keep getting bigger.  As you finally get to the crowd you muscle your way to the front, peering into the window to see what everyone is staring at.  Within the window you see, me.  I am talking to myself, laughing, dancing, writing, crying, sleeping and all the humanly thing one does in life (just leave out the bathroom part, that's just not ok).  But suddenly, with my back to the window I stop moving, I slowly turn towards everyone.  My eyes are wide in shock, my hands are gripping my chest in trepidation, and I begin to look directly at each of you staring into my world.  It is a moment of clarity for me that I am being seen for the first time after always being 'behind the curtain'. I wonder if this is how other people feel as well.

So, between Pinterest showcasing my 'likes' in life, Twitter showcasing my some of my momentary musings, this blog and Scriggler, I now have a crowd at the window of my life.  It's a very small crowd, but to me it is like the whole world is watching.  After writing it all out, I feel much clearer and I will stay in the window for now.  My desire to experience the stage is greater than my fear of it. But, if people start throwing tomatoes and making faces, I will have to reevaluate.

~ Ellen          

2/25/2016

I love how the 'life path' teaches whether we desire it or not.  In the last few months I have placed myself in a learning situation not realizing it.

Being the introvert (with a few extroverted tendencies), I am not one to place myself in the forefront or purposely seek out attention.  As my friends can attest, I am not the social butterfly.  However, I discovered Twitter.  I do believe it is the introvert's social heaven.  I can mingle and meet others without the stressful onslaught physical interaction brings to me.  I have exposed myself to other writers, bloggers and poets in an environment conducive to short burst of interaction.  This form of social media has indeed turned out to be actually fun for me.

In exposing myself to other artist of the writing medium, I became very aware my writing style and creation is not the same as everyone else's.  I have seen jargon pertaining to writing which I have never seen before. Although I am an avid reader, and have a small library of my own, I have read the writing of some, and in doing so found myself tilting my head to the side like a lost puppy trying to figure out which way a sound it has heard is coming from.  To my dismay, I began to doubt myself.

I have, since I can remember, always called myself a writer.  More so than anything else in my life, I want to write. Thus I have written much over the years,  because it gives my soul joy to write.  I write to be writing.  I put on paper, or the computer, everything from random thoughts to poetry and stories. I write letters to myself, and I have kept journals for my three sons since they were born, which upon my death they will receive. Simply put, I treasure and adore writing.

I have in the past taken college courses in English, which are necessary for any bachelor's degree, but never any specific writing coursework.  So by comparing myself to others, I became wary, and concerned for my writing. Here I have placed myself upon a public stage with blogging, and have not given thought to whether formal or informal education was necessary.  To be perfectly honest, I believe anyone can write whether it be ramblings or novels.  To me, everyone has their own writing voice and they are entitled to use it.  I understand the need for proper writing as well as the need for improper writing.  This is one of the reasons I do not use punctuation in my poetry most of the time. I want the reader to apply their own interpretive voice and inflection upon the words.  I leave it open to interpretation.  To some this is heresy.  I laugh (literally) at the notion.

The vision for myself has come to a crossroads, and this is where life is teaching me, even though I did not ask for it.  By keeping my works hidden, I have found that I have cut myself off from receiving necessary creative, constructive criticism. Especially from those who have been, not only published, but have written for a long period of time as well.  Due to the vision I held for myself at the time it was unnecessary. Since I have now opened up my spheres of influence to others, the vision I hold is changing.  If I wanted my writing to touch others I had to open myself, which I did.

With this realization, my anxiety overwhelmed me.  All of a sudden I longed for my shell and the safe cave I once knew.  I panicked and considered removing my blog and deleting all social media accounts.  It is a vulnerability I have always feared. In that moment I understood the core of the lesson given to me.  Fear.  Fear. Fear. Fear.

I am not in fear of what others think, I am in fear of not being heard.  At a young age I learned to keep my mouth shut.  I was taught what I had to say was unnecessary and never needed.  I crawled into a turtle shell and created a safe haven where my words were heard, important and had value.  For any artist the value of their creation is not in the opinions of other people, it is within themselves.

Because of the changing vision for my life's path, I am willing to submit to whatever is necessary to complete the destiny before me.  In this submission I conquer my fear.  The fear has no place in me, and it has no hold upon my future.  I face it, embrace it and love it away.  I will continue to write because writing is in my soul.  I will write everything from the most mundane to the universally beautiful.  I also will be heard, sometimes dismissed, remembered and even forgotten.  I express my inner most being through words.  My writing voice and style will be different, and this is perfectly alright.  I can, and will be, only myself.  I can be no other, whether I be correct or incorrect.

Although I love my shell, and there will be times for it, today I will stand outside and continue to wave at anyone who is willing to see me.

~ Ellen  

2/4/2016


I sit here tonight needing to write down some of the pondering and musings I have gone through in the last few days.  I find it comforting to express myself thus even though this 'letter' I write goes into the digital ether we call the internet.  I do not know who reads my words, I just know they are read. It is akin to writing a letter and placing it inside a bottle.  Then throwing the bottle into the vast ocean for the waves to carry it whether they please.  I hope this finds you and makes a connection with you. I do not know you, but you are important.  Thank you for taking the time to spend with me.  So, on to my thoughts.

I found myself several times wanting to 'tweet' a statement this week, and changing my mind.  My reasons for the hesitation were based on the 'possible' reaction of others.  I have reached a point in my existence where these occasions are few and very far between.  I am a blatantly honest person, and sometimes to my own detriment.  It is very difficult for me to lie.  My face gives me away every time.  Because I know how it feels to be lied to, I do my utmost to remain in truth with others.  This makes for a very short friends list indeed.  All of this to make the point that the statement I wanted to make was concerning my mother and her current condition.  To better understand how I would be comfortable to make this statement, again, I must have you peer through another window into my past.

Ten years ago I decided I was tired of living from paycheck to paycheck.  As a single mother I wanted to be able to give my sons more and not be afraid the electricity was going to be cut off.  With this decision I enrolled myself into a technical college and eventually graduated with an Associates of Science in Massage Therapy. I gained national certifications as well. Since I was a child I would help people in physical pain.  My mother suffered from horrible, chronic back pain.  At night I would crawl into her bed and rub her back so she could sleep.  So, I knew I had a skill which I could use to better our lives, and it did.  After graduating I gained my stripes working for a spa, then opened a private practice with private clients, which then grew into a secondary practice of palliative care.

As a palliative care LMT (licensed massage therapist), I was one of many tools in the belt of doctors and nurses used for the relief of the symptoms of diseases in patients.  I worked with pediatrics to geriatrics, and my main area of expertise was in hospice care.  In this arena of aid I worked with dementia and Alzheimer's patients on a regular basis.  I cannot express how much I loved this part of my practice.  It was such an honor.  I no longer practice and have had to give up my career to be able to come home and care for my own mother.  There are no regrets.

Now, to the point.  In working with these patients, and now my mother, there are two ways to look at dementia.  I can be in horror and grief, or I can find the humor and joy.  I choose the later.  There are many who would recoil in disgust at making the subject of dementia humorous.  They would see it as being disrespectful to the person who suffers.  However, I have experienced the opposite from those who suffer.  They laugh at themselves a lot.  Do they cry and grieve?  But of course they do! However, in their pain they have found comfort in laughter, even at their own expense.  Because of this their families are better able to cope with the condition and their care.

In choosing the later of horror or humor, I have now started an internal conversation with some very interesting characters. They are telling me their story, and I have started the writing process.  I may at some point post the first bit here on my blog.  I am still not sure just yet.  In my opinion, there is nothing to fear in death or in the process of it.  This is mainly due to my faith, and in knowing this physical plane is a temporary place of learning for us.  We are not meant to live here forever.  To put into context how short our lives really are here in this physical plane, let me give you a metaphor. The Bible says, "A thousand years is as a day unto the Lord", 2 Peter 3:8.  I am sure there are other examples, but it is with this one I am most familiar.  So, if one thousand years of our human existence is equal to one day in the spirit realm, then think about it.  To live eighty or ninety years? Well, this would be like leaving the spiritual realm for only five or ten minutes at best!  We pop in and out of heaven, breathing heavy and drooling out of one side of our mouth.  We see our loved ones are there to meet us.  Taking one look at us they say, "What?  You've only been gone for five minutes. What are you so stressed about?"

Because most of us have lost the sense of the eternal we strive and struggle to hang onto this physical existence long after we should.  This mostly applies to letting those we love go and be at peace. Being at peace with death is a whole different blog.  Maybe one day.  Today however, I wanted to break the ice on how I view the 'process' of death, and how even in the pain one can find peace.  It is one of the hardest experiences of my life to watch my mother fade before my eyes.  To know one day, possibly soon, I will no longer have her here with me is devastating.  To add to that stress, my being her caregiver and having to compartmentalize my emotions to be able to give her the best care I possibly can, is extremely draining.  The padlock is holding thus far.  I pray it last.

If you have made it this far dear reader, I commend you.  I know most are pinching the bridge of their nose in exasperation wishing desperately that I would get to the point, which of course is the 'tweet' I did not 'tweet'.  What I was going to say on Twitter was this, 'Movie warp. I'm living #GroundhogDay and mom is the lead role in #50FirstDates'.

Did you laugh?  Well, I did.  I will continue to find the humor in my pain.  I will help my mother find the laughter and joy in her pain as well.  If just for a little while longer, I wish to see her smile.


 ~ Ellen          

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