Ageless

Throwing caution to the wind
dancing
running
skinny dipping in the river
secrets
singing in unison
off-key, on key, harmonized – back-up singing rock stars
cruising with the top down
THAT song…blast that song

Was that my back – my knee – my neck
the pain of play, of life, of age
Wait I need my glasses ~ there we go
What is gravity doing to my body – those used to be higher

They are playing THAT song,  Blast it!
throw caution to the wind
dance
run
skinny dip in the river
whisper secrets
sing loud, soft – any key
cruise with the top down
Smile – it’s life
We’re Ageless!
©Alexis Rose, image source Pixabay

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

 

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Since Seventeen

At seventeen the only thing that mattered
was driving our cars, watching the boys
and whispering don’t-tell-anyone secrets
we knew would never be shared

Singing our harmonies, and dancing with abandon
to the sold-out audience of the window’s reflection
candlesticks as microphones
best-friend laughter and coming of age dreams

The twenties bring spouses, children, houses, and change
At first scary, but different, and new
We’ll never grow apart

It happened so quick – those different paths
separated by the winds of change that we didn’t see
our words become sparse and shallow

Apart, we both trust
silently comforted that ours is a friendship
forged in forever-ness
intuitively we know to be patient with the wind

Life settled; together again
the forties knocked on the door
our conversations are deeper and different
until we heard that song
and instantly, the window once again becomes our stage

Another decade has come our way
our friendship once tested
is stronger than ever

We honor the waves of time
and are grateful for being patient with the wind

Her and Me ~ forever friends ~ since seventeen

©Alexis Rose, image by Pixabay

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

The Gratitude of Friendship

When we get-together
and our first thought
is to give each other big-smushy hugs
because we are filled with the gratitude of friendship
it feels like the down of a favorite comforter.

Both of us present, talking authentically
about the stuff that matters
as the server quietly takes our plates.

Shoulders relaxed
we both exhale fully. We breathe…because
it’s safe
we get each other without judgment
total acceptance of who we each are.

When the tears well up in our eyes
and sometimes spill over because of life’s pain
or life’s happiness
it’s met with
open-heartedness and sweet empathy.

When the fear or suffering of illness
for ourselves or loved ones
comes sneaking into our lives
rest assured dear friend
that we are walking together, holding hands
on our sometimes dusty paths.

©Alexis Rose, image source: Pixabay

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

Just do your best; You’ll find your how!

Change is a fact of life. Our bodies change, as do our cognitive abilities. Sometimes we embrace change, but sometimes change can be frightening. The fear of the unknown and the anticipation of what might be can be paralyzing; the feeling of vulnerability can prevent us from moving forward.

A few of my friends, including myself, have been going through significant grief, loss, and change the past year. Loss of many kinds, including illness, financial upheaval, deaths of loved ones, and watching how a progressive illness affects a family. We are also navigating aging in a society where becoming a woman of a certain age can make you feel irrelevant. Big.Tough.Stuff!

As I was talking with a friend yesterday, who was extremely distressed, I found the best thing I could do was to silently offer myself as her mirror. The grief and fear she is experiencing are (appropriately) palpable, but she is also doing some wonderful things both for herself and the community. Personal growth, and being of service to others is one of the constants in this person’s day-to-day life.

Sometimes, in the muck and mire of what life throws at us, we forget to see, and often don’t acknowledge that what we do, and who we are matters.

I go through feelings of irrelevance and self-doubt a lot. Especially when I can feel I am on the cusp of change. Right now, I have hit the pause button on many outside activities in my life. As I work to reconnect with myself; my center, I notice that my interests are heading in a different direction than they have been the past few years. That’s a natural progression for me, as I learn and grow. But, it’s also a bit scary. Although I still could be quite satisfied with the path I have been on, I’m also anxious to listen to what it is I may want to do next.

I find right now, that I am feeling the wind of change calling to me. Just as I was purposefully trying to be a mirror for my friend yesterday, I find I’m also seeking out the mirrors in my life. The ones who reflect back who I am without any masks. The person I have been working hard to become, without feeling shame, the need for perfection or control, but who can also firmly set personal boundaries.

As my friend and I were talking, she was describing to me an intensive class she will soon be taking. I started to think about the things I’m willing to let go of now, and the absolute openness of what will come next. Both of us began to get a bit stressed and animated over the, “how are we going to get through this?”

As my friend got up to grab some water, out of my mouth, from somewhere in that wise-mind of mine, I heard myself say the words, “Just do your best – You’ll find the how!”

I really believe those words were just a random thought that was passing by, but the words came out. We stared at each other in silence, stunned into the connectedness of knowing that it will be okay.

What happened next? We sat quietly next to each other, understanding that with change comes uncertainty. But that uncertainty only requires us to do our best, and trust that the how will reveal itself in its own perfect timing.

Photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis on Unsplash

 

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph      

 

 

Where Do You Get Your Oxygen From?

She is the embodiment
of the questions we pondered
on a sunny afternoon.

Knowing the hype of the
newest workshop and buzzwords
would all have their moment in time
we asked each other, What Comes Next?

What is…
The driver of contentment?
The reason to try one more day?
The song we sing to our inner-self?

With quiet wisdom, and wonderous curiosity
she asked, “Where Do We Get Our Oxygen From?”

Today I danced as if it was warm and sunny outside
As if the world can someday be just, fair and peaceful for All
Believing that alone and collectively we make a difference
to ourselves, our neighbors, and our world.

Smiling huge and with a nod to the snowbirds
soaring above me on this winter’s day
my thoughts went to my teacher, my friend
I thought back to that moment when she asked
“Where do we get our Oxygen from?”

And I answered aloud to that clear blue sky
I get my oxygen from
Love
Health
Family
Friendship
Kindness
Hope
Trust
Honesty
Laughter
Dance
Breath…Life

And I know without a doubt that my friend, my teacher
would look at all who reads/or hears this poem
and ask
“Where Do You Get Your Oxygen From?”


©Where do you get your Oxygen From, (A poem for Rosy) by Alexis Rose

 

The Paradox of Sharing

I watched a travel show the other day where the host went to a country where I had also visited. The show was fabulous and I was completely engaged. Although about five minutes into the episode I noticed that there was also a part of me that was thoughtfully activated. Although I was enjoying the repartee the host was having with the locals, an uneasy quiet settled deep inside because the memories of what happened to me, were the opposite of what was being shown on screen as a happy tourist destination. For sure, the places that he was promoting ARE  happy tourist destinations, they just weren’t for me. I was forced to travel to that location, and that experience forever changed how I view the world.

As I watched the episode, I felt validated that the places I had remembered going to were the places he was also visiting. I would say aloud, “I was there, and there, and There! It felt like a shared experience. Except that my experiences were dark and I met people who did not have my best interest at heart or people who looked through me as if I was invisible.

This had me thinking about the paradox of sharing. The definition that I’m using for my thought process is, A situation or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities. 

As a trauma survivor, we learn pretty quick what we can share and not share with our family and friends. I have always been of the mind, that this is absolutely healthy, and I want my support to have good healthy boundaries. I want to keep a semblance of “normalcy” in my everyday life. I definitely share, but only tell the most intimate and shocking parts of my trauma to my therapist. I have a therapist to help me process, accept, and teach me the tools to live with the effects of my trauma.

But, sometimes its hard to not be able to really participate in a conversation about a shared travel destination, holiday traditions, past birthdays, or just childhood observations. I have traveled to many, many places in my life. When someone talks about taking a tour of the swamps of the south, I may have also gone to the exact same region. I didn’t see Alligators peeking their eyes above the water, I experienced other things. Let me tell you, that if I share even a bit of what I experienced there, it is an instant conversation stopper.  Where I find myself enjoying the persons’ vacation tales, they wind up feeling uncomfortable that the underbelly of what people are capable of, is darkening the joy of a fun-in-the-sun travel destination. It’s a paradox when it comes to sharing.

Now I have had a plethora of really good, priceless, life-changing, wonderful experiences in my life that I can freely share and relate to my friends, family, and people on the street. I really don’t have a shortage of those at all. What has me thinking about this, is that sometimes when I’m having a conversation with someone about birthdays or family of origin traditions, I would like to share my experiences too. Not for shock value, but because they are my experiences. That is the extent of it. To me, I would sometimes like to say, Oh yeah, I remember when I was sixteen and …, but that is simply not an appropriate share. For me, it was just my life, for others it is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. There have been many appropriate times and places that I have shared, but it is usually not in the middle of a lighthearted walk down memory lane.

This is simply my observation the last few days after watching that travel show. Survivors of trauma, just like people who live with chronic pain and illness learn to adapt. I do believe that people who are in a friendship/relationship want to hear other’s experiences. The responsibility is on us to navigate our lives and share our stories. It helps those close to us understand the lens we look at the world through, and why we may respond to things the way we do. I know that the feedback I get from people, is, “Oh that makes a lot of sense now!”

I wonder, as I write this, that maybe this paradox in sharing is just human nature. Our different life experiences and how we feel about them may be what determines whether we share or stay silent. Are we afraid of being a “Debby Downer?” Or are do we say, “Wow, well you know what happened to me on my birthdays every year?” I don’t know the answer. I’m not sure what most people do. I’m curious, what do you do?

Photo by Korney Violin on Unsplash

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph    

 

 

 

Transience

The past 3 1/2 years of blogging have been wonderful! I never imagined myself as a blogger. In fact, when I first began to blog I really thought blogging was largely about sharing recipes or travel pictures for family and friends. Wow, I was so wrong!  I absolutely enjoy bloggers who share recipes and travel adventures. I look forward to reading their posts and make a point to follow as many as I can. But the range of bloggers and endless topics is an amazing peek into worlds and connections that are priceless.

I didn’t think I would find myself in the niche of a mental health blogger. Maybe it’s not really a niche. Maybe my posts just fall into that category because, besides my poetry, that’s the part of my life I write about; I have the most passion to write about. The truth is, that the community here on WordPress has become a part of my healing journey.

Writing and connecting with so many other bloggers from around the world has opened my eyes to something I feel I know for sure: We want to feel happiness, we want to be seen, and we want to be heard. Whatever that looks like or feels like is completely individualized.

We have a community.  It’s open and it grows and it is inclusive. The country where we write from, the time of day or night, the topics from just a hello, to deep thoughts and feelings are welcome. People are interesting…we may not think we are, but we are! We are also transient.

I found myself thinking about that transience a lot the past few days. We weave in and out of each other’s lives by virtue of a post. We cheer each other’s victory’s, good recipes, beautiful pictures, job searches, and day-to-day musings. We provide support for our health issues, our fears, our struggles, and our disappointments. We write opinions and comments, and “likes’ when we want to make sure that someone knows that they have been seen and heard.

It doesn’t really matter to me if we have been following each other for three years or three days, I find I’m invested. I have a full life outside of blogging, and I’m also a blogger. If I didn’t find a connection, I wouldn’t be doing this. I take the time to read through the posts, as I hope people take the time to read through mine. Sometimes we find a solid connection, sometimes it’s fleeting, sometimes it’s just a respectful read.

I understand the transience of social media and blogging. I understand the impermanence of people coming in and out of our lives. Some of them become our teachers, some of them become cautionary tales, some of them we find are our neighbors and we become friends. It’s a strange and wonderful world.

As I find myself thinking the last few days of bloggers who have passed away or those who have simply moved on to other things in their lives, or the ones who have cried out for help and went silent, I feel a sense of peace. For a moment in time, we have provided each other (whether your following is 1 or 10,000) with a way to be seen, be heard, and to connect.

Thank You to all who take the time to follow me!

Photo by Slava Bowman on Unsplash

Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph