Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Scared Boy in the Shell of a Strong Man

I am posting this simply because I'm reasonably certain no one reads this. If anyone does read this-if you know who I am talking about, you must keep it secret. At any rate...
I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about a little boy that would curl up in the bath tub and let the water trickle down upon them. On their head, just a slow steady stream of lukewarm water-is what I envision. I picture, a naked, scrawny little boy of about 6, lying at the base of the tub, curled in the fetal position on his left side facing the wall. All is quiet, the door is shut tight and locked, the light is left on. He is all alone. He lies there, quietly crying, a tear rolling down his cheek, leaving a traceable trail. He is still, he doesn't move, he just escapes. The only movement is the slow, steady stream of water that falls on the side of his head and rolls down across the crown of his head, down, drip by drip to the drain. It is slow, it is lonely, it is stark, but it is safe. In this state, time passes quickly, but not nearly enough.
This image brought tears to my eyes and continues to do so.
I imagine him to be escaping from some sort of abuse and unhappiness that surrounded him.
I want to take that little boy into my arms and hold him, comfort him, and protect him from all the bull-shit life throws his way. I want to protect him from becoming hardened and angry.
Time has passed. He is now a man who still finds comfort and escape in water trailing down his head. He has become a very strong person, with a strong personality, overcoming obstacles to be successful. He is, without a doubt, ambitious and skilled, eloquent and charismatic, he is bold and audacious, he is proud and focused, he is self-motivated and persistent, he is tenacious and beautiful, he is intelligent and brave, he is compassionate and sensual. His spirit is unyielding, and above all, he is independent and self-reliant.
However, in my opinion, of those things, which he truly is, they form a shell, a guise, that protects that scared, defenseless Little Boy, that he still is on the inside. Being a strong man now will not help him win the battles he lost as a child, unfortunately. He was too young and too weak to fight back to the pressures and strengths used against him. As an adult man, he is still inwardly fighting those battles. He has become hardened and angry and guarded. He has found avoidance of attachment to be the best defense to keep that ghost of a boy unharmed.
My desire, that I have for this Strong Man, is to come out of the bathroom. Let the little boy feel an embrace. I want nothing more to wrap my arms around the Scared Boy that lives on inside the Strong Man. I will wrap my arms around you for as long as you need and want, for as long as it takes for you to know, it's safe out here, with me, now.
Hug me back when you are ready and are able to build a relationship with respect, sensitivity for each others feelings, stability, communication, and consistency. Until then, or if you don't desire that with me, allow that little boy to feel a safe, loving embrace-from Me.

*I don't know much about the personal experiences of this Man per se. I'm sure I've romanticized a significant portion-but who cares. It was what I was thinking and how I feel-an honest expression.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

a Poem for my Not-So Valentine Valentine...that wasn't

My Spoken Word
Can not express
the race of beats
or skips of breath

My Sealed Lips
will not reveal
the pleasure touched
by eyes so heed-ey

You see You see
Me as Me
Fault for Fault
Forgive and Receive

My Cheeks may Blush
My Words will stumble
My Heart will Beat
I'll like you Forever

Monday, February 13, 2012

Increasing Mindfulness

In my ongoing search for inner peace and being able to reflect positive energy to those around me, I picked up "How to Train a Wild Elephant & Other Adventures in Mindfulness." I feel being aware of simple daily pleasures, and not taking things for granted are important in my quest for inner peace.
The first reflection was to use your non-dominant hand in a task you perform everyday. I found this to be quite difficult. I can't say I actually did it very often, but I would think about doing it and imagine. For example, while I was at work, I would think about the modifications I would have to make to use my other hand. Quite honestly, I'd tell myself, if time was not of the essence, I would try it, but it is-so I'm not going to. Perhaps I failed the very first challenge of mindfulness but maybe not. I have an appreciation for having the use of my both my hands and being able to do my job. And, moreover, the limitations that people have in the work world that do not have the use or full use of their hands. In the world today, there are few job environments that allow for disabilities. Where can you go to work, where time is not of the essence? Where can you work, with limited use of any part of your body and be a part of the general public workforce? I'm sure there are some jobs out there, but do people tolerate the fact that it might take a few extra minutes for them to be "served." Is there patience in the world for this? I feel not, I feel there are few people who understand and will patiently wait for someone who has limited functioning of their hands or feet or processing skills.
With that, in my opinion, I did not fail the first challenge. I just uncovered an aspect of my life that I take for granted and will be more mindful to give the respect others deserve who aren't "full-functioning"...
The next challenge was to "Leave no Trace." This essentially means, pick up after yourself. Leave a room like you found it or like you never had been there. This is so hard for me! This exercise in mindfulness touches on the aspect of laziness in our lives. And that I am-which I knew before. But it also goes to explain how clutter in your life clutters your mind. When you have a clean area-you have a clean mind. Which I can conclude to be true.
In my opinion, this latest exercise in mindfulness was and will continue to be a challenge for me. It has opened my eyes to the extreme level of laziness I possess and the effects that it has on my everyday life. For example, I need to do my dishes. They are sitting there-right over there-and they are bothering me. I keep telling myself, I need to do them-and if I'd just do them, or had done them right after I was done using them, I would not have this anxiety I currently have but continue to procrastinate. Cluttered kitchen-cluttered mind. In my opinion-it's true.

Book Review: Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls

SKIP IT! Unless you have to choose between reading it and watching paint dry.
It's not altogether a bad book-excuse me, "a true-live novel," but it's really not that great. It's anti-climatic. Sure, there's some trouble described here and there and it's a welcome jolt to the otherwise mundane life description of Lily Casey Smith.
This is not to insult Ms. Lily or her family members. Ms. Lily was a tough as nails kind of woman that I'm not too sure anyone would want to mess around with. She seemed to have led quite an interesting life and used her wits to have the life she led. She seemed happy with her life too-which is something to be proud of. Ms. Lily has my respect and admiration for her no-nonsense and get it done attitude. She grabbed the challenges life gave her by the horns and went to work.
In my opinion, I'm not sure if it was the writing style, the formatting of the book, or the general bits and pieces of life strung together in a basic timeline with nothing all that exciting to look forward to-unless you count simply finishing the book. Either way, whatever the problem with the "novel" it didn't do the life and times of Ms. Lily Casey Smith justice.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Who is in your society?

It has been quite some time since I posted a blog about anything I find significant and personal. I have kept my blogs to be about current events or a book review. So, actually, this may just be a first. I'm not sure this is the direction I want to take my blog, but I also think it's important for my reader(s) to have a little insight to who I actually am and what I actually think about other parts of life. So, now that I've rationalized it, I'm just going to throw it out there.
Every now and then something happens and it makes you question everything that you think you know. Everything that you've based your life on, you take a step back from it, and question it. I'm not saying I have doubts about my existence or questioning my faith or lack thereof. What I am saying, is, I guess, something happened and it just sort of changed my perspective...or something...I'm having a hard time grasping the actual word to describe what it is that has happened that has made me asking questions with no answers.
Well, some background, I met someone. Our life experiences are quite different and the conversations that we've had, leave me with a perspective of a life that is not my own, that I've never experienced, and to a certain extent, will never understand. Maybe that's one thing that has my mind boggled, an acknowledgment of my own ignorance. Which leaves me with a feeling of quiet sadness, I odd sort of discontent.
When One says society, or thinks about society, it describes a whole, it's inclusive of everyone. And yet, I kind of feel, that this "society" is not the same for everyone. The society that One talks about and thinks about is only the part of the population that person chooses to acknowledge. My latest interactions with my friend, has led me to ponder things like this.
I grew up in a practically all white, very religious, traditional, and mostly mid-class environment. I do think I consider myself to be quite lucky to have had the home that I've had, but on a more global scale-my society was really quite small. I was just plain unaware, sheltered I suppose, of so much other stuff; other lifestyles, political views, religions, foods...Oh! just so much! I went to college and watched some documentary about facing prejudices. It's main message was, there are differences between people, if there is going to be any peace or progress in the world, we all need to be able to, at the very least, tolerate the differences. This doesn't mean liking the differences or even agreeing, but we must tolerate them. This actually was, a little life changing for me. Since that movie, I've viewed many aspects of general life differently, reject almost everything my hometown prides itself on, and have come across a number of people who would benefit from watching this movie! I digress...
Knowing what I do know about my society and what I've been taught to identify with, and the experiences of my friend's society, I feel there is a huge disconnect. They are like the last two puzzle pieces in the puzzle and they just don't fit together.
Supposedly, we are connected in the UNITED states, we promote progress, priviledge, and freedom of choice-all wonderful things and certaintly significantly better than in other countries,but it wasn't until recently that I guess I feel like it's all a facade. Now, I feel like we promote progress, privilege, and freedom of choice for most of us...maybe. We, the U.S., has a look, but look closer. Look at the individuals that make up the U.S. and their lives. Look at the trees in the forest, don't look at the forest.
Some of these issues are maybe more prevalent because I'm not in a large city that is booming with diversity-and therefore, everyday needs for some are more limited and difficult to come by here, but the fact remains, I have never thought about or had to deal with the following:
1. Finding a hair stylist that knows how to cut, style, and care for the texture, length, thickness, and/or curl of my hair.
2. Be used as an affirmative action tool/or be concerned with this element of life...
3. Not being represented on TV, in movies, in stores-positively.
4. Only being able to shop certain sections of a store based on my lifestyle choices, health concerns, or basic health/beauty/toiletry needs.
5. Allow myself to be treated unfairly or spoken down to on a fairly regular basis, in public settings, just to keep the peace or because I don't know how to speak the language. (I think there are more perpetrators more often behind closed doors, as well as more victims of said abuse.)
There are a million more things, I'm sure-but these are the ones that stand out to me right now. And I just kind of feel like asking, "Why?" "Why are all these things true?" "Why do people feel this way here?" and "What?" "What society is the government addressing?"
In my opinion, society is not inclusive of everyone. I have mine and you have yours. I guess because my friend's seems so different from mine, that it has me reflecting on my own life experiences in my society. Knowing some of my friend's experiences in their society and knowing that our societies are supposed to be the same, but they're not, I feel kind of empty-handed, I guess.
I am left just kind of wondering, perhaps awestruck. How can we have lived in basically the same place but my friend has had to overcome so many obstacles and have fewer choices and opportunities simply because they aren't the predominate part of the population. And beyond that, the opportunities they have had, and their current occupation-I think-they've had to prove themselves in a way that doesn't have anything to do with the job. They've had to gain respect for being who they inherently are first and then respect for being able to do the job and do the job well. How many other people have had to do this? Why do people have to do this? What country is this?
Being anything other than a WASP should not be a curse, in the United States. And yet, I wonder, if our non-white, non-Angle Saxon, non-Protestant Americans or Immigrants sometimes feel like it is. That is so wrong! No one should feel that way, in the United States, in 2012-that's at least what my society has taught me but I'm reasonably certain they don't actually implement anything to ensure people don't feel that way.
Where have I been? How could I have been so close minded to not see this before? How could I have taken my EASY life for granted for so long? How could I have not realized that I've been catered to for so long-just because my society is the predominate one?
Who are we trying to kid? Lets face facts as a real society, take off the mask, and say, Look, here we are-we really don't treat everyone equal. You can come here, legally, if you want but you better develop a thick skin and be resourceful because we cater to the white mass and unless you're that-you've got your work cut out for you.
*Disclaimer* Also, you can come here and have a somewhat easier time of it if you're outstandingly beautiful and/or talented so we can in some way exploit you. We won't actually care who you are or appreciate anything about where you come from, we just want to take pictures of you and pretend we appreciate your differences when, in fact, we don't.
That is what MY society does-I think. They won't tell me.