Sunday, December 04, 2016

Wayfaring Stranger

Surveying the fresh oblong finger mark bruises on my upper arm as I soak away the pain that has set in where blemishes haven’t even risen to the surface yet as they are so deep. I sit in rosemary for remembrance and healing, lavender to calm my jangled mess inside, and Epsom salts to pull out the pulsing pains that won’t let go. It is quiet. We’ve returned from a tangled trip where the Boy and I “got into it” or rather he had a sudden blush of anger and attacked and I defended myself.
Celtic music makes me very happy or it makes me very sad. Tonight I rested in the arms of a good concert at my church finding the path to grieve away my troubled soul. I tripped past the lilting lifts of violin and flute to run with the guitar pulsing in the background and keeping time with my selfish yet sacrificial sorrow for me and my Boy. He did not attend the concert with me. It was time I could cry in the dark and no one the wiser, but my husband, who was fellow soldier on the pew holding me up and binding his own wounds with the Celtic wash of wonder created by Jeff Johnson and his band.
Now at home, a broken belting Boy soprano voice breaks in on my bathing revelries as his room shares a wall with my tub time. He reaches out with his songs inviting his Mama to sing with him as he soothes himself to sleep. At first I listen, refusing to break the spell of slumber approaching, but then his volume increases and his voice cracking as he pushes to hear that familiar duet. He knows I’m there still in the tub and will I join him before he nods off? He starts sweetly crooning a song I cannot resist that I sang to him when he was a babe in my arms. This song instantly reminds me of my home, “Oh Shenandoah I long to see you…away, I’m bound away, cross the wide Missouri….” (I’m a Missouri girl.)
We sing with a wall between us, but through it we hear that “other” voice. It is the voice we both want to hear never stop singing---each other. I wish it could be as easy as singing our communication. I want this peace to last for both of us. I grieve for the solutions that haven’t come to help him not to do this thing he hates as he is so blinded by rage, fears, and his brain becomes short circuited to the point he hurts the ones he loves even knowing they are trying their best to help him. And then the weeping and worry overwhelm both of us as we break down trying to figure it all out. We hate it. We hate it so much. Autism is what the doctors tell us is the name of this block of stone that falls like a boulder on our heads.
It isn’t the “autistic” fantastic, better then sliced bread aspects of autism. There are some “neat” things that are a part of the brain wiring that makes a person so unique, but this part of it truly is puzzling. As much as some autistics hate the puzzle piece as a “symbol” of the spectrum, it is because there are those things that don’t quite fit or some things that fit together, but it is hard to assemble the whole picture. Those that object say, ”I’m whole! I don’t have any pieces missing!” I get that. We all want to be seen as whole beings. But what is that “thing” that disconnects and discombobulates a soul where they feel something is missing? Isn’t that a puzzle? I wish I could find that one piece I could put in place for my Boy that would fit easily as I declare, “All better, huh?” and he’d smile up at me and take my hand in such relief and we’d skip around giddy to have found the solution at last!
My bruises will make their way to the surface, turn colors, and then disappear again for a while. I want them to go for good as I can’t take much more. He can’t either. Tomorrow we’ll ring the doctor and research some more finding another path, one with more path this time and less overgrowth, I hope.
I stop singing with him as his voice continues to bellow out the last few strains. I say audibly, “Good night, son” and leave his voice to soldier on solo. He tries once more to engage, but I do not answer as I know sleep is the best course and he will keep reaching forth as long as I am there. I go upstairs where I’m out of range just to so he’ll settle. It works. He finishes that song and he says a few more things to himself and then no more sound. He’s asleep.
Perhaps he is what he sings. The autism wires him differently in a way that he often seems like the lyrics he loves so well. “I am a poor wayfaring stranger, while traveling through this world of woe….” And the second line which begins, ”I know dark cloud gather round me, I know my way is rough and steep, but golden fields lay out before me, where God’s redeemed shall ever sleep….”
I think he longs for something so much better as I do too in this journey. We are both so sure that God has something better for us when we are no longer in this world, but in the meantime, what can we do better is something we both are working on. I assured him, as we both sobbed out in the aftermath of the attack the other night that we will keep looking for a way to help him be in control of this lack of control so he can feel safe. We can feel safe. There will be a plan or place we get to that we  can sleep peacefully again getting past the woe and as sure as we both are of heaven we will be able to call this world for a while our home. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Goodbye poetry month with 2 last ones---#34 & #35!

Not my most profound month of poetry. I just feel so dry and struggle to focus these thoughts. But here are the last two for this month of poetry. Until I write some more next year in April or the random post of a poem, if it is any good, at other times of year.

Chicken Face-Off at Sunset
One solo feathered feature
Sits quietly half cooing and half clucking
Her thoughts out into the deepening twilight
She surveys her tiny fiefdom
From up top of our chicken coop
Tonight she is ready
She guards the yard from dangers
Says our boy to all who ask
I think she is exploring her freedom
And it is fun to have her feathers ruffle
In the night air as the stars struggle
To be noticed from behind the cloud cover
She remembers the day and the two hours
That she is allowed to roam with her sisters
And fellow cooped up conspirators
That competes for bugs, slugs, and other
Creepy crawly delicious delectable
That enhances her diet and entertainment
The sounds she makes now is her satisfied humming
That tells us she doesn’t care to go anywhere
Until we get out the yellow toy shovel
To dislodge her daring
And send her back up the stairs
To what is a forced march
Our warrior chicken
Will face off with us tomorrow
In a match of magnitude
Swelling her chicken pride and heart

Before I Forget Again
I found a message in the bottom of my bag
I wanted a piece of paper
To jot down some thoughts
It was blank on one side
Perfect for that
I unfolded it and inside
The note struck a tone
Of a difficult time
That someone had reached out
On this paper opined
And written contact information
Asking me to write
I have not
I put it in my bag with that intent
Wanted to honor every bit of it
Now, a scrap, waiting for me to remember
I don’t remember what I was going to write down
The moment is gone and it doesn’t matter
I must write now
The note I did not
Before I forget

Friday, April 29, 2016

Poem #32 on this 29th day

Mega Monkey on Our Backs
Noah is more than the story
He has much to say
Than just debate today
There are animals galore
On a distant shore
But how did they get there?
The dinosaurs are mighty hard to ignore
The bones that are dug up from every floor
The ones that study them know much,
Except where did they go?
God spoke and behold the universe in place
Still, scientists are finding new things in space
Was God’s voice the explosion that began
All of this in motion?
It is difficult to discern
Against what we learned
Some want to burn
The opposite theory
Which makes me so weary
I believe God is larger
Than all of this arguing
He doesn’t need the bargaining
It takes faith to believe
In him or not
The anger changes
Not even one small jot

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another blast from the past poem

Three men named “Bub”…. Yep, I got lots of nothing tonight! Posting an old poem pulled from a random journal pull off my shelf. From August 2006

Book Bound
I collect experiences on my bookshelf
Dusty and forgotten or neglected
Never read but purchased with great intentions
To excel, succeed, and move beyond
This moment’s notice
To unstick my slow footed soul
From “habitual quick sand”
I pick up a title that particularly
Taunts my sensibilities
Looking over the title page
I find the chapter I most need
Tossing aside an hour I indulge
Playing into advice that
Formulates a new plan of sincere action
I write my list,
Stick it to my fridge
Amongst a sea of witnesses
Favorite photos of my far away family and friends
Tomorrow I shall write them about the plan
That will be forgotten by week’s end
When the book is misplaced or re-shelved
As the action plan is in my way
Of today’s work that has to get done
The books look great to those visitors
Who don’t know me
And have time to kill
They peruse my office
With the many volumes from yesteryear

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Poem #32 "Walking with Angels into the Night"

Walking with Angels into the Night
Rubbing eyes and head
To find that one more ounce
Of electric shock to keep going
My mind fuzzy from too many
Sudden jolts that come
Every hour of every day
I long for sleep
But when presented with it
I scoff at the notion
Of going there
No, there must be one more
Time, place, person, or word
To burn the night off
And see the charred beauty
After the fire takes
Everything else away
My bones sing and dance
Up from the sand
Reanimated with soul and sun
I stroll willingly into the furnace
walking with angels

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Poem #31 this month

When life gives you another kick in the head (read job rejection) write a poem!
A Path So Traveled
The walkway up to my front door
is paved with disappointments
Each stone is set in a cement mixture
of fear, anger, and dashed hopes
Somedays all I see is the path
leading to and away from my home
The path doesn’t change
but which direction I head does
When I walk away from the place I love best
it is dark and I cannot see
where I’m headed at all
I want to stay right where I am
And never stray beyond my yard
When I know it leads inside
Safe warm walls that protect
And allow me time to grieve, grow, or groan,
Till the walls close in
And I must open up the door
Then I see a bright path leading out
Into a garden, a new mountain to climb,
Somewhere beyond my little path
That is stuck in the ground
Immovable and there to keep me
Out of the mud and muck
Something to get me
From one place to another
Then I can step down
Stomp down, solid,
And dance away from home
With a new song
Joy washing all the
Desperate, doubtful, dubious, debris away
Making the path safe with no obstacles
To run back and forth on
Without slipping or new injury

Monday, April 25, 2016

Poem #30 thoughts on Dad

Since I only work about 10 minutes on most of these poem attempts, this one has some good ideas, but it is terrible form. Does it want to rhyme or not? It is clumsy and I’d need to work on it a while to get it into any kind of shape, but I think that is where my process of thinking about my Daddy is right now too---detailed, but not knowing what shape to be. Miss you, Daddy!
Fly Away Doc
My father was a funny bird
That flew the coop at a very young age
Not before working hard
At being a man while in child’s clothing
He taught his own father to read
By reading to him and teaching
A man more stubborn than
a country mule stuck in the mud
to open up his mind and become
someone totally different by believing
in what they read together
God’s word pried them both open
To the possibilities of loving
Each other and those around
Even though all they had known
Pulling up coal from the ground
Hands, faces, and insides black
They were scrubbed down
And found a way to relate
Dad still wanted more
He traveled to a distant shore
Not his choice, but the war
Dragged him onto a boat
That floated away his location
But never his ambition
He laid bets with those vets
Finding the bulk of his tuition
And the GI bill funded the rest
He did his best and became a doctor
His father found this less than fair
As he believed now that only God
Would heal him both spiritual
And physical and everything else a fraud
The thing that brought them together
Broke them apart at the start
In the end my father flew back
To Kentucky and his Dad
When his mother was sick
And his Dad was sad
Wanting anything to heal her
My father came in to assist
She didn’t make it
But it was for his and her sake
He came back to the nest
To give them both rest
And be the good number one son
When all things were done