The struggle 

Sometimes I feel the urge

to scream as long and loud as I can,

rail against the wind,

howling my anger against man.

It bubbles out, as hot as pitch,

and as dark as night,

the twisting and growling 

as it leaves with a fight.

When things become too much,

and I need a break from it all,

all those negative thoughts

break free, and out they fall.

I take so many deep breaths 

my lungs overexpand,

somehow it doesn’t help

to deal with this hand.

But when I’m alone,

and have a chance to think,

It all wells up and spills over,

as I come up to the brink.

Once the drama is over,

peace returns with a shy smile.

I feel somehow much better,

at least, for awhile.

While I’ve never been enamoured

Of much fuss or complaining,

Some days even the most stoic

Can find daily life draining.

So each time I struggle

I tell myself it’s okay

to not always be happy,

tomorrow’s a new day.

Guardians

Tonight I watched Guardians of the Galaxy- volume 2. 

Well, tonight I finished it at least. We usually start a movie one night and have to finish it over the course of a few nights since having kids. 

Either we’re too tired, or it’s past our self- imposed 9 pm bedtime and we know we’ll regret staying up later. 

I went into it expecting the usual space-filled adventure-comedy romp, and wasn’t disappointed. 

The special effects were every bit as amazing as you’d expect, the speech was perfectly choreographed, 

and yet.

I walked away at the end of the night with another movie ending hitting me in the feels. 

I wasn’t expecting it, but the relationship between the main characters felt like what family should. 

The quote that perfectly summed it up to me was;  

“all you do is yell at each other… you’re not friends” to which the other character responded, 

“No, we’re family” 

At the end of the day, without any rhyme or reason, 

that’s true. 

Family isn’t necessarily the people we are related to, or always get along with. 

You can be yourself around them, yell at each other, disagree. 

But they’re there for you, 

they will stand up for you and with you, and be your guardian like you are theirs.

Way to go, Hollywood. Make me get teary over a blockbuster movie. 

Now I have no cred with my kids, and even the 2 year old asks if I’m okay.

Pinterest isn’t my wheelhouse

I’m tired today. 

Another Monday, and I found myself sitting in the car for a few minutes on both ends of work-

When I got there to psych myself up, and then when I got home, to breathe.

I knew on the other side of the door my family waited, 

but I was so tired I just needed a break from being needed.

How do those perfect people do it all? 

The Pinterest parents, the shiny examples of Golden Ones that make matching clothes and having napkins at place settings look like a breeze?

Meanwhile, I have a magnetic attraction to my bed by 7 pm most nights, and a deep and lasting appreciation for chocolate. 

(The cheaper the better)

Sometimes I think I’d like to be like that. It looks so pretty and clean. 

But then I think about the work involved in getting there, and I feel my motivation evaporate. 

Maybe I could get someone with more talent to do it for me?  I’m lucky if I remember to buy a birthday cake, let alone decorate one. 

It’s not that I don’t want to, exactly, I’d just rather not spend my limited free time on all the mental labour I’d need to keep track of it all.

As I sit here thinking of how poorly I’m doing on the Pinterest-o-meter, I remember the most important thing I can give my children, and open the door to a wave of love.

Kids don’t do Pinterest, but they do give fantastic hugs.

Heros

What does it take

To pay homage to your hero?

How can you show them 

what they’ve done for you?
Shaping the way you think

and experience 

the world,

A hero can be anyone at all
I’ve had so many in my life,

I can’t even name them all.

I grew up surrounded by giants 

who walked among others 

as though they were the same.

 

They shone a bit brighter to me,

Seemed a little sharper

Knew just that much more.

I sat at their feet

questioning the world,

My thirst for knowledge 

rarely disappointed.

 
As I grew, I began to realize 

they weren’t perfect, 

not omniscient or all-knowing,

But somehow, 

it didn’t matter.
My heros didn’t have feet of clay,

just flesh and bone like I did.

It brought me closer to them, 

knowing that I, too, 

could have an impact on the world.
And that maybe someday,

I’d be a hero to someone too

Heros

What does it take

To pay homage to your hero?

How can you show them 

what they’ve done for you?
Shaping the way you think

and experience 

the world,

A hero can be anyone at all
I’ve had so many in my life,

I can’t even name them all.

I grew up surrounded by giants 

who walked among others 

as though they were the same.

 

They shone a bit brighter to me,

Seemed a little sharper

Knew just that much more.
I sat at their feet

questioning the world,

My thirst for knowledge 

rarely disappointed. 
As I grew, I began to realize 

they weren’t perfect, 

not omniscient or all-knowing,

But somehow, 

it didn’t matter.
My heros didn’t have feet of clay,

just flesh and bone like I did.

It brought me closer to them, 

knowing that I, too, 

could have an impact on the world.
And that maybe someday,

I’d be a hero to someone too.

Fight Night

I wonder what kind of drive it takes to want to be the best of the best.

I like to make a decent showing,

But I haven’t ever felt the need to be number one, as long as I’m not the last in line.

Watching the fight tonight brought back the question,

What kind of person does it take? 

To take a hit and keep coming until the end?

Maybe it’s not just the ones whose names are in the lights, those who dignify the ring with their prescence.

Maybe it’s the mother or father who works three jobs to provide for their family.

Maybe it’s the grandparent who steps in to raise the babies their child couldn’t.

Maybe it’s the neighbour who provides a safe shelter for the child who struggles at home,

the teacher who stays late every day to help those who struggle at school.

So many people are fighting every day,

not to be the best, 

But to keep going.

To rise above the odds, 

feed their family, 

pay the bills, 

care for those who can’t care for themselves.

We all have the fighter within, so the question we really should be asking

Is what are you fighting for?

Silent Goodbye

I woke up this morning, 

within minutes 

feeling anxiety 

lodge in my chest. 
It was a deep discomfort, 

like I was forgetting something,

The tightness moved in to stay, 

deciding to inhabit 

the area around 

my heart. 
I’ve had this same sensation 

a handful of times, 

and now know what it means, 

although I wish it didn’t.
Each time it lasted a few hours

then passed, 

pressure lifting, 

vise loosened,

As though a final farewell 

had been given.
As I’d feared, 

another life had passed

from the world.

Why does this happen? 
Perhaps it’s overwork, or stress, 

Except

It felt like a goodbye, 

Like the last attempt of a hand 

to have an impact

on the world of the living
Before moving on 

to the next stage

Leaving the world, and me 

behind

High school, now and then 

Some days random thoughts come to mind. 

Today’s special appearance was an old tv show, from almost twenty five years ago.

Parker Lewis can’t lose. 

High school redone for the millionth time, but from the perspective of a cool kid. 

Cause that’s never been done, right?

They would always synchronize swatches whenever they had a plan to create high school high jinks, 

so they’d be able to meet up after and debrief. 

I wished that had been my high school experience, cool and carefree, with lots of toys. 

There’s little in the way of excitement in my memories, and I usually spent my time after school skating or reading, 

content to so my own thing, solitary, but not lonely.

I used to wonder what life would be like

if art didn’t just imitate reality,

If all the things we remembered, 

every last moment that replayed in our mind and heart, 

was put out as entertainment for the masses to pick apart and judge.

I used to think it was a strange and futuristic idea, 

only for science fiction, unlikely to happen.

And yet.

Here we are, twenty years since I left the halls of high school, moving in the world of adults and responsibility, 

nostalgic for the hormonal roller coaster of youth.

Now watching as they come through my door with problems that never occurred to me. 

When did the world become so scary? 

The violence and the crime have always been there, that’s not new.

What is new and frightening is the callous way people can act when given free rein on social media, 

every action fodder for the beast,

The damage they can do to someone they don’t like.

Bullies and mean girls could ruin your life at school in the 90s and before, 

but now they can invade every moment,

pollute your waking thoughts as well as your nightmares.

It’s no wonder anxiety and depression are on the rise

With no escape, hopelessness can be all a teen can see.

I’d like to rewind a bit to the old high schools on tv, with Larry’s lunch and outwitting the principal

No more ten reasons why or pretty little liars,

No more phones and kys and anonymous texting

I’m going to take back my kids adolescence when they get there, 

by being the meanest parent in the world,

and not letting them have a phone until they are old enough to drive,

and smart enough to know that mean people suck 

Payback 

What is it about the sounds children make that can give such a visceral response?

The sound of laughter, pealing clear and high 

like a bell 

can fill me with such joy.

But the sound of their screams will curdle your blood, 

Depending on the pitch.

I listened to five children under the age of six play loudly 

close to my ear,

Wincing every few minutes 

to the thumps and howls.

I let them have their “culture of childhood”,

While my tympanic membranes bled in protest.

I’m so happy they can spend time with their cousins,

While my brother and I shake our heads,

With silent apologies to our parents

Prejudice 

It came from the ooze, 

down in the muck.

Brought back to daylight

by long repressed feelings 

Of inadequacy and envy

Sliding out of hiding, 

sleek and hungry 

searching for a victim,

An unwary prey,

Someone vulnerable

 and innocent,

That it could stomp on with glee.

It doesn’t care about truth

Or others,

It searches to destroy,

Tear down,

Then climb on the bodies left behind

There’s no winners in this match

Only the damaged, 

and the losers who waged the battle

Never knowing or caring

Of the carnage they create