Tuesday, October 21, 2008

That Beauty That is Terror

This poem was written awhile ago after losing someone I loved deeply and had been involved with at two extended time points in my life spanning fifteen years.
He was 45 at the time of his death which was not expected. Never had I felt as KNOWN as in this relationship. The ebb and flow of the connection was a given. After his death, I waited three years to even consider meeting someone else and then met someone immediately. I felt passionately and intensely about this new love but I had not yet been able to fully let go of the other relationship. This poem is about the new love that I met. Loving two people in this way, one of whom was not in this world, felt like an emotional tail spin.

I find I can still recapture all the feelings, the connection, and the disconnect and the struggle to stay in this new relationship, because I wanted to do so, while still not having said a total goodbye to someone that I felt to be a forever soul connection. At the same time, there was the feeling always that
my new love would disappear (i.e. die)

That Beauty That is Terror

Loving you
Without benefit of words
or without your presence
Can be as one of Rilke's Angels

That beauty that
Is terror
To this part-time
Little girl in a grown up world

Cursed and blessed with
Seeing potentials and feelings
She navigates by default a
Ship on a tilt alone
Toward unknown shores

While away from you
As Captain you seem
Otherwise occupied
Cerebral, distracted

Perhaps through
No fault of
Your own and
Perhaps as her illusion
Charting your own course

Leaving to the girl-child
The here and now
Day by day journey
Giving her few coordinates

Yet you remain
Ever the diplomat
Benovelence implied
Consolation given

Coming to you
Is like entering a
Haven from navigating
A respite
An oasis of connection

Moving within three feet of
Your skin and
Your touch
Is like moving
Through a mine field of

Chemistry and involuntary responses
A yearning energy of
Physical longing and wanting
Needing urgently, immediately
Yet never wanting the need to end

Being with you
In the biblical sense is
Fire in a desert, phoenix rising
Spiritual, passionate, consuming
Ultimate dirty dancing

Speeping with you is
Safety at a primal level
For a sensitive soul
Touching knowing without barrier

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rilke says the answer is in the journey

I have learned over the years to refine my to do list to the point of including a ...breathe, Linda... note as a bit of a joke for myself. Before I was self employed, I traveled in a thirteen county area working as a consultant with a Mental Health Center. I made my car my office. As you can imagine this made for a pretty full back seat and trunk. I was a definite believer of the boy scout motto.

Traveling with me to lunch one day, My boss asked what I had in the back seat. It is just a film strip projector I shared.. He sighed with relief at my answer. Thank God , he replied, I was afraid it was a copier and you had figured out some way to plug into the cigarette lighter to make copies by the mile! I guess I was taking the concept of multitasking to a new level.

I have come to believe that multitasking is an illusion. The brain really can only attend to one thing at a time even if it is in overdrive. Being busy or too busy is a state of mind not an activity.

I expect I had learned somewhere in life to believe that we must be in demand to be creative and engaged? Maybe it seemed to me as if I had to be crazy busy to just make an impact or to justify that I was doing enough? I no longer believe that it is necessary or a good thing to be crazy busy.

I want to be the one who lives for the journey. I know it is my feelings and my thoughts that can make me feel crazy busy not the tasks. Of course I can get overwhelmed but I don't want to stay in that space any longer that it takes me to walk to my mental interior mirror and turn around with a new intention. I can let go of activities if I need to. I can change my circumstances. I can alter a lifestyle. My intention is to lead the most serene and lovely life possible with the one I have RIGHT NOW.

So toward that aim of serenity today, I walked through my office and lit the fall candles. I rearranged my favorite stuffed animals that have their imaginary lives there. They are of every personality and persuasion you can imagine and I like it that way. We are not a typical office I guess. We have it all I think. A gorilla who sings Wild Thing, A huge rabbit in a lovely cotton easter frock and even a popular Fred Flintstone .

I paused in the reception area to view the creative art made by children and adult clients and given to me over the years. I love just feeling those connections again in the moment. I have such a unique art collection. It makes me smile. I remember how blessed I am to be given the opportunity to do something I truly love doing. My intention is to express as much of the gratitude I feel as I can and to slow myself down in there here and now to fully experience what is offered in my life.

As my blogger friend Alex quoted today: Rilke says the answer is in the journey. So why the rush? I try to slow myself down all the time. Sometimes it works. I second that Alex.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not a Cough in a Carload: Images from the Tobacco Industry to hide the hazards of smoking

Stanford School of Medicine

Lane Medical Library & Knowledge Management Center

In support of patient care, education, and research, the mission of the Stanford's Lane Medical Library & Knowledge Management Center is to create opportunities for discovery, translation, and collaboration by providing people with easy, efficient access to in-context knowledge and learning whenever and wherever it is needed.

As part of the library's year-long centennial celebration, Lane hosted the Not a Cough in a Carload exhibit in the library's physical space from February through September 2007. In order to extend access to a broader audience and provide expandable digital display space for the Jacklers' extensive collection of tobacco advertising images, Lane developed this web-based interface. Questions and feedback about this online exhibit can be sent to LaneAskUs@Stanford.edu.

Dedicated to Marilyn E. Jackler who started smoking as a young woman because it was
"the sophisticated thing to do" and later was unable to quit.

Died of lung cancer June, 2007.

Prayer of St Francis - Sara McLaughlin

Monday, October 6, 2008

Old Boyfriends Just Fade Away...Girlfriends Are Forever

I have loved dancing always. I can be dancing and never move. I dance in my inner self if less of late in reality. I considered a degree in physical education, because of the dance options, equally with my final decision of psychology. I love what I do and the decision I made may have been a toss up. Although psychology is a lifelong love for me, I am truly one of those people who would rather be dancing than many other things.

I spent a lot of time playing hostess and social butterfly to large gatherings of diverse friends, with wine and dance on the menu, in the past. I still do this at times but the gatherings are smaller and more likely to include poetry from our Live Poet's Chowder Society! I first met Karen when my ex beau brought her to one of those fondly remembered parties at my home. Since he had never brought any of his current flames to my place, I knew this one might be serious.

He and I had spent three plus years in an up and down roller coaster relationship with both of us exploring our single independent status and alternately aiming to be together...sort of. I can truthfully say there were few dull moments. Time was spent ,with me at least, trying to decide where our relationship was headed when I met someone that helped me know definitely that the direction was not going to be long term.

Karen and he were together dating a year. They were married just a tad less than one year. I found out about their split when I was arranging a get together for their first year anniversary celebration. I received a call from her new husband telling me it looked as if I needed to hold off on sending out the invitations. I knew he was not committed to marriage in general but I had hoped it would take in the specific with Karen. In the short time I had known Karen I had come to admire and love her.. It was apparent that he adored her. Alas, even adoration is not always enough without the determination to stay married that needs to go with it.

I talk to him on occasion now via the internet and I can see how much he has grown. I am glad to have known him then and now. He is a fine and talented man. I find I can remember why I appreciated so much who he was then. He still has those qualities.

Karen and I worked through their divorce as the closest of friends. It was a dark and painful time and it passed. I find it amazing to realize that next week she is celebrating a 22nd anniversary with her husband Hal. Hal is solid and will be there for Karen for the duration. He is a forever friend to me..

Karen and I used to laugh and say we would all have to combine the time we had spent married between us all to come up with a group 50th wedding anniversary. She may make it closer to the 50th. You know, I have come to learn that life is not a ball game. It is not one, two,three strikes you are out. Relationships are tough to maintain and they can be fragile while appearing tough as steel.

Karen has seen me through a divorce and all that entails for a close lifetime friend. Karen has steadfastly seen me through the dark days of my life including death of my daughter-in-law Gay, the death of my sister Rose Marie three years later at age 40 due to incurable Lukemia, the death of my mother six months after that of my sister Rose and the loss of a love I thought a soul mate in another 10 years.

The truth is that while old boyfriends can give you a catch in breath, a hot feeling in the pit of your stomach and a nostalgia of the heart they do fade away if with sweet and warm fuzzy memory . Girl Friends are forever and that can make all the difference. Thanks for being my friend Karen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

May I present two bloggers of note

Light-Paint Piano Player from Ryan Cashman on Vimeo.

Blogging Along in Nashville

I am blogging along here in Nashville. I have to confess. I never thought this would be an ongoing activity for me. It is amazing what a little unstructured time can do! I hope it is not going to be one of those idle mind devil's workshop kind of thing.

Thanks to Rhiannon, my computer whiz , I am also learning a little about the technical side of blogging and she is picking up the slack until I learn more. Rhiannon is a full time second year college student in music . She is incredibly talented, energetic and brilliant. Other than that Rhi is a pretty normal 18 year old. We blog along together through email and telephone calls.

My eldest angel , Naomi is working to complete her degree at MTSU, running the business end of my counseling practice , running her own business, Sugar and Spice, and maintaining a home and husband in a country farm house. Naomi has also helped with the technical side of the blog when I was beginning and totally at a loss about how to proceed. Check out Naomi's wedding photos to the right of this post

I have been writing and rewriting poetry for years. I have always been a believer in self expression. My nephew, Marcus Banks, tells me blogging is an act of shameless self promotion. Hey, I find I can be ok about that if a little fun is involved.

Marcus, is an excellent, seasoned, serious, committed and fun blogger. You can find Marcus at the following link. I have adored Marcus since I first connected with his gaze shortly after my youngest sister, Jerri, brought him home from the hospital.

Here is one aspect of Marcus. Check his blog out.
I also learned more about excellent blogging over the past year through the posts of John W. Evans, John was a Northwestern student at the time Marcus attended. I first learned of John in June of 2007 at the time of the loss of his wife Katie. John is a poet, a writer, and an incredible creative survivor.

Currently, John is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. From the first time I heard John's name, I felt some psychic connection. This is not something I have burdened John with or that I have analyzed much ( yes, once or twice I admit) or that either John or I requested from the universe at large.. In fact, we have never met. Please check out the link to the KMF.

John's blog can be found at

Finally, please check out John P. Ford's photo site. John is the source of the excellent photos I borrow from his site to spruce up my blog. John has spent the past 8 years refining his photography skills and knowledge. John is the eternal scholar and his ability to learn new things is pretty awe inspiring as the quality of his photos demonstrate.
Here is John's pbase site.