Truth

Nothing casts a pall over a crowd like a banner of truth, facts and no-nonsense verbals.

Nothing casts a pall over a crowd like a banner of truth, facts and no nonsense.

Nothing casts a pall over a crowd like a banner truth, facts and no.

Nothing casts a pall over a crowd like a banner of truth, facts and…

Nothing casts a pall over a crowd like a banner of truth, facts…

Nothing casts a pall over a crowd like a banner of truth.

Nothing casts a pall over a crowd like a banner of…

Nothing casts a pall over a crowd like a banner.

Nothing casts a pall over a crowd, like.

Nothing casts a pall over a…

Nothing casts a pall over.

Nothing casts a pall.

Nothing casts a…

Nothing casts.

Nothing.

 

(c)auroramorealist

People Meople Mepull

There is a strange energy afloat

in eyes of relationships lashed

where loving pure heart folks

purity gets bashed and bashed

-

there is a stranger afloat  in my eye

at first I thought it was you again

you who write ill of me still

machine text or blood pen

-

instead I saw myself in me

heart and actions all aligned

your spew is yours to wear

i will always be just fine

(c) aurora morealist

Bike Series: Love me, Love you

fire (c) all rights reserved Aurora MorealistDo you love me love me?

Or like me as in lust?

Do you love me love me?

Dare your word I trust…

 

Are you afraid to lose me, lose me

Or hike me to the crest

Do you love me, love me

Will you love me very best?

 

Will you keep me safe, my love, my love

Will you protect the sacred fair

Do you love me, love me

Or are you just words said back there…

 

If you love me, love me

I’ll know it, won’t I, then

When words are actions only

No questions of back when.

 

If you love me, love me

The way I should be loved

Our lives will feather tail

Our loves fit neatly doved.

 

If I love you, love you

Time will be your test

The walking of the talk

The only safety note, rest.

 

If you love me, love me

A time will come unbidden

That love, our love will shine

All question and “all” unhidden.

 

Do I love you, love you

Mine own heart is true

Pure waiting, watching, steadfast

To see if he is you.

 

(c) AuroraMorealist

Book Cover Draft: SPIRITSHINER Book Release March 2014

Book Cover Draft: SPIRITSHINER Book Release March 2014

No more poetry! (bet you all heaved a big sigh of relief on that one lol)

No, I don’t mean on my blog. Here I will continue to try posting something if only a meager haiku effort.

What I really mean is that my second book, SPIRITSHINER, is a collection of short stories I have written over the years. Some award winning, some never before read anywhere.

Snippets will be shared until release so stay tuned.

SPIRITSHINER, a collection of wild, woolly and wonderfully short stories available soon.

love child

Love Child

“Something happens to you when you must perform as an adult when still a child. My childhood returns to me incrementally and survives in surprising and wonderful ways you couldn’t begin to imagine. I find myself excited about seeing ladybugs all over again, their visits as precious as those first times when wee legs tickled arms with their visits.” ~ AuroraMorealist

13 Thirteens

13 is to fourteen the very eve.

13  the year I tried to leave.

13 is double six plus one.

13 of some things is almost none.

13 eyes would mean one glass.

13 cries would be mean or crass.

13 spies gathering spite no class.

13 ties to things of no matter.

13 guys with strings of natter.

13 flies tied lines link living.

13 women natter tired, no more giving.

13 will you be fines hanging in the air.

13  lucky only when one running spare.

(c) AuroraMorealist

Two by Two

“Up the plank said Noah and off the animals went, humans, too, among them, some even heaven sent.” ~ From the Early Daybook of Rivers, Oceans and Waterways

If you’ve never been hit across the back with a sawed off two by four  when you were hanging over the kitchen sink puking in your six month of pregnancy, it is likely you could never understand Doreen anyway.

At sixteen, she knew only that she would not make the outhouse, let alone the door to outside, when she rose, lurching body and stomach, bare toes inadvertently catching on splinters and then the edge of the diamond patterned oil cloth.

She still shared a bed with her only sister and their brother slept soundly in his single bed across from them while the two girls whisper talked in the dark.

“Don’t light the lantern, I can find my way.”

Doreen said this to 14 year old Margie, hoping their talking wouldn’t awaken her parents. Their parents proudly told everyone Doreen’s husband was away at war, lost his life in the line of duty and wouldn’t be coming back and wasn’t it sad now they all had to pitch in together to raise his baby. Yes, another mouth to feed, her mother had said to Mrs. Williams in town at the feed and supply.

Doreen stayed quiet most of the time, no matter what they said, but she was having a hard time staying quiet this night.

“Goddammit, I swear I’m going to puke right now, oh, Goddammit, just let me get there,” Doreen wore only a nightdress, a hand me down and she would have worn underwear beneath it but she didn’t have any that would fit her anymore. Margie was quiet but reached through the dark, her hand a cool relief when it found Doreen’s clammy skin.

“Just go to the sink and put some water down after, nobody has to know,” Margie whispered, shaking because she was used to leaning on Dori, as she called her older sister, and wasn’t sure at all what she was doing or saying was right. She only wanted to help her sister.

The words were barely out of Margie’s mouth when the sounds of vomiting filled the air along with an acrid hot smell of sour that nearly had Margie gagging.

WHOOSH!

Something seemed to have flown through the air between them, Margie felt the wind of it and they had gotten separated though Margie could hear Dori crying. The slivery moonlight didn’t let a person see much. Dori didn’t seem to notice, she was crying and moaning at the edge of the old cast iron sink by the pump but Margie fought to see what was going on, even more uneasy than before.

Dori screamed suddenly, it sounded like she had thunked right down to the floor. Margie began to whimper like a newborn kitten, soft mewls that didn’t say much of anything, just let you know there was a new critter at hand.

“What in Christ’s name are you silly bitches doing out there?” boomed the voice of their father. “Get back to bed, all of you.”

Margie had managed to light the oil lamp standing on the kitchen window ledge. In the strange light of night shadows she could make out the shape of her sister lying on the floor and their mother standing over her with a two by four meant for the wood stove.

“Ma!” Margie yelled, “what in God’s name did you hit her for? She might lose the baby now!”

She set the lamp on the sideboard and wrung out a dish rag, using the cool cloth against Dori’s forehead, wiping her long wheatfield locks back off her hot face.

“I don’t give a good goddamn.  That’s a little bastard in her anyway, never should have been put there and I hit her for puking in my kitchen sink. I’ll not have it. I don’t care if she loses that baby. One less mouth to feed around here.”

Their mother appeared glassy-eyed, her words slow and quiet, the length of two by four still in her right hand. An onlooker might even think she was sleepwalking. But Margie knew she wasn’t.

Margie continued to attend her sister, cleaned the kitchen sink out and put a bucket by their bed for Dori, just in case. Their mother had dropped the two by four and their father had dropped his campaign to get them all back into bed, the sawing of logs from down his throat so loud it felt as though everything around them vibrated just as it did in ill winds.

Later, after the photograph was taken of Dori and her new baby, the photo with the newly bought wedding ring to prove her marriage, the photo with the two rosy cheeked people who loved one another, no one would ever guess the baby made it despite the blow across his mother’s back with the two by four.

Two by two, mother and babe boarded the train for Ottawa. Dori hoped to make a new life for her and her wee boy. A life far from shame, two by fours and the minds of narrow pasts that could impair her son’s growth.  If she stayed.

The train seemed to take a long time to start moving, the whistle sounded at last and they were moving forward. Fast asleep on the seat beside her, the baby didn’t even flinch when she opened the window and flung her ring out somewhere between Kingston and Ottawa.

For the first time since she became pregnant, Dori relaxed, letting her body sink into the cushioning of the bench seats, one hand on her sleeping baby and the other in her lap.

This was how they arrived in Ottawa. The conductor had to awaken them to disembark.

“Two by two,” she whispered to her wee boy, kissing his downy scalp and inhaling his fresh, sweet fragrance.

She knew she was going to a boarding house where she and her baby would share a room, that she didn’t have a job, a man or any of the things that make people seem normal to each other.

She stood briefly in the chill wind, breathing in the unknown as deeply as she possibly could before going inside the station to find out which streetcar would get her to the boarding house.

“We are going home, baby boy, we are finally going home.”

(c) AuroraMorealist

Selfie Ness

free fun magazine covers online selfie

billboard film glam shot bwSpirituality mag lake all jeans

billboard tights better

billboard new moon

billboard

Andy Warhol said everyone gets their 15 minutes. Mine happened sporadically from 2010-2011 when I thought I was free. Of course, that was all pre-PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  The very first photo above was a ‘SELFIE’ I did around the time I broke free.  This was a lot of fun both finding the free online sites where you can “magazine cover” yourself to looking back on them now, seeing myself as I once was.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/weekly-photo-challenge-selfie/

Went Wednesday

(c) copyright auroramorealistWell, it’s only Wednesday, I said to my friend, so there is still time.

No, it’s Thursday, she said gently.

I laughed, a little giggle because in the nearly 30 years we’ve known one another (we met when I was approving daycares decades ago and she still works for the school district), we have never argued about anything at all. Differences, yes, shared opinions, yes, but no out and out arguing.

It’s Wednesday. I know it’s Wednesday because I have only had two sleeps since Sunday. Look, I said, as I got up to fetch a calendar and then said, oh my phone shows the date, where is it.

It’s Thursday, Janice, she said, really it is.

Yes. It was. My phone said so.

Last Thursday this was an exchange with my friend. I still lose entire days, minutes, hours. I still need lots of notice to do anything, at least two weeks is best.

Recovery from PTSD is slow, long, arduous and that is only if I truly do get there. I’ve already made peace with the fact this may be as good as it gets.

Is it any wonder my brain is so challenged.

Each day I awaken, I never know what I am awakening to.

I might be able to do something that day.

Or maybe I will only be able to clutch my bed due to dizziness that compels me to stay still.

Or maybe I can get up but not venture out past the safety of my door.

Or maybe I can push myself to go to a two hour class in Anxiety Management after which it will take me two quiet days or more to recover.

Or maybe I will only be able to type a little something here.

Then back to self care, self soothing and calm, quiet, peacefulness of recovering from the nightmares that so rudely clawed me awake.

On the days I awaken peacefully, I am weepy with gratitude that it’s not a “terror start” to the day. I wish I knew when the better days would be but I never do. I never know what the day will be like until I awaken.

This is how “Went Wednesday” originated, the result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in my world the day Earth, as I knew it, began to abruptly tilt.

Still, you can eat or drink whatever  you please on Went Wednesday. So long as you take good care of yourself and remember to be kind to others.

You never know what invisible wars are bearing down on their psyche.

Let’s REALLY Talk

Today is #Bell #Mental #Health #Day. @Bell_LetsTalk  http://www.BellLetsTalk.ca

Be kind to everyone, you never know the invisible mental wars being waged on their psyche. #PTSD is what I try to spring back from daily since 2012.

Where once I was considered this strong, as a friend since age 17 said to me when I asked where is my support: “you are our leader you are the one with all the wisdom, the one we always go to for help. We just don’t know what to do when our leader goes down.”

My friend Ricky might be right but as I struggle to get back on my horse, as it were, I wish so many did not lose my number.

A friendly voice can change a dark day when the sun is shining brightly and you want to go out. But you can’t. Because everything overwhelms from traffic sound to children crying, triggers everywhere not to mention you are not safe to begin with because everyone you ever knew has changed. That means every one you ever meet is not who they want you to believe they are. It is called having your trust shattered utterly and trying to rebuild your life when everywhere you look are the barbed wire reminders and remnants of relationship, shadows hinged on sharp tines, the teeth of time waiting to pounce on you again, catch you in the sights again only to trigger you right back to square one.

The sad side effects of having a mental illness, condition or break down are that people change. There is something that happens to others when we change or behave in ways they are not familiar with. Some don’t know how to treat us and actually carry on as if nothing is wrong with us at all. Wrong. Ask, ask, ask.

Did you know that if you ignore a hurting person, you might be the last person to ever do anything to them again because that ignorance might be what drives them over the final edge? If I had a gun, I would already be gone. Truth.

Impulsive by nature, I have been in the depths of dark where someone turning away again, saying: “You’ve changed. You aren’t the fun loving woman I knew years ago. You are distant, sad and you swan around like a princess of entitlement not contributing much at all any more.”

This from a friend of 25 years I had met while we were both working for Social Services funded child care programs. In the first couple of years of freedom after leaving my marriage, I had a lot of fun with friends, family and just enjoyed the time spent with others without the dark cloud of my ex overhead. This was taken from me when he held my arms and a former close female friend who was  having a relationship with my ex despite knowing full well ALL the reasons why I HAD to leave,  kicked me in the crotch. PTSD began then and there but they would not listen to me, ignored my troubled mind and stuck me deeper in the vat of a sharp ice cube world where nothing is friendly, round or soft anymore.

She is no longer a friend, of course. But this is just one example of what happens to you when you endure PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Of course I changed! I have PTSD. Back then, I was much worse, stammered when I spoke, spent weeks in bed at a time and rocked the hours away when awake no matter I don’t own a rocking chair.

She never asked me a single question or she might have known it was all I could do to get myself dressed and to her home for a gathering of friends at Christmas time one year after I was already in the throes of PTSD but did not yet know what was happening to me and why I could not cope.

She never asked a single question or she might have learned that after saying this to me,( I did NOT, as she later said the gathering thought of me: had a better offer – how insulting and abusive is THAT) I drove the mile home in tears, unable to see the road clearly, fleeing the abuse to my home where I sat in my pretty dress and heels, alone at Christmas time crying for four hours straight in the dark. Is it any wonder my eyes are damaged and ache with too much stimulation. I don’t think so, it happened pretty naturally.

Finally, I turned the lights on that night, showered and got into clean pj’s to crawl into bed where I stayed for nearly a week. Thank you, kind friend of the past right where you should be.

Friends of decades. Vanished. Abandoning you. Dumping your friendship when you developed needs you never could have anticipated having. Binned your decades of relationships because the dynamic is altered: now you NEED. Shame on you for needing. no No NO!!! Shame on anyone who turns away from any hurting human. Help don’t hurt!

One thing I learned all too well is abusive people just abuse more when you are down in any way. Weakness or vulnerability are trampled and, in my case, my brain flashed and banged and clanged and hurt so much from all the hurt, I wanted to just die because my head was burning and trying to explode from all the hurt inside it.

Here are some things I have had done to me since getting PTSD so I am sharing things NOT to do with hurting people:

1. Do NOT tell them to just “get over it,” “move on,” etc  Would you say this to someone who just lost a loved one? Then why now, when this could last the rest of their days?

2. Do NOT avoid them as though they are the dredges of society and don’t have any right to feel what they feel. Respect their right to feel what they feel even if you cannot understand.

3. Ask questions. Just keep asking even if they cry or burst into tears and can’t answer. Ask again another day. But asking lets them know you care. Silence and avoidance just feel like more abuse on top of what you may have already endured. I know.

4. Find reasons to drop a little something by if you can’t handle it in person. Set a flower outside their door or a little care package of some sort because they may not be able to go shopping for themselves and any little thing, soup and crackers, some fruit would be so appreciated.

5. If you call and they don’t pick up, ASSUME nothing. Actually NEVER ASSUME anyway. But especially when they don’t call back in their usual pattern. They will when they can.

6. Text or email is good but I personally find the computer screen so overwhelming, I have to look away or keep my eyes closed while typing as I just did here.  Still, it is a way for a hurting person to let you know they are okay. If you ASK.

7. Offer to pick up things for them or run errands for them if they need a bill paid, etc. This one act of kindness could be the little thing that saves a day or a week of fretting and stewing trying to figure out how they will get it done themselves.

8. Do NOT pressure them about anything in any way. Everything feels like pressure so keep the conversation safe and gentle. They will tell you anything deeper or take it there if they feel safe enough to share more with you.

9. Do NOT tell people what to do. They did not totally lose their minds. They merely lost their ability to function as they used to. Allow them the dignity to find their own way back.

10. Assume nothing.  For one thing, you will likely always be very, very WRONG. For another, your assumption is a decision you made without adequate information. How can I be so sure of this? Because that is what assumption IS. A conclusion based on inadequate information. There can be no assumptions where informing others lives.

How can people get healthy if they are shamed, shunned and shocked deeper into themselves.

They cannot.

The physical trauma was evident in the year following the kick from the blood in my urine immediately to the discomfort and constant hurting for a year following that kick – nerves down there are several, it’s such a tiny area of muscle and tissue. Mental and emotional Trauma, which is what I endured, is not visible. Think of it as a bruise inside the head. A bruise a person never asked for. A bruise they are trying to heal as best they can.

#help don’t #hurt.#bellmentalhealthday#january #28th #2014

Photos for your pretty, sleepy Sunday

Love is happiness. Love of nature, love of people, being loved and loving. That is my "happy" - love.Nature is my happiest place to be. What is yours?

Love is happiness. Love of nature, love of people, being loved and loving. That is my “happy” – love.Nature is my happiest place to be. What is yours?

 

dream girl

 

snow trees

IMG_1776

 

Inspiration exists wherever we may find it... (c) all rights reserved by AuroraMorealist photo may not be used without permission.

Inspiration exists wherever we may find it… (c) all rights reserved by AuroraMorealist photo may not be used without permission.

 

 

Photo compliments of Jim Miller

Photo compliments of Jim Miller

 

PTSD

Finally. People with PTSD are being recognized, valued and helped. 

We don’t have to justify our right to live or breathe or speak or be treated as though we are crazy any more for something we did not ASK for, would NEVER want and BATTLE daily with all our might just to stay on the right side of the grass. We don’t have to endure people thinking us stupid just because we cannot speak, function or interact with others in a way that is socially acceptable. We can live and try to get better without people cramming guilt down our throats for simply being alive, a problem to the world.

I remember when my momma said of the one family reunion all of us kids attended in 2009 for her, “look what it took.”

Yes.

Indeed.

Look what it took.

Voices onward and upward and steady as we go…

York or Fork?

If you are living in a country with a long standing educational institution that has seen millions of graduates, should they change their policy to accommodate your religion?

I thought not.

Church is church. That is why it is separate from school or college. And so it should well be.

If all services from police to health care providers and government to education and child care providers are forced to “accommodate” ALL RELIGION and ALL FAITHS, I believe the service delivery will be critically compromised.

How could it not be if you are, as the provider, spending all your time and money adapting, adjusting and accommodating to make sure no toes are stepped on all while trying to deliver a centuries old quality service?

In a world where I once was relieved to hear the term “politically correct” – I believe we have seen the scales tip. What is our tipping point?

There is a reason we have freedom of choice in religion.

There is a reason educational institutions and other public service providers have rules in place.

Isn’t there?

If one religion is deemed so special to be accommodated everywhere, then why aren’t they all? What is to stop every single one of us from winding up practicing a faith we never even chose just by virtue of respect for another’s faith.

Don’t people know what our country is like already? Why are so many of us feeling disrespected by other faiths or cultures as we witness them being honored in our very culture. Shouldn’t we be respected for being the system and country we are?

If people don’t like it here, well, the plane goes both ways.

Sign me tired of being so politically correct that we have to shout to have respect for a good country that deserves to be respected for what it is:

Canada.

True.

North.

Strong.

And FREE.

Let’s keep it that way by respecting one another’s PRIVATE choice of faith or religion. It need not be discussed in any long standing organization or long serving institution if the rules and policies are one for all and all for one.  We are all special. We ALL deserve respect. Singling out any Faith or Religion for special treatment diminishes equality and compromises all systems and organizations that are already working well. For EVERYONE of all faiths and religion.

This is Canada, folks, and I love that I was born here.

I love our fish and potatoes and maple syrup and the way we have embraced so many cultures and faiths by trying to honor every single element they introduce to us.

The simple truth is, that is impossible anyway. So why let any faith or religion have special treatment. I was born here and mine doesn’t. I just fall in with everyone else and do my best as a citizen.

Shouldn’t everyone?

 

 

Style I 2 3

when first you find him

thinking connection blessed everything sunny nothing guessed

he lies: Style, I con

***

she answers text fingers deft

not much life really hers left pleasuring

strangers lies: I con too

***

Hippy Hoppy Happy Styling Bunnies

clicking madly over wireless at one another

father mother sister and brother

***

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/daily-prompt-style-2/

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/writing-prompts/

Beyond the pale: TRUTH

Recently challenged to do something out of my comfort zone, I elected to tell the TRUTH. Now don’t get me wrong here because I am not saying I lie the rest of the time. But the forum I chose to tell the truth on was Facebook. Fear has noosed my online verbiage all too often. No more.

A survivor of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) I am daily trying to lose the fear of life, fear of love, fear of trusting anyone ever again, fear of writing what I think. Once I thought of myself as a person who would never be afraid of anything. Now I am in here, trying to survive in a world where I am afraid of everything. Today, I remove a layer of my skin that you might peer into the other six. In place of writing fear cloaked prose to please others, prose that inhibits my soul from living to my fullest creative level of self, I will remove the over worn cloaks cluttering my neural path ways to the truth.

Apparently, from my inadvertent social science project on Facebook, people don’t really want to hear the TRUTH. They will chastise you and tell you to be more positive. Or ignore you (shunning people is the same as saying YOU don’t exist and actually a form of abuse) or they will UNFRIEND you because they want only happy pretty shiny things on their walls and you are not among those if you opt to tell the hard, bone-crushing reality of the truth of living life in a zone less than perfect.  Just post a picture of yourself smiling and cease to exist otherwise. That’s all most want to see or know about. If you don’t believe me, try it. On any social site. Let me know your results. These are mine.

Apparently, most people would rather be caught up in all manner of celebrity wanna-beism or having online feuds about inane subject matter right in public where the whole wide world (okay, well their friends, anyway and possibly friends of friends can see)… what on earth possesses humans to expose such shallow elements of character when, at any given moment, they could simply share the truth about whatever is REALLY going on in their very own lives.

Are we, as a society, distancing ourselves from one another in an attempt to avoid reality?

Could it be that feasting on the perils of others or the merits of spin-doctored stardom can hold mass mind in a vise of control that many actually succumb as opposed to rejecting that for the actual human experience?

Don’t answer. It doesn’t matter. I am only after the truth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying YOU won’t tell me the truth. I’m just saying I would rather everyone ponder these questions and collectively strive for higher ground where caring and sharing is like the old days when your neighbor fell short some days and you quietly put a basket on their stoop to help out, not hurt. No more hurting online is a lofty goal, I know. But that is my truth in the real world so why live anything less anywhere else.

And that, my friends, is my truth for today.  Fresh out of my comfort zone of trying to be careful what I say lest I offend some politically correct right winger or politically incorrect wingdinger.

Truth. Rock it out loud, I intend to. Often reclusive and solitary seeking by innate nature, I am shouting to you from within my walls of self I never imagined I would have to work so hard to knock down in making my way back to myself… to a better, stronger self I one day hope to be.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/daily-prompt-new-2/

PS Happy New Year, Happiness Always <3 <3 <3

Saint Bernadette’s Song

Annual company parties could be awkward enough without the wild card of the potentially drunk table top dancer or the karaoke wanna-be who, uninvited, takes over the vocalist’s microphone. This party was no different.

Most just paid their quiet respects out of loyalty to job retention and went home before the final tome sounded. Others just didn’t know any better. Morale in this company of refrigerated food services was something bandied about for newbies and junior hires, long since dead to the front line working stiffs who kept the upstairs office suits in style.

Barbecuing salmon and prime rib over open fire pits fragranced the entry way and the Christmas music roared full volume,  a classic rock band hired to rev up festivities in the room overlooking the softly lit golf course.

One couple really stood out when they came through the doors of the Arbutus Ball Room at the Palisades Inn. But it wasn’t their flashiness. It was more that they appeared to want to hide, curving toward one another like infants seeking familiarity, safety and shelter from the world.

Dean approached the pair, his hand extended toward Marvin despite Bernadette’s pug nose risen to indignance before it was even necessary. Marvin seemed grateful and extracted his arm from Bernadette’s grasp to reach out with both hands to his long time co-worker.

“Hey, man, how’s it going?” Dean asked.

He nodded Bernadette’s way but that was enough for that short woman. Dean’s wife Amy knew Marvin’s wife Leta very well. In fact, she, Bernadette and Leta had attended a few concerts together, their musical interests aligned but their morals clearly not.

“Good, good. Good to see you, buddy,” Marvin meant it though he was panicked already, perspiration shining from the permanent furrows in his forehead.

Bernadette had insisted they attend.  Everyone saw for themselves her control just in the brutal way Martin had treated Leta after Bernadette inserted herself in the mix.  Everyone knew why the couple clung together, the lies they protected and told one another, their mutual agreement an invisible glue long cracked transparently in the eyes of all concerned.

Leta and Marvin were separated nearly five years when Leta’s best friend Bernadette, the very friend she had confided all the vile reasons why she had to leave her marriage in, this was the only glue holding Bernadette and Marvin together. It was how they made themselves feel it was okay to do what they were doing, that Leta was the crazy one. All while pressing her parts where Leta’s had once been and, if she had her way, Bernadette would be keeping them pressed there, no matter who it destroyed.

Marvin looked grey, thinner than ever and you could see he was paying a toll for something alright.

“Looks like a good party going on. Where’s the bar?” Marvin asked this while patting the flask of vodka inside his navy blue jacket, his constant reassurance policy right where it always was.

“Follow me, “ Dean said as he turned on his heel to lead them . Dean was young looking for his age but the past few years had not been kind to Marvin and they looked at least a decade apart although they were the exact same age.

Bernadette’s ash washed skin spoke of women in candlelit rooms, voodoo halls and dolls in the dead of winter, hidden away from sight until business picked up when tourist season started in spring. Her unevenly tattooed eye brows underlined the gypsy apparel, the entourage of cheap glittery necklaces and gawdy earrings.  All she needed was a scarf tied around her head to complete the look.

Leta was a classy lady who dressed with an easy elegance that only seemed to heighten Marvin’s presence just as Bernadette’s presence cheapened him.  It wasn’t only Bernadette’s disloyal choices and appearance that set her apart from any good taste in the room. It was the secrets she had to agree to keep, the secrets she wore as brazenly as though Leta was a crazy woman who made everything up out of thin air about her husband. Bernadette should have known Leta better than that, the thirty years Marvin had to make things right were wasted, Marvin was full of promises and that was about all is what Leta had told Amy.

Amy was at the bar getting herself another ginger ale when Dean slipped an arm around her shoulders. The flashing Christmas lights cast a fleeting pall over everyone, an inexpensive mockery of true disco ball days.

“Look who’s here, sweetie,” Dean said.

Strains of Heart’s Barracuda were keeping the dance floor full and the band promised to do any song requested so Amy had just requested they do Elton John’s “Your Song” – the song Dean dedicated to her at their wedding.

She turned expecting to greet someone gladly so that her smile froze awkwardly, half expressed while she uttered a curt, “Hello.”

“Amy,” Marvin said, “Hi, uh, It’s nice to see you.”

“I’m sure it is,” Amy said, her eyes fastened on Bernadette who seemed oblivious to her own ill chosen appearance.

“Well, what a night this has been so far! Let’s get a beverage and sit down, Marvin, the air in here is so dry.”

Bernadette grabbed the moment to laugh it all off – laugh, laugh, laugh it off she liked to say-  with the type of forced laugh people give when thinking themselves funny.  No one else laughed but she didn’t seem to notice. Stubbornness was one of her most prideful traits. She pulled Marvin’s sleeve but he seemed distracted, not really present with her or anyone else. Suddenly he just followed along like a good little doggy and Amy turned to Dean.

“I hope you didn’t invite them to sit with us.”

“ I knew better than that, “ Dean said this smiling at Amy, glad for her pluck. It had never left her from the time they were high school sweethearts through raising their three twenty- something children. At forty eight Amy could still cut a swath across a room in her stylish dresses and heels even though her favorite clothes were soft blue jeans with pilly old sweaters. Amy was a confident woman and it was her goodness that struck people ahead of her presence. Somehow you just knew this was one good woman who wouldn’t entertain anything unseemly.

Including Bernadette McGratten.

Bernadette was already chatting up the company president, a beefy man with a Santa paunch and the charm of thirty snakes, already drunk as a lord and clapping Marvin on the back like they were long lost pals. In some way, they were.

Later in the night, when the band started playing softer music, slower dance songs, Dean said to Amy, “I feel sorry for the guy, believe it or not. Everyone is avoiding them. He looks lost.”

“He looks lost because he is roary-eyed drunk! He’s not lost. He is just trying to escape himself.”

Amy knew she was right about this.

Leta had shared that Marvin’s self loathing was the hatred between them. He hated himself for all the harm he had caused her and the children, for hurting them all so irrevocably. He treated Laura terribly and apologized only when she left, “I am so sorry I treated you so inhumanely. I know I treated you like an animal. Like a piece of dog shit on my shoe. I am so sorry. I was never a good husband but it wasn’t your fault. You were such a good wife. You are the purest person I have ever known. “ He’d also said he would always love Leta and she knew it was true but, as she told Amy, that just isn’t enough anymore, I don’t want to die here in this sham of a marriage.

“Speaking of escapes,” Amy said aloud, “I need to make one to the ladies room and I wouldn’t mind leaving anytime after that. Just let me know when you are ready to go.”

The band hadn’t played her request yet but she was tired and it was an hour’s drive home for them.

The washroom was rife with colognes and perfumes and as Amy exited the stall she was in, there stood Bernadette at the sink, her back reflected in the mirror as she leaned against the counter.

“Why does everyone hate me?”  she asked.

“Don’t play cute with me,” Amy said. “You know why.”

“Leta left Marvin long before I got involved. I didn’t take him from her.”

“No, you could never do that, you never stood a chance there,” April said. “But you know as well as I do why she had to leave.  Then you call her crazy and make crazy motions at her right in her own home before you haul off and kick her when she is helpless. Why didn’t you just leave, leave, leave as both of them repeatedly asked you to? You’re a nurse for God’s sake, you’re supposed to know when someone is distraught.  And you were the reason for Leta’s distress and you knew it! Does it feel good to be you inside there? I can’t imagine being a soulless person like you who spouts religion and God, God, God as if you actually know him.  The only God you know has a pitchfork.”

“You don’t understand…” Bernadette started.

“No! You don’t understand. You crossed a line of love and loyalty of friendship for a person who thinks nothing of committing crimes. How could you bring your own children into a situation where you know he is reformatting his hard drives weekly to cover visits to underage porn and other unimaginables that destroyed their marriage? If I didn’t despise the evil you have done to Leta, I might even feel sorry for you. First her marriage is a sham and then her friendship with you is all false, too. Karma is a bitch, Bernadette, and when you meet her, give her my regards.”

Amy grabbed the door handle, the cool brushed steel welcome against her clenching fingers.

“ Please…you don’t understand… let me tell my side… you don’t understand,” Bernadette plead.

“Your side??! I don’t want to hear your side of anything!  I don’t want to ever understand the kind of evil person who could do what you have done to Leta. You don’t even know the meaning of “friend”. You have no idea what virtue and conscience even are or you could never do what you have done. To anyone. But especially Leta. She really loved you and you abused her love. How dare you write to her telling her ‘she’ is of no character value – turn around and look in that mirror if you want to see what soullessness looks like!”

Amy was shaking when she stepped back into the ball room where Dean was smiling her way. “Take me home, my man, I need out of this place right now.”

Bernadette watched them leaving.

She watched everyone leaving.

They always left.

They never looked back.

She looked over at Marvin sitting with the company president who was asleep, his head on the table. Bernadette felt calm again, took a deep breath and started for the table where Martin sat, too drunk to talk to, too drunk to drive himself home, too broken for any glue to hold him together ever again.

Marvin was different from the rest of the men in her life. She could feel it. Everything was different this time.

Once, after a two month relationship she deemed so intense it warranted a ten year depression along with a revolving door of men who routinely dumped her before they even opened the gate let alone got out of it, she thought she would never feel this intensity again but here it was with Marvin.

Bernadette knew Marvin would never love her the way he loved Leta because he couldn’t after what she had done to Leta. He knew she knew what he was and what he had done, too. He even told her that Leta was the purest person he ever knew. She would rather he was able to say that of herself but she could settle with that the same way she settled with everything else she knew was not good or right about this whole situation.

Bernadette knew he really needed her because he had nobody else left who wanted him. Not even Leta.

Marvin really, really needed her now.

And that was enough for her.

She hummed the final bars of the Elton John song to herself …

How wonderful life is…

© Aurora Morealist

Saint Clause

A nomad prayer on a desert in Africa. The phot...

A nomad prayer on a desert in Africa.

In every relationship there is a Saint Clause. The compassion of giving and sharing is a characteristic of mankind that should endure year round, not just at Christmas time.

When I was growing up, we never turned a soul away and my mother taught us that whatever we had, we shared with those who didn’t have any whether it was our food or a favor – babysitting they couldn’t pay for, wood to burn for warmth or whatever – we knew that kindness was what got one another through.

So, while the coffers of the entitled swell and gala events are making headlines, I sure hope that the Saint Clause is in motion behind the scenes. Not everyone who is wealthy even realizes their wealth nor do some believe in giving. I remember discussing this years ago and an elderly man at the table with us said, “You wanna be sucker?”  

Obviously jaded, he had more than enough to last him many lifetimes yet was so miserly, I swear to God the Greengrinch Meanlines aged his face so badly one could plant potatoes in those furrows. Gone now, he couldn’t take it with him, and didn’t make any difference to anyone while alive. The Saint Clause can be a very sad thing when not invoked while living.

Some are so miserly the only way they will give a thing at all is if they are getting something.

How old were they when they lost their compassion, I wonder.

How old will they be when they realize that compassion is one of the characteristics illustrated in the animal world daily where a dog may nurse an orphaned kitten alongside her pups… while humans pass one another invisibly on the street.

Yes, everybody has their hand out. Yes, it seems like we give and give and then have to give some more. Because we do. We are human beings. Aren’t we…

This is where the Saint Clause comes in. If we stop caring, we will stop giving and if we cannot give, not because we have nothing to give, but because we are miserly, I do believe we have broken the human Saint Clause of life.

To me, there would be nothing worse than dying and leaving behind an estate of considerable value that will go to relatives I never knew – or the government where no relatives exist any more – while people I know and know of in my own communities are wanting and needing help. 

My wish for this Christmas is for balance. May those who have none find some over the holidays and not forget the whole remainder of the year as if hurting people don’t exist the other 364 days.

Humanity. Yes.

Balance.

Merry Christmas, Everyone.

The photo probably taken by Kazimierz Nowak (1897-1937) during his trip through Africa – a Polish traveller, correspondent and photographer. Probably the first man in the world who crossed Africa alone from the North to the South and from the South to the North (from 1931 to 1936; on foot, by bicycle and canoe). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 

Swink or Sim II

Sears Essentials (Kmart) logo

Sears Essentials (Kmart) logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TRIGGER WARNING/LANGUAGE:

The bulky man inside the Sears store grabbed the two twelve year old girls by their elbows and began dragging them down the store aisle.

“Stop it, you big bastard! Who do you think you are, let go of my arm right now! Are you nuts?”

The girl with red hair and freckles protested so loudly that everyone in the store stopped to look. But nobody moved to help either girl. Not the red haired girl or her suddenly struck dumb friend with the dirty blonde hair.

“You little bitches think you can get away with anything!” The man yelled right back.

Nothing was making any sense to the red-haired girl and it never dawned on her to question her friend’s silence. Being the eldest of her father’s children, she had grown used to speaking out for others and knew when her younger siblings were afraid. Right now her friend was acting very afraid. Wriggling away the whole time the man’s grip grew tighter, the red-haired girl did not stop shouting until they were in the administration office. Even then, you could hear her all the way down the halls, perhaps even outside the mall.

“Let go of me, you fucking bastard. I am telling my dad on you! You can’t go around just grabbing girls – what are you, a pervert? Let go of me, you big pig!”  Later it struck her that the man was likely as pissed off about her mouth going off at him as he was anything else. But when you believe you are wronged, you believe it and she did. At the time.

When the bulky man tipped out her friend’s purse, the red haired girl turned to her friend and cut loose in a different way.

“What the hell were you thinking? Why did you steal sunglasses for Chrissakes? If I were going to steal something, I’d make it worth my while. Why didn’t you tell me so I could leave the store? You are no friend of mine! What a rotten liar you are and now I am in trouble because of you! I would never do this to you! But I wouldn’t steal anything either! I never want to see your face again!” The red – haired girl said this without listening to a word the adults around the two girls were all saying.

Then she turned back to the store detective, “If you’d have said what was wrong and who you were, I could have told you I never did anything wrong!”

“You are an accomplice,” one of the adults said.

“I am NOT an accomplice! I didn’t even see her take them! I never even knew she was going to steal anything! Don’t you have to be in on it to be an accomplice? I was NOT in on anything, she never said a word until we got here.”

The blonde friend still hadn’t uttered a word and even after the police and their parents came to fetch them, the red-haired girl kept her word. She never called her blonde haired friend again. She doesn’t even know what happened to her friend. Herself, she got one year probation but she told them she never did anything wrong and wasn’t going to go see a Probation Officer for no reason. Even her mother said, “It’s probation, you have to go. You were with your friend when it happened.”

“Okay, I’ll go,” the red haired girl told her mother. And she did. Once.

Just long enough to tell the probation officer that she was not guilty, had not committed any crime and would not be coming back.

She never heard from her friend, Sears or the probation officer again.

Truth.

(c) AuroraMorealist

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/prompt-sink-swim/

Swink or Sim

Sears Essentials (Kmart) logo

Sears Essentials (Kmart) logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bulky man inside the Sears store grabbed the two twelve year old girls by their elbows and began dragging them down the store aisle.

“Stop it, you big bastard! Who do you think you are, let go of my arm right now! Are you nuts?”

The girl with red hair and freckles protested so loudly that everyone in the store stopped to look. But nobody moved to help either girl. Not the red haired girl or her suddenly struck dumb friend with the dirty blonde hair.

“You little bitches think you can get away with anything!” The man yelled right back.

Nothing was making any sense to the red-haired girl and it never dawned on her to question her friend’s silence. Being the eldest of her father’s children, she had grown used to speaking out for others and knew when her younger siblings were afraid. Right now her friend was acting very afraid. Wriggling away the whole time the man’s grip grew tighter, the red-haired girl did not stop shouting until they were in the administration office. Even then, you could hear her all the way down the halls, perhaps even outside the mall.

“Let go of me, you fucking bastard. I am telling my dad on you! You can’t go around just grabbing girls – what are you, a pervert? Let go of me, you big pig!”  Later it struck her that the man was likely as pissed off about her mouth going off at him as he was anything else. But when you believe you are wronged, you believe it and she did. At the time.

When the bulky man tipped out her friend’s purse, the red haired girl turned to her friend and cut loose in a different way.

“What the hell were you thinking? Why did you steal sunglasses for Chrissakes? If I were going to steal something, I’d make it worth my while. Why didn’t you tell me so I could leave the store? You are no friend of mine! What a rotten liar you are and now I am in trouble because of you! I would never do this to you! But I wouldn’t steal anything either! I never want to see your face again!” The red – haired girl said this without listening to a word the adults around the two girls were all saying.

Then she turned back to the store detective, “If you’d have said what was wrong and who you were, I could have told you I never did anything wrong!”

“You are an accomplice,” one of the adults said.

“I am NOT an accomplice! I didn’t even see her take them! I never even knew she was going to steal anything! Don’t you have to be in on it to be an accomplice? I was NOT in on anything, she never said a word until we got here.”

The blonde friend still hadn’t uttered a word and even after the police and their parents came to fetch them, the red-haired girl kept her word. She never called her blonde haired friend again. She doesn’t even know what happened to her friend. Herself, she got one year probation but she told them she never did anything wrong and wasn’t going to go see a Probation Officer for no reason. Even her mother said, “It’s probation, you have to go. You were with your friend when it happened.”

“Okay, I’ll go,” the red haired girl told her mother. And she did. Once.

Just long enough to tell the probation officer that she was not guilty, had not committed any crime and would not be coming back.

She never heard from her friend, Sears or the probation officer again.

Truth.

(c) AuroraMorealist

 

 

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/prompt-sink-swim/

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I pasted most of the poems I wrote, the poems that saved my life these past two years, into an ebook to try and raise about the stigma of mental health. Art saves lives is the message of my sometimes very dark writing… still, my writing is the only thing no one can ever take way from me and it will not violate my trust and loyality like some people in the world do who caused my PTSD, physically and emotionally attacking me, nearly destroying me totallly. Gentle people like Stephanie Borkowski who also suffers from PTSD give me hope. Here are the questions from her interview in a link to her pretty, peaceful blog:

http://www.journalofawoman.com/3/post/2013/11/interview-with-author-aurora-morealist.html

In the Booth with Ruth – Aurora Morealist, Author

Aurora Morealist:

Ruth is so good at what she does… love her… thank you, Ruth <3 <3 <3

Originally posted on Ruth Jacobs:

Aurora Morealist

What’s your writing background? When did you begin writing and what inspired you? 

In first grade I raised my hand excitedly and fairly yelled at the teacher, “I know what I am going to do when I grow up, I’m going to make books!” This was the result of seeing how powerful even the Dick and Jane readers can be for a whole class full of people, like witnessing magic it was. While holding day jobs for income over the years, I managed to earn a few writing awards for slice-of-life fiction and poetry, the two genres I love best to write. Inspiration comes from human nature and Mother Nature. As for the act of writing, I don’t write because I want to, I write because I must. Should writing ever cease for me, I am certain breathing will too. Writing saved my life. 

How often do you…

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When you look closely warts will appear…

Relationship to self.

As humans we appear to have a refined propensity for overlooking things.

I don’t mean in a deliberate sense, I mean in a sense of wanting to believe the best of others.

We overlook so much and then we ask ourselves, how did I get here?

There is a distinct difference between letting of of little things and overlooking big things.

Overlooking any questionable behavior in the early days of relationship building is not wise.

This is the stuff that leads to years of investing in something that was not even good for us.

There is a fine line between overlooking and making something out of nothing.

Choose your battles was the phrase used by the teacher in my trauma survivors class.

The only problem I have with this concept is that when trying to discern what is worth battling, when you look too closely at anything, warts will appear.

(c) AuroraMorealist

Relationship to self. (Photo credit: Celestine Chua) (Flicker)

Triggers: Trigger Warning

Sorrow

Drunk hands on throat

Shaking head against the wall

Yelling, yelling, always angry, yelling

It’s your fault I do the things I do

Look what I’m fucking married to!

I wish you were fucking dead

Just die, fucking die, die bitch!

I wish you had cancer and died

I wish you died on the operating table

I wish the plane crashed with you in it

You useless wormy old rat bag whore

You are useless just like the rest of your useless family

No more use for them either now they are adults who see through the lies

Head under water

Crying crying crying always crying

No air, can’t breathe, dying, dying, gasping for air

up, Up, UP!!!

I am alive!

FREE

Breathing

FREE

Water droplets on face

Relief tears

Alone with my life

Nearly two years

FREE

Two pairs of hands on throat

Choking air out of me

Head under water

No air

FREEDOM

Just another word for no one left

To use

Glimmer of hope

Erased

Evil lies driving evil loves

Dying, dying, gasping for air…

Water on face

Tears of anguish and sorrow

Freedom a dream

The nightmare begins again

Thank you

Best Friend.

(c) Aurora Morealist

(photo: Wikipedia)

Average Mental Health?

English: signs and symptoms ptsd

If you see me you won’t think a thing odd about me, I look fairly average as human beings go.

You could never guess I am in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) since autumn 2011. Shock after shock after shock did it. This one was just too big for me.

Some days I wonder if I ought don a “cast hat” so I won’t wind up stammering or running out of an office or store because I am triggered.

I have help and if you suffer from PTSD or any other mental health disorder, I hope you do, too.

It’s been a darn hard road and a lonely one at that. You would think humans more supportive and tolerant but apparently they can only manage a few weeks of support, on average, before they just don’t want to know about it any more. On average.

Some days are better than others but even the slightest stimulation (noise, lots of movement, traffic, etc) can tip me some days.

The fact that I require lots of rest, lots of quiet and lots of down time does not mean I am a bad person. I am doing the best I can.

 

The thing is, as I said in a piece on this a while back about PTSD, we don’t lose our intelligence, we only lose our coping skills.

Again, there is a great shame/guilt I have come to learn in having an invisible disorder that leaves me longing to carry a cast hat around with me that I might don in answer to anyone who mocks, questions, blames or shames for that which I cannot control any more than they might control physical injury, accident, illness or battery.

Sometimes I say to people, I can’t listen to you talk anymore, I’m sorry, it is hurting my ears. Because it does. On average, I am doing a lot better than rocking the hours away or stuttering so that one word could take the time of uttering an entire paragraph. Friends skittered in all directions. Some came back. Others never will. People fear change and if you mention mental health, many shun you as though you asked for PTSD, asked to change your role in the relationship(s) from helper to the hurt needing the help.

Sometimes even turning the computer on can trigger me, it’s so bright and so many images and I can’t take it for long at any given time. Post scheduling is good for this.

Other times I chastise myself for not participating in life as I once used to. Then, in better moments, I know I am participating best I can in life: my life.

There is no such thing as average mental health. Were we all to experience the trauma others have endured, I daresay our ability to help others heal would be extraordinary. Were the world to look inside the mind of anyone’s pain, for all the similarities we humans have, I believe we are all very, very different when viewed from the inside out.

(c) Aurora Morealist

photo: Wikipedia

 

Internet “Connection” Threat

Cottage near Lake Michigan in Shorewood Hills,...

What would we do without our computers?

I want just one weekend FREE of all gadgets, computers and phones.

Just one weekend, Gods and Angels that be. No computers. No tablets. No cell phones. Ereaders that cannot get online. Period.

Yesterday I cartoonized my profile photo on Facebook just for the fun of it.

A man (person, woman, we’ll never know for sure) wrote to me telling me how beautiful I am and how much he wants to get to know more about me and could I please send him my email address so that we can continue to get to know one another.

I was a CARTOON bobblyhead thingy!  Just like Rob Ford (without all the drugs and bad choices he keeps saying he moved on from – what about everyone else – collective mind wipe? Could work. But I doubt it).

Is this what not having any other ‘easy’ arm chair form of entertainment has done to us?

Relegated us to sofas and armchairs that glue our butts so fastly we don’t need to get up and go out and do anything in fresh air ever again or go socialize just for the sake of seeing a REAL LIFE friendly face…

Strangers so desperate for communication they use people online for their sheer entertainment tittilation, sexual or otherwise scamming just because they have nothing better to do?

Are they even aware that not every face on the internet is who they “appear” to be?

An online “presence” is not worth much in my world. It is, in fact, a whole other world. One we must often join in just to survive.

Neighborhoods fall as silent as I do in dismay at the prospect of MORE of this. 

More streets silenced as children stay inside to “play” online.

More children alienated in their own homes by parents who provide every machine or gadget under the sun without actual parenting.

More adults addicted in droves to the “online thrills” of chatting with people who don’t know they don’t even look like the photos they put up.

Sexy woman? Might be a man. Was, in fact, in case of  a horrified male friend.

Sexy guy? Might be a woman spinning a scammer tale from a faraway country…

If it actually IS the man or woman in the picture…well… what is he or she doing online so much if he or she is REALLY that great of a catch?

computer eyes

(Insert human telling on self with own CHOSEN behaviors  - ugliness to behold, NOT attractive, very unattractive and rude to watch, really.)

Survival is just not looking that attractive right now.

Survival of the fittest is almost a joke with more and more of us growing more unfit by virtue of the time invested in stillness to tend gadgets as though they are gardens constantly needing pruning, culling, perking, hoeing and poking.

A cabin in the forest, a cottage by the sea, a rural mountain home are all screaming my name as I write this on this machine.

Here. Where I wish I couldn’t be. You see the majority rules and the majority don’t want books anymore, they have Ereaders… if it’s not on the internet, did it really happen… or is it just another tree falling in the forest as corporations force us to go paperless or pay for our sins of wanting a paper bill to pay, file and have as record if we so desire… are we not “paying” enough already…

What if the whole world suddenly blacked out? Could you survive? Would you want to?

I believe I would and could. Much better than I am now. My life would be much more peaceful. I could relax without blaring TV, pinging computer or beeping phone dogging me, never letting me truly rest from the assault on my senses. And this is all unrelated to the fact that all over stimulation aggravates PTSD (a trauma syndrome I suffer since 2011).

Dreaming only of  being where there is wind, breeze, birds, no crowds, no gadgets, no sound, just quiet of nature indwelling your being with the calm, soulful restoration every human needs. 

If man gives his power and control so freely to machine that he becomes little more than Pavlov’s dog, there really isn’t much to go on for or look forward to… is there?

How I miss my humans.

(c) Aurora Morealist

When I was a child…

Family watching television, c. 1958

When I was a child there was no such thing as “family time.”

That’s because all the time was family time. The rest of the time was for school, visits with friends or extended family time.

Family was who you spent all your free time with. Family was who was there when nobody else was. Family time was all the time in a natural fashion that never really made me think about it until now.

Do you remember anything like this? You played with siblings, did chores for parents, did your homework at the kitchen table and most of the time couldn’t be found because you were outside… playing with friends and family.

Now we see commercials promoting “outdoor play” while playgrounds and parks stand mostly idle save for young mums with tots in tow who likely, once independently mobile, will likely discover the joy of computers, television or video games to leave the playgrounds a distant memory as many do.

Now we see advertisements for “family time” and “family dinners” as though they are the anomaly because … they… are.

They must be or we wouldn’t see these ads, would we?

When I was a child if we went to a restaurant and sat there engrossed in even so much as a book, we were told to close the book until we were alone to read. Recently I saw a family, an entire family, all the children and all the adults sit down in a restaurant next to us where they all pulled out their respective gadgets and save for placing their food orders which they never even thanked the server for, stayed fastened to their gadgets uttering nary another word.

When I was a child if we went to visit people, we did not sit there engrossed in a book or a gadget or watching TV. If we did, we ran the risk of getting a verbal clout upside the head for our rude behavior.

When I was a child and family or friends visited us, it was an honor. You shared your food, your time and yourself freely, wistful already when they left for the next time they would visit. Had we any gadgets to be preoccupied with, I’m sure the visitors would not have graced us with their company again. Not to mention the telling off we would have gotten from our parents.

When I was a child we never saw a proliferation of commercials for “activity” or “losing weight.” Come to think of it, we never saw food ads in proliferation either… Kraft foods is all I can really remember. Then again, we never saw a lot of television – we didn’t get the channel reception anyway or we were already outside playing – and that explains why what I did see is so vivid in my mind.

When I was a child we weren’t allowed to be publicly rude or dismissive of any person any time. We had to be kind first and if the person didn’t deserve our kindness, then we stepped back.

When I was a child the internet did not exist.

When I was a child, “family time” was not an advertisement.

(c) Aurora Morealist

(photo credit: Wikipedia)

Classified

English: Four hands holding.

In a class tonight I was given to thoughts of running right out the door, racing home long before the teaching was done. The urge to flee is not unusual for me because of the intensity of these courses meant to impart communication skills and coping strategies. Breathing and grounding, I repeatedly employed more than one of my lessons to date tonight.

Yet, I can’t relieve myself of the imagery haunting my psyche.

On break, we students engaged in a discussion about racism that left me feeling sad, sorry and a little bit wistful for the past, or at least the past as I thought it once was. Along with my once unwavering teen-aged hope for more love and peace in the world, I was probably wrong about the past being the way I remember it, too.

Whatever, I wondered, in listening to the shared story,  would possess a grade two or three student, of Asian descent to extend her arm against that of a black classmate declaring the girl “browner than me?”

The black girl cried “racism” and the teacher, not knowing exactly what to do, intervened.

She held out her arm alongside the arms of the two children, joining the three of them together, and said, “Look at our three arms together – this is the color of human.”

The color of human. 

Do you suppose we may ever grasp this concept enough to fully live it out loud… or am I still living in teen-aged dream land where humans and their need to classify one another will never cease…  Guilty of dreaming the past a better place while hoping the future might prove even better is just one of my own multiple human flaws.

As new cultures reach our North American shores to live among our First Nations peoples all alongside one another with those of us residing here alongside all of them, might we all be dreaming of something we can never hope to achieve because the differences instead of the similarities will still exist, pointed out by babes who have been programmed to classify one another before they are even teenagers themselves. Labeling one another as greater or lesser by degrees of “shades of color,” by declaring a greater worthiness based on illusory comparisons that are, themselves, evidence of the ignorance so many have struggled against for so long and many still struggle against daily.

No matter how many laws are created to prevent “racism” – no matter how silenced humans may be in public – if the  children are taught to cite differences even as they, themselves, are different, too, will we ever reach the point of simply accepting one another just as we are.

The color of human.

Staying to the end of the class was challenging for me, it usually is, I want to flee weekly because I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and anything involving any sort of emotional triggering is my nemesis. I wanted to cry about this, it left me feeling teary and I wanted to cry out against other matters where humans plunder one another’s fragility daily. And I wanted to say to everyone in the world, “I’m so sorry.

But I don’t know who to say it to, exactly, or what exactly I would be apologizing for.

Still, I am so sorry.

(c) Aurora Morealist

(photo credit: Wikipedia)