Mighty maelstrom. #RDP

Pixabay photo.

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2020

 

In the midst of the wind

And tumultuous waves

A voice called out to me.

“You did not cause the storm,

But the storm is within you

You are not run by what you fear

And you are not controlled by fear

If you can just embrace it…

Be the wind that erodes the sands of boredom

Be the downpour that washes away all doubt

Be the fire that burns down the tents of shame

Do not be blown over by the storm,

Let the storm surge through you, and remake you,

Stronger, wiser, resilient as an oak.”

With that, she walked away, long stick guiding her movements, gray hair befalling her shoulders, a smile crinkling at her eyes.

Just as I realized who she was, she was gone…

 

The Forest. #poetry

WOLFforest-2056852_1280                                                   “And the forest will echo with laughter.”  -Led Zeppelin lyric

The Forest, (c) 2020 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

The forest is deep and far and wide

lush with ideas and thoughts

coming at us all at once…

layers and layers of thoughts

The changing path, the creatures on the way

the weather falling down on us

or sunshine guiding our way.

Layers and layers to peel away and discover

or some that we bury and keep covered,

like leaves on a forest floor.

The innocent child goes forth to explore…

The tainted, jaded adult hangs back

Says, “No, we probably shouldn’t.”

Clings to coffee and her wallet,

Poised, tense, ready to self-protect.

Which one wins?

 

Can one just leave the forest untouched?

For it grows inside of the mind,

imagination soars, or holds you behind.

Which one will you choose?

 

*The above photo is a Pixabay photo.

 

 

Tenuous Grasp. #poetry #prayer

undertow-sea-710297_960_720 Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

 

A Tenuous Grasp

(c) 2017, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

My brave face only hides

The tears I swallow inside.

I will stay strong for you,

though fear is in my soul,

For I too, float, ungrounded

and I am without control.

 

I am praying for God’s help,

in guiding me and you,

for I am dodging life’s swift blows,

I don’t know what else to do.

 

 

 

 

“A Turning Point,” #flashfiction #amwriting FFfAW challenge

photoprompt-20161212155025335This week’s photo prompt is provided by Maria with Doodles and Scribbles.

 

The party had been a blast.  Too much so.  But Kimberly grew tired of Brad’s advances.  She sauntered down the dark road, her mind in a fog.  Why did I take that last drink?  She pondered.  Could I even scare off an attacker, with this stagger in my walk?

It was interesting that she chose this danger over a ride home with Brad, the All-American football star.

The unknown was her choice.  She’d swiped a heavy paperweight at the party when she decided Brad would not be taking her home.  Would it protect her?

Of course, she wasn’t thinking straight; she could have asked anyone else.  Instead, she darted out the door and down the street, to greet vampires or murderers, or who knew what.

Up ahead stood a dark, shadowy figure.

If I live, I’m going to stop celebrating New Year’s Eve this way, she whispered.

 

*This brief story was part of a Flash Fiction challenge, no more than 100-150 words allowed, based on a photo prompt.  The prompt was provided as one of the weekly challenges at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/fffaw-challenge-week-of-december-13-2016/   I encourage you to peruse some of the other material there, as no two minds think exactly alike.

Yes, this was challenging!  What do you all think?

Anxiety, The Phantom (Poetry)

By Pamela Schloesser Canepa
Anxiety, The Phantom copyright, 1.05.16
A windy night brings it. Bam!
The back porch door slams
And I’m left to wonder what is there
What glowing eyes in the night will glare?
I am like a child, four years old again,
My fear and imagination bends.
What hoodlum or phantom lurks here?
I sense something evil crouching near.
Gone is all hope of sleep.
I must be ready in case he leaps.

“He” is my fear of things unseen,
Politicians and terrorists threatening me,
Bills, undone tasks, that won’t let me free,
Narrow minded people judging me
Worry for my son, in his melancholy
TV news feeding branches of my anxiety.
Things that make me think I have no weapon,
Realities that happen, with or without mention.
My canine detects no offending thief,
And only morning daybreak brings relief.

Untitled design

Shrinking Violet – No More Hiding

“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won’t feel insecure around you.”  Marianne Williamson

The dream goes like this:  I am sick.  I cannot speak or make a single sound with my mouth.  I hear beautiful music and it frustrates me, yet pleases me at the same time.  I open my mouth and feel pain, but cannot produce any expressive noise or words. I move closer to a plant that is growing beautiful flowers; they are orchids or lilies.  I take the outer petals of the flowers and eat them.  Suddenly, I am singing beautifully.  I am growing, and I am life.

In a training session for elder duty at my church I was asked to look at this poem in relation to my faith.  The first thing this line reminds me of is the term “shrinking violet.”  While my reasons for being a “shrinking violet” were probably not to protect others feelings, my role as shrinking violet certainly was not enlightened.  Digging deeper into my faith has caused me to dig up a lot that I haven’t thought about in a long time. There are dark spaces inside, but there are also places that filter in the light.

Among the dark spots on my faith journey are the many times I stuck to being a shrinking violet, not to prevent others from feeling insecure, but to avoid conflict.  Avoiding conflict was a constant goal of mine, or perhaps we should say it became more of an instinct.  Needless to say when avoiding conflict is your ultimate goal, one is not living fully to their potential. There is also a saying “Don’t squander your talents”, “Don’t hide and your light under a bushel.” Evidently people do this all the time, and I’m not so unusual. But when we were singing that song about this little light of mine in Sunday school, I suppose I didn’t get the metaphor. Or maybe survival was more important to me.

My upbringing in a household with one alcoholic parent and the other frustrated and constantly the peacemaker taught me  that I should be the person to avoid conflict. Maybe because the peacemaker was the woman? Perhaps that’s how I learned my role ? Maybe I took the role of man to be “rules the house with anger.” To this day I can’t stand sitting at a table when someone pounds it in excitement, anger, or frustration. Fortunately, my dad went on to rehab when I was 20, and was no longer a drinker. By that point, my habits and misconceptions were set.  However, I must give my dad thanks for strongly encouraging me to go to college, because when I went through high school, my life was not geared towards that. The only honors class I took was English, because I just love that subject and wanted to see if I could do it. It seems that drying out helped him become more supportive and encouraging, even if it was through long-distance.  So I have to say, I went to college and excelled because he told me I could do it, so I wanted to prove him right.  He even funded my first two years.

Flash forward to age 25.  I am about to get married to an attractive guy I met at a party.  He blew me away with his ownership of me.  How he could not live without me or bear to see me with another guy.  I actually did have second thoughts the day o f the wedding.  I did not heed them.  I am a sort who usually sticks with a choice I have made.  Abandoning the relationship would have hurt him.  Calling off the wedding would as well.  Everything seemed to hinge on preserving his feelings.  What about mine?  They were on the back-burner.  I had to be the peace-maker.  His heavy drinking did not help matters.  But I was still the peace-maker.  I had earned a college degree and a professional job in management,  but he overshadowed and made me second guess every decision I made.  Saying certain things at a party could set him off as well.  I obviously wasn’t growing as a person.  My spiritual growth was stunted.  Sunday morning would be a hung-over day just as much as Saturday.  Then came my pregnancy, and the birth of our perfect baby.  Keeping the peace was more important now.

Let me tell you, that only lasted so long.  Knowing my son would one day understand all the horrible things my husband was saying to me, the accusations, the name-calling, even thinly veiled threats, made me fear the way his perception of a mother’s role or even a wife’s role might turn out.  Would he one day believe all those things his dad was saying TO MY FACE and I would just try to go into the other room, being a survivor, never a fighter.  My only way to fight back was to preserve my dignity and my sanity and leave.  Looking back, it is apparent that I was forever shrinking so that he wouldn’t be insecure around me, or because of me.  But this was also motivated by fear.  Insecure people grow angry, they manipulate, they try to cut you down to size.  I would allow that so his anger would JUST STOP.  I did not want my son to grow up in that household.  Sadly, he later came to see his dad as the outcast family member, cut-off.  For years, he would fight to defend this perceived “underdog.” But that is an entirely different battle.

For the most part, I have raised my son as a single parent.  There were some relationships.  They grew stale or were revealed to be the wrong situation, for one reason or the other.  I pride myself on the fact that I did not get married prematurely again.  I did not jump into another family situation or have another child,  thus making myself dependent on a man.  I can’t see how some women go through pregnancy alone, my hat’s off to you.  I have often used my gifts as self-therapy, not always to help others.  But I would like to share them with the world.  It still purges my spirit to produce something with my gifts, words, a song, prose or poems.  The world may take it or leave it.  And I still have my voice.  I feel an increasing need to speak out with this voice.   I want to speak and plant seeds with my words.  Ideas will grow, and there will be no more shrinking.      violet--isolated-on-whi