One or Two, All Together. #RDP #poetry

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

(c) 2021, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

They say the loneliest number is one,

but when all is said and done

Together can become empty, and you ask why?

Sometimes there’s a point, they no longer look you in the eye.

******

Sometimes, when you are just one

reaching out to many, you feel more whole

because when trying to stay together,

you denied and shuttered areas of your soul.

*****

You may be blessed to stay together,

or as one, you can still withstand the weather

You be you; as one or part of two, neither one is better.

***

***Subscribe to the Ragtag Daily Word Prompt; join in one day and see what comes out in words. See today’s Word Challenge prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/rdp-wednesday-together/

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Weekend Coffee Share: Viva La Independence!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It was a green matcha tea day. I am being kind to my health, and I actually did some yoga with an online yoga website class. A healthy body aids a healthy mind and vice versa.

What an interesting week. On Thursday, my Newspaper Club had judging for a poetry contest that we ran during the month of April. This was my pet project. Several of the students wanted to be in on the judging, and I had two other teachers present to help with judging as well as one of their wives who is into art and poetry. I read each poem aloud, and they judged it American-Idol style. I think the kids had great fun with it, and the adults seemed to have a good time too! I showed my principal the 1st place poem the next day. She seemed pretty busy, but when I asked if she had time, she said, “I can always make time for the kids.” She was impressed by the poem as well! Winners have not been officially told yet, but I have a student who wants to do the announcing.

Also on my mind this week was how tired I’ve been. I did not sleep well for a few nights, all due to a conversation with my boyfriend last Saturday night. After dinner, he said we needed to talk. So, after a brief talk, we amicably split up. It was sort of a shock to me being brought up now; we had dated for 11 and 1/2 years, but lately, it didn’t feel much like dating. More like the old ball and chain that didn’t want to take vacations with me, didn’t agree with my bucket list, etc., etc. There’s no way he would ever accompany me to Europe. All of this also felt strange though, so soon on the heels of my son moving out.

Adjusting to this new norm could take a while, I suppose, and might be a slight challenge. Just as adjusting to daylight savings time can result in disruptions to sleep patterns, adjusting to the new norm in my social and relationship life has also done the same. Maybe an over-thinker like me can’t help it. Going back over things, wondering what I should have done differently, if I should have called it off myself sooner, if I should not have let the relationship start in the first place, etc. Yet, I feel I have accepted all of this.

Through the pandemic and shutdown, I started really throwing myself into my work. I also tried to maintain friendships with female friends, even if it was only by phone. My focus and ability to write were challenged, but I’ve done a little, and that is my personal little world that no one can take away from me. I lost the watch he gave me, so I bought my own, a nice watch…it made me feel independent and self-satisfied. Then I found his weeks later. So now I wear either one depending on the day. I think I have been moving toward accepting that the realtionship was not going to go any further and that I needed to make places for myself in this world…so I have. I feel grounded.

So, needless to say, I did not get enough sleep most of last week, just processing all of this stuff, but Thursday night, I finally slept well. Last night, I also got eight hours of sleep! I don’t expect this to be every night, but I am thankful that my brain slowed down for a while.

The best hallmark of this week, though, was my son’s twenty-fifth birthday! We went to eat Mediterranean food, one of my favorites. He had a hookah, so we all sat outside. It was cool and comfortable. There was hummus, pita bread, shish kebobs and plenty of veggies…so tasty! My mom also had a great time. I think it was a good way to celebrate that pleased everyone all around.

He seems to be doing well with his move to independence. If I text in the morning, he answers. So, I know he’s been getting up on time for work. I don’t try to call him much, as I know he won’t be talkative yet. (I haven’t given him enough alone time yet) 🙂 Acceptance seems to be my key word for the day, until I can say I am truly embracing independence, my own, my son’s, and that of all of us. Viva la independence!

In the Nineties. #poetry

mosaic alien on wall
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

(c) Pamela Schloesser, 2019

It was the nineties,

I was young, and you were bold,

I just wanted to be told

How beautiful I was.

My brother skated, my mother worried,

And I tried not to seem so smart.

 

It was the nineties;

I just wanted to be cool

and I wanted to be pretty.

I married someone

who was the life of the party.

We were all about

Chinese takeout

and a thirteen inch t.v.

Californians were cooler than us

Moulder and Scully were

more interesting than us.

We’d finish our X-files and takeout

and sit on the back porch

watching for our own aliens.

 

I’d retreat to some Stephen King

you’d escape somewhere partying

with people cooler than I.

You’d always return,

whether I liked it or not;

I was home base.

Whether you walked straight or not

if you howled at the moon or not,

whether you were seeing two or three,

I was still home base.

 

Starting a family didn’t help.

Threatening to leave didn’t help.

It was the nineties and we were

just who we were.

But I didn’t like you interpreting

my place anymore.

 

It was nineteen ninety eight

and time to get things straight.

Growing up is important.

We do what we must do,

and it was time to acknowledge

that I couldn’t grow with you.

 

It was the late nineties

and I’d dashed your world,

split up our family, taken your son.

I was many horrible things

all rolled up into one.

But I walked on that broken glass

with a toddler in my hands

to freedom on the other side.

 

It was the nineties,

and then it no longer was.

A new millenium,

The crossing of a threshold.

I was thirty, and wise

but not at all old.

I look back, glad Iit’s in the past.

But still, I learn when I look back.

**The nineties were an important part of me, and such a very interesting decade on their own.  This timeframe has shown up in my writing, particularly in the book, Detours in Time.  You can find out about this book and series at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF  Thank you for stopping by, and I do hope you will return to my blog.  I offer a little bit of everything here.  Cheers!

 

What Mother’s Day Means to Me. #mom

I found this pin in a pile when my mom recently cleaned out her room. Oh, the things she saves! It is about 30 years old and brings back so many memories. My mother is a huge part of who I am as a person, more so than anyone I know. Her faith and her ability to not curse make her seem angelic and very religious, but let me tell you about the quiet rebellion she has instilled in me through all these years.  She has truly shaped who I am as a person.

Independence is something I learned from my mom. I always thought she just developed it because my dad left, but I believe she had it long before then. You see, Mom left home after graduating and lived in Denver, working as a telephone operator. A few years later, she got married and had me; then my brother came along five years later. She returned to work when I was 11 or 12 after she and my dad divorced. As a teen, I grew to admire her for that. She was a proud Union member, which this pin represents. When Dad left, she worked to help support us. Today, I am also a proud Union member, which is why I love this pin. I also hate the kitchen, so I totally agree about a woman’s place!  Worker’s rights are very important to me as well.

Books, books, books!! I love them, maybe because she taught me to love them. Some things are hard to say, and I now write to get a lot of things out. Part of why I think I love books and writing is because Mom shared this with me. She also read just about anything. Stephen King’s Cujo and Firestarter were lying on her night table, so at an early age (12 or 13), I had read them after finding them in her room. There were ugly things and even profanity inside them. It almost seemed taboo, and I was hungry for even more. Perhaps she reasoned that it was better to prepare me for the world in this way. Maybe, she listened to all those people who told her I was precocious, and just let me read what I wanted.  I thank her so much for not trying to keep blinders on me, though I was reading these books long before she let me see R movies….Still, I loved this secret world of knowledge. And life happened, as it does to all of us. It will shock and disappoint, so why restrict our written education? Those books created warriors who arose from horrible situations, except Cujo, which just taught us to be sure your dog gets rabies shots. I hated King for a while, but it sure didn’t stop me from devouring the next Stephen King book!

Thanks Mom, for leaving a door open for me that sparked my imagination, and thank you for being the best example of what I could grow up to be!

I wish everyone a happy and relaxing Mother’s Day!

-Pamela

Not for Me, the Wives’ Social Circle

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*Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Have you ever felt like a caged bird?  I’ve even felt that way in the midst of several other people.  They didn’t seem to be caged.  At times, I was just accustomed to it, and I made do, laughing and enjoying myself.  Though I must admit, there was always an underlying feeling of being trapped, and perhaps, a knowledge that I chose this trap myself.  This entry is not about marriage being horrible, and it is not to rant about the atrocities of my marriage, nor is it to slam the wives I was acquainted with while married.  It is just my experience, brought up by a thought that popped in my head after eighteen years, “Where are they today?”

This social circle of wives was something that formed whenever our husbands all went out together, or when there were celebrations, such as my son’s second birthday, or someone moving to a new house.   We bonded when our husbands made long treks to refill on beer or liquor so the party could go on. It made sense, though.  Most of our husbands had worked together in the Navy.  Many of them got out in their early twenties to pursue education, a job, a life in one place.  This was the age when we were getting engaged and married, and then pregnancies and babies came along.  We were all around the same age.  I was cut off from my high school friends.  Part of it is how shy I was in high school, another is, I never really attempted to keep in touch with any but maybe two close friends.  I can gladly say I’ve gotten better about that, though.

I started thinking about our little group of wives lately.  I just wondered about “The Millers,” whose baby was born weeks after I took my toddler with me and left my husband.  I even spoke to Mrs. “Miller” after leaving him, trying to be friendly by phone, explaining my side of the story since my husband was incredulous as to why I’d want to leave our marriage.  She gave advice.  Lots of advice, that mentioned seeing my husband, dating him, but living separate.  I was not interested in seeing him or dating him; I was interested in piecing my identity back together without him.  He was not to be trusted with my deepest thoughts; it seemed he would always twist them and use them against me.  I spoke to one other wife, “Mrs. Smith,” whose husband left her a few months after I left mine, and it was mentioned that they were partying together, hinting that maybe my husband’s newfound freedom looked good to him and influenced him to leave.  They also had a child, a one year old, at home.  Now, all of these friends drank heavily.  I am not implying that Navy men are heavy drinkers.  There are some who are not.  My ex-husband simply did not seek them out as friends.  I think I heard him refer to them as nerds, or too straight arrow.

It is not surprising that Mrs. Miller would encourage me to stay with my then husband; her own husband had already put her through all kinds of financial hell, and she stayed, for whatever reason, and that’s her own business.   Not surprising either that Mrs. Smith hinted at my ex-husband’s influence in her husband leaving her.  You see, it came out that she never trusted my husband.  She mentioned his “beady eyes,” and that when he came around (before we met), she knew that he and her husband were going to get drunk and rowdy.  What must she have thought of me?  Did they all think that?  Poor Pam, quiet, patient, she has to put up with all this.  Why does she put up with all this?  She must not feel she deserves any better.  I was a part of a circle of wives who looked down on me.  Who could blame them?  I sure didn’t choose my own friends.  There were many times I felt fear and desperation that I could share with no one, but my mother.  She herself worried that I had no one to really confide in.  At least, toward the end of our marriage, I was chummy with a young woman at work, and a man, who was married and I had no intention of fooling around with, yet it buoyed my spirit being his friend, and feeling I had an identity out of what my husband would choose for me.  Yes, I told my husband about these friends.  Needless to say, they were never invited over for dinner.  He tried to make me feel guilty for having a male friend, and to convince me the young woman must be too wild, because she hangs out at a certain country bar.

So, it is apparent that the wives’ club was in existence for convenience.  Throwing a party meant my husband’s friends and their wives were coming over. It was nice to have gals to talk to that were in similar experiences as mine as far as house buying, family planning, new parenthood.  But when I left my husband, it became apparent that they did NOT see me as a person separate from him.  I could not befriend them.  He would always be a fixture in our conversations.  When my best friend from high school moved back into town, as her husband’s job took them all over the Northeast for years, we’d get together and talk about what a loser my ex was, and yes, hers too. (He eventually became her ex).  We’d talk about what we wanted in a man, without any guilt.  We’d share book recommendations of women standing up for themselves and starting new lives.  That is what a true friend does.  When you envision ill-fortune befalling your ex, it’s so good to tell someone, and have her laugh with you, and say, I get it.  You are not judged; you are encouraged to share.  One good, understanding friend; that is better than belonging to any group of women.

It is only with a small hint of sadness that I think of them, and where their children are now.  College?  Marriage?  Good lives?  Hopefully not trouble?  I don’t pick up the phone or try to contact them on Facebook.  I am a different person now.  I will leave that life behind.  If I should run into them, I will smile and ask all the details about their children; I will truly wish them well.  After eighteen years divorced, I have developed my own circle of friends, through work, church,  former employment, even some high school friends with the help of Facebook.  That, again, is better than belonging to a circle of wives.  I may or may not be a wife again, and there’s nothing negative I imply about being a wife.  The point is, what I want to be is a loving person, a friend, a writer, a lover of life, dog lover, poet, and maybe the best I can be as a teacher.  That’s it; it is all I need to be part of, and I meet many lovely people in my life, several that I would call friends!

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