Two Levels, #poetry

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Two Levels by Pamela Schloesser Canepa (c) 2021

There are two levels of me in everything–

the scared, unsure child and the reasonable adult

comforting her or calming her, reminding of what’s

real and what is a reflection of an anxious mind.

But which is the one that takes off on a flight of fancy?

Which is the one that laughs at an uncomfortable moment,

breaking the tension with a goofy smile?

Which is the intellectual and which is the buffoon?

Ah, but aren’t they one and the same when

I can open up and just laugh at myself?

You see. These two threads are intertwined.

I should deny neither one. I have earned that prize,

my prize for repressing the youthful spirit

when I still had my youth, a consolation prize,

for I had to be good girl, big sister, had to be the wife, and then the mom

restrained by fear or worry or someone else’s view of me.

I had to be what society wanted to see…

and was so afraid to step out of those lines.

I have owed it to myself, I should have claimed it then

But finally now I see it’s my right,

To comfortably own all sides of myself.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Weekend Coffee Share, Challenge

Don’t hide from the storm. Revel in its power and beauty.

Here’s my Weekend Coffee Share.  Take it or leave it. Digest it or leave it on the table. Yeah, I suppose I sound a little antisocial today. I’m having work and COVID fear- burnout this weekend and don’t feel up to doing much. I’m working on avoiding overwhelm/stress/anxiety. I’m reading about the brain and pain/anxiety.  I was kind of achy when I woke this morning.

The 4 a.m. restroom wakeup had me tossing and turning to get back to sleep while an 80s Pixies song danced in my head. (My frequent wakeup song on the way to work). 🙂

Nonetheless,  it is a coffee day…because there is always something to do. While I don’t have flu or any other illness,  I will be doing. Right now the coffee has my brain juices going, working to get over the fatigue and body aches I feel. I’ve read a lot on this, and I’m a firm believer in tension-myositis. So, here is what I’ve learned from my recent readings in poetic form:

Don’t ignore the ugliest parts of yourself

Stare them down and challenge them

Know them, don’t deny them.

“Try it, I dare you.” Don’t back down, nothing can stop you

Headache, heartburn, pain, fear or fatigue…don’t let them rule

While you’re quaking in your boots, face the giant

You’ve faced it before, and it truly is not bigger than you.

You’re older now, facing many changes

They cannot control you, for you are not only a sum of difficult times

You are every good thing that has happened to you

You are every victorious moment of triumph in adversity

Never forget that when facing the storm.

It never was bigger than you.    

(C) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2020

The Coconut Village, A Self-Love Story

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I had just spent a whole year single after a devastating break-up.  My job came through with a bonus at the end of the year, so I was going to travel.  The Bahamas became my destination.  Beautiful beaches, 80 degree weather, sunshine, and beautiful people with rich accents would fill my vision and my world for a few days.  Travel by cruise ship was my choice.  As we are stuck in our various hometowns due to COVID right now, it does me some good to look back on these memories.

It didn’t take long to decide who I would take.  There was no one I really wanted to go with me, no girls-gone-wild trip for me, and I wasn’t convinced I’d want to meet a man on a cruise ship.  This vacation was for ME.  I didn’t want to leave my ten-year-old son with my ex-husband, though, so I took him with me.  He was such a great kid for a ten-year-old.  I did not regret my choice.

Being the only adult in my partner, I got to make the decisions on where we would go, what tours we would take.  It all worked out! I kept track of my charge, planned our tours and agenda, and still had fun.  We took a tour of Queen Mary’s steps, a flamingo farm, and other lovely sites. Then, we took time to enjoy a beach a little bit away from the tourist hotels.

I paid for a cab which was more like a mini-van that could hold several people.  We found our beach that was riddled with gnarled trees, white sand, and coconut trees.  We sat, waded in the water, he swam, and I just wanted to relax on my towel.  Looking back, I feel as though I forgot to worry about a thing in the world, except keeping an eye on my son; but he was keeping track of where I was and did not want to wander either. I was home base.  I don’t remember us arguing about a single thing on that trip.

After a while, a woman is walking by and says to me, “Do you want’cha hair braided?”

“How much?” I ask.

“Six dollars per braid.”

“How about the whole head, just across the front?”

“Fifty dollars.”

I pulled the cash out of my pocket and said, “Okay.”  I explained to my son that I could not turn my head, and he HAD to stay in my sight.  He did. He sat and gathered some coconuts.  She began to braid. We talked about my son, her family, where I was from, and I forgot to worry about her fingers in my hair.  I forgot to worry about people I don’t know walking up to me.

A man came up with a box. “Coconut and rum! Two dollars.”  I forked out the money and forgot to worry about drinking something from a box carried by a man on the beach.  It was tasty.  I forked out more money and I don’t know how many I had, but nothing too crazy.

My son started going a little further and gathering more coconuts, adding in what I drank from.  I bought him his own coconut (minus the rum) to enjoy the coconut milk. He kept gathering more and when he had gone a little too far, came back when I called.  I explained that he had to stay safe and I couldn’t get right up.  When she finished my hair, I looked like a blonde Caribbean girl, or just like me trying to look Caribbean? It was cute, anyhow. 🙂

As it got closer to evening than afternoon, we had to walk back to find another cab.  No problem.  We got into a cab that was full of young guys having a party time.  Oh great, I thought.  They were a little noisy, but I joined in as they started singing old Motown hits.  It was so fun, and my son just looked at me and laughed. I can still picture the look on his face.

The next day, we woke up on the cruise ship and went to the pool.  I just took in the sunshine and the breeze. I was a little hungover.  He sat there quietly. When he went in the pool, he told me where he was going. I kept my eyes open, still relaxed, and soon, our dinner table partners, a woman with her grandson, came up and said hi, so my son had someone to play with in the pool.  He had a ball, and I sat there and relaxed.

It was a buffer time between a bad break-up and my son’s angst-riddled, terrible teens.  But this vacation served to show me there are rewards when you just let yourself do WHAT YOU WANT to do. It also gave me a focus to look back on when those teen years happened, to remind me that, yes, my son really is a good person, and we can get along quite well. Sometimes, making time for my son has been an important act of self-love.

 

 

 

 

 

You are Enough. <3 #poetry

To all my friends, with hearts that are red, soft, purple, or broken, bitter, or blue, I want you to know…

You are enough.
You are enough for the world and for you.
You are enough for him or her or them, whether they have arrived yet or not
You are enough for the life you always wanted to live
with someone else or your dog or just you
You are enough for your boss and your job
You are enough in the clothes that comfort you.

If you are enough, then I suppose I am too. -Pamela S. Canepa