Poetry and the Helicopter

Have you ever had a really strange dream?  I had one last night. In the dream, there was a lone sheet of paper on a brown table. This poem was written in cursive on that paper.

dear madam,

 i am sorry for the trifling distraction

caused by your pending demise

yours truly,

death

My apartment faces a park. Yesterday, a helicopter crashed in the park. I saw and heard the crash. It was very loud and scary. I might at some point write about the crash. Today is not that day though.  I want to write about my dream. I have never in my entire life dreamed a poem. I am both bothered by the theme and a little intrigued by the idea that Death leaves notes on brown tables.

My dream made me reflect on the Emily Dickinson poem about Death stopping for you.   I love Dickinson. Her poems are as delicious as rice pudding. You just want to go back for a second helping.  I felt inspired to write my own little poem with lots of dashes in honor of a master poet. This is my humble attempt.

If I like Dickinson –

Can use a dash –

Perhaps my words –

Will be immortal –

In all seriousness, I was very upset yesterday. My heart goes out to the family of the pilot and the passenger in the crash. My heart hurts for the others on the scene. I’m praying for everyone involved.

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(I took this picture several years ago while vacationing in Florida. It was right before a summer storm. This image has stayed with me as an expression on how there is both light and darkness in this journey called life.)

 

A Want With No Name

Cleaning the dishes

Suds dripping down my hands

Trying to maintain a sense of normal.

It’s hard.

I feel as empty as this old cup

Needing to be washed.

A want with no name crashes over me

As the water fills to the brim.

I’m a bit of a philosopher and at times my thoughts and their accompanying feelings overpower my very mortal body. Grief is hard work.  I’m grieving right now.  It’s exhausting.  I’m grieving the loss of marriage, my home and the dreams I expected to achieve. I’m starting to see and accept the difficult things related to my former marriage.  I’m grieving that knowledge. It was so much easier to remain in the confusing fog, and believe that things would ultimately get better if I just tried harder.  I know that’s a little cryptic, but this is a public blog. The details aren’t as important as the acknowledgement that I’m grieving.

I miss my neighbors and friends from my old life. I still have their friendships, but it’s not the same. Things feel different. It’s no one’s fault. It can happen when you move to a different part of town. You drift apart. The times you do see your old neighbors and friends are sweet. It’s just not the same as before because you don’t see them every week.  I’m old enough to know it’s not personal. It’s just how life works at times. People come and go in your life. You move on. You change. They change. Sometimes people stay in your life for a season and sometimes they remain your lifelong companion. That’s part of life. It’s just hard to accept all the changes.

It’s a want with no name.

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com   (I love this image of the water overflowing the cupped hands. You could view it as abundance with more than enough or as feeling completely overwhelmed with the pain. It can be both, and that is what is so cool about this photo. Isn’t art great? I love art. It touches my soul and fills me in ways that normal life never does.  A HUGE THANK YOU to the photographer so I could have a photo for my poem. A HUGE THANK YOU to artists and creators everywhere who enrich the human experience. Go artists! Go creators! We need more of you in the world and less politicians who divide us. I will get off my soap box now.) 

 

 

 

A Date for Christmas movie and a poem about helping others

Hand printsMy high school choir decided to create an alumni wall for former members. The first thing that popped in my mind when I heard about the alumni wall was “Hallmark movie”. It really does have all the trappings for a movie. I can just imagine the plot right now.

The Plot

Jane is a beautiful, strong, intelligent woman. She hasn’t thought about her high school choir years for a long time. She’s been busy working as a computer programmer, a volunteer at her local Boys and Girls Club and a poet who writes really long sonnets every weekend.  Jane is home visiting her parents for Christmas when she hears about the choir alumni wall.  She’s not going to do it, but a conversation with a department store Santa changes her mind. Santa tells her she will get a date for Christmas if she goes to her old high school and places her handprint on the wall.

Jane goes and places her hand in the purple paint. She has to wait 2 minutes with her hand on the wall until it dries.  There’s a kind, handsome, engineer who is also waiting for his  handprint to dry.  You only need 2 minutes in a movie to cement a relationship. Let’s call this man Peter. Peter is a scientist who is creating a devise that will make clean water a reality for everyone in the world. There are greedy corporations and corrupt politicians who are trying to stop Peter from his work.

 After several hours of deep conversation while eating organic, locally-sourced food they decide this clean water device needs to get out now. Jane builds Peter a website so he can publish the directions for how to make the clean water devise. The movie then shows people all around the world using the directions. The world is a better place.

The movie ends with Peter and Jane standing by a doorstep.  He gives her a kiss goodnight. It’s a sweet kiss as the snow starts to fall.  Jane gets her date for Christmas.  The End.

The Reality

In case you are wondering, I went down to my high school and placed my handprint on the alumni choir wall.  I did not meet a handsome engineer, save the world, get a date or a goodnight kiss out of it. There was also no snow. It was fun though to walk around campus and think about younger me.

The whole silly Hallmark movie idea did make me think about water.

According to the United Nations, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrhea diseases every single day (Source).

That’s horrible. It breaks my heart to hear that people are suffering. I try to do what I can to love my neighbor. I try to support organizations that help make the world better. I wish I could do more.

There’s so much need in this world. It’s easy for me to get discouraged when I hear about another problem that my fellow brothers and sisters here on planet Earth are experiencing.  I think I could spend the next 50 years of my life helping others and still not be able to fix all the problems of this world. (Yes, you read that right. This 40-something year-old is planning to die in her youthful 90’s.)

I wrote a little poem to make me feel better. It helps me accept that my small efforts are enough. If we all helped one, the world would be better. I hope the poem makes you think. I really hope that the poem inspires you to serve.

The Poem   (because there’s not enough poetry in the world)

I may not be able

to stop all wars

But I can bring peace

to one child’s heart.

I may not be able to

call back the storm

But I can warn the one

who live in the valley below.

I may not be able

to do it all.

But I can give my all

For One.

 

 

 

 

 

Majoring in Myself

I have been cleaning out my storage unit the last few days. As I’ve sorted through boxes of mostly junk, I ran across a poem I wrote as a college student. I was lamenting the question. “What do you want to do with your life?”  The poem made me laugh. I found myself asking that very same question this week. Let’s let 21-year old Amee tell 40-something-year-old Amee what to do with the rest of her life.

People often ask me

What do you want to do

When you grow up.

I smile.

I’m twenty-one.

Am I not grown up?

But the question lingers on

Festering in my mind until

I am forced to answer it.

The people want an answer.

A one-word answer

But I refuse to be limited by a

One-word profession.

I want more.

I feel more.

And so dear people

That will be my profession.

I am majoring in myself.

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Cookie Cutters

cookie cutter picture

Some people live in this world

Like a cookie cutter.

Never being more than

What everybody else is

Never doing more than

What everyone else does

Never venturing out to discover a beautiful world

Beyond their mold.

I wrote this poem when I was in high school. I rediscovered it today when I was cleaning out some papers.  At the end of the poem, I had written the following in bright red ink.  “I pray that is not my fate. It would be very sad if as a really old 40-year-old I wake up with gray hair and realize that I am a cookie cutter person without a single spark of Amee left in me. Oh, how very tragic indeed.”

At first, I laughed.  I am now that really old 40 year-old with a few gray hairs starting to appear out of nowhere. 40 just doesn’t seem as old as it used to be. Then, I got reflective.  Have I turned into that cookie cutter person that I feared so much? Am I a person who just lives her life, checks off her to-do list but has forgotten she was going to change the world? Am I still me? ”

It was a hard question to ask and an even harder answer to accept.

Sometimes, I am that cookie cutter person. Life. Work. Family. There are molds you accept in order to get a job done.  You can call it growing up or you can call it the great tragedy. It really depends on your perspective. Other times, I am still the sparkling soul who loves greatly, grieves greatly and wants to leave her mark on this spinning planet in some heroic way. There is one thing for certain. I must never stop being Amee.

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