Moving

Time to shake loose from fear.

Fright that doesn’t have reason attached that holds me to the ground I’m sinking into.

I’ve been standing here, this way, too long.

The logic that I’ll be ok over there is present, but it fights with the feelings that remind me I wasn’t ok a few steps back.

Guilt or shame followed me.

Insecurity traveled along on my back.

Intellectually, I know, I’m ok.

I’ve done nothing wrong.

I’m normal.

Could be exceptional if I let myself be.

If I tried.

But, the fear. It holds my wrists at my side and punches holes in my sense of security.

It grabs my ankles and trips me if I try to move.

The fear wants me to stay where I am when every other part is ready to go.

The brain is on board.

The behaviors have evolved.

I’m not that person and I’m not in that place.

Why did these fears follow me here?

Why can’t I think them away?

I suppose old learned emotions, and reactions, and instincts, aren’t as susceptible to thoughts or proof.

I don’t want to fear that thing anymore.

I don’t want to fear that person.

I don’t want to fear my small mistakes when others would barely regard them as such as others makes mistepsuch larger and are hardly saddled with an inkling of guilt.

Do I drag?

Do I crawl?

Do I cleave off the limbs so firmly cemented in this stagnant soil?

I certainly won’t wait for someone to free me.

Or…

Do I leap from my skin?

Do I crawl from the shell those bad things are clinging to and crush it?

Do I emerge and fly forward to where they can’t reach me?

There’s no place for me there.

I belong elsewhere.

So I’ll unshackle myself with the faith I’ve found.

Not in the Earth or the sky, but in me.

And I’ll go free.

Losing the spark

I’ve lost confidence entirely. Can I write? Can I tell stories that interest people?

I’ve been doing it my entire life. It’s been my only real dream.

But, sometimes, the brain rebels.

Doubt seeps in.

It rarely has to do with ability.

Most often outside circumstances gum up the wonderous works.

Can I do this?

Should I even try?

What if I’m not good enough?

What if my friends and family were just boosting my ego when they said I could?

What if the strangers who complimented me just wanted something from me?

Has the praise been honest?

Do I have the dedication?

Can I do it all? The day to day expectations along with this dream I’ve been hiding?

What do I do?

How do I do it?

In a field that relies soley on what comes out of your mind…

No deadlines.

No guidance.

No format.

Just you.

The “on your own” industry.

Am I strong enough?

When the flow and flair are raging up above, it feels possible. Feels probable. Feels inevitable.

Then the slump.

The hump.

The void created by external chaos and lack of confidence blocks all original emotional outpourings.

It all just stops.

There’s nothing there anymore.

Where did it all go?

Months ago I couldn’t sleep because my mind wouldn’t stop producing.

I would lift my head, half asleep, and jot.

5 times.

10 times.

20 times.

Until morning…

Now there is nothing to be extracted by force.

What happened?

Can I do this?

The answers are undoubtedly internal.

No one has ever been able to bring me back to life.

That. Well, that. Thats an inside job.

So now what?

I guess I have to dig deeper.

Find the gear that’s sticking.

Fix it near the clock that’s ticking.

I have to find myself in there.

That’s the trouble.

That’s the issue.

It all just works when I’m inside and not out.

When the outside is just noise.

When the world is just a racket.

When I’m me and it is it.

I guess I’ve got it.

I’ve solved it.

Here we go again on our own.

Ocean eyes

Her soul longed for the sea.

Her heart longed for him.

She knew she had to choose and she knew the sea could never break her heart. So, why was she so confused? So torn between the two? She knew better. She knew not to let her guard down and yet, she did.

Against her better judgement she let him in. A little at a time until it was too late. She fancied him, she cared for him. She looked forward to hearing his voice. To seeing his smile. To his hand finding hers as they walked along the beach.

To the feeling of his arms wrapped around her at night and his kisses waking her up in the morning.

How long could she go without these simple pleasures she’d become so used to going without and had now grown so accustomed to?

Would these cravings pass?

She had traveled the world. Seen more than most could dream of seeing in one life time. Yet, she longed for nothing more than to stare into his piercing green eyes.

They reminded her of the ocean she loved so much. Innocent and intriguing; dangerously inviting at the same time. A perfect mixture of green and blue that could only be created when the sun kissed the top of the ocean at exactly the perfect depth along the shoreline. A color only nature could create. A color that could never quite be capture in a photo, but one that, once experienced, it could never forgotten.

Whether it was sailing the Caribbean…

Cyprus…

or off the coast of New Zealand…

It’s a color that is forever with you.

She could be miles from the sea and the shorelines that she had soaked in. The shores of that color, she had soaked in, countless times, and when she looked into his eyes, it was like she was there again.

Exactly where she needed to be.

She knew Her time was running out but, she said nothing.

Why couldn’t she just tell him how she felt that night on the beach?

Why was it so hard for her to express her feelings? To discuss her emotions? To let him in on all the secrets of her life he had longed to hear?

She needed to think, to clear her head, to wander, to write.

Deep down (as it always did) something told her to do what she did best; run.

So she booked a ticket, packed a bag, and left. After all, she was used to being alone…

But, when does it come to a point where one becomes tired of traveling alone?

Did she make a mistake? If so, which one?

Was the leaving the mistake or was it never telling him what he really meant to her?

Was it letting him in, in the first place?

Would she return to him?

Would he want her to come back?

When could she see him again?

Would he be waiting for her like he said he would or were they just sweet little lies that he knew she wanted to hear?

Would she eventually just fade out of his life?

Did he care for her like she cared for him?

When could she gaze once more into those ocean eyes?

Was she his “for now” or was she “his forever”?

The questions swirled in her head like the rip tides of her lovely ocean. Dragging her down, and out, and deeper than she wished to go.

The answers would be as unsteady and illusive.

I suppose,

she just needs to ride the wave.

(Written by Andrea)

Believe them

If a blind man tells you it’s difficult to shop for groceries, you believe him.
If a bmx rider tells you it’s hard to take a turn on a bike with mud in his wheels, you believe him.
If a dog breeder tells you that certain breeds don’t get along in the yard, you believe them.
If a soldier says it’s hard to be thousands of miles from their family, you believe them.
When a figure skater says that learning to do a double axle is difficult you believe them.
You believe them.
Every time.
Because you KNOW that you don’t know.
So why when a minority or marginalized demographic tells you what they experience do you stand in disbelief?
There is evidence of what they say.
Centuries of history.
Acts on camera.
Laws of old.
But you don’t believe them.
I can only draw one conclusion.
You have something to cover or something to lose
You have too much pride and can’t admit that you’re wrong
You’re misinformed or naive.
You don’t know.
They do.
Believe them.

When I ask people to be objective, they can do it in any area outside of race and religion it seems.

I have a dog and you don’t? Let me tell you about dogs.

I have a degree and you don’t? Let me educate you.

Those who attempt to discredit what the persecuted claim to experience don’t seem to give it a second of thought.

It seems simple.

The 60’s weren’t long ago.

We aren’t perfect.

In comparison to other countries longevity, the United States is a teenager.

Our rebellion for the sake of liberty brought us into being.

That spirit is dying in some of us.

Half of us have aged without wisdom and turned into a comfortable and fat middle aged man with a desk and health insurance.

To keep his job he has to obey. Fall in line. Forget his dreams.

Thank God (if you have one) for the rest of us.

We won’t let that fighting spirit die.

That brave spark that screams, “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!”

And while you’re at it. Give it to my brothers and sisters as well.

Closed doors and closed minds feed the glutton and the bigot.

How can we stand for the anthem that depicts us as the home of the brave as we shut our doors to those who cry in desperate shrieks for assylum, all because we are AFRAID of a handful of terrorists that may resemble them.

That’s cowardice.

I love my country.

I love that flag.

That’s why we speak up.

Because only an arrogant fool could say we are perfect and have no need to improve.

We were once a world ruler on the basis of moral authority.

Equality.

Free speech.

Civil liberty.

Every one of those things is under fire.

That is why we rise. And, that is why we respectfully kneel.

This country isn’t what it was or could be.

So we let it be known that we are aware.

We are aware and loud so that our government might make a change.

No one is harmed. No one is dying for our protest.

Other than Heather Heyer. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Laquan Mcdonald. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Freddie Gray. Sandra Bland. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Terrance Crutcher. Or any of the 309 black people killed by police in this country in 2016.

Or the many mentally ill or disabled Americans who were fatally wounded because they couldn’t communicate.

Hate and prejudice did this.

But it lives in the hearts of ill informed men.

Inequality is not a myth. Or an excuse.

It’s a reality and just because you haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Many have seen it and been brave enough to stand against it.

What do they have to gain by protesting it?

Why would they make it all up?

More persecution?

More hateful words?

They aim for equality and Justice.

That’s all.

They want this country to be what that anthem dictates!

They want those words to be true.

I used to cry when I heard it played in an arena.

I believed that anthem when I was young.

Now I cry because we have strayed so far from those values.

We’ve become the antithesis of what we once believed in.

The day of the white man in charge has got to end. Others have proven to be just as valuable.

If you can’t play on an even playing field, that’s your fault, not theirs.

They want and deserve those inaliable rights.

Life.

Liberty.

The pursuit of justice.

Freedom.

How to deal

Look.

I know.

Lots of people find an insistence on posting political material to be annoying.

But, here’s how I see it, dudes.

We have to engage to be a part of things. Whatever your opinion is, have it.

Talk about it.

Better yet, talk about it with people who disagree with you.

Do it as respectfully as you can, of course.

I’m no saint.

I’ve allowed my soul to catch fire and my words to get heated.

Nothing came of those arguments.

So I aim to develop DISCUSSIONS.

Discussions where we meet on common ground. Where our bubbles intertwine and we feel no threat from one another.

That’s when the walls come down and the eyes and minds open.

We are all in this together.

But, I won’t sit by idly and ignore what is going on because it makes me uncomfortable to interact, or because I may have to admit I’m wrong or fight for what I know is right.

I’ve got to take part IN it to call myself a part OF it.

A contributing member of society.

Not a faceless troll or a haphazard voter.

Education comes from those whose ideas oppose mine.

That’s when my mind grows, even if they’re wrong.

That’s when I see what I don’t already know.

Then I seek out what I can intellectually gain from.

Be patient. Kind. Humble.

Realize the value of your belief and the value of theirs.

If their belief hurts another human being it detracts from the concern I have for them.

It’s some kind of humanitarian law.

But, it’s theirs. Not yours.

And you won’t convince them to think otherwise with hateful words or angry glares or even a gun to the head.

Calm.

Cool.

Intelligent and fact checked, source cited information won’t reach those who are unwilling to budge.

Cut your losses for a moment and move on to those willing to hear an inciteful voice.

You can’t help those who need to be helped by bullying the bully.

It only makes the bully more angry and vengeful.

Love Trump’s Hate

What do we do?

Hell if I’ll be militant.

Hell if I’ll be hateful.

Sh*t in between isn’t exactly impactful either.

I grew up under Obama.

Came up under bush Jr.

Was a child with the Clinton and Reagan reign.

What I’m doing now is the best I can do because this “president” is as close to Hitler as I hope we ever come.

I can’t be peaceful and hippie and Hycaeit via 1969. I’d be that girl again. But the world came forward and now we’ve gone behind. So we have to catch up.

I’m not mincing words anymore.

You’ve heard it before.

Everyone has.

Didn’t hear the warning? Your bad.

You’re bad.

Not me. Not mine.

Catch up or shove off.

There was a time for peaceful protests and we tried to break it to you gently.

You didn’t hear it.

TOO BAD FOR YOU CHANGE COMES ANYWAY.

Decades of protests

Years of the same words.

Try to take us backwards

WE GET LOUD.

HELL. you can’t take us all down. Not gonna happen.

We win.

Always.

Because the battle was fought and won.

You’re trying to erase it.

Good luck. We have the high score.

Try unplugging the macine😋

To letting go, by Andrea starr

I don’t know why I’m sending this or if you’ll even get it. I guess I’m hoping for the latter. Or I’m just crazy and can’t seem to let you go.

The words have been swirling in my head for a while now. Over and over, what I’d say to you, yet, they’re t really clear enough to actually call you and say them to your face.

Maybe I think writing them down will help to truly wash my hands of you. Please accept my apology if I ramble on a bit.

I’ve heard things here and there and I do genuinely hope you’re okay.

I guess, in a way, I have to thank you for the shady things you’ve done to me.

I know that everyday you have to live with them and, deep down, I hope you feel some remorse.

Though a big part of me doubts you do.

I’m now out traveling the world.

I just hit my 38th country.

I know I should hate you and despise you, but, I can’t.

I’m not that kind of person.

Against better judgement, I forgave you a long time ago. You’re part of who and what has made me into what I am today, sitting on the beach of an island in Australia. Looking up at some of the most amazing stars I’ve ever seen.

Even so, it brings me back to us drinking wine and watching airplanes come in over the valley of the desert in “our secret” spot. A spot that I never shared with anyone else.

As much as I think you’re a sack of shit…

Part of me loved you and you’ll always hold a place in my heart.

Part of me knew you as you knew me.

Part of me saw you in the weak forms.

The times when no one posts a fake image on social media.

The parts that are personal.

The parts that resonate with the intimate aquaintances.

The gross faces.

The bad bits.

The zits and the rolls.

The double chinned angles, and the waking breath.

You, more than most people, know how hard I am to crack. How hard it is to get into my heart.

Somehow, you managed to do that.

It makes me sad and angry and happy all at the same time to know that you accomplished such a monumental feat.

Without you I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I guess there is sometimes a feeling…

A feeling that the moving on will never happen and it will never be over if the chance to say what needs to be said doesn’t come.

Closure.

Closer to the new start and old comfortable feelings.

The feelings I had before we met.

I’ll be different when I let you go because of all we’ve shared, but it won’t be a different soul in me, just a new perspective.

I’ll be free to claim my spirit again and see it with new eyes.

Eyes that couldn’t see this way had we never met.

In part the change comes from your actions and partly because of mine. Some of it caused by my experience and some caused by things you did.

This moving on, it’s never certain. How is it done? Is it right? Why do I feel this way? When is it over? All I know for certain is,

I get to be me again.

That’s my greatest gift.

That’s everyone’s greatest gift.

It must be done.

I’m done.

It’s over. No matter what was left unsaid.

No matter what we didn’t get to do.

Its done.

We are done.

I am done.

And I get to be me to once more.

No matter what.

No matter where.

No matter who I leave behind.

I get to be me once more.

To emma

To my beautiful girl, I give you these words.

Well, my dear, it may seem this world was never meant for us, not the way it is now, not the way it has been. But, my darling, nothing worthwhile was made perfect from the start.

Everything craved, lusted for, and containing real value started in someone’s dreams.

It took molding and shaping and relentless perseverance on the part of some Great Creator to turn dirt into the smooth painted walls of the cliff.

The painted desert walls of Southern Dakota or the Grand canyon. The dust had to gather and settle and harden, the river had to etch in it it’s name. That is what it takes to make true beauty and art and YOU, my precious darling, are art.

They’ll lie to you every day.

You’ll see these lies on television, in movies, on billboards, from sources deemed reputable by leaders and authority.

You’ll hear them in songs and out of the mouths of the ones you trust,

BUT,

listen to my voice, child.

Let it ring loudly each time you need it.

I’ll scream it into a jar for you to keep safe.

I will tell you the truth as I’ve learned it the hard way and I’m telling you now that this truth will not change.

You’re beautiful, that’s true.

But what can that body do that will last more than a century?

Nothing more than a memory in the minds of those you meet will that body become.

Your mind is your asset, your strength, your own source of energy and with it you will create poetry and think great thoughts that will be repeated endlessly by others who seek to feel your souls starlight.

Your strength and your will.

Your wit and your might.

THEY will travel through time while your body will rot, but not the fruits of your mind.

Your voice will echo forever if behind it you place intentions that are pure and words that are wise.

Your soul is sacred and eternal so let it be free and unspoiled, untainted and untethered by the fleeting expectations of a society that is only as valuable as a tear drop in the sea.

If you let them smother you with their misguided truth and intentions, you , my sweet girl, will break your own heart.

No one can break it from the outside because, unlike man, you are not made of stone, but of gold.

Malleable and soft, precious and rare. As they try to break you, you will bend and stretch under the hammer.

You will sway as their screams of inequality create hurricanes of wasted wind, because some Great Creator that cannot be fathomed made you with a great purpose.

It is one that will remain unexplained until you are capable of understanding it and strengthened enough by experience to head into it without fear while holding His hand with a faith that no religion could contain.

You, my sweet one, are exquisite, far beyond the words of all languages combined.

There is no term for what you will become because they will coin one when you reveal what it is you were created for. You are capable of creating the future we have fought for and the one you deserve.

The responsibility may seem too great and too heavy and you may falter and fall but never give up, never stay down.

Your spirit is a magnet and others will join you to help you carry the weighty load and together you will become more than the bearers of life but the creators of a world worth living in.

You, my little girl, can do anything and no one can stop you for you are magnificent in a way that transcends their realm of understanding and enters into one that exists to you alone.

You are a dancing and sparkling spirit, affecting change, fortifying the future with goodness and justice.

You are a gift to all mankind and should be treated as such, without exception.

They will try to lessen you and attempt to dull you down and this is the time to take out that jar.

Open it in front of them and the screams of those who’ve fought the battle before you will force them back and deafen them.

They will fall to their knees.

The strength is yours.

The wisdom has been freely given and rightfully earned.

Use it and never forget that your power requires no explanation, justification, or excuse.

It needs only an outlet in the form of a song, an essay, a speech.

Whatever you choose, if you use it well and with grace and love, it will live inside the souls of the ones you’ll save with it, for eternity.

You, my baby, can do anything.

Let no one steal that from you with noise and normality.

With these words I deliver into your hands your own destiny. In your hands is where it belongs. Hide it from no one so others may see you and seek you out. Let them be fortified while taking shelter under your wild wings above. Teach them to be strong. You’re more than they’ll allow you to realize, so, I’ll tell you now and repeat it as often as needed. You are the way forward, the answers, the truth. Shine bright, little darling. Be brave, teach others, stay true. You are the future you’re wishing for. The entire universe lives inside of you. Use it.

The farmer and the viper

Aesop’s fables told us everything we needed to know as children.

I read a large volume, hard covered copy in the library many times as a child.

It was thick and heavy and felt full. I felt full holding it on that old library floor.

That old library used to be a church and the knowledge I found within continues to be sacred to me.

Aesop told a story of a farmer and a viper. For a class project in the 6th grade I acted it out in a play.

I picked that fable to act out because it struck me as important then. I dressed in a heavy flannel shirt and wore jeans and my dad’s old hat. I had a silk snake stuffed with sand as my antagonist. I used to collect those at craft fairs because they felt so real.

It all felt real that day in Mr. Moser’s class.

I was terrified. But I did my best to tell the tale.

Here is what I learned about the farmer and the viper…

It may be easiest to bite the hand that feeds you. After all, their hand is so near your fang. But, in the end, you stand to lose every ounce of sustenance that you have ever known. You will undoubtedly starve. Worse yet, you’ll live a life of shame thereafter. Shame you’ll never rid yourself of.

So, I beg you, reconsider your hasty reactions to words and actions that may displease you.

Please, do not bite the hand that feeds you.

WE will be damned every time for “pitying the scoundrel” and we can NOT expect a reward from the wicked.