Birthday · Dreams · Gift · Lavender · Musings · Poetry

Pre-glow

I painted this for my friend. Happy birthday Jan! May your lavender-farm dreams glow brighter every day.

lavender

What a pleasure to bestow,

a piece whose rainbow colors glow,

and show the lavender you’ll grow.

And though the process seems so slow,

and you mow through sun and snow,

Your dream will come with joy in tow,

and row after row of lavender glow.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/bestow/

 

 

Authenticity · Fake · Musings · Self-Disclosure

Authentic Counterfeit

mask

I am a fake.

It stuns me to see that in writing, but it’s true. I have a major in Facade Management, specializing in External Appearances, among other certifications. I mastered at a very young age.

I had an overbearing father and an alcoholic mother. They fought constantly, coming at each other with fangs glimmering and claws retracted.  I can’t count how many times I sat in a corner and pushed my little frame into it, hackles raised and my heart pounding like a jackhammer, praying for the agony to end. Evenings were the worst and tensions mounted with the bating of day. I will spare you harrowing details.

I learned to be quiet and to stay out of the way. My life teetered between anticipating these grueling occurrences, suffering through them, and reeling in their aftermath. Then the cruel loop ran again, and again. Author Alexander says, “Every consistent focus of our attention eventually becomes hard-wired into our neural pathways.”

I then entered an authoritarian world of school where corporal punishment and shaming were the norm. I graduated in the art of people pleasing magna cum laude. I learned to be conniving if needed and to save face at all times. I had no opinion and certainly never disagreed with those around me. I was friends with all, lived in my bustling imagination, and was the most easy going person around.

_______________________

In 2012 mum fell and incurred a compound fracture smack in the middle of her right humerus. There followed years of surgeries and treatment as it never healed right. She had minimal use of her arm. This was hard for a busy person who was physically healthy and was last in the hospital to bear children. The constant stress, pain, and infections resulted in hypertension.

A year in, she saw a specialist who re-broke the arm, sawed off the damaged ends and injected a revolutionary bone cement to promote regeneration. He oversaw her care for almost 2 years. Her bone began to grow around the cement and it slowly healed and regained function. Unfortunately, the hypertension got worse. She died of a massive heart attack in 2014.

__________________________

 “People often shortchange integrity and values to earn a better place in their exterior, visible life, but in the act they lose their place of honor within.” says Katehakis. In my life, this shortchanging is crippling to the core. It is like a crippled arm that will unexpectedly give out on you with excruciating pain.

“This is the core of inauthenticity; our words or actions become disguised from their original intent since we choose to mask them,” asserts American author and psychotherapist Mel Schwartz. While I am a thousand times better than I was even a year ago, to this day, I can’t count the number of times I look a person in the eye and start to say one thing and then bail into some flimsy version of ineffective nothingness. I give up what I have to say and cede to things I might disagree with, to “keep the peace.” I cringe at the thought of confrontation and stand down too soon.  This loss of “honor within” today makes me just as sick as pressing into that corner decades ago!

Hypocrisy presents a lie. Hypocrisy preserves a lie. Hypocrisy perpetuates a lie. Schwartz says, “Authenticity requires a genuine sharing of our inner self, irrespective of the consequences.” There is no worse consequence than the loss of self-respect due to living a duplicitous life. Moreover this crippling is with you like a poorly set bone and it affects EVERY aspect of your life.

My road to recovery will probably last a lifetime. But I am glad to say I am well into it and I am not turning back. Christian Mihai says, “give time time to do its work.” Some things can’t be rushed. My amazing Jesus is healing me and gently holds my face in His tender hands and tells me I am loved, I am delightful, I am acceptable, and He wants to hear what I have to say, even when I am disappointed in Him, a truth I would never have owned up to till very recently.

The same God who guarded me in the fiery furnace of those nightmarish years, who could have delivered me from them but didn’t; is using my brokenness in more ways than I can imagine. It may slow me down but it does not stop me. I’ll be gimping to the finish line with my head held high by the grace of God if I have to. It may impede me, but it does not define me. I am more free today than I was yesterday. Tomorrow I will be even more so because I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. Rom 8:37.

Integrity, honesty, honor, and authenticity have been injected into the core of who I am and my inner self is slowly regenerating around that and learning, and loving, what it is to be whole.

 

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/authentic/

Accident · horror · Musings · True Story

Most People Who Hit Me…

bike

Marian was leaving the local Goodwill after a few good scores. “I could get used to these senior discounts,” she mused. She pushed the button to roll her window down and smiled to herself. She pulled up to the main road at the end of the parking lot and stopped in front of the sidewalk. She was smiling because she remembered her previous car, the Little Red Rider, a red 1984 Datsun and how she had to crank the window manually. It would jam predictably when it was halfway down and make the most horrendous squeal.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon and the two lanes on the one-way road were busy. She was in no hurry but presently saw a break in the traffic, so she gunned the car to sneak in.

The next moments played out in slow motion.

Her head turned to the right, the direction she was turning to, in time to hear a sickening crash as a speeding bicyclist hit her and to see him flip up in the air, land with a thud on her hood, and roll to the ground. “Oh Jesus!” she gasped, turning off her engine and fumbling out of her door. “Are you okay?” she asked stupidly, as she came up to a lifeless mound, not knowing what else to say.

He started to sit up and she said, “No, no. Don’t move. I’ll call for help.”

“Oh no,” he said, suddenly scrambling to his knees and grabbing a loose bent wheel that was still spinning off kilter. He stood up and started to fall backwards.

She rushed towards him, arms stretched out to help. He was on his knees by the time she got to him. He bent over and picked up his mangled bicycle. She found herself picking up a flattened brake lever and handing it to him, a frantic look on her face. He turned around with his junk pile and started to limp away.

“Wait, ” she said hurrying after him, exasperated.

“No, no, you’re very kind,” he said over his shoulder with a shaken, raspy voice and wiping his nose with his sleeve, “most people who hit me don’t even stop!”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/crank/

Kikuyu · Poetry · The Tongue

Tumia

lips

Angîkorwo rûrîmî rwaku

Nîrûkwîhithaga,

Rûgathiî mûhahî,

Tumia mûrango na kîhingo!

 

Approximate translation

Seal It

If your tongue is likely to

sneak away on a jaunt

Batten the door and the gate!

 

James 3

Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

  • Image retrieved 4/14/18 from:

https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-close-up-teeth-biting-blue-lip-over-white-background-image35900448

  • Scripture retrieved 4/14/18 from:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+3&version=NIV

 

 

Faith · Kikuyu · Poetry · Strength

Witire

cliff

Ndûgetire na nyûmba nene,

Nîîmomokaga.

Ndûgetire na ngari njerû

Nîîgîaga fanja.

Ndûgetire na mûndû mûthaka,

Noagakûra.

Ndûgetire na ûûgî

Noûkariganîra.

Wîtire na Jesû,

Ihiga rîa Tene ma.

 

Approximate Translation

Lean

Do not lean on your big house,

It will someday wear away.

Don’t lean on your fancy new car,

It’s liable to have a flat tire.

Don’t lean on a beautiful person,

They too will age with time.

Don’t lean on your knowledge,

It will soon be forgotten.

Lean on Jesus

The Rock of Ages.

 

Image retrived 4/14/18 from:

https://pixabay.com/en/cliffs-of-moher-cliffs-moher-1683423/

Humor · Kids

Disrupting the English Language

Funny things my eleven year old says

“I hate it when people enrupt me.”

“What am I exposed to do?”

“That was really rude mum,

of you to put me in time out.”

“Stupendous means stupid good.”

“You mop with a mop, do you broom with a broom,

or sweep with a sweep?”

“John the Baddest was Jesus’ cousin.

He lived in the desert and wore camo.”

In a quiet moment

at the crowded dentist’s office,

“I’m not wearing any underwear.”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/disrupt/

 

 

 

Caregiving · Health · Humor · Military · Short story

High Butt Pressure

back blast area

My poor sons were raised in an adult foster home so they have some rather peculiar perspectives on life. Yesterday I was taking residents’ blood pressures when one of my boys said, “Did you just say blood pressure? All these years I thought you’ve been saying ‘butt pressure’.”

____________________________________

One of my residents, Judy, was coming off some wicked antibiotics and pain medications that left her terribly constipated. We’d been fastidiously following her BM regimen to try and get her relief but it finally came to the big guns – the enema.

After days of being backed up, she was miserable and ready for anything that would give her relief. I was teaching my caregiver Lora how to administer the enema. Our miserable Judy lay moaning on her bed, facing the wall, obviously a very humiliating and vulnerable position. Lora was on her knees on the floor behind her, quaking with nerves. I was bending beside Lora, soberly walking her through the daunting process. Unfamiliarity,  risk, and pain made them both skittish.

Lora is a luminescent personality. She is Texan and ex-military, meaning she always has a straight-faced badinage that leaves people around her rolling on the floor snorting in hysterics. I was talking in low confident tones and slowly rubbing Judy’s back with my gloved hands to relax her. I started to say, “Lubricate the nozzle and very gently insert…” when Lora poked her head straight up, enema in hand, and interrupted me with, “Now, Judy, in the military, when you’re about to fire a shoulder mounted rocket launcher, you scan behind you to make sure no one is in the danger zone and yell,” –  and she YELLED, “”Back blast area clear!” Then you fire.”

“So I would ap-rciate it if you would give me that there courtesy pr-cautionary proclamation if you feel you are about to expel any hot gases or other dangerous explosives in my general direction seeing as I am in the primary danger zone,” and she bent back down to business, leaned towards me and said quietly, “Pardon me m’am, please continue.”

It’s been two weeks and neither Judy nor I can tell the story without crying.

Image retrieved 4/10/18 from:

http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/antiarmor/Javelin.html

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/luminescent/