Chasing Daylight

My head turns

Darkness falls

Unexpectedly, like a hammer

I collapse inward

Imploding

Over, and over, and over

Repeatedly trying to claw my way out

Only to fall back again

Unable to gain purchase

Fingernails torn to the quick

Mud, and blood

Smeared in my hair

On my face

Metaphorically speaking

Pale

Drawn

Insomniac

I receive no joy from food

Or speech

Or drink

Or touch

Smell

I try to sing, only to stop halfway through

Trailing off into silence

Where did it go?

I wonder…

I turn my head

Chasing daylight

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The Journalist & the Journey

I want to place a caveat here, because I write a lot about my depression & my anxiety.

I am not looking for sympathy when I write about these things.

I write about my anxiety and my depression to get them out of my head, to make them leave my body in the only way I know…because I’m so damned uncomfortable talking out loud about it.

I honestly get very shy and squeamish whenever someone brings it up to me in person, and will more than likely blow the conversation off.

(There is a small, very small, number of people who can get me to talk about sensitive subjects without shutting down, getting irritable, or making jokes about it & laughing it off)

But, I can write them down, here.

Even knowing that there are people out there, who know me in my real, everyday life, who read these entries, I can still put these raw, personal posts here, and somehow – feel comfortable with it.

I don’t know how that works, but it does.

It’s my form of self-therapy.

I’m the journalist, and this is my journey. No particular destination in mind.

Dusy Bay

There’s a lot to today.

It’s Imbolc. For us Pagans out there, it’s a big holiday, a sort of “kickoff” for the year, bringing the light back to the world, & life back to nature. (The first flowers started to bloom, calves & lambs start being born, yada yada)

This, for me, is a sort of Pagan anniversary, as this was when I dedicated myself to my Path, 21 years ago. I celebrate, quietly, on my own, every year.

It’s also my blogging anniversary here at WordPress, I guess? I received this today…

So there’s that.

And…

I quit smoking on Jan. 31. That was the day I had my very last cigarette, at 7:40 am… And, yes, I’m about ready to put my head through a wall.

But I won’t.

So February is the beginning of a lot of things for me.

Let’s hope this is the beginning of more good things.

Living Dead Girl – Chapter 3

“So, Patsy… You’ve been here for the mandatory 72 hours now, and we’ve run all the standard tests, what are your thoughts?”

Dr. Tellman pushes an errant strand of hair back behind her ear again, not looking at me, but instead, down at her clipboard, reading her notes.

“I don’t know, Doc, why don’t you read them to me, since they’re right there in front of you?”

Ooh, that’s got her attention. Her eyes snap to my face, a quick frown forming on her mouth, & lines creasing her forehead.

“Your thoughts are not written in my notes, Patsy, as you well know. You don’t share much of what goes on inside your head, actually, which has me stymied in your treatment. That makes it difficult for us to move forward, either with talk of your release, or further treatment here.”

“Well, Doc, it’s not easy being me.”

I shrug and grin, knowing she’s not going to like any if the answers I have to give her. Matter of fact, she’s going to hate everything I have to say, but? A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…

“When you’re dead, nobody really listens, so why bother talking, am I right?”

And that’s how my vacation got extended from 72 hours to… Undetermined.

Anyway, Boss says there’s more work here.  

Yay.

Go team.

Why are so many people crossing from here all of a sudden, though?

Hmm…maybe there’s more here than just the random crossing-over jobs. Maybe I need to do some sniffing around, see why I’ve been handed a sit-still assignment.

“Got a job for you…”

“Yeah, yeah… I hear you.”

“Multiple targets.”

“Oh?”

“Fight between roomies, messy…messy… Sorry bout this one, Pats. Couldn’t be helped. Should’ve got out while you could, I think. It’s only gonna get worse from here.”

“Insight?”

“Gut feeling.”

“You don’t have any, how’s that work?

“Ha ha, smartass. Go to work.”

It was already dark in my room, but I could still see the darker entity slide away into the night, one of the benefits of being who and what I am. Good night vision is always a plus in this line of work.

Hmm, damn, he didn’t tell me where I was headed. Guess I’d have to improvise & get my information elsewhere.

“Azreal.. I need a moment, please?”

A single, white feather drifted down onto my bed from above, and I knew I had my audience.

Time to go see an angel about some dead people.

The Woman in the Mirror 

I’ve had self-esteem issues for as long as I can remember.

When I was very little, I had no worries. I was a total tomboy, who didn’t care what other people thought of me. I was happier dressed in clothes I could climb trees & get muddy in. And often did just those very things. I climbed up & down a cliff behind our house on a daily basis, snagging my hair on tree branches, and chewed my nails down to the quick, making my mom lament of me ever being a “girly girl”. 

She has often told stories about how she would wait until we were literally on our way out the door for church to get me in my dress, or I’d get something on it.
But, little girls grow up, and as they do, they eventually start to care about how others see them.

I was no different.

By the time I hit 6th grade, I cared about how I was perceived by my peers, as well as by adults. 

Alas, also by this time, we’d moved from Iowa, where I had friends, to a small town in North Dakota, where… not only did I know no one, but I was a complete outsider.

I was, and still am, a nerd. I read a lot, was good at school, & got good grades.  I wasn’t a troublemaker. I’m not good at sports (my nickname in volleyball was “jello-wrists”, no joke) except for horseback riding, and our small town lived for its sports. I wasn’t considered pretty enough to garner the “pretty new girl” attention, & I didn’t have the “right” last name. 

All of these things pretty much signed my social death warrant there.

In high school, at 5’7″, 125-130lbs, I was considered the “fat girl”.

I smiled here because I knew it was almost over. 

My saving grace through high school, was that my best friend had faith in me. She was a total extrovert, who moved to our town when we were in the 8th grade. She was good at sports, & was/is gorgeous & skinny. And she believed in my writing.

She sort of adopted me, & pulled me out of my shell, got me to leave our small town, & we went on adventures to other towns where we fit in much better, & made our own fun.

Even with that, I still stood in the shadows. I was always – “Oh, you’re S’s friend, right?” 

*sigh* yes, I’m her friend. 

I did make some friends of my own, separate from her, we did each gave our own groups that we’d hang out with, occasionally. And I did have boyfriends from those other towns that had no connection to her.

But I never felt as though I was enough.

Every relationship I’ve had has ended with me feeling as though I wasn’t enough for the other person. I always felt as though I was lacking, somehow, because of how things ended. Every. Single. One.

I’ve never really, truly, felt good enough.
And that includes my writing.

I’ve had certain friends tell me for years that I should write a book. That my words are worth more, that they have value.

I’ve always kind of just pooh-poohed the notion, telling them that I write my blog for me, to get the words out of my head.

After all, friends & family are supposed to say nice things to you, right? They’re supposed to back you up no matter what, right? Even if it’s trash?

Nephew… You live too far away to smack me on the back of the head right now, so sit back down.

I love you.

And I’m not done talking yet.

Because right now, I’m standing on the edge of a cliff.

I’m terrified – and exhilarated – and about ready to puke – all at the same time.

Because… I’m taking a leap of faith, & I’m going to try to build a pair of wings on my way down.

A little over a week ago, someone that I’ve admired & respected from a distance for a long time, but who has had zero idea that I existed, contacted me. 

We started talking, & in the course of becoming friends, I introduced this person to my blog. They liked my writing, & started telling me that I should write a book. 

I told them to talk to my Nephew, because it sounded like an echo.

My self-esteem still needs work – I know this.

I still look for acceptance & approval from others on my work, whether it’s my writing, my crafts, my remodeling I’m doing on my house. I’m never sure that what I’m doing is good enough, and I flounder in indecision about the choices I make unless I get feedback from people I trust.

I don’t know if it’s just a Gemini thing, or just a Jen thing… 

Even today, when I spoke to one of my coworkers about the possibility of me writing a book, she called me crazy. And I immediately started to doubt myself.

It’s easier to believe the bad stuff.

The woman in the mirror every morning looks at me with bleary, disbelieving eyes.

The woman in the mirror at night usually tells me it’ll be better tomorrow.

I’m hoping there’s a bad ass bitch hanging around somewhere in the background who’ll kick both their asses, smash the mirror, & yank me up by my collar one of these days.

Till then… I’ll be shoveling sand.

I Wear My Scars

I wear my scars in words

Draped casually over my wrists like bracelets

Lashed fiercely around my waist

Slashed along my lips

Dripping from every pore of my soul

I wear my heart in my eyes

So I keep them down, most of the time

Look away, or be burned

Or drowned

Or saved

Bathed in blue, they’ll tell you the truth

Never lie

But I don’t wear my love at all

I fling it, give it away, pass it to the Chosen like candy, 

Like a child bringing you dandelions in summer

Gathered so Excitedly — FREE FLOWERS?!?

YES! 

Sweaty, heaping handfuls of love passed over, watching your face for acceptance…

Appreciation…

Approbation..

Affection….

Reciprocation…

I wear my scars with words.

And lay them before you in humility.

9/21/17

Chosen #flash fiction

I’ve been here before… but when?

Lucien shook his head, trying to clear it, the slight headache at the back of his skull protesting at the maneuver.

“Don’t bother trying to figure it out, Luc, it’ll all be clear shortly,” Petra stepped up next to him, sliding her hands to his shoulders to massage the tight muscles bunched and knotted there. She always knew just what to say, somehow, even though they’d only known each other for a semester. Another thing Lucien had yet to figure out. This weird, almost… instantaneous connection he’d had with Petra, from the moment he’d met her in Ancient Mythology Studies class.

“Let’s go sit while we wait for the others, shall we?” Petra nudged him from behind, guiding him across the – well, the only thing Lucien could call it was – salon, because they were in an extremely old, Renaissance-era home, and this would have been a meeting room, where guests would have been entertained. Luckily, it was now Petra’s home, and she had more modern sensibilities, so the dainty furniture of a bygone era was replaced with deep leather couches, extremely plush chairs, and all manner of side tables, comfortable lighting for reading, and lots of lush, green plants. It was a room for sinking in and getting comfortable, or for lounging around of an evening with family and friends.

Lucien dropped onto one of the deep couches, patting the spot next to him, and Petra immediately followed, curling her legs up behind her and leaning into his shoulder.

“What’s this all about, Pet? I’ve been feeling weird all week, and this stuff tonight has got me wound up tighter than an 8 day clock.” Lucien grimaced, but snugged his arm around her back, pulling her in closer. It wasn’t really a romantic gesture, it was…just comfortable, in an odd way.

And that was the thing Lucien really found weird.

Lucien loved women. He loved the way they spoke, the way they thought, the way they made him feel. He loved everything about them, and had dated many, always trying to be a gentleman, even when it didn’t work out.

Petra was lovely, gorgeous, in fact.

And he hadn’t hit on her once in the whole time he’d known her.

And since they’d met, he hadn’t felt like dating anyone at all.

What the hell was wrong with him?!?

“It’s OK, Luc. Byrin will explain everything when we’re all here. Just, please, be patient.” Petra smoothed out a wrinkle in his shirt with her hand and laid her head on his shoulder, smiling as he let out a huff.

“Fine. I’ll hear him out.”

20 minutes later, Luc was pretty sure he’d fallen down a rabbit hole with Alice, and hit his head on a rock in Wonderland.

He knew everyone in the room…but couldn’t tell you what their names were.

Petra had gotten up when the first people had started arriving, making sure everyone had drinks, found a seat, took their coats. But she didn’t introduce anyone, which Lucien found extremely odd. Petra was always a stickler for manners. This was way out in left field. Lucien found his brows drawing down to the center of his forehead in puzzlement, trying to figure it all out. Petra’s eyes flashed to his, sparkling with amusement.

Dammit, she’s doing this on purpose! He thought to himself. And when she winked, he flushed, knowing it was true.

At that moment, one of the guys, he looked to be about 40-ish, stepped up in front of the fireplace and placed his tumbler on the mantelpiece, turning again to face the room and its occupants.

“Everyone, I’m Byrin, and I know at least some of you are confused as to why we’re all here, so I’ll explain,” he rubbed his hands together as though trying to light a fire between his palms.

“What I’m about to tell you is probably going to sound fantastical, you might think I’ve gone round the bend, or you might have a sudden realization that you really want to be someplace, anyplace else right away. 

“But – I’m asking you to suspend judgment. I’m asking for your patience and open-mindedness, just for the length of time it takes me to finish my tale, and to possibly answer a few questions. Maybe even some of your own. After that, if you wish to leave, no one will stop you.

“You might have noticed that you recognize the other people here tonight, but don’t know why. You also might have a sense of deja vu about this house, or this neighborhood, possibly even just the city.  There is a very good reason for this.

“We are Chosen.

“Chosen what, you might ask? 

“Well… Chosen Family, in a way. Not bound by blood, but by time and by our souls.” 

At this Byrin raised one hand and nodded, as though to forego any incredulous looks.

“I know, how that sounds, but we have all been bound together, lifetime after lifetime, as a family. In one life or another we each CHOSE to join this circle of souls, and we seek one another out, every time we reincarnate.

“How else do you explain that we all instinctively know each other, connect instantly, and yet…here, in this room, right now, you can’t name each other?”

Lucien blinked absently at Petra, her, nodding back at him, and she smiled wide and walked over to Byrin and took his hand and spoke now.

“I’ve known Byrin in this life for a little over a year. I knew as soon as we bumped into one another at the market that we were connected somehow, and I’ve met a couple of you others since. It is hard to grasp, at first. But once you let the weirdness wash away, and settle into the familiarity of the Family, it’ll quickly remind you that you’re home. Please, don’t let the weird push you away. Chosen Family is so much better, plus…there are other perks…”

And Petra’s eyes sparkled again with a mischievous glint as she released Byrin’s hand.

“Once you accept the Family, and your place in it, you get to remember all your previous lives and – including some truly…magickal gifts.”

Lucien watched, stunned, as Petra snapped her fingers and disappeared, only to reappear instantaneously at the other side of the room, grinning wildly.

Byrin shook his head and chuckled, pulling the attention of the room once again with a slight cough.

“Just remember – no one is forced to do anything. All of this is a Choice. Every lifetime, you get to choose. And even if you choose not to stay, you can still reincarnate & choose to come back in the next life.”

“Because blood may last a life time, but Chosen Family is eternal.”