DP Challenge: A Manner of Speaking

I should like to preface the following by informing you that at one time, I actually did speak this way. I grew up mainly in Plymouth, England and people from Plymouth are known as Janners. So here goes some phonetic Jannerspeak with occasional swearing.

Monologue.

“Ahreeet! Me nem’s Lisa, om eighteen and ah lives in Plimuff. Ah goes collij wiv me mehts and we haves a reet laff, we duz. Mind you, it’s borin as shite so we goes out on weekends, lyeek. Me meht ‘Chelle asks me, “‘ere, where you going to?” and argoes, “om goin’ pub” and she goes, “it’s orribow doen there, come wiv me doen Jesters” and argoes, “you’re fockin cheeky you are ‘Chelle, you just wanna see that byee, Darren!” and she goes, “ya tehhken the fockin piss or wot?” and ah gives her aggro but we goes anyways and ah tells her she’s gutta buy me fegs to mehk op fer it. So we gets to Jesters and ah says “‘Chelle, it’s dead in ere, innit” but she’s lyeek, lukkin for this Darren bloke so she ken chat him op, lyeek. Om gutted, oyam, so ah gets a pernoe and coke at the bar. Om finkin wot kinda meht is she anyways, flippin mentoe she is. Jes lygat, she’s gone and om finkin I can’t be assed! Then this bloke comes up, he’s reet bladdered alreddy and it’s not even nine o clock, luks lyeek ‘e’s bin on a reet bender. ‘Ee sez, “‘ow’s you? What’s yer nem called? You’re elluva gorgeous burrd, you are” and argoes, “fock off, you!” and ‘ee gets all gobby, sez ah wuz gaggin fer it so ah leaves and goes doen chippy, gets sum grub and tehks a taxi ‘ome. Ah seez ‘Chelle at collij the next day and ah give ‘er what for, sez she left me lyeek billy no mates. I sez “It’s lygis, you does it again and om goin’ out wiv Sandra instead.” And ‘Chelle turns around and sez “Nah. ‘e wuz reet gormless. Won’t ‘appen uggen. Fancy a bevvy later?” And ah smiles and argoes, “lovely jubbly, ‘Chelle.”

Fragility of the New

Writing is such a deeply creative process. I balk at the word process because it’s more of an unfolding, a developing, and to label it with such a superficial word, lessens the experience somehow. Some would say that I’m a new writer but I’m really not. I’ve been a writer since I was nine, scribbling out poems in my bedroom at night and showing them proudly to my writer Mum the next day. I wrote stories instead of essays at school. I read a lot. Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl were favorites. I repeatedly read a voluminous collection of books called “Murder Mystery Collection” that belonged to my parents – about 20 little books in all and contained in each of them were roughly ten to fifteen short stories. My Mum was published in them, as was my Granddad. Lately, I recall having a collection of ghost stories, some classic and some modern day, well, as modern as the 80’s anyway and I’ve been trying every now and then to grasp their concept. When I think they are not noticing, I sneak up on the memories but they skitter away like famished hyenas into a dark night. Perhaps I don’t remember the storylines exactly but I did retain a sense of the mystery and supernatural.

For years since those creative child/teen days, I dumbed down my mind with weed, cigarettes and unhealthy relationships in order to forget, yet also relive childhood traumas. Such foggy paths I stumbled about on but the writer in me never left. Every now and then, I’d pop out a poem or start a story, almost as if I were trying to start the engine but the car had been buried in an overgrown garden for too long. Certainly, stepping back onto the stage helped drag the car into the open again and those books that I devoured as a youngster were quite possibly the inspiration for my first short story as an adult which I finished back in March. Just in time to be entered into a competition with Glimmer Train Press. I have yet to hear back from them as to whether they like it, whether they will publish it and even if it made the grade as far as the competition goes. I don’t know how long I have to wait but I check my submission page daily in the hopes for an update (a positive one) but it still remains “in process.”

A writer always writes, no matter what, so say the various blogs and articles I’ve read. If you do not write, no matter what, then you are not a serious writer. You must read too. Lots and lots. Soak it all up and spit it all out. And that’s fine if it works for you. But some days, especially lately with financial and health issues skipping merrily about, my brain doesn’t want to compute. Writing abandons me. Creativity bows out and joins those hyenas. I suppose I should slap myself on the wrist for being a terrible writer, for not having the gumption to just put something on the page, even if it is utter drivel. But I don’t. I don’t get cross at myself. Funny really, it seems to be the one area of my life where I am not critical, except when I read the finished product. Then I think everything I’ve written is shit. Until I leave it alone for a while, return to re-read and love it all over again.

I took a break after the submission of my short story so that I could join my family riding blindfolded on life’s rollercoaster. I have no idea where or when the next turn will be or where we will end up but because of this, my mind has been elsewhere; worrying about the future, worrying that I have lost my self-awareness, worrying about money, worrying about worrying. Worrying for a few weeks. However, my soul took a bit of an upswing this week, perhaps tired of being in a rut, it knocked down a few walls, despite my family’s circumstances and our unknown future.

With this upswing came an idea for a story and I have written just over 600 words today. I am in love with it. You know when you create something and you stand back to watch its progress and you admire it, you feel proud? That’s how I feel about my story so far. It has no ending yet and I’m not entirely sure of its middle either and that’s just fine with me. Perhaps I am not a traditional writer who bangs out a basic storyline first, returning to pad and fill later. I build like a snowball; I gather as I go until it’s reached the height and breadth it’s meant to be.

It has the fragility of the new as it begins its growth, yet I also have sense of its weight and even, its purpose, for me.

Lisa…

Day (434) – The Rut

In a rut too, petulantly dismissing affirmations and uplifting phrases. But I do toe the ground shyly and admit to liking this post. Especially the final sentence. Thank you.

The Better Man Project ™

Man Sitting In Valley

I’ve been stuck in a rut lately. I’m not exactly sure if the rut was extended or simply a short divot in the ground, but needless to say, it certainly was a thought provoker.

I’ve never been obsessed with the idea of “making it.” I guess I never really dreamed of the day where others would decide or say “Evan has made it.” When I think of this concept, I often get that looming feeling of settling. Perhaps it correlates with the similar thought that if you have made it, there is no more room to grow. I don’t think I ever want to get to the point where I have mentally achieved the time-to-stop-growing mentality.

I know that others will always have their  opinions of what is going on in my life and what I have failed at or achieved. This is an absolute in life and I am…

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What’s on your plateau?

I am not lost. I am not in a quandary. I am not confused. I have simply…taken a step away. Definitely in a spiritual valley, a lower plateau so to speak, certainly not on any part of the journey that slopes upward to a peak affording magnificent views of the land ahead.

I felt it, a certain snapping last week during a particularly hellish emotional time, which bore the fruit of my last post. Initially I had prepared myself for a big change; an impending house move – another move in a long 43-year timeline of moves. Except this one had snuck up early and at first I was a bit out of sorts about it but came back around to my usual, “y’know…it’s gonna be ok, home is where my family is and that’s what’s important.” I laughed at that, my husband rolled his eyes good-naturedly and we swept any concerns about the wheres and the hows under the now, very lumpy rug.

Money’s Too Tight To Mention so sang Mick Hucknall and it has held true for too many years but we could see a light at the end of the tunnel, my husband and I. He had started to bring home a real, honest-to-goodness paycheck and so was I. He had a plan to pay off some very important overdue bills so that by the end of this month, we could begin to put aside funds for the move….deposit, moving company etc.

The most pressing thing was to keep our kids in their current school; we felt another switch so soon after making new friends and finding a new rhythm would be too hard on them, despite their resilience and adaptability. Thanks to a rather nice Delaware education clause named “Choice”, we found out that we could move out of the school district yet still keep them in the same school, so that gave us some breathing room. With that in mind, and now with a sense of urgency, we expanded our search of homes to surrounding towns but it soon became apparent that we were woefully short of the amount needed to move into anywhere. We were also uncomfortably aware that our past credit history would drag behind us like an anvils tied to our legs. It began to feel hopeless. Then my husband delivered another blow which I was totally unprepared for; a possible move out of state to a townhome owned by a builder who knows a business partner of a friend, who knows this guy and is the accountant of that friend who knows his Dad – yada, yada, yada. The feeling of puppetry working all over us, herding and shuffling us around from here to there, forcing us to obediently bow and scrape our thank you’s and gratefulness was the final straw. You see, it’s a continuing theme in our lives – this lack of control.

I threw my spiritual hands in the air; had enough of believing in source and abundance and love. I relinquished it all and have not felt at all like meditating or reading my favorite uplifting blogs or having anything at all remotely to do with wellbeing, mindfulness, love, light and spirit. I am not the least bit interested. Neither am I bothered by my indifference. I know the true me is there, always will be, would never abandon me because that’s impossible. And no doubt I will return in my own good time. I don’t want to admit that “I’m just being” or “I am letting it be”. To say it implies that I am interested when I just don’t care right now. That’s not to say that I’m grouchy and miserable either (although I am on the tail end of the flu, so may be forgiven for being a bit limp) I’m not at all. I’m civil, I’m nice and I’m genuinely kind. I’m…simply holding steady, I think.

My husband would like to see me back on track; he feels a certain responsibility for my current location and I would just like to say that no matter the lowest of lows and the joyous high of highs, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the trenches with anyone else but him, even if I want to flick trench mud in his face from time to time.

And so we wait, almost as if on the precipice of someplace. We wait for news of a place to move into which all hinges on background checks, credit checks, references etc. It’s a nice place that we could afford after a little help getting our feet in the door. And I wait for news of a short story…will be published, will it be rejected?

We wait. And no matter what happens or what direction we go in, we take steps forward together. And I will come back to the spiritual when I’m ready because sometimes, you just gotta take a break.

I have sheep on my plateau!

I have sheep on my plateau!

Ell…

Money, Money, Money

Money.

When you have it, life is good. Even if you have enough to pay your bills, buy your groceries and have a little left over to, oh I don’t know, pick up a little something for yourself: flip-flops, a new nail polish, that shirt you saw on sale at Old Navy last week. Things feel comfortable. You’re not a high roller; big spender. You budget. You try to save. You have enough.

But what about when you don’t?

Money is essential to happiness in the modern world. It’s all well and good if you want to be at one with yourself, to wander fields and oceans to get in touch your true self and be blissfully at peace. Some have left their families behind to do just that and they are fine without a penny to their name. But in reality, love and abundance from the Universe does not care for your children. Or buy them new shoes when the old ones get holes in them. You can create that vision board and stick to that routine but some time passes and slowly, you find your belief fading.

You know that there are people out there far worse than you; starving children, homeless people so you don’t complain too much. But it’s such a personal thing. You own it. It’s no-one else’s life, this is your life and it’s your family’s life and no matter what anybody else is suffering, these are your sufferings.

You live at the poverty line but to look at, you look like you’re surviving just fine. You rely on handouts from relatives, you use whatever money you have to keep the lights on, keep the lines of communication open, keep your house warm, to buy enough food to get you through the next few days. The rest of it, the eating out, the going to plays, even buying clothes at the thrift store, the actual not having to think whether you have enough, has no place.

Money ruins marriages. You run the same track for seven years and it feels like it. You have the same arguments with no one clear outcome, it’s just a cauldron of yesterday’s news, swilled up with today’s headlines, and it creates a chasm between the two of you. Sometimes it closes a bit, some or a lot, depending on current events or the outlook but mostly, it’s always there in some form. In a question “Can we..?” “Do you think…” “Will we…?” “Will it…” In actions and reactions, in the glaring silence of pointless words not bothered spoken, in the counting of dollar bills or the upside down change jar. In the not so subtle obvious facts that really don’t need to be pointed out.

You do your best to shield your kids from the negativity of the situation but sometimes it spills out of your unworthy head because they ask for things that are a natural part of childhood. You cannot provide them, even in their cheapest form and it makes you sad and mad at the same time. You try desperately not to be a jealous person when you see what other people have, when you see commercials for things, when you read about others’ activities. You want to be ok with your lot. It’s not much at all but it’s yours. But somehow you feel cheated. You are tired of the struggle. You have nothing left of value to sell. And you are tired of dashed hopes and fraudulent dreams.

But what do you do? You throw in the towel? And do what, exactly? Leave your husband and children? Leave your husband and take your children? Where would you go? How would you manage still? Why cause further heartache? You love your husband and you love your family.

So you give up the conversation, because there really is no point. You smile and make do. You eat whatever you have left in the house because you know if you don’t, you’ll just be hungry. You pick yourself up, time and again, each rise a little more weary than the last and you keep your family close.

It’s all you can do.

Simply complex

I’m new to the world of blogging and with this mindframe, new to the world at large . When I began writing in January, I didn’t like the term ‘blog’ and playfully referred to my posts as ‘snargles.’ I do like that word still; it’s cute without being froofy. At times though I acquiesce and admit that there’s nothing really wrong with the word blog, even if it does sound stodgy. It’s just a word. And words is apparently what I do. So, blog is fine and so is snargle.

Recently, a very dear friend referred to me as complex. Hmm… Moi? Complex? I’ve been the recipient of many adjectives over the years; some lovely and some not so, but I’ve never been thought of as complex. Or maybe I have, they just didn’t tell me. I know that I had never considered myself in that way. Complex infers many layers, many angles, ups, downs, sides and corners, everything about being human. I guess I am, as we all are, filled with these things that make us up. Love stories, war stories, birth stories, work stories, life stories, growing up, falling down, people, past, present, all of the ever ongoing compendium of our lives. Everything we have ever experienced is stamped on us somewhere. Stamped and covered up with the next experience like a stack of papers receiving the necessary signature…paper, stamp, paper, stamp, paper…

How different we can be! Just like everyone else, I have made mistakes, tumbled blindly, scraped and bowed, suffered consequences. I have judged and made remarks. I have taken sides and generally, not been a nice person. Now I am grown. I have learned. I think it is true that the soul, the essential light in a person is just always there, it has no need to grow and learn, for it knows everything already. It’s whole and as pure and perfect as it can possibly be. Really it is our “humanness” that must learn and evolve around it.

Eventually, hopefully, most of us come to understand what needs to happen to the human part of us, that rushing, whirling, often out of control side. It has to sort of merge with the soul. When that happens it’s calm, it’s bliss, it’s serene. Some people out there, such as the gurus like Mooji, Deepak, Eckhart, I’m sure have their fraught moments, nobody is that perfect. But I have no doubt that the majority of the time in their body in this life could be likened to walking very slowly through thigh high water on a warm, sunny day; effortless, smooth, wonderful.

My journey is new and so I have fleeting glimpses of such serenity but even so, on the whole and in every day life I feel more calm than complex. Yet perhaps it’s the complexity that makes things so simple, in that I’m more concerned with the light in my heart than the daily goings on of the mind. I can peel back my layers of stamped pages and see everything I’ve ever done, said, been, had, looked at, thought about, cried over, laughed at…the whole lot of it and truly know that although it makes up me as my human self, the Lisa, I am not her really, I am not those things, I am simply Love. I am Light.

That’s not to say that I am not looking forward to stamping more pages in the book of this life. I am, very much so. Simply, I will try not to live it as that human person scattering her eggs every which way. Instead, I will opt for the soulful, simply complex light waiting patiently for the human side to complete its fit, accepting all the experiences, old, new and present with loving arms.

Mind you, I’m under no illusion that I’ll be all Galadriel. More like…Patsy Stone. Minus the ciggies and Bollinger, of course.

thank you

I Am and the kids

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When I was four, I was sexually abused. I don’t mind putting it out there, not that I bandy it around like a national flag, in fact, it hardly ever comes up at all. Dealt with all of that ten years ago; 18 months of therapy put paid to over 30 years of vacant soul-searching. I went in scrabbled, confused and with all these strings from the past hanging from me like one of those Australian cork hats. I came out the other side filled up, released and happy with just being me. I know I was the one to do the work but I will always be grateful for the help and guidance of a therapist who I still believe to this day, was meant for me.

So. Yes. That happened. And plenty of other things have occurred since those therapeutic, hard-won days. Some wonderful things like meeting and marrying my husband – an event I believed happened to other people, even the loud, angry lady at the gas station, but never to me. I’ve given birth to two wonderful children. And cats. Well, I haven’t given birth to cats…that’s just weird. We’ve had three cats. Somewhere along the trail of the last ten years, the ‘me’ faded away. Life turned ugly. Businesses fought for and lost. Houses left behind to grow moldy. Money scraped from here and there to survive. No trips. No holidays. No bikes. No gifts. No celebrations. No new clothes. No haircuts. We did what we could do for the kids in terms of Christmas and birthdays but it’s been a tough six years.

On the upside, we have been incredibly fortunate to have had understanding landlords, business associates with big hearts and good friends with listening ears. We also had each other, our little family, but the stresses and strains on our marriage were very apparent during my darkest time, probably toward the end of 2011 when our beloved restaurant was beginning its slow flail to an inevitable crash-landing. I stood on the verge of someplace really dangerous; a place I had never considered before and never want to return to and it took the love and light of a special person to guide me away. And it was then that I began the second phase of my journey. Again, I did the work but I’m truly grateful for that person’s guidance and know that they were meant for me.

Now it’s 2013 and life feels like it’s turning around in so many ways, like we’ve been lost at sea for a long time and now we can see land.

I am here.

I am this.

I Am.

And that’s all I need to know. There doesn’t need to be so much work done because I get it. Sure, some days are harder than others. Like the other day. It took me a while to understand what was really happening and how to stop it. There’s something about the term ‘ego’ that bothers me but it’s also quite fitting; it’s obnoxious, overbearing and shoulders its way through my life. It’s sneaky. It put me in a donkey position with the dangling carrot; I slapped my lips and trudged behind it, looking forward to its deliciousness. Ultimately, the carrot, out of my control, was whipped away and I was left with nothing but fear, disappointment and hurt. The ego is so well-versed. It has had years to hone its skill. My fledgling self, although has been around since before I was born, is still a relatively new concept to me, so the ego might have the upper hand sometimes. I’m learning its ways and learning through the ups and downs that I Am is where it’s at. Where I’m at. In me, the stillness. The calm while the hurricane can rage around. I also know that although there’s no work involved, sometimes it’s gonna feel like it.

I ask myself, how do I teach this to my kids? How do I teach them to understand the self and the ego? My daughter understood the concept of spirit almost immediately but my son, well, he’s eight and more interested in Mario Cart, Legos and drawing comics but I hope some of what I’ve explained so far, sticks. Spirit is one thing; how to explain that the mind and its thoughts can sometimes be your enemy? Enemy sounds harsh too but really, when you boil it down, it can be your own worst. I remember a couple of months ago on the way to school, suddenly feeling the urge to tell them to have good thoughts and how not to believe every one that pops into their heads. In the rearview mirror, they eyed each other like Mommy was going loopy. I broke it down to Lego actually…said how do you think Lego’s came about? Shrug. Well, someone had a thought. Someone thought “Hey, I wonder if I made something like this, would it be fun to play with?” and from that thought, the thing was made and today, we have Legos. The same with everything you see – it all started with a thought. Well, that made their eyes boggle and out came a torrent of “What about that lamppost?” and “Ooh, what about that dog?” and “Ooh, what about the fart I just did?” cue giggle fits. But they understood. It was a basic explanation, appropriate for their age, without becoming convoluted and boring.

I expanded by saying that not all thoughts are good thoughts. Sometimes we have thoughts about people without knowing all about them. Or sometimes we have thoughts about ourselves that make us feel badly about ourselves. Those are the kinds of thoughts that we shouldn’t really believe. They became a little confused by that but I could see that the notion had tucked itself in their minds like a little seed.

And that made me happy; I hope I am giving them something positive to build on.

Lisa…