this was siesta key beach (sarasota, florida) when Lilli was only 4 or 5. i took this photo with a throw away camera. sometimes, those are the best shots.
she had just made a new friend on the beach, but the day was winding down. it’s always a thrill to meet someone new, but tragic knowing you only have a few minutes with them. you wish you’d known them the whole day. or your whole life.
as a kid, i remember the feeling of meeting someone so amazing and the panic of realizing, “I’ll never see this person again.”
6 haikus for temporary friendship
ran around today
endless chasing after play
at the end, it’s found
just made a new friend
but the sun is going down
twilight never end
the sun is tired
but my will and joy are up
time to rise and shine
the water sparkles
with new feelings of friendship
and tears fall from fear
don’t go, Sun. please, stay.
if you go, my friend will, too.
and I’m not ready.
nice to meet you, friend
let’s vow to always meet here
at least in our hearts
Haven’t written in a while! Finally moved, halfway through unpacking. Got internet service back! Phew. Feeling like a human again.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to write on the way down to Florida. That bothered me a little. I was driving through Missouri, making our way toward St. Louis to head down south, and I could feel the pull to write. That was cool, but at the same time–anguish. I have blogged so much lately, I couldn’t process my feelings without writing them down. All I could do is think and form perfect, evaporative sentences that would vanish with the miles behind me. You know, what non-writers do while driving. 🙂
I relearned my pre-writer meditation of sorting out problems and quieting voices without written letters. It was hard to adapt, but accept it I did. It was frustrating at first, but I settled into churning waves of beach-pounding thoughts of what-if and what-not. Regret, remorse, remembrance. Sorrow, love and forgiveness. For myself and others. A photo album of feelings to flip through while Florida-bound.
The rest of the time was spent talking to my daughter, laughing about silly signs and license plates and even having the dreaded chats about sex, physical maturity, venereal disease and tampon use. UGH! Hard conversations in a car with your teenage daughter while looking for the nearest bathroom. Road trip!
It was great though. Except for Nashville traffic. The highway interchanges in the bowels of the Country Music Capital of the World were hellish. I almost crashed my car and caused my husband to crash the U-haul truck and trailer he was driving. Not fun. But we had to keep going. I was confused, tired and snarled in traffic with my husband behind me. I just wanted to stop, but we were behind schedule and had to make it to Valdosta, GA that night. We only made it to Dalton.
My husband and I agreed to stop and rest. He rose before us and headed out early from the motel. God bless him. I don’t know how he did it. I was not able to catch up to him (I could go faster than he could with a truck), but he made it here to Florida just a little late. He’s my hero for that. We (mainly he because he had the truck with our stuff) had to meet the movers and he hauled house to get here. No speeding, no tickets, no accidents and our furniture made it with only a few scratches. I’d rather my dining table legs suffer a few scrapes than any of my loved ones.
We followed up just a few hours later, but the movers were already done when I got here. 10 minutes before I rolled up to the door. The timing was perfect because if I had to look at the messy back of a truck any more, I would flip bat-guano-crazy out. Movers paid, showers taken, food eaten, lights out.
Here are some pictures of our trip and first week here in sunny Venice, Florida. I am so happy.
My daughter watched the sunset; she was still and quiet. As we got up to head home, she looked me in the eyes, “I am so thankful to God.”
Not to me. Not to her parents. Not to anyone or thing but God. That touched me so deeply. That’s what you want to hear as a parent. Not pats on the back of “You’re the best, Mom.” But deep-down gratitude to our Savior and Provider.
But lots of things don’t hurt.
I am easily overwhelmed or amazed.
You like sunsets. That sunset is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I love sunsets. Where’s my camera??!
You like writing. I can’t stop writing because I’ve never had a voice and this is the only chance I have to say all the things I’m feeling before I die. And if I write every day that I have left, I still won’t have said all I need to say to the world.
You had a bad day. I had the worst day in my entire life and I have to find the will to continue.
You have issues. I have mental illness coupled with anxiety from complex PTSD that makes good days rare and bad days merely survivable.
I feel things deeply. Maybe too much. But thank God for deep feelings. Or I wouldn’t be a writer, artist, actor, designer, photographer, caretaker, sunset-lover. Thank God for my sensitivity. Or I would be just: average. I’d rather feel too much than nothing at all.
You get me.
This isn’t a competition. Sorry.
And if you think I’m too hard on myself?
Some people aren’t hard enough.
The truth is out there.
We just have to be willing to say it.
This is an imitation poem of Wordsworth’s I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud. Same amount of syllables in each line and follows the a-b-a-b-c-c pattern in the stanzas. I started this poem in a college creative writing class in 1995 (it had a different direction then, I was too young to finish). Gah! So long ago.
I was wrapped lonely in a shroud.
This veil of silence sealed my thoughts.
When all at once, I lived out loud.
Finally cut my tangled knots.
I’m free to swim and find my way.
Searching for a glimmering ray.
Under the ocean, lost in waves,
Grabbing for air in panicked gasps.
Rolling around this sea of graves,
Spitting out endless, hardened rasps.
Tossed upon the rocky-black storm,
Nothing but pain to keep me warm.
Break the surface-a flood of light.
Nothing familiar, no one near.
Erupt to shore like birds in flight.
Collapse in the sand without fear.
I made it–not just to survive–
To taste the world and come alive.
Plant my flag and settle the hurt.
Find the shells that echo my heart.
Wash away all the grit and dirt.
Burning the past is oh-so smart.
Now all the ties lies have come undone.
No race un-run; no war un-won.
I wrote this poem several years ago for those who are in the process of grieving. It was a hard time in my own life when I was not in good health. The picture I took in 2009 in Sarasota, Florida on Siesta Key Beach. Best beach and sunsets in the country IMO. You are welcome to share with those who may be mourning an important woman in their life.