manna

i prayed that God put in my mind those things that he wants me to write about and every morning, like manna, the words are waiting to find me or be found.

it is my job to gather. sometimes, i don’t have enough hours in the day or a basket big enough for his providence. my hands, fingers, pens, keys, screens, pages runneth over.

thoughts float down like sweet sticky buns from heaven. proficiency and abundance are divine.

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My past DOES define me.

I hear the buzz phrase, “Your past does not define you.” Even I thought this sounded like a good mantra. At first. I might have even said it a few times. But, my past DOES define me. For better or worse.

Running from your past is like that old saying, “Going nowhere in a hurry.” You can’t forward your future until you address the past.

I grew up poor. Near a small town, in the country on 20 acres, graduated from a class of 65 people.

Maybe not poor. Maybe just so far in debt that I had to choose between difficult things. And, I didn’t wear name brand clothes. My mom made most of my clothes by hand. That, at least, put me in a different category.

Other category pushers:
My father was emotionally and physically (infrequently) abusive. I was overweight (of course). Often teased. Often at the bottom of some chaotic, emotional barrel of feelings. Struggling to have a voice of any kind in a farm community full of rednecks and intellectual infants. I was (am) a girl/woman (not always a plus).

These things define me. They are my etymological birth. The source of all my words. I can write today because of what happened or didn’t happen in the past. I thank God for my past.

My whole youth can be summed up as the jump ball for the tip off of my adulthood/writing career. A frantic scrambling to find my voice in the elbows and sweaty armpits of rural America.

Now, I am free-throwing and making it swish from the top of the key. Thank God I had to scramble.


I lost my voice, the strength of it anyway, a coupla years ago when I had my thyroid removed. They cut through muscles and nerves to get through to the organ. It can effect your vocal cords. I was hoarse and genteel for months. Totally unlike me.

From a young age, I have been identified as the loud laugher, talker, whiner, live-r. When others tittered, I guffawed. When others whispered, I announced. When others went about their feelings in a shy, reserved way, I emoted all over the place.

So. To be made relatively mute for months on end? THAT was a struggle.

I joined a local community theatre production, even when my voice wasn’t fully healed, to exercise the shit out of said vocal cords. I struggled again, this time for my literal voice.

I honestly thought my voice was ruined. I had no volume and no ability to inflect. But it came. My voice emerged. I rebuilt my annoying, distinctive, loud, full-flavored signature.

But that’s what I was doing all those years ago. Fighting for air, time, attention, my voice. I certainly found it by exercising my mind. Flexing my writing muscles. Clearing my thoughts. Coughing up all the bad stuff to get to the sweet, well-trained music of good writing.

If you met me in person, you might think, she’s pretty tame, dull, quiet, shy. But that’s just the surface. That’s just the public wall that’s been graffiti’d by others. There’s a garden behind those gates. A well-tended garden kept by me. Plunking away at the keyboard, digging out rows, mining for richness, turning up the past. Seeds of words flowering into thoughts, emotions and ideas–volumes of deep-rooted life. This is my courtyard. The sign says WELCOME.

You have to push past that gate. Be patient enough to know me.

Welcome to my past. It defines me. All that you read here is real, honest, beautiful. Though some starts out as dirt, hurt and manure.

I am, in fact, employable.

I got a job. Finally.

After months of looking and trying different things, I found a job. A good one. It’s only part-time, but it’s a start.

I’m driving for a medical courier company. Locally owned company and super friendly people to work with, even at the medical facilities.

I rode for the first time yesterday and everyone seems nice. You basically pick up bodily fluids (blood, urine, what have you!) from the doctor’s office and deliver them to a main lab, downtown, at a hospital. I won’t mention names since it’s confidential. And everything is sealed, bagged and kept in a cooler, so totally safe.

I’m not thrilled about being in a job that uses so much plastic, non-reusable bags and gas-powered vehicles, but this is the job. It’s super easy, flexible and pays well. I wish I had an electric car, then it would be even more lucrative and better for the environment. Maybe in the future I can afford a gasless car. That would be great.

But in spite of the impact on the environment, I am providing an essential service for patients. I can’t believe there isn’t a better way to transport lab work, but I don’t know enough about the industry yet to say. It’s 2017 though. Where’s the jetpack lab service we’ve all been dreaming about? Or on-the-spot blood and urine analysis with micro-biobots? Is that a dream everyone’s been having?? LOL

It’s something to pay the bills, get us by, and not have my soul slowly sucked out of my body in a mindless corporate atmosphere.

Plus, I start tax school in just a few weeks and that I’m looking forward to. I don’t support the current tax structure, but it’s what we have and I can’t wait to understand it better. I can still attend the school for free and it fits with my new schedule. Awesome!

And, of course, I’m going to still try and get Crafty B Designs off the ground again, start my party planning adventures, write my socks off. 🙂

It feels good to be productive again. To have my brain and body back. To find my determination and exuberance as well. I had them in my 20s. I missed you, Life.

I do have some really bad ear and jaw pain right now, but not enough to slow me down. I have a doctor’s appointment September 28th to rule out thyroid cancer residual nodules in my lymphnodes or such. Fingers crossed. Hopefully it’s just some weird sinus/ear tube thingie that’s easily treatable yet annoying as heck. And hopefully they won’t require a lab sample! LOL They would make me take it to the lab myself, I’m guessing.

So I’m no longer Taxi Beaver for people, just their fluids. ;D

Darling

It takes hardened guts and skill
To pull down these brave words.
Threaten darlings with heartless kill,
Take aim at these poetic birds.

Point at the sky.
Claim what is mine.
Mourn without cry.
Stiffen my spine.

Stalking prose, hunting prey.
Speaking dreams aloud.
Talking about those beasts we slay,
Writing for bloodthirsty crowd.

Craft in a world of dog-eat-dog,
Writers and words on sale.
Lost on a sea of Hobbyblog,
Drowning in a flood of fail.

I want a voice.
I’ve got my pen.
Made my choice.
Please, God. Amen.

Blah-gging

Writer’s block
Watching the clock
Slinging schlock
Ship in dry dock
Sunk like a rock

Day in/day out
Full of doubt
Nothing to shout
Flailing about
Like a hooked trout

Wanting to surprise
Those reading eyes
More than lies
Or compromise
Attempting to rise

Can’t stand by
Have to try
This chicken will fly
High in the sky
Dogged do or die

One day I’ll win?
Or chuck it in the bin?
Take it on the chin!
Begin again.
Fin (The End) 🙂

New Questions

Buckets on a Barefoot Beach nominated me for an award. These are new questions, so I wanted to answer them. Plus, tag her because her blog is cool. I’m not following the rules, but I don’t mind. Do you? 🙂 LOL

  • What is your favorite time of day? Blogging time. 🙂
  • If you could trade cell phones with someone for a day, who would you choose? No one! I like my phone and its amount of calls. LOL Maybe I would trade with the Dalai Lama? LOL Or the pope. Or some Australian outback rancher?
  • Which musician would you sing karaoke with? Tom Waits? I’m assuming I could keep up and not sound horrible. Plus, he sings a song with my name in it–Martha. Plus, he’s not a bad actor.
  • Which fictional character would you have tea with? Mad Hatter? LOL How about Atticus Finch?
  • Which historic figure (someone who has been dead at least 20 years) would you like to have as a teacher? Jesus.
  • If you were going to spend the afternoon with some spokesperson from a commercial, who would you choose? Matthew McConaughey (Lincoln commercial) Alright, alright, alright!
  • If your life was a TV show, what genre would it be? Reality. LOL
  • Where would you NOT host a secret meeting? McDonald’s
  • If you were a TV weather forecaster, what would you call your show? Meteorology with Martha
  • Which historical figure would you play a board game with? Gandhi
  • If you had speech bubbles (like a superhero), what color would the text be? Black (I’m Batman.)

I Heart You

Science book illustrations taught me that the heart doesn’t look like the symbol we all
know and draw. It looks like a wadded up dish rag. A fist-shaped muscle, an engine valve on a sports car. But it actually does look like that candy box of chocolate, sometimes.
It looks like a heart when it contracts. It squishes down and forms that cutesy, homemade Valentine’s Day card.
That’s when the heart is empty. No blood. Well, very little.
It squeezes in and squirts out all the juice. So basically, the heart has to work to look like a heart.
If it just lays there and doesn’t do anything, it just looks like a big pile of silly putty.
My heart wasn’t working. It was tired. I abused it. I was dying. August 2012, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of 39.

I could blame everyone else. I could. But I’m the one who starved it. Beat it up. Ignored the fading pulse of life.


So we put the heart in place of love, right? Mary loves John. ❤

We put a heart there. So you wanna know my theory regarding love?
You can only know what love looks like when you actually use your heart. Take a risk. Go out on a limb. Love someone first. Flex that muscle.
We can’t know love until we lay our heart on the line. Our heart isn’t alive until we use it.
A heartbeat. EKG. Charted heartbeats on graph paper. Highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Up and down and everywhere in between. Sharp waves of life beeping out over a loud machined monitor.
And what does it look like when there’s no more breath or blood? A flat line.
Nothing’s happening. You’re dead.
I would rather have the high peaks and low valleys. Rather than dead. Rather than flat, silent space.
A heart at rest can’t do anything. You can’t love passively. A heart in action gives life. A big, pumping, flesh-and-blood organ races at the sight of food, flesh, fear. Love. Beauty.

A heart on fire makes things happen.


My heart is getting stronger. Every day.

Hot Beach Trash

Photo credit: Guy Maggio


We recently went to Sharky’s Pier. A well-known tourist trap close to our home. Everyone goes there to look for shark teeth. It’s the shark tooth capital of the world.

It was interesting, but stinky. Dirty. Smelly. Because of all the tourists, visitors, beach-goers, fishermen, pier-walkers. It was filthy, full of cigarette butts and trash.

We arrived and walked out to the pier. The breeze way structure, where the restaurants are, is nice. Cool, shady, fountains. Boiling pots of seafood. Shops. Nice.

The beach and pier were a disaster!

First we walked on the pier. It was the end of the day so the trash bins were full! Gah. Looking down from the pier into the shallow water was cool. You could see fish and things. But it was a long way down. Me no likey looking down from any height.

Next, it was so sunny, we decided to go on the beach, check out the sand quality, look for shark teeth and see what the water was like. Cool off under the pier.

We took a picture and quickly left. Duuuurrrrty. Too busy. Old guy in a Speedo. BYE!

So, we can finally say we’ve been to Sharky’s Pier. I prefer our private beach. We can see the pier from where we are. And that’s close enough! 😀

An ode to Hot Beach Trash
(WARNING: DO NOT READ WHILE EATING OR ABOUT TO EAT!)


Dirty diaper
Rotting fish guts
Leftover hot dog on a bun of hair
Vomit
Flies
All on fire in the setting sun
Inside a hooded (wish it was sealed) trash can.

Will someone please empty me???

Oh, Beach Trash Can. I’m so sorry your life is one hot, steaming pile of mess.
If I could, I would draw wings on your sides so you could fly far from here.

Thank you for your service.

Will someone please empty HIM???

Ah, lovely day at the beach.

Beach!

Went to the beach this morning at around 8 am. Saw a bobcat!!! Beachdunegrassycat! Bobcat Beachthwait. OMG!

I’ve lived in Missouri my entire life except for the last two months and I’ve never seen a bobcat. 44 years old. And I saw one this morning on the path to the beach! Eeeeek! Freaked me out, but it was so cool. We kept our distance. My husband said he thought he saw a coyote the other morning on the way to work. We live in a densely packed neighborhood. WOW! Did not get a picture, he was too far off and I like my face where it is.

I’m a country girl, so it takes a lot to surprise me. But this morning was very cool.

Had a great time at the beach. Bobbed around in the ocean. Did not get mauled by any beach cougars and found a coupla cool shells. Got some sun, exercise and my mojo’s rising.

Have an amazing day! I know I will.

Grilled hamburgers for lunch! 😀 Yay, Saturday!