Harvesting Gold

White knuckle

steering wheel hold

combine fired up

dusty

bold

gotta beat that late summer storm

burn every precious hour

and wait til later

to mourn

I feel the earth rumble as the farm machinery all begin to grumble. And behind every, little bit of it sits the farmer. Scouring the fields. Slapping a cap on a rock hard thigh. Burning a row.

Only one more hour to go

Sunset’s coming soon

Time to harvest that gold.

~KendraLynn 9/21/18 ©

Photo borrowed from Pinterest.

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Wildflower Heart

years ago

I let the seeds

fly from my numb, limp fingers

grasping so long

tendrils of a cardiac beat

syncytial rhythm

tachy

reedy

incomplete

ear to earth

memorizing the sound

of rebirth

seeds planted

dreaming enchanted

envisioning

letting go

deep in the heart of me

ever glow

fields once burnt

crisp with grief

now flourish in my heartland

my wildflower heart

started

with my outstretched hand

*****************

~KendraLynn 7/1/18 ©

Quiet Burn

I was on my way to work this past Thursday; a winding, country road with fields of farm animals lazily roaming about. In the distance, I saw a plume of black smoke.

I had the radio singing comfortably loud, but everything became hushed as I drove nearer to the smoke. A house, fully engulfed in flames.

I don’t know why it caught my eye. Perhaps because it was a stark contrast to the peaceful surroundings. My mind envisioned this home before the fire; the family that made it a home.

I noticed all the cars whizzing by. How life goes on, regardless. No fire trucks to be seen. The emblazoned silence held me captive. I drove on. Like the others. Life. And all of it’s precarious happenings quietly burning; a clock on the wall stuck on 7:43 am.

The quiet burn; smoldering heat encompassing everything. Flames licking photos; melting memories; melting walls. Crumbling. Tumbling. Beams crashing down. Everything held within shattering.

**************************************

~KendraLynn 7/1/18 ©

Photo credit: Random pic from Pinterest-photographer unknown.

Smoke & Mirrors

It’s a shadow slowly creeping

daze full of false smiles

nights full of weeping

friends ask if I’m ok

I say I’m

fine

inner demons

silent screaming

mine

for the keeping

I have bouts of depression. In fact, I’m in a funk now. No. I don’t say that to garner sympathy – only awareness. A couple of years ago, I battled PTSD. I overcame that. Painstakingly. There was a full year, I literally felt like I was sleep walking. A year of being in a daze. I slowly woke up & began the arduous task of cleaning up my waking life – to slowly feel fully alive.

The PTSD has subsided. No more nightmares. No more migraines that would last for days on end. No more stumbling over thoughts & words.

I never took medication for my PTSD. I battled it on my own – for my own, personal reasons. Last September, I decided to quit smoking and with the advice of my physician, I went on Wellbutrin.

Finally. I was addressing not only my bad habit of smoking – I was addressing my lingering side affect from PTSD… mild, chronic depression.

Everyone who doesn’t suffer from depression, lovingly suggests depression medication. It did not work for me. I am the 10% of the population, where depression medication actually makes my depression worst.

I immediately stopped taking the Wellbutrin AND quit smoking. Thank goodness the medication did work on quickly zapping all desire to smoke.

I came away thinking I was out of the woods. Maybe I wasn’t actually depressed.

But there were still times I felt exhausted for no good reason at all. Sluggish. Wanting to sleep the day away. Overly sensitive. Crying when my life on the outside should have me smiling from ear-to-ear.

Depression.

It comes on at the oddest, damn times. I’m finally at a point in my life where I’m not only dreaming, but my dreams are coming true.

Depression.

It isn’t all of the time, but enough to make me stop & write this blog post. Enough to take my poetic verses into hiding & I become more depressed. Where I question everything I think, say, and do.

Depression.

Hell no, not everyone around me knows. It’s enough of my own, personal stigma; I keep the darkest parts locked up, where only I can see it. Why make everyone around me depressed, as well?

Depression.

If you were to ask me right now “Kendra. Are you ok?” I’d say…

I’m fine, Love. Truly, I’m fine. Don’t you worry about me.

Depression.

Tomorrow could be completely different. I could be happy & carefree. Well rested. Me.

Depression.

The smoke & mirrors

the big parade of

I’m

Ok

At the end of the day, it’s my responsibility to heal. It’s my responsibility to find the vibe that truly vibes. I love my friends & my kooky family, but there are still parts I hide of myself. My opaque mood is definitely what I hide.

Until now.

Maybe the next time someone asks if I’m ok, I’ll say “I’m working on it, but sometimes it’s a struggle. Depression gets me every now & then.”

And maybe, just maybe

I’m not the only one

And we’ll get a real conversation started to wipe those foggy mirrors.

~KendraLynn ©

**photocredit: Pinterest. Photographer/artist unknown.

***to those that would suggest I take a different anti-depressant- I urge you to do some research. For myself, simple ibuprofen makes me tired. My body simply cannot handle medication stronger than Tylenol***

Shattered Pane

I’m drawn

to the withdrawn

the lonely

the confused

to the elderly who sit so quietly – swallowed up by their wheelchair; hand idly fiddling with thinning hair

I wonder what their life was like

before

the confusion came like a slow & steady storm

their thin form

blue veins throbbing

time ever creeping

robbing

their glassy stare

wondering of neither

here

nor there

how their mind now wanders restlessly to that time so long ago; craggily voice belting out a vaudeville tune; fingers scratching the air in search of harmonious notes

oh, their mind

that catacomb of forgotten memories

their abandoned home

to which they roam

with the broken window

the shattered pane

eyes forever gazing down that 1,000 mile country lane

~KendraLynn 5/9/18 ©

*photo credit: Pinterest general search of “abandoned homes.” Original photographer unknown*

In Dreams

I was 6 months pregnant when Dad passed away suddenly April 10, 2010. Since his passing, he’s visited me 4 times in dreams. 3 dreams, immediately following his Wake & funeral. The 4th was today.

We weren’t always close. He was an alcoholic when I was younger. I resented that & the time alcohol took away from us. In my late 20’s, Dad cleaned himself up; he completely stopped drinking. In my early 30’s, I took the time to study him – his past, mostly. I finally understood why he drank. And I chose to forgive him.

He rarely spoke of his abusive father & mother. His childhood was snippets of stories that he carefully chose to tell. It was hazy snapshots of a child that would learn on his own what it was to be a man. This would create a bond in us that goes deeper & further than Heaven.

He had a tendency to visit me at unexpected times when he was alive. He’d show up with a distinct huff & then laugh & then hug me.

His Wake was like a dream gone terribly awry. I was numb. I remember sitting at the foot of his coffin – greeting everyone with an abnormally happy countenance. After each person passed me, I’d look back at Dad; reassured that I could still see him. He was gone, of course, but I was still in shock.

The day of his funeral was unusually bright & sunny. I walked into our family church & was hit by the sight of his closed coffin. I broke down & sobbed.

That night, I cried myself to sleep. 3 am, he came to me – not in a dream, but his ghostly presence. I awoke to him calling my name. Through half opened eyes, I saw him standing at the foot of my bed. As soon as I sat up to see him better, he slowly vanished.

The other dreams in the days following his death, were of him coming to tell me he loved me.

Today’s dream was different. I got my haircut & I remember distinctly thinking “I wonder what Dad would think of my haircut?” It was a sharp thought that came & went. I settled down for my afternoon nap & thought nothing more of it.

He’s wearing his favorite coat. The thick, blue jean Carhartt coat. Why is he taking the blinds down from the kitchen door?

He turns & fusses with them, but doesn’t see me. Mom is doing dishes. I’m on my way downstairs with a load of laundry. My brother’s cleaning the back porch.

It’s just how Dad liked it. Harmony. A symphony, really. A family moving in unison, without fuss or muss.

He sits in my chair at the kitchen table & that’s when I stop to stare at him. He bypassed his Captain’s chair.

Does he see me?

Wait. Is this before his death? Is he still alive? Is this a continuation, of sorts?

God? How long do I get him before he goes back? No, don’t tell me. I’ll just end up crying.

I touch my hair & he looks up.

“Stop asking questions & just enjoy the visit.”

His lips never moved, but the message was as loud as him saying it

I woke up. The nap was over.

I had to sit & really think this time. The dream was so vivid, it was as if I could slip into the kitchen & still see him sitting at the kitchen table. And then I smiled.

This time when Dad visited, it was when my son was born & now 7 years old. He not only saw my hair – he saw his grandson who resembles him in so many ways.

I absolutely adore his visits. They used to make me overwhelmingly sad, because I thought it was the last. Each one. Now having my 4th visit (dream), I’m comfortable in the fact that Dad has a happy niche in Heaven with a squeaky door that allows him to visit me on Earth. Always unexpected & forever welcome.

Dad: 9/8/1936 – 4/10/2010

Photo credit: Random “Kitchen table photography” from Pinterest. Original photographer unknown.

~KendraLynn 4/7/2010 ©

The Code

It was a normal day. With normal sunshine, normal time, and normal noises. I sat next to my elderly friend, we smiled & she looked deep into my eyes – as if seeing a truth no one else could see. I smiled. She nodded.

I flowered her with compliments & told her she was strong; that I admired her strength.

“41 years divorced, dear. Single mother. Strong’s not the word, but I do thank you.”

Not the answer I expected. My face showed my confusion. I had her prerequisite response perfectly formed in my mind, you see. A simple thank you. A back & forth of compliments that tend to fall flat, now that I think of it. Her response forced me to pay close attention.

“You know, don’t you dear? Single. Divorced. You’re doing it, Love.”

Again. I was surprised & felt like laying my head in her lap for comfort.

“41 years divorced” she said. “He was a bad one. I picked a bad apple. Had to leave. Simple as that. Beat my son so bad, he almost died.”

I stared at my 80-some-odd-year-old friend. I wanted to change the subject. I sat frozen.

“You know, don’t you dear?”

I finally responded. “Yes. Took one time & I was gone.”

She smiled, shrugged her shoulders, and smoothed out her hands. I pictured her then – 41 years ago. Her screaming child being beaten. Her trying to stop it. Her son going eerily quiet. Leaving in a mad rush when it was finally safe.

I looked at her & she was staring at me intently.

“Of course you know. You always have. We both did. We still do. We know. One can just tell.”

I responded “It’s in the eyes.”

“Yes, dear. The eyes.”

She shrugged & I said “It’s a code.”

“Most definitely a code.”

Like lighthouses

we respond

to every storm

large or slight

a sweeping signal

silent

yet so bright

it cuts through

fog & mist

twist & list

beacons

for battered souls

to find refuge

to see a shore

that at one time

seemed too far away

My darling friend is more than a survivor. I have yet to attach a word to her. Webster doesn’t have 1 that will suffice. She encompasses strength & grace. She is humble & elegant.

I wish I could put into words how today’s conversation makes me feel. I cannot. It’s so deep. I have a myriad of emotions, just thinking about it. And I will quietly let you, the reader, draw your own image or emotion.

~KendraLynn 2/26/18 ©

Photo credit: unknown. Photo found on Pinterest.

The Creation of You

I needed to make sense of it. As a survivor of domestic violence, I needed to make sense of why I chose my abuser; why all victims choose their abuser. On the outside, none of it makes sense. Looking on the outside, it seems like self sabotage. I kept wracking my brain with the why of it all.

Survivors of abuse can sometimes fall in the trap of asking “Why didn’t anyone stop me from making that detrimental choice?”

Could it have been prevented? I look back on my life & realize – I would’ve still chosen my abuser, despite anyone trying to stop me.

I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. There was something remarkably & tragically broken in me, long before my abuser stepped into my world. I needed a cold shot of earth shattering reality to wake me up to my best potential. I needed to land flat on my ass, bruised & shell-shocked – to finally see myself as worthy. If it wouldn’t have been my abuser, it would’ve been something else that would have most assuredly woke up.

And let’s discuss regret. I read too many posts from survivors of abuse who regret their past. I understand it, but it’s such a dangerous emotion to reel in.

I cannot be thankful for my life now, without being thankful for the tragic events that helped shape me into the person I am today.

I’m most definitely not the same person. I was shaped & reshaped; molded; folded; wrinkled; labeled; declassified; justified; reshaped again – into the me sitting in my kitchen writing this post. Before the abuse, I was not right. Why the hell do you think I chose my abuser? That’s all I thought I was worthy of – wrong love.

So, to the survivor that sits in his / her inner realm – thinking they’ve made the biggest mistake of their life – I want to tell you you’re not looking deep enough. Look deeper.

You were created

to be the best you

not defined by another

defined only as you

thrown into the fire

coal to diamond

prism now sparkling

no further reprimand

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just babbling. Maybe no one will understand or comprehend what it is I’m trying to convey.

I just know that I was created into a better person after surviving my trauma. It is no longer the black cloud of doom that hung over my head – or the mumbling insanity of never being worthy during one of my sleepless nights. My tragedy has become my blessing.

Not only did I survive – I now thrive.

I am emotionally & spiritually strong because I survived abuse.

I see myself in a new light.

I now work on goals that never before mattered to me.

Regret? I don’t believe in that diminutive concept. It’s too restrictive. It serves no purpose. And it means that my entire life leading up to this point was a waste. Wrong.

Some vessels that take us into our true self seem weird, or stupid, or pointless. It isn’t until the tragic event has long passed, that we get the lovely opportunity to look back & appreciate it for what it was designed for – a blessing. A blessing of creation.

~KendraLynn ©

Erasing a Soul

Yesterday, I got a call from my son’s school. He’s in 2nd grade, so my mind quickly ran through a list of “I bet it’s this…”

  • Fall on the playground
  • Disrupting class
  • His tooth came out?

The school nurse got on the phone & told me a 1st grader that rides the same bus “beat up” my son; cut on 1 cheek & a bruise on the other. My heart sank to the floor.

Apparently, the bully 1st grader has been a problem since he entered into elementary school as a kindergartener. The school nurse reassured me that the “bully would reprimanded.” Again, my heart sank.

I cannot get this 1st grader out of my head or prayers.

The school’s action plan clearly is not working. Since kindergarten, this child has come to school mad, ready to fight, acting out; intimidating other children. A full year later and nothing has changed- it’s only getting worst.

What is this young child experiencing at home to make his innocent heart lash out?

I’ve heard people say, “Some kids are just born that way; without a soul; without a conscience.”

No. Some kids are abused & neglected the minute they enter into this world.

Some kids see so much anger & violence at home, they think that is the norm.

Some kids are not allowed 1 moment of innocence.

Some kids have their innocent thoughts lashed at & abused so much, their soul begins to dissipate.

The bully is 6 yrs old. He was 5 when his actions were noted by the school.

Besides a report in his school file, what is the school doing? What can a school do?

I’m positive the school has notified the boy’s parents every time. And I’m 10 times more convinced that the boy goes home to a darker hell every time the parents are notified – and his home life is probably darker than we can imagine.

What are the resources for child abuse? Report it? DCFS? A social worker sent to the home to “monitor” the parents parading a charade of their adamant attempts to love & care for their angry boy? Would school counseling help? An after-school program? Can the school even provide any of this, when they’re already financially strapped?

I ask these things because there is a chance to change this boy’s life for the better. He’s so young & still highly impressionable. There is an opportunity for intervention. Are we all missing it?

I ask, because we cannot have another Columbine High tragedy – or another Sandy Hook tragedy.

I know there’s hope. At the end of yesterday’s school day, as the kids were loading the bus, the bully stopped at my son’s seat. He quietly asked to sit next to my son. My son was not yet ready for that & I completely understand that (I’m still working on how to fully discuss this with my son & have no clear answers, honestly).

Children are not born without souls. The children “without souls” endured so much abuse at such a young age, it vanished right before our eyes.

And that’s what makes me want to cry.

~pics from Pinterest~

~KendraLynn ©