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"Fifty-Five years I've waited", he sighed
to the reflection he saw in the mirror,
"for the chance to be what I wanted to be
When I was younger.
When I was thinner."

"Opportunities knocked when I couldn't hear
I got short-changed, and it was all out of fear
Now I'm outnumbered by grey
where my hair still is growing
and everywhere I look now, my wrinkles are showing!"

Then a small voice implored
like a pixie outside his bathroom door
"Hey Grandpa, can we play some more?"
The old man smiled and shook his head
and the sad reflection he saw shifted and fled
With a shrug he discarded the loss and dread
And gratefully chose to be present instead.

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Ripples

Step into life's river
feel the cool rushing stream
and get into the flow
of "what all of this means"
walk the banks, find the stone
that feels good in your hand
chuck it hard at that river
and see where it lands
let your stone skip on water
let the ripple reach the shore
But if you jump in to swim
there's more...
there's more...

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Internet Disease

Another pill?
Another hope?
Too bad the only thing that works is dope.
I can't deal with this shit
Life is sucking too hard
Like George Burns, drink in hand, on a loaded cigar
Fuck Facebook
Fuck Snapchat
Fuck Trump's Twitter feed
In fact, fuck all the internet 'til it bleeds
For as much as it helps
it creates the disease!

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The Forge

If my thoughts were a chain
that encircled my mind
glinting golden in sunlight
on my temples entwined
It would be painfully evident
for all that could see
the fine crafstmanship
of my self-defeating reverie
I bend all the Golden Rules
into links when they apply to me
Then I wear them down the runway
like my heart on my sleeve
And no key exists
For there is no lock to free
the bondage I am in
was forged infinitely by me.

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What If

Can I glide like a bird
on the thin wings of verbs?
On a chariot of subtle sounds
that click succinctly inside my mouth?
Can I SOAR?
Should I try?
Is there an end to this liquid sky?
Can I reach Our God with my sincerest will to fly?
Will he hear me?
How can I know
what it truly feels like inside, to let go?

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My dad taught me how to love
In his unwavering devotion to my mother. In the way he loved, honored, and obeyed her decade after decade. In the way he put her first above all others. In how he always deferred to her. And in the way he engendered her to be just as equally devoted to him. In the way he still acted like he was in love with her, 50 years after they married. They were one. They were a unit. And his love for her was golden.

My dad taught me how to love
In the way he never gave up on his children...even when each of us might have deserved it. He still was there to catch us when we fell. And he lectured and loved us back to health again. No matter how many times he warned us it would be the very last time...he never, ever- ever...gave up on any of us. He unwaveringly showered us with unconditional love and lectures. He showed me how to be a parent. He set the bar for that...and for a lot of things.

My dad taught me how to love
In his sterling work ethic. In the dogged passion he gave to his job. Always showing up. Always being there. Taking the lead, being the one they could rely on. The love he gave to his work was equal to his effort in anything in life. He always did his level best.

My dad taught me how to love
In the way he stuck to his morals. He did what he thought was right. He held true to his beliefs. He gave his best effort every day to be a good person. He taught me how to love in his loyalty. In his adherence to his promises. In his honesty. He gave me my code of ethics.

My dad taught me how to love
In the way he acted like a total nut for his dogs. He utterly adored and pampered each and every dog he owned over the years. He took them for haircuts. He gave them little plates of people food at night. He treated them like children. That's why they all lived so long. I think he may have loved them more than us kids. But, there is no way to prove that now.

My dad taught me how to love
In the way he never lost his sense of humor, even in the face of adversity. It was subtle. Often tongue in cheek and ever so slightly judgemental. Like he found us all just a little hilarious in our struggle. My dad had a way of smiling when he talked. Like he was trying to keep a straight face because he was laughing at some inside joke. He had a way of saying "No" that let you know for certain he was internally rolling his eyes. His sense of humor was strong and it was always there. Hiding right underneath his sunglasses. You could rely on it.

My dad taught me how to love
Every time he encouraged me to create art. When he gave me my first set of pencils and a book on how to draw cartoons. When he took me to my different activities growing up, and even into adulthood. When he shuttled me around to my events. When he gave me pep talks and told me to try harder. When he pushed me to have the will to succeed. And even when he used reverse psychology on me when I would come close to giving up...because he knew it would make me angry enough to try to show him what I'm made of. He showed me how to love by always encouraging me to be exactly who I am. Minus the clutter.

My dad taught me how to love
By being a tremendous grandfather. He extended the same love he gave me and my siblings to my children as well.

My dad taught me how to love
In the way he was selfless in just about everything he did. He was the rescuer. He was the gopher. He was the fixer. He was the messenger. He was the quarterback and master of disaster. If you needed help, you called dad. And if that didn't work, just call mom, she'll put up the bat signal...and the sandaled crusader would arrive. He unfailingly showed up to help. He might gripe about it...warning us that the day would come when he wouldn't show up. But, as always...he would still be there. No matter what.

My dad taught me how to love
In the way he practiced this same devotion to his entire family. In the way he was there for his parents as they grew old, or for a sibling or extended family member in need. It was just how he was. Constantly working. Constantly on a project. Constantly on a schedule. Constantly helping someone...and when he wasn't doing that he was building things for Mom. He ran at top speed his entire life. He never stopped working...and somehow, it seemed like more often than not it was in service to others. The time he found for himself he devoted to gardening and his wife. He spent his whole life, doing everything he could to take care of his family. That was his whole world.

My dad taught me how to love
In the laugh I saw in his eyes every time I attempted to check my oil or do anything remotely mechanical. In the way he was always trying to teach me. Always sharing stories. Always trying to explain to me why I needed to do this or that, or how something works. In the way he could in 20 minutes describe in detail step by step exactly how an engine worked without ever pausing to say "um." That is some serious love there. He really...really loved to master the understanding of how things worked. And if he didn't know, he troubleshooted tenaciously until he figured it out. Like the time he spent almost a year trying to figure out why my car kept randomly dying. Thank you Dad for figuring that out before you left. I would be so screwed! ...My dad taught me how to love fixing things. How to love finding a solution. He taught me that special thrill you can get when you bend something to your will and make it work.

My dad taught me how to love by always holding me to task for my actions. If I screwed up, he would unfailingly let me know about it. When my Dad said "Jeanne Marie..." I knew I was in trouble. Big Time. I'm in for a 2 hour lecture at least. He had a level of behavior he expected from me and my siblings. And by holding us to those standards, he did us a a huge service to our character. He actively took a hand in shaping who we are today. He instilled in us his values of kindness, generosity, responsibility, honesty, hard work, and passionate dinner table political activism.

My dad taught me how to love
In the tenderness I felt from him during the last year of his life. The way he lingered to talk to me more often. Or gave hugs more. Or tried to make me laugh for no reason. In the talks we would have about life. In the pride I saw in his eyes when I did something well. OR..when I did not destroy the car.

It is for all these reasons and hundreds more that my dad's loss is a gaping wound in this family. But he taught us one thing. And that's how to be strong in the face of adversity. And so one way or another...we will figure this out. Just like he would try to do. I love you Dad. You weren't just a father. You were a best friend to me. You are gone, but I know you are still here. And I know in my heart, you will be there to welcome me home when I pass through that doorway as well.

Daddy

There is no end to this abyss
I fall down deeper the farther you float away
My true heart of hearts
My hero, please don't leave me

Flashes of happier days
My childhood memories are like diamonds now
Oh my God...
How can i live without your smile?
Your laugh?
The pride in your eyes when I did something well...
Dammit.
Dad, without you I am in Hell

You are my rock, my shield, my unconditional love
Will you watch over me Daddy?
From wherever it is...way up there?
Surely your goodness earned you a place somewhere holy

Will I ever make you proud?
Will I ever live up to your standards?
How?
How can I live without you now?
How can I fix anything at all...and who will be there to laugh when I try?
Who will be there to hold me when I cry?
Who will be there to help me feel safe inside?
Who will I tease at holiday meals?
Who will lecture me when I screw up?
Who will always be the one to show up?
Who will make me laugh like you again?
Who will be there to take care of my Mommy?
Who will be there to lead the way?
How can my heart keep beating on this day?

You were the very best of me...
The source of the strength that helped me succeed.
The one who lit the fire that helps me achieve.
Will I ever, ever, ever work as hard at my goals as you did?
Why did you have to go?
It wasn't your time to leave...

How can my heart take another sword?
So many these years, yet this cuts like no other.

I am so angry you were robbed of your years
My heart bleeds forever that you suffered so
I am inconsolable.
I feel so alone.

Soulmates

"Soulmates" © 2017 Jeanne Decklar Fine Art
24" x 24" oil on canvas
#MJ #MichaelJackson #MJArt #MJFam #art #oilpainting #painting #illustration #PrincessDiana

The Light

I am surrounded
I feel the walls of darkness brush against my skin
A malevolent pressure
Growing and gnawing
As it tries to force me to crumble
to bow down, to give in
I wipe the sweat from my brow
My heart weakened by the strain
And drawing one last breath
I listen…to the silence…

Then renew my resolve to live again

I open my eyes
And see beyond the darkness
to the Light
It is there, in me
I have it inside

In that moment, I transform
And change from within
My heart beating faster, I glow
And I win.
I am the diamond
Formed from coal
I am the broken heart that has become whole
I am the light and love and color of my soul
I will drive out the darkness
With my will, I will grow.

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Connection

If I could take my brush to canvas
To paint the way your words make me feel
and manifest into reality
This energy and connection
I can feel inside of me when I meet your gaze
If I could conjure and create
The way your words fill me with awe
As I recognize myself in your prose
Subtle revelations that light up the darkness
Warming my blood as they take my breath away
I would have to reach out to the heavens
And pull down the stars from the midnight sky
Mix my pigments with stardust
For no color in the rainbow shines as brightly
as you do.

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Catharsis

Catharsis - 20x24" oil on canvas
© 2017 Jeanne Decklar Fine Art

Surfacing

"Surfacing" © 2016 Jeanne Decklar Fine Art
20" x 24" oil on canvas



Floating toward the surface
I exhale every cursed dream
Letting go each memory to an orb in the water
like a prayer in the night,
reaching for the light to meet God
I separate you from my blood
Leaving my lungs empty at last
When my skin meets the warmth of the sun again
You will finally be gone
And I will fill my lungs with hope
and cry, "freedom"
No more drowning in your darkness
I lift up my soul to the light
And let it shine upon me
Whole, unbroken.

-JMD

Karma

The love you give will be magnified
just as the pain you inflict
will become a cut within your own heart.
We are One...
The light and the darkness
at the heart of it all
What you believe, what you think
the power in the words you speak
the energy of your actions
reverberates and paints the world around you.
Breathe love, speak love, give love, think love
FEEL LOVE, and be the light in the darkness.
Reject in all ways the harm done to you.
Stand against the pain and frustration and sorrow
Fight against the desire for revenge.
Meet the force of the blow with the love you have inside
for you reap what you sow—
and Karma will take care of the rest.

-Jeanne Marie Decklar

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Madness

I know we’re doomed
We repeat these words every day
I know there’s no hope and yet
My heart forces me to love you anyway

I can’t control the heat I feel inside
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone
I can’t control the desire I feel for you
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone

I know we should stop
While we’re still on this side of madness
But I can’t now it’s too late too late
I’m in Hell, I’m already in love

And I know this fear we feel
Is the wall we need to break
How can something so magnetic
Be the thing we cannot take?

I can’t resist your words
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone
I can’t stop the sparks that fly
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone

Control me, fill me with your energy
Let me connect again with your soul
Just hold me, I can’t bear for you to leave
I need to set this light inside me free

I know we’re doomed
We repeat these words every day
I know there’s no hope and yet
My heart forces me to love you anyway

I can’t control the way you pull me
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone
I can’t control the urge that moves me
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone

We can’t stop what we both know is too much
We opened Pandora’s box
Succumbed to what lay inside
You and I
Never realized the power when our forces collide

Your soul and my soul knew, we set alight the glow
Hit each other hard with gravity
Now we can’t stop the wheel that’s set in motion
The pain we both know we soon will bleed

Because I love you, I love you to madness
You love me, you love me to madness
No choice I can’t stop what’s happening
You tried but you can’t stop what’s happening
It’s madness, insanity
We collide inside we know I’m meant to be with you
But you can never be with me…

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Scream

If I could scream loud enough
To equal the roar
The crash of the waves I still hear
If I could make you listen to the vast ocean of apathy
The deafening silence
That lingers in my memory
If I could ring out the sound
that echos in my chest
the pain I felt
the years of desperate hopelessness
the sound of destruction
of fear and distresss
the profound and echoing emptiness
THE LOUDNESS OF THE ENDLESS LONELINESSS
that I felt each time he uttered my name
You'd go deaf and dumb but you are anyway!
Everything you think
everything you say
every single word of blame
everything you are is built from shame

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Wishing

Half of me wants to die
The other half wants to live forever
I hate myself
And love myself at the same time
I need love, but I can’t find it
So I serve myself on a platter to those who would feast upon my bones
As backwards way to stave off my hunger
I can’t get what I need
So I take what I can,
And then I find myself here
Again and again
In this moment of love and hate
Loathing and regret
Longing and hoping
Wishing for life
Wishing for death

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rose at my feet

To the rose that climbs
from my feet like a vine
to the the awaited life that lies before her
I give to you all my love and devotion,
my truth and guidance,
will and emotion.
Within my station
I will set you in motion
with my steady hand
I will calm our ocean
You are my life.
And never again will you feel alone.
I am here as always,
your twin, your own.

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My love

I remember the day
you stopped mattering to me
the day those papers were signed
that decreed I was no longer your mate-
no longer bound to you by law.
I could return to the name I had when I was pure
and unfettered by your grief.
I was one again known as a woman of my father's clan,
and no longer shackled by the collar I acquired at your behest.
In an instant I was free.
Oh, your ego convinced you
that you mattered beyond that
but you were mistaken.
I watched your cheap whores writhe beside you
simpering, bragging, looking me in the eyes while they kissed you on the lips
trying in vain to incite me to jealousy
always chagrined by my lack of response...
stymied and stuck within their remedial crowns
invariably convincing their shallow intellect
that I cared about their open displays of ownership.
When all I was thinking was...

What exactly do you own?
You can have that wretched man!!!

They incredulously thought
that I was moved by their wanton hands against your skin,
when in reality
I felt utter indifference
I felt total apathy
I felt less than nothing.
Revulsion.
Because to loose you was to loose the devil.
To let you go was to be reborn
To leave you was to live.
Because I had cut the lifeline.
With my molten sword of defiance I dug in deep
as I drew a line in between the subhumans and Me
and defined a limit to my willingness
to care about my abuser.
With a definitive motion, I completely detached from your control
and nothing was left
but my stony stare at your conscienceless presence.
No love. No feeling. No Nothing.
So similar to our sexual encounters,
You spurted out your apathy and filled me
as I stood in the stark reality of your cruel nature
And in tears accepted, I had married a monster.
No, your lowlife bitches...
they never understood
that my heart, my soul,
my loved died so long ago.

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The Apple

I've been everything
and nothing.
I've been the proud Queen on your arm,
and the hated ball and chain chafing your ankle.
I've been the wretched monkey clinging to your back,
and the cowering slave beneath your fist.
I've cradled myself in the emptiness
of your embrace
and tried to fill it with enough love
for both of us.
I've been killed by you eight times-
buried deep in the bitter soil of betrayal and loneliness.
Felt your dirt dig into the bleeding wounds on my flesh,
festering and stinging
until the last breath of devotion left me.
Slowly, as I felt the cord break
I rose again.
A scorned woman. Half alive, half dead.
And unwilling to be branded as your wife one day more.
For eight years I've slept while awake;
a year for each time you murdered me,
as the scars you ripped into my heart slowly healed.
I became a silent painted mime, duplicating the motions of living
with deliberate, methodical grace.
At first fearful to stand, then learning to walk again.
Willfully regaining my youthful dexterity
while I scraped my toes on the face of the mountain
and with each risked effort, found my footholds.
I rediscovered the proud woman I used to be
prior to you draining the royal blood from my veins.
I walked forward, struggling to accept loss,
floating in a pool of your apathy.
Lying in wait.
Believing. Hoping.
Until abruptly, the fog broke.
Like the crack of thunder shaking a silent summer night,
I heard my daughter cry out my name,
and felt the hidden anger like a rain of napalm
fall and ignite an holy fire within my breast.
Her need fueled the strength
that years of unfairness had welded into the muscles of my biceps.
I grabbed my child, and I took back the last bit of love
that two years ago you ripped from my arms...
Not but because you loved her,
but because you love to win;
and while reveling in your absent soul
you wickedly desired to kill me once again.
I took back the child who delivered swift disappointment
as she blossomed into womanhood
and made you realize, in irony
that to look at her, to talk to her...
was like living with the Ghost of Me!
No, you are right
the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Thank God.

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Digital Desert

I am standing in the middle of a desert.
Hot sand shifting and crumbling
destabilizing my fragile sense of balance,
as it scorches the once supple skin of my heels,
burning away the callouses that have formed
from a thousand miles of lonely walking.
I take in the stark environment around me
And slowly turn a full circle,
my arms outstretched, hoping for rescue
but not a soul can be seen with my naked eyes.
I am alone.
The jagged mountains loom
like ominous observers in the distance,
staring me down with narrowed eyes
and expressions of vague disapproval.
They watch me, but they do not speak,
instead they lean into one another to whisper.
I stick out my tongue at them
and as I do, I feel the cracked skin
as it drags and catches the bleeding scales
across my withering lips.
I need water or I will die
And there is none to be found around me.
Not even a mirage.

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SOLID GOLD

Never thought this would be you
never thought this could be us
I thought that you knew me better
thought that you were somehow different
Cuz we were Solid
yeah we were Solid like Gold
you had to know I loved you true
and yeah I sure believed you knew
I thought you thought the same as me
that we...
that we were Solid
Solid like Gold
I never thought the jealous whispers
could change the way you see me
never thought mere words could violate
could mar what you and I knew
'Cause we were Solid
Like Gold
Oh yeah but solid, it ain't digital
real solid love is physical
but wait - I am the vault of trust
...yet you can't trust me now?
Hot Damn make up your mind!!
quit turning silver all the time!
because I'm Solid
Like Gold
but this game of pain we're dancing here
It's really growing old
I can't stay if things remain the same
how long you gonna hate
for some bitter words said on too much to drink?
I can't believe you act
like you ain't never done the same thing
like you and me, we don't exist
on the same plane!
Yeah you talk to me
just like you walk on water!
Like you never made
a single damn mistake in your life!
like you ain't never said some stupid thing
you wish you could re-write
just like you're the utmost perfect thing
that ever walked in life!
BUT we were Solid
like GOLD.
And no you never knew what you really had
until you turned it cold
CAUSE WE WERE SOLID
SOLID LIKE GOLD
You hurt me now and I can't live this way anymore
I can't take the cold you give me
I can't take the pain of being
less than how you used to see me
in your eyes
See, I ain't never lost my value
NO, NOT TO ANYONE BUT YOU!
BECAUSE I AM SOLID LIKE GOLD!
you may wish you never met me but
God Damn I can't be copied
and I'm always gonna be the one
you treated bad...BUT STILL GOT LOVED!
you're never gonna break me, no matter how you try
because I'M SOLID
LIKE GOLD.

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Wide Open

twenty-two years of hurt and shame
and painted on smiles to hide the pain
not worthy of love, not ever again
but if I could make the world laugh
then I could pretend
God would welcome me to Heaven,
just like them
choked in a cloud of bad memories
I chose the wrong time, like I always do
couldn't hold the pain inside anymore
I cried out in the safe place I thought was you
I let go, said the words that nobody knew
but unconditional love is too good to be true
now my heart is broke wide upen
and my all my love is bleeding out
my heart is broke wide open
with no way to undo what has come about
nothing can make me seem perfect again
too many words now spoken
I stepped out onto the invisible bridge
and I prayed that you weren't joking
Confessed what I needed so badly to say
but these words were best left unspoken
I cried out the hurt inside of me
and my heart was broke wide open
no one there to catch me as I fell
too many trusts now broken
I cried out the hidden truth of me
and my heart was broke wide open

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True Love

I don't care if anyone reads
and I don't care if anyone hears
I'm saying this just for me
to put an end to all my fears
if I can't be loved by me
I cannot be loved by all
And staying here is not loving me
It's loving a happiness
that used to be

And now I see...
That the best way to love my self this day
might be to just walk away.

Those who truly love you
do not force you to feel alone
So why would I stay and linger
in a silent and cold home?
I seek an unconditional love
that these 'friends' no longer give
and I need to love myself more than them
if I want to truly live.

Agony

Love is the sweetest agony
It is a blade that cuts us deep
into the marrow of our soul
and the healing caress
that can empty an ocean of sorrow
It is the chains that bind us
and also the wings that set us free
It is the force that gives us strength
and the crux of our greatest weakness
Love is one and also the other
A duality and an irony
It is the endless aching need
that can never be satiated
and the life and death of us all

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Stalker

Stalker stay out of my sunshine
Bitch, stay out of my rain
I don't want you to know
a single damn thing
I'm not standing on stage
on a spotlight display
I'm changing the rules
What I do what I say
I want to starve you to death
My life ain't your food
Leave me the hell alone
Find someone else to chew.

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Conditional Friend

Friend, why must you build me up
only to tear me down?
Why bother inviting me in,
only to shut me out?
as you open the door
and then order me to stand in the rain.
How can you give me this precious gift of you
and then take it all away?
No, it's not OK.
What a cruel pendulum of love,
this ominous mountain I must climb
yet I willingly attempt it every time.
Steady footholds to prove I am your friend
to reach the brilliant summit of your trust
but instead I falter and fall from grace
and it all turns again to ashes and dust.
I am not built of wizened perfection
these flaws you have found are part of my reflection.
And this dignity you say I lack
yes, the courage of my resolve is to get it back.
But the irony astounds me...
for I loose it if I attempt the climb once again
to prove my worthiness
to such a conditional friend.

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I Wish

I Wish

Standing beneath a sequin sky
With arms outstretched as you once did
I embrace the air and the spirit there
And I wish for you to never leave us

Are you out there in the ebony night?
Dancing somewhere, shining bright?
Still the light, the eternal spark,
The glorious heart of joy and love
That woke a sleeping world?

As I gaze toward heavens I cannot reach
The stars assemble to form your smile.
All too swiftly hidden with a tip of your hat
And a turn of your nimble feet,
In the precision that only you were capable of.

My heart can see you there before me
As you manifest in a spinning glow.
There I marvel and wish all the world could know
What you meant to us...
And the breath of life that you still are to me.

I wish I could exhale this love I feel
And fill their lungs with your oxygen
I wish they all could understand
Us die-hard fans who will always be here
Dancing to the rhythm of love you left behind.

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Reflection

Weeping within the stark reflection
The mirror reveals a lesson to be learned
From wasted moments taken for granted
In the foolish season of invincible youth
The lines walk across his leathery skin
Like the paths he wished he had taken
Each leading to the lingering gaze of regret that remains
Seeking out in vain the industrious man
That experience and time erased

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Sleep

Sleep
A warm embrace
Of dark and silent loneliness
This familiar retreat
Into another world
Where all is not lost yet
And you might be there
Strange how familiarity
With pain
Can actually become
A comfort
One day perhaps I will stay in my dream
And my waking hours will become the thing I cannot remember.

Words

An arrow drawn and taut
With a whack hits my back
Like a sprung slingshot
Unexpected and searing
Abruptly armor piercing
Just a whisper
A murmured phrase
The cursor upon which I gaze
Words can heal or cause pain
Bleed a wounded heart
Again and again

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Childhood

CHILDHOOD

I inhaled deeply the familiar musky odor
Of the old tire baking in the sun
As it swung low on the humble tree
Dank road soot dusted the rubber
Like dirt on a fresh mushroom
A lazy metronome
Ticking the time between yesterday
And forever
I stretched out my stride
As the gingham billowed across my knees
Smiling widely at the sky
My twittering thoughts full of wonderment
And my loyal heart empty of sorrows
Oh that I could bottle this innocence
Seal it tightly with a lid
And store it in the cellar of my eternal soul
That I might remain always the captive firefly of my childhood
Instead of escaping into the darkness of adult cynicism

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Exploring Empathy

What is Empathy?


Empathy is often confused with sympathy. But they are two entirely different things. When one sympathizes with a person, they feel pity or sorrow for their situation. Empathy on the other hand is an effort to put ones self into another persons shoes. It is a concerted attempt to understand a thing and share the thoughts and emotions that arise from it.

When we empathize with each other, we share our strength and solidarity. It is a way of saying, "you are not alone". If a person is feeling sadness, we can show this special way of caring and lift them up. This is an important part of who we are as an species, and marks the uniqueness of the human spirit. In this sharing, we can combine our strength and use it to lift each other up.

Empathy is not limited to just a person to person situation. It is something we share with animals and the earth itself. We can share this with societies, religions, and social ideas and values. And in fact, it is a force we can use for change. Because when we exercise our ability to empathize, we share our combined knowledge with those around us. And knowledge is power.

The key to healing the world is by understanding it. By seeking out people, places, and things that are different from what we are accustomed to, we can expand our minds. Imagining ourselves juxtaposed with someone different can create for ourselves a library of resources for how we view the world, each other, and our own lives in general. When we begin to understand that which we previously did not, we loose the fear we have of the unknown. Hate is an emotion born of fear, so when we empathize and use our amazing minds to absorb and truly understand the why's and how's of each other, we can begin to resonate a unity that can only be found through this learning process. And in doing so, confusion and discord can be replaced by harmony.

At the root of all empathy, is love. And love knows no boundaries. It crosses all barriers of race, gender, social status, age, and political affiliation. When we practice empathy, we are practicing the gospel of love, and as we all fundamentally know as human beings- "Love is all we need."

"Like the old indian proverb says, Do not judge a man until you've walked 2 moons in his moccasins." - Michael Joseph Jackson, King of Pop

The Top

a teetering top at the end of it's spin
was all 'twas left of me
till an angel came, took me under his wing
re-spun and set me free
without his gentle hand to hold
without his often loving scold
how would that old turn have unfold?
where would I be
where would I be...

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At The End of It All

I'm a mirthful battle-tried warrior
I stand alone, bent for sure, but unbroken
at the end of it all...
brushing off from the fall
at the base of the next mountain to climb

Fate spun it's tempestuous storm in my way
Lashed out in a fury to lead me astray
but at the end of it all
I still got my way
I stood tall and defiant and I'm here to stay

There's no force that can take away my joy
for peace of mind is my wisdom and gift
at the end of it all
I am solemn but strong
I have become the unmovable monolith

Try to break me!  I challenge the breeze
You can't shake me nor bring me to my knees
For I am the wind, the earth and the trees
I am one with it all
I've become all I need.

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The Living Dead

You whip me with your words
While your fear holds me in chains
Drowning in your life
is the neverending pain
I can't escape your love
its the kind that makes me bleed
You break me down,
then build me up
but never to set me free
Always controlling and cajoling
undermining and witholding
Demanding pure perfection
for a withered carrot of affection
I am starving here...
and yet I'm overfed.
I've become the target for your blame
Throttled with judgments
and pierced with spears of endless shame
I try to break free but you're in my way
You don't want me to leave,
you want me tamed!
Locked in a box where you can choose
a miserable life for me
that that's just like you!
Filled with all the loss and bitter regret
the loveless life
of the living dead

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Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

I've reached the point of no return
then crossed it and come back.
I've hit the wall of defeat so hard
that my body bounced as it smacked.
I've brushed against the turbulent winds
that swept me off my feet,
I've played the tape a thousand times
watched it all and hit repeat.
I ran the track for so many laps
That I've actually finished first AND last...
the trick was to do it all at once,
and somehow, I also managed that!
I used my wings to fly the nest
like an eagle on the wind,
fell to the ground, buried six feet down
dug out, and jumped back in!
I've swam the deepest ocean
filled with endless aching tears.
I've drowned and come back up for air
repeatedly for years.
It's a sucker punch...
a dead end score.
I've been here forever
and one day more.
To remain this way, is to fall on my sword
and I'll be DAMNED if I stay here till I grow old!
but nothing changes, if nothing changes I'm told

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FLY

Don't quiet the voice
let it speak aloud
let your hands write the words
of your heart
let your soul rejoice
in the creative tongue
let it come...
let it come.
Step into the light
and out of the shadow
fear not what you hear, but allow it,
allow you to be what you feel
and feel what you are
for your soul is a light
a shining bright star.
Fall into the the rythm of life and its passion
being yourself is always in fashion.
You are what you are, you must not deny...
you must fly.
Fly!
You must fly.

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An Invincible Heart

They may shout their sharp tongued words
and try to cut my thin and fragile skin
with empty headed verbs
they may aim their arrows at my chest
draw back and shoot their very best...
but every time the arrow hits
it splinters, shatters into tiny bits
for nothing can pierce this mighty heart
Invincible, it beats apart
all hateful words that come it's way
for love will drive all hate astray.

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