Stripping away the rose colored glasses of denial concerning my reality. Getting in touch with truth. Reaching out to others in empathy concerning their reality and their walk to truth.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Moving the Bugaboos

In my life there have times when despair seemed to be my middle name. Crazy ideas hung out in my left ear, twisted ones lived in my right ear; bugaboos moved in everywhere and I was depressed, down trodden, and feeling yucky.

The stuff had lived for so long in my head; they were now taking over my heart. What could I do to make them stop bothering me? I sat and listened to my personal resources. Those happy things I like to do to keep me from dwelling on sad and ugly stuff. (Like writing, painting, drawing, photographing, and playing on my computer.) I also typed to friends in a certain portal that offers some mental health coping skills.

Then one day I listened as a resource friend talked about her project that keeps happy events at hand. It gives her comfort and helps change her attitude. I could do something like that, I thought. A “happy box” or whatever it was. Only I was going to do a sad and ugly file on my computer. Slowly and carefully I would begin to remove every negative emotion that gave me a problem. I would stay positive by giving all the thoughts a nice-looking home.

So I found this photo that I’d had for a long time. I know it’s the imaginary play land of “Harry Potter”. No problem, this was my choice to send the old bad bugaboos to. So now I have a computer file I call “Hogwarts” and it even has sub-folders inside.
Really bad stuff goes to where the snake lived. Partly scary goes to Prof. Snape. Happy, but obsessive stuff goes to those crazy doors and stairways. That’s it. They all live in there as soon as I find one in my head! Nobody has been banished to the woods but you never know; it could happen. Muhuhahaha.

(dedicated to: d.s.)

Tiny Tyke suffers abuse from Head Penguin

Allo! Alistair Cookie here. Today I bring you a scathing tale of terrors. A narration so horrific, you will not believe… well let’s begin.

As many of you already know there are many holidays celebrated in the last month of every year. (Yes, it is already troubling me that I’ll have decades to experience this!) As per our schedule, Mom and I went to the shopping mall. You remember the big building with all of those stores and the Santa that no one noticed? (Ew) Yes that place, only this time, every shop was decorated. Hmm, they call it decorated. It was a frightening affair with lights of every color, bows, trims, balls, bells, and stuff I won’t know until next year. (Can someone save me from this?)

I call this place “Moms’ Mall” because of the huge amount of Moms that shop there. This time of year there are also Moms’ Moms. Oh it’s a big thing, this holiday super duper gimme time. Little tykes like me can end up sitting for hours on end in our strollers waiting for our Moms to finish grabbing packages! Then the packages end up dumped in my lap. Oh yes, make the tyke responsible for Aunt Martha’s peach cologne; a-a-a-achoo!

Just when I think it’s over where does Mom take me? Oh my yes, it’s the “Penguin Palace” dressed up in blue this year with pastel snowflakes and penguins of all sizes. Well, all of my problems are solved. (What photograph?) A terrible thing has occurred. My Mom wants a photo taken while I sit in a little scooter in front of the Penguin Place. (Didn’t we just go through this a couple of weeks back with the guy in red? Wait, did you say ”scooter”?)

Battery operated, the latest “Hasbro” and suddenly I felt that I could do one of those TV spots. (“Want to have fun; this is the one, drive ‘lil tyke bike.”) The head penguin placed me on the scooter with every intention of guiding my every move, but I carefully maneuvered my foot over his hand and, oops, there I went…………..*

The photo you see is of me, as I passed the backside of the Penguin Place for the second time. Oh joy of joy, I thought. Keep a good charge on your scooter and it shall serve you well. Hold on I’ll be back around and tell you the horrors of today’s narration.

Third pass and they yanked me off of the scooter. It crashed, I cried, and then seven more tykes cried. I could not believe they gave me that scooter and then took it back. What’s wrong with these people?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Christmas Snow

When I was a child, pictures like this were everywhere. Soft glowing homes casting shadows on the lawns; maybe there was snow and a snowman in the yard. A large picture window displayed a huge tree, obnoxious to today’s green crowd. No lights on the trim of the home, just happy healthy glowing windows that told of everyone’s presence.

I’d bundle up, run out to my favorite tree and climb it; catching snowflakes on my tongue until I got a big enough taste, to taste the snow. More, more snow, I wanted more snow than the ground could hold. My little red coat allowed me to be found even when I hid so well that time behind the old grape vine. One, two, three, you’re out and I climbed my tree and watched the shadows dance on the snow.

Family and friends gathered around and in every room of the house; when would they all leave? They would come to the windows to see the snow and their shadows would cast outward and ruin my image of the blue fairy next to the water pump house. Go home and I can go to sleep and when I wake I can open something wonderful. Go home now.

Rubbing my eyes, almost knocked back by the siblings, I search for my glasses to begin my trek to the living room. There stands the most marvelous tree in the world. I helped pick it out and the ribbon for the packages matched the green boughs that held shimmering balls. Paper was already being strewn around the room and watch up for whirling toys. One brother got a little metal car with foot pedals. One brother got a huge heavy metal airplane with black wheels. Where was my train? I looked but there was no box. In a small chair sat a doll. A large doll and I reached to touch her. I could feel the coldness coming off of her arm. Dear lord, she was dead. I was so repulsed I could not believe it. And where was my train I’d asked Santa for? And what do you mean, “Trains aren’t for little girls?”

I had lots to think of, went to my room and dressed quickly. “Trains were not for girls. Dolls were not for boys.” What did that mean? What was I? Was I a boy, wanting a train or a girl, wanting a train? What was the difference? Did it matter? It must have, because the very next Christmas one of my brothers got the train I wanted. (But I wouldn’t know about that until the next year, right?)

Feeling tearful and a bit let down I fled the whirling toys of the whirling boys and hid in my tree. I wore my old brown coat so no one could see me in the snow. I was just a shadow. I was just a shadow of too many things to come that would repeat this same scenario; “you’re a girl and girls don’t do that; girls don’t get that.” My Mom called all to a big brunch, stepping out onto the porch, called me from my tree.

My Dad said I couldn’t go back out to the tree the rest of the day. I needed to stay in and enjoy family. And did I like the doll that Grandmother had picked out for me? The look on my Mom’s face said it all. (Like: “Did you forget Santa signed the card?) I was elated! My joy returned in full measure as I realized that Santa didn’t bring me the doll after all. So what did he bring me?

Christmas snow! I sat there and thought, wow, he answered my wish. I’d told him on Christmas that I’d be happy if all I got for Christmas was snow! When I was a child pictures like this were everywhere!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a seasonal thank you

A seasonal thank you to the writers or blogs that contributed to my success this year.

The WordPress group of Dellis/Mohandas/Lighque: A Citizen’s Tools, Graymarq, Omegetymon, Ravenscawl, Saffron Sights, Thnq, VinYettes, YO’Pinion Therapgraphics Arts.
The Blogspot* and Zimbio groups

A Day in the Life: Dave’s Progress

A jewel shining through: Julie

A Moody Mind: Matt

Arch-ing, DCRELIEF, Fort Knox is Empty: dcrelief

Blue Duck Copy

Dispatches from the Jazz Unit; Not another headache: LoverofJazz

KLAHANIE, Mental Health Matters: Klahanie

Me & My DoDo, THREIO: Threio

Paige Mann


Tone the Blueshawk: Tony

Wait Tila Commercial: Veronda


Thank you for you inspiration and help. I wish you all much success in 2009!

Monday, December 22, 2008

a season of greetings:

Here's a thought

The Americans today had a thought! Yes, those Americans that reside in middle America. You remember, from New York to California, that one! Yes, well they have decided to encase Christmas and the entire “spirit of the thing” in a spherical time capsule and have it orbit the moon. Astounding!

It was a bit late to get it on this year’s shuttle mission list, but come April 2009, there’s going to be a real “Santa” hanging on the moon. All total, there could be as many as 42 spheres sent into orbit. There’s a Santa’s workshop planned, a nativity with sixteen farm animals, and a small amusement park variety of rides.

At “Nasser,” the American space officials were all excited, except for Herb Johns. Mr. Johns is concerned that the camels will need more water than the moon provides. Second in charge, Josh Brown explained that “we could bring in water from Mars as soon as we thaw it out.” (What? Don’t mention Mars?) Oops.

So there you have it. In 2009 those who celebrate Christmas can purchase a spherical ride to the moon and have their holiday there.

( says they will have tickets ready to purchase by July 2009)

post script: do not write me nasty comments or stuff; this is a joke!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A question I thought of

Why do I pick on me?

What is it that causes me to pick on myself, not allowing myself to experience great immeasurable joy? That’s it. That’s all I have to say right now.

Heal your regret

A small place,
a lone space
my prayers do I say.
Then seagulls come and join me
we rush to our play.

The sun comes up glowing
and gentle winds rise.
I stand on my own
yet learn from the wise.

Do not take too much
do not leave here cold.
Embers now glowing
will pepper your soul.

Return every time
your heart becomes wet.
And find all the lone space
that heals your regret.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Marmot Man

I’m a marmot man
From a marmot land
And I’m headed down this path to find some food

I got a little gray coat
And a couple of smokes
To light up when I wanna’ see Japan

There’s a berry here
Other berries near
But I’ll pick the one that’s closest to my mood

Grab your own gray coat
Catch a riverboat
We’ll be sailing up the river as we planned


Sometimes I cannot think.
Someone wants an answer and I don’t have one.
I might be lost in a small world, caught up in an old pain.
There might be a fog about.
I might be blank.

There are times that the damage I have suffered causes others to suffer too. They’re concerned and they write or call.
I cannot seem to stop hurting them with my damage.
My heart fills with compassion for them and I begin to let them go.
My mind goes blank and tries to forget the once joy.

I can never seem to play the games right.
No one gave me the tools to rein in my emotions, damn them all.
They jump me with both feet and their greed.
Poor misguided slobs in the world who hate children.
Hate them enough to make them learn blank.

Lucky Lochy

The Lochness monster came this way
One bright and sunny morn in May
I stopped to stare, up stood me hair
The Lochy swam in daylight fair

The Lochness monster talked to me
He told me of the sights at sea
Upon his back I traveled with
The Lochy was a Lucky myth

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A nice photo

I took this while I was visiting the east coast of the Carolinas. It was a cold day, but the boats looked interesting, still laid out for a trip later in the day? I didn’t know, didn’t care, and just took the shot; it’s pretty. The couple on the beach was exchanging words loudly. The gentlemen taking a walk was walking in a fast pace. There was nothing really outstanding about the end resulting photo, but when I saw it today, some two years later, it reminded me of the painful way I live today.

I’ve been foolishly trying to live my life online. Met people, lost people, wrote for some people, and tried hard not to get involved with anyone. How unfortunate to discover that no matter where I go I take me too. It’s not like I haven’t been told that I have problems; I’ve been told. I’m aware of the some of my issues. Lately I have to deal with them daily. I don’t think there’s a “go back” button and because I’m feeling responsible for my feelings, there is no going back. There’s death and then there’s healing; always more healing.

So let there be healing. I’ll ask for something when I want it or need it. For example: assistance in healing. I refuse to feel guilty when asking someone to help me. If they cannot help, then I move on and ask another person. Somewhere along the way there will be someone to assist. As healing begins to sink into my head I realize that I am responsible for my actions, especially abusive actions. I'm now doing what's been done to me and I hate my life. I hate the photo.

Ironically I am just as responsible for my inactions. Those things I tell myself I will do but don’t get done; like letting 156 photos hang in a computer file for two years? I’m tired of looking at nice photos and wondering why I can’t get closer? What inaction must I turn into action to be in the photo of my dreams?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gulls, piers, and pretty things

In North Carolina from whence I hail, is a shoreline so remarkably beautiful, that a glimpse brings me tears. A place I first “found” at thirteen and have seen so many times more than my age. (100 trips and counting) (LOL)

The seagulls sail along and will gladly snatch a cheese stick from your hand as they pass. At times two of them will chase each other for rights to the snack. Always calling, always hungry, they circle my head wanting more.

Sand in pinks and beige-golden tones adorn my feet as the sun rises, with a change to mauve and blue as the sun leaves for the day. My feet look pretty, on the sand, kicking up little puffs as I walk toward no where.

Piers and partial piers left standing in ragged condition after great ravaging storms; I photograph them all. In 100 trips I have easily seen and walked them all. To find one gone is to say goodbye to a friend.

Sand fences built to keep the Outer Banks home and support the wonderful sea oats planted to hold back time and sea. Oh to have the power of the sand fences.

It’s been almost three years since I was there in that most treasured home I love so. No one wants to go because they are not “beach kind of people”, preferring the mountains. But I am making plans to go there. I am going there and there are people waiting to help me see my beloved sea; my beloved Outer Banks.

One morning will find me sitting on the sand, facing the ocean’s horizon, waiting on the sun to rise. Waiting for that red ball, as it usually is, come up to smile at me in greens and golds. In tears I shall welcome the gentle breeze, listen carefully for the far off sounding rumble of water, and toss the first cheese snack to the lonely gull who sits beside me; there’s always one.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Merry Cookies!

‘Eelloo to everyone, Alistair Cookie here!

Lot of joys, lots of toys and all that hi-hip-hooray ballyhoo this time of year. Ohh, but if your children only knew the real truth about the man in the red suit… I tell you: he’s a cookie monster! Yes, come closer to your screen and listen as I reveal the sordid narration. You know how much I enjoy a great narration. Sordid, well, I think that’s the word Mum uses to describe the dreadful diapers. So we’ll sort through the sordid tale together.

Mum and I had gone to the local strip mall; one of those places your car careens off the road onto, and you park and shop. ‘Grammie’ had mailed the most glorious navy blue and white, attired, baby stroller. I was feeling dapper and all full of my loving little narration type self. Mum was wheeling me everywhere around the mall and I was quite the tease with those “pink stroller babes’! (“Hello, I’ll let you have a ride in my navy and white for a cookie? What? How rude!”) Some stroller babes are ridiculous. They throw you a toy or cookie and then scream for their Mum to retrieve it.

But wait! There he sat in the big chair, with that red hat and a large box of candy canes. Yes, he lured us, one by one, into that chair with promises of candy; yummy red and white candy, which all of the Mums precisely took away as soon as it left his hand. (“Oh what fun, oh, what now? Ooh, sticky baby time, that’s what. No one’s Mum wanted a sticky baby.”) The line was very long and I was there, trapped like a rat, through an apple, bottle of juice, those fun teething crackers, and 16 repeats of “Santa Claus is coming to town” blaring over the mall speakers. Why hadn’t somebody realized he was already there? Stop the music!

While I waited there was one sordid tale after another of children giving this man their cookies; well, sort-a sordid, I suppose. But he was getting a lot of cookies and we found out he does this world-over, whatever that means! So there, the truth is in your hands now. Don’t give this man your cookies. Keep them or send them to me. You'll find my address on the profile page.
Merry Cookies!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Great Feelings

Great feelings begin with acceptance of others
Give to ones that need sun to shine for them
Find a moon to cast a shadow across the land
Prepare a pool to catch tears for the one who is lonely
Follow the Jasmine scent of the night breeze
Find the lover who waits
Receive warmth by the crackling, hissing fire
Longing with heart to share and weep wisely
Walk through cool morning dew where the feet are chilled
Sweet juices flowing over the face in sticky joy
Watch the sky fill with sunlight
A gentle ocean comes to greet the sky
Above the clouds are chasing clouds
A bird flies over where sweet song
Awakens the morning man
To great feelings
To great feelings!
Great feelings
Begin with
Acceptance of others

Closure - an inside job

At the age of six years old I watched as an ambulance left the driveway below my window, taking my Mom to the hospital. I wasn’t too worried because the last time she went there she came home with a little brother for me. He was barely two years old, but what do six year olds know; Mom could have been having another baby, but she wasn’t.

She spent thirteen weeks, equal to three months and one week, on the psychiatric ward having shock treatments and God knows what else. I stared in unbelief the day we brought her home as she kept repeating to my Dad, “Take me back to the hospital; I’m not ready to come home.” He drove on, smiled, and sometimes laughed, and I wondered how he could be that way. I remember begging him to please take her back… and began to cry when he laughed at me too.

I knew things would never be the same because she was never the same. The bouncing, bubbly Mom I once had was gone. Instead a “mean woman” came to live with us and I began to hide and isolate from everyone. Long hours out in the yard proved to be the best hiding place, as no one bothered to come find me. I wandered from house to house, meeting other children’s’ Moms, just so I could feel loved the way I used to. Pretty soon those Moms were talking to my Mom and begging her to just let me stay another hour at their houses. Seems everyone wanted a little girl except the people at my house. They were busy being angry and throwing things.

When my Mom died it’s as if all of these issues came back to haunt me. What had happened to her to so change her spirit? Why did she almost hound me to stay close by, yet pushed me away? The answers I finally figured out took 40 years to come forth and I can promise you that I’ve been able to forgive her every unkind word and act. What was left was closure for me from me: an inside job. It would take learning about my own mental health issues and how empathy from others would and could help me mend. Though I might not ever be 100 percent, I will try and not let anyone deter me from seeking my goal; welcoming the empathy that supports my inner healing… and eventual closure.

then this

“The idea is to admit and accept that you're experiencing mental distress and that something needs to change. It is better to try and focus on solutions rather than letting the problem(s) overwhelm us.”

Three weeks before Christmas

Three weeks before Christmas, I stood at the road,
Surveying the house lights and checking the load.

Most strands lit up brightly, one hung down too far.
I stepped in the road, was struck down by a car.

The driver was nice and he wore a red suit.
I glanced in his car and saw tons of loot.

He had everything, from mixers to trolleys,
And bags full of toys, including small dollies.

The stars that I saw, when he hit me, were fading.
I thought of the task of my house light upgrading.

He had me sit down while he went to work.
The strand hung too far, he fixed with a jerk.

From a bag he retrieved in the back of his car,
He presented the most brilliantly lit golden star.

On the top of the house he moved like an adder.
I looked all around, but where was his ladder?

He danced and he pranced as he sang out with laud.
Dumbfounded I sat there and could only applaud.

In the blink of an eye he stood on the ground.
The leaves were all dry, but he made not a sound.

It was then that I noticed the white beard and hair.
My eyes must have widened, he laughed at my stare.

This couldn't be 'him', he didn't exist,
But I just had to ask; I couldn't resist.

I turned to say something and found he was gone.
Had I merely passed out right here on the lawn?

Later that evening my family came out.
I flipped on the switch and heard a great shout!

The tiny lights twinkled with nothing to mar.
The biggest surprise was the golden lit star.

The years pass by quickly, and the star's always bright.
There's no cord connected, no batteries for light.

Yet every December the cheers always jar,
And I think of the “'dream” when hit by that car.

The words he exclaimed when he left with his load
"Merry Christmas to you, and stay out of the road"

Monday, December 8, 2008


I'm going home! Finally away from this cold spot. Finally away from the wrong type of vacation. Finally to begin thinking about where my life is headed. Finally I can get on with the things I want to do. Finally just me and the people that appreciate my life. Finally, love for me from me. Finally I'm going home!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Like a football cheer from childhood: “lean left, lean right, stand up sit down, fight, fight, fight.” Just like the house in the photo: no matter where I stood to take the photo, it was always leaning; although the house was perfectly level. I fought, fought, fought to find a level area to take the shot, but no such luck. Once I got home I decided that I kind of liked the looks of the house leaning; so maybe my own leanings on the struggles I deal with are an illusion. Maybe they’re not crooked or leaning. Maybe they’re normal for what I go through. Maybe I have trained my perspective to see them as imperfect, or as less than perfect. Maybe I just haven’t found the level ground that says, “It’s okay to lean.” Does anyone understand what I’ve written? If so would you explain it to me?

~photo from Greencastle, Pa., by dcrelief

Monday, December 1, 2008

Heart of Time ~ a collaborative blog

Heart of Time: part one written by dcrelief

In this world where time is considered a commodity for chores, attending events, and working incessantly, I’m concerned that too few consider that the “inner being” needs our time first. The “heart of time” no longer runs our life for happiness, but makes as its goal ‘other world-centered agendas’. Yes, there are some very worthy causes to support, yet when did it become necessary to overlook our health to make sure the world gets its? Do we really want to run on, to and fro, not stopping to contemplate why we’re sad at the end of the day? Where is the block of time wherein the heart sings to us? After searching I came across a few who are taking care of themselves. In their healing and on-going recovery, from mental distress, their “heart of time” has let them know they possess gifts to pass on. In this collaborative blog, I share with you, my co-blog writer: “Klahanie, a man challenging his inner critic”; indeed his own heart of time. Enjoy.

Heart of time: part two written by Klahanie

Life is about priorities. We can get so wrapped up in material and day-to-day 'priorities', that we can forget the most important priority of all: Our emotional priority, our mental health wellbeing. So we put it off to one side. We choose to ignore the 'warning signs' that try to let us know, that something is wrong in our lives. No, instead we stress ourselves out; after all, we have to compete in the 'rat race'.
We can dismiss the warning signs that will unbalance our mental health stability. We can ignore our lingering concerns because our material, our day-to-day priorities take precedent. We do so at a cost that goes beyond any financial value. It is time for us to slow down, forget that driving force that tells you: 'I've gotta' keep up with the Jones's'. Your health, both physical and mental, is vastly more important than this bizarre competition that impels us to ignore the 'song in our hearts'.
Dcrelief knows the value of taking care of herself. She has witnessed others' who understand this same ideal. I do the best I can, the nagging ache of my mental health concerns will, never again, be 'filed under forgotten'. Now, I ask you to kindly think about yourself, take time out to cherish the wonders of the world you may have been too busy to notice. Now is your chance to be kind to yourself and pass that kindness on.

Note: Read more from Klahanie:

It's old; it's damaged, but still rocks

The story of my life lately is much like the title of my blog. I am old, I am damaged, but I truly believe I still rock! My vacation to the north country has proven to be most difficult. I am challenged daily on so many things it is like juggling balls. I am in contact with friends to help me keep positive and that helps greatly. (Thanks you guys!) And yes, this is the very red rocking chair that I sit in and watch snowflakes, children playing, glorious looking sunsets and clouds… oh and lots of rain recently. I will continue to challenge my own discomfort.
I hope you are watching things that give you enjoyment; maybe you’re rekindling an old hobby. Either way, take good care of you. Most warmly, dcrelief

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunbathing Birds

In a small adventure in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, I came upon this very tall tree. I’m not a photographer, mind you; I only tote a digital around and snap away. My camera was on point and ready to snap when a couple of birds flew to the limbs and perched. Hmm, birds in three different sizes kept coming to this tree, until pretty soon the tree looked to be sprouting new leaves. But I promise you there were no leaves on it at all.

The sun so bright lit up the birds’ bellies and they are bright and light too. Their sweet songs and chirps created a symphony of sound I wished I could translate. What were they saying? They remained in the tree’s highest limbs closest to the warmth of the sun. So it was I came to photograph the sunbathing birds.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Candles in the wind go out...

Candles in the wind go out…

Not to compete with Sir Elton John’s song, “Candle in the wind;” his song, speaking of a life lost to confusion. He admired the life that eventually blew itself out. Then he rewrote the song to show respect for the loss of another one. When is the wind strong enough to blow out the candle?

Recently I’ve been reading about other lives and their desires to continue living. They have a ‘driving force’ that propels them through the world they travel. They speak of recovery from various dilemmas and events that took some or all of their life away. Yet this ‘driving force,’ this motivational person, place or thing, took them to a level of wanting to continue to exist. The person, place or thing, ‘saved’ their life; like a surrounding wall protecting the flame of their candle in the wind.

So I wondered in my own way of wondering, which is flawed at best, but still it’s my own: what is my ‘driving force’ to continue existence? What keeps my candle glowing? What gives me shelter from the wind? …

My little computer cursor has been blinking for five minutes now, until I finally typed this sentence. I’m searching in my mind for an answer and I have none. Have I no ‘driving force’?

The wind has always found me. The wind has always blown out my candle. Then one day I just decided I’d only light my candle when indoors. Then when it got blown out it was because it was at the bottom of the wick. With that spent, I’d simply get another candle to light. So maybe my ‘driving force’ is simply to have a lighted candle? Maybe the realization that I can blow it out just as well as the wind gives me control? I don’t have any real answers today, but I bought a new box of candles.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Portals of Earth

When I found this rather curious ruin I wondered where the place was. It’s called “Glen of the Downs”, Wicklow. I think it’s a rather enchanting ruin looking out to the trees and meadow below it. The arched windows remind me of portals; stepping over and through to the outside and the adventure waiting there. A place of real existence in the land of Ireland calls me and I long to answer the voice.

Go through these portals of earth and where will you arrive? It almost appears as a place that time has passed over. Winding dirt roads, tall hedgerows, and the sweet stillness of silence greet each of us who transport ourselves to a time of peace. Shall we ever return? Why, lest we break the secrecy of this wonderland and lose the so long sought green freshness of pure life. I would remain for as long as possible, if not forever.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Words on a page are the same as a pencil sketch; limited in their scope of being understood, or worse, misinterpreted. One must use adjectives, more words, to view shadows and highlights, just as more pencil or charcoal enhances, or defines the sketch.

In my case I have always used photos to do what I've not had the capability of doing with words. I am not a word-usage descriptive, accomplished writer. I am a wordy artist. And as I sat writing away on a recent children's story I realized how inadequate I truly am at mastering adult composition; mastering the adult mindset. The children's stories always come easy because I still remember what it's like to be a child. My nieces and nephews tell me they enjoy my stories because: "Aunt D, it's like you're a child writing about a child." Yet my child-like ways have hurt me within this internet sphere of "meeting other adults and thinking they want to play."

If I am confused it is only because I live in a world few live in. I have a disability that extends to mental, emotional and physical arenas. I have done nothing to become this way. I took some prescribed medications given for 4 years and those were the disabling bullets that took the life I knew but cannot get back. Things will never be the same... and some days it’s not all bad. During those years of medicated torment I saw things you could not in your wildest imagination see or conceive. I saw, felt, touched, heard, and acknowledged a world of existence you have no idea is even there and eventually I arrived at a place so full of light and peace; I wanted to stay but purpose had me return to this place, where now, only my subconscious remembers what it is I returned to do.

In regal beauty... the red Gerber...bathes

An awe-inspiring flower did touch my heart one day
And though its beauty yielded radiance, I had no words to say.
I watched the petals form and fan in no short span of time.
While gradually I felt its power that swayed this regal rhyme.

A sprinkling of the rain fell softly and hung.
Round beads as golden glass on the petals they clung.
My eyes filled with wonder and small human tears.
This beauty before me was tender and dear.

A bath from on high caused the glistening and shine.
It prompted my memory to also be thine.
Put all of my trust in the lord of the lathe.
And seek my own duty… as the red Gerber… bathes.

Night Fishing

I knocked on the door of a kindly old fellow
And asked him the way to Deerfield Park
He smiled rather slowly and answered,
“Lady you’ll get lost out in the dark.”

Funny but the sun was sinking fast now
As I looked around I could barely see
He nodded the white-haired head slowly,
“Lady, do you see that tree?”

A low hanging limb reached the ground
Where rows of colored roots crossed the land
He turned and walked off without a sound
“Lady, take you time, the scene is grand.”

So I walked to the tree in a gentle wind
Night birds sang out in searching lark
A chillness in my shoulders and thought I heard
“Lady you’ll get lost out in the dark.”

I knocked on the door of a kindly old fellow
Got lost while camping at Deerfield Park
With a hot cup of coffee the evening mellowed
“Lady can you stay for just one night?”

I watched as the full moon climbed across the sky
Illuminating every tree in sight
Night birds picked a path on which to fly
“Lady grab the net, I got a bite.”


There’s a pain within me burning and I try not to let it show
I’m dealing with a substitute of what I used to know
A real emotional trauma caused closeness to slip away
Yet here I sit with years gone by and want to find my way

I’m challenging my every thought to put behind a certain death
That took a choice without my voice, threatening life’s dear breath
So day by day I visit those who help me feel the pain
In hopes that I will finally live to find the thoughts that bring me gain

Its one step here and one step there as pieces of my life returns
The progress of the heart and mind are a like a flame that burns
And I will know the love that’s left and give it time to grow
The love I would have had if I had challenged long ago

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Alistair Cookie: in my small world!

Hello, “Alistair Cookie” here! I invite you into my small world of small things and hope you’ll leave with the understanding that I am a narrator of great and marvelous things… that I am exploring… in my small world.

Now, let’s just take a look into my computer and observe the files I have under “tiny moments of happiness.” Oops I seemed to have misplaced my keyboard. Oh no, no bother, this is my small television! I wanted to be near the computer! I suppose we’ll continue without the computer since I don’t walk, and am actually quite ingeniously, balancing myself at this console.

So there! Our first topic for narration: finding balance and keeping it. Amazingly I have not pitched a small fit to be near the computer. I am learning to be content with the surroundings I find myself placed in. That is growth for most and a remarkable feat for those who’ve not learned how to move their feet in a walking motion; alas, some still crawl.

So there! Our second topic for narration: motivation and what gets you there. Often I feel motivated by the sweet smell of cookies basking in the glorious oven. Their aroma wets my small appetite and I crawl, yes, crawl to find the satisfaction I crave. Oh… but crawling and groveling may sound so pitiful to many of you: you always have the option to cry out and solicit help. In the end it is going to depend upon how badly you want a cookie, or whatever it is you’re seeking.

So there! Our third and final topic for narration: how badly do you want what you want? When “Fluffy” my beloved cat got in the way of my cookie goal, I accidentally grabbed his tail to propel me toward the path to the kitchen. I use the term “accidentally” loosely, as I was truly sorry later for thinking his tail might actually assist me in getting closer to the kitchen… and the coveted cookies. Later as I sat on the floor munching a cookie, I sought to share with Fluffy who seemed more interested in my toes covered in cat food from an earlier balancing, motivation thing; I realized how much Fluffy means.

So there! I might want something and really put out the cat, put out the screaming, and end up off-balance… and oh dear… I hope you get it. This is “Alistair Cookie” saying: good day! (Mom! Where’s my computer?)

Alistair Cookie: the great outdoors!

Hello again: Alistair Cookie here!

Not to be confused with a man I greatly admire:
[Alistair Cooke KBE, Order of the British Empire (November 20, 1908-March 30, 2004) was a British-born American journalist, broadcaster and presenter.

Though we are both gifted narrators, I hope you note the difference in the spelling of our names. If I interpret correctly he was a cook, whereas I am an eater of cookies, which someone else cooks! Delightful; however today I want to narrate my harrowing experience with the great outdoors.

Where to begin? I was sitting at the large glass door, looking out when I spied a most attractive bird splashing in our outside tubby. Oh to be there and ask if the water was warm enough. Quite suddenly the glass door opened and one of my bigger, little friends, bounced in to retrieve more juice… leaving the door opened!

The freshness of the air caught me by surprise and I leaped for the pathway to liberty. Crawling hard and fast, I picked up tiny stones with my fingers and ouch, it was terrible but I thought not to wail and draw attention to my flight into the yard.

Onto the grass and a softness comparable to my coveted blankie, greeted me; I felt right at home for a while. In my peripheral vision something akin to the buzzing of Mum’s dryer circled my head; a tiny something with little hands and legs, smaller than mine. Oh joy, I thought as I tried to narrate with him about the great outdoors, and to shake his tiny hand, whereupon he landed and bit me! Nasty and vile pain, I could not help but scream at the top of my small developed lungs: “uh…wowwwww!”

I, Alistair Cookie, will not let the small things get to me today, nor allow trouble to be thought, ‘hanging outside my door’. I shall go and find positive creatures to narrate to and rediscover the joy of sky and land. But first, I need to go wash off the cookie crumbs.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

To Our Blog

I wanted to blog and blog all day long.
While Yanni was playing I could not go wrong.
The keyboard would beckon and I’d start again,
With just one more post before the day’s end.

My treasure of photos and drawings by far
Assist in my joy to share without mar
I logged on and logged off so many times
To line up the stories and create the rhymes

I did not take typing, but taught myself how.
But still I am managing to get it all now.
There’s one single finger I seem to pick on.
When that one gets tired then that’s when I’m gone.

Its fun doing this who knew it could be.
I’m happy just writing and writing for me.
Mistakes have been made as I live in a fog.
There’s no time for that, let’s return to our blog…
To our blog… to our blog!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Living Fragile

Sometimes when life seems so fragile
A beginning feeling of peace arrives
From a source within and without
We bow our head
Acknowledge kindness
Receive the gift that helps us heal

We wrap the peace around our bodies
Longing for immediate relief
And find instead temporary solace
We bend our knees
Capture completeness
And let it work through all our days

Discover being fragile is not a curse
For peace will come and peace will go
From everything we are to what we will become
We praise the Creator
Everlasting love
Relieves our fear of living fragile

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fear of connecting

I can’t say it is ‘all my own doing’ when I fear a connection that might allow a closer or better friendship. There are times when the past failures or moments I’ve been taken advantage of, resurface. It seems to a repeating issue with me: leave before I truly connect or attach to this or that person, place or thing.

It was connecting that brought me to the blogging world. I wanted my brain and heart to connect. I wanted my heart to tell of things that bothered me or excited me, or upset me… and I wanted my brain to interpret those feelings into words. At the time resolution of any thing I thought was not an issue. Just put the dang stuff on paper and be done. I hadn’t yet realized that blogging was more than laying ink to page. It involved search engines and chances of the entire world having a peek at my zaniness. Though I was uncomfortable when I discovered that… it didn’t really seem as important as my realization that I could actually express myself. So my original intent of connecting heart and brain was succeeding.

I had never thought to define my connection as “talent” and it was a surprise to hear in comments that people liked what I wrote and how I wrote it. My first reaction was to shut down my blog site and run… so I did. I have actually shut down this site twice out of fear. I’ve come to believe that everyone can have a public place and still be respected. So I keep this site open, type away on my stuff, and occasionally bang out ugly things that give me relief.

I still panic sometimes, thinking that I’ve become overbearing, and that reminds me of other people I’ve had to fight. Or I become timid; afraid that the next person is going to be hurt by my actions or words. I am a mixed bag of ouch!

As I usually pick a photo, drawing or sketch to go with my posts, I wondered what would reflect this one. So it was that I picked the cable because that is the connection that brings you here, or takes me “there’. No matter what connections I work on, or the connections you work on… we are words on a wire. For those of you who fear connecting with me: you do not have to leave a message… try leaving a smiley face. Fight your own fear.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oh! Politics as usual

I used to write political posts
Until the day I saw the ‘ghost’
It carried chains and held them fast
The former leaders of our past

The good and bad, the almost sane
And many more that’d played to gain
The bombing ones, the shooting fools
Who let their weapons be their tools

Then as the past was gone for sure
Arrived today with more manure
Repugnant toys, demonic boys
All shout above the lovely noise

To carry on the plea they ask
That we forget about the past
Join our ranks, political play
Give the fun another day

Oh! Politics as usual

Friday, November 7, 2008

Let's not

Let’s just write and see what comes out, because I’m feeling frustrated and helpless with my own feelings. Inside I think that there must be something I can do to really feel good about this past week, but there’s not much to tell. It was a week of disappointments, loneliness, and crazy concentration of resolving my fears. I don’t know that I accomplished any of that… please note the prior articles of bunnies, deer, cute shaggy dog, and outspoken bird… do you see a problem here?

Let’s not focus on the issues I need to overcome or need to get over, or need to hang on to… lets’ not but say we did.

Let’s just analyze the entire trauma of being ignored in a certain place because my paranoia is free today. Normally I charge myself a dollar for every paranoid thought I have. You should see my savings. This past week alone could afford me a couple nights in a luxury bed and breakfast, provided it’s within walking distance and I don’t have to buy gas for my smallish mini-van.

Let’s not cry over being flipping ignored because I can’t make people speak or hang out a welcoming sign. Some might think with a name like dcrelief , I represent the great American capitol. No, that’s not it, but my paranoid thoughts are continuing to build me capital. Let’s not cry.

Let’s just be thankful for the friend or two that dropped in, commented in, emailed in, and all that in stuff. In spite of my less than happy attitude, they stuck by… but the weekend is here… will they come back? Lets’ just be thankful they were here at all.

Let’s not drive myself nuts because I blew the budget, got challenged by my doctor, had the wrong organ removed during surgery, and all that blown stuff.

Let’s just write or let’s not.

The deer and the hare

All day I watched them in the snow
Playing happily just so
A deer and hare; now could it be
Were truly friends, not enemies?

Flights of fur and lots of hopping
The day went on without them stopping
The sun came out and warmed the air
The deer was looking at the hare

Was it time to end their play
Continue on another day
My camera clicked, I froze in place
As they were touching face to face

I didn’t know if the shot was good
Remaining quiet where I stood
The two were bidding each ‘good day’
In such an awe inspiring way

I have no words that can convey
The moment took my breath away
In hopes I’ll look for them this year
The tiny hare and gentle deer

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Friends of the Heart

Recently I have been part of two different blog sites, and it is very nice to be a part of their world; enjoying and sharing our writings in hopes of reaching an audience of people who still care about our world.

Both blog sites are listed in my “blog roll,” so please take a look and read their adventures, disappointments, hopes, and “life is happening” stuff. I admire both writers, and hope you will too.

Klahanie: “a man challenging his inner critic.”

dispatches from the jazz unit: …a blog about entertainment and politics. or are they really the same thing?

Fall down

“Erika’s Place” painting 6”x8”, dcrelief

In the course of my day I can become overwhelmed by my thoughts. My familiar thing to do is just let them run on and on until, finally exhausted, I fall down.

Thoughts wash over me and I listen to make sure the walls of my being are not creaking and ready to crack under the strain. Would someone please get me out of my own way?

Lately I’ve tried to have more constructive thought; what helps me improve my life? I’ve been visiting new blogs, making new friends, and like what I’m hearing. There seems to be a real treasure in learning to practice having “positive anticipation” that some share.

At least I’m working on it. At least there are people who not only understand but they take time out to encourage where I want to be. I don’t want to fall down.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Abandoned Boat

“The Abandoned Boat” painting by dcrelief

I sat on the shore and sketched the boat that rocked gently between in-coming waves, threatening to take off again into that emerald water. In my mind I wondered if something amiss had happened to the occupants yet I kept on sketching as quickly as I could, fearing the chance would be gone any time, and I’d be left with my imagination to fill in the details. Still I itched to know who abandoned that boat and why.
Later in time, long after my painting was complete, I wondered about having abandoned my own life… my proverbial boat… those issues that I feared facing. For me: to give up seeking answers was akin to giving up entirely.

Today I decided that there are some things I may never have an answer for, and to continue depending on others is a waste of their time and an avoidance of what I should be searching for instead. My patience is weak and so I must turn and give it rest. To those who would follow me, I say, find someone worthy of your admiration and give your time to that blog site.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kate and the sand fairy

“Kate and the sand fairy” painting by dcrelief

One of my nieces gave me a call
“Do me a painting to hang on my wall.
I want lots of sand and a beautiful sea,
And a castle that’s small with a fairy for me.”

Large floating clouds that hide the great sun;
Reflecting its beauty and playfully done.
An ocean that threatens to wash into shore
And take the small castle with each foaming roar.

“And paint me in purple; I’ll lie on the beach.
Just like ‘Mona Lisa’, a slight smile in peach.
Can you place in my hand a fairy so small?
And make her have wings, though not very tall?”

I searched family photos to find that sweet face
To paint in the setting of a magical place.
Yet when I was done I really could see
That sweet little face looked so much like me.

And she saw it too and thought it was great
That she looked like me, and I looked like Kate!
“Aunt D, it’s amazing that we look alike,
so for our next painting, let’s paint it at night.”

In the quiet of my night

In the quiet of the night, I can contemplate the most marvelous things or the most pitiful sorrows. I can make them as big or as small as I choose. With only the low hum of my fan, I sit here and type away. Sometimes I wish I could type away the misery of my own and other people's lives; yet I cannot. It is then that I feel so small. And I type and I type.

In the quiet of the night I can type chapter after chapter of my life, which may never be read, save by me; chapters that I've written that never a tear was shed until I reread them. It is only through the growth of my spirit that I am able to look in hindsight and weep in sorrow or in joy. Yet when the pain of too much sorrow or too much joy would overwhelm me I move to the quiet of the night and I type.

In the quiet of the night I can know when I'm sad. I can know when I'm joyful. I can know when someone else feels those same feelings. I can offer a shoulder, a smile, or both. Indeed when tears are shared and mingle together with someone who understands, they offer comfort… in my quiet of the night.

The Pink Forest

“The Pink Forest” painting by dcrelief

Every year I wander home to Pennsylvania to visit with family. I find my self surrounded by nieces and nephews for whom I have written children’s books over the years. Now they are old enough to have children and it’s, “Aunt D, can I get another copy of ‘The Red Bird’, ‘Grandma’s Teapot,’ or ‘The Wooden Horse’?” Funny but I didn’t realize that my books would be so loved. Is it time to publish them; with my dual fear of failure or success… I can only wonder.

I always take my paints and canvas and carefully trek into the woods or some other quiet spot and record with brushes what I see. Last year was no different but I wondered what to paint in the dismally cold rain. Before the week was out I had my answer; the rain cleared and an overcast sky began to snow. Huge flakes began to fall as if someone was standing on the mountain top and shredding paper; nice large flakes! The ground covered fast and I could tell there was going to be a painting. But it continued on through the night and I began to doubt I’d ever make the walk through the large drifts.

It was around seven in the morning that two of my oldest nieces woke me, “C’mon and see the pink forest.” I hurriedly dressed, we grabbed my painting gear and I followed, not knowing to where. The youngest, at 21, talked fast, “Oh you’ve got to see this. It happens every year when it snows. We call it ‘the pink forest’”. Pretty soon we came upon a clearing and… the painting from above is what we saw. No words could really describe the beauty. Enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Looking for the negative

volcano: Hawaii National Park

Emotions flow
From long ago
Never trusted and I know
I seek the negative

Reject the wealth
Of my very self
Placed on a shelf
I was taught the negative

It’s been the norm
Since I was born
I’m often torn
And doubt the negative

Ones who care
Have bid me dare
Come from the snare
Forsake the negative

The question starts
Within my heart
Could I dare part?
And trust… and trust…
Not looking for the negative

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Home is where the heart is

Artist unknown, photo: Hoodoos Drumheller Canada

No matter where I go I take myself. No matter where I live I keep every problem or secret that hides in my head… in my heart. I can no more be me without them, than I think I might be with them. All of my shortcomings will live with me, where I go, until I choose to let each one go. But today those same shortcomings do not define me. I can ask my heart to release kindness and empathy for my head that would lead me astray. I can seek others that give me hope that my life can continue and reap joy, understanding, and yes, love. And along the way I hope to give back during the clear moments to someone else who finds that they take themselves wherever they go. And may I help them to understand that home is where the heart is; not of a physical location, but within the hearts of others who share.

Appreciate All Life

The painting: “The Diver and Sea Slug”, by dcrelief

After many years of a medicated life and feeling numb to anything or anyone, I finally chose to come off of the medications and take my chances on finding some normalcy again. Yes I had some issues that had plagued for a long time that needed addressing. And I also found out that I had an illness called Fibromylagia which had induced my original depression. I wasn’t clinically depressed; however the damage done by the medications left me without a life. My mind fought hard to regain the cognitive abilities and my body, so racked by side effects, would never be the same.

Along came the day I decided to take up painting again and I wanted to do a study in black backgrounds. Reflective of my feelings at that time, black was invisible, which is how I felt. Since then black has come to be the very show piece for allowing my paintings, pictures, and photos to “pop” off the page.

This first painting called, “The Diver and the Sea Slug” was so easy and yet I spent three days fighting my insides, screaming at me, that I could not do a painting. I decided to just blank out my thoughts and let the brush and colors flow as they would.

I did the painting for a friend and his wife, using a combination of photos they had. I listened in amazement as they told of the things they had seen underwater; the precious view they had developed for all life. From the tiniest sea creatures and larger mammals traveling great oceans, to the very divers in their group, they knew each form of life has its own place of play and refuge. Each form of life has a place in the great cycle of existence. Though some may disappear and new ones come along, it behooves us to appreciate all life.

Hmm, each form has a place? I wasn’t sure of mine but this was a beginning thing to do to find me and see what I could be… again… anew.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Love at first "write"

I was sitting alone and typing away and along came this person named “Klahanie”. I had just finished posting “Just One Voice” a story in miniature of some pain I’d experienced. Thinking to hurriedly cover it with another post, bearing less soul, I found “Klahanie’s” comment: his wish for me to embrace the word empathy, and his expressing the idea of “promoting my writing to a wider audience.” Ironically it was not a wider audience that I desired, but an occasional comment from someone who was actually reading along. So I answered yes and went off to explore some blogs of his that he’d asked me to read.

Love at first “write”? Not only was I captured by his writing but also by the writings posted by his friends and companions, within the comment boxes. What wonderful people! What mutual appreciation and sharing they exhibited, and I wanted to be a small part of that “love”. So I wrote my first comment, followed by many other comments on other blogs that I read. And I grew to understand a bit of how they were able to “be” free of the pain I was sitting in. Could they help me; would they help me? I live so far away.

To a commenter on Klahanie's blog, “David” who asks if there’s a bit of romance between Klahanie and I? Romance from across the great pond… wow! But when I view the dictionary it tells me “no”. We are not impractical, we are not unrealistic, and we are not preoccupied with the idealizing of love. Now if you’re talking about the Romance style of literature or art that emphasizes imagination and emotion, you’re closer. Klahanie being a known “challenger of his inner critic” inspired me to begin thinking in a different manner; in a manner of positive affirmations, but so did the various other writers who were leaving him comments. So by all means, it was love at first write.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Do you ever get to the point where you tire of writing? There’s no thought, no idea that entices you enough to sit here and type. It may be time to hang it all up and leave the blog world for good. Or maybe the stomach flu is winning.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

my blog site, my friend

This site has seen me happy; this site has seen me sad
This site has seen me angry, less time than I’ve been glad.

There was a time when comments were not allowed to be
admitted to my blog site with messages for me.

My fear of hearing laughter and vanities that sought
to tear away exploring of what my mind had fought

In early morning twilight or deep within the dark
I rendered that my bite was much worse than my bark

Yet in my mind I traveled far and saw a rising dream
That beckoned me to tarry here and build my self-esteem

So one more post and one more chat and one more thing to say
I’m looking for a better life with those who show the way.