Kellie Elmore, FWF

Clear Lake

Clear Lake (Photo credit: DBerry2006)

'Crashing Waves' - Porth Swtan, Anglesey

‘Crashing Waves’ – Porth Swtan, Anglesey (Photo credit: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes)

I’ve been calm all my life, I have kept things inside me, perhaps there was turmoil that I never knew about but just felt it in an eery way. Some say it came out in different ways that were unconscious, maybe it was always there, life is not a perfect place to be but I had to be it.  I was smooth, calming, dependable because that was my role. Nobody said anything; they didn’t have to, I understood with a blink of an eye or a shadow cast by the sun or the moon. I was stripped down to nothing, you could see through me on calm days, right down to my little toe pebbles where you would daintly swim.

As I got older, I tried hard to separate from all of you, it took time and strength. Yes, strength to cut those ties that were strangling my neck. I pushed and shoved and every time you pushed back I was getting stronger and stronger to not allow you to bully me. I pushed back with my self-confidence, with blustery forces, with big white foamed currents, rolling waves and when I felt like it I would knock your ass to the rough,sharp, uneven ocean floor. If you had been really mean to me as soon as you got up, I pushed you down again making you gasp with uneven breaths. I could do that now, no longer was I a calm little secret, holder of all things peaceful and gracious.

I was confident filled with self-worth, I was in charge now, chuckling at your ineptitude. I was right, not you. My importance and intuition was unbelievably sound. Yes, you were wrong, battling your head against me again and again. But, I stayed sturdy, hitting you back over and over until I had punished you all day and a little of the night when the sun had set and I could relax in the joy of my last accomplishment of the day. Finally, you understood, that tomorrow and every day afterwards, I would never back down and be your puppet again. I knew me, and I knew all of you and you could burn in hell as far as I cared. It was harder for you to say you were wrong, all along, wasn’t it? I know, but I no longer care. Because I do KNOW the truth I always have, you pitiful, self-involved, selfish beings, the scum, green, slippery left-over seaweed that we all avoid.

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Mindfulness, Mine

Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness t...

Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness techniques can help alleviate anxiety , stress , and depression (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I heard that heavy snow is in the forecast for the entire week and upcoming weekend. Guess what? I don’t even care! I am not even upset about it or cranky.

This would usually put me in a tailspin or a slight depression but I’m not feeling it. What? It’s true, I’m not grumpy at all.

In fact, all I can picture in my head is green grass and red, perky tulips. Who am I?  What on earth has happened to me?

Everyone who knows me will attest to the fact that every single winter from start to finish, and that’s usually May, I complain compulsively about the freezing temperatures and how my body and soul aches every single minute. Granted, having Fibromyalgia, does not help matters at all but still, I hate, HATE cold weather.

Yet, today in the movie theater, seeing Labor Day, watching a record of 7 previews,  I’m smiling. Right before I started eating my naked popcorn and drinking Diet Coke, an image appeared to me. I swear. I saw red tulips and green, green grass (no, not that kind.) I have not taken any hallucinogenic or any other kind of drugs and I am as surprised as you are. This lovely image popped into my head and I felt happy and calm.

A view inside some tulips, showing the stamens...

A view inside some tulips, showing the stamens and stigmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hear the new buzz word is “Mindfulness.” I have tried to be mindful of where my head and emotional self are long before this became popular. I’m happy that it is a new “thing.” I need all the help and support I can get. I have tried not to worry in advance and not look back either.

Maybe the beautiful sight of the red tulips and the green grass is my go-to symbol for my new mindfulness? At least it’s showing I am trying which is better than not. You can’t stop trying to grow, to learn and to teach yourself different things.

I am going to try to hold on to this calmness as long as I can and even when I start getting cranky ( is it inevitable? ) I hope at least I will remember the photos in my head. Or, perhaps one of you will remind me that I did have that lovely image for real.

I really am being mindful of that.

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Always Elizabeth

Deer

I associate french fries with Elizabeth. Still, to this day, I can picture her face when the french fries that she DID NOT WANT appeared on her plate. I can’t forget her face. She looked like a deer, with white, almost translucent skin and dark, dark eyebrows and eyes.

When I was in High School, a long, long time ago, in Jamaica, NY, in the early seventies, I was good friends with a girl named Elizabeth W. I don’t want to give her last name since she seemed to disappear and maybe she wanted it that way; I hope that’s the reason.  This was a friend, a dear, enormously talented friend that wrote amazing stories, poetry; I think she was an artist too.

I remember we cut class together and would go to a pond or grassy area right near the school and talk about writing and life and everything esoteric. What sticks in my mind the most is that this was one tragic, sad girl. I cannot call her “young woman” because nothing about her wanted to grow up or change. She was the daughter of one Child Psychiatrist and another Psychiatrist or Psychologist. Elizabeth was one very sick girl. I am not sure if her parents knew how sick she was.

Back then, as my daughter would say, in the land of dinosaurs, no-one knew what Anorexia was but certainly that is what Elizabeth had. I remember vividly going to a restaurant and Elizabeth told the waitress at least twenty times that she did not want french fries with her sandwich. She said it over and over and I also told the waitress to make sure they didn’t bring french fries because I knew how Elizabeth would react, badly, of course. Sure enough, Elizabeth, never Liz or Lizzy or Betsy or Beth freaked out. Deep down in my stomach I sensed that would happen and I swept the offending french fries away and started to try to talk her down. She was inconsolable, she cried and trembled and cursed; we left immediately. I want to say we went to a show or a movie after that but I don’t know what we saw. I think there were kids throwing candy and that upset you, and me, too.  Poor Elizabeth, no one knew much about your illness back then.

I remember your very pale, very skinny body that seemed to shed it’s own skin. The hair on your arms were black or maybe that’s just how I remember them. We took a trip to Philadelphia once, I don’t know why, but we did. We took the train together for a day trip, did we visit a museum? I remember nothing about what we did there or where we went or even why. I had an aunt and uncle that lived there but I am not sure if we saw them. I remember nothing but your face, dear Elizabeth and the photo in our yearbook; etched in my brain.

Rumor had it that you went to a small all-girls college, Smith maybe? I tried to track you down but never found you. I was your friend and then you were gone. Nobody knew anything about you, it’s as if you were a dream of mine, that you existed only in my imagination.

I just wanted you to know, if you are still out there in this enormous world, that someone has not forgotten you, that I remember your big dark eyes, and your wistful little smile, like that of a tiny kitten. I hope you are well, I hope more that you are still alive.