Haiku Heights: Bats

Bats

Bats (Photo credit: fatedsnowfox)

Bat

Bat (Photo credit: Lee Carson)

English: Echolocating bats adjust their vocali...

English: Echolocating bats adjust their vocalizations to catch insects against a changing environmental background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wretched, beady-eyed

evil destruction, black wings

touch my hair, spit, scream.

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*Birds, I squealed, look, dad

clinging, high pitch, flying, close

Go to mom, lock door!

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*When I was four or five, there were bats in our apartment which was on the top floor. My father shooed my mom and me into the bedroom while he would take care of them. Armed with a towel or two he played hero while my mother and I hid. He told us to come out when it was safe. I remember sitting on his shoulders as he took me around to reassure me. Around the corner I remember squealing quite happily:” Look, Daddy, Birdie.” Sure enough there was one bat left. Again, we locked ourselves in the room until this bat too was swatted out of our sixth floor window. To this day, I am absolutely terrified of bats. I can barely look at them (even the photos in this post) and if one flew near my head I would most likely scream, fall to the floor and faint. Happily.I have a terribly phobia of bats now.

When my daughter was little and we went to the zoo, she took my hands and led me away to protect me from seeing the bats. I have never forgotten that and I never will. Thank you, sweetheart.

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Me, First.

Lioness

Lioness (Photo credit: Crouchy69)

I need to give myself more time to trust people, I need to stop following just my emotions and balance myself instead of falling in love with people.  I AM a Libra after all. People need to prove themselves to me, slowly, before I trust them. No more eyes lighting up with a friendly smile, no more picking out a person and internally saying “I want HER to be my friend.” Nope, not gonna happen anymore.

I’m too old for this.  Stranger people are often more attracted to me, people with stories upon stories because I do like to help and I am a good listener.I am also the most gullible person alive because I believe in truth and have learned the hard way, several times, that many people are manipulative and NOT honest, not even a bit.  People sniff out that I am a good and loyal friend because I always get sucked in. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m too old to do that,

I need to take care of myself, finally. Me. I come first. Not some stranger on the Internet or the woman picking trash and me encouraging her to come to my house so she could take our cans. Of course, she could take our cans but that’s not really the point. I don’t have to become her to be nice to her, I don’t need to get wrapped up in her life to feel her pain. I do what I can do. I don’t need to borrow her sadness and take it on, we all have sadness in our lives, struggles. Being empathetic is good, taking on everyone’s pain as your own is not.

Of course I feel horrible for the family whose husband has cancer and yes, I donated money, not a lot, but the amount we could afford. I wrote them a note to offer help because that is something I can give but I can’t pretend that this family whom I have never met are my best friends. I don’t know them, I just know that someone’s husband and children’s daddy does not have long to live, for the mother and father and siblings who have to bury him. I am sad for that. For anyone facing that.

I mourned for the little girl who died of cancer who I knew really only from the internet. I became attached to her as many people did. I checked on her status as often as I could. I followed her photographs. There was one photograph that had a lasting impression on me, it looked like she was walking straight into heaven’s door, and she was still alive. Talia Castellano, I still think of you, you definitely have left your mark on the world and on my soul. That is not something I want to ever change.

But, I no longer want to be that quivering duck, hiding in the corner anticipating disaster before it presents itself, worrying before there is something t worry about. As an old friend used to say “Don’t meet worry half way.” No longer a duck, I am a lioness, strong, in control, protective of my loved ones, independent. A lioness, a strong woman, in nature. I have my family, I have my two soul sisters, Ash and Michelle, I have my close friends.

I need more bubble wrap, more of a shield to protect myself instead of always caring too much for others. It can’t continue. My friends know I will be there in a heartbeat, there is no doubt. I need to strengthen MY boundaries and tighten up some rules. Not for you, for me. I want to stay centered and make my life easier. Because, damn it, I deserve it. I am tired of being super sensitive and people, I am sure, are sick of it too. I need a thicker skin, so that annoyances, criticism, hurt feelings will roll off my back like oil and water. I want to be those little beads that form and separate and not get emotionally weighed down all the time. I’m not saying it will be easy or that I won’t get sucked back in sometimes but I am going to make a conscious effort to be aware of it. I need a filter from the outside world, a shield. This is my life too.

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Haiku Heights – Storm

Winter Storm 2009

Winter Storm 2009 (Photo credit: merfam)

Inside turmoil spins

I want a piece from two worlds

Red: Life. Gray: Shelter

*****

Ocean waves explode

I am insignificant

Take me over, please

*****

Red rage, fury, fire

bolting out the hostile door

releasing the storm.

*****

Ice cascades through snow

the beauty of pureness, white

black ice underneath

*****

Snow fighting ice, wind

Let’s huddle together now

to seek warmth, safety.

No Other Love

Mama Bear and her two cubs

Mama Bear and her two cubs (Photo credit: pixieclipx)

Dear Kids,

In case you haven’t heard it, it’s true what they say about mothers and their children.this is a bond like no other.

You and your sister are attached to me in a special way

I will always feel the need to protect you, to keep you safe.

No matter how old you get, you will always be our babies.

This special bond that will never go away or lessen.

Like a mother bear and her cubs I will protect you fiercely and I will do

not anything possible but everything to keep you from harm’s way.

This is nothing to joke about, this is serious but not something you will understand

until you have children of your own.

If it means that you are mad at me, I will deal with that, my job is to protect you.

I will go to the ends of the earth to do that, as many parents would too.

If you decide to go on this trip and it is alarmingly dangerous and I disapprove,

you will look out your window from the plane

and I will be the person on the tarmac, suited up, in bright yellow and orange,

against the night’s dark sky

flashing my arms, not letting that plane leave.

You do not know this side of me.

It never weakens, it can’t be destroyed.

You can joke and laugh and call me “silly” or “mushy” or say that “I can’t drive”

I’m alright with that

But, do not ever underestimate a mother’s love for her children.

Ever.

In a Former Life

Woof, Woof

oh happy dog…

There’s no doubt about it. Woof. I would have been a dog. I will be a dog again. Not only do I like attention but I like giving attention and making humans happy. I’m very loyal and I DON’T have attitude ( like those cats do.) Nope, dogs love people to pieces, we will follow you, lick you, give you kisses and stare at you for food. Just one thing, do not ever betray us. Do not ever hit us, or be mean to us…we don’t like that and it is not in the Dog Code Of Honor. We like those in the “Dog Lover’s Unite” program. I would like to come back as a happy dog with a loving, indulgent family preferably with kids. I want them to get me as a puppy, if possible, and I want to grow up with them and I want them to grow up with me. I will protect them, love them and keep them in my heart forever. That’s what dogs do, it’s what we love to do. Really.

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The Letter

Thomas the Tank Engine depicted in the TV Series

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Kate,

It’s been a long time since we last talked or wrote each other. How are you? I have a feeling I know. I can’t believe our boys are graduating from High School in four weeks.  It doesn’t matter that so many miles and so many years have passed by. We still have the memories, the boys still have a connection and so do we. As I grow older I realize that there are many types of friendships on so many levels and they are all different and good.

Right now, I am stuck in between pride and delight and loss and simple sadness.  It seems like it was yesterday that our two boys, mine with his dark brown hair and yours with his light blond hair were playing in the sandbox together and sipping apple juice from juice box containers, tilting their heads back and drinking from the tiny spout without the straw. Our whole family called it the “Nick” way for many years; it made quite an impression! I can still see us watching our children together, sitting at a picnic bench, side by side, while they dug in the heavy, beige sand. Now, our sons are graduating High School and heading soon, after the summer, to college.

Wasn’t it yesterday, Katie, that I was cradling my newborn son in my arms, his head snuggling against my shoulder, the sweet, milky, powdery smell of baby? Trying to remember the smell is virtually impossible. Even back then, when I breathed it in daily, hourly, every second of the night and day, I wanted to bottle it, especially for nostalgic times like these.

Adam is going to the prom in less than a week with his girlfriend. The word “girlfriend” does not roll off my tongue naturally yet, because the word was always forbidden in the house…that is, until a few months ago. It makes me happy to see Adam and his girlfriend together, and it makes me sad, for them, that they will be saying goodbye to each other very soon. But, that’s how life works. This is all so new to him and I can’t protect him from pain any more now than I could protect him once he was properly suited up when he played football in the early years. Our children need to work things out and learn by themselves, they will need to grow up on their own.

I am trying to prepare myself for the quiet stillness of the house without Adam here at home. Julia, my beautiful blond 16 and a half year old “baby”, has only one more year left of High-School and then she too, graduates. It’s all a bit overwhelming, it feels like the powerful ride of the dark-green ocean waves with no rest in-between. When Julia graduates from High-School and is in college I can imagine that this tiny house, our family home will seem cavernous. We cannot imagine the silence creeping into our house like moths, flapping their fragile wings without a sound.

I wonder if we will miss the kids’  booming voices, the fighting, the shrieks, and their clothes all over their floors. I am sure we will at first. I imagine this whole, new experience summed up in a word: “bitter-sweet” some happy, some sad, like the strong branches with delicate red berries growing on them.

I still carry the picture in my mind of the boys playing with smiling Thomas The Tank Engine and his friends. How we built bridges and tunnels with wooden Brio pieces time and time again. Thomas and his Friends and tracks and the Conductor are still somewhere in my mildewy basement; I could not say good-bye to them too.

Love, Jane

The Somewhere Tree

Wind Damaged Tree On E. Knapp Street

Image by Shamanic Shift via Flickr

I don’t exist, at least in the same way I have existed before. You won’t recognize me; I’m hiding out. I am a thick, sturdy, massive tree and maybe I am folding someone deep inside me or around me, or in my sturdy limbs high up into the rich, blue sky. I won’t tell you. I have disappeared because this is where I want to be. I don’t know if I will come out of hiding sometime or will stay behind these thick brown roped off curtains I made myself that contain me; comfort me. If I am hidden no one will steal my heart or break it into shards of mirror glass and take advantage of me.

Maybe my silhouette or the swing of my wiry tree hair show as the wind passes by my burlap sap and brown cloak. I intend to blend in with others, or maybe hide behind them for as long as I choose; for as long as I need. I felt a lot of things that I don’t feel anymore.

It’s as if I am out of my body looking in, trying to remember who I was and why I was that way. My heart was way too open, and too big for my body. My emotions were on overdrive, my thoughts obsessed with sympathy and kindness. I sat up once, curled into myself, sobbing. This was not my fault, these were conflicts I should not have been allowed to witness. This was NOT something I did; I am innocent. Something, somebody should have been there to protect me, to draw me back out of the wind, to rescue me but no one did. This attack felt like a tsunami or a tornado.

My eyes peek out behind the outline of my shadow. They dart back and forth, to the left, to the right and then they close.  It is all black and rosy and peaceful when my eyes are closed. I choose not to see anybody. I am now a tree that has stood proud and tall with missing branches from the high winds; limbs cut off, dangling in the middle between life and death. Too many people in this world judge others, that’s not how life is supposed to be. Sit with me on the grass and listen.

Life is hard, we all know that. At my age I have experienced hardship as well. There is no age limitation on pain, physical and emotional chronic pain. Back off, please don’t try to touch me; I can almost feel you near me and I don’t want to. I will shrink and cringe if you approach me. I will go inside out.

I have helped you from my heart but that same heart is no longer here. It cracked into bits and never put away. It was not like a picture puzzle; the pieces don’t fit in the right place anymore, and they won’t. Once you have lost your heart, or it has cracked, your heart will never beat in the same way again. You will skip a beat or you will have an extra irregular beat but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t take away the love that was in your heart; I am protecting my heart.  You can also feel that you are being hit, again and again, until you gasp with pain and have trouble taking a breath. I am a tree in a blizzard, fighting to stand strong, my limbs are moving, my bark is now unattached, flying into the air, everywhere but home to me.  You can still see the tree but it is not the same. I tried to show you who I was but you left, not noticing that the tree you once loved was now completely different. You walked away.