dark wings

gift

My Father was intelligent and funny, he played guitar for us and sang. He took my sister and I on adventures through the woods to hunt for berry bushes and pick apples. He’d build a fire in the backyard and we’d make “toast on a stick” or “potatoes on a stick”…any food you can burn on a stick, really. He was silly and enjoyed teasing Mom about pretty much everything. It’s not easy to get a laugh out of Mom, so making her giggle made Dad feel victorious.

He’d put iodine on our cuts and scrapes, baking soda paste on our bee stings, calamine lotion on the poison ivy we got from all the berry picking. Me and my sister brought an abandoned puppy home once. When he saw the pitiful little thing he dropped to the floor almost immediately and loved and squeezed on that puppy until I saw tears streaming down his cheeks. Dad was sensitive.

Being sensitive can mean several things…I consider myself to be sensitive but it doesn’t mean I fly off the handle, cry easily when embarrassed or hold grudges. My Mom would say to nearly total strangers: “She’s my artist, she’s sensitive.” As I grew older, she’d sigh heavily and remark, “You’re just like your Father.”

I always thought that meant I was logical and smart…but she meant sensitive.

What being sensitive means, to me, is that I pick up on things. My therapist actually called me a “noticer.” She once changed out her chair…it was the same antique wooden chair as before (with pink floral cushions) except it had arms. “Did that chair have arms before?” I’d asked about fifteen minutes into one appointment. She was amazed and said it was the same as the other chair only it had arms. Another time I noticed a pillow on the settee had tassels…she laughed saying she’d only recently added the tassels. I catalog my surroundings and behaviors of those around me; it’s all tagged, color coded, evaluated for safety and filed away for future reference. Where does this even come from?

Perceptivity isn’t a superpower, it’s instinctual; a survival skill I honed while learning to maneuver the ups and downs of a mercurial parent. My Father had a quiet violence about him. I’d try to stay a step ahead of the darkness, watching him for the slightest shifts in mood; a way of giving myself the illusion of control so that I could keep everyone safe. Even though there were moments of light, darkness seemed to loom over my Father. I was 17 before he would finally get a diagnosis (manic depressive/bi-polar disorder).

Remember the things that the darkness taught you.
It’s by learning to overcome our personal trauma (navigate the darkness) we become nuanced and enlightened individuals capable of empathy, forgiveness and love.

Forgiveness is key, forgive others, forgive yourself. From the darkness I learned to pay attention to my gut (intuition), to expect nothing (good or bad) from anyone except myself, to accept responsibility for my own emotions, to respect the grief, pain and love of others. I learned to look for the light and appreciate it while it lasts. ♡

What has darkness taught you? Do you struggle with forgiveness or does it come easily to you?

credits:
Artwork © Aimee McEwen. Photo: Annie Spratt
Personal use only. Not for commercial use. If shared, please link back to this post.

black days

Whatsoever I’ve feared has come to life
Whatsoever I’ve fought off became my life
Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
Sunspots have faded and now I’m doing time
Now I’m doing time
‘Cause I fell on black days
I fell on black days

Whomsoever I’ve cured, I’ve sickened now
And whomsoever I’ve cradled, I’ve put you down
I’m a search light soul they say
But I can’t see it in the night

I’m only faking when I get it right
When I get it right

‘Cause I fell on black days
I fell on black days

How would I know
That this could be my fate?
How would I know
That this could be my fate? Yeah

So what you wanted to see good

Has made you blind
And what you wanted to be yours
Has made it mine

Don’t you lock up something
That you wanted to see fly
Hands are for shaking
No, not tying, no, not tying

I sure don’t mind a change
I sure don’t mind a change
Yeah, I sure don’t mind, sure don’t mind a change
I sure don’t mind a change

‘Cause I fell on black days
I fell on black days

How would I know
That this could be my fate?
How would I know
That this could be my fate?

How would I know
That this could be my fate?
How would I know
That this could be my fate?

I sure don’t mind a change

chriscornell-jameshance

James Hance has made this tribute available for free  – click to download

the sparklies

Just a few short weeks ago I ordered myself this ring from Feather Oak and have been checking every day since for a delivery date! I’m usually not very spendy when it comes to jewelry because…if the tangled ball of bracelets and necklaces that live in my top dresser drawer are any indication…I don’t take very good care of my jewelry.

holidaynails

I’ve also been doing glittery nails for the last couple weeks – glitter is everywhere, especially my hair, because curls are glitter magnets, apparently.

I’ve got a serious case of the sparklies. I see twinkles on the lake in midday and I get out my phone to record them…I’m wearing shimmery pink or gold eye shadow pretty much daily and yes there are sequins on the sweater I’m wearing…rose gold sequins. After I design and print my Christmas cards maybe I’ll dust them with spray glitter.

Whether this new twinkly habit is a distraction or a balm, I can’t know for sure. It’s probably a little of both, but a little sparkle is never a bad thing so I plan to sparkle on!

Have a shiny weekend!!!

 

 

 

 

 

The price of apathy is the soul becoming inextricably tethered to the suffering of others; which is to mean we are complicit. Never abdicate power to the darkness or let it replace your strength with fear. Remain human; remain in the light. Continue to give hope to the voiceless so they will always know they belong and that they are never alone. EMPATHY. GRACE. STRENGTH. LOVE. LIGHT. ♡

empathyflex

what’s left

Needed to post ALL WEEK, but posting about my own mental wellness or the lack of cold weather or other more trivial things seemed less important than snuggling my dog or talking to my cats, watching Arthur Christmas for the first time or sleeping (which I have been doing a lot of this week).

I’ve been self-soothing, avoiding the nightly news, ignoring the dirty dishes and neglecting my tangled up curly mop (permanent bedhead, I’m afraid). The World feels heavy. I’m feeling wobbly.

Breathe in.

If we could all just stop and think and see that we’re all the same and, at the same time, accept that we’re all different; that different can be okay, and not threatening – that we need to show love as much as we need to be loved.

I’m tired of the arguments about right and wrong, ignorance vs. tolerance, prayers vs. legislation. The black and white of it all. The ego-deficits and the crush to get more attention. Likes on FB and Twitter are the new Participation Trophies. It’s junk food for your soul.

Life is fragile and so very brief. The time and energy we waste hurting each other, and to a further extent ourselves, makes that fact even more tragic. I woke up today and thought to myself: Show love today, small gestures add up; maybe even enough to balance out the heaviness of the World. Soften your edges, be a light in so much dark.

Breathe out.