Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Estrangement

August 24, 2017

Heartache
Emerges unsummoned
From the subconscious
Takes up residence
Down low
In the stomach
Until
Nothing else matters

A simple question,
“What’s wrong?”
Brings a flood of tears
Washing away
Much of the ache
Leaving behind
Deep sorrow
Confusion, longing

©2017 Thomas W. Cummins

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Staying true to self

October 4, 2015

Turmoil and pain from events, even if separated by 30 years, can be reawakened by the words of a poem.

In Desert Run, Mitsuye Yamada reflects upon her family’s time in an internment camp during World War II. In the last stanza are these words:

I cannot stay in the desert
where you will have me nor
will I be brought back in a cage
to grace your need for exotica.
I write these words at night
for I am still a night creature
but I will not keep a discreet distance
If you must fit me to your needs
I will die
and so will you.

When I re-read those words a few months ago, moments of shunning and rejection came creeping back out of dark passages in my life. Most assuredly, there have been times when I couldn’t/wouldn’t, or can’t/won’t, dance to the tune of someone else. To have done so would have been sacrificial and destructive to my own sense of self and well-being. This isn’t about following instructions or performing job expectations. Rather there have been behavioral and performance expectations of the most unreasonable and servile nature.

What is most interesting to me has been the astonishment and rage, punishment and revenge, observed and experienced as a result. Not bending in order to conform to a misinformed and delusional notion of who I am, or who I should be, comes from my unwillingness to be an enabler. Been there, done that, the ‘walking-on-eggshells’ thing.

As you can see, Ms. Yamada’s poetic reflection struck a nerve with me. Much suffering has come from my resistance. But I must not create a false self to meet unreasonable expectations of others. Nor can I sit idly by and await the next page for me to recite from an unshared and unexplained script. I’ve never been very good at playing guessing games.

If you must fit me to your needs
I will die
and so will you.

I am fearful, sometimes

October 23, 2014

—∞—

At a certain age, I believe
I am standing at a trailhead
Stretching out under my feet
That final path curves out of sight
A hush surrounds
Slowly
I move forward
Uncertain, drawn
Pushed?

Or at the end of a hallway
Long empty walls
No color
No windows
No sound
But echoes poised
My own footsteps
My own breath
For now

Perhaps on a dark desert road
Nothing visible
Beyond the headlights’ arc
No trees
No roadside brush
No stars
Behind, total darkness
Ahead on the horizon a faint glow
Out of reach

Recent health issues
Found me fearful
Anxious
A sense of giving up
Complete surrender
Grudging acceptance
Not of my choosing
Alone
Very alone

It’s not that I’m afraid, per se
What’s next is not of my concern
But I am fearful, sometimes,
About persistent loss, now
Unresolved issues, now
A legacy of being misunderstood
Misunderstood to the point of
Not being loved, honored
Respectfully remembered

Time is running out
Not much to be done
Yet things have become undone
Time is running out
Loved ones unseen
Growing older
Old memories fading
New memories deferred
Or irredeemably lost

© 2014 Thomas W. Cummins

Everything will be okay

September 14, 2014

I wish, somehow, there was a way to put up sandbags against today’s flood of sadness

But through God’s grace, I know things will get better

Patience

Acceptance

Finding sustenance for my spiritual roots

To not get pulled down, dragged down, diminished by the careless behavior of others

My best friend is with me

Everything will be okay

We’ll get through this

Gentleness, kindness, understanding and forgiveness will prevail

Surrendering to the power of Wisdom

Perhaps letting go

Alone Again Naturally

July 19, 2013

Yesterday we visited the remaining spouse of a couple we have known for 49 years. She is now a widow of ten days.

As we talked, I was reminded of the lyrics of the song by Gilbert O’Sullivan, “Alone Again Naturally”:

Couldn’t understand
Why the only man
She had ever loved
Had been taken

Momentary Dejection

June 25, 2013

—∞—

A fly buzzes
Hitting the screen
Wanting in
Wanting out
 
In hot, damp air
A ceiling fan
Hangs
Lifeless
 
Spots of moisture
Here and there
On floor, on table
Sweat, tears, or both
 
Silently, stupidly
A phone awaits
Replies
To unanswered calls
 
Birds singing
Unheard
Beautiful flowers
Unseen
 
On the horizon
A cloud
A single cloud
Coming or going
 
Bleakness, dejection
Momentary
But recognized
A fly buzzes

 © 2013 Thomas W. Cummins