child of war

my little one so innocent
so fresh and new and young
a smile to win the masses
a heart soft like a sponge

you grow and learn so eager
so open and thirsty and willing
a friendly look that charms
like a hungry wolf for the killing

you become the scholar
so filled with all you sought
a deadpan look that turns away
you learned the world you bought

when did you lose your innocence
when did you grow so old
when did your face become sullen
and your heart so hard and cold

my little one no longer
so calloused and withdrawn
a face so full of hatred
a soul no longer known

abiding

the substance it seems, is all in the skin
not the thought in your head or the learning it brings

every day it is seen, what we value and choose
is a beauty of outward, cause “with looks you can’t lose”

we worship our bodies while our souls thirst and yearn,
for a rest and renewing from the grind and the burn

but never to slow or reflect or consider
will rob you of all that life can deliver

take care of your mind, of your spirit, your being
for joy comes in thinking, in loving, in seeing

to discover, to listen, to learn, to be taught
these things are rich, but cannot be bought

so value what’s real, what is lasting and true
for beauty will fade, but wisdom renew

a crystalline knowledge

halloween was always one of my favorite times of the year. as a kid you get to dress up however you want to and when you become a parent you get to dress your kids in adorable, sometimes ridiculous outfits; until they become old enough to decide for themselves. when my oldest was only 16 months old (his 2nd halloween) i made him a pumpkin costume. it had the jack-o-lantern face on the front and i even made a hat with a little green stem. it was adorable! my home-ec teacher would have been proud. those days are long gone. this year my youngest is the only one who actually dressed up and went out. she was tom cruise’s character from risky business. (i think she liked the comfort of the costume more than anything…that and sliding across the floor in her socks!)
no one ever comes to our house to trick or treat. not in 5 years! (i think they may have been tipped off by the jehova’s wittnesses). so with only one kid at home, that daughter and i decided to watch a movie. we weren’t really crazy about any of the halloween options on netflix so we settled on “practical magic”. the movie is from the late 90’s and stars sandra bullock and nicole kidmann as sisters and stockard channing and dianne wiest as their older eccentric aunts (i love those 2). the story is about the owens women who, dating back hundreds of years, are all witches. their ancestor cast a spell that any man who fell in love with one of the women from this family would meet an untimely death. sally (played by bullock) and gillian (played by kidman) went to live with their aunts after their father died (per the curse) and the mother died of a broken heart. although extremely close the 2 sisters were complete opposites. while gillian vowed to see the world and couldn’t wait to fall in love, sally, who was much more practical, (and sure she was unable to bear anymore heartbreak) cast a spell on herself.

(sally) “he will hear my call a mile away. he will whistle my favorite song. he can ride a pony backwards”
(gillian) “what are you doing?”
(sally) “summoning up a true love spell…he can flip pancakes up in the air. he’ll be marvelously kind. and his favorite shape will be a star. and he’ll have one green eye and one blue eye”
(gillian) “thought you never wanted to fall in love.”
(sally) “that’s the  point. the guy i dreamed of doesn’t exist. and if he doesn’t exist, i’ll never die of a broken heart”

i know this is just a movie; not a very good one according to the reviews (although i liked it). but it certainly hit on something with that spell. how many times do i do this? in order to protect myself i make the goal so unattainable that i don’t expect to be able to reach it. self-preservation is a basic instinct, but i know that i take it too far. case in point, this blog. i’ve been writing for years and for years my husband has read all my stories, poems, essays, narratives and ramblings. he encourages me, he gives me his opinions, and he tells me to keep writing. he tells me to share, he pushes me to do more.

i, on the other hand, worry that i’m not good enough; that people won’t like or understand my writing. i write what’s in my heart and when i read it back i think, “no one is gonna get this; no one is gonna care!”  i tell myself that if i can’t be the best, then there is no point in trying. i summon up things that don’t exist to keep myself safe, to keep myself from failing. but as hard as i talk myself down, he is always building me back up. making it all clear.
at the end of the movie there is a great song by stevie nicks:

“crystal”

“do you always trust your first initial feeling
special knowledge holds truth bears believing
i turned around
and the water was closing all around
like a glove
like the love that had finally, finally found me
then I knew
in the crystalline knowledge of you
drove me through the mountains
through the crystal-like clear water fountain
drove me like a magnet
to the sea
how the faces of love have changed turning
the pages
and I have changed oh, but you…you remain
ageless
i turned around
and the water was closing all around
like a glove
like the love that had finally, finally found me
then I knew
in the crystalline knowledge of you
drove me through the mountains
through the crystal-like clear water fountain
drove me like a magnet
to the sea”

thanks babe, for always making it clear; convincing me to believe in myself and for always pushing me, driving me “like a magnet to the sea” to discover the “crystalline knowledge” in me.

*and as a side-note, i kissed tom cruise tonight…who knew!