Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Express Yourself”

Rather than a single photo, I’m contributing a video of a fun and beautiful expression of love.

My family’s expression? Couldn’t be more pleased!

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True Love’s Falling

In the midst of cold, wet, dreary weather, I spent most of my weekend trying to console one of my characters, Cody, with his loss (by working diligently to finally put a large portion of this manuscript together). Meanwhile – in the real world – one of my best friends spent the weekend caring for her elderly aunt in her final hours while trying to console her family over the loss she was sharing.

I came into work this morning feeling particularly melancholy (probably because it’s still cold and wet and especially dreary, being a Monday and all). I had (took?) a few spare moments to pen these thoughts as they came to mind.

I’m sure my poem could use some work, but I hope it brings comforting thoughts to those who need them today. Blessings. -j

True Love’s Falling

 

Here is it in print form only, for those who might have trouble reading it in its “artsy-fartsy” form:

 

True Love’s Falling

 

Don’t let the sun set on your tomorrows

Though darkness may cloud your todays

Our falls always take us to sorrows

In due course,

Cold months surrender to Mays

 

The day’s sun approaching future horizons

You haven’t yet stepped out to greet

All of life’s best and mesmerizing surprises

In God’s time,

Will remove your false sense of incomplete

 

Breathe deeply the crisp wind that’s blowing

Take hope in all future renewals

Cleanse your heart in solely knowing…

Set love shines more brightly

Than all polished jewels

 

 

Related Link:  Rolling River

The Way New Lovers Grow

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The young lover was certain

the most miserable feeling was

her unrequited love.

(She hadn’t yet birthed a child then to be embarrassed by her presence.)

The aged lover knew

love was only true when

it lasted beyond her rejection,

continually given,

though never accepted.

(The child recognized her gift with clarity only after the day she was gone.)

Refocusing on Perfection (and other less haughty goals)

Knowing how inconsistent I’ve been in the blogging community this year, I thought I’d better try to get my creative cap back on – even if I’ve managed to lose all of my writing communities and what little bit of interest I might have gained from blogging friends that I appear to have “dumped.”

I had gotten so deep into an intense scientific style of writing, in finishing out my dissertation, that my creativity (and time) felt otherwise pushed to the edge. So, here’s a warm up, as I’m hoping to get back to my other writing projects soon that have gathered lots of dust on the shelf.

I’m including a poem of dichotomy that played through my mind this morning, as well as a couple of images that were sitting on my iPhone (since I haven’t had time to get out and explore the trails with a decent camera in hand lately).

Okay, enough with the excuses…

dichotomous blaze

Dichotomous Blaze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refocusing on Perfection
© jody love, 2014

My head rolled up slowly, my focus adjusting on you.
You were close – so very close.
You took my breath.
Our legs circled and entwined.
Your head turned away.
You sighed in contentment.
I closed my eyes and wondered.

In the vastness of this world
What were the chances of running into you?
I realized how perfect this all was.

 

My head snapped up sharply, my focus adjusting on you.
You were down the aisle – so far away.
You took my breath.
Our legs rotated in double-time.
Your head turned away.
I sighed in anguish.
I changed my path and wondered.

In the vastness of this world
What were the chances of running into you?
I realized this was all just…Perfect.

Evening Sunset in Bloom

Evening Sunset in Bloom

Recesses

Had I but known it was the last time I would look
Upon your face, into your eyes…
I would have lingered there.

Had I but known it was the last time I would feel
Your very presence, next to mine…
I would not dare have let go.

Yet now, they’re only memories, barely kept
In the recesses of my mind,
Threatening to tell me you never were

As you said, forever mine.
Then you were gone.

Had I but known it was the last time I would breathe
Your very essence, take in your scent…
I would never have exhaled.

Had I but known it was the last time I would taste
Your tender lips, with honeyed kisses…
I could not have pulled away.

Yet now, they’re only demons, taunting me
Within the dreams of restless sleep,
Making me believe you have returned

To be, forever mine.
Then you are gone.

Had I but known it was the last time I would hear
Your words so tender, full of love…
I would have blocked all else out.

Had I but known it was the last time I could sense
The bond between us, sworn eternal…
I would have prayed for its recapture.

Yet now, they’re almost gone, departing me
As if you never were, or did not care,
Beseeching me, forget the love we shared.

An empty space, forever mine –
For you are gone.

© 2012 Jody Love

Recesses. Published in World Poetry Movement (compiler), Great Poets Across America: A Celebration of National Poetry Month. ISBN: 978-1-61936-035-8.

(Author’s note: I’m sure the loss of someone we love, under whatever circumstance, resonates deep within our souls. I term it “the without within.” As 9-1-1 poignantly calls upon us again today to remember loss in conglomeration, it amplifies that empty space for many, individually and as a nation – and even as a world desperately in need of love, forgiveness, and understanding.)

My Chief Lesson

For any additional lightness in my pocketbook today, my heart is feeling many more times heavy.

I lost a best friend last night. A loyal companion. An intense playmate.

He was the one who loved it whenever I put my feet all over him.

He was the one who looked most forward to taking long evening walks with me next to his side.

He was the one who would chase me around our couches, then turn the other direction and run from me – always keeping me rolling in giggles.

And he was the one who would chase his tail just to entertain everyone else.

I guess you’d call him our “pack clown.”

Through highly intelligent eyes, he anticipated what I wanted from him.

Through a curious and loving heart, he didn’t always do what I asked him not to do.

And with that ridiculous tongue hanging out, his humor came through in his big canine smile.

***

Last night, as we were walking home with some of the rest of our pack, he began to wheeze. He veered from a well-known path, desperately trying to remain upright. Within seconds, he was retching and trying to regain his uprightness where he had collapsed. Our 2 T’s headed off to get the car, as I sat helplessly in an unknown neighbor’s yard, watching my buddy’s gums and tongue turn gray, as he strained to squeeze anything through his air passage.

We never saw it coming.

Forty minutes earlier, he and I had been doing the happy dance together. (I had come in from work and asked if he wanted to go on a W-A-L-K, which was my joke with my family – that he was so smart he could spell.)

Chief – that was our sweet boy’s name – ran to the rack where his collar and lead were hanging, jumped around in circles, then came back smacking his long tail into everything that managed to horizontally get in his way. As he saw me grab up my tennis shoes, he impatiently danced around some more, finally unable to contain his excitement, jumping up to “hug” me – just before he turned back and waited to be fitted into his own “sports gear.” He always got so excited about our family walks. He loved to explore, and he loved doing it as a family unit – a pack.

It seemed like it took years to get to the emergency clinic after the incident (since his vet was already closed by then). My oldest son left his ballgame to meet us there, instinctively understanding this would be the last chance he’d have for loving on his pup.

Although they intubated Chief the minute we arrived, that wasn’t going to get rid of the clot in his lung. We were told that he could remain on a mechanical respirator for $1,000 per day, but even if we could afford that, his life would no longer be his own.

Though we got to be with him as he was euthanized, he was already on so much medication to ease his stress, only we were the ones who were aware. Despite our prayer over him, it was a distressful departing. No sooner had we stepped out of one room, after saying our unworthy good-byes, than we were presented with a $400 bill, immediately due. Was that the closure then?

We’re all numb today – traumatized. We brought Chief home, so his remains can at least be close by. But that’s never enough, is it?

I want my friend back. Waking up this morning without him on his bed was disorienting. Driving through my neighborhood this morning, passing the sidewalk of our final journey together, was excruciating. I dread going home this afternoon, to abide in the obvious emptiness without his presence to greet me. My grief feels immense.

Yet, there is a Chief lesson that I’ve learned in this.

Grieving is important. It reminds us of the immense capability we have to love; the importance of sharing in that love as part of living. What would a relationship be worth if there were no pain in its loss?

Chief holds a special place in our hearts. I can’t imagine going on without him to brighten our days.

But I can’t imagine how much less our lives would be had we never had him to love in the first place.

A friend loves at all times…
Proverbs 17:17a

 

 

 

 

Swept Away

As I take a quick glimpse out my office window during this lunch hour, I see snow showers trying to convince me that I want to come out and play. The only comfort I take in seeing more snow is the realization that it helps bring some excitement to the spring water flow rates.

For now, another wintry week, another Trifextra challenge (which means we’re limited to 33 words on this one).

Oh, and that’s not all. Here are this week’s rules to write by:

This week we’re asking for exactly 33 of your own words about love gone wrong.  But we’re asking that you not use any of the following words:

love
sad
tears
wept
heart
pain

 ***

forward4

I’m the only one in the raft with any feminine charm.
(If you can’t identify me by that characteristic, please don’t feel the need to let me know!)

***

Then…

Splashing rivers swept o’er me
Moments crying out in delight.

All fear and doubt washed well away
Waves of gladness, none of fright.

Now…

Floods of torment sweep me off my feet.

***

***

Congrats to this past week’s champions.

This weekend’s challenge is community judged.
  • For the 48 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
  • In order to vote, return to this post where stars will appear next to each link. To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
  • You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
  • Voting is open to everyone.

– See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.POTXCn5a.dpuf

Why it may be Best to Avoid True Love

He was certain she had exhibited pure craft and cunning, luring him into her web of lies. She’d never possessed one ounce of love for him, despite all of her convincing performances, her repeated manifestations that had all but assured him otherwise.

He was sure that she’d been playing him all along. He’d tried every way he knew to confess the depth of his love to her when they’d last met. In return, she’d mutely sat there, staring at him, almost imperceptibly nodding, though never uttering a word in return.

He’d stewed over it for weeks now, until he’d finally mustered enough anger from within that he was ready to confront – maybe demoralize – her.

***

She knew why she hadn’t heard from him. What she didn’t understand was why she couldn’t bring herself to send him all the words she’d written from deep within her heart – the ones that acknowledged her undying love for him.

Her mind had rehashed that night many times over. Awkwardly, in the midst of all his shared frustrations, he’d worked in his true feelings for her. After all this time. But he’d also worked in his feelings for another – how he’d felt torn over a decision he would be faced to make; how he was being pressured to marry another.

All the love she’d held inside that had been bottled up for so long, swelling with joy at his earlier utterances, suddenly felt as ripe as an over-filled water balloon. The cork that had held all that pressure – so tightly, for so long – refused to release, refused to allow her to declare the words she’d long wanted to say.

Her heart raced…and then it ran away. It had been shredded too many times before to bear yet another assault.

***

So as their paths crossed this final time, the result was an unfortunate collision.

Alas.

Sometimes, the truest kind of love is the craftiest and most cunning of them all…

leaving no survivors in its wake.

****

****

This 333-worded flash-tragedy was brought to you courtesy of this week’s Trifecta challenge prompt:

CRAFT (noun) (3rd definition)
:  skill in planning, making, or executing :  dexterity

2 a :  an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill <the carpenter’s craft> <the craft of writing plays> <crafts such as pottery, carpentry, and sewing>

plural :  articles made by craftspeople <a store selling crafts> <a crafts fair>

:  skill in deceiving to gain an end <used craft and guile to close the deal>

Come join in!
Remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.

This weekend’s challenge is community judged.

  • For the 14 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
  • In order to vote, return to this post where stars will appear next to each link. To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
  • You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
  • Voting is open to everyone.
  • You have 14 hours to vote. It’s not much time, so be diligent! We’ll send out reminders on Twitter and Facebook.
  • The winners will be announced in the comments of Friday’s post and will be posted in our typical fashion in the post on the following Monday.

– See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.qkWkbl8o.dpuf

It’s the Little Things

Don’t EVER under-estimate the TREMENDOUS importance of the little things in life.

Have you ever been point-blank asked, “Why do you love me?” and you felt foolish because, maybe – just maybe – you didn’t have an immediate response? (Because you weren’t even sure of why yourself.)

No need to panic! (I assure you.)

I’m going to posit that it’s because your mind (which is a little on the lazy side – sorry, but someone had to say it) immediately jumps across synapses to grasp whatever it most easily can. It reaches for the BIG stuff it can readily access. And maybe it was the BIG stuff that first caught your eye about someone – the things you could more easily measure because there they were, right out in the foreground for the whole, entire world to see!

But we don’t truly fall in love with someone because it’s easy to see that person is easy on the eyes. That’s called attraction. Infatuation. Stalking, if you keep watching them and they don’t want you around. As a matter of fact, I’m guessing that the majority of relationships never progress to their full potential because many people never get past what’s in front of them. They’re so focused on “the BIG,” they forget to nurture “the LITTLE,” so it can grow.

Little things don’t just happen “in the heart” – where the soul part of the brain digs deeply and finds GREATNESS in the tiniest little inflections; they must be carefully tended there. Strangely, these aren’t the same for all people. Any combination of traits and characteristics, which only come rarely in fleeting glimpses, can combine to compel us to love someone – or somehow care for others.

The way a dimple only flashes at the exact moment his eyes light up – and only when you’re around.

The manner in which she drops her head and blushes while brushing your hand with hers.

His guttural laugh over some silly bit of nothingness that drives you crazy.

Her cooing sighs when you whisper in her ear.

The way in which he traces the lines inside the palm of your hand to soothe you when you’re nervous.

The way she stands tall and proud when introducing you to others.

The stupid crook from where he broke his pinky toe – twice.

The scar left on her body where she stood strong and battled cancer.

Each of those little things adds up to equal a GREAT story – one that’s both personal, and shared.

It doesn’t happen exclusively in romance. It’s about any relationship. It’s about life, in general. It’s about personal growth where you finally come to like yourself. It’s about surprising others you may barely know with some random little something – and watching what a BIG deal it becomes in their day!

I came in this morning to a lovely surprise bouquet, left on the conference room table by our new secretary to brighten our work day. (Guess what? It worked!)

I came in this morning to a lovely surprise bouquet, left on the conference room table by our new secretary to brighten our work day. (Guess what? It worked!)

If you find you’ve been too focused on life’s BIG things, as of late, take some time to embrace the little things. (They won’t weigh you down nearly as much!)

And here’s a good place to get you started – with a little bit of music, which always greatly soothes and uplifts the soul!