Posted in Daily Post Prompt, Free Verse Poetry, Poetry, Sad Poems, Thoughtful Poems, Woman's Poetry, Word Prompt

With Friends Like These, a poem

friends

 

 

 

She did not

Believe

Their thin excuses

The well-meant

Courtesies

Of “Hello darling!

My, how we’ve missed you!”

Yet never

Was it an

Opportune time

To be cordial afterward.

The words were flung

In the silence

Of passing moments

When etiquette requires

Something be spoken

But obviously

Never meant.

After all these years,

She wonders,

Truly,

Do they expect me

To believe

their simple words

and drown out

the maddening noise

of their conduct?

 

© Sumyanna 2018

 

Written for The Daily Post Prompt: thin

Posted in inspirational, On Life, On Writing, Thinking Out Loud

Conversations 02: Allowing Myself to Make Mistakes

convos02

 

I’ve been struggling lately and though sometimes it helps to know the reason why, it doesn’t always make things easier.  Growing up, we were expected to always be perfect.  Of course, that is never possible… but we were punished often when we were less than stellar.  We weren’t taken to task just for the small things, but it was most often the small things.  Besides, if you are afraid to do the small things the larger things seem less possible.  I guess it’s a good way to ensure we stayed in line, but I don’t agree that it’s a good way to raise children.  It made life stressful.  I’d became afraid if I made even a small  mistake and it often made trying new things difficult.  Somehow, those feelings have still followed me, even though I have made great strides.

 

Somehow, I’ve learned to trust my voice and I still continue writing.  I have learned to change things though and perhaps that is why I’ve been more successful in that.  In high school, I was given journals to write in.  I loved writing and I loved my journals, but found it difficult because I always wanted things to be perfect.  I’d write in my journal and I would not like the way my handwriting looked or I would not like one particular line, but if I crossed it out, it would make the journal look horrible.  The journals (for some reason) were always those that were easily ruined if you tore out any pages.  It’s strange to think that I would hold myself to such expectations, but I guess we learn more from our experiences growing up than we realize.  I guess I could say that it has been a complete blessing to have a computer these days… I write and if I make a mistake, I can just go in and fix it.  No one would be the wiser.  And for that reason alone – I think I have given myself permission to write more than I ever would have.

 

Beyond that – and it may be apparent more to some than others – but somewhere along the way I learned to just force myself to write.  I learned to quiet those voices that wanted to be so critical.  I don’t spend hours deciding what I want to write, instead it is done more on the spur of the moment.  I also almost always post something immediately after writing it, whether here or somewhere else.  I do not spend a lot of time writing and rewriting or painstakingly questioning my choice of words, because if I do… I would not bother writing them at all.  Now, it is not to say that I don’t look over my posts after writing them, but I have to push that button first, without thinking too much about it.  I have to trust myself.  I guess you could say that this is my way of coping or perhaps it is just a way to force myself to challenge that perfectionist voice inside my head.  Not long after I submit a post, I will go back and read through it.  I often find errors… perhaps in typing, or in tone, or in word choice, but I have learned that is just the way things work.  If I spent so much time editing the words prior to posting, I would not be posting as much as I do.  This is one of the ways I have learned to overpower those voices that always want to question… those voices that always want me to silence my own.

 

I don’t know if everyone else struggles similarly, but I have even heard of famous artists, writers, and great thinkers feeling unhappy with their work.  Other times, I really enjoy a piece of work only to hear that some people during that artist’s lifetime felt the work to be unworthy.  It makes you realize the resilience of people, to see how self-doubt and other people’s perceptions could have forced them to easily give up, but they kept going.  Perhaps we all struggle with that in our own ways.  Realizing that many of the people we celebrate today… their spirit and talent that we celebrate today… all started at the beginning.  They did not just stand up and immediately achieve the results that they wanted immediately.  Most of that came from hard work and determination.  So I know I have to keep pushing myself… not because I will be a great artist, but because the only way that I can get better at what I want to do is to try.

 

As for my writing, there have been times when I have regretting writing something.  Other times I might have found my writing to be not as good as other things I have written.  To be honest, I am often rather amazed at the words that come to the page.  Those words would not have been possible, if I wasn’t willing to take a chance.  Now I know this is going to sound opposite of what many people might do… they will write, edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite… etc. and then eventually post, ensuring every word is perfectly in place and has the right tense and it exactly what they wanted to say.  However, I know myself.  I know that if I were to allow my “editor” to be in charge of my writing, barely anything would be written.  Most of it would be found crumpled in the wastebasket.  Nowadays, I feel that writing is one of those things that (most of the time) I face bravely.  I just get up and do it.  I force myself and allow myself to make mistakes.  So, if you ever pass by here and find things a bit out of shape… know that I eventually go back and edit, but I have to let time pass so that I am not as critical of the words.  Instead, I can read the words as if they are not my own.

 

Sadly, I have been less successful in my pursuit of art.  I have no idea why (at all) but I have this huge burning desire to create.  I have no idea what my perfect canvas is, nor what medium I need to express myself in, but there’s this huge gaping hole begging to be filled.  Strange, isn’t it?  The problem is that I don’t know where to start… the minute I put pencil to paper or paintbrush to canvas, I seize up.  I’ve bought materials.  I’ve bought paints, charcoal, pencils, and the like.  Yet, the first marks I make are always quickly scrutinized and deemed unworthy.  It’s strange, I think – because I would not expect anyone to be a master artist the minute they take up art, but here I find myself, hand holding a paintbrush and I’m too afraid to begin.  Other times, I dive right in and finish, finding the work unworthy.  I find it odd that one can be so critical of their every move, but I think we often struggle between what we want and how we have been taught to value ourselves.  It might not be a struggle for all, but I’m sure that I am not alone.  I think that… even when we know how ridiculous it can be, we still succumb to those voices in our heads, but I’m refusing to give up.

 

Now I know that (in the past) I have shared some artwork.  Many of them were a labor of love.  I made them as gifts for other people and I hardly have one to claim as my own.  Somehow, it is so much easier to put the words or to paint an image when I want to show my appreciation for others.  I might not pick up the artist’s tools right away, but the transition from thought to finished produce it so much easier.  The problem only arises when I want to create something for the sake of just creating.  I don’t know where to start and I easily give up.

 

I’m still trying, you see.  I guess that’s why this post has given life to these struggles.  I guess I’m trying to be as brave in art as I have been for writing the words.  Last year I bought myself a sketch journal and I promised myself that I would do some of the lessons in the books I have gotten to do with the kids.  I was excited by the prospect.  The kids have pretty much breezed through their journals… often not even needing anything to prompt their artwork, nor any lessons.  Especially my youngest one who filled an entire large journal just over our vacation of three weeks.  It’s amazing to see them so full of belief in themselves that they just plow through it and I know that’s a gift.  My journal remains untouched.  That does not mean unopened by any means, but every time I have opened the page I worried that whatever I put there would not be worth the time it spent to make it.

 

So this week I have still been trying to force myself to just get in there a try.  I don’t care if it’s learning to draw, or paint, (just something) and overcoming the difficulty to believe in myself.  So what if I’m not an awesome painter?  So what if I can’t draw to save my life… but what if I actually can create something I would be proud of?  How in the world will I ever know if I’m too afraid to try?  I’ve had to remind myself of those things and I’ve tried to motivate myself, just as I have done for each of my children.  However, I guess some things are just more deeply ingrained.

 

I guess if there is one thing to be said about me is that despite my struggles, I don’t give up easily.  That… and I also try my best to understand myself.  If one way won’t work – I will try to find another.  So yesterday I went to the art store and bought a different type of art book, one in which you can paint or draw and then tear out the page should you so desire.  This way, if I’m not happy with it – it does not have to be permanent.  It will not blemish the rest of the book.

 

I’ve given myself permission to get rid of anything I am unhappy with, as long as I allow myself to create… and I promise to wait on my decision.  I don’t know if it is going to make a difference or not, but should I have time this week, I am going to try.  I’m hoping that someday I will learn to be as carefree as the children I have been blessed to raise and I also hope that I can be as gentle and as understanding toward myself as I have been for them.  I think we all need to learn to do more of that for ourselves and  I truly don’t believe that it is ever too late to learn.

 

© Sumyanna 2018

 

 

Posted in On Life, Thinking Out Loud

Conversations 01: Hoping for a Better Future

conversations

 

I’ve thought about it for a while now.  It seems that things are always changing, whether its my focus or things slowly evolving in me.  I notice it, but have a hard time putting words to that feeling.  I guess it’s a good thing that as I get older, I still try to find the words, I try to understand more about myself, and I try to continue to grow in little ways, despite not always feeling that I have enough time to slow down and just exist.  I have found that life can most often be so very amazing.  Right at this moment, we are not the person we were yesterday and we are not going to be the same ever again.  Sometimes, on looking back… it is amazing to think about how far we have come.  What we learn, what we see, and what we think and who we are – evolves just as the days evolve, moving slowly from day to night.  At least, that is where my thoughts lead me today.

 

I don’t always know why I desire so badly to pick up the pen (or in this case, lift the lid of my laptop) and write.  There is something about it that seems so powerful, it is difficult to explain.  When I was younger, I was a curious child.  Everywhere we went, and everything I witnessed… I asked questions.  I’d ask why and when I got the answer, I’d ask why to the response.  I have a child like this now, and while the response I’d love to give some days is “just because!” (you know… moms have bad days too) 🙂  I know how important that curiosity is.  Somehow, after all these years, I have not lost that insatiable desire to understand or to see things more clearly… and then, to capture them in words.

 

I guess that’s why I’m writing them now.  I don’t know if it will help anyone – entertain anyone – or even if anyone will read them, but I write the words because they so desire to be brought to life.  In my mind, at least, thoughts are always swirling around and at the rate that I forget things, I always worry I will forget to say them, or write them, or give them the opportunity to speak.  So I thought that I would write out my thoughts, no matter if they lead to anything more than being written.  I want them here – so that someday my children will have a way to remember who I was at this very moment.  I want to make sure that they will not be able to say they did not know me like so many people I can say that about.  I want to answer their questions, even if they haven’t thought to ask them yet, and I want my words to still be able to breathe life into what I stood for.  So bear with me for a while, or feel free to turn the page.  There are many other things I will celebrate here – from poetry to photography.  This one (at least for now) is for me.

 

I have thought about quieting my voice at times, I’ve wondered why anyone would want to hear what I have to say, but then I take a closer look at myself and I realize how important other people’s stories are to me.  I want to understand other people – to hear their struggles, to know what makes them happy, to understand what makes them strive.  To me, I feel it helps me learn more and grow as an individual.  I don’t believe I can be the person I am meant to be while containing myself in a box.  I cannot grow or thrive only surrounding myself by my own ideas or my own people (who ever they may be).  I see myself more as a global citizen.  There are no fences.  If something affects someone somewhere else, I am also affected… even if I can only mourn their difficulties in my heart.

 

I truly wish the best for all people and I know it can be strange, but I also feel bad for those people who don’t think that others deserve rights (even if the person’s rights they are taking away are mine).  I can’t say that I understand them.  I was never raised that way.  I was taught to love all people.  I was taught that we are all one community, whether you are down my street, in my city or state, or even in another country.  Everything that affects us affects each other.  That is true, whether we realize it or not.  And one thing I have realized is… I really don’t believe that people who fill their hearts with hate and anger towards other people (no matter their differences) are really very happy people.  You cannot place those thoughts and feelings in your heart without it affecting you.

 

I have seen the happiness that people can give one another in kindness.  It can be life changing.  Sure, I’ve grown in a home that was abusive.  I’ve had difficult times in my life.  I don’t think that gives me a right to do the same.  I think that if there was one thing that I learned from my experiences, it is that kindness can save lives.  It can give people hope and a desire to work toward the common good of all.

 

There were times in my life that I wanted to give up.  There were times when I didn’t believe in myself, but I was fortunate that there was always someone willing to lift me up.  They did not have to.  It was not their job, but somehow their hearts could not rest seeing me struggle.  Even something as small as a smile has made a difference.  There were times that people didn’t even know I was struggling.  Still, they always showed up, willing to show me things in myself that I could not see.  They believed in me and over time I learned to believe in myself.  It has made such a huge impact on my life and I truly believe that I would not be the person I am today without it.

 

Sadly, in these difficult life experiences, I know that I am not alone.  I have heard stories that make me wonder what continues to keep the spirit alive in people?  How do they continue to struggle and smile, despite their pain?  It is such a blessing that they do, however and I truly believe that they make the world a better place.  They truly are a testament to the strength and perseverance of the human soul.

 

I can truly say that I would not change anything from my past, no matter how difficult it was at the time.  I am grateful for where I am, who I am, and the beautiful family that I have now been blessed to be a part of.  I am blessed to have wonderful friends, both online and offline.  I could not ask for more.  Had the past not happened, perhaps things would not have turned out the same.  It’s too high a price to pay.  Instead, I choose to celebrate where I am and where I have been, by trying to be a light for others in the same way that others have been for me.  I am not always perfect, I am not always right – but I always try my best.

 

I guess that’s why I don’t understand the current climate that we live in.  I know that the behavior of many still does not reflect the behavior of all, but I guess I could say I am surprised to see the extent of anger and prejudice that so many people hold in their hearts.  I don’t think I’m alone in the fact that sometimes I walk into a room or a place and wonder, will something happen here?  What if someone comes unhinged?  You just never know when someone will have a problem with who you are or what you represent… or perhaps they will have a problem with the person sitting near you.  I feel bad that people have a reason to fear interaction, or perhaps it is just my thoughts that dwell down those lines.  Well, I don’t completely fear it… but it makes me apprehensive and I guess that’s not always a good feeling to have.  Not too long ago, I would not have said I felt the same.

 

Despite this, I still believe that there are good people out there and I still hold out hope that people will realize that there is much more that unites us than divides us.  If anything, perhaps we can get it right in the following generations… if not now.  I hope that other parents are learning the importance of raising their children to not only be tolerant, but to try to be understanding.  I hope that they teach their children to not only be accepting, but to embrace and celebrate the beauty that differences can make.  Overall, I hope that we all learn the importance of trying to understand one another as individuals, with different stories and backgrounds, but similar hopes and dreams.

 

Positive change always has to start somewhere – and I do realize that with every good thing that we celebrate in society, it came at great price and sacrifice.  We should never forget where we came from and what we have struggled through.  Beyond that, we should never stop struggling for the greater good for all.

 

So I hope you will join me in striving to improve and if things do not change in our lifetime… then all I can hope is that we can be a part of the beginning of that change.   It should be one of the basic desires of all of us.  If I can change something, I will.  If I cannot change something, then I will use my voice to show where I stand and if I cannot have my voice, then I will continue to hope and pray that all people will someday be treated equally, no matter who they may be (even those people who would happily take away all those same rights from someone like me).

 

Sumyanna

 

 

Posted in Free Verse Poetry, Inspirational Poems, Poetry, Thoughtful Poems, Woman's Poetry

Finding the Lessons, a poem

Contemplate (2)

 

The words wept

from the depths of her soul

swirling, churning

visualizations of angst,

lacing themselves

between the syllables.

She did not moan

she did not cry

but she expressed.

She laid bare

the feelings,

turning them in her fingers,

examining their crevices.

She tried to

understand

learn

grow

and perhaps to delay

the onset  of further pain.

Lessons dangled there

in the silence

she listened to their voices,

contemplating their stories told.

Where would she go?

What should she do?

And how could she

plant her feet firmly

yet fly away still?

She could bereave

these moments,

cover herself in pain,

cover herself in shame

at all the mistakes

that lead to sadness,

but often here,

as well in times of joy,

there is room for growth.

To truly cherish

the breaths

and the gifts

of passing moments

she must understand

the blessings

she has in their presence

as well as the hardship

of finding the lessons

when life’s beauty

and gifts

are seemingly strained.

 

© Sumyannah 2017

 

Beautiful image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Daily Post Prompt, Free Verse Poetry, Narrative Poetry, Poetry, Sad Poems, Thoughtful Poems, Word Prompt

Weathered with Age, a poem

weathered (3)

 

The barn sits in the corner
Of the property
Sloped roof, full of snow
The paint has worn thin
And what once shined brightly,
Is now a dull gray with age.
My, how things change. . .
The wind whistles eerily
through the wood siding
and though I am alone,
the past whispers
grainy voices from another time
and I sit facing the window
morning coffee in my hands.
The barn leans slightly to the left
and I can’t help but wonder –
what will happen in time?
What will happen –
When the walls no longer hold
And gravity pulls my faded memories
Down – like a stack of blocks
No testament to the hours
I have spent building them up
No song shall remain
Of what I have done
And I can’t help but wonder –
What will happen in time?
When my own walls
Come crashing down.

© Sumyanna 2016

 

Submitted for The Daily Post Prompt: age

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Posted in On Life, On Parenthood, Thinking Out Loud, Uncategorized

Just a Quick Update…

cat

 

I am sure at least some of you may have noticed things went quiet over here for a while.  I’d love to say I was on vacation, soaking in the sun on some remote beach somewhere exotic.  Ahh, the ability to dream!

 

In all actuality, as soon as the season crawled in, we all were hit with the flu… and hit bad.  Well, I guess I should feel fortunate that my husband and the older two did not get sick… but the younger two kept me so busy it was difficult to notice my fortune 🙂   I should count myself lucky, as the kids rarely get sick often.  It is a one blessing of homeschooling that am thankful for.  The hard thing is though, that whenever the younger two get sick, they always seem to thrive on sharing it with everyone else!

 

My little guy got sick first and continued to hack and cough on everyone, especially me.  My next oldest was next and she continued the trend.  What made it worse was that the younger two are rather particular when it comes to having fevers.  They almost always feel nauseous and if you don’t get there in time with something to reduce the fever, they will get sick.  I spent a week with one, taking care of them most of the day, and then the other.  All the while, I could feel my body fighting to keep from getting sick.  I tried to get enough sleep, but I would often wake up to check up on them.

 

It was two weeks after they started getting sick (but were sadly still coughing all over) that I finally had my turn.  You know how it is… you can’t exactly stop doing your job.  You still do, but you feel horrible.  I was not dying… but every day I would wake up and say “when is this thing finally going to go away?”  I seriously was sick for two weeks and even later I still had some moments of coughing.  What makes it worse (in case you did not know) I have sensitivity to several foods, which makes it almost impossible to take medicines, which often contain them.  I was fortunate that I finally found some that I was able to take that were all natural, without containing any of those foods.

 

Fortunately, this week I started to feel better, but I still did not crawl out into “the public eye.”  I seriously was eager to exercise… as that entire time I was either too busy taking care of the kids to do so or I was too sick.  I seriously did not even write in that entire time, so you know I am not kidding.  Rarely does anything come in between me and writing!

 

So there you have it, my short story… made long, about why I’ve been away.  I have missed all of you, in case you did not notice.  I have missed reading and saying hello in passing.  I have missed being challenged to write and having the opportunity to go out and explore the beauty out there in the world.  So today I am deeply grateful for the opportunity, not only to say hello to you, but to also have a moment to tell you how thankful I am to know you.

 

You have been missed.

 

(c) Sumyanna 2017

Adorable image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Posted in Daily Post Prompt, Free Verse Poetry, Historical Portrait Poetry, On Life, On Writing, Poems for Artists, Poems for Writers, Poetry, Sad Poems, Thinking Out Loud, Thoughtful Poems, Word Prompt

Reality tv

RealityTV (2)

 

At times, I think

the world prefers

a constant distraction

the bright, flashing lights

of profitable pursuits

that promise

longevity

strength

poise

and beauty

or perhaps,

a grand distraction

to see not,

where we once thrived,

a snake-oil pursuit

of dreams.

Were the sign not flashing,

none would ever see,

for the blandness

of her soil

would not warrant

inspection,

yet how much

is overlooked?

how much

is overlooked?

Just how much

beauty

is hidden

beneath the cracks?

and how much talent

curdles at the wayside

while people clip passages

(shoveling them through)

and the masses applaud?

Where are all

those unspoken dreams

those unfulfilled promises

and those downtrodden hopes?

While the creators create

the fruit

at their fingertips

sits among the cobwebs

waiting for someone to see.

The painters paint

in broader strokes

tearing at their chests

with worry

the writers write,

souls sent in whispers

across the pages

each sheet torn

tossed

and then repeat,

but the world

is busy

reaching for their popcorn

and consuming reality tv.

 

© Sumyanna 2017

 

Written for The Daily Post Prompt: prefer

Fabulous image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Posted in On Life, On Parenthood, On Writing, Thinking Out Loud

I’ve Been Wandering Between Moments

Sorry to be such a quiet voice recently.  It’s not that we have been 100% busy (although close) but sometimes, I think – that life takes a little bit longer for us to fall into place.  Wherever that place might be, is sure to be full of surprises.

 

For those who don’t know the inner workings of a homeschooling life, know that we come in all shapes and sizes.  Some seek their goals, completely alone.  They choose the curriculum, teach, and provide all the necessary paperwork to the authorities all on their own.  Others still, send their kids off with their books and leave them alone.  Me?  I’m a different animal.  I have always loved learning new things – I have learned to love stretching my skills.

 

My earliest memories – learning to love learning, were definitely at my grandmother’s side.  When we went to visit, she would take out that big box of construction paper, scissors, glitter, paint – the whole works!  She urged us to use our imagination.  She urged us to desire to learn more – not only about ourselves, but the world around us.  When she learned I loved horses, she arranged for me to meet a fellow teacher on her farm to ride one of her ponies.  When I wanted to learn to sew, she wrote me letters about dressmaking and taught me to sew and crochet.

 

It is not that any of these things spurned me toward any certain direction.  I did not become a famous dress-maker, a veterinarian, or an artist, but she taught me the enjoyment of many things.  I learned then that the most important thing you can teach others is to enjoy the world around them, to enjoy the things that you can do and to always seek more in knowledge and ability.  For that reason, I teach the kids.

 

As much as I would like, I just can’t handle taking everything on.  I guess you could say I know my limitations.  So for us, we use a public school that also provides online curriculum.  Truthfully, I have found that there are pros and cons for all of the choices – but this is the one that fits us best.  That said, one of the most difficult things to deal with is time.  Even though the kids have teachers for their subjects – I am still their primary teacher.  I would not have it any other way and I guess that’s what makes me – me.

 

So when I say we are busy schooling, you better know that I am sitting at my computer most of the day, leading one kiddo through a math lesson and another through language arts.  We do that the entire day – only ending to make dinner and then sleep.  Sometimes, I am afforded the opportunity to seek my own goals outside of homeschooling.  It is then that I raise the camera or sit down to write.  In the busy moments, I am sometimes at a loss for such time.

 

This past month (or at least, most of it) was a time period known as “October Count.”  This is the time when funding is determined for schools.  During this time, we are required to do more online work and EVERYTHING is required to be done on time that day, no matter what.  So any flexibility in our schedules is thrown out the window at this time.  So in case you have wondered if I am okay… I am.  If you have wondered if I have run off… I wish 😉  I’ve just been wandering between the moments, hoping for a bit of fresh air.  Today, for just one moment – I was able to speak with you.

 

(c) 2017 Sumyanna