The Recluse (Part III)

Part I http://wp.me/p6iXvK-dQ

Part II http://wp.me/p6iXvK-eh

On this beautiful, late June morning, Estelle is outside tending to the roses and Rhododendron before the humidity becomes unbearable. The rare treat of a clear, blue, Pennsylvania sky fills her with a sense of elation so intense that part of her interprets it as a premonition of something exciting on the way. Estelle dismisses this idea as quickly as it rises because she knows there can be nothing new in her hum- drum life. With intensity, she focuses on clipping withered blossoms from the Rhododendron hedge that forms the eastern boundary of her property. They are in full bloom, pink, white, and red; the favorite of the humming birds whirring around her garden. Caravana, her fluffy white cat, contentedly weaves himself in and out of her ankles as she works. The two are inseparable. A sudden breeze picks up, turning the leaves on the oak tree upside down, and Estelle takes note that it will rain later today. As she pushes to finish her work, she hears the door-bell ring, looks at her watch, and makes a mental inventory of any deliveries that might be coming on this new Tuesday. Nothing coming to mind, Estelle decides to ignore the bell, a bit irritated at the interruption from the outside world. Being alone is her normal state and any feelings of loneliness were buried deep, a long time ago.

“Hello? Is anyone home? I’m your new neighbor!” Startled, Estelle looks up and her eyes lock with two large, brown eyes peering over the top of her back gate. With no way to escape, she pulls herself together and politely asks, “Yes? May I help you?” Though she is very poised, Estelle is alarmed not only, by the uninvited intrusion but there is something in those eyes that she recognizes. Those eyes draw her like a magnet but at the same time frighten her to her very core. Then she chides herself, “It’s just a little girl!” Alisha determined to make meaningful contact doesn’t hesitate, “I made some Bisquochitos and I thought maybe we could try them together? I copied my mother’s recipe and Momma says that Bisquochitos should never be eaten alone.” Estelle is caught off guard by someone bringing her a gift and offering companionship, as well. What could this child be up to? “Well, thank you for the thought dear. What are Bis..quit…cheatas?” Alisha laughs, “They are Mexican sugar cookies and they’re very good with milk or hot tea! If you open the gate, I’ll show you!” Estelle hesitates and timidly lifts the latch, as the gate swings open she asks, “Are… you from Mexico?” “Oh, no!” Alisha giggles, “I was born in Virginia. My dad was stationed there. My parents are from Arizona but I grew up in Philadelphia. My dad works on computers and we moved here so he could start his own business. We moved in three weeks ago. Did you notice?” “Oh yes, I noticed.” Estelle answered, “Many neighbors have come and gone during the time I’ve lived here.” The implication is a show of strength meant as a defense. Estelle struggles to keep her walls up despite the very forward attempts on the part of Alisha to tear them down. “Oh, you’ve lived here a long time then? Do you have some milk or tea so we can try my cookies?” Not knowing quite how to turn this little girl aside, Estelle plays the role of hostess, from memories of long ago. “Yes, I have both but little girls should have milk, I’ll have tea.” By this statement, Estelle hoped to establish authority and retrieve control. “Come this way, sit here, and I’ll be back in a moment.” Alisha sat down at the patio table, disappointed that she didn’t make it all the way inside. Through the glass door, she couldn’t make out many details of the kitchen and before long, Estelle re-emerged with the beverages.

“Here you go. Hmmm…what did you say your name was?” Estelle asked. “Oh! I’m Alisha…Alisha Hernandez. My mom and dad are Maria and Tony. May I ask your name?” “I’m Mrs. Williams.” Estelle said firmly, hoping to stop further inquires and keep the relationship formal. “Do you like my Bisquochitos?” “Yes, they are quite tasty, dear and thank you. I thought all Mexican food was spicy but these have a delicate flavor. Thank you for bringing them over. Drink your milk up now. I appreciate your kindness but I’ve a great deal to accomplish today.” Alisha feeling that she is losing her opportunity fast, asks with the abruptness of a child, “Why don’t you have any family or friends?” The words pierce like sharp shards of broken glass shot into Estelle’s heart, “It isn’t appropriate, dear to ask such personal questions of a stranger. I think it is time for you to run along.” With gentile niceties, Estelle rushes Alisha back out the gate and out of her safe, quiet world.

Estelle looks up and marvels at how quickly the blue sky had turned gray. With storm clouds looming and the humidity intensifying, she turns to putting away her gardening tools, and then suddenly, misses Caravana. “Kitty, kitty! Handsome Caravana! Where are you?” Thinking he may have followed her into the kitchen, Estelle goes inside to look for him. The door bell rings, again! Still calling for her feline best friend, Estelle dutifully, answers the door and there stands Alisha, holding a purring Caravana. Not waiting for an invitation she knows by now, probably won’t come, Alisha pushes her way in. “He followed me out of the gate and I was back home before I noticed him. He likes me I think.” Alisha is stunned by the interior of this average home. Everything is up-to-date and perfect like in a magazine. Above the fire-place is a portrait of a woman who resembles Mrs. Williams but she realizes right away the painting isn’t of her neighbor. There were also, lots of photographs of the same woman, in frames, scattered here and there around the room. So many clues to take note of but they only added to the mystery of “The Lone Lady” and offered no answers. “Your house is beautiful! Who is that woman?” Estelle weary of the intrusion decides to ignore Alisha’s questions, “Thank you for bringing Caravana home. Have a good day.” She takes the cat from the girl and shoos her out the door, locking it behind her.

Holding Caravanna close, Estelle sits down, gently on the pale-blue velvet couch and admires the expensive decor. Walls the color of banana cream pie add warmth to the light blue draperies and furnishings, highlighted with silver and a hint of rose. The fabrics are rich and expensive; the rugs thick with soft luxury. She feels proud of the work she’s done here and as she looks up at her mother’s portrait, asks out loud, “Do you like it, Momma? I know it’s still a small house but do you like it this way? I did it for you, Momma. Now, do you love me? Is it good enough?” Caravana responds to Estelle’s deep longing, stirred by the unwanted interaction of the morning, and snuggles his nose into her neck. Comforted but still shaken, Estelle tries to decipher the feelings Alisha brought to the surface. Still waters run deep and she preferred to keep the waters still with the hurt and confusion resting at the bottom. What was it about those eyes? It was Alisha’s huge, chocolate-brown, child eyes that drew her irresistibly, toward her but also, filled her with dread. She looked up at the portrait again and understood. The little girl’s eyes held the same expression as her mother’s. A chill she couldn’t name passed over her as the weight of the void pressed down. Exhausted, Estelle made her way to the back of the house and sought refuge in the heart of this shrine. Her mother’s room speaks of royalty, frivolity, and fairytales. Estelle faithfully, places fresh pink roses in this room every day, and their scent permeates this secret haven. With Caravana, she lies down on the sacred bed and cries herself to sleep, not understanding who she is crying for.

Estelle’s dreams tell her the truth of her inner mysteries and reveal the reason for her isolation. A nightmare that is somehow also, comforting. Most of her dreams will fade and the reckoning taking place in them will be forgotten by morning. What will remain is only a clue to the truth that is the key to unlocking the door shut on her life.

(To be Continued)

Timothy Leary and the Satanic Narco Men

Ai Timothy Leary, ivy towered pied piper of my youth! I remember you so well…

And in the legend to this day sung, they tell…

Repeat this famous line: you aren’t dead but out there, somewhere…

Looking in… And I’m wondering….

Is this the “Brave New World” you imagined?

Is this the evolution you desired to force by chemical enlightenment?

Did you see what became of the children who drank your “Magic Kool-Aide”?

What did you think would happen after “The Year of Peace and Love” became the past?

What did you think would remain after 1968?

I heard you talking in 1982 and it was evident, you still thought what you’d done was great!

A fine mind twisted by too much LSD! An old man still rambling about the destruction of society…

Truly, an aging reprobate…

Are you really out there? Have you seen the Satanic Narco Men of 2016?

The Counter Culture took over, man! Now, the Narcos rule! They’re the new establishment!

Dude! They rule! With an iron fist of violence, by the gun,

With the power of astronomical wealth!

Gained by selling your famous “Magic Kool-Aide” in every flavor and form…

Ai Timothy! I see your dreams coming true as society crumbles and nations fall,

To the madness brought on by so many chemically endarkened minds!

This is the “New World Order”…

Corruption maintains porous borders as great Narco Armies guard global trade routes;

Ensuring the flow of your “Magic Kool-Aide” (available in so many flavors) to a drug-starved world…

Did you know your little test would birth the world’s largest economy?

You, my Communist leaning mentor, who engendered this mighty capitalist’s black market,

If you’re out there… do you wish you could close the Pandora’s Box?

You who railed against Viet Nam, do you acknowledge the blood on your hands?

Are you able to number the innocents who’ve fallen? The collateral damage of the Narco Wars?

Everywhere now, there are “baby killers”. In this liberal world built on the amorality of science.

Conscious Evolution by chemically induced spirituality is a nightmare! A bad trip man…

But Timothy! The masses still dance to your tune! And respond by popping another pill…

For in this “New Narco World”, dealers often wear white coats and pocket prescription pads.

Every day new addicts are born and the cycle of abuse continues in our dysfunctional human family;

A family drowning in chemically empowered denial.

And Timothy? Before you dismiss this as the ramblings of a post-menopausal hag who back in 1970,

Took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and ruined her health with drugs…

Let me remind you; chickens come home to roost, and America’s chickens are on their way…

The Satanic Narcos who crushed Columbia, Guatemala, and Mexico will crush America and the world!

The only way to stop them is to starve them out by abstaining from drinking “Magic Kool-Aide”…

It is our sin bringing this decent into madness.

I know Timothy, you really are dead but Judgment Day is coming and you aren’t the only one…

Who must answer for the blood on your hands.

 

 

 

The Recluse (Part II)

Read Part I here:https://joyindestructible.com/2016/01/16/the-recluse/

Alisha Hernandez isn’t sure whether she should be happy about moving to Greenwood. She wasn’t included in the decision even though she was the priority consideration. Alisha is twelve, on the cusp of adolescence. She vacillates almost, hourly between being a child and being a teenager, as she clings to what she knows and tests what is to come. Having lived only, in an apartment in Philadelphia, the idea of a house with a yard and a large bedroom all her own, excites her but her heart wavers on the unknowns. She misses her friends already and wonders if she’ll fit in here in suburban Pennsylvania. Alisha is tall, with long black hair, large chocolate brown eyes, with a glowing olive complexion. Though she bears the gawkiness of a twelve year old, the discerning eye can’t miss the hint of how beautiful she will be at sixteen. She doesn’t know how this frightens her father, keeps him awake at night, and is his main motivator for moving his family to what he calls “the safety of suburbia”. Alisha never felt unsafe in the city. Not understanding that her sense of safety has nothing to do with the city itself but instead, her parent’s love and vigilance, she questions her dad’s judgment. “Why is he so paranoid?” is the question she asks herself. In fact, she is beginning to question everything about her parents. As she gingerly tests adolescence, she is also, beginning to test everything she’s been told. At twelve, Alisha is embarking upon the process of deciphering the value of all she’s been taught and choosing what to adopt as her own. Though she longs for the security of childhood, the forces of nature drive her to demand she be regarded as an adult.

Anthony and Maria Hernandez are simple, hard working people of sincere faith, who adore their only daughter. They place her needs above everything and work hard to make sure she lacks for nothing. They can’t give her everything money can buy but they lavish her with attention and make sacrifices that enable them to give her more than most children of same monetary status. Unwittingly, they are raising a child of privilege in an environment of limited privilege. Their intent is to give their daughter opportunities beyond the limits of their own childhoods. They are gracious, giving people who don’t neglect to teach their daughter about the grace of God and the importance of serving others but they are so caught up in serving Alisha that they underestimate her need to serve and sacrifice. Alisha believes herself to have certain entitlements even though, her parents are lower middle-class. A new pattern is emerging in the Hernandez household as Alisha enters her teens; Alisha demands, her parents refuse, Alisha cries as if her heart is breaking, and her parents acquiesce.

Moving is expensive and a house in suburbia makes it necessary for Maria to work outside of the home. Finding a decent job so quickly is a God-send but she is uneasy about leaving Alisha home alone during the day. Alisha however, is quick to let her parents know that she isn’t a baby and demands this opportunity to prove her maturity. She overwhelms her parents with guilt about all the changes “forced” upon her and they relent. Maria comforts herself by thinking she will find activities to keep her daughter busy once the bills are caught up and in the mean-time, she will trust God. Alisha feels empowered by her victory but also, a little worried about being alone all day.

Welland Avenue is a much quieter street than Alisha is accustomed to. Used to the rhythm of traffic she finds it difficult to sleep so, she stays up late and sleeps late. She will never tell her parents but she is bored during the day and rising late makes the day seem shorter. As an escape, she takes up the habit of lounging on the rear deck and reading in the afternoons. Alisha enjoys reading mysteries and dreams of being a detective or even a FBI agent, in the future. It isn’t long before she notices her next door neighbor, who is also, one of the few people in this neighborhood home during the day. Alisha doesn’t know any of the gossip about Estelle but she loves a mystery and this quiet, solitary woman seems to embody mystery. Soon, Alisha is spending more time spying on her neighbor and acting out her books than reading them. At first, she watches her only, in the back yard but also, begins to catch glimpses of her through the windows. In her lonely hours she becomes obsessed with the lady next door who is always alone. She often observes “The Lone Lady”, as she has titled her, sitting at her desk and absent mindedly gazing out the window, while seeing nothing. “Why does she look so sad?” Alisha wonders, as she vows to find a way to introduce herself to this interesting woman and get to the bottom of the matter. Even though “the matter” is all her imagination built around a woman who does nothing extraneous.

Momma, have you noticed that lonely, lady next door? She doesn’t have a family or friends. She is just home all day every day.” Alisha is careful to broach the subject on a sympathetic note. “ No mi jita, I’ve been too busy to notice our neighbors. It’s sweet of you to notice, mi linda.” Maria’s heart swells with pride and she is completely, taken in. “I was thinking, Momma…maybe I could make some cookies and take them to her. The Bible says we should be kind to people who have no one. You and dad always, say so.” Alisha’s words are meant to manipulate but also, to test the validity of the faith her parents profess. “Yes honey, we are to give of ourselves to the widows and orphans but I don’t know our neighbor, or why she is all alone. I want you to be safe. You are my first priority mi jita. When I have more time, we’ll go together and take her some cookies.” Alisha is frustrated by this answer and quickly, pulls out her best gun; tears, “Momma! It’s not like I’m asking to go out with a boy or stay out late with friends you don’t know! I want to do a good deed for our neighbor, the way you and dad teach me! Don’t be a hypocrite Momma! Haven’t I been responsible while you are at work? Nothing will happen to me if I bake cookies and take them to a lonely lady next door!” Maria looks at her daughter, who has tears streaming down her cheeks, and relents. “Okay sweetheart, if it means that much to you. I’m proud of you mi jita.” Alisha is over-joyed by her victory, files the technique away for future reference, and then pats herself on the back for her altruistic nature, as she allows herself to enjoy the self-image she created to serve her purpose. Most importantly, she’d won. Tomorrow would be less boring than today because tomorrow, she would finally meet, “The Lone Lady”!

Alisha went to the kitchen to make a batch of bisquochitos while next door, Estelle sat dreaming and wistfully waiting for her long delay to end.

(To be Continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Recluse

From the outside looking in, it is very difficult to understand why this woman who appears to be healthy and normal would choose to live in isolation. It doesn’t however, keep people in the neighborhood from trying to peek and ascertain why their neighbor is so strange. In fact she is the subject of not a few urban legends, tales the town’s children hear and love to repeat. Though everyone has forgotten her name, she bears many titles, “The Ghost”, “The Brown Recluse”, “Witch”, “The Vampire”, each depending on the childish story repeated to then, be expounded upon. Adults repeat tall tales of their own in stories that are gossip excused as knowing the “dangers” that exist in the neighborhood. As a result, parents warn their children to steer clear of “that strange woman’s house” and everyone keeps a vigilant eye on a quiet home where nothing ever happens. If they knew the truth about their neighbor who by simply being isolated adds drama to their hum-drum lives, they would most likely, shed tears and understand “the recluse” to be a fellow human being.

Estelle is a pretty, older woman who was once, a beauty. She has lived in this small house on Welland Avenue for her entire life. As an only child, she simply never moved away not because she was dependent upon her parents but after her father died it was natural for her to remain and care for her mother. Estelle is a very independent person but her mother was unable to survive on her own. In fact, Emma her mother, was forever a child in a woman’s body. As if she had no arms and legs of her own, she depended upon the legs and arms of others to meet her needs. Emma was a beautiful woman and as a young woman, lacked for nothing of material value because of her looks. Instead of learning to fend for herself, she became adept at manipulation especially, of men. It all backfired on her at the age of thirty-one, when her allure was beginning to fade and she found herself somehow, pregnant. Estelle’s father Joe, a simple man, became an easy target for Emma in her dire situation. It wasn’t difficult for her to con Joe into loving her and accepting full responsibility for her and another man’s baby. He wasn’t the kind of man that Emma admired (admiration was Emma’s only, definition of love) but he presented himself as handy and she grabbed him to preserve the image she liked to project of herself. Unlucky Estelle was the innocent baby born to this union formed to suit Emma’s need.

Emma’s lack proved to be bottomless over the years. Joe wasn’t capable of giving her what she wanted. His simple love, devotion, and faithful care weren’t enough. Emma hated their small house but never thought of getting a job to help Joe buy a bigger house. Instead, she nagged and grew bitter, drowning herself in herself and alcohol. “Estelle! Listen to me schweetheart…don’t saddle yourself with a wimp like your dad. Marrying him ruined my life! I deserve so much more than this! You find yourself a real man with the means to provide, the way a man is supposed to provide for his woman!” Even though it was Estelle’s dad that gave her genuine love, discipline, and kept a roof over her head, there was something about Emma that required worship and Estelle worshiped her mom. She also, adopted the view of her father that her mom so often promoted. In fact Estelle doted on her mother, tended to her when she had too much to drink, listened to her complaints, and tried with everything in her, to please her mother. She wanted so badly, to earn her mother’s love but love was outside of Emma’s ability to give. In fact, nothing about Emma was real. She existed as a clawing empty shell projecting many false images designed to please and manipulate in a false hope of filling her insatiable desires. Estelle, the dutiful daughter, learned to reflect admiration for each and every one of those personas. In fact, she looked up to her mother’s pretense as an amazing ability to convey wholeness to others when in fact, her life was in shambles. Estelle felt that she was lacking in her inability to hide her true feelings. She knew her straight forward nature upset her mother and since she admired her mother so greatly, she also, learned to despise herself for being so different from her mother. Estelle’s self esteem revolved around filling her mother’s bottomless inner void, in hopes of earning her approval.

Estelle was in college when Joe suddenly, died of a heart attack. He was a hard worker who gave little thought to himself and his small family also, paid little attention to him. Perhaps, if he’d been more proactive about his health he wouldn’t have died at age 55 but his life’s reward was apparently, not on this earth but in Heaven. Joe was such a good man that to most people, he was invisible. Emma was furious when she received word of her husband’s death. How could he? “What in God’s Name am I supposed to do now?” were the first words out of her mouth. The second sentence, “Once a worm always a no good worm, I knew he’d pull something like this on me!” It was Joe’s death that made Estelle aware of what he’d meant in her life and now, she felt the full weight of the responsibility he had carried for her mother shift onto her shoulders. Suddenly, she knew her father may have had his weaknesses but he was never a wimp. “Don’t worry, Mamma. I’m here. I’ll quit school and I’ll take care of you.” She pulled her mother close to comfort her and they shed tears together. Estelle cried for the loss of her dad and Emma cried for herself.

Estelle cared for her mother with same kind of devotion that a good mother has for her child. It wasn’t so much that they reversed roles rather, Estelle grew into the role of mother, as Emma remained forever, a child. Over the years, there were men interested in Estelle. She was beautiful with dark hair, green eyes, white skin, and a long slender physique. Though quiet and shy, her personality was sweet and she was very intelligent. However, her mother couldn’t abide her daughter deserting her for any man and Estelle wasn’t capable of standing up to her mother. In fact, her whole life was about her mother and making sure her mother had the things she needed and wanted. She really didn’t have time for a life of her own. The thought of leaving her mother with strangers made her feel so guilty. She just couldn’t do that and soon she learned how to erect walls to keep men from even daring to look her way. Her girlfriends did marry and had families. Slowly, they faded from Estelle’s life, as she lost all commonality with her peers. As Emma aged, she became more demanding and staged great, draining dramas if she didn’t get enough attention. Estelle lost herself in work and in caring for the mother she doted on. Even though her mother never truly, loved her in return.

When Emma passed (due to liver damage as the result of her alcoholism) the empty hole at the core of her being didn’t die. It simply, transferred itself to haunt Estelle. Having lived for her mother instead, of developing a life of her own, left Estelle with nothing but the void she inherited. It was all she had left and sadly, it was so familiar that she surrendered herself to it. She became one with it as she withdrew entirely, from the world around her. She began working at home through her computer and the only, people she had contact with were those acquaintances who provided necessary services. This is the truth about Estelle, the recluse; a tale more sinister than any urban legend, the story of a woman who lived for another and never developed a life of her own.

Now, Estelle lives in isolation and waits, with no clue as to what or who she is waiting for.

(To be continued.)

Hope Purposed in Twilight

Such a sickly, small child, one in whom the light of life seemed as twilight, soon to fade. His mother wonders how this could happen to her. Her dreams of being loved unconditionally by the child she bore, shattered when this four pound boy made his entrance into the world, too soon. She longed for a strong son, who one-day would take care of her but this child was proving to be a bother. All the clothing she’d received from friends and relatives were much too large and she’d been forced to bring him home dressed in doll clothes. Her mother and sisters said she should be grateful that she was able to bring him home but when she compared her son to her nieces and nephews, she experienced no feelings of gratitude. Her son was such a weakling that his cry resembled that of a small kitten. He was difficult to hear from the other room and she resented him for that. How would she ever be able to get anything done? What must people think? Surely, his condition had nothing to do with the cigarette smoking she was unable to completely, set aside during pregnancy. A lot of women drank wine when expecting and surely, the few times she’d over imbibed weren’t enough to hurt her baby. It just wasn’t her fault! She felt herself cursed to receive such a defect. This puny runt of a son was just another example of how badly life treated her; another disappointment to cope with.

At age eighteen, Marissa was little more than a child herself and her love of alcohol kept her emotional maturity at about fourteen, the age when she first began drinking. She was the youngest in a large family and though her sisters doted on her, she had too little attention from tired parents who were also, grandparents. Marissa drank because she was lonely and she fell into other bad behaviors because of her need to belong to the drinking crowd. She became pregnant on purpose, thinking she’d find the emotional connection she yearned for in a baby. All of her dreams of motherhood were the fantasies of a little girl and her self-care during pregnancy was childishly, negligent. At eighteen, Marissa was frozen in narcissism and would remain forever, as a selfish child unless someday, she should decide to stop drinking, grow up, and develop into a whole person.

This isn’t good news for Marissa’s child. The tiny infant she left sleeping beneath too many blankets, while she sat drinking, smoking, deeply immersed in self. Suffocating, Adrian struggled to breathe beneath the weight and heat of the blankets, as his mother sought relief in the love of her life, Jack Daniels. The small boy’s twilight was quickly fading into night when one of Marissa’s sisters rang the door bell.

Arianna became an angel the moment she entered the room; an angel sent to save little Adrian. Wanting to see the new baby, she pulled the heavy blankets back and found the meager baby not breathing. Marissa began to helplessly, scream and cry in fear for herself, while Arianna tilted the baby’s small head back and breathed her life into his lungs. Miraculously, it was enough and Adrian began mewing his pitiful cry. This would be the first of three times that Adrian would face death before the age of five. Each instance brought about by the irresponsible actions of a mother who would forever remain a little girl.

Adrian was born with all of the odds set against him. No one looking in on the first years of his life would hold out much hope for him. This small child born as a sensitive in a harsh environment was doomed to suffer intensely. Many would say that abortion would be the greatest kindness to bestow on such a child. No greatness was evident in this child that seemed to be born to live only, in a moment of twilight. It is true that if he hadn’t been born, he would not have to experience pain or anguish. However, if he’d never been born, the world would suffer from his absence. For by his suffering, Adrian learned great compassion for abuse survivors and coupled with his inborn sensitivity, it gave him the empathy of insight into the suffering of others. He became a powerful counselor, teacher, and mentor to adults who also, survived abuse and neglect as children. The greater purpose for Adrian’s life could not be accomplished if his early years had been years of health, love, and comfort. God watched over Adrian despite the dysfunction of his mother and sent many angels at just the right time, to save him from death, to nurture him, to love, and value him. These angels enabled Adrian to survive and also, find his way to a saving faith that gave him the purpose and strength he needed to heal his trauma. In Jesus, the person not the religion, Adrian found the nurture he lacked from his mother. In mirroring Christ and seeking to live as He lived, Adrian found his purpose in serving God first and from that position of power, serving others. By faith, the power of choice, and hard work, he overcame all the odds; and rather than growing up to become another generational link in the curse of family dysfunction, Adrian became a blessing to many people. A child of twilight purposed in hope and filled with the divine light of God!

Undistorted Joy

Words that pour from a fractured, patched together heart,

Sometimes, fly in a hailing storm of bullets!

Fired randomly in fear!

When a threat today echoes in the echoes of the traumas of the past;

Triggering an emotional storm; driving the broken one to posture in self-defense;

Paranoid and in confusion, vainly trying to prevent yesterday’s repetition;

There is no rhyme, no reason, and no sense!

No poetry, no prose powerful enough to muffle the bullets and protect

An unwitting target; when missiles, manufactured from thick layers of pain from the past,

Are fired! While the patched together one hides, thinking only of self protection;

Valiantly and covertly seeking to destroy those monsters lingering in closets of the mind;

Ghosts of long ago that haunt in the conflicts, the disagreements, the present threats;

Which quickly magnify and loom with all of the power of original monsters who shattered that heart,

Many years ago …may they find eternal rest in my forgiveness… and in letting them go…

As I die to myself…and submit further to the process until that process is completed…

Please forgive me (as I forgive them), my passive aggressive reflex!

Expressed as words that rained down on you as bullets! You the victim of my fear!

And my sometimes, inability to recognize the difference between then and now;

Those times when paranoia drives my reason under the bed with a shotgun,

To fire at everything and anything that dares to move!

Forgive me please, for internalizing my monsters in an effort to gain control,

Long enough… to patch this heart together and move forward.

Forgive me for pelting you with the bullets intended for them; Forgive this murder in my heart!

Expressed so passively; born in thick, deep layers of pain and swallowed aggression;

Please forgive me, let it all go, and live your life in peace, with abundant blessings!

Don’t allow these randomly fired bullets to lodge and remain to spread their poisonous infection,

That carries the sin of abuse from generation to generation to generation to generation…

Let it all end here!

I have seen the enemy of me and she is me.

This log in my eye has been lifted out and now, I understand.

I am truly, sorry for the pain my words caused!

I’m sorry you were caught in the path of my triggering!

My words that hurt you and triggered the echoing of your own painful past…

May we each walk into our futures, toward greater healing,

Experiencing the metamorphosis of faith,

Available to all in Christ;

Where shattered, mended hearts become new and the echoes of trauma are silenced,

In repentant hearts that by confession expel the poison, stopping the infection of sin;

Hearts purified by forgiving as we both are forgiven.

This is the place where love and justice meet to create lasting peace.

This is undistorted joy!

 

 

 

 

Indigo Holiday

I am blue; thoughts downward swirl; deep purple;

The rainbows I like to spin now fade, growing dim;

Joy, only a yellow glow in sad mood’s onyx night;

Glimmering that haunts; by fault revealing scruple,

Things I don’t want to see, as I avoid a reality grim;

Gritty-brown, naked, splattered! Red just for spite!

Taste my memory so bitter! Causes blood to curdle!

Wear this outer mantle so carefully! Proper; Prim…

Too cool… raging fire burning within; hidden plight,

Simmers on Indigo Holiday; pain forced in a girdle;

Ornaments all golden hung on Tanenbaum’s limb…

I need peace not golden tinsel! Truth’s white light!

Guide my heart! End frenetic expectations’ garble!

Dispel purple gloom! Sad memories up to the brim!

Over-flow! Blue mood shadow darkening my sight…

Jesus! My Centerpiece! Softens hurt hard as marble!

Evaporate mists of Indigo Holiday’s traditional trim,

My triggered ghosts, turning all happiness to blight…

With yearnings for what should be; not this struggle;

Mourn! Please, Time make old pain-memories slim;

May every day be a blank slate reflecting Holy light!

Transform Indigo Holiday; Heal grief vexing in purple.

 

No matter what we believe about Christmas, there is no way to avoid being affected by this huge cultural event. Many people don’t feel happy and bright when the holidays roll around, as they are going through a difficult time or remembering a loss. Others have convictions about customs that put them in conflict with family members and friends. When Christmas hurts there is recourse for believers in stepping away from the tinsel and the high expectations and focusing instead on the Center Piece of God’s plan for mankind, Jesus Christ. In Him there is support for every grieving heart and comfort for all who struggle in this world. He is there for us every day even, on holidays and He has a plan to help each of us fulfill the plan God has for our lives. Jesus is reason when your world is turned upside down. In Him, every day is a Holy Day filled with His purpose and promise. There is healing joy in Jesus when you are unable to feel happy and bright.

 

 

 

Joy for the Broken!

Sharpened shards of shattered thought do haunt;

Twisting perception, by imagination into madness;

Deflecting sanity and chanting the same old taunt;

Removing all superfluous hope and joy in gladness!

Don’t peer long into the darkness; evil’s eyes gaunt!

Disease does spread! Infecting hearts with sadness;

Manufactured misery; malignancy; it produces want;

Woe to the child raised in such black-holed madness!

Inheriting the wind in the brokenness and the haunt,

Of past generations, all ownership of future madness!

Do you hear it? The Devil’s gleeful and jeering taunt?

Destroying good, tainting childish hearts by madness!

This is his goal: Destroy them by generational haunt!

Only, Truth can break the cycling of abuse sadness!

By one mind at a time and re-writing life in new font;

Upright sanity found in Christ, He restores gladness!

Enlightens! Shines bright in dark eyes emptied haunt,

By ancestral ghosts, trapped in hereditary madness!

Jesus is the Way to end mad jeers, every devil taunt!

Heals sick minds by His Truth; Rejoice with gladness!

As old ghosts die and God’s Love fills all inner want!

Joy for the broken in Jesus! Truth ends the madness!

 

 

The Joy in Forgiveness

Time wears away at the facts within a memory;

But time, can’t prevent the wound from scaring;

Or prevent mindless hand from caressing reverie,

The cold, rough lump, which stiffens love’s caring;

A madness of sorts; this living in the past’s territory!

Lost in yesterday; and past hurts in present bearing;

Brokenness unburied, lye outside time’s cemetery;

Scars that bleed; and build thick with daily tearing;

Scars where smooth flesh should be; twist memory,

Tying distorted knots of hate! Embittered wearing

Away all joy, all peace; love lost in heart’s cemetery;

Forgiveness if received and given stops the scaring!

Releasing the bitter poison that darkens a memory!

Lets in the Light! Stops hand from mind re-tearing,

By daily reliving, hurts belonging in past’s territory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Isn’t Me, It Is Jesus!

If you see something good in me,

It isn’t me, it is Jesus.

If in me you hear a call to be free,

It isn’t me, it is Jesus.

If in me you see perfect purity.

It isn’t me, it is Jesus.

If in me you see worthiness of honor,

It isn’t me, it is Jesus.

If in me you see your hope of healing,

It isn’t me, it is Jesus.

If in me you hear pure Love calling,

It isn’t me, it is Jesus.

If you see something evil in me,

It isn’t Jesus it is only, me.

If in me you hear a call to bondage,

It isn’t Jesus it is only, me

If in me you see sullied Divinity,

It isn’t Jesus it is only, me

If in me you see worthiness dishonored,

It isn’t Jesus it is only, me.

If by me you received hurtful wounding,

It isn’t Jesus it is only me.

If in me you found a love that left you wanting,

It isn’t Jesus it is only, me.

Please! See all of this exists at once in me!

I am a paradox! I am a human being!

A sinful woman saved by God’s Grace,

Through Spirit led faith, Jesus lives in me!

Divinity with all His Power, Truth, and Purity,

Living in this house built out of muddy clay!

A broken pot, retrieved from the scrap pile,

Lovingly repurposed and put to Father’s use,

So if in me you hear His voice that you recognize?

It isn’t me, I’m only muddy clay. It is Jesus!

The only One who can satisfy all of your longing.