Vivid: Dreaming While Awake

In my researched journey
Towards joy,
I’ve read that thinking
More about what you want,
What you already have
Versus dwelling on
Lack, the negatives
And the, “If only”s
Is more constructive.

So here goes…

I want a simple life
Abundant with peace and quiet
Early rising and
Flexible schedules with space to
Create, learn and savor
My unique flavor of
Self expression I’ve come to know.

This life allows me
To nurture gentle magic
Of calming down,
Of building up
A beauty reserve within
To guide and inform my choices.

My day begins with
Breakfast by candlelight
Getting cleaned and dressed,
Followed by celebrating
My body’s ability to move,

Poetry and tidying
In the morning,
Orchestrating meals
Throughout the day
(I’m surrounded by a plethora,
An almost obscene
Cornucopia of food,
Of quality ingredients
From which to choose).

Rounding out late afternoons
With wine sipping and
Catching up with kids,
Deep breaths,
Eating early, balanced and
Unhurried dinners
That end with small sweets,
Laughter and playing music
While cleaning up together.

Puzzles and book lapping
Cap off my day
In a cozy warm bed made up with
Lavender scented sheets
Followed by a reasonable bedtime.

I want long enough,
Uninterrupted sleep at night
Filled with vivid dreams that
Allow my mind to clear,
To wonder
To explore wild scenarios,
To worry and fear there and then,
If it’s going to stress.

So I can awake to greet dawn
Fresh and ready
To work on experiencing joy
The day has waiting
For me to appreciate.

Some days (but not too, too many)
There must be work.
Smiles, paperwork, photo taking and
Event recaps
All plated with boundless
Energy exertion.

What’s an introvert to do?
I’ll show up and
Shore up my people skills
To a hilt
And feel better about myself
In the theater of it all
Along the way.

Weeks always contain a bit of
Time etched out for
Cultural appreciation of some kind,
Be it the visual arts, cinema,
Music, theater, dance, literature.

My life is filled
With growing childrens’
Jagged senses of humor,
Their lofty opinions,
Technical expertise–their
Experiences unbroken by
Staying in other homes without me.

I want cleaner, clearer
Relationship plot lines
Where everyone knows
Emotionally where they were born,
How they got here and
Where they are likely headed,
Even if the story
May turn out duller,
With a more monotoned,
Conventional end.

In this life,
I’m matriarch of
My own nuclear family
And the grown youngest daughter
Of my extended.
There are no dicey, messy
Consolation prize steps,
Shoots and latters to
Muddle through and bungle.

Many unknowns still remain.
Life road maps switch direction.
Flexibility unrolls
Amid splinters, snags,
Molten rock clumps.

Yes, I expect the unforeseen but
Ultimately, I’m in charge
Of the quality of my fate.
I know where
I’ll lay my head that night and
How much
It’s going to cost me.
I live within my means.

In turn, I plan to still
Give my grown children
Opportunities, head starts
When I can,
Help them if I can,
If they really need my help

But otherwise encourage
And require they
Forge their own futures
Bear the consequences
Of their adult choices
While I stand
A little farther back
And applaud them onwards.

I’m always there
Every step they take,
Always their most adoring,
Biggest fan, absolutely!
But I’m not a financial crutch
That subsidizes them,
Their spouses or
Significant Others
After their mid 20’s, or so.
Enough is enough.

In this life,
Distilled down to the
Minutia of every day,
I’ll be able to see
My laces are knotted well
And will remain tied.
That these shoes may not be fancy
But have been worn by
Me alone.
They are shaped and molded
Entirely for me
And will stay on my feet
To get me through
To the race’s end, somehow.

The finish line crossing
May not be pretty–
A photogenic ideal
Of me raising my arms up
Sporting a toothy grin,

But I’ll finish
Guilt free,
With familial simplicity
And above all,
That I undertook my life roles
The best I could,
Using what I already had

To find and love the joy
Sparked along the way,
Rounding out hollow spots
To raise two dimensions
Up and into the
Fullest city possible,
A hard won
Costly construction project, indeed,
But a learned accomplishment too.

In all of this,
I’ve come to understand
That Security,
Long haul, emotional stability
Evermore, plodding along
More boring and stunted
But substantive back having
Played out by actions
When and where it counts most
Will see me through

And remains my number one desire
As it always has been
But that I had forgotten.

A life of expensive experiences
Or one even of
Rarified emotional scaling up
Heretofore unknown heights
Contains less of what I want
As amazing as those can be
If certain key parts
Are absent,
Or present.

Initially, this post
Focused more narrowly
On what I don’t want,
Things that bothered and
Rankled my insides
And to some degree
Still touches upon those.

But rather than falling into
Familiar easy patterns
Of blaming someone else,
Of focusing on what
They have failed to do
Or continue to encourage,

I’ve come to understand how
My own shortcomings manifest here and
Have created my own misery.
That it’s me
Who doesn’t fully comprehend
Or accept
What Is.

That any inner turmoil I’ve had
Is mine, first and foremost,
Not someone else’s “fault”.

Earlier, I had wanted
And even thought I might be able
To change dynamics
Between other people
Before I fully understood
How deeply rutted, rooted
And non-negotiable things are.

That they, in fact,
Rather like and fully intend
To maintain whatever it is
They have
Just the way it is
And thus isn’t not for me
To tamper with
Regardless of how healthy
I think that kind of relationship is
Or how it “Should” be.

Thus, I’ve ceased to
Try changing anyone else
Because I’ve seen that
Putting a finger in things
Is useless, pointless
Like attempting to
Keep a massive wriggling tuna
Quiet and still, in my arms,
A thankless impossibility that
Leaves me muscle weary
And empty handed.

Consequently, I shifted my focus.
I appreciate fully but also have
Moved away from a doorway that
Leads me to nowhere except
Red-hot frustration and
A loss of joy and sanity
To consider other
Softly lit hallways.

Even so, my heart stumbles
With terrific ache
Because I know the depths of good
So vibrant with motion and hue
Activating my every fiber
And feels like Forever.

Because I am aware that
I am blind to generosity.
That opportunity for More
Can be found along nontraditional pathways
If I were more open.

Now, unreconciled sadness for myself
Replaces most of the anger or
Judgement I may have had
Towards anyone else’s
Way of being

Because I know it’s also me who is
Unable and unwilling
To be more supple,
To ride certain chances
Along a family’s edge

Because they go against
My gut instincts,
My values, frankly,
And I know I must listen to
What my heart tells me
Doesn’t work
As much as celebrate
What does.

A magnitude of loss exists
That I am certain
I don’t fully understand yet,
But will.



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