Love and Marriage and Practicality

There’s some sort of commercial event coming up this Friday. I’m not sure what’s it’s all about; judging by the stores, there’s a lot of red and pink and hearts involved. There’s also chocolate, which I can always get behind.

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Only try this if you want to crash.

From what I can gather, like with Christmas; if we spend enough money on presents, we love someone.

The facial expressions of the men shopping on V-Day tell me otherwise. Every year, I see an unusual number of men in end-of-day work shirts and khakis standing in line at the checkouts. All bear flowers, balloons, chocolates, or plush animals holding hearts. And all bear a resigned grimace.

Hopefully all that annoyance pays off for them later…

As for me and my husband, we’re practical. I have never demanded flowers, chocolates, and a romantic evening on February 14 (at least, not lately). I’ve not insisted Kevin spend a certain amount for an anniversary gift. I certainly do not expect a puppy on my birthday.

Most of that is because he wouldn’t do so without my asking, so I feel bad when he shows up with commercially-prompted merchandise. Such gestures make me feel like someone put him in a headlock and forced him to purchase roses.

Where’s the love in that?

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I hope her shoes are more sensible than her dress for hiking in the woods.

I trace our practicality back to our engagement. We were …young. We hadn’t much money. We went shopping for everything together, from our apartment to our kitchen table to our bedding. I watched our meager incomes disappearing into rent, food, car payments, school costs, utilities…

Then, we went ring shopping. This band with a bit of shiny rock cost an apartment for a year, while that band with a smaller shiny rock could buy us food for a month while this band with a very tiny rock was our car payment, due that Thursday. Metal and stone hardly seemed worth the price.

We had a small, simple wedding. We honeymooned a couple of hours North. And life resumed.

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Am I the only one who thinks she’s going to fall off -or be made into a vampire?

Our dates were World of Warcraft and Diablo II, at home. Our romantic getaways have been an overnight stay for anniversaries and two trips out-of-state in the last …never-you-mind-how-many years.

Perhaps if “exciting” weren’t synonymous with “expensive,” Kevin would get me a dozen roses and a cruise to The Bahamas. Perhaps if “impetuous” didn’t need to include the five children he values most in life, we’d dine on lobster and wine and make violent love on the evening of a cute holiday.

It’s true that our romantic life is a bit flat because I’m recovering from being a whale and being cut open to remove our adorable offspring and we’re already dealing with having four active fighting demanding mess-making boys…

but the romance won’t be because Wal-mart told us to.

It will be, quite practically, because we love each other.

What of you and yours? Do you observe the official holiday of Valentine? Does practicality trump spontaneity, or are you hopeless romantics?

—————-

This here’s what I wrote this week:

Wednesday, February 5: Talked about Approval Addiction in “Oh, No: It’s That Irritating Need to Please Everyone Again.”

Thursday, February 6: Throwback to my large feet in “Plus-Size Podiatry.”

Friday, February 7: Posted the winner of this week’s “Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.” Congratulations to Doug and Joanne.

Plus, shared Esther’s story competition and book launch.

Plus plus, shared Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny children’s story contest.

Saturday, February 8: Announced the 58th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is that awkward first poem to that awkward first crush. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, February 9: Wrote “Fred’s Best Friend” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, February 10: An inspirational quote from Rethinking Scripture.

Tuesday, February 11: People-watched and came up with “2 Short Stories.”

Later, haiku’d “Winter Haiku (Snow).”

Wednesday, February 12: This post.

And “Need Help? Go On and Ask for It” over at The Bipolar Blog.

—–

Wrote some at my motherhood blog, like “Unintentional One-Armed Typing.”

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: Everton Vila
Scott Broome
Cristian Newman

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

How do I love thee? I don’t think you want to know… What you will want to know is whom to avoid this V-Day when considering requesting a sonnet.

For, this week’s winners of the most terrible poetry are:

Be still my swell-ed heart

by Shake’s peer (aka Doug Jacquier)

I did but see her glassy-eyed, astride
her pied ride as she wended to her home,
sighing in her saddle set to the side,
clutching her cask of wine to her bos-ome.

Full sore my lovesick heart (and other parts) swell’d
as Cupid’s arrow shrived my mortal soul
and I resolved to plight my troth once held
by the Fair Youth at my watering hole.

Dark Lady, I fulsome cried, be my bride
and let us to Lethe flee and there be wed.
She fix-ed me full-faced but gimlet-eyed
and intoned words that ‘minded of the dead.

“Marry, not marry, for I’m wed to Sid
but your other needs, whatsay twenty quid?”

–and–

Let Me Be Your Sponge Mop

by Joanne the Geek

Girl let me be your sponge mop

just squeeze me and I’m ready to pop

full of moist love for you

I know you feel the same way too

Let me be your sponge mop

I’ll absorb your tears once they drop

I know you often have to cry

when you’re finished, just squeeze me dry

So let me be your sponge mop

and after we’re done, I’ll still be your sop

but just don’t leave me to dry in your bucket too long

just wet me sometimes, and I’ll spring back to life on song

—–

Congratulations, Doug and Joanne! You are the most terrible poets of the week!

The rest of the contestants, save one that is too sweet to be terrible, were so very very close to all being named winners. Yes, I’ve chickened out and done that before. I finally decided to give Doug’s poem the recognition it deserves; not only did he sonnet, but he took it to the form and the language. Joanne -well… Joanne, that was too terrible to ignore.

I laughed and laughed and cringed at the rest. Read, and enjoy:

Sometimes Love

by Abject Muse

Sometimes…

Love is like a dirty sock.

You smell it a mile away

stealthily hiding beneath a rock.

But you turn it over anyway

to find bugs and maggots crawling ’round

but you don’t mind the stinky bouquet

because it’s love you finally found.

Other times…

Love is like a thug

jumping on you in the dark

beating the crap out of your heart

and leaves you smiling in a pool of blood.

Wondering what will happen next?

You get a nasty screw-you text.

And Then Sometimes…

Love can feel just right

until the day you realize

you were blinded by the phony light

of truths turned into stinking lies.

You feel foolish and oh, so dumb!

And then your heart fades to numb.

—–

Demented Love

by Deb Whittam

I love you like a bee loves beer
I love you like red wine loves white carpet
I love you in so many ways
Even when you have the audacity to sneer.
I love you like a wedding and diarrhea
I love you like two years old and hearing aids
I love you in so many ways
Though I may seem obsessive I swear there’s nothing to fear.
Ok yes I strangled a wife back long ago
But she was not what she seemed
And yes I pushed one off a cliff
But she just wouldn’t stop with the cheer
And anyway it is you I love now
So bite back those tears
Of joy and come here
I ran this bath just for you my dear.

—–

The Morning of My Love

by Trent McDonald

How doth the blush of dawn speak of passion
The celestial glow turning all to bright pink
The shade of your bare behind in fashion
Turns my mind to lust…, I mean love, yeah love, I think

My blood pressure rises with that ornery star, the sun
Is it your fair face in that morning glow bursting my heart
Or is it that I forgot my medicine that makes my blood pressure undone?
Uhm, yeah, your face, uhm, really, your face makes the racing of my heart start

Maple syrup on pancakes is not as sweet as thy
(I love bacon too, but is it a compliment to compare you?)
No taste from the nectar of your honey lips and I will die
(Or am I thinking of coffee, without which I can’t make do?)

My heart is a sailor to take fair warning
Of you arriving bright red in this stormy morning

—–

The Prickly Pear

by The Abject Muse

My love is like a prickly pear

Stuck inside my underwear

Its bittersweet pain reminds me

this love was not meant to be.

Yet on we go, the sting ignored

until we both got really bored.

And so one day, we parted ways

in spite of sometimes happy days.

As for that old prickly pear,

It’s no longer in my underwear.

That nasty sting forever gone

just like my love, forever wrong.

—–

Sweet Ambivalence…

by Ruth

I love milk chocolate, smooth and creamy thick

Could eat a houseful, yummy brick by brick

Till gorged by cocoa, melty-warm and slick

Pure liquefied indulgence makes me sick…

—–

The Green Love

by Peregrine Arc

My love for you is like pickles, my dear
You’re like a giant pickle yourself.
Wrinkled, vinegary, tart and you make my mouth pucker

But frogs, my dear–consider
Will never croak our love ballads out the way you do
Birds fall out of the sky, dead at your winsome, cat crying tones.

Screams! My love for you is but a ballad of curled beards
Curled like your toes made of mahogany wood
Oh my dear, I sigh in love
Like a dill pickle.

—–

warm garage

by Bryntin

my ears assailed, your comments so cruel
in my head I can question my own name
its not the satnav who you overrule
you get jealous of the voice they call jane
and so you may explore the world my love
bravely taking strange roads in our motor
me never knowing the heading, sort of
to the sounds of my poetry quota
for you I recite some favourite keats
or try some sonnets from the bard shakespeare
let it travel, sent with love twixt the seats
if it deters you from slapping my ear
we smile, home, I dare not to sabotage
car, at last, nice and warm in the garage

—–

How Do I Love Thee

by Michael Fishman

Do I love thee, you really want to know?
Like those idyllic, serene summer days,
when I see your face I begin to glow,
for in truth your face looks like mayonnaise.
As I stare deeply at your sleeping eyes
I wonder just what the hell I’m doing.
I think about my friends, those lucky guys
and wonder if another wife I shouldn’t be pursuing.

I can’t write you a sonnet. I can’t even kiss you. Specifically speaking: no serenely stormy split second spit-sticking smack on the shoulder. Nay, you naughty nonsignificant, knotty-nosed, norepinephrine-needing nudnik. Never no nibbles upon thine neck.

Forsooth (for anyone if soothe isn’t available) free me from this foul fraudulence.

Alas, you stir and turn your black orbs, dripping with eye boogers and brimming with heated demonic lust to mine. Those haunted eyes that lured me to seemingly eternal wedded

bliss.

You part your pulpy lips, an invitation to one innocent sensual deep kiss
as sweet as molasses
Lost, I ignored what was amiss
and I find myself once again in . . .

. . . an abyss.

We part.
You smile.
I smile.

Your morning breath –
– ugh . . .

Good morning, my love.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my treasure.
Sleep well?
(No, not next to you) Next to you is there any other way?
My prince.
How I do love thee…

###

Note: this is not based on a true story.

—–

Roll over Shakespeare

by Bruce Goodman

My love is like a bike ride on a beach
The wheels sink down in sand and I get wedged
I’ll ne’er arrive where you picnic out of reach
I feel so dumb and underprivileged.

If I had walked towards you and not biked
I’d be with you on the beach eating stuff out of your picnic hamper
Chicken drumsticks is what I would have liked
But stuck in sand means to you I cannot scamper.

The tide is drawing in, the waves are crashing
Soon my bike will sink below the surf.
Obviously my love will take a thrashing
And I’ll lose the thing I most desire on earf.

Alas I’m drowning in the sea, my Honey,
And you think getting my bike stuck in sand is funny.

—–

Dear Bruce

by Nitin

Will you not accept my love dear Bruce?
I doubt I offer Frankincense, myrrh or gold
But excuse me! Allow me to be bold!
Don’t I give you olive oil massages and spruce

You up, when you attend meetings?
Don’t I grease those aching joints with love?
And all I get is tomato soup from the stove!
Excuse me! I stay up all night to write you season’s greetings!

Now, I might not write Goodman gore but I’m not dumb
I know you use this clown
Just for his party nose and bum
Damn it! what rhymes with clown!
But these are lines of love still
Written while I sit on Bruce Goodman’s windowsill (is the table next to the window the sill?)

– Binky

—–

Love is Unattainable

by Ruth Scribbles

Roses are red
The pain in my head
Makes me giddy
Chocolate can’t compete
My stomach is churning with butterflies
I love you to the toilet and back

Will you be mine?

—–

Untitled piece

by Gary

Missing the warmth of your dear sweet love
Valentines goes on which annoys me, kind of
Feeling unloved as our romance is no more
Will get as many cards as a grumpy Wild Boar
No red roses for me sat on my sofa for one
No lovers wine to drink as I’m suffering a dry run
Can’t even have chocolate as I’m currently dairy free
So sat here writing of love with a bloody black tea
Trying to find ways to avoid pigging Valentines Day
Maybe games of solitaire and a stinging nettle bouquet
Mr Grouchy sat here with love sadly deserting me
Nursing a snotty nose and an annoying sore old knee
So Valentines is coming and I’m enduring all those red rose adverts
Well excuse me if I say to me it’s all a huge pile of steaming turds.

—–

My Beloved

by Lucy

My love, as the still light shines on your lice
Ah, I smell the onions matted on your breath.
What else? Your nose hairs are threads to soon slice,
And when I leave I thank god I didn’t retch.

My beloved, a shore of love passes through me
When I do catch whiff of your gastro winds,
They move like the barnacles on your knees
Oh, as I stroke the maggots off your skin!

Your eyes are red as a blowfly’s
Your ears are clouded with wax opaque spots
Your lips hoofed with your special spoiled meat pie
Beloved, you smell worse than Death’s trots.

As I lie in bed and think, lord what else?
My chest rises in warbling warmth and I melt.

—–

Terrible Love

by Punam

My beloved, I curse the day I said yes to you,
It was my prerogative, no doubt
It could have been sooner my beau
I so fell in love with your pout!

I am sick and tired of your explosive anger
Your wearisome stubbornness and defiance
To your alien ways I am no foreigner
Honey, what would I be without this alliance!

How do you think we will manage with your income meagre
Your stupid scruples you follow inexcusably
My love, to sacrifice for you I am always eager
I love how you still acquit yourself admirably!

You are the inspiration for this third class verse,
My love for you colours my vision for better or worse!

—–

If I could only tell you

by Ivy

I wait for the night to hear your voice,
every day to see your face.
Your charm’s got a hold on me,
even when you are not around.

Your voice makes me feel you right next to me.
You make the distance seem an arm’s length away.
I may not tell you how I feel,
Fear of losing you has weighed in on my fragile mind.

I’m a coward to my feelings,
Alone wandering in my thoughts of you.
My mind knows you more than my lips,
The tip of my pen more than my words.

My thoughts run rampant on you.
They halt on interventions.
They halt when my mind gets busy.
My mind stays stagnant at your smile.

My heart would want you nearby.
Only to love you,
Only to take care of you,
Never to leave you.

If I could only tell you,
How much you colored my world.
How much you made for long for you
How much I’d dream of falling into your arms

—–

Thank you all for the painful laughs! Come back tomorrow around 10 a.m. MST for next week’s topic.

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Doug and Joanne: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

Yes, Doug, I’m working on a new graphic. Still.

 

©2020 The poets and their respective poems

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest #57!

Confused about poeting badly? Read some brief instructions, here. Don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. Anyone who knows me knows I love Half-Priced Chocolate Day (February 15th) more than the holiday the day before -BUT, this is the Terrible Poetry Contest! Nothing gets poemed to death more than the topic of ❤LOVE!❤
    So, the Topic is LOVE LOVE LOVE! Write me a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad sonnet. Give me alliterations, adjectives, allegories, and aneurysms.
  2. Keep the Length long enough to capture your love’s interest without putting her to sleep.
  3. Rhyming? Up to you, but I recommend you do.
  4. Make it terrible! Cupid needs to pull out the real arrows after catching wind of your attempts.
  5. Keep the rating PGish.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (February 7) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Let me know if your link doesn’t show up in the comments after a day.

Have fun!

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Photo credit: Wyron A

The Threshold of Their Lives

“Wanna carry me across the threshold?” Her eyes twinkled and her mouth twisted in playful merriment. She knew her 130 lbs outweighed his 118; that her 5′ 8″ exceeded his 5′ 6″.

Then, of course, there was the matter of her dress.

“Sure!” he answered, feigning ignorance to any impediments. He strode forward and pushed the apartment door open.

Like a gallant knight -or its steed- he returned and grasped a hand beneath her fluffed-lace rump; another steadied her sheer-laced back. No more chivalrous a man than he grunted and stalked his steady way forward, laughing bride and all.

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Inspired by Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: a carried wife.

January 9, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife. Why is she being carried? Who is carrying? Pick a genre if you’d like and craft a memorable character. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by January 14, 2019. Use the comment section to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/WJc87MVcDaA

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Baby Blues (Eyes)

Baby blues see
searching seeking
roving room for mother’s eyes.

Baby blues
‘tween flop-eyed wand’rings
stare steadfastly into brown.

Baby blues close
shuffling snoozing
dreaming milkmade happy times.

Baby blues
what are you thinking?
closed-lid dancing; furrowed frown.

Baby blues
so deep and changing
knowing sagely I love you.

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Photo Credit: Brandon Day

©2020 Chelsea Owens

A Tribute to Geoff LePard of TanGental

I’ve wanted to replicate Geoff’s style for awhile now, but he is a very …unique sort of writer. Take Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Mark Twain; then add a little brain injury or late night staring at hedgerows and you’ve nearly got him.

Since I’m not those authors and lack any hedges (I’m American), I’ve vowed to do the best I can. Geoff writes spot-on reviews of plays or movies, brags about his amazing garden (with pictures), and includes the occasional stint into poetry. Most of the time, however, he comes up with the strangest of short stories (supposedly) based on photo prompts.

The final sort is what I chose to mimic. I give you, therefore,

Tricks and Stones #writephoto

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‘What d’you think, Francisissi?’

‘Hard to say, hard to say…’

‘But you do say it’s him; tell me you say that, at least.’

Thomaquinas scratched a gravelly spot near his ear. He attempted to pull at his robes near another, equally irritated area, but failed. ‘Hard to say…’

A puff of dust exited Fran’s facial orifice that once resembled a mouth. He should’ve expected this; should have brought along Patrireland or even Thérieux. No, maybe not Théri. Last time she’d literally talked the ear off the poor soul –

Thom shifted uncomforably. He always shifted uncomfortably, of course, but managed to convey that this particular discomfort came from his needing to answer Fran and not, as was usual, from a necessarily stiff figure.

‘So is he a close enough resemblance to try it?’

Thom considered, his features a blank slate as he did so. He nodded, dropping a few chinks of neck in process.

‘Right.’ Fran raised his arms stiffly to meet Thom’s. Their palms touched in a small crumble of grey dust. Fran winced.

Aiseray isthay oulsay omfray ethay astpay, the two intoned. Aiseray isthay oulsay omfray ethay astpay!

More dust and chips of rock fell as they attempted to raise their arms. The ground rumbled. Grass wilted. A doe, as surprised by talking stone as readers are to find a doe suddenly inserted in a paragraph, leaped away. The statue before the chanting pair shook slightly, else shook because the ground beneath it did.

Beginning with a muffled ‘Eeeur,’ and ending with a shouted, ‘Rrrrraugh!’ the man before them began moving. Dust, bits, and the odd bird excrement flew at Thom and Fran from his stretching limbs. Uttering a final, Omfray ethay astpay!, they stepped back apace and dropped their hands.

‘Yeaurgh!’ the third man said. He shook and twisted at his immobile robes, then fixed blank, grey eyes on his rescuers. ‘What’s this, then?’

‘Francisissi.’

‘Thomaquinas.’

‘Eh?’ Tilting his head to the side, he smacked at an ear. Smallish rubble and powder drifted from the downward side of his face and rained on the wilted grass.

‘Are you,’ Fran queried, ‘Simeter?’

‘Who?’ Their companion tilted the other way, smacking more grey detritus to the ground.

‘Simeter,’ Thom ventured, ‘Or, maybe …Paulsus?’

‘Who, me?’ The once-statue’s face nearly broke as he broke into a grin. ”Fraid not, boys.’

Thom turned and fixed Fran with a stonelike stare. ‘Well,’ Thom gulped, coughing from swallowed dust, ‘Who are you?”

‘Dominizza,’ Dominizza shrugged, ‘The pizza deliverer.’

——

I probably murdered it, so sorry to Geoff. To the rest of you, try him out if he’s your cup of tea.

 

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoZac Farmer

©2019 Chelsea Owens

To My Guilty Pleasure

Dearest Combo Meal,

How long has it been since I last saw you? How long has it been since I last smelled you? How long has it been since my lips touched your face? If only you possessed the anatomy to speak, I know the answer would be, “Too long.”

I remember, Dear, the first time I held you. My fingers caressed your top bun; my thumbs, your bottom. Your succulent, savory middle oozed; temptingly tantalizing. “Sense me,” your sesame seeds whispered. “Breathe me,” called your charbroiled meat. “Crush me,” cooed your shredded lettuce. “You’ll never need another,” the tomato slice promised. What your special sauce said, however, will stay between us forever.

“But don’t forget,” they all reprimanded, “Our friends sitting there, nearby.”

“I wouldn’t!” I promised. “I couldn’t!” I swore. To prove my word, I retrieved a golden spear. Tenderly, lovingly, I dipped it in light orange heaven. I ate. I savored the sauce, the salt, the crunch, and the piping-hot innards beneath.

Of course, my darling, we both know that was not all. Subtly, smugly, silently making table rings beneath its cup sat your final piece: a shake. If perfection was not achieved before that point, your frosted cylindrical container’s contents were there to oblige. What wondrous elements lay within? Ice cream? Fruit? Whipped cream? Yes! All those elements embraced each other in a swirl of frozen flavor, igniting passion as they froze my eager taste buds.

Surely, Dear, you recall that first time? Surely you felt the same as I.

Those thoughts crossed my mind, my mouth, my gastrointestinal system just this evening. For, unbeknownst to my resistant will, my errands took me past your residence. I smelled you before I saw the familiar neon sign: a mixture of flame, meat, oil, and Greek wallpaper. Your beefy goodness wafted through my air conditioning, beckoning to me like a cartoon smoke-finger.

“Remember…” whispered the scented smoke, as my mind fought a losing battle with my appetite.

“I do,” I replied. My children stared.

What could I do? Who could resist? Even my offspring knew the irresistible draw of your charms. They knew the indefinable pleasure of unwrapping your crinkling papers, retrieving your deep-fried goodness, and drinking your creamy richness.

I found myself turning the wheel, entering the parking lot. There, my jealous heart nearly failed. How many poor fools had you drawn in besides me? The line of cars stretched around the building; engines idling as stomachs rumbled. Nothing, save a fry sauce memory and the tick-ticking of the dinner clock, could have induced me to face you with such a voyeuristic crowd.

“Three junior burgers, three fries, three shakes,” I ordered, once we finally had our turn. How; when did I need a speaker-toned man to bring us together? When did we drift apart and become so formal?

My fingers drummed the dashboard as I waited. My anxious appetite watched eager hands take bags into vehicles before me. They stole you, my love, for under $10 apiece. My heart ached as my mouth salivated. Would you leave any there, for me?

Not soon enough, we arrived at the window. “$28.80,” droned our go-between. I paid. I reached through and accepted the proffered paper bags. I peeked inside. Your heavenly goodness clouded our car, enticing and embracing in one.

I looked at your minimum-wage deliverer, now sainted in my eyes. He met my gaze. As if to confirm his deific status, he added six golden words, “I put extra fry sauce in.”

I drive home, impatient. With literal bated breath, my love, we await our communion. If only there were not so many traffic lights ‘twixt your home and mine. Once there, as you know, we will finally be together again.

 

Until then, affectionately,
Chelsea

 

(Written for an assignment to address a love letter to an unusual love of ours, for my Pathways class.)

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

A Tribute to Stephen Black of Fractured Faith Blog

Tonight I visit Stephen Black’s blog, Fractured Faith. As I wrote in my review of his bookThe Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square, I’ve known Mr. Black for a long time. We’re like those college students whose friends were friends, and found ourselves drawn to the same awkward punch bowl at those friends’ parties.

Stephen’s blog deals mostly with life issues and his observations and encouragements in dealing with them. He also promotes his book, has hosted some writing prompts, written rap-reminiscent poetry, and occasionally talks about marathons and running.

In tribute to an old friend, I give you my attempt to mimic a typical Stephen Black blog post:

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Has Life Ever Surprised You?

This morning en route to another working day, I was surprised to see into the back garden of a house I passed. I could see into their garden because the fence and tool shed were smashed in, done for. Debris from fence and shed, scattered tools, and the churned earth bore testament to what caused the damage, but whatever vehicle had done it was long gone.

I imagined the owners of the house coming out to the same scene as me. What if they only discovered their back part in pieces that morning? Would they feel the shock and surprise I did? How would they react to this unwelcome discovery?

Sometimes in my life I’ve felt like those owners, an unwitting party to unexpected disaster. I’ve written about some. My father’s death, for example. Failing to make the time I wished for on a run. Rejection e-mails or no response to my book queries.

At those times I did not react as would be best. I stood in shock at the damage. I turned to bad habits. I turned away from my wonderful, supportive family and toward shallow friends and the world’s attention. I gave up, and even granted power to the demons of OCD to tell me how wrong I was to try. I stood in the car tyre ruts in my back garden and despaired of any positive outcome.

But the old me is someone I don’t have to be anymore. I am not he. I can look over the scattered debris of my life and choose to act, instead. I don’t need to cry over broken wood and tools when I know I can pick up the pieces and move on.

Maybe cleanup will take time. I might need assistance from loved ones. I may need to seek professional help to repair the damage, to build a new fence and shed. It might take time or a few pints of honeycomb ice cream, but I won’t be alone to solve it.

We are masters of our lives, even when we do not feel like it. We may not be able to control whether something drives through our lives and leaves us in shock, but we can control our reactions. We can control what we do next. I know we can.

Have you ever had an unexpected event take you by surprise?

What did you do to recover and rebuild your life?

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If you enjoyed my wee tribute, head over to Stephen’s blog and drop him a ‘Follow.’ The poor guy’s only got about 11,000 followers.

 

Photo Credit: Image by Thomas Schink from Pixabay
©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Little Things

They say you miss the little things
when love leaves you behind.

They say you hear a voice, a laugh
an echo of a smile.

They say you feel an emptiness
where warm-tight arms would hold.

They say you wake a night or two
in bed, alone and cold.

What they don’t say is just how long
the little things are missed.

What they don’t know is is just how much
your everything persists.

What they don’t feel is where you were
before we came apart.

What they don’t live is half a life
with empty soul and heart.

stefan-spassov-jtTqIwvGiUg-unsplash.jpg

Photo Credit: Stefan Spassov

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens