Shadow Poetry

no vacancy

i didn’t run dry

you bled me out

like a carcass


left me propped up

no toe tag to speak of

lights on

‘open for business’ sign lit up

and lying


it’s empty

bound and covered

scrawled with lovely

bold lettering

embossed even

pages numbered

it’s empty


Daphne Shadows

Stream of Consciousness

Framing Change as a Good Thing

I quit my job.

I changed my Patreon exclusive prices.

I bought something nice for myself.

I’m looking for an easier job.

I’m listening to my body.

I’ve taken the pressure off myself when it comes to filming YouTube videos.

I got a book on letting go.

There are a lot of changes in my life, right now.

I had to quit my job because it was messing with my health. It was a really hard decision to make because there were so many good things about my job and work environment. Not to mention, I felt really ashamed quitting when I still had a job I could keep going to, when so many people had to stop working due to the quarantine.

But in the end, it was causing too much mental and physical health problems to force myself to keep it up. I’d known I needed to quit for almost four months, but I’d ignored it. Because I need a job. I’m an adult. That’s what adults do. They work. So I ignored how it was destroying my health.

Until I couldn’t anymore.

Literally couldn’t breathe.

I had to come to the realization that the pain wasn’t worth the money and societal approval.

So I quit my job. I’m looking for a new one. But, this time I’m going to be very careful what jobs I apply for.

Is there a lot of pressure? Will I have more things to do in one day than is actually humanly possible? Will the job cause me harm physically or emotionally? Is the employer someone I’m going to be comfortable being alone with? Is it a job where customers treating me like trash happens on a consistent basis? Is it something I know I really, really, don’t want to be doing? Will my off hours be respected? Will my personal boundaries be respected?

*deep sigh*

It’s the constant struggle to be realistic (as I have to be able to support myself) and healthy (enough to even continue functioning on a daily basis at all).

And the mad dash to convince myself to quit panicking over not having income.

I’m having trouble filming for my YouTube videos because I have nowhere to film except my extremely noisy apartment now. I’ve tried recording at night but that messes with my health, like crazy. Not to mention my eyes literally look pink when I stay up. Because I can’t just stay up and film at like, say 1 am. Oh no, my family isn’t all in bed until anywhere from around 1 am to 3 am. And I never know their sleep schedule, as they go to sleep once they finally feel sleepy.

So I decided I need to try to let go of the shame and guilt I have surrounding this issue. I feel like I should be working every day. But I can’t because there is noise above me, to the side of me, behind me, and in front of me. There’s never a quiet moment. Literally. Except at night. And even if my family does go to sleep, my neighbors are up and noisy (toddlers included) until well after midnight.

I want to doing ASMR way more often. It calms me. I enjoy it. I do it to create, to self sooth, and have fun, and to help others do the same.

Life seems to enjoy blocking me from doing things I enjoy. *angry growling*

But anywho. Now I’ll only be posting videos on Mondays. Until I could get soundproofing that ACTUALLY works in an apartment, we move apartments, or I find somewhere else to film.

Here’s my YouTube channel, by the way. (It’s real weird, I know. But I enjoy it. I think it makes sense for me. ASMR is basically trying to recreate soothing sounds with a microphone and props and doing things like having positive talks and relaxing videos.)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTsKcCRmmrImwt8soT1SRFg?view_as=public

Screenshot (42)

I changed my Patreon exclusives. I decided I wanted it to be cheaper for people to get access to my Patreon feed.

So now, if you want to get all the poems, photography, updates, polls, behind the scenes looks at YouTube and writing stuff, and anything else I end up throwing in there that isn’t anywhere else, it’s only $5 a month.

Here’s my Patreon, if you want to check out what I mean:

https://www.patreon.com/daphneshadows

I’m trying to figure out how to let go of the things that are hurting me.

But more on that later. Because I’m overstimulated and exhausted and need to ACTUALLY take time to breathe. (Which I’m terrible at.)

How are you?

Stream of Consciousness

eating healthy is hard

eating healthy is hard.

like, really freaking hard.

i don’t think it would be as hard if i didn’t have a digestive disease that allows me to eat: meat, fish, eggs, grapes, strawberries, and water without issue. AND NOTHING ELSE.

but i digress.

eating healthy is hard.

when you don’t have a lot of money. when there’s chocolate cake. and cookies. and chocolate bars. and emotions.

yeah, emotions.

emotions make eating healthy hard.

 

so i have a choice. wait for my fam to get out of the kitchen in a while so i can cook eggs. OR eat this chocolate cake.

i mean, i ate healthy for breakfast and lunch…

*daphne sets her laptop down to pick up her chocolate cake and take another bite*

whatever will i do?

 

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is it just me or does it get harder to make healthy food choices as the day goes?

i mean i start out 100% full tilt crazy healthy person eater with pep and goals and food morals and drive

six’o’clock comes around and i turn into a cave dwelling, cake stuffing, cookie sniffing, m&m junkie

Stream of Consciousness

Honestly, I have Nothing to Offer, Except…

HONESTLY, I wouldn’t wash my hair if I didn’t have to. It’s so annoying, hair gets all over, I have to wait eight millennia’s  for it to dry, and brush it out at just the right time or it sheds  more hair all over and drives me insane. But, if I don’t wash it I begin to look like I could squeegee my hair out and oil your truck… so I figure it’d be a good idea to wash it. Plus, I look less naked-mole-rat and more human when it’s clean. But Jeeze! I’d love it if hair just stayed clean.

 

I absolutely love waking up sore from a good work out. Absolutely love it. So then, of course you see me walking around all weird-like, stretching limbs out in odd places, stretching my back, arching my back, leaning forward, stretching my legs out to the side…. Randomly. Because it feels good.

Because that doesn’t totally look strange.

 

“Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it just makes me free.” Anonymous

 

So, would someone like to give me the recipe for this?
So, would someone like to give me the recipe for this?

 

I love going to therapy! That probably makes me sound like more of a crazy person than I am, but it’s so true. If I could joyfully yell it from a hilltop, head thrown back, arms stretched skyward, I would. Except, then people would probably wonder if maybe I shouldn’t have left therapy, and I don’t want people thinking I’m a different kind of crazy than I am.

But yeah. I love therapy. I don’t want to stab people as often. 😉

 

Humans are so impressionable. No wonder it’s so easy for the monsters to win us over, to get us, to sneak up and slip into our skin or rip it open.

But humans are the monsters.

Exactly. There’s one in all of us. And we let it take over without much of a fight, now don’t we?

 

HONESTLY, the truth of the matter is really quite funny.

It’s the reality so many don’t want to accept. Don’t want to see. We They don’t want it to be real as they cling to their chains and shriek out the pain, woe is me, where is the answer? as they hug the cold metal harder.

There are no rules.

Where does this puritanical urge come from to believe I must be miserable, suffering, in pain – or I must be doing something wrong? If I’m not in agony, I’m not a good person, I’m not fighting the good fight. If I don’t burn with the angst of never-to-triumph fire, I must not be trying.

No one is holding a gun to my head, telling me I must suffer.

No one is threatening to burn my family alive and rip my heart out while I scream and thrash in some Mayan ritual.

So why the bloody hell do I feel the need to suffer?

Life isn’t fair because everyone plays by ‘life isn’t fair’ rules.

Human choice is an underappreciated privilege.

 

I looooooove chocolate. Does anyone else put chocolate in the fridge or freezer before eating it? That doesn’t count for things like oreos or hohos though.

Also… I no longer like cake. And who doesn’t like cake? Well, my papa doesn’t, but he likes pie and ice cream, so it all evens out. Anyway, I don’t like cake anymore, not of any kind. Really freaking weird.

 

I am finally understanding that no one is perfect. No one has it all under control or is at the point where they’re like people in story books, fairytales, or movies: 100% sure of themselves and handling challenges perfectly.

No one.

No one is, by my definition, someone I agree with and want to emulate 100% of the time.

Everyone makes mistakes.

It never occurred to me. Some people, I’ve been believing, are people they’re not.

For some ridiculous reason I thought they never royally messed up or lost their cool, handled things poorly or made mistakes. I thought they were agreeable all the time and never said or did (or even thought) anything I consider judgmental or careless.

I mean, I knew they had challenges and trials – every human being does.

But I honestly thought they never made the “I screwed up” kind of mistakes.

It’s finally sinking in that everyone one of us does this. We’re all totally human and struggling to do our best (well, those of us who are trying). We’re all messing up and trying to get back up and do better.

It’s helped me see more people as beautiful and good. They’re trying. But they’re human, just like me, messing up and learning. No one has got this thing called ‘life’, down.

No one.

 

Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with rocks, crystals, gemstones. When I was a kid, I had a huge tub I kept under my bed filled with rocks I found. I couldn’t even lift it towards the end there, it was so heavy. I don’t know what ever happened to all those rocks.

 

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I love geodes. Yet, I have none. The horror.

 

 

“Writers are desperate people and when they stop being desperate they stop being writers.”  – Charles Bukowski

 

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” Malala Yousafzai

HONESTLY, I am tired of this. I do not care that you are black and I am white. I do not care that you are male and I am female. I do not care that you are Mexican, Guatemalan, Puerto Rican, Japanese, Chinese, Persian, Apache, Russian, British… and I am white. I do not care that you are twenty-nine, seventy-eight, ninety-three, twelve… and I am in my early twenties. I do not care if you have less or more money than me. I do not care if you have red hair, dyed hair, or fake hair.

I do not care.

I do not care.

I do not care.

We are all human. I believe all human lives matter.

I am sincerely tired of hearing that only one kind of life matters.

I believe we should all be fighting for each other, fighting for humane treatment of human beings, regardless of color or gender.

We are all human.

 

Let’s just get this straight. When I refer to ‘monsters’, I’m talking about one of two kinds of monsters.

One, bad people.

Two, creatures from stories and movies and myths which are dangerous and I absolutely love.

 

“I have nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” Jack Kerouac

Stream of Consciousness

No Clarity, Only Random

It’s one of those days.

One of those weeks.

One of those months.

One of those years.

So instead of having the clarity to focus and organize a blog post into something readable that doesn’t sound like a non-sensical unicorn on crank wrote it…

I’m just going to give up and throw a bunch of garbled, random thoughts together and hope they form some kind of linear… something.

 

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“The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it.” Dieter F. Uchdorf

Denial is a disease I don’t want part in anymore. It’s crippling. It’s debilitating. It slips into your skin, digs in deep, wrapping around your heart and brain, and squeezes your bones. It leaves nothing for you but misery and confusion, fear and pain.

Truth, on the other hand, is a good pain. A welcome, healthy pain. It only hurts while it’s exercising the disease sinking into your marrow.

And even if those around you mock, shake their heads, don’t understand, try to keep hurting you – you can hold tight to the knowledge that no matter what, there is something better for you ahead. Just keep being honest with yourself. Because honestly, who do you help by allowing others to pull the wool over your eyes? No one. Who do you hurt? Yourself. Only you. You’re trying to please all these people or run from all these things or tell yourself you’re ‘oh, so amazing’, and it’s not doing a thing for anyone else, except spreading more denial into their veins. And it’s not helping you, it’s not elevating you, it’s not helping you stop the tears at night or the pit of misery in your gut. Nope. It’s just sinking you lower and lower, and putting restrictions on you  – telling you – “hey, you’re happy, you like this, smile!”

I like this truth thing. It kinda sucks at first. But once you get the hang of it, you start to see that maybe you shouldn’t hate yourself so much. And then you can start clearing the cobwebs of self-hate and denial away from your blood and start to look at the world with a new vision. One that comes complete with options, joy, and optimism.

 

“This business of being a writer is ultimately about asking yourself, how alive am I willing to be?” Anne Lamott

I love this quote. It’s a valid question for me to ask myself. How alive am I willing to be? You don’t have to be a writer to ask yourself this question. But for me, who I am is tied in with being a writer, and so it fits me like a second skin. Beautifully attached to my soul.

How alive am I willing to be? This quote does lots of things to me, inside my chest. I cannot really describe them in words. I’m not there yet in my life, I suppose. I’ve learned to put some things into words I couldn’t priorly (I don’t think that’s a word, but I’m a writer – I can make words up if I want to! Ha-ha!) articulate or really even understand about myself beforehand. But this one, not yet. It’s deep and dark and a question that bubbles up a lot of thoughts that are mainly in the form of emotions and color, wisps of shadows and standing on the edge of the cliff, staring down, teeter-tottering in the wind, feeling the adrenaline pound through my body as I leave my mind blank, daring myself to jump without thinking.

Freedom is a strange thing. You can only have it if you allow yourself to have it. You have to make that decision all on your own.

 

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“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” Natalie Goldberg

This is a quote from the book I’m reading right now, “Wild Mind” by Natalie Goldberg. I think I’ve always yearned to be split open. Not physically thank you very much, but metaphorically speaking. 😉

I believe that’s something we all want, secretly. To be exposed for who we truly are, all the gunk and ugliness, and incompleteness and strangeness shown to someone important, and all the good bits of us too, and to be understood. Accepted. Embraced.

It’s terrifying to think of splitting myself open and pouring my soul into a book. Letting myself be vulnerable, writing something I truly believe in and can be happy with when I see it on the shelf. Something that can touch someone like the books I’ve read have touched me (get your head out of the gutter!). I’ll never forget the first book series that really thrummed in my heart. Told me on some level, that it doesn’t matter how messed up I am, how many issues I have, if I see a therapist (because damn skippy, I see a therapist now), if I’m moody and strange and a little lot confused. I’m still lovable. I’m still worth something.

To imagine myself writing a book that raw and honest, leaves me cold and shaking. Okay not literally, but you know what I mean. Because in order to do that, I have to lay myself bare.  I have to be okay with who I am, have a pretty good idea of who I am, what I value, want, think, desire, need, feel, emote, etc. and open it all up and give it to whoever is willing to pick it up.

 

“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” Roald Dahl

Absolute freedom is only absolute freedom if you don’t allow these invisible chains to hold you down. So many of us wear them. The world tells us we are wrong, we aren’t enough, we aren’t acceptable the way we are. Those hateful voices strap us down to a creature we aren’t, and tell us we must pretend to be this thing, or no one will ever love us. We’ll be disgusting, disfigured, good for nothing, and shunned by society.

That’s simply not true.

If I am to be a good writer, a great writer, and help people, connect with people, and enjoy my writing – I must be my own master (minus the creator of the whole freaking universe, right?) and not allow those voices to strip my freedom from me.

I must be willing to be ridiculed and looked down at for doing the very thing we all crave. To be who I am. Fling caution to the wind. So what if I fail? At least I tried and had fun doing it! At least I learned something, grew, experienced, gained knowledge and most likely made friends along the way. At least I will have lived.

And freedom, it’s a feeling no one can describe in words. It has to be felt, inch my inch as you gain it. And its mesmerizing.

Does anyone else feel this way – it’s a shift I’m only feeling so very recently. But it’s as if I’m literally in bindings. And as I let the cares of the world fall from me and decide to be really free, it’s as if I feel actual weight lifting off my body, heaviness stripping away one slow strap at a time….. Anyone else get that?

 

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“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Unknown

Ugh. Forgiveness. SO BLOODY HARD!!! It’s like pulling a saber tooth tiger’s fang tooth with only your bare hands. Not a piece of cake (or an oreo, or a chocolate donut). It’s hard!

And it’s something you can’t understand fully until you’ve felt it yourself. Until you experience it, it doesn’t really make sense. Nor does the reasoning!

But trust me, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you approve of what they did. Nor does it mean you’re going to allow them to hurt you again. It simply means you acknowledge that they’re human, everyone makes mistakes, and while you may know that what they did was wrong, cruel, etc. – you are healthy enough to let it go. And move on. You’re not hurting them by being angry. You’re not making them feel bad. You’re hurting you. Resentments and growing bitter hurts you. It changes you into something pitiful to behold. And it doesn’t matter how mad you get at them. You cannot control them, force them to change, or see the error of their ways.

Let it go. Find a way to move on. Don’t let the past keep you from building the future you want. Learn to live and let live. You can learn to love people who make normal mistakes and see them as people too. This can improve relationships, it can improve you. Sometimes, all you can hope to achieve is to let go and move on from that person, as you know they’ll try doing it again.

But let go. Forgive. Just don’t forget the lesson.

 

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Robin Williams

I am given only a small amount of the spark that is my creativity, my genuine personality, my unique madness.

It’s my responsibility to guard it. Not to let the world tarnish it. Not to hate myself for it, but to love it. Learn to take it and grow within it. Let it spread into my fingertips and eyelashes. Build upon it.

 

“You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep.” Rumi

Once you see it, it’s tempting to close your eyes again. Don’t do it.

 

 

What’s going on with you?

What issues are you fighting with?

What struggles are you battling?

What joy can you highlight in your day?

Have any chocolate donuts you’d like to share with me? 😀

 

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Donuts? Anyone? No – really – DONUTS!

Stream of Consciousness

Because the Chiropractor Said So

I am in agony.

Okay, not really, but my upper back, neck, head, lower back, hips, and legs are killing me.

Okay not that either. No killing. They’re just burning.

FIIIIIIIRE!!!

 

So, nope. No fire either.

But my body is bloody screaming bloody murder at me! With a megaphone.

I think some pygmies found me in the middle of the night and took an ax to me, chopping me up into itty bitty little pieces, then super glued me back together.

Because they got bored.

Whatever the reality – my chiropractor tells me the Chair from Hell I’ve been sitting in for about 2 years now is wreaking havoc with me bones.

fire big bang on black
credit: 2happy

 

 

This is getting weirder.

Whatever. I got adjusted, felt all light and weightless like I could fly (not really, I’d fall to the ground and SPLAT like an uncoordinated dodo bird). Then I went home and sat in my chair (from Hell – seriously, Satan threw it out his window and a dead guy down the street sold it to me for a pigeon that I didn’t have) and my body instantaneously FLIPPED ME OFF. There may or may not have been brass knuckles included.

One day later, I limped into Wal-Mart like a zombie on downers and grabbed the cheapest comfy desk chair I could find. Chiropractor’s orders.

Maybe I won’t get so many headaches now. That would be FABULOUS. Oh and my back and neck won’t feel like a cement truck ran me over. That would also make me non-homicidal.

And you know, my bones would stay in their proper place. I’m pretty sure that’s good for your health.

But that will happen after my body gets used to sitting with proper posture again.

 

Until then?

AGONY! Mini pick axes with a vengeance wielded by shades on PCP (because somehow PCP effects the dead now)!!!

In reality?

I’m just complaining because my body hates me at the moment. But it’s for its own good. Kind of like how I don’t feed my dog chocolate even though he REALLY wants some. Except I’m not furry, or – you know, a dog.

..

.

So I’ll just be over here ON FIRE, while kicking it in my new chair (which is NOT from Hell).

Yep.

True story.

It’s kind of awesome by the way.

 

credit: massagenerd
credit: massagenerd

Now I just need to find the freaking pygmies.

 

As a writer, did you have to find the right chair or die from back/neck/head pain?

Or any other kind of person who sits in a chair a lot?

Speak pygmies, er- posture, to me.

Stream of Consciousness

Crying is Not a Weakness

A few years ago, a Cherokee medicine woman shared with me the meaning of white roses and tears.

“We never wipe away our tears; we are not ashamed of them.” She said.

On the Trail of Tears, many of our ancestors were shoved and pushed and made to walk, often times until they died. It is said that when their tears touched the ground, a white rose grew. Others say that the white roses grew to give the mothers strength.

Regardless, we never wipe away our tears. We are not ashamed of them. We do not stop ourselves from crying because of sorrow or joy.

Tears are not shame. They are pain, they are joy, struggles and hopes. We are human and we feel. If we do not feel the urge to hide our smiles, why should we feel it necessary to hide our tears?

I mean, when did human emotion become something we’re supposed to be ashamed of? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

(And just in case you’re wondering, there really are white roses growing along the Trail of Tears.)

 

Ironically, I never cry in public. I’d be too embarrassed. Tears are personal to me. But I no longer consider them something to be ashamed of.

Do you?

 

(And don’t get annoying. I’m talking about sincere tears here, not people who are immature and cry over everything or to manipulate others.)

 

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Stream of Consciousness

Not Enough Crisis?

What to do about Thanksgiving…

You guys already know I’m grateful for my family, the food, clothing, and hotel room we have. So what to post about?

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately on what we focus on and it boils down to two words.

Not.

Enough.

I feel like that’s all we focus on. We don’t have enough this, we aren’t enough that. We haven’t done enough of this, we haven’t fixed all of that, or upgraded our new this.

What’s wrong with that you may ask? Well, it’s a snowball. This way of thinking is a spider web. A crack in the glass doors, spiraling out and deeper until the entire door shatters. Leaving us with a mess and a lot to fix.

If only fixing people was as easy as fixing a glass door. But we’re not. We’re much more complicated and there are many more details and sticky strings involved in a single human being than in a million glass doors.

So we should probably try not to brake ourselves too badly if we can at all avoid it.

 

Humans are hard to fix.
Humans are hard to fix.

 

COINCIDENTALLY

Instead of complaining, being upset over what we don’t have, don’t have enough of, or haven’t accomplished, fixed, or finished, why don’t we focus on what we do have. On what we have accomplished, what we have fixed, what we have finished.

Even issues can be a blessing. Every problem can bring something positive. Every issue can stem from a blessing. Everything can be taken multiple ways. It’s all how you look at it.

I’m not saying to take a look at the corpse you left lying around in your basement and decide that because it’s given you soil workable for a high end garden, that it’s a good thing you murdered someone.

I’ve been thinking about this for the past couple of months but I haven’t written anything up on or it even talked about it with anyone. Yesterday I clicked into wordpress and (miracle of all miracles) it loaded! The first blog that popped up on my reader was one by Kristen Lamb. And guess what it was on? Being thankful instead of complaining. I think she sums up pretty well what I’m trying to say here. For example, she says:

“I am thankful for the dishes that need washing, because it means I didn’t go hungry.”

“I am thankful that I sometimes have doubts and confusion about my future and my purpose when I think of the lives cut short before they ever had a future.”

Exactly what I mean. Take your complaints and find the blessing in them.

I’m not saying there aren’t things to complain about. I am living in a hotel and wearing the same clothes over and over again, here. I’m not saying suck it up and get on with your moping self. I’m just saying that focusing on the negative, on all the failings and shortcomings will do nothing positive for us.

Focusing on the good in your life, the blessings, the small things in your life that make it better can only make you happier.

 

CRISIS = DANGER + OPPORTUNITY

I listened to a few authors talk and answer questions on writing and publishing for free a few months ago, and something the last author touched on really stuck with me. Being the avid note taker I am, I found my notes, as it was on a Chinese character. And I definitely don’t know Chinese. Hence, needed to find the notes.

The Chinese character for “crisis” is made up of two words. “Danger” and “Opportunity”.

Every crisis can be dangerous. But every crisis has the opportunity to bless you, to give you something beneficial to your specific self and circumstance. If you let it help you, if you seize that opportunity. Pretty big “IF”, don’t ya think?

 

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So there it is. That’s what  my Thanksgiving post is on. Focusing on the blessings. On the positive. On what makes you happy. Trust me, it will help you to be happier overall. I’m not saying ignore whatever is wrong in your life. No, of course you should work on it. But be happy about whatever is going right in your life. Focus on the good. It could always be worse. And once it does get worse, most of the time we’re stuck wishing we wouldn’t have taken our past circumstances for granted.

Smile for a good reason. It’s there. You just have to allow it in.

 

What little things are you thankful for? Are there things you complain about that you could probably count as a blessing?