I’m Not Waiting Any Longer

And I sit there on the floor

Legs not crossed like a lady

But crossed like I’m four again

Sitting at school on the carpet

Waiting for the teacher to explain.

 

Okay, I’m ready.

For you to let down your wisdom

Breathe the secret into my ear

Pull back the curtain

Ignite the barren emptiness

Of not knowing

 

Only

I sit there, on the floor

Waiting

Rubbernecking like nobody’s business

Wholeheartedly believing

Now I’ll understand

Now it’ll all make sense

I’ll get it

Understand

I’ll know what this life is all about

What I’ve been missing

 

I’ve lived into my how-to manual

People will come rushing through the terminals

Hard earned years of enlightenment

They’ll bustle in their hurried fever

Of needing to get on with their lives

Because they have so much to live

What, with all that understanding

Due to age…

 

Only

I sit there, on the floor

Realizing the room is empty

It’s a stage with polished floors

And vaulted ceilings

Rows and rows of chairs

The nice cushy ones you might’ve fought your grandpa for

When you were four years old

 

I look around and see

The lights are off

I’m the only one on the stage

The crowd is empty

Those nice soft seats, void of any life

Any know-how to impart

 

That’s the first lesson I really learned

About everyone else,

Outside of my skin.

It didn’t knock off any innocence

I wasn’t shiny or brand new by then

That got rubbed off before I could speak

But I’d kept some silly hope that when you said

“When you’re older you’ll understand”

…that you spoke the truth.

 

You did not.

The truth is

No one knows.

 

I found this out, sitting cross-legged

Like a child

Vibrating with enthusiasm

And excitement

Ready to warm my hands

At the fire of everyone’s experience

 

With the heat of age

That’d crept into my body

That everyone told me, made me

Better, somehow

Like numbers of lived life

Ups your worth in some cosmic game

And so you earn more lives

And redeemable information to trade

For a bunch of useless tasks, you performed…because….

 

Still sitting on an empty floor

Holding a ticket that leads nowhere.

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Photo is property of Daphne Shadows

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Wretched

I wish

Truth

Wasn’t such an allergen.

 

That people didn’t shy from honesty

Like a flame edged sword.

 

I wish

Love

Was given in equal measure.

 

Not plucked from one

And doted on the favorite.

 

I wish

I wasn’t smiling

While my heart

My whole being

Cries

 

The most

Sorrowful

Sobs

Of loneliness

 

Of absolute

Mystified

Bewilderment

 

At how so much

Hate

Is slipped between

Our love

Like so much unimportance

 

We are killing each other

One apathetic gesture at a time.

 

I pray for something

More

Something

Real

 

And hope

With teeth clenched

Eyes squeezed shut

Hands of my heart, wringing

Like an innocent maiden

From long ago

Before everything was cheap

 

While I smile

A hollow smile

That we both know

Is fake.

 

 

By Daphne Shadows

‘Grow Up’ Can Get Lost

Cut the crap.

The drama.

Get over yourself.

Get over all the dramas of your life and the dramas of your relationships.

 

I love that the support group I go to helps me to see that I am held responsible for myself and no one else.

I can be here to support but I am not here to fix people or their situations. Enabling them will help them stay ill. Keeping them from feeling the consequences of their actions, inactions, and/or words will help them stay ill. Lying so that I appear to be who they want me to be will help them stay ill.

Not doing that.

Doesn’t matter what kind of illness it is either. There are so many addictions. So many ways for us to hurt ourselves and others.

 

I am responsible for me.

You are responsible for you.

My words, my actions, my issues, my pain – my responsibility to deal with.

But that’s not what I want to get into today.

 

Today, I want to challenge the saying, “grow up”.

I was going to add it to my thought process. My support group reminds me, tough love, grow up.

But that’s not quite right.

Tough love at times yes.

Grow up?

“Growing up” isn’t exactly getting good at life. It isn’t exactly enjoying life. It isn’t exactly living life.

At all.

 

Perhaps what we really need is youth. A youthful mindset.

(Not childishness. Don’t think child. Think youthful. Really, there’s a difference.)

 

Youth focuses on self-care and self-love and relationship with God (or whatever your Higher Power is), and then thinks of others.

Youth breathes.

Simply is.

Youth says “no” and doesn’t feel ashamed for meeting their NEEDS before someone else’s WANTS. (Don’t forget, unless you’re the parent to a child, other peoples’ needs are their responsibility to meet. You don’t disregard your needs to help someone else meet their needs because they’re good at manipulating you, or a thousand other scenarios.)

If we are to become youthful, we will know and believe we matter and so do all others; humans, animals, and nature alike.

Just breathe.

Enjoy our lives more.

Seek out what we are passionate about more.

Change our perspectives. If we make a mistake – we are NOT horrible, a loser, the scum of the earth, etc. – instead, when we make a mistake, why not think of it as an experiment?

 

Youthfulness realizes life is a gift.

Youthfulness accepts that life is going to hurt.

Youthfulness both knows and believes we have to create our own magic to feel our lives are magical.

 

addendum

I AM

throwing out all

my masks

they no longer

fit

 

I AM

checking under

my bed

for all the

monsters

I’ve stored there

 

I AM

peering into the

hollows

behind my eyes

coaxing out

my soul

 

I AM

rewriting my

future

keeping the

pens to

myself

 

I AM

demolishing

the porcelain

walls

and painting

the air

black

 

I AM

coming home

to myself

nothing can

stop me

not even me

 

I AM

smoking out

the lies

untwisting

the truths

 

I AM

tired of pretending

so I’m not

anymore

 

by Daphne Shadows

 

Burn

Right now? Staying with here, now, this moment?

This dizzying wave of noise blasting through a protective layer of music in peaks and bossy valleys – life isn’t really all that glamorous.

There is nothing fancy about who I am or what or where I come from.

Am I complicated? Oh so very much. Quite so. I am layer after layer of pain masqueraded behind plastic lips and lying eyes. And don’t tell me that eyes give people away. Sure, they can. But eyes can lie.

And what happens when you get lost in the lies of those pretty eyes.

You burn.

You get dragged in, inch by inch until all you have left is a memory of your soul. Perhaps an ember or two.

 

-Nov. 22 2015

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Masks

I love this poem:

Masks by Shel Silverstein

She had blue skin,

And so did he.

He kept it hid

And so did she.

They searched for blue

Their whole life through,

Then passed right by –

And never knew.

 

Be who you are.

Because if you hide well enough behind a mask, you may walk right past someone who is ideal for you. Whether as a friend, helper or lover, it doesn’t matter.

You will never meet them or know them, feel accepted by them or loved by them if they do not know who you are.

You’ll never have what you truly crave because you were not yourself. Instead, hiding behind a mask of lies and partial truths. Don’t hide. Don’t fear who you are.

 

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Be who you are.

The only other option is to be someone else.

What is the point of you living if you’re going to be like another already here?

We are all the same and yet we are all so different.

Don’t hide your differences. They make you, you.

The vulnerabilities, the mistakes, the genetics controlling so much of you, the choices you can control and make, the choices you cannot make, how you react to those things out of your control.

Who you are is made up of not only every breath, but also of every thought and action. Every small comment and blush. Every yelled word of anger. Every slap, every hurt. Every smile. Every reason behind that smile.

 

“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

 

Be who you are.

Or you may end up hating yourself. And as a byproduct, everyone else.

 

Everyone wears masks, that’s true.  But don’t let that mask block who you are from yourself or those around you.

There’s darkness inside all of us. But without dark there would be no light. Don’t hide it. Without one part of you, the rest of you would cease to exist.

Be careful that your mask does not keep you from living the life you want.

 

“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” –Andre Berthiaume