Never a Dragon, a Lotus, a Hero

 

To watch someone you love, suffer

That is the worst pain

To have ever known.

 

I have lived through abuses of every kind.

Horrors little children should never know

Memories I’d sell for bubble gum houses

and storybook bedtimes.

Pain that sears through my heart and mind,

Memories in my muscles I cry for

Physical scars,

Emotional scars,

Scar tissue growing stronger

and stronger.

 

But watching someone I love…

These tears hurt worse, somehow.

Somehow they burn

and twist

Until I can hardly breathe

And I loathe watching you go

Knowing you need help

But not knowing how

or what I can do.

 

I know you are strong.

I know you are the

bravest soul I’ve met

I know you can slay your own Princes

and befriend the Dragons lurking

deep inside and all around.

I know you don’t need me

for these things.

But I wish.

 

I wish I could keep the pain from you

I wish I could swipe it away with my tears

or my arms or my words

I wish I could absorb everything

and make life,

fair.

For you.

 

All I can do is hurt with you

Try to help

Understand

Be a shoulder, an ear.

Lend a hand.

But I know I cannot brandish your sword

for you

Not that you need me to.

Not that you aren’t stronger than me anyway.

 

I still wish.

It still hurts worse, somehow.

And yet, I know.

 

I know my scars

Brighten my lips when I know joy,

More brilliantly than if my skin was smooth,

Memory free.

Peace is only found when I

know it is so slippery a prize

after it was ripped away

and I stole it back, one drop of blood

at a time, one struggle at a time.

But I know peace, is the point.

I know joy.

I feel it until I am bursting.

 

I see so many others

sleepwalking.

That’s what pain does

shakes you up

awakens you to your awful state

state of misery or confusion

state of contentedness or settling.

Once awake I knew how to fight

even though I didn’t.

The pain ended up helping me

in a sick sort of way.

It showed me how to fight.

How to stand.

 

I know the horrors of my past

and they know me.

We laugh in the face of the horrors

Climbing through my windows,

Edging into my room

at night, trying to frighten me

with their newness and unknown.

I laugh because this scar tissue

Sees them for what they are.

They are whispers in the dark

Compared to the hideous trumpeting

of my past, my forever scarred words,

lashing into my skin with the blade of no knife.

These new nightmares are cotton candy

and daydreams I spot in the clouds

Compared to the devilish landscapes

lurking in my then.

I know that all that I have suffered

All I have hurt

It lost.

To me.

Without these villains

I never would have

Become.

 

And I know

Your tears will spill and leave.

Your fears will charge and back down.

Playing chicken with you will not work.

I know you will grow scar tissue of your own,

Small battles counting down the time

until they help you slay your next villain.

You will shout in silence

Sob into your pillow

Scream at every smothering glance.

You will find the words to stand your ground

Disperse the hordes that challenge your might.

 

Yes, you will hurt.

And I will hate every moment of it.

I will help you however I can.

I will stand witness to all the snares and wounds

failures and confusion.

I will hurt with you. I promise.

But I know.

You will win, too.

I know you don’t need me to fight these battles

for you

But I will always, always

be here with you.

I will gladly accept these lashings

if it means to stand by your side

As you suffer into Becoming.

 

I still wish you didn’t have to suffer.

It still hurts worse, somehow.

Worse than anything I can remember

suffering inside my own skin.

And yet, I know.

There was never a dragon, never a lotus, never a hero

without suffering to overcome.

 

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by Daphne Shadows

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Like Clockwork

I wish I could

Reach into your chest

Hold your heart

And breathe life

Into your skin

 

If only my tongue

Told stories with

Answers instead of

Questions

 

Maybe if I used the

Whispers hiding inside…

 

But they don’t want

To show themselves

Outside my skin.

 

I keep forgetting…

 

But I cannot

Remember

 

Sometimes I wish

So deeply that I forget

It’s a wish

 

And then I forget

It’s there at all

 

 

By Daphne Shadows

Thanksgiving

The term “thanksgiving” is defined in most dictionaries as ‘an expression of gratitude’.

Around this time of the year, I get really humbled. There’s this feeling that permeates my day-to-day as I take to heart the meaning of Thanksgiving, in a basic way. As an expression of gratitude.

Because I have a lot to be grateful for.

I have a lot of love, support, and kindness in my life now.

I’m so grateful for change.

The changes in my life that have brought me to the place I am in life. The changes I’ve decided to make on my own. The fact that I, as a human being, do not exist in a fixed or forced state and I can change.

My family. My friends. My job. And family includes my dog.

I think I take a lot of things for granted. Things the homeless people I see every week are suffering from lack of. A place to live. My own bed. Food. Heart and air conditioning. Running water. Electricity. And I have more than that. I have conveniences. A phone. Internet. Music. Cable. Books.

I am overwhelmingly grateful for the few true and unbelievably real friends I have who know what I’m going through and offer me understanding, honestly, love, patience, an ear to bend, and a shoulder to lean on (even through the internet).

My family is such a blessing. I have learned so much from them. I can never number the greatness of experience and support I have gained because of them.

Not to mention that my family and friends have always supported me through my writing endeavors. Even the past year as I haven’t written a single creative word. And I probably went a bit mad because of it.

I have learned so much.

I turned twenty-four recently and though I am a late bloomer in life and wish that I’d been published by now, gained a job sooner, and gathered my health enough to function sooner – I am finding that I’m actually glad what has happened has followed the path and timeline it has.

I cannot thank the kind people in my life enough. It’s a new experience for me, kindness.

I am so ever grateful for love. The impact it can have, if I allow it.

For the opportunities to grow and open my eyes.

For stories. For all the authors who helped me escape into another world.

The spark inside me (or, as Robin Williams put it, the spark of madness) that has always  held me firm in the knowledge that I am a writer.

Also, the pain I’ve experienced. I’m not masochistic by any means, but suffering what I have allows the joy in my life now to really mean something beyond the capture of words.

Art in all its various forms. Beauty. Inspiration. Blogging. Chocolate (come on, you saw that one coming). Donuts! Hugs. Real emotion. Books, movies, music, and tv shows that create emotional resonance within me, spark something, ignite something raw. Quotes. Time. Life. Second chances. Earphones. Sweaters. Boots. Pillows. Notebooks.

Men who see women as equal human beings and not sex toys. Women who don’t consider ‘being a man’ to mean jerk behavior, size, lack of emotions, arrogance, coldness, being controlling, or the kind of car he has. I’m glad for equal rights for women.

Those who love their pets and fight for animal rights and against animal abuse.

Did I mention donuts? Thank you donuts, for being so cheap.

I am grateful for the chance to live in this crazy world and create a life of my own, one with meaning. There is so much in my life that I am grateful for. It is so much clearer, easier to see now that I feel I’m beginning to see through my own eyes and feel via my own heart.

I am thankful for hope.

 

What are you thankful for?

 

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