Changing times #Haiku Challenge 1@RonovanWrites

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RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge 141 with prompt words – Breeze, Blow

Age old breeze of time

Sweeping debris, unceasing

Change is ever, more.

~ FlorenceT

In gratitude of the present. These are the days…

 

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

Dance #Haiku Challenge 140 @RonovanWrites

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RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge 140 with prompt words – Twist, Shout

Twist and shout, he says

Beats thunder, lightning dances

Rejoice in your life.

~ FlorenceT

 

And a classic song to go with this – one of my daughter’s favourites.

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

#Haiku Challenge 131 @RonovanWrites

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RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge 131 with prompt words – Car, Coast

Winter Tale

Coast on, she presages
Life passes when unconscious
Looking straight ahead
In a car on the highway
Are you on merely a road?

~ FlorenceT

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

She, a micro story

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She did not know what hit her. One moment she was in the dumps, disappointed with life and who she had become; the next she was awakened to life’s possibilities, her dreams no longer a distant past but a possible future.

 

If she knew the road ahead, she might have been less thrilled… then again perhaps not. She had made a right turn without realising, chosen a fork on the road without being asked to… but then she had been asleep, dead to herself so how would she have known. Which made it all the more miraculous, incredible in its simplicity and bounty.

 

She would never understand how it had come to pass but it did. Simple words, always words that meant so much. Her longing grew each day as they were all she had on this path… just that and even so, more than she had thought herself deserving or needing. Before, rarely a thought for herself but of the needs of others; and at times resenting yet persisting with the duties that made her who she was, without which she had believed rendered her nothing. She knows now she is more, those words arrive daily of the mundane, the unique, the humorous, of everything – to comfort, to support, to hold – filling her days with meaning and purpose.

 

She has walked this path longer than she thought she could, inspired by the goodness she felt, the strength she desired, the vulnerability she respected, the peace she yearned – this uplifting journey she hopes to remain. And on the low ebb days, those fears of rejection and abandonment still arise. She had lost her faith a little, tempered her trust of others; she might even have told herself she would be better alone. But she is healing on this path; and though confident she can be all that she wants on her own, she knows it’s manifold better and greater here on this road.

 

She is reminded of her needs and desires, those she had met for others, those she will now embrace for herself. For she craves attention too; care and kind gestures a balm. Now she loves again, she trusts; she has faith again. She will truly be free, she will have it all… perhaps. No matter, the journey is enough, more than she hoped. And all because of the enticing words that beckoned in the beginning, and the many many words that have followed across space and time… words, his.

 

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Post-truth, a word

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Post-truth
Word of the year
as Oxford Dictionaries pronounces,
Era of emotions and subjective beliefs
Death knell to objectivity and facts,
Sensationalism, you say?
Or time for the personal to triumph?
Emotions, relations and transgressions
rule, where once ‘truths’ of a tribe –
dominant culture, norms and traditions – prevail.
 
Whose truth must we bear?
The heartfelt, the broken, the wise,
the ignorant, ah without truth, there is no ignorant
just as there is no wise,
What is knowledge, where is wisdom
when facts and certainty are subsumed
by the loudest most vulgar or so it seems.
A mediated world
through lenses, filters and screens
Creating the post-truth reality.
 
~ FlorenceT

 

Oxford Dictionaries has declared “post-truth” as its 2016 international word of the year.  “Post-truth”, an adjective, is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief“.

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

How love turns pain into purpose – Stephen Hayes

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Disclaimer: what this video is not – an academic talk on psychology.

What it is – an inspiring personal account of the transformative power of love in the face of human struggles and difficulties.

Enjoy!

“… I stood up inside a promise – never again, I will not run from me.” Stephen Hayes

 

~ FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Women friends

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Four women around a table, laden with scrumptious food and champagne. Conversations filled with laughter, some angst and silliness; bound by a connection which began more than 10 years ago.

How did they get to this place of ease with each other? They first met when 2 mothers were invited to post-drop-off coffee by another mother from the school and her friend, also a parent at the school. Being new to the school community, that invitation and subsequent ones were most welcomed. Over many coffee mornings and initial conversations revolving around their children, a bond was formed. Strangely (or maybe not so strangely?) this bond has lasted these many years.

The friendship was forged through sharing of many emotional events in their lives – the despair of perceived purposeless life, the joy of their children and family holidays, the stress of juggling the many duties as mother and wife, the pain of separations, the worries for teenage children, the sadness of loss of childhood eras, the elation of overcoming sickness and ill-health, and the celebration of personal achievements. The men in their lives secondary figures in the drama called life unfolding within the circle.

Many seasons later, even as their children no longer attend the same school where they had first met, these women kept coming back to their get-togethers, always to catch up on their news and to be seen.

What is the secret to this bond, this friendship?

These women have learnt to accept each other’s flaws and imperfections, to value each other’s insights and support; they have learnt to curb their tongue and permit each other space to grow and re-position themselves within the friendship.

There are more differences between them, than there appear to be of similarities. Except for this.

They are women who have lived lives of nurturing and care in service to their family while attempting to retain an identity beyond that of mothers and wives; they are women who continue to pursue the life they want. These are the steadfast women of courage and strength, depth and genuineness.

What more could a woman want in a friend?

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Surprise, no more

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I was not much good with surprises… I preferred being prepared for things and surprises didn’t allow for that. I may have changed by now… 🙂 With age, knowledge and experience, few things faze me and certainly not the ‘but I don’t have any make-up on’ or ‘I didn’t get a chance to tidy the house’ stuff.

As Paulo Coelho, one of my favourite authors, said,

I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.

So when I saw the writing prompt on RonovanWrites for the previous week (yes, a little late, I say sheepishly), I set out to discover for what others had to say about surprises – an excuse to indulge my ‘nerd-ness’.

Man is always more than he can know of himself; consequently, his accomplishments, time and again, will come as a surprise to him.  ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is something that I have come to realise, time and time again. In a meditative space of gratitude and evaluation of my life, I always surprise myself with how much I have done and accomplished. The saying is true, we are always our harshest critic. So it is curious to me that man still continues to be critical of others in the name of motivation and improvement, though I imagine they are the guises of self-doubt and fear. Doesn’t our own experience teach us that we and others don’t require more criticism, rather support and encouragement?

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.   ~ Ashley Montagu

In our moments of happiness, we have only to be mindful and notice, to receive, to appreciate and to remember. Like the exuberant hugs of children, the silent glance of a lover, the gentle touch of a friend… we need only be aware of them as they seize us.

What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.  ~ Ellen Burstyn

This is one thing which didn’t surprise me – that being alone is not lonely. I have enjoyed my space, the solitude to think, to explore, to plan, to organize… The quote also speaks of a journey taken to ‘finally discover’ this, and I hazard a guess, a journey of self-discovery, love and growth.

How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life.  ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

And lastly, if we are open to the many possibilities of living, then there is no real surprise. They come, they go… and we approach them all with equanimity.

Namaste!

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Priority… me.

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It’s a life journey, isn’t it :-)? To learn to manage our priorities. In fact, to learn to determine what our priorities are.

Is the spotless living room necessary? Yes, it is a preference, but necessary? At which point of ‘dirtiness’ does cleaning a living room become a priority and go on the list of priorities?

Context changes and something like cleaning becomes a priority or in fact, top priority?! (You can tell I don’t fancy cleaning.) A metaphor for life really. Truly, I am a master of prioritising; when things become ‘sufficiently important’ to become a priority, they will and they move along the list.

I know many who clean, who love cleaning and would prioritise this over say, reading a book. I know women whose identity is validated by the cleanliness of their homes. At times, I envy them their discipline and focus.

I know others who want things ‘perfect’ – the perfect Christmas party based on an image in their mind or preconditioned expectations. How about the perfect family gathering where ‘everyone loves everyone’, no tear visible in the family fabric?

Is this our obsession with perfection? Is this our need for conformity and thus perceived acceptance and belonging? By whom and to what?

So it was that I remained in bed on a Sunday mid-afternoon because my daughter, who has according to herself perfected the art of being a lump, insisted that I should. A family joke, and by definition, a lump is one who is having a lazy day being in bed in her pyjamas and doing nothing serious. (I bet she’ll amend this definition if she gets the opportunity! 🙂 ). Her final words before she left my bedroom were, ‘stop doing stuff’. That’s a red flag – stopped me it did and you are witnessing the onslaught of ‘reflection’.

Whatever my values are about ‘doing’ and ‘effort’, at some point I stopped prioritising ‘me’ in my life. The ‘me’ who loves to read, the ‘me’ who enjoys listening music (and the exploring and downloading associated with it), the ‘me’ who feels a little empty not writing, the ‘me’ who wants to curl up cosy in bed just because.

Context changed, and I was feeling depleted. So time out.

And what have I learnt from this young lady who approaches life with a certain joie de vivre and a whole lot of confidence? Remember to prioritise ‘me’. She does and without apology. Maybe I did ‘do’ something right, 🙂 ?

Which reminds me, how are you travelling?

My willingness to be intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with another.     Shakti Gawain

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Le bonheur mon cheri

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I stopped looking for happiness. Not because I don’t want to be happy, or that I don’t believe in its existence.

I stopped looking for happiness because it does not serve me, this constant evaluation of my state of happiness and this relentless searching and eventual disappointment.

There is no ‘right-er’ state for me than now. The state I am in is it, now.

True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.      Seneca

What I have chosen instead is a deliberate act of pursuing my passion, what challenges me intellectually, what fulfils me spiritually, what gives me a sense of accomplishment, what takes me into the zone of ‘losing myself’ in a space of creativity, beauty…love. Many have questioned my sanity… how could hours of research, reading, writing be all that? How could time spent alone be enough? My answer, because it is, for me.

Each of us need to find, to identify what it is that calls to us. And when you find it, hold it close to your heart. Don’t be dissuaded by the logical and sensible ‘advice’ that will come your way about it. Stay grounded in your conviction of its rightness. Revel in the delight of this adventure…

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.         Mahatma Gandhi

I am not certain I am in the harmony that Gandhi spoke of. It does not matter. I don’t chase it. What is, is. Trust in the intention of the present moment. It is enough I have a private smile of satisfaction more often than not. It is enough my lows and disappointments are few. It is enough I no longer compare my present with a future I believe I could have. It is enough there is no compulsion to chase the happiness defined by others existing always in the future.

Happiness—A butterfly, which when pursued seems always just beyond your grasp; but if you sit down quietly, may light upon you.             Nathaniel Hawthorne

Life is not perfect, this has never been my intention.

I choose for this life to be fully lived, by me; for each moment to be moment of love, grace or gratitude.

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.