Thirty three times is the last number I recall when counting how many times I have moved. I'm not sure what year I counted, if it includes the house I currently call home in central Texas. I don't care to look backwards and add the number up anymore so I'm going to stay with 33.
I have a stack of journals about knee high that have managed to make it with me through all those moves. I have journals that I know ended up in a land fill as when I went to retrieve them from a prior room rental was told by a clean up crew the guy who was a former lawyer and scam artist to female renters had just died. The contents of his basement ( where some of my books and journals were stored while living there) had been taken to the dump the day before I stood there asking to go have a look for them. Great timing, and not the first time I had to eye roll the confluence of events and come to a place of acceptance.
I had some treasured books, journals and a gorgeous Geisha doll that was gifted to me by someone very dear to my heart stored in that basement. They either were in that guys basement that went to a landfill or in someone else's attic that I saw had been cleared out. Anyway, again whereever they last were they weren't ever going to be with me again so- let it go.
What I can be grateful for despite the loss of the originals is that for some time at a place I rented and lived alone I wrote like a mad woman at all hours of the day and night but especially at night. It got to where I kept a notepad at my bedside and slept with a light on so when I would awaken from sleep during the night I could write what was so determined to get out of my head. I bought myself a personal computer, set it up and input these writings, printed them and compiled them in a large binder that I have been able to keep with me.
Not all my poems were originally documented in journals. Some were scribbled on notepads, napkins, post it notes, whatever I could write on when inspiration hit. Some I wrote pieces of then sat at my computer and was able to piece them together to a completed poem.
The above poem is one of my favorites in my poetry book available on this website in pages 62-63.
This poem, "Whatever happened" transports me right into my favorite parts of childhood.
I recall making little tiny cakes in an Easy bake oven, as well as making mudd pies decorated with rocks outside and letting them 'bake' in the summer sun.
Late night hide and go seek meant playing until the street light came on and bringing the game closer to home to try and stay out just a little longer.
I played all the games mentioned as well as watched Speed Racer, my favorite childhood cartoon. I remember watching my mom dance in the front room to Soul Train and feeling joy with her. She had an inner child that needed so much healing I never understood the extent until my early thirties. I am grateful to have some good memories of her amidst the abuse I have spoken of. I am grateful I was able to tell her I forgive her and hope she finds peace in this life. It took me living through a similar event she had experienced to fully grasp the mental effort healing takes. This is no excuse to abuse a child but all I am saying is I obtained greater understanding to her and was able to forgive her instead of carry hate and self righteousness in my being toward her.
Back to the poem, it goes into battery powered boom boxes in the park, this refers to a foster home I lived that was at the end of a street next to a public park. Despite the stuff I saw go down in that park I also saw the typical activites of people gathered to have fun. I'll never forget being called over to someones tail gate to be offered food. She called me 'honey child' said come here you skinny little thing- Honey Chid you need to eat. I'm pretty sure my core love of yellow mustard on hot dogs developed that day.
Fantasy Island and Love Boat were two of my favorite shows to watch in the same foster home. The bedtime tickle fests refers to a photo I have of laughing in my pj's in same home.
"Its never too late to sometimes feel like a kid." I feel this is the trick to growing in old in age and staying happy in my heart. Remember what seeing the world through a child's eyes is like. There is so much beauty amidst the sheer horrors. I had a co-worker tell me in my twenties that I see the world through rose colored glasses. She said it condescendingly as if I ignored or was ignorant to the travesties of some humans experiences. I fully well knew what damage life could do but was still choosing to see the beauty in it all because seeing the beauty made me feel better inside. I knew what sitting in darkness felt like at the hands of adults when I was young and as an adult repeating some same self destructive patterns of behavior. Sure, I could dwell on the negative and become completely cynical and bitter the remainder of days. Instead, I'm still working on the last line of this poem: "and now turn the bad stuff that happened into good."
Where we sit at any moment is a choice. Awareness is the first step to change and each one of us have the ability to change something that doesn't feel good inside.
Wonderment, keep it.