Tag Archives: connection

Postcard

“Postcard”
by Olena Kalytiak Davis

Lately, I am capable only of small things.

Is it enough
to feel the heart swimming?

Jim is fine. Our first
garden is thick with spinach
& white radish. Strangely,
it is summer

but also winter & fall.

In response to your asking:
I fill the hours
then lick them shut.

Today, not a single word, but the birds
quietly nodding
as if someone had suggested
moving on.

What is that perfect thing
some one who once believed in god said?

Please don’t misunderstand:
We still suffer, but we are
happy.

Sweet Connections

one serving every day

My mother had a sister who was two years younger than she. My Aunt Reta. The evening of February 27, 2019, eleven days after her 83rd birthday, Reta decided she wanted a bit of ice cream. She got out of her chair to go to the kitchen, and she collapsed. She died of a heart attack.

Last Monday, March 16, my mother was feeling very unwell and in pain (she was terminally ill). She did not want any supper. My father asked her if she wanted some ice cream. She replied that yes, that sounded good. My father helped her to the dining room chair. Before he could get the ice cream, she began to fall over. He caught her, helped her to the floor, called 911 and a neighbor. She died shortly after.

I like to think they are enjoying ice cream together in a parallel universe.

Connection

on the road to somewhere

Being an introvert and ambivalent about interacting, I often keep myself folded up when I’m out in the world. This also increases my sense of disconnection and loneliness, and yet I persist. However, sometimes I relax, and life beautifully unfolds.

I was at the motor vehicle department to apply for a REAL ID, which is the federally-approved driver’s license that will permit me to fly without carrying a passport. For this I needed several types of paperwork to confirm my identity; to provide proof of address, I brought a life insurance bill. When my number was called, the associate who helped me was first struck by my purple hair and commented how much she liked it. I get this a lot. I’ve been purple for six years, and it seems to delight other people as much as it does me.

Then she began looking at my papers. She asked me what the life insurance paper was, and I replied it was a bill for my life insurance. She paused and said, “I told my husband the other day we really need to get life insurance.” Then she stopped her work entirely and began telling me about her life. She has two adult children who moved back home and who don’t get along. She told me about the stress it created, and how she couldn’t afford the fee to file evictions on them (they won’t move out). I listened and empathized. I mentioned how I’d had a fight with my 12 year old daughter the day before, and how she’d said something utterly disrespectful. The associate sympathized. We talked about how difficult it is to parent. She continued to tell me how her husband and son nearly came to blows in a recent argument and advised me to nip insolent behavior in the bud. Somewhere in the conversation she began working on my license application as she spoke. When our transaction ended, I thanked her for sharing with me and wished her well, and she returned the sentiment.

I stepped into the next line to get my photo taken, but when it was my turn, my file wasn’t accessible. The associate had forgotten to close it; the photographer couldn’t proceed. The associate had gone to lunch and left her station. So I stepped aside while they searched for her. The staff was apologetic, and I said it really wasn’t a problem. As I waited, several other staff members passed by, and one woman said I was “rockin’ the purple hair!” and high-fived me. It was altogether a congenial experience. What surprised me was the connection outside the business at hand. I marvel at this, at the serendipity that arises when I am relaxed and receptive while out in the world. It changed the tone of my entire day for the better.

Doing All The Things

I struggle to balance my activities. It seems to me that there are some that I can do every single day without fail, and some I would like to do every day, but can’t manage.

Autonomic bodily activities (breathing, digesting, excreting) and survival tasks (eating, sleeping) are guaranteed to happen. Duh, right?

But then there are things that help my soul, my physical and mental health, that I just don’t get to each day. So I prioritize.

Everyday I:

  • brush teeth
  • drink coffee
  • meditate 5-30 minutes
  • read (book, magazines)

Other things I would like to do every day:

  • make art
  • work out or take a walk

Things I ought to probably do every day:

  • shower
  • clean or tidy one area of the house
  • interact with people

The thing about making art is that I like to get lost in the process. This takes time. There is not always a chunk of free time for it. Working out is similar. I can get some steps in, but a dedicated sustained workout is not always feasible. And yet, both of them feel nearly as necessary as food. I get depressed when I don’t do them. I have gone months without doing either. Everyone around me had to bear the result.

Regarding people, I interact with my husband and daughter, of course. I like solitude. Yet sometimes I get more of it than I need. I can tell, because I start to feel a little disembodied.

Dust to Dust

Dust to Dust

It’s not your eyes
It’s not what you say
It’s not your laughter that gives you away
You’re just lonely
You’ve been lonely, too long
All your actin’
Your thin disguise
All your perfectly delivered lies
They don’t fool me
You’ve been lonely, too long
Let me in the wall, you’ve built around
And we can light a match and burn it down
Let me hold your hand and dance ’round and ’round the flame
In front of us
Dust to dust
You’ve held your head up
You’ve fought the fight
You bear the scars
You’ve done your time
Listen to me
You’ve been lonely, too long
Let me in the wall, you’ve built around
And we can light a match and burn them down
And let me hold your hand and dance ’round and ’round the flames
In front of us
Dust to dust
You’re like a mirror, reflecting me
Takes one to know one, so take it from me
You’ve been lonely
You’ve been lonely, too long
We’ve been lonely
We’ve been lonely, too long

The Civil Wars

Note to Myself

bleeding heart

Dear Me,

I’m writing you this note so you will remember… You just had a heartening, friendly, compassionate conversation with your neighbor who happened to be outside and called your name. It was 45 minutes of reciprocal connection. Notice how buoyant you feel. Remember how vital and alive your energy is right now, how you could ride this like a gentle rolling wave to carry you through the rest of today. You say you want to be a source of love for the world. It is as simple as pausing to say hello.

Love,
Yourself

A Visit With Mother

A Visit With Mother

Playing with the ocean is a high contact sport.
Wrestle a wave, expect
to be tackled, lifted up, tossed aside,
waves sprinting and jockeying each other to shore,
cresting, swapping twelve-foot high fives.

Boys tag icy waves; cries of surprise
compete with seagulls. A toddler in pink totters toward
starlings holding their convention on the sand.
Her face beams as she waves to each bird.

You cross dry sand and it swallows your toes.
The wind slaps and pushes,
scrubs your face, bleaches your mind.
Your eyes sting and weep in the salt air.

You do not come to the beach for tranquility.
You do not come here for shelter,
but to absorb ancient energy,
feel the rhythm of waves in your blood,

swing on the tidal pendulum,
submit to the scrutiny of the bald sun,
gaze at the horizon melting into thousands
of miles of nothingness and possibility.

You come to release your illusions.

–Kathryn Harper