Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mind in Matter

Ask not of me, of me in whisper
or hollow echos from bellowing tones
I've yet been kind enough to answer
or reveal my curious fro

Give me time, sweet and patient
like the fawn by her doe
before appearing clear within the fog

I shall not listen nor give you my tongue
or ear for banter anymore
for the lust reveling in these eyes
like teeth craving the cut from the ivory stone

Have I not given my vow to this endless endeavor of yours?
The tiring circles of yearn...leave me be and escape!
Let my skull tap out a lowly tune so my mind, that is me,
does not have to accomplish another self defeat

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Sense of Failure

I want to take a moment to feel, just to realize the verity of what has happened today. But, I can’t. I cannot simply be in this second for this particular glimpse in time, for every tick of now’s hand drones gently, “Tic, tic, tic, tic…” reminds me that this near quiet present has been my genesis. My own self’s creative genius of failure. I can’t stop crying. My cheeks have become prunes and my eyes feel like anchors desperately clawing for sand. Yet in the very pit of my being, delicate warmth is lingering.

Looking back over the last fours months, I see all the different steps I should have taken…and did not. They say that hindsight is 20/20 but at every critical juncture and with every ounce of my being I knew the wiser choice. Yet, still, I chose unwisely. Foolishly I conned myself, “Later, later…always a later.” It was the yearning to believe my own deceit that this next “tic” is able to bellow out its next dispassionate nonsense…’Tic.”

There will be those that critically judge my decisions and I could choose to do so as well but what good would come of it? Surely I did not continually make fully aware bad decisions because it felt great to do so or for experiencing my present’s consequence. I chose what I did in attempts to fulfill a need that was demanding inflexibly louder. It is my sincere conclusion that people truly are doing the best they can do at any given moment. That is not to say that they can’t be/do better than what their present illustrates. However, how does one do the ‘better’ they are perfectly capable of when the tools for doing said better things are unavailable? For me, the only way of describing the sheer and quite raw agonizing conundrum of knowing my capability and not rising to the occasion is by asking you to imagine seeing a life jacket in a sealed inch-thick Plexiglas box while drowning. It’s right there but something else is seemingly in your way. Though invisible to you, it’s like hitting a brick wall trying to grasp for it.

Life is so beautifully crafted in irony. As soon as I finally discovered the means to bring healthy attention to calm long ignored needs just so that I can concentrate solely on nursing school…I fail out. This causes a whole new host of other major life issues to attend. The vastness is unfathomable, even to me. So why do I feel utterly at peace? Why am I grateful that time keeps ticking one uncaring chime after the next? My answer seems odd but the drive to be a nurse, to truly be of help and service to others and to hopefully do my part in changing the world in my very small and seemingly insignificant corner of it, forced me into facing up to a long held illogical belief. When one’s behavior is little understood, presumably a plethora of fears arise. In all my full fledge bloody psychological fights with my brain, it has been my consistent experience that truth, once ventured upon, is always glorious in her unveiling.

Looking back at my proverbial “failures” in my brief life I’ve noticed a definite pattern. Failure doesn’t dictate your actual capability, your present ability, or even knowledge. In high school I was told I could never be better than a C student because I had/have a learning disability, A.D.D, and statistical test scores were there to back up teacher claims. So much so they seemed never willing to take a look personally at my capabilities. Besides, I did always think these kinds of things made me a little less capable. My mother saw this as an outright absurdity. She’s my mother though! Mother’s don’t typically think their child near retarded. I did not outwardly appear to listen to her nor cognitively gave credence to disbelief at the time. At the time the entirety of my environment clearly communicated, even if nonverbally, “You’re not smart.” And so, after 2 years and every ounce of energy I could muster, I finally completed ninth grade English to never pass tenth because I eventually just dropped out. During that time I won an Editor’s Choice Award for a poem I wrote. Never-the-less, for many years afterward I truly believed I was dumb and discounted the award as a fluke, perhaps even a sham.

Many years later I would finally get up the courage to put myself out there for another ‘inevitable’ failure. I got back into college and found myself with a 4.0 and an English teacher who saw something in my writing. I started finding out I could contribute to the world. I could be better than a C student. Even though it took me to my toddler age of 3 to finally talk and after being told countless times that tests like the T-caps and large red pen marks across my English papers proved me to be a person of “severely below average” capabilities and/or intelligence. Some tests would confidently determine my ‘place-in-the-world’ without taking into account the actual individual, me. It seems to have let me fall through what many call, “The cracks.” Though I find there happens to be millions of these cracks that people like me just seem to slip into…constantly. It makes doing anything we’re perfectly capable of doing very difficult. Without the benefit of a family that saw and/or sees the true worth in me, I have no idea who or what I’d be.

I am not ‘stupid,’ ‘unworthy,’ ‘unlovable,’ or ‘bad’. I suppose many of us struggle with some pretty nasty, well, shit inside of our heads. Conquering my own life’s seemingly inescapable low points have given me the audacity to believe in the human race. So when I contemplate over today’s ultimate failure, I could choose to isolate it or focus on my growth. If I listen to the inevitable gossip that surely awaits, I wouldn’t see the truth in me.

I find it somewhat amusing that nursing has taught me to care for a patient holistically. As a student I feel that testing measures, though a seemingly objective measure has again proved to not prove my actual current ability. Though, I could have taken some steps to mandate legal aid in my endeavor, I did not. In the end I have no one to blame, in a sense, about not getting help I needed. Lesson learned.

In the end, I’ve found great joy in life and a sincere love of people and their own personal experiences. When I pathetically wallow in my own self-pity I lose sight of what makes us all human and what makes life worth living in this abysmal and complex journey. It’s because I’ve overcome such unrecoverable self-destructive behaviors that the foundation in my faith in the true ability of the human race is quite superbly immeasurable and yet…so absolutely ordinarily vulnerable and susceptible.

I’m painfully vulnerable but I also feel. Oh, to feel is a double edge sword that has caused a history of people to produce some of the most impossible of tasks, like jumping on a subway rail to save a child or the will to stand up to unsightly odds to found a country, like America. The brain and all its mysterious neurons produce emotions so quick that one would also abuse their spouse while being comparatively loving toward their children. The consciousness of the mind bewilders logic and yet these are the limits we are all bound. I know my brain is a constant game, while fun at times, can really mess me up if not watchful. How can I be any different than the abusive spouse. I'm only a different choice of defense mechanism propelling toward ever encompassing confusion of logic. Yet the place all this comes from is all from the same place. Put simply, a need screaming to be met and a person desperately trying to feed it so they can get on with life. It all has been dully noted. I have a pink post-it note with bright blue writing above my computer, as I write now so I won't forget to remind myself how to get back from the detour to the lost and found bin.

Susie E.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Scattered rhythm, like my heart
Speckling my bedroom windows with beads
Dull as the sky, pale grey drops of bent light
Transparent as I feel, fragile in this bark

Gentle whisper, be now easy on yourself
The sum of one endlessly undone from her marrow
Folded from the day, shutting out
Everything I’ve let expectation gain from me
Except one, to be ordinarily human

Crushed under all the happenings
Begging for my spine to disappear,
This is all a hefty weight of bare
Just a little too much
I shall allow none more
This lesson from beneath my windowsill and rain