Anger

It is January second here in the midwestern USA. I truly hope that for those whom I have come to know through blogging, those whom I call friend have a wonderful 2014. May it be peaceful and bountiful. That said, let me state that I am not a peaceful person. I suspect that those words will come as a disappointment and a bit of a shock to those who have come to know me here on the Internet. My husband calls me his little warrior or combatant. He says that I am at war with everyone. I will have to state here in my own defense – that is a bit of an exaggeration. But there is also a good bit of truth to what he says. Some of that is a good thing for it is what has often propelled me to stand up to injustices committed upon others. It has also served me when needing to make my way in the world at a time that women did not stand upon the same ground as men. Of course it does not always make for a peaceful marriage (do not worry – we have firmly rooted marriage). It also at times makes me look at things from a skewed perspective, one that is not necessarily correct. Oh, I know precisely where this comes from and have worked over the years on many of those childhood issues as we all do. The anger is an off shoot or a product of a) the fear of being taken advantage of, b) not feeling good enough because I was raised to believe that I wasn’t and c) understanding that there are not just 2 places in life: first and last. I was made to do competitive sports when young, both on horseback and upon the ski slope. And it was always with the understanding that if I did not come in first I was garbage. Hell I used to race against Susie Chaffee our own 1968 Olympic Ski Champion. However, I did this at about 11 years of age. As soon as I was sent to prep school all that unpleasant competition gratefully ended. Funny, I spoke with my sister about 10 years ago about this issue. I discovered that she was angry about having to end competitive skiing and riding when she was sent away to school. I needless to say had never viewed those things from her perspective. I have pretty much dealt with all of those childhood issues. Anger, like anything else can become just a habit. Unhelpful or unhealthy habits simply need to be changed. If the things that made us angry in the first place have been resolved, then getting rid of the anger is much easier. So, in this New Year I am going to do several things to eliminate any unfounded anger. I have placed here within the text two photos that represent serene peacefulness to me.

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1) I am going to look at life and at others from a more peaceful perspective (knowing full well that people are not considering taking advantage of me).

2) Within my state of peacefulness I am going to return to cooking my sweet husband good meals. By the way, I have spoiled him over the years with nothing but fresh, high quality, innovative and superb food. Recently I have said screw this, I am going to eat pre-made, pre-packaged, processed food, something never done here in my home.

3) The third thing that I shall do is become un-angry about being ill, an anger that is surely justified but rather useless. I shall do everything in my power to do volunteer work again. Volunteering has been a lifelong passion for me even when I worked for a living. My job will be to teach English to a group of Nepalese immigrants. This is unlike anything that I have ever done and shall be very challenging. I look forward to this endeavor.

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So … I am interested. How do you look at the new year and what do you wish to do differently? What do you wish to achieve? Please tell me. And … Happy New Year.

Falluja

Sand blows across your boots
sharply raking your cornea
scraping your brain
arid is your heart
dry is your mouth
as voiceless sounds scratch
at your throat
wanting expression
with no escape.

Small dead hands
bleed in your dreams
breaking your innocence
as you weep for loss
into the night sky
with it’s ceaseless fire
it endows your sleeplessness.

One day you
will come home
the fires will wane
with hope
you will mend
where the earth
is not yet parched
your throat
no longer dry
you will walk
among pines
observe birds
standing in water
touch hands of
little ones
skipping stones
across streams
in joyful play.

You will see birds
high on the wing
leaking no jet fuel
but feathered in peace
you will lay down
your dreams change as
little pink fingers
grasp your thumbs in love.

Posted at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads – Open Link Monday.
© Liz Rice-Sosne

Just One Millionth of an Inch

To become a feminist was a difficult decision for me. I made the decision in nineteen seventy-three out of necessity.
It was difficult because I did not like women, I never have, for numerous very good reasons.

Nineteen seventy-three was the year of my divorce.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that divorce is easy.
At that time it was however, better than marriage.
Still, I did not like women and my dislike grew. This dislike began with my mother.

We are programmed for change, often thought of as the hardest of life’s tasks.
We hear it all the time: “People don’t change. They can’t, change is too difficult.”
And then you will hear: “The older you are the more difficult it is to change.”
In summary it is to be believed that: “I am a feminist who doesn’t like women and who cannot change.”

This is all wrong. Anyone can change, anyone can shape-shift.
We only need willingness, the willingness to change.
But let me say that it is harder at sixty-five to change than it was at twenty-seven, really, truly.
Willingness is the key – which means that it is also the key to happiness.

Be willing to move over just one millionth of an inch.
Be willing to see life from a different place. Change your focus just one millionth of an inch.
One millionth of an inch to the right or left or up or down, change your view just one millionth of an inch from the place in which you are accustomed to viewing.

Today I see women differently. Today started nine days ago. I have long known that “women hold up half the sky.”
I just didn’t want to hold it up with them. But old ladies are different.
Old ladies can wear purple with confidence.
Old women actually do “hold up half the sky.” Whereas too many young women are crushed as “half the sky” weighs them down.
Today wearing purple I too can say that I hold up half the sky.
I have been welcomed into the sisterhood of women at last.

© Liz Rice-Sosne September 2012

Shared on OpenLinkNight at dVerse Poet’s Pub with gratitude.

This poem is dedicated to Sherry, Jeannie, Jamie, Becca, Sherrill, Brian and Karen. They are steadfast, loyal, constant, good poets and important to me. Oh, Sherrill may or may not be a poet. She is a friend from Facebook.