Monday, August 12, 2013

Mirror..... a free verse poem

when I look in the mirror I see
lines on my face
that weren't there before
and if I think back through the years
to remember all the things
that were difficult
or stressful
or distressing
it would be easier to let myself resent you
than it is to be thankful

when I look in the mirror I see 
grey hairs
that weren't there before
and if I think back through the years
to remember all the things
that were hurtful
or confusing
or undeserved
it would be easier to let myself remain fearful
than it is move on and enjoy now

when I look in the mirror I see 
tiredness in my eyes
that wasn't there before
and if I think back through the years
to remember all the things
that were upsetting
or exhausting
or just plain unfair
it would be easier to speak of my life with you as a struggle
than it is to be positive

it would be easier
and people might excuse it
or might accept it
or expect it
or prefer to hear the story of the pain and difficulty

but I don't want to tell that story

it is only half the story

and it helps no one to retell the bits that explain how sick you were

unless it helps to explain to those who cannot have seen

how hard you have worked
how brave you have been
how much you have sacrificed
the battles you have fought
the victories you have won
the demons you have faced
how far you have come
how it all shaped who you are now

how knowing you has changed me for the better
how journeying with you has helped me be stronger
how partnering with you has brought out the best in me
how remaining with you has been a privilege
how planning with you fills me with hope and expectation

so I will choose to tell the other half of the story
against all the odds
laughing at the statistics
flying in the face of the expected
making our own reality full of triumphs and joys
deciding daily to act with determination
and in love
and to persist
with thankfulness
with courage
with mindfulness
with positivity
with contentment
to continue to look forward
not back
to work hard
to smile
to laugh
to remember all the good things
and to make more good as the story unfolds

when I look in the mirror I see a woman who is
not in spite of 
but because of 
the journey with you
I am happy with my reflection

This post is part of The Blogfast Club organised by Kate at kate says stuff

Monday, August 5, 2013


She covers her ears as the ambulance rushes down the street, sirens wailing.

She cries in discomfort as she runs inside to escape the clatter of the lawn mower.

She rocks in agitation to cope with the sound of the cutlery clinking and clashing at the meal table. 

She wears her ear defenders to muffle the sound of the loud music when she is in the school hall.

But when it rains.

When it rains!

When it rains she presses her face up against the glass and looks out into the sky.

Will it? 

Will it!!

Her body is tense and coiled like a spring.

Will it?


When it thunders she squeals as the sound ricochets around in her head. She jumps up and down as the pressure explodes through her chest. 

Squeals and jumps with delight.


The thunder echoes. Reverberates. 

She dances. She flaps. She spins. 

......She slows.......

She stops. 

She waits.

She returns to the window and presses her face up against the glass and looks out into the sky.

Will it? 

This weeks challenge for the Blogfast Club was to write a fictional piece to the prompt 'thunder'. Go to kate says stuff to find out more. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Likeness is normal

Last week I wrote a blog post called Difference is normal. I wrote it because it seems to me that we are all different from each other in so many ways, and even though being different is normal, we hold each other at arms length because of perceived differences. I was thinking that if we could accept that difference is normal, that maybe we could get on with accepting each other, just as we are, and celebrate those differences as being something that strengthen us as a community. I was thinking that it would be great if realising we all have our differences meant we could accept that difference is normal and maybe have more empathy for other peoples differences. 

I've been doing some more thinking. And it seems to me that we are all alike in one way or another. And I was thinking that it is just as important to realise we are all similar as it is to realise we are all different. 

I was thinking about it after I wrote last weeks post. Then I read a post called Not Different by Brenda from Mama Be Good. After pointing out that her Autistic son needs the same things as any other child-  "..... to play, to have fun, and to feel good about himself.... connection, guidance, and people who get him..." Brenda closes her article by saying "Autism does not equal Different". She is right.

In our difference, there is always similarity. 

You might think this is a contradiction in terms. Let's think about it together.

We may all jump differently, but we are all still jumping.
Photo credit Mell Mallin Photography

I have blue eyes, you have brown eyes. We both have eyes.

I have short hair, you have long hair. We both have hair.

I like chocolate, you like ice-cream. We both like sweet food.

I am interested in psychology, you are interested in mathematics. We both have interests.

I live in Australia, you live in England. We both belong somewhere.

I get worked up about rights for disabled people, you get worked up about dangerous workplace conditions. We are both concerned about justice.

My Son and Daughter are Autistic. My Husband and Daughter are Bipolar. I am neither. We are all people just trying to get along in this world and do our best with what we have, challenges and all. 

Let's recognise our differences. Let's accept them as being normal. Then let's look for our likenesses. They are there. Let's find them and talk about them. Let's focus on ways we can relate to each other instead of looking for excuses to drive wedges between us.