…And your Love is what Lingers…

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I feel horrific and sudden pain

Shooting daggers throughout my brain

It feels as if I am absolutely insane

Except I know that I am not

So I spot my headphones

And I put them on quickly

I scroll through my music swiftly

The daggers stab me over and over again

I don’t know when

When will it end

I’ve had this condition for so long

So because nothing helps I turn on a song

And when the piano and cello starts

I immediately fall apart more

Because it’s too beautiful

So I search again for a tune

To calm me down as I stare at the disappearing moon

I find something that will soothe me

And I listen to it quietly

It relaxes my wild mind

And calms my shaken nerves

Something I think I deserve

16 years of fighting to feel not sick

If I had the magic potion to cure me

I’d drink it up quick

Instead I cope, I deal

Sometimes I wonder if any of it’s real

Then I remember that soon today

My love and I will be together and I say

Everything will be okay

Because despite the illness that rages in my mind

Despite the doctors

Despite the medication

Despite side effects

Despite indifference

Despite sweating all night

Despite the anxiety, the fear

Despite the feeling utterly lost sometimes

Despite it all

When you stroke my hand slowly with you soft finger

When you tell me sweet things and smile at me, demonstrating in many ways how much you care

When you tell me “I choose you”

When you kiss me and my heart melts

All the pain goes away

And your love is what lingers

And as long as I’m with you

Which hopefully is forever

We can forget our suffering

Our different but similar pain

And remember that

Love cures all wounds

And I feel that so deeply in my heart

Whenever you are next to me

That’s where you belong

And I hope

That’s always where you’ll be

With the Option to not Merely Exist, but to Live

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Every Day
Is a special occasion
To put on your best dress
Your best shirt
Your best shoes
Forget the blues
You choose
Every day
Only occurs once
Race through the field
Lay in them
Take in the sweet air
For once today is over
You can’t have it back
You must sweat, suffer, and curl up into a ball
Or
You must throw that all out
With the Option to not merely exist, but to live

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Review

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Have you ever felt a happy glow of joy in your soul? Perhaps a kiss or a special moment caused that glow of joy in your soul to occur. A giant glow of joy in my soul descended upon my soul during and at the conclusion of It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a true story of a troubled man who was able to heal with the help of the wondrous Mister Rodgers whom he was asked to interview on a story about heroes. It’s hauntingly beautiful the way Fred Rodgers teachers Lloyd to cope with his feelings, and I believe we all need someone in our lives to help us in this way. Watching this film caused time to stop for me. I was transported into a new world of both joy and pain, and I learned how joy helps conquer pain and how grief is a natural yet difficult part of life. Fred Rodgers swims, prays, writes letters, in order to cope with death, divorce, and war- because “it gets dark” as Lloyd says. The task of learning how to cope with pain and strife and turn our life into the best possible thing it could be is the lesson of this film. “Sometimes, just sometimes we get to change a broken world with our words.” That is what Lloyd states and is also able to do with his words as he is assigned an article on heroes and Mister Rodgers is chosen. We witness the life of Lloyd and the life of Mister Rodgers unfold and become interwoven until it creates this warm quilt of love.

Are you happy is a good question that this movie poses and both men spend the movie on a journey to seek happiness in a sometimes cruel, cold world. “Oh God, Lloyd please don’t ruin my childhood,” Lloyd’s wife says when referring to the piece he is writing about heroes, and he writes something that charms the entire nation and touches hearts. During the interview, Mister Rodgers says “When I focus into in that camera I try to speak to a single child at a time and focus on their needs”. One of the needs is met when Mister Rodgers says “Do you know what that means to forgive? It means to release a person from the anger we feel. Sometimes it’s the hardest to forgive someone we love.” Mister Rodgers is leading a lesson on forgiveness, one we could all learn from. Fred Rodgers tells Lloyd and the audience this to try in an effort to reach into Lloyd’s pain and attempt to help him heal. The interview continues with: “What brought you back to the show?” Lloyd asks mister Rodgers. “I realized that there was still so much to talk about,” Mister Rodgers says, and follows that up by saying. “If we could through television programs and all other programs show that everyone is precious” It gets personal when he says to Lloyd after breaking down the walls he put up, “I’m sure if she saw you today the person you became, she would be so proud.” Fred is talking to Lloyd about his deceased mother.

“A hospital is where you go when your body is hurt, but where do you go when your feelings are hurt?” is a question posed by Mister Rodgers. I think the answer to that poignant question is Turning Point, and I would also add that’s where you go when your mind hurts, because I know mine does sometimes. The scene where Lloyd’s father Jerry is in his apartment and Lloyd is frozen in anger broke my heart after Lloyd’s dad said “I may never come back here” Lloyd’s father begins trying to ask for forgiveness, but then he collapses and everything goes in slow motion. Lloyd and his wife are staying with Lloyd’s dying father. It’s the silent calm sadness that washes over me and I watch Lloyd staring off and thinking about all the things in his life – past, present, and future all at once while he feeds the newborn child he has. “I like you as you are, exactly as you are. Exactly and precisely as you are no doubt or question,” is the most beautiful soothing lullaby I have ever heard, as Lloyd sings to Gavin.

Then the theme of forgiveness comes full circle as Lloyd’s father asked Lloyd to forgive him for leaving him and his sister and his mother was dying. The theater grew silent and I gasped. And then I heard those beautiful three words that a human can say to another and caused that glow of their soul – I love you. Lloyd’s article about Mister Rodgers, his interaction with him changed his trajectory in life. Then Mister Rodgers visits Lloyd and his dying father and that when tears began rolling down my cheek, because for that moment in that theater on that screen my faith in humanity was restored. Thank you, Tom Hanks, for recreation of a beloved character and absolutely made in a beautiful day in the neighborhood for all who experience and will experience this film. “Fame is a four-letter word like tape or face. It’s what you do with it that matters” – Tom Hanks and Mister Rodgers never let fame get to their heads and that is absolutely incredible feat to accomplish, to be humble and when given a platform to speak to make sure that you reach the most vulnerable people, children. I also learned that “death is sometimes we fear but it is human and anything human is manageable”, is something Fred Rodgers shares. Lloyd talks about himself as being a part of a group of broken people. “I don’t think you are broken – you are a man of conviction a man who knows what is wrong and what is right and know that your father helped shape those convictions and helped shape who you are” is what he says, allowing Lloyd a deeper connection and some much needed closure. As Mister Rodgers drives off, Lloyd does the sign language for friends that he was taught and as Mister Rodgers drives away, he drives straight into my heart as he truly embodies what it means to be a hero, true to the article that Lloyd wrote. “If you think of him as a saint that his way of being is unattainable”- Joan Rodgers says of her husband. In a way Mister Rodgers was a saint, but he was human and was capable of deep love and understanding which he spread through the world through his television show, and the joy he brought to so many was captured brilliantly in this film. Thank you for this precious gift you have given the world. As Mister Rodgers said “it’s such a good feeling to be alive” and this movie gave me an incredible rush of feeling alive.

Thoughts on The Goldfinch

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The goldfinch is the most remarkable novel I have picked up in recent memory. The daunting 771 pages made it seem like I would never finish, never know what happens to Theo and perhaps more curiously, to the painting. I thought the narration in this book was what gave it its brilliance from the start. I was immediately immersed in Theo’s world and with the turn of every page enchanted by the characters and the city of New York. Theo, and his friends (and guardian) Andy, Boris, and Hobie couldn’t have been more different but were all such key characters to the story. They came and went as the author saw fit and that was the brilliance of this novel. Just like the painting “disappeared” from the museum and then reappeared after quite a journey, people appeared and reappeared in Theo’s life, fleeting moments in a coming of age story for the ages. The loss of Theo’s mother forever haunted him and I believe it caused his downward spiral. And despite his father’s behavior that loss also stunned him. I don’t know who is to blame for the unbelievable drug use in this novel, however I believe Theo and Boris used drugs to numb their minds from reality. What that left me with was Theo’s reality. Maybe I should be incredibly disturbed by this book, but Theo’s story broke my heart and I was truly hoping that he and Pippa would have a happy ending. However, I have heard from someone wise, that sometimes people with jagged edges cut each other until they both shatter. Therefore, The was no way that they could be together and Pippa makes that point herself. This novel shocked me but also made me consider how cruel life can be. I wonder only, how Theo and his life go forward after the events that unfolded in Europe and how despite his travel and unknown status of engagement, how is Theo really feeling inside?

Born a Crime Reflection

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Every time I picked this book up to continue it, it was like reuniting with an old friend that I wanted to learn more about, although I wished I never had to put it down. Sitting in the train station, I read the first 86 pages and as I heard the train approaching I quickly planned my next free moment to continue this reading endeavor: I simply couldn’t wait. Trevor Noah is astonishingly brilliant in how he chose to let us in his world and narrate to us a window into his world, complicated by many things from skin color and the poverty that unfortunately went along with it. A world that would have caused many to lose their way, but Trevor was resilient and his mother helped instill good values in him, despite how poorly behaved he often was. In many ways, I feel this book is a love letter. A love letter to Trevor’s mom. A love letter to his friends and mostly, a love letter to all the parts of his childhood that challenged him and helped him thrive during a time when he wasn’t meant to. The apatherid meant he wasn’t supposed to thrive. And as we saw with his “hulk” friend from jail, the end of the apartheid meant disadvantaged people were forced to steal to feed their families. This book really showed me a perspective I haven’t seen before and I was truly lucky that this book was chosen to be read. I was astounded by what I learned about South Africa. It was fascinating but also very sad to hear. The slaughter and mistreatment of people was shocking to me. The comparison made to Hitler and how there weren’t numbers to account for the deaths like there were in the Holocaust brought a chill down my spine. I could jump around from subject to subject trying to explain all the reasons that I loved this book. The biggest reason is I fell in love with the story. Trevor allowed me in. His raw feelings were all brought to the surface, especially his mother being shot at the end. A relationship changes when someone that you care about lets you fully in and lets you get to know them on their terms. And that’s exactly what Trevor did. Trevor Noah let me into his world, sharing with me and all of us about life’s lessons, and how black, white, colored, or whatever we were, we are all human and deserving of love. And deserving of a good life. Trevor taught me that, and by allowing me into his world, introduced me to a way of examining one’s life that I will never forget.

Sensationalism

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The media of shocking information
The exaggeration of images
Confuse and fascinate at the same time.

Then there is love.
The paradox of love and being loved
I have loved with my whole heart
Now my heart is filled with holes
The not being loved back was so painful
The accusations of never caring were the worst
I at least wanted him to know I loved him
That would be enough
It would have to be.
But, it was not meant to be.

For now I have sensations of love towards things like coffee.
Or my family.
Or God.
Friends, Shimer, and Falafel, all sensational things.
They are different times for, different types of sensation
All senses are involved

Trying to awake from a deep sleep
Trying to come back from a dream
Trying to escape slumber and excite my real senses
My brain and body want different things
One waits stillness, the other wants movement
Struggling to wake up
The shock of no longer dream land
A most odd sensation …

When my heart shreds

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Two years of trying
Two years of flirting
Two years of skirting the issue
Of us
Now I’m through
Now I’ve poured out my heart to you
Which I should have done from the start
Which would have saved me agony, burning, self-loathing
My heart burst because of it all
My anger rose when you didn’t have the guts to explain why
Why didn’t you try?
I tried so hard it obliterated rational thought
I was hoping that the last time it healed
I was hoping that was real
Instead it ruptures
Instead it shreds
Now I’m going to move move forward
Now I’m going to move ahead
For a while longer though the pain will linger
For a while I’ll weep because I feel like a fool
Pain is making me insane
I’ll have to heal again
Pick up the dislodged pieces
Mend a broken heart
Go back to start
Until then it’s shreds
Shreds of what never was
No blame
No game
I’m looking for a healing feeling
My mind is reeling
Slowing though, I’m peeling away at the emotions
Until the commotions cease
Only then will I find peace
Then the pain will lessen
And joy will increase
The next time I pour my heart into someone
Maybe they will return my feelings
I would look for him
And he will look for me
And together we’ll see
It was all worth it
In the End.