His Chair

His chair, one we all used, was still really his.  I’m not going to describe it in detail because that’s too easy.  His is white, has a lid, and some plumbing behind it.

Got it?

I never understood why my dad was in there for so long, at least I didn’t understand it when I was little.  Magazines were within reach: Western Horseman, Kansas Beef, Newsweek.  I learned what an editorial cartoon really meant from Newsweek.

As an adult, I now understand what it means to need time for myself:

“Mom! Can you get me a drink of water?!”

“Mom! What time is it?”
“Mom, can I go play at my friend’s house?”

This constant barrage can wear down any parent, especially a single parent.  My dad, bless his heart, had seven girls (the oldest four being girls).  His escape was understood to be His Escape.  It was too bad, sometimes, because we only had one bathroom–unless you count the outhouse.  I, on the other hand, have two bathrooms in my house.  One of them is all pink (toilet, bathtub, sink, walls) AND I only have three kids, but the escape is the same.

The Difference Between Work and Home

From @WritersDigest: For today’s prompt, write a care poem. As with many of the prompts, a care poem can be handled (with care) in many different ways: write a poem in which you care about someone (or something); write a poem about a caregiver (or care receiver); write a poem about the Care Bears; or if you don’t care about anything, let that guide you.

Priorities

When they ask for more knowledge
And I give what I can.
When they want me to show some concern about them
And I do.
I give them my all, except
When I can’t.

I see someone who just needs me
While sitting at home, in the middle of the day
For a day or a week.
My other cares don’t disappear,
But nothing compares
To how I feel.

The three most needy in my life
Are the most important ones.

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Weekly Poetry Prompt: Dialing Up Patience

For this week’s prompt from Reader’s Digest, write an antique poem. It could be about or involve physical antiques. Or maybe the poem addresses an antique way of thinking, acting, etc.

The rotary…

Be careful not to mess up or

You’ll have to start over again

Which can frustrate the most patient

 

mother,

girlfriend,

or consumer

 

but maybe it would give us a second thought to

those wasted words

those unthoughtful messages

those unspeakable wrongs we can’t undo today.

 

Extendend Definition of ‘Perception’

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Rather than love, or money, or fame, give me truth.”  Thoreau felt that once we know the truth, we can face it and deal with it.  To him, deception is almost a sin against man and God.  However, how do we know what is the actual truth?  Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is truth.  This explains why the idea of perception is so important to understand.

Dictionary.com defines perception as “the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses”.  To perceive something through senses simply means to hear, see, taste, feel, or smell and ultimately understand what is being sensed.  This focuses on the facts (just the facts, ma’am).  What makes it interesting is when we apply the human experience to these facts.

In a report of an accident, an officer could interview three different people who were at the same scene and come up with three different stories.  The CSI tv series has capitalized on that idea.  Depending on where the witnesses were standing, what they saw, what they heard, what they smelled, what they felt, or even what they tasted was usually something different.  It is then the detective’s job to piece it all together to get the objective “facts”.  The key difference between objective facts and subjective facts is so complex that it is hard to pinpoint.  A good detective would consider as many of these factors as possible to understand what really happened.

The final definition of perception deals with the experiences an observer has been through.  The woman with an abusive boyfriend will perceive Sleeping with the Enemy differently than an innocent, naive teenager who doesn’t understand all of the psychological hell Julia Roberts’ character went through.  Or differently than the boy who was just out of a rebound relationship where she used him.  Here, perception is everything.  All of these are “truths” but from a different point of view.  A truly wise person will understand and not judge these truths.  It doesn’t matter what “truth” is, rather it is more important what is innately believed to be true.

As I was reading Into the Wild for the second time, I was discussing with a fellow reader how Jon Krakauer wrote this book as much for himself as for describing Chris McCandless’ journey of self-realization.  I realized myself that I understood the book much differently than the first read.  A lesson in perception.  In the five years since the first read, I have experienced much, mellowed out, and as a result I view the world differently.

Just because your truth may clash with someone else’s truth, who is to say which one is correct?  It’s all about perspective.  Another transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said this in his essay Self Reliance: “Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.”  Your perception is bound to change.  If it doesn’t, then you will never find your own truth.

 

FOG: Wednesday Poetry Prompt

I thought I would try to get back into writing a little, so I considered this a little cheat.  Reader’s Digest offered this prompt:

For this week’s prompt, write a fog poem. The poem can be about a fog. It can incorporate a fog. Or it can delve into concepts like the “fog of war” or “foggy intentions.” Fog up the windows of your poetic spirit this week.

Poetry is not my strongest genre, but here is “Temptation”

Its selfish fingers trickle over the blades of grass,

the ripples of the creek,

the leaves on the tree

suffocating

stifling

releasing its weight

until it leaves behind a part of itself

giving in to the things

that it tried to keep from you and me.