1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Special Occasions, Travel, TToT

TToT: Storage Almost Full – Victorious! #10Thankful

“The trees were still leafless, black, cold; but the fine twigs were swelling towards spring, so that looking upward it was with an expectation of the first glimmering greenness. Yet everything was calm, and the sky was a calm, classic blue.”

—Doris Lessing

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

It was a lovely afternoon, writing outside, on my back deck, while a day-time music jam went on in my basement.

So much about families who have had humiliation and abuse happening, I’ve been hearing about this week. Last weekend was International Day of Families. I had lots of family time this last week, with taking care of each other, helping each other out, and a birthday celebration too. I am glad I can be there for them when they need me and that I have them when I’m the one in need.

This week I did what would have been unthinkable, even just a few months ago, and I found more inspiration to keep doing new and exciting things.

(For a first glimpse, a reveal if you will of my developing violin talents – read on!)

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For my family.

I am lucky. I know.

For the chance to learn about a part of the world I know very little about.

I got a detailed account, during a car ride, about China, a part of the world I’ve never been to and know very little of.

It’s so wonderful, to me, when we can learn about a place that feels so very far off and foreign, but that’s why I love a well narrated travel tale.

For yet another nearly perfect checkup for my transplanted kidney.

I am now less than one month from marking 19 years with my father’s kidney he donated.

My creatinine level was once again 70 and this is where it has stayed, for years and years, where once it reached an all-time dangerously toxic level of twelve hundred

Anything under 100 is perfect, as long as the number doesn’t keep increasing. Mine has been no higher than the eighties for years.

For a catch-up lunch with someone from my past and that of my brother.

We shared news and it was no longer a strictly teacher/student interaction.

We conversed as three adults, a definite shift from how it once was. I even gave her a copy of the anthology my story appeared in last year, as a thank you.

I wanted to thank her for all she did. She taught me braille and got me through so much. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her guidance all those years.

For the chance to perform my violin for my sister, as her birthday present.

I thought that could be the best present I could give her this year, other than the trip out to the nail salon together last week that is.

I was nervous, with my first real live performance, second song ever learned.

I don’t know how musicians perform in front of groups of people like that. Although it was only a small group of six, I felt apprehensive and later decided to share it on Facebook.

Reason is that I hope it will give me motivation to keep working hard to improve.

That a friend from far away happened to see the post on Facebook.

I appreciated her unexpected support, only in that it was a surprise to me that she happened upon the video in the first place. She’s one busy lady.

For the smell of BBQ somewhere in the spring afternoon air.

For a beautiful day to be outside while musicians played their hearts out inside my house.

Other times it is later in the evening. This time I could enjoy the warm weather and the music wasn’t quite so loud from inside the house out to where I was relaxing.

For the opportunity to reflect on what it takes for me to show myself a little self compassion.

Loving My Self-ish, #compassion #1000Speak

Another 20th of the month has come and gone and I nearly skipped it, but glad I decided to write what came to mind.

For a promising start, the hope that I won’t end up one of those one-hit-wonder song lyric writers.

My brother and I are beginning our second collaboration together and I am really excited to see where it might lead.

I didn’t think I could do it last time and now I have “Don’t Look Back” of which I am immensely proud.

Announcing My Lyric Writing Debut

I have high hopes for “Decade Adrift” in the days and weeks to come.

But now…without further adieu:

Happy Birthday Song For My Sister (violin edition)

Hope that wasn’t nearly as painful for you to listen to as it was for me.

Hope I can get this post added in time. It’s off to sleep for me now.

Happy Victoria Day or whatever long weekend holiday you’re celebrating. Hope no more fireworks keep me up tonight.

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Fiction Friday, Memoir and Reflections, TGIF, Writing

After the Scars

All Twitter wars aside (planned or not), Taylor Swift sure can come up with some poignant and universal lyrics about love and relationships:

“It’ll leave you breathless or with a nasty scar.”

It’s either one or the other, usually in that order.

The above song lyric about what it feels like to fall, be, or survive the pitfalls of love are all I was hoping to say when I wrote

One Last Kiss.

I am used to scars. I have had them since I was twelve years of age, and I would go on accumulating scar after scar through my teenage years.

These were physical scars. They were unwanted and yet I began to collect them with pride because they were real representations of the medical traumas I had suffered and survived. Every one of those times I went under anesthetic and awoke to recover once more I was proud of that fact.

It’s handy when a scar can be kept secret under clothing. As I took on more and more surgical scars, this became harder and harder to accomplish.

Soon the teenager in me became much too self-aware and I never would have considered wearing a bikini, which would have meant I would have had no other choice but to show off my abdominal scars.

Sure, I say I was proud, but I still couldn’t do it. I’d heard too much about the lengths people went to hide their scars, including more surgeries. This always seemed ridiculous to me.

I couldn’t hide the long scar I had running up the centre of my back either. I couldn’t hide any of them really, so why bother?

It became an exercise in futility, both exhausting and fruitless.

Physical scars are permanent reminders of my medical history, but I would soon start picking up scars of a different kind, along the way to adulthood.

It’s these emotional and psychological scars, invisible no matter what I might be wearing, that I keep taking on as the years come and go. They are much easier to hide in plain sight, but they heal much slower, feeling like they could split wide open at any moment.

It’s these scars I found it impossible not to use as the basis for the short story I wrote last fall, but I had no idea, then, about a project soon to be in the works. This collection of stories would be called

After The Scars: A Second Chances Anthology

It seemed the perfect place, a perfect fit for the story I had needed to tell. Love had given me enough scars, emotional scars this time, to rival the scar tissue I had on my body.

I gather these invisible scars, along with my physical ones, and I hope both kinds will make me stronger. They carry some shame and some embarrassment along with them, of which I struggle sometimes to live with, but they are reminders I will keep with me always.

It’s hard to open myself up, to someone, to anyone. It’s hard to let them see that I do, in deed, possess both types of scars. It’s a risk and I sometimes fear I won’t be able to accept that, but I do. What else is there?

Love and life carry with them both the good and the bad. Love can do both things Swift sings about in “Blank Space”.

Love can take your breath away with its intensity. Then, you can walk away from such intensity, marked by the emotional scars that remain.

The universal truth of this astounds me every day. That is what gave me the fuel to write my story and that is what will likely always have a place at the heart of any story I write going forward.

I wear both classifications of scar with pride, as I declare here first.

Won’t you join me?

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