It feels like a deep rumble in the belly of the earth. Roaring through the skies like it came right out of the ground, a fat belch set free to shake the darkness in the skies. The churning light, pulsing within its thundercloud womb, burning to strike trees from root — the shift and boil and release.
That rumbling billow cannot be simply the shifting of air. That sound that brings me to melancholy depth, inner cogs grinding away, time anchoring to emotion. A soul sitting still is moved by these sounds. Now, the rain. Paced and steady she is carried in on the bowling thunder that unearths me. I imbibeenergy.
I am jolted. The summer storm alights with all her fury, unleashed on thirsty ground and earth-clinging trees, bending in the throes of her gusts. Dripping patter hammers the roof, drums out the monotony of a day too long and a night too short. She is unleashed, a great pendulum of ferity, flogging the night sky, and I am unbound. My inviolable spirit — reborn, a fat baby slapped again and again.
My name is Christina. I am a poet. :::i paint with words:::
Christina Ward is an accomplished poet, aspiring author, and columnist for the Observer News Enterprise newspaper. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Catawba College in Environmental Science which greatly influences her work. She also studied creative writing and English at Catawba. Her poetry has been published in the Cameo print literary magazine, the Arrowhead print literary magazine, Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, and in Wolff Poetry Literary Magazine.
As women, we have a few go-to moves that make sense only to us. Men have seen us do these things and raised a brow in wonder. (They have their own quirks too, as you well know, but that would be another post, another day.)
Boobs are very multi-functional.
My daughter-in-law and I are big fans of The Cell Phone Stash. While this is usually pertaining to cell phones, it is a well-known fact among us women that the best, most efficient pocket we own is our boobs.
You can stuff all kinds of stuff there! Money, car keys, your infant, so many things. And between my daughter-in-law and I, for the record, she could actually lose things in there. For me, I’ve never lost anything in there but there has been the occasion when an item goes missing and I check my boobs, just in case.
It is the perfect place to park your phone, on speaker, so that you may go about your business, your conversation companion none the wiser.
A sister move to The Cell Phone Stash is The Boob Wipe. I know you’ve seen (and ladies — you know you’ve done this!) a woman end a call on her cell phone and promptly wipe the phone across her boob. Because again the boob is multifunctional and the perfect place to wipe away the face print on the cell phone screen. A good alternative, The Hip Wipe, but watch out for those sequined or bedazzled britches. (That’s Southern for pants — one day I just need to do a write up for y’all on Southern lingo.)
The bathroom quirks that unite us
Make-up often blurs our cell phone screens which is just nasty and brings me to another thing we women do, often in the privacy of our bathrooms or with the sun visor flipped down in the car. We do a very good impression I call The Darth Vader.
This impressive move is annoyingly left out of the mascara commercials — the ones with the lovely models all wearing lash extensions or full fake eyelashes and touting the miraculous wonders of the Lashy-Luschious Perfection Mascara 3000. If the extensions weren’t enough to convince us of their dishonest expression of care for the length and breadth of our lashes; notice the other bold lie.
They apply mascara with their mouth closed. When we all know this is impossible. Furthermore, bring on the heavy concentration, the focused deep-breathing and you have it — The Darth Vader. We truly impress, even without Lashy-Luschious Perfection Mascara 3000.
(And men who wear mascara — make sure you implement this important technique. Since the dawning of mascara, this is the way.)
We have a few bathroom tricks up our sleeves as well, like The Upside-Down Hair Toss — how else would you blow-dry your hair? And there seems to be a rule on this one. If the hair is not tossed violently enough, it must be gathered and the toss must be repeated. More injury comes from this weird women’s activity than any other.
Except maybe The Hover. Men, I implore you to try this once. It’s kind of like a game. Sit to pee — but no part of your skin may actually touch the toilet seat. I won’t go into the potential for injury on this one, but it is crucial, especially in public restrooms, to master this event.
Why? If you have to ask that — we cannot be friends. And while I have your attention men; would it hurt you to take a hint from your ladies? Do you really think we walk around without farting? The Squeeze is your friend. If you need instructions, I am sure any woman would be happy to demonstrate this planet-saving, marriage-saving, face-saving technique.
Speaking of saving-face, there are just some moments in a woman’s life that we are not proud. I am speaking of The Hide.
Because sometimes…you just have to
It’s tough to be a woman. There are those moments when you want it. You need it. And you have to hide to get it.
I can best describe this moment by sharing the story of a woman I know well, and admire beyond the limits of humanly possible admiration. She’s a strong, confident, successful woman and she has two beautiful small children. And even she, medical doctor she, has perfected The Hide, as demonstrated by a Facebook post I once read on her wall depicting the eating of Nutella — in the closet.
Sometimes you just have to Nutella — alone.
I am proud to say that the last time the grandkids were here to visit, my teenage daughter demonstrated The Hide by hiding in her closet to listen to Pandora. Earbuds in, she demonstrated efficiently the genetic component to weird women quirks — I’m pretty sure she’s never known about The Hide — at least not from me!
Take care of yourselves ladies! The struggle Bus has our names inscribed on the side but we carry on! Let your weirdness shine.
And can we please get some realness on our mascara commercials? Darth Vader and all?
This morning I awoke to the terrible pain I’ve been dealing with the last few weeks and decided there just weren’t enough “soft” foods in the house.
(If you need to catch up on “why the pain?” you can do that here.)
At the store, my jaw clenched and dogged determination to get sustenance, I gathered in my cart the crucial supplies for survival when chewing is difficult: Spaghettios, Ravioli, soups, low-sodium broth for making egg drop soup (we have chickens after all,) the softest baked chips I could find (because I am quite addicted to Baked Lays) and my favorite Ranch dip.
How are you today ma’am?
I’m doing great, thank you.
The lie slid so easily from my tongue, although getting past my crooked, pursed lips it came out in a bit of a slur.
The weather was beautiful but it was hard to concentrate on that. I hauled myself and the few bags of groceries home. Too spent to make anything, I settled on the chips, the dip, and to plop myself back in front of the 37 Medium tabs of articles I had opened on the laptop to read.
He is pretty certain that he is a celebrity cat, although the Paparazzi has never come calling. He’d put them to work if they did.
Here, sir. Yes. You scratch there, and I’ll lick that salty amazing spot on your arm.
He is fat. Faboulous. And entitled.
Case and point:
The point here?
Not to give December more credit that he is owed — and to him that is a substantial and often exhausting amount — it is to deal with this “ranch-dip-licking” disappointment in stride.
You know every day is full of its ups and downs right?
There really are those moments when you’ve done all you can think to do, taken all the BS from the world that you think you can take, and that one more thing happens.
That flat tire.
That phone call you’d been dreading.
Worse yet — the internet …goes…out.
How do you deal when you are sapped of strength, sapped of energy, sapped of the patience to handle one more thing?
Life can hand you a basket of burden but you don’t have to analyze the contents so closely that you forget to notice the sun shining down on you, a glorious day going on in spite of your burdens.
Set the basket of burdens down.
Take in the sun. Feel the breeze lightly across your cheeks — and deal with the contents one at a time.
Is there something I could have done to avoid this?
Now that it is here, how can I handle this with a measure of grace?
Is there a way to diffuse the situation without making the problem worse?
Can I deal with this a bit better if I’d just take a deep, cleansing breath and steady my resolve?
Burdens are only burdensome if we forget these are just temporary things that we can manage carefully, with our emotion in check. Keep the Negative Nancy that’s raging in your mind strapped to a chair. She does not own you. And if you tell her to be quiet, she will often listen.
Thanks for reading this “a-day-in-the-life-of” and take some time today to share the ranch dip with your cat.
Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin Indicted, With 44 Others in College Admissions Scheme
You have probably seen the news of two
well-known actresses, Felicity Huffman (best known for her role in ABC’s
dramedy Desperate Housewives) and
Lori Loughlin (best known for her role in the ABC sitcom Full House) being indicted for their part in an elaborate college
admissions scheme. Huffman and Loughlin took part in a scheme involving faked
athletic participation and achievements, and faked test scores, along with
other parents, who were willing and able to pay substantial amounts of money to
get their kids into some of the most elite colleges in the country.
A California business man, operating
under the guise of a non-profit, took money from parents to get their kids into
the college of their choice, and then funneled that money to various athletic
coaches and college exam SAT and ACT administrators. Coaches arranged fake
profiles, took fake athletic pictures of students who were not even playing the
sport, and exam administrators hired proctors to take exams for students…are
you disgusted yet?
The two actresses have been the brunt of a Twitter-expolosion of jokes and memes since the news broke. Parents are outraged. We all should be.
Let me set a scenario for you, one
probably you may find relatable. Picture a single mom, 2 young boys, waking up
in the early morning hours with ice on the roads. This mom was me. I was in my
early 30’s at the time, and school was closed for my boys that day- on the day
I had to take my college state final for Chemistry, likely the most difficult
test I would have to take in my college education.
I fed my boys, bundled us all up, and
my car door was frozen shut. Running late, driving on the icy roads, and
bringing my two children with me I showed up at the classroom door, in tears.
My professor was kind. Understanding. He set me up in the hallway at a desk we
drug out the door, in front of the other staring students, and I took that
terribly difficult test while my kids played Legos on the floor next to me.
I did not have the “PRIVILEGE” of having a proctor. Nor the money to pretend I was present. I showed up. I rested on the laurels that the few midnight hours of study I’d managed would be enough…
SHAME on these scheming people for
manipulating our college system and allowing money to take the place of their
moral compass. Students all over this country are working, studying, showing up
in tears for exams they’ve lost sleep over. It is a terrible thing to teach our
young people – that money can get you whatever you want.
I chose to teach my boys a different lesson – that hard work, dedication, and being fearless will get you a well-earned B on the hardest exam. It will get you self-respect.
I had the BIGGEST IMAGINATION when I was a child. One recurring dream I had was that our house was full of water and I could swim all around in it like a big aquarium. Now, I am sure there are all kinds of interpretations of this, but for me…it sparked this lovely piece of prose. Enjoy!
Of Water and Other Dreamy Things
I used to dream of water. Not the kind of water that winds down hills, shifting itself, a great endless slinky stepping across land to a vast and hungry sea, but a strange, floating, weightless water that filled our tiny house from wall to wall, window to door, toy box to floor. Iridescent blue, glowing, breathing, holding great bouncing bubbles in its belly, it welcomed me. Moonlight crept in the windows, wrapped its arms around each bubble, and danced a quiet waltz down my arms, across my back, and into my floating brunette spirals.
I swam from room to room. From my bedroom I swam, down the quiet hall past my brother’s room with the great clown walls, past my parents ’room with the drawers of pencils and paper and the gray flat table where Daddy drew lines that made buildings grow up, to our white-flushed simple bathroom. There I’d float before the mirror, a tiny princess. I’d brush my teeth and get ready for school; my jeans legs pulling on easily without the usual tug and jerk. Jeans weren’t heavy in liquid dream. Mom didn’t have to shove her arm up the pant legs to tuck in the extra length., knuckles scraping knobby bone. My sleeves hung like moss, a velvet hug on cool skin.
I used to dream a lot of things and not always in my sleep. I used to hear monkeys in the woods. They sang to me as I sailed on wooden swing, feet stretched toward sky, waiting for the night to bring its firefly dreams. A crimson sky would yield once more while toads tucked themselves safely under stone.
I used to dream. I was a magical child.
If you enjoyed this, please like and comment, and check out these prose pieces as well:
This poem is about hope. About reaching into tomorrow and becoming whatever you want to be. It is about connecting with the world around you and truly feeling inspired and blessed by it. What will your tomorrows bring? Will you embrace it? Here is my newest poem:
Here it is.
A new year rising,
a great orange ball
of fire in the sky,
wearing my name
like a smile.
The door behind me
closes so easily,
the dust slipping away,
falling away like ash.
Grays can be
This year I will dig
through colors and words
and paint them out
with a new fury.
Unbound and imperfect
I form and take flight.
towels in the wind, clean,
smelling like summer,
tomorrow peeking through them
smiling at me.
Hope is fresh in the trees.
I am a fiddlehead
Can you see me?
The winds that drive me
I am feathers and fury,
green and growing,
Cirrus and stratus
stretching my arms in the sky.
I release and release
Comments and likes always appreciated. Have a great day everyone! (Note here, if you enjoy my poetry please do share it with others that may enjoy it. My group of readers is slowly growing and I would love to have more readers who can appreciate my work. Thank you so much.)