Notes from the Other Side


Sometimes sorrow turns into
irreversible regret.
We choose to live an icebox
existence.
Wallowing in misfortune’s
frosty glass.
Consorting with memories
Squabbling with dreams.

The poet too has felt life
interrupted, days that vanish
upon awakening.
I’ve known suffering and
the pull of solitary confinement.

Now looking back from a happier
vista. I’m hear to tell you,
the pitch of pain may never
be unheard, but it does gets softer,
fading into a bittersweet refrain.
The past becomes part of
your case history, to be read
by nostalgia’s light on rain
soaked nights.

In time the visible world brightens 
Let it entice you with the woo of
the today and what will be.
Take refuge in the heat of
places uncharted, linger in
the sweet realism of the hour.

Walk toward the future
with unshackled feet.
The misbegotten shadows
behind you now.
Let the smudge of the sun,
and the warmth of a steadfast
hand be your guide.

-Tosha Michelle

The Middle

The middle years brings first a relentless restlessness, that eventually blossoms into a melancholy sweetness, a mindfulness of the passing of years. No bitterness allowed here, only a tender tendency to remind ourselves that the world brightens with grace and gratitude.


We see summer now for what it is fleeting with it’s sun soaked glory days and hazy afterglow appeal. Now we linger in autumn’s red leaves and take time to appreciate the moss under our feet, the hand holding ours, ready to go anywhere, to adventure and explore.


We know winter will come soon enough, moving like liquid lead over our lungs. For now we breathe, Now still, in this moment that is ours. For today let’s create some
unforgettable music. Music that will sustain us on future days when the world seems less possible. I’ll provide the lyrics.
You can hum the tune.


Years on my dear, we can dance under nostalgia’s moon and let our melody move over our souls, reviving and replenishing in the spaces between the here and hereafter.


-Tosha Michelle


‘We found our place
On the branch of an old oak treeOur feet would sway
To a voice in the breezeAnd birds would sing
On the banks of a narrow streamThese memories will stay with me’https://youtu.be/j6Keg3XKKjM

Awareness

I remember when we thought everything would go our way before 911, before mass shootings, before division and racism became amplified and highlighted, back before we realized just how slow progress really is. Back when we stood for nothing but comfort and apathy, oversummering in our lounge chairs, oblivious to the bees circling, the wolves feeding near our doors, the terminal frost ahead.

These days there’s no closing our eyes to the ice laced rain, to the world’s breathless history, the cruelty of humanity foraging it’s way into our collective consciousness. We lounge no more. We wade out, knee high into the water punctuated with slippery rocks. We stand hand in hand in the middle of a turbulent river. Knowing there’s no getting around the realities of humanity short a few stem cells.
Still, we don’t lose hope. We know if we channel our anger into proactive socially aware  behavior, a new membrane can grow. Together we can cover the hills with our diversity song, drowning out voices of hate and bigotry. We can leave behind artifacts in the shape of question changing growth until the taint of today is nothing more than a microscopic bygone scene of old. Knowing now everything may not always go our way but finding purpose in the knowing. 
-Tosha Michelle

I Can’t Hear You.

Raise your hand if you’re tired of keeping company with anxiety, perpetuated by a relentless virus and the dwindling sanity coming out of Washington. The wind there cold and reeking of hubris and greed. Empathy becoming a supernatural thing.


Raise your hand if you’re losing your patience with narcissistic behavior and a culture more into canceling humans instead of reforming them, a society on the precipice of being nothing more than a hollow hulk.


Raise your hand if you’re done with the self absorbed and lack of regard for community. People happy to button their own coats but with no time to consider their neighbor’s thread bare wear.


Raise your hand if you’re tired of apathy, of those wrapped in a flannel sleep, Always content to let others shovel the coals.


Now instead of raising our hands, let raise our voices. Don’t wish for lungs that can sing. Sing! Step up! Be visible. Be heard. The dark blistering rain is not quite frozen yet. Prove that all the light did is far from done.

-Tosha Michelle

How to be an Expert at Life.

image

Praise imperfections.
Ask questions.

Don’t fear the answers.
Do fear snakes, toads,
and Donald Trump’s hair.

Adore books, animals,
weaknesses, the broken,
and growing older.

Find a love to orbit around.
Have a constellation seeking brain.
A heart that star gazes.

Don’t trip on what’s been
gone for years.

Walk hand in hand with today.

The one seemly not
telling the truth is
the one you should
listen to the hardest.

Pay attention to your
conscience, make
sure it’s really yours.

Know there’s beauty;
in words. The ones
you use and the ones
you leave out.

Read the classics.
Brighten to artistry
Don’t be afraid to improvise.

Listen to jazz while
drinking iced coffee.

Don’t admire yourself
too much, this can
lead to disaster.

There are two types
of people in the world,
be neither of them.

Know sometime what
seems useless is
full of meaning.

Learn how to bend,
not break.

Lose yourself to love,
to madness.
Always carry a suitcase
full of mischief.
A passport of adventure.

Don’t forget to add a dash of moonlight.
Season the nights with heat.

Create the scene.
Live it.

Lose your shoes and inhibitions.

Split the wishbone.

Know nothing important
comes with a manual.

Just because your
spirit is tangled,
doesn’t mean your
soul has to be tied in a knot.

Be full of vigor,
meaningful chit chat
and chocolate. Lots
of chocolate!

Know there is holiness in the missteps.
Grace in the fumbles.

Remain unfinished.
Be the light.

-Tosha Michelle

On Roses and Netted Woods

Hello lovely ones. I’m sorry I’m so sporadic with my posts. I can’t promise I’ll do better, but I thank you all for sticking around. On a random note, going to see the Mister Rogers film this afternoon, excited for it. He was such a beautiful soul. I’m sure Tom Hanks did him justice. Now for a poem. I hope you like it. Happy Monday!

——–

In the journey of my life,
the voyage of self awareness 
 I’ve fed on roses,
walked through woods netted
with bramble 
Mixed metaphors and signals.
I’ve had glimpses of narcissism,
flirted with egoism, had brushes 
with bitterness, doubted my worth.
I’ve questioned the validity of the sun
and found solace in torrential rains.
I’ve left small bruises on paper,
but nothing that hasn’t been felt
by others more lyrical than me.
I’ve had childlike faith and believed
in the flickering of fireflies, even now,
as the days grow shorter,
each year the footnotes longer.
Finally I’m home again, content to sit in 
our garden and pay attention to the
call notes gathering in the air.
The bird sings sweetly, no 
longer in her wicker cage. I join 
her chorus, besotted with the 
fever of a life living and lived. 
-Tosha Michelle
 
Goofy goodness
 

Happiness

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.

Tom Bodett

Thankful today for all 3. Miss you all. Life is so full and busy, it doesn’t leave much time for social media or blogging. It’s the best kind of busy though. Life has never been sweeter. I did want to let you know if you are a fan of the show High Castle, we have a couple of interesting interviews coming up on Chit Chat Chicks. It’s also getting closer to house hunting time, and my training session for my new position with the missing persons organization. 2020 is going to be a transformative year. It’s amazing how much things have changed, but the best things have stayed the same.

In other news, headed to Carl Sandburg’s old Homestead tomorrow. I hope to post pictures next week. The weather is glorious. Fall has finally arrived in the South. In the meantime, here’s some Tucker cuteness for you. x

The Wingspan of History

Years later if you do find yourself
giving into nostalgia’s fancy, flight
and all. Do not lament the departed
back or the wingspan of history,
the lost of what was.

Remember my dear, the albatross
left its shell long ago,
only the scent of sea water lingers.

If you must soar back into the past,
take solace in those bygones
summers, magnetic in their reticent sweetness of air. Recall the pleasure
of moonlight and innocence. Be
grateful for every hour spent, lessons
learned by the skin of heart.

Do not think of how the storm came,
or the way the Earth bent and folded,
instead give yourself to sentimentality
of summer’s rain soaked showers.

Once you’re throughly drenched,
feel your feet slowly touch the
earth again.Watch as the past drifts
and wafts away.

My how it shimmers in the distance,
riding on the whims of the sky.
The warm updraft feels nice for a
moment but not as lovely as the pull of the ground and the beauty of now.

-Tosha Michelle

Let’s talk about adversity. Getting personal. (long)

Let me tell you about trials and tribulations. This girl has been through some things. I’ve developed a few annoying habits because of said things, but talking about myself in the third person shouldn’t become one of them. 😜 Here’s a bit of my adversity story. We all have them.

Just like everyone, I’ve had my fair share of adversity. I was born premature and due to complications this caused irreparable damage to my optic nerve. Translation, my eyesight is beyond screwed. I’m legally blind and as a child, I struggled with epilepsy and a condition called Chorea. On top of that, I was a shy kid who was overly emotional and cried a lot. It made me a great target for bullying. Thankfully, I came into my own during my university years. As an adult, I’ve battled depression and anxiety. The latter has been debilitating on occasion, but these days, I’m more equipped to survive. My emotional fortitude has grown stronger with each trial. I’m blessed with a wonderful support system. More on them later, but these people make all the difference.

Adversity has been a wonderful teacher. It has taught me to believe in myself, to fear change less, and to step out of my comfort zone. I never want to become stagnant, constantly stuck in a quagmire of my own making. I always want to have something new to share, to never stop evolving as a person. There’s been times when I wanted to let my disabilities, or past hurts hold me back, but I’ve always persevered. Partly, because I’ve realized that coping means looking beyond my own worries, and concentrating on helping people with problems much greater than my own. The world is so much bigger than our own issues. Focusing on helping others is a great way to get out of our heads and be productive. It also makes one less of a selfish, self obsessed Mofo. Ha! Trisha Paytas, I’m looking at you.

Despite limitations and setbacks, I’ve written two books (with another on the way). I’ve got a Masters degree in Criminology, and research work that keeps me busy. I have a partner who loves me, and after a few uncertain years, a relationship that is thriving and stronger than ever. I am so grateful for his strength and spirit. He hit midlife crisis mode for a minute and we grew apart. It was a strange time for both of us, and could have ended in a few different ways. We honestly were on separate paths for awhile, but somehow managed to find our way back to the one we knew by heart. We married so young, just a couple of college kids, but thankfully, those two former kids are closer than ever now. He’s the responsible, go getting, charming, witty, loving man I met all those years ago, He makes me laugh, looks out for me, and puts up with all my quirks. We’re lucky to have each other. It’s wonderful to have someone to walk through life with, who will hold my hand during hard times.

We also have two amazing girls, (more young women now) not to mention, the best and brightest feline kind has to offer. Tucker says, “hi”. (Little Georgie could use your prayers, but that’s a story for another time). Just send out positive vibes into the universe for him, please) Very soon we will either be building or buying our fourth house together. Life truly is beautiful (even during trying times).

I’m grateful for the people who have come and gone, and the people who persist and remain. Each experience has taught me so much. I’m thankful for every moment, and each memory that has become a part of who I am, and who I will be. Sometimes unanswered prayers become our saving grace. If only we could see that in the moment, imagine how much suffering we could avoid. I really believe everything happens for a reason, (even the things that almost break you) that every journey takes us where we’re suppose to be. I’m thankful that every hurt (eventually) has brought about a renewal of spirit and desire to never repeat past mistakes. I’ll always miss and remember fondly those temporal people who helped me grow and shared their lives with me for a season. They were just what I needed for that moment and time. Lessons they taught me won’t be forgotten.

However, it’s the ones who are still here that get my unwavering affection and undying loyalty. I am a ride or die person, and I give my all to the people I love. My goal is to make their lives better and show up everyday. I try to put out sweetness and light, but some days it’s more snark and sassiness. marked by my homespun quirky awkwardness. I’m down with anyone who appreciate nerdy things, history, art, nature, music, antiques, traveling, Netflix, reading endlessly, the joys of being utterly silly, the comfort of yummy food, and talking about the most random things.

Having said all that, we’ve come to the purpose of this post. I know. I’m such a chatterbox on occasion. No! Really! 😜 I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes on adversity. I hope that if you’re struggling that these will lift you up. Sending lots of love to everyone. Thank you for reading. ❤️

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”

Michelle Obama

“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

Barbara De Angelis

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

Napoleon Hill

Move Along