Deity in Diversity

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Maybe someday we will
have written about humanity
and grace so much
that the paper we scribble on
will burn down
the forest of hate
that grows in casket-closed minds,
eradicating words like
racism, hate, bigotry.

The fire cleansing away
evil and ignorance.
Strike a match with
your pen.

Let’s try at least to
direct the language toward love.
Let’s keep moving the
adjectives higher and higher.
Trust the verbs to lead us,
the pin of light, to the fire.

Maybe as the trees come undone,
leaves igniting,
branches bursting with truth,
charity and clarity will rise.
Rustling beneath skin.
Love rising, tapping deep.
Opening eyes and cleaning tongues
in the dialect of compassion.
Hope slipping into the core.
Porous and large.
Looking out in every direction
until it is inside the sky,
the rocks, the moon.
Lacing the night and hearts with promise,
the rainy season finally over.

Until then, let your pens sway
against the dark waves.
Let’s push our boats against the current.
Light the candle wick.
Kiss it with fervor.
Give flame to the wind and waves.

-Tosha Michelle

Photo, my own 

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

The Next Big Thing

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Big ideas are everywhere,
from religion to capitalism.
There’s always someone
trying to sell us something.
I’m burnt out on the peddling.
I just want to be left on the
side of the road while I still
have a little sanity.
Let nature stand for all I believe in.
As for faith, I’ll leave that to the sun.

We all die in the end,
the good, the bad,
the blissfully indifferent.
It doesn’t matter how well
you sing the hymn,
or if you know the slogan
by memory.

Life is freshly pressed and
the creases only hold for so long.
I’d like to believe in
the lottery, mail in rebates,
and a free trip to Hawaii.

In my crisis of faith,
I have moments where I wonder
if we all just fade to dust.
Our molecules scattered
in the wind.
Left with nothing but our
collective darkness,
where there are no charge
off or loopholes.

All I know for certain
is I know nothing.
Oh to have the wisdom of Solomon.
I look for assurance
in the clouds.
Punching the fog.
I fall back on my upbringing.
close my eyes and
pray for grace.

-Tosha Michelle

The Grudge

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I watered the grudge with a
fervent devotion of a priest
giving communion. I watered
it with the determination of
a drunk on his fourth glass
of gin. The destructive
clockwork of a not so
righteous self.

The cactus in my heart
erupting. I watered it everyday
with a can of venom. My hands
blistering over from the hate.
The fluid and its dark nutrients
taking root, until the petals
bloomed over and clotted my
brain, until there was nothing
left but arid air, laced with
regret, and the silence of
time wasted. The stale
taste of a garden grown
on the wreckage of malice
Gone. The long reign of
bitterness. The tight reign
of hurt feelings. The shards
of anger, shaken from my
eyes. I finally see the sterile
landscape clearly.

How the realization stings.

-Tosha Michelle

Just Breathe

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Sometimes the air around us is foreign.
Our lungs adopting to the atmosphere.
Knowing. Unknowing. We await
as the intervals thicken or thin.
Will the air become audible?
Will the seasons brighten or dim?
Do we lay store or forge ahead?
Is it enough to seek answers to questions
or is the living in the doing?
A thought held close built around another
thought is of no use if it sits braced to
a chair reluctant to breathe the air.

-Tosha Michelle

Demarcation

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Self doubt creates a slavish universe,
where we are constantly lugging our
insecurities in a backpack up a hill
that gets farther away the closer we get.
Along the way we keep looking
for disaster while trying to breathe.
Our catastrophic mind only perceiving danger,
creates a wedge between reality and self
where we only see the flaws and fractures.
Forgetting where we buried the bounty,
forgetting their is a bounty. We attempt to control
our bodies without mastering the spine.
Our souls become a membrane of
hopelessness, happy to reveal all we are not.
Our foolish spirits chose to adhere.
In our hand we hold a gun and a map of our head.
We journey on trying to find our way
with a broken flashlight, forgetting to
open our eyes, we cut our foot
on a shattered mirror. Briefly, we stand still,
and await clarity’s arrival. Satisfied. We turn and
head back towards self worth.
Finally, remembering, we hid the key
to the treasure chest
in perception’s drawer.

-Tosha Michelle

Yorkshire Pudding

I’ve plugged this A-hole before but here I go again. If you aren’t following the King of onion gravy, insomnia, strange dialect, weird dance moves, and Chandler Bing wannabe. Shh! Don’t tell him it’s 2016. You’re missing out on some truly diverse and interesting prose and poetry. All kidding aside, his wordsmithing is phenomenal but what’s with his Angelina Jolie lips?

Sooooooo

Follow the yellow brick road. Take a right and follow this guy. The man behind the curtain is pretty OK.

No. 3060 – http://wp.me/p27egX-2Qs

Upon Missing The Train

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You thought you were at an impasse,
a standstill. But that was just your heart
slowing down to acknowledge the pain

You don’t realize there are worst things
than missing the train, busting
your knee, the morning wasted.

Running from your past.
Drowning your demons in gin and pills.

You prefer a prescription pad
to a subscription to pain.

Widowed from your feelings.
You crave the next fix.

Anything to get you where
you’re going.

You look for a treasure map
scrawled in a dome of stupor.

Where the winds remain static
and the gravel never get stuck
between your toes.

You swim in a diluted river
by trees that don’t shrink or grow.

Nature weeps for the despondency of you.

I weep for the unlived life beneath you.

-Tosha Michelle

The Days Come Forward.

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Remember when we thought we ruled the day?
The sun looked upon us with untold knowledge.
That was the year, we discovered Tennyson.
We thought to ourselves it will never be too late
to find a better world.

Little did we know then,
We were at the center of a wasteland.
Then, we were still unmapped by scars.
We had no use for a lingering ache in our souls.
We were too busy staring at whitewashed walls.
Words threaded into lilting tunes in a pristine language.
That was before the earth answered us in a sigh;
a moan. Before the fire in our bellies became compressed.

These days we drink tea in a fog.
We serve our time among monotony.
The walls have become a silhouette of shadows.
We sing a halting refrain.
Struggling in a garden where nothing stirs.
The leaves have lost their luster, or there are no leaves left.
We pray for love, for mercy, to see the lone bird lifted.
Watching as daylight weaves evening.
The tree steeped in twilight.
We try desperately to unravel
the thread.

-Tosha Michelle

You Know Who You Are

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I thought I’d post something lighthearted for a change. Don’t get use to it. 🙂

You Know Who You Are.
by Tosha Michelle

You who carry sunshine in
your hair, the sky in your hands,
and blueberry pie in your eyes

You who knows all the words
to every Chet Baker song.

Why don’t you come by my record shop?
I’ll teach you the percussive du wop

Come unearth my city plot.
Right my upside down heart
with the lilt of your melodic
voice.

Stain my soul with your graceful hands.

Sing me your red velvet tune
with not one note of sorrow.

Scrawl on my tongue
your heart song.
I’ll sing along.

Make music to a woman
not so young, but not yet old.
My mind a score of hunger.
Patterns of passion across
my face.

Don’t be afraid to improvise
summer nights composed of
bodies and sway.
Wingtip and rosehip.
We’ll create our
own tune.

The tenor sax takes the lead.
It sounds like desire,
like it won’t ever stop.

Let’s crack the night with needle and groove.
Two lovers infusing the dark with rhythm and spark.