Depressions Dream…#161

 

The grip of depression is at all

times lingering ; it lives in a

high dark corner of the mind;

bundling despair and hopelessness.

Its victims sit and wait, mind

wandering, in this place with no

windows .  Does depression find the

moaning of God’s lost flock real,

their distant cries resonates within

the living lost; do not ask depression

to stay, sit in silence until it decides

to goes away.

 

Depression works hard keeping

madness in control when the sun

goes down, like a shepherd it does

not rest! In the night, the moaning

of Gods flock becomes louder; as

the lost flock feels its limbs take

root in a barren land. It does not

rain on them and they cannot

grow; looking like bent grass where

they lay, Freedom is not theirs.

 

Who, tired of knocking at the

Golden door, they leave friends

and family behind. Most are

doomed; it takes heaven-sent

moments to be pulled from the

murk and mire of hopelessness.

Depression shouts at the lights

of goodness; it is cloaked in grey

and will drown those who listen

in its dark and dingy place. In the

grip of depression, the mind

wanders, sits behind shadowed

glass and refuses to retreat.

 

Depression is like leaning backward

in a meditative dream, it has no

eyes to see the moonlit stream. It

dances in a dark field that yields

no fruit, it is frail-leafed, and it has

not a word of good to speak. While

back in the barren land black-winged

swallows, haunt the mind, scarlet

patches shreds of gray, waiting for

the spark from heaven to fall. Yet,

depression continues in its dream,

while waiting for the marker to be

placed on the unknown grave.

 
©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

Author’s books at Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobel.com

What is it to Grow Old…#160

Watching the body lose its shape, the eyes no

longer sparkle, becoming smaller.  Strength

disappears, limbs grow stiff, and every

function less accurate and every fiber of

one’s being frail and overwrought with life.

 

Life is not what in our youth we dreamed

it would be! The aging was not to be mellow

and soft as the sunsets glow, these golden

days’ decline with a hurried speed.

 

To see the world from a pinnacle with creative

eyes, a heart deeply moved. Yet we mourn to

feel and see the past, the years that are gone

forever.

 

Being old is to spend long days not once

believing that we were ever young. Confined

in the cold prison of living day to day with

weary pain.  It is to suffer, being only half

of what we use to be; feeble are many who

are hidden away. Remembrance gone, no

emotion, no life.

 

This is the last stage of life, frozen within

ourselves, soon to be an empty ghost; whom

do we blame?

 

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

Back to Another Time…#159

One of my first “remembrances’” at the age of four is sitting on top of an old yellow dog as he lay in our front yard on bare ground. I can close my eyes and smell the lilac bush at the end of our front porch, at night its fragrance would drift into the open windows. I would play in that red Alabama dirt all day long with a coffee can and a big wooden spoon. The house had two rooms and plank floors; the outside was nothing but plywood painted gray. The windows keep us cool in summer and newspaper glued to the walls kept it warm in winter. My sister and I shared one room with our great-grandmother “Ma”, the “front” room is where mother and daddy slept, it held the table and chairs and a wooden cook stove. A long handmade table was to prepare meals and wood crates nailed to the wall above the table held dishes of every variety; the cast iron skillets and pots sat on the back of the stove. Yes, we were country folk, sharecroppers!

Daddy would pick me up saying, “suppertime”. I love cornbread, Pinto beans and buttermilk to this very day. After supper he or my sister would wash me up and put me to bed, as farmers we went to bed when the night was hanging behind Burleson Mountain; a black curtain backdrop in eastern sky; they would get up before the blazing hot sun of summer rose in the morning, the Mountain kept the house cool until noon.

My mother worked in the Goodyear Mill at night before attending “beauty school” during the day, with no sleep; she wanted to be a beautician. She rode an old bicycle the five miles in the dark to where she would catch a bus to the Mill, she then walked to the Beauty School, took the bus home, it dropped her off after dark and she rode the bicycle five miles home. She slept a few hours then repeated the schedule. I rarely saw my mother, maybe on Sundays, but then she was busy getting ready for the week to come. My mother was an extraordinary individual, she hated being poor, but she loved the young Chickasaw sharecropper she was married too. When my sister got old enough to be, alone she set about planning her future.

 

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
Author’s books at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

Day 23 of Isolation…#158

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Many of the sixty-six tenants of this complex including myself remain in isolation; a few continue to move about with their normal daily lives. Some do not care, while others are not taking the virus seriously. With a new “Bovine” heart valve, I am not taking any chances! I live at ground level; therefore, my children take turns leaving groceries and other necessary items on my patio. Consequently, my pantry and cabinets are bursting at the seams. When I go outside to take my trash out I am in full anti-virus gear, in anticipation that I might run into someone who is not so careful. I uphold the six-foot rule as well.

 
I have listed all of the good, bad of being isolated. The best part is that I am undisturbed while researching for new book. Being a writer the isolation is not a bother to me, seeing my family is a big one.

 
Therefore, I leave you with this bit of advice; enjoy the peace and quiet, as this too shall pass. We may never get back to what normal use to be, however, lets embrace the new normal.

 
Wishing everyone peace and happiness.
E.

I Have Hope

A calm voice in the mist of doubt and uncertainty.

Thoughts and Writings on Mental Health and Mindfulness

I have to make sense out of things, it’s just part of my nature. Meaning, I think there is a reason for most things. It is difficult, in this current crisis of COVID 19, to find any meaning. Still, I had to look within at my current state and past experiences to find purpose in suffering. Bear with me. 

I have been extremely calm during this crisis. Maybe unusually so, but I don’t see another way. I have always prided myself on being calm in a crisis, and I’ve been in a few. When others are losing control, I have found that I come down further because it’s calmer heads that will prevail. Please, continue to stay with me on this.

I have been transparent about a lifetime of having depression, and the past several years, anxiety. Depression has taken me to some dark tunnels in my mind. The kind…

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Day 21 of Isolation…#157

In 1918, the flu Pandemic changed many lives in Alabama my home state an estimated 37,000 people died of the Spanish Flu , one of them was my grandmother. They prepared her burying her the next day; my daddy was 15 years old. Her death changed his life and the lives of his future family forever. It takes only one act to do this, and her death robbed me of a wonderful woman.
Today I have been self-quarantined 3 weeks; I had a replacement valve in February of this year. I had to be careful of colds, but now it is total isolation. If I contract the corona virus, I am in an age group that will most likely not survive. It is my understanding that people 80 and above with underlying health issues will be told to stay home without the offer of a respirator. Bottom line, if I get it I will die. This is why no one comes in or out. My children are leaving food on my patio.
The stores that did deliver have now cut out home delivery, the elderly are cut off from the food they need. Amazon is backlogged that they have no stock; one would never think that this would happen. Stores are closing and many will never reopen. There would not be a shortage of anything, but the citizens of Wisconsin decided to get greedy and are clearing out the stores quicker than trucks can deliver it. To see rows and rows of shelves empty is mind-blowing.
As a writer I am alone most of my time with an occasional breakfast or luncheon, now that is gone. They say stay in 14 days, but after 14 days you can get out and still get the virus, we have a non-ending problem and I fear for a long time.  One of my daughters said to me that there was no bread. My answer was to bake her own, well that did not get a very good response. We need to learn to live without many things.

We have turned into a soft nation!

 

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

I Remember These Things Too

Another great post by C.R. Murphree

Thoughts and Writings on Mental Health and Mindfulness

I remember the smiles at ballparks and warm hotdogs and fizzy soda; and men in white, pinstriped uniforms leaning over dusty bases hitting their hands against leather gloves. I remember the smell of chicken and dumplings lingering in the air after playing basketball in my gravel driveway and shooting what seemed like a thousand baskets with a worn out basketball. I remember the warmth of my mother’s hugs as she looked down at me to assure me that everything would be okay. 

I remember meeting her, just a girl at the time, and falling head over heels. Her laughter brought me comfort, her kindness reassurance, and her beauty took me to my knees. I remember taking bike rides trying to balance her on my seat while I stood and pedaled, holding the handlebars steady so we didn’t fall. I remember telling her, “I love you” and committing further to a…

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To The Beginning Writer…#156

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I do believe that I may finally be on the “mend”! The second surgery in three weeks was beginning to show progress. Then, they removed the staples and the incision site opened (I know that you did not want to hear that information, but sh*t happens). I now wear a pump vacuum over the site until it heals from the inside out. Uncomfortable, yes, is it working, yes. Although I am not doing anything but sitting most of the time, I am getting in all my back reading and a bit of research.

 
One part of my research took me back to the fundamentals of writing. I believe that being a writer is all about continually evolving and improving. Sometimes it helps to start as if you have not written at all. Read your work, being a writer is about being an editor of your own work. It is essential, after writing something, to read it carefully, editing out typos and punctuation errors (I sometimes make this mistake after years of writing).

 
I personally find reading the words “aloud” as if I were reading the content for the first time helps. Wordy writing is a hallmark of amateur writers, so as a rule you should try to reduce the word count when you proof read. If a word does not need to be there, get rid of it. I have been guilty of this many times; I call it cleaning out the garbage. Use a grammar checker, if you use Microsoft Word as your word processor, there are a host of grammar checking features.

 
Take a course, its well worth investing in your writing skills if you are serious about being a writer. I took a course when I first begin to write at the University of Wisconsin, where the instructor told me that I was a storyteller, but needed to develop my own voice. In addition, I was to edit, edit, edit.

 
A little book called “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott was and still is my writer’s bible, my inspiration. Next, read Shrunk and White’s “Elements of Style”, it is essential to read what will help you avoid commonly made mistakes. Working with the public, I had two individuals that help me through the tough times. The first was my boss who gave me writing projects then covered the paper with “blue ink”, he continued patiently with me until I had the project correct. The second was my last boss before retirement that I worked ten years, he would write his projects and I would correct them and send a fresh copy back to him. He would sign and most times get a nice reward for my work. I never got upset at either; I was learning lessons that would take me down the path to writing. There is a huge amount to learn, I study the craft almost daily, but it is a very enjoyable journey.

 
©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

Author’s books at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

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I am Truly and Introvert…#155

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I have had time during this recovery period to reflect on myself, and I must share that I am truly and introvert. This no doubt plays a big part in my being a writer. People would never guess many things about introverted people. Even an introvert may not know others do the same things until they read about them. Here are some widely unknown facts about introverts.

 
1. They Make Themselves Laugh
They prefer their own company at times. They like their ideas, they love daydreaming, creating, reading, watching a movie, relaxing, and they genuinely make themselves laugh at times. They will make you laugh too, but only if they feel comfortable enough to share their humor with you.

 
2. They Need to Be Alone to Recharge
Introverts need to be alone to recharge. People tend to think that introverts are socially awkward, shy and boring people. Nothing could be further from the truth. They value genuine relationships and will have deep conversations at length.

 
3. They Wished Others Loved as Deeply as They Do
Since an introvert thinks deeply and cares about genuine relationships, an introvert loves deeply.

 
4. They Don’t Like Unexpected Visitors
They do not like unexpected anything, but they especially do not like unexpected visitors. They have their time mapped out. They know what they are doing for the day. They do not like distractions. They have put a lot of thought into how they want their day to go. If you unexpectedly visit, you throw it all off.

 
5. They Love Spending Time with Their Kids, But They Need Downtime Too
Kids come along with their own personalities, which mean that they can be extroverted. It is fun to watch extroverts in action and witness how people interact, but an introvert still needs alone time from their kids to recharge. Being introverted makes one a great parent: They are able to answer the why is of life’s mysteries; they are patient, love their kids tremendously.

 
6. Attention-Seeking Behaviors Annoy Them
They do not like being the center of attention, and it annoys them when people act fake in order to get attention.

 
7. They will not answer the Phone if They Don’t knows Who’s Calling
They also will not answer the phone if they know who it is at times. It is nothing personal, but there are several reasons they might not want to talk now. They could be going through something and need to think about it. They might be in the middle of a project.

 
8. They are, Usually, Not Judging You
An introvert is quiet, observant and in deep thought most of the time. When they are out in public, they usually look around at everyone. They might people-watch to see what is going on. At times, it is amusing.

 
9. They Get Distracted Easily
Too much stimuli is not a good thing for introverts. They enjoy working in quiet environments, away from others. They get distracted by certain noises, which can include water dripping from a faucet, non-rhythmic clatter and a variety of sounds that become annoying. Soothing sounds do not bother them.

 
10. They are not in a Bad Mood
An introvert is usually thinking about something. They think about things all day long. Their brains are constantly on the go. When someone sees an introvert, they invariably form an opinion that they are in a bad mood when nothing could be further from the truth. If you ask an introvert if they are happy, they will usually tell you that they are. If you get to know an introvert and they consider you as a true friend, they will be one of the most interesting people you will ever have a conversation with.

 

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree