Tag Archives: RED BENCH

Happy, The Gyre Current Illusion

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The Red Bench

It’s funny how life thrusts you forward, ready or not. Every single thing has changed, and yet I feel very much the same.

You do the work, plan your days, look ahead with the hope you might find happy waiting. Happy is the illusion like gyre currents in perpetual movement.

I wrote The Red Bench half a decade ago churning in my brain trying to comprehend the mystery of living. The story evolved into The Vast Landscape, Georgia Pine and now I begin again, with Ever Green. Curious, all the titles have to do with nature, double entendres. Maybe the quiet, self-mandated daily walk, clean air, gravel crunching underfoot, allows the mind silence, and oxygen from constricted, over crowded spaces. The walkabout leaves a lasting effect. Tales of a familial girl in perpetual spin-cycle. An ordinary, average girl trying to comprehend the mysteries that are human emotion, loss, love and family. Strength and resilience are there too, squashed by fear and hidden below the dirt. Uncovering sparkling, dazzling quartz minerals right beneath the surface. We are the mistake happening by chance, moving along as best we can. Silly it seems, plans change, variables, decisions made, much like the secure future once envisioned.

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I return to the red bench to find my footing, the New Year’s mantra 365 days long.

The Red Bench by Jacqueline Cioffa

-excerpts

“It all comes back to a red metal bench in the woods, on a small hill by a nothing special pond. The air is sweet and wet and fall is here for now. Ducks sleep near the brisk, damp water waiting to take flight to sunnier places, offering no solution. I shiver and squirm in my own discomfort, clenching the bench, determined to will myself better. I’ll sit there god damn it, you fucking God cocksucker, I’m as stubborn as you, until there is something to look forward to. I’m not pretending rosy and cheery just maybe a hint of curiosity.

With one foot planted on the ground, the other dancing with parasol queens and subway kings, I’m off whenever the mood suits. I’m not sure I can keep up this charade of good health. My mind is winning you see, disappearing each day into the void, gray matter dying piece by piece. I say take it all, so that I no longer remember the unnerving beauty here on earth. They tell me I must fight harder, but I don’t see from where or how. The choice has never been up to me, no matter how heavy I wear the armor.

Instead of despair on these sub-zero days, in parades of endless succession. I hate gray the color, the boring winter blank sky. I hate the cold, the incessant bitter freeze I can’t shake off. They say ECT may be the only way back, my mind resistant to the drugs they shove down my throat. I don’t care, zap my brain, shock it, and bring back hope. Where is this God they talk so highly about? He’s a slacker, watching tsunamis, disease and earthquakes swallow babies and their families whole. How could I think for one second he might take pity on me? When the rest of the blue planet has gone haywire. Killing for nothing, stealing, lying, cheating, concerned for number one. There is no honor and trust amongst new millennium thieves. We are a nation consumed with stuff, ego and greed. Hey, look at me, how fabulous the façade. Maybe by spring, the hatred and contempt will be gone. Some warmth and compassion brought back into these cold-hearted bones. If I can hang on until then, I might have a shot.

I hope the world my predecessor lives in is a kinder place to dwell. I pray the blue people have learned compassion towards the ill, the weak and the mind sick. I hope that time has made her world a softer, more humane place to visit. Shame and fear have been obliterated from her planet, coloring her life with only happy minutes. She will grow up to be a healthy woman, headstrong, a great healer, fearless traveler, and the gypsy traveling the globe on her sacred walkabout. She is me, only better, the direct descendant of all that I was not. She will do everything I hoped to accomplish in life. She will not fall short, cut down by a disease more than complicated than life itself. She will grow up brave and strong, a clearheaded, fine woman. I get to watch, dust particles in heaven floating over her head, living out the perfect life. We have come full circle, my limitations never mattered, disease didn’t win. The spirit guides that went before me showed the easier, less complicated route.

Things always seem brighter, warmer, kinder, and less drastic under the beautiful rays of a golden sun.

My death never mattered one bit, only the courage, grace, and strength of how I lived carries on. In the face of adversity, I hope I was remembered as kind.”

Prose growth.

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Taking Stock

“I see…fields forever                                                                                                       Growing wild and free.”

nature vs. nurture
nature vs. nurture

Stuff I’ve learned the past five years.             Good-bye, NY.

-when in doubt, go back to the start, go back, go back, keep going back

-I don’t miss cement towers, crowds, noise, designer flare and busy streets full of empty strangers
-if you plant seeds, they will grow
-closets filled with fancy things are just that, overcrowded
-sweats, sturdy hiking boots, practical dress may not look cool, they are warm and efficient

 

-purpose. find a purpose that nurtures the five-year old dreamer, naive, exuberant, happiest parts

-choosing love is hard, brave and healing
-loosing your mind, over and over, putting the pieces together is not what I would have chosen, it’s what I got

-right now is it, tomorrow is guaranteed different, tomorrow is not a guarantee

-I have lived in many countries, cultures, cities, experienced various tastes, varying people                      -you have only one heart-happy home

-when asked if I wanted to replace Lupe, born blind in one eye for a different puppy, my  answer was a vehement no, thank you                                                                                      -trust your first instinct, even when living in a constant flux of polar opposites

-at my sickest, darkest, scariest I knew, I would take care of her
-what I didn’t know was how well she would care for me, asking for nothing
-Lupe sees and feels with her heart, much like her mama

-where I am going is…nowhere, nothing special on the agenda                                              -I am here, doing my best to make it count

-there is pure, white magic on the small-town Street where I come from
-doors remain open, smiles greet me no questions, no judgement                                                 -warm welcome home.

-simple is good, simple is okay, simple is not very simple at all

its all right

to go back, try again 

lupita
another bridge

Marmas -excerpt from THE RED BENCH

The pixie dust floats freely now, sprinkling the air with golden specks of light. Love, real in your face love, never loses hope. It defies all logic, transcending illness, magic, planets, time and infinity. I’m sprinkling the air with pixie dust, faith and childlike qualities, so that we might grasp onto wonder, in these shaky, fast times of uncertainty.

Tomorrow will come, or it won’t. I needn’t remind myself of that. I mustn’t worry over the minutiae.

I have only to concentrate on the walk, making the now minutes count. I carve my name into my bench for posterity, so that I might never, ever forget. Be forgotten.