INKtober twenty-fifth

i am not broken
i am not broken
is my mantra
today
i am not broken
i am not broken
should be my mantra
every
day
i am not broken
i am not broken
is what helps
me try
to stand
a little taller
a little stronger
helps me be brave
helps me live
to fight
another
day
even when
all
i want
to do
is
surrender.

never surrender

it occurred to me today
that if i never
put myself out there
if i never take a chance
i won’t have to be
rejected
criticized
ignored
pushed away
i can live a quiet life
just make art
for me
never
expose
my heart
my self
to another person ready
to break me
never stand up
to be pushed down again
i can keep myself
safe
this thought
felt like relief
for just a moment
& then
i found myself
crying
why does keeping
my heart safe
feel like giving up?

changing of the seasons

today
like every day of late
i struggle
between the dark
& the light.
as the days grow
shorter
i grow
darker.
this is a difficult time of year
for me.
all growing up,
the holidays were times
of more childhood trauma.
then my dad went into rehab
when i was 17
right in time for the holidays.
i didn’t want him to come back
and dreaded visiting him
staring at the houses full of holiday cheer
on our drive to dysfunction.
then as a grown-up
my brother died
right in time for the holidays.
then,
like when i was a kid
a messed up family life
became that much more obvious
with the holidays
when all other families seem so…
so normal…
in a good way
and all i feel is empty & lost….

this year i am trying
to swim my way back to the light
even as the days grow darker
with the season.
this year i want to fight
the dark that creeps
crawls
grasps at my soul.

this year i don’t want to just
survive
the holidays.
i want to thrive.
and i want to show my children
that there is light
in the darkness.

(my ink stain)

inkstainpan

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