Mary Jane's Shoes

Mary Jane's Shoes

Musings of one person among many. Not exceptional in any way, as with all, I have exceptional experiences and varied reactions to those events. Mine is one of many life stories and how I manage and cope with the events which make my life my own, I attempt to put forth by way of my writings.

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November 22, 2013

As drops of water to a bowl do fill, so too compassionate hands to the heart.Image


September 20, 2013


How does it become unbroken?

 Glue holds pieces as one;

the tea cup from then can be filled.


How does it become unbroken?

Leaves intertwine to bind

the torn basket so as again to carry fruit.


How does it become unbroken?

Nails to wood planks strengthen

the worn fencing to mark the fields.


How does it become unbroken?

The splint and the sutures repair

the body to again feel it with vitality move.


It seems simple. It looks effortless.

Fingers, pieces, binding leaves and nails.

It seems simple. It looks effortless.


Hands though cannot use these leaves,

cannot use these nails,

cannot make use of sutures

to mend what is broken


within the mind

nor within the heart.


What then to move the mind to healthy thought?

What then to find the heart’s pulse?


Unearth that which brings a fervor and quenches the thirst.

Uncover passions, elicit yearnings from the heart towards pursuits not incumbent on other persons.

You alone.

Expose pursuits which steer the mind from useless repetition to hear the voices of muses.


Muses will whisper

of wisdom

of learning

of expanding thoughts.


Muses will whisper

of tune

of composition

of the genesis of design.


Listen. Listen.


You are not unbroken. You are new.


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September 5, 2013 1 Comment


Betrayal comes in forms numbering more than the leaves on the magnolia tree. From one single person to another, from a mass of people towards another mass, betrayal is sometimes hurtfully chosen in the social circumstance we inhabit. Be it secrets guarded of one from another or the turn of a government against its people, wrongdoing and betrayal exist here and such can be crushing to the recipients. Regardless of the messenger and the method of delivery, the message itself is shocking once revealed and moves swiftly to affect the stance of masses or the lone figure’s stance. Degradation and a melting of form and ideas the first moments find.

The realization of deceit and betrayal is heavy and draining, drawing every muscle to the floor as if the ground is comfort, or perhaps said floor is merely blocking one from seeping into the abyss. The collective muscle of a people sink just as a single soul. One can fall no further. The body, the mind must begin to cope, as must the heart. If the drop could continue on into the earth, I, as others betrayed, would be swallowed by it gladly, as alongside myself the betrayer’s gifts would as well be swallowed.

Yet there exists resilience.

The earth we inhabit, its surface transforms betrayal into promising new growth. Atoms move to create this new. A seed sprouts and green freshness opens towards the light and water, to feast on life giving sun’s rays and rain showers. Ideas are planted and shared. The gathering souls see the first seeds of ideas grow into fields of healthy thought. The masses rebuild and the single soul reaches through soil for water on which to drink.

Is this why one sinks from a standing posture to the posture of a dead leaf, in the hope of being dirt shoveled and covered? Is the fall to rid one’s self of the face and feel of betrayal? Is it to perhaps turn a sprouting newness towards the sun, reaching for a chance at a calm, gentle rightness again?

Rising from the floor is a feat of great strength as the entirety of one’s being weighs so much more than it did in the mere moments just prior to experiencing the shock. This rise brings a new person, brings a slow birth of collective ideas, shaped by transgressions but also by hope and promise. The promise of what? That is a search for the growing field and the single blade of grass.


August 24, 2013

Writing is Preferred

June 10, 2013

I put pen to paper to convey what I cannot by way of speech. Inherent in writing is more time for thought preceding the actual expression, whereas in conversation, words (my words) come out hastily in a somewhat less deliberate fashion and I make more mistakes in context and grammar. Body language and gesturing are often used to complete the thoughts, very much so in my case. In writing, the words have to and do stand on their own. There is no help, no support by way of gestures or facial expressions. As well, that type of support isn’t needed.

Time isn’t as precious in writing. With speech, there is more urgency in communicating ideas. One doesn’t have the luxury of time. Maybe that is why some prefer to write, as I do, and communicate better via written words than spoken. Time affords more confidence in transferring that which I want to deliver to the recipient. Control of that which is exactly conveyed, without any visual disturbance to the receiver from the writer, is greater when writing my words as opposed to speaking. The increased time and control are often necessary for the writer. Both are needed luxuries for this stumbling writer, one to whom writing is preferred.


Blessed and Feeling Guilt

May 22, 2013

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” – Dalai Lama
To begin a piece with a quote is not generally considered proper. I could not help myself with the words above.I know I fail many times over; I am human and humans do fall into traps where their focus is misplaced, where kindness is not a priority. If there exists any real purpose to living, I believe this purpose is to support those merely surviving life with fear, hurt or worry. It is to help those whom are not able to see the wonder and thrill in the simplest and most natural of life’s gifts, see them.

I often feel much guilt in that I have been overly blessed and that I periodically lose sight of that fact. I feel guilt that I complain. I feel guilt that I often have to reiterate the knowledge of how beautiful my life is to my own self. I feel guilt that I spend too much time on me.

I want to have a positive impact in this world before I leave it. Again there exists guilt because I worry my thoughts are not purely altruistic. I often wish I had the mindset of those that seem to give their lives to others without thought to themselves other than good health, food and water, shelter of any sort, and minimal clothing.

I wish I were a better person. No fishing here. This is just a truth. I believe many, many others think the same as I do. Wouldn’t this world be a spectacular place if each acted on those feelings?

Tonight I will worry about how dinner will taste to others; I will get annoyed when my kids do not go to bed when I tell them to do so. I will worry that I ate too much. How ironic in this world too worry of such. I will worry that I might not sleep well though I have a comfy bed on which to sleep. I will curse myself as I jump out of bed to charge a laptop, I am fortunate to have, when I have forgotten to do so before I climbed into bed with a totally human, ever so loving husband. I will again worry that my alarm may not awaken me, though I have a mini-computer at my side set to a favorite song at a selected time to act as backup. The sun rising and a bird singing should be enough.  Again, through each minute wasted on paltry issues, I will feel the ever present hand of guilt on my shoulder.

There is more guilt as I am aware of what needs to be done and I recognize this lack of help from myself. I will try to behave in a more loving compassionate way, though I will always be ashamed of my lack of involvement and absence in working to see others have the necessities of life and find joy in the simplest of life’s offerings.

More than guilt, there is shame.


April 18, 2013

“Shame on you!” Wholeheartedly I agree with the woman in the Senate chamber who chastised those that voted to continue to help criminals, terrorists, gang members and dangerously mentally ill persons get their hands on guns. The cowardly men and women who put their interests above those of the people by whom they were entrusted, entrusted, to work need to hear these words repeatedly spoken.

The bill rejected yesterday was a common sense bill. It was a simple and constructive way to protect the people of these United States.  The bill was a simple way to protect the most precious amongst us, our children. Yes, an approach which considers other factors which create gun violence should be addressed, but we need this bottom line. The Manchin-Toomey Bill was nearly the least of what is needed, in regards to guns, to make the neighborhoods we inhabit safer. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the people of our country demanded change. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, the tide rose along our shores and those that are staunch supporters of the 2nd Amendment, those who are card-carrying NRA members, those people who were previously against any form of gun control legislation stood behind this minimalist bill.

This bill did not include a restriction on magazine clips. This bill did not address the problem of assault weapons in the hands of civilians. This bill was a barebones piece of legislation that should have been easy to pass. It was made complicated by the pockets of the NRA lobbyists. It was made complicated by a busy political week and impending votes on other legislative interests. This bill should have had none of such interference. Our, our politicians should have focused on what they claim to be foremost on their minds, the desires of the people, the safety the public so desperately wants. Instead, for most in the Senate, the amazingly high percentage of people who saw this bill as something needed were ignored. Their lives would have been more safe. There are people and children that will not live out there lives because this bill died on the Senate floor. They might as well have laid bodies on that floor.

I am ashamed. I am worried. I am angry that we live in a country where most of our elected officials in the Senate value life less than gun rights and their own careers. I feel as Joe Biden did in the photo shot of him when Obama expressed his outrage yesterday, April 17th, 2013, with his head down and his disappointed face covered by his hand. It was a sad day in America. It was a devastating day for those that have experienced the horror of gun violence. It will be for some that will die as a result of the shameful vote of yesterday.

I am hopeful the more courageous of Senators and the citizens which desired the Manchin-Toomey Bill to pass will continue the push for desperately needed changes in our gun laws. I want to be hopeful that bravery and common sense win out over cowardice.

Time in Winds of Rain

March 20, 2013

ImageBestow your time upon expansive fields of grasses and soil, in winds of rain, and in the light of the sun. These together are the lifeblood, soul and footing of your existence. Lavish time upon the preeminent in life; squander scant on paltry concerns.

Steadfast yet Coercive is my Friend

February 22, 2013

I put utensils in the dishwasher, without thought, without plans.

This is significant, as not all forks have their tines pointing towards the ceiling. Not all knives have the cutting edge down. Silly to some yet not inconsequential. I dare say, “To mix the spoons amongst the other silvers is somewhat delicious.” Odd I had the desire to say such in a somewhat proper manner. I might be trying to create order by using those words; create the illusion of it, order. Something upon which I know I will think.

Ruminating thoughts of creating order, creating a certain peace in the midst of the continual chaos of a full life is a difficult place from which to steer away. “I do not have the papers in their proper place,” is a remark I shudder to make, so I catch those perceived mistakes before my hands are off the file. To believe I have reached that point takes time, and much time in my mind’s file cabinet.

I have one important note which cannot be overlooked in an attempt to clarify my experience with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Should there not exist the time to order and manage according to my inner friend’s voice, I simply and regrettably leave the object or issue in an associated stack or grouping, real or in thought only, until I can give it its deserved time. With a family of six children, homeschooling the youngest four for the past 14 years at this point, dealing with the demands of a complicated life, which we all do, this type of organization is often left to eat away at me. It can reach and has reached the point of paralyzing me and restricting my movement.

While breathing and dreaming, I have sorted all aspects of life. I have built an Organizational Bible,of sorts. This is my link to correct perspective and peace. It is my safe haven.

It is not a minute, minuscule effort to see the world with eyes not blurred; my vision is blurred with all there is to see, hear and touch. The undefined, hazy mix has been and still is, to a large extent, a reality that causes me much stress and anxiety. Defined. Distinct. Genuine. True. Pure. These are adjectives that I have tried so diligently to see become a reality, amongst all, within all, within the entirety of living.

As it may be obvious, much, much, too much time is used in the endeavor of order. Too much is used in the effort of reaching a perceived perfect. Too much is spent in the effort of achieving rightness, as subjective as rightness is. Too much time is lost trying to break life into pieces to see how the whole is formed. As it is a method to attain these conditions, I find divisions in life and separate one from another. The divisions in these aspects of life are carried down to the smallest coin, the oldest toy in our home, the seemingly most useless piece of written information. Thoughts are spent, recently, trying to create a straight line between the political parties in our government, cleanly delineating the two, three, or more. Black and White. My rational mind knows it cannot be done, but my sidekick tries to force the issue. The order of clothing in the closet, or drawer, by type and by color, and divisions beyond, causes much stress until I have righted them. Photographs and albums now also in digital form as a means to store and share has muddled my outline of living. Add slides, movie film, video tapes, CD’s and DVD’s we have recorded, and cataloguing becomes an all-consuming endeavor. Every newsletter from a charity, political campaign or college must be mentally processed before it can be used or tucked away, neatly. Thoughts of religion consumed me for a period. The questions we all ask about our purpose in being alive, being human, would seep into my dreams, and nightmares.

To do what I have tried to do is not possible. I at one time was proud. I believed using my brain in this way helped me explain the world, life, and keep all intact so to speak. I did eventually learn it was an effort to control any anxiety or hurt, or fear. I am learning still; it does not eradicate negative emotions; this coping mechanism buries them and gets stronger with each burial.

I am learning each thought does not live alone. I am learning each item, each word I encounter does not fit neatly into the deep and far-reaching outline I have created. I have touched a tiny seed of letting go. I have felt that seed move from plant through the wind to the soil. The wind is freedom. The momentary exhilaration of not employing my own self-employed rules is somewhat new.

And it simply, purely is exhilaration. Though short-lived, I have experienced this brief, breakthrough moment on occasion. To me it is a breathtaking sight. It is very awkward to live in a new pureness, one of pure feeling, emotion and not logic. Little movements of breaking free are things of no usual consequence to those without this same invisible entity that resides in me.

It is heavy and busy and demands constant care. It is intrusive. It holds its own mind and controls mine.

To remove it and its decidedly arrogant stiffness is done slowly so as not to shock and awaken.
If movements are too large, its heart beats rapidly and fear takes room in its mind. This separate, but very much connected life lurches then forward to ruminate and press order. It sees no sense in the world without tremendous thought.
I feel the pressure to return to my lists and my alignment of….

every thought, spoken word and object.

To place a flower in a vase, without thought as to how this action fits into its place in my life, is at that moment tense. To dress unrestrained by the order in which I bathe my body and feet, fingernails and hair, apply lotions and add jewelry provokes an underground anxiety. For years, from the age of nine forward, I have organized and straightened. It became something of which I was proud, as if I had it “all together,” knew where I was from and where I was going. This desire grew into something much more. These obsessions and the resulting compulsions (actions or ruminations) took on a life of their own. My husband and I argued about whether what I was doing actually made a difference; was it necessary? I would argue that my thoughts and my rituals made life better, more organized. I argued nothing would slip through the cracks. Something did slip through the cracks. Me.

I was suffocating. The oxygen meant for me was being used by the entity that had been controlling more and more of my thoughts and actions. I, at this time, still did not see that I could be or should be separated from this presence. I believed it was me; I was it.

Through a residency rotation with psychiatry, my husband met a patient, a boy. This teenager was suffering with OCD and anorexia. Now this was during a time when OCD was not a catch phrase for casual organized behavior, as it is often used today. The term was just beginning to walk out of hospital environs and into mainstream media. My husband, upon meeting this young man, began rather quickly to see that I was living the same life, in some respects. After months, years of denial, I came to understand that my thought processes were not normal. Very difficult it was to see this and accept it. Even more difficult to change. I do now have to admit that it was a very small start to a grand, new way of life. Again, I didn’t see it at that time.

Through therapy and medicines, I still struggle but am living life now more than I ever did before. I am learning that no thought or word stands alone. No item dwells in a lonely place. No bits of information are solitary. All musings, beings, objects affect others beyond themselves. Just as the wind has taken the seed and the seed disturbs the soil, every action or non-action weighs in on another. This is the freedom I desire. I desire to move and drift and find joy in the interaction of all in life. To see and accept the amazing play between circumstances and objects, action and consequence, this is my aspiration. I want to accept the hazy mix, the interplay. It is in this home I want to stay, where my coercive friend is not taking any of my oxygen.


January 25, 2013


warm air

so much warm air

such bold comfort in the color of a friend’s eyes

I am missing warm air

I miss heat from arms shielding

I miss grounded strength in which to rest


blessed I am to have known it

not quite sure why I was allowed to see,

the care, the concern, the worry

not sure why this friendship was built only to see it leave


our friendship must somewhere still exist

its riches could not be left to spoil

sit unused at roots of a tree

one day a child will find it while playing hide and seek

and spend it on another fully

transferring warmth and a tender moment’s peace


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