Change in Vision

Once again, I'm dealing with a shift of something I cannot control.
My eyes are at the mercy of time and decrease swelling. 
This last week, I've noticed an increase of in double vision.
In looking at my phone or reading a book, words split suddenly.
This morning, I woke up to a reality hovering over each other.
Everything on my floor was either stretched or doubled.
I haven't experienced looking forward with double vision.
Certainly not when waking up. It's always been looking up. 
I want to document these changes as they happen.
I had another poem for today but that changed.
It's always an unsettling reality to live in. 
Experiencing new double vision is never not jarring.
I have hope that this is another step closer.
Another step to being done with this disease.

Settle into the Moment

I’m surrounded by people. I do not speak.
I half-listen as my mind bounces around from one thought to another. 
I catch words here and there. I clap and don’t realize I’m clapping.
Awareness allows me to settle into the moment. 
It takes several tries and I’m still not sure I got it.

I check my phone. I turn off my phone.
I adjust my purse that’s resting on my leg.
I try to make sense of what is said. 
When I recognize a word, I understand begin to get it.
I get down on myself for not being more educated.
I spiral, come back, and adjust within a moment.
I settle in, sip some water, and laugh when it’s appropriate. 
My stomach gurgles. I decide to wait until this is over to eat.
I grasp what I want to hear and continue on my way.

I’m now talking and somehow unaware of my words.
My mind has wandered off, only vaguely keeping tabs on the conversation.
When I walk away, I realize I spoke too much,
I remind myself to be mindful to allow my mind to stay present.
The more I'm aware, the easier I can find a balance.
This is what I tell myself, hoping it will one day stick. 

Quiet Mind

I sit in a room with my legs crossed and my hands on my knees. I’m focused on my breath, trying hard to ignore my racing thoughts. The music is relaxing and the yoga teacher is the only one who is speaking. Her presence is calming and trusting. I feel safe. I’m trying to get my mind to feel the same. Halfway through the class, my thoughts halt. I’m left with a quiet mind. It’s a very rare experience for me. After yoga, my mind remains quiet. Everything that captured my attention before class quickly washes away. My mind isn’t rushing or holding onto burdening thoughts. I’m present, I’m relaxed, I’m quiet. I don’t speak. I sit on my bed with a heating pad on my shoulder, taking refugee in these rare moments of solace within myself.

My Favorite Books of the Decade!

Strand Bookstore, NYC, August 2019

Dear Reader,

This isn’t the usual blog post you’re used to reading every week. I wanted to switch things up a bit for my final blog post of the year (and the decade!). Beneath this note is a list of my 40 favorite books I’ve read in the last decade! The organization of the list below is as follows:

Fiction

Non-Fiction

Essays

Poetry

Miscellaneous

I only chose books that were published in the last decade. I read so many amazing books that I had to narrow the list down. I’ve always loved books but my passion for writing definitely reignited my passion for reading. If you do end up buying or reading any of this books, please refer back to this post once you’re done and let me know what you think!

I really appreciate everyone who took some time to read my blog posts this year. It really means a lot to me to have people who read my blog every week! I hope you all have a safe and warm New Years with the ones you love. I look forward to seeing what the new decade has in store!

Best Wishes & Happy New Year!

Kelly

Disappeared

It’s clear to me that seasons no longer exist. They only exist as dates on a calendar, marking the passage of time. The rest has faded away to a time and place the planet no longer knows. We’ve had at least five major snow storms in the last two months. It’s autumn, where leaves are supposed to be falling. Normally, snow begins around the middle of November. But this year, expectations for normalcy have disappeared. We’re left with feet of snow as colored leaves dangle from frozen trees.

The Case of Misunderstanding

The intention of the message is lost,
causing both sides to bicker and banter.
Perspective impacts opinion and causes
emotions to cloud one's judgment.

Person one says something to person two.
Person two takes what person one said to heart
and accuses person one of meaning something
they didn't because the communication wasn't clear.

This causes both parties to escalate their stances,
which leads to getting outside parties involved
because the communication is seemingly too messy
for either party to resolve the issue on their own.

Outsiders don't know the full story,
and often their biases show
who they're for and who they're against
within moments of hearing one perspective.

It's a case of misunderstanding,
when someone's been hurt too many times,
they can't speak without pain being present,
which causes nothing to be solved.

A Reminder to Be Respectful

I don't have to agree with you to respect you.
You don't have to agree with me to respect me.

We can come from two different backgrounds and generations,
have different perspectives, beliefs, and ideas,
and still, be respectful of one another.

The focus is often on what is different about us,
who we love, what we believe, where we live.
While we may have moral differences that define us,
that doesn't mean we can't be kind, or at least civil.

We can get our messages across without yelling at each other.
It's possible to agree to disagree and not be hateful.

Call out injustices that need to be addressed,
make noise when something needs to be changed.
But don't be rude to someone who doesn't agree with you
and don't try to put your beliefs on them.

The goal shouldn't be to get someone
to believe what you believe because it doesn't work.
Repetitive behavior with the same speech
isn't productive or convincing.

It's to be kind to each other regardless of where we stand.
I'm not the bad guy and neither are you.