In Her Dreams

Snow falls on the grass on this almost March day, trees already in prepubescent bloom.

What the fuck is happening? Global warming has her own plans, shaking things up on this insignificant, tiniest piece of the puzzle, planet earth. She is happy for the ugly, backward mess.

She won’t walk today, but will curl up in silence and self-protection closing her eyes instead; drifting off and dreaming about the walkabout will suffice.

In her dreams she sees an altogether different version of herself; a younger, happier, slender, soft edged person with a more vibrant future mapped out. She still dreams in Kodachrome where puppies, beach homes and neat, parasol living abounds. Where dazzling, white bright stars full of possibility coat the yellow sunbeams from her eyes. She has yet to be poisoned, injected and force-fed the grays and ugly realities.

This girl has a shot. A real, do-over shot at happy. As long as the imagination has not been stolen, she has the dream to endure.

She’s survived the brutal, harsh days when something bigger than fear, self-loathing and death took hold. She lived the limitations with a certain air of grace, donning the best, quiet mask she could. As long as there is hope, that God will not abandon her in these worst times she continues, liquid solid. She takes the uneven, shallow breath, however difficult embracing the day to get it right, finding an air that is easier and smoothed out.

The birds forgive her simple, humane existence. They know she is following the orders of the house, a guest in their home. This four and a half billion year old earth which carries her shaded past and unique, ghost filled history.

She is simply at the mercy of time, enduring with whatever shred of dignity she can muster.

To never forget the page. The page carries her when she cannot stand, crouched in fetal position on the bathroom floor. The page dreams the big dreams when she sees nothing through misty eyes. The page promises hope when she has exhausted all roads, and left dreaming behind. The page holds her hand guiding her gently towards the light, where the words are the wee bit brighter. Dripping icicles, the snow has lost interest in this corner of the land and gone off to find glaciers and ice hills, more appropriate temperatures to visit.

She wraps the afghan throw tight around her shoulders, rocking back and forth while humming her favorite tune hopeful to revisit the dawn of a new tomorrow.

-excerpt from The Red Bench

Rain

Rain.

“You and I are only human, overwrought with emotion. We will be forever duking it out with the sassy sun and silly moon to stop running with scissors, for just one breath. There is beautiful stillness under a gray, cover-clouded downpour where the rain washes away the old footprints leaving room for a blank slate and tomorrow’s sunshine.” Jacqueline Cioffa

Passo dopo Passo

Passo dopo Passo

A photo by Andrew Branch. unsplash.com/photos/Wlm53j4te78

 

I cut the grass. Big whoop dee do. To some this might seem trivial, like why the hell is grass between her toes so important? Grass between my toes, in my teeth is of the outmost importance because it means I cared enough to push myself, and get off my ass. Out of my comfort zone. Some would say shake it off, the depression, but you can’t shake off a sadness that sits inside you making it hard to pull on your sneaks, and simply walk outdoors. To push when you mostly want to hide, tricking yourself into believing you might be getting better. And, you just might. Maybe, with the right combination of meds which is tricky business. Just maybe it’s because those blades of grass inside your sneaks, clinging to your socks and tickling your toes feels like an accomplishment. You get out of your head, and look up at the clear, baby blue powder puff sky noticing the clematis and smelling the intoxicating aroma of peonies in full bloom, planted lovingly seasons past. Someone asked if I was bed ridden? Should’ve I have been? I could have, but I didn’t. I’m moving slower than usual, writing much slower than usual, thinking at a snail slow pace. How can I be the same me but so different? No matter how bad my muscles ache or my shoulders tense, I keep moving. I’m wondering too, how much time do others spend doing things they don’t want because it hurts, is trivial, or seems menial? Like when not just your muscles ache but your skull and heartbeat hurt heavy too. Fresh cut grass smells like clean, green living, cool and inviting, not sad. No, not sad at all. I’m not sad for a beat, and that beat means mulched grass will grow back stronger, healthier with each passo dopo passo. That freshly cut grass smells just like heaven. Maybe I’m growing stronger too, standing taller and more resolute. The joyful, satisfactory memory of a job well done and sunburst yellow sunshine’s warmth, buried deep inside the muscle. I plop down grass stains and all. I lie on my back and look up at the wide-open ceiling, cracking the slightest smile. Hope lives. Hope is alive and well, grasshopper.

Rocking the End-Cap with Anne Lamott – Downtown Books and Coffee

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Guess whose books are hanging with the fabulously, talented and sublime author, Anne Lamott (squeek), at her favorite ‪#‎indiebookstore‬! (moi). 🙂

Thank you, Downtown Books and Coffee, and the community for the love.

Shop ‪‎Indie‬, and support local bookstores kind readers.

I purchased ‪Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by ‪Anne Lamott

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

Pick up a book at DowntownBooks and Coffee and a ticket for the upcoming lecture, book signing and Q & A. I did both. 

I am in awe, and inspired.

P.S. Best- Selling author, Anne Lamott is coming to Auburn, April 8th! Get your tickets through Auburn Public Theater, “An Evening with Anne Lamott.” 

Let’s celebrate women, the arts and lift each other up!

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AUBURN PUBLIC THEATER:

‘Sponsored by: The New York State Council on the Arts, M&T Bank, The Citizen, The Holiday Inn, The Allyn Foundation, Senator John A. DeFransisco

*If you are visiting from out of town, The Holiday Inn is offering a special room rate for Anne Lamott attendees. Use the block code ALE before March 11th, 2016 to reserve your room. Call 1-800-957-4654 or visit their website.*

This event will be ASL interpreted. Please contact the box office for seating in an advantageous vieweing location. info@auburnpublictheater.org

BUY TICKETS
Friday 4/8 at 7pm – Auburn High School

Anne Lamott
Best-selling Author of Bird by Bird, Operating Instructions, and Plan B

“Reading Lamott is like having a chat with one of the angels, a smarter, wittier one.” – The Denver Post

***The evening will include book signing, lecture, and Q & A at Auburn Public High School***

Anne Lamott writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus. But armed with self-effacing humor – she is laugh-out-loud funny – and ruthless honesty, Lamott converts her subjects into enchantment. Actually, she writes about what most of us don’t like to think about. She wrote her first novel for her father, the writer Kenneth Lamott, when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. She has said that the book was “a present to someone I loved who was going to die.” In all her novels, Anne Lamott writes about loss – loss of loved ones and loss of personal control. She doesn’t try to sugar-coat the sadness, frustration and disappointment, but tells her stories with honesty, compassion and a pureness of voice. She says, “I have a lot of hope and a lot of faith and I struggle to communicate that.” Anne Lamott does communicate her faith; in her books and in person, she lifts, comforts, and inspires, all the while keeping us laughing.

Anne Lamott is the author of seven novels including, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, Blue Shoe, All New People, Crooked Little Heart, and Imperfect Birds. She has also written several bestselling books of nonfiction, including, Operating Instructions, an account of life as a single mother during her son’s first year followed by Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son, and a writing guide; Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. She has also authored three collections of autobiographical essays on faith; Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, and Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. In her latest book of non-fiction, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Ms. Lamott gives us three prayers to assist us in trying times. Her most recent book is entitled Stitches; A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair, an honest, funny book about how to make sense of life’s chaos (Oct 2013). She is currently working on a new book of essays to be called Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace (November 2014).
Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at UC Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country. Lamott’s biweekly Salon Magazine “online diary,” Word by Word, was voted The Best of the Web by TIME magazine. Academy Award –winning filmmaker Freida Mock has made a documentary on Lamott, entitled “Bird by Bird with Annie” (1999). Anne Lamott has also been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
*If you are visiting from out of town, The Holiday Inn is offering a special room rate for Anne Lamott attendees. Use the block code ALE before March 11th, 2016 to reserve your room. Call 1-800-957-4654 or visit their website.*
This event will be ASL interpreted. Please contact the box office for seating in an advantageous vieweing location. info@auburnpublictheater.org
Tickets: $50 – Event will take place at Auburn Public High School.’

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AUTHOR BIO

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JACQUELINE CIOFFA was an international model for 17 years and celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and Stone Crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in the anthologies Brainstorms, Feminine Collective’s Raw and Unfiltered, Vol. 1, Stigma Fighters Anthology, Vol. 2, and numerous literary magazines. She writes the Bleeding Ink column at Feminine Collective.

Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness. She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world.

Her poignant, literary fiction debut, THE VAST LANDSCAPE, gives new meaning to intense, raw and heartfelt.

Fans of the emotional, soul stirring first novel will not be able to put down the exciting sequel, GEORGIA PINE.

The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life. ~ GEORGIA PINE by Jacqueline Cioffa

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00021]Georgia Pine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE VAST LANDSCAPE by Jacqueline Cioffa

Harrison’s back with a new look, nip and tuck, and bonus chapter. She and I have returned to the Cove, where the magic begins.

The Vast Landscape by Jacqueline Cioffa has a new dreamy, beach look, cover design by Yosbe Design Studio complete with revisions, blurbs and bonus chapters.

 

 

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00021]

The Vast Landscape

by Jacqueline Cioffa

Genre: Literary Fiction

Cover Design by: https://www.facebook.com/yosbedesign

 

BLURB

Bold contemporary fiction, THE VAST LANDSCAPE shares one woman’s journey filled with doubt, mistrust, fame, and self-discovery. Join Harrison on her quest to find inner peace despite the harrowing obstacles placed in her way. Will she succeed in stripping away her complex armor to unmask the flawed, beautiful, and strong iconoclast kept hidden for so long?

Honest to a fault, Jacqueline Cioffa creates a challenging love story sparkling with narrative originality.

PRAISE

“Once I freed it up to be fiction,” she said, “Harrison could go anywhere. I had a larger canvas for her to stomp on.” – Nicki Gorny, Stars Magazine / Post Standard

“I was always impressed by how courageous a writer Jacqueline is. Keep writing your fine prose.” – Mark Blickley, author of The Sacred Misfits (Red Hen Press)

“The magic of Cioffa’s debut novel shines its light on the power of the written word.” – Julie Davidow, American Contemporary Artist, co-author of Miami Contemporary Artists

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EXCERPT

 

Helmets & Hard Hats

 

PRETTY IS PROMPT, bearing wine and a first aid kit.

“How did you know I hate flowers?” Harrison giving her schoolgirl grin. She can’t help it; he makes her giddy. Dr. Pretty makes himself at home, heads to the kitchen.

“Where do you keep the corkscrew? You look nice, Harrison.”

“Middle drawer, there are a few. Um, thanks.” Harrison blushes.

Secretly she’s glad he noticed; spent half the day at a salon. She detests primping. It’s in her contract, makeup and hair must be done in less than two hours, even that’s pure hell. She dyed her roots, waxed the bits and pieces, no landing strip. She hates the LA pre-pub look, disgusting. She’s not a 10-year-old girl for fuck’s sake; a neat triangle. Pale lavender fingers and toes; voila. The poor nail tech didn’t know what to do with her mangled foot. “Don’t worry, keep it out of the water, do the best you can, Chuney.”

Harrison had been coming to the salon for years, since she moved out West. Famous or not famous, those girls gave a great wax and mani-pedi. Rock & Republic black jeans, James Perse tee and La Perla undies. A bit of blush, mascara, gloss, she felt pretty. Sure, he had no fucking clue what she went through to get ready, with a cane no less. She didn’t give a rat’s ass.

“That’s some fancy collection of corkscrews, Miss Harrison,” handing her a glass of wine with a peck on the cheek. He smelled delicious, salt and pepper stubble tickling her cheek. Harrison raised her glass, “Borrow them anytime, on one condition. It’s Harry.”

“Harry it is. Hobble on over to the couch, I need to check your feet.”

“That’s not very appetizing; dinner should be here any minute. Jenny’s on her way with a feast.”

“Precisely. Once I smell food the good Doc. checks out. Foot up,” patting his legs.

Dr. Pretty changes the bandages, cleans the wounds, moves Harry’s feet up, down and every which way.

“No nerve damage, you got lucky, young lady. No more heroics. One week, stiches come out.” He wraps her feet in nanoseconds. Shit, that took her an hour.

“Thanks. Where is that dingbat?”

Dr. Pretty kisses her, slow, soft and wet. He holds her face in his hands, kissing her again on the forehead. “You’re awfully pale, Harrison. Harry. Cat got your tongue?”

“I could be your grandmother.”

Dr. Pretty laughs, the ice is broken.

“My grandmother’s way hotter than you. Don’t worry, we’ll take it slow. You’re the most fascinating woman I’ve ever met. Not the famous part; the girl who blushes and can’t make eye contact. I want to know her. Let’s see, I come from a semi-normal family. They didn’t beat us or chain us in the basement. We ate dinner together every night, spent holidays back East, in Maine. I was born there, left when I was ten. Pretty run of the mill stuff. I like my mom and dad. Dad’s a vet. Mom’s a retired psychologist. I have five sisters, yup, that’s right. I know a thing or two about girls. At least, I thought I did. Until you; everything flew out the window. Went to BU, got my medical degree at UCLA. You know the rest, Cedars Sinai ER, where the crazy celebrities end up.” Dr. Pretty laughs, ruffles her hair. “Fell in love with the climate, hiking, surf and a girl. Girl didn’t stick, California did. Your turn.”

Doorbell rings. Harrison is literally saved by the bell; true confessions have her head spinning. Jenny juggles three bags of food from two different restaurants, sets the bags on the kitchen counter.

“Should I grab plates? Harry?” Harrison looks at the couch, Dr. Pretty sneaks up behind giving her a hug.

“Hi, I’m Zack. We’re good.”

Fuck. ZACK? You could’ve introduced him, dumbass. Too bad you didn’t know his name. Goddamn Jenny, tight-ass 20-year-old pain in her butt. She’s efficient though, got to hand her that. Harry comes off the bitch, rude and arrogant. Gives Jenny their get lost signal.

“Thanks, used my card, right?” Jenny nods. Harrison hands Jenny a fifty, she looks puzzled. “Go on, scoot.”

“Off your feet missy, get in that chair,” Dr. Pretty points. “Don’t think for a minute you’re getting off Scott-free. I expect a bedtime story.” What? What happened to taking things slow, his words not mine. “Knock it off with the shock and awe. People do lots of things in bed, like cuddle, kiss and sleep. I told you slow and steady.”

“Where the hell did you come from besides Maine, Zack?”

There it is, Zack. Not Doc or Pretty or Dr. Pretty, just Zack. Sounds weird yet completely normal at the same time. The food tastes amazing. Zachary. Zack. He sure is Pretty. Zack rolls a summer roll, adds a mint leaf, dips in sauce and feeds it to Harry.

“Sure hope you’re not allergic to peanuts.”

Harrison swats him on the bicep, spitting the summer roll on her plate, grabbing her neck. “Hope there’s an Epi-pen in your bag of tricks.” Laughing uncontrollably, tears stream down her face.

Zack runs to his backpack, rummaging frantically. He heads to the couch and Harry is casually eating the summer roll, roaring.

“I am an actor, ya’ know.”

Dr. Pretty takes her plate, sets it on the table. He bends down picks her up effortlessly, heads towards the bathroom depositing her on a cushy, red velvet bench.

“Wash your face, brush your teeth. PJs and bed for you, missy. Knock when you’re done, no pressure on those feet. I’ll come to collect you.”

Harrison’s nerves are shot, her tummy’s in knots, she does what she’s told. She’s had sex before, millions of times. This feels different, terrifying, exciting, new. She cares, the stakes set high. Teeth brushed, face washed, sexy undies and t-shirt, Harrison sits on the toilet to pee. Great, this could take hours, when all of a sudden a steady stream of yellow flows. Goddamn it. What kind of spell has he cast?

Dr. Pretty grabs the bottle of wine, glasses, matches, and lights some candles in Harrison’s bedroom. Knock. He playfully pretends not to hear. Knock. Knock. He opens the door and grins, leans in to kiss Harrison.

“Aren’t you on-call?”

Pretty shakes his head. “Traded for 3 all-nighters.”

“Should I be flattered, or insulted? Bit presumptuous?”

“Both, I’d say,” taking his shirt off. Jesus H. Christ. He looks just like Jesus H. Christ, twelve-pack, biceps and that face. The stubble, tousled brown hair, the piercing hazel eyes. Harrison is in big trouble. Dirty, scruffy brown boys are her favorite kind of trouble. He places her gently on the bed, tight arms hovering inches above. Pretty lies next to her, scooping her up, unexpectedly kissing her neck. They make out like teen-agers. Harrison usually skips this part, gets down to business. With him she doesn’t mind, he’s so comfortable with himself he puts her at ease.

Dr. Pretty gets up, blows out the candles, removes his boxers and hops into bed. “I sleep commando, babe, you good with that? Wow, blushing again? Remind me to get naked more often. Sweet dreams. Wake me if you need to pee. No hobbling in the dark on my watch.”

Zack wraps his arms around Harrison careful not to touch her foot, caressing her head. She wants to ask why, why her? The killjoy, ever-suspicious voice in her head will not win. Harry closes her eyes, blocking out the noise and drifts.

When she wakes, there’s a wild flower from her garden on his pillow and a sticky note with a heart. She checks her phone. 10:00 a.m. Holy hell? Twelve voice mails, what the crap? It’s him, Dr. Pretty. #1 I had… #2 an amazing… #3 night. #4 You are lovely… #5 when you sleep. #6 Your… #7 guard comes down… #8 thank you…#9 well, you know, off to work… #10 3-day, 24-Hour ER rotation… #11 Better miss me… #12 Stay off that foot. I’ll know.

The ‘Call K’ reminder, the forgotten days-old promise now a black smear illegible on her wrist. Harrison’s stupid, high school grin returns, permanently glued to her face.

 

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AUTHOR BIO

Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model for 17 years and celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and Stone Crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in the anthology, Brainstorms, and numerous literary magazines. Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness. She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world. Her work has been featured in the anthologies Brainstorms, Feminine Collective’s Raw and Unfiltered Vol. 1, and numerous literary magazines.

Jacqueline pens the column, “Bleeding Ink” column with Feminine Collective.

Her poignant, literary fiction debut, The Vast Landscape, gives new meaning to intense, raw and heartfelt.

Fans of the emotional, soul stirring first novel will not be able to put the exciting sequel, Georgia Pine, down.

The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life.
~ Georgia Pine, by Jacqueline Cioffa

Please find links to the revised edition of The Vast Landscape on Amazon and all of your favorite booksellers soon.

A heartfelt thanks to Rachel Thompson from Bad Redhead Media and Kate O’Connell from BookTour.Tips for their marketing expertise and advice.

Editor: Justin Bogdanovitch

Proofreader / Formatter: Wendy C. Garfinkle

YOSBE DESIGN STUDIO: http://www.yosbedesign.com

YOSBE DESIGN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yosbedesign

 


AROUND THE WEB

Jackie Cioffa bio

AUTHOR SITE: http://jacquelinecioffa.com

BLEEDING INK with Feminine Collective:  http://femininecollective.com/category/articles/columns/bleeding-ink/

GOOGLE+: https://plus.google.com/115714635145035610121/posts

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JackieCioffa

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authorjackiecioffa

LINKED IN: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacqueline-cioffa/4b/3/5ba

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/choff777/

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/choff777/

GOODREADS:https://www.goodreads.com/…/show/7755032.Jacqueline_Cioffa

TUMBLR: http://greatpaperyouth.tumblr.com

MAKE UP TO MODEL CITI ZEN BEAUTY BLOG: http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-Cioffa/e/B00H4EZKVE

 

Indelible characters worthy of the big screen -GEORGIA PINE

5.0 out of 5 stars GEORGIA PINE by Jacqueline Cioffa

FOREST CREATURES & WOODLANDS-6

GEORGIA PINE (Kindle Edition)

“An amazing read. The author weaves tragedy, love, family, suspense and disappointment into an amazing story. I have not read The Vast Landscape yet but after this, I know I’ll be adding it to my list of must read books. This is great fictional account of a tortured soul in the form of a fast-paced story painted with poetic scenes.

I was completely immersed in the story as the author switches from past to present. This is an engrossing read you will definitely think about long after you have finished it. An author who has poured her soul into creating incredible characters that are worthy of the big screen.” –Amazon Review

***I received a free book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.***

Georgia Pine

If the shoe fits

In line at the grocery store I couldn’t help but check out the pretty, cool chick in front of me and her wooden clogs. They had heels. I thought maybe she’s from NYC, she’s not from here (most sensible people wear boots). And, she’s going to fall on her butt outside. The sidewalks are sheets of ice.

I had just fallen on my ass.

A disabled man one counter over was having trouble paying and checking out. The cool chick was there in two seconds, “I’ve got this. Let me pay for this.” Well, the man could not have been happier…she made his day, the cashier and mine.

Moral of the story…if the shoe fits.

Thank you, cool lady with the funky shoes.

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To The Orbs by Jacqueline Cioffa

 

photo-1445443385222-53ca40599f15To The Orbs 

Duty, responsibility, obligation and drudge

I run around making false promises lying to myself

I must end this cycle of debt, hush-hush niceties and learn to live it

 

This life

 

Starring me

The oddity full of venom and regret

Regret for harsh words hurled in the face of others living in the continuum

The vortex seasonal cycle of disgust and disappointment

Passing judgment upon judgment and hanging no mirrors in my house

I am unable to see the pretty person’s reflection in glass

Wake up child and move on

Go, get, get on and get the hell out from under

The relentless abuse you swallow the misbegotten forgotten soul

The core is damaged from unwanted vocabulary, an unpleasant learned space and skin scratch uncomfortable place

Molestations and accusations what are these words?

I am innocence tossed in the trash long discarded

I have no choice but to make amends

To say, I’m sorry

Simple, two simple impossible words do not roll off the tongue

I’m sorry for so much wasted time

I’m sorry for doubting my perfectly imperfect being

I’m sorry for forever cursing and cussing the bright light burnt stars

I am after all worthy of love

A life filled with some resemblance of happy

I’m not asking for false pretenses or avoidance

Gut punch sharp zinger pain is necessary for growth

A second act?

To right a whole bunch of fall in formation wrongs

I shudder at the possibility of abundance where olfactory senses delight and grandiose dreams are free from jagged edge worries and boundaries

If I can’t be this plain and simple unruly self, who then?

Some other pleasing needing false misrepresentation?

And so, I make amends

And so, I choose to forgive my horrendously ugly fuckups, mishaps and misfortunes

And so, I will learn from the past and the present

Goodbye, old friend

I’ll meet you in the heavens where the orbs are light dancing and colliding transparent

A buoyancy and freedom of physical weight your human form has never known

The torrential, unrelenting downpours of distraught

The hell you experienced?

Dissipated, forgiven and forgotten in less than an instant

Time is not measured in increments

A myriad of wondrous, cheery, crazy beautiful light bright color streams encapsulate and flash brilliant

Hues and the most superfluous elegant words paint the world you left behind

In the orbs there is only purity and lightness of being

You can’t possibly see it, dream it or feel it 

Human

The weight disappears and floats upwards 

Hope floats forever unbound

 

 

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Do I know with complete certainty there is an afterlife waiting for me?

Of course, I don’t. This I cannot say.

 I want my bubble to be filled with words floating by in a lighthearted stream of consciousness in no particular order.

Being human is hard and excruciating at times, I expel the pain onto the page and wait for cathartic transparency to come back around my way.

To the orbs, I place words with meaning in no varying array. My black and white truths become a grey concept and fade away. The dark cannot shine without the light.

 Family, love, rape, anguish, hope, faith, purpose, death, life, home, heartbreak, birth, joy

The words lose their hold and I am set free

To Sleep, but Not to Slumber ~ A Christmas Wish for the Brokenhearted

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Someone asked me the other day when exactly did I begin to hate Christmas?

I couldn’t quite place the precise date when the cheery, bubbly, naive child stopped believing in the magic

Five, seven, ten?

Who’s to say?

It happened all at once, the snow globe blown out of proportion and super-sized colored lightbulbs scorch and burn

I try but the sadness, maudlin and sorrow I am born
Lives in these bones, where marrow sits and blood oxygen flows

The neighborhood streets I stroll at night twinkle warmly while vanilla, clove and chocolate aroma fills the lungs I breathe deep

Are they happy I wonder? Are they okay? Are they loved?

Am I?

I am at times
It’s not all Maloja Snake dense grey mist and menacing cloud banks creeping and winding under the skin
I know this to be true beyond the sleigh bells and frivolous gifts I’ll tuck away in some drawer for a later date soon forgotten 
Later dates rarely come or never right on time
The sadness and tears well up in my eyes before I can manage a pretend smile
Half my heart belongs on the other side you see, and that I cannot fix
Time is moving too rapidly, I want to smash the clock

I greedily want to hurry past Christmas Day and the sad memories missing the magic pieces I can’t reclaim even seconds gone by

I am not afraid of death, not really
I welcome the quieting freedom and serenity of my orbs, the peace she’ll bring
Living with a serious mental illness there is no room for false niceties, unrealistic dreams, Santa Claus frosted cookies and cold milk in a crystal glass left on an end table
Who drinks the milk anyway, does it get tossed?

I die each time I lose my mind, bits and pieces gone forever, and missing memories I shan’t recover

The spirit gets discouraged, wants to quit, to scream fuck it

What exactly are you hoping for when the future is not a guarantee?

Being alive scares the shit out of me, it’s the goiter in my throat and sugar overload tummy ache

I am terrified of being alone

I am terrified of losing my Christmas people and the only ones I have needed

I am terrified peering through the white light wreathes, red ribbon bow glass panes filled with pretty, fresh linen tablecloth settings, red poinsettias, little ones smiling and dancing in plaid flannel PJs
I am terrified of shiny new-new families while I grow old

I hate Christmas

There, I said it

I hate Christmas because it’s the in your face reminder of the incredible luck I have been blessed with and the over-abundant love and over-bearing souls

A mother who cannot stay here forever, with me, a brother who challenges my every word and makes me fight hard, harder

For them, I am more than nobody

I am worthy

I’ve always been worth it no matter the mad hatter, nuttier than a fruit-bread, fruit-loaf, fruitcake (gross), or some idiot’s ignorant punchline I bear
 
There’s a tiny, rundown white house up the street where an elderly man lives.
 
His name is Ed, he doesn’t have any lights or decorations, or any visitors cars parked outside his door
 
Ed fell last winter, it was 10 degrees and I stayed with him, helped get him back into his car and to safety
 
He stopped me recently
I’d forgotten all about it and said, “hey, are you that Cioffa girl who helped last winter?”

I nodded and smiled, “no big deal.”

I am that Cioffa girl I thought to myself smiling proud 

“I’m Ed.”
“Hi Ed.”
I don’t think Ed has anyone, and he really is HOME ALONE on Christmas.
 
When I’m presented with difficult, challenging, scary and uncomfortable situations which is often,
I always ask what would my father do?
 
I didn’t try to fight or hold back the river of tears because missing him and the crucial piece of my heart he holds, is misery.

I hate Christmas because nothing stays the same, and life moves forward exactly as it should

I cry, weep and let it spill onto the pillowcase as I close my weary eyes

I can see his beautiful smile, feel his goodness and understand he is here with me despite my doubts

Encompassing me in a safety bubble of the most spectacular pretty, plentiful colorful Christmas magic

“Go on you silly girl, you have everything
You do
Bring Ed some cookies, your mother might get mad
But, it’s only pretend mad”
 
And that’s what we do in my home on the Eve of Christmas

We pretend smile and suddenly a baby’s giggles are infectious, and tiny flannel feet pitter-patter makes life less heavy and more manageable

Makes the magic real

I love the twinkle and sparkle of the lights, I will keep the starlight and the afterglow 

As the reminder the magic lives in the light-hearted
 
 
orbs
 
To believe in the memories because they are timeless
No one can take away or live the miracles, they are yours good and bad
The miracle of Christmas is the the star stuff dust you are already

 

Christmas, I hate you a little more and a little less

 

This is my Christmas wish to the brokenhearted

I hope your slumber is serene and the day’s beating heart comes tender, sweet and steady

I hope the joy finds its way inside your heart, hearth and home