Monthly Archives: February 2016

Cancer Saved Her Life

Cancer: it destroys organs, normal lives, families. This disease, that we as a society know all too well, starts in our cells and ends with one less person in the annual Christmas card. Dealing with cancer is consumed with Chemo, hair loss, and white blood cell counts, but in some cases there is something more than just mutating cells.

I was four when my Grandma was first diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Her whole adult life, she was plagued with depression, only seeing the incorrect brush strokes of life’s big picture. But cancer changed her. I grew up seeing my grandmother enduring hours of chemotherapy and starting to regularly attend my church. With hair loss came losing the importance of utmost perfection in her life. When counting white blood cells, blessings were counted too. On her long and twisted journey to becoming a better person, the cancer was always there, lurking. But I think that was what pushed her forward.

Cancer often ends lives, but with my Grandma’s diagnosis she started a new one. Sometimes the darkest moments in our lives are the ones most needed. Cancer is horrible, scary and degrading, but as my Grandma used to always say ‘you can either laugh or cry’ and she laughed with a passion. This depressing, distressing, dismal disease can be either heartbreaking or heart-making.

Her journey ended, but she was glad to be able to have nine years to see her three granddaughters grow up and have the time to grow in her faith. When life sentences us with a last chance, it can be viewed as a second chance.


Published in Creative Communications Spring 2016 Essay Contest

 

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How Many Times

How many times do I thank God for you?

How many times do I wish I could be with you?

How many times do I stand in awe of you?

How many times do I wish I said I love you?

How many times do I regret my harsh words?

How many times do I apologize and wish it was out loud to you?

How many times do I realize that you are too good for me?

How many times do I wish I said you are beautiful?

How many times do I wish I said how much I admire you?

How many times do I stand in awe that you are mine?

How many times do I wish I thanked you?

How many times do I want to never leave you?

How many times do I wish I said what you mean to me?

Never enough

Me: Year One

365 days ago I logged onto WordPress for the first time and willing to take those first few keystrokes literally changed my life. This being my 225th post, I figured I would break through the computer screen talk/type a bit about my blogging experience.

By blogging I pushed myself to become a better writer; not only that but a better person too. Creating this blog has lead to new friends, new or deeper ideals, various awards, and expressing myself in ways that my daily journal could not.

I think some of the things that really changed my process and style of writing was participating in NaPoWriMo which was extremely challenging as I made a foolish goal of trying – succeeding mind you – for 50 posts instead of the required 30. I learned how to look at the world around me for inspiration whereas I had always looked into myself. By doing this and having recently re-dedicated my life to Christ near this time I began to see through my writing a better outlook on life I was developing.

A huge contributor to growing my blog size was looking for similar interested people on WordPress. Just by my sheer likes and followers I have, am I amazed that enough people like my thoughts on the world in the way I express them. I wrote about this before, but I find it so interesting that I learn of a person’s deepest emotions without ever knowing there name or anything about them beyond their ‘About Me’ page. I have found people who I would call true friends that live hundreds to thousands of miles away from me!

I do not believe starting a blog could have been as beneficial than when I started it. It helped me figure out questions and answer those questions in a constructive way and something to look back on to see my thoughts again. As I have said time and time again, I found who I am, but also what I stand for.

As you can probably see from my right side-bar I have had the honor to be published twice – hopefully soon I can make that a third time – and currently awaiting to see if one of my plays can be performed.

As of today, I have been writing everyday from 641 days straight with only missing two days of forgetting to write. Sometimes I hand-write for four hours and other times only ten minutes, but it always helps to put my day and feelings about it in colorful pen.

Although I do not talk a lot about it on this blog, even though part of my user name is the title, I am writing a novel called Varietal. Oh I know most people say they are, but it never goes anywhere, but I prefer to be an outlier in that generalization. My novel is currently 48,000 words which roughly transfers to about 185 pages in a book. I am no where near finished, but I had to start all over and scrape it all this summer. It is the exact opposite of what I normally read, but something that I love to write. The best way to describe it is novel driven by theme with touches of political satire.

I have only one regret about this blog. My username/pen-name. I think Marvel Varietal was a good fit in the beginning of my blog, but not for the current writer I am. Sadly, it is very hard to change once I am this far. I would want my username to be CallMeDearest. Because of Matthew 25: 21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” I want to be God’s faithful servant, his Dearest servant. Another reason is because a great mentor and friend calls me ‘dearest’ followed by my first name.

My absolute favorite quote about writing is written by Tahereh Mafi, “We write every day, we fight every day, we think and scheme and dream a little dream every day. Manuscripts pile up in the kitchen sink, run-on sentences dangle around our necks. We plant purple prose in our gardens and snip the adverbs only to thread them in our hair. We write with no guarantees, no certainties, no promises of what might come and we do it anyway. This is who we are.”

So that is about my two cents on my 365 days of blogging! 🙂

I recently wrote a bit about my writing for another blog and I thought I would share part of it here:

I am floating in a river of words, letting the current carry me where the individual droplets think my expression should go. I create tributaries into new styles when trying new forms, but the river has remained in the same direction. Writing not only helps me find who I am, but what I stand for. Certain forms and ideas cling closer to my pen such as poetry and short stories. I drink in my words and let them reconcile my thoughts. The seemingly never-ending pelting drops of life rain down on me and writing enables me to spray my turmoils into water bottles, fish bowls and swimming pools. I have found my specific current, my writer’s voice is forging a picturesque straightforward concept and then finding a crack to exploit in it. As I look back, I see how fragile and vulnerable my creations were, how, that life-giving sustenance slipped through my fingers. However, I am also proud to see that those pieces were put to use to help me get to this point in my river.

Wondering what is around the next river bend,

Marvel Varietal

year one

Delusions Vs. Allusions

I am no dreamer

Creating Holland meadows of tulips

out of the daring dandelion growing in the crack in the broken sidewalk

I am no dreamer

Conjuring Olympic gold medals for swimming

when I just learned the back stroke

I am no dreamer

but I do dabble a little in daydreams

My dreams are not as high as the Kilimanjaro

Nor as vast a child’s cry in Africa

My dreams are the small hills of corn fields in Nebraska

My dreams are the length of one corner to the other in a smile

My dreams are not loud and pumpkin carriages

but kept to my private thoughts and fresh made pies in a dwarf cottage

I am no dreamer

I make do not make delusions of grandeur

I make allusions of hope

Sometimes

The world isn’t giving me hope

So I create a little of my own.

Tick Tick Tick

Tick

Tick

Tick

I hear my wrist watch tick the seconds go by

Seconds of my life

Seconds of my life I use to make the next days better

to make the next years better

to make others better.

All the days, year, even others

come from these seconds.

Tick

Tick

Tick

Around and around the second hand goes

about my wrist watch face.

Again and again it ticks by,

slowly

haltingly.

So repetitive it is,

and yet I will never have that

repetitive second

back again.

Tick

Tick

Tick

I listen to my life slowly tick away,

by your count.

Oh the second hand of my wrist watch,

must you tick so loudly?

Must you tick so loudly

to make me know your owner more?

Your owner,

Master Time.

Do you tick so loudly

to warn me

to persuade me

to protect me

to encourage me

to know that my time with your

master

ends?

Tick

Tick

Tick

I hear the seconds,

not the minutes

not the hours

not the days

not the weeks

not the months

not the years

not the decades

but the seconds.

I hear the smallest of time.

time-371226_640

A Storm

Above the world is water dancing in the sky. The humidity rises and water vapor can waltz and flow across the sky. The wind pushes and pulls the water from one end of the heavens to the other. The water dances in the sky.

It collects and combines into clouds, some puffy white others dark and stormy. The clouds eat each other up to form massive congregations of water. Each with its curves and edges and corners and boundaries. Each with its shapes that people transform in their minds. Each with a tummy darker than the rest of it, no matter if it is puffy white or dark and stormy.

The air is heavy with water, and not just the air up in the sky. In through the nose it is heavy and moist, almost tangible to the taste. It is the smell of new leaves and wet paper and fresh skin and cooked greens and clean glass. The skin gets a little cooler and the wind gives it a little kiss. The air is heavy and cool with water giving sign to a storm.

The clouds hover over the earth, waiting and watching. Waiting to collect enough water to drop on the earth below. Watching over everything, but seeing nothing. The clouds above the world, in the midst of dancing water, only waiting to drop what they have collected. Waiting and watching.

And they wait no more.

Down they let their precious cargo, down they let their treasure, down they let their trash, down they let themselves. The rain pours. Each drop sways in the wind, but with a final destination. The water does not dance in the wind anymore. It does not have time to frolic in the sky, but must get to the grass, pond, rooftop, hair, log, leaf, clothing. The rain has a destination, with no mind of its own. And so the wind still tries to get the raindrops to dance.

Off in the distance is a wonderful strike of brilliant light, here one moment and gone another. The lightning shines and shows off its beauty, silently calling to it lover. Waiting for the response back.

One second away

Two seconds away

Three seconds away

Thunder makes itself known, thunder bellows its response to its darling. Thunder yells to all the world that lightning is its mate. Thunder calls to its heart that he will be with her once again. Thunder tells lightning that he will come closer, try harder, be nicer, be softer, be faithful, be kinder, be there. But thunder is known for being rough and far away and being loud and being strong and being free, not a lover. Of breaking promises.

Lightning flashes and dances and spins and twirls and does everything it can to be the best. To be the most beautiful, to be the most stunning, to be the most daring, to be the most of everything. Lightning tries to the win the heart of her lover. Lightning tries and tries.

One second away

Two seconds away

Thunder is enticed and comes closer, wowed by the majesty and splendor of the show lightning put on for him. He wants to use her, he wants to watch her out do herself in competing for his heart. Competing only with her former performance. Thunder watches her dance and dance and try and try. Thunder watches. Waiting for her to fail, for him to find something better.

Lightning breaking trees and sets fire to them, trying to impress thunder. Lightning makes the stars look dim compared to her radiance, trying to impress thunder. Lightning makes the sun look pale, trying to impress thunder. Lightning makes the night sky light up like day, trying to impress thunder. Lightning tries to impress thunder.

One second away

Thunder slowly, sarcastically claps, seeing if he can make lightning try harder to impress him. He wants a show, he wants beauty at its finest or none at all. Thunder waits for more.

Lightning is tired of giving thunder her all. She wants him to love her for who she is – a force of nature meant to be. Not meant to impress because is not she already impressive enough for just being? Lightning wants to see if she won her lover’s heart, not his eyes. Lightning stops trying to impress. Lightning stops. Lightning waits.

Nothing.

Thunder is not there to be impressed. Thunder is only an effect of lightning. Thunder cannot be won because he is only a reflection of lightning. Thunder is nothing without lightning.

Lightning has stopped dancing and so has water. But wind still tries to make the raindrops dance.

Oh, the magnificent science behind a storm, behind clouds, behind the sky. How everything is just right for the water to collect, for the water to fall. For the sky to be illuminated with lightning and to make its presence known with thunder. The science and precision in its own right is a glorious beauty. To be seen with eyes, to be heard with the ears, to be felt with the skin, to be smelled with the nose, to tasted with the mouth; that is another miracle. For one event to bring in all the senses and equally electrify them, is an effect few events have.

 

lightning-399853_960_720

Pixabay/user:sethink