Deep Breath and Smile

Why is it that it always takes a tragedy to wake us up? Can’t we all live a life that is caring, selfless, and kind? Why do we always need a kick in the butt to make us see? I know for me, I’ve had many times where I have “sat back” to take stock of my life. I would see areas I lack in and would make mental goals to do better in these places I lack. But somehow my resolutions faded into the mist that sometimes seeps into my soul.

I think about humanity and the depths of depravity we can sink to. How can one human do horrible things to another human? It doesn’t make sense to me. Is it that hard to be kind to others? You know, we can never tell for sure what is going on in someone else’s life. In my opinion, it’s a good idea to give others the benefit of the doubt….. you know? I mean, if someone is at a cash register acting like a total whack job; it can be extremely trying to our thinning patience. But if we smile and treat the individual  with kindness it will make a difference–if not in the whacko, then in us. I am learning that if we pour out ourselves, even in the smallest of ways, I believe it always makes a difference in us and hopefully to someone else as well. So the next time someone ruffles our feathers- take a deep breath, smile, and be kind.

(Disclaimer–While all of the previous thoughts are wildly beneficial; I must also confess that I have what you would say, “lost it” a time or two. I’m a work in progress. 🙂 )

 

The Anatomy of an American Trucker

 

I never really thought about the lives of truck drivers much. Really, the only thinking I had was that the truck was in my way as I drove! Six years ago I married the sweetest man alive who happens to be a truck driver. Over these years, I traveled with him many times on the road. I always had my camera ready to chronicle our journeys. I thought it would be good to give you all a small taste of the life of an American Truck Driver. (Please note that the quality of many of the photos may be skewed a bit as they were taken from inside the truck behind the windshield covered with bugs.)

scars

at the beginning all seemed right

now i’m drowning in the night

upside down i’m sinking

can’t stop what i’m thinking

didn’t you know it was true?

fire leaves a scar on you

donna marie

Small Town Humanity

I took pictures in our downtown today. I wanted to capture the people in a small town. I can imagine the difference between our idyllic town and a larger city like New York. The place I took pictures is the hub of our town, yet the people are sporadic throughout the city. My oldest son lives in Washington D.C. and when he comes to visit, he’s amazed at little movement is outside. He said it was so quiet. Just the way I like it.  

 

Don’t Be a Sloth

Dress the same, hair is blah, no make-up, no one stand out- that’s wrong you know. Don’t talk back or speak your mind; that’s not allowed here. Wake up early  before the sun; being a sloth is a sin. Begin the day of endless work, but first don’t forget to pray. If you do you’re in disgrace. Get your kids up, dress them well, make sure their room is clean. Make them breakfast, wipe it up; now let the school work begin. Teaching five different kids is what’s required, whether you believe in homeschooling or not. Frustrated here, this is hard; I’m not a teacher you know. While they’re learning, make sure you’re busy doing something good. Sewing my clothes, making floral wreaths and arrangements, crocheting baby clothes, cooking from scratch, cleaning every detail of my home in order to escape shame in front of all. Go to church three times a week with your toddlers at your feet. Keep them quiet, or else. Weed the gardens, plant the vegetables- make it perfect you know. Gather the harvest, wash them all clean, sort them into their piles. Canning all you are able to; so tired from the day. Kids need bathed, stories need read; tuck the kids in bed. Can rest come? No- not ever. Omgoodness I forgot– do the laundry! (For seven people) All the while, tamp down the terror occupying my head that I’ll never be enough.

So while I acknowledge that the prior chores I listed are in and of themselves a good thing. What I am contending is that when religious leaders misuse scriptures and twist them to say what they want to manipulate good, earnest people is despicable. To be required to perform more duties that cannot reasonably fit in a day to be deemed “holy” or “close to God” is sick. I want people to understand that this happened every day, all day. My mind never had a moment’s peace. The church services were long and arduous making it was difficult to keep small children quiet. Every action was “spiritualized”. It was as if there was a constant hammer ready to pound me.  God is not like that. He is merciful. I used to know this before the “lord’s farm”. It is taking me much time to get it to sink in. I will keep at it though.

coming apart

when waiting on you breaks my heart, there’s no one else i can blame

i trudge my way back to the start, but find no one else in this game

 

trying to pick myself up, is more of a task than i knew

the pieces inside just erupt, and i find them messed up and askew

 

the glue isn’t holding so well, my brain melts them just at the thought

it breaks them and throws them pell-mell, while i see it was all just for naught

 

i’m angry and tired of this, it seems that i fell from the boat

i was swimming so as not to miss, the only thing keeping me afloat.

donna marie

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