Circle of Friends – Week 2

Each Sunday in May (yes, I know.. I am very late!), I will be joining Raili @ Soul Gifts for Circle of Friends. Hop on over and join us!

This week’s prompt for friendship is “close friends” and Raili has given us quite a few questions to focus our attention on:

Who is your closest friend? Is there one or more?  It may be someone from childhood. It may be your faithful four legged friend.  Is it someone who has come into your life recently yet feels like you have known each other forever? What is it about them that makes them so special? What senses (sight, sound, smell, feel) do they evoke in you? What memories do you share? What form does your special relationship take? Do you bare your heart and soul to each other, warts and all? Do you laugh, cry, celebrate life together? How often do you catch up with each other? Is it in person, by phone, through social media? Is it someone you  rarely connect with, yet each time you do, you pick up as if it were only yesterday? Is it someone who has passed through your life yet the memories retain a closeness?

I don’t have many close friends period. Not online or off. I can pretty much count on both hands how many people I am close to. I am not sure it has to do with trust issues as I am a fairly trusting person. I think it has more to do with those who’ve stuck by me through all of my mental illness issues and come out of it fairly unscathed. It’s not easy remaining friends with someone who suffers from mental illness when you don’t. I am only in constant contact with four of my closest friends – Lisa, Claire, Brenda and Annette, with Annette being the one I try to talk to every day.

Annette lives in Cali and we met through our blogs. We’ve only been friends since January, but it feels like a lifetime. Our lives share some commonalities and we both struggle with our pasts. We are both on paths of healing and recovery and I think that is what binds us together the most. She is my ray of sunshine when the dark clouds loom overhead. If I need cheering up, I just need to message her.

Lisa is the selfish friend I talk about often. Most days it is a real struggle to remain friends with her and we’ve had our moments where we haven’t spoken for months over disagreements. I guess I remain friends with her in the hopes that some of my finer qualities will wear off on her. Still, she is the only friend that lives in my small town and we’ve been friends since high school. It’s kind of hard to break that long-term bond. We talk on the phone a few of times a week (she’d prefer every day, but I just cannot take her every day) and get together every couple of months.

Claire is my friend and Reiki Master. We generally chat about spiritual matters. We are both highly sensitive people, so we discuss how the world around us affects us. She is also an artist and writer, so we have those things in common too. We met during my second semester at Hollins College (Spring of 1994) and have been great friends ever since. Unfortunately, she lives about 3 hrs away and we rarely get to see one another. We communicate via email and Facebook.

Brenda is the greatest friend. She is like me, slightly introverted but also a bit social. She and I can be around one another and just be quiet, no need to really be chatty at all and just enjoy one another’s company. We met while attending the local community college back in 1991. We both took a creative writing class and have enjoyed one another’s poetry ever since. Brenda lives about 45 mins away and we get together off and on throughout the year. Otherwise, we talk on the phone or via Facebook.

 

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A Melancholy Day

Today has been a melancholy day for me. I was reminded of so many things via reading Calen over at Impromptu Promptlings. She had two posts that sent me into a flood of memories. The first moment came via her post Bittersweet over my cat, Lynx. My gorgeous silvery-grey Birman with blue eyes.

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Lynx

I remember the day he followed Impy into the house when I lived in Roanoke Virginia. He just pranced in like he belonged there. I called him “hey cat” for a couple of days and realized that he was not going away. When Impy went out, he went out. When she came in, he came in. It was obvious that he would be sticking around. So sitting at my desk one afternoon, his name suddenly came to me. I called it out: “Lynx!” and he came running and jumped into my lap and snuggled up to me. It was as though he’d been waiting for someone, somewhere to finally know his name and say it aloud. This began a beautiful kinship with him. I dragged my four beautiful cats all the way from Virginia to Oklahoma in the spring of 2005 – Lynx, Impy, Mystra, and Bandit.

Lynx was my only male cat and when he came into my life, my large orange tabby named Spice disappeared. Prior to that when Spice arrived, I had a big grey cat named Mr. Grey. He disappeared when Spice arrived. Do you notice a pattern here? Apparently one male cat at a time for me. For three years, Lynx came and went at that place in Oklahoma without alarm. And then one cold late October evening, I arrived home from work and found a small black furry kitten outside my home. The kitten was so skinny under all of that fur and its meow was so alluring that I picked the little thing up and brought it into the house. I should have known better. I should have checked its sex before I even brought it in. I’d seen the pattern, I knew the pattern and I ultimately knew what would happen, though I disregarded it that night. The kitten, whom I named Miyu, was male and two weeks later, Lynx was gone. He simply vanished as had Spice and Mr. Grey before him. I was devastated. I am still devastated. No cat had ever responded to me the way Lynx did and none has since.

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Miyu

The next moment of melancholia that swept over me was when Calen had written about closing doors. At the beginning of January this year, I too closed a door on a long time friend.

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Jaime

We’d been separated since 2005 when I moved to Oklahoma, but had maintained some contact for a few years after that. Around 2010, the memories of our friendship flooded me over and over again. I needed her in my life and was desperate to get in touch with her again. All I knew was that she’d moved from Roanoke VA with her partner and was suppose to settle somewhere close to Maryland, perhaps still in Virginia, but I didn’t know where. She didn’t answer her phone. She ignored all of my emails. I was again devastated.

For 5 years, on her birthday in May and on Christmas, I would send her emails to all of the email addresses I had from her. I would give her my email address and my current phone number. Every once in a while I would get a small response from her, but just the one. Once, she found me on my WordPress blog, but when I responded back to her, she didn’t reply back. Finally, this year I’d had enough. Enough of the begging, enough of the heartache from the loss of friendship, enough of missing her. And, I closed that door. It hurts so deeply, like someone split open my heart with a long knife and let all of the love I had for her bleed out. A long, slow bleed. I still miss her, but I can no longer hold on to someone who wants to be set free. And I need to be free as well.

Calen probably has no idea the gift she gave to me today. Melancholy doesn’t always have to be depressing. In fact, it allowed me to take a trip through my photos to find the pictures I posted above. It also reminded me that my life is filled with happenstance.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 4

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for Cee’s Share Your World

What one thing are you really glad you did yesterday?

I was able to help my dad buy a few groceries for the house, even though I won’t be eating most of them. It’s a good feeling when I have a little money left-over to help him out. He does so much for me and my brother that’s it’s nice to give him a break once in a while.

Are you generally focused on today or tomorrow?

I am focused only on today. There is no yesterday or tomorrow, there is only NOW.

Would you want a guardian angel/mentor? What would they tell you right now?

I already have a guardian angel. Her name is Charmeine, the Angel of Harmony. She has been guiding me for quite some time now. I also have a spirit guide named Catharine, who is also my muse. And I have an Andromedan guide named Fulsan. They all keep me pretty sane. They all relay various messages to me. Charmeine would tell me to let go of disharmony and embrace LOVE.

Would you rather live in a cave house or a dome house made out of glass?

I would much rather live in a dome house made out of glass. I lived in a house for 9 years that felt like a cave and rarely had any sunlight streaming inside. No thanks! I would never live like that again. Give me lots of windows and lots of light instead!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

From last week, I am grateful that we finally got some snow and I didn’t have to go out in it. Instead, I got to see it falling from my window.

This week coming up, I am looking forward to getting back into writing. I have 29 horror stories to prepare for February. I am excited and a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing.

#joyfuljan – Day Two

For today’s #joyfuljan, I have found joy in a very simple act: sipping a cup of coffee. Some may be asking, “what is so joyful about that?” Well, let me tell you…

When I was a child and up to my teenage years, my father worked the night shift and would come home in the wee hours of the morning. I remember having his cup of decaf coffee waiting for him and enjoying that peaceful moment before the house got busy just sitting and listening to him tell me about his night at work. That is JOY!

I also remember when I was in college at Hollins and stayed with my friend Claire. She made THE best cup of coffee, a mixture of strong coffee and chicory. Now when I sip strong coffee, which I do quite often, I reflect back on those days in her apartment and all of the fun we had discussing writing or mythology or philosophy. That is JOY!

And then there were all of those late nights at the Bull Pen where I once worked and sitting there with Jaime, sipping coffee and chatting up the waitresses, Mary or Beulah. And how wonderful it felt to just have someone close in my life who really got me and was there whenever I needed a friend. That is JOY!

And I recall those wonderful mornings on the back porch with my mate at the time, Tanya, and how we would sit there listening to the ravens cawing and sipping our coffee. We only lived there for 6 months and most of that time was in the cool-to-cold months of the year. It was freezing most mornings, but we still sat there, listening, sipping, and being completely at peace. That too is JOY!

So yes, sipping a simple cup of coffee brings back so many memories for me and so much joyfulness back into my life.


 

Throughout the month of January, I will be celebrating Joyful January with Satya and Kaspa over at Writing Our Way Home