Jul 27, 2018

I Rose Where I Fell

I spent years volunteering for every job placed in front of me. Church was the biggest abuser of my willingness to serve. One year my friend Debby and I made all the costumes for the Christmas pageant. There were a thousand excuses why no one could help, but plenty of criticism about everything from color of robe to length of belt. Debby and I worked until two and three in the morning sewing, adding trim, and researching the look of Roman uniforms to the ceremonial wear of the high priest. We wanted the clothing to look as authentic as we could produce on a nothing budget. People needed so I exhausted myself to the point of illness trying to fulfill whatever that need was.

Year upon year I pushed myself until I was literally empty. I slammed into that metaphorical wall and I was done. I realized I had to be my priority. I was tired of being tired from helping without help in return. I became my own protector. I learned to say no. I learned to say it without guilt. 

I Rose Where I Fell

I used to twirl
in everyone else’s dance
until I bled every drop
of my do into their won’t.

Pale as a sacrifice I rose
where I fell and drank
from the well of self.

Belittle, berate, I no
longer hesitate to
prioritize I before you.

©Susie Clevenger 2018

Feb 4, 2018

Splinters

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

My grandfather was always inserting bits of wisdom in the oddest moments. Recently reflecting on the last time we were together, I wondered why grandpa thought eating ice cream was such a great time to speak on splinters.

“David, you have to barefoot walk some parts of life. You’ll never know how good soft shoes feel until you’ve toe limped with splinters.  It’s the thing that slows you down that shows you if the destination is worth the journey.”

I wish grandpa had written a lesson plan on how to appreciate treasure before it was lost to an obituary.


Jan 10, 2018

A Bit of the Devil


“Dear, you are wicked. Why do you insist on leaving that spider to act as host for your house plants?”

“Oh, it’s a bit of the devil in me who likes to scare a curse out of the sainted Mary every time she goes to pinch and pity speech my meager attempt at gardening. The cackles dancing from my lips aggravate her so much she huffs out like I had just slapped a priest’s bottom.”

“Well, add that to your list of offenses. It appears the Sacred Crochet Circle will be forgoing their stitches again to do another tea/exorcism.”

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