Wretched

I wish

Truth

Wasn’t such an allergen.

 

That people didn’t shy from honesty

Like a flame edged sword.

 

I wish

Love

Was given in equal measure.

 

Not plucked from one

And doted on the favorite.

 

I wish

I wasn’t smiling

While my heart

My whole being

Cries

 

The most

Sorrowful

Sobs

Of loneliness

 

Of absolute

Mystified

Bewilderment

 

At how so much

Hate

Is slipped between

Our love

Like so much unimportance

 

We are killing each other

One apathetic gesture at a time.

 

Uncaring

Dishonest

Unloving

 

I pray for something

More

Something

Real

 

And hope

With teeth clenched

Eyes squeezed shut

Hands of my heart, wringing

Like an innocent maiden

From long ago

Before everything was cheap

 

While I smile

A hollow smile

That we both know

Is fake.

 

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Something Whispers

When I am empty

That is it.

But I always seem

To fill up

Once again

 

Just so you can

Poke holes in me

Poisonous words

Lashing into the

Soul you always

…what word goes here?

 

Shaped into something

Beyond

Recognition

 

Soft thumps

Abrade the inside

Of my rib cage

And something odd

Flitters through

My chest

 

It isn’t life

Its tubing

Left there from

When I hated myself

A little less

 

Electronic beeping

Reminding me

To pretend

I am human

Breathing

Alive

 

I am not

Not today

Not inside this skin

Which itches

And weakens

 

Not inside

This mind

That falls down

So easily

 

Sometimes it seems

So silly

That I ever thought

I could be real

 

To live with grace

To walk without oiled joints

Or charged lights

Behind my eyes

From which everything

Was stolen

 

(by me)

(something whispers)

 

I forgot

I was the one

Behind the mask

Wearing the gloves

Leaving no trace

 

Can anyone see me?

 

I forgot

I was the one

Who let this happen

Who roused from slumber

And did nothing

Who watched from behind

Serpent eyes

And let you die

 

Losing no sleep

Losing no hope

Because I never

Gave myself any

 

Not now

 

Can anyone hear me?

 

I don’t want to remember

The disjointed story

Of who I was

When I bled

 

…when was that?

Was it real?

 

I wonder

If it would hurt less

If I was never human at all

 

Simply a stain on the porcelain

Shadow

Slipping down the time

The sand

Shivering down the hourglass

 

Unnoticed

But watching

Examining

Remembering

The very definition of all

And yet so utterly devoid

 

Knowing all

Understanding none of it

But remembering

Remembering

 

I forgot

How to tell the truth

Or which it was

 

Can you feel me?

 

Not now…

 

I forgot

How to speak

Without a tongue

How to see

Without a spine

 

Can I walk

Knowing the many times

My very breath crawled

 

Is it possible

That I never really forgot

 

Why?

Why do we torture ourselves?

How many of us are there

In here?

This one little body

 

Pieces hiding

Shuffling about

Slipping behind curtains

Fixing smeared mascara

Redressing so no one notices

 

Their stories

Are shuttered up

Dust chokes the sunrises

Moonlight can’t hide

The shadows

 

Our stories

Not to be remembered

Not now…

 

I forgot

How the tip of a fingernail

Could hold so many

Dead skin cells

 

They aren’t all mine

 

(yes they are)

(something whispers)

 

And I deny everything

Black lipstick that doesn’t

Smudge

Or leave

Photos behind

 

Because I can’t remember

How to tell myself

The truth

Of it all

 

When I do

I wonder

Would it be better

To never have lived inside

This damaged structure

So stone like

Easily breakable

 

And no, I wasn’t

Made by accident

Why does everyone ask?

We all clamber around

Waiting for a story to be

Unfolded

It wasn’t an accident

We remember

I shake my head

We know

Our skin

My skin

We feel

 

It’s like they can see

I’m made from

Different coincidences

Kissing beneath the

Atom bomb

 

Waiting for something

To change

Or someone

To notice

The shadows

Etched into my bones.

 

(can anyone see me?)

(no, I don’t think I can)

(something whispers)

 

By Daphne Shadows

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good luck putting a title on this one

do you ever get to the point where you’re ready for a nap – from life?

just curl up and sleep for days

or maybe pause time every day for four hours and sleep

then do something for fun

something you enjoy

do something ONLY for the purpose of enjoyment and fun

and then start life up again

go back to the responsibilities, the challenges

 

I feel like i’m there again

how?

because I wore myself out

again

I can’t even be bothered to capitalize the beginnings of my sentences. check that out! that’s a tired writer. and I didn’t even put periods on any of those ones up there.

 

life is a lot more than tiring, exhausting, responsibilities, and challenges

but we don’t get to see that if all we do is wear ourselves out

and then wonder

why we’re so dead outside and in

 

how do I get here?

again and again and again and again

it’s like i’m a record that NEVER got old enough to skip. just keeps turning and turning, playing the same songs on repeat

 

I know how I get here

I DON’T do anything for fun. just for the enjoyment.

those things aren’t really JUST for enjoyment. they are absolutely purposeful. they’re what keep us alive. really alive. not just faking it with our zombie walk and plastic, forced smiles.

enjoyment. fun. these things are the purpose of life

and I keep missing them

in the hustle, the bustle, and the bloody rat race to make enough money to survive

in the false belief that if I don’t __________ then i’m not a “real adult”

ha!

how ridiculous

we make these rules up and then beat ourselves with them

and we mock people who self-flagellate! we’re doing the same thing – only in a myriad of different ways and for a thousand bucketfuls of different reasons excuses

 

today what would I like to do?

right now?

this very moment?

i’d love to go for a run with some music and no one to see

read a book

get lost in mythology

walk my dog

i’d love to work on my novel – which I have not given much commitment since it isn’t seen as a “real job” because it doesn’t make me money right this second and I’m not making myself or my calling a priority

funny

that’s come up a few times in the past few weeks

i’m working with this woman who seems to be the feather tipping my scales of self-realization

you know how you need like a gazillion people and situations telling you the same thing until you finally allow it to not only sink in, but to accept it as truth?

sometimes I think God is probably rubbing His temples, wondering how I ever got so fully brainwashed and stuck there even though He’s sent countless people and occurrences my way to get my head straightened out

 

writing isn’t just something I like doing

I am good at writing (it’s hard for me to type that)

writing is my calling in life. it’s my purpose. i was made to be a writer. i am a writer.  God crafted me to write stories.

and i’m suffocating

myself

by not writing

seriously, if I didn’t blog here, on my new blog, or write in a journal, or save pins on Pinterest of fantastical creatures and myths… i’d probably be in a mental institution for real

i’m cutting myself off from myself

 

i’m in a constant state of moving, doing. i’m in a frenzy

basically dying

 

could it maybe be

that if i’d take time

make it a priority

make a commitment

to myself

to  use my time

every week

toward me

and research

write

run

lift weights

brush, walk, and love my dog

get lost in a story

research fun stuff and blog on it

…that i’d not get to this point

of utter exhaustion

sure, i’d still probably

have issues

 

but perhaps

they wouldn’t hurt

so badly

 

If i sought out

creativity

within me

if i tried

something new

that i’d remember how to breathe?

 

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Did You Know Flowers Have Vascular Tissue?

That’s right.  We aren’t the only ones with blood vessels.

Well… flowers don’t have blood vessels.

But they do have a vascular system sorta kinda like ours.

 

 

Gina cut the bottoms of the rose stems before she put them in a bucket filled with water and plant food. (I mean, that’s not all she did, but for the purposes of this post, that’s all you need to know.)

I stalker-ishly watched her and peppered her with questions.

 

Plant tissue is made up of  xylem and phloem.

Xylem delivers nutrients to the flower’s head.

Phloem pushes waste out of the bottom of the stem.

 

When we bring flowers home in a bouquet (as in, not growing in a pot but there for pretty decoration until they wilt and die), we need to cut the bottom of the stems off and then put them in water with plant food.

This opens up the flowers’ vascular tissues to eat nutrients and dispose of waste.

 

….Had no clue flowers had WASTE.

I mean, now that I think about it, it’s obviously common sense.

 

Also, when a flower’s stem is droopy, it’s a lot harder to get the nutrients to the flower.

Have a droopy rose?

Yeah, it’s gonna die a lot sooner than your roses with a strong, straight stem.

Because the nutrients can’t get to the flower.

 

 

How do I know all of this?

This writer found herself a real life, in the flesh, walking horticulturist-research-gold-mine. I speak of the amazing Gina of Gina’s Floral Enchantment, who can make your wedding or funeral AMAZING.

So you know, when you die and haunt your funeral, your immortal soul will be all shiny with happiness at all the pretty flowers smelling up the place…with, uh, good smells. Unless you happen to be going to Hell or something like that, and then, well, flowers aren’t going to do anything for you.

But seriously though, if you’re getting married in California – go to Gina!

Or you know, any time you want to send someone flowers.

 

On another note, I wish flowers stayed in the BLOOM stage forever and never died.

But they don’t. They wither and die. 😦

Regardless, feed your flowers! So they can be happy until they go to heaven.

Side Note; I wonder if every time a flower dies, it pops up in heaven. Then stays fully bloomed all day long (or night, depending on the species of flower), never going out of season.

 

This message was brought to you by a slightly dazed and very overstimulated Daphne-writer person who apologizes for any inaccuracies as she’s not a genius or expert on much except bare minimum survival and insanity. If you have any issue with what’s been written – too bad. Don’t bother suing, she doesn’t have any money.

 

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I Dreamt I was Loki

It’s true.

I had a dream I was Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

Don’t worry, it’s not the first time that I’ve dreamt I was a dude. The first time that happened, I was Will Smith.

Which is weird, considering I like being a chick.

*shrug*

Perhaps it’s a writerly thing.

 

Anywho… back to me being Loki.

*wiggles eyebrows*

 

 

The entire human species was on a living ship in the depths of the ocean. I say ship and not submarine because somehow it was a bloody ship and we weren’t covered in water even though we were submerged in it.

It’s a dream. Run with me here.

Something was causing a huge hole in the bottom of the ship, which was allowing water to actually get into it. Or onto it. Whatever. Hole in the bottom – death by drowning looming on the human race.

Loki (me) was trying to help Captain America and Thor fix the issue. In the beginning of the dream Loki was a bad guy but by this point he (me) is an anti-hero. So, a good guy. Trying to save all the people.

Glad you’re all caught up. Moving on.

Then my grandma is in the dream, and she’s in one of the bottom levels of the ship (it has loads of levels, because you know, entire population of world stuffed in there) and her dog (she doesn’t have one in real life) is dying. She was above her sleeping area in another level at the time of the hole being created and escaped with a lot of others.

She called me (Loki) to save her dying dog. (I think he was dying of old age.)

Loki gets to the dog but then my grandma, still on the phone (because apparently cell reception in the middle of the ocean in a ship that doesn’t let in water while being fully submerged, is great!) decides she doesn’t want me to risk my life by trying to get her dog, since her dog is dying soon anyway. I, Loki, was like, just because your sweet little fluff-ball of a dog is going to die, doesn’t mean his remaining life doesn’t matter. And he shouldn’t die alone. So Loki saves the dog.

Then the dream does dream like stuff and skips ahead. I’m still Loki but now we know that the hole in the huge ship was caused by The Villain of this dream – and now we know who that is.

Captain America and Thor try to fight off the Villain in an end-of-the-movie-like-showdown.

Human lives hanging in the balance. *drama*

 

 

Captain America and Thor are fighting against the Villain and they get thrown to the ground in dramatic movie fashion after hitting each other really hard.

*rolls eyes* This is in my subconscious, don’t forget.

Then the Villain isn’t the Villain anymore.

The Villain is Loki, lying there all beat up and disillusioned.

It becomes apparent to me (in the way dreams just let you “suddenly know” things because it’s in your own bloody head) that Loki and the Villain share the same body. Two different beings, one body. And Loki didn’t know this until just now. Neither did anyone else.

Captain America looks at Thor. “Two beings in one body. That’s a problem.”

Or something like that. It sounded cooler in my dream.

They both look at Loki, who says, “You know the only way to kill him is to kill me.”

And you know what the sad thing is?

Captain America and Thor don’t even try to figure something out. They just nod at one another, then Loki, and walk forward with the intent to kill him. And Loki just sits there.

Then I woke up.

 

You know what the actual sad part of this is?

I realized I’m not just Loki in this dream. I’m Captain America and Thor too.

Because I am always the one to give up on me. I never stand up for myself or my dreams. I never say, “wait, we can figure this out so I can live too”. I never try to be my own friend or protector. Never try to understand or help out or wait for.

I am always trying to pretend it is outside forces that keep me from writing or exercising or making the changes I want to make and becoming the person I dream of being.

But it’s not.

It’s me.

I’m pointing at Captain America and Thor – but it’s me, Loki.

Just sitting there. Knowing I will give up on myself and just waiting to die some more inside.

 

My being Loki was interesting to me.

Loki and the Villain in one body. That’s a whole can of worms for me. Yes, I’m my own worst enemy, but it goes further than that for me. Yes, I am bipolar and at odds with myself, and moody, but still. More to it.

But you’d have to understand my relationship with the character Loki before knowing all the meaning the dream holds for me.

I’ve liked Loki the Trickster long before the Marvel movies. I love mythology and tricksters just kinda do it for me. Plus Loki in the recent movies was unloved and treated poorly, then became evil and terrible as a coping mechanism. There’s a whole list of reasons Loki is relatable to me. (Not that I plan on becoming arrogant and murderous.)

I also particularly like Captain America because he always does the right thing, whether that means standing alone or not. No clue why Thor was in there. Not that I don’t like him. There are loads of heroes and versions and mythologies and let’s not get into that because it would be never ending. I just love superheroes and mythology.

 

 

I’m certain there are tons of interpretations behind this dream.

I figured if I wrote it out for all to see, I’d think about it more, instead of ignore it. Because ignoring myself is something I do FABULOUSLY.

But I’m hearing from many sources – including psychology sources – that dreams are a lot more our brain and a lot less wishy washy things to be ignored. So if my subconscious is trying to tell me something, I’m trying to listen. This week anyway.

 

Just so you know – I don’t think it comes across in this post – I actually really enjoyed the dream. And I woke up in a good mood. Its like a symbolic, mythological, superhero, metaphorical map of my subconscious.

 

What do you guys think my dream means?

Had any interesting dreams lately?

Obsessed with mythology?

 

(As for my grandma appearing in my dream, that’s personal.)

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Egyptian Ankh Symbolism

The ankh is a hieroglyph (representation of a concept) for “life”. It symbolizes eternal life, to be specific.

Egyptologists, archaeologists, religionists, historians, random people – no one can decide on where the ankh came from. Where the idea spawned from. Why some random ancient Egyptian dude or dudette made a teardrop/cross shaped thingy and wore it as a necklace.

No clue.

Like most symbolism, mythology, and archaeology, we have no freaking idea. We’re just guessing from what we have when it comes to things like Celtic symbolism, runes, and ancient Egyptian symbolism. If something isn’t literally written out, we don’t know anything for certain.

And I am in no way an Egyptologist, so I have no clue either. But I love symbolism and I’ve always been fascinated by the Ancient Egyptians. So this is what I’ve found and what I like.

I am, after all, a writer. I like poking at things, collecting stories. Possibilities.

 

 

One theory is that the ankh is a combination of female and male. Some believe it was first used as a belt buckle for the goddess Isis.

“The theory of Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge (1857-1934 CE), who claims it originated from the belt buckle of the goddess Isis, is considered more probable but still not universally accepted. Wallis Budge equated the ankh with the tjet, the “knot of Isis”, a ceremonial girdle thought to represent female genitalia and symbolizing fertility. This theory, of the ankh’s origin stemming from a fertility symbol, is in keeping with its meaning throughout ancient Egyptian history and beyond to the present day. Egyptologist Wolfhart Westendorf (b. 1924 CE) supports Wallis Budge’s claim”

Combined with other amulets the ankh could bring the wearer greater health. It was also known as a powerful magical talisman, some believe. There’s a huge dispute on that one. Careful who you say that too. You might get your head bit off.

Here’s an interesting tidbit…

“Archeologists have discovered pictures in ancient Egypt that show the gods pouring water on the pharaoh’s head as part of a cleansing or ritual for purification. The water is shown as chains of ankhs”

According to Scholar Adele Nozedar:

“The ankh represents the male and female genitalia, the sun coming over the horizon, and the union of heaven and earth… Its resemblance to a key gives a clue to another meaning of this magical symbol. The Egyptians believed that the afterlife was as meaningful as the present one and the ankh provided the key to the gates of death and what lay beyond”

 

The ankh is often depicted on the Egyptian god’s and goddesses’ fingertips. For example, Isis, who was connected to rites of the dead and known as a magical healer. Or Anubis, the jackal god associated with mummification and the afterlife. Let’s try Ma’at. The goddess of truth, harmony, balance, and justice. And don’t forget Osiris, the god of the underworld and judge of the dead. And to wrap things up, the sun god Ra.

The ankh eventually became a symbol of the planet Venus, and then the goddess Venus (or Aphrodite).

Apparently every divine being had an ankh. Or were throwing ankhs at their subjects’ heads.

Christians, as usual, adopted the symbol in their quest to take over the world. As opposed to demonizing it. (No offense to Christians, I’m a Christian. Every religion and pretty much every country tried taking over the world at some point. *rolls eyes*)

“Its shape has been variously understood as the rising sun on the horizon, as the union of male and female, or other opposites, and also as a key to esoteric knowledge and to the afterworld of the spirit. The Coptic church of Egypt inherited the ankh as a form of the Christian cross, symbolizing eternal life through Christ (35).”

 

The ankh is also known as a good luck charm. Probably because every Egyptian god and goddess was sporting it from their nose hairs and every Ancient Egyptian had about twenty of them just lying around or adorning their clothes, face, furniture, and probably their cats.

 

 

One thing that is known for certain, is that the Ancient Egyptians favored the symbol. It shows up all over in burial tombs, sculptures, paintings, and was carried as an amulet.

Curiously, mirrors were often found in the shape of an ankh. One theory is that the mirror could then let the owner look into another world.

“The Egyptians believed that the afterlife was a mirror image of life on earth and mirrors were thought to contain magical properties.”

 

Speaking literally, some people think the ankh is the depiction of a sandal strap. Others think it’s a flower. Yet another theory is that it’s a human raising their hands. As stated above, some think it is genitalia.

 

So basically, the ankh was the post-it note for the Ancient Egyptians. Thing was everywhere!

I absolutely love it. 🙂

I always hear of it being used as a luck charm. I’d never looked into it further so I didn’t know about all of this awesomeness. There are just so many stories and possibilities. It’s drool worthy.

As a genre fiction writer there are just so many ideas rolling around in my head.

Ankh mirrors that might peer into another realm! Eternal life! Ma’at, Ra, and Venus!

*swoon*

 

 


Sources

http://www.historyforkids.net/egyptian-ankh.html

https://www.ancient.eu/Ankh/

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Isis-Egyptian-goddess

https://www.ancient.eu/Anubis/

https://www.ancient.eu/Ma’at/

https://www.ancient.eu/osiris/

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/ankh.htm

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/re.htm

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Mental Illness and Failure

 

I read over this, continued on, then stopped as the end of the quote made it through my “scanning” mentality and into my freaking rib cage, where it proceeded to rattle around and saunter on into my soul with a glass of chocolate milk, a hatchet, and a killer smile painted red (from the blood of my demons, not lipstick).

 

“Your mental illness is not a personal failure.”

NOT

A

PERSONAL

FAILURE

 

…Yeah… Just let that beauty sink in.

Seriously. Take a minute.

 

I don’t think a sentence has ever given me such a pause.

If I get caught in a hurricane, a volcano’s explosive raining lava (like in the movies), and an earth cracking earthquake – all at once – I will not be as shooketh.

And I do not mean to cheapen the gravity of this truth with goofy word-smithery. But this is who I am. And if we’re on the subject of truth, how can I mute my strangeness while trying to communicate the uncommunicable of HOW THIS QUOTE HIT ME IN THE HEAD WITH A COYOTE AND ROADRUNNER SIZED ANVIL and then let me fall down the rabbit hole, forever?

The answer… I cannot.

 

My issues, they are not a personal failure.

This never occurred to me before.

Feeling ashamed to tell the truth, that ‘no’, I’m still not doing okay. I am still struggling. I am still broken and scarring and trying as hard as I can to dig myself out of a hole, only to find that I’m standing in the middle of a desert with a body bag and a knife.

…. This isn’t me failing.

This is me telling the truth.

Trying as hard as I can.

And feeling shame when I can’t just “pull myself up by the bootstraps” and become a mentally stable person.

 

Someone told me I remind them of Eeyore in the mornings when she picks me up for work. She didn’t say it maliciously. She was smiling. She is okay with who I am.

Why can’t I be?

Why do I see myself as a failure because I am not “whole” like other people?

Why do I feel the need to “get over” mental illness the way that people get over a cold?

I don’t have any outward symptoms. Any tell-tale signs of a physical illness. And unlike a sinus infection or bronchitis, I cannot “get over” mental illness and expect God to wipe me clean of the challenge He gave me.

Who knows if it’s a lifelong challenge? I might wake up in three years from now and no longer struggle with mental illness. I’m a believer in miracles. But I’m also a believer in God (or whatever/whoever your Higher Power is) giving us trials. And some of those trials are lifelong.

 

People don’t seem to understand this.

They expect us, those with mental illness, to simply chipper up. To get better and stay better forever. That because we had a good day, a good week, a good month, that we’re “cured” and we won’t struggle with this in the future.

A bad day, a bad week, a bad month, these things aren’t signs of failure or doing worse. They’re symptoms of mental illness.

And guess what?

We understand.

Sure, some of us use it as an excuse to do nothing, to expect nothing of ourselves, and to do nothing but wallow in the pain and expect everyone to disfigure their faces in sorrow and pity and miserate with us. But there are people like that in every walk of life, whether mentally ill or not.

Those people are a personality type. Much different from a passing emotion or coping mechanism or grieving stage. They’re different from the days we need to sit in our pain and feel it. How we need to define how we’ve been victimized before we can let go of being a victim. Or sit, paralyzed by anguish, fear, and stunned apathy at how unaware we were of how hard things would get. Or those days where we need to look at what we’ve been through, what we’re still hurting through, and sit there and hurt in it. Those move, they’re fluid. Mental illness is fluid. People who plant themselves firmly in misery and soak in it permanently, without trying to solve any puzzles in their lives… that’s not mental illness.

 

“Your mental illness is not a personal failure.”

I cannot put into words what this means for me. To me.

I can do everything right. Make all the right decisions. Get into all the healthy situations, atmospheres, in with all the right therapists and doctors and group therapies. But that sometimes doesn’t affect where my level of mental illness is that day.

I cannot keep myself from ever getting a cold by eating healthy, exercising, and taking healthy herbs and micronutrients.

Just as I cannot keep myself from having the unpredictable and uncontrollable symptoms of a mental illness by doing everything to keep my mental, emotional, and spiritual self as healthy as humanly possible.

Only God can heal me of mental illness permanently. And I am not God.

I can only do so much.

And still, I can get a cold.

That doesn’t mean I’ve personally failed.

 

And somehow, I feel shedding the tears that welled up when I read that sentence, is the only form of communication that can describe, paint, encapsulate all that I feel inside when I read it.

I cannot explain it to you.

You must feel it. You must know it.

We must believe that having a mental illness does not measure if we are a successful human being or not. Our challenges do not define us. What we do about them, how we do it, all those details… those are what define us.

 

“Your mental illness is not a personal failure.”

 

 

For more quotes on mental illness, check out this page, which is where I scrolled upon this paradigm re-shaper.

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