Say What you Need to Say

For St. Valentine, because he deserves better.

I love me some Facebook, but I’ve noticed an avalanche of other things where my friend’s status updates used to be. I find it humorous that people are upset when others scroll on by, when they’ve offered little incentive to stop and look. My main reason for going on Facebook is not to be inspired, enlightened, challenged, taught, or entertained, IMG_4788though all of these things take place. I go on Facebook to see what’s happening in the lives of my friends. I enjoy the family pictures, the declarations of love, the documenting of birthdays, weddings and holidays, the silly stories, and the “look what my kid did and I’m so proud” moments. I’ve always been shy and when I see people in social situations that I’m friends with on Facebook, I feel a barrier to approaching them has come down, because I have, at least, a vague idea of what their lives look like. This seems less likely to occur, as personal statuses are replaced with quotes, articles, and cat and dog videos.

We’ve long been trying to take the personal out of our relationships, even though relationships are inherently personal. The cellphone is a primary example of this. Have you ever had someone across from you at a dinner table ignore you while they twiddled IMG_4316with their gadget? I have and I wasn’t impressed. When I’m out with someone, I expect eye contact and conversation. I shouldn’t have to find something else to do while someone checks their emails, their twitter feed, or the number of likes they’ve received on their latest quirky, but charming selfie on Instagram. I’m sitting across from them. Doesn’t that rate as the ultimate “like”? Even more baffling, wasn’t the original intent of the telephone to connect people: families separated by miles could enjoy the sound of their loved one’s voices and catch up on daily goings on? Now we just fumble thumb grammatically incorrect grunts to each other and call it communicating. Texting is convenient for making plans, but it’s not a good way to make or sustain a relationship.

Greeting cards are another way the world tries to interfere with genuine, meaningful connection between individuals. A landmark anniversary, a long-awaited, well-deserved graduation, a sacred wedding ceremony is on the horizon and what is our first thought? We hop on over to the nearest Hallmark. Am I the only one who sees a problem with this? How is it even possible for a stranger to write a heartfelt message to one of our loved ones? There’s nothing personal about greeting cards, other than that they’re created by a team of persons. The messages have to be generic to appeal to a large number of consumers. The cards we give to our mothers, dear children, or best friends are not unique, but mass-produced and marketed. They’re not representations of our thoughts, but someone else’s thoughts. Our thought was to go and purchase a thought, rather than thinking for ourselves. We’ve been duped into buying something else we don’t need.

Why would we pay strangers to say the important things that we need to say to the people who mean the world to us? “Well, I’m not a good writer” is one argument I’ve heard. As far as I know, the average birthday or anniversary message isn’t published in IMG_4792the newspaper or blogged on the internet. Do we really think our relatives and friends expect us to be William Shakespeare? Can’t we just genuinely express our thoughts and feelings with each other? Who wouldn’t prefer a sincere, vulnerable sentence or two over a generic, flowery rhyme?  If one is really at a loss, the phrases “I like you” and “I love you” are powerful and I know people who’ve rarely heard these words. There’s always spell check for those who’re concerned about grammar, but be wary of auto correct. My husband says whenever he types in his name, spell check wants to change it from “Myron” to “moron”.

“Well, I don’t have time” is the standard excuse we hear for just about everything these days. I disagree. Many have time to drive to a mall and stand in a card shop, eyeing the artwork, reading the sentimental verses or funny quips, comparing one card with another, and perusing the price points. There’s an hour or more there to be used to write congratulations to a graduate or to pen a love letter.

“Well, I’m not creative” is another falsehood we’ve been deceived into believing. Yes, artwork on cards is lovely to look at, but it’s disposable. Unless you attach value to it, it IMG_4787ends up in a landfill. It’s about the message, not the packaging. We’re all equipped with an incredible combination of mind and heart, idea and depth of feeling. We only need to harness what’s already there. We’re wired to communicate with passion.

My kids have been making cards since they were old enough to draw. The act of making a card is a gift in itself. It says, “I care so much about you that I’m willing to stop what I’m doing and think about you and see what comes of it.” Recently, my daughter was in a hurry and lamented having to make a card. I had previously scanned a piece of her artwork into the computer and after printing it, suggested she write her friend a birthday wish on the inside. My kids are artistic and have come up with some cool designs, but I prefer to use pictures from Google images on my cards. I write something, select an image that suits the message, and simply copy, paste, and print. Some may argue that a handwritten note is the most personal gesture of all and I would tend to agree, except that the quirky fonts appeal to me. Computer or no, the message is always mine, created and signed with love.

Some of you who know me know this about me, but I believe it’s remarkable and will say it again here, because it fits. Every year on my birthday I receive a birthday card from my parents, as many of you do, but my card always has a handwritten list on it. My Dad uses up the white space left on the card to affirm me as a person. He lists my good qualities and achievements. The card may be pretty and the verse clever, but they’re IMG_4790meaningless to me. It’s the list I crave and cherish. I have years’ worth of cards that document my growth over my lifetime, because my Dad takes the time and makes the effort to sit down and think about me. Every once and awhile, I look at these cards again and see what he sees and feel good and grateful. I encourage you to do the same for those you love. You will never know what a message from your soul will do for another human being until you put it out there. In your relationships, you have the power to uplift, inspire, and encourage. Your words can bring meaning, healing, hope, joy and love. Or, you can go to the store. It’s your choice.

Happy Valentines Day!

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: @pollyeloquent2 and don’t forget to mention that you’re a reader. It’s a private account. Thanks so much for your time and attention. 🙂

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A Monologue on Marriage

Marriage is a kiss or a slapmarriagecouple-1783843_1280
A cuddle or a cold shoulder
It’s a serenade or a shouting match,
Don’t matter if you’re young or older
It’s a walk in the park or a natural disaster
Ecstasy or woe
It really depends on what you’re after
It’s your show

marriageumbrella-768541_1280_FotorYou can work as a team or against each other
You can build up or pick apart
You can bear a burden or be a burden
It’s about what’s in your heart

You can forgive or hold a grudgemarriageheartsickness-428103_1280_Fotor
You can let it pass or complain
You can show respect or criticize
It’s how you play the game

Marriage is a dream or a nightmare
A tall tree or a worthless weed
You’ve got to nurture what you plant to see your love succeed
marriagelove-2055372_1280It’s a work of art or a piece of trash
Juicy fruit or a cold, hard pit
But of all the things that marriage is
It’s what you make of it
Show love, work hard, hold fast, have hope
It’s what you make of it 😀

 

Author’s Note: In two days, I celebrate my 26th wedding anniversary. My husband and I dated for six years before this, so we’ve been committed to each other for 31 years. Married life is a blessing. 🙂

Complete the experience. Listen to Stephen Curtis Chapman’s Together.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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What Does a Gal have to do to get a “Like” Around Here?

For those of you who enjoy watching movies and are around my age, you may remember the moment Sally Field received an Oscar for Best Actress in the 1985 film Places in the Heart. She was glowing and gushing as she delivered her acceptance speech, her bouncy curls combed high atop her head as was the style. (Watch the clip here.) She mentioned her cast and crew and her family and then went on to say something that has been mimicked and mocked ever since and I quote, “But I want to say thank you to you. I haven’t had an orthodox career and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now! You like me!”
Continue reading “What Does a Gal have to do to get a “Like” Around Here?”

The Scent of Unexpected Blessing

showerhead2The other day I was doing a shower for a delicate, little bird of a lady. When I shower people, I usually try to ask questions about their lives to put them at ease, because it’s such an intimate thing I do for them. As they share their stories and the warm water droplets contact and cleanse their bodies, the tension seems to drain away with the dirty water.

As the shower progressed, I began to open and use bathproducts2the bath products she brought with her. I massaged her head with oil of macadamia nuts. I scrubbed her down with raspberry shower gel. After gently patting her dry with the scratchy, white, hospital towels, I massaged a lotion called “Hawaiian Island Flowers” into her arms, legs, and back. I oohed and aahed and she giggled. I felt her happiness in this most unlikely place, enveloped in a cloud of heavenly scents. I’ve never been one to use a lot of bath products, nor have I ever really considered the virtues of aromatherapy, but in that moment, I was grateful for them and the effect they had on a delicate, little bird of a lady in a hospital shower.

Author’s note: This was written when I worked on the geriatric unit of my local hospital.

Complete the experience. Read this article The Right Way to Shower. I had been showering people some time before looking this up and was surprised at what I learned.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

The Scarf that Keeps on Giving

I have a scarf. It was purchased for me by a dear friend on one of her holidays. It’s a rainbow of fuchsia, coral, tangerine, and canary yellow. She said she saw it and it reminded her of my vibrant personality. I don’t wear scarves, because I have boobs and don’t wish to look like an 87-year-old Grandma with waist deep, wrung out, brightly-colored mammary glands. For a while, I wondered what to do with this scarf. It’s too beautiful to languish in a drawer and I would never re-gift it because I love my friend and appreciate her thoughtfulness. One day, I tied it in a bow and hung it on the bedpost next to my head. Every time I look at it, I’m reminded that I’m a beautiful, multi-faceted human being and that I have a friend who loves me. Do you own such a treasure? Is it out where you can see it?

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

The Sacred Meet and Greet

Somebody needs you. Don’t keep them waiting.

It happens when we leave the house, often numerous times a day. Two people who know each other pass by in a hallway at work or on the sidewalk, at school or a conference, at a bar, a gym, or in the church foyer. Our eyes meet, we recognize each other, and we acknowledge each other with a greeting. We say “Hello”, “Hey there”, or we throw out a quick “Hi”.
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Footprints in the Snow

For my husband

Walking together in the chill of a winter’s eve

Bodies craving warmth are bundled into obscurity

Breath hangs like icicles

You trudge on ahead

Diamonds sparkle at the crunch of your heavy boots

I follow sure-footed the glittering path you’ve made for me

I thank you for those footprints in the snow

For the many things you do for me

To make my life a little bit easier

 

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Coming and Going

A piece of my heart has wandered far from me.

I’ve had a number of firsts recently. I’ve never been on an all girl road trip. I’ve never traveled so many miles without a parent or my husband at the steering wheel. I’ve never had a child move out of my home. Until now.
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Grace and the Golden Shoes

I retired a pair of shoes recently. I remember buying these particular shoes because they were too expensive, in my estimation, but, also, too pretty to pass up. They were flip flops goldflower2on a wedge heel decorated with tiny leather flowers, each embossed with gold. I adored them. You may be asking, “Why is she telling us this?” Who cares that she retired a pair of shoes?” I tell you this because there was an incident involving these shoes that brought out a side of me I’m ashamed of and as I picked those faded gold flowers off of them, I was reminded of it.
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Got Love?

Love makes the world go round and sometimes it makes me want to hurl.

I was recently thinking about what an amazing life I have and, as I tallied up the reasons, it became clear to me that it’s largely due to one thing; love. I’m loved. My parents, from chelsea-bock-65622a young age, taught me that God, my maker and sustainer, loves me with a passionate, unchanging, undying love.
Continue reading “Got Love?”