Category Archives: American Culture

Absence Makes the Heart…

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder…”

There’s varying opinions on this. Google the phrase and you’ll get this:

The proverb “absence makes the heart grow fonder” describes the feeling of greater affection between friends and lovers who are kept apart. It is a phrase that, in on one form or another, can be traced back for millennia—the Roman poet Sextus is credited with the earliest version of the phrase.

Or this:

Does absence make the heart grow fonder? Study says yes

Or even this:

Absence Doesn’t Actually Make The Heart Grow Fonder

But remove the science from it. Ignore the opinions. Draw from your personal experience. Think about the people that you’ve left behind. Focus on those individuals that have moved on from their relationship with you. Whether it was a friendship, a partnership, or family, some bonds were never intended to endure.

Once we stop asking why and begin to accept that there are reasons beyond our understanding, we can release responsibility for the decisions that were made (whether those decisions were our own or not). It’s difficult though.

Time not only heals, but provides distance between “then” and “now” and affords us the opportunity to feel less. Consider the process numbing. It’s the absence of intense feelings that allows us to respond to other things in our lives. The strongholds that once consumed us loosen their grip. The absence allows for distractions. We become more aware of other things in our lives. We stumble across alternatives and focus on other things that stimulate us. Soon we are no longer numb. We begin to feel again.

It is this kind of absence that makes our hearts fonder. Our hearts have but one purpose–to pump blood through our veins and to keep us alive. When we are consumed with others, our focus is not on our own survival, but on the well-being of others. Sometimes we love so much that we loose focus. We neglect ourselves, our responsibilities, and other things that are essential to our growth. And although a healthy relationship requires a balance, it is the absence that our heart needs to thrive.

The heart is fond of the absence. It is the mind that yearns for the presence. It is the mind that develops awkwardly when it is not stimulated. It’s a lonely mind that longs for companionship.

Until we can completely separate the heart and mind, there we aren’t likely to resolve this dilemma. And so instead of absence making the heart fonder, it is the distance that makes the mind wander.

Miss Ogyni

She trusted at an early age

consensual surrender,

resulted in tears at a clinic

Three months later

She trusted another

Hoping he’d be more capable

She wasn’t empowered

She had no mentor

Her submissive mother was no lover

And had no experience in these things

Her second lover

Planted his seed

Knowingly and deliberately

Her consent would undo the previous

Mistake

Or so she thought

A doctors visit first

Cohabitation a week later

A proposal and a diamond ring

Before the first week of spring

Wedding bells rang

A mix tape for a DJ and

An alcohol-free reception

Because baby was on the way.

She has no intentions of entrapment

She hadn’t yet learned to manipulate

She was simply managing situations

From day to day.

But she wasn’t happy

Her diploma wouldn’t be enough

Expired, her father’s tuition offer

Because she had her husband’s stuff

For the same man who tried to restore

Her purity

Was now a witness to her insecurity

Another baby’s arrival

before their departure

from each other.

At any time should could have harmed him

But she listened to how she could own him

For the rest of his life

The lawyers would help her

swindle what was never there.

The fortune she thought they had was

No more than

the imaginary kingdom

that they’d begun to build.

The looks were deceiving to her

But to no one else

She had no idea that what she already had

Was more than many other women

Had ever hoped for.

Because love and trust are invisible

They can be felt

But not seen.

And she traded it in

For a life she thought she should have.

She acted on entitlements

That neither of them had earned

She planned to steal away

With something that was never there

And he began to see this

He began to hurt

He began to hate

He worked harder to hide

He began to create…

New relationships

That were better

Safer

Genuine

He had nothing more to give

Broken and paranoid

He sighed relief

When the marriage was dissolved

He would no longer

Watch the disaster unfold

From now on

All he knows is what he’s told

Online dating

Bouncing from home to home

Dragging the children behind her

His heart turned to stone

He became the philanderer

That she once accused him; a swine

With no ties to anyone

With children gone half the time

He watched from afar

His “once-love” shack

With swingers,

drug-users,

Momma’s boys,

And then back to her parents.

Despite minimal family court interference

Family interventions

Co-parenting interactions

Court order infractions

The power she gained was not

From what she took

Instead twenty years of blood

And tears

Resulted in a new job and a home of her own

Where she could raise her children

The way she wanted

Paint the rooms– the way she wanted

Pay someone to mow the lawn

And invite over whomever she wanted

Cook for him

And tend to him

Until he no longer wanted

to leave

And the power she now had

Was not from another man

But the power she now had

She used to rule over another man

But this man she could not tame

For this man would plant a seed of his own

And he would not leave

And he would not propose

And they would not suppose

How their life will be when their baby turns

Twenty

And now she hates him

And the him from before

She fights with the latter

But complains about the first even more

She models independence to her daughter

She warns of submission to the son

She lies about how she does it

She pretends that she the only one

That she’s a single parent…

That deadbeats owe her more…

That no one can tell her what to do!

That their dad is rotten to the core.

But she keeps her married name

For reasons all her own

Her kids look and behave like him

And now her 💜 turns to stone.

Her hate 𝐅or him

Is incomprehensible

To him

But his forgiveness of her

Frustrates and angers her

Even more confusing

Is that he is not telling the story

She is

Miss Ogyny

In The Moment

I was here for it

I wish I hadn’t been.

The decisions I make

Are the moments that I live in

The regrets are the decisions

That I won’t get the chance to

Make again

For the truth is

I will make new decisions

And new mistakes

And learn over and over again

To appreciate the moment

Now

To look back less

And to look forward

To the moment that I’ll

Have new regrets

Happy Change-giving

Thankful for the feelings,

Because the feelings drive us

Thankful for the disappointment

For the idea: “circumstances are better than they were”

For the conception that things could be different.

For evolution

That things don’t stay a way

For too long.

Thankful for voice

And the opportunity to be silent

Thankful to be wrong

About SO many decisions

Because the knowledge of wrong

Spotlights what could be right

Thankful for my own hunger

And my own thirst

For the failures that precipitated pain

And the treatment that prescribed

Healing

Thankful for the lies

The disappointment

And the loss

For the lies cloaked a truth for which I wasn’t prepared

For the disappointment strengthened me for a victory I could not enjoy

For the loss of relationships that I was too weak to endure

Thankful for the perception

To steer clear of those vehicles

Aimed at my demise

Thankful I can’t do everything I want to do

In this moment

Whenever I want

Because I’m still learning

Not to live in excess

Even when I have the opportunity

Because full bellies can’t run as fast

And sleepy eyes don’t make dreams come true

One Thing For Certain (Two Things For Sure)

Wisdom comes in many forms. We recognize the irony when we learn something in a scenario we’d least expect wisdom.

A rich man whose money can not buy him what he needs most;

A blind man who can see things others can not.

The parents who warn of the foolishness that they once partook.

The cat that has only one life left.

The widow who has lost two husbands to cholesterol and one to the tramp in the next town.

The high school dropout who doesn’t believe in minimum wage or welfare.

The child who can reach the cookie jar, but can’t take out the trash.

The wisdom is not in the irony. The irony is in The wisdom…

That comes from surrender

That comes from recognition

That comes from humility

That comes from knowing that you can’t know everything.

Only the Lonely

Contrary to popular beliefs, loneliness is not a choice for everyone. It’s certainly nice to be alone once in a while. But for some, loneliness is a state of being. It is not cured by simply adding others.

There are many souls who are lonely in a room full of others people. Despite our age, creed, or ethnicity, our individuality can be isolating or encompassing. Our state of mind can be altered for short periods, but even euphoria has an expiration.

Human interactions will not dissolve some kinds of loneliness any more than digital connections. Both only foster feelings of togetherness or solidarity. In truth, we will eventual return to ourselves– where accountability is our own; and our ownership of our personal accounts is unwavering.

Despite the darkness of loneliness, the sun shines with care, kindness, and positive energy.

Celebrate the Failures

We dream, set goals, and employ plans to meet the goals–to make those dreams come true. We draw from our resources, build networks, and develop our skill set to progress towards our goal. Our agendas become clearer as our dreams become a reality. And at that moment we least expect it, we encounter a setback.

Not a tragedy. Not a roadblock. A setback! It’s only a tragedy if we fail to go onward. It’s only a roadblock if we can not make our way around the obstacle. It’s a setback because it requires more. So much more! Because life is supposed to be unpredictable, we can not plan for the setbacks. We can only build our strength and endurance to be prepared just in case…

The failures that naturally occur help us build a tolerance. They force us to pause. They force us to rethink, reflect, and refocus.

In our mind, anything is possible. In reality, things are possible only when we don’t give up.

Ask the runner who falls, or the non-smoker who relapses, or the believer who backslides. It’s our perception that determines how we proceed.

We celebrate our victories. But we must celebrate our failures too. That’s not to suggest that the celebrations are anything alike. A failure is only a failure when we refuse to continue onward. We celebrate the failure by embracing the need to try again. The celebration is in the breathe that escapes our lips. The sigh, the gasp, the yell–they fuel that sequel. Part two is within our reach.

We don’t quit. We don’t give up. Instead we regroup. We reevaluate our path. We may even reestablish what drives us.

Be vivacious in your quest. The celebration is life. The victory is in living another day. Tell the story in knowing that there are many chapters. Celebrate life. Celebrate that you have more chances! Celebrate the failure because you know that you can try again.

For every victory, celebrate hard. But for every failure, celebrate too. With every failure comes knowledge (and a humility that is not always private). Celebrate that too! For with humiliation comes accountability. Get back up!

It doesn’t feel good to fall short of our goals. Let this drive you harder. True failure is loss. Do not mourn the losses for long. They’ll be time enough true failure. True failure comes at the very end. For life is a temporary circumstance. Death is forever.