The Road I Traveled

growing older

THE ROAD I TRAVELED

Living and making it count ’til the end
Knowing it matters. Not giving up
It’s easy to say I’m sorry, my friend
Sometimes I’m tired. I’ve been through enough
But I can’t give up now, I fought to be here
I promised myself I had much more to give
I had to make the most of these years
Or what was the reason for wanting to live?

The longer I live I see in my mind
The road I traveled that brought me to where
I could see down the road to dreams I would find
One foot, than another will take me there.

No one told me living was easy
If I had known the troubles to come
Would I change? Would I choose to be me
There are roads far more traveled. Would I have begun?
Knowing time is not on my side

no one would care if I laid down my dreams
I’m still young, my mind inside of me lied
Don’t lay down no matter how easy it seems

The longer I live I see in my mind
the road I traveled that brought me to where
I can see where I’m going and dreams I would find
One foot than another has taken me there.

Sonni Quick copyright 2017

handwriting music

 

Within Her – Mom Life

She is radiant… She is pure…. She is everything….

via Within Her (a poem) — Mom Life

 

 

To raise a child that isn’t “perfect”, according to society’s standards, forces the parents who are expecting that perfect person to re evaluate what it means to be a perfect child. Any preconceived ideas of how to be a parent are thrown out the window in order to allow their child to grow to become the best they can be. Parent and child grow together – not without difficulty and not without a lot of patience.

When I was raising my children I know that most of the time I saw them as children. I knew they would grow up but I didn’t really see them in my head as adults. I was too busy trying to get through my day, and their day.

Now my children are in the age 40 range with children out of high school and living their lives. My stepson, because time was spent to allow him to become who he wanted be, and was supported through school to bring out the talents he was born with, was able to become the man he is today. I’m very proud of him. I was privileged to be Mom Sonni.

I love you Jonathan!

Golden Tears For Golden Years

Golden Tears for Golden Years. I thought getting old was a long time in the future. Aging happened to old people, not me. My life changed for me after my liver transplant in 2012. I understood how precious life was. We have a choice as we age.  We can get old on the inside and the outside or we can continue to grow and expand how we think about life, regardless if the outside skin ages. If we think we are old then we aren’t going to try new things and reach for things we want to do because we think we are too old.  Being old in our mind makes us appear older on the outside.

I’ve done a lot in my life.  Not everything was successful. But if you never try you know without a doubt that you will not succeed at anything.  Is there a point where you should stop trying? If you are able? That is a waste of the few years we have. People often grow old too fast.  They fear the unknown and settle for what is “safe”. It’s easier.  I see many unhappy older people. We do reach a point where it becomes impossible. Health gets bad.  Things we knew we should have stopped doing – but kept on doing, with the attitude of, “You gotta go somehow,” becomes a reality. 

Depositphotos_18546511_s-2015

The older we get the more people we lose and the more alone we get. We don’t think about these things until it becomes too late.  It becomes a matter of living out each day until we get old enough to die ourselves. I live in a senior community.  I see it all around me. I see it in family who won’t change the way they eat even though they know if they continue it will shorten their life. 

I did things that ended up making me sick.  It came very close to ending my life, but I pulled through.  I’m not in the best of health.  Some days are a major push to get through. I can give into this and let it be the focal point of my life or I can “see” a different future. I can’t make anyone do what I think they should do, even if I am right. And I can’t live my life the way others think I should.

So here I am, in my 60’s.  Not young, not old, but coming up on the far side of middle age. I am using what time I have left doing what makes me happy.  I can’t make anyone else happy.  They have to figure that out for themselves. Financially I am not secure. Living on disability is barely working.  I lost my living when I got sick. I need to make more money and the only way I can do that is writing music and writing words.  I need to go through the insecurities and fear of failure and focus on what I need to do and trust it is the right thing. 

That is the meaning of the title of this piece of music. When we are young we have our whole life ahead of us, even though some die young they rarely know it is coming.  Youth have had very few personal disappointments from career choices and few relationship failures.  They haven’t yet raised a family.  Options of what to do is great.

At my age I do have things that bring tears to my eyes; disappointments that are hard to deal with; people who change and become unrecognizable and health that falls apart because either we don’t take care of it or we think we can start taking care of it at a later date.  I want to use the years I have left thinking of what I want to do that makes me happy. I’m coming up on my golden years and I want to make the most of it. 

It is not about what I look like, it is about who I’ve become which then shows in the music I create – that comes from the experiences I’ve had in my life. I am leaving a footprint of who I am that can be listened to or read after I am gone. My great great grandchildren? Maybe one will be a keyboard player or musician of some other kind who will learn who I am through my music. That music can live on.

 

Sonni Quick at SoundCloud – Stories Without Words

Reverbnation

Sonni Quick’s Piano Improv Music at Facebook

twitter page

EPILOGUE of a family

someone-did-you-wrong

 

I can’t contain the pain

if I have to witness it over and over again

See the faces of people who

wouldn’t mind if I ceased to exist.

Who wouldn’t care if I was here or not

So long ago I said, two words would make it better

“I’m sorry” I hurt you

“I have nothing to be sorry about.” Ouch.

That slap loosened a tooth

Nothing to be sorry about ringing in my ears

Who wants to deal with that? 

Pretend it wasn’t said.

I can’t do that. My bones break too easily

Do you know what it’s like to a pariah?

Seven years alone with family all around me?

I gave my sister a hug the other day

said thank you, I appreciate you

To show HER how to be human

and she’s supposed to be a Christian?

Maybe God will kick HER through the pearly gates

for being phony

The Golden Rule is useless

if you don’t know what it means – or why

What does that faith teach you?

It doesn’t matter if you hurt someone?

because God forgives the hurtful things you do? 

You think that lets you off the hook?

Or after awhile it just fades away and doesn’t matter?

It matters to me

So sad how some people can be in their righteousness

She would have never tried to hug me

I hope that makes her feel good. 

It sure hasn’t changed her for the better

Too many causes. To many effects to reap

 

Sometimes I want to make my family hurt

as much as they hurt me

That’s wrong. But I’m human, too. I lash out.

She knows pain but she gave mine no validity

She taught her daughter well

She is her mother’s daughter

passes judgement without knowledge

She’s evil with a black heart, but I’ll pray for her

even though I’m just an old hag, drug addict

The other one is just a long lost cause

I tried – gave her a part of me. Gave it with love 

It was wasted. She spit it back at me

Kicked me, too – so callous – then she blamed me 

It’s my fault for thinking she would acknowledge

a gift from my heart

Thank you for your kindness

At least LISTEN to the goddam music I wrote

A 1000 other people did.  She called me names

because I dared to write – my family never learned

to say the words “I’m sorry”

or to say the words  “Thank you”

or “Tell me, what IS YOUR side of the story?

What could you have done?

You could have listened

I was screaming for you to hear me – but no one heard 

How dare I want compassion

You have none to give

It is what the Bible teaches

 

Mom blames me

I should not have left home at 18 with her blessings

She said, “If you have no family now it’s your own fault.”

“You should not have lived your own life in other places

Why should they love you now? Who are you?”

I’m sorry. If I knew I’d be punished for returning

I would have never come.

I thought. . . I was wrong . . . they would care . . .

at least a little

Then it stands to reason

why should my mom love her sister in Mexico?

Like the Amish who shun their children if they leave

I was shunned – because I returned

“People can’t love someone who isn’t there,”

she said, defending her family

even though many of her family loves her

and they live far away

Does she love them any less because of that?

She said I shouldn’t blame them for not caring

it’s my fault my fault my fault

She gathered her family close to her

and set me outside the circle

Made sure they cared more about her wellbeing with nothing left for me

And you don’t even know why

she told the stories she did to make you want to be rid of me

I didn’t understand myself at first 

why she made me not worthy of loving because

“Mom doesn’t lie”

Not a lie, just a twisting of reality

wrapped around her needs

A complete truth was created from it

But it wasn’t the truth

Spider legs of fabricated story line

bears no relation to the truth

Ego can be an ugly thing when wielded like a dagger

Perceived criticism must be punished!

Off with your head!

Even when the criticism was all in your head anyway

 

I begged and begged over the years

“Please tell them the truth.”

You took my family from me

Tell them what you did and why

but ego held her tight

I was accused of harassing her so no truth was told

All these years we talked and talked, “Please fix this”

No one will listen to me. I tried

“It’s not the right time.” “I don’t have the courage.”

“WHAT do you WANT me to do about it now!

I can’t take this anymore!!”

and hung up the phone

From someone who says she never gives up

She gave up

Ego can be a hurtful weapon 

when you sacrifice someone you love to protect yourself

I listen to her talk about HER family and everything they do

STOP! I don’t want to hear about people

who are dead to me!

I was dead to them long before. They killed me first

I just repaid their kindness

 

You keep ripping off the scabs. It’s infected underneath

pus leaks down my legs

It can’t heal – like the death of a son can’t heal

Is your pain deeper? More important?

Do you feel it more? Is pain-pain?

Is the death of a son more important than the death of a family?

I thought they were family

That was my mistake

 

I am a person – a real person – a living, breathing person

I feel things deeply.

It comes out in music no one wants to hear

It comes out in poetry no one wants to read

I lived – and no one cares I did – How can that be so?

Mom said, “Really, they DO love you.” Really?

I’d hate to be on the receiving end of indifference.

I only think she wanted to believe they loved me 

wishful thinking to make me feel better – she knew

you had better things to do

than give me a moment of your time

the price of a stamp on a get well card too much

And it isn’t what you DO

It’s what you say. It’s what you try to understand

A bull in a china shop approach to love is abrasive

You don’t listen. You don’t want to know

 

There was no one to celebrate me – I lived. I didn’t die

So what. No-Big-Deal.

Nothing I’ve been through was important

No one showed me I mattered – except my older sister

Her lying husband killed that

I have those lies in black and white

A dozen times mom said, 

“It’s your own fault for trying

to create a relationship with THAT man”

“I warned you.”

“Do what I do, ” which is nothing, tell everyone, blame her 

and lose your daughter 

while waiting for her to let you in. “What did I do?” Nothing.

making it her fault – never listening to her silent screams

“I’m here. I’m a real person!”

You still think, “What can I do now”

You’re still breathing aren’t you?

but still you wait for her to make it better

Ever think she might be waiting, too?

You’re the mother

Where is your proof? You said,” I never give up!” Did you?

Yes you did. Don’t fool yourself – and you still breathe

Someday you won’t and it really will be too late

The reflection in the mirror tells you the truth

Will you leave this life letting your ego win?

I’m sorry if the truth hurts

 

I saw Cindy. The real Cindy. She saw me – for awhile

But she needed Bill more than she needed a sister

She made a choice to believe

I sent a nasty text I didn’t send to her

At the hospital, she didn’t get the one I really sent

As he reads this lie to everyone

Bastard. Lying phony blowhard plastic Christian

That says it all. Everyone else has said the same thing

He should be ashamed

 

But Cindy? Why would I have hurt

the only one who loved me?

I miss her.  She loved me for a little while. I still have that

The first and ONLY time I ever had a real sister

Bill, in all his new found Christianess

needed her to wear a cross

How would it “look” if she didn’t hold up her end

of the game of massaging his ego 

but I know her true feelings

because he was going to preach now, after he got out of jail 

for waving his drunken gun

feed his large ego – be the center of attention 

I am Buddhist and he said she will NEVER be one

in his control

He lied to her and took away the only family I had 

For 2 years she was the only family I could touch

Then she was gone

 

I made the effort to get my mother back

MY EFFORT. Not hers. Why?

Regrets. I couldn’t let her do to me what happened to Cindy

I couldn’t let her make herself believe

she had done all she could

and believe this mess was all my fault

Telling tales. Making people feel the need

to protect you from me

No courage to open yourself – lay it on the line

“I made a mistake. I didn’t mean to. I love my daughters”

“But I don’t have the courage to change the causes I made

that brought these painful effects.”

You let me hurt. Told me to fix it

 

And I cry for my mother

I love her from the very bottom of my heart

I see the pain of helplessness on her face

She didn’t intend for this to happen

But intentions have no meaning

It’s what you do that counts

That is the cause you made

She’s running out of time – wasting time

She wants to forget about it

She wants to pretend she’s happy in the time she has left

sweep it under the rug, but it won’t stay there

It slithers out and grabs her by the ankle

 

There is an elephant in the room no one wants to see

I’m too busy. It’s not my fault. Who cares anyway.

A broken record. I can’t pick up the pieces by myself 

with people who never wanted to understand

I want to run away – I probably will first chance I get

I won’t tell anyone when I go.

Leave this godawful mess for another lifetime to fix

I’m not strong enough to be around you all

I want to hurt you back

Make you bleed inside.

Pour salt on your wounds and walk away 

laughing – So there! How does THAT feel?

Wouldn’t that make me a terrible person?

I’d be in good company

You can pretend to everyone else

but you can’t pretend to yourself

 

Imagine if all your family died in a plane crash

Left many things unsaid. If I only had the time to say . . .

Sister, of all people knows what it’s like

to not be able to change the past

what would you do different if you had the chance

I’m so sorry about your pain. I feel it deep inside

Do you think she ever thought about mine?

Even my last surgery when I almost lost my arm

and the ability to make music.

No phone call. No “How are you? Are you scared?

 

I’m thinking about you.

Don’t give up hope. I love you.”

So easy. So impossibly hard

She was beyond the ability to care.  They all were. 

So what. Not my problem they thought, if they thought at all

 

If you don’t like I wrote this for the world to read

Maybe you should have listened when I tried to talk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christian and The Buddhist

Buddha and Jesus
Source credit: beliefnet.com

The Christian and the Buddhist

sat down one day to talk

to understand the different paths

they chose to take their walk

Which path was right?

Was someone wrong?

Were the things they believed

wrong all along?

 

Their talk intent was not to try

to say you’re wrong, I’m right

Love of faith is just as strong

as any heartfelt love in life

No amount of reason

can convince us to believe

in something else so opposite

of all we learned, indeed.

 

It’s easier to find the strength

of things which are the same

than nit pick why the world has hate

and say your faith’s to blame

No matter what the faith we have

it’s happiness we crave

Learn right from wrong, make mistakes

then learn how to behave.

 

The Christian and the Buddhist

could debate all night and day

Where is all your proof that lies

beyond the stories that you say?

Blind faith you said is all you need

then wait to see what comes

Sometimes He helps and sometimes not

is this where faith comes from?

 

The Buddhist asks,”You believe

something apart from you

has planned your life, so you’ve read

it’s because His love is true?

What part in life do you play

as you sit and wait

humbling begging life to change

until the day gets late?” 

 

The Christian asks, “What do you do

with no Father there to guide

and protect you, watch and love you

while walking by your side?

I’m not alone because I have

his loving arms around me

He plans my life and happiness

affecting me directly

 

The Buddhist says, “That God-like nature

resides inside our heart

It isn’t something separate

It’s not an entity apart

We learn our lessons from our deeds

from wisdom we now know

Like birds that sing, the universe hears

‘nam myoho renge kyo’

 

Cause and effect, you reap what you sow

it means the very same thing

Life gives back what you give

Benefit can’t come from nothing

If God doesn’t answer the prayer you made

could it be you made no cause?

Your prayer got no reaction

the cause you made had flaws?

 

Something needs to change in us

to reflect a change outside

or life just slaps us left and right

and wisdom slips right by

Prayer is answered and wisdom gained

from climbing every mountain

Believing, having faith we change

using wisdom, never doubting

 

The Christian and the Buddhist

sat there thinking oh so quietly

The core of faith, to have no doubt

that’s hard to do in spite of me

A coward can not have his prayers

answered on a whim

A focused thought to change your life

must come from deep within

 

A prayer that begs, made in haste

with a promise to do better

Do you pray every day

to see if God decides to answer?

Make a prayer, hold out your hands

and look to see if it’s granted

If not, it would be God’s will

and wasn’t what he wanted?

 

The Christian and the Buddhist

both learned a lot that day

finding things that are alike

not listening to what people say

They talked about the things they learned

with an open mind

They promised they would talk again

to see what else they might find

 

They parted ways, shaking hands

feeling they had learned

a little something. Understanding

when each can take a turn

The underlying reason why

one wants to understand 

Is making sense of our lives

and the purpose – of man

 

Sonni Quick copyright 2017

 

 

 

Do You Know Why Your Thoughts Are So Important?

Depositphotos_18546511_s-2015

Author: Margaret Blaine
We’re taught that our thoughts don‘t really matter unless we act on them. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We are one with the creative life force in the core of our lives, so our minds have the same creative capacity as the life force itself. This means our minds are unlimited and can create the circumstances we desire.

In the Buddhist dictionary, we are told that the mind possesses the potential of 3000 realms in a moment of life and encompasses the simultaneity of cause and effect.


This means that every thought, we have, sets a seed in our lives that will manifest in the future when the time is right. Our outer life today is the “visible” manifestation of the “invisible” workings of our mind of yesterday. So, the thoughts, we dwell upon the most, create our life in the future. Until we learn about this we just let any old thoughts, and beliefs run through our minds, unaware we are in fact creating our future life circumstances. The beauty? We possess the ability to consciously change what we are doing to get better results.

As President Ikeda writes in My Dear Friends in America, ‘belief and thought alter reality’. This capacity of our minds is truly miraculous. Most of the time we are either unaware of what we have, take it for granted or doubt we really have it. We not only project our thoughts out to the universe while chanting, but we unconsciously do it all day long. Since the universe reflects our thoughts back to us, it is important that we become aware of what we are projecting.

I have heard people say that chanting doesn’t work. But chanting always works. The response reflects what you are thinking about the most. If you are chanting while thinking this is a waste of time, then the universe will reflect that back to you. But if you chant with the faith that you will get what you want, that result will be reflected back to you too. Awareness, of what you are thinking, will allow you to create the future life you want on purpose, through deliberate intent, rather than by accident. Awareness will allow you to achieve your goals more quickly, because you are no longer getting in your own way.

Become Aware: What Are You  Thinking About?

You give yourself a major advantage once you become aware of what you are thinking. It can be a challenge to notice the almost subliminal thoughts that flit by so quickly. But once you develop the habit of noticing, you will catch yourself when you are thinking about negative results, or worrying about problems. Then you can deliberately change those negative thoughts to reflect what you want to have happen and radiate that to the universe. The results will be quite different.   

This is what is meant when Nichiren said, “Learn to master your mind. Don’t let your mind master you.”

Pay attention and notice how you are thinking while addressing a concern. Are you addressing it with doubts or disbelief that you can change the situation? Are you focusing on your fears? Are you giving your attention to the problems and obstacles rather than the solution you want?

How to Resolve Disbelief and Doubts

• Notice how you are thinking.
• Resolve doubts through study or asking questions.
• If you discover you don’t believe you can achieve the goal you have set, then reduce it to the first step, something you can believe.
• If you find yourself focusing on your fears, redirect your attention to what you want.

You Can do It.

Changing habits of thinking and beliefs may feel slow. But it can be done. Just be patient and persistent. Shortly, you will find that you are developing a positive frame of mind. And, as you chant, focusing on the what you want ( your end goal) rather than the problem, you will see your life shift into a positive direction. You can do it..

Happiness is . . .

 

daisaku Ikeda guidance

I met a man today as I was picking up my belongings to leave physical therapy. He was on one of the bike type machines. Stationary bikes are boring. I had just finished fifteen minutes myself, determined to get my strength back, healing from an injury.

It looked like the effort of the exercise was causing him discomfort so I told him, “Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine I’m climbing a mountain.” I didn’t quite hear his answer but it didn’t look as though climbing a mountain seemed very appealing to him so I said next, “How about running down a beach and listening to the waves?”

His eyes welled up with tears and he looked about to cry. “No, I never want to go to another beach.” He then poured out his pain of what happened to him and the memories he had of the beach, and how through that his life fell apart. He had moved some time ago within a half hour of a beach with his wife and children. His wife had never been to a beach and she became obsessed with it. Every day she had to go to the beach, even on Christmas.  He really wanted to have Christmas at home.  She was never home. She was always at the beach.  Eventually she left him – for a woman.

Later he met another woman. He fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. She did. They were happy for awhile. He didn’t know she had an old boyfriend in prison. When he got out she left him to to go back to this man. He said, “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I have nothing to live for.”

I asked him,”Have you ever heard the words nam myoho renge kyo?” He had been looking down. When I said those words his eyes snapped up to mine in immediate attention. Startled. It was an unusually strong emotion for someone who had never heard the words before. But even though we don’t understand the song of birds, the birds do. Something inside him recognized what I said, even if he wasn’t conscious of it. “No, What is it?” he managed to say.

I repeated the phrase three times and he tried to say it with me without my asking him, which is unusual, especially when someone doesn’t know what it is. Why would they try to say it?

“This is the law of cause and effect,” I gave him the translation. “It doesn’t have to be like this. You are misunderstanding what happiness is. It isn’t something that completes you, that can be taken away by . Goes away. Happiness caused by things outside yourself is fleeting. That is relative happiness. What you wasn’t is absolute happiness, indestructible happiness.” With this he looked at me as though a small part of himself had found relief.

“Do you want to know more?” I gently asked him, not wanting to press too hard and scare him off. It was painful watching someone so desperately unhappy and not understanding how to change it. It takes more than wanting it or it would have been changed already. It only took the smallest kindness and a little time to show him he wasn’t invisible. I believe he felt very alone. I told him we could talk again if he wanted. He looked me in the eye and said, “I’d like that.”