The Ugly Color in the Rainbow

Listen to Playing Through Pain by Sonni Quick #np on #SoundCloud

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The Ugly Color in the Rainbow

Sadly the people who left you behind
don’t know what they’ll miss
Closing doors, no final looks
determine there is no worth
No matter the reason,
cruelty will bring you pain
The kiss, never quite meeting the cheek
before it breezes on
There is no need to ever find out
the person you dismiss
Was the one you didn’t know
you’d need the most
When life pulled the rug
from beneath your feet
You end alone and so sad
because no bridge exists to cross
You barely see the other side
to see if maybe someone is there
You fall down weeping
Head on the ground
Breathing in the smell of the dirt
for the hateful thoughts you had
finding someone else to blame
You threw way the ones
who weren’t easy to know,
who didn’t think like you, they had to go
Never thinking the day would come
Where they might be the only one
Who really understood who you were
How scared you were
you wouldn’t find your way
As you glued together the pieces of your life
that wouldn’t stay together
Life doesn’t care how you think
as we gather in our strengths
But no one makes it all alone,
or knows the lengths life will go
to show you what you didn’t know
And you thought your life had no need of me
You didn’t learn and you will never know
Because pride stands in your way
You made yourself stay away
The truth was never important
You made peace with just a piece
You don’t understand why anymore
You can’t just stuff it down
It will never go away, but I can go away
And the chance to make amends dissolves
Into a pool of life and never resolves 
in any way. It becomes lost just like we are
Because you stood still and it washed away
The door that lets in happiness and good feelings
The superficiality of supposed lies
keeps you locked away in fear
in a place where you can’t take a first step
You give in to not changing the same old same old.
Nothing changes. Life keeps grieving
What if you were wrong all along
All the unfinished feelings are lost in time
No one else but me cares about that.
I can’t care alone and I can’t forget
It crawls underneath my skin
Indifference is such an ugly color on the rainbow
No one understands what the future brings
And how it affects the future
When we breathe that last thought and no knows
No one is there to breathe it with you
Who knew you since we were born
The moment will be gone – forever gone
We will be no more and no one will care

The Day My Ear Left Home – Skin Cancer Won

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Skin cancer – in my case Squamas Cel Carcinoma (video included) sometimes we don’t take it serious enough. During my hospital stays at Penn State Hershey Hospital when I had my liver transplant one of my doctors told me there were more people dying of skin cancer in the hospital than any other single reason. It was mostly from melanoma because it gets inside the body and it can’t be successfully treated. They make them comfortable. That is scary.

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I didn’t realize how attached I was to my ear until I knew for sure I wasn’t going to be able to keep it, after all these years. I had no choice. I didn’t really think about my ear all that much over the years except as a place to hang earrings or as a  place to balance the other arm off my glasses. Now What was I going to do?
     I had a surgery in September 2018 and a pie wedge was cut out and my ear sewn together, now smaller but still looking like an ear. A skin cancer had formed on the back side. I’m on transplant medication for a liver transplant and was told skin cancer was very likely due to a suppressed immune system.
     I had other cancers cut out of my forehead and top of my head years earlier, but the cancer grew back on my ear almost immediately. So now they cut off everything but the lobe!! At least I can wear earrings – later.

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     They did two skin grafts to kinda sorta make an ear so I can wear glasses, but trust me, it looks like an animal chewed it off. Now I’m have grieving issues missing my ear that I had not fully appreciated having.
     Now I’ll have to shave the side of my head and have 30 rounds of radiation – but no chemo. THANK GOODNESS!
     So I’ll shave both sides of my head, leaving bare a couple inches around my ear(s) which will leave me with a kind of Mohawk, cut short. I threatened my husband I’d dye is purple or green. It will be short enough to grow back fast. What the heck, will I ever act my age!!

NOT A CHANCE! That is no fun, and why start now?

     So, the moral of the story is: don’t think you don’t need sunscreen!! My son works on boats at a marina. He nixxed sunscreen because sweating and sunscreen don’t mix. But now he says he will change. He has to at least wear clear Zinc on his nose and ears.
     All the other people in the Dr office waiting room had bulbous dressings somewhere on their face just like mine. A man had one covering his nose. Oh dear!

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     Fortunately, I had a old pair of broken glasses. The left arm broke off and it was my left that was cut. They still balance pretty good with one arm, otherwise I didn’t know what I was going to do.
     I was given needles of lidocaine for these surgeries. They are painful, like a succession of bee stings. I can’t imagine a needle numbing my nose. Ouch!! It makes my eyes water just thinking about it. But I get a bunch of needles in my ear and in the skin on my head around the ear and on my chest where they did two skin grafts.
     The other weird think was HEARING the sissors cut through the cartilage, and hearing him sewing the stitches and pulling it through the skin! Fortunately the doctor was young (37) and good looking with a great smile. That at least helped the process.

Skin cancer is no joke. It’s amazing that some people still think they are invincible and bake in the sun or use tanning beds. I did, too, for one year 34 years ago and I got out of the sun a long time ago.
     My generation didn’t know. We used iodine and baby oil to bake ourselves like a chicken in the oven. I don’t think the word “ultraviolet rays” even existed in the 60’s and 70’s.
     I’m going to put a photo here to drive the point home to those of you who don’t use sunscreen and think you’ll be just fine, but I’ll use a healed one from the first stage of this cancer surgery. It was in two steps.

Step 1.  cut off the ear and cover with a skin graft taken from my chest. 

Step 2.  use the skin graft to sorta make an ear and
do a 2nd skin graft to cover up behind the ear so the new ear won’t stick to the open skin.

One last point. A few years ago a good friend of mine died because of cancer most likely caused the same way mine was. She had a kidney transplant umpteen years earlier and had been fighting cancer for quite a few years. She lost the battle. She was on the same anti- rejection medication I am on for my liver transplant. I’ve had one medical crisis after another, but I’m not done yet. I have a lot of living to do!

Keeping Time – Where Are Your Memories?

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I came across this quote today:

“Life is not the number of days you live, it’s the number of days you remember”  

I sat and thought about it for quite awhile. I have had quite a life. At 64 I think I can honestly say that I have aggressively filled it with lots of “things”. I never settled. I never let fear take hold. I lived where I wanted to live and I did the things I wanted to do. I dealt with adversity by attacking it head on. If I said I was going to do something I did, and if didn’t work out the way I hoped, it wasn’t for lack of trying, and I didn’t find excuses and justifications and made some other reason to blame.

Most of all, if someone thinks I shouldn’t do something and has nothing to add to the reasons why, than it doesn’t make me not want to do it. My motto – and I mean this – and I’ve told this to probably hundreds of people in the last 40 years:

~If you don’t like what I’m doing, don’t watch me do it~

I don’t care if someone doesn’t like what I do. My life is my life. Period. You shouldn’t try to make people change because it is something YOU wouldn’t do. I don’t do that to them. It’s okay to express your opinion, just don’t expect me to live life the way you would.

I learned many people don’t do what they want because  of fear.

1. Fear of the unknown

2. Fear of failure

3. Fear of what people will think (other people don’t think about you as often as you think they do)  

There are also people who begin something new, but have no follow through. I know a woman – a talented woman – who began many projects, from writing a book, quilting, began a business and did all the preliminary research, created stained glass, even began painting her hallway, and on and on. She quit almost every project after starting enthusiastically.

Unfinished projects. Why? Her answer was, “I’m going to get back to them someday, maybe.” She had such a wonderful creative mind, yet had no confidence in herself. I think the answer was – if she was the one who chose to stop, then it wasn’t because she had failed. She could always begin it again, but seldom did. It was her choice.  She also told me one day, “I wish nothing changed.  I wish I could stay in my house and nothing changed. I don’t want friends, because you have to maintain friendships. If I have no friends no one will expect anything of me.” (and I don’t have to be there for them, either?) 

I thought I could show her something different – that she had value. I encouraged her to believe in herself. The end result – she believed a lie someone told her (I won’t get into that) and wouldn’t talk to me about it. It gave her the excuse to kick me out of her life, ( for the second time, and the first time lasted 35 years)  and she no longer speaks to me anymore. It’s been about 4 years now, I can’t “remember” exactly when. I’ve tried to unsuccessfully squash it down. 

Some people want to disappear. I will have no more memories of her to think about and that makes me sad. I don’t know how she is doing. Some people won’t stand up for their own life. She didn’t want to have a life beyond what appeared in front of her without any effort on her part. If you choose to believe things without finding out the truth you are taking the path of least resistance. Sadly, I’m not the only person she did this to. 

At the end of her life what will she remember? And she is my sister. 

I know my style of living is not for everyone. But I realize life is short and I’m going to die at the end of it. I have wanted to fill it up with memories so when I’m decrepit I can relive my memories. My memories of her are mostly of our childhood. 

My successes, my failures, my friends – many of them are all over the world. They live in my tablet and I can visit with them whenever I want. Except for limited family and neighbors, how many people are good friends who care about you, and you see them face to face? The internet opened up the world. 

Right now I’m making plans to meet up with a young Russian man in his 20’s during a visit to America in June, when I take the train from Harrisburg to Miami on down to the Keys. I make this trek quite often and have met some very interesting people. A man traveling who makes a living betting on sports – older woman who traveled the states when she was young, picking fruits and vegetables and loved it!

My Russian friend and I have been writing and sending pictures since he was about 15 and needed advice on how to talk to a girl in school. He was also learning to play the guitar so we talked about learning music. Such fun. He was just learning English and now speaks it proficiently. He had a goal and is making his goal come true. No, I don’t equate his being Russian with the politics of Russia with the United States. 

I started this post today because I read a quote and it started me thinking about my own life. These were the thoughts that came to mind. What do you think? How do you live your life? What do you think about taking chances and doing something new? Let’s talk about it.

As an afterthought here is music I recorded about Time:

Music, videos  and photos found here at my website

Sign up to my mailing list at that website to hear about new music and videos. Many thanks to you!

 

I love Myself

I love myself

I love myself

I think I’m grand

I go to the movies

and I hold my hand.

I put my arm

around my waist

and when I’m fresh

I slap my face!

 

A little ditty my mother taught me that my grandmother taught her .

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This was an early blog post 4 years ago. The writing on my other blog, My Name is Jamie, My Life in Prison, could get mentally overpowering so I started this blog where I could lighten up or write about other things

One day my mother sang this song. I should record it. It’s cute. I laughed and laughed because I could my short grandmother,  a flapper in the roaring 20’s, aging this song. Oh how she loved to dance. She met each of her 3 husbands on the dance floor.

So I thought I would share it again today. (smile)

  

I Missed My Train…Now What Happens?

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Right now I’m sitting at the Amtrak station at Ft Lauderdale, FL. I love riding the train, up or down the coast every month. I should already be on the train, the 8:50 AM train heading up the coast, but my ride to the station got me here 5 minutes late and I watched the train pull away. I sighed.

I didn’t panic because I knew there was one more train today in three and a half hours. It’s also a longer ride by several hours, and a longer lay-over at Philadelphia 30th St station. (my favorite station on this route) I won’t get into Harrisburg until 10:05 Pm tomorrow night instead of shortly 12:45 PM.

I really wanted my morning a cup of coffee that I would have gotten at the Cafe car and there was no food or vending machine at this tiny station, unless I wanted to walk a few blocks. I didn’t want it that bad although the walk would have been beneficial. Oh well, I’ll live.

I decided instead to work on a chapter for my book I was in the middle of writing. Inside The Forbidden Outside, so I put the time to good use. My phone was dead so I plugged it into the ONLY electrical outlet in this quite huge room. Since everyone has a device that needs charging its a good thing I’m the only one sitting here. Mass transit and airports usually have charging availabilities.

A man walks in from the outside looking for an outlet. “Can I please charge my phone?” he asked, seeing my cord plugged into the only outlet. He had been at an establishment, I don’t remember where, and his wallet had been stolen. He called the police, not very confident of getting it back but it was all he could do. He had just gotten a phone call from the police. They caught the guy. He still had his wallet and everything was in it. He needed to come get it. . . then his phone battery died. He needed to call Uber, who already has a credit card on file, since his card was in his wallet. Of course I told him to unplug me. He made his call, thanked me and ran out the door. 

Next, a woman came in, waiting for Tri-rail, which services the communities in lower Florida. While she waited she really wanted to have a cup of coffee, but she didn’t want to drag her suitcase.

“I’m not going anywhere,” I told her. “I’m more than happy to watch your bag. I have two hours yet to wait.”

She was happy about that and pulled he bag over to me and set it beside me. As she headed to the door she turned and asked, “Can I get you anything?”

A smile lit up my face. “A cup of coffee?” I got out my wallet to give her a few dollars and she said, no, it was a fair trade for watching her bag.

I wasn’t going hold on to the money for that cup of coffee for very long. Soon after she left, a man came into the station, distraught. He also like he was in pretty bad shape. He paced the room and sat down down in the row of metal seats in front of me. (Very uncomfortable for long term sitting. Good thing I have a little pillow with me.)

“Can you help me, please,” he said. He was holding a single dollar bill in his hand along with a plastic card and a folded piece of paper.

I listened to his story. “I just got out of jail. I been there for sixty days. I was a trustee and they paid me a dollar a day to clean up in the medical ward. People’s pee and throw up and and everything else no one wanted to clean up.”

“They released me at 8:45 last night and they gave me this debit card and said my $60 was on it, but it won’t work. I called the number on it but the person said I’d have to call back. I just want to get home and I can’t.”

I asked him how much his Tri-rail ticket would cost.
$2.80. He was asking me for $1.80, about the price of a cup of coffee.

“You don’t know what is like in there,” he said real fast.

“People getting raped and stuck with knives. You don’t know what they made me do!” he said, looking like he was about to cry.

“I do know,” I said, and explained why I know and the book I’m writing. I also believed his story. He wasn’t trying to panhandle money just to get money. I don’t know why he was in jail and I didn’t care at this moment. Whether he was guilty or not of whatever he was charged wasn’t the issue, either. He needed help and I could help him. Someday I may need help, too. That is the Law of Cause and Effect.

“I had this public defender and he didn’t care one bit about what was happening to me,” he said like an afterthought.

I did know the issue inmates had about not actually being defended by those who legally were supposed to. Public defenders didn’t defend you. They worked for the district attorney. Even if they wanted to do their job there was no time to do it. There were too many cases to deal with as people were arrested, often to fill quotas. In and out. Fine then and make sure they have a date to return to court. Make it impossible for them to defend themselves. If they have enough fines they can’t pay, they can then be given prison time. Debtors prison. It’s a screwed up system.

The Tri-rail was slowly pulling into the station. I took out a five dollar bill and handed it to him. I could have given him two one dollar bills, but with the extra $3.20, when he got off the train he could get something eat.

There was a look of gratitude on his face as he turned toward the door. “You’re a good woman. A soldier for Christ,” he said and ran to his train.

I chuckled a little. I had no time to tell him I was a Buddhist. But there are concepts between Buddhism and Christianity that are pretty much the same. Christians say, “You reap what you sow.” Nichiren Buddhists call it “The law of Cause and Effect.”

Other people say, “What goes around comes around,” or “You get back what you dish out.” It’s all the same whether you do the right thing or the wrong thing. Our lives are the product of our actions and the causes we make.

There is a rhythm in life. We control that rhythm with our thoughts, words and actions. We can blame no one, even the supposed big man in the universe, for what happens in our lives. But it’s not just the big things that happen. If we look closely at the events in our daily life as it unfolds, we can see the way the pieces fit.

It will be interesting to see how this day plays out; why I missed my train and had to take the next one. There is a reason. Who will I meet? What did I avoid? How do I affect someone else’s life, because I will, in some way. How does it affect my husband’s life having to drive to Harrisburg at 10:00 pm instead of 12:45 pm? 

Life is so damn interesting if you slow down and pay attention to the details.

HAPPY New Year? Really?

Happy New Years – I think. I mean, that is what we’re supposed to say, isn’t it? We say it every year, until the illusion passes and we go back to work and the kids go back to school, broken toys in the corner of their room.

Federal workers are returning gifts for the money because landlords still expect rent money, and Trump is lying and said the workers are happy to have their life (and their own personal happy new year sacrificed) because they want him to build his ego – centered big beautiful wall so he can brag about being the best goddam president the United States has ever had. He is going to make the American people pay for that wall if it’s the last thing he does (and hopefully cashes in his chips – at his own bankrupted and closed casino in Atlantic City.) 

But personally, what do we actually do different that makes it possible to have a good and happy year? For most people, probably nothing  They are tired, trying to survive so the don’t pay attention to it. 

I saw not ONE personal new years resolution this year, because they really are a joke. What I DID see was ( too many to count in my head) sparkling posters on Facebook messenger flashing HAPPY NEW YEAR in big multi – color letters; an impersonal and meaningless way to say you care – to someone you don’t care about and have never met. 

So what is it that we (as a country and personally) are going to do differently this year that will make this a happy year? We pretend everything will get fixed by somebody, and say the same thing every year. Then we forget about it for 12 months and do it again.

I’m being cynical – intentionally – The polical climate in the US of A is so bad that it’s citizens hate each other, and that hate is CAUSED by corrupt politicians who are fighting over how much more they are going to screw us and the country in this new year – AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPY? And yet we put on a hat, watch a ball in NYC drop down again, party a little, wake up and go about how we are going to survive the year and fruitless I Oops a little security for ourselves as debt climbs.

Yeah, happy new year.

The End Game – Poetry

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photo source: hepfi.org

The End Game

Lurking in back of my eyes
Tasting the smells, seeing the ghosts
No matter how often I’ve tried
It reminds me where I’ve been
And how many miles I’ve gone
I tied it up in a garbage bag
And kept on walking alone

Too late, it caught up beside me
And said hi, where have you been?
It’s time to pay the price dear
You can’t run away from sin
You made a cause, the effect is now
There’s no choice, you can’t get away
You chose to play, it’s time to pay
It’s your end game, take a bow

 

by Sonni Quick ©2018

Post liver transplant /cancer survivor/2012

Also follow:  My Name is Jamie. Life in Prison