Read What You Cannot See

Erma reads it, looks at the video clip, and laughs. “I’m fairly certain Emily was talking about how poetry set her free.”

Sylvia, at first nodding in placid agreement, then quips, “Well, you got the gist, Erma. Others might, too, if they read and don’t just look at the pictures.”

Ever the realist, Erma tells Sylvia that she might be hoping for too much. “People want quick, easy, not too much thinking.”

“I know, Syl, but just for today – this last Monday in June – I’m putting aside my cynicism and counting on all of the women who are ready to set aside convention and set themselves free.”

Erma, once again tickled by Sylvia’s newfound optimism, has one final thought to leave with her friend before she heads back home. “From dirty to flirty, lickety-split? I guess that’s not too prosaic, although I’d hardly call it poetic.”
πŸ¦πŸ¦šπŸ’πŸ¦πŸ¦šπŸ’πŸ¦πŸ¦š
They shut me up in Prose –

As when a little Girl

They put me in the Closet –

Because they liked me β€œstill” –

Still! Could themself have peeped –

And seen my Brain – go round –

They might as wise have lodged a Bird

For Treason – in the Pound –

Himself has but to will

And easy as a Star

Look down upon Captivity –

And laugh – No more have I –
~Emily Dickinson

Normal is Overrated

Erma: How often now do we hear people say this or that is the “new normal”?

Sylvia: Lots. It is the term du jour. Admittedly, I find myself using it without much thought, especially this past year. The pandemic created it.

Erma: Normal? What is normal? People mean ordinary, commonplace, and accepted. I guess that translates into living with rudeness and bad behavior for some.

Sylvia: Erma, that is exactly why we need and crave a “new normal”. A kinder and more humane way of life.

Erma: Oh, you are describing how we should have been all along!

Sylvia: Yes. Let’s dream it, practice it, and shape it into a way of life. I’m all for the “new normal” which apparently is a return to good, old-fashioned kindnesses and decency.


Now is our chance to do better, be better, and embrace our new normal, don’t you think?


“It is futile to judge a kind deed by its motives. Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”
~Eric Hoffer


Thank God, She Floats

It’s strangely refreshing that life is cyclical β€” the seasons, some moments, and indeed so many raw emotions often repeat. Sylvia hit play today, and what was in the machine could have taken her breath away, but instead it revived her and gave her the buoy she needed to stay afloat long enough to catch her breath and keep going.

The universe is at work; and curiously when an old friend calls unexpectedly or Sylvia comes across a photograph of herself smiling and thriving, she reminds herself that she has successfully weathered a storm or two. She may not have a lifeline immediately at hand all of the time, but thankfully she is learning to save herself most days. And when Sylvia is at a loss or not quite sure which line to grab, she has learned that it is perfectly acceptable to float a bit. Oh, and worst case scenario which is far from frightening and is always reassuring is knowing that Erma and others in her “tribe” will throw a line should she need one.

Life Outside of the Box

Erma: Start thinking big. Think outside of the box.

Sylvia: I’m tired of moves and change and being ordinary. I don’t need genius, but above-average would be just fine. Perfect, even, for now.

Erma: Some of it is necessary, the moves and the changes. The last part though, well, that you can fix. You are so far from ordinary– and certainly above-average.

Sylvia: God, I hope so!

Erma: You are extraordinary, Syl. You just need to remember that extraordinary lives outside of the box!


The ordinary think inside of the box, the extraordinary think outside of the box, but genius thinks inside, outside, below and above the box.
~Matshona Dhliwayo