Possession of the Mind…#145

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Author’s Note:  Recently I had a discussion with an individual that had a close family member with dementia.   I thought of what it might be like to have dementia, what would one think, see, feel, from those thought came “Possession of the Mind”.

 

Possession of the Mind…

It so happens that I am an old woman. I do not walk as much as I use too. There are times when I feel desiccated with no plasticity, as I move slowly through the day both mentally and physically.  Thoughts and feelings at times cause me to shed tears silently so no one will know what is tearing the core of me to shreds. I force myself up each day, unhurriedly I chase through the day.
I no longer find pleasure in stores, restaurants, travel or planned events. Why? My feet and legs will no longer hold my withering body. My hair I have begun to hate, its time-consuming length, its color. I hate my shadow as well.   I am tired of being a human, I look into the mirror and I do not know the person looking back at me. There is no sparkle in her eyes, no smiles that puts a glow on her face. The person I once knew is no longer there.
My world is dark, shivering, constantly hording information mentally, thinking, eating, sleeping, every day. I do not want the misery that my mind creates every day and night. I sometimes feel frozen, dying of grief. My soul blazes like an unstoppable forest fire, I hear howling of the wounded waiting for their Angel of Death.
I dream of crumbling houses, hospitals that smell like death; hanging intestine, crushed bones. I wake weeping from shame and terror, remembering the venom of the night. I fall back to sleep dreaming of birds, white feathers falling to the ground.
It is during my daily walk that I stroll with eyes open taking in the beauty of it all, letting the senses of the world absorb me, forgetting all that has possessed my mind.

 

©2020.elizabethannjohnsonmuphree

 

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Epoch of Living…#134

 

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Epoch of Living…
In this age with the elderly outnumbering the rest of society, I have been privilege to be a part of some living and passing. It is the days before their glorious ascension that I write about today. I live in an Independent complex for “seniors”; the transference was not an easy one, but the simplicity of living outweighed all other situations. Why do I write about this subject? The decline of the human body and sometimes the Spirit and Soul. I have surveyed many and followed their decline and fight to live a productive and peaceful life. The subject matter of this post is my own personal opinion.

The healthy hearty individuals who chose to give up their homes for a more simple life, less house and yard work arrive with smiles. They have underground parking and no longer have to fight the winter weather, snow and ice. They have activities if they wish to participate, everything from cards, bingo, community choirs and gatherings to potlucks and holiday meals and cook outs.

In the beginning they are many times met in these “get-to-gathers” by the few with more boisterous personalities, i.e., they want to run the show and those attending. I do not attend these gatherings, as I have always been an advocate for the elderly…then became one. By the time we get to these types of living situations many have lost the fight that we possessed in younger days, we allow the few to control the masses. These are individual choices and I in no way want to judge why some lets others control them. Of course, there is also living in the complex those few like myself who choose to walk to our own drummer so to speak. Nonetheless, it is a source of irritation to me when I hear of the controlling few and how they act toward their fellow women and men.

Back to the decline, the residents arrive with enthusiasm, new cars, and settle into a less stressful lifestyle. It is the decline of the human body and mind that I get upset with the progress. Within a few years, their cars are taken from them, leaving them without transportation and at the mercy of their children or grandchildren to provide rides to doctor visits and shopping. I have observed those who did not need to give up driving, it was taken away because a child wanted the use of the vehicle. When discussing a sometimes-tragic decision tears come to their eyes, they were not ready, nor did they need to be ready. Then there are those who should have had those vehicles taken to protect the public and they had no one to make the choice for them, they are a danger to society.

The few who remain independent is not what this post is regarding, it is about those who fall into the category of being told what to do, or have relatives forget they exist. The brave few who are capable of making their own decisions and continue to live a lifestyle that should be afforded the elderly I applaud them. There are those who have loving children and are held in high regard by those children, they are well cared for and visited often.

This bring me to those who are within time visited by their children only on holidays, if even then, or those who come around to “get” what they want material, financial or otherwise. I have witnessed too many times when a family would come in Mother’s Day with a lily, and within thirty minutes, they are leaving. The same with Christmas, they arrive Christmas Eve with poinsettias and leave within a few minutes they do not want to disrupt their own lives by spending too much time with who should be their “loved” ones. It is at this stage of life that the residents of the complex transfer slowly from walking to wheelchair, walker or cane. Now, we all may get in that position during an illness, but we fight each time to return to being as active as possible. Many are happy to sit in front of their TV all day as age progresses; this brings on the final days quicker.

However, after all is said and done one cannot help getting older and go through the various stages of life to reach their final destination. Moreover, for all that I have written, I am thankful that I can remain mentally productive and continue to do what I have always dreamed of doing upon retirement, write, publish and enjoy my days with hope for a long and happy future. With that being said, it is in these living situations that we reach the end of our journeys; I wrote a short poem that started the entire premise of this post.

Angel Wings

How sweet is the foreboding, yet dying can be a beautiful sight. Even though it can be hard to bear, the thoughts are wonderful of one’s soul floating to Heaven on God’s golden air.

Family and friends gather sitting close to the hearths, angels waiting nearby; love ones questioning…why!

Death is something that is impossible to prepare, the angels try to fill the room with loving care. Love ones watch with a fallen tear…listen can you hear the angels sing. Another soul given their wings.

 

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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Music in Your Heart…#122

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Music in your Heart…

Expand your senses no one can take away your right to choose, believe in yourself. Wake up your emotions, live on the edge for a while; rid yourself of life’s clutter, let your imagination soar. Let no secret voices guide your life, no clandestine decisions stop you from saying the right words; without a loving spirit, the unique music within your heart will never be heard. Make your own imprint on life, leave a legacy for the coming generations; give yourself permission to set lofty goals and solid expectations. Listen to the music in your heart.

 
©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Honeysuckle Memories…#114

 

Honeysuckle Memories…

Deep within my memories I sometimes walk to a place where my life began, I take an emotional journey, from time to time. Memories with or without images of those days are like a thunderstorms distance echo, you cannot see it; you know that at one time it was there.

A furrowed road, wild honeysuckle; a crumbled chimney beneath the kudzu vines, the remnant memories of that life and dim images never change.
It was the cotton fields surrounding the old weathered shack that stole my daddy’s wandering soul.

In the warm red dirt life sprung from the blood and sweat that nurtured the white gold called cotton, it broke spirits, and hardened souls. In memory, the image from the past holds but one old leathered face, my daddy’s.

Life goes by quickly, places and people vanish without a trace, time and progress erases the landscape of our lives, memories are made of gold. In the shadows of the mind is a time of how life use to be; and with only a thought I can recall those sweet honeysuckle memories.
©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Going Home…#112

Going Home…

Morning, glorious morning, the sunbeams seeps brightly through the windowpane like frost from winters frozen ground. I rise, face the Eastern sky that is where the warmth of the day can be found. I open the window the breeze bathes me with the scent of lilacs that grow lavishly in the spring. While somewhere in the distance, plum dusk lingers as the last moments of night clings.

A robin searches for worms beneath my crabapple tree, I sip from my favorite cup, a hot peach flavored tea. It is time to dress, comb my snow-white hair and take the well-worn path down the hillside toward the sea. At water’s edge, I pause to remember God, to hear his wondrous call, I will dedicate this moment to the Great Mystery of it all. I pray for patience in enjoying these golden years, to hold my head high and face life without fear.

I return home and I hear children playing in the fields far away, I remember the joy of the imaginary castles in the sky that I use to build. I stop to think, have I sat here all day, reliving my own childhood in that special way? I slowly rise from the old oak rocker, did I remember to eat, is it time to go inside, to wash the dried sand from my feet.

It is then that I return to my thoughts as evening shadows come into sight. It is time for me to climb beneath my mother’s old quilts, my eyes will close and I will flow among the starless time called sleep, my God has a promise to keep. I float across a space upon the softness of a sparkling wind, along the way I see family and friends. I know that my soul from its earthly body has gone; where silver sands and emerald seas will forever be a part of me…this is everlasting love, at last I am home.

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
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Old Age…#106

“In something called the Pew Study, the responses were clearly that old age begins at 68. However, those older, 65, considered old age to begin at 74. As for me, at 80, old age may be 90.” Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree.

Old Age…

Therefore, there are more older people than ever before, most are not working forty hours a week and many are unsure of what they are going to do with their time. Life changes at advanced ages are both physical and emotional. I have struggled with the loss of loved ones and a share of my independence; almost everyone who has reached that magic number that declares we are old age shares this. I have tried to maintain a healthy life style, yet, as the body ages like any vehicle or vessel, its parts wear out. We have to maintain the highest quality of life possible, a fulfilling life and we must find ways to live our life. If you are mindful of changes in your life the ones that restrict you will not come as a surprise, it is known that exercising will contribute to a long life and it is never too late to start.

Exercise can help prevent memory loss; it provides you with “feel-good hormones known as endorphins. It helps reduce chronic pain, improves metabolism and it can improve your quality of sleep. Keep your brain active, you can feed your creativity now that you are no longer working, it is important to keep the brain strong.

It is said that older people living alone are lonely, unhappy and isolated; a study revealed that older people living alone are often poor and desperate. LET ME DISPEL THIS STATEMENT AS A MYTH! I have lived alone in the old age timeframe for ten years, I am not lonely, unhappy, nor do I feel isolated; and I am far from desperate. I am not poor, I am rich in family and the world around me; I have all that I need and want. Family, living in the moment and creativity is my chosen lifestyle, one that fulfills me in every way.

How do I maintain this outlook on life? I keep up with technology and modern culture while embracing my past and what it held for me, I do not disrespect that of others. I try to exercise within the limits of my current abilities; it is less than ten years ago, but every step counts. I try to keep my aches and pains to myself as well as my mental state at any given moment. As we, I have aged, I go through a gamut of emotions, and I do not believe that people change in old age. I do believe that their personalities and health cause unhappiness if they were unhappy as younger people, and they are happy if they have always tried to look as the glass half full instead of half empty. I consider above physical health that mental is the most important, without a good outlook on life the physical health does not have a chance. Family and social ties are a plus; I have to work on social ties.

I try to “practice what I preach”, I still have work to do on myself and probably always will, yet nothing stops me from trying. I have embraced my age, I have adopted a healthy lifestyle and I set goals. Yes, goals, I intend to continue to make myself as healthy as possible and I intend to continue to “write”, on anything and everything, to expand my world and move beyond that small bubble that is my life.

Want you come with me?

 

 
©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 
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Harvest Moon the Fall of Life…#103

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Harvest Moon in the Fall of Your Life

Harvest moon hangs over the tops of the trees,

shines upon the white lilacs shadowing the wall

by the sea. The night birds call as evening falls.

Boughs of spruce stay green in winter’s cold,

the willow tree weeps as the earth becomes old.

A moonlit night that will never die, memories

in time watched over by God’s loving eyes.

 

Mist across a nearby brook lies low under

dimming stars fireflies dancing afar. Rain seeps

into the earth as vines cling to ghostly street

lights; in the shroud of silence, souls take a

heavenly flight. Life and death, time and lack

of memory are all lost on youth, breath taken

away, there will only be truth.

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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Why I Write…#101

th37Q6MWEOWhy I Write…

I have been writing from childhood, the clumsy print on the “Big Chief” pads to the journal keeping throughout my life. I begin to try to learn the craft of writing via courses at the local college; I begin to write seriously upon retirement. I started with the creation of poetry, wrote a non-fiction and have many short stories shelved in the closet.

Grace Paley and Anne Lamott are my favorite writers neither are afraid of controversy. I have been to lectures from both and Grace Paley appeals to me with her “voice”. I have learned the skill of finding my own voice and writing from Anne Lamott. She taught me that becoming a writer is about becoming mindful, picture what you want to write and write it.

In my writing real people appear in fictionalized form in my short stories and poetry. My poetry is mostly freestyle or free verse; I do not like to focus totally on meter or rhyme. Although, many of my poems have elements of both, I live by the rule anything is possible with I am writing a freestyle poem.

My reason for writing is to communicate with readers, to stimulate interest or a reaction. However, my primary reason for writing is to try to reach the subconscious flow of thoughts. To bring forth useful opinion from my readers through all forms of writing. My poetry is a creative transfiguration of reality. My short stories most times center on events that actually took place, however, they are for entertainment.

Have a great Thursday; it is cold here in southern Wisconsin.

E.

 

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Altered Senses…#86

 

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Altered Senses…

Existence, scene after scene, characteristic of life’s

environment, and promises that reveal nothing,

the past descends like rain from the sky, washing

away all dreams. Phantoms of youth chanting

within the soul, paths blocked; evil has spread

across the landscape of a lifetime. Loneliness

limits love and happiness; boundaries slow

down the process of moving into the future

shrouded with abundant solitude from where

there is no escape. Rethink the future!

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 
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11th

Lost Little Girl…

I do not know if you are alive or dead.
I see your face your voice never
forgotten.

The sun does not rise in the morning, nor
fade into the west without a thought of you.
I mourn, nights are sleepless and morning
eyes fill with fire.

No one more cherished, more loved, my
heart bears scars of torture. Where are you
my lost little girl?

A collection of personal poetry. Ann Johnson-Murphree Poetry Books – Collections of Exposé Poetry are coffee table books 8X11 that will display well in any area. The matte cover is classy and inviting. Within each book the reader will find soul poetry. A length pleasing to browse, read one or more; find a connection, a meaning and a purpose in each poem. These collections of poetry are filled with inspiring thoughts and reassuring words with a factual viewpoint on the many experiences in the life of the poet. Each collection serves as a prevailing reminder that life is complex. That happiness is in our hands alone; that the fear of unhappiness is deep-rooted in the spirit and soul. That depression and despair is real and each individual must find the freedom of mind, body and soul to move forward in their life. Each poem has been created from the fabric of a patchwork life, complex, stress-filled, finding enlightenment and cultivating wisdom. Anyone who will open their mind is free to pursue insight, to find their own nirvana. This collection of thoughts brings the reader along on the multifaceted journey of the poet’s experiences throughout life.

Aging…#85

 

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Aging…

Splendor to the aging body has disappeared,

shaded looks from an old lover causes the

soul to cry. The enemy time is not kind, as both

beauty and strength begins to decay. Time

engulfs the aged, suddenly life changes in

every way.

Of youth we dream, while youth and old

age s begin to entwine. The past is gone

there is no future; the years have gone by

so quickly, we weep. The days are long, were

we ever young, this crumbling body we cannot

change. The prison we live in, the past, the

present brings weary pain.

Suffer, feeble, remembrance hidden deep within

our minds. Emotions felt, we must live the hand we

are dealt, life has not been kind. Frozen in time, ghost

of ourselves, there is nothing left to tell. It is the last

stage of life, some wait for Heaven, while others

continue to live in hell!

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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The book of poetry “A Passage into Madness” has been ten years of collections; my daughter passed suddenly 2010; my mourning has been hidden within the pages of my  poetry and my life, my pain constant.  most times I find myself in a place of inner darkness, the threat of madness crouched above me; and it does not go away. I was in a fervor to put the words down; what begin as writing, an accounting of me, turned quickly into “Poetry”. I felt like my spirit wanted the accounting, the apocalyptic writing begin; and it closed with shocking revelations into my personal life.

 

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