Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2017 07 07 Journal Excerpt: Page 45 July 7, 2017

Seasons come, and seasons go. With the seasons, the moments that we build can stay with us forever, like the seasons.

 

2012 was a year filled with seasons that were filled with memories that were built from moments that will stay with me for many seasons to come.

 

Wait a minute, grab a moment and build a memory. It’s as easy as 1, 2,

 

dp

 

***

 

Page 45

 

Through the cold months, my writing found a way to keep me company. The prompts, the assignments, the poems and short stories and essays helped to take my mind off things so that I may enjoy different trips through a kaleidoscope of characters, destinations, situations and reminders of my own life. There were days when I would write a whole chapter for my fiction story, and on those days, the amount of video footage that was running through my head was amazing. As the story played, the words appeared on the screen, and before I knew it, a chapter was staring back at me, often times to the tune of a dozen pages. I explained to the writers in my Saturday group how I was writing what was playing in my mind, and one of the writers told me that she remembered that Stephen King often wrote in similar ways during the early years of his career. I didn’t believe it at the time, but I heard the same from a couple other writers, which caused me to take a step back and try to figure out how to deflate my swollen head and ego back to their original size.

 

Writing for me became a form of therapy. It allowed me to travel through my visions, my thoughts, my personal perceptions in a way that nothing else did. The more I wrote, the more I discovered things about my past, my present, my family, my childhood, my hates and loves and usually at the end of the day, when I shut down the computer, I felt as good as I did during the summer nights, sitting in the living room in Little Falls near an open window, feeling the cool evening breeze whispering in through the screen. That same sense of purpose, of life came rushing through me, and as I walked out of the make shift computer room here in Clinton, the same one where I am right now, well, it was a transformation of time, and of emotions.

 

We were able to celebrate the winter season throughout those frozen months. As a family, my wife and I, along with our son and grandson tried to gobble up as much memory making moments as possible.Jack was 6, and when I was near him and I heard his laughter, I felt like I was six and a half. I remember one afternoon, we were all out in the back yard. There were paths that I had shoveled near the back of the garage, and the snow was probably 2 feet deep, or there abouts. Jack came running up to me and pushed me backwards, causing me to fall back into the deep snow. He was laughing, I was laughing, and my wife was hollering for me not to move. I asked her what the matter was, and she hollered, “There’s a clump of dog poop right next to your head!”

 

Well, needless to say, I didn’t move an inch. Matter of fact, I don’t think I took another breath. Our son, God bless his heart, and strong arms, came running over, and with the help of Jack, the two Lyons men helped pull me back up straight, and out of the doggy doo danger.

 

I’ll never forget that moment, and writing about it now instantly took me back to that great afternoon with three of the most special people in the world.

 

Well the snows came and went, the icicles grew long and dripped their way towards spring, and if I remember correctly, that spring was one of the warmest we had seen in a while. I was glad to see the spring come along, but it just didn’t seem to have the same feeling as it usually did for me. Not having the vision to go along with the warming temps really seemed to be robbing me of a certain characteristic of the season that I had grown to admire and cherish. I kept telling myself that the magic of the season was still there, and it was up to me to figure out how to bring it to me. Perhaps what I didn’t realize was that the more important ingredient of the recipe would be for me to go to it. Another mobility lesson that I never would have expected.

 

That spring saw me continuing the mobility climb with Rosemary. We had traversed our way through the winter sidewalks, and as we stomped the snowy slush from our shoes, the lesson moved along towards the next intersection, with the promise of a toasted bagel and a hot cup of coffee waiting for us on lower Main Street.

 

Sarge and I had formed a friendship that allowed us to talk to each other about the day, the week, the past month, family ties, individual obstacles that we found ourselves working through, and the level of trust and respect that had grown for me was something that you can’t put a price tag on. When I made an error during a lesson, I knew instantly that she was cocking her head to one side, but also that she knew I would be able to figure it out and work my way through it. There were though moments though when her guidance was crucial, and as always, was only a few steps behind me.

 

I think that with any relationship, trust and respect are two of the most important elements of that, or any relationship. Without them, an honest level of communications isn’t possible. I’ve always tried to give folks the best that I have to offer. The old saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression is true, but after that first impression, the work is far from over.

 

Rosemary injected so many different things into my life. Facing my fears and finding a way to build confidence through it all did take a lot of courage on my part, but it also took a ton of guidance, of experience, of determination and devotion, all of which were part of my O&M instructor, Rosemary.

 

Thanks once again Sarge.

 

To be continued…

 

 

2017 07 04: Journal Excerpt Page 44 July 4, 2017

That winter of 2012 introduced me to another group of people, but some were the same that I had met at the 2011 ACB fall convention. This new group of amazement made up the Blind Bowlers of Central Maine, and as a new found family collectively made their way towards me, a new sense of belonging found its way into my life.

 

I was petrified at the first thought of trying to bowl blind, and at first I thought it was a joke, I mean, how can someone who is blind, bowl? It just didn’t make sense to me, so I just sort of shrugged it off as a chance to get to know some new people, one of whom was a fellow by the name of Rolfe Frost.

 

I had met Rolfe back in the spring of 2011, when he gave me a ride home from the employment assessment testing I had done at the Career Center in Augusta. Leona had set me up for the testing, and Rolfe gave me a ride home. We instantly struck up a nice conversation that lasted the whole trip back home, and for me, there was something about this guy that put me at ease, and allowed me to feel completely comfortable as we chatted it up.

 

Rolfe is, well, it’s hard for me to find words to correctly describe him. He has a heart of gold, and I am blessed to have met him, along with this new family of visually impaired people, and many, many more.

 

Blind Bowlers of Maine. It sounded really weird back then at first, but as time went by, it took on a whole new meaning for me. As the Saturday event became something that I looked forward to, I realized that I was slowly becoming one of them, one of the Blind Bowlers. I had found an incredible place where I fit in. I had found a group of people that I had something in common with. I became a Blind Bowler, and it felt comfortably normal.

 

Now I have to tell you that through my life, I was a ferociously competitive candlepin bowler. The first time I picked up a ball and rolled it down the alley, I was hooked, and I instantly became good at it. From an early age, I waited for the chance to step onto the hardwood lanes and slide towards the black line, releasing the ball. As it made that sweet, unmistakeable sound of rolling down the aisle, it hypnotized me until it crashed through the pins. That crashing sound, that explosion of pin action was the most beautiful sound in the world to me, and I just couldn’t get enough.

 

The years went by, and the trophies piled up. Our whole family was very competitive, and we all loved to bowl. My sister Terri was the best of our clan, and I was always chasing her abilities.

 

Anyway, the first time I stepped onto the lanes being visually impaired, bowling took on a new meaning for me. The hardest thing for me was the feeling of embarrassment. The humility, the pride that I had to swallow was one of the hardest things I have ever done.I went from a championship bowler, to a blind bowler in the blink of a blind eye, and as another part of my past stood beside me, I tied my bowling shoes, stepped onto the lanes, fumbled for a ball, stepped awkwardly three times towards where I thought the black line was, and quickly rolled a speedy gutter ball.

 

Did I mention how I cringed? Did I mention the pang of pain that ran down through me? Did I mention the smile that slowly crept across my face as I stepped back and tried to find another ball? How about the fact that shortly thereafter I rolled another gutter ball?

 

Those trips down to Augusta during the winter months became one of the highlights of my life. I grew very fond of sitting at the tables near the scorer’s desk, and just listening to the sounds. The crashing of the pins, the gutter balls, the camaraderie, it all took me back to the reasons why I loved to bowl. A complete package of time, wrapped in friendship, family and fun.

 

I thank you Mr. Frost for your friendship, your dedication and for your kindness of heart.

 

Well the winter rolled on, and so did my O&M lessons with Rosemary. Trudging through the snow with a white cane sweeping in front of me wasn’t my idea of having fun, but what an amazing opportunity to gather in my senses. The sounds of winter crunching under my feet was an experience like no other I had ever been through. A white cane in front of me, a pretty lady ten steps behind me, an intimidating world wrapped tightly around me, it all led me towards my future, and although it seemed dull and hazy, it brought certain things towards me that I never knew existed.

 

There were many aspects of winter mobility that changed my perceptions. The snow had very sneaky characteristics that I soon found very annoying, and as the tip of my cane packed full of snow and ice, my worries and fears of the unknown were met head on by an unrelenting show of force by Her Magesty, Mother Nature.

 

To be continued…

 

2016 04 16 Poetry: Flowered Bag April 16, 2016

We all have things that peak our interest, right? Until our time here on earth is through, we go through periods in our lives where our infatuation with certain things, although perhaps trendy, grabs us and yanks us back and forth, until it has our complete attention, and believe me when I say that it’s our attention that it demands.

Creatures of habit, like me, grab a trendy piece of today and run with it for all it’s worth, that is, until the next doohickey comes along and jabs us in the ribs.

I suppose I have good reason for having such a short attention span sometimes, I mean, look at all those shiny things over there in the corner, next to that colorful whatever it is you call it. Gotta have it, desperately need it and can’t remember why I wanted it!

Oh my, oh my, oh my how easily we are persuaded some days.

It looks like I forgot to tell you thanks, and below you will find poem number 16 for the month of April, and yes, it’s still National Poetry Month.

The poem below is one that I just wrote, and if I may say so, I wrote it rather quickly. I think I mentioned before that I like the ones that jump onto the screen. It’s like they were, they are meant to happen.

And here you go!

Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you grab that next thing you gotta have and really have the best time with it.

After all, the next one’s waiting round the corner.

Be well, and take care.

dp

***

Flowered Bag
A poem by DP Lyons

She sits alone, quietly
With a nervous smile, she shyly throws a glance over his way.
Dropping her eyes to her fidgeting hands, she averts his curious gaze
She wonders why he’s smiling at her
His eyes quickly dart from her, to a squirrel outside in a tree
Her hand moves to her face as she coyly looks his way again
Catching her off guard, he throws his gaze her way once again
They have peaked each other’s interest
Focusing down at her side, she reaches into her flowered bag
She fumbles inside the bag for what seems an hour and a day
He tries not to stare at her
She turns her head and quickly catches his gaze once again
His eyes rapidly dart to his own nervous hands
She finally pulls something out of her colorful bag and cups it in her delicate hands
Looking out at the squirrel again, he rubs the side of his face
Their eyes meet one more time
Taking a deep breath, she looks down at the item in her hands
She slowly starts to make her way across towards him
He doesn’t know what to do
His eyes feverishly search out a route of escape
Taking a deep breath, he watches her approach
She smiles and moves along side him
Still clutching the item from her bag, she gently offers it to him
He looks from her hand, to her eyes, then smiles brightly
She takes a deep breath and speaks
“Dabba mumma num num bubda mumma!”
He scrunches his head down into his shoulders, and then giggles
Looking up at her, he reaches and takes the item from her hand
His eyes open wide, and then he too speaks
“Mum mum bubba num num!”
She rolls backwards on the carpeted floor and laughs out loud
Raising his eyebrows, he throws his hands up in the air, then points out at the squirrel
Her eyes open wide as she stares out at the frolicking animal
Their mothers look at each other, smile, then laugh out loud

 

2016 04 12 Poetry: Wonder April 12, 2016

Oh my! April 12 already! I wonder how the time goes by so fast!

It seems like I’m always thinking about this, or pondering about that. Fact is, this soggy mush melon of mine hardly ever stops thinking, although sometimes it doesn’t seem like much. Dwelling upon this, figuring out that, contemplating on something that has no bearings on anything at all, it’s all just so, um, wonderful!

I think about my childhood, then I think about my old friends, then I think about what I like to eat, or watch, or play, or listen to, or eat.

Did I already say eat? I thought so. Sorry about that. Infatuation gets the best of us all at times, right?

Ok then. I think I thought a thing or two, but then again, I hardly ever think at all.

Not really. Fact is, once again, there’s hardly a moment that goes by where I’m not hand cranking the gears upstairs.

What happens if I ever run out of things to think about? Do I start over? Do I ask for my money back? Do I need to reboot or something?

Hmm.

And here it is, April 12th, and here you go, my 12th poem of the month.

Tired of me yet? Really? You mean I can submit 18 more after today? Really?

Far out, I mean, cool, I mean, like frigging awesome dude!

Thanks for putting up with the ranting scripture of a goat on a writing roll. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and thanks for not ever stopping while you think. After all, you might end up hurting yourself.

Be well, and once again, here we go!

Dp

***

Wonder
A poem by DP Lyons

A jet plane just flew over head
I wonder where it’s going
I wonder where it’s been
I wonder how fast it’s flying
I wonder if anyone on board was looking down at me
I wonder

A cardinal just raced across the back yard
I wonder where he’s going
I wonder if he might be as red as I remember red to be
I wonder if he might be a she
I wonder

I was thinking about an old school friend
I wonder what he’s up to
I wonder what he looks like today
I wonder if he’s married with kids
I wonder if he ever thinks about the good old days
I wonder

I’ve always been fascinated with the earth
I wonder how all the stars came to be
I wonder if we’re all alone
I wonder how we all ended up here
I wonder if anyone will ever find us
I wonder

I’ve always loved to write
I wonder what I should write about
I wonder what all of my writings mean
I wonder if I’ll ever stop writing
I wonder why I love to write
I wonder

I think about who I am
I wonder how my life came to be
I wonder where the time went
I wonder what it’ll be like twenty years from now
I wonder if in twenty years I will remember writing this poem
I wonder

 

2016 04 07 Poetry: Those Eyes April 7, 2016

Evening out there.

April 7 is winding down, and as the warm southern wind outside blows hard, the spring thaw looks like it is here to stay.

Below you will find my seventh poem of the month. This is a poem about undeniable love of soul, and the convictions of the heart. It’s about looking into the most beautiful blue eyes that ever could be. It’s about feeling safe in a place that a soul was destined to be in. It’s about time we get on with it, what say?

Thank you for being who you are, and thank you forloving with affection the way that only you can do.

Take care, and have a great night.

Dp

***

Those Eyes
A poem by DP Lyons

Come at me with those eyes of pure blue.
Those eyes with a thousand stories.
Those eyes with a million answers to a million questions.
Those eyes that heal my wounds.
Those eyes that look into my past and help me recall all that is good.

Come at me with that radiant smile.
That smile that brightens a thousand cloudy days.
That smile that quickly lifts me up and carries me away.
That smile that captures my heart and caresses my soul.
That smile I see when all else fades away.

Come at me with your gentle touch.
That touch that melts the heart of the shy, little boy inside.
That touch that guides me home.
That touch that warms the chambers of my beating heart.
That touch that reminds me how safe you make me feel.

Come at me and whisper in my ear.
Tell me that everything’s going to be alright.
Tell me I will never be alone.
Tell me that you know of my love.
Tell me that we will walk together into tomorrow.
Tell the boy inside that he is the man you fell in love with.

Look at me and help me see what’s real.
Smile at me and help me laugh out loud.
Touch me and help me feel your love.
Speak to me and help me tell the world that I love you.

 

2015 06 27 Discombobulated June 27, 2015

So there I was, standing with a arm full of folded bath towels when all of a sudden I walked up to the fridge and opened the door. There I was, standing in front of an open fridge wondering why I was standing in front of an open fridge. I couldn’t remember ever having put away folded bath towels in the fridge. As I closed the door to the fridge and turned towards the bathroom, I smiled and shook my head, wondering how I was ever going to find my way to my pillow that night.

I shouldn’t have felt so discombobulated, because it wasn’t like I never did absent minded things like that before I lost my vision. Fact is, I used to walk into a room, stop, and think why I walked into that room at least once or twice a week. Fact is, I’ve been absent minded since they discovered I came equipped with a mind. Fact is, the busier I became during the course of my life, the more I frequented rooms for no particular reason. Fact is, being a human is like owning a free life time pass to the greatest show on earth, and the popcorn always has just the right amount of salt and butter.

No, sorry. No m&m’s. I just saw that in the Whiplash movie, and within a couple weeks from watching the movie, I’ve heard people talk about this trendy blend a couple times. Weird? Oh you betcha.

So, as I was saying, no one knows about being absent minded more than I do. There were those occasions that I would drive right by my next sales stop and keep on riding towards my next stop. Some times, I didn’t realize what I had done until I did in fact arrive at that next stop, and then, as I stared at the invoice of the customer I just rode past twenty minutes before, it finally dawned on me that my truck did a bad thing.

Bad, bad old truck! Might as well blame it on something else, right?

Have you ever thought of something, some place, some word, some occurrence, but for the life of you you couldn’t transform the thought to words? Is that a form of absent mindedness? Is mindedness a word? Should it be? What was I writing about?

Oh ya.

I have run into non connectivity between my brain and my keypad quite a bit these past few years. I know what I’m thinking about, but I can’t think of the correct word to adequately convey the meaning onto the screen. I know some of you are thinking to yourselves, “Why don’t you use a thesaurus?”

Goat don’t work that way.

Fact is, if I can’t say it one way, there’s always some other way to construct a writer’s path that gets the job done. I know I’m not the most fluent of writers. I don’t have a pocket dictionary in my pocket. I have a limited vocabulary that sometimes has me scratching my head. I do like to paint a picture with words, but I probably should have gone to artistic colors in text class or something, because I do at times feel like a fish out of water when it comes to hitting a concrete wall of confusion and doubt.

About half an hour ago, I was standing in the middle of the kitchen, slowly turning around in a circle, from the sliding window, to the kitchen sink, back to the kitchen table, and all the while I wondered what it is that I was supposed to do.

I didn’t figure it out. I didn’t remember. I didn’t let it bother me though, and so I walked in this room, woke up my computer, opened a word document, and as I sometimes do, I started to write.

I didn’t remember anything I wanted to write about, so here it is.

 

2015 04 14 Poetry: My Old Friend April 14, 2015

Well we’re nearly half way through the month of April, and to tell you the truth, it seems like last week when the new year started and Old Man Winter came rolling in with a smile as big as Mount Katahdin. Although he’s relaxing on some beach in Daytona, I’m pretty sure he’ll be back next winter with his same old shenanigans. I’ve had so many years getting to know the old doddering popsicle that you could say he is like an old friend.

The following poem I wrote a while back isn’t about Old Man Winter, but it is about those most important memories of our youth, and how they grace us through all our years. Like a dear friend, they settle in and make themselves at home with everything that makes up who we are, how we feel, why we love andhow we select our futures.

Thanks again for visiting
Surviving, and I wish you a lifetime full of those same memories that can’t help but make you smile.

Deon

***

My Old Friend

My, oh my, I can’t believe it’s you!
You’re looking really well.
How on earth have you been, my dear old friend?
Sit down. Let’s chat for a spell.

It doesn’t seem quite possible.
I mean, really, how can it be?
Has the time flown by as quickly for you,
As it seems to have for me?

I remember way back when we were young.
The smiles, the fun, the joy.
The way we ran and jumped and laughed,
As though life was our very own toy.

I remember that brook out behind your house,
Where we caught cray fish and chased all those frogs.
We rode our bikes for hours on end,
Being chased by all of those dogs.

The Cub Scout meetings, the bottle drives,
Playing ball for hours on end.
Hide and seek ’til it was too dark to see.
Having you to call my best friend.

Did it all really happen, or was it a dream?
Was it all just too good to be true?
So much wonderful stuff wrapped around magnificent fun.
There was just always something to do.

I can’t believe that you still look the same.
How on earth have you been, my old friend?
You’re still married, right, with grandkids of your own?
Would you do it all over again?

I hope we see each other again real soon.
I’d like that more than you’d know.
Take care my old friend, tell your wife I said hi.
May you find peace, wherever you go?