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 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…

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2017 06 23 Journal Excerpt: Page 37 June 23, 2017

 

Our lives are full of stories that we keep with us through time. The years are filled with trends that we latch on to with a ferocity for excitement. Myself, I have what you could call an addictive personality, so the trends, the impulses, the things that latch on to me become very addictive to me, and man do they have a way of changing me. Some of these trends, as quickly as they grab hold of us, they also can just as quickly pack their bags and move on down the road, rapidly being replaced by the next trend, the next impulse.

 

This next page deals with a couple of those trends, those things in my life that had a unique way of latching on to me. Some times we don’t notice one trend being replaced by another, but often times, we do.

 

It’s Friday, and I hope you all have a great rest of your day, and weekend.

 

Deon

 

***

 

Page 37

Summer 2011

 

There were many instances of my lack of concentration getting the better of me. Through it all, I had to learn how to trust my mobility instructors, and I’m very glad I did. Gaining trust in them allowed me to focus on the most important thing of all, my relationship with my cane. I had to learn how to trust my cane along with trusting my instructors, for my cane was also an instructor. My cane talked to me. It spoke in a language that I had to study, and as I began to understand the cane, I began to figure out how to open the doors of mobility., As I walked through those doors, I learned another lesson, probably the biggest one of all. I began to learn that I lost my vision so that I might learn how to see. The mobility, the assistive technology, the additional heightened senses, the inspiration that was coming at me, that was touching me, that began to rise up from within me, all of these additions to my life were so very unexpected, and to this day I’m still learning from each and every one of them.

 

Other emotions were having their way with me as well. It had been a year since the world had grown dark around me, and through the 2011 summer, I was constantly reminded of just how much I couldn’t see. I was a stubborned blind man with a passion for hanging on to my independence. I didn’t want to let go of the past, of my life with sight, and as the days progressed, small pieces of my past life, of my independence fell through my fingers and away from the present. Every time it happened, I shuddered inside as I lay another part of my past to rest. Realizing all of the things that I couldn’t do any more was a painful task that wreaked havoc on my vulnerable soul.

 

The tears that had flowed so freely began to diminish with time, and with each incident of bitter truth, I eventually felt like a damp dish rag that had been wrung out over and again and over and again. I tried to find things to feel happy about, but the happiness didn’t last long. The smiles quickly turned to a thin lipped frown that was full of anger, resentment and fear.

 

Man, as I write this, I’m being flooded by samples of those emotions. Here it is several years later, and the heart still races, the anxiety still rushes and the doubt still creeps in.

 

That summer of 2011 also saw me say goodbye to a dear old friend. I had written about my roto-tiller that sat idle through the summer of 2010. I wrote about pushing it back to the garage through half a foot of snow in early December. I wrote about how she hollered and screamed at me for just one more chance to run through the garden. As she cried, so did I. Another part of my past was slowly coming to a sad end.

 

I ended up trading the tiller for a 12 string Fender electric acoustic guitar in the summer of 2011. Lynne posted an ad somewhere that I would like to trade the tiller, and at just about the same time, she saw another ad from a gentleman in Moscow who was looking to trade his guitar for a tiller. That’s Moscow Maine. Grin It was meant to be, and saying goodbye to my old ground chomping friend was one of the hardest things I had ever done. If not for another girl entering my life at the same time, I don’t know what I would have done. Holding that guitar in my arms as he drove away with the tiller was the worst of times, and the best of times. I could hear my tiller screaming to me as he drove away, but I also heard a sweet 12 stringed lullaby softly playing in my ear.

 

Man, the emotions that swept down through me during these times was simply amazing. I guess they played a major role in helping to build a new foundation that started to replace the one that was being slowly demolished. Is demolish a good description? I’m sure there’s a more suited word, but at times it sure felt like it was truly being demolished.

 

Life continued to come at me. It didn’t care what I was going through. It didn’t care in the least. It was only able to continue on as before.

 

No matter what.

 

To be continued…

 

 

2016 05 15 Conductor May 15, 2016

And here we are, smack dab in the middle of another month. The 15th of May snuck in and took up right where the 14th left off, and I hardly even noticed.

It’s been a couple weeks since my last post, and I can honestly say that I miss those “poem a day” days of April. I discovered a lot, wrote a little more, made a few rhymes and created a couple of poems that I really enjoyed as I went and read them back.

It’s hard for me to say which style of writing I like the best. I do love to write poetry quite a bit. The musical flow of the texted lyrics have a strange effect on me. Sometimes when I read the words back, it’s as if a conductor is standing in front of an orchestra, and as he waves his baton back and forth, he smiles and closes his eyes as the melody lifts him high into the evening air and whisks him away, along side a soothing piece of music that only he can hear.

As the music flows, so too does the mind.

I love the flow of a poem. I love the highs, the lows, the rhythm and the movement from one line to the next. It’s a cascading, harmonic journey for me, and whether the poem rhymes or not, the magic of words never finds a home better suited than at home, in a poem.

Now I do love other styles of writing as well, such as short stories, fiction, non fiction essays, and the hundreds of different posts I have shared in my blog. There are quite a few short stories I have written that have taken my emotions and rocketed them to the moon and back. These emotions haven’t always been a companion of mine. As a young boy and man, I can rarely remember being caught up in my emotions the way I do today. In fact, the first time I remember being swept away by them was when I watched the 1982 movie, ET. How or why a little weird looking alien was able to hand me a box of tissues was, at the time, unrealistic for me, and to me. Never had I been handed a pocket full of tears as I was that day in Buffalo. Although I was a little confused with it all, I was also completely entertained and relished the memories of that movie for, well, until this day.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have no answers why as I grow older, that I’m seemingly more in touch with my feelings. If any of you are hollering out, “You’re a Metro Sexual Male?!” all I can say is that I don’t believe in trendy labels of the times. I mean, labels come and go, but feelings and emotions have been with us since a human first broke a bone.

Huh?

Never mind.

I do love to write, and although I haven’t been doing much of it lately, I still love to fill a page full of my thoughts, if for no other reason than being able to go back and read it myself.

What we go through in our lives is unique to us, and us alone. It is our life, our struggle, our emotions, our triumphs and our times to remember as we choose to. My memories are mine, and mine alone, and perhaps the reason I get caught up with emotions these days is because so much of what I go through is reminding me of those days gone by.

I know we all have memories, some good and some bad. Even though I have my share of less than good memories, they will never ever be able to hold a candle to those memories of mine that soothe my aching bones. Some of those memories of mine that make me smile are shared by others, but still, the ones that wrap around my mind are specially tailored for me and no one else. They are the ones that I can relate to, and as all of the new memories build and shape themselves, they’ll help define who I am as I become an older goat.

As the mind remembers back, the new memories rise up with each breath of this new day.

And again, another couple empty pages have been filled up with the gift of text. Never knowing where it’s going, it continues to go never the less, and on this 15th day of May, the breaths just keep coming.

Have a wicked good rest of your day, and thanks for the continued inspiration

dp.

 

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 15 Poetry: Detour Signs April 15, 2016

Ya ever wonder how you make it through the day? Ya ever think about all of the hurdles, obstacles, inconveniences and royal pain in the butts you encounter as the world spins underneath?

Oh, by the way, hello and welcome again to Surviving. It’s good to have you stop by. Actually, I’m honored and humbled to have you here.

As I was saying, some days are chock full of the things that can turn your knuckles white and make you growl under your breath. And then, once again, another day stands ready and waiting in the starting blocks to do it all over again.

I have to admit that knowing what some people have to endure during the course of their day is truly amazing. Whenever I think I have it rough, something comes along and makes me say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I”, and then, it doesn’t seem as bad as it did a moment ago.

Detour signs, warning bells, flashing lights, it’s all out there waiting for us.

I wonder if they’re ready for us, for you, for what we have to offer. Grin

And then, once again, away we go.

The following poem is number 15 for the month, and one that I wrote a few years ago. National Poetry Month to be precise.

Don’t forget to yield.

dp

***

Detour Signs
A poem By DP Lyons

Right back where I started from
Here I go again
Same old sounds, same old towns
What now, which way, what then

Left turn, yield, right of way
School bus stop ahead
Maximum height, thirteen feet
Lights changing, green to red

Left turn signal, look both ways
Apply the parking brake
Adjust the rear view mirrors
So many things at stake

Rear defroster’s on the fritz
AC’s blowing hot
Check engine light is on again
Let’s go, or get off the pot

Traffic jams and detour signs
Construction up ahead
Pedestrians have the right of way
Battery just went dead

Parking ban from dusk ’til dawn
Hidden one way signs
U turns, wrong ways, dead end streets
Toll booths, fees and fines

Quarter tank, and dropping fast
Alternator fried
Break down lanes. Tow truck chains
Nowhere left to hide

Information radio
Bottle neck ahead
Coming to a crawling stop
Take a right instead

Last turn now, heading home
Three more blocks to go
Right back where I started from
That’s all I need to know

 

2016 04 13 Poetry: Fingertips April 13, 2016

If I didn’t know it, I’d say it looks like another April the 13th. Am I right? Let me see.

Hmm.

Yup! I knew it! Good old April 13! And how are ya doing my old friend?

I’ve seen a few of these, and the way it looks from here, I’ll probably get a chance to see a few more.

I’ve seen a few pages of text in my life too, with more than my share appearing under my fingertips these past few years. So many words, so many lines, so many different ways a piece of writing can move and flow. There’s no telling where my writings are gonna go half the time, and the other half, well, I couldn’t begin to tell you how they ended up where they did. Writing for me is an adventure. It’s probably more of an adventure than it is for those who read it. I’ve told you before that when I’m done with a piece of writing, and I go back and read it, it’s like I’m reading someone else’s writings, because it just sounds unfamiliar to me. Call me brain dead, and I’d tell you you may just be right, but it is what it is, and as I go back and read through the stuff I write, it’s like taking a journey down an unfamiliar, friendly road. Is that possible?

Anyway, this is poem number 13 that I am submitting for my poem a day challenge for the National Poetry Month of April.

I just thought of that Three Dog Night song, Pieces of April.

Man I love that song, and I thank you for stopping by my blog. Have a great rest of your day, and I’ll catch ya tomorrow.

Now, it’s on with the show, or the poem, or the submission, or is he ever gonna stop?

Grin

dp

***

Fingertips
A poem by DP Lyons

A monitor stays dark.
A screen reader comes alive.
The keys slowly begin their mystical chorus.
Letters quickly find their way, their place, their meaning.

Fingertips dance effortlessly across the sea.
One line of text forms quietly, complete.
A second line collects in the shadows, following close behind.
Margins begin to rise and fall with the rolling tide.

Merging with text, definition begins its methodic pace.
Punctuation falls into place with calculated precision.
Consonants carve through the trade winds, unfurling those ancient sails of script.
A story has begun.

 

2016 04 09 Poetry: How Would You April 9, 2016

April 9th and another day is winding down.

This is my 9th poem submitted for National Poetry Month, and although I wrote this one quick, it is a poem none the less, and have at it with your critique and comments, because I think it deserves it.

I wrote it quick, and I was tired when I started, so I make no excuses.

Life is like that, right? No excuse is an excuse most of the time, so we might as well just keep trying to do our best and accept the results.

Although I don’t usually have a really good excuse, often times I scour my brain trying to come up with one that works, but most times I end up thinking and feeling that I should, could and mustn’t try to waste my time, and the time of others as I wrack my brain for that perfect tale of woe that will lessen the burden of personal responsibility.

And so goes the moral fabric of the timeless art of avoiding blame.

Live the life, learn the lessons, feel the burn and grow from the inside out. It’s really worth it in the long run.

And away we go!

Poem number nine is on the way, and don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

Thanks for everything, and own it when its yours.

Take care and be well.

dp

***

How Would You
A poem by DP Lyons

What did you say when you knelt down to pray?
Where did you turn when you needed to learn?
How did you feel when you found out its real?
Where did you go when the answer was no?

Which one stood out when you started to doubt?
Who did you ask when you veered from the task?
Why did you fear from the one so sincere?
Why would you blame those you never could name?

How would you know if you don’t watch the show?
Why would you care if you can’t stand to bare?
Which would you choose if you started to lose?
Why did you run when you weren’t even done?

Where did you, how did you, when did you, why did you, which did you, who did you
Love?