Tag Archives: criticism

I am not as interesting as I seem: poem


I am not as interesting as I seem:

Once I believed that I was funny, kind and that people found me interesting

But you have set the record straight.

I can never forget what you taught me.


What I had mistaken for leopard print was merely poke-a-dots.

My child like ways, simply childishness.

Compassion as weakness.

In the end, even the sound of my voice made me think I had done something wrong.


So now that you are gone, why do I still hear your voice?

Why do I fear what others will see in me?

What if they see what you saw?

Will they feel the same? What if you were right?


I don’t believe the things that I once did.

I get tired of fighting your voice in my head.

Because some part of me believes you;

Believes that I am less than ordinary.

A crow among nightingales.


Amanda C Nov 2012





Sitting on my swing- poem


  1. Sitting on my swing:

    I had wings once,

    Stubby little things with no feathers,

    But they grew, a little stunted.

    I stretched and flapped, refusing to be flightless.


    For a time I knew the sun, the wind

    But I never trusted those wings.

    I feared they would falter,

    And somehow bring me back to earth.


    Surprisingly, it was not my wings but the sun.

    I forgot  it can blind you.

    I hit a wall, repeatedly until I had no strength to try again.


    For a long time I was content to be broken,

    To suffer and forget about the sky.

    Part of me believed this was the inevitable price of dreaming

    Dreams I was never meant to have.


    Now, I sit in my cadge and people call me a survivor and inspiring.

    They think I have persevered beyond my handicaps, limitations and self-inflicted harm

    But they are wrong.


    If they only knew how it hurts to breathe, remembering.

    How the sweet voices encouraging me to raise my twisted wings

    Only serve to remind me of the carelessness that got me here.


    How long will I stay safe in my cadge?

    My heart still remembers, still longs to fly.

    But I do not have the will to believe in second chances.

    And my heart curses me for such a selfish betrayal.


    AC Nov 2012




I have traveled so far out into the ocean that I cannot find the land. I have forgotten the path my heart used to know, the light that guided me through the vast darkness.

I swim on endlessly, not knowing in which direction I travel. No compass star light the darkness above me, no patch of land provides me rest.

And still I  wonder…would I rest if grace afforded me a place? Would I follow if the stars were bright above me? I think not. I drove myself into these deep waters, I ran from all I knew.

Who am I to lament my choices, to change my mind.


ac 2012

Opening a door


     It’s funny how sometimes the people who don’t know us very well make the best observations because their thoughts are not colored by “how far we have come” or “if it will hurt our feelings.”

I unknowingly had this experience a week or so ago and am now just beginning to get the message. A friend of a friend was traveling with a group of us to an event a few hours away and as long car trips are want to do there was lots of conversation there and back.

At some point he and I started talk, not knowing each other there were the usual, “what do you do for a living?” and “do you like it?” kind of questions. Somewhere in the middle of all the “fluff” conversation two things stuck in my head. One that his sister died a few years ago and that he said he couldn’t stand people who wasted their talent (pointed in my direction). At the time I did think much of it- I personally think that I do waste what ever talent I may have had.

Just look at that last sentence- this is what he was referring too. Lots of people are not “really” good at anything notable (whatever that means) but there are people -like me- who know that they are good at something but don’t necessarily do anything with it. I know this is a little convoluted but stay with me I’m almost there.

This brings me to today, a random Sunday afternoon. Nothing special going on, just finished the chores (sorting paper work and filing it- I really hate that) when I happen to open my closet and see art supplies. I should say that, I have not painted, drawn really taken photos or done anything that used my skill as an artist in almost a year.

As my hand brushed over the bamboo pain set I knew that it was time. My excuses had outlived their reality. I told myself for a long time that I just didn’t want to make art but that was not the truth. At its core I did not want to feel. For me to create something I have to let go of the logical controlling part of my mind and open myself to were the art wants to go.

From the moment the brush or pencil touches the paper it is not about a plan or a destination, it only about how I feel as my hand creates mark on a page. This is why I was not making art, I cannot lie  to myself and create, it is just not possible. So today  I stared down the white paper and though if this friend of a friend who goes to work every day living with the death of his sister. I could tell from the way that he talked about her that he loved her very much and that her loss was still in someways painful to him- if you can ever get over something like that. And it made me think about my own losses.

How long will I choose to use the loss of my old life and an excuse not to live? This man gets up every day and lives, so why can’t I? Why have I let myself fester for so long? I think I was afraid of what would come out of my hands, what I would feel once I opened the door. It was not what I expected.

At first the novelty of it all amused and distracted me. It was pleasant to see that unlike signing, my hand remembered  the shapes and colors.  But as I went on and I could no longer ignore myself.  I could see my lost-ness in the water, confusion in the clouds; a restlessness in the brush strokes…I began to make mistakes.

I could have given up at that point and given myself a great lecture about how “untalented” I really was but I didn’t. Some how I heard a professor telling me that when you get frustrated put your work across the room and look at it, because half of your issues come from being to close to the work.

So I did. It did not make the flaws any less visible but…I saw hope in the dragon fly’s wing and inspiration in the petals of the waterlily and joy in the speckles of the coi fish. I think I have the same problem with my life, I am too close to it. It is easy to stand in the middle of a mess and scream in frustration about how you’re not getting anywhere. It takes more courage to realize that getting past a death or loss of someone or thing in your life is not easy or measured in large steps.

As I look back over the past year I have done a lot of things, most good and all towards finding a life by myself and for myself again. When I stand across the room I can see the progress I have made and I don’t judge the size of the steps against one another, I see how they fit together to make something better than a blank page or scared canvas.

I am not done with the painting, it needs a little more time and attention like my life. But it is beautiful in its own right and so is this new beginning I’m working on. It won’t be done in a day like a painting but it will be just as rewarding when I get there.

So thanks Dave for your insight and willingness to talk to a stranger about your life. I made a difference to me.

Going back to school: life changes 101


Where to begin…for the first time in the better part of a year I am starting to feel like myself again. I have my own place, stable employment and I’m not an emotional train wreck. So where do I go from here? I have had several interesting conversations in the last month or so that have me re-thinking “The Plan.”

To begin with I should state that “The Plan” has already had several revisions and was crafted in a time of utter confusion and emotional instability- hence the need for revisions. I started with something along the lines of “get the hell out of dodge!” this early stage had notions of running as far to the other coast as my little Neon would take me. Thank God my best friend made me sleep on that one.

Then it moved on to “Survive, we must keep safe.”  So I focused on my job but in my semi crazy state any change made me even more neurotic and so I moved again. To a place with a little more space and a lot more issues. Finally, I reached “Remember how to breathe.” This actually being the most challenging phase of the transition to reclaiming my life. Without the distractions of pain and survival to take up my waking thoughts and am now faced with the wonderful question of “What do “I” want to do with my life?”

The obvious answer would be to double my salary and go back to teaching. But after five minuets of logical thought I know that is not the answer. Because the truth is that I loved my students more than I loved my subject or teaching itself.  And I know that I cannot go back to throwing myself  into a life that is empty or diminishing. So I am left to ponder what kind of life/do I want?

In my head I can see a new path for myself and at the same time I have a lot of nagging voices saying things like “You went to school for five years to throw it all away? You want to go to night/correspondence school? isn’t that just a rip off?” But deep in my heart I know that I cannot go back to teaching and I cannot stay where I am either. My life here is good but it is only a stepping stone to real health and stability in my life. And I realize that I could pack up and move across the US and probably be okay now but I would be doing something that I don’t love in the name of money and I am not that kind of person.

I’m not saying that I won’t work a job I don’t “love,” I’m saying that I will not dedicated more than a year of my life to it if there is not an end goal and I think that is what I have finally found. So I’m going back to school to be a Vet Assistant. Other than teenagers my other great life long passion a has been animals. In fact I almost went to college for zoo keeping.

I know if you have been reading my old blogs you’re thinking “wasn’t she writing a book?” and I was and have. But I also realize that I have to eat, and the writing will always be there waiting for me. I know the “real” writer’s are rolling their eyes and rightly so. I am not a real writer. I am a person who loves stories. Real writers write when there is no bread. Get up and do it every day and don’t wait for inspiration and that is not me. All I will say in my defense is that the birth of my would be novel is very much rooted in the death of my marriage and for now they are too closely bound.

There are many things that I am just awakening to. I took my first pictures in months of my bran new niece. It felt good to do something creative but I feel myself holding back. I know I am afraid to open the door. Anyone who works in a creative way knows that whether you mean it too or not your life ends up on the page, canvas or plate. It is the nature of creativity and there is a part of my the is still scared.

This is step one: imagine a different life. I was talking with a friend when I realized in some small way I already have done this. When I used to sit in my best-friends house crippled by a broken heart I would dream about the place I knew I would one day have. I saw an open room with lots of light a large window and I felt happy there. The other day I realized that I was already there. Sitting in my living room with the sliding glass door open to the balcony. Light streamed in on my two cats blissing out. I smiled looking at the tree just beyond and realized I was home. That place I had dreamed about finding was here.

Now I have to dream a bigger dream, one where I’m not just safe and stable: one where I am creative and passionate, one where I am brave and bold and not afraid to try again and again because I and worth it. My dreams are worth it and I still have lots and lots of time to be and do what-ever I decide. I’m about to be 32 and I am starting over- Yay me!!!

you do the math


Dating, 365, 52.1, 12.1

Engaged, 574.5, 82.07, 19.15

Married 1,825, 260.71, 60.8

Total 2764.5, 394.92, 92.15

Days, Weeks and Months spent with you.


My life so far


Days I lived before you


Days yet to live, given I make it to 65


Total number to 65



You = less than 12% of my life

It helps to get a little perspective.


AC 2011




It’s funny that for the majority of my life I have shared my space on various levels with another person. Growing up I spent all but one year sharing a room with my sister. When I moved to college I lived  in a scholarship house where I lived with 12 girls for 4 yrs and 20 girls for 1yr- that was an experience. Then I moved to NM and lived by myself for 3 1/2 year until I got married. The of course I had a husband for just short of five years.

When life required that I move my wonderful best friend and her husband took me in. I stayed there about three months. Then I moved in with my current roommate Laura. I have only been here two weeks or so. I say all of this to back up the statement that not matter how well you  know or life a person something will always rub because I believe that people need space of their own.

So often in relationships of all kinds we focus on the “togetherness” which don’t get me wrong is wonderful. But in order to support that you must have time apart as well, space to maintain who you are as an individual. I hear this all the time from the mom’s in my life. How they have been swallowed up in the caretaker role but once they do any small thing for themselves it’s like a rejuvenating spring that gives them more to give back to the ones they love.

I know by this point you’re thinking, “so what’s up with the new roommate?” Nothing actually. That is not to say that we do not do things differently or have different ideas about things but I kinda know what to expect by now and the only difference is that I’m not afraid to be clear about what I am and am not willing to do/put up with.

This is a bit dicey when the house is not mine, but it’s not like my rent has no collateral. I think I surprised myself this morning then I was asked to be quit for the couch crasher and said no. Not that I was trying to be load but I have to get up and go to work just like every morning and I’m not going to cater to and unexpected house guest. I wouldn’t expect that if it was my sister on the couch.

So here’s to the ever colorful aspects of life-like living and living with people. They make my world so much more interesting than if I was on my own.