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The Edge
Noise
Bread
Strangers
Cry

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The "Wu Word" Blog

The Edge

The Edge
 
We are
The Stars
Twinkle Sparkle
Radiant Brilliant
Bright Night
Razor Sharp
Paper Thin
Think Thoughts
Catch Caught
Savor Flavors
Thick Skin
Lose Win
Sit Stand
Little Lot
Laugh Cry
Half Whole
Less More
Balance Act
Look Back
The fool
The joker
The loser
The winner
The saint
The sinner
My mistakes
My heartbreaks
No regrets
Any of it
All I did
All I do
All I was
All I am
Working to be
Better than best
Version of me
We are
Waking Walking
On a tightrope
A very fine line
Trying to cope
Holding on to hope
Looking down
Trying to be found
Into an abyss
Taking Risks
Breaking Rules
Making the Most
Meaning of this
Passion Purpose
Kindness Matters
Compassion Empowers
Those in Need
Good Deeds
Grace of God
Fear Nothing
Do Something
Cause Effect
Affect Impact
Commotion Motion
Progress Process
Eyes shut tight
Eyes wide open
To the blinding light
Stand Tall
Free Fall
Jump Leap
Keep Faith
Deep End
Begin Again
On the Edge

Noise

Noise
 
Loud Crowds
All Around
Push me Around
Pull me Down
Drown the Sounds
And all the Doubts
Figuring it out
What’s it all about?
 
Oh how cruel
They played me for the fool
All the rules
Were made to break
Though they think
They are clever
But they will never
Be able to read
The thoughts in my head
My silence speaks
For the weak
Shatters and breaks
Loud and clear
For them to hear
 
I do not forget
I do not let go
So easily now
Or how
What you did
Cannot be undone
I bite my tongue
But I can take it
While I could sit
Like everyone else
And do nothing
Lies to myself
So I stand up
To do something
 
Anger is one letter
Short of Danger
I use it for the better
Fuel my Soul
Fill the Hole
Fire in my Belly
I am Ready
The actions
I take
My voice
Will make
Some Noise
Now

Bread

In mid-December 2018, I received a large Christmas package in the mail.  It was meticulously packaged and wrapped up, making me all the more excited and full of childish glee to find out what this gift was.  
 
Inside was a beautifully handmade ceramic bread bowl with two homemade bread recipes tucked into the bowl.  This beautiful bowl came from my friend Ladybug who recently passed away less than a month from me receiving her gift.  This was her last tangible gift to me.
 
One of the enclosed bread recipes was called “Cheesy Beer Bread.”  Obviously, the recipe required a bottle of beer.  I had never drunk a whole bottle of beer in my life thus far, nor do I have any interest.  I had only taken a couple sips from guy buddies and colleagues who raved about the tangy beer that tantalized their taste buds.  I actually turned to my parents for a bottle of beer to try to make this recipe.  We all realize how funny this sounds, right?  Asking parents for a bottle of beer?  My father proudly gave me a bottle of beer called something IPA.   It was later on that I found out that this beer was rather on the high end side my Cheesy Beer Bread came out extremely strong and tasted much more of beer than cheese.
 
On a cold night that was all too perfect for hot piping beer bread, I whipped out the recipe, sprayed down my new ceramic bread bowl, and proceeded to make and bake my bread.  I popped open the beer bottle and heard the fizz and bubbles gurgle.  When I poured all the beer in, everything in the bowl foamed up.  I thought it was going to spill over.  It didn’t.  It stayed put, but I could see chemical reactions and all the raw ingredients were marrying and marinating into one another to make something absolutely delicious.  The scent of the beer with chili and cheese was pungent and intoxicating.   I poured the batter in the bread bowl.  I popped it in the oven.  I waited to see how my creation would come out. 
 
As I waited for my cheesy beer bread, I was flooded with memories of Ladybug and us baking bread with her for the first time. She loved bread.  She especially had a love affair with sourdough bread.  To her, there was something amazing and magical about the starter active sourdough culture being fed and cared for that would result in a crispy and crunchy crust and soured pillowy soft bread.  She loved her sourdough bread with room temperature unsalted butter and fresh fruit jam.  She smiled, closed her eyes, and proclaimed: “There is nothing better!” 
 
To me, what I find so therapeutic and remarkable about bread and just really cooking and baking anything is the chemical reaction of all these differing ingredients intermingling and mixing together, processing, and progressing together under heat to result in a final product that came from my own hard work and hands.    This is very much like all of us.  It is when we are under a certain amount of stress and heat that process and progress, our character to possibly create, and our fuel and fire to fight back to do something positive can result. With this bread bowl, I could see the seemingly simple ingredients rise up into bread.  It is only under heat and fire as the fuel to light up all these ingredients that a final product comes about.  I could bake.  I could use my hands and not feel helpless.  I could do something.  I could create. 
 
Approximately an hour later, my Cheesy Beer Bread came out.  As with anything you bake and cook, you wait again and see.  You wait for the flavors to integrate after the extreme heat.  You wait for just the right time to cut into and taste.  The right time for everything and everyone.  You know it.  You feel it.  When the time is right, the time is right.
 
We can and will rise up when we are in the process or progress of transformation and placed under heat, just like bread. When have you undergone a ‘chemical reaction’ that involved process and progress and then to create and do something?  What has been your fire to fight back and get up again?   Do you have fire in your belly as fuel to create from your hands to not feel helpless?  
 
Thanks for the gift, Ladybug.  I get it.  There is fire in my belly.  There is fuel in my soul.  It is time for me to create.    It is time to bake some bread. 
 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,

Mary ;)

Strangers

Strangers
 
The room was small
We were smaller
We were strangers
You and I
All of us
We could trust
We could confess
We could share
All these things
Burns and Stings
Our everything
What we say
What we share
Will stay here
Safe and sound
No need to fear
When you are here
You can cry
You can scream
You can ask why
You can ask what this means
No judgment here
I promise
They will never hear
From my lips
Any and all of this
 
This was never mine
This was never yours
There was nothing lost
There was no cost
When nothing and no one
Was even ours
To begin with
There is a longing
A deep belonging
And I miss
All of this
And what was
And no longer is
 
Life is strange
Life is forever
The Game Changer
No guarantee policy
On life’s journey
The people you meet
They will touch you in ways
That will break you
That will make you
Everything everyone fades
Some will stay
Many must go away
We take it each day
As it comes
For we are never promised
Any and all of this
Anything or anyone
 
We are all strangers
Yet not
I will not forget
How we met
We may never see each other again
This may be our very end
Or we could begin
I would like to call you friend
I would like to say you are familiar
The truth is that you are a stranger
We are all strangers 

Cry

The first dead body I ever saw was of my grandfather.  He looked so peaceful after his painful battle with cancer.  He was in a casket that was centered in an enclosed glass room. He looked like he was sleeping. 
 
Tears rolled down my grandmother’s face in fat translucent drops.  All her children hovered around her protectively, trying to comfort her.  Not one of their children were crying, except for one of my uncle’s who had tears in his eyes. 
 
I had been told before the devout Buddhist funeral services, “Do not cry in front of grandma.  You are just going to upset her.  We do not want to upset her.”
 
When I saw my grandmother’s tear-stained face, I did not understand why it would hurt or upset her to show my tears when SHE was crying.  Would she maybe feel some comfort that we were all crying and that she was not alone in her flood of tears, anguish, and despair?  Maybe it would give her a kind of permission to grieve openly?  Did crying necessarily mean grieving?  Don’t we all grieve in different ways based on our culture, upbringing, and, most complicated of all, ourselves? 
 
As I have gotten older, I have attended more funerals and fewer birthdays.  It seems to me that people celebrate their birthdays less and less as they age because it depresses them to get older.  This saddens me because I had always seen birthdays as a celebration of life and a privilege to getting older and even old.  Not all of us are fortunate enough to get older or old.  After all, child-sized caskets are made as well…and, who wants to even think about that? 
 
The two latest funerals I went to were open caskets and so up close and personal that I could reach out and touch their cold skin.  The first funeral I went to that was open casket, I started to tear up and literally feel sick to my stomach like I was going to puke.  My friend had to put her arm around me to comfort me.  As for the most recent funeral, my friend had tears flowing down her face freely that smeared her mascara making her have black inked tears.  She kept saying, “I told myself I was not going to cry.  Now, I am crying.  Now, I am a mess.  I hate crying in front of other people.  I hate crying.”
 
I enveloped her in my arms and said, “It’s okay to cry.  Just cry.” 
 
I continue hearing around me that people have to control or hide their emotions, do not cry, and even sneak off to a secluded area just to cry alone out of shame and solace or privacy and to “collect themselves.”   Suffice to say, I have been in one too many situations where I have just ended up crying by myself.  Sometimes I have cried so much that I am just left completely numb and exhausted with a headache and a river of tears and snot blotted out with a blanket of Kleenex all around me. 
 
The first time I cried in front of someone outside of my family and my closest childhood friends was with a friend that I was growing closer to.  It was after my hip replacement surgery and I was fighting to learn to walk all over again and trying to undo over 30 years of walking wrong.  The physical pain and mental frustration was nearly unbearable in the beginning, and I consider myself to have a fairly high tolerance for pain.  After all, I was steering clear of pain killers and narcotics that made me feel worse that I rather just take on the pain.  She walked in with a bouquet of flowers when I was trying to get up from the wheelchair and the physical and mental pain was finally too much for me to tolerate that I just cried and kept crying.  I had never cried that hard in front of someone outside of my family and childhood friends.  She rushed over to me and wrapped me in her arms and comforted me saying: “Just cry.”   
 
There is something so scary about showing and sharing our absolute worst, our vulnerabilities, our fears, and just us being flawed and imperfect beings.  There is something so honorable being on the receiving end of someone’s tears.  When someone cries in front of me, I consider it the ultimate strength on that person to exposing me to their vulnerabilities and, most of all, that person, trusting me with their worst and their truth.  I consider it my honor and place of privilege to comfort that person and let the person just be and feel all they are feeling to try to heal.   
 
I admit it: I am a big crier.  I cry with Disney movies.  I cry with ANY and all animal movies.  I cry from books.  I cry out of frustration.  I also cry from laughing so hard.  Funny how our laughter and tears are so connected to each other to feel and process such joy and sorrow.  I’ve become even more of a crier as I have gotten older.  I thought it would get easier with getting older in that I wouldn’t give a *hit, but I have become increasingly nostalgic and sentimental.  Things, people, experiences, and just about everything and anything can and has touched, affected, and impacted me even more now than when I was younger because of how aware I am of the meaning deep in them.  Has this also happened to you? 
 
If crying is NOT your default like me, then it’s all good.  Everyone grieves and reacts to challenges, pain, anguish, frustration, etc. in all different ways.  I am just saying that I hope for you to have a place of safety and sanctuary to just be and feel whatever you feel and always remember that you are human.   Do you cry easily?  Do you need to be alone when you cry?  Have you become more emotional as you have grown older?  Were you told growing up not to cry and to control your emotions?  Or, even worse, that ‘boys do not cry’ because it is not ‘manly’?  When was the last time you cried? 
 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,

Mary ;)
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