Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ultimate Blog Challenge: Day Nine: Extreme Decluttering

Saying goodbye to the past by releasing objects, emotions, and experiences lets you take charge of your future. Whether your clutter is physical, emotional or spiritual, it can block your path and prevent you from molding the life you want. Today, I gave away Rolyk's wheelchair and walker, with his blessing.

I felt elated and apprehensive as I loaded them into Zach Sayre's SUV for him to take to Rebel and Divine UCC, along with some gently used clothing, shoes, and about 120 pounds of canned food that my coworker, Ruth "Ollie" Hood, and her fantastic anonymous neighbors had collected. Zach Sayre is the Sunday Dinner Coordinator at the church. Rebel and Divine UCC serves QUILTBAG youth when they age out of the foster care system or get tossed out of their homes. QUILTBAG stands for queer, unidentified, intersex, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, asexual and gay. Rebel and Divine UCC also serves everyone in the neighborhood surrounding East Sheridan and 10th Street in Phoenix, Arizona. Rebel and Divine UCC has an upcoming all you can eat Waffle Brunch Fundraiser on Saturday, April 16, 2016, between 9 AM and 1 PM. Tickets are $10.

I told Zach about Rolyk's recovery from long-term illness and told him that the wheelchair and walker come with a blessing of healing and renewal to whoever receives and uses them. I hope whoever receives them recovers fully, just like Rolyk has.

For anyone who cares for someone with a long-term illness, hope can seem foolish, but hope keeps you going when everything else fails. When things were at their worst, and Rolyk lost the ability to stand and walk, we found motivation in music, movement and inspirational videos of other people who had gone from being invalids or near-invalids to full recovery. Rolyk found bodybuilder Kai Green, on YouTube, and I had already come across Arthur Boorman, a disabled Gulf War veteran who had used yoga to recover. We also came across a video by Within Temptation called "The Whole World Is Watching," about a motorcyle rider's recovery from a severe accident. Once he saw those, Rolyk got up, one small change at a time, started doing chair-based exercises, then graduated to a heavy bag workout, and finally, what Rolyk calls Free Movement, which is acting like a kid, waving your arms around, dancing, playing ball, and just having fun. Rolyk lost over 100 pounds between June 2015 and March 2016. Rolyk's diet plan was also a big part of his recovery: little to no animal fat or animal protein, and eating only healthy things, and only as much of those as you can stand. Find our other recipes at Heritage and Home or Tempe Frugal Life

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ultimate Blog Challenge: Day Seven

I missed days five and six, but here is day seven. This poem is a response to my good friend and fellow traveler, Cher Guevara, who wrote "Damned in Dixie Blues" as a response to several pieces of hateful legislation passed recently in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. You can find "Damned in Dixie Blues" on Facebook.

Everyone is so busy protesting for or against the bathroom portion of these bills that no one has noticed that several of them also include language that forbids communities from raising the minimum wage, providing paid sick leave, or giving workers other rights that will enable them to lead more stable lives and keep themselves off assistance programs.

They Want Us to Sing the Blues
by Jack V Sage

They want us to sing the blues
so we don't notice
what they've done:
the poison pill they hid
in their stinking pile
of hateful exclusion.

"Looky here," they say,
pointing at their brandy-new signs
telling us to keep out.

They don't want anyone
looking past the line
at the bathroom door,
or we'll notice how they've
locked us all out: trans and cis,
gay and straight:
taken the food right off our plates,
making sure none of us
can afford a roof over our heads.

Divided, we stand at the bathroom door
while they line their pockets
with our blood, sweat and tears.

"Oh, Looky there," they shout, "another queer!"
And we all turn and look, but no one sees
the line that they use to determine our worth
has grown shorter.

We're too busy looking for dicks on chicks,
imagining perverts in every stall
to realize that the truly perverted
are those in the Capitol buildings and pulpits
all across this land, selling their brothers and sisters
into slavery for the sake of the almighty dollar,
and an hour of power on the airwaves.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ultimate Blog Challenge Day Four: Oops!

Friends Forever by Jack V. Sage 04/19/2015

Funny how Saturday's post was "Distraction." I got so busy doing a transcript of Rolyk Waylander's "Fun" video on YouTube that he made for his Rolyk Fitness page on Facebook, that I forgot to post anything here yesterday. So head over to Faeriewynd, watch the video and make a comment. 

Today's topic is "Reunification." On my Facebook Memories page, I saw a comment from someone who is no longer on my friends' list for some reason. I do not remember having a falling out with them, so I messaged them and apologized. I said that I no longer remember why we stopped being friends and asked forgiveness for whatever it was. I also said that if it was something they did, I don't remember why I might have been offended, so let's get back to being friends.

Do you remember why you stopped talking to an old friend? Call them up, write them, email them, send a text, whatever. Tell them that you remember your friendship, not the reason it ended. Let's all renew an old friendship today!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ultimate Blog Challenge: Day Two

I have participated in the Ultimate Blog Challenge many times over the past few years. The idea is to post something every day for 30 days and to read and comment on at least three other people's blogs every day for those same 30 days, with the idea of increasing traffic and creating and strengthening bonds in the artist, creative, writing and blogging communities. I do not always succeed at posting every single day, but I find it fun to interact with fellow writers.

I am also participating in National Poetry Writing Month. Each post will have a writing prompt. Today's prompt is "distraction." Tell me what distractions you fight. Which ones do you think provide inspiration for your writing or other creative efforts?

Friday, April 1, 2016

National Poetry Month: Day One: Inspiration

by Jack V Sage
A smiling rainbow,
an empty can of spinach
a dollar store gift box with wiggly eyes
a thank you card
four empty cans of Monster Rehab
a homemade sign of peace
mounted on driftwood,
and draped with hand-hammered steel
bent into a monkey shape, with a green glass belly,
and making space for a dragon head molded from paper clay.

Collectible cars at my right
and a white plastic box with a red lid at my left.
Above them all, a greeting card-size Sculpey mosaic
and a handmade bottle-penguin, two stuffed, rainbow-spotted unicorns
and a makeup mirror with "To thyne own self, be true" in silver nail polish.
A plastic screw-top storage container holds four steel roses
and a pink fedora with black zebra stripes.

Bernie 2016 sticker off to my right,
more Monster cans (yellow Juice and Rehab)
a "Happy Holidays" card from Have a Gay Day,
and a book of pictures of my grandsons, my oldest daughter, and her husband.
(I wish I had something of my youngest daughter as well).
The original license plate from my van
and three hardback books: "Beyond the White House,"
"And Another Thing" and "Echoes of Betrayal."

So what's in your space, near your face?
What sparks your mind?