The Man From My Childhood

Some people say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but in this case, I’ll have to disagree. Just by looking at his hands, you can read into the life that he has had. They’re as large as he is tall, with wide fingers and short practical nails. His hands have seen a lot and stories are etched into every wrinkle, every crevice and every scar. After a day in the fields, they would be covered with soil from the ground, and grime from the tractor. You could find him sitting on the front step of the house with one weathered hand around a cup of coffee and the other tapping the ash off of the end of his cigarette, the smoke creeping up into the dusty air around him. If you were to sit down beside him, his distinct smell would fill your nose, a musky combination of dirt, oil, and gasoline with a hint of tobacco. He’d gladly tell you stories of how he got this scar here or that scar there, while trying to gross you out in the process. He’s tough, but you could catch him, more often than not with his head cradled in his callused hands, staring off across the miles and miles of farmland. After a long, tiring day, his hands would sometimes be unsteady and shaky. However after dinner, he’d still slap a deck of cards in the middle of the kitchen table, challenge everyone to a crib tournament and shuffle like a pro, hands as solid as rock. He was never delicate and he didn’t try to be. As a result of arthritis in his fingers, he has trouble doing small things, like repairing his glasses when he broke them, again. They’re classic “old man glasses”, with thick, heavy lenses and thin frames. He’d take them off and dangle them off a finger while his other hand rubbed across his eyes, dragging on his weather-beaten skin and seeming to create even more wrinkles in the process. His hand would fall onto the table in front of him and the other would settle his glasses onto his nose once more. Glancing up, to find you watching him, his eyes would always crinkle up with mirth and amusement before sticking his tongue out at you, like a four year old. He would tease mercilessly, crack jokes until your sides are splitting, and hug you without letting go.

He is the man of my memories.

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Push and Pull

My heart aches and my head hurts,

From a tug- of-war going on inside my head.

Your smile and your words have woven the rope

That twists around my gut

And turns me inside out.

 

Every night as I lie in bed

My heart plays me our fairy tale

As I drift off to sleep.

When the sun rises,

My brain reminds me

To not get in too deep.

 

I want what we could have

But I don’t want what we would have.

The feeling of flying

But without the inevitable

Crashing back down to Earth.

 

Leave me with my heart to heal.

I need time.

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My happiness.

Happiness is warm sunlight streaming through your window in the early hours of the morning. It’s watching the sun go down in a vibrant display of colour and knowing that the sky will never look the same again. Happy is the feeling you get when you know you put a smile on someone else’s face just by being yourself. It’s knowing that there are people who love you.

Happiness is when you can look at yourself in the mirror and love yourself for what’s there, instead of hating yourself for what’s missing. It’s that moment when you accomplish something after putting a lot of effort into it, even when you sometimes thought it wouldn’t get done.

Happiness is that once in a lifetime moment when someone spells and pronounces your name right. It’s when your bed sheets have just come out of the dryer. It comes with the smell of rain on pavement and the sound of birds after a long winter. Happy is that feeling when someone says I love you, and you say I love you back.

Happy, is when your favourite song comes on the radio and you roll down your car windows to make sure everyone else can hear it too. It’s when you eat something really good for lunch, and there’s enough leftovers to eat it again for dinner. Happiness is being home alone and dancing around the house in your underwear. It’s that feeling when you can curl up with a cup of tea after a long day at work.

I’ve learned to stop taking happiness for granted and to relish it whenever I can. Whether it shows up for a couple of minutes on a bad day, or when it’s with you on a good day, happiness is something I really cherish, and I hope I’m the kind of person who can share it with those around me.

xxx

Ashia Bliss

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