Archive for Sometimes it just hurts

The Sun Came Up Again

I wrote this one spring morning in 1998. It’s one of my favorites, because it’s real and it was what I was thinking and feeling that morning. When I came across it again on this cloudy morning, I thought maybe it could be the beginning of a novel. The title would be attention getting too, don’t you think? I believe it would most likely be a tale about never giving up, which would be fitting. I need to write… something.

the sun came up againThe Sun Came Up Again

The sun came up again, across the street, in the neighbor’s yard, through early budding tree limbs. The sky glowed fiery red, then golden, then dazzling white, as another day began. A slash of light fell ‘cross my arms as I wrote, and the thought crossed my mind I’d said too much, heard too much, and suddenly… things had changed. I wondered if they had changed for the better. I hoped so. I’ve changed things before, by being too open. Too honest. I’ve watched the sun come up, regretting words I’d spoken the day before, things I’d done. You would think I’d learn. I have learned. I’ve learned the sun will come up. Sometimes you will see it and feel it, sometimes you won’t, but it’s there.

And I’ve learned love is like that. At times you can bask in its warmth and feel its arms wrapped around you. A flash of it will lay across your heart. Then… at other times, it falls silent and cool. It’s still there, just not as obvious. The thing is, you have to know it’s there. Never doubt it. Never turn away. Just know that behind the cloud, behind the mountain, behind whatever has made the warm glow fade… It is there. You have to let it be there. You have to want it to be there. It can’t always be glorious. It can’t always be spring.

Copyright © 1998 C Mashburn

 

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Get Away From Me

Neither George Orwell’s “1984” nor Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” imagined the scene we are living at this moment. Their tomes are mild compared the current unprecedented and unforeseen scenario.
This morning, on the walking trail, I saw two ladies approaching. They were obviously together, I assume friends, and were walking one on either side of the path, keeping as from one another as they could. As I got closer, the one on my side hurried ahead of her friend, glancing back to make sure she was maintaining proper distance protocol. My, “Good morning,” nor my presence was acknowledged as I passed them.
A while later, as I walked across the parking lot at Kroger’s, a lady stumbled and went to her knees. I reflexively hurried to her and said, “Are you okay? Can I help you up?” She literally screamed at me. “Get away from me! Don’t touch me!” I was shocked, but complied with her wishes, and walked away.
by the seaIs this where we’ve come to? Is this the world we live in? It makes me terribly sad.
It seems, like lemmings, people have been led to the edge of a sea of fear. Some of them will walk into it, never to return, while others will stand at the edge, trembling in fear, yet content in the belief they are doing as they should. At times, some will begin to wander back toward the world they knew before, hoping it will be as it was when they left it. Those remaining at the edge will scream for them to come back to safety; begging them to do as they’ve been told. It’s too soon to go back!
And those who refused to follow and worship with the multitudes who tremble and pray to the alter of fear? They are cursed and accused of bringing danger—even death—upon those who choose to do the “right thing”.

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Simpler Times

This is a melancholy sort of poem but, just so y’all know, I’m not sad. In fact I’m very much at peace and have great hope for the future. I do, however, often look longingly at the way things used to be. I think we all tend to do that. I hope you enjoy the poem.

Those Times Ago 

 

Eyes closed, I smiled and imagined

A full moon hanging low in the sky

Looking like a shiny pearl button

On a dandy cowboy’s shirt

 

Sequin stars glittered

On a blouse of blue-black silk

While in the distance cattle lowed

And coyotes yipped and howled

 

When I opened my eyes

It all faded to cold hard truth

The hot dry grass on my neck

And burning tears I wouldn’t let fall

 

City traffic whirred nearby

Distant sirens pierced the night

A neighbor screamed angrily

At her laughing children

 

I gazed up at the dingy sky

Closed my eyes and tried to recall

Those times so long ago

When hope still lived within me

 

Times when stars twinkled

The man in the moon smiled

And parents, tired from their day

Murmured and chuckled softly

 

just us kids 2 (2) quoteGliding in the old wooden swing on the porch

Smiling, looking forward to tomorrow

While in the moon-shadow of a tree

Children tittered secret laughter

 

I wondered when the world had changed

And wished we could go back

To when life was simple; those times ago

When hope was more than just a word

 

Copyright © 2011 C. Mashburn

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A HA-HA Moment!

6-30-19 walk 2 quoteI was walking last Thursday and out of nowhere my brain said, “Hey! I know! Let’s run!” So off I went. I didn’t run very far–maybe a couple hundred yards–but the next day my back and hip hurt. It happens these days–little aches and pains pop up–and I didn’t give it too much thought. I stretched all weekend, went to the gym this morning, had a good workout, did more stretching, and feel a lot better now. I was pondering the possible reasons for the mysterious pain, and it finally hit me. About the time I realized what I’d done (the running last Thursday) my brain said, “HA-HA!”

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When We Were Boys

When we were little boys , my cousin Eddy Madden and I would imitate our TV heroes. Sadly, my fellow hero passed away five years ago after a long battle with cancer. Ed loved God, his country and his friends, but most of all he loved his family. This country is now missing another hero and this old gunslinger misses him dearly. I republish the following in his honor, because I know he felt the same.

We Used to Have Heroes  

We used to have heroes; they rode horses, wore white hats, fought for what they believed was right, looked out for their neighbors, and ran the bad guys out of town. I wanted to be like them.

a-lone-rangerWhen I was six, I was the Lone Ranger, and at the same time Superman; ever ready to stand against anyone or anything that dared to come against truth, justice, and the American way. When I was eight, I was Paladin–Have Gun Will Travel; a black hat this time, and more rugged, but a hero still, who righted wrongs and would go anywhere to correct injustice and defend the defenseless. When I was ten, I was John Wayne. I learned to walk like him, tried to make my voice deep like his, and hoped I’d grow to be tall, broad shouldered and brave like “The Duke”. But mostly, I wanted to be a good man, a superb man, a combination of all of those heroes who cared little for themselves, but lived for what they could do for others.

 Yes, it was just television and all our heroes were make-believe, but they made us believe and they taught us about right and wrong, and so many other things. But… where have all the heroes gone? Who do we turn to now?  What is truth, or justice? And, what is the American way?  Our heroes stood proud and tall, hands on their hips, ready to fight for a way of life and a country they loved, even though that country was flawed, even then, in so many ways. 

I love my country. But it is a love like one has for a dying loved one, and I watch her now, slumbering in drugged apathy, immorality, indecency, and corruption. I hear the blustering of our confused and corrupted government, the noises they make sounding much like the death rattle of cancer-ridden lungs, and my heart aches, as I realize even should she survive, a mere shadowy skeleton of what she once was is all that will remain.  

And so, I think back on those days of yesteryear–days when this country stood strong and proud–and watch as she slowly succumbs to darkness with no heroes to ride to her rescue, and I silently weep.

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

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Beautiful Exiles

beautiful exiles

Beautiful Exiles

I’m currently reading Meg Waite Clayton’s, Beautiful Exiles, a novel about Ernest Hemingway and his third wife, Martha Gellhorn. Gellhorn, also an American novelist, travel writer, and journalist is considered one of the great war correspondents of the 20th century. She reported on virtually every major world conflict that took place during her 60-year career.

I’m paraphrasing the following from a passage in the book, simply because it rings so true to me. Especially regarding my autobiography, Just A Boy: When a writer, more so if he’s an amateur like me, lets go of a book, he does so, knowing all the wrong in it will forever be wrong. And even the bits—and it truly seems it’s only bits—that are good and right leave your soul ripped out of your chest and placed on the page to be examined by anyone who cares to read them.

This—to me anyway—rings even more true today than it did in the days of Hemingway and Gellhorn. Thanks mostly to the Internet, which has given license to “perform” to anyone—me included—who dares take their shot at writing, singing, comedy, art, et al. It’s a good thing but also a very bad thing. Good, in the sense we can take our shot, but bad in the sense that so can millions of others, and the odds of being “shot down” are high.

I’m not complaining, or excusing my lack of success, I’m merely trying to convey how this feels—this writing thing. I’ve often said that to write, one must be either very intelligent or somewhat insane. I’ve decided I’m just smart enough… to be fool enough… to write.

Here’s a list of links to my published works:

Just A Boy

Just A Man

Be Still

Juli

Shelter

The Devil’s Dust

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I Can’t Stop the Bleeding

At that moment I was twelve going on twenty. I’d jumped so far forward in life my head was spinning but, in a strange way, it was all starting to make sense. But it was making sense in a way that made no sense at all. As I looked across the table at my mom, her tears dripping onto the Formica-topped kitchen table, I wondered about love, I wondered about God, I wondered what life was all about. And as all these things raced around in my mind, they began to form the new me—the soon-to-be-a-man me. I suddenly realized, and I admit a tinge of fear accompanied the thought, that I had to—somehow—protect my mom, my brothers, and my sister. From my dad.

~~~~~

The above is an excerpt from a book I began writing last November. I abruptly stopped writing the book, due to a very unexpected circumstance. Most of you are aware of what happened but if not, you can read my post, The World Stopped Turning, for the details. But there’s more to it than that. I simply didn’t, and still don’t, know if I can write the rest of this story.

But, a few days ago, I began reading a book, not by but about, Ernest Hemingway. As I read it, I was inspired, not by his talent, or his person, but by his pain. He was a tormented man, and he was not afraid to display his frailty to the world. He said this about writing:clouds and mountains HemingwayI’m certainly no Hemingway, but I bleed, and I cannot stop the bleeding. I’ll let you know when the book is finished.

Just A Boy

 

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Heartaches and Such

 

feel real good (3)When I was a boy, and I’d get hurt, my dad would sometimes grin and tell me, “Son, that’s gonna feel real good when it quits hurtin’.” At the time, I thought he was making light of my pain, but looking back I wonder if there wasn’t a bit of wisdom hidden in those words.

We all suffer pain, whether it be physical or emotional, and I know for certain, it will one day quit hurtin’. Because… if the pain isn’t gone by the time we leave this world, it will vanish in an instant when we rest in the loving arms of our Lord. He says it is so.

 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

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Sometimes We Cry

This morning, I came across this poem I wrote several years ago, and I couldn’t decide if I should re-post it. I wrote it on a day I was feeling like I wasn’t worthy of God’s love, much less anyone else’s. We all have those days, and sometimes they come down on us hard. I truly wish we could’ve known then what we know now, but… we don’t get a do-over. We do, however, get a start-over.

The reason I hesitate to post things like this, is because I want to encourage others—I feel it’s my job now—and, on the surface this doesn’t seem encouraging. But on the other hand, it is, because it encourages me—and you, I hope—to forgive ourselves our mistakes and misdeeds. God does.

I Cried a Lot Today

Read the rest of this entry »

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Best Dog Ever!

She was just a mutt, but smart as a whip, and a person couldn’t ask for more loyalty and love than she gave us.

If the Clock is Ticking

The old dog makes pitiful soundsdog-office-0031

Sleeping there by my desk

Sometimes she sounds almost human

Whining as she sneaks toward the end

There’s a ringing in my ears

Not loud, but steady

Not that it bothers me

I just notice it at times like these

Times when the house is silent

And I’m alone with my thoughts

And the ringing

And the old dog

The ceiling fan moves the air

Ever so slightly… soundlessly

If the clock is ticking…

I can’t hear it

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

 

 

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