Appearances

Testing social waters –
that cherished state of interaction –
prone to revealing too much

have been homebound,
studying life without a facilitator,
now attempting to penetrate invisibility

gathering the salvageable bits –
minimal fragments of a once whole woman,
reaching out, reconnecting, reception mixed

much has passed me by –
no amount of homework can undo
this loss of sharpness, this dependent state

as achievement focused as ever –
would go back to work – my heart space –
if illness had not deemed me redundant

must be selective in sharing –
am met with disregard, my story, like a gunshot,
causes others to duck, glaze over, lack of scarring

a disappointment for those expecting
acts of heroism – scars command respect –
metaphors telling a linear story – my journey

not marked by projected deadlines –
origins of disease unknown, defies medical
knowledge, research lacking – I am estranged

who dares to question beyond the trembling
exterior, behold the opportunity that blesses me,
witness the gift of joy that comes with re-evaluation

when character overcomes strife,
and simplicity replaces frenetic ambition –
the outcome of enrolment in this life class.

(Appearances was penned in December, 2016, after two and half years of being primarily bed bound with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.  As I gradually gained strength, my doctor suggested that I might attempt a few social outings.  What I had to talk about, when I had been out of the loop for so long, weighed heavily on my mind, as well as the fact that I have a little known disease – difficult for others to relate to.

Featured image is an original watercolour, Dreamy Coast

I submit this edited version for my weekly challenge: character.  To participate, just clink on the link. Thanks for reading.)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

18 thoughts on “Appearances

  1. Overwhelm away!!!

    I have never been quite so moved by a poem.

    And a story.

    SO much like my own but probably in SO much less degree.

    Hardest part for me is that on a really good day, I still look like myself to the untrained eye, but over the three years, so many have disappeared due to my apparent unreliability…”Oh I am so sorry. I need to cancel (and stay in bed) today.”

    No one believes me.

    This is my current anthem…it is beautiful to see and cheers me every time. I hope it is new to you and feels like a gift from one of your followers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, chronic illness – especially a little understood one – brings on a whole new, and often lonely, world. I understand. The line that stood out the most for me: “if illness had not deemed me redundant.”
    And the estrangement is life changing. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

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