My mood in clouds…or from both sides now

My mood in clouds…or from both sides now

Brain in spasms 
Thoughts bouNcinG on the membrane, 
bOunCing off the membrane
BoUnCiNg… 

* EMC

Walked outside looked up
Clouds
Bouncing stopped
Restored, reset
I begin my morning

Confusing and self-doubt
Exploring possibilities
relocation, restoration, resurrection
Water, liquid water

* EMC

Across the Hudson
Clouds
Confusion now clarity
Self-doubt now security
I begin my afternoon

Shit waits for no one
It passes you by
It rolls on forever
Like the clouds in the sky*

*EMC

Shit happens
Clouds
Sometimes it’s good
Most times it’s bad
I begin my evening

Spasms 
Thoughts bouNcinG on the brain  
bOunCing off the membrane
BoUnCiNg… 

* EMC

Walked outside looked up
Clouds
Evening turns to night
Depleted mi alma drained
To bed hibernate

*Helen Forrest

Twist on my sobriety…or Fragility of One’s Mental Health

Twist on my sobriety…or Fragility of One’s Mental Health

The shootings
senseless killing of children, black grocery shoppers, a man riding on the subway for brunch in the city, all takes a toll. Why are automatic rifles necessary? Why are guns sold to eighteen year old boys?  

Covid
the naysayers, anti-maskers, hyper-vigilante mask wearers with the sanitizers. One day no mask requirements next day masks and six feet apart. What happens if I only maintain five? What happens if I lower my mask to drink from my water bottle? COVID!!!

I want to rise
rise above, step out the door, have hope and see the beauty in a horribly negative world filled with horribly negative people.  

My thoughts
are jumbled at times, racing up and down, sometimes round, wanting to settle but not able to sometimes, refusing to move or not motivated to do so. Sitting still, sitting terribly still.

My body
wants gratification found only in food of the lowest kind. The more, junkier, processed and artificially flavoured, the more my body craves. Each day brings a time for change and each day brings a time for more indulgence. 

Sobriety
is hard to retain when the world makes you want to space out for a while. Or rather you are not capable of dealing with the world so you choose to space out, be numb, inactive, inaccessible. 

Gentrification
not a word I use anymore as obliteration is more fitting. Luxury high rises are multiplying like fungi while the old buildings such as my elementary Catholic school are torn down or revamped into something new and trendy for the new neighbourhood, no longer my ‘hood. 

Neighbours
who have known me from a baby are now old with health issues and passing on. I am now that neighbour watching the new neighbors kids grow up.

Reckoning…

***avogado6-drawing

Memory Box or…How Many Times Does The Word Memory Appear

Memory Box or…How Many Times Does The Word Memory Appear

My memories are stored in a Memory box located somewhere in mi alma (soul) and accessed through the head. It is not made of rose gold or lined with fancy crystals, no lock or combination to enter or exit. The Memory box is invisible as are the memories stored inside. Like all other boxes, there is a limit as to how much can be stored. In the case of the Memory box in which memories are thrown in haphazardly it can be trying when it comes to cleaning out the rubbish-what to keep, what is of no consequence and of course, there are the ones we would like to burn.

We all know what happens when we refuse to clean…

Memories are a tricky lot. Some are laments, regrets, pain, joy, happiness, and anger with a bit of mad tossed in. Memories have the ability to teach us lessons, that is, if we pay attention. Some try hard to forget them while others spend too much time in them, in the box, going through the clutter, ruminating over opportunities lost and not seeing opportunities gained. 

And…
We all know what happens when the clutter wins…

I have 58 years of memories stacked in my box and the ones before 7 years of age are not accessible. Good memories are as fresh, vibrant as the day they happened, bad ones are fuzzy fading colours and trauma comes in stark black and white. Those are the ones you can’t throw out. They are there for keeps, reminding you of the space they take up when least expected. The trick is to confront them, waddle in them, bring them close, hug them tight, then let them go. They will still be in the box but the space they take up will not be so overwhelming.

And…
We all know trauma is not good but if we acknowledge it, healing can occur…

***photos from the world wide web

My Mood in Roots…or Roots Of The Literal Kind

My Mood in Roots…or Roots Of The Literal Kind

MY MOOD
starts fresh each day
Waking up hopeful and open to the world

MY MOOD
is not like the rhythmn of the four seasons
Changing routinely, overlapping rudely, not blending in softly

MY MOOD
is prone to stagnate and fester 
Going this way and that, bloated with urine

MY MOOD
at most is solitary
Moving through brown the dirt-Alone

MY MOOD
is glorious, proud, ever expanding
Exploring, born again from experiences encounter

MY MOOD
is comprised of tributaries, waterfalls, rivers, and streams
Flowing forth, clogging up, backing up, stuck then free, stuck

MY MOOD
supports others giving, giving and giving
They blossom, while I am stunted and deprived 

MY MOOD
absorbs negativity literally
Which entraps and degrades until…

… the negativity has been cut away
my roots exposed, naked and afraid

MY MOOD
will continue forward
Towards the water, towards newness, towards growth

***All photos by EMcCalla

Some of the times…

Some of the times…

Photo by EMC

Some of the times
It’s easy to get out of bed in the morning
enthusiastically hopeful for the best  
Celebrate a new day

Photo by EMC

Some of the times
It’s possible to eat healthy
wholesome food so the alma (soul) can
Rejoice from consumption of the blessed kind

Some of the times
It’s easy to breathe fresh air
when you open the windows of your heart and
Renew your world with fresh healing energy

Some of the times
Because we used to and I can’t
the gardener will clear out the overgrown weeds 
Clean the dirt, gravel, and slate

Photo by EMC

Some of the times
Rain thumping down 
on a hot humid day
Joyfully transports me to the Caribbean

Some of the times
The sound of Mr Softee 
unleashes the childhood memories 
Running wild and young in Brooklyn


Some of the times
The sound of Mr Softee 
unleashes the childhood memories 
Running wild and young in Brooklyn

Some of the times
Getting out of your head
and letting go of mind squatters
Radiates pure mind full filled

Photo by EMC

Some of the times
You want to whisper 
activating all your senses
Being alive in the present

Some of the times
The body cries in power
As strength takes hold and
Welcomes the eradication of toxins




Some of the times
Optimistic should be my first name
Followed by Hope as the middle
Ready Set Go as my last

Photo by EMC

Some of the times
A cardinal brings laughter
Especially when fighting with the sparrows and
Winning        

Some of the times
I laugh so hard tears come to my eyes
in a moment of pure joy
Happy at just being happy

Photo by EMC

Some of the times
You pray to HIM
Asking and asking till you become an
Instrument of his peace

Sometimes…

Sometimes…

Photo by EMC

Sometimes                   
It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning
To begin a new day when you’d rather linger 
under the covers in the past

Sometimes
It’s impossible to eat healthy
When you have to prep and cook
and the corner bodega is…at the corner

Sometimes
It’s hard to breathe fresh air
When the windows are shut
holding in stale memories

Sometimes
The overgrown garden
Once tended by mom and you
should stay overgrown.

Sometimes
Rain really sucks
Thumping down cold
on my bare head

Sometimes…
A mean and ugly person 
Takes up space in your brain
squatting, rent free

Sometimes…
You want to scream so loud
Igniting car alarms up and down the block
but the scream is nothing but a whimper

Sometimes…
The body cries for help
As a fat revolution takes hold
obliterating muscle in its path

Sometimes…
Despair should be my first name
Followed by Anguish as a middle
Mourning as the last

Sometimes…
A cardinal brings hope
Except when its fighting with the sparrows
and the sparrows win

Sometimes…
You pray to HIM
Asking and asking
and never receiving

Photo by EMC
From me…or Hang on

From me…or Hang on

August 3, 2019 -5:23AM 

“I think we all struggle with that unreasonable guilt, E***a, and it is unreasonable, isn’t it? Certainly, my Dad who loved me so well my entire life would want me to live whole and free, right? Of course, he would. It’s just all part of this gut-wrenching process we all have to suffer through. Be thankful for those sparks. Fan them into flame. Live that life to honor your loved one but more so for yourself and the world who needs your particular gifts.”

-Response to a post I wrote on a grief board

Grief amidst a worldwide pandemic mixed in with addiction is not pretty in any colour. 

But the body and mind can longer accept alcoholic as self-medication to make the world seem right. Grief chased down with bourbon needs to rise up and be dealt with. 

So, I …

Hang on for a day
The past is acknowledged, the future not ruminated on. The present? Front, Center and Back.  Because that is all that matters.

Hang on for another day
“An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature”-Big Book
Finished the twelfth steps, now what? 

Hang on
The desire to run, do a gym work out, bang on the piano or even write has faded for Anger and Hangovers no longer fuel, mi alma (soul). 

Hang on for yet another day
Sobriety dulled my creativity or rather my creativity refuses to emerge through a clear thinking alma (soul).

Photo by EMC

Hang on for a day
I have yet to print out those medical records, afraid of what may be revealed, afraid I’ll gain more truths into my inadequacies fueled by alcohol into how I was not there for you-figuratively.

Still hanging on
Have not attempted to finish my piece on “One year without you” for one year has now turned into three years without you.

August 30, 2019 -12:10PM 

Hang tight-you will fly once your wings unfold. You will find a place either in this realm or another where you are loved & appreciated for being just you with all your quirky talents, flowing forth like glitter. Be Strong!”

                                                                         -Note from me to me

Intertwined…or No Drink

Intertwined…or No Drink

Isolated and the deaths of my felines, a brother and sister, two days apart was the ‘woke’ to my consumption of alcohol. What went from drinking after 5pm morphed into drinking at 10am. Half bottle of vino to full bottle. Full bottle thrown in as a chaser for bourbon. 

Bourbon and wine intertwined.

Sobriety literally began as one day at a time. One day drinking, one day not drinking, repeat for two weeks. Get the wine from around the corner, then go four blocks over for the bourbon. Next day wine from two blocks up to bourbon two down and four over. Then repeat every day, seven days a week.  “Silly rabbit…!” Buying one day reserves instead of a grate and handle make me a control drinker.

Bourbon and wine intertwined.

July 1st, 2020 arrived and no drink that day. Or the next, or the next. Reached out for help on week three of no drink. Completed a ninety day program of no drink. Met others who no drink and others who gave up and drank falling off the continuum of no drink.

Bourbon and wine no longer intertwined.

Three months, six months and now 9 months free. A mind not terribly wasted in a hangover pool brings hope to the present.  On occasion I’ll jaunt down memory lane in my mind to remember all the gains with no drink. The future is not for me to see. Hoping no drink will follow me.

Bourbon and wine no longer intertwined.

The glasses made to hold wine sit on the top, top, shelf of the kitchen cabinet. Shapes, colours, pieces of artwork not to be tossed. The bourbon glasses now hold plants swimming in water, toothbrushes and pastes of the human and greyhound kind.

Remnants of what once and is no longer. 

Faith…or Fate

Faith…or Fate

Faith moves mountains
You often said when despair embraced me

Fate moves mountains
I often said as control is in another’s hand

Faith moves mountains
Through troubling times optimism was your shield

Fate moves mountains
Through troubling times alcohol was mine

Faith moves mountains
You believed in a God that would nurture and care

Fate moves mountains
I believed in a God that was cruel and malicious

Faith moves mountains
You rarely shed tears and if you did
they fell with a purpose

Fate moves mountains
I cried everyday 
angry tears driven by self-pity 

Faith moves mountains
Cancer came back for you
this time it latched on 
You cried once in the hospital
and I knew you knew
hope fought

Fate moves mountains
Cancer came back for you
I couldn’t pry it loose 
I cried as much as I drank
and you knew I knew
hope lost

*** It’s been three years since you drew breath. You were in my life for 54 years. I guess I’ll be mourning till the day I join you. I cry mostly mornings, when another day begins, without wine or bourbon. During the days I’ll smile as memories, come in and out, out and in. Looking forward to more smiles and fuzzy feelings when memories hit instead of pain and tears.

I love you mom, my mom.

Nig…

Nig…

At the age of 56, last night on a Zoom meeting that was ‘bombed’ I was called a nigger. 

‘Elena is a nigger’ is what someone wrote on their screen at the AA Zoom meeting that was ‘bombed’

Interesting fact, I guess. 

Can’t say that I didn’t already know I was a nigger. Knew from the age of 11 when an Italian classmate enlighten me at the Italian/Irish Catholic school.

But an AA meeting? 

A Zoom meeting not password protected nor protected with adequate bouncers to monitor the room? An AA meeting where sobriety is sacred and protected at all cost? 

Not when you’re a nigger.

So last night during an AA zoom meeting that was ‘bombed’ someone called me a nigger.

Society has been using nigger from the time of slavery or even beyond and I’ve been privileged to hear it all through my days on this earth. Although, I stopped hearing it in my 40’s. I guess those people knew better to call a nigger a nigger especially in the workplace, in church, not on the subways though or on the street.

Nigger/Nigga

I heard the rappers take it and turn it into our own. No longer nigger but nigga. How quaint, how eloquent, how ballsy to take what They branded us and turn it into our own brand that They do not hesitate to use, to be cool, to be hip, to be damn bloody fools in my worldly view. But as Jay Z says during the Ballad of OJ, “Still Nigga”.

Being called a nigger in your 50’s hurts just like it did at 11.

I ain’t your nigger though I may be a nigga, but being a nigga to me is not being a nigger to you and you best not call me a nigger to my face because after this bullshit on zoom I just may cut you deep, really deep but not with a knife as I see in my mind but with words that flow from the scarred vault that holds the many, many, niggers I was called by the ones I choose to call They.