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
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…

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…

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

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

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…

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.

Las Estaciones De Mi Alma…(The seasons of my soul)

Invierno (Winter)
Mi Alma duerme 

My soul sleeps
For winter
Happy in the cold 
Warm in the body
Embraced at night with furs that live
Wrapped in a sheet with feathers dead
Bring comfort to a comatose mind

La Primavera (Spring)
Mi alma baila

My soul dances
For the air is tinged
With energy and rebirth
Resetting my soul to sync
Within nature at its most
Obvious time

Artwork: Marvin Piqué

El Verano (Summer)
Mi alma se sienta con el sol

My soul sits with the sun
Moving in slow mo’
Jiggly with passion
Humid, Heat, Hotness
Because she can

El Otoño (Fall)
Mi alma duele con recuerdos de Perdida

My soul hurts with memories of loss
Diá de Muertos
The altar once filled with marigolds and 
Bits of food, pictures of the elders 
Sits in a cardboard box in the closet
Because I cannot, love cannot
Add you to them

Wood and paper come from trees
Heart and lungs rule the body
Loss and love nailed in the alma
Scars deeply 

All About Eve…or The Snake Made Me Do It

ACCORDING…

to the King James bible, GOD created Adam in his own image using dust from the ground and the breath of life from his own mouth. 

Thus, Adam became a living entity sown in the Garden of Eden constructed purposely for his tending.

He was immediately given charge of keeper of the garden, named every beast, cattle and fowl and could eat freely of every tree in the garden. 

EXCEPT…

from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

“Why not?”, one may ask. 

Because, he would surely die! 

AS…

God told him so. 

Adam needed a helper since the beasts did not serve this purpose so while he slept, God removed a rib and constructed woman. Both naked and not ashamed they carried on in the garden

UNTIL…

The woman ate fruit from that tree at the urging of a snake. Both were punished when God found out.

The snake?

Forever to crawl on its belly in the dust for the rest of its life, its head to be bruised by the seed of the woman. 

The woman now called, Eve? 

The heel of her seed will be bruised by the snake and her sorrows multiplied in the conception and delivery of children. Subservient to her husband she will always be.

Adam? 

He will eat of that tree, the root of all this ruckus, transformed to thorns and thistle the rest of his life. Bread he will consume until he returns to the dust he was taken from.

Eve is forever vilified for falling for the snake’s temptation. It was surely her fault and her fault alone for eating the fruit (now accepted as an apple). 

BUT…

Her apple eating was 

DISCOVERY AND FREEDOM!!!

Nakedness-God had to make them clothing.

Child-bearing-She could now have children (along with sex).

Banishment-She could get out of the garden and watchful eyes.

Passive aggressive-Adam does all the work. 

Her offspring’s, offspring, lived hundreds of years. 

I guess it really was all about Eve and thanks to the snake that made her do it.

Daydreams or…Mini Vacations of the mind

Daydreams are mini vacations of the mind
I carried this flower throughout the first hour of my shift at work
It was cumbersome as only one hand could stock

Messages Image(1163073376).jpegBut…
This once vital and youthful inflorescence
Deserved a final romp through the Co op grounds

Daydreams are mini vacations of the mind
My determination of being present in the moment
Was disrupted by the fragile flower in my hand
And I thought, ‘Oh my, you are dying’
And then I thought, ‘I am too’
But…
Your life lived was way shorter than my life living

Daydreams are mini vacations of the mind
You started as a seedling, plucked when mature                   IMG_1951
Roots guillotined leaving sap to seep
Thrusted into cold, cold and so cold water
Transported from one state to another in a cardboard box
Bunched up tightly in a bucket with others from your tribe
No room to droop, only to stand tall and upright
But…
You survived the journey

Daydreams are mini vacations of the mind
Unloaded from a cool truck in the daylight hours
Of a hot, hot and so hot NYC morning
You and the others made your way into the Co op
Where unpacked by produce workers
You were put on display on top of a wooden pallet
Above your head the sticker price of $1.25 per stem
But…
Still standing strong, almost defiant, your blossoms raised high

Daydreams are mini vacations of the mind
So your journey towards dying continues
For the next day when I returned to work
The bucket was half empty and not half full
And to be honest I couldn’t tell from the wilted flowers who.
Stayed behind for another day of sale
If you were gone or not
Because you all do look alike anyway
But…
My mind stayed in that moment of the day before
Of knowing that all
Must die in some way IMG_1949