Tags: lj idol season 8


I haven't asked in a long time, but...

I poured my heart out for the Idol entry this week. I've been pretty good this season by not clogging your friends lists with pleas for votes. I'm getting by fine in the polls, but I did work hard on this entry and would like some extra votes to float to me if you enjoyed it. It only takes a second or two.


Love you all.

LJ Idol: The Otherness

It's too early to be sitting here on the cold winter sand, alone with the newborn sun so pink and full of promise. I call the blue green Carolina waves to me, praying their icy tendrils will wash away this otherness that entraps my seventeen year old soul. I named it the otherness because my search for words to describe this capture has proven futile. The letters and syllables that mix together to create words like "isolation" and "loneliness" do not appropriately encompass the power of my inner constant companion.

My tangled blond hair whips around my face, not caring at this moment about the pain it will later cause me to untie the knots. I am truly alone as I have wished for in the night when ghosts inhabit my room. Yet this brings me little solace and I try for the millionth time to rid myself of the otherness. I want a love that does not tare at my clothes or my heart, friends that can see through me to the other side of my being, happiness that comes from the freedom to be open and honest. But the otherness anchors my feet and seals the lips that long to tell the tails that would release me.

The morning star matures, growing gold in the hours after dawn. It warms my face and numb fingers, but cannot reach inside. I stand and turn to leave, knowing that most certainly someone will be searching for the girl that used to me me. The otherness and I take our leave, knowing that in spite of what I might believe I want, neither of us can survive without the other. The unknown of my reflection without the otherness staring back at me is too much to fathom and my fleeting hopes for release melt into this reality.

Blame is no salve and time is not a healer. Perhaps we all roam the earth with our own otherness inside, eating us up until we surrender to six feet under. Maybe it drowns us in the nothing that we all eventually are bound to become.

It could be that one day, I will discover that I've never really been alone.


Author's Note: This is a glimpse into my heart as a teenager who was bent, broken, and bottled up by trauma and sadness. Thankfully, I am far past this. But it is good too look back at how far I've come and remember that I have not only survived, but thrived. The otherness is gone and has been replaced by the knowledge we are all survivors of something. We are all the same in so many ways and this brings me great comfort.

Food Memory

Whenever I'd come home from several months away at college, Grandma would always make sure to have fried chicken and potato salad for me practically as soon as I stepped off the plane. I always looked forward to tasting happiness in the form of vinegary batter and goodness in the creamy, starched dish. Every grandchild had a special dish they'd receive when arriving at her house, but being the favorite had its perks. It didn't matter if my plane landed at 11:30 at night. We'd always make a quick stop by Grandma's to say hello and retrieve the tasty treats.

Holidays were another affair altogether. Even as we all grew older, cousins married (thus spending some Christmases elsewhere), and others moved away, the fist southern bell always insisted on making far too much food all by herself. If you piled only one plate high with food and were unable to return to the bountiful table for a second helping, you were considered by Grandma to be ill. (I was never accused of this since I often ate my own weight in spiral ham, mashed potatoes, fried lace cornbread and rich chocolate pie).

In August of this year, my wonderful grandmother, still so full of life and joy, went to Heaven. Everyone was transformed in that moment, forever altered by a senseless accident that cut short the life of a vibrant human being. Two of my uncles no longer speak to my mother or I. My grandfather ran to Florida to hide from the memories and is now living with one of those uncles who tells him daily how my mother and I are just money hungry, evil women who don't really love him. One of my cousins who was always jells of the attention Grandma gave me didn't even speak to me at her viewing.

The saddest part of all though is there will be no more loud laughing after too many glasses of wine. No more seafood dinners at our favorite holiday haunts. No more crab salad on crackers after the Christmas Eve service.

And no more fried chicken and potato salad.


Grace sure can clean. We met years ago and somehow she always knows when I'm in desperate need of her help. Her scarred hands scrub away the messes I leave behind, her weatherbeaten face glowing in spite of the work. I've never been much of a housekeeper and realized a long time ago I'm much better off if someone else is in charge of that aspect of my life.

I'll never forget her first visit. We had spoken in passing a few times, but it took me a good bit of time before I plucked up the courage to ask her to come over and lend me a hand. She came highly recommended by numerous friends and relatives, so I finally swallowed my pride and gave her a call.

She burst through my door like a tornado, immediately finding the clutter I'd attempted to shove into closets.

"I'm sorry about the mess," I feebly apologized, hands curled into tension filled fists.

"That's why I'm here," she said briskly as she worked. "Everybody's got somewhere they hide their junk. I find it in every house I clean. Some people learn their lesson and just leave it out until I get there. The stubborn ones keep trying to hide it. I say 'You know I'm coming. Why do you make so much work for me?' They still do it."

"I forgot half of that stuff was there, to be honest."

"Don't you worry about it. I'm good at my job."

When she was finally finished, I tried to pay her. I know she'd agreed to clean the place up a bit for free, but she was a miracle worker and I felt the need to give her something in return for her labors.

"No," she waved my money away with a laugh, "honey, you can't afford me."

And with that, she was gone.

It took me a while to get used to this "new" home Grace had made for me. I spent a lot of time wandering through the rooms, waiting to wake up and realize the mess returned. It didn't. The change was inconceivable to me then, and I'm still in awe of how free I feel living here now.

I'm still messy and in need of Grace. She always makes time for me, though I'm not sure how or why.

I tell all of my friends about how amazing Grace truly is. I can pass along her number if you need it.

You'll never be the same.

 Shine Your Light On Us by Robbie Seay Band from Give Yourself Away (Bonus Track Version) (Rating: 0)

That's what I get for trying something new

Hi all,

So this week in Idolville there is a community only vote. I'm getting lots of positive feedback on my entry, but I am nearing the bottom parts of my tribe votes wise. Others just have a lot more than me, which is fine, but I'd really like to stay in the game. If you'd consider possible joining the community and tossing me a vote, I'd love you always. It is really easy and…who knows. You might meet some really neat people. I know I have. If nothing else, you can check out a ton of other talented writers as well.


I really tried to write something new for me and get out of my sad box.
Thanks for the love.

Once you join, vote vote voter vote!

 Marianne by Tori Amos from Boys For Pele (Rating: 0)

Three Little Words: "Man and wife"

I've never been too much of a movie watcher (probably because I've always had the attention span of a small harried squirrel when it comes to that sort of activity). But The Princess Bride is the only movie I can watch repeatedly without developing a serious case of boredom. There's just something about the combination of hilarity and whimsy that pulls me in time and time again. I realize it is a satire, no one would ever subject their daughter to having the name "Buttercup", and, come on, the rats don't even remotely look authentic. But I don't care. I laugh without shame at the antics of the drunken Inigo, tear up whenever Wesley whispers, "as you wish", and dance around my living-room in my underwear waving an imaginary weapon during the epic sword fights. (I'll let you decide whether that last bit is truth or a slight exaggeration).

One of my favorite scenes is the one where the poor priest with the speech impediment is conducting the forced marriage of Buttercup and Humperdink. I dare any one of you to lie and say you don't laugh when he says, "wove, true wove will fowwow you forever." At the end of the scene, Humperdink forces the priest to skip to the end and say "man and wife."

Man and wife… Three little words that evoke powerful emotions in most people, some of which are not so warm and positive. As my fiancé and I plan for our wedding and our future together, these are words we've pondered a lot. My family (God bless them) is not necessarily the perfect picture of the commitment these words imply. In fact, at my sister's wedding, there was only one couple on our side of the family that was still on their first marriage. When this was brought up to my dad at the rehearsal dinner, his response was, "Well, they've got to have something to tell their shrink." (It's ok to laugh at that. I did).

In spite of my family's shoddy record at this thing called commitment, I still find it is important to me. I think we all, deep down, like the idea of a solid bond that weathers the storms of life. To me, "man and wife" means hard work, silly fights about rug purchases, family vacations, smiles, dirty diapers, dinner dates, long walks, tears, taxes, support, choices, and, yes, true love. "Man and wife" are words that reach across the next fifty plus years of our lives together, touching the other side where we are older, wiser and a little better looking than we are now (I look really good in gray).

Some say this idea of marriage is going out of style, but I don't think so. Love can penetrate the heart of the hardest cynic and can bend a nonbeliever's will. It changed me and I know I'm not the first or the last to experience such a transformation.

Hopefully the next time you watch this classic film, you'll remember my powerful observations about love. Either that or you will be forever scarred by the image of me prancing around in my underoos.

Only time will tell.

When You Pray, Move Your Feet

The December air bights my ungloved fingers and nibbles my ears as we walk, just you and I. Thousands of lights wink at us from houses full to bursting with families and cookies and rolls of sparkly red paper. My mom's little, lonely apartment feels so far removed from this American Christmas panorama we're passing. I long for that simplicity; a holiday in one place with the same people year after year. How I can miss something I've never had is a mystery. I don't dwell on this for long since it seems fruitless to wish for things that can never be.

I tell you about the sadness I don't understand that has ballooned inside Mom since my step-father left last summer. The joy and release I felt at this event are not shared by all involved and I struggle to empathize. How can she love and miss such a cruel and thoughtless man? Why did she stay for so long when he did nothing but tare us all down as if we were derelict buildings deserving of destruction? You tell me that one day, I will understand; one day a love that is powerful and ugly will push me to the brink of myself and I, like Mom, will not always choose wisely. I, (knowing without a shadow of doubt that I am nothing like my mother), don't believe you. Still, I tuck the advice away in a corner of my heart to ponder later.

There is so much I don't tell you about; the alcohol, the boys, the sadness that ballooned in me… I don't really know when. I resolve to change, to try harder, to be more of what you want. You know where I've been without me telling you, and you don't push me to talk. You tell me I am good enough; you tell me I am loved and precious and just what you created me to be. I can't believe you… not yet.

The distant sound of church bells singing their praises reaches into my soul, warming some part of me that has been numb for too long. You've always done this to me; whenever I close my ears and my heart to what you say, you send music to tell me what I need to know. The notes are a salve for my wounds and a song for my lips.

Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

 Amelia by Joni Mitchell from Hejira (Rating: 5)

Ready, Set, Write

And we begin again.
I've made a few friends through this contest and hope to make more. I'm in grad school now and am online all the time anyway. So, participating this go around is much more realistic given that I'm not at blind bootcamp…also known as LCB, (Louisiana Center for the Blind).

The sweet comments on a post I wrote the other day reminded me that I love to write and, even more than that, I love when people read it.

So here it goes, ladies and gentle dudes….