climbing the steps at nautilus teachings


on the off chance
that the stars were
all aligned
combined with the
good karma i was feeling
i pick up the phone
and text my dad…
“hi dad, i am looking for pictures
of our old house
and the park across the street,
would you happen to have any?”
the reason i wished to have them
was i am working through shame
in my brene brown class
and this upcoming week
will slam me to the ground
just as week three did…
i wanted to be prepared
wrap my head around
my childhood
and for me pictures helps…
he copied and sent me
what he had
two pictures of me and my brothers
and one of the old house,
only it was the renovated house
from the 90’s on
not the house i grew up in
from the 60’s…

first and foremost
i tore them up and threw them away
my father believes i should have
this close personal relationship
with all my brothers,
that these photos
will give me a warm, fuzzy feeling
but they don’t…
they throw me down
the red wooden steps
as my body ties up in knots
and pain shoots
from toes to head…
my house was weathered, grey,
with a huge wrap around,
peeling white painted porch
and a swing…
we had a big yard
and a long driveway…
this one
has no rails or swing
and is painted turquoise
with a cement barn in the back yard-

so, i have to sit
and roll back the slotted
tick, tick, ticking of movies
from over 40 years ago
and remember…
i wanted the pictures
because i truly believed
i would see
feel warmth…
these empty faces
staring at me
in black and white
said it all-
we were
our fathers
ansel adams photographs
stark, bleak and waiting
for our lives to be colored…
i knew very few pictures
ever really existed
and if he has them
he will not give them up…
i move past my disappointment
and realize
i am allowing him to control
my feelings
and if i am to make it through
this week about shame
and vulnerability
i must face it head on
accepting my truths
forgiving myself
and begin to climb
up the red wooden steps
instead of always
tumbling down them…
i need to take the door
off of the closet
throw away the keys
and continue
unleashing my
whimsical, colorful world
for all to see…
i stand before you-
my soul is open
and with that i ask you the questions,
“are you really reading this?
are you willing to open up your own soul
and bare your true self to the world??
“are you gonna spend your life
trapped inside a shell
peering out through your
rose colored glasses
never revealing
the true beauty
of who you really are?”
i walk to garbage can
look down at the torn up pieces
and begin to cry…
i want my mom back
i want her softness
to once more hold me
and tell me
i was not a mistake…
this week is going to be hard
on this old mid western artsy chick
but i can tell you, i will
dig my roots of faith in deeper
take small breaths
and look forward
to the view
from the top
of the red wooden steps…