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I needed no one
I had no voice
yet I had vision
I had no choice
yet I had color
I had no one
Therefore I grew up needing no one…

Small, tan, quiet, ruled, love
My mother was short and tan
She had big chocolate eyes
And smelled like cigarettes and perfume
She spent hours alone in silence baking
Wonderful cookies, cakes and pies for us to eat
My father ruled her, my brothers tortured her
But nothing seemed to stop her outpouring of love
When she spoke her words melted upon my tongue
Like a chocolate chip cookie from the oven
And when she smiled and laughed
I belly giggled right along

Cornered, driven, sad, wordless, ruler
My father taught me cornered silence
Sit in a corner and shut up
He was only visibly home on Saturday night and Sundays
Otherwise he was at work, in school or at church
I don’t remember his smile when I was young
He was always spanking my brothers or yelling at mom
Now he always smiles because he cannot hear
Few words spewed forth from his mouth that was
Not a command or punishment
My mom called him her knight in shinning armor
To me he was just a rusted tin can

Invisible, cruel, tall, baby oiled, hairy
my oldest brother was 11 years my senior
I have very few memories of him
except when he was home, he protected me from harm
The rest of the time he was my invisible brother
My mother would cry over him not coming home and say
He was cruel for not stopping in to see his mother
Why would he come here I thought?
He was tall, and skinny to the bone
He was always baby oiled up in the summer
I can remember his hair-everywhere hair
arms, legs, chest, long head hair, but he was soft

Two demons-three years apart, four letter words, pain, spit, urine, empty
they were three and five years older than me.
They spoke filthy, ugly, nasty words to me
They pushed me down the wooden steps, they tackled me
They held me down, they spit upon me, they tickled me
Til I wet my pants, they called me names,
They never loved me -They always hated me
And every night my father would spank them
And even though I looked through the key hole to see
I felt no relief from my inside pain
I would retreat to the closet under the red wooden steps an empty shell and alone

I needed no one
I had no voice
yet I had vision
I had no choice
yet I had color
I had no one
Therefore I grew up needing no one…

My world was the sun, water, textures, colors, silence, tears, fear
My friend the sun, warmed my tiny body in the summer
My soulmate the water taught me I could be free
The rugged trees made me realize I needed a shield
The soft grass, a hand to hold
The scented flowers-that I needed to find my voice
Everywhere I turned were colors for my palette in life
I locked them up with the images I drew inside my
Empty canvased head, for silence was my best friend
Tears washed away the filth I felt and healed
The open wounds which bled each day as I opened my eyes
Fear overtook my tiny soul and I became bound to it
Like a leech to slimy moss in the creek outside

Beauty, innocence, wonder, adventure, dreams
I lived across the street from Lords Park
A park the Lord made, I thought
It was there I felt safe, there I felt home
And there I felt love
I ran free with my innocence shinning brightly behind
My tiny peach smile, a child of wonder stopping to pick
Flowers, eat wild grapes, marvel at the beauty of the
White swans or sit in terror at the caged tiger, bear and snake that hissed my way
Each day a new adventure with made up friends, and a heart full of dreams
Until from behind a gnarly oak a demon would buzz out
And tackle me to the earth and begin his torture

Avocado green, burnt orange, windows, lost
The avocado green sofa sleeper in the front room overlooking Lords Park is where my parents slept
The thin blanket which covered them at night was burnt orange, white and tangerine
The windows behind the sofa were Gods eyes into the soul of this household where all the cornered secrets lay in wait to be unclothed
Yet I was the one who was stripped of my innocence
by the two toe headed demons -I was the one who was lost and set upon a journey I could not return from
A boat bobbing up and down amongst the tumultuous waves

Friend, hide, osmosis, freckles, catholic
My best friend was Brigid
She was red haired, soft, big brown eyes and giggled
We would hide me in her attic to protect me from them
She would seek out safe places for me to stay
We communicated through what everyone called “osmosis”
To us we could laugh, smile or just look at each other
And know what the other was thinking
We were inseparable for the most part
Her whole family was covered head to toe in freckles
To this day I love freckles and all my husband have
Been covered in freckles
She was Catholic and I was Protestant
She went to church on Saturday so her dad could get drunk Saturday night
I went to church on Sunday so my dad could pretend
He was a devoted and good husband and father

Hills, safe, fish fries, candy store , malts
The small town I grew up in was full of hills and long sidewalks with tall houses filled with kids, pets and cigarettes
I always felt safe in my neighborhood, I just never felt it in my own home which was painted light grey
I loved the front porch with the swing and the warm sun which shone upon it
Every Friday in the summer we would get fish fry for dinner from the local theatre and right down the block
Was a house that was converted into a candy store
Each time my grandfather came over and sat in the chair he would make sure his pockets were full of change so we could race to it and spend it all on candy
Well the demons would get it but grandpa always called me over and gave me a quarter with a wink and a smile
We did get allowance for chores and I would spend every dime at Sellers Drug Store Soda Fountain sucking down a chocolate malt or fresh cherry coke
It was a good place to grow up because there were so many colors, scents and soft places to land

I needed no one
I had no voice
yet I had vision
I had no choice
yet I had color
I had no one
Therefore I grew up needing no one…

Canvases, paints, computer, corners, water
Wherever I am I need canvases, walls, my skin-just surfaces to breathe onto them my feelings, images and release all the colors I hold within
I need my paints because I cannot exist in a black and white hard edged double sworded world
My computer has taken the place of my journals and pens which is a good thing since I can back up my files and my tears fall upon my lap instead of smearing the ink
I need corners to crawl into, to snuggle up against, to hide in, to protect my thin layered heart and patch worked self and to heal
I need to live near the water knowing that I can at any time escape upon it and sail as far away as I the winds will take me, I need to walk along the shores to feel the healing currents of life giving blues

Ideal? Local? Hometown? Inside?
Is there really such a thing as an ideal person?
Is there a person who does not hurt, who does not get angry, who does not need, who does not weep?
Are the local people any different from the hometown people I grew up with?
I see reflections of people from my past in the faces of the those in my present
Are we not all walking the same life at different times?
Are there more than one of us roaming this earth?
Do we really all have a twin?
Could they be in both places? Is this why at the age of 50 I still feel unsettled, afraid, anxious, guarded, ready to pounce at the shadows which follow me, the images which haunt me, the voices which speak to me?
We carry with us the souls of those we loved
The bandaged packages of their lives strewn amongst
The cobwebs of memories
We carry the burdens of our mother’s and father’s and try desperately to free ourselves from the chains of traditions we no longer value, from commitments we do not wish to keep and from people we no longer have anything in common with
We grow
We grow up
We grow out
We grow in
We CAN live alone
We CAN be in silence
We CAN exist in this crazy world
In any city, any town, any country
As long as we have
What we value the most closest to us

What is that?
For me
It is love
It is freedom
It is softness
It is silence
It is color
It is release
Of emotion
It is my life
No matter where I live
I cannot escape
Where I came from
Who I came from
What I lived through
Or where I called home

I needed no one
I had no voice
yet I had vision
I had no choice
yet I had color
I had no one
Therefore I grew up needing no one…

I survive today
Because I have love
I breathe today
Because I have great support
I smile today
Because I have found me
In a tiny, itty bitty surfer town
Surrounded by faces
By so many beautiful souls
From all over the country
Each reminding me of
Some one,
Some thing
Or some
Place of
My past
And through all of this madness
It all comes down to one famous line
All you need is love…