Monday, November 30, 2015


Awake too long. Can't sleep., on the heels of a long shift at work, full of night magic.

I wake gentle souls over and over. They reach for my hand and whisper groggy confessions, and tell me what they were doing in their dreams,

I was getting ready to jump from the Ferris wheel...

...I was riding whales.

I was singing lullabies in a choir...

...I was sliding on a frozen waterfall.

Night shift is a lot like Vegas.

What happens there, stays there.

No one see's it or would ever believe it. Except those arduous souls who span the stretch of midnight with open arms.  Night people are the anchors who hold the world of light in place. We keep the order while the chaos of dreams tries to unravel sanity.

In the hush of the darkness everything stands still. A pause between hearts beats. I'm on watch, keeper of the time. Holder of the keys. My job to hand my charges over safe and sound to those light walkers who rise with the sun.

"How was your night?" they always ask.

"It was a quiet night." I say keeping all the magic to my self. I clock out with a full heart and joyous soul carrying all the special moments with me hidden, unspoken.

"Don't you ever get tired of working nights?" they sometimes ask.

"No." I smile and turn and jump from the Ferris wheel.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Healing is hard

Trigger warning - I am in a spin cycle of suicidal urges. The kind where I am at risk of a "fuckitall" attempt. I am fighting them one at a time as they crop up. It's harder somehow this winter.

Gee, thank you so much Season Affect sadistic bastard. And I'm sure his buddy Peri-Menopausal Hormone Fluctuations is just as much to blame.

I want to share this poem with you.

It was written the year I decided to stay alive and not kill my self. The decision to stay alive was still in its infancy. Literally 2 and 1/2 months old. I was battling urges like I am now. I was 23 years old.

I am sitting in Richards tan chair facing him December 28th 1988. I am burrowed into my dirty coat. I was dressed in baggy ripped purple sweats. My hair in a unbrushed sloppy pony tail. I had worked the night before. Maybe 3 hours of sleep under my belt. The depth of my depression was a tangible entity in the room.

He looked at me softly. As if he was trying to decide if it was worth delving into the madness in my head today.

Deciding it wasn't worth it, he finally leaned back and just waited for me to engage.

He always knew just how to talk to me. Or in this case not talk to me. 

At last I forced my woody arm out of my coat pocket and handed him three sheets of folded note book paper.

He leaned forward and took them. Unfolded them and read what I had written.

(C) 12-26-1988 P.

Healing is hard

Healing is hard.
facing fears that loomed so tall,
battling voices that taunt and beckon.
Dealing with truths and lies.

Healing is hard

accepting the past and all its contents,
for what it was and no longer is.

Healing is hard

Learning to trust and share,
to express pain and joy
is a new experience
Accepting what was not, and lo longer can be
is hard, very hard.
Facing the real me is difficult.
Loving the real me is a new idea.
Admitting what happened is hard.
Sometimes its so easy to fall
back into old patterns,
old ways that are familiar and comforting,
rather than charge ahead into the unknown.

Healing is hard

some sessions we rip scabs
off festering old wounds,
and suddenly I'm five years old again
and I'm very frightened.
I want my mama to comfort me.
There's never been a mama there,
not then and not now.

Healing is hard

Existing in half a fantasy
and half a crazy.
I know the shadows which whisper to me
aren't really there.
But I see them.
And I was taught that seeing is believing.
The voices that shout at me
are my own
Why would I want to harm my self?

Healing is hard

I silently try
again and again
to find someone who will listen to me
and see
that something isn't right
before I end my life.
To help me find a way out
before I'm trapped behind my walls
for ever and ever, which ever comes first.

Healing is hard

Battling over my sanity
I fight and fight
I'm a survivor, I'm strong.
Some days though, I'm a broken willow reed
trampled in the field dirt.
handle me with care.
I give the illusion of great strength.
That is just a mask I cower behind.
I am six years old and lost again.

Healing is hard

I reject the offered love
and I need it the most.
I can't understand why
I must run and run.
Not everyone will hurt me
I don't deserve to be hurt
I didn't do anything,
I'm not a bad person.

Healing is hard

All through school the children have laughed.
"Pa-SHA" they'd call "Pa-DGA"
"she is ugly, she is different and crazy."
oh how their words hurt!
But I wouldn't give in,
My outer shell just grew thicker.
They could isolate me,
whisper behind my back,
Laugh at me.
I pretend I didn't care
deep down inside
I'd cry and cry.

Healing is hard

I feel like I'm a tightrope,
that is beginning to crumble.
I scramble for footing
snatching at the rope as it unravels.
I'm falling again.
Just as I was falling when I was fifteen.
It doesn't hurt to fall anymore
I can't feel the pain
nothing hurts me anymore,
nothing but life.

Healing is hard

I've come so far
I've fought very hard
I won't give in
Their not going to win.
I'm not crazy
I'm not insane
I'm in control of me
I'm responsible for my own actions

Healing is hard

behind my stormy blue eyes
lie many untold horrors
sometimes I'm tempted to
speak them aloud.
My soul screams them out
but they get silenced
by the cold brick walls which engulf me.
I'm unreachable
I am lost.
The hurt runs to deep.
healing is not possible.

I had not watched him read it. I was starring at the ripped hole in my sweats, picking at the loose stings. When I heard him lay it on his lap. My eyes flicked up and met his.

I needed him to agree with my last line. This was his one chance to jump ship. I was presenting him with an out. If he wasn't in this fight, he held his walking papers in his hand.

He glanced down at the paper and back to my eyes. We stared for what felt like an eternity. He finally nodded, as if he had fully digested what he had just read.

"Its a shame to end this on such a sad note." He said. touching the paper. "what can we do to change that?"

I thought for a few seconds then twisted in my chair and dug a pen out of my pocket. I stood up and reached over and grabbed the poem from him. Scribbled seven words and handed them back to him.

He glanced down at them.

I'm unreachable
I am lost.
The hurt runs to deep.
healing is not possible, in the darkness
turn on a light.

His huge smile lite up the room, and we got down to the business of saving my life.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How's your week going?

Monday my Visa-identity was stolen and "I" was charging expensive cosmetics in Europe. Fraud department caught that and nipped it in the bud.

Tuesday morning a registered sex offender tried to break down the door at work and I had to 911 his ass.

I can't wait to see what Wednesday brings...LOL

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A dotted dance ....

Once upon a time I had the fine motor control to do detailed stippling.

........ stippling is simply drawing with dots, lots and lots of dots ....

I did this foal in a series of unicorns and fantasy horses.

Endless hours absorbed while sitting at my desk.

Head phones on. The Beatles singing to just me.

I loved the repetitive staccato rhythm of the pen.

The dance it did.

. . . . dip . . . . dip . . . . dip . . . .

cold black ink, contrasting the steel metal of the oh, so delicate nib . . . .

The slight scratch sound as the nib ever so gently was tugged at by the tiny strands on the thick art paper. . . . . dip  . . . . 

I day dreamed as I drew. Dreaming of framing these pictures and selling them for hundreds of dollars. Dreamed of being famous . . . dip . . .  rich.

Your soul gets exposed in art work. Each brush stroke a truth about your life. The only ones who can decode it are those who happen upon your art and fall in love with it. 

To the rest, its just color / ink on a canvas.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The lantern maker

The ancient red woods were enjoying the stillness when they felt the young traveler enter their sanctuary.  The red mother arched her thick trunk and curled her burls as she stretched and limbered.

"Who is there?" she said, her breath sending a warm wind.

"me." replied a quivering small voice.

Mother looked down

and down

.... down, to the ground.

A small one stood crying at her foot. In her arms was the body of a limp red fox.

"Wait." mother said bending.


....bending down, to the ground.

"What has happened here little one?" she asked gently pulling the girl to her.

The girl bit her lip as she sobbed, "He died."

The mother held her tight, and cried with the girl. There combined tears collecting in the soft red fur.

"He was my fwiend..." she whispered holding him close and laying her pale cheek on his fur.

"He was our friend too" said the ferns wrapping themselves around her.

"Mine too" cried the sun light softly lighting the red fir. "He was the lantern maker."

"What?" she sniffed and dried her eyes on him.

The sunlight twinkled and slowly danced in a dappled pattern. "He made the most beautiful lanterns. In all sizes and shapes. He lite them with his special light. You are blessed little one to have known him...."

"...I wish eberyone could know him." She sniffed hugging him closer.

A cool shadow blotted out the warm sun.

"Everyone will." came a new voice.

The tall, darkhaired woman knelt down and ran her hand lovingly over the still red fur. Tears were in her big blue eyes. "they most definitely will." She parted the wishing clover and began to dig.

the rich brown earth came up easily in her hands.

The little girl began to sob again. "I don't wanna fordet him. Or weave him where I can't see him."

The tree's began to whisper and gently sway. A shower of bright green needles rained down, and lined the hole in a soft carpet.

The woman held out her hands for the fox.

The girl hugged him tighter and turned into the trees dark bark. "I tant weave him."

The woman gently smiled. "Didn't you hear the sunlight? He was the lantern maker."

"He didn't make me a lantern!" she wailed "I haf no lantern to carry."

The sunlight suddenly blinded her and she closed her eyes. It held her face and warmed her tears. "you are the lantern dear one." it whispered. "He made you the lantern."

She dropped her face into his fur and sobbed through her understanding smile. Carefully and with great honor, she laid him on the bed of needles. She petted him for a long time as the woman, red mother, ferns and sunlight patted her quivering back. At last she painstakingly drew the dirt over him with her little hands.

"I  will wanna visit him a din. How will I find dis grave?" She asked as she tenderly patted the dirt into place.

The woman looked up

and up

...up, to the canopy.

"He isn't here little one. You want to visit him, share the life he put into you."

"Will dat work?"

"Yes," smiled the woman returning her gaze to the child. She cupped the child's face with her earthy hands. "He wouldn't want it any other way. He made his lanterns to shine for a lifetime."

In loving memory of Richard, and the gift he gave us all.
(c) 11-6-2015 Paja Russell

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


life you bastard,
One of these days...
the blow of your fist will stop me from getting up again.
 I have taken even punch you have thrown at me
I have gotten up each time you pounded me into the ground
each time you killed my friends
each time you drove me out to the woods and left me.
struggled to stand when your cruelly tripped me,
you bully...
why do you hate me?
what did I ever do to you?
I know I cheated death when I was born.
Is that why you are angry?
are you angry because I won't stay down?
Pissed because I still try after all of it? news for you, you can hurt me, you can cripple me, but you can't kill what I have inside.
everyone has tried...

and everyone has failed.

I am made of dark ore, forged in an ancient furnace.
life you bastard,
One of these days...
the blow of your fist will stop me from getting up again.
but know I am taking you down with me when that happens.