copyright 2016 Linda Ellis
There is an old woman
who has always been here,
since I breathed my first breath,
she began to appear.
Her gray hair arrived first,
then a wrinkle or three,
as she began to transform
the woman I knew as “me.”
Now she makes my decisions;
without question, I let her,
for I know her well,
but she knows me better.
When she began to emerge,
I was anxious and scared.
Though, I knew she was coming
I simply wasn’t prepared.
Everything she will be…
each distinguishing trait
throughout my whole childhood
was lying in wait.
She began as an infant,
then a girl came to be
a teen...into a woman
I anticipate her onset
for when she has arrived,
it will represent a lifetime
I have thrived and survived.
She holds no optimism
for continuance of youth;
when I look into her eyes,
I know, she knows the truth.
The next phase of this life
doesn’t cause her concern,
for we all play the game;
she’s just taking her turn.
Copyright 2016 Linda Ellis
by Linda Ellis, copyright 2016
This lifelong journey, an invisible map
without a pre-determined route,
a voyage plotted through twists and turns
and decisions filled with doubt.
Individually, we plot our paths
and yet they still connect,
for we do not get to choose with whom
these paths will intersect.
Be it happenstance,
or celestial direction,
our lives are built by each
Whether roads are smooth to tread upon,
or wrought with rocks and gravel,
our destination is determined
by the ones we choose to travel.
Every passage is uncharted,
no guarantee or guided tours;
my choices are solely mine to make,
and yours… uniquely yours.
Sublime or ill-fated,
each intersection holds the key
to the door of the tomorrows
we’re not permitted to foresee.
Copyright 2016 Linda Ellis
Copyright 2016 Linda Ellis
One of my earliest recollections is riding my bicycle past the elderly people sitting in their rocking chairs on the porches of my neighborhood, seemingly content with the world. Even at a very young age, I can remember thinking, “How can they just sit there hour after hour, day after day, rocking back and forth and watching. What are they thinking? Why don’t they get bored?”
Now I am in my fifties, and like many of life's questions I’ve pondered, time has provided the answers. I get it now. I understand that at the time, I was comparing the endless energy of youth to those whose bike riding days were behind them. Perhaps that’s one of the things they were thinking, recalling, as I would pedal past and wave and they would smile and return the gesture. Maybe they were seeing themselves in me…unkempt hair flying, wheels rolling, the freedom of youth passing them by, once again, in the form of a little girl.
The years condition us to become what we never truly comprehended that we would. The experiences we encounter and survive temper our soul, our mind, our heart and our attitude. Time smooths the rough edges of youth’s unrest. Years calm the unpredictable seas of anxiety. Acquired wisdom slowly and subconsciously answers our questions. Patience, we learn, is an acquired skill not present in youth and honed through the years. It is a mental equation that life both challenges us with, and subsequently solves: Understanding + Compassion = Patience.
When I was in my thirties, I began to fret over my rapidly advancing age and the toll it was taking on my appearance. But, as I mentioned, time conditioned me…wrinkle by wrinkle. A line came, I saw it in the mirror every day and thus adjusted mentally. Another wrinkle, another adjustment. Until, surprisingly not reluctantly, I accepted the wrinkles as part of the process. You may think, well she didn’t really have a choice, but it’s more than that. It was an acknowledgment, a recognition, an understanding. It was my turn to recognize the unspoken pact with myself, Father Time and Mother Nature.
We each have our turn to be young, carefree, unencumbered by life’s minutiae. Yet, when that turn morphs into the next phase of life, then the next, we are not shocked, because we realize that we are slowly being inducted. It is the way Father Time and Mother Nature operate, in synchronization. Our journey from bicycles to rocking chairs is their planned progression.
Don’t misunderstand me. I do not relish the idea of relinquishing each turn I am granted to live a specific age. But, I become more conditioned with every passing decade. I no longer fear entering the next phase, because I know I will be mentally prepared, acclimated when that times comes. There is a reason we don’t advance directly from 40 years to 80. It’s because every single year is a fundamental period of time, contributing essential, unique ingredients to our life’s recipe.
Leaves that Don’t Leave
copyright 2016 Linda Ellis
The more I experience life and nature, the more solutions I discover to explain issues that have plagued my consciousness. One of these solutions, oddly enough, is clearly exemplified in the act of…pruning.
For many years, I have enjoyed gardening. Houseplants, though posing yet another responsibility, bring me joy as they express their requirements for survival in various ways. Not enough sun? Too much sun? Not enough water? Too much water? A plant will communicate through its appearance what it requires from you as its sole caregiver. It’s a weird, silent, plant-human interaction, an intangible connection that intrigues me.
When I first began my gardening adventures, an experienced horticulturist advised me to clip the leaves from my plants on a semi-regular basis. Dismayed and confused, I asked why? I mean, you water, fertilize, ensure there is plenty of sunlight for your green friends, and suddenly you start coldly hacking what they’ve produced for you in exchange? It made no sense to me at the time.
Fast forward 35 years and I find myself in my kitchen, clipping leaves from my African Violets. With each small, struggling branch I cut, I am reminded of the parallel of my actions to life itself. These branches, yellowing, wilting, offering nothing to the shrub but unnecessary weight and toil, fall to the ground to be discarded, their usefulness spent. They were once vibrant, contributing factors in the plant’s existence as they grew and thrived, adding beauty and aiding in the plant’s survival.
But their time is over. Their purpose has passed. Now they are just hanging on, draining the plant of energy, marring its beauty, preventing it from thriving or reaching its full potential.
These useless branches, to me, represent negative occurrences in our past. As long as we let them hold on to us, as long as we refrain from cutting them loose, they will prevent us from prospering and reaching our full potential. They will continue to drain our energy and resources, allowing the minutes from our then to negatively affect the minutes of our now.
After these verve suckers are relieved of their duty, we (and the plant) begin to stand taller, move forward, grow and thrive without their negative and unproductive existence weighing us down as we progress. Almost instantaneously, the energy that was being drained by the leaves that didn’t leave and the past that didn’t pass, will be redirected and assigned a new purpose to help us, and the plant, flourish fresh and unfettered.
Reciting Linda Ellis' work (with author attribution) at any public gathering is always permitted (and appreciated). It’s the printing, reproducing and/or distribution of these copyrighted works that require permission and in many cases, a Limited License Agreement. We have systems in place to maintain the value and integrity of her registered copyrights. If you wish to share any of these works, links are provided and we require that you use these links in lieu of publishing/posting any of Ms. Ellis' copyrighted work. In a line from Linda Ellis' most popular poem:
“If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile
remembering that this special “dash” might only last a little while.”
That’s exactly what this is, a matter of respect…respect for another’s property. Registered, copyrighted works are considered legal property in the eyes of the law, not only in the eyes of their creator. We thank you in advance for your respect.
More About Copyright from Linda Ellis
The Dash Poem by Linda Ellis
"I am simply an author and a poet, growing my brand and trying to inspire people daily."
I do, as the author, Linda Ellis love to share my works...in my books, on my website, and on my blog. I ask if anyone wishes to share my inspirations (which I hope you do) with friends and family that you use the means we have installed on each...the share buttons. This way the work stays where it belongs and can still be shared with others through a link. As always, I love for any of my work to be recited anywhere at any time.
Send all copyright questions and issues to us directly.
We will answer fairly and amicably, as we have for almost 20 years.
With the expansion of the Internet over the years, many intellectual property owners have watched the devaluation of their products. If you saw a "widget" in a store, a product which the store owner produces, markets and sells, and you took that widget and shared it with hundreds of thousands without permission, without making any payment, that would be considered theft. There would be repercussions for your actions, including payment to the store owner and further penalties for freely giving his product to others. This is because you had taken that which does not belong to you without permission or making required payment. Perhaps, for some reason, you did not know it was the store owner's property -- that still didn't give you the right to take it without permission and further disseminate it to potentially hundreds of thousands. You may believe you are innocent -- that you didn't know the widget had a creator. However, if something exists...someone, somewhere had to create it...wouldn't you agree? The fact that you may not have considered the creator of the product you took without permission, does not change the circumstances, or minimize the damage your actions have caused.
Copyright is the law. It was created to protect the works of those of us who do create...the painters, the musicians, the photographers, the authors, and the poets. Unfortunately, today copyright laws are disrespected and ignored, if ever acknowledged at all. The Internet has the capability to turn what was once a valued inspiration, as well as someone's product, into a public domain product, altered from its original version. Eventually, its value is diminished and its original form is altered and diluted. The creator slowly loses the integrity of his/her original inspiration. To prevent my copyrighted work from becoming public domain, we have systems in place to negotiate fair and amicable agreements with businesses and organizations who have distributed my registered copyrighted work on the worldwide web, etc. without authorization. Our enforcement efforts are also an effective deterrent for others who wish to misappropriate and distribute intellectual property.
The owner of copyright has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
This woman posts consistently slander, lies and defamation about about me regularly. In my opinion, her obsession is growing and frankly, is dangerous. Her own online threats were submitted in a Protection Order case and are part of the court's record. She has secretly taped law officers and protection orders were sought against her by her own neighbors! So much more to write...and time permitting, we will. Here she is in action. It's a fair use portion/parody of a video she proudly posted in 2012! Class Act, Auctioneer April Brown!