William H. Johnson

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The woman in the picture is surrounded by color and sunflowers on the table. So many times I don’t see the beauty around me. I don’t see my own beauty. I kept looking at this painting and thinking, “Something about her is familiar, but I’m not sure what it is.”

She reminds me of me.


William H. Johnson, Portrait with Sunflowers, c. 1944, oil on paperboard, Smithsonian National Museum of American, Washington, D.C.

The Victims by Sharon Olds

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“The Victims”

When Mother divorced you, we were glad. She took it and
took it in silence, all those years and then
kicked you out, suddenly, and her
kids loved it. Then you were fired, and we
grinned inside, the way people grinned when
Nixon’s helicopter lifted off the South
Lawn for the last time. We were tickled
to think of your office taken away,
your secretaries taken away,
your lunches with three double bourbons,
your pencils, your reams of paper. Would they take your
suits back, too, those dark
carcasses hung in your closet, and the black
noses of your shoes with their large pores?
She had taught us to take it, to hate you and take it
until we pricked with her for your
annihilation, Father. Now I
pass the bums in doorways, the white
slugs of their bodies gleaming through slits in their
suits of compressed silt, the stained
flippers of their hands, the underwater
fire of their eyes, ships gone down with the
lanterns lit, and I wonder who took it and
took it from them in silence until they had
given it all away and had nothing
left but this.
Sharon Olds

Quote for Today

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Confucius say: “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”


First Job Atrocities

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entry level job

“First Job Atrocities” By Melanie Maheu.

My first job was my dream job. Sincerely. I worked in a book store coffee shop, and up until that point, it was the only thing I really wanted to do. I remember going to grab triple-venti-five-pump-no-whip caramel macchiatos with my high school buddies, and as I watched the baristas pass the cups and dump the shots, I thought, “That’s it! That’s what I want to do!” The kids behind the counter were always so swank and sassy. They usually had a piercing or ten and tattoos on their arms that said, “I’m young and trendy and I don’t need your 9 to 5” (I mean, the tats didn’t literally say that, but you get it). Well, I knew I was destined for swankiness and sassiness too. At one point, I thought seriously about dropping out of college, because I felt so formidable behind that counter. Until my roommates started showing up at night to shout at me as I mopped the floors. I remember an elderly man approaching me as I scrubbed up some days-old-gum and saying, “Just laugh in their face when they ask to borrow $20.” Well, old man, they didn’t need my $20, they were on their parents’ dime. And, come to think of it, I didn’t need it either. Once I realized how much Everclear and experimentation I was missing out on, I called in sick and never came back. Responsibility at its finest.  Read the rest on Insphire

How to Heal PTSD

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Originally posted on Heal My Complex PTSD:

The following contains my experiences as the wife of a war veteran with PTSD and my ongoing healing from Developmental, or Complex, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by extreme trauma and abuse. I am not a mental health professional and nothing on Heal My Complex PTSD should be taken as an expert opinion. Do not rely on information on this site as a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional.

Remember: YOU are unique. What works for me or someone else may not work for you.

>>> Please see A WORD OF WARNING (near the bottom of this page) about the dangers I’ve encountered when looking for psychological help online.

Me, during the deep freeze of February 2011, wearing a rubber suit while cleaning out a lake of raw sewage from the crawl space under our house. It was the hardest job I've ever done. It's astonishing what we can accomplish when we have to! Me, during the deep freeze of February 2011, wearing a rubber suit while cleaning out a lake of raw sewage from the crawl space under our house. It was the hardest job I’ve ever done. It’s astonishing what we…

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Life’s too short for boring books

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Originally posted on Eddie Star Blog:

For the past 3 years, reading has become my new hobby. For certain books I read the actual text via e-book. Other times, I use audiobooks. In this quest, I have given many books the time of day. If a book cannot capture my full attention with meaningful substance within a chapter or two, I am out. I have thugged it out with some of the most celebrated books, just to say I have read it. In my mind, I will one day go to some pretentious wine party. At this festivity they will serve wine and cheese, with caviar and crackers as appetizers. We will have a conversation about the greatest books ever, and they will ask me if I have ever read “Ulysses” by James Joyce, or Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. And I will reply with “Why, Yes. Madam, may I suggest The Great…

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Quote for Today

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“People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are always present to other people’s minds, as if they believe that the world is always contemplating their individual charms and virtues.”
― Elizabeth Gaskell

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