Tag Archives: loneliness

Baby Chicks Flock: Loners always Lead

21 May

Have you every been on a farm and played with baby chicks? Ok, if you’ve been to a farm more than a few times and have never played with baby chicks as a kid, you seriously missed out. You can scoop them up and get them all riled up and quickly let them go before they poop on your hand. It’s a good time.

If you had the chance to chase them around the yard, you’ll remember that as you paused long enough to rest your hands on your knees to catch your breath, the baby chicks would scatter about lost, trying in vain to rearrange into the proper grouping. They would flock to one another, huddle close as they flapped their wings and chirp as loud as they could, their confidence growing with their unified front. But you would always have the lone baby chick off to the side, captivated by the confusion as if thinking, why am I alone? Why is no one flocking to me? This would usually be the toughest chick that was used to being followed but when a six-year-old kid is going hog-wild running and giggling in the yard, no one follows the leader. They flock together as a crowd and as a crowd grow stronger and set in their ways, leaving the leader to the side, alone and confused.

During a recent exercise at work I noticed the same phenomenon. We were caught up on the excitement of being forced out of the comfort of our 9 hour a day nest, i.e. a fire drill with mandated evacuation. As we made our way to the general meeting area, people ran about excitedly until they found their “friends” and congregated in tight little circles laughing loudly and using exaggerated expressions to show how much fun they were having, how well they belonged. And off to the side I saw the day-to-day leaders of the office, i.e. the big bosses, standing by themselves shuffling from foot to foot looking confused as they felt the glaring presence of loneliness seep into their hard armor of fearless leader. They looked out-of-place as the sunny LA afternoon was awash with a glow hinting of summer BBQ’s, pool parties, and picnics in the park – everyone huddled under summer’s social blanket that warms and brings all Angeleno souls alive.

And just as quickly as I felt sorry for them, I realized that it is just as easy to walk up to a group as it is to isolate yourself and expect others to come to you.

So I looked up, made eye contact and waved – a friendly and artful gesture that says, hey I am happy to see you, come over. And they did and we talked and they relaxed and they felt at home again. And as soon as they reclaimed their sense of self, they led the way in conversation and direction and I was happy to sit back and enjoy the ride because there’s nothing more enjoyable after rousing a bunch of baby chicks than to gather the lonely one and gently coax it back to the group until it starts chirping with authority again.

Lesson of the story: Everyone has a tough time bridging the gap from alone to company – meet them halfway: smile, wave, and engage.

Release

22 Mar

Sadness pools at my feet
rolling slowly off my chest
leaving an icy cold behind

An avalanche of emotion
a substance removed
hollowed inside

Swallowing in silence
revisiting the sorry taste
of loneliness

A deep sigh
for pressure relieved
shoulders rolled back

Deep breathes
of heaviness
blow it out

Slowly
back to the calm
I am released

Sea Lions

9 Sep

The blue in the sky was reflected in the glimmering water in the ocean, the bridge towering over this natural beauty, the air crisp and chilly as I ran past.  I could feel the wind pushing against me; my limbs were growing cold and stiff in the early morning San Francisco weather.  I kept looking around me and was entranced with every small detail: the stands in the farmer’s market, the purple figs, the fiery red and sunny yellow cherry tomatoes, the dazzling flowers in a multitude of colors, and the intense faces of the runners as they flew down the boardwalk.

I wanted everything around me seared in my mind so I could recall this moment over and over and feel you close when I thought of you.

I didn’t look at you; I wanted to suspend the feeling of knowing that you were next to me without having to turn for confirmation.  I wanted to take this moment with me and recreate it in my morning runs.  So I could run swiftly and imagine you next to me without having to realize you were gone.

When we stopped at the edge of the pier and you turned and smiled at me I knew I wanted to treasure you forever in my heart.  I wanted to lock away that smile in my heart so it would warm me when it grew cold and lonely.  The crinkling around your kind eyes told me that you are the type of quality person I have always coveted and hoped for, the company I had only previously dreamed of.

You led me to your favorite attraction and I could smell and hear them before I saw them.  The playful barking of the sea lions still plays in my mind and makes me break out into a wide smile at the thought of their piling heap of bodies slipping and sliding and competing for comfort amongst each other.

You bring so much happiness into my life and I don’t question it.  I openly welcome it and hope that we are equally worthy and up to the task of carrying this through because I cannot imagine a more earthly happiness than when I am next to you, than when I am in your arms and feel your bodily heat.   Than when I look up to you and see that kind smile full of love towards me, loving me and my imperfections and all.

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