Walk with Empathy

image

May we walk with empathy today…

I think we as a society can be too quick to judge.
Often times we think we know better than another.

But do we really?

Have we actually walked in another’s shoes?
Do we carry their hidden scars as our own?

Do we wake up from their nightmares,
in the middle of the night, drenched in their sweat?

Do we grieve silently their tears for a loss
or heartache that we may never have experienced?

Do we really have any right to condemn another
who has walked through the fire of their own life?

Who has been brave enough
to take another breath?

Who are we to say what is right or wrong?

Yet we do each day.
More than we realize.

We judge one another and ourselves harshly.
Eloquently.

We whisper behind closed doors,
in an attempt that they might not hear us.

I don’t know about you,
but I am tired of it.

If you are not here showing up for your life…

Creating your heart out.
Getting up after you fall down.

Stay right where you are.
Breathe into that space that feels hard to reach.

Walk with empathy…in your own shoes!

©2016 Te’ Werner

©2016 Photo Te’ Along the river’s edge; Packwood, WA

Advertisements

Life Shifts

image

“When the time to move on finds us…will we be willing or able to accept as ‘life shifts’?”

Life Shifts …

What we once knew
leaves us feeling unsettled.

How do we go from there?
From where we were?
Or from here where we do not yet know?

When every thing that we once knew shifts…

Promises broken.
Vows taken to honor and cherish.
Love.

When the time to move on finds us.
Will we be willing or able…

To simply surrender?
To everything?
To trust?

Life shifting us along.
Until we have settled back into ourselves.
Once again.

High Five to Your Triumph!

©2016 Te’ Werner
Excerpted from High Five to Triumph!

©2016 Photo White Pass, WA

 

 

Somewhere

image

Somewhere
a mother grieves the loss of her precious son.
For the words left unspoken.

Somewhere
families grieve for sons they will never hold again.
For the un-lived future these sons will never know.

Somewhere
our community ‘here’ grieves and blesses our sons.
For the love that they will always be to us.

©2016 Te’ Werner
Excerpt from CAPTURED MOMENTS

©2016 Photo Te’ at “Lucy’s Pointe” Along the River’s Edge

Our son lost two of his fellow high school friends this week. One day after the other.

One took his last breath unexpectedly in the hallway during school. The next evening the other took his life deliberately.

Somewhere our grief finds us ‘sharing sorrow’ for…These sons. These friends. These souls.

 

 

 

 

TRUSTING WARRIOR

IMG_2203

I have never been to war to fight for freedom.
But I have crossed onto foreign soil
to take a stand.

I have never walked in your shoes
or experienced what you have.
But I have walked in mine.

I have not seen for my own eyes
the devastation of what you have.
But I have seen pictures that attempt to capture history.

I can tell you this.

You are brave.
You have walked, or been carried and even may still want to die.

You may feel so much grief that it grips you unexpectedly
in moment of great distress.

You may do your best to try and not see the images playing reruns in your mind,
yet they still may only appear more vivid in the darkness of night.

You are alive, breathing.

They taught you. Broke you.

To be strong.
To keep your emotions in check.

Now only to be encouraged to share and feel all that seems so hard to reach.

Why am I alive?
Why not me instead of him or her?

Would I be better off dead,
then here right now feeling half alive?

Seeing helplessness in the mirror.
Reflected back in another eyes.

How could she begin to possibly understand
or write about something that may bring hope or offer insight…
when the furthest she has ever been away from home by herself was 700 miles?

She does know of heart ache and loss.
Of loosing people close to her due to accidents and sickness. Old age.

She has seen the devastation of cancer.
The ravageous of a disease eating away at her papa’s once handsome face.

She has her own hidden emotional scars of feeling inadequate and afraid.
Feeling deep empathy for others that at times she cannot separate from herself.

Yet, she sits here in the bright morning sunlight.
Trusting.

Hearing the distance roar of the neighbors mower’s.
The song of birds outside her window.

How does this bring hope? Offer insight?
Through wielding of her pencil as it etches its way across the page.

Why is she sitting here alone?
With a thought so distant from what she woke up with.

To write with such conviction
on a topic she feels strangely drawn to…

Grief.

The long held sorrow that carries itself within you for a love, a life you will never fully know again.

“Yet I write.”

As if I know first hand the battle scars you carry buried deep inside your soul.
Darkening your spirit of trust.

I see your pictures on facebook in my minds eyes of fishing in Montana.
Connecting with the most nurturing force of nature. Mother Earth.

I applaud your bravery.

To take another breathe.
To take another step, however painful.
To take another chance.

On living.
On yourself.
On life.

High Five to you the Trusting Warrior!

©Te’ Werner

Inspired by a Facebook post, TRUST that I had scrolled upon
http://www.warriorsandquietwaters.org/

This is what I wrote as my hand surged across the page.
Tears of reverence wanting to break free. To trust this moment. 

©2015 Photo Te’ Klickitat Trail, WA

Join the journey https://www.facebook.com/tewernertriumph

Triumph of Determination!


Four eagles circled and soared over her head as she walked along the river’s edge as one of her fellow river warriors was passing…

P1050238

She learned of Clyde’s passing four days later.
As grief and disbelief led her to share the sad news.
His family was already cleaning out his home.

Would love find them amidst the unanswered questions?

The shock wearing thin over the stretch of the holidays.
A time of sadness and seemingly untouchable joy.
A season where loss is often felt as greatly if not more than celebrating.

He rode his bike for the last eleven years that she had walked along the river’s edge.

Periodically he would stop and stretch.
His muscles that would never bend and flex.
His strength that would never be as strong.

His wild appearance. His wave. His grin. His greeting carried across the river path.

He rode most days with an open shirt, its tails flying in the wind.
A single string across his bare chest holding his shirt together.
But when he smiled all barriers slipped away.

Clyde was his own individual. Original. Guarded “Enigmatic”. Admirable. Determined.

His feet covered with plastic bags in the winter.
His bandana. His long grey hair.
His quick wit and short direct statements.

We will grieve our fellow warrior as we honour his memory.

In the darkest sorrow. We all wonder how he lived.
Why do we ask this now?
A question of regret for not knowing more about this fellow river warrior.

What was his story?
His family? His friends?
His life beyond the river’s edge…

Many thought that he was a veteran of war.
He had unseen battle scars from loosing his sense of family. His “farm” as he called it.
His freedom to move without chronic pain from an unknown injury.

She would never forget his compassion.

He got off his bike one spring morning and offered her his help.
With an outstretched arm he handed her his card with his name and number printed.
“If you need my help, Te’, let me know.”He grinned mischievously. “I clean up pretty good!”

She always felt safer knowing he was out along the river’s edge no matter the weather.
He was like a beacon of some refrained strength.
His silence spoken louder than most of our words exchanged.

Clyde will forever be remembered. Missed and daily revered.
It is an honour to have witnessed his spirit of unfailing determination and courage.
Blessings to his dear family, friends and fellow river warriors as eagles soar!

Cheers to you Clyde, my “hero” and fellow river warrior!

In memoriam of Clyde D. Brewer May 1942 – December 15,  2014

©2015 Te’ Werner
Excerpted from “Along the River’s Edge” from upcoming book “High Five to Triumph!”

©2014 Photo: Paul Crowder ”Young Eagle Along the River’s Edge” Columbia River, WA

I invite you to join the journey https://www.facebook.com/tewernertriumph

Shared Sorrow

What do you say when your neighbor from across the street sees you at church and she comes up to you and says, “My son, Jim took his own life on Monday down at the river. He was an addict.”

I walk on the river every day. Where? When? How? Why? 20130110_101419_resized

Being that this was the first time that my family and I have ever been at this church together, I wonder if our neighbor would have found the strength to walk across the street and share her sorrow with us?

He did not leave a note. He did not have the power to rise above the life that he had created for himself. He did not know how amazing he was. I believe that he was one of those highly sensitive, talented, gifted individual’s that could not recognize the wonder that he was. To think that he struggled with his life for the last twenty years, having turned 36 on Valentine’s day. I ache.

A memory that I have of Jim was one of the brief discussions that we had across the street from each other. One day as he standing on the curb in front of his mother’s home smoking. Taking a break from doing yard work. Contemplating life. I stood across the street and joked with him about coming to his mom’s house to work for shoes. The sad thing that is was close to the truth. He looked at me with such knowing.

“At some point in our lives” I said, “hopefully we come to know that we are the only ones whom walk in our own shoes. No one else does. Believe me some of us have some big shoes to fill. By taking responsibility for where we walk, the steps that we take, the life we live, is up to us.”

How did I know this barely his senior?

I looked down at my feet. Could I bless this passage of time? The steps that he had taken to end his own life. Deliberately.

We can say Jim is in a better place. A part of us may feel peace that he is no longer suffering. Deeper still we may feel relieved that we are not going to have to suffer anymore for his choices. Unless that is if we believe the lies and the guilt that is disguised in second guessing the days, the months, the years that we have felt broken and afraid not knowing what to do.

Perhaps not knowing to do anything. Feeling helpless. Somewhat betrayed. Afraid.           Grieving now for the loss of his life until the pain lessens with the love that we feel.

We can hold each other up in our shared sorrow.

I do not know Jim like you do. I do not know the hours that you sat waiting to hear from him. I do not know what it was like wondering if he would be okay. I do not know the joyous memories that you hold dear. I do not know of the sorrow and anger that may bind your heart.

I only lived across the street the last seven years from his family where he came and went.

He leaves behind his magical spirit. His piercing blue eyes when we gaze out at the river. His heart that knew love. His genius mind with all his creations. He lives in our memories. When we remember his smile. When we see his son we know that we can give of our time.

Be more present. Encourage one another. Share with one another our sorrow.

I remember hearing the loud muffler of his truck drive up and down the street at all hours. I remember seeing him and his mother taking their dogs on walks down to the river.

I remember watching his step father help tie his canoe to the roof of his truck. I remember his beautiful sister visiting with him and laughing over a funny tale. I remember the adventures he took with his son Eli down at the river catching crawdads. I remember him tinkering on his truck, installing his stereo speakers, listening to music. I remember Eli swimming in our pool and eating hamburgers with lots of ketchup. I remember when Jim’s face would light up when I asked how his son, Eli was doing. I remember Eli telling me that his dad was really smart because he could knew all the mountains, places to hike and fish.

But the fondest memory I have of of Jim and Eli was one spring holiday the two of them together doing chalk art hour upon hours on end in their driveway while I watched from across the street as I was recovering from surgery. Bent over in deep concentration to capture the world in drawing a map of imagination, adventure and places to explore.

I remember his smile. I remember his energy. I remember his determination. I remember his darkness. I remember his deliberateness. I remember his spirit. I will remember his son, Eli.

I bless you Jim, for teaching me to be honorable…to myself first, then others.

To show up for people whom I care about even if it means being brutally honest. To be clear about what works for me in my relationships with others and set boundaries. To not be afraid of my darkness.

To always find a reason to trust. To have faith. To have courage. To have hope.

I believe that when we are going through hard, difficult and painful experiences, we feel that we are going through them alone. We feel so ashamed. So frightened. Scared as hell.

Hidden pain. Secrets long held amidst darkness.

A form of escape.                                                                                                                     A place of no hope.

The life. The loss…

of a man, a son, a brother, a father, a friend, a neighbor from across the street.

There is hope. There is strength in sharing our sorrow.  Sometimes our brokenness can only be healed with the help of others.

May this day as we remember those whom we have lost, be a time when our despair turns into shared sorrow.

©2014 Te’ Werner

Photo ©2014 “Mourning of Solace” along the Columbia River, WA                                       

A tribute to Jim, a fellow creative, highly sensitive soul and fellow river warrior!

I invite you to join my journey of writing https://www.facebook.com/tewernertriumph

Unspoken Silence

20140822_104003_resized

There is an unspoken silence…
that lingers in my heart and mind.
Edging its way out unto the page.

Words desperately needing to be shared
murmurings of peace
promises of hope.

But when?

Today the silence
wrapped its way around the sorrow
and took hold.

A deep sadness
of longing…

to set free
the fear..

of yesterdays
of long ago.

To give a voice
to dreams…

buried
dreamed of
often.

But how?
When?
Would there ever be time…

to speak the truth
to be acknowledged
to be honest with one another

without judgment
or restraint
to be open

to understand
one another.
To love.

High Five to You!

©2014 Te’ Werner
Excerpted from “Love” From the upcoming book of Soul Poetry: CAPTURED MOMENTS

Photo ©2014 “Purple Loosestrife” along the Columbia River, WA

I invite you to join my journey of writing https://www.facebook.com/tewernertriumph