Fighting to Float

Waves of emotion
Threaten to pull me under
Gasping for air
Trying not to drown
Grabbing a life line
To stay afloat
So far so good
Can see the shore
Hoping to make it
Family intact
Rough water ahead
A lighthouse beacon
Shows the way
To calmer water
We hope

This poem began as a Facebook comment on September 22, 2011, when these words tumbled out of me at 6:30 in the morning in response to a photograph of a "handwritten" poem by the same name. The photographed poem wasn't actual handwriting though, but the Digital Magic of an app.

I prefaced the word of my poem with a question, "Is this an app? Gotta admit I love the look of handwriting on notebook paper even if it's created inside a computer."
He wrote, "Hang in there, Janean…and breathe!"
That was the first time, of many, that I've been reminded to breathe in recent weeks.
I responded, "Yes. I'm breathing through it… Getting there… One day at a time was the advise my sister reminded me of. Part of me wants to fast forward and part of me wants to just pause right here. Apps. Tablets. One touch posting. Way cool. I'll most likely post this at My Way Too Quiet Lately Turquoise Tangles Blog. It would be cool to see it on virtual notebook paper."
He added, "Whatever I write I can post anywhere I want with the touch of a button. I could digitally write it on paper and send it to ya! Then you could post anywhere you want."
I replied, "I'm smiling because I could just as easily write it on paper myself with a pen and paper and take a picture and upload it. Oh. The things we do in this Digital World we live in. Then it'd even be in my actual handwriting. Thank you though. For the offer and the grin. It is a cool ap. Takes the sameness out of Facebook posts and catches your eye and softens the typed word somewhat with good old fashioned HANDwriting. *sort of*"
This snippet of conversation explains why the photo illustrating my words is my own handwriting, on actual paper, with the turquoise pen I wrote it with.

© 2011 Janean Baird, Turquoise Tangles

Inspired By "Fighting to Float"
http://takingstockofwhatmattersmost.tumblr.com/post/10467320448/fighting-to-float-a-haiku

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17 thoughts on “Fighting to Float

  1. Nice app indeed; not so much because of the handwriting, but because it made the poet in you bubble up! :)Keep breathing, stay afloat… I don't need that app though; way back when I turned my own handwriting into a ttf! 😀

  2. Anonymous writes:Love your poem, love that you posted it with pic, love that the app and the conversation inspired (as that's why anyone writes poetry i would think), and love the link. Love that you're breathing too…Takingstockofwhatmattersmost

  3. Lovely poem. It says much about your strength and faith and your hope.. it is another of the shining lamps along the the way. I echo Ben's words as he says " …made the poet in you bubble up!". All of your poem is deeply moving in its simplicity and feelings and when you write the part that says…So far so goodCan see the shoreHoping to make it Family intact Rough water aheadA lighthouse beaconShows the wayTo calmer waterWe hope … you write words full of strength, so meaningful, so imbued with all of your quiet courage and hope and faith. Believe me when I tell you that your words are a deep inspiration to me. I see them as the bright light that shines out from within you, and in your poem, as in all your writing about the road you and your family are on. Keep on writing, Keep knowing that we are reading your wonderful words and sending our prayers.PS: I went to your Facebook link intending post a copy of these comments, but found that FB only allows members to comment and I am not a member.

  4. Originally posted by anonymous:

    Love your poem, love that you posted it with pic, love that the app and the conversation inspired (as that's why anyone writes poetry i would think), and love the link. Love that you're breathing too…Takingstockofwhatmattersmost

    Thank you, Taking Stock. For the inspiration and encouragement to keep breathing, writing and posting what I've written. After all, you're the one who invited me to My Opera, all those months ago, when the year was still young, before I needed reminders to breathe, before I was Fighting to Float. Can't turn back the clock for Do Overs. So I'm going to keep moving forward, breathing every step of the way, while leaning on the strength of friends, who care. Thank you for being one of them. ~ Janean

  5. Originally posted by bentrein:

    Nice app indeed; not so much because of the handwriting, but because it made the poet in you bubble up! :)Keep breathing, stay afloat… I don't need that app though; way back when I turned my own handwriting into a ttf! 😀

    Thank you, Ben. Breathing here. In, and out. Sometimes in one big whoosh, if I've been holding my breath in between. How COOL that you turned your handwriting into a true type font. (I admit, I had to google "TTF". It's been too many years since I left behind my post as Art Director. The lingo is disappearing from my vocabulary.)~ Janean

  6. :up:

  7. Originally posted by jbaird:

    I admit, I had to google "TTF".

    My apologies for not being clearer! 😀 I sometimes assume too much from normal folk… 😀 My bad entirely.The reason I did this, is because my late grandmother didn't like typed letters, however writing takes me ten times longer, and full of mistakes, than typing. So now I can type my handwritten letters to her… She was too short sighted to spot the difference, thankfully. :)Originally posted by jbaird:

    Can't turn back the clock for Do Overs.

    And all stories show us it would rarely be better; just different. I know it is a pity sometimes, and you'd sigh "Anything but this!". I hope you find the strength to keep going…

  8. Originally posted by lokutus-prime:

    Keep on writing, Keep knowing that we are reading your wonderful words and sending our prayers.

    Thank you for all of YOUR wonderful words. Thank you especially for the prayers alongside the encouragement to keep writing. Always nice for a budding writer to hear the readers are waiting for more. Write I shall. The words are pouring out. Originally posted by lokutus-prime:

    PS: I went to your Facebook link intending post a copy of these comments, but found that FB only allows members to comment and I am not a member.

    Knowing your strong feeling against the mega site that is Facebook, I am humbled and honored you even considered going there to comment. Here at the post is my favorite place to receive comments. The comments at the Turquoise Tangles Facebook group, or on my personal profile disappear as more posts appear on my wall. If the comment is made here, it becomes a continuation of the thoughts initially expressed. I rather like that. While the conversation and poem were born on Facebook, it's a Tumblr link that is included for the poem/photograph that inspired it all. That was deliberate and on purpose, because you don't have to be a member of Tumblr to read and access the information shared there, even though you can't get in on the conversation, unless you do. ~ Janean

  9. Originally posted by bentrein:

    The reason I did this, is because my late grandmother didn't like typed letters, however writing takes me ten times longer, and full of mistakes, than typing. So now I can type my handwritten letters to her… She was too short sighted to spot the difference, thankfully. 🙂 .

    Fascinating. I am quite impressed with your Savvy Work Around. Here's a story about my grandmother and letters in return…My Grandma's handwriting was so bad that she always typed her letters, or Trip Reports, as they came to be known. Since the reports were many single pages type pages, one mastered the art of skimming them for the highlights and skipping ahead to the handwritten note scrawled at the bottom of the last page. Originally posted by bentrein:

    I hope you find the strength to keep going…

    Of course I shall. I'm too curious by nature to not wake up wondering what each new day holds. The lesson I'm learning now is that even the best of plans can change at a moments notice. "Livin' one day at a time" has new meaning after living in the hospital for the past thirteen days, with an as yet undefined amount of time left to go. ~ Janean

  10. Originally posted by jbaird:

    The words are pouring out.

    It's unfortunate that most people need misery for good inspiration… It's true for me too. It's very sad indeed, but perhaps it's a blessing in disguise that there's so much misery in the world… :no:Originally posted by jbaird:

    "Livin' one day at a time"

    Ouch…. Nothing more to add. Just ouch….Originally posted by jbaird:

    skipping ahead to the handwritten note scrawled at the bottom of the last page.

    Why skip there? You can't read them anyways! 😀 I see your grandmother had too much time on her hands; time for trips, and lengthy reports! 😀

  11. I have tried writing poetry from time to time and it was a labor for me and not a labor of love… More like Hercules cleaning the Augean Stables. As a result, I greatly admire anyone with that particular talent.Good job!

  12. Originally posted by bentrein:

    It's unfortunate that most people need misery for good inspiration… It's true for me too. It's very sad indeed, but perhaps it's a blessing in disguise that there's so much misery in the world… :no:

    I am equally inspired by joy, laughter, smiles, sunrise, sunset, flowers, friends, family, love, memories and a myriad of emotions, places, people and things in the world around me. Some lighter fare will follow soon…you can count on it! Originally posted by bentrein:

    Why skip there? You can't read them anyways!

    Ah, you caught me! It's not that it was illegible exactly, it just took some ciphering to figure out the thought she shared. Since my father's script resembles his parents, I've had a lifetime of practice. In fact, this family trait helped me in The Business World, where my boss' handwriting was a challenge for most, but I could read it fine. Originally posted by bentrein:

    I see your grandmother had too much time on her hands; time for trips, and lengthy reports! 😀

    My grandmother loved A Good Trip. She traveled the world with my grandfather, her daughters and her grandchildren. A Remarkable Woman. The only thing better than A Good Trip, was A Good Trip Report to follow. She and my grandfather wrote them together. If one of her grandchildren traveled with her, then we also contributed to The Trip Report. The reports covered everything, from the price of gasoline, hotel name and nightly rate, restaurants, picnics, sites seen with historical text added to educate the reader and tidbits about the people, met along the way. Here's one of those lighter poems, Ben. A story about my grandmother and her love of travel is included as well.http://my.opera.com/jbaird/blog/2011/06/14/just-a-taste-of-itI've written about her quite a bit, she was such A Big Part of my life. This May Day post shares how she is with me still. http://my.opera.com/jbaird/blog/2011/05/02/may-dayHope the rain waters are subsiding and not getting deeper or closer to your doorstep. ~ Janean

  13. Janean,You have such a broad base of support and fans. "Turquoise Tangles" is rocking and rolling.What a fun riff on our new versions of "What is real?"I used to have a turquoise pad of paper. Or, pretty near it.Janet

  14. Originally posted by KayFour:

    I have tried writing poetry from time to time and it was a labor for me and not a labor of love… More like Hercules cleaning the Augean Stables. As a result, I greatly admire anyone with that particular talent.Good job!

    Thank you, Karen. I'm smiling at your note because I never knew I could write poetry. In fact, in conversation I refer to is as, "this crazy poetry" that I never knew was there, until one day, when I did, and it just felt as right and natural as breathing to let it flow from my heart to the paper in my journal (playin' it safe) or typed here, where anyone can see my heart, revealed. Poetry is the only place I have The Gift of Brevity. Well, poetry and text messages typed on my ten key keyboard. 😉 ~ Janean

  15. Originally posted by riehlife:

    Janean,You have such a broad base of support and fans. "Turquoise Tangles" is rocking and rolling.What a fun riff on our new versions of "What is real?"I used to have a turquoise pad of paper. Or, pretty near it.Janet

    Good morning, Aunt Janet! I am very much enjoying this conversation with John, Ben, Karen, Taking Stock and now you. So glad you joined us! *secret smile and happy sigh* The turquoise pen in the photograph here is a gift from you. A treasure from one of the bundles of goodies The Courier delivered between your home and mine. I do love turquoise. The color itself and the mineral by the same name. It's our December birthstone, you know. Not the gemstone, but the natural stone, assigned to the month of December by someone, long ago. Speaking of turquoise paper, here's a picture of my resume and resignation letter paper, with a lovely deckled edge, in a rather vivid shade of turquoise. http://my.opera.com/jbaird/blog/2011/06/19/2-years-ago-today"What is real?" is something to ponder as our digital worlds and physical worlds continue to merge in ways unfathomable, even just a few short years ago. Love, Janean

  16. Originally posted by jbaird:

    Some lighter fare will follow soon…you can count on it!

    Looking forward too it… Oh, you're fast! Off to read the lighter material.

  17. Originally posted by dgonotan:

    adore this,..way of winnings…….thinking , feeling and acting , excellent work

    Thank you, Vaale, for your kind words, and welcome to Turquoise Tangles! ~ Janean

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