Day 2, July 2, 2016
Personal Journal Entry and a PTSD Poetry Project Poem
Traumatic Brain Injury “The TBI Collection” from The PTSD Poetry Project
“The Sky I Used to Know”
The wind lifts my hair
I walk softly
I look through the canopy of leaves at the sky
My memory is like this place
I look through those leaves
I remember the sky
But is it really there
Does it exist?
I see the clouds moving past
I remember clouds
I used to know their names too
I keep walking through this canopy
Until I reach open spaces
Birds dart past me
Fearful I am threatening their nest
I keep moving and look up
There is the sky again
I remember it is not blue
We only perceive it as blue
I remember climbing up hay bales to the top
Laying down, girls giggling as we looked up at the sky
I remember falling asleep
Dreaming of jumping barrels on horseback
Then waking to see the sky before my eyes
The sky was all I could see
This sky which continues
To be unfamiliar to me
But I used to know it’s name
“The Sky I Used to Know”
Personal Journal Entry for the TBI Collection
I look up at the sky as I drive and am distracted by the clarity of the blue with teeny wisps of white clouds. I’m in this place of having to go do things I don’t want to do. I decide instead to move forward with what I normally do. The day had started okay, then our family’s older small dog had gotten out of the yard. Driving through the neighborhood looking for her I realized it was possible she’d only gotten out between all the yards’ fences. Heading home I felt more sure about this and sure enough! There she was at the back door. My dog, the younger big dog, and I went out in the yard to move branches to block the hole in the fence. Frustrated and irritated I had gotten off my routine.
My daughter was up and getting ready for work so I told her about what had happened. Then we talked about my need to get new jeans. Yes, I’ve been putting it off. Partly due to finances I was using this excuse to procrastinate big time. Okay. So go get on my schedule. Two hours late! I drove to my place I like to get breakfast on Saturdays and ordered. As I’d walked in I’d heard geese and had looked up at the sky seeing those bowling pin shapes like ducks. Confused I just smiled up at the sky. It was beautiful at any rate. I ate slowly, replied to video messages. Checked my PTSD accountability partner’s message from the day before. Ours was a relationship forged by a commonality. One which is full of a lot of earned trust..
I got my hot tea topped up before I left and went out the door looking up at the sky again. My body is hurting today I don’t want to go shopping and try on jeans. Oh just do it already, get it over with. My hip is hurting the worst today as it’s a bit out of joint. As I drive it hits me. I’d left Word open on my iPad with my current poetry work undone and unpublished. This is unheard of. I always follow through. I’m very distracted today. I’m sure the 3 shots of vodka the previous night have nothing to do with any of this.
Sitting in the car I look at the sky again. I’m still procrastinating. But as I sit there I think about being in 6th grade and spending my Sundays at the barn. The day always started so early with getting horses ready, then riding hard for 2 hours. Then all the afterwards bit of cleaning up our horses, our tack. Then sometimes on super hot days we’d go bareback into the huge pond. But the memory most in my mind was of lunch. We’d bring cans of cold spaghetti and drinks with us. When we were done with all the work we’d climb up on the huge stack of hay bales to eat. Then lie back, giggle like girls tend to do and most often fall asleep. The memory of waking up and seeing the sky above me was so strong today. The sky was all there was to see. The sun beating down and lying curled up with girlfriends on the hay looking at the sky.
Life was fairly simple then in most ways.
Life is not so simple now. Memory slips away frustrating me. Luckily I have worn the pants I bought a year ago. These are for size reference and are ones which I can put both arms down the front of all the way into my pant legs. I try on 2 sizes down. They fit..maybe I should go now. Technically these are 4 sizes smaller already. But okay, try another pair on, then I can go. Well these fit, yeah they fit, but I’m not ready for this inside my head. So I buy the 2 sizes (really 4 sizes..wait does this mean the smaller of the 2 is actually 6 sizes smaller?) smaller pair to take home, wash and dry like crazy to shrink down.This size change has never been the point of what I’ve been doing this past year. It’s merely become a side effect, one which brings comments I wish would go away.
I walk out to the car with this bag with one pair of jeans knowing I should have gotten the even smaller size and look up at the sky. There are so many things I have forgotten, continue to forget. It is as if a fogs rolls in and when it disperses it takes all those memories with it. Maybe my memory has become finite and this allows for new memories to roll on in.
Life used to be as simple as looking up at a sky I used to know. A sky full of clouds whose names I knew and now no longer do.