Trinkets and Armor, 1: What’s Your Passion?


If you are visiting from Poets United and wish to read only the poetry, just scroll down to the end of the post, and enjoy “Cackling Through the Storm”.


In my post, Let’s Make Trinkets Out of Horrors and Armor Out of Bliss, I suggested that when life rips our hearts out of our chests, we should make something useful (even fun) out of the bloody mess. Earlier today, I was exploring this belief with two old-timers at the hospital. One of them said, “That’s because you were born shooting sunshine out of you’re a**hole.”

After everyone was done laughing—the lady who uttered the words is shy and soft-spoken, but she was in pain… and if you’ve ever been in serious pain, then you know that brain-to-mouth filters don’t work under certain conditions. Anyway, once the roaring stopped, we continued discussing Trinkets and Armor. I told the ladies that I would love for them to join the project. “It’s nothing formal,” I said. “Just some friends and friends-to-be talking about how they soothe and/or smack their unwanted monsters.”

I was very disappointed because I got no takers. I was plotting a new plan of attack, when the most vintage of the ladies told me, “I’m tired of people teaching me things by the numbers. It feels like work. I’m too old for work.”

Her words continued to dance in my skull the entire time I was there. When I was about to go home, I asked her, “How would you do it, ma’am? I really want this to work out, for me and for anyone who might want to join in.”

She said a lot of things, but this is what stuck: “This crap-pile of a world is full of self-helpers that seem to only help themselves. Just show people how you manage your stuff and invite them to show you how they manage their stuff. That always worked for me as an instructor, a student, and a friend.”

I’m pretty sure she is correct. So, this is my attempt to follow her advice:

When I’m facing anything that can break me, I find strength and motivation in my passion: words… wild words with sharp teeth—for smiling or ripping or biting or for nibbling hard and tender bits (teeth are versatile). “Cackling Through the Storm”, the haibun at the end of this post, should give you a poetic glimpse into how I’ve slightly weaponized my passion for words.

Now, I’m inviting you to share a bit about your own passion… Show us how you use it (or could use it) to soothe or smack your unwanted monsters.

Anything goes, my Wicked Luvs (well, almost anything). If you write, and words are your superpower, show us how your writing make things better for you. If you craft, make something that shows us how crafting helps you deal with things. If you paint, paint something and tell us how the process feeds your spirit. If you dance or listen to old songs or clean your house or garden or paint your hair blue… as a coping mechanism, show us how your choice takes you closer to the Self you wish to spend all your time with.


And this is my poem for this week’s prompt:

“Cackling Through the Storm”

I refuse to fear might-be horrors. Fretting over what’s yet to kick me in the jaw, in the throat, in the breast… is losing half the battle (perhaps the war). Yes, I care. No, I’m not pretending or hoping it will go away—my monsters and I have always sipped honesty from the same clear cup. We slow dance brow-to-brow, mouth-to-mouth… our hearts bleeding into each other’s ribs. When bleak offers my soul a kiss, I show teeth, mount my Muse… and run to devour those cruel lips (ink at the ready).

holding my passion
by horn and halo, I ride
cackling through the storm


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Let’s Make Trinkets Out of Horrors and Armor Out of Bliss

The sunrise is going to find me on my way to see… one more specialist—a scary one. When I next write you (or maybe a bit later *we know how these things go*), my life will be unchanged or complicated enough to force me to make all sorts of wild readjustments. Regardless of what happens in the next 13 hours, I will continue working on the creation of a place where we can be human together. This sounds a bit strange out of context, doesn’t it? Well… the following bit, which I shared on Facebook, might clarify things:

I’ve been talking to friends—from the blogosphere, from the hospital, some belong to both circles (because they’re dealing with chronic ailments or are suffering from being human… in a time when having a humane heart means hurting a lot).

Common themes seem to rule these conversations: “I feel lonely, Magaly” and “I feel guilty for whining about my pain, when children haven’t seen their parents in weeks” and “I feel wretched for worrying about my child getting into a better school when many children have no food or can even dream about a proper education” and “I must be a monster for caring about my weight when people risk imprisonment (and worse) to get their bodies into countries where they are not wanted”…

I believe anything that keeps us from feeling healthy of mind and body is a big problem that affects all. I believe that worrying about (what some might consider) the small things, while also keeping in mind the big things, is one of the characteristics that makes us human. I have never believed that wanting to be our best selves (in flesh and spirit) is something that we need to be forgiven for. These days, I find myself wanting to use words (my superpower) to spread that belief to anyone who wants it or needs it.

I’m not sure how to go about it, but I’m working on it…

…and when the time comes, when I find a way to create a space where we can explore (and battle) small and big horrors, I hope you join in. Because I believe that once we can look at our minds and bodies and delight in what we see, then there is nothing we can’t face… and, perhaps, even conquer.

While I’m gone, while I wait… I shall plan and plot and shape a space for us, a spot where we can share and celebrate everything we are—the good, the great, the terrible… a cyber-circle where we can take small giant steps towards a Self we can kiss on the mouth while thinking, You’re awesome.

If you wish, you can join the planning and plotting and shaping, too. Just share 1 or 3 or 13 things you’ve always wanted to work on, to discuss, to make better, to dream real… in the company of likeminded people.

I’m considering all sorts of topics: working towards better eating habits, exploring different ways to get ourselves out of bed on days when the task seems to exist between no way and impossible, finishing projects we’ve been working on for ages and ages and ages, finding our waists…

I can’t say that every suggestion will become part of the event exactly as presented, but I promise to do my best to incorporate all (and let’s face it, my best is freaking fantastic… only surpassed by my unbeatable modesty).

Go ahead, my Wicked Luvs. Tell me about those rough stones you want to polish (or wish to learn to love exactly as they are). Let’s find ways to make trinkets out of horrors and armor out of bliss. Together, we can… and will.


Carnival of Bones, by Shelle Kennedy
When life rips your heart out of your chest,
make something useful (even fun) out of it.