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


If you are participating in Trinkets and Armor, please add the direct link to your entry at the end of your comment. If you don’t have a blog, or don’t wish to write a post, add your contribution as a comment. If you can, take a minute to read other entries. Unrelated links will be deleted without explanation.


137 thoughts on “Trinkets and Armor, 1: What’s Your Passion?

  1. Let’s do this! I great write overall…and right up my street. The old gal’s advice was perfect. Your haiku is the same language of my spirit…..but in mine, I ride a fire-breathing dragon. Cackling is a MUST…and you got it!
    I’m off to work but shall return with mine.
    Good job, Magaly!

  2. When I was younger and fitter I “walked”….miles and miles…allowing my brain to work on any problems that vexed me, using the calm or crazy of Nature to guide my energies. Now, as a mum, I don’t have that freedom to just wander off indefinitely…so I art instead. The most powerful/helpful piece is the one I did for you in the past. The Stormwatcher…it gave me a comparison point to focus on. If my boy doesn’t immediately resemble the image then I’m doing just fine. If he is getting close I have time to plan and change course. I revisit this post often XXX

    • Adaptation is the most valuable of superpowers. We must change as we go in order to overcome new challenges (or old ones) with the tools available to us. As you well know, in the past my soothing/battling weapon of choice was running. Well, I can’t run anymore. So, writing does the running for me. Just like art does your long walks for you.

      Your comment about “The Stormwatcher” speaks right into my heart. I think more than one person has given me a funny look, when I say, “I’m not screaming or losing my mind because I know that it could be so much worse. While I have a handle on things, while I have access to the tools that can make things better (even if not perfect), then my world is all right.

      I, too, shall revisit your Stormwatcher. I remember how emotional it made me the first time around. I wonder how things will feel now.

    • Gina – Planting your feet firmly in a vigilant stance each morning to protect and maintain your balance – what a wonderful new warrior image I have of you. <3

  3. I love your new patient/friend’s words of advice! It’s been so very long since I have actually done it (I’m in a funk) but usually when life starts pulling me down, I turn to my artwork, sometimes I write, sometimes I take photos via my phone, sometimes I turn to positive affirmations… but sometimes I get into a funk and my Muse goes on vacation, and I seem to just wade through a puddle of yuck and mundane-ness (I also tend to make up my own words LOL) I’m presently on a new journey with Plexus, and currently having positive results 🙂 So, I guess I have a whole arsenal of tools to choose from 🙂

    • You’ve birthed all sorts of grins out of me. I know the delight that is finding something else to fight with. I remember when they told me I might be able to run for a while or for good, and then when other things went… My arsenal got smaller and smaller. But like you’re claiming Plexus, I claimed poetry. It’s not like running, but it’s great for a boost. Yay! Plexus.

    • I think you’ve known me long enough to know I’m not being flippant when I say….you can paint with mud….and when you find yourself wading through that yukkiness, just try imagining scooping up a huge handful and flinging it in my direction…you know we would have great fun *and we could drag Magaly in too* XXX

  4. I find writing (not intended for anyone’s eyes but mine) drawing, sculpting, making things with bits of cloth….anything creative with no ‘End Game’… not meant for anyone else’s approval, always helps me. My little monsters, and for some reason I enjoy setting light to them and watching them burn once I am finished, it’s like my unhappiness goes up in smoke too….. of course, I may just be an arty pyromaniac ;o)

    • I’ve done my bit (okay, a lot) of art arson myself. It’s a great way to get rid of negative feelings (flame on! baddies) or start new things (fire to the old). And yes, there is a high possibility that you are an arty pyromaniac. 😀

    • Yve, art is also one of my tools; art is great therapy. Although I have never burned one of my creations, fire is very cleansing. I can see how setting your work on fire would be benificial… it’s acknowledging and releasing ♥️

    • oooow you would see the flames for miles if I did that lol, but fire can be so cleansing. *and I’m now jealous that you are creating and not sharing* XXX

  5. Magaly, must admit that I cried, as I read this post. Thinking about the darkness, which we walk through, whether it’s mentally, emotionally, or physically. How a simple world of defiance can change your outlook. That, and the love of another being, who loves you, regardless.

    • You are correct, the darkness and the light that burns are easier faced when we have a hand to hold. Even when the two hands are hurt, they can keep each other from stumbling… or, help each other up after the fall. Maybe all of us can breed some defiance together, so that those tears can become a cleansing thing.

  6. This is incredibly raw and profound, Magaly!💖 I agree fretting over something that is happening or is yet to occur is losing half the battle. May we remain bold and strong as we combat pain. Happy Sunday ☕

  7. For you and I, pain is the enemy but for the doctors that pain is a friend, which I find so annoying that I am not going to give in. Words do help of course, but for me I try to act as loving as possible with the people I meet which in turn gives me more to write about. So I find I am winning in my own small way.

    • When I began sharing the idea of this project with friends, more than one of them told me that I should focus on myself at the moment (I’m pretty ill right now) and wait until later to stretch out a hand to another. I almost laughed. Because the truth is found in your words, dear Robin–I get all sorts of strength from sharing and helping in any way I can. I always tell people, “I’m really selfish. And I love it.” They tell me, “No you aren’t. You are always helping.” I guess most of them never really see that I help and share and play… because the helping helps me.

      I think we are both winning in big ways.

  8. Wonderful philosophy. I like the idea of riding cackling through the storm. And, yes, better to sip from the same cup than to deny that the monster exists. Always better to come to terms with it than to try to ignore its existence!

  9. I’m so with you, Magaly, and those ‘wild words with sharp teeth—for smiling or ripping or biting or for nibbling hard and tender bits’ and ‘cackling though the storm’! I especially love the haiku!

  10. Several years, ago, Maga, you inspired/challenged me to try my hand at poetry – specifically Haiku. The best of it as relates to my using creativity to cope with pain was something like this. And, this is the place I am fighting to regain:

    My world glimmers bright
    multi-colored beads and gems
    leave no hue for pain

    I have no website or blog, but many of the shiny things that are my day to day opiate substitutes may be seen in the albums of my facebook page at

    • I think, my sweetest Lori, that you should consider writing more poetry like this. Some short bits you can play with in your mind before putting them on the page, word-ideas to fuel your plans to regain manageable weapons with which to reenter the fight… I love the idea of finding a way to leave pain colorless, so that it can’t shine its screams into our bones. Maybe, you can make necklaces out of phrases… create “opiate substitutes” we can read.

      I went to lurk around your page for a bit, and as I eyes danced from athames to necklaces to earrings to chests to more… the colors and shapes stayed with me, chanting, I hope she pulls these feelings out of the beads and paint them on canvas.

    • Lorelei, love this. I am familiar with your work and your haiku is perfect! Art is is a great healing tool and an escape.


    You asked
    How to get through the storm
    Cross over the bridge
    Walk the long road
    Find order in chaos

    I paint
    As I could not be happy
    Color lifts me

    I write to remember
    I write to explore
    My inner sanctum
    Dive deep
    Fly high

    When the words cannot be found
    I draw lines
    I mirror the world

    July 15, 2018

  12. OwOOOOO! wonderful!

    Several affirmations in here that we all can use, and this calm before the cackling: “my monsters and I have always sipped honesty from the same clear cup.” I fear I am the coward, a natural born worrier. See my poem “Welcome the Worry-Wart.”

    • Not being able to keep from worrying is not cowardice. We are who we are. The fact that you continue pushing forward, even when you are worried about terrible things, only says that you are willing to fight even when scared. That is bravery at its very best. Fighting when we know we’ll win is nothing special. Fighting when we know we can lose is great, but still not amazing. Fighting when we are convinced that we are going to lose, but we choose to fight anyway… because we aren’t willing to be defeated without kicking? That, my lady, is the real deal.

      I enjoyed reading your worry-wart. 🙂

      • I had been thinking of Julius Caesar, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” But now that I have entered the wonder of this conversation, I recall that Caesar was the true coward, afraid to act but to enhance his ego. I will never read that line in the same way again!

        Thank you, dear Magaly.

    • Oma love, I tried commenting on your heart-squeezing entry, but… it asked me to create a Google+ profile. If I create another profile, I might go mad. I shall wait until a link to your post magically appears in the book of faces.

  13. May I be boring? My secret recipe is … patience with myself. (Which is super-hard, as I am extremely twitchy and impatient and have the attention span of a squirrel (not in a cute way).) When things get tough, I find it easier to be patient with other people, as part of my brain is convinced that they are just not as smart/disciplined/quick/whatever as I am, but if a genius like myself stumbles … the horror!

    So I teach myself patience. And bake bread. ^^

    • Boring? Are you nuts! Lady, patience with ourselves and others is the superpower of superpowers. It takes a nearly unnatural amount of energy to not give up when things don’t happen right away (and to not punch people in the kidneys when they keep on making things harder for us, for no reason at all). Without patience, I would not survive (and at least a handful of people would have fewer teeth. But I would look terrible behind bars… I prefer polka-dots to orange).

      I’m envious of your bread baking.

    • Diandra, learning patience is a skill that eludes many, myself included, especially patience with myself! This is an excellent coping mechanism. I might be a wee jealous. If I had more patience with myself, I wouldn’t continually beat myself up. ♥️

    • An excellent lesson to us all Diandra. And my MIL always said the best bread she baked was when she was using the need to “beat someone up” lol XXX

    • I’m in awe too. Patience is a stumbling block for me. I love the idea of slowing down, taking the time to do simple things. But putting that discipline to practice it sounds daunting!

    • So very much easier for me to be patient with other people – usually. Patience with myself is almost always hard to come by.

      You can bake patience bread for me, any time, Diandra. 🙂

  14. Magaly, this is such a helpful idea! Knowing how other people cope, above all things, let’s you know that you are not alone. Thank you for putting together this platform and gathering these wonderful souls! (Sorry that made you sound a bit like the Reaper! Lol) Since my computer died, I have been attempting to work this iPad, sometimes badly. Here is an older piece of writing with one of Shelle’s Paintings.

    • And knowing that we are not alone always gives us that extra push towards trying harder. Also, I know that we can’t learn with someone else’s head, but… it’s nice (even wonderful) to be able to have a basket of tools/strategies (that have worked for others) for us to try out.

  15. Magaly…you are beautiful, empowering and such an inspiring always leave me in awe ! I love your decadent soul is shifted with every image/feeling you conjure..horns, halos, monsters, ribs…I cackle alongside you !
    I have also deeply loved reading the comments here…magical

    I hope to share something and get my cackle on

  16. Magaly!! I’ve been going through all the comments and will be going to everyone’s blogs. What a wonderful post this is! Your words are amazing!! I’ve been “drawing” my crows and loving it!
    I’m just thinking if it’s too late to create something? I will see what happens! LOL!
    Big Hugs 🙂

    • I’ve been enjoying your drawings. Your banner still makes me shiver with delight–there is something about the eye of the crow, about the positing of its wings…

      This post will be open until Friday morning, when the next one will be published. So, if you think you won’t have time to post for this one, you can always wait for the next. We’ll do this weekly (for as long as it feels good). 🙂

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