Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Opportunities

On the verge of Summer

Dying more or less
mimics water draining
from the sink–
Sometimes fast
sometimes slow
sometimes with a
fury known only
to the drowning

Looking around I try
to remember what
I just left behind
But cannot

Sooner or later
all will lie silent
waiting for Spring or not,
While here on the verge
of Summer the sun
already boils over
with heat I know
nothing about, having
never visited the furnace
of this new day

Praying this day brings us joy, peace and opportunities to know and appreciate ourselves and others more than we did yesterday.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 May 2020
Painting found at

when women refuse to be silenced

#MeToo backlash
a tsunami of contempt
contorted faces
taunting voice of POTUS
how dare they call us out?
crocodile tears for victims
rage at their own undoing
fear writ large
caught in headlights
frozen with disbelief
resorting to the game of boys
bullying their way to the top

All this and more
when women refuse to be silenced

The most powerful force that silences me is NOT what others say out loud or even to me about ‘these women.’ It’s my own deeply ingrained people-pleasing habit.

Though it isn’t as strong as it was several years ago, it’s still a powerful force. A forked tongue that keeps whispering I’m a hair’s breadth from being ruled out of order, or losing all my friends.

Some women and men in my life don’t struggle with this. I admire them. Watching them makes me keenly aware I wasn’t born or raised to this level of direct personal honesty. In particular, I didn’t learn to stand up for myself, and I’m still paying for it.

So here I am today dealing with demons of the past, though in a new key.

Thanks to recent events and our national history, I still have opportunities to speak up and act differently than in the past. Not as a child, and not as an outsider. I’ve more than paid my dues. I’m in the last chapter of my life, faced with opportunities to make a difference. Not just for others, but for myself. First, however, I have to negotiate just one piece of business:

“The dying woman has to decide how tactful she wants to be.”
With thanks to Anatole Broyard, Intoxicated by My Illness, p. 62

It isn’t over until it’s over. I’m staying tuned.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 October 2018
Image found at

sitting alone

sitting alone
in her outdoor living room
lost in memories

Is she resting? Waiting for someone? The sun looks warm, and the park grounds are inviting. She seems lost in thought, sitting there in the sun. What stories might she tell me? Or we could just sit there silently, basking in memories and resting. Perhaps smiling at each other  from time to time. Listening to the birds and watching passersby. There’s room for one at least one more person on that park bench. Two are better than one, aren’t they?

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 December 2017
Painting found at
Painting by Morteza Katozian, Iranian Artist

We live on the verge

We live on the verge
the daily edge
the cutting edge
the bleeding edge
between breakdown
and breakthrough

Born with limited opportunities
we leap
or stumble
or fly
or die of indecision

I opt to sail beyond the verge
against the odds
into uncharted territory
where no woman in her ‘right’ mind
has ever gone before

With gratitude to Star Trek
and all other mortal friends and strangers
who helped make this moment possible,


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 April 2017
Photo found at

Response to Daily Prompt: Cusp

Shrink not from pain

shrink not from pain
nor overlook it–
truth lies within


a proverb for today
generated in my mind
while on a therapy table
pondering realities
aligned for consideration
tutors for tomorrow


Today I temporarily ended 4 months of physical therapy for my broken jaw. I graduated – sort of! I’ll miss the moist heat wrap placed around my neck and jaw for 15 or 20 minutes right when I get there. Just picture me lying there on my back, pillows beneath my head and a wedge under my knees, totally relaxed. Heavenly!

The proverb-like haiku at the top came to mind this morning while I was basking in the heat wrap. I was thinking about the past year. Especially my broken jaw experience and the pain of the presidential race and transition.

I shared the haiku with my gifted therapist. She was back from the Washington, DC Women’s March, so I got her first-hand impressions. Fabulous. I felt sad I wasn’t there, but delighted she walked 12 miles on Saturday and I did not!

Though pain isn’t the major theme of my life, it’s a minor theme. Not to be dismissed or ignored.

Truth and pain are strangely intermingled. I don’t want to miss the truth about myself and my situation that may be revealed in this presidential transition. There’s an opportunity here if I’m willing to listen to it, explore it, and learn to live into it instead of hoping this will all be a dream that ‘flies forgotten at the break of day.’

It’s easy for me to see how others need to change. I wonder how I need to change, given all that has come to stay.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 January 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Oversight

Nation of Strangers

Nation of strangers
Forced choices
No winners
In this cacophony
Of bitter loss
And gleeful victory

Strangers to ourselves
In a never-never land
Indivisibly standing
Beneath competing flags
Disunited yet One
In Strangerhood

I thought I knew you
Until I didn’t
You my neighbor
My sister my brother
My one-time ally
Whose words now chill my heart

Niceness covered a multitude
Of pain and betrayal buried
In fear-filled hearts
Smiles helped us get by
Until we couldn’t any longer
Forced choices

Dare I go public
With fear and grief
Or do I smile and make nice
Nod when I hear
Everything will work out for the best
No matter what the cost

How do I retain integrity
Honor my neighbors
My womanhood
My patriotism
My Christian conscience
My personal and public dignity

I don’t want to be a Stranger
Or find you’ve become a Stranger
Dare I begin now
By looking you in the eye
How do you feel today?
Tell me about it — or not.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 11 November 2016
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Or

For the rest of my life….


What will I do with the rest of my life?

Weeks ago my pastor preached a sermon on this. The topic was both amusing and serious. Amusing because there isn’t that much left of ‘the rest of my life.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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