How Did I End Up Here?

A while ago…I was twenty-one.

My future life had just begun.

A college grad,

with a future clear:

I’d go save the world…go get it in gear!

As artist, as teacher,

I’d surpass them all

(for in my own eyes, I stood very tall)!

I started off well,

with a vast inner fire.

I strove to do well, and to really inspire.

My students, they loved me.

They did very well.

(And nothing they knew of my personal hell.)

A move ‘cross the country,

as my marriage…it crumbled.

Distraught, and confused, there, my purpose got fumbled.

But then, amid chaos,

a new baby daughter!

My life was a joy, as I cherished and taught her.

Her world opened up,

as I shared what I treasured:

a deep love of learning, something not to be measured.

But, her father and I

just could not dwell together.

So, we parted our ways, fled the storm for calm weather.

Alas! It was not

what I thought it would be.

I floated, adrift, on a vast lonely sea.

So, changing careers,

like my outfits or shoes,

I veered off my path, completely confused.

A factory…a sign shop…

Oh, what did it matter?

A government job…so, my dreams were all shattered.

But, I didn’t notice

(since they paid pretty well),

that dream-compromising can land you in hell.

So, suddenly, now,

I awake with a start,

and see that my dreams have been ripped from my heart.

For, my daughter, now grown,

has her own life to live.

And, I have a life left, with something to give.

I feel that my life has been largely unfinished.

But, my dreams have grown dim;

and my zest has diminished.

A face marred by time

stares at me from my mirror.

I’m certain my vision was once so much clearer.

A doctorate degree…once a possible future.

Now, lost twenty-five years…

I forgot my own nurture.

I am tired, and afraid

that I’ll run out of time,

for leaving a legacy uniquely mine.

I’ve but one life to live,

Just one Master to please.

And, He’ll salvage my life from the rocks, and the reefs.

So, my tears must be dried;

I must pick up the pace,

redeeming the time ‘fore I exit this place.

From my Lord comes my purpose.

He will steer the right way.

Holy Spirit revealing: Dark of night turned to day.

Then, my Father will call us all home,

one by one.

And, His Books will be opened, showing all we have done.

In my vanity, I thought

that my plan was best.

But, my Father knew better, hence the difficult tests.

All I lost, or I left

or I frittered away,

served to guide me right into His narrower Way.

Now this ship of my fate,

all draped in its tatters,

sails onward and upward, in search of what matters.

I don’t have all the answers.

(Often thought that I did.)

For, great truths are oft hidden; for those, you must dig.

So, I’ll strike out, with boldness,

toward a bright, shining shore.

For, my Destiny awaits me, as it did once, before.

Copyright 2014 Regina Lee Plimpton Quinn (10/18/2014)


Sea Balm

As a Christian, who fully believes in, and has personally experienced, the healing love and power of The Living God, I have wrestled with whether or not I should continue taking medication for lingering symptoms of manic depression, and for problems with attentional focus. However, I recently endured a second round of shingles, which upset an already-irregular sleep pattern, exacerbated the widespread neuropathy I’ve had since a rollover car wreck several years ago, and I was left weak and frazzled.

What happened was, I ended up going a few days, in which I missed multiple doses of a couple of medications, and almost immediately, found myself extremely depressed, flooded with innumerable thoughts, being sleepless as much as 36 hours at a time, and with at least two fewer friends.

As I struggled to understand what might be the will of God in such a predicament, I found myself trying to make sense of conflicting ideas. From what I understand though, at least two factors are involved. First, we live in a sinful, fallen world. So, until we leave this earthly plane, we will be plagued with a certain amount of human frailty.

Second, there is a principle spoken by our Lord that says, “According to your faith, be it unto you.” It’s obvious to me that my faith needs to grow daily. One way that I work on my faith is through writing out my thoughts, and trying to make sense of them.

Sea Billows Roll

I must take my medicine.

I must. I must. I must.

I cannot leave those bottles sealed,

to gather so much dust.

If I don’t take my medicine,

I fight, I flight, I cry.

And then, it seems my only course

is just lay down and die.

I wasn’t always so bizarre:

I once was just a child

who played, and danced, and sang a lot,

and, ‘most the time, I smiled.

I dreamed I’d be a great success.

At what—I’d no idea.

I’d blaze some trails, be first, be best.

Those visions filled my sails.

Yet, as I grew, my course, it changed.

I sought, instead, for love.

I searched and bargained, dreamily;

sought nothing from Above.

This course, it grew so crooked;

my dreams they grew so dim.

Imagination clouded, yet,

I looked not up to Him.

At last, long last, I floundered.

My tears, they tumbled down.

My ship of dreams had sunk so low,

it finally ran aground.

I found myself in roiling seas,

a tempest tore my soul.

My dreams were dashed in pieces,

as I lost sight of my goals.

Far down, and down, I drifted;

the depths, they covered me.

I thought my life would end right there,

if no one heard my plea.

At last, I reached the bottom;

in stillness, I lay there.

I thought, in fact, my life was done.

I really didn’t care.

The darkness grew so cold, and yes, 

my passions did, as well.

No view, no songs, no fantasies.

I’d sunk right into hell.

Then, suddenly, I felt a sound, 

a still, small Voice, to me.

I heard, “I know.” And, that was all.

Two words that set me free.

So, I was lifted upward,

and was set upon the shore.

An Anchor stood beside me there.

My feet were standing sure.

I found another ship of dreams, 

I journeyed on again.

This time, my course was truer than

it’d ever, ever been.

A problem came to plague me, though,

in spite of well-made plans:

a cargo holding baggage, which 

was not from Master’s Hands.

So, piece by piece, I cast it off.

I’d held it way too long.

“Don’t trouble me, you burdens.

This weight feels just so wrong!”

My destination’s out there.

Of this, I am assured, 

if I can just endure this sea,

whose storms must be endured.

So, I must take my medicine.

No seasick mate am I.

I must be watching at my post;

the sails are billowing high.

There’s precious souls aboard this ship.

A charge so precious, dear.

But, one day—yes—we’ll all be there,

with nothing left to fear!

Copyright 2016 by Regina Plimpton Quinn