Tara Lynn Johnson

Writer ~ Photographer ~ World Changer

Category: Reflective (Page 1 of 4)

Road Closed Again

With all of the chaos and troubles and heartbreaking news, etc., I say enough. It’s enough to find the energy to live with all of that, and so I’ve decided that it’s not the time to return to commentary, to this space, on a regular basis. My infrequent postings here are a sign that I’m not willing. I’m ready because I’m writing quite a bit — of memoir, creative non-fiction. My voice for the writing I used to do here is apparently still wanting to be silent, and that’s OK.

In May, I wrote a post about how after not writing anything for so long, I felt like writing again. I thought I wanted to share my opinions, not exclusively about but including what’s been going on in the world. It turns out, though, I don’t want to write about what’s going on. When I sit down to write, Muse wants to focus on my personal creative writing projects, and so we have, and have done some good work together in that regard.

There are many other voices to counteract the negativity, to shine a light in the darkness and on things others may not see. And so I will use my voice in other ways now. I’m retreating again from this space. I will instead use my gifts to change hearts closer to home (one-to-one) and to celebrate living. At least for the time being. Perhaps I’ll return. Perhaps this site’s part of my writing life is complete. I’m not sure. But I’m going to have fun while the universe and my spirit figure that all out.

I’m not oblivious to the world I live in, but I choose with my precious finite time to help where I can and to otherwise celebrate the joy and beauty and positivity I’m made of. I know they can trump (sorry) all of this negativity and regression.

Maybe I’ll see you again in this space. But if not, I thank you for reading and being here.


Grieving Las Vegas

I’m on vacation, a glorious week of whatever I want and nothing involving ringing phones, solving problems, or adulting of any kind.

Rolling over later than usual on Monday morning, I pushed the remote button to make the TV come to life — I needed to see what time it was. About a year ago, I tossed my Hello Kitty digital tea pot clock because of its extremely bright numbers. As of yet, I hadn’t found a clock whose numbers wouldn’t interrupt my sleep in the darkened dungeon that I prefer. I started using the TV and gave up the search.

I peered through one squinted eye to see the Good Morning, America clock in the corner read 9:46 a.m. That can’t be right… why are they still on?

“If you’re just waking up, more than 50 people have been killed, and more than 400 have been injured…”

Even if I wanted to, there’s no way to go back to sleep after hearing that.

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One Side

Not wanting to write about what’s going on in the world, I wait each week for something to come to me. The world overwhelms, though, and blocks my view of the ordinary, which I like to focus on and celebrate.

I limit news intake; it gets through anyway. When something awful happens (which is apparently the theme of 2017), it gets through even louder.

I won’t write about it, I tell myself. I won’t discuss thoughts.

I’ll take a drive instead.

Even when I’m not looking. Even when I’m purposefully ignoring. Like Oedipus, I can’t escape.

Sunday night, behind the wheel of my car, headed to the river, to enjoy the calm serenity of the water. The sun slowly sets to my left. I let my mind wander until I no longer hear powerfully stupid words repeated and see Tiki torches in my head. Eventually, I think only of the sights out the front windshield — corn fields and puffy clouds, red lights and yellow lines.

I reach the road’s end, where I must turn right or left to move forward. A large American flag flutters in the wind near medallions on a small stone wall honoring local men and women and the wars in which they fought (against fascism, for one).

There, a man sits in a blue folding camping chair. His black lab sits at his feet. Staked into the ground on his left, a handmade poster. Around the photo of a pretty brunette whose face I unfortunately now know, his writing (I assume): HEATHER HEYER.

As I come to a stop, we lock eyes. I pause longer than needed, stunned that he’s here, where I wasn’t expecting this to be.

I nod. He nods.

I, too, know her name. I, too, am sickened by what’s going on around me. I, too, understand that the (again) increased visibility of those once forced to remain on the fringe and in the shadows, is not correlated to but caused, and in fact emboldened, by the person currently occupying the White House (and his minions) (which even fellow Republicans said to renounce by calling them by their despicable names*).

I tried to take a day off, to escape what I know.

The universe won’t allow it.

One man demands people look at her, insists we examine what was on display at that rally. One man placed himself so he can’t easily be ignored, at a crossroads (like America?).

At the same time, one man can’t seem to stop himself from always being right, from widening the chasm between people instead of bringing them together, from not being what he should be from the powerful perch upon which he sits.

And one woman — me — can’t escape her fate. I look. I see. I know. And that means I have to do something about it, too.

There are many ones “on both sides.” I’ll do everything within my power to ensure the ones on the side of love will win.

*Finally doing the right thing and reading the correctly worded statement off a TelePrompTer on Monday, on your third try, after finally listening to the adults around you for half a second, doesn’t count, especially when on Tuesday you double-down on the moronic things you said the first time you commented.

Hear ye

It’s been 197 days since I wrote here. I hid the blog from the site for a time, too. This was the last header photo I posted:

I wasn’t sure I was coming back to this place.

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