Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The shadow

The prompt for Poets United is independence.


Becoming independent when you grow up is a struggle but for some it is more than a struggle and they are less likely to succeed. I grew up with learning disabilities. Ones you might never even have heard of. I didn't know back than. It was holding me back in many areas. I am aware now, but I noticed that explaining it to people doesn't work as it is outside their experience. I usually give an explanation that fits their world even if it isn't true. On my journey I met many people who struggled. I worked in a children's home where kids fail to thrive, met many youngsters with learning disabilities, with depression etc.
What I  know is that they can make it when they receive support and encouragement in a safe environment. Everyone is a little star that needs to shine.



My magic lamp which puts everyone in the limelight


The shadow

The young grew up and
reached for independence
Their glory erecting in the lime light
But down in the darkness
In the undergrowth of the jungle
are the ones that failed to thrive
Afraid to stand out they became
the shadow of the chosen ones.
In a place without any sun.

“They just have to do as we do”
the chosen ones say,
when they look down on them.
“They don’t live up
to our expectations”
Expectations of what?
That real stars have spikes,
are bright and white?

Help them shine,
to end the winter
They might not be champions,
but the runway that leads
champions to the finish.
They might not be the flower,
but be the rain that waters it.
They might not be the hero in your story,
but can hold a pen and create their own
When they shine, there is warmth,
and vibrant colours appear
and you learn that the sun is a star,
Just when the summer starts


40 comments:

  1. Lovely writtings as usual, have been missing coming here and hoping to start back blogging again. Cheers my friend :)

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    1. So good to see you back. Look forwards to your blog :)

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  2. Not joking at all, my learning disability is math. It has held me back in ways I can't explain. I've also learned to explain it away just like you. It surprises me how people are so lacking in comprehension when it is outside their own experience.

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    1. Yep math is common Beach It is called dyscalculia. I think it is also common for people to relate to the world as they are :)

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  3. You point out the complexities of independence in a meaningful way. We all could do with support, encouragement and a safe environment, although amazingly some get none of these and still manage to survive and become strong.

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    1. Yes we all need support but lots are in the too hard basket for support. The percentage of them which survive is very small and there is a craze going on that by just thinking positively and working hard it will all be all right.

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  4. Learning disabilities can be overcome if only there's desire and discipline on the part of the learner in question. Without these two, I'm afraid no support will do much. It should however, be aimed at helping the youngster become independent, no champions - just enough as not to fall a burden on society.

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    1. True AND a desire and discipline on the government to put money in this area, a desire and discipline on the education system to create awareness and learn to accommodate. In both countries I have lived this was very minimal.
      I was lucky One of my LD is Auditary Processing disorder and all the education was auditary. Luckily we had books and I wasn't dyslexic so I could learn at home.
      When there is no understanding than through stress the brain is not open to learn. If you are interested see the video "when the chips are down" by Richard Lavoie.

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  5. Wonderfully written message. With the proper support and belief who knows... (what flowers will spring)

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  6. Beautiful poem, Marja, and I love the photo of the magic lantern too.

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  7. Wow, wow, wow! Such strong images! And they made me see deeper into the shadow, so that the light in it brightened this day. And then you lifted these truths in imagery:
    "They might not be champions,
    but the runway that leads
    champions to the finish.
    They might not be the flower,
    but be the rain that waters it."
    I see more people than ever reaching out to take a hand. We need each other.
    (And your intro could be a poem too.) Sharing.

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  8. This is beautiful with so much warmth.

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  9. A beautiful and touching piece, Marja. I especially like these lines:
    "Help them shine,
    to end the winter"

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  10. This is VERY beautiful and inspiring. I especially love the third verse. Each of those children is a star, for certain. They say it only takes one adult to believe in a child and they can overcome everything and survive. I admire that you have worked with children with special needs. I have as well. Meeting them where they are is the key.

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    1. Thanks a lot. Love your wisdom "Meeting them were they are" Beauty

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  11. Several in my family have similar difficulties. Thanks for posting.

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  12. They might not be the hero in your story,
    but can hold a pen and create their own

    Oh yes :)

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  13. What evocative, tender and poignant words. This one touched my heart!

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  14. I always have an admiration for people who work as care givers and helpers of others. Kindness and encouragement are precious healing gifts.

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  15. Wow, this is really profound. I love this:

    "They might not be champions,
    but the runway that leads
    champions to the finish."

    So powerful and smart.

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  16. I see daily how a little love makes these stars shine. I cannot understand how a family, people or world can allow such neglect in the young. Thanks for your heart!!!

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  17. Hi Marja - we really don't understand until it comes into our own lives ... trying to explain is not easy, as most don't understand ... (often with a won't or can't before the 'understand') ... well done - great explanation ... and lovely poem - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks I know but that the part which makes it hard :)

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  18. Marja, indeed we really need to help - as we can - each child to shine! All children are not the same kind of star, but a little encouragement for children helps them become the best of the star they are! I enjoyed your introduction AND your poem. Inspirational really!

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    1. Yes! so important isn't it Problems don't go away and if we don't help than the problem will be multiplied in adulthood

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    2. I also highlighted your poem in this week's poetry pantry. I really liked it very much.

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  19. I am new to your blog Marja and am visiting from Poets United.....and what a fabulous poem. I am deeply moved by your words both in prose and poetry....I was a special educator for over 30 years and you are so right....people don't understand....

    '“They don’t live up
    to our expectations”
    Expectations of what?'

    This line particularly struck me hard as we all put too much on every child to try and conform to some standard that is so arbitrary. Helping everyone shine and letting them see they have so much to share is so important. The gifts we all bring are so varied and different and this is what we need to celebrate and help them achieve. Everyone is a champion and a flower and a star burning brightly....thank you for this very moving poem!

    Donna@LivingFromHappiness

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    1. Thank you Donna This subject is close to my heart and it is moving to me that there are people there who do understand :)

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  20. So much truth here. Love and encouragement can make all the differnce.

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