Category Archives: Poetry

[in photos]: Journey Forward

I joined the Journey Forward series for the first time last week.
It is a perfect pairing with the vibe of Smile at a Stranger.

The goal of participating in Journey Forward is personal enrichment, self awareness, and moving toward your potential.  It is based on a central word, or theme, on which you focus your energy and attention, and blog about it weekly.

My “word” was an easy choice for me because it is an attitude I wish to impart on life in general: Kindness.
This week’s Journey Forward post is about images, or graphics (i.e.- videos) that embody your chosen word; to share some of your pins from Pinterest that exemplify the significance of your word. 
This is what kindness looks (and sounds) like to me:

1- Sarah Kay– Spoken word artist.  “Hands” Listen- It’s just beautiful.
2- Kindness is an animal instinct.  And an animal NEED.
3- Kindness is priceless, ya know.
4- Video- Amy Krause Rosenthal’s “Thought Bubble”- asks “How Do YOU Want to be Remembered”  “What Have You Filled the World With?”
5- Because making others feel good makes ME feel good.
6- Simplicity.  Kindness is not complicated.
7- Anis Logjani– Spoken word artist.  “Shake the Dust” Another amazing person trying to lift people up with his wonderful gift with words.
8- This is what I see everyday at home with my two boys, and besides a mother’s love for her children, sibling love is one of the purest forms of love (and kindness) there is.
9- Do RIGHT.  Because it’s wayyyy cooler than doing wrong.
10- Parents.  And especially my mom.  From whom I learned what kindness was.
11- What Teachers Make- Taylor Mali.  Powerful stuff, y’all.  
Linking up with a fellow NoVA girl, Chelsea, for Journey Forward!  
Can’t wait until next week!
Ciao!  
Kindly~
Meghan

A(nother) Favorite Song: Part of Me

I remember Katy Perry debuting this song at the 2012 Grammy’s, and I remember begin all school-girl giddy about it.  Great song, great performance.
A week ago, she released her music video for Part of Me, aaaaaaaand it rocks my sock.  So here ya go!!  
Enjoy!
Lyrics
Days like this I want to drive away
Pack my bags and watch your shadow fade
You chewed me up and spit me out
Like I was poison in your mouth
You took my light, you drained me down
That was then and this is now
Now look at me

This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no
This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no
Throw your sticks and stones
Throw your bombs and your blows
But you’re not gonna break my soul
This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no

I just wanna throw my phone away
Find out who is really there for me
‘Cause you ripped me off, your love was cheap
Was always tearing at the seams
I fell deep and you let me drown
But that was then and this is now
Now look at me

This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no
This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no
Throw your sticks and stones

Throw your bombs and your blows
But you’re not gonna break my soul
This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no

Now look at me, I’m sparkling
A firework, a dancing flame
You won’t ever put me out again
I’m glowing, oh woah oh
So you can keep the diamond ring
It don’t mean nothing anyway
In fact you can keep everything
Yeah, yeah
Except for me

This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no
This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no (away from me)
Throw your sticks and stones
Throw your bombs and your blows
But you’re not gonna break my soul
This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no

This is the part of me, no, (away from me)
This is the part of me, me, me, me, me, me, no
Throw your sticks and stones
Throw your bombs and your blows
But you’re not gonna break my soul
This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no

Feel the power?!  OOOO RAH!!!

PS- My little Liam turns 4 on Monday… be prepared for a sappy post in honor of him  🙂

Kindly~
Meghan

A Favorite Song: Be Here Now

Hey y’all!  So sorry I was post-less yesterday.  I take classes on Tuesday evenings, and was scrambling all day to do work and homework simultaneously in preparation.  Unfortunately, the ol’ blog took a backseat.
Wednesday’s have become a musical day here at Smile at a Stranger.  And today, I have two songs that I simply cannot choose between.  
This first one is brought to you by Ray LaMontagne, and it is just beautiful.  
Lyrics
Don’t let your mind get weary
And confused your will be still, don’t try
Don’t let your heart get heavy
Child, inside you there’s a strength that lies

Don’t let your soul get lonely
Child, it’s only time, it will go by
Don’t look for love in faces, places
It’s in you that’s where you’ll find kindness

Be here now, be here now
Be, be here now, be here now

Don’t lose your faith in me
And I will try not to lose faith in you
Don’t put your trust in walls
‘Cause walls will only crush you when they fall

Be, be here now, be here now
Be, be here now, be here now

I hope you enjoyed this, especially if you had never heard it before.  His voice is magic. 
Happy Wednesday!
Kindly~

Meghan

A Favorite Song: Such Great Heights

Lyrics
I… am thinking it’s a sign 
that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and 
when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned.
and I… have to speculate 
that God himself did make us into corresponding shapes 
like puzzle pieces from the clay.
and true… it may seem like a stretch, 
but it’s thoughts like this that catch my troubled
head when you’re away 
and when I am missing you to death.
 
When you… are out there on the road 
for several weeks of shows 
and when you scan the radio, 
I hope this song will guide you home.

They will see us waving from such great heights, 

“come down now,”
they’ll say…
 
But everything looks perfect from far away,
“come down now,” 
but we’ll stay…

I… tried my best to leave 

this all on your machine 
but the persistent beat it sounded thin upon listening.
and that… frankly will not fly. 
You will hear the shrillest highs 
and lowest lows with the windows down 
when this is guiding you home. 
They will see us waving from such great heights, 
“come down now,”
they’ll say…
 
But everything looks perfect from far away,
“come down now,” 
but we’ll stay…
Who is YOUR puzzle piece?

Kindly~

Meghan

A Favorite Song: On the Radio

Lyrics

This is how it works
It feels a little worse
Than when we drove our hearse
Right through that screaming crowd
While laughing up a storm
Until we were just bone
Until it got so warm
That none of us could sleep
And all the styrofoam
Began to melt away
We tried to find some words
To aid in the decay
But none of them were home
Inside their catacomb
A million ancient bees
Began to sting our knees
While we were on our knees
Praying that disease
Would leave the ones we love
And never come again

On the radio
We heard November Rain
That solo’s really long
But it’s a pretty song
We listened to it twice
‘Cause the DJ was asleep

This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumping someone else’s blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again

And on the radio
You hear November Rain
That solo’s awful long
But it’s a good refrain
You listen to it twice
‘Cause the DJ is asleep
On the radio
(oh oh oh)
On the radio
On the radio – uh oh
On the radio – uh oh
On the radio – uh oh
On the radio

Ps- The highlighted section in the middle of the song are some of my favorite lyrics of all time.  So much TRUTH to them, for me personally.

Ps#2- I am working on another post and I hope to have it up later.  Sorry I skipped posting yesterday… I spent all day with my MAN!  😉 You understand, I’m sure!

Have a BLESSED and BEAUTIFUL day, friends!

Kindly~
Meghan

A Favorite Song: Stuck in the Middle With You

Lyrics:
Well, I don’t know why I came here tonight
I got the feeling that something ain’t right
I’m so scared, in case I fall off my chair
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

Yes, I’m stuck in the middle with you
And I’m wondering what it is I should do
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face
Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

Well, you started off with nothing
And you’re proud that you’re a self-made man
And your friends, they all come crawlin’
Slap you on the back and say, 

Pleeeeeeease?
Pleeeeeease?
Trying to make some sense of it all
But I can see it makes no sense at all
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor?
Well, I don’t think that I can take anymore

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

Well, you started out with nothing
And you’re proud that you’re a self-made man
And your friends, they all come crawlin’
Slap you on the back and say, 

Pleeeeeeease?
Pleeeeeease?

Yeah, I don’t know why I came here tonight
I got the feeling that something ain’t right
I’m so scared, in case I fall off my chair
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

Yes, I’m stuck in the middle with you
Stuck in the middle with you
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

Try to stop your foot from tapping.
And enjoy!  
 
Kindly~
Meghan
 
PS- If you haven’t already, please check out the information and video on my last post, Kony 2012

A Favorite Song: Uncle John’s Band

Lyrics:
Well, the first days are the hardest days, 
don’t you worry anymore.
When life looks like Easy Street, there is danger at your door
Think this through with me;
Let me know your mind.
Wo-oah, what I want to know
is are you kind?
It’s a Buck Dancer’s Choice, my friend, better take my advice.
You know all the rules by now, and the fire from the ice.
Will you come with me?
Won’t you come with me?
Wo-oah, what I want to know,
will you come with me?
Goddamn, well I declare!!  Have you seen the like?
Their walls are built of cannonballs, their motto is Don’t Tread on Me.
Come hear Uncle John’s Band by the riverside.
Got some things to talk about 
Here beside the rising tide.
It’s the same story the crow told me; it’s the only one he knows.
Like the morning sun you come and like the wind you go.
Ain’t no time to hate; 
Barely time to wait
Wo-oah, what I want to know,
where does the time go?
I live in a silver mine and I call it Beggar’s Tomb.
I got me a violin and I beg you call the tune.
Anybody’s choice,
I can hear your voice.
Wo-oah what I want to know,
how does the song go?
Come hear Uncle John’s Band by the riverside.
Come with me or go alone.
He’s come to take his children home.
Come hear Uncle John’s Band playing to the tide.
Come on along or go alone.
He’s come to take his children home.
Choose LOVE!
 
Kindly~
Meghan

The Awakening

 There comes a time in your life when you finally get it…
When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop
dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your
head cries out – ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or
struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down
after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside,
you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears
and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look
at the world from a new prospective.  
This is your awakening.
You realize that it is time to stop hoping and waiting for
something, or someone, to change…or for happiness, safety
and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come
to terms with the fact that there aren’t always fairytale endings
(or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of
“happily ever after” must begin with you. So, you begin
making your way through the “reality of today” rather than
holding out for the “promise of tomorrow.” You realize
that much of who you are, and the way you navigate through life is,
in great part, a result of all the social conditioning you’ve
received over the course of a lifetime. And you begin to sift
through all the nonsense you were taught about:
– how you should look and how much you should weigh
­ what you should wear and where you should shop
­ where you should live or what type of car your should drive
­ who you should sleep with and how you should behave
­ who you should marry and why you should stay –
Slowly you begin to open up to new worlds and different points of view.
And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really
believe in. And you begin to discard the doctrines you have outgrown,
or should never have practiced to begin with.
You accept the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone
will love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are…and
that’s OK…they are entitled to their own views and opinions.
And, you come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size
5 or a “perfect 10″….Or a perfect human being for that matter…
and you stop trying to compete with the perfect image inside your head
or agonizing over how you “stack up.” And, you make peace
with the woman in the mirror and you learn to give her the same
unconditional love and support you give so freely to others.
And, you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer”
hungry for your next fix…a new dress, another pair of shoes…or looks
of approval and admiration from family, friends or even strangers who
pass by. And you discover that…”it is truly in giving that we
receive”…and that the joy and abundance you seek grows out of
the giving. And you recognize the importance of “creating” & “contributing”
rather than “obtaining” & “accumulating.”
And you begin to love and to honor yourself.
And you stop engaging in self-destructive behavior
including participating in dysfunctional relationships.
And you begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water
and taking more time to rest and exercise.
Then you learn about love and relationships…how to love,
how much to give in love, when to stop giving…and when to
walk away. And you allow only the hands of a lover who truly
loves and respects you to glorify you with his touch.
You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean
what they say, intentionally or unintentionally and that not
everyone will always come through…and interestingly enough,
it’s not always about you. So, you stop lashing out and pointing
fingers or looking to place blame for the things that were done
to you…or weren’t done for you. And you learn to acknowledge
and redirect the feelings of anger, jealousy and resentment you
sometimes feel…least they suffocate your spirit and steal your soul.
You learn how to say I was wrong and to forgive people for their
own human frailties and to build bridges instead of walls…and
you learn about the healing power of love as it is expressed
through a kind word, a warm smile or a friendly gesture…At the
same time, you eliminate ANY relationships that are hurtful or fail
to uplift and edify you. And you stop working so hard at smoothing
things over and setting your needs aside. You learn that feelings
of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right to want
or expect certain things. And you learn the importance of communicating
your needs. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose
to carry and that eventually martyrs are burned at the stake. Then you
learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility and the
importance of setting boundaries and learning to Say NO. You learn
that you don’t know all the answers, it’s not your job to save
the world and that sometimes you just need to Let Go.
And, you learn to look at people as they really are and not as
you would have them be and you are careful not to project your
neediness or insecurities onto a relationship. You learn that
you will not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable
or important because of the man on your arm or the child that
bears your name. You learn that just as people grow and change
so it is with love and relationships….and that not everyone
can always love you the way you would want them to or live life
just to suit your needs, ease your insecurities or meet “your”
standards and expectations. And, you learn the difference between
wanting and needing and you stop trying to control people, situations
and outcomes. And, you learn that “alone” does not mean
“lonely” and you begin to discover the joy of spending
time “with yourself” and “on yourself.”
You avoid Toxic people and conversations. And you stop wasting time
and energy rehashing your situation with family and friends because
you’ve learned that talking about things doesn’t change them. You
learn that wishing for something is different from working to make
it happen. And you begin to invest your time and energy to affect
positive change. You take a personal inventory of the areas you need to
improve in order to move ahead, you set your goals and map out a
plan of action to see things through. 
You learn that life isn’t always fair and you don’t always get what
you think you deserve. You stop personalizing every loss or disappointment.
You learn to accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people and
that these things are not an act of God…but merely a random act of fate.
And you stop looking for guarantees because you’ve learned that the
only thing you can really count on is the unexpected…and that
whatever happens, you’ll learn to handle it. And you learn that the
only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time
FEAR itself. So you learn to step right into and through your fears
because to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your
terms. You learn that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophesy
and you learn to go after what you want and not to squander your life
living under a cloud of indecision or feelings of impending doom.
Then, YOU LEARN ABOUT MONEY…the personal power and
independence it brings and the options it creates. And
you recognize the necessity, to create your own personal
wealth. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself
by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray
yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart’s
desire. And you live with honor and integrity…because you
know that these principles are not the outdated ideals of a
by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation
upon which you must build your life. And you make it a point
to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every
wonderful opportunity and exciting possibility. Then you hang
a wind chime outside your window to remind yourself what
beauty there is in Simplicity.
Finally, with courage in your heart, you
take a stand, you TAKE a deep breath and you begin to design the
life you want to live as best as you can.
Written by: Sonny Carroll 

(appropriately: Anonymous)

Do Not Quit
When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but do not quit.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things go wrong that you must not quit.
#justkeepswimming
#ifatfirstyoudontsucceed
#trytryagain

Re-Blogging: The genius work of w.c pelon

Check out his website and more of his work here