MINd, Body and Soul

 

DELtoid, according to Merriam-Webster, means “having a triangular shape.” While this month’s issue of DELve is not in the actual shape of a triangle, its theme MIND, BODY and SOUL definitely fits the bill.  In each issue, I invite guest artists to interpret that month’s theme (with very few guidelines). I may suggest certain people write on things they have personal knowledge of, i.e. being a new dad or surfing, but it is ultimately up to the individual. I’m taking time to explain this because this month’s guest writers David Dowling (The Body) and Jacynth Johnson (It Is Well With My Soul) tackled their sections without knowledge of each other or guidance from me other than, “Whatever you want!” While both are strikingly different in theme, each share similar pacing which makes them almost companion pieces. I then ruin the flow by including the final installment (Without Tears) on the time I was dealing with depression (I promise, the next issue will be much lighter). 

Guess what else… C.A.F.! is back. Well, that’s it… for now. In the last issue, I said I would be back in September but I’m a little late so I hope you forgive me. DELve’s next issue will be DELivering the FUNNY. If you are at all interested in contributing, please don’t hesitate to contact me at DELvemagazine@yahoo.com or however we usually touch base.

Until we meet again, may your mind take you places your body has never gone and may peace guide you in your travels.

— Steve

 

C.A.F.!

remorse

Survivor’s Remorse

Survivor’s Remorse has just ended its third (and best) season on STARZ. This show, whose executive producer is the red-hot LeBron “King” James, is borderline brilliant.  It tells the story of a rising basketball star Cam Calloway  and his family, navigating their way through the minefields of sudden fame and wealth and it accomplishes this without being “typical.” You go in expecting the Cam character to be some huge asshole and he does have those moments. But, most of his moves (good or bad) are done with a sense of conscience. He does what he does, for his family, his hometown and his community in general.

 

This season dealt with the sudden loss of a beloved family member, its aftermath and secrets from the past of one character which affects the present of another, making the show’s title even more relevant. Did I mention this was a comedy? And a damn funny one.  SR was amazing in its ability to deal with serious topics without condescending or losing its sharp comedic edge. Each member of the cast is perfection with special mention given to Erica Ash as M Chuck and Tichina Arnold as Cassie (M Chuck’s mama).

body
THE BODY
by David Dowling

The body is a source of sheer delight and immense disappointment. It is unique to each of us. It can be sculpted and it can change its shape without warning. We are its master and its victim.

Elle Macpherson was known as “The Body” after hers graced the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue again and again, meanwhile Jesse “The Body” Ventura used his on the battlefield, the wrestling ring, and the political arena.

The body of a newborn and its journey to the body of an octogenarian. The intricate systems of the body that keep it moving from start to finish, through shrieks of agony and pulsating electricity at the embrace of a lover.

It’s in scripture and strip malls. It’s in work. It is the one thing you know best and hardly at all. We stare at it in the mirror and we stare at others on the beach or in the gym. We covet it like a jewel.

Artists opine about the beauty of a body in masculine and feminine form. Scientists dissect it. Athletes push it to the limits. You and I touch it and sometimes invite others to do so as well. A pat on the back, a handshake, a different kind of shake, an embrace, a violent push. We adorn armor to protect it. We chose clothes that flatter its shape and keep it warm and safe from the elements. We shield it from the sun and bask in its rays. We manufacture a prosthetic to replace a piece that was once there or perhaps never at all.

The body is a tool to lay, move, gather, cook, hold, hit, drive, jump, stand, run…

The body is sexy. The curves of a woman in clothes that cling. The broad shoulders of a man drawing to a tapered waist. The body seeks other bodies and reproduces more bodies.

For those whose body has been dormant, push it. For those whose body has been sore, rest it. For those whose body draws attention, flaunt it. For those whose body is healthy, appreciate it. For those whose body won’t agree, convince it. For those whose body is laid to rest, may it rest in peace.

D.D.: The author maintains a positive image of his own body by consulting mirrors from the neck up and dimming the lights. Tricks he picked up in Hollywood while working as a body double’s chauffeur.
 20150210_173522
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
by Jacynth Johnson

Growing up, I would always hear the church mothers sing this old hymn, “It is well with my soul.”

“When peace like a river,

attendeth my way.

When sorrows like seas,

billows roll.

Whatever my lot,

Thou hath taught me to say.

It is well.

It is well, with my soul.”

The dark melodies of the verse contrasts the sweet harmonies of the hopeful chorus.

“It is well, with my soul.”

The soul is the seat of your emotions; the very essence of who you are.

Some work all their lives to obtain fame, fortune and promotions, but at the expense of their soul.

The soul is the depth and truest form of YOU.

There is no escaping your mind, body and soul.

Some have turned to promiscuous sex, drugs, and other destructive habits to numb the irritations of their soul.

Others have even gone as far as to commit suicide, to escape the torment in their mind that leaked out of their soul.

So, how do we begin removing the calluses and healing the scars of your soul?

  1. FORGIVING others and yourself for unknowingly and knowingly causing harm, is the best way to free your soul.
  2. Dwelling in REGRET only robs you of healing.
  3. Living in ANGER, makes crooked your path and jaded your perspective.
  4. Nursing an OFFENSE makes blind your eyes and blocks love from entering and exiting your heart.
  5. SELFISHNESS gives only limited supply of abundant life and true happiness.

While there are many more things in life, that I’ve learned through personal experience, that hinders the forward progress of a healthy soul, these are the five roots issues that bring life to all other emotions that eat away at our soul.

It’s never easy to confront and testify about the pain that has altered the condition of your soul, but it’s necessary.

May your journey to peace and happiness begin with the honest reflection of your soul.

Blessings on your journey.

 JJ: Was born and raised in Queens, New York to Caribbean parents and but currently resides in Plainfield, New Jersey. She was born on July 22, 1986 and is the youngest of three girls.

Currently she is an eight grade English Language Arts teacher at Hubbard Middle School in Plainfield, New Jersey. Ms. Johnson is currently studying an graduate degree in Educational Leadership at Kean University.

Ms. Johnson found her purpose in not only helping youth girls but also women. She founded the I AM RARE organization in 2012, out of her own struggles and pain with sex. To date, she serves over 1,000 worldwide through online platforms and workshops. She hopes to begin an after-school division (RARE Academy) for young girls. This program will offer mentorship, workshops and trips that focus on self-esteem and abstinence.

She is a member of the Abundant Life Family Worship Church and serves as a leader on the youth department and singles committee.

I AM RARE organization empowers women worldwide in their pursuit of abstinence.  www.rareiam.org

20150418_165113
WITHOUT TEARS
by Stephen Holmes

The times I found myself forcing smiles and faking social functions to avoid real social functions are distant memories, mileposts in my rearview. The emotions of that time remain crisp. In the month between my stay on Cape Cod and getting back to the routine of work, I talked with several therapists over the phone and actually went in to see one therapist, but I decided none of them were for me, but I did keep searching.  I began to settle into the same old… same old. Of course, complacency doesn’t last forever.   I remember the sweat and racing heartbeat of my second panic attack, which occurred during an assembly program not long after the start of the new school year.

Look at my pay stub, I realized that rent, car loan and insurance were due and I didn’t have enough money to cover them all. In addition, my father’s house (the one I was raised in) was in total disrepair and back taxes from before his hospitalization were also due. I was drowning in debt. I had no ideas on how to handle it all. I became dizzy and had to get out of that auditorium before I let the emotions stopped being internalized. It was time.

Charles Lopez, MA, LPC, called a few hours after my freak out. A week later I found myself in his Millburn, N.J.  waiting room, more than a bit anxious but ready to “feel better.” Our first meeting was cautious… how often do you open up to a stranger that’s not pouring you drinks? We did talk about general things, the awkwardness I was feeling and about my father and… his house. My attempts at selling the family home and dealing with what was owed to the nursing home were, to me, the two biggest issues I was having.

Over the course of our six years together, Charlie and I discussed things private and public. I saw a movie once where the main character described therapy as being like an onion, little-by-little layers are pulled away until the core is reached. The time discussing all that is “Steve,” Charlie never just sat there, taking in everything I said and saying nothing. Yes, we discussed how I felt like I somehow failed my father by placing him in a nursing home but Charlie helped me realize that I didn’t have a lot of options open to me. Through therapy, I learned to understand that the house and legal issues that seemed to consume me weren’t as big as my will and determination. I learned to take one step before I contemplated the next. I began to breathe differently. I took on disappointment, addressed it and let it go.

24 February 2014 (excerpt from my journal)

Today was my last day of therapy. It was the best session because Charlie and I talked about where I started from and how I go to this point.

Leading up to today has been so mixed. I knew it was coming and I didn’t want it to end yet but I knew it had to end. Because I was ready. The past couple of days made me reflect and it almost felt like I was getting depressed again… ALMOST! I felt strength in my decision to end this and strength in who I am as a person.

Charlie has helped me realize that I adapt and survive.

Today was a summary of our time together. It felt like the final episode of a really popular television show, one where we don’t know what’s going to happen to the characters but you feel they are going to be okay.

Fittingly, we ended pretty much where we started… Ashby [my father]! We talked about boys growing to men and how being a father is generational and that it is too bad that fatherhood hasn’t evolved as quickly as we would like. I told him I was glad to have the closure with Ashby before he died. I said it would have been nice to have had him “initiate” the closure but that the way it happened was organic. Thinking back now, it was a meeting of two men. Two men bonding over his recollections of war and racism. Two men, talking while flipping channels. Watching current events and old movies.

Charlie and I talked about… I kissed Armand [my nephew] on the forehead when he was in the hospital with a concussion. It’s not until just now that I realized I kissed Ashby the same way before he died. He and I never did that… closure.

I ended this final session by saying to Charlie about out time together, “And I did it without tears.”

SH: Editor-in-Chief of DELve Mag. He is a writer, educator and all around swell guy.

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