Missing You [fff]


[Originally posted on May 26, 2022, and reposted today for Fandango’s Flashback Friday.]

Every day I miss you more,
As if you’d left just hours before,
Your voice still green in my mind.
But silly movies make me cry,
And loss lingers close behind—
I touch it like a purpled bruise;
I just can’t shake these blues.
Every day I miss you more.
Pain hasn’t passed with time,
For as the years roll on I find
Your face comes in sharper focus,
And memories are turning golden.
Grey days blur into each other
Like a monochromic watercolor.
Every day I miss you more.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for the Skeptic’s Kaddish W3-4 and the Wednesday Challenge.

TGIF ~ Words

Letters game tiles alphabet

Happy Friday ~ for many of us working peeps in the USA, this is a three-day weekend, so yay!

This week was better for me in the neck and head pain department, but I had a lot of insomnia. Both things, I think, were due to my avoidance of my special neck pillow, which for years helped with neck pain, but lately it seems to make it worse. I have to get used to regular squishy pillows again, but I keep waking up. It’s not so bad getting up early because I can write and schedule more blog posts, but then I get tired in the middle of the afternoon.

If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother, amirite?

I’ve been thinking a lot about words, not that I don’t always, but in particular I’ve been ruminating (moo) on words that fall in and out of favor. The other day at a meetup, someone used the phrase “navel gazing,” and half the room didn’t know what it meant. He asked if it was because he’s British, and I said no ~ I’ve always known what it meant. In fact, I used to have a funny blog tag “navel glazing” (kind of a donut joke), but I don’t now because I understand that tags are used for readers to find you (doh). Of course, I didn’t say that to the British guy because only bloggers find references to blog stuff interesting. No one else cares.

There’s also “stupid,” which seems like an innocuous word, but to parents it’s as bad as a curse word, and they don’t want you to use it around their children. Teachers don’t want it used in class. I guess it’s the new R-word. Kids will just come up with another way to insult each other though, whether for “playful” teasing or vicious harm. They always have, and they always will. I’m not saying it’s a good thing; it’s just reality. That whole “sticks and stones” motto that parents of a certain generation said was pretty much BS ~ we know now that words do hurt. They can tear you down, whether you’re a child or a spouse. Derogatory names are especially painful if a group of your peers hurls them at you repeatedly, and not just in person but also on social media. As we know, social media never sleeps. TG it wasn’t around when I was getting bullied as a little girl.

Back when I used dating sites (barf), there was a tagline I often put on my profile: “Let’s start a brand new story…” This is a line from the Bee Gees song “Words,” which I adore. The line wasn’t BS from me on those sites ~ I truly believed it was possible for two people to meet later in life and create their own love story despite all the baggage from their pasts. And it is possible ~ for other people ~ I have witnessed it. But it wasn’t in the cards for me.

Smile an everlasting smile
A smile can bring you near to me
Don’t ever let me find you down
‘Cause that would bring a tear to me

This world has lost its glory
Let’s start a brand new story now, my love
Right now, there’ll be no other time
And I can show you how, my love

Talk in everlasting words
And dedicate them all to me
And I will give you all my life
I’m here if you should call to me

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words and words are all I have
To take your heart away

The Brothers Gibb wrote this song and recorded it in 1967. It became a No. 1 hit in several countries, though it only reached 15 in the US. Enjoy!

This post is in response to Jim’s Thursday Inspiration, where he also shared a Bee Gees song.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

The Letter

AI Envelope Snake Sparkle
AI Envelope Snake Sparkle

I found the letter on the floor
With a golden seal, raised and fine;
I told you that I wanted more,
So I took this as a good sign.

The paper felt cold in my hand
(I found the letter on the floor).
I tried so hard to understand
Why you kept walking out the door.

Impatient to my very core,
I broke that seal and read your words!
I found the letter on the floor;
I guess I got what I deserved.

This hadn’t been sealed with a kiss–
Evidence I could not ignore–
Your words were like a serpent’s hiss.
I dropped the letter on the floor.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Quatern poem written for dVerse Poets and Reena’s Xploration Challenge 281.

Pass the Baton—May 2023

Marla, from Marla’s World, has created a writing challenge. The challenge is for multiple authors to write a single story. She will choose a story that she has written, or that another author has submitted for this challenge, and she will nominate the next person to continue writing it. Once that person has added their section, they will nominate the next author. It will continue like this until the story is complete.

The Date


She sat across from him, taking him in.

He was somewhat physically attractive, but it was his personality, his humor that got her to accept a date with him. Over the course of the last three weeks, they had talked for hours, sometimes getting so caught up in the conversation, neither slept.

Work had been a nightmare.

The pictures he chose for his profile were of the man sitting in front of her, no filters, no hazy images, and certainly not a single image from when he was practically in second grade; no, he was honest. She truly appreciated his honesty.

He asked her out, and she couldn’t say no — she liked the person she got to know too much.

As she looked at him, she thought….


As she looked at him, she thought: How bad could it be? His eyes expressed joy, a little laughter, and his mouth was soft, without a hidden grimace.

Her experience with blind dates hadn’t been good, but her romantic inclination always implored her to give men the benefit of the doubt. It hadn’t worked out well so far but she thought: Truly, how bad could it be? Buy a meal. Drink something. Walk a ways. Maybe hold hands. Maybe even get in a kiss at the door of the taxi. She’s wasn’t taking him home, or going home with him, but she did so want to smell what he smelled like in a hug. She wanted to feel the texture of his skin, run her fingers up his hairy forearm. She wanted to check his teeth, to see if he was clean, and read the lines in his hands to see if he will live long.

While she was thinking all these things that he couldn’t read, he thought: I need to get you into my bed. Not a romantic but he wanted to hold her hand and look at it. He imagined putting a ring on her finger, not the ring. He also wanted a silver glittering bracelet on her thin wrist. He wanted to smell her skin and the top of her head and run his lips across her cheek. He really just wanted to feel whole.


There was something magical happening between them and they were both feeling it. After they finished their coffee and dessert, Peter grabbed her hand, gently squeezed it and said, “These last three weeks have been life changing for me, Liz. I feel as if we’ve known each other forever. I know this is our first actual face-to-face date, but I am hoping I can persuade you to come back to my place for an after dinner drink. I only live a few blocks from here and I promise to be a perfect gentleman.”

Not too perfect a gentleman, I hope, Liz thought to herself. She felt flush. A slight tingling ran through her whole body. She was trying to decide if it was a warning sign or if it was an erotic rush. Perhaps it was both. Like Peter, she, too, felt as if it had been months, not just three weeks, since they first started talking, and she knew that she wanted him as much as he seemed to want her.

She was about to say yes to his proposal to join him for an after dinner drink at his place when a man, obviously intoxicated, walked up to the table, put his hands on Peter’s shoulders, and said, “Petey! Of all the gin joints, dude.” The guy looked over at Liz, ran his tongue across his lips, and said, “And looky, looky, looky at this hot chick you bagged. I see your mojo’s still running hot and heavy.”

Peter stood up and …

Paula Light

… flung down a wad of bills to cover the check, grabbed Liz’s hand, and said “Let’s get out of here. I know a shortcut through the kitchen. Hurry up!”

Liz was not happy about this turn of events, nor Peter’s sudden nasty tone of voice, and her desire for him evaporated instantly like a snowflake on her tongue. God, another loser, with a bunch of loser friends. Why does this always happen to me?

She pulled her hand away and stated, “I’ll get an Uber. Thanks for dinner.”

As Liz strode in the opposite direction to the lobby of the restaurant, she took her phone from her purse and tapped the Uber app. She sensed a presence behind her and whirled around, expecting to see Peter, but instead his friend stood there.

“Hi,” he said. “I want to apologize for my behavior at the table. I, uh, reacted badly when I saw Peter, and I wanted to get revenge for something he did years ago. Unfortunately, I put you in the middle of it, and that was inexcusable.”

Liz scowled at him. “If it’s inexcusable, then quit making excuses. I don’t want to be part of whatever petty drama you two are caught up in. Now, I’m going to get a ride and try to forget this evening ever happened.”

“Petty drama?” he laughed bitterly. “Peter was responsible for the death of my fiancée, is all. But OK, you didn’t know. I’m Charlie, by the way.”

“Whatever,” she muttered, noting that he seemed perfectly sober now.

Charlie continued, “Look, I can’t let you get an Uber. Haven’t you read the news about the serial rapist? We think he’s posing as a driver.”

“‘We?’ We who? You and your imaginary friends?” Liz snarked as she continued the procedure for getting a ride.

Then Charlie flashed a badge…

I’m going to pass the baton to Jim at A Unique Title for Me to continue this story. Please note that the image wouldn’t load, so backtrack to one of the other baton-holders to grab it if you want to try to make it work.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Finding My Balance

AI colorful balance scale

Maggie is back from her lovely “vacation” to help with a new grandchild, and she has returned to her Tranquil Thursday series. Note that from now on it is my official policy to clean up any typos in quoted material, and I’m not indicating so each time because these are blog posts not scholarly articles.

1. We have all heard of the need of work/life balance. If you are still working, what percentage of time do you dedicate to work? If you are retired, how have you achieved balance outside of managing a work life?

I am old-school and work an old-fashioned 7.5 hour day (with an hour for lunch) in an office away from home. I do not bring work home with me or go in on weekends. The rest of my time is for me (I am not going to say “life” because work is also a part of life, and I enjoy going to work). Most of my me time is spent blogging and reading, with cleaning and shopping chores thrown in the mix. Sometimes I paint. Sometimes I work on my half-finished stories. Sometimes I watch movies. Occasionally I take a walk. I do make time for family and friend social events, but not on a daily basis (except for texting).

Remember teeter totters? Life is like a teeter totter. When lives enter or leave us, we are thrown off balance. When there is too much on one side of the fulcrum, the other side is left dangling in the air while the heavy side is stuck in the sand. How is the current balance in your life?

Except for my physical balance, which can be a bit shaky because of vertigo, etc., I would say I have the perfect balance of work, family, friends, and hobbies in my life. I wouldn’t want things to be all work or all family or all painting, etc. The only area in which I am out of balance is exercise, but that’s very difficult for me to engage in regularly because of my chronic pain issues. It’s hard for people who don’t have these issues to understand. It’s not only the actual hours of pain that stop me, but also when I’m feeling relatively OK, my first thought is not “time to run around and get all sweaty.” My thought is… savor this moment while it lasts. Also, exercise can trigger more pain (unfortunate truth).

Fantasy reading romance novel book
Image credit to Jim Warren

If things get too hectic, what tools do you use to regain balance?

Very simple. I ruthlessly cut out activities, at least temporarily, so that I have only work and me time. I have a limited amount of energy for socializing to begin with, and it doesn’t take much to deplete the stores. Family time is usually OK, but I have to deal with driving/traffic to get that, so it isn’t a no brainer to see my loved ones. Friends just have to understand that I will occasionally cancel at the last minute, and if they don’t understand? Pffft.

Sometimes we self-sabotage the balance in our lives by letting too much in, or giving away too much of ourselves. How do you control the flow in and out of your life?

I am a control FREAK. I refuse to do things I don’t want to do or that I think will hurt me in any way.

Life Pie – if you ever completed The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, you may recall the exercise to determine how fulfilled your life is by dividing it into six areas. I will post her instruction below. Draw your life pie. Were you surprised with the results? “Draw a circle. Divide it into six pieces of pie. Label one piece Spirituality, another Exercise, another Play, and so on with Work, Friends, and Romance/Adventure. Place a dot in each slice at the degree to which you are fulfilled in that area (outer rim indicates great; inner circle, not so great). Connect the dots. This will show where you are lopsided.” ~ Julia Cameron

I don’t need a pie to show I’m unbalanced according to someone else’s idea of how things “should be,” though I would like a pie because pie is delicious. There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, which according to old-school math is 168 hours. Let’s break that down.

Pillsbury cherry pie

Each week, on average, I spend about 50 hours working and commuting, 49 hours sleeping (or lying in bed hoping to sleep), 7 hours on personal care (showering, etc.), 7 hours on household chores (shopping, cleaning, “cooking”), 21 hours on hobbies and texting and reading the news, and 10 hours on social events. These 10 include planning and driving, and the hours vary widely from week to week, but when I do an event, it’s a multi-hour commitment, such as a 3-hour book club meetup or a 6-hour game night.

We are at 144 hours, which theoretically leaves 24 remaining for exercise, spirituality, and romance. Thankfully, we can knock romance out of the equation because I hate dating, and we can also jettison spirituality because I’m an atheist. That leaves 24 hours for exercise. Wow, I could spend a whole day exercising!

Yeah. I’ll let you know when that happens.

laughing smiling funny

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Color Therapy

Paint selfie cactus sunset

Release my dark thoughts
Swirl them into deep blue sky
Focus on the now
Anxious orange jealous green
Let my brush paint stress away

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Tanka written for the Skeptic’s Kaddish W3 56, hosted by Suzette this week who suggests a haiku or tanka on the theme of our favorite way to relax / unwind.

A Late Night Thought

Woman phone text bed night

After what had seemed like endless delays, I was finally safe, here in a new place, hidden away from all those feckless paparazzi. My gracious hosts had provided me with this lovely room, full of precious heirlooms, and during the day I spent hours cataloging them for the insurance forms. It was the least I could do for these elderly relatives who had opened their hearts and home to me, giving me shelter from the relentless pressures of the outside world.

But now it was nighttime, very late, and I couldn’t sleep. My mind was foggy from all the stress I had been under before I came here. Though my therapist had advised me to stay away from the internet, I couldn’t resist a little peek. At first, it was a blessed relief not to see my name and face plastered everywhere, but then I wondered…

Where were my fans? Where were the peeps who supposedly revered me? Shouldn’t they have been concerned about where I was and why I had suddenly disappeared from view? Did they no longer care???

Maybe I should post a teeny video just to say hello. I hadn’t changed my outlook about needing a break, but I didn’t want people to completely forget about me either! Plus I felt super cute in this new designer tank top.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Emma’s Wednesday Writing Prompt (post title) and all the Wednesday prompts that fit together.

Little Fish, Big Pond

Goldfish swims with shark fin disguise

He was a little fish in a big pond and constantly felt anxious about his fate, so he swam over to Amazon and bought a shark suit. Now he felt safe from predators above, who would see the shark fin and be scared of approaching him. He could focus on the dangers from below without concern that a monster-clawed eagle would swoop down from the sky.

Thus, he traveled alone, afraid of everything, while presenting a threatening appearance himself so no one would ever suspect that insecurities and fears besieged him day and night. He traveled throughout the pond in this way, always keeping his shark disguise visible above the water line. After some time had passed, he was able to relax and search for the most delicious morsels in obscure places. One day, he was feasting on succulent bits of seaweed when a real shark came by and laughed at him.

“Why are you bothering to wear a costume?” asked the shark. “You’re too small for any predator to bother with.”

Relieved, the little fish slipped off the uncomfortable disguise.

And then the shark ate him.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Christine’s Simply Six Minutes (187 words).

June Gloom

AI hazy fog colorful garden
AI Hazy Fog Colorful Garden

Good-natured sun waits

Lets June gloom take center stage

Summer will shine soon

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Moonwashed Musings Weekly Prompt 144 (good-natured).

Cold As Ice

polar bears ice cold aurora

How do you feel about cold weather?

I hate the cold. I was born in New York, and we moved upstate to Buffalo when I was two years old. I don’t have a lot of memories from that time, but there were loads of pics of me bundled up like an Eskimo (not sure if we are still allowed to say Eskimo). Moved around a bunch in NY, then to NJ, and then to Illinois, where it is REALLY REALLY COLD.

High school memories are a blur of blizzards and snow days and shoveling (which gave my father a small heart attack), boots and coats and scarves and hats and gloves, and cars that needed to be “preheated” so they wouldn’t stall on the road. Skidding on ice. Slipping and falling. After HS, we moved to Chicago, right off the lake, at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Sheridan Road, which had the distinction of the windiest spot in the city. It hurt to breathe when the cold and the wind combined to a chill factor of 40 below zero. But I worked in the Loop and had to take the bus every day… somehow I survived four years of that misery.

Now that I live in SoCal, do I miss it? Nope, negatory, not a chance! People jabber on about the changing of the leaves and the beauty of autumn, which is great, but then come the freezing temps, so no thank you. I don’t go back to visit, nor do I pine away for one minute of wet, sloppy, dirty, slushy, horrible snow. Like Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally, I get cold when it’s 71 degrees, and I don’t apologize for it. No one thinks it’s adorable though, which is fine with me. I have a rainbow of sweaters to keep me warm during the day and lots of cozy blankets for the night.

Cold weather sucks!

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.