because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

An Unconventional List of My Transgressions

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Once I shared my fears with you and you supported me. As I move toward Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, I thought I would share a list of my transgressions. I know many of you think of me as the sparkly girl, and I am that. But I am other things, too. I am not proud of all of my parts. I am working on being a better me. Each year, a little better. Maybe.

photo by Nils Geylen via flickr.com

i am inappropriately dressed in beat-up cowboy boots.

i am a weeping willow with dandelion roots.

i am a scarlet candle burning at both ends.

i am a wound that never heals

i’m a will that never bends.

i am a fancy cage

a terrible shopper

a binder clip

a pillow proper.

i am lowercase and broken, i am

scared and missing pieces.

i am rumpled

i am crumpled

i am wrinkled in the creases.

i’m a Scorpio in a garden of misery.

i’m a cockroach, a ladybug, and a bumblebee.

i’m an elbow.

i’m a knee.

a taker of things, i am squalor.

i am a spike at your collar.

i am a dying tree.

i am hyperbole.

i am indignant and misguided,

i am useless, undecided.

i am bossy.

i am needy.

i am cruel.

i am eternal summer.

too lush and hot and wild.

i am not a good enough mother.

and i am an ungrateful child.

i am an eye and a hand, recording what i see.

i am too many plates, stacked precariously.

i am a closed library.

i am relentless.

i am wordy.

i am repentant.

please forgive me.

What is one thing that you don’t like about yourself? What part of you would you like to slough off or change?

This week we were challenged to integrate 3 words into our pieces: “candlestick,” scarlet” and “library” —  in 250 words.

It kind of worked for me.

44 thoughts on “An Unconventional List of My Transgressions

  1. yeah, but you give great word, so all is forgiven.

    Make peace with it.

    1. Wow! A comment at 2 AM EST. I hope you are on the other side of the world. You know, where the sun is shining. 😉 Thank you for your kind words. You get 10 bonus points for being the fastest responder ever.

      1. No problem. I saw your tweet and was looking for down my writers list for things to read.

        The timing was perfect.

        1. Just left you a comment on one of your posts. I see you are a runner. (Is that too stalkerishy?)

          1. Not at all. it’s not stalking if you read it after someone comments on your blog. It’s stalking when you wake up at 3am and the first thing you do is check someone’s blog.

  2. Glad I’m not the only one Renee 🙂 Shana Tova and well over the fast xxx R ps are you on skype?

    1. Rivka! It’s been so long! Wishing you an easy fast as well. I know you will be introspective as we move into 5773!

      And yes, I’m on Skype.

      Except, I don’t have a computer. It crashed, taking everything with it as I didn’t have an external hard-drive. (Look a few blogs back for the whole miserable story!) but I’m getting all set up today. I hope. 10 am!

      You should be able to find me under my name, I think. This icon is attached!

  3. On the other side of this;

    you are an inspiration
    you are a teacher (this makes up for more than half of anything bad)
    you are humble
    you are a lovely mother

    Did I say

    you are a inspiration?

    Yeah I did but it deserves to be said twice

    1. Oh Valentine:

      You are too kind. I try to be a teacher, but I’m not in the classroom right now. Some personal things came up, and so I don’t even have that. But I guess I’ll always be a teacher. Even if I don’t have a classroom. 😉

      And if I inspire you? Well, then I am grateful.

      You all inspire me to the point of paralysis.

      I find there are so many good writers out there, sometimes I just want to close up shop.

      Thanks for visiting. For reading my poetry and my essays. 😉

  4. That’s a very poerful, beautiful poem Renee. We all feel like that sometimes. You are awesome!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I always feel a little solemn this time of year.

      1. I always remember getting into trouble in Octobers for some reason and funnily enough my husband and my mother-in-laws birthdays are in October and Halloween lol. Hang in there!

  5. Where to start…..

    One thing I don’t like about myself: I’m lazy. I think it’s a problem with A.D.D., but it could be oooooh! Shiny!

    Hmmmmmm… Slough off… I’d love to slough off about 40 pounds. Does that count?

    1. Anything can count.

      But you can’t just say it.

      What are you going to do about it?

      That’s the hard part about these holidays: committing to making the change!

  6. Hi Renee, This is like therapy! I read your post earlier and started to type, “I suppose that one thing that I don’t like about myself is [draws a blank].” It’s not that I don’t have any traits that I’d like to change, it’s that, like Lay’s potato chips, I couldn’t come up with just one.

    After thinking about it, I’ll go with my temper. Not the ‘I’m going to punch someone in the face’ type of temper, but the type of temper that causes me to cut someone off at the first sign of insincerity. That drives me crazy, so I don’t react to it well. So sure, I’d like to change that by giving people the benefit of the doubt — at least on the first go around.

    1. Temper your temper. I imagine lots of us could stand to do that. Thanks for your honesty, Ray.

  7. Renée…. Your list was an open window to some very deep and protected regions of your soul. I am just as touched as I am awed by your willingness and ability to share them with us. Not only did you share them, but you did so in a beautiful way.

    “i am eternal summer. too lush and hot and wild.”

    “i am too many plates, stacked precariously.” (this says so much)

    Some parts of your list made me smile, thinking how similar we feel about what we see as faults, and other parts of your list broke my heart and simply made me want to embrace you.

    As for me, my list is large. But since you asked for one thing *sigh of relief*, I’ll put my hand into that particular jar of faults and find something interesting.

    I’m so concerned about other people’s problems, emotions, feelings and desires that I completely neglect myself. I hope it doesn’t sound stupid, but it is a problem I have. It’s like the little bit we all here in the airplane, “place the oxygen mask on yourself so you can then take care of others.” One of these days I’m going to find myself without any oxygen – I will crash and burn, no longer able to help anybody else because I refused to take care of my own needs.

    (thanks for the opportunity for some good introspection!)

    *embrace*

    1. Zack! Thank you for reading my poem. Since my computer crashed, it’s been easier to write poetry. I’ve been feeling a little broken after losing my book. You are a gem for commenting so thoughtfully!

      See, I can tell you put other people waaaay ahead of yourself just from your comment. I tend to be the same way. I’m glad we met at Jenny’s.

      1. Thanks Renée, I’m glad we met too.

  8. I think the one thing I don’t like about myself the most is that while thinking about the one thing I don’t like I came up with hundreds. That can’t be a good thing.

    1. Oh Kimmers! You have so many great strengths! But I know what you mean. When I sat down to write this, it was like someone opened a floodgate. One transgression led to another. And even after I pressed publish, I thought of more! Next time I write a poem, I promise something more light!

  9. You are perfectly you and that is just the way it should be.

    1. P.S. This is phenomenal, which made me think, “You are a phenomenal woman,” but I haven’t read that poem in a while so if there’s any subtext there, there’s no subtext there. You are a phenomenal woman. 🙂

      1. Thanks Hippie. I know we haven’t known each other, but I think you are pretty great too! And I have a new computer so I can get back to the business of writing, once I figure out how to use it!

        1. Yay! Be careful about that “Nuke Kansas” button!

          1. I saw that button. And I’m avoiding it! 😉 But I feel like Dorothy in Kansas. Nothing is the same anymore. It’s going to take a while to get used to the Cloud thing.

  10. I like Valentine’s list better – they obviously know you better than I do, but I love your blog and all those things you listed are honest but now make a list of all your good stuff

    1. I will! The Jewish Holidays tend to make me get very serious. But I’ll be back to my rocky self in no time! 🙂

  11. I would like to see your list in our Yom Kippur prayer book. It would mean more than the ones listed In it that I don’t even know the definition of, let alone whether or not I’ve done it. Or need to repent for it. Anyway, I would like to be less judgemental of others. And less stubborn. And… You can see I have many things that I would lime to change about myself.

    1. The stuff in the prayer book always scares me. All that talk of who will die by fire and who by water. I always freak out a little when I learn I done passes right after Yom Kippur. I always think: Wow, really? It was decided? My husband, of course, thinks this is nuts.

      You are hardly stubborn. I think you are really flexible. Funny, the weaknesses we perceive in ourselves. L’shana Tovah, Boots!

  12. This was a very good list, both spiritual and artistic, and showed a lot of thought given to it. As for me, pick any of the Seven Deadly Sins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins) and that’s what I’d like to slough off. We can start with sloth…

    1. I am so not slothy. But. I am a lot of other things. I’m a trashhbag of treasure, I suppose we all are. Thanks for visiting, John!

  13. Loved your poem…especially the part “I am too many plates, stacked precariously”. Not sure why that stood out, but that is just awesome! So wonderfully written.

    1. Well, maybe you were picturing the cabinets in my kitchen. With my beloved plates inside. They could fall at any moment. Nothing is stable, right. This balancing act we all do? It’s crazy-making! 😉

  14. You are human, and that is forgivable. Hugs to you.

    1. Thanks Val. You are one of the most creative and gentle spirits. I am trying to forgive myself.

  15. Beautifully written. As for parts of me…me, myself and I will have to get back to you. We’re heavy into discussion mode and have yet to come to a consensus.

    1. I understand. Sometimes I argue with myself about which parts of myself are the best and which parts suck eggs. On any given day, these parts are interchangeable. 😉

  16. “it kinda worked for me” ya think? Hell yes! Lovely, Renee. Just lovely.

    1. Thank you for reading my poetry. I still like to write it, especially when I don’t have time for lengthy posts. Surprisingly, this one took a very long time to write. It really was from the heart.

  17. […] Renee Schuls-Jacobson posts a fabulous poem, An Unconventional List of My Transgressions. […]

  18. Though not a transgression, you forgot to include you are an amazing poet.
    As for the parts of me that I’d like to slough off…hmm…the list is long, but disorganized. However, at the top of the heap would be guilt and fear. Yep, I’ve been working on those two for a lifetime.

    1. Guilt & fear? You are so brave. How weird. I would never think these are things that weigh you down. Hmmm. Thank you for sharing.

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