One Day at a Time: Surviving The Colonial Fist 

This post is going to be all over the place, because, well, all over the place is how I feel. Balancing, teetering, floating, rocking, falling, standing, sinking, rising, I walk upon earth, through life. One day at a time. 

My husband and I celebrated some personal victories last week. He is number one in the office in only his second month at his new job. He received a security clearance from the federal government that will ensure he keep his job and can continue working. We were worried about the clearance because it required a criminal background check. Like many addicts, he has had trouble with the law. He has some non violent charges and arrests on his record involving possession of narcotics, DUI, and loitering spanning back over 15 years. We were preparing for a blow, but instead we were handed a gift. Gratitude. One day at a time. 

Last week I also had my annual appraisal at work. I work as a pediatric speech-language pathologist in the outpatient rehab of a hospital. The review was amazing with positive feedback from my supervisor and I was given new opportunities for growth and development moving forward in my career there. Thankful. One day at a time. 

It was a good week for us. We celebrated a life once leveled by addiction; now being rebuilt in sobriety and recovery. Today my husband is 148 days sober. 

Meanwhile the world is going to hell in a handbag. One day at a time. 

I am working on balance. I am trying to allow myself to be joyful. It is difficult and I often feel tired. I am trying not to let the troubling news of raids, detention centers, deportation, vouchers, pipelines, humans rights abuses, school choice, walls, methane emissions, nationalism, police brutality, (getting rid of) free lunch for poor children, private prisons, checkpoints, bathrooms, racial profiling, militarized police, and (lack of) protection of children rip me apart. The voice in my head gestures: balance.  I am trying to focus on work, excercise regularly, and get enough sleep. The voice in my head whispers: balance. I am refusing to become apathetic and complacent. The voice in my head speaks: balance. I am remaining grateful for recovery. The voice in my head screams: balance. I am resisting. I am teetering, emotionally, I admit. But I’m balancing. I’m living one day at a time. So is my husband. 

Moon at sunset from my window

I wrote this poem in response to the evacuation of the water protectors at Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock. Heartbreak. One day at a time. 

Colonial Fist

It holds

In its tight colonial fist, 

thirsty hearts of children, women, and men. 

Flames erupt into black sky 

Sky descends to tipis, 

in a forgiving embrace, 

etching jagged skyline. 


smoke rises in a warrior dance to 

beating drums that pound

in flesh chest. 

Blood flow ceases, 

in tight fists

White lifeless knuckles, 

squeezing sacred life.

Dry eyes and stone heart

wrings limp wet rag, 

hung upon frozen branch 

Left to the wild hands of the wind

Swaying from a tree

Water dripping from clenched fisted fingers 

Pours dry ashes 

Fills empty creeks 

The liar preaches to militarized congregation 
In line formation,

rifles and tear gas perched upon bibles

The liar preaches violence 

His ash cross marks foreheads, 

hypocrisy’s thin cold stare gazes upon sameness 

His back bent in false prayer  

Kneels upon indigenous backs  

From challis, 

smiling lips arched

to drink thick black wine 

Dripping from cruel cracked lips 

Staining parched earth 

Robe pockets swollen and 

paper packed. 

It holds 

In its tight colonial fist, 


This is a blog about addiction (life, love, relationships, self) so just a thought: Energy Transfer Partners (company building  the Dakota Access pipeline) CEO Kelcy Warren has an estimated worth of 4.2 billion. The DAPL will put a lot more more money into his pockets. When when when is it enough? I feel like screaming! This level of greed another manifestation of addiction, an unrelenting desire and unquenchable thirst for money and power. Addicts (and their loved ones) know, addiction destroys everything in its path leaving terror and devastation in its wake. This addiction’s wreckage a moral debasement and corruption of self along with the violent subjugation of others.

In my balancing act I behold this act of depravity. I remember the past. I study history.  I carry this history with me as I bear witness to the present. One day at a time. 

Resist. One day at a time. Endure. One day at a time. Balance. One day at a time. Fight. One day at a time. Study. One day at a time. Love. One day at a time. The soul wants what it wants I guess. Freedom, safety, equity, compassion, respect, health, dignity. RECOVERY. One day at a time. 

Look what I’m doing: 

You can too!! 

#Indigenous Lives Matter. #Black Lives Matter.  #Brown Lives Matter. #FightAddiction 

Peace out there. 


25 thoughts on “One Day at a Time: Surviving The Colonial Fist 

  1. Congrats on your personal victories!
    As for the rest of the world…well, talk about trying to practice acceptance. Of course acceptance doesn’t mean sitting on our hands. I have found my serenity thrown off with what is happening south of the border and abroad and all I can do is just share love, acceptance and treat others as respectfully as I can. Sounds cheesy, but it does let me feel good about adding something positive to the world rather than add to the woes.

    Balance indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Paul. Yes it is a tough time, I agree sharing compassion and respect is tremendous and very important. Spread the love! Acceptance, well I’m struggling with that but learning to let go when needed to maintain emotional well being and health. We are no good if we are wrecks, right?
      Keep on balancing my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. Progress in action! i love it!

    You’ve inspired me. I’m committing to do what I can for our current addict-as-criminal mass incarcerated populace.

    You outline action and describe how your life has grander application so beautifully. Thank you for the gift of your writing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hell yeah Mark! Please share your actions, mass incarceration and criminalization of addiction and poverty is devastating, would love to help in any way I can. Thank you for your kind words, it means so much coming from a talented writer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I too have to balance myself.
    I am inspired by your actions as well as your words.
    I volunteer for a foundation dealing with opioid addiction, and although not helping in big ways, I hope I am helping in a little way.
    So love your words. You are such a powerful writer!
    PS- Here is newest post by Mr. UT

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow thank you so much. I was reading something somewhere (haha! Something, somewhere, story of my life) that balance is not static but a constant motion with changing forces. Your volunteer work is impressive! What foundation is it? Opioid addiction is devastating. Thank you for the work you do, from the heart of an opioid addict’s wife. It is not little. ❤❤
      I will check out the post this weekend. Unfortunately when I visit your site I can’t seem to login to post as WordPress user. But I will be reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your post and poem are so wise and eloquent, Marahu. Balance. Your words remind me of the “editing meditation” I have posted next to my computer to remind me why I write. “Let the words that flow though me be compassionate, constructive, healing and true.” Your post certainly meets those criteria. Thank you so much for sharing hopeful news and truth, and congratulations on your important accomplishments.

    Liked by 1 person

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