My Plan Not My Purpose (part 2)

My plan, not my purpose had me embarrassed and angry at the position I had placed myself in.

Part 2

One chair sits across an empty room on a plain discolored wall next to the door. A little television sits propped on the chair serving as entertainment that in a short period of time proved to be a distraction out of poverty. For the next four hours, cartoons would be the choice of education for these men. Men that had single mothers, children and “baby mommas” that awaited the attention of a man with purpose, drive and ambition that was so needed to destroy the generational curses of sin and poverty that was exposed every time I stepped onto the pavement of the apartments that were gravely positioned down a stretch of road littered with trash on both sides.

My plan, not my purpose had me embarrassed and angry at the position I had placed myself in.

The smell of crack cocaine came in between the stints of empty Vodka bottles littered about me. As we sat on the crumbling brick wall that lined itself along one of the apartment buildings, I listened to the meaningless and uninformed conversation of the men and women who determined success by the amount of money spent partying over the weekend. As the liquor continued to flow, a deep-seated sadness began to fill me. The only way to survive was to partake of the spirits.

But I sat quietly with a slight buzz from the Vodka because I am considering that I am out of my purpose, and anger is rising because my plan, not my purpose put me in a poverty ridden apartment overgrown with weeds that disguised themselves as people.

My plan.

Not my purpose.

Was taken me to nowhere.

To be continued…

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

My Plan Not My Purpose

My Plan Not My Purpose


The apartment is gravely positioned down a stretch of road littered with trash on both sides. On any given night it would not be safe to walk alone. Weeds overgrown with a wilderness that mimics the very people that lived there. The apartment buildings exhibit an exhausted appearance of a woman once pretty but now worn and ugly from the men that have run through and in her.

The stairwell that leads to an upstairs apartment is dark, damp, and dingy.

My plan not my purpose led me up the stairs to one of the darkest seasons of my life. At no specific time, the smell of burnt plastic would fill the air. I soon learned this was the smell of crack cocaine.

My plan to be independent led me to sleep on an old mattress laid on the scuffed wooden floor of an apartment void of life. No furniture…

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Holes in My Shoes

In the shadow of the lonely nights we often wonder about the missing pieces of our lives. We take many steps in the shoes that we wear.  Some by choice. Some by force. We walk in these shoes carrying all the weight of the world. The weight so heavy that holes appear in those shoes.

I once tried to fill in those holes. I tried writing, talking, performing, loving, living but …

But life continued to happen. The weight continued to get heavier. The holes continued to get bigger until I decided to pick the pieces of my life that carried the least burden. I changed my shoes and lightened my load.

Now let’s see what life holds.


© 2016 All words & photo by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Living Purposeless

I remember when I thought your way was the best way. 

Dreams hidden deep inside.

Lost to the reason of my existence.

Instead metamorphosing into a stranger.

A stranger living inside me.

A stranger marrying a stranger.

A stranger raising strange kids.

Doing strange things thinking it was the way.


A stranger losing purpose of life in the illusion of the American dream.

White picket fence and college degree delusions of happiness but strange emptiness instead. 

Reason of existence muffled by the world of look-a-likes and act-a-likes. 

“I remember when I thought your way was the best way.”

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Mist of the Rubble

Standing up in the mist of the rubble has proven difficult for most. Many of us have taken up refuge in the middle of the rough edges and broken pieces of friendships, marriages, communities, dreams, and success. We have been trapped in what seems like the bottom of a building collapsed by the instability of this ground that we now rest on.

Even though at one point we stood high and strong looking to the clouds and a universe of iridescent stars that represented all the things we dreamed of as kids; we sit with flickering thoughts of how do we stand up in the mist of the rubble that has become our life. The weight is too heavy to tackle on your own. As you only make up one piece of this heap of brokenness that surrounds you.

Looking close enough you can see the many intricate patterns that compromise each stone of your life. Color, texture, speckles, elevation, shape, mass…these are the differences that once held us upright. These are the people, the issues, the circumstances that if rebuilt at just the right angle will allow us to stand strong once again on top of a “building” once demolished by ignorance and inflexibility.

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Living in the Wrong Paradise (part 3)

Today July 8th, I craved peace but peace did not come. My truth was filled with visions, feelings, and hopes that were as dark as the night on a back country road in the deepest woods of Georgia. This darkness that reminded me of the late night nightmares that haunted my spirit and soul could not be identified.

Was it the turmoil that spilled over into the streets of our nation?

Or was it the aches, pains, and weariness that is running through my bones?

My truth was spilling over the edge of time running into my crystal blue water. I sit still craving the one thing that this world does not understand.

Today, I am still living in the wrong paradise.

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Our Daughters

She is a beautiful vivid flower that requires blooming.

She stands out in the box of closed minds.

She withers in the presence of weeds that smother her roots and stunts her growth.

The soil that is to nurture her is filled with foreign unfamiliar objects that her young roots do not understand.

But she continues to struggle to survive in a world of strangely shaped weeds that impersonate flowers and introduces her to roads and travels, taking her to a place that dims her true potential.

She no longer has the covering that protected her as a seedling. As seedlings are very delicate and wrong conditions can ruin them.

She is stubborn to receive direction from the white haired elder that has been placed strategically beside her.

Sometimes she has trouble deciphering the elder with its peculiar appearance from the strangely shaped weeds. She finds this elder strange in voice and appearance. The elder does not look like the young flower so the elder’s words of wisdom go unheard.

The closed minded weeds are convincing and assertive. Their goal to drain the crimson color from her life so they can feel superior because now her glorious color has dimmed, and all living in the box look and act the same.

The white haired elder knows that time is running out so she does not give up reaching out to touch the very tip of this young flower fighting to be independent but different than the weeds that try to confine her.

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.