Tahlia Friedmann

March 3rd, 1986

The surgery went quickly; it’s so routine anymore, and her inevitable nauseous onset in recovery was anticipated. The nurses mitigated her discomfort with antiemetics and caring after-care as she began to come out of the haze. 

Her quiet family waited anxiously in the lounge, hopeful for good news. Answering their prayers, the doctor said she’d come through the surgery fine. “You’ll be able to see her soon,” came the reassurance, while the room full of relatives released a collective sigh.

With bandages tightly strapped to her disappeared mounds, the pressure of remaining whole had taken its toll. Her strength had waned during this battle and had challenged her fortitude. It was to be expected. 

The family entered the room. “How are you feeling, dear?” Their worry plastered all over their faces, their love too. “Okay, considering I lost my husband and my boobs,” her attempting a joke. That was to be expected too.

A Refusal to Withdraw

Bad things alert us
Focus energy inward
Living fully free

The Stages

1) Awakening
     a) Sensing
     b) Exploration
     c) Discovery
2) Living
     a) External pressures
     b) Responsibilities
     c) Chasing Joy
3) Ending
     a) Family sorrow
     b) Graceful exit
     c) Peace

A Good Day

I hear the daffodil’s laughter as I walk by. My smile, a hello, and thanks for brightening my day. The gentle breeze steps with me, guiding me along. Its feathery wisps enveloping on my way. Deeply, I inhale the goodness of today, hoping it will last for an eternity. The sun above reassures me, and the birds sail by singing me a love song. I am enveloped by natural grace. It’s a good day.     

With Me No More

Body parts removed
My essence went off balance
But cancer didn’t win


Tahlia Friedmann has two marriages behind her, and is also a breast cancer survivor. She lives on a farm, and quite likes her life now. This is Tahlia’s first feature on The Short of It.


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The internal battles – agitation, pain, fear – plague us. 

It’s a thrashing within. 
Dwelling in our emotions. 
Acting out in our physical state. 
Challenging our mental well-being. 

Longing for a release or respite from discomfort. 

It can sometimes happen, someday. 
And if it does, it comes in the form of a favorable resolution. 
Finally, there can be some ease. 

Effort gets us to the other side of affliction. 

And it makes us who we are. 

Originally posted 7/21/2018 on I Write Her.

Reblogs – Breaking the Silence and Fire & Female

Self-repair is an arduous task, isn’t it?

how? by Breaking the Silence

I hope for a change as I age 
lost in my hopes I’ve given all control 
to randomness of life and people I don’t like 
I could claim it now 
it’s true that we have the power to change our lives 
but I feel so weak and I don’t know how…. 

The Heat of Chaos by Fire & Female

I am not okay. 
I am a total mess 
back on the floor of 
a home that has been 
drenched in lighter fluid 
and intentionally set on fire. 
The walls are hot with flame, 
the linoleum is melting under me, 
but I remain curled up on the floor. 
I want to cry out from the pain 
as my skin is singed with 
empty promises and 
violent threats and 
touch I did not authorize, 
but the heat of chaos dries my eyes 
and tells me I cannot cry here. 
I watch as my safe space disintegrates, 
crying out for someone to just 
come and fucking rescue me. 
I am not okay. 
I am suffocating under the weight of 
beams of complex trauma and 
posts of vicious assault and 
cement blocks of violation. 
My voice is too tiny to hear, 
or maybe no one fucking cares, 
so I curl up tighter in my place, 
allow the inferno to engulf me; 
a reminder no matter how hard 
I try to extinguish the fire, 
I will always go up in flames. 

Gone Down

Inspired by Sadje’s What do you see #147

i watched the sun
slowly fade away
and everything around me
began to take on a dark hue

i experienced a sinking feeling
my body caving in on itself
the depression dragging me down

i yelled into the void
but no one could hear me

i couldn’t save myself



Over and over, repeated re-injury of the senses. 
It’s what we had. 

Dressed in our despair, bonded by pain. 
It’s what we shared. 

We twisted and contorted, struggled further to gain control. 
It’s how we fought. 

Every prick of the conscience drained another abscess. 
It’s how we learned. 

Giving up was not an option. 
It’s how we lived. 

Originally posted 7/11/2018 on I Write Her

The Tarnish Of It All

everything in between and old
face challenges
because life is hard

wrestling with new circumstances
fighting off the elements
or facing our inadequacies
it’s all hard

the sweetness of a day
momentarily interrupts the savagery
nestle into those pockets of goodness
because life is nothing if not hard

accept the consequences of living
ride out those storms
and delight in the journey
but hold fast, there will be bruises

Reblogs – Ali Grimshaw & Sadje

The internal and external forces of nature can be relentless in what they will dole out to us. Be aware, understand, and live as best as you can.

And so… by Ali Grimshaw

golden smoke blocks the sun as I stand witness 
while winds shift to blow barging into planned days 
and so… 
I am listening. 
What better offering could I make 
while extending my reach to you? 
My throat burns with an ache to howl. 
As the people flee, where is safety now? 
So many blue sky days  
led us to false views. 
We are all running from something. 
walking away from something else. 
I’m sending my love on the wind, 
the force that both heats and cools. 
Both helpful and harmful, depending, 
contradictions of the mingled smokey fear. 
Tangles of the unknowable  
ringed history, as mystery  
held by the forest guardians 
now ash returning to soil. 
As flames fly from tree to tree, 
igniting compassionate hope or hatred 
I see through the window 
goodbye waves from living limbs of the still green. 
and I feel your heat from miles away. 

Weathering the storm of time by Sadje

ravaged inner space 
unable to account for 
entries and exits 
who came, who destroyed, who left? 
a soul transformed forever 


The sands of time are relentless 
The grains tumbling down without ceasing 
What changes, what stays the same, it doesn’t concern it 
Slowly the scenario changes, focus shifts 
Lives are built, fortunes rise and fall 
Time passes uncaring and unconcerned 
Insidiously, it changes us all within and without 

Imminent Danger

survival hits different
for every being on this earth
adults and children
kept and free animals
even our beloved planet
facing physical hardships
whether risking living
with little food
or minuscule comfort
or none at all
whether beat into submission
before they could find their voice
or any number of unbearable situations
through no other reason
than a perfect storm
coming together by chance
life’s variables colliding just because
those unlucky enough
to always be on the end of surviving
the punishments doled out
by indiscriminate and unfortunate circumstances
or by forceful, living monsters
created by an evil social consciousness
insinuating their vileness
into the vulnerable lives of the innocent

survival hits different
and sometimes
not at all

Beautiful Ugly


Originally published on I Write Her 5/24/18, presented here with revisions.

i’m simultaneously surrounded
by the good i enjoy
and all that i despise
life is a constant shifting of emotions
to achieve balance between distaste and harmony
looking for homeostasis
i hope i manage it
it gets difficult some days
at times, yin yang forces me
beyond my capabilities of juggling
then i struggle to keep both sides
from crashing into me