Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Little War

So there's a fun writing prompt found here. Check it-check it-out. If any of you do a response to it let me know because I would love to read your stories too.  And this is my 15-minute practice:

Leaning my shoulder against the cold tile wall, I watch James trundle down the steps after a long night of work. His bag drips something dark. The work and the night both hang heavy on his shoulders; nearly as heavy as the succubus riding there as well. He is much more wrinkled than the last time I watched him. The early morning light plays muted off his face like yesterday’s discarded newspaper, crumpled and worn.

He'll probably be grateful for the kind of relief I can give him. Must give him.
That’s what I tell myself, anyway, as I quietly slide out of the shadows. There’s no place for guilt in this little war, and this specific move needs to happen before morning rush hour hits. Neither of us wants that kind of an audience. I adjust my own bag, my own succubus, as James looks up and pauses.

“Hello old friend.”

He hunches defensively and snarls, “We were never friends.”

“Well,” I shrug, unlatching my bag slowly. “At least I got the old part right.” 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Word Hocus Pocus

Truth is, words are powerful things. Names are powerful things. Words are names for things, and people, and ideas – incantations giving life and meaning to what we experience and hope for. A bridge, from my head to yours.

There is magic in a bridge.

See what I mean? I say ‘bridge’ and all these images come to mind.

I name a specific bridge, and even more magic. Explosions to chains of magic. 

  • Rainbow Bridge (immediate associations that come to mind: leprechauns; Rainbow Bright; Logan, Utah)
  • London Bridge (England; Sleepy Joe; ancestry; decapitated heads; Arizona?)
  • Bifrost Bridge (Chris Hemsworth; billy goats gruff; Marvel marathon with kids)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (counting warts on my hands during reading time in elementary; scruffy dogs; childhood friend and Dumbo)
original link
There was a story in all this, but it got lost in the translation. And yet. Something about gratitude to a stranger who gave me life when he gave me his name, and nothing more. Gratitude to a friend who brought gifts to both my boys, when only one of them broke his leg. Gratitude to another on the other side of a phone call who let me live her reality vicariously, even if just for a moment. And it was all good.

These word-things, they're truly something, aren't they? To be able to paint a feeling in my heart onto the canvas of this screen, however abstract it may seem. Impossible, really, but therein lies the magic.

You, over there, on the other side of this digital bridge. Tell me something about bridges, or strangers, or broken things. Fixed things. Wordswordswords. Ready, go:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Living Your Peace

Because today I don't have much to say, there's this:

What piece of peace is moving you right now? Do share in the comments -- I'd love to live your peace too.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pain Patch

What is convenience if not a patch for pain? A disconnect from the harshness inherent in reality?

In front of me is a clock, conveniently powered by a battery.

Let’s break those conveniences down:

  • The sun set hours ago so the clock keeps me from having to keep track of the movement of the stars in order to understand how much time I have until tomorrow when this whole circus starts again.
  • The useful little battery keeps the clock running so I don’t have to worry about winding it.
  • But let’s break the battery down while we’re at it, and where did the parts come from? Who was involved in the production? In the packaging, and the literal movement from factory to store to my home?

So much going on there, right? And it’s just a clock.

While there’s nothing painful specifically in the placement of the clock on my wall, and in the reality of it ticking, ticking forward (or backward, in this case, since it’s a backward clock), there is so much potential for pain in the reality surrounding it.

Convenience is me letting go of that train of thought and moving on rather than getting into the nitty-gritty, dirty details. You’re welcome.

Because what is convenience if not movement? Change – action – propelling us forward from the past, from this present, into something else less hard.

I no longer have to churn butter to have butter. Car, store, purchase, and *vwalla* Butter.

Conversely, though, I no longer need to know how to churn butter. Take away *vwalla* purchase, store, car. Without all these conveniences I would have no butter?

This is oversimplification, I realize, but I was going to launch into a drug analogy and that really was too painful. So I’m giving you dairy products instead. Again, you’re welcome.

Conveniences are tricky because they lead us to believe we just get to have the reward without much effort. But someone, somewhere, is putting their shoulder to the proverbial wheel. 

Because there is, after all, Newton’s Third Law

So let me hear the force of your voices -- what are your thoughts on all this, convenient or otherwise?

Thanks to Julie at Frazzled and Frumpy for today's prompt.You are always getting my brain gears going.

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