Bob and Weave

surrealtime1

Bob and Weave…current companions. Unlike the boxing reference, they lend themselves to a sort of waiting and watching phase.

I am adrift on a banal sea.  It’s unsettling so I work at letting it be, which is ironic because letting it be shouldn’t require any work.

Reached a creative impasse perhaps; took a dip into the bigger pool and I don’t want to return to the small one, where my legs hang over the side and I am unable to immerse myself completely. Taking some time to let the information soak in perhaps. After all this time cranking out little pieces, but dreaming of the next level, I took a successful plunge, and with just a  little more effort. Maybe I’m absorbing, conceiving, ingesting.

Ready to shuck off the last traces of a dead horse; tired of its hanging on, pleading conversations in my head. The back and forth Jekyll and Hyde. Something decisive done there. All that is required now is acceptance of the real truth that some things, some people, some situations will evoke negativity, no matter how I slather it in sweet frosting.

Second chances. I give myself second, third, fourth….many chances. In life, it’s how we learn and grow, right? I met a person yesterday who, I just discovered, must be going through a huge second chance. I wouldn’t have known about this person’s history if their handwriting had been legible but there the story was, on the internet for all to see. Initially, I wanted to find another company, but as the information applied itself, I realized this person deserves my chance, my opportunity. As long as they don’t mess with me because this girl can throw a punch.

So, although it may appear that I’m bobbing and weaving in a humdrum sea, I guess there’s much more going on behind the scenes. Which is fine; I’ll let the outside take a break, eat a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, and wait until the little beavers are done catching up.

 

Storybook Corner – Going Forward

img_20140222_145628

 

(Time to expand the old horizons with a 300-500 word challenge. Storybook Corner if you are interested in participating.)

Going Forward

Word count:  500

 It’s bloody freezing.  Margaret reached out a thin, leather-gloved finger to activate the handicapped access. She pressed hard before replacing her hand underneath the blanket draped across her lap. She shivered and wished her husband would hurry up parking the van; Margaret dreaded going into this doctor’s office more than any other, and she’d rather not face it alone.

The door didn’t open.

Irritation drove her hand forward again with more effort. Nothing. Margaret craned around from her spot in the chair to see if Gerald was nearby but he wasn’t. Panic crawled from her stomach to envelope her heart; she didn’t know what to do. She felt stupid calling for help and a glance at the windows revealed how exposed she was to strangers’ stares. Worse, even without seeing them clearly, she knew the pity-ripples that would cross their faces. Margaret had seen the look from many people since her accident, and it always made her feel like a child, as if she were incapable of doing anything without assistance.

“Help.” She said with an impatient eyeroll, and not nearly loud enough, she knew.

Where is he? She turned her head to look for Gerald but still, no sign. Margaret couldn’t understand; he’d left her at the entrance, and the disabled space was what, fifty feet across the parking lot? She released the brake and wheeled around, pushing tentatively toward the curb. From the edge she would be able to see the van, and Gerald, who was probably fussing over something inconsequential like the elastic netting in the back, or maybe righting one of his work folders that had come loose from its place in the stack on the back seat.

The van wasn’t there. Neither was Gerald.

Panic flipped to fear. Margaret couldn’t wheel the chair any further forward without falling over the curb, and where the sidewalk joined the tarmac seamlessly was too far down the side of the building. She couldn’t comprehend, and prompted by alarm bells inside; she felt the heat wave rising in her face followed by the crest of tears.

Taxed by the whirl of emotions, Margaret grimaced with the effort of moving the wheelchair back to the entrance. There, she repeatedly jabbed the button, choking out unintelligible words of confusion. She glanced from the door to the road until finally, after hurtling through imaginings so terrible, of a life of paralysis without any help, Margaret cried out.

The door opened.

Margaret propelled herself forward without question, creating a ragged scene inside, but her breathing calmed when she noticed the warm and inviting atmosphere. It was definitely not the doctor’s office.

Serenity settled in and she understood that Death, who had previously missed his opportunity, had returned for them. How it happened was unimportant; she knew with absolute clarity that this was her crossover point.  Margaret rose and took a step forward.

It’s true then, that the soul goes unencumbered by anything physical. She smiled and walked to meet Gerald at the light.

swab

Marga knocks it out into the wild blue yonder with this wonderful piece. Let it seep into the soft, grey parts of your brain that need light and waking. Let it crack open your heart and help you see that it’s ok. Life is your ocean; sail it strong.

Life as Improv


creating the sea

 alltelleringet

There is no higher spot than this:

manning the decks.

Forget your name

and paint yourself an ocean.

But don’t get carried away and forget to

guard the hatches below for intruding,

morose slouchers

still wearing chains and

bearing the old stink of comparison,

the need for belonging,

doubt,

and doom.

Or better yet, let them out.

A little sun will do them good when you

take your vessel out to see.

The bags of rice stowed for famine

and guns in the crows nest for war

are worlds you need not enter.

But do

study the content of your water,

talk to the sea birds upon rising,

scan the horizon for land –

release your feet from shoes,

admire the fray of your pirate pants,

snort heartily through your nose to clear your head of cobwebs,

meet your forgetting with bear hugs and get back to the

business…

View original post 12 more words

Friday Fictioneers – Proud Mary

Photo courtesy:  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo courtesy: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Proud Mary

Word count:  100

Ray waited for his mother as always on the lowest step. He was learning about the holocaust in school, and for the first time in a year he noticed that the patterns on the entrance gate resembled the Jewish star. He sighed, and poked at the hole in his shoe.

Mr. Robino whisked in through the outside door but stopped short. With a mixture of compassion and irritation, he offered his loaf of bread. The smell stirred hunger in Ray’s belly but his mother’s words came to mind:

“We may be poor now; Raymond, but we do not accept charity.”

 

The Last Day

th

When I was fifteen, a clever boy was killed. His name was Graham. He was smart, and funny, and creative. And would have grown into a fine, young man. On his way to school, so the story goes (because schools are rife with rumor), he crouched down to tie his shoelace at the side of the road and failed to look either way when he was done and ready to cross. He was hit by a car. Not far from his home. He survived on life support for a few days. Our year (grade) was quietly a-babble with speculation; teenagers wondering, simmering, huddled in groups sharing what little they had gleaned from this person or that person who knew him, or knew the family.

Then the day arrived when we were told, finally, concretely, that Graham had passed.

For most of us it was new territory. Certainly, some had felt the brush of loss and death with an elderly family member, or a pet and possibly, a few had had more intimate experiences. But, as a collective we had never lost one of our own. It was as if someone had detonated a silent bomb and we were left reeling, flailing in the aftershock.

I will never forget the day that our year, the whole year, all roughly 250 of us, walked to the village church from school. It was such a mark of respect, and love for Graham, to all go together. What a sight we must have been to anyone driving by on Church Hill; a maroon snake with white shirts, white socks and ties fluttering. Personally, and I have since discovered that this is common, I felt a mild hysteria, and couldn’t suppress several giggles during the route. But, once inside that little church, I cried.  I sat next to Nicola, Jo and Sandra and we all wept. I still remember when his coffin was carried down the aisle; it seemed unreal, unfathomable to us all.53457896543

The next day, a few of us sat on a back field with a very cool music teacher whose name I completely forget. He played his guitar and tried to help us be at peace with our feelings. He said, and I recall this clearly even if not his name: “A funeral is like a full stop to the whole thing.”

Today was my friend Ken’s Full Stop Day. There’s been some time since the day he died until now, and in that time, emotions evened out and waters calmed. Today, I have opened myself to mourning one more time, allowed the melancholia to sift around, not in judgment or battle, just letting it be what it needs to be.

Tomorrow is a new day. Profoundly, Ken’s death has shown me what is most important to me and as my life moves on, I tuck him away in my heart (which he never really left) and make a heartfelt vow to treasure more of the souls I love.

Friday Fictioneers – The Wrong Walk

Photo courtesy - Adam Ickes

Photo courtesy – Adam Ickes

The Wrong Walk

Word count:  99

It’s gone too far, she thought.

Melissa shielded her eyes from the sun, and squished Joe between thumb and forefinger as he stood at their altar in the distance.

“Melly honey, are you alright?”

She sniffed the warm air, sighed, and adjusted the dress, again.

“I dunno.”

The violin wafted around them, and danced away again. Joe must be wondering.

“Dad?”

“Yes?”

“Would you be disappointed if I called the whole thing off?”

“No… but you’d have some explaining to do.” He nodded toward Joe.

Revealing her love for another would be the toughest conversation of Melissa’s young life.

 

Growth in the negative

Criticism given is also a form of taking away. And a way to the truth.

Recently, I participated in a One Act Festival with the theatre group I belong to. I performed, and I also wrote and directed a piece. At the end of the festival, a few adjudicators summed up their thoughts about each play; gave their advice and opinion. The play that I wrote and directed received high praise, won a few awards and will move on to the State Festival with a few tweaks as suggested by the adjudicators. The play that I performed in, and specifically my role was highly criticized. Apparently I couldn’t be heard, and my diction was unintelligible. I may have an accent but I resent the notion that I speak as if my mouth were filled with marbles. They belabored this point with me and my castmates for a while. Ok, I thought, ok, but was there absolutely nothing else good to say about my character? Nothing? The play received mild feedback as a whole but since I played the main character, I received much of the criticism.

Since then, I’ve felt edgy. I was raised up with one hand and struck down with the other and I cannot shake the deflation, the frustration.

The truth is (and this became clearer to me on that last day) that I have come to dread being onstage. This feeling might have grown from a seed planted last Spring when I completely clammed up at the State festival. Or perhaps, I’ve simply come to prefer the almost anonymous, beaver-like workings of writing, of seeing the story in my head, instead of being the story for everyone to watch.

It appears that my spiritual discoveries are enabling me to outgrow certain things.  Like a snake releasing its skin, the talent for acting may very well be leaving me. What remains is a bright, exciting new talent that has been nurtured and is about ready to blossom.

For now, I am still smarting from the whipping (which if my theatre friends knew I was feeling, would say that it wasn’t that bad). I also pay heed to the intuitive voice that urges me to disconnect from social media, and this is quite freeing. I thrust myself into living, feeling, observing, and walk away from scrolling, posting, and updating. There is nothing I need to share with anyone and nobody has anything to say that is more interesting that my life, right this very moment.