Dare, Essence, Practical

“I don’t even know where this leaves me…”

Marty squinted against the high desert sun that couldn’t be muted with the darkest eyewear.  “I’d say the practical answer is, deal the hand that’s been dealt you.”  She raised her shoulders.  It wasn’t much but she knew there was no answer that would satisfy Luce’s need.

“You did not just say that.  What do you call what I’ve been doing  – what?  My whole life?  I’ve been showing up.  Meeting the moment, as you put it.  God, M.  There’s got to be more.”

“More…”  This was the refrain, the background hum to her sister, Luce’s life.  It didn’t define her, exactly.  It wasn’t her true essence, rather a cloud of suffering that followed her no matter what her life circumstances.  “Honey, open your eyes to what you have…”

Luce bowed her head.  “I know.”  She brushed wispy, honey colored hair off her forehead.  “Don’t think I don’t know.”  And then the groan.  “I love my son, my husband.  I love this place, I appreciate the gifts of grace, the moments of joy.  And still.”  She shifted on her rock, the blue New Mexican sky caressing her profile.

“You still don’t get it,” Marty said.  “No, you’re not a doctor, a lawyer, a candlestick maker.  That oneness you’re looking for, that sense of purpose…. It can’t be found by what you do.”  She paced across Luce’s backyard, small but Zen-tranquil.  Her sister couldn’t even see the connection – Luce designed this space.  She was a flame that didn’t see her own light.  Could not sense her inherent worth…and nothing Marty said would ever give it to her.  “I’ve got a dare for you.”

Luce blanched but rose to the challenge.  “What?”

“I dare you to stop running.  To stay with whatever comes up, good, bad, numbing, terrifying, boring.  For ten minutes a day, stay with it and see what lies underneath.  Meet the shit that you avoid – see just how empty this yawning emptiness really is.”

“Ten minutes?  That’s the dare?  I don’t see how that could even make a difference…”

Marty leveled an aquamarine stare at her sister.  “I thought you said you’d do anything?”

It took a minute.  A full minute, but Luce nodded once.  “Okay.  I’ll try it.”  She rose from her rock and paused at the sliding glass door.  “For a week.”

“Two weeks.”

“Ok.”  Luce gave a small smile.  “Talk to me in two weeks.”

Big thanks to Three Word Wednesday for this writing prompt

Quagmire

She felt her thighs quiver

Pushing against her middle an “Oh hoo hoo” escaped before she could stop it.

The Pillsbury Doughboy always had the last word.

And though she’d love to spend every last cent on fashion

She paused.

The quagmire was this:

Glossy images or better health?  Shoes or self-realization?

Biting her nails, feeling her heart skitter like Chie Mihara heels against a hardwood floor,

She made her decision and closed the laptop.

Was it thunder she heard in the background or perhaps, just maybe,

Her integrity?

(Thanks to OSI for the writing prompt, quagmire.)
(photo by SashaW)

Abundance

 

She looked at me with chocolate brown eyes and named me but I didn’t understand.  I couldn’t take it in… Bowing, I left and hugged the little scrap of paper to my heart.  Kamalam. 

This week’s OSI prompt, abundance, takes on personal meaning.  I can only describe abundance as a felt experience of love and wonder from my teacher, Amma.

(Thanks to Bahman Farzad for this photo.)

Friday Night

 

Hugin´s friends

Can I bear the pain of pain?

Can I simply
stay
allow
bend
burn
heal

Numbness – yet another dancing partner
Stepping on my toes, whispering sweet nothings

Empty things
Things on black wings
Smelling of
Cold sweat
And turpentine

Devi, your alter ego is devouring me

The feast is lasting long into the night

The Dark Mother has me in her grip

I am seduced

(photo by Alice Popkorn)

The “Talk”

“Pinch your cheeks, try not to smile too wide, and for God’s sake, don’t frown!”

“I don’t frown… do I?”

“And remember to arrive fashionably late, don’t just walk, sashay across the floor as if you own the place.”

“Um….”

“Now, this is important–try to look blasé. Nothing shouts, ‘Woman over 40 desperate to meet a man’ than a blatant scan of the room.”

“Ok….”

“Now… let’s see… breath mints?”

“Yes siree. Altoids… they’ll put out a forest fire.”

“Extra pair of underpants?”

Gulp….

“Well, then, go get them! And not the grandma ones!”

“I’m sure that won’t be necessary… ”

“Toothpaste and travel brush?”

“Yes!”

“Remember, this isn’t just another holiday, woman! It’s December, the single most depressing month of year for single men and women. This is YOUR month. YOUR time to shine. Let’s bring your sexy back, ok?”

“But what about, you know, the ‘reason for the season’ and all that? Jesus? Love? Sugar cookies sprinkled with hope?”

Blank look. “Right, right. That too. Now go out there and have some fun. Oh, and take this along…”

“A miniature bottle of brandy?!”

“What,  you expect to drink plain eggnog? Hell, woman, live dangerously.”

“You know, Grandpa, this is a church Christmas party I’m going to, right?”

“Semper Paratus, my dear girl, Semper Paratus.” He winked. “Always be prepared.”
….

(This was fun to write and was another minimalist experimentation with dialogue. I love playing with brevity! Thanks to Sunday Scribbling for the prompt of “December”)

Guidance

NorthABQ

The Waystation sat open for business
Someone had spray painted “PEACE” above a door of peeling paint
Dusty railroad tracks crossed in front, no longer going anywhere
I had reached this place as a last resort

It wasn’t my original destination nor was it familiar
Gold and billowy white were more my speed
I thought I was bound for better things
With gentle, sublime music filling the empty space

Somewhere around Prescott I lost my way
I found myself following the coyote calls in the valley
The sigh of the wind among the pondersoa pine
And wound up in Chloride, AZ – sans my bags, my map, and even my shoes

But the view is grand
The sun warms my face
And the tracks remind me that all paths lead
Home


(thanks to Sunday Scribblings for the writing prompt, Guidance.  It took me in a beautiful non-direction)
(photo by BrandonStephenson)

What a Difference a Day Makes

 

He-Man

Yesterday I won the Lotto.

No, I didn’t.  But I could have…

My child died in a freak accident.  He lays there unmoving and still.

No, my child is fine.  He’s running around with the stick that adjusts our blinds and in his best He-Man voice, he is screaming, “I have the POWER!”

I lost my job.  Then I found a job.

I felt bliss and in touch with the very fabric of Oneness.  Then I felt my stomach clenching in intense loneliness and despair.

It doesn’t take a day for me to imagine the worst and best.  It doesn’t even take a second to contemplate life alone on a cold street corner… or surrounded by family.  A day has power.  But my thoughts can sucker punch me like nobody’s business.

This next week, Thanksgiving week, will be a time for spiritual contemplation.  I have the whole week off from work due to some vacation days and the holiday.  Because my son is in preschool, two of those days will be mine (all mine!) to find out what I have been avoiding in myself and how to come to a deeper level of inner peace.

Can you feel the quickening?  The cosmic urge toward self-reflection?

(Thanks to Sunday Scribblings for this writing prompt.)
(Photo by Christian Hernández)

Bright Idea

“Very cool.”

“It is, isn’t it?

“Yeah.”

“So you did it…”

“Well, yeah.  Sort of pissed-off about my hand.  Still have most of my fingers, though.”

“Yeah.”

“You know, time travel… It wasn’t what I thought it’d be.”

“For a minute there, I thought you’d be pulled apart.  You’re not doing it again, right?”

“If I do, it’s with more protection.  Shit.”

“Keep your hands inside next time.”

“Yeah.”

“Did you… ever find her?”

“Found her – she looks the same.  More beautiful because she’s 25 years younger.  I could have stayed – I was really tempted.”

“Why did you come back?”

“I had this idea… I need to test it out.  If it works, it could save her before the disease even rears it’s ugly little head.”

“That’s some frelling idea.”

“Yeah.  But I have to try.”

“Sounds like a plan”

“As long as I live through it.”

“Then live.”

(Thanks to Sunday Scribblings for this prompt…)

Friction

I wanted to light the world ablaze with writing 50K works this month. I did, I really did. Unfortunately, my storyline was flawed and my heart fell a bit into my solar plexus. Still, I couldn’t let this month go by without making any progress at all. After some serious mental friction, I wanted to put the whole thing into an old tin can and kick it to the side of the curb. Then last night, I had a dream… Something I’d often imagined became a ‘felt experience.’ This afternoon I got to work.

I came up with a 45 (ish) word nugget for my storyline as per the great advice of James V. Smith, Jr., author of, “You Can Write a Novel.” Believe me, I’ve read many books on this subject – tried various writing software – and this trumps them all in terms of the actual nuts and bolts of putting a novel together. I highly recommend it for a minimal amount of explanation and for cutting right to the chase.

And as for my synopsis? Unless you’re a diehard fiction writer, I doubt it would be very interesting to you at this stage.  (For those folks, please email me).  On this rainy November night, I celebrate the creative spark that links all creative souls.

(Thank you to Sunday Scribblings for the writing prompt!)

Prompt: Curious

I’ve been drumming my nails about something for a long time now… I have a ton of writing books that back me up on this. The question is:  Can I write a book?

I’ve been very curious about NaNoWriMo for a quite a while. Until now, I’ve always missed the deadline. Well, I can’t use that excuse anymore! For those who don’t know:

NaNo in a Nutshell

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.

Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Where: You write wherever you’d like. On your computer, on your iPad, on a typewriter—anywhere is fine, just as long as you’re writing!

 
Has anyone tried this? I have some wild ideas racing around regarding plot – Granted I have no idea how to pull it off. Maybe that’s not the point. Maybe the point is to go balls to the wall and just put it out there.

It’s a little exciting. It’s a little scary. Damn. This sounds fun. 🙂

(Thanks to Sunday Scribblings for this writing prompt!)