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)