Dia De Los Muertos

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She reaches out to me from beyond the stars,

her energy refracts in the light.

A prism of colors dances in the air

and her presence warms the still night.

I enter the evening, void of emotion,

a hollow shell of what I had been.

But the bond that was created when she gave birth to me

seems to linger like it does in a dream.

A single flower I carry in my hand,

asking her spirit to Forget-Me-Not.

Feeling her embrace as the wind churns the leaves,

I feel transported from my steadfast spot.

She is happy now in her place of rest,

free to exist as she wants.

No longer burdened by the shackles of illness,

it is only peace and happiness she flaunts.

 My soul is warmed by her visit,

the binds on my heart are released.

She leaves me now but I know she will return,

her promise gives me a great sense of peace.

~~

gg-wkbadge-e1411321572196

Written for the Grammar Ghoul Challenge #4:

to use the Word prompt:

Void (adjective):
Completely empty.

And to tie it in with this animated short video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCQnUuq-TEE&feature=player_embedded

As I watched the video, I knew this poem would be about my mom.

I wish D.I.Y. meant ‘did it yesterday’

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Today was my first day off in what feels like a month and, instead of spending it resting as one is wont to do, I spent it doing all of the things I have had on the back burner for months.

With the resurgence of winter just around the corner and the increase in the noise level of vermin trying to nest for said winter, it was time to go on the offensive.  Thankfully I am a woman who is not afraid to get her hands dirty.  I cannot fathom paying someone to do a job I am fully capable of doing myself so today was spent filling holes in my foundation, repairing the holes and cracks in my drywall and raking my lawn.  And, as accomplished as I feel at the end of my day, I wish I had done this sooner.

Drywall-installation-and-repair

(image credit)

Having done all of these tasks when I should have done them would have meant I could have soaked in the rays of the ever elusive sun.   I don’t often procrastinate, but these menial jobs have been put off too many times to count.  Life seems to have gotten in the way and all of my D.I.Y. projects have been collecting dust in the corner of my good intentions.

But now they are done.  Those little tasks can now be labelled as “did it yesterday” and I can move on to tomorrow with a clear conscience.   Any moral judgement I have of myself can now be reserved for the next batch of tasks I put off until “tomorrow”.

 

 

 

 

Four score and a lesson in compassion

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Was I guilty of ageism?  Perhaps.  But when the senior’s euchre tournament bus tour arrived at the lodge on Sunday, I was genuinely dreading the three days that would follow.  I made an egregious error in judgement.

Admittedly, the tour did not begin well for the 42 participants but the fault was not ours.  A slight hiccup in their agenda had caused them to arrive an hour and a half early and we were thoroughly unprepared for the sudden onset of walkers, luggage and upset elders.  We did our best to scramble and be as accommodating as possible.   I made a witty speech welcoming them on behalf of the owners and staff and my words were met with sullen stares and moderate contempt.  It was a bumpy start.

old couple-743330

(image credit)

Once we regained control our momentum increased and we began getting everyone settled into their rooms.  Betty and Rose reached their three stairs and Betty took the lead.  Once she was at the top, Rose began to follow.  Betty reached for the door frame and found nothing but a handful of air.  As I turned to look behind me, Betty, doing her best impression of a tree being felled in the forest, fell straight backwards and took Rose out, using her as a cushion for the fall.  The two ladies I had escorted to their room had just fallen and couldn’t get up.   Thankfully we got them into an upright and relatively stable position and, after many unqualified examinations, we deemed they were medically stable.

The group’s first dinner was an interesting event.  Still unsure of their surroundings, many uttered complaints that hung in the air like cartoon balloons.  There were threats of husbands being called to retrieve them the following morning and the night was punctuated by another woman being hit in the head by a heartily kicked-open kitchen door.  In the span of six hours, we had potentially concussed three women.

But then something changed.  Over the course of the following 60 hours, attitude and understanding rapidly evolved on both sides.  We understood the nature of their initial frustration and they understood the nature of our good will and hospitality.  By the end of their three night stay, I was calling them all by their first name and I was truly sad to see them climb the stairs to get back on the bus.  There were many hugs and talk of seeing them again next year.  I will admit that I was close to tears saying goodbye to these lovely souls.

Perhaps it was the sideways glances I got from Rose that reminded me so much of my mom.  Maybe it was that bond of parenthood I have been missing since my mom and dad passed.  Whatever the reason, I will be ready and willing to welcome that next bus tour with open arms and use this enlightening experience as a lesson for the future.

When passion supersedes thinking

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Sometimes I think too much.  I beat an idea to death because I am too stubborn to let the words flow they way they want to flow from my brain.  When that happens, the passion I have for those words seems to die a slow death and is replaced by the perfunctory task of trying to string a simple sentence together.

A few nights ago I watched the movie “Chef” with Jon Favreau.  Although his career path in the movie is obviously not a writer, his struggle to hold onto his passion becomes interrupted and his job becomes a menial task.  He lets too many outside influences tarnish the joy he gets from, not just cooking food but, creating food.

I took a lot of wisdom from that movie, so much so that I watched it a second time.  The underlying theme really struck the right chord in the orchestra of my creativity.  I watched his character peel back the unwanted opinions that had been constricting his imagination and he went right back to the basics, to the thing he fell in love with, and he rekindled his passion for food.

creative writing

(image credit)

I’m going to wipe my writing counter clean and start from scratch.  I’m going to build the ingredients of my stories and get back to that place where my love for words began.  I’m going to let that passion speak for itself and not pound it into submission.  I am simply going to write.

 

 

 

 

Just one nice, looonnnngggg sniff

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I had just about given up on harnessing anything creative today when my dog sat on the floor next to me and rested her face on the window sill.  Almost motionless, she stared intently as a chipmunk ran back and forth across the lawn, each time carrying another acorn to its hiding spot.  Callaway didn’t utter even the slightest whine as she watched the little furry creature passing by about 50 times.

chippy

Every so often the chippie would pause for a rest, choosing to stop about 10 feet from my living room window.  This intrigued Callaway even more.  Pushing her nose up to the screen, she took deep breaths with the hope of getting just a tiny hint of Eau de Chippie.

I knew the writer in me had begun to take over for the pet owner when I realized her behavior reminded me of Hannibal Lecter displaying his highly acute sense of smell to Agent Starling from behind his glass partition.  There’s hope yet for finishing my novel….I just need to pay more attention to my dog!

 

 

Innocence (fiction)

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The curtains had already parted and the blackened room was silent.  There was no Maestro leading an orchestra to fill the deafening reticence.  He was pushed forward onto the stage and he sat in the still, invisible air, straining to hear any signs of movement or shallow, clandestine breathing.  The scraping sound of the rusting pulley system startled him as the curtains were drawn closed behind him.

 Although he was not bound to his chair, he was unable to move.  The bright stage lights abruptly came to life and blinded him, etching his likeness into the velvet material behind him.  He could not see the crowd that sat only yards away from him but he could feel them.  He could feel their hatred and the anger in the myriad pairs of eyes burning into every fiber of his being.  

The energy in the theater rose to a climax and the chanting of the crowd became almost ritualistic.  The three-dimensional quality of his body seemed to dissolve under the pressure of their angst.  His tortured screams filled the hallowed space.  They came to reap what he had taken from them.  They wanted their souls back.  One by one he felt the energies being ripped from his body and his cries slowly muted into whispers.  His physical body became lifeless and transparent and his screaming could no longer be heard.

His own soul had been the last to leave his body.  His mouth is forever open, frozen in a scream of repentance and regret.

7, January 1655

~~

“Do you believe any of that, Marcus?”   Danielle continued to read the information in the tour brochure.

The tickets to the historical theater are sold for $10.00 each.  Those who really want to impress their friends say they can still see his shadow on the curtain but those who come looking for their lost soul can still hear him screaming, fighting to get back the essence of the souls he had taken.

Marcus shrugged and didn’t know what else to say.  “Maybe Pope Innocent X wasn’t so innocent after all.”  He subconsciously rubbed his fingers on his ears to silence the sound of the more than century-old screams.

~~

gg-wkbadge-e1411321572196

Written for the 2nd challenge at Grammar Ghoul Press.  I love that this new challenge is greasing my writing wheels!  The challenge was to write a story based on the above picture and the following word prompt:

Reap (verb):
Receive (something, especially something beneficial) as a consequence of one’s own or another’s actions.