Taking back my life

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Time

Time had marched on,

aimlessly walking over me,

crushing me with its weight,

burying me under its pressure.

My body was leaden,

 unable to stop the parade of seconds,

watching helplessly as they turned into hours,

and slipped relentlessly into days and weeks.

 But I have begun to fight back,

to battle the oppressive tyranny of lost moments.

Time no longer guards me,

holding me captive,

only able to be governed by its rules.

I now hold the reins and make time do my bidding.

I am in control,

no longer bullied by its endless cycle,

released from its shackles.

A small speck on my window was a huge eye-opener

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Yesterday I had a bug on the outside of my driver’s side window.  I know that sounds like a strange statement but that bug, after 5 kilometers of stubbornly hanging on for the ride, began to represent something much more than a bug on my window.

I had all but written him off during the first kilometer but I became more amused as one km stretched into two, then three, and his sheer determination would not allow him to let go.  His tenacity began to rekindle my creativity.   His utter disregard for common sense made my brain kick into writer’s mode and that bug made me realize how important it is to hold on to the things you truly want.

bug on a window

Although I had a few giggles thinking of how that little insect reminded me of Kevin Kline hanging on to the plane at the end of A Fish Called Wanda, I was reminded of an important life lesson by a 6 legged black and red bug with a stinger and an attitude.  If it’s worth hanging on to, do everything in your power to make sure you don’t let it go.

I have since grasped my writing a little bit tighter.  I am fervently holding onto the window that is my blog and doing everything in my power to not let this journey slip away.

Chirpsicles and other things that don’t fly

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It was a pet store like no other – the only problem was, it was merely an apartment shared by three college women and a menagerie.

I was a regular visitor to the apartment since one of the occupants was my best friend.  During an innocent trip to the freezer to commandeer some ice, I noticed a collection of oddly wrapped items neatly piled in the right hand corner of the large chest freezer.  The remainder of items were recognizable and created no cause for alarm or inquiry.

On my way back to the couch I passed the large aquarium decorated with tropical fish and narrowly missed tripping over the bunny and a few cats.  My curiosity had gotten the best of me and the wine had taken away any shyness about asking the question.

“What is in the corner of your freezer?”

The question hovered in the air for a moment, dangling in front of six shifting eyes.  The three roommates spoke to each other without words, wondering if they should divulge the secret they all shared.

Shirley (her name has been changed to protect the guilty) was the first to speak up.   She began to tell the tale of how many birds they once had compared to the number of feathered friends they currently had.  The few that had not survived had been ‘put on ice’ until they could properly dispose of them.   The corner of her freezer contained four dead birds that they referred to as “Chirpsicles”.  As the story was being told, the cats slowly backed out of the room to avoid detection.

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(image credit: 8ball.co.uk)

My best friend was gauging my reaction to this revelation and chimed in with “you should see what she does with the dead fish”.  After a few more drinks, I was introduced to ‘fish flying’.  The deceased fish were ceremoniously placed on a spoon and, from a relatively steady stance on their eighth floor balcony,  flung into the open air in hopes of reaching the outdoor pool many stories below.

After the last fish had been flung, we settled into the chairs on the balcony.   Only moments later the doorbell rang.  I panicked slightly, thinking the superintendent had caught onto our outrageous activity.  What stood on the other side of the door should not have shocked me at all.   A petite woman lovingly held a small rabbit and asked if it belonged to any of the apartment occupants.  Wondering how the bunny escaped, ‘Shirley’ recognized the rabbit immediately and asked how far down the hallway the little critter had reached.  With moderate hesitation, the neighbor handed Shirley the bunny and explained that she lived on the seventh floor.  The bunny had fallen off the eighth floor and landed on the balcony below!

The sliding door to the balcony was quickly closed and the rest of the night was spent indoors with the surviving menagerie.  When I awoke in the morning, I left the apartment quietly so as to not wake the girls.  Leaning on the elevator wall, I recalled some of the events from the previous night, thinking perhaps I had dreamt the whole thing…….until I pushed open the door to the circular driveway and noticed the remains of the fish on the pavement.

 

 

 

In the clouds

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My head is here,

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lost in what looks like a painting.

Texture emulates emotion, freedom.

The horizon represents reality,

meeting effortlessly with creative indulgence.

There are no rules in the clouds.

My heart is here,

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 swelling with emotion,

nurtured by nature and blessed by light,

comforted by the embrace of the essence of life.

free to move in a path that is meant only for me.

It’s about writing (comma) period (end sentence period)

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In what could have been described as a clandestine meeting, a good friend stopped by tonight to merely exchange a handful of cash for two spots in my football pool.  We hadn’t seen each other in a while and we fell easily into a comfortable conversation about our writing.  He is currently writing a novel as well and we both have been challenged with individual hurdles and brick walls in the process.

During our conversation he reminded me of a very basic rule that I had long forgotten.  Writing is not about grammar.  It is not about punctuation, capitalization or italics.  Writing is very simply about storytelling.

Deep down, we both know that being able to creatively express our ideas is the basis for the passion we both have for writing.  Being able to use words to introduce characters, describe beautiful imagery or construct interesting dialogue deserves more of our focus than moving commas, changing adjectives or repositioning quotation marks.

RED PEN

There are companies specifically formed to pick out those common mistakes that writers make in the moments they become truly lost in the story.  That is their gift, their job.  A writer needs to remember that his or her gift, his or her job, is creativity – the gift of being able to weave a tale like no other because that story comes from a magical well to which nobody else has access.

The writing is about those ideas that swirl around in our heads at 4:00 am and relentlessly linger until we write them down or record them on the closest available device.  The writing is about those characters gnawing at our consciousness until we give them a voice, until we tell their story.

We both need to realize that our gift is that story deep within us.  And the sooner we stop spending time worrying about how to properly punctuate a sentence we wrote six months ago, the sooner we can free our brains to let that story loose and see where the journey will take us.

(image credit)

 

 

Walls of emotion

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It is a very rare occurrence when my emotions take me by surprise.  I am usually fairly in tune with them.  But, tonight, driving past my mother’s old house, the same house I drive by every day on my way to work and again on my way home, the emotion stored within those walls hit me like a ton of bricks.   Tonight I glanced at the house, as I do every time I follow that familiar road, and I burst into tears.

I don’t know where the tidal pool of emotion came from but suddenly I was flooded with images of moments that became important memories in my life.  Christmases, birthdays, family gatherings and quiet nights spent as a family were at the forefront of my brain.  Lingering snapshots of magical kisses witnessed by only the walls upstairs slowly transformed themselves into moving pictures to replay the scene.  That house, the building others would only see as walls and a roof, was my home.  It was the vessel that helped create and store some of the most precious moments of my life.

house

And although there were many happy times, there were also moments of great sorrow.  Those walls echoed as I told my parents, hysterically through sobs, that my best friend had passed away in 2003.  That roof sheltered both my parents as they battled their illness and those walls protected them for as long as they could.  That structure that is a seemingly unnoticeable building to passers-by will forever have a large part of my history carved into its frame.

That architecture will always be a part of me.   Each time I drive by and take the time to trace the outlines of those walls there will always be an affinity to its design and purpose.  It is said that we need to let things go to be happier but I feel the need to embrace those things to stay connected.

(image credit)