Stairway to Heaven – Trifextra challenge

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“They said if I got closer to God, I would feel her with me.  I don’t feel her.”

She leaned in closer, “You don’t have to climb this high, she’s always with you.”

~

Inspired by this week’s Trifextra challenge:

For this weekend’s prompt we’re asking for exactly 33 words inspired by the following picture.  Good luck!

A million tiny pieces make up the bigger picture

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It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see – Thoreau

(image courtesy of dreamstime.com)

The panorama of our lives is directly proportionate to the depth of beauty we allow ourselves to ingest.  Our lives are like a Kaleidoscope pattern and the aesthetics of that pattern, although they evolve constantly, still enchant us and give us new perspective in each shape that is created.  The colors become richer, deeper in hue, and the beauty is carried over from one frame to the next.

The true beauty that we see does not come from looking at the picture as a whole, but by dissecting the pieces and finding the unique qualities that combine in those fragments to create that spectral portrait.   The attraction to the harmonious blend of colors cannot be appreciated without recognizing the million tiny little shards of color that make up the sum of all its parts.

Take the time to really see the beauty in your life.  Give yourself the extra time to really absorb what you see and look a little closer at all of the smaller parts that help create that bigger picture.  It would be sad to think that some of the muted colors were overlooked because you didn’t take the time to let your eyes focus on those million tiny little things.

Needle and the damage done

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The Daily Prompt intrigued me today. Here is what they asked for: Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

I do love a challenge!!  (and after some technical difficulties and some lost data, we’re back!)

~

She squirmed before the needle even penetrated the roof of her mouth. The numbing sensation followed soon afterwards and so did the nitrous oxide making the lights of the dental office seem engaging and hypnotic. The doctors glove-rendered hands floated above her head like giant balloons in a parade. She was sure she should be more coherent during a routine check-up, but his words danced on her eardrums never fully penetrating her brain. Or at least that is what she thought. She awoke later with an acrid taste of metal in her mouth and was about to ask if she could rinse. The words wouldn’t come. Her instinct told her not to speak unless she was spoken to. It was that gut feeling that she would eventually comprehend and would ultimately save her life. He carelessly tossed the needle out the office window.

~

The dream was always the same. She was in her car and could see the police lined up ahead for a random spot check. She was usually more careful with her paraphernalia, but she was high and hadn’t really cared until the moment she saw the flashing lights – the beacon of her eventual doom. She reached for the scattered mess of bags and the cherished needle that was all too prevalent on the front seat. That was where she had first found it that afternoon after leaving her car windows open and that is where it lay now. Frantically she shoved the bags into any hiding spot she could find. As the cars moved forward beads of sweat trickled from her brow.  In her haste to hide the bags, she had taken her attention from the road and hit the car in front of her.  The needle was catapulted from the safety of the passenger seat and now lay in plain view on the floor.  The beam of the officer’s flashlight scanned the car and reflected off the metal that glinted in its light.  The dream became blurry after that.  She awoke feeling unrested and scanned her surroundings.  The iron bars on the door remained still and sturdy, holding her captive for what felt like an eternity.  Perhaps dreams, good or bad, really do come true.

~

This particular needle had plunged through tapestries for so long, it could probably work itself in and out of the canvas without the help of her gnarled and arthritic fingers.  She surveyed the room and the many framed works she had been creating for so long.  Each collection of carefully woven stitches served to paint a picture of a happy family.  Each of her four children’s birth dates and full given names lined the wall she looked at so lovingly and nine pillows adorned her furniture with the same information about her grandchildren.  She feverishly worked on number ten waiting for the phone call.  The shrill ring of the phone startled her, but the smile crept ceremoniously into the corners of her mouth as she reached for the phone.

“Mom, it’s twins.  A boy and a girl!”

She reached for a new canvas for the unexpected arrival and gently placed it beside the only canvas she had never finished – the one that belonged to the child she lost so long ago to a drug overdose.  Someday she would find the strength to forgive, but she had two new additions to focus on now.  The needle began to work its magic once more.

Things are not always what they seem – Trifecta post

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From the outside, it would appear like she had it all together.  She radiated confidence.  Her smile was engaging and warm, but inside she was empty, void of feelings.  She was consumed by thoughts of him.  His voice echoed in her ears, his smile was ingrained in her mind and his touch still burned on her skin.

The icy hand of fate had reached down and snatched him far too early.  She stumbled through her days lost in a fog of memories.  She smelled his cologne in the air and heard his laughter rise and fall on the wind.

He wasn’t meant to be there.  He did it for her and when the stray bullet hit him, death was instantaneous.  The guilt she felt consumed her.  She put the last pill on her tongue and washed it down with the bitterness of his whisky.  To everyone else it would appear that she had taken her own life.  But she knew the truth.  He took it with him when he left first.

~

This was written for the Trifectra Challenge.  I don’t know why this story turned out to be so morbid – I will blame exhaustion.  I was even able to use appear twice!

On to the weekly, one-word prompt.  This week’s word is:

APPEAR
1a : to be or come in sight
b : to show up <appears promptly at eight each day>
2: to come formally before an authoritative body <must appear in court today>
3: to have an outward aspect : seem <appears happy enough>

With the stroke of a brush

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Mother Nature saw the blank canvas before her and reached for her brush. She used bare branches to frame the side of her masterpiece and dotted the sky with white to give the sky some depth. But she was unsatisfied with her work.

She let the bristles of her brush absorb some color and added the green of freshly awakened leaves.

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Her emotion felt one-dimensional. The canvas felt naked and she changed the structure of her portrait to frame it in a better way. The brush strokes continued and she stepped back to look at her work in progress.

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With genuine emotion and grace, she brought romance to the sky. Her brush stokes became more whimsical and the portrait danced and shifted before her.

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She made the blue a deeper hue and scattered the sky with feathers of white.

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After watching the relationship blossom between clouds and sky she felt she had created a true romance.

Burning the candle at both ends

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It begins innocently. We take on more and more with each passing day and begin burning that candle at both ends, always with the thought in mind that never the twain shall meet. But they do meet, and someone always gets burned.

burn the candle

In today’s economy and struggling markets people take on more burdens to cement themselves to their jobs. Fiscal responsibility tends to equate to physical and emotional exhaustion but we do what we have to do to secure our stability. It has become a dog-eat-dog existence.

Although we may see that candle as everlasting and continuous, we lose a little piece of our sanity with each drip of wax that is dispelled. A layer of our resolve, like the dripping wax, is melted away from us and collectively pooled into a well of fatigue. The moments of freedom we so carelessly took for granted are a thing of the past and the work day increases in its longevity.  As the winds of our reality fan the flames, the candle burns faster at both ends leaving us with more of a sense of panic and less candle to burn. The days seem longer, the nights seem shorter and we strive to hold fastidiously to our workaday reality.

It is our individual responsibility to snuff that secondary flame – to only allow ourselves one wick with which to burn our energy. If we allow others to dictate how much of the candle we burn at one time we may as well cast ourselves into the inferno and spontaneously combust.

The purpose of a candle is to burn for long periods of time, from one end only, and cast a glow of light that is warm and comforting. Burning that candle from both ends decreases the amount of enjoyment that candle is meant to purvey and exponentially diminishes the enjoyment that is elicited from that one single flame.

Strike your match carefully.  Predestine how much of that candle you are willing to ignite and at which pace you choose it to soften and dissipate.  If you light it sparingly, it will last much longer and the enjoyment of that flame will last that much longer.