writing

A short fable about a pebble 

once upon a time there was a flat little pebble sitting by the seashore, all by himself. He was very envious of the seashells that got picked up by the beach goers. They oohed and ahhed over how pretty the seashells were and the people took them home. Their happiness over the shells’ beauty made him envious and sad, for he was but a flat rock.

One day, a bunch of people started picking up all the flat pebbles. The pebble was very happy because finally he made someone happy. Finally, someone wanted him. The people began throwing the flat pebbles into the sea, skipping them along the water and they all sank to the bottom of the sea.

The pebble then spent ten thousand years waiting for the tide to push him back onto the beach.

Moral of the story: shut up and enjoy the view.
(Hubby told me to tell him a bedtime story. This is what I came up with)

Edit – Thanks to Chris Lindsay for the suggestion on changing “jealousy” to “envious”. Check out his blog for a collection of beautiful essays and short stories.

https://christopherjohnlindsay.wordpress.com/

Advertisements

Acres

My memories are woven through the blades of grass; they are strung like garland through the trees; they are planted firmly in the ground with each tree trunk; in the depths of the earth where the flowers were taking root, preparing to bloom yet again, they, too, rise as the flower rises, meeting the heavens with upturned faces.

My memories are in the house that no longer stands. The lamps that hung from the ceiling, dimmed bulbs behind frosted glass. The carpet, thick between my toes. The chesterfield, long enough to stretch with my child’s body and arms outreached, trying to touch the other end. The stockings that hung by the woodstove, filled with fruit for me to relish. Christmas lights are faded, out of focus, as we played games while the adults talked. The snow fell outside, while the coyotes hunted rabbits, each of us oblivious to the other.

Where do these memories go when the mind is no longer alive. When the body has ceased to exist, what happens to the conscious. My memories of my childhood are dear sweet friends, the knick knacks of my heart. It seems a shame to not will them to someone. I feel like I should wrap them up and gift them to my children, and their children after them. To keep them, my memories, alive. And, me. And, by extension, the child I was. The hope that came with Her. All she could’ve been, as she played games, and read stories late into the morning, and ran around chasing fairies in the yard, long after the sun has gone down.

What happens to the memories that are tied so closely to the land? That even as the land changes, the memories remain the same and become stronger with each passing day. The memories and the land, so intertwined that they course through the veins. The blood that is, I swear, painted with the same colour as the earth of the island.

The earth is vibrant with the memories of my life. So vibrant that I can feel it humming deep inside me. She is beautiful.

642 Things To Write About #1

What Can Happen In A Second.

*

Five years ago, Lily’s life changed in ways she could never have imagined.
Her son, Jaden, was four years old when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and, two months later, he passed away in the arms of her and her husband, Jacob. They didn’t have time to process the diagnosis, never mind his death. Jaden’s absence became more and more heavy on their hearts and his room, untouched two years later, marked the grave they refused to purchase. It marked the death they couldn’t acknowledge yet sat in every room they existed in, dancing in their peripheral vision.

On the third anniversary of Jaden’s death both Lily and Jacob took the day off from work but didn’t tell each other they’d done so. They each spent the day in solitary meditation. Lily had gone to Jaden’s favourite beach and Jacob had walked through Jaden’s favourite playground. Jacob felt the eyes of each parent staring at him, silently telling him to keep his infectious death away from their children. His heart heavy with pain and sorrow, he got back into his car and drove to a pub close to his old apartment and drank in the corner of the bar, where it was dimly lit and no one, but the waitress, could see his tears.
Lily, back from the beach, her face stained with tears and her feet wet from the ocean, turned her cell phone back on. She had 27 missed calls on her phone, all from the Queen’s County Medical Hospital. Her husband had been in a car accident and could she please come quickly.

When Lily arrived at the hospital she was out of breath. She’d been yelling the whole way to the hospital, “Not this day, not this day, not this day…” It had become a mantra, to keep her remaining family intact, to try and cheat Death from taking more of her heart away. After Jaden died she was sure Death had taken the whole thing. That her chest was nothing but an empty cavity.

The doctor took her to her husband’s room and pushed papers into her throbbing chest, asking her to sign it for organ donation. The nurses were saying her name but all she could see was her husband, tubes coming from his mouth, blood all over his swollen face and chest.

Lily could hear nothing but a roaring noise in her ears. She was sure this was Death, coming for her husband. Though she couldn’t see Him, she felt Him in the room with her. It was a dance she knew too well. She heard the doctor’s voice speaking to her, explaining the accident, as he knew it to have been, but she comprehended little. All she knew was that her life had ended, this very same day, three years ago. How she had managed to carry on, how either of them had managed to carry on, she could never fathom.
Now, she could see very little. Her vision was blurry and all she could hear was her own heart beating in her ears, her own blood coursing through her veins, the beep of the machine that was keeping her husband alive and out of nowhere, her name, a question. “Lily?”
The priest, Father Patrick, who had sat with her and Jacob when Jaden lay dying, was here now. She blinked when she looked at him, the tears starting to flow freely now, and said, “Jacob…”
Father Patrick took her in his arms and, as they were going to take her husband away for his organs, her knees buckled and the reality of her grief, of her empty heart and sorrowful soul, knocked the wind from her chest. She couldn’t breathe.

Almost a year later, after speaking with Father Patrick before the anniversaries of the deaths of her husband and her child, she had made a final decision. She’d spoken to Father Patrick about the decision she’d made and asked him if it was selfish. He could only tell her that she had to do what she felt was the right decision.
For years Jacob had been promising to take her to the Grand Canyon. She decided to take the trip herself, carrying both her husband and her child in her heart. As she slowly climbed to the top of the cliff, the wind was roaring in her ears. She could feel Death. Again, they were doing this strange, yet familiar dance.
She spent quite a few minutes sitting at the top, looking over the beauty of the land, taking it in one last time. Her first, and her last sunrise in the Grand Canyon, had been spent camping here. She’d never seen anything so breathtaking. She was sure she’d never see anything so beautiful again.
Finally, at the same time that her husband died, she took a step and leaped off the cliff. The wind, Death, roared beautifully in her ears and she laughed. She laughed until she cried and screamed goodbye. She screamed goodbye to her dead child and husband, she screamed goodbye to the house she’d sold a month before, she screamed goodbye to the life she’d lived.
She closed her eyes for she knew the end was near. She could see it coming and braced herself. In the darkness behind her lids she replayed her favourite memories of when they were still a full family. Full of love, full of laughter, full of life. She smiled softly and the tears, locked behind those closed eyes, made the memories seem like a watercolour painting. “Goodbye,” she whispered.

The snap of the bungee cord forced her eyes open and, as she dangled there, she said goodbye to the ghosts of her husband and her child, the life she’d lived with them, and the life she’d lived in their absence. She apologized to them both for choosing life.

Creative Inspiration

So I received the coolest gift ever.

Ok, I received several coolest gifts ever but this one pertains to my writing. One of my bf’s sent me a birthday present and it contained this gorgeous nugget of a gift.

photo belongs to: yellowshoesinthecity.com

photo belongs to: yellowshoesinthecity.com

Since I have been having serious writer’s block for quite a while now, this is so well received by me. Not to mention the fact that this is just cool beans!!! Have you seen this before? No? (If you have then be patient as I fill in everyone else)

It’s basically this book of writing prompts and you fill in the answer, by simply being your creative, bad-ass self. Some prompts?
“You’ve had a really rotten day, you’re mad at the world, and in an evil moment you decide to give a classroom full of impressionable, hopeful young writers all the worst possible advice anyone could give…”
So now you come up with what that horrid advice is.

Another prompt:
“The smell of a place you love.”
Describe that smell. What is it? Your parents home? Your favourite getaway? Your bedroom? Work room?

Another prompt (and I love this one):
“Elvis Costello said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Discuss.”

This book was “written” by 35 writers from the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto and is a creative’s dream. I am so looking forward to how fun, hard, easy, frustrating, sad, hilarious, enlightening this project could be.

So here’s what I’m going to do. Since my writing is better typed (as much as I prefer to look back over a book filled with crinkly, written pages, the sound of which is music to my ears, I can type faster and keep up with the ideas that flow through the grey matter) I’ve decided that I’m going to do one or two entries a week (I’d prefer more but I’m a realist) and post them here. Is there anyone else who is also doing this? Or has done this? I’m super excited to get started and I hope you’ll follow along. I’ve googled and the hashtag #642thingstowriteabout is what everyone is/has used.

🙂

odds and ends/notes from my phone

for·give
/fərˈgiv/

verb
verb: forgive; 3rd person present: forgives; past tense: forgave; gerund or present participle: forgiving; past participle: forgiven

1.
stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

It’s been a little over a week since I’ve been conversing via email with Sophie’s sister and I have to say, it’s been therapeutic and I’m extremely grateful she reached out to me. And, during the course of this week, I realised that I’ve forgiven Sophie. I’m not sure when it happened – whether it was this week, talking to her sister, or whether it was sometime within the last two years but I’ve been holding on to the pain that I just didn’t realize I’d done it.
This week a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. While I still hold with me the events of that night, the memories and the visuals, sounds, smells, and yes, the anger, it is no longer directed at Sophie. And how freeing that is for me. And for Sophie, too. Not that I believe she was tortured in the afterlife by my anger, but I do believe that the good and bad memories we hold of the dead affect them, for us. And I’m so glad for her, and for me, that I have forgiven her.

Just over a week ago I wrote this on my phone. It is evident that I am still angry but that my anger has shifted from Sophie to life. That life can be so cruel, so unfair, to those who don’t deserve it. No one deserves that pain, to have to shutter it away for no one to see or suspect.

“I am rebuilding. The wall that was so ceremoniously torn down, knocked down, is being rebuilt. I am not sure what the mortar is made with this time around. Numbness. Pain. Horror.
And yet I am broken still. I tempt cars. I hold the gaze of the drivers as I walk in front of their vehicles. It is not that I have a death wish but that I am angry with Death. For he tires me. When he takes away, I am left in this swell of nothingness. It is as if the sea of life has been parted and I am left on the dry ocean floor, empty and alone, a hollowness left within my soul.
I know he is coming for me, as he comes for us all. I would like to face him, head on, and look him in his deep, infinite eyes, and make him feel. I would make him feel the pain of every life taken. And then I would turn around, for it is not yet my time, and make that same sea envelop him in life. All the lives not yet taken.”

I should mention that I tempt the turning cars on a red. I’m really not as badass as I make it seem. 😉

* * * *

So I have this blog thing and I write stuff and post etsy stuff and people follow me. Which is weird. There are 38 people who follow me and chances are I only know three of them. Why do strangers follow my blog? Not that I mind – I follow other strangers but they’re well known/funny/writers or activists. So welcome! to all the followers. I hope you find at least a few interesting things here?

Notes from my cell

In my previous post I wrote about writing little things on my cell and saving them.
This one I wrote with the intention of putting it in my book. It never made it in, though god knows I have plenty of time.

My book is about abandoning your home, and your parents, and yet we always come back, even when sometimes we shouldn’t, because there’s this blood tie.
Salt water runs in my veins and I never feel it more than when I am “home”, or when I am away too long.

Here is what I wrote, late at night, emerging from a painful experience. I was thinking about my first visit home after leaving my island, believing at the time that running away was my only salvation, the only way to keep my sanity.

“I was like a child defiantly running away from home because my mother had asked me to clean my room. After I’d been gone a year I realized just how much I loved and missed that home, the island, my earth mother, with her soothing ocean washing clean my pained soul. We never realize what beautiful gifts we have until they’ve been taken from us, or until we discard them like broken toys, and I dearly missed the caressing fingers of her sands as she tickled my toes. But it was too late and I knew it. The child inside me had died and I was left empty, hollow and lost. Only when dipping my feet in her ocean did I again feel whole.”

Book quote – Help!

Quite frequently, when I’m reading or listening to music and I stumble onto something I like, I write the quotes into the notes on my cell phone but I never manage to write down the source. I know, I know, always cite your sources. I’d get a failing grade, for sure.

What also sucks is that I quite frequently write down, also in the notes of my phone, my own writing. I don’t have to cite my source as I am source enough. It’s my phone and I am the writer. What more could I need??

The only time it becomes a problem, however, is when I’m unsure if I’m reading something I’ve written or something from a book/movie/song. I then have to google the quote and hope to god I can find it somewhere online. When I can’t, though…

Case in point. I’m PRETTY sure this is from a book. SO sure, in fact, that I think it was at the top of the left hand page. Possibly it could’ve started on the previous page but the quote ended on the left page, at the top. Think you can help me? I know I didn’t write this (though I wish I did) and hopefully you can tell me what book it’s from. It’s driving me buggy!!

“Heaven isn’t about choices but everlasting love. Life, this is about choices. Choose happiness. Or misery. Or both. Choose whatever you want so long as you choose.”

Alright, kids. There’s your quote. Feel free to comment when you’ve got the answer, at which point you will be my hero. I will reward you with … public gratitude and … many thanks, made publicly … and oodles of gratefulness… ?

Also, happy new month! (or white rabbit, if you’d prefer, though I fear we’d lose the darn thing in the snowbanks)