Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Challenging Finality

In life there are so many chances to say goodbye. Sometimes we don’t mean it, not really. English is a little imprecise that way. Goodbye might mean see you later, see you tomorrow. It might mean see you next week. Rarely, in our globe-trotting, fast moving world, does it actually mean “I will never see you again”. 
Death is the exception. But death moves silently through the interstices of time, rarely waiting long enough for us to have a chance to say goodbye properly, while the soul still rests in the body and hears through the ears. Goodbyes for those of us left behind are a solace for our own selves, not for those passing through to the other side. 
Why a goodbye for the passing spirit, when their soul is released from the frailty of human flesh? Even after the clay body lies breathless the spirit yet hears. The goodbyes of loved ones are perhaps better phrased as “see you later!” There are, then, no more goodbyes, for the immortal soul stretches onward to infinity. The attenuation of time brings us all to that separation point of body and soul, a shared moment common to all men. 

This Week's Indie Ink challenge was made by the Womanist and I challenged Stefan. I was certainly very challenged by this week's "no more goodbyes"! I'm not entirely happy with it, but this is what tumbled out of my tired brain. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sharon’s Song

Here, at the end of all time and reason
In the limitless fog of life
I can stand at last and say
I loved this man. It is finished.
With mist lapping at my ankles 
Like the swirling of a skirt
All the times we fought and loved
Raced onward to the end of everything.
All lies in ruins at my feet.
Below me - light dawns before me -
For all that is below me, beneath!
My outstretched arms to embrace
Life anew, as mists ebb away 
And reveal a beginning, 
A new day and reason to live anew. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

It Was Never Enough

There are moments I have wished I were stupid. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm a genius. I know I'm not, as a matter of fact. I have some pretty major flaws in my intelligence (we aren't talking about my character, here!). But I know I'm pretty smart. Smarter than average and smarter than most of the people around me. And no, I don't suffer fools well.

If I were stupid, I could have lived with my marriage. My first major relationship, it consisted of me trying to please my husband with everything I had. My body, my efforts, my intelligence. But it was never enough for him. He had to be smarter than I, stronger than I was. The physical abuse ended when I'd finally had enough and lashed back. The emotional abuse only got worse.

If I were stupid, I would have been able to subsume my self enough to give him what he wanted, complete and utter control. But I am not stupid, and I saw that it was never enough, that he would keep taking until I was utterly gone, and I could not give that much.

It was never enough, and that is good. I was able to walk away with enough of my self left to rebuild. I am able to give of myself to my children, now. I will teach them that giving with no return is never good enough. Breaking down another person's self is destructive to both of them. I will teach them to live with eyes open to the damage another can do to them with words alone. And I will teach them that when it is never enough, it is time to walk away.

Response to Indie Ink Writing Challenge from Ixy. My challengee this week was Dili with "Here, at the end of all time and reason…"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Errand is Always the Same

This is written in response to the below challenge at part of the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. You can check that out here: My challenger this week was Amy Labonte, and my challengee was Tobie.

“The Errand is always the same: each presses on toward the nothingness into which the divided are drawn.” Pablo Neruda
Every week, Tiffany ran the same errands. She tried to remember, today, while clenching the wheel of her old Suburban too tightly and avoiding insane traffic, just when this had started. It had to have been after Jamie was born, she didn’t remember this feeling of frustration and loneliness before that. 

Her husband, David, traveled so much these days, leaving her with the kids and the house, and above all, the errands to deal with. The groceries, the mail, the pet food and the cleaning supplies. Her world had shrunk to the four wall of the house and the circuit of errands. She wondered how much more it would shrink. Would her world become so small it would be a black hole, the gravity of her responsibilities pulling her down until she was nothing at all?

She pulled into the parking lot at Shop-Mart and climbed wearily out, clutching her purse. The kids were with the sitter for two hours, leaving her with just enough time to do everything. 

“Divided, we conquer.” she muttered as she walked into the store. The greeter looked at her funny while delivering the same upbeat speech she’d stopped listening to - how many years ago? Tiffany took the offered cart and sped through her routine, knowing exactly how to circumnavigate the store to get what she needed without wasting time or money. 
At the checkout, Betty greeted her cheerfully. They saw each other practically every week. “You look peaked.” The older woman observed. 

“I feel like I see more of you than I do David. And too much of the kids.”

“It will be better when they are all in school.” The grandmother assured her. 

“You keep saying that.” Tiffany returned ruefully, but with a smile. 

Energized by the exchange, Tiffany wheeled her purchases back to the big vehicle. Loaded in the capacious rear cargo area, she climbed into the drivers seat and started the engine. She blinked. 


Horns blared and she jerked the wheel to avoid the neon blue Prius bearing down on her. Heart pounding, she stared in horror at the road ahead. She was driving down the road toward Shop-Mart. Why had she turned around, when had she pulled out of the parking lot? She risked a glance over her shoulder at the stoplight, no groceries in the back. Hadn’t she just been here? On auto pilot in her shock, she pulled into Shop-Mart. Had she really lost a whole week in that blink of an eye? 

She grabbed her purse and started into the store again. The same greeter pushed a cart at her and said something in a cheerful voice. Tiffany couldn’t understand it. The words were garbled. She tried to smile back, but it felt like a rictus. She pushed the cart deeper into the store. 

She knew she was in trouble when she met herself in the dairy aisle. The other self didn’t look up from her PDA, checking her list. Reminded, Tiffany pulled out hers and looked at the list. Same as earlier... today? last week? Disoriented, she looked up and saw herself again. Just in front of her cart, bending to grab a case of yogurt. Tiffany blinked. 

“What’s going on?”

The other her didn’t hear, moving off around the corner pushing her cart. Tiffany followed and found herself back at the beginning of the Dairy aisle. Suddenly she though she understood. Her life was collapsing onto itself, the weight of it all pulling her so far down that the orbiting errands of her life had become small enough to see her both coming and going. 

She stood stock still in the aisle, afraid of what would happen with another step. Where was the event horizon? Had she already reached it, that plane where the black hole of her life had sucked her in too far to climb back out? 
Tiffany stood there shaking. Would one more step take her into the nothingness of red-shift and oblivion?
Local Police were called today when a woman started to scream uncontrollably while shopping at the Shop-Mart. Emergency services had to remove her in restraints after she refused to let go of the cart and her purse. Child Services has taken temporary custody of the woman’s three children while her husband is reached as he travels out of the country. Reporters who talked to store clerks learned that she was a frequent shopper, and one speculated that post-partum depression might be the cause of the woman’s breakdown. 

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Magician's Assistant - Flash Fiction Fantasy

I am on in the second act, but already I wait in the dark, eyes open although I know from long experience that I will see nothing yet. I am as relaxed as I can be in the cramped space, thankful for once for my scanty clothing, as it is too warm in this theatre. I can hear the babble of the crowd in the distance, and the occasional murmur of the soundman, who must be right next to where I am parked for the moment. 

I listen for the cues, intent as always on what the show is doing so as not to lose my place, or sense of the crowd’s mood, although I cannot see them. The audience tonight sounds almost aggressively happy, roaring with laughter at the slightest of jokes. It makes me feel jittery, and I try to reassure myself that it would be worse if they were silent. 

Abruptly, I feel motion, and brace myself. It is too early! Who is moving me, and why? Colored smoke seeps in through the cracks, and as I wonder why I can see it in the dark it fills my eyes with tears and my mouth with a strangely heavy, oily flavor. My world reels, and is upside-down, then spinning into oblivion. I do not know how long it has been when I open my eyes to a surreal garden. 

The theatre is gone, the crowd sounds have been replaced by birdsong, and I am standing alone in a formal courtyard, atop a dais of sorts. The colors of the flowers dazzle my eyes, they are so bold and bright. They remind me of a child’s painting with the neon shades and blurred outlines. Now I hear voices, and stand stock still as they approach. 

As water springs up around me I realize I am standing in the middle of a fountain, and through the mist it creates I watch strange creatures fill the courtyard. They aren’t human. I see what I am certain are satyrs, and what might be nymphs, but only if Manet had painted them. Many others are with them, all laughing and talking and drinking from goblets they hold, just like the many cocktail parties I have myself attended. Reeling with confusion, I start to fall and stretch out my hands to catch myself…

And strike a hard surface. My vision darkens, and I hear the music, and applause. The door open, and I rise up into a billowing cocoon of silk and raise my arms, metamorphosis begins.... The stage lights almost blind me, after the dark.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


I am repurposing my former Mommy blog as my writing blog. I'm stretching my writerly wings, and although the kids are still my life, I needed this room for other things. The kids are on FaceBook, and the farm will be at until further notice.

That is all! Stay tuned for more randomness in days to come, I am sure.