Hanging On

De from Whimsygizmo is hosting dVerse (okay, it was yesterday and I’m late!) and has told us the sky is the limit for this week’s quadrille.  Now, many of you know I’m partial to clouds and sky so choosing just one photo from my rather large collection was difficult. And probably the reason I couldn’t focus on what to write!  Na’ama assured me the sky was not falling (she checked) and that I could always post today.  Seems she was right, so here I am, after all!

Thoughts and memories

stretch like clouds across the blue sky

Try as you might

to hang on to them

(the good ones)

some will dissipate

gone forever, leaving no trace

Others refuse to let go;

remain part of your story

to nurture

to comfort

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #175 – Megalith

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Thank you, Sammi.

When the world is right

and we know it is not always so

What little girl

Doesn’t see her daddy

As a megalith?

A tower of strength

and power and protection

that she loves and adores

One she models all future

lovers against

whether she realises it

or not

Weekend Writing Prompt #174 – Rectify

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Always a thank you to Sammi for hosting.

 

 

Emails, texts, Facetime, will have to suffice

To tease and flirt and so entice

They cannot touch, they cannot kiss

Wait they must, to share their bliss

Situation must be rectified

 Before anyone is satisfied

 

A Proper Send-Off

I know I promised you the moon today, Marina, but I feel compelled to write something else.  Tomorrow good for you?  I sure hope so.

I am sitting in my quiet house, having just returned from Patrice‘s funeral.  The boys stayed behind with their gang to celebrate him the way twenty-somethings “should” – starting with a shotgun beer in the parking lot, no doubt, followed by who-knows-what and I should not know.

Visitation was held from 10:00 am till 3:00 pm today (plus four hours yesterday from 4:00-8:00 pm) followed by the religious ceremony in the chapel, which was the room right beside – a rarity, not the chapel, but the religious ceremony.  Most of my family came and it was no easy feat for all the “kids” who had hung out with Pat on the cruise. It was just so surreal.

There is a different dynamic when the deceased is a twenty-two-year-old healthy, full-of-life type.  I’ve been to far too many forty-somethings and fifty-somethings funerals already since, let me see, 2001 – so almost twenty years.  And I thought THEY were all too young.  So this?  No. Almost impossible to wrap one’s head around it.

Life celebrations have gone from boards with pictures or albums on tables showing the life of the loved one to movies or montages of their life scrolling in an endless loop.  I thought seeing a fifty-year old’s was hard. This was a punch in the solar plexus.  They had a corner for Pat’s art, a long table with various pictures and favourite pieces such as a hockey shirt, his football trophies and such and, of course, a beautifully done video.  And, oh Lordy.  I was not ready to see him lying in his coffin.  Everyone gets cremated now.  Visitation is an urn with a 16″ X 20″ (or two) photo beside the urn. Not this time. They went old-school for this.

The place was packed with mask-wearing mourners of all ages.  the priest came in and told us that he would give one prayer and then ask us to make our way next door to the chapel, leaving the family to say their final farewell in private.

Standing by your bench, watching your own twenty-two-year-old and his four friends, plus Pat’s cousin, roll the casket to the front, while this song is playing is sobering.  These young men were doing their best to hold it together as they performed their solemn duty, then sat together and let their emotions do what was needed.  This song just about killed me.

Father Sylvain was perfect.  He said beautiful things and asked those who pray to pray; never preaching

Jules, Marilyn and Maude (his parents and sister) came up and Jules spoke for them. He started off by saying he promised Pat he wouldn’t cry and he spoke beautifully, his composure cracking only at the end; his wife and daughter on either side of him, giving him what he needed to push through.  My heart broke for them.

I know Pat’s family chose music that he loved and when this song played, I watched as their heads bopped to the beat. I know it wasn’t the lyrics they were feeling.

Father Sylvain introduced Charles-Olivier to come and say a word and the five young men stood up as one, the four surrounding him as he read the beautiful post he wrote the day he found out he lost his friend, his gym partner, his clown, the one who always said how much he loved them who was now his guardian angel.

There were the usual blessings and the thank yous and, as the following song played, we were all invited to come up and use the provided Sharpies (and Purell) to write something on the casket.  Now THAT is a beautiful thing.

May I say that I do not want to do this again.

 

 

In Morning’s Light

Sanaa Rizvi is hosting dVerse Poetics today.  The subject is exploring erotica as a literary genre.  Subtlety goes a long way for me when it comes to erotica.  I love pushing my own boundaries – not that mine are that cut and dried by it is still a genre not familiar.

The early morning sun

caresses their slumbering bodies

awakening one, who traces the rays

over his lover’s body with a soft caress

 

She stirs and goosebumps rise to meet his fingers

the heat from his body draws her close

a kiss on her nape shivers down her spine

and soundlessly, in unison

 

They turn to each other, then

ever so gently his body covers hers

as they welcome the day

with a rhythm borne of love

 

Mindful(less?)ness

Free the space for nothingness

It was August 7th when David Kanigan suggested I write a post based on my response to his post “You Missed That…”  Here we are, the last day of August and I am finally writing it.  I did start composing last night but it took me so long to find David’s post because my computer decided to be slower than molasses in January that I abandoned the project in frustration and decided to watch the second half of “Chef’s Table with Jeong Kwan” because watching the first half the night before is what brought me back here in the first place.

So, here I am now.  My response to D.K.’s post was this:

Yes. Mindfulness is a state of being.
It’s funny. On Wednesday, while sitting in my canteen, for a “quiet moment” (i.e. no customers, everything stocked, nothing needing my attention) I was so aware of just how many sounds I am being bombarded with in that tiny space. The hum of the three fridges – each their own sound, the clicking of the hot plate, the whir of the A/C, the flapping of my protective plexiglass “window” every time a breeze came. It was both disconcerting and oddly soothing at the same time.

David’s response was:

You should write a post based on this comment. That’s beautiful.

Kiki seconded the motion and, after a chat on Messenger with Sawsan, I said I would.  Thank goodness I didn’t say when I would do it!

As I worked yesterday, I kept thinking of Jeong Kwan and her being present in the moment – giving herself completely with an open heart and love to whatever task she is doing.  I decided to try to be mindful (instead of incredibly bored) as I made the sandwich fillings:  weigh the meat, calculate the percentages of the add-ins needed as per the recipe such as mayo, sour cream, old-fashioned grain mustard, etc.; take out the food processor, wash and chop the celery, add to bowl sitting on scale, add each ingredient by weight, mix with spatula.  Then, process ham or chicken (or pass hard-boiled eggs through a cooling grid) and add to bowl. Remove my ring and go in with my hands (except for the eggs) to mix well as it is way way more efficient. Feel the cold ingredients and their textures as I lift and fold, almost in a kneading motion, scraping sides of bowl with the side of my hand to bring into the mix.  Let my mind remain empty as I do it, focussing solely on the task, a meditative state.  For me, this is the form of meditation that works for me – besides walking. Of course, today, of all days, I was disrupted by a client who scared the bejeezus out of me by calling out.  No matter. I was able to get back into that frame of mind after I got him his hot dog.

By being mindful, it somehow felt less monotonous; less brain-draining. It helped me give meaning to a simple, repetitive task that I do three times per day, twice per week.  Does this mean I love it? Hell no. Not even close.  What it has done is confirm that I definitely do not want to work in the food preparation business ever again.  I shall, however, not leave them hanging and finish my season. Even if it kills me. Slowly.  Is it mid-October yet?

Dishes done for the third time, vacuum-formed packs put away, I was able to relax between sporadic customers. It had rained non-stop on Tuesday so I was frankly surprised there were as many golfers as there were. The air was crisp; the wind, fierce, the grass certainly soggy, and yet there they were.  They truly are a special breed of fanatic.

I sat there, trying to read when the various hums and clicks got my attention and I realised this was the reason for this post in the first place!  So I set my timer to see just how often the two most annoying and loud items go off.  The vent, the air-conditioning, the small fridges each have their own humming sound that remains constant.  The hotplate starts an almost frenetic clicking sound that goes up to reach its crescendo then slows down until the clicks are more intermittent. The cycle takes 2:35:42 exactly – I timed it.  Twice.  The big-ass Foster fridge motor starts off with a thud and a shudder and this odd echoey-rattly sound before lowering into a loud hum. The cycle takes about 5:03:07.  I timed it twice but missed the start by about 5 seconds as my phone had turned off and frankly, I hear the damn thing all day, I was done focusing on it for this.  I have noticed one of the other fridges has its own sort of shuddering restart or whatever you want to call it but I didn’t bother with it.  I actually took this video two days after David’s post, thought I’d try to redo it and then decided meh. This’ll do to give you an idea.

I have never spent so much time alone and in my head, as I have since I started this job on June 18th. Yes, there are busy moments and lots of customers but they come and go quickly, in a rush to hit their first or back nine. It’s not like serving in the restaurant of the previous golf club I worked for where you get to know the customer’s names and favourite beers and create a rapport.  Sure, there are quite a few regulars, here:  Monsieur Pomme, who orders an apple-oatmeal muffin every single time – and says not a single word other than to order, or now, smile as I put his muffin on the counter before he asks; or Mr. Oxford (from whence he hails) who orders his coffee with four laits – pronounced lays (milks). There are friendly and not-so-much-so types and no one lingers.  That’s to be expected in a canteen or casse-croûte, as we call it.

Random view from my window to distract you from how long this post is

Employees come to get their lunches and snacks as well and some, a few only, take a moment to chit-chat. Other than that?  Me, myself and I.  And my head. And my thoughts.  And the incessant humming and clicking.  I tried putting the radio on to drown out some of it but, being under a cement terrace, the reception is not always without the grating scratchy sound of not quite being on the channel – you remember those? A radio with a dial that you have to adjust ‘just so’ to get your station? I know, I know, I should simply download some music on my phone but honestly? I don’t think of it.  Regardless, it’s not worth it, it just adds to the cacophony.

Somehow this post has not turned into what I thought it would. So since it was a reflective piece, I’ll leave you with a nice little reflection of the setting sun on my just rained-on street.

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #172 – Endless

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. The shorter the better for this challenge!  Thank you, Sammi.

Longing for Childhood

Grass tickling legs

Lying on your back

Head cradled in hands

Gazing at endless clouds

Believing in forever

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #171 – Impact

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Thank you Sammi for keeping us coming back week after week.

His lips sardonic

he watched from his bench

the kitschy scene unfold before him

Like those endless commercials

or sappy movies

Two lovers run towards each other

(preferably in a meadow for better effect)

Their bodies colliding in a loving impact

arms entwine

lips meld

And you feel can feel that

for reasons unknown, they were forced apart

He wiped away a tear

Isn’t that just beautiful?

Staying the Course – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #93

Crispina’s challenge has sent me down a path I couldn’t seem to avoid. It’s been a week since Pat’s death and we are still reeling so I apologise ahead of time!

Staying the Course

He had never been afraid of the dark or going it alone before and he wasn’t going to start now. He was, however, a mix of angry and sad that life had dealt him yet another blow.

“You can grieve for a bit but then you have to keep moving forward, my friend. But know this. I have your back and when you see a light in the darkest corners, that’ll be me, there for you.

“And, when your own journey is over – and that’s not for a really long time – I’ll be there waiting for you.”

The Problem is You Think You Have Time

The Universe is funny.  Here I was, trying to put into words this sudden, heartbreaking event and along comes Merril with her dVerse prosery prompt that is exactly what I need.  We had to use the phrase: “when it is over said and done / it was a time / and there was never enough of it.”  –Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, “A Time” Truly. I could not have asked for better.  My son lost his best friend in an accident this weekend. We are all trying to come to grips with it. My heart is broken.  As there are still questions to be answered, I could not do the post I truly wanted to do so this is just perfect.  Then Iain showed me this drawing by Pat, dated September 24, 2017.  I shiver.

“The problem is you think you have time… ”      drawing by Patrice Chevalier, September 24, 2017

 

Born at the age of nine, a friendship for the ages.  At ten you went away to summer camp, doing who-knows-what that shall remain a mystery. At twelve, you went to the same high school and made the football team, where, in your first year, you were undefeated.  By fifteen, you two got kicked out for your “entrepreneurial skills” (which shall remain unnamed – one of many stories to tell in your old age) and to different schools you went. Yet that glue was a good one, its bond secure.

As young adults, you have travelled and experienced thrills most people only think of.  When it is over, said and done, it was a time. And there was never enough of it.  You were supposed to do more, share more. You were to remain forever best friends.  At twenty-two, your adult lives were just beginning.