Weekend Writing Prompt #235 – Mirror

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 hosting this weekly party!

wk 235 mirror

 

Tempestuous, slate-grey clouds
hang heavy in the sky
mirroring my hungover state
waiting to free themselves

I could curl up into a ball and bemoan my state, or
Be inspired by my love (suffering similarly)
who found the wherewithal to go out and run
I’m inspired

Before long
the crunch of gravel under my feet
erases the pounding in my head
I rejoice in the colours of the leaves
Against the grey, above, and below

The rain starts, and rather than run faster
I slow to a walk
A cleansing of sorts
Alive once again

Standing Tall

It seems I might have a penchant for participating when Merril is hosting Prosery Monday on dVerse.  Hmmm… Wonder why that is? Maybe because the phrases she chooses speak to me. It is not impossible.  For this 144 text of prose – no poetry allowed, we must use the following:

“I am bombarded yet I stand.”
From Adrienne Rich, “Planetarium”

Some go through a large chunk of their life with nary a scrape.  They haven’t lost a single loved one and hardship is a foreign word to them.  The day they do experience loss will be a tough one as they won’t know how to handle it.

Then there are others that you swear were born under a broken star or dark cloud.  They are magnets to misery.  You cannot help but wonder why this seems to be.  What foul past life are they paying for?  And they fall to pieces each time, never learning.

As for me?  They say I am bombarded, yet I stand.  They say I had more than my share and call me resilient.  I just see life, no better, no worse.  I move forward, do what needs to be done and I keep going. I know no other way.


Organizing – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  Yessiree!  That means it’s time to Friday Fictioneer.  I must thank Ted Strutz (so glad to see you’re getting better every day!) for the use of his picture and to Rochelle, who, even while dipping her toes in the ocean, still keeps this show running.  If you’d like to play along, just click on the jumble of frogs below to add your link to your 100-word story.

350pc Family Puzzle Frog Pile jigsaw puzzle by Cobble Hill Puzzle Co.  (mixed piece sizes)

Click to play!

Organizing

Bills         Taxes        Kids      Housework     Stress     Job    Love    Health    Frustration    Disappointment   Elation   Excitement Sleeplessness   Hunger    Pain    Empathy   Boredom–

“ENOUGH!  All of you, OUT. NOW!”

She took a deep breath.  And another.

Oh, that felt good. She could feel her body, mind and soul come back together in a cohesive and natural state of being.

“Whatcha doing? And what’s that jumbled mess?”

“That mess is a serious purge of all that was taking over my body.”

“Uhhh…”

“Now I can look at each piece individually and see what needs to be done. What stays, what goes. Prioritize and organize.

“You’re weird.”

“Maybe.”

Weekend Writing Prompt #219 – Vivid

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 hosting!

wk 219 vivid

Time for a walk, I’m short on steps

Outside my door, one tiny phlox,

a vivid purple, demands my attention

It succeeds. I photograph it and turn

right into the rain I hadn’t noticed

Big, fat drops bounce off the hot pavement

releasing petrichor

delighting my nose

God, I love that scent!

I breathe deep and keep walking

Turning the corner, a bright white cloud

Can white be vivid?

it is so bright

over there, while

thunder cracks

over here

I jump over puddles, laughing

all the way home

 

Why Would I?

It is Haibun Monday at dVerse and this week it is hosted by Frank J. Tassone.  It just so happens that I had plans to write about being present in the moment today.  And lo!  It is this week’s subject. How could I not tag along?

Not later than yesterday, I had an exchange with a fellow-blogger and friend.  He loves to take his morning walks accompanied by various podcasts or audio books. This is great for him because he loves to multi-task and is an avid reader with only so much time in the day.  It is great for me because he gives such wonderful book suggestions and has not steered me wrong yet, so I shan’t ask him to stop! He suggests I should try to listen to podcasts, as well.  I beg to differ, my friend. There is so much noise in our everyday lives that when I can walk in nature, I want nothing else but to be present in the moment, to fully absorb the sights and sounds she provides.  From the flowering trees to the buzzing bees, to the wind rifling through the leaves to the wonderful variation of bird calls.  Why ever would I want to tune them out?

nature’s orchestra

trills and chirps, a caw or two

silenced by earbuds

Yesterday’s raucous symphony can be heard here, my friend 🙂 Something tells me your earbuds would have been insufficient.

One of Those Perfect Moments

A random, everyday drive.  Nothing special.  Nine o’clock in the morning. On my way to the post office as I do every Thursday or so since lockdown to pick up the company mail before making my way to the office.  Only this morning, as I left the house CBC Music was playing a version of Debussy’s Claire de Lune by Janina Fialkowska.  So gorgeous.

As I drove down the street that runs along City Hall Park, I could see the two huge weeping willows (not mine that I am forever claiming) waving in the wind.  They seemed to sway in time with the music – the point in the music, about two or so minutes into it.  Perfection.  I had this feeling of peace settle over me in the most beautiful way.

I continued onto the post office but this music and that image were still with me, so before making my way to the office, I just had to stop at this park and walk along the path that winds through it,

then across the newly fallen snow so I could get the proper angle of one of the trees, still blowing in the chill morning air.

It truly is all about the simple things in life, isn’t it?

 

 

Last Days of January

Bitter cold

does not keep me in

though no sun

shines, at first

and grey takes over the blue

I’ll find photo ops

 

Reflections

I’ll find for Merril

fungi for

Crispina

winter scenes for Rochelle, to

bring to life with paint

Time to go

The sun’s going down

Mitts not needed

Now back on

Legs now heavy, must go. What

will tomorrow bring?

A new day

I’m off to explore

Steps to get

sights to see

No expectations, just joy

at being outside

 

Snowshoes, skis

lots of families

fat wheel bikes

sharing space

no lack of activities

smiles are not lacking

Golden Hour

gives a special glow

a signal

that next comes

a chance to transform the skies

with sunset’s paintbrush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not About the Fish – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #97

I knew I didn’t have any sunrise pictures to go with Crispina’s (way too early for me, on most days!) and I thought I’d skip or write a little something simple.  But then I could not help it and found myself trolling my photos.  Wouldja lookit that?  I’ll be darned… A little something simple AND a sorta kinda matchy-matchy 😉

 

Whether at sunrise alone

or at sunset with a friend

it doesn’t matter

It’s not about the fish

It’s about getting away

from the demands of life

to just be one with nature

It’s what keeps me sane

 

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.

 

 

Revelation

I decided to participate in yesterday’s prosery for dVerse in which Lillian asks us to use one of two lines in Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia. My text has absolutely nothing to do with his fabulous poem. I chose “Moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops”. I did write it last night, then decided to wait until today to post, feeling it needed more fine-tuning.  Needless to say, I played with it so much, I fear I buggered it up completely. Or maybe not.  I’m putting it out there anyway!

I hike, breathing in the clean, crisp mountain air, revelling in my sense of being, as they say, one with nature.  I wonder why I don’t allow myself to do this more often.  To just be.  To occasionally let go of all the musts, shoulds and needs that seem to take over everyday life.  Why do we do that?  Why don’t we take the time for ourselves?  I know I was not taught to put myself last.  Our family did not do this type of teaching, despite many hours of discussing pretty much everything.

I often read of people saying their parent taught them this lesson or that. I don’t. I sometimes wonder if I was simply not paying attention.  Before I know it, I moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops, then howl, releasing restrictions I now know were self-imposed.