Resiliency, Thy Name is Noëlla

It was prosery (144 words max, not including the title and no poetry allowed) Monday yesterday for dVerse. I’m late but hey, c’est la vie, I say… Lisa at Tao-Talk is hosting and went down a rabbit hole that started with Alice Walker and her interest in Zora Neale Hurston.  So, Lisa landed on the following quote, which we must use:

No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

                                      ~Zora Neale Hurston, from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928).

Reading that phrase immediately brought to mind my grandmother, who was also my godmother, and to whom I have been compared (it thrills me).  No, she never used this phrase but its essence is definitely Noëlla to me.

You were my hero from the moment I was old enough to understand the stories. How you were the eldest of fifteen children and had you a choice, would have had none of your own – yet birthed seven.  How you lived in lumberjack shacks where the sun shone through the cracks and the water froze in the kettle overnight. How you had the strength to leave your alcoholic husband to raise your kids on your own – and were judged for it by the Nuns who taught your kids.  How you survived the death of all three of your sons over the years.  How you became a businesswoman, despite a grade-three education.

“No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”

I know you were saying it’s up to you to make or break your life.

Getting There

So way back on Monday, Merril hosted prosery Monday, where we have to write an exact 144 words of prose – not poetry – using a phrase chosen from a piece of poetry (isn’t that sneaky?) This time, Merril chose the following line from Jo Harjo’s “A Map to the Next World.”

“Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”

Well now. I knew where I was going and then tripped and got busy on other stuff… Determined, I was, to do this baby so here I am! And yes, those who know me, know I am rather obsessed with Tuscany. What can I say? I felt I belonged in the three weeks I spent there!

Getting There

We bought the plane tickets. With cancellation insurance. Which we ended up needing. I knew it, dammit. The thing is, I know better. I know it in my gut that the Universe is always listening… Even when you don’t realise you are sending out the message, she is listening. Needless to say, the plans that were, were no longer. I never expected they’d be erased from the possibility of. Hell, it was no longer even spoken of. That idea had become a dream that I alone was dreaming.

Life is funny, you know. You think in linear terms until you realise what’s crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end. All the variations of the quote about not being about the destination but the journey are muddily clarified as you realise you did make it. All on your own.

Dreamers Only

Had to throw in the towel last night.  Tried for hours to write this post but my computer kept freezing.  How aggravating!  Lillian, over at dVerse is hosting the prosery for Monday.  It had to include the following line:  If you are a dreamer, come in taken from Shel Silverstein’s poem, Invitation, as published in his wonderful book, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Dreamers Only

She stepped back to better see the big picture. She could work with that. It would be spectacular!  She stepped over the threshold to see inside. Marvellous!  Ribbons hanging from the centre to each corner attached with flowers and herbs, boughs filling in the nooks and crannies with more for cushioning upon some logs acting as seats.  Stacks of books and various adored baubles added to the décor.  A stump for a table lit with oil lamps. It would be the perfect place for her story book club.

She heard the tentative footsteps just outside her door.

“If you are a dreamer, come in. Otherwise, you just keep on walking because there is no room for stuffy unimaginative types in this most sacred of places.”

Oh, Anne, it’s me, Diana!  Do let me in! I have the most wonderful story to share with you!

***

This little piece of fanfic was inspired by Anne with an E…

Whining for Wine

Merril is hosting Prosery Monday at dVerse today.  Hard to resist.  So, why?  Only thing is we must use the phrase:  “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” A line in Wisława Szymborska’s “Possibilities”.  Well. I did what I could with it 😉

Bundled up against the biting cold, I try to remember Charles Dickens’ quote about it being that type of day in March when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold and can’t remember the rest of it, but know it’s bang on today.

“Gah!” Terri breaks my reverie. “Why does March have to be this way?  Like pick a temp, already! Be cold till you’re not but stop teasing us with a few warm days in between!”

I laugh at my friend.  “You know, I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.”

“What? Da hell hogwash is that? There is no reason to this season!  What purpose is there for being so unreasonable? And why are we not inside by the fire with a glass of wine?”

“We had to earn it first!”

“Hmph!

In My Bones

It’s been a while since I participated in dVerse and this one called to me to join in.  Linda Lee Lyberg is hosting this one and has asked us to write our prosery using the phrase:  ‘Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,’ taken from Mary Oliver’s beautiful poem entitled “Spring Azures: A Farwell to Darkness” 144 words.  Sometimes that is just enough.

I keep a cheerful disposition; I am the epitome of positive. Do not think me foolish or idealistic for I am also a realist. I choose to not let on that sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, I know not if I can take another step, smile another smile.

But I do, and do you know why I choose this? Because I feel it deep in my gut that this is a limited time offer and I cannot afford to waste a single moment of it. I know that, miracles aside, the end will come sooner rather than later. That part is out of my hands. What isn’t, is cherishing each moment, be they full of bliss or hurt like hell.

I know that one day I will look back and smile without tears because I chose as I did.

 

The Moon, Playing Coquette

For those of you participating in dVerse, I would not want to take up more of your time.  Do not be shy and jump down to the title, saving you the extra 300 words of my preamble!  Speaking of challenges, Merril is hosting Prosery Monday today and I cannot resist, especially since I was already working on this post when the challenge popped into my inbox.  Of course, that meant limiting myself to 144 words but hey, why not?  Today, we must use the line:  “In their dreams they sleep with the moon.” – From Mary Oliver, “Death at Wind River”.

Eeesh… hard to believe it was two weeks ago, I promised Marina the moon.  What can I say? Either time, stuff, fatigue, listlessness, other stuff, etc. got in the way.  Or a combo of all.  Or some.  Neither here nor there, right?  I’m here now.  And how do you like that?  The time it took me to do this, the moon is in the same phase-ish.  Wait. Is it?

No, it isn’t.  I had to look up just where in the moon’s phase I was when I took the photos. Though my camera says September 1st, I know it was August 31st (must find out how to change the settings on my camera).  On August 31st, the moon was at 97% Illumination, in Waxing Gibbous, leading up to September 2nd’s Full Moon.  I was going to post this tomorrow, September 15th, when she is at 5% Illumination, in Waning Crescent, leading up to September 17th’s New Moon. So. My timing (with a minor cheat) is bang on – mirror-style.  Have I bored you?  Or, like me, did you learn something new?

Enough blah blah, Rogerson, move on to your little story created using your pictures of the moon,taken on August 31st.  A little music to get you in the mood…

The Moon, Playing Coquette

 

Like voyeurs, they watch, moonstruck, unwilling to leave, because on this night, the Moon plays temptress.  Unabashedly, she prances around fully nude, but tonight, though her light is bright, she keeps a sliver of herself hidden.

She is playing the seductress with a reverse striptease.  She flirts with the leaves on the trees, coyly covering and uncovering parts of herself.

First one side,

then the other, concealing more of herself each time she shifts.

It is sensuous dance that surprises the watchers. How can they be aroused by the addition rather than the removal of vestments? And yet they are. Enchanted, even.

At last, she finishes her dance, her new garment reminding her audience of a woman’s shoulder, decorated with lace.

They leave her, making their way to their beds and, in their dreams, they sleep with the moon, replaying her dance, in reverse.

 

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.