Journey to the Other Side

Credit:  intentblog.com

At the time of the dismantling I used to wonder

used to sweat in desperation

used to be ensnared in your endless games of lashing out

 for  punishment of things that I did not do

for the person you thought I was

the one who punished you for her own guilt

At the time of the dismantling

I felt myself wasting away

sick with a loss of control over my own destiny (or so it seemed)

eager with a morbid curiosity about your private transgressions

At the time of the dismantling

I used to wish you would become a stranger to me

someone I would pass by on the street or the airport without notice

someone I would see by chance who didn’t bring me to the brink of madness

At the time of the dismantling

I wish I wouldn’t recognize you

to turn my head in instinct at your unwelcome presence

a witness to your lingering lurking

and latching yourself to people and places where I could be found

 

At the time of the rebuilding

I ceased to wonder

 became refreshed in renewal

no longer trapped, but free in my freedom

At the time of the rebuilding

I felt my self growing

a woman with curves and flesh

the mistress of my destiny

no longer curious but filled with awe at new love found

At the time of the rebuilding

you became unfamiliar

a transient that I passed by with ease

no longer on edge, existing on a different plane

At the time of the rebuilding

I no longer took notice of you

I see you on the street at a distance,

at peace with knowing that the long ago parting happened to someone else

 

Voyage to Nirvana

 

Image Credit: stuffpoint.com

 You find yourself in the lower level of an old ship. A calendar on the wall says  1682. There is a small window, and the view is nothing but open sea and a setting sun. There is a staircase and you can see daylight at the top…

 

Lydia awoke to the sound of vomiting, the stench of urine and shit and the feeling of her body being buffeted against a rough surface. Her mouth was parched as her tongue scraped across her lips in a feeble attempt to quench her thirst. Her eyes searched for information in a near void of blackness. Straight on, a piece of paper crudely slapped upon wooden beams.  In her blurred vision, she could make out four numbers:1682.  As her eyes adjusted to the low lighting, she realized that she was looking at a calendar. August 7, 1682!

Dazed and out of sorts, she attempted to arise only to be slammed down by a sudden jolt.  Something was not quite right. She stood up once more only to fall over once again. As she tried one final time to upright herself, a phantom hand grabbed her forearm. “Aye, where you going there, Missy?”  Could it be? Was this her former lover disguised as some sort of rag tag sailor out of a pirate movie? God, he was wretched looking. And then she looked at herself.   A gown of some sort corseted at the chest and waist. She was covered in a heavy shawl and her long flowing hair-did she have hair?- was atop her head hidden beneath a bonnet.

This was too weird. Where the hell was she? That tequila sure was strong last night. How many shots did she drink, anyway? As she looked around, there appeared to be others in the “hole” with her. Men, women, children in various states of sleep as well as health.  Then that smarmy voice called out  again .”Come on lovey, give it over a little.”  One hand was at her breast and the other up her dress. But her foot reached the perfect target just in time for another rolling around the room. He screamed and she found herself up against a set of stairs, her head aching. She looked up. Daylight! Lydia mustered all her strength and crawled on all fours to the top.

“Hey, babe. Sounds like you had a rough night at Club 1682. I made your favorite breakfast and some strong coffee. But first let’s get ourselves in that warm bubble bath made just for two.”

 

 

Thanks once again to Kellie Elmore for the Free Write Friday prompt!

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Different Than The Rest

Credit: www.dreamstime.com

Nicolette hopped on the old big yellow for the first time once again. She didn’t bother taking a survey for possible seats to share with someone or even look for empty ones in the middle. Just sat herself down right behind the bus driver. She placed her side-saddle book bag on the empty space beside her. Of course, in 1973 no one thought to carry a bag for their books. Just wrapped them in paper bag book covers and a bungy cord. That’s if they even bothered with books at all. From her twelve-year old perspective, the only ambition that her peers had were playing spin the bottle in someone’s basement or smoking in the bathroom between periods. In fact, she could already smell someone’s morning high at the back of the bus.

She let out a heavy sigh.  A new school away from the safety and innocence of her elementary years where her teachers encouraged her intellect and her small group of friends felt free to be themselves and not follow the crowd. But when Daddy lost his job, they were forced to sell their small house and move to the local trailer park on the other side of town. Momma said it would be temporary and as soon as Daddy landed on his feet, they would buy another house back in their old neighborhood. Yet Nicolette-a girl Daddy said was born with an old soul-knew the family had a long road ahead of them. Dixsville Junior High would be her school for the next few years. A place where they said the inmates ran the asylum. Where the rough kids went. The Dixsville Dump. Not like Janesville where class sizes were smaller and teachers were respected and rules were followed.

Without warning, her brief reverie was disrupted. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her bag being moved to the floor. In its place, sat a long-haired “greaser” wearing a thin black leather jacket, dungarees and black boots. Nicolette dared herself to look him in the eye. Surprisingly, he had a tender, sweet face and a welcoming smile. “Hey there, you must be the new girl. Name’s Joey. You look like one of those smart chicks. Don’t worry, Dixsville ain’t as bad as you think. We’ve got some great teachers who look out for kids like you and me.”

Nicolette looked at him in disbelief. What was talking about?  Kids like him kept the teachers in line, didn’t they? And ate kids like her for lunch.  As if to clear her confusion, Joey asked her, “So what do have first period?”  All of Nicolette classes were Level 1-the courses for the geeks. “Geography with Mr. Fiske,” she replied. “Hey! Me too!” he answered. “In fact, all my classes are the Level 1’s this year. My dad said if I don’t get my act together and show some ‘potential’ (he said this word in a sneering tone) I would be shipped off to military school instead. No way I  am giving up this (he tugged at his jacket) for those  brass monkey suits.”

“HEY! MR. JOE SMARTY PANTS! COME BACK HERE AND HANG WITH US FOR THE REST OF THE RIDE!  “Oh. Looks like my boys want me.  What’s your name by way?”  With a quick and still shy smile she answered, “Nicolette.”

When the ride ended, she stepped off the bus first. As she walked the long portico to the roughly worn brick building, Nicolette knew it was going to be a memorable year.

Kellie took us back to junior high with this one! I know I am dating myself…

#FWF Free Write Friday: Time & Place

There’s Not Enough Words…

Credit: www.talentplusplus.com

Today is the last day of a wondrous year. A time of growing as a writer and an independent woman who despite my age, experienced many “firsts”. I know there are more of those to come and I hope to embrace them as best I can and seek help when needed.

This post is being written as a way of expressing my continued thanks to my dedicated followers. The year 2013 saw an explosion of followers to my little blog. Since March, I have added 164 lovely people from all over the world to this space. I am glad my words and thoughts resonate with you. It is because of you that I continue to write and be inspired.  I have never considered myself to be a writer, really. Do I possess the gift of spoken word? Yes. Speaking and talking- absolutely! But writing? That is for those lofty souls who can delve deep into the human condition and make us laugh, cry, or simply breathe.

But encouraged I was by my eldest son and my now fiance’ back in the summer of 2012. I wrote and wrote and published weekly. Then came the fateful March Friday when WordPress interviewed Kellie Elmore http://kellieelmore.com/.  It was and is through her Free Write Friday prompts that my writing took and continues to take a different path. Without her, I would not have met, shared and read other talented writers who follow her and participate in these creative endeavors.

April came and WordPress offered its 30 poems in 30 days challenge (NAPOWRIMO). I had never written poetry in my life but another writer who follows me through email said: “There’s poetry in your words. You should give it a try.” Many thanks to Megan for the push!  Again, I gained new followers and discovered once more the power behind just a few words.

The spring gave birth to a bountiful season of summer writing (thanks once again to Kellie’s FWF) and my first ever series of creative fiction, one of which turned into a full-fledged short story. Never thought I had it in me!

Writers are vulnerable people. With each sentence we reveal more and more of ourselves and our life experiences. It is a risky business. We look less for pity (if at all) and more for affirmation and acceptance as artists. We want our words to touch and inspire others. Give them strength. Help them to know that they are not alone. Well, that is at least what I hope.

So once again, thank you to everyone who reads this blog. I hope you will continue to be with me in the coming year and encourage others to join in on the fun. I wish all of you a happy new year and one that is full of new discoveries about yourself and the world around you!

Address Unknown

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I imagine one day that you will come clean. Look inside yourself and uncover the damage and pain that once was hidden and then slowly festered like an abscess.  I fantasize and visualize the scene. Your sincere apology for letting your wounds bleed out until they killed my trust. Your realizations of the love you lost. Your enlightened self-awareness of your sheer selfishness and self-absorption. Your chaste chagrin for your failure as a father. Your road to redemption and reconciliation regarding their relationship with you.

But the package remains sealed. Locked tight and unexamined. Returned to sender.

This one is as raw as it gets. It’s been a funky week where the poison of the past took up rent in my head.  Time for an eviction notice to be served!

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#FWF Free Write Friday: Image Prompt

The Familiar

credit: 8tracks.com

One last sleep before my journey

We lie with just a sheet

and the whir of the fan

lulling us to dreamland

Our bodies take turns finding ways

to stay tangled, twined and touched

Fingers, legs, torsos, arms

tug, pull, envelop, whisper, graze

Nearness, breath, a sigh

until morning’s deep solitude awakens us

attempting to shed night’s imprinted stirrings

Flash Fiction Frenzy

photo credit:  www.dailypainters.com

I am calling on my fellow bloggers, followers and more seasoned writers of fictional pieces for feedback on my recent foray into fiction. This is my first go ’round in the genre and I am trying not to panic and lose confidence in my developing ability for quality writing.

The initial installment of Geographical Escape was born out of Kellie Elmore’s weekly Free Write Friday Prompt. As with all of Kellie’s fine ideas, it took me to an unexpected place! A character was born and his story is still being told.

I am completely wrapped up and obsessed with writing this week. My heart is nearly constantly racing, I run hot and cold and I cannot slake my thirst! I know it is connected to the story and not to anything like this horrible heat and humidity, my vigorous exercise routine or perimenopause!

I want a story that is not too predictable, a character who is flawed-gray, not black and white. I want minimal dialogue so the reader is inside his head. In fact, I am not sure I even want him speaking out loud yet!

So there you have it.  Three installments published. A fourth ready for tomorrow and # 5 for Friday ( I hope).

In the meantime, I will break away every now and then to read your posts and comment on them.  Your writing fills me up!

Thanks for your help! 🙂

Warp Speed

warp speed

I’ve been aware of the time going by

they say in the end it’s the blink of an eye~ Jackson Browne (The Pretender)

I have lived in the same town for twenty-four years now. I still find it hard to fathom that so much time has passed and that my sons are no longer little boys.  I do not long for those days; although I did enjoy them. I appreciate the challenges and intensity of raising my sons. The days zoomed by and I was never once bored when I was home full-time. At times, I would hear other parents say that they could not wait until their kids were grown. I was quite puzzled and even dismayed at their train of thought. Why were they rushing time?

Now that my sons are young men, I appreciate the time that I spent with them (as do they).  But most importantly, I am so very grateful for the time that we spend together now. So much is happening in our lives presently. Each of us is on the cusp of new beginnings and I feel as if we are in the midst of sharing one another’ s nearly constant curves in the road. My oldest is graduating college in just over 4 weeks and will be making his way into the real world-although for all intents and purposes he really has had about one and half feet in it for many years.

The shift from childhood and adolescence to the responsibilities of adulthood was swift. When a father departs, life has a way of knocking a young man off track  and swiftly into manhood.  Because his father was never truly present, my oldest made his way into maturity through fits and starts and a few mistakes and bad choices (though none were life-threatening).  In a few respects, it is obvious that there is a some sort of gap in his growth toward manhood. After all, his dad left when he was 14-prime time for a boy to know how to become a man. But in the last two years, I have seen a growth spurt of sorts within him. Much of it is due to him making peace with who is father is and his limitations. The other is a willingness to be the best man he can possibly be. Today I see him as a rocket ready to be launched. Watch out world: he is ready to fly!

For my youngest, his journey was, is and will be different. He experienced his father on more of a first hand basis as a teenager. This helped my youngest truly understand the kind of person his father is without any of my input, perspective or bias. At times (who am I kidding-all the time!), I worried about what he was seeing under his father’s roof. But I learned that  letting go was the quickest and healthiest way for my son to reach his own conclusions. He returned home eventually-disappointed and broken hearted.  He’s got his power and confidence back; each day I have seen him grow by leaps and bounds as he makes his way in his chosen career and into the great wide and scary world.

As for me, I have finally grown into the woman I have always been. I am at peace with my place on this earth- creative, athletic, joyful and madly in love with the man that I dreamed of finding someday.  Like my sons, I am ready to be launched and I am making my way in this world on my own terms.

So here we are the three of us, riding this crazy train of change and growth. We are moving quickly but our focus is unwavering. The ride is at once nerve racking and exhilarating and we love every minute of it!