Writing 101 Day Five A Red Letter Day

Day Five: Be Brief

Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Pearl walked on, hating her mother and her miserable life. Rev. Arthur would be waiting. Wind compounded the morning chill. Trudging along, a crumpled envelope danced by. She chased and caught it. Why? What did she want with a soggy letter? Noticing it was half opened, curiosity overcame her. Who could it hurt? The red ink was smeared. What she deciphered made her queasy.

Dear H,

My time grows short…

Indebted to your sacrifice…

Served my church… Love always, “A.”

Struggling to digest the contents of the letter, her cell rang. Hester blinked on the screen.  Pearl dropped the phone.

Geography of Place

In Writing 101 today’s assignment is: Choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

“If only there were time enough or word enough or rhyme enough, I would take you there.” Harry Nilsson

How many words have been written to evoke the ideas of place and what it means to us?  Who am I, (an unworthy writer) to describe the place I want to go? Despite my disclaimer I will do what I can to take us there.

In this place, the sun pours in, creating a feeling of warmth and calls up the appearance comfort. How does comfort appear? On a  creamy white plate, It is fresh baked just buttered. Little pools of sun shining on a raft. Through an open window light streams in, lulling me to relax. As if someone extended an irresistible invitation, like the sand at water’s edge on your feet. The perfect mix of coolness on your feet and warmth on your back. A hint of a breeze dancing on your face.

When I am in this place I feel complete surrender and the willingness to engage with all my surroundings. Mind, body and spirit are one. I am completely at home in myself and the world around me. Like a chilled glass of water, I breathe deeply and drink it in. It is the place where sunflowers wave to me in the wind and clocks stop. Although I’ve pictured many images that call summer to mind, in this place, weather doesn’t matter. I could be standing in a soaking rain, but not feel it, or feel it and enjoy it. I am weightless here and held completely by the feelings of strength. It is as if someone is holding me and I trust them so much that I can melt  into the security they offer. I know they will accept and carry me, enveloping me like a warm sweater.

Like Dorothy, we can all go there. How we get there may not be by clicking our heels, but it is a place many of us yearn for.  It is where we are most at home. If I had my choice I would stay there most of the time, but I resign myself to the times I must leave, because those times heighten my feelings of wanting to get back there as soon as I can. When I am stressed or feel the heavy cloak of fear choking me, I go back there, calling up some of the images I’ve shared. While I think of it as my actual home at times, what it really is, is that feeling of being comfortable and having a place in the world. It is love, but love is so many things to so many people I cannot begin to say what it is for each reader.  For myself, I know it is this nearly indescribable feeling that fills me with joy and purpose. It is the feeling of acceptance, trust and harmony.

Because music is often my vehicle for arriving at this place I’ve included links to a couple of songs that take me to this place. I’d love to know what takes my readers to this place so please share your songs, images or memories of home/love/acceptance, should you choose to comment.

“And it’s my mind, and there’s no time when I’m alone.” Lennon and McCartney

Three Things Thursday March 12 Edition

This is the third week I’ve participated in Three Things Thursday, thanks to http://nerdinthebrain.com/three-things-thursday/

I’m grateful for the opportunity to do this each week. It makes me think about the highlights of my week and the things I am grateful for. So this week I’m grateful for warmer weather. Spring is making an appearance and the weather has been much kinder than the past three months. So happy to not be wearing my winter coat and so amazed at how warm 55 degrees feels in March compared to how it feels in October.

I’m grateful for coming home earlier in the week to find the new Erik Larsen book Dead Wake waiting in my mailbox.   http://www.npr.org/books/titles/390474945/dead-wake-the-last-crossing-of-the-lusitania

It was a gift, from my dear husband!  Several things to be grateful/thankful for. I’m grateful that there was a present in the mail. This is something that doesn’t happen every day.

I’m grateful also to those of you who read my blog, who like a post, who pass my blog along to others by reblogging, sharing, or adding me to your blogroll.  Thanks for stopping by.

The Transporter | The Daily Post

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Transporter.”

Today, instead of doing what I “should” be doing, (as a little voice reminds me of the saying, “don’t should on me”) I went to the Daily Post and hit the writing prompt randomizer. It instructed me  as follows, “Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.”  I used to wonder about my father, who says he remembers little of his childhood.  I’d plead for stories about when he was younger, and received some from my Uncle, but not much of anything from my father.  Now, I understand this better because I do not have an abundance of childhood memories. Many of my more profound memories, of music, sights and sounds, come from teenage years.

Now that I’ve said that, I do have memories of  my parents driving my brother and me around at Christmas time to look at the different neighborhoods and see how families decorated. The colors were vivid, the mood was festive and the excitement and anticipation were palpable to me as we drove. Even in the dark, there were these tiny beacons that stood up to what as a child was a sense of foreboding, especially when things are cold and dark.  One house was prettier than the next. If the moon was out, so much the better. The lights mirrored the night sky. The dark and light, reflecting back to us the things we prize about our lives, each a little twinkle that can shine or be snuffed out by the things we do that we would rather bury in the dark. I’m sure my parents had no idea the lasting effects these annual drives, from my earliest memories have informed my life, my livelihood and existence.

My Grandmother, divorced from her Catholic roots, (She loved to tell the story of coming home from parochial school and telling her father that if the Nuns hit her one more time she would quit school.- They did and she did, going to work as a waitress at a very young age.) did not celebrate holidays, except Thanksgiving with much fanfare.  But she would string tiny white lights across the living room, and if she decided to have one, the tree.

Religion was complicated in my growing up family, but the sense of wonder, awe and mystery heralded by the lights is something that still excites and is rarely tiresome. I decorate our house with outside lights most of the year.  It is a calling of some sort. I imagine it is the power of the tradition, as well as the symbolism of light that invoke this need I have to light the darkness.

I light it because in my heart I am preserving that sense of wonder, giving it honor and connection. It is about entering into mystery and ritual and creation through the beauty of the lights.  It is a continuation of the ritual. It is hope that was kindled in the lights of my childhood and the affirmation that even when the way appears lost, there is a light somewhere, leading me on.