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Warmth. Moonlit walks on a beach. Candle lit dinners. A kiss. An embrace. A child. A lifetime filled with the many memories of love. The eyes of the old man mirror the image of what is in his heart. As he holds her he is aware of how much he loves this child. How precious this child is! Holding her in his arms his eyes reflect the joy that she has brought to him in old age. How new she is to the world! How, even in her extreme youth, she sweetly, tenderly returns the love he feels for her.
Swirling, thin purple curves. I see the stars bursting and exploding in an astonishing display of bright light. I see the night sky in the background black mysterious, strange and surreal. I see Outer space in a display of Inner turmoil. This is not a quiet place to be. You will find no peace here. You will find perhaps only fascination and a sense of wonder. The atmosphere is simultaneously charged electric, with explosive life giving and life destroying energy. It is recognizable. This is familiar We recognize the cycle of life and death when we look at the stars.
“Come with me. I love you, come fly with me.” The words shocked her to into sudden awareness. Why did this sound so familiar? Why was it so compelling to hear him say JUST those words? The magic of this night disappeared. HE had been the one who had said them. She still loved him. She thought she’d gotten over him. Being with him tonight had triggered her memory into remembering how her emotional heart had responded to these words. In the end he had lied to her, he’d left her broken-hearted and then he had flown away without her.
Words and images collided with each other in her mind. She could not keep track of them. They were fleeting and they would escape forever if she didn’t hurry to record them somewhere. But for now she let them fight with each other. She was… Well, what was she exactly? Was she hungry or thirsty? She needed something. She needed a walk. Good idea! She grabbed her wallet and walked rapidly to the store her mind still reeling. As she walked she played out new scenes in her mind. As she walked she climaxed and piqued the stories’ inevitable conclusion.
This was a horribly, hot and unbearable day. It was so stifling outside I could barely breathe. I tried getting the heat out of my mind, but I became obsessed with it. I was still downtown when I heard the music playing. I forgot about being miserable in the hot weather and let the music transport me, mesmerize me with a mixture of rock and reggae rhythms. The street festival was on! Instantly, I was cheerful and in a festive mood. I celebrated and the day that had started out so horribly ended joyfully with me dancing in the streets!
I’ve been reading about writing. That was a pretty good way to spend an afternoon. I discovered that I’m not the only one who reads about writing, more than they actually write. There are many people like me, part-time writers, writers who write in their spare time between the kids and the dishes. Writing is hard that way. To write full time, to give it your all, that is not enough time! Reading is easier, faster. As I read I pretend that soon it will be me who is actually doing the writing about writing, not just reading about it.
She groaned. This is too much! This weight has to go! Once again, she was considering, the endless, monotonous cycle of diet and exercise. It wouldn’t be so bad if she could at least have a little fun. Counting calories was one big pain; exercise invariably bored her to tears. She looked into the mirror and smiled. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, get rid of the weight once and for all.” Miraculously the mirror vibrated, a luminescent light emanating from its depths engulfed her. She closed her eyes. When she opened them the ugly rolls of fat were totally gone
Stolen moments to write on little snippets of paper. I spent money to write thoughts in a notebook but I don’t write in them. I guess I think something good should go in these notebooks, not random thinking, or flashes of insight, feelings of boredom, secondary moments of creativity. It’s strange that I still live under the illusion that I can write famous words, many words that people will read. One day I might find one word that might be just as good. There must be one special word from the heart; that deserves more than little snippets of paper.
“I was just wondering how you were.” “Nice of you to think of me. But I already know that I am only used at your convenience. You need me to write your words again. I know that for you I’m better than paper.” “You are so understanding. I don’t want to need you so much that’s why I take so long coming back.” “You are here, all is well. I welcome you as always.” “Yes, I know and thank you. You are one of a kind; the only one I go to when I need a silent, patient, nonjudgmental friend.”
I woke up this morning with the tail end of a dream. All I remember is some shadowy figures, one of them a child. Other than that I remember nothing except the uneasy feeling the dream gave me. I don’t usually have dream recollections. Most of the time I don’t even know when I’m dreaming. But this dream was so vague, so mysterious it bothered me. My whole morning was disturbed by it. I still feel cross and anxious because of it. I wish I could remember. But I don’t, and now I’m left wondering what does it all mean?
The wind blows relentlessly in cold swift, icy blasts. The beauty in these silent ice-capped mountainous peaks is deceptive and eerie. Life should be here, but it is not. Life cannot sustain itself in such extreme, bitter cold. I dreamt of life. I envision a cave. It is a warm hospitable haven. A fire blazes. People have gathered to engage in a ritual act of survival that is timeless, the ceremony of the hunt. The wind whistles violently. The wind disturbs my imaginings. I shiver. The dream is over, it is silent, it is lifeless and it is unbearably cold.
She paced restlessly chagrined as she noticed her increasing ambivalence. The coffee pot was burbling in the kitchen. She poured a cup of black java and settled herself down to read her morning newspaper. She pushed the creative mess on the table to the floor, noting without rancor that she was incredibly untidy for a woman. Katie shrugged, vowing to tidy up later. She sipped her coffee. Cleo, her calico cat, had come to sit with her, but she was immediately distracted by Katie’s rejected invitation. Cleo started batting it around on the floor. She was having a grand time.
I remember him standing at the blackboard furiously recreating a moment in history. He was as mesmerized as I was by the telling of this true story. He was an extraordinary teacher. History wasn’t a series of dates or random events to him. History was about dynamic people whose destiny it was to shape history. History was an adventure to be savored, relished and relived through our imaginations. It is because of him that I love history. History was fun for me then and now I enjoy good stories even more, be it a true story or a fictional one.
“Allison, how good to see you! You look absolutely exquisite!” Allison tried not to choke on her drink. Allison didn’t think that she was exquisite. Allison was big boned and too short for this description. Nevertheless, Allison accepted the extravagant compliment with an indulgent smile. Janet liked to exaggerate; but it was fun for everyone whenever Janet indulged in such delightfully generous compliments. Janet was the REALLY the exquisite one, Allison thought. She was a tall, willowy, dark haired beauty. She may have appeared pretentious but she was in reality a brilliant, witty and very entertaining hostess. Allison adored her.
It wasn’t her fault that she was late. Time running away from Ellen was her biggest problem. She was notoriously inept with time management. Time was once more conspiring to defeat her. First, she’d slept in because she’s stayed awake too long the night before, second, she took an inordinately long time to decide she didn’t want breakfast, and third, the clothes she’d chosen for her job interview didn’t seem to fit in quite the way she’d envisioned the night before. She was late, late, late! She wished she could roll back Father Time for oh maybe about ten minutes…..
The images teemed with nature, landscapes and life. We are the earth’s keenest observers. We paint or take pictures of mountain peaks, ocean sunsets, and hillside retreats. Nature fascinates us. We are in love with the rainbow colors in flowers. We see how old the earth is when we look at gnarled old trees, old rocks and ancient buildings that remind us that life in these haunted hills is vibrant with memory. We recognize love and in this we have kinship with animals, we nurture our young, we love and protect them and teach them the ways of our world.
The change was subtle and it was barely noticed. The sky darkened ominously, the sun’s warmth disappeared behind billowy, gray and threatening clouds. Slowly, the temperature dropped until the conditions were just right for snow. It began snowing softly in the early evening. The wind howled. The snow fell freely onto the frozen ground and, in minutes; a gentle white blanket covered the world. The snow glittered like white diamonds beneath the stars and the darkened night sky. The first blast of winter ended at dawn. And when the beauty of winter was there for all to see, winter smiled.
I stood anxious as a cat in front of my students for the day. Their regular teacher was absent and I, as a professional substitute English teacher, had been called in to replace her. There was no lesson plan. None had been left for me. I had no idea where I was going to lead my charges. I waited for inspiration. I dreaded and feared that none would come to me. What shall I say? Slowly, I started to speak. I was no longer hesitant. Today, I said, we speak of beauty, specifically the exquisite beauty of the English language.
My heaven has a sign that reads, “INSPIRATION AND CREATIVITY.” It is a writers’ heaven. The great and not so great personages in literature congregate in my heaven. Writers are free to express in words the music in their hearts. There are no blank white pages in my heaven. These pages are full of color. The words are perfect; the words dance merrily, exuberantly, in a panoramic view of life, of love, of passion, of loss. The words mirror the soul, envisioning what is in the hearts and minds of human kind, they are poetic, dreamy, inspiring, creative and true.
In my mind today, I went through my life. I thought that perhaps my memories were worth the effort it would take to reclaim them. I have not had a great life. I have gone through most of my life; and there is still no sign of greatness. I have not recorded my life. I have no record, except those that I have reclaimed through memory. Every person has his or her own unique set of memories. I am no different. I just never thought I would see the day when I thought remembering my life would seem so important.
Before my birth, my parents were the only people populating my family. I was the first-born child. I believe that I was an unasked for shock. I came at a time when their lives faced transition. I know from stories told by my mother that my parents were planning to leave France to come to Canada. I was born in France, in a town called Guebbvilla. I have a picture of me trying to stand in front of the Eiffel Tower. Eight months after I was born, the three of us, now a family, sailed on a boat to Canada.
Today, my friend moves me. Her kids are leaving her to visit with their dad for a while. I imagine the depth of a mother’s love. The mere thought of separation on any level is breaking her heart. I sense her overwhelming emotional upheaval. I try to reassure that love travels over distance but she does not believe me, even though she tries to be brave and laughs just a little. When my friend and her kids left last year, a part of me saddened. I have missed them terribly. Even though I’m not a mother, I understand the love.
When I can’t think of anything to write, it is clear that I’m sick of the sound of my own voice. Today I just didn’t feel like writing so I went off in search of writing other than my own. I usually find something that holds my attention. Today it is clichés. I am addicted. Cliches are whimsical, outrageous and often ridiculously funny. My sides hurt from laughing reading them. So because I can’t think of what to write, I will give the cliché my ‘voice’ today: “If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that suggests you tried. “
I really don’t think I’ll see him that much. I have this feeling that I am not welcome. I don’t know maybe it’s my imagination. But I can’t seem to shake what’s in my imagination. Anyway, I will not impose. It’s not in my nature. I think it’s wise to wait my turn and hope that indeed I will have a turn. What upsets me is that I might not. What upsets me is the horrible feeling that Henry resents David’s feelings for me. I don’t know. I just feel strange and the strangeness was with me yesterday and today.
Going anywhere with Josh virtually guaranteed good times She’d always enjoyed his company, and his easy-going, friendly personality. And how he could talk: a mile a minute and faster than the speed of light! Her best friend was not too tall, not too small, not too fat and not too thin. Just right. He had great auburn colored hair, and a stunning pair of almond-shaped brown eyes, which radiated both his intelligence and his sense of humor, and which he insisted on ruining by wearing a pair of black sunglasses that kept sliding down the straight line of his nose.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the houses. There were three of them and they were small cottage-like structures. What was unusual about them was that they had been built into the side of the mountain where they stood. Even from the outside the houses had a quaint homey feel. The windows were shuttered: painted white. There were potted geraniums on the windowsills and lace curtains peaked through the windows. The door was curved and wooded with a warm welcome sign that hung on a wooden peg and was hand painted with colorful roses and a rainbow.
I am overwhelmed with emotion. I sit on the edge of the bed, stroking his hair. He did not awaken. He stirs just a little. He smiles sweetly. I smile back and lay down beside him. He is my little hero, so brave, so good and so sweet. He loves me. And I love our moments with each other either on the phone or on one of our long walks together. I could not love him more; this child; sleeping in my arms, as he dreams of what he will do with his ‘bestest friend in the whole wide world.’
I might have enjoyed myself if I’d been a different kind of adolescent. But I was unpopular and friendless. I was overweight; I had pimples. I was moody, shy and incredibly miserable in the presence of my peers. I wanted so badly to crawl under a rock and disappear. I couldn’t do that though. I had to participate in sports, in arts and crafts, in hikes. I disliked the whole thing so much, that I cried piteously. In desperation, I ran away, hid in the woods and there I spent a glorious day under a tree with my precious book.
It was the first time that I been more than 20 miles from home. Everything was exciting. The trip to the airport and the flight to sunny California was an event of momentous proportions to me. For ten days, I drove by the ocean, the desert, and the mountains. I dipped my feet in the Pacific Ocean. I felt the dry heat that emanated from the Sierra Nevada desert. I marveled at the lava trails I noticed from extinct volcanoes. I camped on the top of a mountain at 7,000 feet. I basked in the sun amongst amazing palm trees…
It is not going to work today. Today there will be no great insights. I am blocked. I am fading fast. The process of trying to figure out what I should say next frustrates me. I am verbally bankrupt. I don’t think I need to worry about the blank white page. I think I would be better off worrying my blank and empty mind. O well maybe I’m just tired. Maybe my mind just refuses to work when I can’t even keep my eyes open, when all my body wants is to forget it ever woke up this morning.
I remember a clear summer day in which I revisited the old places where I used to live. It is such a strange, lonely feeling to invoke old memories. I felt the ghosts of my past rising out of stone houses and tree-lined streets. At each place I visited there were people that had once populated my life. They are all gone these people that I once knew so well. They are ghosts and memory is all I have to prove they existed. I smiled as I wished them well. I hoped fervently that one day we would meet again.
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