fugitive

he walks out of the darkness, hands in the air, to be met with either a spray of bullets or handcuffs. does one mean life and the other doesn’t? imprisonment began long before the moment of guilt. when the gavel comes down, that cell door slams, or voltage snuffs the breath, then hands are washed but stains persist. mankind asks what kind of man but neglects to query kindness. the fugitive, the walking amalgam, just like other animals, born and constructed, shaped along the months and years of his life, carrying the weight of generations and the stamp of his place and times, finally becomes just a reviled memory, but still and always forgotten, another flawed discard on the manufacturing floor.

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at the artist’s cottage, a drabble

Courtesy of Eugi’s Causerie

His cottage looked out to the waves and the sky. Paints, brushes, and canvasses in varying states of completion filled the space. His lonely time on the bluff fueled creative landscapes highly prized by art lovers. 

Then one day, the woman with the black hair knocked on his door. Now, he lay idle, his fingers mingled loosely in those raven strands, inspiration long evaporated in a haze of romance.

“Today, my love? Please, pick up your brush again,” she coaxed.

He knew he was done with landscapes. 

He stared into her sapphire eyes. New inspiration flickered.

“Yes, today,” he smiled.

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Thank you to Eugi’s Causerie for the prompt, “mingle,” and the accompanying photo.

just thinking

I do a lot of thinking. A whole lot of thinking.

Thinking is a critical part of writing. Right from the get-go you have to think about what it is you’re going to write.

Then you have to think about how you want to write the thing, and how you’re going to research it. If you’re researching for your writing, then you have to think about your research. And there’s generally research of some flavor.

I guess it’s quite similar to being a scientist, right?

And then, finally, you get to the actual writing part, in which you find yourself, surprise!, thinking. As in you have to think about how the words go together, and whether you’re using the right words. You have to search for the ones that perfectly convey your intent. Then there’s structure, and grammar, and punctuation, and formatting to think about.

But for all that, sometimes I feel a little guilty about all the thinking I do. As if I’m wasting time. It feels very self-indulgent, not allowed on some level. It is often difficult to give myself permission. In fact, the whole process feels forbidden.

And yet, writing is a little like breathing for me. It’s essential.

And truthfully, it is worthy. Writing changes the world.

It might impact a fleeting moment, or it might alter the course of history. It might touch one person or many. It might make someone laugh, or finally understand something, or help them put their new shelving together, or simply escape for awhile. It might launch a business, sway an election, or reshape society’s path. Even when no one else reads the words, writing has the capacity to change things. 

Whatever the scope turns out to be, it matters.

So, don’t mind me, but I have a little thinking to do.

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creativity exercise

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 10: J
Flash fiction, 100 words

Teeth. Lots of teeth. A long tail.  And those little bitty wings, for whatever evolutionary purpose that might serve. The monster, of course, happens to be green.

The jaws are wide open. Because it’s hungry? Roaring? Singing? Laughing?

I don’t know. Is it a dinosaur? Or a demon? The disturbing thing is that it emerged from my imagination, and, in an odd sort of way, looks kind of friendly to me.

This. This is what happens when you leave me alone with paper to cut up and no plan except to mix things up and see what you can make.

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potential energy

maybe you remember
standing close
but not too close
smiling, laughing,
knowing each other just enough
to feel almost afraid
tremulous with
our unspoken longing.
people all around us we couldn’t see
beyond our syncopated hearts
bantering and flirting.

i looked away a moment
and suddenly
felt your soft, playful touch,
a gentle tickle,
taking me by surprise.
i whirled around 
laughing,
eyes alight,
meeting yours,
that sparkling heartbeat
stealing my breath.

but i wonder now
that we two still spin
in the reaches 
of our lonely galaxies.
we might glow
a singular orb
but for
the harnesses of our wounds.
perhaps, who knows,
the comet yet roams
the wild deep skies.

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Many thanks to Eugi’s Causerie for this week’s prompt, “playful.”

the hand in the work

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The stitches in a quilt made by hand speak out loud. They document a story, or at least some portion of a story. The threads are the evidence of individual effort – of a person’s intention, their hand hovering over the fabric, pulling the needle through.

There is always satisfaction in seeing the hand in the work.

Whether a quilt, a painting, a piece of pottery, or carved or constructed wood, such works create connection between the maker and the finished piece and the one who holds it.

It serves a mindful purpose, both in the making and the use.

Such a work presents an obvious truth. It’s honest. 

There is rest in that. It makes an easing of the heart, space opening up somewhere inside us.

fear of the page

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I view blogging as a practice. Kind of like meditation.

Blogging involves a discipline. It helps me show up. It is a conduit to my creative self – which goes way beyond writing.

It’s just the very tip of that self that blogging accesses. Blogging sort of sits at the outer entrance to my creative self, but it helps keep the door open.

It keeps fear of the page at bay.

I noticed in my drawing class the formidable fear of the page that pretty much everyone in the room experienced.

The teacher told us what to do and started a timer. We all just sat there and stared.

We eventually learned that the point of the timer was to force us past that fear of the page – to make us jump fearlessly onto it.

I experience this with creative projects of my own inspiration as well. I get a vision. I get excited. I can’t wait to bring it to fruition.

But then I notice that I am resisting it. I don’t have time to work on it. I don’t have the perfect supplies. I’m not, you know, in the right mood for that. I can’t find my scissors. I don’t know how.

Ha. That is one thing blogging teaches you. Mood, time, supplies, coffee, whatever, the point is to do it. Recognize the resistance and tackle it front on. Just make yourself go, dammit.

The longer you practice, you eventually learn that the creative self does inevitably show up when thus called forth – albeit some days better than others.

Even better, such a practice helps you to become more aware of the existence of that creative self and its awesome depths – as well as your capacity to access it and allow it.

And the more of that self that shows up, the better.

So, for today, just practicing. 🙂

the binder

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Somewhere along the line, I started to keep a slim binder with a select few items in it. On the front of the binder, it says, “you are entirely up to you.”

I look at this binder fairly frequently. Sometimes, if I am feeling down or lacking focus, just leafing through it somehow centers me. It gives me a little positive push.

On the first page on the inside, there is a bunch of scribbling on some somewhat wrinkled paper. Buried in all that are the words, “If you feel like something’s missing, it’s probably you.” I believe the quote is attributable to Robert Holden. At some point in time, my scribbled page mattered enough to me that it became the anchoring of my binder.

Indeed, that is what the binder is about – reminding me who I am.

Following that are a few pages holding small pieces of creative work that I made, and the occasional doodled remark, like, “MAKE. Make anything.” These pages are very important to me. When I need to remind myself who I am, they help me in a calm, happy way.

The binder also holds the personal mission statement I carefully crafted some years ago.

Last, but not least, I have just a few pages with quotes or text that serve to remind me who I am and inspire me to be all that.

Periodically, things get taken out of this binder, when they are no longer really useful. Occasionally, things get added.

Utsav Raj shared his poem, “Travel Bird,” yesterday on his site, My Spirals. I knew when I read it that I just wanted it around.

Reading it reminded me of how to be alive: to soak life in, to be awake for it, to see it, to feel it, to be it.

It’s so easy for me to be focused on the minutiae, distracted by this or that thread of meaningless occupation, obligation, routine, troubles – stuff that literally just takes up time. I’d rather be alive for my life.

Feeling, doing, seeing, breathing not just to exist, I want to be the pulse in the universe that in my heart of hearts I know I am. I want to explore the edges, stretch them further out, find out what’s out there and in there, and feel it all. I think we all do.

Anyway, rather than me just rambling on, perhaps read “Travel Bird,” which says it better than I can.

And now that it’s in my special binder, I’ll read it from time to time, and be reminded. Thank you, Utsav.