Sparked by Words

Archive for the ‘Just a Thought’ Category

The Color of My Blood

If you bury your head in the ground, you’ll never glimpse the cosmos. The sounds you hear so deep in the earth are muffled and distorted by distance. Snowdrops hammer threats. The words I love you morph to I mug you. No wonder you’re terrified.

It’s natural to drop to the floor at sudden assaults. Earthquakes, landslides, fiery smoke, gunshots. We’re told to stop, drop, and roll, a dance step scarier than the junior high prom. Our heads tuck under our arms, huddling in fear as a safety strategy.

Soil pressing into your palms and the soles of your feet drags you deeper into the chasm. It takes heart muscle and cranial strength to chuck the dross and hoist the body. It resists change.

It’s even more frightening to remain in the dirt, ears stuffed with clods, hands clutching grass by the roots. The nature of fear is that it’s deaf and blind.

Raise yourself, hair by hair, toenail by toenail. Step upon the crust. Open your eyes to look further than a vulture’s flight. Cup your ears to detect vibrations. Turn slowly and stare. Be silent and listen. The universe is addressing you. The drum beat booms. Words screech. Snowfall crackles like breaking glass. Still the stars spiral.

The universe wheels and rolls around you. Be part of it, as you were at its inception. The darker the sky, the more you see. The quieter your voice, the more you hear.

This planet is too tiny to divide into barbed parcels. Hold hands with the stranger and work together. It doesn’t have to be a wall. It could be a bridge. What you build will shelter your grandchildren.

The world is not flat. You have to muster courage and that starts with pulling your head out of the ground.

The cosmos courses through all of us. By genetic heritage we are 99.9 percent alike. The color of my blood is the same as yours.

 

 

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Tortoise image courtesy Commons Wikimedia

 

 

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Who Tells Your Story

Everyone has a story to tell. To traverse across a chasm while balanced on a thin silver string. Gaping crowds below, pearlescent clouds above, the wire shuddering in the wind. Few have touched down safely on the other side.

But you have. With pluck, determination, and courage. That’s your story.

Not everyone knows how to write. It isn’t just paragraph and spelling knowledge. It’s character development, plot construction, writing craftsmanship. Sequence, judgment, vision.

Some may be able to learn. Schools, online courses, writers’ conferences, self-help books all offer opportunities. Computer programs and lined paper pages stay open late. Practice and critical review always meet deadlines.

Probability of failure despite effort.

Possibility of an audience.

Others must learn to be grateful to share their story with those who can write. A minute on a high wire is a moment to contemplate. The one trembling on the wire, those on the ground looking up.

The choice is to insist on writing your story so poorly that few will read and praise it, or to hand the idea to the master who will craft your story so that many will turn the pages.

Or a third choice. Learn to write well, a demanding journey of effort and failure and potential success, its own act on a high wire. The ultimate achievement.

Probability of story well written.

Possibility of glittering stars on Goodreads.

Brilliance evolves when someone reads the story and is transformed. Yes, it began with you, your ballet on the silver string.

Whose life is important? Whose balance on the wire is exciting enough to write it in a story?

Maybe anyone’s. Probably everyone’s. Possibly yours.

 

Says she who has yet to be published.

 

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Painting Seiltanzerin* 1913 by August Macke, courtesy: Wikimedia Commons; *Tightrope Walker

This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.

 

How to Make Cupcakes

You can blend cabbage with horseradish till the cows come home, wander out to the pasture again, and finally lumber down among the clover – you will never get cupcakes.

Best to start with the right ingredients. Fresh imagination, sprinkles of fun, a dollop of elbow grease, a cup of sunshine, Bubbie’s secret family recipe generously shared, and a baking partner or two. Especially if they’re of the childhood persuasion.

Mix with giggles, taste the affection and adjust for optimum flavor, bake long enough to read poetry, cool while jitterbugging around the moon, frost using all fingers while telling funny stories. Serve to the whole family. Relish happiness.

Bake a few more. Offer to the world. Everyone deserves sweet.

That’s how you make cupcakes.

 

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Painting of the artist’s son with Gabrielle Renard, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, courtesy Wikipedia

 

 

An Arrow Shot Blind

I miss the mark because I don’t understand what the target should be. How can I land a bull’s eye when I have no idea what to aim for? All I’m doing is shooting an arrow to the place hidden from my sight.

Yet it’s my shadow hiding the mark. If I move, if I change, if I soften my heart, if I open my eyes, maybe I will see. Then I might aim well enough.

It will be in your reflection I will know if I’ve triumphed. Your smile, your glow, your pulse. Your gifting hands, your willowed spine.

My cleansed sinew. My renewed spirit.

What glory then for the medal I no longer need to win.

 

 

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Painting Archers by Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. This photographic reproduction is considered to be in the public domain in the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

Moth

Captivated by moths. The beat of their wings so soft that the breath of elves do not approach their whispered thrum. I’m alive, I’m alive here.

Bodies thick with fur weighing less than a thimble of honey. The flash of exquisite wing art to terrify predators and frighten humans who approach at night. Leave me, leave me be.

Diurnal creatures attracted to light, intuitively brave explorers. They flit toward all the light in the world, basking in its artificial or natural beams, yet steal none of it, leaving plenty of glow for everyone else. We share, we share always.

To lose myself in your shadow and you in mine, yet each remain whole. More ourselves when paired, more complete than if we flew alone. How can I not be enchanted by greed that is not selfish? Love you, love you too.

Strangers may witness but my heartbeat is yours to claim. Do you see me drawn to your candlelight, my wings beating in the dark? Captivated by you, I’ve claimed all but taken nothing. I am, I am yours.

 

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Painting Emperor Moth, Vincent Van Gogh, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

Spilled Water

 

A few ounces of water barely fill a glass

Transparent, silent, static at the bottom

Topple the cup, and water flows everywhere

The surge of ounces conveyed quick as a tide

Saturating the books on the shelf, soaking their pages

A clumsy accident we say, and maybe that’s true

 

Grab the nearest cloth and press dry each book

Yet the pages between covers remain damp

They’ll dry in an hour or three, curling like waves

Each sheet bearing a permanent water stain

Dusk gray or dove wing brown as pages shrivel

The rippled intaglio of having been doused

 

We harbor truth within our heart’s deepest coves

It slumbers quiet as a secret tucked in a locket

While hate flows from our tongue, lashing blindly

A snake hissing danger at the edge of reeds

Sorry is a sibilant word, sliding soft from our mouths

Like fire, water burns and leaves a riven scar

 

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Image of glass of spilled water courtesy Max Pixel,  CCO Public Domain

 

 

Praying Thankful

 

As we approach the holiday season, please remember the thousands who have lost members of their families, their homes and possessions, their entire communities, to fires still raging in California.

Say a prayer in the language of your heart, write a check to assist the many who have lost everything, and express gratitude to the exhausted first responders still on the frontlines trying to quell the flames and assist those who have been stricken.

To be truly thankful is not only to account for your own blessings but to realize that so many are injured, harrowed, and grieving, and then to share your bounty.

If your celebration this year finds you dining at a table of cinders, sobbing at an open gravesite, bereft of all but the charity of strangers, please know I wish you a future.

 

 

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Sorrow by Vincent Van Gogh, courtesy Wikimedia Commons