Tired

I’m tired. I’m not, really, but it’s much more acceptable to say you’re tired than to say that you’re angry and upset and you don’t know why.

I’m tired. I’m not, not really, but it’s so much easier to say you’re tired than to say that you’re feeling prickly and sharp and you don’t know why.

I’m tired. I’m not supposed to be, because I got almost seven hours of sleep last night. But my goal is eight or nine, and the seven hours I got weren’t good. I can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling refreshed.

I’m tired. I’m not, really, but it’s much safer to say you’re tired than to say that you’re feeling jagged and raw and you don’t want to talk about it because you can’t handle hearing, “Suck it up, buttercup,” or, “Figure it out and get over it,” one more time.

I am running on empty, and I’m tired of it.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

World War IV

A piece of brick caught my eye as I hunkered down in the ruins of the ancient capital.

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” -Albert Einstein

I snorted as I picked up my bow and nocked an arrow. I didn’t know who this Einstein guy was, but he hadn’t been far off.

I froze as an arrow whizzed by, narrowly missing my ear. The world was a lot smaller now, but that didn’t mean we wouldn’t fight to the death to save what was left.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Burial

I bury things.

When I was little, I was obsessed with finding buried treasure. Even though I live in a landlocked state and grew up a good forty minutes by car from the nearest large river, I was certain that a trove of pirate treasure lay buried beneath the sidewalk mere blocks from home. After all, there were bootprints in the concrete. What better way to mark the spot than with bootprints that ordinary passersby would take for some construction worker’s careless mistake?

I loved time capsules back then, too. They were my own variation of buried pirate’s treasure. I’m fairly certain that, somewhere in my old backyard, maybe a foot or so down (because I’d have been too tired to dig any further), there lies a tin or ten of memories. And if my dad still lived in the house I grew up in, it would be a lot of fun to go digging things up back there, just to see what I could find. To see what I’ve forgotten.

But he doesn’t.

I buried him, too. Because along with things, I bury people.

I remember when I was five and my grandfather died. My parents drove the two hours (give or take) to my dad’s hometown to attend the funeral, but left my sister and me at home because we were so little. I was furious. We hadn’t known the man – he and my dad were not close – but in my five-year-old mind, that didn’t matter. I should have been there.

There once existed a picture of my grandfather pushing me in a stroller, though. Or maybe that was my uncle, and the picture exists only in my mind because I loved it when my dad would tell me the story about my uncle pushing me in the stroller.

I buried a niece, too. I was seven then. I cried and cried and cried when she slipped softly into a better realm. I buried a schoolmate, a great-grandmother, a friend’s little brother. I buried friendships and relationships and my mother.

I buried them with resignation and heartache and immense, unfathomable grief. I buried them with soil and flowers and kind words, the sort that reassure those who hear them. Because I bury words and feelings, too.

I bury words, way down deep, till they come surging forth, angry waves upon the shore. I shove them down, bottle them up, try to keep them contained. I bury feelings deeper still, till they come seeping out, magma leaking through my cracks. I bury words unsaid next to the words I’ve said, but they tend to bubble up within me. Their memory burns me, so I bury them deeper, so far down that I forget their existence.

That is, until I can’t. Because eventually, those words and those feelings that I thought were buried come shooting back to the surface, fireworks in a dark sky, lighting the way to a different place. A better place. A place of new beginnings.

You see, I also bury seeds. I bury them without looking, sometimes without knowing. The things I bury in pain or in anger sometimes become seeds of hope with a little time and patience. Hope is a powerful thing; it cannot be contained. No matter how dark the night, the sun always rises, and hope with it.

What things do you bury?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Yet more inspirational quotes

Today’s quote is from Momzen Mutterings, and is really rather fabulous:

momzen

I love this way of thinking about things. My brain hides things from me all the time – story ideas, doctor appointments, the shirt I laid out on the bed five minutes ago – so why should a gift or a talent be any different?

Like the old saying goes, use it or lose it. I didn’t use all that Spanish I learned once upon a time, and now I’ve lost it. It turns out that my brain hid that from me, too, because as soon as I started studying it again? It came back to me. It’s like pulling teeth sometimes trying to remember how to, say, conjugate a stem-changing verb, but eventually I remember.

What about you – have you lost something you didn’t use often? Did it come back to you?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Maybe

The bell clanged long and loud and low outside her window. Day was done, and with it, her toil. She sat back and stretched, shaking the cramps from her fingers before kneading the knots from her neck and shoulders. The bell’s echo receded into the distance, replaced by the sound of jingling keys, of rusty hinges screeching in protest.

He wasn’t supposed to come till tomorrow. She was supposed to have more time. Maybe if she didn’t turn around, if she refused to acknowledge him, maybe he would leave her. Maybe he would come back tomorrow, like he’d promised.

She wasn’t ready to die. No matter what she’d said.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

When the Cradle Falls

When the bough breaks and
The cradle doth fall, who will
Keep you safest of

All? Who will hold you
In arms strong and warm? Who will
Love you, till death do

You part? When the bough
Breaks and the cradle doth fall,
Who will keep you safe

Through it all – safe till
The end? Who will you trust with
Your dreams in the end?

(c) 2017. All rigts reserved.

Even more inspirational quotes

Today’s quote comes from Martha Graham, who was not a writer but a dancer, and it’s courtesy of the lovely Jeanne Pascale:

vitality

I’d never heard of Martha Graham when I read this quote, so I did a little Googling and found her Wikipedia entry, which had this to say:

Martha Graham (May 11, 1894 – April 1, 1991) was an American modern dancer and choreographer. Her influence on dance has been compared with the influence of Picasso on modern visual arts,[1][2] the influence of Stravinsky on music, and the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on architecture.[3]

She danced and choreographed for over seventy years. Graham was the first dancer to perform at the White House, travel abroad as a cultural ambassador, and receive the highest civilian award of the US: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In her lifetime she received honors ranging from the Key to the City of Paris to Japan’s Imperial Order of the Precious Crown. She said, in the 1994 documentary The Dancer Revealed, “I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer. It’s permitting life to use you in a very intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful. But nevertheless it is inevitable.” [4]

Her style, the Graham technique, fundamentally reshaped American dance and is still taught worldwide.[5]

A brilliant choreographer, Ms. Graham may have been referring to dance in her quotation above, but it certainly applies to writing as well. Indeed, it applies to any endeavor in life.

Do you have any favorite quotes, about writing or otherwise?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Reward

Small-town living is
Not for the faint of heart, but
It is rewarding.

Small-town life never
Leaves you behind, no matter
How far you may run.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Thirty days

Thirty days of poetry is a heck of a feat. Thirty days of alphabet poetry is something even more.

I can hear it now, the chorus of people asking, “More what?”

But you know something? I don’t know. It’s just more. More of a pain, more of a triumph. More exciting, more maddening. It’s just more, okay?

I wasn’t sure I’d do it. I wasn’t sure I’d make it. But here I am, thirty days later, with a few more poems under my belt and a sense of accomplishment I haven’t felt in a while. It’s a good feeling.

What about you – what have you been up to these last thirty days? How have the last thirty days changed you?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.