Monday, December 31, 2012

Weekly Creative Writing #5

I remember the days when this ten year-old sister of mine was once a babe and naive to the world, yet she would still smile and giggle every waking minute of the day.   Back in the day... when our business failed and we struggled for years, when every other night ended in tears, when hopeless feeling echoed in the caverns of my heart, when the world was vast and dangerous to my young eyes.   Yet she always smiled.  She never stopped laughing, and, in many ways, we attribute the reason for our sanity during those days to her and her laughter.  All those days I sat by her infant rocker and fed her mushed up peas and fruits... oh, she would laugh at me - innocently mocking my desperate attempts to feed her.  The corners of her mouth were eternally secured to opposite sides of her face, as she giggled and managed to get a colorful, fruity-flavored and scented mess on my face. Constantly grinning like a cheshire cat and I, being only six years-old, honestly thought her face must hurt terribly from such lively exertion.   Her laugh reverberates in my memories the same way it once effortlessly and gleefully echoed through our home and charmed all who heard it.   Such jubilance amidst struggle.  

I put the old pictures back into my drawer and close my eyes for a moment.  That’s what I hope to never end and remain enduring - that which my sister made us remember.  Laughter.   Non-contained, mirthful, pealing laughter filling the halls of my future.  Filling my mind are images of what could possibly be.  I see myself in college, laughing with classmates and age-old friends over some conversation.   Then marriage - I can smell the perfume, flowers, and taste pastries made by my adopted Greek yayas who filled every buttery, calorie-packed pastry with hours of laughter.  I can feel my future children running in from the outdoors, laughing their hearts out, grabbing my neck and kissing my cheek.   And, in my old age, I can hear laughter frolicking with my grandchildren and daintily embellishing the conversations with my, then, timeworn friends and husband.   And my musing is interrupted by my family downstairs - amused at some reality.  The sound of their laughter mirroring my current thoughts.. 

For the superb counterpart of this themed concurrent writing project:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Weekly Creative Writing #4

        I need to get out.  This room gets smaller by the hour.  Bullets hurdle above me and their torturous sound fills every empty space within me.  Raging and thrashing like the sea, blood surges through my veins and my breath quickens. Oh, to breathe.  How did William live with this torture during the war?  That’s right, he didn’t live.  Neither will I - not as long as the bullets and legions assail me in this tiny cottage.  The bullets. They’ve stopped again.  Stopped sporadically like they have all day as I sit here curled up by the coat rack for protection.   What babies the enemy troops are!  Thinking they can bring me out of his home.   My stomach groans.  Of course, I haven’t eaten in days, but why should I expose myself to these treacherous murderers?  My mouth is dry and the pain in my abdomen is becoming too much to bear.  And the bullets. They’re gone, yet the violent pounding still echoes in my mind.  Oh, food.  Maybe it’s worth dying, to get some nourishment.  At least I would be freed of the imprisoning echoes those bullets have created.  That waiting, devilish army can’t see I’m scared, though.  I must control my breath as I pass that open window in the kitchen.  William would want me to be smart about this.   In his letters, he mentioned tribal drums and how they echoed within his mind to temper his breath.   I attempt that, but nothing stops the echoes of bullets.  Still, I start dragging myself to the kitchen.   I freeze.  The world will collapse if I drag myself another foot.  I’m shaking violently.  One more meter and this world will collapse on itself.  The wood is so frail and paper thin - so close to snapping beneath my starved body.  “Never look down, Abigail, you won’t get anywhere.” William used to say.  So I look forward.  But, it’s so far away - that kitchen.  Miles away and continually fading!  The feeble floor following it and continuing into infinity.  But, I won’t look down.  I won’t disappoint Will.  I reach the pinnacle of my senses.  I stand - both feet are shakily on the brittle floor.  And it starts to crack and I feel myself falling.  I scream, but all that comes from my mouth is the sound of bullets.  I fall into a pit and it consumes me.

        The blackness that once surrounded me fades into an antique farmhouse.  The sound of the bullets... Oh, wait, the sound of the rain dances on the tin roof and I can smell its musky perfume through the open window by the kitchen.  I stand up, running my fingers through my hair.  It is wet.  A pang of hunger stabs me as I stumble across the room to the fireplace for support.  Post-war magazine articles are scattered throughout the room. William’s picture is on the mantle, beside what remains of his bullet-ridden uniform. 

 I’m so sorry Will...I’m trying so hard to bring you back...

For the brilliant counterpart of this weekly themed writing project:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekly Creative Writing #3

I inspected my watch once more, muttering under my breath about the time.   I always got snagged into babysitting at these get-togethers.  Exasperated, I watched the children play in the leaves under the magnanimous, leafless oak tree - completely heedless of time and most especially heedless of my schedule.   They chased each other and fell into the leaves - their faces bright and animated.  I sat smugly on the log a few meters away, wishing time wouldn’t move so slowly.   Each minute seemed to stretch itself to no visible or pleasurable end... 

At last, I saw our guests leaving the old farmhouse, bidding each other goodbye.  Sighing with relief, I walked towards the children under the skeleton-like oak to corral them.   I pointed towards the house and collection of cars in the close distance.  I smiled a little - as their tiny feet resounded like a miniature gaggle of elephants as they passed me. Of course, they’d want to race each other.  

I stood under the vast oak.  They were so very happy - just running.  Running across those shimmering fields of grass that reflected the sun which set like an amber stone in the west.  I laid down on the crisp, brown leaves; staring into the sky.   The lanky limbs of the oak sketched irregular shapes into the golden, cloud-blushed sky.   Memories came flooding back.  The ones I stored away years ago, like precious jewels from the sly feet of robbers.  All those days I would come out here and stare at the sky - never worrying about what the future might hold, but basking in the glory of my childish fancies.  I remembered how the clouds used to wave at me - laughing like jolly old men as they looked down upon my small existence, but me, proud as ever, feeling superior to any other creature in the “farmworld” that engulfed my life during that time.   So small, yet remarkably immense.   I was so contained as a girl, yet more free than I had ever been.  I closed my eyes.  Thriving beneath me were the roots of the oak; a tree which all others saw as a wrinkled, blackened shell of bark.  It grew - it never stopped growing, but it looked so dead especially this time of the year.  Quite like I must look at times.  Always growing, but worn, uninterested and cynical to those who observed me. 

Finally, I heard nothing, except the gentle whispers of the swaying branches above me.   I opened my fatigued eyes again.  The amber-studded sun was being cradled by the saffron horizon - almost gone.  Oh, time had passed so quickly.. just like springtime of my childhood had evaded me unconsciously.   I vowed right then to embellish in the blessings of the moments that drew themselves out, the ones I will never recapture.  But that vow, as with time, too, will pass quickly... 

For the amazing counterpart of this themed joint writing project:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekly Creative Writing #2

The Merciful Rain

Every part of me was feverishly hot - every thought grasping wildly to hold onto sense itself.  I resented reality.  Passions surged through me, but the ocean matched it with a roaring wave that gushed onto the wet rim of sand that made its perimeter.   Push me. “Make me let go!” I inwardly screamed at it.  “Make me feel small. Break me, if You can!” I muttered; now, towards Something different.  Burning tears fell like ribbons down my face.  My shield of confidence was eroding quickly - thin and breakable like a Christmas ornament.  The saltwater stung the wounds on my heart as it thrashed out there.  Gritty sand blew into my face as a gust of wind bellowed over a dune-speckled beach.  “Answer me!” I screamed again. “I’m here because of You! I’m here because nothing else worked!”   The ashen-clouded sky did nothing but remain placid.  The wind ceased, but the ocean kept on thrashing - playing with its power.   I closed my eyes and moaned.  Falling to my knees, I let the salty liquid soak my dress.  Why did I try?  Why did I still hope that there was something true, real, and pure out there?  Had I wasted my time searching - scanning the corners of humanity - playing the fool by attempting to sail that theoretical world in eighty days?   

I gave up.  I let go.

And, at that moment, the burning stopped.  The world became very simple and very vast - but, I wasn’t alone.  Even when I tried, the feverish anger wouldn’t return to me.  I released the fists my hands had made and they throbbed.  Oh, they hurt, yet not with a stinging pain.  Instead, a pain that a child feels as their bones stretch and grow.  The fear, the anger, the doubting - it streamed out of me, like the sand streaming out of my open hands.  At last, He had broken me. But, more than that, He had answered me.  The rain began to pour mercilessly from the massive cloud-swallowed sky.  But, I no longer need the rain to cool me...

For the counterpart of this themed joint writing project:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Nightfall in Georgia

(raindrops on an ancient cedar tree at church) 

(dancing silhouettes under lamplight {photo credits to Maria Hagen for this photo})

(country roads)

(the mailbox... a world within itself)

(my corner...)

(literally the culmination of my life right now... haha. books.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Calvin Jones

This man’s music is amazing.  I absolutely adore playing his compositions.   The first and only time I saw him perform was the day my love for music, specifically piano, was reignited.  =)

This is my all time favorite song by him.  Forgive the rather cheesy intro, haha, but it’s possibly the ONLY youtube video he has actually made.  The only other ways to hear the other songs is over CD, playing it yourself, or going to a concert.  Otherwise, I’d post a million other songs with this one.  

Performing Whitewater Chopped Sticks is possibly the most fun I have ever had when it comes to piano.  I love drawing out a stunted and primitive Chopped Sticks beginning just to see the aghast expression of the audience, then jumping right into the actual song.  :D And it just makes me so happy that the entire composition is based on the chord structure of Chopped Sticks, the song we all learn our first piano lesson.  

Maybe someday I’ll find the time to do covers on all the other songs I love from him... haha. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weekly Rapid Creative Writing

        Oh, that dreadful moment - that foreboding moment when the rapidly approaching reality of parting souls stares you in the face.  Your chest tightens and your hands become clammy.  Every nerve in the human body is awake and strained, it seems.   You will never see this face again - not in this world.  That kills you.  Part of her is already gone.  Her eyes are looking into deep things, frighteningly splendid things - things that you ever will never know in this life.  And they shimmer - they shimmer with joy.  Tears blur any detailed vision of her face and you are paralyzed by her side.  You wish you could join her - to gaze on what beauty she must be seeing. Yet, terror fills you as the chilling breath of death brushes the back of your neck.   She grasps this world by a silken thread - thin, fragile, and straining under the pull of life and death.  Within you, you hear a sound similar to people singing across the cold chains of centuries.  The last flickering light of life leaves her and you can sense her soul soaring into eternal time.  The room drains of energy, turning into every shade of gray.  You are trembling under an invisible pressure.   Struggling to remain composed, you walk over to the window and look out at the vast, star-freckled night.  The stars are burning brighter than any other night you’ve ever seen.   The pain lessens.  She’s up there, playing among the stars, happier than she’s ever been.  And you smile. Someday you might frolic with her.