Drink Up (30-word Thursday challenge)

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I draw from the river flask an icy swill to shore up my ancient veins, for soon the raptor will swoop down with his mighty talons and grasp my barren crown.

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photo: along the banks of the Sauk River (Darrington, WA, Feb 2016)

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Nature IS

It’s been kind of a rough week – I won’t get into the gory details… Trust me, they’re not worth the digital ink on the page – it’ll bore you to tears!

In all of it, though, I have emerged – a bit weary and scraped, and definitely (ego-) bruised, but – intact and having learned a lesson or two along the way.

Can I just say, no matter how much unbridled hope you have, no matter how much flattery you’ve stored up in the form of compliments and well-wishes from friends, family, and the sweet little old lady at the craft store who doesn’t understand that you didn’t make a mistake and put your wedding ring on the wrong hand – because it’s NOT a wedding ring (it’s just a stupid ring to not make my, umm I mean your, hands look so plain and dismally naked!)…

Ahem, sorry… where was I? Oh, yes, compliments and well-wishes…

So, with all those little love notes of hope and (bloated) confidence making you feel as if the world will bend to your delightful whims, let me reassure you – the sun will NEVER rise in the west!

Nature IS!  If nature started acting contrary to what is has always been – i.e., the sun rising in the west instead of the east – could you imagine the amount of chaos that would create?! If the waves crashed onto the shore with all the splendor and majesty we know and love – the sound of its roaring strength and the sizzle of churning foam on its peaked tips – and then receded, only to fail in its rhythmic return for hours, what then? How far from shore would the water linger before once again quenching the sandy terrain? And the moon? What if it decided to spin off on its own and hang out in the orbit of another planet for a night or two, just on the weekend, because hey, it’s the weekend, and the moon deserves a vacation too, right? While we’re at it, how about lemon trees bearing grapes and rose bushes producing acorns and blueberries? Just for fun, cheetahs residing under water, talking ladybugs, and sea stars with proper legs and feet, strolling along in Central Park?

Nature IS…

I remember a line – or rather, a scene – from a movie where one individual laments “a bird may love a fish… but where will they live?” to which another (who by all accounts should know that Nature IS and cannot be changed, altered, or drastically redirected) exclaims “then I shall have to make you wings!” (collective “awe”…) But really, even if – even if!! – a fish could be suited with proper wings, to take flight alongside the bird, their two hearts soaring through the blue vastness together, eventually the fish would perish – for lack. of. breath! Why? Because. Nature. IS!

Okay, now hold on to your over-priced lattes and tea-cakes; here’s the boomerang! As I was myself lamenting about the sad state my affairs find themselves in at the near-close of this week, I came across an unassuming email and without hesitation, opened it for a quick read. There in bold, LARGE TYPE FACE was:

For nothing is impossible with God. – Luke 1:37

Now, I’m not saying the laws of nature are going to be tossed into oncoming traffic and carried off at break-neck speeds (because, come on, let’s be real! Traffic NEVER moves that fast around here)! No. Nature (still!) IS. However, if the will of Lord is that something be different than what has previously been the “status quo” – even if that “status quo” has withstood the test of time, and even sustained a longer run time than The Simpsons, Keith Richards, or cockroaches! – then rest assured, His will is going to supersede! Because, well, “[For] nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37). And in case that wasn’t clear enough, Matthew recorded this: “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).

I’m not going to fill my head with ridiculous rationalizations and fanciful dreams that come from a foolishly hopeful heart – that’s what 3-year-old girls do when they exclaim that they’re going to grow up to be mermaids and fairy princesses. No. I’m going to accept that the sun will never rise in the west, and know that it has nothing to do with me – it’s just how nature IS. What I am going to do, however, is find joy in the familiarity of nature’s laws, its calming, recognizable routine – the ones that I’ve become accustomed to over the past four decades (plus or minus five or ten years…).

Trying to redirect the wind and the waves has worn out my soul and my spirit, and has left me feeling defeated more times than I care to count. This time, though, I have learned that it is not my place to change nature, no matter how much bottled-up optimism I brandish in my arsenal. Instead, I am relinquishing my rebellious psyche for one of a more temperate disposition, (begrudgingly perhaps) accepting that I am right where I am supposed to be in the midst of nature and all its splendor, and banking on the promise:

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak… They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29, 31)

And so she wrote…

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I have engaged myself in writing a nonfiction piece, investigating some autobiographical avenues and peppering them with inspirational anecdotes, sharing biblical references that helped me stay grounded during times of severe adversity, all in an effort to join up with others who may be traveling similar paths through difficult valleys.

 

There are some friends and family that know my story, and I’ve had the opportunity to share parts of my story during a women’s breakfast as an encouraging devotional a few years back; however, I’ve never bore my heart and history in as much detail all at one time, or all in one place before… It’s a little intimidating!

During the brain-storming and initial outlining phases, I was blown away at the sheer amount of content that came to mind! I guess I have stopped looking in the rear-view mirror of my life… Some issues still affect my day-to-day living – even at eight years old – and I’ve learned to take those in stride, along with new trials and triumphs (yes, I’ll be celebrating victories and exciting events as well as discussing arduous challenges and how to find peace and foster joy despite surrounding circumstances).

Green calendar icon isolated on whiteMy job consists of many time-sensitive tasks, and I work best when given specific time parameters; therefore, I’m designing a strict timeline for this – I’m a “deadline-minded” individual. Am I prone to procrastination? Is the sun hot? Of course I am! Which is why I needed to set a timeline. I appreciate your patience as I take time to work on this project. I will do all I can to keep this blog page updated, and full of entertaining content. (I have found that I miss writing the content-rich blog posts that filled my page at its onset; I hope to return to that, sooner rather than later!

(I will admit that the first quarter of the year is incredibly laborious on the job front, and there are times when, by my arrival at home, I simply lack the physical stamina and emotional energy to compose decent content. I am however working on reaching a better work-life balance…)

I wanted to end this post with a question – something I haven’t really done in the past (outside of rhetorical questions, leaving you with thoughts to chew on and concepts to wrestle with). This is a question that I found as I pondered different writing topics. I may still use this question to spawn a book in the (not-too-distant) future; however, I am sincerely curious to hear what you think about this. Leave a comment!

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You’ve been presented with the opportunity to throw five items into an incredibly powerful fire – a fire that will consume and destroy any item tossed into its flame. Upon hurling these five items into the fire, there will be no trace of them left anywhere – no memory, no recollection, no Internet shadow, nothing; it will be as if these items never existed! What would your five items be and why? Would there be consequences or ramifications to removing these items from existence? What would those be and how would you deal with that?

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Thanks!!

 

eARTh (100-word Wednesday challenge)

100 Word Wednesday:  Week 10, as hosted by the lovely and talented @bikurgurl (image credit: bikurgurl)

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theatre

Stage left. Stage right. Center stage. Back stage. Briefly separated for the express purpose of synchronization and harmony in the final stages. Lines. Lines of dialogue. Suspension lines. Each line and bar of music, and lines upon lines of lyrics to memorize. Scattered pieces, misfitting components, a menagerie of personalities and talents, a motley crew of strengths, experiences, and expertise, all drawn together by the love of art and the desire to share it with a willing and receptive audience. Regardless the medium, ART is at the center of our eARTh; be sure to take it in and appreciate it!

Cinder Soot (100-Word Challenge)

This week’s 100-Word Wednesday (Week #7) (hosted by @Bikurgurl ):

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Image credit: Olivier Guillard

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During the drive up the tree-lined forest road, winding along the southern tip of the serene lake, my mind wandered, wondering what might be left of the small cabin that saw the sun rise and set on countless unscripted days of my youth. The path was no longer well-worn but the trees whispered my name. Upon seeing the shack, memories flooded back, thick with the stench of wet moss and pine boughs. The tilted front deck sighed under each step, the torn screen door dangled from its hinges, and inside, the fireplace still cradled pounds of ash and expired timber.

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Curiosity and the Kit

For a while (I’m almost embarrassed to mention how long), I’ve been working on a “children’s” story – inasmuch as the Chronicles of Narnia are children’s stories, but you get the intent. Because of school demands, outrageous work hours, and a cavalcade of health setbacks, this story line took a back seat to, well, life, and its trouble-making hoodlum buddies. It has been this particular story, though, that has been tugging at my ‘novelistic’ heartstrings, begging that I return to my innermost passion, picking up the pieces that I had left scattered across my multiple flash drives as well as what I can recall from memory, having lost nearly the full beginning chapter to a virus-ridden hard drive. I was recently struck with a bolt of inspiration, almost audibly hearing one of the young characters in a conversation with her wise, gentle mother. I seized the opportunity to share an intimate moment with Mademoiselle Muse while she decided to grace me with her presence, despite the ungodly hour on the clock – sleep, be damned! – and such progression is always high-potency fuel on the fire! I’m hoping over the course of the next few weeks, this creative awakening takes up residence without fail and I’m able to continue developing this particular story line; I would love to see these characters come to life and be enjoyed by others!

For now, a tidbit to share with you all:

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Willow was coaxed from the comfort of the den, the silken fur tipping her ears swayed by the melodious fog that caressed the timbers as it rolled up from deep within the valley. Against her nature, she sat quietly, watching the wispy air finger its way up and through nearby trees, convincing stubborn leaves to twirl and tremble, wave and waltz with a commanding gentleness. A shimmer of brilliant light shone from around the high back root of the Borealis tree, drawing Willow’s attention. Where the light was coming from was a mystery, as the fog still rested in the canopy overhead. The young fox crawled toward the illuminated root, battling curiosity and trepidation.

“What is it, young one?” the soft, tender voice of Sequoiasong patiently beckoned from just outside the den’s opening.

“A light…” Willowwood stammered, refusing to turn her gaze from the mysterious spectacle. “A brilliant light, like nothing I’ve ever seen before, Mother! I don’t know where it’s coming from; but I don’t want to lose it! ”

“And what is your plan for this light, Willowwood?” Sequoiasong needled. “Will you snatch it up in your jaws and drag it off somewhere, burying it as a prize for yourself?”

“I just want to see where it’s coming from and where it leads.”

“Are you sure you want to know that much about something so mysterious?”

“Of course I want to know!” The petite fox hopped up and down on all four of her dusty paws in a dance of wild impertinence. “And I want to know why the fog sings.”

“You hear the fog singing? What is it saying to you, my young one?”

Willowwood’s frolicking halted and she tilted her right ear toward the sky. “I don’t understand what it’s saying, Mother.” She pinched her eyes tight as if shutting out all light helped with auditory senses. “I’m not even sure there are words… Just a haunting song… A haunting song – so beautiful – my heart, Mother…”

“Breathe, Willow…”
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