blogbattles, Stories...

Clink, Clank, Rattle Rattle, Whoosh…

I was inspired to join this #blogbattle challenge by Sha’Tara’s submission. I mean, a maximum word count and a pre-chosen topic (loss) are the very definition of “challenging” to me as a writer! How could I resist? Lol! You can find out more about it, including how to enter yourself by going here:

https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/blogbattle-loss/

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Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

Welcome, listeners, to this week’s edition of Conversations. I’m your host, Jules Seeker, and today we have a wonderful and unique guest with us. You’ve probably heard of her, and whether you love her or hate her, you’ve got to be at least a little curious about what all the commotion has been about. So without further ado, please help me welcome the infamous guru of our time, Ms. Elyssa Campton!

“Ms. Campton… Or may I call you Elyssa…?”

Call me whatever you like, Jules. Names and titles matter little to me.”

“Ok, then, Elyssa it is. You must be aware of the controversy surrounding you. Some say you run a dangerous cult, others claim you are a modern day savior. Which would you say is closer to the truth?”

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

[laughing…] “And here I thought you were going to ask the tough questions, Jules! Or so says your reputation, anyway… But if you want to start out easy, I’m game.

“Which would I say is closer to the truth? Neither. And both.”

“I’m sorry, Elyssa, I don’t understand.”

“I don’t run anything, Jules, nor am I here to save anyone. Do I have a following? Sure. But I didn’t invite them, or in any way entice them. They choose to follow me, but I haven’t asked them to…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“As to the modern day savior bit, I’d say people are giving me undue credit for the choices they’re making. Of course, they will, in time, also find a way to cast blame my way, when things don’t work out as they hope.”

“And you’re ok with this?”

“Does it matter? I have no control over others, good or bad. That’s my point. If they want to toss their power around, who am I to stop them?”

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“But… but… hmmm…

“Ok, let’s go in a different direction. If you could sum up the purpose of life in just one word, what would it be?”

[laughing again…] “Easy… Loss.”

“Loss?! Seriously?… I’m sorry, I just don’t understand.”

“Yes, loss. It’s simple, really. We’re born into this time and space complete and whole as individuals, and as we progress through days and weeks and months and years, we gradually lose it all…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Or so one would hope…”

“Umm… Well… Hmm…

“Ok, I admit it, I’m totally lost. I have no idea what you’re talking about, Elyssa! Care to explain that a bit more for myself and our listeners today?”

[a smile lifting her voice]… “Sure, I can do that, Jules.

“When I was born, I lost the security of my mother’s womb, being cast out into an uncertain world, overwhelmed by light and noise and fear…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“When I was about a year old, I lost my mother. Or she lost me, depending on your point of view, I guess. After all, she was the one who abandoned me…

“When I was five, I lost my place in my family unit, being replaced by step siblings and relegated to the role of family bartender…

“When I was eight I lost my innocence because my drunk and lonely father often got confused, uncertain whether I should be his daughter or his wife…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Around that time I also lost my belief in justice, learning that no one really wants responsibility for protecting children from their abusers…

“By the time I hit thirteen, I saw potential slip away, as alcohol gradually replaced any desire to succeed…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“When sixteen rolled around, I lost whatever integrity I had left; right and wrong have no place in the struggle to survive…

“And when that desire to live slipped quietly away, and Death became my most immediate goal, I learned that wanting anything was pointless and absurd. The Universe simply doesn’t care what I want, and life steals every hope away, twisting it into something unrecognizable…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Wow, Elyssa… That’s truly depressing! Why would anyone want to live like that? Why would anyone want to follow someone who believes that?!”

“Because everyone has experienced such loss in one way or another. If you’re honest with yourself, Jules, you’ll have to admit your life has been a series of losses, too.”

“Well… maybe, to some extent, but still…”

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“Christ! What is that annoying sound?!”

[laughing] “Oh that? Not to worry, Jules. That’s just the sound of marbles slipping (not so quietly) away…”

Dead silence…

“You’re crazy, Elyssa! Totally bat-shit crazy!!”

“Yep! And proud of it, thank you very much!”

“So… You don’t actually know anything about enlightenment, do you? Your whole gig is a lie, a con, a scam!”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that, Jules! Everything I’ve told you is the truth. What you choose to do with it is entirely up to you…

Clink, clank, rattle rattle, whoosh…

“It’s true I’ve lost a lot, that everyone loses in life, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Because part of what we lose, repeatedly, is our sense of expectation and entitlement…

“And when all that is gone, our egos slip away, along with everything else that makes us different or special…

“And we are left with nothing…

“Nothing but the present moment. Nothing but the common element. Nothing but the purest essence of what we are created from…

“And that complete and whole individual we were born as disintegrates completely…

“Allowing us the freedom to be every person, place or thing, simultaneously and without contradiction…

“And that, my friend, is what we stand to gain from all those losses…”

Clink… Rattle, rattle… Whoooshhh…

Silence…

(960 words)

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Poetry, Reflections

Fractures…

Fractures…

Glaring defects in all we know.

Micro glitches in my CD, bringing dissonance to those soothing sounds.

Shattered lines and missing pieces in the mirror I hold, distorting every image it reflects.

Spider-web cracks spreading across the window glass, blocking every vision that might exist beyond the pane (pain)…

Simple lines bisecting bones, altering every relationship I hold with gravity on this Earth.

Eliminating any weight-bearing strength I might once have had…

Fractures…

Massive movement on a global scale.

As continental plates rub against one another, creating heat in friction,

threatening to overflow in melted stone and ash.

Shaking up this world in trembling anticipation of what is yet to come.

Ice shelves slipping gracefully into the sea, drowning out the sound of whispering winds,

roaring out a challenge and a warning, so remote it’s voice is barely heard.

Icy winds drive massive storms, burying the cities and the plains in blinding snow,

freezing every person, place or thing in time that moves without changing anything.

A sun that rises, strong and warm, driving out the chill,

Melting all the evidence of all that we’ve done wrong.

Water rising as clouds cry, and snow recedes,

washing away the memory of death breathing down our necks.

Almost…

Fractures…

In the dams that keep the floods at bay…

In the foundations that keep us standing up…

In the beliefs that kept us calm through so many of life’s storms…

In the hope that life will triumph over catastrophe next time…

Fractures…

In the rose-colored glasses and the ego-driven classes.

In the delusions and the promises and the trajectories of our time…

Not broken… Yet!

But soon enough we’ll see

the fractures running through each and every one of us.

Giving up and giving way

collapsing under our own weight

destruction of all we’ve made

creation of a whole new day…

*** *** ***

And with Day 8, One Truth made manifest,

the blinding Light chasing protective Shadows away,

leaving a Mind to crumble and cast about, seeking something solid to hang onto.

But there was Nothing left…

And so it fractured, and fell into a heap.

And tiny pieces trembled as they lifted themselves from the ruins of all-that-was,

seeking Wholeness,

seeking Peace.

“I am alone,” One thought.

And her Heart broke at that realization.

New fractures replacing old…

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Reflections

The Co-Dependency Crackdown. (i.e. Taking My Own Inventory)

Life is a challenge. A series of lessons. A chance to improve. A path to evolution. All of these things. And then some…

Right?

Maybe. Or maybe not. That is what I am discovering, anyway.

I mean, I have spent so much of my life in “school,” learning the hard way. Gaining wisdom, some might say. But all of that implies progress; slow, steady (sometimes regressive) steps forward. All of that implies time.

And if I look at the sum total of my nearly 55 years here (this time), and add to it the memories I have of other times and places, the “facts” (or experiences) would support that hypothesis.

Time heals all wounds. To everything there is a season. Slow and steady wins the race. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Keep on keeping on… Time wins every time!

But Time is a construct. A deception. A barrier. And a lie. At least for me…

The truth is, every major breakthrough I’ve had (in this life or any other) came as an epiphany. There might have been wallowing that preceded said epiphany. There might have been intention. There may even have been hints and clues strewn about the landscape of my current timespace. But the moment of change was always dramatic, instantaneous and complete.

I spent months pondering the pros and cons of sobriety before I actually embraced it, still using occasionally and making excuses. And then one day someone said the “wrong” thing to me, embarrassed me, and made me mad as hell. A week later, as my anger subsided, I stopped drinking. And I’ve never even been truly tempted to look back. Does that mean I’m not an alcoholic, after all? Doesn’t matter, because I’m not interested in drinking anymore…

I spent years in and out of therapy, on various medications, trying to “fix” what was broken in me. Then one day it occurred to me that broken or not, I enjoyed my kind of crazy. I’ve never needed meds since…

I have spent a lifetime feeling like I need to “earn” my place in the world, developing integrity, seeking reciprocity, taking responsibility for whatever crosses my path. And yet…

It finally occurs to me that I have a right to exist, simply because I do!

Not earth shaking news for many of you, I’m sure, but it was a life-changing revelation for me.

And I don’t need to save the world, after all. Because each of you is capable of making your own decisions, whether I approve of them or not. Each of you has the same right to exist as me…

And as this “truth” sinks in, “gravity” falls away. My back straightens as my load is lightened. My wings unfurl once more, and I am delighted to discover I can fly once again.

And my spirit soars…

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Reflections

Happy New Year…? Really?!

Am I the only one who feels reluctance to voice those words this year? Am I the only one who believes that uttering such sentiments is tantamount to inviting people to indulge in fantasy while abandoning reality?

I mean, it’s not that I don’t want good things to happen to people, because I certainly do. It’s more that I sense that such “good things” as health, prosperity and peace are unattainable at this time. And while it’s true that I said the obligatory greetings at midnight between December 31st and January 1st, even I could not miss the sarcasm or irony in my tone as I did so.

I have avoided posting (or responding to) Facebook greetings about the new year for the most part. And when I felt it was necessary, I have acknowledged them with “likes” rather than reciprocity; anything more would feel too insincere. It just doesn’t seem like a happy new year…

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my innate honesty coming out. I’m not depressed, nor do I wish to trigger others’ anxieties, but all of my instincts rail against the false hope implied in that traditional greeting.

***. ***. ***

I avoid the news. I’ve cut myself off from anyone’s supposedly factual presentation of “what’s happening now.” I did so because… well, I guess if I have to explain why, then you likely would disagree with my reasoning, so never mind. The point is, when I feel compelled to investigate “what’s happening out there (as opposed to in here),” I tend to read opinion pieces instead. At least they’re honest about being opinions (mostly), and if I read enough opposing opinions, I can sometimes get a sense of what “facts” might have triggered them, somewhere in between their interpretations of events.

So today I got up early enough to read several such opposing opinions, and thought now might be a good time to catch up on the world my body is inhabiting.

I think that might have been a mistake…

Because I’m truly not sure what reality I tagged into. And I’m not convinced anyone else I read knows either, though they don’t seem at all concerned with their skewed points of view. I just couldn’t make sense of anything I read!

There were the Earth-friendly writers (usually liberal leaning, if not outright left wing extremists) touting Trump as the destroyer of the Cabal…?! Umm… is this the same Trump who’s been on a direct “destroy the environment to eke out a few more pennies of profit” kick for decades?

Or the self-declared leftist revolutionaries questioning why openly right wing conservatives are mysteriously dying, supporting the alt-right’s declaration of conspiracies against them…?! Umm… really?!

There are the Evangelicals finally admitting that their Bible prophesies a non-believer who would become king, restoring their patriarchal, authoritarian rule of law…?! “Of course Trump is a non-believer, but we wouldn’t want him any other way! Only a non-believer could support our [ridiculous, restrictive, murderous] agenda!”

There are high-ranking (former) military and government officials openly, and publicly, calling on our military to stage a coup, while our rank and file members turn out in droves (against military rules) in Trump supporting paraphernalia, appearing to be his greatest fans…! All while not getting paid?! Really?!

And then there’s the truly delusional ones. You know the hype. “We’ve finally turned the corner! So many people have evolved enough that true peace is right around the corner!” Really? Where?

Meanwhile, in my city, there were three murders already, before New Year’s Day was officially over – a shooting, a stabbing, and a home invasion resulting in a fatality (home dweller, not thief, of course). And these are all “poor on poor” crimes, regardless of color, religion, immigration status, or sexual orientation…

I don’t know… Maybe I am depressed after all. But “happy new year”?

Hardly…

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Poetry, Reflections

These are the reasons…

When I stop to question why I bother to survive

in a world hell-bent on destruction and dying

I realize…

I don’t have to travel far

to see the smiles or feel the scars

to ride the highs of excitement and joy

or wallow in the depths of disappointment and sorrow.

For all around me are excuses to be

whatever we want or expect to become:

the rich, the poor, the sickly and well

the humble, the prideful, the angry and lustful.

And whether or not I agree with their choices

I acknowledge their right to choose.

Soo…

Looking into the “eyes” that surround me

wherever the place, whatever the time

I accept

These are the reasons for all of the seasons

Life to be lived without rhyme or reason.

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Uncategorized

PSA: No, I’m not ignoring you…

Just a quick note to let those of you I regularly follow know that I have been trying to interact. I receive your posts via email and read them when I can. But lately WordPress has blocked me from interacting; every time I try to “like” or comment on something, it asks me to log in and then rejects my password. The same happens when trying to respond to comments on my own blog.

I will try to figure it out eventually, though right now is not the time. I just wanted you to know that I’m still here and still reading you when I can… 😁

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Reflections

MIA (aka “Out of the Loop”)…

How long does something need to be missing from your life before you notice it’s gone? How long does it take you to identify that missing element? Can you even identify it?

Just curious, I guess. Lately I’ve been experiencing that a lot.

I walked into my craft room the other day, and noticed a gaping hole on a display shelf. I stopped to wonder what might have been there…? I mean, clearly something else must have sat there, else why would the one other item on the shelf be sitting off to one side? Or am I missing something obvious here…?

I have a shelf of broken and forgotten toys at work, gathered over my 13+ years there, and including some that predate even me. I noticed a similar “hole” on that shelf recently. But I absolutely cannot imagine what used to sit there!

My daughter was in serious crisis the weekend before Thanksgiving. It dragged into days… then weeks. She is attempting to reconstruct her life around new principles and priorities now. Yesterday, someone thought to ask me how she was doing with that. My response?

“I have no idea…”

“How can you have no idea?!,” she asked with incredulity.

Hmm… good question, so I pondered for a moment.

“I guess I’m just out of the loop these days,” I answered finally. “She doesn’t report to me, and we only talk when I see her once a week. But then the kids are there…”

A co-worker asked me about something work related yesterday (damned if I remember what – lol!), and my response was “I have no idea.” When she went on to question me about it, I learned something else I didn’t know! She just stared at me like I’d lost my mind, and I merely laughed, pointing out the obvious fact that I was clearly “out of the loop.”

And frankly, I don’t seem to mind…

Working the floor, dealing with customers a lot this time of year. And over the last week or so I’ve been pressed for things we haven’t carried in years. All things I remember having… once. But no more. “Sorry” is all I can offer. Why the sudden fascination with things long gone, things I wouldn’t even know we’re missing unless someone asked?

And so it goes, day in and day out. A monotony of dim colors with an occasional splash of brilliant sparkle, rapidly lost to memory. I not only feel detached from reality, but actually distanced from it, as though none of it is real anymore. My thoughts aren’t even present anymore, spinning as they are around long forgotten memories suddenly resurfacing in my conscious mind. Memories that seem to lack both purpose and significance. Memories that make me wonder why I’m even bothering…?

And all I can “hear” when I question all this is “I’m out of the loop…”

Missing in action…

And I didn’t even know…

So… how long has it been? How long did it take me to realize this?!

Ahhh, time. The loopiest of life’s loops!

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