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Ashes to Ashes…

“Ashes to ashes, dusk to dusk…,” began the pastor at the graveside service.

“Umm… excuse me,” interrupted one of the mourners (the only one there, in fact). “Don’t you mean ‘dust to dust’?”

The pastor looked confused for a moment, before understanding smoothed out the lines of his expression. He smiled warmly at his only living guest.

No, no, no…,” he chuckled quietly. “Why would I wish that fate on anyone?”

“Because that’s the way the service goes…?,” answered the mourner, a touch of snarky in the implied question.

The pastor waved off the comment, his usually placid expression fully restored. “A simple misunderstanding is all. Easy to see why it might happen, though, isn’t it? They sound so similar!…”. He paused for a moment, thinking.

Have you ever played that game where you try passing a word around a circle of people to see how it transforms? I think it’s called Telephone, or something similar. This is kind of like that; someone heard ‘dust to dust’ instead of ‘dusk to dusk,’ and others kind of ran with it.” He smiled again. “A silly game, a silly mistake, but enlightening in the end.”

The lone mourner looked confused now… “Are you serious, pastor?!… No! You can’t be.” His tone sharpened as his sensibilities rebelled against the offense. “A person is dead here! This is no time for jokes or games! How dare you dishonor my great aunt this way!”

Dishonor your aunt?!… Oh my, never!,” he reacted automatically, the mere thought of such completely disorienting the usually serene pastor. “I adored Agnes! She was a wonderful woman, who lived an extraordinary life, right here in this little town! Did you know she never left this place?…” He paused, but no answer came on the warm spring breeze…

I thought not,” added the pastor, smugly. “Well, Agnes, dear soul that she is, believed that this little town was enough. Always. When others grew up and moved away, she stayed. When the man she loved moved to the big city to make a name for himself, she stayed behind, promising to be here if he ever came back… Of course, he never did…” An almost sad sigh slid past the pastor’s lips…

And yet, in spite of all that, I never once heard her complain. She was content here, keeping her parents’ farm going after all the others left. It was a struggle, of course, especially after her parents were gone, but she carried on. That was her way. And if she lost most of the farm over the years, who could blame her? She was alone, and aging, and really… what more could she do?”

The pastor stopped talking. He looked at the young man standing at the grave site. He looked a long time, a thoughtful expression upon his face…

“What?!,” snapped the young mourner. “Why are you staring at me?!”

The pastor sighed deeply. “I was just looking for a trace of your Aunt Agnes in you, but…” He shook his head mournfully. “I’m afraid I just don’t see it. I’m sure she would, of course,” he hastily assured the young man, “but her gift of seeing the truth of others was always stronger than mine. I learned a lot from her over the many years we were friends, but never enough, I guess.”

“But then, isn’t that the point here?…” He waited patiently for a response that would never come. Sighing deeply, he continued…

It’s all about transitions, young man. Birth is a transition, a dawning of a new form. As is death. And it is in those twilight times, when shadow and light begin to balance out, that we see the truth of things. Outlines become stark in the growing and fading light, revealing the boundaries between…”

“Your aunt welcomed this transition, whatever changes it might bring. She was ready to move on into a new form of being. I will miss her, and our time together very much…” A single tear slipped down the pastor’s cheek…

Did you ever get to meet her?,” the pastor asked the mourner.

“Um… well… no, not exactly,” the young man began.

The pastor held up his hand to abruptly end the awkward explanation about to spill from the young man’s lips.

Never mind,” the pastor reassured him. “I understand. You’re here to liquidate what’s left of the farm, and you came to pay your respects. Enough said.” He turned back to the grave and lifted his arms, palms up, as if beginning to pray. The young man bowed his head.

The pastor, realizing this, turned to address the man once more. “It’s ok, son. You’ve done what you came to do; you don’t need to stay any longer. Agnes is still smiling, even if you can’t see her beyond the veil…”

“But if you’re looking for a quick sale, I’m sure the Jones’ will be happy to take the old homestead. That’s pretty much all Agnes had left, and Ned Jones, her neighbor, had bought most of the rest of the farm already. Probably pay a good price for it, too, if you push him. Some developer wants to come in here and build a resort for rich people – you know the type: big houses, a gated community, expensive coffee places, the works…”

The young man hesitated only a moment before nodding curtly and turning away. “Thanks for the tip, pastor. Please carry on…”

Resuming his prayerful stance, the pastor began his service again… “Ahhh, Agnes, you were right, as usual. Everything changes in Time…”

“Ashes to ashes, dusk to dusk…”

(933 words)


#BlogBattle: Dusk

The newest prompt if anyone wants to play… 😁



March 2019 Blog Battle

Our word this month is:


Any photos included with the prompt are only for your benefit as a pinch of inspiration. They don’t need to dictate your theme or story genre. Only the Word of the Month counts! Photos are thanks to various photographers from Unsplash.com

You can start writing at any time, but make sure you post your story by the 30th of the month to come into the running for featured writer by your friendly, incorrigible encouraging Blog Battle admins!

Once you’ve posted your story to your blog, put a link to it in the comments section, and we’ll add your story to the Battle Stories Line-up post.

Make sure to check back and read some of the stories of your fellow battlers. Leave comments to encourage these writers, and share each other’s stories!

The battler who is chosen in a given month…

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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… 😁


“Red Daze…”

Awash in a red haze

full of rage

but impotent

unable to enact, or expect,


Injustice rules

the few stand mighty over the rest

engendering distrust

and weakness…

For who should be held accountable?

How might they be justly served?

Who shall mete out punishments?

Who shall judge their worth?

Hypocrisy, double standards…

A refusal to acknowledge such,

even by those most affected

by the criminals who stole so much!

This cannot be the way it ends!

For Life demands balance…

Yet Nothing tips the scales back

toward center mass…

Nothing changes in the end…

*** ***

So let it end already…

Let Nothing have its day.

Let darkness rise among us,

overwhelming this red daze!


What Is the Body?

“Ask, and you shall receive.” Or so the prophets and mystics say. Or, in my more personal terms, “Have your temper tantrum, then open your eyes and heart. The answers (or some) are out there!” I needed this perspective desperately to break through my prison trap!

Spirit and World

I experience the body as an intricately woven concentration of events. Although we have invented multiple scientific fields to describe the body, the body itself is unified and coordinated – chemistry, biology, physics, and other disciplines (some yet undiscovered), are occurring simultaneously! It’s a multi-dimensional network, continuously forming and reforming….

The body is not a thing. It is a process. It does not have sharp edges or a boundary – not even what we see as the skin.

Our science has not yet understood the body process enough to properly infer its sphere of influence or its capabilities. Until then, if we train our attention, we can use our consciousness to explore the body deeper.

The body is a nexus that serves as a bridge for consciousness to express itself. It is a circuit, of sorts, but incomplete. The wires are there, but many are not connected to each…

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Panic Without a Cause…

There is a near panic running through my veins tonight, a panic without a cause. It started last night as a vague, ill-defined fear that I tried to push aside. But it’s come back now, with a vengeance, and not knowing why is only making it worse…

“Let’s face it, Lisa dearest. You may have many faults, and quirks that make you weird. You may have real mental illness issues, even if you manage to blend in. But random anxiety attacks are not your thing, and panic is not your style!”

“Don’t you think I know that?!,” I respond too sharply. “Don’t you think I get that?!” I cannot seem to keep the panic out of my own voice tonight; I cannot even fool myself!

But the truth is I do my best work in crisis, staying calm, focused and on task. I may not be a physical asset when sh*t breaks loose, but my thinking becomes crystal clear. I am definitely someone you want in your bunker when all options are on the table, for I will see the “best” course of action, almost intuitively.

Tonight, though, I cannot find my way through tangled threads of time and truth, nor can I make sense of muddied waters all around me. There is nothing here! Nothing to do! There is only the panic, the shallow breathing, the racing beat of my own heart, and nothing (absolutely nothing!) to blame it on!

“Ok, child, breathe… Just breathe… Seek not, for those answers may not yet exist. Wait… And let the truth come here to you.”

*** *** ***

Sitting in the darkness now

hidden safely in the shadows.

Breathing strangled, but steadier,

heart rate coming down…

WIth my heart and mind,

expanding on all sides,

exploring every timeline,

claiming what is mine.

But the source of this eludes me still,

defying every effort,

every tool I’ve ever used,

leaving me lost at sea, baffled and confused.

“Wait! What is that?!,” as blood pressure begins to rise.

“Swooping shadows overhead,


then flying high to deeply dive.”

I’ve seen this pattern, recently,

earlier tonight.

There was a single seagull flying

over me, as I waited at that light.

Exactly this same flight path;

I remember thinking it was odd.

And last night, on the porch,

the same pattern mapped by moths!

Calm begins to settle over me,

as my thinking ratchets up.

“Yes! There is something significant in this…

Of that much I am certain!”

But what does this dance represent?

And who is doing it?

What spirit or form of self

is dancing this pattern tonight?

For it isn’t “me” or one of mine

enacting this persistent ritual.

But someone else entirely…

Or should that pronoun now be plural?

Yes… yes… I’m on to something now.

I see a circle, and a fire, with dancers all around.

I cannot hear the music that they dance to,

though I can see it in the way they move and sway.

They dance for peace and healing,

but they draw danger in with every swoop and swirling turn.

It circles in, drawing closer every round…

I’m not sure they even sense its presence as their feet beat an incessant rhythm on the ground.

Euphoria cut short…

Battle lost before weapons are even drawn…

My heart weeps for those who will be lost,

with the rising of the Sun…