I know a lot here write, that's a bit of an understatement *g* What I mean is that some write poems, song lyrics, or just a few lines of prose and often these are for us the writers, small word pictures. A small scrap of written work in which we try and tell others something. A memory. thoughts, something we saw or did, feelings expressed or not expressed, regret and a whole lot more.
I thought it would be nice to have a thread where folks could put their "word pictures" or something they had written that they wanted to share with others, up. That they were in a way proud of writing. No story to follow, just things that mean something to us and hopefully to others.
September 9th, 2003, 04:26 AM
Well, Holbrook put your money where your mouth is so to speak.
A little background to this piece. It started as an e.mail to a friend, who had been very supportive, during a very bad patch I was going through over 2 and a half years ago. I was writing it at near 3.00am in the morning, It never got sent as an e.mail, because as it was written it changed. It ended up as a post on a forum, where this friend posted and many others I knew well did. It seemed the right thing to do. It helped the grief I had bottled up come out in the only way I believe it could for me. For give me a computer or pen and I can write the words I feel. But say them, is a another matter.
Six months passed and the piece and the event was almost forgotten or rather it was in the past, settling as loss and grief does. Then a week after 9/11 an American friend, who is a journalist, e.mailed me and asked permission to use part of the piece in an article he was preparing, he also wanted to put the whole piece on his news e.mail ring. I said yes.
I have no idea how many people read this then or will know how many will now. But of the thousands of words I have written, this, to me fits the idea of a word picture.
Ritual: - the prescribed or established form of a religious or other ceremony. Stereotyped activity or behaviour.
Rituals, of faith, custom or personal convictions, bind our life, even if we try to deny it. From the moment we open our eyes to this existence, newly formed in body and mind, we become involved in the ritual of life. This measure flows from the frenzied rat a tat, tat of a side drum, to the stately glide of a waltz. Are we the piper or he that follows?
Does what god or physics you believe in, which brought us into being, give us any free will?
Or are our three score years and ten mapped and planned?
Are those with us in the ritual meant to be together?
Or is chance a dice thrown?
Many see the answer to these questions in the pages of a holy book, some in the stars, and others in science.
I have no answers, for me the part of the ritual I have reached, has torn away much of the foundations of my strength. It has cast me deep into a mire of chaos from which in moments of extreme tiredness I have cried with frustration.
To see that which you had always seen since your eyes could first focus, as strong, sure and confident. Now confused, weak frightened and in pain cuts to the very centre of mind, soul and heart.
To be held in the grip of a ritual, a measured dance, from which one can see no escape save for loss.
For I see the battlefield.
I do not see it in the chill pale light of dawn, but in the glow of sunset. A deep burnished sky hangs above. The breeze is soft, the air warm. No bitterness or regret coats my heart, for the death I have seen left no room for it.
To die in battle, to not give one inch of ground, to see the sword shatter in your hand and continue, knowing only death awaits, marks man out from other creatures. To witness this struggle, to stand in spirit alongside the one who fights, scars you as much as any blade. How you bare and carry these scars shows others in the ritual the nature of your soul.
I am not ashamed of my scars; I will not hide them or deny them. To do so would belittle the warrior at whose side I stood. What path he now treads, I know not, but I know what has been left behind is not him.
The essence, spirit, soul has gone beyond this ritual. It has begun a stately dance in another sphere, one which in time I too shall dance.
September 9th, 2003, 06:49 AM
There is intimacy of the flesh
Skin to skin
Breath to breath
Hands, mouth touching
But there is another intimacy
Spirit to spirit
Mind to mind
Heart to heart
The five senses are
Not captive to it
It runs deeper
Than adjacency of atoms
It is more akin
To the energy that
Binds the atom together
Keeping the universe
September 9th, 2003, 08:56 AM
The last look lingered
long and fresh in mind,
Her face was a picture,
To this beauty now am I blind.
So long together
Yet over in a beat
The creator's greatest work
Perfection so complete
Together we soared
Through every day
No words needed to say
Taken from me
Everything I had
My end is soon
Such am I glad
Life has been such
Sad am I
Never can I feel the same
The candle flame flickers
And is gone
No longer on our naked flesh
Will the shine sun on
September 9th, 2003, 11:11 PM
When I lived in Germany, I got a chance to take a trip with AAFES to Paris. I, along with 4 others, got tickets to the 3rd highest rated show in Paris. One of these people was a long time Army Chaplain. We shared seats on the bus and talked. I, being very unreligious, and he got into some lively discussions.
He had spent 3 tours of duty in Vietnam, as well as duties in subsequent military actions around the world. He said that as young men lie dying in the fields, he would be sent to do their "last moments". Though he was Protestant, he had learned Jewish and Catholic, as well as other, "last rites" to perform depending on the religious preferences of the dying man. He told me he learned quickly that when a man lies dying, the religious act is NOT important for the one issuing the rites but was a soothing preparation for the person dying. Thus he had no problem doing whatever religious rite he had to do, for the sake of the man dying.
Our Paris tour was rather good. As we attended the Paris show, I discoverd horrified that the show was mostly nude and all nudity, and very suggestive in the dance movements. Though it was beautifully done, and even elaborate costumes in some places, I was terribly embarrassed that the person sitting next to me was a chaplain.
I leaned over at some point and said "Guess we didn't know that we would be witnessing pornography."
He got a strange look on his face. He turned to me and said - and this made a deep deep impression on me which I have never forgotten - he said "Pornography is not nudity and suggestive dance steps. Pornography is young men dying in jungles, swamps, deserts far from their families, for no good reason other than some politician's whim."
This one thing is the most important, and most profound thing I saw or heard in Paris.
The most profound thing to happen to me in Germany, was my visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp..........but that is another story.
October 28th, 2003, 07:41 AM
Far to the south, farther than you can actually go, there comes a day without sunlight. On this day, if you walk toward the morning glow, you might find the sun never rises. Instead, the ice broadens into a desolate plain. Days into the journey, the sun still never appears--yet the glow on the horizon gets wider, and brighter, almost terrible to look at.
The cold here is intense, and if you walked on and on until you got to that distant warmth, you would find you had been walking for three thousand years.
For this is the plain of salt, the remains of an unimaginibly vast ocean, boiled away by the fiery land far to the ultimate south: Muspelheim.
The fire giant Surt lives there. Since the creation of the world, he has been waiting for the final battle, Ragnarok . . . .
October 28th, 2003, 01:34 PM
From a story never finished
The first day of autumn or - more accurately - at a ridiculously early hour of the morning of that day, Viona wakes Hardy with terrified shouts. The pains, she knows they are labor pains, are racking her body. His first thought is of Red Hills and the women who know birthing and the cider stored there to dull pain. They are far away now, too far to travel there and back and still be of any use to Viona.
The hours till daylight crawl by, each new minute a new tension, will another pain grip Viona to squeeze agnozied gasps into the bedroom quiet? Hardy begins to pray for dawn as if the coming of light will ease Viona's pain. It is a goal to be reached, something to look forward to besides this continuous pain or the arrival of the child and something at this moment more certain.
Their little pot boils with water, the sight reminding Hardy how small the pot is. Crickets sing in the cool morning air reminding Hardy of the buzzing voices of caring women that are not here to help his wife. He holds Viona when the pain grabs hold; he wipes her brow when it does not; all the while mumbling apologies to his love for placing her here, for failing to think of what must happen.
Viona hears the apologies and when she fights the contractions she does not forgive Hardy but between the staccato bursts of agony she makes frantic effort to console this man who worries so. Who regrets more is a pulsing emotion they share or hold private in ever more rapid cycles.
Dawn comes creeping into the bedroom uncertain of its welcome, ready to fly out the door at the first sign of something amiss. Reassured of its welcome, it strengthens to become morning and then mid-morning, then noon and afternon. All that time, pain comes and goes, capricious, a gnat that cannot be shied. Viona becomes soaked with her sweat; the bed soaked with the breaking of water in late morning, neither husband or wife prepared for this event, both frightened that it happened and wondering if it is an omen, an evil omen. Viona remembers when her body gives her time to consider what it means and she is able to calm the panic rising in her husband.
Parents remember the birth of their children, the special things that happen, the joy and the pain, but none remember as Hardy and Viona will. The isolation they both had treasured now turned them on like a puppy gone bad, biting hard, forcing regret they had ever entertained the nasty beast.
Late in the afternoon, the baby forces entry into the world. Hardy, pressed into the role of midwife, receives the infant into his hands, awed at the perfection of the body, disgusted with the liquids that wrap the perfection, amazed at the cord that holds the bond from son to mother. He cuts the cord with fire-seared knife; cleans the child with water-boiled towel; and places the babe in its mother's arms, the child screaming its victorious emergence into the afternnon air.
Hardy cleans Viona and Hardy cleans the floor and Hardy cleans the bed while Viona gazes at the tiny Newborn feeding at her breast, a gaze that cleanses her soul shunting the labor to a far, far corner of her memory rarely to be considered again. That women can do this is a mystery to men who do nothing more than listen to wives' tales. For men like Hardy who have watched from beginning to finish, who have held the woman's hand and held the woman's body while pain seized and shook the poor frame, who have watched the baby crown, watched the skin fight and strain to make passage, who have seen the blood and the water puddle on the floor, it is not mystery; it is miracle. It is a magic so far above and beyond the simple tricks of Elph and Duorph as to make those powers trivial. It is something seen and believed but never understood.
In the early evening, the baby lying in Viona's arms, Hardy sits on the side of the bed as the couple discuss the name that most suits this small bundle of life. Hardy thinks that Victor will fit, a reminder always to the boy what his mother has accomplished. Viona laughs at his sentiment; she has done what all women do, no more, no less. No, Viona thinks the name should say more of the boy and the circumstances of the life he has entered and the life he will lead. He was born by a stream; he will grow by that stream; he will pass through life as a stream passes down the mountain, always moving forward, held for a moment in this pond or that, but moving again in the need to pass time well, to not lock himself into one place or one time. "Stream," she names their son; Hardy agrees.
November 4th, 2003, 06:07 PM
Just found this on my computer, damn near broke my heart that day did:
10/11/01 - Rugby: England record highest ever victory over Wales.
Only in greatest hope can anybody face the most abject destruction of all they hold dear. When the price of success is so high then the repercussions of loss must be equally as great. What is left when dreams are shattered, replaced by despair so tangible shivers rack grief stricken bodies. Bodies that have sat through moments of electric excitement, have watched stunned as defeat rears it’s ugly head trouncing any brief flame of resurrection. Hope is that most terrible of emotions, it creates expectation that can only rarely be justified and even rarer vindicated.
It was on a field entirely Wales that the last great institution of God’s people was forever lost. No longer will the dragon soar through eighty minutes on wings of passion and song, no longer will weary bodies erupt in feverish celebration when the day is done and won. We have followed a black path, followed the piper to an extricable end, there is nowhere left to hide and no excuses large enough to evince even remorse. For years we were the light, alone amongst millions did we exemplify speed, guile, power and skill, all traits that were taught by legends of men with pride in everything red. All that was red is now so much mist that blinds the ever faithful from a terrible, inevitable conclusion – the dragon is dead. We mourn his leaving and turn unseeing eyes towards never more. Farewell, you will be missed.
November 6th, 2003, 10:18 AM
Written some time ago.
The currents pull at me, draining my strength and with it my will to carry on. The water has me and I am its plaything. A passing amusement to be used and discarded without a thought.
It was not always this way.
Twice I have walked on the land, the earth firm and warm beneath my feet. Some days I ran, caring not which direction I took. Laughing with the sheer joy of feeling the safe supportive ground beneath me. I fell many times, but it never mattered. I would roll through the grass revelling in the feel of the land and then I would run again.
I never thought I was running back to the sea.
I couldn’t see the water coming close, one moment the ground was firm and dry and the next the currents had me again, sapping my strength, stealing the very memory of the earth.
I have been at the mercy of the currents for some time now, but up ahead I see land…