One-word Prompt: Launch
“A word made flesh is seldom”
Flesh on paper — Saved
One-word Prompt: Launch
“A word made flesh is seldom”
Flesh on paper — Saved
One-word prompt: Craft
The Color of the Grave is Green —
The Outer Grave — I mean —
You would not know it from the Field —
Except it own a Stone —
To help the fond — to find it —
Too infinite asleep
To stop and tell them where it is—
But just a Daisy — deep —
The Color of the Grave is White —
The outer Grave — I mean —
You would not know it from the Drifts —
In Winter — till the Sun —
Has furrowed out the Aisles —
Then — higher than the Land
The little Dwelling Houses rise
Where each — has left a friend —
The Color of the Grave within —
The Duplicate — I mean —
Not all the Snows could make it white —
Not all the Summers — Green —
You’ve seen the Color — maybe —
Upon a Bonnet bound —
When that you met it with before —
The Ferret — cannot find —
Time travels faster today. Before I tire of the snow, a scorching summer appears. Magical, all because I’m old.
Death can show up within a minute or maybe within the next 40 years. I used to have an eternity to live when young. But if past practices hold true, I won’t live much longer.
Along with death, extra baggage haunts me. Not the kind used for travel, but the kind that lays around the house.
It might be making me insane. I’m searching through all closets, storage boxes, and drawers; all is fair game for recycling, repurposing, donating, or tossing. Sentimentality be damned.
Some of the insane part: I sorted through hundreds of buttons my mother had collected. They’re sorted by color and rest in individual trays or bags. I’m planning to make a garden mobile with these buttons. Let’s see if it happens this spring. Hundreds of buttons could create a few outside ornaments.
More insanity: I gathered every single extra, unused, old key in my house. I’m pretty confident about this since I don’t think I’ve left a dust bunny unturned. I love playing with those keys and try to imagine each one’s former purpose. What they unlocked, the when, and the where and the by whom. I plan to put a couple of the prettier ones, one gold and one silver, on necklaces. Some others are also destined for garden artwork. Google search — check to see if these projects show up in my backyard.
I’m editing my life away. Will I reach its essence? My son will only need to dispose of keys, buttons, a few books, and some other stuff I love or need. Every sweep through, more goes and goes.
Someday I may look in my closet and find only one grain of rice. Will that bring me peace?
I know I can’t take it with me. I’ll take care not to get too attached to this earth. ED, I won’t wander too far from my room; preparing for one beneath the grass and snow.
The cut may hurt less if renunciation mingles with fleeting joys. If only I could report back.
ED’s garden companion,
Drone slips into room.
On the Edge
We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?
I will share some things I do that keep me from going off the edge.
Number one must be exercising. Yoga helps my arthritis and calms my mind. The weight work I do must keep my bone density as strong as it is even at my old age. It also keeps the old arms from flapping too much in the wind. Elliptical machines keep my heart pumping without stressing out the knees. I enjoy watching the plants, animals, and people go by from my bicycle. Going out in the flower and vegetable garden is calming and surprisingly a good workout. Gardening makes me sore in ways that my other activity doesn’t.
A close second is reading. If I only sat and read (tempting at times) I would be depressed. Between contemplating my navel with philosophy and contemplating the infinite universe along with the minuscule particles of physics, I’m sure I would run off screaming at some point. For a necessary easy-going escape, I love my mystery novels and historical fiction. A bad reality or just a boring one can be solved by a book. By reading books written by people very different than myself, I can empathize and get away from myself. I felt like a pile of bricks fell on my head when I read the last page of “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. I think that is the way the book should have hit me.
Writing must be third. Writing things out helps me learn. People tell me to stop taking notes and just look and listen. I’m not wired that way. The act of writing and rewriting allows me to understand new concepts. Writing is also my therapy to work through bad memories and new stresses. It can modify my thoughts and opinions, maybe for the better. Writing makes me think through ideas and conclusions can change. Writing (and reading) has allowed me to feel that “Cleaving in My Mind” that Emily Dickinson expressed in her poetry. I totally enjoy that.
Tutoring in a literacy program, I would place fourth on my list. It keeps me doing something useful and keeps me from becoming too self-absorbed. Another good reason to get up every morning. I want to share not just the practical aspects of reading and writing with another person, but also the sheer joy. A world without books, paper and pens is in itself too sad to think about.
Gotta go, plants to trim, weeds to pull. Moving farther from the edge.
My good friend has thick, curly, salt and pepper hair that reaches past her shoulders. I’ve known her about 35 years. Or I should say I met her 35 years ago. Some years I never spoke or wrote to her. Her birthday just passed by last month and I just remembered. Not even a greeting card from me. So maybe she is not my good friend after all. But I hate to think that way.
We met at work and I saw her every day, five days a week, until she decided to pursue a master’s degree in literature. She left and lived in Indiana, Puerto Rico, Iowa, and Indiana again. She taught in China. She traveled multiple times to Europe. I stayed home and never wandered too far. I like to think she is Melville to my Dickinson. But that is only when my ego and sanity run amuck.
We lost touch and found it again a few times over the years. Out of all my friends, and there aren’t that many, I want to consider her my dearest. It’s not what it is, but what I desire. I feel we could have known each other better than anyone else could have. I’m not easy to get close to and I’ve pushed away a fair share of people.
I remember a girl I met in my freshman year at college. She went out of her way to talk to me and one day said she hoped to hang out with me. I said I was busy with a boyfriend, school, and work. I saw some pain and bitterness in her face as if she had been on the receiving end of rejection before. I didn’t see the worth of what she was offering me. I relive that moment with regret at the friendship unexplored.
My good friend had thick, curly, dark brown hair that reached past her shoulders. She wished it were straight. I wished I could trade her hair for my straight, thin, limp, dishwater blond hair. But what percentage of women love their hair? The curly, chemically straighten. The straight haired, curl. The brown dye blond, the blond dye brown, an endless cycle. Critical women slammed the undone black hair of the fit and pretty Gabrielle Douglas at this past Olympics. I do not know the complex world of black women’s hair. But I do know that women want the hair that they do not have.
I dyed my hair just before I last saw my good friend in March. I bought a box color and as usual, was not happy with the results. Even an expensive salon dye job never made me content. The stylist would show me a color sample and tell me it was perfect for me. But the color never matched the sample. Even if the color came out just OK, it quickly faded or turned brassy.
I haven’t dyed since. The grey, white, and mousy light brown hair is becoming prominent on my head. My good friend was part of my inspiration. Each day, I notice more women that let the grey out. I like it.
The dye often irritated my scalp. I’m not wasting money on that box of dye or on salon treatments I don’t love. No more brassy gold, red blond, quick-to-fade brown.
Don’t get me wrong, grey is not the new blond. The forever young baby boomers can’t claim gray hair is youthful. I’m just letting my inner hagness out. I don’t regret looking old. My regrets have more to do with friendships that failed to flower. So instead, I type to an anonymous few.
a creative writing notebook by Bill Bisgood
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