Showing posts with label Creative Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creative Writing. Show all posts

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Cult of the Shoe

The sun was high over head and blazing down on the dusty man that stood alone in the great desert land.  He wiped his sweaty brow with an old blue bandanna, passed on to him by his grandfather.  Tossing the shovel aside, he grabbed a bottle of triple filtered water.  He hadn't started this project alone, in the beginning there had been many out here with him digging in the heat and dirt.  But as the weeks passed with little to nothing to show for the hours of sweat and back breaking labor they had all abandoned him.  His research grant had been revoked, the ancient land of Texas was just a myth they said.  Still he labored on, his grandfather had told him the stories, passed down to him by his grandfather, who had heard them from his grandfather, and so on.  Texas had once been a vibrant land, full of legendary heroes of old, known as cowboys. his ancestors had been among these "cowboy" peoples.   Not much was known of these heroes of old, less was known of their beliefs and customs.   Once again he wiped his brow, wet the bandanna with some of the water from the bottle and ran it over the back of his neck.  Today was the day, he was sure of it.  Today he would find proof that an ancient thriving civilization once existed where now there was nothing but dust and sand, scorched by the searing sun.    He looked over the grid he'd laid out months ago, he randomly picked a section toward the upper left corner.  He hadn't really spent much time in that quadrant.   He picked up the shovel and began the exhausting task of digging.  

The sun had worked it's way across the sky and was setting when his shovel struck something hard....another rock no doubt.  Still he tossed aside the shovel and began the painstaking process of brushing away loose dirt.  One must always be cautious,he never knew when what looked to be a worthless rock would actually be the treasured artifact that would prove his theory.  As he brushed aside the sand and dirt he began to get excited, this was no ordinary rock!  The shape was oddly oblong and smooth.  It was definitely man made!  The sun was setting but he dared not stop.  He powered up the solar generator and lights illuminated the dig site.  Another two hours passed before he was able to work the object free.  It appeared to be an ancient shoe of sorts that had petrified and turned to rock.    The details were preserved almost perfectly, he could make out the crisscross design of ancient laces.  Tears flowed freely down his cheeks as he tenderly cradled the treasure.  Here was the validation he had been looking for, no more would he be the laughing stock of the archaeological community.  His tears turned to laughter and he danced alone under the moon lit sky.

Ten years passed quickly by.  No longer was he a madman digging alone in the desert.  Now he was the world's leading expert on ancient Texas.  Now others did the hard work of digging in the heat and he supervised their work and studied each and every treasure unearthed.  The shoe had led to the discovery of an entire town that had been buried under the sands of time.  Foundations of houses and businesses had been excavated, pieces of pottery, plastics, metals and bone had all been cataloged and studied.  Bits and pieces of a long lost civilizations began to come together to form a glimpse of how the ancients lived and worked.  It appeared they were nomadic, living in one town and commuting to another in some kind of rudimentary machine for work. Over-sized concrete and asphalt roads had been discovered, miles upon miles of them.  It was inconceivable to think of how these primitive ancients had built such a large infrastructure, given their limited tools and education.   Large, rusted metal stars were found scattered throughout the dig,   It seemed nearly every house in the town had at least one of these stars.  There were even concrete stars embedded in the roadwork.  These cowboys had worshiped the night sky it had been concluded.  What an amazing insight into their culture.     
 Still one piece of the puzzle nagged at the man.  That one shoe that had led to the discovery of an entire town had also led to many more shoes, all in the same area, arranged sporadically around what had been a small lake.  There were shoes of all different sizes, that had been purposefully coated in mud and left.  The mud had preserved the shoes, petrifying them; a bit of good fortune for the man and his colleagues.   The man puzzled over this cult of shoe worshipers.  Why had there been only left shoes?  Why so many different sized shoes? Was this the way they memorialized their dead?  What was the significance of the lake?  So many questions whose answers had been swallowed up by the sands of time.

Present Day
Paul limped home, mud covering his left leg to the knee. He ripped his pants and lost his shoe in the pond, again.    Mom was going to be mad, again.  She said if he lost another shoe this month he was going to have to wear his slippers to school, he hadn't told her he'd already lost one of those in the mud too.  

This story came to me one day after Paul came home for the gazillionth time covered in mud and missing his left shoe. Yes it's always just his one shoe.  Don't ask me why, I have given up trying to figure out the answer.  I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my crazy brain.  I can't help it, my mind turns everything into a story. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Silent Tree

Silence, like a deep dark fog descended.
It slithered, unfaltering through every branch of the family tree;
intangible, unseen, and lethal.
Early one stormy morning, it slithered along the forest floor, until it came upon the great tree.
It  wrapped itself tightly around the trunk of family business, unnoticed in the midst of the torrential storm that blew through the forest
Slowly, intractably it began to weave it's serpentine body along every branch and twig
until the tree, once beautiful and vibrant, green and lush, the envy of the surrounding forest,
stood alone; the leaves hanging brown and limp on the branches, the bark faded and peeling,
even the sap, the lifeblood of the entire organism, had turned thick and black
Over the years the forest had receded from the once great tree, the other trees looking for healthier company.
Yet, the largest leaf on the infested, dying tree still looked around declaring
"Look how beautiful we are.  We are the tallest, healthiest, strongest tree in the forest."  Then all the other leaves would smile and wave their agreement in the wind, pretending not to notice how their dried, brown flesh no longer made a sound.
Occasionally a leaf could take no more and would fall to the ground, making a soft crashing sound as it fell to the dead forest floor.
The oldest leaf would angrily climb down the tree, reprimand the dying leaf for making a fuss, and then drag it back to it's rightful branch, using super glue and twine to hold it in place
The leaf stayed in place, though completely disconnected from the twig that once fed it.
All the other leaves refused to notice, after all one did not speak of such things
 The silence squeezed tighter still, and the unspoken  heartache, the secrets long buried, covered the tree in a sludge so thick that it would drip off the branches to the decimated forest floor
and the tree, already suffocating, could not breathe a sound.
The tree slowly petrified, turning living flesh into soulless rock.
The deafening sound of  silence had won and the leaves wept bitter tears, that none could see or hear.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Glimpse of Morning

BEEP!!!! BEEP!!!! BEEEEEEEP!!!!  The alarm blared its way past my dreams, into my subconsciousness, bringing me startlingly awake.  "ugh" I mumbled as I rolled over and snuggled deeper into the covers.  Seven minutes later we have a repeat performance of the same show.  I deserve a Tony for longest running show, at least three times a day for 35 years running.  The past 13 years the BEEP!!!! has often been replaced with crying, "MOM!!!!", arguing children, or a blaring video game (you have to keep the show fresh and alive;) but the results are the same.  My bed and I are heartbreakingly parted far to soon, our relationship sharply severed, leaving me in a haze that only clears after my second cup of coffee.  I expect word of my nomination by the Tony awards committee any day now!
This morning I awoke to the all to familiar squawks of the Benny bird intermingled with the relentless beeping of the alarm clock.   "Ugh" I mumble, my vocabulary is very limited first thing in the morning.  "We need a less intrusive alarm clock" my husband says (how he has a word like intrusive ready and available first thing in the morning is a mystery to me; a completely unfair, baffling mystery).  "Benny stop squawking and tell us what's wrong." I croak incoherently. "Benny stop making noise and fighting with your brother first thing in the morning" my husband translates.  Benny comes running into the room, crying and squawking, climbs into bed and begins his dissertation of his woes.  My ears are not really awake enough to translate Benny squawk into English, instead all I hear is my brain beating a constant refrain of "Must have coffee!  Must have coffee! Must have coffee NOW!" (we'll discuss my addiction at another time, thank you very much ;)
I grunt enough platitudes to soothe the Benny Bird enough for the hubby to understand the nature of his distress.  The Benny Bird flies off once again.  I try to snuggle down into the comforter for just a few more, precious, stolen, minutes of sleep.  But it is no use.  The day has begun and there is no going back. I slowly make my way downstairs, encountering two more melting down children on my way.  Paul is ranting and raving over Sam's inaccuracy.  Sam is crying and mad over Paul telling him he is lying because he was not accurate.  I'm not awake enough to sort out the details yet. The universe is not playing fair today.  Three children in meltdown mode BEFORE coffee has been banned by the Geneva Convention and The united Federation of Planets (as any Trekkie will tell you).  I send everyone back to their beds and make coffee.  Silence is golden!!  I make breakfast with little interruption. The boys once again begin to trickle out of their rooms and we start the day again.  Let's hope Wednesday 2.0 has a more successful launch!  

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Need for Release

When I was 17 years old, I had my first taste of living on my own.  I lived in Ocean City, at a mission, where I was doing missions work for the summer.  My roommate, Amy, and I did everything you can imagine.  We  scrubbed, we cooked, we sang until we had no voice, we were clowns, puppeteers and even counselors.  It was a fabulous summer, one of those sweet moments in life that you capture in the amber of your memory.  You take it out occasionally, hold it up to the light, and really look at it. Then you get a quiet pang around your heart because those sweet moments can't ever be relived.
Because the majority of our ministry happened into the late hours of the night, Amy and I had a tradition of hitting the boardwalk rides right before close.  We would scream away the frustrations of our day on the roller coaster.  Even if we only had a croak of a voice left, it was so therapeutic to just let everything from the day go, in the wildness of the night.  There have been many times over the years, that I have longed for a roller coaster on which to scream away the pain and frustrations of life.
Honestly, this past month I could have used a roller coaster right in my back yard.  So many things have happened, so many daily frustrations are building up, some very deep pains  needing a release.  I want to scream and yell and have no one look at me like I'm crazy......yes I have bedazzled my very own straight jacket, just in case that day should come but I really would prefer a roller coaster ride instead of Bedlam.  
For the sanity of my family, I have spent years learning to hold back my emotions.  I honestly, am not even sure how to let it all out anymore.  My guys on the spectrum need my help to deal with their emotions, they certainly can't handle my feelings and frustrations.  They honestly just can't  process them.  I have friends who love me but I have become so accustomed to being closed off I really have no idea how to just let go in front of them.
So you my readers get to ride the roller coaster of my writing.  It is the best bypass of my brain to my heart. 
So here are the things in my heart.  If they make little sense, please bear with me.

My mind is a jumble of thoughts, that I cannot make sense of
My emotions are a raging sea below mere inches of smooth glass
I chain my heart to my head, I will it to be calm

My life is black and white, my heart longs for color
I want to scream and kick and throw myself down
Instead I sit; tearless, unmoving, untouchable

I strengthen the chains that bind me, I reinforce the glass
I am my own jailer, from me there is no escape
I am slowly willing my heart away.

I'm sorry this isn't my normal, light at the end of the tunnel post but it is what I am feeling tonight.  Tomorrow is another day, hopefully a better one. Lots of love-Kristine

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Glimpse of the plague

The Queens Song of Lamentation
(Yes this is a mite overly dramatic. But I reserve the right to be a smidgen melodramatic after the past two weeks;)
Sickness, Sickness It's everywhere
Stay away; we won't share
Behind the post, locked behind the door
Still it's coming more and more
I look in the mirror, I look to the sea
Sickness, sickness drowning me
Children sweating, eyes a'glaze
I'm so tired, in a daze
Tomorrow comes, Tomorrow goes
Sickness, Sickness flows; it flows
Antibodies join the fight
Someone, Someone show the light
Say that this is gonna end
that tomorrow is again my friend.
Sickness, Sickness it's everywhere
Coming, Coming past my dare

Skiffdom has been under attack. It's defenses have been breached and the enemies have laid siege to the kingdom. The Queen has been fighting a long hard battle for two weeks; desperately trying save her people from the pillages of war. Finally a thick, thick mist has settled upon Skiffdom, obscuring the travelers view of the kingdom. This warrior mist carries scent of linen and kills 99% of all invading armies. It is written in the text of old that whenever the kingdom is under attack, the Queen must call upon the mist of Lysol and the kingdom shall be saved. It is said that once the mist has been called the Queen must journey to the pool of Clorox. From the pool she will draw buckets of the sparkling liquid and wash all the kingdom in it's pungent waters. All linens and garments of white shall be soaked in the waters which will kill any lingering germs and restore the linens to their snowy glory. Thus the queen labors to rout the enemy and bring victory to the Land of Skiff.

I HATE strep with an abiding, deep passion!!! There I said it, I feel better now;) Strep has been the bane of our existence. At least twice a year we fight this nasty, disgusting bug. I'm not sure exactly why we Skiff's are so strep prone. There are studies that indicate a link between high incidents of strep and autism. Whether this is plays a part or not, I can't tell you for certain. What I can tell you is that if strep is within 100 miles of the Skiff household we will get it; not we will probably get it. No, we will definitely , without fail get it. This has made me quite the expert on the treatment of strep in our house. Normally it is taken care of with little fuss or muss. However, this particular strep outbreak managed to take me down as well. This has made for an interesting last week to say the least. As the saying goes "If momma ain't happy; aint't nobody happy". Not only did I get strep but I also developed an allergy to the antibiotics, probably due to its interaction with another medication that I take. On the night I had the reaction (because all emergencies must happen late on a Friday night when all doctors offices are closed. This is the law of Skiffland) I was very blessed to have a dear friend who kept checking on me throughout the night into the wee hours of the morning, even offering to drive me to the hospital (which thankfully was unnecessary). Thankfully, I think the worst is over. I think we are FINALLY on the mend.
Throughout these past few weeks, we have been incredibly blessed to have friends checking on us daily, offering their help in any way, and making us smile. Today as I was out getting my new prescription and my boys tacos for lunch I passed a friend in the parking lot. She waved me over had handed me a necklace through the car window. This just made a nice ending to a really rough week. So this is your glimpse of Skiffdom, plague ravaged but still incredibly blessed. Thanks to you my friends, wherever you may be. You are each a blessing to me. Lots of Love-Kristine

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Montage of a Month

The month has flown by with nary a peep from the land of Skiff.  I'm worried says I as I sneak around glimpsing in windows and doors.  Skiffland is busy and noises abound and this silence is just absurd.  I creep to the first window and what do I find, a courtroom is what I do spy.  Sitting high on a dais gavel in hand, the judge's voice rings throughout the whole land.  "Not guilty!" he declares in a voice sure and strong. "The Skiffs are not truant and that is all."  I smile as I quickly move on.  Justice is served and I sing out a song.
The next door I spy is opened up wide, heat and delicious smells waft right on by.  It is a kitchen and in there I see Momma Skiff busily cooking.  Mountains of lasagna and lakes of chicken a'la king are cooking at a frantic speed.  In between stirring and testing, momma does hang Christmas decorations to be enjoyed by the whole land.  I can see at a glance this building is the church and the sign reads "Women's Christmas Dinner....Come! We'll have dessert"  Momma Skiff ,as part of a team, is busily enjoying this time of female bonding.
It is clear Skiffland is doing just fine.  My smile increases, then I see the school line.  One, two, three...but no I see more.  There are five now waiting at the door.  Skiff Academy is still going strong and now all five Skiff boys are enrolled.....Can there be more?!?  No Momma Skiff assures me, five that is all.  All five little chicks are now schooled a home.  No wonder Momma has not blogged in so long!
I come to the last window and peak quickly in.  There on the couch are Grandma and Granddad.  They've come to celebrate Christmas in Skiffdom.  Oh what fun, the kids do exclaim:)  The house was scrubbed and painted just in time for the arrival of the grandparents from Virginia.  Christmas morning arrives to much excitement and fuss. Everyone is blessed beyond what words can describe.
I have come to the end of my tour of the town and now you are caught up on the goings around.  The Skiffs wish you all the merriest of  all season's.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Glimpse of Fiction part 1

Windshield wipers beat a sharp staccato as she drove through the night.  The rain, which had begun as a soft drizzle, was now a torrential downpour.  The defroster had stopped working 30 miles back and she was now forced to lean out the rolled down window, every few minutes to see the road ahead.  Another 50 miles and she would find a rest stop and stop for the night.  This was a dangerous choice for a woman traveling alone but she really had no choice.  She had spent a good portion of her cash on the clunker she currently drove.  Besides, the truck stop could hold no monster more terrifying than the one she currently ran from.   She laughed at the irony her life had become.  She, who was once a power player,strong and independent, was now weak, scared and disillusioned.  A mere whisper of the woman she once was.   She shivered at the mixture of cold and memories threatening rise again to the surface of her consciousness.  She reached into the console and ran her fingers over the knife she had secreted there.  She was not defenseless, she reminded herself.  Not now at least......never again.  She pushed the memories down, swallowed the lump of fear in her throat and forced her hand to release the knife.
Her eyes were growing heavy from lack of sleep.  She had not slept the past 48 hours, determined to put as much distance as possible between herself and the monster of her nightmares.  She had driven across much of the country.  It was funny, here she was checking off one of her bucket list items and she could not even appreciate it.  Actually could a nameless woman even have a bucket list or dreams  or were all her hopes, dreams and ambitions gone along with her name.  Another irony of life.  She who had once been so proud of her name, her lineage and now it was gone, forever gone.
Elizabeth, Lisa, Sue, Anne, Catherine, Becky, Marianne, Emily, Hannah....she said each name aloud, trying to settle on one that felt right.  It had to be simple, something that she would remember to respond to if it were called out.  Erin, Melissa, Rachel, Kate.....Kate.....Kate.  Yes Kate was simple and easy.  Something she could remember.   She cleaned her rear view mirror with her sleeve and tried to glimpse herself in the smeared darkness.  Could she pass for a Kate?  Nope she couldn't tell right now.  She would have to wait until morning to decide. 
Finally, she caught sight of the rest stop ahead.  Bone weary she pulled into a brightly lit spot.  She shoved her drenched hair into a ball cap, she would have to cut it soon.  The one vanity of her former life she had yet to give up.   She put the sun reflector in the windshield and hung towels on her side windows to shield herself from the view of curious onlookers. She dared not change out of her sodden clothes completely but she had to put on a dry sweatshirt at least.  She was suddenly very glad she had worn a button down blouse.  She could put on the sweatshirt and take off the blouse without  being disrobed.   Somewhat dry she reached into the back seat for a blanket and a granola bar.  She hadn't eaten anything since lunch and she was suddenly famished and very thirsty.  She grabbed a bottle of water while she rummaged around.   Suddenly she began to hyperventilate, she felt trapped and claustrophobic. She tore down the towels and the sun reflector frantically and took a long look around, looking hard into the darkness to see if any shadow was out of place. Everything seemed alright but once you've met a monster you know better than to ever feel truly safe.  She double checked to make sure her doors were locked tight, her windows rolled up as far as they would go,  she took the knife from the console and placed it in her lap, under the blanket she had pulled from the back seat.  She would feel safer if it were a gun but you can not buy a gun when you are nameless.  Well, she was sure you could but she didn't know how to go about it but she would learn she promised herself, oh she would definitely learn.   She took a long drink of water and closed her eyes and tried to grab a few minutes of restless sleep.  

So you know how I say I never know what I am going to write....well once again  this proves true.  I have had this story in the back of my head for several years, I even started to write it once but it never quite gelled.  Tonight it would not be denied any longer.  Over the next several months I will write more of it as it comes.  Hope you enjoy a glimpse into my somewhat twisted imagination (I think I read too many Nancy Drew's as a girl;)  As always lots of love-Kristine

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Glimpse of Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I said as I blustered on by
Tomorrow, I will have time to look in your eye
Today is so crammed, with so much to do
I really don’t have time to focus on you
Tomorrow I’ll slow, tomorrow I’ll stay
Tomorrow….really it’s much better this way
Tomorrow is yesterday, and today is all through
But tomorrow next week I know just what we’ll do
We’ll go for a cup of that old blessed joe
We’ll talk, we’ll catch up on the need to knows
Tomorrow, I said as I blustered on by
Tomorrow, tomorrow…..tomorrow says I
Tomorrow, how many times I have been guilty of missing the needs of those around me in my preoccupation with the needs of the day.    This week has presented me with many opportunities to lay down my agenda, to stop and be an ear, a shoulder, an open heart for those around me.  Sometimes, I did exactly that but other times I kept on going with my day, completely oblivious to the need I just missed.  Too often the ones I miss are the ones I should be most in tune with,  the ones I share a roof with, my life with….my own family.  Sometimes I get so used to hearing the voices, the noise, and the chaos that I miss something, someone important.    After the day slows, the voices quiet and the chaos stills I realize what I have missed and my heart breaks a little.  It is my prayer that God will help me to slow down and notice the small, quiet needs that are easy to overlook and that I will learn to lay down my agenda and pick up his perfect plan daily.  If you are one of the one’s I have missed in my blustering, please forgive me.  If you are one who is blustering along beside me maybe together we can learn to slow down and see those we miss in our harried, hurried lives.  Lots of love-Kristine

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Map

              There are many roads that dissect the map of my life.  Some cut big, gaudy highways across my treasured guide.  Others are gentler, wandering roads whose marks are light.  There are others still that are little more than dirt paths, barely legible upon the worn creased page.

Super Highways of Busyness and Necessity war with the slower routes of Intimacy and Connection.    The dirt paths of Meditation and Remembrance are often neglected all together, over grown and barely visible.  My map is chaotic, filled with so many roads that often it is hard to tell where one begins and another ends.  The roads often merge and divide making navigating life confusing even in the best of times.  The corner where Need crosses Want can be quite tricky.  And merging onto Goal Turnpike is often fraught with danger.   But it was not always so.  I can remember when I was first given this map, all shiny, new, blank……full of possibility.  I would day dream about where I would first set off for in the vast unknown wilderness.  I was warned to slow down and enjoy where I was at the moment because before I knew it my map would be full.  But I didn’t heed the warning, instead I continued dreaming of the places I would go, roads I would forge completely unaware I was already making the first tentative markings on my exciting map.  I remember when I noticed the first few roads that marked my map.  I was confused and angry.  Who had touched my map, my guide?!?  No one had the right to lay roads on it but me.  A friend said “But it is you who drew those lines.”  I shook my head vehemently “It is not I!!  Those roads are not going the direction I would have chosen.  Surely I would remember marking my map!” My friend responded with a simple rhyme “Dear friend careless roads are so easy to lay, be very careful with your choices every day.”  Such beautiful pearls of wisdom that I disdainfully tossed aside choosing instead to carelessly busy my map with unimportant dead end roads: Vain Ambition Drive, Beauty Boulevard and Popularity Terrace.   As the years went by more and more roads were laid down: Self-Depreciation Lane, I Told You So Palisade, and The Guilt Round About weaved inefficiently through my daily commute.  I tried so hard to establish Friendship Lane. Instead I built Acquaintance Avenue.   So many, many roads…… so many, many important places to be, times to catch, people to meet….so little actually being accomplished because my map was so unclear.  I actually called my friend, the one whose advice I had disdained in years past.  “Dear friend a road laid by only you will have a very limited view.”  Sound advice, good advice, cryptic advice.  I then began to look for a map maker, a master cartographer who can make sense of this sad, worn map of mine.  Most when presented with my humble map  disdainfully handed it back.  My map has no eloquence, no great beauty.  It was never gilded with gold or embellished with beautiful art or even precisely laid out to scale.  No, this is a map of happenstance, the culmination of my seemingly insignificant daily decisions.  I then found a little map store on my daily commute, surprisingly it had been there all along on the corner of Busyness Expressway and Necessity Parkway.  It’s an old store, neglected and run down.  I almost didn’t stop but I thought that maybe just maybe there would be someone here who could help me make sense of my map.  I approached the beautifully carved wood door and I had a vague sense of familiarity.  I turned the handle and pushed on the heavy door, old hinges creaking as if trying to remember their unfamiliar task.  Inside sitting at a large desk sat my trusted friend, waiting….for me.  He smiled and tenderly took my worn, tattered, weathered map.  He gently spread it upon the large cherry wood desk in the center of the room.  Beside the desk was a small table with all sorts of tools: compasses, rulers, erasers, elegant pens and beautiful paints.  He sat down at the desk, motioned for me to sit in a leather chair across from him.  We chatted for hours that first day, me telling the tale of how my map had come to be in such a sad state.  He listened, nodded and occasionally commented and then handed me back my map as I left.  I was disappointed I said as I was about to go out the door.  I had enjoyed my visit but he had never really looked at my map.  He smiled and in his gentle voice told me to look at my map.  I hesitantly opened it up, expecting the same confusing and heart wrenching disarray.  Imagine my surprise when my route for the day was highlighted and clear, some of the dead ends had been erased and some of the torn places mended.  My day went so smoothly, my energy was renewed I could not wait to go back to the little map store the next day.  So my daily trips to the cartographer have continued.  My map is becoming more clear and beautiful with every visit.  I am often surprised by the routes the map maker lays out for me.  I find myself spending more time on Relationship Crossing and Compassion Way and less time on Necessity and Busyness.  Yet somehow everything gets done that needs to be done. There are days when I don’t go to my friends shop and things begin to become unclear and jumbled once more.  I then return and my friend graciously asks me to sit down and quietly fixes the mess I have made of his beautiful work.  His words are so very true and they replay in my head often “Dear friend, careless roads are easy to lay. Be careful with your choices every day.” 

So this is what came out when I sat down to blog last night.  Not my usual offering but I hope you enjoyed a more lyrical change.  I pray each of you has a fabulous week-Kristine

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Benny Bird

I awoke instantly the shriek of the benny bird still reverberating around the room.  I covered my head with my pillow, willing myself to grab a few more precious moments of sleep.  The pillow could not drown the shrill call of the benny bird any more than a sandcastle can hold back the tide.   I quietly placed my feet on the floor one at a time hoping against hope the shrill shrieking would end and I could get back into bed no one being the wiser that I had awaken from my slumber.  Alas it was not to be.   The shrill shrieks increased in volume and pitch.  The benny bird is quite rare in our kingdom.  In fact there is only one documented in all of Skiffdom.  It is known to be playful and inquisitive and will pleasantly chatter all day.  However when it feels threatened or unhappy its pleasant chatter becomes shrieks and cries so shrill they have on occasion shattered glass.  If I was to quiet the benny bird and restore peace to the kingdom I would need all my wits about me.  With this in mind I immediately went to The Spring of Oster.  It’s magical, hot black water is known to bring alertness to the mind and give energy to the body.
I climbed the Stairs of Prayer.  Beyond the stairs lies the Land of Chaos.  A wise traveler will slowly climb the stairs, praying fervently on each step.  One never knows what will await them in the Land of Chaos so it is a good idea to prepare ones soul ahead of time.  Today there was no time to take the stairs at a reverent pace.  Instead I whispered a quick prayer for guidance as I bounded heedlessly into battle.  To my surprise all was quiet and calm in Chaos.  A great shudder of apprehension ran down my spine.  If the benny bird was not in Chaos that left only one unthinkable option,   a possibility so horrible, so terrifying, I had to stop briefly to gain my courage.  He had to be trapped in the darklands known only as The Bedroom of the Beasts.  Very few who have ventured in have ever come back out.  I have heard horrifying tales of great mountains named Lego and Laundry.  Every step on Mt Lego is said to be torturous, bringing the bravest warrior to their knees in agonizing pain.  Mt Laundry is known for its stench.   It is said that one cannot stand on its peak without succumbing to the toxic fumes.  I tentatively step through the gate.  I see the tiger twins; they lay in wait high in the bunk tree.  The benny bird is circling the lower branches squawking possessively about something.  I cannot make sense of what the benny bird is squawking.  Once he reaches a certain decibel the only thing the human ear can perceive is pain.  I try to talk him down slowly.  As the decibel decreases I begin to understand the problem.  It seems one of the tiger twins, the ferocious Alex, has dared to disagree with the benny birds claim of superiority.  The more passive of the twins, Jamie the Just, decreed that a show of strength would determine the winner.  I arrive just in time to stop the carnage.  Now that I have seen first-hand the terrors in the Bedroom of the Beast I declare a new holiday.  A holiday that will from now and forever more be known as “The Day of Renewal”.  This celebration will be honored weekly by destroying Mt Laundry and bringing the pieces to the Pool of Tide.  Each piece will be placed in the pool and washed.  Mt Lego must be ritualistically dismantled.  Its pieces are to be placed in the Chest of Rubbermaid.  And all the land will rejoice and be merry as they smell the wonderful lemony scent of their Pledge.  And the sun shone brightly upon all Skiffdom and they lived happily ever after.

This has been a lyrical interpretation of my morning on Tuesday.   After I restored peace to the house the whole morning came back to me in fairytale form so I figured I’d share it here.  I hope you enjoyed my “fictionalized” day.- Kristine

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Glimpse of Time

I was a very young girl, big eyes and big bows.  Giddy and free I rode my horse for hours on end.  There was no place we did not explore, no fence we did not jump.  Then his springs slowly lost their bounce, his batteries were replaced no more and I grew up a just a little bit.
I was a school aged girl, loose toothed and untied shoes.  I rode my bike for miles on end.   The wind whipped through my hair as I explored the twist and turns of our mountain roads.  Slowly my bike lost its shine, its tires lost their air and I grew up just a little bit more.
I was a teenaged girl, all pouty lips and heartfelt sighs.  I could drive my shiny car anywhere I chose.  I drove to work so I could pay for the car, and the insurance and the gas.  Slowly I learned that true freedom always has a cost and I grew up quite a bit more.
I was a young married woman, rounded belly and glowing eyes.   I traded in my shiny car for a practical minivan.  I learned that parking close to the cart return is more important that parking close to the door, that infant baby carriers get really heavy after about three months and that someone else’s safety was way more important than my freedom and I finally grew up all the way.

The past week I have been thinking quite a bit about the passing of time.  There is something about the way my oldest is beginning to look more like a young teenager than a child that made me sentimental. Time marches quickly on and I am mostly oblivious to it.  I am so wrapped up in my daily life, the important things that I must accomplish that somehow I miss the moments they change from baby to toddler, toddler to child, and now child to adolescent.    I just look up one minute and they have changed.  I want to put this time in a bottle and put it on a high shelf so that years from now I can look at it and smile.  I love where we are in life right now.  I love watching the boys learn and explore life around them.  I love having friends that can share the smiles and tears of the everyday, normal things.    I want to hold tight to all these moments because time is still marching forward.    Pretty soon all my boys are going to be men.  I know that time will be precious also as I watch them venture out into the world and have careers and families of their own.  But for today I want to slow it all down just a bit and draw everything I can out of the little, every day moments.   So I am signing off today with a challenge to live life fully in the moment.-Kristine

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