Archives for category: Prompts

This was terrifically fun and well done; Steve’s a buddy, and the biggest encourager (word?) for my work. I’m reading this in my pjs; hmmmm

Reader:  Janine, a wonderful member of our verbally weird and adventurous, skilled, blabby CHPercolatorCoffeehouseforWriters – suggested a prompt overusing adjectives.  Here’s my take:

Muffy Kincaid, that lustrous blonde with just a wee bald spot on the top of her head, revealing a dot, a splot, a mere quiver of pink flesh, under which spot, a brain whirred, as if agile and liquid,

and our Muffy conjured up ways to attract Alfred to her yoga class, in which she would point her long, long, long, long, limber, limber, limber legs and elegantly formed, mushroom like in its splendor big toe to the dappled white ceiling which was in tiles if you want to know, and they were becoming loose,

as Harry Raymond, a swish of a guy, who stood on head in his irritable, Terrible Tempered Tommy Bangs moments of anger, sweating, frustration, brought on by glaring at the cellular, no  – not cellular — oh why had our Tommy Bangs, histrionic hero of the Yoga Loaf, on the top floor of a bakery, a hot, hot, hot floor, why could he not, indeed, could not find fame, and then our little mischievous Muffy, with a nickname of misky tisky, conjured again, under that pink spot of the brain,

having listened carefully, her spike-like cilia open to Harry Raymond’s needs and desires, thought, “Why I can kill 2 birds with one stone,” and thought Alfred twisted and twined his “Hi I’m from the Maine Woods,” thick lumber-like legs, would come and discover the lascivious twists and turns of

Dear Muffy, who not only thought under that pink spot on her head, but lusted, yes, our audacious mild mannered heroine Muffy admitted to lust,

and if she could entice Alfred into a yoga studio, surely Alfred would receive a memorable metaphoric epiphany and envision, using his yet to be developed connecting skills under his skull, yes our Alfred, had  a skull, but opposites attract, pink spots vs. skull and

Alfred from Maine would visualize throwing Muffy into the clover and violating her in the vilest way, all the while, thinking, this all started because I left my man cave, my man ways and went to Yoga, and Harry Raymond, that insipid white crow of a man, actually had some tricks up his sleeve with which to twitch and turn and perhaps thrust (oh dear an inflammatory thought) and so I would end this earnestly written tale with the motto,

“Yes the Muffies of the world, can conjure, and the Harry Raymonds of the world, will live to see another economically assured day, in this time when men of reptilian brain, and smaller anatomy down there, trot and scheme behind the crooked corridors of power.

Monday Discovery: Esther Bradley-DeTally.

l  a n g u a g e  a f t e r  t h e  1 0 0  y e a r  w a r

 

The Nouns were in control in the neighborhood of Verbiage.

Adjectives were forced to end their 100 Year War.

This war was known as the Great War of Planet Earth in the Days of Rhetoric Only.

Verbiage, like a fireplace bellows of yesteryear,

had simply exhausted its wheeze and could no longer

control the Nation.

Politicians would no longer be described adjectively.

Thus, our President could be described by the Press as, “A   

man whose eyes narrowed when a syllabic word entered the

toy store of his mind; a man whose Rubber Ducky drowned

when his bath water became higher than what is necessary for

the average leader; or, a man who could bob eternally on the

Ocean of Platitude.”

This leader called up his country’s Reserve Marines again.

These Marines were sent to a land which resembled a cannon

to which they would become fodder. They would obey their

mission, climb into these cannons, and be shot out over the

land of buildings which no longer resembled buildings.

Naught would be seen but structures of rubble which resembled

cookies crumbled in the hand of a monster as tall as the

sky.

The Congress would not be allowed to use descriptions

which included the much abused adjective. This caused some

consternation, for our Congress knew of the paucity of adverbs

when running for election. The Congress member

would no longer be able to crawl into that vat of adjectives

filled with words guaranteed to portray an individual Congress

person righteously and puffily. These adjectives, I might

add, are thrown carelessly into this vat, like screen plays in

Los Angeles, like potato chips in a Lays truck which had escaped

from their Bag Containers.

The Nouns issued an edict: “Stick to the Facts, Jack.

Straight Facts for a Straight Land,” a land which had lived adjectivally

and splendiferously for too long, thereby wreaking

an ecological knowledge gap of a very long five years. Politicians

had appeared on the NewsHour program with Jim

Lehrer, and on what used to be Peter Jennings’s NewsHour,

and on Tim Russert, to reveal Sunday after Sunday (or was it

Monday after Monday?) narrow gamboling minds and nuances

of the political dance. These very same politicians verbally

trolled linguistically along to thinly expand titles such as

“Theatre of Operation,” “War Games” and, last but not least,

the most abused noun in the world, Democracy—Democracy

became a gutted, slutty word, misused and stretched like

hardened taffy in a candy machine after the summer crowd

had gone home.

A rape of the Nouns had occurred. What choice did the

Nouns have but to take over the Nation? They cried out,

“Aack, aack, aack! No more.”

And so as this tale is difficultly told, but blessed for its attempts,

all the while failing in adverbial splendor, time will tell how language

controlled its environment so that facts and integrity might emerge again

 children of the world forget that “Truthfulness is the foundation

of all human virtues” (Ruhi Book 1 – Reflections on the Life of the Spirit)

Five weeks ago I had a steady Sorry Gnat blog following of about 7 people.  People know me a bit around the City of Pasadena.  A few months ago my Irish Mug was on the cover of Pasadena Weekly, because I teach writing at the Women’s Room in Pasadena, a workshop for volunteers, homeless women, and women in transition.

I also teach a couple of other  writing workshops in the Pasadena- mainly at the La Pintoresca Branch, and conduct a small one, for donation only, in the basement of Ten Thousand Villages, the most fantastic and aesthetically snappy fair trade store, located on Lake and California.

I felt stagnated by my inadequacies with my blog.  I had a major friend who has helped me a lot.  The fabulous Mizz V – shrunk my SorryGnat banner, twiddled and twaddled comments and headings appropriately, but she got a job, and I ordered 10-12 books from the library on Blogging.

I need to stretch I thought.  This is how I get creative thoughts.  They nudge me or pop up when my nose is halfway down my first cup of coffee in the morning.  Along came #@MNINB, and I was a hashtag apprentice, a Linkedin Babe, a Twitter type of gal.  I’m already on FB with people from around the world.  It helps to travel and live in other countries.

A few weeks ago someone sent The Versatile Blogger award, and I have still to figure out how to affix it to a margin type area so it hangs out in the neighborhoods of facts and figures about this writer who’s up there in age, but has the writing voice of a 35-year old.

This week, of which Monday seems a 100 years ago, 2 of the #MNINB recommended me for a Liebster because for the month of  April MNINB challenge a goodly amount of writers scattered from Massachusetts to Malta (not really) connected, with a spirit of oepn welcome and we cheer each other on.

So thank you to  Susan Craig, http://bysusancraig.wordpress.com/ .  She’s a scientist with a background in neurobiology, and studied effect of Alzheimer’s disease proteins on brain cells for over 10 years.  She currently teaches college biology.  Her favorite thing to do is write books about strong, smart women and men who love and appreciate them.  Her blog reveals true stories, science material, fiction, inspiration, and you name it.  Lucky us.  Lucky me, I subscribe to her blog.

And also, another blogger nominated me during the same week of 100 years:

Thank you Kristi Carver, http://kristicarver.blogspot.com/2012/05/  Kristi is a writer, small business owner, and Registered Nurse.  My twin was a Registered Nurse, and believe you me, I felt safe with her in my life. Thanks Kristi.  When you visit her blog, you fall into a heavenly photo of a lake in Colorado, and all tension slips away.  Colorado beauty, plus aspiring author, who is a blueberry fanatic, wine enthusiast, and constant reader, and a memoir addict.  Be still my heart.

Now, I pay it forward and nominate up to 5 blogs with less than 200 followers, and let these nominees know they’ve come under the Liebster shadow by leaving a comment on on of their posts.  I added the Liebster image, so I’m okay ont hat.

My nominees are:

http://kofeart.wordpress.com/category/doodles/ – what can I say? When the world gets too lurchy, self-absorb, insane, I click on Kofeart’s site and her art enchants me.  I hope you like it too!

http://blackwatertown.wordpress.com/ I don’t know if he has 1,000 followers, but he was one of my original 7 devotees, and he’s special in my blogger’s heart; funny, current, aware, and enchanting.

 The blog & the book – are by Paul Waters from Northern Ireland, writes, makes radio & telly shows, blogs and footer about with social media. Get in touch if you’d like me to do it for you, either here or at paulwaters99 at hotmail.com .  It’s not a kangaroo, it’s a horse’s head, which might be from The Godfather. The pith helmet however, definitely used to sit on the head of Spike Milligan.

http://krpooler.com/feed/ (Memoir Writers Blog)I need all the information on Memoirs.  I don’t know if she’s widely blogged, so I added her, because I learn from people like this blogger.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-of-cake.html – okay, okay, the blog is about depression – but to a writer, artist, or whatever creative type, depression is a fantastic topic, and I am sure she heals herself by her work.  Her images are enchanting.  I adore her post.  What can I say, check it out!

http://swpulley.wordpress.com/ – Artist, writer, traveler, whimsy, E.B.-White-wit goes outer space, early member of CHPercolatorcoffeehouseforwriters.com, incredible friend, encourager, and lives next town over.  His Uneasy Rider posts are terrific.  He’s the reason why I write better than I used to after my first book, and why I published (he helped-bless his saintly soul) You Carry the Heavy Stuff, and is just all in all an enchanting wit and fried of both myself and Bill and so many others.

So that’s it. Now they check out The Liebster Award, and sally forth.  Gratitude to all who labor! Smile.

Okay Reader, I’m going to jump right in.  http://hereismars.wordpress.com/  Mars recommended me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  \

I thanked her and waited in silence for an email to come over the horizon saying, “You’ve won our Versatile Blogger Award.”  It doesn’t work that way.

My them for the April Challenge, MNINB, “It doesn’t work that way.”

So today, I am going to try to do several things at once.  I am a superb multitasker, but whiz around so, I fall off the planet on a daily basis.  My call to action comes at the end.  First the award.

pathway to knowledge, wonder and humility

Thank you Mars, dear tender-aged Mars whose blithe spirit shines through and captures the poetic tendrils of my heart.   http://hereismars.wordpress.com/ (repeated it).  Select 15 bloggers I’ve recently discovered or have been following regularly.  I nominate the blogs below for the versatile blogger award. (Advice:  Google it, and following the instructions.)

http://swpulley.wordpress.com, long time friend, writer, lived in Bolivia and Chile 30 years, early member and continuing member of CHPercolatorCoffeeHouseFor Writers, and just one who you can roll around a floor laughing.

http://bahaithought.blogspot.com/

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2011/02/04/rainn-wilson-soulpancake/, I adore Soul Pancake, and use it in my writing classes at times.  I also gave the book Soul Pancake to my granddaughter.

http://www.bendsintheroad.com/  I have connected with blogger and will do online interview!

http://blackwatertown.wordpress.com      Northern Ireland, author and enchanting commentator; have been following him since he found me – how I don’t know.  I think I had 7 followers then.

http://elenagorokhova.com/  Author of Mountain of Crumbs, on Goodreads, Russian heritage. I lived in Ukraine and Belarus, spent some time in Moscow and Siberia, follow her blog on Goodreads.

http://creativityontheloose.com/   new; intriguing; she was in a class of mine

http://thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com/   a  new, refreshing blog about farm life, and well written.  Sagas, small s really about lambs being born, lamb bloat, the birds; all have names, and the blogger’s pieces undo the knot in the back of my neck from my social media strain.

http://kofegeek.wordpress.com/   Kofegeek is a silly geometer, a lover of coffee and fresh carrot

http://catewrites.wordpress.com/feed/   An exquisite young writer, working on her first novel – we meet once a week and share our writing through prompts!

http://mrslittlejeans.blogspot.com/2012/04/our-cat-boys-are-tree-huggers.html

friend, who is a scientist, a Baha’i and who writes enchanting, whimsical pieces.

http://livingbackstreet.blogspot.com, a very talented artists.  She had a stroke and since then she’s been producing the paintings you will see on her website.

http://holessence.wordpress.com/ one of the first bloggers to reach out at beginning of our MNINB April challenge, generous in spirit and knowledge

http://bridgetasher.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

terrifically informative re writing

http://debbieohi.com/home/atom.xml  I love her art

Okay this is for the lovely Mars – 7 things about myself

1.  I am 73, but have the writing voice of a 35 year old;p spunky, funny, deep, spiritual, whatever.

2.  I am a twin; fraternal, she died a few years ago.

3.  I am a member of the Baha’i Faith – since 1966 – was Catholic from Boston

4.  I am a pug dog devotee

5.  I have lived in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, Minsk, Belarus, spent time at Lake Baikal in Siberia, looked across borders to Mongolia, stared at the biggest fattest head of Lenin in Ulan Ude, Siberia, and crawled across railroad tracks and clung to barely the inside of a train in Eastern Ukraine, and last I road on a bus with our interpreter who thought beings from Mars would soon pop up, and where the bus driver stopped the bus, and said about the quacking goose in our midst, “Off with his head,” but of course, the goose lived, and we did too.

6.  I am a memoir addict, and started reading 4 books a day when I was 7; since then, my addiction has grown.

7.  I teach several writing workshops, one of which to homeless women, and they rock.

Brandi’s prompts today or yesterday from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CHPercolator/ and my response today:

Tell us why you became a part of this fabulous league of writers!
2. “According to the hard-hitting journalism of cosmos…”
3. Of all the skeletons in my closet, you are my favorite.

List your personal comfort foods, bonus points  if you tell us why each one is comforting.

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One day, when the earth was young, and bubbling, in a cute kind of primordial way, I was sitting, driving, thinking, wondering, if I were anorexic and a fiction writer, could I, just possibly, write about all the skeletons in my closet and how I admired their paucity of flesh.
Exactly dear reader. They had no flesh.

Then I mulled over which type of comfort food I was in the mood to eat.  I couldn’t decide on either bowlS of Hagen Das vanilla ice cream with buckets of Hersey syrup or my old standby; that balled-up-in-a-fist peanut butter and jam sandwich on wheat if you please, but a friend, a writer from CHPercolator sent me an
email encouraging me. He encourages well, and to all I note.

Soooo, long story short, I had just finished several advanced writing classes with Jack Grapes,http://jackgrapes.com/grapes_approach.php –  superb writing workshop leader, and I had blasted out of the gate of Write Like You Talk, into Write Like You Sing, Absence of Field, Teeth and Mouth writing (feel your mouth and teeth going over syllables and words you produce), Write Like You Sing, (think Martin Luther King, or Dickens, “It was the best of times, the worst of times…”) literary, heavy on the multisyllabic, so reader, you catch my drift. Are you with me? (Straight talk) and I thought  why not try CHPercolatorCoffeehouseforwriters, and the rest is history. Two years later, enter into my crooked pathways of a brain, a book, You Carry the Heavy Stuff – (Lulu, Amazon, my house), a combination of writing styles, homage to Oakley Hall, Jack Grapes, and stuff from their workshops, plus my responses
to CHPerc prompts.

The lesson: A little prompt goes a long way.

So how do you feel about prompts?  Writing Workshops?  Do they help?

P.S. Open House to my blog, no visitor turned away, sign up, and we’ll dance together among the words.

 Graduation-address to graduates; fiction – Esther Bradley-DeTally (this was        

a CHPercolator prompt a while back)

Dear Graduates:

Here on the planet, at Earth School, in Dirt City, on the Blue  Marble, advice is going to be slung at you as you leave your  schooling behind.

I want to tell you a few things. One, fame is an illusion, because  it is just a mercurial moment in time and space where you are a star  who gleams brightly. We live in something called the Kingdom of Names which has to do with who we are, What We Wear, Who We Vote  For. Consider this, maybe that’s nice, necessary, and maybe unreal.  Think of a wider goal.

You are living in an era where you are World Citizens, and either through trial and struggle, or a great
consultative process, we the people of the nations, will go down a  road pointed towards the Oneness of Humanity, a Golden Age spoken of  by prophets and seers. We will do this by today’s standards, “Boys will be Boys” and blow up much of the planet, leaving a postage stamp  somewhere by an abandoned pond on which survivors will survive, and  abolish war forever. Better yet, we individually could all realize
our oneness and strive together for justice and unity.

Consider your body, it is a mass of teeming action and all parts work  to sustain the whole – homeostasis. Did you know that everything in  the spiritual world has an exact counterpart in the physical world?
We are carrying around a blue print for unity in diversity by the  mere fact of our bodies operating with intelligent rhythm.

As you leave this joyous commencement, you each will be handed a packet of instructions. They consist of:

A Hopi Message
A writing from Oriah Mountainkeeper
A Comment from Thomas Merton
A view from Etty Hillesum
An excerpt from the Baha’i Writings.

The rest is up to you.

Thank you for allowing me to deliver this commencement address in  record time, thus leaving no stone unturned.  I suggest you reflect  upon these handouts carefully in that some of you will be tested in
odd ways. Perhaps strangers will come to you and offer you the  chance of a lifetime, and the only way to accept this chance is to  leave with this stranger, thereby not saying goodbye to all you  love.

Some of you in the science fields will have to decide how you can contribute to the Earth’s Beleaguered Being, and come up with  solutions for the healing of the Earth’s Surface.

Mostly it is up to you to live your life independently, investigate truth independently, be just, know you are in the process of becoming your true selves, and finally, be aware, exceedingly aware, of the
exigencies of your time. In a phrase, power is no longer used for personal gain, but it is used for service.

May I suggest, service to humanity be your highest aim. May we all be blessed with your struggles and
attainment.

Handouts

Hopi Elder’s Message 2001 via email to me from friend in Ohio

To our fellow swimmers. There is a river flowing now very fast. It
is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid. They
will try to hold onto the shore; they will feel they are being torn
apart and will suffer greatly. Know that the river has its
destination. The Elders say that we must let go of the shore, push
off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our head
above the water. And we say, see who is there with you and
celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personal,
least of all ourselves, for the moment that we do, our Spiritual
growth and journey come to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is
over. Gather yourselves. Banish the word struggle from your
attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred
manner and in celebration. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Share this.
———–
Invitation
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will
risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure
of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to
know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have
been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without
moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can
dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic,
remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I
want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If
you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every
day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and
still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the
full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you
have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and
despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I
want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and
not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I
want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls
away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly
like the company you keep in the empty moments.
———–
“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like
to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in
detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for
the things I want to live for. Between those two answers you can
determine the identity of any person.”

Thomas Merton, from the Man in the Sycamore Tree

Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life, An entry dated August 20, 1941,
states:

“You must continue to take yourself seriously, you must remain your
own witness, marking well everything that happens in this world,
never shutting your eyes to reality. You must come to grips with
these terrible times, and try to find answers to the many questions
they pose. And perhaps the answers will help not only yourself but
also others.”

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of
the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and
friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich,
an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of
thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be
unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto
them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the
thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the
victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all
thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a
tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a
guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the
countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of
the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind,
an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of
virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of
knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of
wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit
upon the tree of humility (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings
of Baha’u’llah, p. 285)

my name is not bob challenge

learning modes

Reader, may I call you reader.  help me in my hour of trouble and affliction.  Here’s the deal.  I’m blogging.  Bless me Lord, for I am blogging.  I am FB-ing, with about 700 of my cronies around the world.  I twitted over to tweet and succumbed, barely.  I checked my name, Esther Bradley-DeTally, against Google, Bing, and a whole bunch of little places with interesting names of which I have forgotten.  In other words, I am in Brain-Stretch, big time.  Before I toddle through this page with episodic thoughts, first let me say, My Name is Not Bob is great, and Not Bob is a generous man.  As a respondee to my blog, Keith, of the winsome words with a touch of dry flour around them, said, “Bob sounds like an inspirational fellow.”  Indeed he is.  As you are my fellow bloggers.

I am concerned about my long-time 7-10 hard-core followers, since my blog has grown, and since this challenge came along. I fear they all could fit inside a telephone booth, but I’ve been known to exaggerate.

I am back from the dentist – 2 crowns needed, and as I walked in the door,   I received a call from an older woman I revere.  She called to tell me a writing suggestion given years ago in one of my workshops changed her life.  It was simple, “Make a timeline,” and in her early years, she was heavily burned at 2, her father died in a fire later, she added all the good transformational stuff, and saw the wisdom and purpose of all things and people in her life, even the original accident, for which she had numerous plastic surgeries.   We yukked and jawed, and I got off the phone buoyant to have given a shred of anything light to this incredible lady who is now 88.

So far so good Reader.  Are you with me?  Do you catch my drift? I had a tuna sandwich, picture a round tuna with bits of green heap, the heel of my hand smashing two slices of bread around it and my eating it as I walked to my laptop.  Open I am Not Bob.  April 11 – challenge.  This is so wonderful.  I read down to Not Bob’s list of five popular URL shorteners.  I checked out http://bit.ly because Not Bob said, “This is my favorite.”

I cannot be responsible for the way my eyes which rolled around like loose pinballs shooting out of an Arcade game because of broken curly wires.  I went to the Techy God for explanations:  Wikipedia.

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URL shortening   Pro:

is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) may be made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the web page that has a long URL. For example, the URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL_shortening can be shortened to http://bit.ly/urlwiki or http://tinyurl.com/urlwiki. This is especially convenient for messaging technologies such as Twitter and Identi.ca, which severely limit the number of characters that may be used in a message. Short URLs allow otherwise long web addresses to be referred to in a tweet. In November 2009, the shortened links on one URL shortening service were accessed 2.1 billion times.[1]

Normally, a URL shortening service will use the top-level domain of a country that allows foreign sites to use its extension, and is a common ending in the English language, such as .ly (Libya), to redirect worldwide using a short alphanumeric sequence after the provider’s site address in order to point to the long URL.

Another use of URL shortening is to disguise the underlying address. Although this may be desired for legitimate business or personal reasons, it is open to abuse and for this reason, some URL shortening service providers have found themselves on spam blacklists, because of the use of their redirect services by sites trying to bypass those very same blacklists. Some websites prevent short, redirected URLs from being posted

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There are con views so as readers you can Google Wikipedia, but I think to myself, “not right now Esther.”  Later.  I can shorten my own words within Twitter Texts, and because I drip, exude words in every other social media area, shortening my URL doesn’t seem to amount to a hill of beans.

That said, I’m off to read Best Blogs:  I do so like Rain Wilson’s Soul Pancake, http://soulpancake.com/; now there’s a mind with many tunnels.

 

 

 

Reader, may I call you reader.  This is a response to my blog of yesterday about being an old gal with a 35-year-old voice.  You see that blog had its genesis in CHPercolatorCoffeeHouseforWriters – a yahoo site.  My friend Steve encouraged me.  Steve is responsible for my latest book You Carry the Heavy Stuff, and ChPercolator.  It’s free; we only encourage, never criticize, check it out.

Keith is a funny writer, and any email or comments from him make me yuck and chortle.  Steve and I even drove down to Disneyland area, Anaheim area, to visit Keith and his wife, who were in from New Jersey.  Keith also wrote a blurb on the back of Carry Heavy Stuff, and this is his response to my blog of yesterday, soon to be yesteryear:

I underlined Bob sounds like an inspiration person because it was so deadpan.  Yes, I roll on floors over stuff like this.

Re: SUB: Dingbat and stuff

I often think that I was born in the wrong century, which is a great joke either on myself or the calendar professionals (The people who put cute animals, religious pictures and girls in swimsuits over individual months). Facebook? Twitter? They’re all the rage right now and I admit that both E.A. Poe and C. Dickens would have been all over them and so too would J. Caesar and Ramses Jr. I just can’t get into it. Maybe I’m lazy or maybe I’m reticent about new things that are all the rage (I never had a moon rock and I never saw a single episode of “Miami Vice”). If there is a disease called “fuddy-duddy-ism” then I must have it.
Is that at all related to being a dingbat?
Are frabjous and frabulous synonyms?
If I had a canary I would let it perch on my shoulders.
Bob sounds like an inspirational person.
My mother-in-law and you could climb mountains together.
What, what, oh what ever happened to the cardboard pug?
Jessica wouldn’t be that fictional writer/sleuth who murdered all those people and then hypnotized someone else into confessing to the crime? It’s just too much of a coincidence that she lives in a tiny hamlet in Maine with the highest murder rate in the world when she’s home and someone gets murdered wherever she travels. If that’s the same Jessica I would exercise caution.
whimsied time with granddaughter

Jessica and I make cardboard pug

I am a missing dingbat.  I retreated last night to desserts, and I awakened this morning, with snakes snarling and hissing on my head, a nervous tension, and just disgruntled wormy thoughts that wouldn’t even coalesce with one another.  I think that fits under missing dingbat category.

If I had a canary, it would be tempestuous, or lascivious, or frabulous, and mirror the excesses of my personality which I sometimes think goes into spillage too much.  I’d like to retreat to the desert, but instead will go for a walk, under the trees in Pasadena.

The reason for all of this.  I am in a “I’m Not Bob Challenge”.  I’m Not Bob is this wonderful man’s personal blog, (He’s a Writer’s Digest person)  and he’s helping us would-be, be, being, and all range of bloggers and writers to meet the challenge of expansion, construction too.  Each day the anonymous amongst us arise and blow out our thoughts in Twitter, i.e., “I jmp ovr mts & Valleys, and I wl nt hiss at LinkedIn”, type of thing.  Then we hook up FB pages, or simply chat, and sometimes, like today, my hands will click over the keys, which click sounds like Old Puggy’s (God rest his lardy soul) nails on linoleum at Grandma Anna’s place.

I’m becoming an old gal writer, whose voice is 35,  and I am  like a mountain goat.  It’s a saga, this trudging up the mountains of words.  Some days are tempestuous, a word in one of my CHPercolator prompts today, and one I’d use more if I were in a multisyllabic mode.  Today I feel more Germanic, almost high boots and marching because I’m frustrated by my inabilities or level of knowledge (think ankle level) on the computer.

Today I’ll stick to dingbat, and walk heavy hoofed for hopefully 5 miles, and then my ding will be danged, and tomorrow will be another day.

First, gratitude for the hard work on behalf of Altadena Library and the Friends of the Library for making these workshops possible.   Okay boys and girls, or girls and boys, we didn’t get to a couple of other exercises, so as I promised, here they are:

1. Name your writing after this place or situation:  In the Dean’s Office, Talking to My Boss, At Lunch with My Mother-in-Law, On the Bus Going to Work, In the Dentist’s Chair, Cleaning My Room, The Job Interview, or whatever comes to mind.  It’s your mind reader – go for it!

Write a dialogue in which an annoyingly powerful person speaks the way he or she normally does.  For internal dialogue, after several lines of this person’s dialogue, say to yourself in the form of a tired cliche or some slang you use, what you really think – consider these:  Your mother eats kitty litter, or praise the Lord and pass the Butter or Walk with me Jesus, or sticks and stones may break my bones, or are you with me; how bout them Dodgers, you can’t please everyone, or Lucy and Ethel in the Chocolate Line, or Gal, don’t call me Gal, or Boy, don’t call me Boy, or job schmob, I’m out of here!

2. Think of something you believe in/wish for. Write 5 or more passages, start with same line, I believe in running free and fast, or I have a wish to swim in the ocean, or If I could talk with my mother for just one moment more.

After you have written the passages, end by repeating the one repeated lines 3 times in a row. (From Creative Writing DeMystified, Bender, p. 31)

Here’s one we did in the 90s at Jamestown Community College’s the Courage to Write Workshop:

3. Suddenly there is a knock at your door.  A trusted friend enters to warn you that the Dream Police will arrive in 20 minutes.  Everything, everything in your life that you have not written down will evaporate upon their arrival.  You have a short time –twenty minutes—to preserve what is most precious in your life, what has formed you, what sustains you.  Whatever you forget, whatever you have no time to record, will disappear.  Everything you want must be acknowledged in its particularity.  Everything, to be saved, must be named.  Not trees, but oak.  Not animal, but wolf.  Not people, but Alicia.  As in reality, what has no name, no specificity vanishes.

We are what matters to us.  Our identity materializes through images, memories, events and through things.  In the above exercise we select what is essential us, what has formed u, what we cannot live without, this as often includes grief, losses and failures as it does joy and triumph.

Some time after, look at this list; put it aside, and then later, examine it.  Imagine you are an anthropologist who has unearthed this list of “possessions” that once belonged to some “unknown” person. Write a portrait fleshing out that person, speculating on his or her character and life.

 

FINALLY, some books which you can get from a library:  mine – Without a Net: A Sojourn in Russia, and You Carry the Heavy Stuff, Esther Bradley-DeTally.  If local, i have some.  If not, Lulu for You Carry the Heavy Stuff, Amazon too.

Creative Writing DeMYSTiFieDm Sheila Bender (I used this).  Soul Pancake Chew On Life’s Big Quesitons, Wilson, Gundry, Lucina, Mogharab(Rainn Wilson from the Office, one of the authors, and the GRAPhics are fabulous)

I loved Spunk & Bite also.  Read everything, fiction, non-fiction.

Journals – Writer’s Digest, Poets & Writers,

Online writing group:  CHPercolatorCoffeeHouse for Writers (Yahoo)

I have only touched the surface.  Stay tuned and happy writing.  Esther

 

Image

A string of laughter is all the trees lining our long driveway, the bamboo, the eucalyptus, all laughing, small nasty chuckles, because once again, I am thatched headed, in pjs and not walking.  It was a choice, but then the lure of words, the Zen of quiet air pushing out of the fan under my laptop; which if you really must know, I found this fan at a garage sale for $1.00, mighty fan.

A string of laughter makes me think of kites flying over Afghanistan, that land of dust and caves, and cities, and brave women’s hearts, and children’s tears, and when the kites are allowed, they fly into the air, twisting, turning, colors.  What are the colors of kites in the Afghan air? And someone’s heart exults, and then of course, there’s the birds.  They were banned during the time of the Taliban, and now I hope they are back, and I will sit back, and stop clickety clacking across the a, ;.s;. k, dk’s and think in peace you can’t own the sky..  It’s been tried, but the sky is ours, and then a heavenly invisible low long drawn out chuckle, like God was a Westerner with a Cowboy Hat, and then a belly laugh which translates into winds over the mountains, cleansing air, and Scattering Angels of the Almighty seeking the hearts of righteous men (generic of course); women too, and then what do I think.

Hmmm, a string of laughter is a word sky, where the sun and the moon negotiate, because now there’s lots of new solar stuff out there, and it might be a night game of “Olly, olly oxen free… ready or not, here I come.” Or maybe lawn bowling will be the game of choice, except it would be sky lawn ball, and then there are balloons, another topic altogether. Some balloons laugh, go up on a string, and twist out of grasping hands of greed.

You can take a lot of things away from people:  money, a place to live, shoes, health, but laughter always springs from some invisible source, and laughter moves the ribs up and down and up and down, and you can’t take that away.

From…. WorldUnityMedia.com/ Quote of the Day, Sat., August 13, 2011

“Thou hast asked Me concerning the nature of the soul. Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel. It is the first among all created things to declare the excellence of its Creator, the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him. If it be faithful to God, it will reflect His light, and will, eventually, return unto Him. If it fail, however, in its allegiance to its Creator, it will become a victim to self and passion, and will, in the end, sink in their depths.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Author: Bahá’u’lláh, Source: US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1990 pocket-size edition, Page: 346

Here’s something from my book
You Carry the Heavy Stuff It’s a writing prompt and written in a particular style. Kurt Vonnegut (God Bless you Kurt Vonnegut) said, write 4 lines across the page every night; don’t show it to anyone, but just do it. These were my 4 one day, and the word soul just showed up, like it wanted to be on the word train within this piece. This is also something under Jack Grapes’ (best writing teacher of all time) teaching in that he calls this type of piece To Be Read and Sung, okay enuf said, 4 lines:

Read and Sung
Do not ask of your shadow’s future. Do not dwell on your shadow’s past. Do not ask what others think. Rely not upon the delusions of the many. Do not turn away from certitude and a multisyllabic path. Do not listen to politicians’ rhetoric. Do not become a sleeping mute, a junk yard dog. Do take yourself and shadow on a dual path. Take a soul to lunch this week. Better yet, take your soul with you. Best yet, be your soul.

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Share Quote of the Day with friends.


It was 1992, and my husband Igorovich insisted we drive to the Wisconsin Cheese Farm to photograph shelves and glassed in cases of cheese, no abundance of lack as in our city, Dnepropetrovsk, where cheese was called sere to my American ears.

We were newly on our honeymoon and I was to bring Igorovich back to my home in Boston, to a family which prided itself on their standing within the generations. My great grandfather had been Sheriff of Suffolk County in the early 1900s, and with a name like “Keliher,” I gathered he’d come over before the potato famine.

But history or generational placement was far from my mind, that hot day when odors of cows and an occasional sniff of sweet grass relieved the tedium of flat stretch after flat stretch of highway, only relieved by country stores, with 12 empty rocking chairs lined up as if to say hello, come to Cracker Barrel and find root beer candy, sarsaparilla drinks from the past.

But no, Igorovich, as I was soon to learn was a “pusher,” and a bull dog, and I a small Chihuahua personality myself, was not match to his drive and intention. But it wasn’t all “plocha” awful, that day as we drove off the highway ramp, the only Edsel for miles, the only car for miles, because I had heard of a writing group on the “net,” as they say.

We parked in the dusty graveled parking lot, headed towards a low slung, ranch style building covered in a wine-colored wood, and as we opened the air conditioned doors, air, cold air blasted us back an inch or two.

Igorovich was rubbing his meaty hands together, reverting to Russian, “Horoshow, Horoshow,” which to my 2 year old level of Russian meant good. What was it about me, my tiny, small persistent personality? I always feel for men in uniform, and Igorovich met me in the open air market (a euphemism for shock of beef on hooks, wedding gowns next aisle over, potatoes which looked abused, and I was asking for Smetana, and Sleevki, one or the other, they are dairy products, don’t have my smetanas and sleevki’s down. That’s three year old language level.

It was love at first sight, and I called him Sleevki Igor, and now cheeses and abundances of the dairy kind led me to a serendipitous moment of great impact, almost as great as meeting my beloved Sleevki Igor, but not quite – nothing could replace the smell of raw beef, a handsome young man bending over my tiny form, sweat on his neck, a delightful clean smell of sweat, and muscled arms, oh a girl could go far in those muscled arms.

There inside the Wisconsin Famous for Its Cheeses door, the air conditioning pushing cow ears back, was someone in an enormous cow uniform. The cow had human legs in the front, and cardboard legs resting on a cheese barrel with lots of miniature sculpted baby cows around his tale, as if to say, “I’m prolific,” and “All us cows do our dairy best,” and so while Igor ambled around more cheese shelves than he had seen in his life, and was blasted away by the “how may we lay our lives down in service for you employees,” I sauntered up to the Cow.

How is it, there’s a figure in there. Who are you. Well the cow must have been embarrassed, so a small voice laced trills and bass notes, said I’m today’s new Cheese Representative, and todays, my first day on the job. What’s good, I said, slowing myself into what was going to be a rolling dialogue/monologue, repartee, Camembert or Cheddar ?

The cow’s voice dropped several octaves, almost like the sounds on the planet we can’t hear and said, “Look lady, I’m a writer, and an umployed one at that. For cheese’s sake, don’t push me.”

You are a writer, you in the cow suit, by this time I gathered he was a man.

Yes, and because he was in a cow suit and was a writer, I shouted behond the pickles and ham slices rolled up drolley besides the Swiss cheese, and called, “Igorovitch, Igorovitch, Ididi, my word for go which meant to Sleevki Igor, come here, as it was the only motion word I knew.

Well Igor and I love people in suits, or uniforms, and a man in a cow uniform on his first day at work, and on our first time in a famous Cheese Factory was the beginning of a propitious relationship.

It turned out, this writer and many others whom he knew would turn out bon mots of the laugh and lie down with your belly to the floor, and I learned through this man, “Steve,” whom Sleevki Igor called “Steevovitch Seritskee” became a life time friend, and in the future we would venture to lands like Kansas, and Boston, my family loved cheese, and then in our later years, we would find a small pool house, which fit our immigrant hearts, and to our delight, we would discover Steevovitch Seritskee was now a famous writer, but he lived still in his modest family home in temple City and we were horoshow (good).

July 21, 2011

CHPerc prompts

“Today should be my wedding day,” said Annie Mae Clare McDougall Habersham as they moved her out of her trailer park, because newspapers in the back entry way were stacked to the ceiling, and I, her 70ish, low on the ish cousin, shirttail cousin at that, was the only lone female within my clan brave enough to enter the sagging trailer on a hot July day, humidity up to sweat and think “Hell,” and to prepare to breathe through the mouth, avoiding unwarranted odors from the decaying tin can of a trailer, collapsing before my very eyes.

I squeeze sideways, even though people call me skinny, I still have to squeeze sideways to make it through the newspaper filled back entryway, which is book marked on the opposite side by those familiar yellow National Geographic’s that people saved thinking, these will be a treasure later.

That’s what it’s all about, saving, hoarding, hoping something for nothing, later, in the dusty future where a ship will come in, a lottery ticket will pay off, Google will reward the younger in our generation for some unknown embryo of an idea, to be planted in everyone’s need section of their brain. We have all become like raw open throated baby birds I think as my nose begins to reject a sour odor, and I move towards what once was an elegantly curved mahogany and soft light green velvet couch, said couch, looking like a Keinholtz replica, with stuffing coming out of its chest instead of Keinholtz’s original piece which portrayed squirrels nesting on a rotted-out breast, to a horrified crowd at the LA Museum on Mid-Wilshire in the mid 60s.

“Today should be my wedding day,” thrums against my brain, quiet cloud like thoughts, pure fluffy white, floating over chaos of broken lamps, hidden treasures of pearl handle knives and a peer or pier mirror tall, tilted against a wall in the corner, ornate gold frame, from floor to ceiling, this mirror abandoned before it was sold to make a lot of money for Annie’s future abundance.

Annie, Annie, Annie. If I were she, I would have changed my last name. What a curse to be named “Habersham,” so Dickensian in its doom, its curse of the unmarried, a curse which makes no sense in these days at the turn of a new century, the 2000s. We don’t worry about being married, not married. We worry about food, prices, greed, and think of the Wall Street Boys bowling with our brains and hearts, and totally removed from what’s really happening here on Hensworth Street in Lake Forest Park.

We are a long way from the real world, and my purpose here is to make sense and get Annie out of her mess. She doesn’t think mess. Annie’s brain is back in the day in 1938 when her to-be husband was cavorting on the sands of Cape Cod, as he ran along side the ocean. He had just turned his head to shout to Annie, a good looking 20 year old with long chestnut hair, long legs, an arched nose, and the moment was truly golden. Golden except for the fact he didn’t see the giant horseshoe crab in front of him and he fell and its long tail pierced his heart.

He was a bleeder, and he didn’t make it through the night. Annie was devastated and simply not right for the rest of her life.

So here I am now, the only practical one in the family whose tree goes back to Habersham and Dickens, and I am here to muck out, and get her into a rest home, and sooth the community association who is afraid that rats are cavorting all over the trailer park.

I see her, slumped over in an old tattered maroon (they don’t use that color any more) Morris chair which is spotted and its wooden slatted frame is scarred from dog scratches. Her dog Pip sits whimpering at her side. Small, runty dog, small slivered woman, and the day we move this shattered bone and mind of an old lady, unnoticed except for the horror of her hoarding, I think, that’s it. She’s the next subject of my next book.

And then, I pull out my cell phone, dial, “We Clean Up Anything,” pick up Pip, who gives a feeble pug cough, tell Annie, “We’ll have you under 800 thread count sheets by tonight,” and call my husband who will drive her to the hospital, and think, “It’s all grist for the mill.”

Did I mention the LA Times had just printed a photo of an old cane chair on top of a junk pile, with its bottom part threaded out, reminiscent of the Pope’s Chair, verifying he was a guy, as mentioned in that lovely book Pope Joan?

Truth is so delightful when turned into fiction. Writer’s block is over.

The wheel of hours was going to be long, and would involve a lot of waiting, just like I’m waiting in this darkened Park Street Subway station, which smells of hot dust and urine, and feels like I am in the vestibule of death, when in reality, I am only on my way to Monday, my first day at a new job.

Reader, can I whine, can I have a plaintive voice. Think of my voice as wine dripping from my mouth and forming letters which complain, and my plaintiveness resembling old tin cup, which when I put my lips on it, curl back and reveal teeth, white, but tired, tired from having to live inside my mouth so long they’ve developed a lacework on their tips. Yeah, the bottom teeth with the dental hygienist said last week, “Oh you have such little teeth. How cute.”

Reader how are 73 year old teeth, the bottom once, which are white, which are precious few, and which are squeezed together as if bunching up in fear, “No don’t take me,” also have had the nerve to show delicate little edges, not smooth lines, and my teeth, I’m afraid are going on to a grey/gray, land of older, older woman, even though I still slash red lipstick on my lips which prune and pout as I ponder the bleak outside world where all the newscasters spewing yellowed print, green print, red print out of their mouths, quickly like blades of steel grass, and they all have opinions. About jobs. It’s about jobs, which is why dear Reader, my life is looking black, purple and I feel a shade coming down, as if it is sundown, and it’s only morning, but I’m off to my new job as photocopier for a law firm.

This law firm is on State Street, where years ago old men wore white spats over their shoes and women in clothe green felt hats, or grey felt, or any kind of felt, color it any way you want, hats, and these hats hid the obedient eyes focused on the rough, knobby cement, glanced at the brick exteriors of old Boston Buildings, spelled the ocean air coming up from the harbor or Harbah if you are a native, and scurried into buildings to be on time for the men they worked for, such as our leisurely white spatted gentlemen circumambulating the Boston Gardens.

This was our out, and it was a good one. Secretaries. Now there’s a word. Reader I once knew practices like Gregg Shorthand even though I took the college courses in high school, I was now and had been a Boston Clerical Girl for years.

Did I mention, at fifty-three I became “temping” later a word exalted to “freelancing,” all words pointing to don’t hire the older woman. Did I mention I wore black a lot, because it was cheap, and slenderizing, a word people don’t use any more. And did I mention I once had a life filled with magentas and yellows and starburst lemon, and grew flowers like the Iris, a delicately laced flower with deep purple hues, and I had dogs that were silky red with long hair, and small little beige squatty little dogs whose curl of tail was beyond creamy, beyond perfection?

But now, I live in the real world. Did I mention when I worked there were no pensions, no this, no that, no insuring one’s end of days with padding of the economic time. I had thought the legal world would protect me, because in the depression of yore legal secretaries found work. Teachers found work. But it is now 2011, and I must work because I could be one step from living in the streets. I will work until I’m 85, or until I can’t see the documents which will come in serried rank, page after page, and I will push, click, staple and fold, and somehow my creaking wheel of hours will end.

Girls with Pink Lipstock
(from Miss Halloran, You Carry the Heavy Stuff, p. 53)
By Susan Zucker – June 6, 2011

Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.
They have their beach towels and bathing suits.
They have money for their lunches.
Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.

Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.
They wait in front of the house on Clifton Avenue.
It is the most central, after all.
They wait for that one mom to drive them to the beach.
Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.

Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.
They have arrived at the beach and the ocean is tame.
It is low tide and they spread their blanket and move as one to the sea.
Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.

Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together.
After getting wet they will dry in the sun.
They will apply their pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, and clump together as one.

Susan Zucker attends my writing workshop, “The Courage to Write,” held Monday nights at Ten Thousand Villages store, a fair trade store and a visual poem in surroundings. Susan is a writer and a friend. She grabbed a line from my latest book, You Carry the Heavy Stuff, opened to an essay on Miss Halloran, and girls coming of age theme and took the line, “Girls with pink lipstick, shocking pink lipstick, clump together,” and wrote her own take – I loved it, still do; hooray Susan.

CHPercolator coffee house for writers at Yahoo has a group of global, local, “hi I’m from New Jersey,” or in the case of this writer, Pasadena, and a good friend, a town nearby, Temple city. It was my week to supply daily prompts. We all respond, well if we have time, are in town, whatever. You catch my drift.

So I think one of the questions I asked taken from a fantastic book Soul Pancake, was “What are the 5 questions you don’t have answers for?” something like that. Are you with me?

These are responses:

1. Where did God come from?
> >
> > > No one knows for sure but I don’t think it was New Jersey. God did create
humans (On the evolution vs. creationism argument I feel that they’re pretty
much cause and effect; in other words, evolution was the mechanism for creation
– I know I’m in for big trouble now) and a land area that humans call New
Jersey, so in an indirect way, God also created New Jersey. Of this much I am
certain.
> >
> > > 2. What was before the universe?
> >
> > > It’s hard to draw a definitive picture, but I think we can safely rule out
pepperoni pizza as being around back then.
> >
> > > 3. Is there life out there?
> >
> > > Oh yes! Just this morning I was driving to Hackensack where I work and
some life form in an SUV was blocking the entrance to a breakfast nook that I
frequent some of the time.
> >
> > > 4. Who built the pyramids and how?
> >
> > > My grandfather, Stasiu, never actually took credit, but I do know that he
made his own wine and according to legend it was so bad that no one would drink
it except him and he drank every last drop. So I reckon that there was nothing
he couldn’t do when he set his mind to it.
> >
> > > 5. Where did the Mayans really go?
> >
> > There were no Mayans. The whole thing, the pyramids, the ancient scrolls
depicting the end of the world in 2012 and even the eyewitness reports of
Spanish invaders was an elaborate hoax. The Mayan urban legend was born from a
cloud of ennui that circled the globe after the explosion of the volcano
Krakatoa in 1883. People just didn’t know what to do with themselves. Lizzy
Borden found herself a pastime but others decided to construct a paper mache
civilization. It was something like the movie, “Blazing Saddles,” where Sheriff
Bart, the Waco Kid and Mongo build a faux “Rock Ridge” in order to lure the bad
guys into a trap. Leonardo da Vinci apparently drew up the plans which later
fell into the hands of Nostradamus and the whole thing just kind of took off by
itself. Another theory is that Lee Harvey Oswald did it.
> >
> > Kathryn, I hope that these insights will be of value to you.
> >
> > — In CHPercolator@yahoogroups.com, ChikPMcGee@ wrote:
> > >
> > > I actually have some free time and I have enjoyed reading all the
submissions even though I haven’t commented on any of them. The prompt that
caught my eye today was the one about 5 questions I hate not having the answered
to. Here’s my list:
> > >
> > > 1. Where did God come from?
> > >
> > > 2. What was before the universe?
> > >
> > > 3. Is there life out there?
> > >
> > > 4. Who built the pyramids and how?
> > >
> > > 5. Where did the Mayans really go?
> > >
> > > As you can see I think too much, LOL.
> > >
> > > Kathryn
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >

Writing from CHPerc Prompts of the Day!

I have a touch of guilt as I think of all those shoes lying on their sides on the floor of my newly cleaned closet. This closet I might add is now an extra book room, and clothes have been banished, at least the top shelves of which had clothes, and they now live in the garage. I hear them sometimes when I am secluded in my bedroom. They whine, but I just realized seclude is not an appropriate word to use when one lives in a 2 room pool house with another human being affectionately referred to as Esther’s Velcro Strip.

In case you were wondering or wandering, take your pick, it’s morning, the brain is myopic and hasn’t chosen its neural pathways of the day. I think I could wear Ortho Docks, you know Doc Martens shoos (shoes, shews); and then we could take the phrase “fetters of orthodoxy” and sell it to a pr firm, and maybe by stock in shoes, like the aforementioned Ortho Dock which fell out of my brain, and Foobar on a frozen field, instead of ideas coursing from my head through my arms, fire in the fingertips type of thing.

Lordy, where am I going with this? Nowhere. Everywhere. I do so like a good Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride through the bumps and hollows of my brain. It has meaning somewhere, in an alternative universe.

Okay, now someone lists a phrase the proper sacrifice, which calls to my mind nubile virgins laid out on huge twigs stacked to the sky or at least halfway up a mountain, and someone with flame, as matches hadn’t come in yet to the world, and virgins of nubile ways became feminists.

Sacrifice could be proper if one realizes that he/she is just letting go of something lower for something higher. Take the pig for example. He can snort, snort, sacrifice is corpulent life to become bacon, thereby helping the farmer make money, and all those pancake house visitors gruntingly happy. Doesn’t sound good for the pig does it?

So what if some day, this elderly, not so elderly, handmaiden on earth decides, gas prices are Foobar, and she will go hither and thither by foot, delicate long feet, which sport s a toe next to the big toe, and this neighbor of the big toe is longer, whatever that means. Thus this handmaiden of the earth is going to do two things as a sacrifice. She is going to sacrifice part of her meager earnings and buy some Ortho docks, and then, (hear the earth rumble), she is going to walk all over Pasadena. This could be thought of by anyone lucky enough to understand these ramblings, as sacrifice. She helps the foot shoe, doc martens store owner; she boosts the economy, perhaps not all that high minded as our former President had urged us to shop for God, or the nation; can’t remember which. She has reduced her carbon instep to a degree; she does not buy into high prices at the gas line, and she gets to see all the nooks and crannies of her neighborhood, by slowly pacing by Trader Joe’s, where she sees her Velcro Strip driving into the upper parking lot of Trader Joes.

None of this matters, of course; his carbon imprint and sacrifices are his own, and she has just used 5 of the prompts, some more than once, and that is solidly satisfying and a good sacrifice of her time in the morning, when she could be walking, or even brushing her hair, so one might say this little blurb of ink could be considered a proper sacrifice.

Reader, I am prompts person this week for CHPercolator for Writers and I must admit they were a little odd, gave me pause, so here’s what i wrote to my own prompts (using all of them) go to Yahoo’s CHPercolatorforWriters:
But I don’t think of blood. I thought this was the German blog and that CHPerc
was for Maxwell House devotees reunions. I had a difficult relationship with my
blood when I first got my sainted St. Jude Plastic Heart Valve. But now,
because I did a quick intake of breath on my first conscious awareness of a
foreign object ticking noticeably in my heart area in 1995, and with that breath
said, “Welcome. If you weren’t there as a full fledged aortic valve, I shudder
to think in what condition I might be.

For instance, I’m happy now to know my innards carry a never ending series of
light rail cars or trains, and that besides my inner mind’s landscape which has
traffic jams and nettling long lights, my physiological system is up and
running. Toot. Toot, Not only like a train system, maybe it’s like a river.
Now there’s a river, and I see ,,,,, oh bollocks, off track again.

Well the big thing in my young life is imagining my brain as three sloppy scoops
of ice cream. I mean I think they’d be on a cone, not a flaky little square
think that looks like it got manufactured at the dollar store, no my cone would
be like an urn, large and wide at the top; with flaky waffle imprints all around
it, down to its pointy, pointy bottom. The NPR guy said “3 scoops of ice cream
cone,” and that you could think of these scoops as your brain.

Does this mean my brain drips, sags, spills, stains? What I do know is I could
make them different flavors. Frog could be solid chocolate, firm, foundational,
and the middle scoop Reptile could be Praline and Vanilla, sort of twisty, the
praline would gently touch the top one Squirrel which would be plain Vanilla
with chocolate chips, stored by Squirrel, ever conscious that it doesn’t always
live in Pasadena and it must plan and save ahead.

Finally, the something or other bellum surrounds this cone of magnificent
splendor. I’d name my ice creams, not Frog, Reptile, or Squirrel, but imagine
them as pet names, like Stinky, Inky and Winky, or Sluggo at the bottom, Nancy
in between, and Ferret on the top.

All of which makes me wonder about the abandoned tunnels of my mind, nothing but
loose cabooses of railway cars shooting through, not stopping. Oh dear.


Below is my response to prompts from CHPercolator’s prompts for today. I subtitled it: Hickory Dickory Dock, Esther Runs Down the Clock, because I had a piece last week or so where I ran up the clock to the same well known tune!

If the world were flat, we’d have big walls like what they are building down thar in Mexico, with the exception of stopping around some wealthy guy’s house. If I had a wisp of hair for every lie a politician told, I’d be a gorilla on display, in demand at every zoo. If I were a Chinchilla, I’d drop every wisp of hair and act like a rat, because of late, nothing seems nice, or some people seem downright mean.

And, if a frog had wings, he’d fly, and if pigs could talk, would it just be about food and mud, and if a hippopotamus was an ignoramus would he go to Glen Ivy Hot Springs which I am a hankering for since I met So and So and we sat side by side on an Orange Velvet couch and talk of slathering mud all over ourselves?

If I were God, I’d have nuked us long ago and thank goodness for Cosmic Patience. Lordy knows we need it. If I were Miss Habersham of Great Expectation Days, I’d have eaten the cake, made the wedding gown into pillows and tromped around the moors looking for comely men! If I were Napoleon, I’d have worn lifts and praised Josephine for being such a devotee of Pugs, and not cheated on her.

I’d have taken a course in the gratification of ego, and noted, if Hitler had children, he would possibly have taken out his anger on them and note everyone else, but then he had an aunt who was cuckoo and that might have influenced him more, that and his father’s beatings.

If I were younger, and let’s say flashed back to junior high/middle school for all you younguns, I’d not have stabbed my geometry pointer into my hand, nor put my head on the desk and experienced waves of thoughts of suicide washing over my young despairing junior high body. Nope I’d have learned it good and clear so I could understand living geometry, and symmetries of good and evil, and how to get rid of scars from geometry compasses, and thank goodness I didn’t do my face or eyeballs.

If I had married at 19, because I had the wedding dress, the hotel, and a groom named Pudgie whose last name I hated, and who I was growing taller than, I wouldn’t be in a writing group pondering the what ifs of life.

But if I had different prompts today, I wouldn’t be sitting here in my utilitarian nightgown, thatch headed, my fingers clopping over the keys like an old French poodle, lagging across a linoleum floor, and I wouldn’t be sitting next to Bill, my husband, who is taking the world quite seriously today, and we wouldn’t be going out to lunch with So and So, and that reminds me to call What’s His Name, our Prompter of the Week and find time to howl and hoot together, the three of us, at some restaurant where breakfast is big, the waitresses are real, and the conversation is muted.


September 1, 2008 – had great birthday; before, during, after, family, friends, surprise gifts, laughter, talks, healthy food! total wow. A friend said, “You haven’t put anything in your blog for a while, so thought I’d put up my response to the prompts I had to give for one day at CHPercolator on Yahoo where all are welcome to write, not be criticized but to cavort among the pages!

August 24, 2008

Before the music stops, before I have the last dance and unzip my
time-locked coat, and no longer worry about the locomotion of snakes,before I give up on acquiring a specialized instinctive sensitivity –like wondering about tenuous abstractions in the seam like interplace between body and mind, and before I start wondering what in thunder does that last phrase mean, I’ll whip out a few words because prompts, triggers, suggestions for writing have a way of sitting atmy doorstop, like a playful gargoyle with the sun on his back,grinning his unpolished at the dentist teeth and saying, “Wanna come out and play?”

Why do I put gargoyles in my writing? Because, as evolution needs
continuous variation, they pop up in the abandoned warrens of my
mind, and seem to be part of that ledge of shallow unconscious I
cling to in my days on planet earth when someone told me yesterday,
the Mars people are raising the price of Snickers bars, and I thought Mars as on the other planet, and now I know, my sideways view of life is a bit more sideways than other peoples.

It’s all grist for the mill, and I think Steve can get off the floor
and quit groaning over that little ditty of a phrase. Reader, you
see, it’s all because I have an ADD or ADHD type of mind, and was
wind surfing through Guy Murchie’s book The Seven Mysteries of Life,
in an attempt to present concepts to mull over while one is sitting
in night shirts, night clothes, night attire, sitting in the night,
and wondering about one’s life and Mr. Murchie, who has longed since
passed, wrote this really thick, hard bound green book which is
fantastic.

My only problem is I am either not a sustained scholar, or I’m lazy,
and I feel there’s a thin line between these two opposites, tension
of the opposites, I’d say if Steve wanted to groan a bit more. I
find life fascinating. I find the surface of things just ever so
glitzy to think about and read about, and now, I have to put away my
48 books of fiction and get down to more serious study because there
are universes enfolded within my puny self, of a lofty nature, things within and out the universe of the world which I wish to have
knowledge about, but I realize of late, as I am going to be 70 in a
few days, I really only shop or study in the Bargain Basements of my
mind, because I do everything on the fly. I write on the fly; I
particularly study on the fly, and when one is 70, as I will be, I
have to sit up and take life a little straighter and slower.

So I figured, it’s prompt week, and this week is going to be busy:

Sunday – teach ESL to Chinese friends – I’m a substitute because I
introduced So and So to What’s His Name and now So and So can’t
really conduct ESL conversation on Sundays as much.

Monday, a meeting, a 3 mile walk to a friends, discuss upcoming
devotional at her house to be held on Tuesday; get walk in; get to
central library and return books and overdue CD’s, and call library
branch for poster re my teaching writing in September.

Tuesday is meeting, devotional, walk, write, breathe, connect, and
Wednesday interview for volunteer post, check out something down the
street called Bliss, Kundelini yoga, spelled incorrectly, and
Thursday I think I’ll breathe in and out and praise my body for
lasting so long, from 4 pounds to …. Who would have thunk it.

Friday who knows, but I have my prompts all made up; and they were
very scientific at the beginning, unconsciously put down, and I find
when I prompt; I answer my own questions, like Rainer Maria Rilke in
his Letters to a Young Poet said, “Live the question,” and you know I think that’s one of the things we do here in the land of CHPerc; we live the question, but most of all we play well with others.

Be safe is your body getting up with you doing its thing, stretching if need be, bending if need be, and just all around running together. The toes gotta go where the feet want it because the brain is the alpha organ of the day, but don’t worry; tomorrow’s the heart’s day and then the heart remembering the brain but caring a bit more will feed you.

Kurt Vonnegut tells us to write 4 line poems to the end of the page which I think comes in handy when the prompts day is over and done with and I didn’t respond. So now, I’ll wish for travel’ in mercies, be safe, wish the world a good warm flannel blanket in the days of cold and wind and a cool breeze and lemonade without Aspartame for hot ones.

“Today’s the day” is every day with some days of feeling horrible, poisoned, bones pulling in and other days when my step, old as it is buoyant, clops along to the library while my mind feels safe because I have energy, and my eyes see the delicate purple etching as jacaranda trees bloom regardless of political pundits punditing and the world following apart I am safe for a bit.

I think we all want to be safe. Put your money where your mouth is, “I want to be safe,” like the bride who wants to cement her groom’s little shiny black shoed feet into the cake deep into white frosting, past the brown moist earth of chocolate, yeah safe like reading the end of books, not matter, even if it’s a math book, but careful, easy does it, don’t want to be robotic.

Safe is the name of a film which I considered earthshaking cuz the lady was white, beautiful (Julianne Moore) and the film was subtle because this lady who lived in California in the Valley, expensive, had immune system responses, and ended up in an igloo type of building in the desert, pale, freckles jumping out of skin, saying I love you to a mirror, and herself, and I KNOW I’VE MADE THIS 5 lines, but safety isn’t always staying between the lines, or sticking to the pattern, because if you were safe, would you turn the wheels of that Kaleidoscope, and see the colors, or hop on the jumper cars and go every which way, or get up in the morning, and have coffee, even though part of your heart was torn out of you because you lost some one, some thing, some concept, some, some, some, and the somes didn’t add up to the sum of your heart’s wanting to be safe, but safe is an inside job you tell yourself, and it’s who you are inside, the one that no one sees, but gets glimmerings of and it’s your world view and your relationship to Your Creator, and safe changes because the soul is always in motion, and safe risks to help others, and being safe is sacrifice on one level, because sacrifice let’s go of something lower for something higher, so safe is having a net, not being without a net like some brave Circus Lady who I might add is trim and lithe, and if she falls, it won’t be like some 500 pound Bubba out there in the neighborhood killing a sidewalk or such. No safe is reaching, trusting, like the trees in the forest with their arms up reached to the sky; safe wants star dust and glimpses of the unseen in the daily. Yeah, safe is feeling okay in your heart, no matter what is happening outside. Safe is a big deal. Yeah, safe, and that’s what I wish for you, for all I love, for those who struggle, labor, strive, keep us safe, for those who fear, because courage is doing it anyhow, whether you are safe or not.


This is from a prompt on what to say for a commencement speech.

Dear Graduates:

 Here on the planet, at Earth School, in Dirt City, on the Blue
 Marble, advice is going to be slung at you as you leave your
 schooling behind.

 I want to tell you a few things. One, fame is an illusion, because
 it is just a mercurial moment in time and space where you are a
star
 who gleams brightly. We live in something called the Kingdom of
 Names which has to do with who we are, What We Wear, Who We Vote
 For. Consider this, maybe that’s nice, necessary, and maybe
unreal.
 Think of a wider goal. You are living in an era where you are
World
 Citizens, and either through trial and struggle, or a great
 consultative process, we the people of the nations, will go down a
 road pointed towards the Oneness of Humanity, a Golden Age spoken
of
 by prophets and seers. We will do this by today’s standards, “Boys
 will be Boys” and blow up much of the planet, leaving a postage
stamp
 somewhere by an abandoned pond on which survivors will survive, and
 abolish war forever. Better yet, we individually could all realize
 our oneness and strive together for justice and unity.

 Consider your body, it is a mass of teeming action and all parts
work
 to sustain the whole – homeostasis. Did you know that everything
in
 the spiritual world has an exact counterpart in the physical
world?
 We are carrying around a blue print for unity in diversity by the
 mere fact of our bodies operating with intelligent rhythm.

 As you leave this joyous commencement, you each will be handed a
 packet of instructions. They consist of:

 A Hopi Message
 A writing from Oriah Mountainkeeper
 A Comment from Thomas Merton
 A view from Etty Hillesum
 An excerpt from the Baha’i Writings.

 The rest is up to you.

 Thank you for allowing me to deliver this commencement address in
 record time, thus leaving no stone unturned. I suggest you reflect
 upon these handouts carefully in that some of you will be tested in
 odd ways. Perhaps strangers will come to you and offer you the
 chance of a lifetime, and the only way to accept this chance is to
 leave with this stranger, thereby not saying goodbye to all you
 love.

 Some of you in the engineering fields will have to decide how you
can
 contribute to the Earth’s Beleaguered Being, and come up with
 solutions for the healing of the Earth’s Surface.

 Mostly it is up to you to live your life independently, investigate
 truth independently, be just, know you are in the process of
becoming
 your true selves, and finally, be aware, exceedingly aware, of the
 exigencies of your time. In a phrase, power is no longer used for
 personal gain, but it is used for service. Service to humanity is
 your highest aim. May we all be blessed with your struggles and
 attainment.

 Handouts

 Hopi Elder’s Message 2001 via email to me from friend in Ohio

 To our fellow swimmers. There is a river flowing now very fast.
It
 is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid.
They
 will try to hold onto the shore; they will feel they are being torn
 apart and will suffer greatly. Know that the river has its
 destination. The Elders say that we must let go of the shore, push
 off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our head
 above the water. And we say, see who is there with you and
 celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing
personal,
 least of all ourselves, for the moment that we do, our Spiritual
 growth and journey come to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is
 over. Gather yourselves. Banish the word struggle from your
 attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a
sacred
 manner and in celebration. We are the ones we have been waiting
for.

 Share this.
 ———–
 Invitation
 Oriah Mountain Dreamer
 It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know
what
 you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s
longing.
 It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will
 risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the
adventure
 of being alive.
 It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want
to
 know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have
 been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and
closed
 from fear of further pain.
 I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without
 moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
 I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can
 dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of
your
 fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic,
 remember the limitations of being human.
 It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I
 want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If
 you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own
soul.
 If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
 I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty
every
 day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
 I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and
 still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the
 full moon, ‘Yes.’
 It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you
 have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and
 despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done
 to feed the children.
 It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I
 want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me
and
 not shrink back.
 It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I
 want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls
 away.
 I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly
 like the company you keep in the empty moments.
 ———–
 “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I
like
 to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in
 detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for
 the things I want to live for. Between those two answers you can
 determine the identity of any person.”

 Thomas Merton, from the Man in the Sycamore Tree

 Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life, An entry dated August 20, 1941,
 states:

 “You must continue to take yourself seriously, you must remain your
 own witness, marking well everything that happens in this world,
 never shutting your eyes to reality. You must come to grips with
 these terrible times, and try to find answers to the many questions
 they pose. And perhaps the answers will help not only yourself but
 also others.”


 Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of
 the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and
 friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the
rich,
 an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of
 thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be
 unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp
unto
 them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the
 thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of
the
 victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all
 thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a
 tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a
 guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the
 countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of
 the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of
mankind,
 an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of
 virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean
of
 knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of
 wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit
 upon the tree of humility (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings
 of Baha’u’llah, p. 285)



CHPerc – March 5, 2008

I have been so quiet of late with my writing group. Then the
reminder from Steve – “You are the prompter,” and phrases float
through my mind. I had just copied Beth’s prompts of the previous
week, thinking, these are juicy little things. Now I sit again at my
computer, utilitarian nightgown on, hair thatched, tummy a little
queasy, and look at some of the phrases I tossed out this week –
brain crust reformed.

I am exploring silence, but saw that in a book. This phrase gave me a queenly – slight edge of the wrist movement – wave. Hey what about
arrest motion for I am quieter, more stopped because viruses of the
virulent kind have touched down upon California. Last week I
stumbled through. Now I must remember to stop, put a period in,
perhaps a recalcitrant comma. You know the drill.

What happened last year or several years ago when Bill and I house
sat an incredibly lovely condo on Lake in Pasadena? I remember
thinking about our beloved landlord, that I would pleat the moon for
him. Where do these images come from? I don’t know, and now
yesterday I thought, nice phrases to throw in for prompts, and if I
were really a sincere person (it’s questionable), for anyone I loved,I’d iron the stars and fold the rain into nice sheets, perfectlyedged and folded, the way my husband’s mom, Anna, trained her first born to do the laundry.

It all sounds so much easier this laundry detail rather than paying
attention to the cacophony of voices on the news with each pundit
giving his, her opinion, adding to the lace doilies of opinions,
crocheting to the sky, the endless tracking in threads, minute and
large, of the politicians and how they play.

The crocodiles are still in, and that’s why I suggested dental twine
for crocodiles, a good business to go into. Our world is not ready
for integrity, but the people hunger for ingathering, and a
groundswell is seen beyond race, color, a thirst for a hayride to a
cliff where Rhetoric in the form of old straw gets thrown over a
canyon and naught can be heard but an encouraging word, “ack” and
life goes on.

So here we are in Act XXIV of the Decline and Fall, and yet, new
forces emerge. Thank goodness for the anonymous amongst us, who
continue to live with goodwill and integrity and above all, courage
to forge through and know in reality, we are all one, different,
blessedly so, but one. And this, these words are my offerings for
the paper – pure and white, after the poem.

Lyricism and grit, it’s all a dance.

Today’s writing prompts!

1.    Given the circumstances….

2.    In the Shadow of …..

3.    Today, as never before …

4.    Multiplicity of choice

5.    A day, a moment, an hour, I’ll not forget

6.    The pages are still blank

Did you know there’s a type of bug or spider that runs along in the
Iraqi desert by the figure running, and he/it/she is vicious and has
teeth and will give a deadly bite, but it hides in the shadows. I
read a biography of a doctor’s time in Iraq, a time where her
husband, a Marine also, stayed home with the twins (toddlers) and her
mom and dad came in to do heavy duty grandparent duty. I can’t
remember the title of the book, and given the multiplicity of books
now emerging, can’t remember. Today, as never before, a plethora of
memoir on the war; did I say war? I meant wars emerges, and I think
all valid. It is time to give voice to a day, a moment, an hour, and
those who do will cause me to think and feel, and say, “I’ll not
forget.”

The pages are still blank as far as our future history goes. Did we
go down that random vortex of unimaginable horror, like living In the
Shadow of Angkor, written and edited by a friend Sharon May, and also
Frank Stewart, a University of Hawaii Press publication?

Today as never before, did I say that? Today as never before, the
forces of light and darkness duke it out, and how can one forget
moments. Yes my world is still as small as a canary yellow and white
cough drop paper bag, and a picture of a very fat, curly tailed pug,
with stocky front legs resting on a small child’s red chair, but over
this is the heaviness of what is happening out there; out beyond the
insulation of our culture and those who romp and play on a Fantasy
Island, like Pinocchio, and mercifully, there is always beauty in the
world, and prose of horrors overcome, as in Anghkor.

I am reminded of a weekend course on the foundation of education
building a world society, and realizing we are in a paradigm shift,
and it is uncomfortable, but current educational practices are based
on getting all of us through a system as the Industrial Revolution,
and that won’t work.

Now is the time for us to enable capacity and connection and
authentic perceptions, and spiritual insight. We are children of a
half light emerging into a global civilization which must consider
that we have come of age spiritually and it’s time to throw down all
shibboleths (is that a word) of difference and pulsate on hoping our
tattered world will win the battle of old egos as in old dinasours.
But I am dangerously near preaching or lecturing, and the heart,
anyone’s heart will go into heels dug into the ground, don’t push me
into a way of thinking, but to end with a remembrance of a day I’ll
not forget is to remember 9/11 after the airplanes’ destructive
paths, before politicians’ games of power, a blank space, like the
action potential of the cell before it hits the synapses, and a blank
time where we were cylindrical in our unity and our caring for the
other; we seemed to be enwrapped in columns of blue misty caring, and
we were one – giving new meaning to prayer as a state of being.

From some writing prompts i wrote

My sister’s hand was pale, her forearms moist and the writing from
her body invisible. What’s it like for a twin to be witness to a
birth, the birth at the end of time here in dirt city, earth school,
not a gallery, but a workshop?

She had ceased breathing in and breathing out, as I sat at my
computer in her kitchen, exhausted from a month’s witnessing her
agitation, lucid thoughts, holding her in my arms, doing student
nurse type of things like learning to hammer out crushed ice, with
the ice in any kind of clean towel we could grab from the kitchen
and hurry back to her. Her body in the end was luminous, but she
had stopped breathing in and out, and a body no matter how
beautiful, simply does not tell you reliable truth about the soul
who had just left.

I had a few months before, been witness to the doors of Weimar, with
pictures of my dear young friends, pictures of doors of Bach’s
hometown, cobblestone streets, and a restaurant with beefy beef and
potatoes which split apart from a quivery touch of a fork or spoon,
ready to abandon all to the love of someone’s, in particular my,
mouth.

I had seen the doors and the trim of Haifa dwellings, a blue only I
could call Acca blue and think of march toward oneness in this
trembling age. But then I got to see the doors of Caldwell, Idaho,
where I had written a few odes to the Caldwell cows. These doors
were open, spilling out casseroles with a bit of creamed this or
creamed that over hunks of veggies and chicken. Their owners kept
up a steady supply of feeding our little group of four, assistants,
trainees to the hospice team.

We had an unbroken line as twins, that line tested so much over the
years. Fraternal is different, opposite the myth or the unreliable
truth that twins think the same thoughts, feel the same feelings,
utter the same cries.

But, the fact is the line wasn’t broken and while she stayed in
Caldwell, and I twitted about the world a wider piece, the line did
its job, staying firm or loose or taught but still a line. The line
has dissolved into space unknown, a silver blue thing of mystical
origins. And now I a traveler in the fractal worlds of God think of
her in random moments of my day in wonder of the doors that lie
ahead of her.

some triggers and how I used them:

1. the reunion

2. “there is nothing like it in all the wide world.”

3. dogs in tutus

4. Sara Louise Throckmorton had never believed in ghosts

5. added; thank you for the active week

There’s nothing like a 50th reunion from high school in the whole wide
world, and I had just coaxed Liz, my twin, to “Let’s go back and be
the Bradley Twins once more,” and we were to somehow hook up and fly
into Logan Airport in Boston, traverse the sub ways and get to
Roslindale, Massachusetts where we hung out when the earth was young.

I was going to entertain her of stories of John’s snapping turtle who
was odious and who spent days in the butler’s pantry propped up
against a silver tray admiring himself. Throckmorton P. Jr. finally
got thrown back in the pond or water in Dedham or Norwood, reunited
with his sister Sara Louise Throckmorton, and I thought good riddance.

Around that time we had a pug and a boxer and we kept dressing these
dogs up in tutus and lying on the floor watching them edge their
bodies against furniture, anything to get those damned things off; we
lay there a silent laughter systollically(sp) going up to the high
ceilings, and our ribs going up and down like out of control bellows.

But you know on a scale of 1-10, these remembrances would be a two,
except that Roslindale High had been an abandoned building, until a
convalescent home had taken it over and made it into a shiny place for
elders. They had remodeled the stage and theatre too, where i got up
to help the magic man and told the audience his tricks, and he snarled
at me under his breath.

So the Committee for the 50th decided to hold the reunion in the rest
home’s newly redone auditorium, and when I looked at who was coming (7
people) I called Liz and said, “Forget it.”

So we had our own reunion; strange I would call sitting by her bed as
she’s passing through to the next worlds of God a reunion, but hey you
gotta grab language and happenings were they are.

We had a principal named Mr. Gately who parted his hair down the
middle and looked like Al Capone’s jailer; did Al Capone have a
jailer? Catch my drift. Then there was Miss Keough, the Guidance
Counselor, who had been in the WACS, women’s armed services group of
World War II. I swear you could have put a studded collar around her
neck and called her Bubbita.

I would be on the third floor in a classroom, when the phone would
ring. The teacher would answer it, mumble yes, and then hang up the
wall phone, look at me, and say “Bradley,” go to the principal’s office.

I would walk down three lonely long flights hearing silence banging
within my head and then finally approach the linoleum floored first
floor: long, empty, except for Mr. Gately and Miss Keough.

The gist of it was three times that year, they did this, looked at me
with loathing and said, “Get out. Don’t come back until you bring
your father.” I head over to the local hangout and light up a
cigarette. I was 15. I’d think, “Why do I always do this,” But
meditation and knowledge of my inner landscape didn’t even hit a
shallow level. I never told my father, so Gately would call on a
Sunday night.

I grew out of it; shame, fear of not graduating, summer school where i
learned how to spell (sasparilla) – sar sap a rilla were my 50s
catalyst to settling down.

Did I mention my son “never attached to high school,” my euphemism,
and that a guy I dated asked “What’s the difference between precocious
and a brat,” Without a minute’s hesitation I answered a mother’s
point of view.

But I tell you I am here today and I want to thank the prompter and
the people who write for this group. In my life settling up my twin’s
house after her passing and on the screen, it’s been a very active
week, and for that I am grateful. Life goes on.

My sister, by the way, was known as “the good twin.”

Prompts for 7 July ’07

1.bark
2.hello
3.cholesterol
4.dog
5.yes
6.reconciliation
7.choosy
8.fan
9.trying
10.holy

Holy moley, my plastic St. Jude Valve wheezes like it’s a dog ready to
cough up a snail, that reaction to his choresterol sludge. I have
sludge too and have been attempting to attain the Divine Stage of
Reconciliation when I will glide into my doc’s office and tell him
I’ve been trying to meet the standards of the pharmaceutical companies
and have my cholesterol at 100 or so.

But I suspect these pharmaceutical companies are in cahoots, and keep
resetting the bar of aterial perfection higher in order to sell more
heart drugs and keep their pill devotees in a state of deprived of
that o’l lardy feeling. That way the patients lunge at food in the
middle of the night, in a walk through the hollow corridors of Walmart
searching for Twinkies, Susie Q’s, Devil Dogs, and think just this
once, and than add some Chocolate Rocky Road ice cream to smooth the
trip down towards a psyche which assumes gargoyle form, hissing in need.

These old boys in the pharm corps want us to be choosy about our food,
but they know we can’t and they have created lovely little statin
drugs to take at night; drugs promised to say to you, “Hello, I’m your
new miracle of the universe. Take me and you will cease trying to
be perfect on your own. It’s not your fault. Become a fan of
statins. Statins are your friend. Say “yes” to life and arterial
equanimity. Why worry, be happy.”

But, I suspect I am too choosy, to suspicious of the sirene call of
Statins. Still I take them because my doctor will bark at me in
anger, and my choresterol will lump up in a state of inner nerves.

Oh dear, what’s a gal to do?