Wednesday Writing Prompt.

In honor of the summer solstice…

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Image found via Pinterest.

She floats in the space where the water merges with the sky,

the horizon almost invisible, the sky becoming water, the water becoming sky.

The water cradles her, the sky supports her.

The water ripples below, the clouds undulate above.

Timeless.

Effortless.

Suspended between who she is in this moment and who she will in the next,

perfectly content to just be here,

in this moment,

her breath echoing beneath the water,

an ancient hum reverberating through her bones,

her shadow another presence beneath her,

reminding her of the dark that always exists

even under the brightest of suns.

Wednesday Writing Prompt.

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Artwork by (my awesome brother-in-law) Brian Buss.

 

Peeling the curtain back takes courage. From black and white to vibrant color. From comfort to the new and absurd. Allowing all those voices to be heard. Standing guard over your ego, loitering around the coffee cooler of your heart, discussing all the ways you have failed, all the things you dream of, musing on the paths not taken or those taken and abandoned. Aiming true deep into the heart of who you truly are rather than who you pretend to be. Let the red poppies of your subconscious spill into your life, your dreams. Pulling back the bow, knuckle grazing the sharp edge of the cheekbone, gazing ahead, not back, straight into the concentric circles of your past, present and future selves, trusting it will glide with speed and depth, landing exactly where it needs to. Where it is meant to.

Wednesday Writing Prompt.

woman with mask

Image found via Pinterest.

She had been wearing it for so long that the mask had molded to the contours of her face. A thick veil between her and the world. Between who she pretended to be and who she really was. Between who she was and who she wanted to be. The mask felt safe. Everyone knew the mask. She knew the mask. It was familiar. It had been with her for so long that she forgot it wasn’t naturally a part of her. Then she remembered. And it began to feel completely unnatural. Foreign. So other. Her eyelids were closed on the mask. Her vision obstructed. Gutted. The day came when she was tired of the darkness. Tired of the feeling trapped behind the stale breath of the mask. But could it be removed? She was tentative at first, not wanted it to hurt. But she knew that at some point it would. It was inevitable. And she was okay with that. She had to be. And so she lifted it off and it pulled away from her in one complete piece. No longer a part of her. Only a reminder. A reminder to not hide. Ever again.

 

Wednesday Writing Prompt.

Darkest before the dawn

Image found via Pinterest.

Words are the lantern I carry deep into the darkness of my psyche. Deep into the wilderness that is my soul. They light my path when the path feels imperceptible. When that path is strewn with the debris of my mind—fear, jealousy, rage, expectations, blame, loneliness. Words shine a flicker of light so I can see where I actually am, not where my mind thinks I am. I can see what actually is rather than what I imagine it is. Words. These tiny black marks on a screen or blue marks scribbled on a page contain all the light of the universe within them. A light that illuminates the universe that churns within me, lighting me up from within in the midst of utter darkness. Breadcrumbs that lead me back to myself. Back to the path. Beacons of light that offer hope, that dispel the despair, that lead me even deeper into the wild, swirling universe of who I was, who I am  and who I am meant to be.

Wednesday Writing Prompt

into the woods

Image found via Pinterest.

 

She strode into the woods without a path to follow. It is the only way to go. The darkness beckoned her rather than repelled her. She used to be afraid of monsters under her bed and in her closet then she learned that there were actual things to fear in the world. Things that were right in front of her, in the light of day so the darkness no longer scared her. The darkness became her companion. She didn’t learn how to use a compass because she had one. Her heart. And once she learned how to follow it, there were no woods too dense, no road too long, no cave too deep, no place within or without that she would avoid. She strode deeply into the center of her life, unafraid of what she would find, unafraid of being  lost. Being lost was only a step on the path to being found. Being lost was merely a state of mind. A state of heart. A state of being exactly where she was. Of being exactly who she was.

Wednesday Writing Prompt.

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Image found via Pinterest.

Words were in their blood. Words nourished them in ways nothing else could. They inhaled them from books, breathing in ideas and stories from long ago. She spilled her own stories, memories, pockets of debris that ended up coiled in some small recess of her mind—she spilled it all onto the page. Thank god her mama understood this need. This need to drag that typewriter out under the sun, the wood slab her desk, bare feet connecting with the earth, the same earth she walked on as a child, tramping through the tall stalks of green, emerging at the lake, a lake that always felt like a magical oasis every time she came upon it. Now her words are her oasis. And while her mama reads up on the porch, she allows herself to dive deep into her own stories, letting her words spill onto the page even as sweat pools under her eyes, under her arms, but still she keeps typing, still she stays connected to the words that almost seem to pour out of a place in her that she didn’t even know existed, a place that she eventually always stumbles upon and just like the lake, it is magic when she does. It is an oasis that nourishes her body and soul.

Wednesday Writing Prompt

open a book

Image found via Pinterest.

{Fiction}

Opening the old book she found stuffed in the back of her closet, she new it contained magic. Every book does. It’s why we read. We are transported to other places, other times. We inhabit the lives of people like and unlike ourselves. Books expand our world.

But this book. This book she knew was different. Even the dust particles dancing in the air as she gently opened the pages contained magic.

She needed some magic. Desperately. Her life had become so…ordinary. So flat. She knew she sounded spoiled. There were way way worse problems going on in the world. She knew that. She also knew that she couldn’t go on like this. They couldn’t go on like this. This mild but consistent discontent thrumming just beneath the surface of their marriage. Nothing that she could point to and say, “That right there. Change that.”

No, it was more insidious than that. Because it wasn’t so easily identifiable, that made it easy to ignore. To pretend that everything was okay.

She felt it was something deeper. Something she had to dig for which is what lead her to cleaning out this closet. That whole creating space for the new bullshit that she reads about so often. Clearing the clutter from her life.

The book in her hands is old. She doesn’t remember buying it. Or reading it. When she opens the cover, her name appears in the corner. As she is watching it appears. Right before her eyes. Written by an invisible hand.

April Greene.

She glances around her. Why? Who or what does she expect to see? Well, she knows who but she also knows that is impossible. She is alone in the closet. Or so it appears.

Wednesday Writing Prompt.

Woman falling

Image found via Pinterest.

Remember playing those trust games?

Trusting the person or group to catch you as you fell backwards? I remember trying to learn how to do a backwards dive into the pool and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Nothing bad would happen. I’d fall in some water. That’s it. But still. I didn’t allow myself do fall backward. I didn’t trust that I’d be okay.

I love this image. Arms spread wide, blissful face, utter trust in what she is falling into. Falling toward.

We are all about to fall into a new year. How are you doing it? Eyes squeezed tight, fists clenched, not trusting what lies before you? Unwilling to let go of what lies behind you?

I want to fall into 2016 like this woman. On the edge of a huge precipice, bare feet, heart shining, soul bared—trusting, believing, welcoming exactly what waits for me.

Trusting that I’ll be carried by the winds of my own wings into the person I am meant to be.

Wednesday Writing Prompt.

glitter hands

Image found on Pinterest.

Each breath she takes from the truest space of her heart brings light. Each word she writes from the darkest space of her soul brings light. Each time she shows up to these spaces, each time she resists the resistance, more light is drawn to her—drawn into her so that she can spill it back out into the world. Light glitters behind her eyes, weaving into the spaces between her ribs, pulsing through each cell, shimmering on her skin. As she lives from her all parts of herself—the dark and light, the strong and the vulnerable, the anger and the peace, the fear and the courage—her most authentic, fierce self shines and glitters its way into the tiny crevices of the world around her.

Wednesday Writing Prompt

winter swings

Image found on alice-eve-lithium.tumblr.com

 

{Fiction}

She hadn’t been to a park since it happened. Just couldn’t bring herself to be around all those children, all the moms who don’t seem to realize how lucky they are. Lucky? Does that mean she is unlucky? Does luck have anything to do with it? It’s science. She knows that.

People don’t know what to say to her. Even her own husband has no words. She actually finds that comforting. No words are better than some of the words that have been tossed her way like tiny breadcrumbs designs dot lead her out of her grief. Words like God’s will, not meant to be, try again…

Her husband is asleep in their bed now. She envies him that space he has to retreat. She had trouble sleeping toward the end. Her belly so big, so cumbersome but secretly she loved it. She carried that huge belly proudly. They had tried long enough. She wanted to savor every second…even the crappy uncomfortable ones.

But nothing prepared her for that night. That night she just knew something was wrong. Her belly felt so still. Probably sleeping her husband said. Even the nurse tried to reassure her but then came the ultra sound. And the silence. From the machine. From the technician. From her belly.

She’d known. Even as the doctor delivered the news, part of her felt like at least she’d known, like it was some kind of badge of honor, some secret link to her baby.

Now she can’t sleep for other reasons. Her belly is soft and empty, but her mind is hard and jagged. She crawls out of bed each night, slipping gout into the night, walking the neighborhood, a few random lights still on well after midnight, the occasional car passing her, its lights streaming over her for a brief moment before leaving her in the dark again.

Tonight it has snowed. She can handle the park at night. An empty park. layered in snow is even better. The silence is profound, dense against her ears. She feels the cold seep deep into the canals of each ear, almost painful but she welcomes it. A different kind of pain. The snow crunches beneath her boots. She holds one of the chains of the swing in her bare hand, squeezing gently as the cold metal presses into her skin. She sits in the soft layer of snow on the swing and feels the cold permeate the layer of jeans she pulled on over her pajamas. She kicks her feet out in front of her, leaning back, gripping the linked chains with both hands, pumping more and more, gaining speed and height, flinging her head back, eyes wide open as the world flails around her at odd, sweeping, disorienting angles.