Response – Reena’s Exploration Challenge – Week 42 6-24-2018

Reena’s Exploration Challenge


challenge 42

Edit only if you think something has slipped below generally acceptable levels of decency.



Wild is the way wind and the rain sculpt her out of insubstantial to substantial, bringing the flash and rumble of winter storms into the limitless depths of his heart. It is the echo of raptor’s screams as she nears, harrowing storm clouds like mythic Huntsmistresses of old.

No one had ever known wild as he has known wild. Bucking bronco across the rim of the canyon, swimming whitewater, drowning into the depths of dark and deep and mystery vaster than the far reaches of outer space. Smaller than the careless pinprick of his fingertip, dripping blood across fungi laced and lying deep, connecting the world from below, demons fingers in the dark.






Reena’s Exploration Challenge – Week 42 6-22-2018

Reena’s Exploration Challenge

I came across an interesting piece and style of writing by Rob Brezsny. The art of expanding a word or idea or concept into more, performing a surgery on it and expressing it only as a writer can – is not only commendable, but something I bow in reverence to.


The fear narrows and sings and burns through. The fear is the belly music from a white sky awakening him too fast for the ten thousandth time, daring him to lie unprotected in the morning dirt. The fear is a camera watching him without photos, without pleasure.

An iron shoe reminds him of the fear, an iron useless shoe or a dream of a groaning sun or an ancient soothing Europe he can’t escape. The fear is almost like love. It forces him to dance even when there’s no one to impress. It convinces him that all confusions are equally desirable and worthy of devotion. It remembers back before he was born, when the old grey skin of his future hands was first promised.

He’s considerate of the fear. The fear gives him sneaky, comfortable schemes he’s not cunning enough to deserve. It’s rich with glowing, primordial lies he’s not evil enough to compose himself. It comes from far away. It works his imagination twice as hard as necessary.


The wish is a lazy desire helping you to remember what you’re supposed to be afraid of. The wish is a superstition that comes true accidentally, making you smarter whether you deserve it or not. Try to summon a primal memory of being utterly welcome. You can’t, of course: The wish prevents it. The wish is the opposite of what you know, a foolproof technique for imitating pleasure.

Like a personality eating itself alive, like a cloudy disintegrating fuck in a bed soaked with milk, like a cool furnace incinerating the props of a nightmare too slowly, the wish conceals its ignorance brilliantly. The wish is impossible to master or love, though it generously excuses you for practicing black magic on yourself.

Pretend the wish is harmless if you want, but don’t give it your fascination or repulsion. As a miracle, the wish can kill. It can cheat you out of your precious obsessions and lie to you about what good you do for people. It may never remind you how inferior it is to believe that some opinions are truer than others. With enough of its training, you would begin to imagine that the wish is more mysterious than you. You would dream that you live on the planet of vampires where everyone loves you for the wrong reason.

If you are interested in more, visit the following link


challenge 42

Edit only if you think something has slipped below generally acceptable levels of decency.

A link to my thought-burst is posted in the Comments section. I have capped it at 200 words, only to spare you of a verbal overdose, and I couldn’t match the intensity and depth of Rob Brezsny. To each our own …..


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Reena’s Exploration Challenge – Week 41 6-16-2018

Reena’s Exploration Challenge



Welcome to Week 41!

We are dabbling with Erasure Poetry this week – call it White Out or Black Out as you please.

Erasure is a form of found poetry or found object art created by erasing words from an existing text in prose or verse and framing the result on the page as a poem.[1] The results can be allowed to stand in situ or they can be arranged into lines and/or stanzas.

Source: Wikipedia

There are two long pieces, with the theme Blue. Choose any one, or choose both to pick your words. You are at liberty to not use it in the same order. Add a conjunction or preposition, if you feel it is necessary to lend meaning.

Just type the words chosen, or leave it in situ. Examples of both are in the piece which I have posted. I have chosen Piece 2 as the source of inspiration.

Enjoy reading a well-written piece, and have fun recreating.

Piece I used –

The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.

For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains. “Longing,” says the poet Robert Hass, “because desire is full of endless distances.” Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in, for the blue world.


Blue depths and lost light scatters,
Colorlessness underneath
Dissolving into sky
and the far edge of what can be seen.
Horizons, mountains,
solitude and desire,
color where you are not,
where you can never go.
Longing for the distances
(Where) you will never arrive.

Reena’s Exploration Challenge – Week 38 6-14-2018

Reena’s Exploration Challenge

Welcome to Week 40!

Welcome to Week 40!

Certain numbers arouse curiosity. I have always wondered about the special significance of the number 40, across different cultures and geographies.

  1. Why 40 days of mourning in Islam?
  2. Why 40 days of fasting and prayer in Lent?
  3. Why 40 winks of sleep?
  4. Why 40 minutes of walking?
  5. Why 40 days of rest after childbirth in India?
  6. Why the fortieth birthday as a celebration of midlife?
  7. Why the depression at turning 40?

Maybe, it takes that much time for a change to get entrenched in the system, and become effective.

Write anything – poem, prose, rant, memory, anecdote, reflection, wild thoughts – which includes the number 40.

Look forward to my weekly peep into your brilliant minds…


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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #Week 39

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Forty. How had he gotten this damn old? Forty wasn’t the milestone for him as it was for others. His milestone had been thirty. That had been a rough day. Didn’t help that he’d just split from his wife and was living a city away, forty nights on the couch because he didn’t want to sleep in the bed alone.

He’d promised his kids he’d never leave them and he’d broken that promise. Didn’t matter that he didn’t want to break the promise. They were too young to understand. Or care. All they knew was Daddy left again. Ten-forty gone.

He’d never been cut out for fatherhood. The kids weren’t his by biology. Kids of a former girlfriend who, in her will, named him guardian. He’d almost refused, but he couldn’t let  them be lost.

His life had gotten better. He was good at moving on, leaving the past behind. Wasn’t like he hadn’t had plenty of practice. Forty relationships in the past ten years.

Shit, he was really bad at relationships, wasn’t he?

Rolling over in the bed, he watched the woman beside him, soft smile touching his lips. He didn’t love her, not in the way she wanted, but he did care about her. It wasn’t enough for a long-term relationship and, now 40, he was starting to think about the future in a different way.

Where was he going to be in ten years? Twenty? He’d planned to die young. Well, not planned exactly, but dying young has seemed the most likely of situations. Still, he’d made it to forty. Why not fifty? Sixty? Eighty?

Gods, he couldn’t image eighty!

Lying back down, he closed his eyes, counted forty sheep to sleep.




Reena’s Exploration Challenge – Week 38 6-1-2018

Reena’s Exploration Challenge

Welcome to Week 38!

It is a colliage this week. Writers will connect to it easily.

challenge 38

So, let the fingers align to imagination, and bang on the keyboard.  The format can be a a story/poem/rant/anecdotes/journalistic coverage of events/ reflections as usual.

Pour out, and let it flow …. 


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He wasn’t quite positive he was sane, but it was a working hypothesis. Insanity, after all, would be an inconvenience which he didn’t need at the moment. It wasn’t like he talked to himself or anything. He talked to the imaginary people around him, but that was just a hazard of the trade. Who was he to argue? They were friends and one naturally spoke to friends.

“Do you often feel the need to talk to invisible people?”

“I told you, they are friends. All the characters from my books are my friends. Thus  I speak to them. I have to, about their stories. How else am I to write them? Besides the whole issue of being rude.”

“But they are just characters in your books, correct?”

“If you mean are they based on real people, no, they are not. I wouldn’t force real people, who I probably don’t know, to be my friend.”

“Do you see them?”

“Well, yes and no.”

“Yes and no?”

“I do, but nobody else would.”

“Shy, are they?”

“No, not normally, but other people can’t see into my head.”

“So they are all in your head?”

“Yes.” Pause. “And no.”

“How can it be both?”

“They have their own lives like anybody.”

“So they come to visit?”


“So all their lives are in your head.”

“No, they have their own lives.”

“Do you know when they come?”

“Of course, they come to talk, to tell me about their lives. It’s not like I have multiple personalities or something.”

The Doctor said nothing.

“Well it isn’t!”

“Do you remember any childhood trauma?”

“No… I mean, of course I had childhood trauma. Doesn’t everybody? But it didn’t give me multiple personalities!”


He rose and stalked to the window, staring out between the bars. Grey outside and rainy, tears to wash away the world.

When he looked back, the Doctor was gone.

“Good riddance. I always hate it when you come to visit.”

He continued to stare out the window, wondering when dinner trays would arrive.



Reena’s Exploration Challenge – Week 36 5-14-2018

Reena’s Exploration Challenge

Welcome to Week 36!

A prologue of any kind will only reduce the impact of this picture.

Here’s the prompt

challenge 36 Al margen

Illustration: Al Margen

What does this picture make you think of? The format can be a a story/poem/rant/anecdotes/journalistic coverage of events/ reflections as usual.

Pour out, and let it flow ….


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It was all too much. The piano lessons. Tennis. Soccer. Computer. Book Club. Guitar lessons. Math Club. He didn’t know how Kyle would stand it all without his head simply exploding. His head would have already exploded.

He hated what the world had done to the youngest among them, the innocent. They had no voice to protest the whirlwind of the modern age.

When did children get to be children?

Though, he supposed, nothing much had changed. Adults had always considered children something they owned, something to use.

‘This is my son, Lewis. He was first in his class in Mathematics and Social Studies. He won first place in the Tennis Tournament at the Country Club. Yesterday he finished writing an original piece of music for the guitar and piano.’

Was that being a child? Of course not. That was a child being formed into a small adult, way before the child was capable of being an adult.

Why were the youngest expected to carry the burden of their parent’s unfulfilled expectations? It your child wasn’t involved in at least ten different after school activities before the age of five, and the best at them, then you, as a parent, were considered a failure?

Why was status more important then freedom?

Children had to have chores, had to learn responsibility, but the world suffered when generations of adult children grew up without knowing how to first be a child. One couldn’t be an adult without having first been a child.

Sighing, he smiled down at his baby son, tucking the blanket gently around his tiny shoulders.

Kathleen would be downstairs, finishing up her coloring book. She’d been at it since arriving home from school, between running in and out and up and down like a wild pony. It was time to corral her and herd her to bed; one of the highlights of his night.

Turning off the light and leaving the door cracked, he headed down the stairs. Hearing his footsteps, Kathleen bolted, kitchen door slamming behind her, trailing giggles.

There were a lot of kinds of failure, he knew, but this wasn’t one.

No, not in a million years, was this one.


Reena’s Exploration Challenge – Week 33 4-30-2018

Reenas Exploration Challenge

We are coming back to the use of metaphor to describe a concept or life, this week. John Elton’s “A Candle in the Wind” has been immortalized for posterity.

There is another interesting poem by William Blake, where he philosophizes on life, on seeing a fly.


Have you ever been inspired to think of a life, while viewing a mountain, river, animal, bird, insect, plant or any other element of nature? Pen down your thoughts in whatever manner they occur to you. Let it all flow … there need not be a conclusion, as a flow depicts the spirit more than anything else.

The format can be a story/poem/rant/ reflections as usual.


We all know there is a circle to life. The Lion King points this out in great clarity. What we don’t always realize, or think about, is how not only is there a circle to life, but there is no circle to life. When we look at the life of a caterpillar, we see cyclic motion, just like every other creature which has ever lived, the Earth, the planets and even the Universe.

Then again, there is no circle because everything is always. Mountains are born, grow and fade away. Seas rise and fall. Volcanos carve out new islands and change the conformation of the land. The dinosaurs were born and lived and died. Birds are born and live and die. Plants, insects and stars are all born and eventually die. Yet, Backward Aging Jellyfish can potentially live forever. So can Sea Turtles, Regenerating Flatworms, some bacteria and an ugly creature called the tardigrade. Other animals can live extremely long lives.

So what is time and how does it affect our universe?

According to Wikipedia:

“The B-theory of time is the name given to one of two positions regarding philosophy of time. B-theorists argue that the flow of time is an illusion, that the past, present and future are equally real, and that time is tenseless. … B-theory is often drawn upon in theoretical physics, and in theories such as eternalism.” 1

“Our experience of time (past, present, and future) has more to with our own subjectivity than any foundational feature of existence. Most modern physicists now subscribe to this view, explaining that the time we perceive through our human minds at a local level is vastly different than time’s innate behavior at a universal scale.” 2

So, time is cyclic and not cyclic. So the mountain is born, lives and dies and yet it always “is.” Forever and eternal, in some aspect of time, the mountain is always there. We see the cycle because we can only see things in ‘human’ time, a time which we have created for ourselves. In human time, it makes no sense for the caterpillar to be an egg, caterpillar, cocoon and  butterfly all at the same time.

Yet in B-theory, there is no past, present or future. They are all one.

Where do I stand on “life, the universe and everything?” 3

I stand wherever I happen to be at each moment of my life and I stand in my past, present and future all at once. When I look at a mountain or a lake or a butterfly, I see the grandeur of the Universe in every detail, circle or not.

Where do you stand?


If you want to read more about the fascinating aspects of time, read here.

2:  in the article “Scientific Theories And Facts That Prove Time Is Way Weirder Than You Think”
3: Adams, Douglas (1979). Life, The Universe and Everything.