Friday Fictioneers 5-21-2021

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

“Wonder what were they thinking about.”

“They must have been hoping for a better life,” Rodger said, “but most of them didn’t get it.” That is why he’d become a lawyer, after all, to help the huddled masses, but he’d quickly become disillusioned. How did you help people who didn’t help themselves?

He looked over the water at Lady Liberty. Maybe he needed this view to remind him why he had gone to law school. Maybe the Lady needed to remind him of what she stood for:

Hope.

If she could still hope, he could, too.

Question Of The Week 5-19-2021

What are you currently worried about?

I am not worried about anything right now, beyond the normal. Finances. I was going to list more, but when I think about them, I really don’t have any major worries. And I’m not worried about Finances like I used to be. I trust the money will be there.

I guess if I had to be worried about anything, it would be not only this country, but the world. Everywhere I look, I see the cruelty one person can do to another. Or that one person or group can do to another group. Mass shooting, wars, bombings, random acts of violence which seem to defy the reality of our existence.

Hate is fear. Fear of the unknown and the foreign (and I use foreign not in the sense of foreigners to a country, but to specify difference), rules the world today, and has since the beginning of time. So how can I believe mankind was not meant for such cruelty, that somewhere inside of each of us is the desire to be kind? Am I clinging to a fantasy?

I don’t know how to explain it. Better minds than mine have wrestled with this problem for years and found no solutions. I will just say I believe in kindness and I believe the world can reflect kindness. One person at a time standing up for kindness and compassion and extending a helping hand can bring change to the world. The truth is, more and more people are standing up for change, putting aside their fears.

Will we ever fully see this change? Not in my lifetime, I’m afraid, but I can hope better for my children.

Retro Tuesday 4-13-2021

The Art of Invisibility – April 2015

There’s a funny thing about being invisible. The Invisible Man, Harry Potter and his Invisibility Cloak, One Ring to Rule Them All, The Tempest and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Being invisible has always been a popular item in literature and movies.  When asked what superpower a person might like to possess, invisibility is usually high up on the list. But what if you were really invisible?  Or what if you’d made yourself as invisible as possible all your life but when you decide you want to toss off the invisibility cloak no one sees you even then.

Growing up, I spend all my time trying to be invisible.  I was horribly shy and inwards, mostly because of things that happened and because I’d never not known the feeling of depression. To protect myself, I became invisible, as skill I perfected over the years.

In college, I lived behind the mask of characters, terrified somebody would talk to me, I would freeze and look like an idiot. I didn’t trust anybody. I was afraid of everything and not just in that ‘I’m afraid of spiders’ way. I was drawn so far inward that I couldn’t make connections with the outer world.

And then I grew up. Don’t get me wrong, I was invisible well into adulthood and I liked it that way. It didn’t help that my ex liked me invisible. So, there I was, invisible until I had kids. I couldn’t be invisible with kids.  I learned to speak up, defend them, because I didn’t have any other choice.  The mother bear will protect her cubs even if she doesn’t want to come out of the den.

It took me years to come to the realization I didn’t have to live the life other people wanted for me.  I could live life my way. Visible. I no longer had to be afraid. I was in charge of who I was and who I became. Not my Ex. Not my family.  Not friends or acquaintances or bosses or TV or ads or anything else in the Universe.

I. Was. In. Charge. Of. Me.

Apparently, no one else got the memo.  I learned quickly that once people lose sight of you, you don’t appear just because you’ve decided to appear again.  I’m not talking about people I knew casually, but family.  When I finally separated from my ex, they were glad.  Why had it taken me so long?  When I became my own person, they weren’t happy.  I was no longer the person they expected me to be and they didn’t want that.  They wanted me to stand on my own two feet but only if I stayed the same person I was before.  But I wasn’t the same person.  How could I stay the same and change?  Not possible.

I’ve had to write the remainder of this post several times.  Each former attempt came out bitchy and childish.  I don’t mean to be.  I like taking the higher road, but sometimes I just need to express myself, bitchy or not.  I know what you are going to say.  ‘Are you sure it’s all them?’ Probably not.  I’ve never claimed I was perfect.  I don’t return phone calls in the time frame they expect. Bad? Yes, but I’m not a phone person and when I get overwhelmed by things, I just ‘turtle’ and do nothing. Could I do better?  Yes. Try harder? Yes. Do I want to do better? I used to say yes, but now, I’m not so sure.

Three examples (yes there are so many more but that’s where the bitchy comes in).  One – I wrote and read a short essay at my mother’s funeral.  Except for my Aunt, no one in my family acknowledged I had even spoken.  No ‘thank you,’ no ‘I know this must have been hard for you’. Nothing.  Friends of the family (and even people I didn’t know) came up to say how touched they had been by my words, wanting a copy. Family. Not a word.

Two – After years of cutting my own hair (not pretty I assure you), I got my hair cut and styled at a salon.  Nobody in my family noticed.

Three- I lost a noticeable amount of weight.  Did my family notice?  Nope. Not a word.

Bitch over (maybe).  Truth is I am hurt and angry.  I am willing to do anything they need.  All they need to do is ask.  Do they?  No, they don’t and then are angry that I ‘never’ help.  To hear them, I am selfish and think of nobody but myself.  So sorry for thinking we are all adults and should not expect mind-reading among us.

Perhaps I should accept that I am, and will be, invisible to them.  The sad part is I am almost at the point I don’t care.  Is it worth fighting invisibility in their eyes when I will never be visible for who I am?  How many times am I expected to try to explain who I am and why? It is hard enough to fight depression every day without living up to somebody else’s expectations.

The sad truth is I no longer feel comfortable at family gatherings.

I am the invisible woman.

Reena’s Exploration Challenge – 81 4-9-2019

It is time to peep into your creative processes once again. Welcome to Week 81!

PROMPT

This video inspired me. Maybe you like to see it or use it as a creative nudge.

https://aeon.co/videos/then-fit-our-vision-to-the-dark-exploring-sight-with-emily-dickinson


We grow accustomed to Darkness. Darkness is in our hearts. Our minds. Our souls. Anybody who has not been tempted by Darkness is a liar.

Some of us grow up in darkness. Some of us grow up in Light, finding Darkness when we realize Light is not all there is in this world. This is the Darkness which crushes the soul, destroys the spirit, leaving nothing behind but despair.

Some of us live in Darkness all our lives, never finding the path out. Never seeing even a spark of Light, our eyes so blinded by Dark.

Some of us are created of Darkness, some of us of Light. But it is the Darkness which finds us in our hours of despair, when the pain is so all-encompassing we no longer believe in Light. Some of us never escape the Darkness and drown.

Some of us…. all of us…. grow accustomed to Darkness.

Reena’s Exploration Challenge – 78 3-17-2019

Today, we have a paragraph as a prompt. Do whatever you can with it. Reflect on it, twist it, break it into pieces and use a phrase or just write if you agree/disagree or whatever you think about it. As usual, there are no restrictions on length or format. Suit yourself.

PROMPT

“That proves you are unusual,” returned the Scarecrow; “and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Land of Oz

“Leaves of a tree, my butt,” grumbled the Flying Monkey perched in the tree. “Ill show him leaves on a tree.” But he wouldn’t. He was, after all, a kind Flying Monkey and not a bit of the meanness in him that consumed his brethren.
Still, he hated to be called a leaf as if he were no more than one Flying Monkey among a thousand Flying Monkeys. And he  hated, hated, hated, being called common. Hadn’t he left the Witch’s Castle and set out on his own, searching for a kinder, gentler, place among the vastness of Oz?
No, he was a failure of a Flying Monkey; hadn’t he been told that all his life? Hadn’t the others mocked him and laughed at him as he helped earthworms across the Yellow Brick Road and rescued ladybugs from the dank of the Witch’s Castle?
Dorothy had been a single girl out of thousands. Toto a single dog out of thousands. The Scarecrow a single scarecrow out of however many scarecrows might be around; the Tin Man the single out of the world of Tin Men. And the Cowardly Lion. How many lions were there in Oz? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? And yet, he was the only one of them who was scared and kind.
Was he maybe the Cowardly Lion of Flying Monkeys? Was he one of a thousand Flying Monkeys who wanted to be kind to those around him? Did that make him common? A leaf on a tree who would live and die unnoticed?
Could he be instead the catalyst of change among the Flying Monkeys? Could he be that one unusual Flying Monkey in a thousand who didn’t die unnoticed? Could he be a hero?
Spreading his monkey wings, he flapped from the tree, racing after the unusual band.

What Is It You Are Avoiding At This Point In Time?

A fellow blogger, Reena Saxena, asked this question in her Exploration Challenge. This question stopped me dead in my tracks. Well, my reading, thinking, tracks.

It made me wonder – what am I avoiding at this point in time? How about a bunch. A passel. More than I could put into one post.

But really, this isn’t true. Saying there are too many things to count is just another way of avoiding. If there are too many, why bother? Let’s just toss the question aside and move on.

Which, in itself, is a cop-out. So is my life an endless circles of cop-outs?

I sincerely hope not, but what do I know? I can’t even list avoided ‘things.’

So, if I brave up and seriously think about the question, what do I find?

I find I am avoiding the world right now. But no, that’s quite true. I am avoiding myself. I am out of work and feeling like anybody else in the world can get a job except me. I am often told, so-and-so called this place and got a job.  She put in an application here and got a job. He interviewed here and got hired. And on and on.

I’m told, “With your skills, you will have no problem finding a job.” Truth is, I don’t have a job. Where are these ‘no problem’ jobs?

So what the hell is wrong with me?

Sorry, got carried away there.

But I hope you get the point. Which isn’t, by the way, me freaking out about the job, but that I’m avoiding the whys or hows or whens. I don’t want to face myself if I’m somebody who can no longer get a job. If a medical mistake had changed the entirety of who I am.

I don’t want to face myself as I stand on the threshold of financial failure. The Bi-Polar me doesn’t even know how to see myself anymore.

Who am I? This is what I am avoiding.

Am I better knowing this? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s safer to pretend.

So, then, the question is:

Am I willing to stop pretending?

I don’t know.

I do know I am thankful to Reena for asking the question in the first place.

What are you avoiding at this point in time?

 

Here is the link to Reena’s challenge