It is Friday again and time for Friday Fictioneers with our stories of 100 words from the picture prompt. We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple. And here are my 100 words for this week.
Perspiration beaded on her forehead. She felt the sting of it in her eyes. She wished she could rub them. They were itching like the dickens. She could just scream. Her arms and legs were bound to the chair. Was she sorry? No, damn it! The woman had it coming.
The clock was ticking. Her heart pounded, the heat rushing up her face into her head. She squeezed her eyes shut. She heard the switch click. Warm liquid ran down her legs. Oh no! She was falling. Her eyes flew opened. Dazed, she looked around. She was in her bathtub!
We live in the age and environment of fear and anxiety. We are bombarded with news of shootings, beheadings and terrorist acts. I hear the whining of sirens almost every day. But there comes a time when a person has to let go of her all fears and anxiety – just let that damn proverbial shoe drop. Let it do what it may. Will it shatter like Humpty Dumpty so that not all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could put it back together again? In that case, maybe we can just buy a new shoe.
I’m dropping that shoe – again. I’m letting go. Sheba has been absorbing my bad vibes and barking and whining at invisible shadows. Like mistress, like dog. I need to accept the dark as well as the light. There are no bogeymen. It’s only the tricks of our wandering minds.
I’m learning to drown my fears in the pool water, in those warm arms that hold me like my mother’s womb. I let it embrace me, caress me, loosening fear’s grip on me, washing it away. I feel no fear as I float, my face in the water. There is no hurry or worry. I will not sink. I will not drown. There is time to breathe. I’m blowing out what I don’t need. I’m breathing in precious air. It flows in my mouth and nose, fills my lungs and nourishes me throughout. I am moving up and down the length of the pool without effort and fear. It is enough if only for that time and space. Tomorrow I can do better.
Sundays can be good for relaxing and letting go. Today is one of those days. Life and the snow are melting around me – in January. I’m still unravelling. Soon I will come to the end of the spool. I wonder if I will bounce back and up like a yoyo.
I’m at this part of Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead:
Fast-forward to December 2015. You are sitting in a café, musing over the last 12 months. Where do you want to be…
… in your head? (work, dreams, goals)
… in your heart? (relationships, family, friends)
… in your physical world? (home, health, hobbies)
… in your soul? (beliefs, practices, self-love)
These are hard questions. I love the thought of sitting in a cafe with a hot cup of Chai – in silence and solitude. Do I know myself to answer these questions? It’s worth the time. I owe it to myself to take time getting to know me.
Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you
Getting to like you
Getting to hope you like me
Getting to know you
Putting it my way
You are precisely
My cup of tea
She remembered the night well. The water was so black. The boat bobbed gently up and down on the waves. A lump caught in her throat. She hoped that she wasn’t going to throw up. She was so afraid. Her teeth chattered and rattled. She shivered, wrapping her shawl around her shoulders.
The water gleamed in the moonlight. All was silent around them as they rowed further and further into the lake. Finally they stopped. They could no longer see the shore. It was safe now. They held their breath, steadying themselves momentarily and heaved their burden into the water.
There is always something to be grateful for – even in anxiety and sleepless nights. You suffer in both, sometimes unbearably. Never a stoic, someone who can keep a stiff upper lip, I seek for relief relentlessly. It is no surprise that I have a whole library of self-help books. By now, I could write my own. I should start making notes. What I know for sure is, there is no permanent fix. But you can learn from each episode and make it easier for your next time. It’s still about doing your best and then letting go. Perhaps, you might find me too direct, up front and revealing. But what/who does that hurt – admitting that I am human and flawed? I am with you all in the milieu catastrophe of life.
In the middle of a sleepless angst, I rose from my bed one night and migrated to the kitchen. I made a cup of ginger tea and cuddled up under my Hudson’s Bay blanket with an old friend – Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living. I’ve read it a time or two and have practiced some of the exercises in it. You know how we human beings are. When the going gets tough, we are so serious and dedicated. Once the crisis is over, we stray and then abandon the practice altogether – till the next time.
This is my next time. I’m doing the practice again – of sitting and watching my breath for 15 minutes. The first time was not too bad, being the first. I was full of resolve. I can do anything in that state. I felt some discomfort the 2nd time. My thoughts strayed. I wanted to water the plants. I wanted to make soup. I wanted to get out of my skin! I breathed and felt the rise and fall of my belly. The 15 minutes passed.
Today is my 3rd day. The 15 minutes are easier. The mind wanders. I accept it. It is what it is. I have 4 more days to complete the week. Then it is 7 more weeks, working up to 45 minutes of formal meditation, of watching my breath. Can I do it? Yes! Yes! Yes! It is worth the effort to come out from under the thumb of my misfiring mind. If I don’t try, it won’t happen. I can always do my best, whatever it is on any given day.
Miraculously I am myself again. It is as if someone has put the patches on my chest and defibrillated me. I am at ease. It is as if it never happened. It’s like a bad dream, a nightmare. I shake my head and wonder what the hell had happened. It matters not. I pick myself up, dust myself off and truck on down the road. Life goes on. So do I – not quite an EverReady battery.
Some days I’m a bit melancholy – maybe a left-over feeling from childhood days when we were new immigrants. Can an eight year old feel lost and displaced in Gold Mountain(Canada)? Where was the gold? In my child’s mind I had expected to see a land filled with colourful balloons and lollypops. There was neither. It was puzzling.
I felt the smallness of our town, the dirt streets and the emptiness. I felt the smallness of me. What I remembered the most was the loneliness of my mother. I did not recognized it as such at the time but rather felt it. I was probably equally as lonely. We were far away from home and our extended family. We did not know the language.
It was so many years ago. Was my memory correct? Was it true? Or was it distorted by the clouds, a sleepless night and the moody blues? The thinking mind can be so deceptive. I have sunnier memories of other days when my mother recount stories from her childhood, of her siblings, her parents and China. I have a rich and colourful heritage, one to be proud of.
I am dusting off the cobwebs and debris of my mind. I am sweeping them out the door. I’ve finished unravelling 2014 and now ready to tackle 2015 of Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead. When I am feeling discouraged, it helps to look back at the seeds I have sown and the rewards reaped the past year. I have not done a small thing. Life is not a small thing, but it is made up of many little things.
The evening is here. There is no sun to set. The day is done. Time to put thinking aside and rest on my laurels.
It’s 9:45 Saturday morning. The sun is finally making its entrance. He knows how to be dramatic. He peeks slowly above the rooftops one minute, the next thrusting its rays full force, like Jimmy Durante dancing on stage. VOILA!
I say it’s about bloody time! These heavy dark mornings gets on a girl’s nerve, never mind her heart. I can almost hear that shoeglass dropping. It shatters into a million shining splinters, the sun bouncing off the shards as they fall. Everything is all right. It’s just an imaginary playing in my mind’s eye, much like a dream. I am made of sterner stuff. I do not shatter so easily.
I am doing so much better than I realize. This is how my desk look this morning – better than it has for a gazillion years. You can actually see the glass desktop. It does feel infinitely better not to have my usual pile of clutter piled in front of me, pushing me down, squishing me in. My sun room is my sacred space and it is about time for me to give it the respect. Thanks to a blog called simply + kierste on how to have to clean home every day. I get it now. There’s holiness in clean uncluttered spaces. I am loving the ritual of cleaning and clearing. It calms my heart and eases my mind. It puts me in the stillness of the Universe. I am saved another day – to breathe, write and love all that there is.
It is Friday and time for Friday Fictioneers with their tales of 100 words or so. We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple. You can join in if you feel so inclined. This is my 100 words this week.
The sun had set. Shadows danced on the walls in the gathering dusk. He looked out into the empty courtyard. The geraniums still bloomed a brilliant red but the trees were shedding their leaves.
The table was perfect – the crystal glasses, fine bone china, napkins, candles. Champagne was chilling in the ice bucket. Everything was ready.
He paced back and forth in front of the window. Where was she? Why can’t she be dependable or be on time for once in her life? He was fuming inside. He looked at his watch again.
There’s reasons why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions any more. I’ve felt the allure of new beginnings and a new year. It’s easy to be pumped with the spirits of the Christmas and end of year celebrations. I feel I could conquer the world but experience has taught me a thing or two.
It’s easy to make resolutions, those promises to do better in the glow of the holiday season. But come the cold dark days of January, your resolve melts, exhaustion and sometimes depression take over. You have to rally all your resources just to get out of bed on some days. What I don’t need is the pressure of those New Year’s Resolutions looming over me.
What I do is I still get up, dress up and show up for my life. I try to do the best I can. On cloudy days when I am filled with anxiety, I do slow laps in the warm water of the pool. I concentrate on my breathing, blowing bubbles out my nose and mouth as slow as I can. I keep my body in alignment. I don’t try for 2 more laps when my legs are heavy like lead and I am sinking. It’s okay to sit in the whirlpool and let the jets smash away my tight spots.
On days like these, it’s helpful to have a therapist smash your tight spots that the whirlpool jets can’t get at. Good friends are equally if not more beneficial. They can reach those tight spots unreachable by jets or therapists. There’s nothing like girlfriends except maybe your mother’s chicken soup to make you feel valued and loved. Treasure your mother and girlfriends. They will always be there for you if they can and even when they can’t.
A beautiful day and warmer temperature at last! Queen Sheba is basking in the sunshine. I am, too. One must take time to luxuriate when the opportunity/sun arises.
I have found the new year challenging. How many times have I said it already? I’m like a broken record that can’t be fixed. I have taken to ranting to ease my discomfort and misery. I hope it hasn’t been too loud or too much. But the shadows and gremlins have been advancing on me. It’s better to rant than to keep all that in.
Sometimes you need to rant. Some things need to be said – the injustices, the cruelties, the senselessness and the killings of the world. You can’t understand and there is no understanding. There doesn’t seem to be any fix either. Don’t you just hate all that? I just hate that there’s no perfection, that the world is not peachy keen. Though I’ve written many words on the virtues of imperfection, disregard all that. In the words of Murray McLaughlan, I want to be undone.
Singin' don't you want to keep on moving
Don't you want to get undone
Don't you want to change from losing
Don't you want to have some fun
I want to keep on moving. I want to get undone. I like to have better luck and some fun. I guess I will sing and keep on moving with Murray. It’s a great song and he’s a great singer and writer. And he’s Canadian. I hope you will enjoy the song as much as I do.