January 27, day 27 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I thought I would get on today’s post early rather than late. It might give my voice a different tone. I’m not always tired and bluesy. If I was a singer, it would be an asset. It would be an honour to be called the Empress of the Blues. But that title belonged to Bessie Smith. She was a renowned blues singer during the Jazz Age. She rose from poverty with a mighty and strong voice. She was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 43 in 1937. Her grave was unmarked until a tombstone was erected on August 7, 1970, paid for by the singer Janis Joplin and Juanita Green, who as a child had done housework for Smith.
Her life is such an interesting story. We each have our own story to tell. They’re equally interesting. It’s in the way of telling and how we feel about our stories. I see stories in pictures. I see pictures in stories. In the same way, I tell my stories – one evokes the other. When I see the photo of our house in China, I remember playing up on the rooftop. I saw my first ghosts there. It wasn’t that I ‘saw’ but rather felt their presence. I remember my mother telling me they’re our ancestors and not to be afraid. I also ‘saw’ someone standing by our bed one evening. It was more of a shadow than anything. At the time I was still sleeping in the same bed as my mother. It was made of boards, covered with quilts. Our pillows were wooden blocks. I don’t remember them being uncomfortable though. Aren’t childhood memories/stories wonderful?
I used to write flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Rochelle is a published author of several books and a watercolour artist. For Friday Fictioneers we write a story of 100 words to a photo prompt. It was a good fit and practice for me. I’ve learned to make every word count and to hone out needless, excessive words. We interact with each other much like on the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You read me, I read me. Then we critique each other – in a positive constructive way. The Dentist is one of my flash fictions that still has the photo prompt in the post. I’ve removed the photo prompt in most of the posts to free up room in my media library.
This is the long and short of my post. Not my best but not my worse. It has a beginning, a middle and an ending. Now I’m off to work on my watercolours. What is your story?
I am having a bit of a struggle this morning just with the thought of being in ‘locked down’. My daily life activities have not really changed all that much. I do miss not being able to go to the library, swimming Saturday mornings and our Monday, Wednesday and Friday exercise class at the YWCA. The thought of not being able to get closer than 6 feet of another living human being (other than the ones you’re living with) makes me feel claustrophobic and breathless. It’s much like the time I accidentally locked myself in the car. I was in a panic then. Even Sheba was taking up too much of my air. I had to roll the window down and stick my head out.
I had a talk with myself just a little while ago, put a load in the laundry, made myself a cup of tea and here I am with the poem of the day. The words are beautiful, bringing to mind of different days and different times. I know the wisdom of being in the NOW. But it is also in our nature to look back as well as ahead. We are a sum of our total experiences. Our body registers pleasure moments as well as those frightful ones that come back to haunt us long after they are gone. It’s healing to recall those golden times evoked by photographs and poetry. I can close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, feel the breeze in my hair. I feel the vitality of my youth and the presence of my cousin next to me.
Now I’m soothed and smoothed, sipping another cup of tea. I’m no longer breathless and panicky. I can still feel the warmth of those sunny golden days and the presence of my cousin on this earth, knowing she is an angel in heaven.
Were’t We Beautiful
growing into ourselves earnest and funny we were angels of some kind, smiling visitors the light we lived in was gorgeous we looked up and into the camera the ordinary things we did with our hands or how we turned and walked or looked back we lifted the child spooned food into his mouth the camera held it, stayed it there we are in our lives as if we had all time as if we would stand in that room and wear that shirt those glasses as if that light without end would shine on us and from us.
I started this blog with a goal of writing a thousand words a day. Most days all days, I fall quite short of that. I am a short and snappy gal. I would probably have more success in writing for Hallmark Cards. Now, I’m upgrading my goal to writing a thousand posts, one a day. How long would that take? Do I have time?
Life comes to me in photos and snatches of words. They come to me like live streaming. There’s no skill or ability involved. I am just wired like that. Curious, isn’t it?
Today, there are no photos and few words. But I present to you the amazing Miss Keirha and Miss Sheba, right from our living room. I hope you will enjoy.