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Archive for the ‘Five Minute Friday’ Category

“Until White America tells fear to fuck off, we’ll keep dying at the hands of ‘justice’ in a country they broke our backs and our souls to build for them.” – A’Driane Nieves, in “White Supremacy and Fear: The Cracks in America’s Foundation No One Will Fix”

Words have sat heavy on me this week. They land hard on my lily white skin and seep into me.

This sounds awful.  It’s not.  This is how change works. It strikes, and then it sinks in.

I suppose the easy thing to do would be to get defensive.  The danger in taking the easy route is that the events that incite heavy words are usually broken systems that aren’t worth defending. The easy route allows the stunted soul to stay the same and hide from anything that doesn’t fit into what it already understands.

I don’t want the easy route. I want the words and the stories of the angry and the oppressed and the dismissed to melt into me and change me.

I am trusting firsthand accounts. I am trusting their lived experience that says this is only the latest installment of a system of oppression. The learned inclination to trust a badge just because it’s supposed to be trustworthy is quickly unraveling. My trust in authority is no longer immediate (and let’s face it – has not been immediate for quite some time).

I am praying with some of the bloggers I follow as they go to Ferguson to hear the stories of the people who have been there. I am praying that words will land heavy on them. I am also praying that they will be safe.

I am praying that the people – all the people – of Ferguson will be safe. I am sitting uncomfortably with the knowledge that feeling safe would be a first for many of the people of Ferguson, for many of the people in this country.

But I will sit with that discomfort.  I will not run away from it to take the easy route. I will change.

I am linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. The prompt is “change.” Join us.

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This week has been a cornucopia of madness, so today’s post is accomplishing several goals.

  1. Last week’s assignment from Story 101 was to write something out of your comfort zone. I chose form poetry, because my poetry doesn’t generally like to follow the rules. My sonnet is giving me fits.  So hello, haiku.
  2. One of my goals made with the online writing group with Andilit was to post two blog posts this week.  This makes two.  Done!
  3. And I am linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday, hosted this week by Crystal Stine.  Join us and add your two cents (or rather, five minutes). The prompt is “belong.”

And go:

You belong with me

Like cats curled together warm

Even in summer

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Sky plummets to earth

Horizon fights off the wind

Somehow they belong

 

A sea of people

Often I wonder – will I

Ever belong here?

 

Clouds burst; rain comes; lush

I breathe in the rooted ground,

Belonging to it.

 

And because I just can’t help myself…

Whirr, boil, brew, inhale

My heart belongs to coffee.

Bearable morning

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I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker today for Five-Minute Friday.  The word is encouragement.

What a great word.  It brings to mind a pouring in, a filling up of good things.  Things that will give you courage.  Things that will reward the nerve of you.  Things that cheer you on and tell you, “I like you, kid.  You’ve got moxie.”  And it’s a noun.  It’s not just the pouring in, filling up, building up.  It’s the state of doing it.  It’s the place where these actions are the norm, not the exception.

It freaks my little solitary heart right on out.

Because what if it ends?  Or rather, when it ends (because experience has taught me that it usually does)?  What then?

Encouragement is great…while it lasts. But when it goes, it leaves a hole.  A big, yawning, scary hole.  A hole that you warn children and pets to steer clear of, because they’ll tumble right in and break a clavicle or something.

And when it ends, you have to start all over again.  And you do.  Every time it ends.  Because once you’ve been to the magical land of encouragement, you aren’t satisfied living anywhere else.

I think I’ve figured out the key to staying there, though.  Have a whole lot of other people living there with you.  It’s a mistake to just have one person as your encouragement.  That’s too much pressure to put on one person, and sooner or later, this person will notice that s/he is trying to do the work of eleventy dozen people and run away.

You need an army.

If you are an introvert, I highly recommend that the bulk of this army be online.  If they’re all in person, you will be exhausted, and then you’ll be the one who wants to run away.

And there will be the hole.

With the darkness.

Maybe dragons.

But have an army.  Have people who are willing to fight for you, even when what they’re fighting against is the voice in your head telling you that you can’t go on or can’t do that thing your soul needs to do.

And be that person for them, too.  Encouragement works best when it’s shared.

Go see what some others have to say about encouragement.

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I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker, and the prompt today is “together.”

Go

Together is one of those words that should be happy:

“We’re in this together.”

“So happy together.”

“…as long as we’re together.”

Together just reminds me that we – several we’s – are not. Not together.  Not anymore.

You’ve moved.  You’ve gotten married.  I’ve stopped coming to the meetings.  We don’t live in the same state or country anymore.  You’ve had kids.  We had a fight, and now it’s better, but it’s still too weird to be together. The semester has started, or it’s midterms, and then it’s finals, and so we’re both going crazy, so when we should fight for time to be together, all we want to do is sleep, because sleep doesn’t happen that often, and we have to do it to live.

And it would be weird to sleep together, at least on a regular enough basis to call it “together.”

I could call.  You could call.  We would say, “Let’s get together sometime.  I miss you.”  The “I miss you” part would be true.

But we won’t necessarily get together, for all the same reasons that we don’t get together now.  Or if we do, it will be because we said we would and we don’t want to be people who say things that they don’t mean.  It will be rushed and awkward.

And wonderful.  Because we’d be together, if only for an hour.

Stop

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This morning, I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and writing five minutes on this week’s prompt.

Ordinary

A lot of her stories could start like this.  “It was just another ordinary day.”  She has her routines, and she likes them.  They organize her time and give order to her life.  They ensure that she gets done what she needs to get done.

It was just another ordinary day.

And then…and THEN…

The sunrise sneaked up on her.  It had its ordinary layers, its usual colors, but then the sun broke through the clouds.  She was just sitting there, drinking her coffee, minding her own business, mentally running through her normal schedule for the ordinary day ahead of her.

And then the light broke through, and the colors exploded.

It was joy.

The light shone on the coffee mug in her hand, a typical teacher gift given to her by a student at the end of just another ordinary school year – the year that student learned to read.

It highlighted the simple slice of toast on her plate.  It was a remnant of the bread that she baked last weekend to accompany the first pot of stew of the season, joined with wine and laughter and shared with friends.

It reflected off the generous helping of her mom’s strawberry-fig jam spread over the toast, and she said a small prayer that her mom would have a good day.

It was just another ordinary day, but sometimes, ordinary is pretty spectacular.

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It’s what I do.  It’s who I am.  It’s the thing that jolts me awake, when a story doesn’t know what time it is – it just knows that it needs to get out there.

It’s what I want to do.  It’s who I want to be.  It’s the thing that I’d like to do in the real time of the day, not just in little pockets of time that I scatter around like chicken feed.

It’s something I’d like to get paid for doing.  That way, when people say, “What do you do for a living?” I could respond, “I’m a writer,” without feeling the urge to attach a disclaimer.

But it is what I do for a living, at least for the part of living that matters.  The part that doesn’t have a price tag attached to it.

I write to vent.  I write to create.  I write to love.  I write to mend.  I write to connect.

I write because I want to write.  I write, because I want to live in a world where we get to do the thing that we love the most, because a world full of people doing what they love has got to be a better world than the one we have.  It’s the world we could have.

I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker – what does your five-minute Friday look like?

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She loves the rain.  She loves the sound, the smell, the peace, the cleansing, the newness, and the hope of it.

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She does not like the complaining of the people who do not like it, but she understands.

She knows that life is inconvenient sometimes.

She knows that it is frustrating to plan for a day to go one way, only to have it go another way, without warning.

She understands, so she wants to listen, but their noise drowns out the rain.

So she nods, and she hopes that they will feel heard but also that they will go away and leave her to her bliss.

She is her mother’s daughter, as they share a low tolerance for whining, particularly regarding things that one can do nothing to change.

She is also her own person, though, so she understands.  And listens.  And looks forward to talking to the ones who will share her joy.

Maybe they will have a puddle party later.  Maybe they will invite everyone, even the naysayers, and help them turn their bleak day into dancing.

She hopes.

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and other five-minute-Friday participants!

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