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Fictional Tendencies

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CRO-MAGNON

Cro-Magnon

Shh, quiet.
The darkness is too loud.
I’m drowning.

This addiction will be replaced,
Supplemented with another,
And another.

And another.

The void will never be filled with such trivial things.

Take pause and reflect,
They abyss is all-consuming…if I let it be.

Oh! A surprise.
A discovery.
The truth; so heavy, yet a weight is lifted.

A primal scream.

I’ll return tomorrow and listen to my echo reply.

THE UNEXPECTED…, LIFE.

My wife and I have spent the last day and a half removing 99% of all furniture from the second story of our house and moving it all downstairs. Our house is a somewhat organized mess. She spent the last two weeks painting our kids rooms, all in preparation for new carpet. It was scheduled to rain today, which it is (drizzling more than raining) so we were told to have a two car garage open and available so the installers can cut the carpet and not have it get wet. We were told that if our garage wasn’t available we would be charged a cancellation fee of $450. So I spent the last part of the late evening cleaning our the garage and the first part of this morning moving my mountain bikes into the backyard.

We’re ready, for the most part, and so is the house. Let’s get this new carpet installed. We were given an arrival time between 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. My wife heads out with our daughter and one of our dogs; our daughter has a doctor’s appointment and our dog has an appointment at the vet. I stay home and move the last bit of furniture downstairs and sit and wait. The windows are open. I listen to the water runoff drip on our patio cover, remember it isn’t raining so much as it’s drizzling or misting. I’m drinking coffee, it’s 9:30 A.M and the installer has called in sick. Does this mean we get to charge a cancellation fee? Our time and effort is worth something.

What to do? The house will continue to stay a mess until tomorrow, the installation has been rescheduled. The rain graduates from a light drizzle to a very light rain. I hear birds, swallows, chirping. I look out into the backyard and see a pudgy little sparrow hop along the fence line and ruffle its feathers. Three or four swallows dart over the neighboring yards. And a hummingbird sits in our apple tree.

I think it would be great if I were to grab my camera and lens (Pentax K70 with 55-300 mm) and hope that by the time I return to the sliding glass door the humming bird will still be there. As luck would have it, the hummingbird was still sitting in the apple tree. I walked out onto the patio, under the cover, and leaned against one of the three support beams. The rain was coming in sideways, my bare feet were getting wet. I zoomed in, extending the focal length the full 300 mm, both my camera and lens are weather resistant, and spent the next thirty minutes taking pictures of the hummingbird.

I guess today wasn’t a complete waste, even if plans didn’t work out as expected.

Your journey starts with a step, where are you headed.

IN THE GARDEN OF REVELATIONS

In the Garden of Revelations

the moon is hidden
and sighs a heavy breath

a fog patrols the endless sky

as the ashes of our ancestors walk on wind

a light flickers prismatic

while the grey night lingers
in silence

these tears are not mine own.

CALLIGRAPHIC SOUL

Calligraphic Soul

I find, that when I write,
I cannot hide

Pen to paper,
Numerous imperfections,
I’m perfection,

The one and only me.

And yet,

I find, that when I type,
I can hide

You see me as a ghost
A spectral echo
Cast among the shadows of men

Where doubt and false confidence
Breed assumptions
And expectations

While a mere reflection of me
Is lost, somewhere
Deep within the holograms written

With the hope of growth
And self-discovery.

After (Food for) Thought

After (Food for) Thought

Am I a Ghost?

An apparition of a memory
Either long forgotten
Or purposely avoided?

Am I a Skeleton?

Left behind in the closet
When you moved,
Leaving me for the new family to neglect.

Am I the Eulogy?

Read by the Pastor to an empty room,
Except for his wife, sitting in the middle of a pew on the left-hand side
Nodding and smiling politely.

Am I the Tombstone?

Mocked by dirt and grass
As it grows wild and thick,
While the worms dine elsewhere.

Am I alive?

 

When a Giant Falls/Salutations from Eternity

When a Giant Falls

What will you do
When the mountain falls?

When lightening cries and thunder claps?

What will you do
When the oak dies?

When the swaying tree begins to snap?

What will you do
When the oceans rise?

When the rivers and lakes run dry?

What will you do
When the sky turns black?

When the sun shines its last goodbye?

Salutations from Eternity

Would you cry in shame?
Your neglect,
The cause.

Would you take pause?

Would you appreciate
Even though
It’s too late?

Would you honor
All that
You’ve destroyed?

Trying to fill the void?

Salutations from Eternity
As we drift across the endless sea.

Waiting…

Sometimes there’s no right way to start something. Sometimes, there’s no wrong way. Most times starting something is difficult. Rarely, is it easy. You can force out your creative juices, shake off the dust, and hope that what starts out as horrible or sub-par turns into something adequate. But, if we’re honest with ourselves, a majority of the time we’re waiting.

But what is it that we’re waiting for?

Time? Space? Money? Support? Acceptance? Permission? Energy? Inspiration? Whatever it is that we’re waiting for, I can bet that the answer we give ourselves is an excuse. It’s an excuse that I’m guilty of giving.

I have five writing projects in my head right now and you know what I’m doing with them…nothing, they’re in my head accumulating additional idea and thoughts and random tangents. I’m waiting for time and inspiration, which is a fanciful lie that I tell myself because I don’t want to face failure or rejection. I’m afraid and I’m using that fear as an excuse.

I have the means to start and complete these five projects, so I should. I’m not waiting on anything or anyone but myself. If anything, these projects are waiting on me.  For the sake of publicly holding myself accountable, these are the projects I have acquiring space in my brain:

  • A post on January progress with books read
  • A post on February progress with books read
  • A post on the Akata Witch and Akata Warrior books
  • Continuing to work on Chayse and the world of Remedium
  • A writing exercise that I may or may not post (I’ve started this project, I need to finish it)

Waiting can be good, sometimes. It’s not all bad. Sometimes waiting allows for clarification and acknowledgement that the idea, story, project or whatever you’re working on is worth the effort. Granted, there are circumstances or life events that are beyond our control that require us to wait, and that’s okay.

With this post I’m reminding myself to grab hold, take charge, and not wait for something to happen when I’m more than capable of making it happen. With that thought in mind, I’m pulled back to my first post here, Fictional Tendencies: The Beginning, specifically the quote from the book A Perfect Union of Contrary Things that reads as follows:

“If you have the means, the knowledge to create something and you don’t, shame on you. If you’re able to be good at your job, to raise a child, to plant a garden, whatever, it’s your responsibility to do it – not only for yourself but for the world.”

Take action. Stop waiting. Your journey starts with a step, where are you headed?

“Nice Pictures.”

Life is filled with adventures and journeys and many a wondrous and complex events, feelings, emotions, thoughts and surprises. It’s no wonder that we humans get overwhelmed with our lives, even though we are mostly responsible for what we fill our lives with. While out on one such adventure I spent a good portion of my time taking pictures; most of them are for my eyes and my families eyes only, after all, they’re our cherished memories. There are some pictures that I was particularly proud of, while others I didn’t think anything, one way good or bad, about them. They are pictures and they captured what I saw. But here comes life, in the form of a close friend, to hit me with a surprise.

The following images I shared with my friend Carl over at Photographic Central and his was response was, “Nice pictures.” Nothing more. Nothing less. And honestly I was a little taken aback. I was expecting a different response. No, I’m not sure what type of response I was expecting but I was hoping it was more than “Nice pictures.”

Now that’s not to say that “Nice pictures.” isn’t  a decent compliment, because it is. It is my fault in expecting, or hoping, that he would see what I see. Maybe he does or did. Maybe he didn’t. I shared some pictures I was proud of and that’s what matters. Whatever you decide to share be proud of it. Don’t expect anyone else to see what you see. Differing opinions are okay. In fact, they are more than okay, they’re great. Ultimately I believe differing opinions have the opportunity to promote and create growth; both personally and artistically.

Carl and I tend to push each other…a lot. We motivate and inspire each other. Sometimes we know whether or not one of us has inspired the other. Most of the time not. We’re men that want to be better men. We strive to be better, to be the best. Do we fail, yes. Do we keep “driving, and striving”? You’re damn right. We have a silent agreement of sorts. A pact.

I sent Carl a link to this blog to let him know, “Hey, not that you need me to tell you this because I’m sure you already know, but I’m still working on my goals and making decent headway.” I sent him a link to my HERE…WE…GO… blog post. If you clicked on the link you’ll see the featured image, a black and white shot of the open ocean.

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My intent was to only share my progress on my goals, nothing more. I wasn’t expecting his response to the image; “Awesome. Love that image too. Really love it.” His response made me do a double take on the image. I threw that in there, the image, because I thought it was a “Nice picture.” Nothing more. Nothing less. But Carl really loves it. Why? I went back and looked over the image and kept asking myself, what does he see that I don’t? And here we are, a day later, and many minutes (possibly hours) spent going over the image that Carl “really loves” and I’m still thinking “What am I missing?”.

The answer is nothing. I’m not missing anything. Pictures. Art. Stories. Images. Everything operates on its own level, its own wave length. What works for me might not work for you. What you find awesome I might find below average. And guess what, that’s okay.

So wherever you are on your journey, whatever stage you’re at with your novel, your canvass, your photography, your art, your creation, wherever you are…that’s where you need to be. It’s okay to be a work in progress, we all are. It’s okay for a friend or family member to not see what you see. Keep creating. Keep moving forward. Allow yourself to be open to the possibility of differing opinions. Embrace life’s little – and big – surprises.

Expect the unexpected.

Your journey starts with a step, where are you headed?

What’s Your Story?

Recently returned from an eight-day adventure/family vacation/journey I’ve come to appreciate my life a little more. My family and I went on a four-day, which really means four nights and the fifth day you return to the original port of departure, Disney Cruise with some great friends and their family. We went to the Bahamas. My main focus of thought with this blog post is appreciation. Appreciation in general. And appreciation for everyone’s story, whatever that may be.

While on the cruise one of our ports of call was the port of Nassau. We took a tour around the island and soaked up its rich and violent history. We heard stories about its corrupt government. Its horrible social and economic status. But, of course, we also soaked up its beautiful people.

Towards the end of the tour we were taken to a beach. While there an older local woman approached us. She was “hustling” her trade, braiding and beading hair. We declined for the moment as we were trying to get settled. As our time on the beach passed my friend’s daughter asked to get her hair braided, which of course triggered my daughter to request the same.

Now, I don’t quite remember where I heard it, so I’ll paraphrase here but I remember hearing or reading something about how everyone has their own story and whatever it is, it is an important one. Maybe I read it from a Neil Gaiman Tweet. Or maybe I read it in an introduction of one of Neil Gaiman’s book. Or was it John Crowley’s? Either way, I remember reading or hearing the about the importance of stories.

When it was my daughter’s turn to have her hair braided and beaded I asked the woman if I could take some pictures of her. Forgive me, but I forgot to ask her what her name was so for the sake of this post I’ll refer to her as Bahama Mama, because she was in fact one.

Bahama Mama tells me that it’s okay for me to take pictures. I thank her. My daughter is complaining about how much her braids hurt. I laugh and tell her, “I told you so.” And Bahama Mama says, “Hush child.”

Keep in mind, we could have her hair braided on the Disney ship but why give them more money when you can give directly to the community itself?

Bahama Mama is talking about how she’s out walking the beaches everyday hustling. Island life isn’t all you would think it is. She’s getting older, she’s 55. She’s anemic, she needs new blood. Her daughter is lazy and doesn’t work. She, Bahama Mama, has to take care of her 5 grandchildren. She can’t do this forever. She’s tired. Her hands hurt, braiding and beading hair for hours on end is hard work.

I sit there in the white sand listening. I ask questions, so does my daughter. Bahama Mama shares what she knows. She shares her story. I thank her.

This is Bahama Mama.

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Your journey starts with a step, where are you headed?

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