Passport to Living

Daily Prompt: A classic question, revisited: what are the five items you must have on a deserted island?

Foolish me, to think anything I possess would be of value to me on a desert island. Tarzan had no need for his father’s suit or photos of his parents holding him in a loving embrace. Would I want to bring photos, or would the images of loved ones be more vivid without a flat, static, image of them? My mind would conjure the scents and feel of them, but the paper would wither and fade. Perhaps I would be called to use it in the fire, desperate I would be at the mirage one evening of a passing ship. I would burn whatever was handy, and realize once the darkness closed in again that I was more utterly alone.

Would I bring a favorite book, to escape my own mind’s delusions? Would I read and remember the comfort of my childhood bedroom and laugh at the irony of man’s imagination, being sucked up into the belly of a whale. Surely, surrounded by marine life, I would come to see them as friends, perhaps nourishment in the web of all that is connected in the energy of life. Would I have a need for such imaginings? Without these fantastical trappings of civilization, wouldn’t I come into a more complete fullness of being, noticing the life all around me, rather than trampling and ignoring it? Surrounded by the cosmos of the ocean, air and beings and feeling the energy of the moon pulling on the tides, uninterrupted by the sights of cars and buildings, the threat of unnatural violence would fade. I would become a part of the Earth. I would be a field of unlimited energy.

Would I wish I had brought some medicine, some fishing line, a few vials of fresh water so I would not lose my mind, as happened to Pi when he was lost at sea? Did these items help him survive any more than he would have on his own? If I brought a gun would I hunt for food and sustain myself, or turn on that being I call myself, and end my misery?

The castaway learns to survive and eventually perishes, just like the rest of us will do who are surrounded by objects of need and longing. They bring us past or forward, but not in the here and now.  So, nah, I wouldn’t bring anything. It’s already there.

Daily Prompt: Five Items

Beloved Author, 101, Dies in Avalanche

Daily Prompt: Six of One, Half Dozen of Another

“Beloved Author, 101, Dies in Avalanche”

It’s more of a news title than the actual story. Here’s an excerpt from the article, which will of course be printed in the New York Times:

“The beloved children’s author amused many generations with her frolicking prose and insightful wit. Her works are still enjoyed to this day by all ages who grew up reading her bestsellers, “One Small World” and “How To Survive School, The Woods and Your Parents.” She guided readers to see the humor in everyday situations and inspired a movement among young people to be active outdoors and treasure nature. Befitting her active lifestyle, the author died on tour in Austria while attempting to outrun an avalanche on a monoski. The video can be seen of the amazing event at the Guinness World Records site. It is believed she had a medical event which led to the avalanche catching up with her, as she was a fast alpiner. At 101, she broke several world records for mountaineering. Her son is the retired founder of Global Solar, the well-known expedition company providing global adventures in hybrid land/amphibian cycling vehicles. At the site, he commented, “My mom had a wonderful, full life. She left this world exactly the way she would have wanted to.”

Honestly, it could happen.

Follow Your Dreams Or They’ll Beat You Down With A Stick

Success as a blogger is simple for me. It is to find and follow bloggers who inspire me emotionally and intellectually, so I was a success as soon as I began to find a little community. I’m inspired by the creativity I’ve witnessed, and that is saying a lot.  I am particularly thrilled that kids (teens old enough to blog!) have liked my stuff, it is reassuring to know I can still evolve my skills and have much to offer still after leaving teaching. This is my life’s work, and I can build on it rather than leave it behind. Thank-you blogging for offering me a medium to reach others.

Each like, I’ve noticed, is typically someone I share a common thread with (unless it’s a transparent internet marketer). Whether it’s another single mom, or another blogger with a similar upbringing or experiences, I keep delighting in that we are able to find one another. I also enjoy when people who I would typically never have the chance to connect with like my writing and when I’m exposed to new ideas. I had thought this is what teaching would offer, and it did, for a while. Education is a little beaten down now, and I need more than it had to offer, especially as a single parent. Monetary rewards just aren’t enough to make diminishing returns feels like a return .

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Not Cool Rolling Stone: A Teacher’s Response

(Note: If I I had the opportunity to convey a message to the world, via the front cover of the NYT, it would be about social responsibility of the media, in the wake of countless shootings and violence.)

Rolling Stone Senior Editor Christian Hoard needs to go back to class, and get some class.

The picture used for the cover of the July 17, 2013 Rolling Stone Magazine was an unashamed bit of poor marketing. It showed the best side of a young man who terrorized Boston, and points well beyond. I’m not one for censorship, at all. The use of the alluring photo of the alleged bomber was a questionable choice, however.  I feel for everyone affected by the bombing, which is everyone, but particularly those still in rehabilitation and mourning, who have to endure Rolling Stone’s miscalculation. Sergeant Sean Murphy, a Massachusetts State Police tactical photographer, must have felt the same and released the not-so-glamorous photo of the alleged bomber we have now. It’s quite a contrast to the Rolling Stone cover.

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Summer Fade

Days are dimming the air has a chill
Of swimming and games children have had their fill

Their skin tells adventures in tanned feet and freckled nose
Legs scratched and bit, pinkish arms and dirty toes

Time to trim the lightened hair, measure shoes and get to sleep
Looking forward to friendships, to making new ones old to keep

It is a beckoning we cannot resist, the ritual of Autumn’s kiss
The rustle of leaves enchant, quieting the birds and frogs of summer bliss

To ants and worms that crawled in and out, we bid farewell friends
On the other side of winter’s throes we will meet again

Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits

It Can Wait

I put off thinking about the time when I will have me a good cry
No time for tears, got some dishes, laundry and painting
Work, clean-up, mothering and sainting

I’d love to talk but can it wait until I get my finances straight?
Every day a daily grind, I put off pampering, I’ll be fine.
You want it when? You’re not pleased. These constant demands bring me to my knees.

No time to pause, I’ll put it off, someday I’ll rest when I pass these tests
I truly would love to read and snooze, I’ll put it off and skip the booze
I’ll have fun when it’s done, when all of my chores are through

If today were my day, Heaven would have wait. I don’t even have time to procrastinate.

Daily Prompt: Procrastination

Freaky Friday: A Girl Who Was Me

Daily Prompt: Freaky Friday

If I could trade places with anyone, it would be me at 22-years-old. I would like her to see me now, and I would like to remember.

Remember my body, my hair, my face. I would like to look in the mirror and laugh at what I did not always know was beautiful. I would tell my reflection I was the most gorgeous thing I’d ever seen. I would style my hair super big and poofy, just because I could, or pull it back in a slick, long ponytail. I would reach back with my flexible arms and enjoy the feel of it low on my back.

I would go for a run, and I would amaze myself. Then I would stay out all night dancing with my friends and I would look good with my moves which are so right on a 22-year-old’s body. I would bask in the attention I received from boys my age, thank them and politely tell them I’m not that kind of girl if they tried to get too close. I would find the nice guy who wasn’t drinking too much and ask him if he wanted to go for a walk by the waterfront. We would talk about our lives and what we hoped to achieve and I would say I’m going to take life as it comes. I enjoy traveling and want to have adventures while I’m young. I don’t care about money or my past. I want to surround myself by people who care about me and leave the rest behind. He would walk me home and nervously ask me for my phone number.

When I arrived at my apartment, my friends would ask me all about it and I would savor every second, living with my best girlfriends. I would tell them they are beautiful and I would listen to all of their hopes and dreams. I would not care if they ate my peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon or their fingers, or if they left dishes in the sink. I would be a silly girl and I would enjoy the evening. They would think I was crazy in love, but I would be crazy happy just to be near them. I would not be thinking too much about the boy by the waterfront because 22-years-old is much too young to care about that, until I found someone who really deserved me.

Before I went to bed I’d write myself a letter. I’d tell myself to enjoy every second and not let life’s cares bring me down. Don’t get too excited either, just take it easy. Be kind to others even when they fail you, because they are human and it has nothing to do with you. You are wonderful and amazing. You are right where you need to be.

I would call my Dad and say hi. He’d be up because he was like that, he wouldn’t even notice the time. He’d ask me about my night out and reminisce about his own nights out, when he was young. He would be young, only 57. I would have to hang up then.

At this point, I’d realize all I have to be blessed with in my life, all the struggles and joys which transformed my body and my mind. I’d be ready to go back. When I returned to my older self I’d find a note, written in purple ink. It’d say we have done amazingly. What a beautiful son and house. I can’t believe this is our life. I never would have imagined some of the friends that stuck with us, or the ones that didn’t, that’s hard to take. We had our hearts broken sometimes. Did we go to Ireland on our honeymoon? I’m glad you divorced him. He was cute but, you can do better. And did we really do all that schooling, and do that for work? Our boy is so amazing, he gives me hope for my future, I can’t wait to hold him again. You must be so happy. We have more than I ever dreamed of.

And that’s it. I would be compelled to embrace life with confidence and assurance that it’s all good because someday I will be 20 years older and that lady would tell this woman to enjoy.