I like trying my hand at http://figment.com/ ‘s Daily Themes from time to time. They give you a prompt, which you’re supposed to reply to in 100 words. This is my first take at poetry on Figment.
Your Daily Theme for 5/21/2013
What You Want
Characters are motivated by things that they want. These can be physical or emotional, tangible or intangible. Take five minutes and list things you want (“wealth, a passing grade in chemistry, to learn things quickly, to be admired by everyone I meet, to beat the next level of Candy Crush…”), then pick one of those desires. Write a brief scene or poem about a person who has that thing. How is he different from you? What does she want?
“She walks in beauty” was never more true
She walks with the confidence beauty doth imbue
People such as her with.
She stands tall and proud and
Looks every woman and man
In the eye. She can
Instill utter insecurity
Or speak her mind with impunity,
She is always forgiven.
One aspect makes life
Far easier in compare;
Things and people
From attraction cannot forbear.
Confidence leads to things
Such as success in travails;
That take her to new heights,
Lead her past crags
To peaks undiscovered
Or maybe unreachable.
Not to her,
But to me
For I walk not in beauty.
Link to my poem on Figment:
I was walking out on the porch with my mother today as she caught me up on several months’ worth of news, and I her. Nine o’clock at night and the breeze was deliciously electrifying, and the dark perfect for confidences. I prattled on about my life for a while before letting her take over; I got to hear about everything from housing developers, deception and lawsuits to the Koreans who’d moved in next door. Looking out at the purplish-maroon, almost-starless sky, it hit me that this was life – there was always someone to catch up with, someone who wanted to share news and some time with you. You hop from setting to setting in life, always with different groups of people; first you’re with the one, then you switch partners, almost like a lifelong dance.
It struck me earlier in the day that this was what liberation and adulthood meant – learning that everything is transient – and not being bothered by it; reveling in it almost, reveling at your capability for adaptation and enjoyment and understanding of life and people, and their need for space and change; and appreciation and acceptance of yourself as an individual, not dependent on anyone but yourself; the ability to look optimistically at life and take advantage of every situation you’re vaulted into with a leap.
Just today’s little epiphany.
Daily Post: Bittersweet Memories
You receive a gift that is bittersweet and makes you nostalgic. What is it?
Photographers, show us GIFT.
I felt my hands get heavier as she placed my surprise gift in it. It wasn’t for my birthday, and it wasn’t Christmas either….she just told me she’d found something that had reminded her of me, so she’d picked it up while on the road, at some dusty stop somewhere.
“Can I open them now?” I asked, slightly impatient and irritated, more from fear of disappointing her by my reaction than anything else.
“Sure,” she replied. I could hear her smiling through her words.
I opened my eyes slowly, and looked down at my cupped palms – it was a Nintendo 64 Donkey Kong game cartridge. It was several seconds before I could shake my gaze away; a shiver ran down my spine as I looked her in the eye and tried to make her understand what was going through me, because, for once, I had no words.
My mind flashed back to the days my friends and I used to play Donkey Kong on the Nintendo 64 gaming console. I was eight or nine years old, at most, and Donkey Kong used to feature heavily in our after-school get-togethers. It reminded me of a time of happiness in my life, a time I wished I had gradually grown out of, instead of being plucked from in the sort of rude awakening life tends to dole out at one point or another. The days after that had been difficult to get through – hours and days and weeks and months and years of loneliness and tear-stained pillows, bad grades and self-doubt. It was only much later that I’d managed to get it together again and grow strong enough to go out and get the things I knew were waiting for me – one of them being her.
I jerked an arm around her and pulled her close in a one-armed hug, not letting go of that piece of my childhood, and buried my head in the crook of her neck. She put her arms around me then, and I knew she was smiling that serene smile of hers. She’d understood.
Whether you’re in school, in college, working, or retired, I’m betting the debate has been brought to you in one form or the other: is the internet a boon or a bane? Is the internet distracting us from what’s important in life (typical points being family, friends, relationships, etc.) or is it helping us grow and learn more about the world and helping us stay more in touch with each other? Or, if both, then which effect affects us more? Even, is it worth staying in touch with several people across the world at the cost of the person who’s standing there right in front of you? In general I think, personally, that the internet is like magic. Just like Hagrid warns Harry about magic, and how not all wizards are good, I think that no item or invention is inherently good or evil – it depends on the use we choose to put them to. That said, I believe that people love blame-shifting; makes us feel better. “It’s not my fault – the mug just slipped….”, or “I would have been able to find it if I had a better organizer”, or even, “It’s not my fault – the test was just way too hard!” We’ve always loved blaming something or someone else for our own lapses in focus or responsibility. As the saying goes, a poor workman always blames his tools. How is the internet any different? We had loners and unsociable people before the advent of the internet too, just as we had loafers and discourteous people who ignored people around them for something or someone else. It just so happens that, today, almost all our ways and means of enjoyment or killing time are linked in some way to the internet, so we’ve found a good blanket term to substitute for “laziness” and use as a scapegoat for our own lack of etiquette or priorities. A friend and I share a certain belief regarding the importance of various forms of communication, and the priority that you give people using each of them, that can be expressed like this: someone you’re texting/chatting online with <someone you’re talking on the phone with < someone you’re talking face-to-face with (which should be pretty self-evident, but doesn’t seem to be as important to people as they claim) I think everyone is aware of what their priorities are or should be, and yet chooses to disregard it. We all, as a people, see our guilt reflected in that of those who put the internet above their human connections and relationships, and, to ease our own consciences, blame their lapses on the internet. So anyway, I like to compare the internet to magic – it helps us stay in touch and learn more and do just about everything with less effort. But, like magic, it can have both positive and negative effects. At the end of the day, it’s the bond we’ve shared with those around us which’ll make our lives worth living, which will make us want to get up in the morning. Nothing should ever get in the way of that – least of all a set of cables, a circuitboard and binary code. And now, I should get off the internet and go spend some time with family. See, Ma? Writing prompts are good for me.
Daily Prompt: Dulled
You encounter a mysterious man offering you a magic potion that, once sipped, will make one of your senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) super sharp — but dull the others. Will you sip it, and if so, what sense do you choose?
“Yes! Sight,” I replied without thinking, and before I could look away I suddenly saw him illuminated, bathed in an aura of petals of purple and gold at the fringes and, as I went deeper, colors I couldn’t explain, colors which were not so much colors as…feelings. I could suddenly see him with absolute clarity. But that didn’t quite cover it. I normally saw at people, if that made sense. But now…now I really saw him – saw his thoughts, his feelings, the very intensity and progression of his feelings.
It didn’t quite matter that I had to lean in a little to hear what he said next; it didn’t matter when our parting handshake felt like we were clasping each others’ hands through thick woolen mittens; didn’t quite matter when the coffee I drank fifteen minutes later felt like thick water running down my throat. I could finally see.
The title of my blog, “Wind and Laughter”, is what makes me feel most alive – what makes me me. So I went looking for the perfect place to write an alive-y post, and landed up sitting at my dining table – right smack dab in the middle of the house. (and then wondered for a moment whether that has a deeper meaning, that I feel alive only in the middle of things. Seems highly likely.) Anyway, I wanted this über-happy first post to sort of set this really happy keynote for my blog. So, cliché as it may seem, I settled for writing about beginnings.
I love to write, but, for several years now, I’ve settled for just knowing the fact that I can write. Never really found an outlet. So one day, I was just talking about writing with a friend (who also writes), and we made a sort of pact – each of us would write a blog for atleast the next semester, and, at the end, we would give each friend about 30 different blogs from which to pick out our own. So, me being typically me, I opened an account on tumblr, figment and wordpress…in the space of about a week. Started using the other two actually, then got sidetracked reblogging stuff. Yeah….so anyway, then I decided wordpress was where I’d actually write write, so now here I am. The actual beginning. Of this chapter at least.
Lemony Snicket’s “The Bad Beginning” keeps running through my head relentlessly as I write this (some things just demand to be written down), so I will, to use the phrase, pen one of his quotes down.
“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters
As I write this, I’m smiling to think how much I’ve changed as a person – almost ten years ago, I opened a diary my best friend at the time had given me with another of Lemony Snicket’s quotes: “The sad truth is that the truth is sad.” Although maybe I give myself too much credit – time and circumstances are probably to thank for soothing old wounds. And for being kind enough to give me enough good to make me see life with bright eyes again.
I want to feel alive again. I want to feel in control and in charge of my life. I want to be happy and help happiness multiply, as overstated an aim as that may be. But I will try. So here’s to new beginnings and happiness. And to life.