Outside as Inside

“the rarest chords in the soul’s harmonics/ Are found in the minor strains of life.”

-E. Wheeler Wilcox,”Life’s Harmonies”

It started out as a happy song, but I loved the sound of the haunting minor chords too much. Keys tapped out A-minor, and soon there were tears in my eyes.  It’s difficult enough dealing with sexism as it is. It’s much more difficult dealing with it at home, coming from those you love. I traced the cracks on the wall, first gently, then savaging my fingers against the rough edges until they were numb. Outside, the sky was as gray as I was. The open door beckoned, a portal. The edges of my mouth turned up as I flew.

photo by sulaco229 at rgbstock.com

prompt provided by : http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.in/

The Real Problem: Trust in Judgement

Daily Prompt: Keep Out

July 9, 2013

Who is the one person you hope isn’t reading your blog? Why?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us OUTSIDE.

Oh ho ho this is a good ‘un. Who do I hope isn’t reading my blog?

1. my parents

2.my siblings

3.friends who are on that fine border between friends and best friends

4. best friends

I’m guessing most people are uncomfortable with people close to them reading their blog, and that I’m not displaying alien tendencies by being so. So then I asked myself why I’m most uncomfortable showing my real thoughts and feelings to the people I’m closest to. The answer sounds like it belongs in a sale-bin-delegated self-help book. I think it’s because you care so much about the people closest to you and they mean so much to you that you’re afraid to let them down. You know them well enough to know what they approve of (or think you do) and are scared of driving them away or causing disapproval by exposing anything to the contrary. It’s also because: (a) they will judge you and (b) unlike strangers, you allow them to judge you and believe in their judgement. So basically, if they have a negative view of what you write (which, I’m assuming, comes from a place in you that people around you don’t usually see) then your self-opinion and estimation of self-worth dips. Tremendously.

So yes. I’m trying to work on gradually showing more and more people my blog. It serves the purpose of both increasing your self confidence and reducing your fear of what others think of you. It also kind of weakens that bond between your self-confidence and others’ opinions of you. Wow. Thank you Daily Post, you made me really think.

I Didn’t Choose the Nomadic Life: the Nomadic Life Chose Me

Daily Prompt: Rolling Stone

July 7, 2013

If you could live a nomadic life, would you? Where would you go? How would you decide? What would life be like without a “home base”?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRAVEL.

The attraction of nomadic life is coincidentally the exact same reason why books with adolescent heroes are so popular. I read somewhere a few years ago that adolescence represents to us the best, most carefree part of life; a time without liabilities; a time when passion and energy are enough to move mountains; a time, in short, when there are no restrictions and anything is possible.

Nomadic life offers much the same – freedom from all your worldly cares. Just think for a moment: if you didn’t live in any fixed place, would you be worrying about the size of your neighbor’s house? about “keeping up with the Joneses”? about getting that dude back who parked so appallingly you had to wait an hour to get out of your spot? Would you even, I venture, worry about government? about whether you fit in? about why the latest celebrity-outcast decided to get a new hairdo? about whether your butt looks big in this?

No. I’m guessing we’d all be more concerned with our families. Maintaining relationships with those who matter; showing love. Appreciating (and treating with respect) nature. Doing whatever makes us happy, whether it’s touring that ancient city, climbing that mountain, starting a business, or learning to do that stupid thing that everyone thinks is a waste of time, but you’ve always wanted to do.

We love the idea of the nomadic way of life because it frees us of the unofficial constraints of society. Although we don’t live in Jane Austen’s world of mile-long lists of etiquette requirements and (miles-longer list) social faux pas, we still feel an obligation of sorts to deny ourselves happiness and instead plod along like everyone else; to deny ourselves happiness because others are too afraid to grab theirs, and sneer us into guilty inaction. Being a nomad would mean that we would have no obligations or responsibilities towards anyone or anything we didn’t wish to be held responsible to. Oh, and yes – you’d figure out how many of your Facebook friends you care about enough to actually stay in touch with. Har har.

Also, while on topic, I want to share an amazing photoblog a friend happened to recommend – it’s about a couple and their daughter who live like legit nomads. If you have a minute, check them out at http://www.theroadishome.com/.

Shaken awake in semi-darkness

My bleary eyes focus on light

Fighting into my room

And blinding me

Through the crack between door and carpet.

Parents’ voices, low and urgent,

Frantic with pre-travel panic

Yet strangely soothing:

I want to go back to sleep

But mom’s saying get up,

You can sleep in the car later.

Brush, shower, dress

Grab a pillow and your carry-on;

Let’s go.

I remember that plane rides are fun.

Me? Awards?

So I just got nominated for two awards:

 

 

 and  

I have only been blogging for a while now, and I really love WordPress. I have gotten to read writing by so many talented people out here, and I am so flattered that I have been nominated for these awards.

The Rules:

  1. Link back to the person who nominated you
  2. Display the logo
  3. Nominate 10 bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated.

These are some questions I answered:

Favorite color – Blue

Favorite animal – lion

Favorite number – 3

Favorite non-alcoholic drink – iced tea

Prefer FaceBook or Twitter – FaceBook, for sure.

My passion/s – writing, reading, playing the guitar/piano, and singing.

Prefer getting or giving presents – I will be completely honest here: getting.

Favorite pattern – Minimalistic designs. They are easily the classiest, and look good on anything for any occasion.

Favorite days of the week – Friday and Saturday, since the next day’s a holiday.

Favorite flower – This will sound very cliche, but the rose is my favorite flower.

So now, people I’d like to, in turn, nominate for these awards are:

http://bluebeadpublications.com/

http://melissajanda.wordpress.com/

http://theeclecticeccentricshopaholic.wordpress.com/category/awards-thank-you/

http://floatingsheep.wordpress.com/

http://likereadingontrains.wordpress.com/

 

I think you’re supposed to nominate ten, but seeing as I”m relatively new to WordPress, I couldn’t manage more than this.

I also want to nominate bloggers outside WordPress for the Sunshine Award:

http://iwritestoriesandthings.blogspot.in/

http://wordcut.blogspot.in/

because reading their stuff makes my day. Since they’re not on WordPress, I can’t nominate them for both. *sigh*

Thank you for putting such amazing work out there. I’m really happy I stumbled on to your blogs! And a special thank you to Blue Bead Publications, who nominated me. I’m flattered. I also want to mention that I don’t want you to feel compelled to pass this award on; I just wanted to show my appreciation for your blog by nominating you. Cheers!

 

 

Long Days and Lullabies

This week’s Trifecta Challenge:

CLUB

1a : a heavy usually tapering staff especially of wood wielded as a weapon b : a stick or bat used to hit a ball in any of various games c : something resembling a club 2a : a playing card marked with a stylized figure of a black clover b : plural but sing or plural in constr : the suit comprising cards marked with clubs 3a : an association of persons for some common object usually jointly supported and meeting periodically; also : a group identified by some common characteristic <nations in the nuclear club>  

[See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/06/trifecta-week-eighty-two.html#comment-form]

Ray was exhausted. His top-level corporate job had paid for his lifestyle, but left him with very little time to spend with his son, Jason. He sighed. He’d have to make a better effort. Starting tomorrow. Today, all I want is a glass of…

“Oh, you’re home,” El called. She kicked her heels off and sank into the sofa.” Rick called today- he wanted to remind you about some concert thing planned for Saturday. Macklemore.”

Ray started. He’d forgotten entirely. He and Rick had spent their entire adolescent lives idolizing him. When they’d heard that this tour was to be his last, Rick had persuaded him to buy front-row tickets.

When he looked up, she’d fallen asleep. Poor thing. Covering her with a blanket, he headed for the kitchen to pour himself a drink.

Just as he reached, he heard noises from Jason’s bedroom. “Hey pal,” he said, finding him awake. “Couldn’t sleep?”

“I had a scary dream…I want Mommy to sing a song,” he said, eyes wide.

“Well, Mommy’s asleep, so how about I sing you a lullaby tonight?”

“M’kay,” mumbled Jason, happily. “Now, what am I going to sing for you today?” he wondered aloud. Is it too late now to call Rick? The concert is on Saturday.

“Mommy sings me songs from when she was a kid,” Jason murmured.

I remember my first concert, thought Ray with a smile.  We used to sing along to “Thrift Shop” all the time back then.

Almost without realizing it, he found himself humming it. “I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket…” He grinned; lowering his voice, trying to disguise it as a lullaby, he continued, “Walk into the club, like what up I got a big – ” Oops

“-cork,” he completed, flustered, darting a glance at his son. Had he noticed? But Jason lay still, already asleep. Ray felt his throat constrict. “I promise I’ll be home more often,” he whispered fiercely to his sleeping son.

—————————-

So this is the short version. Initially, I got carried away and wrote around 750 words before I got a friendly reminder (thank heavens for those!) that it was way over the word limit. Still, I have a soft corner for the original, so I decided to add it below, just in case anyone’s interested in reading it.

Turning the key to let himself in, Ray made straight for the living room and put his briefcase down near his favorite recliner. He was exhausted. His top-level corporate job had paid for his house, his cars, and (he suspected) had also had a small role in his getting his wife. Unfortunately it left him with very little time to spend either on his hobbies or with his son, Jason. At three years old, Jason was reaching that age when parental presence (or its absence) sets the tone for their lifelong parent-child relationship. He sighed. He’d have to make a better effort. Starting tomorrow. Today, all I want is a glass of…

“Oh, you’re home,” El called by way of welcome, standing in the doorway, laptop bag in hand. Her job in the media kept her, if possible, even busier than his kept him. Elizabeth kicked her heels off and sank into the sofa, flexing the soles of her feet and moaning with relief.

“Long day?” he asked.

“You bet,” she said, closing her eyes. “Right now all I want is some sleep.” She settled in deeper into the sofa. “Oh, by the way, your childhood friend Rick called – he wanted to remind you about some concert thing you had planned for Saturday. Macklemore’s Grand Finale apparently.”

Ray started. He’d forgotten entirely. He and Rick had spent their entire adolescent lives idolizing him. When they’d heard that this tour was to be his last, Rick had persuaded him to finally give in to impulse. Together, they’d bought front-row tickets for the concert. Right now all I want is some sleep, he thought, echoing El.

“…but I need to watch the LVBN ’26 Awards thing,” El was saying. “It’s supposed to be on tonight. I need to,” she yawned,”make sure…,” another yawn, “that….” yawning again, she drifted off to sleep.

He smiled. Poor thing. Getting a blanket from their linen closet, he covered her, dimmed the lights, and headed for the kitchen to pour himself a drink before calling Rick back.

Just as he was tilting the decanter, he heard the sound of something expensive (grimace) falling. Eyebrows furrowed, he put down his glass and stepped out into the hallway. He’d updated his security system just a month or two ago; it was a pretty expensive one too.Just to be on the safe side however, he grabbed a steel ladle from the kitchen before heading down the hallway.

Peeking into the living room, he saw Jason standing there, teddy bear dragging, blinking sleepily, and inwardly sighed with relief. “Hey pal,” he said, squatting down to his son’s level. “Couldn’t sleep?” He sheepishly tucked the ladle behind a wooden table nearby.

“I had a scary dream,” he pouted, looking up. “I want Mommy to sing a song,” he said, looking worried, eyes wide.

“C’mere,” said Ray, standing up and lifting his three-year-old into his arms. “Mommy’s asleep, so how about I sing you a lullaby tonight?”

“M’kay,” mumbled Jason, already burrowed happily into his father’s shoulder.

Laying him on the bed, Ray tucked Jason into his solar-system-themed comforter. The absence of Pluto still irritated him all these years later.

“Now, what am I going to sing for you today?” he wondered aloud. Is it too late now to call Rick? The concert is on Saturday. Two days away.

“Mommy sings me songs from when she was a kid,” Jason murmured, snuggling into his pillow.

I remember my first concert, thought Ray with a smile. I had to practically sign my freedom away to go see Macklemore, me and Rick both. We used to sing along to “Thrift Shop” all the time back then.

Almost without realizing it, he found himself humming it. “I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket…”

He grinned, realizing how much he’d missed Macklemore. Lowering his voice, trying to disguise it as a lullaby, he smiled at Jason and continued, “Walk into the club, like what up I got a big – ” and stopped himself just in time. Macklemore isn’t for lullabies, what’s wrong with me?

“-cork,” he completed, flustered, darting a glance at his son. Had he noticed? But Jason lay still, already asleep. Listening to the sound of his son’s steady breathing, Ray felt his throat constrict. “I promise I’ll be home more often,” he whispered fiercely to his sleeping son. “I love you.”

Pulling the door closed, Ray went through his phone’s contact list till he found the name Rick.