Learning to Use the Remote

Daily Prompt: Moment of Kindness

June 20, 2013

Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.

[http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/daily-prompt-kindness/]

Almost ten years ago, I embarked on my saddest flight journey ever. I was leaving behind my life and people I loved, and I felt lost and as if everything had been wrenched from me, although I didn’t know how to put it in words at the time. My travelling group had an odd number of people, and, with my luck, I happened to be the one assigned to sit alone. Stewing in the aisle seat, not my seat of preference, anger, hurt and frustration welled up inside me. Abandoned.

The flight had one of those television screens built into the back of the seat in front, so I pulled out the remote and tried to find something to watch. But with my luck, guess what? I couldn’t figure out how to make it work. The frustration increased, and I’m not sure I would have been able to stop myself from breaking down if what happened then hadn’t happened.

“Can I help you?” the passenger beside me asked. Needless to say, I gratefully accepted his help and learned how to navigate the remote and the television. Just then, I got a call from the rest of my travelling group. They’d arranged for a place for me next to them.

From what I remember, my co-passenger was Hispanic and in his late twenties. Probably just another guy on just another flight. But he was more than he will ever know to me that day. I still think of him with gratefulness. It’s amazing how something as simple as helping someone out with a remote lingers in people’s memories. He didn’t have to do it, but he did. It wasn’t a huge favor, nor did it right all the wrongs in my life; indeed, it didn’t better my situation at all. But it made me smile. It eased the sting a little bit and reminded me that there is still good in this world, although (again) I couldn’t have put this into words at the time, nor am I sure I even understood why it made me feel better. But it did.

So, Man Who Helped Me, if you happen to be reading this, know that what you did for me that day I deeply appreciate. I hope I have done/will be able to do, for others, what you did for me.

Advertisements

Utter Lack of Ability

Daily Prompt: Might As Well Jump

June 18, 2013

What’s the biggest risk you’d like to take — but haven’t been able to? What would have to happen to make you comfortable taking it?

[http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/daily-prompt-jump/]

I wrote this in “haibun” form, something I have only recently discovered, thanks to this blogger’s page and competition right here: http://yepirategunn.weebly.com/2/post/2013/06/ligo-haibun-challenge-1406-2106.html.

————————————-

I am one of those people who have two left feet. Not the kind that say it out of modesty, mind you – I am absolutely, utterly, horrendously incapable of dancing. To add to that, I’m decidedly overweight as well, making it less cute if I blunder around, tires bulging, than if, say, Cameron Diaz or Enrique Iglesias did.

I associate dancing with passion, sexuality and whirling around in the sheer excitement of living; at least, that’s what it looks like to me when others dance. I would give just about anything to be able to dance, yet unfortunately my sense of pride keeps me from making an absolute fool of myself. Funnily enough, I believe that it’s not so much a general sense of pride holding me back as much as shame: shame for my appearance and my stark lack of ability.

I believe that if I lost weight, or if I (privately) attained a certain minimum level of proficiency in any dance form, I would gain the confidence required to dance in public.

Mistakes and missteps

Make a mockery of me.

Will I ever dance?

 

What Makes People Deserve Awards?

Daily Prompt: Person of the Year

June 13, 2013

You’re asked to nominate someone for TIME’s Person of the Year. Who would it be, and why?

I don’t know all that much about politics. My general knowledge and awareness barely covers things like the unrest in Turkey and Edward Snowden’s uncovering of the NSA’s spying activity. So no, I don’t think I’m qualified, rather, aware enough, to name anyone as person of the year.

But I am keenly aware of what people I know have been through this past year. Several friends have struggled with their education, my roommate has had on-again, off-again depression because of a guy she’s seeing, and yet another friend questioned humanity itself, saying we don’t deserve to exist. I’ve seen nearly everyone I know, whether I like them or not, fight their own battles. One friend lost a father a year ago, another  has fought her weight and managed to lose some, and so on and so forth.

I looked up today’s Figment Daily Theme a while ago:

Your Daily Theme for June 12, 2013
A writer must learn empathy, that ability to fully understand the emotional life of others. Yes, even those we find depressing, boring, or plain old annoying. It’s that understanding of others that helps us shape compelling, three-dimensional characters.

Take a peek at the News Feed of someone you once hid on Facebook, or unfollowed on Twitter, and select a particularly grating recent post (Maybe: “Off to Zimbabwe then Paris! Pictures to follow! Send me a postcard from wherever you are!”), then write at least 500 words in the voice of that person about that post, in a way that helps you better understand him/her without anger, annoyance, or judgment.

…and was stumped. I trawled through old friends’ walls, searching for something good to use to spur my writing. That’s when I realized how much I’d changed. I was spending time with people I really connected with now, people who cared about me too. I was open to new experiences, and more confident about myself and my abilities. As a result, I was  less constricted, much happier, and a more developed, mature person than I’d been a while ago.
So I dedicate my allocated CyberAward of the Year to all of us. We have all grown this past year, no matter what the cause, what the field and what the reason. We have improved our lives and, whether we realized it or not, also had an impact on the lives of those around us. Just ask a friend and see, I dare you to. And isn’t that what this award is about? To have brought about a change in the world, one that affected others and was appreciated? You are an inspiration to several because of how far you’ve come.
Go ahead, take that badge and pin it on. You deserve it.

Breathing Vortices

Your Daily Theme for 5/28/2013
 
Opening Line
 
She sat at the window, nose pressed against the glass until it was numb with cold. She imagined her breath brought frost and her blinks brought rain. From inside her tiny room, she controlled every element of the world outside.
 
Use this as inspiration for a short story or poem.

 

She stared out into the window

Rapidly firing blinks

Like water bombing from a watergun

Or torrents from a thousand sinks

And breathed, through the glass,

Wilfully into the world outside

Creating a universe of Ethereal Beings

In the gloom and darkness to reside.

Faster, faster, first they walked, then ran,

Moshing in a great Wall of Death,

An uproar that even the Heavens noted

With jagged spotlights

Drawn into the maelstrom, coated

With a layer of the ground.

Spiraling out of control,

The vortex turned upon itself ‘round,

And vanished into the sky whole

With but a glimmer.

 

Link to my poem on Figment:

http://figment.com/books/647243-Breathing-Vortices

Petals of Intensity

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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/daily-prompt-dulled/