Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday Tales: Fireflies



Dusk passed into night. The trees blocked out the sky, so there were no stars, no moon, no light.

No light save for the sparks from my jar. The light started and stopped, flashes of illumination that threw shadows in the woods.  Shadows that made you see apparitions that may or may not be there. They fed the fears that lay in your heart.

I really couldn't walk any further. It was to the point now that I was just dragging my feet along with me, stumbling through my need to rest. Just for one minute.

Not one step more could I go.  I set the jar down in the middle of the path and laid down beside it, my head cradled in my arms as I stared into the jar's depths. The lights spun around the inside, mesmerizing in the darkness.

I counted the fireflies. One. Two. Three. Six. Ten. Ten fireflies. Ten wishes. I closed my eyes and thought of the things I might wish for on this dark night.

Some said it was foolish to make wishes, dreams with no firmer foundation than a bit of superstition.

But, when you've lost everything, sometimes wishes and superstitions are the only things you have left. The only hope you have left.

And so I wished with all my heart.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

You Aren't The Words

Words.

There are a lot of words thrown around at us, and around us, and about us.  We hear those words and we let them become a part of us. We listen to them and we think we are them.

And that would be okay, were it not for the words not always being true. They come out of jealousies and disgruntlements.  They come out of selfishness and misunderstanding. They come out of snap judgments and a lack of love.

You are too fat, too thin. Too sarcastic, too trusting. Too abrasive, too grumpy. Too, too, too, too.

But, these things are not you.  They are not who you are.

You are wonderfully made. You are precious and you are amazing. And maybe you aren't perfect. But, you are you. And you is a pretty wonderful thing to be.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday Tales: Letter from Fate



The fog clung to the ocean, like two lovers unwilling to part. The cold seeped through the holes in my sweater and I pulled it tighter against me.

"Sammy!" My golden retriever had bounded into the cold water to chase off the waves.  "Come on, boy! Time to go home!"  He ignored me, but hunkered down in the sand just past the water's reach, something in his paws to gnaw on. As I approached him, a tiny bit of sunlight broke through the clouds and glinted off whatever Sammy had.  "What is that?"

I bent down to wrestle it from him.  Not the driftwood I'd expected, but a bottle.  A bottle with a letter inside.  Really? Does that really happen? Settling into the sand beside Sandy, I popped the cork out of the bottle and let the paper slide into my hands.

To Whomever Finds This Bottle:

First, if you're a guy, could you recork it and throw it back?

Second, if you're a girl, please keep reading.

I guess you could call me shy. I'm not very good at meeting people. It seems harder to meet people nowadays. I can't really stomach the bar scene, and meeting someone through the personals just seems so... impersonal. So, while this doesn't make a lot of sense, I figure that maybe Fate will bring the right two people together, so I'm trusting Fate to put this letter in the hands of the right woman.

I'd like to tell you that I'm a handsome male model with a Ferrari, two houses, and enjoy long walks on the beach in the moonlight.  But, it's probably more honest to say I'm not a BAD-looking guy with an economy car that runs most of the time, an apartment, and will partake in a long walk on the beach in the moonlight if there's promise of a goodnight kiss later, but would be just as happy watching movies on my couch.

I like coffee and reading, will run if chased, and have an uncanny ability to work quotes from Lord of the Rings into any conversation.  This has proven to be both a great party trick and terribly annoying. I apologize in advance.

If any of this hasn't turned you off completely, and you think that maybe Fate could be right...  I'd welcome a note back? I've included a PO box at the bottom.  

Till we meet,
Robert

"What a sweet guy," I murmured aloud.  Of course it was silly.  But I slipped the letter back into the bottle, and slipped the bottle into my pocket. Fate hadn't really been much of a friend to me in the past, but maybe she could be given one last chance.

Lord of the Rings was a pretty good set of movies.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Out of the Mud

I like to organize.  My books, my clothes, my shoes, my thoughts. Even just this blog is full of days where I have turned thoughts over and over, examined events and relationships and beliefs, stuck somewhere between wanting to move on and not wanting to let go.  And as long as I was figuring it all out, it gave me permission to not do anything. I convinced myself that I shouldn't act until I knew, that it was okay to stay mired in the mud as long as I was still studying it.

I'm done studying it.

I don't have it figured out yet.  There are still things I'd like to know, conversations I'd like to have, confusion I'd like settled, and questions I'd like answered. I still want to know the why's and the how's and the when's. But, you don't have to know the chemical makeup of mud to know that it's... muddy and wet and uncomfortable. You don't have to know when the mud developed to spray yourself off with a hose.

You can just... get out of the mud.  Simple.  Maybe not easy.  But simple.

You can choose not be muddy. You can choose to wash off. You can choose to let go and move on, even if you don't know everything. Even if you don't have it worked out. What does working it out do for you?  Does understanding it really make it easier on your heart?

It's okay not to understand it. But it's not okay to go on forever letting it cover and strangle you.

Get out of the mud... wash off.  Be clean.


Friday, December 7, 2012

You Mean Something

You mean something to me, and I want you to know that.

To mean something, it feels important. It means we have a reason for being. A reason for getting up every day.

It means being seen. Not just being a face in the crowd, an anonymous someone that would never be missed if they left.

You mean something to me.

I hurt when you hurt. I cry when you cry.
I am happy when you are happy. I rejoice when you are joyful.

You mean something to me.

Don't go through this life thinking that you have no impact. Don't go through it, believing you're unimportant.

You're important to me.

And maybe that isn't Nobel Prize winning. Maybe that isn't Oscars and Grammys and Pultizer prizes.  But you're important to me.

I would miss you if you were gone. I miss you today.

So don't forget... you mean something to me.  And maybe that isn't much, but it's big to me, and I hope it's at least something to you.



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday Tales: The Escape




Lissa struggled to breathe as the hand clenched tightly around her waist.  He always did squeeze too tight. The door opened, his grip loosened, and she tumbled into her cell. Jessie followed in after her. Lissa drew a deep breath, filling her lungs with air again, only turning when she'd heard the key click in the lock.

"Goodnight, my fairies," came the commanding voice.

Lissa and Jessie both curtsied, their wings fluttering lightly. "Goodnight sir," they chirped obediently.  And then the lights went out.

Jessie straightened her tunic as the door closed behind him. "Ugh," she exclaimed in disgust. "I swear, Lissa. His fingers get more and more intrusive every week. These girls aren't for the likes of him!" She patted her bosom protectively.

Lissa laughed softly. "Oh Jessie, he does not. Come on, we could have ended up with a lot worse owners than Mr Rastin. You've heard the horror stories of other fairies.  He's pretty nice to us, captivity aside."

"I guess. But, it's still captivity. Do you remember what it was like to fly anywhere we wanted?" Jessie wandered to the edge of the cage and looked longingly toward the small window in the room.

"Only a little.  It's been a long time."

Jessie was silent, but the sound of the cage's wire twisting around and around in its slot filled the room. "Lissa." She finally spoke. "Lissa, come here."

"What is it?"

"Lissa, this bar... it's loose. Really loose." Her eyes shone with excitement. "We could get out." With that, the bar popped out of its slot, leaving an opening just big enough for a petite fairy to squeeze through. Jessie tested its size, treading air just outside.  "Come on, Lissa... we can fly out that window right now and be free."

Lissa hesitated. "Jessie, we don't know what's out there. There could be werewolves or vampires or dragons.  And what if we starve? We don't even know how to find food, and Mr Rastin feeds us really well every day. And he provides us with clothes and beds and books and--"

"And a cage!" Jessie glared. "He keeps us in a cage!"

Lissa couldn't meet her gaze. "I'm sorry. I just... I can't."

Jessie turned toward the window. "Well, I'm going. I just can't stay locked up here anymore. I'm going."  She turned and looked back at her companion of so long. "Please come, Lissa. Please."

A tear rolled down Lissa's cheek. "I can't. I'm... I'm afraid."

"Suit yourself, I guess. I'll miss you."  She flew to the window, pushed it open, and was gone.

-------------

It had been 40 years since that night. Lissa sat on the couch of her fairy cage and looked out toward the window. She'd always wondered how her life would have been different if she'd gone with Jessie.

She'd always wondered what her life would have been like if she hadn't been afraid to fly.



.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What I've Learned From Loss and Failure

This is not the end.  Failure hurts, but it is not the end. It is not the end of my life. It is not the end of happiness. It is not the end of success.  It is not the end. The story goes on...

Love and support are crucial to healing, but so is accountability.  It feels really nice to be supported and encouraged and pet on the head. But a good friend knows that there is a time for petting and there is a time for kicking in the butt.  When yours kick you, don't leave them.  Loving you enough to take the risk of you fighting back is more love than you will ever have from anyone else.

Taking stock is important. You need to know why you fell down. What did you do? What did something do to you? How can you change it for next time?  If you don't take stock, it's just one more falling down.  But if you look around first, if you think about what happened, if you think about it how you can change that for the future, then your fall has stopped being a failure and has begun to be a lesson. Learn from it.


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