I went on a nature walk with my creative writing students a few weeks ago. A week of lazy afternoon suns had warmed up the little bit of winter we received here in Texas, and Spring was vividly pulsing through the air. The Texas mountain laurel had just put on their blooms, and the smell of grape kool-aid made me light-headed as we walked the trail behind our school.
We had begun to study haikus, and it seemed the perfect day to experience the birth that nature gives to writing. After our brief repose, we came back and wrote haikus about things we noticed the world was saying to us. It has been almost a month since then, and our work with haikus has undoubtedly improved. Here are a couple I wrote on that first day:
what are you doing here, sir?
Your flowers sleep still.
Breathing quiet life
like frozen pond lilies do –
Silence calls to me.
“What if hearts were made of waffles?” Elise mused, her pigtails bobbing slightly as syrup from the bottle pooled on her plate and drizzled over the side from the unsteadiness of hands not quite as big as the questions she posed.
“Well, then love would be as deliciously sweet as you are,” I replied, dipping my finger in powdered sugar and adding a slight dusting to her cherub nose.
The scent of sugar and the late Sunday morning sun formed an amnesiac aura around the kitchen of our one bedroom apartment, impregnating the space with the peace of forgetfulness; tomorrow it will rain, papers will be washed in ink, and the acrid earthy smell of a life that was promised will drown out the candied moments of family memories shared around the breakfast table, but for now, I had waffles and syrup and Elise asking big questions that have hard answers all while lifting up the sun with her little hands.
DV-2301 didn’t choose the Stormtrooper life; the Stormtrooper life chose him.
Gifted with crafting form from a brushstroke of color, his childhood was spent drawing on the various canvases of life – illuminating flickers of hope in the wake of Imperial domination which had cast its shadow over the small corner of the galaxy he called home.
Now, his canvases were orders carried out with precision and unwavering loyalty, and his palette were the whites, chromes, and blacks of his station; he was the paintbrush moved by an invisible hand who painted astoundingly beautiful atrocities in the name of peace.
In response to: Three Line Tales – Week Fifty-Three
In response to Daily Prompt: Craft
Featured Image: Daniel Cheung via Unsplash (CC0 Public Domain)
Special thanks to Sonya at Only 100 Words for organizing and curating these Three Line Tales every week.
A week ago, my school selected me among several staff members to travel to the Netherlands. I am beyond excited to have been given this rare and wonderful opportunity to attend the educational programs and participate in discussions at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Below is the essay I wrote as part of my application. These words move beyond the page to my very soul. They are my beliefs, my hopes, my dreams. I hope they help you dream, too.
I want to be a world builder, an architect drafting plans for human greatness. I draw inspiration from those who have come before me; their words reaching back through the ether of a dusty page. With this raw material, I form it into dialogue and reflection, and I use it to brush away the ash of anger, insecurity, fear, hate, and war that the world tries to slip under my door. It is the lens through which I see beauty left in this world.
Being an educator gives me the opportunity to share this beauty with others. I could live a thousand lifetimes and not experience the full gamut of joys that come from dedicating one’s life to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. My Dad has an old saying: “The only thing in this world they cannot take from you is your education.” The older I become, the more I read, and the more I see the tribulations in this world increasing, the more I understand its truth.
I believe Anne Frank inherently embraced this truth, and it was through her understanding that an etching of its beauty was placed upon the soul of the world. Even though her talent and proclivity for evoking the human spirit through word was taken too early, she achieved her dream of becoming a writer, and while she may not have wanted it, she became a most wondrous educator. I, too, want my words to matter, to have them leave etchings on the hearts of those I teach. I, too, want the quiet conscience of having done all the good I can to build up my students.
Armed with these beliefs, I want to participate fully in all things to increase my capacity for human greatness. I owe it to the futures of my students to increase their capacity to hope, love, and dream – to be resilient in the face of adversity. I want them to look out the windows of their school and see the beauty that awaits them.
This new antiseptic aesthetic
has erased the trappings
of what it means to be human,
slandering the gamut
of emotions and experiences
which define our very existence.
I thought I knew what I wanted to write about when my fingers flew over the keys and the words above poured forth. Sitting here, now 15 minutes later, there are no other words bubbling up. Truthfully, it wouldn’t matter if the words that came next moved the mountainous foundations of the hardest hearts. They would be empty because I am deflated.
This is how I feel – antiseptic. Stripped bare of all the fierceness of my human frailty. That in a society that spends its good names in service of some “money knows best” dais of superiority, there is no room left to feel anything else. It just hurts too damn much. The words, at least for today, are in short supply.
In response to Daily Prompt: Aesthetic
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Depression” by Unsplash (CC0 Public Domain)
when this final book is done,
I’ll slip it back on the shelf.
A light shifting of dust
will plume into the air
as they settle,
knowing this arduous task is complete,
will settle back on the divan
like the soft shake
of memories from books past.
There is a contented understanding
this moment will come to pass,
and I welcome it
with the knowing smile
of an old friend.
In response to Daily Prompt: Someday
Featured Image: Pixabay – “Someday” by voltamax (CC0 Public Domain)
Life is made up of fleeting moments
like the click, click, click
of a slide show switching
from one frame to the next.
Catch them and hold onto them.
But not too tightly!
Be more like a child –
peeking between thumbs
of their cupped hands
at the blink, blink, blink
of a lightning bug
before the light goes out forever.