Introducing ‘Whit Wednesday’

Day 20 #iWriteDaily

Here’s a tip of the hat to a great blog I’ve connected with recently. You’ll find The Electric Idealist over at wsquared.blog. It’s a thoughtful place with some beautiful writing!

Today is their “Wordless Wednesday,” when the offering is a picture to ponder. As I’m running behind on just about everything today, while still wanting to complete the 30-day #iWriteDaily challenge, I thought I’d borrow a page from their playbook and introduce “Whit Wednesday.”

A whit is defined as a very small part or amount. So starting today, I’m giving myself permission to post something very small, a whisper (another synonym of whit) of a post, and not feel guilty that I didn’t do enough here.

So here goes. Welcome to Whit Wednesday!

Kind of a mind bender, but I love this!

Artist’s Conk, right side up

Day 19 #iWriteDaily

Several days ago I posted this photo on Facebook. It’s a collection of mushrooms or fungus that I couldn’t identify, growing on a rotting birch branch, downed during recent high winds.

None of my FB friends recognized it either. One of them asked where I was standing in relationship to the ‘shrooms. “In front looking down” was my answer.

The next day I got to thinking: maybe I should turn the branch over and see what the fungi look like from another perspective. And voila!

It’s an Artist’s Conk, or Ganoderma applanatum, a common fungus that grows on dying or dead hardwoods and conifers. I had been looking at the underside of the growth.

Mystery solved … by looking at the question from a different perspective. It was a “whack on the side of the head”!

What a great teacher nature is. ☺️

Black velvet

Day 18 #iWriteDaily

I’m struggling today. For no good reason. If there needs to be one.

I woke up in the middle of the night with this line in my head: When the days mourns with family and friends. When I awoke this morning I finished it … first draft-finished anyway.

When the day mourns

As the bereaved

Loved ones clothed in

Thick grief curtains

Crushed black velvet

Shroud becomes night.

The tears and words poured through me, pen moving quickly to catch them. What is this?

I miss my dogs. I miss opportunities not taken. I mourn decisions made. And not made. I miss the decades of youthful hope ahead of me, that it gets better than just this.

The sun is shining. I’ll have lunch with a friend, attend a meeting, go to work, note the minutiae of the day. Dusk. Dawn. Then another 24-hour capsule of time will begin.

And on it goes.

Hybrid Black Velvet Tea Rose, Japan Komatsu 1999 at Flower Festival Commemorative Park, T.Kiya /Wikimedia Commons

Persistence!

Day 17 #iWriteDaily

I posted this photo by itself on Facebook after torrential rains gave hope to violets, and then it snowed.

A writer friend, James Lyle Kinsey, responded with the above words. It was perfect and I just had to add it. Thanks, Jim!

‘I remember’

Day 16 #iWriteDaily

The prompt is “I remember.” The men begin to scribble. After 15 minutes I announce the two-minute mark. They keep writing.

“See if you can find a place to leave off for now,” I tell them after another five minutes passes.

One by one they read.

“I remember smoking my first blunt, but I don’t remember my mother’s birthday,” one writer shares. His mother is gone now; so is his “Pops.” Is there a catch in his voice or did I imagine it?

“I remember,” another writer begins. He names the cross streets where he was shot 13 times.

The paramedic kept asking his name, over and over, although he’d answered already, even spelled it out. “He asked me if I had insurance. I told him, ‘Just get this buggy moving to the hospital.’”

When he finishes the other writers are silent. A respectful silence from these veterans of the streets, I think.

“Thirteen times,” one finally responds.

“Where was you shot?” another asks the current storyteller. He motions with his hands: All over his body, from the chest down.

“Maybe the medic was trying to keep you talking so you didn’t pass out,” someone else suggests, acknowledging it wasn’t a great bedside manner. But still … .

The storyteller thinks, as though he hasn’t considered this possibility before in his retelling of that night. But then he shakes it off, implies the paramedic’s repeated question points to stupidity. Or incompetence.

I ask the storyteller: When did you finally lose consciousness? He says it was at the hospital, after they had cut away his clothes and put an oxygen mask over his face. He recalls doctors and nurses barking orders as they rolled him down the hall for surgery. Then fade to black.

“There was $1,500 in my pocket,” he says. “After they cut off my pants, I never saw that money again.”

“I remember” always results in detailed, invigorated writing. There’s freedom in those words.

Tears for NZ

Day 15 #iWriteDaily

Hobbiton in New Zealand.

New Zealand was named the second most peaceful country in the world in 2017.

I just read that one of the 48 people injured in the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, has died from his injuries. That would bring the death count to 50 so far. The media is still saying 49, so I don’t know.

But I know that one is too many.

Fifty innocent people at prayer, killed by a madman who allegedly wrote that he saw Donald Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity.”

Words matter. We are served up reminders every day, and this one leaves a hole in my heart.

Yet I don’t have words that will make anything about this better. Or make sense of this tragedy, or make sense of the direction this country is heading. Or the world for that matter.

No words, but tears for the victims and their families.

Tears for the people of New Zealand.

Tears for us all in the face of this terrible disease of hatred and violence.

A utilities shut-off notice

Day 14 #iWriteDaily

I don’t usually write much fiction, which is why I’m not getting ahead in the mystery I hope to write. But this came to me this morning at my weekly writing group, to the prompt: A utilities shut-off notice. Here goes.

She knew the gas company was serious when she’d received the shut-off notice in the mailbox. She’d hoped to push the payment out just a little farther until … until what? She wouldn’t be able to pay it even a month from now.

Sometimes she wondered whether she could make it without their damned gas. And electricity. It was still fall, not yet winter, although close; and the chill in the house only ever got really bad deep in the night. It would be cheaper to buy more blankets — she’d already looked at Goodwill for free ones — than pay the bill, which was now more than $700.

She’d already checked with all those “community agencies“ that were supposed to provide a safety net for people like her. One told her they could give her 20 percent of what she owed, the rest said they were out of funds for utilities. Now, if what she needed was help with rent, they could assist.

But she didn’t need rent money. The house was hers, along with all the repairs she didn’t have the money to make. What had happened to her, and all those dreams she’d had before cancer had come along and put big black X’s through every one of them?

The doctors were insisting on being paid, too. She was sinking here. She’s always been a good swimmer, but these tides were pulling her under.