a moment in time

Last spring I almost died. That day not long ago was ordinary and nothing special was intended. My friend and I spent most of our spring days together being silly. We’d virtually lived outside, running, jumping, skating, skipping and darting in and out of half built houses. When the sun went down, we’d sit under the awning and watch the stars slowly brighten as the sky darkened. This was how we spent most days. When the night was no longer interesting we’d go inside, flick on the television and settle in for a round of Twilight Zone, The Odd Couple and Honeymooners, among others. Those were not the shows we wanted to watch, albeit entertaining. We waited through them for the real fun, Thriller. We’d hide behind large blankets, enjoying being scared as the hand came up through the soil and sand, reaching to the sky, then the undead entity would utter the words we spent three hours waiting for, “Thriller”, in a chilling, eerie voice. We laughed at our silliness but enjoyed the fright that came next–half an hour of chills. It was always fun at nights.

When it was over, we began to jump on the bed.

It’s surprising that I remember what happened prior to my near death experience. One would think all memories before that moment would be gone. But the memories stay with me, as though to remember what happened before is a reminder that those would have been my last memories had I died that day.

We jumped high and laughed loud. My mother was at work–she worked nights in those days–so it was just us and my little sister who was asleep in her room. We jumped until boredom led us to explore acrobatics. We climbed on the dresser, which was not much more than a foot from the bed and performed forward flips onto the bed, landing on our backs. We went around and around, faster and faster, forward flipping in our best form. Then, at my next flip, I was too eager. I didn’t put enough strength into my flip. I was laughing too much. I felt myself moving in slow motion, realizing too late that I was about to fall on my head, which I did. I felt my neck twist violently under the weight of my body. I couldn’t move. The room went dim and everything began to spin. I knew I was going to die because I had broken my neck, or so I thought. An inch one way or another and it would have broken. Or a heavier fall and I wouldn’t be writing this today. What if I had jumped higher, thereby falling faster and harder? I did in fact strain my neck severely. But I was lucky. I slowly started to move and realized that I would be ok. I prayed, fearing death could still claim me in my sleep.

I’m twelve now. I almost didn’t make it. That is what I remember today; the past and what could have been. I am grateful that I lived to see another birthday. I am happy that I lived to have a memory of what could have been my last day on earth and can now look back on it with amusement at my childish antics. Today I will have fun and enjoy turning twelve. I’ll laugh with my friends, eat cake and dance to music. Today I will also make a wish. That wish is that I will make it to thirteen–safely–and beyond, building more memories and one day discovering what it’s like to be an adult. I’m in no hurry though. For now, I just want to have fun and laugh so hard soda blows through my nose.

Daily Prompt: Shake it Up

fun…our fountain of youth

It’s 5am. I wake up to the sun peeking over the horizon. Nothing stands between me and the day; not work, not time, not money. A set of roller skates sit in the attic filled with dust. They still fit and roll well. Only a dabble of oil on each wheel is required to silence the squeak. At least an hour of roller skating up and down hills and around blocks would be my exercise for the morning.

Some people say that certain activities are only for children. I say, why should that be? We’ve compartmentalized our way of viewing social activity, allocating only that which we deem appropriate for adults. But when was the last time you enjoyed a round of double dutch? Or red light green light? What about dodge ball or handball? Hopscotch or tag? Softball? When was the last time you played hide and seek or blind man’s bluff? Do you remember what it was like to hang on the monkey bars or fly high on a swing?

With a day to myself, I’d partake in as many fun youthful activities as possible. Then I’d take a walk through a forest with a book and bag of fruit. I’d find a warm rock, inhale the fresh forest air, face the sun, munch some fruit and read until I fell asleep. I’d later go to the beach, sit on the sand and watch the sun go down.

One day is not enough to do what we ought to do. Relaxation and fun time are not luxuries, they are our right as human beings. We should partake as often as possible. It would help to relax not only our mind, but our soul and invigorate our body. In the end, it could be our fountain of youth, slowing our aging so we may enjoy many more days of fun for fun’s sake.

Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time

to vice or not to vice? that is the question

Everyone has a vice. Most people have several under their belt. Doesn’t matter if everyone you’ve ever met says they love you to pieces. You best believe there is at least one or two things about you that they simply cannot stand. But they overlook it because you’re simply as cute as a button and twice as nice.

I most certainly have a laundry list of vices. Some that I’m fully aware of and trying to remedy. Some that I’m aware of but have yet to find the will power to stop. Some that I’m unaware of and that probably drives others bonkers. They subtly try to tell me, but I’m too dense to understand. Maybe I’m being willfully ignorant or maybe I really don’t see it as a vice. Maybe what I’m doing is, to me, as normal as peeing.

No one is perfect and ever will be. We all decide what we are willing to deal with and what we are not. In the end, someone has had to deal with us and our vices, whether temporary or long term. Judging the vices of others should be done with restraint given our own infractions.

That written, a vice that gets me all the time. Can someone PLEASE tell me why I must be forced to deal with folks eating with their mouth open? I mean, really? I do NOT need to see their food being masticated (as though it were cud) in their saliva as they chomp like a cow. Even worse, some of the mouth-open-eaters cannot seem to keep the food in that hole in their face. WHY? And do they notice it? It would seem they do not, because the napkin seems to never leave their laps as they continue to chew as debris sits on the side of their face, staring at me as though it being there were MY fault. Because you tend to expect better from these “adults”, you think, they must feel that. After all, I feel even the slightest thing that touches my face. Don’t they feel it? Apparently not, because they continue to chew, and talk, and chew and talk, as though nothing particularly odd is going on. The food in their mouth stares at me, because of course they are talking to me–still–while eating, mouth agape. The food that leaves their mouth while talking misses my poor plate by only inches. If my food could talk it would curse me out for subjecting it to such slackness. Meanwhile, I am forced to turn away, and further forced to make the grueling decision as to whether I should tell them what I believe to be the obvious. Did I ask if they can feel it? Just making sure. So, I try to do the proper thing and tell them there is something on their face. They put down their fork–finally–then proceed to clean their face with the napkin. Much to my dismay, they have simply shifted the debris from one place on their face to another. Sigh. Food still in mouth, they say thank you. A piece of debris from their un-swallowed food lands on my knife. I can’t.

Daily Prompt: Never Gonna Give You Up

what i leave behind

Reading has always been a part of my life. I can’t remember ever feeling as though I disliked it. Words leave lasting impressions on us, depending on the mood we are in, our outlook on the world and our personal experiences. Everything influences how we will view the next book we read. This is why I love to read. It as an adventure to delve into a book, not knowing how I will be affected by it.

I will leave my words, my legacy, for the world to hopefully enjoy. So that someone, anyone, will be affected in a powerful way. My writing is my greatest legacy and the one thing that leaves a piece of me behind. Readers will have the opportunity to discover who I am through my work. My daughters will have their mother’s words of wisdom always within reach. While the books below are not my novels, they are works that are a part of my personal library, a library that also represents an important part of my legacy. I also leave for those I love, knowledge. For me, there is no greater gift and show of love than to freely give knowledge to the future generations. Books are an ocean of knowledge.

wpid-img_3456-2014-02-16-23-54.jpg

Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me

what i do for love

The island of Jamaica is small. When I was a little girl, however, it seemed large and imposing, a big place filled with adventure–it was the world to me. I was less than five years old, but I remember the feel of the small rocks beneath my toes as I walked barefoot down the long hot country road. Now, to walk barefoot on stones leaves me wincing in pain. I’ve become soft. But I remember what it was like to feel skin to ground, comfortably warmed stones, and freedom. The freedom stays with me.

Some say memory is fleeting under five years old, yet, I remember even a time of darkness; before the face of my mother, grandfather and favorite uncle; before Jamaica. To be aware of darkness and my existence within that darkness has always been a strange thing for me to carry. It sits inside me, like another life lived somewhere in a place I can’t remember clearly. But I remember a drive-in movie, a memory that stayed with me so deeply and so persistently, that after finding no clues to lead me back to the origins of the memory, I began to think that maybe it was my imagination and not a memory. I wanted to open a drive-in theater, dreamed of the day that I could bring my experience to others, so they could feel the joy I felt on that day long ago. It was like a relentless dream that would never leave me in peace. Forty years later I would mention this memory to my father. With wide eyes, he told me that he was the one who took me to the drive-in movie in Jamaica. He still wonders how I remembered that. I was not yet four years old.

My grandfather built the house we lived in. He was a beekeeper, farmer and a fierce protector of his family. He’d watch as I sat on the hillside playing with tiny red flowers, the name of which I cannot recall, and string them together to make necklaces and bracelets. They were the most unique and interesting flowers I’d ever seen. I don’t remember who taught me about their interesting qualities. But to be able to string the stem of small flowers together with the tops of the flower itself, connecting one to another, is something I have never seen again. They were beautiful and I would spend hours adorning my tiny body with them. I would never see those flowers again.

Shortly after, my mother migrated to America. She carried with her an education, a nurse’s license and two daughters, one who could read at four years old. While other children were dragging blankets or dolls through the house, gripping them for dear life, I would have a book in tow. Many doubted I could read. But after reading through a few books, those who couldn’t believe it quickly discovered that I was in fact reading, and reading well.

Writing followed close behind. While I would take short breaks from writing during my years in primary school, it never left me. By the time I entered Junior High School, I was infatuated with poetry. One day, a few years later, I would accept my destiny and step into writing as a career. I realized I was passionate about storytelling and sharing my ideas about the world. I wanted to bring readers into my mind, my experiences and my way of seeing our existence. I wanted to become a griot, but knew I couldn’t reach as many in that role. In lieu of becoming a true griot, I decided that ink and paper would be my voice box, my oral tradition to spread far and wide. I would pass my words down to my children and grandchildren and help them to imagine us sitting around a fire as I fastidiously recounted stories until sunrise. The written word would be my sound and echo, vibrating on the hearts of those who read my creations.

Writing has for many years now become a dear friend to me, a warm cup of tea, a walk on the beach, a talented lover, a heartfelt laugh, a sunny day, an intellectual debate, an unfolding of memory, thought and the unfailing wisdom of imagination. It is my passion, my first love. When you love something, it needs nurturing and requires us to give our time to it, generously and without complaint. We do it unconditionally. We do it because it is all we desire to do. Anything else would be a source of discontent. We hone our love, making it better and stronger each day. We recognize our shortcomings and work to improve with each word.

I believe that when you’ve found a thing you love, it should be less a dream come true and more a life you’ve decided to nurture through doing something that is, and has always been, your passion. When you are passionate about a thing, you have no need to dream. Your passion will be all you know and will ever want to know, and never something you wasted time dreaming about. I’ve never had to dream of becoming a writer. It has been my whole life, leaving no time to dream, only time to be.

Daily Prompt: Money for Nothing

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  4. Ballerina | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  5. Pride Stinks | The Jittery Goat
  6. Daily Prompt – Money for Nothing | Views Splash!
  7. My Job Makes Me Feel Sexier Each Day | My Life and My Career
  8. Daily Prompt: Money for Nothing -Stock Trader | Journeyman
  9. Writing in PostMortem | 365 days of defiance
  10. Chasing The Dream Job: A Haiku; Saturday, February 15, 2014 | LisaRosier.com
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  15. Montreal Mystery Mansion: Redpath Family Home to be Demolished | DCMontreal: Blowing the Whistle on Society
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  17. Living, Learning, Earning and Leaving | The White Coat Chronicles
  18. My Dream of a Perfect Day… | Midwestern Plants
  19. Passion Brings You Money ! | Knowledge Addiction
  20. Lawyer Up « Mon Cache
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wishing on a star

Sometimes we are offered more things than we need. But we may still accept those things; maybe out of greed, selfishness or a need to be polite. It’s become so much a second nature reaction, that we will take it, even without thinking, not meaning any harm, or good. We rarely consider passing on what we don’t need to someone else. We may make excuses. They don’t need it, maybe I’ll need it later, they won’t appreciate what they are given, we tell ourselves. But it doesn’t often occur to us that that doesn’t matter. Sometimes it is in the giving that we are spiritually liberated, moving ourselves to a higher level of humanity and awareness.

I don’t need three wishes. I need only one. The remaining two I pass on to anyone reading this. Use my gifts wisely or pay them forward if you cannot use them. Someone out there was not given three wishes. Maybe no one offers them anything to save them from a potentially horrible experience. I pass mine on to you, the reader. May my two wishes bring you something great.

My one wish is simple. May humanity one day wake up and realize that violence, prejudice, bias, xenophobia, racism, fear and anger is not the answer and will never move us to a higher level. Thus, armed with that knowledge, everyone will decide to move full speed ahead toward peace and true freedom that will ultimately become all we know and ever want to know.

A lofty wish. I know. But my wish nonetheless. A girl can dream, can’t she?

Daily Prompt: Lucky Star

Pingbacks and Trackbacks – Three Wishes

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  91. Daily prompt: Lucky star | laura-in-china
  92. 3 Wishes for the employer that recently “let me go” | thejimmieG
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  94. Daily prompt: Go straight to gaol, do not pass ‘Go’… | helen meikle’s scribblefest
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what goes around…really goes around

The are few things I believe in unwaveringly. I leave myself open to all the possibilities in the universe we can imagine. Karma is one of those things that I don’t believe as a definitive truth of existence, but as a very real possibility that should give us pause and be taken seriously.

Imagine the implications of karma? Don’t simply fall back to memories of what you once thought about it. Really dissect what this potential might mean to you, the people you know, the planet, the universe, the multiverse, the omnivores, and all the other spaces in which we cannot even begin to conceive of. What does or will it mean if karma truly exists? Particularly if it exists based on the idea of an ascending soul that moves higher on the spiritual evolutionary chain, eventually no longer incarnating in human form.

As humans, we have lived through thousands of years of experiences, some good, some bad, some seemingly repetitive and mundane. What if karma is the reason for why, as a species, the violence we see on the planet cannot disappear? What if our behavior or potentially incorrect way of seeing our existence and the existence of others (including other species on the planet), is the reason we live in what feels like a vicious unproductive cycle? What if? What if what we perceive as “advancement” is in fact a devolution away from real soul advancement/growth, which might be the only true marker of a great species?

If karma is a real possibility, then the game is afoot. We would need to deeply examine the things we believe, especially those things that disenfranchise other humans, animals and even plants on this planet. How does xenophobia, bias, prejudice, racism, violence and apathy affect our karma and our ability to ascend to a better existence? What if there is one simple rule to karma, and that rule is the only thing that stands in our way, keeping us from ascending? What if all we need to remember is, do no harm? Again, what if? Consider the possibility that our simple inability to ask the question, what if, is the primary reason why we are incapable of imagining that what we do could affect not only our future on this planet and after this world, but it also affects other souls we live with here and in the possible hereafter. Our karma could cause chain reactions or ripples that change the karma of others in ways that cannot be conceptualized. The negative we do that brings harm, the negative we think that leaves a residue of our ill thought on the cosmic record, could be one in many millions of things floating about us that keep the Earth as a whole from collectively ascending.

Because I have always been open to the question of what if, nothing much would change in the way I currently think and behave–except, of course, recognizing that what I think and believe must be fluid and not ridged. While I don’t know if karma really exists, I live as though it does. I believe that we should endeavor to do no harm to other humans and species on this planet. Defend our life, yes, because it is the only one we know of at this time, but never initiate violence against anyone.

No harm is done in living as though karma exists. In the end, it can only help. Because it holds us accountable for our behavior to believe that what we do will affect how we live in a possible hereafter, or in a possible return to Earth. Or, dare I say, even while we are here. We can see the evidence, on Earth, of how our actions affect others. Isn’t this really a sort of earthbound karma at play? We call it chain reaction, cause and effect, or other terms that attempt to move from the realm of the metaphysical into the realm of the concrete. But in the end, if I make a wrong turn in my car and an accident occurs because of it, no matter what name we try to give it, the principle of karma could very well be how we define what unfolds. The words don’t really matter. Karma is just a word that we’ve given meaning to. The meaning, as many perceive it, is cause and effect.

In the end, I have always lived with the assumption that what I do affects my future and the future of others. So nothing really changes for me. If anything, my understanding is renewed. And this thing called Karma simply remains on my long list of universal possibilities. Real or not, nothing is lost.

Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon

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alone across time

January 25, 2014 marked the eighth anniversary of the discovery of 38-year old Joyce Carol Vincent’s skeletal remains. Vincent, an ex Ernst & Young employee, was found dead in her bedsit in Wood Green, North London on January 25, 2006 with her television set still playing. What makes this story incredible is not that she died–everyone dies–but that she was dead in her bedsit for nearly three years before an unanswered eviction notice eventually led authorities to her sparse remains. Vincent, who was of Caribbean and Indian descent, was known for her love of singing. Yet, no eyebrows were raised when she no longer frequented the places she’d often go to share her talents.

Vincent was said to be a victim of domestic abuse, which was one possible impetus for her sojourn in the bedsit, a flat managed by the Metropolitan Housing Trust. She didn’t drink or take drugs, leading most to believe she did not die of alcohol poisoning nor drug overdose. Because of how badly she had decomposed, finding the actual cause of her death was virtually impossible. Coroners could only speculate that she died of natural causes. Identification of her body was done by comparing photos of her smiling to her remaining teeth.

It is assumed that Vincent died in December of 2003 given that all around her lay unopened Christmas presents. During that same time, neighbors recall a foul odor, yet no one reported it, nor thought it terribly strange. Vincent lived amidst approximately one hundred other apartments above a bustling shopping center.

She had the honor of meeting Ben E. King, Gil Scott-Heron, Betty Wright and Nelson Mandela.

Eight years later, no one will ever know why or how Vincent could die alone without anyone even showing a modicum of concern for her whereabouts. Has the culture become so disconnected that we no longer care? Are families so disconnected that a mother, sister, brother or cousin is the same as a stranger? Or was Vincent so dissociated from friends and family, maybe even life, that she pushed everyone away to the point of apathy? She sat for three years decomposing. We are eight years removed from this event. Yet, one can’t help but wonder, could this one day be me?

after here

What if when we die, we do not go to a single place where all people ascend to, but to whatever place we believe we will go? What if we create our own individual afterlife, and no two afterlives will be the same? If you believe you will go to a heaven, that is where you go. If you believe you will reach Nirvana, that is what you will realize. If you believe you will become unconscious and vanish into nothingness, that is what happens to you. If you believe you will meet a god, you will. If you believe you will meet a satan, you will. If you believe you will meld into oneness with the universe, you will. If you believe you will become a conscious being of light, you will. What if? There is so much we don’t know. But we might consider the possibility that what we believe will become our reality in the hereafter and seeing those we love again depends solely on our mutual belief in what happens to us when we leave here. We just might be powerful enough to be the creators of what happens to us. What if?

the ocean and i

Today I went to the beach to watch the waves rushing in from the ocean, and to find peace. Families lightly speckled the sand. Children splashed about in the water and others built snowmen with sand. It was, after all, nearly Christmas. What’s Christmas without a snowman, even if made from sand. Children of Florida may not have snow, but they know how to get into the spirit of the season. I don’t celebrate holidays anymore. I try at all times to celebrate each day that I’m alive. Listening to the children’s laughter on the beach reminded me, yet again, that everyday is special. The moment, now, is all there is. Nothing else is guaranteed.

The photograph is of me looking out at the ocean. I watched as surfers struggled to ride the too tiny waves that weren’t enough to give them a decent ride. Beach bums sat on their chairs looking off into the distance, coffee mug by their side. Some with a book in hand. What were they all thinking? Were they wishing for the same things I want? Freedom? A culture void of the violent madness that plagues the planet? What lives in their daydreams?

wpid-me_bw_byocean_300-2013-12-22-11-436.jpg

The problems of the world cannot be solved by day dreams. They must be solved by action. What did we all hope would happen out there, in the ocean? Would it give birth to something new? Would the cries of a new birth rise out of the water and travel to distant lands for all to hear? Who would cut the cord of this new life that we all would share? Who would fearlessly join the revolution and usher in a better world? Who would join the cries of rebirth? I don’t know. It’s all just our imagination–thoughts unformed. But in that moment of deep contemplation and introspection, time stopped. The sun was setting. The sky began to turn hues of red and pink. The birds were making their last rounds in search of food and shelter.

I kept looking out. I wanted something to happen before I left. But nothing did. Maybe nothing would ever happen. Maybe this is all there is. Me, the ocean, the moment and thoughts that turn to dust when the sun fully sets.

the lazy writer

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted. There is really no excuse. I am being lazy and that is never good. What’s interesting about my laziness is that I still write in my head. Sometimes I’ll create blog posts or entire chapters for my manuscripts and even imagine myself typing out the stories. How ridiculous is that? What good is it if I don’t actually write the stories down?

What I lack is discipline. How much further would I be as a writer if I actually wrote daily, rather than sporadically? I often wonder if a writing buddy would be helpful. Not sure. Any way you slice it, I need to write daily, no excuses. This is a habit I need to develop so I can move to the next level of my writing life.

I’m off to squeeze out a little bit of prose. No more slacking.