Helen and Irene

Responding to Reena’s challenge #115. Write about something that brings change: https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2019/11/28/reenas-exploration-challenge-115/

St.Michael’s was a modern church, its minimalist design appealing to a more youthful generation of church goers. Thin slices of onyx, replaced the more traditional stain glass windows. Colorful and airy paper sculptures floated from the church ceiling giving the illusion of angels floating through the sky. An illuminated cross dominated the front of the church. Helen sat contemplatively in the front row.

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Helen always found time to escape to St. Michael’s, its beauty, silence and tranquility restoring her soul. She wrote for a fashion magazine and was constantly trying to keep up with deadlines and fashion trends. Helen loved beautiful clothes and today was wearing Diane Von Furstenberg . The v neck, solid blue,  knee length dress perfectly complimenting her 5’8” slim figure. She had a guilty secret laying beneath the dress. One lonely Wednesday morning she was pushed to do something daring and decided to acquire a tattoo. Locating a clean, respectable tattoo parlor she asked for a china tea pot with two tiny tea cups to be engraved on her right shoulder with the word Wedgewood italicized below the tea cups. Helen had refined taste.

Was that a baby’s cry.  She felt a surge of irritation. For God’s sake this is a space for prayer and contemplation not for baby’s howls. Helen tried to calm her nerves but her peaceful mood was broken with the baby’s persistent howls. She gave a withering look as she passed the haggard looking mother, sitting in the last row, rocking her baby back and forth. Thank God it was their fathers turn to have the children to-day and she could go home and relax.

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Helen arrived home in an agitated state. She turned on the sound system and played soothing, soul restoring classical music. She wandered to the living room poured herself a glass of red wine and started to unwind.

Irene finishing her shift at Walmart made her way by bus to Tim Horton’s for her third job of the day. She was tired and hoped that it would be a quiet evening. Arriving at work she was greeted by the manager with ” We’re two short today so you’re gonna have to hustle”. Irene gave a deep sigh as she changed into her uniform. She wore only pants never dresses, for she too had a guilty secret. She was usually too tired to shave her legs and pants were the perfect cover.

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At last Irene’s shift was finished and she caught the last bus back to her apartment. She entered and noticed that the elevator was once again under repair and commenced to drag herself up to the sixth floor. Entering her apartment she first checked on Richard and Teresa. She then collapsed on the arm chair thinking she would just close her eyes for a minute. A minute later she was wrapped in an exhausted sleep, her body twitching as her mind replayed the days events.

It was 4:00 a.m. and the emergency room was crowded with suffering souls waiting patiently for their names to be called and passed to the next level of hospital administration. Helen sat clutching her arm in extreme discomfort, holding back tears, wrinkling her nose as the body odors of unwashed humanity assaulted her senses. Irene sat two rows behind Helen cradling her youngest child Teresa desperately trying to stay awake. Their names were finally announced and Helen and Irene proceeded out of the emergency holding bay to the hospital inner sanctum.

Helen and Irene sat side by side in silence. More waiting and x-rays and waiting and finally, Helen diagnosed with a broken bone in her arm and Teresa with a broken bone in her foot, were ushered to the appropriate hospital department. Upon entry Irene observed a youth of around 17 in tears as he was told that his broken leg would put an end to his hockey season and possibly a future career. She also observed a mother comforting her daughter as her ballet dreams came crashing down. So many dreams and aspirations broken by fateful accidents. Helen sat oblivious to the suffering around her wanting to get out of this hospital hell hole and back to the comforts of home.

When first arriving in the emergency room, five hours ago, Irene had immediately noticed Helen. She had admired this immaculately dressed woman, sitting upright, stoically suppressing her pain, oblivious to her surroundings. Irene’s attention was continually drawn to Helen as she comforted Teresa. Waiting those long hours for her name to be called, strange thoughts began to whirl in her mind. I can be that person someday. Working at these minimum wage jobs for twelve hours a day is getting me nowhere. I’m barely surviving and the kids rarely see me. It’s time for a change. I need to find a career, further my education, breakout of this poverty trap. Irene having made this dramatic life changing acknowledgement to herself gave Teresa an extra hug and smile as she left the hospital.

Conflicted

Responding to Reena’s challenge #114.
State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes, the energy sources, the kinds of security, for which you would kill a child. Name, please, the children whom you would be willing to kill. -Questionairre- A poem by Wendell Barry
https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2019/11/21/reenas-exploration-challenge-114/

Every evening my ma would sit me on a stool, run her fingers lovingly through my hair and brush with gentle downward strokes. Her tenseness and agitation would lessen with each stroke of the brush and each sip of Jack Daniels.

“You’re my little angel” she would repeat over and over as if in a trance ” my little angel”. After a while she would tell me about my daddy.

Your daddy was always holding up the wall besides Lucy’s convenience store, a cigarette dangling from his mouth, a permanent smirk on his face. I would pass that way every morning and afternoon going to and fro from school. He would shout ” Hi little angel, how ya doing” and I would keep my head down and rush by.

One afternoon on my way home from school he grabbed my arm and said “what’s your hurry little angel”. I pulled my arm away and tried to run but he was faster and pulled me into the alley behind Lucy’s. I struggled and kicked and punched but he was strong. He slapped my face twice and it hurt and I cried. Later on it hurt a lot more and I screamed. Then he was gone.

I made my way home ashamed and dirty. Grandma took one look at me and asked what happened. I told her between sobs that threatened to wrench my heart from my body. Walking to her bed room she came out with a gun and left the house. She returned a while later and said he was gone.

Every few weeks as I stepped out of the shower grandma would glance at my body. There was a time when that glance was followed by an announcement that I would be having a baby. I cried and screamed that I didn’t want the baby. It would be the spawn of Satan. Grandma told me not be silly.

” You were born a while later and it took me time to come around, but here we are my little angel”.

My ma would pause here, slowly sipping her whiskey, as my body tensed for what came next. She became agitated as the brush ripped through my hair.

“Your daddy was the devil incarnate. Not just him, all men are devils sent from the pits of hell to prey upon woman. Don’t trust them, stay away from them. They are here to pollute your soul and drag you to hell when they die. Listen to me. Are you listening.”

She would continue ranting and raging till exhausted. Her anger abated she would return to brushing my hair with those gentle downwards strokes, ” You are my little angel, my little angel. I’ll put a pink ribbon in your hair tomorrow. Would you like that.”

Mornings, grandma would come over as ma struggled to dress and get out the door to work. Grandma would stare at me, arching her eyes, asking if I wanted some eggs for breakfast.

There came a morning when grandma came over to cook me breakfast, ma was still in bed. Grandma went in the bedroom to wake her and came out with a sorrowful expression.

” Your ma’s dead. Guess you’re with me now. First thing we gotta do is cut that hair and make you look more like the boy your ma never wanted. You’re the man of the house now.”

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As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Christ did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here. Well, you can read and see what you think. -Wendell Berry

Metamorphosis

Responding to Reena’s challenge #113 on the above image.
https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2019/11/14/reenas-exploration-challenge-113/

Seven is my number of power. I’m not sure why. Some mystical significance in an ancient spell long forgotten. Some random number chosen by my mentor, long since departed this earthly plane. Who knows why we adopt certain attributes and habits. But butterflies, I have no trouble understanding their significance and power….and I now have seven butterflies fluttering in a cage. Where is that spell book.

  • two tablespoons of honey
  • one tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 7 oz. of brandy
  • seven large lettuce leafs cut into bite size pieces
  • mix ingredients thoroughly
  • seven butterflies

I opened the cage carefully and reached inside waiting patiently for a butterfly to flutter to my finger. My patience rewarded I quickly withdrew my finger towards the cage door and swallowed that delicate creature. I felt a slight tickle as the butterfly eased down my throat. Reaching for the spell mixture I poured the required one seventh into a glass and savored the sweet taste embalming the butterfly. Waiting for a reaction and feeling none I continued this process six more times. Now for the words. Not written down but ingrained in my memory for all time.

adesdum praestrigiae

No sooner were these words spoken when silken thread began spiraling from my body wrapping it in a tight embrace. The cocooning process had begun. From a dream like haze I was aware of my body dissolving as enzymes were released and new cells started reproducing. I blacked out somewhere in this process and came to some time later bounding with energy. The metamorphosis was complete. Running to the mirror I stared back at the young vibrant figure and extended my arms to the heavens in triumph. It had worked beautifully once again. Nine hundred years of regeneration on such a simple formula. I thanked the seven butterflies for their sacrifice and took a shower to erase the sticky reminders of immortality. A new adventure starts tomorrow. I can’t wait to get started.

Infinity

Responding to Diana’s prompt ‘ Write from the point of view of a creature that doesn’t exist in the “real” world. ‘
https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/10/31/a-november-writing-challenge/
With a shout out to Dwight of Rothpoetry. I got hooked on his line “the intersection of infinity’
his poem on this can be seen here
https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/2019/11/12/the-intersection-of-infinity/

Once upon a time, at the intersection of infinity, I chanced upon a tiny planet circling a tiny star. I was surprised to discover strange forms of elemental creatures had evolved on this planet. These elemental forms scrambled around the planet devouring each other in an effort to sustain its existence. I marveled at the myriad of design of the various forms and how they adapted to land, air and water. I had no idea that the creation of space, time and matter outside of the spiritual realm would produce such anomalies.

I observed these strange shapes for a time. I concentrated on the bipedal creatures which seemed to have more cunning than the other varieties. I wondered….what if….and extracting dark energy from the universe I breathed it into the two legged creatures. The creatures paused mid stride in their hunting and I sensed a new awareness fill their being. They looked up at the sun with a puzzled frown and then at each other and their mouths opened trying to articulate speech patterns. I allowed myself a self satisfied smirk as I retreated back to the spiritual plane.

Lost in contemplation with the creator it was a while before I again entered the material universe and observed the tiny planet. I saw large collections of the bipedal creatures living side by side in shelters, protecting themselves from the elements. They were able to communicate with each other and seemed to be thriving in numbers. I wondered if they could evolve from their carbon, oxygen based elements to pure spirit and considered a way to accomplish this. I inscribed some suggestions on two tablets of stone and placed them where they could be found by a man ascending a mountain’s path. Satisfied with this little sleight of hand I once again found the spiritual plane.

Returning to the Earth a third time I observed terrible wars, anger and hostility. These creatures seemed intent on destroying themselves. They had learned nothing from my writing on the stone tablets. It was then I decided to take human form and express a way forward to change base material desires into spirit. I managed to recruit a few followers, teach them some basics, but jealousy and injustice won out, my human form was extinguished and I was back in the spiritual plane.

I’m now spending my time communing with the creator for next steps in the evolution of this unique species. They weren’t part of the creators plan. With so much darkness the creator was experimenting in trying to brighten things up and humans became an unexpected by-product. The creator is willing to accept responsibility for his design and has tasked me with trying to sort out this mess. I’m working on it.

Undulating Patterns

Reena’s prompt #112. “Undulating Patterns.” For full prompt please go to:
https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2019/11/07/reenas-exploration-challenge-112/

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

Robert Frost

Life is a series of undulating patterns rippling through time and space. A Bayeux tapestry of battles fought and lost, a few conquering heroes, but mainly foot soldiers in a never ending war.

In the past a tsunami wave of conquerors stormed over the globe, creating order by killing and exerting tyrannical dominance. Eventually the people rose in rebellion, the new order collapsed, sending its populace crashing into a sea of darkness awaiting winds of change to propel the next big wave. So it was with the British Empire, the Mongol Empire, the Russian Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Qing Dynasty and the Umayyad Caliphate, to name but a very few.

Are new patterns starting to emerge undulating in the predictability of its waves? Instead of projectiles penetrating our bodies causing havoc to our physical structure we now have words penetrating our psyche fracturing our delicate egos.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me,” a child’s response of yesteryear to verbal bullying in the school playground.

Prior to the advent of social media and its related communication devices children could be seen swarming over the streets and parks, interacting with each other physically and verbally through games and role playing. Today the streets are deserted after school as children look to social media devices for interaction with the outside world. In the absence of any physical experience words start taking on greater weight. Words are substituted for physical aggression. This is compounded by educators in their creation of safe spaces and banning physical play at school.

Undulating patterns. The wave like rise and fall of doing things in a particular way, over and over.

Are new conquerors starting to take shape exerting their tyrannical dominance over the globe? Twitter,Instagram, YouTube,Tik Tok-Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook, Tencent. Will technology companies become our new overlords?

Software companies, with their revenue source of advertising companies, are now dictating the norms of everyday speech on their platforms. This is swiftly becoming politicized to a left versus right issue. What are acceptable and unacceptable modes of communication. Is free speech under attack? What are the boundaries? Will various social media platforms morph into left leaning and right leaning platforms?

If this trend continues there will be no cross pollination of ideas. Each individual will be stuck in their own echo chamber unable to experience different ways of thinking. The technocrats will rule the globe exerting their tyrannical dominance over speech and language……and thought patterns. The human race will become more divided in its ideas.

How long will this technological empire stand with the undulating pattern of its narrow mindedness?

Remembrance Day 2019

In my library there is a book I take out once a year on Remembrance Day entitled Anthem For Damned Youth-Poets of the Great War-edited by Lyn Macdonald

I saw you fooling often in the tents

With fair disheveled hair and laughing lips,

And frolic elf lights in your careless eyes,

As who had never known the taste of tears

Or the worlds sorrow. Then on march one night,

Halted beneath the stars I heard the sound

Of talk and laughter, and glanced back to see

If you were there. But you stood far apart

And silent, bowed upon your rifle butt

And gazed into the night as one who sees.

I marked the drooping lips and fathomless eyes

And knew you brooded on immortal things.

Glimpse- W.N.Hodgson

Brainwaves

Reena’s prompt challenge #111 regarding brainwaves. With credit to Aeon Magazine and the album Chapel by Grace Leslie. For full prompt go to :
https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2019/10/31/reenas-exploration-challenge-111/

Veronica was the love of my life. We married within two months of our first date. A week later she was dead.

I sat in the hospital chair holding her lifeless hand. The doctor, his comforting hand on my shoulder, offering words of consolation.

” Such a tragedy for one so young. All the scans indicate that she was in perfect heath except for those few seconds when her body denied oxygen to the brain. A very unusual case of cerebral hypoxia”

I was wrapped in a nightmare. This can’t be happening, my vibrant, beautiful sweet Veronica replaced by a lifeless corpse. I was sure that any moment now she would rise from the bed with bubbling laughter and say “fooled ya”. Staring at her lifeless form I realized I couldn’t let go. I needed her too much. I queried the doctor.

” Do you know of any cryogenics institutions that can advise me on the best method of preserving my wife’s body.”

The doctor answered ” Most of them have gone bankrupt, but there are still a few around. As a matter of fact I have just received some literature from a startup lab that professes to not only help with cryopreservation but to revive the loved one when a cure is found. I believe they are dabbling in electromagnetic shocks to the brain.”

I was intrigued. I asked the doctor if my wife could stay at the hospital till I had visited the cryopreservation lab and discussed next steps with them. He agreed.

The lab was very welcoming and empathetic to my plight. They suggested that I have Veronica moved immediately and they would offer a diagnosis and a cost estimate. I agreed.

Veronica was subjected to a number of tests which concluded that her body was in perfect condition. If I signed the waiver form they could start the process of trying to revive her immediately. It was emphasized that the technology was experimental and she would be the first human subject to the electromagnetic shocks at this particular frequency. Their scientists had experimented successfully on mice but at different brain frequencies.

Eight hours later a beaming Doctor Lazarus escorted Veronica to the waiting room where she rushed into my arms, we clung to each other as if life itself depended upon it. While settling the bill the doctor gave me his personal cell number in the event of any unforeseen relapses by Veronica. So home we went.

That night as Veronica and I were enjoying a cup of hot cocoa she suddenly collapsed. I rushed to her side searching in vain for a pulse. I pushed the cell no. for Dr. Lazarus and he answered immediately. He suggested I drive her to the lab where he would meet me and give a diagnosis. After three hours at the lab I was informed that the electromagnetic shocks activated the brain waves for only 16 hours a day and then the brain shut off unless reactivated. The good news however is that they had a portable version of the electromagnetic machine which I could rent by the month.

“It will be just like having a good nights sleep” explained Dr. Lazarus ” We also sell cryopreservation chambers that will preserve Veronica’s body from deterioration while her brain is inactive. Just add some propylene glycol to her food to prevent ice formation on her body. I would suggest a routine of arising at 7:00 a.m. and cryogenic chamber at 11:00 p.m. “

The cryogenic chamber accompanied us in a delivery van as we drove home and was set up in a corner of the bedroom. I placed Veronica lovingly in the chamber and collapsed on to the bed. I awoke at 6:00 a.m. the next morning and transferred Veronica from the cryo chamber to the bed. I inserted the electrodes and sent the electromagnetic current to stimulate her brain wave to the required frequency. She woke with a yawn and said “hello darling you’re up early.”

So this was now our life. I was amazed at how readily Veronica adapted to this experience. For me it was the perfect scenario. Anytime Veronica was mad at me I just let her cool off in the cryo chamber for a couple of days.