Someone I love recently shared a long distance sunset with me that completely matches a phrase from Longfellow’s Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie, a poem of loss and devotion that coincidentally matches my experience at this particular moment in time.
The most difficult thing is to recognize failure for what it is, an opportunity to learn something about the world you thought you’d already mastered. The most encouraging thing is the knowledge that a single moment does not define who we are.
“Softly the evening came, The sun from the Western horizon. Like a magician extended his golden wand o’er the landscape Twinkling vapors arose; and sky and water and forest Seemed all on fire at the touch, and melted and mingled together.” – Longfellow
I am grateful to be old enough to know better than to give up when a plan falls apart. Faithful and consistent, there’s always tomorrow.
A project I worked on for one of my anthropology classes has provided me with a great deal of material, some comic, some not so much. Ever since I scrapped the Drunken Poet’s Campout story last week, I have been unable to shake the ring and rhyme that has infected the muse attempting to safeguard my sanity during the conflict inducing, merry making season that is upon us. So, this week’s Friday Fictioneer prompt seems a good reason to share some of my research on the history of human conflict.
How humans express what matters most to us is an important area of study for anthropologists. Art, in its many forms, attempts to help us understand ourselves as well as the rise and fall of civilizations throughout recorded time. I use writing and photography to make sense of the world around me, since Apple has pretty much ruined music for me.
Many art forms have been used to commemorate the conquests of great civilizations, dance, painting, photography, poetry. Cultural artifacts curated in museums around the globe, where acts of treachery and bravery are on display for all the world to see, give us a magnificent pictorial record of humanity’s triumphs and tragedies. The ancient war depiction at the Karnak Hypostyle Hall is the standard by which war scene art is measured.
The horrors of war are at our fingertips. So, why do we continue to ignore the warning signs? I don’t have an answer. I can only guess it has something to do with mediocre poetry.
Wrong All Along
Greedy and Stingy sittin’ on the sea
First came land
Then came chattel
Then came tribes with a sabre rattle
See what I mean? That is enough to instigate a playground scuffle.
Thanks to Rochelle, who rallies the troops, and her childhood pal Lucy for this inspirational prompt. More Fictioneers are here. For my 100 word story, look out below!
The commander commands, “Pillage the village! Plunder the town! Turn the world upside down!” Teams move out from the shoreline.
Beyond the buildings and parking lots there are miles of unexploited territory. Orders are to fill ’em full o’ lead and kill ’em good-n-dead. Players are motivated to show what they’re made of. They gouge the stoney ground and feed their bloody lust. They crush the citizens into dust.
It matters not the weapons at their disposal. They simply use what’s on hand for the grand proposal, until vulture and vermin victory spied. The battle is over and everyone died.
Human interaction requires not so much a trust of others, as of our selves. We have to trust that we won’t fall apart when someone disappoints us. It’s a fact, people will disappoint us. Every effort we make to connect with others in a meaningful way we are just asking to be disappointed. That’s the risk we take. One worth taking, no doubt, and one that becomes easier to take when we understand that our lives are fluid, always in motion. We are constantly moving from one situation to another. Sometimes people move with us and sometimes they go a different direction. It happens. We move in and out of each other’s lives, leaving an imprint for better or worse.
To share struggles with strangers somehow seems easier than to expect loved ones to understand. For some reason, for them the effort is too great, the distance too far even when they are sitting right next to us. This is why I write. It’s a terrific release. Words have power. They sting and burn and propel raw emotion from an inferno into a single burst of clarity that tells the reader exactly what we want them to know.
Making lasting connections isn’t something I do on a large scale. My circle is small, and the older I get, the smaller it gets. I have never been particularly popular, but reaching out to others is something I consistently try to do, and even though doing so brings its share of disappointment, it occasionally offers the opportunity to interact with some pretty amazing people. When I think about the chances of someone like me coming in contact, even for a moment, with the many talented people who have visited this blog, enjoyed something I wrote, and took the time to tell me so, well, it boggles the mind. Never in a million years would I have expected to be so lucky. That’s exactly how I feel today. Lucky.
People move on. It’s disappointing, but I trust myself not to fall apart. Another year waits to be explored. It may not take me where I expect to go, but I’ll have fun getting there!
Hello old friend
I knew you’d come
To take me to task
Like you’ve always done
No new tricks?
Well, let’s get going
The sun is setting
We need to make tracks
I have things I want to talk about
Subtle and dynamic
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