Posts Tagged With: humanity

Blessings and Peace On All

A while back, I started doing this thing when I leave my house in the morning. As I turn the key in the lock, I say the following words: I humbly ask for blessings and peace on all who live in this home, wherever we may be. Then I picture all the members of my family and where they are at the current moment – the cats are usually sleeping (so that they can be well rested to terrorize as soon as I get home), the lizard is eating kale and carrots in her tank, the kid is at school, and the dude is at work, or still sleeping like a dirty rat.

As I walk outside, I open the request up, for blessings and peace for all who live in my city, and then in my state, the country, then on to the planet. I make sure to clarify that I mean all living beings, be it cockroaches or bald eagles or humans.

This began as much more of a self-serving practice rather than a magnanimous one, in that I believe that the happier others are, the less of their burden I will be required to carry. I’ve no trouble with empathy, and with sharing the load of a friend going through rough times. I will not lie and say that, along with my own crazy head troubles, occasionally that load gets heavier than I feel I can shoulder.

The mantra is kind of a life line for me. My tendency when overwhelmed is to go numb, to retreat to my Netflix and my cats, and untether myself from the tenuous connections of humanity. This, not surprisingly, leads to existential ansgty crises of what’s it all about, what does any of it matter, why should I even care. I relate to Holden Caulfield and Albert Camus, not my drunken upstairs neighbor, or my friend who keeps making the same mistakes in her life over and over again. I retreat to the above it all intellectual teenager that I was, when in fact I am the mother of a damn teenager and should stop it.

I’m not a particularly spiritual person, and while I definitely consider myself both a student and practitioner of yoga, it’s very easy for me to fall back into the I am an island unto myself mindset. It feels as if I blink and a month has gone by, and I must go through my list of contacts and touch base with those who really matter to me. Thankfully, they all know me well enough that my frequent sojourns into silence do not affect our friendship, but I still feel like a terrible person when I realize I’m not giving what I should to those who have given me so much more than I feel I’ve earned.

So I will continue to chant my mantra, as a daily reminder that no matter how alone and pointless I may feel at times, there is always a buoy bobbing somewhere to hug, to stop from being swept away to the Land of Meh.

***

This is my first non-fiction entry into the Yeah Write grid. I look forward to hearing if I missed the point of what they look for completely, or at least if I’m on the right track. I’d like to delve a little more into non-fiction work, so it can’t hurt to jump on in.

This seems like a pretty great community that I would definitely like to explore a little more. I admit to finding it a tad intimidating, but hey, jumping on in and all Head over here if you’d like to do the same: http://yeahwrite.me/nonfiction-writing-challenge-186/

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

The Marauders

A Master Class tale….

Dunkirk had been overrun in the night.  The Marauders wore masks; some said it was to hide their lack of humanity, but he figured it was because the stench they left in their wake was so foul that even they at their animal best could not stand to marinate in it.

Jensen didn’t wear a mask.  The others, huddled in the corner and scrunched into tiny balls of quivering skin and watering eyes, had wrapped whatever they could find around their noses, their mouths.  He breathed in the death, the burning flesh and singed hair, opened his ears wide to the screams and the pleas, the grating laughter and raucous cat calls that erupted in the night around them.

You cannot overcome an enemy that you will not face.  You cannot triumph over an evil that you refuse to comprehend.

He sighed, and locked away the corner of himself that wanted to weep for the rest of his days, the weak willed human side that wanted to quiver to jelly with the rest of them.  He wasn’t even sure how he had ended up with this gaggle of geese traipsing after him; he certainly hadn’t intended to gather a flock as he had sped, hunched over and silent as a hunting cat, behind the Marauder’s line of fire and into the basement of a gutted house on the outskirts of town.

Yet here they were. Four men and three women, one holding an infant the size of a loaf of bread against her chest, muffling its whimpers as she soothed and murmured into its ear.  He shrugged his broad shoulders, rolled them forward and back, trying to loosen the weight of them that dragged like a yoke around his neck.  There was nothing for it.  Desperation had given him authority.

He crouched down to eye level with the rest of them and pitched his voice so low they had to guess at some of the words.

“They’ve already been here, this is where they started.  Chances are they’ll do another sweep through before they leave, but it’ll be cursory at best.  They wanna get back home, start their feast.”  The woman with the baby shuddered so violently that the child let out a wail, quickly stifled under Jensen’s calloused palm.  He swore, quiet but vicious, and stared the woman in her fear-stupid eyes.

“Yeah, I get it.  Their feast is our flesh.  Maybe someone you love was taken, right in front of you.  Maybe you lost one, but you saved another.  Now you keep yourself still and you keep that baby quiet, or I will throw you both out that front door without a second thought.  If you understand what I’m saying, shut the fuck up.”

She froze, all but the hand stroking the baby’s back.  The kid’s solemn brown eyes studied Jensen’s pale green ones as he took his hand away from the red rosebud of a mouth.  Please, peanut, Jensen silently prayed, just shut up shut up shut up…

There was a sound of breaking glass from the floor above them, muffled footsteps.  A thin scream escaped the woman with the broken mind.  Sensing its mothers distress, the infant’s lips quivered, its brow puckered.  Before it could draw breath to squall, ever again, Jensen shut off his humanity for good and stretched his hand out towards that tiny face once again.  Only desperation could bestow this kind of authority.

******

For this week’s Master Class, I disturbed myself…

Prof SAM (http://frommywriteside.wordpress.com)  jumped back in the saddle and had last class’s star pupil Renee (http://elsetimeandotherwhen.blogspot.com) turn to page 152 of her chosen book and use the 2nd line of the last paragraph for our story prompt.  She chose T.H.White’s The Once and Future King:  Desperation had given him authority.

Storch-Badge-Master

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

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