Expression

A to Z 2013 : OLIVE BRANCH

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)



Olive Branch

From the past you come forth with the offerings of peace.
Let bygones be bygones, we can be friends at the least.
Did I think it was impossible after all of the years
Through the hardships, fears, and waterfall tears.
It may be hard knowing that I’m still so far
But let’s not forget why we are where we are
Choices were made, consequences will be met
Giving things time would be your best bet

There’s no need for rhymes for our story is no fairytale
Nor a children’s book or love song
But the love is still there as it will always be
The place in our hearts where the others still beats
Regardless of time and the pain interlacing
Connections remain true, forever both a curse and a blessing

At this time we both know boundaries have been broken
While respect should be met at the cost of one’s good intentions
Self love is the key to everyone’s salvation
Seclusion a trick of our mind’s disillusion
Train always your heart, body, and soul
In the end you’ll be free and once again find yourself whole

A to Z 2013 : KALEIDOSCOPE

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

I am a leaf on the wind.

Sometimes it feels like I have no control over the path I am taking. I am but a passenger. If I struggle, go against the flow, I am met with turbulence. Dramatic eruptions spin me out of my element, and I am initially powerless against the impact. Bombarded, I endure the assault until I learn how to let go; learn I am choosing this. To eventually embrace the calm and once again fall back into the stream. Wrapping myself in the warmth and comfort of not familiarity, but acceptance and understanding.

If I were a kite I could go against the grain. Head held high and soaring to new heights, with a constant surge and birds-eye view. Should the gusty source falter or confidence dip, the plummeting to rock bottom is sealed; no hope for a grip. I love kites, but I never fly them because I think of Benjamin Franklin. From a simple storm comes such a great lesson

During Inception I had a full bladder. I kept thinking “How many damn levels are in this multi-tiered dreaming ladder?” And why the hell was there so much rain? Not just in blips, but excruciatingly prolonged slow-motion, screwing with my brain. Finally the end was near, the end to my strife! No wait — Level Five? — fuck my fucken life!

I’ve always wanted to be a private detective. I only wore the fedora twice, because I couldn’t get a case. Was it my stance, lack of motivation, or that I move at a slow pace? Getting in shape was the key. I could talk about how I bought kale a few times. But I didn’t eat it, I just put in the freezer. I didn’t know what to do with it — I just knew it was healthy.

Grey is a color, one that I adore. The Grey has wolves and in my subconscious opened a door.

My thoughts swim, and glide, and dance, and collide. It can be hard to focus on just one at a time. They want to merge and blend, yet remain independent. Just when I think I have something that makes sense, I open my mouth and in return I receive stares.

I advise that when Jak-speak is involved it’s best to not ask questions. Some students learn fast, other take their time.

I should buy a boat.

A to Z 2013 : INITIATIVE: JUST ACT KIND

A to Z 2013 : INITIATIVE: JUST ACT KIND

Within I touch on the topics of Love, hate, Forgiveness, Spirituality and Kindness. They are discussed through my own personal experiences and beliefs I've shared throughout my brief lifetime. Hopefully the Initiative will inspire something in you!

I want to believe this is somewhat coherent. As I began writing it, I had way too many topics/thoughts/ideas barraging me at once. This was the third draft and I refuse to do a fourth. I feel this will get a handful of my thoughts out. I will revisit these topics once the A to Z Challenge concludes, and I have more time to focus.

IDLE MUSINGS

Last week my family said goodbye to my uncle. Things seem calmer, but it's likely because everyone is going about their grieving in different ways. That and the fact I am not in close proximity of most of my family anymore. We aren’t talking states away, but I have a very small radius of travel; something I want to change sooner than later.

I spoke of another loss, one hopefully salvageable. It pales in comparison to a death in the family, but it's an important matter, nonetheless.

Before getting to that, though, I will start on a lighter note...

Your You’re the Writer

Yesterday was my review for the new company I work for. I have to admit, I was a little nervous. With everything going on the last few weeks, I had fallen a bit behind. The company uses a Self-Assessment form, where you critique your own work/skills/strengths/weaknesses/etc. It was interesting. Similar to some of the questions asked in the interview I had with the company.

Questions like: What are five strengths you possess?

Could you believe I could only think of four during my interview? It happened! Granted I was on thirty minutes of sleep, but still. I never really think about those kinds of things. What I’m good at, strengths, positive traits/skills. It was a bit easier this time around, thankfully.

I couldn’t print out the form, so I ended up writing my answers on index cards. I was excited when my manager seemed interested I used them. I may be obsessed, I use them for many things. She let me start the review.

“You’re the writer...” she began.

I must have told her I wanted to write and forgot. I think I got flustered, maybe embarrassed, and tried explaining I hadn’t written much in a while. It was, however, encouraging to make sure I do a little writing each day; especially my fiction.

The review went really well. Things were in order and we spoke about advancement opportunities, so I will be playing it by ear. It would be nice to shift into a new role, learn some new skills. Overall it turned out to be a good day, with a clearer outlook on the work front.

Wildflower

In a previous post, THE BRIDGE, I mentioned a Wildcard associated with NaNoWriMo.  This individual played an important role in inspiring my writing, encouraging me to complete NaNo, and fueling various other projects thereafter. Looking back, I apparently wasn’t completely aware of just how influential the individual had been to my work.

Now the part that some may find hard to believe, is that I had specifically asked for a Muse months ago. Asked the Universe, for all those new age spiritualists out there. So, I got what I asked for, but unfortunately not at the most opportune time, at least in terms of being able to explore it to a desired capacity. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. I just wanted to write again.

So this Muse came into my life and that’s what happened. I began to write again. More expansive than outlines and ideas. Spending time with them somehow created a surge of inspiration and desire to create. I couldn’t explain it and still can’t. It just was. It scared me; still does. It played a factor in, to some extent, the breakdown discussed in that earlier post linked above.

While things were exciting for a time, eventually due to circumstances, the connection had to be momentarily released. I hope it’s a very temporary situation. It was important to myself to be realistic and honest about the situation, rather than pretend I was okay with it or that things would change. Continuing down that path would have bode negative for both myself and them. Different people at different places, but perhaps down the road the friendship will resume more fully.

Since the severance, I have coincidentally been lacking in my fiction. I’m sure a lot of it is in my head, but unless someone has known someone that created this effect, I can’t explain it. It comes off as magical. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t contemplated sacrificing some happiness in attempts to assure I could at least have access to just a taste now and again. It can be very euphoric.

Music plays a large role in my writing, and fuels a lot of my fiction. Not as fleshed out, but little blips of scenes. I’m hoping it will suffice, and that I can unlock that part of me that was unleashed when in the presence of a Muse. The belief is, naturally, that the source is within you and I agree (or so I will tell myself). The trouble comes in accessing it freely.

Wildflower is the name of a Smashing Pumpkins song I dedicated to this situation. To me, the song is about someone chasing another who is always out of reach. In doing so, eventually it becomes too much and they need to let go, or risk the task consuming them. That is the simplistic explanation.

The song took on a slightly different meaning when listening to it live, where the singer had changed a line of lyrics from "When it's far too gone, I'd move on" to "When it's all too much, I've had enough." Originally, in context, it sounded like he was giving permission to the other to move on once he became unmanageable. To go and be free and live without him. With the change, it is more giving himself permission and letting go (and how the original line was meant to be taken - at least in my theory). Either way, give it a listen. I love it!

Flash Fiction

I decided to try my hand at Flash Fiction. Essentially it is a piece consisting of fewer words than a short story. I believe under a thousand (or maybe three thousand?) words is common. There was a contest held a few weeks ago and the rules specified for a piece of fiction of 250 words or less. Writing within these confines is sometimes referred to as Micro Fiction. Also, as a fun twist, you had to use at least four of ten pre-selected words.

The words:

EVENING-QUARRY-ACCENT-ROSE-TEAR-MINUTE-GRAVE-CLOSE-ENTRANCE-BOW

It was a lot of fun and very challenging. I’d like to do more Flash Fiction. I feel it will help me in terms of brevity with my fiction. This past weekend I received the dreaded email stating my story didn’t make it to the next round of judging. That is unfortunate, but was expected. It was more for the experience of it. I don’t think I’ve submitted anything into a contest since high school; maybe first grade.

The piece was inspired by the circumstances involving the Muse, and also a song I was inspired to write during the period we were in touch. For that reason, it is a very personal story, but would love to share it.

I’m currently placing all of my fiction on a blog specifically designed for my writing. You can read my Flash Fiction contest entry there:

Dreams in the Shade of Ink: Fireflies

Feel free to check it out, comment, and explore the other writing projects I am working on! Any constructive feedback is always welcomed; both here and there.

Until then, I will endure the only thing standing between that fleeting inspiration and myself. Those words that wish to be written, but enjoy a good game of hide-and-seek.

Time.

Have you ever had a Muse? For those out there inspired by music, what song(s) or band(s) really gets your mojo flowing? Have you ever written any Flash Fiction? I'd love to read some from others!

THE HARMONIC (DIS)CHORD OF YESTERYEAR

Once upon a time, I had an incredible bout of writer’s block. I will try to pretend that it wasn’t more than a ten year struggle that just recently ended last November. During this time, I was unable to extract the bountiful creations swimming around in my mind. I would think about writing, my writing, all the time. Characters, plots, dialog, etc etc. It was quite maddening; not being able to bring to life my imagination in some tangible fashion.

To those who say writer’s block is a myth, I say: Piss off.

Sure, I can sign on to the various psychological barriers that are self-induced and causes one to be unable to be creatively productive. I get that. Those claiming it is an excuse to be lazy, or that it’s a sign your creative product is shit: Piss-right the fuck-off.

I'm sure I should read the books claiming the latter (and I will eventually) before letting it get me all worked up, but it just comes off to me like a - newly prescribed - jumping on the bandwagon scenario. Perhaps I will sing a different tune once researching more.

I am getting sidetracked, though.

I wanted to point out that, while enduring this block, I was somehow still able to create on a very minor level. Essentially I would write song lyrics (this may seem to contradict my claim of being blocked but... it doesn't to me). I'm not exactly sure why that was. Perhaps because music is such a central force in my life? Because I constantly am making up songs throughout the day? I make up songs about the most random, mundane events. Think Marshall, from How I Met Your Mother. It used to irritate my ex, and does others in general. Someday someone will appreciate it!

So, I thought I would share some of the various songs (lyrics) I wrote over the years. Does the fact I got them out past the writer’s block mean they're not crap? Not at all. They do, however, hold different levels of importance and nostalgia with me. This will be just a sampling, but I will likely offer more as time goes on. I’ve never been good at writing poetry, but I’ve always considered these creations to be on that level.

The poetry of my soul.

Some are fun, some are vulgar, some are emotional, but all coming from somewhere within.

Perhaps someone will enjoy one themselves.

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

We'll start with the first song lyrics I believe I ever wrote (or at least documented). This would be in the mid-1990s. I remember trying to get a friend to write up some music for it, but it never came to fruition. Creative differences? Ha! Gotta love high school.

-QUICKSAND-

I need your help
But you give me none
Life overwhelms me
And it’s not very fun

I call out your name
But you don’t hear me
Or don’t you listen
Anymore

I am stuck here
Or can’t you see?
I’m stuck in this rut
With nowhere to go

Help me
I’m sinking deeper down
To my death
Within this land
Within this quicksand

You were my everything
My dove
You were the only part of life
That I loved

Help me
I’m sinking deeper down
To my death
Give me your hand
Within this quicksand

You left me
But I still love you now
Even though you can’t seem
To return the vow

Help me
Take my hand
I’ll pull you deeper down
Within this land
Within this quicksand
Quicksand

*     *     *

-THE WEIGHT OF US-

She sits alone
In her room, in the dark
Praying for a change
She wants to
Get away from this life
But she’s too scared to move

She has a dream
That she thinks she can’t reach
That can’t come true
So she dances
Because it sets her free
It sets her free

Keep on dancin’ girl
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You hate the world and want to escape
Keep on dancin’ girl
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You pray for the pain to fade

He wishes
That he was somebody else
Someone with fame
He wants to
Make so much more of this life
But he can’t seem to move

He needs to
Find out the reasons why
He’s misunderstood
He smiles
Pretending it’s all okay
Everything’s okay

Keep on smilin’ boy
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You hate the world and want to escape
Keep on smilin’ boy
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You pray for the pain to fade

Keep on dacin’ girl
Keep on smilin’ boy
Someday your pain will fade
Keep on smilin’ boy
Keep on dancin’ girl
Someday your pain will fade

Sometimes the weight of us is enough to hold us down
Sometimes the weight of us is enough to make us drown

*     *     *

-WORRY-

Where has the time gone?
I swear I was a boy just the other day
And where do I go from here?
The future, it scares the shit out of me

And is there love?
Is there someone out there waiting for me?
I thought that I had found this once
But I was wrong and that ended up just a dream

Pre-Chorus
And are the Angel’s above looking down?
Are they laughing, or are they crying for my tragedies?
Should I even worry about what all the others think?
Should I worry?
I can’t worry
I can’t help but worry

Chorus
Will I always be the last one to understand the joke?
Will I always be the only one left standing out in the cold?
When will it be my time, my time to be happy?
You just sit there and stare and all you can say to me is: don’t worry

And where have my walls gone?
I swear I was safe just the other day
And how do I get out of here?
Vulnerabilities scare the shit out of me
And can I believe
In such things as my happy ending?
I hope that I can find this once
Cause if not all of this may have no meaning

Pre-Chorus/Chorus

Break One
Try two days in my shoes
And see if you feel the same
Try two days in my shoes
And see if you can still say
Don't worry

Break Two
Are the angels above looking down?
Are they laughing?
Are the angels above looking down?
Are they crying for my tragedies?

Chorus

*     *     *

The End is the Beginning is the End

Three should suffice. And it seems I left out the more “fun” songs this time around. I think these were some of my more emotional creations; especially the final song Worry, which remains one of my favorites.

As I said, I may share more as time goes on. If not, I am glad to at least have these three up.

Technically I create new songs almost daily, but rarely do I ever write them down, which is a shame. Even if they aren’t the best out there, they are still creations I am missing the opportunity to work with. The ones that keep coming back over time are the ones I eventually document. I figure, they must be coming back for a reason. Makes sense right?

Until next time, try to be more mindful to the poetry of your own soul. What you find may surprise you.