Monthly Archives: October 2016

Waiting: A Fable in 566 Words

waiting

The woman sank down as if anchored to the spot.  Chair absorbed her weight, taking on as much of the burden that he could.  He allowed her to clutch his arms and dig in her nails.  Chair didn’t even mind when her tears splashed his upholstery.

After a while the woman got up and said thank you.  Chair readied himself for whoever was next.  It was Tuesday and today seven different people had appointments in this office – one for each hour until seven o’clock.  Chair knew he could handle it; he was no lazy boy and the comfort and strength he provided brought him a supreme sense of satisfaction.  Supporting people was his job and he believed no one could do it better.

Then one day news rippled through the office.  Across town new space had opened up for rent.  This building had a fountain in its courtyard and an atrium on the first floor.  Bah, thought Chair.  We don’t need any of that stuff.  What can a fountain or atrium provide that I cannot?  People love me for the comfort I provide.  They won’t find that elsewhere.  It was at that moment that Chair made up his mind not to move into the new space.

In a matter of a few weeks, books had been packed into boxes, pictures had been protected by bubble wrap, and stacks of paper piled years deep had been sorted through and recycled.  As Chair watched the flurry of activity over the next few weeks, he felt resolute about his decision.  He did not even waiver when the movers came.  Instead, he dug into the floor and he did not budge.

Chair grinned in satisfaction as he overheard one of the movers say, “We’ll have to come back.”  Chair felt eyes on him, taking in his build and he slouched further to the floor to emphasize his bulk.  He chuckled to himself as he knew his strength and the fact that it made him immobile.

Then Chair heard another voice.  “Don’t worry about it.  We’ll just leave the chair here for the next office tenants.”

The lights went out and Chair sat basking in his victory.  Yes, he would be perfect for whoever came next.  He just knew it.

Only no one came.  Time stretched from days to weeks, then months to years.  And just like a sweater that has been worn and stretched over time, the office began to look a shabby remnant of its former self.  That included Chair.

At first Chair hadn’t minded his solitude.  His imagination ran wild as he envisioned who would sit in him next and how he would help them solve their problems.  Then Chair began to imagine his former owner bursting into the office, proclaiming that nothing had gone right without Chair and he would do whatever it took to bring Chair to his new office.

Finally, Chair relegated himself to hoping that anyone would show up.  But no one did, except for the sun, the wind, and the rain.  It was not what Chair wanted, but finally he accepted them as his only company.   Even as new life emerged around him, Chair knew it was too late for himself.  No one else was coming.  He had missed his opportunity to move on.  So now he just waited for the end, glad that he would not spend his remaining days completely alone.

Memoir Monday – October 3rd, 2016

no-one-is-an-island-update

A few weeks ago, I wrote a socialization plan I came up with for my time in Connecticut.  We’re at the halfway point, so here’s an update on where I’m at and where I’m going.

1)      Spend three days a week writing at the library to get me out of the house

Grade: F

Rationale: Although I frequent the library to check out books (ALL THOSE BOOKS ARE FREE FOR ME TO READ AT MY LEISURE!!!!), I have not written a single word while there, nor have I ever headed there with the purpose of doing so.

Reflection:  I’m kind of okay with this fail.  My novel writing has ceased (again), but I seem to have finally gotten into a rhythm with blogging and my short stories keep a comin’.   I also now write about a full-page of stream of consciousness journaling on a daily basis and all of this writing takes place at the kitchen table.  I did 99.9% of my writing in Johnsonville, NY, at a kitchen table, so I seem to be drawn towards writing in big, open spaces with lots of natural sunlight.  I’m also getting out of the house in other ways (see point #5), so I’m not feeling isolated at all.

2)      Volunteer at the library (that is, if they’ll have me for just two months)

Grade: F

Rationale: In addition to not writing at the library, I have not done one lick of volunteer work for them.  I didn’t even ask because as you’ll see in points #3 and #5, other opportunities presented themselves.

Reflection: 

Ever heard the expression “you plan; God laughs?”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s what happened here.

3)      Seek other short-term volunteer opportunities as they present themselves

Grade: A-

Rationale:  It’s not short-term, but ya’ll are looking at the newest social media team member for the Young Adult Review Network (YARN)!  YARN is an online literary journal devoted to the young adult genre.  As someone who hopes to someday have YA novels published, this is an excellent opportunity to read some outstanding work in the genre.  Plus, it gets me using twitter, which is necessary in publishing and this is volunteer work I can do anywhere in the world.  So, it fits in perfectly with our wandering lifestyle.

4)      Attend a weekly writers’ group

Grade: A+

Rationale:  Every Wednesday morning, I attend a Creative Writing Group at the Norfolk Church of Christ Congregational UCC.  In addition, twice a month I head to the Simsbury Library to attend a Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators critique group.  What’s fantastic about this group is all the women in it are writing specifically for children and the feedback I’ve gotten has been excellent.   Both writing groups have been incredibly welcoming and I already know I’m going to miss them when we move (much like the other writing groups I’ve been privileged to attend, including the Durham Writers’ Group in NC and the Schenectady NY Public Library Wednesday Afternoon Writing Group – I LOVE AND MISS YA’LL!).

5)      Work at short-term, limited employment jobs where I can see my contributions to society;

Grade: B

Rationale: As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I started work at a café in town. As I’ve never had a service job before, I’m struggling with the in’s and out’s of the job, but I do make up for it with enthusiasm.  I still find great satisfaction in providing lunch for individuals and even simple things like sweeping the floor and doing the dishes feel worthwhile because it’s helping the café owner present our best to the Norfolk community.

I’m also meeting some interesting people.  Just today I met someone who has published two books.  His fiction book is entitled Hypnogogia – A Life of Dreams, and as someone who has had vivid dreams as a symptom of narcolepsy I am intrigued by a story that blends dreams with reality.

He and his wife were two of the loveliest people I’ve met so far and I’m delighted that he asked me to call him with my contact information so he can send me a free copy of the book! 

They also gave me a 30% tip which is AWESOME when you are working at a café lunch counter.

The only downside to this job is that I feel physically exhausted at the end of the work day, so I haven’t been working on my novels when I get home in the afternoons.  I’m still prioritizing losing the post-PA weight gain from my parents’ house with morning cardio and strength training so there goes that writing time.

It also doesn’t help that my husband and I experienced our first and subsequently second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth tastes of apple cider doughnuts, but if you’re in New England for the fall, shouldn’t you experience such a delectable sweet and crunchy treat?  Good thing I was already exercising, but what it comes down to is exercise is still taking precedence over some of my writing (not all; see point #1).

6)      Find a spiritual community that encourages self-reflection and growth.

Grade: C+

Rationale: To quote U2, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” Yet, and I refuse to give up.  One promising community is a health food store up the way in Winsted (about a 15-minute drive) that offers a Restore Your Soul Dancing Yoga Class for the next three weeks.  I’ve never done dancing yoga before, but we’ll see what it’s like.  If anything, what I’ve learned so far in CT is to keep an open mind and try new things.

So there you have it, my mid-CT-term report card.  What do you think?  Have I graded myself too harshly (many of my former students can relate) or do you think I should be more lenient?  And if you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my blog.  Then I can get an A when I evaluate my blogging endeavors!