Stingvia Daily Prompt: Sting
if you’re allergic to the sting then you get a pass otherwise please, there is no need to panic at the sight of bees.
Never is a bad word.
Oh, it wasn’t always. I used to use it all the time. I didn’t even have to think about it, the word just flew from of my mouth as free and easy as any other profanity. (I very rarely discriminate when it comes to words) The thing is this – after looking back onto several decades of declaring “I will never…” it becomes clear to me that either the word does not mean what I think it means or I am a liar. Actually a third reason did occur to me but it seems so ridiculous that I am loath to admit it. Okay you twist my arm, here it is : the word “never” has power. You know like magic or something. I know, I know it doesn’t seem right does it? Let me tell you why I think this.
It begins during my youth. If I look back I can recall my child self making loud, exasperated declarations at my smoking parents like “I WILL NEVER SMOKE CIGARETTES!” I also recall righteously pledging “when I am grown and a parent I will never say I don’t have time to play with my children.” Oh, and I will also never wear mascara.
Later as a cigarette smoking and mascara wearing teen I promise I will never live with a man (well, a boy really – sorry Stormin’ Cowboy) before I was married. I will never live in an apartment building or in a big city for that matter, and I will never get a divorce. At the time I looked down my nose at all of those things.
You see where I am going with this? So far I’ve done everything I said I would never do. These are but a few of the many many stubborn and uncompromising never statements to fall recklessly from my lips but you get the picture.
Now here’s the catch and I know because I’ve tried it. If I announce that I will “never win the lotto” or “I will never have more children” in the hopes of the never power giving me exactly that… it doesn’t work. WTF? How is that fair? So that’s it, I am done. I will
never not say never, ever again. ( Although, I can probably still write it… right?)
I wonder if Rick Astley ever did all the things he said he’d never do?
some of the things I said I would never do and did:
RRW – chapter 11
Beth’s plan will work, eventually but for now they wait. Between whistle and shouts summoning the dogs mother and daughter listen in strained silence for the sound of excited canine breaking a way through the bush. Scarlet is cold and thirsty but keeps quiet. She can tell her mother is embarrassed by their predicament. It is apparent by Beth’s constant reassurance also by the quivering lack of conviction behind her words. The thing is, despite being uncomfortable, Scarlet has faith in her mother. This feeling of optimism is new to her, not at all usual for Scarlet, but something is telling her to just go with it. So she is, waiting quietly for the rescue she knows is on the way.
As the day darkens the low slung moon brightens. From her seat on the decaying beech Scarlett’s gaze is captivated by the silver globe. How easy it would be to reach out and drag her fingertips along its surface. So close yet this pie in the eye moon goes unnoticed by her mother whose agitation is opposite to Scarlett’s calm. A strange turn-about because for the past year Scar had been the one in distress. So many worried nights listening to her parents argue and then trying not to hear them, existing in a constant state of anxiety. Until now. Lately something new has been hanging around in the back of her mind. Poking through the stress and negativity an inkling of something new has cropped up. She can’t say for sure but it might be hope. Usually Scar does not to believe in such promises, but now, beneath glow of this astronomical sphere, she finds herself considering the possibilities.
Beth, on the other hand, can no longer sit neither can she stay silent. She has taken to pacing and muttering. Between shouts and whistle the woman pleads (to who knows who) to please show her the way. When that doesn’t work she hums distractedly. It is a tune Scar does not recognize and does not inquire, only listens. Her mom begins to sing:
If you are in the woods – when the moon is bright
and the day of thanks is late
On outstretched branches – in exaltation
Aurora’s brilliance dances
If you’re in the woods – under frozen sky
to witness bow and streamer
from roots of pine and pulp – Scarlet blooms unfold
the prophesy retold
far and wide – but it’s here in Juniper Valley
where the original grace resides
What a pretty tune. When Scarlet says so Beth answers with a dismissive wave. “Silly old song my Grandpops used to sing. I don’t know what made me think of it” and resumes her pacing and pleading
Observing her mother Scarlet wonders what’s the difference between a spell and a prayer? As far as she can tell both are nothing more than words weaved into poems or chants, sometimes a song. Is the power in the words or in the belief? No matter the name, no matter a persons notion, combined or alone, on bended knee or standing and pacing, there is power in the idea. Beliefs practiced in groups and gatherings, coven and congregations whether casted or prayed all are heard… and sometimes answered.
It is huge relief when Buffy and Boots scamper towards them. Beth laughs and hugs the dogs already forgetting the deals she’d been making with the universe. “Whose a good dog?” Patting each furry head before commanding “Go Home.”
Tiny snow begins to fall, so light with wide gap between flakes it’s enough to excite the pups. Mother and daughter follow the animated animals as they scamper homeward. Between the fresh snow and full moon the dogs are frisky and in no hurry to get back. The path they blaze is an indirect one, full of loops and zig zag, Beth miust repeatedly remind them of their task. The ground has become frozen and crunchy. Tree branches are dusted with snow and the silvery moon gives the woods the appearance of an old black and white film. Again Beth takes no notice of things beyond her begging Boots and Buffy to “GO HOME.” Lifting her arm she points in a direction she hopes will get her point across. Boots bounds up to her playfully wagging his tail and nudging her leg. He then returns to Buffy and the two begin to sing .
Scarlet is stunned. “wow, dogs really do that?”
The hounds have brought them to the farthest end of the property, coming to a halt in front of a giant balsam tree, where they began to howl.
This particular evergreen has been allowed to grow in abundance. Both tall and wide without competition or crowding. Majestic green, its needles a vivid contrast to the black and white back drop. Basking beneath swirls of silver spotlight from a moon so low it appears to rest upon the trees pinnacle. “Mom” Scarlett whispers “what kind of tree is this?” From the branch end Scar plucks a small red bud. Peering upward the two behold blooms. Not large but long and thin, much like ribbon, like red ribbon. Beth’s sight continues to travel up, nearer to the top but not all the way, she sees it. Faded and worn with letters of gold, half a sash which once read “2nd runner-up.”
Oh man todays word is lust.
I woke up early this morning after a night of strangely disturbing and somewhat provocative dreaming. I was happy to leap out of bed at the first flicker of daylight.
Slippers, tea and my laptop already a beautiful morning. Flip open the monitor and straight to wordpress.com for todays word.
Oh lusty lustful lust!
I couldn’t be happier. Just thinking the word puts a queer and slightly unbalanced smile to my lips. Don’t get me wrong, I love love but lust that’s so much more fun, and so controversial.
There is lust for life. Most agree life is something worthy of desire. A lusty attitude which only means you have a healthy energy and robust demeanor. Wonderlust is a whimsical way to describe someones nomadic tendencies.
But lust, plain old physical, instinctual, carnal, wanton fornication, now that is a sin. In fact it is considered one of the seven deadly sins. To partake is to lead to more immoralities. Basically it’s a gateway sin.
I take issue with that statement.
It has been my experience where lust has led me to one of two results:
I will also mention that a little lust can go a long way. Really and truly, a little is all you need. To feel inspired, to feel sexy and desirable, to remind you of the thrill of being alive. There is, however this thing called obsession. It is not sexy. So like most things in life, moderation.
Every guy thinks they want a nymph. Then they meet me (or some other totally fun and awesome chick like me) and find out it can be more work than its worth.
This is a woodland nymph. I relate to her because I am known to describe myself as being like a woodland creature. You know, soft, timid and harmless like a bunny or a fawn. Although Hotty Scotty likes to point out that wolves are also woodland creatures. Hahaha! yes they are.
Last night Hotty Scotty took me to this show. We both like Tom Petty but it is I who has both loved and hated his music for various emotional reasons throughout my life.
You know how certain music becomes attached to what you are doing or how you are feeling at the time? My problem with Tom is he has always seemed to be in the background of everything I do, but never so much as in 1989. The year Tom Petty released “Full Moon Fever” and the year I tried to forget.
I was dumped on Valentines day that year. Which doesn’t seem like a big deal, and it wasn’t, or at least it shouldn’t have been but I was young and foolish, angry and resentful and most likely full of myself. (what a vain young girl I was – well, still kinda am, except for the young part) It was in this moment of rejection that I allowed myself to indulge in something, well someone, who I knew I should not have. First mistake, biggest mistake and the catalyst for what was to come.
1989 was the year I graduated from high school (pregnant), the year my beloved dog “Boots” died and the year I met Joe, the man I knew I was meant to marry. really? How can you know that at 17? All I can tell you is I knew I shouldn’t love him, so I said didn’t, but really did. I knew I had disrupted my family with my selfishness so I kept my agony to myself. I also knew all of this could just be hormones and emotions talking so I tried to be tough (I now know strong and tough are not the same but back then I thought tough was cool and no different).
So how does Tom Petty fit into all this? Well the album was released in April 1989 and it was the next month that I met Joe. The moment angels sang and my knees turned to jelly, stomach flopped and lightening struck…please insert every falling in love cliché here. By summertime he was driving me home and singing along to “Free Falling” … “she’s a good girl loves her mama love Jesus and America too” he’d turn up the radio and then to me asking why couldn’t I be a good girl? As the summer went on and my belly grew (I should point out the unborn infant not his -I was already knocked up when we met) he would look at me and sing along “Yer so bad, the best that I ever had… Joe would smile but I could see he was falling in love with us (me and my belly) and that he didn’t want to, many times he said “you are not the kind of girl a guy marries.” It was this statement that made me turn against Tom Petty. For many years following, after Joe and I split, after I searched the woods for the body of my dog, (he was dying, and as dogs sometimes do he’d wandered away, though I tried to stop him). After I gave my newborn child up for adoption and I just about lost my mind . After all this, the year passed to 1990 and I shoved the memories of 1989 into a pit which I had dug deep down in my gut then stepped on them like an overflowing trash bin. I did not embrace that I was a bad girl or one which a man does not marry but I believed it.
During the decade of my twenties I could not hear Tom Petty music without being reminded of my heartaches and mistakes, the memories brought me embarrassment. I would literally cringe if “free-falling” came on the radio, my hand automatically clicking to a new station.
At age seventeen I presumed by the time I was thirty I would be mature enough to look back at myself in retrospect with what… love? understanding? I don’t know, but surely by then enough time would have passed that I could return to becoming who I was meant to be. But thirties came and went and while I was a little wiser and more mature I still wasn’t quite there yet. It wasn’t until I was 40 and divorced, realizing I would never have any more children but grateful for the one I share with my ex, and finally in a strong loving relationship, that I came to understand I was wrong. I had misunderstood Joe’s interpretation of the lyrics. I began to listen to Tom Petty again and was grateful for the memories he provided. Without his music I may have succeeded in obliterating 1989. All those years ago Joe probably did not mean I was not a good girl. It suddenly occurred to me that he had his own struggles, namely, falling in love with pregnant girl. He might have felt like “I’m a bad boy for breaking her heart.” Also he did not mean, as I took it, that no man would ever want to marry me. He was just talking himself out of loving me. I was a big bag of trouble and he was on his way to something great. It took me twenty-something years to understand that he was only looking out for himself and not trying to hurt me. We were all hurting.
We were so young, still learning to fly but we didn’t have wings. Coming down is the hardest thing.
Tom Petty may not be my most favourite musician (although he is up there) but his music has been the soundtrack to my life whether I liked it or not.
There is a commotion at grandmothers house
children are huddled together and squabbling in the kitchen
some hubbub about “what is this thing affixed to the wall?”
they shove and point and shout out guesses
When the rotary device rudely jangles
grandkids are startled and step back in alarm
the tintinnabulation produced by the relic is jarring.
curiosity heightens as Nonna shuffles toward in slippers
Springtime is in its youth. It is a time when waters run rapid and before summers heat renders the creek lazy. A perfect time for racing twigs and bark, for pitting pine cones against peanut shells. Standing on the narrow bridge, siblings toss vessels of found debris into the current, betting on which will emerge first. Once it is established that our own stick is superior to any other we sprinted across the country road to witness the emerging winner. Of course a stick is a stick is a stick and sometimes there is confusion about whose switch was whose.
On a day when brothers and sisters have no interest in imaginary boating competitions I think up something new. A romantic idea often seen in cartoons and movies sometimes songs. I will put a message in a pop bottle. With paper torn from my notebook I write: My name and address along with instructions to whom in may concern please reply and we will be pen pals. I seal the bottle, ride my bike to the bridge, and dispatch into the current. Spring waters swiftly engulf the bottle and I hope it will gain some distance before being washed ashore.
Well, that is the end of the story. No one ever wrote to say they received my message in a coke bottle. Probably, all I really did was pollute the river with glass. That is how I think about it now but when I was twelve I imagined the bottle launching into an adventurous journey and ending at an exotic locale. I imagined the finder of my note to be so intriguing and likewise intrigued by me that we would become pen pals for life. I will also mention that it was many years before I gave up the hope of receiving a reply. My folks still live at that address so if you find it please write to me. I’ll get the message.things contained in bottles:
– honourable mention- Jim Croce wanted to put time in a bottle but was unable.
*if you can think of any more please share with me in the comments box
RevelationSo Hotty Scotty bought a mustang convertible. Yay!!! I have never been in one and have always wanted a convertible! Although, the convertibles of my fantasies are usually little blue miatas or a 1980s Mercedes like the one Mr. Nijhuis has.(had?) Scott’s mustang (oh, did I mention Scott LOVES mustangs. the list goes 1. mustangs 2. baseball, well all sports really 3. 90s music 4. me 5. smoking. 4 and 5 are interchangeable depending on how annoyed he is with me) is an unfortunate black with red interior. It is so tacky that I am both embarrassed by it and in love with it. When I announce that I love it mostly for being the underdog of the cool car world Scott is offended. Probably because that is also my reason for loving him.
We now have six cars parked in the driveway. Two are mustangs ( the other a fox body, a term I only recently learned when someone at work asked me if Scott had a “fox body” mustang and I replied why would he need that when he has me? hahaha- me laughing alone). Only one car in the driveway belongs to me. The up side being it always appears as if someone is home. (although if anyone was going to burglar our street they would probably choose to rob one of the many new and ridiculously large mansions built by wealthy neighbors rather than our 1950’s brick box. In proportion to the neighbors house ours could be it’s outhouse, but the joke’s on them because they chose to live next to us). the downside being, that when he has all vehicles outside of the garage I have to be extra careful in how I park. I am a known klutz so why he would ever risk parking near me is beyond comprehension. When you think about it, if I accidentally back into his BMW with my lowly Escape it’s really his own fault.
Anyway back to the tacky convertible. (no wait sidebar- his other mustang I call the douchemobile. What?!? If you saw it you’d understand. It has a giant cobra on the hood and says Dech on the back bumper! He pronounces it Deck but I say douche) So the new (to us) mustang is awesome! I took my first ride in it this morning through the timmy’s drivethru. I felt so free riding in a car sans roof! I can’t believe I’ve lived
46 39 years without this experience. It’s like a divine revelation! Scott says he’s not surprised that I feel so free… since I opted to leave the house dressed in nothing but a sun-dress sans underwear. We next stop at macs milk so he can check his lotto tickets. “You can stay in the car and keep your revelations to yourself.” he says, “Unless you can find a grate to stand over Marilyn Monroe style.” Those are my only options? That’s what you get when you decide to go commando. I wait in the car. When he returns I suggest we find a quiet county road so I can climb in the backseat and perch atop the trunk like they do in the movies Scott says no.
me: why? just drive slow, I will hang on to the roll bar
him: why do you want to do that? I think it’s illegal
me: okay we’ll wait until sundown – no we’ll wait ’til it gets dark and I can take my shirt off yaya sisterhood style. Oh yeah! brilliant! total freedom!
him: okay, settle down there 10 year old Pauline, I think you’ve had enough freedom
me: can you ever really have too much freedom?
I think he should get vanity plates – DCH MBIL
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