Three Word Wednesday: Reckless, Heartache, Jangle

Saturday night I had the unfortunate circumstance of witnessing a car and a motorcycle collide with fatal results. It’s been smashing in my head all week, and Wednesday’s words provided an outlet for expression.

Reckless rider
Yellow bike

Jangled nerves
Red brake lights

Glossy blood halo
Colorless in dusky night

Pronounced at the scene
Black task ahead

Heartache’s strongest color
Purple for the dead

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3WW – Dreary, Embrace, Timid

Here is a submission for Three Word Wednesday, the words this week are DREARY, EMBRACE, and TIMID.

The fog arrived earlier than usual, rolling across the rusty bridge in a dreary embrace. I shuddered, pulling my jacket tighter to my chest, and crossed with timid steps.

“Leave me alone.” The raspy voice startled me still. I crouched into my hips and peered at the shadowed figure ahead.

“I brought you something.” I squatted, set down the brown bag as far as my arm could stretch. The bottles made an echoless clink on the ground. I took two steps backward, turned, retreated.

Some say it’s enabling, but what else is supposed to keep him warm on a night like this?

Daily Haiku 052709 – NaiSaiKu!

Thought I would try a NaiSaiKu, which I also count as my daily haiku, which also is using the three words from today’s Three Word Wednesday (dreamy, embrace, timid), enjoy!

dreamy newborn son
offered a timid nipple
embraced in bosom
FIRST NIGHT
embraced in bosom
offered a timid nipple
dreamy newborn son

EDIT: realized the word suggested for use today was DREARY, not DREAMY – but I think I’ll leave it as it is for now!

3WW Efficient Optimize Treacherous

Thank you for coming back to this post if you visited earlier. I certainly appreciate the feedback, and patience!

Three Word Wednesday is a weekly exercise where three words are suggested to use in a writing piece. This week’s words are EFFICIENT, OPTIMIZE and TREACHEROUS.

He never really understood the game of baseball. It’s not that he didn’t like it, he just couldn’t understand the passion it held for some. With only ten kids showing up for today’s game and one now injured, he was forced to bat for the first time.

At fifteen, Evan was the only kid on his team who had never played before, a fact he kept to himself. His mother, widowed when he was four, was equal parts too busy, too broke, and too protective to ever let him play. Secretly he was ok with that, feigning disappointment as a means of getting some other guilt-induced treat from her, even if it was only a little extra of her attention, which is all he really craved.

Now remarried to his step-dad Steve, Evan had signed up for a team Steve had volunteered to coach. It was a smart idea, they were new to town, and Evan could start a new life. As Steve liked to say, “optimize your opportunity.” Steve coming along had been a good thing, mostly. Any attention lost from his mother was made up with the intangible “normal” he now felt. Now he could just be Evan, not the kid whose dad had been killed in Iraq.

Evan’s step-dad sensed his embarrassment about never playing before and took extra time with him to improve his new skills. Their first night in town Steve took him to a major league game downtown. Tapping him on the shoulder, Steve broke Evan’s gaze from the chaotic dancing bugs in the field’s lights above him.

“See Evan? See how the outfielders keep their movements efficient? Catch-Step-Throw. No bobbling, no looking at the ball. Optimize your opportunity and take all that energy to get your ball to go the distance.” Steve had tucked Evan into center field occasionally when the games weren’t close, and the left and right fielders were mostly kind when they ran past him to make the catches.

Now he was on deck, slinging his bat from side to side, hoping he managed to look like he knew what he was doing. Down by one, bases loaded, two outs in the bottom of the last inning. He felt like he was going to throw up. He looked over at his step-dad on the third base line, and noticed Steve looked like he wanted to puke too.

He approached the batter’s box, wriggled his feet into the divots, held his right hand back to the umpire as a time-out. This small technique was one of many he picked up quickly. Things like calling time. No sliding into first base. Don’t throw your bat. This was the language of baseball, and knowing these few basic rules gave him credibility among his peers and protected him from ridicule.

Evan took a deep breath, watched the pitcher set, wind up, pitch.

Ball one.

He backed out of the batter’s box (another of those basic rules) and looked down the third base line at Steve.

Steve nodded and clapped. “Be a hitter now!”

Evan stepped back into the box, secured each foot into the rusty dirt, like doing the twist. The pitch.

PING!

Foul ball. But he DID make contact. Behind him his mother reacted with a loud whoop and thunderous feet on the metal bleachers as if he had hit a home run. He passed her a sheepish smile through the chain link.

He repeated the steps, backed out of the box, watched Steve’s hands speak in that pseudo-sign language of baseball that still baffled him. Steve touched his cap, brushed his sleeve, tap, tap, tap, fingers to cap, to chin, to cap, to elbow. Bunt? Steve clapped twice, pointed his index fingers like pistols at Evan, mouthing, “all YOU!”

The pitch came at him with treacherous speed, and he felt every muscle tighten, his arms shot out, his hips thrust forward toward the ball, and he was no longer in control of his own body.

It was the most beautiful swing anyone had ever seen.

The sudden pain directly above his belly button shocked him back into his body and dropped him like the proverbial sack of potatoes as he watched the ball roll back toward the pitcher’s mound.

Strike two.

As he regained his wind, he felt Steve’s hand on his back and heard someone explain to his mother that because he swung, getting hit doesn’t give him the base. Just a big bruise on his solar plexes and a bigger bruise on his ego. After nodding that he was ok and spitting out some of the dust he inhaled, he dug his feet inside the batters box, feeling like he was facing the firing squad and about to faint..

The God’s honest truth, though he would never admit it, was that he squeezed his eyes shut and stood stiff for the next pitch, and prayed to hear the umpire’s booming “STRIKE THREE” call.

Ball two.

Like a dead man walking, again he backed out of the box, legs like lead, and mustered a brave expression for Steve. His step-dad’s hands were glued to his hips, his face a mix of worry and nausea.

Left foot dug in. Right foot. Exhale. Indian burn the grip of the bat. The wind-up. This time he kept his eyes open, and for an instant all time slowed. He watched the seams of the ball, followed them like the tracks for a train, leading right to his frozen frame. This time the pain shot into his left hip and spun him around toward the backstop.

With absolute relief he heard the umpire say, “take your base, son”. Never were four words so beautiful to his ears.

The tying run crossed home plate, and the lead-off batter confidently strode to the batter’s box. Opportunity optimized.

As he held his foot on first base and resisted the urge to rub his hip, he smiled broadly as his step-dad pumped his fist and his mother squealed and high-fived her new neighbors.

Baseball was really such a strange game.

Before, she wrote:

My journal entires recently have been about how exhausting waiting is, and about how exhausting writing about how exhausting waiting is. Thank you to everyone and anyone who read the last two 3WW posts and offered words of encouragement, positive thoughts and prayers. They helped enormously.

Just a quick update as I feel obligated to put some sort of closure here, and leave the cliffhangers to the television shows. I have hyperplasia cells, which can turn into cancer cells. I will have these removed and analyzed in another biopsy next month. If the edges of the tissue they take are clean, they conclude they have all the suspect cells and away I go. If not, then they’ll have to go in and take more.

I just wish this happened in my butt tissue where I have more tissue to spare.

I’m not dying. I’ve been so engrossed in this subject the last two weeks at this point I’m like, TAKE them. TAKE this set that may try to kill me and give me a new one. A new set that defies gravity while you’re at it. I don’t want to get snotty or disrespectful, so I have to stop writing about this for a while, because all that comes out is crap like that.

Anyway, it was hard to shift gears and get ANYTHING out for this week’s 3WW. Most likely because I had to address this outstanding issue.

Again, thank you for all the love and support I felt coming my way. It has changed me for the better.

So here is my feeble attempt….

To emerge victorious
from the treacherous batter’s box
bat movement must be efficient
to optimize ball distance.

AAAGHH!!! It’s LIFELESS!!! So before I rant on here in front of my adoring public (HA!) I sign off…

Daily Haiku and 3WW, Bicker, Nervous, Trajectory

Here is my Haiku of the day, with my 3WW contribution below

Tears not from sadness
Abundance of emotion
Not contained within

Three Word Wednesday (3WW) is a writing exercise where three words are presented as prompts to be used however the mood strikes us. This week’s words were: Bicker, Nervous, and Trajectory.

It seems like I’m always driving. On my way to pick up my son from practice, I winced at each unavoidable pot hole. I turned up the car stereo, Blue Man Group, thankful for the deep percussion that masked the throbbing on my left side. I hadn’t expected so much discomfort from the breast biopsy. Instead of managing all the usual afternoon tasks that bicker for my attention, I ended up on the couch this afternoon trying not to “should” myself. The trip out was a welcome distraction.

I know “should” happens. I tried to go easy on myself today, allowing time to rest, to feel lost and overwhelmed, without a reassuring turn of phrase, without flowery prose. I want to say I’m scared “should”-less, but that’s not really true, but it IS fun to say. I had my notebook and my cell phone within arms reach. My writing was raw and disjointed, a free flow of feelings.

It’s not mortality that I’m trying to wrap my head around, not the nervous tick of time delineating my life and these recent events. What I am most surprised by is the surge of feelings from those around me. As I was contemplating why it’s so startling that I’m loved, lovable, my cell phone chirped, my sister to check on me. After some lighthearted banter, the trajectory of the conversation swerved serious.

“Are you ok, I mean, emotionally, about all this?”

Yeah, I’m ok. The results will be in Friday, and we’ll jump off that bridge when we get to it. In the meantime, this experience has me both tethered tight to the physicality of my situation at the same time pondering its spirituality.

I’m surprised by the support from people I’ve never met. New friends. Miles and miles away. In nature it happens all the time and isn’t that remarkable actually. Creatures call out and respond to one another. Crickets chirps, birds trill, jungle monkeys whoop, whales make that unspellable sound.

My voiceless call was pecked on a keyboard, from soul to brain to fingers to screen to ether…then to screen to eyes to brain to soul.

I pulled into my son’s baseball field with apprehension. He had called me after school, asking me to pick him up before practice. I couldn’t hear his last statement and asked him to repeat it.

“Because I want to see you,” he choked into the phone.

I’m fine, I tell him, Really. Everything went well. I. Am. Fine. Go to practice, and I’ll see you at 5:00.

Just as Grace fills lungs with breath, hearts with beats, pages with words, Grace also fills eyes with tears.

Tears that flow not out of sadness, but because the trillions of cells energetically bound as form I call my body cannot contain ONE SINGLE bit more of energy. Not ONE. Not a molecule, an ion, an atom, a fraction of an atom. It has to spill out. Love in liquid form.

I blinked back tears and turned down the music as my son tossed his things into the back seat. I hope he knows its ok to cry.

I oscillate between amazement at these gifts of Grace and annoyance with this whole “stick-a-needle-in-my-boob” gig and why we can have 50 different kinds of toilet paper to choose from but the table I had to lay on was cruel and unusual. Don’t get me started.

I acknowledge that this is hard. I do cry. I am scared. It does hurt. I am learning to be comfortable in the discomfort. To be of two minds, and feel my way through it. I am both fearful and faithful. I question my effectiveness in how I handle this with my kids. I worry about how much all of this is going to cost. I also see the blessings, the beauty and the opportunity in it. No matter how it all turns out, I have learned, and grown more than I could have predicted. And that’s what I am here for.

 

3WW Cryptic, Malign, Flash

 

As my son got out of my car this morning at his high school I told him, as usual, have a good day.  His reply surprised me and I laughed out loud.

“I’m gonna BEAT the goodness out of this day!”

I smiled all the way to work, making eye contact with the road workers holding their SLOW signs silhouetted by the morning sun.  I like to wave and mouth a thank you to them.  Theirs is a thankless job, most drivers, annoyed with the construction delays, drive past as if the workers are invisible.  No one likes to feel invisible.

Almost always they flash me a smile and wave in return, and I feel like the world is a little lighter for a moment.

Beat the goodness out of the day.  That takes strength, courage and a twisted sort of optimism, don’t you think?  Bliss Chuck Norris style.

Recognizing and appreciating these moments are of extreme importance.

I have a breast biopsy a week from today (so please pray that next week’s words are benign, curable, and relief).  There is only a 20% chance that the calcification that appeared on my mammogram is malignant.  My scans are marked with circles and arrows, notations of some cryptic radiologist language.

I’m not panicked.  If anything, the news has afforded me a certain freedom, an ability to jerk things into perspective.  I made time to go to a Deeksha, or Oneness Blessing, up in Park City Monday night.  I felt uplifted and stronger, embraced in positive energy.  I expressed to a friend how my writing made me feel alive, in a state of grace, and how I wanted more and more moments like that.  Wanted to be immersed in that grace.

His reply was brilliant.

Every breath is grace, he said, after all, YOU don’t do it, it comes from somewhere else.  Every beat of your heart.  That’s grace.

And I realized that again, whenever I finally summon the bravery to articulate what I want, the universe replies that it exists right in front of me.

The lesson could not have come at a better time.  Every breath.  Every heartbeat.  Grace.

Yes indeedy.  Beat the goodness out of this day.

 

3WW Service, Opportunity Quarrel

Senior projects suck. In our school, in order to graduate, senior have to serve a SENTENCE of twenty hours community service. As if THAT weren’t enough, we have to write a paper on what we did and how we found it a learning opportunity. Right. Sure. Like throwing this slop on plates is going to be a life changing experience.

I picked the soup kitchen because Emily was doing it. She’s my best friend, and she has a crush on Rob. His mom runs this disgusting place, and Em figured she’d get a better shot with Rob if she got on the “ins” with the mom. So I picked it too.Which was okay, I guess, I mean, it’s not like I was really DYING to pick something else. At least this is better than the senior center, smelly old people watching TV real loud, enough to burst your eardrums, always wanting to pat your head or stroke your hair.

I’m still mad at Emily. She didn’t even show up today. So not only did I have to hang around with all these homeless people, I didn’t even have anyone to talk to.

After the line closed, Rob’s mom and I sat to have a bite to eat. I pushed the slop around on my plate. It’s not really slop I guess, it’s your typical cafeteria meal, instant potatoes, brown meat, salty gravy that shakes like jello. Rob’s mom asked if Emily and I quarreled, if that was why I didn’t go help at the church with her today. I told her no, I didn’t even know about the church thing.

There was a flood in the church basement, and she and Rob were there to help with the clean up. Emily was always falling in to luck like that. Not only did she not have to deal with the slop fest here, she got Rob all to herself.

Across from me I saw a kid, a girl, about five years old. She was gobbling down her food like an animal, a skiddish look darting her eyes back and forth. She reminded me of a stray kitten I had, it had been wild and hungry for so long that it would go freaking nuts at the sight of food. It’d eat real fast, eat everything in sight. Then it would rummage through the garbage for more. Mom made us get rid of that kitten, said it had been wild too long, said it was ill-mannered.

This little girl was like that. Ill-mannered. Like she hadn’t eaten in a long long time. Like she doesn’t think she’ll ever get to eat again. I wondered if kids can ever be wild too long. I wondered why she was there, and what was going to happen to her.

Rob’s mom asked if I had started my paper yet. Um. No. It’s not due for like another month. She said she thought that if I interviewed the little girl and her mom that it may give me some good quotes and things for it. Couldn’t hurt, it’d be nice to get that sucker done sooner than later. I shrugged, grabbed my backpack and headed toward the girl.

3WW 04/22/09

3WW

 Deceit
Indulge
Oath

Oh delicious Fig Newtons! Although I took an oath to be skinny by bikini weather, here I am, indulging in your fine moist goodness. Fooled by your colorful packaging, your balloon like lettering describing Fruit Chewy Cookies, I was enamored by the claim that you were made with REAL FRUIT. It wasn’t until I squinted at your small print of ingredients that I realized your deceit.