Friday, November 25, 2011

Fractured Friday: Unfaithful

Story of my life, searching for the right, but it keeps avoiding me. Sorrow in my soul, cause it seems that wrong really loves my company. He's more than a man, and this is more than love; the reason that the sky is blue. The clouds are rolling in because I'm gone again. And to him I just can't be true. And I know that he knows...I'm unfaithful...And it kills him inside ~ Rhianna, Unfaithful

After many years behind the fortress walls, I grow cold deep down inside. I've lost all reason for love. I've lost the meaning of the word, only to have it replaced by artificial gratification to pacify a needful soul. A gaping emptiness exists where love was once housed in my heart of hearts; if ever I really knew what love was. I can no longer remember.

Even after it has been offered, I cannot seem to accept it. I do not know what it is that comes after.

I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to be the reason why, everytime I walk out the door, I see him die a little more inside. I don't want to hurt him anymore. I don't want to take away his life. I don't wanna be...a murderer.

Creeping around the fortress, night after night, with visions of the possibilities haunting my every moment. The tugging at my heart won't let won't release me to endure the fate that surely lies ahead. I know what comes after the artificial gratifications of the world in which I live. I know and understand the contract well. Although the thought frightens me to the very core of my soul, at least I know when they come for me, I will reap what I have sown, and somehow have always known; I am destined for hell.

And yet, there he stands, unwilling to move, unwilling to let me go. Why can't he see I do not understand this love he offers? I do not know what it is, from whence it came, nor where it will take me. The fear of being loved is almost greater than the fear of losing my soul. I understand the ends to one and not the beginnings of the other. Surely, all the dark and insidious guilts that create the cavernous holes in my being, slowly eating me away, cannot be erased; cannot be healed. What are the possibilities? What does it mean?

And yet, I don't want to hurt him anymore. I don't want to take away his life. I don't want to be...a murderer.

Lyrics: Unfaithful ~ Rhianna

I've added 'Fractured Friday' to the Butterfly Phoenix Blog for the purpose of collecting my thoughts. I am working on a new project that my muse has decided to force upon me, so bear with me and my fractured thoughts. This summary is a chapter from earlier in the manuscript.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thursday Treasure: Remembering to be Thankful for Those Who Serve

Happy Thanksgiving! I want to give a special shout out to some very special people and their families. The United States Military Personnel at home and abroad. Thank you for your service to our country.

To my family currently serving: Thank you and I am so very proud of each and every one of you!

Valerie H. - United States Air Force
Sean N. - United States Army National Guard
James H. - United States Army National Guard
Bobbie S. - United States Navy
Robert M. - United States Marines

To the family who has given their service in the past; Thank You.

Charles M. - United States Air Force
Michael W. - United States Army National Guard
Bruce C. - United States Navy Veteran
Robert S. - United States Army Veteran - Korea
Hazel S. - United States Women's Army Corp. WWII Veteran
Elnora J. - United States WAVES - WW II Veteran Deceased
Robert S. - United States Army WW II Veteran Deceased - European Campaign
Ken J. - United States Army WWII Veteran Deceased - European Campaign
Spencer S. - United States Army WWII Veteran Deceased - African and European Campaign

Please remember the brave men and women who are not celebrating Thanksgiving with their families. Remember to offer a kind word, a hand of assistance and a listening ear to family members of a service person on this day and throughout the holiday season.

46 days missing

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday Conversations: 10 Positive Commandments

I am a collector of old books. I do not collect them for their monetary value, but for the value they contain between the covers. Before she passed away, my grandmother gave me a box of books she said she no longer needed. I was filled with gratitude for the books because they were mostly from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. My grandmother had also been a teacher. Among the books in the box was a 1922 edition of A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens, an old Bagster's & Sons Bible with concordance from about 1896 (uses words like unicorn, dragons, satyrs etc very interesting), and Elbert Hubbard's Scrapbook.

I am not, and never have been a transcendentalist, but it was all the rage at the turn of the century, especially in literary works. Elbert Hubbard was no exception to the rule, as set by the likes of Emerson and Thoreau. Elbert Hubbard was born in 1856 and died tragically with his wife, Alice, on the Lusitania when it was sunk by a German submarine in 1915.

As I was packing more boxes today, to be moved in the coming week, I came across a sheet of paper on which I had copied Elbert Hubbard's Ten Positive Commandments, from his book.

Ten Positive Commandments

1. Thou shalt think well of thyself and well of thy neighbor.
2. Thou shalt add to the health, wealth and happiness of the world.
3. Thou shalt be on good terms with sunshine, fresh air and water.
4. Thou shalt get eight hours of sleep a day.
5. Thou shalt eat moderately, and exercise every day in the open air.
6. Thou shalt love the memory of thy mother, and be true to the friends that have done so much for thee.
7. Thou shalt recognize the Divinity in all men.
8. Thou shalt remember the week-day and keep it holy.
9. Thou shalt remember that thee can only help thine by helping other people, and that to injure another is to injure thyself, and that to love and benefit others is to live long and well.
10. Thou shalt love the stars, the ocean, the forest, and reverence all living things, recognizing that the source of life is one.
 Although they are not THE Ten Commandments, they seem to be some pretty good rules to live by in addition to the original ten.

42 days missing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fractured Friday Part II: Holding Out for a Hero

Up where the mountains meet the heavens above; out where the lightning splits the sea; I can swear there's someone somewhere watching me. Through the wind and the chill and the rain. Through the storm and the flood. I can feel his approach like a fire in my blood. ~ "Holding Out for a Hero", Bonnie Tyler

There are no heroes among men. From inside the fortress walls, this thought becomes reality. Placing faith and hope in mankind is a grieves error that leads to disappointment and hurts beyond measure. We were created to be imperfect, yet from each other we refuse to expect anything less than perfection. Where does that leave the wearers of the scarlet letters sewn from imperfections, mistakes and regrets? We seem to be left in that area of the battlefield known as 'no man's land', caught in the middle hoping for a rescue, but preparing for the worst.

Outside the garden gate, a light shines day and night, begging us to come to investigate the perpetual source. From what lamp post shines this light and to whom does it belong? Who gave them permission to shine their light at the perimeter of all that is ours?

Upon further investigation, stepping outside the gate, the light seems to have no source; there is no lamp post. There is no visible, apparent source, and yet shine it does. It shines into the deepest, darkest recesses of the human soul.

It cannot shine inside the fortress walls, nor illuminate the garden of pain and hurts, born of mistakes and regrets, but it sparks the human soul that dwells within the walls built by human device.

Sometimes heroes don't ride in on fiery steeds, they don't wear armor made of chain mill, or carry heavy swords; they just are.

I can see it on the horizon, and someday I will get there. But, I have learned that man is not my source of help in getting from the fortress to the light. No, there are no heroes among men. No guides, no helpers and no friends.

I'm holding out for a hero. He's gotta be sure, he's gotta be fast, and he's gotta be larger than life.

Fractured Friday had to be done in two parts as last week's post (Someone Like You) had to be postponed due to Veteran's Day.

Fractured Friday: Someone Like You

"Nothing compares, no worries or cares. Regrets and mistakes, they're memories made. Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste. Nevermind, I'll find someone like you. I wish nothing but the best for you. Don't forget me, I begged, I remember you said, sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead." ~ Someone Like You ~ Adele

We are all unique, yet, none are special in our burdens or cares in the world. We walk alone, no matter the circumstances. We live every day with our regrets and our mistakes, ever seeking a simple gesture of humanity. Seeking something that will lessen the weight of our world resting on our shoulders. The search is a long and exhausting endeavor.

From our frosted view of the world, where hearts have grown cold, we wonder is there a sun? Will we ever feel its warmth on our face? Is there a place in the world where people see past the scarlet letters sewn upon our breasts; a place where forgiveness lives? Is redemption something real, or only a hopeful fantasy carved out in centuries of literary prose?

Within the walls of the fortress, there is at least a sense of security. The fortress built stone by stone, through labors lasting years and years; a security where hurts cannot reach our hearts and souls.

The walls begin to crumble, in the hopes that someone will make it 'ok' to step outside, to trust the world is not covered with ice. Time and time again, we make the mistake of letting someone in, only to find all they see is the scarlet letters of past mistakes, on which regret feeds. Stones are replaced as quickly as they crumbled. Self-preservation overtakes the need for anything the outside world has to offer. The fortress secure once more.

I hate to turn up out of the blue univited, but I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it. I had hoped you'd see my face and that you'd be reminded, for me it isn't over. Nevermind, I'll find someone like you. I wish nothing but the best for you. Don't forget me, I begged, I remember you said, sometimes it lasts in love and sometimes it hurts instead.

Someone Like You - Adele - 2011, XL Recordings

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day 2011

The United States of America is now preparing for the annual Thanksgiving feast. Families are planning their menus, seating charts, and sleeping arrangements. On that day, we will all sit around a table preparing to offer thanks giving for those things that are near and dear to our hearts.

Tomorrow, November 11th, is a different sort of Thanksgiving day. It is the giving of thanks for those who took the oath of service knowing full well the cost of freedom. Our Veterans, and current serving military personnel, are among our national treasures, to be treated with respect, compassion, and love.

As United States Citizens, it is our personal obligation to show Loyalty to those who bear the true faith and allegiance; our Duty to fullfill this obligation without hesitation; our expectation to Respect those who treat people as they should be treated; to offer Selfless-Service to those who are, or have been wounded - physically or mentally; to Honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation and their comrades in arms who grieve such losses; to act with Integrity through doing what is right - legally and morally; and to exhibit Personal Courage to assist those who face fears, danger, or adversity (physical or moral) before, during and after their service.

Thank you to all those who have served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces - at home and abroad.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Saturday: The Better Angels of Our Nature

"Let triumph 'the better angels of our nature'." ~ Abraham Lincoln

In the early morning hours of the day, I sit to write. The sun has yet to creep over the horizon and I am already clicking away at the keys.

As the words begin to flow onto the page, I wonder; what good will come of this? How will it make the world a better place than I found it?

Coming off Halloween and racing headlong into the holiday season, thoughts of humanity come to my mind. I wonder if the great classic authors and poets had the same thoughts when they wrote their stories and poetry. Did they think about humanity? Humanness? Or, more importantly, the impact their prose would have on society? Did they wonder about their legacy?Every genre, in the writing world, has the opportunity to triumph the better angels of their nature.

The authors who write romance triumph the better angels of their nature through the propogation of what is it to be a human being in love. It doesn't matter in what sub-genre of romance they are writing, it's all in the perspective of the reader. Hundreds of years from now, when 'old' romance novels are downloaded from the e-libraries, the world will know exactly what it was to be in love, in the 21st century.

Fantasy, Science-Fiction, and SteamPunk writers triumph the better angles of their nature through the wonders of imagination. Carefully building worlds where strength, courage, endurance, and sometimes love prevail over the darkness of evil, the world will know these authors had hope for the future; hope for the continuation of the human existence.

And let us not forget those authors who craft stories of the horrific and terrifying. Yes, even they too triumph the better angels of their nature through exposing the true fears of the human being. When the world has morphed into something we cannot fathom, in our 21st century mind, they will know what it was that frightened us the most.

The list of genres is long and comprehensive. It is the wholeness of the human existence. Each printed word, sentence and paragraph, tell the story of the human being; the story of Earth in the times of each author. Today, we look back on those we consider the greatest authors of all time and find comfort in the words they left for us; their stories and recordings of the days in which they lived, loved and laughed.

The people of tomorrow will look back on those they consider the greatest authors of all time and read the legacy we have left for them - the better angels of our nature.