Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hospital Room

This week Write on Edge asked us to take them somewhere. Where it was was up to me -fiction or creative nonfiction- but they asked us to use our words to paint the setting as vividly as possible. In 200 words.

The children sit in the not-so-comfortable seats, their bright color standing out in the bleached whiteness of the room. 

Eyes stare at the glassy linoleum.

The patterned sounds of the machine,  breathing in and out for their mother.  Beyond the beeps of monitors and the hanging silence, all intermingle in the mood that chills the room.

Voices coming and go.

The view from the window reveals a court yard with small people,
moving, standing, and sitting.

Moving toward their mom, they reach over the silver bars, gently pull white sheets around her. Holding her small hand wrapped in black belts, and bandages.

Eyes are mesmerized by the lines and numbers moving on the screen, looking for sense, and finding no hope.

Across from the bed a table covered with wilting flowers and cards of get well wishes.

The teddy bear stares back with the same glazed over eyes.  

A cup sits dangling with a straw untouched. Beside it a pink plastic pitcher parked in position.

The routines of movement and changing shifts are all they can count on. The silence breaks and stories erupt, memories come forward--until the voices rock back to silence and waiting.

Author's Note: Not a pleasant memory, but a picture etched in my mind.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Scenes from Fall

This week Galit asked you to conjure something. An object, a person, a feeling, a color, a season- whatever you like.
But don’t tell us what it is, conjure it. In 100 words.

Orange and round, ridges in almost equal spaces.
A sharp blade stabs into the top, in and out it moves, around the protruding stem.
Small fingers grasp and pull.
Reaching inside a slimy mess of seeds and stringy goop.
Busy hands digging and emptying.
Turn it around and around, finding the place to begin.
The sharp blade returns. In and out.
Pieces like a puzzle pulled out from the whole.
A face emerges. Haunting and chilling.
Later as darkness settles at the home, the face sits glowing and staring from the front porch.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


It's a standard warning on car mirrors: "Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear". Mirrors don't always give a truly honest reflection. Sometimes, the mirror is warped; sometimes, it's only our perceptions. When Alice went into her mirror, it was the world itself that was distorted. And yet at times, the mirror will show you true things that you weren't aware of; something around a corner, or behind you, or on another spectral plane. People can even act as mirrors; they can show you yourself as others see you.

A mirror will certainly show you change....

I once looked into the mirror and found a silly little girl, freckles spotted on her cheeks and nose, making funny faces. Behind me a mother, there to admire as she brushed my hair. The mirror was  my play place...the reflection was always smiling and happy.

Years later it was a place to judge and compare. Was I  changing and looking like the others? Were there any more pimples popping up? Do I look better with makeup? Should I  pluck my eyebrows? At this time the mirror became a place of exploration. Trying on different masks. Trying to fit in.

Then I became a mom. I was the reflection behind the child. A glimpse may show some weariness. But the glimpses were few and far between. The attention shifts from the the them. The mirror sits and waits.

And then they grew and the mirror sat waiting. And once I glimpsed, I questioned...who is that in the reflection? My youth I seemed to have held on to, had suddenly disappeared. There were wrinkles when I smiled. Gray painted in my hair. And a difference in my eyes.

A mirror reflects change.

And if I look beyond the physical it shows all that I have learned. The years upon my face, hold experiences I wouldn't trade. I have learned to love, to carry faith, and wisdom entered in. Each wrinkle a year of treasured memories. And the glory of more to come. The grays sprinkled in my hair, are the lessons which taught me grace.

Embrace the reflection that you see staring back at you. Watch... and change.... and grow.