stand

The world is on fire…

It isn’t the kind of fire you can grab a bucket and lend a hand.  It can’t be fought with traditional measures.  It isn’t the kind of fire that will burn itself out.  Its fuel is endless.

So what are we to do?

The world is on fire…

Who is to blame?  Who can we point the finger at?  Who is at fault for this madness, this tragedy, this unending pain and grief and blood, this shit storm?

It doesn’t matter.

The world is on fire…

I get it.  I’m angry too.  It’s a helpless rage and without a solution to pour my emotion into, casting blame becomes an easy fallback. It’s better than doing nothing.

And yet it amounts to the same thing.

The world is on fire…

We need to stop these worthless games, the name calling, the political jockeying, the finger pointing, the bickering and blithering rhetoric that gets us nowhere, that gets the people consumed in this fire nowhere but six feet under.  We need to form a line, hand in hand, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder, and stand together before the flames.  Buckets won’t work.  Shovels won’t work.  Water won’t work.  It has to be us.  We have to risk it all together.

Will that stop its advance?

The world is on fire…

Yesterday it claimed some lives.  It does so most days.  Today my helpless rage has turned to sadness.  The streets lined with warriors, people who maybe don’t even realize that just showing up made them so, and tempered my angst with hope.  Some people get it, whether they realize it or not.  They are already out there, standing shoulder to shoulder.

We should join them on the streets, on the sidewalks, on the overpasses.  We should be out there every day, not just days where a hero is lost.  We should do more even if we think our actions won’t amount to change, even if they won’t.  We should be out there because it is our solidarity, our decision to raise our voices as one, to shout and sing and cry louder than the roar of the flames, that stands the best chance of winning not just this day but all the days of our future, all the days of children’s’ future.

I’m not preaching at you.  I’m yelling at myself.  I need to do more than sit behind this keyboard and type away my emotions.  I need to get up and walk out there and be part of the line I think we need to form.  How can I ask you do something I am not doing myself?

The world is on fire…

The world is on fire…

The world is on fire.

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phoenix

She stood in the rain and let the water wash the dirt from her hands.  It was a warm storm.  The shower was refreshing despite the lateness of the day.

She reached skyward, tilting her head back, eyes closed.  The dirt turned to mud and sloughed off in heavy chunks.  It felt like the water was cleansing her soul as well but she knew she would wear the stain of her sins for the rest of her life.  She didn’t expect that to be very long.

Her sins would catch up to her, no matter how clean she got at the end of the day.  She had no doubt about that.  And then she would find the peace that had so long eluded her.

On that night, though, as the full moon stay hidden behind the formidable clouds unleashing their torrent upon the earth, she let the rain wash away all thoughts of what had come before and what she still had to face.  For those minutes in the gentle wrath of the storm she focused solely on the feel of the water splashing against her, the feel of the grit being pulled free from her skin, the feel of her soul rising from its hidden depths to exalt in the joy of the experience.

She opened her eyes and gazed into the swirling darkness above.  It looked like familiar, like how she imagined the place within her where her soul went to hide as she worked.  A smile crossed her lips as she dreamed of slipping free of gravity and climbing into the darkness to hide away forever.  She would enjoy being there, folded in the clouds, surrounded by the thrum of natural energy, traveling the world until spent only to be reborn again and again, like a phoenix of water rather than fire.

She laughed into the storm.  Her voice boomed in her ears but was quickly muffled by the wind and rain.

In many ways, she was a phoenix.  Each new hunt was a cycle.  She was born when she located a target.  She grew, aged, and lived on the hunt.  Then she died with each kill only to be reborn again.

She was dead beneath this storm.  Soon she would pull herself free of the flood and flourish in her way.  One day the cycle would end.  Until then, she would fulfill her fated role.

because they do

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Dead tress litter the high country, those rare places where the earth attempts to reach the sky. In some places the dead outnumber those left behind to carry on stretching for the heavens. The wormy carvings, the evidence of their doom, are etched across their bare trunks. Drought and a beetle, two things these giants long stood strong against, finally broke through their defenses and feasted heavily on the ancient lodgepoles. The once green forests are graying and thinning like an old man. The forests of the high country are old.
They are still beautiful of course, even if the dead give them a haunting quality that speaks to the one debt we all owe. Or, perhaps they are even more beautiful because of the ghosts standing in their midst. Even these ancient towering spires pay the price of life but they stand tall and meet their fate stoically. They have no choice to do otherwise, of course. Of course. But there is still something honorable there.
Or maybe my judgement is skewed by the thin air and the staggering beauty that surrounds me when I stand in such places. It is always a struggle to get there, to catch these glimpses, to then pause and take it all in. Here are trees that grew from a seed in the harshest of climates for hundreds of years. They struggled and succeeded and grew. I struggled and succeeded in reaching them… and I too will grow.
My journey is different from theirs, yes, but that is inconsequential as long as I continue to reach for the sky, reach for my potential, reach for the highest highs and stand strong against all that work against me.
You should do the same.
We all should.
For we are all like the forests of the high county.
Beautiful.
Even as our age and experiences show through.
Because they do.

Crack

Author’s note:  this one is pretty dark… and I feel like I should mention on the outset, this isn’t me and you don’t need to worry about it.  I’m exploring characters and I had the first line in my head.  As I put the words down the rest sort of filled in to explore the theme of the echoing “cracks.”  So, trigger warning for suicide.  Skip this one if that will set you off.  And, don’t worry about me!  Everything is a-okay in the kingdom!

Another Author’s note:  Feels like there has been a bunch of darker posts recently.  Feels that way because I wrote them all at the same time and have since scheduled them out across the month.  I can’t promise that I’ll write anything happier any time soon but I have noticed the trend and I will make an effort to turn some of these things into something a bit lighter.

………………………………………………………………………….

I opened my eyes to a world bathed in colors I couldn’t name. I blinked and the world remained. I breathed and my lungs filled cleanly. I snapped my fingers and the crack echoed between my ears before fading to nothingness.

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack
Crack

I woke with a start. I kept my eyes squeezed shut, though. I didn’t want to see that it had only been a dream. I didn’t want to miss the colors. As long as my eyes were shut I could ignore the cacophony and the oily air. But then a crash from outside echoed across the room and my eyes flew open.

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack
Crack

Another accident. Another twisting of metal and flesh because of one reason or another and none of them worthwhile. I didn’t need to rise to see it. I could hear the horns and shouts and cries of pain. Son the sirens would come and drown out all else. I would smell the blood and fire but still only see the drab of greys of reality.
I longed for sleep to take me before the worst of it. To sleep. To dream. To return to the beauty of would could be if only…
But sleep did not come. Would not. Refused to come.
I knew how to force it though.
A rope. A fall. And then…

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack
Crack

odds are

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The gods lit the heavens ablaze and dragged their bloody fallen across the sky in retreat.  They had fought.  They had tried.  They had hoped to make a difference, but in the end they had to admit defeat and relinquish the world to the mortals.

They would hide away, mostly forgotten, until the fools who rose to power below ended up sacrificing all of humanity in their pursuits of greed and cowardice.  The gods, those who had survived, had only to wait and eventually the earth would be theirs to shape again.  They would regret those of their own they had sacrificed and those of the mortals who they had tried to save.

Fueled by anger and grief they would forge a better world.  It wasn’t the first time they’d had to start over, and it likely wouldn’t be the last.  Each time the new was better than the old had been, so there was hope one time they would get it right.  They had as much time as they needed, so the odds were in their favor.

………………..

Anyone up for a flash fiction challenge?  Steal this picture and write something of your own to go with it.  No word limits.  No genre demands.  Go where the inspiration takes you.