I smile

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Click the Image for Photo Credit

The canyon walls tower over me, surrounding me, closing in on me, and the swift, icy, water rushes on and on.  I can feel my heart quicken as the claustrophobia sets in.  My legs begin to shake.  My heart races and I have to place a steadying hand on a nearby rock so I don’t fall into the deadly current.

I close my eyes to shut out the swirling madness and take deep, calming, breaths.  I can feel my heart begin to slow.  I can feel my legs grow solid again.  But, the thoughts of danger and fear continue to race unchecked through my mind.

My eyes shoot open, needing to see, needing to know that the walls aren’t tumbling down upon me, and I see the light cascading into the river valley.  It is beautiful.  It is majestic.  It makes me wonder if that was what he saw the first time he fished this river all those years ago.  Was he touched by its beauty?  Was he made aware of its magic?

Thinking of my grandfather, the first in our family to fish the river, my thoughts join my heart in a renewed sense of calm.  He was a rock, like the rock I’m using to steady my balance.  He was a force to be reckoned with, like the river carving its way ever deeper into the earth.  He learned long ago to live in peace with the wild, and he passed that down the generations.

Filled with strength, I continue down the treacherous rocky ground to reach the edge of the river.  Once there, I swing my pole back and forth, letting the fly taste the air, getting the arc and timing of the release poised, once, twice, three times and then I let the fly and line loose.

I smile.  I smile for the cast.  I smile for the tradition.  I smile for my brother, my father, my mother, my uncles, my cousins, my grandfather.  I smile for my son, who will one day fish the river too.

And then I reel in the line, teasing the fly across the pool.  The torrent swirls passed.  The canyon walls peer over my shoulder.  I can feel its eyes, along with those of all my relatives who have ever and who will ever fish the river urging me on, helping guide my hand.

Here fishy, fishy…

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This is another of moi’s Picture Writing Challenge prompts that I missed when it was published.  Again, I don’t think he is going to mind that I’m responding a bit late.  I doubt he’d mind if you played along too.  So, what do you see?  Write it, link it, post it!

what a view

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Credit – Natasha P

He knew he should appreciate the beauty of what he was seeing.  The rainbow horizon.  The yellow fading to gold to red to purple.  The long stretch of black where the sky and sea met.  The light filtering through the gathering clouds.  He knew it was beautiful.

But, after spending 47 days on the island, he had seen the same view 46 times before.  It no longer held the magic it originally had.  It no longer gave him a sense of optimism, that despite his dire circumstances there was a bit of adventure to what he was going through.  That feeling of adventure had waned as the first days had turned into weeks and then into a full month of isolation.  Loneliness.  Lost.  Forgotten.

No, the view no longer held any beauty or excitement for him.  He was resigned to the fact that he may see the same sunset for the rest of his life.  The same stretch of beach.  The same breakers.  The same horizon.  The same nothing.  Nothing moving on the water.  Nothing flying overhead.  Nothing he could signal to for help.  Nothing he could swim to.  Nothing that could help him survive.

Except, the clouds were a welcome sight.  He was excited about them.  The rain they would bring would give him clean water to drink for many days.  He would just have to hope they volume he gathered would last until the next storm.

Turning his back on the beach and the setting sun, he scrambled up to the makeshift shelter he had created from palm fronds and driftwood.  There was much that needed to be done before the storm hit and he didn’t have much time.  He could already smell it.  He could feel the change in the air.

Then again, he thought as he worked, perhaps there is still a bit of adventure left after all.  He smiled and sang as the sun vanished below the horizon and the dark clouds swallowed the sky.

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This post brought to you by moi’s Picture Writing Challenge #27.  It’s well passed overdue, but I don’t think he’ll mind me still using the picture and linking it back to him.  I doubt he’d mind if you did the same.  So, what do you see?  Write it, link it, post it so we can all enjoy the same view.

a monument to our destructive past

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Journal Entry: January 14, 3014

A group of us were sent to Earth today to take readings and make observations as part of the Bi-Century Progress Check.  The opportunity to do so was one of the reasons I joined The Collective in the first place, since they were the only ones authorized to set foot on the planet anymore.  When my name came up I was thrilled to finally get down there.

The ride in was uneventful.  Stunning, of course, and the ship was eerily quiet as we all got our first glimpse of the sun cascading through the atmosphere and the red-orange glow of the superheated air spreading away from us we sliced our way through.  But there were none of the bumps and bounces reported on previous missions.  It seems that The Collective have finally smoothed over the landing process.

Once on the ground, we deployed and I surveyed the deserted landscape, observed the clear delineations, the markings where the land had been divided and raped, and marveled that they remained after so much time had passed.  The Collective had hoped that Earth would have begun to heal itself already but that did not appear to be the case.

I resisted the urge to remove my protective visor and drink in the colors as they were meant to be seen, but I felt it unwise to risk getting contaminated with anything that might still be in the air.  Besides, the black and white suited the setting, suited the mood.

Something on the horizon caught my eye and I made the slow trek across the dusty ground to find a dilapidated domicile.  It seemed odd that it had remained after so much else had faded away to nothingness.  It seemed out of place.  And, yet, it did seem right at home, crumbling walls and collapsed ceiling, at the same time.  A relic of the old people tied to the ground they had destroyed.  A monument.  A reminder of the damage they caused.

I gathered my samples from near the building and then made it back to the ship just as they were preparing to launch.  My manager wasn’t pleased that I had called it so close.  But, I wasn’t alone in straggling in at the last moment.  Most of the crew were determined to make the most of their time on the mythical land.  Who could blame them for that?

While the images will haunt me for the rest of my life, while I know I will feel sorrow that I will never step foot on Earth again, I am glad I went.  No regrets.

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You could probably read some sort of scathing commentary on our current state of affairs, our current use of resources, etc… but that really wasn’t my intent.  I just saw the picture and, as is usually the case, went where the words took me.  That being said, I do welcome any discourse along those lines you feel up to chatting about, just let me know in the comments.

And, if you want to play along, this post was in response to moi’s Picture Writing Challenge for the week.  What do you see?  Write it, link it, post it.

the lady of the lake

 photo lakeside_zps55d9faed.jpgPhoto Credit – Unknown

The lady of the lake waited patiently, hidden beneath the smooth surface.  The time for her to rise and bestow her gift upon the young king had not yet come.  She could since that he would be standing on her shores soon, though, and she stirred from her throne to get a better view.

The mortals had done well for themselves since the last time she had visited their realm.  Their towers and domiciles spiraled towards the heavens in homage to the nearby peaks.  They seemed to be thriving.  But, she knew that appearances were deceiving.  They struggled.  They were falling.  They needed a champion again.

She grasped the hilt with both hands and held the blade aloft.  It shone with a brilliance all its own, illuminating her surroundings despite the lack of light filtering down to her place of waiting and watching in the crushing depths.  It was hope that made it glow.  Hope for mortals, hope for the world, hope for a better future.

Above all else, above its keen blade, its perfect balance, its length and weight, it was its purpose as a symbol of hope that had stood throughout the ages and made the sword the perfect weapon for good.

He is coming.

She raced to the surface, disrupting the calm of the morning, Excalibur thrust before her.

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It’s Monday again, so that can only mean it is time for another Picture Writing Prompt courtesy of moi.  What do you see?  Write it, link it, post it.

afraid of the dark?

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Credit to: Chris Lofqvist

From the ground it looked like a normal sunset, perhaps slightly more vibrant than normal, but still within the range of colors and ferocity that the humans were used to.  Only a handful, a tiny percentage of the masses, even looked up from their daily scurrying to witness the beauty of it.  It was for the best, though, for if they had looked long enough and hard enough they might have seen what was really going on.

The gods battled savagely across the heavens.  The sparks from their clashing swords sent splashes or orange and red pouring down through the sky.  Red leaked through where blood had been drawn and the clouds gathered to mop up the mess.  Soon they would have to set aside their battle for the night, for not even the gods dared to wage their wars when darkness settled on the land.  Their might was in the light and they had learned long ago not to test themselves against the endless black void of of the night sky.

Things slept there that were better left undisturbed…

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Written in response to moi’s Picture Writing Challenge for the week.  What do you see?  Write it, link it, post it.