The Writer

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

The snow had started sometime in the night, soft and light at first, barely sticking.  It let the wind dance and swirl it around.  That kind of magical storm where it looks like the flakes are rising more than falling.  Then, before dawn, the snow grew heavier, the ice crystals jagged and gripping as it began to pile together.  The world was soon blanketed in white folds that despite the sharpness of the ice was soft.  It seemed to glow.  The world seemed to sigh with contentment.

…..

The writer who called himself Trent, sat back in his chair, stretching away from the keyboard to gaze out his office window.  The snow had covered the bottom quarter or so, partially blocking the view of his yard.  The flakes were still falling but not as hard or full as they had before dawn.  In the distance he could hear his children playing.  It sounded like they were getting ready to disturb the peace of the morning.  He wondered briefly if the snow was thick enough and wet enough to build a snowman and actually rose from his chair to get a better view outside.

Trent could feel the cold leaching through the double panes but it did not bother him.  His hands wrapped around a warm cup of coffee and he sipped almost lovingly at it.  His eyes still studied his yard.  If he watched long enough he would see his kids.  If he got back to work, he could wrap things up and go join them.  A smile touched his lips and he stayed where he was, knowing on this stormy morning things would slow down and stand still for a change.

The first of his children danced by his window.  Literally, she jumped and spun and tip-toed through the snow, a ballerina in boots and a parka.  Trent’s smile broadened.  The work called to him but he took another sip of coffee and stayed where he was.  The second child raced after the first, laughing and trying to catch her.  The rest came in a jumble, all intent upon reaching the dancer to, perhaps, tackle her into the snow?  Trent didn’t know and their games had taken them beyond his angle of the yard anyway.

Returning to his desk, he quickly read through the world he had begun to craft that morning.  Another sip of coffee, and then he placed his hands on the keyboard and let his mind and fingers get back to building.  A dancer, previously unimagined, entered his story to impart a bit of whimsy.  A storm became a pivotal moment, a reckoning, for the main characters.  It wasn’t a bad one, a tempest, but it forced them to huddle together and take time to think through who they were and what they needed.

Trent leaned back in his chair again and wrapped his hands once more around the coffee mug while his eyes darted here and there in his amassed words.  Did they make sense?  Did they convey the message he wanted?  Would they make the world a better place?  He hoped so.  He wished he could will it to be so.

Laughter from outside reached his ears and Trent glanced to the window.  His children were building a snowman and they were doing it right outside his office window.  It was a sad, misshapen thing.  The body spheres were barely sticking together.  One of the children had found some sticks that made it seem like the snowman was saluting the window.  And, his children had taken one of Trent’s favorite scarves for their project as well. They obviously thought it was the height of comedy because they could barely contain their laughter as they set about their task. 

Their mirth contagious, Trent allowed himself only a moment more to ponder the dancer in his story before he saved his work, and went to join them.   The dancer wasn’t just bit a whimsy after all.  She was the reason, the point, the everything of the story.

…..

As the day wore on the snow began to melt.  Slowly at first it grew thinner and then great chunks of it would collapse upon itself.  The river beneath funneled to the gutters and drain spouts.  The sun would shine before the day was out, making a brief but brilliant appearance before slipping beyond the western horizon.  And the world would sigh, once again, with contentment.  It had been another magical day, as they all were in the end.

….

This story was written for Trent Lewin (https://trentlewin.com/) who you really should be following and reading if you aren’t already. He is a fantastic writer and human. He called me out for my lack of writing… And maybe that’s just what I needed.

strap and throw

dig

The last run of an extended season.  The snow was choppy and pooled with water that sucked the life from my board.  The heat of the day was nearly intolerable.  And yet, as I rounded the corner behind Facelift, I was once again reminded of the main reason I choose to strap (a piece of plastic on my feet) and throw (myself off the side of mountains)…  The mountains are so enchanting, always.  They call to me, as you – my most faithful of kingdomites – know to be truth.  And what can I do but answer.

Tracks In The Snow

The Little Prince and I
Followed some tracks in the snow
And found this perfect imprint
To prove who had passed in the night

We marveled with a sigh
At the beauty nature can sew
And snapped this shot before we went
To see what other treasure we could find

The Little Prince and I
Followed some tracks in the snow
And this was just one moment
To capture the adventure of body and mind

the mesmerizing fire

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The advertisement had said there would be plenty of wood for the fireplace and there was.  It stacked neatly on the small patio, taking over the space entirely.  All we had to do was crack open the slider and bring in the few logs we needed to replenish the stash inside.

It became a rotating game for a few nights while we lounged in our snow covered hideaway.  A few logs would be burning wonderfully warm in the fire box.  When they disappeared to glowing orange coals we would replace them with the logs that had been drying in front of the open flames and those, in turn, would be replaced by a new batch of logs pulled in from the patio.

Round and round we went, from sitting to stoking to gathering to sitting again.  The long hours of darkness in the cozy room passed quickly.  They always pass too quickly.  The early morning alarms of the following day send us to bed long before we grow tired of the mesmerizing fire.

a view into the past

Snow
Image Credit: Kadri Sammel

“What do you see?”

Cindy’s mom offered her a photo as the two sat next to each other over breakfast on a lovely summer morning.  The daughter was prepared for the game and eagerly grasp the photo to see what gem from the old world she was going to get to see.

The contrast between her summer heat and the cold and snow in the picture was the first thing to jump out at her, but Cindy quickly discarded the idea of responding about that.  With her mom there was always something deeper to look for, some lesson to be learned.  The next thing that caught her attention was the dangerousness of driving automobiles in such conditions and how foolish they had been as a species at that time.  But, they had already discussed pride on a different morning and Cindy suspected that the risks humans used to take was closely aligned to their pride.

That was probably the trick with this photo, Cindy thought.  Her mom wanted was testing her to see if she would jump to mention the cars and the slick and icy roads or if she would delve further and see what else was going on.  And then she spotted something so ridiculous she blurted it out, slapping her hand across her mouth immediately after, but too late, of course, to keep the words from reaching her mother.

“Are those snowflakes attached to that light pole?”

Ignoring her daughter’s embarrasement for having spoken without thinking it through, Cindy’s mom urged her to continue on that train of thought, “And why is that so surprising?”

Removing her hand from her mouth, Cindy returned her attention the picture.  She realized she had lucked into the the right answer and she needed to study the photograph to determine what exactly about the snowflakes had drawn her attention.  “Why would they hang snowflakes like that in a place that gets covered with snow and ice every winter already?  It’s not like they need a reminder of what they look like.  From the histories we’ve studied it sure seems like living in those conditions was a lot of work.  Placing the snowflakes there feels like a slap in the face.”

Cindy glanced into her mother’s face and saw approval there.  She had done well and allowed herself a smile.  But, the smile dropped to a frown as her curiosity forced her to ask, “So, why would the old generations have done that?”

“The snowflakes were part of the decorations that went with the holiday known as Christmas, and for our purposes today they represent the truth that over time all pageantry and traditions will trend toward the absurd.  As the people who first began to honor something with a celebration die off, the original ideas behind the why, behind the need of that celebration will distort as their children take over, and on and on until eventually people find themselves doing things that no longer make sense, or are offensive, or are ridiculous, simply because ‘it is tradition.'”

Cindy nodded as she processed her mom’s response and then asked, “Is that why we no longer have holidays of any kind?”

“That’s one of the reasons, yes.  This picture was taken in a time of excess, near the height of humans reign and power on this planet.  As the years grew harder and we diminished, we had to work harder to survive until we no longer had time for such silliness.”

“Will we ever return to a time of excess?”

“Everything is cyclical.  What we had once, we will have again.  But, with all that we now know about the world, would you really want to return to a time like that?  Would you really want to live in a world that behaved so poorly?”

Cindy studied the picture one last time.  “No,” she responded firmly and then handed it back to her mom to file away with the rest of the photographs.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

What do you see?

Write it, link it to this week’s Once More With Feeling challenge, and then post it so we can all read your thoughts and ideas inspired by the photograph provided.