Category Archives: Prose

Essay pieces, thoughtful prose, random musings generally on self or worldly concepts.

Empty Philosophy, Useless Rhetoric


We were birthed from Strife, and Love followed us into a cycle of never-end; the coming together, the pulling apart, these are the seasons of infinity.

For if the very nature of Strife and Love, existing in every part of the Cosmos, is infinite, then is not everything created within the infinite cycle forever bound within its seasons and without the ability to be separate or destroyed?

Therefore if I stand like a volcano who gives off smoke as a signal of natural strife, am I not still subject to the season of rest, the love that must follow? For each season passes and gives balance to the precedent set before it.

 

Prose: A Random Memory


On this particular day, I was late to church for prayer or maybe I was early. I walked in and sat in a chair that faced the wall opposite from the one I entered. I noted the familiar faces. There were probably 5-10 other people already deep in prayer and meditation. I faced the wall, put my feet on top of the floor heater and slouched into a ball. I began talking to God about my day, trying really hard to emulate the way I would talk to a friend. I hadn’t really done this before. My prayers are, for the most part, very structured, reverent and formal. I had finally summed up my day and really wanted to tell God how nature had affected me that day. I wanted Him to know my gratitude, to express an awe for the majesty of creation in a manner that expressed familiarity and comfort versus separation and reverence. I kind of just started shaking my head slowly back and forth, ignorant to what was about to come out… and I spoke:

“I really love what You’ve done with the place.”

I couldn’t control the giggling until I noticed my madness affecting all the other silent conversations with God.

This, I feel, marked a very special transition in how I began to identify with the creator of the universe.

Essay: I’m no heroine, but I know a couple.


“Would to heaven,” said Eugenie de Menancourt, “that I could have such a happy and saving influence on your fate, Beatrice, as you have had on mine! But I am destined only to be a burden to you, and to rely on you for everything, without knowing or comprehending the past or the present as far as it regards to you – without understanding your means, your wishes, or your purposes.”

— One in a Thousand; or, The Days of Henry Quatre, Volume 20 By George Payne Rainsford James, Laurie Magnus

Whether it is recognized or not, everyone has a hero. Hero is rarely the first word you might choose to describe that person who holds a redemptive quality for you – one who saves you from yourself and provides a sense of hope or inspiration. Since music has always played a huge role in my life, I always thought my hero was a musician. It wasn’t up until recently that I realized who my hero really was, and always was. The heroine of my life is my mother.

My mother’s story is one of hope, the struggles of losing and the triumphs of redeeming. My mother is a source of strength for all those who know her character and the story behind it.

When I was young, my mother was a symbol of quiet, inner strength for me. It’s not that she never cried, but she never wanted me to see it and in even her most broken of states, her sadness hardly even hindered her in all that she had to get done. She was a martyr for the family she so dearly loved; a family that often failed to express the appropriate gratitude. I’ll never be able to pay back my debts to her.

I was eight years old when my mother had a miscarriage. They had only just told me weeks before that I would be having a brother or sister. I remember my father, trying to make it a light-hearted thing. In hindsight, I can tell they had planned for that moment to tell me. My father said, “OK, family meeting. In the bathroom. Come on. Huddle in.” With mom and I giggling, we huddled in the small space of my bathroom that extended off of my room. I don’t remember what he said or how he explained it. I just remember that mom sat on the toilet while dad talked. When he was finished, she was crying. She left the bathroom. I stared vacantly at the floor, knowing I should have a stronger reaction based on hers, but I didn’t really understand what was going on. It was a little like being at Grandma Vaeth’s funeral, except I understood, even at six, that I would never see her again. I remember trying to cry about it, but “the rest of my life” seemed like an unfathomable concept to me. I figured they just didn’t understand that she was still there in a way, and if they could all just accept that, everyone would stop crying.
But the understanding I had at that funeral isn’t something I was given in that bathroom. I don’t remember what I asked my father, but I know I brought up God. I have a feeling I was questioning His existence. My father told me God was everywhere. I said, pointing into the shower, “Even in that bar of soap?” making a mockery of such an idea. “Yes, Nicole. Everywhere. He’s watching you all the time.”

My mother’s miscarriage was due to an eptopic pregnancy. We almost lost her that year. The thought that I could’ve lost my mom before I even knew her terrifies me.

When I was in eighth grade, I came home from school one day. Dad wasn’t there, but it wasn’t unusual. Sometimes he didn’t get home for an hour after I did. The telephone rang in the kitchen. I think I was on the computer at the time, even though I wasn’t supposed to be when no one was home. It was my dad. I don’t remember how tactfully he told me, but he informed me that my mother had a stroke and that they were at the hospital. He told me to walk the dog and then to go to Joanne’s, that either she would bring to the hospital or he would come get me.
I collapsed on the kitchen floor, sobbing so violently, it could’ve shook the earth to the core. The pain and the confusion, not fully understanding what exactly a stroke meant, if my mother would die or live plagued me. I called my boyfriend at the time and talked to him as I walked the dog. He didn’t know what to say to me. He was incapable of comforting me, but his pseudo presence at least stopped the sobbing.
I remember standing next to the hospital bed in the ER, for they hadn’t gotten her a room yet. I held my unconscious mother’s hand and couldn’t keep it together as she looked more fragile than I’ve ever seen her. I specifically remember the machine. If I talked to her, I can’t remember what I said. I just sat staring blankly at the machine, letting its noises wash over me with the assurance of her vitality for minutes, maybe hours.

Through my teenage years, my mother was a strong wall. She knew when to fight, when to pull back and when to draw near. I was a wretch 24/7. It wasn’t until I found God that I fully understood the value of my mother and all she’d done for me. It wasn’t until I started to love myself that I began to really appreciate the person my mother is. I’ve never known a single person who didn’t fall in love my mom almost immediately upon meeting her. She has the kindest heart, the warmest laugh and the most welcoming arms to cry into.

My fondest memories of my mother are on the worst days we ever had. Whether it was her bad day or mine, whenever things got hard and unmanageable, she’d curl up next to me in bed, hold me and rub my back or play with my hair as she sang these lyrics:

“Raindrops keep falling on my head,
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red,
Crying’s not for me,
‘Cause I’m never going to stop the rain by complaining.
Because I’m free, nothing’s worrying me.”

I think this photo says more about my mom than anything I could, but I tried.

Prose: The Age of False Advertising


Often when I see the sky, a really piercingly beautiful sky, I think to myself that such a scene belongs in a painting. I find this very telling about the human nature, or perhaps only my nature. When I see something too beautiful to describe, my mind can only process it as being fake or synthetic. A copy, even. Surely not the prototype. Reality is ugly, so anything I perceive to be beautiful is often mistaken to be a charade. It’s the cause for much of the failings of my faith. To think of a G-d so beautiful, so loving, so merciful and giving, to behold him in the framework of my mind even for a second brings me to the logical conclusion that He is not real, and loveliness on such a grand scale is not possible.

But the G-d who created the stars and the skies, every sunset and every natural landscape is a G-d whose beauty surpasses all of these things. I believe that.

Journal Entry: Hardships and Survival


I guess to say what I want to say, and really have anyone understand why I’m saying it, I have to provide some background information.

On September 2, an extremely close friend of mine told me we couldn’t talk anymore. His reasons were vague and frustrated me. He asserted that I need to be focusing on myself and this was best for me. I was more than a little devastated about it, but I got through it. Sort of.

On September 5, I returned to school for the first time in three years. On this day, I had a massive panic attack for the first forty minutes of class. I could not concentrate on what my professor was saying, and I so dearly wanted to run out.  Despite the fear running through my entire body, I stayed in my seat, fidgeting with a red face and a pair of sweaty hands. I got through it. Sort of.

On September 8, I found out a childhood friend of mine, someone who I’ve known since I was eleven, and whose family has been considered an extension of my family since I was three, was in a coma and had fractured his brain stem in an accident. I fell to pieces when I found out and as I held his hand in the ICU of Strong Hospital, praying for a miracle to no avail, a part of me died. I watched my faith fall useless on his near-lifeless body, but I kept some fashion of hope and I got through it. Sort of.

On September 9 around 11am, I was on my way out to visit Orry again in the hospital, when I was informed that he had just passed at 10:20. I sat in the garage, chain smoking, staring at the blank tv screen like a zombie. I could cry, but I couldn’t feel it, not in my heart, just in my head. I could keep a strong face, but I couldn’t feel that strength in my heart, just in my head, but I went to that church tonight, I broke down before God in the middle of song. I went home and deleted my facebook.  I got through it. Sort of.

On September 10, I went to class and lived like nothing had ever happened to me. I didn’t have any panic attacks.

On September 11, I found out my best friend’s father passed away from a stroke. He was a man who I admired, idolized even. He was close to me, made me comfortable and at peace in his presence, and always made me smile with his dry, quick wit. I freaked out. I had known he was sick with an infection in his lungs, and I had been praying for him, but it did not occur to me that he wouldn’t get better and it certainly didn’t ever cross my mind that something else would kill him. He has survived cancer. He is a strong, hard-working man who loves his family with the most obvious kind of love. My heart broke for him, for me, and for my friend, his child. I survived, sort of.

On September 12, I attended church, again. The sermon didn’t relate to me, so I thought I could keep it together, but every familiar stranger in that place that put their arms around me and embraced me in genuine compassion made me melt into a pile of grief, almost instantly. I got through it, sort of.

On September 13, I attended Orry’s funeral/memorial. I saw every single person I could’ve lived with never having seen again. I felt alone in the masses, and didn’t find comfort at the end of my booze-filled glasses. I did not feel Orry in that place, but I saw Love in every embrace.

When I left, I visited my friend whose father passed away. I had spent every moment until then, feeling like a crappy friend because I hadn’t seen him yet, hadn’t consoled him. I hugged his mom tightly when I saw her, which I’ve never done and I sat up late, giving comfort in the only ways I know how. I didn’t sleep until Saturday.

These past two weeks have been the hardest of my life, and yet, I sit here now, almost untouched by it all. The worst part of all of this was seeing so many people I loved, suffering and not  being able to do anything about it, not having any word of wisdom or encouragement for them. I was utterly useless for other people. Not to mention, it was a hollow kind of loss. The pain in your chest that keeps you up at night. I was a weeping mess when I started to map out all the dates and events, but now, I don’t know what to think. I had a few moments of clarity in the midst of all the devastation and saw that it’s all for Love. It’s all for freedom. There’s a method in the madness and a purpose for the pain. Even if the methods don’t make any sense to me and the purposes might seem too small and insignificant for such horrible effects, I trust that this is going somewhere good. I don’t believe in happy endings, but I believe that every conflict has a resolution and reaching it is only a matter of that imaginary thing we call, time.

Reminiscent Prose: A Plane Ride to Florida.


I took a plane down south. Of course, I had many times before, but this time was different. In times past, I had been a rolling stone of a child whose mind was shifted and clouded by dreams, fantasies, wonders, questions and zeal for the moments. I lacked or perhaps ignored the cognitive ability to see what was going on before me whilst caught up in the fascination of my own mind. On this trip, though, I was on the way to coming into my own. I had attained some level of consciousness, although, it could be argued I was less conscious in the sense that I was more acutely aware of that which is deemed irrelevant by the backbone, heart and brain of nature, of existence, and especially, of God.

I was sitting next to one of my only friends, at that age. I didn’t have the window seat. I don’t know this to be a fact, but I know who I was back then, and even though I really wanted the window seat, I would’ve eagerly given it up to please a friend. At age thirteen, I would’ve sold blood to attain the assurance of a lasting friendship. I hadn’t learned, yet, that you can’t buy loyalty. That’s not to imply that this friend wasn’t loyal, for she surely was, for as long as she could be.

If I was nervous at all during that plane ride, I don’t remember it. As far as I know, I’ve never been nervous on a plane before, yet for some reason, I imagine I would be, now. I guess you could say this particular plane ride was the last peaceful air transit I’ll probably ever have. I was young enough to know of 9/11, but not have its effects really get under my skin and touch my heart as it does now. I was at the age where we made terrorist jokes and wondered at why anyone would want to hurt Americans – So naive. I wish I had spent less time, distracting myself with movies, books and hand held video games during that plane ride and more time engaging those around me. Not that I’d have anything of substance to say, but, surely, there would’ve been something of substance to hear, to remember, to learn from. That’s what I regret most about my youth and my teenage years, even now; I wish I had paid more attention to what life could teach me. I made mistakes, I saw what went wrong, what caused it all, and never really consecrated those things in my mind or heart.

I know a lot of time has passed since I boarded that plane to Florida, but in a lot of ways, I still feel like the same person, and therein, I believe, lies the only legitimate reason for sorrow. Wisdom is the application of life’s accumulated, practical knowledge, and a fool has no value… in this life or the next.

Poetry: Preface to Murder


The dishes are left soiled in the sink,
Growing unfriendly friends of mold and stink
The table, not set and the living room, unkempt,
These and more, roots of my contempt.

Marriage introduced a new kind of rescue,
One needed from my wife and only son,
Originally, home was strictly for refuge;
Yes, home was made for fun.

But she pushes and tests me til I have no wits left,
She’s helping me on in this conclusion,
And what did she expect?

She knows her power, bites back her smile
When she withholds from me, sweet release,
Not to mention, the child, my son,
Constructs in me, an untamed beast.

I dream of places, anywhere they’re not
I’ve thought maybe I could kill them,
Buy a gun, develop a good shot.

Perhaps I’d show them more mercy,
Perhaps I’d kill soft and tenderly,
They are my family, after all,
No need to be surly.

But I know it’s only a matter of rage and time
Before these thoughts, even fantasies
Become reality,

maybe mine.

 

 

*This is fictional writing. I am not married, I don’t have a son, and certainly, I have no intention to murder.