Terminal Relationship

 

Indianapolis IAHer perfume had strong fruity notes, yet it wasn’t overpoweringly sweet. The soft thud of high heels echoed in the concourse as she took a seat a few rows away. She tossed her bag into a chair and began to search through its contents. She gave up after a few rounds of rummaging and sent a cascade of pens, change, and keys plummeting into the chair. She continued to jostle with the pile of items until she found her prize.


I heard the click of a lock screen and a blitzkrieg of messages flew from her fingers. While the pads of her fingers thumped the screen, her nails produced a horrendous clacking. After a bombardment of sent message whooshes, she returned to her dispelled belongings and whisked them into the bag.


Soon, she received a phone call. She released an exasperated sigh and stormed past me to answer it. She swiftly paced about the rows of chairs while the ringtone continued to blare. With another nail clack, she began her dreaded conversation. The phone call promptly evolved into a screaming match. The caller was an irate mom: there is no other human noise that is more distinguished than that of a seething mother.


“I don’t care Mom,” a youthful voice hissed.


“Shana! You’ve been gone for a week!” The mother ranted.


The woman walked further away and her voice faded to whispers of rage.


“No. I’m not coming home and that’s final!” Shana vented before releasing a squeal and ending the call.


Her high heeled trot was accompanied by sniffling. Shana’s approaching footsteps revealed that she was too close to my line of chairs. I had left my bag slightly jutted out so that it would be easier to grab. But it was evident that the enraged woman was not attempting to avoid the obstruction. I quickly leaned over and reached for my duffel. I was able to catch the shoulder strap, but I was too late to prevent her from stumbling.


She tripped on the bag and tumbled into my lap. I grabbed her arm and began to help her up. She violently shook me off and pushed me down into the chair. The force was enough to send her to the ground.


“Geez man,” she scoffed. “If you wanted a dance that much, you should have just gone to the bar.”


She slowly got up and started tapping a foot. I bet her nostrils were flaring while she heavily puffed.


“Well?” She demanded.


I began to formulate a defense when my thoughts were interrupted.


“Flight 1901, we are now boarding. All passengers with disabilities and families with young children may come up to the kiosk to board the plane. Thank you,” a flight attendant’s muffled voice informed the passengers.


“Excuse me,” I politely answered. I pulled my cane out from my jacket sleeve, adjusted my sunglasses, and began to feel around for the duffel bag.

 

Indianapolis International Airport Photograph

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Redwood Forest Prompt

Redwood PathThe majestic wood is inhabited by creatures who seem to evade your gaze while analyzing your every step. The ancient redwoods tower above you as if they were an impenetrable fortress. Gradually, the beavers and deer come into the open. The mountain lions and bobcats peacefully wander off in the distance. A smooth creek is occasionally interrupted by gentle, bubbling swells. Groups of salmon and otters navigate the placid waters. Upstream a juvenile bear disrupts the glass-like surface as it snatches a salmon. The beasts do not concern themselves with your presence.

Your stroll leads you into a wide clearing. The deer paths you followed lay to the south while a great giant lies fallen to the north. The sky is speckled with wispy, dancing clouds. The setting sun bursts through the line of trees to the west and illuminates the leaves with deep shades of red and orange.

a fallen giantYou approach the marred redwood and examine its scarred trunk. The branches that used to oversee the forest are now a mangled mass of of twisted wood. As you near the stump, the stench of lightning emanates from the splintered base. A charred oval, broken between the two parts of the tree, reveals the location of the fatal strike. You round the edge of the tree and inspect the base. To your surprise, an object protrudes from the blackened wood.

What is the object that you discovered in the redwood’s stump?

What events led to its presence in the forest and absorption into the tree trunk?

What do you do with the object?

Path in a Redwood Forest

Fallen Redwood

 

Super Me?

We’ve all wanted to be a superhero or possess at least one superpower at some point in our lives. As a kid, I would look up at the sky and be jealous of the birds soaring through the air. When asked which superpower I wanted, flight was my go-to answer. I’m pretty sure we all have a rote superpower answer. It’s human nature to desire something we could never have.

If you could possess any superpower, which power would you choose?

That’s a good choice. It definitely has some benefits; however, you chose wrong.

Most of us have bought into the lie of superpowers at one point or another.

I see a clear distinction between an ability and a superpower, but we tend to get those confused. I would love to have the ability to fly, but I wouldn’t want flight as a superpower.

superpowerAn ability is something you were gifted with or have learned. A superpower comes from a source that is beyond or outside of you. You can’t own a superpower like you can an ability. I have the ability to write, but would my words mean as much if they were the result of a superpower? I’d rather write with less gusto and know that every single word came from my ability than to write something that was the product of a radioactive typewriter ribbon.

There are a lot of things I have the ability to do that I wouldn’t take a superpower for. Although superheroes still train and prepare, they can’t fathom the pride that comes from doing something completely on your own accord.

I’d rather be an ability focused version of me than one who can fly.

Superpower Photograph

 

Life’s Black Boxes

black boxI want most of my thoughts to be little black boxes that can be lost in the ocean. My mind, a homing beacon, can locate each one if I please, but for now they’re gone. Left for the currents and critters to act on them without restraint. Maybe when one washes up on the shore, I’ll be ready.

But for now, there’s a few being tossed around in the Northern Atlantic. Several have been frozen in an Antarctic ice shelf. A couple might be hidden in the crevasses of Challenger Deep. There are a few that I can’t decide if they’re in the ocean of my mind or my heart.

I know of another level of concealment that is more violent. A large mix of memories are tossed in the ocean while the remainder are swirled around in a whirlpool. Sometimes the vortex momentarily spits one or two out. I do not know if it is because they are too powerful or if their time has come. Those in the ocean creep onto the shore and haunt, but those in the whirlpool attack like a vicious shark.

No matter how hard I try, the tide lulls them in and the boxes surface. Days come along that spew a black box or two onto the shore. The presence of those horrendous reminders revs up the whirlpool’s assault. Just like the lurking black boxes, vulnerability can’t be avoided. The water rejects some memories and a tempest rages until those boxes are sacrificed to the surface.

Vulnerability isn’t so much a question of when, but of what the water will bring back. The black boxes are always in the shadows, and you can’t see them until they’re resting at your toes.
vulnerability-is-our-most-accurate-measurement-of-courageWe aren’t judged by what surfaces, but how we react to them. Avoiding the past festers within you. Opening the black box, accepting the data feedback, learning from it, and moving on is the only way to conquer the relentless sea of life.

 

Brene Brown Quote

Shelf Lives

Hot ItemThe store was eerily quiet. Each shopper walked in and was immediately given a sticker. Mine claimed that I was on clearance, even though my expiration date was lost in the distant future. I watched as smaller, thinner, better girls proudly strutted their “hot item” badges. Some elderly shoppers had “expired” tags; society was done with them.

I as I strolled past shelves of canned good and clothing racks, I saw a plethora of labels. I became envious of the little black dresses, that like those tiny women, were “hot items.” I sympathized with last year’s plush toys who had already been marked down to clearance.

Then there were the goods that were neither hot or clearance. Those things just sat there, they didn’t stand out because they hadn’t been judged yet. These items blended in with each other and wouldn’t be announced to the world until they were fashionable or out of season. I felt their unassuming nature draw me in. I wanted be unmarked and free of judgement. But I never would be, I was clearance and marked as such until my last breath.

I went in and out of the store without a flirtatious glance or wink. I was clearance material, only good for others deemed so.

 

Hot Item Image

Redneck Summers

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Growing up under the flag,
watching it wave,
anthem resounding-
giving way to roars.
Engines- purred, stuttered, stammered- lived.

I lived alongside-
heart in time with pistons,
legs with the sled.

Cherry-sweet fumes billowed-
rising high into the clouds,
dissipating until
the vapors were one with the atmosphere.

I listened as ancient beasts
were set aflame and
entertained more than my daydreams.
Their lives reduced to pollution
and that cherry-sweet scent.

Town to town,
State to state,
Summer to Autumn,
Always under the flag.

Wild Child Truck Photograph

Wishing to the Thousandth Degree

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I picked one at random-
staking my future on it.
Then, muttered prayers were heaven-bound.
I hoped an angel would encounter
my plea and guard me.

On unfathomably dark nights,
I would pray for a streak of shooting hope-
Those were guaranteed.
The darting figure of a plane
was never enough.
Only lightyears between could intercede.

In the end it didn’t matter.
If it was above,
it was mine to wish upon.

Nasa Space Photographs