Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Scribblings ~ My Two Cents

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Writing is flowing through my veins ~ must practice

The sky was covered in dark, grey clouds, on this fall morning in Bonn, Germany. As I had done the day before, I was on my bike, riding down a path along the Rhine River to work. It looked as if it might rain. Only, the weatherman on the news had said it should clear up by early afternoon, and that the sun would shine for the rest of the day. I reassured me enough to take the chance and still bike to work.

Today for some reason was the first day I noticed, that in this small city, there was a great amount of traffic; especially that of bicycles. Everyone fought fearlessly, to make it to wherever their destination was, be it work or just on an errand. There was always a sense of urgency to be there on time.

As I approached the little town of Plittersdorf where I worked, the air seemed to be a bit colder and the sounds in the air a bit louder. The school where I worked overlooked the Rhine River. The scenery was a picturesque view of old houses, green hills lined with tress and a slight scent of burning firewood always filled the air. At my destination, I slowed the bike down to a full stop, dismounted and began walking away from the path; eventually entering the schools’ soccer fields, I noticed a man sleeping under a tree directly in front of me.

His body was half covered by an old worn out blanket and his feet were sticking out. He had on four layers of socks on and no shoes. A medium sized hole on the big toe of his right foot exposed a small area of flesh that was dirty. I walked towards him slowly, to get a better look. He was breathing softly and mumbling to himself in his dream; perhaps he was dreaming of a better life.

The coat he was wearing looked stiff. It had a slight coating of mud and various unrecognizable stains that covered it. He had a thick salt and pepper beard that was turning slightly yellow in color. The type of yellowish stains you would get from tobacco smoke. The skin on his face was drawn tight and looked tough; like an elephant’s hide, full of wrinkles.

As I watched him sleep, I could picture him in is younger years, possibly living deep within the jungles in some far away land, where the sun always shined; living it up with his friends and feasting on fabulous exotic foods and drinks. It was not a surprise to see that today, he still drank. Not only could I tell from the smell that surrounded him, but also from the half empty bottle of gin that was nestled next to his stomach.

He must have sensed at that point that I was watching him. He began to shift himself slightly and was breathing a bit heavier. Scared that he was going to awake, I began to walk away slowly, and in a backwards motion, so that I could still observe him.

He suddenly let out a deep choking cough that jolted him out of his deep sleep. He sat upright, looked around and took a swig from the gin bottle. Like a small child he lifted himself up from his hands to a standing position and spread his arms into the air to stretch. He reached down grabbing the bottle, blanket and all his other belongings. With small staggering steps he walked towards the water.

People passing him went around him or avoided him all together; occasionally looking back at him after they had passed. He climbed slowly over the rails leading to the water and was no longer in my sight.

From the distance though, I could hear the splashing of water and envisioned him cleaning himself up, by taking a bath in the Rhein.

I turned around and headed back towards the school. Wondering not only what my day would be like, but what his would be like as well.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge

Self Portrait Challenge ~ "me as a mom"

This is a photo of me and my mini me, so I have been told. When I found out I was pregnant and when I was due to have my baby, I was really excited becasue I had always wanted to have a Gemini child. I am a Gemini too. I know it sounds crazy. But I have not one regret. For as crazy as it might become in my household, I am looking forward to lots of fun too.

This is the reason for the moment, that I do not get to post on my blog as often as I'd like and why I've missed most of this month's challenge. I have spent a significant amount of time this past year just looking out for her best interest and as I mentioned in a previous post, my life has been a complete mess to say the least.

It has been a challenge being a semi-single mom. As days pass in life, you can never really know what obstacles you will face. But I consider myself a very strong person and I can always work with life's little detours. Especially if it means I will become a better person and learn from them.

We have been battling constant germs since my little one started going to the MJCCA Preschool here in Atlanta. It seems that every week she is out for being sick, she gets something new upon her return. But she is a trooper. Even when she's running a 103 degree fever and can be at he lowest point in terms of sickness, she amazes me with her bright personality and the umph to carry on. Invincible.

She has taught me some much about wanting to be a good role model. And, how important it is to make sure she has a future in this world. So every day I search for ways to make that happen.

We are creating an unbeliveable bond. I look so forward to watching her grow up and to see how she becomes her own person. I can't wait to see what path she chooses in life. I will be there for her at every moment she needs me and I will be there with open arms.

In my opinon, being a mom is one of the most rewarding privledges that is bestowed upon a woman. It is life altering and I wouldn't change it for the world.

More Self Portraits here

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday Scribblings ~ Thief

Lara sat crossed-legged, book in hand, on thick wool blankets that laid haphazardly in front of a large colonial style fireplace in her living room. The crackle of the bright orange and blue flames coming from the fireplace was the only sound in the room, besides her heavy rhythmic breathing. The silence was comforting yet at the same time a bit frightening. Lara had been coming to this cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Blacksburg, VA ever since her fiancé of two years had dumped her and gone off with someone else. She had fallen so in love with the time she spent here, that she made it a habit to come up every winter, for at least two weeks to get away from city life.

As stood up to go get a cup of tea from the kitchen, she noticed a shadow or what she though to be one by the window. Out of the half drawn curtains she peered cautiously. Bending over, she grabbed her glasses from the end table the sat directly next to the plush green velvet sofa. She put them on and then wandered to the other window in the room, where the angle looking outside, would perhaps be better. She slowly drew the curtain back and looked out onto the large acre of land on the side of the cabin. But she saw no one, just a vast area of land covered in a blanket of beautiful pure white snow. There were no signs of foot tracks. Only, the moonlight hitting the top of the snow, causing a glare.

“Maybe her mind had been playing with her,” she thought for a fleeting moment. She recalled the gunshots she had heard earlier that evening but had not paid much attention too. She glanced out of each window for a final time. Feeling secure again she headed to the kitchen to make the tea.

Directly underneath the window ledge of the living room where she had been peering from, laid a tall, thin man, with dark long hair and a gray overcoat, faced down in the snow. He was lying as still as a dead animal and breathing only as slightly as he could. “It’s best not to move,” he was thought to himself. He did not want her to become scared and call the police. But as he heard her footsteps make there way to the kitchen, on the other side of the cabin he stood up slowly, and headed towards the wood shed in the rear of the cabin. As he stumbled through the snow he left a trail of blood following him.

The man approached the door of the wooden shed with a stagger; he was tied and losing energy as the blood dripping from his left shoulder, continued. He reached his right hand out to pull the latch on the door and it opened. A strong smell of pine came from inside. He noticed that there was only a small portion of the shed that was available to him to hide, so he slipped inside and quietly shut the door, leaving a small gap for air to come through.

Lara finished making her tea and headed back to the living room, but instead of reading she decided to see if there was a movie on. She grabbed the remote control and flipped on the tube. Across the screen in big letters with a white background ran the words “Breaking News”. Lara turned up the volume and listened intently.

“There is a man on the loose who attempted to rob a small convenience store in town. His attempts were foiled however, when the owner, who just happened to be coming back to the store to pick up something that he had forgotten and discovered the man in the rear of the store and shot him,” the news reporter said.

Lara’s mouth dropped open and she became scared. She jumped up from the couch and checked all the doors to make sure they were locked. In the background she could hear the news reporter continue with the story.

“The owner of the store shot the man with a shotgun but he managed to escape and ran towards the mountains. The police are searching for him and he is not considered to be carrying a weapon. We still caution though, that he could be dangerous, should he cross your path. He is wearing jeans, a navy blue shirt and a grey overcoat. It is also known that he had a black ski mask over his head,” he continued.

Lara quickly changed the channel, stood up and turned on the lights. She was really frightened.

In a matter of minutes she could hear dogs barking outside and the sounds of sirens. Sounding as if they were getting closer and closer. She could visualize them going cabin-to-cabin looking for this man. Then she began to wonder just how far he had made it with a gunshot wound and if he would show up here.

Out in the wood shed the man was trying to force himself to stay awake but he was finally unable to and passed out, his last breath ever so slight. His body slumped in a ball on the floor, his head leaning against the pile of wood.

A few hours’ later police, their dogs and the EMT showed up on Lara’s front steps and rang the bell. She obliged them to have a look around. They searched the house, but found nothing. Lara stood in the open doorway and watched as the headed outside. As the officers walked out and heading towards the side of the house, the dogs began to bark loudly and pulled the officers towards the blood in the snow. The officers walked over to the blood trail land followed it to the shed.

Lara ran into the house and grabbed the blanket from the couch and put it over her shoulders, she slipped her bare feet into her boots by the door. Then followed them around to the back, where they all saw the trail of blood lead to the wood shed and the door stood slightly a jar. She felt an uncomfortable chill run through her body as the officers approached the door and opened it.

The look of surprise on everyone’s face shocked Lara, when she realized that they knew him and named him the son of the storeowner. It had been a long time since he had been in town. Word had it, that the store owner’s son was always getting into financial trouble due to gambling and drugs, but they had never suspected he would have robbed his own father for money.

The EMT walked over to him with their equipment and the stretcher. They checked his vitals and bandaged his shoulder, then took him out on the stretcher and into the ambulance. One of the officers jumped into the back of the ambulance with him, and it headed off down the hill into the night.

“My sincere apologies for the inconvenience, miss,” he said and walked to his car.

“I’m just glad you found him,” Lara responded.

As she stood in the doorway and watched them leave, she couldn’t help but wonder, the look on the store owner’s face when he found out it was his own son who he shot.

But she felt sorrier for the son, who was in her mind apparently too ashamed of himself to face his father like a man. She tried to imagine what the conversation between them was going to be like, but she couldn’t. So she walked back to the house and looked at the clock. Tired and drained, she ascended the stairs to her room and went to sleep.

more Sunday Scribblings here

more Sunday Scribblings here

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Poetry Thursday ~ Sex

This weeks topic brought me back to a point in my life that has always left me with a bit of regret. The one that you think you "let get away syndrome". This was a poem I found that I had written on the spur of the moment about the incident that happened between myself and my "Mr. Right".

Do you recall the first night
we went out and I lured you into a car,
across the border and through
the narrow streets of Maastricht.

In and out of smoky clubs
where I hesitantly stole
my first memorable kiss from you on
the dance floor between songs.

From there it turned into endless nights
and quiet moments of us lying next
to each other with candlelight

on a futon of my studio apartment,

music always blaring in the background
and waiting for the other person
to make the first move.

Then that moment came,
that final decision to make love
overcame us, and in the act,
my image of you was shattered.

I was taken by surprise
of the words that left my
mouth and crushed your ego.

It was beginning of our end, of
my foolishness, immaturity,
my expectations of you and
realizing I screwed up.

~ Lisa 1998

See more poems here

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Poetry Thursday~A Laughing Matter

When I read this weeks prompt I immediatly though of my favorite childhood poems and books by Shel Silverstein. Somewhere in all the moves in my life I managed to loose or misplace most of them. When I was pregnant with my daughter I went out and bought Where the Sidewalk Ends becasue it had been my all time favorite and had the largest selections of poems that I loved the most. I used to read them to her when she was still in my womb.
Here are two short ones I always found funny.

Ridiculous Rose

Her mama said, "Don't eat with your fingers."
"OK." said Ridiculous Rose.
So she ate with her toes!

~Shel Silverstein


Inside everybody's nose
There lives a sharp-toothed snail.
So if you stick your finger in,
He might bit off your nail.
Stick it farther up inside,
and he might bite your ring off.
Stick it all the way, and he
May bite the whole darn thing off.

~Shel Silverstein

More Poetry Thursday's here

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sunday Scribblings-On Monday-Hotels

I have never really minded staying in a hotel. I have stayed in many types as well. I have traveled quite a bit in my life and I think I have been to every type of hotel possible (do motels and hostels count because I have stayed in them too). Some were nice, posh suites where you had the world at your fingertips; others were simple rooms with nothing but beds, a bathroom and sometimes not even a TV. There were the ones that were so not what I had expected when I booked the room, that I thought, I would sooner suffer losing one night’s sleep than taking a chance on what I would endure thorough the night. But this latest road trip from Atlanta to New York was a hotel experience I will always remember because it became a “hotel family affair”.

My mom, dad, daughter and I shacked up at the Fairfield end in Flushing, Queens with my cousin’s who also live in Atlanta. My younger cousin Mel (for short) brought along her boyfriend, and my other cousin from Arkansas came with his girlfriend, son and somewhat stepdaughter.

The first night my cousin’s arrived at the hotel they had ordered in a bunch of pizzas and unintentionally created a little pizza party in the breakfast/hangout room of the hotel. When we walked in from having dinner in the city, everyone was sitting around watching the plasma TV on the wall and talking turn’s checking their emails or surfing the web on the hotel computer. Any other people who came within a foot of this area seemed to think we were having some significant event going on and avoided the room all together. We had officially taken over.

Then there was the night us “younger folk” went out on the town and showed up at the hotel at 2:30 in the morning. Some of us more drunk than others, but we still we managed to make our way back to our rooms (on the same floor) without disturbing the peace of the other hotel guests. Most of the loud laughing and obnoxious behavior took part in the hotel lobby entrance and in the elevator.

Every morning even though none of us ever woke up at the same time we would run into one another eating breakfast or slamming down huge amounts of coffee to start the day. Especially, those of us that had spent the night before drinking just a little too much.

Oh and the scene of my cousin B. who we deemed the General trying to round up the troops in the hotel lobby at a specific time, so that we could have a convoy of cars heading into the city as to save anyone from getting lost on the freeways. But it never failed that we were separated at least on one of the attempts.

It was a great time and a great idea for us all to stay at the same hotel. We as a family bonded in ways we had not before, we had the chance to catch up on each others lives, because even those of us who live near each other still don’t get to spend that much quality time together.

Besides, when my family gets together it is always a blast!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hello Again!

It's been forever and a day since I have posted because I took a little road trip with my parents and daughter to New York! We drove from Atlanta, stayed over in Roanoke one night and arrived in New York the following day. There was plenty of time to read in the car and my daughter spent endless amounts of time watching Barney, on a newly purchased portable DVD player specifically for the trip. God bless Barney! Unfortunately, the reason we went was not a pleasant one; a memorial service for a relative. Cousins of mine, whom I have not seen in ages came from California, Arkansas and Washington.

Though it was for the memorial service that we took the trip, we still did manage to have time to do fun things too. I went to the Met and saw the special exhibit Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh. We also were able to see the famous Tuscan vase that the Met will be returning to Italy. We made it to Soho and china town and did a bit of shopping. There was also the opportunity to walk through central park. It did rain a significant amount when we were there but it was still a great time had by all.

On the return trip we had planned to spend a day in Washington, D.C. my old hometown but were only ale to spend the night and move on because parts of the city were flooded and the Smithsonian and museums were shut down. It was great being back and to see all the changes to the neighborhood where I grew up and to see other parts of the city where I had spent time romping around. What a great cultural oasis. I had a hard time leaving, but it made me think that in a couple of years I will head back up North permanently. I think I would love for my daughter to have the experience growing up there as compared to the South. At the moment though it is good to be home and not living out of a suitcase. I will spend the next few days getting readjusted and will start in on blogging again this upcoming Sunday for Sunday Scribblings . Meanwhile, I have a lot of catching up to do on blog reading, tending to my house and catching up on book/magazine reading too.