WPC: Half-light

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Breathe deep the gathering gloom…

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WPC: Fire Dance

I really had to dig to find an entry for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: Dance…Sure, I had a few snapshots that included people dancing, but those were generally blurry and awkward.

Then I found these:

From a memorial gathering fire from, wow, already 4 years ago. Time flies faster than the dancing sparks…Around here there’s a lot of fire-dancers, but this is something completely different. This is the fire itself dancing….enjoy.

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The Nightmare of Boredom

I’m uninspired.

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Sometimes there’s no words. Sometimes I cannot see anything fresh about my world.

Some days are just like that – nothing fresh. Or perhaps it’s a fresh feeling of dullness. That’s it. My fresh look at the dullness of routine life.

On my kombucha bottle in front of me are the “Words of Enlightenment: Live each day freely and lightly as our souls are meant to.” Today doesn’t feel light or free. Is that why my soul is squirming?

What causes depression? There’s a chemical component I know, but there’s another kind of depression that seems to be purely mental, situational. A form of long-term frustration and dullness. Is the cause stifling oneself? Is depression what comes of pulling back from our own impetus towards something and thwarting our own aspirations?

For a while after my recent travels I felt a vast sense of possibility. Then I felt this sense fading, the open field of possibility narrowing back into a tunnel. What is true? Was the sense of possibility false? Is the tunnel false? Are both neither true nor false, but just constructs of my imagination?

What a funk.

In response to today’s Daily Post prompt: Nightmare ~ for more responses click here

Anticipation

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Anticipation and travel plans are funny things. The photo above, of Castelo dos Mouros, depicts a sunny day, wide view, and an interesting cultural site. I could decide to go there, but will it be a sunny day? Or will it rain? Will it be crowded? Cold or warm? Fun? Who knows?

It’s good to make plans; it’s proper to do research. But at some point you have to acknowledge that the reality might suck. Really suck. And be okay with that. (Hey! It’d perhaps make a more interesting blog post, right? Trials and tribulations and such.)

The time you have available to travel makes all the difference. I work a regular job with lovely amounts of time off that I can only take in two-week chunks. Two Weeks!! That’s tiny. That’s my life. I get paid just enough to get by and save a little toward travel. Those crappy two weeks in the middle of an amazing six-month exploration are quite another story if you only have two weeks to start with.

When I have such a short time to spend somewhere I’ve always wanted to see, the excitement creates an almost crushing anticipation. But usually this anticipation of a vacation far exceeds the actuality. I end up thinking my vacation should’ve been more fun, more exciting, involve less illness, less frustrating….any number of issues that arise when real life steps in. My answer to this disappointment was not to stop anticipating, but to actively use the anticipation to expand the “travel” time.

Late last August I bought a plane ticket to Portugal. The ticket is for a departure date in April. Crazy, right? Not really.

When I buy the ticket so far in advance, my “travel” includes months of fun: learning the rudiments of Portuguese, reading literature from Portuguese writers, studying maps, reading Portuguese English-language news, following ex-pat living-in-Portugal blogs and checking the weather. (Every time I ask “European or Brazilian Portuguese?” I feel like I’m in a Monty Python skit.) I may never speak a word of Portuguese once I get there, but at least it won’t seem so overwhelmingly foreign. (Ok, I’ll probably say “Obrigada” and “Se faz favor” and a lot of “Fala English?”) It’s always a good idea to have winter topics-of-interest when you live in a cold, dark climate.

I try not to imagine myself actually in Portugal too much. Over and over again I remind myself it doesn’t matter if the two weeks I finally get to spend there are fun, interesting, miserable, or anything, really. What matters is the six months of anticipation. The key is to know that fantasy does not match reality. The reality may take any form. The anticipation is the cake. The two weeks there will just be the frosting on top.

Someday I hope I’ll be able to travel long-form again. To slowly drift from new place to new place, exploring culture, language and nature. I’m lucky enough to have done it in the past, but the means I had then differ from my current means. How can I experience this again? I can’t help but think the answer is just right there past my fingertips. (Is there a bookkeepers international I can sign up with?)

In the meantime I have this delicious anticipation.

Parsamy

Today’s Daily Post inspired me to play lexicographer – see other responses here.

Would it be great if we all spoke the same language? I wonder about this.

On one hand we could perhaps avoid many misunderstandings. But what would be lost? Can we craft a universal language that somehow includes all the cultural beauties we don’t share? To somehow create a highest common denominator rather than a lowest one?

My native language is English, and while there’s a wide range of words to express oneself in English, there are big gaps. A common example is our words for snow: “snow” and “sleet”. To describe what’s happening outside in the winter we’re reduced to phrases like “It’s really snowing out there!” or “What big, fat flakes are coming down!” or “The snow has gotten hard and crusty.”

But what really gets me is the word “love”. Is there a more abused, over-used and misunderstood word out there? Like snow, love takes a lot of forms and changes over time. The Inuits have a lot of words for snow, they can be very specific without verbosity. We need more specific words for “love”.

And now I finally get to my word today: “parsamy”

From the Latin roots for “partial”, “pars”, and “love”: “ami/o” – “parsamy” is love when it’s only held by one person, non-reciprocal love, unrequited love, one-sided love.

“He thought it was love, but it was only parsamy.”

Sadly it’s only a noun. “Love” is both verb and noun. Perhaps “parsamate”, “parsamation”, “parsaming”, or “parsamour”?

“Oh yeah, that boy from my algebra class. He was my parsamour.”

“When two people don’t communicate clearly they run the risk of parsamation.”

“Don’t parsamate me.”

Perhaps I don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Do you know a language that has more nuanced words for “love”?

The Guardian

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At a nearby friend’s house, a tree once stood tall. She called it her guardian spirit tree. She felt it protected her home and her family.

Last year an ice storm took down the tree. She asked an artist friend to find the guardian spirit in the tree and carve her.

He asked, “What does she look like?”

My friend replied, “You’ll know her when you see her.”

Interlude

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“It’s here somewhere I know it is,” he mumbled, pawing through the dusty LPs.

I wandered around the cramped room, idly investigating. Bookshelves lined the walls, packed full of old books and strange odds and ends. A small stone bookend carved into a rearing horse propped up a row of nineteenth century novels: Austen, Collins, Dickens, Gaskell. A small glass-topped box with a cracked pane held a withered butterfly on a pin.

“Aha!” he cried.

Soon the sweet sounds of Moonlight Sonata filled the room.

In response to today’s Daily Post: Final Trio – Bookshelf, Something cracked and a song I love – a little 99 word flash fiction-y tidbit