Monday, May 27, 2013

injaynesworld "Mama Knows Best..."

Mama always said, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” 

Back then I couldn’t understand why anybody would want to catch nasty old flies any more than I could figure out why someone would want to charm a snake – best just be leavin’ some things alone – but to each his own.  

That’s another thing Mama said when somebody would go lookin’ down his nose on somebody else’s business, “To each his own.” 

Mama’s gone now and I can still hear her words as she tried to teach me the ways of getting’ along in this ol’ world, only now it’s my voice sayin’ them, and my kids rollin’ their eyes at me. 

I expect one day their kids will be lookin’ at them the same way. 

This post is from the Five Sentence Fiction prompt “Charm.”

Monday, May 20, 2013

injaynesworld it's "Just Another Day..."

The neatly-stacked cans of “Ida’s Meal-In-A-Minute Homemade Chicken Tenders and Rice,” which were neither Ida’s nor homemade but did, in fact, heat up in one minute, collapsed from the rush of the oncoming steel, loudly crashing onto the tile; aluminum road kill as far as the eye could see.

Carrie sunk to the floor, releasing a torrent of tears as twin toddlers Joseph and James, still strapped into the offending shopping cart, looked on in shock, silent for the first time that day, and busy shoppers stepped around her, avoiding eye-contact lest they, too, be sucked into her vortex of hell.

Her thumb still throbbed from the deep slice it had taken cutting up fruit for the kids’ breakfast that morning, and then backing out of the driveway while trying to get Joseph to release his death grip on James’ hair in the rear seat, she had stepped on the gas instead of the brake, shooting across the street, over the curb and into her neighbor’s newly-sod front lawn.

The last thing Carrie recalled before awakening in the psych ward was looking up at an orthodonically-challenged, trembling teenage boy with a name tag that read “Hi-I’m-Bobby-Have-A-Nice-Day” and the booming voice from the in-store sound system:

“Clean-up on aisle seven.”  

From the Five Sentence Fiction prompt “accident.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

injaynesworld we are "Getting Our Wings..."

The needle touches down lightly, moving across my shoulder with the precision and grace of an Olympic ice dancer, its delicate pattern slowly beginning to be revealed…  

I have wanted a tattoo for years.    The design had changed over time from a pair of puckered lips on my ass during the 80s, which I refer to as my “angry period,” to a guardian angel as an homage to the spirit who has shown me the way whenever I have asked, and finally to the hummingbird, representing to me the energy of joy and creativity.

I relax into the steady buzz and light stinging sensation as brilliant blues and greens begin to bring the image to life…

I recall an acting teacher once saying that, like the hummingbird that appears as if in stillness while batting its wings at 55 beats per second, creativity requires that we raise our energy to that same high level and then contain it in the moment.    It’s an image that has stayed with me.   The hummingbird’s natural ability to fly backwards, forwards, left, right, up, down or just hover in one place inspires me to keep my imagination open, free to travel in any direction in an instant, and to express my ideas without limitations.

And then he’s there, reminding me to take nourishment from my surroundings and, in so doing, to nourish others. 

If a single creative expression touches just one other person in some small way, it’s like pollinating flowers.   Something somewhere is sure to grow. 

Tattoo by artist Chrissy Summers at “Sink or Swim” in Grover Beach, California. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

injaynesworld we are "Stirring the Pot..."

It’s probably as old as I am.  Of indeterminate material – Tin maybe?  Aluminum? – scratched, dented and burnt on the bottom, it has accompanied me for my entire adult life.   It was my mother’s cooking pot, the one she made beans in on cold, winter days.   Red kidney beans, slowly cooked for hours to a hearty thickness, with small amounts of bacon grease added for flavor.   We’d eat them with generous slices of fresh sourdough bread.   

Other times it would be filled with fudge, which my mother would make using the recipe from the side of the Hershey’s Cocoa can.  I’d sit on the counter top, dangling my legs, watching her carefully stirring the hot, bubbling brew with a wooden spoon until it was just the right consistency.   Then she would turn it out onto a platter, leaving the pot encrusted with warm fudge sticking to its sides for me to scrape and eat.   That was the best part.

I was only 22 when I lost her.   We were just becoming close again after many years of me being an adolescent asshole and her being an angry alcoholic.  I will never know if I was miserable to her because she drank or if she drank because it was the only way she could tolerate my disrespect.   Perhaps it wasn’t one or the other, but a combination of two combustible personalities destined to fail each other’s expectations.   Still, when I think of that time I am pummeled with guilt.

But then there’s that old pot and I smile recalling the sound of popcorn exploding against the lid while she shook it until every last kernel surrendered, and the sight of steam rising from boiling spaghetti served with a simple sauce of spices and canned tomatoes.   I have so many wonderful memories of my mother in our tiny kitchen preparing food with that pot.   It was one of the things she gave me when I moved to my first apartment, and though she has been gone for over 40 years now, it still sits on my stove, tonight waiting to be filled with water for pasta. 

If I close my eyes I can see my mother standing there stirring it. 

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

injaynesworld it's "The Colony..."

Getty Image
Their ancestors, chosen from all over the world for skills necessary to colonize a habitable planet, had been the fortunate ones to escape Earth’s devastation.   A century later, their descendents continue the journey.

The harvest had been bountiful this year.  All of the carefully-bred embryos had successfully reached birth and, as was their annual custom, the colonists filled the great arena, feasting and dancing in celebration of the newest generation.

Not until the digital night sky finally morphed into the first rays of dawn did the tired celebrants retreat to their quarters, many wondering what the next year would bring, as their massive ship continued to glide through the galaxies in search of a home. 

From the Five Sentence Fiction prompt “Festival.”

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