Tag Archives: DPchallenge

Reminders of You, Reminders of Heartbreak

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The song, “Sooner or Later,” by Mat Kearney is one that always brings up strong memories of one person.  This may come across as a very sad writing challenge, but it is just the memories.  This is what I feel when I hear the song.  It unlocks a part of me that is usually tightly tucked away.

We’re all standing with our backs against the wall, Sooner or later.

Waiting on a phone that never calls, at all.

Heartbreak comes rollin’ in like a storm, Sooner or later.

Trying to swim but your sinking like a stone, Alone.

I am now the one standing with my back against the wall.  I was the one – the phone that never called.  I came in as heartbreak, causing more damage than any storm.  We both tried to swim, and I know I know we both sank like stones.  Except there is no we; there’s you and then there’s me.

And I can feel fire in the night

Waiting here

Baby it’s like we’re

Walking on a wire through the fear

Take my hand

We’ll get there

There was fire in the night.  There was fire in our hearts.  There was fire when we held hands.  There were sparks when I thought of you.  The everyday reminders of you.  Hearing a song – this song – and thinking of you.  You would listen to it on repeat, and now it burns of you.  We thought we would get there.

Sooner or later I swear we’re gonna make it, we’re gonna make it,

Sooner or later I swear we’re gonna make it, we’re gonna make it

Milk and honey till we get our fill

I’ll keep chasing it I always will

Sooner or later, I swear

We’ll make it there

Sooner than later

It is now later, and there is no “we.”  What exactly happened, I’m not sure.  Maybe the milk went sour; the honey became bitter.  We thought we were going to make it, but I had my fill.  You kept chasing, but I was scared.  Sooner became later, and we did not make it there.

We’re all waiting on a dream that’s hard to own, Sooner or later

Trying to feel the high without the low, you know

It’s impossible to feel the high without the low.  There is always a low.  We had dreams together.  I had dreams of you and I know you had dreams of me.  And we had dreams for ourselves.  I hear this song and I remember those dreams.  We wanted to travel the world, camp in the mountains, go on adventures, and do it all together.  This song uncovers memories of your bedroom, listening to it on repeat, and traveling the world in our mind, through pictures and tourist books.

You can feel fire in the night

Lying here

Baby it’s like we’re

Walking on a wire through the fear

Take my hand

We’ll get there

It was not a wire we walked initially.  It was a reinforced, fenced in, sturdy bridge.  There was no doubt.  Then I broke the bridge.  To me, it had dwindled down to a wire.  To you, it looked like I came in with gale-force winds and annihilated what you thought was a secure bridge.  You reached to take me hand, but I pulled it away.

The fear inside

The hills we’ve climbed

The tears this side of heaven

All these dreams inside of me

I swear were gonna get there.

I wish I could have better explained the fear inside.  I was young, but we had conquered so much together.  There should not have been tears, because in your mind, we were heaven.  All of those dreams we had, I shattered.  I wish we were going to get there.  I wish hearing this song did not bring up the memories of heartbreak and sadness.  It now brings up a picture of you instead of the actual you.  What breaks my heart the most, is that I know when you hear this song even now, a piece of your heart still breaks too.

A 1,000 Words can Translate a Picture

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A picture is worth 1,000 words.

This is a saying I live by.  Why would I write about something beautiful when I can show you.  I will admit, I have an infatuation with beautiful things.  Whether it’s majestic horses, dancing couples, brilliant flowers, towering mountains, or a starry night, I love the beauty there.  I then get the itch to capture and share what I see.  I find myself wishing for a camera, a pencil and pad of sketch paper, or paint and brushes.  It is a feeling that consumes me until I capture the image in my mind and have it in the flesh.

I will admit, I never have the urge to write a descriptive narrative that “paints” the picture for the reader.  As a part of this Weekly Writing Challenge, I aim to draw for you images I have been itching to capture and post.  So, instead of simply sharing the pictures, I plan to share it through words as a challenge for myself.

To everyone else, I’m sure it was just a typical October day.  For me, no day in October is typical, and that day in particular was a perfect fall day.  I stepped outside for a walk on that cool afternoon.  The crisp air bit at my exposed cheeks, but I had made sure to bundle up.  It was a refreshing welcome to the outside.  The air was dry and had that invigorating smell that resembles a combination of fallen leaves and home.

As a wandered through the park, the wind stirred the brittle leaves in the trees and the sound of the crunching under my feet stood out in stark contrast to the passive silence the world had already taken on.  Tree after tree lined up along the walking path were no longer vibrant and green, but had taken on the classic, New England palette of reds, oranges, and yellows.  The brilliant collage of colors was magnificent.

Being an overcast day, the sky had taken on a deep, threatening grey as if it was ready to start pouring.  The contrast of the brilliantly colored leaves against this deep sky was beautiful.  Of particular interest was a small maple that had a combination of flaming red and pumpkin orange leaves.  The tree looked on fire with a backdrop of larger, ancient, yellow-leaved oak trees and the ominous sky.  Transfixed by this tree, I felt alive.

Nothing can compare to all of the sensory feelings that come together on autumn days.  It is invigorating to have the bite of the refreshing air, explosion of colors in the trees, and homey smell in the woods.

I know it is just a short description, but I feel I have captured what I saw and felt.  Now I have to include a picture below simply because I’m still me, and I love pictures:)  This was a great exercise though and it really forced me to think about what I saw instead of simply replicate it as I usually do with my art.

FallFoliage

A Day’s Inheritance

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P1020548When I was younger, I wanted to be just like my parents.  I refused to have my ears pierced because my mom never had hers pierced.  I wanted to work in a finance job and travel the world.  I wanted to be a division 1 swimmer who specialized in butterfly.  I obviously was going to go to college close to home, because how could I ever be a combined clone of my parents if I couldn’t be near them to make sure I stayed on the right track?

Ok, of course that was a little ridiculous, but in my 10-year-old mind, it made perfect sense.  I have my ears pierced now because I love earrings and I have branched away from my parents and become independent.  I could not be happier about that either; I wouldn’t want to be just like them.  But, every day I am reminded how much of my parents’ child I am.  I don’t need to be around them every day to know that I am just like them.  And I am proud of that.

Typical Weekend Day:

4:30 am: Bound out of bed.  Note to the readers: No, I didn’t set my alarm.  Nope, there’s no reason for me to be up this early and my body clock has taken the term “early bird” WAY too far.  Check my phone – message from Dad at 4:22 am.  You got me today.  Thanks Dad – at least when you inherit genes like these, you have someone out there with you in the same boat.

4:31 am:  Breakfast of course.  I think a love of food can be traced back centuries in my family.

5:00 am: Psych myself up for the swim meet today.  At a towering (not) 5’2’’, my height, or lack thereof, does not give me any extra benefits in the middle of a swim race.  I outdid my mom by a quarter of an inch, but despite what my dad kept saying, I never got that growth spurt in college that sent him to a respectable 6 feet tall.  Then there’s the bubble butt and that’s definitely from his side of the family.  And to balance it out on the front, yep, you got it.  Thanks mom for making sure I was well-endowed.  I am slim and in shape, but majority of the athletes I compete against have no butt and no chest.  You just don’t see it in the swimming world.  Well, gotta love it.  Onward and outward.

8:17 am:  Start of the 1650 free – my race.  I’m feeling the jitters, but my body is ready.  With swimming and long distance running in the genes, I could not feel more primed for this race.  I love that feeling of working so hard and my body was made for it.

8:22 am: About halfway through the race.  It’s a close call for first between me and the girl next to me.  Battling away the first 30 lengths side-by-side, it’s going to come down to who wants it more.  Who’s got more fight.  Who just hates to lose.  If I could look in the stands, I think my parents would probably have their fists clenched, sitting on the edge of their seats, tense and in a world not to be disturbed until the race is over.  This is a competition and if I win, they win.  Some people have that competitive blood in them and even though swimming is one of the most boring, un-spectator-friendly sports out there, it still brings out the competitive side in my parents.  And as I’m sure you have figured out by now, it certainly brings out the competitive side in me.

8:35 am: Race is over.  I’m exhausted, but invigorated.  Inside, I am a raging ball of fury, but that will never be seen by the rest of the world.  Unfortunately, it was not a win.  I shake the girl’s hand and thank her for what a great race it was.  We both did best times so we both won.  Always be a good sport.  That was instilled in my character at an extremely young age.  You would never know just how competitive my family is until you see us in the midst of a race.  That’s the way to do it.

12:00 pm: Swim meet’s over and now it’s back to school things; it’s time to work on my project – and with my (slightly incapable) project group, I can feel the frustration building.

12:15 pm:  Think peaceful thoughts. Pretend you’re floating in the ocean, self.  Positive self-talk.

12:30 pm:  I might be balding because I am starting to pull out my hair.

1:00 pm: Ok, my parents are as white as can be and I’m white as a ghost as well of course.  But right now my face is about as red as it gets after being in the sun on a hot summer day without my SPF 50.  I’m texting my mom my frustrations and she’s getting just as angry.  A lot of help she is – wonder where I get it from.

3:30 pm:  I’m out the door for a 6 mile run.  I know there was a swim meet today, but I just like to do things.  I come from a family of do-ers.  It’s in our blood and people think I’m crazy, but my family doesn’t even think twice.  Probably because they’re all out going for their runs too, or bike ride, or rock climbing, or swim.  We do a lot.

9:30 pm:  Desperately struggling to stay awake, I am sprawled on the couch hoping to make it until 10pm tonight.  Sadly, staying up later does not directly coordinate to sleeping later in the morning.  Send the parents a goodnight text – no response.  Oh wait, my little early birds are already out for the night.  On that note, looks like I should be a good offspring a follow suit!  As much as I may sometimes try to deny it, this apple did not fall far from the tree at all.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fit to Write

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TRIALIVE!

Health and fitness to me is experiencing life at its most.  Health is living.  Living is racing.  I am an avid triathlete and there is nothing that makes me feel more fit, healthy, complete, and alive, than that feeling in the middle of a race when everything is coming together.  The blood rushing through your veins, your legs strong, lungs full, and mind laser focused on the task ahead.  I live to race.

 

There’s a burn in your chest,

And your legs are on fire.

With no chance to rest,

Deep down you start to tire.

But you can’t give in now,

The adrenaline’s in your veins.

You know exactly how

To push past those pains.

To finish the race hard;

To end with a win.

You played every card

And you cashed in.

Your body is spent,

Yet you still feel so strong.

To overcome every torrent

You knew you weren’t wrong.

Now savor this sweet feeling at the end;

No one else could possibly comprehend.

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember

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The Setting

The writing challenge for this week was to sit down for 10 minutes and write what you remember.  Once I set that timer, this was what came to mind.  This is what I remember:

I remember the walls being yellow and warm, maybe even a cream color.  It is more probable than not that the walls weren’t actually yellow – the memories are just seen through the faded, affectionate lens of a child.  There was the kitchen, bright blue cabinets with chips of green paint showing through from years earlier.  The little four-person, round, kitchen table.  There was no need for it to be any bigger.  There were four seats, and four of us.  What more could we need?  I remember meals of meatloaf and broccoli at the table.  Happy family conversations, and battles over not wanting to eat my peas, and craft projects.  That little table that could transform into a doghouse to cage in my brother when I was the owner and he was the dog, or a barn where I would munch on cheerios out of a bowl when I was pretending to be a horse.  This table was in a kitchen where I would watch my mother cook, whether it was dinner or some sweet treat for the day.  I would take spoonfuls of hot Jell-O (one for every member of the family and then for extended family members too, of course), or lick the cake batter of the spoon for her (so she wouldn’t have to clean it, obviously).

The faded memories of this place also include running around in circles through the house on all fours.  For some reason those memories are from the perspective of a horse.  I would have jumps made of chairs, or toys set up on the route so I could practice all disciplines vital to being a well-rounded equine.

There was our brown couch – the brown couch – in the living room.  Big enough to seat us.  There was no need for it to be bigger.  The living room was small, and the wood stove I knew not to touch because it was too hot.  But I could stand in front of it after a bath to warm up in the winter.  Lazy Sunday mornings would be spent on that squishy, enveloping couch.  Mom and Dad reading the newspaper, me and Clip Clop, or whatever stuffed animal of choice, wedged between them in “my” seat.

The living room had a ruby red carpet.  I’m sure my mother hated it and with eyes untainted by childhood affection, I’m sure I would think it was unattractive too.  But, this was where the Christmas tree belonged in December.  This was where we would decorate the tree to my mother’s favorite Christmas music CD one evening with snowflakes falling lightly out of the cold winter sky.  But we were warm with holiday cheer and excitement within.

This was a place where my soul felt safe.  There are no feelings of anxiety associated with these memories.  No stress.  No pain.  Just home.

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Pinch of Me

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For best results, bake under pressure and in a competitive environment.

Ingredients:

Outer Pastry Dough

  • 2 cups of dreams
  • 1 wild, all-natural athlete
  • 1 tsp. childhood animal obsession
  • 1 dash of hopeless romantic
  • 2 tbsp. witty remarks (hold the sarcasm for most appealing flavor)
  • A pinch of the outdoors
  • Neon food coloring

Inner Cream Filling

  • 1 pair of goggles
  • 1 racing bike
  • 1 pair of loved running shoes
  • 1 case of travel bugs

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients for outer dough and knead until true flavor is achieved.  Dough will be tough at first, but softens with time.  Add a pinch of motivation, determination, and creativity for taste.
  2. In a cast iron pot over a campfire, add ingredients for the cream filling.  Stir until mixture begins to bubble energetically.
  3. Fill each pastry with cream filling to achieve the final outcome.  Tip: May be stubborn and not want to be filled the way you want to do it.  Be patient.
  4. Garnish with yarn, pencils, ribbon, paint, and anything brightly colored.

Store away from heat and humidity.

Will be happiest served for breakfast with chocolate, coffee, fruit, or all 3:)

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Best Medicine

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Although my blog has consisted mostly of art and cooking, I have decided to take up the weekly writing challenges as well.  I think it will be a great opportunity to practice my writing and express some of my creativity in a different style.  Here is my first submission for the challenge, bear with me everyone – I gave it my best shot!  Thanks for reading as always:)

First Impressions

I saw my cell ringing… the cute intern from work.  It was the end of the first week of our summer internship and I was excited I had hit it off with one of the other interns.  Being a shy and reserved person, the fact that he asked for my number on the second day was a score for me!  And now he was calling.  I had made it a goal to not present the shy side of me this time around; it was time people saw the fun me.  I had to make good impressions and I knew this first week was critical.

“Heyyy!  It’s my 21st tonight and I’m calling because I need a drink!!”

Oh great.

“You’re asking me?”

“Yeah!  Yeah I’m asking you!  I need a good drink!  What would be something to buy?  What is your favorite drink?”

Uh-oh.

Now, I never got into the drinking in college – I had just as much fun at the parties without the alcohol.  I had no idea what to buy and certainly no idea what to mix it with.  Panic.  And this is why I prefer to text… At least I have time to think about these sorts of responses.  But, I didn’t want him to think I was a boring party-pooper.  Before I knew it, the reply rolled of my tongue.

“You’re asking the wrong person Jake.  I’m a girl; I don’t mix my own drinks!  I just take whatever guys hand me.”

Silence.

“But don’t worry about it, it’s your 21st.  Even though you’re a guy, you’ll be in the same boat.  People will be handing you drinks all night long.”

Who knows what he thinks of me now.  I thought it was a pretty good comeback and a great save on my part.  For my friends and family who have known me for years, they’d be laughing.  I’ve known Jake for a whopping 3 days.  I couldn’t hear any laughter.

Skipping ahead to the next week, Jake comes running into my cube in a panic at 9 in the morning.

“I need your advice.  I don’t know what to do, it’s one of my colleague’s birthdays and I need something to get him.”

“Now?  As in this morning?”

You’ve got to be kidding me.  What do I look like, a secretary?  Come on, admit it buddy.  You forgot and there’s really nothing you can do about it now.  But, I played along.  We had a little company convenience store and I suggested buying a snack from there.  I guess it’s the thought that counts.  And then it hit me.

“Wait, is he turning 21?!”

“Ummm, yeah.”

“Oh perfect, don’t go anywhere!  I have exactly what you need.”

And at 9 am on a Thursday morning, I pull a nip of Gold Schlager out of my pocketbook.  Could you come up with a better gift for a 21st birthday?  He can legally drink it now.  I was pretty proud of my resourcefulness.

In the meantime, Jake is giving me a really weird look.  He looks at the nip, back at my pocketbook, and then back to the nip.  I knew what was going through his head.  I clearly looked like a wild-child who is a raging alcoholic.  I take whatever drinks people hand me and I pull a nip out of my pocketbook at work.  Oh that serious, respected image of myself, I was watching it slip away.  If Jake could see how quickly it was disappearing, he probably would’ve thought it was slinking off to get a drink at the bar.

“Umm, well, thanks.  This will be great I guess.”

And he grabs the nip and goes.  I found out later, the intern who had the birthday was thrilled Jake had remembered and thought the nip was the best present ever.  Win!

This was all in the first 2 weeks of my summer internship… And I wanted a job offer?  To pull the story together, as Jake got to know me better over the course of the summer, the raging alcoholic chick Jake thought I was really wasn’t matching the more reserved person I actually am.  In one of our many cubicle conversations, it came back up and I could tell it had clearly been bothering the man.  I was laughing hysterically inside, especially the look of visible relief on his face when I answered “no” to the question, “So, I was just wondering, do you remember the comment you made over the phone on my birthday?  Is that something to be worried about?”

Oh, and to explain to everyone out there, I do not just carry nips in my pocketbook.  I had actually bought it for Jake the night he called me because the next day was his birthday.  I chickened out and never gave it to him, thinking it wasn’t work appropriate.  Ha!  Work appropriate.