The Elephant

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #64

Plus this morning’s Word of the Day: ASTONISHMENT
and Your Daily Word prompt: DEFINE

THE ELEPHANT

“And what’s this?”Amy walked toward the metal sculpture.

Carl studied the thing. “Rather hard to define.”

“You said it!”

“Perhaps it represents some animal,” Carl suggested. “Yes! It’s meant to be an elephant.”

“A six-legged elephant?”

“One prong’s the trunk and one’s the tail.”

Amy sniffed. “But no body.”

“Sculptor ran out of metal?”

Just then the curator joined them. “I see you’ve discovered our war memorial.”

“War memorial?” Carl eyed the sculpture. “Not an elephant, then?”

Her eyes opened in astonishment. “Elephant! My good man…”

“A war memorial,” Amy repeated.

“Quite right. Commemorates British-Danish joint efforts in the Battle of Copenhagen. Isn’t it brilliant?”

Some other tourists were beckoning so the woman left them to ponder the curious representation.

“I was right about animals,” Carl declared. “It must represent Mark Anthony’s “loosing the dogs of war.”

“But one’s missing two legs,” Amy protested.

“War does that.”

“True.”

Perusing the Prompts

Good morning everyone!

I’ve been perusing this morning’s offering of writing prompts and noting how they might mesh together quite nicely.
The Ragtag Daily Prompt — my choice this morning — is WANDER
The Word of the Day prompt is WISTFUL
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge is WAIT
and Your Daily Word Prompt is OTIOSE
(Had to look that last one up; it means futile, idle, at leisure, or without purpose or function.)

Put these together and you can imagine someone wandering “lonely as a cloud,” as the poet William Wordsworth termed it, going along without purpose, hoping something interesting will present itself. Perhaps he’s rather wistful, pondering something he’s done —or not done. Or maybe he feels a little lonely and wishes he had a friend to walk beside and converse with.

In the course of his otiose ambling through the lovely park he pauses, perhaps to watch the ducks in a pond or chivalrously step aside to wait as a slow-moving senior passes. Shall we give our percipient rambler “a host of golden daffodils” to gaze at? Or maybe the falling leaves of autumn, allowing him to contemplate the brevity of life. But then he continues on his way, thinking maybe a strong cup of coffee at the local bistro will perk him up.

Oh, wait! Coffee and writers go together, so let’s make him a writer puzzling over a plot twist. His wandering isn’t otiose after all; as he walks he’s working out scenes in him mind, hoping he can get fresh ideas for that manuscript he’s been working on. Now we can understand and feel with him in his quandary. Haven’t we all been there, wondering how to make the characters believable or get them out of the mess we’ve put them in?

But wait! There’s one more writing prompt to work in. Daily Addictions has given us the word HOSE.

So, en route through the park, our writer is suddenly smitten by another angle for his book. Driven by his brainwave and no longer perceptive of his surroundings, he trips over a hose the gardener’s been using to water one of the flower beds. He staggers, loses his balance, and lands in a patch of freshly puddled earth. A.k.a. mud.

A small price to pay for a brilliant new angle.

Alone

Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning:  MOVIE
Word of the Day prompt:  RIFF

Like a boring old movie
the neighbors are at it again
that weary riff of picking
at past gripes and hurts,
festering wounds.

If only they could peek
into the dark years to come,
get a glimpse of “future me.”
If they could feel how lonely
life can be when you’re
left. Forgotten. Alone.

Having worked in seniors’ and nursing homes myself, I think everyone should have to spend six months working in one. Here’s where you clearly see the truth of “What goes around, comes around” and “You reap what you sow.”

Those ‘To-Do’ Resolutions

Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning:  NEW BEGINNINGS
Word of the Day challenge:  RESOLUTION
The Daily Addictions word for today:  STOP

Good morning everyone!

I see we have a fine choice of seasonal prompt words this morning, reminding us of the resolutions we’ve made this week. Good news for my readers: my one resolution this year is to ALWAYS preview my posts before hitting PUBLISH. Maybe I can weed out those devious typos that want to creep in.

START WITH A LIST

I’ve read a couple of different articles recently saying that if people want to work smarter and accomplish their goals, they should make a To-Do list every morning. According to these time-management experts, making a list is the best way to zero in on your priorities. Even if you don’t get through the list, they say, even if your day gets sidetracked, it’s still advisable to set down on paper the things you want to accomplish. And keep it nearby, where you see it often. This help you to sort out and focus on the most important tasks.

I believe it. I’ve been told by some very efficient people that they make a To-do list every day. In fact, some people have their days and weeks regulated FlyLady style. As in, every Monday: one load of laundry; vacuum this room; wash that floor; clean this closet. And so on through the week. (I imagine the rule is: no hobbies, no blogging until these tasks are done.) This system becomes an ingrained habit and you never have to wonder “What am I going to do today?”

I’ve never been a list-maker. Yes, I usually think every morning of a couple of goals for the day, but I tend to waste time on fiddly things. Looking back, I’ve found that on days when I’m preparing for something special like dinner guests or a trip, and make a To-Do list first thing, I have gotten much more accomplished. But usually I tend to meander through my day with only a few vague goals.

So if I want to make a NEW BEGINNING, I can start with the worthy RESOLUTION to make a To-Do list every morning. Join the Fly-Lady and organize my week. STOP wasting time and work at accomplishing some main goals.

Sigh… Like the proverbial “Lose ten pounds,” this resolution has been made different times and abandoned. This system clashes big time with my attention-deficit tendencies and I end up just hoping there’s a place in this world for disorganized, inefficient, and scatter-brained people. 🙂

MY WEEK SO FAR

This week has definitely been a drifting one with no big accomplishments. My sister’s death still seems unreal, for one thing. I keep thinking, “It just can’t be! Surely she’s still there and we’ll see her the next time we go that way.” Also, “Why didn’t we talk a lot more? And talk about the important things of life?”

Also, on Monday I started feeling an infection coming on. I was hopeful for a quick recovery but was feeling so weary when we were shopping in the city Thursday. By evening I knew the infection was winning and I needed to see a doctor, so I went back to the city yesterday. You know how it goes: sit for two hours at a walk-in clinic; spend two minutes with the doctor; he verifies the problem and gives a prescription.

This antibiotic is amazing stuff! Kicked in right away. I hadn’t realized how ‘blah’ I felt until I started getting better and my energy started coming back. So maybe today I can tackle that To-Do list.

PRAY FOR RAIN

My petty worries are trifles when I read what’s happening elsewhere. This week blogger Frank Prem has been posting poems about the fires in Australia, the smoke blanketing his own community. I’ve looked online and seen maps — and was horrified to see they are fighting fires all over the continent. Read one of his verses here.

My heart aches for them — the lives, the homes, and all the flora and fauna being lost in those many blazes. I’m thankful that Canadian fire fighters have been sent to help combat this catastrophe, and praying for rain in Australia is high on my priority list these days.

Not Alone

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning:  CANDLE
The Word of the Day Challenge:  BABBLE

And my response will be this little verse:

Not Alone

Up before the sun
peering into the night
and feeling all alone.
But no—a light! A train
chugs up the track,
its lively wheels a-babble;
its sweeping beam proclaims
another soul’s awake
to share the morning stars.

He’ll see my candle
as he rumbles by
and know life stirs
in this little house.
The engineer and I
will give a passing nod,
sharing our bits of light,
almost like a hug
in this lonely world.