Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 152

Before I do anything else, I want to apologize about last week. I did write two exercises, posted them, then accidentally deleted them somehow and just couldn't bring myself to do them again. I apologize even though nobody else played last week either.  If I'm going to host something, I ought to play and if my toys get broken, I should replace them even if I don't feel like it.  Hopefully, I'll do better this week. That said, I got caught up watching birds and trying to take photos, so it's 6:00 and I haven't even sat at the computer for a couple of hours and haven't started. Thought it would be a good idea to post Mr. Linky awhile, though, in case anybody else is going to participate this week.

Words for this week's 10-word challenge were: happiness, chip off the old block, charley horse, twaddle,  clip board, miniscule, carpenter, gossip, gratitude, mix and match  And for the mini: potpourri, pragmatic, rock garden, shattered dreams, tambourine

My mini:

Always pragmatic, Margaret Wilson worked quietly in her rock garden seeking respite from her grief and relief in actively doing something she loved. The garden was her pride and joy and had comforted her often over the past 30 as she dealt with a potpourri of shattered dreams and losses. Today, quietly weeping, she was burying the ashes of her beloved kitty, Tambourine, who had died a week earlier at age 22 only two months after her husband of 50 years. Death, she knew, was part of life and her own time would come one of these days. She was grateful for her memories and that she had been wrapped in love and beauty for so many years. She was thankful too for the grounding serenity and beauty of this special place, where now the ashes of two of the three most beloved beings in her life (the other being her daughter Elisha) were incorporated into the soil - as she hoped her own would be at some future date when God decreed it was here time.

The 10-word: 

Aaron Twaddle was considered a chip off the old block by his proud father Charley "Horse" Twaddle who although his Olympic days were now behind him (as were the chronic muscle spasms which had given him his unfortunate nickname) felt profound gratitude that he had a son who could follow in his footsteps and claim the gold medal which had eluded him in his glory days.  Alas, he was totally blind to the fact that Aaron had neither Olympic nor even athletic inclinations and had has his prime goal in life to be either an artist or a carpenter.  Creativity, not athletic prowess were where he found his happiness. His gymnastic abilities (which town's most prominent gossips (two sisters laughingly nicknamed "Mix" and "Match"  by the community) could not believe the father didn't recognize) were - to put it kindly - miniscule.  Finally, when he could take neither his father's pressure nor the community's snickers any more, he invited his father to lunch at their favorite restaurant - The Clipboard - and forced him to face the truth. To his credit, Charley took it pretty well. He was not as oblivious as some thought him, but had deluded himself into thinking he was encouraging his son's (not his own) dream. After their lunch, the two actually found things to do together that both enjoyed and their father and son bond, rather than being severed, was strengthened and enriched.  It is one of life's greatest lessons that the truths we so often fear to tell, are often life's greatest healers.

And the mega: 

Charlotte Carpenter's wardrobe was a mix and match potpourri of styles and colors. It drove her very pragmatic mother (Charlotte insisted to friends that Mom slept with a clip board by her pillow) absolutely crazy. Mrs. Carpenter was a woman whose happiness - if she had ever had any - and abandoned her long ago. Rather than experiencing gratitude for her daughter's creative and ebullient spirit, she resented it and wanted to crush it with the venom of her own shattered dreams until it was as miniscule as her own. She would make barbed comments as her daughter left the house. Anything from "Did you forget your tambourine? You look like a gypsy..." to "I suppose you don't care if people gossip about us," to "Your father had no class either. I guess you really are a chip off the old block."  When her daughter - egged on by her boyfriend Charley Horse (she just loved his name) - worked up her courage and confronted her mother about her meanness and lack of joy. Her mother's only response was an affronted, "Twaddle."  Charley, when Charlotte told him about it later, put his arms around her and whispered, "Don't cry, love. She has a rock garden where her heart should be."  This had made her giggle a bit, but in the end she thought Charley's rather description had a kind of poetic accuracy. Strange as it sounded to others when she said this, she knew her mother did not intend to be cruel. She WAS cruel, but it was not her intention. Charlotte knew her mother was deeply emotionally damaged, and lived in a kind of perpetual psychic pain and shame which skewed her perception of reality. The cruelty she visited on Charlotte was - in her mother's mind - an attempt to protect her child.  Had she realized the damage she was doing, Charlotte thought, she would have been mortified. It wasn't, Charlotte explained to Charley, that her mother heart was made of stone. It was maybe in some ways so tender that she had wrapped in thorns and her love pricked and drew blood from those on whom she bestowed it or who tried to reach the rose inside.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge: harpsichord, salt and pepper, wallowing, argument, ghost, parking lot, chocolate bunny, frying pan, frosted glass, mermaid

And for the mini: treaty, platitude, puddle jumper, graft, cork

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.


The Bug said...

These are great stories - especially the last one. Is it somewhat autobiographical? Hmmm?

I'm probably not participating again this week. But I've decided to put a reminder on my calendar to post Wordzzles on Fridays - we'll see if that works. For some reason they just get lost in my other creative efforts.

Raven said...

Hi Bug -

You caught me. The last one is heavily auto-biographical except for the boyfriend and the courage to confront my mother...

Hope you are feeling better. Did you ever look into that tea for your hip? And did I mention Dennis Puffett? He's free, so you have nothing to lose by asking for his help. He just sends energy and a note saying he's done so and never bothers you again.

Argent said...

I thought your first piece was gently moving and had a lovely serenity to it.

The last, though, definitely had a realness to it. Our parents have such a hold over us, don't they? Even when we're all grown up. The long shadow of my father has only recently begun to fade - he's been dead since 1996. I wrote a letter to him and put it in his coffin. It said everything in ti that I was too cowed to say in life. Not sure if it helped or not but I felt I had to do it.

Anyhoo, my Wordzzle's up - at last.

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