Friday, August 24, 2012

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 213

The Lone Wordzzler here posting late, though there is some hope that this week I may not be an only wordzzler. Yippee!  That said, I'm going to post my exercises tomorrow.  

Sunday 4:30 pm.  Finally did my exercises. They are very saccharine and goodie-goodie today. Sorry. 

Words for this week's 10-word challenge were:   enough, superstition, matches, camera, fortitude, space, turtle, pillow, adversity, we're doing everything we can    And for the mini:  paper bag,  hurt, creation, gloves, wanderlust

My mega:

Looking around at the mass of people crowded into the huge space of the coliseum, Jennifer Jackson wondered where in creation she had put her camera. She hoped she had not forgotten it in the house. She could, she guessed, take pictures with her cell phone, but she preferred a real camera. She wondered to herself if one pillow, four paper bags of random items and clothing and her turtle Wanderlust were going to be all that remained of her earthly goods or if somehow the firemen would be able to save her home and that of her neighbors. She was awed, not just by the courage and fortitude of those around her, but by their generosity of spirit. In the face of this terrible adversity, she watched neighbors comforting neighbors and strangers reaching out to tend to small and large hurts of their fellow refugees from the conflagration. "We're doing everything we can," the rescuers and firemen had told them, but would it be enough?  Still looking through the bags for her camera, she had to laugh at some of the things she had packed.  It was August - and an especially hot one, but she had packed a wool scarf and gloves. What had she been thinking, she wondered.... and then realized that she had not been thinking, just panicking.  Behind her a voice was whispering... "I heard that they are saying the fire was started by a 10-year old playing with matches..." The conversation continued, turning into an argument about parenting and punishment and she lost interest.  To her relief, she found that she had packed her beloved camera. Photography calmed her spirit. She could not control her situation, but she could document it, seal it in memory and try to document the pain and beauty in the faces around her. She focused first on a small group circled in prayer. As a rule, she considered religion to be a from of superstition, yet here in this place she saw another aspect of it... the power of community.  She circulated among her fellow refugees asking permission to take their photos and became so absorbed in the task that she was almost disappointed when, two days later they fires were out and they were all allowed to return home. She was among the more fortunate. Her home had been untouched by flames. A year later, when her photo record of the event was published as a book and soared to the top of the best seller list, she donated half of the proceeds to helping those who had lost the most recover their homes.

My mini:

Sitting with his paper cup on the cold sidewalks of New York, Jesse Marsh wished he had been able to foresee where the wanderlust of his younger years would lead him. His gloves were worn and full of holes and his hands and fingers hurt from the bitter cold. Everything he owned in the world fit into two large paper bags. It had not been a terrible day, though. When it was this cold, passers-by tended to be more generous, so he had collected a bit of money. A couple of people had even brought him coffee and one kind woman - my name is Julia, she had told him - had brought him a big mug of hot soup, the best meal he had eaten in many months. She had also brought him a warm coat (she apologized because she didn't have any gloves) and told him that he could find shelter if he so desired at the King of Creation Tabernacle on 112th Street. Despite his fear of such places, there was something about her kindness that tempted him to check the place out.  For one thing, besides being kind, she had been very, very pretty.... and the soup.... well, it had been Heavenly.

And my 10-word:

The long trek up to 112th Street stretched Jesse's strength and fortitude to their limits. He felt like a turtle inching slowly forward against heavy winds. At the same time, though, he felt as though he was being guided. He wanted to say by angels, but  that seemed too much like superstition, so he chose instead to convince himself that he was being pulled by lust. He felt more comfortable with that. He wasn't going to let adversity turn him into some kind of god freak, no way, not him. When he arrived at the King of Creation Tabernacle, he found a space that was nothing like what he expected. Instead of one huge room full of cots or dirty mattresses on the floor, there were 2 small rooms, each with six real beds (with sheets and pillows and blankets!)  Next to each bed was small bed table (with a lock and key on it) containing a set of clean towels. In one corner there was a box full of pajamas and an assortment of clean clothing with a sign above that said, "take what you need."  The bathroom was spotlessly clean and had a shower stall and soap and shampoo. The beautiful Julia - who had greeted him with the word, "you came!" as though he were a long lost friend, had shown him to his room with the words, "once you have cleaned up, please join us for dinner." The aromas from the kitchen, seemed to erase his exhaustion and he was torn between hunger and a desire to savor the joy of the first shower he had had in months.  Hunger won on this first night.  As if a bed and a shower and clean clothing was not enough of a miracle for one day,  he entered a kitchen that was radiant with heat and a large table with rolls and soups and what seemed to him like a feast fit for a king. Around the table were 11 others like himself.  Like Julia, each introduced himself and welcomed Jesse like a family member coming home. To his amazement, that's what he felt like. He felt like he had come home. He knew that he never wanted to leave. On the wall was a sign that read, "We're doing everything we can."  "What does that sign mean," he asked as they all tucked into a dessert (dessert!) of apple pie and ice cream. "For me, it's a reminder to keep trying, to never give up,' Julia replied. "And hopefully it's an inspiration for others as well," she added.  "Would you like a job," she asked. I think we can find something for you if you are willing to make the effort." Which is how he ended up running errands for photographer, Joseph Angel, who saw him looking with hungry eyes at one of his cameras. "You can't have that one," he said, "but why don't you explore with this digital. I appreciate all the help you've given me... and I've watched you looking at my work. You have a good eye, so let's see if your talent matches your enthusiasm. This little digital can take 500 pictures. Spend the next three days exploring and let me see what you can do." As it turned out, Jesse had an artist's eye.  Seeing what he did, Mr. Angel took him on as an apprentice and in remarkably little time - fostered by his mentor - Jesse's was soon selling for sizeable sums of money. Like any good fairy tale, he married Julia and helped her continue to run her Tabernacle, where their love and generosity turned many lives around. Even their failures were not really failures. As Julia liked to say, "Love never fails. Whatever their choice, they had a few nights or weeks of good food and companionship and that is the greatest wealth there is." When he opened his own studio, Jesse called it "Two Angels Photography." I think you can guess why.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  vocalize, vandal, virtue, visitor, vim and vigor, vermillion, vague, vacuous, vines, validate 

And for the mini:  voodoo, vixen, veracity, valid, vital

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.


Argent said...

Coming soon - me too! Thought you had stopped doing these, really glad you haven't!

The Bug said...

Oh man I hope you weren't counting on me because if so I let you down - sorry!

I actually WILL make an effort this week. My creativity has been dormant for so long...

Love your happy endings - I think either of these (I count the last two as one story) would be nice as longer short stories.

Raven said...

Don't worry about it, Bug. I seem to be taking an unplanned break from the Daily Reminders. I am in a major snit about politics. I may not survive until November. Play when the spirit moves you.

Argent, same to you, though I look forward to enjoying your creativity again one of these days.

CJ said...

Hi Raven,

I haven't been blogging much, but for two days, I've been reading & commenting on blogs I've been ignoring and wrote 4 posts (on 2 different blogs.) And when I stopped here, I wrote something that's ready to post on Saturday. Hope I don't forget.

I just started to take a class at the community college which includes lots of reading & papers to write, so it will probably be my only submission for a while. I don't have class Monday due to Labor Day, so with a few days off, I decided to catch up on blogs.

I'm in a major snit about politics, too. I am truly considering moving someplace else. The politics elsewhere may be just as bad, but since it will not be my own country, I won't care so much.

I used to be opposed to term limits, thinking if we had a good Congressperson, I'd want to keep him/her. But I have realized the problem is that as soon as someone takes office, his/her main objective is to get re-elected ---and therefore has to accept money from special interests. Now we are being run by big corporations and pacs. No one cares about us ordinary folks. No one does what's best for the country, only what's best for the rich, Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, McDonald's, Google, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, Wall Street.......

Raven said...

CJ- look forward to your post.

I still oppose term limits, although that my change because it seems all the worthy people are retiring. The ones who are "for the people" and not just themselves are frustrated and discouraged.

We need to change the campaign finance laws and we need to get people to actually use their right to vote. The country is a mess. It makes me sad and it scares me both.