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Shifting Sideways: 13 Nekkid Ladies

First off, mind out of the gutter. This is fine art, folks!

Nymphaum by William-Adolph Bouguereau

Nymphaum by William-Adolph Bouguereau

Shifting Sideways: 13 Nekkid Ladies

“One naked lady, two naked ladies, three naked ladies, more. Four Naked ladies, five naked ladies….” My son cooed in his sleep, snuggling into his stroller. Sunday afternoon, and it was time for The Haggin Museum, where we were sitting, and sleeping (respectively), in front of the Nymphaeum by William-Adolphoe Bouguereau. (For the record, there are 13 of them, along with a boy peeping at them and a satyr. Yes, I’ve seen this picture. A lot. If you follow the link, the boy and satyr are on the far right, but are not really visible. Hidden.)

Back then, the Haggin was my refuge. Me time away from my crazy life, moving from place to place. No worries about roommates, a crazy husband or what to do with my life. Instead, it was my infant son, me and the quiet of the museum.

Being surrounded by art allowed me to breathe again. My weird, shift to the side mentality started kicking back in. Some mothers count blocks, some sheep. We counted (almost) naked ladies.

I probably should not have been doing it out loud.

The Princeling and I came to the museum so often that the security guard knew us. At the time, the elevator was operated by Ray, the security guard. I ended up buying a year pass, because we were in there so often.

Now, not so much. Instead of cooing softly from his stroller, my boy has grown into a rambunctious nine year old boy. He’ll tolerate the large machinery, the jeep, the boat… But his heart was captured by the hall of swords. That’s what he calls it now. He thinks the life sized dioramas are creepy, the paintings are boring.

My meandering days are over.

I miss them.

Once again, my life is in turmoil. My mind is scattered, thoughts being tossed like litter in the wind. Art calms the windstorm, settles the thoughts. Whether it’s the Nymphaeum, a storm tossed sea, a piece of porcelain… it reminds me of the beauty in life. Even the potato farmer painting hanging in the same room as my nymphs. They are care worn, they are trying hard… but there is beauty in that struggle.

Walking through the halls, my heart start to slow. My breaths deepen. The soul relearns that it can fly.

##The End##

Flash Fiction (Essay) Challenge

Do you read/follow Chuck Wendig over at Terrible Minds? Love the guy, love his quirkiness to bits. On Friday’s he posts a Flash Fiction challenge. This week… it’s not fiction. Yay! You can read his original post here

(PS Chuck, you said to drop the link in the comments, but… the comments aren’t open. Insert Sad Face).

Write an essay on the topic of: Why I Write.

This is something that I’ve been struggling with lately. I’d love to make my living writing, but that currently isn’t happening and it doesn’t look promising. I want to support my son and myself, by my writing, but it’s not in the cards right now. It does remain in the realm of dreams.

So. Money isn’t the reason why I’m writing.

I have been published, and I loved the accolades. When people tell me that they loved it, ohhh… my heart shivers. I haven’t made much money (see above), and I have received some wonderful reviews, but…

That isn’t what keeps me writing.

Not for money. Not for accolades. Both would be bloody brilliant, don’t get me wrong. I won’t lie.

I write because words have power. We can shape our worlds, and make sense of that world, through words. When I was writing fiction, I almost always work out a problem in my fiction. Something that’s been on my mind comes out in the theme of the story.

Still has my quirky voice,tho.

I liked fiction because it gave me a buffer between my feelings and what I was working out. Sometimes I need that space, the step back from the situation that fiction gives. In Dragon’s Champion, the heroine saves herself. And when she finds her voice… oh, the power she wields! In The Golden Apple and Other Stories, there were lots of strong women saving themselves… as they dealt with love, death, family and the perception of others versus reality.

Not everyone needs saving.

Except, perhaps, me.

I write to save myself, to save my soul. It’s how I pray, how I connect myself to… myself. It enables me to get the junk out and cross it out decisively and then get to the meat of the matter. I took a step back from fiction, and have been writing a lot of nonfiction and poetry, trying to realign myself. Essays mostly, some a micro shot of life as I see it. (One is scheduled for tomorrow, my shifting sideways series. Whee!) They are all full of my weird quirkiness, a lighter slightly twisted version of myself or the deep, dark and twisty. Apparently, my writing is like the water I love so much. Some is nothing more than a babbling brook—entertaining and will cool you off and refresh you. The other half is the middle of the ocean, deep, dark currents pierced by light.

I write to save myself. Because when I don’t write, I can feel it calling to me. Even my nine year old can tell when I’m not writing. A line of poetry that grabs hold until I write it down. An opening sentence will grab hold of me and won’t let me go until we go exploring down the rabbit hole.

It’s the only sure way to comfort myself, make my soul nice and tight with the world. If others get saved along the way, that’s a blessing. But I have to save myself first.

And Daddy Prayed

I wrote this in response to a conversation with my dad on the fourth of July. I intend to submit it to Chicken Soup, whose submission page states that we can submit items published on our personal blogs. It’s very different than my fiction. and most of my other non-fiction. This is the second piece I’ve written regarding spirituality. I seem to be holding to an eclectic voice even in this. Hope you enjoy.!.

And Daddy Prayed

             Even before the stroke on Mother’s Day, my 89 year old father wondered: Why am I still here? What purpose do I still serve in God’s plans?

Then the stroke happened. It was thankfully fairly mild, and he came home after a week. After one or two days at home, he went back to the hospital. Unfortunately, the effects of the overdose of medication has not been mild. We just celebrated the Fourth of July, and hopefully he will be home soon.

Throughout this, there have been times where he didn’t know what was going on. At one point, he gave up. It was in the tired planes of his face, in the droop in his shoulders, his voice that lost its fire. The “rehab” he was in, while modern and nicely furnished, crushed his independence. This old war bird, proud Navy man from World War II, Korea and Vietnam, was reduced to needing the help of churlish and neglectful people. It took its toll in both body and spirit.

When he was transferred from the “rehab” to the hospital, he started coming back. He still had health problems, still tired out so easily, but was starting to be him again. When I was told he’d be going to a different rehab, I was terrified. Indifference and incompetence had almost cost us our father— would this place finish him off?

It’s not as pretty, as shiny new as the other. But it’s the people who count, and they make a difference. I know this to be true, because Dad is starting to come back. The things that make him uniquely him are coming back.

Including his ministry.

We were out on the patio: Dad, my 9 year old son and I. Dad I started a conversation, and it went as most of ours do. Wide ranging and far flung, we can talk about anything and everything. He started telling me of the people he had met in the rehab, and how he feels an embarrassment of riches not only because his family visits, but also his anticipated home coming.

“There’s a woman in the room right next to me,” he began. “Every night, she calls out ‘Oh Lord, oh Lord, please come take me home.’ All night long she cries out. In that other place, there were two who would do it. I need to tell you something, though.”

Tears thickening his voice, he continued on. “So I started praying for them. Not for me, but for them to have comfort, peace, a restful night. Every time I pray for them, keeping them in my heart, He answered. They were comforted. The woman next to me will call out, then find peace for an hour or two, then call again. Every time, He comforts her. Because I prayed.

“Their heads don’t think right any more. They’re broken inside. But deep down, you have to remember that they are human beings too. They need comfort too!” I grabbed hold of his hand as he cried, moved beyond words at the testimony my father had just given me.

Have I had the open heart, the courage, to pray as he does? Not yet. But I’m practicing it. A day before this talk, I would have been stewing in anger over my own lost sleep. I hope that with practice, I’ll be able to love a stranger like that.

To open up your heart like that, then be able to share the story. That’s a powerful ministry. So powerful that I could not keep the words inside myself. When I got home, I called my sister. Then I sat down and began to write.

And as I write, I pray.

Thank you, Lord, for showing Daddy and I how a little prayer can do so much for a person.

##The End##

Copyright 2015 Wynelda Ann Deaver

Poke Battle

I’m sorry, but it’s hillarious. There’s a gang of 8 and 9 year old boys in my house, having a Pokemon battle as I’m trying to write.

Oh good gravy, and my son thinks my stories are over the top?

Wheee!

We had some good news today. Hopefully (Fingers and toes crossed on this one!), Dad will be home on Monday! Yay! We’ve missed him horribly 😦

So far this week I’ve written an essay on Dad, and also a snarky 5 rules to make it through sitting in traffic thingee. Not sure what the heck I’m going to call it, but it was kind of fun. I have a series of things that are kind of strange, I call it my Shifting Sideways Stories.

Things like tree watching and the Thirteen Nekkid Ladies pop up under that tag. Hmmm… should I post here? Not sure yet. But am still writing, writing a lot… but they are fairly short. I admit that

Of course, I have the attention of an adhd squirrel right now, so it fits. I have 2 notebooks that go everywhere with me, and I now have friends (hi regina!) who enjoy getting first dibs on what I write in them (after it’s transferred to a computer file).

So. That’s my day.

Poke Battle.

ROTFLMAO

They are soooo serious about it, too!  I just kicked them out, and I think my son walked some of his friends home. I say this, because he came back in the house holding his water gun as if it were real and would protect them from the bad guys.

OMG, I love being Mom to a boy!