Tag Archives: Escape

Leaving

boarding the train

 

Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.  There was nothing green yet anywhere I looked, and the air stayed cold until well past mid day.  Sometimes the sun would break through the grey mist with a half-hearted attempt at cheering up the sad and dismal countryside , but all that brown was discouraging,  and day after day it seemed to simply give up without a fight.

No, come back!  I wanted to shout at it.  Try harder.  Winter is an asshole, you can make it go away.  But the sun doesn’t listen to anyone.

Those last few bleak days I spent hesitantly preparing to leave, because I was reluctant too.  Remiss to walk away from a life that had become impossible, but which remained, in spite of everything, still strangely comforting in its familiarity.   Afraid, wary, hanging back,  I kept searching for one good reason not to go.  There were reasons, but in the end,  none of them were good enough.

A shrill whistle sounded in the distance and the tracks grumbled and shook as a numbing north wind whipped stray locks of hair across my face and into my eyes, some of the long strands sticking to the tears that kept stubbornly falling no matter how many times I brushed them away.  My ticket to freedom was crushed and broken in one clenched fist.   The other one dragged my heavy bag across the platform.   And then I boarded the southbound train.  With all my might and resolve I resisted the backward pull and in my head I wiped the slate clean.

I felt as stubborn as the sun.  Strong and steady and enduring.   Soon I’d be ready to shine again.

The Speakeasy at Yeah Write # 157 – include the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.”

On the Run

quaint bar

Wanting to escape the cold night air and warm up somewhere – anywhere will do –  he gives the heavy oak door a hard shove with his shoulder and steps inside.  Restaurant?  Bar?  What is this place?  It doesn’t matter.  Quaint old tavern in the middle of a bad dream.  He weaves his way through the crowd to the back and heaving a shuddering sigh sits down on the last stool.  He rests his damp forehead in his cold hands.  Just for a minute he closes his eyes.

He has to think, decide what to do next, find somewhere to spend the night.  He is bone tired, broken.  Maybe this is what defeat feels like. That nowhere place that cradles you before you fall asleep, the final giving up.

Her warm voice breaks through with a soft question and he shakes his head.  Nope, I’m not okay.  But if you’ve got coffee, or some hot soup…. His voice trails off when he looks at her face.  God, not pity.  Anything but that.

Then she smiles, gives her shoulders the faintest of shrugs and he can almost feel her compassion.  It’s that powerful.  Strong enough to warm him from the inside out.  He hardly has time to process these thoughts before he’s cupping his hands around a big white bowl, inhaling the aroma of sweet thick chowder, scalding his tongue with his first impatient spoonful.  Starving.  For food, for tenderness, for the end.

A blast of cold air hits him in the gut when two men he recognizes all too well push through the door, obviously looking for somebody.  For him.  How in hell did their search lead them here?

She steps around the counter blocking him from their view, puts her hand over his and tells him to come with her.  There’s a room in back where he can hide.  Nothing about this makes sense, but he blindly follows her anyway.  His life makes no sense.  Still he doesn’t want to lose it.  Not yet.

trifecta button

Trifecta: Week 110:  Between 33 and 333 words using the third definition of the word

QUAINT (adjective) –  unusual or different in character or appearance : ODD
– pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar

Just Jazzy 135

“Not that she didn’t enjoy the holidays: but she always felt—and it was, perhaps, the measure of her peculiar happiness—a little relieved when they were over. Her normal life pleased her so well that she was half afraid to step out of its frame in case one day she should find herself unable to get back.”  Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver

Instead of longing for your next vacation, change your life to one from which you don't feel the need to escape.
Instead of longing for your next vacation, change your life to one from which you don’t so often feel the need to escape.

Life is Not a Sack of Shit

My Shit
My Shit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daily Prompt:  Escape!  Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from).

Warning – this post contains the word shit, a whole lot of times.

People have shit on my life, and shit has happened to me in my lifetime.  I have gathered up a lot of shit and have been dragging it around with me for way too long.  I would like to escape all this shit I’m carrying, so I’m going to tie up the big sack it’s in, drop it right here, right now, and turn around and just walk away and leave it behind.

I’m tired of looking in the bag and feeling sad and angry about all the shit that’s happened.   I’m tired of occasionally wallowing in it.  Frankly, it really stinks.  And I don’t want to have to deal with anyone elses shit, either.  Maybe I can help someone put theirs down for a bit and forget about it for awhile, but ultimately that someone has to deal with his or her own shit.  I’ll try not to add to theirs, but I won’t take any off their hands either.  So do not hand me any shit.  I’ve been one of those people who has always felt responsible for the happiness of others.  I seem to have passed that trait on to at least one of my children (maybe both) and at least one of my grandchildren (maybe more).  It’s a terrible shitty burden to carry.  I don’t want to do it anymore.

When we go off on a vacation we never take loads of shit with us.  That’s the whole point of going somewhere wonderful and different, to get away from it all.  So I think I’d like to go on a sort of permanent vacation from life’s shit.

I’m going to meditate more, breathe more deeply, eat better, get seriously back into yoga.  I’m going to make every shit-less moment I have left in my life count.  I am going to be happy and at peace with today and all the wonders and surprises it has in store for me.  I know shit will still happen, and I will still have to deal with it, but I vow to do it only once.  I will not cart it around with me and let it make me feel bad over and over and over.  I will let it go.  I think a lot of the stress and worry and fear that gets stuck to all the shit will disappear with it.

Sounds like a great escape plan to me.  And now here’s a nice picture to take your mind off all the preceding shit.

Meditation
Meditation (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Heroes on a Holiday Monday

Happy Victoria Day Weekend!  I’ve worked the Saturday and the Sunday of it, so it’s hard to get overly excited about a Monday off, although any day off work is worth celebrating.

For the past week or so I’ve been watching the tv show “Heroes” on Netflix.  At first my intention was to view only season four, which I never watched the first time around.  Then I thought it might be a good idea to watch it all from the beginning, so that season four would make sense.  THEN I got completely hooked on watching every single episode, and ‘just one more’ before doing whatever else needed doing and should have been a priority.  Like going to sleep, for example.

Today at last I’m going to get into the fourth season.  Even though my brain is now completely overloaded with villians and heroes and time travel.  And people who die a violent death in one episode and then come back for a do-over in the next.  And change the future and save the world so many times that you begin to wonder why they persist.

I think I’ve discovered the reason why I’m still kind of hopelessly drawn to the whole thing and need to see it out to the bitter end.  It’s because of Mohinder Suresh and his wonderful voice-overs.  The fact that he’s easy to look at doesn’t hurt either.  I tried to keep the list short, but decided that’s impossible.  So here they are.

Where does it come from? This quest, this need to solve life’s mysteries when the simplest of questions can never be answered. Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream? Perhaps we’d be better off not looking at all. Not delving, not yearning. That’s not human nature. Not the human heart. That is not why we are here. Yet still we struggle to make a difference. To change the world. To dream of hope. Never knowing for certain who we’ll meet along the way. Who, among the world of strangers, will hold our hand. Touch our hearts. And share the pain of trying.

We all imagine ourselves the agents of our destiny, capable of determining our own fate. But have we truly any choice in when we rise? Or when we fall? Or does a force larger than ourselves bid us our direction? Is it evolution that takes us by the hand? Does science point our way? Or is it God who intervenes, keeping us safe?

For all his bluster, it is the sad province of man that he cannot choose his triumph. He can only choose how he will stand when the call of destiny comes, hoping he will have the courage to answer.

When a change comes, some species feel the urge to migrate, they call it zugunruhe. “A pull of the soul to a far off place,” following a scent in the wind, a star in the sky. The ancient message comes calling the kindred to take flight and gather together. Only then can they hope to survive the cruel season to come.

Evolution is imperfect and often a violent process. A battle between what exists and what is yet to be born. Amidst these birth pains, morality loses its meaning, the question of good and evil reduced to one simple choice: survive or perish.

You do not choose your destiny, it chooses you. And those that knew you before Fate took you by the hand cannot understand the depth of the changes inside. They cannot fathom how much you stand to lose in failure…that you are the instrument of flawless Design. And all of life may hang in the balance. The hero learns quickly who can comprehend and who merely stands in your way.

The Earth is large. Large enough that you think you can hide from anything. From Fate. From God. If only you found a place far enough away. So you run. To the edge of the Earth. Where all is safe again. Quiet, and warm. The solace of salt air. The peace of danger left behind. The luxury of grief. And maybe, for a moment, you believe you have escaped.

You can run far, you can take your small precautions. But have you really gotten away? Can you ever escape? Or is it the truth that you did not have the strength or cunning to hide from destiny? That the world is not small. you are. And, fate can find you anywhere.

In the beginning there was discovery. A confusion of elements. The first snowfall of impossible change. Old lives undone, left behind. Strange faces, made familiar. New nightmares, to challenge sleep. New friends, to feel safe with. Only then comes control. The need to impose order unto chaos, through determination, through study, through struggle. All in defiance of a thundering truth. They’re here, and the earth shudders underfoot.

When we embrace what lies within, our potential knows no limit. The future is filled with promise. The present, rife with expectation. But when we deny our instinct, and struggle against our deepest urges… Uncertainty begins. Where does this path lead? When will the changes end? Is this transformation a gift… or a curse? And for those that fear what lies ahead… The most important question of all… Can we really change what we are?

To survive in this world, we hold close to us those on whom we depend. We trust in them our hopes, our fears… But what happens when trust is lost? Where do we run, when things we believe in vanish before our eyes? When all seems lost, the future unknowable, our very existence in peril… All we can do is run.

The sun rises on a new dawn. Yet few of us realize the debt we owe to those responsible for this. To those who dwell among us. Anonymous, seemingly ordinary, whom destiny brought together to heal, to save us, from ourselves.

It is man’s ability to remember that sets us apart. We are the only species that is concerned with the past. How memories give us voice. And to bear witness to history so that others might learn. So that they might celebrate our triumphs and be warned by our failures.

There is a moment in every war where everything changes. A moment when the road bends. Alliances and battle lines shift. And the rules of engagement are rewritten. Moments like these can change the nature of the battle, and turn the tide for either side. So we do what we can to understand them. To be ready for change, we steady our hearts, curb our fears, muster our forces, and look for signs in the stars. But these moments, these game changers, remain a mystery. Destiny’s invisible hand, moving pieces on a chessboard. No matter how much we prepare for them – how much we resist the change, anticipate the moment, fight the inevitable outcome – in the end, we are never truly ready when it strikes.

There is good, and there is evil. Right, and wrong. Heroes and villains. And if we are blessed with wisdom, then there are glimpses between the cracks of each where light streams through. We wait in silence for these times, when sense can be made. When meaningless existence comes into focus, and our purpose presents itself. And if we have the strength to be honest,  what we find there, staring back at us, is our own reflection. Bearing witness to the duality of life. And each one of us is capable of both the dark, and the light.. the good and evil, of either, of all. And destiny, while marching ever in our direction can be rerouted by the choices we make. By the love we hold on to, and the promises we keep.

Generations unfold — father to son, mother to daughter. Where one leaves off, the other follows, destined to repeat each other’s mistakes, each other’s triumphs. For how do we see the world if not through their lens? The same fears, the same desires? Do we see them as an example to follow, or as a warning of what to avoid? Choosing to live as they have, simply because it’s what we know, or driven to create one’s own identity? And what happens when we find them to be a disappointment? Can we replace them? Our mothers, our fathers? Or will destiny find a way to drive us back? Back to the familiar comforts of home?

It is our nature to protect our children. For each generation to pass on their cautionary tales to the next. So it is with the myth of Icarus, the legend of a boy who fashioned wings from feathers and wax, daring to fly into the heavens. His father was fearful and warned Icarus to be careful, begging him not to tempt fate by flying too close to the sun. But in the end, the boy couldn’t resist. His waxen wings melted from the sun’s rays. And he plunged to his death.

For every being cursed with self awareness, there remains the unanswerable question, “Who am I?” We struggle to find meaningful connections to one another. We are the caring friend, the loving father, the doting mother, the protected child. We fight and we love in the hope that somehow, together, we can understand our significance in the universe. But in the end, no one can share our burden. Each of us alone, must ask the question, “Who am I? What does it mean to be alive? And in the vast infinity of time, how do I matter?”

There are nearly seven billion people on this planet. Each one unique. Different. What are the chances of that? And why? Is it simply biology, physiology that determines this diversity? A collection of thoughts, memories, experiences that carves out our own special place? Or is it something more than this? Perhaps there’s a master plan that drives the randomness of creation. Something unknowable that dwells in the soul, and presents each one of us with a unique set of challenges that will help us discover who we really are.

We are all connected. Joined together by an invisible thread, infinite in its potential and fragile in its design. Yet while connected, we are also merely individuals. Empty vessels to be filled with infinite possibilities. An assortment of thoughts, beliefs. A collection of disjointed memories and experiences. Can I be me without this? Can you be you? And if this invisible thread that holds us together were to sever, to cease, what then? What would become of billions of lone, disconnected souls? Therein lies the great quest of our lives. To find. To connect. To hold on. For when our hearts are pure, and our thoughts in line, we are all truly one. Capable of repairing our fragile world, and creating a universe of infinite possibilities.

There are many ways to define our fragile existence, many ways to give it meaning. But it is our memories that shapes its purpose and give it context. The private collection of images, fears, loves, regrets… we choose the importance of each. Building our own unique histories, one memory at a time. Hoping the ones we chose to remember don’t betray us or trap us. For it is the cruel irony of life that we are destined to hold the dark with the light, the good with the evil. This is what separates us, what makes us human. And at the end, we must fight to hold on.

HEROES
HEROES (Photo credit: Keng Susumpow)

If you read all of that, wow – good for you.  You must have almost as much time on your hands today as I do!  But all this philosophical meandering is what sets this series apart and makes it worth watching, despite all the blood and violence.  It’s not so much about heroes and villians and black and white, but about the myriad of traits mixed up inside every one of us and the things we ultimately do for whatever misguided reasons.  Who is right and who is wrong?  Who really knows.

So What Are YOU Reading?

Because I am living alone at the moment (and for the next five months or so of moments) I have a lot of time for uninterrupted reading.  It’s one of the best feelings there is, to have the quiet time to sit down with a good book, and to just let whatever else needs doing wait.  Kind of a delicious spaced-out interlude in which the rest of the world ceases to matter.

Just finished Escape by Barbara Delinsky.  It’s one of those feel good stories with a happy ending.  Of course there’s a lot of stress and trauma and mucking about to get there, but you just know things will work out eventually for ALMOST everybody.  And the ones it doesn’t all work out for, well that was their own damned fault.  In the crazy world of workaholic lawyers in New York,  Emily suddenly decides to walk away from it all and figure out her priorities in life because she’s mega stressed and no longer happy.  How many people do you know who are working their butts off doing something they hate to do for all the wrong reasons?  Take a good look in the mirror – one of them might be you.

Odd Jobs by Ben Lieberman is turning out to be a real page turner and everybody’s fate is up in the air.  Of course I’m referring to the characters who are still alive at this point in the story.  I’m about half way through it.  If I review it now I’m less likely to give away the ending. Here’s the little blurb from Amazon:

College student Kevin Davenport is working any and every odd job to make it through school. He discovers who killed his father while working at the corrupt, mob-controlled, Kosher World Meat factory. Now he will stop at nothing to prevent the killers from ruining other families and to get his revenge, as well. Conventional techniques, such as going to the police, have not only been ineffective for others, these methods have proven to be virtual suicide.

So all bets are off and Davenport uses the grittiest and strangest methods as tools to bring down the killers. The characters, misadventures and odd jobs will have the readers laughing. But the hazard is real and Davenport is in over his head.

It’s very well written and hard to put down.  Unless you get interrupted by something like this next book.

Shift or Get off the Pot by Linda Edgecombe.  My boss gave it to me as a gift.  Do you think she’s trying to tell me something??  I started reading it last night at work and finished it when I got home, and decided I already have a life, thank you very much.  There are some very insightful things in it of course, not that I needed to hear any of them.  Okay, all sarcasm aside, it’s actually an excellent motivational book, which is why I was able to quickly read the whole thing.  And also just in case there’s a test later I like to brown nose and appear to be smart.  Funnily enough, it’s a lot like the Escape book, advising us to get rid of the negative things in our lives, discover what it is that makes us truly happy and fulfilled, and then get out there and have fun and enjoy life.  Instead of being on “The Deferred Life Plan”, working ourselves to death so we can be happy some time in the future, we need to start living right now.  Accept who you are, do your best, and learn to laugh again.

Apparently I need to accept the fact that I’m a Relator.  (Not to be confused with realtor – I would suck at that job.)  The other choices are Socializer, Thinker, and Director.  Get the book and find out who you are!  Or if, like me, you already know everything, never mind.  And now, back to the grizzly murder mystery.  I definitely have my priorities straight.