Is it possible to be nostalgic for a time you barely even remember? Warm sand between my toes, the cry of the gulls, the sound of the waves, digging a water filled hole to China. There are some things that stay with you forever.
“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”
under sunshine hats
giggles and shrieks
scooping up crayfish in a minnow net
plastic shovels in bright yellow pails
tiny bare feet making sweet love letters
pressed in the summer sand
Trifecta Challenge: Describe summer in your own words. Thirty-three of them exactly, of course.
The 11th Possibility is the idea that, regardless of data to the contrary, something unexpected and outside the realm of ordinary thought is always potentially around the corner.
“A coin is flipped 10 times, and in each instance lands on either heads or tails. But even after the normalcy displayed by the first 10 flips, the result of the next flip is still unknown. The coin could turn into a bird and fly away. The coin could land perfectly on its ridged edge. The coin could dissolve upon landing. It could defy gravity and remain stuck in the air. This is the 11th Possibility.”
This is an amazing Prompt for the Promptless by Rarsaur. It’s SO amazing, it has taken me five days to figure out what ‘outside the realm of ordinary thought’ could possibly mean to me. Because there are some pretty weird thoughts floating around out there, and I may have had one or two of them myself, if I want to admit it. “What do you think happens next?” is my favourite question of all time. To answer, and to ask.
You walk into a dark room and flip the light switch on. Normalcy says that the light turns on. What are some possible 11th Possibilities? Who knew flipping a switch could conjure up such interesting visions? Here are a few unexpected (but highly desirable) possible outcomes to turning on the lights.
1. You are no longer in Kansas or wherever you thought you were. This is suddenly Narnia and Oz combined, but without the scary parts, like lions and witches and tin men with no brains.
2. A genie appears to offer you three wishes. And they don’t have to be off the top of your head either! He leaves you his card and says you can call him later after you’ve had time to think about it.
3. You discover Johnny Depp has dropped by and has been sitting here in the dark waiting to ask you for some help with his pirate research. Or anything really, who cares. Because oh my gawd, look, it’s Johnny Depp.
4. You can hear the ocean and feel the warm sand beneath your feet and the sun on your face. A cabana boy hands you a tall and fruity umbrella drink that smells like strawberries and fresh pineapple and a tropical breeze. You take a sweet cold sip and think you must have died and gone to heaven. You get out the duct tape and tape that light switch in the on position, because ain’t nobody gonna be allowed to turn that sucker off.
5. Some old man who looks a lot like Dumbledor is sitting in the lotus position on your carpet and wants to explain the mysteries of the cosmos to you over a glass of wine. And he doesn’t even have to kill you once you know everything.
6. All the beautiful people you’ve loved and lost have come back to say a quick hello and to let you know they’ve never been more happy and fine and that they’re not really lost at all. But come on, being summoned by a light switch is just a tad too bizarre, even for them. Better make this a sweet and happy reunion, because it’s highly unlikely that this kind of chance encounter will happen for you twice.
7. Someone who calls herself Ms. Universe and is dressed like a Christmas Angel, tells you to trust in her and her magical powers, live in this beautiful moment, be happy now and love your life. Be One With Your Couch, you’re pretty sure she says, so you lie down and close your eyes and smile at the beautiful synchronicity in your world. And when you wake up, you know it wasn’t just a dream. Because there’s angel dust everywhere.
8. You are blessed with a little epiphany, a little ‘aha’ moment when you flip the switch and the light comes on. Here’s your home, exactly the way you left it. You are filled with gratitude and appreciation for your family and all that you have to share with them. When the light comes on you are suddenly able to see that this life you’re living is nothing less than a magical gift and that your happiness has never depended on whimsical daydreams. It has always been right here, just waiting for you to flip the switch and find it.
(But seriously, that one where Johnny Depp wants to hang out with you? Man, that one would be such a bonus.)
This is a completely lazy post, but every so often on Facebook there’s something shared that’s worth passing on. I’ve seen and heard different versions of this and it may have originated here or maybe that’s just one of the places it ended up ready to be shared again. If you’ve read it before, that’s okay. It’s worth a re-read.
The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee
When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first–the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”
My sixteen year old self would not have paid the slightest bit of attention to this spaced out old lady spewing her well-meaning but scatter-brained advice. So I know there’s really no point in saying anything to her at all.
There are wishes I’d like to make for her though, if I were able to fling them back in time and spin them around her so-serious little self and somehow make them come true for her, even for one glorious day .
She is a waitress at the Bluewater Tea Room on the shores of Lake Huron, wistfully gazing through the screened windows at her little yellow Valiant parked in the sand and baking in the sun.
Wishing she could be somewhere out there on the beach herself, instead of in here serving foot long hotdogs and home cut fries to skimpily clad tourists who keep tracking in the sand. Wishing they would just get back on their stupid boats and sail off into the sunset and take their gawky teenaged boys with them. (Not to mention all those cute little blue-eyed blondes with their long bronzed limbs – it makes her sad that she isn’t one of them.)
She is wishing it wasn’t so hot, and that ‘el groucho’ in the back sweating over the grill could think of something nice to say for a change. And that she could smack the leering face of the next smirking moron who asks her what time she gets off work today. Because after her shift she is almost always too tired to do anything except drive home and kick off her stinking sneakers and shower the smell of the deep fryer grease off her skin and out of her hair.
If I could, I would grant this sixteen year old self a little more empathy for the guy in the kitchen who works all those long hot hours trying to keep his little business going. In a few more years he will have to give it up and the tea room will be torn down, and she will never learn what becomes of him and his food splattered apron and dangling cigarettes and snarly old face.
I would grant her a moment of amazement, of unbiased objectivity, just the very briefest of epiphanies when she looks in a mirror so that she can realize the great worth and the special beauty of that brown-eyed girl looking back at her.
I would let her feel the power she possesses to bruise an ego and to break a heart because she has no idea she is capable of doing either one of those things.
I’d let her know it wouldn’t kill her to be a little more pleasant and less uptight, and that it’s perfectly okay to smile more and to laugh out loud and to tease people back, even if they’re scary strangers. It’s okay to have fun.
I would grant her a greater appreciation of the warm breezes off the lake, the smell of the water and the scent of suntan oil, the sound of the gulls and the sight of them circling in the sky and swooping down to squabble over some scrap of food. I would make her really look at those famous lake sunsets that she always takes for granted.
I would draw out more laughter, more sparkle, more joy – because they were always there, deep inside her, trying so very hard to get out.