Bright spot

Short story:

It snowed Thursday, and its been icy cold since then, but I was determined to get a few photos of snow despite the drab gray day and being a wimp who detests the cold. I drove over to Mystic on River Road. I parked, planning to jump out, get a photo, and scoot back into my toasty car. As I took the photo of the Mystic River with the red chairs (above), a woman walked by all bundled up.

“You must be an artist,” she said, with a heavy German accent. “Anyone who sees beauty here today must be an artist.”

“This is my favorite place to walk, and I take photos all the time,” said, “I’m not an artist, but I do see beauty here.”

She smiled. “Then, yes, you are an artist.”

She introduced herself, and then said that she and her husband lived down the road and around the corner. As she continued on her way, she invited me to stop by for tea the next time I walked. And that was it. Just a few words, but she had turned a dreary day into a bright spot to be remembered.

Next thing I knew, I was locking up the car and heading down the road to Main Street, where I stopped in for a coffee and a few decadent macaroons at Sift, and then took photos while strolling up and down the street as I munched on a peanut-butter-and-jelly macaroon under my mask. The streets twinkled with holiday lights.

As I sit here, back in my warm condo, my legs are still chilly from the long walk, but her kind words glow. Thank you, Rita.

Anticipating the end of the world

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In 1964, I had just turned seven,
hardly old enough to watch
The Huntley-Brinkley Report.

But somehow, somewhere,
I got it in my head that the world
was going to end.
And this doomsday deadline held
my crystal ball gaze for days.

I remember kneeling in the middle
of the double bed I shared with my sister,
pleading with God to delay
the end of the world.

I hadn’t learned to ride a two-wheeler.
Hadn’t made my First Communion.
Hadn’t read all the chapter books in the library.

Every day for a week,
my prayers became more insistent
as I anticipated my final days on Earth.
I told no one out of fear and hope.

Then I remember sitting in class
and it began to snow.  I thought, this is it.
This is the day. Only it wasn’t,
and I went home on the bus.

Tonight, I googled doomsday predictions,
and learned that psychic Jean Dixon
often predicted the end of the world
in the early 1960s.

And so, this is how the world goes on,
somehow, some way.
The children pray for us all.

I used to lift high in the sky

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And every night was an adventure.
I didn’t fly, I simply lifted at will,
looking down without fear
at the world below.

No one looked up
while I was suspended overhead,
and I had no concerns
about the people below.
I didn’t see a string,
but something guided me,
softly lifting and lightly touching down.

Tonight, I will more likely
be naked while no one notices
or running late to take a test
that I haven’t studied for.

No wonder I lie awake for hours.

Weekly photo challenge: prolific

The word “prolific” describes the feelings and images of a recent trip to Thailand and Cambodia — loads of Buddhas, overloaded trucks, trinkets in the Bangkok markets and the incredible expanse of of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world.

The URL for this challenge is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/prolific/

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I used to lift high in the sky

IMG_1394
And every night was an adventure.
I didn’t fly, I simply lifted at will,
looking down without fear
at the world below.

No one looked up
while I was suspended overhead,
and I had no concerns
about the people below.

I didn’t see a string,
but something guided me,
softly lifting and lightly touching down.

Tonight, I will more likely
be naked while no one notices
or running late to take a test
that I haven’t studied for.

No wonder I lie awake for hours.

 

Weekly photo challenge: (inner) smile

 

4 versions of the face of the Buddha Mahavairocana, Japanese

Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, RI

According to museum resources, this is the largest wooden Japanese sculpture in the United States. It was constructed from 11 hollowed and carved pieces of wood. Its simple surfaces and serene expression are representative of the late Heian Period.

For more info about the weekly photo challenge, check it out here:  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/smile/

 

 

Weekly photo challenge: Rise/set

To illustrate rise, the softest pinks and purples of an early morning sunrise from a quiet cove at Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire.

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To illustrate set, an ominous sunset after an unforgettable tornado and high winds slammed through Fargo, North Dakota, on an otherwise quiet, mid-summer day.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/rise-set/

 

 

Weekly photo challenge: transient

018_15_0005_editedThis was just one moment on a road trip across miles of prairie. How could anyone find it aimless or repetitive. On this long-ago trip I watched two or three thunderheads and lightning storms take over the humongous sky across the miles. I veered off on gravel roads with signs that pointed to the homes of Lawrence Welk and Willa Cather’s Antonia and Laura Ingalls Wilder. With no one to direct my way or force me to race ahead, I stopped at will. A raw and unsettled feeling breathed new life in me. Maybe this was the moment that changed me forever. After this, I longed for more  like this one. To feel the sky reaching out to me, lifting me off the ground. Like riding a roller coaster and falling into the sky.